According to a survey done by Nielsen research group, “staying fit & healthy” is the number one resolution most people make come January 1st.
Unfortunately though, most people ditch their resolutions just after a week or two of sticking to them.
Well, to help you kick-start (or to reinforce if you’ve been at it for a while) the habit of working out, I decided to launch the first ever No-Brainer Muscle Bodyweight Challenge. It’s something I wanted to do for quite some time and now I’m happy that I’ve finally managed to put this plan into motion.
Come January 1st, together, we will work our way to a better physique.
Want to join?
Here’s some details you should read about the challenge:
For the first ever bodyweight challenge, I’ve decided that the main exercise is going to be the push-ups.
Why push-ups you might be wondering?
Well, simply because push-ups are the most popular bodyweight exercise of them all and more importantly, you don’t require any special equipment to do them. Just get down on the floor and starting busting out those reps.
Anyone who wants to build a better physique, improve their push-up number or anyone who wants to have fun with a bunch of cool people.
The challenge won’t cost you a dime. It’s free to join and I’d love if you could also invite your friends to take part in the challenge.
The challenge begins January 1st and it’s going to last 28 days (4 weeks), until 29th of January.
The goal of the challenge will be to complete 2,800 push-ups in 28 days. (This averages to 100 push-ups every day.) 28,000 push-ups is kind of the goal we’re aiming for, but feel free to do more if you’re a pro.
If you’ve been a member of the No-Brainer Muscle community, you’ll know that recently I released my premium bodyweight training guide called Anabolic Rewiring Method. In the guide I share the secret of how to build an awesome physique with bodyweight exercises. You can read more about the guide, by checking this web page.
At the end of the challenge, I’m going to randomly pick 3 guys (or girls) who successfully completed 2,800 push-ups and they’re going to receive free copies of the Anabolic Rewiring Method + a 1-hour consultation session with me (diet optimization, routine optimization, etc.).
You’ll do your push-ups in your home (or wherever you do your push-ups normally), but we’re going to have a “meeting place” online.
For the purposes of the bodyweight challenge, I created a private Facebook group, where we’ll be able to share our experience and also ask for advice if you stumble upon an obstacle.
Furthermore, I’m also going to give you access to a spreadsheet, where you’ll keep track of your challenge progress.
I’ll give you access to all of this stuff, once you officially join the challenge.
If you want to start the 2016 with a bang, then I highly encourage you to take part in the first ever, No-Brainer Muscle Bodyweight Challenge.
Here are the steps you need to take in order to join the challenge:
Step 1: Leave a comment
It’s important that you introduce yourself. Leave a comment at the bottom of this post introducing yourself and letting everyone know that you’re taking part in the challenge. Do that first, then come back to step 2.
Step 2: Share the challenge
Help spread the good vibes by inviting your friends to take part of the first ever No-Brainer Muscle Bodyweight Challenge. You can invite your friends, by clicking on this little cool link. (When you click on this link, a nice pre-populated email is going to appear, which you can send to your friends … easy as pie.)
Step 3: Sign up for the challenge
Enter your name and email address below this paragraph in order to officially sign up to the first ever bodyweight challenge. This is the most important step!
Once you sign-up, I’ll send you an email with important challenge details.
You’ll get access to the private Facebook group which we’ll use to keep ourselves accountable and also, to help each other out in case someone comes across a snag. Don’t feel shy … ask all the questions you might have, share your stories, offer motivation, and get feedback.
You’ll also gain access to a simple tracker you’ll have to use to keep tabs on your reps over the course of the challenge. It will serve as a great accountability tool.
More details on this stuff will be provided when you join.
I have a gut feeling that 2016 is going to be an awesome year.
Remember, the challenge start January 1st, but in order to officially join the challenge, you have to enter your name and email address in the form above. Don’t forget to do it since I need that info to give you the access to the closed Facebook group and the push-up tracker.
And finally, please help me spread the message by sharing the challenge with your friends. I’m sure they’re going to appreciate you for recommending it to them.
Allright, this pretty much sums up everything I wanted to say for the first ever bodyweight challenge. Make sure to join the challenge now so you won’t forget.
See you on the other side! :)
Image credit: JayRaz]]>
I’m super excited for today’s Musclecast since I’m going to talk with Jay Campbell, who is a successful real estate business owner, former fitness model, the guy behind the website called fabfitover40.com and most importantly he’s an expert when it comes to optimizing testosterone and Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
Jay has over 10+ years of of experience with testosterone optimization and he’s the man to talk to for all things testosterone and Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT).
And to raise the awareness of the importance of optimal testosterone levels even more, he’s about to release his book in the middle of July called The Definitive Testosterone Replacement Therapy Manual which will cover every everything you need to know about the topic of Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
I got a preview version of the book and let me tell you if you’re a man, you need to get this book, it’s so good.
The original interview is 1 hour and 40 minutes long and I thought that it would be a good idea to split it up into 3 parts in order for you to really get the most out of it.
