Do you want to get big… is how! Part 1

So……you wanna get big??? If yes, then continue reading……..

I have worked with thousands of athletes, weekend warriors, and average Joe’s. Some needed to drop a few pounds while others would be considered “hard-gainers”; those guys that say “no matter what I do I can’t gain weight.” Thankfully, I had the remedy and was able to change their ways.

1. Sleep – If you want to pack on muscle, your hormones need to be optimal. When you sleep, your body releases growth hormone. If you are only getting 4-5 hours a night, or waking up every hour, that needs to change. You will need to block at least 8 hours per night, preferably at the same time every night. If you find that you are waking up fairly often, then supplements such as zinc, magnesium, cordyceps, ashwaghanda, and 5-HTP may help you out.

2. Eat 6-8 times per day – If you want to get big you cannot skip meals. If you skip a meal you’ll never get it back! Hard-gainers generally have higher metabolisms and need to eat more calories.

3. Get enough protein – You will need to get 1.5 – 2 times your bodyweight in grams of protein daily. If you weigh 160lbs that would be 240g-320g daily. Break that up into 6-8 meals and you should be in the range of 30-40g per meal. On workout days I like to be taking in a little more than on my off days.

4. Train at the same time – Studies show that if you are on a routine of getting to sleep, waking up, and training at the same time every day, then your results will be improved. Schedule your workouts like they are appointments that you will not miss.

5. During the workout – We recommend taking BCAA’s during your workout. We use Poliquin brand BCAA’s because they have the optimal ratio of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. You need to take 15-20g during the workout, or don’t bother. This will help keep you in an anabolic state and give you the building blocks to repair your muscles after a gruelling workout.

Part 2 coming……………next week


Larry Jusdanis

SST Canada owner

For more information and access to great articles and videos please visit

My Blueprint Nutrition tip of the day- Oct 26-15

SO much info out there when it comes to nutrition and it can be overwhelming even for someone like myself who researches every day.

Today I would like to mention something about hormones..specifically Growth Hormone (GH)

There are quite a few benefits of GH but for this blog lets focus on muscle growth and fat lipolysis (release of fatty acids)

There is a reason people illegally use this hormone- cause it works! But how do we do raise GH levels naturally?

Three easiest methods….SLEEP- only in the REM cycle- one of the most important factors…funny I had a male client who informed me that he was taking all sorts of supps for sleep etc…i recommended one and told him to call me in the am…he didn’t call…better yet came in and bought three more bottles!

GH and sleep

Secondly; high intensity exercise such as strength training and interval work increase GH levels thru the roof!


Thirdly; fasting- putting your body into a fasting state will naturally increase GH levels and combine that with a high intensity exercise – WHAM- watch your fat melt off!


For more info please do contact me personally at our Facebook page

Larry Jusdanis

SST Athlete News- Player of the week and OPC starts!

Congrats to SST Milton athlete Madison Taylor who is Northeast 10 Conference goalkeeper and rookie of the week!

click here for full article

SST Linebacker U is looking good…both Michael Moore and Luke McQuilken each had 7 tackles in their tough loss vs Laurier

QB U members Eric Morelli and Nate Hobbs squared off in Kingston with Eric leading his team to a tough win!

QB Canada member Nathan Rourke is still tearing up the the high school loop in Alabama- He has thrown a whopping 44tds!

The #1 ranked Dinos are being led by RB Mercer Timmis and Wr Brett Blaszko..Brett scored his first td of the year in their big win on Friday night

SST Long time hockey player Andrew Campbell and Tim Brent Squared off in Philly yesterday…Soupy – the Marlies Captain got the best of Tim’s team with a 3-1 win yesterday

SST’s first ever 7 on 7 Camp was a true success…the competiveness was exceptional with all of our athletes! Great coaching and athletes equal success!

The largest all-star football game in Canada started this weekend with tryouts in the GTA and Ottawa- huge numbers at both camps- should be some great games in May 2016

OPC West and Halton – Peel start this weekend in St Kitts and Burlington

To register- CLICK HERE

SST Athlete review- scholarship offer and CIS record broken!

Wow- special weekend that just past…on a personal note I myself was inducted into the Acadia Hall of Fame and so were my 95 teammates- thanks for the great times guys!

Now onto the real athletes! SST Laval Qb Jeremi Roch breaks the all time CIS passing yardage record..CONGRATS!

Please click here for full details

SST Burlington phenom WR Josh Palmer started his first game at St Thomas Aquinas in Florida- he recorded his first td as well….during the past week the University of Illinois watched his practice and offered him a full scholarship!

SST Waterloo athlete and NHL Star Mike Hoffman is tearing it up with the Ottawa Senators has 7 points – 3 goals to start off the season!

QB Canada member Eric Morelli was chosen as CIS athlete of the week…congrats young man!

LB’s Luke McQuilken and Luke Korol both had strong games leading their University

Both players recorded sacks in sealing the victory!

Congrats to all players this past week!

