Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We're Moving!

After two years here at this address we are packing up and moving. The new home for my bigger, badder, better blog will be where you can expect a lot more frequent updates, a more interactive format and tons of killer info.

I thank you for reading for the last two years and sincerely hope to that you will join us at our new address. Feel free to stop by any time and leave a comment.

See ya there!

Jason Ferruggia

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Get Ripped Without Losing Any Size or Strength

With summer rapidly approaching I know that many of you are in a big rush to get ripped in a hurry. The problem is that, more often than not, people take on this goal with a completely flawed approach. The result is that they end up small, weak and flabby. Or, worse yet, they don't even try to get lean because they have seen one person after another start a fat loss phase only to end up... small, weak and flabby.

The good news is that this doesn't have to happen. My friend and colleague, John Alvino has the solution to this problem and recently I got him to share his secrets with us. John is a training advisor for Men's Fitness magazine and one of the most experienced and knowledgeable experts in the fitness industry today.

When I asked John, yesterday, about how to lose fat without sacrificing any muscular size or strength, here is what he had to say...

Most fat loss programs leave you with less muscle, less strength and less energy. This unfortunate fate may be acceptable to a competitive bodybuilder, who can afford to sacrifice a couple pounds of his muscle and has absolutely no concern for his strength or power. This unique exception notwithstanding, I can’t imagine anyone being willing to sacrifice their hard-earned muscle and long-term metabolic rate, just to shed a few pounds of fat.

I have been an athlete all my life, and a strength and conditioning specialist for over 16 years now. Over the years, I have discovered some amazing techniques that allow my clients to get ripped while simultaneously INCREASING their strength and power. Even people who tend to lose muscle very quickly on a normal fat loss protocol will find that with my system, they will not lose one precious pound of the muscle they bled to build.

See, the majority of the guys I train for fat loss are not just trying to get lean so they can prance around on a stage while wearing a Speedo. To the contrary, most of my clients are high level athletes who want to get lean in order to improve their performance. It’s no secret that if an athlete is carrying around an extra 15-20 pounds of body fat, he will not run, jump or move as well as he would without that unnecessary body fat slowing him down.

On the other hand, it is imperative that these guys improve upon all of their physical qualities, such as strength, power, speed and agility. Thus, they must steer clear of any protocol that has a negative impact on any of these qualities. The challenge is to get as lean as possible, while building (or at least maintaining) muscle mass, and continuing to make strength gains. That’s where I come in to play.

I have developed a very unique fat loss system that employs many clever training and nutritional tricks and techniques. I basically “fool” the body into holding on to its lean muscle for dear life, while at the same time tricking it into burning its own fat for fuel as quickly as possible. The results have been tremendous.

Here are a few brief points that one should consider when entering a fat loss phase.

1) Don’t decrease calories by more than 15% below your maintenance levels. This is one of the keys to maintaining all of your muscle mass during a fat loss phase. If you have a time constraint (weigh in for sport, wet t-shirt contest, etc), you may have to decrease your calories further than 15%. In these rare cases, you can decrease calories as low as 25% below maintenance, but be sure to temporarily increase your calories at regular intervals. This brings up our next point.

2) Do not stay in a caloric deficit for longer than 5 consecutive days. Staying in a caloric deficit for too long leads to a slower metabolism, less glycogen (stored carbohydrates in your muscles that are crucial for athletic performance), and without fail, losses in lean muscle mass. This is easily avoided by “eating up” occasionally to replenish your glycogen stores and give your metabolic rate a much needed boost.

3) Focus on force output during your cardio workouts. Many so-called fat loss “experts” love to say, “You shouldn’t output a lot of force during cardio. You will fatigue and have to stop before you burn enough calories.” These critics are missing the forest for the trees. There are 2 critical points that they are completely disregarding.

First, they are focusing solely on the amount of fat loss that occurs during the cardio workout itself. This is foolish, because if a cardio program is designed correctly, the majority of the fat loss from that cardio will occur AFTER the workout has already been completed. As a matter of fact, it turns out that the post-workout energy expenditure that follows a very intense cardio workout burns much more fat than a long, boring low intensity cardio session ever could.

Second, they are neglecting the fact that low intensity cardio actually encourages the fast twitch muscle fibers to take on characteristics of slower twitch fibers (for those of you who don’t know, it is your fast twitch fibers that provide you with explosive strength and quickness). These are very serious consequences to a high level athlete.

