In the past 6 weeks I’ve been testing out a new theory on my body with some interesting results.
You see, I’m the type of guy that loves to treat my body as a scientific experiment.
Every single workout stimuli that I test on my body gives me a better understanding of the theory proposed in the workout.
I gotta be honest and say that some of the programs I’ve tried have utterly sucked. Like really bad.
(And it’s even worse when the author tries to convince me to promote the product.)
On the other hand some programs are just incredible and have become staples in my toolbox for physique transformation.
Example: For fat loss I love rotating around different types of circuit training that use compound movements as I’ve found that tool best for losing fat at a faster rate than most.
Another example would be physique training for creating a nice muscular tone on my body to look like those “Hollywood” superstar actors.
It’s never one or the other and it’s a big reason why I can’t stand some of the dogma surrounding the industry where people use ONE type of workout for every single situation.
Another mistake people (and myself) make is thinking that you can use only one tool to reach a specific goal.
So they go through the same old routine and motions when what their body needs is a SHOCK to the system.
Your body thrives on reacting to the different stimuli you place upon it. You can’t be caught doing the same old program every single time.
You’ll get bored and its effectiveness on your body will be reduced the more times you introduce it.
Well, admittedly this was a mistake I was making time and time again.
I’d choose the programs that worked best for me in the past thinking that I’d get the same benefit from them.
This past summer I chose to do a program that I’ve done 2 times in the past with very disparaging results.
It wasn’t that the workout sucked. The first time I did it it actually got me into photo shoot ready shape.
But, as time worn on and my body got more efficient at doing the workout my results inevitably started to suffer.
Also, boredom set in. When you’re doing the same thing over and over it just becomes redundant.
So I needed to change things up.
I needed to give a jolt to my body and especially my mind with a brand new workout.
Before, I had been doing a body part split to achieve the physique results I wanted. I’d hit up my body parts on certain days and split them up according to what was on the plan.
While this technique is incredible at building muscle and developing incredible muscle tone to your body it does start to dilute as time wears on.
The idea behind body part split training is to blitz a muscle group and let it recover for 48-72 hours.
This is “blitz, rest, and recover” model is what most of us have been taught to use to gain strength and add muscle.
…but is this the best (or only) way to train?
Enter the Visual Frequency Experiment
The dominant Eastern European Olympic teams don’t think so.
In fact, most high level athletes don’t blitz and rest a muscle to increase their performance.
High level Olympic Athletes train their movements daily leading up to a contest.
The “athletic community” follows a different set of rules than the typical “gym based” resistance training community.
The dominant Soviet Weightlifting teams of the 70’s and 80’s found that repetition and workout frequency was the key to rapid improvements in strength and performance.
Bodybuilding “breakdown training” was to be avoided.
When muscle breakdown is avoided the muscle can worked many more times in a given period of time.
In the case of the Soviet and Bulgarian teams…they figured out a way to train each movement with 2-3X the frequency of the Western Olympic teams.
Complete dominance over the US and other nations training each movement less frequently.
Makes sense, right?
…they got the advantage of practicing a lift 3X more than their Western counterparts.
If this proven path to strength is right in front of us, why don’t we see more people training in this manner -vs- using a body part split?
Answer: Most people attempting this are still holding on to too many “bodybuilding principles”…which sabotages their ability to dramatically improve strength levels.
Tomorrow, I’m going to send out an email that will outline the best way to train in the gym if you want to experience the rapid results of the Eastern Bloc countries. If you’re not on the email list then subscribe on the right.
PS: You don’t have to train using Olympic style lifts to benefit from this approach.
It’s the proper programming that matters most.
So you can use these same principles to improve your bench press, squat, shoulder press, etc.
Look for an email titled “How to Avoid Muscle Breakdown to Dramatically Increase Strength”.
Pps. If you’re wondering what my results were of doing this program it’ll be in the next email as well
One of the biggest misconceptions about women and fat loss has to be the myth that women should not lift heavy.
When we tell our clients to do certain lifts or challenge themselves with a heavier weight we are sometimes met with an incredulous look of, “I don’t want to do that because it’ll make me bulkier”
This could not be further from the truth.
One of the leanest girls I know is also one of the STRONGEST girls I know.
Her name is Neghar Foononi and in this blog post she’s going to show you why it’s IMPERATIVE to lift heavier, especially if you’re looking for that long and lean physique.
If transforming your body is your top priority then this is one of those articles you must read before doing your next workout.
Why Women Must Lift Heavy For Fat Loss
By: Neghar Foononi, RKC
As a fitness and lifestyle coach, I constantly get asked questions about how to achieve an optimal physique. It doesn’t matter if I’m at the nail salon or at a BBQ with friends, inevitably, people want to know…what’s the best way to change my body?
Well, first things first, I always preface my response with this:
There is no such thing as an optimal physique. There’s you, your body, and how you treat it—that’s all.
I then follow-up with the equally important statement that the best way to change your body is the way that you’ll embrace with both consistency and enjoyment. There is no best way, really, but there is the best way for YOU.
Within these conversations, women divulge what they want for their bodies: leaner legs, a firmer butt, arms like Madonna, or visible abs. Others detail various training goals such as completing an unassisted pull-up or a bodyweight deadlift. Often, as we begin to dig deeper, they reveal intentions that are more intrinsic and introspective in nature, such as looking to develop a healthier relationship with food, or boost their confidence through living a fit lifestyle.
Ultimately, every woman I speak to wants the same thing: to flourish. They want to look better and feel better, but they desperately want to do it without strict dieting and spending hours in the gym. They want to live a life in which fitness adds to their life rather than subtracts from it.
