Mistakes I’ve Made and the Lessons I’ve Learned

Eric Cressey’s High Performance Handbook is here, and I was fortunate enough to be asked to contribute one of the additional products. It is chock full of great information, from exercise programming, to nutritional information, to tons of other awesome bonuses by other smart people.


What’s In It For Me if I Purchase the High Performance HandBook?

Simply said, it is a solid product, whether you are a trainee looking to get strong or lean, or a trainer or coach looking to refine your craft, this is a smart decision on both ends.

On top of that, there is a phenom bonus on nutrition out there that I’m going to be taking a long look at myself. As someone who wakes up before the sun rises, and gets home after the street lights turn on, I need some help as well when it comes to meal prep and nutrition advice!

Also, EC has a bunch of awesome bonuses available if you purchase a copy before the end of the week, which he describes in better detail on the landing page of High Performance HandBook.

Just to sweeten the offer further, if you’re a guy or gal looking to do some awesome movements to augment your movement repertoire, and you’re looking to improve your movement skills and technique, I’m offering one-on-one tips for increasing relative strength in your bodyweight movements. Specifically, you’ll be entered into a raffle to earn these additional bonuses if you e-mail me your receipt of the product (take a picture of it or forward your email!) before the end of the month. (3 winners total!)

Additional Bonus Offered Only Here:

  1. 4 One-on-One Skype Sessions for refining technique on the One-Arm Push-Up, and Handstand Push-Up, and Standing Ab-Wheel Rollout.
  2. Progressions and regressions to help achieve these skills in a reasonable timeframe.
  3. Teach you how to dance. Well, let’s settle for teach you how to six-step. ;o)

–> Pick up your copy of
High Performance Handbook

Send me your receipt at ma[at]miguelaragoncillo.com by October 31st to capitalize on this bonus offer!


At the End of the Day…

Yes, I am promoting this book and product, partly because I contributed an additional bonus product and I want you to know who I am, along with me getting some affiliate sales. But the real reason why I’m writing this today is to promote a good product put out by Eric. If you purchase this, I’m sure you’ll learn a lot, have fun lifting, along with getting jacked, ripped, along with performing better on the field and in the gym.

You don’t need to move to Boston in the middle of the winter to learn every detail about shoulder pathologies or exercise program design. However, one of the unseen lessons that I have learned from my internship at CP was a lesson of hustle. Eric Cressey might very well be the definition of hustle, and after spending up to 5 months of time with him in the Fall/Winter of 2012, I still find this to be true. Whether it is inspiration, talking with his business partner Pete Dupuis, or hustling by osmosis at 5 in the morning with other coaches, I’ve slowly redefined my idea of work ethic and hustle. I don’t claim to be the smartest guy in the room – but I can say that I’ve made peace with the fact that I probably woke up earlier, got more things done, and can outhustle others when push comes to shove.

What I Learned from My Internship

Prior to interning at Cressey Performance, I was simply personal training, with no specific idea on what I wanted out of it – I just knew I wanted to help people move, feel, and perform better. On top of this, I was stuck in a relatively “old” way of the industry – required floor hours, pining people for training packages, and watching people run on treadmills.

I know people needed to move more, eat healthier, and overall reduce stress – but the exact method as to how to do this was lost to me. College classes and a few certifications have told me to get people moving four to five times a week, for an hour daily at a moderate pace, (or “vigorously” for three days), along with teaching very little practical information on nutrition for the typical person looking to lose weight. I followed this advice, and saw some moderate success, but still felt like I was missing the boat on real movement, and real nutritional strategies that would help my clients receive better success.

In reality, my background was dancing! I know that big movements work to move bigger muscles, and smaller movements, especially those seen in machine based exercises, won’t necessarily help your big picture goal.

So I did what anyone with a fresh degree out of college did, who had no points of reference on how to improve – I Googled my way to knowledge. I bought DVDs, talked shop with other trainers, and experimented with my more faithful clients (thank you to those who were my experiments in the beginning).

