Fat Loss Workout Mistakes You Might Be Making

As more and more people become educated with regards to fat loss and workout programs, more and more are having success with their goals. Unfortunately though, there are still a high number of people who are making critical errors with their workout program that need to be fixed if they are going to get the results they’re looking for.

Here are some of the biggest mistakes you might be making with your current fat loss workout. Double check through these and make sure you are not committing any of these sins.

Too Much Cardio

Too much cardio? I know what you’re thinking - cardio is a fantastic way to burn off those calories and burning calories is what fat loss is all about, right?

Wrong - well, partially.

Yes, fat loss is going to depend on burning more calories than your body needs to maintain itself, but, cardio is not going to be the best way of doing this.

What’s more is that cardio has a tendency to make the body want to lose muscle mass, which then slows your metabolism and makes further fat loss a great deal harder.

Plus, if you are losing muscle mass while doing your cardio, you’re really just transforming yourself into a smaller version of your current self - again, not quite what you want.

Ideally, you want to optimize the fat you burn off your body, while keeping as much muscle as you can so you wind up looking lean, toned, and defined.

Too Much Volume

Then there are those of you who have the cardio thing under control, but are running rampant in the weight room.

For example, have you seen that person in the weight room who is doing set after set - probably a good 20 sets or more for a single body part? It’s this person who isn’t going to get very far.

When you’re taking in fewer calories for fuel - which is what you are doing on any weight loss diet, if you aren’t reducing the volume of exercise you do, you will risk losing muscle mass.

While weight training is great for helping you retain muscle mass, this only applies in proper quantities. Too much weight training and you’ll get opposite results.

So, reduce back on your volume of total lifting completed whenever you start up a diet. Your body will thank you for it.

Not Lifting With Intensity

Finally, the last big mistake people make when they are trying to workout for fat loss is not maintaining the intensity of their workouts.

Many times, since they know they will not be quite as strong while dieting as they were when they weren’t, they’ll bring the amount of weight they lift down, while keeping the reps and sets up.

Again, not ideal.

What you want to be doing instead is keeping that weight up as high as possible, while reducing the total sets and reps.

This is a much better way to promote the maintenance of both lean muscle mass and your total strength generation abilities, which then means more calories burned for you.

Do whatever you can to keep the weight up there as heavy as you possibly can.

So, have a good look over your current weight loss workout. Are you making any of these big mistakes?

For a better solution, check out these fat loss workouts.

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Circuit Training and Building Muscle

With the wide variety of workout programs that are out there, circuit training is one option that many people find themselves wanting to do.

Circuit training - a set-up where you perform one exercise immediately after another, usually in a full-body-workout type of fashion, is good for those who are short on time and are looking to get in the gym, do their workout, and get out.

Additionally, due to the decrease in rest that you use while performing circuit training, you'll typically burn more calories minute for minute while you're in the gym, provided you are still challenging yourself with the amount of weight lifted.

But, is circuit training going to help build muscle?

Let's look closer.

Requirements For Building Muscle

  • An Overloading Stimulus In order to pack on the pounds, you've got to push - really push, your muscles - past their limits. Say goodbye to that comfort zone.

  • Rest. After you've done the pushing, then you need to back off and let them rest.
    You know those guys you see in the gym day after day, pounding away for what seems like hours, do you ever notice them getting larger? There's a reason for that.

  • Nutrition. The final factor for building muscle is nutrition. You can't build a house of nothing, so what would make you think you could build new muscle tissue? Unless you are giving your body more food than it needs to sustain its current body mass, you aren't building new muscles. I don't care how special you think you are.
Now, looking at this in the context of our circuit training workout, it gets two out of three stars.

Nutrition is really independent from your workout, so as long as you're not being stupid about this, it should be covered (yes, you do NEED to eat before you lift).

Secondly, rest, that's fairly independent as well. In fact, you may even do better on a circuit training workout since if it's full body, you will be taking a day off in between each workout.

Those people who go into the gym and nail chest on Monday, shoulders on Tuesday, and arms on Wednesday, are theoretically working some of the smaller muscle groups for days in a row.

Not a good thing.

So, circuit training may come out on top in terms of the rest factor - but this again depends on how smart you are with setting up your original workout program.

Finally, overloading stimulus. This is where circuit training is going to fail.

To build maximum muscle, you want to lift as heavy as you can. If you know you have about 30 more sets coming with pretty much no rest until the end, how hard are you really going to push yourself?

Not very.

So, in this regard, a different set-up is probably going to produce better results.

While circuit training is quick and can burn the calories, it's not going to develop a whole lot of strength, it will not boost your metabolism over the long-run like hard weight lifting, and it will not reshape your body to the same extent.

So, put your situation up against circuit training and see if it fits the right picture for you and your goals.

If you are looking for fat blasting circuit training program though, I'd highly recommend looking at Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training. It's a terrific option for those looking to get a kick on the weight loss process. Read more!

3 'Must-Do' Weight Training Exercises

Today we're going to look at some advice from Men's Health personal trainer, Craig Ballantyne.

In this video, he discusses the three most effective weight training exercises you can do at home to get your body showing results.

For more information on Craig's Turbulence Training Program, which will help you burn fat faster and build muscle to reshape your entire body, visit his website.

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Take A Diet Break To Lose Weight Faster

If you’re moving along quite well on your diet but all of a sudden the scale seems to have stopped moving, it can be highly frustrating.

Unfortunately, this is something that many dieters deal with - on a rather frequent basis.