What these women regularly describe to me is what I call the Lean & Lovely lady: A fit, feminine, athletic body that’s actually as strong as it looks; a healthy relationship with food—one lacking in food-related guilt; a mindset of gratitude and compassion, and an overall empowered and vibrant life.
It just so happens, that I know a helluva lot about how to live a Lean & Lovely lifestyle.
In fact, I’ve spent the last several years helping women all over the world not only transform their bodies, but their lifestyles and their mindsets as well. And do you want to know the main ingredient in my Lean & Lovely recipe?
It all starts with strength.
I’m not just talking physical strength, but strength of mind, and character as well. It’s all encompassing, from the inside out. When I began my fitness journey, it consisted only of running and yoga—two things that are actually quite beneficial when added to a well-rounded strength training program. But I wasn’t focusing on strength at all. I was focused completely on what my body looked like, not how it performed.
When my mindset began to shift, and I began to prioritize strength, I noticed a few very significant and relevant things:
1-The stronger I became, the easier it was to lose fat and maintain a lean physique.
2-External strength can fuel internal strength.
3-Strength makes everything easier.
Speaking purely scientifically, lifting weights promotes the growth of lean mass (muscle), which is an integral part of any fat loss journey. Put simply, muscle helps cultivate a healthier metabolism because the more muscle your body has, the more calories it will burn at rest. In addition to increasing metabolism, lifting weights promotes natural growth hormone production, which in turn helps reduce insulin sensitivity.
Plus, lifting weights-if done in a certain way-can give you the most bang for your buck, allowing you to build strength and lose fat simultaneously. This is why I love introducing women to kettlebells: they allow for versatile, dynamic, total body, fat burning, strength building workouts—all with one tool!
Unfortunately, I’ll often encounter women who don’t like my advice. They don’t want to get strong because they’re that lifting weights will make them “bulk up.”
They can easily be deterred from the idea for fear of being “manly” or “too muscular” so let me go ahead and allay your fears: lifting weights won’t turn you into She-Hulk overnight (although I adore She-Hulk for being the Super Heroine champion of self-love and body acceptance).
You’ll build muscle through strength training, of course, but you won’t pack it on in absurd amounts and it won’t happen instantly.
Simply put, women do not have the testosterone necessary to support that kind of muscle growth. Plus, it takes years and years of hypertrophy focused training to achieve the kind of muscle growth that you see on body builders.
Instead, by lifting weights the Lean & Lovely way, you’ll build a lean, feminine, athletic physique—all while increasing metabolism.
I didn’t experience a serious transformation in terms of fat loss until I started prioritizing strength, and especially once I began utilizing kettlebells. The boost in strength and metabolism helped me turn my body into a confident, empowered, fat-burning machine.
Which leads me to the second thing I noticed once I started lifting weights regularly—the intrinsic strength. Lifting weights helps boost confidence like nothing else I have ever seen. I’ve helped timid, overweight, stay-at-home moms go on to crush feats of strength and then start their own personal training businesses.
I’ve seen beginners afraid of lifting a kettlebell move on to chasing a double bodyweight deadlift while breaking out of their comfort zones.
Physical strength contributes to strength of character, which in turn boosts confidence—and there’s just no downside to that.
Strength of body is empowering, and it’s what allows you to cultivate a Lean & Lovely lifestyle, not just a Lean & Lovely body.
Now, this type of transformation doesn’t happen overnight, but when it does, it’s truly enlightening.
I first recognized how valuable strength was to me as a woman, when I bought a twin sized bed for my son. As a single mom, many tasks fell solely to me, which I had pretty much gotten accustomed to.
However, when I purchased the bed, I didn’t really think through the entire process: somehow this bed had to be moved from my car into my home. I’m sure I could have asked someone for help, but being the stubborn girl that I am, I chose to do it all on my own.
It was difficult. It was exhausting. It was, above all, empowering.
I carried that bed, awkward shape and all, from my car, up and down stairs, and into my apartment—all by myself. It’s moments like those when you realize how much strength matters.
Which leads me to my last point: Being strong makes everything else easier, whether it’s carrying heavy bags of groceries, draping a sleeping child over your shoulder, or hoisting a suitcase into an overhead bin. When you’re strong, every day tasks become less cumbersome, and it’s from that strength that your spirit truly blossoms.
With all the information out there, and the multitude of machines and weights at the gym, it can be difficult to know where to get started and whether you’re on the right path. How do you even begin to embark on a journey of strength such as this?
Well, this is why I absolutely love teaching people about kettlebells, and how utilizing them can help you build strength, lose fat, and increase confidence—all in just 30 minutes a day. It’s essentially your all-in-one strength, cardio, and mobility tool.
To develop a Lean & Lovely physique, long bouts of cardio aren’t going to be necessary. Spending an hour on an elliptical machine won’t produce a body that looks strong. It won’t help you build muscle, thereby improving your metabolism and developing an athletic, sculpted physique.
It won’t help you lean out your abs or perk up your butt. And in some extreme cases, cardio can actually do more harm than good. You won’t do cardio in the traditional sense, but you will get very sweaty.
Other types of fat burning activity such as metabolic resistance, complexes, and finishers (or what I call “quickies”) are going to be much more effective in terms of developing a lean, strong, athletic physique. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on cardio.
In fact, I often enjoy certain types of cardio, such as long walks or bike rides along the beach in Santa Monica. Rather, I’m simply stating that strength is going to be your #1 focus.
If you love going for long runs or taking Zumba classes—hell, go for it! Just don’t do it for physique purposes or to build a Lean & Lovely physique.
Do it because it brings you joy as form of moving meditation, and you just want to incorporate more activity. Just be sure not to replace lifting weights or performing metabolic resistance circuits with cardio.
