Fitness & Exercise

Is Fasted Cardio The Answer?

I see a ton of people on social bragging about fasted cardio. You would think that the cardio kings are passing out medals of honor for these people getting up before they eat to get on a treadmill. It has become a real popular fat loss strategy.

The thinking around fasted cardio sort of looks legit when you hear it broken down from someone. But I want to tell you the truth and the science.

Most people think an overnight fast brings about a reduction in circulating blood sugar levels, reducing the amount of carbohydrates stored in the body. Your body is supposed to be forced to used fat for fuel rather than carbs to fuel your workout.

Seems like an ideal way to help with fat loss, right? Unfortunately, logic doesn’t translate into practice. There is a lot wrong with this logic. I'm going to give you 3 reasons why fasted cardio isn't what it has been glorified to be.

Fasted cardio blunts the special part of exercise that most researchers call the "afterburn". EPOC stands for excess post exercise oxygen consumption. EPOC is the amount of oxygen required to restore your body to its normal, resting level of metabolic function (called homeostasis). It also explains how your body can continue to burn calories long after you’ve finished your workout.

Eating before exercise has been shown to increase the magnitude of EPOC. And guess where majority of calories expended in the post-exercise period come from? Your fat stores. This means that more EPOC equates to more fat being burned. This clearly shows why you should eat before you do cardio.

#2 Available Energy
Doing a cardio session after not eating for 8 - 12 hours is rough. If you have never experienced it, take my word for it that you will hit a wall pretty quickly. To perform well at high exercise intensities, your body needs a ready source of glycogen. When those stores are depleted you can't sustain training intensity. And when you hit that all you can bet that fewer calories will be burned both during and after exercise, blunting total fat loss.

#3 The Big Picture
Your metabolism doesn't operate in a vacuum. It would be nice for our body to burn fat like a machine but it doesn't happen that way. This is actually the most important point of all. A huge mistake made during exercise is worrying about the number of fat calories burned during an exercise session. Because you can't assume that lost body fat as a result. The body continually adjusts its use of fat and carbohydrate for fuel depending on a variety of factors.

As a general rule, if you burn more carbohydrates during an exercise session, you’ll ultimately burn more fat in the post-workout period and vice versa.

Who cares whether you burn a few extra fat calories in the course of a workout if an hour later the ratio shifts to a greater carbohydrate oxidation? In the end, the only thing that matters is total fat loss. From a practical standpoint, fat burning should be evaluated over the course of days and weeks. Not on an hour to hour basis.

There is little reason to perform cardio on an empty stomach if your goal is to maximize fat loss. At best, the effects on body composition won’t be any better than had you trained in a fed state. The worst scenario is you’ll lose muscle and perhaps even reduce total fat loss.

So eat something before you go to the gym, go for a walk, or a jog. You will reap the benefits.

What Is High-Intensity Interval Training?

There is always a battle in the fitness community between high intensity exercise an steady state aerobic exercise. I don't know why some experts like to operate on one side of the fence or the other but it is common to hear that one form of cardio is better than the other. But the truth is you need both of them. There is room for both of them in your training programs.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is when you alternate between high and low intensity exercises or between high intensity exercise and a short period of rest. For example, a short sprint up a flight of stairs followed by a walk back down is interval training. Or a sprint on a treadmill followed by stepping to the side and resting for a short period.

High-intensity aerobic interval training (HIIT) is a popular strategy for improving cardiorespiratory fitness and health, as well as reducing body fat levels. High-intensity intervals are typically performed above the lactate threshold. You know that crazy burn feeling you get when you are gasping for air after running up a big flight of stairs? The science of that feeling is called lactate threshold. This high-intensity bout is then followed by a low-intensity recovery period that allows the body to buffer and clear lactic acid from the blood, thereby allowing the individual enough time to recover and perform another high-intensity interval.

Most every high intensity physical activity is a state of “crisis” in the body. It endangers oxygen supply to tissues, increases body temperature, reduces body fluids and fuel stores, and causes tissue damage.

HIIT has been shown to improve cardiovascular function and stimulate greater weight loss compared with traditional steady state aerobic training. I believe there should be a great amount of caution exercised when using it if you are a beginner. It is very important that you should establish some type of aerobic foundation before you attempt to try HIIT protocols.

I will cover what an aerobic base is in detail on a later post but I want to give you some context now as well. The more work you perform aerobically, the more efficient you are. Aerobic training produces muscular adaptations that improve oxygen transport to the muscles, reduces the rate of lactate formation, and improves the rate of lactate removal and increases energy production and utilization. These adaptations occur slowly over time.

As a result of that adaptation, you will become more efficient at HIIT training programs. HIIT can be a time efficient means to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and reduce body fat levels over and above what is possible through steady-state aerobic training. But if HIIT is done to much it can be associated with an increased potential for overtraining, especially when combined with regimented resistance training.

It is essential to understand that balance is important. It is great to integrate HIIT training in your program but do it in spurts and not as your training program as a whole.


Should You Be Doing Cardio?

The popularity of cardio goes up and down. It really just depends on what the latest fitness trend is. During the 80s and 90s and the era of Jane Fonda workouts and Tae Bo, aerobics were in and weightlifting was out. The tables have turned now. Now it’s all about being strong, not skinny. Having bigger arms, better legs, more definition, and a great set of abs is definitely “in.”

We know resistance training is an essential tool for building muscle and improving metabolism. Plus, who wouldn’t mind looking great for summer vacation?

So, is cardio a complete waste of time? Couldn’t you just invest that time into doing more lunges, bench presses, squats, and crunches?

Cardio is not the enemy. Fitness trends will always change and vary in popularity. But it’s important to remember that all types of exercises have their benefits. Just like your nutritional regimen, variety will always be best.

You should have some cardio in your workout regimen. Everyone needs some light, moderate and high intensity cardio during the week. In fact, cardio itself offers quite a few benefits for your body that exceed that which weight training can provide alone.

Like every other muscle in your body, the more you work your heart, the stronger it becomes. Endurance increases with exercises that improve the body’s ability to deliver oxygen to muscles. The more you engage in this type of exercise, the more blood your heart is able to pump per beat and in turn, your heart rate (even at resting) will decrease. This will make both exercise as well as everyday activities much easier.

Studies have shown that the parts of the brain that control thinking and memory have greater volume in people who do regular exercise when compared to those who don’t.

Numerous studies have suggested that increasing physical activity can reduce the risk of multiple chronic diseases and health conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and neurological diseases.

