Shah Training

Fitness for Busy Folk

A Vegetarian Travel Nutrition Tip

The following is a guest post by Kardena Pauza, author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans:

For many of us traveling, it means skipping workouts, eating processed foods, and generally feeling guilty and frustrated because our commitment to a healthy lifestyle has temporarily gone by the wayside.

But with a little effort and following some quick and easy tips I’ll share with you, you’ll never have to resort to the over-priced, high-calorie food options that are prevalent in airports.

But first, did you know that when you’re at the airport you can actually take your own food through the security check?  Most people don’t know this, but as long as it isn’t liquid, gels, or gooey stuff over 3 oz. then you’re in the clear.

Okay, so you know that preparation is the key for anyone looking to lose weight and stay fit.  Well, this is especially the case when a last minute road trip unexpectedly arises.

So, with that in mind, here are some healthy food options suitable as snacks, breakfast, or dinner, that you can easily put together.

1.   Grab all the veggies you have in the refrigerator and combine them to make one big tasty salad.

2.   Pack 2-4 healthy nut bars.  My favourite is the RAW bar.

3.   Cut up fresh celery, carrots, and cucumbers – it’s quick and it’s easy.

4.   Add a few pieces of fruit to your “lunch pack”.

5.   Nuts are another excellent snack option.

6.   Seaweed snacks.  These delicious treats are sure to draw some wandering eyes as people try to figure out just what the heck it is you’re eating.

7.   And lastly, pack a bag of flax crackers.

If you can put just 10 minutes into preparing some snacks for your trip, you’ll feel so much better later on when everyone else is stuffing their face with high fattening foods and you’re sticking to you healthy diet.

Even if it’s just some healthy snacks to tie you over while waiting at the airport, this plan with help you eat healthier and avoid the junk you know is bad for you.

For More Information on Healthy Vegetarian Nutrition, Check out Kardena’s website,

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How to Have More Energy

The following is a guest post by Kardena Pauza, author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans:

If you eat a larger than normal meal or a calorie dense meal, do you notice how tired you feel afterwards?

This is what I call FOOD COMA.

This is where you get extremely tired and you start to regret stuffing yourself, but it’s too late the DAMAGE is done. You can barely keep your eyes open and all you want to do is crawl up into a ball and go to sleep. You can’t focus or concentrate on work and even a simple conversation takes effort. All you want to do is lie down.

So many people have this experience on a daily basis. In fact, I was just like this during high school when I would gorge on fast food and pizza and junk.

But this is not how your body should feel after meals.

With the Vegetarian Lifestyle, you won’t be sleepy after you eat. In fact, you’ll be alert, mentally sharp, and physically ready to take on the world.

By eating high nutrient low calorie foods, you will eliminate the side effects from food comas. I guarantee you’ll have more energy with the Veggie Meal Plans diet than you have on any other diet – simply because you will NOT be restricting your calorie or nutrient intake – in fact, you’ll be able to fill yourself up with our delicious foods.

I love making smoothies because they give me so much ENERGY in the morning.

I’ll blend different fruits and vegetables with a little protein powder to make easy to digest and energizing drinks. I’ll also add a tiny bit of fresh ginger to give it a zing and anti-inflammatory properties. You won’t get the same energy or health benefits from a plate of bacon, eggs, and white-flour pancakes!

I also love to make fresh, flavorful soups. And it’s easy too.

I make soups in the blender or food processor, such as a simple tomato gazpacho soup, or Mexican green soup, or an Asian inspired coconut curry soup. These soups can be warmed on the stove or eaten at room temperature. These foods are full of life! I use everything from carrots, celery, broccoli, cilantro, basil, onions, coconut, apples, oranges, lemon, and a variety of spices.

I make these really great wraps using a low-carb tortilla, romaine lettuce leaf, or a collard green leaf as the wrap shell.

Each wrap is lovingly filled with fresh veggies like spinach, sprouts, green onions, cilantro, avocado, tomatoes, and then I add hummus, salsa, or herb seasonings/salt.

I also make a pate from sunflower seeds and spices, tempeh, or seitan, which makes the wrap filling, very nutritious, and energizing!

These are just a few ways in which you can fill up on nutrient-rich foods that will leave you energized and feeling great day after day.

