Archive for the ‘Fat Loss’ Category
LOL – poor Andy.
On Tuesday, I went up to Thomasville, NC to visit my buddy Andy Hepler of Hepler Strength & Conditioning (http://www.heplerstrength.com, http://davidsoncountypersonaltrainer.com). We hung out for the day talking training, business, and a variety of other things.
At one point in the day, we ended up at a gym/sports performance facility owned by a buddy of his. When we first got there, the Crossfit coach (not Andy’s buddy) was there, and we were introduced. He kinda tried to give me the typical Crossfit spiel. I countered with a simple argument – “Crossfit has a complete and total lack of programming”.
Things just went downhill from there. LOL. I think the guy was a tad butt-hurt by the time I was done talking to him. Oh well.
Soon after, Andy’s buddy showed up and we all shot the shit for a little bit. This was my first time meeting him and he was cool as hell. He’s a former collegiate linebacker and sorta like most of us – what I call a ‘career meathead’.
Andy’s buddy also owns another business that buys and sells training equipment (almost anything you can think of) wholesale. We went over to his warehouse just to look around…I felt like a kid in a candy store.
While looking around, I came across a Football Bar.
Now, if you don’t know what a Football Bar is, it’s a a bar that has several sets of handles. The handles aren’t perpendicular to the bar itself, neither are they parallel to each other. Rather, they’re at an angle. Football Bars are great because they allow you to put your hands at a position that is easy on the wrists and the shoulders.
(There’s a pic of a Football Bar right there.^^)
I’d never seen a Football Bar in person, so you *know* I had to try it out. I slapped a 45 on each side and banged out a few Clean & Presses. Then a few Rows. Then a few Cleans. Then a few more Cleans & Presses.
As Joey Styles might say….Oh. My. GAAWWWWDDDD!!!!!
I was freakin’ hooked on this bar.
I loved just how it changed the movement pattern for Cleans – put a lot more upper back into it, and allows you to snap your hips with a lot more force. It really takes technique out of the movement. Presses were AWESOME. The positioning of the handles puts your wrists at ease, and even better, it forces your elbows to be pointed in front of you throughout the entire Range of Motion – which is *much* more healthy for the shoulder than having them pointed at your sides while pressing.
I could go on for a while – suffice it to say, I really liked this bar.
A few hours later, Andy and I had left, gotten lunch, and were on our way to pick up his daughter from school. We were talking marketing, and how to target specific markets, how to attract customers, whether hyped-up sales copy was ‘cool’, and other such topics of badassery.
At one point, I made the simple comment that “You know, I’m just a simple guy…”
Andy immediately retorts – fairly loudly, I might add – “I know you are – I had to listen to you talk about that damn Football Bar for 45 FUCKING MINUTES!!!”
Luckily for me, Andy is patient and never gave me the proper STFU I probably needed. LOL.
LMAO – what can I say? I was really impressed with the Football Bar. In fact, I told Andy I could probably develop any program for any goal and never need more than a Football Bar, a Trap Bar, plates, a station for doing chins and dips, and a T-Handle you could load to do swings with about 10 square feet of space. Wanna get fancy? Add some adjustable DB handles and weight plates and maybe an adjustable bench. Wanna really get sophisticated? Add a Prowler.
Tell me – is there anything you couldn’t do with just that stuff? Nope.
In fact, speaking personally, I’ve probably done 99.9% of my own personal workouts with nothing more than adjustable DBs, a medicine ball, a pair of KBs, bodyweight calisthenics, roardwork, and hill sprints for nearly 3 years.
What’s my point?
My point is this – too many people in the fitness industry are trying to over-complicate things and make them out to be more than they really are. You don’t have to be unnecessarily complicated. All you need to do are use basic principles and work your ass off.
Yeah…doesn’t sound real sexy, does it? Too bad – because that’s what works.
Take my own programs – do they work because of some sort of crazy formulas or complicated algorithms or insanely tweaked exercise progression? No way. They work because they apply basic principles in a certain way to achieve certain results.