For both of these reasons, I strongly advise you to stay far away from low intensity cardio. So what kind of cardio should you perform? That brings up my next point.

4) It’s no secret that a great way to integrate higher intensity cardio into your routine is high intensity interval training (HIIT). The problem is that there is so much confusion about how to perform HIIT properly, and what work to rest ratios provide maximal results.

I have discovered after years of methodical research that there is no perfect ratio across the board. However, it turns out that each specific type of HIIT exercise does actually have its own optimal work to active rest ratio.

For example, some well respected experts have asserted that the best work to rest ratio is 1 to 3. This is true for a few specific exercises, but for many other important and popular forms of exercise, it is completely wrong.

Let’s take the jumping rope, for example. Can you imagine getting a great workout from jumping rope for 1 minute, and then resting for 3 full minutes? As you can see, a “one size fits all” approach is seriously flawed when it comes to HIIT training. So knowing the exact ratios that best accompany the different forms of exercise is of paramount importance. I have spent years calculating them quite precisely, and when you hit the right combination on the button, the results are incredible.

5) Resistance training is of the utmost importance in any fat loss protocol. However, there are just as many misconceptions about how to properly weight train for fat lass as there are about performing cardio for fat loss. In particular, be very careful not to use a “high rep” approach exclusively. This is very popular among some well known fat loss gurus, and it is the kiss of death for anyone who truly wants permanent and sustainable fat loss. Using high reps exclusively can actually cause you to lose muscle mass during a fat loss phase. This will with direct negative impact on your metabolism, thus making it that much harder for you to lose your next pound of fat. Even further, this type of resistance training will cause you to lose strength and power, for the exact same reasons that low intensity cardio does.

A resistance training program is crucial to fat loss, but it must be designed very shrewdly. A specific balance between higher rep exercises and lower rep exercises must be utilized if optimal results are to be seen.

Start employing these tips right away, and you will see immediate and dramatic improvements in your strength, energy, and fat loss results. Good luck!


John is having a very special introductory sale on his long awaited Complete Fat Loss system. This is not something that was slapped together overnight. On the contrary, John worked on this for over a year. I should know because he called me up more times than I care to remember at midnight or later to get my opinion on a new chapter or some other aspect of the product. I have never seen so much work put into a fat loss system before and believe it is the most comprehensive system on the market today.

Check it out by clicking HERE.

Jason Ferruggia
Performance Enhancement Specialist
Chief Training Adviser, Men's Fitness Magazine

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fit To Fight Review

First off, I want to say congratulations to my buddy and fellow vegetarian Mac Danzig for his outstanding performance Saturday night at the UFC pay per view. Big things ahead for this guy.

Secondly, I wanted to thank everyone for all the positive feedback so far on Fit to Fight and to share the latest review with those of you who haven't gotten your copy yet.

Click HERE to read it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Growing Up

I spent this past weekend in LA with my buddy and fitness expert, Keith Scott, visiting friends and watching two of Eddie Vedder’s only solo shows ever. If you are a Pearl Jam fan I highly recommend that you get a hold of a bootleg of some of these solo shows. They were absolutely amazing.

Friday night I met up with my long time friends Laura and Danielle Prepon. Laura is the former star of That 70’s Show and current star of October Road on ABC. We partied ‘til the wee hours of the morning and had a great time but the thing that stood out more than anything is how little Laura has allowed success to change her. She is the exact same girl I have known since she was a little kid with the same great sense of humor and not the slightest hint of arrogance or self importance. She treats every stranger who approaches her with the utmost respect and kindness just the way she would treat a family member. When people came up to her all night, she repeatedly held up my book, Fit To Fight, and told people that they needed to get their copy ASAP. It was something she didn’t need to do but a gesture that I appreciated sincerely. It’s sad that it’s a rarity to see someone so unchanged by success, but it made me very happy to see my old friend acting just the same and treating people like she always has. Selfishly, I secretly want her to quit showbiz tomorrow so we could hang out regularly just like we did the last summer she spent at home. But I know that’s never going to happen and I am thankful for the time I still get to spend with an old friend. If anyone is deserving of such success it’s Laura and I wish her nothing but the best in the future and couldn’t be more proud of her.

