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Build Lean Muscle and Burn Fat!

I was researching different nutrients found in vegetables and their potential effects on fat loss (I know, I’m a closet geek!).

It turns out that there are a few veggies that can help your body burn fat! They accomplish this by waging war on toxic chemicals you come into contact with every day called xenoestrogens.

The following list is a short summary of a few veggies that will help with your fat loss goals:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • and several others!
I learned about the ways these veggies and others help burn fat from the following article:
–> 6 Veggies that FIGHT Abdominal Fat



This post is for all the women that desire a firm sculpted body and don’t deadlift.

I have one question for you:

Do you want a body like a typical aerobics instructor…. or do you want a body like this:

The woman performing this deadlift variation is Jen Grasso.

 I’m sure you noticed that she is not “big and bulky”!  She has a lean firm muscular body that many women would love to have.

If you aren’t one of these women, and only care about what the scale says,
then you are better off at this site -> Jenny Craig

Still here? Great!

Now for the truth. To get the lean sexy body you desire, don’t be decieved by all the high repetition “cardio” workouts out there.

A program that generates results involves a solid nutrtion plan and lifting weights using big compound movements such as deadlifts and squats.

Every successful female strength coach I know encourages their clients to stop running on the treadmill and start lifting heavy!

The problem is that lifting heavy weights doesn’t generate sales on the latest infomercial. So many companies produce deceptive programs for the masses tailored for what the masses expect. It’s a vicious cycle!

 Ok, back to the benefits of the deadlift for women

The deadlift is great because it mimics a basic fundamental human movement… picking something off the floor! All the mothers out there do this on a regular basis with there young children. If you are not a mother then chances are that your muscles on the back side are even more imbalanced.

The good news is that the deadlift can fix that!

The primary movement of the deadlift is hip extension and it targets the following muscles:

1) Glutes (your behind)

2) Hamstrings (back of your legs)

3) Upper back

4) Lower back

5) Shoulders

6) Quadriceps (front of your legs)

7) Your abs!

Geesh, are there any muscle groups that aren’t used during the deadlift?? Not too many!

If there were only one exercise you should do, it would be the deadlift!

My colleague Nia Shanks is a certified personal trainer and fitness author. I learned about Nia from Tony Gentilecore, co-owner of Cressey Performance. She’s one of the good ones!

Here is Nia demonstrating an excellent deadlift variation called the sumo deadlift. This is a great deadlift variation for women!

Nia has written a comprehensive program called “Beautiful badass” that will outline everything you need to do to sculpt a lean, strong and sexy body.

-> Start Deadlifting and become a beautiful badass 




For optimal mass gains, it is important to target all 3 heads of the triceps. The long head often gets neglected the most.

Work all 3 heads using the right triceps exercises
for maximum arm mass

Not all triceps exercises are created equal. The following is a list of the best triceps exercises that will work all 3 heads:

  1. Decline EZ Triceps Extension
  2. Bench Dips
  3. Parallel Bar Dips
  4. Rope Triceps Press down
  5. Dumbell Triceps Extension (Neutral grip)

The best triceps exercise routine for mass has variety. Think about the position of the upper arm!

The number one rule is to not perform multiple triceps exercises with the upper arm in the same position! Triceps push downs have the upper arm fixed with elbow pointing down. Lying triceps extensions have your upper arm positioned such that your elbow is pointing in front of your body and so on.

You need to move big loads to build triceps mass!

Now,  if triceps mass is your primary goal you need to focus on exercises that allow for heavy loads (no triceps kick backs!!). You will do well sticking with dips. Don’t lean forward  too much as this will place more emphasis on your pectoral (chest) muscles.

The narrow grip bench press (roughly 12″ spaced grip) is an excellent triceps exercises for building mass.

An example of an effective triceps routine would be closed grip bench press super-setted with the rope triceps press down.

 How many reps should you do for Tricep size?

This is a great question and it’s important utilize lower and higher reps ranges for optimal results.

Here is a routine I recently developed and had excellent success with. On day one, perform a big compound triceps exercise using heavy weight for the 5×5 technique. on day 2, perform each one of the exercises listed in a row with about 15 seconds of rest between each one. Then rest about 3 minutes and complete the circuit 2 or 3 more times.