For example, take the Championship Edition 2.0 MMA Workout. That takes principles of building strength and aerobic capacity, then concentrates on converting that strength to power, then adds in anaerobic conditioning, then uses a smart blend of the two (power and anaerobic conditioning) to simulate the conditioning needs of a professional MMA fight. Nothing overly complicated or ultra-complex exercises. Hell, you don’t even need fancy equipment – you can do the whole thing in your high school weight room.
But it works, because it’s simple.
Take Working Class Cardio. Many of y’all know the drill here – have great cardio without ever doing cardio. Utilize compound movements with explosive athletic exercises using relatively heavy weight, with moderate to high volume. Circuit the exercises together to give localized areas of your body rest, while the heart and lungs work like mofos the entire time.
Use DBs, a medicine ball, and bodyweight calisthenics only to make the workouts easy to perform in any location you want, as well as do many of the movements one limb at a time, which makes you do more work overall (making your heart and lungs work more) while giving your lower body more work and conditioning.
Again – simple concepts applied with a lot of intensity.
(You can see more about Working Class Cardio here.)
Or maybe think about Body Armor. The key to Body Armor is one simple set and rep scheme used with 4 main compound movements. You work at a weight heavy enough to develop strength, but not so heavy you can’t move fast. You move fast enough to develop power, but it’s not so light you won’t get stronger. And you have just enough volume to trigger muscle building, but not so much you can’t concentrate on strength or power. Upper body assistance is centered around strength work and getting bigger. Lower body assistance is centered around power and conditioning.
(You can see more about Body Armor here.)
Is there anything here that’s overly complicated?
These programs all work because they’re simple. I *routinely* get emails from people telling me that they are surprised there’s not more ‘to’ some of my programs, but when they actually do them, they can’t believe how effective they are. They love feeling like they’ve worked their ass off, but not to the point of injury or burnout. They love feeling like they’re hitting a new PR each time they train.
And this is all because the workouts are…well…simple.
And that’s exactly why they’re so damn effective.
Is your training effective? If not, maybe you should simplify.
Have a kickass weekend.
Posted in Cardio, Character/Motivation, Circuit Training, Fat Loss, MMA, Muscle Building, Strength Training | No Comments »
Ok, so it’s been a little while since I’ve done a blog post…actually just came back from a kickass week-long family vacation to the beach at the Outer Banks.
We didn’t do much – just kinda hung around and unwound. The kids were in the pool all the time. My boy and I went cruising once. Oh, and we did go rent Jet Skis. Holy cow, that’s more fun any one person should be allowed to have.
But there was one thing that I *did* make a conscious effort to do while I was there:
Keep getting workouts in.
See, I knew we were gonna be there for a week, and I knew we were gonna be having some good, big family meals, going out to eat, and that kinda thing. While I wanted to have fun, I also didn’t wanna totally drop out off the earth as far as workouts go, nor did I wanna spend a week going backwards.
The question was how was I going to get my workouts in, and what was I going to do?
I knew I could get some swimming in since I was gonna be in the pool so much with the kids. But since I was gonna be in the pool so much with the kids, I knew I wasn’t gonna be doing a whole lot of actual swimming. (However, ‘Extreme Marco Polo’ was a helluva workout. It’s kinda like Marco Polo meets Dodge Ball. BEST. GAME. EVER!)
I knew the area we were staying in had a little gym at the clubhouse (where all the tennis courts and such were), but many times those things aren’t that great, so I didn’t wanna rely on that. (Good thing, the weight room kinda left something to be desired…it did have a C2 rower though. Love those things.)
So, I just planned ahead and brought my kettlebells. And since I wasn’t sure exactly how many workouts I was gonna do, I just decided to pick a program that if I only did a few workouts from it, it’d still work well.
We stayed at a pretty big house – 3 stories. In the very front, there was a sort of concrete-tiled slab under the porch that led up to the main entrance.
PERFECT for my workouts.
On Monday, I did Day 1 of the Minimalistic Blast. I went and used the C2 rower on Tuesday, took Wednesday off, then hit Days 2 and 3 on Thursday and Friday.
The awesome thing about this workout was literally, all I needed was a couple kettlebells. (For those of you that didn’t know, the “4-Week Minimalistic Blast” has 4 different templates – you can do workouts using:
This was perfect for me. I didn’t have to worry about not having a place to train. I didn’t have skip my workouts. And it was super-easy to just toss a couple KBs in the back of the vehicle and go on.
