5 Tips to Crush Your Next Mud Run

We recently put together a team to train for a mud run at my Sacramento training facility. The event was a physical and mental challenge for our team but it turned out to be really fun too. Part of the reason our team was successful was because we had been training consistently with a program I put together.

The program included six days a week of mud run specific workouts. We did everything from heavy lifting and carrying odd objects around the block to running and interval training. There were a lot of great takeaways from the training program but once we actually completed the mud run I realized there were many other tips that I could share with other aspiring mud runners. So here are 5 tips to help you crush your next mud run. I hope you enjoy them.

* I put together a “Mud Runner’s Manual” program based on the training we did for this event … and you can get it free this week … keep reading for details at the bottom of this post

1 – Take Preparation Seriously

Folks do get injured at these events – there’s no doubt about it. But if you prepare correctly, you’re way ahead of the game …

DON’T be the guy who signs up with his buddies, plans on training but really doesn’t (aside from running a couple of miles a day two weeks before the event) – and ends up breaking an ankle or dislocating a shoulder in the first obstacle. If you’re not in decent shape already and prepared to train hard, don’t sign up. It’s just not worth it.

2 – Get Mentally Tough

These mud runs are often more mental than physical. For example, in one of the recent events we were at, we saw a women trying to get over a 15 foot quarter pipe again and again unsuccessfully. She might not have been in the best physical shape, but she was determined to get over this obstacle. On about her 10th attempt she finally made it over with the help of her whole team pulling her up. The whole crowd was cheering for her persistence when she finally made it. That was just a good example of mental toughness and someone who was determined to be successful.

You might come across obstacles in a mud run like freezing water, electrical shock, or other elements you might not have ever been exposed to before. Sometimes people face a mental barrier in these new situation but you
have to get tough and push yourself to a level you may not have pushed yourself to before. So how do you do this? By training hard, exposing yourself to different uncomfortable elements, and pushing yourself to a new level. Train with a group or a partner for motivation, get a personal trainer, or do whatever you need to do to get mentally tough before the event.

3 – Strategize Ahead Of Time With Your Teammates

Most events will tell you what obstacles are included or at least give you an idea of the types of obstacles you may face. It’s important to strategize ahead of time with your team for each obstacle. This is most important if you have a teammate that might have difficulty with an obstacle so you can figure out how to get through it. For example, if you have someone who is claustrophobic and one of the obstacles is crawling through narrow pipes, you should assign a partner with that person who can help coach them through on event day. Or if someone isn’t comfortable in the water and there is an obstacle that requires swimming, make sure a teammate who is a good swimmer can partner with them and help them through.

Strategizing also helps when you have obstacles that require teamwork like climbing over high walls. Figure out who might need a boost over, so that person can climb over the wall first. Or if the event requires someone at the top of the wall or quarter pipe to help others up, you obviously want your strongest person helping the others so they would go first in that case.

If you aren’t on a team and you are doing the event by yourself, it’s still a good idea to strategize. Visualizing yourself making it through each obstacle will mentally prepare you and set you up for success.

* I put together a “Mud Runner’s Manual” program based on the training we did for this event … and you can get it free this week … keep reading for details at the bottom of this post

4 – Train For The Elements

If you do all of your workouts inside the comforts of a gym, you won’t be prepared for adverse weather conditions come event day. So as mentioned before, train in the water, train outside in the heat and the cold, run in the rain, etc. Try to forecast what the conditions might be like based on the time of year and location where you’re doing your mud run and try to train in those conditions if possible.

Also, think about what the terrain might be like. If there will be hills, train for them. If you live in a flat area, set the treadmill on a steep incline at the gym. If there will be rocky conditions, it’s important to train in that type of terrain versus only doing road running.

5 – Run!

Mud runs these days range anywhere from three miles to over ten miles. So your running should certainly be specific to the event you’re training for.

Just make sure you’re conditioning yourself and working up to longer runs with some type of program. Don’t just show up on race day and expect to run 10 miles if you haven’t been training. Even though the events are broken up with obstacles and it’s not usually continuous running, your body still needs to be conditioned to the impact and the distance.

Okay, hope those tips help in your mud run preparations. Got a mud run coming up? What are YOU doing to prepare?

