Category Archives: Training

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (4/2)

It’s that time again to bust out the week’s top fitness articles.

I’ve got a fantastic list for you so I hope you enjoy!

And, if you’d like to get this list in addition to other fitness content and workouts delivered straight to your inbox every week, go HERE.

Let’s get to it.

Articles by Me

The Most Effective Way to Lose Belly Fat (And Keep It Off)

Top Articles of the Week

  1. 5 Best Loading Schemes for Size and Strength via Christian T
  2. Foods More ‘Addictive’ Than Sugar via Dr. Specncer N
  3. An Advanced ‘Core’ Exercise for Better Posture and Strength via Ryan W
  4. Deadlift Technique Tutorial via Adam P
  5. Maybe Your Shoulder Hurts Because Your Technique Sucks via Tony G
  6. Chest Training Tips for Hypertrophy via Dr. Mike I
  7. Cryotherapy Doesn’t Work via Dean S
  8. Tip: The Key to Strong and Healthy Shoulders via Eric C
  9. Quick Squat Tips for Less Achy Knees via Ryan W
  10. Escaping the Pit: What To Do When You Become Stuck via Aadam A

Hey, before you go…

Be sure to grab your free nutrition ebook below. All you need to do is plug in your email and you’ll have your own shiny new copy of ’10 Commandments of Fat Loss’ delivered straight to your inbox.

Did I mention it’s 100% free?

See you in there 🙂

The Most Effective Way to Blast Belly Fat (And Keep It Off)

9 out of 10 people want to know how to lose belly fat.

Many of them are told they can get washboard abs in 7 minutes a day or by eating a special fat blasting food.

The truth is losing belly fat has nothing to do with which exercises you choose or what ‘style’ of diet you follow.

Follow along closely if you want to find out what it really takes to blast belly fat and keep it off for good.

It’s Not About What Diet You Follow

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

Will going low carb or eating Paleo help you lose belly fat?

It’s possible.

But it’s not guaranteed.

The fact is, the style of diet you follow doesn’t impact your ability to lose belly fat as much as you may have been told.

You might prefer eating 2 meals a day or enjoy having 6 smaller meals spread evenly every 3-4 hours.

When it comes to your diet as it relates to fat loss, your calorie deficit matters the most. Simply put, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This means by the end of the week, you need to have eaten fewer calories than you burned. If you need any help knowing how to get started with your own fat loss program, fear not, I’ve written a free guide for you HERE.

Don’t get hung up too much on what ‘diet’ is the best for fat loss.

It’s Not About What Kind of Exercise You Do

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Image courtesy of pixabay.com

I love lifting weights and recommend that all of my online coaching clients lift weights as well to help them reach their goals.

But does lifting weights guarantee you’ll lose belly fat?

No. Not at all actually.

So is cardio the answer to melting stomach fat?

Nope.

You can lift weights, crush cardio and do every crunch variation known to man and still struggle to lose belly fat.

Your exercise routine is secondary for targeting stomach fat (but don’t use that as a reason not to lift and perform your cardio).

The Big Secret to Blasting Belly Fat…

I hope you’re still with me because this is *very* important.

There is no single exercise to blast away your belly fat. You can’t zap away fat by cranking out thousands of crunches.

There are no special foods to melt away love handles and give you washboard abs. Avoiding ‘bad’ foods won’t even guarantee you success.

So what is the most effective way to blast belly fat?

Consistency, training hard and eating right time and time again.

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Image courtesy of flickr

Consistency is, bar none, the only way to effectively lose body fat and ultimately reduce the troublesome love handles, low back fat, and belly bulge. Exercising, eating right and getting quality sleep are definitely pieces of the puzzle don’t get me wrong. But how effective is your training program going to be if you only exercise 2 out of your 4 scheduled days? Or if you only practice good eating habits 3 out of 7 days a week?

But how effective is your training program going to be if you only exercise 2 out of your 4 scheduled days? Or if you only practice good eating habits 3 out of 7 days a week?

Doing the right things training and diet wise are important no doubt (For help creating your own plan go HERE.)

Doing them consistently is even more important.

If you’re fired up and ready to go but don’t quite have the consistency to match, give these 3 things a try.

