If I could show you a simple exercise (that you can do in 45 seconds), and this exercise will effectively tighten your abs, strengthen your core, reduce your chances of injury and help get you a sexy flat stomach for the summer, would you try it?
Of course you would!
Check it out at today’s video:
The Best Ab Exercise You’re Not Doing (Tighten, Tone and Strengthen Your Core in Only 45 Seconds)
This simulates the intensity of a 5 Minute MMA round and it gives us more opportunities to incorporate different Met-Con styles within one workout. One round could be a complex, one round could be cardio focused, another round could be a ladder…there are just so many ways you can use this workout to make your program unique.
How to Do 5 Minute Fat Loss Rounds
We put ourselves through 5 minutes with 2-4 exercises per each round done AMRAP style (As Many Rounds as Possible) within the time frame. We put our girls through 5 separate rounds in a session with a 1 minute rest in between each round.
A sample workout will be available right below the video for you to try. For now check out the video to fully understand how to utilize this awesome fat loss circuit.
Sample 5 Minute Round Fat Loss Workout
- Set Timer for 5 Minutes with a 1-2 Minute REST Between Each Round.
- Do exercises and complete as many rounds as possible within the 5 minutes.
- Stop one rep before failure on each exercise
- Focus on form and your muscles activating while doing the exercise
Round 1 – Bear Crawl 20 steps forward + Reverse Bear Crawl 20 steps back (SLOW AND FOCUS ON FORM)
Round 2 – Heavy Stiff Legged Deadlift + Standing Overhead Press x 6 reps (SLOW AND FOCUS ON FORM)
Round 3 – 200 Meter Sprint + Shoulder Taps (10 reps per side)
Round 4 – Ladder Workout Start at 10 reps of each exercise and work your way down to 9, 8, 7 etc..(Dumbbell Squat + Dumbbell Back Row)
Round 5 – Dumbbell Complex (Squat and Press + Pistol Rows + Weighted Burpee) x 12 reps
…And that thing you’ll wipe off the ground is your face when you’re finished with this.
Exercise with good form and intention. Be responsible and aware when you do these exercises.
You don’t want to “just do it”. You want to do it with a purpose and focus. Try the workout out and if you have any cool ideas on how to use this workout then drop a comment below and let me know.
Workout responsibly my ninja and talk soon.
Suffering from lower back pain has to be one of the most debilitating injuries anyone can go through and if not treated properly it can be a permanent pain in your life.
What most people that experience low back pain is that with a few exercises, reworking the form on their exercises and persistent action they can get rid of the pain once and for all.
And today you’ll see a simple 3 exercise sequence that will help start the process of alleviating that nagging pain in your back.
Once you watch the video make sure to do the exercises 30 minutes after waking as well as right before your workout and right after you do them let me know how you feel.
The bear crawl is an exercise you’ll see in many gyms and boot camps in the world and it will most likely be the one that people get wrong about 90% of the time.
Most people that do them come from a “MORE or faster equals BETTER” paradigm. So they race to the other end of the turf as fast as possible as if the other end of the gym rewarded them with a slice of blueberry cheesecake.
The principle we hold at our gym is that “QUALITY equals BETTER”.
That means bringing intention to what we do and doing every exercise with as much quality form as we can bring it (within our own physical limitations, of course).
So in this video we show you the way most people get the Bear Crawl wrong and then show you the much better alternative to doing this amazing exercise.
Click the video down below to watch…
Incurring an injury at the gym is probably one of the most frustrating experiences you’ll have to face in your fitness journey. This is especially true if you love to train.
I’m guessing that if you’re reading this blog right now then the concept of having to stop working out is much like the idea of getting your arm cut off.
I personally think getting injured is a good thing for most people.
And no, I’m not a sadistic trainer who revels in the fact that other people get hurt. Far from it.
I believe that any situation that brings pain in your life is a great opportunity to evolve.
Like that time in my life where I had chronic lower back problems. It was once so bad that getting up and down from a seated position had to be done carefully. One false move up or down would result in massive pain.
For a period of 5 years I, quite literally, looked like a 50 year old man who just had hip surgery and…it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
The pain I felt when I was debilitated by that lower back injury drove me to learn about most of the injury prevention concepts you’ll read in this blog post.
I used pain and created an opportunity for myself to evolve, which is something you can do too.
I don’t wish you a life without pain. I wish you the strength to use your pain as an opportunity to evolve.
While some of injuries can’t be avoided, we CAN train our bodies in such ways become stronger, faster and overall increase our immunity to injuries.