The first part is available today. I’m going to release the second part on Tuesday, June 30th and the 3d part, I’m going to release it on Thursday, July 2nd so stay tuned.
Things we mentioned in the podcast:
Hope you enjoy today’s Musclecast, cause we sure did have fun making it! :)
And as always, questions and comments are always appreciated. Write them in the comments section below.
May the gains be with you,
1 major accident.
5 years nailed in bed.
1 leg amputation.
This is what happened to today’s Musclecast guest, Anthony Arvanitakis.
While delivering pizzas on his scooter, Anthony was involved in a traffic accident that costed him his leg.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, during his recovery process–which lasted more than 5 years and involved 13 operations–he got fat, weak and depressed.
But that didn’t discourage him to quit on his dreams.
Motivated by his lifelong passion for physical fitness and sports performance, Anthony decided that he’d get into the best shape of his life, using bodyweight exercises.
It took him 2 years, but now he’s built like a Greek God, all thanks to bodyweight training.
And in this Musclecast, Anthony is going to share with us how he did it, and how he manages to stay in tip-top shape year-round.
We’re going to talk about different topics, including:
Check today’s Musclecast, by clicking the play button below.
You can also download this episode by using this link (right click and save).
Anthony is the guy behind the website called HomeMadeMuscle.com, where he shares his story and best approaches for becoming a bodyweight ninja. And he also just released his newest book on Amazon called HomeMade Muscle: All You Need is a Pull up Bar (Motivational Bodyweight Workout Guide), so make sure to check that out too.
Hope you enjoy today’s Musclecast, cause we sure did have fun making it! :)
And as always, questions and comments are always appreciated. Write them in the comments section below.
May the gains be with you,
Are weight gainers worth your money?
If you listen to the companies that make/sell them, you’d think that they’re worth every penny.
But are they?
Well, to shed some light on this topic, I’m going to share with you my experiences with weight gainers.
The first ever supplement I bought was a weight gainer.
I still remember the day.
I was 19 years old, and I didn’t know a thing about nutrition.
The only thing I knew for sure, was that I wanted to get big, fast.
Hungry for knowledge and quick gains, I did what every gullible guy would do—I went to the local supplement shop to get some nutrition advice.
Back in 2005, there weren’t a lot of supplement shops around but luckily for me, my hometown had one.
It took me some time to find the place since it was a hole in the wall, but once I found it, I felt like a kid in a candy store.
The racks were jam-packed with the latest shakes and drinks, the walls were plastered with famous bodybuilders and at the counter, there was this mountain of the man.
The owner of the store.
His arms were the size of my torso and the veins on his arms looked like they were about to burst.
A true freak of nature!
Anyway, after a bit of chit-chat, I told him that I was a newb who was in search of a shake that will help me gain muscle mass.
After talking for 5 minutes about some bro-science stuff, he cut to the chase and said that he had a one of a kind thing for me.
He went to the storage room and came back with a 24-pound weight gainer bag.
He told me that this was his #1 secret for building big guns and ripped abs. And if I was serious about building muscle, I had to get this.
I was sold.
I paid an arm and a leg for that weight gainer, but I didn’t mind since I finally had the holy grail that would put my muscle growth into overdrive.
I was stoked beyond belief.
As soon as I got back home, I drank my first ever weight gainer shake.
It tasted like victory.
For the next few weeks, I’d drink these weight gainer shakes 3x per day:
And the results?
I got big.
But not big as in jacked and shredded, but big like fat and ugly.
Below you can see my weight gainer bulking results.
In the space of just 2 months, I gained 14 pounds of fat and no muscle mass or strength gains whatsoever.
So much for that weight gainer being the store owner’s #1 secret for building big guns and ripped abs.
Now when I look back, I can see that I made 2 big mistakes:
As a strength training newb, I failed to create the demand for all of those extra calories.
And with no way to make good use of those extra calories, my body did the only thing left to do—store those extra calories as fat, to be used some other time.
So, if you are new to the iron game, don’t buy weight gainers.
They’re a waste of you money and they’ll make you fat fast.
And even now that I’m skilled lifter, I still stay clear of weight gainers. The darn sugar content of these things is just too damn high.
But if you’re one of those guys who wants to have his weight gainer no matter what, then why don’t you make your own natural weight gainer?
At least you’ll know what goes into it.
If you want to make the best natural weight gainer on your own, I got a recipe just for you. I got this idea from none other than the all-time bodybuilding champion, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I like how Arnold Schwarzenegger puts it in his book The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding:
In my own career, before there were as many commercial protein drinks (or bars) available as there are now, I always preferred to create my own drinks, since that way I knew precisely what was in them and what kind of nutritional benefit I was getting.
Arnold’s book is jam-packed with great advice and tips. And one of those tips is how to make the best natural weight gainer.
Each of the drinks below is made in sufficient quantity for 3 servings day, which are supposed to be drunk between breakfast and lunch, between lunch and dinner, and an hour or so before you go to bed.
And since the protein takes a while to digest, make sure to have the protein drink at least 1½ hours before your workout.
(protein = approx. 50 grams)
20 ounces milk or juice
4 ounces cream (or 1 ounce safflower oil and 3 ounces water)*
2 teaspoons lecithin granules
¼ cup whey protein powder
In a blender, place the milk, cream, eggs, and lecithin; blend for an instant. Wait several minutes for the lecithin granules to dissolve, then add the protein powder and blend until mixed.
For flavor, just use your imagination:
To make the drink sweeter, add a tablespoon or less of fructose—do not use high sucrose foods like ice cream or chocolate syrup.
Dejan’s note: I use coconut oil instead of safflower oil. The medium chain fatty acids found in the coconut oil are very healthy and are a great source of energy.
(protein = approx. 72 grams)
16 ounces milk or juice
6 ounces cream (or 2 ounces coconut oil and 5 ounces water)
4 teaspoons lecithin granules
½ cup whey protein powder
In a blender, place the milk, cream, eggs, and lecithin; blend for an instant. Wait several minutes for the lecithin granules to dissolve, then add the protein powder and blend until mixed. Flavor as in Level I drink, except that you can use as much as 2 tablespoons of fructose for sweetness.
(protein = approx. 98 grams)
16 ounces milk or juice
8 ounces cream (or 3 ounces coconut oil and 6 ounces water)
6 teaspoons lecithin granules
¾ cup whey protein powder
And if you find that you’re not gaining weight as much as you want, even with the Level III, add 4 more ounces of cream to it.
These drinks will help you gain mass, guaranteed.
Just make sure that your training volume and intensity are high enough as to stimulate muscle growth.
Here’s what I want you to do now.
First of all, next time you’re at the gym, make sure to work your ass off so your body gets a clear sign that it’s time to pack some muscle mass.
And the best way to do this is by following an effective workout program.
Second, throw your weight gainer into the trash bin and go to the store to get some ingredients to make your own natural weight gainer.
Third, in the comments section below, let me know two things:
May the gains be with you!
Image credit: Noodles and Beef]]>
Here’s a common question I get in my mailbox …
Dejan, how do you find the time to work out when you get into a relationship?
It looks like this is a big problem for most guys.
They can’t go to the gym often, because their girlfriends will give them hard time.
Been there, done that.
You see, the key to working out while being in a relationship, is to make sure you follow the 4 manly principles.
Fail to stick to these 4 manly principles and you’re going to become a fat slob.
Just like my friend Bob …
Bob is a good friend of mine.
We’ve known each other since kindergarten and he’s just one of those rare persons with whom I just click. In elementary and high school, we were best friends. And even though both of us went to different colleges, we still managed to find time to hang out.
So, a few months into college, Bob complained to me that he gained a couple pounds of fat. And since summer was just around the corner, he asked me to teach him, how to gain muscle mass fast.
Next time he came back home for the weekend, I told him everything he needed to know to melt the belly fat away and build up his beach muscles.
I showed him the ropes and off he went.
Over the next few months, Bob did the workout routine I gave him with vigor, and he was able to get into the best shape of his life. He felt like a boss, dressed sharp and I was proud of him.
But when Bob got into a relationship, all his progress went straight down the gutter.
He became a fat slob.
He ditched working out to please his girlfriend. Instead of going to the gym, he stayed at home watching chick flicks and tv shows about gay dancers. In just a few months, he gained 22 pounds of pure fat, lost all sense of tidiness, and I believe that all that fat and laziness made him stupid.
And I kid you not, these were the first words that came out of my mouth, when I first saw him after a couple of months:
“Dude, what the hell happened to you?!?!? What’s with all this fat and s–t??”
This was his reply, word for word:
“Yeah, I know man! I let myself go, but when you’re in love, you lose interest for certain things. I’m spending time with my girl every day so there’s not a lot of time left for training and other stuff. It’s easy for you to do all these things … you’re single!”
I couldn’t believe what he was saying.
He sold his balls for pennies on the dollar. And in order not to feel bad about his fuck up, he came up with some stupid excuses that would ease the pain of his emasculation.
And I blew his single people have more free time excuse into oblivion a few months later, when I got into a serious relationship. I was in a relationship and I still had the time to:
If you don’t want to become a fat slob like my friend Bob (or if you’re already a fat slob and you want to break out of it), here’s what you need to do.
Every single successful person I know, found (designed?) a way to make their relationship work for them and not vice versa.
If you’re wondering how you can be in a relationship and still get into the best shape of your life, here’s how I approach things.
I never liked the idea of going out to clubs to pick up women.
First of all, as an introvert, I get overpowered by the nightclub’s impulses—loud music, flashy lights, big crowd, etc. Second, the chances of me meeting a quality girl in a nightclub, are freaking slim.
