My New Basketball And Training Location

October 18, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

MVP Training is changing to a new location.  For the local people reading this, it will be in Roscoe – 9135 N. 2nd Street Unit #200/300.  It’s just down the street from Kids Spot and right next to ABC Supply. I will start giving basketball lessons here on November 1st.  I’m sooo excited to have my own space where I’ll have 24/7 access to give lessons!  And then the weight room area should be ready to roll around November 10th.  I’m just waiting for the previous business to get all their stuff out of there, have the place cleaned up, and then for the flooring to arrive. I can’t wait to get the equipment in there and to make this into my dream facility.

The room where I’ll be giving basketball lessons is going to have a hoop and  half-court installed.  And the goal is to eventually add a second hoop and make it into a “mini-full court.”  Here a video of what it looks like so far.  Again, equipment will be added shortly…

I look forward to continue helping athlete’s get stronger and more explosive for years to come!  And to help the “general fitness” folks reach their health and physique goals.  And finally, it’s going to be great continuing to help basketball players improve their handles, their ability to create space off the dribble, and their jump shots.  Working with all these basketball players this off-season has been great, and I can’t wait to check them all out in a just a few weeks when the season arrives!

So, there you go, the new location is just about ready to rock ‘n roll!  Feel free to pop on in any time to check it out!

Have a great weekend!

Since making this post, I did a video of the updated facility.  So, here you go…

Omit, Add, Modify – Program Design (The Countdown Method)

October 10, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

When it comes to the program you design (or the program someone else designs for you), I have a few BIG pet-peeves…

Complete Overhauls

This is when people completely change their training philosophy/methods.  Examples of this would be; “I’m a TRX person, no wait, I only do kettlebells, never mind, bodyweight exercises are where it’s at.  Ah no, forget all that, I only do single leg exercises, but now include all of the above (kettlebells, TRX, Dumbbells, Barbells, etc.)

This is stupid.  Don’t be this person.

Jumping From System to System

This is when a person goes from one system to the next.  For example, they do Crossfit one month, then completely change and go with Powerlifting, then it becomes Olympic Lifting, and before you know it they’ve moved onto P90X.  Talk about going nowhere fast!

Just as stupid.  Don’t be this person.

There are definitely a number of other things that get under my skin when it comes to program design.  We could talk periodization, exercise selection, the appropriate use of regressions/progressions, etc. etc.  But I’ll stick with the above two pet-peeves for now.

I do want to use myself as an example of the appropriate use of ADDING (not completely overhauling) when it comes to program design.  I’ve been working out and training people for many years now, and I’ve never used the countdown method. A couple weeks ago I came across an article written by Ben Bruno. I was still a couple weeks away from switching to my next training block, and I decided I would INCORPORATE the countdown method into my next block. The first day of my new program was yesterday, I used it for my “finisher” for weighted push-ups and neutral grip pull-ups.

The countdown method was included because it goes with my goals, my strength level, and I didn’t have to change EVERYTHING else around in order to make it work.  I just did one set for my chest and back to finish off my workout.  I’m not going to be, “doing nothing but the countdown method” for the next month before moving onto “nothing but max effort sets” the following month.

Add – Add an exercise/method into your training system/philosophy. i.e. I added the countdown method for this program but the rest of my program did NOT completely change.

OMIT – Take something out if doesn’t fit with your body type, goals, injury status, etc. i.e. your elbows have been really cranky for the past few weeks, so give chin-ups a break for time being.  Do not stop doing upper bod pulling exercises for the rest of your life.

Modify – Deadlifts have been bothering your lower back because you don’t have adequate mobility to pull from the floor.  Instead, try elevated deadlifts/rack pulls.  Do NOT go around making blanket statements about deadlifts. i.e. “Deadlifts will destroy your back.  Whoever performs them will die a slow, and painful death.”

I personally steal from many different “types” to create programs that fit my goals, and the goals/needs of my clients.  That means I use a little bit from the bodybuilders, powerlifters, athletes, Crossfitters, etc. etc., and incorporate them how I believe best fits the overall program design.

I hope you found this useful.  If you’re a program-hopper or system-hopper, I hope you give this some thought. If you have friends that fit into one or both of those categories, forward this onto them.  Friends don’t let friends program/system hop! :)

In last week’s post I mentioned that I’d be sharing a surprise with your this week.  Well, I lied.  The surprise will be coming next week.  I promise!  Stay tuned…

Still Stuck On 3 Sets Of 10?

September 10, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

I wanted to share a quick article/video with you all.  I still use 3 sets of 10 reps… occasionally.  If you’re like many people, that’s about the only set/rep scheme that you use.  Time for a change!  For more info on the topic, check out this video that I made for FitStudio …

Are You Still Doing 3 Sets Of 10 Reps?

Don’t Be a “Nutrition-Hopper”

January 29, 2013 by danny · 4 Comments 

Quite often in this fitness industry, us trainers get frustrated when we hear about people “program-hopping.”  You know, one week a person is performing a workout from Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding.  Then next week they want to give P90X a try.

When they realize that wasn’t for them, they say, “screw this, I’m just gonna start working on my bench press because I want hyooge pecs!”


This guy (or girl) never gives a program enough time to play-out, so to speak.  When you’re executing a program properly, you should be working to progress from week to week, on said program.  If you just hop all over the damn place, you have no idea what’s working, and what isn’t.  And you definitely aren’t working TOWARDS anything (a better butt; leaner arms; a stronger deadlift; a faster 40 time, etc etc).

If you program hop, you’re essentially throwing a dart with your eyes closed and just hoping that it hits the bullseye.  Not likely.

Anyway, I’ve touched on this before, so I’ll say no more in regards to program hopping.  But I do want to talk about…


This is not talked about quite as much as program-hopping, but it can be just as problematic.  I see people hopping from one nutrition plan to the next all the time.  Sometimes daily.  ”I was going low-carb but then I saw blah, blah, blah on Dr. Oz.  Now I’m cleansing, and then I’ll start up with the Zone Diet next Monday.”  A couple days later… “I was reading in Shape Magazine that I should blah, blah, blah, so after this weekend’s cheat meals, I’m gonna start X,Y, and Z on Monday.”

This continues for-e-ver.  For-e-ver.  For-e-ver.

Tell 'em, Squints.

Bottom line: give your plan (training and nutrition) time to fully develop.  See that plan through, and then make adjustments where necessary.  By doing so, you’ll increase your chance for success, and learn something along the way.

Keep it simple, and stay consistent…

You Can’t Taste It, So You Might As Well…

January 25, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

Quick tip going into the weekend for you…

Start putting spinach into your protein shake (assuming have a blender to blend it up in!).  This is something that I’ve read about for you years, but never tried.  And then recently one of the girls that I train told me that she does this.  So I asked her, “I’ve been meaning to try that for the longest time, is there really no taste to it?”  She confirmed by telling me that you can’t even tell that spinach is in there (thanks, Chris!).

So I now put spinach in most of the protein shakes that I make, and it’s a great way to get more veggies in.  I mean, most of us need to eat a whole lot more veggies, so you might as well take advantage of this easy way to “sneak” in more.

The shake I made today…

-Chocolate protein powder



-Natural Peanut Butter

NOTE: My new go-to protein powder is made by BioTrust.  They have great ingredients and I LOVE the taste! You can find it HERE

I’m off to get some training in.  I hope you all have a great weekend!

Good Articles From Around The Web (Fish Oils/Paleo/Vegan) …

September 18, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

Hope everyone is having a good week.  I’ve been busy with training at the new location, giving basketball lessons, and hangin’ with the family.  If you haven’t already heard… if you live here in the Rockton area, I’ve started running a cardio-based, fat loss bootcamp every Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m.  If you haven’t attended yet, but are interested, just let me know if you have any questions.  Ok, on to today’s post…

Omega-3 Madness

A recent mainstream media report called into question the benefits of supplementing with fish oil.  This caused some of my friends and family members to say this kind of thing to me; “Danny!  When you told me to supplement with fish oils 5 years ago, I haven’t missed a day.  Now this report tells me that they are not beneficial.  What’s the deal!?!?!?!  You’re a liar, a loser, and you should be locked up for life!”

Well, Eric Cressey had a great blog post in which he had Dr. Hector Lopez in to make a guest post.  If you saw the fish oil report and are starting to think that maybe you should stop supplementing with fish oil, give this a read.

The moral of the story is, to always be skeptical.  Just because you read something in a newspaper or hear it on the news, it doesn’t mean it’s true.  Among other things, this report was a classic case of “cherry picking.”

In other words, they took a bunch of information and only used the information that fit into their agenda… to have a controversial headline that got many people to visit their website, even if it is full of misinformation.

A cherry picking analogy: let’s say that 1000 people graduated from Harvard this year, and 994 of them went onto run successful businesses (I know, “success” can be defined in many ways, just go with it), and 6 of these Harvard graduates went on to become drug dealers.  If I were to report that those that attend Harvard are likely to become drug dealers, I’d be cherry picking in order to meet my agenda (presumably to sell more newspapers), because I conveniently didn’t mention the successful 994 individuals.  I didn’t tell the whole story, because if I did, that would be boring and wouldn’t support my stance that Harvard grads like to slang cocaine.   Anyway, onto the next one…

Oh, and by the way, I exaggerated about what some of my friends and family members were saying about me.  No one really called me a liar, a loser, and wants me locked up for life.  At least not that I know of. :)

Paleo vs Vegan

Talk about a heated debate!  Like usual, there is a middle-ground.  Here is a good read to discuss some of the potential pros and cons of each side of the fence.  In case you are interested in my personal view (and I’m assuming you are, since you are visiting my website)…

Too often vegetarians say that “their way” is way healthier.  That is the case MAINLY because they are comparing a vegetarian diet to a typical diet that consists of Burger King, Pizza Hut, oreos, and beer.  OF COURSE a vegetarian diet is healthier than THAT.  Although I think a vegetarian diet can be healthy, I don’t think it is ideal.  I recommend eating meats, plenty of veggies, fruits, and healthy fats.

Carbohydrate sources can be mixed in there, and depending on the goal, increased or decreased to match this goal (as a general rule, consume more carbs/calories when trying to add a little size, and reduce [but not necessarily eliminate] carbs/calories when trying to drop some weight).

I want to say one more time, ALWAYS be skeptical when you hear about a new report that comes out.  If doesn’t mean it is not true, but it certainly does NOT mean that it is true.  Do a little investagating on your own.  And if you don’t know what to look for, just ask me.  Since I’m not very smart, I probably won’t know the answer either… so I’ll just ask those that are smarter than me, and get back to you. :)

Have a great week.  Work hard, but make sure to mix in a little fun!

My New Article and Another Friend Visits Me Here In Illinois

June 25, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

Here is a little look at my week that was…

My New Article

I had a new article published over at FitWatch.  The question was, “What Is a Normal Body Fat Percentage?” And it went something like this…

You look down at your stomach and give it a pinch. You think to yourself, I wonder what my body fat percentage is, and I wonder if it’s normal. KEEP READING

Another Friend Comes to Town For a Visit

Last week, my buddy came in from Omaha to hit up Wrigley for a Cubs/Red Sox game.  Great time!  This week I had another visitor in town – Kevin Campbell.  Kevin was one of my very first clients when I moved to California back in 2004. He was in 8th grade then.  I trained this “kid” from that year all way until I moved back to Illinois last year!  And I can now refer to him as a man.  He’s currently 22 years old (turns 23 next week)  and about to graduate from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.  We were laughing about it when I asked him, “man, that day back in 8th grade when you walked into the gym to first meet your new trainer, did you think you’d be visiting me half way across the country 8 years later!?!”  I’m very glad that we met that day as he has become a life-long friend.  A funny little side story: As we talked at dinner before I dropped him off at the airport, part of our conversation went like this:

Kevin: When I met you at our first training session, I thought you smoked.