Aerobic exercise or cardio is still king when it comes to driving weight loss. The more we move, the more calories we burn, hence the more potential body fat we can lose.

Remember, the best exercise routine is one that you can adhere to. One of the keys to adherence is to make sure you are having fun and enjoying the exercise you are partaking in. So make sure that your routine is constantly changing and challenging you to improve your fitness level. If you’re someone who only likes weightlifting, try working in some bike riding, brisk walking, or a quick jog a couple of times a week. If you’re someone who runs the same track every day, try hitting some circuit training at the gym or even trying a few body weight exercises in your living room.

Variety is key in exercise selection, and nutrition. With a good amount of variety you might find yourself much more excited about your workouts. The possibilities are endless, so mix it up.

Train Smarter And Harder

You know what I think is crazy. The "more is better" phenomenon. I had a conversation with some clients of mine that thought if one workout a day is good, then two workouts a day is even better. It just makes sense right? Absolutely not!

This is one of the most common things I see in the gym every day. Most people are overwhelmed with the concept that “more is better” when it comes to exercise.

The thinking tends to go somewhat like this: If strength training is getting me results then if I combine it with cardio then I will double my results.

As a result, many people end up spending hours in the gym several days a week. And if that doesn’t work, they do even more in an effort to get their body to respond.

And do you know what usually happens? They get so burned out after a while that they disappear all together. They wonder why all that work hasn’t paid off. I mean, they have been working out for hours a week!

Then all the doubts set in.

"I have bad genetics."

"My body likes to hold weight."

"I'm stuck at this weight forever."

The correct answer is you are doing too much. The focus should be on working out harder and smarter.

I have trained people who used to strength train five or more days every week, and they did hours worth of cardio on top of that. When they come to train with me, they only strength train three days per week with some slight twist to their workouts. We greatly reduced the amount of cardio they performed and used different methods to elevate heart rate.

They end up doing half the work they used to do but are much more productive.

At first, they are incredibly skeptical and worried they are going to gain weight or not get results. However, the exact opposite happens.

They start losing weight. Their body responds to the workouts. They have more energy throughout the day. They have a lot more free time to invest in other activities.

It’s not about how long you workout, but the quality and intensity of your workouts.

If you work hard doing basic compound exercises for 30-45 minutes three times per week, you are going to get great results.

Transforming your body is not complicated, and it doesn’t take near the amount of time that people think.

You have to train hard, and train smart.

Lose Fat Not Muscle

Losing weight can be very motivating. Every pound loss is closer to your goal right? But while you’re celebrating little victories on the scale, you might be losing more than just unwanted weight.

In order for you to have effective weight loss you have to consume a lower energy amount than total energy expenditure for a prolonged period of time. So the old adage of calories in versus calories out holds truth. As a result of this energy imbalance, your body can use multiple options for fuel. And you don't want one of those options to be muscle.

During normal weight loss, it’s generally expected that you lose fat and lean body mass in a ratio of about 3 to 1, meaning 25 percent of the loss is not from body fat, but from tissues like muscle. If you decide to be more aggressive with your weight-loss program, the amount of lean body mass loss can increase even more drastically.

You do not want this to happen.

Muscle is something you want to keep around. Muscle plays an important role in the regulation of resting energy expenditure. Which means the more muscle you have the higher your metabolism is when you aren't moving. This explains why you would be hungrier when you are following a resistance training program. The amount of calories you burn every day just resting is strongly correlated with the amount of lean body mass you have. Resting energy expenditure represents 60 to 70 percent of the calories you burn in a day so clearly the amount of muscle you have is important.

Muscle is also the body’s primary site of glucose uptake. Muscle stores carbohydrates for energy. This is important because it could help offset diseases like diabetes.

Muscle tissue acts as a fuel source and stores some fat and carbohydrates, but it’s mostly made up of proteins. Proteins are responsible for nearly every cellular task in the body. They function to form enzymes, hormones, and tissues. Protein is essential to life and, if needed, muscle can be broken down to be used in other processes.

How do you protect muscle during weight loss?

Exercise will help you keep muscle during weight loss, but what you eat and when you eat can make a large impact as well. One key component is making sure your protein consumption is adequate for your body. A general requirement for protein is in the range of 0.8 to 09 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. This comes out to be 70 to 90 grams of protein per day for a person that weighs 200 pounds. Those requirements are minimal intakes to sustain normal function for the body. Those who are looking to optimize their lean body mass during weight loss will be at a loss if those minimal requirements aren't increased. Those upper limits could be in the range of 1.2 to 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This comes out to be about 109 to 200 grams of protein day for a person that weighs 200 pounds.

Research has shown that higher protein intakes of 25 to 35 percent of total daily calories from protein can offset the muscle loss and also promote greater reductions of fat and total body mass compared with normal protein intakes of 12 to 15 percent of total daily calories from protein.

We have established that an adequate protein consumption helps lean mass retention during weight loss. But sufficient protein consumption also gives the body a greater thermogenic effect upon consumption compared with carbohydrate and fat. Your body doesn't just burn calories during exercise, it does it during digestion too. The thermic effect of food is the caloric cost of digesting and processing different macronutrients in your diet. Protein also offers a greater satiety response. When you consume a suitable amount of protein from your diet you feel fuller longer. This helps you not to feel terribly hunger during the day and gives the potential for greater weight loss and to be more specific, fat loss.

For better quality weight loss you want to preserve your muscle. weight. Losing too fast and not getting enough protein daily can lead to substantial muscle loss. But through consuming enough protein, and eating multiple high quality protein meals per day you’ll more effectively lose fat, not muscle.

What Is A Metabolic Conditioning Workout?

Metabolic conditioning is a term that is increasingly thrown around more and more but what does it even mean? Metabolic conditioning is not new but is increasing in it's popularity. It is the ability to work at a high level of intensity for a prolonged period of time. It involves various types of either weight training, and or cardiovascular exercise.  This does not mean that any specific muscle is working at 100%, but that the body as a whole is working at its highest intensity for that extended period of time. The key concept is that the you move from exercise to exercise with minimal rest while maintaining a specific rep scheme and quality of movement.

One of the fun parts of metabolic conditioning is there is no right or wrong way to structure it. 

