My Quad Finisher

August 26, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

I’m a couple weeks into my current  block and thought I’d share what my quad finisher looks like.  For this training block I’m using a full body program, lifting 3-4 times per week.  At the end of day 2, I finish with the below “finisher” …

10 Barbell Jump Squats

10 Barbell Reverse Lunges

10 Barbell Squats

I do that with the same weight on my back, and then rest 45 seconds and repeat.  Only this time, after my last rep of squats, I pick up a dumbbell and perform a dumbbell squat iso-hold for as long as possible. To see what it looks like in action, here you go…

Bring The Pain!

Not. Easy!  Especially if you try to beat your time from the previous week.  And as you can see in the video, I added 5 seconds to my squat hold.  My quads were on absolute fire.  Trying to beat 35 seconds on the hold next week should be real “fun!”

Anyway, give it a try.  I dare you! ;)

How I feel after this quad finisher!

I Have The “Answers” To Everything In Life, Plus Impressive Hip Thrusts Inside…

July 19, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

In the health and fitness industry, we often see all kinds of crazy claims.

  • I deadlift 8 days a week because they are the best back-builders known to man.  Vs… Deadlifts will destroy your lower back and nobody should deadlift.  Ever!
  • Vitamin D is crucial for optimal health, therefore I lay out  in the sun 3 hours a day every day of the week.  Vs… The sun causes skin cancer, therefore I put on SPF 300,000 when I walk to the mailbox ever morning.
  • The bench press makes my pecs HYOOGEMONGOUS, which is why I bench every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Vs… The bench press is a shoulder killer, don’t ever bench if you want to keep your shoulders healthy.
  • Fish oil cures any and all problems in life. Vs… Don’t even say the word fish oil out loud.  If you do, you’ll develop prostate cancer within 2 weeks.

Ok, so there might be some exaggerations in my examples, but you get the point.  If I look at all the information that I’ve heard over the years in this industry, NOTHING has stood the test of time, as far as “magic.”  Pretty much all answers in health and fitness (as well as in life), lie somewhere in the middle.  So don’t get too emotionally involved to one extreme or the other.  Because there is a study right around the corner that is going to make you modify your views one way or the other.  This new information/study might be coming in a week, or you might come across it five years down the road.

The key to getting the body you want, lies in this quote that you’ll see in the “Meet Danny” section of my website: “Those that are consistent, disciplined, and give everything they have, can bring their health, physique, and performance to a new level.” No magic.  Show up to the gym and work hard – consistently.  In the kitchen, eat plenty of protein and healthy fat, pound the veggies, eat some fruit, and adjust your carb intake according to your goals/results.  Simple in theory, hard in practice.  But the point is to not get too tied up with ONE system or the newest gadget/supplement/food that promises you that, “by taking 3 capsules of XYZ a day, you’ll look exactly like Jamie Eason in two weeks or less.”

Jamie's physique... built with consistency and effort, not some miracle pill.

Impressive Hip Thrusts

Last week Paityn and her mom, Joie, combined to hip thrust 510 pounds!  Studettes!  I thought you may be interested in seeing it in action, so here you go…

They were out of town this week, so I’m looking forward to Paityn going for 300 + when she returns next week!

Have a great weekend, and remember, the “answers” always lie someone in the middle…

More Personal Records… Bench Press and Hip Thrusts

June 27, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

I just got done giving basketball lessons to one of the teams that I’m working with this summer, and I’m about to head up to MVP Training for a couple training sessions.  But I have a few minutes of spare time, so I thought I’d share a couple bad ass videos with you…

This first one is of Paityn hip thrusting some serious weight…

Want nice glutes?  Do you want to improve your performance on the field/court?  Wanna decrease your chances of knee/back injuries?  If you answered yes to any of the above, then get good at performing hip thrusts!

Paityn’s goal on that set was 5 reps.  She ended up getting 6.  Looks like she’ll be going heavier next week! :)

Video numero dos…

Last week I mentioned HERE, that Liz had a bench press PR (personal record) of 105 before leaving college for the summer.  Well, when she re-tested her bench with me a few weeks back, she set a new PR of 115.  And just last week re-broke it with a 120 pound max.

So, props to Paityn and Liz for their hard work!  Great work, ladies!!!

Well, this is the last weekend before 4th of July, and if you’re like most people, it may get a little ugly… pizza, beer, cake, snacks, etc.  If that is you, make sure you make this weekend a good one in prep for the 4th.

