2 HARD-CORE Exercises for You

Here are two of my favourite advanced core exercises that I use with my athletes who have already developed a solid foundation.

Try These 3 High Return Exercises

In the spirit of training “Smart”, today I am going to share 3 of my favourite high-return exercises that I use with almost everyone I work with. The reason why I like these exercises is because they require full body activation and control to do them properly. Essentially, you are hitting a focused area while still getting core activation. It’s smart training, like killing 2 birds with one stone 🙂 But don’t get me wrong, I still believe in doing a variety of targeted core work as well, as I don’t believe that you can get enough core by just training multiple joint functional exercises but that’s a longer conversation for another time. I know…

3 Quick Keys to a Stronger Squat

Most of you reading this are interested in getting stronger and looking better while getting stronger. To help you out, we’ve compiled a quick list of a few of our favorite keys to build a seriously strong squat. Add these to your routine and then get back under the bar and start moving some iron!

Injuries SUCK!

Strong-Athlete.com - article on Injuries by Nadine Shaban

  | By Nadine Shaban | Let’s face it – injuries suck; they just plain old suck.  Even though incurring an injury can be like having a gray cloud hovering over you, there is a silver lining.  Injuries can put life into perspective and let you refocus on aspects of your training that you may have been ignoring.  It is when we fall down, we realize there are many things we take for granted such as walking, lifting, and going about our day pain free. Approximately 7 weeks ago, I fractured my fibula.  I wish I had an amazing story to share about how I broke it, but I don’t.  It’s your typical summer time…

5 Tips for Healthy Shoulders

  | By Big Jeff Pearce | Healthy shoulders are integral for everything from squats to military presses.  It follows that everyone from big bad bodybuilders to MMA fighters to ping pong players need to keep those shoulders as healthy as possible.  Here are a few tips that will hopefully allow you to keep those shoulders healthy.  By the way, I know there are a ton of different muscles in the “shoulder” but for simplicities sake, I’m just going to refer to it as that.   Tip #1 – Warm-up Your Shoulders The shoulders are involved in a large variety of exercises and movements.  Duh!  So, it would only make sense that you warm them…

POWER Workout Accessories

  | By Nassim Jebran | Many of us have been in the gym training when some muscled up behemoth saunters through the turnstile.  I’m not talking about puffed up, weak, over-inflated muscle; I’m talking about sinewy, grainy, earned-through-years-of-heavy-training-muscle.  This behemoth is armed with a gym bag chock full of accessories; not the kind of accessories that you would find in the gym but all the cool stuff that your gym just doesn’t supply.  I’m talking about all of the different toys that get you thinking “how in the hell do you work out with those?”  You may have also noticed that the person who has all these objects usually is one of the strongest…

EXTREME Cardio for Extreme Fat Loss

  | By Nassim Jebran | Summer is creeping around the corner and those constant hours of walking on a treadmill haven’t gotten you grating cheese on your mid-section.  It’s time to drop the machines, get outside and get ripped!  Before we start, I have to make it clear: if your diet isn’t where it’s supposed to be, then your abs are not going to pop! Steady-State (SS) cardio is great, if you want to spend 5+ hours a week pretending to watch the news while you really check out the gym bunnies.  If you want to burn more calories in less time then you better get your head in the game and start doing…

KETTLEBELL Basics

| By Ameer Rosic | Kettlebells aren’t just a fad for wannabe weight trainers.  They have been around for a long time and the heavy iron that they are cast from will be around long after the wannabes inevitably give up and go home, looking the same.  If you want to experience some of the most intense training there is, follow me down the rabbit hole and let’s get started. You are probably wondering what the f__k I am talking about and how can kettlebells give you one of the most intense workouts of your life.  When I first looked at kettlebells, I thought the same thing.  You gotta admit it; a kettlebell is a…

POWER Building: Part One

  | By Big Jeff Pearce | Have you ever walked into your gym and seen a bodybuilder that looked huge and ripped but could only bench press 225 pounds?  A bodybuilder like this is all show and no go.  Conversely, have you ever walked into your gym and seen a powerlifter who was lifting heavy ass weight but looked like he spends more time at McDonalds than he does training?  If you have spent enough time in the gym, I bet you have.  We all have. What are you going to get out of this article series?  Well, I’ll tell you one thing you won’t get: some smug picture of a “know-it-all trainer” with…

Training With The World’s LARGEST Stuntman

Check out this special edition feature video of Rob Archer – The World’s Largest, Ripped Stuntman – crushing the weights with the late great Coach Darren Oliver and talking about what it takes to be successful as a real-life Hollywood action star!

