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We will not discriminate.  (Although we will often poke fun.)


Gina gets your (gym) mojo back.

It happens to all of us. But you often we keep it a secret. We don't like to tell people: "I've lost my mojo. I just can't get me fire up anymore." So we continue going to the gym and feel less and less motivated.

Is it the end of the line? Not according to Gina Melnik. The passion can be brought back to your listing, it just takes a little bit of intelligence rather than demand.  If there's anyone around here who always delivers an incredible amount of intelligence, it's Gina.  

Recently, she was published at on the phenomenal women's strength and lifting website, with an article discussing ways to bring your mojo back. Head over there and get your fire back!

Everyone wants to be a bodybuilder, but . . .

Everyone wants to be a bodybuilder, but no one wants to do the heavy posing.

Our athlete Silas is on fire lately, and when we Snooped this pic from his latest photo shoot, we thought it would b a good opportunity to remind folks who are into competing in bodybuilding –or any physique competition – that the poses you admire have a heritage and a history.  They were evolved from many places, and while mangy of them were within the Arts, certain body practices also plaited role.  Yoga is one of those practices.

Many of the forms of yoga influenced the known mandatory poses of contemporary competitive bodybuilding.  But more important, the skills that are built from yoga practice are literally the precise set of skills a bodybuilder needs in his sport.  

Yes, you heard us claim it here on The Snoop: yoga prepares a body for competition in bodybuilding more than the gym.  But that is ONLY talking about your ABILITIES in the competition, and not your "equipment.'  (I.e, your body.)  Obviously if you aren't hitting the heavy weights, all the yoga in the world is not the recipe for winning.  

However, any bodybuilder who does not at least investigate yoga is a damn fool because it trains the skills of competition better than any single body practice.

And that is why Silas is a bad-ass who gets his yoga pics Snooped.

A good guideline to tell how heavy you are "really" lifting.

There is lots of science thrown around about how to gauge whether you are lifting heavy.  But "heavy" is a subjective idea; what is heavy for one person may not be heavy for another.  it is something we feel, not something we can empirically label. While science can boast and brag about it's findings on heavy-lifting efficacy, in the end gauging the heaviness of a lift is a psychological idea, not a scientific one.

So, we loved when this flow-chart was found recently by Steven from the Spring '14 Team off of www.reddit/r/weightroom.   It rates heavy on a scale of 1 to 10, and then gives you a series of binary yes-or-no questions you can ask yourself after lifting to tell if you have truly lifted as heavy as you planned.

Is that your butt winking at me?

It is important to look for, but even in that, it looks   nothing   like a "wink."

It is important to look for, but even in that, it looks nothing like a "wink."

A lot of big strong guys like to brag about their squat depth.  Yet those of us who are in it for development and not just bragging fodder know that a "good" squat is one that helps you grow, not just one you can brag about afterwards.  

Our good buddy Matt LeBlanc recently posted a terrific short overview of a common disadvantage in "deep squatting."  Now, we wish the article was better cited, and also hat the author was credited, but regardless of those errors it is otherwise a terrific little piece.

What makes this one especially good is that it does what any training overview should do: get right to the point stating an issue (in this case, lower-back rounding while squatting), state why it's an issue, how to spot it and ideas on how to make adjustments to correct it.  Perfecto!

Now, we often tease CrossFit on The Snoop, but mainly the brand, not necessarily every individual in the community.  Just because the "cult of CF" has a lot of flaws in how it occasionally misleads intention, it is not saying that everyone who deals in CrossFit products is a self-righteous, time-shouting, scattered-form training douche.  And this difference was delightfully illustrated in the article, which emerged from a CrossFit gym out of Scottsdale, AZ. 

The only thing is that term "butt wink."  Really?  "Butt wink?" it neither accurately describes what they are talking about, nor is pleasant to use as a nemonic reminder.  

I guess you can't have it all, even when you get it good.

Come for the lifting. Stay for the babies.


Okay, this one you'll love for the pictures and video alone.  Even if the topic doesn't grab you, man, the visuals sure will!!

We at the Snoop are KICKING ourselves for missing this one when it was first published on the excellent site,  Fortunately, it's a topic that is as old as man itself: baby-making and hard work, so even a late posting on The Snoop is still relevant.  We mean literally baby-making – it's a rare look into how pregnancy and heavy lifting are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

You heard right: PREGNANCY AND HEAVY LIFTING.  Gone are the days when women would faint away in Victorian style in some bedroom while "with child."  Now strength work is actually potentially a boon for expectant mothers.  Hey, our cavewoman ancestors had to work damn hard, and those babies went on to produce us, so we think there may be something in all this.

