fat loss

Program FUBAR

Posted on

So after I did the review of Pins to Pillars I decided to give it a run myself.  This really gave me some great perspective about other problems that others may run into.  I also should mention that after 5 sessions I have to call it quits for right now because I am killing my hip flexors.

1. Work into Volume
If you are going to try this program (or any other high volume program) you need to take your current training volume into consideration.  For the past year I very rarely did more then 10-15 reps TOTAL per squat session.  I’ve also been box squatting just a touch high.  I went from that to 150 reps in 1 week.  Not smart.  If your current training volume is pretty low (in the 10-30 reps per session, and less than 2 sessions per week) it’s a good idea to take a couple weeks and work with some higher volume/higher frequency squat sessions so your body can acclimate.

2. Don’t Change you Form
As I just mentioned I have been squatting just a touch high on the box squat for the last several months.  I went from that to free squatting and trying to bury each rep as deep as I could which overloaded my hip flexors in a hurry.  I will attempt this program again in the near future but I won’t be squatting wide like I do on the box squat.  If I narrow up my stance a little it takes a lot of work off my hip flexors but still loads my hamstrings.

3. Warm Up is Crucial
The first week I didn’t put much into my warm ups because the weights were so light and it came back to bite me hard the second week.  The last thing you want when you squatting this much is tight hips!

4. Put Time into Recovery/Restoration
I thought that as long as I didn’t do any overly taxing work on my off days and ate well I wouldn’t have any problem recovering.  That was a huge mistake.  You have have to be more active in your recovery methods.  Stretch regularly, foam roll, drag the sled, push the prowler, and just get out and move for a bit on your off days.  If you have access to a hot tub that’s even better.

Cavo Profundus

Mike Keck Interview

Posted on Updated on

  This interview was done by Jen Comas over at http://www.apeaceofjen.blogspot.com/.
She has some awesome healthy recipes for anyone that’s interested!
 

Q&A with Michael Keck, co-founder of RedpointFitness.com.

Michael, co-founder of RedpointFitness.com, is a competitive body builder, a world record holding powerlifter, and a diet & physique manipulating genius… and that’s just what he does for fun.  
Full time he is an investment banker, financier and VP for Five Talents Financial Group with big philanthropic dreams, and has solid plans of action in place to fulfill them all.  
Oh.  And did I mention he is my fiance?  Which is why he has to play along with my interview.


Q.  You’ve manipulated your physique (and many others) time and time again.  You’ve worked with body builders, figure competitors, athletes, housewives, and everything in between.  What are the 3 most common mistakes you see people make with their diet when it comes to losing fat?
A.  Do I have to pick just three?!
Right off the top, here we go:
1. Completely crappy macro profiles.  Eat in this order: Proteins, healthy fats, carbohydrates (don’t believe the lies on your granola bar wrappers) 50/30/20 is a good starting ratio for most.
2. Cutting calories too fast, too soon! You didn’t put that spare tire on in 8 weeks, you’re not gonna lose it that quickly either!  Don’t slash your calories in half and crash your metabolism.
3. Going overboard on cardio. Look around the gym.  Who has the better physique?  The cardio queen, or the sleek, sexy cheetah in the weightroom slinging around iron with the boys? Thought so… 

Q.  Assuming somebody wants to lose fat and maintain muscle, what kind of cardio and at what duration would you recommend an average Joe/Josephine do, assuming their diet is on point?


A. For the average bear, a mix of low intensity steady state like, gasp, walking is wonderful!  Blend that with one or two days per week of hill sprints or sled dragging and you’re well on your way!  A good starting point for walking is 3-4 days per week for 30 minutes at 60-70% max heart rate.
Don’t be a doofus and do hour after hour of high intensity steady state like Spin or running for miles on end! It’s a RARE individual with better genetics than you that can do that AND look great!

Q.  If I turned your iPod on right now, what song would come up?  And if it’s Backstreet Boys, this Q&A is over.
A. Looks like this Q and A is over…best. band. ever.  They are!
Now that that’s established the real answer would be:
-Jimmy Eat World
-Flyleaf
-Death Cab for Cutie
-Chevelle
-The Get UP Kids
All pure awesomeness!

Q.  If you could recommend somebody take only ONE supplement (not counting protein powder), what would it be and why?
A.  Fish Oil!  I prefer a high quality liquid like Carlsons, no fishy taste or smell.  If you open up your bottle of fish oil caps and it smells fishy, it’s crap and likely rancid.  Fish oil does SO many amazing things like:
Reduces inflammation, helps your joints, improves brain function, boosts the immune system, aids in fat loss, etc etc. If you’re not raking 6+ grams a day you’re missing out!

Q.  What’s in your fridge?
A.  Not much right now!  I just got back from a Mergers & Acquisitions conference in Chicago for a week and the cupboards are barren!  Normally it’d include: steak, chicken, lean ground beef, spinach, carrots, eggs, coconut oil, walnut oil, butter, almond milk, broccoli, various condiments, ice cream (gotta be honest!). I keep it pretty simple.