Day 1

Weighted Dips or Close Grip Barbell Bench Press

Perform classic 5 sets of 5 reps routine

Day 2 (2-3 days later)

1) Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension
Rep goal: 6 – 8

2) Close neutral grip dumbbell presses (elbows at your side)
Rep goal: 6 – 8
3) Lying barbell triceps extension (aka skull crushers)
w/ reverse grip.
Rep goal: 10 – 12


It’s worth mentioning that the best routine in the world won’t do jack shit if everything else isn’t taken care of…. you know, the other 23 hours of the day!

Make sure to have a high quality post workout shake about 30 minutes after you finish (don’t sweat the details here). Make sure you have carbs and protein in this shake. If you are in a pinch, just pick up a Muscle Milk at the nearest gas station or a chocolate milk for that matter. It’s better than nothing!

Continue to feed your body with high quality sources of lean protein, healthy fats and low glycemic carbohydrates 4 to 6 times per day.

…. and for God’s sake, get your rest! 4 hours of sleep per night and 3 Red Bull’s per day will destroy your hormonal balance!


Many “experts” say that six pack abs are made in the kitchen

What is meant is that getting the lean body you want depends mostly on nutrition.
I partially agree with this but it’s not entirely true.

If you had a super duper fat loss meal plan (aka eating real food) customized just for you,
you would certainly lose fat but would you have the lean beach body that we all desire?
Hint: NO!!

Let’s assume that you download some fat loss workout routine and you are ready to go.

Now think of this kick butt workout routine as your race car.
Your race car has an ultra fast tricked out engine and it’s set up to win!


Now picture dumping some cheap water logged “lawn mower” gas into that baby.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess that the engine will run like crap if it even starts!

In fact, you might as well be racing this beauty:


Now think of the race fuel below as top quality nutrition specially blended just for your race car.

Now we’re going places!!

The top fuel funny car below is your awesome fat loss, strength gaining workout routine
fed by the proper fuel (your diet).

You see, to make significant progress, rapidly lose fat and get those six pack abs or lean firm body, you need an effective nutrition AND training program.

To learn more about burning abdominal fat,
watch this excellent video by Mike Geary:

Mike has written hundreds of articles and his techniques are ones that I have used over and over. His program “The truth about abs” is the top selling and top producing downloadable fat loss program.



Carb cycling helps you keep your sanity while producing extreme fat loss results!

Low carb or high carb? Low fat or high fat? High fat or high protein? Am I in ketosis?
…and on and on the questions go!

This is NOT the Atkin’s diet and you DON’T want to be in ketosis (typical of a high fat diet, not high protein). That’s a scientific discussion beyond the scope of this article.

Carb cycling is a very VERY effective way to lose extreme amount of fat while building a lean defined body.

The most effect fat burning principles
using carb cycling is simple:

  • High protein, moderate fat, low carb during the week keeps insulin low so you can burn fat like a machine
  • Glycogen levels drop in your muscle as do leptin levels if your calories are also very low
  • During the weekend, consume large quanties of carbohydrates (cheat meals!!) to replenish glycogen stores, increase leptin levels, satisfy cravings and more
  • Perform full body workouts and lift heavy weights (6-8 reps) to force your body to maintain lean muscle and burn fat.
  • Supplement the workouts with low rest interval metabolic work (higher rep bodyweight circuits).

Before your begin a plan like this, you must go through an adjustment period were you “teach” your body how to burn fat for fuel again.

Paradoxically, you must perform a period of 1-2 weeks of high fat, moderate protein and low carbs (once complete, you will switch to high protein, moderate fat and low carbs) so your body can awake the fat burning systems that have been supressed for so long due to elevated insulin levels.

The following graphs represent data that I compiled last year during one of my nutrition “experiments”. I am following this plan with the same excellent results! 

 Each “spike” in the graph above is my bodyweight increasing during my 24 hour weekend carb cycle

 Tracking bicep circumfrenece is an easy way to gauge whether or not you are losing precious muscle.  My arm size remained relatively constant while dropping over 10 pounds of fat. I only lost 1/8 inch on my bicep!

So what exactly did over 10 pounds of
weight loss translate into through carb cycling?

Over 2 inches off my waist is extreme fat loss when considering the shape I was already in!



How to Get Six Pack Abs

Dave with six pack abs

Yes, that is a picture of yours truly…
albeit more than a few years ago. I still have no problem finding my abs though!

Would you believe that I performed
NO cardio and NO direct ab exercises
to get that six pack 8 pack?!

I will tell you the simplest most effective way regarding how to get quick 6 pack abs. I am no miracle worker but the rewards are worth it!

 Most people don’t want to hear the simple facts… There is not magic pill. It takes hard work, dedication and the right nutrition and training plan!

