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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Getting Jacked with TT Fat Loss Switch

Cardio doesn’t work. It’s something I’ve been talking about A LOT on this website. When I say cardio, I’m talking about slow, steady cardio like jogging for miles. Then what DOES work? INTERVALS!

Steady state cardio only works for a small group of people. The rest of us need to push it harder with Intervals. Most people don’t do intervals because it’s so hard to do. But it is this hard work that is going to help you in the long run.

If you want a skinny, weak physique, then steady state cardio is the way to go. But if you want to be lean and muscular, then intervals is the way to go! Even for girls, a lean, muscular physique looks super sexy!

If you’re someone who has a lot of time on their hands, then perhaps steady state cardio will work for you. But for the large majority of people, intervals will save you time and give you the greatest fat burning benefit in the shortest period of time.

But, you can do Interval training for years to come, but you will not get REAL results if you do not focus on nutrition. Nutrition is at least 80% of the equation. It is SUPER difficult to out-train a bad diet.

With weight training and high intensity exercise, the law of diminishing returns applies. So, you want to go hard and fast. Training longer is not necessarily better. What you need to do is focus on what works.

After a session of high intensity exercise, you will experience muscle/protein breakdown and gylcogen depletion. This increased cellular metabolic activity burns more calories after your workouts.

The simple way of explaining it is that it boosts your metabolic rate. So you burn more calories throughout the day. So, you may burn more calories during a cardio workout, you will burn more calories AFTER a high intensity interval or strength training routine.

Yes, I said strength training. That’s the third piece to the puzzle. Strength training does burn calories and boost metabolic rate. But it also helps you build more lean muscle mass. The more muscle you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate.

So an intense workout only temporarily boosts your metabolic rate. Building muscle mass, on the other hand, boosts your overall metabolic rate. Hence, it is much easier to maintain or even lose more weight in the future!

If you want to use all these methods to get jacked, then I recommend Craig Ballantyne’s new fat loss workout called Fat Loss Switch. Click here for more information.

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Circuits vs. Supersets for Fat Loss

lunge and push up

A superset is where you perform two exercises back to back with little to no rest in between. The most popular version of the superset is to perform opposing muscle groups. For example, you can do a set of pullups followed by a set of dips, so this way while you’re training your chest, your back is getting a rest.

A circuit involves performing 3 or more movements back to back with little to no rest in between. You can perform opposing muscle groups, such as a – back, chest, leg sequence. Or you can do all movements for one bodypart.

But which is better for fat loss?

Well, lets look at what we want to accomplish when trying to burn fat. The goal is to move your body as fast as possible, and do as many tasks within a given period of time. In that sense, a circuit is far superior than a superset for fat burning.

Here’s a sample circuit you can try:

  • Reverse Lunges x 12 reps each side
  • Incline Pushups x 12 reps
  • Squat and Press x 12 reps

Go through a few rounds of this circuit, and you will notice that a) you heart rate is going through the roof, and b) you’re training your entire body in a super short period of time. That is what we want to focus on when trying to burn fat.

Both Supersets and Circuits are used in Craig Ballantyne’s new fat loss workout called Fat Loss Switch. Click here for more information.

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6 Ways to Switch up your Workouts for More Fat Loss!

bulgarian-split-squat

It’s time to completely switch things up! If you’ve been training hard at home and still haven’t gotten ripped, it’s time to really switch things up and try something new!

1 – Opposite Workout Approach

We’re going to try an opposite workout approach. I usually tell people to do their interval training AFTER the strength training. This time, you’re going to switch it up and perform your interval training FIRST.

Now, you might think that you’d be tired after an interval workout. You will be, which is why this is an ADVANCED technique only! Please don’t do this if you’re a beginner. Click here for the best way to structure a workout if you’re a beginner.

2 – Go HEAVIER!

Right after your workout, I want you to perform lower reps, in the 6-8 rep range. This means that you will be lifting pretty heavy. Why? Well, because we don’t want to lose strength. Even though we’re trying to get ripped, it doesn’t mean we need to lose strength or muscle mass.

