Goals AGAIN, Best Fat Loss and FAT-LOSS AGAIN!

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

-Bruce Lee

Halfway to 2011

July 1st, 2010

“What gets measured, gets managed”
Peter Drucker
Management Theorist,
Author of 31 books.


In an ongoing series to motivate everyone to take action — here we are again…

Today marks the halfway point of the year.

The entire first half of 2010 has already passed- there are now only six months to 2011.

How are those New Year’s Resolutions looking now?

Are you on track with those New Years Resolutions? Are you on track with your goals?

If you wanted to lose 20lbs this year – are you down 10lbs already?
If your goal was to do 250 workouts – have you completed 125 ?
IF you wanted to make $10,000 more this year — are you on track?

It’s amazing how time passes so quickly.

Don’t waste a single second.

If your goal is fat loss – start today
If your goal is muscle building – start today
If your goal is (insert anything here) – start TODAY !

If you’re just a little behind — adjust your plan – make up for it! Make a half New Years Resolution!

50% of this year is gone forever. Will you make changes TODAY or will another 25% pass, then another 50% — and before you know it — it’s 2011…..

I meet a lot of people in my job, and get a lot of questions via email. I’ll talk to guys who track every single macronutrient that passes their lips, and have tried just about every program out there. When I ask them how things are going — they’ll tell me that it’s great, or that the program is working well.

But rarely do they quantify anything. How many pounds of muscle gained? How much of a strength increase have you seen in real terms?

Very few people actually measure and take stock of their efforts. If you are following a plan to lose fat – are you actually losing fat? And I mean at a rate that is acceptable for your efforts? Or are you blindly following a plan that doesn’t work, and essentially ignoring that?

I know where my progress towards my goals stand because I measure it.

When I was in the hospital for a stem cell transplant – the medical team took measurements of temperature, blood pressure and blood samples every 4 hours.

When we implement a marketing campaign at the gym — we track the results. We know for example how many direct mail pieces we send out, the cost of each mailing, how many inquiries we get, how many appointments are made, and how many people join the gym as a result. We know exactly how effective the plan is, and whether the return we are seeing is worth the investment. We can see that for $X invested, we receive a return of $Y.

We need to know where our membership stands – how many inquiries, how many new members, renewals etc and when our busiest times are – everything is measured and tracked so we can continue to grow and serve our members.

If you remember “SMART” goal setting — one of the keys is ‘M’ – Measurable. Measure your results.

An easy goal for fitness enthusiasts is just to commit to working out X times this year. If your goal is to do 200 workouts in 2010, you should have just finished workout 100. If you’re ahead – awesome! If you’re behind, step it up.

Now -as we enter the second half of 2010, it’s time to take stock of your efforts. Has your current return been worth the investment?

Again — 50% of this year is gone forever. Will you make changes TODAY or will another six months pass, then another six — and before you know it — it’s Summer 2011…..

Don’t waste a single second. Start TODAY.

Where will you be at the 75% point – October 1st ? That’s 13 weeks away. Will you be 13 weeks leaner – down 13, or even 26lbs of fat? Will your business demonstrate 13 weeks further growth – will you be 13 weeks closer to your goals?

The time will pass anyway….


Training techniques to maximize fat loss

June 29th, 2010
Q: What do you look for when designing a fat loss training program? Do you look at what people have done in the gyms before, or do you read the research and then try to recreate that?A: The primary goals of an exercise routine for fat loss are burn calories, maintain or promote muscle mass and try to increase resting metabolism somehow.

Surprisingly there is very little science on the use of weight training solely for fat loss -its something that seemed to come from the gyms and go back to the labs. And even then the programs used in these studies were usually fairly standard.

Similar to a lot of trainers, I noticed that clients who focused on resistance training seemed to lose more fat than clients that focused on cardio. When we opened Results Fitness in 2000, we were able to track this more closely, and in every case – resistance training always won.

I can also state categorically that we have more clients in our gym on any specific fat loss program than pretty much any published study on training for fat loss. Yes, it’s not a controlled lab – but we see subjects (our clients) that are given a specific intervention (our programs) and we track the results. That’s pretty much what research is though – but we’re trying to create a result – not just observe what happens – so we do change stuff ongoing.

And over the years, we have tracked those results, and adjusted the programs to develop the best fat loss/body composition training program that we can – which is essentially a resistance training – interval training – self limiting exercise hybrid.

Resistance training – specifically what we call “metabolic” resistance training, always – always – outperforms other forms of exercise in terms of real world fat loss – even when calories burned during training are similar.


Well, it’s either muscle gains from the resistance training that increase metabolism., or some sort of post-workout effect. But the fat loss is far bigger even in the short term – before any muscle would have been built. So it’s some type of post-workout change to the metabolism that we’ve coined the “afterburn” effect. Which we describe as

“the post workout period that results in metabolic disturbance, elevating EPOC, fat burning enzyme activity and total body fat oxidation to maximize caloric burn for the other 23+ hours per day”.

