I get asked all the time what supplements I use on a regular basis. Some think I use nothing. Some think I use some advanced protocols.
The answer is yes…..no matter what it is there is NOTHING I take day in, day out every day week in week out. My supplement plan is need specific and periodized to match my training and need.
I won’t have the space to explain all science behind why and timing, but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask on the Facebook Fan Page.
This list is what I currently use in the current training phase along with a few others that are very common in my training cycles.
Brush my teeth with OraMD instead of toothpaste
Enzyme’s by Mike Mahler, they must be taken on an empty stomach with no food within 60-120minutes, so this is pretty much the only time of day it works.
I’m at the gym most mornings, so my breakfast is a quick meal replacement. Currently I’m using Shawn Phillips Full Strength…..it’s marketed for Men, ladies just take half the dose, there is NOTHING male specific in the formula, Shawn just likes to help that specific market.
There’s very few proteins I digest well. Unfortunately Shawn’s is not one that works the best with my stomach, but nothing too bad.
Over the years I’ve tried dozens of different protein brands and types (except soy, that’s just asking for cancer and health problems). The one that’s given me the best digestibility is Biotest Metabolic Drive.
Pre and Intra (during) training, I use Power Shot (now known as Recovery Shot) on ONLY the highest intensity training days. This contains no stimulants, nor do I recommend stimulants to include caffeine pre-training except by very rare exception.
Halfway through the training session, I start drinking Biotest Surge Recovery. Usually I get about half of it down by the end of training and finish the rest post-training. I DO NOT recommend this for fat loss. You’re much better off with BCAA’s.
I’m about to try using Whey Natural USA in replacement of the Surge. If I tolerate it well, I’ll recommend this for fat loss as it has all the BCAA’s and EFA’s you’ll need. PERFECT for INTRA-Training nutrition.
After training, if I haven’t already finished my intra-training drink, I’ll finish this. Other than this and BCAA’s, there’s not a huge benefit to any other supplement contrary to the supplement company claims. Eat a regular meal within an hour.
Other cool stuff throughout the day:
LivOn Labs has a LipoSomal Vitamin C that delivers 60x the absorption of Vitamin C than an IV drip! So basically you have get the equivalent of 60grams through IV in a small 1gram dose. Cold coming on? Hit this up throughout the winter along with other recovery modules and chances of you getting sick are virtually zero. Oh and it’s about $1 a day
During hard training cycles, I’ll toss in creatine daily, preferably I start that 3-4 weeks prior to the hard phase beginning. The micronized German creatine that’s about $12 for 100 servings is the MOST you should every pay for creatine. Rest is either junk or filled with junk, don’t bother with it.
Also during hard conditioning/glycolytic centric phases, I’ll toss in Beta Alanine. Both this and creatine, I just toss into the intra-training mix. The research is still out on exact dosing guidelines for Beta Alanine, so it’s hard to recommend it currently.
Fish oil. Again, never use the same stuff too often or every day applies to fish oil. I use a combination of Biotest Flameout and FA3 and alternate with Faster, Stronger Healthier’s liquid fish oil with Vit D. Keep these in the fridge and high dose on hard training days, eat fish 2x/week and don’t worry about the rest. Some very specific fat loss goals will require very high doses initially.
Magnesium before bed. I use Mike Mahler’s Recovery Oil.
No crazy crap, no silly shakes all day, no unresearched junk. Everything in my supplement plan revolves around the training session, recovery from it and hormonal support as needed. That’s it. Nothing else is really needed except for very specific goals. Remove the Recovery Shot from the equation and you’re looking at less than $5/day at the extreme high end, keeping in mind most are used only on super hard training days, helps keep it economical.
Keep in mind, these are for MY goals. Your supplement plan may be completely different or very similar. Just remember if your nutrition isn’t locked in eating the 47 healthiest foods, getting protein every few hours, vegetables every meal, carbs within 2 hours of training only, lots of water, healthy fats to include saturated fats daily, all 90% of the time…..supplements will do
If you found this useful and have any questions at all, feel free to ask me in training or reply to this email…..but if you expect a recommendation, have a 2 week log of EVERYTHING you’ve eaten or drank. Yes that includes the Tic-Tac earlier and the mint from the bank yesterday.
If you check the links for BioTrust and Prograde below, they’ll provide many things for 85% of the population and a good one stop shop. And you’ll be supporting the gym if you get something through our links. It’s not much, but every little bit helps us get better equipment and technology.
What are the healthiest foods to include in your diet?
