4 Ab Exercises That Don't Suck
The secret to abs is that there is no secret to be found anywhere at all. Great abs, which I liken to the big, blocky variety (for the fellas, naturally—let us go with delicately trimmed for the ladies) are the results of (1) a low enough body fat percentage and (2) an amply muscled midsection. In other words, great abs are chiefly a function of the following inputs (1) caloric restraint, (2) metabolic efforts, (3) heavy ab work.
And here again rolls in the same old chestnut. But I welcome it warmly, as I do all truths, no matter how cold.
Because here’s the thing, really. If you want to rise above average then you must be willing to do the things the common stock are not, able enough to do them, and unapologetically industrious in your doing of them. Anything else invariably results in a reversion to the mean. And only the losers have a central tendency.
The Hanging Leg Wiper
Hanging Leg Raise
The Narcissist's Pre-Workout:
Kettlebell Workout of the Week Episode 70
Entering the gym, I chugged behind some brute like a loose caboose. After a few clicks I detached and glided over to the kettlebell rack to work what sits a few scoops below.
There I performed the fundamental pre-workout ritual of any narcissistic human being: to look hard into the mirror until utterly exhausted of the subject matter—this activity, you should know, averages 7 minutes. Afterwards, and only afterwards, do I find myself in a state favorable for bodily exercise.
On Monetizing Your Blog
[The following is part three on what is turning out to be a five part series on blogging as a profession. CLICK HERE
to read part 1. CLICK HERE
to read part 2.]
Blogging frequently emits an alluring but somewhat artificial scent: A scent that naturally baits two brands of people.
The first brand is chiefly folks of the common store bought variety, plain as a bowl of corn flakes. Their gross desire for an easy opt-out of the human comedy is surpassed only by their colossal lack of true ambition. Quite simply, they hate to work, and so are lured into blogging by the fishy smells of the charlatans, the quacks, and the counterfeits.
If what I have just detailed describes you, even distantly, then I must encourage you to pass on. I am not capable of helping you.
Look, I’m not discouraging you or anything like that. There are many bloggers who rake a king’s ransom in the business of swindling. And if I have something to say to these jackals, it’s not to scorn them for sucking in the intellectually underprivileged—that, I leave to God. Rather, it’s to ridicule them for any and all lack of ingenuity in how they go about their business. Insofar as I can tell, the cheats, tricksters, and charlatans have been using the same old, horribly overworked devices since the dawn of this republic. All I’m saying, really, is that it’d be nice to see a quack with some freshness about him.
But here I go off at a tangent. Let us get back to where we were.
The second brand is that of the artist. This person is marked intrinsically by fire in perpetuum
. This is what keeps his blood boiling over, his legs on the trot—and his spirit pushing forward—stopping never at dead ends or dog shit. He understands that security is a false and limiting crutch, and seeks nothing of the sort. His appetite is whetted only for accomplishment.
The artist does not know it all—but has the proclivity to learn it all, to suck it in ad infinitum
. And his chief purpose is to contribute to a whole
greater than himself—if you’re a rationalist you may call it the cosmos—spiritualists would perhaps say it’s celestial—and hippies would probably call it life-force, or something like that. Truthfully it doesn’t matter what you call it, because the net effect is the same: The artist creates.
Are his actions largely money driven? The answer to various degrees is often yes. Sometimes this is in part, other times it is in whole. Either way, the artist is scarcely propelled by anything rooted in altruism. In form, this may appear to be the case, but in substance human essence remains predominantly self-interested. This means little, though, because the true artist—whatever his motives otherwise—invariably aims to create something that is good. And so he thoroughly intends to improve the earthly balance sheet—to strike the asset account with a hard debit.
What I have defined is the artist. But what I have redefined is the entrepreneur: The person who generates value. This is to say the person who helps persons.
If what I have just detailed describes you, then I can help. I can help you to get the word out about the value you create, and I can help you to make a fair return on it.
Our "One Page Business Plan"
Blogging would be the perfect job, save for the fact it’s still a job. It’s a full time gig. So it will beat you up, and, at times, kick you square in the nuts. These are lessons one must learn by hard experience, I suppose, but if you take this as true now it will save you a lot of pain later.
Now if there is one more lesson to be learned before we begin, let it be this: There is no good purpose to be served in promoting crap. Doing so—as any practiced marketer will tell you—only hastens the rate at which people find out you suck. To wit: You ought to be the absolute best at what you do before you start saying you’re any good.
Just something to keep in mind, that’s all.
Now rather than tell you what you should do, I’d like to show you what I do. That is, what I’ve done well, or what’s worked well for me. You may take whatever you’d like—and if you’d like to work closer with me on all this stuff, then I encourage you to investigate our Killing It With Ketllebells Certification
, where Som and I will help you to develop and implement your own marketing and business plan (online, offline, or both), and teach you how to run large group kettlebell bootcamps.
For ease, I will fill out a “one-page business plan”, answering the three following questions: 1. What Do I Sell (and How Much Do I Charge)?
2. Who Do I Sell It To?
3. How Do I Get The Word Out?
I’ll answer the first question now, and save the other two for a later post.
What Do We Sell and How Much Do We Charge?
This blog is a major marketing vehicle for both my online and offline businesses, if I may presume the two can be separated out.
I’ll start with what we do offline.
My Killing It With Kettlebells bootcamp business is run out of The Dragon Gym in Exton, PA. I have largely opted out of personal training as a service offering. Instead, I run six large group classes a week: Mondays and Wednesdays at 12pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30pm, and Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:30am.
Pricing for our bootcamps ranges from $149-199/month depending on the level of membership.
We also host multiple workshops and seminars throughout the year. [ I suppose now would be as good a time as any to shamelessly plug Strength Fest
Pricing for workshops and seminars ranges anywhere from $99-999 depending on the event.
Lastly, we offer our Killing It With Kettlebells Instructor Level Certification
and Fitness Business Development Program. This is where Som and I teach you how to teach large group kettlebell bootcamps. We also show you the ins and outs of our kettlebell business, and help you to create and implement your own business and marketing plan. We limit the group to 12 candidates. This is not a beginner kettlebell course
. This is a course for those who are interested in learning to coach large group kettlebell classes, and for those who are already in, or are seriously considering opening their own fitness business
. In short, we help you to do what you love and make good money doing it
This is our most expensive offering, but I’ve heard it’s really worth it. If you think you might be a good candidate for this certification, email me at PatFlynn@ChroniclesOfStrength.com
with the subject line of “KIWK” and I will send you a series of questions for you to answer so that we may figure that out. We can even get on the phone and chat about it, if you’d like. No obligation. Promise.
Pricing for our Killing It with Kettlebells Certification ranges from $997-1997 depending on when you register.
There are a few other things I do offline, but those are my major profit centers. So let us move now to what I do online.
Our online business is a mix of bigger ticket items, lower end entry points, and continuity programs. We’ll start with the latter. The Chronicles of Strength Inner Circle
and the Chronicles of Strength Print newsletter is my current continuity program—that is, this is a program where membership is billed monthly. The Chronicles of Strength Inner Circle
includes a full print newsletter
mailed out to members every month. This is quite frankly my best work. I put more time into that newsletter than I do anything else, and I love doing it.
