Category Archives: Fitness and Exercise

Fitness with Snow: Make the Muscle do the Work

Muscle

There are a lot of men and women in the gym who just move weight. They struggle to force their muscles to do the work. They have trouble feeling the muscle working. This is a problem because if you can’t feel the target muscle working, you probably aren’t working the target muscle. For example, if you are working on your biceps, and you don’t feel it in the biceps, you won’t develop the biceps correctly.

Power lifters can benefit from learning to feel the muscle working as well. The key is to go slower when doing isolation exercises. Do slow eccentric reps and fast concentric reps. This means that you go slow on the way down, and go fast on the way up. On an incline bench press, you can do the constant tension method. This is where you go all the way down. In this case, this means that you lower the barbell to the chest and then press it 3/4 of the way up, with your elbows bent. When you lock out the elbows the tension is taken off of the chest.

People who are focused on perfect form are the ones who have small pecs. When you go slower on the incline press, and keep the elbows bent, the chest is working for the entire set. This method will make your chest grow, provided you don’t eat like a bird. You need to get into the habit of making the muscles do the work instead of mindlessly moving the weight. Moving weight doesn’t build muscle. Squeezing muscles with heavy weight is what builds muscle. Doing this is will help you create a better body for yourself. Once you learn to do this you will immediately feel a difference in your body. Maximizing the muscle contractions will create a better body.

It is important to lift heavy enough to create muscle damage. Creating muscle damage in the gym is what you need to target. By completing workouts in this fashion, with slow eccentrics and fast concentrics will help you to get better at squeezing the muscle. Don’t go slow on every set, the objective is to control the weight without letting gravity control it. By moving the weights differently you will notice changes in how your body responds. You will begin to produce better muscle pumps. This will cause you to experience soreness from lactic acid inside the muscles. The objective is to get muscles to do all of the work, in order to get optimal growth and to protect your joints. If you are injured you can’t train, if you can’t train you can’t create a great physique. For power lifters, this means that you need to save your all out max for the meet. Body builders, this means to make sure you are squeezing muscles instead of moving weight. Exhibiting great body control will help you in your quest to create the best physique possible. If you can train yourself to do this you will begin to experience results.

This technique is not for every exercise. On a traditional, conventional dead-lift, it wouldn’t be optimal to focus on squeezing your back. On the stiff leg dead-lift you can squeeze your glutes and hamstrings a lot easier. The dead-lift is a high risk high reward exercise, that I do recommend every one do. I say it is high risk, because I see too many people dead-lifting with poor technique. If you keep using poor technique, it increases your likelihood of getting injured. This happens to a lot of people. They do the dead-lift incorrectly and then they complain that it is too dangerous. These people are wrong.

Dead-lifts done incorrectly are dangerous. This is important to remember. You will also run into perfect form “Nazis” who never lift heavier weight. These people are cowards, they hide behind perfect technique because they are secretly scared of injury. You are what you focus on. If you focus on creating a great physique, you will increase your chances of creating a great physique. If you focus on not getting hurt, you are focusing on getting hurt. This will increase your chances of getting hurt. Keep your focus on creating the body you want. If you’re a power lifter, focus on creating the best total at the meet. Whatever you focus on consistently is what you will get.

Condition yourself to only pay attention to what you want from the gym. On a squat, you need to focus on squeezing the quads and glutes and keeping your core tight if you are a bodybuilder. This means that you need to go all the way down, past parallel, and then come 3/4 of the way up.

For those out there who think your glutes get the most work at the top. I have news for you, the glutes get the most work at the bottom of the squat and on the way up, not at the top. When you lock out the glutes and quads, you are resting, the tension is off of the quads and glutes, when you get back down in the whole and keep coming halfway up the muscles get a lot more work than if you rest at the top. If you are power lifting, this is a different. Power lifters have to train in a specific way to prepare themselves for a meet. This means that they have to work on the commands. Learn to train what you need to train.

If your hamstrings are weak it is because you don’t train them enough or with enough volume. The people who train with a lot of volume usually learn how to squeeze the muscle. A great way to do this is to work on controlling the weight, the way I talked about earlier. When you are committed to making the muscle do the work you will begin to see why it works this way. The great bodybuilders train this way. This is how Arnold trained, and Phil Heath trains this way. Don’t confuse what I am saying or use it as an excuse to not train heavy.

Fitness

Don’t be afraid to push yourself outside your comfort zone

Be Fearless

A lot of skinny guys will use this as an excuse to not train heavy. The problem with a lot of skinny guys is fear. They are afraid of getting buried by heavy weight. This is a mistake and a problem. People who think like this rarely make progress. Since they are so focused on what they are afraid of instead of what they want, they continue to produce more fearful thoughts. But, fear is all internal.

No one can make you feel fear unless you accept fear. This means that you need to come back to the focus of this article. You need to focus on squeezing the muscle and using heavy weight. By doing both, you will get bigger, harder muscles. Learn to do remember this. A lot of people are incapable of noticing when they are using this technique.

Another great technique is timed holds. On the last rep of each set hold the position for 30 seconds. This helps to build muscular density. Whoever does this with consistency will build a harder physique. This isn’t to say that it is the only method to build muscle. This is a useful technique for guys or girls who are interested in building more muscular density. Consistently doing the work and making the muscle do the work instead of the joints is what will build the muscle most effectively. Once you notice that the muscles are contracting correctly, you will see that it takes effort and vigilance to make sure you are making the muscle do the work. This is often where people screw up. They look at how much weight they are lifting instead of making sure they are making the target muscle do the work it is supposed to do. When the target muscle does it’s job, you will get bigger and harder. But, a lot of people don’t understand this. They focus on doing fast reps. Fast reps aren’t as effective as controlled reps with a great squeeze. This will help with adding size. Controlled reps will give you more control over the target muscle and it will teach you to feel the muscle working. The goal is to build an incredible physique.