Well here’s the Top 47 that I’ve compiled and cross referenced from a standpoint of maximum nutritional value, acid/base balance, heart health, cancer prevention, the Paleo Diet, The Mediterranean Diet and overall good health and performance.I get asked ALL the time about different foods. Just keep in mind our Big Rocks/Little Rocks analogy. It’s more important to be eating foods without a label, than those with. These are just the best 47 options. If you include as many of these as possible (90%+) into your diet, you’ll have your Big Rocks for nutrition covered and never have a need to EVER ask about foods again…..even though I know it will happen.
Here’s the list!
Don’t see your favorite foods on there? Life isn’t fair, deal with it….but 10% of the time, you can include the foods you enjoy without very many repercussions, unless your nutrigenetics indicate otherwise.
It’s up to you to explore and discover which foods are not good for you, regardless of whether they’re on the “good list” or not. There’s no such thing as a good or bad food only good and bad amounts and timing. If Peaches give you indigestion for example, don’t eat them!
Do You Have What It Takes?
Think you’re ready for a career in the fitness industry?
We have been an industry leader training the first responder and military markets since 2003, well before ‘Tactical Fitness” was a cool buzzword. In 2010, we opened our Colorado Springs gym for general population fat loss and athletes. This is where you come in…
Use your resources and figure it out….your test begins NOW
Drop off your resume in person at the gym on a Mon Wed or Fri between 523am and 528am. Email firstname.lastname@example.org prior to notify which day you will be stopping in. NOTE: Our coaches will be setting up training and will not be able to have a discussion or answer questions at this time, but do ensure it is in the hands of one of our coaches.
Selections are currently done quarterly(Jan, Apr, Jul, Oct), you will be contacted for a follow up phone call to schedule your test day.
Who is this NOT for:
Who this IS for
It is HIGHLY recommended you have read or listened on audiobook Delivering Happiness and have a basic understanding of New Rules of Lifting for Life. Both WILL be required reading if you pass the selection process and will help further your career.
A certification is not necessary prior but you will have have standards to meet weekly after passing the selection process and will be required to achieve one of two certifications we recommend within 90 days if you’ve made it that far.
Your test has already begun. Will you be a part of the top 1% in the training industry in 10 years or will you have quit within the first 18 months like the national average trainer has. This selection process is a very good predictor. Even if you don’t have any desire to be a part of our team, challenge yourself, see where your at and where you’re headed.
Come find out if you have what it takes
Combat Hierarchy….something I whipped up just now. Just a basic outline, not complete. This can transfer to civilian or law enforcement as well, just remove what you don’t have access to….in the Zombie Apocalypse you might
These should be trained simultaneously but with an emphasis from the bottom up. Build the fighter to deal with no tools or friends and they’re be a rock star when they have those.
Strategy: Break the opponent down to the ground (either by short circuiting/shutting off electricity/pyschology or breaking down structure) in the most efficient manner possible and finish the fight with lethal or less lethal options
-Lethal and Non-Lethal fires and effects
-Artillery/Mortars for various uses
-Take all the below and now mesh with a team
Include light and laser tactics
Crew Serve Weapons/Demo:
<25M CQB missions or PSD/Vehicle ops
500-800M Basic Sniper/7.62+ platforms
-Situational Transitions (Clear a closet, shield guy, specific missions, etc)
-Fight to the next level above
-Can the techniques fit into any of the categories below?
-Do you know how to use random items in an efficient manner?
-Every day with your team, select an item in the room and see how many ways that item have be weaponized or used as a weapon as is. there’s not a single item on the planet that can’t be used as a weapon. Even a ton of feathers is still 2,000 pounds and will crush you
Less Lethal Options:
-Mission/Department Specific tools
-Stick/Baton/ASP/Improvised weapon techniques
-Pikal/Striking techniques with say a closed ASP or flashlight, again reference improvised weapons
-Assists in breaking the opponent down (such as cutting structure on the lower limbs)
-Naked Warrior with a ‘Bonus’ (punch with a blade, lever with blade contact, hooking, etc)
I like to think of it from the combative aspect as:
Primary: Fuck Off knife, something center line on your kit or belt, easily accessed by either hand, preferably not obvious, that will come straight out and into a strike bringing the aggressor to the ground in an efficient manner and used for nothing else but that role
Alternate: Your every day blade that will probably be already in a pocket whether in uniform or not
Contingent: Small specialty blades like a Hide Away Knife, Clinch Pick and such
Emergency or readily accessible/already in hand: Swords, tomahawks, tools, etc
-Movement/Strength and Conditioning
For the past 18 months at Fit Body Bootcamp, we integrated the Functional Movement Systems philosophies into our program design. Our beliefs and methodologies have been based around these training systems for quite some time, and have been using the FMS baseline screening system for classifying if someone is able to safely enter our program to get the results they are looking for. Integrating this system into our large group format program design has been nothing short of amazing. Our team at Fit Body Bootcamp here really believes that this form of screening and standardizing movement is essential for safe, timely, effective results.