Me: What???!!!???

Kevin: Yeah, you kind of smelled like cigarette smoke, so I thought you were a smoker.

Me: What???!!!???

Yeah, that must have been a good first impression!  You meet your trainer for the first time and you think that he/she smokes!  Kevin now knows that even to this day, I have NEVER even taken a puff of a cigarette!  Funny stuff!

It was great having Kevin in town as I got to show him where I grew, and take him around to some of the “hot spots” here in the Rockton/Roscoe area.  He even came up and shot around in my old high school gym as I gave a basketball lesson to one of my current b-ball clients.  I warned Kevin that he may need to cover his head when we take our first step into Hononegah’s (my alma mater) gym as my fans may run out of the bleachers and maul me… but it didn’t happen.  How embarrassing for me. ;)

Kevin and I also got a workout in down in my basement where I am currently training clients (I may not be at this location much longer… but I’ll save that teaser for another blogpost in the not too distant future).  When McKenna visited me last week, he and I also got a session in.  Man, I wish these guys were around ALL THE TIME to train with… it’s so much better to train when surrounded by someone there to push you!!!

All-in-all, it was great to have Kevin in town!  And by the way, to this day I continue to train Kevin on-line.  Talk about one dedicated dude!

Kevin getting after it at our training session.

Alright, I’m about to write-up my new training program… a fat loss program.  That’s a first for me.  I’ll explain what I mean in a blogpost later on in the week or by next week at the latest.  See you then…

My New iHoops Basketball Article…

October 20, 2011 by danny · Leave a Comment 

Yes, the articles that I am about to go over were written for a basketball website.  BUT, the information can be beneficial for anyone that is a) new to training, or b) exiting the “newbie” stage of training and transitioning to the “intermediate” stage.

Body weight training

My article, “Basketball Strength Training for Newbies” was published over a year ago.  After iHoops published it, I received a bunch of e-mails and comments on  the iHoops ’site from youngsters that went something like this; “the information in this article is great, but I need more.  I’m new to lifting but want results FAST!  What else do you have for me?”  While I appreciate the enthusiasm, it is not smart to “skip steps.”  Body weight exercises are all that most newbies need.  But in time (if they are consistent), they need to start adding significant load (weight) to their lifts in order to get optimal results.

So, I decided to give these youngsters some more advanced exercises with some programming notes to go along with it.  I just hope they spent some time working on building that “foundation” with the information I provided in “Basketball Strength Training for Newbies.”

Entering the intermediate stage

Ok, onto the new article that is now up on the iHoops website… “5 Intermediate Strength-Training Lifts for Basketball Players.”  Again, if you’ve been working at the newbie level for awhile and you’re starting to transition into the intermediate stage, I think you’ll find this article useful (even if you are not a basketball player).

Enjoy - 5 Intermediate Strength-Training Lifts for Basketball Players

If you like the article, I’d appreciate it if you hit the like button below and/or gave me some love on twitter.  Thank you!

The Right Exercises For Your Basketball Strength Training

April 6, 2011 by danny · Leave a Comment 

I had a new article published at iHoops today.  Even though is a basketball website, the advice applies to any lifter out there.  Check it out…

In the field of strength and conditioning, everyone wants to know what the best exercise is for X, Y, and Z.

I’ve had people ask me, “what is the best exercise to improve power?” I’ve had people ask me, “what is the best exercise for strong shoulders?” I’ve had people ask me, “what exercise is better, back squats or bulgarian split squats?” And the list goes on and on.

My answer is always the same–it depends. As much as I’d like to give these enthusiastic and inquisitive individuals a one-size-fits-all answer, I just can’t do it. There are too many factors to consider before I can even come close to giving them my opinion. For example, I’d need to know…

Keep Reading…

Hello world!

January 10, 2010 by danny · 1 Comment 

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