I have gotten emails disputing EPOC etc, saying that it’s only a few calories, and the actual numbers don’t add up to much.

I agree.

When you look at the research.

EPOC in the research is often a small number. Why then is there such a big difference in real world results when compared to other forms of exercise?

From our experience – exercise routines that generate the highest EPOC – even if it’s only a few calories more – always seem to result in more real world fat loss. But it’s true the actual EPOC numbers don’t explain it. It doesn’t add up.

We’ve seen interval training studies that show more total fat loss than aerobic programs that burn the same calories during the exercise session? Why? It must be a post workout effect.

We’ve seen weight training studies show more total fat loss than cardio programs that burn the same calories during the exercise session? Why? Same deal.

It’s not just the calories burned during training that make the difference. So we have to go after programs that result in some type of change to the metabolism post workout.

I propose that there is an accumulative effect of the post workout increase in metabolism. Most of the studies look at single isolated workouts and the corresponding short term metabolism changes. But that’s not real world. Real world fat loss is several workouts, increasing in volume and intensity over a longer period of time.

What happens when you look at multiple workouts – over weeks or months? There are several studies showing that two separate shorter sessions in a given time period have a higher total EPOC than a single longer session – even at the same intensity.

It makes sense to me that if metabolism is elevated as a result of the first workout, then exercising again will elevate that “already elevated” metabolism further. The evidence is clear on that. What we don’t know is how long that “between workouts” period is – some studies suggest a few hours, some as long as 38 hours.

But it’s not a stretch to think that a small percent increase, on a small percent increase could compound over time…

I’ll confess though, I don’t think we really know what causes the end difference. But we know what works – and we should just use that as our model and let the researchers try to figure out why.

I do spend time trying to figure out the “why” — but bottom line – that’s not what I get paid for. I get paid for getting clients in shape. I get paid for end-results not mechanisms.

Our programs

So before you say “But you quote research!!!” – Let me explain how we evolve and upgrade our programs at Results Fitness.

First – we see what works in the gym – in reality. Then we talk to fellow gym owners and coaches as to what they see working in their facilities and share what we see. We adjust certain things and see if it works better or not. Then we look at the research to explain the why.

So – it’s our own experience and observations. Then it’s the experience and observations of some of our colleagues. And then it’s the research.

So when I quote research here in my newsletter or blog, it’s actually step three. I’m not looking at research for methods – I’m looking for further explanation as to the mechanisms behind what we see on a daily basis at our facility. Charlie Francis once mentioned that he felt training research was at least five years behind what coaches and practitioners are doing. Maybe that’s not too far off.

So, we don’t ignore the research. But we also don’t look for research to tell us what to do — We’re looking for research to explain why what we do works. Sometimes we find those studies- sometimes we don’t. But we keep training people in our own little “research lab”. I don’t think any research paper has ever changed what we do in practice too much.

A question I get asked a lot from seminar attendees and interviewers is ”

Is there any new information/research that has you reconsidering any of your current views on training? “

Quite honestly-that rarely happens.

While I read a lot of research, I don’t think that good coaches and trainers ever change their minds on training based on new research. A good coach is already seeing what works with his or her athletes on a regular basis. In fact it’s not uncommon to see studies that are investigating what coaches, nutritionists and trainers are doing and looking to explain them.

Our facility sees a couple of hundred clients who train on a regular basis. We have been open for close to ten years, and have the records of every single workout ever performed in our facility, in addition to body composition and other performance data that we regularly assess (for fat loss clients we assess body composition weekly). Over the years we have recorded and observed a plethora of data and correlations.

If you contrast that with the fact that most studies tend to run for a matter of weeks, and use perhaps 9-10 participants in each group — it’s fair to say that we have collected more real world training data than most peer-reviewed studies have. So when a “new finding” appears that doesn’t gel with what we’ve observed, then I tend to ignore it, despite any media coverage. (The recent TIME article suggesting that exercise doesn’t help with weight loss is a good example).

Again – it’s not that I ignore the training research — it’s that I put more faith in what I’ve personally observed with large groups of people, and what my colleagues have observed, before accepting the findings of a single study.

Fat Loss Training Studies

However here are a few studies that have helped explain to us what we see in the gym and influence some of our adjustments:

  • A 1999 study compared a resistance training and aerobic training program with a very low-calorie liquid diet and looked at it’s effects on lean muscle and resting metabolism. Both groups lost the same amount of weight but the resistance training group lost significantly more fat and did not lose any lean muscle. Additionally, the resistance training group actually increased metabolism compared to the aerobic group which decreased metabolism.
  • Another study from the same year assigned overweight subjects to three groups: Diet Only, Diet plus aerobics or Diet plus aerobics plus weight trainingThe Diet-only group lost 14 lbs of fat in 12 weeks but when they added in the aerobic program – that group lost only one more pound than the diet group.However the Weight Training group lost 21 lbs of fat in the same time frame.
  • A 1992 paper compared 40 mins of high intensity aerobic training, a circuit-training routine and a heavy weight-training routine. The heavy weight training and circuit routines both burned more calories post workout than the aerobic routine.
  • Another group of researchers compared the short term EPOC effect of two resistance training modalities: A standard weight training program using 80% of RM (3 x 6, six exercises, two minutes rest between sets) and a circuit based weight training program using 50% RM (3 x 10-12 reps, six exercises – 30s between sets). The total work volume was similar.However the circuit training group had a bigger EPOC effect. Basically – there were more calories burned with the shorter, lighter workout – probably because minute for minute the actual workload (or density) was higher in the circuit group.
  • A paper from 1994 showed that resistance training resulted in a higher post workout metabolic increase than aerobic exercise.
  • A study published in 2005 compared a treadmill workout and circuit weight training at the same intensity and found a higher increase in calories burned post workout with the circuit group. In other words – despite working at the exact same effort level – a circuit training model burned more calories overall than treadmill exercise.
  • A 1997 study looked at two groups over 8 weeks – a strength training group and an aerobic training group (both workouts were designed to burn the exact same amount of calories Both groups followed the same diet and lost the same total amount of weight – 19.8lbs However the strength training group lost significantly more fat and maintained more muscle than the aerobic group.
  • A 2003 review from Norway noted that “Little is known about the mechanisms underlying EPOC after resistance exercise.””The relationships between the intensity and duration of resistance exercise and the magnitude and duration of EPOC have not been determined, but a more prolonged and substantial EPOC has been found after hard versus moderate resistance exercise” – basically there is a longer, bigger post-workout elevation with heavier training
  • And a 2007 study from the Human Performance Center at Anderson University, on caloric burn in weight training using the same loads but different lifting tempos: This study compared explosive training and slow training both using 4 sets x 8 reps @ 60%RM.The explosive group actually burned 13% more calories during training and 7% more in the post exercise period despite using the exact same loads as the slow training group. The researchers summarized – “by using explosive contractions and moderate exercise intensity, experienced recreational exercisers can increase their energy expenditure during and after resistance exercise, and this could enhance weight-loss adaptations.”

But here’s the one thing that you don’t really find in the research – programs that need to work or the researchers don’t get paid! That’s the difference between their world and ours! All these studies are essentially observations to see what happens. None of the studies are trying to get real people to lose fat as quickly as possible, which is what we are paid to do with our clients.

Compound that with the fact that we work in the real world – our clients can often only give us 2-3 hours total workout time per week – you can see that every minute counts in training.

What I can tell you is that in our facility when we combine all of the above findings into a program – there is some synergy. The whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.

Now, I don’t know which research study is the best or the most applicable. And we can argue all day about sample sizes, flawed research etc, and I’m sure that you can find studies that literally contradict each other. All I know is:

  • our clients get leaner faster than the “numbers” say is possible
  • our clients do metabolic resistance training
  • our clients get better results than most gym goers

One of our clients wore the body bugg (a device that measures how many calories you burn) when she started with us, getting a baseline daily calorie burn including her workouts and then spent a year performing metabolic resistance training consistently 2-3 days a week. Wearing the device again 1 year later, she was burning an average of 20% more calories per day.


So in our facility we are constantly reviewing our programming to maximize client results. And over time we have found the best fat loss training characteristics to be:

  • Metabolic Resistance Training – big movements
  • Heavy resistance (go as heavy as possible within the set)
  • However use a time under tension in the 45s area (so this may be a slightly longer set than traditional weight training)
  • Shorter rest periods than traditional weight training
  • The use of explosive reps at times
  • The use of alternating sets/mini-circuits to maximize work density and minimize local fatigue

Basically the routines are designed to burn more calories during the workout using many different methods, and increase post workout caloric burn to maximize overall fat loss.


Weight loss is not just about diet and exercise.

June 24th, 2010

Guest Blog from Dr Bryan Walsh

Weight loss is not just about diet and exercise.

Bold statement, but it’s true.

If losing weight were simply about following a diet and exercise program, why are so many new books being written on the subject? Because they aren’t working and honestly, it’s time people learned the truth about fat loss.

Let me first make one thing clear – diet and exercise are necessary for weight loss. Without them, weight loss won’t occur.

But what happens when diet and exercise don’t work?

Unfortunately this happens for far too many people. They follow a good diet and exercise program and they either don’t achieve all the weight loss they are hoping for, or they don’t lose any weight at all. It happens all the time.

Weight loss is a complex and well-orchestrated metabolic, biochemical and hormonal event that requires a number of factors to be working properly for fat loss to occur.

Hormones, blood sugar balance, gastrointestinal function, thyroid . . . if just one of these systems are not working properly, weight loss will not happen.

Consider the following:

• A recent study showed that the presence of certain bacteria in your gut can actually increase the amount of calories you absorb. In other words if you are eating 1,500 calories a day, but you have too many of these bacteria in your gut, you could be absorbing 2,000 calories a day!

• Another recent study showed that food sensitivities were the cause of inflammation and obesity, and that the removal of food sensitivities is a treatment for obesity. Everyone in this study who eliminated foods they were sensitive to lost an average of 37 pounds in 12 weeks.