If your traps are contracting when the target muscle is the delts then that is an issue. This is why controlling the weight and feeling the muscle do the work is more important than just pushing around iron in the gym. This is another way people mess up. They take progressive overload to the extreme. Yes, you need to do heavy sets. When you are doing heavy sets you need to still aim to contract the muscles and make them work. When you do this it will be easier to build a great body. It is important to remember when to forget about squeezing muscles. When doing power cleans, as I advise bodybuilders to do sometimes, just aim to do 5-8 good reps, you won’t feel it until the next day.

Power cleans are great because they are metabolically demanding. They also raise testosterone just by doing them. This is why I recommend that people do them. Unless you want to compete in the Olympics, don’t obsess over form, learn the basic power clean form and use it as an exercise to build your body. Some people will disagree and tell me that power cleans don’t build incredible bodies, my answer to them is to look at NFL players, and college football players, these guys do power cleans all of the time and power cleans have worked for them.

If anything, do power cleans instead of dead-lifts if you have to. I still recommend both for the dead-lift lovers out there. Both are a necessity. Power cleans need to be done at least once per week. The snatch is more dangerous which is why I recommend a power clean from the floor. Pulling it from the floor is also more primal, which is something that I like. This makes it fun to do power cleans.

This isn’t an Olympic lifting article, you need to refer to an Olympic lifting style if that is what you’re looking for. I use some of the Olympic lifts to create a great physique. This is a different focus then most. A lot of Olympic lifters have no interest in adding size and mass. Most of the time their focus is to increase their snatch and their clean and jerk. They want to stay in the same weight class, and to do that they can’t add muscle mass, since muscle mass makes you gain weight. This differs from your goal.

If your goal is to build the best body possible and to physically look your best all of the time, this will help with creating that great physique. Creating a great physique can be done with the basics and with concentrated detail work. The power clean is a basic exercise that can add mass in the glutes, hamstrings and upper back. It is not a detail exercise and is not to be treated that way. Detail exercises are meant to squeeze and feel the muscle. Some exceptions are the squat and the bench. These basic exercises can be used to feel the muscle and squeeze each targeted body part.

On these exercises you can do slow negatives and fast concentric reps. This is one of my preferred techniques to increase time under tension and build more muscle. This in turn will enhance your physique and take you to the next level. These eccentric time under tension techniques are not to be used on power cleans. Power cleans need to be done explosively. This is why I recommend doing power cleans early in the workout when the body is still fresh. This way you can use heavier weight and burn more calories. Burning more calories will lead to burning more body fat.

This is what it takes to keep your body at the next level. You don’t have to like the work, you just have to do it. This is the difference between a physique champion and an amateur. A champion does the work whether he feels like it or not. That is the only difference. Taking things to the next level will help. This is the whole objective and desired outcome when I train people: take everything to the next level. By doing this, you are forcing yourself to think in terms of expansion and playing offense, this is the difference between the successful and the unsuccessful.

Teach yourself to have courage and to move forward continuously no matter what. This will help with building muscle and getting things done. If you aren’t building bricks your building dicks. Pay your dues and build your bricks everyday in the gym. This will earn people’s respect and most importantly you will earn your own respect. Paying your dues is the best thing you can create a great body. This new work ethic you develop will help you with business and career success as well. This idea of using the gym as a sanction for building a work ethic can transfer over to any field or craft.

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Your Training is a Sprint

Sprint

Treat your training like a sprint to the finish

What would happen if you treated training and chasing down physique goals like a sprint? You will get faster results. There are several reasons for this. Our bodies are built to survive. If you train hard and eat the right amount of food and the right kind of food you are bound to get great results. The issue lies in treating results and training like a marathon.

The marathon approach:

  • Treats gains and results like something that will come within 2-3 years
  • Maintains slow momentum and does slow workouts, that produce slow results.

The sprinters approach:

  • Trains as fast as possible with little rest and thinks rest sucks
  • Trains with all of his effort during every workout
  • Eats the diet that produces the fastest results.
  • Does everything fast with a sense of urgency.
  • People think these people have super powers.

Back in school our teachers taught us the silly story of the tortoise and the hare and that the tortoise wins in the end since the hare gets careless. I’m telling you to be both. The hare sprints fast towards the finish; the hare wants results now. The tortoise is slow and consistent. The solution is keeping the speed and intensity of the hare and being consistent like the tortoise.

Do workouts that produce fast results. High rep squats, bench press, dead lifts. They are hard work, and if you love results you won’t care, this means that you begin to approach training as a race to the finish line that you have to win. See how quickly you can get results. Can you cut the learning curve from 6 months to 4 months? This makes a big difference on muscle building and fat loss gains. People have the ability to focus on whatever they want. Focus on the actions and diets that will get you the body you want the fastest. The carb nite diet is extremely effective for fast results.

How to Follow Carb Nite:

  • Eat 30g of carbs for 10 days at first
  • On the 10th day at 6 p.m eat carbs with protein until bed time
  • Eat high glycemic carbs
  • Cakes, ice cream, and pizza are good choices
  • It is only for 1 night
  • Then only have a carb nite once per week

You cannot have carbs before nighttime on this diet. Eat carbs with protein to start the carb nite. Then you can have donuts if you like, pizza, candy, or ice cream. It sounds like hocus pocus, it does work though. The next week it is every 6-7 days that you have a carb nite. This means that you eat a minimum of 5 straight days at 30 grams of carbs or less.

If you are very undisciplined just follow a flexible dieting system. Both systems work great. I prefer carb nite since I am a meat fanatic and love eating high fat foods. Whichever system gets you the fastest results is the one that you need to be doing. For training, follow my next level fat loss routine. (See more about fat loss training). A calorie deficit or a keto diet works best with this system.