On Sunday morning, Keith and I had breakfast with my other two good friends, Chad Waterbury and celebrity trainer, Valerie Waters. I have a feeling that some people might be shocked that Val and Chad are two of my close friends. After all, we disagree on way too many training issues to be friends, right? A few years ago I used to be ignorant and immature enough to think that.

“He recommended four sets instead of five?! What a numbnuts!”

But then I grew up and got a little smarter and realized that it doesn’t matter in the least. Chad and I were introduced through a mutual buddy about a year and half ago. Since that time Chad has become a good friend who has always gone out of his way for me in any way he can and that means far more to me than the fact that we might disagree on certain aspects of training here or there.

The truth is we have barely even discussed training for more than an hour, at most, every time that we’ve hung out. It’s not politics. It’s not religion. It’s how to improve your deadlift for fucks sake… and that’s not really that important in the grand scheme of things. And if we disagree does that mean I should hate him or not be friends with him? It’s ridiculous to think so. But although it pains me to admit, I once thought like that.

Even though Chad and I do some things differently in how we train our clients, when you really break it down, it’s all very similar in the end. We both believe in lifting fast. We both believe in max strength work for all athletes. We both train people for performance, first and foremost. We both like full body workouts or upper/lower splits in favor of any other type of split. Etc, etc, etc…

When Val, Chad, Keith and I talked training this weekend, we all agreed far more than we disagreed and we learned a lot from each other.

Chad is currently training the greatest fighter of all time, Rickson Gracie and his son and future legend, Kron among several others. When I talk training with someone like that I am far more interested in what he is doing with his guys and what he has found to work, based on years of experience more than I am interested in how he interprets some Russian training literature. Like, Dave Tate said, “Fuck science!” Show me what you learned under the bar. That’s where it’s at.

Valerie Waters has trained more celebrities than can be seen in the current issue of People Magazine. While she may not use some of the fancy words and periodization schemes that some people are so impressed by she has trained Jessica Biel, Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Garner. So, needless to say, she definitely knows her shit. She explained to me over breakfast, how she believes that girls can get too big and how she gets around that. At first I would have disagreed with her but after hearing her out I agreed 100%. This is something you can’t always convey in an article. And something, that for some odd reason, pissed people off when she said it. But when hearing her explain it in person it all made perfect sense.

I have mentioned Keith Scott several times before but after spending this weekend with him I am once again convinced that he knows more about the human body and has more real world training experience and knowledge than most people you will ever meet.

While I truly am as dumb as I look and only graduated high school because my dad knew somebody who knew somebody; Chad, Val and Keith are three of the most intelligent people I have ever met. I know that when you are successful people will take shots at you. But the fact of the matter is that unless you are training the likes of Rickson Gracie, Jennifer Garner or working twelve hour days for 17 years straight training athletes you might want to think twice before criticizing others.

On my flight home from LA I sat next to a wonderful 90+ year old lady named Carmen. She was one of eleven children who moved here as a child from Holland. We talked for the majority of the six hour flight and I was intrigued by her stories as she walked me through one life changing experience after another. I saw the sadness in her eyes as she talked about her husband being tortured as a POW and the deaths of all of her other siblings. And then I saw the joy as she spoke of her grandchildren and how happy she is to still be here. She was flying in to see her last living sister who was sick and also taking care of her husband who just had open heart surgery. Her arrival was intended to be a surprise that she hoped would cheer everyone up.

When we arrived at Newark airport slightly after 11pm, I found out that Carmen’s arrival was a surprise to EVERYONE and that there was no one there to pick her up. I guess that important detail was overlooked in the planning. I called my girlfriend to apprise her of the situation and told her to park the car because we were probably going to be a while. For the next two and a half hours we did all we could to get Carmen to where she was going. And all the while we continued to talk and exchange stories. She offered sage advice that can only come from having lived on this planet for nearly a century. She said a lot of things that really hit home and made me think about my own existence. Life is too short to deal with petty bullshit or not to fully experience everything this world has to offer. Whether you live to be Carmen’s age or die by age thirty, there is no time to waste on things that cause you stress or unhappiness. As I said my final farewell to Carmen and hugged her goodbye I couldn’t help but tear up. She taught me a lot during the eight and half hours that I spent with her and for that I will be forever grateful. Sometimes people come in to your life for a reason and you have to take the time to stop and fully appreciate the experience.

