weak, small, and afraid of EVERYTHING

Mike Gillette was one of the smallest and weakest kids in his class who grew up in a household over-whelmed by domestic violence and substance abuse.

Yet, he overcame all this to become a real life action hero.

It’s a life which includes time spent as:

– An army paratrooper

– A SWAT commander

– A member of the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame

– A counter-terrorism consultant to the Department of Homeland Security

– A bodyguard to Fortune 500 executives and film stars, like Sylvester Stallone, and…

– A record-setting strongman who has been featured in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not and Guinness World Records

He has over 25 different use-of-force and weapons systems instructor designations to his name. He’s been an in-demand tactical trainer for a literal alphabet soup of elite government agencies – FBI, DEA, DHS and TSA (in fact, he literally wrote the training manual for those last two).

You’d look at all those accolades and, like me, think to yourself “man, he must have been BORN a hero…”

But you’d be wrong.

You see, when Mike was a child he couldn’t have been further away from the person he is today.

He was small. He was weak. And he was afraid of EVERYTHING.

His personal story is one of weakness transformed into strength.

Because mental strength isn’t genetic. You’re not born with toughness of mind.

No. Mike developed a tough mind by dealing with what life threw at him.

He knows what it takes to go from your ‘today’ self to your tough-minded ‘warrior’ self.

Listen to an interview with him at the link below – I LOVE listening to interviews, and this is one you don’t want to miss:


- Forest Vance
Certified Personal Trainer
Master of Science, Human Movement

Learn the 3 Psychological ‘Shortcuts’ Used by Special Forces and Secretive Government Agencies that Rapidly Transforms Ordinary Guys into Tough Minded, Nerves of Steel, Combat-Ready ‘Warriors’

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44 Best Burpee Exercises Ever! [video]

This is one of my all-time favorite YouTube videos:

My friend Funk Roberts demos 44 different burpee variations in it.  A few of my favorites are:

– One arm battle rope burpees
– Super wall burpees
– Ghetto fence burpees
– Kegger burpee jumps
– Lebert side hop burpees

Hope it gives you some cool new ideas to use in your training routine.

And if you like this video, be sure to check out Funk’s newly updated Spartan Training System as well:

=> Funk Roberts Spartan Training System

Train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Personal Trainer

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How to Unlock Tight Hips

You might think that I do kettlebell workouts myself, or work with training clients for the majority of my days … but the reality is that there is a LOT of work I do behind the scenes … from writing, to checking / responding to emails, to talking on the phone, to flying to workshops / events … that ends up putting me in a seated position, more and more all the time.

And I am a full time fitness professional.  Odds are, if you’re reading this email, you probably have it much WORSE that I do! :)

Sitting for extended periods turns out to be very BAD.  In fact, more and more research is pointing to the fact that sitting all day is one of the WORST things you can do for your health.

Now if your work puts you in a seated position for much of the day, it is what it is.  You may not have an option to NOT sit.

But you CAN take measures to combat some of the negative effects.

One area of the body that suffers a lot is the hips.  The hip flexor muscles, such as the psoas, are some of those that get it the worst.  Not only will this affect performance in your workouts, it will actually cause you pain and long term problems.

So if you are in the same boat as me, and end up having to sit a lot … and as a result, KNOW you have tight hips … and you are looking for a simple, easy to do routine you can put in place to work to improve the problem … I recommend that you check out:

=> Unlock Your Hip Fexors

I picked this program up a few months ago, and it has been helping me a lot.  It outlines a great routine that you can do to help combat some of these issues that come up due to sitting all day.

Since starting it, I not only am moving and feeling better … I have put 35 pounds on to my max deadlift and over 10 reps on to my all time best 5 minute kettlebell snatch test time!

Bottom line is this.  You may HAVE to sit all day for your job … but if you value your health and workout performance, you can and should take measures to help – starting with something like the Unlock Your Hip Fexors program.

Train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Personal Trainer

Posted in Miscelany | Leave a comment

4 Diet Tricks to Expose Your Abs FAST

Do you ever feel like no matter HOW hard you diet and exercise, you still have bloating, water retention, or stomach fat hanging around?

Well, there are 4 “tricks” you can use to eliminate this – and expose your abs, FAST!

Get the complete 3 Day See Your Abs program here


4 Diet Tricks to See Your Abs

1 – Water manipulation

Increasing water intake in a very aggressive manner for a short period of time …

And then slightly dehydrating yourself afterwards (in a very healthy manner) …

Can make your skin look “tighter” in the stomach area (or in any flabby body part).