I’ll try to get on here next week for a blogpost, but if I just get too busy, everyone have a fun and safe 4th!

Bench Press PR and My Thoughts On The Bench Press…

June 11, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

Liz, who plays basketball at Lehigh, set a bench press PR (Personal Record) of 105 pounds with her team when she tested before school ended back in May.  Well, it was time to retest last week.  And here’s how it went down…

New PR!  Nice job, Liz!  Her goals this summer include getting stronger/quicker/more explosive, as well as improving her ball handling and her ability to create space off the dribble.  Her hard work at both our strength training sessions and our skill work on the basketball court (as well as all the time she gets to the gym on her own working on her game) has her heading in the right direction!

My Thoughts On The Bench Press

I did a video on my thoughts on the bench press as it pertains to most dudes.

Squat rack? What's a squat rack?

Check it out HERE.  Now, get to squatting, deadlifting, and hip thrusting!

Alrighty then, until next time…


June 4, 2013 by danny · 2 Comments 

Sorry that it has been so long since my last blog post.  I’ve been spending a TON of time giving basketball lessons, training people, and changing poopy diapers.  I promise to be back on here again soon though!  As for today’s post…

Many people claim to be doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) as a part of their cardio program.  But in reality, few actually reach an intensity that I would TRULY consider HIGH intensity.  If you honestly go ALL OUT like you are sprinting away from a hungry bear, then after about 12-20 seconds you would need over a minute to recover (maybe considerably more than a minute).  If you do something like 20 seconds “on” followed by 20 seconds “off,” then you are not going as hard as possible during that 20 seconds… and/or not choosing an activity that makes you tired enough after 12-20 seconds (i.e. jumping jacks would be much easier than sprinting up a steep hill).

Quick Note: When I say “intensity” in this article, I’m talking about how fast you are going in regards to your max speed.  In other words, if you do 20 seconds on, and 20 seconds off, you may truly be going as fast as you can, but due to the fact that you’ll be under-recovered going into the next set, you won’t be able to maintain your max speed from set-to-set.

Now, I have no problem with interval training where you do something like 20 on/20 off or 30 on/60 off, but don’t confuse that with TRUE HIIT.  I’ll invent a new acronym right now (at least I’ve never heard it), M/HIIT… Medium/High Intensity Interval Training.  This is much higher intensity than steady state cardio (like jogging 5 miles or doing a 15 mile bike ride), but nowhere near MAX effort followed by a full (or near full) recovery.

Think about it this way, let’s say you were being timed in a 100 meter sprint three times, and here were the 2 scenarios…

#1) Sprint 100 meters, rest 30 seconds, sprint another 100 meters, rest 30 seconds, and finally sprint one more 100 meters vs…

#2) Sprint 100 meters, rest 120 seconds, sprint another 100 meters, rest 120 seconds, and finally sprint one more 100 meters.

Obviously your times would be much faster with the longer rest intervals.  This longer rest allows you to more fully recover, which allows you to run at an intensity closer to your max speed (like when running from that hungry bear).

Dr. Layne Norton and Dr. Jake Wilson talk about all the benefits of this truly HIIT in THIS PODCAST.

In short, HIIT (with the LOOOONG rest intervals) is a great way to hold onto muscle mass and strength/power gains while still getting your cardio in.

Just remember, you don’t rest a long(er) time just for the hell of it.  You do so because you need to in order to repeat that HIGH intensity for the next set.  Here’s an example of me doing plank-ups yesterday.  I did this for 20 seconds, and in actuality I slow down a little bit towards the end and probably should have only done sets of ~ 15 seconds if I wanted to prevent my intensity from dropping towards the end of the set.

So, my advice for the individual that is looking to maximize muscle mass/strength/power but doesn’t want to get “too out of shape,” perform true HIIT for the majority of your cardio sessions (and if this is your goal, you shouldn’t be performing much cardio in the first place… maybe once per week).

If you are a “general fitness enthusiast” just looking to “be in good shape” and lose a few pounds, go ahead and perform a mix of true HIIT AND “M/HIIT.”  And if you’re like me and can’t stand the long, slow stuff, never do it!  If you enjoy that, go ahead and mix a little of that in there as well.  You weirdo, you!  Just kiddin’… kind of.