For the last few months I have spent way more time working on a computer than I would like to. I have been preparing for my new book release and simultaneously working on other projects. I have been stressed out of my mind and that’s just not healthy. I woke up this morning the happiest I have been in months. I thought about what I learned from Carmen and what I saw in Chad this weekend and the grasp that he had on his own life and destiny and I was inspired. As much as this industry sometimes stresses me out I wasn’t thinking about that at all this morning. Instead I thought about how good this business has been to me and how many dear, lifelong friends I have met like Chad, Keith, Val, Dave Tate, Jim Wendler, Jim “Smitty” Smith, Alwyn Cosgrove, Craig Ballantyne, John Alvino, CJ Murphy and Sean Hyson. People that I could count on to be there for me no matter what. Not to mention all the clients who have become like family members to me. And as I thought about that I had to smile. Life is pretty good.

Since it’s going to be in the seventies here in Jersey over the next few days I decided to go buy a new surf board and hit the water as soon as I finish writing this. I also decided that I will probably call up the cable company and disconnect my internet connection and instead go to a wireless cafe for an hour or two a day and do my work there and never turn on the computer at any other time. Living in the real world is far more fulfilling than existing in a virtual world any day.

I don’t really know how to wrap this up or what all of this even means. But the bootleg track from Eddie’s show Saturday night in LA, which is playing on my iTunes right now probably sums it up better than anything. He did a cover of the Springsteen classic, Growing Up that was absolutely mesmerizing. I guess maybe, after 33 years, I am finally growing up and at long last realizing what’s important and what’s not.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Combat Q&A

Question: What is more important for a fighter to focus on; strength or conditioning?

Answer: Neither is more important than the other. It really depends on what the particular fighter needs to work on and what his major weakness is at the time. If he is inhumanly strong yet completely gassed after a minute, then max strength work will be a complete waste of time and he should focus most of his time on conditioning. The reverse, obviously holds true for someone who is in great conditioning yet weaker than tissue paper. Determine your weakness and what is holding you back and focus on improving that while maintaining (and not losing!) the other quality.

Question: It’s tough for me to weight train and still stay in my weight class. When I start lifting I just blow up too fast and put on too much size. For that reason I only do bodyweight stuff. Is there a way around that or is that all I should be doing?

Answer: In a case like this I think you should only focus on maximal strength/speed/power training in the weight room. This type of training, when done with low sets and reps and long rest periods shouldn’t put on too much size; especially if you keep your calories low enough. I just think the benefits of proper weight training are too great to ignore and can really improve your game. I firmly believe that most fighters could benefit dramatically from improving their max strength levels. I had this conversation with my friend and colleague, Chad Waterbury, over breakfast at The Firehouse in Venice Beach Sunday morning he was in full agreement. From what we have seen there are very few combat athletes who couldn’t benefit from some proper max strength/speed/power work.

Like I said, if you keep your volume low, rest periods high and keep the calories in check you shouldn’t gain any size from this type of training.

Question: Is sprint training of any benefit to combat athletes even though they never run in a fight?

Answer: Yes, it is. Sprint training can make you explosively fast and powerful and also help you burn off bodyfat which is incredibly important for combat athletes.

Question: What kind of supplements should I be taking after my MMA workouts?

Answer: A good post workout drink will help get some much needed calories in ASAP after a brutal conditioning style workout. I prefer waxy maize as the carb source. I was introduced to this a year or so ago by Justin Harris and Dante Trudel and was reluctant, as usual, to try it. As many of you know I think most supplements suck. My good friend Dave Tate said he was loving so it I finally bit the bullet and gave it a shot. So far, the results that most of my guys have gotten have been quite impressive and everyone seems to like it. I recommend mixing it with either pea protein isolate or rice protein. I personally don't recommend the regular consumption of dairy products for a variety of reasons but if you choose to go that route you could always mix it with whey.

Also, be sure to drink tons of water after training to rehydrate yourself.

For more information about the training of combat athletes be sure to pick up your copy of Fit to Fight today.

Chuck Liddel has his copy.

Ultimate Fighter winner, Mac Danzig has his.

And so does former Olympic gold medal winner and WWF world heavyweight champion, Kurt Angle.

Get yours HERE!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

You... The Next Ultimate Fighting Champion?