#1 Be honest and explicit about your goals and why you want to achieve them

Some people struggle to be consistent because they aren’t quite sure what they really want to get out of their gym routine or new diet. Be honest with yourself and set clear, concise goals to help you stay the course. Without at least an 80% level of consistency, you probably won’t see the results you’re looking for.

#2 Don’t bite off more than you can chew

You’re ambitious and ready for a change, I get it. You start hitting the gym every day and adopt a new and healthier diet. After a week or so, though, things come screeching to a halt and you fall off the wagon.

So what went wrong?

Maybe you tried to take on more than you could handle at the beginning and simply couldn’t keep up with doing quite so much. If consistency is a primary issue for you, set yourself up to succeed by starting with a plan you know with 100% certainty you can stick to.

If it means hitting the gym 3 days instead of 5 because you know you’ll probably blow off those extra 2 days, then go with it. Build momentum and a solid routine by beginning with a realistic schedule. Don’t over commit only to fall off a week later.

Introduce new things one at a time so that you’re more likely to stick to them. If you attempt to change every single thing at once, well, good luck ;).

#3 Stop Making Excuses

This one can be a tough pill to swallow for many of us. I’m the first to admit I make excuses sometimes which end up wasting my time and preventing me from getting stuff done.

If you’re prone to making excuses for why you can’t eat right, why you can’t make it to the gym, or why you’ve had 5 cheat days in the last week of your diet it’s time to get real.

You’re busy, I get it. But there’s still enough time in the day to hit a workout if it’s a priority. Go before work. Go after work. Heck, go during work, just don’t tell your boss 😉

Lack of time is not an excuse to skip workouts or fail to prepare for success. Schedule in your workouts the week ahead and do your absolute best to stick to those times. If you miss one workout it’s not the end of the world. Consistency, in the long run, is the key to achieving lasting results.

If you can’t ‘stick to your diet’ try simplifying things. Make it impossible to fail. Give yourself 3-4 diet guidelines to stick to for one week.

  • Eat protein rich foods 3-4x per day
  • have 2 fistfuls of veggies with those meals
  • drink 8-10 glasses of water per day
  • prepare at least 1 meal a day ahead of time

Simple things like prepping some go-to meals ahead of time can do wonders for compliance and consistency. It takes repetition and practice to turn these things into habits so the more you do them the more automatic they’ll become.

Let me help you melt away fat…for free

If you’re still with me, great. It probably means you’re someone who gets it. Someone who realizes the gimmicks, fad diets and ‘special’ ab exercises aren’t the keys to losing belly fat and keeping it off for good.

Only consistency over time will give you the results you really want.

Since you’ve made it this far (maybe you skipped ahead, which, by the way, is perfectly A-ok), I’d like to give you a gift.

Don’t waste another second spinning your wheels, trying to figure out how you’re going to get in shape for summer. Instead, grab your free fat loss blueprint below to help you:

  • create a sustainable calorie deficit so you can lose fat while still enjoying your favorite foods
  • increase your metabolism so you can burn more calories and lose fat faster
  • develop lean, strong muscles that look more toned and defined so you feel more confident
  • build proper habits so you can create your own fat loss program whenever you want to tighten things up

Get Your Fat Blasting Blueprint Now

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The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (3/26)

Another solid week in the books! I’ve got a great list of fitness articles for you to dig through 🙂

You can get these delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday by clicking HERE.

Enjoy!

Top Articles of the Week

  1. The Difference Between Training for Strength and Training for Hypertrophy via Joy V
  2. Your Weekend Splurges are Ruining Your Weight Loss Efforts via Dr. Spencer N
  3. Your Questions, My Answers: Rep Speed, Low VS High Reps, Clean Dieting via Charles S
  4. Should Your Client Be Deadlifting From the Floor?  via Dean S
  5. 5 Mistakes Women Make With Strength Training (And How to Correct Them) via Nia S
  6. Progress is Progress and Fat Loss is Not Linear via Stacey S
  7. The Abdominal Rollout: Common Mistakes and Progressions via Tony G
  8. Quick Tips for More Pressing Strength via Ryan W 
  9. What to Do When You Don’t Like Vegetables via Precision Nutrition
  10. Open Your Hips and Improve Mobility with This Simple Drill via Ryan W

Did you enjoy this week’s list?