Q.  How you suggest a female train differently than a male, if being a lean, mean, muscle machine was the goal?
A.  Not a smidge different!  Yep, I said it.  Men and women do not need to train differently.  Given the variance in the respective sexes endocrine system, and the fact that women can typically perform more reps with a higher percentage of their overall max, the difference is fairly negligible and doesn’t really need addressed until you enter the upper echelons of competitive athletics.  You’re NOT going to get heeeyyyooooggge training like a guy ladies.  If it were truly THAT easy, you’d see a lot more big and bad dudes walking around and, well, take a glance around your gym and you’ll likely see that’s not the case!

Q.  Silly putty or Play-doh?
A. Transformers. ’nuff said.

Q.  When and where do cheat meals have a place in a fat loss diet?
A.  I think they absolutely have their place in a well structured diet. They help with the psychological aspect of dieting moreso than the physical.  I prefer to base them on bodyfat %.  Here’s a few guidelines:
Men 
Over 20%.  None. Sorry.  Get unfat first
15-20%  Once every 10-14 days.
10-15%  Once every 7-10 days.
5-10%  Once every 4-7 days.

Ladies You can add 10% bodyfat to the guys guidelines above for your schedules.

Q.  You have to eat a pizza with anchovies, or a pizza with squid ink on top.  Which one do you choose?
A.  Squid ink.  Hopefully some of it will drain off first.  Anchovies suck.

Q.  Dear Michael.  I want to get big like you.  What do I do?  Sincerely, Skinny Sam.
A.  Develop your sense of patience Sam!  Unlike what the MuscleTech adds will tell you, you’re not gonna add 35lbs of ripped powerful Muscle to your frame in six weeks. Understand it’s a process that takes years of proper programming and nutrition.  
Follow a training routine that focuses on benching, squatting, deadlifting, dips, and pull-up variations.  Ever seen a small guy bench 300lbs+ and squat/deadlift 400+?  Didn’t think so.
Keep your protein at 1.5-2g per pound of lean bodyweight and fill in the rest of your caloric needs with healthy fats around .5g per lb of lean weight.  Let the rest come from good carbs like berries, quinoa, sprouted grains and other fruits.

Q.  If you could give 3 pieces of general financial advice, what would they be?  (I’m scoring you readers some free advice!)
A.  Sneaky question!!!  Getting ahead financially CAN be simple if you’re disciplined!
1.  Pay yourself first!  Every paycheck you get 10% or more should go straight into a qualified retirement plan such as your company’s 401(k) or 403(b) if your a public sector employee. If you can’t do this, your expenses are likely out of control and you need to establish a sound budget to reign them in.
2.  Pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first and always make more than the minimum payment, even if it’s $5 more.
3.  Invest in yourself!  Take a class or read some literature to improve your skill sets to make you a more attractive and valuable employee or business owner. It’s not always about cost reduction.  Find a way to make MORE money
Here’s a Bonus!  When you get a raise, don’t spend that extra money!  Stick it in your retirement account.  You won’t miss it and you’ll be glad you’ve got it when you’re pushin’ your walker around later in life!

Q.  Crossover athletes that are successful in both body building and powerlifting are few and far between, but you’ve managed it.  Which of the two is your favorite and why?
A.  I much prefer powerlifting!  It’s completely objective; the guy that lifts the most wins, plain and simple!
They are both great sports and I’ve been blessed to be able to do both well.

Q.  Sorry Michael, but you have to live in a cabin in the hills of eastern Kentucky for 3 months by yourself.  Which 3 inanimate objects do you take with you?
A.  Wow, that’s not far off from my current life!  Inanimate huh?  Do I have food, heat and water available?  I’m gonna assume so.
I’d take:
My Bible.
My iPhone so I can keep in touch with you, my dear, and my friends/family.
My shotgun, fully loaded of course!

Q.  RedpointFitness.com is one of a kind.  The software does the work for you, tells you exactly what to eat, how much of it and even provides a weekly grocery shopping list.  No other website is capable of this.  Why do you think everybody could benefit from using RedpointFitness.com?
A.  Ready for an unbiased answer? Good!
Redpoint is revolutionary!  Our team spent 9-10 years developing this software as a service.
We have 5 different nutritional plans based on different goals, ranging from fat loss to gaining muscle to body recomposition, which is gaining muscle and losing fat simultaneously (those that say it can’t be done just don’t know how to do it!).
As a user, YOU pick the foods that YOU want to eat and the software calculates the custom amounts to the plan and calorie level you chose!  We also have a community of experts ready to answer your questions in the community section of the site!  No more going at it alone!  We offer a 7 day free trial, check it out, I guarantee it’ll be the best investment in your health you’ll ever make!

Jen: Thank you Michael for  your invaluable time!
Michael: Thank you for listening to me ramble!


Changing Habits to Maximize Performance

Posted on

When it comes to changing your body through diet and exercise it takes time and most people will run into setbacks that they never recover from. Often times these setbacks are something that could easily be avoided if they had changed their habits ahead of time.  You can’t always be all or nothing and still get results.  Shit happens and sometimes you have to do the best you can with the situation and move on.  I’ve talked to tons of people who do great for a week but then melt down for 2-3 days and eat like total crap because of lack of time and discipline.  This goes back to the fact that their HABITS never changed for the long term.  So, without further rambling here is a great article on effectively changing your habits from zenhabits.net.