Additionally, members of the Inner Circle get private email coaching access to me, coaching call-in days with me, monthly training webinars, monthly recipes, monthly workouts, programming, you name it. The Inner Circle members are my best and most loyal customers, so I do everything I can to help them succeed—to provide them with value far above and beyond what they pay to be a member each month. As an entrepreneur or business owner, your aim should always be to exceed all expectations. Unless of course your aim to run a mediocre business.
Pricing for my Inner Circle members ranges from $19-39/month depending on the level of membership and whether or not they live inside North America (postage is a killer).
*If you are not yet an Inner Circle member, I’d love it if you tried it out for a month. You can cancel anytime, so there’s no risk when you sign up
On the lower end of the pricing spectrum there mostly sits a selection of eBooks and ePrograms. The Birth of a Hero Vol 2
stands tall at the top of the charts, sells like ice in Hell.
These range from $27-99 depending on the product.
The bigger ticket items include private coaching with either Som or me (we offer both business and fitness coaching), training webinars, and specialized programs.
The pricing for these ranges from $299-699.
If you are interested in private coaching and would like to know more about what we can help you with, email me at PatFlynn@chroniclesofstrength.com
with the subject line of “coaching”.
Effectively, that is the sum of it all. Effectively enough, anyways. PS
- If you have any questions about any of this, please post them in the comment section
. I'm here to help.
The Century - 100 Rep Bodyweight Workout
The Century, so entitled by its lofty rep composition, is a proficiency exam courtesy of the elusive Paul Wade, author of Convict Conditioning.
Assuming I made no misinterpretations, the task is as follows:
40 x squat
30 x push up
20 x hanging knee raise
10 x pull up
40 x squat
30 x knee push up
20 x hanging knee raise
10 x australian pull up
I think I passed. Som did pretty good too, but I think he may have missed a rep on the squats. That's OK, though, because he's ninja.
Kettlebell Workout of the Week:
Episode 69 - The Big Four
Thanks to my buddy Christa for riffing this one out to Pantera and making it look pretty.
Rock out as many rounds as you can in 15 min.
Will You Answer Me This? Please?
So as many of you know I have a primal fitness book coming out through Wiley. I know I've been a bit scanty on the details, but that will change soon. Promise.
Anyways, I wanted to get your feedback on something. Got a minute?
If I could answer any one fitness question for you in this book, what would it be?
Please post your feedback in the comment section. I don't care how relevant you think it is, I just want to hear from you.
There may be some prizes for the most thoughtful answers...
It's time to drop the funk on Perform Better. In this episode, I review their Competition Style Kettlebells. My opinion is unbiased. Although I probably should, I receive no financial kickback from any of this nonsense.
Id like to know your thoughts as well! Please post your opinions and questions below!
Today, I have a special treat for you...
Not like a comestible kind of treat (that would arouse the suspicious of Lola...)
An excerpt from my new book! (bet you didn't even know I was writing one!)
I don't want to release too many details as of yet, but stay tuned, as I will be "carpeting bombing" you all with the release date once it's set in stone.
Coming off the heels of my last post, and the overwhelming response I got through comments, emails, and Facebook messages regarding why on Earth I'm "going against the grain" and telling people to eat mostly at night, I feel compelled to share a section in regards to why we should eat according to our nervous system and our innate circadian clock.
Someone even called me a "nutritional heretic"!
I guess that means I'm doing my job right!
Now look, I know it sounds a bit crazy, and goes against mainstream nutrition. But that's my freaking point! When someone tells me "I've always heard this, or I've always heard that...", well, freaking DUH! America is fatter, softer, and more diabetic than ever before! Are you trying to tell me that popular notion and mainstream nutritional practices are anything short of disastrous?!? Most people would probably be considerably better off if they just did the complete opposite of everything that is recommended by "mainstream nutrition"! I mean, up until recently, the bottom of the food pyramid was comprised of grains! No freaking wonder so many Americans are pre-diabetic and overweight - you can practically see the insulin oozing out of their eyeballs and fingernails! Now that's not saying that flipping the food-pyramid upside down would do anyone much better (it's a diabolic creation anyway you spin it), but it is paints a very clear picture of the inadequacies and ignorance of governing food agencies.
Furthermore, this isn't just some crazy concept that I threw out there to cause a ruckus (that's why I put up pictures of Lola!). Eating according to our innate circadian clock and consuming the majority of our food at night was something I was first introduced to when I read the Warrior Diet by Ori Hoffmeckler about five years ago now. A tremendous read that impacted my nutritional philosophies greatly. Furthermore, all of this is quite evidence based, but as always - the proof is in the pudding. Try it for yourself. I DARE YOU to have anything less than spectacular results!
I hope you all enjoy this brief excerpt from my upcoming book explaining just one reason why you should consume the majority of your food at night! Please post any questions or comments you have below in the comment section!
"Everything in nature is cyclical
From the tides of the ocean, to the rising and setting of the sun, to the wave-like trending of the economy, to the four seasons, and within the human body – we have cyclical nature of our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.
The sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system are two primary components of our autonomic nervous system. Our autonomic nervous system (or ANS for the sake of brevity) is what controls many of our bodily functions that are below our level of consciousness – such as our heart rate, respiratory rate, perspiration, and even… dare I say… sexual arousal? J
The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is for the most part, our day-time nervous system. Our SNS controls our “fight-or-flight response. It may be simpler to think of this as our nervous system that allows us to kick some serious ass. When we are under control of our sympathetic nervous system we are naturally more alert, resistant to fatigue, burn-fat (through the mobilization of our stored fatty acids), and ultimately expend the most energy.
Our parasympathetic is for the most part, our night-time nervous system. Our PSNS controls our ability to rest, digest, recuperate, absorb and replenish nutrients, and ultimately sleep.
If you haven’t already figured it out yourself, one nervous system (SNS) is clearly superior to the other for burning fat and kicking-ass. Conversely, we want to be under control of our parasympathetic nervous system whenever it is time to rest, rejuvenate and catch some serious Z’s.
Now what role does food play in all of this? Everything!
Our sympathetic nervous system is stimulated by a LACK of food (not by food itself), whereas a large meal will actually throw us into our parasympathetic nervous system (exactly why you feel like taking a nap after a hefty lunch).
Meaning that mainstream nutritional practices (such as frequenty feeding – 4 to 6 small meals aday) will only serve to continuously shut down our sympathetic nervous system, inhibit our ability to mobilize stored body fat, reduce our insulin sensitivity, impair our ability to most effectively utilize nutrients, and make it all the more difficult for us to kick some serious ass! Which often leads to a chronic condition known as “I’m fat and suck.”
Humans for thousands of years THRIVED from a lack of food. It would behoove us to take a serious lesson in “how to kick ass” from our ancestors, and realize that feeding need not be regimented, but SPORADIC!"As always - please lift responsibly,- Pat FlynnPS - Kick "kicking ass and burning fat" into a higher gear! Check out our new Physique Transformation Bundle Package! CLICK HERE
Enticing headline, isn’t it?
Well,I got news for ya, this isn’t just for men. This is for all walks of life who are serious about doing what it takes to get chiseled abs and rock hard glutes.
And this isn’t women’s, ahem, I mean, men’s health.
