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I don’t want to get ‘Too Big’.

Stardate: 26th November, 2016

A young lady walks in to my studio for the first time. She looks shy. Skin-tight leggings,  a form-fitting – bust-accenting top. In any other setting, she would’ve been the most confident person in the room.

Here though – surrounded by sweating, heaving, radiant coils of muscular humanity… she feels out of place.

Immediately, her walls go up: “I just want to tone. I can’t [*inserts list of things she hasn’t tried, and can’t possible fathom wanting to try*]. I don’t want to get ‘too big’.”

I. Don’t. Want. To. Get. Too. Big.


This is a common one-liner… an immediate handicap many women apply to their journey in to the world of fitness; colouring their course with “can’t”… failing to realise several things:

  • Female Bodybuilders train for a decade or more to look ‘huge’ (- and, really, ‘huge’ is relative… as many of them are still tens of pounds, and several inches smaller than the average non-exercising female).
  • Getting huge doesn’t happen by accident. It takes voluminous, consistent workouts, a consistent caloric surplus (of specific macronutrients, to boot).
  • It takes good genetics.
  • For many, it takes drugs. Let’s be real.

Getting ‘too big’, is difficult for the average guy. So, honestly, it shouldn’t even be a talking point for the average female… No offense intended.

“I couldn’t train with you. Your clients train too heavy!”

‘Heavy’ is exactly the type of training you *should* do as a female. No… it won’t get you ‘too big’. Big requires moderate-to-heavy training PLUS volume… PLUS all of the other stuff mentioned above.

What heavy training *will* do though, is force adaptation: Stronger bones; Stronger muscles; stronger connective tissue; higher body awareness.

Think about the strongest female athletes. With the exception of some olympic and power lifters, and maybe throwers (who tend to consume calories to surplus),  the stronger athletes are the leanest. Sprinters. Gymnasts. Rock climbing enthusiasts. Crossfitters. Common theme?


But, don’t take my word for it.
Check out some of the ladies on my roster:

#bootcamp tonight..

A post shared by Corey Narkissos Springer (@narkside) on


@serenawalker Not poolsharking #girlsWhoLift

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@serenawalker #girlsWhoLift #metabolicConditioning

A post shared by Corey Narkissos Springer (@narkside) on

#bootcamp yuh r******.

A post shared by Corey Narkissos Springer (@narkside) on

#bootcamp ..the love connection

A post shared by Corey Narkissos Springer (@narkside) on

You get the picture.

Lift heavy shit!

Yours in fitness,
– Corey Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados


Sometimes… I do non-fitness stuff.

Stardate: 29th April, 2016

Check it out 🙂

Yours in fitness
– Corey “NarQ” Springer
Apollo Fitness Barbados

50 years of Marriage.

Stardate: 29th June 2014

Sitting beside my grandparents, who are renewing their wedding vows… to celebrate their 50th year of marriage. The pastor said ‘you may kiss the bride’, and my grandfather started kissing her as if he’d never kissed her before. Twice. Three times. Five times… to the shock & amazement of the congregation.

50 years… and still as in love as day 1.

In the same instance, the pastor informs us that Barbados ranks 10th in THE WORLD in divorces… w/ the instance increasing exponentially the longer a couple have been together. These two proudly defy those statistics.

So much to learn here. So much…

Things like:

– Hard work: My grandfather retired at close to 70. When he came home, his body immediately started to break down because, for the first time in his life, he was sedentary. He started doing a lot of outdoor work, and that was reversed. My grandmother, to this day, does a lot of walking and gardening

– Living a life devoid of spite, and malicious element: These two are the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Yesterday at the their renewal celebration, loads of people said the same thing. “Godmother/Grandparents to many”. I’m guessing that it’s true that happy people live longer.

– Sensible eating: That’s always been a factor in our home… particularly since my great-grandmother, who lived with us for many years, was diabetic, obese, and bed-ridden. really was a wake-up call.

– Spiritual grounding: My grandmother, ironically, was the spiritual head of our home. Our leanings, life-views, et al followed her belief structure and example. There were/are a lot of things that were never allowed footing in her home, and she managed that without prejudice… always with a spirit of tolerance. I don’t know how… but she did it.

– Each other: They are the most playful couple I know. Even in silence, they have each other.



