Our Mission – The Fat Loss Habit

No Gimmicks. No Quick Fixes. Learn to form the habits essential to developing a lean, hard, fit body. A program backed by science, not bro-science.

Our MissionOur mission is to help as many people as possible to improve the quality of their lives. I believe it begins with improving our health and appearance. I found this to be true in my own life. Our health is our most valuable resource. Exercise improves our mood and focus. It can lift us out of depression. It has even been shown to stimulate our mind. When we begin to look better, we begin to feel better. I believe a better life starts with the development of healthy habits because that is where it started for me. Growing up as an overweight kid, I lacked self-confidence. Obesity runs in my family. My paternal grandfather died of a heart attack when my father was in his teens. My father was always struggling to lose weight. He was a brilliant well-educated man, an editor at the New York Times, but he was never able to lose the weight. Continue reading “Our Mission – The Fat Loss Habit”

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Why Everyone Should Strength Train

Our bodies can lie to us. For example, when you first start serious strength training, almost any program will produce dramatic results. It is possible to gain 10-20 pounds of pure muscle during your first year of training, depending on your genetics. Continue reading “Why Everyone Should Strength Train”

Strength Training Intensity – How Much is Optimal

The latest issue of Muscle & Fiction and all the High-Intensity zealots would have you believe that if you don’t take a set to absolute muscular failure, you are wasting your time. That just isn’t true. On an effective strength training program for the natural lifter, most sets should stop 1 or 2 repetitions short of failure. We should avoid going to failure on all but the last set of each exercise. A simple, yet effective way to evaluate your rating of perceived exertion (RPE), is using this table developed by respected strength coach and competitive powerlifter Mike Tuchscherer.

RPE Scale (lifting)

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Rest Between Set – What You Need to Know

Forget those 1-minute rest intervals in the muscle magazines. Your performance from set to set will decline quickly. Short rest intervals and training to failure repeatedly will increase human growth hormone levels, but I have not found any studies that correlate it with long-term increases in muscle mass. I have found studies that have concluded just the opposite. [i] [ii]Countless studies have demonstrated that progressive overload is the key to muscle and strength gains.

If you want to build strength and muscle, it is best done naturally by resting 3 to 5 minutes between working sets. The only time I recommend one-minute rest intervals are between low-intensity warm-up sets.  A study conducted by the Kennesaw State University found that subjects that rested 2.5 minutes between sets made substantially greater gains in muscle mass than the subject that only rested 1-minute between sets.[iii]

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The Effective Program Litmus Test – Does your Program Pass

 “Greatness is a lot of small things done well. Day after day, workout after workout, obedience after obedience, day after day.” Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis _image by Shea Huening .pngImage by Shea Huening

Today we are drowning in information, but starving for wisdom. Most of us have the knowledge of the world available to us in the palm of our hand. A lack of information isn’t the problem. A lack of common sense is the problem. Nowhere is this truer than in the fitness industry.

You might be reading this with the hopes of validating your current program. You want to know if it meets a scientific litmus test for determining its effectiveness. You might be reading this to discover the five characteristics of an effective program. I am sure you could find an article like that, but this isn’t it. I conducted a Google search and wasn’t disappointed.

The litmus test for determining if a program is effective is simple. Is your diet and exercise program sustainable? That’s it. If your program is sustainable, then it is effective. So many people fall into the trap of doing a program. The whole mentality of “doing a diet” or workout program is flawed. It implies a task that has a beginning and end. Staying fit is a journey, not a destination. Fitness isn’t something you do, it is something you live. Continue reading “The Effective Program Litmus Test – Does your Program Pass”