“Hey, what’s up buddy? You lost a bunch of weight, huh? You look... good.”

That’s what my friend Ron said to me yesterday when I saw him for the first time in a few months. Good meant skinny. He just didn’t know what else to say.

Later, I walked into a restaurant I hadn’t been to in a couple months to meet a friend for lunch. The owner came up to me as soon as we got there and gave me his take on the situation. “Trimming down, huh buddy? You look good!”

Again, good was code for skinny.

Since it has finally started warming up here in Jersey, I put on a t-shirt last night before heading to the gym. It’s one of my favorite t-shirts but one I hadn’t worn in a few months.

I was swimming it… and drowning in sadness. Anyone who was once a painfully skinny hardgainer and then went on to put on a significant amount of muscle knows how distressing it can be to lose it.

When I arrived at the gym, my friend and often time training partner, John Alvino, told me, “Bro, I hate to say this to you and have been holding it back for the last couple weeks but I can’t take the sight of you at that size anymore. It’s actually making me sick. You’re done with that scam. You gotta slap at least 15 pounds back on immediately.”

After I stopped laughing I told him he was right and that I had already made that decision on the way to the gym and was committed to gaining all my size and strength back over the course of the next six weeks.

As I lay in bed last night with my girlfriend, I started to tell her about all of the comments that people had made about my weight loss throughout the course of the day but before I couldn’t even get a word out her hands wandered to my biceps and a second later she jokingly quipped, “Where’d they go?”

Ok, I get it. I vow to gain it all back within six weeks.

Now, leave me alone ;)

The upside of this story is that today makes it all worth it. The hard work, the stress and the weight loss were all worth it this morning when I walked into Barnes & Noble and saw my new book sitting right on the table at the front of the store.

As many of you know, I have made my living training athletes for the last 15 years. I am particularly fond of working with combat athletes, in particular, and the training methods used to transform them into unstoppable warriors. I have compiled all of those years of knowledge and experience into a brand new book from Penguin Publishing called Fit to Fight: An Insanely Effective Strength & Conditioning Program for the Ultimate MMA Warrior.

Within the books 200 pages you will discover:

• The secrets of developing never ending stamina and relentless energy that will allow you to outlast every adversary in your path.

• Proven training methods guaranteed to build animal-on-the-attack speed and quickness.

• A fully detailed, 16 week combat training program with over 100 exercise pictures and descriptions

• How to incinerate body-fat and radically boost your conditioning levels with my top 7 high intensity, sprint workouts.

• Logs, sandbags, kegs, tires and more. Learn how “dinosaur training” can turn you into a dominant warrior who wreaks havoc on all who stand in your way.

• The top 30 bodyweight-only conditioning exercises proven to develop the strength and endurance of a champion...even if you don't have access to a gym or any equipment at all.

And much, much more.

If you compete in MMA or just take classes recreationally; this is the book for you. If you don’t do either but are looking for an incredible program to get in unbelievable shape and bring up your strength, speed and endurance, while developing a head turning physique; this is the program for you.

Click HERE now to order your copy today!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Hardcore Conditioning

If you want to really bring up your conditioning and lose body-fat you need to get your ass off the stair stepper and treadmill and start moving. Sprints, Prowler pushes, jumping rope, sled drags, sandbag work, sledgehammer swings and bodyweight exercises are far more effective than any "cardio" machine could ever be.

A great exercise to really bring up your conditioning rapidly is the burpee/chin up combo. You perform a burpee and then at the top of each rep you jump up into a chin up. The higher the chin up bar, the better. Try performing a few sets of this at the end of your strength workout or as part of a conditioning circuit mixed in with some mountain climbers, grasshoppers, slalom jumps and jump rope sprints.

One note to be aware of when performing a regular burpee or burpee/chin up combo is that you don't want your hips to sag when you are in the bottom with your legs fully extended. This puts undue stress on your lower back and can lead to injury.

Give these a try today and let me know how they work out for you.

And, for more incredible conditioning methods, don't forget that Fit to Fight comes out tomorrow.

Unfortunately the tape ran out before he puked after rep number 21.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Another Success Story

When I first read about Jason Ferruggia, I was intrigued by his apparent blunt honesty. This is a man who says things like it is with no sugar coating nor fear of what others (even “experts) say…yet he has always remained down to earth and helpful to people who don’t have a clue but are honestly trying.