A lot of people are scared to treat this like an all out sprint. With this aggressive approach you will shred body fat and become an animal in the gym. If you’re a woman you will become a goddess. You need aggressive and fast visions if you want to get results. The body is an adaptive machine – if you give it the right stimulus to adapt it will. It will also get lazy if you allow it to. This is where people often screw up, they don’t truly command their body. They allow their body to make decisions for them. Most of the time you can get one more rep. You can wait 1 more hour before you eat. You need to push further into the deep water and past the comfort zone than you thought was possible. Push your mind when you are dieting. We train our bodies to be tough and strong at the gym. Why don’t you train your mind, spirit and emotions to have the strength and courage to endure the diet? Mainly, because fear gets in the way. We all still have the same fight-or-flight instincts that our ancestors have. If you get hunger pangs, your life isn’t in danger and you aren’t going to die. Our brain just interprets this as such.

This is why you should recognize this and laugh. Laughing at it is all that you can do. On carb nite you can eat slightly more food, but it is still a good idea to track calories in MyFitnessPal. Doing this will get you to the finish line faster. You will also be less hungry on carb nite. Keep meals at most to 3 a day.

Many people are scared of intermittent fasting. I have found that Greg from Kinobodys method works most effectively for me. His style of fasting is simple and can be implemented today. Don’t eat until you have been awake for 6 hours. He says it is okay to eat after being up for 4 hours. I have found that 6 works great for me. I am able to get massive amounts of work done, go to the gym and be a productivity machine with this method. This combined with the keto diet has taken my fat loss to the next level. I will send out a more detailed guide of this in the near future. The objective of this post was to get you guys to understand that you need to treat things with the sprinters approach, aim to get results as quickly as possible.

Fast results are possible if you do the work that yields fast results. Take things to the next level and demand forward progress. Your mental approach or strategy is what will determine what kind of actions you take. Additionally, you can apply the death ground strategy to your training. This is the strategy where you give yourself 1 day to get the exact day you want. Your back is against the wall and you have to do whatever it takes to get through the obstacle. As you know the obstacle is the way. Go through the obstacle if you want to get the reward. What would happen if you started to really go for it? What would happen if you started to go all in with everything – all in everyday? What if you trained as intense as possible every time you went to the gym? What if you talked to everybody you wanted to talk to men and women?

I know from experience you would live a stronger, free life. Most of us aren’t free, we are just slaves of our own minds and our own prejudices. Set your mind free. This is what you need to do. There are very few things that haven’t been thought about before. Almost all of our ideas came from someone else. To take it to the next level you have to find a way to come up with new, original ideas. Then have the discipline to master your execution. Execution is more important than your idea. Ideas are worthless without implementation.

Runner

Take it to the next level

Advancing

Take things to the next level. Getting your to do list done will do more for your life than thinking about ideas all day. Thinkers aren’t as rich as doers. If you get in the habit of doing you will enjoy getting things done more. Be the one that does it. Take pride in the doing. Massive action and doing the work is what will lead to achievement. The people I have met that accomplish a lot, are almost always professional in their ability to take action. The professional does the work whether he feels like it or not. Be a pro if you want results. Professionalism is a quality that is vaguely taught at best. People need to be taught that success demands professionalism. Whatever you are doing take pride in doing it well, and take pride at doing it every day. Professionals get their work done every day. This is why they achieve a lot in their life.

To do this you have to do a lot of work and take a lot of action. Massive action and movement is what will improve your life. Theories and strategies are great only if you use them. If you do the work, you need to have a strategy. Having a strategy will help you to get the work done. If you are full of theories and you don’t use them then you are wasting your brilliant mind. You need to be eager to get the work done and move forward. The professionals show up to work each day with the intent to progress and move forward. This is the difference between professional behavior and unprofessional behavior. Professional behavior means that you do what needs to be done to win and advance.

A lot of people dislike talking about winning. This is a mistake. Winners talk about, and think about winning. Winning leads to winning. Floyd Mayweather once said that he never thought about losing. Floyd only thought about winning. This is partly why he had such a successful career. If anyone listens to Floyd talk you will notice immediately that he uses positive self-talk. Floyd treats himself like a treasured friend. Floyd backs this up with his extreme professionalism and dedication. Ask anyone who knows, Floyd does the work. If you have great self-talk and you take consistent daily action and do the work you can and will advance. You need to focus your intent. If you have no intent, you have no purpose. Your intent matters.

If you are intending to grow bigger quads and you aren’t doing high rep squats, you’re not really interested in big quads. I have been doing high rep squats after heavy sets for 3-4 months now. I have noticed that my work capacity has improved and my quads have gotten bigger. High rep squats are tough, I will say that. If you want to be an achiever and a doer then you only think about the reward it will give you. Make a mindset shift: High Rep Squats build Beastly quads, and ferocious intensity. This teaches you to be a benefits thinker. Being a benefits thinker will promote more action. You see so many benefits that you have to do more. You can’t wait to keep taking action and achieve results. You have to dominate and conquer something. When you are used to the taste of success and accomplishment you never want to go back to the life of failure. This means that you begin to work to create as much success and as much accomplishment as possible. Get it to the next level.

Create your own success. Success only comes when you are at work and getting things done. More work equals more success. Figure it out and keep working and dominating. Work is the reward, work brings reward. A love of work, or consistency of work always brings rewards and prizes. Good things come to those who work. That is a phrase that will get you places. Whoever hasn’t figured that out yet, will be stuck in comfort forever.

A comfortable, mediocre life is what stops you from achieving success. You’re so worried about safety and comfort you forgot how to get success. Success never comes to those who are looking for safety and comfort. People who are successful are willing to be uncomfortable, and are comfortable with uncertainty. People want a guarantee that something works before trying it out. The new way is to try something first and then say if it works. This is the only way to get real objective results.

Test and experiment with yourself. Science is based on other people, instinct is the study of yourself. You have to use the law of cause and effect. This states that you have to pay the full price before you get the result. You reap what you sow. Everything you do or don’t do has an effect. You have to use this law if you want to live a full life. I am grateful for what I have and I consistently overcome challenges. It is never the target that is the problem. A lack of action is what is causing you to get lousy results. It doesn’t matter who you are if you do the work and take massive action you can get the results. This is what no one wants to accept. They just think that there is some magic pill they can find and take instead of using the law of cause and effect. Every result you have gotten is because of the cause. The result is the effect, and the action is the cause.