The best activities for true HIIT include (but are not limited to)…

  • sprints
  • hill sprints
  • sled/prowler pushes or car pushes
  • battling ropes
  • plank-ups
  • hitting the heavy bag
  • heavy jump rope
  • bike sprints (up a hill or on a stationary bike with the resistance turned up pretty high)

Now of course, some of these may not be appropriate for you depending you strength level (and injury history, etc).

Just remember if you are performing HIIT you will NEED a good amount of rest between sets, otherwise it is NOT truly HIIT.  Both M/HIIT and HIIT can be incorporated into your plan if that fits your goals.  Just make sure that you know the difference.

Now go get lean for the summer! :)

And if you know someone that says, “I’m heading to the gym for a HIIT session,” make sure you forward this article to them so that they too know the difference.

Have you ever performed true HIIT training?  If so, you know that it ain’t for the faint of heart!

Video Of My Leg And Core Session From 04/28/13…

April 29, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

It has been awhile since my last blog post, but I’m back.  From time-to-time I like to share what I have going on for my own personal workouts, as well as video of what my clients are doing.  Today, I’ll go over what my leg and core workout looked like yesterday.

First, what I did, and then I’ll provide some videos below..

A1) Safety Bar Squats – 4 x 3

A2) Fillers – soft tissue work (foam rolling/theracane/lacrosse ball) and extra mobility work

B1) 1-Leg RDLs – 3 x 8/leg

B2) Walking Lunges – 2 x 10/leg

C1) Suspension Trainer Fallouts – 2 x 10; Floor Crunches – 1 x 10-12 (slow and controlled)

C2) Hip Thrusts – 1 x AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) with 150 pounds


First, let’s go over the safety bar squats.  I absolutely love this bar!  If is way more comfortable than performing traditional front squats and my clients are loving it too.  I’m just getting used to it as I’ve only had the bar for about a week now.

As you can see, my dog, Scooby, is very loyal but not a good spotter.  I need more focus out of him.  Too much eye-wandering!  What if I would have gotten stuck in the bottom!?!  Time to have a good talk with him about this!

Next, 1-Leg RDLs…

I didn’t get the rest of the session on tape.  But I wanted to mention, this was my 3rd time doing this workout, and here are my numbers on my hip thrusts… week 1 = 27 reps, week 2 = 28 reps, and then yesterday, 30 reps. And my ass is soooo sore today! Ouch!

Back to the safety squat bar, here is young girl that I’m working with (8th grader) using them for safety bar box squats.

Talk about some multi-tasking!  One person performing squats, another side-lying clam raises, and the 3rd getting ready to start her cardio “finisher” with the battling ropes.  Good times!

I hope your training is going well and you’re setting yourself up nicely going into “beach season!” :)

Do What It Takes To Get It Done

April 11, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

I received a new piece of equipment from the UPS guy yesterday… a trap bar (with the elevated handles, I already have one but that one doesn’t have the elevated handles).  It was delivered to my home and my wife’s car was in the shop so she had to take my car to work.  My next wave of training clients was approaching and I was in a tough spot.  The only way I could get the trap bar up to my gym was to carry it from my house to my gym.  Now, my gym is really close to my house, but not so much when you have to carry weights down the street… in the rain… with a cooler full of water bottles strapped around your neck.

But one of my evening clients had trap bar deadlifts in his new program, and I wasn’t going to let him down and not give him the program as I wrote it up.  So, I basically did a farmer’s walk in the pouring rain and got er done!  The looks I got from my neighbors, the cars driving by, and the business owners as I walked down the street carrying this in the rain were priceless!  I’m sure they thought, “what the heck is he doing walking in the rain, and what is that thing that he is carrying?!?  What a weirdo!”

I hadn’t even taken it out of the wrapping yet…

… which worked out well due to the fact that it was raining.

Now, I’m not saying what I did was superhuman by any means.  It just took a little strength along with some willpower.  But despite the elements, I got it done.

Moral of the story: sometimes you have to step up to get it done.

Been thinking about taking the leap and giving this whole weight lifting/working out thing a try?  Well, it’s time to get it done.

Been having a hard time getting up in the morning to train before work?  Go to bed a little earlier and get it done!

Been having a hard time finishing with your left hand (basketball – lay-ups, that is)?  Put your time in the gym and get it done!

Been meaning to get together with an old friend the last couple years but just haven’t found the time to make it happen?  Make it happen and get it done!

Sometimes we have to take a look in the mirror and say to ourselves: “No more excuses, time to (wo)man up and GET IT DONE!