The Habit Change Cheatsheet: 29 Ways to Successfully Ingrain a Behavior


Photo courtesy of Photocapy.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

Our daily lives are often a series of habits played out through the day, a trammeled existence fettered by the slow accretion of our previous actions.
But habits can be changed, as difficult as that may seem sometimes.
I’m a living example: in tiny, almost infinitesimal steps, I’ve changed a laundry list of habits. Quit smoking, stopped impulse spending, got out of debt, began running and waking early and eating healthier and becoming frugal and simplifying my life and becoming organized and focused and productive, ran three marathons and a couple of triathlons, started a few successful blogs, eliminated my debt … you get the picture.
It’s possible.
And while I’ve written about habit change many times over the course of the life of Zen Habits, today I thought I’d put the best tips all together in one cheatsheet, for those new to the blog and for those who could use the reminders.
Keep it simple
Habit change is not that complicated. While the tips below will seem overwhelming, there’s really only a few things you need to know. Everything else is just helping these to become reality.
The simple steps of habit change:
1. Write down your plan.
2. Identify your triggers and replacement habits.
3. Focus on doing the replacement habits every single time the triggers happen, for about 30 days.
That’s it. We’ll talk more about each of these steps, and much more, in the cheatsheet below.


The Habit Change Cheatsheet
The following is a compilation of tips to help you change a habit. Don’t be overwhelmed — always remember the simple steps above. The rest are different ways to help you become more successful in your habit change.

1. Do just one habit at a time. Extremely important. Habit change is difficult, even with just one habit. If you do more than one habit at a time, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Keep it simple, allow yourself to focus, and give yourself the best chance for success. Btw, this is why New Year’s resolutions often fail — people try to tackle more than one change at a time.

2. Start small. The smaller the better, because habit change is difficult, and trying to take on too much is a recipe for disaster. Want to exercise? Start with just 5-10 minutes. Want to wake up earlier? Try just 10 minutes earlier for now. Or consider half habits.

3. Do a 30-day Challenge. In my experience, it takes about 30 days to change a habit, if you’re focused and consistent. This is a round number and will vary from person to person and habit to habit. Often you’ll read a magical “21 days” to change a habit, but this is a myth with no evidence. Seriously — try to find the evidence from a scientific study for this. A more recent study shows that 66 days is a better number (read more). But 30 days is a good number to get you started. Your challenge: stick with a habit every day for 30 days, and post your daily progress updates to a forum.

4. Write it down. Just saying you’re going to change the habit is not enough of a commitment. You need to actually write it down, on paper. Write what habit you’re going to change.

5. Make a plan. While you’re writing, also write down a plan. This will ensure you’re really prepared. The plan should include your reasons (motivations) for changing, obstacles, triggers, support buddies, and other ways you’re going to make this a success. More on each of these below.

6. Know your motivations, and be sure they’re strong. Write them down in your plan. You have to be very clear why you’re doing this, and the benefits of doing it need to be clear in your head. If you’re just doing it for vanity, while that can be a good motivator, it’s not usually enough. We need something stronger. For me, I quit smoking for my wife and kids. I made a promise to them. I knew if I didn’t smoke, not only would they be without a husband and father, but they’d be more likely to smoke themselves (my wife was a smoker and quit with me).

7. Don’t start right away. In your plan, write down a start date. Maybe a week or two from the date you start writing out the plan. When you start right away (like today), you are not giving the plan the seriousness it deserves. When you have a “Quit Date” or “Start Date”, it gives that date an air of significance. Tell everyone about your quit date (or start date). Put it up on your wall or computer desktop. Make this a Big Day. It builds up anticipation and excitement, and helps you to prepare.

8. Write down all your obstacles. If you’ve tried this habit change before (odds are you have), you’ve likely failed. Reflect on those failures, and figure out what stopped you from succeeding. Write down every obstacle that’s happened to you, and others that are likely to happen. Then write down how you plan to overcome them. That’s the key: write down your solution before the obstacles arrive, so you’re prepared.

9. Identify your triggers. What situations trigger your current habit? For the smoking habit, for example, triggers might include waking in the morning, having coffee, drinking alcohol, stressful meetings, going out with friends, driving, etc. Most habits have multiple triggers. Identify all of them and write them in your plan.

10. For every single trigger, identify a positive habit you’re going to do instead. When you first wake in the morning, instead of smoking, what will you do? What about when you get stressed? When you go out with friends? Some positive habits could include: exercise, meditation, deep breathing, organizing, decluttering, and more.

“Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.” – Mark Twain

11. Plan a support system. Who will you turn to when you have a strong urge? Write these people into your plan. Support forums online are a great tool as well — I used a smoking cessation forum on about.com when I quit smoking, and it really helped. Don’t underestimate the power of support — it’s really important.

