My New Fat Loss Program Is Ready For Takeoff…

October 15, 2014 by danny · Leave a Comment 

Hey, all.  I’ll make this brief as most of the explanation can be found in the video below.  But quickly, I just published my first program for  The first one is geared towards fat loss, but I will be adding new programs with different goals… programs geared towards adding strength and explosivenss (i.e. improving your vertical jump), for basketball players, another fat loss program that will compliment and progress from the one that I currently have up, etc.

Anyway, I’m pumped to be writing programs for them as I think this will help a ton of people.  Many people don’t know where to start.  While others have hit a wall and don’t know where to go to take their training to the next level.  I think this will help get them going in the right direction.

If interested, simply click on the link below.

Fat Loss Program, Block I

And again, check out the video below as I elaborate and on some of the benefits and what this whole thing entails.

Let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to helping you reach your health, physique, and performance goals!

Exercise of the Week: Gironda Curls

November 20, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

It has been awhile since I’ve done an “Exercise of the Week” blogpost.  Maybe I should change the name of this series to “Exercise of the Quarter,” since I’ve been doing this about once every 3 months.  Anywho…

Today’s exercise is called “Gironda Curls.”  Also known as the Gironda Perfect Curl.  You can perform these using either a barbell or dumbbells.  They’re named after legendary bodybuilding coach, Vince Gironda.  I throw these bad boys into my training once or twice a year.  When working any body part, variety is a good thing.  But variety without effectiveness is a waste of time.  When changing around exercises, make sure the exercise selection is done for the right reasons… variety AND effective exercise selection = smart and fun training. That’s a good recipe for success.

Vince Gironda

The Gironda Curl

Here’s a video of me performing Gironda Curls during a recent training session…

You can read the notes going across the bottom of the screen to get a few tips on how to keep the exercise safe and effective.

What I like about Gironda Curls

-Like I mentioned above, they provide good variety.

-It is a unique exercise because you are changing angles throughout the course of the set.  In the bottom portion your biceps are in a stretched position… kind of like an include curl.  In the top position your are leaning forward and this helps you get a good squeeze… kinda like a preacher curl.

-You don’t need a lot of weight to make this exercise difficult.  Sometimes it’s good to get in some quality exercises without ALWAYS loading up the bar and over-stressing your joints.

When you are working a muscle, quite often more weights = more effectiveness.  But like bodybuilders discovered years and years ago, sometimes it’s just as effective to lighten the load and get a good pump.

As I’ve mentioned previously, if you’re a newbie, don’t worry about this kind of stuff.  Just get stronger at the basic lifts (squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, push-ups, etc).

Ah, go find the squat rack. Oh, and a LARGE cheeseburger... you need it!

After you’ve put in a couple years adding weight to the bar, THEN you have “earned the right” to perform some of these more unique exercises that require you to lighten the load.

If you have any favorite “unique exercises,” what are they?

Until next time…

Quick Tips: Training and Nutrition – Episode II

October 15, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

If you missed Episode I of this series, be sure to go back and check it out.  You can find it HERE.

My buds Marci Nevin Curtis and Michelle Adams both made great contributions to the previous Quick Tips post.  Today it will be just Michelle and I.  Marci just got married, so she gets the week off.

Marci showing off the guns!

My boy Jason, looking smooth!

I will admit, I was a little hurt that she put her wedding day over my blog.  But whatever.

Tips from Michelle…

#1) Remove all tempting foods from the house. Or hide them! Peanut butter is a major trigger food for me. But, I like to have it for when I need to give my dog her supplements. I put it in the back of the fridge so that I don’t see it every time I go in there. It really helps.

#2) Deal with your emotions another way other than eating. Anger, loneliness, boredom, etc., all make people want to eat. One of my clients was reading 50 Shades of Grey and she stopped binging! Seriously! Find what works for you.

#3) Always have food pre-cooked. I regularly have chicken and ground turkey cooked and ready to go. I am hooked on Rosie’s organic free range chicken at Costco.