Usually, the plateau hits, and the dieter is quick to do one of three things.

1.Decrease calories even further. You thought you were eating like a rabbit before, well now you’re eating like a bird.

2. Increase cardio training more. At this point, that treadmill is starting to look a lot like home.

3.Really hit yourself hard and do BOTH. Now those are the true dieters!

Sadly, after progressing through one or all of these three steps, they unfortunately find out that they are no further ahead and that damn scale still ain’t moving.

Now what?

Decrease food more? That may not exactly be an option. Unless of course you like feeling exceptionally hungry all day.

Increase cardio more? You may have to quit your job to find time.

It’s a nasty cycle to get in and one that far too many people are wrapped up in today.

The better solution here, is actually taking a diet break.

What A Diet Break Is

Essentially a diet break is where you take a specified amount of time off your diet in order to both give your body physically time to recover from being in a low calorie state, as well as give you some psychological relief.

If you’ve ever been on a strict diet before - which I’m guessing many of you have, you likely know how draining turning down food even when you’re feeling the hunger pains can be.

By taking this break, you will really put yourself in a better place to keep going and prevent future binges from taking place.

What A Diet Break Does

Now, speaking more in terms of what a diet break is going to do for you physiologically speaking, you need to understand what happens when you diet.

Essentially, in order to lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than your body needs to maintain itself.

In doing so, the body is going to sense that its needs are not being met and start taking action to slow the metabolism down, to prevent further fat loss from taking place.

For you this means a reduced metabolic rate, making further fat loss harder.

In walks that nasty plateau.

At this point, your body has slowed its metabolism enough to compensate for your reduced calorie intake and this is why you are no longer losing weight.

If you just reduce your food intake further, basically you’re just making the problem worse - sure, you’ll lose weight at first, but then it’s just going to slow even further.

Likewise, you can increase your exercise to help boost your daily calorie expenditure, but unfortunately there does come a time when too much cardio is really going to hinder your ability to recover, especially on a low calorie intake, and you’ll wind up overtrained.

So, the much better solution is to bring the calories back up to maintenance, accept that you will have to take a week or two off of losing weight, and then get that metabolism going again.

By doing so, once you get back on your diet, the weight will once again start coming off.

Diet breaks really are the better answer. There are times when pain does not equal gain - this is one of them.

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Foods That Are A Must For Fat Loss Diets

All you need to do is browse through the ‘Weight Loss’ section of your local bookstore to really find out the overwhelmingly large number of fat loss diets that are out on the market today - each one promising slightly different benefits.

Some fat loss diets claim that you’ll lose 11 pounds in 9 days (not possible - assuming it’s true fat loss), others tote that you will never have to count calories again, while still others, promise that hunger will not be an issue.

Whatever diet you happen to come across, there are some foods that should be common to all of them. Whether they are or not - that’s a whole other story.

But the following weight loss foods are going to not only help you achieve results faster, but will also optimize the way you feel while following the plan.


While salmon is a fish that is a lot higher in calories than others, it offers the benefits of healthy fatty acids.

These are going to play a very large role in fat loss as they help to prevent insulin resistance, which is something that will hinder your results, as well as potentially set you up for disease.

As long as you keep an eye on portion sizes when it comes to this form of fish, it certainly can be a good addition to your plan.

Egg Whites

Egg whites are one of the most digestible forms of protein available today, therefore making it a great selection when trying to minimize muscle mass loss.

Furthermore, egg whites are easy to cook and relatively inexpensive, making them a really great choice for those on weight loss diets.

If you do decide to eat the odd yolk with your egg, that should be okay as long as it fits in with your plan guidelines.


Next we come to healthy fats. While many people tend to dramatically reduce fat from their weight loss diet, cutting it out completely is a big mistake.

That said, limiting your fat intake to strictly unsaturated sources is a very smart move, as these will optimize your health while keeping total calories in check.

Almonds are a terrific source of dietary fat, and also offer a good dose of fiber. They will also really help control hunger levels, thus prevent you from overeating and making the whole process of fat loss that much easier.

Green Vegetables

Regardless of what weight loss diet you are following, if they are telling you not to eat green vegetables (excluding peas), it is a diet program you should turn your back on immediately.

Not only are green vegetables so low in calories they will hardly even count towards your intake, but they also supply the body with many nutrients - all of which you will really need when on a reduced calorie intake.

So, have a look over your current diet. Does it include these foods?

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Choosing The Best Form Of Oats For Weight Loss

On any weight loss diet, you’re going to have to be paying more attention to the types of foods you are putting in to your mouth and the impact they have on your hunger levels. Since in order to lose weight you must be taking in fewer calories than you burn on a daily basis, if you aren’t opting for foods that are slow digesting in nature, you’re likely to start feeling some hunger.

That said, one particular form of carbohydrates that are healthy to eat on a fat loss diet are oats.

There are a few different varieties of oats though, and choosing the right one will become important for ensuring you are able to lose weight as fast as possible.

Here are the different varieties and what they mean to you.

Rolled Oats

Rolled oats are one of the more common forms consumed when on a weight loss diet because they are both fast to make and have a great deal of dietary fiber. Do note though, when purchasing them you will want to get a plain bag and add your own flavorings, rather than selecting one of the commercially flavored packages (Peaches and Cream, Apple Cinnamon, and Maple and Brown Sugar for example).

Typically these will only take about five to ten minutes to prepare, so they are good for days when you’re in a hurry.

