Fitness for Busy Folk

Monthly Archives: September 2011

Renegade Row for Killer Abs

If you want to get ridiculously hard abs, then the Renegade Row is the way to go! The renegade row forces you to stabilize your abdominals, which are their primary function. Your abs are not meant to crunch or twist, they are there to stabilize the rest of your body.

Benefits of the Renegade Row

  • Builds Muscle – The Renegade Row builds muscle along the abdominal wall. For many trainees, they must build muscle to really make their abdominals “pop”
  • Builds Strength – This variation of the row is meant to be performed with lower repetitions, because it is hard. Due to the challenge of the movement, your entire body will become stronger.

How to Perform the Renegade Row:

  • Grab two dumbbells in either hand. Get into pushup position, with the dumbbells in each hand.
  • From this position, transfer your weight to the right arm. This is VERY important. Now, lift your left hand off the floor, with dumbbell in hand, and perform a row.
  • Keep the movement slow and steady. If you use a weight that is too heavy, then you will drop the weight too quickly, setting yourself up for injury.
  • Make sure the movement is slow and controlled. Keep your abs tight. If the weight is too heavy for you, then practice the movement without using any weights.
  • Make sure that you do not twist your hips or your body to one side. Keep your body as parallel to the floor as possible.
  • This is the position that will properly train your abdominals. When performing the row, lead with your elbow.
  • Make sure that you are not using your biceps to row the weight. Squeeze your back, and slowly return the weight to the ground.
  • Transfer your weight to the left arm, and repeat.

Renegade Rows Instructional Video

What I like about this video is that the instructor emphasises the shifting of weight from one side to the other. VERY IMPORTANT, so pay attention!

Renegade Row Safety

Beginners will DEFINITELY be surprised at how difficult this movement is. The instructor in this video made it look easy.

  • Shift your Body – Very Very very important. Please practice shifting your body as much as possible so that you do not injure yourself during this exercise.
  • Start Light – Practice the movement without using any weights. Gradually add weight to the movement as you get stronger.
  • Ask Someone to Spot – Even if someone has not done the movement, they can tell you if your body is as straight as it’s supposed to be. I personally like to video tape myself so that I can make corrections to my form later.

Sample ABS Workout with the Renegade Row

Craig Ballantyne, creator of Turbulence Training, develops a lot of intense workouts using unique movements. One of his programs, the TT AAA Abs workout, seamlessly incorporates the Rengade Row.

Here is a sample workout:

TT AAA Abs – Workout A

Tri-Set #1
1A) Max Chin-ups OR Underhand Inverted Row
1B) Max Push-ups
1C) DB Forward Lunge

Superset #2
2A) DB Step-Up
2B) Stability Ball DB Pullover

Superset #3
3A) DB Renegade Row(pictured at right)
3B) KB Swings

Bodyweight Intervals

Squat Jumps (or Bodyweight Squats for beginners)
10 repetitions followed by 10 second rest x 4 rounds.

Calf Jumps (or Calf Raises for beginners)
10 repetitions followed by 10 second rest x 4 rounds.

Stability Ball Jackknife
10 repetitions followed by 10 second rest x 4 rounds.

Turkish Getup
5 reps per side followed by 10 second rest x 2 rounds.

Here’s a video of the bodyweight interval circuit:

As you can see, Craig’s programs are pretty intense. You can grab the AAA abs program individually right here. However, he also has a full abdominal training package which you can find here.

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How to Get Bigger Arms with Bodyweight Movements

CLB-6 Marines, sailors enjoy food and fun during field meet

Getting bigger arms is tough, even if you have access to weights. However, lets say you only have your bodyweight to exercise with; how would you get bigger arms without using weights? Well, there are actually a few techniques you can use to make your body believe it is lifting more weight then it actually is:

The Grip Manipulation

You can do this with both pushups and chinups. Lets use chinups as an example. Start off with close-grip chinups. Make sure your hands are as close together as possible. Once you start to get tired, separate your hands slightly.

Keep going in this manner until you are performing regular grip chinups, or where your hands are at shoulder-width. From here, switch your hands around so that you are doing pullups. (Remember, chinups are where you use an underhand grip (palms facing you) and pullups are where you use an overhand grip (palms facing away)).

Continue your pullups. Keep pulling your hands farther and farther apart after every few repetitions until you are doing wide-grip pullups. Manipulating your grip in this manner will give you more work out of your biceps.

