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Gourmet Nutrition Cookbook

Written on January 16, 2008 at 11:06 am, by Eric Cressey


One of the biggest perks of being in this business is that I get a lot of free stuff sent to me. I’m not going to lie: a lot of it is absolute garbage that is so bad that I can’t read or view the whole thing. I look at some fitness gimmicks and can’t help but think “why?” I’ve actually got an entire section on my bookshelf of stuff I’ve received that’s just flat-out bad.

Why do I even mention this to you? Well, for one, so that you’ll know that if something gets a thumbs-up in my newsletter or blog, it’s legit. Second, and more importantly, I’ve grown to see patterns – and one such pattern is that everything that John Berardi has sent me is pretty much gold. The newly introduced Gourmet Nutrition Cookbook (version 2.0) is no exception.

I received my copy on Monday night, and was impressed not only with the presentation of the book (well organized and easy to read), but obviously the content itself. There is an excellent and diverse selection of recipes, and I can’t wait to try them out.

One of my pitchers was in the office when it arrived, and I he asked if he could see it. That night, he made some of the bars and said that they came out great. Young athletes are a great measure of how good a nutrition product is; they’re impressionable, yet very stubborn. If something isn’t good, they’ll call BS or just ignore it altogether. Only two nutrition products have gotten my guys going; this one and the nutrition component of Jason Ferruggia’s Muscle Gaining Secrets.

Check it out for yourself: Gourmet Nutrition Cookbook 2.0.


The seminar I’ll be doing in Ireland on March 15-16 has now been confirmed. For more information, please email Kieran Dolan at one2onetraining@eircom.net.

Tirades (or something like that; it began with a “T,” so cut me some slack)

For whatever reason, within the fitness industry (at least in its online capacity), there’s been a lot of talk about the book, The 4-Hour Workweek. While it’s an excellent book, I feel like some folks from our industry have taken it out of context.

My good friend Alwyn Cosgrove has written and spoken about how less than 0.5% of personal trainers are financially independent. In other words, America doesn’t feel that their services are worth spending money – and this is in spite of the fact that the weight loss industry – including products, diets, surgery, and training – will exceeded an estimated $100 billion in 2006.  It’s not surprising that trainers aren’t perceived as worthwhile due to the lack of preparedness in the industry, as I wrote in a blog a while back – and I verified in a subsequent blog based on a reader’s response.

While this number is staggering it itself, our industry’s response to it has been even more shocking: we need to work less. Scary. Great idea, guys; you recognize that you suck at what you do, and in turn decide to come out guns a-blazin’ and devalue yourselves even more!

My question to the fitness industry is: do you want to be remembered as someone who did just enough to get by, or do you want to be remembered as someone who did something special?

How many hours do you think Oprah Winfrey works each week? She’s got her show, book club, magazine, website, online community, African leadership academy for young girls, and a host of other things that I’m forgetting. Just last night, I heard she was starting her own television network. I’ve never heard her advocating The Four-Hour Work Week in her book club.

On Sunday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg surprised a lot of people during his appearance on 60 Minutes. At age 23, he’s worth an estimated $3 billion and has over 400 employees working for him in multiple locations across the country. Meanwhile, he dresses like he shops at the Gap, and works at a regular desk alongside everyone else. For all intents and purposes, he looks and acts like another employee. How do you think his 400+ employees would feel if he decided to cut back to four hours a week?

How about Donald Trump? In 2004, he was already worth $2.5 billion, according to Forbes. Since then, he’s introduced a wildly popular television show, his own celebrity vodka (interestingly enough, the CEO is a former client of mine from when I was in CT), and about 15,000 new buildings that are earning him a lot of money.

These people make a lot of money and impact a lot of lives because they understand how to work more efficiently, not work less.

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that Oprah doesn’t mow her own lawn, Zuckerberg doesn’t do his own laundry, and Trump doesn’t vacuum his own office. They outsource the less important tasks and leverage their abilities better with the meat and potatoes stuff – and time that’s left over is dedicated to getting better at what they do. How many 4-hour fitness professionals are using that leftover time to read the latest research, call other coaches/trainers, or attend seminars?

If you ever get good enough to be able to afford to work only four hours a week in the fitness industry, chances are that you’re someone who has learned to genuinely love what you do.

I can guarantee you that if Mike Boyle didn’t have a wife and kids to keep him sane, he’d still be sleeping in his office at the BU hockey arena on occasion like he did 25 years ago – and I bet he’s still working 60+ hours a week right now on top of seminar travel, etc. He loves what he does.

I had lunch with Chris Doyle (University of Iowa football S&C coach) late last spring. He was back in Boston on vacation to visit family, and he stopped off to see me and exchange ideas – in between stops to see his old high school football coach and Mike Boyle. He was working while on vacation – but I can guarantee that he didn’t see it like that. Chris is a big reason why walk-ons (Dallas Clark, among others) at Iowa get drafted almost every year, and NFL guys flock back to Iowa in the off-season to train with him. Chris, obviously, loves what he does, too.

This little rant came about on Saturday while I was downloading a video we had shot at the facility. On the surface, it’s just me being a goofball and doing stupid jumping stuff that I’d never let my athletes do.

50-inch Box Jump w/Approach

However, I thought about it in a little more depth. It was my seventh consecutive day at the facility – with another 13 more to go before I took a day off. We had already seen over 30 athletes that day, but I was still as anxious as a little kid on Christmas to jump in the action. I routinely work over 80 hours a week, and play host to my athletes from out of town for about 6-8 weeks per year. If I didn’t like what I do, they wouldn’t be sleeping on my sofa bed.

Holding the box is Cressey Performance’s newest employee, Brian St. Pierre. He had been up at 5:45AM to cover sprint work for the New England Ruffnecks, an AAU baseball program with which we’re affiliated, at the Harvard track from 7-9AM. Brian was at the facility by 10AM and coached right through until 3PM (when this video was taken) without any semblance of complaining over the fact that he’d worked more than four hours on Saturday alone. He also got a lift in with me right after this video was taken. Brian is a really bright guy who knows his stuff, but to be honest, we hired him for his passion first and foremost.

Doing glute-ham raises in the background is a stud catcher from the Class of 2010 who is already getting big-time D1 interest. He’d already caught for four hours before coming out to lift, and he’s routinely someone who needs to be held back from overdoing it. Isn’t it funny how the most enthusiastic kids who love training the most are the ones who seemed the most destined for long-term success in athletics and in life?

You won’t make it far in any industry if you hate your job so much that you only want to be involved with it four hours per week. The 4-Hour Workweek makes some great points on time management, eliminating unnecessary tasks, saving money, and a host of other value lessons. I’m just concerned that the fitness industry as a whole is studying calculus when it ought to be mastering algebra first.

Food for thought.  I’m off to the gym.


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