Monthly Archives: December 2010


Periodization can be defined as a training program that is divided into separate time frames referred to as “macrocycles”, “mesocycles”, and “microcycles”. The training cycles change after a designated amount of time thus creating a new stimulus to the body. This style of training is becoming increasingly popular in the general public however athletes have been training this way for years.

Periodization offers many different benefits to the trainee that standard training programs do not. Everyone can benefit from using a periodized plan. For one, using a periodized plan allows for the body to develop in a progressive manor without reaching a plateau as easily. The changing cycles crete a different stimulous that act like steping stones to progress.  Secondly, periodization allows for the trainee to peak for a special event or a specific time. This is important because it is impossible to maintain optimum physical shape all year long. This fact is why periodization is so benefitial to the athlete that need to be at their best for a specific event as a powerlifter or strongman would. Lastly, using a periodized plan keeps the workouts fresh and interesting. Since the routine keeps changing it prevents the client from becoming bored.

Periodization can be used in any number of different ways. One way to use periodization is to use the law of overcompensation and overload. To make progress, ones training must progressively increase over time. This method of periodization can be done a number of different ways by changing up either the amount of sets, reps, exercises or intensity of the training. Another way to use periodization is through the GAS principle. A high level athlete must train at a very high intensity which requires ample time for recovery. The GAS principle rotates periods of high intensity with periods of lower intensity. Another way to use periodization is to train for a specific event. A powerlifter will use a periodized plan when getting ready for a competition. They might start out doing 4-6 reps during training and by the end they will be completing only 1 or 2 per lift. Periodization techniques are important for a trainer to understand and implement with their clients. It not only keeps the trainee making progress but it keeps them interested in the training as well.

Until next time I’m O-U-T!

Kyle Hunt

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Exercise and the Mind/Body connection

Exercise and the Mind/Body connection

  1. 1.      Introduction

            Exercise and mental health go hand in hand. It was once said “exercise not only has power over the body but it also has power over the mind as well”.  That is a very accurate statement; exercise creates numerous benefits to mental health including improved depression symptoms, reduced anxiety, reduced stress levels, and improved self confidence and self worth. On the other hand the mind can also be very influential on exercise performance. Through the use of visualization, meditation, and positive statements subjects are able to improve their exercise and sports performances. Another way the mind is beneficial to improving exercise and sports performance is by limiting four important factors that often hold subjects back from reaching their full athletic potential. The four factors are limited self confidence, fear of failure, destructive criticism, and one pointed attention. Creating a better understanding of how exercise interacts with the mind body connection can greatly improve both mental health and athletic/exercise performance.


  1. 2.      Exercise Benefits on Mental Health

            It is well known that exercise provides participants with a wide variety of physical benefits. However, exercise can also be a valuable way to improve mental health as well.    

  1. a.      Depression

      Clinical depression is a major health problem that affects 5 to 10 percent of the American population (Taylor).  One of the major issues associated with the treatment of clinical depression deals with the negative side effects of anti-depressants that are prescribed.  A better way to fight depression might be through exercise. A study conducted by James A Blumenthal, PHD compared the effects of exercise to anti-depression medication. The study took 156 men and women who had Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and randomly assigned them to a program of aerobic exercise, anti depressant medication or combined exercise and medication. The results showed that people who were given the medication saw results faster however, after the end of the sixteen weeks of treatment exercise was equally effective in reducing depression among participants with MDD (Blumenthal).  This proves that exercise can be used as an alternative to the dangerous anti-depressant medication or as a means to replace the need for an anti-depressant.

  1. b.      Anxiety

      Physical activity and exercise has also been shown to decrease anxiety (Taylor).  Experimental studies of both acute and chronic exercise of vigorous intensities have consistently shown a reduction in anxiety. One study conducted by W. P Morgan on acute physical activity showed promising results. In the study a series of events involving males and females was conducted. The purpose was to evaluate the state anxiety prior to, immediately following, and 20-30 minutes following exercise. He found that state anxiety decreased following acute physical activity below base line for people with normal anxiety as well as clinically anxious individuals (Morgan).