3 – Modified Circuits

Now, because you’re going to be tired we’re going to rest between sets. So instead of your usual supersets or trisets workout where you perform 2 or more movements back to back without rest, you will actually take a minute rest in between each lift.

4 – No Arms!

You will not be wasting your time curling or extending a dumbbell. Instead, you will be focusing all your attention on training your chest, back, and legs. When you train your chest and back, you get more than enough arm work.

5 – Combination Drills

Find ways to combine movements to create new movements. For example, you can combine the T-Pushup with the Spiderman pushup to come up with the T-Spiderman Pushup. Combination drills will help you get more work done in a shorter period of time, PLUS help you burn more calories!

6 – Do circuits BEFORE
If you do not want to do your intervals before the workout, then you can do circuits instead. Or, you can even just take a Kettlebell and swing it. The main idea is that we do some sort of high intensity cardio-type training before we start our regular workout.

All of these methods and more are in Craig Ballantyne’s new fat loss workout called Fat Loss Switch. Click here for more information.

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Turbulence Training Beginners Dumbbell Workout

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We were all beginners once. We all need to start off with the basics. So today I’ll be showing a workout that you can do with a pair of dumbbells. First off, we need to begin with the warmup:

Beginner Level Workout A

This workout will have 2 workouts: Workout A and Workout B. You can train 2-3 days per week. So, if you were training 2 days per week, you want to do Workout A on Monday, then Workout B on Thursday.

If you’re training 3 days per week, Do Workout A on Monday, Workout B on Wednesday, then Workout A on Friday. Follow this pattern so that you perform Workout B on Monday. Keep going for 4 weeks.

I would recommend training 2 days per week for your first week. If you feel like you’re recovering fast enough between workouts, then move onto 3 days per week.

Here is workout A:

Superset:

  • Dumbbell Squats x 10 reps
  • Pushups x 10 reps
  • Rest 1 minute, and repeat 2 more times

Superset:

  • Dumbbell Rows x 10 reps
  • Stability Ball Leg Curls x 10 reps
  • Rest 1 minute, and repeat 2 more times

Superset:

  • Plank x 20 seconds
  • Side Plank x 20 seconds each side
  • Rest 1 minute, and repeat 2 more times

Finish off with interval training and stretching.

Beginner Level Workout B
Here is workout B:

Superset:

  • Dumbbell Chest Press x 10 reps
  • Step Ups x 10 reps
  • Rest 1 minute, and repeat 2 more times

Superset:

  • Elevated Pushups x 10 reps
  • 1-Leg Hip Extensions x 10 reps
  • Rest 1 minute, and repeat 2 more times

Superset:

  • Mountain Climber x 10 reps each side
  • Bird Dog x 10 reps each side
  • Rest 1 minute, and repeat 2 more times

Finish off with interval training and stretching.

Once you perform this routing for 4 weeks, it’s time to move onto some harder beginner workouts. I recommend Craig Ballantyne’s Total Torso Training. He has two versions of this program:

  • Click here for Beginner Total Torso Training 2010
  • Click here for Beginner Total Torso Training 2011
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Beginner Interval Routines for Fat Loss

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Interval training is a great way to lose fat. However, starting an interval training routine for beginners can be a daunting task. Why? Because interval training is hard for most beginners. So lets get into how a beginner can ease into interval training.

Hard Cardio

Instead of starting off with intervals, start off with Hard Cardio. Hard cardio is where you perform a hard form of exercise for a long length of time. For example, an interval workout would be alternating between sprinting and walking.

A hard cardio workout would involve a particular time period of running. You can use any activity, but you must maintain the same pace for the entire workout. Don’t push too hard, but don’t make it too easy.

Lets use running as our hard cardio. Start off with a 5 minute warmup of jogging. Then, move straight into 15 minutes of hard running. If you can’t time the period, then shoot for a 2-mile run. After the 15 minutes, walk for 5 minutes before calling it a day.