And, as a matter of fact, in terms of traffic, the Chronicles of Strength is now a top 500 blog (not bad in a field of over 130 million competitors! - and to celebrate, we are giving away a free SWAG bag!) and beating the pants off both Men’s Health Australia, and Men’s Health Singapore (at least according to Experian Hitwise).
And to me, it’s no mystery why that is.
Because our content doesn’t suck.
The esteemed professional wrestler Sid Viscious once said that 99% of everything is, well, crap.
He used a stronger word than crap of course.I don't like to use words like that. I have a name for people that use words like that, but I won't say what it is because it isn't very nice.
Well, we are the 1%. And proud of it.
And I’m going to prove it once again by giving you seven tips that don’t suck, actually work, and that you can implement right now for some serious fat burning results. You’ll thank me later…
#1 - Binge 1x a Week and Fast 1x a Week, Preferably Back to Back
The thing that sucks about dieting, cutting calories, or cutting carbohydrates is that it only takes about a week for your body to adapt to the caloric and carbohydrate deficit. This is why we experience diminishing returns and ultimately hit those dreaded plateaus.
A lot, not all of it, but a lot of this has to do with our thyroid output and leptin levels. If you want to know more about the nitty gritty scientificals behind what all that is and why it matters, just read my Metabolic Reset eBook
When we consume less, our body, of course, wants to burn less, and it only takes about a week for it to start doing that.
But we’re not going to let that happen. We’re going to hit the “reset” button. “Wait. You’re not the boss of me. You can’t tell me what to do!”
You’re absolutely right! You can do whatever the heck you want!
But I hope you’ll choose to do what works and stop wasting your time with what doesn’t. “But how do I know that it’s going to work?”
Please don’t give me another excuse to put another half-nude and semi-awkward picture of myself online. Because you know I will. Rather, just go read even a few of the seemingly endless success stories that we’ve had over the past year since releasing the Metabolic Reset
over at the store page and see for yourself! “Ok. So how do I hit the reset button?”
You binge! Eat as much of whatever the freak you want for one day a week. This will have insulin oozing out of your eyeballs and fingernails, which typically isn’t such a desirable thing but does wonders for bringing thyroid and leptin levels back to where you want them to be for maximum body fat annihilation. “Can I eat pizza?”
Damn right. You SHOULD eat pizza. “Pie?”
So long as it’s coconut cream. “Really?”
Eat whatever freaking kind of pie that you want. “Wait, won’t I get fat?”
First off, I don’t even know who you are, but I’m telling you no, you won’t get fat.
Well, actually that depends on what you mean by “fat”.
Will you gain a little bit of fat? Perhaps, depending on how you entered your binge day (more on that later).
But here’s the thing, only losers focus on the short term. Winners see the big picture. If binging once a week will allow you to burn 2lbs of fat throughout the rest of the week, then who cares if the one day of binging has you gain 0.5lb of fat. Because in the long run, you are still down 1.5lbs of fat, if my calculus is correct. Which it is.
So let loose and don’t worry about a thang.
Think about it like this:
What would happen if you lit a match, held it under your butt, and farted?
You’d laugh right? Well, assuming nothing went terribly wrong that is…
You’d laugh, I’d laugh, we’d all laugh. It’d be hilarious, and we’d have a great time. We’d tell all of our friends the next day and probably be the most popular kids in school. That is, if we were still in school, and had any friends to tell about it. “But what does that have to do with burning fat?”
When you binge you have lit the proverbial match and restored life to your once monstrous metabolism. You have reset your metabolism and things are cookin’ again. Fasting—and what will be tip #2 will be the proverbial fart – which will act to EXPLODE the fat-burning process!
You see, after you’ve binged, your body is primed and ready to start burning fat so through implementing a tactical 24-hour post-binging fast and therefore, allowing glucagon and natural growth hormone to surge over insulin (which is one of the many amazing things that happens when you actually don’t eat!), we will tap into our stored body fat and obliterate it! “So, when can I eat again?”
I like to time it so that I finish my binge on 6pm Friday night, which in turn begins my fast at 6pm Friday night. I then time my workout to be between 3-5pm on Saturday afternoon. That way I can almost go right back to eating once I am done my workout. Notice I said almost. Don’t eat immediately post-workout, as that will halt the fat-burning process. “What kind of workouts are we talking about? Like those cattle-ball things?”
You mean, kettlebells? Sure. That brings us to tip number 2…
#2 - Its Not About Training "Hard". It's About Training "Effectively"
I actually don’t like the saying “train like a man”. Because even though almost every man in the world likes to think they know how to train, very few actually do. I was one of those folks all throughout high school. Then, I got smart and started learning from the best. It’s also when I started getting the best results. Not a coincidence.
Don’t let your ego get in the way of what works.
And don’t believe that if you just work hard enough, then good things will come.
That is the biggest load of crap – whether that advice is directed towards fitness, schooling, business, you name it.
Hard work does not
I know many, many Americans who work their asses off every day trying to lose weight, yet never do. I know many, many Americans every day who work their asses off at their job, yet still have a rather measly salary. I could go on and on, but the evidence is quite clear that hard work alone is not what pays off.
Effective work is where you want to focus your energy. Working hard for the sake of working hard makes about as much sense as banging your head against a wall hoping to get through it (rather than using the door) and about as much fun, too.
Your first priority should always be to seek out what is effective. What will get you the closest to your goals? Then, work smart and efficiently at what is effective (how can you apply the bare minimum principle to what is effective?).
I don’t value hard work. And neither should you.
I could work my ass off running on a treadmill for two hours every day, and be nowhere near as lean as I am today by spending 40 minutes a day, 2-3 days per week working metabolic conditioning via kettlebell complex training.
Now anybody who has put themselves through the ringer that is my Birth of a Hero program
knows that metabolic conditioning is far from easy. It would actually be quite safe to say that the Birth of a Hero
may very well be the most painfully grueling and horribly masochistic program you ever put yourself through.
But anyone who has stuck with it undoubtedly knows that it works, and it works damn well.
Good science is repeatable my friends, and that is exactly what the Birth of a Hero
is based off of.
Metabolic conditioning is the unrivaled king of rapid fat loss because it will not only help to dump the fatty acids into your blood stream (a process helped along by the adrenaline from heavy lifting), but since you are constantly switching between and utilizing multiple energy systems (phosphagenic, glycolytic, and oxidative), you will also burn those fatty acids off – which to me sounds like the most important part! Doesn’t that sound like the most important part to you as well? Well, most folks don’t take that into consideration.
I have a name for folks like that. But I’m not going to share it because it isn’t very nice.
Heavy lifting is great, but the problem with just heavy lifting for fat loss is the process of re-esterfication, which is when you dump the fatty acids into your blood stream but fail to burn them off so they simply transport back into their cozy little fat cells. The problem with just traditional cardio is that there is little long-term metabolic effect, or EPOC. The Birth of a Hero
solves those problems by bringing together the best of both worlds through the pairing of moderate to heavy strength efforts and elevated cardiovascular stress.
Here is the Great Destroyer, one of our finest kettlebell complexes found in the Birth of a Hero
. Now, if this doesn’t get you excited to start the Birth of a Hero
program, then I don’t know what will!