Success in training for your physique is tied into the amount of positive actions you take in order to build your body and your physique. People need to take full responsibility for their results or lack there of. Once you take full responsibility for every thought and every action it will be easier to understand how the world works. Everyone experiences the world differently. If you take full responsibility for yourself, your thoughts, and your actions you will have more personal power than most.

This is the difference in someone who is successful and someone who isn’t. It’s not what you don’t know that hurts you, it’s what you think is true that isn’t. People get so caught up in their current identity they never grow. You have to think about how the ultimate vision of yourself would act. I enjoy using this mindset exercise. If I were the world heavyweight champion how would I act? When I do that my whole day improves. Since you are irrational, you can brainwash yourself. Use your brain, don’t become a slave to it. The strongest version of yourself does the work and has no problem taking action on any problem. This is what people don’t do. They never think about the outcome they want. Choose your vision, not fear. You can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. Focus on your vision and what you are trying to create.

People focus on their fears and what they don’t want. What do you want? What is your vision? Asking these questions throughout the day can help you focus better and get more done. Would the strongest version of myself behave in this manner? Live for action, the strongest version of yourself is an action taker that does what it takes. You need to let go of your need for certainty. There are no guarantees and there never will be any guarantees. Keep showing up everyday and keep doing the work no matter how bad you may think it is. You have to learn to deal with uncertainty and unpredictability. I have also noticed that successful people accept that they don’t know everything, while the unsuccessful have an answer for everything. This causes them to make foolish decisions and mistakes.

If you are a writer and you aren’t writing at least 1,500 words per day, you are not a writer. You have to do the work and get the experience. There is no something for nothing in the world. If you want something you have to think about it, make a plan to get it, and execute the plan. A lot of people get too focused on the details of the plan instead of focusing on the actions they need to take. This is another common error. Your plan doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be clear. You need to know what you need to do.

Once you have come up with a simple plan, executing it should be easy. If it is simple and has clear directions then you can to get to work now. You need to get to work now, whenever something needs to get done, just do it now. I make sure to get my writing in early in the day, this way I take advantage of when the day is quiet and less noisy. I have written so much that I have learned how to deal with noise. I have also learned to train myself to be uncomfortable. The lesson I have learned is that if you are comfortable than you are getting soft. To me, the need for safety and comfort is pathetic.

You don’t need to know if something is going to work before doing it. Rely on instincts not science. Science is the study of others, instincts is the study of yourself. You need to really go for it and put it all on the line. You will never run out of opportunities to go all in. All in everyday. Many say it, few live it. When I wanted to increase my squat I started squatting everyday. Same goes with writing. At first I had writers block. Now, I have loads of material and a ton of unedited posts, due to the frequency of writing activity. I have learned that continuous movement with writing and living leads to great momentum that I want to keep. Keep your momentum. Do whatever it takes to maintain momentum. If this is unrealistic to you it is because you haven’t taught yourself to be better than you currently are. In sports this is called playing big. Do you play big? Or do you play small?

Players with low confidence play small. The ones who play huge are the ones who get the rewards. You have to take personal responsibility for your mindset, results and performance. This will lead to great results. If you see yourself as having control and being a proactive person, someone who takes the initiative then you will have a better self-image than the majority. Learn and master, taking the initiative.

Most people are timid and shy. I learned this because I have observed that I am always the one who initiates conversations with others. People in today’s age are loaded with fears and insecurities, this leads them to be timid. Talk to people and initiate conversation. Do the same thing with the workouts be the one who is working, instead of watching others in the gym. Remember that the gladiators are too busy in the arena to notice other people. If you are focused on what other people are doing, then you are no longer a gladiator, you are a spectator. Get in the arena and stay in the arena. Taking massive action and getting things done is living in the arena. If you’re not looking to advance and progress then what are you doing. You have to learn to force yourself to take action.

Anyone can do something when they want to do it.

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Develop a Killer Instinct to Improve Gains and Be a Better Man

Gym_Dude

Developing a killer instinct is crucial for fitness success

If you are like most people, you have probably tried different diets. You may have tried a positive attitude, and might you have tried visualization. Have you ever thought that there is one thing that you are missing? I have the answer to what you are missing:a Killer Instinct.

People tend to shy away from this topic because they are scared of what other people might think about them, but that’s a mistake. A hardened, killer instinct will take your life and body to the next level. Killer instinct is the will to win, the desire to finish the job decisively, and forcefully. Notice the the words decisively and forcefully. How many times have you trained with force, decisively squeezing the muscles and pushing yourself? If you are like most people you have never done that. This is because you lack conviction. To make gains in the gym and in life, you have to start using your killer instinct and developing it.

How to Use your Killer Instinct:

  • Decide from this day forward that you are going to dominate and that you will never let up.
  • Decide that you will live and lift with conviction and own everything you do.
  • Train with force and decisively.
  • You have to decisively finish each set and workout.
  • You have to train with authority each day, and live with authority.

These bullet points are a lot to process and you won’t have a killer instinct overnight. However, if you follow these steps I outlined you will have developed a useful killer instinct. This will eliminate laziness and allows you to execute your lifts and other tasks during the day with force, and conviction. A killer instinct will get you further than any drug or supplement. You have to use aggression and intensity during each set. Another step to developing your killer instinct, is to train yourself to despise weakness. All big, bad athletes I have seen despise weakness in themselves and in others.

Action Exercise:

  • From this day forward decide to reject weakness forever.
  • Decide to live with strength and conviction.

Notice I said decide again. I continue to use the words decide on purpose. To develop your killer instinct you have to be decisive, make fast decisions with no hesitations, and you have to commit to living decisively. The most decisive people out there make a decision and they see it through. This means that if you set a physique goal and a target, you achieve it no matter what. You decide to dominate each task, and each workout. This will increase your personal energy and people at your gym will think you’re an intense guy or girl. They will think that you’re on steroids and will say that you are. All you do when you hear this is laugh. Laugh at them for making those weak and cowardly excuses. While cowards make excuses, winners get results. Here’s an example of when to use your killer instinct.

