High Octane Corrective Exercise and Performance Enhancement | www.RobertsonTrainingSystems.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random Thoughts - 9/30

In case you missed my newsletter yesterday, it was a doozy! All kinds of good info but here's a short recap (and more!)...

- I was on the FitCast this past weekend; we discussed mobility, knees, and the fallacies surrounding corrective training. You can check it out at www.thefitcast.com

- I had a new article go up today at FigureAthlete.com titled "Breaking into the Industry." If your goal is to become a personal trainer or strength coach in the future, you owe it to yourself to read the article.

- I'm headed to Boston this weekend for a weekend with those freakin' studs from Cressey Performance - you know, Cressey, Gentilcore and Larrabee. And oh yeah, I guess I'm going to a seminar too :(

In all seriousness, the seminar sounds sweet - you know you're a dork when the thought of two-days worth of talk on spines, shoulders and knees gets you excited.

- I also expect some serious brainstorming between Eric and myself this weekend. It's hard to get us together, but whenever it happens we get serious work done.

- Training is going really well right now, and I feel like I'm in a good place overall. I haven't updated it in a while, but I'm going to update the training log ASAP.

That's it for today; have a great day!


Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's on YOU

Ok, I have to blame this little rant on Leigh Peele - it's all her fault!

You see, I read her blog post here a few days ago and it was so damn good I had to e-mail her about it. And it also got me all worked up thinking about goal setting and achieving things in your life.

A few days ago, I was in a little mini-slump; jet-lag, sleep deprivation and a little bit too much fun in Vegas will do that to a guy. Now I could've easily hung out in this state for days, weeks, months, or even years, but luckily for me whenever something like this happens I "wake up."

No, there's nothing spiritual or wacky about this; quite simply I realize that I control what goes on in my life. If things are good, I made them that way. If they aren't? Well, I did that too. Basically, it's on me to make my life what it can and should be.

I think far too often we forget about how much control we have over our own lives. We're far too quick to blame bosses, spouses, kids, and other external influences on our current state of being.

Take a second to really think about this stuff, ok? I promise, it will be worth it...

- What is going right in your life right now? What have you done to create this environment? Don't play around! Write this shit down - it could be with regards to your training, financial status, relationships, whatever. It all comes together, so whatever is really important to you write it down.
- What is going wrong in your life right now? What have you done to create this environment? Write this down as well for future reference.

All that I ask is that your honest with yourself. And let's be realistic here, sometimes we're the best at kidding ourselves versus others. When you tuck yourself into bed tonight, think about where you're at and if it's really where you want to be. If not, how can you go about getting yourself back on track? Or if you're on the right track, getting yourself to the next level?

Self-evolution and improvement definitely isn't an easy thing. If everyone could key in on this stuff with a laser-like focus we'd all be 6% body fat, freaky strong, ridiculously wealthy and living the life of our dreams. I'm not there yet, but that definitely won't stop me from trying.

If you're not doing the things you want, the bottom line is this: Ask yourself if what you're doing now is in-line with your long-term goals and dreams. If it's not, figure out a way to get yourself going ASAP.

The arm chair psychologist is now out of the office - that will be $200 ;)

Stay strong

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Everyone who reads this blog knows what a fan I am of sports, and football in particular. This story hit really close to home:

Injured Ball State receiver likely out of football

In case you know nothing about him, this Dante Love was an absolute stud and one of the best NFL prospects our school has likely ever had. Watching him play earlier this year, you could tell how special he was. While I never met Dante (I'm getting old and somewhat out of the BSU loop) I'd heard nothing but great things about him.

In the end, though, we have to remember that football is a game. At least Dante will have the opportunity to live a normal, healthy life, even if football isn't a part of it. Please keep Dante and your family in your thoughts and prayers.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Q&A: Hip Flexor Stretches


I finally saved up enough money to get the Bulletproof Knees Manual and DVD and I'm excited about starting b/c I've been dealing w/ knee issues now for 6 months.

