meet the head coach

Ben Howard

Atlas Nutrition and Training is a passion project of mine.  Our parent company, Atlas Fitness, has been an industry leader in profit center management since 2008.  Although we’ve helped thousands of clients in dozens of health clubs all across the U.S, I personally have not been able to do as much individual training and coaching as I’d like. 

Until now, I’ve just kept a small amount of nutrition and training clients, and they’ve usually all been competitive athletes.  However, it’s not just competitive athletes that want to look better, feel better, and perform better.  So, Atlas Nutrition and Training is my attempt to utilize my college education (Go Dawgs) and bring my 20 years of nutrition and training experience to the masses so to speak. 

My personal approach to nutrition is based on the principles of IIFYM.  If It Fits Your Macros is a great way to manipulate the energy balance equation in order to achieve whatever goal(s) you may have.  I have found that the flexibility in regards to food choices; the ability to measure, monitor, adjust;  and the general freedom associated with this approach works best for myself.  I’ve also found it to be very effective for not only competitive athletes, but for anyone who wants to take their physique to the next level.  However, not everyone wants to have specific goals to follow in regards to daily calorie, protein, carbs, fats, and fiber intake.  So, I have also become a big fan of the Precision Nutrition ProCoach program.  As a Precision Nutrition certified coach, I am able to offer the program.


As they say, sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.  This can apply to the ProCoach program.  Obviously, the goal of the program is to get you fit and healthy.  However, the lessons learned throughout the program will leave you set up for a lifetime of success.  You’ll end the program with an array of daily healthy habits, knowledge about the various macros (Carbs/Fats/Protein), how to grocery shop, prepare meals..the list goes on.  I’ve personally never been more impressed with any nutrition program in regards to the amount of education, accountability, and interaction that the ProCoach program provides.  Of course, I will be with you every step of the way. 


As for the online training program, I have jotted down a few of my general thoughts below in regards to my approach to programming, etc.  My competitive background revolves around the strength sports, specifically powerlifting.  During my competitive career I was fortunate enough to win two world championships and set a world record or two.  During that time, I was lucky enough to train with some of the most knowledgeable and accomplished coaches around.  It’s not just personal experience that I base my programming on though.  I’m a bit of a science junkie.  So, all of my programming is based on a combination of experience and scientific principles.  Like any good coach, my approach has evolved over the years as we’ve been able to learn more about the human body and its response to exercise.  See below for just a few of my principles in regards to physique transformation.


What is my general approach to training?


No matter what your current level of fitness is or what your short and long terms goals are, I can help. 

With that being said, there is a general approach to training that I like to follow.


Strength Training > Cardio in regards to physique transformation. 


The secret sauce is consistency.  The greatest plan in the world is useless if you don’t follow it.


Speaking of plans, beginners do not need to over think it.  If your training age is less than 1-2 years, the most important thing you can do is just show up.  Follow a safe and balanced strength program 3-4 times per week and you’ll achieve great results. 


To reiterate, your program needs to be safe and balanced.  So guys, don’t skip leg day.


Stimulate, don’t annihilate. 


Total weekly volume is the most important factor for muscle growth. 


You can achieve muscular hypertrophy with a variety of rep ranges. 


Training in the rep ranges of 1-5 is great for increasing strength.  Just remember, it’s harder to achieve as much volume with the lower ranges.


Most of the time, I do not count sets with less than 60% of 1RM as part of the weekly volume.


Cardio definitely has its benefits.  However, don’t let it be your only activity.