Featured Fitness Content: Volume 46

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View the last edition of ‘Featured Fitness Content’ here.

Personal Training, Coaching, and Strength & Conditioning

138 | Dane Miller | Country Boys Can Survive Hosted by Zach Even Esh

Everything You Need To Know To Write Incredible Programs By Nancy Newell

Assess And Correct Leg Dominance  By Jennifer Pilotti via Breaking Muscle

Should Your Personal Trainer Be Licensed? By Jeremy Lau via Halevy Life


Weight Loss, Nutrition, and General Health

Himalayan Salt Lamps: Benefits and Myths By Helen West via Healthline

If it Fits With Your Micros: The Overlooked Key to Sports Performance By Zach Long

Restore Your Breathing and Improve Your Conditioning – Part 2 By Jim Smith


Strength Training, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding

5 Advanced Squat Variations You Haven’t Tried By Meghan Callaway via Girls Gone Strong

Will Cardio Give Your Weight Training An Advantage?  By Dean Somerset

The Best Exercises You’re Not Doing for Shoulders – Cross Cable Flyes with “Y” Press  By Jim Smith


Motivation, Business, and Success

Freedom, fairness and equality By Seth Godin

The Salt Shaker Theory: 3 Principles of Effective Management By Mark Fisher via Business for Unicorns

 How to Set Boundaries with Clients By Michael Keeler via Business for Unicorns


Physical Therapy, Alignment, and Injury Prevention

How to Fix Rounded Shoulders  By Annette Verpillot via Strength Sensei

The Science Behind Cryotherapy, Ice Baths, Fat-Loss and Recovery  By Kevin Masson via John Rusin



The No Barbell Experiment On Squat And Deadlift And Hip Thrust Strength: The Results  By Bret Contreras


Ruthless Performance Coaches’ Content

Lecture Takeaways: Ruthless Performance Methods & Practices for Peak Athletic Function By John Matulevich


Lecture Takeaways: Ruthless Performance Methods & Practices for Peak Athletic Function

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Its easy to imagine how a lecture scheduled for 30 minutes, on a topic as encompassing as optimizing performance, could end up being an hour and 6-minute open-ended discussion. This is precisely what happened this past week at Bloomsburg University during our guest presentation on how Ruthless Performance trains individuals to achieve high performance.

The content of this lecture ranged from specific exercises to an exploration of the Central Nervous System; similarly, questions ranged from the efficacy of BCAA’s to proper running gait—all of which led to an extremely informative and productive talk, filled with content and subsequent questions.

Below is a summary of some of the most important takeaways from this lecture. Remember, human performance is a broad topic, but the information below meets some objective criteria for significance within the theories and practices we endorse at Ruthless Performance.


First, a Definition of Terms

Because there is not one set definition of ‘high performance’ across sports and fitness endeavors, let’s assume the definition is as follows: high performance is the ability to perform within the top 10% of your own ability within any fitness doctrine.

For a 5K runner, this means being able to run a 5K within a margin of 10% of your best time at your current state of training. Similarly, for a weightlifter, this means being able to Clean & Jerk or Snatch within 10% of your current capacity for a 1RM. This is not to dismiss linear periodization (though Ruthless Performance typically does shy away from this style) nor is this a sleight on tapering for a significant bout or competition.

During a high-mileage segment of a marathon runner’s training regimen, she may be outside of this 10% margin from a previous race or time. The 10% margin of performance as defined here is referring to a precise training state. In the case of the marathon runner, her ability to complete a half-marathon trial within 10% of her previous season’s high-mileage training cycle is what we are referring to. The closer the training variables are, the more applicable this rule becomes.


The Motivational Training Montage is Just the Icing on the Cake

The significance of training to perform is predicated on fundamental health and wellness practices. A 6-hour a day training program would get world-class athletes no where were it not for a broad base of fundamental behaviors.Basics of Health & Function

These behaviors are known universally at some intuitive level, but not always acted upon. What could be viewed as boring and frivolous can make the difference between 6 more weeks of training and 6 weeks of sitting out with the flu while your competition trains because you didn’t get a flu vaccination from your primary care provider.

A similar situation could be ignoring the necessity for injury care work and corrective exercise during the early onset stages of shoulder pain or movement dysfunction as presented in a movement screen. The examples here are limitless, suffice it to say that all of the traditional variables of wellness like sleep quality, nutrition, lifestyle stress, and on, are all predecessors to your ability to train and compete within our newly defined parameters of ‘high performance’.


