You must have been living under a rock for the last 8 years if you’re involved in any way in the fitness industry and have never heard of Eric Cressey. Eric is one of the smartest minds in the business, he has been a huge mentor for me for the last 6+ years, and he is just a great person that will go out of his way to help people. I must say that I owe him a lot and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am today- literally; he got me an internship in 2007, and put me in touch with Kevin Neeld, who ended up hiring me for the job I have today!
Eric was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to participate to my rapid fire series which, you’ll see, turned out to be more than one-line answers for most questions!
Here we go:
What does your current training look like?
I generally lift four times per week, with two sessions being lower-body and two sessions being upper-body. I’ll usually do some sprint work or some kind of conditioning (been rowing more lately) on two other days per week, and have one complete day of rest.
What’s your favorite song to lift heavy things to?
I’ve always been a big Linkin Park guy, so any of their stuff is good. Honestly, though, I have heard so much music in my time in gyms that I’m just about desensitized to it by now!
What would be your best advice to an up-and-coming strength coach who wants to make it in this business?
Find mentors. You need people to not only educate you on how to assess, program, and coach, but also how to approach your professional goals and development. I’ve been very fortunate to have a few people take me under their wings over the years, and wouldn’t be where I am without them.
What’s your passion, or second passion in life after health and fitness?
Well, I’d say that health/fitness obviously comes after family. So, that aside, I’d say that I am very fortunate that my profession and my passions are closely related, as I am a huge baseball fan and train a ton of baseball players.
Who are your 3 most influential mentors?
What’s the biggest mistake you see athletes who want to make it to the next level make?
They assume it is going to be easy, and talk more than they work. I actually wrote a blog post about it HERE. Sadly, we have a generation of athletes who really don’t know how hard it is to actually make it to that next level.
What’s you favorite supplement?
I’m a fan of Athletic Greens. I think it’s a great “catch-all” supplement for those who have gaps in their diets. Of course, fish oil and vitamin D are essentials, too.
What’s the most overrated exercise?
I can think of loads of often injurious exercises – upright rows and flyes, for instance – but I don’t know that we can really say that something is “overrated” for EVERYONE. It’s really just a matter of individual needs.
What’s the most underrated exercise?
I might actually say sled work. You can push/drag it, pull it, side step with it, and row with it. You can use it to get strong or to get conditioned. And, there is very little eccentric stress, so it doesn’t make people sore – which makes it a good in-season training option.
What book are you currently reading?
I usually have a few books going at any given time – usually one training and one business. My training one is actually more of a sports psychology book, called “The Mental ABCs of Pitching.” It’s a very popular book in the pitching community and one that I should have read quite some time ago, as it’ll help me learn more about what our athletes go through on the mound and how they need to respond to it. In the car, the Steve Jobs biography is in the CD player.
Eric, thank you so much for your time!
If you want more info on Eric, check out his website HERE. And if you’re interested in his latest product Functional Stability Training for the Core, check it out HERE; it’s a pretty cool product to learn more about REAL effective core training!
…..Aaaaand lastly don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. Just enter your info below, it’s FREE, and you’ll receive my 3 reports on speed training, soft-tissue work and injury prevention for the shoulders!
Everyone who’s been lifting for a while knows there should be some ground rules about the way we should behave in a gym, some sort of etiquette. You know, the kind of rules that will help you be considered a normal human being even under heavy lifting conditions and more than aything else that won’t make you look like a douchebag in the gym. So that being said, I decided to put a list of my own. Here it is in no particular order.
1. Sleeveless shirt are not acceptable. I don’t care what your excuse is and if it is because you feel more comfortable with it, if you’re wearing sleeveless shirts to lift, you’re really just showing off.
2. On a related note, it’s not called an UNDERshirt for nothing.
I don’t care how jacked you are, you shouldn’t wear this to lift.
3. If you’re talking during a set, it’s not heavy enough. Females included. Period.
4. This is nothing new, but worth reiterating: doing curls in the squat rack is totally unacceptable. Bodybuilding enthusiasts need to understand this. I’m this close to exercising my vengeance and doing like this kid in every single commercial gym in America:
You think it’s ridiculous? So next time, stay away from the squat rack when you do curls, Johnny Baloney!
5. Speaking of curls, it seems to be every beginner’s favorite exercise. But honestly, if you can’t do 5 bodyweight chin ups, I don’t even know why you’re wasting your time doing curls.
6. Your cellphone should be turned off and put in your locker as you walk in the gym. It amazes me how it’s becoming such a plague among exercise enthusiasts to send text messages in between sets when they lift. How are you supposed to be focused and ready to lift heavy weights with such a distraction! Time between sets should be better spent doing stretches, corrective exercises and other “filler exercises” that are going to make your time in the gym more effecient and really help you in the long run. Plus, recent studies have clearly demonstrated that sending text messages between sets decreases your testosterone levels and makes you less attractive to members of the opposite sex.
7. You should be able to squat and deadlift wayyyy more than you can bench press. If that’s not the case, you know what you need to start doing more than once a week, right?
8. No crunches. I mean EVER! There is a time and a place for doing crunches; that time is never and that place is nowhere. Seriously, it’s 2010, and we know by now that there are far better options to work your core muscles other than doing crunches, which let’s face it are as useless as Kim Kardashian.
And no, crunches won’t shed off the fat around your midsection. Add to the fact that a hgh volume of crunches will make your posture significantly worse because of the attachement point of the rectus abdominis on the lower ribs. Also, crunches are really just a flexion of your lumbar spine, which according to the most knowledgeable researcher in the world on lower back, Dr. Stuart McGill, is one of the most common injury mechanism on the lumbar spine.
9. Unless you’re hitting a PR, there is no reason why you would grunt and moan on every single rep of an 8 rep set of DB chest press. Yes I’m talking about you Matt!
Granted on the video he’s hitting a PR (405 x 5, which is more than I can do!). But now imagine him, doing every rep of a scap wall slide making the same noise! Nothing will get you demoted faster at Endeavor. (Kidding Mat…not really!)
10. Proven fact, you need to include one or more of the following on your workout playlist if you want to make substantial gains: Slipknot, Rise Against, Marilyn Manson, Busta Rhymes, Eminem, DMX, Lil Wayne, Linkin Park, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down and Phil Collins (I might have forgotten a few acceptable options…)