I think that going to nightclubs is the dumb way of meeting women. I have to waste a ton of precious time to find a girl who’s worthwhile.
I hate wasting time, and that’s why I like to do things the smart way.
When I was single, I’d always go places where there’d be a high chance of meeting girls who’re into healthy living and exercising. Places like:
If you want to find a girl who will keep you motivated to workout and diet, then I recommend you check those places out.
But if you’re already in a long-term relationship, fret not. There is a way to make your girlfriend more supportive of your fitness goals.
You just need do this important thing…
A couple of years back I made a solemn promise to myself:
Nothing will stand in the way of me and the gym. I’ll be lifting weights for as long as I live.
Ever since I pledged my allegiance to the Iron, not a single week has gone by without me lifting some steel. It’s my #1 priority.
When I started dating my girlfriend I told her—with my words and actions—that she’ll just have to accept the fact that training is my #1 priority. And because she knows how much strength training means to me, she’s fine with it. I believe that’s one of the main reasons, why we have such a great thing together.
And even if you’ve been in a serious relationship for a long time, it’s never too late to change your priorities.
Just join a gym, follow an awesome workout program and that’s it. No need to spill your guts to her about how you’re about to embark on this new quest. Just say that you’re going to the gym and let your actions do the talking.
You’ll see that after a couple of weeks, you’ll pull her into your new healthy lifestyle. All the sudden, she’ll be cooking you post-workout meals and she’ll lose a couple of pounds herself. That’s just how things go when you lead by example.
But if your girl isn’t supportive and gives you shit about you being more time in the gym than with her, then you have to…
If your woman just won’t accept your healthy lifestyle, then you have to show her the door.
Nothing sobers up a woman like some good ol’ threat of dumping her.
If you show her that you’re willing to walk away, you’ll immediately regain the power position in the relationship. She’ll do anything you say, just to keep the relationship afloat. She’ll cook you healthy meals, stop giving you hard time for going to the gym, give you massages after your workouts, etc.
That is, if she cares about the relationship.
But if you let her know that you’re willing to walk away and she shows no remorse whatsoever, then you need to dump her sorry ass stat.
There’s plenty of other fish in the sea my friend. I’m sure you’ll find a better love match now that you’re throwing steel in the weight room and looking buff.
But Dejan, I’ve been with my girlfriend for X years, I can’t just walk away? I’ll just stop going to the gym if that’s what makes her happy.
Years of being in a relationship means diddly-squat to me. If a relationship turns sour after a couple of years, and you’ve done everything in your power to fix it, but without success, then leave ASAP.
You have to be the most important person in the relationship. Be selfish for a change.
But if you have no ounce of self-respect then go ahead and stop going to the gym.
BUT WATCH OUT: if you put your girlfriend on a pedestal, and you go out of your way to make her happy, she’s going to walk all over you. And after she’s beaten the last drop of manliness out of your body, she’ll leave you for another man.
I’m a busy man.
With my 9-to-5 job, working out, and building my own business, there’s not much time left for anything else during the week.
If I’m not done with my tasks for the day, it’s almost impossible for me to be present whilst talking to somebody. My attention always wanders off, to my to-do list. And it’s only after I’ve completed the most important tasks for the day that I can zone out.
I’d rather spend LESS time with my girlfriend, being present, then MORE time with her, unable to give her my undivided attention.
That’s why when weekend comes around, I do my best to finish the items on my to do list asap, so I can spend quality time with my girlfriend.
And you should do the same.
On your training days, make training your top priority. On your rest days, rest and recover by doing something nice with your girlfriend. Give her your undivided attention.
If there’s one thing from this post that I want you guys to take away, is to make working out a top priority in your life.
Actually, let’s do this …
Stand up, put your right hand on your heart and make a solemn promise to yourself:
Nothing will stand in the way of me and the gym. I’ll be lifting weights for as long as I live.
Feels good doesn’t it? :)
The rest is simple. Just follow an awesome workout program and pay your dues in the gym. Massive gains are sure to follow.
And after you’ve made your solemn promise, there’s one more thing I want you to do. In the comments section below, answer these two simple questions:
May the gains be with you!
PS: Which topics would you like me to cover in future posts? Fill this short survey (takes less than a minute) to let me know what you’d like to know more about.
Image credit: Wikipedia (Tanit Phoenix)]]>
Dragon Ball is one of my all-time favorite cartoons
Watching Goku train and eat to become the strongest warrior in the universe, always motivated me to start working out on my own.
And if you’re anything like me, I’m sure you too would like to look jacked and badass like a Super Saiyan.
So that’s why, for this Musclecast episode, I decided to talk with the real life Goku.
And today, he’s going to spill the senzu beans on how to break your skinny-fat curse and building an acro-athletic “X” physique.
Get ready to transform.
By now you know that hardgainers who want to gain muscle mass without getting fat must know how to train smart and eat even smarter.