Of course, you did 😉 Moving forward, though, it’d be really cool to have you in my email community to interact, ask questions, and get advice from me to help you reach your fitness goals.

Just plug your info in below and once you’re in, you’ll get my free nutrition guide, 10 Commandments of Fat Loss, to get you started.

See ya in there!

7 Things About Fat Loss You Need To Know Before You Begin Your Summer Diet

Summer’s coming, so listen up.

You’re *probably* starting to think about how you’re going to get into shape to look and feel better by the time beach season rolls around.

You *probably* want to reveal muscle definition and trim off unwanted fat.

You also *probably* want straight-to-the-truth, no bs methods for losing unwanted body fat in a reasonable time frame.

Yes?

Good. Then follow along closely to what I’m about to tell you to learn how to put these tips into action so you can feel confident and sexy heading into summer.

Don’t ‘Diet’ Before You Diet

If you’ve already been ‘dieting,’ or trying to diet, and have been eating fewer calories for a long time already, then it’s a good idea to take a break from dieting before beginning another diet.

From a physical and mental standpoint, it’s a good idea to go into a diet feeling fresh and not already run down from lowered calories.

So first things first before you begin this year’s summer fat loss diet is to ensure you aren’t dieting leading up to your diet. That make sense?

For this period before your official ‘diet’ begins, try eating right around maintenance levels. You can get a better explanation of maintenance and starting calories in my free fat loss ebook, HERE.

So for the nutritional side of things, maintenance level calories prior to beginning your diet is a good idea. On the training/exercise side of things, I’d recommend doing some lower volume, strength-focused training during your ‘maintenance’ period.

This will allow your body to lower fatigue levels, develop more strength (which will be useful during higher volume training coming soon), and prime your body for a change in calories and training volume.

You’re basically preparing your body to lose body fat more efficiently.

  • Nutrition wise before you begin your diet–aim for maintenance level calories with the idea of keeping your bodyweight pretty steady for 4-5 weeks before your fat loss diet begins
  • With training, aim to hit the major muscle groups with compound lifts for sets of 4-8 reps on average with the goal of increasing bar weight week to week. During this time you should be lifting more weight by the end of this phase. This higher intensity/lower volume period will prime your body to respond well to the start of the fat loss protocol.

Turn Up the Volume

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Courtesy of Pixabay

A lot of people are afraid to lose strength during a fat loss diet so they continue lifting super heavy while consuming fewer and fewer calories.

I don’t recommend this approach because it can be very taxing on the body and in my opinion, isn’t the most optimal way to lose fat.

Once you’re ready to begin your fat loss diet, you’ll want to use a  higher volume, more bodybuilding-esq approach to training. 

This is for several reasons:

  1. Higher volume training helps to preserve lean tissue (aka muscle) while in a calorie deficit
  2. Lifting super heavy in a fatigued and drained state just isn’t a ton of fun and can be dangerous.
  3. You *can* still get stronger during a fat loss diet. The primary difference is you’ll be getting stronger in a different rep range than the typical ‘strength range.’

So what exactly does high volume training mean?

To keep it as simple as possible so you can get started right away, think of higher volume training as training where you’re doing anywhere between 8-20 reps on average per set and your total volume of work increases over the course of your program.

For instance, you might do 3×10 in week 1 on a given exercise, 4×10 week 2, 5×12 week 3, and 6×12 week 4.

Provided you kept the weight the same or increased slightly week to week, this would result in more volume which is beneficial for holding onto precious muscle mass while dieting down.

Get a taste of how to set up your program for fat loss HERE.

Don’t Be Overly Aggressive

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Courtesy of Pixabay

So you’re pumped and ready to attack this fat loss diet with everything you’ve got.

That’s great, but just how fast should you aim to lose weight?

Some people say you can rapidly lose fat, while others suggest a slower approach. So which is it?

Personally, I think it depends on the individual and their goals, and also their experience level and buy-in.

One thing I do know for sure, however, is that if you start out too overly aggressive with the calorie cutting, you’ll have nothing left to cut to further your weight loss.