Squats: 1 set of 20 after a heavy single

  • On this squat set, you have to decisively and convincingly get 20 reps breaking parallel.
  • You can reset after the 10th and 15th rep.
  • If you get it done convincingly, you will know that you tapped into the killer instinct.

Teach yourself to do everything convincingly, and decisively. This will lead to more confidence and aggression. But, this doesn’t give you the right to become an emotional idiot. Emotions are overrated, and need to be kept at a minimum for this to work. Become so focused on executing with force and conviction, you don’t have time for emotions you are focused.

Gym_Girl

Both men and women can benefit from this self-discipline

Self Discipline

I have noticed that men and women need to know about this incredible resource that is available to them. Everyone has a killer instinct and can develop their own. It takes two things to develop a killer instinct.

  • Discipline
  • Decisiveness

If you are indecisive, you will never have a killer instinct. If you are undisciplined, you will never have the emotional control necessary to develop it. Since developing this skill will require patience, you need to be stoic. I’m a big advocate of making unemotional, cold decisions to minimize errors. There are other ways to activate the killer instinct. The most efficient way is to become slightly agitated. If you become enraged, you will be ungrounded and your killer instinct won’t be directed correctly. If you focus on doing things with more force and conviction this is the fastest way to begin using your killer instinct. You have to finish the workout with authority and rip it apart. You also stop holding back.

What’s holding you back from going all out in the gym and leaving nothing in the tank? Most likely, ego and fear are holding you back. Your ego holds you back because you don’t think you need a killer instinct. Fear holds you back because you’re afraid you will get injured or lose control of yourself. This is the time to show no mercy and dominate the workout as well as the rest of the day. This means that you live and act with force, authority, conviction, and decisiveness.

How much better would your gains be if you trained this way? If you are like most, the answer would be that you would look great. This killer instinct is an aggressive attitude, this means that you play offense. Instead of focusing on, say, improving health, start telling yourself that you are focused on taking your physique to the next level. You have to focus on finishing in decisive fashion. That means that the aggression needs to go up at the end of each workout. Here’s a routine you can use to activate your killer instinct:

Squat and dead-lift super set:

  • 10 sets 10 reps:
  • Clean and Press super set with dips: 5 sets 10 reps
  • 20 sprints

This routine is tough as nails, but it will build muscles. If you have the courage to complete that workout with dominance and conviction, you will know that you have used your killer instinct. This workout is not to be done more than once per week. I call this the whatever it takes method.

Recap:

  • Men and women need their killer instinct.
  • It is hidden deep within you, and you need to have the guts to use it.
  • Living with decisiveness and authority will activate your killer instinct
  • Being indecisive will keep you weak, if you set a goal, accomplish it before giving up
  • Lift with force, and conviction.
  • You have to finish each workout convincingly and decisively.
  • This will take your training and live to the next level.
  • Hold nothing back in training and stay in attack mode throughout the whole entire workout.

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Complete Your Physique with Calf Training

Calves

Calves are often forgotten or neglected when bodybuilding

Calves need to be trained everyday since calves can make or break someone’s physique. The calf muscle is always visible, and contributes to your overall appearance. They’re typically a lagging body part that requires focus and determination to grow and develop. A lot of people just give up on the calves and never train them. My choice is to develop each muscle to its full capacity and capability. Pick something and stick with it.

However, it takes work and effort to grow the calves. The fastest way to grow new muscle is to add volume. By training calves 5-7 days per week, it becomes easier to get calves to grow. The calf muscle is used all day long to walk, move and function. This means that people’s calves can handle a lot of volume and they have to be pushed hard to achieve results. In fact, it will need a lot of volume in order to grow with the other muscles. The key to great calves is to get them fully stretched, and to squeeze hard on every rep. This will take practice and skill. A lot of lifters have no clue how to actually fire and contract each muscle group. Luckily, this is an easy, teachable skill but it doesn’t come overnight.

Calves are a conquest that must be conquered. They need to be trained hard and heavy with an emphasis on hard squeezing of the muscles. Calf training requires a lot of volume. 3 sets of 10 won’t cut it on calf training. It will take at least 10 working sets. For the skeptics out there, your favorite bodybuilders train calves with more than 3 sets unless he or she has a genetic predisposition for big calves.

In my experience, people seem to train calves differently than any other muscle but calves must be trained like other muscles. They need to be trained with solid contractions and heavy weight in the 8-15 rep range. A lot of people don’t go heavy enough when they train calves. The ones that do go heavy enough don’t squeeze the muscle the right way. That alone usually explains their lack of calf development.

Also, they often aren’t intense enough when training calves. If you want bigger calves you have to treat them like any other muscle you want to grow. The seated calf machine is most effective at isolating the calves and building thickness. The donkey calf raise and the standing calf raise are good for detail work. When training calves, the goal is to get a minimum of 200 reps.

Start with higher reps 30-50 and the work all of the way down to sets of 8-12. The purpose of the higher reps is to get calf muscles full of blood. Once heavy lifting begins the muscles will contract more efficiently. This will give the calf muscles the muscle damage they need to grow and rebuild. Calves need to be trained hard in order to grow.

Red_Bikini

Nice legs look good on men or women

Don’t Give Up on Calves

If you quit at training a body part you will only keep that body part lagging far behind. I will always remember people who are too scared to admit that they have weak points. These people usually whine when everyone else looks better than they do. They become bitter because they never assessed their weaknesses. By avoiding this uncomfortable topic, they never ascended to a new level. Instead, they spend time criticizing the people who have made great gains. I always say the best guy to follow when it comes to calf training is the guy or girl that had small calves and made them big. Genetic freaks rarely know how to train people, because they were born with great calves. In my case, I was born with a big chest. I can do 3 sets of 10 once per week and maintain my chest gains. But on calves, I am different.

