Monday, January 17, 2011

New Site

I have decided to move! Check me out at Same great content, brand new look.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to give a Merry Christmas to everyone out there. Today is Christmas Eve and even though I have some family stuff tonight, I was still able to get a little workout in this morning. Remember, true results come to those who are willing to put the work in and get past the excuses. It is easy to get caught up in excuses such as work, being tired, or the holidays themselves. Even if you don't have time to get to the gym, there are still good body weight circuits that can be done at home. I know I have a few clients I was not able to see today and tomorrow so I gave them home workouts to do so they were not missing out and could continue to work towards their goals. Take the time to get something in this weekend, whether it is a trip to the gym or an at-home workout. Don't wait until January to start your mission. Put it together now and get a head start.

Just if you are interested, here is the workout I completed this morning and it was with my buddy from Morehead State, Dillon Lawson.

Foam Roll/Warmup

Med Ball Circuit 3x8each
    Chest Pass
    Overhead Throw
    Side Toss
    Scoop Toss

A1 - Keg Clean and Press - 3x6
A2 - Farmers Walk - 3x40yds

B   - Zercher Split Squats - 3x8each

Small workout. Just wanted to get some work in during a deload week. Next up for me is back into a strength phase. I have been focusing on mobility and work capacity lately. Hip mobility is better yet will still be a main focus for a while. Have a great holiday and get some work in.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Common Gym Mistakes pt. 2

Earlier this week I discussed a few common mistakes I see people making almost every day in the gym. Today I wanted to expand beyond the gym and talk about a few mistakes we are all making that keep us from our goals.

1. Ignoring Nutrition
This is the one thing that I would say causes the most problems in all of our journeys to a new life. A great workout is only part of the equation. Focusing on the nutrition and what you are eating is just as important, if not more, than getting in the gym and lifting large amounts of weight or burning out Tabata sets. Take a day every week and sit down and plan the week. Act like it is just another workout. I like to have my clients use an easier day like Sunday and take time to sit down, write out some meals for the week and what you need for those meals. Next, go to the grocery and get the food needed, and then come home and prepare all the meals and snacks for that week. Preparing meals ahead of time will allow you to know exactly what you are eating and when you are eating, plus if you have a late night at work then you have no excuse. You don't have to cook, it is all already made. Focus on nutrition first and then you can get more intricate with your workouts.

2. Sleep
Ok, so you have the nutrition part taken care of and your workouts are top notch. What else are you missing? The answer to that question is sleep. The body has to recover at some point and not giving it the sleep it needs is wasting all of the work that you have been putting in. The mind makes its connections at night so the things you learn and the movements you make throughout the day are put in place during those solid hours of sleep. Not to mention, hormone levels are prime when we are in a deep state of sleep. So if you are busting ass all day in the gym, then staying up late and waking up early, you are missing out on a huge opportunity for growth and improvement. Go to bed earlier and get a solid 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Try to make your bedtime the same time every night and wake up around the same time every morning.

3. Mentality
This is a huge aspect most people don't even think about. You can't go into the gym every day and just go through the motions. Starting a workout program means getting your mind into the right state. Set out your goals and picture the place you want to be in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year. Go into the gym every day with a purpose and a goal. Focus on the exercise you are doing, the way you are feeling, and the change you want to make. Don't get distracted by the people around you or the idiots doing bicep curls in the squat rack. Put on your headphones with your music and step into your own world. With focus and intensity, your workout will take a step up.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Common Gym Mistakes

Working in a commercial gym for over a year now I have seen some good things but a lot more of the bad. So many people have trouble with creating an effective workout plan and sticking to it. I have seen people come and go, crazy antics, and daily members who are yet to see a single result. I want to share some of the common mistakes I have seen and how to correct these.

