Wednesday, December 30, 2015

4 Strategies for Breaking Through Muscle Building Plateaus [Muscle & Strength]

Any lifter who's been in the game for more than a couple of months knows that progress isn't linear. You can't just add five pounds to the bar every single session.

When progress stalls and you can no longer just keep lifting heavier and heavier, what strategies do you have for busting through the plateau?

In my new article for Muscle & Strength, 4 Strategies for Breaking Through Muscle Building Plateaus, I describe the four best techniques for making continual progress on the gym floor.

Read all about them here:


Monday, December 28, 2015

Podcast Ep. 9 - Betsy Lane

In Episode 9 of the Fitness Pollenator Podcast, I'm joined by an amazing guest: Betsy Lane. Betsy is a longtime friend, avid bodybuilder, and soon-to-be doctor of physical therapy (after she passes her boards, of course!).

In this episode, Betsy and I discuss
  • Her background, going back to the stroke she had as a kid
  • How she trains around her challenges
  • The interplay between physical therapy and bodybuilding
  • Nutritional secrets
  • Betsy's blossoming writing career
  • Common issues Betsy sees in the clinic
  • And so much more!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Everything Works, Until it Doesn’t: How being BAD at Exercise makes you BETTER at Fat Loss

This blog post, which originally appeared on my friend Andy Van Grinsven's website here, really struck a chord with me, partially due to the swimming reference and partially due to his informative and witty writing style. I think the idea that NOT being good at something is actually BETTER for fat loss is under appreciated. Thus, I was elated when Andy agreed to let me re-post his piece on my blog. Enjoy!
Everything Works, Until it Doesn’t: How being BAD at Exercise makes you BETTER at Fat Loss
The fitness and nutrition world has gone insane. Like bat-shit crazy.
And much of it thanks to social media and the internet, where everything is true and everyone is an expert. And if you don’t agree then you can go eat a bowl of liquid mercury, because heaven forbid you have a different perspective.
Gluten will kill you. GMO's will kill you. Vaccines will kill you.
I’m of course being facetious and I don’t believe any of those things. But spend 5 minutes on Facebook and someone will try to convince you otherwise. Hell, even as a fitness professional I find my head spinning from all the “information” and “facts” found on the interwebs.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Podcast Ep. 8 - Chris Leib

In Episode 8 of the Fitness Pollenator Podcast, I welcome Dr. Chris Leib. I met Chris about a year ago at a workshop he did at our mutual friend Tom DeVietro’s gym. (As an aside, Tom happened to be the very first guest of this podcast, so if you haven’t listened to episode 1, you should!)

Not only is Chris a doctor of physical therapy, but he’s also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. While at Chris’s workshop, I was completely blown away by his hybrid approach to training, in which he fuses physical therapy, CrossFit, kettlebells, and more.

As I’ve gotten to know Chris, one of my favorite things about him is his voracious appetite for learning and assimilating new information. Lately, he can be found splitting his time between the physical therapy clinic, the personal training setting, and writing about exercise.

In this episode, Chris and I talk about...

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Never Miss the Big Lifts Again (Juggernaut Training Systems)

A few weeks back, my friend Jen Sinkler posted on Facebook about a game she and her husband were playing while watching the live stream of the 2015 USA Powerlifting Nationals.

They called the game "Miss or Make." The goal of the game was simple: to predict whether the lifter would complete their deadlift attempt successfully. The catch? You had to make your determination BEFORE the lifter even grabbed the bar.

This got me thinking, what are all the things that have to go right leading up to a big lift? From training to day-of-meet preparations to simply approaching the bar, your body and mind have to be just right.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

8 Secrets to Boosting Your Energy

Guest Post by Mathews McGarry

Working hard is necessary, but it also takes quite a toll. After a few intense workouts or long days of work, it’s quite probable that you’ll feel completely worn out.

Unfortunately, sometimes getting a good night’s sleep won't be enough to recuperate completely. This means that you need a bit of an energy boost. The same as the size of any muscle in your body, your energy levels can be increased through proper training. This training, however, requires a lifestyle that's dedicated to fitness.

Here are eight things you can do in order to recharge your batteries.

This guy grew a foot of hair and increased his vertical jump by following these 8 tips.

Monday, December 7, 2015 Another Weird Trick for Improving Exercise Technique: Positional Holds

When it comes to compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and bench press, it's not always easy to feel what you're doing wrong, even when someone else points it out to you.

Recently, I realized that a tool I used while swimming for increasing the feel of the water -- hand paddles and a pull buoy -- was analogous to one I now use in the gym.

In my latest guest blog post for, I discuss this trick for improving exercise technique that makes use of positional holds against precisely placed added resistance.

If your squat, deadlift, or bench press form isn't quite right and you just can't seem to fix it, this blog could be exactly what you need.

Read all about it here: 


Also, in case you missed it last week, be sure to pick up your FREE copy of my new e-book, 50 Fit Tips: Look, Feel, and Move Better here:


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Common Injury Sites and Clever Workarounds: Part II - The Lower Body

By Eric Bach and Travis Pollen

We’re sure you’ll agree when we say that the fitness industry is chock-full of “perfect” programs, supposedly designed and refined to help you reach all your goals. These absolutes and generalizations are meant to simplify an industry rife with thousands of opinions, methodologies, and practices to fit to everyone.

While reducing complex topics down to usable pieces is important to make the science of training applicable, we can’t just blindly attach ourselves to absolutes. In no situation is this more obvious than the epidemic rates of knee, shoulder, and back pain in avid lifters. 

Whether it’s a bad back, a balky shoulder, or a bum ankle, just about everybody is screwed up in one way or another. It’s for this very reason that those cookie-cutter programs don’t, well, cut it. We’re all unique, with anatomical differences and injury histories that require a truly individualized approach to training.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 Tony Is Critical of CrossFit, But Should He Be?

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of people hating on CrossFit -- especially people hating on it when they unknowingly do CrossFit themselves!

That's right, I'm talking about people who in one breath say CrossFit kills and then turn around and do an AMRAP or EMOM.

I believe it was Shakespeare who wrote "that which we call a rose / by any other name would smell as sweet."

Perhaps these haters call their workouts by other names, but it's all the same. After all, the very definition of CrossFit is

Constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity.

Thus, any time you're doing exercise that falls under that description, it's CrossFit!

No, CrossFit didn't invent the "As Man Reps as Possible" or "Every Minute on the Minute" set/rep schemes. But it did help to popularize them, and for that it deserves some credit.

In my new guest post for The Man, Tony Gentilcore, I describe 

  • Four different CrossFit protocols that I use for myself and my clients
  • The unique benefits of each, and
  • How to implement them in your workouts.

Read the blog post here:


And after you read it (or before), make sure you pick up my new e-book, 50 Fit Tips, for FREE right here: