Kevin Youkilis Training at CP

Filed under: Training

Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is spending his second straight off-season at Cressey Performance, training to get ready for the upcoming season.

Kevin is a great guy, and he trains like an absolute beast. If possible, he sweats even more at CP than he does at Fenway!

On Monday, NESN (New England Sports Network) went in to CP and filmed Youk training and preparing for the season. Between EC’s training and a little nutrition support from yours truly, I think Youk is primed for his best season ever!

Posted on January 13th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

2 Comments »

Eating and Training for Health, Body Composition and Performance

Filed under: Nutrition, Training

I am currently in the midst of the Precision Nutrition Certification program and I am greatly enjoying it. I figured since I am already in school this probably the best time to truly enhance my education overall. While me taking this certification program might surprise some people, it shouldn’t. No matter how much you may know, there is always more to learn.

Once you think you have all the answers is when you will have failed as an educator. John Berardi and his Precision Nutrition team have worked with thousands of people directly with their Lean Eating Coaching Program, which is far more people than I can work with myself. Think of all of the experience and information they have gleaned from those situations. Does anybody think we all can’t learn something from that?

If I pick up just a few tips and ideas to further improve my services and the results of my clients, why in the world wouldn’t I sign up for such a program? I am always looking for ways to improve my services and the results of my clients. Anyway, that was a slightly off-topic rant. Back to the point of what I have been enjoying in the program thus far.

One piece of advice that really jumped out at me was that Good Nutrition Achieves Health, Body Composition, and Performance Goals. While this is something that I try to hammer home to people myself, and something that I discuss quite a bit in my Show and Go Nutrition Guide, I like the way they worded their discussion on the topic.

People often eat and train with mainly their aesthetics and body composition in mind. They want to look good naked, and often need to lose quite a bit of fat, so they tend to do excessive amounts of cardio and high-rep/poorly executed weight training in conjunction with highly restrictive crash diets. These strategies can certainly work, and their can be a time and a place for rapid fat loss, in the long run these strategies will negatively impact your health and well-being (and often lead to binging and aggressive regaining of lost weight).

Instead, people should look to create a long-term nutrition and training lifestyle based on the intersection of these three goals:

  1. Improving body composition
  2. Improving health
  3. Improving performance

picture courtesy of The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, pg 15

The same rule applies for long-term training goals. A lot of trainees, guys and girls alike, exercise with only their body composition in mind. Maybe they aren’t crash dieting or anything, but they train in a manner that is not conducive to improving their performance or long-term health. Without any focus on soft-tissue quality (ie – foam rolling), proper warmups, correct exercise selections or balanced training programs, they will run into problems in the long term.

Unfortunately these problems take a long time to unveil themselves, so often people will justify their current methods because it does not hurt at this moment in time. Newsflash for you Walter Cronkite, most injuries are of a chronic and degenerative nature that could have been prevented, not an acute instant-in-time occurrence. While training in the appropriate manner may not be as sexy, and it is certainly will not be what you read in bodybuilding magazines, it will allow you to train forever, and actually make you more resistant to injuries, not prone to them. While I know that most of us are not training for the Olympics, myself included, training to improve your performance can range from high-level athletics to simply improving your energy levels and ability to play with your kids.

When the focus is on a blend of performance, health and body composition the aforementioned issues do not arise. While this method may not produce results as rapidly as a single focus on any of the one areas, they lead to a balanced and healthy long-term approach that will reduce inflammation, blood lipids, diabetes risk, cancer risk, and body fat percentage as well increase lean mass, movement and tissue quality, strength, athleticism, and other health markers (good cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, etc). Sounds like a plan to me!

To wrap this up, focus your training and your nutrition on improving your health, body composition and performance and you get the best of it all. You get to look good naked, improve your quality of life and perform at your peak!

Posted on January 12th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

2 Comments »

Online Training & Nutrition Consulting – 20% OFF!

