What the heck is a Fat Burning Ladder workout?
A Ladder Workout is a training technique that I often use, especially with bodyweight / calisthenics workouts. It’s also one of the training methods I will be introducing in my upcoming ebook/ video program, Bodyweight MASS Builder. It’s a high-intensity, high-volume super-set workout that will build muscle, increase muscular endurance, and burn fat. It’s a simple but challenging form of antagonist supersetting that you can apply to almost any exercises, but which I find particularly well suited to body weight exercises.
Here’s how you perform this workout protocol: choose two exercises, typically one pushing movement and one pulling movement (antagonist muscle groups), OR a lower body exercise paired up with an upper body exercise, and you super-set these two exercises, moving back and forth between them with minimal rest. But here’s where the ‘ladder’ technique gets interesting: you begin with only ONE repetition on one exercise and gradually increase reps on every set, and you start with a high number of reps on the other exercise and gradually decrease reps on each set. One exercise moves up the ladder in reps and the other one moves down.
Here’s an example, starting with 1 to 10 repetitions, which should be suitable for most beginners: Continue reading
Nutrition seems to be one of the most debated topics in the fitness industry. I’ve had numerous discussions or debates with other trainers about the value of tracking your food intake using some form of journal or nutrition diary. I argue in favor of using a journal or a free app like My Fitness Pal to track your calories and macronutrients (protein, fats, and carbs), or to at least have some awareness of portions and approximate macro intake. Those who oppose tracking often recommend just “listening to your body” to determine how much to eat.
Do you ever wonder if some of those “amazing physique transformation” pics are actually legit?
“Before and After” transformation pictures can be very motivational to those who are working on transforming their own physique, and an impressive progress photograph is one of the most powerful testimonials you can have for any given product, supplement, training program or nutrition plan.
However, in many cases there is more going on in these pictures than meets the eye.
While you can’t just assume that any unbelievable transformation pics are “fake”, IMO it’s also important to realize that most before/after or ‘progress’ photos involve a little tweaking… such as tanning, shaving, optimal lighting, posing, sticking your gut out vs flexing, pumping up, water and carb manipulation, etc.
Even just the camera angle or changing your body position can create an “illusion” for the camera. This isn’t even getting into the discussion of whether photoshop was used, or steroids for that matter.
While some of the strategies I mentioned above don’t necessarily qualify as “cheating”, but it helps to know this if you expect to achieve the results you see in those ‘testimonials’. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t aim high and set very challenging goals for yourself, however it can be very disappointing to work hard towards an unreachable goal you set based on unrealistic expectations as a result of the crazy transformation promises made by some products and programs. Continue reading
With every new year comes new fad diets promising fast fat loss. These range from low carb, low fat, elimination diets, food timing diets, liquid diets, “clean-eating” diets, and the list goes on. But like I’ve said many times before, the fundamentals of fat loss nutrition remain the same:
1) Caloric deficit – take in less energy than you burn off.
2) Appropriate macronutrient ratios – particularly higher protein and adjust carbs and fats according to calorie goals.
3) Food quality – choose less processed foods, adequate micronutrition and fiber, and consume mostly natural “whole” food.
4) Nutrient timing – consider WHEN you eat, such as meal frequency and timing your carb intake primarily after exercise.
Check out my blog post on this topic:
The one recommendation that I most often see debated is following a High Protein Diet. There is still a lot of confusion and misinformation about whether eating more protein is good or bad for you, and some misguided recommendations have evolved from poorly conducted or misinterpreted/misunderstood studies suggesting that a high protein diet is “bad for you”.
The mainstream media has been polluting us with anti-protein propaganda recently with claims that simply aren’t supported by sound scientific research. For example, some people bring up research showing that people with kidney dysfunction should restrict protein intake, however a high-protein diet itself has never been shown to ’cause’ kidney damage.
Also, while there are claims that a high-protein diet increases the risk of osteoporosis, research clearly shows that it actually helps prevent osteoporosis. There is enough solid research now available to prove the benefit of consuming more protein, especially if you are trying to lose body fat.
Why is Protein Important?
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Your body uses the amino acids from protein to build muscle, tendon, organ, skin, as well as hormones and enzymes vital to life. You need to consume enough quality protein to get certain Essential Amino Acids that your body needs to survive.
Animal-based sources of protein are the most complete, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, but certain plant-based proteins like rice and pea protein are high-quality sources of protein as well. Continue reading
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Here’s my gift to you: The 12 Days of Fitness (Christmas Workout). I had several of my clients perform variations of this program yesterday… it’s a fun way to get in a decent circuit training workout for the holidays.
There’s 12 rounds of this circuit, each round adding another exercise with one more repetition (up to 12 repetitions for the final exercise, of course). It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete, depending on your rep speed and rest intervals. Here’s the video tutorial I created for it (you’ll be impressed by my angelic singing voice!):
The 12 Days of Fitness – A Christmas Workout
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but here’s how you do it: Continue reading
What the Hell is Wrong with the Weight Loss Industry?
I recently watched an excellent video created by Mike Howard of Lean Minded, where he basically throws the entire fitness industry under the bus. The thing is, he makes some important observations, his critique is well-founded, and he provides some great suggestions about what to do about it. His opinion on this topic is very similar to my own, and his advice is right in line with what I’ve been saying for a while now (on my blog, YouTube, and other social media).
I shared the video below in this article, and I encourage you to take a few minutes to check it out. He touches on several problems in the fitness industry at present:
- People seem to believe that everything causes weight gain… except excess calories.
- People are chasing a quick fix to get short term results for a single event, rather than making “fitness” a Lifestyle.
- People obsess about minutia and argue about the smallest details related to training and nutrition, rather than learning the basics and looking at the big picture.
- Everyone is focused on Extremes (black and white; good and bad; all or nothing) rather than striving for Balance.
- “Fitness Experts” debate whether fat loss is 60%, 70% or 80% diet vs exercise, forgetting that it is 100% MINDSET. Continue reading