Fitness for Busy Folk

Monthly Archives: September 2012

Bodyweight Squats Build Muscle

We all know that to gain muscle you need to lift heavy. So what is all this about bodyweight training being a great way to build muscle?

I’ve written numerous articles about how muscle building with bodyweight exercises works. However, the biggest problem still seems to be how to build muscle on the lower body.

Most trainers recommend using movements such as bodyweight squats and lunges at high repetitions.

Is there any validity in this? I mean, if we frown on using light weights and high repetitions, then why not frown on using just bodyweight movements and performing them at high repetitions?

According to some research published about a year ago, high rep training may actually build muscle! According to the research:

“Rather than grunting and straining to lift heavy weights, you can grab something much lighter but you have to lift it until you can’t lift it anymore,” says Stuart Phillips, associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster University. “We’re convinced that growing muscle means stimulating your muscle to make new muscle proteins, a process in the body that over time accumulates into bigger muscles.”

This would explain why bodyweight athletes such as gymnastics, dancers, parkour athletes, and those big guys that post videos of themselves doing crazy things on the monkey bars are so big and strong: repetition, repetition, repetition.

Even Arnold and other oldschool bodybuilders talked about high repetitions. However, these bodybuilders also challenged themselves with heavier weights. (I would also argue that what is heavy to us is light to them).

But the bottom line is that “going for the pump” works. It may not be as efficient as lifting heavy weights at low repetitions, but when you have no access to weights, than just cranking out dozens of bodyweight squats in your garage may be the way to go.

If you’re looking for a solid bodweight program to help you build muscle and lose fat at home, then I recommend check out Turbulence Training. Click here to learn more.


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4 Interval Training Workouts to Burn Fat At Home

Interval Training is a great way to burn fat. Use these 4 methods to help you lose fat and get ripped using interval training. All you need are Kettlebells and your own Bodyweight. There are many different ways to use interval training. You just have to be a little creative.

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9 Kettlebell Swing Variations for Ripped Abs

Kettlebell Swings are great to help you get ripped abs. Kettlebells provide you with unique and efficient way to burn fat and get ripped six pack abs. The following are 9 Kettlebell Swing variations to get started:

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5 Free Weight Exercises for Women

The following is a guest post by Valerie Emich, of

Lifting weights is not just an exercise for men anymore. Fitness experts say that lifting weights is one of the most important parts of fitness and weight loss. I firmly believe in this concept. I first started out using resistance bands for my exercises. Soon after that I wanted to quickly transition between moves so I decided to try free weights and then adjustable free weights. I am currently doing a Turbofire/ChaLean Extreme hybrid program. Chalean Extreme uses some weight lifting with some cardio and ab routines to burn fat and build lean muscle in its place. I have had great results with this program so far so I would like to share with you five free weight exercises that I have used to lose weight and build lean muscle.

NOTE: In order to prevent back or shoulder injuries you should always pick up and put down weights by bending your knees! This places less stress on both your knees and back.

Reverse Shoulder Fly- This exercise is great for developing sleek, sexy shoulder muscles. I would warn you that you should use a lighter weight than you would think if you are first starting to lift weights.

I typically use 10 lb. weights but I have also been lifting for months so be careful and go lighter than you think!

There are a variety of different ways to do shoulder fly exercises from either a standing or sitting position. I prefer to stand and bend over from the waist to about a 45 degree angle forward. It is important that you keep your back flat during this exercise as this helps isolate the use of the shoulder muscle. Once you are at 45 degrees bend your elbows slightly and pull the weights up and out away from your hips.

Make sure your shoulders are relaxed during this exercise. A way to check this is to make sure you are not shrugging your shoulders.

Ten to twelve repetitions of this exercise will help build lean, strong shoulder muscles.

Bicep Curls- I love the bicep curl! This exercise is what gets you those guns ladies. I would suggest using a weight that is difficult to give you a workout, but not so heavy that you have to lean forward to lift it up.

You will want to go to failure as you get to your 12th repetition. By failure I mean that you could not lift the weight one more time without have to drop it again. If you reach failure before your tenth repetition you will need to make sure you use lighter weights during your next try at this exercise. I typically use 20 lb. weights for this exercise.

Stand up straight holding the weights in each hand with your knees slightly bent. Put your elbows out in front of your hips slightly. Now pull the weights up to about 4 inches from your shoulder and slowly bring them back down. For great concentrated results try counting from one to four slowly as you bring the weights up and again when you bring your weights down.

Squats – This is a great exercise to work your booty and hamstrings. There are a lot of squat exercises out there and they are all effective.

I will give you one exercise that I have found to be the most effective in toning the glutes and hamstrings. I typically use 30 lb. weights for any leg exercises. You can lift heavy for a lower body exercises as these are the stronger muscles in your body. You will probably be surprised at the amount of weight you can lift here.

You will take that same stance with your legs slightly bent as you had done previously with the bicep curls. You will then bend down as far as you can go and stand back up slowly.

The key to this exercise is to make sure you push up slowly using the same four counts I explained in the bicep curls. When pushing up make sure all your weight is placed on the back of your heels.

