3 little tricks to Boost your T (guest article)

Hey there!

I’ve got a great guest article for you today from my friend – and long-time mentor – Craig Ballantyne.

Craig shares with us 3 cool little tricks you can use to boost your testosterone … and re-claim your manhood!

I think you’ll really enjoy this one. Let’s get right to it …


3 little tricks to Boost your T
by Craig Ballantyne, creator of “8 Minutes to Alpha

Tip #1


This is a big one. Most guys who struggle with Low-T don’t get enough zinc in their diet. Why does it matter?

Zinc helps your body naturally produce more testosterone.

And if you’re not giving your body this raw material, it won’t be able to make the testosterone you need to build muscle and lose weight.

Oysters, raw or cooked, have a ton of zinc. Grass-fed beef is another great source of zinc.

If neither of those is an option, you can always opt for a high-quality supplement.

Make sure you get your Zinc!

Okay here’s your next tip…

Tip #2

You need more (and better) sleep.

A recent study found that men who don’t get enough sleep each night have MUCH lower testosterone levels than the guys who catch all their winks. In fact, sleep deprivation can result in testosterone levels of a man who is 15 years older than you!


There are a few ways to get better sleep.

First, try to go to bed at the same time during the week. Consistency in your sleep patterns will train your body to prepare for bed so you have no trouble falling asleep.

Second, lower the temperature of your room. Drop the temperature to around 67 degrees and you’ll fall into a deeper sleep faster.

Third, invest in some “black-out” curtains. These are killer! For less than $50 you can eliminate most of the light in your bedroom at night.

All that light can disrupt your sleep so black it out!


Tip #3

Use your body’s natural “Alpha” cycle to boost your Testosterone, restore your drive and melt away stubborn fat.

Most guys don’t know this but your body goes through natural metabolic cycles throughout the day. It’s why you have a burst of energy in the morning, you get tired after lunch and why you get a little bit of energy when you get home at night.

The most import cycle for boosting T is in the morning. No doubt about it. That’s why leading researchers (and your mother) say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

So how can you take advantage of your body’s natural “Alpha” cycle in the morning?

Well I discovered a simple 8-minute routine you can do to boost T, burn fat and build muscle.

(And it’s not 8 minutes of exercise either!)

This information is so groundbreaking and exciting that I made a short video all about it. I call it “8-Minutes to Alpha” because this routine is so unique and powerful that it can change your life in just a few minutes per day. Click the link below to watch:

=> Watch Video: the Amazing 8-Minutes to Alpha Secret

To Unleashing the Alpha,

Craig Ballantyne


Thanks Craig!

If you liked today’s article, be sure to check out the 8 Minutes to Alpha course here.

Train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

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7 Technique Tips for a Stronger Deadlift

Recently, I signed up for the SFL Barbell Instructor cert. I’m pretty pumped – here’s a video that shows you what it’s all about, if you’re interested:

There are strength tests / requirements to pass … and one of them is to deadlift two times your bodyweight.

I weigh about 245 … so the test for me is no joke! … and I will be working hard on the lift to get my strength up for the cert, which is about four months away.

Now the deadlift is one of the best lifts to build “general strength” … that is, strength with carryover to a wide range of activities.  That’s why it’s a big part of my new Invincible Body program.  And that’s why I recommend you do it, too.

But if you want to perform the exercise safely and effectively, you need to get your technique dialed in.  So today, I have 7 deadlift technique tips to share that will help you lift stronger – and safer – right away:

7 Technique Tips for a Stronger Deadlift

1 – Set up with the bar just in front of your shins, but not touching them. When you reach down to grab the bar, your shins should touch it.

2 – To find your “perfect” foot stance, do a couple of vertical jumps, and note where your feet are when you land. Then bring your stance in slightly, and point your toes out just a little.

3 – Your hands should be just outside of your feet. You can play around a bit here to find the optimal hand placement on the bar for you.

4 – A mixed grip is the “standard” way to grip the bar (one hand facing away from you, the other facing towards you). Which hand is facing which way is a matter of personal preference. You can also deadlift with both hands facing towards you.

5 – Before you lift the bar, get the muscles in your upper back tight and pulled together, your butt down, your chest up, and your shoulders over the bar.

6 – “Ease” the bar off the ground, and initiate the movement with your legs and not your back.

7 – You can either lower the bar slowly to the start position, or you can drop it.

So there are seven technqiue tips for the deadlift that will help you lift stronger – and safer – right away. These will help you if you’re just getting started with the deadlift, or even if you’ve been doing it for a while but are still perfecting your form.

Train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II, PCC

PS - Remember, the deadlift is one of the best lifts to build “general strength” … that is, strength with carryover to a wide range of activities. And that’s why it’s a big part of my new Invincible Body program.