Here’s a quick tip: start your diet around your maintenance calorie level to see how the scale reacts to what you’re currently consuming combined with your new training program and exercise.

Then, if the scale stays pretty stable, reduce your calories by 300-500 per day and let that run its course. I actually really like the guidelines of 1-2lbs per week for males and 0.5-1lb per week for females. Of course, these are averages and depending on your total bodyweight might be different.

Heavier individuals can probably lose at a slightly faster rate initially, while lighter individuals will lose slower simply because there’s less weight to lose in the first place.

The goal of your diet shouldn’t be to cut calories as hard and fast as possible. It should be to eat as many calories as possible while still losing fat and getting results.

Use Various Tools to Track Progress

When you get going with your fat loss phase, you’ll definitely want to use various methods to ensure that you are making progress and to also know when it’s time to modify your training or diet.

The scale gets plenty of hate, although I believe it to be an extremely useful tool. Is it the end all be all to judge fat loss progress?

Healllll naw.

But, it is a useful too so I suggest using it. Along with tracking gym performance, taking progress pictures, and monitoring your energy levels.

Honestly, the scale, progress pictures, and how you feel are *very* good indicators of whether you’re making progress or not.

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Courtesy of Pixabay

You’ll definitely want to use a combination of all of them because relying on one method only might not provide enough reassurance that you are actually progressing.

Scale goes up a pound?

No biggie. Keep plugging along and if after 3-4 weigh-ins it’s still the same or has gone up more, then you can adjust your diet and calories.

Pay attention to the week-to-week differences in scale weight rather than day-to-day. Because guess what? The results aren’t going to happen overnight anyway.

Your Diet IS Most Important

The more and more I work with online coaching clients, I find the saying “results are 80% diet and 20% exercise” to be truer than I once thought.

It might be sorta cliche to think that what you eat will make up 80% of your results but it turns out it may actually be pretty accurate.

I mean, how easy it to rack up 500 calories without even realizing it? A couple cookies, some peanut butter, and a glass of milk would probably do it.

So when fat loss is the goal, you really should ‘watch what you eat’ a bit more closely. It’s easier to mind your eating habits than it is spending an extra 3 hours in the gym trying to burn off the extra calories you ‘accidentally’ consumed.

The key to fat loss?

Sustaining a calorie deficit.

The easiest way to achieve that deficit is to reduce calories via nutrition changes. You can take away the guesswork with my free nutrition manual, HERE.

With this guide, you’ll learn how to establish your very own fat loss diet including target macronutrient amounts and how to structure your diet to help keep you consistent and on track.

Embrace the Journey

I said I was gonna give you the no BS truth so here it is.

Most progress pictures you see of incredible transformations and shredded abs took wayyy longer than a month or two.

Heck, when I got to my all-time leanest last year, I had been hard at work for over 6 months. While that isn’t a super long time, it isn’t the ‘overnight’ results we hear about way too often.

So keep your expectations realistic yet challenging. If you’re 30% body fat, don’t kid yourself thinking you can get to 10% in a single 10 or 12-week diet phase.

Because that just isn’t likely to happen.

If you do your first diet and still want to lose more weight at the end of that diet, simply maintain your new weight for a month before beginning another period of focused fat loss.

DO NOT try to lose everything in one fell swoop because it’ll be miserable, unnecessarily tougher than it has to be and mentally draining. Not to mention your rate of fat loss will really slow down.

Instead, plug along at a steady clip and just keep putting in the work. It may take a couple ‘fat loss’ diets to get there but eventually, you will, no doubt about it.

Enjoy ‘Healthier’ Treats to Stay On Track

Seeing as the food part of the whole ‘losing body fat’ thing is the most difficult for people, don’t be afraid to mix in some healthier/lower calorie ‘treats’ to help you keep your sanity while you lose weight.

Now, I’m not against having regular treats from time to time (if you can control your intake), but for many people, having some higher calorie foods leads to eating more higher calorie foods.

So if you have trouble keep things under raps, try some lower calorie options.

One of my favorite new discoveries is Enlightened ice cream. They really should be paying me for the number of times I’ve told online coaching clients about their ice cream and bragged about it on Instagram. Oh well haha. I’ll keep buying it because it’s delicious and easily fits into a fat loss diet.