Here is an example of a great metabolic conditioning workout for a beginner:
5 Push-ups
10 Couch Squats
10 Jumping Jacks
30 second Plank

Here is an example of a great metabolic conditioning workout for anyone who has been training for 6 months to 2 years: 
5 Push-ups
10 Air Squats
15 Sit-ups
Run/jog/walk 100m

Here is an example of a great metabolic conditioning workout for an advanced individual: 
15 Minute AMRAP - As many rounds/reps as possible
5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
15 Air Squats
Run 200 meters

So here you would complete all five pull-ups prescribed before moving to the push-ups, all ten push-ups before the squats so on and so forth. When you finish a cycle you immediately start back at the beginning of the list until the time runs out. It is to be completed at a high level of intensity but that is relative only to you current level of fitness. I may struggle to finish three rounds and the person next to me may finish five. The point is to be continuously be moving and continue doing so even as your heart rate rises.

The benefits of metabolic conditioning are undeniable. It burns a ton of calories in a short amount of time due to it's intensity. Another reason for these workouts is it increases EPOC, or excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption. After high intensity workouts, the body's metabolism is elevated as it is trying to return to homeostasis (balance). During this time the body burns additional calories. The research varies from two hours to 24 hours after your workout and depends on its intensity and duration. 

This type of training is much more efficient, achieving the effectiveness of a workout done at a lower steady state heart rate in a lot less time. 

You are working multiple energy systems at one time. Some workouts can even improve aerobic capacity and anaerobic capacity simultaneously. 

Metabolic conditioning workouts are great if you need to squeeze a workout in a short window of time because they can be done anywhere. You can design them solely of what you have available. These workouts allow you to get creative with both your sequence and paring of movements, number of reps, and times in which you will complete them. 

Try one of the workouts above and let us know how it goes.

Stop Using Exercise As Punishment

I strongly dislike when exercise is used as a form of punishment.

You should exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it.

I coach people on improving their mentality every day. Mental toughness is something that you will have to work on daily. Exercise mentality means more to me than the type of exercise you are partaking in.

It hurts me to the core when I hear things like, "I need to perform extra cardio because I over indulged on the weekend." "Can I have a hard workout today because I have to eat out tonight?"

It hurts me because I care why you are working out more than the type of workout you are doing. If your workouts are fueled with that sort of mentality then you have to change things up. That mindset is a negative form of motivation and is a road to disorder.

You don't need to punish yourself for giving into a craving. You might have ate too much yesterday. But you don't need to call yourself fat and get on the stair master for an hour because of it. The journey is filled with ups and downs. Ditch the mindset that you must be perfect. It leads to bad habits. It will lead you down a road of always feeling guilty about enjoying your favorite treats, and terrible restriction. Then you will force yourself to perform a super challenging workout to “make up” for the damage. Not only is that mentally draining, but you will start to dislike strength training because it became punishment. This “punishment” mentality also leads to some severe binge eating habits.

You need to relax. Seriously. Keep things super simple, and stop putting so many restrictions on yourself. Focus on consistency instead of trying to be perfect.

The only goal you should have with your workouts is to become a stronger, more awesome version of yourself. Because you were born awesome.

Your workouts allow you to improve your quality of life. To set some personal records, get stronger and build your self-confidence. Your workouts help you discover how much your body is capable of.

So the next time you enjoy a favorite treat or not-so-healthy meal, enjoy it, forget about it, and move on.

Too Much Cardio

I'm pretty sure I will write about this topic until I am blue in the face but that is okay. Everyone needs to understand this.

Traditional cardio sucks for fat loss. That's right. You doing hours and hours of cardio will not help you change and maintain the physique that you aspire to have.

All my cardio lovers probably gave me an eye roll. And that is okay. By the end of this you will have a better understanding of where I am coming from.

Elevating your resting metabolic rate is vitally important into your body transformation. Manipulating hormones that promote the release of fat is also a priority. Strength training has a much more powerful effect on these processes than aerobic training.

The wrong message is still preached. I know this because when I enter a gym I see two things. Every piece of cardio equipment taken up and only a fourth of the weight room occupied.
We were not meant for absurd amounts of aerobic cardio. All the running, elliptical machines and stair steppers for endless amounts of time is pointless. Long sessions or too frequent sessions of cardio can lead to high levels of cortisol production. Cortisol can force the body to break down its own muscle tissue. When this happens your body will break down your own muscle tissue and use it as fuel. It also leads to increased fat accumulation, especially around the midsection.

Muscle loss due to excessive aerobics cardio effects your resting metabolic rate. It also inhibits natural hormone production.

So let's say you took the basic approach of cutting your calories and increasing your activity through cardio. This sets off an alarm in the body where the body sacrifices muscle tissue to maintain balance. Your body will lessen energy demands and store or hoard body fat as a survival response. During this time you will feel tired, groggy and hungry all the time. Once you reach this physiological state it becomes almost impossible to lose any more fat. You can cut calories and add all the cardio you want and the results will be minimal, if any. What you end up with is horrible cravings, ridiculous amounts of time on cardio machines, and a distorted body image. Weight regain plus some happens when a normal healthy caloric intake and exercise regimen is resumed. This generally results in a vicious cycle of huge swings in body weight and appearance. Sometimes the damage to the metabolism and hormones becomes so great over time that it's irreversible without medical intervention.

Do you need to do cardio?

Yes, but not the kind that is being preached. There are moments where steady state low intensity cardio is beneficial. But all those moments lead to you beginning or progressing in a sound strength training program. Cardio can help you build an aerobic base so you recover from strength training and recover between sets when you are lifting weights.

You do not need all the fancy machines on the cardio side of your gym to aid in your transformation. All the aerobic activity you need is walking. Yes, I said walking. That means when time permits, walk. Whether that means walking outdoors more, window shopping at the mall or longer grocery store trips. Walking will give you all the aerobic activity you need without all the harmful side effects of too much steady state low intensity cardio.

To Stretch Or Not To Stretch

Let's discuss another one of those topics that seem to linger around in fitness sector. Stretching.
Is it good? Is it bad?
Should I do it before I exercise? Should I do it after I exercise?
How long should I do it for?

This topic appears in tons of fitness related magazines, blogs, and articles. Some of them have good information but some of them suck.

Stretching does the body good in several ways but I want to clear up the biggest myth first.

Stretching will not improve your performance. Yes, you spent some time bending over and touching your toes, but that will not translate into you squatting more weight. You will often see a man stretch his chest out before he bench presses. That does not help power output. I'm sorry.

