Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our Deepest Fear


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.


We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.


We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; It's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.










- By Marianne Williamson

Monday, December 20, 2010

Man In His 60's Climbs Mount Kilimanjaro!

This is another client testimonial I think you will appreciate.  I found it pretty inspiring.  It just goes to prove that you should never use age as an excuse for being unfit!  I hope these testimonials are helping you stay motivated over the holidays...
---

I began following Josh’s StayFitMinute to build strength around hip replacement and an ACL tear from a skiing mishap and used it to drag those revitalized parts of a 61 year-old body to the top of the crater of Mount Kilimanjaro. 

Pre-ascent training dropped 10 pounds off my frame and the climb itself caused me to lose another 10, most of which I have kept off through exercise and nutrition adjustments since my return. I am now at the weight I was as a high-school hockey player and a resting heart rate in the low 50’s. My work days are fairly intense, but the path I am on gives me the stamina to face each one with enthusiasm.

Regards,

Barry Michael Fisher

---
Please feel welcome to share your own story of inspiration in the comments below!

Josh

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Overcoming Adversity (Client Testimonial)

Here is another client testimonial that I think you will find inspiring:
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As a parent to a type 1 diabetic child and a family of 5, I was constantly searching for new ideas of how to keep my family healthy and fit. My search ended when I found StayFitMinute.com! This is the best source of information I have ever come across and it is geared for all ages.

This web site continually does a remarkable job in bringing our family the latest nutritional tips, exciting workouts and new training methods that can be done anywhere and still remain fun and challenging. We keep motivated by the positive reminders and words of encouragement as well as knowing we can incorporate all of our newly gained knowledge into our lives without consuming all of our time.



One particular thing we really appreciate is the personal touch we get from the web site. The videos are awesome and it gives us a better understanding of how to perform the exercises properly and safely. StayFitMinute.com has helped my entire family get to a whole new level in understanding fitness and we are constantly inspired to keep an active and healthy lifestyle.

I am overjoyed to see that my son who has type1 diabetes is living proof on how StayFitMinute.com has helped him throughout his life. He is truly benefiting from the knowledge he gains and guidance he gets which keeps him happy and healthy. He is in the best shape of his life and is he already achieving many goals he has set for himself. Thank you and keep those e-mails coming because it has helped give my family and I a better quality of life.

Debbie Thornton

Check out his story in the SUN here!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What Story Do You Tell Yourself? (Client Testimonial)

Here is another testimonial I wanted to share with you which I think you'll enjoy.  I found Diane's story amusing and got a good laugh from it, but it was also interesting how she recognized where she was making excuses or 'talking herself out of' making better decisions around her health and fitness. This is an important realization for her.

I think many of us are coming up with our own stories about why we can't accomplish something, without even realizing it.  What story do you tell yourself?  Since we're making it up ourselves anyway, you might as well make your story a supportive one!

Diane's Story:

How has StayFitMinute.com made a difference in my life? 

Great question, I have thought about whether it has made a difference and yes it has; a significant one. StayFitMinute keeps me engaged in my long term goal of loosing excess weight, building a strong body and generally being a healthier person. I know what I am supposed to do... I'm a rather intelligent person, or so I thought. 

When I first asked Josh for his help in training me to be Fit he said he would if I would commit and not just say I would but actually do what he told me to. I said yes, of course I would but little did I know how much I would change. I skipped the odd workout because I had a cold or was too busy with work etc. 

When Josh asked I'd give him the excuse of not feeling well etc. and he would just seem to be ok with it (but I felt very guilty) and when I would talk with him about food and I'd explain that I use to be very active and eat very healthfully until I got married and started picking up the husbands bad eating habits and sedentary lifestyle (the husband never got fat, life is so unfair). Josh just listened to me until I was done with my excuses and simply said, so it's somebody else's fault that you fat. I just looked at him dumbfounded - I had no come back. I control what I eat, I'm an adult.

Once I was eating a nice fresh piece of fluffy white bread with butter and savouring every bite and Josh happened by and asked innocently, Is that white bread you're eating? Again I started defending the bread and the fact that it was leftover from last night's dinner which my daughter had made for the whole family (her first attempt at cooking a family dinner) and what did Josh say? "Oh well that's ok then". He continued to talk about something else and I just looked at him thinking #*#!*!!! until I finally tossed the reaming bread in the trash and said "That's it, I don't want it anymore" and he just smiled and said nothing! We no longer have white bread in our house.

Josh asked me if I'd like to be on the mailing list for the StayFitMinute and I said yes, why not. I'm glad I did. It is a constant reminder of the goals I have set for myself; it is full of great tips and exercises to try so my routine does not get tiresome. It's a mini motivational boost.

My life has changed for the better since I made the commitment to getting fit, I have started to become more energetic, more focused and a little more appreciative of my body. Josh guided me through the workouts and pushed me a little each time and when I told him I thought the work out was too advanced, he modified it (or so I believed) and kept me moving. 

Anyone can give you a workout program and get you moving when you’re in the gym together, anyone can teach you what to eat, you can find bits of information about fitness and health all over the internet and in magazines. Josh combines it all and delivers it with humour.  He gets in your head and removes the roadblocks you set up for yourself and that's what has made the difference in my life, and it is what will ensure my success in reshaping my soft flabby body into a powerhouse of strength! 

That and the fact I see Josh's face in my mind's eye every time I reach for a chocolate bar or think about skipping exercise (how he did that is a mystery).

Diane Laing

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Five Tips for At-Home Holiday Fat Burning



In this issue I want to focus on some useful tips you can implement for staying lean or losing body fat over the holidays.

1. Focus on Strength Training:

Short, intense strength training workouts using multi-joint "primal" movements such as squats, lunges, pressing and pulling will give you more 'bang for your buck' than long, slow cardio workouts. If your goal is fat loss I suggest you turn up the intensity by using supersets, for example: pair up lower body and upper body exercises, or pushing and pulling exercises, and move back and forth between each exercise in the pair. Enjoy the burn!

2. Get your workout in at home: 

I've always been a big fan of basic barbell training using compound exercises for getting stronger and leaner, but I also realize that not everyone has access to free weights. I also know that the holidays can be a difficult time to make it to the gym regularly. The good news is you can still get a great workout at home using little or no equipment! By performing challenging bodyweight exercises (such as variations of pushups, squats, chinups, lunges, dips, burpees, and various core exercises) in a circuit training workout, you can maintain your strength while burning fat during your holidays this year. This should leave you with no excuses!

3. Use Interval Training: 

There's an old saying, "You can't out-train a bad diet." However, some research subjects claim that interval training CAN help you lose fat even if you're indulging a little over the holidays. Let's face it, we all know that we are going to surrounded by large meals and too many treats this month, so we need to use every method at our disposal to help us avoid belly fat - and research has shown us that interval training is the best system to do that. (ALSO, you can use bodyweight exercises in circuit format to burn fat without equipment in place of intervals.)

