A blog by the Next Level  2013 Advancement Team.  

This blog provides the insight, in-jokes and inspiration of a team in action.  Each post is by a team member as their journey continues.  

In The Next Level, an "Advancement Team" is a team built of experienced athletes designed to "advance" the program.  The spring 2013 Advancement Team is comprised of eight men: Tom Keon, Phil Cohen, Stephen Cyr, Seth Carbonneau, Stephen Forgione. Phil Biondo, Yarza Winn and Chris Noonan.  

Each post represents only the views of it's poster, and is not intended as a reflection of the opinions, views or beliefs of any other teammate, the team as a whole or The Next Level.  

Follow these men as they make their marks on a small corner of history.



The goal is to stay strong, build muscle and lose fat.  So, if the stuff you use to burn fat also assists in maintaining strength, well, you got a win-win.

Recently, the guys have begun doubling up athletic dynamic training with interval "fat-burning."  It looks like what most people think of as "CrossFit," but this is a shade different.  The goal is not to have the best time on a board, but rather to accomplish a medium range goal.

With the hundreds of dynamic moves these guys use – from power cleans to a good ol' fashioned jumprope – they create complexes, compression sets and "dispersals" as a team to push each other's fat burning while keeping their athletic and strength skills high.  This sort of exercise instead of traditional "cardio" (yawn! and yuck!) allows them to burn more fat, as well as get their metabolism higher so that they do not need to starve to get lean.  Meanwhile, they present healthier bodies in bodybuilding and maintain their endurance for strength contests longer into the "diet."

Reason number 999999 why I LOVE bodybuilding/physique/strength sports

In my opinion bodybuilding/physique/strength sports are the best and most difficult sports in the world, and that's why I LOVE them so.

What is so beautiful about these sports is that they are constantly evolving and that's because the athletes within them are always learning and pushing forward looking for new ways to be bigger leaner stronger and so on(at least the good ones are).

The area that has the most questions as well as the most discussion is nutrition.  No matter how much you think you know, there is always tons more to find and read about.

A perfect example of this happened to me Monday night during our weekly Advancement Team meeting, we were talking about diet and I brought up frustration about my carb sources and wanting to find new carbs to spice up my routine. This alerted my coach Christian Matyi to a flaw in my diet that I never knew existed, PH balance of my foods (alkaline vs acidic).

I've dieted for years and have been pursuing bodybuilding for the last two and have had never heard to need for PH balance in the diet and its affect of the overall amount of leanness I may or may not have.

That being said I am very excited to have a new wrinkle in my diet and can't wait to see what this new bit of knowledge will do for me and what the next flaw in my diet turns out to be and how I'm able to grow and learn from it.

Attached is the before and after of my attempt to be more balanced and green friendly in my diet

posted by Stephen Forgione


Here's an interesting perspective by professional bodybuilder and nutrition counsellor, Dave Pulcinella about the healthiness of competitive bodybuilding.  It's one with which I somewhat agree.  

I agree with Pulcinella that when bodybuilding is taken as a sport, a number one concern should be winning.   Of course not everyone will share that sentiment.

However ultimately it should be a moot issue, right . . .? After all, as bodybuilders we are presumed to be a picture of health – the "Gold Standard" so to speak.  Should that be our reward?

While I believe that – for the most part – bodybuilders are probably healthier than the average person.  But  bodybuilding competitors who have literally died backstage as Dave mentioned are the exception to that rule.  

It's like I've always said: its not the supplement that causes the problem, its the user;  An idiot could screw up a bologna sandwich.

There are rotten apples in ever industry, bodybuilding is no different.

-Stephen Forgione-