• Neurotransmitter imbalances (i.e. low dopamine) can lead to fatigue, sugar cravings and carbohydrate binges. In other words, if you have a hard time sticking to a diet – it might not be about will-power and motivation, but rather you might have a neurotransmitter imbalance.

• Many common pesticides and chemicals in our environment have been shown to increase fat gain in animal and human studies.

The list goes on. There are so many underlying reasons people are having a difficult time losing weight, I created a multi-media program called Fat Is Not Your Fault. It contains a manual, assessment form, audio interpretation guide and over two and a half hours of video covering why people are having a hard time losing weight. It is the missing link in the weight loss industry that unfortunately no one is talking about.

The point is, there are many more factors to weight loss than simply diet and exercise.

We’re told by doctors that we need to lose weight to be healthy. And while that’s partly true, we also need to be healthy to lose weight. The healthier we are on the inside, the easier it is for us to lose weight on the outside. I cannot tell you how important understanding this concept is.

If you’re a couch potato and wondering why you’re overweight, the first thing you need to do is follow a good diet and exercise program.

But if you’ve been following a good program and aren’t seeing the results you’re after, it’s time to look closer as to why you are not losing weight, which Fat Is Not Your Fault can help you do.

Be well,
Dr. Bryan Walsh
Fat Is Not Your Fault



World Cup just started but that is not what we are talking about today, let’s talk about your GOALS!

The only way to achieve them is to actually set them (duh), make them tangible and they will become real. This is true in fitness just like anything else you have done in your life. Think about the great accomplishments in your life, how did you get acchieve them? It wasn’t by chance, it was by setting a target with milestones and attacking them one by one. If you want a change then you’ve got to be the change, don’t fall into the trap of tomorrow because as we all  know TOMORROW NEVER COMES.

So let’s set some S.M.A.R.T. goals





Timely or Time line

Goal setting is all about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals — and T stands for “Time line”. Athletes peak for National Championships, Trials and World events. Just because you’re training for fat loss or to look better naked – doesn’t change the fact that DEADLINES are extremely effective tools.

So we’re going to set two this Summer.

Your next goal is Independence Day (for my US readers) – July 4th –

With a combination of a kick start plan, a solid workout and nutritional support program and a healthy dose of motivation – you could easily be 10+ lbs leaner by then.

Your next goal is the end of summer – the Labor Day weekend (first weekend in September).  So if you’re looking a little flabby this weekend or feeling a little embarrassed about your body — you can still make amazing changes. It’s never too late.

This is an opportunity for you to look great by Summer’s end.

But you still need to start now.

Here’s the fat loss basics (if you need more info see below):

  1. You need to create a caloric deficit – no two ways about it – you must burn more than you consume. But that doesn’t just mean eat less.
  2. The most effective way to create that deficit is to use a combination of diet and exercise
  3. Your diet should consist of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables.
    Keep starches and refined carbs to a minimum.
    Keep your fluid intake high (water only), and try to eat at least 4-5 small meals per day.
    This will help maintain blood sugar levels and keep you from blowing your diet.
  4. Exercise – interval training and metabolic resistance training will provide the most bang-for-your buck. Steady state aerobic training just doesn’t burn enough calories for your goals right now, and a bodypart training split will be less effective than total body training for fat loss.
  5. Try to exercise at least four to six days per week – two to three days of interval based cardio and two to three days of resistance training.

The excerpt was adapted from Alwyn Cosgrove’s blog and is exactly what we do in the MaxOut class everyday, so the programming and exercise part is DONE for you. All you have to do is show up, now you just have to know what your goal is and figure out a nutritional strategy that works for you. Don’t make it too complicated because it is as easy as just eating lean protein, tons of veggies, some fruit and minimizing the starch and sugar intake. Not only will you look better but feel better and perform better in the gym EVERYDAY.

Alright let’s get it done and post some goals to the comments, make them public and hold yourself accountable.



If you want more, be MORE ! -Martin Rooney

Max Out Kick-off Results

Row Challenge

The MaxOut Kick-off was great last Saturday!

Thank you everyone who came out and supported. I hope you had fun foam rolling, rowing, working out and eating chicken, veggies and fruit! For those of you who didn’t make it (shame on YOU, j/k) you can still come out any Saturday at noon for a FREE team workout and have fun as well as get to know the gym. The next big event is May 22nd during the Shawsu and Bike Outfitters Open House/ Member Appreciation Day.

Here are the Conditioning Challenge Rower Results, here are the brave souls that took on the challenge

1)Will 1:32

2)Sergio 1:41

3)Ajay 1:43

4) Jon 1:44

5) Monte 1:51

6)Dean 1:52

7) Al 1:57 (with a break in the middle!)

8)Dustin 2:09

The next big event is the Shawsu Workout Studio Open House/Member Appreciation. We will have:

-challenges, raffles, prizes, food, health vendors, slack lining, Pilates demos and more to come!