Here’s a picture of my wife winning her first bodybuilding trophy. She accomplished this from a home gym in our basement training with weights for 45 minutes in the morning before work. She would wake up at 4:30 in the morning to do this. We have 3 young children now and she still weight trains first thing every morning.

My wife and I didn’t achieve these physique’s by “making small changes”. If you want drastic results, you need to do drastic things…. and guess what? 99% of the people I speak to are not willing to put in the effort.

We basically turned into machines for 12 weeks while we transformed our bodies and prepared for the
bodybuilding contest we had targeted.

The nutrition plan, in a nutshell, was as follows:

If it ran, swam or was green and leafy, we ate it! In addition, we would have a large meal of low glycemic starchy carbs right before bed twice a week. I was introduced to this nutrition plan when I discovered Beverly International supplements during a strength training seminar.

Don’t be the person always searching for the secret answer or the quick fix. Follow the principles below and work your ass off!


My Effective Rules
for How to Get Six Pack Abs


  • Screw moderation! Once you hit your goal, there will be a place for it!
  • Eat things that run or swim at every meal
  • Eat things that are green and leafy as often as possible
  • Pick up heavy things and put them down
  • Interval sprints and hill sprints
  • Full body exercises
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get your sleep!!


  • Expect to change your body overnight
  • Rely on fat burner and weight loss pills.
  • Long moderate intensity cardio sessions (small amounts if you must, or if you like it!)
  • Over train. Your body needs rest and more isn’t always better!
  • Change your workout routine and/or diet every week
  • Focus on isolation exercises such as biceps curls and triceps extensions.
  • Drink any calories!




High quality fish oil can have a significant effect on weight loss and body transformation when incorporated into a weight loss routine. Today I will summarize some dosage recommendations for fish oil and weight loss.

The two essential fats contained in fish oil are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaeonic acid). They are both very important for optimal health but if you had to pick one, it would be DHA.

DHA is the super hero. I wouldn’t exactly say that DHA is to Batman as EPA is to Robin but maybe DHA could be Superman and EPA could be Batman. Both kick some serious ass but there simply is no comparison between the two heros.

As I mentioned in my previous post on fish oil weight loss and other benefits ,Carlson’s liquid fish oil is my favorite. If you look on the back of the bottle (or equivalent fish oil supplement), you will see the amount of DHA and EPA listed in milligrams (mg). We will focus on the amount of DHA per serving.

Here is a simple table to determine you optimal fish oil dosage for weight loss and strength gains:
(Note: this must be accompanied by a solid nutrition plan and exercise routine!)

Fish Oil Weight Loss Dosage Table
Body Weight                  DHA Per Day
(Pounds)                          (milligrams)
100 – 150                              2000
150 – 200                              3000
200 – +                                  4000

Now you know why the liquid form of fish oil is recommended. This would require 30+ capsules per day in some instances!
A 175 pound person would simply need to take 2 Tablespoons of Carlson’s fish oil per day. I promise, the lemon flavor really helps out. It’s not as bad as you think!

It’s best to split your dosages into two per day. Take half of your daily total with breakfast and the remaining half with dinner.


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Believe it or not, deadlift benefits apply to
more than just cavemen! 

Perhaps you have seen the Planet Fitness television commercials that mock the “meat head” weight lifter who walks around mumbling “I pick things up and put them down”. That, my friend, is a prime example of the sissification of the world!

That type of garbage advertising sends people off on hopeless tangents to drudge away on treadmills or crank out endless sets of isolation exercises on whatever worthless exercise machine crosses their path.

Well, the authors of  “The New Rules of Lifting” pretty much summed it up:

The deadlift is “perhaps the most useful exercise
you can do with weights.”

Eric Cressey, Author of Show and Go Training, demonstrating the conventional deadlift

Deadlift mission statement

The deadlift is in the business of getting things done. This king of exercises is your best bet to tackle almost any physical situation life throws at you. Want to jump higher? Want to lift a small vehicle off an accident victim? Maybe you just want to burn some belly fat. The deadlift has you covered for all of this and much more!

Primary Deadlift benefit – it works most of your body

When you perform the deadlift exercise, your body has to use almost all of its major muscles. If you had to pick which exercise gives you the most bang for your buck, the deadlift is pretty much it.

The primary muscle used are the “hip extensors”. These are your gluteals (aka butt muscles) and hamstrings. Your quadriceps (quads) join the party as well becuase you start with bent knees.