#4) Get clear on what your goal is. Then, attach a strong reason for wanting to reach that goal. So many people say they want to lose fat but ultimately they are really happier staying where they are. It’s got to be something that gets you outside of your comfort zone. Raise the bar! I said Yes to doing a fashion show benefit. The idea of walking down a runway in front of people is scary. I want to look good! But on a day to day basis, my mentality is I expect myself to be a role model for my clients. Change your mindset and your expectation of who you are and your behavior will change. Remind yourself daily of the expectation of the new you. Write it down!

Tips from Danny …

#1) Set up for success! This means something different for everyone.  Maybe this means you set your breakfast food out on the kitchen table the night before so when you wake up, it is sitting there calling your name.  Don’t do this, and it may mean that you throw a quick and convenient (but so not so healthy) food in the toaster – like a pop tart.

This is what’s often waiting for me on the kitchen table…




-Protein Powder


And then I grab some blueberries and natural peanut butter (or almond butter) out of the fridge while the oats are cooking.  And I’m good to go.  The day has begun on a good note!

#2) Find ways to succeed. A little slip up here.  A little mess up there.  It all adds up!  For example, have you ever done a great job of packing leftovers in the fridge that you planned on grabbing before heading off to work… only to walk out the door, hop in the car and not realize that they are still sitting back in your fridge ’til you get 1/2 way to work?  Well, I have – and PISSES ME OFF!  So, to make sure I avoid this, quite often I’ll put my keys on top of my fridge so I can’t help but remember to ALSO grab my food before I walk out the door.

It works for me!  This may seem dumb to you (but it’s not, so if you think it’s dumb, you’re wrong! ;) ), but we all have little flaky things that we do in life.  So, if you find some of these little things are holding you back from reaching your goals, adjust accordingly.

Alright, that’s all I have for today.  Thanks for the great tips again, Michelle!  And Marci, I’ll let it slide this time, but don’t let it happen again. ;)  Just playin’!  You looked lovely at the wedding!  The weights, cardio, and clean eating definitely paid off!

October Training Videos Inside – A Look at My Clients and I Getting After It!

October 9, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

Hola friends.  Today I’m going to share some videos of my clients and I working hard to build stronger, healthier, and more bad ass bodies.  So, let’s get to it…

This first video is me getting my cardio in.  If you’ve read much of my work, you’ll recall that “traditional cardio” (i.e. jogging on the treadmill) is mind-numbing to me.  So I prefer to get my fat loss on in non-traditional ways.  Plus, as I often mention, I try to keep my cardio low(er) impact whenever possible.  Sure, if you are currently competing in sports like cross country, basketball, and football, high impact is a part of the sport – nothing you can do about it.  BUT, if you no longer compete, try to choose exercises that are more joint-friendly.  Burn some fat WHILE being nice to your joints… sounds like a win-win to me!

Here, Bryan performs cheated barbell curls to make his gunz look even more gunny!  And yes, there IS a time and place to use a little body english on some exercises.  As long as it is planned and not the norm.  And YES, there is a time and place to perform curls in the squat rack… like when you train at a semi-private training facility when there is no one “in line” waiting to squat.

And here is Bryan’s wife Mandy, performing Rack RDLs with chains.  Work those hams and glutes, Mandy!

Joie working her glutes with some hip thrusts…

Amy performing feet elevated push-ups with FULL range of motion…

Me, torturing myself with high rep trap bar deadlifts to finish off my leg session.  Torture… nah, more like fun.  Yeah, I feel like I’m about to die on those last couple reps, but it builds character. :)

Savanna performing ass-to-grass goblet squats.  And Chris in the background learning how to goblet squat to the box.  Chris has since “graduated” to barbell box squats.  She performed them last night for the first and her form was flawless!

Capri and Daxton learning two very important words… “hi Daddy.”