As my friend Jen Sinkler is famous for saying, when asked what she did for cardio, you’ll “lift weights faster.”
This is where Metabolic Resistance Training and kettlebells comes into play. A typical MRT session lasts between 15-30 minutes, and you’ll always finish up feeling like a goddess.
Because MRT will help you gain strength while placing intense metabolic demand on your body. You’ll essentially be lifting weights (or performing bodyweight movements) for either reps, or time, with very short breaks in between.
Typically MRT exercises are multi-joint, compound or combination movements and are grouped into circuits of 3-5 exercises. The concept behind this type of training is that you will achieve greater metabolic disturbance, using the entire body to achieve favorable body composition, increase work capacity and in most cases, improve strength levels.
By doing MRT with kettlebells, you ensure that you’re engaging your entire body with every single movement, and you have a greater arsenal of dynamic movements to choose from, like swings and snatches.
(It’s important to note that MRT is only effective if you have a strong grasp of all of the movement patterns incorporated in the circuit. Because you are moving quickly, with load, and taking such short breaks, your body has to be able to perform the exercises efficiently without risk of injury.)
Metabolic resistance training, and kettlebells in particular, form the foundation of my Lean & Lovely methods, and these methods have helped women all over the world lose insane amounts of fat, while completely transforming their lives. If you’re ready to get started on that path, give this MRT circuit a try.
Above all, remember that creating a strong body contributes to a strong mind, and vice versa.
To live a truly empowered life, fitness has to radiate from the inside out.
Just gotta say again that Neghar is one of the most knowledgable women I know when it comes to building an awesome female physique using kettlebells.
If you’re ready to get into your best body and avoiding all of the frustrations of no getting any progress at the gym, check out her system she’s developed based The NEW rules of lifting for women and permanent fat loss called Lean and Lovely™
One of the most mis-understood exercises that almost everyone uses in their Transformation Program is the Mountain Climber.
While it’s an incredibly effective way to work your abs and strengthen your core – I usually see 90% of people getting it totally WRONG.
I just did a video on the BEST way to use do the Mountain Climber to tone and hyper-target your abs.
I use a specific 3 Step Activation sequence that ensures you get the maximum effect to sculpt those abs.
Follow the sequence every time you do a stability based ab exercise and you’ll be on your way to a tighter core in no time.
One of the things I’m most proud of when it comes to my Body Transformation Center is the fact that our women just can’t stop having babies.
It’s a weird thing to be proud of I know.
One thing most people don’t know is that even though you have a baby it does not mean that you automatically have to be out of shape. In fact, the best way to go about your baby journey is to have an “All-Belly” pregnancy.
My fitness friend (and happy mommy) Lacy Arnold lays out the Top 7 mistake new moms always make when trying to lose that baby fat. If you’ve ever had a kid or are planning to have one make sure you read this entire article.
The Top 7 Mistakes New Moms Make When Trying to Lose Baby Fat
By Lacy Arnold, Author of Lean Moms
If you’re a mom, or about to become one, you may be worrying about what happens once your round pregnant belly isn’t so round anymore. If this isn’t your first pregnancy, you already know what happens—it gets soft.
The good news is that your belly doesn’t have to stay that way for long! If you want your pre-baby body back quickly, avoid the following mistakes:
The Top 7 Mistakes New Moms Make When Trying to Lose Baby Fat
1. Tackle weight loss like it has to happen tomorrow, and then give up when you don’t see results.
Be patient. A new baby is unpredictable and takes weeks, if not months, to get into a routine. Start small. Choose one thing to focus on at a time, conquer it, and then add in one more change or habit.
2. Don’t recognizing that your hormones are adjusting and may be out of balance for a while.
Hormones can drastically affect weight loss. Eat one half to one avocado per day to help supply healthy fats while your hormones balance. Many women find that the avocado helps with hunger, too. Your water weight will be constantly fluctuating, so stay away from the scale! Instead, choose a pair of jeans you want to fit into and use them to gauge progress.
3. Make poor food choices because you’re over-tired or in a rush.
Eat smart. Choose nutrient-dense, whole foods such as almonds, fish, green veggies, quinoa, berries, and coconut oil instead of sweets or processed foods.
Eat often. You and your baby both need to eat every 2 to 3 hours.
Finding time for this can be tricky, but the more you become aware of it and the more you plan ahead, the easier your meals will fit into your busy schedule. Keep a bag of raw almonds or carrots in your diaper bag or purse to save you from caving into that Snickers bar or nibbling on your children’s French fries.
Cook several meals all at once and store them in the fridge or freezer for later.
4. Work out too soon after giving birth and burn yourself out—or worse, get injured.
Your body needs time to recover, especially your abs! Pregnancy stretched them to their max, and when you begin to work them too soon–before 4-6 weeks—you can develop diastasis recti (permanent separation of the abdominal muscles).
Diastasis recti require surgery to repair. If you have a C-section, your recovery time is longer than 4-6 weeks. Always make sure to follow the advice of your medical doctor when it comes to the right time to start any exercise program. When it is time, abdominal vacuums and planks are two of the best ab exercises for new moms.
5. Do long cardio sessions.
Short, high intensity workouts spread throughout the day are best, especially with a newborn. Get creative! Squats or walking lunges while comforting a colicky infant can help to tighten your tush and tone your thighs while soothing your baby.
6. Don’t get support with your fitness plan.
It’s especially important that you socialize with other moms and women to help prevent post-partum depression and to get help quickly if it develops. I recommend choosing a fitness program that involves the support of other women. We do much better together than alone!