Train hard, and talk soon -

Forest

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One more thing. I giving away a copy of my Mud Runner’s Manual program FREE, when you pick up a copy of my friend Mike Whitfield’s Sprint Conditioning through my recommendation this week, while it’s on sale.

Inside the Mud Runner’s Manual, you’ll learn little-known methods of:

– Total body strengthening – get strong and tough enough to beat any obstacle
– Building functional muscle – you’ll build strength that not only looks good but works great too
– Increasing flexibility and mobility – qualities you’ll need to stay injury free on race day
– Improving cardio endurance – a KEY component of performing at a high level at your event
– Improving mental toughness – maybe the most important quality of all at your mud run
– Getting you stronger, faster, and more athletic!

Again, you’ll get this FREE when you grab a copy of Mike’s Sprint Conditioning system on my recommendation.

Just grab your copy of Sprint Conditioning HERE, forward email receipt to my assistant fvtraininfo (at) gmail.com, and she’ll get you hooked up with your bonus!

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FVT Healthy Eating Strategy for Busy (and lazy) People

veggies

Eating healthy is important to support your workouts. You know this.

However, it’s easier said than done – especially if you are busy and/or kinda lazy, like me :)

Cooking takes a lot of time – and while I do enjoy it – between my busy family life, a baby on the way, running my gym, the online business, travel for work and fun, and other personal interests, I just don’t have the time to do it every day as I would like.

The majority of training clients I work with are in the same situation.  They have families and careers and would like to spend a lot of time prepping food … but it just is not always feasible.

I maintain a good level of fitness year round. I am not ripped and shredded, but I hover around 12 percent body fat, I keep off the 65 pounds I lost almost 10 years ago, I feel great and have lots of energy all the time – and I am very happy with this.

I also have helped hundreds, if not thousands of training clients, both in person and online, dramatically transform their bodies over the last decade with my healthy eating for busy/lazy people strategy.

So here is the “FVT Healthy Eating Strategy for Busy (and lazy) People” in its most simple form.

If you are a foodie or big time cook then don’t be offended :) This is simple, and not fancy, but it works.

** For a complete program I have built around this concept of healthy eating for busy people, check out:

-> FVT Simple Fat Loss Meal Plan

 

FVT Healthy Eating Strategy for Busy (and lazy) People

-For each main meal (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner), simply pick one food from each category below
-Snacks can consist of fruit, nuts, plain yogurt, hard boiled egg, cottage cheese, protein shake, protein bars, etc.

*Portion sizes are intended for a ~ 150 pound individual with 15 or 20 pounds to lose. Adjust for weight, activity level, body comp, etc.

Protein

•chicken breast (3 oz)
•turkey breast (3 oz)
•salmon (3 oz)
•canned tuna (3 oz)
•beef (3 oz)
•ham (3 oz)
•whole egg (1)
•cottage cheese (½ cup)
•plain yogurt (½ cup)
•protein powder (1 serving)
•protein bar (1)

Carbohydrate

•apple (1)
•orange (1)
•banana (1/2)
•strawberries (1 cup)
•blueberries (½ cup)
•tomato (1 cup)
•spinach (2 cups)
•zuchinni (1 cup)
•green beans (1 cup)
•broccoli (1 cup)
•oatmeal (2/3 cup)
•corn tortillas (2, 6 in)
•flour tortillas (1, 6 in)
•brown rice (6 tbsp)
•black beans (½ cup)
•whole grain bread (1 slice)

Fat

•peanut butter (1 tsp)
•almonds (~ 6)
•olive oil (2/3 tsp)
•avocado (2 tbsp)
•macadamia nuts (~ 2)

 

Sample Day

Breakfast – 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1 apple, ~ 6 almonds

Snack – orange

Lunch – spinach salad w/ tomato, black beans, etc., 3 oz chicken breast, 1 tbsp olive oil + vinegar dressing

Snack – hard boiled egg

Dinner – 3 oz salmon, 2 cups broccoli, (cooked in) 2/3 tsp olive oil

 

That’s it. My healthy eating strategy for busy (and lazy) people, in its most simple form.

If you are looking to lose fat or maintain a healthy weight, but the obstacles of time, energy, etc. seem to always get in your way – you now no longer have an excuse ;)

This plan is easy to follow, takes minimal time to implement, and probably best of all, WORKS.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.

And, if you are interested in a complete program I have built around this concept of healthy eating for busy people, be sure to check out my simple fat loss meal plan, HERE.