  1. c.       Stress

      Everyday life can cause tremendous stress on the body. One positive way to combat stress is through exercise.  Exercise can help reduce stress a couple different ways. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling ( Another way exercise can help reduces stress is to allow one to focus on their body rather than their problems.  After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do (

  1. 3.      Mental effects on Exercise/ Athletic performance

            The mind is a powerful tool. Athletes who are able to effectively use their mind have more success than those who cannot. “Studies have shown that between 70 and 85 percent of successful and unsuccessful athletes can be identified using general psychological measures of personality structure and mood state…” (Raglin). Athletes with poor to average mental health should on the whole, perform worse than athletes with good mental health (Raglin).

  1. a.      Mental Imagery (Visualization)

      Mental imagery also known as visualization is defined as experience that resembles perceptual experience, but which occurs in the absence of the appropriate stimuli for the relevant perception (Plessinger). In short, any act of imagining an action without physical practice is called imagery.

      In a study done by Gershon Tenenbaum on the effectiveness of mental approaches to improve strength, one of the studies had subjects perform a form of visualization before performing a weight lifting exercise. Five minutes before the strength test he had the subjects visualize their best performance before they actually preformed the test. The results showed a significant increase in peak force and peak power by the subjects who used the visualization technique compared to the control group (Tenenbaum).

  1. b.      Positive Statements

      In the same study by Tenenbaum the participants were also asked to use positive statements in an effort to look into the effects it had on strength. The subjects had to come up with two positive statements that were related to the resistance exercise they were going to be tested on and write them down. The results were greater than expected in both peak force and peak power (Tenenbaum).  This shows how important and powerful thinking positive is to performing at optimal levels.

  1. c.       Meditation/ Four obstructions

      Meditation is the beginning of the body mind mastery. Body mind masters have learned in sport and life to focus their attention on the present moment (Millman). Patricia Carrington, author of The Book of Meditation, wrote, “Meditation tends to reduce anxiety levels, making the mediator calmer, less worried and more quietly self-confident.” This is obviously useful attributes for an athlete who is about to enter a contest or exercise session.  Relaxation and ease of mind can be helpful in almost any undertaking, but in sports it is important that the person not be so relaxed that he stops caring and loses sight on the task at hand.

      Andy Rimol conducted a study on the effectiveness of meditation in motor performance. He took three groups of college students; the first two groups have been practicing meditation for at least five months and the third group of students was non mediators. Rimol tested the subject’s motor skills through using a rather demanding game called the “Labyrinth game” (Carrington).  The subjects were given a “pre test” and a post test. Before the “post test” the first group was asked to relax for twenty minutes but not meditate. The second group was asked to meditate and the third group was asked to just relax for twenty minutes. He found that right from the start the mediators scored significantly higher than the non mediators both on the pre and post tests (Carrington).         

According to Dan Millman there are four obstructions that plague most athletes. Overcoming these mental obstructions is a key to improve athletic performance.

  1. Limited Self- Concept

            Your progress in life tends to consistently follow your expectations. If you expect to do poorly, you will be less motivated and most likely you will do poorly. By having your expectations real low it is almost impossible to be successful. This deals with self concept. Without a high self concept it is difficult to become successful.

  1. Fear of Failure

            Failure is a natural part of the learning process. People who are afraid to fail will never take enough chances to be successful or will they have the experience necessary to succeed.

  1. Destructive self criticism

            There are two kinds of criticism, constructive and destructive. Constructive criticism is more conducive to success rather than destructive criticism. Self criticism is a learned habit pattern that usually starts in childhood when children receive destructive criticism. It is important to not be too hard on yourself in athletics.

  1. One pointed attention

            There is tremendous power in total attention to the matter at hand. The most successful athletes are able to focus on the task that is in front of them. Too many people try to balance a bunch of different things instead of focusing all of their attention on what they are doing.