I have anterior knee pain (likely chondromalacia patella) and all the hip flexor stretches you describe are in a half kneeling position. This aggravates my pain b/c my patella is being compressed into the ground and I've tried using a towel and a pad but it's still aggravating.

Do you have any suggestions for effective hip flexor stretches where I don't have to be in half kneeling position?

Thanks a lot,


Nolan -

That's a great question; here's a stretch you can use to get at those hip flexors without putting you in the half-kneeling/split-stance position.

You'll need to lay on either a massage table, bed, or something of a similar height. Pull one knee to your chest, while allowing the opposite leg to hang down over the table. Make sure to keep your stomach tight, and it may help to think about using your glute to "pull" your hip down.

I hope this helps - good luck with the program!

Stay strong

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Treats

- I'm heading to Las Vegas tomorrow, so have a great weekend!

- Eric Cressey had a great blog post about pitchers today; be sure to check it out HERE.

- Along those same lines, Nate Green talks about how awesome I am HERE.

- Speaking of Eric Cressey, I'm in the process of reviewing his latest product and it's going to be really good. I love the fact that he's not only combining the latest research on the topic, but real-world application as well. Stay tuned...

- In other Vegas-related news, I heard through the grapevine that Heidi Montag of "The Hills" fame could be sharing the PURE VIP room with us Saturday night. Evidently, it's her birthday. Don't think I won't try and get this ugly mug on camera ;)

- This past weekend I got to visit the Bodies Exhibit in downtown Indianapolis. If you have any desire whatsoever to learn about the body, I would highly recommend you attend. You can find tickets online at www.bodiestickets.com.

- I shouldn't have jinxed us in my previous post; Bob Sanders is out 4-6 weeks. Get healthy quick Bob!

Sorry, but that's all I can muster today - I'm already dreaming of slot machines, poker tables, and roulette. I'm not much of a gambler at all, but Vegas is always interesting....

Stay strong

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mike's Random FOOTBALL Thoughts

What can I say? The ADD is kicking back in - so I'm going to throw it down on the topic of everyone's favorite sport, FOOTBALL.

- Come on, you know I'm going to talk about the Colts first! If we can get our lines healthy this will be a team to be reckoned with. Peyton pulled together a gutsy performance down the stretch, and some of those throws (and catches) were sick!

- Adrian Peterson is a beast. Yes, everyone knows this - but most people would run around all the bodies on the field, this guy just jumps over them! If he goes to the Marion Barber school of stiff-arms in the off-season, he could re-write the record books. Seriously.

- Did anyone else watch the Dallas - Philly game last night? Talk about exciting! There was more action in the first half than the entire Indy-Minnesota game!

- Speaking of the Philly game, DeSean Jackson just missed out on ultimate goat status - get the ball in the endzone and then do your little jig!

- The Patriots just find ways to win. It could be because (*cough*) they (*cough cough*) have the best (*cough*) coach in the league.

Yeah, it hurts to say that, but they always seem to impose their will on other teams. Indy - New England just won't be the same without Brady in the lineup, but I still expect a helluva game.

- There is no worse feeling in Fantasy Football than outscoring virtually other team in the league except the one you are playing. Damn you Anquan Boldin!

- More fantasy related news - how can your kicker and your tight end collectively score you zero points? Damn you Shane Graham and Vernon Davis!!!!

- How deep was San Diego at tailback last year? Ok, you have LT - great. But then Michael Turner goes to Atlanta and rushes for 200+ his first game as a starter. LT goes out this past weekend? No problem, we have Darren Sproles who will slice-and-dice your entire D. That's just not right.

- If you are a Rams fan, I'm sorry. That's all.

- I think some teams are really kicking themselves for passing on Jay Cutler. He's had two really good games thus far and may very well turn out to be the best quarterback in that draft.