Chinups on a Dip Station

Next time you do a dip/chinup superset, don’t use the chinup bar to do your chinups. Instead, just grab the parallel bars, and perform you chinups from there. This technique works your biceps from a different angle, giving it a different stimulation.

Finish off with Static Holds

I don’t like doing static holds in the beginning of a workout. Do them at the end of the workout, when your muscles are already fatigued, and you’ll get more use out of static holds.

A static hold is where you hold a particular exercise at a particular position for a few seconds. For example, with chinups, the best place for a static hold is at the top position. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds per repetition.

Image by U.S. Navy

Once again, perform the holds at the end of your workouts.

There are lots of different ways that you can build muscle with just your bodyweight. In fact, my friend Craig Ballantyne has developed a full workout regimen to help you build lean muscle and lose fat using just your bodyweight.

It’s called Bodyweight Bodybuilding 2.0, and you can check it out HERE!

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Kettlebell Workout Routines you can do with The 1-Arm Kettlebell Swing

In my recent interview with Chris Lopez, I told him that starting out, all I did were swings and a few bodyweight movements. I had great weight loss results, even though I really had no clue how to put together a workout!

That’s how powerful the swing is.

What makes the swing so powerful? Well, the swing itself is a great movement that activates your hips and core region, and gets pretty much every part of your body working hard. However, you can multiply the results by over 10 times simply by doing the swing with a Kettlebell.

Why?

As Chris says, the Kettlebell is amazing because of its shape. Imagine a bowling ball with a flat bottom and a thick handle. That is what  a Kettlebell is. You are basically swinging a big chunk of iron.

To make a Kettlebell Swing even MORE effective, simply perform the movement with 1 arm. How do you go about transitioning from the 2-hand Kettlebell swing to the 1-arm Kettlebell swing?

This video will help:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BYr3IKnrBE[/youtube]

Now, how do you put together a simple, yet intense Kettlebell routine to help jump -start your fat loss?

There are a few ways to do this:

The ONLY Swing Workout

Perform 25 swings. Rest 30-60 seconds, then perform 25 swings with the other hand. Rest 30-60 seconds, and repeat. Build up to 4 rounds, and then move onto a different workout.

Total Swings: 100 swings on each side

DECLINE of the swings!

Alternate between:

  • Decline Pushups 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
  • Kettelbell Swings 20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2

Total Swings: 110 swings on each side

Finish Line

4 rounds of:

  • 1-Arm Kettlebell Swings x 30 reps
  • Shuttle Sprints

Total Swings: 120 swings on each side

*Note: For the shuttle sprints, you choose your distance. I usually just run up and down my drive way

One thing I realized was that even though I lost weight, I did not possess all-around strength. I did not have a balanced physique. So, if you really want a balanced physique where your upper body is just as strong as your lower body, then you need a full-body Kettlebell program.

You can find lots of great programs like that in Chris Lopez’s Kettlebell Revolution. Click here for more information.

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How to Avoid Over-training to Maximize Muscle Growth

By Vince DelMonte
Almost anyone that’s picked up a set of weights has or will experience symptoms of over-training at one point in there muscle building program. Over-training can lead to serious injury, chronic fatigue, and even muscle loss. 

Over-training is very common amongst athletes and particularly bodybuilders, since they figure that training as much as possible is the fastest way to massive muscle gains.

This couldn’t be any further from the truth however…

Training too much, or at too high of an intensity will lead to over-training.

Now this doesn’t mean you don’t have to put plenty of effort in to see some decent results… Whether you are a bodybuilder, athlete, or just someone that wants to add some additional mass to your frame, you need to train hard and be consistent-that’s a given. In order to get the most out of your genetics, you have to progressively overload the muscles by increasing the weight and / or intensity of each weight training workout.

The problem is however, that many of us increase the intensity of our workouts or get insufficient amounts of rest, or even worse, a combination of both. The trick is finding the right balance between workout volume and intensity, and rest and recovery. And that is exactly what I’ll cover in this article.
The Effects of Over-Training on Bodybuilders

First, let’s take a look at some of the effects of over-training and how one can prevent over-training from happening in the first place.

T he Effects of Over-training on the Nervous System

Over-training effects both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems in the following negative ways:

  • Higher resting heart rate
  • Weak appetite
  • High blood pressure
  • Weight loss
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased metabolic rate
  • Irritability
  • Early onset of fatigue

If you are experiencing more than one of the symptoms outlined above, you may be in a state of over-training, and should evaluate your routine as soon as possible.