Top 10 Tips For Getting STRONGER

|By Big Jeff Pearce| Let’s get real, no one who spends any time in the gym wants to be weak; or as Mr. Schwarzenegger would say in a heavy Austrian accent, “a girly man”.  Because of that, I have decided to pen an article that outlines my top 10 tips for getting stronger.  Here they are: 10. Make sure your diet, supplementation, training and rest protocols are calculated and consistent. This is by far the most fundamental element to any training program.  As an athlete, it is your first priority to ensure that your diet, training, supplementation and rest protocols are calculated and consistent. What does that mean?  I’ll break down the basic points of…

The Beautiful Ania Anvaryfar is Set to Own 2012

Strong Athlete goes one-on-one with rising Pro Fitness Model Ania Anvaryfar as she sets aim to make big strides in 2012. Ania has already experienced incredible success in just a short period of time winning both the Fitness Stars Show and the IDFA Fitness Model Overall earning her pro card but she’s just getting started. With Ania’s passion for fitness combined with her relentless drive and determination there’s no stopping her this year! Keep your eyes on this girl ladies and gentlemen, she’s a born star!   Join Her Facebook Fan Page: Here  Follow her on Twitter: @AniaAnvaryfar Check out her feature video!

UFC Fighter Jason MacDonald Talks CrossFit for MMA

UFC veteran, Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald visited with Strong Athlete to discuss why he believes Crossfit is a great way to improve strength and conditioning for MMA fighters and how all athletes should incorporate strength training into their sport preparation for long-term success. Check it out!    

Sledbarrow – The Ultimate Functional Training Equipment

In this feature video, Strong Athlete visits with Andre Agate and Jason MacPherson, the co-founders of the ultimate functional training device ­– the Sledbarrow. Strong Athlete met up with Team Sledbarrow at Advantage 4 Athletes training facility to learn more about their amazing functional training invention and how it can help to improve overall strength, conditioning and athletic performance for sports. The Sledbarrow’s cutting-edge design will help athletes push harder and reach further in their training and in turn perform better in their sport.  The Sledbarrow is a totally new three-in-one conditioning system that combines the power of a drag sled, drive sled and a training wheelbarrow all into one innovative and extremely effective design….

The SCIENCE of High Intensity Interval Training

|By Nadine Shaban| Fact: Obesity has officially become an epidemic and the number of people being classified as obese is growing (probably exponentially) every day. In fact, the prevalence of diabetes follows obesity by about 10 years. Although the prevalence of diabetes is growing in our society, it is not a new disorder. Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and Obesity have become a global epidemic…hence for the new disorder: DIABESITY. Fact: Being female has its perks, however, when it comes to NON estrogen related issues, we need to take care of ourselves. Women are more likely to have Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)…the NUMBER ONE cause of DEATH globally. Women with diabetes have a greater risk for developing CVD….

WBFF Bikini Competitors Kelly & Jen Train Legs

  Bikini competitors Kelly Boone and Jen Watt are two reasons why the contest stage will be heating up once again at the WBFF World Championships. Kelly and Jen made the trip to Fitness 365, the mecca of Canadian Bodybuilding & Fitness, for a pre-contest leg training session with Coach PK just days away from the big show. This was the final hard leg session for the girls before stepping on stage, and they really made sure to bring their A game. PK put them through their paces with  a high-volume workout that included hack squats, reverse hack squats, step ups, walking lunges, leg curls and standing calf raises. All reps were in the 12…

So You Wanna Compete in FIGURE?

