Fitness for Busy Folk

Category Archive: Featured Articles

How Squats Help Burn Fat

Squats are often described as the king of strength training exercises. This nickname is well deserved because squats are amongst the most effective and efficient exercises around. Anyone who wants to build muscle and strength would do well to include hard and heavy squats in their strength training routine.

In fact, squats are so effective that entire workout programs have been built around this magnificent exercise, the most well-known being the infamous 20-rep squat routines that date back to the early days of the physical culture movement. Combined with copious amounts of milk, 20-rep squat routines all but guaranteed that anyone brave enough to commit to very hard squatting three times a week would put on an appreciable amount of muscle mass in as little as six weeks. For more information about this kind of program, please check out “Super Squats” by Randall J. Strossen PhD.

Squats are good for more than just building muscle and strength and can also help you burn fat – both directly and indirectly. Many people make the mistake of focusing on cardio when it comes to burning fat and getting lean but, in actuality, squats may well help you get leaner, quicker.

Squatting Benefits

Squats are an effective fat loss tool because they involve a large number of muscles working simultaneously. This means that performing squats uses a whole lot of energy and as fat burning is all about creating a caloric deficit, exercises that use a lot of energy are very valuable. Broadly speaking, squats use every major and many minor lower body muscles and when performed using a barbell, dumbbells or any other heavy object held across the shoulders or in the hands, many upper body muscles too.

Because squats use so many muscles at the same time, not only do they use a lot of energy, they also crank up your heart and breathing rate which means they provide a cardiovascular workout not dissimilar to interval training. Interval training has long been associated with enhanced fat burning.

Additionally, squatting can be intense and several sets of squats will produce a dramatic increase in your metabolic rate because of something called EPOC. EPOC is short for Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption. In simple terms, a hard set of squats produces a lot of lactic acid which results in that burning sensation you feel in your thighs. Removing lactic acid from your muscles and blood takes a lot of oxygen and therefore energy which means that your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories) increases not only while you are exercising but also for hours afterward. If you have ever felt really warm for several hours after a hard workout then you have experienced EPOC for yourself already. If you haven’t, maybe you need to start cranking up the intensity of your workouts so you too can enjoy this fat burning phenomenon!

Squats and Hormones

Because squats are such a demanding exercise, performing this exercise also affects your hormones. The three most notable ones being growth hormone, testosterone and insulin.

Growth hormone and insulin are anabolic or muscle building hormones. The more muscle you have on your body, the greater your metabolic rate will be and the more calories you will burn on a daily basis. Like a big-engined car uses more fuel than a compact, increasing your muscle mass will increase your fat burning capabilities. In addition to building muscle, growth hormone and testosterone also promote fat burning.

Squats also increase your insulin sensitivity. Insulin is produced by your pancreas and is the hormone predominately responsible for ferrying nutrients into your muscles and liver. However, if these cells are not insulin sensitive, these nutrients can end up in your fat stores instead. Because squats affect so many muscles at the same time, they do an excellent job at increasing insulin sensitivity which ensures that nutrients are preferentially shunted into your muscle cells and away from your fat cells.

Squat Performance

There are lots of different types of squat you can do but each one shares certain performance similarities irrespective of whether you are holding a barbell across your shoulders, a sandbag in the crooks of your elbows or just performing bodyweight squats…

  • Stand with your feet between hip-width and shoulder-width apart. A narrow squat emphasizes your quads while a wider stance increases the involvement of your adductors or inner thighs. Taller people often find a wider stance more comfortable.
  • Keep your weight on your heels to take stress off your knees. Flat, firm-soled shoes make this easier.
  • Keep your chest up and shoulders back at all times and look straight ahead. Do not round your lower back.
  • Initiate the descent by pushing your hips back and then bending your knees. This will ensure you get maximal glute and hamstring recruitment and help keep your knees behind your toes – important for preserving knee health. Push your knees outward to ensure your hip abductors work as hard as your quads, glutes and hamstrings.
  • Descend until your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. Half squats will only give you half results! If you are unable to reach this depth, make sure you work on your flexibility until you can.
  • Inhale as you descend and then exhale as you stand back up.