The majority of articles mention that stretching decreases the chance of injury. NOT TRUE. Being able to perform a movement through its entire range of motion is what decreases the chance of injury. Performing certain stretches can aide in that regard. But stretching isn't the only vehicle to get us there. Remembering that there are more than one way to chop a tree down is key.

When the goal is to embark on improving flexibility then a couple things need to be considered. Stretching is best performed after a good warm-up. This helps to reduce joint viscosity. Which is a fancy way of saying prepare your muscles and connective tissue before you start tugging on them. Some light aerobic activity performed for 5 or 10 minutes will accomplish this task well. Take home message: Don’t stretch a cold muscle if improving flexibility is the end goal.

Stretching is great for helping you to be more aware of posture, and stress relief. It can also be a good tool for helping the body get in and out of basic human shapes.

I personally love stretching for the mental aspect. It allows you to have 2 to 5 minutes of time where you can mentally prepare yourself for exercise. I find that to be beneficial for clients, and also in my own practice.

What does the research say?

There is some evidence showing that stretching before a workout isn't the best idea. It can have a negative benefit on performance output. Especially in high performance activities like low rep resistance training, sprinting, jumping or any other high output type exercise/activity. Let's take a T-shirt for example. If you have a fresh T-shirt out of the bag. It is nice and tight when you put it on. But if you start tugging on the sleeves, and stretching the bottom of it then it won't be so tight will it? Your muscles act the same way. If you are stretching a single muscle for an extended amount of time and asking that muscle to be nice and tight during maximum output, good luck.

In general, standard stretching protocols where you are holding a stretch for 10 - 30 seconds are safe. It actually shows great benefit to the individual that practices moderate to high repetition resistance training. It also has great carryover for the person performing sub maximal cardiovascular exercise.

Performing basic fundamental stretches are helpful because:
1. It will help your body realize that basic human functions are safe.
2. It will help give you access to moving through a full range of motion.
3. It could help you become more aware of some posture flaws.
4. It could be a great tool for stress relief since muscle tightness is often associated with stress.

Here is another example of a fitness related topic that isn't completely black and white. With most fitness topics like this the truth lies somewhere in the middle. 

Can Fat Be Turned Into Muscle?

This question is more common than you may believe: Can you turn body fat into muscle? The answer is simple. No.

You can work to burn fat and replace it with muscle. But we can't turn body fat into rock solid muscle. You need to understand how resistance exercise leads to building muscle to grasp what I mean. 

Let’s take weight training as an example. Lifting a weight increases muscle mass by first damaging muscle on a cellular level. The process then activates a ton of signals in the muscle that tell your body to turn the proteins you eat into new muscle tissue as a repair mechanism. That mechanism is what’s known as muscle protein synthesis. 

Having enough protein in your diet will help you build new tissue. The other nutrients like carbohydrates and fats are generally used as energy to fuel exercise.  

It’s important to understand this process since energy status is related to fat stores in your body.

Weightlifting can indirectly decrease fat stores. Body fat fuels both the muscle-building process and acts as an energy source for the exercise that is needed to damage muscle. 

You can't turn fat into muscle.
You can't turn muscle into fat. 

They are completely different on a structural level. 

Muscle is made up of amino acids and fat does not contain any amino acids on a structural level. 

The vast majority of muscle built is from dietary protein intake.

In summary, lifting weights can both build muscle and help with fat loss. They are two separate results and not one being the result of another.

Becoming The Best Version Of Yourself {Video}

While exercise will get you to your personal goal of looking better, getting ready for a vacation, or getting into those jeans you wanted to buy. Exercise also teaches some other really valuable lessons during your journey. I love health and fitness. I wake up every day excited about improving and go to bed wondering how I can progress yours. 

In today's video I dive into why I love health and fitness and the message I hope to spread to everyone who I have the opportunity to meet. 

Yoga & Pilates vs Strength Training

Yoga and Pilates are great forms of exercise that have many health benefits. I've practiced both throughout my career in health and fitness. I'm not going to attack either of those methodologies because I see value in both. But way too often I hear terrible claims and marketing ploys that mislead people. 

"Yoga gives you long lean muscles."

"Pilates will lengthen your muscles and give you that tone you want."

I feel as if people have the notion that Yoga and Pilates do something special to your muscles compared to plain old resistance training. It's as if Yoga and Pilates gives the physique of a dancer and resistance training gives the physique of a bulky bodybuilder. But the truth is these claims are false. 

In order for you to understand that those claims are false I have to explain a little anatomy and physiology. But in its simplest form because I don't want to bore you. 

Muscles have a fixed origin and insertion. In other words, they start somewhere and end somewhere else. Aside from surgery, these attachment points cannot change. 

It would seem that basic static stretching would be the best way to lengthen muscles. Yet, this is not the case. Stretching will indeed help you achieve greater joint range of motion, but it does not do so by actually lengthening the muscle. It works by decreasing the brain’s perception of a threat and “releasing the brakes,” so you can stretch a muscle further than normal. Stretching works on the nervous system to increase “stretch-tolerance.”

Common sense would say that the more intense the exercise, the greater its effect on total body fat loss. This is true. Higher intensity exercise is more effective at reducing total body fat compared to lower intensity exercise. The purpose of Yoga and Pilates is not to exert the greatest amount of effort or burn the highest number of calories possible during the session. Both combine exercises and poses with other tactics aimed at centering the body and improving mental state. Some of which include breathing, meditation, and flow. Yoga and Pilates sessions can indeed be intense. But if your approach is to exhaust yourself then you’re missing the point. When lifting weights you can crank up the intensity as high as tolerable, which lead to greater caloric expenditure and fat burning long term.

Progressive resistance training does a better job of promoting lean muscle than Yoga or Pilates. Over time this will lead to greater changes in body composition. Thus, resistance training is better suited for leaning out the body and reducing body fat stores than Yoga or Pilates.

You do not have to choose between resistance training, Yoga, or Pilates. If you enjoy all of them, you can do all three throughout the week. Yoga and Pilates are effective forms of exercise with many positive attributes with regards to health. If you desire long, lean muscles, lifting weights in the gym will get you there faster than Yoga or Pilates. Yoga and Pilates will build muscle and reduce fat, but they won’t do it as efficiently as resistance training. It’s time we put an end to misleading marketing tactics and stick to the science.

Weppler, C. H. (2010, March). Increasing Muscle Extensibility: A Matter of Increasing Length or Modifying Sensation? Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association. Retrieved from

Are Abs Made In The Kitchen?