Thanks, and talk soon -

Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Fitness Nutrition Coach

Posted in Diet | Leave a comment

Legendary workout [burns 500 calories!]

Word on the street is, you can’t out train a bad diet.

And I agree with this – mostly. But there ARE some exceptions.

If you are prepared to work out a LOT, I think it is actually possible to out-train a bad diet.

For example, as you probably know, in a “former life” I played offensive line – in high school, college, and a couple of years in the pros.

During a typical day of training camp, we would practice for a couple of hours in the morning, condition for about half an hour right after that, lift weights for about an hour in the early afternoon, and then go back and practice again for a couple more hours in the early evening.

We did this every day. For three weeks straight.

Back in those days I could literally eat anything I wanted to – as much food as I could possibly consume – and I would and up losing about 10 pounds in that three week period.

So this is an example of how one COULD, in theory, out-train a bad diet ;)

Now let me be clear. I am not saying that you should go out and train for five or six hours per day. But I AM saying that maybe an approach like my good friend Kate Vidulich suggests with her latest 1000 calorie accelerator program might work for you.

FV and Kate

She actually works you up to workouts that burn 1000 calories. Which is pretty awesome. Three of those each week and you’re almost burning an extra pound of fat (there are 3500 calories in a pound).

I got a sample workout from her new program for you today.  Try it, and let me know how it goes.  And hopefully I’ve at LEAST got you thinking about working out a little more to burn some extra calories this week ;)

- Forest

 

Legendary workout [burns 500 calories!]
by Kate Vidulich, author, 1000 Calorie Accelerators

This workout burns the equivalent of…

- 2 large slices of pizza

- 13 Girl Scout cookies

- 3 bowls of cereal

It’s straight out of the 1,000 Calorie Accelerators intermediate program, and you can try today.

No kidding, you will burn calories just looking at it. ;)

###

Dynamic Warm Up

- No rest between exercises

- 30 seconds rest at the end of the circuit

- Repeat for 2 rounds

1A) Squat with T-Squeeze x 30s

1B) Glute Bridge x 30s

1C) Mountain Climbers x 30s

1D) Stick Ups x 30s

1E) Jumping Jacks x 30s

 

FLA: Fat Loss Accelerator

- 30 seconds per exercise

- Rest 15 seconds between exercises

- Repeat for 3 rounds

2A) Cross Body Mountain Climbers

2B) Reverse Lunge with Bicep Curl

2C) Walkouts

2D) Jumping Jacks

Take a 60 second break and then move on to MRT.

 

MRT: Metabolic Resistance Training

- No rest between exercises

- 45 seconds rest at the end of the circuit

- Repeat for 3 rounds

3A) DB Romanian Deadlift x 8

3B) T-Push Up x 12

3C) Offset DB Step Up x 15

 

MDT: Metabolic Density Training

- 20 seconds per exercise with 10 second rest = 1 round

- Do all rounds of the exercise before moving to the next

- Do not rest between exercises

4A) Inverted Rows – 4 rounds of 20-10

4B) Total Body Extension – 8 rounds of 20-10

4C) Push Ups – 4 rounds of 20-10

4D) Jump Rope – 8 rounds of 20-10

 

But wait… you’re not done yet.

There is another quick metabolic density Accelerator to finish your workout with a bang to keep metabolism cranking until Easter.

It’s on page 10 of the Intermediate program from 1,000 Calorie Fat Loss Accelerators System here:

=> 1,000 Calorie Fat Loss Accelerator Workouts

You’ll also discover new bodyweight moves that burn more calories like…

- Sprinting Walkout on page 12

- Cross Spider Plank on page 7

- Burpee T-rotations on page 17

You will find these exercises in the 1,000 Calorie Accelerator Challenges manual, that you’ll get as a FREE bonus.

And don’t worry, if you’re a beginner, I got you covered, too. You’ll start off with non-impact exercises, burning 300 calories a workout, then 500 calories (like the workout above)….

… then BOOM! You’ll progress faster than ever to burn a whopping 1,000 calories a day.