That is May 22nd all day and of course I will have my 12 MaxOut Class


20 best foods

somewhere along the line we evolved then SUDDENLY, we un-evolved?

That is a HUGE part thanks to what we are putting in our mouths, do you eat? Then you should educate yourself on what you are eating, how you are eating and help others do so as well. The food pyramid is BOGUS! All “diets” are bogus, nothing works for everyone, but you can get real, real close by just starting to eat cleaner. Just real food, that’s right the stuff that goes bad in a few days. The real problem is the approach, since this falls low on most people’s priority besides watching “marriage ref” (a wonderful show I must say).

Last week I attended a seminar by Martin Rooney, here is the 20 best foods to eat currently, just eat this and less of what you
already eating, in no particular order:

20 best foods

1. Apple

2. Fish (SALMON, TUNA, wild please!)

3. broccoli

4. spinach (kale) get your pop-eye on

5. oats (raw!)

6. almonds and walnuts

7. blue berries

8. eggs with the YOLK, yo!

9. green tea/ black tea/ coffee (no sugar !)

10. chicken

11. grass fed beef

12.milk if you are tolerant

13. dark chocolate (just a 1/2 ounce a day)

14. avocado

15. cottage cheese


17. whey protein

18. fish oil

19. olive oil

20.  green supplement if you are not getting your veggie on

HMMM, lean meats, veggies, fruits, nuts, little starch and minimal sugar, grains and processed food. What does that sound like? PALEO!

Try havin50% of your meals with JUST these foods then see if you can work up the next week then the next. FAT LOSS and feeling better for ALL!

Grass fed basics

MaxOut, Paleo diet, OUT


MaxOut Kick-off Event May 8th

MaxOut Kick-off Event

Click Me for MaxOut Info Flyer

Test your fitness with our:

Conditioning Challenge

Outdoor Fitness Activities

Posture and Movement


What is MaxOut?

Our coached small group and semi-private programs will challenge you to optimize your fat loss and performance results.

OUR MISSION is simple: to help you look better, feel better, and perform better EVERY day!!!


The New Performance Lifts

Re-tested last week on our big lifts: front squat, deadlift, bench, 1 leg squat, and chin-up.

I loved this article I got off the strength coach website and for the large majority of people out there you need to do the new big three: 1 leg squat, chin-up, sled push/pull or at least be striving to achieve them.
Pics are up, happy reading!

The New Performance Lifts

Geoff Girvitz
Printer-Friendly Format

What are your performance lifts? Part I

When it comes to prioritizing exercises, not all lifts are created equal. The squat towers over the calf-raise, for example. And the military press dwarfs the triceps kickback. Regardless of whether you train for strength, size or performance, there is a hierarchy of movement. With a limited amount of time to spend in the gym, you should know which exercises provide the most bang (see what I did there?) for your buck.

Powerlifters have their own core lifts: the squat, deadlift and bench press. For competitors, everything else is designed to improve performance in this bad-ass triumvirate. Olympic lifters pare down performance to two extremely demanding lifts: the snatch and the clean and jerk. What about those of us who lift to supplement performance? What should we prioritize? Should they be the same things?

We all owe competitive lifters a great debt. These are the people who have — for as long as anyone’s been paying attention — been laying their own asses on the line for performance. Not everything they do is scientific but, then again, science is slow and has a middling deadlift. Motivated men and women have taken more bullets than anyone can count — all in the interest of lifting more. The results are a great deal of expertise within the realms of their own sports. We can learn from their mistakes and triumphs without having to walk down exactly the same path.

As a non-competitive lifter, you’re not obligated to rack up big numbers in any particular lift. Rather, you should be looking at what keeps you, happy, motivated, functional and — above all — pain and injury free. Still, as human beings, we like to have a benchmark for performance. So what types of exercises fulfill those needs on both sides of the coin?

The New Big 3

Single-leg squat
Sled push/pull

Single leg squat

Why: This simple movement requires a great deal of mobility, stability and relative strength. It demonstrates an ability to move your own body through a full range of motion without compensating for left-to-right assymetries.

For those who don’t already have a great (conventional) squat, learning proper form typically requires a fair amount of coaching. The odds on proper coaching coming from a personal trainer at your local commercial gym are poor. There is a long, grizzly trail of damaged knees and spines to attest to this.

For those who do have a decent squat, the question is whether it has to be as heavy as possible. For non-athletes, the answer is no. At the very least, it’s not very often. The risk of injury is simply not worth the reward. Enter the single-leg squat. This exercise does not require a great deal of additional loading to progess from a beginner to advanced level of performance.

An intermediate-level squat (by powerlifting standards) would require upwards of double your bodyweight. For a 180 lb. man, that would put 360 lbs. on his back. I would estimate a comparably impressive single-leg squat to require only 55 lbs. of additional weight.* From the perspective of loading the spine, risk factors diminish considerably.

Before I start receiving any of the hate mail originally addressed to Mike Boyle, I should point out that I’m not calling for an end to squatting. However, I am advocating that those who train for function or athletic performance should perform their heavy (relative) loading with single-leg work and then perform assistance work (meaning lower intensity, but more time under the bar to perfect technique) with squat and deadlift variations.