The article was written by our beloved Resource Gina Melnik (The Drive(n), PQA Resource, Ignite Fitness Coach) – the powerhouse national-level StrongMan competitor and founder of the incredible N.E.W.S., New England Women of Strength organization.  And that is her in the pictures and videos, while she was still pregnant with her daughter.

We told ya the pics were worth it!!!

And who wouldn't want to ride the L-Train, right??

We at the Snoop always love when professional StrongMan (and hilarious sunuvabitch) Matt LeBlanc gets his hands on a camera in the gym and a video pops up in a few Next level feeds.  (You may remember him from another hilarious sledge-hammer vengeance video we posted a while back.)  Well, he's at it again.  And arguably the last 10 or so seconds of the video are the most fun – and inspiring.

Notorious for performing ridiculous (and often unexpected) feats of strength, Matt is also incredibly resourceful and imaginative with how he trains, and with what.  LeBlanc can barely spell "apparatus" (by his own admission), but this guy is brilliant when it comes to creating challenging apparatus for his workouts. 

As of this post, Matt is coming back from an injury that was the result, in essence, of his fiery, never-say-can't attitude.  (His body disagreed with him about the can't part a few weeks back.)  But he is impossible to keep down, and regardless of his numbers (which are impressive even without an injury), his energy and enthusiasm is contagious.  

We dare you not to chuckle a little at the end of this video – after you're done being rather impressed, of course.

Greg Corso, friend of The Next level, gets some big press

Realistic fitness is one of Greg's foundations.

Realistic fitness is one of Greg's foundations.

The Next Level has had a lot of allies and friends over the past decade of it's work.  Some folks contribute and become Resources for athletes.  Others just send positive vibes of support.  And the most common way our circle of benevolence grows is via the plethora of gyms and facilities into which The Next Level teams have worked and been welcomed.

For almost four years, The Next Level operated out of an (amazing) local Boston gym named Revolution.  "Rev" is now closed (sadly), and has been for a few years, but the folks who worked and trained there all continue to share a warm professional affinity for each other.  Rev was a place where unique and compelling solutions took place, and so unique and compelling people provided services there.  And few were quite as unique and compelling as Greg Corso.

Greg is a wry and sardonic guy with a very peaceful and realistic take on training and exercise.  He hates fads, but loves togetherness; he espouses hard work yet believes in moderation.  He is insightful without being "know-it-all-ey," and he is confident without being aggressive.  All in all, he is a great guy.  And since Rev closed, Greg has continued to make huge strides in how own Florida business.

Yeah, that would be Greg.

Yeah, that would be Greg.

And so we at The Snoop were psyched when we saw that Greg was featured in the popular men's magazine, Details.  He was listed among the Top Personal Trainers To Watch in 2014; and for the ever-independent Corso, this is no small endorsement!  it's nice to see the guys who make their own way get recognized for their value and hard work, rather than those who leech off of corporate identities to gain their launch.  

So we congratulate Greg for rising to the spotlight on a national scale.  We always knew he would grow big, so it's nice to see a national media spotlight shine on the terrific trainer who was friends with us in The Next Level.  

Congratulations Greg!  Keep going!

Dom explains WoDs.

One of the most important voices emanating from the physique & strength sports worlds is neither a trainer, nor a PhD., nor a coach.  it is a satirist.  And that voice is unmistakable.

For the past few years, Dom Mazetti (a creation of the comedy duo "Mike & Gian") has become a YouTube staple among the gym-going set.  His lampooning of "gym bros" is both nuanced and detailed enough for the lifting-devout to pick up on subtleties, yet satirical enough to be accessibly funny to those who have never set foot in a gym in their life.  This is American satire at it's finest.  Mazetti delivers belly laughs with a stark error of truth towards the foibles, frailties and foolishness of physique sports enthusiasts.

His latest creation is one of those "coulda seen it coming" topics: CrossFit.  Dom explains what CrossFit "is" in a way that sends up both the minion CrossFit haters as well as the creepy CrossFit devotees.  This is why it is great satire: neither side comes out unpunished!

But this is the serious analysis!  We Snooped off next level athlete Chris McGann (Spring 2014 team) who first posted Dom's later video.  Thanks Chris!