Fitness for Busy Folk

Monthly Archives: February 2013

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What Excites You About Your Fitness Plan?

Image by pierodemarchis This is the second installment of the “Shah Training is Not Bodybuilding” series. Yesterday, I talked about how one should use a long-term approach to fitness. When designing a fitness program, one should always start from the “end” first. The end is simply your final goal. Make sure that this goal is absolutely satisfying and something that will motivate you to follow your program on a daily basis.

Finding this goal is the difficult part. Unfortunately, for most of use simply putting on 3 inches on our arms and getting a six-pack is not very satisfying. I found this out the hard way.

What’s My End Goal?

If you were to ask me what my ultimate goal was in terms of fitness, I would tell you, “Oh I want to get a six pack.” Ask me why? And I’d say the following: “Oh, I just want to see how it feels like to have one. It’s like winning a trophy.” But in reality, this is what I was thinking: “I need to get ripped so that I can launch my online personal training services. I need to show people that I’m an expert. ”

Now that is an example of setting a goal because of other people. I am trying to impress my audience, not myself. What impresses me? Here’s a short list:

  • Being able to complete my workouts faster then before
  • Being able to push myself to the limit
  • Training on a consistent, daily basis
  • Staying away from all junk food
  • Sticking to a clean diet at least five of seven days out of the week
  • Beating my training partners in a particular workout
  • Learning a new exercise

These are the things that excite, motivate, and keep me going. Not getting a six pack.

What Excites You?

So, the second thing that really differentiates Shah Training from Bodybuilding is that we do not find satisfaction from aesthetic goals alone. There is more to fitness than getting ripped.

Forget about how you look just for one second. What are some things that really excite you about your fitness program?

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3 reasons to Perform Whole Body Bodyweight Workouts, and 3 Reasons to Perform Circuit Training Workouts

I’ve often preached the idea of training your entire body in one workout. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the workouts I publish on this site are whole body in nature. But, what exactly are the benefits of whole body bodyweight workouts? Well, here are three reasons why you should consider training your entire body in one workout:

1) Build More Functional Strength

Functional strength training has become a popular buzz word in the fitness industry. But, what does it exactly mean? Out of all the interpretations out there, I believe that functional training simply relates to how your body moves. A more functional body means that you are better at performing sport and daily activities.

Whole body bodyweight workouts generally involve compound movements, or movements that train more than one muscle group at a time. Most compound movements have a greater “transfer effect” when it comes to sport and daily life. For example, the motion of a bicep curl is rarely ever used in average daily life.

However, the squatting motion is one of the most commonly used movements in our daily lives. Another common movement is picking things up off the ground and placing them over head. This is why movements such as bodyweight squats are so important.

2) Build More Muscle and 3) Burn More Fat

Compound movements are not only functional in nature, but they also activate a lot of muscle mass. The more muscle you activate, the harder you work. The harder you work, the greater stress you place on the body. This stress causes the body to build up stronger and bigger.

There are numerous hormonal responses that occur when you activate and train a large amount of muscle mass at once. Two hormones that are released both during and after your resistance workouts are Testosterone and Growth Hormone.

Growth Hormone is important because it increases the utilization of fatty acids as well as the breakdown body fat. This means that your body will use fat stores for energy (as opposed to muscle mass) both during and after your workouts.

In other words, more muscle and less fat!

The Easiest Way to Organize your Whole Body Bodyweight Workouts

There are lots and lots of variations you can choose from when designing your own whole body bodyweight workout. But one of the easiest ways to design a whole body workout is Circuit Training. The purpose of circuit training is to keep your body moving and working at all times.

Circuit Training is one of the most efficient ways of training your whole body within a very short period of time. Think about it, if you were to rest 30-60 seconds after each set you performed, you’d be spending more time resting than actually working out.

The biggest misconception surrounding circuit training is that it’s just a fat loss technique that you performing using easy exercises and high repetitions. The truth is that you there are many variations of circuit training and parameters which you can easily modify for strength, mass, and fat loss.