Oat Bran

Next up is oat bran. Oat bran is one that you may want to not eat as often while on a weight loss diet simply because cup for cup, it will have more calories. It is essentially a lot finer in texture and is more suitable for baked goods.

While if you are baking it is a good replacement for flour, eaten just for breakfast it may not be your best option.

Steel-Cut Oats

Now we come to steel cut oats. These are whole grain oats that are chewer than regular rolled oats and will take a much longer time to cook. These will have a very high level of fiber though - so that is good, but for some people, the cooking time (twenty minutes or longer) becomes a barrier.

They will release very slowly into the bloodstream though, helping keep insulin levels at bay and prevent fat gain.

Quick Oats

Finally, there is quick oats. Quick oats are also a very popular choice because again, they are readily available in the supermarket and take only one to two minutes to cook.

You can easily spice up your quick oats by adding a variety of extracts (maple, banana, etc), cinnamon, natural peanut butter, or mixing in some protein powder to make it a more complete meal.

This is probably one of the best choices if you are really looking for something quick, as it still has many of the health benefits of steel-cut oats, which take longer to make.

So, when you wake up for breakfast tomorrow, consider oats if you are looking to lose weight at the moment.

It’s far better in terms of hunger control than a piece of whole wheat toast or a lower fiber cold cereal.

For more information on weight loss, be sure to check out the Turbulence Training Workout Plan.

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High Protein Diets and Fat Loss

When on the hunt for a new diet program for weight loss to try out, you might come across some variation of a high protein diet. Essentially, high protein diets can work, however certain precautions need to be in place.

First, you should never follow a protein only diet for more than three or four more weeks unless you are trying to crash your metabolism. The body can only run on protein with little fat or carbs for so long, so without some type of 'refeeding' (adding additional calories in) process added to the program, problems will most definitely start to occur.

You can carry out a high protein diet for a longer term if you are eating carbohydrates or fat daily, since then you are supplying that little bit of extra energy that it needs. Note though, carbohydrates are key for being able to maintain exercise levels.

Do not expect to continually have high intensity workouts (weight lifting or sprint training), unless you are eating carbohydrates at some point during the week. It just will not happen.

That said, here is why higher protein diets can be effective.

Decreased Appetite

Protein is the most satisfying nutrients available, hence it only makes sense that when you're consuming more, you'll have fewer hunger issues.

This is going to be particularly the case when fat is added to the diet rather than carbohydrates - as fat tends to blunt hunger even further.

Water Weight Loss

Next, high protein diets also work due to the water weight loss you experience while on them. You should be aware though that this water weight loss will only be temporary, so think of it as just an initial motivating factor that will help propel you to stick with the diet.

Limited Food Choices

Finally, the last reason why high protein diets often work very well is due to limited food choices.

Think about it. If you can only choose between chicken, turkey, eggs, dairy, meat, and fish, how much do you really think you're going to want to eat?

The more variety we have, the less likely we are to stick with our diet - it's only human nature.

Thus, since high protein diets typically cut out so many foods, this serves to increase the success rate.

So, consider a high protein diet if you like, but do so with caution. They can become very problematic if not designed correctly.

If you're also on the hunt for a fat burning workout, the Turbulence Training program by Men's Health trainer Craig Ballantyne is a creative option that really gets that metabolism going - and will push you to your limits.

Read more!

Varying Sets For Better Results

For many people, they tend to find a rep range they like and stick with it.

Some are consistently working in the 4-8 rep range, pressing as much weight as they possibly can.

Others prefer to work in the higher rep range of 8-12 reps, preferring to utilize more time under tension during their lifts (the total amount of time the muscle is exposed to the weight).

Still others, take their rep ranges even higher - into the 12-16 rep range, which I'm not quite sure why as there really are not very many advantages to doing so.

Getting back on track though, one thing many people never consider is varying the rep range throughout one single exercise.

For example, if you're doing the bench press, consider doing your first two sets in the lower rep range where you're really going to focus in on maximal strength development.

The more common approach is to start with higher rep ranges and work your way down as you go, however I feel it's a better idea to do the opposite.

Consider the fact that your primary aim when doing these low-rep sets is maximum force production - you want to push that weight and push it hard.

If you're already fatigued by the point you want to lift heavy from the sets you completed in the higher rep range, really, how well do you think you're going to do?

Not very well.

When you're looking to maximize strength, you need to be at your freshest.

Therefore, place these sets first.

After two sets or so, then you should progress to the higher set rep range, which will target muscle hypertrophy.

This is largely due to the increase in muscular byproduct build-up that's seen - which is already going to be slightly accumulating from the earlier sets you just completed.

So, give this rep scheme a try.

First two sets - lift hard and heavy. Keep those reps under 6 total.

Next two sets, lift lighter but aim for more reps - this will really help get that 'muscle pump' going. Shoot for between 8 and 12 reps total.

If you do this, you'll be getting the best of both worlds with your training.

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Foods You Need To Think Twice About

In today’s weight loss world, you don’t have to look very far to find diet information on what you should eat, what you shouldn’t eat, and what foods will miraculously take the pounds right off your body.

In all of this, some of the information will be valid, while some of it won’t. Training yourself to be able to properly decipher right from wrong can definitely be a challenge, but over time you’ll be able to tell fact from fiction.

Even so, there are still some issues that some of us get caught up on, which potentially could put a stop to the progress we are seeing.

One good example of this is the following three foods. Many times they are often thought to be a healthy part of a diet, but if you are really looking for optimal fat loss here, you may want to rethink them.

Here’s why.