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training

Today I wanted to do something a little out of the ordinary. With the New Year upon us and many people making their resolutions to improve their health, body composition and performance, I want to let you know that I am here to help.

I just recently wrapped up some consulting with a few clients, and had some spots open up. I figured with the New Year, that people might be interested in my online coaching services. To top it off, I have even decided to offer a 20% discount on my services, for anyone who signs up before Jan 31!

This is includes a discount on any of my online nutrition consulting services, as well as my online training services. Below is a general idea of what my nutrition and training services include:

Nutrition

  • Comprehensive Nutrition Questionnaire – this provides me with your likes, dislikes, allergies, intolerances, and more to help me customize the consultation specifically to you!
  • Complete Dietary Analysis – this provides me a snapshot of your normal dietary intake, and I provide you thorough and detailed feedback to maximize your results.
  • BSP Nutrition Tips & Guidelines Packet - you will learn the nutrition principles to guide you through your lifetime, and dispel so many myths and misconceptions along the way! This packet along with my feedback on your actual eating habits will teach you the skills to make you nutritionally bullet proof.
  • Personalized Meal Plans built specifically for you, no cookie-cutters here!
  • Unlimited Email Access to my personal account 24/7.
  • Training programs written by me to work synergystically with your unique nutrition program, all specifically designed for your needs and goals.

Training

  • Comprehensive questionnaire covering your health and injury history, prior training experience, your goals and your schedule. We will look at postural photos, any videos you can send of you performing exercises and more to ensure you maximize the effectiveness of the training.
  • Video demonstrations and/or pictures with descriptions of how to properly perform every exercise I program for you.
  • Personalized One-Month Training Programs built specifically for you, based upon all the information gathered in your questionnaire. Each program will cover proper warmups, soft tissue work, dynamic mobility, recovery modalities, corrective exercise and whatever training modalities your goals warrant; fat loss, strength, power, mass, athletic, general fitness, etc.
  • Unlimited Email Access to my personal account 24/7.
  • I bring the knowledge and the ability to put the whole package together. You just need to bring the attitude and effort!
  • Nutrition Programs written by me to work synergystically with your personal training program, catered specifically to your needs and goals.

If you are interested in my specific consulting offerings at 20% off, please shoot me an email at brian@brianstpierretraining.com.

For those of you skeptical of working with me online, I have worked with dozens of clients online, from all over the world, and here is what a few of them had to say:

“I can’t say enough good things about working with Brian!  I will admit, I was a bit skeptical about working online/from a distance with someone for nutrition purposes, but Brian quickly put that skepticism at bay.   I was most impressed with the amount of time he took talking to me in our initial phone consult and then all the subsequent emails answering any question I had in a very timely fashion.  There was no cut and paste programs here–he really focuses on you as the individual.   His feedback on all my nutrition logs was incredibly detailed and extremely helpful for making the necessary positive changes to reach my goals.  I also loved all the recipes he gave me.  I had a real issue eating unhealthy snacks because I lacked the knowledge/creativity to create healthier more interesting snacks.  Brian gave me so many options for easy to create, healthy snacks that filled a real void in my daily diet.  I highly recommend working with him!”

Jeanne Higgins, Seattle, WA

“In late March 2010 I contacted Brian St. Pierre for a nutritional consultation hoping that he could assist me in cleaning up my diet.  At the time I felt as if my eating habits were “good” but I was certainly aware that they could be better.  Brian was thorough and exhaustive in his evaluation and critique of my eating habits and provided me with the perfect ideas on how I could alter my diet to achieve my goals.  What I liked the most about Brian’s services is that he didn’t try to totally revamp my current ways but instead offered ideas and insights into how I could do things better.  He worked with my food choices and how I schedule my meals and provided me with a path to success that I am confident will last forever.”

Joe O’Leary, Brighton, MA

“After working with Brian, I can say, without a doubt, that it was the best decision I’ve made for my training in a long time.  Being a facility owner, I found myself neglecting my own training, and when I did train, I only did the exercises that I favored the most.  I decided to get in touch with Brian because of two reasons 1) having visited CP before, I knew how creative Brian could be with his programming, and 2) he had the nutritional knowledge to back it up!

