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Gym Owner. Exercise Scientist. S&C Coach. I write about human performance. Featured in Better Humans, Ascent Publication, Entrepreneur's Handbook and more!

Throw your crunches in the bin. Use anti-movements instead.

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I started training in the gym around the time I was 13. My idea of core training involved 20–30 minutes of circuit training at the end of my strength workouts.

Each circuit involved hundreds of crunches, ankle taps, side bends, mountain climbers, bicycle kicks and anything else that burned.

I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.

I’m 25 now. I finished my sports science degree in 2017. And I’ve been running my own gym since 2018.

When I think back to my 13-year-old self and the “core finishers” I put myself through, I can’t help but laugh.

It…


1. Fitness is an emotional problem.

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I came into the fitness industry in 2015 with a lot of assumptions. Most of which turned out to be wrong. I thought I knew it all. Boy, was I wrong!

Since then, I’ve started my own gym business, worked as a personal trainer and visited some of the best facilities in the world such as the Seattle Seahawks and the UFC Performance Institute.

Here’s what I’ve learned from almost 6 years in the fitness industry…

1. Fitness is an emotional problem.

Not a logical one.

My job as a gym owner is to get my clients to “feel” like improving. To “feel” like doing the…


It’s free and you can start today

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A review paper by Michael Flanell revealed that there is a “secret ingredient” overlooked in athletic performance. The secret ingredient is nasal breathing.

The paper goes into detail about the differences between mouth vs nasal breathing. She explains how mouth-breathing hurts health and performance, while nasal breathing enhances these areas. The findings mirror those found in two books I’ve read on the topic.

  1. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art — James Nestor
  2. The Oxygen Advantage — Patrick Mckeown

I’m a strength and conditioning coach and I’ve noticed a movement in the human performance world. More and more people…


You don’t need a psychedelic trip to get clarity on what you’re doing to damage yourself

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I’ve been on a Dorian Yates kick lately. As 6 time Mr. Olympia, he’s recognised as one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time.

The thing I like about him was his approach to training. He trained in a basement. He wore oversized clothes to hide his physique. He never wanted the limelight. He worked like an artist on a sculpture. He revealed it once a year, won his trophies and then walked off into the shadows.

The bodybuilding is impressive. The physique, the training, the diet, the dedication. It’s all impressive. …


Dorian Yates thinks so. Here’s what the research suggests.

Image credit: jacoblund.

My footy season finished up prematurely this year (damn you COVID). So I’ve got some extra time up my sleeve.

I’ve decided to put more emphasis on hypertrophy. Hypertrophy is just a fancy word for muscle growth. I started reading up on the topic, listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos.

I run my own gym so I know the basics, but it was time to get into the nitty-gritty. I ended up settling on a similar approach to Dorian Yates — 6 time Mr Olympia.

His training doesn’t look like much on paper. But when you see the videos…


A framework for fitness

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I get cornered during nights out on the town. Everyone needs to tell the personal trainer what diet they’re on and what they’re doing in the gym.

They also drop a “don’t look” when they eat a doughnut or down another drink. Like I care at all about what they put in their body. I’m literally standing in front of them with a beer in my hand and a pizza in my belly…

I’ve also been told countless times “oh man, you run a gym? That’s close to my place! I’ll be there on Monday.” …


Fitness

CO2 tolerance can act as a measure of “breath-ability.” The higher your CO2 tolerance, the better—and you can improve it.

Image credit: DeanDrobot.
  • Do you breathe through your mouth during the day?
  • Do you snore or wake up with a dry mouth in the morning?
  • Do you regularly sigh or yawn?
  • Can you hear your breath right now?
  • Does your chest move a lot when you breathe?

If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, you’ve fallen prey to the most overlooked barrier to health and fitness: chronic overbreathing.

We can breathe two to three times more air than required without knowing it. — Patrick McKeown.

Too much of anything is a bad thing. Too much water, too much food…


How I make cardio more interesting

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Cardio doesn’t have to suck. It can be enjoyable. But let’s be honest, it’s probably not going to be fun. I like how the five-time “world’s fittest man” Mat Fraser put it:

“No workouts are fun, some are just more interesting than others.”

So maybe the title of this post should have been “2 Ways to Make Cardio More Interesting”.

We all know the importance of getting in a solid breather. But sometimes just the thought of it makes you want to puke. I overcome this feeling in three ways.

  1. Pair something I love with something I need.
  2. Ask the…


Do you want to feel like you’re on the right path or actually be on it?

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People are addicted to weight loss books. This is problematic for two reasons.

  1. The dopamine dump
  2. Analysis paralysis

Let’s start with number 1:

These books make you feel like you’re moving in the right direction. Because you feel like you’re on the right path, you’re rewarded with a rush of dopamine.

Dopamine is also released every time you tell someone your goal, your plans to lose weight, or the new diet you just started.

I heard a great idea on the Chris Williamson podcast. One of his mates doesn’t tell anyone for the first few months when he starts working…


Lift faster to get stronger.

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My gym just finished off a 4-week training block. Our program was very similar to the previous, with one major change.

We were lifting faster and getting stronger.

That’s right. We were moving less weight than the previous block but hitting bigger numbers. Huh?

Let me explain.

Our latest training block

Our athletes are currently in season — mostly for Australian football and rugby. This means they’re pretty banged up and sore all week from the rigours of the game.

We wanted to change our approach to get them feeling a little better throughout the week.

As we normally do, we broke up the…

Sam Geurts

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