Another important tip to prevent back injury is to always make sure your knees to do not go over your feet when squatting. You can check this by looking down and making sure you can see your shoes as you squat. If you can’t then push your hips and butt back as you bend down. You should do ten to twelve repetitions of this exercise.

Tricep Extension – Tricep muscles look so sexy on women! This is nothing better than lifting up your arm and seeing no flab hanging down from it!

If this is a problem then pay close attention on how to master this drill. You will only need one weight for this particular exercise but make sure it is heavy enough.

You will be working out both tricep muscles at the same time. Take the same standing position with knees slightly bent. Then carefully pick up your weight with both hands and hold it over your head. Make sure both hands are equally around the upper end of the weight so you get an equal workout in both of your triceps.

Once you have the weight up over your head, slowly lower the weight behind your head and up again. The key here is to make sure you can see your elbows in your peripheral vision. If you can’t you will need to re-adjust them in order to get the best results. I typically use 20 lb. weights and you should be doing ten to twelve repetitions of this exercise.

Pushups- A great way to strengthen your abs, back and chest is to do push-ups. You can either do them the standard way or on your knees.

Try the push-ups on your toes until and go to your knees after you find yourself struggling.

A mat is also a great tool to have when doing pushups. I am not going to bore you with how to get into a standard push up position here. If you do not know how to do one a picture is offered for additional help at the bottom.

Once you are in the standard pushup position I want you to flex your ab muscles and keep your hips in line with your legs. This will help to control your lower body from sagging down when doing push-ups.

Make sure your arms and head are in line with your shoulders. Some people tend to lower their head down before the rest of their bodies when doing this exercise which makes the push-ups harder and adds stress on the neck.

Bend at the elbows and use the four counts I explained in earlier exercises. Go down until your chest almost reaches the ground and pushup through your hands using the four count method again.

Ten to twelve repetitions is also recommended for these exercises. There are several variations to a pushup which help target several different muscles. If you would like to work more on your triceps try tucking your elbows into your sides and doing them. This is difficult but very effective.

Lifting weights is an easy, inexpensive and effective way to lose weight. Women can get very good results with these exercises by doing the exercises using the correct form. Weight lifting for women helps burn fat as well as replaces it with sexy, lean muscle for the look you want. Women do not have as much testosterone as men so lifting heavy weights will not make you bulk up. Try starting out with light weights and high repetitions to begin with and then move up to heavier weights. As your weights get heavier you can adjust your repetitions to reach failure in eight to ten, rather than ten to twelve. A healthy diet is also recommended to achieve the best results quickly.

If you are interested in learning more about free weight exercises or about my fitness team, Team Hustle come visit You can shop products, read my articles on diets and fitness, and subscribe to my blog. You will also receive three free weight loss tips for joining. Also visit the Team and I at our Facebook Fan page at Hustle/482404955106349?ref=hl

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What Increases your Metabolism?

What increases your metabolism? That’s the million dollar question. In this article, we go over some simple steps which help increase your metabolism, and help you burn more calories throughout the day. Increasing your metabolism is the key to burning fat fast.

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Strength Training At Home: Core Stability vs. Core Slouch

The following is a guest post by Brandon Richey of

Having been a strength and conditioning coach for over 12 years now I have had a lot of time to evaluate folks on their performance and I would say that I’m fairly in tune with what problems generally end up ailing them when it comes to acquiring most any progressive level of physical preparedness. This is true with both elite level athletes and your average Joe and Jane fitness junkie! If you want to learn how to transform yourself from a couch potato into a strength training phenom then just keep your eyes glued to your computer screen, reading device, or whatever other piece of modern day technology you like to utilize for your information consuming purposes.

Strength Training At Home Is Better Than Slouch Training At Home!

So over the years I’ve come to realize that along with the infiltration of sitting jobs that our society has become accustomed to the reality that many folks lack a great deal of core strength, core and spinal stability, and just plain ole good posture as well. When we combine this with the in house 60′ plasmas, the blu ray DVD player, and a dependable La-Z-Boy we have a rather successful recipe for both a lack of fitness and a lack of solid strength training implementation. Core slouch development is the result of the luxuries that surround many of us at home and at work my friend.

If you want to change this then you’ve got to focus on developing core stability. Your core center is designed for the purpose of spinal flexion, spinal extension, spinal rotation, and for creating intrathoracic pressure during physical exertion for the purpose of core stability. So why you’re at home if you want to learn how to develop a spine and midsection made of steel then you can engage in some basic core engaging exercises as I’m doing here.

Once you’ve attempted these on a regular basis, say both variations with and without the push ups 3×10 for at least 3 days a week then you need to look at further engaging the muscles of your posterior chain (back, shoulders, traps, lats, spinal erectors, etc.). This is great for allowing you to stave off low back and shoulder pain by giving you true core strength development. Kettlebell swing variations and snatches are great for helping you with this problem as you can see here with this little iso or unilateral circuit I’m performing with the kettlebell here:

Oh yeah, just to make sure I cover all my bases this is also going to be one hell of a cardio workout for you too!