For More Information on Healthy Vegetarian Nutrition, Check out Kardena’s website,

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How to Get All the Nutrients You Need Without Animal Products

The following is a guest post by Kardena Pauza, author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans:

The most common argument against a vegetarian diet is that you can’t get enough calcium or iron, or that you will need to get a Vitamin B12 shot from your doctor.

However, it is easy to get plenty of calcium to build strong bones and it’s not difficult to get enough iron. The ONLY nutrient that will take a little extra effort is Vitamin B12.


Everyone thinks you need to drink milk to get calcium, but cows, horses, gorillas, and elephants, some of the world’s strongest and most powerful animals, all have built their big strong bones on a vegetarian diet.

Plant based calcium sources are easier to digest, and you don’t have to worry about being lactose intolerant when you eat plant based calcium sources.

The BEST non-dairy sources of calcium are fortified beverages (such as soymilk and orange juice) and dark, leafy greens like kale and broccoli. Other foods like legumes and almonds can give you calcium.


Iron is an important element in your red blood cells to help carry oxygen throughout your body. Iron deficiency is known as anemia and is characterized by chronic fatigue and

being susceptible to infections. If these symptoms exist then you MUST first visit a doctor to verify and diagnose the issue.

Since meat is traditionally known as the best source of iron, people think vegetarians will end up iron-deficient and anemic.

However, there are many iron-rich vegetarian foods, and by eating a variety of whole foods the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients work together synergistically to maximize absorption of the other nutrients in the foods.

For example, scientists have found that eating vitamin C rich foods with iron rich foods (like spinach) increases the absorption of iron. For example, because bell peppers give you 230% of your daily Vitamin C requires (that’s more than twice as much as oranges),

you can eat a salad containing spinach and bell peppers and you’ll absorb a lot of iron.

Plant SOURCES of iron range from green leafy vegetables (spinach, collard greens,

swiss chard, kale), whole grains, legumes, soy beans, black strap molasses and dried fruit. And remember to eat foods rich in vitamin C to enhance absorption.

With that being said, the RDA recommends for pre-menopausal women 15 mg per day and 10 mg for men and post menopausal women.

Here’s a list of iron rich foods:

Broccoli ½ cup 0.7 mg

Tofu ½ cup 13 mg

Black beans ½ cup 1.8 mg

Molasses, black strap 1 Tbl. 5 mg

Raisins 1 oz. 0.7 mg

Parsley 3 Tbl. 0.6 mg

Whole wheat cereal 1/3 cup 1.1 mg

Oats, whole rolled 1/3 cup 2.5 mg

Lentils, sprouted raw 1 cup 2.5 mg

Buckwheat 1/3 cup 1.3 mg

Kale fresh 1 cup 1.1 mg

Beets 1 cup 1.1 mg

Wheatgrass juice 1 oz. 0.6 mg

As you can see, it’s not hard to get enough iron by consuming whole, natural foods. In addition, many foods – such as breads and cereals – are now FORTIFIED with iron which can help supplement your diet if necessary. However, just watch that these cereals and breads are not refined or full of additives or preservatives.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for your body and is stored in the liver and released when it is needed. Scientists like Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of “The China Study”, say that

Vitamin B12 can be stored for up to 3 years. As of right now the only confirmed way to obtain Vitamin B12 is through fortified foods or supplementation. The RDA for Vitamin

B12 is 2.4 micrograms for adults.

You may need to talk to your Doctor about taking a Vitamin B12 supplement because this is the one nutrient that is not naturally found in plant foods.  So it is ESSENTIAL to make an effort to add this to your diet.

Foods fortified with Vitamin B12 include non-dairy milks (soy and rice milk), veggie “meats” and breakfast cereals. But look at all the ingredients in these foods to eliminate refined products or additives and preservatives.

I personally use “Living Vitamin B Nano Plex” as an excellent source of Vitamin

B12. It is the first Vitamin B12 made from probiotic fermentation which is more

bioavailable to the body. Another option is taking B12 sublingual (dissolve under the tongue). I recommend methylcobalamin which is naturally occurring.

Cyanocobalamin is a commonly used synthetic B12 supplement that’s also used in fortification of foods because it can be produced so cheaply. When cyanocobalamin is metabolized in the body the by product created in small amounts is cyanide. We are not exactly sure the impact on the body but I don’t feel comfortable using it.