Here’s a recent pic of one of my shopping excursions 🙂 Let’s just say I stocked up 😉

Summer is coming, will you be ready?

If you’re anything like me, then you want to look good and feel confident by the time the clothes come off when summer gets here. 

Using these tips and the ones you’ll learn in the ’10 Commandments of Fat Loss’ manual below, you’ll be well on your way to your leanest, sexiest body yet.

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (3/19)

You’ve come to the right place if you want great fitness content from trusted names in the fitness industry.

Hope you enjoy this week’s list!

Articles by Me

Top Articles of the Week

  1. Exericses You Should Be Doing: HBT Front Squat March via Tony G
  2. Quad Training Tips for Hypertrophy via Mike I
  3. 3 Tips for a Stronger Sumo Deadlift via Ryan W (me!)
  4. Partial Range Reps: Not Always Cheating via Nick T
  5. Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read via Eric C
  6. Tip: How to Activate Your Pecs for Better Gains via Christian T
  7. Fix Your Rowing Technique for Better Back Definition via Ryan W (me!)
  8. What the Diet Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know via Sivan F
  9. Should Women Fix their Flaws? via Nia S
  10. Addiction Transfer: Are You Swapping “unhealthy” behaviors for “healthy” alternatives? via Lisa L

Get This Delivered Straight to Your Inbox!

Stop Telling Yourself You Can’t: 4 Powerful Mental Changes to Improve Your Fat Loss Progress

After watching a podcast last week which featured Alex Viada and two of my buddies, Greg Robins and Tony Bonvechio, I’ve been thinking more about how crucial the mental aspect is to fitness success.

The mental side of fitness isn’t talked about nearly enough and I’d argue that it’s the most important component to higher levels of personal achievements.

So today, I want to share some important tips to improve your mental game so that you can make better progress in the gym and in life, too.

You ready?

It Starts With a Purpose

Going to the gym and eating right is the easy part. Ok, maybe not easy, but less challenging than dealing with those negative voices in your head telling you that you can’t do something. (By the way, you can simplify the fat loss process HERE.)

The most important thing you’ve gotta do to create the foundation for an improved mental aspect of fitness is to have a purpose.

Without a purpose, it’ll be difficult to accomplish your goals and very easy to give up when things get tougher.

So first and foremost, what’s your purpose?

Be specific with your goals and your purpose and make sure they’re incredibly important to you. The more serious and important, the better chance you’ll follow through.

Pushing Yourself

Part of the mental game is simple: just don’t give up.

It really is that simple sometimes. I stress this over and over to my online coaching clients because it really is that important.

Are you able to just keep going to do what needs to be done? Or do you stop once you’re fatigued or don’t feel like doing anymore?

If you’ve got 5 sets of squats, do you do 4 sets and call that good enough because you’re tired?

Do you run 5,275 feet and stop 5 feet short of a mile because it’s ‘close enough’?

As cliche as this might be, these sort of things might be preventing you from reaching your goals. When ‘stuff’ starts to become more challenging, do you accept the challenge or just accept that you can’t do it?

Hopefully, it’s the first option.

And, this has nothing to do with being superior at a certain fitness component like strength or endurance.

If you constantly quit when things get tough, then it doesn’t matter.

The question is, are you able to just keep pushing and to never give up?

If you can, you’re on the right path.

Being Positive to Yourself

Self-doubt and negative thoughts are natural for many people, especially when it comes to improving body composition or achieving a goal that’s difficult.

We tend to be way harsher on ourselves than necessary.

For whatever reason, we think that negativity is going to motivate us towards better progress and doing better with our programs.

But in reality what happens is that it just pushes us farther and farther away because we’re trying to reach a positive outcome by way of negative reinforcement.

And that’s not going to work in the long run.

So one thing I’d really stress to you is to be kinder to yourself. Regardless of where you’re at in your fitness journey, constantly beating yourself up and being negative are 100% not going to help you reach the goals that are most important to you.

Good things happen with positivity.

Now, being positive doesn’t mean you can just wish your way towards your goals.

But please, be nice to yourself. Beating yourself up for eating a ‘bad’ food or skipping one workout is not worth it.