| By Anita Kus-Roberts | 14 Things You Should Know Before Wearing A Sparkly Bikini and Clear High Heels When I think back to my early days of prepping for shows, I cringe! There are so many details I wished I knew before I stepped onto that stage. Years later, I’ve helped numerous others prep for shows, and I want to pass on this knowledge on to you. So to make sure you step onstage with the poise and polish of a seasoned veteran, here’s what you need to know and do before you enter your first competition: 1) Go to a Show This tip might sound obvious, but you’d be amazed how many competitors show…

Leg Depletion Workout From HELL

US Olympic weightlifting coach John Broz said in a recent interview that “the lifter that can endure the most pain will be the most successful.” We’re sure Coach Darren Oliver would agree. In preparation for the Ontario Bodybuilding Championships, Coach Oliver took Junior Bodybuilding star Brad Denniston through an absolutely insane leg depletion workout. The method to the madness is to eliminate as much glycogen from the muscles as possible, before supercompensating with carbs just prior to the contest. This way, when the athlete steps on stage, the legs are in optimal condition. To complete a true leg depletion, the athlete has to suffer through a period of little to no carbs, all while training…

From The GYM To The Bodybuilding Stage

| By Erik Alstrup | For those who love to hit the weights and enjoy seeing progress from training and eating correctly, physique competition may be the next step for you. The challenge of a bodybuilding show can channel your enthusiasm for the gym onto the stage. In order to prepare for a contest you must develop a plan that allows you to arrive at the competition mentally and physically prepared. Most competitors need about 14-16 weeks to fully prepare for a contest. Depending on your experience level and body composition, your pre-contest time frame can vary. Novice competitors should give themselves plenty of time – perhaps as much as 20 weeks to slowly introduce…

POWER Development & The Olympic Lifts (Pt.1)

| By Sam Walls | We have always been amazed with feats of strength that cause us to wonder about the limitless potential of the human body. We are fascinated with tales of a mother lifting a car to save her young child or the phenomenal expression of human power displayed by Bob Beamon at he 1968 Olympics, when he shattered the world long jump record by over a half a meter. Nowhere is this potential expressed more than in the sport of Weightlifting, which is practiced in more than 130 countries around the globe (1). The impressive display of raw fortitude in this sport has influenced the training methods and regimes of virtually every…

Meet the FUTURE of Bodybuilding

Strong-Athlete.com paid a visit to Coach Darren Oliver and young bodybuilding prodigy John Bleta-Aiello just before their successful assault on the Ontario Bodybuilding Championships held at the Toronto Pro Super Show. This light-heavyweight sensation is definitely someone to keep a close eye on – he is one of the most gifted bodybuilders we have ever met. John is undefeated in his bodybuilding career, and it’s very easy to see why. Still in his early twenties, John has the physique and muscle maturity of a seasoned veteran, with leg and back development that can rival many pros. One of the secrets to John’s meteoric rise through the bodybuilding ranks is his incredible discipline. Nobody outworks John in…

Freaky Arm Training with Hugo “BOOM” Silva

  One of the most entertaining and personable bodybuilders we’ve had the opportunity to meet recently has got to be Hugo “BOOM” Silva, a rising heavyweight bodybuilding star who will be competing at the Ontario’s this weekend. We joined Hugo and Coach Darren at Fitness 365 for a pre-contest gun show, just a little over one week out from the big day. Hugo has one of the freakiest sets of arms on the scene, and could easily contend with many pros. We are predicting big things from Hugo at the Toronto Pro Super Show – the Nationals and eventually the Pros are in his future. You’ll also be seeing a lot of Hugo here on…

Training with Kai: FUTURE IFBB Figure Pro

Kai & Darren

Strong-Athlete.com once again visited the Canadian Mecca of Bodybuilding, Fitness 365, to hang out with Coach Darren Oliver and future IFBB Figure Pro Kai Persaud Varma. Kai was just a few weeks out from the Ontario Figure Championships and looked simply phenomenal. Her back is out of this world and it’s clear that she has a very bright future in the sport of Figure. Darren and Kai took us through a hardcore back training session that truly revealed the level of intensity it takes to become an elite level figure athlete. Every rep of every set was executed with perfect form and Coach Darren ensured that most of the work sets were taken right to…