If you are looking to get stronger, lose fat, perform better, and feel great … all in 30 mins or day per less … then be sure to check out Invincible Body:

=> How to Get an “Invincible Body” (on sale now)

PPS - Check out the video below for another great technique tip that will get you stronger on the deadlift – and improve your form – right away:

Posted in Workout | Leave a comment

Interview with Chad Howse, author of The Man Diet (part 2)

eat like a man

Yesterday, I shared part 1 of an interview I recently did with Chad Howse, author of the Man Diet.

Today, we’re back with part 2 – Chad hooks us up with two sample structures to how you’d eat in the run of a day with the Man Diet.


Would you be kind enough to provide maybe a sample day of eating, some nutrition tips, etc that are based around your diet – so that my readers can get an idea of what they’re in for? :)

Alright, so below are two sample structures to how you’d eat in the run of a day with the Man Diet.

Veggies are “free”, in that you can consume them as often as you like. Off days have lower calories than training days, as well as lower carbs. Within the diet we give you what proteins and fats and “low carbs” or carbs or “slow carbs” to fill into the diet.

Sample Daily Timeline for Non- Workout Days

9am – FIRST Meal Protein + Fats (low carbs)

1pm – Meal Protein + Fats (low carbs)

5pm – Meal Protein + Fats (Slow carbs)

8:30pm – LAST Meal Protein + Fats (Slow carbs)


Sample Daily Timeline for Workout Days

9am – Testosterone Meal Protein + Fats (low carbs)

2pm – Testosterone Meal #2 Protein + Fats (low carbs)

5pm – Workout

6pm – Post Workout Shake (high carbs)

6:15pm – Recovery Meal (high carbs + proteins)

7:30pm – LAST Meal


A few tips:

1 – Vitamin D3 blocks aromatase (a precursor to estrogen). It also “frees” testosterone that’s bound to a protein.

There are two kinds of testosterone: free and bound. “Free T” isn’t bound to a protein, and scientists think that it’s the only form of the hormone that truly matters as it’s free to move around the body and repair tissue.

2 – Body fat opposes testosterone. Dietary fat aids it.

This is largely why you should actually cut before you bulk. When you cut your body fat you lower your estrogen levels (body fat is highly estrogenic) and increase your insulin sensitivity. Both things lead to leaner, more successful gains in the future.

But dietary fats are actually the building blocks for testosterone. Your body converts the cholesterol we get from fats into testosterone in our testes. Without cholesterol in your diet you’re not going to produce optimal testosterone levels.

The best example is vegetarians vs carnivores…

Vegetarians can have high T levels, where they lack, though, is in “free T”, which has been shown to be 14% lower than their meat eating counterparts.

Thus, eat meat. Eat fat. In the Man Diet we show you how, why, and when to use natural, whole foods to help you produce the most powerful fat loss and muscle building hormone in your body.

It’s also the most powerful sex hormone in your body, in case a physical transformation isn’t motivation enough.


That wraps up this two part interview series with Chad Howse, author of The Man Diet.

If you enjoyed this two part interview with Chad, you can learn more about Chad’s Man Diet and get your copy now by clicking HERE.

Train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II, PCC

PS - If you missed part one of this interview series, you can check that out HERE

Posted in Diet, Expert Interviews | Leave a comment

Interview with Chad Howse, author of The Man Diet (part 1)

Very excited to bring you an interview I recently did with Chad Howse, author of The Man Diet.

Chad covers a LOT of info in this one … from what his Man Diet program is all about and how it works, to what nutrition methods / approaches / etc he has studied and they’ve influenced his work, the type of results folks have experienced with his program, what a sample day of eating on the Man Diet would actually look like and MUCH more …

The interview transcript actually turned out to be SO content-packed that we decided to split it into two parts! So enjoy part 1 today, and stay tuned for part 2 coming soon.


- Forest


Interview with Chad Howse, author of The Man Diet (part 1)

1 – Chad, your “Man Diet” program is very cool – it takes a different approach to nutrition than a lot of the other info out there.  What first drove you to create the Man Diet?

A few things…

For one, a pal of mine introduced me to the whole notion that dietary fats aren’t necessarily bad for you a number of years ago, right around the time that I’d got tested and had lower than optimal testosterone levels for my age.

Both of those things spurred me on to do more research about testosterone, about the things in our diet which help produce optimal levels and the things in our diet (and environment) that hurt our testosterone levels.

I learned a lot and tested a ton on my own body. The amount of myth out there not only about dietary fats but about our greatest and most important hormone, testosterone, pissed me off, so I decided to create a diet just for guys.

After trying to find a diet that would fit the mold of what I’d learned over a span of a couple years, I saw that 80% – if not more – of the diet market was for women, and the diets that were for men were just repackaged diets for women.