The probability that you have heard this saying is pretty high. It caught steam and it has stuck around for a long time. 

If you have known me long enough we will have already had this conversation and I would have put this to rest already. But many of you are still getting to know me so we might not have had the ab talk just yet. I will give my opinion but I will also give scientific evidence will also show that it is only true to an extent. 

You won't see any visual results from spending 30 minutes a day on abs when you're at 18% body fat. You can do all the abdominal work in the world, but if you're carrying too much fat, you won't see your abs. 

I learned from experience early in my career that it was important to train my core often. It is nice to have defined abs when body fat is low enough for them to show. But it is also important to have a strong core for performance purposes. I saw that the stronger my core got, the stronger I was in general. I could stand for longer periods of time, perform strength lifts with heavier loads, and my lower back never hurt. 

People define the word "core" incorrectly. It's not just your deep spinal stabilizers, abs, and lower back. It's your entire torso minus your arms and legs. 

In 1982, the core of the human body was defined as the muscles that keep the trunk and neck in a tube like form. When your core is firm and rigid, you can do the activities it's intended to do. If the rigidity is enhanced, then you can maximize your athletic performance. This means that the shoulders, chest, glutes, abs, mid-back, and lats are core muscles.

A few studies have taken the position that multi-joint, free-weight exercises such as barbell squats and deadlifts activate "core" muscles better than isolation core exercises.

This led to the belief you shouldn't perform exercises that focus on strengthening your abs and obliques. 

The truth is the common claim that "multi-joint movements like squats and deadlifts are all you need to strengthen your abs and obliques," doesn't make sense. In fact, the common push-up activates the abs and obliques more than squats or deadlifts! That is a fact. 

In theory it's true that the big basics will strengthen the core. But that's only true if your core is functional and if it's not a weak link to start with. But if you can't use your abs properly then they won't receive much stimulation from the big lifts. This is why I start out building the core right away. I'm sure you have seen many "Country Core" workouts and most workouts begin with some type of core movement. 

Balance. I tend to use this word a lot. But it holds so much truth when it comes to this topic. A good balance of training your abs in the most efficient manner and coupling it with proper nutrition is key. Do not get caught up in the hype. 

What is the future of the fitness industry?

Training, nutrition and science are improving by the day. Every time you look up there is something new being innovated. 

To give you an example of what I mean here are just a few innovations that are quickly changing how practice health and fitness.

Fitbit was brought to the masses in early 2007 by James Park and Eric Friedman, who saw the potential for using sensors in small, wearable devices. The updates, innovations and styles they are coming up with are trending in society today. It is actually cool now to track how many steps you take in a day, how many calories you are burning in a day, and the quality of your sleep.

Six pack bags introduced us to traveling fit in 2009. They create iconic bags, luggage, and meal management travel gear for serious athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The bags are stylish and innovative and speak to those who live and breathe fitness. They come with great tupperware, ice packs and storage for different things like supplements and shaker bottles. 

At the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, Samsung unveiled a new "smart belt" called WELT, short for "wellness belt." WELT monitors your eating habits and can help you lose weight. A belt that monitors how much your stomach expands while eating to let you know when you are full. 

In 1975, the idea of portable heart rate monitors came into existence on a skiing track. During this time there was no way to accurately record heart rates during training. Polar now creates basic models that help motivate and inform beginners and regular exercisers, to providing complete training systems for world champions across numerous disciplines.

I don't know if you remember the great movie, "Back To The Future Part II." In that movie Michael J. Fox wore a pair of Nike shoes that had adaptive laces. Well Nike has finally released the new Nike Hyperadapt 1.0 that has adaptive lacing. 

Well what's next? I have my predictions. Who knows if they will come true. It excites me that the industry I'm so passionate about is changing before my eyes in a positive way. Here are some things you can expect to see more of. 

  1. Your health managed digitally. 
    You are already starting to see a high dose of this with the health dashboard for iOS, and the myfitnesspal app. You will continue to see growth in online training and there will be a major shift to remote coaching. The internet has made training knowledge accessible to more people. 
  2. Programs will get extremely individualized.
    We will have a better framework for the exercises that will provide the most optimal result for your body. Your frame, musculature, attachments and hormones will play an important role in this. Education and experience give enthusiasts a higher probability in helping you achieve your fitness goals. But having technology to aid in this will truly be revolutionary. 
  3. The cults will end. 
    Truth is, there is no 'best exercise' and there is no 'secret program' for you to achieve your goals. Right now it is popular to belong to something. I have met people that would look down on others for not practicing their type of fitness. Crossfit, yoga, pilates, physique shows, power lifting, kickboxing, cycling, Insanity, mixed martial arts, and the list goes on. But this will change. We are fast approaching a time where we will be more inclusive rather than exclusive. Whether you are overweight, or a middle-aged individual regaining your youth, or an elite athlete; you need to figure out what works for you. Your decision should be based upon your likes, dislikes, and what you will adhere too. 

My advice to YOU

We will see a push for fitness trainers to be licensed, much like doctors, lawyers and other professionals. The rise in celebrity and Instagram trainers makes it hard for you to know what is science and what is gibberish. In the meantime, if you are following someone and trusting them with your body, make sure they have some credentials like educational background or personal training certifications. 

Why Supersets Could Be The Work-out Change You Need

Build more muscle in less time.Fatigue a muscle without lifting heavy weight. Keep training fun, challenging and interesting.

Superset! Superset! Superset! Superset!

Strength gains become harder and harder to attain the longer you train. Adding more weight to the bar or moving up in dumbbells/resistance is not always the solution.

I'll attempt to explain a very underestimated training technique that will help you build muscle, lose body fat, and keep you excited to train.

"Superset" A superset is when you work muscle groups in back-to-back fashion, taking as little rest as possible in between sets (typically just enough time to wipe your face and get a drink of water). This style of training could be done a number of different ways which makes it more interesting. Some supersets have you are alternating sets between opposing muscle groups (such as biceps and triceps or chest and back). Some trainers call this a push/pull program. When you train one muscle group, the other is recovering (sometimes even being stretched) as you complete the set. Think about when you do a bench press and follow it with doing a bent over row. With two muscles or muscle groups being worked, workload is raised which raises your intensity, increases caloric expenditure, and pumps more blood to the working areas. That is considered a win on all cylinders.

A compound superset is when you perform two exercises for the same body part. This can be brutal on the nervous system and requires extra recovery time after a workout. The major disadvantage with compound supersets is that your form can get sloppy, increasing your chances of getting injured. They should always be systematically placed in the workout with the right amount of weight, sets, and reps.