1. Consistency
This is the biggest aspect of creating results. From nutrition to the workout, if you aren't doing in consistently then you're not going to get where you want to go. Too many times I see people who make their way into the gym 5 days one week and then maybe once the next three weeks. You can't just work out when you feel like it. Whether you are on a 3-day plan, a 5-day plan, or 7-day plan, you have to stay consistent. Create goals of not missing a workout, not missing a set, and not missing a meal. Make your workout realistic though. If you can only get into the gym 3 days a week then make a 3-day program and stick to it. Make the most out of what time you can get and stay strong with it. If you are not consistent, you will not achieve the goals you are after.

2. Balance
I have touched on this topic many times before and I will continue to do so because it continues to be a huge problem. There is no balance in the majority of the gym and in every day life. I stress to my clients the importance of balance because today's society is front side dominant. Everything takes place in front of us. Forward head posture, slouching, and internally rotated shoulders are all too common because of desk jobs, computers, and just plain laziness. The problem becomes worse when people go to the gym and repeat sets of bench press, crunches, and bench press all week long. Everyone wants a six pack and a big chest. That's what we see from the front. The problem is, repetitive movements like these that just exacerbate our poor posture will create worse posture and lead to so many pains and problems. Start focusing on the back side. Work the butt, lower back, and upper back. Start doing double the amount of rowing movements compared to pressing movements. Work on full core exercises such as planks instead of abdominal based exercises like crunches and sit-ups. Improved posture will improve aesthetics. Pull the shoulders back and you will instantly look broader, bigger, and more athletic. For females, improving posture will make the waist look slimmer and the chest stand up. Focus on the weak links first.

3. Too Much Cardio
This plays off of the balance issue. Every day I see hundreds of people come into the gym, go straight to the treadmill or elliptical, spend an hour there, and leave. These same people never touch a weight and never see the body they want. Whether you are male or female, you cannot just do cardio. Even if your only goal is to lose weight, you need weight training as well. Cardio alone will burn some calories but will not build the muscle we need to boost metabolism, nor will it create the shapely bodies we all want. If you think about it from an aesthetics point of view, take a long distance runner. These people are very thin with no real shape to their body. Take a female soccer player, much more curvy, yet still thin and "toned". The soccer player has much more strength based demands in their sport when compared to a long distance runner who is strictly aerobic. So when you go to the gym, cut the cardio in half and add weight training. Free weights and full body workouts would be my suggestion. But make sure you get some help on creating a program and you're not just wondering around the gym doing this or that with no real rhyme or reason.

Later this week I will give a second list of mistakes that involve more nutrition and psychology.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Call Me a Slacker

Once again I have let a month go by without a single post. For that I apologize. Hear me out though. Over the past month we have been doing a lot of work around BodyQuest. We have done a lot of construction from tearing down old walls to putting up new ones and a lot of painting and cleaning in between. Along with all of that we are still training clients. Today as I type this our brand new equipment is being installed. We will now have a power rack, cable crossover, lat pull/seated row, dumbbell rack, glut ham raise, and a couple free benches. It is going to be a whole new look around here. In about 2 weeks we will be having our grand opening party to welcome everyone to the new and improved BodyQuest. Anyone interested in coming by to check it out leave me a comment and we will welcome you on over.

As for myself, besides training and getting this place fixed up, my training is a little more minimalistic right now. I have been focusing a lot on correcting a lot of issues I have been dealing with over the past few years. My hips and shoulders are very tight and my range of motion has been somewhat restricted on certain movements. Therefore the past two months have been focused more on soft tissue work and mobility training. I have still incorporated strength training into my weekly workouts but it has been more focused on movement versus amount of weight lifted. I am working up to January where I hope to have many of my issues improved if not resolved. At that point I will be phasing back into strength training working on building up maximal strength once again. This whole experience has been hard yet humbling. Everyone always wants to do the show workouts where large amounts of weight is moved around or muscle volume is being built and this is where the problems are created. We have to remember to take care of the small things such as movement, endurance, and tissue quality so that the more exciting things like maximal lifts can be performed properly and even improved more efficiently. It's not always fun to take care of the small things but it is definitely a must.