And that’s why I invited Anthony Mychal to talk on the third Musclecast. Just click to play.
Anthony is a former skinny-fat sufferer, who has managed to break free of his skinny-fat shackles, to become a real life Goku (check the video to see what I mean :).
He knows a ton about nutrition, training and how to blend all of this together into a wholesome lifestyle.
Make sure to grab Anthony’s free course “The Athletic “X” Physique Hybrid Blueprint”.
Now here’s what you’ll learn during this Musclecast:
Right click this link to save the audio as an mp3 to your computer.
And here are the resources mentioned in the Musclecast:
Now that you listened to the audio Musclecast, and you took notes, here’s what you need to do next:
Image credit: Rob Walker]]>
For me, strength training was a life saver.
You see, for the most part of my life, I didn’t have a single ounce of self-confidence.
It all started when I was a scrawny kid and my peers would taunt me because of my lazy eye. Each remark/joke about my birth defect made me feel like I was something less. The jokes, and the negative self-talk that spawned from that, would chip away at my self-confidence levels.
So by the time I was in high school, any sign of self-worth I had, was washed away like tears in the rain.
Without any self-confidence armor on me, I was left open to attacks—I was bullied, frowned upon and humiliated, even by some teachers.
While others were enjoying the life and doing what normal teenagers do (socializing, first kiss, partying, etc.), I was locked in my own prison, wondering if life was worth living.
Things looked grim, until one day, I came across an essay called “Iron and the Soul”, written by Henry Rollins.
It was this essay that inspired my interest in strength training and to become the strongest version of myself. I could say that this essay saved my life.
Every time I read this, I feel this strong urge to go bench press a bus or squat with a boulder on my back.
If you need some motivation in your life, then I urge you to read this.
This essay by Henry Rollins was originally published in Details Magazine in 1994.
I believe that the definition of definition is reinvention.
To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself.
When I was young I had no sense of myself. All I was, was a product of all the fear and humiliation I suffered. Fear of my parents. The humiliation of teachers calling me “garbage can” and telling me I’d be mowing lawns for a living. And the very real terror of my fellow students. I was threatened and beaten up for the color of my skin and my size. I was skinny and clumsy, and when others would tease me I didn’t run home crying, wondering why.
I knew all too well. I was there to be antagonized. In sports I was laughed at. A spaz. I was pretty good at boxing but only because the rage that filled my every waking moment made me wild and unpredictable. I fought with some strange fury. The other boys thought I was crazy.
I hated myself all the time. As stupid at it seems now, I wanted to talk like them, dress like them, carry myself with the ease of knowing that I wasn’t going to get pounded in the hallway between classes. Years passed and I learned to keep it all inside. I only talked to a few boys in my grade. Other losers. Some of them are to this day the greatest people I have ever known. Hang out with a guy who has had his head flushed down a toilet a few times, treat him with respect, and you’ll find a faithful friend forever. But even with friends, school sucked. Teachers gave me a hard time. I didn’t think much of them either.
Then came Mr. Pepperman, my advisor. He was a powerfully built Vietnam veteran, and he was scary. No one ever talked out of turn in his class. Once one kid did and Mr. P. lifted him off the ground and pinned him to the blackboard.
Mr. P. could see that I was in bad shape, and one Friday in October he asked me if I had ever worked out with weights. I told him no. He told me that I was going to take some of the money that I had saved and buy a hundred-pound set of weights at Sears. As I left his office, I started to think of things I would say to him on Monday when he asked about the weights that I was not going to buy. Still, it made me feel special. My father never really got that close to caring. On Saturday I bought the weights, but I couldn’t even drag them to my mom’s car. An attendant laughed at me as he put them on a dolly.
Monday came and I was called into Mr. P.‘s office after school. He said that he was going to show me how to work out. He was going to put me on a program and start hitting me in the solar plexus in the hallway when I wasn’t looking. When I could take the punch we would know that we were getting somewhere. At no time was I to look at myself in the mirror or tell anyone at school what I was doing. In the gym he showed me ten basic exercises. I paid more attention than I ever did in any of my classes. I didn’t want to blow it. I went home that night and started right in.
Weeks passed, and every once in a while Mr. P. would give me a shot and drop me in the hallway, sending my books flying. The other students didn’t know what to think. More weeks passed, and I was steadily adding new weights to the bar. I could sense the power inside my body growing. I could feel it.
Right before Christmas break I was walking to class, and from out of nowhere Mr. Pepperman appeared and gave me a shot in the chest. I laughed and kept going. He said I could look at myself now. I got home and ran to the bathroom and pulled off my shirt. I saw a body, not just the shell that housed my stomach and my heart. My biceps bulged. My chest had definition. I felt strong. It was the first time I can remember having a sense of myself. I had done something and no one could ever take it away. You couldn’t say s—t to me.
It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn’t want to come off the mat, it’s the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn’t teach you anything. That’s the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always work against you.
