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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Privilege, not Punishment

I was sitting here and a friend walks up and says "Is it ok if I have Chipotle?"  Pretty popular question.
I ask "What are you putting on it?"
"Chicken, steak, cheese, sour cr-"
And I cut her off and ask "What are your goals?"
"I hate you, I love you, don't talk to me," and she's gone.  A very popular response.
 She knew the meal didn't match her goals.

But it didn't stop here.

As the morning moved along, I could hear her being heckled by one of the guys, taunting her with Chipotle, the usual teasing that occurs when someone is trying to watch what they eat.  I could hear and see she was getting annoyed and might cave in, so I sent a note.

"Be proud of the mission your on.  Not eating junk food isn't a punishment, its a great thing to have the mentality and discipline to keep on the tracks.  Power over your decisions and yourself is true power."

I added later, "It's a privilege to be able to make great choices, not punishment."

And as time moved along, about a week, it's stuck in my head and helped me out.  It's hard to not feed certain urges, certain habits, and it truly is a gift to be able to say no. 
To say no skipping class, to say no to sleeping in when you should be getting up, to say no going out when you should be studying, to say no to that meal that you know isn't going to help you reach your goals. 
It's not about fitness or workout goals, its about life goals, its about living and holding yourself to a certain standard. 
I wrote in my last blog about feeling sloppy and this thought is the remedy, the cure.   This is the discipline that you should wear as your badge and let your results speak for themselves. 
"Yes, I am dedicated, I became...." and fill in the blank.

I became....
(Fill in the blank) and ask yourself, what is it you're trying to become? 

When we were young, the question was "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  then it faded in the real world and a lot of us forgot to continue asking and working towards it.  
You may have noticed a theme lately in my blogs and posts (and I feel the need to always write, "I'm not preaching, I'm sharing what I'm going through in hopes someone can relate and is nodding along,") but it's always about silencing the bullshit and still being able to hear the whisper... hear that voice telling me where  to go and what to do and once I'm there, I'm already ready. 
Your journey is the road of preparation.  If you're following your voice, once you get there, it'll feel like home and you'll already know why you're there and what you're there for.

It cant be forced.  It cant be faked.   

So if your road is challenging... if it feels too hard to handle and you ever want to quit, if you ever want to give in and have to know... you are the only one that can handle your road! 

It's a privilege to be a grinder, to be relentless, to not have a quit button.  It's a privilege to be who you are meant to be.     

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Where I Am

(just a heads up, this is definitely not a fitness entry and its going to be scattered and religious)

I recently saw two movies that left me... humbled... wondering... asking questions, more questions... wanting to learn and wanting to step back to watch, to witness.
American Sniper - From a movie review stance (and I wont give anything away for those who haven't seen it), it's perfect.  Like Heath Ledger's Joker, you really don't see Bradley Cooper, you see Chris Kyle and all the elements that we as viewers are here to see.  Again, I wont dive too far in because I dont want to ruin the movie.  But Bradley Cooper is amazing, Clint Eastwood is the greatest film director and the story is absolutely incredible.
For me, I wasn't in awe of his stats (although he was an incredibly gifted marksman, if that's an appropriate term)... I ended the movie feeling how I've felt a lot in the past year or so, but more intense...
To be honest, I kind of felt sloppy.
The word "standards," have been ringing around my head... Manners... decency... respect... discipline... doing the right thing... saying the right thing at the right time, being truthful... having higher standards.. being simple and true.
Simplicity is under-rated.
Discipline has become a negative word.
I don't know... I'm writing, but I still cant wrap my head around how the movie left me, other than wanting to be better.  Wanting to be a better version of who I am.
When I wrote "thoughts from a roadside rest stop," a few months ago, I remember feeling similar but not this intense.... as I get older, I see more and more people leaving this world that we should have and could have learned more from and it makes me uncomfortable.  Time.

The other movie... The Passion of the Christ.
I know its older, but I never saw it and always wanted to.  Again, another movie that has left me, as I wrote above, wondering and asking questions.

I took a comparative religion class many years ago at Lakeland.  At the time, I thought it was the most impressive class I ever signed up for and I think I got an A or a B, I enjoyed the class.  At the time, I enjoyed how the teacher pretty much called "Bullshit," on every religion possible.  Now, I see that he was simply placing his own slanted view on us and I bought it.  He was saying things that I wanted to hear, back then.  Classes would go on and he'd point out parallel stories between the books and religions and paint them as fairy tales.