In order to better understand the premise of where these beliefs stem from, let’s take a look at some of the rules that Functional Movement Systems are based around.
Foundational movement patterns need to be assessed before we can create a program designed to fit each individuals needs. Our goal at Fit Body Bootcamp is to provide the best personal training services in Colorado Springs. Using the Functional Movement Screening Systems, we were able to establish a solid baseline screening system to better help manage and prevent injury to the musculoskeletal system. Also by establishing a baseline scoring criteria, we will be able to monitor and track progress to ensure that the right program is being implemented.
All of this screening, assessing, and implementing the right mix of corrective exercises into the programs are going to help keep our clientele safer and healthier for long periods of time. We realize that injuries are going to happen. However, it’s our job to reduce the likelihood of injury. After all, if someone gets injured during training, their outlook and thought processes about exercise can be compromised for the rest of their lives. Exercise should be enjoyable…Exercise should be well thought out and serve a purpose…Exercise should help you meet and exceed your goals…Exercise should help improve movement patterns and make daily activities more enjoyable.
This training philosophy is the foundation of our personal training and boot camp program design at Fit Body Bootcamp. We’ve had multiple questions about exercises being “red lighted.” The reason for taking certain exercises out of your program all stem back to these five rules. It’s our job to get results and keep you injury free. It’s all about the quality of the movement, not the quantity.
“For wrestlers, mental /psychological recovery is so important because too many wrestlers peak mid way through high school and never continue wrestling after high school or as seniors. Long term progress means everything regarding young athletes. This is why I never train them more than 3 x week. If we train a 4th time it is usually a day devoted to various form and agility drills and stretching.
As I mentioned before, the Russian conjugate and concurrent methods are great. The constant variety strains the CNS to a lesser extent and helps them avoid burn out. One thing I learned from Coach Ethan Reeve was to purposely make some work outs easy, allowing the athlete to go home still wanting to do more. This gives them that extra recovery and keeps them returning stronger. This is also where wrestlers and young athletes in general want to do more because they don’t understand how beneficial this is for them to actually do less during certain workouts. If I would have known this back when I was a kid I would have reduced my injuries greatly, many of which were overuse injuries!
With out doubt though, there are many tough workouts that challenge my athletes physically & mentally. If a workout was very taxing one day, the next workout I will make sure to taper the intensity level. We also taper our training before the season and in season. The volume, intensity & time are lowered during these times to keep the athlete healthy and in a state of peak performance as often as possible.”
Strength and Conditioning Interrogations
Alwyn Cosgrove 2006
From Chad Waterbury’s work we can use speed of movement as our gauge. When your speed slows, end the set.
Technical Progressions and Sophistication of Exercises
Technical sophistication. These olympic lifts seem cool, but aren’t they dangerous? No. Not when progressed properly and the actual lifts are coached. They are actually one of the safest sports injury wise. Safer than general lifting weights. There are over use injuries, but you are getting them, you are probably working with some world class coaches that will help negate them.
These are just the way I like to progress things. Taking somebody with no experience to technical lift. Some people may be able to skip and progress in a matter of hours. Others may take years. Find yourself an USAW Club Coach to teach you proper mechanics when you get to the dowel rod phase. They are much more common than you would think(I’m one) and your football coach in high school most likely taught you incorrectly.
-Deadlift and it’s progressive variations(bodyweight, sandbag, kettlebell/dumbbell, etc)
-High pulls with various implements(bar, med balls, kettlebells, sandbags, etc)
-Kettlebell swings, this teaches the hip drive while using the arms as only attachments and not doing any of the work.
-Overhead throws, these teach 75% of what an olympic lift is. Taking something off the ground and getting triple extension(ankles, kness, hips) Use various implements and odd objects.
-Kettlebell and sandbag clean and presses. Find a good kettlebell coach to show you these and you’ll be very close to having the technical mastery needed for O-lifts.
-Dowel and PVC O-lift skills practice. I like to use this as a warmup prior to lower body work. Muscle snatches are excellent for warming up the shoulders prior to grappling or upper body work.