It wasn’t until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given myself a great gift. I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain. When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can’t be as bad as that workout.
I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness. But when dealing with the Iron, one must be careful to interpret the pain correctly. Most injuries involving the Iron come from ego. I once spent a few weeks lifting weight that my body wasn’t ready for and spent a few months not picking up anything heavier than a fork. Try to lift what you’re not prepared to and the Iron will teach you a little lesson in restraint and self-control.
I have never met a truly strong person who didn’t have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone’s shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people and Mr. Pepperman.
Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.
Yukio Mishima said that he could not entertain the idea of romance if he was not strong. Romance is such a strong and overwhelming passion, a weakened body cannot sustain it for long. I have some of my most romantic thoughts when I am with the Iron. Once I was in love with a woman. I thought about her the most when the pain from a workout was racing through my body.
Everything in me wanted her. So much so that sex was only a fraction of my total desire. It was the single most intense love I have ever felt, but she lived far away and I didn’t see her very often. Working out was a healthy way of dealing with the loneliness. To this day, when I work out I usually listen to ballads.
I prefer to work out alone.
It enables me to concentrate on the lessons that the Iron has for me. Learning about what you’re made of is always time well spent, and I have found no better teacher. The Iron had taught me how to live. Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it’s some kind of miracle if you’re not insane. People have become separated from their bodies. They are no longer whole.
I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron Mind.
Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.
The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.
The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs.
Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.
Image credit: Pelle Sten]]>
A mighty chest, shredded abs and sleeve ripping arms.
Every guy’s dream.
I mean, just imagine how many looks you’d get from the ladies, if you sported those beach muscles.
And not only during the summer.
That button popping chest and the sleeve ripping arms are sure to attract looks 365 days a year, guaranteed!
So, to help you grow your beach muscles, today, I’m going to show you the push up that builds maximum muscle.
And this type of push up is especially effective for forging an iron chest.
What’s the super-duper push up?
Read on to find out.
From all of the beach muscles, building a big chest is the #1 priority for most guys.
They work their chest hard, but for some reason their chest just doesn’t pop out. It doesn’t have that crucial aesthetic element that makes people go “Wow! I wish I had a chest like that!”
And do you want to know why most guys’ chests don’t have that pop out look?
They lack upper chest development.
Most guys work their lower pecs way too much. Almost all lifts they do for their chest—and the way they do them—work their lower chest more than their upper chest. And this is especially true for regular pushups.
If you want to build a big upper chest, you need to know some chest anatomy 101.
Your chest is made out of 4 muscles:
For the purposes of chest development, the muscle group that interests us the most is the pectoralis major.
Pectoralis major is made out of two main muscles:
The muscle you need to work on, if you want to build that button-popping chest is the clavicular head.
Sure, working on your lower chest is also important, but the issue with most guys is that they’re doing mostly lifts that target their lower pecs. This leaves the upper pecs underworked and less likely to grow.
And this brings me to the good ol’ push-up.
Pushups are a great exercise, but the way most guys do them is just wrong:
You won’t be building an apex chest anytime soon with bad pushups.
To forge an iron chest, the push-up must also work your clavicular head hard.
So, now the question is …
Which type of pushup, will help you build maximum muscle?
Well, why it’s …
Nothing beats diamond pushups for building an iron chest.
And not only the chest.
Diamond pushups are also a top-notch exercise to make your triceps grow.
The perfect exercise for building that beach body.
Anyway, the diamond pushups are better than regular pushups for 3 main reasons:
And since you’ll be doing a ton of diamond pushups, it’s important to nail your diamond pushup technique down to a tee. If you don’t do that, you risk wearing yourself out.
Here’s how to do diamond pushups with spot on form:
The lowering phase
The lifting phase
That’s all there is to it.
And to help you better understand how you should do diamond pushups, here’s a short video that I made just for you. Check it out.
My experience with diamond pushups has been phenomenal. When doing diamond pushups, I’m really able to feel my upper pecs working and the pump I get in my triceps is off the chain. And since the diamond pushups are easy on your joints, I’m able to train them every day without feeling worn out.
To help you get the most bang out of diamond pushups, here’s a simple yet effective workout routine that I used to add muscle mass to my chest.
For warming yourself up, just do some dynamic stretches. No special warm-up needed here since it’s a bodyweight exercise.
100 reps total.
It’s nothing fancy, but I’m damn sure this routine will help you pack a great deal of size to your chest—it sure as hell helped me.
Do this routine every day of the week for best possible results. If you feel like you need to rest and recover a bit, take a day off or two.
If you’re not able to do 20 reps in one go, don’t sweat it. Do as many reps as you can and try to beat that number in the next workout. Just make sure you log your sets and reps, so you know what number you have to beat next time.
And if you’re not strong enough to do a single diamond push up, you can do them on your knees.
