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The Truth Behind the Bulk, Article and Audio Interview by Stephen Cooper

Audio interview (About 10 minutes.)


The Truth Behind the Bulk

By Janet Bertrand  

There is one question I receive from women and it is a question I can’t stand. There are days when I don’t hear women say this, maybe even three days in row will go by, but then out of nowhere the dreaded question will be asked.  This question will go something like this; “I don’t want to get real buff, so no heavy weights, Ok?”  I always marvel at this question, fascinated that there are women out there that actually believe that if they lift heavy weights they will get bulky and “too” muscular.  I want to say in return “well I don’t want to be a giraffe so I am going to stop reaching up to look over my back fence!” Although I do not say that, I do explain the misunderstanding about lifting heavy. 

To me the word lifting means “hard A** work. It means that I lifted enough weight for my body to adjust, burn fat, and build muscle.  Yes, BUILD MUSCLE. We women need to get used to saying that and not be so scared. I know that you’re scared of getting “bigger,” right?  Be honest, that is the fear of lifting heavy weights, isn’t it? Let me ask you a question, do you want to burn more calories and have an overall firmer body?  What about losing body fat, do you want to do that too?  If you answered yes to any of these questions then you need to lift as much weight, with good form, as you possibly can handle.  

The more muscle you have on your body the more calories you’re burning, period. A pound of muscle burns 10-20 calories a day. A pound of fat burns 5 calories a day.  Your metabolism is going to change if you have more muscle mass on your body.  I was taught to view this process as “absence of fat, presence of muscle”. It is like taking a plastic sandwich bag filled with pudding – this is a body with no muscle mass. Now imagine a plastic sandwich bag with a cooked chicken breast inside it. Which one would be firmer, more solid and trim looking?  You can not get results like that without lifting heavy enough weights.  

What are some of the other benefits of weight lifting? 

·       Increased Bone Density. When the muscle pulls on the bone, the bone reacts by getting denser in reaction to the weight being placed on it. That’s why if we go back and look at the bones of people who lived in Europe thousands of years ago, we see some very thick fossils. These people must have lifted some heavy stuff on a regular basis, and as a result, they probably did not die from Osteoporosis.

·       Increased Metabolism. As stated before, the more muscle that covers your body the faster your body will burn fat, period.

·       Overall Self Confidence. With the increased fat burning, you will also increase your stability and overall self awareness. You will start believing you’re capable of things. You will start to see challenges as possibilities.

·       Stronger Ligaments and Joints.  Ligaments and joints will strengthen, decreasing your chance of injury. Weight lifting will also strengthen connective tissue and increase the longevity of joints. 

So are you still holding back? Are you still not sure about those heavy weights?  I can see if you do not have the proper coaching how you could be a little scared.  At first, I did not understand it either. Then one day at the gym I met to lady who was a body builder. She was about 5’4, and weighed about 115 pounds of pure muscle. She was so tiny!  She showed me her whole routine and I was blown away. This woman was lifting 40 pound dumbbells and squatting around 350 pounds.  That blew me away!  How could someone so small and LEAN lift so much?  That day I changed my mind about weight lifting. 

What are some your fears? 

·       Getting “BIG.” This concept annoys me, so let’s put it to rest. To get big you have to consume a lot of calories. To get smaller, you have to eat fewer calories. No magic pill, no rocket science. Calories in, calories out. What you put into your mouth will determine how big you are a lot more than anything else!

·       Not knowing how much is “heavy.” I understand this one the most. I can see how it might be confusing. On one hand I am saying lift heavy, and then on the other hand I want you to be safe as well. I would say as long as you can maintain perfect form and you’re feeling it mainly in the area you’re supposed to be working, you’re good to go. Load it up. Make sure you have a spotter to assist you and skilled fitness professional to show you proper form. Then go for it.  You’ll know its heavy when you hit number 5 and it takes all heaven and hell to get to ten!

·       Not used to that “kind” of working out. In today’s society we have instant everything.  We no longer know what truly qualifies as “hard work.” We do not know that level of discomfort and are not used to it. It seems scary and not natural. The sad truth is it is totally natural for us humans. We should be out there pushing, pulling, walking and standing for the majority of the day. The fact that we can now go an entire day and sit on our behinds is actually killing us.  So yes, it should be really hard, that is if you desire to really CHANGE your body!

·       The one specific ingredient that women lackLastly, women lack a very important ingredient for building massive size and without this factor women will always have curves, small features, and be unable to build signifagnt size. That one ingredient is TESTOSTERONE!!!  Women do not produce enough testosterone to build “big muscles.  Enough said! 

