Friday, July 26, 2013

Random Friday Thoughts...

  • Start doing your pressing movements on a decline even if it is only a slight decline make the change. Not only will you decrease shoulder involvement but it is also more of a natural pressing angle. Start mixing in the decline and see what happens.

  • Keep two words in mind when it comes to your workouts


  • I don't have the energy is one of the worst excuses someone could have to not workout. When you start exercising more you will have more energy, do it! This is why some of the most successful people in the world workout because they know it will give them more energy in their day to do better business and work longer hours.

  • If you walk into the gym and feel totally brain dead and have no idea what to do that day simply follow this:
            AFTER A WARMUP
            Alternate between upper and lower body exercises, choosing 3-4 of each. Do between 10-12 reps and do 3-4 sets taking rest between rounds as long as you need but no longer than 5 minutes. End with some core.  Follow the KISS principle and keep it simple stupid as they say.

  • Watch this video to see some different ways to use the barbell in your routine

Monday, July 22, 2013

Contrast Training

Use this workout format for fat loss and to better your overall body composition. This routine is about challenging the body to work with really heavy weight and low reps and then switch gears and use light weight and high reps. Generally within a routine you keep the rep range consistent so this creates a new stimulus to the body. The key is that you when choosing the heavy weight you pick the correct load. I like to cycle this into routines for 1-2 weeks at a time.

A1) Alternating reverse lunge with dumbbell- 6 reps each, 2 second hold at the bottom
A2) Alternating chest press with dumbbells ( hold both in the bottom position and press one up and then waiting for that arm to come down before pressing the other )- 20, 18, 16 reps each with speed
45 sec- 1 min rest between sets. 3 sets

B1) One arm dumbbell row-6 reps, 2 second hold
B2) kettlebell swings- 20, 18, 16 reps ( you can also use glute thrusters instead )
45 sec- 1 min rest between sets. 3 sets

C1) Straight arm pulldowns with band- 25 reps
C2) Lateral sumo squats with goblet hold- 6 reps ( 3 each direction ) 2 sec hold at the bottom of each
45 sec- 1 min rest between sets. 3 sets

End with
E1) Farmer walk variation of your choice
E1) Core exercise of your choice
E1) Metabolic exercise your choice- ropes, med ball, burpees, sled work, jump rope, sprint, etc
3 rounds. 1 min rest between rounds

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

6 Things women should stop doing if they want results!

1. Bouncing around from diet to diet hoping you will get results-Diets mess with the body and are not sustainable for life. Don't let yourself be influenced by what worked for a celebrity or what stands out in your magazine but instead do what really works for you and only you. The goal is to eat in such a way that you can maintain it for life.

2.  Setting unrealistic goals- You simply are not going to drop 3 dress sizes and 20 pounds in a week so dont expect to! You must realize that normal healthy weight loss is about 1-2 pounds a week. Make sure before you start any training program you sit down and make realistic goals for yourself to keep positive and from getting discouraged.

3. Reading while you do cardio- I get it you love to read and get the latest gossip on the Kardashians but lets not blend leisurly reading time and intense workout time into one. There is no way you are working out at the intensity you need to in order to get results if you can focus and read a book/magazine. Save the book for later and get to work! Just being on the machine doesnt mean you will get results.

4. Doing every workout published in Cosmo, Shape, Womens Health etc- I am not saying all workouts and exercises in these magazines are garbage, that is not true, but I am saying that not everything you read is for you and want you need. Most of the time they show some rail thin girl doing some funky one arm tricep extension with a toothpick and women think WOOOWW THATS ALL I NEED TO DO TO LOOK LIKE HER.....   So not TRUE! Remember these models are fit girls and could do any workout and look like that honestly. If you really want to drop fat you need to be lifting and sometimes lifting heavy doing squats, deadlifts, pullups and rows. How often do you see those in womens magazines? The answer is almost never because they are not sexy enough to sell.

5. Drinking beverages with excess sugars- Start adding up how many sugary drinks you consume throughout the week and I bet you will be amazed. Are you just doing coffee or are you doing carmel chocolate frappe latte with added sugar? When you go out on the weekends are you doing Red Bull? Cran and vodka? Focus on making better choices in these areas and watch the pounds melt.

6. Caring about everyone esle but themselves- Women are great because they are loving and do care so much about their friends, family and signifigant others however this is also a curse. Don't forget about yourselves ladies and start putting the time into making a better you!

Friday, July 12, 2013


I love doing pull-ups as they are one of the best lat builders out there. Another great thing is you don't need much equipment just a body and a bar. Pull-ups are also great for fat loss workouts since they are metabolic and as you get leaner the more pull-ups you will be able to do.