7. Choose to do nothing or say you’ll begin “when the baby is older.”
You can start right now by creating a vision and goals. Then, choose one thing a week to focus on. A little progress is better than no progress. And even if you have set-backs, at least you’re mostly moving forward. You’re a mom, so it will help if you remind yourself to take baby steps.
*Bonus* Mistake 8. Don’t Meditate.
Studies have shown that moms have higher levels of stress than most top executives. Stress leads to increased amounts of the hormone cortisol, which can greatly influence belly fat. By meditating for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day (many moms do it while breastfeeding their babies), you can help keep your mindset where it needs to be and stay focused on sculpting your beautiful body and life…baby and all!
By avoiding the mistakes we discussed above, you’ll cruise on past that post-pregnancy weight loss hurdle and be slipping into those favorite jeans before your baby can even say “Mama!”
For more healthy tips to help you reach your weight loss goals, check out Lacy Arnold’s LeanMoms.
I have to admit that I don’t like Crossfit workouts.
There I said it.
While I still believe that they’re an incredibly effective fat loss workout, when done the WRONG way they tend to have a negative effect on your body in terms of injuries and joint mobility issues.
In short, Crossfit workouts do a great job of getting you in shape but also do have a tendency to put your body out of commission.
Today’s blog post we’re going to show you a safe and effective way to do a Crossfit workout in the safest way possible while still reaping all of the awesome fat burning benefits that come along with it.
If you’re willing to do an intense workout and get into a banging body that’s injury free the read on…
The C2 Method – How to Burn Fat and Boost Your Athleticism…At The SAME TIME
By Travis Stoetzl, CSCS, Crossfit 1
I can remember when I first met Dan Go.
Maybe YOU know him?
We were in San Diego at a big fitness mastermind meeting when my buddy Rob King and I decided to head off to get in a training session.
On our way out of the hotel lobby, I can remember Dan running up to join us for our trip to the gym.
What an awesome bunch of dudes to go train with.
When we arrived, Rob looked to me for the day’s session while I turned to Dan and asked him what his plans were for the day.
Dan replied, “Deadlifts”.
I then immediately thought in my head “RESPECT!” then replied back “Cool”.
Side note – Anyone I meet that deadlifts will gain RESPECT in my book. Anyone that I meet that deadlifts while on a trip away from home gets DOUBLE RESPECT in my book.
Dan’s Note – Deadlifts are usually my response to every single question thrown at me in a gym. ie. “How can I get in shape?” My answer – “Deadlifts” or “Hey Dan can you show me where the washroom is?” My answer – “Deadlifts”
Unfortunately for me, I had just done a heavy deadlift session a few days before so I had something else planned for that day that my buddy Rob and I decided to hit up while your boy Dan cranked out deadlifts.
And if I can recall, I believe Dan deadlifted in his socks, which got him even more respect in my book
There was LOTS of RESPECT going on…
What This Has To Do With the C2 Method
In any case, what I want to talk about in this guest post is that of my “C2 Method” of programming and how it works.
“C2” stands for “Controlled Chaos” and it’s something I’ve been testing and tweaking within my programming for some time now.
In all honesty, my “C2 Method” of programming is designed to transform you into a complete badass.
And by “complete badass” I mean help you get better at pretty much everything.
I seriously can’t put it any other way than that.
To get a better feel, just think about getting increases in strength, power, conditioning, and overall athleticism all at once.
That’s what my “C2” method is all about and is designed to do (and has PROVEN to do time and time again).
How to Gain Strength, Power, Conditioning and Overall Athleticism All At Once
Well, that’s where the specifics of the “C2 Method” come into play.
In the front we’ve got your “Controlled” part of the programming, which is your structured strength and power work.
For this stuff to work the best, it needs to be consistent and progressive in nature in order for you to reap the most benefit from.
A perfect example to use for what a “Controlled” part of a workout would look like would be to look at what Dan did while we were in San Diego.
As previously stated, Dan did deadlifts… HEAVY deadlifts.
Nothing fancy, just some good sets of deadlifts for more muscle and strength.
Not sure what his reps and sets were for that day, but he was working strength.
You can’t go wrong by doing some deads for strength.
My other TOP go-to movements for strength would include:
-Front and Back Squats
-Military, Push Press
-Heavy Weighted Dips and Pull Ups
-All of the Olympic Lifts and their Variations
Now, the unfortunate part with this “Controlled” aspect of training is how most people drop the ball by missing this key component of structured strength work.
In other words, people tend to skip it n order to do the second part of my “C2 Method” which is the “CHAOS” part of the programming.
This is used primarily to enhance your conditioning and speed fat loss while complimenting your main strength and power work.
This “CHAOS” type of training is also where you can have some real fun in being a bit more random with your programming in regards to what you do and how you do it,
However, at the same time, there still needs to be some sort of rhyme or reason to what it is your doing.
Let me explain…
For me, I have a couple of different go-to “CHAOS” training set ups that I like to use which include:
1. Interval / Pace
4. Kardio Kings
The 4 main set ups that I listed above are what I like to use, but as we were in San Diego, while your man Dan was pulling away at some deadlifts, Rob and I did the set up I referred to above which is called a “Grinder” set up.
This is a conditioning based set up that’s typically done in a circuit type of fashion from top to bottom.
In other words, the work has been laid out and your job is to get everything done as fast as possible.
I like “Grinders” because they will test both your mind and body with higher rep movements and more overall total volume, which is exactly why they’re so powerful to use for conditioning and getting yourself shredded.
I refer to these set ups as “Grinders” because that’s what you do… “Grind away at completing all of the reps and movements”
In any case, to give you the full set up of what Rob and I did for our “Grinder” session, here it is:
Complete the Following For Time:
25 Strict Pull Ups
25 Barbell Thrusters @ 135
25 Kettlebell American Swings @ 70 lbs
25 Burpee Box Jumps @ 30 inches
***The loads listed are only recommendations – go as heavy as YOU can handle with good form and technique
You’d do the movements listed from top to bottom and “grind” away at the reps until you’re finished.