This is how you can burn 1,000 calories a day

Now you can enjoy your Easter feast without the guilt ;)

- Kate Vidulich
Author, 1000 Calorie Accelerators

Posted in Expert Interviews, Workout | Leave a comment

FULL “Lean Body” BB/DB/BW Workout (upper/lower split)

I am getting ready to head out to San Diego for the RKC II this weekend.  Been training hard on my weighted pull ups, presses, pistol squats, snatches and a lot more … and I feel prepared. It should be a lot of work, but also a great learning experience, and a lot fun at the same time.I have been both a participant and assistant at various RKC events in the past (I am actually going back for re-certification for the RKC II this time around).

Besides the rigorous testing standards (100 snatches w a 24k KB in 5 mins, weighted pull ups, 88 lb strict one arm KB Military press, among other things), it is quite the beat down, physically. It’s something like 25 hours of training crammed into a three day stretch. They don’t call it the “black belt” of kettlebell certifications for nothin’ ;)

SO, my body will need a break come Sunday afternoon. I will be taking it easy on the workouts next week for sure.

But then, I plan on getting “back to basics”, and actually working in some more traditional barbell/dumbell training. I’ve been hitting the KB and body weight training hard for the last six or eight weeks, and it will be good to change it up.

Thought it would be cool to share with you a sample of the kind of workouts I will be doing. Something for you to model, if you are looking to incorporate this type of training into your routine.

“Lean Body” BB/DB/BW Workout for Lean Muscle (upper/lower split)
from Jason Klein, author, the Lean Body Guide

Upper Body

Bench Press 4×10
paired with
Low Row 4×10

Glute Bridge Floor Press 4×10
paired with
Strict Pull-Up 4×10

BB Press 3×10
paired with
Prone Iso-Ab (plank) :30 hold
Lower Body

Front Squat 4×10,8,8,8

Deadlift 4×10
paired with
Forward DB Lunge 4×10

DB Single Leg Squat 3×10 (each leg)

Prone Iso-Ab (plank) – hold as long as possible!
- do upper body workout on day 1, lower body workout on day 2, rest, repeat cycle starting day 4
– do some HIIT cardio training two or three times per week (like the workout I take you through in THIS video)
Alright. That’s it. Basic, simple – but deadly effective. I’m off to get ready for my trip.

Thanks, train hard, and talk soon -

Forest Vance
ForestVance.com

 

PS - IF you have any questions about this plan.  Like exactly what some of the exercises are.  How to perform them perfectly, so you get the most benefit, and stay injury-free. How your nutrition should be structured for maximum results.  Etc.

Your best bet would be to check out the full program the workout above came from – the Lean Body Guide -HERE.  Thanks!

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3 Simple Rules for Body Weight Bodybuilding

2 15 14 iPhone pics 905

Looking to gain some serious mass but don’t want to tax your joints with heavy weights? If so, you aren’t alone.

Especially as you get older – or stronger, you need to be more mindful of your joints.

Walk into any gym and you’re bound to see at least one guy in there suffering from serious shoulder, knee, or elbow pain that is restricting him from seeing the full results he could be from his workout session.

Bodyweight training gets you around this.

Since you don’t have an excess weight load on the body, you don’t have the pain – it’s that simple.

In order for bodyweight training to be effective for building muscle however, you need to apply three laws.

Here’s what to do.

 

1. Use a Workout Split 

First, avoid the full body approach. While this earns top marks for fat burning, it doesn’t for muscle building. If you’re aiming to hit a muscle group three days per week, you can rest assured of one thing, you won’t be working with the intensity to build lean mass by doing so.

You simply wouldn’t recover in a day if you did.

Therefore, a split is best. For example, you could devote one day to upper body, and one day to lower.

 

2. Add Progressive Overload

Next, you must, must, must add overload. This is the biggest mistake people make. If you don’t keep challenging your muscles, how do you expect them to get stronger?
They simply won’t need to.

You need to overload the muscles as that is what creates the micro-damage that causes growth.

If you aren’t sure how to overload them check out how these masters have done it:

= > How to overload the muscle with bodyweight exercises

 

3. Do Multiple Sets

Finally make sure you’re doing multiple sets. This is critical. You need sufficient volume in order to get the muscles to hypertrophy, which means you’re getting bigger.

One set doesn’t cut it when mass gains are the goal.

With the right bodyweight training, you can use a lower rep range and perform multiple sets just like you would in the gym, all while protecting your joints.