Types of Squats

While the barbell back squat is the most well know version of this exercise, there are lots of other variations that can be similarly effective:

  • Bodyweight squats
  • Squat jumps
  • Split squats – with or without elevating the rear foot
  • Front squats
  • Overhead squats
  • Safety bar squats
  • Trap bar squats
  • Dumbbell squats
  • Zercher squats – bar held in the crook of the arms
  • Jefferson squats – bar held between the legs
  • Hack squats – bar held behind the legs
  • Goblet squats – single dumbbell or kettlebell held in front of the chest
  • Wall squats

Whether you train at home or in a gym, for fat loss or building strength or muscle mass, squats will help you reach your goals quicker than any other exercise. They might not be the easiest exercise but it is their lack of ease which makes them so effective. Squat hard and often and you’ll soon experience the power of the squat!

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Third World Vegetarian Muscle Building – Part Two

Welcome to the second installment of our muscle building series. If you recall, in the first post I introduced our friend from India who desperately needed to gain some weight. After analyzing his diet, we found that he simply wasn’t eating enough food.

If you’ve been having trouble putting on muscle, then you absolutely can not ignore proper nutrition. Please take a moment to read my response to our friend here.

In the first installment we learned that our friend was basically doing a few sets of calisthenics, and lifting a 10kg weight, which is approximately 20 pounds.

The Basic Routine

Let’s start off with a basic 2-day per week routine that targets the entire body using the equipment that Dude X has. I’m assuming the 20 pounds he has are a pair of dumbbells, or a single dumbbell, as a typical olympic barbell weighs 45 pounds.

The following are two great videos that show exercises you can do at home with limited equipment. I only want you to watch these videos for the exercises. I will show you the workout after the videos.

 

So the movements are:

  • One-arm Rows
  • Clapping or Regular Pushups
  • Overhead DB Presses
  • DB Curls
  • Triceps Extensions
  • Shrugs

We also need to hit the lower body:

The movements are:

  • Squats
  • Back Lunges
  • Front Lunges
  • Explosive Jumps
  • Stiff Leg Deadlifts

The Workout

There are many ways of organizing a routine, but one of the best tried and true forms is something known as supersets. A superset is where you alternate between two exercises, preferably those that target two opposing muscle groups.

So I’ve built two different workouts that Dude X, and anyone else looking to put on muscle, can alternate between.

Workout A

Superset #1

  • Front Lunges x 10 reps each side
  • One-arm Rows x 15 reps each side
  • Rest 1 minute

Superset #2

  • Shrugs x 20 reps
  • Explosive Jumps x 10 reps
  • Rest 1 minute

Superset #3

  • Dumbbell Curls x 10 reps
  • Tricep Extensions x 10 reps
  • Rest 1 minute

Workout B

Superset #1

  • Stiff Legged Deadlift x 15 reps
  • Squats x 10 reps
  • Rest 1 minute

Superset #2

  • Overhead DB Presses x 10 reps
  • Back Lunges x 10 reps

Finish off 3 max sets of pushups in any variation.

Now, here’s the thing – I’m not one of those guys that lift super heavy, but I do believe in using challenging weight. And 20 pounds might be challenging for Dude X right now, but it won’t be so challenging once Dude X gets stronger.

So, what do you do? Here’s a couple of things you can do:

#1 – Extend the Set

The thing is, your muscles don’t know exactly how much weight you are lifting. This is why we are able to put on muscle with only bodyweight movements.

One key technique to use is to extend the set. This is exactly what it sounds like – find a way to keep the pressure on that muscle, so that your body starts to feel as though it’s lifting a thousand pounds.

Here are some methods you can use:

Method #1 – Drop Sets

Drop sets are where you start with a single exercise, perform 8-10 repetitions, reduce the weight, perform another 8-10 repetitions, reduce the weight again, and perform a final 8-10 repetitions.

You can also mimic this method using bodyweight training, by changing the angle of your exercise and making it gradually easier. For example, start of with a set of decline pushups with your feet elevated, followed by a set of regular pushups, and finish off with a set of incline pushups with your hands elevated. These are known as mechanical drop sets.

Method #2 – Ladder Sets

Think of climbing the ladder. With each step, you go higher and higher. So with ladder training you start off performing low repetitions, say 5 reps. Rest 10-15 seconds, then perform 6 reps. Rest 10-15 seconds, then perform 7 reps. Keep going until you get to a set of 10 repetitions.

The purpose of extending the set is so that your muscles feel as though you’re lifting heavy weights, when you’re actually not.

#2 – Increase Frequency

Arnold Schwarzenegger used a double split, 6-days per week routine. This meant that he was hitting each muscle group 3 times per week! Compare that to modern-day routines that involve hitting a muscle groups once a week, and you can see why the legend was able to produce such great results.