Dan’s Note: Before doing any of these workouts you should be starting your workout with a 6 Minute Superhuman type of warm up. You’ll not only enhance your strength, speed and power, you’ll also keep yourself more injury resistant.
So, now you might be wondering …How Do We Put all of This Together?
Well, can you remember back to the strength work that I told you Dan did?
If we were to combine these two together, that would make for a perfect example and set up for what my “C2 Method” is all about.
It’s a rough example at that, but one I wanted to use since this was the first time for me meeting Dan.
Either way, hopefully you get a good idea of how powerful this stuff can be for you and your results.
Because it’s NOT just about “random workouts of the day”…
The key is to make sure you’ve got yourself some structured strength work within your training programs to ensure you’re getting the most from your efforts overtime.
Don’t just be doing a bunch of conditioning stuff that’s written on a board.
You NEED Strength.
Take it from Deadlfitin’ Dan as he knows.
Now, if you liked this and want to know more, I’ve got plenty for you.
Thanks Travis. Awesome Post.
Travis has put together 36 more “CHAOS” sessions plus tons of done-for-you structured strength work.
It’s all within his patented “C2 Method” of programming that’s inside the NEW Unbreakable Badass Blueprint Training System that he just unleashed and this week has it on a big time DISCOUNT.
If you’re looking to boost your athleticism and get ripped while avoiding the injuries then check out the next page.
I have a confession to make …I hate dealing with stubborn fat areas on my body.
I know, “Hate” is a strong word but if you’ve ever dealt with issues with your stubborn belly fat you’d be saying the same thing.
As you know by now, I wasn’t blessed with the greatest genetics in the world.
Back in my “fatter” days when I was over 40 pounds overweight I couldn’t even fathom the thought of having abs and if you asked anyone around me ..they’d agree with you.
In fact, when I told a girlfriend (now “ex”) about how I was gonna have six pack abs she just laughed at me and told me it was next impossible especially from where I was starting from.
Needless to say, she’s not in my life anymore.
I, along with many others, would be relegated to the fact that we’d always have that little “pooch” at the bottom of our stomachs regardless of how much we worked out or dieted.
Well, thankfully I was dead wrong.
The TRUTH of the matter is that losing the last 10 pounds is totally different than losing the first 20 (or 40 in my case).
In fact, if you’ve eaten clean and counted your calories you’d know that it becomes a law of diminishing returns.
You can eat under your daily maintenance level of calories for months on end only to stay stuck in some dreaded plateaus.
The fact is that losing the last 10 pounds takes a different approach and that specific approach is one that I’ll be talking about in today’s blog.
So Why is it SO HARD to Lose the Last 5-10 Pounds Off of Your Body?
Essentially, we all have our own caveman DNA working against us.
You see, from an evolutionary standpoint, there is simply NO real benefit to being extremely lean.
Quite the opposite—people who stored fat efficiently we able to survive longer and live to pass on their efficient fat storage genes.
Which means that only the cave people who were good at storing fat tended to live through famine, and passed the fat-storing genes on.
Generations later, we’re all walking around with super-high fat storage efficiency in a world where food is now in abundance all around us.
What Can We Do To Combat Our Evolutionary Fat Storing Habits?
When it comes down to the final 5-10 pounds of stubborn fat on your body it really relates back to the hormonal environment in your body.
One of the hormones that we undoubtedly want less of is Cortisol.
What Is Cortisol?
Cortisol is a hormone that the adrenal gland secretes in response to stress. This stress can be in the form of life stress, lack of sleep, and obviously bad dieting habits.
It’s also one of the main culprits of on your body that stimulate fat gain in your abdomen.
Now it would be easy to say to someone to just stress less and the belly fat will go away.
But that’s not the case.
In the case of eliminating cortisol you need to fight fire with fire.
It’s a matter of finding which hormones work well against one another.
When it comes to cortisol (and belly fat), you need look no further than Growth Hormone.
Also known as Human Growth Hormone or simply GH, is produced in the pituitary gland and is responsible for muscle growth, and fat loss among other things.
Growth Hormone is also known as the celebrity hormone that people will pay hundreds of dollars a month to inject into their bodies for faster fat loss and muscle building.
Little do they know that we can produce growth hormone naturally in our bodies without the use of expensive injections.
More specific to this blog, growth hormone is actually one of the most effective hormones in the world to offset cortisol.
How Do We Produce More Growth Hormone In Our Bodies?
While producing growth hormone in our bodies may seem like a daunting task it really isn’t. It just comes down to a few modifications to our diet and one little trick I do in my exercise programs.
I’ll reveal the first two here but won’t go into detail as we have discussed these in previous blogs of mine:
3 Ways To Boost Growth Hormone
1. Delay your first meal of the day to 12pm or later to increase the fasting period.
2. Workout in a fasted (aka. empty stomach) state. Do this on BCAA’s to avoid losing any muscle.
3. Produce More Lactic Acid In Your Body
GH is released as a response to the production of something called lactic acid.
Lactic acid is a waste byproduct of some of the chemical and metabolic processes that happen during exercise.
So, if you do exercise in a specific way, you can produce MORE lactic acid, which will then produce tremendous amounts of growth hormone as a result. That growth hormone surge will also help to work against your high cortisol levels.
How Do You Produce More Lactic Acid in Your Body?
I learned this trick from a good friend of mine who is amazing at helping people lose the last few pounds off of their bodies.