2 – Sodium Manipulation

Believe it or not, increasing sodium for brief periods of time, followed by decreasing sodium directly afterwards can have a profound effect on how flat your belly appears to look.

3 – Carbohydrate Manipulation

Because your body holds nearly 3 grams of water for every gram of starches or sugars you consume, carbohydrates can easily be manipulated to make your midsection look flatter.

4 – Fat Manipulation

By using LOW fat intake for a few days, followed by HIGHER fat intake at just the right times you can increase your body’s insulin sensitivity to minimize water retention and bloating.


There you have it – 4 diet tricks to see your abs.

If you ever feel like no matter HOW hard you diet and exercise, you still have bloating, water retention, or stomach fat hanging around … these simple tricks can help you FINALLY eliminate ALL of these things … and see your abs, fast!

Train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance
Certified Personal Trainer
Master of Science, Human Movement

PS - Everyone is RAVING about the 3 Day See Your Abs program I mentioned briefly above … click here to learn more and see what all the fuss is about :)

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[video] Boost Your Deadlift by 55 Pounds in 30 Minutes

One exercise that I REALLY hope you’re including in your workouts – whether you’re trying to get stronger, leaner, or even more confident – is the deadlift.

I believe that EVERYONE should be doing some form of deadlifts. They work the whole body, and can help you:

– Get a stronger core
– Get six pack abs
– Strengthen every muscle in your body from head to toe
– Improve power, speed and athleticism

And so much more!

=> For a complete course that teaches you how to deadlift safely and effectively, check out the Basement Badass program here (on sale now)

Now we recently hosted a workshop at our gym where we took folks who were relatively fit, but without a lot of deadlifting experience … and in the 30 minute session, we were able to increase one participant’s max by 55 pounds!!

How did we do it?

By focusing on a few simple technique tweaks.

Here were the big ones we covered:

5 Tips to Boost Your Deadlift by 55 Pounds in 30 Minutes

1 – Set up with the bar right above the middle of your feet

When you reach down to grab it with your hands, your shins should end up touching it.

2 – Take the slack out of the bar when you set up and get ready to lift

This will feel a bit like you’re pulling up on the bar and driving your feet into the ground at the same time. Another way to think about it is like you’re wedging yourself between the bar and the ground.

3 – Get your back back flat

Your shoulders should be down and back, your back flat, and your upper back tight and positioned right over the bar on your set up.

4 – The bar path should be straight up and down

NOT around your knees, out in front of your body, etc.

5 – Start with the double overhand grip for as long as possible.

At some point, when the weight gets higher, you’ll have to switch to the mixed grip.  But the double overhand grip is most symmetrical and easiest on your body.

Check out this video for a breakdown of the tips above (and a few more):

So there you have it – a few simple tips that will go a LONG way towards boosting your deadlift.

If you’re like participants in our workshop, you might even add as much as 55 lbs to the lift in your next training session!

And don’t forget – for a complete course that teaches you how to deadlift safely and effectively, be sure to check out the Basement Badass program at the link below:

=> Basement Badass (on sale now)

Train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified StrongFirst Barbell Lifter

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(video) New ABS Challenge Workout

Got a great new ABS Challenge workout for you today from master trainer Jeremy Scott.

Three exercises in this one … you’ll do 15 reps of each exercise, 4 rounds total:

– Ab wheel rollout
– Hanging leg raises
– TRX atomic knees

Watch the video that shows you how to do it here:

And if you liked this ABS Challenge, you’ll LOVE Jeremy’s full 28 Day program – more info at the link below:

=> The 28 Day ABS Challenge

Have a great day!

- Forest Vance
Certified Personal Trainer
Master of Science, Human Movement

Posted in Videos, Workout | 1 Comment

Boost Your Test by 20% With This Simple Movement? (takes 2 mins)

Here’s something I think about every day – when I get up in the morning, when I get ready to lead a group through a workout, before I start my own training session …

If you act strong and think strong, you will most likely feel strong. 

This dude agrees:

Seriously though – when it comes to improved posture, there is real science proving a positive chemical reaction in the body.  A study by graduate students at Harvard and Columbia University concluded that displaying a power-pose absolutely had effects on how the body functions.  It was found that high-power posers experienced elevations in their testosterone levels (about 20% on average) with decreases in cortisol levels. This also increased their feelings of power and tolerance for risk, while low - power posers exhibited the opposite pattern.

In other words, if you’re slouching with your head down and arms closed off, chances are your feelings of self-confidence and power are at rock bottom.  You don’t feel like a winner, and therefore you won’t be a winner.