Hear what I’m saying! :)

Training and Nutrition Content From Around The ‘Net…

April 3, 2013 by danny · Leave a Comment 

I hope everyone is having a great week!  I’m looking forward to the Final 4 this weekend and I’m pumped that the Cubs started the season off with a victory!

If you have a few moments, I have some great reading content for you.  First up…

Roundtable Interview: 3 people you should listen to, Part I

This is a great, common-sense article on nutrition.  And Brian St. Pierre is one of the “people you should listen to” in this article.  If you’ve been reading for sometime now, you know that I’m a huge fan of BSP.  His part alone is worth the price of admission.  Well, it’s free, so it’s a pretty good price either way. :) Anyway, give it a read.

The Doctors Talk Cardio

This is a podcast where Dr. Layne Norton and Dr. Jake Wilson talk all things cardio.  Very interesting!  Long story short – steady-state low(er) intensity cardio (like jogging) breaks down muscle tissue more than high intensity cardio (All OUT sprinting/bike sprints, etc).  And lower intensity cardio has an “interference effect” while high intensity cardio does not (interference effect in this case means that it is harder to add muscle while performing lower intensity cardio).  Plus, as we all know, it is MUCH more time-efficient!   Check out the podcast… a lot of great thoughts!

And here is a video of Paityn performing box squats at MVP Training the other day.  Box squats are awesome.  AND, they are great to use as a progression en route to back squats (with no box beneath your butt).

If you’re looking to improve your squat, or to simply start adding squats, check out this article that I wrote just over a year ago…

First Time Front Squatters and Squat Progressions

Make sure to pass these articles around to your friends on facebook/twitter/e-mail, etc, as they can definitely help out the majority of fitness enthusiasts out there.

See you soon…

Hopefully This Will Happen…

March 8, 2013 by danny · 4 Comments 

Hopefully this will happen…

The weather will warm up and melt the snow REAL SOON HERE!  I don’t want to see another snowflake until December (of 2021)!

Hopefully this will happen…

March Madness will be as exciting as ever with a bunch of buzzer beaters and upsets!  Out of all the tournaments/playoffs in any sport, I like nothing more than March Madness.  It’s simply the best!

Hopefully this will happen…

This off-season, basketball players will take my advice and put in more work on their skills, and spend less time playing games… less AAU games, less tournaments, less pick-up games; less showcases, less league games, etc etc.  Now, I’m not against any of those options, I’m just against the “more is better” mindset.  If you are to play 12 games in a week, and only get in a few minutes of skill work (working on your off-hand, your mid-range game, your jump shot, etc), then the balance is way out of whack. I’d LOVE to see a decrease in the amount of summer league games, and a huge increase in the amount of skill work for b-ballers!

Hopefully this will happen…

This summer people won’t be so scared of the sun.  The more is better mindset that I mentioned above is one problem.  But the “less is better” mindset can be equally as troubling!  Sun is good for us in the right doses.  Yeah, laying out at the beach from 10-4 every day is probably not the best idea.  But neither is putting on sunblock just to walk to the mailbox to pick up the newspaper.  Once again, find a balance.

Hopefully this will happen…

I’ll get to use our hot tub!  We’ve been in our new house for going on 5 months and I haven’t hopped in there once yet.  Time for me to find some relaxation time.  ’Nuf said.

Hopefully this will happen…

My first (green) beer on St. Paddy’s will taste as good as I’m envisioning.  I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since the Superbowl (February 3rd) and I’m looking forward to that first GULP next weekend.

Hopefully this will happen…

Everyone reading this will TRULY make a conscious effort to sit less.  It’s hard to make your body feel better and reduce those small aches and pains (that often turn into bigger problems down the line) when you’re on your ass the majority of the day.  FIND A WAY TO MOVE MORE!  Me included!

Alright, I’m glad I was able to get all of that off my chest.  I feel better now! :)

Have a great, safe, productive weekend…

How Sarah Lost 10 Pounds In 30 Days

February 27, 2013 by danny · 2 Comments 

My friend and client, Sarah Herschlag recently finished her “30 days of perfection.”  The end result has her down 10 pounds!  Before these 30 days, Sarah had done a “pretty good” job with her eating.  Enough to make modest changes … her clothes were starting to fit looser, you could see her face start to lean out, etc.  But as I tell people, if you want to make a REAL physique change, you need to go ALL OUT for about 30 days.  Then you can get back to “mostly good.”

