Tools of the Trade in 2016
I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that you can always come to for all of your fitness needs. I’ll add to it as necessary as new evidence and discoveries are made. Just remember, you can't buy results, but you help them out with these tools below. I recommend bookmarking it for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!
The Venus Factor. Boring cover. Sales-pitchy video. Great program with solid principles based on the latest science. Included is the fundamentals of fat loss and nutrition. It covers what to eat, when to eat, how to train and what to train based on your individual goals as a woman. It's the most complete program for women that I've seen and there's no reason why you can't achieve all your body goals with the information contained within this downloadable program. Click here to open The Venus Factor in a new window.
The High Performance Handbook. I LOVE this program because of its high degree of customization it brings to everyone. Normally, high quality customized programs like this are very expensive. Not only that, there are only a handful of coaches out there who can deliver a high quality program like this. Eric Cressey is one of those people, viewed by some as the best high performance coach in the world (he's trained everyone from the L.A. Lakers to Nike sponsored athletes). I give it my absolute highest recommendation. For the price, it simply cannot be beat. Click here to open The High Performance Handbook in a new window.
Anabolic Cooking. This is simply the most complete muscle cookbook and nutrition guide for bodybuilding and general fitness on the market. I've personally used this cookbook for years and I haven't become bored of it yet. With over 200 recipes and complete macronutrient breakdowns of every recipe, there's simply not a lot to dislike. Click here to open Anabolic Cooking in a new window.
Quest Protein Bars. These things are like crack. Crack in delicious, portable protein form. Ever since I discovered these a couple years back, we've been inseparable. I've tried dozens and dozens of protein bars over the years and this is the ONLY brand I like. They're not good tasting for a protein bar, they're just good, period. There isn't a day that goes buy where I don't have one. Cookies & Cream is my favourite flavor and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is a close second. Amazon's prices are as good as any and with Prime they'll be at your door tomorrow afternoon. They also have a variety pack with an assortment of their most popular flavors. With 21 grams of protein and only 3 grams net carbs per bar, you seriously can't go wrong.
Basic Digital Kitchen Scale. I've talked about the vital importance of a kitchen scale before. If you're serious about getting in shape, then tracking your food intake for at least a short period of time is a necessity. Not doing this is a little bit like trying to play pin the donkey in the dark. Any kitchen scale will do, this is the one I use and it's served me well. It's accurate and rather attractive. Chocolate not included.
Notepad or Fitness Journal. I've briefly touched on this in a number of articles, and at first glance it might seem like a silly thing to include here. Let me tell you – it is not! You wouldn't believe the amount of people who go to the gym month after month, year after year and don't do anything different. They look the same and do the same exercises with the same amount of weight. Progression is absolutely key to any fitness plan, and if you don't remember what you did at the gym last week, let alone last month, I'm willing to bet you aren't progressing like you could. I prefer a physical notepad (this is the one I use), but you can use paid smartphone apps as well.
Foam Roller. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a very real thing. The more advanced you get with your training, the more a foam roller becomes necessary. 24-72 hours after exercise is when you're the most sore post workout – and research has conclusively shown that warming up, cooling down, and stretching won't relieve the pain… but a foam roller will. They don't look like much, but boy do they work.