Our basic routine to Dude X was 2-days per week. Add another other training day and see how your body responds. Once 3-days per week is doable, then do 4-days per week. Of course, after each extra training day, you will need to also increase your overall caloric intake or else you will lead to burnout.

The great thing about high frequency training is that you shift gears from training to build muscle/lose weight to training to fuel your workouts. Your workouts become the standard of when you should increase your caloric intake. So if you find yourself feeling tired after a workout, or unable to complete a set, then you know it’s time to eat more!

#3 – Lift Faster

The key to more muscle is to recruit more muscle fibers, and the best way to recruit more muscle fibers is to lift faster!

Take a look at sprinters: they run FAST! And yet, they are JACKED!

christine-arron-sprinter

My neighbor is a perfect example. He’s a sprinter and stays jacked 365 days out of the year. He doesn’t lift heavy weights, in fact he advises against lifting heavy. All he does is sprint. It is simply the act of moving fast, and pushing his body off the floor to propel forward – that is what is building all that muscle on his body.

So don’t think you need lift MASSIVE amounts of weight to build a decent physique. If you can do it with just bodyweight exercises, then you can also do it with light dumbbells.

Helping you more build muscle every day,

  • Parth Shah

PS – The proper guide is a huge key to success.

Why go through the painful and long-drawn process of guessing through a workout routine? Sure, I’ve given you a great program, but this is a starting point. The program I provided will work for the first month, maybe two months. Then it’s up to you to implement the intensity techniques and take it from there.

Why not just get an already done-for-your program that WORKS? It’s been tested. It’s been done by thousands, and best of all, you actually don’t need ANY weights for it at all! Yes, this is a bodyweight program, and it’s called the Muscle Experiment. Trust Me. This is the real deal. Click here to read my full review of the Muscle Experiment.

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This Website is Being BANNED

I’m quite surprised you’re not taking advantage of working with 37 of the best world experts with bodyweight exercises.

That’s why I’m emailing you now. You could be BANNED from unlocking your body’s full potential to being more mobile, losing more fat, dominating your pushup and pullup numbers and so much more… all in one place.

You see, at midnight tonight, Todd Kuslikis is taking away the his NEW and IMPROVED Bodyweight Bundle 2.0….

… as in it won’t be available, even at a higher price.

If you don’t take advantage now, you’re going to miss out on having over 37 done-for-you resources to get in the best shape of your life, even if you’re a beginner.

>> Take advantage of the New Bodyweight Bundle 2.0 (ENDS TONIGHT)

These resources will help you get in the best shape of your life using just your own bodyweight so you’ll look and FEEL amazing this summer.

… all while saving a whopping 97%.

But again, I MUST warn you, you will be BANNED from this exclusive offer at midnight. In fact, this will no longer be available after midnight!

>> Get the New Bodyweight Bundle 2.0 (this link expires TONIGHT and the Bodyweight Bundle will NO LONGER be available)

Look, don’t waste any more time “thinking about it”. This is a no-brainer and THOUSANDS of folks just like you have taken advantage of this.

So, just to recap, this is what you get…

New-BWB-Bundled-Images

8 Bodyweight muscle building resources

6 Bodyweight fatloss programs

6 Bodyweight “trick” manuals

7 Bodyweight video/workout programs

4 Bodyweight flexibility/rehab programs

Plus…

… fat-burning recipes, meal plans and more.

You’ll harness the power of bodyweight exercises to transform your body and your life.

Get started right here BEFORE midnight <= Goes into the vault at midnight!

 

- Parth

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Avoid This List of Exercises

Can you imagine if you had no choice and you had to all of this in ONE day?…

Pick up milk

Grab your dry cleaning

Get a few groceries for dinner tonight

Pick up your kid after school

Run by the post office and mail out something urgent

Imagine the money you’ll spend in gas, let alone the ridiculous amount of wasted time. Thank goodness for “Super Stores”, right? They save you money, but more importantly TIME.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the same convenience and resources for your health? If you think about it, you need to go to one expert for mobility issues, another one for losing fat, another one for nutrition advice or recipes, then another one to master moves like chin-ups and pull-ups.

By the time you meet with all of these experts, you’ll probably spend dozens of hours and hundreds (if not THOUSANDS) of dollars to get REAL doable advice that you can’t just get on Google from what’s called “keyboard experts” ;)

Fortunately, there’s a NEW resource packed with information in ONE spot.

It’s all right here on this NEW page <= This link does EXPIRE tonight

It’s the NEW & IMPROVED Bodyweight Bundle 2.0. Here are two more reasons to AT LEAST check it out…

Reason #1 – Over 37 Experts in ONE Place Found NOWHERE Else

Todd Kuslikis hand picked these best-selling authors and experts based on their REAL experiences working with REAL people.