So while the blog post states that you’ll get 6 Ways to Bulletproof Your Body From Injury we’re going to go in a roundabout way to it.
We’ll talk about a possible reason for your injury and then the solution to that problem. It makes for a much more concise set up and if you’re guilty of any of the following then “avoidance” is one of the best solutions to an injured body.
So here are some reasons why you get injured and the subsequent solution to fixing it.
6 Reasons You Get Injured (and How to Solve Them)
Reason #1 – You are working out 5-7 days consecutively with no rest in between.
If you are working out in a metabolic conditioning type of fashion then going 5-7 days straight is not giving your body enough time to adequately get its rest and recovery.
This is also a reason why you may feel your strength plateau and get stuck a lifting a certain weight.
When you really get addicted to this workout stuff there is a possibility that you may want to do it all day errr day.
But that’s not smart.
Not to get into the science of it all but your workout program needs to have a recovery portion scheduled into it.
Not incorporating rest will results in plateaus, lack of progress and leaves you open to MORE INJURIES.
SOLUTION - This is very simple…get REST. Especially if you’ve been going super hard at the gym for 5-7 days a week straight.
Allow your muscles at least a day in between of good rest especially if you’re doing metabolical conditioning type of workouts.
What you’ll actually find is that through rest and recovery your progress will be much faster. If you’re a fitness addict, it will also allow you to understand how to live life outside of the gym.
Reason #2 – You skip doing dynamic warm ups done before your workout.
Dynamic warm ups have been proven by research to help your body get stronger, faster and avoid injuries.
But people regularly skip them because they’re either uneducated on them or just plain lazy. A good warm up is like foreplay before sex.
Sure, you could just jump right into things but by doing so you’ll end up leaving both parties incredibly unsatisfied.
SOLUTION – Start doing dynamic warm ups before your workout…NOW. Make it a religious practice. Commit yourself to doing it for 21 workouts straight and mark down each time you do it and each time you don’t.
Here’s a quick one you can do that only takes a little more than 5 minutes:
3 Benefits to Starting Your Workout with a Dynamic Warm Up
1. You release synovial fluid into your joints. Synovial fluid is like lubrication for your joints.
2. It preps your body for intense exercise more than any static stretch could ever do. In fact, static stretching should be eliminated from your workouts entirely.
SIDE NOTE: It has been proven multiple times that static stretching has ZERO effectiveness in helping clients reduce injury.
See below study on how static stretching is ineffective and reduces strength in participants. This is just one of many studies pointing to the idea that static stretches are largely a giant waste of time.
3. You stimulate your sympathetic nervous system. This is the system that creates that “fight or flight” response in your body and preps it intense workouts. Dean Somerset has a really cool way of doing this at the blog post here.
Doing a dynamic warm up pre-exercise does not take that long and will result in an increase in strength, speed, and power while making your body resilient to injury.
Reason #3 – You do not do self myofascial release (self massage) pre or post workout.
Just like people skipping dynamic warm ups pre workout, people will skip Self Myofascial release in their workouts due to not being educated and just plain laziness.
Self Myofascial Release (SMR) is the process of massaging yourself using either a foam roller or lacrosse ball and it is by far the best way to heal your poorly functioning fascial tissue.
The beauty of it is that can do SMR in the comfort in your own home or in the gym and it will help heal your old injuries, prevent any new ones and increase your body’??s ability to lift, move, run, throw and jump.
SMR smoothes out the dysfunction in your fascial tissue so your muscles are always working at it’??s best peak efficiency all day long.
When you apply SMR to your body you are essentially fixing your current fascial issues, healing old adhesions and dysfunctions in the muscle and creating an environment were your body operate at its BEST.
When this happens you actually have MORE strength, speed, flexibility and power because your muscles will fire off in the way it was meant to.
You’ll also have MORE energy than ever before because your body will be moving more efficiently FREE of any dysfunction in your muscle tissue.
SOLUTION – Do this SMR routine before your workouts. 30 seconds per side. Do the same SMR routine after your workouts but for 1 minute at a time with emphasis on holding the trigger points.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Doing the dynamic warm ups and SMR pre workout are ESPECIALLY important if you have a job that requires you to sit at a desk for long periods of time. If you workout on a regular basis and have a sedentary job then you cannot afford to skip out on these.
Reason #4 – You are exercising with Bad Form
One thing that grinds my gears is watching people program their workouts with complicated exercises before they’ve even mastered doing the 4 Pillar Moves (squat, deadlift, bench press and Chin up).