The results speak for themselves – in 3 months of being a training/nutrition client with Brian I not only added 7.7 pounds of lean weight, but I also increased my Front Squat by 27.5 pounds, my 3RM Chin Up by 14.3 pounds and my Deadlift by 17.6 pounds – all this after I broke my finger the first week of the program, was put into surgery in the second week, and couldn’t do any grip intensive work until after the first month!

The best result, though, was that Brian showed me how to make quality food choices, and helped me develop solid nutritional habits – something that will last with me throughout my whole life.  If you’re on the edge of deciding whether to use Brian or not, my advice is just do it – you won’t regret it.”

James Garland, Strength Coach, Australia

Again, this is a limited time offer, so if you are interested in hearing more about my services, please contact me at brian@brianstpierretraining.com. What do you have to lose?

Posted on January 10th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

2 Comments »

Stuff You Should Read

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Training

I was able to visit CP yesterday for the first time since September. I gotta say, it was nice to train in that environment again, compared to my normal gym these days it was a nice change of pace. I brought a few friends with me who had never seen the place, I think they enjoyed seeing what a non-commercial gym actually looks like. Meeting Kevin Youkilis probably didn’t hurt their opinion either.

The renovations are looking great, and the space is going to kick even more ass. I have to admit that it is a little bittersweet every time I visit, as I greatly enjoyed my time there. It would be really nice to coach in the new set up too, as it allows for improved vision of the entire floor.

Anyway, I thought I would leave you guys with some interesting articles for the weekend. Some of these were inspired by my trip to CP, some were just awesome. Enjoy!

DeFranco Prowler Training – Joe DeFranco. This is a brand new T-nation article from Joe DeFranco on proper utilization of the infamous Prowler. When he talks about the love/hate relationship with the Prowler, I can totally relate. I mainly hate it though. Enough that I wanted nothing to do with it yesterday, so we did some sledgehammer swings instead. Regardless, Joe provided a quality article on some excellent ways to utilize the prowler.

5 Loading Protocols that Suck – Eric Cressey. First I want to state that EC did not choose that title, and it does not accurately represent the content, so keep that in mind when reading. This is another T-nation article inspired by my trip to CP. Eric takes a look at 5 common loading protocols and discusses their strengths, weakness, applications and times to try something else.

Wheat: In Search of Scientific Objectivity and New Year’s Resolutions – Chris Masterjohn. While many of you may know that I am not a fan of large amounts of wheat consumption, I do think that preparation makes a huge difference. Hence why I like sprouted grains. In this article Chris digs into the study that is often cited to support the idea that “wheat is evil”. It is excellent, and he pokes some serious holes in the study. I highly recommend reading more of his stuff, as he provides some fascinating and top-quality information.

Posted on January 7th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

2 Comments »

Today’s Quick Tip

Filed under: Nutrition

I get a lot of emails from people thanking me for a particular recipe – My Wife’s Chili. Well, they are thanking me, but they are mainly thanking my wife for her wonderful recipe.

The only downside to the recipe is the prep time. You do have to chop the pepper and onion, cook the beef and then cook all of that plus the other ingredients in one large pot. It takes some time, which people do not always have.

So today I propose a solution – the Crock Pot. Simply cook your beef at your leisure, and either store in the fridge or use immediately, it is up to you. Chop the pepper and onion, and place them with the tomatoes, corn, beans and chili powder in the Crock Pot.

Cook on Low for 6ish hours, and then it will kick off to the Keep Warm setting. This way by the time you get home from work, it is not only all cooked, it isn’t scorching hot, but a perfect serving temperature. Enjoy!

Posted on January 6th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

No Comments »

5 Things to Look Forward to in 2011

Filed under: General Health

Eric wrote a great piece recent on the 17 Reasons He’s Excited for 2011, and it inspired me to write a similar piece of my own.