#3 - Deadlift and Squat
If you want a cute tight butt, then you need to deadlift and squat. Heavy. At least 1x a week.
Or if you just want to be downright strong, then you need to deadlift and squat . Heavy. At least 1x a week.Here's a bonus tip - If you can deadlift or squat a weight for ten times. It ain't heavy.And if you really want a sexy, functional silverback behind, then get on our Prometheus Protocol!
This is me in the woods.
#4 - Dedicate at Least One Day a Week to Training Your Core
So some days you will be lifting heavy, and other days you will be doing your metabolic conditioning. But please don’t bother trying to do a lousy “ab workout” at the end of your training sessions. This isn’t planet fitness or the YMCA. If you want a serious functional set of abs, then you need to get serious about training your core. You owe it to yourself to dedicate an entire session to working every facet of your core’s functionality – such as anti-flexion, anti-extension, anti-rotation, and then of course, flexion, extension, and rotation.
Here is a short compilation of my top ten favorite core training movements. Enjoy.
#5 - DON'T Eat Immediately Post Workout!
If you are serious about burning fat, well, then, you have to let your body burn fat, and post-workout is the absolute best opportunity for that to occur. I recommend that you spend 20-30 minutes post-workout going for a brisk walk or performing some other sort of low intensity type of activity, rather than cramming your face full of gummi bears ( you know the type of dude I’m talking about, I know you do! I know you’ve seen the dude that brings gummi bears and jelly beans into the gym! DO NOT BE THAT GUY!) and halting the fat burning process.
Also note, that contrary to popular belief, muscle insulin sensitivity is severely inhibited immediately post-workout due to the micro trauma that has occurred (your muscles actually become temporarily insulin-resistant). So while it is true that insulin is at peak sensitivity post-workout, it is your muscles receptiveness to insulin that matters. Your best bet is to wait 30 minutes post-workout and let those fatty acids continue to oxidize and then have some sort of quick-digesting protein source, such as a whey protein. After about 60 minutes post-workout you may then have your carb and protein meal to start replenishing glycogen.
#6 - Eat Protein, NOT Carbs, Pre-Workout
A pre-workout protein shake is a good idea indeed! This makes sense since increased protein synthesis is metabolically expensive, and a handful of recent studies, LIKE THIS ONE HERE
, have brought the proof of this to light!
To summarize - having protein before a high intensity training session increases resting energy expenditure. Increased resting energy expenditure (or REE, if your into whole abbreviation game) is a good thing, if you are looking to lean out. Trust me on this one.
Again, the tried-and-true winner here would be a simple whey protein powder.
In the Metabolic Reset
, I give the option of a few different pre-workout drinks – some carb-based, and others protein-based. If your goal is max fat loss, stick with protein pre-workout, not carbs.
#7 - Swing!
If nothing else, swing a freaking kettlebell, dewd. I mean it. If you can’t commit to the Birth of a Hero
, fine, no offense taken. But at least commit to twenty minutes of two hand swings, three days a week. That’s it! As far as bang for your buck movements go, the kettlebell swing is quite possibly number one.
Also, take the time to learn how to swing properly. This movement is great proprioception and great for learning how to hinge into deep hip flexion and develop power form the hips. And does it work for stripping of body fat? Yes, it works fabulously well, indeed – so long as you follow my other tips on nutrition that is.
Everybody has to start somewhere, and if you aren’t ready for the Birth of a Hero
, then this tip is for you. Just start with swings and progress from there. CLICK HERE for a tutorial I put together a while back to teach you the how to properly execute a kettlebell swing.
One note I want to make is that I have recently seen a lot of people just not give a crap about their shoulder position in the deadlift and the swing. This is unacceptable. Stop hanging off your passive structures.
I have a name for people that hang off their passive structures, but again I’m not going to say it because it’s not very nice.
Here is a clip from a seminar I put on at Millersville University where I teach the proper shoulder position for the swing. Enjoy.
There you have it. Seven quick tips you can implement now for accelerated fat loss. Please post any questions you have in the comment section, or just leave some love.
As always, thank you for your time.
And please lift responsibly.
- Pat Flynn
Swag Bag Giveaway Extravaganza!
I know you want the COS Swag Bag...
"This is the Swag Bag You Are Looking For" *Waves hand in Jedi mind trick fashion*
As of February, the Chronicles of Strength has made it into a top 500 blog, according to Experian Hitwise. This of course, is a remarkable achievement and a cause for great celebration!
None of this would have ever been possible without all of your loyal and continued support. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for investing your time and health into the Chronicles of Strength.I promise you I will continue to deliver nothing short of the most reliable, effective, and valuable content.You will never get any crap from me. I know how valuable your time is, and to show how much I respect that, I will never waste it.Furthermore, I want to give away some Swag Bags to a few of you awesome readers.In case you missed the last post
the Swag Bag contains the elusive and highly valued Chronicles of Strength T-Shirt, which can be seen in this video HERE
, as well as a hard copy of our Birth of a Hero book.If you want a Swag Bag, just tell me what you want to see more of on the Chronicles of Strength in the comment section, and I will select two folks at random to receive some COS Swag.I want to know what YOU want, so speak up, and win some swag!
I’ve always wanted to have a cool, sticky saying.
I’ve always been jealous of people that have come up with a saying that could be applied to just about any situation.
You know, like “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” or “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”.
Even my dad used to have a cool saying…
It was “not now son, Daddy’s drinking. Daddy’s gotta drink.”
Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I still don’t really know what that one means. But I think once I’m a little bit older I’m sure I’ll figure it out!
But without any further ado, I present to you my own contextually malleable piece of wisdom:
Don’t ever strive do anything more than the absolute bare bones, bare assed minimum.
(with my luck, I’ll find out this has been said just like that millions of times over by millions of other people, but for right now, let me bask in my moment of glory will ya?)
What does the word “minimum” mean to you?
Does it stir up negative connotations and implications?
I bet it does.
But it shouldn’t.
If you’ll permit me, I’d like to take a stab at changing the way you think.
Because, the minimum to me means putting forth the least amount of input(s) necessary to get the desired output. And from that definition, it would seem like just common sense to only put forth your best MINIMUM effort at everything you do!
Let me give you a little background story…
In my chubby years of adolescence (middle school) I was naturally an overachiever (and no, not just when it came to the ingestion of mini tacos… hardy har har…). I always put my absolute all into each and every academic endeavor. And by doing so I achieved my desired output, which of course was to maintain straight A’s (Looking back I’m still trying to find that value in that…). What I didn’t realize at the time, is that I could have attained that exact same output, with significantly less effort.
This seemingly obvious revelation dawned on me in high school math class, when “homework” no longer became mandatory and we were evaluated solely on the our exam performance.
Now, for some reason or another I have always excelled at test taking. In middle school homework was obligatory, as it was collected each week and weighed heavily on our final grade. But since this was no longer the circumstance, I decided to run a minor self-experiment. What I decided on, was that I simply wasn’t going to do homework anymore. Sounds wonderful, like something every kid would do if presented the opportunity. It was wonderful. And for me homework was nothing more than time consuming, as I fully grasped the material simply from class participation. The desired output was still the same, I wanted straight A’s, but now I was attempting to hit that same output with fewer inputs (the inputs in this case being time invested into studying).