30/90

Once you get good at hard cardio, it’s time to start doing intervals. Beginners will need to rest approximately 3 times the amount of their intervals. So, a 30/90 interval is perfect. I love using jump roping as my interval training, but you can use any for of intervals.

A 30-second sprint might be too much for now. So try to use something else. For our example, we’ll use jump roping. Start off with a 4-minute warmup. Then jump straight into a 30-second fast jump roping.

The best way to make jump roping harder is to alternate bringing your knees up higher. This is a simple technique that does not require a lot of skill training to execute. If you know how to perform double unders, then do those during your high intensity period.

After the 30 seconds of high intensity, bring the intensity level back down. Complete rest is best. For 90 seconds, just walk around. Or, you can do light jump roping. But remember, we need to bring our heart rate back down, so a 90 second complete rest is best.

Perform 6 total intervals, then do a 5 minute cool down before calling it a day.

Interval Training beyond…

As you get better at interval training, you want to start reducing the interval period and increasing the intensity of those intervals. For example, in our case a 20 second interval is harder then a 40 second interval, because you can push harder during a 20 second interval.

Steadily reduce rest periods as well, but remember that your heart rate must come completely back down, or else it does not count as interval training.

You must combine the intervals with a full body workout. The only beginner training regimen that incorporates Total Body Training PLUS Interval Training is Craig Ballantyne’s Beginner Torso Training. He has two versions of this program:

  • Click here for Beginner Total Torso Training 2010
  • Click here for Beginner Total Torso Training 2011
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What is Total Torso Training?

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Total Torso Training is a beginner program developed by Craig Ballantyne designed to help you lose abdominal fat. The following are some common questions I get about abdominal training that can help you get started on your fitness plan:

1) What makes Total Torso Training so much better then other abdominal workouts?

Most abdominal workouts involve a lot of situps and crunches. We already know that these movements damage your lower back, so why do them? On top of that, we know that there is no such thing as spot reduction.

You get your abs through three things: Better Diet, Increased Muscle mass, and Interval Training. Total Torso Training will help you build lean muscle mass and includes fat burning interval workouts.

If you need help with your diet, grab Craig Ballantyne’s Simple TT Nutrition here.

2) Is this for Advanced trainees?

The Total Torso Training series is geared towards beginners. If you want some more advanced abdominal movements, check out Craig’s ab workouts here. Total Torso Training 2010 is much easier then Total Torso Training 2011.

So, if you feel you are a bit of an intermediate, then grab Total Torso 2011 here.

3) I thought Craig Ballantyne was all about Total Body Workouts?

Well…he is. That’s why it’s called Total Torso Training! The program involves movements that train your abs ALONG with the rest of your body. For example, on of the best abdominal AND lower body movements is the Dumbbell Goblet Squat.

I’ve only seen this movement being used in Craig Ballantyne’s workouts. Another great movement is the eccentric push-up. So as you can see, this is just an abdominal focused routine!

As I stated earlier, you can’t just train your abs and expect to get abs. You really have to train your entire body, PLUS do interval training!

4) What is this Interval Training you keep talking about?

Interval training is a method of cardio where you alternate between periods of high intensity and low intensity exercise. I’ll let Craig explain how to perform interval training:

The only beginner training regimen that incorporates Total Body Training PLUS Interval Training is Craig Ballantyne’s Beginner Torso Training. He has two versions of this program:

  • Click here for Beginner Total Torso Training 2010
  • Click here for Beginner Total Torso Training 2011
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Losing Weight and The Power of Overeating

binge-eating1

Did you know that you can actually lose weight by overeating? That’s right, you can actually take a day in your week, and eat anything you want…and lose weight.

How does this work? Well, the concept of cheating isn’t new. In fact, many top trainers and fitness professionals recommend having a few cheat meals per week. The purpose of these cheat meals is physical and mental.