It is worth noting that not everyone is capable of a single-leg squat (and that includes plenty of big, strong people). That’s ok. We’re going to address some solutions in Part II of this article.

Chin Up

Why: With injury prevention as our primary goal, it’s important to compensate for imbalances — not just in sports, but in life as well. The vast majority of us spend a great deal of time hunched over a computer or document. Unless your nurse is reading this aloud to you, you’re one of those people too. The symptoms associated with typical desk posture, back and shoulder pain, come largely from postural imbalances. Tight, shortened pecs and weakened, stretched scapular retractors increase your likelihood of shoulder impingement and pain. All things being equal, we want our exercises to take you in the opposite direction — ultimately toward structural stability.

While most people default to the bench press as their go-to upper body movement, the bench press can actually exacerbate pre-existing shoulder conditions. As such, we want to move in the opposite direction. Of the remaining options, chin-ups lead the pack.

Chin-ups require a host of functional skills, from scapular retraction and depression to a surprising degree of core stability, Like single-leg squats, chins are a great measure of relative strength and require relatively little external loading to progress them to an advanced level. As a matter of fact, if you’re one of the rare individuals whose external loading for chins meets or exceeds your own body weight, you will be able to progress to the truly amazing one-armed chin. Don’t worry; no one is holding their breath on that one.

Weighted sled push (or pull) for time

Why: As an indispensable tool for conditioning, the sled is simple, brutal, safe and effective. It requires a combination of lower body strength, cardiovascular endurance, core stability and iron will. While the loads and times used are subject to a fair degree of variability, you will always be able to hold yourself to the standards that you’ve already achieved.

Many of our clients come to us for fat-loss. What we find is that those who don’t come from an athletic background have never learned to move faster than “fast enough.” When we try to get these people to move at maximum speed for conditioning, there’s often a disconnect between how fast we want them to move and how fast they actually move.

A properly weighted sled will punish you for moving slowly. Just like your car, acceleration takes more fuel than maintaining speed. When you have to get from Point A to Point B, you will quickly learn that your choices range between hard and very hard. Ensure that loading is sufficient to make completing a given task extremely challenging (but doable).

*The formula I use is to estimate a person’s external loading in the single-leg squat is as follows:

Estimate their maximum front squat for x number of reps
Subtract their bodyweight from that number
Divide the result by two

Example A:
A 180 lb. man demonstrates a 288 lb. front squat for 5 reps
288 for five reps
288-180 = 108
108/2 = 54

We can estimate that this man can perform 5 single-leg squats with 54 lbs. of external loading.

Example B:
A 180 lb. man demonstrates a 150 lb. front squat for 10 reps
150 for 10 reps
150-180 = -30

In this case, to reach 10 reps, our subject will need to de-load his squat by using some kind of external assistance.

What are your performance lifts? Part II

Now that we have our lifts selected, you may find that they are too difficult for you to complete. This is not true. You are completely capable of performing these exercises. However, to do so, you may need to de-load them. Here’s how.

Practical Solutions: Single-leg Squat

Many of you who attempted the single-leg squat discovered that it’s not necessarily a walk in the park. However, you may have also come to the conclusion that being able to perform single-leg squats well would be pretty bad-ass. I personally think that the world needs more bad-asses and would like to see you counted among them. Here’s how you’re going to do it:

The de-load

If you’re struggling to complete a single (good) single-leg squat . . . Hell, if you’re struggling to complete less than seven or eight . . . Here’s what you’re going to do:

Perform one of the following de-load variations as your first exercise.
The Smith Machine
The TRX Band (1 and 2 handed)
The band
The Lat pull-down:
Rolling thunder (Pavel style)

The assistance

As I mentioned in Part I, I’m still a fan of bilateral squats and deadlifts. I consider these to be fundamental movement patterns and believe that almost everyone should strive to perfect them within the parameters of safe performance. Contrary to many, I don’t believe maximal loading to be necessary to achieve this goal.

Back squats
Front squats
Good mornings
Suitcase deadlifts
Rear elevated split-squats
Single-leg Romanian deadlifts
Single-leg squats with the lat pulldown bar
Single-leg squats with the single cable stack

Practical Solutions: Chin-up
The de-load
TRX Band (1 and 2 handed)
The double-leg jump to controlled negative
The single-leg jump to controlled negative
Chin/pull-up from seated position

The assistance:

One of the few drawbacks to chin-ups (and all their variations) is that they’re a bilateral exercise. While this is not a bad thing per se, it will not naturally correct for left-to-right imbalances in the same way that unliateral exercises will. Since the human body likes to stick with what it’s good at, it will actually exxagerate those imbalances to an extent. For that reason, it’s important to rely primarily on unilateral work for your assistance exercises. This way, we can ensure that our other priorities don’t get thrown out the window on the way to a heavy chin-up.