The previously mentioned seated calf raise machine allows the lifter to concentrate on isolating the calves and squeezing them hard. After this is done, if you have a partner you can do a strip set after your heaviest set. Strip sets will allow you to train past failure and get a pump in the calves. By doing reps after a heavy set it will fatigue all of the muscle fibers. This makes growing the calf easier. Calf growth will only happen if the lifter is training frequently enough, and if he or she has enough discipline to squeeze the muscle hard. I see a lot of guys and girls at the gym that use a lot of weight on calf raises, most of them have small calves. The people that I see doing slow and controlled calf raises have the biggest calves.

An alternative to this plan is calf jumps. This is an explosive movement that targets the calves. Whenever you aren’t doing calf jumps, stick to under control time under tension sets. The sets need to take 20-30 seconds to complete. This has been noted to be the optimal when aiming to grow new muscle. Your muscles need time under tension to build and grow.

Power lifters who think bodybuilder Dan “Boss” Green built his body doing sets of 3-5 reps are nuts. Dan Green even said that he used the big 3 lifts for bodybuilding when he was in college. This explains how he built his base before he began power lifting. Muscle needs reps and volume in order to grow. Heavy weight along with high reps is the formula that works with great effectiveness. The majority of the training needs to include sets with adequate time under tension. Time under tension works for building muscle.

The skeptics and naysayers are the ones who either haven’t used time under tension training, or they are genetically elite. If you train like Ronnie Coleman that doesn’t guarantee that you will look like him. Ronnie Coleman is a hard worker who has elite genetics. That my friends is a winning formula. Here’s his routine:

  • Calf Jumps: 4 sets of 8
  • Seated Calf Raises: 10 sets 10-50 reps
  • Donkey Calf Raises: 5 sets of 15 reps
  • Standing Calf Raise Machine: 5 sets of 12 reps

Perform this routine 5-7 days per week if you like fast results. The calf jumps need to be done explosively. On the seated calf raises, start with 1 set of 50 then two sets of 30 and then keep going all the way down until you get to your heavy sets of 10 reps.

In summary, calves will take your physique to the next level but are to develop. With the right training intensity, calves can be developed. Calves need attention, and command other bodybuilders respect.

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20 Things the Gym Can Teach You

Girl_Gym

The gym can teach you valuable lessons that carry over into other areas of your life

The gym is one of the best teachers of self-improvement and discipline there is. It forces us to look at results and take responsibility for everything from our diet and meeting our fitness goals, to teaching us the amount of work at have to do to achieve goals. This post will teach you 20 life lessons you can glean from your time at the gym.

1. Training hard isn’t enough: The old phrase you can’t outtrain a bad diet is true. Diet matters. If you eat too many calories, you will not lose fat. On the other hand, if you are trying to build muscle mass and aren’t in a caloric surplus, you won’t build muscle. Your body is dependent on your diet. Lazy people will use that as an excuse not to train, but. training is important. The issue is that it isn’t enough. Your diet has to be spot on.

2. The gym is honest: If you haven’t been getting it done, there is something you’re doing wrong. If you have weaknesses they will show. Again, if your diet sucks your gym performance will suck. There are some freaks out there that can get away with a lousy diet and still get results, but they are rare. The gym is honest, you will get out what you put in. If your diet is on point, and you are committed to your training program/split, you will get good or even great results. If you have no discipline it will show. You need to be disciplined.

3. Discipline will make or break you: Build discipline if you want to be a success in and out of the gym. The gym is the easy part, but following a disciplined diet is what will yield maximum results. Another discipline is doing the exercises correctly. This means to keep tension on the muscles instead of the joints. Power lifters are different, they need to train through the full range of motion since competition lifts have to be perfectly done. Power lifters still need to build muscle. Extra layers of fat impress no one. Mark Bell and Dan Green have a lot of muscle mass and they are power lifters. Follow these guys, and stay away from fat power lifters. This brings me back to discipline. Most people who are fat have no discipline. I know this because I was fat for years due to a lack of discipline when eating. Take pride in having great discipline. The most disciplined person will win bodybuilding shows. Discipline means that you do the work every day with consistency. Meal prep is done every day, and training is done every day.

4. Consistency is king: Discipline and consistency go hand in hand. The to get results in the gym you have to be consistent. Inconsistency in one area will lead to inconsistent results in another area. Think about an Olympic champion athlete: to get to that level they must operate with a different level of consistency. Whoever can consistently diet and train will get the best results. This means getting it done every single day.

5. Attack your weakness: Only training your strengths will lead to muscle imbalances. You must attack your weakness with vigor and intensity. A lot of people neglect their weakness because it hurts their egos. The best way to fix a weakness is to turn it into a strength. If your quads suck, do front squats 3 times per week. Think that is too much? Olympic lifters squat 10-14 times per week. Your body can handle squatting everyday. I have been squatting everyday for 2 years now. My squat has increased by 100 lbs in that time. This can happen with anyone who does the work. Attacking your weakness is the fastest way to get rid of it. This means being relentless and going after the weakness the way a predator goes after prey. If you’re not relentless, you won’t get results.

6. Be relentless: To be relentless you have to be consistent with your discipline outside the gym and your intensity inside of the gym. Intensity and enthusiasm matter. Relentless people never stop until they get the end result. When they get the end result, they chase another result. Being relentless is about loving the thrill of the chase, and taking pride in getting to the end result. Results are the only thing that matters. Relentless people know that this is why they are constantly working for an end result. Be relentless inside and outside the gym. This means to pick a result that you want from the gym, and commit to getting it. Then you need to keep going with all of your intensity until you get it. Being relentless means that you do whatever it takes to get the end result and win. It is an aggressive approach that combined with great discipline will yield solid results. Relentless people have great discipline since they know that they have to do whatever it takes.

7. Do whatever it takes: You need to change your attitude. Be the guy or girl that does whatever it takes. You have to, as your life depends on your ability to do whatever it takes. This means that you are the guy or girl that trains at 5 am if you have to. You are the one who skips out on drinks with the friends because you want results so bad. Once you get used to doing whatever it takes, you will see massive results and opportunities will begin to fall in your lap. Results are all that matter. Whatever it takes means to get the job done no matter what. If you have to miss sleep, miss sleep. People who do whatever it takes usually are excellent in their execution. This is why they get such outstanding results.

