Fitness for Busy Folk

Monthly Archives: November 2012

The “Punisher” Workout


A good workout to me is one that covers all the bases: 1) It’s full body, and 2) It’s intense, and 3) It’s mentally stressful, but satisfying.

Developing a workout is like writing a recipe. You keep tweaking and working at it until what your cooking becomes just right. And despite being such a bad cook, once in a while I’m able to create a workout that so brutal, yet fun, that it gets the job done.

Introducing….the “Punisher” workout

I’ve tried to developed Benchmark workouts in the past, however I feel that a good benchmark workout must stand the test of time. My crew and I have only performed the “Punisher” workout twice, but feel that this workout is the perfect test of both mental and physical toughness.

Here’s how it works:

Round One:
5 Kettlebell Clean and Press each hand
5 Burpeess
10 Resistance Band Punches each hand

Round Two:
10 Kettlebell Clean and Press each hand
10 Burpees
20 Resistance Band Punches each hand

Round Three:
20 Kettlebell Clean and Press each hand
20 Burpees
40 Resistance Band Punches each hand

What makes this particular workout so unique compared to all the intense training that I do is that it is so varied in terms of implements. We’re moving from akettlebell to bodyweight to resistance bands to an all-out sprint. The second thing is this idea of progressive rounds. Each round is twice as hard as the one before it.

But above all, this workout has the most carryover to practical life. For one thing, life is random. The workout may not be completely random, but it does have an element of randomness when you switch over to a completely different exercise and implement, especially after you’ve been so worn-out after the first exercise.

The second reason why this workout has such great carryover to practical life is that you train your body as one unit. Even the simplest action in our life such as getting up and sitting down incorporate more than one muscle group. If in life we don’t isolate a particular muscle group, then why should we be doing so while training?

The last final reason has to do with mental strength. As in life, the workout become progressively and progressively harder. By the third round you’re so tired that you just want to quite. But it’s going to take the mental strength to push you past the physical tiredness and finish the workout. In life, we’ll be faced with challenges that defeat us only if we let them. Push through the pain and you’ll see results.

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Quick Dumbbell Superset for Fat Loss and Muscle Building

Supersets help you accomplish a lot in a shorter amount of time. This is why they are so great for busy people.

Instead of training the gym 5 days a week, you can get the same results training just 3 days a week using supersets!

I want to go over some of the BEST dumbbell superset combinations per bodypart. These supersets can be found Coach Lomax’s Extreme Dumbbell Fitness Program. So, in essence, I’m giving you a sneak peak (ssshhh… don’t tell him)

Best Dumbbell Superset for Total Body

For Two Minutes:

  • Dumbbell Twisting Military Press 10 repetitions
  • Dumbbell Deadlift 10 repetitions

In this superset, you’re performing an overhead pressing movement, followed by a lower body movement. Alternate between the two movements, performing 10 repetitions of each movement, for 2 minutes straight with little rest. You’ll be surprised at how much work you can accomplish in 2 minutes!

Best Dumbbell Superset for Legs

For two minutes:

  • Dumbbell Squat Clean x 10 repetitions
  • Dumbbell Deadlift x 10 repetitions

You’ve probably never seen these two movements paired together. What’s unique about this superset is the fact that you are alternating between the two movements for 2 minutes straight. At the end of those 2 minutes, your legs are going to be SCREAMING. This is how you accomplish more in a shorter period of time.

Best Dumbbell Superset for Upper Body


  • Dumbbell Military Press 3×8, 60 seconds rest, then perform 2nd exercise:
  • Dumbbell Bent Over Row 3×8, 60 seconds rest, then perform 1st exercise

Here’s a great superset for the upper body where you target your shoulders and your back. Perform 8 repetitions of the first exercise, rest 60 seconds, then move onto the next exercise. The rest periods are there because you are to use heavier, challenging weight, then you would if you were just performing this superset without rest in between.

Best Dumbbell Superset for Abs

For 5 minutes:

  • Dumbbell Crunch 5 repetitions
  • Dumbbell Side Bend 5 repetitions

Crunches and side bends have little effect on your abs on their own. However, when you add weight to the movement, you start building muscle which will help make your abs POP! One of the goals of Extreme Dumbbell Fitness is to pack on muscle while losing fat.