What it is is an unusual style of exercise that can actually produce even MORE lactic acid than is generally possible with other types of exercise.
It’s called Lactic Acid Training and this type of training utilizes slow lifting speeds and faster lowering speeds.
The philosophy of this type of training is that lactic acid is primarily produced during the “concentric” or positive/lifting phase of an exercise, and not so much during the “eccentric” or negative/lowering phase.
In general terms we are slowing down the lifting portion of the exercise and speeding up the lowering portion of it.
An example would be one rep of a Squat (using a lower weight):
1. You’d lower the weight of the squat down with a 1-1.5 second cadence
2. You’d lift the squat up using a 4-5 (excruciatingly tortuous) second cadence.
3. Repeat this for 8-10 reps
Performing exercises with these extended concentric movements is going to create a tremendous amount of lactic acid, which in turn is going to prompt your body to produce fantastic amounts of growth hormone.
And that growth hormone is going to help you manage cortisol and fight belly fat.
And if all THAT wasn’t enough, lactic acid training is also just a great fat loss training methods, so you’ll lose fat overall.
If you want to fight your cortisol issues, you need growth hormone.
And for that you need lactic acid training.
Utilizing this method, you’re one step closer to fighting off your belly fat for good.
Pretty cool eh?
One guy that is a MASTER at pinning “good” hormones and specific exercise up against the “bad” hormones that cause regional fat storage is my friend John Romaniello.
And in his awesome program Final Phase Fat Loss, provides you with specific types of exercises and workouts to combat:
1. Estrogen, “man boobs” and lower-body fat (combatted with “Density” training and Testosterone)
2. Insulin, and your “love handles (combatted with “Dynamic” training and IGF-1)
3. And of course, Cortisol and belly fat (combatted with specific “Lactic Acid” training and Growth Hormone)
Full Disclosure: I have used this program twice in the past and while it is incredibly effective it is one of the hardest fat loss systems I’ve ever done on my body. This program is definitely NOT for beginners.
If you struggle with “problem area” fat storage and you’re not a beginner at training then this is THE program to set you free.
Just did a very enjoyable interview with Jay Scott from the Full Disclosure Fitness podcast. I might say that this was one of the best most free flowing interviews I’ve done with a podcaster EVER.
Check it out at the link down below:
In this episode you’ll find out:
- How a moment of pain can inspire you to make a positive lifestyle change.
- What mental strategies you can adopt to make your dreams a reality.
- How using a community and support system can lift you towards your goals.
- Why traveling alone builds so much character.
- Why your personality determines how you start a fitness program.
- How being told “no” can spur you upward to success.
- Why thinking positive really does work.
- My deep reasons for focusing primarily on women clientele.
And much, much more.
She sat there across from me with a look of despair on her face.
“How much time do you have”, I asked.
“2 months and then I get married. Can you make it happen?”, she replied with a hint of fear in her voice.
“Does a bear do a number 2 in the woods?”, I stated.
It was a rhetorical question of course.
Our girl needed to lose 30 pounds in only 2 months of time to look amazingly hot for her wedding.
While I don’t claim to be a miracle worker, I do know that one of my unique abilities in the world is getting women into ridiculously great shape in a short amount of time.
I’m usually the guy women go to when there is a BIG event they need to look great for. Usually it’s a wedding or getting them to fit into a nice little two piece bikini for their vacation.
It’s not a bad thing to be known for. I’ll take it
So today, I want to reveal to you a couple of the tricks I use to speed up the fat loss process and get these women super quick results in 4, 6, or even 8 weeks of time.
Things to keep in mind:
– I base the nutrition plan on the level of expertise my client has. It goes from getting them to eat real food, to counting calories and at the highest level knowing their macros. Everything comes in levels.
– The workouts we do are formulated in a way to increase fat loss and work synergistically with their nutrition plans
Most things we do are given at a general level and then coached down an individual level. Take the information you learn here and apply one or two to your current plan.
So are you ready to speed up your fat loss? Let’s do this.
Speedy Fat Loss Trick #1 – Hormone Optimization Nutrition
When eating for faster fat loss EVERYTHING counts.
That means the amount of food that goes into your body (aka. calories) and eating foods that optimize your body’s hormones (insulin and growth hormone) ALL count towards building an efficient fat loss environment for your body.
Before coming to me my clients usually have done some damage in the form of overeating some pretty horrible foods.
So the first two weeks of our plan is to essentially all about optimizing their body by improving their insulin sensitivity by depleting their carbs.
We also have them push back their first meals a little later into the day to promote growth hormone release. If they can’t do this then we have them workout in a fasted state for the same reason as above.
All in all this gets us faster results because we deplete glycogen and water from the body while improving their bodies ability to process fat as energy and build muscle.
This little eating trick is in addition to the carb loading, carb backloading, sometimes intermittent fasting and other little nutrition techniques we use depending on a clients situation.
When we look at the big picture we have to understand that there are so many moving parts to a clients nutrition strategy.
In the end we use tools like the ones stated above to optimize our clients bodies for fat loss as well as other sneaky strategies to limit the amount of calories they ingest into their bodies.
Speedy Fat Loss Trick #2 – Metabolic Finishers
While I’m still a big believer in traditional cardio and doing interval training, they are definitely not the end all and be all of finishing a workout.
Enter Metabolic Finishers.
A metabolic finisher is an intense exercise or series of exercises performed at the end of the workout that’s designed to ensure that you’ve burnt every last drop of gas from the tank.
They burn fat, improve conditioning, are time efficient and are easier on the joints than your traditional 30 minute post workout cardio routine.
An example of a Metabolic Finisher would be a 20/10 Tabata.