Peanut Butter

The thing with peanut butter is that it is a good source of healthy fats and does provide a small amount of protein, but, it also has an extremely high number of calories.

Unless you are really measuring out exactly how much you’re consuming, these calories will add up quickly and could really put a halt to any weight loss at all - in fact, you could very well start gaining weight.

For some people as well, it’s hard to stop after just one tablespoon, therefore it might be in your best interest to just omit it altogether.

In addition to this fact, if you purchase many of the commercial peanut butter products, they will contain additives, sugar, as well as trans fats - which you most definitely want to be avoiding.

Opting for natural peanut butter instead will cut this factor out, but still, you really must be especially careful here with your portion size. Measure it out to be sure.

Fruit Juice

Even if it says 100% pure fruit juice, you still need to be extra careful with this.

The problem with fruit juice is that it’s also high in calories and will lack the dietary fiber that’s present when you eat a piece of fresh fruit, for example.

As far as weight control is concerned, you’re far better off eating the real piece of fruit and quenching your thirst with water instead.

Cottage Cheese

Finally, the last food that you need to keep your eye on is cottage cheese. Now, cottage cheese is actually one of the best sources of protein you could be taking in, but, it’s also very high in sodium.

For those who are trying to see that scale moving downwards, too much sodium can result in water weight gain, which will not affect you in the long-term, can do a number on your motivational levels.

In order to get around this problem, choose low sodium cottage cheese instead. This way, you’ll get the best of both worlds - sodium control as well as a top source of protein.

So, if weight loss is your primary goal at the moment, be sure to keep these points in mind regarding these three foods.

It’s important to constantly overlook your diet plan on a regular basis and see where calories might be sneaking in.

Many times we think we are doing very well on our diet, but in reality, are taking in more calories than we think thus hindering our progress.

===> CLICK HERE for more fat loss information.

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Five Ways To Kick Up The Intensity of Your Workouts and Lose Fat

Let's face it, fat loss can be tough. Unless you're constantly looking for ways to ramp up the intensity of your workout and push your body out of that comfort zone it seems to be stuck in, you're going to be lacking results.

After going into the gym day in and day out, the last thing you want to feel is disappointment - but sadly, unless you are consistently changing your workout program, this is very likely what you will feel.

While being on a good weight loss diet is definitely going to play a predominant role in ensuring that you do see results, what you do with your workout will most definitely impact things.

Having techniques in your arsenal that you can use to blast that fat off your body quicker is going to go a long way towards getting you the results you deserve from your hard work in the gym.

Since no one particularly likes feeling like they’re wasting their time, these principles will help guarantee that you aren't.

Do not try and implement them all at once though, as that’s likely going to be too much to handle. One by one cycle them through your workouts, taking note of which gives you optimal results.

Decrease Rest Time

Right now, how much time are you allowing for rest during your sets?

I want you to half that. That’s right - if you used to use sixty seconds, try and do thirty.

If you’re finding that this is just too much, bump it to forty five seconds. Being able to lift heavy is still the most important factor, so just be sure it does not leave you without this ability.

Throw In An Exercise Ball

The next way to bump up the intensity of your weight loss workouts is to incorporate in an exercise ball.

This will cause those core muscles to work harder, thus increasing the number of calories you burn.

Good exercises to use the exercise ball with include dumbbell chest presses, shoulder presses, lateral raises, wall-squats (place one leg out on the ball and squat down on the standing leg), and bicep curls.

Simply sitting on the ball while doing the exercises can really give your workout a new feel.

Try Drop Sets

Drop sets are essentially one exercise performed a number of times in a row, where the weight drops down with each consecutive set.

So, for instance, if you’re doing bicep curls and normally use a weight of 20 pounds, do your set of 20 pounds, then immediately drop down to 15 pounds and do another set.

After that, drop down to 10 pounds and try and crank out another set.

These will really push the muscles to work as effectively as possible, thus getting you results in a shorter period of time.

Super Sets

The next way to up the intensity is to perform supersets. For these, you will alternate between two different types of exercises, performing one set of one exercise directly followed by the other exercise with little or no rest in between.

So for example, perform one set of bicep curls followed by one set of tricep kickbacks.

Most people will choose to use opposing muscle groups when following this protocol, as this will allow one muscle to rest while the other muscle works.

Perform A Set Of Ab Crunches

Finally, if getting a six pack is on your list of things to do, also consider doing a set of some type of ab exercise between weight lifting sets.

Since this will allow the main muscle group to rest (whatever you happen to be working - quads, chest, shoulders, etc), but still keep you moving, it will up your calorie burn and thus increase the overall fat loss you experience.

So, next time you’re looking for something to crank up that intensity and incinerate fat loss in the process, consider trying one of these.

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What It Takes To Get Six Pack Abs

There are so many people out there who are always looking for that 'quick-fix' when it comes to getting abs.

The truth about six pack abs though is that they do not come from a pill or hundreds of crunches or even one specific training protocol.

In order to get six pack abs, you're going to need determination, consistency, and the right mindset.

Here's a video from YourSixPackQuest creator, Vince DelMonte that demonstrates his belief about what's needed to achieve a great set of abs.

To get your copy of YourSixPackQuest, or read more about the program, click HERE.

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Factors Needed To Get Six Pack Abs

Like many people who are consistently going to the gym, it’s likely that one of your primary objectives is getting those six pack abs. Everyone wants them.

While most females don’t want to see the same amount of muscle definition in their abs as males do, nothing says ‘fit’ better than a nice toned stomach.