Have a great workout session today!

Stay strong,

Parth Shah

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Quick Barbell Superset for Fat Loss and Muscle Building


Supersets are extremely useful for losing fat and gaining muscle. There’s a right way to do it, and a wrong way to do it.

The right way to do it is to combine a barbell movement with either a dumbbell or bodyweight exercise.

The wrong way to do it is to take two barbell movements and perform them back to back. Now, if you’re doing something like barbell bicep curls and barbell tricep extensions, thats OK.

However, if you’re performing a set of bench press and then a set of barbell squats, then you’re going to have a HARD time recovering from that superset.

Be safe. Don’t hurt yourself.

I want to go over some of the BEST barbell superset combinations per bodypart. These supersets can be found Coach Lomax’s Athletic Body Workout. So, in essence, I’m giving you a sneak peak (ssshhh… don’t tell him)

Best Dumbbell and Barbell Superset for Shoulders


  • Dumbbell Military Press 3×8, 60 seconds rest, then perform 2nd exercise:
  • Barbell Hang Clean 3×8, 60 seconds rest, then perform 1st exercise

In this superset, you’re performing an overhead pressing movement, followed by an explosive movement. The military press hits primarily the front shoulders, while the hang clean is an all-around shoulder developer.

Best Dumbbell and Barbell Superset for Arms

For five minutes:

  • Dumbbell Alternating Curls x 5 repetitions
  • Barbell Skull Crushers x 5 repetitions

You’ve probably seen these two movements paired together often for arms. What’s unique about this superset is the fact that you are alternating between the two movements for 5 minutes straight. At the end of those 5 minutes of straight arm-pumping, your arms are going to be SCREAMING. This is how you accomplish more in a shorter period of time.

Best Dumbbell and Barbell Superset for Upper Body


  • Barbell Bench Press 3×8, 60 seconds rest, then perform 2nd exercise:
  • Dumbbell One-arm Bent Over Row 3×8, 60 seconds rest, then perform 1st exercise

You’ve probably seen these two movements paired together often as well. This is simply a tried and tested pairing that seems to ALWAYS work to build up your upper body. Make sure it’s part of your routine!

Best Dumbbell and Barbell Superset for Total Body


  • Barbell Front Squat 8×3, 30-45 seconds rest, then perform 2nd exercise:
  • Dumbbell One-arm Floor Press 8×3, 30-45 seconds rest, then perform 1st exercise

Here we have a unique total body pairing from the Fat Loss Workout in the Athletic Body Workout Package. As you can see, the rep-set scheme allows you to use moderate to heavy weights to help you maintain your muscle mass while burning fat.

Have a great workout session today!

Stay strong,

Parth Shah

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New way of Doing the Squat Thrust: KB Squat Thrust

There’s something special about squat thrusts. Squat thrusts, and it’s more advanced variation, the burpee, are staples of every training program designed to help you lose fat and become athletically fit.However, can you do this movement with a Kettlebell?

Well, there is a very simple variation you can do with Kettlebells, but it requires you to use two Kettlebells. Here is how to do the Two-Kettlebell Squat Thrust:

  • Place two Kettlebells on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Squat down, coming up on your toes, in between the Kettlebells, and grip the handles.
  • Kick your feet back so that you are in pushup position. From this position, kick your feet back to starting position, and stand up with Kettlebells by your sides.
  • So this is a combination of a bodyweight squat thrust and a kettlebell suitcase deadlift.
  • Of course, you can also add in the pushup to make this movement harder.

That’s a great movement, but the problem is….I only have ONE Kettlebell. Most people only start off with one Kettlebell. Is there a way you can add Kettlebells to make your squat thrusts more difficult?

YES! Check out the Kettlebell Swing Squat Thrust:

  • Place your Kettlebell on the ground, and stand a few feet away from it. Perform a bodyweight squat thrust.
  • When you bring your feet in and stand up, immediately grab the Kettlebell with two hands, and perform 2-3 Kettlebell swings.
  • Place the Kettlebell back on the ground, and repeat.