In the email I sent you on Monday I told you about the new "Holiday Fat Loss Workouts" ebook Craig just released. In it he explains interval training and describes several great body-weight workouts. You can check it out at:

HOLIDAY FAT BURNING

He still has it on sale for $20 until tonight at midnight if you're interested. I like his approach when it comes to fat burning and I recommend his training material.

4. Sweat before you eat: 

Studies have shown that your body can handle extra calories (especially carbs) better after exercise. If you know you have a big meal coming up, plan your workout as close as you can before you eat. You will be less likely to store fat... however, don't use this as an excuse to over-indulge!

5. Set up mini-challenges for yourself: 

Having a competition to train for can be a huge motivator for your fitness program. But you don't need a big contest to take advantage of this motivational tactic. Just set yourself up with small weekly challenges to help you stay consistent with your workouts.

Here are some examples I got from the Man Of Steel challenge (by Zach EvenEsh and Jim Smith): perform 100 Burpees in 10-15 minutes; or Bear Crawl 400 meters in under 4 minutes; or do 75 parallel bar dips in less than 6 minutes. In the new year I was actually planning on posting a Weekly Top Form Fitness Challenge for my subscribers... I'll let you know.

6. Bonus Tip- Keep it SIMPLE!

It doesn't have to be complex to be effective. Many fat loss programs are either too easy or too complex and some are impossible to do at home. That's what I liked about Craig Ballantyne's products... basic and effective. He has been creating these types of workouts for over 10 years for Men's Health and for his thousands of online clients. Again, you can take a look at his program here:

HOLIDAY FAT BURNING == Sale expires at midnight.

Just say NO to excessive cardio, and say YES to results!

Stay Fit and enjoy your holidays!

Josh Hewett

PS - If this is something your interested in, the 75% off sale ends TONIGHT at midnight, EST  (Sorry everyone... sale is now over; but it's still worth checking out this program!)


Be confident in the changes you are making and you will succeed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

3 Problems with Fat Burning Workouts (Guest Post)

Here's a guest article from fat loss expert, Craig Ballantyne:

3 Problems with Fat Burning Workouts

While interval training is better than cardio, "generic" interval training is not as good as *they* make it out to be.

Seriously.

By *they*, I mean the brand new trainers and generic fitness magazines who don't really know what they are talking about.

In fact, the advice they'll give you can cause a LOT of problems with your interval training -- including the BIG 3 I'm about to share with you...

After all, you're probably already doing some form of interval training, but what kind of RESULTS are you getting?

Are you truly enjoying your workouts?

And when is the last time you did an interval training workout where you thought 'wow, that was really fun'?"

Trust me, you CAN have fun, fast, proven, and powerful interval training workouts. I'll show you how in a second, but first...

The 3 Problems With Interval Training

1) Intervals can stop working if you do the same workout over & over

Yes, you MUST switch up your interval training every 4-6 weeks.

If you continue to do the same interval workout, you're results will slow down.

So if you're doing intervals and you're stuck at a fat loss plateau, then it is time for a new interval workout.

2) Intervals can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing

Jumping into an advanced interval program on the treadmill or with kettlebells is a bad idea. That's why you need to start safely.

However, most people don't realize that even beginners can do interval training if they get a professionally designed program.

Fortunately, there are beginner interval workouts in the new 31 Interval Training Workouts manual and holiday home fat burning workout package.

3) You don't know what else to do for intervals


Okay, great, now you know that you need to do a different interval program every 4 weeks, but what are you to do?

Well, the great news is that there are dozens and dozens of ways to do intervals. You can do the 30-60 method, Adrenaline intervals, Tabatas, and even aerobic intervals (perfect for runners who want fat loss).

(PLUS, you're about to discover the power of bodyweight cardio circuit training. A strange name, for sure, but a powerful way to burn fat at home WITHOUT equipment.)



There is absolutely no reason you should ever be bored of interval training or wondering what type of intervals you should do next.

BUT WAIT...One more problem: You don't have any fancy equipment

Most people think you need a treadmill or bike to do interval workouts, but that can't be further from the truth.

In the 31 Interval Training Workouts manual, you'll discover how to do intervals with kettlebells, hill sprints, and even bodyweight exercises (including a NEW bodyweight cardio 5x5 circuit).

In fact, I've spent the entire spring of 2010 in my Turbulence Training lab creating the Ultimate Interval Training Guide, featuring over 31 different interval workouts and replacements...

...including NO-equipment bodyweight cardio circuits, kettlebell intervals and "ladders", hill sprint workouts, and much, much more.

And then I followed that up with more time in the lab to create the "TT Bodyweight Cardio" program, without using any equipment!

I then combined those two programs along with an extra special workout for you to create the COMPLETE Holiday Fat Burning Workout package.

== BURN FAT AT HOME

(But hurry, this offer is only available until Thursday!)

With these workouts you'll have the exact prescription for fast fat loss from intervals. No more of that generic "get on the treadmill and then go fast and then go slow" advice you get from uneducated members at the gym or at work.

This is the real deal.

You'll soon be boosting your metabolism with proven, powerful interval training workouts from one of the first trainers to introduce fat loss intervals to the world.

I've been using and preaching intervals and bodyweight exercises for over 13 years now, and having trained thousand of clients - in person and online - I know exactly what works.

Fixing intervals to help you lose fat fast,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Men's Health Contributer

== BURN FAT AT HOME

PS - Get all of those new interval workouts here before they are gone on Thursday at midnight.

To discover the research-proven workouts that DO work for holiday fat loss while often not requiring any equipment at all, please read my article on "home fat loss training" here:

== Fat Burning Home Workouts

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Winner of the Jungle Gym Contest!

Here is the testimonial from the winner of our Jungle Gym Contest!

---
Cheryl’s Testimonial:

Three years ago, I was as inactive as they come. I weighed well over 200 pounds, and I was generally embarrassed by my appearance. I finally had enough of feeling bad about myself and decided it was time to change my ways and start being more active.

I started on my own, doing workout DVDs three to four times a week. I kept this up for a month or two, ensuring that I was making the workouts work into my schedule, and making sure not to miss out on things or stretch myself too thin.

Once I was set on my workout schedule, I tackled my eating habits. I wasn’t a HUGE eater, but I would eat a lot of the things that weren’t good for me. I would snack on chocolate and chips, and eat a larger portion of starch in meals versus the vegetables and protein. I started eating more well-portioned meals, reducing my starch intake and upping my vegetable intake especially. I also made sure to bring homemade meals to work for lunch and snack on healthier things most of the time.

When I started seeing physical success from my DVD workouts, I felt comfortable enough to join a gym. My workouts jumped up to 5 to 6 times per week, and really saw the improvements I was making. I was losing weight, and I could sense that I was stronger and my endurance was leaps and bounds from where it had been.