Now I see that yes, there are similarities and parallels but for different reason.
I know over the years, I've said and written a lot of "hippy stuff," that was influenced by my Buddhist readings and beliefs and would smirk at those who would try to throw their Jesus at me. But now, with what I've recently read, I'm taken back to that class at Lakeland, and I'm seeing the similarities from a new perspective  That Jesus and Buddha were different people, but both were very real with a very similar message(s), coming from a very similar state of mind and approach, one of enlightenment.
Their goals were the same.
I don't see how we can accept one and not the other as our reality.
Is prayer not the same as meditation?
Is the "power of attraction,' not the same as prayer?

I've never taken credit for anything positive I've ever said or did, I've written that a bit over the last year and now I see why.  Even now when teaching yoga, I've admitted all the time when the conversation comes up about something I said or something we did, I'll say "I don't know where it came from," or that "I lucked into it."  Now I see why.
So many times in speaking with young kids, trying to deliver a message of motivation and wake them up to something great, I never knew what I was going to say in advance and I could never really remember it after, now I see why.
When your eyes are closed, all you can see is darkness.

I've learned through meditation and books and podcasts and apps that a goal is to quiet the chatter in your head so you can hear your inner voice... right?
Reminds me of a short story I heard a little while back, I think it was from an Aubrey Marcus podcast -
Our God was to available to too many, too easy to find and man began to take advantage and request too much.  So God said "I'll hide in the mountains, they'll have to work to find me here," and very quickly, very easily, God was found.  He then said "I'll hide in the oceans, man can't find me there."  But again, man found a way and God was found.  God thought about it and said "I know, I'll hide in the clouds," but again, he was found.  Finally, God said "I know the one place they'll never think to look... they'll search the land and sea, they'll create technology to search for me while they sleep, they'll form armies to search every village and every country and they'll never think of it... I'll hide in their hearts."
So my wonder was just that... Is prayer, is meditation a way to quiet all of the distractions around us, to hear the God that lives inside of us?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

More on that later...

I only try to write once per week, so I try to jot down notes or random posts to help me remember things I want to further a thought on for Sunday nights.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  Often, when you get the urge to do something, you just have to do it when the moment strikes... there's just something in the air or a voice in your head saying "now," and that's it.

So, we're in class Saturday morning... yoga, and things happen here and there.  I've been coaching and training and working with people for a really long time and one thing I'm really, really good at is reading people.  Reading facial cues, body language and all that, and yoga is a really easy place to do it.  Most cues are saying "Go F yourself and this chair pose." jk.  
So there are times, where I know to pull things back or crank it up, throw out some challenges or advise a childs pose... dont be worried about taking a needed child pose, trust me.  no one ever does.  I was literally in a class yesterday that had me just kneeling and laughing at myself as everyone around me handled it all much better than I did.  That was the fun.  I kinda see that sometimes.  Classes I'm in and classes I teach.  Its not a competition... its not a pose off... if i could remove the mirrors in there, I would.  This is the fun with yoga... its so much more than stretching.  All the time, people associate yoga with stretching and fluffy music and humming and chirping birds, but there's something hidden in there.  And you really have to settle down and witness it, witness yourself.  Almost to remove yourself, from yourself, and just watch.  Watch as you move and breathe, as you start to think about randomness during class, as your brain starts to distract you from one of the actual goals... clearing your brain.  
Yoga can be used for many things... it can humbling, it can be physical... you can use it for training... for mental state... it can help with nearly anything.  I say that to people and it sounds so vague and generic,  they may think I just don't have anything better or think I'm just selling a class... but it really can.
I do think you have to be in a comfortable environment.  I'm comfortable with irony, its funny to me.  My little ego finds entertainment in being a 260lb tattoo'd guerrilla with a tank top, moving in a room with 50 other people, 99% women, just pouring sweat... the same sweat.  And again, that's one of the points... the erase boundaries, whether real or imagined.  
So when I say certain things in class, I really hope its never taken as some "know it all, douche," up there spitting his stupid yoga crap.... its kinda one of the only places, I'm comfortable to say these things (other than when I work with teams).  I don't know why.  Maybe I'm reading you're looking open to it.  Maybe because I know what the flow can do.  And when I say yoga can do everything for you, I mean it.  Its a drug.  and its free.  you don't need a prescription.  
Trust me, there was a day... a phase in time, where I had an ark of issues, two of everything... some im still managing (arent we all?) and i can say with 100% confidence that it was yoga that helped me handle it, accept it, manage it, work through it... release.  i remember when I was in one of my first classes, the music, the intensity, the words the instructor said at the right time... just crushed me.  I went to childs pose and cried.  no clue why.  And i didnt mind or care... I was so sweaty, I wasnt worried about anyone seeing plus I dont think anyone really cared.  it happens to a lot of people.  
So dont be worried in these classes to do something perfect or wrong... not deep enough or too fast or slow... whatever... all I'll ever ask is that you take moments to witness things that happen, inside and out.  
Have you learned that muscles store energy?  And that we can carry emotions in certain muscles?
Ok, when tense and stressed, why do your traps and neck get tight, cramp or hurt?
So then I'm thinking... We all have these different forms of how we like to move and exercise.  Some of us are power lifters, some love Pure Barre, some run, some yoga, some body build, etc.  People ask "what should I do?"  Trainer J says "Welp, what are your goals?"  But the real guy thinks "What do you want to do?"  Because your body already know whats best.  Its built inside of us.  
Yes, we now have information and scientific study explaining how to achieve goal A and then B and C... but, so what?
Yesterday, I had a plan to workout around noon or so and I felt ready to roll.  But when the time came around, I looked around the gym and it just looked boring and redundant.  So I went home and gave it some time, did some things around the house and it hit me "Lets see who's teaching in the area," and I went and found a yoga class and it was amazing.  
Now, this log isn't about yoga... sort of.  