I had a lot of incredible experiences in 2010: we got a puppy, my wife got accepted into her desired residency in our home state of Maine, I got accepted into the University of Maine Master’s program and Dietetic Internship, I got to work at Alternity Healthcare, we moved home to Maine, my best friend returned from Afghanistan, and so much more.

In 2011 I have much to look forward to, and here are 5 of my favorite ones:

1. Having a baby girl!

My wife and I are expecting a baby girl on May 6th, 2011. We are incredibly excited, and that excitement certainly seems to be rising as we get closer and closer to her due date. There is much to learn and prepare for!

2. Learning more about the birth experience.

I never in my life thought I would say that, but lately my wife and I have been reading and learning a lot about the whole birth experience. I always pictured birth as how you see it in the movies or on tv – loud, painful and relieved when it is all over.

We have recently watched the Business of Being Born, and I am in the process of reading Your Best Birth, while she reads Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. These resources have opened our eyes to the mess our medical system has made of the process of childbirth. How you see it on tv is NOT how it has to be.

We are learning that we can choose the birth experience we want, whatever that may be. But the the choice is ours. This is an area that I look forward to learning so much more about, and I am sure will learn the most as we go through the actual experience.

3. My Dietetic Internship.

My Dietetic Internship begins in May, and is the journey I have to undertake to become a Registered Dietitian. Clinical dietetics is also an area that I am woefully lacking, as I have never worked in a hospital in that capacity. I look forward to expanding my skill set and finally becoming a RD.

4. Continued growth of BrianStPierreTraining.com.

This website has grown by leaps and bounds each year, and I learn just as much from writing about topics as any of you doing by reading about them. This blog has been one of my greatest accomplishments. Here are my year end statistics:

  • 117,263 unique visitors
  • 321,878 visits
  • 961,010 page views

This is an increase in 40,000 unique visitors, 150,000 visits, and 460,000 page views over 2009! Thank you all for continuing to read my site and make it a success!

On top of that there will be some continual improvements on the site in the very near future. I will have a free newsletter set up very shortly that I think you will all love. As well the site will be moving to bspnutrition.com at some point as well. It is a much more user-friendly URL, and I think gives a more accurate representation of my site. These are just a few of the improvements I have planned for 2011!

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Yeah, this is pretty much going to kick ass. I would even bet that just like Return of the King, this final chapter in the will win some much-deserved awards in recognition of the excellence of the entire series.

I am sure there are many more things I could write about, like writing more articles, potential new projects and the like, but I wanted to keep it simple.

Again, this site would not be possible without you my readers, so please let me know what you would like to see more of in 2011.

Posted on January 4th, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

5 Comments »

You Asked, I Answered

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Recipes

Q. Hey Brian,

Love your blog. I have it bookmarked and I check it every other day. I was wondering if you could do a blog post on cycling supplements. If you have already done this then I apologize. If you haven’t done a blog on this, any chance you could? If not, what’s your take on it? I know it’s a common question and a lot of folks are divided on it.

A. First off, thanks for the kind words, I am glad you like the site!

As for cycling supplements I think this is a totally personal choice. I don’t really think it makes much difference if you do or don’t. People make the argument that if you eat or supplement with a particular item on a daily basis, that you will develop an intolerance to that item. Is this a possibility? Sure. Is it definite? Absolutely not.

Many cultures consumed many of the few same foods nearly year round. Many consumed rather large amounts of potatoes, sweet potatoes or coconut for the majority of their lifetimes without developing any issues. On the flip side of that, intake often varied by season and availability so it can go either way.

I would say that I am not opposed to either option, and I leave it up to the individual. If you find that a certain protein powder bothers you after a period of consumption, then maybe it is best to rotate that. If not, then do not worry about it. I firmly believe that these decisions are best made on an individual basis and there is no “right” or “wrong” answer.