= > Discover how to build muscle with bodyweight training the right way

 

Give your body a break from heavy weights. You will be amazed at how quickly you can build serious mass using just bodyweight exercises… all without the strain on the joints
.
It’ll get you larger in no time.

= > Grab your complete resource guide to bodyweight bodybuilding

Thanks, train hard, and talk soon -

Forest Vance
ForestVance.com

Posted in Workout | Leave a comment

How to Speed Up Injury Recovery

We’ve been getting a lot of questions in recent weeks and months at ForestVance.com about injuries – how to come back from them, modifications to work around them, etc.

So I thought I would get an article from my go-to injury guy, Rick Kaselj, to share with you on the topic.  Today Rick has for us two easy tips for speeding up injury recovery. I think you’ll get a lot out of it – let me know what you think!

- Forest

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How to Speed Up Injury Recovery
by Rick Kaselj, co-author, Fix My Elbow Pain

If you are active and workout, injuries are inevitable.

But, there is a lot that you can to do to help speed up your recovery.

Let me go through two simple ways to speed up your injury recovery, that few people do.

#1 – Look at the Rest of Your Day

When it comes to injuries, what you do during the rest of your day can wipe out any benefit you get from the stretching or strengthening exercises you are doing for
your injury.

This is because often times we do things through our day that put unnecessary stress on the injured area and this will slow down recovery and keeps the injured area
irritated.

What you need to do is look at your day and decrease or eliminate any unnecessary stress on your injured area.

Top 4 Things you need to look at are:

– Your computer work
– Your driving use (especially if you use a standard)
– Your phone and cellular use
– See if there are ways that you can do your job which puts less stress on your elbow (Sundstrup 2013)

Doing what you can to decrease stress on your injured area will help decrease your pain, speed up your recovery and get you back to doing what you enjoy doing.

I know it sounds simple but this is the number one mistake that people make when it comes to their injuries.

Now lets get to the second thing that you can do …

#2 – Joint Specific Warm Up (Especially Your Elbows)

There are a lot of benefits and controversy when it comes to warming up prior to activity or your workout.

I know for myself, I need to do it. When I don’t warm up, I don’t perform as well and I get injured more.

Especially warming up specific joints.

In a resent research paper (Ingham 2010) found that, performing an elbow joint specific warm up reduced loss of strength, loss of range of motion and muscle soreness.

=> CLICK HERE To check out the elbow joint specific warm up

If you are injured or next time you get injured, make sure to do these two things and they will help speed up your injury recovery.

- Rick Kaselj
ExercisesForInjuries.com

PS – If you have any aches, pains or injuries when it relates to your elbows, then you should check this out:

=> Fix My Elbow Pain

References:

Ingham SA, van Someren KA, Howatson G. (2010). Effect of a concentric warm-up exercise on eccentrically induced soreness and loss of function of the elbow flexor
muscles. J Sports Sci. 2010 Nov;28(13):1377-82. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2010.513398.

Sundstrup E1, Jakobsen MD, Andersen CH, Jay K, Persson R, Aagaard P, Andersen LL. Participatory ergonomic intervention versus strength training on chronic pain and
work disability in slaughterhouse workers: study protocol for a single-blind, randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2013 Feb 21;14:67. doi:
10.1186/1471-2474-14-67.

Posted in Miscelany | Leave a comment

My personal “AM motivation” routine

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”

- Zig Ziglar

In a recent survey we did on ForestVance.com, folks listed lack of motivation as one of the major factors keeping them from reaching their ultimate fitness goals.

So I thought I would share with you my personal “AM motivation” routine that keeps me driving forward in every area of my life each and every day.

Now I feel like I have found my true calling in life and am thankful for that every day. I am on a mission to make a lasting difference in the world. So truth be told I rarely if ever lack motivation when it comes to “work”.

I also really like working out, so I rarely if ever lack motivation to do that, either.

On the other hand, nutrition is something that is a constant battle for me personally. As you may or may not know I lost about 65 pounds almost ten years ago and have kept it off (and then some) since … but that doesn’t mean it isn’t tough.

Another one for me personally is maintaining a work/life balance. I will work ’till I drop if I don’t watch it.

Point is I am FAR from perfect – that’s not the place this article comes from. We all have things we have to work on and get better at. This is just my daily routine that I think will help almost anyone get better and get more out of their lives, whatever they want to do and be and accomplish.