Single-leg squats with the single cable stack
Single-arm cable pull-down
Reverse shrugs
Seated row
Planks on stability ball

Practical Solutions: Sled push/pull

Sled work is the most variable of our three exercises. There is no need to de-load a sled; only not to load it too much in the first place. If you’re in a commercial gym, you won’t have access to a sled. However, you will likely have a group exercise room available to you. A vinyl mat coupled with a 45 lb. plate will get the job done.

Since surfaces and equipment clearly change the difficulty of this exercise, it’s impossible to provide a standard across the boards. However, you can set your own benchmarks. Here are some suggestions for doing so:

Fixed distance for time
Amount of distance covered within a fixed time period*
Number of fixed period sets to cover a fixed distance

* I recommend periods of 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes and 6 minutes

A note on integration

A sudden and dramatic increase in volume will not help you maximize your progress. Take the opportunity to build slowly and consistently. De-load each exercise enough to ensure that your form is perfect. The workout structure adhered to by powerlifters is no fluke; it will maximize your strength in a given exercise. Combining those proven programs with the exercises in this article over the standards will help you acheive your goals and minimize unecessary risks.

— Geoff Girvitz Director: Bang Fitness www.BangFitness.com

Eat real food? That’s crazy!

Steps to Eating REAL food for REAL results

Sergio Maldonado

This program is meant to be used in conjunction with a smart training program designed to maximize fat loss or performance. Everything works in synergy and your results will compound with your effort. Take 45 mins each week to check that you are eating the right foods in your level and see if you can or would like to progress to the next level.

Always give yourself a check to see how you look, perform and feel. If it isn’t fantastic then we need to keep tweaking something.


This booklet is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment.  Programs outlined herein should not be adopted without consultation with your health professional.  Use of the programs and dietary suggestions herein is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.  The author(s) are neither responsible, nor liable for any harm or injury resulting from this program or the use of any diet, exercise, or lifestyle suggestions described herein.

Steps to Eating REAL food for REAL results

This is the most concise version of what you should eat and why that I could come up with. The key is to make it a lifestyle (I know you here this all the time but it’s TRUE). For fat loss I would say its 80-20 or even 90-10, nutrition/lifestyle factors to exercise in fat-loss. Meaning NO PROGRAM will ever trump out a poor diet. You can get fast, strong and skillful with the program but it won’t necessarily get your body fat down to elite levels 8-14% Men, 10-18% women depending on body type and activity.

Bottom line, you will NOT capitalize on your fat loss and performance measures/gains to the extent that you will with a sound nutrition protocol.

You can do all these steps at once or try one at a time a progress, the idea is to make this change permanent.

You really only need to follow steps 1-3, only after if you CHOOSE to do you have to do the following steps or if you are not seeing the desired results. For the majority steps 1-3 works fine as long as you realize your mouth is not a vacuum cleaner.

Step 1)

Food Awareness: know what you are eating! Start a food log, a month a week even a day! From what time you ate, what it was and how much. Everything that goes in your mouth! Either use a small notebook and paper or even better log it in Fitday where you can share the info and get caloric values for a variety of foods.

Why? Simply knowing what you are eating will help you make better choices and give you the awareness of the type of caloric/nutrient density.

Step 2)

Food Quality: read the Core Performance Foods and New Rules Foods and incorporate as many those quality driven foods into your diet and follow the hierarchy of foods. (I will email those recommendations upon request or when you begin fitness program.  Bottom line eat  lean quality meats/proteins and tons of vegetables as well as quality fats such as olive oil, avocado, almonds, coconut oil/milk…

Depending on how you eat now, start with the level 1 reading and recommendations and progress to level 2 and 3. These levels take you through the common “clean” diet (less processed foods, leans meats, fruits, veggies.) Level 2 and 3 involve integrating the Paleo diet (unprocessed food the majority of the time, certain lean meats, veggies, nuts, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.)

Why? Quality in your nutrition should be your first priority. 100kcals of McDonald’s is not equal to 100kcals of lean meat and veggies. It’s more than calories in vs. out!

Step 3)

Food timing: Frequency, schedule,  pre/post-workout. These recommendations can also be found in CH 13 of Core Performance. These include integrating 4-6 meals per day, eating within a half hour upon waking, pre/post-workout nutrition. If you eat twice a day then start eating 3, if you eat three then eat 4. Workout days include pre/post snack = 4-6 meals.

Why? The easiest way you can increase your metabolism is by eating more! The thermic effect of food means you will get a metabolic increase by just eating, eat more often then you increase this effect and are less likely to overeat by eating until you are super hungry. Capitalize on your food timing!

Step 4 )

Food Quantity: The food quantity recommendations that should be followed are in the New Rules chapter 21.  Also you can follow Robb Wolf’s recommendations of 15-17kcals per lb of body-weight to lean out, 18-19kcals to maintain and 20-21 kcals to add mass. 1.0gram protein per pound of bodyweight Males 50-70 grams of quality carbsFemales >50 grams of quality carbs Quality fats will fill in the rest of the calorie deficit

Remember QUALITY first. Again, it’s more than CALORIES in vs OUT.

