Archive for March, 2011
You know, the one thing I like about the peeps that read my blog is that y’all dig training and working out just as much as I do.
I’m *always* reading about stuff and trying to get a leg up – seeing what others have done, reading what the top coaches are experimenting with, and especially seeing what my buddies in the industry have going on.
But that leads to a MASSIVE problem, though.
See, I’ll read or check out something new and wanna try it out ASAP. Or maybe I’ll read the results somebody had with a new program and wanna give that a shot. Or maybe there’s an exercise or style of doing reps that looks cool.
The PROBLEM with this kinda thing is that it ends up distracting me from what I’m already doing…which I know works!
It’s kinda like getting distracted by a bright, shiny object…you wanna leave what you know is smart and chase what looks new and appealing.
Do this enough times, and you never end up spending enough time on anything to ever get any real results. Which is pretty much why I designed the “4-Week Blast” programs. (I’m sure you probably remember those, so I won’t go into it again.)
But what do you do when your “blast” is done?
Well, what if I told you that could you do “blast” programs so that you actually had a long-term program, accomplish all your workout goals, yet only have to focus on a single type of training for 4-weeks at a time?
(I mean, *anybody* can stick to a workout for 4-weeks, right?)
“Blast Off” is my brand new program (these are all-new workouts, nothing recycled here!) that stacks “4-week blast” style workouts back to back, but has them all integrated and designed with a long term, linear periodization format.
In other words, this isn’t just a few random 4-week blasts tossed together and called a workout.
There is a uniform and dedicated design to the entire program, and each blast actually integrates with the others (stuff from Blast 1 is done in Blast 3, you’ll compare Blast 3 results with stuff you did in Blast 2, etc).
Basically, “Blast Off” was meant to give you enough variety to keep you focused on your workouts, while still giving you a long term plan to your overall program.
It’s like the ultimate plan for consistent and result-producing workouts…and we all know how important consistency is.
Go read more about “Blast Off”, and see just what all it can do for you (not to mention all the super-cool stuff you get with the programs!):
Tags: 4-week blast, blast off, cardio, strength gain
Posted in Cardio, Circuit Training, Fat Loss, MMA, Muscle Building, Strength Training | 1 Comment »
Earlier this week, I sent out newsletters discussing (and promoting) my “Working Class Cardio” workout.
Now, if you’re not familiar with WCC, here’s the basic idea:
I wanted people to be able to get a great cardio workout – plus a lot more – without ever having to do *any* running, take up room in their home with a cardio machine, or having to belong to a gym. And while as beneficial as standard cardio training can be, I hated the fact that it was long, and to most folks, boring as all hell.
Add to that the fact that I knew that plain aerobic cardio by itself wasn’t enough to accomplish any goal – not to lose weight, not to get you stronger or more powerful, not to develop anaerobic endurance, not to build a lean and muscular physique, not to…you get the idea.
So what I decided was to develop WCC – a program based around intense complex and circuit training.
You’d stack multi-joint movements, explosive bodyweight exercises, active rest periods, and other such training methods together into one program. By keeping volume high, weights used heavy (at least as heavy as possible for this style of training), rest to a minimum, and fatigue managed, you’d essentially be able to do a metric shit-ton of work in a relatively short time.
What this would do was allow you to become stronger and more explosive. Due to the density of the training (how much you did in such a little amount of time) combined with heavier weights being used, you’d build muscle. Due to the sheer volume of work you’d do, you’d burn a ton of calories (leading to fat loss). And due to keeping rest breaks minimized and active rest utilized, you’d managed fatigue (so you could still do a lot of work on little rest). Then, because you were doing complex/circuit-style training, you’d constantly be changing what part of the body you were working. This would allow your individual bodyparts to rest while others worked, yet your entire body would continue to work as whole. This would build supreme amounts of endurance, and because you’re literally huffing and puffing the entire time, your cardio goes through the roof…
Sounds pretty good, right? Damn straight.