 

My personal “AM motivation” routine

1 - First thing I do when I wake up is some simple joint mobility exercises. Check out THIS post if you missed it on the blog for a video of a simple joint mobility routine you can do. Over the last year this practice alone has been HUGE for me in reducing pain, feeling and moving better during the day, etc.

2 - Next I read something for 10-15 mins that’s going to help me improve my life and get better.

I try to focus on mindset and personal development – type stuff, not so much technical things like how to be a better trainer or how to get more new client leads for my gym, etc.

For example, I just finished reading The Monk Who Sold His Ferarri by Robin Sharma. GREAT one, you can grab it used on Amazon for a few bucks, check it out. Now I’m reading The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz – another great one.

3 - After I’m done w reading for the day I start on my gratitude list. I physically write in a journal at least three things I am thankful for. It could be for my wonderful and supportive family and friends, the little one my wife and I will be welcoming into the world soon, for the great area of the country I live in, for a roof over my head and plenty
of food to eat – you get the idea.

If you are not doing this now it is AMAZING the difference it can make in your life. Try it and see.

4 - Now it’s time for reflection. I reflect on the previous day, exactly what I did and accomplished, what I did well, and what I could have done better.

This is another exercise that done consistently will change your life as well. Benjamin Franklin was just one person famous for it. It’s amazing how you can make fast improvements in a really short amount of time doing this.

5 - Finally I plan my day. I write out exactly what my schedule will be, what appts I have to be in, what projects I will be working on, etc. during the course of the day. I visualize everything going perfectly as planned. And then I’m ready to rock!!

 

Last thing. This entire process takes me about 30 to 45 mins. You might say to yourself “I would love to do this, but don’t have the time.”

I call B.S. on that. What are you doing that is a BETTER use of your time now instead? Watching the news and hearing about another negative event? Checking your email and REACTING to others to start your day?

Make it happen. Get up a little earlier. Watch 30 mins less of TV at night and do it then instead. Bottom line, this exercise can literally change your life – you do not NOT have time to do it ;)

So, there you have it. My personal “AM motivation” routine. Hope you can work something like this into your day and start enjoying the benefits.

Also – would love to hear your feedback ;)

Train hard, and talk soon -

Forest Vance
ForestVance.com

PS - If you’re a beginner and you’re looking to lose 30,50, even 100 pounds or more – motivation is often a HUGE obstacle that keeps you from starting a fitness
program and sticking with it.

If you are in this situation and need DAILY help keeping yourself motivated, THIS program from my transformation expert friend Ben Teal is the one I recommend.

Posted in Motivational | Leave a comment

Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting

Today’s article is from my friend James Gaida.

james g

Over the last six months or so, James and I have actually gotten to know each other pretty well … we live like 2,000 miles away … but I’m realizing as I write this that I’ve seen him at three different business events, in Vegas, Miami, and LA, all since last September!

Anyway, when we were in Miami, I mentioned to James that I was in training for the RKC II (it’s now coming up this next month) and needed to drop a few lbs to improve my pull up #’s.  James suggested I try intermittent fasting (IF) because that is his thing.

It sounded scary. I had heard a lot about IF but never actually tried it myself. The thought of not eating for any extended period of time made me very nervous ;)

BUT – I did give it a try – and really liked it. I dropped about 7 lbs over a month period with the approach.  And I still do do a 8 on/16 off fast several times each week.

I knew FVT newsletter readers might be interested in the topic – so I mentioned this to James and he offered to do a guest article for ‘ya.

Enjoy this one – and let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

- Forest

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The Solution for Fast Fat Loss and Awesome Health
by James Gaida, author, 4 Day Fat Loss

As Jason Ferruggia so eloquently puts it:

“The problem with being like everybody else, is that everybody else sucks. Don’t do it”

I would assume that you’re not interested in being like everybody else. I think it’s safe to assume that the simple fact that you’re reading this is that you want to accomplish more than the average person. Maybe you even want to be awesome?

I want to be awesome!

I want to be able to do awesome things like:

-a perfect front lever hold for 20 seconds
-completing 5 perfect handstand pushups
-doing 50 pullups in under 4 minutes
-snatching a 24kg KB 150 times in under 5 minutes.

These are all things I’m currently working on and all will assist me in my pursuit of awesomeness. (on a side note, with this arsenal I will be able to dominate the Festivus Feats of Strength this year.)