The Effects of Over-training on Hormone Levels

Many studies have indicated that over-training negatively effects the levels of hormones, as well as the hormone response in the body.  Since hormones play such an important role in the muscle building process, this can have a detrimental effect on your training progress.

Over-training has been show to:

  • Decrease testosterone levels
  • Decrease thyroxine levels
  • Increase cortisol levels
The increase in cortisol levels along with the decrease in testosterone levels is a deadly combination, since this leads to protein tissue break down. This will ultimately lead to a loss of muscle tissue.

The Effects of Over-training on the Immune System

Perhaps one of the most alarming repercussions of over-training is it’s negative impact on the immune system-you’re bodies first defense against harmful viruses and bacteria.

Over-training can drastically decrease the levels of antibodies and lymphocytes in your body, making you much more susceptible to illness.  Simply put, this means that if you are in a state of over-training, you are much more likely to get sick.  Since you will have to skip workouts while you are sick, your muscle building progress will slow considerably.

The Effects of Over-training on the Metabolic System

Here is a list of how over-training can  effect the metabolic system.  These symptoms are the ones that are most commonly discussed, and are ones we can’t ignore:

  • Micro tears in the muscle
  • Chronically depleted glycogen levels
  • Slow, weak muscle contractions
  • Depleted creatine phosphate stores
  • Excessive accumulation of lactic acid
  • Extreme DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)
  • Tendon and connective tissue damage

So you must get the point by now… Over-training effects the entire body, and can seriously impact the results of your muscle building program.

Now let’s take a look at the different types of over-training, and what we can do to prevent it.

Is it Worse to Over-Train With Cardio or Weight Training?

Any form of over-training is a bad thing, however, I’ve personally experienced both types of over-training and can honestly say that over-training in the weight room is much worse, and much more prevalent than over-training through cardiovascular training.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • In order to grow, muscles must fully recover from their last workout, every workout.  If you are over-training and work the muscles before they have fully recovered, you will break down the muscle tissue before it has rebuilt-making it impossible to build muscle!
  • Over-training with weights makes you more susceptible to nervous systems hormone and immune system issues, which all pose serious health risks.
  • It can lead beginners down the wrong path, perhaps wasting money on unnecessary supplements, or even worse, steroids.

I personally believe that only competitive athletes such as swimmers, runners and bikers run a serious risk of reaching a state of cardiovascular over-training, since there are often training for two or more hours daily.

The bottom line is that it is much easier for the average person to over-train while weight training than while cardiovascular training, and I think the effects can be more serious.

How do I Determine if I’m Over-training?

Determining if you’re currently over-training is fairly simple.   If you’re in tune with your body, you can often see the signs of over-training before they get serious.  If you are losing interest in workouts, are having trouble sleeping, and feel weak and irritable, you may be in a state of over-training and should take a week or more off.

If you are experiencing two or more of the symptoms outlined earlier in the article, this should raise a red flag.

Another variable you can use to determine if you are over-training is by tracking the performance of your workouts.

Has your physical performance improved compared to your last workout?

For example, let’s say last workout you were able to perform 8 pull-ups using your body-weight, but were only able to perform 6 pull-ups the following week.  This means that you have not “out done” your previous workout, have not fully recovered, and therefore are likely over-training.  You nave to re-asses your program and make modifications so that you see progress every workout.

How Can I Prevent Over-training?

n order to avoid over-training, you need to take a multi-facited approach.  Determining the correct training volume and intensity, eating the right foods, and getting the right amount of rest and recovery must all be taken in to consideration.  Now let’s take a look at each of those factors in more detail.

Correct Training Volume

Determining the correct training volume can be difficult, especially when you are first starting out.  You have to determine how much weight to lift, how many repetitions and set to perform for every single workout.

You need to use your own judgment in this case, based on your recovery ability and your recovery methods.  Remember that the goal is that you improve every single workout, and if this isn’t happening, you have to decrease the intensity of your workouts.

This is where many people go wrong though.  You begin your workout and realize that you have not fully recovered.  You can either continue to train at a lower intensity than the previous workout, or skip the workout entirely.

As hard as it may be, skipping the workout is the right way to go.  Just turn around and go home!  Your body is telling you that it needs more rest, and you must listen to it!