Doing whatever it takes is a winning philosophy. This is what champion athletes do. Floyd Mayweather is an athlete that did whatever it took to be the best boxer in the world and he reaped the rewards. Another athlete, Kobe Bryant, always did the work and took pride in being the guy that does whatever it takes. The guy that does whatever it takes will reap the rewards, and everyone else will get the leftovers. Think about the payoff. Who has the best chance to get the payoff, and the reward, the guy or girl that half-asses or the guy or girl that does whatever it takes? If you have to add sprints to the routine to lose extra body fat, do it. Results don’t care about you, you have to care about results. The people who do whatever it takes always win and they always find a way eventually.

8. The gym is ruthless: The gym doesn’t give a crap about how you feel or that your girlfriend dumped you. That has nothing to do with results. The only thing you need to do to get results is whatever it takes. Why? The gym and your gains are ruthless. They demand your attention. If you don’t pay attention to the results you want you will never achieve them. You don’t have to enjoy the long, hard work, but you have to do it. Whoever can push themselves to the edge the fastest will grow and adapt the fastest. We are always growing and adapting in the gym. The gym can teach people everything they need to know about life – if they allow it to. Most physically strong people are mentally strong, too. I talk more about physical strength and toughness with people I train because the mental toughness gurus are usually full of it. I haven’t seen many mentally tough people who aren’t physically tough too. Toughness has to be earned.

Toughness is earned through work and hardship. People have to overcome fears and weaknesses everyday. If you aren’t capable of overcoming fears and weaknesses, you won’t receive anything. It takes a lot of disciplined, consistent work to build the body of your dreams. The gym is ruthless and has no compassion for you. If you don’t train with intensity and eat right, your gains will suffer. You can’t have any mercy on yourself or other people. When you go to the gym you have to train with all of your intensity and your enthusiasm. When you get home you have to use all of your mental discipline and consistency to make sure you are eating well. Eating well is more important than the training. Whoever eats well, and disciplines themselves will have the best physique.

People ask me about the macros people. These people eat well, when they cut, they are in a calorie deficit. A keto diet is more strict and it works faster, but, macros work as well, as long as you’re in a calorie deficit. You can either increase physical activity to lose the fat or you can lower your caloric intake. That choice is completely up to the individual, since both methods produce results.

9. Patience helps gains come faster: If you are patient and focus on doing the work to the best of your ability, you will get fast results. This is where a lot of people screw up their gains in the gym. They expect to change their bodies in 3 weeks. This is rarely the case. It usually takes 90-120 days to change your body. The reason it takes so long is due to diet, and your body adapting to the stimulus of being in the gym. If your diet is perfect, you can get results in 90 days.  Yet, most people don’t have perfect diets. Most people cheat on their diets. They cheat on their diets because they are impatient. Cheating usually causes a lot of people to stop going all in.

That is why I use different terms to describe mindsets, and attitudes. What you must have is a practical attitude. If you are 50 lbs overweight, don’t expect to win a bodybuilding show in 3 months. Pick a goal that is practical, and slightly out of reach. This doesn’t give you an excuse to quit and not try. You need to push hard and fast, and go all in to whatever phase you are in.

10. You have to give it 100%: Since the gym is honest, you have to give it 100% effort. That means if you really want results, you have to stick to a diet plan and train 4-6 days per week for 4-6 months. It takes total dedication and commitment to transform your body. That means that you need to use your “full tank of gas” during every exercise session, and you need to use every ounce of mental focus every time you eat. People are capable of more than they think, the issue is that they never push themselves to new levels.

Fitness_Guy

Attain new heights physically and mentally with self discipline

11. It can teach you to advance to new levels: Where you currently are could improve. All the modern body positivity nonsense is just an excuse to be mediocre. You need to get better everyday. You need to advance to new levels. If someone tells you you’re fat, and thereafter you lose weight because of that person, isn’t that something positive? If that were to happen, that person who told you about your weight, just helped you improve your life. People need to be told when they are overweight. Results matter more than feelings. Raise your current level of discipline. Raise your intensity. Raise your commitment. Go all in.

12. Advancing and conquering is everything: What if we focused all of our energy on advancing and conquering instead of playing it safe? What would happen? The answer is we would live more fulfilling lives. This isn’t about chasing a temporary high. This is about consistently reaching new and higher levels. This means that you consistently advance in whatever it is that you do. This is how our ancestors acted. This is how Alexander the Great was. If you advance and conquer in bodybuilding/power lifting, that will give you the formula for advancing and conquering in everything else.

This means you use your full tank of gas/energy to move forward towards a positive result or outcome. This means working like a maniac and demanding results and improvement. To advance and conquer in the gym, you have to focus on it. Use Gorilla Mindset principles. Am I focusing on advancing and conquering? Will this action help me advance in what I am doing? Focus on taking control and taking your body to a new level. There are daily steps and actions that you can take every day to get there. Use every resource, and exhaust every ounce of energy. Kick the door down until you finally see a breakthrough. This is a habit of conquerors and people who advance.

13. Your past doesn’t matter: Did you have a bad childhood? Have you served in prison? Do you have PTSD? Guess what, none of that matters. All that matters is the work and dedication that you put into the gym. It takes that maniacal drive and intensity to get there. But, once you get there, the results are so satisfying you can taste them. Obviously, PTSD and prison are extreme examples. My point is that anyone can get results in and out of the gym if they commit, have dedication and are consistent. There is no limit to how much you can do about advancing towards what you want to achieve.

There will be naysayers who only want to agitate you and break your focus. But, you can go all in and use every resource to get the results that you want. Forget about everything else. People prefer to whine about their past and say that they are special, unique snowflakes who struggle to get results. This isn’t true. If you chase results like a madman, you will begin to see the results. The gym doesn’t care about your past and neither should you, even if your past is fantastic. Whatever happened in the past is history and it can’t be changed. If you focus on maximizing your time right now to create your ideal future results, you will enjoy your life and the gym a lot more. If you use your energy and enthusiasm to advance and get things done, every day you will be closer to getting to your ideal future. All it takes is concentrated, dedicated focus on results.