Regardless of the extent you want to take it, there are factors that are needed in order to get the results you’re looking for.

Here’s your abs factor list.

Dietary Adherence

The old saying ‘abs are made in the kitchen’ couldn’t be more true. In fact, I’d go so far to say that in order to get good six pack abs showing, your number one priority should be diet - even moreso than exercise.

Truth be told, six pack abs are about 90% diet, 10% workouts.

With extra fat covering those abdominal muscles, no six pack is going to be seen.

Plain and simple.

Proper Posture

While this is not going to directly affect fat burning or anything like that, proper posture is going to put the results in the right ‘place’ so to speak while you are standing.

If you’ve ever noticed what your abs look like when you’re slouched compared to what they look like when you’re straight, you will definitely see what I mean.

Stand tall and make your six pack abs show.

Sprint Training

If you want to ramp up your fat loss as best as possible, get rid of those steady state, moderate paced cardio sessions.

Not only are they boring but they are not going to do anything for the metabolic rate - if anything, they’re actually going to slow it! This is definitely not what you want.

Instead, do one or two sessions of sprint training each week.

These are key to fat loss success. You could still live without them if you really wanted to, but it would mean even stricter dietary adherence, which most people struggle with.

Most often, one or two sessions of sprints are easier to deal with than such a strict weight loss diet.

Compound Lifting Exercises

Next up on our list of ab factors is compound lifting. Why? Compound lifts - bench press, squat, deadlift, military press, and bent over rows, are going to be ramp up that metabolism the most - more than any other single exercise.

Since they utilize so many different muscles, you’ll be getting a full body workout with only a few lifts.

This will also really cut down on your workout time. It’s really a win-win situation.


Finally, the last factor that’s needed if you really hope to achieve maximum results as far as six pack abs are concerned is dedication.

Is getting a six pack easy?

No. There’s no point in lying about this as it will only offer false results.

Is getting a six pack possible?

Most definitely - as long as you have the right training and nutrition program. If you don’t, those six pack abs will stay elusive to you.

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Three Big Problems With Cardio Machines

Regardless of whether your goal is to lost fat, build muscle, or get those six pack abs you've been wanting for so long, you should be doing some type of cardio activity.

Cardio training isn't exactly necessary to lose weight - you can very successfully lose weight simply through weight training and following a good diet, BUT, it is recommend in some form to maintain proper health.

Since at the end of the day our health really should be a top priority, it's good to do some type of activity that will work the heart.

Luckily even activities such as walking will count, so try not to get too caught up in exactly what it is you're doing.

Now, that said, those of you who do choose to do cardio for fat loss, may want to rethink cardio machines for three reasons.

1. Boredom

Let's face it, hour after hour on the treadmill, bike, or elliptical isn't exactly the most interesting activity out there.

Sure, some of you may actually enjoy it, but you are far and few in between.

The number one thing when it comes to having success with weight loss will be adherence. If you hate the workout you're doing, do you think you're going to keep at it?


So, finding something more interesting should be a top priority.

2. Inaccuracy

Next up is that the readouts you get with cardio machines are often very inaccurate. Did you just do a workout that supposedly had you burning 300 calories?

Truth be told, you may have only burned off 200 calories. Or maybe it was 400. There are so many variables at play with this that using that number to make an exact determination of how much you should eat to lose weight is a mistake.

First should be getting your diet in line and then after that's finished, you focus on adding a bit of cardio training to further speed up weight loss.

3. Easier To Cheat

Finally, the third reason why using cardio training is not optimal is because it's far easier to cheat when using these.

Next time you're in the gym, take a good look at some of those in the cardio section. How many are leaning over the handrails? We've all seen that person on the treadmill holding on for dear life.

This will most definitely reduce the benefits you get from doing the workout.

So, next time you're headed towards the cardio section, rethink that. Other activities such as bodyweight plyometric exercises, skipping, boxing, kickboxing, or running sprint drills will deliver far more results when it comes to the fat loss game. Read more!

Exercise Selection For Building Better Arms

Getting better toned and defined arms is a goal for many, however, many people approach this goal in the wrong manner.

If you walk into any gym during the busy time, you'll likely see a number of people standing in front of the mirror, pumping away with bicep curls.

Common thought is that bicep curl after bicep curl is the best arm exercise to get the results you're looking for.

While bicep curls will definitely help improve the muscular definition of the arms, bicep curls are not going to be entirely optimal in terms of arm development.

1. Body Fat Levels

First things first, you need to understand that regardless of how big your muscles are, you will not see definition unless you get down to low enough body fat levels.

If you're 35% body fat, I don't care how big your muscles are, definition won't be showing.

Keep in mind here that men and women have different levels of body fat requirements, so their target goal body fat level will be slightly different.

To get good definition, men should aim to get to around 10% body fat, while females should shoot for between 15-20%.

If females begin to dip down too low, this can cause big problems with the reproductive cycle, as the body senses it will not be able to sustain another living human being.

So, fat loss should be one of the top priorities here.

2. Focused Training On Triceps

Next up on this list is training of the triceps muscles. As stated in the introduction, many, many, MANY people focus too hard on the biceps.

What they fail to realize is that for the most part, your arm is primarily triceps.

If you can develop a good sized tricep, this will naturally make your arms look more muscular (for those who have this goal).

Sure, the biceps add that peak, but when you look at the total volume of muscle in the arm, the triceps most definitely over predominate the biceps.

So, rather than doing three variations of curls during your workout, put in some good triceps movements.