MAJOR NOTE: I am in no way saying that homework doesn’t have its place and that nobody should ever do homework! This is MY anecdotal example. Please take it for what it is. And not what it is not! (shame I even have to put disclaimers such as these!)
Now this experiment didn’t turn out to be all apple pies and motherhood. As I quickly became known as “the slacker” and un-favored by many of my high school math teachers and students alike. Whenever the teacher asked me to publicly bring forth the answer to the assigned homework problems I could do nothing more but shrug my shoulders and offer an innocent grin. More often than not this greatly irritated my instructors (along with many of my college professors… which we will get to shortly). But what did that really matter? I still got my straight A’s. I still got my honor roll. I still got my desired output. And I got it all with much less input.
Throughout my high school years I impressively refined my minimalistic approach. Constantly seeking and striving for that perfect bare minimum. Finding that holy grail of the ABSOLUTE least amount of effort that I had to put forth in order to get my desired output was consistently my goal in everything academia. This lead to a reputation of me being “that smart jackass that doesn’t have to do anything but still get’s all a’s”. Ok. I’ll take that J ( I never thought the jackass part was very fair, but I could sympathize with their sentiment – I’d be annoyed to if I was consistently working harder than someone else yet receiving no additional recognition for it!) - but what people who thought this of me didn’t realize, is that in many ways, if only they too could have adopted my minimalistic approach, then they too could have saved themselves countless hours of valuable time. Time after all, is something that you can never get back, and is of the utmost value to me, as I hope it is of the utmost value to you as well. That is why finding that bare minimum is so important, because it grants you the gift of “more time”. Now that’s not to say that everyone could have gotten away with doing almost zero homework, but I guarantee that every one of those other straight (again still trying to figure out the value of that…) students could have done less of SOMETHING and still gotten their desired output.
This was reaffirmed to me yet again as a musician. Throughout middle school and half of high school I would practice my craft for hours and hours on end.
Not the flute. (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
I was an ax man! And I got damn good. But what I didn’t realize until my later high school years is that I was practicing WAY too freakin’ much! Is such a thing possible? Absolutely – especially when you have so much free time from never having to do anything homework! Somedays I’d practice for up to 12 hours a day, often until my fingers bled.
Then it hit me again. This time in an even more abrasive and obvious fashion. I was at my weekly guitar lesson, and after three years under this particular instructor, I finally conjured the sense to ask the question of “how much do YOU practice”. To my complete dismay, he told me that he practiced for only about an hour to two hours a day, three to four days a week.
So here’s a guitar virtuoso, who for all these years I just assumed that throughout his life that he’d ever have gone a second without a guitar in his lap, telling me that he only practices for two to three hours a day! And only on four out of the seven days of the week.
But the truth is, is that was all that he had to do to get the desired output, which was to be as good of a player as he was. His practice sessions may not have been all that lengthy, or even all that often, but rather they were incredibly focused and productive. He was doing the bare minimum. And he was doing it damn well.
So I cut my playing time back. This in turn forced me to make each session more focused and efficient. And to my amazement, I not only maintained my current skill level, but continued to improv, and at a rate unlike I never had before.
One part of the lesson there is not only was I doing too much, but I was also doing too much of stuff that that really didn’t matter or just wasn’t focused/productive. By scaling back to the bare minimum, you are often forced to focus only solely what does matter and that one or two couple of things that have the biggest impact on reaching your end goal. When you strive for the bare minimum, you have no choice but to weed out any unnecessary efforts!
Fast forward to college. (Last piece of my personal story – I promise it won’t be too long winded) I go in as an accounting and finance major and of course had every intention of doing nothing more than the absolute bare bones minimum to get the my degree and to be on some Dean dudes list. Come my sophomore and junior year, since I was a student with one of the highest GPA’s in the major, I was repetitively approached by my one accounting professor (who I had the displeasure of being stuck with for four semesters) to submit my resume to his friends at certain prestigious accounting firms “as a personal favor to him”.
I never did.
This naturally pissed him off.
And I guess I can understand why.
But I still don’t (or didn’t) care.
And that’s because my desired output of college was never to work for someone else, but rather to work only for myself. Contrary to what many folks attend college for, I actually wasn’t there to be taught to work for someone else. I was there to better myself and to be better at my own thing. Which is exactly why I refused to put forth any effort towards anything that didn’t contribute to obtaining that what I wanted!
Was I was being selfish by not doing this man his “personal favor”?
Damn right I was!
And that’s what you need to be too!
Realize that you need to take care of yourself first, before you can ever truly take care of someone else. Being selfish is not always such a bad thing.
Had I taken the time to tailor and submit my resume to one of these firms, I would have had to waste my time (and theirs) explaining to them why I never really wanted to work with them in the first place. And wasted time is something I will never get back. That’s too valuable to me.
If nothing else, you should always learn to think in terms of opportunity cost. What are you potentially giving up by doing what you are doing right now? Think,” what is the best alternative that is now forgone by me doing what I am currently doing”. By taking the time to tailor my resume, I would have been giving up valuable time that I ended up devoting towards developing super awesome content
for Chronicles. It’s not that I’m not a nice guy and don’t like to do people favors, but the opportunity cost was simply too high, and the effort put forth wasn’t even a viable input towards generating any sort of progress towards obtaining what I wanted!
For some people it is their dream to work for a big four firm, and that would have been a worthwhile effort. But for me, accounting doesn’t make me any sort of joyful. And I refuse to live a single second pursuing something that is not fulfilling. Perhaps that professor of mine will read this someday and realize why I was the way I was.
He was a very nice man anyways…
Enough of my anecdotal history. Let’s put this into something you can really use. Like putting the bare minimum into strength practice.
Getting strong is no different! It’s all about finding that beautiful bare ass minimum baby. Because doing anything more than that is a malinvestment of your time, and will only result in diminished, if not negative returns. But realize that the tough part is not implementing that bare minimum, but rather finding it. How much is too much? How little is too little? And I’ll admit it, this was a tough one for me too. Even though many programs yielded substantial gains for me, I couldn’t help but always feel like I could still do LESS and be just as stronger, and/or just as lean. I was right.
I was doing more than I needed to.
Let me take you back to the year that I pursued ketosis.
What a fun year that was… heh.
The truth is however, I had never been so lean in my life. But the amount of effort I was putting forth to be that lean was RIDICULOUS! Think about it. I had to just about give up all carbs and live off a high fat diet for a year! By no means an easy task.
But what did that really mean??
It meant no beer!! Not even COLD beer (which just so happens to be my favorite kind)!
Clearly, the inputs in this case were personally not worth the desired output of maintaining sub 8% bodyfat :P
So that’s when I began figuring out what could I possibly do less of, yet still maintain my single digit body fat percentage. And let me the first to tell you that it was no easy process figuring that one out. For a while I just thought that being ketogenic might actually be the bare minimum.
But through due diligence and careful research I yet again found myself putting forth more effort than was needed to obtain my desired output.
That was when I came up with the Metabolic Reset
through utilizing the power of fasting, tactical binge days, and concentrated carb dosing. Now the amount of effort I had to put forth was significantly decreased, with no negative correlation on the output – as I am still able to maintain a single digit body fat percentage throughout all four seasons. And I get to have my COLD beer! I simply just had to work smarter. Not harder. This is the power of investing the time to seek out that bare ass minimum my friends. And what a powerful and worthwhile investment it can be.