It started out as something for me, and turned into something that a heck of a lot of guys ended up needing as well.

2 – What exactly is the program all about? How does it work?

When I eat a fatty meal, I want to damn well enjoy that fatty meal, not merely be given a half a slice of bacon and then have to have whole carbs in there with it.

The same with carbs. I want to enjoy them.

The thing is that both fats and carbs have their place in a diet (as does protein, obviously), but they also have their time.

We get a surge of testosterone from around 4-6am in the morning. A high fat meal helps feed that surge, giving it an added boost. So, a “testosterone meal” as they’re labeled in the diet, may be for breakfast (depending on your schedule) where you get to enjoy eating a bunch of fat and protein without feeling guilty because it works with the overall framework and macro breakdown of the diet.

We add in a bunch of carbs and lean proteins after our workout to halt the protein breakdown that occurs during training. So, again, you get to fully enjoy a meal packed with carbs without hurting your waistline or your T levels.

It’s simply structured to fit each individual’s schedule, while allowing us men to enjoy what we’re eating. This isn’t a “salad and quinoa” diet. It’s packed with steak and pasta and bacon and eggs and it’s designed to naturally increase your testosterone levels, aiding you in whatever physical quest you’re on.

Apart from the diet we have a testosterone morning and evening routine designed to feed that 4-6am surge. I bring you through the things in our environment to avoid (like plastic water bottles that are filled with chemical estrogens) and give you an alternative (like a glass water bottle).

Though it’s a diet, it’s one that men can follow and enjoy and thrive on. If you’re trying to lose weight we’ll get you eating at a caloric deficit, and if you’re trying to gain weight, we’ll get you on a surplus.

To ensure that you’re getting optimal results the manual – which is over 30 pages long – teaches you about testosterone and the multitude of methods you can use to produce it optimally.

It’s helped me in a big way, and now hundreds of guys have fortunately benefited from it as well.

** Learn more about Chad’s Man Diet and get your copy now by clicking HERE **

3 – What nutrition methods / approaches / etc have you studied, and how do they influence your work?

I’ve tried nearly everything. The Paleo approach was impossible for me to follow. Going too low carb made me, and most people, lose too much muscle. Going too high carb left me lethargic and yawning during workouts, with too much belly fat to boot.

What really drove me to make changes in my diet was research I did on testosterone. When I learned, for example, that cholesterol is a building block of testosterone, that helped me dive deeper into how our body benefits from a higher cholesterol diet, which led me to read a lot about the myth surrounding cholesterol.

Research into testosterone helped me discover that flax is actually highly estrogenic, so is soy, and things like oysters block estrogen because of their high zinc content.

As I kept reading and testing I formulated a long list of things that helped our most important and powerful hormone, and things that hurt it, and this is eventually what became the Man Diet.

4 – What type of results have individuals experienced with your program? Could you provide a few examples?

I’ve had guys from all walks of life, be they older, younger, fit or even diabetic, try the diet, and thrive on the diet.

A couple examples…

Andy is a great one. He’s been training actually pretty hard for a while, eating “right”, but unable to stick to the diets he was following. The Man Diet offered an approach that gave him the macros he needed, but in a way that he could actually follow. Here’s his transformation.

Nate’s killed it on the Man Diet. He’s an kickboxer, so cutting weight while maintaining muscle is important to him. His issue was cortisol. His cortisol levels would skyrocket when he’d diet, so the info in the Man Diet about cortisol helped a lot and the diet helped him build a much better and stronger body.

His energy levels now compared to what they were are a lot better as well. He, like myself, would get tired after consuming a bunch of carbs before a workout. The solution was a meal higher in fats and meat (slows the rise of blood sugar, helping you elevate your energy levels slowly rather than an extreme peak and crash that can come from carbs.

Here’s Nate’s transformation.

Mark had spent YEARS, I’m talking from high school to his early thirties, in a body that just didn’t suit the man he is deep down. He was weak and flabby, but now he’s leaner, and a heck of a lot stronger. The increase in dietary fats agreed with him in a big way.

He found himself with more energy, which meant better workouts and more motivation to workout more often.

Here’s Mark.

The main thing to know about these guys is that they didn’t crash diet, heck, they didn’t even really diet.

They changed the way they ate, but they did it in a sustainable way.

Each of these guys have only gotten better since they sent me their pics. Most diets have you crash, get results, take your before and afters, then you binge and bulge back up. The Man Diet simply shows you how to block your meals on training days and off days to get the best results you can possibly get, but in a way that you can follow for the rest of your life.

=> Learn more about Chad’s Man Diet and get your copy now by clicking HERE… and stay tuned for part 2!