Yours in fitness,
-Corey “Narkissos” Springer

Gluten-free does not mean “Healthy”. Stop me if you heard this one.

Please repeat after me:

“Gluten-free does not mean healthy.”

“Gluten-free does not mean healthy.”


“After all, cyanide and bleach are gluten-free… but you’d never see me swapping my current beverage intake for either.” – Lucinda Robinson



With that out of the way…

Stardate: 27th June 2014

Hi all!

Today’s rant isn’t a crack at gluten-intolerance. I need to put that out there first, so we aren’t misunderstood. My niece, who is four years old, suffers from a pretty severe gluten allergy. Me, personally, I cannot digest the stuff… It wrecks me. So, I’d never make light of the issue.

That said, I do have a massive pet peeve… and it revolves around the unscrupulous marketers of products.

In a nutshell:

Beware of fitness marketing jargon. It is often MISUSED to sell products. Not to protect consumers. Not to help educate consumers. NO… the bottom line is sales. That’s understandable, it is business after all. And, it would be ok if the average consumer read more than just the catch-phrases. But, this is not the case… ergo this rant.

Over the past few weeks, some clients of mine clued me in to a scam going on in their office. There’s a guy who comes by, selling cupcakes that he makes himself. Respectable, right? He sells out EVERY SINGLE DAY. Mind you, most of the girls in the office are on (and failing at) one type of weight-loss plan or the other.

So, how does he make his sales?

He says: These are gluten-free!

Here’s an actual conversation sent to me by one of my clients:

Chick: “The cupcake guy is here. He has a huge selection of stuff. What kind do you want?”

Client: “It isn’t my cheat day yet. Wait… How are you ordering cupcakes every day? Aren’t you on a diet?”

Chick: “Yea. It’s ok. They’re gluten-free. They’re healthy. So you and I can eat them.”

Client: “…”

/baffled look

You’d be surprised how many times per day I come across discussions like these. Some of you, much like the chick in the above dialogue, may not have even spotted what’s wrong with this discourse.

Briefly: A gluten-free cupcake, is still a cupcake. It’s still high in sugar, fat, starch, and all of the delicious little bits that make it cupcake-y.

The drawn out version: For gluten-free products to match the consistency of grain-inclusive products, manufacturers normally start with multiple, fiber-free, powdered starches. It may be rice starch. It may be potato starch… or what have you. To this, they slip in a ton of additives to bind these flours in the absence of gluten. Now, I’m not saying that the additives are a problem. However, when you take a snack treat that is already high glycemic (ie fattening), and build it around pure starch, you’re bumping the fattening power exponentially.

Add in the fact that the consumer now believes that what they’re consuming is healthy-promoting, and thus ok to consume in greater amounts, we’ve got a super cluster fuck.

…excuse my french.

And, this has been the case with other sexy health words.

Remember ‘fat-free’? Where fat was removed from foods, and replaced with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup?

Do you remember seeing ‘cholesterol free’ on your fruit roll-ups? (As if the absence of cholesterol negated the fact that your ‘snack’ contained nothing but sugar, syrups, and dyes?)


Fucking unscrupulous.


Yours in fitness,
-Corey “Narkissos” Springer

Ladies: Do you want to get in shape?

Stardate: 12th June 2014

I have a question for you ladies: Do you want to get in shape?

Of course you do!

michelle training

Why else would you be slaving away in those 2-hour-long aerobics classes, scouring the internet for “the best 100 calorie snacks”, and sinking hundreds of dollars into the oddest fitness gadgets to have ever graced the home shopping channel?

I’ve worked with, literally, hundreds of individuals like you, and advised thousands more. Out of it, I’ve devised five very simple tricks to get the most out of the very limited time you allot daily towards fitness.

I need to warn you though: if you are easily offended… this article is *not* for you.



Here we go!

1. Seek professional help.
No, this isn’t a plug for my services. Personally, it doesn’t matter to me WHOSE service you utilise…once you commit to use *someone’s* assistance. (See yesterday’s article: “even the best of us sometimes needs help”).

I’ve seen a recurrent trend over the years: people coming to the gym, fitness magazine (or article of dubious origin) in tow, doing the WEIRDEST of shit…and looking the same way for years on end.

Literally years on end.

These people are adamant that they’ve ‘tried everything’, and that they know just about everything there is about fitness.