Your lower back and abdominals (often called your core) need to stay tight throughout the exercise. They work like crazy to keep your spine where it should be. This does NOT mean that the deadlift puts your spine at risk. On the contrary, performed correctly, the deadlift can reduce the risk of spine injury in sports becuase of the core training benefit.

The final major muscle used is your trapezius. This massive muscle works hard to keep your shoulder blades stabilized during the lift.

If you enjoyed this post, please spread the word by using the Facebook “like” button and Google +1 below! 

BCAA Benefits

There are many BCAA benefits
when used to build a lean muscular body

The amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine are 3 essential amino acids that together form the branched chain amino acid group. They are named as such because they each have a carbon chain which branches off from the main carbon backbone. Ok, I promise I won’t mention the words carbon or backbone in another sentence!

BCAA’s prevent muscle breakdown
and feed your muscles

Of the 3 BCAA’s, Leucine has demonstrated the most potential BCAA benefits. Several studies have concluded that leucine can act as a regulator of protein metabolism by increasing protein synthesis and decreasing protein metabolism. These 2 properties are often called Anabolic and Anti-Catabolic accordingly.

The BCAA’s in general and especially Leucine can be used as energy by muscle cells and are a source of cellular energy in the form of ATP (Note: Creatine supplementation also assists in the generation of ATP).

There are several studies that support the fact that hormone response to endurance and weight training was positively influenced by the consumption of BCAA’s. Specifically, the anabolic hormones insulin and testosterone.

BCAA’s can save muscle and burn fat during calorie restriction and exercise

In one popular study, 25 competitive wrestlers restricted their caloric intake for a total of 19 days. On the 19th day, they vaporized and have yet to be found…. ok, just making sure you are paying attention! What actually happened is that the group supplementing with BCAA’s during the calorie restriction lost the most visceral fat while maintaining strength and performance. Sounds good to me!

I will tell you right now that I have competed in bodybuilding shows and proved this study several times over.

I attended a Charles Poliquin Seminar many years ago where I learned how to use BCAA’s to build lean muscle fast

Charles Poliquin used the following technique with his professional NHL Hockey and NFL football players to put on as much lean muscle mass as possible during the off season.

  • Take 10 BCAA tablets before your training
  • Then roughly every 10 minutes during training, take an additional 4
  • Total of about 20
  • Complete your workout with a tablespoon of L-Glutamine

One theory for how this works is that you are actually “tricking” your body into thinking it has broken down a large amount of lean muscle tissue so it switches to burning fat stores and releasing growth hormone.

Who really knows…. all I know for sure is that I have used this trick in the past and it works!

The harder you train and the lower your caloric intake, the more BCAA benefits there are. The downside is that they are expensive and you must take enough of them to have a positive effect.

Here is a link to the brand I have had the best results with:
Click Here-> Muscle Mass BCAA’s, 150 tabs



Jay Cutler Workout Routine Overview

Jay Cutler has meticulously refined his workout regimen since 2003. Although it’s now common knowledge amongst top bodybuilders, Jay learned through observation, trial and error to incorporate deep tissue massages and mobility work (such as pilates). These factors help stretch Jay Cutler’s workout routine over 5 days per week. This is part of the reason Jay is regarded as one of the best body builders.

This workout routine is highlighted for entertainment purposes only. Unless you are a professional body builder yourself (in which case, why the hell are you reading my blog for advice!) you will NOT make progress on such a program.

Jay Cutler splits his workouts into 5 days with Wednesday and Sunday being recovery days. His workouts have been known to take up to 4 exhausting hours! I need to stress that the purpose of a weight training session is to stimulate muscle growth, not annihilate it… For the average person, more is not better!

Jay Cutler Workout Routine Split

Monday sessions – Abs, Delts, Traps and Triceps

Tuesday sessions – Back

Wednesday – Recovery

Thursday sessions – Abs, Forearms Chest and Biceps

Friday sessions – Quads

Saturday sessions – Abs Hamstrings and Calves

Sunday – Recovery


Jay focuses on 3 or 4 sets of 10 – 15 reps per isolation exercise. Can you say boring?! For us mere mortals, this type of training would not produce optimal results. The biggest mistake individuals make is not developing a foundation of strength first. Performing many more sets of lower reps will allow you to increase your strength levels. This is paramount to adding muscle mass!

Try performing 10 sets of 3 for the full body compound exercises such as deadlifts, squats and bench press for a couple of months. You may be shocked by what happens!

To get started with a Super Effective Muscle Building plan,
click here -> Muscle Maximizer Program


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