Hello there!

I apologize for the hiatus, and I hope I haven’t lost you completely. Today I’m getting back into things, both writing and training related. Here we go:

What has Andy been up to lately?


Well, about six weeks ago I had an accident involving my ego and a 42″ track hurdle. I was told that an 18 year old cleared the hurdle earlier that day, and I thought “I can do that!”

Admittedly my ego got the best of me for a minute. I used to be pretty explosive. In fact, I’ve jumped up onto a box about 48″ tall in the past. SO WHAT if that was about 5 years ago!

I set the hurdle to tip over if I didn’t make it; without warming up, I went for it.

Instead of tipping over, the bastard stood straight up while my 185 lb body came crashing down on the support post. This resulted in a 5-inch gash in my inner thigh. A 5-hour stint in Vanderbilt’s ER, 15 stitches or so, and more painkillers than I thought could be pumped into me and voila! I’m fixed.

Two days after ER visit

Two days after ER visit

Sorta. I couldn’t walk right for about 3 weeks, and things have been sore and tender since then. Lower body training has been walking and some minor glute strengthening, and that’s about it. This coming week I should be able to ease back into squats and deadlifts again. I’m coming for you gainz!!

I’m lucky to have access to health care, and I’m lucky that the only damage to my leg was skin deep: the muscle tissue wasn’t harmed (WIN!).

It’s important to note here that I haven’t laid off upper body training over the last six weeks. I’ve had to modify some things around the leg, but I haven’t completely fallen off the wagon.

Take home point: Injuries will happen. Don’t let them sideline you completely if possible, and always train what you can to maintain good posture, physical fitness, and reduce any unwanted weight gain.

Also, don’t be dumb. Warm up properly (I actually am fairly explosive when I’m primed) and check your ego at the door please.

2. Work

Despite the injury, I’ve been really productive at work. I’ve picked up a handful of new clients, and as an independent trainer who’s livelihood depends on “productivity,” more is always better.

Additionally, we started training the Brentwood High School boy’s lacrosse team. I played for Brentwood back in the day, and my coach contacted me wanting to do some off-season training. We’re currently in the middle of an 8-week program.

These kids need to do the basics, and do them well. If after 8 weeks all I’ve accomplished is helping these boys manage bodyweight exercises (pushups, rows, chinups) and look great doing squats and hip hinges, I’ve done a good job.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we do the same stuff: squat, chin-ups, hip hinge, push-ups, TRX rows, lunges, and core stability (plank variations and weighted carries).

Simple. Effective.

and probably a little boring

But I’m not here to entertain. I’m here to make these 14-18-year-olds better. Throwing a bunch of random shit on the wall to see what sticks and what’s “fun” is a bullshit way to train. Master the basics and you’ll be ahead of 90% of the competition.

A side note: when I say “fun” here, I mean just random “fun” exercises seen on YouTube. Coaching is both a science and art; it’s important to help these kids grow and get better, but I try to make the process “fun” in the meantime by challenging them in different ways. I’m not all business all the time..

IMG_0993 IMG_0955

3. Reading

Despite being busy, I’ve tried to keep up my reading.

Can You Go?: Assessments and Program Design for the Active Athlete and Everybody Else-Dan John

Dan John is one of my favorite authors. A no-frills straight shooter when it comes to training and training philosophy. He’s also an outstanding writer. He has several books out there, but this is the second one I’ve read. If you’re into training or you’re a personal trainer/strength coach, I highly recommend his work.

Advances in Functional Training -Mike Boyle

This is the second time I’ve read this book, as I’m looking to pick up some ideas or see what I missed the first time around. Another spectacular strength coach, Mike Boyle has been around the industry for decades. Another “must-have” on the book shelf of any strength coach or personal trainer.

Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? -Seth Godin

I just started this one, but in essence it’s an idea that you must become indispensable in your chosen field:

“Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organizations. They may not be famous but they’re indispensable. And in today’s world, they get the best jobs and the most freedom.”

So far I’ve really enjoyed this one.

Cool things you should read:

There are a lot of really smart coaches and trainers out there that have valuable material for you. I want to point you in their direction for some quality information:

Five Nutritional Requisites to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle-Mike Gorski

What Does it Take to Build Muscle like Wonder Woman? -Artemis Scantalides with Julia Ladewski

Why So Few People can get a Six-Pack -Jason Maxwell

This is What Flexible Dieting actually Looks Like -Sohee Lee

^^Because I’m interested in shedding some fat, I’ve taken a lot of notes lately on tracking my calories and watching what I eat. I’m not overweight, and I don’t make poor food choices, but I would like to lean out a bit more (and I hate tracking calories, but I’m going to give it effort). Plus what kind of coach would I be if I didn’t know what it took to burn off some fat? As mentioned by Sohee Lee, I downloaded the app MyMacros+ from the iTunes store ($2.99).

I’ll update you on my progress with both training (the leg) and all things S&C related!

Thanks for coming back around! If you liked what you read today, please share this or any of my other writings. If you have any questions regarding training, nutrition, fat loss, feel free to reach out!

Andy Van Grinsven

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