Posted in Diet, Expert Interviews | Leave a comment

3 Unorthodox Ways to Accelerate Fat Loss


The research is clear.

In the article I shared with you yesterday, we covered four scientifically validated reasons why losing fat slowly is the actually the WORST thing you can do.

So now that you know WHY you should aim to lose your unwanted fat as fast as possible, here are three “unorthodox” ways to accelerate fat loss:

1 – Use “Caloric Shifting” To Maximize Fat Loss

You’ve probably tried low-carb diets in the past. And maybe you see some “ok” results, but you could never get truly lean.

That’s because the standard low-carb diet SUCKS when it comes to losing maximum fat in minimum time.

Instead, scientifically cycle (or “shift”) your calories and your carbohydrate intake.

Research shows by scientifically cycling/shifting your calories and your carbs, you can actually burn 2.6X more fat as compared to standard dieting.

In other words, you could be done with your diet in 30 days instead of 90 days!

2 – Skip the “cardio”

When it comes to burning fat, “cardio” helps a lot less than you probably think.

Did you know that running a full-marathon — 26.2 miles — burns just 2,800 calories? That’s less than one pound of fat.

Think about that for a second: If you went out a ran a full marathon — 26.2 miles — every single Saturday, you would lose LESS than 4 pounds of fat after a month!

Clearly, there’s got to be a better way.

3 – Have 3 Cheat Meals Every Week (Plus Beer & Chocolate!) 

Believe it or not, beer and chocolate can actually help you lose fat FASTER! … and there is a scientific reason behind having “cheat meals” as well. They help maintain muscle mass, increase fat burning and keep my fat-burning hormones running sky high.

The trick is eating the cheat meals at the right TIME. And I’ll show
you how to do this in just a second …

There you have three scientifically proven principles for losing fat quickly. If you found them helpful, you’ll also want to make sure to check out the complete guidebook for getting lean fast at the link below:

=> The Accellerated Fat Loss Bible

Thanks for reading, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II, PPC

Posted in Diet | Leave a comment

4 Scientifically Validated Reasons Why Losing Fat Slowly Is The Worst Thing You Can Do

I know this sounds unbelievable. I know this flies in the face of what you’ve always been told.

But the science backs it up!

Here are four scientifically validated reasons why losing fat slowly is the WORST thing you can do:

1 – It’s Murder On Your Metabolism

Scientists from Newcastle University put this common misconception to the test. They took 3 groups of over overweight men and put them on a diet.

The first group had it the toughest. They got no food – water only – for six days.

The 2nd group followed a very low calorie diet (approximately 600 calories day) for 3 weeks.

The 3rd group followed a slightly easier diet (1200 calories per day) for 6 weeks.

All groups ended up losing approximately 5% of their bodyweight. The difference is how long it took. Group 1 did it in 6 days. Group two did it in 3 weeks. Group 3 did
it in 6 weeks.

No surprise there. But what IS surprising is that resting metabolism dropped the MOST in the six week diet group. The 3 week diet group saw the 2nd biggest drop in
resting metabolism. And the 6-day fasting group saw the SMALLEST drop in resting metabolism!

So the research is clear. Losing fat slowly is HORRIBLE for your metabolism.

2 – It Kills Your Chances Of Actually Losing Pure FAT

Researchers took a group of mice and put them on a 5% caloric restricted diet. This means they ate 5% fewer calories than usual. This is the very definition of a
“slow & steady” diet. The opposite of a crash diet.

So we’d expect good results, right?


In just 3 weeks of this “slow & steady” diet, here’s what happened to these rats:

Fat Mass went UP. (They gained fat.)

Lean mass DECREASED. (They LOST lean mass.)

There was a decrease in their total energy expenditure (they became less active)

There was a decrease in their resting energy expenditure (metabolism slowed down.)

So clearly trying to lose weight with a mild (5%) caloric deficit is a recipe for disaster if you are a rat.

But humans are different right? Maybe not …

*Now that you know losing fat SLOWLY is one of the WORST things you can do … check out three “unorthodox” ways that you can ACCELERATE your fat loss HERE*

3 – It’s Horrible For Your Hormones

Ever heard the idea that you should lose fat slowly because if you lose fat too fast it will screw up your hormones? Turns that’s really an old wives tale.

Here’s the truth:

A human study examining the effects of long-term mild-caloric deficit dieting in humans found that long-term dieters suffered from 78% lower testosterone levels and
28% lower VO2Max levels!

The research is clear: Slow & steady dieting is WORSE for your hormones.

4 – Lose fat slowly and you’re MORE likely to gain it all back!