12. Ask for help. Get your family and friends and co-workers to support you. Ask them for their help, and let them know how important this is. Find an AA group in your area. Join online forums where people are trying to quit. When you have really strong urges or a really difficult time, call on your support network for help. Don’t smoke a cigarette, for example, without posting to your online quit forum. Don’t have a drop of alcohol before calling your AA buddy.

13. Become aware of self-talk. You talk to yourself, in your head, all the time — but often we’re not aware of these thoughts. Start listening. These thoughts can derail any habit change, any goal. Often they’re negative: “I can’t do this. This is too difficult. Why am I putting myself through this? How bad is this for me anyway? I’m not strong enough. I don’t have enough discipline. I suck.” It’s important to know you’re doing this.

14. Stay positive. You will have negative thoughts — the important thing is to realize when you’re having them, and push them out of your head. Squash them like a bug! Then replace them with a positive thought. “I can do this! If Leo can do it, so can I!” 🙂

15. Have strategies to defeat the urge. Urges are going to come — they’re inevitable, and they’re strong. But they’re also temporary, and beatable. Urges usually last about a minute or two, and they come in waves of varying strength. You just need to ride out the wave, and the urge will go away. Some strategies for making it through the urge: deep breathing, self-massage, eat some frozen grapes, take a walk, exercise, drink a glass of water, call a support buddy, post on a support forum.

16. Prepare for the sabotagers. There will always be people who are negative, who try to get you to do your old habit. Be ready for them. Confront them, and be direct: you don’t need them to try to sabotage you, you need their support, and if they can’t support you then you don’t want to be around them.

17. Talk to yourself. Be your own cheerleader, give yourself pep talks, repeat your mantra (below), and don’t be afraid to seem crazy to others. We’ll see who’s crazy when you’ve changed your habit and they’re still lazy, unhealthy slobs!

18. Have a mantra. For quitting smoking, mine was “Not One Puff Ever” (I didn’t make this up, but it worked — more on this below). When I wanted to quit my day job, it was “Liberate Yourself”. This is just a way to remind yourself of what you’re trying to do.

19. Use visualization. This is powerful. Vividly picture, in your head, successfully changing your habit. Visualize doing your new habit after each trigger, overcoming urges, and what it will look like when you’re done. This seems new-agey, but it really works.

20. Have rewards. Regular ones. You might see these as bribes, but actually they’re just positive feedback. Put these into your plan, along with the milestones at which you’ll receive them.
21. Take it one urge at a time. Often we’re told to take it one day at a time — which is good advice — but really it’s one urge at a time. Just make it through this urge.

22. Not One Puff Ever (in other words, no exceptions). This seems harsh, but it’s a necessity: when you’re trying to break the bonds between an old habit and a trigger, and form a new bond between the trigger and a new habit, you need to be really consistent. You can’t do it sometimes, or there will be no new bond, or at least it will take a really really long time to form. So, at least for the first 30 days (and preferably 60), you need to have no exceptions. Each time a trigger happens, you need to do the new habit and not the old one. No exceptions, or you’ll have a backslide. If you do mess up, regroup, learn from your mistake, plan for your success, and try again (see the last item on this list).

23. Get rest. Being tired leaves us vulnerable to relapse. Get a lot of rest so you can have the energy to overcome urges.

24. Drink lots of water. Similar to the item above, being dehydrated leaves us open to failure. Stay hydrated!

26. Set up public accountability. Blog about it, post on a forum, email your commitment and daily progress to friend and family, post a chart up at your office, write a column for your local newspaper (I did this when I ran my first marathon). When we make it public — not just the commitment but the progress updates — we don’t want to fail.

27. Engineer it so it’s hard to fail. Create a groove that’s harder to get out of than to stay in: increase positive feedback for sticking with the habit, and increase negative feedback for not doing the habit. Read more on this method.

28. Avoid some situations where you normally do your old habit, at least for awhile, to make it a bit easier on yourself. If you normally drink when you go out with friends, consider not going out for a little while. If you normally go outside your office with co-workers to smoke, avoid going out with them. This applies to any bad habit — whether it be eating junk food or doing drugs, there are some situations you can avoid that are especially difficult for someone trying to change a bad habit. Realize, though, that when you go back to those situations, you will still get the old urges, and when that happens you should be prepared.

29. If you fail, figure out what went wrong, plan for it, and try again. Don’t let failure and guilt stop you. They’re just obstacles, but they can be overcome. In fact, if you learn from each failure, they become stepping stones to your success. Regroup. Let go of guilt. Learn. Plan. And get back on that horse.

Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones. – Benjamin Franklin

Pins to Pillars- Day 5

Posted on

So I’m knee deep in Pavels Pins to Pillars.  Week 1 was a little brutal just adjusting to the volume but I adapted quickly.  Missed Mondays workout so I hit it yesterday and decided to go ahead and get in this morning to get back on schedule.  Not a very bright idea but the weight was low enough that I got through it ok.  I just had to adjust my rest periods.