(Of course, some of the fam did think I was a little crazy – “Dude, you’re working out? We’re on VACATION!”)
But that’s what’s so awesome about the “4-Week Minimalistic Blast”. You can literally do it almost anywhere, using almost anything. Each workout is only 3 exercises, and is a total, full-body workout. You’re getting strength work *AND* intense conditioning, not to mention you’re rotating it all each workout (what you did for strength work before, you’re doing for conditioning now, and vice versa).
If you’re super-hardcore, you can add a simple – but not easy – fourth exercise to the mix as your ‘finisher’. I did this…and it smoked me.
My workouts were short (none of them took total over 45 mins if I remember correctly), and I did them in the morning before it got too hot out. That way, I had my work done for the day and I could concentrate the rest of the day on having fun.
But the important part was that I still found a way to get the workouts in and still keep getting better – even when I was focusing on having fun.
Listen – the “4-Week Minimalistic Blast” just let me get massively kick-ass workouts in while I was on VACATION at the beach. And with the four different templates, you can do those workouts pretty much anywhere you want. Each is only 3 exercises (4 if you do the ‘finisher’). And unlike other programs that are just ‘thrown together’ to make them ‘really hard’, these workouts have a logical order and progression to them. It’s not haphazard by any means.
So that’s why I chose to do them while out, and will finish out the 4-weeks on the program.
My buddy Matt Bonafede (I’ve talked about him and his brother Aaron before) sent me an email not long ago after he and his brother Aaron had finally dove into the “4-Week Minimalistic Blast”:
“So Aaron and I just finished the first week of the Minimalistic Blast, that is one hard workout. The conditioning section has to be one of the worst things we have done in a long while. We both used 115 and it is pretty much non stop for the whole 20 min. Gotta love testing yourself.”
Since I had such an awesome time with the workouts while on vacation, I have decided to put the “4-Week Minimalistic Blast” back on sale for this week, and this week only. You can get it now, but only until Friday night at midnight. After that…well…bye bye for a while.
Remember, you get the 4 different templates names above, printable workout logs, a video FAQ, and other cool stuff as well. You can even mix and match the programs, there are additional extra days you can add in that I show you how to use…I mean, this is really one kickass set of workouts.
You really should go get yours while you can.
Posted in Cardio, Character/Motivation, Circuit Training, Fat Loss, Muscle Building, Strength Training | No Comments »
I’ve been asked a time or two where I got the inspiration to create Working Class Cardio. And believe it or not, the answer might surprise you.
Like many other career meatheads, while I’m interested mainly in developing programs that target performance (getting stronger, faster, have better conditioning), I certainly have a base in bodybuilding-style training, and still hold many who do it in high regard – esp guys from years back.
Everybody knows Arnold, Franco, and Louie, but and the physical culture guys like to talk about Saxon, Inch, and Sandow, but there are many others that I was a fan of, even if they were before my time. Guys like Sergio Oliva, Chris Dickerson, Frank Zane, Freddy Ortiz, Marvin Eder, Ed Corney, Robby Robinson, and more.
And while Joe Weider might have dubbed himself the “trainer of champions”, that rightful owner of that title should be the legendary Vince Gironda. Very few guys brought about changes in the physique world like Gironda did. If you don’t know much about Vince, you owe it to yourself to read up on him.
Anyway, Vince was known creating crazy versions of exercises and wild programs in order to illicit particular responses in ones physique. One of the crazy things that Gironda came up with were his 8×8 workouts.
Now, there have been a few different versions of these types of programs over the years. Gironda himself used 8×8 and 6×6, and you’ve likely seen the 10×10 programs of German Volume Training. The way Gironda applied them was actually a bit different.
Vince would have his bodybuilders doing 8 sets of 8 with a moderate weight in a very smooth motion. They would never go to full extension/lockout, nor would they really ever hold a contraction – the goal was constant movement. However, that wasn’t the hardest part.
Gironda reduced rest periods to an absolute minimum – as low as 20 seconds between sets.