I know this is surprising because we’ve always been told that “crash” dieting leads to “yo-yo” weight gain. But science paints a different picture:

A long-term analysis of European dieters showed that dieters who lost the most weight during an initial 8-week diet phase were the most successful at KEEPING the
weight off six months later.

This principle held true even when the dieters were using a very low-calorie approach (less than 800 calories a day) during their initial weight loss phase.

Scientifically-validated research proves that if you want to lose weight AND KEEP IT OFF, you should lose the weight FAST.

So now that you know WHY you should aim to lose your unwanted fat as fast as possible … exactly HOW is it done? And what is/are the best way(s) to do it?

Check out three “unorthodox” ways that you can accellerate your fat loss by clicking HERE.


- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

Posted in Miscelany | Leave a comment

3 Biggest Exercise Mistakes for Men + Women Over 50

Got a guest article for you today from a new fitness friend of mine, Fred Schafer.

Fred is 56 years old, and travels the country speaking.  He talks about many things, including full body functional strength.

He talks about the three biggest mistakes women and men over 50 make when they exercise in today’s article.

The article is written mostly with people over 50 in mind, although it applies to anyone who wants to see and feel a noticeable difference from their exercise.


- Forest


The Three Biggest Mistakes Women and Men Over 50 Make When They Exercise

by Fred W. Schafer, MS
Author of “50FIT

If you are going to exercise to improve your health and fitness, it would make sense to know the best way to do that. This article is for people who are already doing some form of exercise or plan to in the near future.

As a fitness professional I see a lot of people exercising in ways that will not give them the results they are seeking in the fastest, best, safest and most enjoyable way possible.

This article is written mostly with people over 50 in mind, although it applies to anyone who wants to see and feel a noticeable difference from their exercise.

It is never a good idea to continue making mistakes or using less than the best methods in any area of life of course. But after we pass the age of 50, the stakes become more serious as it becomes even more important to protect our health and fitness.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three very common xercise mistakes millions of women and men over the age of 50 make.

– Exercise Mistake Number One: Using Only One Dimensional Exercise

Recently I ran into a physician friend of mine while out running errands. The topic of fitness came up and he told me that the only form of exercise and fitness he is using is long bike rides.

He is to be commended of course for being physically active in a way that he enjoys and challenges him some.

However, riding a bike is a one dimensional form of exercise as it only hits one movement pattern (striding) and only targets the legs and hips. Some other examples of one dimensional exercise are using walking, a treadmill or an elliptical machine as your only exercise.

The problem is that sticking with one dimensional exercise year in and year out will not give you the best results and could lead to an overuse injury. In fact, my physician friend mentioned ongoing knee pain and recurring low back pain that he was struggling with.

There are at least 7 primary movement patterns of the human body. These movement patterns include squatting, lunging, pulling, pushing, bending, twisting/rotation and striding.

Not frequently getting more effective and progressively stronger in those movements will likely lead to reduced ability to do them in the future, joint instability, increasing aches and pain and reduced health, strength, metabolism and leanness of your body.

In my new program 50FIT, I go into more detail on these movement patterns and how to use them in your work-outs.

Nevertheless, biking, walking, treadmills and elliptical machines can be helpful exercise as they strengthen your stride and burn some calories.

But as you push past 50, you will want to hit all of your movement patterns several days per week. As we get age we want to move more frequently with brief, daily, effective movement sessions.

– Exercise Mistake Number Two: Not Forcing Enough Cell and Tissue Regeneration 

“Old People Are Not Sick, They Are Weak” …Wall Street Journal, June 2014

This exercise mistake is something most people don’t think about when exercising. Many people are focused on “burning calories” as the most important priority.

But the biggest issue is how much muscle, bone, joint, tendon and nerve cell “disruption” you created so your body is forced to go through the adaptive response and create new cells and tissues.

So how do you force cell and tissue regeneration? By regularly practicing the essential movement patterns and becoming progressively stronger in them too.

The best way to help a person become convinced of the value of getting stronger and forcing cell and tissue regeneration in these movement patterns is to help them experience it for themselves.

There is a gym in Alabama owned by a trainer Vince McConnel. One of Vince’s clients is an 87 year old former physician who regularly does kettle bell dead lifts with a 106 pound kettle bell!

This 87 year old former doctor met Vince 15 years ago when he accompanied his wife on her personal training sessions with Vince. The doctor would watch Vince train his wife with skepticism telling Vince “he would never do any strength training but was going to stick with his cardio”.

One day when the doctor’s wife challenged her husband to attempt to dead lift the amount of weight she could and he struggled with it, it caught his attention. Vince asked the physician if he could put him through a strength training work-out to experience it for himself.

Still skeptical, the physician agreed. Afterwards, the physician also became a client and has been so for the last 15 years. Now, 15 years later, this 87 year old is stronger and fitter than many of the gyms younger clients and he has become a role model and inspiration to others. He did that by forcing cell and tissue regeneration.