- Indy is home to our division rival Jacksonville this weekend. Unfortunately, I won't be attendance because I'll be finishing up my weekend in Las Vegas, but this is a dangerous game. 0-2 would suck, but 1-2 isn't much better - and I can guarantee Jacksonville will be playing with a sense of urgency because 0-3 could be catastrophic to their team. If Saturday and Clark are back, we should be fine. However, we still don't have any updates on Sanders or Ugoh, so we're all hoping those injuries are minor.

Ok, that's enough from me for today - here's to a great weekend of football and GO COLTS!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Training to get lean

I had a pretty full morning today at I-FAST - Monday mornings are quickly becoming one of our busiest times.

After getting through everyone's workouts, I found myself very hungry and decided to head to one of my favorite breakfast joints, Cafe Patchou. They use free-range eggs, have all kinds of exotic fruits, and their yogurt/granola is simply out-of-this-world. But this post isn't about my gluttony and love for breakfast.

As I was driving, I saw several overweight people walking along a path here on the northside of Indy. Now I'm not a slave to any dogma, and I know that walking can be beneficial to your health and well-being. But, since they were overweight I can only assume they were doing this to lose weight - and it's simply not the most efficient way to do things.

One of the first questions I'm asked when people tour our gym is "Where are your treadmills?" I always explain to them that the way we structure their strength and energy system workouts makes the need for treadmills irrelevant. Not that they can't be useful - but for $3,000 (the minimum you're going to pay for a decent commerical-grade treadmill), I could buy several Prowlers, Airdyne's, and a whole set of kettlebells!

In fact, all of our clients did energy system training this morning, considering body comp is a priority to all of them. Instead of slaving away on the treadmill they pushed the prowler, performed KB swings, or did interval sprints on the Airdyne. I've found thus far that our clients really enjoy this kind of EST much more than "traditional" means - it's quick, efficient and brutally effective.

I'm not saying that intervals are the only way to get someone lean, but they certainly can help if integrated appropriately into a program. If you yourself are looking to get lean, be sure to check out Leigh Peele's Fat Loss Troubleshoot or Alwyn Cosgrove's and Mike Roussell's Warp Speed Fat Loss programs.

Stay strong

Friday, September 12, 2008

Q&A: Cybernetic Periodization


Love the blog!

Can you talk a little bit more about what you mean by 'cybernetic programming', and give us some examples of how you use that?


Yudi Kerbel, NASM-CPT

First off, thanks for the question Yudi! If anyone else has questions they want me to cover, please leave them in the "Comments" section.

The term cybernetic periodization was first coined (as far as I'm aware of) by Mel Siff in his textbook Supertraining. The essence of the concept is that you need to be able to adjust your training on the fly dependent upon how you're feeling. Here's an example:

My MMA fighter Dan came in for his workouts this week looking beat up. Now, this is to be expected - he's training at a new facility with better fighters, AND he's peaking for a fight next weekend. While I still would've liked for him to get a few heavy/explosive lifts in this week, it wasn't really in the cards as I had originally programmed.

If I were a slave to the program as originally written, he would've lifted heavy regardless - but in all honesty, that would've been stupid. I would've beaten him up worse, his lifts would probably have looked terrible, and I'd risk getting him injured. Also, in case I didn't mention it before, Dan is an MMA fighter - I have no desire to be arm-barred or choked out in my own gym!

Instead, we focused on getting a good lift or two in each day and then really geared back his assistance lifts. This gives him extra recovery time and, in the long run, will allow him to be at his best come next weekend.

That's the essence of cybernetic periodization - lift hard/heavy/fast on the days you feel really good. On the days you don't, gear things back so that the next time you hit the gym you're ready to go. It really comes down to listening to your body and doing what it's capable of on any given day.

I hope that helps - good luck!

Stay strong

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering September 11th

The blog is going to be a little bit more somber today, and for good reason.

I think every one of us remembers September 11th, 2001 a little differently. I was a young Masters student, and I found out about the terrorist attacks while heading into the BSU athletic weight room. We couldn't peel our eyes away from the TV, watching something that none of us could imagine unfold before our very eyes.