So, at the start of the new year, I e-mailed all of my clients and told them the plan that will help get them these NOTICEABLE changes in their body.  Sarah had to start her 30 days sometime in mid-January as she had some things to take care of before she could really start to get after it.

And from day 1, she stayed with the plan to a T!  No alcohol.  No poor food choices.  And no missed training sessions.  Her 30 days just ended, and as she said, “it was SOOOO worth it!”

I won’t go into detail in regards to her training program.  But I do want to mention that she really gave 100% at every session!  Effort is always the X-Factor.

ALL OUT Effort!

Below is the EXACT e-mail that I sent to my clients heading into the new year.  As beach season approaches, maybe it’s something you want to consider?.?  Anyway, check it out below, I hope you get something out of it…

“Hola everyone.  Ok, here’s the deal…

Some of you in this e-mail have already said that you are committed to do this (I’ll explain below), and some of you are still considering this.  And for those of you hearing about this for the 1st time, this will give you something to consider going into the new year.  What am I talking about? …

Starting in the new year - 4 weeks of perfection! No cheat meals/days, no alcohol, no missed training sessions (AND 2-3 cardio sessions on your own each week).  THIS is NOT a lifestyle! i.e. “be good most of the time, but every once in awhile have a few beers, or some pizza, or some candy, or some pop, etc.  But most of the time be good.”

THAT is a pretty good plan throughout the majority of the year.  But every now and then you NEED to make a couple runs (~ 4 weeks) where you are machine! THIS is how you see measurable, NOTICEABLE results!

Think of what a physique competitor (bodybuilder, figure athlete) does when he/she prepares for the final weeks before stepping on stage.  Think about what a model does when preparing for a photo shoot.  Think about what an actor does when preparing for a movie that he/she will be shirtless in or in a bikini.  EVERY ounce of their focus for their training and nutrition plan goes towards fast fat loss!

Again, this is not a lifestyle approach.  It is a 4-week “sprint” to REALLY make some great changes.  THEN, you can get back to your moderation, “mostly good” lifestyle.

One more point: If you are 40 years old, you’ve lived about 2080 weeks on this Earth.  All I’m asking for is 4 weeks of complete discipline and focus.  This is a fraction of your life that WILL BE OVER BEFORE YOU KNOW IT!!!


Below you’ll see a sample day of eating.  You’ll notice that I put the “fast fat loss” plan in red.  So, think about eating the foods in red the majority of the time.  And then if you OCCASIONALLY start to feel really sluggish/low energy, you can throw in a meal with carbs in there (maybe like once every 5-7 days).

Check out the sample plan with the food list below and let me know if you have any questions.


  • Old-fashioned oatmeal with blueberries, scrambled egg OR
  • Spinach omelet made with omega-3 enriched whole eggs


  • Turkey burger on whole-grain bread, salad OR
  • Grilled chicken breasts, steamed vegetables


  • Salmon with grilled zucchini and squash OR
  • Steak with plain sweet potato and salad OR
  • Grilled chicken breasts (2) over large spinach salad, olive oil-based dressing
  • (either dinner example in red will work)

Food list…

Protein: lean steak, grilled chicken breasts, turkey breast, baked or grilled fish, protein powder, etc.
Veggies: large pile of mostly green veggies, steamed broccoli, spinach, zucchini, squash, etc.
Starch: small amount of dry sweet potato, whole-wheat pasta, or rice (these foods should not be consumed at all, or like I said, *maybe* once every 5-7 days)
Salad: large salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing — no cream dressings!
Dessert: small amount of fruit

Danny’s notes:
-The point about the salad dressing is HUGE… IF you are eating salad with “regular” dressing, then you are moving further away from your goals.  Salad with dressing other than olive oil and vinegar dressing is NOT healthy (with a few exceptions)!
-If you include fruit on this plan, only eat 1 serving per day and try to make your fruit of choice berries more often than not.  Focus on veggies over fruit for this 4-week run.
-Continue taking fish oil on this plan and try to include green tea daily.”

End e-mail.

So, props to Sarah for sticking with it for the entire month!  It paid off!  Now, there is more than one way to skin a cat, but the above plan works great for a quick fat loss burst.  For anyone that I know that has TRULY stuck with it for the entire 30 days, they always see great results.

If you decide to give it a try, or are about to “hit it hard” with your fitness/nutrition plan, let me know… what is your plan?