Isolation supersets are when you take smaller muscle groups like biceps and triceps and perform an exercise for each of them. When you perform a tricep kickback and follow it with a bicep curl would be a prime example of this. Isolation supersets are helpful in increasing your mind muscle connection and also great for improving single muscle groups. Now don't get the idea that just because you do 1,000 curls you will get big biceps. Doesn't work that way. But when you have enough years of training under your belt, these little changes in your program can help change your physique.

A staggered superset is where you combine a major muscle with a smaller, completely unrelated muscle. This technique allows you to bring up a weak body part by working it to a greater extent each week. For example, when you throw in a set of lying leg lifts or crunches after you completed a set of leg presses. I love utilizing this in programs because you do not need to be advanced for it to raise your intensity of your session, and it can create an environment where you can get more work done in less time.

"Tri-Set" Doing three sets in a row for the same body-part with as little rest as possible in between sets. Three exercises in a row more thoroughly exhaust you. This training technique is effective for those who want to gain more muscle and for those who are looking to lose body fat. The drawback for this style of training is typically the endurance of a given muscle group for a beginner or intermediate person is relatively low. In my experience until a person can exceed a 55 push ups in a minute or leg press there body weight for 15 or more reps then they will not see the benefits of it. This technique is amazing in stressing the muscle to the max.

"Giant-Set" Doing 4-6 exercises for the same body-part with as little rest between sets. Giant sets are used to create overwhelming stimulation to a body-part and totally exhaust the muscles involved. This technique should only be used occasionally as your body needs time to recover from this level of effort. This type of training is great for muscular endurance and calorie burning. It is also taxing to your nervous system, takes a great deal of discipline and will power and not for the faint of heart.

Advantage of Supersets 1) Save time by reducing rest intervals between two exercises. 2) Having a shortened rest period will increase the intensity of a workout by performing more work in less time. 3) Allow you to overload a muscle quickly without the use of heavy weight and long rest periods.

7 Ways to Take Your Work-outs to the Next Level

As a professional in fitness industry I see the influx of people come in the gym with a goal to lose weight, get 'toned', gain muscle, get a six pack, tighten up the backside, lose the love handles, or get back to the high school weight. Often times they have a magazine in hand that has the '30 day plan to a new you' or '10 muscle building exercises to get you ripped' or '21 day glute routine'. The most popular trends catches the eye but the most basic principle is left by the wayside. From my experience two things end up happening when a proper plan isn't in place. They accept that in order to get results it will take years of weight training or working out and they just don't want to weight that long, while others get discouraged from not seeing results and quit altogether.


Progressive Overload: I call this a "Standard" set type in WebFit. It is the most commonly used set type and the base of any successful weight training program. This principal refers to continually increasing the demands on the musculoskeletal system in order to continually make gains in muscle size, strength and endurance. In order to get bigger and stronger you must continually lift more and more and make your muscles work harder than they are used to. If you don't, your muscles will not become any stronger or bigger than they currently are.

Conversely, if the demands on your muscles are not at least maintained and are actually decreased, your muscles will become smaller and weaker. Use it or lose it.

Progressive overload is a very simple concept but it is crucial. This principle lays the foundation of any training program. Progressive overload doesn't just apply to resistance training and increasing muscle growth and strength, it can also be applied to increasing bone and connective tissue strength as well as cardiovascular fitness and the associated physiological changes that take place through a progressive cardiovascular exercise program.

I will walk you through an example of this principle in motion. Let's say you perform 1 set of legs using a Seated Leg Press Machine at 100 pounds for 8 repetitions. As your training progresses that 1 set of Leg Presses for 8 reps at 100 pounds becomes easier and easier. This means that your leg muscles have adapted to the demands you placed on them. There is no longer a need for them to try to get bigger and stronger because the demand is not sufficient enough. You could do that same set of 8 repetitions at 100 pounds for the rest of your life and your strength/muscle size would never improve past a certain point. In order for your strength to improve and your muscles to change than they presently are you need to place more demands on them. You continue doing this strategically until you reach your own genetic potential.

The one thing that lowers my spirits is when I see individuals who want to skip out on the basics. I don't blame them because with social media and everything being blasted our faces; sometimes you just want to jump to the 'best' program out there. Just remember this one thing. If your body is progressing with 2 sets of 10 at 30 pounds on a given exercise, don't add more weight or do more sets or increase the repetitions. Ride your program until the wheels fall off and then change something. The old saying, "IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT." is something I try to jam in the minds of people I come in contact with. If you try to apply everything and do it all now, what will you do when you hit a plateau?

I want to share with you 7 ways to apply progressive overload. The beauty of this principle is that these 7 ideas to help you progress can be mixed, matched and put together so artistically that you can very seldom hit a plateau in your program.

1) Increase Resistance Progressively increase the weight you lift as you become stronger and the weight becomes easier. A good indicator of when to increase the resistance is when you are able to perform more than your target repetitions. For example, when your lifting program calls for sets of 10 repetitions but you are able to get 11. This would be an indicator that it is time to move up in your weight.

2) Increase Sets Increase the number of sets you perform for a given exercise. Instead of 2 or 3 sets maybe you'll want to increase to 3 or 4 in order to really fatigue the muscles.

3) Increase Repetitions Increase the number of repetitions you perform for a given exercise. By the end of your last set and you are completing repetitions with ease then next time it might be time to go up in weight.

4) Increase Frequency Increase how often you train a certain muscle or muscle group. This technique is most useful for improving lagging or weak muscles or muscle groups. This technique is often the one that is over used as well. Recovery plays a major role in this. Beginners can utilize this principal because most of the time they are training full body a few times a week but with very low volume. When applying this make sure that muscles have had enough time to recuperate between training sessions before increasing frequency. Every once in a while though it could be useful to train muscles even if they haven't fully recovered in order to shock them and keep them guessing. But be cautious.

5) Increase Exercises Increase the number of exercises you perform for a certain muscle or muscle group with the addition of a new one to your current program. This technique works well if you are trying to add symmetry to a muscle group by increasing the size of individual muscles or parts of muscles within a muscle group.

6) Increase Intensity Increase your perceived exertion or how much effort you put into every set. This is the most important factor for creating progressive overload in my opinion. Way too often people progress by using one of the above factors before they even think about how to increase the effort in which they are currently at. What would happen if you controlled the weight better? How would you feel if you took your time during the set and really focused on squeezing the muscle you are working? Don't forget. Anyone can throw weight around. Few know how to control it. Sometimes learning how to be comfortable in those uncomfortable sets is all you need to progress.