I was happy with how far I had come since starting this lifestyle change, yet I still wasn’t happy with where I was at. I decided at this point that it was time to involve a professional who could teach me how to achieve the goals I had set out, and who I could be accountable to. I also had specific areas of my physical self that I wanted to focus on and I didn’t know how. I got in contact with Josh, and immediately found his way of training and teaching his clients very enlightening and extremely useful for me. I found the process to make sense, which is important for me to maintain this plan long term. I don’t want to do something just for the sake of doing it, I want to understand how it is helping me and what it is doing.

Through Josh’s guidance, and the information he shares on the StayFitMinute site, I have gotten more on track to my ideal weight, ideal look, and ideal overall image I have of myself. I have also been empowered to share what I have learned from Josh, his SFM blog and his e-newsletter through this process. I have since started a blog of my own where I am sharing my story to a healthy me, things I have tried and what has worked or hasn’t worked for me.


Sharing this has proven already to be a great deal of help to a lot of my friends and family. They are so inspired by what I’ve shared that they are becoming more active themselves. This gives me a great deal of happiness to know I have helped others start their journey to healthy fulfilling lifestyles.

Cheryl Okorofsky
---

(Note: since submitting this testimonial, Cheryl has informed me that she intends to become certified as a personal trainer herself, so that she can help others experience the transformation she has enjoyed!  Way to go Cheryl!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Train like a Badass

BY DAVID RAK (Borrowed from www.EliteFTS.com)



Tired of doing the same boring things? Mix it up and try these seven exercises and variations to make your training more challenging. These will add some excitement to your routine and get you bigger and stronger. Women might start paying attention to you…maybe. These aren’t listed in any particular order.

1. Heavy farmer carries: Does your grip strength suck? Give these a try. There isn’t anything like running around with 400 lbs while you grip the farmer carry bar for dear life. Farmer carries will definitely improve your grip strength, and an improved grip means an improved deadlift, bench press, and chin-up.

They also strengthen your traps and core and improve shoulder, core, and hip stability. If you want to work the core more, you can do offset farmer carries by only holding one weight. This will force you to use your obliques to stabilize your torso and keep you from leaning to one side. Heavy farmer carries are tough. The best way to approach these is to grab a handful of chalk, sack up, and hold on to the weight.

One great tip I’ve learned is to chalk the outside of your index finger all the way to the outside of your thumb. That way when you grip the bar, your thumb should be wrapped around your index finger. The chalk will provide an extra solid grip. Carrying heavy things definitely rates high on the badass meter.


2. Fat Gripz: These things are another awesome, simple way to improve your grip strength. They are cheap compared to buying a traditional fat bar and they fit around almost anything. These will challenge your grip by forcing you to squeeze the hell out of the bar. In addition, you’ll take your forearms to a new level of ‘jacktidue.’ You can use them with dumbbells or barbells, for deadlifts, or on a TRX. They can be used on almost anything. The possibilities are endless.

Click Here to Purchase Your Own Pair!


3. Chains: Just the sound chains make in the weight room is badass enough. The idea behind chains is to use accommodating resistance. For example, take the chain bench press. At the bottom of the bench press, the load will be the lightest because most of the chain links are on the ground. As you press the bar up, each chain link rises off the floor and makes the load heavier.

Chains are a great way to add variety and help you blast through sticking points. You can use them for deadlifts, squats, push-ups, and bench presses just to name a few.


4. Low setting Prowler: This sled from EliteFTS will destroy you. Push this bastard on the low setting at the end of a hard training session and you will be on the ground for the next 15 minutes. Try these like Eric Cressey at Cressey Performance. Push the Prowler on an unforgiving rubber floor. They’re probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Your legs will be on fire and you’ll be in a ton of pain, but these will definitely increase the size and strength of your legs. Three 20-yard trips will have you headed for the trash can.


5. Ropes: Battle ropes are a great tool for metabolic conditioning. Wrap these around something sturdy and get after it. There are a ton of different variations you can do to prevent boredom. You can also throw the rope over a chin-up bar and do rope chin-ups. These will challenge your grip and add variety to your program. Or tie these to your badass Prowler and do standing sled pulls Strongman style. Get a good base and start pulling the sled toward you.


6. Tire/sledgehammer: Get a huge tire from a junkyard and you can do some serious work. First off, you can beat the crap out of the tire with a sledgehammer. This is similar to overhead medicine ball slams. It develops power and core strength. Use it for conditioning or just raw power. Once you’re done beating the piss out of the tire with a sledgehammer, use it for tire flips or tire battles. As long as you have good hip mobility, you can get low and flip the tire over.

If you’re doing these for time, the trick is to flip the tire over and drive it into the ground with a hard push to speed up the process. You can also grab a buddy and get the tire upright. Then stand on opposite ends of the tire and push it back and forth trying to completely knock it over while your partner does the same. This is a great upper body plyometric exercise.



7. Airdyne bike sprints: How can bike sprints be badass? Airdyne bikes aren’t your average bikes. These have fans in them that increase the resistance as you pedal. The harder you pedal, the more it sucks. These are a great conditioning tool.

Start out with a 15-second all out sprint with 45 seconds of rest. Do eight total sprints. Each week, add two additional sprints. After three weeks, increase the sprint time to 20 seconds and rest for 40 seconds. Then progress to 0.5-mile sprints. Time and reps can be adjusted to your level of conditioning.

•Week 1: 15:45 X 8
•Week 2: 15:45 X 10
•Week 3: 15:45 X 12
•Week 4: 20:40 X 8
•Week 5: 20:40 X 10
•Week 6: 20:40 X 12
•Week 7: 0.5 X 1
•Week 8: 0.5 X 2 (The goal is to finish in less than one minute, 10 seconds. Time how long it takes to complete the 0.5 miles at a 1:2 work/rest ratio.)
•Week 9: 0.5 X 3


(Guest Post from David Rak, as published on www.EliteFTS.com)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Guest Post from Scott Craig: Create your new personal fitness vision

Train With Scott Craig: Create your new personal fitness vision: "Fitness training that delivers consistent and lasting results has it genesis within the mind. The vision that you have of yourself in spec..."

Click on the link above to check out this great post by my colleague and fellow fitness blogger, Scott Craig!

Yours in health,

Josh

Keep the Hunger Alive! (Motivational Video)



This is some footage from back in the year 2000 at Ontario's Strongest Man.
I was sure hungry back then. Watching this old footage stirred something up inside of me. It lit a fire under my @ss to take my physical conditioning to the next level again. Over the next few weeks I'm going to set some big goals and make a solid plan to reach them. I'll keep you updated.

I thought the soundtrack I used for this video summed up that feeling nicely. The need to be passionate about something and go after it. This is an excerpt from a seminar with the motivational speaker, Les Brown.

"You don't get in life what you 'want'... you get in life what you 'are'.
You must program yourself for success...
and always stay hungry!"

"Success leaves clues. Always follow those people who are doing what you want to do at the level that you want to do it, and learn from them."

People who are hungry are willing to do whatever it takes.

You have greatness within you! Don't allow your circumstances to determine who you are. Don't allow your negative thoughts to hold you back.

You can do more than you can ever begin to imagine...