First of all, when you’re on a strict diet, your body becomes used to it. So, to just switch things up and “reset” your diet, you need to have a meal that includes something you don’t normally eat.

These cheat meals are also mentally exhilarating. It’s not about burying cravings deep down inside of you. It’s about learning moderation. Remember that we’re not on a fad diet. Your diet must be a part of your lifestyle.

So, in your daily life, you will come across temptation. You must know when to say yes and when to say no. I usually have 3-4 cheat meals per week. Sometimes these are spread out throughout the week.

Other times they are all in the same day. This is especially beneficial if I’m planning to be hanging out with friends all day long. Just have one day to relax, eat, and chill. Usually these days involve a lot of walking – such as walking around the city or in a museum – so you burn off a lot of what you eat.

Here are some simple rules to follow if you wish to use a cheat DAY instead of a cheat MEAL:

#1 – Eat Clean all Week Long

What we’re doing here is one day of over eating. However, in order to deserve this one day of over eating, you must be eating clean all week long. What does eating clean mean? It means that you avoid processed foods.

#2 – Avoid Alcohol

Just because you are having an overeating/cheat day does not mean you can go and get drunk. Alcohol has way too many empty calories. I still want you to eat real food and keep your food consumption healthy.

#3 – Hit all your Cravings

….AFTER you’ve eaten real food. So all week you’ve been avoiding processed foods and limiting your carb consumption. However, you’re really craving ice cream and pizza. Eat your ice cream and pizza, but still make sure you have your eggs in the morning.

#4 – You must be Working Out

Of course, you must be working out. In fact, it’s recommended that you do a short burst workout first thing in the morning of your overeating day to boost your metabolic rate. The goal of this workout is to minimize damage.

#5 – Eat More earlier in the Day

You know how they say you should eat breakfast like a king? Normally, I would say keep your meals of even portions. However, on your cheat day you should eat more earlier in the day. This way, you can walk some of it off.

#6 – Avoid Sweetened Beverages

I would still say to avoid sweetened beverages, for the same reason you avoid alcohol: little nutritional value, and difficult to stop. People can drink cup after cup of juice, just as it’s hard to say no to alcohol.

#7 – One day of cheating

Remember that you’re only cheating one day per week. Depending on your work and lifestyle schedule, that can be every Sunday, or every Friday. Doesn’t matter. Pick one day, and stick to that day as your overeating day.

#8 – Eat all you can Eat

You’re going to be more succesfull on a cheat day if you’re not afraid to eat. Even if you gain a few pounds, those pounds will disappear once you go back on your regular clean diet. So don’t be scared of over eating.

The only guy that has really mastered the art of cheating to lose weight is Joel Marion. Click here to check out his Cheat Your Way Thin system of eating!

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Bodyweight Cardio Conditioning Drills

craig-of-TTraining-abs

You’re on vacation. Or you don’t have access to any equipment or a gym. What do you do? Well, you have many options. But, the best option is going to be Bodyweight Cardio Conditioning Drills.

Many people have given this training method a variety of names, including Metabolic Training and what not. And you can do this method with dumbbells and Kettlebells. But you don’t have these implements at your disposal.

Luckily, you don’t need any equipment but your own bodyweight. There are hundreds of tough bodyweight movements you can use to challenge yourself. But, even if you can’t do a pushup, there are easier variations.

Here is a great set of bodyweight cardio conditioning drills from Craig Ballantyne:

Since the weather is starting get better, you can do this workout outside in your backyard or in the park. However, you can also do it at home! Imagine waking up in the morning, getting in your workout, and then going about your regular day!

Craig Ballantyne has over 101 amazing bodyweight exercises and workouts for you to choose from. Click here for more information!

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Suspension Work Out

tacfitrope

I’ve been publishing bodyweight workouts since 2008. They’ve helped thousands of people (about 27,000 hits per month, to be exact), get into amazing shape. However, at some point, you need to take it to the next level.

Suspension training allows you to make your bodyweight workouts harder WITHOUT adding any additional weight. You can take any bodyweight movement and turn it into a suspension exercise to make it harder.