One thing I stress to my clients is to acknowledge the progress they’ve made, whether small or large because progress is progress. Period.

A new online coaching client of mine has been very successful in her first month. She’s lost 6lbs and is getting stronger every session. What’s important in the screenshot below isn’t the weight loss, or the physical changes (although those are nice), but the mental shift that is starting to occur.

I’ve been working hard with her to accept that she is making great progress and to acknowledge her accomplishments so far.

It’s very, very important to appreciate the progress you’re making and your achievements. Because if you don’t, you’ll never be happy regardless of how much weight you lose or how good you look.

So be nice to yourself and appreciate how hard you’ve worked. It’s ok and actually recommended to pat yourself on the back every now and then. And then to continue working towards your goals.

Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone

Lastly, toughening your mental game will require you to get out of your comfort zone. If you’ve ever seen this picture below, then you probably know it to be true.

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Image courtesy of www.theodysseyonline.com

Because how much is really going to change if you continue doing the same stuff you’ve always done?

Whether you want a 500lb deadlift, or you want to finally get a six-pack, you can’t ‘coast’ to get there.

You will, without a doubt, have to go outside that little bubble as scary as that might be. Sometimes it sucks. Sometimes it’s scary. But, more often than not you’ll be glad you did.

Because when you get outside your comfort zone you can really see what you’re made of. And you’ll be able to accomplish more things than you ever have before simply because you’re willing to learn and try new things.

It’s quite liberating, actually.

Try this.

Pick 1 thing you’ve always wanted to do but were scared to do and do it this week. Seriously. Go do it.

You’ll thank me later 🙂

If you only take 1 thing from this article…

Remember, the way you think is the way you’ll act. If you think positive, you’ll do things that will help you get closer towards your goals.
Fitness is truly an amazing thing that we’re able to experience. Don’t limit yourself because of previous beliefs. If you want to achieve something important, put your mind to it and go for it.
I’d love to help you reach your fat loss goals, so please, grab your free nutrition manual below to take away the guesswork. It’s my gift to you and I hope you’ll put the information within the book to good use.

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (3/12)

It’s Sunday again which means I’ve got another solid list of fitness articles to dig into.

Enjoy!

Articles by Me

This is an older post, but one that a lot of people seemed to enjoy. If you haven’t seen it before, give it a read.
Top Articles of the Week
  1. Are Close Stance Squats Really More Quad-Dominant? via Greg N
  2. I Finally Broke Up With My Scale via Neghar F
  3. A New Way to Build Your Traps via Ryan W (me!)
  4. We Don’t Live in a Bubble via Tony G
  5. Old Man Training via Alex V
  6. 3 Tips for More Effective and Pain-Free Lunges via Ryan W (me!)
  7. Stop Squatting Through That Painful Hip Pinch! via Andrew M
  8. Hamstring Training Tips for Hypertrophy via Mike I
  9. Overhead for Older Dudes and Dudettes via Dean S
  10. Hate to Run? You Can Still Hit These High-Intensity Interval Workouts via Amy D
Sunday Quick Tip
When you’re at the gym don’t focus on what other people look like or whether they’re doing something wrong.
Instead, put your focus on executing good quality reps in your own training session and improving yourself.
I know it can be easy to see someone else who might be in great shape and wonder why you don’t look like that person. But here’s the thing…you don’t know how long they’ve been training and you don’t have their genetics.
So instead of getting discouraged, be positive and do your best to work hard.
Because nothing will beat hard work in the long run.

Want More Fitness Tips and Info to Make Better Progress?

If you liked what you read then be sure to join my email community below. When you do, I’ll send you my fat loss manual as a gift 🙂

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (3/5)

It’s Sunday which means it’s time for another brand-spanking new edition of the top fitness articles of the week.

Enjoy the list!