There is no point in training at a lower intensity, further breaking down the muscle tissue.   By doing this you will increase your risk of injury, and make it harder for your body to fully recovery for your next training session.

Proper Nutrition

Your diet plays a huge role in your muscle building program.  It helps regulate hormone levels, provides energy, and provides the raw building blocks that are used to create new tissue.

Here are some dietary recommendations that will limit the chance of over-training:

  • Do not skip breakfast.  This is one of the most important meals of the day.  Skipping breakfast is very catabolic, and can promote muscle loss.
  • Never let yourself get hungry.  If you’re trying to build muscle mass, you have to constantly feed your body quality foods so that it never has the chance catabolize muscle tissue.
  • Unless you are trying to build muscle and lose fat, make sure you have eaten prior to your training session and are not hungry.
  • Have the largest meal of the day within an hour after your workout.  Do this every single workout!
  • Consider taking proven supplements like creatine, and antioxidants to increase performance and fight free radicals.
  • Eat every 2-3 hours to ensure that your body remains in an anabolic state.
  • Keep glycogen levels at full capacity to inhibit muscle tissue breakdown.

Rest & Recovery

Rest and recovery is essential when it comes to avoiding over-training.  Make sure that you get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, and that you are on a consistent schedule.  As for recovery time, it’s important that you have days off between weight training workouts.  Try to have one rest day between weight training workouts, and never train the same muscle groups on consecutive days.

 

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About the Author:

Vince Delmonte is a competitive fitness model and personal trainer, as well as the author of No-Nonsense Muscle Building, a complete guide to building muscle for the hardgainer.

Vince’s program includes extensive diet plans, complete weight training regimens, video tutorials, and full email personal training support. He just came out with Live Large TV, a show designed to help you with your muscle building goals. Click here to check it out!

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3 Measurements You Must Know to Build a Perfect Body

The following is a Guest Post by John Barban:

Have you ever wondered how we all can spot a person that just looks better? We can even recognize other shapes – a building or a sculpture that just looks ‘right’? All people have an inherent ability to recognize beauty when they see it, but few have ever stopped and tried to describe and measure it.

There is a specific set of measurements and ratios that can tell you what the perfectly proportioned body looks like. Classic Greek and Roman sculptors like Leonardo da Vinci figured out these proportions a long time ago but over time, the concept has disappeared.

The 3 measurements you need to know to determine your ideal proportions are as follows:

1) Height

2) Waist

3) Shoulders

Research done on human anatomy, classic art sculpture, and the psychology of attraction tells us that there is a specific body shape and size that people will find most attractive and pleasing to look at. People that are close to this ideal size are generally treated more favorably, because we live in a society that is driven by beauty and perfection. Given the physical and social benefits of a perfectly proportioned body, aren’t you curious to know what your specific ideal size and shape is, and how to get it?

Starting with your height measurement, each person will have an ideal waist measurement and ideal shoulder measurement that equal your perfect body proportions. These are not up for debate. Scientific research indicates women will find a man most attractive when his proportions approach these ideal measurements. Most people have no idea what these measurements are or how to achieve them.

To start, you need to know where you are now compared to what your ideal is. Once you know your starting point you can determine how to go about getting to where you want to be. The fitness industry has always been striving for the perfectly proportioned look. However, until now nobody has managed to pin down what this “look” is, how to measure it, and how to get it.

I’ve created a workout that is based on bringing you to your specific ideal body shape starting with your current measurements. This specific and defined goal is the best way I have found to formulate an effective workout strategy that gets you to where you want to be.

Forget just doing weights to get big, or doing cardio to burn fat, I’m talking about a specific workout routine to build your body into its perfect form. To get bigger only in the right places and lose inches where you need to. This routine is called the Adonis Index Workout

John Barban is the Author of the Adonis Index Workout, a specific method for building a guy’s body into its most attractive shape: the shape women find attractive and that creates social dominance with men. Click here for more information.

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Are you ready for this CRAZY workout technique?

As you’re reading this, you’re thinking….”Great! Another blog post about a crazy technique that isn’t actually crazy. This is going to be a waste of time….”

I understand why you might think that. After all, there are a LOT of websites out there promising big results, without delivering on their promise. After all the hype, the results you get from their training techniques are minimal.

I understand your skepticism. I really do, because when I first came across this training technique, I was JUST as skeptical as you are. But once I actually implemented this one training technique into my routines, my workouts instantly became 3 times harder, which made them 3 times more effective!