The truth?

They/You don’t know what you believe you do.

If they/you did, a magazine cover would be in your near future.

Look in the mirror.

Is it?

I didn’t think so.

Moving on:

2. Ditch your gym membership.
With the exception of a few franchises, gym memberships are expensive.

With the exception of team-driven gyms (e.g. Crossfit boxes, martial arts studios, bootcamp studios, olympic lifting studios and the like), where support is the underlying team, nobody cares about your progress.

This runs contrary to your feeling that everybody’s staring at you while you workout. It also runs contrary to the ads that most gym put out there, that posit that they’re there *for you*.

The actual truth?
1. Most gyms exist to sell memberships.
2. Most gym employees exist to sell membership.
3. Neither of the aforementioned care if you come back or not, as long as your cash is already in their account.
4. You’d be better off spending your gym membership, and fitness fad gadget cash on a results-getting trainer. (See section #1: “Seek professional help”).

3. Strength-train, under supervision, at least twice per week.
Point #4 from the preceding section: hire a trainer.
And, I’ll tell you why.

A results-oriented trainer will push you to your limit from session to session. Each session will be the most productive you’ve ever done. You won’t be tempted to use suboptimal weights. And, even if you were, that annoying guy you’re paying to supervise you will remind you of ust how much you lifted on each of your previous sessions.

There will be no more meandering pointlessly through the gym. There will be no second-guessing.

There will just be work.

deirdre training

Effective. Disgusting. Fruitful. Work.

And that’s exactly what you need, twice per week.


4. Do cardio on your own on non-supervised days. Make it fun. Make it weird. If possible, make it cheap.

This is one of the most important components of a successful fitness routine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that cardio is a *must*… But it can help. AND the more you enjoy the activity, the more likely you are to commit to it.

Learn a new skill: Take up a martial art, swimming class, or dance class. Learn to play a sport. Find a large tire and a sledgehammer. Imagine that tire is your boss, and beat the hell out of that tire for 20 minutes.

jessica training

Take up yoga!

Doesn’t matter what the activity is.

All that matters is:
1. It’s fun.
2. It’s different.
3. It’s fun.
4. It’s intense.
5. It doesn’t cost you much.
6. It’s fun
7. You can do it on the days you don’t train with a trainer (ie a minimum of twice per week).

5. Make better dietary choices.

This is the most important facet. It’s also the place where most people trip up.

Why is that?

Well, people are complicated…and they like to complicate things. Give a person 20 options to work with (which amount to 10 more than they’d usually incoporate in their daily diet, as people are creatures of habit), and they’ll a.) Try to find ways to sneak 5 additional options in, or b.) Claim to be bored.

That’s a whole different article altogether though, so I’ll touch on that another time.

Let’s simplify dieting for the average female.


a. Consume protein at every sitting. Women, especially, tend to undereat protein…and overeat everything else. This practice generally undermines their fat-loss efforts.

b. Eat protein first in every meal. Protein yields a significant degree of satiety, so eating it first in the meal generally stops you from overeating anything else. Follow protein with your veggies…and, lastly, finish up with your starchy carbs. Eat in this order and you’ll never overeat carbs again.

c. Eat smaller portions on the days that you don’t weight-train. Eat less because your body needs less. Remember, food fuels activity. So, less activity = a lower need for fuel. Have protein, vegetables, some healthy fats, and small portions of carbs. Carbs here are optional, truly.

d. Cut carbs on the days you plan on cheating or drinking alcohol. Alcohol is a fuel source that can only be used immediately to fuel activity, or stored immediately as fat. It isn’t generally isn’t burnt as heat…or any of the other fun stuff that protein and other macronutrients undertake. It also has preferential disposal. This is to say: While alcohol is circulating, nothing else is being burnt.

So, logically, you’d want to cut back on the other fuel sources you have circulating, so there’s a lower likelihood of them being stored as fat.

My clients, I generally have consume protein and fiber on the days they plan on drinking…and that allows them to have a pretty-much-guilt-free round of drinks that night…without gaining a pound, or feeling lethargic the day after.

There are many other tips and tricks, but I think I’ve typed too much today. <– If you disagree, feel free to comment below… with a request that I continue.

Yours in fitness,
-Corey “Narkissos” Springer