Articles By Me

Top Articles of the Week

  1. Body Type Revisited : A New Way To Think About The Endomorph, Ectomorph, And Mesomorph via Tom Venuto
  2. 13 Training Tips To Build A Bigger, Stronger Back  via Alex Mullan
  3. 3 Myths About Women and Lifting via Ryan W (me)
  4. You Don’t Need a Detox. But I Know Why You Want One, So Do This Instead via Amy Dix
  5. Fasted Cardio…An Undeserved Good Reputation via James Krieger
  6. Diet Breaks and More via Steve Hall with Mike Israetel
  7. Quick Hip Mobility Drill for Better Performance and Strength via Ryan W (me)
  8. Best Diet-Friendly Foods via Sivan Fagan
  9. 3 Tips for Better Pushups via Ryan W (me) 
  10. Tip: Master the Tuck Jump via Christian Thibaudeau
  11. Strength and Conditioning Stuff You Should Read via Eric Cressey
  12. Creatine Quickie via Jorden Pagel

Get Content Delivered Straight to Your Inbox

You can get the best articles delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday, plus get your hands on my nutrition ebook ’10 Commandments of Fat Loss’ when you join my exclusive community below.

Metabolic Fat Loss Circuits to Burn Fat and Build Endurance

I’m a weights guy.

I love lifting.

Bodybuilding, powerlifting, pumping iron, ya know?

Even so, I’ve found there are exercises outside of simply heaving around tons of weight that can have a direct benefit on performance, recovery, fat loss, and health.

In today’s article, I’m going to show you how circuits and complexes can be performed and programmed to fit your overall goals.

And at the end, you can grab a free copy of my Metabolic Fat Loss manual, which is packed with 28 different circuit and complex style workouts.

Let’s get to the good stuff.

Circuits and Complexes: What Are They?

Circuits

Circuit training involves performing exercises in a cyclical fashion with minimal rest or prescribed rest times. These can be done with a variety of tools like bodyweight, DB’s, barbells, kettlebells, med balls etc.

Dark, Effort, Exercise, Fitness, Gym, Man, Muscles

Usually, there is a theme or purpose to the circuit if they’re designed properly. They usually involve different exercises with different weights and rep schemes.

  • Circuits are beneficial for people looking to increase their heart rate while still getting some of the benefits of resistance training (muscle building, fat loss, etc).
  • They’re quick, effective, and can help you burn loads of calories and improve your conditioning.

I don’t mind the elliptical or treadmill for cardio but some people can’t stand it.

If you’re someone who likes some variety and gets bored easily on the treadmill, then circuit training will be right up your alley.

The best part is, you can modify the exercises to make them as easy or difficult as you’d like based on your current fitness level.

This means you can start where it’s appropriate instead of being forced to do a crazy Crossfit workout your first day getting back to the gym.

Complexes

Complexes, while very similar to circuit training, are usually done with the same weighted implement the entire time. There are many different ways to perform these.

One of the best ways to do them is performing a sequence of exercises, likely 4-5, in a row without resting or putting the weight down.

Weights, Lifting, Power, Training, Gym

You could use dumbbells or barbell where you do a prescribed number of reps for every exercise and go right to the next until all exercises have been completed.

Complexes can be a little bit more demanding and are generally tougher overall, so if you’re new to these styles of training, start with circuit style first and practice good quality movements.

Who They’re Best For

These 2 styles of training are beneficial for those who are pretty much injury free, move fairly well, and have a solid understanding of the movements.

I wouldn’t really recommend circuit training for someone who has never exercised before as there won’t be enough of a base to work with from a strength and work capacity standpoint.

If you have at least some knowledge of proper exercise technique then these can be highly beneficial.

How to Program Them

I’m a big believer that strength training should almost always come first. With that being said, a lot of people like to mix up their workouts and get in some variety.

That’s where these 2 types of training can really come in handy.

  • When paired with a lifting program, metabolic workouts are great for individual workouts in between ‘lifting’ days or as finishers at the end of some of your normal workouts.

You can certainly *only* do circuit style training for all of your workouts but I’ve found they work best for improving work capacity, strength and endurance when combined with a dedicated strength training program.

2 Workouts to Try Today

First up is a circuit workout that doesn’t require any weight aside from your bodyweight. This makes it the perfect choice when you’re traveling, away from home, or just feel like keeping it simple yet effective.

With this metabolic circuit you’ve got 4 exercises you’ll perform in a row.

A1) Bodyweight squat

A2) Pushup

A3) Single-leg hip thrust

A4) Straight-leg sit up

You can decide how many reps of each you want to do. Here, I just did 5 reps of each exercise.