More to Come…

This just grazes the surface of the lecture but provides valuable insights into some fundamentals of high performance. First, high performance must be defined; when a term is open-ended, its implications are only speculative and unattainable. Second, high performance is the sum of the boring but necessary components of life that makes an athlete healthy enough to train and compete within their specific doctrine.

As we continue to review the Ruthless Performance Methods & Practices for Peak Athletic Function lecture, we’ll cover nutrition for high performance, ‘anti-specificity training’, universally essential exercises, and the role of the central nervous system in high performance.

Have a question on this topic or want to train with Ruthless Performance? Contact us via email at,, and be sure to follow us on social media at @RuthlessPerform on Twitter and Instagram.

Featured Fitness Content: Volume 45

Posted on Updated on

View the last edition of ‘Featured Fitness Content’ here.

Personal Training, Coaching, and Strength & Conditioning

GGS Spotlight: Kim Lloyd via Girls Gone Strong

Often Overlooked Elements to Success in Personal Training By Dean Somerset

What Assessments Work Best?  By Dean Somerset via Mike Robertson


Weight Loss, Nutrition, and General Health

If Your Gym Membership Costs More Than Your Mortgage, You Don’t Care About Your Health, and Neither Do They By Lee Boyce

Top 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Coconut Oil via Healthline

Glutamine: Benefits, Uses and Side Effects  By Grant Tinsley via Healthline

Aging Is B.S. – The Myth Of Missed Opportunities By Amanda Allen via Breaking Muscle


Strength Training, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding

WHY You MUST Be Able To Figure Things Out On Your OWN By Zach Even Esh

Mass That Works – Build Some Functional Hypertrophy By Charles Poliquin

Push Press Technique – Insights Into Athletic Ability By Zach Long


Motivation, Business, and Success

The four elements of entrepreneurship By Seth Godin


Physical Therapy, Alignment, and Injury Prevention

Movement Variability versus Joint Centration By Charlie Weingroff

3 Things Causing Your Swimming Shoulder Pain By Erin Cameron via COR

How to Stop “Text Neck” from Killing You By Bo Babenko via Halevy Life


Ruthless Performance Coaches’ Content

Flexion vs. Extension Intolerant Back Pain By John Matulevich


Flexion vs. Extension Intolerant Back Pain

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Of the individuals that participate in either the Ruthless Performance Ex Phys Interventions or our Posture Restoration & Injury Prevention Training, there is no across-the-board origin of pain or movement dysfunction at the hip or low back; in fact, client training histories run the gamut in activity level, training history, limb length, and so on.

So what is the common denominator among individuals with low back pain?

In short, there isn’t one singular origin, but rather there are two.

The more frequent of which is extension intolerance. This is common among what we in the Strength & Conditioning world refer to as ‘desk jockeys’, or any individual who is regularly in a resting position of spinal flexion. This includes desk workers, individuals with extended work commutes, TV watchers, and so on… Given our societal predisposition to these patterns, it should be relatively straightforward as to why this is so common.

In opposition to this is flexion intolerance. This is common among highly active individuals such as weightlifters, american football players, backpackers, manual laborers, and so on.

Assessing which category you fall in can usually be done simply with the above information, however there are some easy to perform physical tests as well. A hip extension machine is a great tool for diagnosing the more common extension intolerant back pain. Simply perform a standard hip extension, from here take notice to your range of motion and comfort levels. To assess flexion-intolerant back pain, perform several repetitions of the traditional sit-up or crunch. From here, reevaluate pain, comfort, and ROM.  If a hip extension machine is unavailable, any exercise in which spinal extension occurs (or spinal flexion for the flexion intolerant assessment) can be used.

These tests in congruity can determine a great deal about the cause and symptoms of any dysfunctions or abnormalities in the spine. Oddly enough the solution for both of these issues starts with the same series of correctives…

To gain more mobility in the requisite spinal segments (for extension and flexion), start with rotational spinal mobility to help ensure that as these capacities develop, the movement is coming from the correct areas of the spine (primarily thoracic rather than lumbar). Some exercises and drills which may assist here are quadruped t-spines, cross-over stretch, russian med ball twists, and so on.