All these years, my main problem was that I was learning from the wrong person. I realized that you don’t want to learn from someone who’s been in shape all their life. You don’t even want to learn from someone who’s dropped 10-20 lbs of fat. Nope, in order to TRULY understand fat loss, you want to learn from someone who’s lost 50-60-70…or even 100lbs!

You need to learn from someone who’s gone through that journey, and can help ANYONE lose ANY amount of weight, regardless of their starting point.If that individual can drop 100lbs of pure fat, he can help you drop a few extra pounds and get your RIPPED!

Does someone like this actually exist?…

Yup! Meet…Mike Whitfield! In 2003, as he was nearing 300lbs, and he decided to finally make a change and what a change it was! In the first 6 months, he lost 75lbs of fat, and has lost 30lbs since then. That’s 105lbs of pure fat…GONE!

So far, you’ve met people who’ve dropped 20..30..40 lbs of fat, but I have NEVER interviewed anyone who’s dropped so much weight in such a short period of time.

Mike has since gone onto becoming a successful personal trainer. And now, he’s just released his first awesome training program called Workout Finishers.

What are Workout Finishers?

A workout finisher is exactly what it sounds like: a short workout you do at the END of your training regimen. The technique is very simple, but it’s CRAZY because after your workout, you’re tired. You don’t want to do anything more. However, if you just willed up enough courage to do one simple short workout after your regular regimen, it would make a HUGE difference.

My Sensei (Karate instructor) used to say, “It’s what you do at the end that matters.” This meant that no matter how great we kicked, punched, or did our forms, it was what we did at the end of the workout that showed him how tough we really were. It’s easy to do pushups in the beginning of a workout, but it’s HARD to perform pushups at the end of a workout.

Mike Whitfield Interview

Lets find out more about Mike’s incredible training manual:

Parth Shah: Mike, can you tell us a little bit about your program?

Mike Whitfield: Workout Finishers is a dream project I’ve been putting together for 2 years. They are a new and improved way of performing interval training and are designed to compliment just about any sensible program. I designed workout finishers for people who want to lose fat faster or have reached a fat loss plateau. But they also help with people who want to gain lean mass while keeping the fat at bay.

Parth: Going through your eBook, you talk a lot about keeping your workout finisher workouts super short. Why is this so important?

Mike: When you start dragging your workouts to an hour and a half or longer, you get burned out. That’s just what happens. The nervous system can only take so much. That’s why I like shorter, more efficient workouts. You recover easier and can use better intensity.

Parth: Agreed! I love super short workouts. You meet a lot of people every day. What do you tell people when they come to you and say they’ve tried everything, and yet they’re not losing weight?

Mike: The first thing I tell them is that it’s not their fault. They maybe giving their best effort, but it’s to a program or nutrition program that doesn’t fit their lifestyle. In other words, soccer moms don’t need an entire workout devoted to arms. That stuff just doesn’t work.

Parth: I meet people every day that tell me they don’t like working out. What do you say to a person who thinks this way? You want to help them, but how can you help if they have such a negative view on exercise?

Mike: The first thing would be to ask why. Their “workouts” may be to hop on the treadmill for an hour, and that’s certainly not fun. Or if they want to lose fat and they do an entire workout of crunches and bicep curls, they won’t get anywhere. That would lead to frustration. If they tweak their program to their goals, they will more than likely end up enjoying exercise due to the results.

Parth: Nice, I’ll say that next time. So, what are 3 simple things one can do to make their workouts more intense?

Mike:

1) Incorporate workout finishers

2) Reduce your rest periods and

3) Incorporate single limb exercises – for example, replace the Squat with Bulgarian Squats or the DB Chest Press with the 1-Arm DB Chest Press… good times.

workout finishers Parth: What would you recommend to someone who is SUPER short on time?

Mike: When you’re really tight on time, you can’t go wrong with a superset of the Deadlift and DB Chest Press. You get a lot of bang for your buck for time invested and you hit so much muscle at one time. End it with this finisher:

Do the following superset, resting only when needed. In the first superset, you will do 8 reps of each exercise. In the next superset, you will do 7. Continue in this fashion until you complete 1 rep of each exercises.

  • 1A) Jumping Lunges (8 ea, 7 ea, etc. down to 1 ea)
  • 1B) Inverted Row (8, 7, etc. down to 1)

Boom goes the efficient, fat-torching dynamite!

Parth: Looks intense! Any final pieces of advice you’d like to give to my readers?