For More Information on Healthy Vegetarian Nutrition, Check out Kardena’s website,

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The Truth About Vegetarian Protein

The following is a guest post by Kardena Pauza, author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans:

The most common question people ask me about my vegetarian diet is, “How do you get enough protein?” You have a toned body and how do you build muscle without eating meat?”

Well, while I agree it is important to have protein in your diet, there are two things to know.

1.   We really DON’T NEED as much protein as most people think.

2.   It’s actually quite easy to get all the protein you need from a plant-based diet.

It’s amazing how many people are concerned about a lack of protein, but in our Western culture, almost NO ONE needs to worry about suffering from a lack of protein.

We’ve been brainwashed by supplement companies and magazine ads into thinking we need one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, but science has NEVER shown that level of protein intake to be needed.

In fact, what we really see is people eating excessive amounts of protein and sometimes so much that they get fat and very ill!

Like I said, getting enough protein has not been a concern in our country, we see very few cases of protein deficiencies and the few cases typically are in poverty stricken areas.

Typically in this situation there is an overall deficiency of calories and most nutrients not just a lack of protein.

But as long as you follow a whole food meal plan giving you at least 1600 calories, you will easily get enough protein.

According to the World Health Organization (W.H.O) you need to consume a minimum of 10% of your daily caloric intake from protein to be healthy and build lean muscle. The

World Health Organization is the leading authority on human health and is dedicated to improving the quality of people’s lives around the world.

The only places the W.H.O discovered minor protein deficiencies were in underdeveloped countries that did not have access to a variety of foods and protein and consequently these people had a lack of over all nutrients not just protein. The W.H.O is attempting to deliver more legumes to these areas to balance their diet and insure they get enough protein.

Countries that eat a sufficient amount of calories and variety don’t see protein deficiencies. A variety of foods everyday is what will give you a well balanced diet.

Let’s take a look at an example as we review protein needs. As I mentioned in the above paragraphs, the recommended amount of protein for a vegetarian is a minimum of 10% of your daily calories.


If you are eating a 1,600 calorie diet, 10% of that would be 160 calories. Each gram of protein has 4 calories, so that calculates out to 40 grams of protein per day. This is easy to do!

All you need to do is eat a ½ cup of lentils you are getting about 10 grams of protein and a hard boiled egg has 7 grams of protein. You are 1/3 of the way there!

Of course, it’s still easy to do if you are vegan. Oatmeal has about 7 grams of protein per serving, hemp bliss has 5 grams of protein per cup, and quinoa and spelt pasta have 10-15 grams of protein per serving.

Here’s ANOTHER WAY to determine how much protein you’ll need.

The recommended amount of protein is 0.49 grams per pound of bodyweight (NOT 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight like steroid-using bodybuilders suggest).

You can also determine your minimum amount by taking your bodyweight and multiplying it by .49. Example- If you weigh 130 pounds x .49 = 63.7 grams of protein.

However, if you are overweight and use this formula, you will dramatically OVER-estimate your protein needs. Therefore, you can use your target weight when doing this calculation. So if you are 160 pounds but want to be 130 pounds, just use the 130 pound target weight in the calculation.

These 2 methods give you slightly different amounts of protein so you can see there is no exact measure but at least gets us in the minimum acceptable range.

For our purpose of weight loss I have found that up to 20% of your daily calories from protein will help you increase your metabolism, curb your appetite, and help you build lean muscle. But you don’t need more than that.

For More Information on Healthy Vegetarian Nutrition, Check out Kardena’s website,

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The Best Sources of Vegetarian Protein

The following is a guest post by Kardena Pauza, author of Easy Veggie Meal Plans:

Most foods have some combination of protein, carbohydrates and fat – even vegetables contain all three macronutrients! So here’s a list of some whole foods and their protein, carbohydrate, and fat content.

The reason I am showing you the three macronutrients is because people tend to eat too much of the wrong foods and they are gaining weight or stuck at a plateau and not losing weight. Typically a person is more likely to over eat on starchy carbohydrates or fat.

Some foods may contain more fat than protein, adding an excessive amount of calories in such a tiny portion. You want to be aware of these foods so you make sure and eat the right portion so you can easily lose weight.