And if 100 reps of diamond pushups per day is nothing to you, here are some ideas to make your workout more challenging:
What I like to do when doing diamond pushups is to group them with pull-ups or inverted rows and do them back to back—also called a superset. This way, you get to work your upper body in one shot and stimulate more muscle growth.
Remember, consistency is key!
If you want to gain muscle mass on your chest, you’ll have to work out every day. There’s just no substitute for hard work.
Q: Should I rest at the bottom or keep the tension?
Yes, definitely keep the tension in your muscles all the time, since time under tension (TUT) is a great muscle-building signal to your body.
Q: Keeping the elbows in puts a LOT of pressure on my wrist when at the bottom. Am I doing something wrong?
Maybe you’re not doing anything wrong and it’s just your wrists that need a bit of toughening up. Let the wrist adapt to the movement and if it doesn’t, try a different hand position. Try maybe having your hands a bit more out.
Q: Sometimes I feel a pain in my shoulder when I do diamond pushups. What may be the cause?
Maybe you have a pulled muscle from before and now the thing is just emphasized when you’re doing diamond pushups. Check if the pain is also present if you’re doing other chest exercises like dips and bench press. If for example you don’t feel any pain doing those exercises, then it’s probably nothing serious. But if you feel pain in all of the chest exercises then check your doctor ASAP.
Q: Do diamond pushups target only the chest and triceps?
When you’re doing diamond pushups, there’s a ton of other muscles that are working to stabilize your body and keep it in a good posture. The more muscles an exercise works, the better the muscle-building signal. Here’s some of the muscles that the diamond pushups work:
Q: I can only do 3 or 4 diamond push ups per set. Do I increase the number of sets?
Try to do them as much as you can and if you’re not able to do many diamond pushups, then I suggest you do them on your knees. Once you can bust out 100 reps on your knees, then try to switch to regular diamond pushups and see how it goes. Another alternative would be to do regular pushups until you can do 4 sets of 20 reps with good form. Once you can do that, switch over to diamond pushups.
Q: How long before I see some results?
Here’s the thing … I don’t like telling people how fast they’re going to see results. That’s because I don’t know how much effort you’re going to put into this. But I’ll go out on a limb here and say that if you’re going to stick to the diamond push up routine, you can expect to see progress in 12 weeks or less.
Q: I’m doing diamond pushups, but my arms are growing faster than my chest. What gives?
That’s normal because each body part can be more sensitive to strength training than another part. For me, chest is the last thing that will grow. I first see growth in my shoulders and in my arms before I see any growth in the chest. Just keep on doing diamond pushups and soon enough, your chest will also begin to grow.
Here’s what I want you to do right now.
Print out the diamond push up workout routine and stick that piece of paper somewhere you’ll be able to see every day. This will serve as a reminder to do those 5 sets of 20 reps (100 reps total) of diamond pushups every day.
And I have to give a shout out to Oskar from Skinny-Fat Transformation for bringing the diamond pushups to my attention. Thanks mate!
So, starting today, you’re going to blast 5 sets of diamond pushups. And don’t worry if you can’t do all 5 sets for 20 reps. Do as much as you can and make sure to keep on adding the reps with every workout.
Oh, and I almost forgot … do you have any questions about diamond pushups?
Let me know in the comments section below.
May the gains be with you!
Here’s a shocking statistic.
92% of people fail to achieve their New Year’s resolutions. [link]
That’s bad, really bad.
And you know who’s to blame for this?
You see, your brain likes to play tricks on you. Your brain is going to use every trick up its sleeve to make you save energy. All in the name of survival.
Anything that’ll require some work and effort to do–like reaching your fitness goals–the brain is going to fight tooth and nail to stop you from wasting energy.
So, it’s you, wielding the little dagger of self-control against your brain, who uses a machine gun.
Seems like a futile fight, right?
Well, not quite.
Today, I’m going to share with you proven psychological principles you can use, to outsmart your brain and reach your fitness goals–or any other goal for that matter.
Keep on reading.
In today’s episode, I interview Ludvig from StartGainingMomentum.com and he shares with us, how you can use proven psychological principles to help you kick-start your fitness progress and keep it going, until you get unstoppable momentum.
Ludvig is an unstoppable momentum machine … so who better to talk about creating killer momentum than the master himself.
Here’s a couple more things you’re going to learn:
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
To get the full scoop, make sure you listen to the whole Musclecast.
The Musclecast cuts in where me and Ludvig are talking about how video games can mess up your reward system.
If you want to download the episode and listen to it on your MP3 player, you can download it by clicking on this link.
When you’re done listening to the Musclecast, hop over to Ludvig’s website called StartGainingMomentum.com and join his newsletter to get the awesome guide called “75 Practical Self-Development Tips”. Highly recommended!
If you have any questions, which were unanswered in the Musclecast, feel free to post your questions in the comments section below. We’ll do our best to answer them :)
May the gains be with you!