Why? 3500 kcals per pound of fat is the accepted estimate for how many kcals = a lb of fat. If you eat an excess then you gain and if you create a deficiency through nutrition, muscle mass and exercise you lose.

Step 5)

Continued Education: Continue to educate yourself on proper nutrition to ensure you are fueling your body in the best possible way. Things to learn about are: the glymcemic effect or load of food. What foods are acidic vs. alkaline balancing. The ratio of omega 3 to 6 you are eating. What you are actually eating when anything is in a BOX!.

Real Eating Level 1:

start with the clean diet foods in the pdf’s  read it all or just:

Core P Ch13: headlines and summary

Core P Ch 14: pages2-4 pdf foods

New Rules Ch 21: pages 9-10 for kcal recommendation

New Rules Ch 22: pages 3-14 headlines of food

Real Food Check list:

1.    Eat smaller portions more often (4-6), spread evenly across the day.

2.  2. Your carbohydrate intake should be relative to your activity level. Eat “glycemically correct” carbs, high in color and fiber. Reduce the amount of refined carbohydrates in diet.

3.  Select a lean protein source with each meal, along with some “fabulous” (nuts, fish oils, seeds) fats.

4.  Choose carbs that are rich in fiber.

5.  Drink a pre-workout shooter(3:1 carb to pro) or post workout recovery shake (2:1 carb to pro)

6.  1,000mg of fish oil to balance your omega 3 to 6 ratio and add a multivitamin and antioxidant complex to your daily routine if you are not getting adequate veggies.

7.  Stay hydrated, drink a cold glass upon waking.

8.  Eat breakfast everyday (1 hour within waking).

9.  Eat the rainbow often (fruits/vegs), and the less legs the better (meat)!

10.               Mix foods for variety, nutrient density and glycemic response.

Bottom line: eat lean proteins, TONS of veggies, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Eat with small 2-3 hour breaks in between, eat til you are full and workout hard and often. Sleep, smile and play everyday, just BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE.

Nutritional Resources

Robb Wolf – Excellent information on Gluten Free and Intermittent Fasting. Co-creator of the CrossFit Football Diet.

SoCal SC – Paleolithic Nutrition and Eating for Performance.

The Paleo Diet – Loren Cordain, Ph. D.. Author of The Paleo Diet for Athletes

Protein Power – Dr. Michael Eades and low Carb Living and Healthy Eating

Reading list:

In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan


Paleo Diet, Loren Cordain, Ph.D.


Paleo Diet for Athletes, Loren Cordain, Ph.D.

Core Performance, Mark Verstegan


New Rules of Lifting, Alwyn Cosgrove

Athletic Body in Balance, Gray Cook


I did a MAX OUT  for 5 lifts the p clean to test power, 1 leg strength in the squat, pushing strength = bench press, pulling strength=chin-up, and front squat=double leg strength.

All 1RM except 1 leg squats

Here is my strength numbers:

Hanging Power Clean: 200lbs PR

1 leg Squat: 50lbs 5 reps each side PR (to parallel thigh touch on box, 20lb DBs and 10 lb neck vest)

Bench Press: 215 not PR

Front Squat: 215 PR

Chin-up: 75lbs

I would like to get my HP clean up, Boyle says it should be proportional to your bench press which for most people is no where CLOSE! My front squat also seems weak to me, I’d like to get that and my one leg squat up. The chin-up and bench press should be proportional taking body-weight in consideration.

Bottoms Up!

YES! I just doubled the amount of KB exercises I can do by just turning it upside down. I forgot about these exercises until I went to the Perform Better Seminar and listened to Gray Cook. He likes the bottoms-up postion b/c it engages the posterior chain (hams, butt, back) and is a self-limiting exercise for the shoulder. Meaning, if you can’t hold it in a bottoms-up position, you probably can’t press it and can’t hurt your weak shoulder. Besides the exercises below you can do farmers walks, waiters walks, cleans, swing cleans and turkish get-ups as well as anything else you can think of. These are what I can “thinking” exercises, since it is so neurological taxing! If you think it’s easy try it and don’t BANG YOUR WRIST. 

Bottoms-up Ajay



hella possessed by the bell

Weighted Push-ups Galore

Ahhhh, the push-up, one of the oldest exercises in the book, you can do it anywhere anytime. BUT most people don’t know how to perform one or know how to do it correctly. In essence it’s  a “dynamic stability” exercise according to my understanding of some of Gray Cooks or Alwyn Cosgrove’s training methods. This means it’s an exercise that targets your CORE (from your glutes to the top of our spine). The limbs are moving and the arms get fatigued but the main deal is that YOU have to be active in your core in order to keep your body stable. So if you don’t have time to workout today, hit the deck, tighten your glutes and brace your core and knock out some push-ups. Oh yah, by the way that means chest to floor and arms to lock-out. Otherwise it’s not a push-up, its’ an elbow bend! Then tomorrow make sure you get some rows or pull-ups in to make sure you have a balanced body.