Archives For Charles Stanley

Well, I found out this past week that I passed the NCSA-CPT (National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer) exam!

I wrote it in December and just got the results via email after submitting my CPR/AED card. They'll be mailing the certificate to me in the next few weeks.

As for the exam itself, it was really a pain in the ass to write. The exam location, which was York University, was in another city, and the time started at 9:00 AM ending at 12:00 PM. Meaning, to make sure that I could make it on time, I had to stay overnight at a hotel to write this exam.

The desks were tiny, probably the smallest desks I've ever used as an adult. The width of the writing surface of the desk was probably as wide as a single sheet of paper. Sitting in a chair made of wood for 3 hours was literally a pain in the butt, and having my head down looking at test for 3 hours was a pain in the neck. I train my neck on a regular basis, but this was tough, even for me! My neck was sore after, and I'm pretty sure I had a neck pump after the exam.

As for the test itself, it was challenging. It was a 150 question multiple choice test, with about 35 questions that required you to watch a video before answering the question from the exam booklet. There is no practical component like the Can-Fit-Pro Personal Training Specialist, or PTS test (I was required to train a mock client in front of another trainer).

Unless I'm mistaken, the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) exam is the same way (all multiple choice with no practical component), meaning just about anybody who is a good text book reader and test taker can obtain these certifications, with the exception that the CSCS has a requirement of a bachelor's degree in any subject.

This would be the second training certification I've obtained in the past 10 years. The first one was Can-Fit-Pro PTS. I let that one expire because of a career change. I really should have kept up with it though.

I also obtained a 3M National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) many moons ago during the dot-com bubble in 1999. Yes, I am probably older than you think 😉

As far as my opinion on certifications go, in the end, they're really just a piece of paper saying that someone has paid the appropriate fees and have managed to pass a multiple choice test (or whatever the test format and requirements happens to be) that is based off of the textbook and other materials provided by the certifying agency. It doesn't mean that they actually workout train themselves on a regular basis, or have worked with clients in the past (unless those happen to be required for the certification).

It is what it is.

Now I have to keep up with these CEU (continuing education units) that continue to make money for the certifying agencies will...err...continue my education.

However, I suspect that most of my "education" in the future will come from under a heavy barbell, and coaching others.

Anyways, check out these articles!

  1. Knowing Squat About Squats by Alex Schuld, Howard Hensen and Ryan Atkins
  2. Why I Train by Charles Staley
  3. Fuck Your Forum by Paul Carter


This was the final week of 2012 and I managed to squeeze out a few PR's after fueling up on a big Christmas dinner:

355 lb Bench Press

255 lb Overhead Press

230 lb x 3 Overhead Press

Not bad!

I wanted to get a 550 lb deadlift as well, but only managed to get it to my knees.

On a side note, I discovered the proper abbreviation for "pounds" is "lb" and not "lbs" as I have written for a long time 😐

This applies to single and plural usage of "pounds" (when it comes to mass, that is).

Anyways, came across some good articles this week. Check it out!

  1. What Is Strength And Why Do You Need It by Charles Stanley
  2. "Happy Holidays, Now Buy My Fitness/Nutrition Book" by Brian Hill
  3. Squatting Big by Blaine Summer (who is an IPF Powerlifting World Champion and World Record Holder)



Black Rumble Roller Review

September 6, 2012 — 6 Comments

Prior to using the black Rumble Roller, I've never done any foam rolling before.

I remember when I first read about foam rolling and saw pictures and videos of people laying on the floor and rubbing various parts of their body on a large blue (and sometimes black) cylinder, it looked a bit weird to me…almost disturbing.

Foam rolling looked like something that should be done alone, in private.

But after a little more research into this "self myofascial release", and being sick and tired of being tight and stiff from weight training on a regular basis, I decided to give foam rolling a shot.

I wanted the best foam roller on the market, and my internet research had lead me to the Grid, and the Rumble Roller.

Ultimately I decided on the Rumble Roller simply because those ‘spikes’ look pretty damn cool, and intuitively it seemed as though it would work better.

There are 2 types of Rumble Rollers, and 2 different sizes.


Blue Vs. Black Rumble Roller

There’s the softer, blue Rumble Roller, and the stiffer and harder black Rumble Roller. I’ve read it was recommended to people who do not have any experience foam rolling use the softer blue one.

I don’t have any foam rolling experience at all (besides pressing my back against my B&R bar...which is not exactly “foam”) but I decided against the blue roller because I knew that in time, my pain tolerance would increase and eventually I would need to upgrade. If I went with the black Rumble Roller right from the start, then I would not need to upgrade to anything (I’m not even sure if there’s anything else better on the market).

Also I heard once you go black you never go back. So I decided on the stiff black one first instead of the softer blue roller even though I didn’t have any foam rolling experience, because I figure I'll end up upgrading to the firm one anyways.

Compact Vs. Full Sized Rumble Roller

Next was the decision to go with the smaller, cheaper travel sized Rumble Roller, or the full sized version.

At first I was leaning towards the travel roller, thinking it would be more convenient to carry around.

But then I realized that I would be using this thing mostly at home.

Also, I'm guessing you can't do as many foam rolling exercises compared to the larger one.

So I went ahead and ordered my first foam roller - the full sized black Rumble Roller.

First Impressions

When it finally arrived at my door and I took it out of the box, first thing that hit me was that it smells like Crocs shoes, and it looked like some sort of modern day torture device.





The Rumble Roller looks pretty damn cool, especially when compared with other foam rollers on the market.

This thing looks like a giant penis sleeve a miniature Sheepsfoot roller, like the one shown below:


…or one of those handheld massager or wooden foot massage that I see all the time in Chinatown:


The bumps on the Rumble Roller is supposed to mimic the thumbs of a massage therapist.