From here you can progress into more specific drills to focus on your specific type of intolerance (i.e. focusing more on adding range to spinal extension drills or vice versa).

Spinal health can be simplified into a system of mathematical averages; to regain extension, flexion, or even to maintain a more neutral spine, adequate steps need to be taken to pull the posture in that direction.

For more information on our Posture Restoration & Injury Prevention Training or the Ruthless Performance Ex Phys Interventions, send us a message at


Featured Fitness Content: Volume 42

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View the last edition of ‘Featured Fitness Content’ here.

Personal Training, Coaching, and Strength & Conditioning

What is DOMS and How Do You Deal With It? via COR

Beyond Mastery: Kettlebell Flow Workout  By Karen Smith via Girls Gone Strong

Restore Your Breathing and Improve Your Conditioning via Diesel Strength

Coaching art & science  By Vern Gambetta via HMMR Media


Weight Loss, Nutrition, and General Health

Could you be developing an autoimmune disease? By Buddy Touchinsky

The Hidden, Unspoken Dangers About Oral Contraceptives By Justin Janoska via Metabolic Effect

Does “low carb” have an official definition? By Kamal Patel via Examine


Strength Training, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding

The Deadlift: 3 Reasons By Mark Rippetoe via Starting Strength

Tip: Movement Prep for Olympic Lifting By Wil Fleming via T-Nation

Tip: How to Bring Up a Weak Body Part By John Meadows T-Nation


Motivation, Business, and Success

Why The Easy Life Breeds Weakness In AND Out of The Gym By Zach Even Esh

6 Things Entrepreneurship Can Teach You About Fitness  By Mark Fisher via Mark Fisher Fitness

Discounts vs. Packages in Your Cash Practice By Aaron LeBauer via The OMPT

Seeing and believing By Seth Godin

3 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service, Starting Today  By Michael Keeler


Physical Therapy, Alignment, and Injury Prevention

Life Lessons I Learned from My Physical Therapist  By Stella Kaufman via Mark Fisher Fitness



Can supplemental vitamin D improve sleep? By Kamal Patel via Examine

Do high-carbohydrate diets increase the risk of death?  By Kamal Patel via Examine

What I Learned About Injury Rates from Surveying 1,900 Powerlifters By Andrew Patton via Stronger by Science


Ruthless Performance Coaches’ Content

Why Ruthless Performance Doesn’t Emphasize Energy System Training for Our Swimmers By John Matulevich via Ruthless Performance

Featured Fitness Content: Volume 40

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View last week’s edition of ‘Featured Fitness Content’ here.

Personal Training, Coaching, and Strength & Conditioning

Trouble Shooting Your Program: 5 Powerful Principles for Better Adaptation By Jeff Moyer via Just Fly Sports

Perceived Value and the Fitness Industry By Dean Somerset

You’re Supporting the Get Rich Quick Schemes of 21 Year Olds, and It’s Ruining Fitness By Lee Boyce

Online Coaching: Past, Present and Future By Mike Robertson


Weight Loss, Nutrition, and General Health

The Truth About Coconut Oil and Your Heart By Sean Hyson via Onnit Academy

Having low blood pressure also carries health risks By Buddy Touchinsky


Strength Training, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding

Step Up Your Quad And Glute Strength And Hypertrophy With Step-Downs  By Meghan Callaway


Motivation, Business, and Success

The TV Shows You Watch Are Making You Broke  By Tim Denning via Addicted 2 Success

Forget “career hacks”… Here’s the real key to career success that almost no one is talking about.  via Precision Nutrition

3 STRONG Life Success Tips & Why Successful People Are Considered “Crazy” By Zach Even Esh

Brandscaping and the Fitness Industry By Eric Cressey

45 Lessons I’ve Learned Along The Way…  By Pat Rigsby


Physical Therapy, Alignment, and Injury Prevention

2 Halfs of a Hamstring  By Dean Somerset

5 Reasons Why I Don’t Use the Sleeper Stretch and Why You Shouldn’t Either By Mike Reinold via The Manual Therapist

Must-Follow Guide for Strength Training AFTER Physical Therapy  via COR



The No Barbell Experiment On Squat And Deadlift And Hip Thrust Strength  By Bret Contreras

Featured Fitness Content: Volume 39

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View last week’s edition of ‘Featured Fitness Content’ here.