Stay Strong,

Josh

Client Blogs Her Journey to a Healthier Lifestyle

I'm very proud to share with you the blog of one of my clients, Cheryl, who has been posting her thoughts, experiences, and progress as she ventures on her journey to greater health and fitness.

Check it out at www.fabulousnfit.wordpress.com

Be sure to leave a comment and share your own health and fitness related experiences!

Thanks for sharing, Cheryl!

Stay Fit,
Josh

Monday, November 15, 2010

"Thank You" Promo Contest (Jungle Gym Give-Away)

Thanks for being a supporter of StayFitMinute.com! To reward you for joining our mailing list, we have a FREE gift contest.

Tell us how we've improved the quality of your life in an e-mail or in a video by December 1 and we will reward ONE awesome testimonial with a free Jungle Gym! That's right, absolutely no charge, and shipping is on us.

However, if you aren't that chosen one, you will still be a winner because ALL testimonials will qualify for a limited time only $10 Discount for the Jungle Gym. This amazing offer is only available until December 24...just in time for Christmas =)

You may have read and seen my video on our recent post on the Jungle Gym, as hosted by Leg Exercise Expert Mey Tseng:

Lower Body Workout

I demonstrate how we can work out while we're traveling or at home, with this very simple and light weight piece of exercise equipment called a Jungle Gym.

So, how do you get your chance to win your own Jungle Gym?

Write us a testimonial on how StayFitMinute.com has helped you in your fitness goals. Has it motivated you to start an exercise program? Have you been inspired to stay more active? Have you achieved your ideal weight? Do you feel healthier? Look better? Just enjoy more energy and activity in your life?

Share your good news before prize entry deadline of November 30th, by sending your testimonial to Josh@top-form-fitness.com (or just reply to this message) and I will inform the lucky winner on December 5th!

All entries will get a $10 off special discount, which must be redeemed by December 24, 2010. Not a subscriber yet? To be eligible sign up on the top left of this blog, or at www.StrongerAndLeaner.com.

THANK YOU for being a part of the StayFitMinute.com community. We really appreciate it!

Stay fit,

Josh

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Struggle and Resistance Develop Strength! (Motivational Message)



The challenges we face in life are actually a gift... an opportunity to become stronger!

Meet these obstacles head on and never give up!

Nuff said.

Josh

Friday, November 12, 2010

In Honor Of Remembrance Day




This military style workout is in honor of Remembrance Day.
Always remember and be grateful for the sacrifices of our veterans and those who died at war so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today.

Josh

Monday, November 8, 2010

Powerful Grip Development (Part 2)



This is the second part of a 2 part grip training tutorial.

In this video I demonstrate more great exercises for developing tremendous grip strength, including:

-Thick Grip accessories: Fat Gripz and Grip4orce

-Hand Grippers: Captains of Crush, IronMind Grips, Heavy Grips, Rubber Grip Rings, etc.

-Forearm Levering: such as resisted pronation and supination

-The importance of Chalk!

Try them out and get ready to develop some crushing grip strength!

If you missed it you can check out part one by clicking HERE.

Did I miss anything? Let me know if you have some unique grip training exercises that you use by leaving a comment below.

Stay fit,

Josh

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quick Lower Body Workout with the Jungle Gym Straps



Jungle Gym Straps

While I was at a conference in LA recently I met another fitness professional, Mey Tseng, from www.ProLegExercise.com , and we started discussing the importance of getting your workouts in while you're traveling or away from the gym. I introduced her to the Jungle Gym straps (I always take them with me when I travel) and we recorded this training footage.... with the help of another talented professional we met there, Leah Bolton, who produced this great video for us! Check out her site at www.LeahBolton.com

Check out the Jungle Gym straps at www.StrapsWorkout.com
We are just about to start a promotion for the Jungle Gym soon as well, so if you want to be part of that remember to sign up for my newsletter on the top left of this blog, or at www.StrongerAndLeaner.com. (You will also get my free subscriber gifts!).

Stay Fit,

Josh

Monday, October 11, 2010

How to Develop a Powerful Grip (and protect your wrists!): Part 1




Grip, hand, and forearm training is an often neglected part of one's program, yet grip strength is so important. If you've ever had wrist or forearm pain, had trouble opening a jar, felt your grip weaken while working out, wanted stronger looking fore-arms, or just wanted a firmer handshake, these exercises are for you.

These exercises are also important for athletes and weekend warriors participating in sports that involve throwing, swinging, catching, carrying, or gripping... yes, I know that covers A LOT of sporting activities!  The ones I demonstrate for you in this video include:
  • Parallel Thick Grip Static Hold
  • Wrist Roller Variations
  • Pinch Grip Block

I had quite a few exercises to share with you so to keep the video length to minimum I've separated this into 2 parts. Stay tuned for PART TWO next week for more unique and effective exercises to help you get a grip on things!

Let me know if you have any good grip / forearm exercises you use regularly if I missed them!

Stay strong,

Josh

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fat Burning Tips From My Trip to LA!

Check out this quick hotel workout I did during my conference week in LA:




Perform this quick circuit 2 or 3 times, 15-20 reps per exercise, first thing in the morning and watch your body transform!

Here's another quick training tip for you:



Keep this in mind next time you're travelling, whether for work or pleasure!

Stay fit,

Josh

Monday, September 20, 2010

What Is My "Why"? (Motivational Message)

Let me tell you about the highlight of my day today: My 2 year old daughter Kaitlyn picked up our copy of the DVD "The Incredibles" and while pointing at Mr. Incredible on the cover, said "Poppa!".

Then several times while she was watching the movie, she'd point at Mr. Incredible on the screen, then point at me and say "poppa" again. This just made my day!



This also made me think of what's important to me in my life. What inspires me to do what I do? What drives me to achieve my goals and motivates me to become successful? What is my WHY? To illustrate my inspiration I made this short video, touching on what's important to me, including family, friends, the people I help and the work I do, as well as the more superficial motivators like wealth and success.





When you have a strong enough "Why" you will always find out how. It's important to be clear on your "why"... consider everything that is important to you in life, and consider what really is driving you to be the best you can be, and strive to better yourself as a person. I'd like to hear what drives you... please share in comments below! Remember, there are no "wrong" answers here.

Here is another great video I found that will get you thinking in the right direction:




I just wanted to share these thoughts with you today... I hope it got you thinking, or gave you some motivation!

Go for yours!

Mr. Incredible

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Russian Sauna Contrast Therapy (Recovery Method)

This is a short video I shot while on vacation in Belarus a few weeks ago. I was enjoying the "Banya" which is basically a Russian sauna. You spend several minutes in a VERY hot sauna, splashing eucalyptus water on the hot rocks to work up a real sweat! Then you jump into the ice cold pool (or pond, depending on the location). It's pretty intense, but incredibly rejuvenating as well.





Contrasting or Thermotherapy (alternating hot and cold) is one of my favorite recovery methods, and can help improve circulation and flush out toxins (via vascular flushing), relax your tight muscles, cleanse your pores, and reduce inflammation.