Back Training with RAZOR Renaldo Gairy

Strong Athlete Magazine recently hooked up with Canadian Bodybuilding sensation Renaldo Gairy and Canada’s #1 Bodybuilding Guru, Darren Oliver, for an intense back workout at Fitness 365 in the west end of Toronto. Razor Renaldo is as focused as ever as he sets his sights on winning his IFBB Pro Card later this year at the Nationals or North American Championships. Judging by his current condition, Renaldo looks like he has had a very productive off-season and has added a ton of muscle. If he can combine his trademark shape and conditioning together with the extra size, not to mention his electrifying posing, Renaldo will be extremely tough to beat this year. Check out video…

Usain Bolt BULKS Up

The World’s Fastest Man and one of the greatest athletes of all time, had shall we say an off year last year. Beset by injuries, and with no major titles to shoot for, Usain managed only a 9.82 in the 100 meter sprint in 2010. He did run a spectacular 19.56 in the 200 meter sprint very early in the season, but the remainder was plagued by injuries to his back and Achilles heel. Bolt even lost the final race of the year in Stockholm Sweden to his arch rival Tyson Gay, renewing speculation that the 100m title at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, would be up for grabs. This year Bolt appears…

Canada: OLYMPIC Weightlifting Championships

Strong-Athlete.com recently traveled to our old childhood stomping grounds in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada to cover the 2011 Canadian National Olympic Weightlifting Championships. Held at the Olympic Weightlifting facilities at Variety Village this year, the Nationals showcased the best weightlifters in the country. A few of these athletes (both men and women) are striving for an opportunity to represent Canada next year at the Olympics in London, England. Unlike countries such as Greece, Bulgaria and of course Russia, Olympic weightlifting does not hold the same level of prestige in Canada. This is unfortunate, because there are definitely some very talented men and women in Canada who would be able to realize their true potential with more…

STRONG ATHLETE Profile: George St. Pierre

George St. Pierre is without question one of the most dominant athletes of his generation. He possesses a devastating combination of skill speed and power, along with the ability to breakdown his opponent like no one else. This has led to a stellar 22-2 record and a current nine fight win streak, most recently over Jake Shields. How does George train to stay on top of the MMA world? Well, for starters, George is always evolving. Under the watchful eye of head trainer Firas Zihabi, a comprehensive program is put in place that leaves no stone unturned. Here’s a breakdown of the training regimen that George followed to defend his title at UFC 129, the…

SQUATS: Do Them!

It’s no secret that most of the guys and gals hitting the weights in the gym NEVER even train their legs at all let alone do squats. There’s always some sort of excuse; “I’m too tired today.” “I’ll do them next week.” “I don’t want to get hurt.” The list of excuses goes on and on. Some of them have never even approached the squat rack. They probably think it’s called the curling station. But let’s face the facts; if you really want to make gains in the gym or perform better at your sport, squats are an absolute must to any training program, so Do Them! So why do you need to squat? Squatting…

Top 3 TRICEPS Exercises Of All Time (IMHO)

Most guys that pick up a weight for the first time have one goal in mind: to get more chicks. And in the supremely logical, linear mind of your average guy, he believes the secret to getting more attention from the ladies is bigger arms. So your average gym rookie – lets call him Billy for the time being – strolls into his local fitness club and starts working on his biceps. Barbell curls, dumbbell curls, machines, cables, you name it, and Billy has tried it. The rest of his efforts in the gym are devoted to marathon sets on a bench press machine and a few crunches because he knows chicks dig abs. Now…

5 Ways To Jack Up Your BENCH

One of the fastest ways to quickly add pounds to your bench press is to fix your form. Your stance is very important – the best benchers in the world all have a wide foot stance when they lie on the bench. This gives them a wide base and more stability for a big push. All the top benchers also concentrate on pushing through the floor with their feet during the press. Next, learn how to bring your shoulder blades together. Many benchers flare the lats when they press; this is a mistake, especially if you are a raw bencher (no bench shirt) and can eventually lead to a shoulder injury.  Keeping your shoulder blades…