Image Credit: Emilio Garcia]]>
I love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
As a kid, I’d wake up early every morning to catch an episode of TMNT before going to school.
I loved everything about them.
Their chiseled physiques, athletic stunts, fighting skills … everything.
So it comes as no surprise that I wanted to be big and strong, just like one of them. Unfortunately for me though, I just didn’t have the know-how on how to do it.
But after watching the new TMNT movie, I think that I finally have it figured out.
Now I know what it takes, to become big and strong, just like a Ninja Turtle.
All you need to do, is follow the 5 key muscle-building lessons I learned from the movie.
Want to know what the lessons are?
Read on to find out.
I saw the movie a few days ago and I must say I like it.
The Turtles look badass, the action scenes are off the chain and Michelangelo is just freaking hilarious.
The only thing I missed though is that the creators of the movie, didn’t spend more time letting the audience get to know the Turtle—one’s a nerd, one’s a skateboarder, one’s the leader, and one’s grumpy. That’s it.
But who knows …
Maybe they’ll spend more time developing the characters in the sequel. We’ll just have to wait and see I guess.
I give the movie 8/10 pizzas! Definitely go see the movie, I’m sure you’re going to dig it.
But the biggest reason why I like the movie, is because within the flick, there are many hidden lessons for building muscle mass. And I thought that it’d be awesome idea for me to do a write-up, to share with you what I’ve learned.
So, without further ado …
Here’s what Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can teach us about building muscle.
If you know the Turtles, you know they love pizza.
Their shredded and muscle-bound bodies need all those pizza calories to fuel their crime-fighting stunts. If they were to eat just vegetables and chicken breasts, Shredder would kick their ass in every fight.
And while the Turtles can get away with eating pizzas the whole day, normal guys, like you and I, need to keep it clean when trying to gain muscle mass without the extra fat.
So, unless you have a canister of mutagenic ooze, I suggest that you stick to healthier calorie dense foods like:
If you want to get big then you need to train hard and eat big like Michelangelo.
Every ninja turtle has its weapon of choice:
Each turtle chose the weapon they liked the most and they stuck with it.
And just like the Turtles chose their special weapon, you too should choose your special lift.
A lift that you like doing, you’re naturally good at and which most importantly, delivers results.
Test yourself in one of the lifts below and see which exercise feels right for you:
Once you know which lift you like the most, train it as much as possible and make the other 2 lifts your “secondary weapons”.
I’m sure that if we could catch a glimpse of the turtle’s sewer gym, we would see them squat, deadlift and dip with a ton of weights.
If they’re not fighting crime, the Ninja Turtles are in their sewer home working out.
That’s why they’re so big, strong and athletic.
And here’s the thing about their physiques…
They’ve been working out and practicing their crime-fighting skills since the day they were born.
It takes years and years of continued training to become a kick-ass superhero.
You can’t expect to be strong as Raphael if you’re lifting weights once in a while.
Consistency is key.
Everyone has their own Shredder in their lives.
Limiting beliefs are irrational fears that have no base in reality. They serve as obstacles to attracting what you want. E.g. you want to become bigger and stronger, but something inside of you says that you don’t have the right genetics to make it happen. This results in you giving up trying to achieve your goal.
A few more examples of limiting beliefs, that may be sabotaging your life:
It’s OK to have limiting beliefs, it’s in our nature to have them. But what’s not OK, is to let those limiting beliefs run your life. Be aware of your limiting beliefs, but don’t let those thoughts stop you from achieving your goals.
Just look at the Ninja Turtles.
Even though Robo-Shredder was stronger than them, they still had the guts to face him off.
Whatever your limiting belief is, you need to face it head on.
Splinter, the Ninja Turtle’s sensei, played a key role in their upbringing.
He taught them how to fight, wield their special weapons, and most importantly, he taught them discipline and self-control.
When you’re first starting out with something, it’s a good idea to hire a “teacher” show you the ropes. This will help you reach your goals faster since you won’t have to waste a ton of time and energy figuring out what works best for you.
So, having a sensei is smart for 3 reasons:
If you want to build the body of your dreams and you’re looking for a sensei, look no further. I’m offering a free coaching session to kick-start your fitness progress. Click here to find out about the free coaching session.
But with that said though, every warrior should strive to become his own sensei in the long-run.
After spending a couple of years dieting and training, you’ll just know what works best for you.
Just listen to your body and let it guide you.
Now that you know what it takes to get big and strong like a Ninja Turtle, it’s time for you to hit the gym.
And In case you have any questions, just ask them in the comments section below.
Btw … have you seen the movie? If you did, let me know how you liked it.
Who is your favorite Turtle? Mine has always been and always will be Donatello :) #geekpower
PS: If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide for building the body of your dreams, I recommend you to check out The Ultimate Muscle Building Blueprint. Everything you need to know, to go from flab to fit in 6 months or less.
Image Credit: Don
TMNT Movie FB fan page (check it for more TMNT material)]]>