Tabata’s are 20 seconds of work with a 10 second rest period done 8 times (4 minutes total). When done correctly they are one of the most masochistic ways to end a workout.
We use hundreds of different variations of the Tabata in our workout but the simplest (most times best) way to perform a tabata is with one exercise over the 4 minute period.
Squat and Press Tabata’s – 20 seconds on with 10 seconds rest in-between done in 8 rounds.
Essentially you’d do as many squat and presses as possible in the 20 second time period while using the 10 second rest to catch your breath.
Use a weight that is 60% of your 1RM (1 rep maximum) and put 100% intensity into the workout.
Oh, and make sure to clean up the pile of sweat you’ll leave on the ground after doing this finisher.
Metabolic Finishers are quick and a perfect addition to any fat loss program if you want to get that extra little boost to your metabolism and calorie burning.
Speedy Fat Loss Trick #3 – Rotating Your Metabolic Resistance Training Circuits
Let’s be honest: Most ways people go about exercising to lose fat ultimately does nothing for the metabolism.
Spend 45 minutes on the treadmill and maybe burn 1/10th of one pound of fat.
<Sarcasm> Wow. That’s amazing. </Sarcasm>
The one research proven method of working out and boosting your metabolism is Metabolic Resistance Training.
In fact, research has shown that a specific form of exercise called Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT) can increase your metabolism for up to 48 hours post workout – that’s TWO DAYS of elevated metabolism from a single 40-minute workout.
But the HIDDEN truth that most fat loss experts don’t want to tell you is that after a certain period of time their method of circuit training starts becoming less and less effective at burning fat on your body.
Why is this?
The fact is this: After a certain time of doing any type of exercise your body start to get MORE and MORE efficient.
What this means is that your body gets used to the rest times, the movements and even the work periods to every single program that you use for about 4 weeks of time.
Eventually your body gets so used to the way you are working out that and so efficient that you end up burning less calories with less of an effect on your metabolism.
Most coaches approach this by doing more heavier weights and …shudder …more volume (30 Olympic style snatches anyone?)
How do you get around this?
The trick I use with my clients at my transformation centre is to rotate the method of circuits every 3-4 weeks with an entirely new stimuli of metabolic training.
The first 3 to 4 weeks we’ll use a timed circuit of 45 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest.
The next 3 to 4 weeks we’ll use an AMRAP circuit of 10 minutes to get as many rounds of 3-4 exercises done within the allotted time frame.
We’ve actually developed a system that ensures that the workouts never get boring and our fat loss workout formula keeps your fat burning at an incredibly high rate 24/7 …but we’ll reveal that a little later.
If your goal is fat loss then always make sure your body is kept inefficient in your workouts by varying your sets, rest, tempos and, of course, increasing the weight to ensure you keep your body in an environment that promotes fat loss.
While all of these speedy fat loss tricks will enhance the results you are looking for in the gym, the main thing I preach to my clients is …patience.
While these tips will ultimately speed up your fat loss you have to realize that Rome was not built in a day and all of the weight that you have gained in the past years WON’T come off in just a couple of weeks.
Your results in the gym will ultimately be the result of all the actions you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. So burn your ships and get going.
Take these speedy fat loss principles and apply them for some better results.
And unlike our friend in the beginning of this blog post Don’t wait until it’s crunch time to get the body you want.
GET STARTED NOW
and stay awesome,
Ps. I’m putting the finishing touches on the launch of my first ever 6 Week Transformation Challenge Online. This is the same program that’s helped my clients lose anywhere from 13 to 29 pounds of fat in ONLY 6 weeks.
I’ll be opening it up within the next two weeks and beta testing it with 50 motivated women.
Stay tuned for more details.
We are officially 6% into the year of 2014 …are you 6% closer to those goals you set out for yourself?
In my 11 years in the fitness industry and helping thousands of clients transform their bodies, I’ve settled into some transformation principles that have helped everyone from the stay at home mom to the high performing CEO of a multi million dollar company.
My recommendation is to take the ones that resonate with you the most and discard what you don’t deem necessary.
If you jive with this list then print it out. Choose one or two principles to apply to your life every week. Making one small improvement every single week leads to 50 improvements for the year.
Imagine what your life would look like with 50 awesome improvements. It would be life changing.
So are you ready? Let’s go.
1. Use Metabolic Resistance Training as your main workout at least 3x a week.
2. Challenge yourself by using heavy weights that you can do with perfect form
3. Build your workouts around the big 5 (Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Pull Ups and Military presses)
4. Build your workouts around weights being the primary mode of working with cardio being secondary.
5. Do the ultimate fat loss cardio program by doing 10-12 minutes of interval training followed by a nice 20 minute jog.
The interval training releases free fatty acids into your body while the long cardio run burns them off. If you want an amazing cardio program for fat loss my friend Rusty has one of the best here.
6. Focus on your muscles while contracting. Stop thinking taking your mind somewhere else and really focus on the contraction of the exercise to get the BEST benefits.
7. Change up everything in your workouts from the tempo you do the exercises to the exercises themselves to the sets, reps…everything. The more inefficient we make your body during the workouts the more it will be challenged to deal with the new stress.
8. Try working out in a fasted state. Again, my friend Rusty has a great blog about this here
9. Take BCAA’s with your workouts especially when working out fasted. BCAA’s will keep your muscle and give you more endurance/energy to attack your workouts.
10. GRIP your weights like they owe you money. The grip is super important because it keeps your shoulder capsule locked in thus avoiding injury. When doing any exercise make sure you grip as hard as you can. Do this and feel the difference it makes for your body.
11. Screw your feet into the ground while doing squats and deadlifts. Screw your hands into the ground when doing pushups.