Holding a power-pose will boost muscle building testosterone levels, lower your stress causing and fat storing cortisol levels, and increase your feelings of power and risk.  All of those traits are vital to achieving peak physical and mental performance.

This is why if you’re an athlete looking to perform at a high level, you always maintain a strong posture showing your opponent or onlookers that you’re ready and up to the challenge.

This is not just for show, there are real hormonal implications involved.

So how do you carry yourself?

When you walk into a room, into the gym or on the field, do you stand tall and confident with your head held high, shoulders back and chest forward?  Or do you look down at the ground with your neck bent forward, back rounded and arms crossed?

Maybe you never gave it much thought before … but now that you know how critical this “power pose” is, it’s time to act.

The study found that by holding a strong, powerful posture for just 2 minutes, that it had tremendous impact on the subject’s physiological, psychological and behavioral state.

Here’s How to do the Movement and Quickly Get Yourself into a Position of Power:

NOTE: You can do this movement from a standing or seated position.  Example below based on seated.

– From a seated position, first tilt the pelvis forward creating a slight arch in the lower back which immediately helps to raise the chest.
– Then pull the shoulders down and back with your arms at your side.
– Next, lift the head and slightly tuck the chin making yourself as tall as possible.
– From this position you should now feel your back, glute and abdominal muscles working to hold you in this strong alignment.
– Begin by just holding this position for 5-10 seconds at a time and progress to holding it up to 2 minutes.

To sum up, holding yourself in a position of power is not only great to increase your feelings of self confidence and strength … it can actually help you boost muscle – building testosterone levels as well.

So start acting strong and being strong – and you most likely will BE strong.

Want to increase your testosterone even more? Use this morning routine of 10 exercises to boost confidence, improve breathing and increase your energy & T levels.

Train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance
Certified Personal Trainer
Master of Science, Human Movement

Posted in Miscelany, Workout | Leave a comment

Is Red Wine REALLY Good For You?

red wine

I recently took an online longevity test.

You put it all sorts of info about yourself – height, weight, activity level, overall health – and it predicts how long you will live.

I got 95 – which I thought was pretty good! ;)

The most surprising thing about the test to me, though, was that drinking in moderation actually IMPROVED your predicted life span.

I think when you got over 8 drinks per week, it had a negative effect …

But a drink a day actually gives you an extra year or two on your life.

Really interesting!

So keep this in mind as you read through today’s guest article from my friend Art McDermott, author of The Red Wine Diet …


Is Red Wine Really Good For You?
by Art McDermott, author, The Red Wine Diet

What is all the talk about?

Have you ever noticed that when you are shopping for a car and find one you like, you suddenly see that car everywhere? It’s as if everyone just went out and bought the same car.

The same thing has happened to me. I recently completed my first weight management book called, “The Red Wine Diet”. Now it seems every single day I come across a new article on the health benefits (or lack thereof) associated with red wine.

In fact there is a very popular article making the rounds on the news sites tells us that drinking champagne every day could help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

So what is the real scoop? Is there any agreement on this? Can red wine really be safe?

Well, not according to the Chief Medical Officer in the United Kingdom. They recently released a report dramatically reducing the amount of alcohol intake recommendations; going as far as to say “There is no safe level of alcohol intake.”

Pretty strong statement.

Doctor Elizabeth Mostofsky, of Harvard University, said: ”However, regularly drinking small amounts of alcohol in the long term appears to both increase levels of HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), the so-called good cholesterol, and reduce blood clots. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.”

She did warn, however, that there was an increase in heart attack and stroke during the drinking period which dissipated after 24 hours.

Some of the other health benefits associated with red wine consumption are: preservation of age-related memory loss, prevention of certain types of cancer (through the powerful anti-oxidant resveratrol found in wine) and the reduced development of type II diabetes and stroke.

Fair warning: All of these health benefits are eliminated when alcohol consumption is excessive with women being at an especially high risk for developing breast cancer.

On the whole and not surprisingly, I have read LOTS of articles regarding red wine. Many stray into the lifestyle associated with red wine consumption and the social and stress reducing impact – which in my opinion cannot be overstated.

I will say straight out, reduction of stress is perhaps the number one thing you can do to improve the quality and even the length of life as well as preserve brain health later in life.

Here are the recommendations:

For men, no more than 2-3 drinks per day.

For women, no more than 1-2 drinks per day.

And one suggestion – which I had not seen previously – was to take 1-2 days off entirely from drinking to allow the liver to completely recover. After all, alcohol is treated as a toxin by the body and does need to be detoxified by the liver.