666 Bench workout for OL/DL


Why is it that whenever I’m in a gym I see people benching the same weight at each workout? It usually goes like this. A person performs a few reps at 185 pounds then at 205, and maybe 225 and then they get stuck. At this point the individual moves to another exercise, most likely the incline bench, and does the same kind of thing. You would think that after a year the weight they can bench would be through the roof, but unfortunately they haven’t seen continued improvement because most people don’t know how to maximize their strength training capacity. They don’t know how to initiate progression. The potential for increasing muscle size just isn’t being met.

Though we, at SST, have different bench routines for each of our athletes, the one I want to outline here is a favorite because it helps the athlete gain not only strength, but also size.

Basically the workout consists of 6 sets of 6 reps but with drop sets. Of course, after finishing this workout, many of our athletes feel like their body has been to hell and back!

Here’s how the program works from a physiological standpoint. An important factor to consider when working to increase strength and muscle size is to maximize motor unit activation. To better understand this, think of your body as containing a pool of motor units. By performing the Max strength Max size bench workout, which consists of lifting at, or near, maximum capacity, you would activate almost all of those motor units. The type of motor units we are aiming to recruit are the “fast twitch” or the type IIb muscle fibers. Fast twitch fibers are associated with high threshold motor units and are evidenced by power, speed and explosiveness. SST encourages their athletes to recruit the fast twitch fibers because this optimizes the most potential for building both strength and size. And who doesn’t want to be bigger and stronger?

The Max Strength Max Size workout is also an effective tool when used to build up the legs, but for now let’s look at increasing bench performance.

Exercise order





Rest in between reps

Rest after set


14” Bench press







Wide grip pull- ups







Bench press







Narrow grip pull ups







Wide grip Bench press







Chin ups







Decline lying db triceps extension







External rotation on knee with db






About Tempo: Tempo refers to speed of movement. The first number represents the speed, in seconds, when lowering the weight or letting it down with gravity. The second number refers to the pause between lowering and raising. The third number refers to the speed of raising the weight.

For an example, look at the chin-up tempo. The tempo is 211; therefore the athlete would lift himself up over the bar in one second, pause for one second and then lower himself for 2 seconds.

For the most efficient workout SST pairs exercises together. For instance, you would do A1 immediately followed by A2 as the first pairing, and then repeat until all sets have been completed. At this point move on to B1 and B2 and follow the same pattern.

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

Three different grips are used for bench work.

Differing the grip and varying the load, increases muscle tension and motor unit activation. By varying the grip you maximize muscle recruitment thus increasing the potential to build muscle mass.

How the rep scheme is broken down.

SST recommends starting with a weight that is near your maximum ability for one rep. Lift this weight for 2 reps. Wait 15 seconds then use a weight that is 5 to 10% less and perform a single rep at maximum tension. Repeat with this weight until you have completed 6 reps in total.

Alternate bench work with chin-ups/pull-ups.

Research has shown that by working opposite muscle groups overall strength is improved in the most beneficial manner. Perform all 6 reps of chins and pull-ups at the same time with no rest in between reps. When you are able to perform all 6 reps with ease add more weight.

It is important to rest between sets.

There is a 15 second rest between reps when doing bench lifts which allows the body to recover and to recruit maximum motor units for every lift. By lifting in this manner, the athlete is able to tap into the higher threshold motor units. By using the maximum tension in every lift, you can expect to make tremendous gains in strength and start to build up size.

This workout is demanding but the results are well worth the effort. Perform your workout once every 4 – 5 days for a month and let me know what you think.

Larry Jusdanis is the owner of Sports Specific Training Inc. and has trained thousands of athletes from a variety of sports ranging from your Weekend Warrior to the Professional.

If you would like more information about SST please visit our website at

Mobility VS Flexibility and Why it MATTERS to BASEBALL players!

With the changing of the seasons outside comes a subsequent change in training seasons, where many summer sports are transitioning into their off-season. As athletes start to file in from a long summer of playing the sport they love, a common theme emerges – these athletes cannot move. They have experienced a significant reduction in their mobility. As I watch them perform their dynamic warm-ups I notice shorter strides, grimacing faces, partial ranges of motion…I could go on and on. It is tough to watch because I know that it is going to take some time to work through these mobility issues before we can get to the phase where we make them better than last season. With off-seasons becoming increasingly shorter, valuable non-competitive training time is being wasted regaining lost mobility instead of being used to make serious physical gains.

But first, what is mobility and why is it so important? Well, this is a complex question that could take countless blog entries to cover. When people hear the word mobility they usually think it is the same as flexibility, but this is not the case. Here is a really simple breakdown of the difference between the two commonly misunderstood terms:

  • Flexibility is the length of the tissue.
  • Mobility, on the other hand, is much more complex; it is the ability of a person to reach a desired position or posture. It is a complex interaction between tissue length, strength, joint stability, the presence of scar tissue, and kinesthetic awareness.