But after last year, I have another reason to remember September 11th. One of my best friends, Ryan, took his own life. I can't put into words how it made me feel, when I first heard the news for myself. I mean, how do you respond? What's a normal reaction?

Ryan and I weren't "best-friends" close, but we were close enough. We lived together for a year in college. We enjoyed each other's company, and he was someone I could always talk to with ease and candor. Quite simply, he was a good friend and someone that I think fondly of all the time. He will always be missed.

Whether it's due to the 9/11 attacks, because a friend or loved one is down, or simply because it's long overdue, take the time to tell you friends and loved-ones how much you care about them. In this day and age it's very easy to get caught up in your work, your life, whatever - but at the end of the day, there's no worse feeling than knowing you didn't get to say goodbye to someone you love.

Stay strong

Monday, September 8, 2008

MMA Training

As promised, I'm working on making the blog a little bit more oganized. You'll see some housekeeping on the right side (at least half of the other blog links didn't work!), and hopefully the content will be a little bit more streamlined as well.

Today, I'd like to discuss the training of MMA athletes. As many of you already know I've been working with Dan New here at I-FAST, and Dan has a huge fight coming up in two weeks against Jason "The Human Weapon" Chambers.

One of the primary reasons I took up Krav Maga a while back was to better understand what it's like to actually train for MMA. I've played nearly every sport imaginable in my life, and I feel that makes me a better coach when working with those athletes. You don't have to be an all-star, mind you - rather, it puts you in your athletes shoes so you have a better idea of how to program for them. I wanted to have a better idea of Dan's training so that I could be a better coach for him.

I quickly learned that when training for MMA, you need a lot of different physical qualities:

- Flexibility/mobility
- Endurance
- Strength
- Power
- Agility

And beyond these separate physical qualities, you also need a blending of them as well! In other words, you not only need power and endurance, but you also need power-endurance if you want to knock someone out in the 3rd or 5th round. Therefore, writing programming for an MMA athlete can be very challenging.

If you're working with an MMA fighter, the first thing you need to do is assess them. This could be a static assessment, a dynamic assessment, or simply watching them spar or fight. From there, you need to talk to the athlete and determine what he/she feels their weaknesses are. Obviously conditioning is always going to be important, but if they're weak as a kitten for their bodyweight/class, you need to improve upon that. Bill talks a great deal about assessments in our Indy Seminar Series.

With Dan, we've put a real premium on improving his strength and power while maintaining, or even improving slightly, his conditioning. This would be easy if I only had him training in the weight room, but when you add in specific training for Muay Thai, BJJ and just general mat/conditioning work, that's a lot of hours in the gym! The best thing you can do is try and learn about your athletes - how they're feeling on any given day, what kind of loading they'll respond best to, etc. This is cybernetic periodization at its finest.

The bottom line is preparing someone for MMA is not an easy gig - at the very least start with a needs analysis to determine strengths/weaknesses and begin your journey there. As training progresses, don't forget to re-evaluate and determine how physical qualities have changed, and how the training regimen should change to help them be at their best on fight night.

Stay strong

Friday, September 5, 2008

How do you train minus two knee ligaments?