Squats-
175 x 10 sets x 5 reps

Dips- BW x 50
Chins- BW x 40

That has been how most all of my workouts have gone.  After squats there is just not anything left for heavy movements so I’m sticking with higher reps.  I got a ‘before’ picture on Wednesday of week 1 and I’m dialing my eating in so I think the results from the next couple weeks will be pretty dramatic in terms of body comp changes.

Food Awesomeness of the Week
70% Cacao Organic Dark Chocolate
Cocount
Pecan Bits

 Melt all those together for a Almond Joy type treat that’s high in quality fats and antioxidants!

3 Kings Part 2: The Squat

Posted on

Back in Part 1 I started talking about the 3-4 most efficient exercises you can do in the gym no matter if you are trying to be a better athlete, build some muscle or drop some fat.

In part two here I’m going over what could arguably me moved to #1 if I wanted: The Barbell Squat.  Hands down this is one of the most productive exercises that can be done in the gym.  It builds leg strength, abdominal stability, upper back strength, mental toughness, and mental focus all in 1 exercise.  Most will skip this exercise in favor of some sort of crappy machine like the leg press, leg extension/curl, or the hack squat.  While you can build some leg size on those machines (primarily the leg press/hack squat, stay as far from the leg extension/curl machines as possible) it’s going to take more time and it’s far less badass.  If I’m going to be lifting I’m picking the most potent exercises I can to reach whatever goal I have the quickest.  No matter what goal I’ve had, barbell squats have been a part of it.

http://www.youtube.com/v/zYWaFqQaXGc?fs=1&hl=en_US

In that video you see me box squatting to a parallel box as well as to a box what was well below parallel.  One of the reasons I really prefer the box squat over a regular squat is because it forces you to hit the right depth on every single rep and it places the work primarily on the hamstrings and glutes which is where it needs to be.  You can also limit the hamstring involvement by using a narrower stance.  Either way though the squat builds muscle and strength in at speeds that a machine could only dream of.  You don’t have to just back squat either, you can do a front squat or a zercher squat like you’ll see in the next couple videos.

http://www.youtube.com/v/hv1byrccCeY?fs=1&hl=en_US

http://www.youtube.com/v/g_4trHTIWEc?fs=1&hl=en_US

Get under the bar and get to work!

Never Gymless

Posted on

One of the top reasons I miss workouts is because I’m out of town and am not willing to pay $10 for a day pass to the local gym.  Because of that I had to find a way to still get my training in without hauling tons of heavy weights with me.  Here are my top picks.

1. Bands
Bands are a great way to add resistance with out lugging excessive equipment around.  Throw them over a door for push downs, wrap them around your shoulders for good mornings, or attach them to your KB for some explosive swings.

2. Suspension Trainer (ST)
Most people are familiar with the TRX or Elites Blast Straps but aren’t will to drop the money on them.  Dig around for some DIY plans to make your own and they’ll be a mainstay not only in your travel training but your regular training as well!



3. Body Weight (BW)
I know this may sound a little silly but no matter where you go you always have your own body weight!  You can get an incredible amount of work done in little time with nothing more than push ups, squats, lunges, and pull ups. 

4.Kettlebell (KB)
They are portable, versatile, and can be used anywhere.  The last place my wife and I traveled all I brought was a kettlebell and found a local park.  A ton of snatches, swings, and pull ups later I was beat!

5. Towel
This can be draped over a bar or around the handle of your KB to work your grip harder.  It can also be used for see-saw pull ups and several other exercises.

With just those five pieces of equipment you can travel and without falling behind on your training. 

Here are a couple sample training sessions.

BW Squat x 15
Band Pull Apart x 10
Single Arm KB Swing x 10 per arm
Push Up x 15
KB Snatch x 10 per arm
ST Fall Outs x 10
Do 3-4 rounds with as little rest as possible between rounds

ST Push Up + Knee Tuck x 10
ST Inverted Row x 10
Split Squat x 10 per leg
Pull Up x 10
KB High Pulls x 10
3-4 rounds with minimal rest

These are just examples.  If you don’t want to haul equipment with you then rock out with the body weight only training.  Burpees, bear crawls, and hill sprints are some powerful moves that will not only get you strong but will kick up your metabolism too!

How To Structure A Kettlebell Workout For Size and Strength

Posted on

How To Structure A Kettlebell Workout For Size and Strength

By Mike Mahler
Mike Mahler

I get tons of emails from kettlebell trainees on how to structure kettlebell workouts for getting bigger and stronger. Many trainees make the mistake of doing too many exercises; apply improper use of volume; and use flawed training frequency. Training frustration is soon to follow with the inevitable lack of progress from not having a clear target. When designing a program, you must consider that you can only be good at so many things. Thus, one of the keys to designing an effective program for strength and size is to keep things simple and focus on doing a few things well. Moreover, you balanced development is critical as is proper exercise selection. Lets get into some key ingredients for maximizing a kettlebell program for size and strength.
The first thing you need to do is focus on are exercises that provide the most bang for you buck. I like to break down a full body workout into five categories. Pick one pressing exercise, one pulling exercise, one exercise for the quads, one for the hamstrings, and one core exercise. This ensures that the entire body is getting a workout and prevents trainees from focusing too much on one area. For example, men like to focus on the upper body and women like to focus on the lower body. To avoid imbalances and being mistaken for a California bodybuilder, focus on working the entire body and pick one exercise per category. Lets discuss each category:

Pressing

A pressing exercise will take care of the shoulders, triceps, and depending on what you pick the chest as well. Here are some kettlebell pressing exercises to choose from:

  • The Double Clean and Military Press (clean before each press)
  • Double Military Press
  • Double Sots Press
  • Alternating Military Press
  • Floor Press
  • Alternating Floor Press

Pulling

Pulling exercises are a necessity to ensure balanced development for the upper body. Moreover there is a synergy between pulling and pressing muscles. The better you get at pulling, the stronger your pressing will be and vice versa. Here are some excellent pulling exercises for you to choose from:

  • Pull-ups with a kettlebell attached (use a dipping belt)
  • Renegade Row
  • Double Bent Over Row
  • Alternating Bent-over Row
  • One-arm Rows with two kettlebells (see Pavel’s “More Russian Kettlebell Challenges DVD)

Quads

To avoid looking like a California bodybuilder you need to work on the legs. Even if you do not care about leg development, if you care about upper body development you need a strong foundation. I have had online clients that blast through pressing plateaus by increasing leg strength. You body is only as strong as you weakest link. Build a strong foundation with the following exercises:

  • Double Front Squat
  • Double Lunge
  • Suitcase Squat
  • Double Front Box Squat

Hamstrings

The next critical area is the back of your legs. You need to balance the quad development from the squats with some hamstring exercises. In addition, if you are an athlete, you need strong hamstrings for explosive strength and speed. Choose from the following:

  • Double Swing
  • Double Clean
  • Double Snatch
  • Full Body Attack (on my new DVD, The Kettlebell Solution For Speed and Explosive Strength)
  • Double One Legged Squat

Core

The last important area to cover is the midsection. The midsection is the hook that connects the lower body to the upper body and if your core is weak so is your entire body and you will not be as strong as you could be with a well-developed powerful midsection. Choose from the following list:

  • Double Windmill
  • One-arm Windmill
  • Turkish Get-up
  • Turkish Get-up Sit-up

Now that we have all of the bases covered. Lets go over program design options. If your main goal is to get bigger and stronger then split your workouts into upper body and lower body and workout each area two times per week. Here is a sample program:

Monday: (Upper Body Focus)

  • A-1: Double Clean and Press 5×5
  • A-2: Double Bent Over Row 5×5

Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do a set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2, wait a minute and so forth. Continue in this fashion until you have completed 5×5 on both exercises. When you can do 5×5, add another set and do 6×5. Your long-term goal is to do 10×5

Tuesday (Lower Body Focus)

  • A-1: Double Front Squat 5×5
  • A-2: Double Swing 5×5

Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do a set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2, wait a minute and so forth. Continue in this fashion until you have completed 5×5 on both exercises. When you can do 5×5, add another set and do 6×5. Your long-term goal is to do 10×5
Take a one-minute break and then do:

  • Turkish Get-up 2×5 l,r (left and right with one-minute breaks)

Thursday: (Upper Body Focus)

  • A-1: Double Floor Press 5×5
  • A-2: Pull-up with a kettlebell 5×5

Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do a set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2, wait a minute and so forth. Continue in this fashion until you have completed 5×5 on both exercises. When you can do 5×5, add another set and do 6×5. Your long-term goal is to do 10×5

Friday (Lower Body Focus)

  • A-1: Double Front Lunge 5×5 each leg
  • A-2: Double Snatch 5×5

Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do a set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2, wait a minute and so forth. Continue in this fashion until you have completed 5×5 on both exercises. When you can do 5×5, add another set and do 6×5. Your long-term goal is to do 10×5
Take a one-minute break and then do:

  • Double Windmill 2×5 l,r (left and right with one-minute breaks)

Now if you are under some time constraints and only have time for two workouts per week then try doing two full body workouts per week. This is also a great program for people that require more rest days for adequate recovery. Here is a sample program:

Monday

  • A-1: Double Floor Press 3×5
  • A-2: Pull-up with a kettlebell 3×5

Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do a set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2, wait a minute and so forth. Continue in this fashion until you have completed 3×5 on both exercises. Your long-term goal is to work up to 6×5 per exercise.
Take a one-minute break and then move on to:

  • B-1: Double Front Squat 3×6
  • B-2: Double Swing 3×6

Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do a set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2, wait a minute and so forth. Continue in this fashion until you have completed 3×6 on both exercises. When you can do 3×6, add another set and do 4×6. Your long-term goal is to do 6×6 per exercise.
Take a one-minute break and then do:

  • Double Windmill 2×5 l,r (left and right with one-minute breaks)

Thursday

  • A-1: Double Clean and Military Press 3×5
  • A-2: Renegade Row 3×5 l,r (left and right)

Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do a set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2, wait a minute and so forth. Continue in this fashion until you have completed 3×5 on both exercises. Your long-term goal is to work up to 6×5 per exercise.
Take a one-minute break and then move on to:

  • B-1: Double Front Lunge 3×6
  • B-2: Double Snatch 3×6

Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do a set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2, wait a minute and so forth. Continue in this fashion until you have completed 3×6 on both exercises. When you can do 3×6, add another set and do 4×6. Your long-term goal is to do 6×6 per exercise
Take a one-minute break and then do:

  • Turkish Get-up 2×5 l,r (left and right with one-minute breaks)

To summarize, the keys to building an effective kettlebell program for size and strength is to focus on compound exercises and balanced development. Make sure to cover the five major categories for balanced development and organize a program in such a way that all of the bases are covered with the appropriate amount of training days, volume, and intensity.