You’ll get cutting edge and done-for-you plans to …

– Become more mobile so you avoid injuries and burn more fat in your workouts

– How to warm-up BETTER and FASTER

– How you can exercise like an athlete, even if you’re a beginner

– Get detailed, step-by-step meal plans to look and feel your best ever from top nutrition experts

– So much more!

Who are you following? Have they trained REAL people, or are they just “keyboard trainers”.

AVOID those people (and their exercises) and take advantage of these world-famous experts and resources

And don’t miss out on this…

Reason #2 – The Bodyweight Bundle 2.0 will NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE after midnight!

Last year, almost 10,000 people got the original version of the Bodyweight Bundle at 97% off.

Now this NEW and BETTER version is available, but ONLY until midnight tonight at this DEEPLY discounted price.

Get 37 of the BEST and NEW Bodyweight Resources EVER at 97% off before midnight tonight

 

  • Parth
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1 Weird AB Exercise You’ve Never Tried

You’re going to love this. I’m betting you never tried anything like this before, too. This one move will not only fry your abs, but you’ll also improve your coordination.

It’s the bodyweight version of the famous “Death Crawl”.

You ready?

Here’s how it works…

a) Start in the pushup position.

b) Do TWO one-arm extended pushups per side (this is when you do a pushup then extend one arm out in front of you, then another pushup followed by extended the other arm. You’ll alternate every rep.

c) After your 4th pushup, perform a walking plank, moving forward by lifting your hands and feet and taking tiny steps like an alligator. You’ll do 2 steps per side while remaining in the up position of the pushup).

d) After the 4th step, stand up and do a Jump Squat.

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 5.33.39 PM

That’s ONLY one rep!

And you didn’t need any expensive equipment, either.

Get over 100 more bodyweight ab exercises here

You’ve never seen a lot of these exercises that will…

… burn more fat

… help you become more mobile

… get stronger

… get more flexible

It’s the best “sequel” in fitness history. Go here to see what I mean.

And if you’re looking to actually see your abs (who isn’t?), then get delicious fat-burning recipes, smoothies and done-for-you meal plans in ONE place…

Get started with any of these done-for-you meal plans

  • Parth
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3 “Tricks” to Get Stronger Using ONLY Bodyweight

Let me ask you something…

Did you know that when you become stronger, it can…

… Reduce your risk of injury

… Help you burn MORE fat at rest (the more weight you can move around, the more calories you burn)

… Help you become “insulin resistant”, meaning you can eat more carbs without it affecting your waist line?

Now the bad news – years or even just months of resistance training can wear down your joints if you’re not careful. 

It’s almost like a double-edged sword. If you’re getting stronger using weights, that’s a good thing. Yet, by getting stronger, it means you’re pushing around more weight, which can cause frustrating aches and pains to your hips, knees and shoulders.

So how can you work your away around this?

Bodyweight Training…

… but can you get stronger using just bodyweight? Certainly you can… by using these 3 tricks:

  1. Use A Workout Split 

First, avoid the full body approach. While this earns top marks for fat burning, taking some time to use a split can help you overcome recovery issues, protect you from future injuries and help you get stronger with “lagging” muscles.

So you could use an upper/lower split or even a lower/upper split with just one day used for a total body program per week.

To make chest exercises harder, use advanced pushups like Atomic Pushups, Hindu Pushups, etc.

Exercises like Pistol Squats are great to develop leg strength. And even if you think you’re not ready for something like that…

You can jump-start your strongest body ever with this “Bodyweight Encyclopedia” resource

  1. Add Progressive Overload 

Next, you must, must, must add overload. This is the biggest mistake people make. If you don’t keep challenging your muscles, how do you expect them to get stronger?

They simply won’t need to.

You need to overload the muscles as that is what creates the micro-damage that causes growth.

If you aren’t sure how to overload them check out how these masters have done it:

== > How to overload the muscle with bodyweight exercises

  1. Do Multiple Sets 

Finally make sure you’re doing multiple sets. This is critical. You need sufficient volume in order to get the muscles to react (get stronger).

One set doesn’t cut it when getting stronger is the goal.

With the right bodyweight training, you can use a lower rep range and perform multiple sets just like you would in the gym, all while protecting your joints.