7) Decrease Rest Time Decreasing the rest time between consecutive sets will force your body to adapt metabolically faster and more efficiently over time. Eventually you will be able to lift more in less time.

The last two of those factors are by far my personal favorite. Those two alone can push you to a better you. They aren't fancy and don't even require an extensive amount of knowledge to perform effectively. I hope this helped explain why progressive overload is so amazing in helping you achieve a better you.

The Importance of Warming Up Before A Work-Out


Weight training can be as complicated or as simple as what you like to make it. There are basic principles to follow just like anything in life. The problem is when we look for shortcuts. I get text, emails, and phone calls about how to execute the different set types we have set up in WebFit. Some people think I created the terms. Some think they are made up adjectives that are indicative into how I feel about them (Stretching = "Boring and you don't want me doing anything" - Standard Sets = "I Like You" - Supersets = "You Need To Work A Little Harder" - Circuits = "I'm Mad At You or Punishment".  Haha! While all those gestures are funny. They are false. I only utilize science to help you get closer to your goal in a safe, yet effective fashion.

When the principles of weight training are used correctly, your results can be astounding. The science of weight training is my passion and sharing that is my goal. My goal is to educate you in a crash course on set types; what each of them mean, and the benefit of them when performed correctly.

"Static Stretching" Stretching is the deliberate lengthening of muscles in order to increase muscle flexibility and joint range of motion. Stretching activities are an important part of any exercise or rehabilitation program. They help warm the body up prior to activity thus decreasing the risk of injury as well as muscle soreness. Flexible muscles can improve your daily performance. I often see individuals who have a hard time doing day to day tasks such as putting shoes, picking up groceries, changing light bulbs, cleaning the house and putting on your clothes. Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles. Blood flowing to your muscles brings nourishment and gets rid of waste byproducts in the muscle tissue. Improved circulation can help shorten your recovery time if you've had any muscle injuries as well. Here are some things to keep in mind when performing stretches: * Bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears (microtears) in the muscle, which leave scar tissue as the muscle heals. The scar tissue tightens the muscle even further, making you even less flexible and more prone to pain. * If you feel pain as you stretch, you've gone too far. Back off to the point where you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch. * Don't hold your breath while you're stretching. * The benefits of stretching are many and have been proven through various studies over time. A study done in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy showed that, "Static stretching is effective at increasing Range Of Motion. The greatest change in ROM with a static stretch occurs between 15 and 30 seconds." Typically static stretching is done at the beginning of a workout prior to doing a dynamic warm up and after a light warm up of some sort of light cardiovascular activity. This quick 5-10 minutes allows you to calm your mind and start actively thinking about the time you are about to spend at the gym. It also allows you to come down off any stress while priming your body for exercise. This is essential to your success not only in reaching your goals but also for quality of life.


"Dynamic Warm Up" The main purpose behind a dynamic warm-up is to increase the blood flow to the exercise musculature, and to increase the nervous system awareness. You're trying to stimulate that awareness to the exercises that are going to follow. It's the steppingstone before you actually start doing more intense exercises. It should be the first part of our workout; and it's absolutely critical because it warms up your tissue temperature prior to starting your workout and will allow you to perform more efficiently. Because most cardio activities are performed with relatively small ranges of motion and are dominant in one plane (straight ahead, such as walking, running, cycling, stair climbing, elliptical, etc.), it is important to incorporate movements that move the body in more complete ways. This should include full ranges of motion, rotation and side-to-side movements.

These two different set types are often skipped because of a lack of time, not interesting, and some just don't see the benefit. But to be honest, these are the most important of them all. Because without them, you will not be able to get into and out of life positions efficiently (squatting, deadlifting, pressing) or perform exercises correctly. This is the core to any and every exercise program. So please don't skip these two important pieces. They could be the very thing that takes you to the next level.

What is a mind muscle connection?

When I first started training with my mentor Charles Anderson I learned what this old adage meant. Now days it is a lost art because more people are concerned about the superficial aspects of weight training but in the days where huge social media platforms weren't around and the gym wasn't a new workout outfit contest this saying was relevant. No matter your age, your goal, or how long you have been training; you can benefit from this technique.

What is a mind muscle connection? Research shows that when you think about a muscle, greater muscular activity occurs there. For example, one study looked at how much muscles worked in three conditions: (1) thinking exclusively about the muscles that were working, (2) thinking about the weight that was being lifted, and (3) thinking about whatever the participants wanted. Results showed that there was significantly greater muscle activity in the first condition. And more muscle activity during weight training corresponds to the muscles getting stronger.

Let's say you are doing barbell bicep curls. Your brain instinctively wants to concentrate on the weight: "Move this weight up and down." You need to rewire your brain to concentrate on the muscle: "Squeeze and release the biceps." To practice this, imagine flexing in front of a mirror while doing the curls. Using the mind-muscle connection lets you stimulate a muscle effectively with less weight, which spares your joints. It also leads to less cheating - breaking form just to perform an action without engaging your muscles properly. You'll get better results with less risk of injury when you put your mind into it.

Some movements can be completed by more than one muscle, and your body will tend to use the stronger one. For example, maybe you shove your shoulders up toward your ears during a side raise. This means that when you are done with the set your traps and neck are hurting more than the meat of your shoulder (middle deltoid muscle). To target the weaker muscle that is 'supposed' to be the trained muscle, your brain must shut off the dominant muscles and turn on the weaker ones. The mental focus required to do this not only improves your results, but also helps block distractions, relieve stress, and enhance your relationship with exercise.

How do I practice mind muscle connection? I recommend a quick mental systems check for each new strength exercise. Ask yourself: 1) Are the right muscles contracting when I execute the motion? 2) Do I feel mild soreness in the muscles (a sign to take it a bit easier on that area)? 3) Do I feel any pain there (a sign to stop)? 4) Do I feel extraneous contractions anywhere else? 5) Am I completing the full range of motion? By being mindful of everything happening inside your body, you'll get much more from your training than you would by just going through the motions.

To put your mind into your muscle requires organizing your thoughts and concentrating them on the specific task at hand during a workout. Although this sounds like a simple idea, it's not easy to do because there are plenty of distracting thoughts to get in the way. To minimize the distractions, manage your time so that your workout is a priority, which helps your mind be less agitated about other things you think you should be doing. If you start worrying about how you look at the gym or noticing the person next to you, remind yourself that you're there to maintain and improve your health, not to see and be seen by others.