Yet another variation of the movement is the Kettlebell Squat Thrust Dead Swing

  • Grab the Kettlebell with two hands and perform a Kettlebell Swing. Place the Kettlebell on the floor.
  • Make sure your grip is sturdy, and that the Kettlebell is flat on the floor, sturdy. Kick your feet out, then kick back in, and perform another swing.
  • You need to be careful with this movement. If your shoulders are not directly above the Kettlebell, the bell will topple over and you will get hurt.
  • In addition, if the bottom of the Kettlebell is not completely flat, or if the surface you are exercising on is not completely flat, then you will be at risk.
  • You can practice this movement by keeping your hands on the Kettlebell, and kicking your legs in and out.
  • Once you’ve mastered this movement, you can add in the Kettlebell Swing.

You’ve learned 3 great Kettlebell Squat Thrust Variations today. Start implementing them and train hard!

Get fitter and stronger with Turbulence Training Kettlebell Revolution => 

To your best health,

Parth Shah

PS – If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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It’s difficult for a Vegetarian to get protein! And 2 Other Vegetarian Myths Debunked


People say that you can’t burn fat or increase muscle mass or be a great athlete as a vegetarian. This is not true. If your diet isn’t clean, then it doesn’t matter if you eat meat, or you don’t eat meat, you won’t make any progress in your fitness endeavors.

This artice isn’t about which lifestlye is better. It’s about shedding some light on the whole vegetarian issue and providing our side of the equation.

Myth #1: It’s difficult for a Vegetarian to get protein

When I made the effort, I was able to take in about 170 grams of protein, which is close to the bodybuilding recommended intakes of protein (1 gram per pound of bodyweight). I’m still unsure if this is the optimal intake necessary. I personally think it depends on your activity level. Hence, if you’re just a guy who goes to the gym 3 days a week or if you don’t work out at all, your recommended dietary intake of protein will be much lower. But lets stick to this 1 gram per pound of bodyweight equation. How do vegetarians get protein?

There are numerous foods that have ample sources of protein. The following are my top ten sources of protein:

1. Peanut Butter
2. Almonds
3. Veggie Burgers
4. Cottage Cheese
5. Soybeans
6. Milk
7. Tofu
8. Kidney Beans
9. Protien Powders
10. Protien Bars

I usually consume some almonds after each meal. If you plan ahead, you’ll be surprised at how quickly it is to increase your protein intake.

After doing my own research I came across some other protein intake recommendations. The most common of which was .8 grams of protein per kilogram bodyweight. For me, that’s an intake of 72 grams of protein. No wonder my strength shot up once I ate 170 grams.

Myth #2: Vegetarians don’t get enough calcium

This is as ridiculous as not being able to get enough protein. If you follow a varied diet with a good number of calories, you’ll be able to get almost every single vitamin and mineral and macronutrient you need out there. Like I said earlier, all it takes is a little bit of planning, experimentation, and research.

Some of the high-protien foods that you already consume such as tofu and soybeans have ample amounts of calcium to help meet your dietary needs. Tofu has about 683 miligrams of calcium per 100 gram with about 15 grams of protein.

The recommended level of calcium for adults is 1000 mg per day. A slightly higher intake is recommended for adults above the age of fifty. You see lots of cases of ostoperosis in this age category. This has nothing to do with vegetarianism. Simply stated, if you don’t meet the minimum requirements, you’ll see problems in the future.

Myth #3: Vegetarians are skinny. There’s no way you can get big and strong with a vegetarian diet.

Being skinny or weak has nothing to do with being a vegetarian. It has to do with caloric intake. If you have a positive caloric deficit (eat more than you burn), and increase your protein intake, you’ll be able to build lean muscle mass, get stronger, and have more energy throughout the day.

Robert Cheeke is a really good example of vegan bodybuilder who has been able to build up some nice lean muscle mass and maintain it. At 14 years old, he was only 89 pounds (my sister’s 13 and 114lbs). He began lifting immediately and bulked up to 133lbs at 17 years old. Using bodybuilding methods of meal frequency, and increased protein and carb intake, he packed on 19 lbs in 12 weeks through the Body-For-Life program. He’s been a competitive bodybuilder and fitness author ever since.