How does this one relate to training?  Well, it makes me laugh.  And laughter is good for our health.  It reduces stress and helps us build a better, healthier body.  So, remember to laugh/smile as much as possible on a daily basis! :)

I think it’s always cool to see what goes on in the walls of different gyms.  So, there is your little sneak peak of what’s-a-happenin’ in the walls of my gym.

I’ll try to make this a monthly thing where I include videos of my clients and I killing it!

See you soon…

The Week That Was: July 1st-7th…

July 9, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

I thought I’d take this time to go over some of the highlights of the past week in my life.  So, let’s get right to it…

I) For the 4th of July we had some friends invite us over to their lake for some fun.  I needed to be near water as this heat wave has been brutal!  Here are some pictures…

Capri Foam Rolling her adductors on the beach. ;)

Daxton and I in the water.

Capri "swimming."

Great time had by all!  The water was perfect, and the brats, brownies, and EVERYTHING tasted great.  I DID make sure to get in plenty of fruit and some veggies, however.  ”Damage control,” I guess you could call it.  Which leads to my next point…

II) I continued performing my training program which is geared towards “fat loss,” “get lean,” “get ripped,” or whatever you want to call it.  I’ve been working my ass off and it hasn’t been easy (the training program hasn’t been easy, that is).  That’s where the damage control comment came from up above as it wouldn’t make sense to go kill it in the weight room only to go out and eat like crap.  I’m still going to detail what my “fat loss” program has looked like over the last couple of weeks, so stay tuned (should have it up next week sometime).

III) I went to watch a bunch of my basketball clients play in a tournament yesterday.  It’s always fun to see them play 5-on-5 against live competition.  I usually only see them working on their skills with no one else around (as in a 1-on-1 session), or with a couple of partners (as in 2-on-1 or a 3-on-1 session).  Therefore, it’s hard to evaluate if some of the moves that we work on are “game-ready” yet.

Overall I was happy with the progress that they have been making.  Still a lot of work to do, but they’re heading in the right direction!

One of the players (Jake Ryan – 7th-grader) that I’ve been working with played especially well.  He had 23 points and they came in a variety of ways… pull-up jumpers; getting all the way to basketball; 9-10 at the FT line; and he had a couple 3’s.  More important to me, is the fact that he is taking what he learns in our lessons and “transferring” it over to the game.  For example, his head was always up and he did a great job of finding the open man; he changed speed (i.e. hesitation dribble); he “smoothly” changed directions (i.e. crossover dribble/between the legs dribble); AND, I was very happy to see that he combined both the change of direction and change of speed together at the same time (i.e. in the open court he hesitated, and went right in to the crossover). Great job Jake, your hard work is showing!

For a little more advanced version of what I’m talking about, check out how many of these change of direction moves are combined with a change of speed…

Nasty!  BTW, the Deron Williams play is my favorite in the video (#2).  He’s underrated for his ability to make defenders look like fools!

That’ll wrap things up for now.  I hope you all had a great 4th of July week, and that you continue to work hard through the rest of the summer!

Embrace the Process: By Christian Thibaudeau

May 23, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

I wanted to share this for you all to see, because I think it is brilliant.  Christian Thibaudeau wrote up this piece over at Below is a copy and paste of Christian’s article…

“Embrace the Process

There are two kinds of people in the gym:

1. Those who are training to get results.

2. Those who are training because they love it.

Who builds the best body in the long run? Those who train because they love it!

I'm sure this guy fell in love with "the fitness game."

Don’t get me wrong, those who train merely to get results will sometimes get short-term results, usually the inevitable “newbie gains.” But they never achieve true, long term success.

Why? Because once you’re past your beginner gains, progressing in physique and strength is hard. If you’re only in it only for the results, they’ll never come fast enough. So when you’re passed that beginner stage and you have to work much harder for your gains, you simply won’t make it far if you don’t love the process.

I’ll be honest with you. If somebody gave me a pill that would stop my strength and body comp progress forever, I’d still train hard and train often because there’s nothing I’d rather do.