The Benefits of Exercising Even When You're Sick

Being sick absolutely sucks. It destroys plans and sidelines you due to the uncomfortable nature that seems to take over. But are you doing the best for your body by staying home in a personal quarantine? Colds are a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from work and school. Americans suffer from approximately 1 billion colds per year, or about two to four colds per year for all adults.


It should be obvious that the majority of colds occur in the winter months. This has to due with the lack of sunshine, and hence decreased levels of vitamin D. So if you have a cold there is a strong chance that your vitamin D levels are too low and it might be a good idea to get them checked before you undergo high levels of antibiotics. Some more contributing factors to you having a weakened immune system might be: 1) Over-eating on too much sugar. 2) Not getting enough rest or sleep. 3) Not using adequate strategies to address emotional stressors in your life.

Should you workout if you have a really bad cold and you are coughing, sneezing, and even find it hard for you to breath? That is the question I will attempt to answer for you by showing you what the research says.

Two little-known studies that were published a decade ago in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed results so much in favor of exercise for individuals with a common cold that the researchers themselves were surprised. The researchers found no difference in symptoms from those who exercised and those who rested. They also found no difference in recovery. Surprisingly, when the exercisers assessed their symptoms, they said they felt okay, and in some cases, they said they actually felt better. They concluded that not only is it safe to exercise when you have an upper respiratory tract infection, but it could actually make you feel better. Even if it doesn’t speed up your recovery.

One study that was performed back in 2006 showed that women who exercised regularly were found to have half the risk of colds of those who didn't workout. The ability of moderate exercise to ward off colds seemed to grow the longer it was used. The enhanced immunity was strongest in the final quarter of the year long exercise program. This would suggest that it is important to stick with exercise long term to get the full effects.

The patients in the exercising group were asked to exercise about 45 minutes a day at home and the gym for five days a week, but they were only able to reach the 30-minute mark per day, with brisk walking accounting for the bulk of their body work. This clearly shows that something is better than nothing.

Personally, I believe that if you have the energy to tolerate it, getting your body temperature up by sweating from exercise will help you kill some viruses. I strongly suggest that you listen to your body and maybe cut back the amount of time that you typically would exercise. Going too hard could also stress your immune system and prolong your illness if you overdue it. Think of this like many things I try to convey through my messages. Moderation and consistency is important.

4 Things You Should Know About Glutes

We see tons of photos with individuals highlighting their backsides on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Snap Chat. I personally respect the obedience it takes into the training anyone dedicates themselves to in order to become a better version of self. But I have an issue with the lack of information provided by those of superior physical stature. When you are reading the content of "experts" or listening to the podcasts, YouTube videos, interviews with popular stars on how they achieved such a 'perfect' body make sure that you discern the difference of science and opinion. 9 times out of 10 they are giving you their opinion and personal insight on what they did and chalking it up to the holy grail of exercise. To give an example of this notion, do you remember the squat challenge. It makes me chuckle just thinking about all the trending pictures. I would show some examples but I would rather keep this blog free of content that has no scientific backing. Mind you, everything can't be explained by science. Their are many things related to health and fitness that have very little research or conflicting research. But human anatomy and physiology is still the same. Lets sum it up. The glutes produce hip extension and external rotation. They are primarily fast twitch, high force producing and very difficult to fatigue. To paint the picture of what this looks like think of a skating stride in hockey. The toe turns out so the flat of the blade can dig into the ice (external rotation and abduction - leg moves away from the body), and then the hip extends back into the ice to provide some forward movement (hip extension).

4 Glute Myths: 1) Squats and deadlifts aren't the best exercises for building bigger, stronger glutes. We see pictures of squats and lunges as the centerfold for being the 'booty builders' and while they are beneficial and make the glutes sore; they target the quads and erector spinae. Even box squatting, walking lunges and sumo deadlifts don't activate much glute in comparison to some other exercises. It's not that people don't know how to use their glutes or use proper form. The glutes just aren't maximally involved in squatting, lunging and deadlifting. Glutes are maximally contracted from bent-leg hyperextension exercises (examples: Hip Thrust, Reverse Hyperextensions)

2) Cardio burns fat in the glute - ham area. I see so many physique athletes slaving away for hours on the stair master, claiming that it sheds fat and etches in the details of the glute-ham tie in. Which by the way is not a muscle. The Stepmill can indeed hit the type I fibers and potentially aid in total muscle building efforts. However, this could also be accomplished via incline walking, cycling, the elliptical, or simply adding in some high-rep, low-load resistance training. I'm not saying that cardio (or the stair master) should be avoided; just know that it doesn't preferentially burn fat in the glutes or hamstrings.

3) There are special exercises to shape the glute - ham tie in.  There is no glute -  ham tie in muscle. The next time someone tells you this ask them, "What is that muscle called?" and listen to the crickets after that. Ha. The gluteus maximus is one muscle. The hamstrings have a supporting cast which are comprised of (biceps femoris long head, semitendinosus, semimembranosus and finally, the adductor magnus). There are plenty of exercises that do a great job of activating the glutes and hamtrings at the same time and there are also plenty of exercises that might make you feel sore in the lower region of your glutes (walking lunges, bulgarian squats). However, if you want to maximize the muscularity of the glutes and hamstrings, you'll need to perform a variety of exercises. No single exercise will optimally build both muscles.

4) Having nice glutes are genetic and can't be built. Glutes are a muscle believe it or not. Some people are genetically pre-disposed for certain body parts being more over powering than others. We could make a case for many things like athletic background, parental DNA and environment. But truth be told we all can strengthen this muscle. It just takes effort, time and some patience. The weapon of choice for glute development is the hip thrust exercise. Hip thrusts can be performed with a barbell, with bands, or one leg at a time. However, no exercise on its own will optimally develop any muscle. Another thing to note is if your body fat isn't low enough your glutes aren't going to look as good. Attaining low body fat levels is best achieved through a periodized combination of dieting, strength training, and cardiovascular training. So we can lose the excuses of, "I am stuck with a flat butt." "My parents had no butt so that's why I have no butt." "I'm too old now to have a butt." Last I checked the glutes are still a muscle which means we can break it down and repair for growth.

The glutes are sleeping giants. Dormant and underused with tons of potential. Go unlock yours.