– Exercise Mistake Number Three: Not Doing Enough Close Chained Exercises

“Sitting is the New Smoking”

Many of you probably haven’t heard of open and closed chain exercise as this is a term used in the fitness training and physical therapy professions. Yet, it is important to know the difference as knowing how they affect your body can make a big difference in the short and long term health, durability and fitness of your body.

The “chain” is the kinetic chain of the body, which means that all of your bones and muscles are connected in a “chain”.  As a result the movements you make are also part of a kinetic chain.

Here is the basic difference:

Open Chain Exercises: Put simply, your hand or foot is free to move during an open chain exercise.

In many cases these movements isolate a single muscle group and a single joint. For example, the one joint involved during a leg extension is the knee and the muscle group it isolates is the quadriceps.

Open chain exercises can be done with or without added weight, but when weight is added, it’s usually placed at the distal (far away) portion of the limb (like the ankle).

Some examples of open chain exercises include seated chest presses on a machine, biceps curl, leg curls and leg extensions.

Too many people do too many open chain exercises, especially in gyms and especially it seems, as they get older.

Compounding the problem is that many gyms are filled with machines that are open chain movements. Also, open chain movements are usually easier because they require less work.

The problem is that they get far less results too! The point is that you want to be sure to include some form of closed chain movements in your training sessions.

Closed Chain Exercises: During these movements, your hands or feet are in a constant, fixed position (usually on the ground) during the exercise (such as squats).

Closed chain exercises work multiple joints and multiple muscle groups at once.

For example, a squat involves the knee, hip and ankle joints, and multiple muscles groups (quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves and glutes).

Closed chain exercises can be done with body weight alone or with added weight, such as a goblet squat.  Examples of other closed chain exercises include tricep levers, squats, and lunges, all of which can be done with or without added weight.

So why does this matter? Fitness professionals agree that closed chain exercises are better for you. Here’s why:

1 – Closed chain exercises better mimic activities of daily living. Very few movements in real life isolate joints and muscles like open chain exercises do.

2 – Closed chain exercises work many muscle groups at once. That’s good for you because you can get more benefit in less time.

3 -Closed chain exercises are safer for your joints. The force involved in closed chain exercises like lunges and squats is compressive, meaning it actually stabilizes the joint and helps strengthen it. In contrast, open chain exercises, like knee extensions or hamstring curls produce shear force, which stresses the knee joint and is more likely to result in injury.


A Done-For-You Solution

I have just written “50FIT – Bring On the Future”.  50FIT is a done-for-you 28 day fitness program designed with women and men over 50 in mind.

Not only will 50FIT insure you do not make the mistakes outlined above, but I guarantee it will make this one of your best and fittest years ever.

More info and get your copy now at the link below:

=> 50FIT

Stay Strong Lifelong!

- Fred

Posted in Expert Interviews, Workout | Leave a comment

How to get strong as hell in only 3 hours a week [guest article]

You WANT to get stronger …

But you’re afraid that you don’t have the time.

And it’s true … many strength training routines can be time consuming.  But they don’t have to be.

Today, I’ve got a guest article from Mike Samuels – co-creator of the DUP Method – that’ll show you exactly how to design your training plan to get strong as hell, in only 3 hours a week!

Enjoy -

- Forest


How to Get Strong as Hell in Only 3 Hours A Week
By Mike Samuels – Co-Creator of The DUP Method

Mastering the Basics

A finely-tuned strength routine needs only a few exercises.

We’ve got the “Big 3” –

– Squats
– Bench Presses
– Deadlifts

These alone are awesome, but not quite enough to get optimal results, so we also need:
– Squat accessories
– Bench press accessories
– Deadlift accessories

Go with these six and you’re nearly there. There’s just one final component that you need:

– Prehab work

Between these 7 categories, you have EVERYTHING you need for the perfect strength routine. Let’s take it a bit further –

Breaking Down the Categories

The Big 3

The big 3 are fairly straightforward.

Squats, bench presses and deadlifts – there’s not much more to it.

You can squat high bar or low bar, deadlift with a conventional or sumo stance and bench with whatever grip you find most comfortable. However you do them, the big 3
are the big 3.


Accessories aid with your strength on the big 3. Your best options are:

– Squat
– Paused Squats (with a 2 second count in the hole)
– Front squats
– Box squats
– Safety bar squats
– Bench Press
– Paused bench press
– Close-grip bench press
– Board press
– Incline bench press
– Deadlift
– Deficit deadlift
– Paused deadlift
– Snatch-grip deadlift
– Block pull

(Other exercises can be used, of course. Above are the ones I’ve found to be most beneficial because they have the most carryover to strength gains.)