See, Vince knew that bodybuilders did cardio to lower bodyfat levels as much as possible before a contest. However, he knew that too much cardio (along with the strict dieting that came with contest preparation) could also lead to muscle loss. So, he combined a protocol that meant maximum time under tension and super-low rest periods.
The result was his bodybuilders showing up to shows in fantastic condition – usually with the lowest bodyfat of anybody on stage. And all with doing minimal cardio.
What does this have to do with me and Working Class Cardio?
Well, quite a while back, I was looking for a program that would be quick, efficient, and accomplish a variety of goals at the same time. I knew that something like Vince Gironda’s 8×8 could do the job. So, I started experimenting with it.
Firstly, I changed the types of exercises being used, as I was more worried about performance. So while Gironda used exercises that targeted aesthetics as the main goal, I picked exercises that were more athletic in nature (clean & presses, DB snatches, swings, jumps, etc). And the first time I did a workout…HOLY COW…
…it kicked my ass.
I knew I could make this work. But the problem I had was that while the conditioning element was off the charts, in order to maintain form and keep rest periods short, I was radically dropping the weights…to the point that I knew strength and power (explosiveness) would suffer long-term.
Then it hit me.
I was doing 4 exercises per workout, each one in an 8×8 format. (They wouldn’t all necessarily be 8×8…maybe 8×6, or 6×6, or 7×7 – I experimented a bit.) So I thought:
“What if instead of doing all my sets of an exercise in a row, then going onto the next exercise, I would rotate through all four exercises, circuit-style? So, I could do a set of exercise 1, rest 20 seconds, a set of exercise 2, rest 20 seconds, a set of exercise 3, rest 20 seconds…”
You get the idea.
This would let me still do this style of workout, but let individual muscles rest locally, while other ones worked. That way, I could still keep weights heavy instead of having to drop them too much, *and* keep rest periods short for conditioning.
I tried it my very next workout and knew I was onto something.
Fast forward quite a while and a bit of testing and tweaking later, and Working Class Cardio was born.
And in case you’re wondering if Working Class Cardio is the ‘real deal’, then go READ HERE to find out about how Eric lost 61+ pounds, READ HERE to see how Aaron lost over 30 pounds (and see his pics), and READ HERE to see how Don dropped 45 pounds and 8 inches off his waist.
As Fonzie might say….Whoa.
Listen, do yourself a favor, and pick up a copy of the workout that is whipping people into shape left and right…you’ll be shocked how quickly you get into shape.
Oh – and did I mention, you don’t even need to go to a gym to do this program? Do it in your living room if you want.
How can you lose?
Have a kickass weekend.
Posted in Cardio, Circuit Training, Fat Loss, Muscle Building, Strength Training | 1 Comment »
Remember that old saying – ‘jack of all trades, master of none’?
It basically means that you’re pretty good (or pretty damn good, even) at a whole lot of different things. But, because you’ve spent a bunch of time working on all these different things, you’ve never spent enough time at any one thing in particular to get great at it.
And that’s just the way it is. Best case scenario is that you can either be pretty good at a lot or elite at a little. Can’t do both, though.
You’re just not gonna find anybody that can be elite at a lot. Just doesn’t happen.
Your workouts are the same way. You can either be in very good overall shape (strength, power, speed, cardio, physique, etc) or elite at one thing (like a highly competitive powerlifter, Olympic lifter, or bodybuilder might be). Can’t do both.
Now, if you know my style of workouts, I like to go the route at being pretty good at a lot. I’d rather do workouts that have you getting stronger, moving faster, having better cardio, and more – all at the same time. You’ll never (necessarily) be the ‘best’ at any one of those things, but you’ll be better than most.
(Not to mention you’ll be better than the elites at everything else – you’ll be faster than the powerlifter, stronger than the distance runner…you know the drill.)
BUT, what do you do if you’re seriously lacking in a given area?
See, if you’re starting out at the same level across the board, that’s cool – you can bring up all these qualities at the same time. But what if you’re not? THEN what do you do?
I mean, what if you’re already real fast, but not overly strong and your endurance sucks? Or if you have a pretty physique, but you can’t back it up in the gym? Or if you’re strong and explosive, but have pretty much no work capacity?