Top Three Reasons to Use Circuit Training

I’ve written about Circuit Training so many times that there is really no reason to keep repeating myself. However, here’s a quick review of why Circuit Training works so well for whole body bodyweight workouts:

  1. Allows you to work your aerobic system while working your muscles. This translates to a fat burning and muscle building effect at the same time. If you’re burning more fat with your circuit workouts, that means you’ll have to spend less time on the treadmill.
  2. Remember how compound movements release lots of Testosterone? Well, short rest periods also aid in releasing more testosterone. We already know why Testosterone is so important for overall fitness. Also, long boring cardio sessions lower testosterone levels, so you’ll be boosting Testosterone your levels even more by staying away from the Treadmill.
  3. The final reason why I love circuit training so much is that it allows my workouts to remain short and sweet. Sometimes I have workouts that last a mere 10 minutes, but these workouts are usually the most intense because I’ve pushed myself to the maximum.

But if you’re really stuck on figuring out how to exactly organize your workouts, then here’s a simple template you can use:

  • Step One: Choose a Push Up Variation (Pushups, Hindu Pushups, Feet Elevated Pushups, Dive Bombers, Elevated Pushups, T-Pushups, Spiderman Pushups, One Leg Pushups, One Arm Pushups, Uneven Pushups, Handstand Pushups).
  • Step Two: Choose a Pull Up Variation (Pullups, Chinups, Mixed Grip Chinups, Side Side Pullups, Circular Pullups, Commando Pullups, Typewriters, L-Pullups, Gorilla Chins, One arm Chinups, One Arm Assisted Chinups, Assisted Chinups)
  • Step Three: Choose a Lower Body Exercise (Squats, Lunges, Squat Jumps, Side Lunges, Boot Strappers, Ankle Grabbers, Hip Raise, One Leg Hip Raise, One Leg Boot Strappers, Tuck Jumps, Squat Tuck Jumps, Duck Walks, Bear Crawls)
  • Step Four: Choose number of circuits to perform (usually 2-20)
  • Step Five: (Choose rest interval (0 to 120 seconds)
  • Step Six: Choose repetitions for each exercise (1-100)

The following is a sample workout showing how all the steps fit together:

Perform 3 rounds of (Step Four):

  • Hindu Pushups, 10 reps (Steps Two and Six)
  • Gorilla Chins, 5 reps (Steps Three and Six)
  • One Leg Boot Strappers, 20 Reps (Steps Four and Six)
  • 30 Seconds Rest (Step Five)

If you’re ready to incorporate bodyweight training as part of your fitness plan, then you should check out Bodyweight Exercise Revolution. Coach’s Adam Steer and Ryan Murdock show you how to use unique bodyweight movements to lose fat, build muscle, increase strength, improve athletic fitness, and enhance longevity.

Click here for more information.

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Insane Bodyweight Workout for a Busy Lifestyle

Busy men and women often feel that they are unable to stay in shape while working a full time job, taking care of a family, or going to school full time. As regular Shah Training readers, you know this isn’t true. I provide you with the tools, but you need to get serious about health, and make the time to exercise.

But sometimes you have those days that are so locked up with things to do that you literally have 0 time to workout. Well, then its time to call in some back up. I’m going to show you an intense 10-minute workouts you can perform anywhere and at anytime.

I suggest you use this workout if you’re really in a serious time crunch. I’m talking about situations where – 3 days have gone by without any physical activity, and you just need to get some exercise in – or when you absolutely know that this week is going to be busy so you decide to workout as soon as you wake up, or right before bed.

Choose your situation. I’ll give you the workout. You don’t even need a timer for this workout. I know for a fact it lasts just 10 minutes. You don’t even need apullup bar. You just need your body, and 10 minutes (or less). I suggest you grab an index card, write down the workout and keep it in your back pocket for emergencies.

The Workout

Here it goes. Perform the following 10 repetitions as a single circuit with little to no rest in between each exercise:

  • Bodyweight Squat, 50 Reps
  • Pushups, 25 reps
  • Jumping Jacks, 50 reps
  • Lunges, 25 reps each side
  • Hindu Pushup, 15 reps
  • Hindu Squat, 30 reps
  • Steam Engine, 50 reps
  • Spiderman Pushup, 15 reps each side
  • Squat Thrust, 25 reps
  • 8 Count Body Builders, 25 reps

If you can, try to time the workout. Most cell phones feature a stop watch feature. It’s OK if you are unable to time the workout. Just do it. Get your blood flowing and get on with the rest of your day. If you are able to time it, then simply jot down the time and date you performed the workout on the other side of the index card.