If you are a newbie, or even a veteran lifter, get a qualified trainer to watch your form and critique it.
Sure it’ll cost you a bit of money up front but the benefits will last you a lifetime when you understand how to properly lift.
SOLUTION – Start taking videos of the pillar lifts mentioned above and get a qualified trainer to critique your form. Also practice the cues below in plank position then in your pillar lifts…
3 Cues to Ensure Our Girls Are An Exercise Correctly With Great Form
1. Grip the weight with as much strength as possible – This protects our rotator cuff and ensures our shoulder capsules close to avoid injury. It also puts our bodies emphasis on training the muscles needed.
2. Brace your abs and glutes – This creates a vice around your spine thus protecting it and also works as a great ab workout. Keep your entire body tight throughout the exercise and you’ll ensure you’ll come away from an exercise unscathed.
3. Posture, Posture, Posture – Keep your chest up, shoulders back, straighten out your lower back and keep your chin neutral. This is where having a solid workout partner or trainer comes in.
One cue I use for my transformation clients is to “Posture Up”. This little cue automatically gets their bodies into the anatomically correct position for a lift.
Reason #5 – You are consistently working out to Failure or beyond.
When you are training you must ensure that if you do any set, be it strength or bodyweight, to stop one rep before failure.
This makes sure that we develop strength, build muscle, and, most importantly, AVOIDS injury.
What does “failure” on an exercise look like?
- When you feel or see your form break.
- When you use other parts of their body to lift a weight. Example: Doing a back row and using your body as momentum to lift the weight.
- When you see your posture break while doing an exercise (rounded upper/lower back, shoulders rounded etc..)
This is not to say to avoid failing on an exercise 100% of the time. In 10% of the cases (like when trying to attempt a heavier weight) your body will go to failure. This is a rule to follow about 90% of the time.
SOLUTION – Begin the practice of stopping one to two reps before failure. Use a trainer, workout partner, or mirror to monitor your form. When it starts breaking then just allow yourself to stop. Monitor your strength gains by using this particular method and see if it correlates with better numbers.
And the final and most important reason why our bodies get injured is…
Reason #6 – Your habit of sitting is slowly KILLING your body.
Sitting is a silent killer that sneaks up on you – even if you’re healthy.
First comes the PAIN. (You may already be at this stage!)
Most don’t even know why their back or neck ends up incessantly hurting, because sitting secretly causes your body’s collapse to go unnoticed…until it’s too late.
Symptoms of Sitting “Too Much”?
- aching and tight muscles,
- creeping blood pressure,
- automatic tendency to weight gain (even when you work out),
- cloudy thinking and forgetfulness
- poor and restless sleep
And the problem is that repeated studies have now proven that working out does little to NOTHING to help you avoid chronic pain or disease…IF YOU REGULARLY SIT!
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it.
There are specific movements you can do on a regular basis to avoid the drawbacks from sitting too much that don’t involve impossible things like avoiding sitting and avoiding working out.
SOLUTION – My go-to resource for reversing the effects of sitting has to be Dr. Chris Walding from TheSittingSolution.com. He’s come up with a system that reverses the effects of sitting quickly and effectively.
He’s come up with bulletproof method to cure your body from the stress of sitting and he does it in a way that is non-invasive on your lifestyle.
If you’re active and you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time then this is the one program I’d make the investment in to keep your body working at 100%.
Find out more down below…
Hola my Ninja. I just came back from a month long trip in Costa Rica where my life consisted of surfing in the morning, taking a siesta in the afternoons and then surfing again at sunset.
If you haven’t been surfing before I would highly recommend trying it out. It is one of the most “in the moment” activities you’ll ever experience and if your’e a water animal like myself then you won’t mind wiping out in the warm ocean.
While I was living the lifestyle down in Costa Rica I made some pretty significant realizations. Some were personal, some were business related and some were nutrition related…which we’re going to talk about today.
The one principle that is consistent with diets is that, for long term success, they must be conducive to one’s own lifestyle.
Screw fat loss. If it’s hard to do in the long term chances are you’ll end up back where you were in the beginning.
IMPORTANT: Please note that I am talking about the long term play because in some cases, like an outlined transformation program, you should go to the extremes in following the prescribed diet to eventually find your balance.
The gist of it is that you cannot take the same strategy to different situations. It’s like using a hammer for every job around the house. It just doesn’t work and you’ll probably end up breaking a lot of furniture in the process.
In the past I have championed skipping breakfast as a viable tool for fat loss and I still stand by this conviction.