After reading a lot of information from Eric Cressey’s blog, and attempting to read everything he and his colleagues have ever written and produced (he has a lot of stuff out!), I felt like I had to see everything he has written and spoken about in person. I saved up for a year, applied well in advance, and I took a shot in the dark  by applying for a coveted internship spot – and ultimately got in.

The “Big Rocks” From an Internship at Cressey Performance

Two of the biggest ideas from my internship at Cressey Performance that I’ve applied to my own personal clientele are the idea of individualization for clients by respecting anatomical variations within individuals, along with exercise program design. Basically, I got schooled when it came to both after talking with Eric and some of the staff up north. I was simply learning what the chess pieces of the game were and what their names were (despite going to college for this!), and the staff at CP had a strategy on what to do in every situation with these pieces of the puzzle.

If You Don’t Have the Logistics to Travel to Cressey Performance…

In reality, this exercise program has can benefit many different populations, because it has the flexibility to apply a lot of what I’ve learned from my internship at Cressey Performance.

Someone Who Is
Looking to Get Results

For this person, this is an obvious decision. If you’re looking for a custom-made, individualized program, you won’t find anything like this anywhere else in the fitness industry. That is, short of moving up to Boston in the middle of the winter to train there. But who does that…? ;o)

Long story short, I’ve been a part of a few inner circles and have done most of the popular cookie cutter programs – not all of them, but enough of them. While I’ve gotten results from these exercise programs, the reality of the situation is that the authors of these programs aren’t physically there to tell you how they want these exercises to look, and if they are specific enough, you will more or less be taking a shot in the dark with regards to how your own body moves, barring cranking your neck to watch yourself deadlift in the mirror.

And, either due to my naivete, or my own stubbornness, I did every rep and set as prescribed in other programs. The result..? Well, due to my own hypermobility, I developed a ton of anterior hip issues, along with some shoulder issues popping up.


And while I can’t imagine the thought of multiple Eric Cressey’s coaching every person out there, the next best thing is to have video instruction of almost every exercise on the movements laid out in this book. I would have loved to have had a coach in my back pocket from the beginning, along with individual program design. This products aims to fill that gap by providing exercise instruction via videos to an exercise program that is assessment specific, so long story short this book literally has it all – whether your goal is performance, losing body fat, or to just move better.

A Personal Trainer
or Strength Coach

The other population that this could help is in reality, the personal trainer or strength coach looking to help serve other populations. One of the really big benefits of interning at Cressey Performance is more or less discovering how to program design, on top of literally asking and discovering the rationale for all the exercises laid out for their athletes.

Let’s get really real here – for some people, movement is their life. So for someone to move to snowy Massachusetts for months at a time, and then go and perform out on the field living their dream as an athlete, every movement taken is important. With that being said, there is no time for an exercise to exist in an exercise program “because it is hard”.

So, to wrap up, by picking up a copy of this book, you’ll be able to analyze how Eric writes and thinks about programs for his athletes and clients. As a personal trainer and strength coach, the most important weapon in my arsenal towards serving my athletes is the exercise selection, next to time of course.

If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants. –Isaac Newton

Essentially, by getting this book, you’ll be able to accelerate your own learning curve by a few months, if not a year or two. Some of the ideas may seem foreign at first glance, but give it time, let things sink in, and accept them for what they are as you go through the exercise programming of this book. If anything, you’re bound to get some good training sessions in if you follow everything to the tee that is laid out for you.

–> Pick up your copy of
High Performance Handbook

In conclusion…

In all honesty I don’t know how EC does it all, from reading research, to coaching, to speaking at seminars, to writing this product. I just know that this product overdelivers in all of the right ways. If anything, I would purchase the book on the off-chance that you win the all-expenses paid offer to train at Cressey Performance, and take a real look at how they do things there if you aren’t convinced yet (which is offered TODAY ONLY October 22, 2013). On top of that, you have the chance to win some other cool items, like shoes and t-shirts!


Keep it funky.



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