The idea is that the next time you pull out your emergency card, try to beat your previous time. Another progression technique is to add repetitions or exercises to the circuit each time the workouts takes less than 10 minutes.

If you’re ready to incorporate bodyweight training as part of your fitness plan, then you should check out Bodyweight Exercise Revolution. Coach’s Adam Steer and Ryan Murdock show you how to use unique bodyweight movements to lose fat, build muscle, increase strength, improve athletic fitness, and enhance longevity.

Click here for more information.

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Your Full Body Bodyweight Workout Questions Answered

I just got another email this morning. I get them every day. Don’t get me wrong, I love answering emails. But lately, my responses have been more or less the same:

“Hello, the workouts in the free manual should help you with that problem. If you have any specific questions, let me know. Thanks.”

I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but lately the questions I’m getting just aren’t specific enough. I always read this long story with an ending such as…”How can I lose the fat now,” or “How can I get stronger,” or “What am I doing wrong?”

I don’t know. If you don’t provide me with a full training history of what you’ve done in the past, then there is absolutely no way I can help you. It’s like going to a doctor and saying, “Give me some medication!”

So, what I’ve decided to do is take the time out and write up answers to some typical questions I receive:

I’ve been doing “X” training program for the past month, but I have not been able to achieve my desired results. What am I doing wrong?

Nine times out of ten, all you need is a simple change. Human begins are creatures of habit. No matter how much we try, we always end up doing things we like. So, simply try something new. There are so many high intensity training methods on this site and articles that teach you how to gain muscle and lose fat with full body bodyweight workouts, that I’d be surprised if you can’t find what you’re looking for.

If you are unable to find what you are looking for, then just let me know and I’ll do the research for you to help find a solution to your problem.

Here is a list of some recent articles that may help you out:

The workouts in your free manual are too easy/hard for me, what can I do to make them harder/easier?

The easiest thing you can do is substitute the exercises. If the 13 exercises featured in the manual are not within your fitness level, then I suggest you seek out additional resources and workouts. I’ve put together a page that lists all the workouts featured on my site: List of Shah Training Bodyweight Workouts

I’m performing all your short workouts, but they are not giving me results. Do short intense workouts really work for fat loss and mass gain?

The truth is, not everything works for everyone. Your body may not be receiving enough stimulation from extremely short workouts. However, most beginners will achieve great results with my workouts. Advanced trainees, on the other hand, may need to train a little longer, or train more often.

There is also the mental aspect to it. The shorter the workout, the more intense it’s supposed to be. However, many individuals just don’t seem to be able to push themselves past a particular plateau. This is often the case with my workouts.

If you’re used to long workouts that last 45 minutes to an hour, then it’s going to be tough for you to change course and push yourself to the maximum in each workout. After that 15 or 20 minutes are up, I usually collapse in my own pile of sweat.

I’m tired.

So, it may take some time for you to transition from longer workouts to shorter workouts.

If you’re ready to incorporate bodyweight training as part of your fitness plan, then you should check out Bodyweight Exercise Revolution. Coach’s Adam Steer and Ryan Murdock show you how to use unique bodyweight movements to lose fat, build muscle, increase strength, improve athletic fitness, and enhance longevity.

Click here for more information.

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Learn Kettlebell Swings, Snatches, Cleans and Much More!

I just recieved word that the recently launched Kettlebell Revolution program developed by Turbulence Training Certified Trainer Chris Lopez is on sale until 12 noon today (Friday). This is big news for people that train with Kettlebells.

I urge you to go and check out Kettlebell Revolution. Turbulence Training is already a highly respected training program. With the Creator of Turbulence Training, Craig Ballantyne’s support and guidance, Chris Lopez has used the Turbulence Training principles to develop a set of highly effective Kettlebell workouts.

Even if you’re reading this post after the 50% sales is gone, you should look into Kettlebell Training in the near future. Kettlebells are an incredibly effective training tool that can dramatically help you improve your strength, conditioning, and body composition.

Click here to Learn More about Kettlebell Revolution

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5 Excuses You’re Using Not to Start Exercising Today

Getting started with body weight resistance training is fairly easy: just pick a handful of exercises and do them. When people come up to me and ask me how to lose weight, gain muscle, or any other exercise – related question, the first thing I ask them is, “What are you doing RIGHT NOW to achieve your goal?”