For those of you who follow professional football you've no doubt heard about Shawne Merriman; he's quite possibly one of the most dynamic defensive players in the league. (Just understand that it pains me to say that considering he plays for the Chargers, but I digress).
In case you've missed it, Shawne had off-season surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee, but hadn't felt good in camp. He recently had 4 surgeons evaluate him and tell him that he needs reconstructive surgery because he has torn the PCL and LCL ligaments in his knee. Obviously, this would effectively end his season.
However, no one said that young men think about the long-term; Shawn has gone against the docs recommendations and decided against surgery even though he risks a "career-ending injury." So how could he possibly play in this state? Let's take a quick step back to examine how we create stability around our joints.
In your joints, you have what are called active and passive stabilizers. The passive stabilizers include cartilage structures (menisci in your knee, labrum in your shoulder, etc.), ligaments, and joint capsules. They are passive in nature because they don't contract and relax like muscles do. In essence, they just kind of keep things in place.
In contrast, your muscles are active stabilizers - you can use them to contract and improve stability around a joint. In the case of your knee the primary active stabilizers include the hamstrings, adductors, gluteals, and quadriceps.
So what happens when you tear two of the four ligaments in your knee? First off, you become very unstable - you've essentially lost half of your passive stability. If you asked for my opinion, I would tell you that he's assinine for trying to play. I have an infininte amount of respect for playing through the pain and giving yourself to your team, but I definitely worry about the long-term ramifications of doing so. With that being said, however, what could he do from a training standpoint to make it through the season?
The answer, my friends, is to get his active stabilizers as strong as possible. The stronger he gets his glutes and hamstrings to help him declerate, the better off he'll be. He still may not make it through the season, but it will at least give him a fighting chance. Another option would be a serious sized brace to help re-create some of the lost stability. Now keep in mind we don't know the severity of his tears, but I would assume you're looking at least grade 2 (partial thickness) if not grade 3 (full thickness) tears if all 4 docs want him to have surgery.
If you're interested in learning more about the anatomy and function of your knees, along with how to keep them healthy, be sure to pick up a copy of my Bulletproof Knees manual. Your knees will thank you.
Stay strong
BTW - Can I give myself a virtual high-five for coming up with an entire blog post that consists of one single thought? Gooooooooooooooooo me!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

More random thoughts...

This should be the title of EVERY blog post! But in all seriousness, look out for a more organized blog in the near future.

Regardless, here's some more miscellaneous thoughts - enjoy!

- Comments are on - if you like the blog, hate the blog, or simply have something to say, let me know!

- Bored at work? Want some kick-ass music? Check out the following station on iTunes:

Radio-->Rock--> Big R Radio: 80's Metal FM

If you grew up to the sounds of Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Poison, Ozzy Osbourne, Guns 'n' Roses, Motely Crue and the like, you'll love this station. It's getting rocked almost daily at home and in the gym.

- Football season starts today! And just to prove to you that it doesn't pay to hate on the Colts, Eric Cressey (the most loyal NE fan I know) drafted Joseph Addai, Reggie Wayne and Adam Vinatieri in his fantasy draft. The football gods are looking down on you EC!!!

- I had a new article go up at Figure Athlete.com - while it's geared towards women, a lot of men would see good progress on this program as well:

Vixen Liftin' - The Comprehensive Program

- What's that? You want to know what's playing on Big R Radio right now? Can you say GREAT WHITE? I suddenly feel the need to grow my hair out, tease it, and blow it up with some serious hairspray.

I think that's enough rambling for today - if I don't get a post up tomorrow, have a great weekend!

Stay strong

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Life, updates, and more randomness

Wow has this blog taken a turn for the worst! Things are pretty sporadic in my head, and so they shall stay the same in my blog (for now).

- In case, for some totally uncomprehensible reason, you aren't signed up for my newsletter, you missed out on a big week this week. Eric and I are having a sale on the BTEA DVD series, and I released a free soft-tissue e-manual for you to peruse. You can find it here:


- Following up on that e-manual, I think Leigh Peele likes it:


Yes, I have a disease - it's called sexy.

- I-FAST is continuing it's rapid growth. We've had new clients joining every week, with no end in sight! I can honestly say this is the most fun I've ever had training (i.e. torturing) people in my life.

- You think life is good now? Just wait 'til tomorrow - football season is about to begin!

- There's no better way to learn how to train a client for their sport than to do it yourself. For instance, I've been playing a little golf lately, and you learn really quickly how important it is to have good stability around the core/lumbar spine, good hip rotation (especially internal rotation), and good thoracic mobility to boot. If you're unsure about the best way to train a client, try training for their sport a bit - it should make a huge difference in your outlook.

That's it for now - I'll be back again soon (I hope!)

Stay strong