== > Discover how to build muscle with bodyweight training the right way

Give your body a break from heavy weights. You’ll be surprised at how strong you can get with these bodyweight tricks here… all while looking more athletic and leaner:

== > These are top 38 bodyweight resources of all time (BRAND NEW!)

  • Parth
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#1 Reason You Should Train (NOT Fatloss)

In the gym, you might see some ridiculous things like a trainer taking a very overweight person and having them do squats on a Bosu ball calling it “functional training”…

Since when will you be in a situation in which you have to squat on an unstable surface?

Look, there’s nothing wrong with functional training. In fact, it’s the #1 reason why you SHOULD exercise.

You may not want 6-pack abs… yet you want to be able to handle whatever life throws at you into your 30’s 40’s, 50’s and beyond.

That’s why you need to use a variety of bodyweight exercise.

True functional training can help you dominate the little things…

… like carrying groceries, playing with your kids or grandkids, going up and down the stairs without breaking a sweat and more.

Listen, if you can’t handle your own bodyweight, you’re absolutely destroying your quality of life.  

By mastering your own weight in a variety of positions, you improve your overall health and fitness.

And a better fitness = being able to do more (in and out of the gym) and THAT means losing fat if that’s your physical goal.

See how it all ties in?

Here are 5 more reasons to master your own bodyweight 

You’ll discover NEW ways to become more mobile, lose fat, get stronger and more without having to invest in equipment. You can master your own weight at home…

Give your joints and body a break…

Use this brand NEW & Improved resource from 38 bodyweight experts

 

  • Parth
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One Exercise Your Trainer Doesn’t Even Know

This might be the weirdest bodyweight exercise you’ll ever see.

It will smoke your abs, strengthen your glutes, dominate your triceps and more…

It’s called the “Kong”…

… and you’ll be toast in less than 10 seconds using it. Here’s how to do it:

Screenshot-2014-03-25-06.04.55

 

Try doing that for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Do this 6 times for a total of 3 minutes.

Hey, you’re just getting started.

Get hundreds MORE bodyweight exercises here <== Brand NEW!

You’ve never seen anything like this. It’s like a Bodyweight Super Store, only better…

Kickboxing bodyweight workouts so you shed excess fat…

Mobility and flexibility routines so you can turn the clock back…

Dominate your pull-ups or push-ups (even if it’s your FIRST one)…

Get in shape fast with bootcamp style workouts…

You can do ALL of that on this brand NEW page here

 

  • Parth
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CRAZIEST Bodyweight Exercises EVER in ONE Place

“Where do you get your inspiration when it comes to bodyweight training?” asked one of my readers.

The truth was I didn’t know where to start.

First, there’s the Total Body Extension, one of the best non-impact conditioning exercises ever, from Craig Ballantyne (also known as the “Godfather” of fitness).

The Spiderman Pushup Plank? – Mike Whitfield

The Kong? – Adam Steer

How to get better at pull-ups and push-ups? – Shawna Kaminski

How to warm up better and become more mobile than ever? – Tyler Bramlett

And not to mention you can actually get stronger and put on more muscle using JUST your own bodyweight thanks to the secrets from Todd Kuslikis and Forest Vance.

The options are limitless when it comes to your own body.

Don’t believe me?

See what you can do with your own body here

Want to go from NO pull-ups to 10? You’ll get the step-by-step insider secrets to do that.

Want to improve your coordination, burn belly fat and train like a boxer with just your own weight? You can do that.

Want to bullet-proof your back and prevent future injuries while making your joints feel better than ever? You can do that, too.

>> 37 of the GREATEST bodyweight resources ever (BRAND NEW)

This is the whackiest, yet most awesome idea I’ve ever seen.

It’s like a “Bodyweight Disney World”.

You’ll get ALL this…

 

New-BWB-Bundled-Images

8 Bodyweight muscle building resources

6 Bodyweight fatloss programs

6 Bodyweight “trick” manuals

7 Bodyweight video/workout programs

4 Bodyweight flexibility/rehab programs

Plus…

… fat-burning recipes, meal plans and more.

You’ll harness the power of bodyweight exercises to transform your body and your life.

Get the NEW Bodyweight Bundle 2.0 bundle here <= 97% Off Link

  •  Parth
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#1 Exercise? Take the 9-second Quiz  

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently surveyed 1,000 fitness experts about the best type of exercise to get fit and achieve better health in less time.

Can you guess which one was the winner?

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 5.10.54 PM

  Click on the image or button to vote! 

PLUS, you’ll find out what 37 MORE fitness experts did to prove which one IS the best…

See what they did by clicking here

  • Parth
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Hello world.