If the answer is,”Nothing,” then I tell them to do SOMETHING. Start somewhere. Get things moving. It doesn’t even matter what you do. Just do something, then come back to me with specific questions. If the individual is doing SOMETHING, then I’ll listen to see if their training programs are aligned with their goals.

Unfortunately, most of the time, they are not. Nine out of ten times people need to strip down their program – they need to do less to achieve their goals. But, lets focus on the first group of people first: the people who need to START training.

There many excuses I’ve heard why people do not start a training program:

Excuse #1: “I have No Time to Workout”

Ever heard of Tabata? Tabata Intervals are where you perform an activity for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat these intervals for another 7 times, for a total workout time of 4 minutes. Now don’t tell me you can’t find 4 minutes to workout in your entire day.

Start off with just one exercise per day. Once you get into the exercise habit, you can do 2 exercises per day, or 8 minutes of total exercise. Before you know it, this form of high intensity exercise will come second nature to you and you’ll be leaner and stronger than ever!

Excuse #2: “I can’t Afford a Gym Membership”

Ever heard of bodyweight training? You can easily get a great workout in the comfort of your own home. In fact, this website is full of amazing bodyweight only workouts. If you need even more information on bodyweight training, just check out one of the products I endorse on the side bar to the right.

If you wish to lift weights, then simply purchase a set of adjustable dumbbells and start performing cleans, snatches, and swings in the comfort of your own home. Steadily build up your own home gym by purchasing one basic piece of equipment every few months.

Excuse #3: “I’ll Just Follow a Strict Dieting”

I agree that diet is extremely important to health and fitness. But dieting won’t help you gain lean muscle mass if you don’t give your body a reason to gain lean muscle mass. Most people that use only dieting to improve their health and fitness, usually lose weight in the form of both fat and muscle, giving you a “skinny fat” look.

Skinny fat means that you weigh less, but you’re still fat. The only way to solve this is by exercising. Break down lean muscle mass, so that you your muscles grow back bigger and stronger than before. More muscle and less fat is the only path to positive long term health and fitness.

Excuse #4: “I Travel all the Time.”

Guess what! Bodyweight training is one of the most portable forms of exercise. You can litterally perform pushups, pullups, and bodyweight squats anywhere and at any time. If you don’t have a pullup bar to hang from, then just go to a local park, or hang from a tree branch.

You can also purchase a resistance band. Resistance bands are anywhere from $5 to $20. You can fit them in your briefcase or travel bag, and can perform hundreds of different exercises and variations. Use the Tabata technique you learned earlier in this article to create some short, high intensity resistance band workouts.

Excuse #5: “I’m too Fat to Workout.”

Being fat is the perfect reason you SHOULD workout. Look, you’re not going to a gym so you won’t be embarrassed trying to workout in the gym. Just train with your own bodyweight in the comfort of your own home, and you’ll lose all that fat in no time.

The key to fat loss for overweight or obese individuals is to start slow. Many advanced trainees forget that they were once beginners. They prescribe these workouts that are too tough for beginners and discourage them. My advice is to start with basic chair squats and wall pushups to develop a base level of strength.

So, here’s what I want to you to do today: Start Something. Get down and do pushups. Then do it again tomorrow. Go read a blog and learn some more. Purchase an ebook and learn some more. You’ll never ever know everything there is to now about exercise, but if you start today, you’ll be better off tomorrow.

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The Biggest Lessons I’ve learned from Performing Crossfit Routines

My training system is unique because I like to borrow a lot of ideas from a variety of sources. Crossfit is one of these sources. Over the years, Crossfit has expanded in popularity, while at the same time being at thereceiving end of jokes from the bodybuilding community.

Well, Crossfit did pick the fight. It claims that it is the “ultimate” method to improving your fitness. But, all training systems claim the same exact thing (except myself, of course). Problems occur when you claim that your training style is better than another.

Lets focus on the positives. Even though, honestly, the training methods that Crossfit claims to have invented have been around for dozens of years before Crossfit even opened up it’s first gym, you must give credit to Crossfit for a variety of things:

  • For spreading the “functional fitness” movement.
  • For showing people the importance of bodyweight training.
  • For getting more people interested in learning Olympic Lifts.
  • For training some really tough MMA Fighters.
  • For taking our Military’s training methods to a different level.
  • For getting “average” people to move faster, be stronger, and improve their fitness.