When first talking to him on his website, I was shocked at his “real” personality and his helpfulness.

And yes, I’ve talked with a few online coaches over the years, but they all had hidden agendas…selling supplements for kickbacks, or whatever. Jason has none of these things…just an honest guy doing a job that has been made dishonorable due many who came before him (and continue to fester into the weight training world even today).

Ever since changing my training methods from over-hyped-overtraining methods, I’ve been extremely pleased to note that **all** lifts are improving weekly. At first, I took some of the principles from Muscle Gaining Secrets and incorporated them into my normal training routine.

Recently, however, I’ve changed to the Maximum Mass program.

The super time-saving and intense workouts are EXACTLY what my body needs to build strength levels quickly. Life is extremely busy and I don’t have time to pussyfoot around in the gym (or life, in general)…yet I still don’t want to neglect my private strength and physique goals. And Max Mass is perfect for this.

No, I’m not what I consider strong (yet), but the daily improvements reaffirm that I’m **finally** on the right track (after 8 years of doing it wrong and basically wasting my time). No, my physique is not what I want it to be (yet), but it *is* improving weekly…my LBM is increasing while fat is actually decreasing.

And the “unheard of” thing is that I’m actually gaining strength at the same time…while gaining lean mass and losing fat.

Crazy, huh?

If you want a guy who:

---cuts through the bullcrap,

---tells it like it is,

---isn’t afraid to say the truth despite the dogma and blatant lies that are out there, and

---does not get you buying unnecessary and worthless supplements just so you can gain from training programs that are designed to overtrain you (unless, of course, you take the “magic supplements),

then Jason Ferruggia is the trainer for you.

I wish I had found out about Jason Ferruggia years ago when I started training.

Jason Haynes
Haikou, Hainan China

To build more muscle and strength than you ever thought possible click HERE now.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Back to Basics For Advanced Ab Development

As much as people tend to want to get into advanced exercises as soon as possible, I firmly believe that high levels of core stability are required before you can even attempt to do some of the more basic ab exercises. I made this mistake for years when I was younger and had the chronic back pain to show for it. Core stability is actually often more important than core strength when it comes to preventing injuries and staying healthy. I highly recommend that everyone start with the following four isometric exercises done on a 6-7 time a week basis before they move into more dynamic exercises:

1) Plank aka Abdominal Bridge

2) Side Plank aka Side Bridge

3) Prone Mountain- Lie face down with your nose a couple inches off the ground. Extend your body as much as possible. With arms at your sides and palms up pull your shoulder blades back and down toward your feet. Keep your upper chest up off the floor and your knees and feet up off the floor by contracting your glutes and lower back.

4) Supine Bridge- Lie flat on your back with your heels 6-8 inches from your butt. Keep your arms at your sides, bend them 90 degrees and lift them up off the floor. Now raise your hips up so that only your feet and shoulder blades are in contact with the ground. Contract your glutes and push your shins forward throughout the duration of the static contraction.

Do one set of each, once per day. Try to work up to three minutes on every exercise but the side plank; two minutes is sufficient there. When you can do that your core stability will be dramatically improved, your lower back pain should be gone and you can now work into some more advanced ab exercises.

Friday, April 04, 2008


I thought this was only appropriate today. Forty years later, we should all heed Dr. King's words.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

YouTube, Finally!

Since I am not the most computer savvy guy in the world it has taken me quite a while to get around to the seemingly daunting task of uploading videos to YouTube. A year after signing up for an account I finally decided to upload a few videos from the summer of 2003 that have been sitting on my hard drive for five years. Over the next few weeks I will continue to add more footage and shoot even more new stuff to add. Shown here is a montage that my friend Mark Crook made out of footage he shot over a few weeks or months that summer. It serves as a good reminder to train with people stronger than you and in a competitive environment. When the leaders on the high school board are all pulling over 500 pounds you have no excuse not to get stronger.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Explosive Power, No More Back Pain & Ripped Abs?

If you have never heard of Jim Smith of The Diesel Crew you have definitely been missing out. Jim is by far and away one of the most brilliant and innovative minds in the entire strength and conditioning industry today and never ceases to impress his peers with his unique training methods.

I sat down with him recently to discuss his new manual, Combat Core.

Question: Jim, what do you think is the biggest mistake most trainers make when trying to develop core strength?

