Four Advanced Moves for Building a Strong, Balanced Back

Four Advanced Moves for Building a Strong, Balanced Back

Everyone loves a good chest workout, including yours truly, but you shouldn’t neglect your “posterior chain”. Ignoring back day can deteriorate your posture, lead to injuries and wreak havoc on your athletic performance. If your back program is in need of some inspiration, consider these programming tips and four advanced moves for adding functional strength and symmetry to your upper, mid and lower back. Oh, and they’ll help you look great in a tank top too.

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Q: Can You Really Hit Your Ideal Protein Goal? A: Yes! Here's How.

Q: Can You Really Hit Your Ideal Protein Goal? A: Yes! Here's How.

Many of my nutrition and training clients find success in flexible dieting. If their goal is fat loss, the most important thing is to maintain a modest calorie deficit over time. But if maintaining or building lean muscle is also a goal, we have to make sure they are hitting their protein target. Sometimes this means aiming for ~175-200g protein in a day on a ~2,400kcal diet which can seem impossible at first. So here is a sample day for how that can be achieved that won't leave you starving and will likely leave you feeling full and satisfied. 

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Want to Grow Your Pecs? Try This Chest Workout.

Want to Grow Your Pecs? Try This Chest Workout.

In this video Marcia Robles and I demonstrate six movements that use a variety of modalities (dumbbells, cables, barbells), angles and rep ranges to maximize muscle growth in the chest. If you're looking to grow your pecs, give this program a look.

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JJFit/DEXAFIT 8 Week Body Comp Challenge

JJFit/DEXAFIT 8 Week Body Comp Challenge

My good friend and fellow fitness professional @MichaelBonella is offering JJFit.com readers a great deal on DXA scans booked in July. As I've blogged about, the information these tests provide helps me build the most effective exercise and nutrition programs for my clients. Check out the details in this flyer and book your appointment with him via email at Michael.Bonella@dexafit.com. 

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Looking for a Killer Shoulder Program?

Looking for a Killer Shoulder Program?

I've been working a lot this year, thanks to the incomparable Marcia Robles, on shoulders. Shoulders are like the Regina George of joints: they're fabulous but they're evil. Meaning they are (or should be) one of our most mobile joints, but due to modern living and desk culture many folks suffer from lack of proper shoulder mobility/stability, impingement and other dysfunctions which make it hard or impossible to strength train. But with the proper warm up and mobility drills, and the clearance of your physical therapist if you have one, this program is a great one for getting those striations popping and to stimulate hypertrophy (muscle growth).

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Building a Solid Leg Day/Leg Week

Building a Solid Leg Day/Leg Week

I love leg day. As someone who has struggled with his weight and suffered through back injuries, having strong legs and executing powerful squats and deadlifts makes me feel good and working the big muscles of the lower body keeps me lean. But I get that a lot of folks dread leg day. In today's post I'll show you how to build a balanced leg workout whether your goal is general fitness, weight loss, hypertrophy/muscle growth or strength. 

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What is Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training?

What is Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training?

Marcia Robles and I have been experimenting with Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) training this month. With BFR training, bands restrict blow flow to the veins (but not the arteries) which allows a bigger pump and the build up of lactic acid which triggers an anabolic response in the muscle. This 7 minute video is super helpful and has some compelling assessment data and guidance. 

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Looking for Fresh Exercise Ideas and Demos? Checkout #jjfit247exerciselibrary on Instagram

Looking for Fresh Exercise Ideas and Demos? Checkout #jjfit247exerciselibrary on Instagram

Each week I post a variety of barbell, dumbbell, cable, resistance band and bodyweight strength, stability and mobility exercises to my Instagram account under the hashtag #jjfit247exerciselibrary. If you are looking for fresh exercise ideas to try in your own workouts, form tips and demos, be sure to follow me. And don't hesitate to comment with questions or your own variations. 

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Useful Gym Machines for Stronger Glutes and Back

Useful Gym Machines for Stronger Glutes and Back

The folks at US News & World Report asked me which machines in the gym are best for women who are intimidated by free weights and barbells. Obviously I encourage everyone (men and women) to include safe, effective resistance training into their fitness programs, but totally understand that it may take time (and assistance) to build up to that. So in the meantime, checkout slides 3 and 4 for my top picks

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Video: Biceps, Protein and Getting Lean

Video: Biceps, Protein and Getting Lean

Check out JJ's interview with Cecilia Philips on News Up Now's newest show, AttitudeAttitude covers health, exercise, fashion, music, events, food and more. In this segment I talk about how to get the most out of your workouts, what to do for bigger biceps and how to get more protein. Check it out!

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What's the Deal with Fasted Cardio?

What's the Deal with Fasted Cardio?

Fasted cardio has become a popular practice among fitness folks looking to shed unwanted body fat. Research is fairly convincing that performing cardio in the morning before eating can, for some, help burn more body fat (up to 20%) and *may* help target fat loss in problem areas like the abdomen and thighs for those with already low body fat percentages. So should you try it? That depends. 

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Supplement Spotlight: Creatine for Muscle Growth, Athletic Performance and Brain Function

Supplement Spotlight: Creatine for Muscle Growth, Athletic Performance and Brain Function

Creatine is one of the most popular supplements in the world but often one of the most misunderstood. Experts in the fitness community generally agree that creatine supplementation can be a safe and effective way to increase athletic performance, muscle growth and even brain functioning. As a personal trainer I don't make specific supplementation recommendations, but in this post I'll provide links to helpful information from credible industry experts so you can decide what's right for you.

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Versa Climber: One of the Best and Least Used Assets in the Gym

Versa Climber: One of the Best and Least Used Assets in the Gym

I like to think of the Versa Climber as the Regina George of cardio equipment. She's fabulous but she's evil. Just ask my clients TrishDubJasonSarah or Tom. In all seriousness, the Versa Climber is one of the best and often most underused assets in the gym. It's an amazing tool for low impact, total body high intensity intervals that help burn fat, build strength and improve movement patterns. It's scalable to your fitness level, can be appropriate even for those with many common joint problems/injuries and is extremely efficient. So if the Versa Climber in your gym is collecting dust, give it a shot and get your quadruped swagger on

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Overcoming ACL Tears: Don't Let Injuries Rob You of Your Passions

Overcoming ACL Tears: Don't Let Injuries Rob You of Your Passions

This is the story of my client Phil. Though only in his mid-20s years of high level volleyball left him with a damaged knee. Three ACL tears and five knee surgeries later the doctors put him on the bench and told him to wait until medical technology improved enough to offer him a solution. No more hiking, surfing or rock climbing. Simply stepping off a curb presented a challenge. Fast forward less than a year later and, after consistent hard work, Phil has safely summited Half Dome and can hike over the most rugged terrain. To learn some specific exercises for how we strengthened his knee to accomplish this, read on.

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Supplement Spotlight: Should you take BCAAs?

Supplement Spotlight: Should you take BCAAs?

I get asked by a lot of clients, friends and family what supplements they should take. I don’t “prescribe” supplements or specific diet plans. I do, however, provide information and experience that can help them make the best choices for themselves. So over the coming weeks I’ll spotlight various popular supplements here on the blog, give my experience and provide resources to help educate you. First up are branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Here’s the deal, BCAAs, especially leucine, may help: build muscle (anabolism), prevent muscle breakdown (catabolism), reduce soreness and help burn fat.

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