So, which is better? Crossfit or Shah Training? Well, both are ever changing methods of fitness. But, here’s the thing – Shah Training is not really a training style, and was never meant to be a brand. I’mtruly flattered to see a whole bunch of people searching for my website  on Google, but honestly, Shah Training is just my way of expressing my training ideas and publishing them to help others.

How can I Create my Own Workout?

I’m a creator and a doer. I like to create my own things and do things on my own. Every single program I’ve ever bought, I’ve always dissected it and modified the fitness program to suit my own needs. And so, Crossfit was nothing different.

When I first came to the Crossfit site, I was very intrigued by the workouts. Like most people, the first workout took me 40 minutes to do. After I posted my results on the board, I realized I did it completely wrong. Every day I would pick a workout from the main site, then modify it according to my level of fitness and available equipment.

As I experimented more and more, I started jotting down training techniques. Now, Crossfit doesn’t have a section where they talk about all the different ways they organize their workouts. But there are many people on the Crossfit forum who create their own workouts.

These individuals have created their own methods of coming up with Crossfit workouts. One of the individuals had a list of all the different types of workouts and developed templates to design your own workouts. I thought this was a great idea, and I began to jot down and name all these different methods.

Ascending, descending, and inverse repetitions are my own names I’ve given to Crossfit-style program design. But the biggest lesson I’ve learned from Crossfit is creativity. According to them, workout design is part art and part science.

I still don’t understand the science part, but I certainly understand the “art” or the creativity necessary to develop really unique, high intensity workout programs.

Be Like Greg Glassman

Greg Glassman is a pioneer in fitness, simply because he’s created a system that combines Gymnastics, Olympic Lifting, and Cardio Training for maximum fitness. Some people may think he’s a bit strange, but we can all learn a lot from him.

One major thing I’ve learned from Coach Glassman is to create your own system. Look at things from a unique perspective, and throw your personality into your training. Break all the rules and try something new. There is no right and wrong way of improving your health and fitness.

The Future of Your Training

After the popularity of Crossfit, there are dozens, if not more, programs out there that are very similar to Crossfit. Crossfit claims to be ever changing and expanding. Many people have called it a “cult” movement. Well, if you are going to compare it to a religion, orbelief system, then each religion has their own sects.

Similarly, these new systems all branch off of Crossfit’s enormous popularity and unique approach to fitness. I don’t see why you can’t do the same. Earlier this year I wrote an article about starting your own “backyard revolution.” The idea was to start training with other people to expand your training knowledge and experience.

Now I want you to take this concept a step further and create your own unique system that’s ever expanding and always fresh. Don’t get stuck in a “box” mentality.

What halts progress for most people is that they find a system of training that gives them results once, and they end up sticking to it for the rest of their lives, whether or not the system keeps givin them results.

Well, doing the same thing over and over again does not produce different results.

If you’re ready to switch up your workouts and get serious about training, then you should check out Gladiator Body Workout:

Gladiator Body Workout

  • Gladiator Body Workout is an Athletic Fitness system which combines Dumbbell and Bodyweight exercises along with interval training to help you Drop Fat, Build Lean Muscle Mass, Get Stronger, and Improve Athletic Performance.
  • If you purchase the Combo Pack, you can also get two other eBooks which Author Coach Eddie Lomax sells separately: “Ultimate Gymless Workout” and “Extreme Dumbbell Fitness.” When you include all the workouts in all three systems, you’ll get literally months worth of fitness programming.
  • The Basic version sells for just $27. Each separate eBook in the Combo Pack sell for $27 but coach is giving them to you for just $49.00.

I’ll Give you TWO FREE Bonuses if you Grab Gladiator Body Workout Today. Click Here for More Information

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Maximum Intensity Training with Basic Bodyweight Exercises: Pushups, Pullups, and Squats

For some strange reason, people still believe that they can’t get in shape with basic pushups, pullups, and bodyweight squats. These are the same people that are unable to pump out 10 good pushups, 5 good pullups, and 20 good bodyweight squats.

The problem with these individuals is they lack a clear vision into the future. They do not realize that it is not the workout program that will get them results, but instead what they do with the workout program that will get them results.

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