When it comes to long-term results, understand that:

1. Progression is never linear. I’ve had guys gain 5-6 pounds of muscle in 10 days then stabilize for six weeks. I’ve had others lose 4 pounds of fat per week for four weeks then only lose a pound per week for two months. I’ve had people increase their strength by 10% over a two-week period then struggle to gain 5 pounds more within the next six weeks. That’s how the body works!

But when that happens, people freak out. They expect the quick gains to last forever. But the truth is that you cannot maintain that rate of gain all the time. On top of that, you never know when that will happen! The only thing you can control is to keep training hard.

2. Because of the non-linear aspect of progression, people who are in it only for the results open themselves up to “solutions” that are actually counterproductive:

A) They change their program too often, thinking that it’s the program that doesn’t work. Changing your program too often only gives you an illusion of progression because of quick neural adaptations; it doesn’t give you more actual muscle gain. And it could very well limit the amount of growth you’re getting in the long run.

B) They get discouraged and turn to anabolic steroids. When I see dozens of teens without much muscle turning to drugs (and often using higher doses than some pro-bodybuilders), it makes me sick. Not so much because of the steroids themselves, but because of the underlying attitude than lead to their usage.

These guys never learn to train and eat properly. They don’t know how to make gains themselves, so they become slaves to anabolic steroids.

C) They stop training altogether because they feel it’s not worth the effort.

The real secret to getting long term progress is:

Fall in love with the process.

Let training become one of your passions. That way you’ll approach every session like it’s a privilege to be there; you’ll be excited and motivated to train hard and, as such, you’ll get more results. It will also bulletproof you to any stagnation period that might come your way. You’ll be able to blast through that and resume your gains afterwards.

If you’re in it only for the results, you won’t get them!”

And back to Danny…

Very well said Christian!  No matter what it is in life, if you don’t enjoy it, you’re not going to stick with it.

There are many ways to make training more enjoyable.  Such as…

-Getting a training partner that you can trust (i.e. Someone that always shows up. Someone that is always there to pick you up).

-Hire a trainer to help hold you accountable and to design a program that fits your needs.

-Find a way to make it more exciting. I think everyone should incorporate weight training into their fitness routine.  But if being “cooped-up” inside a gym all summer DOES NOT EXCITE YOU ONE BIT, get outside for part of your training.

Hell, you could get some TRX Straps and take them to the park (seriously) on a nice sunny day.

The main point is that it’s not JUST about results.  Yes, I’d be pretty frustrated if my personal workouts led to a flabbier me, and I’m sure you would too.  So, results DO matter.  But remember, it’s not JUST about the results.  EMBRACE THE PROCESS.

My Newest Toy – Chains!

May 15, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

When I was a kid I couldn’t sleep the night before Christmas.  The thought of Santa and Rudolph up on my roof, about to deliver a bunch of presents, are you kidding me!?!  Nothing could be more exciting to a 15 year old 5 year old!

Today, the UPS truck has replaced Santa.  Whenever I order a new piece of equipment for my home gym, I’m like a little kid – looking out my window waiting for the UPS truck to deliver my new equipment.  The newest arrival? Chains…

In the video above, I’m using them to perform a drop set.  But the “main” use of these bad boys is “accommodating resistance.” As I talked about in this blogpost, bands and chains help match the strength curve.  They increase the intensity of an exercise by allowing for maximum loading at every point of the range of motion.

Picture doing a bench press.  Usually when you lift the bar off your chest, it can be very difficult.  But when you get near lockout, the weight actually feels lighter/easier.  By adding chains, the top portion of the lift can be just as difficult as the bottom portion of the lift.  Here’s an example video…

Notice that when he brings the bar down to his chest, most of the chains are on the ground.  Therefore they basically add no weight.  But as he approaches lock out (the top of the lift), the majority of the chains are now off the ground, therefore making the top of the lift heavier than the bottom portion of the lift.  Voila – the strength curve has been matched.

Chains added to the deadlift.

So, I’m excited to play around with these and incorporate them into my own training, and the training of my clients.