A simple way to do this at home is to alternate warm water with cold water for 30 seconds each in the shower. The cold on the body sends blood to your organs while the warm brings it rushing back to your muscles, which will increase your circulation and boost your immune system.

Remember, if you train hard you also need to practice effective recovery methods, including rest, proper nutrition, adequate warm-ups and cool-downs, etc. Be sure to check out my blog posts on Dynamic Warmups, Core Activation, and the Upper Body Warmup for more information on how to help your body prepare for and recover from your intense workouts!

What techniques or methods have you used to prevent injuries and improve recovery? If you have any questions or comments I'd like to hear from you! Leave a comment below.

This was the last of my videos from Belarus... I hope you enjoyed it. Next week I have some practical fat loss tips to share with you. Stay tuned!

Stay Fit,

Josh

Friday, September 17, 2010

Upper Body Warmup

If you train with intensity and want to get the most out of your workouts while avoiding injury, you MUST warmup properly! This video will comlement my Dynamic Warmup and Core Activation videos, and demonstrates some simple upper body warmup exercises.



Incorporate these warmup exercises into your program and enjoy better posture, better performance, and less discomfort!

Stay fit,

Josh

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Increase Workout Intensity with Pre-Exhaust Training!

This is another video I took while visiting family in Belarus, as a followup to my "Travel Workout" I uploaded a couple of weeks ago. I finally made it in to a gym in Minsk.  In this workout I demonstrate a technique called "Pre-Exhaust" training, which is great for hypertrophy (muscle growth)... however, I am limited by what I can do because I am still recovering from a distal bicep tendon partial tear, so I can't use heavy loads for upper body yet.




The nice thing about "Pre-exhaust" is that you can pre-fatigue a target muscle group using an isolation exercise before finishing it off with a compound movement. This still allows you to stress the muscle group adequately without needing to use as heavy of a load.

Some examples include:
  • Chest flyes before Chest press
  • Reverse flyes before Back Rows
  • Dumbell pullovers before Chinups (or Pulldowns)
  • Leg extensions before Squats (although I'm not a big fan of leg extensions in general)
Try out this training method in your next workout and see how it feels!

I still have one more video from Belarus that I will share next week, discussing recovery methods (warning: Sauna footage!), lol.

Watch for that.  Until then, train hard and stay fit!  I invite you to post a comment below if you have any questions or want to share a related story.

Josh

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Getting Leaner the Right Way (Funny Video)!

Here is a short animated video I put together highlighting some of the myths and misunderstandings surrounding weight-loss.  I hope you get a laugh out of it:



Just remember... looking for a "Quick-Fix" to fat loss will result in a "Fast-Track" to failure! Take the time to educate yourself, make the necessary lifestyle changes, and be prepared to invest some time and energy to improve your health, fitness, body composition, and appearance. You are worth it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Basic Fat Loss Facts

Hello everyone,

In this post I want to share some important fat loss tips in response to a recent subscriber comment.

Before getting to that I want to thank everyone who completed the survey I posted! (If not please do so... it helps me get my readers the content they want!).
--Subscriber Poll--


I had posted another "Subscriber Poll" a few months ago as well, and the response from that indicated that most of you were interested in learning more about fat loss and / or strength training. Hence my focus on getting stronger and leaner.


In my more recent online survey I wanted to get more specific, and it looks like many of you would like to see more body-weight exercises and workouts that require minimal equipment. There was also interest in unique or unconventional exercises.

Thank you for your feedback!  I look forward to posting some good tips and tutorials for you soon!
 
Now let's discuss how to lose body fat!  Here are some key points you need to consider if you're goal is to get leaner and STAY lean:


1. Nutrition is paramount for fat loss!  You can't out-train a bad diet (check out Craig Ballentyne's video below).  I set up my clients with a complete nutrition plan when they start on one of our programs, but the basics are:
  • Eliminate simple sugars
  • Drink more water (and green tea)
  • Keep your portions smaller but schedule a healthy snack mid morning and mid afternoon.
  • Aim to eat vegetables and a source of protein at each meal or snack
  • Take a fish oil supplement daily
  • Use a nutrition journal. Studies prove that when you write it down you will be more successful!



==>; Check out one of Craig's programs HERE

2. Resistance Training (ie- circuit training) is more effective than cardio for long term fat loss.  Strength training exercise raises your metabolism, helps regulate insulin, controls your blood sugar levels, and reshapes your body. Resistance training leads to a double-reducing affect, where you are not only burning calories (and fat) while you are training, but your metabolism is also elevated for several hours following the workout.  So don't assume that when I'm sharing information about resistance training that it doesn't relate to fat loss!


3. High intensity cardio trumps long, slow cardio: If you do cardio, incorporate high intensity intervals. Long duration, slow cardio can reduce your metabolism by causing you to lose lean tissue.  Whereas high intensity, short duration cardio "interval training" can boost your growth hormone levels and help you maintain your muscle tissue while burning fat.


4. Mental Conditioning: Your mind controls your body, so you need to learn to take charge of it! If you complain or let negative self-talk creep into your subconscious (such as "I'll never lose weight", or "it's too hard and I don't have time", etc), you can sabotage your progress.   You need to set clear goals, train yourself to visualize success with your goals, and approach your nutrition and exercise plan with confidence and optimism!


5. Follow a well structured training plan: Your exercise program should have planned variations and use productive exercises within a proven routine. This is exactly what I'm producing for you with my Get Lean ebook... should be ready soon!


I hope these tips help you reach your goal of getting leaner and stronger!  I have several video tutorials lined up and ready to share soon... stay tuned for that.

Post a comment if you have any questions or want to share something.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Stay fit,

Josh

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Simple (Not Easy!) Travel Workout - Stay Fit on the Go

Hey guys,

As promised, here is one of the workouts I videotaped while visiting my in-laws in Belarus (near Russia). I was unable to make it to the gym regularly, but I wasn't about to miss training... especially considering how much food we were eating on this trip!

Admittedly, there was plenty of alcohol consumption as well... at least more than I am used to. In fact, on our first night in Belarus my father-in-law, Valeriy, served us a couple of shots of his "special Vodka" to celebrate our safe arrival. Not wanted to disappoint him, I tentatively snapped it down in one shot. Within a second it hit me... literally sucking the breath right out of me! My face must have turned white because he quickly put a glass of water in front of me. Of course, I'm still trying to act "cool" as I casually sip the water, and whisper painfully "vkusna" (which means "tasty" in Russian).



It turns out this stuff was moonshine and was 96% alcohol! No lie! Well that was the worst drinking experience, but not the last. I didn't understand most of what everyone was saying, but there must have been alot to celebrate because we were toasting with shots of Vodka at almost every dinner!

Needless to say, I didn't want to miss my workouts on this trip!




So I set up several simple, intense circuit training workouts using body-weight exercises, such as the workout I show you in this video. This is similar to the workouts used in the Systemic Endurance phase in my Get Lean program (check it out at Get Lean Book).