Mike: Stay consistent. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that you have to stay consistent. You can always adjust and tweak your approach until you’re getting the results you want. You just have to “stay in the game”.

Parth: Awesome. Thanks for your time Mike!

5 Benefits of Workout Finishers

Now that you know what a workout finisher is, lets go over the benefits of Mike Whitfield’s book, and implementing workout finishers into your training routines:

1 – Get a Free Training Regimen

workout finishers Just giving you a set of workout finishers that you can use in your current workouts would have been enough, but instead Mike has given you a bonus training program to help you get started with your fat loss goals. The name of the program is Torch Fat Loss, and it is 4-week program designed to completely transform your body, and works seamlessly with the workout finishers system.

2 – Burn Fat Faster

Workout finishers are often called metabolic finishers because they do a great job of raising your metabolic rate. You raise your metabolic rate when you push your body to the brink. The reason why sprinters are so lean is because they have a fast metabolic rate due to their high intensity training regimen. So a finisher is the perfect high intensity circuit you need at the end to boost your metabolism and burn fat faster.

3 – Perfect for Busy People

Mike Whitfield’s eBook features 40 intense workout finishers. If you’re someone is REALLY short on time, then you can simply perform these 40 workout finishers as stand-alone workouts. Simply perform a workout finisher each day, and after 40 days, you’ll be learner and stronger! It’s that simple.

4 – Make up for a Poor Diet

We all slip up on our diets. Many people will say, “Oh, I ate a bag of chips, now i’m going to go run a mile to burn it off.” That’s the wrong approach. I want you to say, “Oh, I ate a bag of chips, now i’m going to go do a workout finisher to burn it off.” Yes, you’ll burn off the back of chips AND THEN SOME!

5 – Replace your Interval Cardio

Interval cardio is a great way to burn off fat. However, many people dislike interval cardio. If you’re one of these individuals, simply replace your interval cardio workout with one of the workout finishers, and you’ll get the same (or even better) results.

Sample Workout

Mike has already given you a sample finisher in the interview. I’ve decided to be super generous and give you guys another sample workout. This is a finisher workout I put together for myself using what I learned from Mike:

Remember, perform this workout at the END of your workout

Do the following superset 3 times, resting for 60 secs between supersets. Use a weight that you can do the shoulder press with approx 20 reps.

1A) One-Arm Thruster (Dumbbell Front Squat into Shoulder Press) (15 each side)
1B) Mountain Climbers (25 each side)

This is a great workout to perform after you’ve done a leg, shoulder, or abdominal-focused routine.

Do you want to make your workouts more intense and tougher then ever using Mike’s CRAZY workout technique? If so, then grab Mike’s brand new training package: Workout Finishers. Click here to download your copy today!

P.S

If you made it this far, then you are definitely ready to purchase Mike’s program. Do not hesitate! You need to take charge of your health and this DVD is the perfect gift for anyone that cares about strength, mobility, health, and well being.

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7 Cool Kettlebell Squat Variations

kettlebell squat

Squats are awesome! When people come to workout with me, they’re surprised at how many squats I make them do. I love them because they work for fat loss and muscle building. Here are 7 cool kettlebell squat variations:

The Kettlebell Front Squat

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Grab the Kettlebell and clean it up to your shoulders as if doing a push press. From this position, keep your feet grounded, back straight, and abs brace as you execute a full squat.

Kettlebell Overhead Squat

Stand with your feet shoulder with apart, and snatch the Kettlebell over your head, and hold that position. You can also clean and press the Kettlebell over head. From this position, keep your back straight, and squat down.

Kettlebell Pistol

A pistol is a one-legged squat. In order to perform this movement with a Kettlebell, grab the Kettlebell on either side with both hands. With your feet shoulder width apart, and your back straight, lift one leg up and squat down.

Goblet Squat

Just as in a pistol, hold the Kettlebell on either side with two hands. Keep your feet shoulder width apart, back straight, and abs braced as you sit back. Bend at the knees and execute the full squat.

Kettlebell Squat and Press

The Kettlebell Squat and Press is a combination of the front squat and push press. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and rack the kettlebell. Keeping your back straight, squat down, and then stand back up and perform a push press.

Double Kettlebell Squat

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and grab to Kettlebells. Clean them both to the rack position. Keep your abs tight and back straight as you sit back and squat down. Make sure you keep the Kettlebell close to your body.