Today, I was starting my session and my plan sounded great, I was pretty excited to get it going.  I had my Explosions in the Sky in my Pod for warm up and then Pearl Jam ready for when I needed them... then I look over and see a girl running on a treadmill and it hit me again.  Obviously, I wasn't looking at her oddly, but I thought "she's running so easy, so smooth... she was born to do that."  Ever see people like that?  Where they're just doing what they love and because of that, their body takes care of itself... there's no battle between "do this, not that," and a bunch over used information in crappy magazines.  she came in, ran really well, hit some core and out. 
So next time you're in and wondering what to do, do what feels good.  Its already in our primal mind, we're built to move, run, jump, lift, stretch, sweat, breathe.   We're supposed to be dynamic, physically, while evolving in every way possible.  To be as complete as we can, naturally and whatever happens, happens.

Ask yourself, at work, at the gym, home, wherever you are... is this helping me or hurting me?  

Problem is... we're distracted.  Phones and television, bills and money, war and conflict.... what do they have in common?  Man made.  

Just like I said yoga is a drug, there are ways.  How can we dissolve the borders and lines and labels in our head?  
More on that later

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It was overwhelming...

... I thought I could compartmentalize, and put things in their place, but I couldn't.  And it's one of those lessons you don't learn, until you go through it and learn it yourself.

I was at Dominic's house and we were about to record a podcast.  We were just bs'ing, catching up real quick and he asked something how real estate was going.   I dont remember my exact answer but I referenced a day job and he stopped and said "Wait a second, you're working..." and listed off x jobs.  Most people may think "Wow, look at you," but Dom said "Aren't you spread thin?  How can you give all three the energy?"
He nailed it and I knew it then... I just smiled and blew it off and said something that would exit the conversation, which I'm good at.
But he was right on the money and it was completely overwhelming.  Mentally suffocating.  There were nights when I'd get home and have to get on emails or follow ups and try to book the weekend and I'd have my calendar and I'd try to book every spare hour with some type of apt.  Non-stop, all year.  Given the year and everything we had going on, I had no choice.  I had to grind like that to make sure certain things happened and that we were somewhat set for the winter.

But a lesson was learned, one that came to me after writing "chubby trainer."  Very simple, there's only so many things you can handle well, with productivity and drive and passion and all the goodies that make you do the things you love to do.  No clever title.
I've written about the "Goal lists," a bunch of times and when I meet new clients, we talk a lot about building small lists, 3-5 things, that's all.  But I re-write, edit, cross off, add on and constantly check my list... 50 things.  Within that 50, I have another list of "how," those 50 things are going to happen where I write 3 "how's," per 50 goals.... that shit's an afternoon project!  Yes, I do feel it's important and it's helped me find success with a good deal of them,  BUT, there was something missing.
I wasn't in the goal list.  Yes, on one hand it was all about me and things I was going to accomplish.  But I never wrote down "read a book a month," or "go for 2 walks per week," or "pick the girls up from school more often."
And because of all that, I wound up where I was the night I wrote "chubby trainer."  Ground zero, feeling like shit, thinking of quitting, mentally exhausted and depressed.
This is what happens when you;re firing off at 50 goals, shooting for them all, every single day.
"It's better to burn out than fade away," has always been one of my favorite quotes and I actually still believe it but... it's time to touch the brake for a bit and realign the focus.