Using exercises and a program like this you never need to miss a workout while traveling. If you're interested in the Power Wheel or Jungle Gym Straps, check them out at the lifts on the left of my blog.

I have 2 more videos ready to upload from our trip, including a gym workout (demonstrating a great high-intensity training method) and my Russian sauna experience!

Stay tuned for those next week.

Until next time, stay fit!

Josh

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Subject Matter Do You Want To See?

I've had several new subscribers since I last sent out a newsletter, so I decided it's time for another Poll to check in with you guys and get an idea what your interests are.

Please take a second to make up to 2 selections on the Poll below... it will help me get even better content out on my blog and newsletter in the future. Thanks!





I have a couple of training videos (recorded during my trip to Russia) prepared for you that I'll be posting next week ... check back then!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

What The Heck Have I Been Up To?

Hello again,

It's been several weeks since I've posted a blog... I've been a busy boy! Let me catch you up on what's been going on:

To help me with my growing client load I've recently hired a new trainer to work with me, and my goal is to have 1 or 2 more trainers working with Top Form Fitness clients. This change has required me to make some changes within my business, such as organizing our programs into templated training systems and creating PowerPoint nutrition presentations for each phase, as well as providing more training resources for both the clients and our trainers. This results in a better training experience and more consistent results for the clients, and enables the trainer to deliver more professional service.

Changes like this are exciting, but they can take time. However, I'm almost finished... just working on completing a series of exercise tutorial videos for an online video library. This will be a great resource for both one-on-one AND online clients! I'll post a link when I have it set up.

I've also been training myself quite seriously this spring/summer, and I've competed in a couple of Strongman competitions with some members of the strength athletics group I started, Team Barbarian. I've basically been testing my strength training program, as are several other trainers, before I package it up as an ebook training manual and make it available to others online.

I was very pleased with my strength gains and my competition performance, however I was unfortunate enough to suffer a partial tear of my bicep tendon in one of the events. After a few weeks of modified training it should heal... but the glory of being strong lasts forever! LOL! Here is some footage of the competitions:

New Liskeard Strongman, 2010:



United Way Strongman Contest, 2010:



Btw, if you enjoy strongman training or checking out the competitions, subscribe to my new YouTube channel ... I've got alot of new footage on there and I'll be submitting more videos soon.

Anyway, the biggest news for me at present is that my wife and daughter and I are jumping on the plane tomorrow and heading to Belarus! We will be visiting my wife's family and introducing our daughter to the grandparents who haven't met her yet. This is Kaitlyn's first flight... pretty exciting!

While in Belarus I plan to take some time to get caught up on rest, rehab my bicep tendon, and work on one of my ebooks. I've been putting the 2 ebooks (training manuals) on the back-burner for too long... now I expect to have time to finish one of them, and get started on the biggie!

I also plan on getting some good video footage from Belarus (including training tutorials, and the banye -a hot/cold Russian sauna experience!) which I will post on my blog and send out on my newsletter. I look forward to staying connected with everyone online more this season.

Finally, I'm hoping to post a biweekly Top Form Fitness Challenge video. So check back here again, and subscribe at StrongerAndLeaner.com and I'll have more good training and nutrition information to share!

Stay Fit,

Josh

Friday, July 9, 2010

Client Testimonial: Strength Training For Injury Prevention

This is an email I just received from a client of mine who is up North right now... I thought it was worth sharing...

Hey Josh!

its been ages since we last spoke. I was in at the clinic when I was last home a few months ago but you were not around. I will be back there this summer at some point and will for sure try and catch up.

the story I wanted to share with you is that Im pretty sure the workout plan you were creating with me, (injury prevention) could have potentially saved my life as I know it.

I was snowboarding In Whistler on the last day of march in an unreal snowstorm, got carried away going way too fast in the woods.... drum roll.... hit a tree. seems like the story of my life haha. I thought nothing of it at first, but later had trouble breathing and unexplainable inner pain. It turns out that I shifted/twisted/tweaked, 7 different vertebrae ranging from my lumbar to cervical spine. It was looking grim to say the least. I saw a few MD's in emerge for x-rays and thankfully nothing was cracked or broken, it seemed to be an injury mainly of the facia. I was told that its similar to most of the t-bone car accident that they see and that I was lucky.

I then go to see a well respected chiro for a few weeks and she was shocked about how my back muscles protected the spine so well. After only a few visits (and big adjustments) I was seeing huge improvements in mobility and strength. I moved on from there to see a doctor of chinese medicine who worked unbelievable magic on me! This guy is a total master and has made me a believer. (huge recommendation for yourself)

Both of these professionals told me that the only reason I was probably able to withstand such an awkward blow, was strength and stability training like we did. Your training developed a very solid base of strength to work with. During my time out here I have kept up with some of my own modified quick workouts, using the information you left for me. Now three months later I am riding my bike three time a week, and working 10 hour landscaping shifts without issues!

Its amazing what a personal fitness team can do for you...
thanks for all your help, you played a big part in saving my butt! haha (I can laugh about it now that its over).

best of luck with your business, and keep up the hard work and dedication.

PS: hows the father life treating you?

-Calum

Sunday, May 23, 2010

*Quick (Strange) Tip* To Raise TESTOSTERONE!

Ok, I found this study strange when I first saw it.

I mean, who would have thought that THIS one factor could have such a significant impact on your ability to naturally increase TESTOSTERONE!

In fact, SOME of you may actually be limiting your ability to build muscle and burn off fat if you're "challenged" in this area.

====================================

Let me explain...

====================================

Scientific research has found a dramatic link between your body's natural testosterone production and, get this...

...SUNLIGHT!

And we're NOT talking "small numbers" here. Researchers found that through direct exposure to sunlight for a specific period of time, your body increases production of "T-Precursers" by as much as 65%!

Whereas DIRECTLY increasing testosterone through artificial means (like steroids) can have negative side effects, there is a way to do it safely...

====================================

The absolute BEST way to jack up your hormones is to do it NATURALLY, by increasing both the DEMAND within your body and the "support" and raw nutrients you give it.

On the "demand" side...you need to TRAIN!

That's what Jeff Anderson's, Optimum Anabolics, program was designed for because it SPECIFICALLY focuses on a unique "natural triggering" process to increase your body's own hormone production.

You can get more information at:
Click To See "Optimum Anabolics""

====================================

As for the "support" side...

====================================

By increasing "precursers", you provide your endocrine system with the raw materials it needs to NATURALLY increase testosterone...

...WITHOUT the harmful side effects!

So how much sunlight do you need?

Scientists discovered that 50-60 minutes exposure of EARLY MORNING sunlight worked best at increasing these powerful precursers.

Unfortunately, MOST guys DON'T actually get this much exposure.

====================================

You could be SABOTAGING "T" production if...

====================================

=> If you work in an INDOOR OFFICE, your exposure is only 20% of what you need!

=> If you live in an area that's often OVERCAST, you may only be getting 10% of what you need!