Bottoms Up Hold Front Squat

Use a light Kettlebell when performing this variation. Grab the Kettlebell from the handle, and grip it tightly. Now clean it up so that the bottom of the Kettlebell is facing the sky, and squat down from this position.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhNdrb8WAwM

Hope you enjoyed these kettlebell squat variations!

BONUS TIP: Do not add all of these movements in a single routine. I recommend using one squat variation per month. This gives you the chance to perfect the movement, and get the most bang for your buck.

Click here for more great Kettelebell exercises and workouts.

Have an amazing day,
Parth Shah

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The Truth About Bodyweight Cardio

By Craig Ballantyne

The truth about Bodyweight Cardio is that it has the worst name in Turbulence Training history.

I’m not sure what I was thinking when I put that label on it,  but I’m not 3 workouts deep and pretty much stuck with it.

A better physiological description would be, “Bodyweight Interval Training” or “Bodyweight Metabolic Conditioning”.

I call bodyweight circuits a hybrid of strength and interval training. The bodyweight exercises used in these particular workouts are not so intense that they will cause you to gain muscle, but neither would you be able to work as hard as you can during sprint training.

You won’t burn as many calories in 30 minutes of bodyweight cardio as you would in 30 minutes of running at a fast pace. Truth be told, only kettlebell training has the ability to burn as many calories within a workout as running at a hard pace.

Think about this…each pushup you do must burn less than 1/3 of a calorie. After all, if you do 100 pushups in 3 minutes (that’s my score in the Martin Rooney 3-minute pushup test), there’s no way that I’m burning more than 15 calories per minute (not when running at a fast pace only burns 16-20 calories per minute).

So in terms of “within workout” calorie burning, bodyweight cardio does not beat regular cardio.

That said, because bodyweight cardio is a combination of resistance training and interval training, you should get greater post-workout calorie and fat burning benefits.

And knowing what we know today about metabolic resistance training, and based on Alwyn Cosgrove’s description of the two types of MRT that he gave us, it is easy to place bodyweight cardio in the metabolic conditioning category (higher reps, less soreness from a session, sustained high heart rate).

As Alwyn said, “Your body doesn’t really know what it’s doing, all it knows is that it gets your heart rate up.”

So the key and challenge is to create bodyweight cardio workouts that put the greatest demand on our cardiovascular systems (to burn a lot of calories within the workout) while taking advantage of the depletion results from the interval-like and resistance properties of bodyweight training to increase the between-session calorie burn (like we get from regular weight training).

To do this, we should use the non-competing exercise rule we use in our TT workouts. If creating a circuit, going from a lower-body exercise to an upper-body exercise is most appropriate, as is focusing on as many single-leg exercises as possible.

The “Big 5″ circuit approach works well for this: Squat, Push, Pull, Single-Leg, Total Body Ab, as does the Big 6 (addition of a jump exercise at the start) and Big 7 (further addition of a sprint type exercise at the end of the circuit).

Bottom Line: Bodyweight cardio will help you get that lean, athletic look, even when you don’t have access to any equipment.

You won’t build a lot of muscle, but you can burn quite a few calories and lose body fat almost as fast as with any other TT workout (of course, there will always be people who respond to this workout at extreme levels – and that’s why you need to experiment and find out what works best for you).


Click Here for the best bodyweight cardio workout manual on the planet.



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Thanks so much for your help spreading the word about the TT World.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Have an amazing week.

Your friend,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training

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Weight Loss Plan for the Morbidly Obese

Being someone who was once chubby, I can’t help but notice people and their weight. Perhaps it is because I used to be (and still am) conscious of my weight so I can empathize with people who are on the heavier side. Growing up, I used to wonder…how did that individual gain so much weight? Well, after years and years of thinking about the question, I have finally discovered one possible answer: we’re slowly being boiled alive!

Let me explain. Do you know the story of the boiling frog? Well It goes something like this: if you put a frog into boiling water (especially if you do not have a lid on top), it will jump STRAIGHT out for safety. It knows right away that there is danger and the fight or flight response kicks in. However, if you put a frog in cold water, and then slowly increase the heat, the frog is none the wiser and doesn’t even realize that it is being cooked alive.

That is exactly what has happened to a lot of us. We have been making little, seemingly harmless decisions on a daily basis: a little cookie here, some soda there, a couple of twinkies here and there, and before you know it, you’ve been figuratively “cooked.”