With these type of workouts, they should be fairly quick. That’s what makes them perfect as finishers at the end of a workout or when you’re really busy but still want to feel like you did something productive.

Set the timer for 10-15 minutes and do anywhere from 5-15 reps per exercise. Once you complete all the exercises you can rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

The shorter the rest periods the less recovery. If you’re looking to improve your conditioning faster, try decreasing the rest periods by 10 seconds week after week if doing this workout again.

Next, here’s a complex you can do. All you need is a pair of dumbbells.

A1) DB Overhead Press

A2) DB Bentover Row

A3) DB Split Squat

A4) DB Romanian Deadlift

The difference between this workout and the circuit previously is that you will hold onto the weights the entire round without setting them down. Some complexes require you to keep hold of the weights for the entire workout, too.

You don’t have to do that, but if you want the added challenge try it!

Perform the exercises above all in a row, again you can decide how many reps to do each time. With complexes, I like keeping the reps a little lower than circuits since you are holding weights or using external resistance.

The way I did the workout above was 5 reps per exercise and 4 total rounds without putting the weights down.

Want 28 Free Fat Loss Workouts?

If you think you’re up for the challenge, adding in some metabolic fat loss workouts to your current training program can be a huge boost to your performance and recovery in the gym.

You’ll notice you have better stamina.

You’ll enjoy the increased definition and strength.

And you’ll sweat in less time which is always a plus.

So, I want to send you 28 of my all-time favorite circuit workouts absolutely free. I’ve sold this before for $29.99 but today I want to give it to you to take for a test spin.

Metabolic Fat Loss was designed to help you get in quick, effective, fat loss workouts that can be completed in 20 minutes or less.

I’ll send you your very own copy when you join my exclusive community below. Simply plug in your info and you’re in.

Once you join, send me an email to ryanwoodtraining@gmail.com and put “Metabolic Fat Loss” in the subject line and I’ll send your copy over lickity split.

Let’s get after it 🙂

 

The Best Fitness Reads of the Week (2/26)

Every Sunday, I’ll be sharing my picks of the top fitness reads from around the net.

They’ll be articles on fat loss, muscle building, strength gain, and overall fitness improvement. If you like this kind of thing, be sure to jump on my email newsletter at the end of this post because I send out useful fitness info and tips throughout the week.

And you’ll get a free nutrition guide when you join.

Anyway, enjoy the list!

Articles by Me

A Beginner’s Guide to Calorie Counting to Look Better Naked

Top Articles of the Week

  1. From Couch To Courageous: How I Learned How To Embrace Yes  via Jen C
  2. Let’s Be Honest – The Body You’re Going For, Doesn’t Exist via Lee B
  3. Advanced Plank Variation for Stronger Abs via Ryan W (me)
  4. The Pros and Cons of Online Training via Tony G
  5. 5 Biological Adaptations To Fat Loss You Need To Know via Steve H
  6. The Broccoli and Cookie Conundrum via Aadam A
  7. DB Complexes for Fat Loss and Definition via Ryan W (me)
  8. Stop Using Detoxes and Cleanses via Jordan S
  9. 9 Processed Foods You Should Be Eating via Mike S
  10. The Magic Happens Outside Your Comfort Zone via Ryan W (me)

Sunday Quick Tip

The scale can be one of the most dreaded aspects of fitness.

A *lot* of people are afraid to step on the scale. And that’s ok.

But what’s most important to remember is that the scale is just a tool to show whether your bodyweight is going up or down.

It does NOT define who you are. It doesn’t tell the whole story of your progress. It’s just a tool to track body weight over a period of time.

An online client recently sent me this text:

She’s feeling better but got discouraged simply because the scale number was up a bit.

You know what my response was to her?

“Screw the scale!” (slightly different language was used haha)

The bottom line is that the scale can be a useful tool, but you shouldn’t get upset if the number isn’t changing for a little bit, or it goes up slightly.

Remember that fitness is a journey and you’ve just got to keep on moving forward.

Keep doing your best and working as hard as you can.

Do NOT equate your self-worth or measure your fitness progress only by the number on the scale.

Keep on getting after it 🙂

Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Make Gains