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Recipe

I tried a new recipe tonight for dinner that is not only healthy but was also very delicious. I thought I would share it with you all. It is something different that provides a good source of protein. Hope you give it a try and enjoy.

Quinoa Salad with Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

Using the meat from a grilled or baked chicken is a convenient shortcut for making this tempting main course salad. Serve over lettuce and chopped fresh veggies for lunch, dinner or picnics.


2 cups water
1 1/3 cups quinoa
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups green or red grapes, quartered
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


Rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain. Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Stir in quinoa and a pinch of salt then reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed,15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and set aside to let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly add the oil, whisking well. Add quinoa and toss to combine. Add chicken, grapes and almonds and toss again. Serve at room temperature or chilled, if you like.


Per serving (about 8oz/235g-wt.): 350 calories (130 from fat), 14g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 260mg sodium, 39g total carbohydrate (5g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 18g protein

Courtesy of

Monday, September 27, 2010

BodyQuest Blog

I just wanted to let you know that we have started a blog for BodyQuest Fitness and I will be posting regularly on that site. I will try to post on here as well but definately check out the BodyQuest blog and check us out at BodyQuest at 319 Wallace Avenue in St. Matthews for our bootcamps every Saturday.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Hey everyone. I have been MIA once again and I am here to catch everyone up to what has been going on. I have joined up with a client of mine and a studio owner to start a business and get a personal training studio running and expanding. The studio is called BodyQuest and is located in St. Matthews in Louisville. It has been there and managed by Chris Tedesco for about a year now. With the addition of my training knowledge and my client, Crag Perkins' financial backing and business expertise we plan on renovating the studio withe new equipment and a new look and expanding the possibilities we have there. We also look forward to opening a few more locations within the near future. I have posted a couple videos below taking you on a quick tour through the facility as it is now. Stay tuned for some video tours of the new and improved BodyQuest studio.

Along with these renovations we are going to reconstruct the BodyQuest website so my blog content from Swonkdiesel will become more frequent and will more than likely move to that website. I will keep everyone updated on any changes that occur. Come check us out!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


No matter what business or part of life you are in, image is a big deal. The first thing people see when they meet you is what you look like. No one can avoid image. In the fitness world, if you are out of shape, your image is poor and people are not going to trust you. You may be the smartest person in the world but if you don't show that you can get yourself in shape then how is anyone else supposed to believe that you can get them in shape? As a trainer, a coach, or even a gym owner, you are a leader. You influence those around you whether it be members and athletes, co-workers, or your employees. Keeping that in mind it has to be priority to lead by example. So many times I see trainers doing things such as showing up late to appointments, leaving weights out all over the floor, and breaking gym rules. By doing this, it says to members that it's ok to do these things and the gym ends up being left a mess. I realize accidents happen, alarm clocks are missed, and we are too rushed to pick a dumbbell up sometimes. But this doesn't mean all the time. People should take pride in their job whether it is their ultimate goal or not. Whatever it is you do, do it to the best of your ability and look good while doing it. People will notice this and you never know who may be watching. One lazy action could get you demoted or fired while one extra effort to go above and beyond might take you to the next level. If you are always presenting yourself to the best image possible, then you would never have to worry who may be watching.

Take pride in your appearance and actions and realize there are people who look up to you. Do good things and they will follow.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Strongman Saturday

This past weekend we decided to go outside of the gym and do some strongman type training. We have a bunch of equipment such as tires, sleds, a log, an atlas stone, and some kegs that we mess around with every now and then. A couple of the guys at the gym and myself have decided to make Saturdays and outdoor training day to work on some conditioning yet keep it manly. This week was the first installment of many more to come. We created a medley of tire flips, farmers walk, log clean and press, med ball side throws, and finished it off with a sled push. The sled is in bad condition so it makes the push even harder. I have a Prowler on the way so hopefully that will arrive before next week.

Here are some videos of the good times we had, including a little puke. This type of training is a great way to mix it up and get out of the gym for a little while but a good solid program should be the foundation of your training, not the "fun" stuff.