Some movements, such as the 1-leg Squat, can actually be made easier using a suspension training device. Pushups, on the other hand, will be super hard using a suspension system.

Most suspension trainers are quite expensive, such as a TRX system. If you have one at home, GREAT! But, you can easily create one at home for just $5-$10.

I’ll give you link showing you how to use a rope to do Supesnion training. But before that, here is your suspension work out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wkW48FBYrc

Now, as promised, here’s the link to show you how to build a suspension training device at home PLUS some unique movements you don’t see with other suspension methods: TacFitRope.com

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Dips and Pullups Routines for Size

arnold-schwarzenegger-dips

In order to get bigger, you need to change what you’re doing, right? Well…yes and no. I prefer to make slight changes to produce big results. Changing a workout routine COMPLETELY isn’t always the right answer.

What am I talk about here? I’m talking about changing your mindset: in order to progress with your training, you must PLAN for progression. How do you plan for progression? Well, that is exactly what we’re going to learn today!

There are three ways to progress with any training program:

  1. Do more work in the same amount of time.
  2. Do the same amount of work in a shorter period of time.
  3. Do more work in a shorter period of time.

Progression Plan #1: Rest Progression

For the rest progression method, you will need to figure out what your maximum repetitions is. Lets say it’s 10 repetitions. Now, perform 90% of your max reps, which would be 9 reps in our case.

Then rest 60 seconds. Do the same for dips – perform 90% of your max reps. Lets say your max is 15 reps, so 90% is 13 reps. Rest 60 seconds, and repeat this sequence for 3-5 total sets.

Now here’s the progression: the next time you perform this workout, keep your sets and reps the same, but lower your rest period by 5 seconds. Rest 55 seconds after each set, working your way down to a 5 second rest!

If you perform this routine once per week, this is a 12-week program. Be patient. When you check your maximum, you will realize that your body feels light as air, and you can pump out a lot more dips and pullups then what you were able to do before.

Progression Plan #2: Reps Progression

This method is super simple. You will measure how long you can keep going when doing the pullup and dip. The moment you stop, you stop the timer. In other words, you’re not measuring max REPS, but instead max time.

So lets say you grab onto the pullup bar, but keep going and are able to perform 10 reps. But if those 10 reps take you 20 seconds, then your max time under tension is 20 seconds. Now, you will take 70% of that time.

So in our case, we take 14 seconds. Here’s your workout: perform as many reps as you can in 14 seconds. Record the number. Rest 60 seconds, then do the same for dips. Record the number. Rest 60 seconds and repeat for total of 3-5 sets.

The catch is that you will try to beat the number of reps you did for each 14 second period. So, don’t change the time frame, and don’t change the rest period. Your only goal is to do more reps overall.

For example, for pullups lets say you did 5 x 14 seconds. In the first set, you did 7 reps, then 6 reps, then 6 reps, then 5 reps, then 4 reps. So your total reps are 28. Now, you will try to perform at least 29 repetitions within the same time frame.

Since you don’t have weights to workout with, you need to find creative ways to get bigger and stronger. I’ve give you two. Good luck with them!

If you’re looking for some intense, full body bodyweight programs, then I recommend grabbing Craig Ballantyne’s bodyweight workouts. Click here for more information.

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Hello world.
3 unique veggies that FIGHT abdominal fat? (surprising fat-fighters)

We have a great article for you today from one of our trusted nutrition experts… this article details how some of the chemicals (such as xenoestrogens) that we are being exposed to (from pesticides, herbicides, plastics, our water supply, etc) have been linked to what’s been termed “stubborn abdominal fat”, and how a specific class of veggies helps to combat this problem.

Read the article below to find out an interesting way to protect yourself from “xenoestrogens” and help you get a flatter stomach:

>> 3 Unique veggies that FIGHT Abdominal Fat (surprising fat-fighters that help to counteract “xenoestrogens”)

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