But being the straight shooter that I am, I don’t want you to confuse the “bare minimum” with “easy”. The bare minimum is often times still a lot of work. And personally, I work my freaking ass off at everything that I do.
I am not presenting you with the task of finding the easy button. Rather I am presenting you with the task of finding the efficiency button!
My point is that you should NEVER do any more than the absolute minimum amount of work that is necessary to obtain the results that you want. And for my purposes, and many others, that bare minimum for fat loss is the Metabolic Reset
Now let’s talk about finding that beautiful bare ass minimum in terms of getting strong(er), leaner, and more conditioned.
Wait a minute!
I’ve already got it! It’s The Birth of a Hero!
But for real! In this eBook I offer three possible “minimums” to ensure that you find exactly what the least amount it is that you have to do, in order to reach your goals – whether they be strength, conditioning, or fat loss related – so that way you have more time to spend doing the things you love and less time In the gym. (But what do you do if what you love is exercising like me? I’m still trying to figure that one out myself… I should probably find some new hobbies…and maybe some friends too…)
Did I provide you with the bare minimum amount of information to persuade you to start changing the way that you think about putting forth effort?
While I may have been practicing on honing this craft for many years, I am still far removed from mastering it! But what I want you to get out of this is that you should never do anything more than the absolute bare bones bare assed minimum in order to get what you want. Anything more is well… just silly!
Drop some love in the comment section below. If I’m feeling sprite, I may give out a free T-shirt or eBook. Maybe :P
Introducing the Flynn-Thruster
I'm by no means a bully and I really don't like having to call people names.But if you haven't signed up for our SuperHero Development Program yet, then I'm afraid I'm going to have to go ahead and accuse you of being downright silly!This is only four bucks a month right now folks - for an utterly ridiculous amount of content! But don't take just my word for it - check out what others are saying HERE in the comment section!Anyways, here's a sneak peak of what you can expect in next months issue that you can incorporate right into the Birth of a Hero Program...The thruster is a pretty cool full body movement, and a great smoker if that is your intention. But I wanted to fix a few things. First off - stop bouncing and hanging off your passive structures at the bottom of a squat. This is unnecessary and I often see some major inward bowing of the knees (valgus collapse) when this is going on. Control the eccentric, pause at the bottom, then explode up all the way through the press. And to add even more sizzle to the steak I have continued the movement with a unilateral "tag-along" - meaning you go from the squat thruster, right into a lunge thruster in order to up the misery... ahem, I mean fun index!Enjoy this. And be sure to sign up for our SuperHero Development Program if you haven't yet. Seriously guys and girls, it will be the best four dollar investment of your life!
This week's technique critique is sent to us by our friend Mark Limbaga. Mark is currently in pursuit of RKC and has offered something pretty cool for us - which are two videos highly the progress he has made in the past month and a half with his goblet squat. This is some awesome progress made by Mark and deserves some serious Kudos - as he was suffering from a plethora of restrictions just as our previous submitter Big Pete was as well!
Here is Mark's first goblet squat video:
Right off the bat my primary concern with this would be how hypermobile Mark is in his CT and TL junctions. Meaning he is just too damn mobile in his spine - which is never a good thing to be when under load. Lumbar in particular needs stability first and foremost.
On top of that there is some hyperextension going on past terminal range and his depth is clearly restricted. Little hard to tell because he is moving so fast but it looks to me like he's trying to back squat his front squats as well - sitting back more so than sitting down.
Again, can't really tell much about the footwear - but if those are running shoes, then ditch em'.
Tailbone tuck going on there too.
Now onto Mark's second video:
Much more stability in the spine and depth has greatly improved.
Oh, and look - the shoes are gone! Schweeeeeeeeet.
Still a little tailbone tuck and some undesirable mobility in the spine, but at his rate of progress I'm sure he will have this cleared up in no time.
Improvements such as these need to be acknowledged and commended! Mark has been training both hard and smart and it is showing!
Please offer any feedback you have for Mark on how he can improve his squat in the comment section below!
Force Velocity Training (FVT) eBook
All I ask in return is that you take the time to fill out the simple three question survey below so that we may gather some information on how to serve YOU better. The feedback that you provide to us is invaluable, and we want to know exactly what fitness obstacles you face, and how we can better help you overcome them. Again, I cannot express my gratitude for all of your continued support enough, and I hope that you all immensely enjoy our Free Core Development Primer, which will be sent directly to your email upon receipt of the survey.
Before we get started I want to offer you all a gift, as a token of my sincere appreciation for following the chronicles of strength. I realize that there are many fitness websites out there, and it means worlds to me that you all choose to read mine. What I have for you is a Core Development Primer section from our
Let's Get Real About Six Pack Abs...
So now let’s get down to business. You see, core development (among a variety of other endeavors) actually is my business. And business is good…
One thing that has always confused me about how people choose to train their core is the amount of time they dedicate to it, which is typically the last 10 minutes of their workout!Eh... Why would you spend a full day training strength in regards to horizontal pushing, knee dominant movements, hip dominant movements, or whatever have you, but then only devote maybe ten minutes a week to training your core?
Now one must note that the core is already being training in a variety of manners (specifically stability) if you are performing heavy front squats, deadlifts, overhead pressing, etc. But in terms of aesthetics, more work is typically needed for a serious set of shredded abs.
We must also note that abs are equally forged in the kitchen as they are the gym. But for the purposes of this post, let’s assume fat loss is not the issue (and assume bodyfat percentage is adequately low enough) and that inadequate core training is the primary problem.
What I’m proposing, is that if you truly want a stronger and more aesthetically pleasing core, then you need to devote more time to your core training, and arm yourself with the most appropriate arsenal for mass abdominal destruction (aka proper exercise selection).
So I submit that for now on, you devote an entire training training session towards core development. Start with the movements that require the most concentration and effort and work your way down towards the higher rep “burn” movements.
Here is a video where we take you through an entire one of our FVT core training sessions. What I want you to do is implement this into your routine immediately (meaning you devote one day a week to this), and continue to do so for the next three months. I promise the results will speak for themselves in terms of strength and aesthetics (again assuming your diet is in order!).
Please post any questions or comments you have below!
PS - If fat loss still is the issue, then enjoy this prescription of some new and outrageously grueling kettlebell complexes :P
Check out our metabolic conditioning eBook over at ABS-SCIENCE for more of these nearly masochistic fat stripping routines!
For various reasons, I don't much care for kipping pull ups.For one, there are a lot more effective ways to get strong(er) at pull ups if that is your goal.
There are only two ways to increase intramuscular tension. You can lift more weight. Or you can lift with greater acceleration. This does not mean "make it seem like you are lifting with greater acceleration by utilizing momentum."---Think about it - the guy who can bang out even one pull up with 100lbs tied around his waist will likely have no problem performing a set of kipping pull ups. The opposite will rarely hold true, meaning the guy who can perform kipping pull ups will have a hell of a time trying to chin 100lbs!