[JS] Most trainers focus on what I have dubbed building strength of movement patterns. What they fail to realize is that this is only one piece of the total puzzle. Building strength in the gym with movements like leg lifts, sit-ups, reverse sit-ups and so a compliment to a bigger, more comprehensive core strength program. There are other criteria that make up the rest of the pyramid that I have established in Combat Core.

Question: What, in your opinion, is the biggest myth concerning abdominal programs?

[JS] For trainers, I would point to my previous response. For the general public and even athletes, I would say that they believe that "more is better." They believe, if they do 1000 crunches each workout, they will get ripped abs. Of course, the real answer is that being able to display a sick set of abs is the direct result of low body fat levels. If you want abs, you better get the fat off that is covering them.

Question: How does core strength affect back pain and posture?

[JS] Your abdominals and back musculature work together to stabilize and protect the spine, hips and pelvis. If any of these muscle groups (and surrounding structures) are weak, posture is affected and sometimes the muscles (groups) become inhibited which causes the secondary movers to become overactive or on-tension. This will inevitably lead to injury and poor performance. Building torso strength by incorporating compound exercises that activate many muscle groups at the same time, teaches the lifter or athlete to move their body as a single, coordinated unit. Isolated exercises tend to lead to imbalances if used too much.

Question: How have your abdominal training strategies changed over the years?

[JS] I used to think that by throwing in a couple sets of sit-ups or leg raises at the end of the workout was enough torso strengthening work. But over the years as I have gained experience and continued to study performance, I have developed a new, more comprehensive training model specific to athletes. The same attention and effort that you put in to planning your primary training sessions, you must also spend on designing your core training strategies.

Jim is having a huge sale on Combat Core that ends at midnight, tonight. If you place your order between now and midnight you will receive five limited time only bonuses that absolutely kick ass.

Combat Core is by far and away one of the most impressive works I have seen from any fitness professional in a long, long time. It honestly blew me away and I picked up tons of unique new exercises while reading it.

Click HERE now to get your copy today.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

12 Week Transformation Contest

I am very excited to announce that we are
holding the first ever Muscle Gaining Secrets
12 Week Transformation Contest.

The rules of the contest are the following:

--You must be a Muscle Gaining Secrets
customer and use one of the workouts from
the package.

--You must register in our private forum
and post your before pictures.

--You must begin on or before April 4th.

--The contest ends on July 4th, 2008.

The prizes awarded to the top finishers will

1st place- $1,000.00
2nd place- $500.00
3rd place- $250.00

We will also be adding some bonuses prizes
as time goes on.

This is the perfect time to start
getting in shape for summer and have a shot
at a thousand bucks while you're at it.

So what are you waiting for?

Get on over to, now
and start getting jacked today.

Train hard,
Jason Ferruggia

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dining With Danzig

Along with my friend Sean Hyson of Men’s Fitness, I had lunch on Saturday with Mac Danzig, the winner of last seasons Ultimate Fighter and future UFC champion. Upon meeting Mac for the first time one of the things you notice immediately is that he is incredibly polite and respectful; nothing like the image that they created for him through the magic of editing on The Ultimate Fighter. The second thing you notice is that his hands are incredibly huge compared to the rest of his body and that you probably wouldn’t want to get hit by one of them.

Following are a few highlights from the conversation we had at one of New York’s top vegetarian restaurants:

•He doesn’t weight train because he gets too big too fast and just doesn’t really enjoy it. Instead he does bodyweight exercises.

•He loves running/sprinting for conditioning.

•Most of his training/conditioning work is just MMA training.

•He stopped consuming all dairy products in 1999 due to a recurrence of sinus and respiratory issues among other things.

•His condition and immune system improved immediately and his sinus problems were a thing of the past.

•He doesn’t believe in high protein diets. He walks around at 170 and competes at 155 but only consumes 100-140 grams of protein per pound daily.

•He drinks a gallon to a gallon and half of water per day.

•His diet consists of lots of brown rice, quinoa, tempeh, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils. He cheats in the off season with soy ice cream or vegan cookies.

•He swears by The Ultimate Meal and Vega meal replacements and says he notices improvements in energy and recovery ability when taking them.

•Since swearing off all animal products he has never felt or performed better. His sleep quality has also increased noticeably.