Here’s what the official website have to say about these bumps:

As you roll over the top of the RumbleRoller, the bumps continuously knead the contours of your body, gently stretching soft tissue (muscle and fascia) in multiple directions. This action erodes trigger points, helps restore flexibility, and brings quick relief to common types of muscular pain. By design, the RumbleRoller's bumps are firmer than muscle tissue, but much softer than bone, so they deflect out of the way if they contact your spine or other bony protrusions.

Even though the Rumble Roller has a ton of bumps, to be honest, I can’t really feel them. For me, it’s hard to feel each individual bump when there are multiple bumps digging into my body.


I've read that some people are bothered by the smell of the Rumble Roller.

There is a distinct smell to it. But it does not smell like rubber as some people would describe. (The flooring in my home gym are made of rubber, and they have a car tire smell).

For me, it reminds me of Crocs shoes, which has a distinct, artificial plastic/rubbery smell. If I close my eyes and take a whiff of the Rumble Roller, it feels like I’m inside a Croc store, or some other shoe store that sells a lot of Croc knock-offs.


If you don’t mind the smell of Crocs, which smells pleasant to me, then you probably won’t be bothered by the Rumble Roller. It will take a few days for the smell to dissipate, so eventually the odor will go away.

At this point, I don’t even smell it anymore.

Instructional Manual


The instructional manual shows some basic exercises...which is great for me since I’ve never used a foam roller prior to this one.


The black Rumble Roller will take some time to get used to.

At first, rolling on the black Rumble Roller was torture! I have never used a foam roller before, and I was essentially jumping into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim.

After the first session, I needed to take a day off from foam rolling, simply because my body felt tender.

Over time, I’ve built up pain tolerance to the point where it’s quite comfortable rolling on the Rumble Roller.

Short term pain for long term gain, and developing pain tolerance takes a bit of time and patience.

If you bruise easily, it might be better to use the blue Rumble Roller, because the black one is quite stiff. Apparently it’s 36% softer than the black version.

It’s painful when rolling on the Rumble Roller, but I feel great after. It's as if all this pain is causing my body to release endorphins. I'm not sure if this is the case, but it sure feels good.

Recently I’ve tried rolling on a regular foam roller, and it felt like a soft fluffy pillow compared to the Rumble Roller.

I guess they were right: once you go black you’ll never go back.

How I Use The Foam Roller

These days, I use the Rumble Roller as:

1) A warm up

2) Massage on off days

The act of being on the floor and moving my body over the roller through various positions gets my heart rate up, and I work up a bit of a sweat.

I find that my mobility is increased after rolling my back, IT band, quads, adductors and whatever muscles I’m forgetting. I can squat deeper without any aches if I do some foam rolling before touching a barbell. The Rumble Roller has now become an essential tool for my warm ups.

On my off days, I find using the Rumble Roller helps me become less stiff and walk around like a normal person rather than a slow moving zombie. It also appears to reduce DOMS, at least temporarily.

For the psoas, I find that using the Rumble Roller isn’t as effective as a lacrosse ball. Even with all the bumps, the Rumble Roller feels too blunt to really dig into the psoas muscles, which is where the lacrosse ball excels.

For the bottom of the feet, the lacrosse ball does a better job than the Rumble Roller as well.

For pinpoint accuracy on a knot, small or hard to reach muscle, use a lacrosse ball.

Otherwise, the Rumble Roller is my go-to tool for self mysofascial release.


After extended use, the bumps on the Rumble Roller has developed some wrinkles:


However, this more of an aesthetic issue because it doesn’t affect the performance of the roller. The bumps are still the same shape and haven’t flattened, and it’s still a pain in the <insert muscle group here>.

In other words, it still does the job despite the wrinkles.


At around $70, the full sized, extra firm black Rumble Roller is expensive when compared to other foam rollers.

But I subscribe to the belief that generally, you get what you pay for.

It cost less than one massage session in North America, and it’s a tool that I use 3-5 times per week that will last for a few years at least.

The way I see it, I’ll be using the Rumble Roller frequently over time, so the overall cost per use will be low.

The Rumble Roller looks durable and I bet it will last me for years.

Lastly, I don’t know if there is a better foam roller, so there is really nothing to upgrade to. This may be the last foam roller than I buy!

(I could get the smaller, portable Rumble Roller for travel purposes, but that’s about it).

And yes, you could spend a few dollars and make yourself your own homemade PVC foam roller. That’s fine, but personally I’d rather save the time and effort and spend a bit of cash for a top of the line foam roller.


I am now a believer and practitioner of foam rolling. And what better way to do it then to roll with the best foam roller on the market: The Rumble Roller.

If you’ve never foam rolled before and have a low tolerance for pain, the softer blue Rumble Roller might be suitable for you.

But if you already have foam rolling experience and/or want a hard, stiff foam roller, go with the black one.

And don’t take my word for it. Check out what Charles Stanley has to say about the Rumble Roller:

My high bar squat is now equal to my low bar squat PR at 485lbs! (video)

I tried squatting 490lbs twice, and missed both times. Hopefully I'll hit that this upcoming Friday.

Anyways, read these:

  1. 8 Reasons People Do Dumb Things by Charles Stanley
  2. How I Used To Log by Kirksman
  3. The Superiority Of Eggs by Brandon Morrison
  4. The Best Way To Cook Bacon by Julia Ladewski
  5. Vegetarians Are Great by Justin Lascek
  6. 18 Months Of Carb-Back Loading with Julia Ladewski
  7. Carbs At Night by Layne Norton