And plenty of people have made some pretty awesome gains on Working Class Cardio. Aaron lost 30+ lbs. Eric W. lost 60+ at last count. And I just got an email recently from a satisfied customer who said one of his Week 11 workouts resulted in him burning over 900 calories in under an hour.
So everything is cool, right? Ahhhhhhh….maybe not.
See, a few prior customers (who were otherwise seemingly satisfied, so I didn’t exactly ‘get’ why they decided to change their mind all of a sudden) read my recent blog post about overtraining, as well as some of the responses (both on the post itself, as well as on my Facebook page).
To sum up the blog post, my contention is that while overtraining is a real concern, it’s mostly hype and fear-mongering stirred up by most of the supplement industry (not all companies suck – see GI Nutrition as an example – but most do) to sell you crap you don’t need. In fact, in my opinion, most people are nowhere close to overtraining. The reason why they don’t get gains isn’t because of overtraining or that they’re a ‘hardgainer’. Rather, it’s because they don’t have the sack to train hard enough.
I then cited how guys like Arnold, Franco, and Louie used to use marathon workouts back in the ’60s-’70s, and while they were definitely on steroids, it was minuscule amounts compared to what pro-bodybuilders (or even pro-athletes) of today use. So how is it those guys could make gains then, and they’re not supposed to be able to now on the same programs?
I went on to talk about guys like Dan Gable and Bruce Lee, who were always working…always training…always doing something to get themselves stronger, faster, or in better shape.
My theory isn’t that people don’t overtrain – it’s that they don’t train hard enough. And those that *do* endure legitimate symptoms of overtraining usually *aren’t* overtraining, but under-recovering…not getting enough sleep, eating poorly, etc.
I ended off by saying that most people just needed to work harder, and not worry about overtraining so much – most where nowhere close to it.
Well, while many agreed with the sentiments, others had to balk. I had one comment from my buddy Chuck about how Gable was now a member of the “walking wounded” (he limps, has joint trouble, etc) in that his body has paid incredible dues over the years due to all the activity (some would call it punishment) he put upon himself. As Chuck put it, “…related to being chronically under-recovered”.
So what does all this have to do with Working Class Cardio?
Well, after seeing my post on Gable, as well as some of the response (which, by the way, I completely agree with), I got emails from a few peeps that were in the middle of WCC now, drastically worried that they were going to fall victim to the same thing, because honestly, WCC is a bitch of a workout.
(You don’t get into the kinda shape WCC puts you in by pussy-footing around. As I had it put one time, “If Working Class Cardio was easy, they’d call it P90X”….LOL…I love that. )
These dudes were seriously worried that they were gonna under-recover because WCC was kicking their asses, and didn’t know if they should backoff, or needed more supplements, or should add massage to their recovery processes, or what.
While I *got* where these guys were coming from, I felt bad at the same time. They were falling prey to the kinda fear-mongering the supplement companies love…only they were doing it to themselves. (Almost like a rabid conspiracy theorist, but without the tinfoil hat.)
My basic response – and why I’m posting this hear – is that if you’re doing WCC, or will soon start WCC (which would be a *great* idea… – you don’t really have anything to worry about. This is for two reasons:
1 – unless you plan on doing WCC on a non-stop rotation for the next 12 years, you probably won’t build up enough cumulative fatigue to worry about *any* of this
2 – I took care of this kinda thing already when I designed WCC in the first place!
See, every 4th week in WCC is a backoff week of sorts. They’re actually ‘Burpee Weeks’ where the workouts are nothing but progressively more burpees as the phases of the program go on. BUT, the volume of overall work you do drops off by probably 60% or more. Your workouts might be tough, but there is a lot less there to do, so you’re giving your body a much needed break.
That way, you can come back to the next phase, recharged and ready to kick ass.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive to improve your recovery – cleaning up your diet, getting more sleep, and the like is *always* a good thing.
But don’t think that doing Working Class Cardio alone will drive you into the ground, or pound your body into some crazy state of overtraining submission. Just won’t happen.