Q. I got an idea for you, could be a bit of a challenge for you too. Maybe you could write about nutrition for hiking the Appalachian Trail. The curve balls would be…
-Pack-ability
-Calorie density per 1 oz of weight
-Overall Weight
-Ease of cooking ( IE; dehydrated etc)
-Many meals are really processed, EasyMac, Ramen etc. It would be cool to see idea’s if you could come up with healthy, little to no process for meals!

A. Well this is an excellent question. To some degree it would depend on how long you are hiking, but I will answer this based on it being a multiple day journey. As an interesting aside, my wife hiked the Appalachian Trail for 5 days while in college, so she helped me out with this one a little bit.

For snacks you have lots of options, but like you mentioned we are looking for foods to be nutrient and calorie dense, as well as portable. I would highly suggest these options:

These are all highly portable and offer high-quality carbs, healthy fats and quality protein.

Meals are a little tougher but here are some options that I think travel well:

  • tuna in pouches on whole-wheat wraps
  • natural peanut butter (or almond butter) on whole-wheat wraps
  • oatmeal with dried fruit and peanut butter
  • muesli
  • or you can use some of the snack foods and make a larger meal out of it

I would also recommend that you consider bringing along some herbs and spices for meals (at least some salt and pepper for the tuna for example). Aim to pack about 700g-1kg of food per person per day. It can definitely help if you pre-plan your meals and most of your snacks. While there will probably be some unplanned snacking, it can prevent you from bringing too much or too little food.

As a final note, don’t forget the most important item of all – Water! Remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I hope that helps!

Posted on January 3rd, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

1 Comment »

Pork Chops, Quinoa and Green Beans

Filed under: General Health, Nutrition, Recipes

I wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year, I hope everyone had a good time. To kick off the new year right, I wanted to start off 2011 with a great new recipe.

A few nights ago my wife and I made a delicious meal of pork chops and green beans, and it was absolutely delicious. Pork is a vastly underrated meat that I feel has fallen out of vogue the past ten years or so.

Pork chops were something that I remember growing up with, that seems to have largely disappeared from the American Diet, probably due to the late 80’s/early 90’s fear of fat. While pork chops do contain more fat than chicken or turkey, who cares?

The majority of the fat is in the form of the monounsaturated oleic acid, just like in olive oil. They are a good source of 10 vitamins and minerals, and are an especially excellent source of several B vitamins, as well that brain-boosting and anti-inflammatory choline.

The problem with pork chops is that people tend to bread them with crappy carbs and cook them in crappy oils, but that is where I come in. We breaded our pork chops in quinoa flakes, cooked them in olive oil and had a delicious side of sauted green beans.

This is a delicious and easy recipe, that can be enjoyed with a nice glass of wine.

Pork Chops, Quinoa and Green Beans

Ingredients

  • Two 6-8oz pork chops (preferably pasture-raised or at least “naturally-raised”)
  • 1 whole pastured or omega-3 egg
  • ~1/2 cup quinoa flakes
  • 4 cups green beans
  • 1 tbsp pasture-raised butter
  • Redmond Real Salt, as desired
  • extra virgin olive oil spray (I like to use the Misto with my own olive oil)

Directions

Place the whole egg in a bowl and whip until well blended. Place the quinoa flakes on a small separate plate. With one pork chop at a time, dip in the egg, covering evenly. Then place the pork chop in the plate with the quinoa, covering it evenly. Repeat with second pork chop.

In a medium frying pan, spray with extra virgin olive oil and place on medium to medium-high heat. Place the pork chops in and cook until done. Flip occasionally and spray more olive oil as needed to help the quinoa brown, but not burn. Dash of salt as desired.

In a large frying pan place in the butter and let melt on medium to medium-high heat. Then drop in the green beans and stir around until the butter is evenly coated on them. Sea salt to taste. Cook until done and stir often. Cover if desired.

It’s pretty simple and tasty, provides plenty of high quality protein, healthy fats, quality carbs, fiber, 2 cups of veggies and so much more. Enjoy!

Posted on January 1st, 2011 by Brian St. Pierre

3 Comments »

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