The point is that Robert Cheeke was a skinny kid who packed on close to 100 lbs of muscle in five years because he did things right and he was motivated. Putting on muscle has nothing to do with your lifestlye. It has to do with vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, caloric intake, and hard training.

I’m going to stop right here. Almost every other Vegetarian Myth out there can be summarized by what I’ve written above. Let’s forget about the argument about which lifestyle is better. Choose your own lifestlye, do your own research, and make your own rules.

Live With Intensity!

– Parth Shah

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How to get a Flat Female Stomach

Welcome to the next installment in the Female Fat Loss series. We’ve explored this topic through a variety of articles. Check out the previous articles on this topic to give you an understanding on how Female Fat Loss works:

In this article, we will go over 3 of the best tips to getting a flat stomach I know. Lets begin:

#1- Move your Booty

If you sit a lot then it can seem as though you have a bulge, even if you’re relatively thin. Here’s how it works: when you sit a LOT, which all of us do, your glutes become useless, and your hip flexors become stiff.

Why is this bad? Well, the combination of weak glutes (butt) and stiff hip flexors causes your pelvis to shift forward. This increases the arch in your back, and puts greater stress on your back.

So sitting is bad for both your back and your stomach!

They key is to stand up, and strengthen your butt. Hence, you will be accomplishing three goals at once: strengthen your lower back, build a better booty, and get a flat stomach.

Here’s a great booty and leg shaping workout from Flavia Del Monte:

Flavia has an entire workout package just for women. Click here to learn more about her fitness program for women!

#2 – Stop Doing Crunches

Doing endless crunches is not going to help you get a flat stomach. On top of that, if you’re working your abs every single day, then you’re unnecessarily taxing your muscles. You only need to train your abs 2-3 times per week to see positive results.

You’re better off performing stabilizing abdominal exercises, designed to make your core stronger. Start incorporating mountain climbers and planks into your workouts and you’ll see far better results.

Here’s a great abdominal workout by Flavia to help you get stronger abs:

Flavia has an entire workout package just for women. Click here to learn more about her fitness program for women!

#3 – Eat Better Foods

You can train hard and do all the right movements, but if your nutrition is off, then you will not get any results. How do you start cleaning up your diet?

First step is to increase your protein intake. Start replacing your carbs with meat, dairy, fish, and nuts. Also get yourself a good protien powder, and drink a shake right after your workouts.

Reduce your sugar intake. This means you get rid of sugary breakfast cereals, soft drinks, fruit juice, and pastries. Skipping your morning latte’s also goes a long way. If you need the caffeine then switch to flavored tea…without the milk and sugar.

Another great tip is to increase your intake of healthy fats. Along with more protien, nuts are a great source of healthy fats. Other great sources include olive oil and avocados.

Grab some more nutrition tips from Flavia:

Next week we’ll be getting into some military-style training. Until then, I recommend you check out Flavia Del Monte’s fat loss program for women. Click here for more info.

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Why the “300” Methods Work and How you can use them in Your Own Training.

I just saw the move “300” last week. I know, I know. Why so late? First of all, I’m not a big watcher of Hollywood films. I only watch them if I find something extremely interesting or if I’m out with a good group of friends I haven’t seen in a while. I expected the whole “300 Workout” craze and what not. Everyone from Mens Health to Youtubers developed their own versions of the 300 workout and branded it as THE method to producing a ripped physique.

Let me just say first of all that I personally was not very impressed with the 300 physique. They all just looked like fitness models to me. They were not really that big, just extremely ripped. And if you think about it, you had 57 stuntmen as part of the cast. Stuntmen are generally supposed to be in good shape already. In addition, Mr. Gerard Butler was already a pretty big guy. So why were people making such a big fuss about some insane transformation? Marketing.