This would include things such as over head presses, rope pull-downs, tricep extensions, and tricep push-ups.

Keep in mind also that the bench will really work those tricep muscles as well - so be doubly sure it's included as well.

3. Arm Targeting Cardio

Finally, the last thing you should keep in mind with arm exercise is your cardio training.

While I don't particularly recommend hours and hours of cardio training each day as a way to experience weight loss, if you are going to choose to do cardio and arm appearance is a priority, consider doing cardio activities that will work those arms.

The elliptical, rowing, swimming, skipping - all are great choices.

So, next time you're looking at your triceps and are thinking they need some work, keep these points in mind.

Paramount though is getting on a good workout program that is designed for fat loss if you've got body fat to lose. Read more!

How Many Sets Are Needed During Your Workout Program

One big problem that far too many people get into is the 'black and white' mindset.

Essentially, they start to convince themselves that if they aren't going to give full effort each and every time, it's just not worth their time.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, any effort you give is going to put you closer to where you want to be.

Placing this in the workout context, the issue is that some people will think that unless they're in the gym for a good 45 minutes to an hour, doing three sets per exercise, six or seven exercises per session, and of course, finishing that up with thirty minutes of cardio, they're wasting their time.


Fact of the matter is that many times the reason progress is not happening is because the person is actually doing too much.

It's when they back off that the results start happening because then it's at this point that they are giving their body more time to recover.

Now, this said, just how many sets are really optimal in a workout?

Should you be doing three or four sets per exercise? Or will two do?

This will depend - like many things in the fitness world.

While in some situations three or four sets would be a good plan, for many others, two - or even just a single, good set will work fine.

Dieting Individuals

This is even more prevalent if you're on a diet because then you're giving your body even less fuel to recover from your workouts.

If you're going in there and doing set after set after set, you're going to run out of steam - fast.

Reducing your total set number is often one of the biggest recommendations in terms of adjustments to a workout program while dieting.

Quick Workouts

This principle is going to apply really well to those of you who just don't have the time to be in the gym for an hour plus each day - which is the situation far too many of us are in.

If you need to shorten your workout - to say 30 minutes max, here's what I'd recommend you do:

*5 minutes - a light warm-up to get the blood flowing and body ready for lifting
*2 sets of each of these core lifts:

-bench press
-bent over row
-military press

*5 minutes of whatever ab work you'd like to do
*5-10 minutes cool-down

If you're really pressed for time, you could even omit the ab work because abs are really made in the kitchen, not the gym.

The important thing to remember here though is that you go hard and heavy.

That is what will help you progress and see results.

You can easily get away with fewer sets as long as you really make the sets you do do count.

So, next time you're in a time crunch and only have twenty or thirty minutes, do not just skip the gym because you don't think it'll be worth it.

You can still get great results whether your goal is weight loss or building muscle in just twenty minutes three times a week. Read more!

Don't Think Weight Training Is The Only Way To Lose Fat

You hear it time and time again.

Weight training is the most effective way to lose body fat.

Yes, this is true - to an extent.

Any time you are on a good weight training program, you will be promoting building new muscle tissue, which then torches your metabolic rate up a notch.

Basically, the more lean body mass you have, the more you can eat and still lose weight.

If this isn't a good tool for fat loss, I'm not sure what is.

But, don't be so quick to think that weight training is the only way you can build new muscle tissue and get that fat moving.

Body Weight Exercises

Another way you can effectively boost your fitness level, burn off hundreds of calories each session, and get weight loss going is by performing body weight exercises.

These are often movements that will utilize a number of factors all at once - such as push-ups with your feet on an exercise ball, jump squats, and pull-ups.

Furthermore, any body weight exercises that you perform on exercise balls will really work those core muscles as they will be activated in order to keep the body well balanced.

As with weight training, body weight movements should not be performed on an every day basis as you are still stressing the system.

Any time you are overloading the body with a new stimulus it has not experienced before, you will need to give it sufficient time to rest and recover.

This is essential to experience results.

So, next time you're getting bored with the usual weight training program, consider changing things up a bit.

Add body weight exercises.

They are a great boredom killer and will take you one step closer to where you want to be.

Click here to check out Men's Health personal trainer, Craig Ballantyne's Turbulence Training.

But be warned, this program is tough! So, it's only for those who really want a challenge, but at the same time are committed to getting results.

I tried it and I was sore for days! Read more!

Taking a Deeper Look Into Nutrition Labels

More and more of us are becoming aware of the foods we are putting in our mouths - which is great, and as such, we are making a conscious effort to look at the labels of the products we buy.

For the most part this is part this is pretty straightforward; the big ones you want to look at are:
-total calories
-total sugar
-total fiber
-total fat
-total protein

...and so on, depending on what exactly you are looking to accomplish with your diet program.

But, one thing many people overlook is putting this information into the big picture.

Recently, I was looking at a box of cereal - one of my personal favorites, Mini-Wheats.

On the box, there is a big image that points out that the total fat is 1gram per serving and this is 2% of your total intake.

Now, this is where the problem occurs.

2% of your total. Who's total? Yours - the woman who stands 120 pounds or the man who stands at a 175. Both people are going to have vastly different nutritional needs, thus this 2% figure really is not accurate.

1 gram - now that is a quantifiable number that is useful.

1 gram tells us something.

1 gram is a solid measurement.

2% - this is not.

So, next time you're looking at labels and reading packing claims, make sure you keep this in mind.

Furthermore, with the large number of different diet approaches out there, this 2% doesn't really hold up anyway.