How do you balance everything out?
Well, that’s when you gotta do a workout that focuses on whatever it is you need to work on – target your weakness, bring it up, then move on from there.
Now, I know what you’re worried about – how do you do that, and *not* lose out on the gains you’ve busted your ass for so long to make, right? I mean, you’ve spent years getting strong as an ox – you don’t wanna lose it all in 4 months by trying to improve your cardio and conditioning.
That’s where program maintenance comes in. If you do a program that’s designed properly, you can focus on just a few main goals, and have that be the vast majority of the results you get. However, you can add in *just enough* maintenance work so as not to lose too much (if any) of all gains you’ve worked so hard for.
The first phase was doing a bunch of hardcore complexes. This was to get you in shape, build cardio, and improve your conditioning and work capacity. But, as long as you used heavy enough weights in the complexes, you wouldn’t really lose out on strength.
Then in the 2nd phase, we switched it around and focused on getting stronger (setting new PRs every workout) and getting bigger, putting on extra muscle mass. Well, you didn’t wanna lose out on all that conditioning you just busted your ass for, did you? No…which is why there were short conditioning elements built into Phase 2 – just enough to maintain.
Of course, then when you hit Phase 3…well, that’s when you go balls to the wall on everything, and bring it *all* up.
So you spent the first phase focusing on one set of goals, maintaining everything else. Then, you spent the next phase focusing on a different set of goals, maintaining everything else. Then, on phase 3, that’s when you kick it into high gear across the board, and bring it ALL up.
See how you do that?
And, of course, the totally badass thing about Body Armor – The 2nd Chapter is that each phase is pretty self contained. If you were to have to repeat a phase to bring those qualities up further before moving on, then it would be not only easy and doable, but completely recommended.
If you need to do some focusing in your workouts, and really elevate your *entire* game to a whole new level, then click on the link or button below, and go give Body Armor – The 2nd Chapter a shot.
You won’t regret it.
Posted in Circuit Training, Fat Loss, Muscle Building, Strength Training | No Comments »
Gotta share this testimonial.
I’ve told y’all about the Bonafede brothers more than once – they shouldn’t even need an introduction anymore. Basically, they’re perfect examples of what happens when you take hardcore, intense workouts, and apply a kickass work ethic to them.
Not long ago, I had been telling you about the results Matt Bonafede was getting with “Body Armor – The 2nd Chapter”.
Well, check out the email his brother Aaron sent me last Friday:
“I must admit I wanted to kick your ass the last month. That “Body Armor 2″ Phase 1 was killing me. We let me rephrase that, the layout was *@!ing hard but the weight I decided to use was killing me.
I have noticed a switch over the last year. When Matt and I finished the cardio program I was about 155-160. (NOTE: see pics here) Since the Olympic style lifts came back into play I still stayed lean but have put on some good size. I’m
about 168 -170 now.
I can still outwork just about anyone I see at the gym and can’t get anyone to work out with me (surprise). I’m actually still pretty lean but can see the size in my legs and shoulders.
I just keep getting stronger. The amazing part is the capacity. For instance see my workout below:
Push Press – 155 x 6
50- jumping jacks
Dead Lift – 315 x 6
50 – jumping jacks
Cleans – 155 x 6
50 – jumping jacks
Squats – 315 x 6
50 – jumping jacks
oh yeah repeat x 5
For the life of me I can’t explain how I can move that amount of weight w/out any real rest and still be ready in 1-2 min after to go another round. That part to me is way better than the “how much do you bench?”. At 35 I can do more than I could in my 20′s.
I still feel great, look great, and love life.”
Notice a couple things there:
1 – the layout of the workout is tough, but his work ethic and how much weight he used seriously compounded the effectiveness of the program
2 – he’s in better shape in his mid-30s than he was in his 20s (it’s usually the other way around)
3 – That last line – I still feel great, look great, and love life. What more could you want?
If you wanna fast-track yourself to the same sorta results Aaron and his brother Matt get, then you owe it to yourself to get your own copy of “Body Armor – The 2nd Chapter” – PRONTO
Posted in Character/Motivation, Circuit Training, Fat Loss, Muscle Building, Strength Training | No Comments »