It’s one thing to have goals of awesome physical feats but the fact is if you’re carrying extra weight everything on that list above becomes infinitely more difficult and in some cases impossible. Truth be told, life is easier with less body fat.

The fastest way to reducing your body fat is always diet. If your diet is lack luster your fat loss efforts will be the same. And if you need to shed some pounds of fat I recommend you take care of it as rapidly as possible.

You’ve probably heard about Intermittent Fasting or IF. If you haven’t, what you should know is that it’s all the rage nowadays. It’s all the rage because it’s working. And it’s working with the least amount of effort ever required in the past for fat loss, while proving to give the IF’ers awesome health benefits.

To sum up Intermittent Fasting I look to Chuck’s sage advice in the surfing lesson scene of Forgetting Sarah Marshall:

“You’re doing too much. Do less.”

do less

IF is about doing less. Actually in its absolutely simplest form you are simply skipping meals. Not haphazardly skipping meals, but skipping meals strategically.

So why would anyone do this?

If this is the first you’ve heard of IF or are just new to the subject this is a very logical question. Let’s take a look at the benefits of fasting and then you can determine if it’s right for you. (At the end of this article I will give you a strategy to give it a try.)

*Learn more about my full “4DFL” diet method here => 4DFL

Fast Fat Loss

Obviously if you are skipping meals you will likely be eating less calories. Needless to say, eating less, is what you need for fat loss. IF ends up being a simple way to reduce calories from your diet.

Beyond calories, during a fast there is a lot more at play in your body that is initiating fast fat loss. Specifically fasting elevates catecholamines levels. You’ve probably heard of the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. These are both catecholamines and when they are elevated fat is released from cells to be metabolized.

In other words, elevating these hormones burns fat.

 

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

For many people, if they could just improve their insulin sensitivity they would drastically improve their health and burning body fat would be a breeze.

In simple terms, insulin sensitivity is measured by the ability of the hormone insulin to do it’s job of moving glucose (blood sugar) from the bloodstream into your

cells. Considering every thing your cells do, including keeping you alive, is dependent on the fuel from glucose it is important to do what you can to improve insulin sensitivity.

The opposite of insulin sensitivity is insulin resistance which is a decreased ability of insulin to do it’s job. This results in prolonged levels of high blood sugar. These prolonged high levels of blood sugar are linked to a variety of harmful medical conditions including: blood vessel damage, high blood pressure, heart disease, heart failure, obesity, osteoporosis and cancer.

A study in 2005(1) confirmed that fasting improves insulin sensitivity when eight subjects committed to 20 hour fasting every second day for 15 days. All subjects showed significant improvements in insulin sensitivity (measured by glucose uptake).

 

Reduced Inflammation Markers

Chronic inflammation plays a large role in many of the scary diseases in our society today, most notably cancer and cardiovascular disease. It’s in the best interest for your health to get control of inflammation.

The good news is, studies have shown that fasting can reduce inflammation markers interleukin-6, C-reactive protein and homocysteine.(2)

 

Elevated Growth Hormone

Growth Hormone (GH) is your most powerful hormone when it comes to making changes in body composition (less fat, more lean muscle tissue). Not only that, GH is known as the anti-aging hormone. When growth hormone is elevated you will see improvements in energy levels, injury healing, immune system function, bone density, and cognitive function (memory & mental clarity).

A recent study from the Intermountain Medical Center Health Institute found that 24 hour fasting raises Growth Hormone levels by as much as 2000% in men and 1300% in women!(3)

*Learn more about my full “4DFL” diet method here => 4DFL

Want to give IF a try?

There have been plenty of different intermittent fasting methods discussed lately on the inter-web. One that I find to work best for me is the 24 hour fast once or twice a week.

To try the 24 hour fast, pick one day this week where you will be free to go 24 hours without food. Most people will eat dinner the night before, fast throughout the day and have a normal size dinner that night. You may prefer to eat breakfast and then go without food until the next days breakfast. Ultimately the timing doesn’t matter, just go 24 hours without calories.

During the fast it is important to stay hydrated. Try to drink at 2-3 litres of water during the day. Black coffee and green tea (another anti inflammatory) are also permitted. Just make sure you’re not getting calories in your beverages.

Drinking plenty of fluids will also help you curb waves of hunger which will surface and then go away throughout the day. Respond to hunger by taking in more fluids and it will soon pass.