So to end this question once and for all, No, you will not be bulky if you lift weights”. In fact you may even be LESS bulky by lifting heavy weights!  As for me turning into a giraffe, well, who knows?  

Janet Bertrand, a personal fitness trainer, started her love of fitness while still in high school. After starting her family and increasing her own personal knowledge of health and fitness, a passion to help other people became a natural next step toward a career. While attending San Diego State University for their personal trainer course, she met instructors familiar with Fitness Quest 10 and their phenomenal reputation. She began her internship at FQ10 in 2003, after receiving her Personal Fitness Trainer Certificate from SDSU and PFT Certification from American Council of Exercise (ACE).

Train with weights...a female college professor tells it like it is. by Stephen Cooper

You may or may not know that I belong to a mastermind group of personal trainers.  Some big names in the training world are in this group.  Our main coach is Todd Durkin.  He may not be a household name to you yet, but he is one of the top trainers in the world.

The reason I say this is that when I am away from you, I am quite often searching and learning the best ways to bring you the fat loss and improved health that you are striving for. 

The dozen or so trainers who  make up this group were discussing a challenging situation of a client who wanted to train while participating in the "Medi Fast" diet.  I wasn't aware of this diet, but evidently it is a very low calorie, 1,000 cal or less plan.  Many of us were chiming in on how we disagree with extreme plans such as this.

One of our team members, Lisa Garrity, who has a masters degree in exercise science and is currently a college professor in the same field, made this important comment:

"this is the doctrine I am preaching to EVERYONE at this point...less duration, higher intensity, 4-5 days per week frequency whether we are talking cardio or weights; and EVERYONE, especially women, need heavier, higher intensity weights to bring about the change that they are looking for.

for those of you that are not familiar with the current research that is coming out....there is a direct relationship between the amount of lactic acid that accumulates during a high intensity workout and the amount of growth hormone that is released from the pituitary gland during the recovery period ... more lactic acid (anaerobic exercise intensities either with weights or boot camp type drills) = more growth hormone....and I think we are all aware of what growth hormone does for us....more muscle, better glucose and fatty acid metabolism and usage, higher RMR (resting metabolic rate)....this is the stuff that I am teaching as part of the Exercise Etc Baby Boomer Fitness and Boot Camp fitness programs....and it works!"

So what does this mean to you my client?

Believe in what I tell you about training and eating.  I don't test out "experiments" or "quick fixes" to help you get results.  The drills that we do in boot camp, and the eating plans that I suggest for you are based on science and experience.

Once again, stick to the basics, train hard, eat right, get enough sleep (rest/recovery) and the results will come.

Look for the "next super pill" or "gadget" and you are bound to be disappointed.


P.S.  Look for the post this morning...and let me know what you ate for breakfast.

Today's Workout (909/#9) by Stephen Cooper

jump rope

snow boarders

jumping jacks

side kicks

jump rope

lateral lunge/sumo

farmers carry with kb

standing tuck jumps

mb slams


alligator push ups

walking kb swings

decline push ups from bench

hindu squats

Bulgarian split squats from bench


hamstring curls on mb

seal jack

plie kb squat

mb reach and crunch

mb reverse crunch

straight leg crunch

Today's Workout (909/#8) by Stephen Cooper

30/5/30  30 sec. side plank, 5 push ups, 30 sec side plank

seal jumping jacks 

clapping push ups

jump rope

split jumps

TRX chest press

1 leg squat 8x then sprints

TRX back row

4x hops in and out then sprints

TRX speed jumnps

10x double mountain climbers, then sprint

TRX plank

partner hamstring curls

Today's Workout (909/#7) by Stephen Cooper


heels to butt stretch

crossover lunge

lateral hops

inverted hamstring

single leg front and back hops

single leg hops side to side

bridge marching

step ups

kb renegade row

partial lung pumps

kb swings

"t" push ups

1 arm kb squat

kb clean

prone cross to toe touch

kb chest press

static squat with in and out jumps

plank with alternate arm and leg reaches

Today's Workout (909/#6) by Stephen Cooper

walking lunges

walk the mat



bird dog

dive bomber push ups

offset push ups

elbow to instep lunges

side plank

one leg reach

quad squat with 15 seconds slow descent


squat with 15 sec. slow descent


inverted hand press, 3 5 second holds at three levels

one leg deadlift with 3, five second holds



windshield wipers

"v" hold

Today's Workout (909/ #5) by Stephen Cooper

5x 60 sec.