Like I said in the last blog entry, I need to train myself.  I need to develop myself.  I often post things on FB talking about myself and that was one of them.  I see things within myself and I want to share.  There's a line in Eminem's "Rap God," where he says "So I wanna make sure somewhere in this chicken scratch I scribble and doodle enough rhymes, to maybe try to and help some people through tough times," and that's why I enjoy sharing my errors and shortcomings and insecurities and everything else.  Maybe someone's reading this thinking "Damn, thats me too...." and it takes them somewhere mentally to make an adjustment.

Aubrey Marcus said something along the lines of "We're just a drop of water the ocean forgot about."  And the first time I heard it, I kinda got emotional... in a very humbling, settling way... We're that small.  We may think something now... we're so important or this and that, but the things that are important are what we share.  Not our money or the house, we cant let that turn us into slaves.  Not how may likes we get or how many people read our blogs, we cant let a funny ego run the show.

Point is... just as I was working too many hours and targeting the goals, I had my "how," list available, but not my "why," list.
I've lost friends and my phone is only filled with people who know from one of my jobs (aside from maybe 6).
I can feel a very strong wave of change and transition coming... I'm good with it.  

You have to be balanced.  You have to work hard and have fun.  You have to have friends and have alone time. You have to be versatile and complete.

You know what I really hate?  Going out in public.  Why?  Because I run into people and they always want to talk about training and a gym.  I don't think they do it because they want info, they do it because they dont know what else to say to me.

You know what I really love?  Someone text me after reading the last blog and said "And if you ever feel like quitting, let me know.  I'd be happy to reciprocate (f'ing Iphone just died at 23% while copying her text!!!)"  I think it ended with something saying "happy to reciprocate what you did for us."  this was sent by someone in the Power Program I talk about and this person, probably transitioned more than any other I've ever trained and I told her this when we ended in May.  So getting this text... was something I always wanted to hear.

I always said - I'm not above or below, I'm with you.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chubby Trainer?

The excuses and the "why's," are irrelevant.  If I thought they mattered, I'd share, but I don't feel they do.
I could talk about long work hours and body pains, but I'm going to.
I'm the big mouth that posts "No If's - No Excuses - No Bullshit," yet I've gained about 15 pounds of chub since Oct.
I can run intelligent sessions all day and help everyone get where they're trying to go, while bouncing back and forth between under eating to over eating, drinking to cleansing, training every day to missing 10 straight... what does it add up to?
To me, an irresponsible, out of control, idiot.  
If I observed as a bystander, I'd say "Ya, he knows he's shit but he can't do it for himself, so who cares?"
On a level, I know I'm hard on myself.  But on the flip side, I have to be.

So here's the deal.  I have until the end of June to lose 50 lbs, or I'll quit as a personal trainer.
As I write that, that's sad, because I shouldn't be in a position to even have 50 lbs to lose, but I am and I do.

How will I do this?
Time management:
I'll only be reserving "x" hours for training clients.  I wont be cutting anyone back or altering their programs, but I also wont be recruiting or adding classes to the schedule.  I'll need time for myself, something I'm not very good at scheduling.  I've learned this year that I have a pretty silly workaholic mind working and that needs to stop.   Again, the irony of this entire post is this, I need to start doing the things I tell my clients to do "Make time for yourself."
I'm 37 and still in a position to make some excellent changes.  I'm very confident in my genetics and work ethic so again, at 37, I know I still have time to turn a corner and finish strong.

Follow my own programs:
This is about me, training myself as my own client.  I'm putting my money where my mouth is.  First up... Taking myself through the Power Program I ran last year.  I'm extremely confident in the layout and design and I know it'll prove big results early... smart results.  I might be a little out of control in some levels of life, but if there's one thing I know, its program design and implementation of these programs.  
I have to be smart with myself.  I have to literally treat myself like a client in every way.  The trainer voice in my head needs to be present 24/7.
I'm going to print out the Power Program schedule and follow it to a T as if I've never seen it before and I'm a rookie.  (and then when I smash this goal, count on another power program launching this summer).  