So what CAN you do? How do you reverse this process? Is it too late? NEVER!

Well, you still make the same little decisions every day. It is impossible to stop cold turkey and as I have explained in my other posts, diets DO NOT work. However, we can modify our eating habits instead by making healthier decisions. We can reverse the cooking process by working backwards. Cut down on unhealthy foods and slowly replace junk foods with healthier snacks until you have weaned yourself off the junk.

Here is a weight loss plan that might be just what you need:

  • Make little dietary changes each day that eventually become good, healthy habits so that it doesn’t even feel like you are on a diet. Remember, this is not another diet, this is a lifestyle change.
  • Exercise a little each day so that it becomes a habit and you cannot go a day without getting exercise. The exercises do not have to be intense. For severely obese individuals, even a walk for 20 – 30 mins will do good.
  • Seek social and emotional support. Find friends you can exercise and eat healthy food with. It is always good to have a support system when making a lifestyle chance. Most people tend to hang out with like minded people. So either make the change with people who are willing to do it with you, or have the motivation to pick you up when you are down.

But really, before you even begin to start this program, you need a breakthrough – a mental realization that the path you are currently on is literally KILLING you. It is not an immediate death but a gradual one. You are LITERALLY being cooked alive and you don’t even realize it. If you don’t reverse course soon, then you are not the only one who will be affected. Think about your family and yourself. Make a firm decision today!

If you’re ready to get on a solid nutrition and training program, then I recommend the Turbulence Training transformation package. Change your life today! Click here for more information!

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Women: How to Lose Fat in the Right Places!

Finding the right workout program is like finding the right guy. You might have gone through a lot of losers, but eventually you find a guy, or in this case a workout, that works. If you are with a guy who does not understand you and your needs, then you’d just be wasting your time and energy. You need a guy (er…a workout program) that fits you like a puzzle piece.

The goal is to lose fat, without losing your curves. You need a program that understands YOU and is specifically designed to meet your needs. Unlike most other programs, this program needs to be designed by a woman, not a man. A system designed by a woman, for women.

Well, I have found such a program for you!

Introducing: Flavia Del Monte! Flavia is the future of fitness. She is one of the few female trainers out there approaching female fitness in a way that I agree with.

Flavia Del Monte is the wife of Vince Del Monte, who I must say, is a huge fan of ShahTraining.com. I’ve been posting his videos for quite a while now, and have watched all of his wedding videos (though I couldn’t make it to the wedding. Bummer!)

Most trainers recommend hours upon hours of cardiovascular exercise. Sure, you will lose weight, but you will also lose your curves! Most women don’t want to be stick-thin because as they already know,  guys love women with curves (I know I do!).

With that said, Flavia’s approach is different. She recommends that women build muscle in the areas of their body that they want to accentuate. In other words, its not really about losing fat in random places, but instead gaining muscle in all the right places!

As a woman, you probably think,”Building muscle? That’s for guys!” Building muscle is NOT just for guys. That myth holds women back from doing many exercises because they fear that it would make them look manly. Such fears are NOT based on fact. It WON’T make you big and bulky, and there are many reasons why. The main reason is that women simply do not have the same amount of testosterone that a man does, so they cannot build the same amount of muscle that a man does. It is a physical impossibility for a woman to build the type of muscle a man does naturally. Most women that you see with such muscles use different methods and substances to build such muscles.

Women who incorporate muscle building exercises into their programs will be able to target all the trouble spots including thighs, butt, stomach, and arms. On top of that, with Flavia’s program, you will be able to drop fat super fast!

Okay, so you might want proof that Flavia’s workouts work, right? Well then, let’s take a look at a sample Chest, Triceps, and Biceps workout that Flavia performs in the gym:

Pretty tough, eh?

Flavia’s program is actually a set of DVDs.

Disc one focuses on your hips.
Disc two is abdominal workout and will help you get a lean, sexy stomach.
Disc three is all about the booty.
Disc four targets the shoulders, a muscle group most women do not place enough emphasis on. This will help your arms, shoulders and back look super sexy.
Disc five includes a back workout that will help you reduce back fat.
Finally, disc six gives you a blueprint of the entire program.

With Flavia Del Monte’s new training regiment, you will be able to pack on muscle and lose fat in all the right places so that you could have the body that you have always dreamed of! Her system ensures that age and metabolism should never hold you back from getting the body that you are destined to have.

Now is your time! Take the leap that could change your life for good. Click here to learn more!

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