Trinity squat, advanced hold in down position

Shoulder ab curl ups  / pike with knees and feet up

Screwing arm press ups, rolling on shoulder

Tabata 20/10  8x

mountain climber / with squat

knee turck jumps / prisoner

leg swoops (break dancers)

quad (frog) push up (quad press)

4x 30 second sprints with 60 sec. jogs

Today's Workout (909/ #3) by Stephen Cooper

Prone leg raise, heels together, toes out, hold for 10 seconds

Hip extension, up and hold for 10 seconds

Breathing squats, exhale down, 4 second pause, 4 seconds up

McKenzie Press up, exhale up

Fish, lie on back, inhale, pcik up chest

cross srawl

TRX low pull from ground

1 arm kb squat

TRX push up or chest press

lateral lunge with mb

TRX biceps clutch

kb deadlift

TRX tricep

jumping jacks

TRX shoulder


simple oblique crunch

in and out crunch

4 point tummy vacum


Today's Workout (909/ #2) by Stephen Cooper

hops in and out "down the ladder"

stair run

wall sit

log jumps

mb slam

kb press with rotation and lunge

sit up with double punch

knee punches


v ups

mb up and downs on toes

diamond push ups or handstand push ups

walking lunges

army crawl on forearms

tricep ext. with kb


mb sit up with Russian Twist

Today's Workout (909/ #1) by Stephen Cooper

hindu squats

dive bombers

standing hypers


squat press with medicine ball


Tabatas 20/10 work/rest 8x

push ups




sit up with medicine ball

jump rope or double jump

kb deadlift

jumping lunges

kb front squat

jumping squat

kb chest press

clapping hand push up

kb weighted sit ups

full sit ups

1 leg hip ups on medicine ball

Today's Workout (809/#12) by Stephen Cooper

Warm up

Frankenstein walk

Handstand walk outs



Gate swings


TRX power pull


TRX suspended lunge

Close grip push up

TRX side plank

Bulgarian split squat (back foot on bench)

TRX ab reach outs

Bicycle crunch

TRX biceps clutch

X body mountain climber

Seal push ups

Side iso-crunch

Elbow to knee crunch

Hip raise with crunch

Scissor kicks with shoulder lifted

Today's Workout (809/#11) by Stephen Cooper

Warm up

High knee run with medicine ball

Banana rock

Medicine ball jumping jacks

Backwards frog jumps

Max height wall jump touches


Push up with thigh touch

1 leg pistol with medicine ball press

Pop up with jumping jack

TRX chest press

TRX low back row

Mountain climber with push up

TRX biceps

TRX triceps reverse extension

Crunch 5x. leg lift 5x, diagonal crunch 5x

Figure 8 with both feet together

Straight arm crunch

Oblique crunch

Today's Workout (809/#10) by Stephen Cooper

Warm up

Wall ball

Double lunge

KB high pull

Jump rope



Walking lunges with dumbbells overhead

elevated feet push ups

crunch with weight

frogger stretch

back extension

hold in skiers crouch

1 leg hamstring curl from bench

medicine ball complex, 10x cross right, 10x cross left, 10x clean, 10x swing

wall sit

30 sec side bridge/30 sec. middle/30 sec. side

hip swivel-stretch

weighted step ups on bench

split squat with kb row

floor wipers

Today's Workout (809/#6) by Stephen Cooper

Hold each for 1 min:

handstand or modified push up

side plank

squat at bottom



straight leg crunch


oblique wall ball throw 

push up with dips

kb swings

jumping jacks

TRX rows

push ups

TRX chest press

double unders

TRX sprinters

turkish get ups (modified)

kb wiaters walk


Today's Workout by Stephen Cooper

Warm up (2x 60 sec.)

Partner "tag"

Single leg balance with reaches

Lateral lunges

Walk outs with push ups


Medicine ball cleans

Double Unders (jump rope)

Standing KB row

Front squat with KB

Broad Jumps

Partner assisted hamstring curls

Medicine ball slam with hops


Mountain climbers

KB push press

Banana rocks


Partner assisted triceps stretch

High Intensity Cardio Workout for You From Bruce Lee by Stephen Cooper

Here's a high intensity cardio that you can do on your own.

I just read about this workout from Bruce Lee's The Art of Expressing the Human Body.  And if you are wondering, yes that is what I do with my time all day.  I love reading about training and human possibility.

According to the book this workout was one of Lee's favorite interval training programs.

Here's the workout:

-jog x 60 seconds
-run (sprint) x 30 seconds
-walk x 60 seconds

Build up to 10-20 rounds, and you've got an incredible workout.  I'm definitely going to give this one a try myself.