My 2011 Supplement Protocol

I’ve gotten a few inquiries from some of our clients as to what supplements I actually take myself, since I’m the facility Biosignature practitioner and am responsible for designing protocols for all of our clients.  The following is a breakdown of my daily routine:

2 Multi Intense
3 Ultra HCL 4.0
2 Uber Zinc
1 Methylator Plus 3.0
2 Perfect E 3.0
1 Uber C
1 tsp Omega 3 Liquid

2 Multi Intense
3 Ultra HCL 4.0
2 Uber Zinc
2 Perfect E 3.0
1 Uber C
1 tsp Omega 3 Liquid

Pre-Workout (about 45 minutes prior)
3 Java Stim
2 Fast Brain 2.0

During Workout
30 BCAA Excellence 2.0

Post-Workout (mixed in 500ml water/500ml fruit juice)
45g Whey Stronger 2.0
150g Quadricarb
10g Creatine Monohydrate
15g Glutamine
5g Glycine
3 Glucose Disposal Px
2 Uber C
2 Taurine
2 Magnesium Glycinate

2 Multi Intense
3 Ultra HCL 4.0
2 Uber Zinc
4 Uber Mag Px
2 Perfect E 3.0
1 Uber C
1 tsp Omega 3 Liquid

2x a week I also take 20 D3 Excellence to bring up blood D3 levels.

All of the above supplements are from the Poliquin line, simply because that is what we carry at AST.

Fighting the Moment

“No one has ever been raped by a donut” – Charles Poliquin

The other night, I was craving berries like crazy.  My mouth was watering and I could not put the thought out of my head.  I looked in the fridge and there were none.  I had two options. #1, I could throw on my boots and coat and head to the store to grab some, or #2, I could find something else to eat and go to bed.  I opted for choice #2.  I grabbed a handful of nuts and dried fruit, brushed my teeth, and went to bed.  When I woke up in the morning, the most amazing thing happened.  I was not dead!

In today’s world, we make eating food about more than just nourishing the body.  We crave food, whether for emotional reasons, social settings, or hormonal reasons – we want what we want.  I use to give in as well, and to be honest, sometimes I still do.  What I have learned over time though is that it all boils down to one simple thing, fighting the moment.  Say you are at a holiday party and there are brownies, cookies, and cakes in an assortment in front of you.  You could take one . . . or, you could grab the fruit bowl next to the desserts and enjoy that instead.  Grab the fruit, because I guarantee you that you will still be alive when you leave the party, and probably feeling better and in control because you were able to stand up to the food craving and fight the moment.  Plus, once the junk food is out of site and your stomach is no longer grumbling, the moment has passed and you have dominated it.

Here is the battle I see in a lot of people.  You have the desire to eat better, to feel better, lose weight, or put on lean mass.  You go full throttle ahead and determine that you are going to eat healthier.  You go out with friends who are drinking and enjoying the greasy buffalo wings with ranch dressing.  “Well, I have eaten good the rest of the day, I can have some wings.  It isn’t much”.  Then, in the morning, you are running out the door for work and have no time to eat.  By the time you get to the office, you are so hungry that you reach for the donut in the break room.  You justify it by telling yourself that you will eat better for the rest of the day.  You have an apple with some nuts for a morning snack, chicken salad for lunch, and the day is looking great.  Then, you meet up with a friend for afternoon coffee and because the friend is grabbing a piece of coffee cake, you do too.  Are you beginning to see the trend?  Even with good intentions, before you know it, you are right back to where you were before.  Eating what you crave, and not what is best for your body or your goals.

Last night, I picked up my boys from daycare and then we ran some errands.  They ate some Poliquin Primal Bars while we went from place to place.  Before I realized, it was late and getting close to their bedtime, and they were hungry.  I gave them an Isopure smoothie to share while we finished our way home and then reheated some fish for them for dinner.  On the way home, I passed Wendy’s, Burger King, Dominos, Little Ceasars, Subway, McDonalds, and who knows how many other “options”.  Sure it was tempting to stop off, but it was fighting those series of moment’s that got us home, without any fast food.

If you don’t make the decision to fight the moment, then you are going to forever be in the vicious circle of wanting your body to be a certain way and never reaching it.  It is your decision – just know that you can fight the moment.  You are in control.  Do not let a moment of weakness take you away from your goal.  It is just one moment in the large scheme of things.  One moment.

A Visit to the Compound

Originally published here:


I recently got the opportunity to visit Elite Fitness Systems in London, Ohio for the first (and hopefully not the last) Learn to Train seminar, with all proceeds going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Even though I’ve followed the company and have been a customer for several years, this was my first opportunity to visit their on-site training area (nicknamed Area S4, or The Compound) and meet their sponsored athletes and the owner of EFS, Dave Tate.

The first item on the itinerary for the seminar was technical instruction of the 3 power lifts – squat, bench, and deadlift. After Dave took us all through some technical points on one of his lifters (Ted Toalston, who looks a lot bigger in person than in their videos), he asked the group, “so who thinks their squat sucks?” I had my hand in the air before Dave could even turn around, and was lucky (unlucky?) enough to be torn to shreds by Dave, as well as Todd Brock, a friend of Dave’s and a great powerlifter himself.