Food Type : Protein / Carbohydrates / Fats (in grams)

·      Tofu 4 oz.: 8 / 4 / 4

·      Black Beans ½ cup: 7.5 / 20 / 5

·      Peanut Butter 1 Tb: 4 / 3.5 / 8

·      Almond Butter 1 Tb: 2 / 3 / 9

·      Cashew Nuts ¼ cup: 5 / 9 / 12

·      Seitan 3 oz.: 20 / 8 / 2

·      Tempeh 4 oz.: 16 / 14 / 6

·      Sunflower seeds raw ¼ cup: 6 / 6 / 14

·      Soybeans ½ cup: 16 / 14 / 8

One food I love is almond butter and I could eat almond butter everyday, twice a day.

The problem is it’s loaded with fat which means it’s very calorie dense. Every gram of fat equals 9 calories of energy where as protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram. You have to expend more energy to burn off 1 gram of fat than 1 gram of protein or carbs.

Fat is not particularly bad, it’s the quantity that’s the issue.

Our body’s need fat for many functions so please do not cut them out completely. On average for a female, you want to take in between 7-12 gr. of protein per sitting depending on your calories for the day and if you are eating it for a snack or as part of your main meal.

An extra scoop of nut butter here and there can add up to hundreds of excess calories that can sabotage your weight loss progress. It is easy to over eat on nut butters so measure out a serving and put the rest away so double dipping doesn’t happen.

What’s the Deal with Complementary Protein?

Protein is made up of amino acids, often described as its “building blocks”. We actually have a biological requirement for amino acids, not for protein.

Humans cannot make eight of the twenty common amino acids, so these amino acids are considered to be essential. In other words, we must get these amino acids from our food. We need all eight of these amino acids for our body to make certain proteins in the body.

Only eggs, milk, meat, and fish contain all of the essential amino acids.

Plant proteins on the other hand are usually low in one or two of the essential amino acids. For example, grains are lower in lysine (an essential amino acid) and higher in other amino acids. Legumes are lower in methionine (another essential amino acid) and high in other amino acids.

As a result, many diet experts insist that vegetarians consume “complementary foods” at

a meal – meaning that you eat two foods that combine to give you all the essential amino acids – such as beans and rice.

But that’s “old school” thinking.

Recent studies have shown that this is not the case at all. Our bodies have what’s called an amino acid pool where it cycles amino acids in the blood stream and stores them until it can use the amino acids for other purposes in the body or it’s used for energy.

Your cells are constantly breaking down and synthesizing new proteins. Each day more amino acids are recycled in your body than are supplied in our diet. If you eat a grain source of protein in one meal and a protein source from beans the next meal, then that will be just as good as eating them together at the same meal.

As long as you have a variety of proteins throughout the day, the body will hold on to the amino acids that have not been used and place them in the amino acid pool to be used later.

Our bodies are AMAZING and RESOURCEFUL.

As long as you eat a variety of grains, vegetables, and nuts everyday the body will have the resources it needs to build healthy protein.

What about Protein Powders?

Protein powders have found their way into every grocery store and health food store.

These powders can be helpful in supplementing protein when you are busy or if you are looking for an alternative to beans or nut meal.

There are a variety of protein powder options on the market now. Traditionally you would find only egg protein, whey, and soy. With newer technology and knowledge about other healthy sources of protein a new generation of protein powders has arrived.

Now you can find pea protein, hemp, rice, and artichoke protein. These next generation protein powders are great for vegans since whey and eggs are dairy-derived the selection was limiting.

Remember that protein powder is a supplement and NOT a meal replacement. These powders supply protein but you will need to eat other foods with your meal to ensure you are power packed with nutrients.

Whole natural foods are your premium source of nutrients and digestible protein so lean on this source mainly and secondly use protein powders.

A healthy and safe portion per day is 1-2 servings. A protein smoothie with berries for breakfast and possibly a snack size portion later in the day will boost your protein intake and still give you plenty of opportunities to incorporate whole foods. A serving size of protein powder for a female is approximately 15 grams and approximately 20 grams for men and half this amount for snacks.

So, there are just a few tips to ensure you get enough protein into your daily diet.

For More Information on Healthy Vegetarian Nutrition, Check out Kardena’s website,

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Summer Travelers: Gain Muscle While Staying Lean, Part 1 – Training


The summer is here! And you’re most likely trying to do one of two things: gain muscle or lose fat. Most people are trying to lose fat. But, there are a lot of individuals who are focusing more on muscle mass.