Heal the injuries:
I said I wouldn't rest on these but it's a pretty legit issue and only writing about it because it'; be a hurdle to deal with.  Without being able to squat, dead lift or run, it's an issue.  I've been nursing a hip/back issue for a long, long time.  Years.  It's effected my foot and my cardio pretty substantially.  I feel I have a plan to heal well, but I also don't have X-ray glasses so I don't know exactly how fast or slow or efficient it'll be.   Getting out of a car really hurts and there are times where I cant stand up straight so again, fingers crossed for my inversion table.  So far, so good.  I've been on it pretty consistently before bed for about a month and it's helped with sleep and easing the pressure in my back.

I'm confident, but the pressures on.  I will quit if this doesn't happen, that's why I'm writing this.   I want you to know where my goals rest and why.  There's nothing more I enjoy (other than family things) than training you in the gym and running those classes.  I put a lot of energy and thought and heart into every session and every class I run.  I feel it's given me a purpose... not meeting this goal will end it for me... and that will hurt, but this is serious for me and is my absolute #1 goal as of right now.   (I just re-read that last section and got emotional... I'm kind of a bastard about sticking to my word, for better or worse, even if it hurts me.)

So sorry Joey's, sorry excellent little Chinese restaurant in the square and F you Paninis.. this is good bye.
No alcohol. No Redbull.  No candy.  No cheat meals.  No excuses.  No bullshit.  No days off.

I'll be logging this journey along with everything else in this blog.

Funny... As I wrote this, I flashback to high school awards assembly where my coach asked all the parents in attendance to "Not let him in your house unless his homework is done."  So now, I'm not leaving the gym until my own session (my homework) is done.  So if you see me, feel free to heckle me (but it better be funny or motivational).  Bother me the way I'd bother you.  I want it and need it... "it," meaning help.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Be The Star

We work and drive and shop and watch television... the news, world affairs, the economy, oil prices, conflict...  we have all this social media and allll these things that just go and go. Right? Busy, busy lives and brains. Days fly, as do months and then years. 

We'll reach a point where we're able to think back to experiences and moments. 
We'll think about camping trips... vacations... and laughing.  
We'll think about old friends and where we grew up... our hometown... the streets where we learned some life lessons.  
We'll remember certain things, certain people said to us... comments that became tattooed in our brains.
We'll remember love and crushes.  
We'll be relive it when a certain song comes on the radio and that one lyric can take you back to your first apartment and how you'd make easy mac n cheese before watching your show with your best friend.  

But right now... you're not there yet.  You're still writing your story.  
So who are you?  Are you writing yourself to be a back ground character?
Or are you the star?  It's ok to be the star... this is your story.  Why would you write yourself into a supporting role?  Be the star.  
Be the star to your children.
Be the star to your husband/wife.
Be the star to your friends.
Be solid.  
Be human.  

You wont remember money.  
You'll remember moments.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The 7 Moves You Should Be Doing (and why)

  1. This is written with the understanding that you are injury free.
  2. The moves listed below will not alone make you bigger, smaller, more tone, stronger, etc.  To achieve goals, you will need to use these moves performed in the proper set/rep scheme with proper nutrition.  Depending on goals, cardio and yoga could also be recommended.
  3. If possible, try to use a mirror or a partner to help cue your form through these exercises.
    1. I HIGHLY recommend hiring an experienced strength coach/personal trainer to learn all the movements listed below.  (Not just writing that because I am both, but because safety is essential and performing any of these incorrectly can result in injury.  