  • Start in a dead hang and control the movement on the way up and down
  • Keep your chest up and try to pull through your elbows thinking of your hands as just simply hooks. Aim to pull the bar toward your body.
  • A proper pull-up finishes with the chest touching the bar
  • Keep the glutes and abs tight


If you struggle to do 2 or fewer pull-ups you would fall into this category. If this describes you then start off doing band-assisted pull-ups or negatives. Doing negatives in which you jump up to the top of the movement and then try to lower yourself slowly works great. Sometimes it is as simple as dropping some body fat and improving technique to improve performance.  


You can add weight, switch up your grip or play with the speed of the movement. Keep the reps low and do them more often.


  • Wide grip
  • Narrow grip
  • Slow count on the way up.....on the way down...or both
  • Take a pause and hold at the top
  • Do half reps-from the top let yourself come half way down and then go all the way back up, then finally going all the way back down to equal one rep.
  • Super-set with another back exercise like one arm rows
  • For fat loss- do burpees plus pull-ups
  • Wrap towels around the bar to work grip 
  • Use Rings or handles to make it more joint friendly

Below is one of my favorite back routines

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Random Thoughts..

Some of my new recent favorite things

  • Whole food/raw food energy bar with natural ingredients
  • Vegan if it matters to you, no preservatives
  • High fiber, good fats
  • Great taste
  • Best to satisfy energy needs due to high carbs

  • High in carbs, lower in protein
  • Higher in calories at about 380


       I love making this quick greens shake in the morning using my Vitamix. Take some spinach, kale, pineapple and green grapes. Add Coconut water, a couple of ice cubes and blend until fully mixed. The fruit gives the shake a nice natural sweetness and the greens of course are loaded with nutrients. I like using Vita Coco brand coconut water which helps with hydration.


        I take an old time favorite and update it using bison which is low in fat, high in protein and high in Omega-3s. I like to make mine with finely chopped onions, green peppers and garlic. Mix in mustard and organic ketchup and you are good to go. The organic ketchup is key because it doesn't have the high fructose corn syrup that regular ketchup has. If you are keeping your carbs low then eat it with half a bun or no bun at all.


     Keep the muscles working with a higher time under tension will lead to better results! Try doing a 10 second count both on the way up and down. I like to do this for 3-4 reps and 3-4 sets. This is really difficult so most people will need to use a band or machine for assistance.


     Do 8-12 traditional reps followed by 8-10 1/2 reps in which you just drop half way down from the top of the movement and then go right back up and then right back down just to burn out the glutes.


       Burpees-10 reps
       Speed squats-10 reps
** Each set drop the burpees down  by 2....and keep the squats at 10. You are done when you finish 2 reps of burpees. Take as little time as possible between sets.

Monday, July 1, 2013

2 workout formats to use!

I tend to think of myself as the mad scientist of workout formats as I like to be creative and think of different ways to challenge the individual in the workout and avoid boredom. Below are some formats I have been experimenting with as of late. Most of these formats are best used for fat loss and body composition goals.

Use the following to better understand each format


UPPER VERT PULL- chinup, pullup, lat pulldown, x-row etc
UPPER HORIZ PULL-row variations etc
UPPER PUSH-pushups, presses etc
LOWER HIP- glute bridge, thrusters, deadlifts, hamstring curls etc
LOWER QUAD- goblet squats, lunges, box squats, step ups, etc
CONDITIONING/METABOLIC-ball slams, jump rope, ropes, etc

A) Ascending/Descending Giant Set

* Pick 8 exercises that fit into the following movements

3-5 rounds. 3-5 min rest between rounds

* You have options for this workout

a) Increase the reps for all upper body exercises each set, and decrease the lower body reps each set. Of course you can reverse this have the lower body exercises go up and upper body go down in reps each set. I would go up/down by 1-2 reps
b) Increase the reps of the first 4 exercises each set and decrease the other 4 exercises each set. Of course again this could be reversed.

Other notes

*Make sure the weight matches the reps. Meaning if you start with 6 reps and you end up with 10 reps on the last set that weight should go down in order to be able to perform 10 reps on that exercise.

* I wouldn't go lower than 6 reps on anything and higher than 15 on most of the exercises


* Pick 4 different supersets, each having one upper body exercise and one lower body, so 8 total exercises. You can end the whole workout with some core work if need be.


A1) Row-8 reps, hold each for 4 seconds
A2) Step up with dumbbells-12 reps each leg for speed
3-4 sets. 0-60 sec between sets

Notes on  this

* One exercise will be done with a slow tempo, pause or hold. Don't use a tempo higher than 10 seconds. One exercise should then be done for speed with a fast tempo.
* Alternate lower and upper body exercises in terms of which is the slow one and which is done fast. So based of A1 & A2 above, grouping B1 & B2 would then have the lower body exercise done slow and the upper body done fast.
* Fast doesn't mean bad form, it means controlled speed!