Being Mr. or Mrs. Core Stability is way better than being Mr. or Mrs. Core Slouch. Do you want to know how to tell if you are starting to close in on becoming more like Mr. or Mrs. Core Slouch? There is a really simple test that you can perform that requires very little effort on your part. Basically if you stand up and go and turn to the side to look into the mirror and your gut and shoulders are both protruding more towards the front of your body rather than in line with your body then you are probably closer to being Mr.or Mrs. Core Slouch than Mr. or Mrs. Core Stability. No worries because the drills I have included here will help you to fix that.

Just remember that your body will respond exactly to how you train it. This is known as the SAID principle. The SAID principle means Specific Adaptations To Imposed Demands. In simple terms your body will give to you exactly what you put into it for a specific task! So if you are constantly performing the task of sitting at a desk, in your car, or on your couch for 8, 10, or 12 hours a day for most days of the week then your body is literally being trained to sit in flexion all the time. Granted this is NOT a good training regimen, but is one that is being implemented, no less. Hence the problem you are faced with when looking in the mirror is that significant shoulder and belly protrusion that I mentioned earlier.

Make sure you work on shifting the power so that you can become an at home strength training phenom instead of a SLOUCH! Give these drills a try and if you are interested in learning more about how to develop a high level strength training program right in the comfort of your own home then feel free to check out my blog here! I always tell my students that most anyone can train hard, but only the best train smart my friend!

About the Author

I am a strength and conditioning coach and professional trainer that loves helping folks achieve their peak in fitness and athletic performance. I concentrate more on providing the most killer training information possible to the general public and if you ever want to learn more about me then please check out my blog here.

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Bootcamp Workout Ideas to Inflate your Next Paycheck

If you’re trainer who wants to make more money, then setting up a bootcamp is the way to go. Bootcamp classes are a great way to offer a lower price option to clients, while getting paid more per hour!

There is one guy who is doing a great job of teaching trainers how to make more money in their business. His name is Crag Ballantyne. Here is a great interview you can listen to to pick up some ideas:

Here’s some more great ways to make more money through bootcamp classes:

  1. Join a local business group for networking purposes. You can also bounce ideas off of other people who may  be in a different line of business then you are. You may also find some clients here.
  2. Every community has a monthly or weekly magazine or newsletter that is circulated. Advertise in these magazines and offer discounts to your bootcamp classes.
  3. Purchase a list of addresses in your neighborhood, and send them a postcard inviting them to your health club. You can also try to gather addresses and emails at local fairs, and then use the postcards to invite targeted customers.
  4. Sit down once a week and make a list of seven things you can do to promote your business. Then, tackle one thing each day, and get it done. Get into the habit of reflecting on your business once a week.
  5. Use Google Adwords to advertise your business. However, make sure you bid wisely on your keywords, as adwords can get expensive very quickly. Make sure you have a solid website set up before attempting this.

This was just a snippet of how to use bootcamp classes to make more money in your fitness business. If you’re looking for more bootcamp workouts and bootcamp business tips, then check out Craig Ballantyne’s TT Bootcamp 2.0.
Click here for more information.

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Fitness Class Ideas and a Marketing Plan

If you’re looking for some fitness class ideas, then you need to listen to a guy named Craig Ballantyne. Craig has been in the fitness industry for over a decade, and he has been teaching trainers how its done. In other words, he’s the trainer of the trainers!Check out this interview he did with Kaiser revealing some of his fitness marketing tips:

5 Awesome tips to boost your Bootcamp Business:

  • Set up a website with basic info about your bootcamp business. Hire a search engine marketing consultant to help you get your website on the first page of local search results. This will give your bootcamp business online exposure.
  • Offer discounted rates for new customers for the first 30 days. Make sure they get results in these first 30 days, so they stick around and pay full price.
  • Once a month, have an open house event in your health club so that people can workout for free. This will help them experience your workouts with no obligation. Make sure the workouts are awesome, so they feel compelled to sign up on the spot.
  • Hire a local celebrity or a great personality to speak at your opening or special events. Constantly hold various events to draw customers to your bootcamp classes.
  • Offer some free personal training to your bootcamp clients. This is a great way to turn your paying bootcamp clients into paying personal training clients.

This was just a snippet of how to use bootcamp classes to make more money in your fitness business. If you’re looking for more bootcamp workouts and bootcamp business tips, then check out Craig Ballantyne’s TT Bootcamp 2.0.
Click here for more information.

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Get Ready for some Bootcamp Exercise Ideas

The Military has been using bootcamp PT to get their soldiers in shape. Now average folk are looking too bootcamp exercises to help them get into better shape. If you’re a trainer, then you need to listen to the needs of your clients, and give them what they want: Bootcamp Workouts.

To get started with bootcamp classes, you need to listen to Craig Ballantyne. In a recent Summit, this world-famous trainer took a room-full of trainers who are craving information to help them give them the edge in their fitness business, through a sample workout. Here is a little clip of his workout:

This was just a snippet of how to use bootcamp classes to make more money in your fitness business. If you’re looking for more bootcamp workouts and bootcamp business tips, then check out Craig Ballantyne’s TT Bootcamp 2.0.
Click here for more information.

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