Monday, April 30, 2012

As America's waistline expands, costs soar!

This article below is particularly troublesome. Today more than ever we know the healthy avenues to take and it seems that the problem is getting worse. I think that a proper weight training program is a great place to start with getting healthy. Muscle drives our metabolism and the more muscle we build, the more calories you'll burn at rest. The obesity problem will affect my industry in that we are going to start working more with insurance companies to help with preventative measures.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Do exercises in the gym transfer skill to the field?

No Sports Specific training here!
While watching the golf tournament this past weekend I saw a commercial where one of the golfers was swinging a medicine ball as if it were a golf club. I couldn't help but say..."Oh geez, now I get to see every Pro and wannabe at the gym swinging medicine balls as if they were golf clubs"! I guess it's only natural to think an exercise that mimics the sport, in this case golf, would help you improve your game. The bigger question is, does skill in the gym transfer to skill on the playing field?

In my experience, "sports specific" exercises like the ones described above actually do more harm than good. The more specific the exercise is to the sport, the more damage you're going to do to your skill. There's a process called motor learning, this is where your brain and body work together to perform a skill. This could be swinging a golf club, shooting a basketball or throwing a football etc. There are very precise motor learning patterns that are involved. If you're not using the exact tool for the job, the body doesn't use the same muscles as it would during your sport.

Bottom line: If you want to improve your game through weight training, build strength and size in the muscles used in your sport by doing high intensity strength training.  Keep in mind safety first, use the highest technology in equipment second, and highest quality of coaching third.  Then go and practice your skill for the sport you play.  Anything else is just a waste of time!

Monday, April 9, 2012


The official twitter account of Blake Howe, National Fitness Director of Dick Butkus Play Clean. Follow @FitLike51

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Best Back Routine Ever Butkus Style

This back sequence uses the pre-fatigue technique which is going to fatigue the bigger muscles of the back with minimal work from your biceps.   99% of all back exercises involve the biceps. When you do a pull up, row, pulldowns etc. you'll never get even close to working the large back muscles as hard as they can because the bicep will always give out first because it's a much smaller/weaker muscle. Here are the exercises, follow in this exact sequence:

1.  Nautilus Pullovers 1x20
2.  Reverse Close-Grip Pulldowns 1x10
3.  Barbell Bent Over Rows 1x15

Basically you want to perform the Pullovers until failure and then immediately go to the reverse grip pulldowns to failure and then immediately go to Bent Over Barbell Rows to failure. As always, shoot for the required reps but never stop just because you got there.  Keep going until you can't move the bar no matter how hard you're trying. Do each reps very slow, smooth, and controlled taking approximately 3 seconds to lift the weight, pause in the contracted position, and then 3 seconds to lower the weight. If you don't feel extreme muscle pump and pain, you didn't even come close to doing this sequence right. Work this back sequence into your workout program for a few weeks and you'll see dramatic results!