The 24 hour fast is much easier then it sounds and gets even easier the second time around, when you know what to expect. You can partake in one or two 24 hour fasts each week. Don’t do any more than two per week.

*If your pregnant or diabetic, fasting in most instances is not right for you. Consult with your doctor before fasting.

If you’re ready to burn more fat while drastically improving your health, give fasting a try. Start with the 24 hour fast and see for yourself how relatively painless it can be to do less. (Every subsequent fast gets a little bit easier.)

Intermittent Fasting has made a massive impact on my life. I’m leaner, have more energy and feel healthier than I ever have before. This has all made my journey to awesomeness all the more possible and I’ve got IF to thank for that.

Give it a try this week and let me know how it goes by posting your comments.

Sources

1. Nils Halberg et al (2005), Effect of intermittent fasting and refeeding on insulin action in healthy men, Journal of Applied Physiology, December 2005, vol. 99, no.

6 pp. 2128-2136

2. Aksungar F.B. et al. (2007), Interleukin-6, C-Reactive Protein and Biochemical Parameters during Prolonged Intermittent Fasting, Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism,

April 2007, 51:88–95

3. Intermountain Medical Center, http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-04/imc-sfr033111.php

James Gaida bio:

I am a fat loss expert and certified Precision Nutrition Coach. I have spent more than 13 years coaching clients in both nutrition and fitness. In that time I have also became certified as a Specialist in Performance Nutrition and a Certified Fitness Trainer. I also own many leather bound books and yeah, I’m kind of a big deal!

My baby, 4 Day Fat Loss (4DFL) is dedicated to teaching simple techniques to rapidly burn fat, increase energy and live a healthier life. If you want to find out how to burn fat quickly and transform your body check out the 4DFL Method here:

=> The 4DFL Method

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‘Non-Diet’ Diet?

I’m in Orange County at a business event this weekend. What an awesome time. Learning a TON, and also connecting with lots of fitness friends, both old and new.

One person I was excited to get a chance to “talk shop” with yesterday was my friend Shawna Kaminski (you remember her, right?)

Well I have a guest video for you from her today on the topic of her new breakthrough ‘non-diet diet’ approach.

Enjoy!

- Forest

Shawna K’s Breakthrough ‘Non-Diet’ Diet

Click here to learn more about Shawna’s 21 Day Challenge Diet

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8 Day Baddass Building Blocks System (sample workout)

My friend Travis Stoetzel just released his new program, The Unbreakable Baddass Blueprint 2.0.

If you haven’t seen the full program yet, you can do so HERE.

But what I wanted to highlight in today’s article was the “Badass Building Blocks” system he has added in as an awesome bonus to his already proven-effective system.

This adds in a special 8-Day system that you or anyone else who might not be up to their potential “badass” level of fitness quite yet a program to follow that will help you get jump started and beyond.

See, I am all about progression and going HARD but ONLY when you are ready and prepared and have developed your basic skills, especially for complex movements … and that’s what this program is all about.  (That’s just one of the things about Travis’ programs that makes them different and superior to a lot of the crap out there.)

Here’s a quick sample workout from the Baddass Building Blocks system so you can get an idea of what I’m talking about (you’ll of course get more details, video walk-thrus, etc. in the full program):

Day 4 – Back – Front Squat / HSPU

Barbell Front Squat Basics
Barbell Back Squat Basics
HSPU Basics

Exposure Session

6 Rounds Of:

- Back Squat x 5 – 1st 3 Rounds / Front Squats x 5 – 2nd 3 Rounds
- HSPU x 1 Min AMRAP x submax

***Rest 1 Min between rounds
***AVOID failure at all costs on HSPU
***Choose a moderate load for the squats – nothing too heavy

Focused Mobility / Soft Tissue Work:

Front Pigeon Mobility / Stretch x 2 Min / Side
Barbell Assisted Rack Mobility x 2 Mins / Side
Foam Roll Adductors x 2 Mins / Side

If you follow the simple progressions that Travis has laid out within this system, you’ll no doubt be ready to take on not just phase 1 of his UBB 2.0 system, but you’ll also be ready to take on just about any program out there.

Grab this for free here:

=> 8 Day Badass Building Blocks System BONUS (see more details HERE)

Thanks

Forest

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