Personal Training, Coaching, and Strength & Conditioning

Interview with Lee Taft on Coaching Agility, Speed and Athletic Movement By Joel Smith with Lee Taft

Why I Don’t Like Scap Push-ups By Eric Cressey


Weight Loss, Nutrition, and General Health

How Much Cardio Do You Need To Get Ripped For Summer?  By Sean Hyson via Onnit Academy

A Really Bad Long Term Strategy for Weight Loss By Mike Roussell

Doctors should emphasize exercise, not weight loss By Buddy Touchinsky


Strength Training, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding

8 Mobility Moves For Better Squatting, Pressing, and Pulling By Mark DiSalvo via Onnit Academy

7 Tips for a Bigger Bench  By Bret Contreras

3 Ways to Reduce Stress and Improve Recovery During Your Next Workout By Harold Gibbons via Mark Fisher Fitness

28 Years of Lifting: Strength Training In Your 40s & Training As You Get Older By Zach Even Esh


Motivation, Business, and Success

5 Powerful Life Lessons From the Book Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss By Liam Seed via Addicted 2 Success

How To *Not* Be A Spineless Leader By Tim Denning via Addicted 2 Success

How to Build a Fitness Practice that Brings You Joy  By Elizabeth Stacey via Mark Fisher Fitness

Waking up to life By Kim Lloyd


Physical Therapy, Alignment, and Injury Prevention

6 Hip Mobility Drills Everyone Should Perform By Mike Reinold

[VIDEO] Communicating with Docs, PTs working as Strength Coaches & Essential Reading for Students With Mike Reinold

Stretching Isn’t Bullshit  By Jasper De Coninck via Dean Somerset



Fact check: Is boxed macaroni and cheese actually toxic?  By Kamal Patel via Examine


Ruthless Performance Coaches’ Content

Why Do We Need Fats in Our Diet? By Jesse Rodriguez

Why Do We Need Fats in Our Diet?

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Fat is a more concentrated source of dietary energy than carbohydrate and protein.  Fats concentrated source of energy is about 9 kcal/g (carbohydrates and proteins provide only about 4 kcal/g). Fatty acids from meat and dairy products are relatively saturated. Fatty acids from plant sources are generally more unsaturated. Then there are essential fatty acids (needed from diet) such as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s) – omega-6 (linoleic acid) and omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid) fatty acids.

  • Omega – 3 (grain, fresh fruits, veggies, fish, olive oil, garlic, wine) – help reduce inflammation, highly concentrated in the brain
  • Omega – 6 (meat based, vegetable oil) – promote inflammation


We need fats because of its good source of metabolic energy (carbon oxidation) and its preferred choice of energy storing (2 to 3 weeks’ storage). Fats also plays many roles in body making it essential for health and wellness. Some roles include:

  • Increased absorption of Fat-Soluble Vitamins (A, D, E, K) – Vitamin E also playing a role as antioxidant.
  • Formation of steroids such as:
  • Cholesterol, the most abundant steroid in the body, is widely distributed in all cells and serves as a major membrane component
  • Bile salts aid in the digestion of fats
  • Ergosterol, a yeast steroid, is converted to vitamin D by ultraviolet radiation
  • Adrenal cortex hormones – involved in metabolism
  • Sex hormones – testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone
  • Anti-inflammatory properties – aiding in recovery
  • Efficient energy source in long duration exercises such as marathons/triathlons.


Fat gets a bad rap but it is crucial for our health. It is true that fat can be harmful for our bodies if excessively consumed, especially by trans fatty acids and hydrogenated oils – think chips, donuts, fried foods, etc. The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommends that between 20 percent and 35 percent of calories should come from dietary fat. Include a variety of different fats and oils into your diet for optimum health. Incorporate plant based fats for added benefits such as walnuts, peanuts, almonds, chia seeds, hemp seeds which promote anti-inflammatory properties.




Gropper S. Sareen and Smith L. Jack, Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism (7th edition)


By Jesse Rodriguez

Jesse’s focus and emphasis is on Sports Nutrition. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Science with the addition of a CSCS certification from the NSCA. Jesse swam for the El Salvador National Team and competed at the international level. Jesse has worked at USC with the Strength and Conditioning program and UCLA as the lead intern for Sports Nutrition. He is currently a dietetic intern to complete requirements for the Registered Dietitian exam and obtain his professional license. During his free time, Jesse continues to strength train, Olympic lift, and stay up-to-date on the latest nutrition trends. Lastly, Jesse is a member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, National Strength and Conditioning Association, and Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association.