Warrior Diet Update

Posted on

So far on the WD I’m down 2lbs.  Not bad for only being on it for 3 days.  I don’t expect to drop that much fat that fast but it’s good to know my nervous system has made the switch over so it can be effective.  Another thing I like is that if I split my meal at night into 2 separate meals I’m far less bloated and digestion is better then if I try to pound down 90% of my calories for the night in one sitting.

I’m also taking in some specific vitamins and minerals for hormonal support which is supposed to be one of the advantages of this style of dieting.  We’ll see if I notice any differences on this regimen.

Aside from all that I’m also going to try and keep the processed foods to an absolute minimum.  The protein and fat portions shouldn’t be difficult but getting the carbs I need without processed foods may be a little tricky.  For the most part they will all come from veggies, fruit, and Ezekial bread.  I’ve been using a lot of hamburger buns and rolls which screw up my digestion and make me feel like crap.

Warrior Diet Day 1

Posted on

Well I’m feeling a little hungry since I’ve only had one meal today but my energy is actually extremely good.  No fatigue or drowsiness.  I would really like to lift today but by the time I get off work it will be time to eat and I’m not missing out on that lol. 

Here’s a little more info of how this diet is set up.  For 20 hours each day I fast or under-eat.  Any meals during this time need to be extremely easy to digest and very low in calories.  Protein powders, fruit and veggies are most commonly used.  Then in the evening I have a 4 hour feasting window where I get to put down a couple thousand calories :).  The evening feast has to be controlled though.  Pizza and burgers every night will just make you fatter.  I have to maintain a good balance of protein, carbs, and fat. 

The best part so far is that I didn’t have to pack 5 meals to drag to work with me.  Just a little protein, some berries, and a shaker cup.  Also from what I hear it’s very easy to drop fat with very little cardio which is always a plus!

Mahlers High Frequency Training for Fat Loss

Posted on

This article was written by Mike Mahler on his website (www.mikemahler.com) and it goes into detail about a different way to lose fat.  While most programs have you add in more and more cardio, this one focuses on adding strength workouts as you advance. 

High Frequency Training For Fat Loss 

By Mike Mahler 
HFT is my favorite style of training for strength, muscle building, and fat loss. No need to add any cardio at all to the program. Focus on doing the strength training workouts well and you will be all set. Do not add more training to the mix. More cardio will not make the program work better and will screw up you’re hormone levels.
Start with four workouts per week as indicated in the beginner program. After a month, go to the intermediate program and train five times per week. Finally, in month three go to the advanced program and train six times per week.
Whenever, you are stressed or need more days off, go back down to four days per week. You can even mix and match the training. One week, workout four times per week and another week workout five times etc.
Every time you work out and avoid over training you get a GH surge and an increase in Testosterone. Thus it is important to workout as frequently as possible to maximize fat loss and muscle building. If you feel like having sex after a workout, you are doing great. If you are wiped out and beat up, you are working too hard and need to scale back. Reduce the sets to 1-2 for a while if necessary. Make sure you sleep well every night and have a solid diet and supplement plan.

Beginner Option 1:

Monday and Thursday

  • A-1: Double KB Clean and Press 3×6
  • A-2: Double Ballistic KB Bent-over Row 3×6

Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises

  • B-1: Double Suitcase Kickstand Lunge 3×8 l,r
  • B-2: Double Swing 3×8 
Do B-1 and B-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of B-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of B-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises.
  • C-1: Power Wheel Roll Out 3×6
  • C-2: Slow and controlled Sit-up 3×10 (4 seconds up and down)

Do C-1 and C-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of C-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of C-2.
Tuesday and Friday

  • A-1: Double Hang Clean and Military Press 3×6
  • A-2: Alternating KB Renegade Row 3×6 each side

Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises

  • B-1: Suitcase KB Squat 3×10
  • B-2: Double KB Clean 3×10 

Do B-1 and B-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of B-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of B-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises

  • C-1: Side Bend 3×8 l,r (left and right) 
  • C-2: Double Overhead Walk 3 rounds  

Do C-1 and C-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of C-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of C-2.
Wednesday-Saturday-Sunday
1-2 mile walks

Intermediate (5 days per week)