When done with moderation, red wine consumption, as part of an overall lifestyle of healthy eating and strong social interaction would seem to outweigh some of the negative effects associated with alcohol intake.

So … enjoy – moderately!

- Art


Learn more about Art’s book at the link below:

=> The Red Wine Diet

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The Red Wine Diet – Scam or Legit?

Have you heard of “The Red Wine Diet”?

There’s quite the buzz building about it as of late … so I thought I’d check it out, and give you a quick review …


The Red Wine Diet – Scam or Legit?

I found myself raising an eyebrow when I first heard about this.  After all, telling you it’s OK to drink wine in order to lose weight is NOT something I (or for that matter, any of my colleagues) would generally do.

However, the more I discovered about the book, the more I realized it was really about a lifestyle, and not about drinking alcohol.

As I looked through it, I could tell a LOT of consideration had been given to the “wine” piece of the puzzle.  Art McDermott’s book, The Red Wine Diet, uses many of the EXACT same approaches I have been talking about – and using – for years.

But, just as importantly, Art gets into the “other side of weight loss”.  Things like mindset, stress reduction, and the concept of enjoying the process of shopping, preparing and eating food are all here.  The diet itself is something you can actually live with for the long haul.

Now – if you are NOT a drinker, and/or don’t like wine, then clearly this diet is not designed with you in mind.  So if that’s the case, don’t buy it.

But if you love the idea of still being able to enjoy wine and lose fat at the same time, it’s very worth checking out.


So there you have it – my short and sweet review of The Red Wine Diet.  The title of the book sounds a little “scammy” … but it’s solid, well thought-out resource that – IF you love the idea of enjoying wine, and still losing fat – is worth picking up!

Go over and check it out at the link below:

=> The Red Wine Diet

Thanks -

- Forest Vance
Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach

Posted in Diet | Leave a comment

(women over 35) 3 Belly Fat “Triggers” You Must Avoid

** Today’s article is SPECIFICALLY for women over 35 **

Today, I want to introduce you to my friend Shawna Kaminski.

Here’s a picture of us hanging out at a recent business event:

Shawna is in her 50′s, but is in better shape than most women 20 years younger.

She says that most experts are DEAD wrong when it comes to women over 35 losing belly fat … and that there are 3 belly fat “triggers” that you must avoid if you want to finally see the flat, firm, and attractive midsection you desire.

I’ll let Shawna take it from here:


Women Over 35 – 3 Belly Fat “Triggers” You MUST Avoid to Finally See the Flat, Firm, and Attractive Midsection you Desire
from Shawna Kaminski, creator, My Bikini Belly

1 – Long Workouts

If you REALLY want to get a flat and firm belly in the fastest and safest way possible, then you MUST STOP doing long workouts.

What women over 35 REALLY need is SHORTER and more carefully sequenced movements that work WITH your menopause gene and match your body’s new hormonal state.

2 – Stop doing sit ups and crunches

Did you know today’s most popular workouts and exercises turn OFF your #1 belly shrinking hormone and make your belly visibly thicker and fatter looking?

For instance, a common exercise that makes your belly look fatter are weighted side bends. While these became popular in the late 80’s as a way to “whittle your middle” the truth is … they’re making your middle thicker and fatter looking!

The same goes for sit-ups and crunches. Why would you want to waste all that time making your belly even MORE resistant to letting go of the trapped fat?

3 – Stop doing traditional cardio

Cardio workouts are very stressful on women over 35 and destroy your metabolism, attack your thyroid and instantly send your cortisol levels soaring.

This automatically activates distress signals inside your body forcing your metabolism to eat away at itself and push fat directly toward your belly. Even worse, it can actually weaken your heart, dramatically accelerate aging and wrinkles your insides like a dried up raisin.


Awesome tips Shawna – thanks for sharing!

Even if you’ve heard some of this info before – I think it’s very interesting to see Shawna’s take on it, and how it SPECIFICALLY applies to women over 35.

Okay, so … now that you know what NOT to do … let’s get into Shawna’s plan to lose belly fat fast.

It’s called “My Bikini Belly”, and you can find out more about it below:

=> My Bikini Belly

I won’t get much more into the details on her program here – just click the link and check it out for yourself if you’re interested :)

That’s it for today, gotta run … here’s to a leaner, firmer, flatter midsection by summer!

- Forest Vance
Certified Personal Trainer
Master of Science, Human Movement

Posted in Diet, Workout | Leave a comment