While I don’t have the most impressive squat in the world, I always thought it was rather technically sound, especially since I am pretty good at hammering the technical aspects into my training clients. However, it seemed like this was one of those cases of “even trainers need trainers,” because I clearly wasn’t practicing what I had been preaching.

The first thing Dave and Todd noticed was my grip – specifically, that I was completely incapable of fully gripping the bar with my left hand, no matter how hard I tried. I’m not sure if it’s something to be proud of or terrified by that it was actually something neither had seen before, and didn’t quite know how to fix. The answer seemed to be widening my grip out substantially and it seemed to take care of it.

Dave and Todd then spent the next 30 or so minutes making tons and tons of adjustments to my technique. Never in my life has it been so painful to squat an empty barbell before, but by the time they got done with me I had a list of things to fix and a smile on my face.

Then we all broke out into stations and received additional one-on-one coaching from some of the EFS-sponsored lifters. I think everybody got a little overzealous with the squat, because the group was originally allotted 30 minutes to practice, but ended up going for about 2 hours. Although, since I saw several personal records broken among even just the small subset of lifters at my station, I don’t think anybody particularly cared that it ran long.

From there we moved on to the bench press, with Dave giving a relatively short, maybe 15-minute breakdown of the performance and leaving the rest up to the coaches who were handling each station.  I think everybody was pretty gassed out from a few hours of squatting and we wrapped things up in about 30-40 minutes.

Last in the technical part of the seminar was the deadlift.  Again, Dave did some quick review and left the coaches to make the bigger corrections.  Although, I did hear Dave give one of the most logical, yet interesting, ways to get males to set up right for the sumo deadlift, which was, simply, “try to drop your nuts onto the bar.”  The best part was seeing all of the metaphorical light bulbs going off over a good twenty heads after he said it.

Since we were running late from a long squatting session, lunch was already there, so Dave told us to alternate between lifting and eating.  Again, we broke out into groups, and Todd Brock was the coach working my station.  Having helped coach my squat with Dave at the beginning of the seminar, he took one look at my deadlift and said, “well, at least we know you’re good for something!”  Which is good, because the deadlift is the one lift I feel pretty comfortable with so it was nice to have a little affirmation.

After we wrapped up the last of the technical part of the seminar, we moved into program design.  While a lot was covered, I think one of the best takeaways for the day was the concept of making sure your programs fulfill 3 requirements – 1. Is it sufficient?, 2. Is it necessary?, and 3. Is it safe?  The idea is that if you have to answer no to any of those things, the program is flawed.  An example given was somebody who makes 3 attempts at a max weight and misses every one – were those last 2 attempts really necessary for the program to work, or was it just motivated by ego?

Finally, maybe about 40% of the group stuck around for the business discussion, where Dave shared the timeline of Elite Fitness Systems and covered a lot of the mistakes that he made in developing and growing the company.  The thing that really impresses me is that Dave is so incredibly open about where he’s gone wrong and doesn’t sugarcoat anything.  I posed a question during the Q&A about a problem I had been having with one of my coaches not catching on fast enough, and after some back and forth he pretty much said (I can’t recall the exact wording) “you’re the one who’s fucking up by not making it clear enough what you want.”  I know some people wouldn’t be as straight-up in their response, and I appreciated the no-BS answer.

I can absolutely guarantee that if Dave ever holds another one of these seminars, I will be going again and taking my entire staff.  Those of us who got to attend this year are definitely a lucky bunch.  Thanks again to Dave, Todd Brock, Jason Pegg, Ted Toalston,  Steve Diel, and everybody from EFS who helped out.  With any luck I hope to see you all next time!

Simple Glute Activation Movements

The glutes get a lot of attention for their aesthetics (or lack thereof), and there are a plethora of training programs and articles designed to help you “work your booty.” But what happens when you have no idea how it’s supposed to feel when you use your glutes? Oftentimes, we’ll have potential clients come in to our center with the goal of developing their butt, but when they perform standard glute-building movements like squats, lunges and bridges, all they have to show for it is a pumped lower back and sore hamstrings, while the glutes remain underwhelmingly neglected. Why? Because your brain doesn’t know how to make those muscles fire. And if they don’t fire properly, then all of the hip-thrusting in the world won’t fix your posterior.

So how do you fix it? There are a subset of glute movements that are commonly referred to as “activation” movements, which means the whole purpose is to teach you what it’s supposed to feel like to use your glutes, as well as triggering your body to “turn on” (AKA activate) your butt muscles.


Here’s a simple glute program that includes both strength, hypertrophy (muscle growth), and activation movements. Give it a shot and let us know how it works for you!

Sample Glute-Training Workout

1. Activation – Band abduction – 2-3 sets of 10 reps with a 10-second hold in the open position

2. Strength – Sumo-stance barbell deadlift – 4-5 sets of 3-5 reps

3. Hypertrophy – Split jumps – 2-3 sets of 20 jumps (10 per side)

superset with

Stability ball glute bridge – 2-3 sets of 20 reps