The loss of mobility can be the result of many different factors or a combination factors, such as:

  • Muscle fibers become shortened after times of immobility (sitting at a desk all day) or eccentric stress (deceleration from throwing, running, jumping, etc.).
  • Tissues can become stiff because of instability in surrounding joints; a stiff neck may be the result of instability in the shoulder joint.
  • Mobility can be affected by protective tensions; an athlete may feel as though they have incredibly tight hamstrings, however, this tightness is a protective measure enacted by the body because of an excessive anterior pelvic tilt.
  • And injuries past/present can cause adhesions to tissue, reducing mobility.

Of course there are many other reasons, but these are just a few that are common for athletes.

Many athletes tend to neglect their strength training and mobility work during in-season which is a BIG mistake as the majority of injuries during the season are as a result of loss of mobility as the long gruelling season progresses (I’ve talked about this here and here ). Because of this neglect, loss of mobility becomes a common problem in many athletes, particularly younger athletes. Mobility loss in the early off-season can negatively affect the entirety of an athlete’s off-season training, which can negatively affect their next season, and so on and so on – a potentially compounding problem.

Specifically, here are some areas that baseball players REALLY need to have exceptional mobility if they want to maximize their potential and performance on the diamond:

  • Hip Mobility – many baseball skills require aggressive hip rotation. Sufficient internal and external rotation, adduction, abduction, and extension are key to pitching, hitting and throwing. Proper hip mobility while pitching plays a significant role in avoiding shoulder and elbow injuries by decreasing stress on these joint by up to 20%! Check out the research here
  • Thoracic Mobility – Sufficient mobility in the upper back allows essential separation of the hips and hands during your swing, throws and pitches. When this separation cannot occur due to lack of mobility, ‘energy leaks’ and timing errors are likely to occur. Lack of thoracic mobility can also cause anterior shoulder issues in pitchers, who compensate for lack of range by creating external rotation in the wrong places (ie. excessive external rotation of the shoulder joint).
  • Ankle Mobility – Ankle mobility is important to any rotational movement in baseball. While the hip may initiate rotation, proper movement in the ankle allows the feet to be plated in the ideal position for power transition. Proper ankle mobility is imperative to catchers, as they allow a catcher to comfortably get in a squatting position, allow for more sway to frame pitches, and allow them to get into proper throwing position for base throws.
  • Shoulder Mobility and Stability – The Gleno-humeral joint must be mobile enough to allow for unrestricted movement during the throwing and pitching motion. However, the surrounding structures must be stable enough to protect this joint from excessive movement and dangerous end-ranges often reached by pitchers.

OK, so mobility is important and decreased mobility is not good. So, how do we fix this? How do we go from decreased mobility to increased mobility and subsequently better training, better performance and better resistance to injury? I’ll save that for one of my next entries, so watch for that in the near future.

In the meantime, please feel free to download a copy of our “Player’s Guide to In-Season Strength & Conditioning for Baseball” below.


Courtney Plewes, BScKin, CSCS

SST Mississauga

Athletic Development

SST Athlete News- October 13

What a great Thanksgiving weekend of playoffs…NFL..NHL games started…CFL ramping up…CIS games rolling and high school football in earnest!

Lets start off with long time hockey athlete Andrew Soupy Campbell…unfortunately he was waived by the Leafs but is now the captain of the Toronto Marlies!

Andrew had a great weekend as he popped two goals in his first two games as captain!

Click Here

Qb Canada members have a great weekend!

Nathan Rourke has led his Alabama High school with 40 td passes in 8 games!

Eric Morelli- leading his Laurier team to a must win by going 20-24 and throwing 6td passes!

Will Finch continues to roll by throwing 473 yds and 3 tds!

Congrats to long time SST athlete and coach Mike O’Shea in his big win to keep the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the thick of the CFL playoff run

Rookie phenom Jordan Lyons takes and early punt return for a 75 yard td in Mac’s win over Waterloo!

SST Monday Morning Athlete News! SST LBs step it up!

What a great weekend of sports!  The Jays Are in…my Angels are out…the Cats lose on the last play vs the Stamps….My Miami Hurricanes can’t get over the hump….Bills lose with 17 penalties!

Lets start with Friday night lights in Burlington…Nelson avenges last year’s loss to Assumption with a 13-7 win…Nelson created 5 turnovers and blocked 2 punts on their way to their victory

Dom Mandalfino once again showed why he is a top recruit….Ben Cowman an underrated DL from Nelson should be on all CIS scouts list….A tall, long athletic player who just makes plays.

Nelson OLINE- led by Patrick Spelman and Riley Littlejohn grounded out the clock in the 4th for the victory

QB Canada star and top 5 player in Canada Nathan Rourke is tearing it up in Alabama- in 7 games Nathan has thrown for 27 tds!

SST Linebackers tear it up- Queens huge upset of Guelph was led by Michael Moore and Luke McQuilken- both had 5 tackles each and an INT!

How about the longest play ever in Queens history…QB Canada star Nate Hobbs throws a perfect dime for a 108 yard td!

Click here to see!

Jordan Lyons continues his possible run to OUA rookie of the year with another 87 yards and another td!