But, the take-home message is (or should be): Never stop being a kid.  Find something that excites you in life!  Even if it’s as simple as the UPS truck.

Working Around An Injury

May 1, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

If you missed my post from the other day (Saying Goodbye To My First True Love), you know that I tore a muscle in my calf.  Yeah, it sucks.  But I’m not going to hang my head and sit around on my butt.  There is still PLENTY of work that can be done in the weight room.  Here is my leg training session from yesterday…

Despite being limited in exercise selection, I still was able to get a few things in … 1-Leg Hip Thrust for my glutes; Ski Squats for my quads; 1-Leg RDLs for my left leg – I tried 2-Leg Swiss Ball leg curls and 1-Leg RDLs for my right leg (the side that I tore my calf), but those both bothered it so I decided it was smart to be patient and not force it.  And then I finished up with the battling rope for my cardio.

Nothing special, and not exactly my usual exercise selection, but there is no way that I’ll allow myself a major set-back from this injury.


Finding A Way

There is always a way to get something in.  I really believe those that are happiest with their physiques are the ones that avoid big set-backs.  I’m nowhere near perfect, but I’ve NEVER had a bad month of training.  Maybe a few days, but I’m always sure to get right back on track.  Does one of these scenarios sound like you…

-You’ve been working out consistently for a number of months and you’re feeling and looking good.  Then you take a vacation, do no working out, but swear to yourself that you’ll get back on track once you get back home.  But before you know it, 2 months have gone by and you STILL haven’t touched a weight or gotten a cardio session in.

–You’ve been working out consistently for a number of months and you’re feeling and looking good.  Then you get sick and miss a week of training.  You’re excited to get back to training once you feel better.  But when the time comes around you just can’t quite find the motivation to start back up.  A year has passed, you still haven’t gotten back into it, and you feel like a piece of poop.

-You suffer an injury and promise yourself that once you’re healthy you are going to come back better than ever.  But you missed a bunch of workout sessions while injured, and this has now turned into a habit.  You never get back on track!

Remember, it’s not how you respond when things are going well, it’s how you respond to adversity that counts.

In the case of getting injured, there really is a ton that can still be done.  Getting hurt has taken me on a bit of a detour.  I completed four weeks of my chest specialization training block and was about to start up weeks 5-8 (that would take me to late May, then the plan is going to be getting “beach ready” … you know, get as lean as possible for the summer).  But I’m adjusting on the fly.  I now plan on doing weeks 5-8 of my chest program next week.  And will have to continue to tinker with my leg workouts as the injury heals.

We can always find a way!  Even in tough times, make sure to get at least a little somin’ somin’ in, in order to avoid BIG set-backs.  I mean even something like 3-4 sets of push-ups + 3-4 sets of a lunge variation 2-3 times per week (come on, that’ll take you ~15 minutes to complete!).  THEN, when life settles down, you won’t be starting from such a big deficit.

Get er done!

Saying Goodbye To My First True Love

April 30, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

No, I’m not talking about the first girl that I fell in love with.  I’m talking about basketball.  I think it’s time to say goodbye…

This past Thursday night I headed up to Hononegah High School for open gym.  I hadn’t played full court b-ball since the tourney I was in about a month ago – I gave the tourney highlights, HERE.  The first game of open gym was all good.  We won and I wasn’t rusty at all. I probably went 4-5 from the floor.  And in the second game, I started the game off pulling up from the top of the key and hitting a 3.  I thought to myself, man I feel good, pretty damn tired, but good!  One of my teammates even said to me; “Geez, do you ever miss!?!”

We then had a couple more trips up and down the court.  When we headed back down to our offensive end, I came off a screen, pushed off with my right foot, and then it happened!!! I felt a POP in my right calf.  It felt like someone shot me!

The aftermath...

I hobbled over to the sideline in excruciating pain.  I knew something was wrong and I couldn’t walk so I called up my dad to pick me up (he only lives a 1/2 mile from the school) and take me over to immediate care to get it checked out.  It turns out I tore a muscle in my calf.  Damn!