My cousin is one of those individuals. He’s graduating from NYU in a few weeks. He’s already got a job, which starts in September. So he has a little more than 3 months to pack on as much muscle as possible.

What I told him was that he need to be careful with his eating. Even though, my cousin is naturally thin, it’s still very easy to confuse muscle gain with fat gain.

He probably won’t start noticing it right away. But if at the end of 3 months, you’re put on 20lbs of weight, and at least 10lbs of that is fat, then you won’t look good as you hoped.

You’re better off focusing on build lean muscle mass while MINIMIZING fat gain. I say minimizing because during a mass gain cycle, some fat gain is inevitable, since you’re trying to create a calorie surplus.

But how do you make sure that the majority of what you gain is muscle, and not fat?

Well, that’s what I’m about to reveal to you. In this first installment, we’ll talk about training. And the second installment, we’ll talk about nutrition.

Use Maximum Intensity

One of the main things I taught my cousin was to use maximum intensity. When he went through his first mass gain cycle a few years ago, he was unhappy with his results.

I asked him one question: “Are you training at maximum intensity?” He didn’t know what I meant. Then I said, “Well, is your heart rate elevated. Are you sweating and screaming and wishing you weren’t at the gym?”

He said something like, “Well, my heart rate is elevated, but I rarely sweat unless I’m doing legs.”

We went back and forth and I realized that he was resting too much. That’s a huge misconception! You should rest ONLY enough to recover. That should not be more than 3 minutes.

Actually, even 3 minutes is too long. You want to eventually reduce your rest periods down to approximately 1 minute. Keep your heart rate elevated. Keep the blood flowing and pumping in the targeted muscle.

You can increase the intensity of your workouts further by adding in Supersets, Trisets, and Circuit training into your training. As long as you are lifting a challenging weight, and creating a caloric surplus with your diet, you will add muscle mass.

I know what you’re thinking – this sort of training is usually used for fat loss, right? Yes and no. To better explain to you what I’m suggesting, I’m going to show you a typical fat loss program, and then modify it into a muscle building program:

Sample Upper Body Fat Loss Workout:

3 rounds of:

  • Pushups, 15 reps
  • Chest Press, 35lbs, 15 reps
  • Chest Pullover, 35lbs, 15 reps

Rest 2 minutes

3 rounds of:

  • Chair Dips, 12 reps
  • Barbell Row, 12 reps, 105 lbs

Rest 2 minutes

2 rounds of:

  • KB Row, 35lbs, 15 reps
  • Hindu Pushups, 15 reps

Rest 2 minutes

3 rounds of:

  • Cross Body Mountain Climber, 20 reps
  • Plank, 30 seconds hold

Sample Upper Body Muscle Gain Workout:

2 rounds of:

  • Spiderman Pushups, 8 reps
  • Chinups, 5 reps
  • Chest Press, 50lbs, 8 reps
  • Chinups, 4 reps
  • Chest Pullover, 35lbs, 15 reps
  • Chinups, 3 reps
  • Rest 1 minute

3 rounds of:

  • Chair Dips, 8 reps
  • Barbell Row, 8 reps, 125 lbs
  • Rest 1 minute

2 rounds of:

  • KB Row, 50lbs, 8 reps
  • Decline Pushups, 8 reps
  • Rest 1 minute

3 rounds of:

  • Cross Body Mountain Climber with Hands on Barbell, 10 reps
  • KB Windmill, 35lbs, 10 reps
  • Rest 1 minute

Lets compare and contrast:

  • In the fat loss workout, I’m only wresting after all rounds of a particular circuit are completed. The mass gain workouts clearly has more rest periods interspersed, but the rest periods are still relatively low.
  • In the fat loss workout, repetitions are in the 12-15 range for most exercises. In the muscle gain workout, repetitions are lower.
  • In the fat loss workout, the exercises are easier than the mass gain workout.

Overall, both of these workouts can be interchangeable. The mass gain workout will obviously help you lose some fat, if you don’t have a caloric surplus.

And the fat loss workout will probably help you gain a little bit of muscle even if you have a calorie deficit. (But that really depends on how big your calorie deficit is). If anything, you’ll have a greater chance of holding onto your muscle mass.