And if you don’t already have Working Class Cardio, you might wanna go take a look, and see what all the fuss is about…it really is a kickass workout. (If I *do* say so myself. LOL)
Tags: cardio workout, dan gable, overtraining, working class cardio
Posted in Cardio, Character/Motivation, Circuit Training, Strength Training | No Comments »
One of the questions I hear a lot is if somebody wants to build muscle fast, then how should they lift?
I mean, there are a lot of different ideas out there – some say you should do a lot of volume (sets & reps) with moderate weight. Others say one crazy, all-out set to failure. Others say light weights and high reps to pump a bunch of blood into the muscle.
Which way is best?
While I’ve got my ideas on how many sets & reps you should be doing, the one thing you need to do is be lifting heavy weights.
Lifting heavy weights are necessary because it’s the heavy lifting that creates myofibrallar hypertrophy. Or in other words, that dense muscle that looks rock hard.
There is science behind all this, but think about it in a pretty simple and logical manner for a minute.
The human body is naturally lazy. Why? It’s a defense mechanism. Even though we’re living in modern society and with modern conveniences, our body doesn’t know that. It’s still programmed to work as if we were all living in caves and hunting down our food every day.
So, in order to preserve itself, the body takes every natural shortcut it can, in order to making sustaining itself in its current state as easy as possible. (Longer sustainment = longer life.)
When you lift a heavy weight, you’re placing a stress upon your body that it’s not normally used to having to endure. You’re literally making things hard on yourself.
Since the body is naturally lazy, it wants to make this extra work you’re making it do easy. So what does it do? It builds extra muscle to make moving that heavy weight easy.
That’s why you have to be consistently and progressively adding weight to the bar over time. When it builds enough muscle to make the weight you’re lifting now easy, you need to put more weight on the bar to make the body uncomfortable, that way it continues to build muscle.
See how that works?
So to maximize this whole process – and build as much muscle as possible – what you need to do get on a workout that has you consistently progressing and moving forward…
…a program like Body Armor.
What makes Body Armor so kickass is the specialized scheme I created for your “main” exercises – one that has you putting more weight on the bar each week, so you’re lifting heavier and heavier.
BUT, it’s also designed so that even though you’re lifting heavy, you can also lift *fast*…and lifting fast means more power. So you’re not only getting stronger, but you’re getting quicker, too.
And with the volume that’s built in (it’s all laid out for you, step-by-step) – not to mention the extra accessory work – packing on the muscle mass is just a “given”.
Your body might naturally want to be lazy…well, make it use that to not only build muscle, but get stronger AND faster, too.
…whether you’re lazy or not.
Tags: body armor, build muscle, muscle building
Posted in Muscle Building, Strength Training | 1 Comment »
Ok, the other day I was talking about BWE (bodyweight exercise) and how, while I really liked them, that I thought too many people went overboard with the super high-rep stuff.
Well, let’s take a look at the other end of the spectrum for a minute…
See, while I think that you need to make BWE harder, there are only certain ways that make sense – mainly adding weight and doing them more explosively.
You can use harder variations of the exercise, but the problem you run into is that before long, you’re running into skill issues…not strength issues.
For instance, let’s look at pushups again. Most of y’all know that pushups are a big part of my 4-Week Ass Kicking Blast. (I talked a few days ago about a guy wanting to do too many in one workout.)
Well, I also got an email from a guy who evidently was doing some gymnastics training and wanted to know if he could incorporate his planche pushup practice into the program.
(Those of you that have the program know what a crazy idea this is and how it doesn’t even come close to being a decent substitution.)
I told him no b/c planche pushups aren’t about strength, rather they’re about skill. Once you go beyond most basic bodyweight movements (especially into stuff like gymnastics, parkour, dance movements, etc), the skill element of being able to do these things is off the charts.
No more are we looking at basic conditioning movements…instead it’s skill movements. (Which is what the 4-Week Ass Kicking Blast is *not* about.)