Get Stronger Instead
!!Secondly - I don't often see people performing kipping pull ups with much regard to shoulder position, and rather they tend to load and hang off their passive structures. This will surely agitate those who have "less than fortunately" shaped acromions (about 1/3 of the population). When performing a pull up, once should always begin with strong and forceful scapular movement (retraction and depression). I rarely see this occur with kipping pull ups.Finally - if you are hanging out of a window and clinging on for dear life, are you really going to have room to kip? Not likely...Either way, this is not really a post to "bash" the kipping pull up (no need to beat a dead horse).
If kipping pull ups are your thing, and you have no trouble doing them, then by all means continue on good sirs!Instead, I simply want to offer an alternative.The plyo-pull up.The premise is simple. Just pull with enough speed to get some air.Simple doesn't always mean easy... and this will take some working up to. One of the best ways to work up to this is to focus on accelerating as quickly as possible with each and every pull up you perform. Also, start performing weighted pull ups asap!You can clap mid-air, or perhaps perform a bar transfer as you will see in the video below. Either way, plyo pull ups are a great way to develop explosive pulling power, grip strength, and for overcoming your fear of heights/flying (well, er, kinda...)Pair plyo pull ups with heavy single arm military presses and you have yourself one fantastic upper body strength pairing. Enjoy and don't forget to drop your comments below!
I was once told that snatching fitness is snatching fitness. I disagree wholeheartedly
. The kettlebell snatch is a technique, even more so it is an expression of one’s strength and conditioning
. Sure, you can condition yourself with the kettlebell snatch to complete the five minute kettlebell snatch test (100 reps in less than five minutes: males must use a 53lb kettlebell and females must use a 35lb kettlebell), but why use a spoon to dig a whole when you can use a shovel, or better yet a back-hoe.
I have never prepped myself or any of my clients for the snatch test with endless amount of snatching or swings. Again, I approach the snatch (specifically the snatch test) as an expression of how well I have been able to condition those who I am working with.
My approach is simple and I feel that most will be able to see how beautifully logical by the end of this post. And as I have always claimed, the proof is in the pudding.
Tonight, we eat pudding... In Hell!Alright, maybe not that extreme...
For strength purposes, I stick with the big lifts. Heavy front squats, deadlifts, etc. Think of it this way.. Would it be easier for someone who can snatch the beast (106lb) kettlebell for even one rep to complete the snatch test, then it would be for someone who can snatch the 24kg (53lb) kettlebell for ten reps? My money is on the beast snatcher. Stronger is always stronger.
For cardiovascular purposes, I opt for metabolic conditioning via kettlebell complexes (check out my metabolic conditioning eBook for tons of prime examples)
. This way one improves the efficiency of all of their metabolic pathways/energy systems.
You think the snatch test is bad now? Spend a few weeks working sets of the MahFahKa or Great Destroyer Complex and you may even wish to start utilizing the snatch test as your daily warm up
Haha very funny right?
I’m not kidding.
So if you want to destroy the snatch test, first get stronger. Lift heavy weight. Then subject yourself to heavy metabolic conditioning to develop iron lung stamina. Finally, perfect your kettlebell snatch technique. Add all of the aforementioned elements together and you have one hell of a proven formula to dominate the snatch test.
Each of the people below, including myself, have gone from having zero kettlebell experience, to crushing the snatch test within 3 months
utilizing this approach.Expect more soon.Enjoy! And don't forget to post your questions and comments below!
Before we get started I must harp on one absolutely crucial piece to the six-pack ab success puzzle
. This piece is the foundation upon which ALL success is built, inside and outside of the gym. Without realizing the importance of what I’m going to tell you, then you will surely find yourself on a systematic decline towards inevitable failure.
What I’m talking about is behavioral change. As with any and all endeavors in life, “trying” is simply not enough. It never was. To me, when someone says “I’ll try”, they are telling me that they will make an attempt until things become difficult and then retrograde to what they know to be safe and/or easy. If you truly want six-pack abs, then trying will not suffice. You have to DO. What I want to help you understand is that you have commit one hundred percent to success, otherwise the only outcome will be failure. Micro (and sometimes macro) failures will happen along the way, but it is how you handle those failures that will dictate whether or not your final destination is success or square one.
Secondly, excuses and success are entirely incompatible. Mutually exclusive, if you will. The number one thing you can do before beginning is agree to take FULL responsibility for yourself.
Do these things, and nothing will be able to stop you.
Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Getting shredded (without the use of “special vitamins”) sucks! It’s one of the most difficult and trying tasks you will ever put yourself through, I can promise you that much.
But with just about anything else in life, the greater the risk, the greater the potential reward. Getting shredded sucks. But being shredded is awesome.
So if you are unable to fully commit to what I am about to lay out for you, then there is no reason for you to continue wasting your time reading through this post.
Put your computer away now and retreat to your box of devil dogs or whatever your current poison may be.
But if you are ready to make the necessary behavioral changes to ensure your success, then what I’m going to tell you will essentially pave the path to six-pack abs for you. But again, I can only show you the way; it is still all on you to take the journey.
Shredded, sinewy abs are forged in both the kitchen and the gym. Of this, there is no disputation. I have never witnessed anybody out-train a poor diet, at least not to the point of garnering an envious six-pack.
So let’s start in the kitchen and clear up some common misconceptions about eating for six-pack abs. 1. It’s not all about calories in vs. calories out.
There is some truth to the law of thermodynamics, but what we need to realize is that contrary to popular belief humans are NOT machines! If only it were as simple as humans operating “as a function of x or y” then six-pack abs would no longer be desirable because they would no longer be a rarity! This is simply not the case. We are rather adaptive organisms. We respond to stimuli and each of us possibly a bit differently than others. And while calories certainly will play a role in your ultimate success, we now need to consider a few other crucial elements to successfully stripping away body fat. a.
Thyroid Output – As I stated above, humans are adaptive organisms. This is why diets that rely solely on caloric deficits FAIL because we are able to adapt to them! Our bodies don’t actually want to be shredded! They want to retain some fat as a safety measure. What happens is that eventually there will be a significant metabolic downshift to accommodate for the lack of calories coming in. Specifically this happens when our thyroid begins to produces less of t-3 (triodothyronine) and t-4 (thyroxine) hormones. These hormones are crucial for dictating your basal metabolic rate and play a large role in protein synthesis as well. So what really stinks about cutting calories is that the long-run success rate is very low because of how our bodies adapt to the caloric deficit by actually LOWERING our basal metabolic rate so that we burn less calories throughout the day. Bummer. b.
Leptin – This hormone is commonly referred to as the “anti-starvation” hormone. Most leptin receptors lie within the hypothalamus, but there are many more throughout the body.
That’s not all that important. What is important is that when leptin levels are high, there is no shortage of leptin binding to their receptors, which tells the brain that you are not starving, food intake is wholly sufficient, and there is little need to store or hold onto body fat. Unfortunately, leptin levels are usually only this high when you are eating often and/or eating a lot which is also not so conducive to fat-burning with all that insulin floating around. Now, when you restrict calories, leptin levels drop – often substantially within the first 72 hours. This is less than desired because now our brain is being sent signals that we are somewhat starving and our body is now more apt to store body fat. c.