 14. You need persistence: Persistence is a quality of every great man or woman. I have a phrase I use that says persistence pays. Keep going, and chase the finish line. If you don’t keep attacking and chasing down your goal, you will never get there. Have the persistence of a maniac and work like a man possessed to get the best results possible. This will make a lot of people uncomfortable, but those are the same people who will later be asking you for advice.

15. Emotions need to be controlled: In the gym and in business, emotions will mess you up. You need to do whatever it takes to keep emotions at a minimum. Learn to control your emotions. You will have doubts about the gym, for example you may be scared to lift heavier. The cure for all of it is to say this. “So what, I will go for it anyway.” This phrase works. We care too much about things that do not matter. The reason for this behavior is our ego. Put your ego to use. Take it personally that you are scared to advance. Take it personally that you are playing it safe and avoiding risks. This is a productive way to use your ego. Controlling your emotions is everything –  in bodybuilding and business. You will have bad days that will make you doubt yourself. What is doubt? Doubt is fear and uncertainty. The only thing that matters is results. The only way to get results is to take action. Action solves every problem. Keep emotions to yourself and begin to use action to solve problems and get better.

If you are an emotional mess, it will block your focus and make you screw up in the gym. Deep belly breathing is my preferred method to control emotions. If you keep cool, and steady your emotions throughout the day, you will be less reactive and it will be easier to get things done. This doesn’t mean that you need to become a pacifist and withdraw from life. It means you need to focus on doing things to get results in the gym and in business. You need to focus on activity and getting things done. Focusing on doing rather than feeling will get optimal results.

16. You can evolve and grow: The gym will teaches that you can evolve and grow. This is the case for everyone. It doesn’t matter what your past is. If you consistently show up, train and diet you can transform yourself, and grow physically and mentally. To do this you have to consistently stretch your current abilities. But, this is something most people want to avoid. They want to perform within their comfort zone rather than their effective zone. Whoever can deal with the most discomfort will win.

Commit to going all the way. By doing this you will increase your odds at growth and evolution. You have to become better than you currently are if you want to grow and evolve. Like everything, this requires focus. If you can squat 315 you need to be pushing for 325. You have to constantly stretch and expand. Granted, sometimes in the gym you automatically know that you will miss the weight. The important thing is to practice your courage muscle.

17. Courage matters: Courage is when you take action or do something despite being afraid. To get great results you must have courage. Courage is a rare quality that most people simply do not have. They’re gutless. Courage is something that everyone has to teach themselves. No one can hand you courage on a silver platter. To change and advance to a new level takes courage and persistence. If you go for that big payoff or that great result, you can get it. Imagine how satisfying it would be to get the big payoff you were going for. Have the courage to risk failure. Whenever I think I am acting gutless, I remind myself to think of the Roman Gladiators. These men had nothing but courage and honor. They risked their lives in the arena and they either killed or got killed, and they did it in spite of fear. This makes it easier for me to flex my courage muscles. Recognize that you are taught from a young age to play it safe and to avoid taking risks: Don’t touch that. Drive safely. People are more interested in safety than results.

18. You can always do more: Some days when I leave the gym wiped out and covered in sweat, I still think that I could have done more. In fact, I know that I could have done more. Everyday I can do more than I currently do. So can everyone else.

You can diet better. You can lift heavier or squeeze the muscle harder. You can be greedier for results. This realization came to me when I began to squat everyday, and now I notice that I rarely get sore. This comes down to my discovery, the discovery was that you can do more. Everyone. More work equals more results. If you write 4,000 words per day you will improve faster than the person who writes 1,000 words per day. I can still remember last year when I started writing 1,000 words per day. Now, I can write that many in 30 minutes max. Sure, everyone has their peak hours or peak productivity but I learned that I can do more, and I can push myself to new and higher levels. This principle of knowing I can do more, and continuously reminding myself to do whatever it takes helped tremendously.

19. Failure means whatever you think it means: How you handle failure will make or break you. Failure is just a result that you didn’t want. The reason it hurts is because you’re soft. Your feelings get hurt easy. If you fail once you will get another attempt. Humans are terrified of failure. But with your physique and your diet, unless you are perfect you will have some results that you dislike. That is all failure is, a result that we dislike. Keep reminding yourself, if you keep failing you will eventually succeed. Train yourself to handle failure with courage and dignity.

20: You need a solid system: In the gym and in life you need a system, or a blueprint. Every great team or athlete has one. A system is a process, or things that you do consistently to get results. No goal can get accomplished without a solid system in place. This is true for everyone, not just me. Phil Jackson had the triangle offense. The Bulgarian weightlifting team had their own system. Joe Torre and the Yankees had their own system. Everyone that gets results has a system. The system you have matters. You need to work to create a system that gives you consistent results. There are systems that help you get ripped, strong and muscular, and there are other systems that don’t. The trick is to find what works for you and to stick to the system, and aim to consistently progress and move forward.

For some people the keto diet along with a short rest, high volume program might yield the best result. For other people their system could be tracking macros and focusing on strength. Everyone is different. There might be someone who has a better system than mine. You have to find the system that creates the best results. Don’t pick your favorite system, pick the one that gets the best and fastest results.

A writing system to increase writing ability could be to write for 3 hours a day. Or, you could try another method which is focused on the total words for each day. Either system works, and gets results. The best system is the one that gets results and one you can consistently implement. There will always be more work to do if you want to advance and progress. Picking the right system is everything. Choose wisely, because a bad choice will mean a setback. Setbacks will happen, but try to minimize them. The best way is to learn from the mistakes of others.

Comments

Share your feedback and stories with Snow in the comments section

Feedback Welcomed

Comment below, share some of your own thoughts and I will share some of my biggest mistakes in training. The goal is for us to learn from other people’s mistakes and to avoid making the same ones. This is easier said than done.

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