Monday

  • A-1: Double KB Clean and Press 3×6
  • A-2: Double Ballistic KB Bent-over Row 3×6
Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises.
  • B-1: Double Suitcase Kickstand Lunge 3×8 l,r
  • B-2: Double Swing 3×8 
Do B-1 and B-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of B-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of B-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises
  • C-1: Power Wheel Roll Out 3×6
  • C-2: Slow and controlled Sit-up 3×10 (4 seconds up and down)

Do C-1 and C-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of C-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of C-2.
Tuesday

  • A-1: Double Hang Clean and Military Press 3×6
  • A-2: Alternating KB Renegade Row 3×6 each side

Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises

  • B-1: Suitcase KB Squat 3×10
  • B-2: Double KB Clean 3×10 

Do B-1 and B-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of B-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of B-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises

  • C-1: Side Bend 3×8 l,r (left and right) 
  • C-2: Double Overhead Walk 3 rounds  

Do C-1 and C-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of C-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of C-2.
Wednesday

  • A-1: Hand To Hand Clean and Press 3×6 l,r
  • A-2: One-arm Ballistic KB Bent-over Row 3×6 l,r
Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises
  • B-1: Double Rack Kickstand Lunge 3×6 l,r
  • B-2: Double Swing 3×6 
Do B-1 and B-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of B-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of B-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises
  • C-1: Power Wheel Roll Out 3×6
  • C-2: Slow and controlled Sit-up 3×10 (4 seconds up and down)

Do C-1 and C-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of C-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of C-2.
Thursday

  • A-1: Relaxed Military Press 3×6
  • A-2: Alternating Bent-over Row 3×6 each side

Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises

  • Double Clean and Front Squat 3×8 (one-minute breaks in between each set)
  • Finisher: Hindu Squat 50 reps
Friday
  • A-1: Double KB Clean and Press 3×6
  • A-2: Double Ballistic KB Bent-over Row 3×6

Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises

  • B-1: Double Suitcase Kickstand Lunge 3×8 l,r
  • B-2: Double Swing 3×8 
Do B-1 and B-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of B-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of B-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises
  • C-1: Power Wheel Roll Out 3×6
  • C-2: Double Overhead Walk 3 rounds  

Do C-1 and C-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of C-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of C-2.

Advanced (6 days per week)

Monday

  • A-1: Double KB Clean and Press 3×6
  • A-2: Double Ballistic KB Bent-over Row 3×6
Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises
  • B-1: Suitcase Squat 3×12 
  • B-2: Double Swing 3×12 
Do B-1 and B-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of B-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of B-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×15 on both exercises
  • C-1: Power Wheel Roll Out 3×6
  • C-2: Double Overhead Walk 3 rounds  

Do C-1 and C-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of C-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of C-2.

  • Finisher: 50 Pushups

Tuesday

  • A-1: Double Hang Clean and Military Press 3×6
  • A-2: Alternating KB Renegade Row 3×6 each side

Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises

  • B-1: Clean and Squat 3×6
  • B-2: Double Swing 3×6 

Do B-1 and B-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of B-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of B-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises

  • C-1: Side Bend 3×8 l,r (left and right) 
  • C-2: Double Overhead Walk 3 rounds  

Do C-1 and C-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of C-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of C-2.

  • Finisher: Hindu Squat 50 Reps

Wednesday

  • A-1: Hand To Hand Clean and Press 3×6 l,r
  • A-2: One-arm Ballistic KB Bent-over Row 3×6 l,r
Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises
  • B-1: Double Rack Kickstand Lunge 3×6 l,r
  • B-2: Double Swing 3×6 
Do B-1 and B-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of B-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of B-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises
  • C-1: Power Wheel Roll Out 3×6
  • C-2: Slow and controlled Sit-up 3×10 (4 seconds up and down)

Do C-1 and C-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of C-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of C-2.

  • Finisher: Jumper Squat 50 reps

Thursday

  • A-1: Double Clean and Alternating Press 3×7 each side 
  • A-2: Alternating Renegade Row 3×8 each side 

Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises

  • B-1: Double Suitcase Squat 3×15 
  • B-2: Hand To Hand KB Swing 3×15 each side  

Do B-1 and B-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of B-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of B-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×20 on both exercises
Friday

  • A-1: Relaxed Military Press 3×8
  • A-2: Alternating Bent-over Row 3×8 each side

Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises

  • Double Clean and Front Squat 3×8 (one-minute breaks in between each set)
  • Finisher: Hindu Squat 50 reps
Saturday
  • A-1: Double KB Clean and Press 3×6
  • A-2: Double Ballistic KB Bent-over Row 3×6
Do A-1 and A-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of A-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of A-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises
  • B-1: Double Suitcase Kickstand Lunge 3×8 l,r
  • B-2: Double Swing 3×8 
Do B-1 and B-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of B-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of B-2. Long-term goal is to work up to 3×12 on both exercises
  • C-1: Power Wheel Roll Out 3×6
  • C-2: Slow and controlled Sit-up 3×10 (4 seconds up and down)

Do C-1 and C-2 in antagonistic fashion. One set of C-1, then a one-minute break and then a set of C-2.

  • Finisher: Jumper Squats 50 reps