Prehab work covers a number of different exercises which aid injury prevention, and target areas that the big 3 and the accessories miss.

– Direct hamstring/ lower-back work – back extensions, glute ham raises, barbell hip thrusts, heavy kettlebell swings.
– Upper-back work – any row variation (dumbbell, barbell, machine, chest-supported) any vertical pull (chin-ups, pull-ups or pull-downs.)
– Core work – rollouts, planks, leg raises.

The Format for How to Get Strong

That’s enough exercise chat. Here’s how your 3-hour week will run down:

– You’ll do 3 one-hour sessions each week.
– Every session will have one main lift, two accessories, and two prehab exercises.
– You’ll hit each main lift once a week.
– The big 3 lift will always come first and be the focus of your session.
– Your two accessories will be for the other 2 of the big 3.
– The two accessory and two prehab exercises can be any that you choose, but aim to vary them as much as possible.
– You’ll work in 4-week periodised cycles, with volume increasing each week.

Sample Session

Here’s a sample week of workouts to give an idea of how a session might look.

For instance, you may decide that your first workout of the week will be –

– Big 3 – Squat
– Accessory #1 (Deadlift) – Deficit Deadlift
– Accessory #2 (Bench Press) – Paused Bench Press
– Prehab #1 (Upper back) – Wide Grip Pull-ups
– Prehab #2 (Core) – Weighted vest ab wheel rollouts

After a day or two for rest, your second session would be –

– Big 3 – Bench Press
– Accessory #1 (Squat) – Front Squat
– Accessory #2 (Deadlift) – Paused Deadlift
– Prehab #1 (Upper back) – Chest supported dumbbell rows
– Prehab #2 (Glutes/hams) – Heavy kettlebell swings

Your final session of the week would then be –

– Big 3 – Deadlift
– Accessory #1 (Bench Press) – Incline Bench Press
– Accessory #2 (Squat) – Safety Bar Squat
– Prehab #1 (Glutes/Hams) – Glute-ham raise
– Prehab #2 (Core) – Hanging leg raises

Programming the Big 3

The foundation of this program, and the key to success, is properly programming your big 3.

Each week, the goal with the big 3 exercises is to increase the intensity from the week before. Week 1 should be relatively straightforward, week 2 is a little more
challenging, week 3 gets serious, and week 4 is where things are tough.

Take a look at the loading guidelines for each lift –

Week 1 – 5 sets of 4 at 80% 1RM
Week 2 – 5 sets of 6 at 80% 1RM
Week 3 – 5 sets of 3 at 85% 1RM
Week 4 – 3 sets of 3 at 90% 1RM

If you picked your loads correctly, you should hit every single rep of every set in every week.

Programming the Accessory and Prehab Work

For the accessory and prehab work, you’ll use the RPE scale, as outlined earlier.

Be smart about this – the accessory and prehab exercises should be tough, but not brutal. They are there to assist you, build strength, hit weak parts and increase
your main lifts. If you’re going all out on them, it will negatively impact recovery, you’ll miss lifts, and strength will start going backwards.

I encourage choosing different exercises throughout a cycle, and aiming to beat your previous reps or weight on an exercise each time you perform it.

This is similar to the method used for main lifts at Westside Barbell, wherein you don’t train a lift too frequently, but each time you do perform it, you beat your
previous performance.

For example, we’ll look at your accessory work for the bench press. Here are two 4-week cycles, utilizing 4 exercises, and sticking to an RPE of around 9 –

Week 1

Paused Bench Press – 185lbs – 4 sets of 6
Incline Bench Press – 195lbs – 4 sets of 6

Week 2

Flat Dumbbell Press – 70lbs – 4 sets of 8
Board Press – 225lbs – 4 sets of 8

Week 3

Paused Bench Press – 185lbs – 2 sets of 8, 2 sets of 7
Incline Bench Press – 195lbs – 2 sets of 8, 2 sets of 7

Week 4

Flat Dumbbell Press – 75lbs – 4 sets of 6
Board Press – 235lbs – 4 sets of 6

Week 5

Paused Bench Press – 185lbs – 4 sets of 8
Incline Bench Press – 195lbs – 4 sets of 8

Week 6

Flat Dumbbell Press – 75lbs – 4 sets of 8
Board Press – 235lbs – 4 sets of 8

Week 7

Paused Bench Press – 195lbs – 4 sets of 6
Incline Bench Press – 205lbs – 4 sets of 6

Week 8

Flat Dumbbell Press – 80lbs – 4 sets of 6
Board Press – 245lbs – 4 sets of 6
This gives an idea of how you can increase a lift fairly substantially in just a few weeks, while remaining in your given set and rep range and incorporating the RPE

The same method can be used for the prehab exercises, though these require an RPE of 8.

