Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

Let’s face it, cardio is bone-numbingly tedious. There’s ample evidence that suggests long duration of steady-state or low-intensity cardio leads to muscle loss. Simply put, it becomes counter-productive. Now, if we’re talking about having a positive impact on your performance and body composition, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better solution than adding “finishers” to your workout — it does a fantastic job of building muscle, maximizing fat loss, and improving conditioning.

You’re basically increasing your energy expenditure at the end of your training session to elicit high levels of metabolic stress.

For the record, watching folks spend two hours on a treadmill drives me insanely nuts.

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1. Sled Work

 

Sometimes you just need a good kick in the ass to toughen you up. Hence, the sled.

The vast majority can agree that there’s really nothing more badass than moving heavy weight on the sled. But… they’re brutal, and they also make you question your sanity (in a good way).

Push it. Pull It. Drag it. Move it.

 

2. Landmine Complexes

 

Just to be clear, I think traditional barbell complexes are absolutely fine. If you can do them, do them. Generally, though, I don’t like them because a lot of people royally screw it up, particularly beginners. You also have to understand that the further you go into a fatigued state, one thing is constant — your form will start to break down. That is why I’m more partial to setting up with the Landmine. They’re safer. Nuff’ said.

Try this:

  • Landmine Squat x 8
  • Landmine 1-Leg RDL x 8/leg
  • Landmine Deadlift x 8

Repeat for 3-4 sets.

 

 

3. Kettlebell Combos

 

While the sled is my favorite tool to use, the kettlebell would be a close second.  This piece of equipment is one of the most versatile tools you can have at your disposal.  As such, everybody should learn how to properly use them.

Option 1:

  • Kettlebell Swing x 12
  • Push-Ups x 8
  • Kettlebell Goblet Squat x 8
  • Push-Ups x 6

Repeat for 3-4 sets.

Option 2:

  • Kettlebell Swings x 20
  • Front Plank x 30 secs

Repeat for 3-4 sets.

Takeaway

 

Despite what you might’ve been told, cardio doesn’t have to be relegated into just countless hours of walking on the treadmill or elliptical. These are some of the simple protocols you can use to add some spice into your training, but also speed up your progress.

Speaking of which, I’m happy to announce that I’m taking clients for my online fitness coaching. If you want to get stronger, build lean muscle, and decrease body fat, learn more about my coaching here. Follow the link and I’ll contact you as soon as possible to see how I can help.

Let's Get It Started

Now that the calendar has switched over another year, it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot more people in the gym.  By no means is this an attempt to downplay their attempt to get in shape. Far from it. In this post, I want to share some tidbits I’ve learned this past year. Here they are:

1. It doesn’t matter what training protocol you do. You can’t out-train a destructive lifestyle.

 

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Perhaps the biggest perk of regularly working out is that you can afford to have higher allotment of indulgence. Meaning, you get to drink and eat more. To that end, it’s amazing how naive we are to think that progress is made in the gym.  Regardless of the training method, all you’re doing is breaking your body down.  What you do outside is going to dictate your results. If you live for the weekends, you’re not going to get anything in return.  Yes — there are people who can get away with eating crap, and getting minimal rest. But there is a tipping point.

Good intentions and justifying yourself on social media doesn’t mean much. Consider the different elements in your lifestyle that are a hindrance. Work to gradually change them and in turn, you’ll maximize results in the gym.

2. Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean productivity.

 

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When I first started out as a trainer in a commercial gym, I did everything and anything to fill up my time slots. Early in the morning, sure thing.  Late afternoon, you got it. However, the more I advanced and grew, I realized that I had to be more efficient with my time — especially now that I’m a business owner. Greg McKeown, the author of Essentialism, refers to this as discerning the vital few from the trivial many. To give context, you have to recognize what’s important — and from there, you prioritize.

3. Prioritize single-leg work. You’re welcome.

 

Just to be clear, I’m not against lower body bilateral training.  In fact, I love the squat and deadlift. I’ve achieved a 315lb Front Squat, and a 405 Deadlift. Your body, however, takes a beating. There’s only so much load that it can tolerate before it starts to breakdown. So, why not split that load in half and do it one leg at a time. You still get a comparable training effect without imposing a ton of sheer force on the spine. You’d be surprised at just how much value focusing on single-leg work can bring.

4. All the training won’t matter if your diet royally sucks. (Get this through your head)

 

This ties in with the first point above. It’s a clear observation that completely disregarding the importance of proper nutrition is foolish, to say the least.  Look, I get it — it’s incredibly hard. But consider how many benefits have the potential to dramatically improve your physique and performance if your diet was on point.  Understand that there is a trade-off and you have to exercise serious discipline (not restriction).

5. Being strong doesn’t mean jack sh** if you move like a tin-can.

 

If you’re as strong as an ox, good on ya’. But if you can’t move well, you’re not going to be able to perform at a high level. Don’t be like the traitor from 300.  Maintain quality of movement by devoting at least 5-10 minutes on the foam roller in conjunction with your dynamic warm-up.

Trust me.

It’s much easier to maintain, than it is to regain it back.

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6. If you don’t like the way you look, do something about it.

 

We can’t all look like a bikini competitor, model, or physique athlete. But that shouldn’t stop you from training to improve your appearance. How you look is a testament to your health and vitality — take pride in it.

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Become An Insider

Most people already have a general idea of what to do with respect towards achieving a better physique. They do everything right. They consistently put in the work, and they follow all the right advice — they’re pretty much hell-bent on doing whatever it takes to get from point A to point B in the quickest way possible.

Regardless of what the goal may be, the recurring theme (unfortunately) always seems to be people not getting the results they’re looking for.

Here’s four reasons why you’re not seeing results.

1. Lack Of Discipline and Work Ethic

 

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If there’s one thing that working in a commercial gym has taught me, it’s that most folks go through the motions. This absolutely drives me nuts.

Getting out of your comfort zone is necessary if you ultimately want to look better and perform better. Taking selfies in the gym and posting your workout on social media does not equate to productivity in the gym — you’re just a douche.

2. You Don’t Even Lift

 

Following up with the point above, nothing beats hard work.  What’s most unfortunate is people falling prey to fads and gimmicks promising fast results. There’s a reason why compound movements such as Squats, Deadlifts, Pull-Ups, Presses and Rows are staples in so many strength training programs. Adhering to the basics and training with intensity gets the job done.

Prioritizing compound movements are going to give you a more impressive physique than you’d get from curls and sit-ups.  If you think for one second that you’d be better off without them, something is seriously wrong with you. Get bigger, stronger, faster, and leaner by sticking to the big lifts before you think about isolating your arms and abs.

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3. Train With A Purpose

 

While I do think far too many people place too much of an emphasis on advanced training protocols, you have to appreciate how beneficial actually having a plan can help. As the old adage goes, “Failure to prepare is preparing to fail”.  You’d be wise to take that into consideration because at the end of the day, you have to train with a purpose.  You’d be hard-pressed to find anybody with a good looking physique that doesn’t track their progress. Establish a plan and get after it.

4. Hydration and Sleep Are Kind Of Important

 

Let’s face it: the vast majority of the population are constantly dehydrated and are sleep deprived. In fact, in addition to how negatively it impacts performance, studies have shown that dehydration and sleep deprivation leads to an increase in fat mass. You can follow any training program to a T, but if you’re not doing the simple things such as drinking more water and getting enough sleep, you’re just spinning your wheels.

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