12. When working out with weights wear shoes with soles that minimize the sole. The closer your feet are to the ground the better especially when doing lower body exercises. Vibram five fingers and New Balance Minimus’ are best.
13. Monitor your body fat levels, caloric intake and amount of activity as well. Too little body fat mixed with too little caloric intake along with TONS of activity (MRT, cardio, etc..) will stress your body out and will mess with your hormones.
14. When training save your joints by stopping one rep before failure 95% of the time.
15. Use Dynamic Mobility Warm Ups prior to each training session
16. Alleviate nagging pains and improve your body’s soft tissue by using Self Myofascial Release
17. Reduce the amount of meals you eat in a day to get a better control on caloric intake.
18. Drink a litre of water first thing in the morning. Bonus points for putting a pinch of Sea Salt in there.
19. Replace all caloric drinks with water while you are at it.
20. Get yourself under a regular eating schedule and train your hunger like a dog
21. If it jives with you then skip your breakfast
22. If you are prone to eating more at night then push your meals back a little farther
23. Become a Diet Agnostic. Understand that all diets work and all diets don’t. It’s a process of finding which one works best with you.
24. Eat high fat high protein breakfasts for greater satiety and more energy. Charles Poliquin talks a great deal about this here.
25. Keep the bulk of your carb intake to after your Metabolic Workouts
26. Keep your workouts as Inefficient as possible by switching up the ways you do your circuit training.
Play around with density circuits, tabata’s, timed circuits, complexes etc.. Stick with one type of circuit training for anywhere from 3-4 weeks then switch it up. The more inefficient we make your body at doing a specific modality the faster your fat loss will be in the end.
27. If you’re beginning then fill yourself up with REAL FOOD that was only bought from the outside of the grocery store
28. Know what your caloric intake is.
29. When you get the hang of that then find out what your macro intake is.
30. If you are up to it then do a 24 hour fast once a week. The benefits of fasting are too much to put into this blog post. Do yourself a favour and read Eat Stop Eat. This book should be the one of the first books you read when it comes to nutrition.
31. Keep alcohol intake to a couple drinks a week. You cannot change your body if you’re binging on alcohol every single week. You just can’t.
32. If you intend on drinking on a particular day then minimize the damage better by keeping your diet as low fat as possible.
33. If you do drink on one day then promise yourself to hit the gym the next day and for bonus points hit the sauna to sweat out the rest of the alcohol out of your system. It also helps with hangovers.
34. Learn the art of flexible dieting. This goes along with knowing your calories and macros. When you know exactly the amounts of each macronutrient you can put into your body you can choose the meals you eat (clean or not)
35. Take your fitness and nutrition education from practitioners instead of “experts”. Make sure that the person you are listening to actually has clients they work with and test their theories on. It’s one thing to regurgitate research studies. It’s a totally different level if you are constantly testing these theories on real subjects every single day.
36. Meditate at least 3 minutes daily. For intermediate people meditate at least 10 to 15 minutes daily. Meditation has been proven to literally change your brain. Find out why here
37. Get rid of all of the toxic people in your life. ‘Nuff said.
38. People who make complete transformations in their bodies always think, “Both”. It’s never an either or thing when it comes to changing your body. The best transformations (and least stressed out) will be those that are able to hold two separate opposing thoughts in their mind and make room to allow both of them to be true.
39. Use the acronym #NFE in your life. NFE means “No Freaking Excuses”. If you want to put a swear word in the middle then by all means go ahead.
Sure you’re a little tired. Sure you have 3 kids and work a 9 to 5 job. But I’m sure you can find someone on this world who has the same situation as you do that is achieving the goals you want to achieve. If you want something bad enough in life stop making excuses and start doing something about it.
40. There is no “secret” to transforming your body. It takes a good plan, plenty of support and A LOT of hard work.
41. Understand that transforming your body is an evolution. When you reach one goal you’ll most likely start to reach for another one. It’s all about evolving yourself, your knowledge and your body. Wherever you are start now. Stop procrastinating and take the first step to go after the things you want in life.
42. When you transform your body it will look like a mountain. You’ll see all of the things you need to do and will get overwhelmed with the enormity of the task. My recommendation is just take the first step and then the next step after that. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
43. Don’t take this fitness and nutrition stuff so seriously. Avoid getting into arguments about which diet is best because they all work. Stop criticizing other people based on their way of eating. Everyone deserves to do what they think is best to change their bodies. Let them be and focus on yourself.
44. Surround yourself with people who are focused on achieving the same goal you are. You are the average of the 5 people you hang around the most. Choose them wisely.
45. Love your body. No seriously …LOVE your body. Your results will be in direct reflection to how much you love your own freaking body.
46. Celebrate the small successes. You don’t realize it but you’re getting better every single day. Start celebrating each and every little (or big) success in your life.
47. Learn from your failure. Failure is not final. Neither is success. Learn from both and realize that nothing is ever final unless you make it so.
“Don’t let your successes go to your head & don’t let your failures go to your heart.” ~ Will Smith
48. Own yourself and your results. Take responsibility for everything that has happened thus far in life and take total 100% responsibility.
49. Control the things you can and let go of the things you can’t.
50. Be an example of what you want to see in the world. Don’t shove your ideas or ideologies down other people’s throats but instead make it a point to set the example. Those that follow will follow and those that don’t won’t.
In the end this is all about being the best YOU you can possibly be. You don’t need six pack abs or need to be skinny to be loved. Be in love with yourself.
If you have some changes to make then take action and start the process to making your goals a reality. No one is going to do it for you. You gotta get up and get going.
Take *some* of these 50 ways to transform your body and start applying it right now. Take that first step and then the next step after that. This is a wake up call.
Realize that you’re an amazing human being. Start acting like it.