On a diet composed of 1400 calories, 120 grams of protein, 80 grams of fat, and 50 grams of carbs - which is fairly typical of Ketogenic diets, this whole claim gets thrown out the window.

My advice to you is to figure out your target calories, then work by using grams. Things will be much more effective this way.

When reading labels then, only use the gram figure to determine where that particular food fits in to your plan.

Meanwhile, I'm going to eat some Mini-Wheats (the Original Frosted for those who care). Read more!

Questioning The Weight Loss Advice You Read in Fitness Magazines

If you so much as walk through a supermarket check-out line, you’ll find rows and rows of fitness magazines.

Magazines geared towards weight loss, magazines geared towards men’s health, magazines geared towards fitness training - the list goes on.

Many people purchase these every day but are they really any more than amusing entertainment?

It’s questionable.

If you are someone who frequently purchases these when passing by - or maybe you’re really into them and subscribe to many each month, it’s time you really start questioning what you are reading.

Just the other day I read a fitness magazine (we won’t mention which one) that instructed that to burn fat faster, you should go on the treadmill backwards.

That’s right - backwards.

Now, first off, it should be obvious, if you are looking to prevent injury, this is not a smart plan.

Secondly, let’s consider something for a moment. Maybe you will burn more calories going backwards going at the same speed as you would going forwards. I could see it - it’s much more biomechanically challenging, thus you would probably burn more calories.

BUT - and this is a humongous but, if you’re walking backwards, you’re going at what, a speed of a grand total of 2 miles an hour - if that?

And if you’re going forwards, you’ll likely go at 4 miles an hour or even higher depending on your current conditioning.

No matter how you look at it, going four miles an hour forwards will beat two miles an hour backwards.

I don’t care how you look at it.

This should be fairly common sense, but it’s a crazy, out-there idea that I just had to use for example purposes.

Not all tips and advice you read will be this blatantly obvious. Some may seem more credible, but still, be careful what you believe, especially when it comes to fat loss.

Some people are just too hungry for a quick fix that they allow themselves to be misled. Don’t be one of those people.

Read more!

Burn Fat Faster With Squats

Want to burn fat faster?

Good - you're among the vast majority of the population then.

When most people are trying to ramp up their rate of fat burning, they head straight for the cardio sessions and up the speed, resistance, or duration.

How many times have you done this? You were incinerating calories like no-ones business.

While this is one way you can help yourself lose body fat, it’s definitely by no means the only path on the road to weight loss.

Want to know an potentially even better path?


Squats? You might be thinking - why would squats increase weight loss?

Metabolic Rate

First, understand that the absolute best way to raise your metabolism is through high intensity exercise. If you’ve ever done full bum-to-the-ground heavy squats, you’ve experience just what intense is (if you haven’t, I’d recommend trying it).

These burn - BAD.

Because you will be using such a large number of muscle fibers while doing them, you will burn a high number of calories in the process.

The more muscle fibers that are used while exercising, the greater the weight loss you’ll see - assuming a good diet is in place, obviously.

Body Shaping

The second reason heavy squats are good for weight loss and improving your overall image is because of body shaping.

Cardio is good for losing weight, but keep in mind you’re lose weight, not necessarily fat.

Likely, when losing weight just by cardio, you’ll be losing both fat and muscle.

What’s the result?

You end up basically looking like a smaller version of your current self.

If you weight lift though - and weight lifting using heavier weights, you will change the way your body looks, not just make you smaller.

Sound like a better plan?

I thought so.

After Burn

Finally, the last reason squats are great for weight loss is because of the after burn effect. This applies with any high intensity exercise - sprinting as well - the more intense, the more calories your body will expend after it’s finished returning the body back to homeostasis.

You’ll be recovering for a while from squats - hence, burning more calories later that night while watching ‘The Biggest Loser’ on TV - or whatever show is your preference.

Furthermore, because weight training helps to build and maintain muscle mass, this in itself helps to boost the metabolism, further making it easier for you to lose weight and keep it off in the process.

So, next workout, detour past those cardio machines and get yourself under a barbell.

When squatting, go as low as you can so you really feel it. This is what will help you get the body you want.

Read more!

Post-workout Meals and Fruit

As many people already know, the post-workout meal is one that is extremely important for seeing results from your workout program.

This is the point where the muscles are going to be primed for taking in nutrients and using them for both repairing the muscle tissue, as well as replenishing the muscle storage for energy. If you aren’t eating during this time, you’re going to severely hinder your recovery ability, and thus not see the results you’re hoping for from your workout.

Even if you’re main goal is weight loss, you still must be eating during this time. As long as you plan your post-workout meal along with the rest of your diet, it will not impact your ability to lose weight.

One common mistake that many people make with their post-workout meal is reaching for fruit.

How many times have you heard about the importance of including fruit and vegetables in the diet?

Likely too many times to count.

While this is definitely true - you should be consuming plenty of fruit and especially vegetables in your diet, there is a time and place for everything.

Post-workout is not it.

Essentially, it works like this.

In the body, there are three major areas for carbohydrates to be stored.

Storage House #1 - The Muscle Tissue

Immediately after a workout, your muscle tissue’s storage for carbohydrates will be reduced due to the fact that you’ve just used much of the muscle glycogen (storage form of carbohydrates) to fuel that workout.

Typically speaking, the more carbohydrates you eat in your daily diet, the more this storage will be maxed out.

Storage House #2 - The Liver

The next place where the body can store carbohydrates is in the liver tissue. This is most commonly referred to as ‘liver glycogen’.