What’s Next?

Ever since I was 8-9 years old, I basically lived with a basketball in my hand… always dribbling around the neighborhood, on the bike path, while walking over to a friend’s house, etc etc.  But I think it’s time to say goodbye to my first true love.  Not goodbye, as in I’ll never shoot or dribble a ball again.  I mean goodbye as in, I’m done playing in tournaments, pick-up games, open gyms, etc.  I depend on my body to make a living.  If I’m hurt, I can’t effectively demonstrate dribbling moves when giving basketball lessons, and I can’t effectively train people if I can’t demonstrate how to perform a certain lift.

I have given a few basketball lessons and trained a number of people in the weight room since last Thursday’s incident.  And let me tell you, it’s not the same!  Now, I don’t think that if I continued to play that every time I stepped onto the court I’d walk away with injury.  But the risk:reward just isn’t there anymore.  If I’m hurt, I can’t do my job optimally.  Because I play full court hoops so infrequently nowadays, I’m always VERY SORE the next day or two… which is no fun.  In order to get rid of this soreness, I’d have to play a few times a week until I got accustomed to it.  And that would just kill my body/joints.

So, on one hand I’m sad that I’m saying bye to playing competitively.  But on the other hand, I’m ok with it.  I mean, I’ve played more basketball in my  life than most people would play in four lifetimes.

Making a Comeback?

Who knows, maybe I’ll miss it so much that I’ll make a Michael Jordan type of comeback.  ”Retire” again.  Then make another comeback.  But I doubt it.  I think for now on, all of my cardio is going to be the low-impact kind.  Just like I preach to my clients that are 35 years old or older.  I can still do battling ropes, use the prowler, do some barbell complexes, etc. etc.

If I do make a comeback, you’ll have to come back to this blog to find out.  Because I’m pretty sure ESPN won’t be covering it. ;)  Although I wonder if I can get ESPN 8 The “Ocho” to air it?!? :)

Do you know what movie this is from?

Ok, I guess this it, the time to say goodbye has arrived… Goodbye basketball.  Thanks for all that you’ve given me.  You’ve changed my life.  Thank you and I love you.

True Love

Have any of you made the tough decision to “retire” from a physical activity you love that was beating up your body?  If so, how tough was it and did you stay with it?  Please, let me know…

Stay Athletic and Bench Press with Proper Form…

March 21, 2012 by danny · Leave a Comment 

In doing my usually weekly reading of all things fitness related, I came across a couple posts that I think the majority of people can benefit from…

5 Ways to Maintain or Improve Your Athleticism By Jason Ferruggia

Yes, the aging process makes it so we are not as athletic (not as fast, powerful, and explosive) as we once were.  But another big reason that we lose SOOOO much of our athletic ability as we age, is because we no longer perform athletic movements.  So, don’t blame everything on your age.  Sitting on your butt and/or not working out like an athlete is just as big of a culprit for not being able to touch the net rim anymore.  In THIS article Jason goes over 5 ways to maintain or improve your athleticism.

Bench Press Technique: Should You Keep Your Feet Up? By Eric Cressey

Every guy in the world lives to bench.  And I don’t see this changing anytime soon.  I have nothing against the bench press, but I DO have a problem with HOW MUCH emphasis the typical dude puts on this exercise.  BUT, if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.  EC asks the question; “Should You Keep Your Feet Up?”  Short answer is, NO!  To get the reasons why, check out THIS post.

Elbows Flared + Feet Up = How NOT to Bench Press

And if you are feeling lazy and don’t feel like doing any further reading, check out the video below of me benching along with some cues to ensure you are using proper bench press technique.

If any of your buddies are “Mr. Bench Press,” (you know, the guy that benches 3 times a week, 52 weeks out of the year), be sure to share this post with him.  It’ll help save his shoulders in the long run.

That’s it for now.  Until next time…