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,


Friday, March 19, 2010


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

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 (

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!


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:

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!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Who Is The REAL Hero?

Amazing video! This person is finally getting the recognition they deserve!
(It's well worth the wait if it takes a few seconds to load).


Monday, March 1, 2010

How To Master The Mother Of All Hormones To Build Muscle And Burn Fat!

Guest Post By The Muscle Nerd, Jeff Anderson

In This Article:

•How you can tap into the ab-shredding workouts that will carve out your body like a "300" movie extra!

•How increasing your growth hormone will help you burn body fat at breakneck speed...for washboard abs that will turn heads at the beach (or at the coliseum)!

•What you can do AFTER your workout that will help you jack up your anabolic juices for a fat melting, muscle building conquest!


The epic war movie “300” jacked up the occupancy rates of every gym across the country as all of us guys dreamed of owning a set of washboard abs like the warriors from the film.

Hell, I practically have to snap my fingers in front of my wife’s face to break her out of her trance every time the movie trailer played on our TV! It's hard to compete with ripped and shredded ancient soldiers!

But there’s some sort of irony that this movie about a Spartan king who leads his army of 300 soldiers into battle against the invading Persian army, shows the defenders as being so big and buff.

You see, the Spartans were Greek and the Greeks are credited with the origin of the word “hormone” (from their word “horman”, meaning “to stir up or excite”), the very thing that they worked so hard to master to become such great athletes and warriors.

So as my own tribute to this killer movie, this article is dedicated to these formidable warriors who have inspired men everywhere to chisel out a “Spartan-like” physique able to fend off attackers anywhere. (Now leave our wives alone!)

Yes...this article is about naturally mastering your body’s growth hormone (GH) levels for more muscle and more fat burning!

In fact, if your goal is to lose fat and build muscle, it’s absolutely critical to pay close attention to your efforts to maximize your production of this powerful chemical in your body.

Released from your pituitary gland, growth hormone production peaks around puberty, and then slowly fades away as we age and plays a key role in the maintenance of muscle, bone mass and the balance of body fat.

This chemical is so powerful that even WITHOUT following an exercise program and healthy diet, it can build muscle and burn fat!

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that a small group of elderly men (aged between 61 and 81) who were given injected GH treatment showed an increase in both muscle and bone mass...AND reduced body fat at the same time.

Now, injected GH therapy does have its down sides so you can put down the phone...your doctor isn’t going to give you a prescription.

Joint and muscle pain can eventually occur from artificial stimulation and once you stop taking it, most of the benefits go bye-bye.  However, if done correctly, research has shown that naturally stimulating growth hormone can pay off with big dividends in a short period of time.

In fact, one university study from Denmark found that a 9-week program designed to naturally stimulate GH release resulted in strength gains 300% over normal increases!

Adding to that, men following the program increase arm strength by a whopping 37% compared with only 9% by the “control group” who only followed a “non-GH-stimulation” program.

And remember...these GH increases were activated not by injected hormone, but by completely natural means.

Now you can see why my program “Optimum Anabolics” has a primary focus of stimulating natural anabolic hormone output within the body...and why it has proven so effective at building muscle and burning off fat for thousands of men.

Hormone-focused training WORKS!

So to help you get started at mastering your own growth hormone factory, here are some of the key elements you need to apply to your workouts:

Natural Growth Hormone And YOUR Training Program

Exercise intensity is key when it comes to activating a GH response in your body. You want your workouts to be rather fast and furious, keeping total workout time no greater than 60 minutes. After that, you start to see a rapid decline in hormone response in the body.

You have a lot of work to do in just 60 minutes so in order to maximize your time in the gym, stick to “supersets” for your exercises and keep your rest periods to a minimum (about 60-90 seconds between sets).

A superset involves going straight from exercise 1 to exercise 2 without resting or with minimal rest in between. Once you’ve completed both exercises, you will take a short break (remember...”short” means just 60-90 seconds!) and go back to exercise 1 again to hit the next superset.

Keep your repetition count high (around 8-12 repetitions per set). This will help activate a lactic acid response in your muscles and lactic acid in turn activates the release of growth hormone. You’re going for the “burn” in this program!

Be sure to pause and squeeze your targeted muscle at the peak contraction point (for bicep curls as an example, this would be in the “up” position).

This will really activate the lactic acid response as well as make sure you’re hitting deep into your muscle fibers.

Once you’re done with your workout, save about 5 minutes at the end for “sprint training”...

Researchers from Loughborough University have shown that a group of athletes who conducted a short series of 30-second sprints reached growth hormone levels 25 TIMES their resting levels approximately 30 minutes after training.

You’re not going to want to miss out on THOSE kinds of results!

So at the end of your workout, do three to six 30-second sprints on your gym’s track or on the road to finish off the day and set yourself up for peak GH output.

Follow this program and YOU will soon be shopping shirtless for a shield and armor at the local blacksmith! (And stay away from my wife!)

Jeff Anderson (The Muscle Nerd)

Check Out Jeff's Optimum Anabolics program HERE!