BUT, the important thing to note is that liver glycogen storage caps off at about 50 grams of carbohydrates. Anything transported to this area above this point will then be converted to body fat.

Also important to note is that it will be carbohydrates coming from fructose that go into liver storage - not carbohydrates coming from starch - those go to the muscles instead. Furthermore, liver storage will not fuel the muscles during exercise.

Storage House #3 - The Fat Cells

Finally, the last storage house for carbohydrates is your fat cells. If you eat more in a day than you need and both the former storage houses are full, excess will be converted to fat and stored in the fat cells.

So where does fruit fit into the picture?

Looking at these storage houses now, obviously it is going to be most beneficial to focus on the muscle storage house immediately after your workout since this is what gives your muscles fuel to workout.

Fruit, because it contains about 50% glucose and 50% fructose, will be diverted to both the muscle cells (the glucose portion of it) and the liver cells (the fructose portion of it).

Therefore, when you eat a piece of fruit, you’ll really only be able to utilize half of the carbohydrates for filling up those muscle energy stores - and what is needed to help you maintain your intense workouts.

Not optimal.

While there are definitely worse things you could be eating during your post-workout meal - or not eating at all, fruit is not the absolute best thing to be eating.

Instead, it would be smarter to eat carbohydrate sources that are 100% glucose or starch (which then get broken down into glucose).

This will help ensure that all of those carbohydrates get sucked up into the muscle cells where they are needed.

So, next time you’re putting together your post-workout meal, save fruit for another time in the day and opt for another choice instead.

Good selections include things such as sugary cereal, white rice, oatmeal, white bread, dextrose, and white potatoes.

Read more!

The Secret On How To Get Six Pack Abs

If you take poll of all the people in your gym, about 80% of them will state that one of their primary goals is getting those coveted 'six pack abs'.

Let's face it - six pack abs are essentially a symbol that you know what you're doing in the gym and have the dedication to stick with a solid nutritional program. If you don't, six pack abs will not be in the cards for you, unfortunately.

What many people do not understand though is that getting six pack abs is not about doing crunch after crunch after crunch. Rather, getting six pack abs is a combination of about 70% good dieting, 20% proper cardio and weight lifting technique, and 10% abdominal work.

Case in point. Look at a 8 year old boy. Most actually do have a small little set of six pack abs themselves! They sure aren't wasting their playing time doing hundreds of sit-ups in the gym.

So, what gives?

The reason these youngsters have better abs than you do is simply because they don't yet have the body fat covering them up. We are born with abs. It's the lifestyle habits that come after that cover them up.

Obviously a good ab workout program will help to develop larger ab muscles, but regardless of how large you grow your abs, if they are still covered by a blanket of fat, they are not going to be seen.

So, rather than just focusing on your actual ab workout, look at your quest for six pack abs as a rounded approach - one that focuses on all aspects of diet, your workout, and those ab crunches.

To learn more about six pack abs from certified personal trainer, Mike Geary.

Read more!

What Are Refeeds?

If you've been in the fitness world for some time, you may have come across someone say the word 'refeed' before. If you're just getting into things though, or are haven't been reading too much on the diet side of things, this could be a new term.

What is a refeed and why do you need it?

Essentially, if you are on a very strict diet, your body is going to work against you.

As it senses fewer calories are being consumed, it's going to slow down your metabolic rate in order to try and prevent starvation.

Your body does not want to be at a low body fat - despite what you may want.

The purpose of a refeed then is to trick your body. For usually two to three days, you'll eat at a much higher calorie intake than what you're used to, trying to convince the body that it's okay to keep that metabolism going because food is going to be provided.

By doing this, once you return back to your diet, you'll be burning more calories each day and the whole process of weight loss will be that much easier.

Another big advantage to refeeds are that if you are eating a fairly low-carbohydrate diet, you're muscle are slowly going to start running low on their stored fuel source (also known as muscle glycogen).

By doing this refeed, you will provide a great deal of carbohydrates to the body, thus increasing this storage again and helping you maintain the intense workouts you are doing.

In terms of what to eat for a refeed, aim for high-carb foods, while eating little fat. As a starting point, shoot for taking in your body weight times 17-20 calories.

So, if you currently weigh 150 pounds, aim for 2550 to 3000 calories for two to three days and see how that goes. After the first few times, you can adjust it accordingly. Read more!

What To Eat For A Refeed?

Today's question comes from a reader who is not quite sure what to be eating on his refeed. He writes:

I think it's time I started incorporating refeeds into my diet but am not really sure what types of foods I should be eating. Any suggestions? I'm 6'5" and 280 pounds.

A: Refeeds are a critical part of any intense diet and without them, the chances that you stall and stop losing fat are high.

In terms of the exact foods you want to be eating - think fun and think high-carb.

What you want to avoid are foods high in fat though because our primary aim here is to increase muscle glycogen levels and fat is only going to slow this process down - not a good thing.

So, typical examples could be 'kiddy' cereals, perogies, pasta, bagels, white rice, cereal bars, pancakes with maple syrup, and so on.

Don't be scared of a little sugar - sugar is good, just don't over do it. Starch and sugar is what you want, while avoiding too much fructose (check the ingredients for the words corn syrup).

Couple these carbohydrates with some protein to help moderate insulin levels and your set to go.
Try and get out of the mindset though that you need to eat extremely healthy or 'clean' foods because it could make the process of the refeed a great deal harder - especially if you're looking to take in 3000-4000 calories worth carbs. Read more!


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