Things can get complicated really fast, and the best way to learn is to actually work out. This is all based on what I’ve learned over they years, using my body as a guinea pig for a variety of workouts.

Your results may different.

If you don’t want to spend the time coming up with your own muscle building and fat loss workouts that you can do while you’re traveling during the summer, you should check out one of the two workout programs:

  • Gladiator Body Workout – this is a great set of programs that combines your bodyweight and dumbell exercises to create workouts for any goal. Click here for more information.
  • Kettlebell Revolution – if you have a Kettlebell, then you know that it’s one of the best and most convenient tools to use while on vacation. I just put my Kettlebell in my trunk and workout at rest stops while on road trips. Click here to learn more about Kettlebell Revolution.
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Losing Fat and Building Muscle at Age 55 and over, Part 3: Push up, Pull up, and Squat Workouts for Fat Loss

Welcome to the third installment of our series. Here’s what we’ve covered so far:

In this installment, we’re going to focus on how an individual over the age of 55 can use bodyweight training to burn fat and build lean muscle mass. Actually, the title is a bit misleading.

We are using push ups, pull ups, and squats – but not entirely. The reason being that everyone has a different level of fitness. So what I have decided to do is proved you with 3 separate workouts, one for each level of fitness.

So lets get right into it:

Beginner Bodyweight Fat Loss Workout:

  • 1-leg or 2-Leg Lying Hip Extension, 2×10, rest 2 minutes between each set
  • Kneeling Pushups or Regular Pushups, 1xmax, rest 2 minutes
  • Mountain Climbers, 2×10, rest 2 minutes between each set
  • Bird Dog, 2×10, rest 2 minutes between each set

Intermediate Bodyweight Fat Loss Workout:

  • Bodyweight Squat, 2×10, rest 2 minutes between each set
  • Kneeling Elevated Pushups or Regular Elevated Pushups, 2×10, rest 2 minutes between each set
  • Pullups, 1xmax, rest 2 minutes
  • Bird Dog, 2×15, rest 2 minutes between each set

Advanced Bodyweight Fat Loss Workout:

  • Pullups 1xmax, rest 2 minutes
  • Kneeling Close-Grip Pushup or Regular Close Grip Pushup, 2×10, rest 2 minutes between each set
  • Plank, 1xmax hold, rest 2 minutes
  • Bird Dog, 2×20, rest 2 minutes between each set
  • Bodyweight Squat, 2×15, rest 2 minutes between each set


1 Leg or 2 Leg Lying Hip Extension

Perform the 2-Leg Lying Hip Extension if the 1-leg Version is too difficult. To perform this movement, let down on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Squeeze your glutes (butt) and lift your hips off the floor as much as you can by pressing down on the floor with your feet. Here’s a video for a better idea:

Kneeling Pushups or Regular Pushups

Perform kneeling pushups if regular pushups are too difficult for you:

Mountain Climbers

This is a bit of a difficult movement for beginners. Start off slow and steadily build up your speed:

Bird Dog

This is your core stability movement. I do not want you to get into the habit of performing situps and crunches:

Bodyweight Squat

The bodyweight squat is the most important lower body movements and has carry over to every aspect of your life:

Kneeling Elevated Pushups or Regular Elevated Pushups

Once, again, the kneeling version is easier than the regular version. If you are unable to perform this exercise, then simply perform regular pushups:


Pullups are one of the most difficult bodyweight movements. If you are unable to do a full pullup, then simply go half way or as far as you can go:

Kneeling Close Grip Pushups or Regular Close Grip Pushups

Perform elevated pushups if close grips are too difficult:


The plank is another very difficult abdominal movement. The bird dogs you’ve been doing so far should have strengthen your abdominals already. The plank is just the next step up:

Additional Workouts

Once you’ve gone through the basics, you’ll ready for some more challenging workouts. Here are a few to choose from:

  • Ultimate Gymless Workout – Features 6, 4-week bodyweight only programs for fat loss, strength & size, and general health. Click here for more information.
  • Bodyweight Bluepring for Fat Loss – A 3-month, bodyweight only fat loss program focusing on health and mobility. Click here for more information.
  • Turbulence Training Bootcamp – 31 bootcamp-style workouts you can perform with minimal to no equipment. You can currently get this 31 workouts for $35 off. Click here for more information.
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Losing Fat and Building Muscle at Age 55 and over, Part 2: Workout Routine for Building Lean Muscle

In part 1 of this series, I talked about the top three reasons why individuals over the age of 55 should consider starting a weight lifting program. These reasons were:

  • Prevent a slow down of your metabolic rate
  • Strengthen bones to prevent osteoporosis
  • Build lean muscle mass to look better and boost metabolism

Now lets get down to the nitty gritty. What you REALLY want to know: What kind of workout routine should You follow for building lean muscle?

Keep it as Simple as Possible

First rule is to keep it as simple as possible. When my father first came to me to workout, I set him up on a very simple program:

Day One:

  • Push Press, 2×10
  • Bent Over Row, 2×10
  • Rest 2 minutes

Day Two:

  • Deadlift, 2×10
  • Bodyweight Squat, 2×10
  • Rest 2 minutes

I gave him a list of things to change in his diet, some of which included:

  • Start his day with a bowl of oatmeal
  • Cut down his intake of bread
  • Drink a protein shake right after working out

His workouts lasted just 10-20 minutes. And he lost 7 lbs in the first 2 weeks.

Unfortunately, he had to fire the guy that was working at his store. So now he’s back to working 90 hours a week. But I’m still impressed. He’s kept the weight off by doing simple workouts at his store when he has the time.

One of his customers gave him a pair of 8lb and 10lb dumbbells. Not optimal, but at least it’s something.

Start Somewhere, and Keep Progressing

When people ask me, “How do I lose fat/build muscle.” The first thing I ask them is, “What are you doing right now?”

Most people aren’t doing anything. It may sound silly, the but the answer is, DO SOMETHING! Anything. Get your body moving. It doesn’t matter if your workout program isn’t perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect workout program.

Exercise is a process that you must stick to for the long term. Enjoy the journey and learn things along the way. My workouts today are dramatically different from what they were 5 years ago.

But they didn’t change dramatically. They changed over a period of 5 years. In the next 5 years, I’ll be doing some crazy things I wouldn’t even think of doing right now.

Your body will change gradually, and your workout routine must change with it.

So get started with a very basic, simple program, and keep challenging yourself as you progress.

What are the Basics?

With all this talk about basics, I’m sure you’re wondering…what are the basics?

When I say basics, I mean basic movements that are universal to all training programs. My list isn’t perfect. I’m sure you’ll find someone who completely disagrees with me.

But these movements are a great starting point:

Basic Dumbbell Movements:

  • Overhead Press
  • Chest Press
  • Bent Over Row
  • Squat
  • Deadlift

Basic Bodyweight Movements:

  • Pushups
  • Pullups
  • Bodyweight Squats

That’s 8 movements covering every portion of your body.

Setting up your Program

There are numerous ways to set up your program. There’s no right way. It’s all about figuring out what works best for you. However, I do believe that beginners should start out with a basic, full body workout.

You can start off with the following 2 days per week program:

Day One:

  • Overhead Press, 2×10, rest 2 minutes between each set
  • Pullups, 1xmax, rest 2 minutes
  • Bodyweight Squats, 1xmax, rest 2 minutes
  • Chest Press, 2×10, rest 2 minutes between each set

Day Two:

  • Dumbbell Squat, 2×10, rest 2 minutes between each set
  • Bent Over Row, 2×10, rest 2 minutes between each set
  • Pushups, 1xmax, rest 2 minutes
  • Deadlift, 2×10, rest 2 minutes between each set

Just to go over some basic definitions:

When I write 2×10, it means that you perform 10 repetitions of the movement, then rest for 2 minutes. This counts as one set. You need to do 2 sets.

Repeat one more time, then move onto the next movement.

When I write 1xmax, it means that you perform as many repetitions as possible of the movement without stopping. So for example, if you’re doing pullups, and you can only pull yourself half way to the bar, count that as your full rep.

But be consistent, keep pulling yourself half way until you can no longer pull yourself up without stopping. Lets say you perform 3 half way pullups. Your goal for the next week is to perform 4 half way pullups.

If you’re looking for a more challenging, full dumbbell program, then you should check out Coach Lomax’s Superior Dumbbell Workout. Click here for more information.

Coach Lomax also has a great program where he combines dumbbell and bodyweight movements. Its called Gladiator Body Workout and you can find out more here.

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