Nick Wright’s 2011 Offseason diet

Offseason Diet Plan        
  Training Days
Protein Carbs Fat
Meal 1 3 scoops RTN Mass Builder 37.5g 75 g 2.5g
1 piece whole grain bread 4g 15g 2g
1 tbs peabut butter 4g 3g 8g
Meal Totals 45.5g 93g 12.5g
Meal 2 6oz chicken 35g 0g 3g
10oz sweet potato 5g 67g 2g
1 tsp olive macadamia or canola oil 0g 0g 5g
Meal Totals 40g 67g 10g
Meal 3 6 oz chicken 35g 0g 3g
1.5 cups brown rice 3g 63g 4g
1 tsp olive macadamia or canola oil 0g 0g 5g
Meal Totals 38g 63g 12g
Meal 4 6oz tuna 35g 0g 3g
Pre WO 10 oz russet potato 5g 67g 2g
1 tsp olive macadamia or canola oil 0g 0g 5g
meal Totals 40g 67g 10g
Meal 5 3 scoops RTN Mass Builder 37.5g 75g 2.5g
Post WO
1 banana 0g 30g 0g
Meal Totals 37.5g 105g 2.5g
Meal 6 6oz lean red meat 35g 0g 6g
10oz russet potato 5g 67g 2g
2 tsp olive oil 0g 0g 10g
veggies (green salad)
Meal Totals 40g 67g 18g
Meal 7 6 oz tilapia 35g 0g 1g
2/3 cup brown rice 2g 28g 2g
3 tsp canola oil 0g 0g 15g
Meal Totals 37g 28g 18g
Daily Totals 3819Cal 278g pro 490g carb 83g fat
29% 51% 20%

***Above diet Updated Feb 26th***

Offseason Diet Plan        
  Rest Day
Calories Protein Carbs Fat
Meal 1 1.5 scoops RTN whey 36g 1.5 g 1.5g
1 cup oats 8g 56g 6g
1/2 piece fruit 0g 15g 0g
Meal Totals 44g 72.5g 7.5g
Meal 2 6oz tilapia or chicken 35g 0g 3g
8oz sweet potato 4g 54g 0g
1 tsp olive macadamia or canola oil 0g 0g 5g
Meal Totals 39g 54g 8g
Meal 3 6 oz chicken 35g 0g 3g
1.25 cup brown rice 2g 56g 3g
1 tsp olive macadamia or canola oil 0g 0g 5g
Meal Totals 37g 56g 11g
Meal 4 6oz tuna 30g 0g 3g
8 oz russet potato 4g 54g 1g
1 tsp olive macadamia or canola oil 0g 0g 5g
meal Totals 34g 54g 9g
Meal 5 6oz lean red meat 35g 0g 6g
8oz russet potato 4g 54g 0g
2 tsp olive macadamia or canola oil 0g 0g 10g
veggies (green salad)
Meal Totals 39g 54g 16g
Meal 6 1.5 scoop RTN whey 36g 1.5g 1.5g
1/2 cup oats 4g 28g 2g
1.5 tbs peanut butter 9g 6g 12g
Meal Totals 49g 35.5g 15.5g
Daily Totals 2834.5  cal 242g  pro 318.5g carb 68.5g  fat
33% 45% 22%

This offseason our goal is to keep Nick as lean as possible while still putting on quality size. There is two resons for this.

#1. Nick needs to stay within about two weeks of being photo shoot ready. This offseason he has some BIG things coming so he needs to be sharp!

#2. Staying leaner in the offseason allows for an easier prep.

This is just a starting point. The diet will be adjusted every couple weeks depending on how Nick is progressing. I will be monoriting his weight, measurements, how he looks and how he feels to make the nessesary changes. The diet is a modified carb/calorie cycle. On training days calories are up around 22 per pound of Lean Body Mass whereas on rest day the calories are around 18 per pound of LBM. This type of cycle is designed to keep body fat gain to a minimum but still have the nessesary nutritients to build muscle.

With this diet there is 1 free meal each week. It can be anything. The only requirement is it has to be on a training day. Again like everything else this is subject to change. Who knows if everything goes well we might add another free meal each week!


If you like how this diet is set up but want your own customized diet to fit your needs check out the link below to get hooked up!

*Make sure you watch the video, it tells everything you need to know!