Should you stall or plateau on an exercise two times in a row, switch it out for something different. On the above example, this could mean changing to incline
dumbbell presses, pin presses, chain bench presses and decline bench presses.

Cycle to Cycle Adjustments

Progressing on the accessory and prehab work from one 4-week cycle to the next is incredibly easy using the above guidelines, but the big 3 exercises take a little
more planning.

The idea is to increase your 1 rep max weight each 4-week cycle, then use the same percentages (80, 80, 85 and 90) so that you’re lifting a little heavier than the
previous cycle each time.

How much you increase your max depends on how you found the previous cycle –

- Hit every rep and found the program “easy” – add 15lbs to your squat and deadlift max and 10lbs to your bench press

- Got all the reps and found it do-able – add 10lbs to your squat and deadlift max and 5lbs to your bench press.

- Really struggled and only just about got every rep, or missed the odd one here and there – keep your maxes the same.

- Missed more than 1 rep, or had some poor sessions – reduce your maxes by 10-15lbs for the squat and deadlift and 5-10lbs on the bench.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Not much really.

If you stick to the given rep ranges, sets, RPE guidelines and choose your exercises wisely, you’ll make better gains in strength than ever before, all in just 3 hours
per week.

I’d advise deloading after two 4-week cycles, though you can deload more or less frequently should you feel the need. On a deload week, the easiest template is to
simply pick exercises as you usually would, but perform just three sets of eight to 10 reps on everything at an RPE of 6 or 7.

Eat big, train wisely and get strong as hell in only 3 hours per week!


Got all that?

Now in case you’re busy like me and not interested in designing your own strength training program, I have good news.

You can automate long-lasting muscle and strength by grabbing a copy of the newly released DUP Method to get you stronger in less time:

==> Get your copy of the DUP method (on sale this week)

Thanks again, hope you enjoyed today’s article, and talk soon!

- Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Level 2 Russian Kettlebell Instructor
Certified Progressive Calisthenics Instructor

Posted in Expert Interviews, Workout | Leave a comment

17 Minute 5×5 BB/KB Workout

double kettlebell complex

Yesterday was a particularly busy day.

Had all kinds of stuff going on, fires to put out, etc.

Could have very easily said to myself “I’m too busy to train today – I’ll just skip it, and get it done tomorrow.”

But this is a slippery slope. Skipping one workout makes it a lot easier to skip another one, and before you know it, you’re off your program, and your progress is derailed.

And part of the Invincible Body philosophy is to get it done, no matter what – no excuses!

So I sucked it up and cranked out the workout below – it took me exactly 17 minutes, start to finish … I stayed on track with what I’m working on at the moment (scheduled strength day) … and worked pretty much every major muscle group in the process:


17 Minute 5×5 BB/KB Workout
in the style of the Invincible Body workout

(warm up)

easy jog – 20 sec
squat hold – 20 sec
high plank hold – 20 sec
arm cross – 20 sec
leg swing – 20 sec

repeat 2x


barbell deadlift – 5×5; 1×10

– paired with –

double KB press – 5×5; 1×10

(to finish)

DB curls – 2×20


So there you have a simple strength workout that will work every muscle group in your body, and will take you 17 minutes (or less) to complete, start to finish.

If you want to learn more about my new Invincible Body program, click HERE.

Thanks, train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II, PCC

Posted in Kettlebells, Workout | Leave a comment

3 Simple Foam Roll Exercises

I personally foam roll every day, and it’s a very important part of my training program.

Since starting to do it regularly several years ago, I have noticed:

– improved flexibility
– reduced inflammation, scar tissue and joint stress
– improved circulation

And much more.

It’s one of the easiest things you can incorporate into your daily routine to start moving better, feeling better, and performing better … so if you’re not doing it already, start ASAP – you’ll be AMAZED at the difference it makes!

Here are three simple foam roll exercises you can start with. Perform each of these foam roll exercises every day – first thing in the morning, before your workout, after your workout, or any time you feel like it really:

** These foam rolling exercises are from my Invincible Body program, on sale this week. Click the link below:

=> How to Get an Invincible Body

To learn more about it, and how you can gain strength, lose fat, perform better and feel great at ANY age **

Roll each muscle group for a good 30-60 seconds; when you find a tender spot, hold for a few seconds on that spot until you feel the discomfort go down a bit:

– quads / IT bands
– piriformis
– upper back

Foam rolling is one of the easiest things you can incorporate into your daily routine to start moving better, feeling better, and performing better … so if you’re not doing it already, start ASAP – you’ll be AMAZED at the difference it makes!

Thanks, train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist

Posted in Videos, Workout | Leave a comment