One look at the GymJones website and you’ve got your answer to the secret “300” training method: “The typical interviewer wants to know about the “magic” workout the cast did to make them look so good. Some were disappointed to learn that hard work is magic, while others marveled – as did we some days – that the actors would work so hard.”

Hence, there was no “magic” workout. The GymJones training system is simply a darker version of the CrossFit methodology. Mark Twight is actually a crossfit certified trainer. He was an affiliate for a while until he began twisting the methodology into what he saw fit.

The basic principle of both Crossfit and GymJones can be summarized by the following quote: “I have read that it was all CGI, make-up, steroids, etc. However, no one has come right out and said, “those guys worked really hard and had the self-discipline to control what they put into their mouths.””

Crossfit and “300” Principles:

The following are the basic principles behind the crossfit methodology:

  1. Perform movements that train the whole-body.
  2. Train to improve your technique first, then progress with weights.
  3. Build Cardiovascular fitness using High-Intensity Interval Training
  4. Vary your exercises and methods at each workout. Experiment constantly and keep things random.
  5. Train intensely and strive to complete each workout as quickly as possible. Crossfit workouts generally don’t last more than 30 minutes.

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An Analysis of Weight Loss methods and Training Program

I’m five weeks away from my one-year anniversary of deciding to make changes in my training and diet. Since my first 13 pound weight loss, it’s been an uphill battle to lose those last 7 pounds that I wanted to. I’ve gotten considerably leaner in the mirror, however my scale hasn’t changed much. I’m unsure how much fat or muscle I need to lose/gain to start seeing that six-pack of mine. However I do know one thing: I’m not giving up. After all these years of training I’ve sure learnt a few things. The following is an analysis of everything I’ve tried over the years and how I plan to use them over the next few weeks: An Analysis of Weight Loss methods and Training Program.

Post your thoughts to comments.

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Why I’m Not a Bodybuilder


When I first began training, it’s safe to say that I had no clue what I was doing. Like most trainees, I picked up a bodybuilding magazine and copied the routines as best as I could. But a lack of knowledge is what made me knowledgeable. I spent hours on various websites, taking notes as if I were in school, and implementing said techniques into my daily routine. My first chance at real advice giving was when I began posting on a forum known as Jubei’s Martial Arts Zone, which is now defunct.

Jubei’s helped me realize that I can write and share my thoughts with people. Some would agree, others would not, but it did not matter. I could teach those that were willing to keep an open mind. The mainstream thought back then, which is still the mainstream thought, was that you trained like a bodybuilder despite the sport you played. There was some sport-specific training out there, but it wasn’t really that much different than what a bodybuilder would do.

Let me first define what I believe to be a bodybuilder routine. For a routine to be a bodybuilder routine it must have the following attributes:

1. Split-training schedule
2. Majority isolation movements

Let me clear up the fact that I have nothing against bodybuilders. Bodybuilding is
what inspired many athletes to pick up the weights in an attempt to get stronger and faster. Hence, in the beginning, I just picked up a magazine and copied the routines.

At that time I was around fourteen or fifteen years old and had been practicing martial arts for a good two to three years. The mainstream bodybuilding advice was all the same, however when I really looked at what I was doing in the dojo compared to what I was doing in the gym, I realized what worked and what did not.

What worked:

1. Lots of bodyweight squats
2. Circuit Training
3. Punching the heavy bag
4. Dead lift

What did not work:

1. Bicep Curls
2. Triceps Extensions
3. Lateral Raises
4. Distance running

Enter the Dragon

I believe it was after I read a book on Bruce Lee by John Little called “The Art of Expressing the Human Body,” that I really began to change my routine. Bruce lee used predominantly full-body workouts to build up his body. This was in STARK contrast to what I’d been reading in bodybuilding magazines. His exceptional strength and feats of power really made me realize a few things:

1. In order to be the best, you need to train at a high frequency
2. In order to be the best, you need to train smart and practical
3. In order to continue being the best, you need to keep reinventing yourself
4. There are only a few simple rules you need to follow, and your goal is to find those simple rules
5. Constantly try new things, but only use those things that are useful
6. Eat healthy

The Nutritional Aspect

My journey took a swing when I decided I wanted to get ripped. I had always been very athletic, but I never looked like I was athletic. I wanted to change that, and so junior year of High School I began getting up early to run, cutting down on my caloric intake, and went to the weight room after school. The journey was intense and at my lowest weight ever of 143lbs, I was anything but ripped. What I learned was that I did not have enough muscle mass to be ripped. In order to be really ripped I needed to start lifting heavy and eating more.

