Carbohydrates and Barbell Training

By Robert Santana MS, RD, SSC Carbohydrates are perhaps the most misunderstood macronutrient. If I had to be a macronutrient, I’d probably be a carbohydrate. Since I am not, I’ll settle for being an author who defends their honor, palatability, and function in human physiology. The term carbohydrate originates from the root word carbo-, denoting carbon, and hydrate, denoting a compound that is produced when chemical substances combine with water. Put simply, they are hydrates of carbon, although structurally they are more complex than [...]

January 15th, 2020|Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Strength Training|

The Skinny Fat Lifter Part 2

When I was 20 years old a friend of mine was concerned about “being fat” because his abs were not visible at a bodyweight of 5’10” 155 lb. My response to him was to gain “mass” (i.e. muscle mass) and he responded, “I have plenty of mass, I just need to lose the fat.” I’ve heard this quite often over the last two decades, and was guilty of saying it myself prior to learning a few things. “Skinny fat” novices often display signs and [...]

December 4th, 2019|Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Strength Training|

The Skinny Fat Lifter

One of the most common concerns shared by clients is aesthetics. “Coach, I want to get strong, but I want to lose my belly.” The issue is visible on both the 5’10” 220 lb untrained male and the 5'10” 170 lb untrained male. The common misconception both have is that they need to “go on a cut.” Both look perfectly normal in clothing, and no one would ever classify the big one as a “fat guy.” However, he may very well have a waistline [...]

November 13th, 2019|Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Strength Training|

Artificially Weak Deadlifts, Part 2: The Arms

By Robert Santana MS, RD, SSC & Mark Rippetoe In my previous article, I noted that perceived difficulty is the most common reason for an artificially weak deadlift. Another common reason is that lifters often repeat or reset loads due to an inability to maintain lumbar extension off of the floor. Meanwhile, the squat continues progressing while the lifter continues repeating and resetting the deadlift for several weeks in a row. This results in a squat that equals or exceeds the deadlift. A weak [...]

October 23rd, 2019|Strength Training|

Artificially Weak Deadlifts, Part 1: Perception vs Reality

The importance of the deadlift cannot be overstated. The deadlift is the most functional barbell exercise we perform because no activity is more common than bending over and picking things up. Doing it incorrectly is one of the most common ways people hurt themselves too. Avoidable back injuries occur as a result of spinal rotation, not actively maintaining spinal position, and not actively engaging the hips while picking up an object. Picking up a box, a desk, a PA speaker, or any large item [...]

September 10th, 2019|Fitness, Health, Strength Training|

Protein and Barbell Training

by Robert Santana, MS, RD, SSC, CSCS Most, if not all, strength trainees have been told at some point in their lifting careers that they need to consume protein to get stronger and build muscle mass. In any discussion of nutritional needs for strength training, protein is almost certain to be the first topic. However, much of the information has been misunderstood, and this paper is intended to serve as a resource for understanding the function of protein with regards to training and overall health. [...]

March 27th, 2019|Health, Nutrition|

The Nutrition Linear Progression

After years of experimentation with various diet coaching methodologies, Robert observed that much of the available programs were far more complicated than necessary for the average nutrition client. Thus, he developed a step-by-step system to develop a basic foundation of habits, which he coined the Nutrition Linear Progression. Your nutritional landscape, whether good or bad, comprises of: calories, macronutrients, meal timing, food quality, and supplements to name a few. Good nutrition means that you have balanced out these variables to meet your health and fitness goals. But, [...]

December 18th, 2018|Nutrition|

Body Composition for Barbell Training

by Robert Santana, MS, RD, SSC, CSCS The quest for strength acquisition involves careful consideration of human anthropometry and body composition. Anthropometry refers to the measurements and proportions of the human body. Body composition refers to the percentage of fat, lean mass, water, and bone in the human body. The most commonly used anthropometrics are height and weight. Waist, hip and various other circumference measures are additional metrics that provide some information regarding regional fat distribution. Body mass index (BMI) refers to the ratio of weight [...]

December 12th, 2018|Fitness, Health, Nutrition, Strength Training|

Calorie Needs for Barbell Training

by Robert Santana, MS, RD, SSC, CSCS Nutrition is a very important factor in training of all types. Whether you are under the barbell, running a marathon, or simply riding a bicycle to work daily, fueling the human body is an essential activity of daily life. Like most things in life, a clear and simple analysis exists. Understanding both what needs to be done as well as the rationale for why it needs to be done is equally important for educating future clients [...]

September 5th, 2018|Nutrition, Strength Training|

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Robert Santana has extensive experiences as a lecturer, nutrition coach, strength coach, and competitive lifter. Email him now.

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