This may also explain the higher incidence of DEPRESSION in areas of the world that don't get a lot of sunlight.

The solution? GET SOME SUN! It's simple...but it helps (a LOT!)

====================================

Do things like:

====================================

=> Walk or bike to work if you live close enough and weather permits

=> Eat your breakfast and lunch outside

=> Go for an early morning jog

=> Do bodyweight exercises at a local park

=> Ask your boss for that corner office! (Tell them it's for your testosterone levels...he/she will understand! ;-)

Josh Hewett

P.S. - If you've read this far, then you're obviously interested in raising your body's own natural hormone production.

You can tell by the shameless plug in this article that I highly recommend Jeff Anderson's "Optimum Anabolics" program.

The reason WHY is because unlike other programs, O.A. was designed for the SOLE PURPOSE of building muscle and burning fat by safely and naturally jacking up your body's production of "T" and gr0wth hormone (GH).

You can learn more about exactly HOW it works at:

Click To See "Optimum Anabolics"

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Product Review: Universal Strength Apparatus (USA)

This unique training accessory can take your bodyweight workouts to the next level by introducing a variety of new exercises and challenging exercise variations.  It is similar to the Jungle Gym straps I introduced in an earlier post, but with some unique differences.  Check it out in the video below:




If you want to order your own USA you can pick one up at BodyWeight Culture:

... use this discount code: JH5OFF to get $5 off your order.

Stay Fit,

Josh

Strengthen Your Neck, Reduce Neck Pain, and Increase Your Lifts!

In general, there isn't only one common cause of neck pain that applies to everyone, yet many people suffer from neck pain. If you have chronic neck pain, you may have received a diagnosis of disc herniation, whiplash, strain, sprain or something else. Frequently those who work at a desk all day experience neck pain related to postural issues, and even fitness fanatics get the occasion pain in the neck from intense training or heavy lifting.

Regardless, most of these conditions have one thing in common: Certain muscles are affected, and these are the muscles we need to target before progressing to more challenging exercises or activities. There are certain muscles in the neck that are designed to help us maintain our normal and healthy curve of the spine. In addition, these muscles are designed to hold our head up all day.

When these muscles become weak or strained, other muscles must pick up the slack and begin working harder. The muscles that begin working harder are the ones that usually get tight, and typically we are encouraged to stretch them. But have you ever noticed that when you stretch stiff muscles, they feel good for a short period of time, only to get tight again? The thing is, if you don't address the other muscles, the "weak links" that get fatigued or lose strength, then your stretching will be ineffective because you are only addressing the symptoms rather than the root of the issue. All these muscles need to be in "balance."

Another reason to strengthen your neck muscles is that some studies have indicated that by maintaining proper alignment of your neck and increasing innervation of the neck muscles can lead to an increase in upper body strength!

A simple way to test if your deep neck flexors are weak is to try to lift your head off the ground when you are lying down. Simply tuck your chin in to your chest and lift your head off the ground, without shrugging your shoulders up, and then attempt to hold it there for 10 seconds. If the neck begins shaking, or your chin is unable to stay tucked in, these muscles need to be addressed.

When starting a neck strengthening program, you must be careful to be very progressive... start slow and easy and work your way up to more challenging exercises over time. For example, you can begin your exercise program by doing simple chin tucks while sitting or standing. (See video)

Once you get comfortable with basic sitting/standing chin tucks, you can try doing the exercise lying down. Build up to doing around 10 reps, holding for 5 to 10 seconds each rep. The goal is to increase the muscular endurance of your muscles as well as their strength. Your neck is designed to carry the weight of your head all day, not to lift trains or buses!

Watch my video below for some more exercises to prevent neck and back pain. (Keep in mind, I made this video a LONG time ago... but the information is relevant):




According to elite trainer John Paul Catanzaro, activating the long cervical (neck) extensors can help reposition C5 and C6 (two vertebrae in your neck), which innervate the biceps. This will increase curling and pulling strength (may increase biceps strength by as much as 10%) so try this neck bridge technique just before performing your back and biceps exercises.











Sit on a Swiss ball. Walk forward until only the back of your head is supported on the ball. Keep the hips up and make sure to accentuate the rib cage. Now try to hold that position for 20 to 30 seconds. Again, it's important to be progressive with your neck training, so start standing with your back against the wall, tuck your chin in, and press back against the wall lightly. Gradually work up to 2 or 3 sets of 20 to 30 seconds each.

If you're a subscriber to my newsletter than you should have seen my video bonus "The FIVE Best Exercises for Size and Strength"... check it out here: http://www.top-form-fitness.com/bestfive/
--> I demonstrate neck exercises for both flexion and extension at 22:07 in the video.


Watch The 5 Best Exercises for Size and Strength in Educational & How-To  |  View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com


So developing a strong stable neck not only prevents neck pain, increases upper body pulling strength, helps protect you from injury, and improves your posture, but it can also build a thicker, stronger looking neck!

Post a message below if you have any questions or comments on neck training.

Stay Strong!

Josh

Sunday, April 18, 2010

BodyWeight Full Body Workout




This video demonstrates a basic full body workout that you can perform without any machines or free weights. I use various training accessories such as the Jungle Gym Straps, the Power Wheel, a chinup bar, and dip bars.

Here is the workout:

Jump squats
3 supersets with:
Supine Hamstring curls using Power Wheel or Exercise Ball
--
Chinups or Pullups
3 supersets with:
Parallel Dips (or bench dips)
--
Single Leg Squat (Pistols) or Step Ups
3 supersets with:
Single Leg Deadlifts
--
Inverted Rows
3 Supersets with:
Pushup variations
--
Pikes using Power Wheel or Exercise Ball
superset with:
Hanging Knee Raises

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Our Trip To The Arnold's Expo



Last month (March, 2010) myself and 7 friends took a trip to the USA to check out the Arnold Expo in Columbus, Ohio.

This was the first time I've been to the "Arnold's", although I've wanted to go for a few years... and it did not disappoint! There was an extremely high level Amateur Strongman competition (with a large numer of competitors from several different countries), bodybuilding contests, women's physique contests, powerlifting, olympic weightlifting, Pro Strongman, martial arts, grip strength, and many, many other events and competitions!

There were also hundreds of booths to explore promoting fitness supplements and equipment, many of which were giving away free samples. Naturally I came home with a huge bag full of booty!

The Expo was very crowded all day every day we were there, but it was great to be surrounded by so much high energy and so many other people living the strength and fitness lifestyle. Sure, some of it seemed a little superficial and somewhat "commercial", but anytime you have strongman, powerlifting, bodybuilding, and weightlifting under the same roof, it's gotta be good!

Overall it was a great trip... I'd definitely consider going again next year.

-JH

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Effective BodyWeight Training With the Jungle Gym




As a trainer I’m always looking for ways to improve the quality of the exercise routines for both my clients and myself. I’m also a strong believer in using highly productive, functional exercises, incorporating a lot of bodyweight training, compound movements, and unique training accessories. 