By the time I graduated High School, I was 157lbs, however a good amount of that was fat. I was around 20% body fat but much stronger and muscular. That entire summer went by without much weight training or dieting. College began and the campus, the girls, and the lack of work mesmerized me.

A short 3-minute drive away stood a Taco Bell. At that Taco Bell was delicious food for you to enjoy. It soon became a ritual. Go to the rec center, workout for a half hour, then go to Taco Bell and grab some quick lunch before class started. I was doing a 5×5 routine with the Push Press and Dead lift. The extra protein helped me put on some size, however along with that size came fat.

To make a long story short, by the end of my junior year of college I was 170lbs and depressed as a bug. I won’t get into the depression, but I want to say that in January 2007 I was 163 lbs, and by May 2007, I was 170lbs. How did I gain 7 lbs so fast? I went on a bodybuilding diet. I was eating up to 7 times a day trying to get in enough protein. However, my workouts were probably not as intense as they should be.

That summer I decided to lose all the weight I’d gained, and some more. Three months later, I was 15lbs lighter with about 17% body fat. The purpose behind this story is to shed some light on a sport made for and developed by those that compete in bodybuilding shows. The techniques that they use may or may not be specific to a regular Joe. Looking back, I did not need to eat as much as I did because I was not putting in the effort in the gym. But now, since my workouts are more intense, I need to eat more, and so now a bodybuilder type 6-time a day schedule would make sense.

What’s your goal?

My entire goal of starting this website was to get regular, recreational athletes and fitness enthusiasts together and get them to take a good look at their goals. Are they similar to that of a bodybuilder? Are they similar to that of a powerlifter? Are you just someone who wants to stay healthy? Do you have time to get to the gym 4 days a week, an hour at a time? Based your training around your goals, not around what some world-class bodybuilder does.

My goals don’t match bodybuilders. I don’t compete, and never plan to. I care about practical fitness, not how much I can bench. That’s why I’m not a bodybuilder, and generally stay away from bodybuilding workouts.

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Taku’s Time Intervals and Ross Enamait’s Burpee Conditioning



Time interval training works really well if you have one exercise that you are performing, followed by a rest interval. Hence, something like Taku’s Interval training would work just fine.

Taku’s Interval Training is basically a 12-week training program taking advantage of time and rest intervals and modifying them progressively over time. Here is the training schedule:

Phase 1:

Weeks 1 & 2: 4 X 90 seconds work + 90 seconds recovery.

Weeks 3 & 4: 5 X 60 seconds work + 60 seconds recovery.

Phase 2:

Weeks 5 & 6: 6 X 45 seconds work + 30 seconds recovery.

Weeks 7 & 8: 7 X 30 Seconds work + 20 seconds recovery.

Phase 3:

Weeks 9 & 10: 8 X 20 seconds work + 10 seconds recovery.

Weeks 11 & 12: 10 X 20 seconds work + 10 seconds recovery.

Another great training program that uses time intervals is Ross Enamait’s Burpee conditiniong. The idea is to do 30 seconds of burpees followed by 30 seconds of shadowboxing for a certain amount of time. However, you can replace the burpees with Swings, Snatches, Cleans, or any other ballistic exercise. You can also perform short sprints or jumproping instead of shadowboxing. If you have access to one, you can even punch a heavy bag. Here is the progression from his website:

Beginner Program

4 x 2-minute rounds with 1 minute of rest between rounds

Intermediate Program(s)

6 x 2-minute rounds with 1 minute of rest between rounds

4 x 3-minute rounds with 1 minute of rest between rounds

Advanced Program

6 x 3-minute rounds with 1 minute of rest between rounds

Master’s Program

6 x 3-minute rounds with 30 seconds of rest between rounds

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