It’s easier to do, it allows for a more flexible eating window and if you work at a desk then NOT having food in your stomach can certainly help for more focus. In fact, I woke up at 6am today and it’s currently 9:57am and I’m still going pretty strong without anything but water and coffee in my system.
If you are working a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time and are fairly inactive outside of your time in the gym then having that fasting window from the time you sleep to the time you have your first meal in the afternoon is beneficial for hunger control, productivity, and, of course, fat loss.
But what if you have an active job?
What if you lead a very active lifestyle or compete in a sport that requires you to train more than 2 hours a day?
If this is the case then you must switch up your strategy.
There is an art to dieting and eating that should be flexible enough to correlate to your lifestyle’s needs.
Me, being the avid breakfast skipper, had to eat a meal first thing in the morning in Costa Rica because the demands of surfing twice a day for 2 hours per session demanded it.
I also had to increase my carb intake throughout the day to ensure that I had enough energy to use during my sunset surf sessions.
My strategy had to be altered due to the changes in my lifestyle at the time.
Eating breakfast first thing in the morning or skipping breakfast should be a decision that agrees with your lifestyle.
It SHOULD be flexible.
If you lead a very physical life that has you moving in an intense fashion for long periods of time* (construction work, firefighter, crab fisher etc..) then eating breakfast first thing in the morning is paramount to keeping a level of physical energy throughout your work day.
*This also pertains to people training competitively for bodybuilding competitions, Crossfit competitors, marathons etc..*
On the other hand, if you lead a rather sedentary life that is not particularly physical in nature (9 to 5 job, teaching, pharmacist, lawyer etc..) then skipping breakfast will help with focus, mental acuity, and of course, fat loss.
Wrapping Things Up
Now that you know this plan out your daily meals accordingly.
Remember that your diet plan is not the one outlined by “X” trainer or “Y” fitness expert.
Your diet plan must reflect your goals but also be conducive to living the life you lead.
Guidelines are great when choosing an eating strategy but the main idea to get across here is that you must be flexible and be able to discern personally what works for you and how you would mould it to your needs.
This is not only a great strategy for fat loss but just overall peace of mind.
What are your thoughts?
Do you agree? Disagree? Have anything more to add?
Comment down below and let me know.
Dedicated to the BEST version of yourself,
There are so many styles in the fitness community. On the exercise side you have HIIT, metabolic resistance training, physique training, power lifting, and Zumba just to name a few.
On the nutrition side you have things like 5 meals a day, Warrior dieting, IIFYM (if it fits your macros) and, of course, intermittent fasting (my personal favourite).
This blog is not to say which one is right and which one is wrong. They are all tools. Use the wrong tools and you probably don’t have a chance of hitting your goals.
Use the right tool and you’ll hit your goals faster and more precisely than the average gym goer.
One of the biggest issues I have with the fitness industry is that people will align themselves with a specific way of doing things.
They will say things like,
“I’m an intermittent faster..”
“I follow IIFYM…”
“I’m an evidence based fitness trainer…”
…and so on and so forth.
The problem with this line of thought is that they confine themselves with one style and one way of doing things. They automatically box themselves into one way of thinking.
One philosophy to rule their lives.
To be bound by any traditional fitness style or philosophy is the sure way to be a mindless fitness enthusiast.
But, to be a practitioner and allow yourself to follow different lines of thinking is the true path to fitness genius.
Just because one person says it doesn’t mean it is the gospel. Just because science proves it doesn’t mean that it will work for you.
You have to search for your own truth. You have to allow yourself the freedom to follow different styles, to live them, to breathe them and to allow them to affect you.
This is how you can find the ultimate truth about what works for you.
Be your own science experiment. Try new shit out. Immerse yourself into different ways of thinking and different ways of getting in shape.
This to me is becoming a true individual. To not be swayed by the masses but to be influenced by yourself.
When it comes down to it the best way to stay in shape is to follow programs that fit your own lifestyle.
But to be able to do that requires HARD WORK and discipline.
You have to be able to put your head down and follow a program in its entirety to see if it actually fits your lifestyle.
You must go to your extremes to find your balance.
And in this sense, this is where you find your own truth.
Do not be a follower. Do not be one of the masses who blindly follows someone else’s gospel. Do not attach yourself to any style and identify yourself with it.
Be a seeker of your own truth when it comes to the game of fitness.
Eventually, you’ll figure out what works for you. What you’ll find in the end is that it is totally different than everyone else.
Now go out and find it.
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™