However, when it comes to bodyweight training, many exercises are either too easy or too challenging for many people. So when I first heard about the Jungle Gym straps I was interested.  (Check out my review of this product in the video above).

When many of my clients begin training with me, they are not yet strong enough to perform regular pushups or chinups.  More advanced trainees need a greater challenge than their own bodyweight usually provides. The Jungle Gym exercises can be modified (depending on what angle you are training at) to provide a challenging workout appropriate for fitness enthusiasts at any level.


The Jungle Gym is also an amazing accessory for those who are busy or who travel a lot. You can perform exercises like rowing, strap pushups, and a series of other upper and lower body movements on the road by simply hooking the Jungle Gym up anywhere (on a door, tree limb, or an overhanging bar or beam). The unique “unstable” design challenges you to adapt and stabilize yourself, which also forces you to involve your core muscles. Now anyone can achieve a complete workout on their own, anytime, anywhere.

The Jungle Gym is similar to many other body weight “strap” training systems on the market today (such as the popular TRX), but it sells at a fraction of the price. Overall, the Jungle Gym is an excellent, light weight, convenient training accessory which both my clients and I have been very pleased with.

I now carry this product myself, so if you're interested you can pick one up at Jungle Gym Training.

Stay Fit,

Josh

Friday, March 19, 2010

OVERTRAINING

Guest Post Article By Mike "The Machine" Bruce

I am writing this not only for all the new guys that may just be starting out but also for all you vets out there that have been training for a long time.

I have been training for 20+ years now on all different levels and yet still I go to far at times and don't listen to my body or pay attention to the signs of overtraining.

Yesterday was a prime example: I am a salty dog when it comes to training and I can't just do a wokout and just go easy. I always seem to be going all out at all times. Well I have had a great couple of months and have achieved many personal bests at the training compound. But lately my motivation has somewhat diminished a tad. I have not been sleeping well, my body has been aching in places that I have'nt even worked directly and I have just felt not up to par. I began seeing the fact of the matter is that it is time to take a break.

I know better and should have done just that, but being the stubborn, salty dog that I am I pushed onward yesterday and ended up hurting myself. Nothing big, but I either pulled on one of my lower ribs or tweaked something along that playing field, so now my body made me take the break that I should of taken a while back.
 
 Taking a week off from working out is actually one of the best things you can do to improve yourself. Your body will thank you for the much needed rest. You will not lose any strength or size. When you are at rest is when your body actually builds itself back up from all of your training. After the week off you will probably come back even better than you were before.

Pay close attention to your body and the signs of overtraining:

* sleepnessness,
* lack of motivation,
* strength loss,
* weight loss,
* body aches [not the aches of training]

Don't be afraid to rest for a week and take this time to do things that maybe you have been slacking on such as hobbies you like to do, spend more time with your wife or kids if you have either one of them, don't even think about working out, just relax and eat some good food,cheat a little bit from the norm but don't go overboard.


The body is an amazing gift that god made for us to take care of and belive me if you feed,train and rest the body the right way it will RESPOND many times over, mould it, tweak it to the way you want it to be. What better gift is that but to have total control of yourself?

Best Regards........Mike "The Machine" Bruce
www.mikethemachine.com

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Ultimate Hard-Body Exercises

Here is another guest post: I thought you might appreciate this article excerpt by Mike Geary, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer (www.truthaboutabs.com):
----

As you may have already discovered, the squat is at the top of the heap (along with deadlifts) as one of the most effective overall exercises for stimulating body composition changes (muscle gain and fat loss). This is because exercises like squats and deadlifts use more muscle groups under a heavy load than almost any other weight bearing exercises known to man. Squats and deadlifts use hundreds of muscles throughout your entire body to move the load and also to stabilize your body while doing the drill.

Hence, these exercises stimulate the greatest hormonal responses (growth hormone, testosterone, etc.) of all exercises.

 
In fact, university research studies have even proven that inclusion of squats into a training program increases upper body development, in addition to lower body development, even though upper body specific joint movements are not performed during the squat. Whether your goal is gaining muscle mass, losing body fat, building a strong and functional body, or improving athletic performance, the basic squat and deadlift (and their variations) are the ultimate solution.


If you don’t believe me that squats and deadlifts are THE basis for a lean and powerful body, then go ahead and join all of the other overweight people pumping away mindlessly for hours on boring cardio equipment.

Squats can be done with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, or even just body weight. Squats should only be done with free weights – NEVER with a Smith machine! My program, The Truth About Six Pack Abs contains the full story on why machines are so inferior and even potentially DANGEROUS compared to free weights.

-Mike Geary

----

This is why these exercises (along with other primal movements, including rows, chinups, upper body pressing, and lunging) are always included in my programs to some extent. If you are following a program that does not include these exercises, or if you are training primarily using machines, I would seriously consider changing your routine!

I will be making my two most effective programs available this year. I'll post when they are ready to download.

Train smart!

Josh

Friday, March 12, 2010

Do You Eat Enough Fruits and Vegetables?


As you may already know, I am a strong advocate of consuming enough fruits and vegetables in your diet (especially vegetables). The reasons for this are extensive and include:
  • Disease prevention
  • Boosting immune function
  • Maintaining a healthy bodyweight
  • Supporting athletic performance
  • High in anti-oxidants
  • Much, much more....

But I also recognize that it can be difficult to get the recommended 7 to 10 servings every day, which is why I suggest making Juice Plus+ a regular part of your nutrition plan. In fact, this is the only nutritional supplement I am personally a distributor for at present, and I've been offered to promote any number of supplements!

I really believe it is important to cover the basics first when it comes to nutrition, before investing in other supplements. For example, I would first make sure you are eating the right amounts of whole foods in the correct balance. Then I would incorporate Juice Plus (as a fruit and vegetable concentrate), fish oil, and vitamin D. Only then might I suggest using whey protein, Branched Chain Aminos, or other supplements such as creatine, depending on a client's goals and needs.

It doesn't make sense to take supplements for performance enhancement or fat loss if you aren't already consuming the essential nutrients your body needs to maintain good health!

If you are not currently consuming at least 7 servings of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables every day, do yourself a favor and check out this site for more info:

www.StayFitWithJuicePlus.com

Watch the videos and read the studies... you'll understand how this product is different from your typical multi-vitamins.
  
After you check out the website and the video I'd like to hear your feedback:
  • Do you already use Juice Plus? 
  • What other supplements have you taken in the past in order to maintain good health?
  • Do you believe that you eat enough fruits and vegetables? 
  • Do you have any tips or tricks to increase your consumption of these important foods?
  • Do you have any related questions?
I look forward to hearing from you!


Stay Fit,


Josh Hewett

Btw, I have the next couple of posts ready for you, which will include an article on Fat Loss Tips from Craig Ballantyne, some info on Overtraining from Mike "The Machine", a quick summary of my trip to the Arnold Fitness Expo in Ohio, and a few important health tips I'm sure you'll appreciate!