Featured Fitness Content: Volume 38

Posted on Updated on

View last week’s edition of ‘Featured Fitness Content’ here.

Personal Training, Coaching, and Strength & Conditioning

Building Impressive Strength After 50 By Bret Contreras

How to Guarantee You’ll Have a Hard Time Getting Clients Results By Tony Gentilcore

The Concept of Lowest System Load By Charlie Weingroff

Sudden Speed for Volleyball  By Ty Terrell via IFAST


Weight Loss, Nutrition, and General Health

Managing the stress of trying to get fitter: part 1 By Joy Victoria

A Really Bad Long Term Strategy for Weight Loss By Mike Roussell

Ask the Diet Doctor: Hangover Cures  By Mike Roussell via Shape

Perfecting Protein Intake in Athletes: How Much, What, and When? By Jorn Trommelen via Stronger By Science

Sleep, Hunger, Mood, Energy & Cravings (SHMEC): Is Your SHMEC in Check? By Jade Teta via Metabolic Effect

Detoxing, ReToxing, or Always-Toxing By Keoni Teta via Metabolic Effect


Strength Training, Powerlifting, and Bodybuilding

7 Tips For A Bigger Bench By Bret Contreras

Reverse Engineering The Plank By Charlie Weingroff


Motivation, Business, and Success

A case study on leveraging your assets to get shit done By Sol Orwell

Fitness Industry Survival Tips By Travis Hansen via Tony Gentilcore

15 Essentials to Creating a Trust-Boosting YouTube Profile Page By Neil Patel via QuickSprout


Physical Therapy, Alignment, and Injury Prevention

How to Train Around a Groin Strain By Samuel Spinelli via Tony Gentilcore

Who Gets the Best Care? Erson Religioso

Training with Biceps Tendinopathy  By Jason Eure via Stronger By Science


Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Blood Flow and Cognition By Michael Jurgelewicz via Strength Sensei

Periodization Preview By Greg Nuckols


Ruthless Performance Coaches’ Content

[RP Exclusive] Effects of Alcohol on Performance By Daniel Goebel

[RP EXCLUSIVE] Top 5 Foods for Recovery By Jesse Rodriguez

Top 5 Foods for Recovery

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**Editor’s Note: Enjoy learning more about nutrition or interested in a personalized meal plan from a Ruthless Performance Nutritionist? Fill out the contact form at for more details**


Lean meats

Some of my favorite meats are chicken breasts, turkey, and fish. If you happen to have meats with fat, simply remove the fat to make it “lean”.

Flax and chia seeds

Flax and chia are great toppings to add on such as oatmeal, smoothies, and yogurt. Both are high omega 3 fatty acids to help fight inflammation. Our diets mostly consist of omega 6 fatty acids but we need to complement these with the aforementioned omega 3’s to avoid negative, pro-inflammatory effects.

Tart cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice has been trending for some time now in sports nutrition but for a good reason. This can be the ideal drink, when paired with a protein source to maximize recovery. Tart cherry juice contains antioxidants to fight inflammation along with melatonin to aid in sleep, on top of carbohydrates, which are needed to refuel the tank.


We need fat in our diet, however most consume too much unhealthy fat such as trans and saturated fat. Avocado is a good source in mono and poly-unsaturated fat. This helps lower Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) levels and raises our good levels of High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL).

Chocolate Milk

The most common recovery drink we see still stands because of its carb-to-protein ratio for absolute recovery. If you happen to be lactose intolerant, simply switch the milk for soy or any other lactose free milk. Just be aware that some may only contain a few grams of protein.


These select foods are either anti-inflammatory to aid in repair from further muscle damage or contain complete protein for more efficient muscle rebuilding. Add them in your recovery meals or shakes to make the most out of your workouts and to maximize health and wellness.

To incorporate this in your diet, a good example after a workout would be to chug a cherry juice and a chocolate milk. Then, have a balanced post-workout meal. Make sure to compliment your meat (or other protein source) with some avocado, vegetables, and whole grains. Serving sizes vary and can depend on your goals. If you decide to consume a protein snack before bed, don’t be afraid to add chia or flax seeds with it.