Don’t believe me? If you can do 30-40 good pushups in a row, I bet you can do one-armed pushups…even if you never tried them before.
1 – get into top pushup position, and spread your feet out wide
2 – bring your right hand in toward the center of your body an inch or two
3 – lean to your right so that your left shoulder is up
4 – put your left hand behind your back
5 – lean down (you’ll feel a TON of emphasis on your triceps) so that your left shoulder goes in an arch and your chest comes toward the floor
6 – lean back and squeeze the triceps hard to return to the starting position
It’ll be tough at first, but once you get the technique down, you’ll find you’ll literally go from doing none to doing prolly 4 or 5 in short order.
All because your technique just got better…not b/c you got stronger. See what I mean?
That’s why I’m not a big fan of the technical BWE…just keep things simple, but make them harder on yourself…
…like I do in the 4-Week Ass Kicking Blast.
Have a kickass weekend.
Tags: 4-week ass kicking blast, one arm pushups, planche pushups, pushups
Posted in Cardio, Character/Motivation, Fat Loss, Muscle Building, Strength Training | 1 Comment »
Yesterday I mentioned that I was gonna tell you why I was a lousy marketer…well now you’re gonna find out why many prolly think I am.
There are a TON of dudes in the S&C and fitness industries that many a lot more bank than I do, I’ll be honest. And when I say “a lot more bank”, I mean A LOT MORE BANK.
There are dudes out there that literally make prolly 10x what I do…b/c they are much better marketers than I am.
And while that’s cool and all, I like sleeping well at night.
Lemme back up a step…
You guys remember not long ago, I shot you an email telling you how good I thought Shelby Starnes’ new carb cycling book was. That he’d helped “Big” Chris McCombs lose 75 pounds in 5 months. That I had actually bought the book myself, and really liked it.
Well, the next day, I get this email from a “guru” in internet fitness world. He has a huge new product launch coming, and somehow or another, I got on his list of potential affiliates. So, he wanted me to promote for him.
I clicked on the link, and it was the usual deal…enter in your email, and you’ll get a free report or video or something like that. Probably even 2 or 3 reports or vids by the time it’s all done. And I’m not knocking the info – I know it’ll be good stuff. Definitely worth having.
(Then he follows up the cool free info with a sales pitch for his new product.)
But here’s the thing that rubs me the wrong way…
This particular guy puts out 2-4 new products per year and does *very* well. He gets a ton of people to promote for him, and he makes mid to high six figures literally over just a few days. He pays a good chunk to those who promote for him, and everybody makes money.
And the info is usually really pretty good, too. A bit spendy, but good. The customer should be happy. So things should be cool across the board, right?
Here’s my problem – each of this guy’s new products always address the same problem (generally very fast fat loss) and always take totally different approaches on how to get there.
I “get” that there’s more than one way to skin a cat, but if your last super-wazoo product was so good (which it prolly was), why are you putting out another one? Why not just keep touting the last one?
I could understand if there was a different angle to work, like a different style of training (BWE vs gym stuff vs DBs vs KBs or whatever) or a different diet style (low carb vs paleo vs PSMF vs intermittent fasting) or even different goals (fat loss vs athletic training vs cardio vs bodybuilding)…
…but it’s not.
I feel like the guy is just using hype to sell programs to accomplish the same thing to the same people, using methods that just aren’t that different each time.
And that’s not cool in my book. Which is why his email asking me to promote got trashed…along with the two more he’s sent me since then. I’m not gonna promote it (even if you are prolly hearing about it from a bunch of other people right now).
Am I leaving $$$ on the table? Probably.
But like I said…I like sleeping well at night much better.
Besides, if you want a good program to lose fat super-fast, all you really need to do is check out the carb cycling book I’ve already told you about…it’ll get the job done no problem.
No gimmicks required.
Posted in Cardio, Character/Motivation, Fat Loss, Muscle Building, Strength Training | No Comments »