  • Back Squat
    • Approach the bar so that your head is aligned down the middle of the bar, duck your head underneath and set the bar on your upper back, not your neck
    • Stand up and take one step back.
    • Eyes set on a point slightly higher than your natural eye line, keep your chest up and shoulders back.
    • Keeping the majority of your weight on your heels, slowly drop your hips as if reaching back for a chair with your butt.  
    • Sink until your hips are as low as your knees.
    • Once there, drive through your heels and stand back up. 
    • Inhale on the drop, exhale as you rise.
      • Alternate movements: leg press; hack squat; body-weight squat; dumbbell squat (db's high); machine leg press; squat jumps; box jumps
Sarah in mid-squat.  Notice that because the majority of her weight is on her heels, her knees are in great alignment and the center of the knee is behind her toes.
  • Dumbbell Chest Press
    • Laying on your back with the dumbbells held high.
    • Feet, back, butt and head are always contacting the bench and floor (feet).  
    • Breathe in and slowly drop the dumbbells, bending your elbows and dropping them to a 90' angle. 
    • Once there, exhale and press through your palms, reaching for the ceiling.
      • Alternate movements: machine chest press; push up; barbell chest press; plyometric push ups
Perfect position at the bottom of the press.  I prefer an angle to the hands/wrists (as pictured) as well, to help influence a strong squeeze to the top of the movement.  
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    • Standing with dumbbells at your shoulders.
    • Feet are set under your hips with a very slight bend in your knees.  You do not need to be anywhere near a half squat, but you don't want to stand with knees locked out.   
    • Exhale and press the weights to the sky.
    • Inhale as you drop your elbows to the same height (or slightly lower) as your shoulders, hands/weights directly in line with your elbows.
      • Alternate movements:  Machine shoulder press; barbell shoulder press; smith machine shoulder press; hand stand push ups.
The shot on the right is perfect.  In my opinion, in the pic on the left, his finish is a little low.  I prefer to teach clients to finish a few inches higher than what is shown here (elbows in line with the shoulders).
  • Walking Lunge
    • Standing tall, step out into a slightly longer stride than you would if you simply walking.
    • As your foot lands, make sure you are in balance, bend your knees and drop your hips towards the ground.  Breathe in as your drop.
    • Your body is tall, your core is tight and your eyes are fixed in front of you.  (Remember, your body goes where your eye go).
    • As you shift your hips forward, towards your lead leg, (exhale) press through your foot and stand back to a tall position.  Alternate steps.
      • Alternate movements: static lunge; single-leg leg press; step ups; lunge jumps; single leg squat.
Although the walking lunge is a very important movement, I teach the static lunge first to reinforce proper form.  The static lunge (pictured above) is similar to the walking version.  The difference is the only thing you're doing is standing up, feet aren't moving at all, and then you're bending your knees and dropping your hips back down.  
  • Seated Lat Pull
    • Prior to sitting, reach up for the bar and walk your hands out about 4 inches towards the outer edge of the bar.
    • Sit down and inhale and lean back 2-4 inches.  Eyes are focused and neck is neutral.
    • Exhale as you pull down, pulling the bar just under your chin.
    • As you pull, focus on squeezing your shoulder blades down your back, as if trying to pull your shoulders away from your ears.   
    • Squeeze your back and return to the starting position (step 2).  
      • Alternate movements:  pull ups; chin ups; supinated pull down; neutral grip pull down; single arm pull down
My cartoon friend has perfect form.
  • Dumbbell Bent-over Row
    • Standing tall with dumbbells in hand, and feet set a little wider than your hips.  Bend your knees and drop your hips as if squatting (inhale).
    • Stop your movement slightly above a half squat, pause and lean forward with a deep breath and tight core.  The dumbbells are now resting just in front of your knees.
    • Slightly arch your back and keep your core tight throughout this position.  This will help keep you from rounding your back.
    • Exhale and pull the dumbbells up towards your body.  (You can pull this weight in a variety of ways.  I prefer to teach clients to pull towards their ribs).  
      • Alternate movements; bent-over barbell row; single arm dumbbell row; seated low row
Not a huge fan of this pic but it was one of the better pics I found.  Here, I think his feet are too close and his back looks are little "archy," near the top.  I'd have him pull his blades back a bit, flattening things out.
  • Dead-lift
    • Approach the bar with your shoes laces just under the bar.  Feet are set even with your hips or slightly wider.
    • Reach high into the air, stretching your back.  Fold forward and push your hips backward while bending your knees, dropping into a perfect position (pic 2). 
    • Eyes are locked on a target in front of you.  
    • With an alternate grip (pic 1), pull on the bar slightly to remove the "slack."
    • Core tight, stand tall as you drive through your heels and pull with your hips and low back.  You should/could feel this in your quads, glutes and low back.  If you feel it too much or only in your low back, form may be off or weight could be too heavy.    
 Alternate grip, eyes are locked, slack is removed.
Same shot, different angle.  Notice how similar this is the squat.  Knees are in line, hips are back, back is flat.  Perfect set up form. 

All exercises above come a with a wide variety of alterations and adjustments 
based on specific goals.

Why were these weight training exercises selected?

A) Multi-joint movements recruit more muscle fiber.
B) Multi-joint movements burn more calories.
C) Mutli-joint movements increase bone density.
D) Multi-joint movements save time in the weight room and help to train multiple areas at once.
E) Movements like the dead-lift and squat can shape and tone your lower body, increase strength, increase speed, increase endurance and improve athletic performance.  
F) Most DB and/or standing movements also recruit your core during stabilization.
G) Multi-joint movements are excellent regardless of how you're training.  You can use these in a straight set routine or in high intensity circuit.