-At this point you should get a coach to analyze form, at a minimum send a video in to a coach if you don’t have one near by. Don’t go past this point without professional coaching unless you can promise to never ever blame a single injury on olympic weightlifting. I love the sport and it is extremely safe, but there are millions of douches giving it a bad rap when they have never even bothered to take one hour out of their life to have someone teach them properly.
As a side note the actual bar lifts have only two advantages over other implements. Heavier weights and increased coordination skills. For the majority of people the kettlebell/sandbag and odd object(logs, kegs, etc) lifts will be enough. I view the actual olympic lifts as the very end goal after years of skills sophistication or as a hobby sport.
Refer to Pull-up Strength 2.0 for full progressions and video’s
The following learning progressions may apply to both categories depending on your current level.
By Jim Smith, CSCS
Hand balancing and other gymnastic movements were used by the old-time strongmen such as Eugen Sandow, Otto Arco and Sig Klein. As you know, these physical culturalists had some of the strongest and most ripped abdominals ever displayed. In fact, some of their feats of strength have yet to be equaled. What most don’t realize is that these men used gymnastics and simple bodyweight movements to build their insane strength.
A movement that I utilize with my wrestlers and combat athletes is wall walking. It is one segment of the full execution of walking on your hands. The full version of walking on your hands takes a while to really get the hang of, so working the same musculature but with a more rudimentary movement is easy and quicker to implement.
Wall walking involves having the athlete setup in a hand stand position against a wall. From there, they will walk their hands out until their body is parallel to the ground. To complete the movement, they begin walking their feet back up, returning to the starting position close to the wall. That is one rep. Continue walking out and walking back up the wall for the desired volume or until the athlete collapses!
Building huge upper body strength, elite levels of torso strength and helping to regulate breathing, wall walking will without a doubt provide your athletes with a truly brutal exercise that will have them crushing their opponents.
About the Author
Jim Smith is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and an expert trainer who writes for Men’s Fitness and the Elite Q/A Staff. Jim has been involved in strength training as a performance enhancement specialist for over 8 years and has worked with athletes from various sports who compete at various levels. He has published articles about his unique training style and innovative methods for many prominent strength and fitness related sites. He is also the authored of three renowned strength manuals. For more innovative training solutions, visit CombatCoreStrength.com
For real core strength, check out:
By Jim Smith, CSCS
In this recent news story, Combat to the Core, Staff Sgt. Carlos Diaz discusses strengthening of our service men and women discusses a comprehensive approach to their abdominal training.
Here are a few excerpts:
“Core strength refers to abdominal and back muscles used to support the spine and keep bodies stable and balanced.” and
“In general, strength core exercises such as Pilates and yoga have become very popular over the years because they concentrate on building good posture.”
In this article it also shows the service men and women engaging in sit-ups. Let’s take this point by point:
By Jim Smith CSCS
From the Stack, this article details Nomar Garciaparra’s (a six time all-star with the Dodgers) baseball core strengthening routine.
I really like this statement outlined in the article:
“…think of a young athlete that lifts weights for the first time. Jen Walker states that rapid gains are made, but those gains aren’t at the muscular level, they are at the neurological level. The gains are made through an efficiency improvement in overall movement.”
This is an imperative distiction when considering to load an athlete as they improve. Foundational strength levels must be well established and evaluated before speed of movement is considered. This is especially true of young athletes or those whose stregth training age is young. It is also of equal importance when discussing the explosive rotational movements of baseball players.
Another training concept to highlight:
“Everything that we do is geared towards augmenting our athletes’ on-the-field movement,” explains Friedman, “So we focus on body movements rather than the individual parts of the body.”
Simple, sensible and yet profound. The goal is essentially to improve athletic performance. Strength training or GPP increases the athlete’s potential to perform at a higher level on the field and since movement does not occur in isolation, the athlete must be trained with compound, full-body movements.
Craig Friedman (trainer) focuses Nomar’s core training on medicine ball work. He incorporates explosive exercises such as: Med Ball Swings, Granny Tosses, Squat-to-Press Passes, Overhead Passes and Chest Passes, Craig understands that explosive movements where the weight or implement is released have a higher power output and a faster speed of movement.
About the Author
Jim Smith is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist who writes for Men’s Fitness and the Elite Q/A Staff. Jim has been involved in strength training as a performance enhancement specialist for over 8 years and has worked with athletes from various sports who compete at various levels. He has published articles about his unique training style and innovative methods for many prominent strength and fitness related sites. He is also the authored of three renowned strength manuals. For more innovative training solutions, visit CombatCoreStrength.com
For real core strength, check out: