Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Go high protein/low carb to get optimal body composition


  • Protein is more satiating ( makes you full ) and you will keep you from eating more calories.
  • Protein helps you manage blood sugar and insulin
  • When you eat more protein and less grains, sugars and carbs you will  then have fewer cravings for these foods.
  • You burn more calories at rest after eating protein than carbs 


  • Aim to eat less than 50 grams of carbs from fruits, veggies and beans ( if you eat more than that in veggies its not a big deal )
  •  Avoid processed and packaged foods.  
  • Eat enough fiber! You must get enough fiber because when you go low carb generally the fiber intake goes down as well.
  • Don't be afraid of fats. If you go lower carb you must increase your good fat intake from things like avocados, nuts, cheese etc.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Doing the back extension better

Most people use the back extension and throw themselves up using their back and end up going into hyper extension. Over time this does nothing but better your chance to getting in injured. I think it is better to use your back extension more like a hip thrust.

Key points-

* Do the movement much like you would a kettlebell swing or barbell hip thrust in which you thrust your hips into the pad instead of bringing your back upward.

* Keep the pad at hip level or slightly below

* Bend from the hips much like a hip hinge move and lower your upper body, and then really drive your hips into the pad and squeeze your glutes to finish.

* Note in the video that she stops when straight up and down before going into hyper extension. Again, stop the movement when you are straight up and down so you dont put pressure on the spine.

* If done correctly, your hams and glutes should feel this more than the low back


Thursday, December 13, 2012

2 quickies for the chest and back!

If your looking to pack on muscle and change up your current routine try adding these two into your program.


A1) Dumbbell chest press-heavy for 6 reps ( the 6th rep should be tough )
A2) Decline dumbbell chest press-10-12 reps
A3) Standing cable crossover press-15 reps
**Take 15-20 sec between exercises and take 2-3 min between tri-sets. Do 3 total rounds


A1) Dumbbell decline row-8 reps

 A2) Straight arm pulldown-12 reps
A3) Dumbbell decline row-10 reps ( you might need to drop the weight )
**Take 2 min rest between sets. Do 3 sets.

Monday, December 10, 2012

E.O.M-Overhead Partial Barbell Press

Today's Exercise of the Month for December is great for the triceps as well as the shoulders. To begin, just do a traditional overhead press ( military press ) with a normal grip and foot stance you would use. Now from the lockout lower the bar just until the bar grazes the top of your hair. Press the bar up and then you have completed one rep. Keeping the range of motion just to the top half really allows the focus to stay on the triceps and lets you keep heavy loads still which helps the triceps grow! The main key to keep in mind is to make sure the bar stays directly overhead and to not let it come in front of the face like a traditional press. By doing so it helps take some delt work and helps even more with the triceps.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Questions answered

I thought I would use today's post to answer some questions I have been getting lately

Q-My goal is fat loss, so should I do weights or cardio first?

A-Weight training first. Strength training is the most valuable asset to you in cutting fat other than diet so make it a priority by doing it first. Also, in theory you will deplete muscle and liver glycogen during weight training which might shift the body into fat oxidation during cardio.

Q-How many pull-ups should I be able to do?

A- If you consider yourself a strong guy the answer is at least 8-12 reps without rest

Q- I get sick of the same routine and want something new, can you help?

Try doing a type of work capacity routine. The goal is to do more work in the same amount of time. The key with this is to keep quality form each workout. Pick a set group of exercises ( maybe 8 ) and set weight for each along with a set number of reps. Set a time, for example 20 minutes and see how many rounds of 8 exercises you could do. Lets say you did 4 rounds, then the next workout aim for 5 or more.

Q-I have very limited time to workout but I want to lose weight how can I get the most efficient workouts in a short period of time?

A- First off it is not amount how much time you spend, but what you do in that time. Pick compound moves like squats, deads, lunges, rows and presses and combine them into giant sets. Eliminate things like biceps curls or tricep extensions. Once you get to the gym get to work and cut out social time.

Q-I need a quality snack that is high in protein, any suggestions?

A- I do love protein shakes, but I also love jerky. Specifically I love any Bison jerky. Any brand that is hormone free is best. Bison is high in protein and low in fat. The best part is that it will fill you up!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Monday Random Thoughts...

  • Try the 100 rep method-Pick a compound movement like pull-ups and do 100 reps of the exercise. Start by doing as many pull-ups as you can. If you get 10 reps, then you have 90 reps to go. It doesn't matter how many sets it takes you to get to 100. The next time you try this again aim to get to 100 in fewer sets.

  • When it comes to making changes with your eating habits make sure you follow a plan that will be successful for you and don't worry what has worked for others. No one thing works for everybody. 

  • Both male hormones and muscle mass distribution are two main reasons guys have more muscle than women. Women need to get in the weightroom! You will not get bulky!

  • Its easy to make yourself puke or get exhausted, but it is hard to get yourself better! Train smart.

  •  Focus on eating protein no matter your goals. Protein will keep you full and is highly thermogenic meaning you burn more calories breaking it down. And of course it will help you build more lean muscle.

  • I really love the Orgain protein shake product. It has great protein to carbs ratio, greens, vitamins and mineral and it tastes great! Plus it doesn't have a bunch of ingredients I cant pronounce. 

  • Try adding in some 10x3 training. Typically used for strength training but you can use it more for fat loss by speeding up the rest between sets. Below is an example. Perform all 10 sets of each exercise before moving to the next. Follow the order of exercises listed below, meaning do all 10 sets of the deads, then move onto chins or pulls etc...

    Deadlifts, Chin-ups or Pulldowns your choice, Barbell split squat, db shoulder press ( military standing )
    Sets: 10
    Reps: 3
    Rest: 45 seconds between sets
    Load: 75% of 1RM (10 repetition maximum)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

You vs Food-The holiday battle!

It is the season to be jolly and that means spending time with friends and family and enjoying the multiple holidays that this time of year brings.It also means constant pressure to push away cookies, cakes and other special holiday treats that become abundant. Then there are holiday party's which seem to be every weekend in which tempt you even more. In order to come out on top and not let your year of hard work go to waste you need to have a plan and you need to stick with it.

Use these strategies

1. Get intense! No matter if you lift hard now or not, take it up another level and do it now! Knowing you might eat more calories you will need to make sure you are burning more. Besides, don't you want to look your best when you see family or friends.

2.  Have a daily plan-If you will be going to a holiday party odds are the food wont be the best for you so take action before. Make your own dinner or eat enough quality food before going out so you wont binge on garbage appetizers and sweets.

3. Out of sight, out of mind! Whatever you do don't keep tempting sweets around you. Doesn't matter at the office or home, keep cookies and other foods out of your sight. Chances are if you see it you will eat it. If everyone keeps bringing you holiday gift baskets and chocolates just start giving them away, let others get fat, not you!

4. Think of the  New Year- Most everyone starts a exercise plan come Jan, so why not be at a good starting place instead of in the hole 5,10, or 20 plus pounds. Why give yourself more work when starting out.

Monday, November 26, 2012

H4 Training Fat Burner-Another PHA style routine

A1) Standing one arm cable row with split stance-10 reps each arm
* Stand facing the cable and have the pulley at shoulder height. Row with your right hand in a neutral grip and have your right leg back.
A2) Alternating reverse lunges with dumbbells-8 each
A3) Standing dumbbell shoulder press-12 reps
* Palms facing forward
A4) Glute thrusters with barbell ( if needed )-10 reps
A5) Cable chops-12 reps each

*** 3-4 rounds. Rest 0-120sec depending on your fitness level

B1) Inverted row with mixed grip ( one palm up, one down )-6 reps in each position
B2) RFE split squat with one dumbbell-10 reps each side
* If your right leg is back on the bench then hold the dumbbell just in the right arm
B3) Dips-12 reps
B4) Lateral band walks-12 reps each
B5) Stir the pot with ball-8 each

***3-4 rounds. Rest 0-120 sec depending on your fitness level

Monday, November 19, 2012

5 Arnold Principles to use

Try putting some of Arnold's methods in your next workout.

1)  1-10 System

*This is good for bicep curls or bench pressing. Load your bar with a weight you could do for 1 rep, then immediately strip weight so you can get 2 reps. Again, take off some weight and do three reps. Continue this method until you get to 10 reps.

2) Forced Negatives

* The eccentric part of the lift generally gets over looked by most guys. This method focuses on the eccentric part of the lift which can lead to better gains. The next time you bench or do curls have your training partner put extra resistance on the negative portion while you lift. Fight the weight and pressure all the way down!

3) Rest/Pause

* Do a set to failure and then wait a few seconds ( 10-15sec ) and then try to knock out another rep or two. Again, take a quick rest and do another rep or two. Arnold used to do this with pull-ups as well.

4) Partner hand off

* Do this with someone who is close to you in terms of strength. Grab an EZ curl and do the most reps you can then hand it to your partner and see if they can top you. Pass the bar back and forth without ever dropping it to the floor until  neither of you can do a rep.

5) Get the pump

* Arnold always talked about how great the feeling of the pump was. Arnold would do lateral raises and just lift the weight not far up from his thighs and hold the weight there for 10 seconds. You can also do this by holding yourself at different positions when you lower on pull-ups.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Random training tips

  • Look to do more of your lifts standing as oppose to sitting. We spend far too much time on our butts as it is so don't spend even more in the gym. Also, doing lifts while standing will help injury proof your body. Standing will help you use those stabilizer and support muscles.

  • When deadlifting think about pushing your butt back into a wall about an inch behind you.

  • For women looking to drop body fat I think it works really well to incorporate a heavy week of lifting. Generally I like to cycle in 1 week of heavy lifting and then fall off of that back into moderate to light loads. Look to place the heavy lifting weeks in every 3-4 weeks or so.

  • Unconventional split for building muscle mass
Day 1-Chest and Biceps
Day 2-Lower body
Day 3-Back and Triceps
Day4-Lower Body
Day 5-Repeat day 1
Day 6- Repeat day 3
Day 7-OFF
** Or take more time off and have Day 4 be an off day and do legs on Day 5 and then repeat the workout starting day 6 or 7

  • Stick to a program for a solid month before judging if you like it or if it has been successful for you or not

  • When it comes to fat loss exercise intensity is key, not duration. Watch heavy people on the treadmills at your gym and then come back a year later, I bet they are all still fat.

  • I like doing compound sets of the same muscle group with a wide range of reps for hypertrophy training, Example would be
Hammer curls with dumbbells-heavy weight 6 reps
Standing EZ bar curl-moderate weight 12 reps

Monday, November 12, 2012

All butt workout

If you goal is to drop body fat and get an overall lean appearance I would recommend doing a full body routine with both upper and lower body exercises in which you can incorporate these butt exercises. However, if you are looking to focus just on the glutes one day or change up it up for a pure lower body day then you can try this.

A1) Glute thrusters-3 sets of 10 reps ( hold each rep for 1 second at the top )

A2) Deficit lunge with dumbbells-3 sets of 10 reps per leg
*Take 90 sec to 2 min rest between supersets

B1) Deadlift-barbell or dumbbells ( keep slight bend in the knee to get more glute involvement ) 3 sets of 10 reps

B2) High step up with no weight-12 reps each leg ( notice in video you squeeze the glutes to finish )
*Take 90 sec to 2 min rest between supersets

Thursday, November 8, 2012

20/10-Foods you should be eating and exercises you should be doing


1. Wild Salmon
2. Pistachios
3. Whole eggs
4. Blueberries
5. Raspberries
6. Avocados
7. Kale
8. Almonds
10. Cauliflower
11. Lentils
12. Beans
13. Bell peppers
14. Apples
15. Tomatoes
16. Green tea
17. Grass fed beef
18. Chicken
19. Spinach
20. Pink grapefruit


1. RFE Split squat-
2. Deadlifts-all variations
3. Row-all variations
4. Dips
5. Pushups
6. Pull-ups
7. Pallof press
8. Chops/Lifts- for the core
9. Chin-ups
10. Goblet squats

Monday, November 5, 2012

4 Things to try for the quads.......

Add some of these exercises to your routine to better your quads!

1) Deadman's- This exercise is equal to the glute-ham raise for the hamstrings. If you just look the exercise it looks easy but trust me it will burn up the quads real quick. I like to use this at the end of my leg day to finish the quads. If you have knee issues and need an exercise to perform that is pain free this one works. ( watch the second exercise in the video below )


2) Multiple drop set for the leg press-I got this one from a really good friend in college who used to train with me often. Start off with multiple plates on each side of the leg press. Do 6 reps each with a 6 second count on the way up and down of the press. Once you finish the 6 reps take 1 plate off each side and repeat the 6 reps each with a 6 second count on the way down and up. Again, take a plate off each side and repeat. Keep doing this until you have done 4 drop sets. Rest 3-4 minutes and do this 1 more time if you can handle it. Good luck!

3) Quad lunge-Lunges are great for building awesome legs so make sure you put them into your plan. To make the lunge better for the quads simply take a short step forward. The shorter the stride is the more quad dominant the move becomes.

4) Wall squat and then some! This one is from Ian King. This wall squat variation will sneak up in a hurry on you. Start by taking a shoulder width stance with your feet and make sure you are about a foot or two out away from the wall. Lean your back up against the wall and you are ready to go. First stance is a partial-squat stance. Hold for 10 seconds and then drop lower about 2 inches. After 10 seconds lower another 2 inches down. At this point you should be thighs parallel. Do two more drops of 10 seconds each with the last one getting as low as you can. If you want more hold a dumbbell or weight.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Top 3 exercises to build mass for each muscle group


1) Dips-Ian King called them the triceps equivalent to the squat
2) Close grip press-high load equals more muscle fibers which equals more growth
3) Decline close grip-decline presses have been shown to hit as much as 10% more fibers


1) Preacher curls-get big arms like the great Larry Scott with his favorite bicep builder
2) Standing barbell curls-still a staple
3) Weighted close grip chin-ups- Just works


1) Dumbbell chest press-more range of motion compared to barbell press
2) Standing cable press-one of Arnold's  favorites
3) Barbell chest press-ability to use high load will lead to gains in size


1) One arm row-classic exercise to build the lats
2) T-bar row-great to build the mid back
3) Seated row-you can use numerous grips and handles to hit the back in many ways


1) Front squat-hard for people to do but best for the quads
2) RFE split squat-hit one leg at a time and half the load on the spine
3) Leg press-not the most functional but you can smash the legs


1) Deadlift-nothing will get you the gains like this exercise
2) Glute thrusters with barbell-load the glutes to gain size
3) Long stride lunges-stretch the hamstrings into new growth

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday- Questions answered

I often get questions sent to me from followers of my blog and thought for today's post I would answer some of them. Maybe some of you have the same questions so check it out.

Q-I want to build my chest but my triceps always seem to get fatigued before my pecs when I lift

A- This does tend to be a problem for many lifters as people can tend to be dominate in their triceps. Below are some things you can do to help this.

#1-Use the 1/2 press technique when benching-This emphasizes the bottom portion of the press which is when the chest does more work compared to the lockout when the triceps get involved more.


#2- Do negatives-By focusing on the eccentric ( lowering ) part of the movement you can help hit the chest with less worry about the triceps. Have someone then either spot you on the concentric ( pressing up ) part of lift or just press part of the way up.

#3- Pre-fatigue the chest- is pre-fatiguing a certain muscle of a body part (e.g., chest, legs, deltoids) using an isolation or "single-joint" exercise first and then finishing with one  "multiple-joint" movement. For this situation do a chest fly first followed by a dumbbell chest press. By doing this you will keep your triceps from fatiguing before the chest and forcing you to stop the press.

Q- How can I get lean legs without them looking too muscular?

A- I hear this question a ton from women and you just need to remember the following quick points.
*Weights make you tight and firm, the cardio will keep your legs thin and lean.

*Eat right to stay tight    

Q- I just dont have enough time in the day to workout for an hour so how can I get results?

A- First, thing you need to answer is how important is it to you to reach your goals? If the answer very, then you need to make sure you prioritize your life so you do have time. Second, you dont need an hour in the gym to get results. It is not about how much time you spend working out but what you do with the time. Spend less time talking, reading or messing around and more time getting work done! Start doing super-sets and tri-sets and keep moving especially if your goal is fat loss.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday workout

I recently started programming this type of formatted workouts for a couple of the girls I train and they instantly fell in love with it. This format calls for a heavier upper body day with a lighter leg focus and then workout 2 is the opposite. I think this is a great format if your goal is overall body composition and you are looking to drop body fat. Try mixing in these type of workouts every now and then.

Workout 1

( legs heavy, upper light )

A1) Glute thrusters w barbell-8 reps ( holding 2 sec at top ) 100lb
A2) Alternating deficit reverse lunge off small step box-8 reps each leg w dumbbells 35lbs each hand
A3) Goblet squat w dumbbell-10 reps ( deep until elbows touch thighs ) 80lbs
*90sec rest. do 4 total rounds

B1) Inverted row with palms up-15 reps
B2) Alternating lateral shoulder raises w dumbbells-15 each B3) Seated row w palms down-15 reps B4)
B3) Seated row w palms down-15 reps
B4) Dips-15 reps
*30sec rest. 4 total rounds

Finish with-
One arm kettlebell walk-go about  20-30yds, drop the kettlebell and do a plank walk with crossing the arms over one another back to where you started, then sprint back and pickup the kettlebell and put it in the other hand and walk back, then do the plank walk back and then sprint. Rest 90sec. do this 3 times

Workout 2

( upper heavy, lower light )

A1) Twist row w dumbbell ( start with palms facing away and then rotate into reg position as you row ) 8 reps each
A2) Standing one arm press-( start palm facing you, finish palm facing away )-8 each
A3) TRX row palms down-8 reps hold each for 2 sec
A4) Tricep overhead extension w rope-8 reps
*90 sec rest. 4 rounds

B1) speed squats-20 reps
B2) Alternating front lunges w arm movement for speed-20 reps each leg
B3) Split squat jumps-10 each ( 20 total )
B4) squat jumps-10
*2min-230min rest. 3 rounds

Finish with-
Pallof press-10 reps each
Burpees-12 reps
*no rest. 3 rounds

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

25 Reasons why you and fat are BFF's

1. You never exercise other than walking to the fridge
2. You haven't met a food you don't like
3. You think cardio is the answer to a better body
4. You have a long term relationship with carbs that you cant escape from
5. You think working out gives you the right to eat whatever you want
6. Sugary drinks are a staple in your diet
7. You enjoy alcohol too much and too often
8. You continue to do the same workout routine without change
9. Salad with ranch dressing please is what you say when ordering
10. Veggies are an unknown commodity to you
11. You cant help to eat breakfast muffins, bagels and donuts in the office every morning
12. Once you don't see immediate results from your training program you give up without giving it some time to work
13. Breakfast consist of coffee......
14. Your workout has zero intensity
15. Your life is sooo hard and sooo buy that there is no way you could workout or eat right
16. Fiber isn't in high enough amounts in your eating plan
17. Instead of a green tea, plain coffee or water person you are more of a orange juice, coffee with whipped cream, sugary syrup and caramel sauce person.
18. Pizza delivery guy shows up as often as the mailman does
19. You make promises to yourself that you never fulfill
20. You think its all about fat free
21. Restaurants run out of bread after each of your visits
22. If its fried then your eating it
23. You stick to the B.L.T diet ( bites, licks and tastes )
24. Working out is too hard
24. You get food from a drive thru
25. You have never stuck to a weight training program

Monday, October 15, 2012

Workouts for your Monday

Quick tricep routine to pack on muscle

A1) Close grip chest press with dumbbells- ( keep arms tucked in tight ) 10 reps
A2) Dips-10 reps
**90sec rest and repeat for 3-5 total sets

Simple body composition workout to get lean

*4 sets of each

A1) Squat and press with dumbbells-15 reps ( one smooth move and letting the legs drive the arms )
A2) One arm row with dumbbell-12 reps each
**0-60sec rest between sets depending on level

B1) Glute thrusters with barbell-10 reps
B2) Standing row w cable ( get into a light squat and keep your butt back, palms down hold the handles and row) 12 reps
**0-60sec rest depending on level

C1) One arm reverse lunge with kettlebell or dumbbell ( hold kettlebell in left arm and lunge back with the left leg and then switch arms and legs )-10 each
C2) Lateral pushups-( do a rep amount to each side that is difficult for your level )
** 0-60sec rest depending on level

D1) TRX row with palms up-12 reps
D2) Skier jumps with goblet hold using a dumbbell-10 each side
** 0-60sec rest depending on level

Finish with-

Sprint-distance equal to 50 yards ( even if its 25 there and back or however you need to break it up depending on space )
Farmers walks-same distance
Rest 1 min. Repeat for 3 rounds

Thursday, October 11, 2012

4 Exercises to try

1) Mixed grip chin-up
* Perform this by keeping one hand facing away and one hand facing towards you. The arm with the palm facing you will get a little more work and will help you make progress into doing one arm chins. Make sure you do even amount of reps on each arm. Start your weaker arm in the palms facing towards you position.

2) Incline bench pressdowns
* Place an incline bench in front of a cable pulley station so that when you sit you will be facing away from the pulley. Make sure the pulley is at its highest point. Grip a bar and with your arms tight to your sides extend your arms. This is just basically a simple press down done on an incline bench.

3) Overhead figure 8
* Great exercise from Chad Waterbury in which you hold two dumbbells with elbows locked overhead and walk in a figure eight pattern. The distance should be about 5 yards or so. Make sure the arms stay overhead and elbows locked while palms face forward the entire time.Walk for time or for a certain amount of figure eight reps. This is a great way to hit the core and rotator cuff since the figure eight pattern increases the stability of the exercise.

4) Serratus Crunch
Hold a pair of light dumbbells and lie on your back. As you crunch up keep the dumbbells perpendicular to the floor and keep your palms facing one another. Once you get to the crunched position try and reach your arms as high as possible for a couple of seconds. If this is too easy then take your feet off the floor. Working the serratus will help your bench and keep your shoulders healthy.

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's my Birthday! Here are some of my favorites

1) Orgain protein shakes-I am a big fan of ready to drink protein shakes for the times when you cant blend your own and need something post workout. The problem is most ready made shakes are awful and are filled with chemicals and a bunch of things you cant pronounce. Orgain tastes great, and not only gives you protein but has the antioxidant equivalent to 10 fruits and veggies.

2) Mix 1-This another favorite of mine in terms of ready to drink shakes. Mix 1 does have more sugar than the above Orgain but it still is made with simple ingredients and tastes great.

3) Hint Water-Sometimes you want something more than water, and that's when Hint hits the spot. I will say that the taste isn't for everyone but I love it. The water is flavored with naturally and is not sweetened.

4) Nebraska Bison- Jerky makes a great high protein snack and bison is one of the best meats to eat since its low in fat, high in protein and high in Omega3s. Nebraska Bison brand is one I think tastes great and even though it is pricey it is well worth it.

5) Preacher curls-Still one of the best ways to build your biceps and below is one of my favorite workouts.

* start with the most weight, every time you increase the reps drop the weight by 5-10lbs total
Set1- 6-8 reps
Set2- 6-8 reps
Set3- 8-10 reps
Set 4- 8-10 reps
Set 5- 12 reps
Set 6-12 reps
Set 7-drop set, cut the weight by 10lbs and see how many reps you can get right after finishing set 6
*** Take 1 min of rest between sets

6) Split squats-Great for the legs and easy on the back enough said.

7)  Gymnast back routine- if you need a great routine to build your back than check this out. I like to use it as a way to start out my back workouts.   

8) Best motivational speech on success! How bad do you want it!


9) PHA for fat loss and body composition-One of the best ways to workout if your goal is dropping body fat!

10-And last would be my girlfriend Ashley! Simply the best

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Solutions to your training problems

Problem A) You want bigger pecs but cant seem to make it happen

Solution-Start doing chest presses with dumbbells instead of the barbell. The increased range of motion that the dumbbells provide will let you stimulate more muscle fibers which equals more growth! Also, start adding in some more incline work to build the thickness around the clavicle.

Problem B) You cant reach your fitness goals

Solution-I have three words for you-

ACCOUNTABILITY-You need to hold yourself accountable for your actions or lack of. If you cannot do this then you should either hire a great trainer or start working out with a partner or group.

COMMITMENT-You must commit to your goals from day one and let nothing or nobody stand in your way of succeeding.

CONSISTENCY-You will never achieve what you want if you are not consistent in your actions. Be consistently healthy and get your work in the gym and kitchen to reach those goals.

Problem C ) Trying to eat right is too hard and eventually you give into the cravings which ruin your gains.

Solution-Focus on eating right 90% of the time and splurge the other 10% During the week anytime you get a craving or really find yourself wanting to lose it simply write down the food and tell yourself that you can have it just not at the moment. When your cheat day comes go back to that piece of paper the food that you wrote down. This will not only keep you sane but will allow you stay committed to the healthy eating plan longer. Remember though you need to be spot on with your 6 days if your going to be allowed a day 7 cheat day.

Problem D) You cant gain any size on your legs

Solution-Make legs a priority and start training them 2-3x a week. It becomes real easy to skip a leg day knowing the pain that will follow those deadlifts and squats but you need to change that mindset. Mix up your workout will heavy low rep days and higher volume and higher rep days. Big thing to remember is you need to eat,eat and eat some more. Legs workouts really amp up the metabolism so feed your legs!

Problem E) The woman's dreaded three- hips, butt and thighs. You cant seem to tighten, firm and cut fat from these areas.

Solution-Number 1,2 and 3 starts will simply eat better! If you dont eat right then you wont drop the body fat.  Next, make sure you get a nice blend of cardio and strength training. I like to say that the weights will shape and firm up the legs and the cardio will keep them thin and small. In terms of your strength training aim to do leg exercises at different angles in order to hit all aspects of the muscle.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Easy ways to progress your workout

Sometimes people forget how simple it is to progress your workouts to get better results. On principle that cant be overlooked is the law of progressive overload. This states that to get an adaptation, the training session provides a certain overload. You need to increase the difficulty or stress of each workout if you want to see gains.

Here are some ways to progress

A) Progress with reps-Most basic of progressions. Your goal is just doing more reps with the same weight over a time period. You can only progress like this for awhile before your gains become stagnant. Example:

Week 1-6 reps with 100lbs
Week 2-7 reps with 100lbs
Week3-8 reps with 100lbs

*Just make sure you stay in the rep zone to get the training effect you want. Meaning, don't progress from 10 reps to 15 reps if your goal is gaining muscle.

B) Progress with weight-This is also another basic progression. You simply add weight while keeping the reps the same. Just like above you can only progress for so long before gains slow down else we all would have huge benches by the end of the year just by adding weight. Example:

Week 1-6 reps with 100lbs
Week 2-6 reps with 105lbs
Week 3-6 reps with 110lbs

*Once you get to a certain point, maybe 2-3 weeks you can switch to a different progression type and do for example the following

Week 1-6 reps with 100lbs
Week 2-6 reps with 105lbs
Week 3-6 reps with 110lbs
Week 4- 4 reps with 115lbs
Week 5-4 reps with 120lbs

C) Progress with sets-This is a way to increase training volume. This is when you increase the number of sets per muscle group or lifts. Example:

Week 1-8 total sets per muscle group
Week 2-10 total sets per muscle group
Week 3- 12 total sets per muscle group

* Of course this too cant be done forever without creating a negative effect after a while.  I wouldn't go past 16 total sets for large muscle groups and 12 for smaller for the most part.
D) Progress with rest-This is reducing the amount of rest time between sets while keeping or increasing the work being done. Example:

Week 1: 1 minute rest intervals
Week 2: 40 second rest intervals
Week 3: 30 second rest intervals

* Again, this setup has its restrictions since you cant keep reducing the time forever and too little of time will make it tough to perform maximal lifts if that is your goal.

E) Progress with techniques-You can use things like pre-exhaust/post-exhaust, tempo training, super-sets, drop sets and much more. All of these type of techniques are very tough on the body and should not be overdone.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

4 Pre-workout nutrition tips to get you lean!

1) EAT PROTEIN + CARBS WITH A LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX- Focus on doing this about an hour before exercise to ensure the best benefits.The low glycemic carbs will create a slower and gradual blood sugar increase that will give you enough energy while allowing your body to burn more fat stores. These foods will reduce muscle glycogen levels and increase the amount of fat available to burn.

Examples of foods with low glycemic index-
* Most veggies ( greens mostly focus )
* Beans or any legume
* Rye or spelt wheat bread

2) AVOID FRUTOSE-Is found in fruit and most processed foods all over the place. Frutose will not only limit you from using fat but will also make your cells more insulin resistant.

3) AVOID MILK- The proteins in milk will cause increased insulin levels

4) DRINK GREEN TEA- Real green tea that is, not the sugar loaded version. The antioxidants combined with the caffeine in the tea can increase fat burning potential up to 15%!

Monday, September 24, 2012

5 Things that will keep you from making progress

1) Being Inconsistent- This is the number 1,2,3 and maybe even 4 most important thing! You must be eating great and working out great consistently to get the results you want period.

2) Having unrealistic goals- You need to be honest with yourself and set goals that you can reach. Losing 20lbs in 2 weeks is just not going to happen. Losing 20 lbs in 6-8 weeks instead would be a very solid goal.

3) Letting things derail you off track-You will get stressed in life, you with have problems at work and at home but don't let all of these external factors knock you off of your track to success. Make you time and you will benefit.

4) Making too many changes too often to your program-Make yourself a plan and execute it. Bouncing around from program to program or from diet to diet will only lead to failure. Pick a plan and let it unfold.

5) Listening to the wrong people-Make this your goal and your objective and don't let anyone else keep you from succeeding. People will be jealous, ignore them. People will try to tempt you to sway away from your healthy eating ways,  don't and instead stay strong!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

8 Things....

1) Farmers walks are one of the best exercises you can add to your program-This is the exercise most people relate to The World's Strongest Man episodes on ESPN they used to watch in which guys would carry massive weights in their hands as they walked. Farmers walks are great for your traps, grip, shoulder health and core stability. Some people refer to them as a "standing plank".

2) Keep rest periods brief is overall body composition is the goal- To get as lean as possible and drop body fat you need to keep moving through your workout and have short rests.

3)  Society sits way too much! Most people sit at a desk all day and everyday and therefore end up with tight hips and no glutes. When people cant fire their glutes and have tight hips low back problems will most likely follow. Make it a point to work on hip mobility in the gym to help. If you do need to sit then don't sit too still for long, aim to move around and change positions.

4) Start doing some single leg work-Keep your traditional squats and deadlifts if you want but start doing some unilateral work that will ease of load off the spine. Single leg exercises will help with balance, injury prevention and help you build those stabilizer muscles. Split squats and single leg deadlifts work great.

5) You need to foam roll and work on your tissue quality-I will be the first to tell you it took me a while to get on the bandwagon but since I have started to I notice a big difference in my body and how my muscles feel. Make foam rolling a priority and do it before your warm-up. Foam rollers are cheap and you can get one for under $25 for home use. Also treat yourself and schedule a massage every now and then.

6) Stop being a machine hopper- You know that person that goes from one machine to the next in the gym no matter what the exercise the person mindlessly walks around thinking they are working hard. Machines for the most part are worthless. Every so often I like to use them in a routine but they shouldn't be the brunt of your program. Start using more free weights for a bigger range of motion and better results. If you are super new into the whole workout thing, then go ahead and use machines but even then sparingly.

7) Dont worry about your strength training and cardio until you start taking your eating more seriously-I dont care how amazing your workouts are, they are nothing without proper nutrition. It is simple, either focus on dominating both or dont waste your time. Like they say " you cant out train a bad diet".

8) We all need more horizontal pulling- This means any variation of the row. You need to counterbalance your whole day of bad posture and slumped shoulders.

Monday, September 17, 2012

3 random things for your Monday

1) Besides the usual protein shake here are other ways to add the protein into your day

Option A) Iced coffee- Vanilla or chocolate protein will add great flavor and be a better option than milk, sugar or cream. The protein will satisfy you and the caffeine will help give you energy and stimulate your metabolism.

Option B) Greek yogurt- Adding  protein is a better choice than the sugary fruit that comes in some yogurt brands. Greek yogurt is high in protein already but the extra will help you and provide flavor. Try adding some almonds or pistachios as well.

Option C) Oatmeal-Add protein after you cook the oats and before it cools. Mix in some berries and nuts and perfect!

2)  Great Finisher to end your fat loss workout

A1) Pushups-15 reps
A2) Burpees-10 reps
A3) Sprint 100 M ( on treadmill )
Do 3 rounds, take 1 min between rounds

3) Combo to blast your triceps

* use your 10 rep max for the press and dips ( meaning you should be struggling to do another rep after 10 if you tried )
A1) Tricep close grip presses with barbell-10 reps
A2) Dips-10 reps
**No rest between sets, each round do as many reps close to 10 as you can. You are done once you cant do 1 rep of one exercise. Keep the weight the same throughout. It could look like this-


Thursday, September 13, 2012

8 Things I've learned about training women

1) THEY TEND TO WORK HARDER THAN MEN-It hurts me to say this guys,but most of the women I train get more intense and bring it more consistent than the male clients I have.

2) NOBODY IS MORE MOTIVATED THAN A BRIDE TO BE-I have trained countless brides and let me tell you that they are hands down the most motivated out of anyone. I think its the thought of being in a white dress on the most important day of your life that seems to bring the best in women and keep them focused.

3) THEY LOVE WORKING THE BUTT AND LEGS-Well duh!!! I mean this is kind of obvious, but women just love any exercises that will make their butt better and legs slimmer.

4) THEY LOVE DOING LATERAL BAND WALKS- Band walks just give you an instant burn in your glute medius ( hip area ) that women just love. It is sort of instant gratification that I think they really like and makes them feel as though their hips are shrinking in real time ( when really they aren't since you cant spot reduce ).

5) THEY WILL REFER LIKE CRAZY FOR YOU-Once a woman trusts you as a trainer and knows you will back up your claims and get her results then she will tell everyone of her friends and bring you a bunch of new business.

6) THEY WILL ALWAYS HAVE AT LEAST ONE " FREAKOUT"- No matter the personality of the woman at some point she will have that moment with you as a client. It can be anything from being too anxious to not being happy with were she is at with her body. Most of the time this moment turns out to be a positive thing and helps them re-focus on their goals.


" I'm still too fat"
" Do you think I look too bulky "
" I'm bloated and my stomach looks fat, ehhh I'm so fat"
" I feel like I don't look much different"- After training for only a week
" I wish I could look like that skinny girl, I hate her"

8) THEY ACTUALLY DO LIKE TO LIFT WEIGHTS ( WELL EVENTUALLY)- Once women get past the initial I don't want to get bulky by lifting mindset they start to enjoy their time throwing around some iron. When you see everything firming up and getting that tight feeling women realize that the weights are responsible.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Giant set for fat loss

For your Monday try this setup-


Rest 2-4 minutes depending on your level. Do 4 total rounds

* For the upper body exercises follow this rep scheme
A1-15,12,10,8 ( each set reps increase, weight goes down)
A4-8,10,12,15 ( each set reps drop, weight goes up )
A7-Reps stay the same at 10

*For the lower body exercises follow this
A2-8,10,12,15 ( each set reps drop, weight goes up )
A5-A1-15,12,10,8 ( each set reps increase, weight goes down)
A8-Reps stay the same at 10

Friday, September 7, 2012

Improving your deadlift

1) Deadlift more often-usually when you want to get better at anything the answer is to do it more frequently. Deadlifting more often is especially important to those beginner and intermediate lifters who are trying to get down the lift. The stronger you are at the deadlift the less you need to train a week. For most of you out there you will want to deadlift 2x a week if your goal is to improve the lift. Look to do your hardest deadlift day early in the week.

2) Technique! By getting better technique not only will you lift more but you will be safer as well. Below are two Videos that show and teach proper form.

3) Build up your back-You will not be able to have a big deadlift without a stud back. Your back is important for stabilization during the lift. Make sure the following exercises are in your program often.

A) Pull-ups
B) T-Bar rows
C) One arm rows
D) Prone rows with chest on an incline bench

4) Fix your weak areas- You must be strong at all points in the lift to have an overall strong pull.

Issue A- Problems coming off the floor

**You need to focus on the hamstrings and start doing more deficit deadlifts, glute-ham raises, etc

Issue B-Problems in the mid range of the lift

**You need to focus on your mid back and low back. Any back exercises listed in # 3 works as well as low rack pulls and back extensions.

Issue C- Problems locking out at the top

** You need to work the glutes more. More glute thrusters and glute bridges will do the job

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hank Does Pilates

So I have been taking Pilates now for about 6 sessions and I gotta tell you its amazing. Deidra is my instructor and she is great with her cues and patience. Let me give you the things I really love about it

1) The core work-I feel like doing Pilates just gives your core a way different workout than doing exercises out on the weight room floor. The real challenge comes with avoiding just trying to use your brute strength and muscle up each exercise or to cheat. The transverse abdominals which often get neglected in most training programs get worked and worked often in Pilates which is a plus. Overall I love the way my core feels after each session.

2) It is hard-Every session I work to get through and each move challenges me. My flexibility is just not good and therefore It makes most moves tougher for me. I will say you dont feel as tired or worn out as you do after an intense strength training workout but it still is tough work.

3) Flexibility work- I will admit that I hate stretching and it is horribly painful but I need it and doing Pilates forces me to stretch which is a good thing.

Closing words......

If you have never tried Pilates than I highly recommend testing it out and see what you think. Don't buy into what some celebs say and think that you can do just Pilates and you will have a rocking body, that wont happen! If you do Pilates with strength training and interval cardio work than you will achieve a balanced training program and one which you can benefit! Pilates will not make your muscles longer, you cant change your muscle length, but you will get a stronger core and better flexibility.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday's routine

Generally when you are training to change your body composition you think high reps, low weight and not much else. Training like this is not wrong and I do use that type of work with my clients, however lifting with lower reps and heavier weights cant be overlooked and needs to be apart of your program. You need to build muscle mass in order to drive your metabolism and burn more calories at rest. More often than not you will feel more exhausted from doing the workout format below that something that is deemed more "cardio" based.

* The weights used need to be heavy for the first grouping of 4 exercises. The 7th and 8th rep should be very tough and be hard to finish, if this is not the case then bump up the weight used. It is ok to drop down weight as you move from set to set if need be.

Main lifts

A2) LOWER BODY QUAD DOM MOVEMENT- 8 reps ( squats, lunges, split squats etc )
A4) LOWER BODY HIP DOM MOVEMENT- 8 reps ( deadlifts, glute thrusters, ham curls variations )
* 6 total rounds. Take 2-3 minutes between rounds ( if the weight is hard enough then this will be needed)

Conditioning & Core

Pick  2 core exercises
Pick  2 conditioning exercises ( ball slams, burpees, hill climbers, rope work, sled work, etc )
*Do 4 total rounds. Take 60 sec- 90 sec between rounds

Monday, August 27, 2012

Using Ladders in your workout

Ladders are done with a escalating or descending rep scheme. Using ladders can help you get a ton of work done in a short period of time. The only drawback of using ladders is that you tend to just do it with one exercise at a time.

You have 3 options when doing ladders-

OPTION A- Increase the reps as you increase the weight

 Shoulder press

Set 1-30lbs 1 rep
Set 2-35lbs 2 reps
Set 3-40lbs 3 reps
Set 4-45lbs 4 reps
Set 5-50lbs 5 reps

* Once you get done with the ladder you can descend back down to set 1 or start over.

OPTION B-Increase the reps as you decrease the reps

   Bicep curls with cable

SET 1-Whole stack 1 rep
SET 2-Whole stack minus 10 lbs 2 reps
SET 3-Whole stack minus 20lbs 3 reps
etc....Go until you have done 10 reps

OPTION C-Increase reps as you keep the weight the same


Thursday, August 23, 2012

3 training priorities for fat loss

#1) Train with high volume, short rest periods and moderate loads-The best thing to do is use these 3 guidelines and do mulit-joint exercises like squats, deadlifts, rows, lunges and presses to make up the brunt of your routine. Leave the one arm dumbbell tricep kickbacks out of the plan if you want to maximize your results.I have found that lifting in the 8-12 rep range works best.Look to keep rest periods under 60 seconds using moderate loads.Doing all of these things will help elevate growth hormone which will help increase fat breakdown. Think of doing supersets, tri-sets and quad sets circuits.

#2) Make strength training the priority over aerobic exercise -Simply build muscle and burn more calories at rest. Sounds like something everyone would want it. Wouldn't it be great to burn more calories by just sitting and watching tv? You can, just by adding more lean muscle mass to your frame. Strength training that uses high volume, short rest periods and moderate loads with multi-joint exercises is far superior to aerobic exercise. 

#3)  Do high intensity anaerobic training over low intensity aerobic training-Doing things like intervals in which you do short bursts of high speed followed by brief rest periods will result in greater benefit than long distance steady state cardio. Long distance cardio does have its place in your fat loss program, but it should not be as significant as high intensity intervals.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Random training tips...

  • If your elbow, knee or shoulder joints are hurting then try decreasing your training frequency. All of these joints will greatly benefit from less exposure. If you are doing chest/shoulders 3x a week and you have shoulder pain then reduce the days to 1 and see what happens. Another thing that can help is taking fish oil which helps reduce inflammation.

  •  Training with a partner or group really can improve results. You will always up your game when someone else is around you and you have an audience. Ever notice how much stronger you feel when you someone is spotting you.Not only will you get motivational benefits but also you will have someone to hold you accountable.

  • Bigger muscles need more recovery and less volume than smaller ones.Hamstrings, chest and the back for example are muscle groups you don't need to hit as often. Calves and forearms you can hit 3x a week and be totally fine. 

  • Only take advice from someone who has done it. Don't let the guy in the gym tell you how to squat when he himself cant squat to save his life. Would you take nutrition advice from an overweight person?

  • Do your best to keep straight bar bicep curls to a minimum. They tend to stress the joints too much. Instead opt for the EZ bar curl.

  • Your should be able to use the same weight on your strongest chest exercise as you do on your strongest lat exercise. Most people will lack with the back strength.