Insulin – Insulin is a transport hormone. It shuttles nutrients to cells. These cells could either be fat cells or they could be muscle cells (I’ll teach you how to make insulin work for your muscle cells later on…). Insulin to a certain degree is also inhibitory of natural growth hormone, meaning the more you spike your insulin through the consumption of food (specifically carbohydrates), the more you inhibit the release of natural growth hormone, which again is a favorable hormone for fat loss. More on the role of hormones and how to optimize them for fat-burning later… 2. Fat is not the enemy.
It never has been. Not at least until the creation of man-made fats such as hydrogenated oils. Read my ketogenic blog post
to learn about how a high fat diet can actually make you the leanest you’ve ever been. 3. Carbs are only partly the enemy.
It’s a give-and-take relationship. Too many carbs can and will make you fat. Yet you need carbohydrates to fuel your anaerobic endeavors. I’ll tell you my secret for proper carb selection below…
So it seems as if we are stuck between a rock and a sucky place. We need a caloric (even more so a
carbohydrate deficit) deficit to shed body fat, yet we need a caloric (again more so a carbohydrate
surplus) to ensure hormonal optimization conducive to fat loss.
So what’s the solution? Concentrated Carb Dosing and My Binge and Purge Manifesto
It’s really not all that complicated. Here are three simple rules to follow: 1. Consume less than 100 grams of carbs a day, and target your carbohydrate consumption around your workouts.
Meaning, consume slow-digesting and preferably complex/fibrous carbohydrates anywhere between one-and-a-half to two hours before your workout, and immediately post-workout consume quickly digesting (preferably glucose-containing) carbohydrates. This protocol ensures that you control your insulin levels throughout the day and only peak them at the most opportune time, which is immediately after working out! Your muscle cells have priority post-workout, so an insulin spike brought about through the consumption of quickly digesting carb sources (such as vitargo or waxy maize) upon completion of your workout will ensure that the nutrients are shuttled to your muscle cells rather than your fat cells. Awesome. Furthermore, keeping carbohydrate intake relatively low throughout the rest of the day will lay the foundation for a fat-burning environment and the release of natural growth hormone. 2. One day a week you get to binge.
Eat as much as you want. Eat whatever you want. You heard me right. Eat like a pig to shed body fat! Heresy? Sure sounds like it, but let me explain…The goal here is to hit the “reset” button on your metabolism. A huge caloric (especially carbohydrate) surplus can elevate leptin levels and boost t-3 and t-4 hormone output for up to 72 hours. So through the means of a once-a-week binge, we are boosting our basal metabolic rate to ensure that our body does not adapt to our caloric (carbohydrate) deficit that we put ourselves in throughout the week. This is precisely the premise behind my Metabolic Reset eBook
(one of four eBooks included in our bundle package). Check it out for the full protocol and meal planning guide. 3. The day after you binge, you fast
. That’s 16 to 24 hours of consuming nothing but water. Now when I first present this idea to people, they are always quite skeptical. “Isn’t that just starving yourself?” is a typical response I get. Let me be very clear; fasting is NOT starving yourself. Fasting is actually one of the most healthful and wholesome activities that you can do for yourself, not only to shed body fat, but to ensure long-term health and longevity. There is no greater detox than a water fast. Think of it as a purification process because when you fast, that’s exactly what’s going on. Your body finally has a chance to rid itself of all the toxins and chemicals that you bring in from eating, and your digestive system finally gets a chance to rest! Furthermore, fasting has been proven to increase lipolysis (that’s fat burning), boost natural growth hormone, and even aid in the prevention and warding off of cancer-causing free radicals. If you want even more of the super scientificals of fasting and learn how to implement the perfect fast to shed body fat, again check out our eBook bundle package
I’ll repeat, fasting is not starving yourself.
A twenty- four hour fast is a wholesome purification process that I recommend each and every healthy person seeking to optimize their health and wellbeing.
I’m not going to lie, however; fasting is tough. You will get hungry. Embrace it! Over time, you will notice it becomes easier, and I will even bet that you’ll begin to enjoy your fasted state – as you will feel more alert and lively! This is due to the nervous system shift that takes place from your parasympathetic nervous system (the one you put yourself in when you eat food and your body is ready for rest and recuperation) to your sympathetic nervous system (which is your alert and lively
“fight or flight” nervous system). That’s right when you are fasted, you are going to enter into a sympathetic nervous system, which will have you feeling attentive and “on the hunt” as Ori Hoffmeckler describes it in his book entitled The Warrior Diet
(yet another fantastic read for anyone interested in the benefits of fasting).
Three simple rules. But simple does not mean easy. It takes discipline to follow my Binge and Purge Manifesto, but the results will speak for themselves. Be sure to head over to ABS-SCIENCE.COM
and pick up the updated copy of my Metabolic Reset eBook and/or eBook bundle package.
Now let’s get out of the kitchen and head to the gym…
I’m going to lay it out right now; traditional “cardio” training is absolutely NOT the most effective type of exercise for fat loss. As a matter of fact, I would rank jogging (or trudging as most people seem to do) on a treadmill at the bottom of the barrel for effective fat loss training. After all, it’s called “the treadmill to nowhere” for a reason…
If you want to look like an athlete, then you have to train like an athlete.
Meaning you are going to have to pick heavy things up, put them back down, and bust your ass sideways, if you want to make any sort of tangible progress. Enter metabolic conditioning.
Metabolic conditioning, or “metcon”, has actually been around since the 1960s, I have an extensive blog post on it here! Check it out.
As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to hacking off body fat at an unprecedented rate, I will return to metcon again and again before just about anything else. It’s THAT effective.
Metabolic conditioning, specifically through the use of kettlebell complexes, creates an incredible amount of systemic fatigue and stress on the system. The greater the stress, the greater the potential adaptation, and the faster your body fat melts off. This is quite evidence-based, both anecdotally and objectively. Metabolic Conditioning = Moderate to Heavy Strength Efforts + Elevated Cardiovascular Stress
Metabolic conditioning work is often short, intense, and unforgiving. Make no mistake, this type of conditioning will test your merit and humble even the most able-bodied athletes. Embrace the pain. Focus on it, and maintain poise under the pressure. DO NOT allow form to falter under fatigue at any costs!
The beauty of kettlebell complexes for metcon work is that they allow you to switch between muscle groups and energy systems so that you do not smoke any muscle group too much at one time, yet keep the system (lungs, heart, kidneys, etc.) working and under prolonged stress.
I could continue to type the hype of metcon until my fingers fall off, but I’d rather you try it for yourself. You’ll be a believer soon enough. And you’ll thank me later…
Oh, and one last thing…
Once the body fat is off, then it’s time to start carving out those abs. I have also included a variety of videos highlighting my personal favorite ab-ripping exercises for developing both a chiseled midsection, as well as a strong and functional core.
You can’t ever say that I don’t give out milk for free. This blog post is one of my greatest compilations of complex and core-strengthening work to date. But if you want to learn how to put it all together (which at the end of the day is the most valuable component), then check out my Metabolic Conditioning eBook or the ABS-SCIENCE eBook bundle package
. You won’t regret it. As a matter of fact, I promise you that it will be one of the best investments you have ever made in yourself.
And now for your viewing pleasure… (or pain)…
Post any comments or questions you have below! Enjoy!
Hand-Picked, Fresh Off the Farm, Kettlebell Complexes!
The Best of the Best of the Best Core Exercises