•He is a huge music fan and listens to an incredibly wide variety of stuff including Black Sabbath, Wu Tang Clan, Neil Young, Peal Jam, Public Enemy, Ministry and of course, Danzig.

Friday, February 15, 2008

How to Gain Weight & Build a Barn Door Sized Back

If you want know how to gain weight and build a thick, muscular back there are three exercises that you need to become very familiar with. Those exercise are chin ups, rows and lastly but most importantly; deadlifts. If you did nothing but those three exercises faithfully you would end up with a thick and impressive looking back.

When it comes to uncovering the secrets of how to gain weight you need to realize that the back muscles make up a huge portion of your total musculature and that developing them will add countless pounds to your frame.

So how do we go about developing all of the muscles of the back? Firstly we have to address the traps which start at the neck and go all the way down to the mid back. These can be worked most effectively with dead lifts, shrugs and hang cleans. Deadlifts can be done for anywhere between one and twenty reps. Shrugs are best kept at 6-12 reps and cleans should usually be done for six reps or less.

Next on the list are the smaller muscles around the shoulder blade area which are the infraspinatus, rhomboids, teres major and minor and rear deltoids. These muscles work during all forms of rows. If you are really looking to get the most bang for you buck and to work as many muscles as possible then stick with big compound rowing exercises like dumbbell and barbell rows. These will work most muscles in your back. But if you are more advanced and want to isolate and directly target some of these smaller muscles you can do that with face pulls, bent over lateral raises, scare crows and external rotations. These smaller isolation type exercises are not necessary but can help prevent imbalances and can put the finishing touches on a well muscled back. Unlike other isolation exercises like leg extensions and concentration curls, these exercises actually do serve some purpose and are effective at building size and strength and preventing injury. When utilizing some of these smaller isolation exercises be sure to keep the reps in the 8-12 range as that is what seems to work best for these muscles.

The lats are next and are the muscles that stick out under your armpits and give you the appearance of width. They make up a great deal of the total back musculature. To really increase the size of your lats and thus the width of your back, focus on all variations of chin ups and the occasional higher rep set of pulldowns.

Lastly we have the erector spinae which is basically the lower back musculature. This area extends from the top of the glutes up to the traps. A well developed set of erector spinae really stands out and lets people know you are way more than all show and no go. There is no better lower back exercise than the deadlift and its variations. Some other great erector spinae builders are good mornings, back extensions and reverse hypers. These exercises should be done for 6-20 reps, while deadlifts can be done for 1-20 reps.

While everything written above is important and should be considered, you could ignore all of it and just deadlift on a regular basis and still develop a very impressive back. Whenever someone asks me how to gain weight I tell them to eat a lot and do deadlifts. Deadlifts are the king of the back builders and work every muscle group. If you are pressed for time, stick with deadlifts. If you have more time to dedicate to building a big back do two sets each, twice per week of some type of deadlift or lower back exercise (deads should only be done once per week as they are very tough to recover from), shrug, upper back “isolation move,” compound row and chin up.

For more advice on how to gain weight visit

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

New Private Members Forum

Many of my emails have not been getting through to people so I am announcing this here. We recently started a private members only forum for those of you who have purchased Muscle Gaining Secrets. The forum is free for one year if you purchased the book. If you have not received the email about your membership please contact Eileen at with the subject header "Private Forum."

Try to have your ClickBank receipt. If you don't have it we can check your info for you and get you into the forum but having it would make things much easier.

Thanks and see you in the forum.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Got Milk?

May of you know by now that dairy is not good for getting lean. Others probably know that the consumption of dairy products has been linked to a decreased immune system response.

But there may be a few things about milk that you don't know.

Before you have another glass of milk or consider chugging another whey or casein shake or loading an extra slice of cheese on your sandwich you should know that most of us are lactose intolerant to some degree.

All human beings can handle lactose as babies. Most of us lose this ability as adults. The majority of adults have some level of lactose intolerance. It is not a rarity but rather the normal state for fully grown adults; we simply don't need milk anymore.

Below are some more accurate numbers, although as stated, most of us have lactose intolerance to some degree.

Lactose Intolerance Among...

People of Asian descent- 90-100%
People of Native American descent- 95%
People of African descent- 65-70%
People of Italian descent- 65-70%
People of Hispanic descent- 50-60%
People of Caucasian descent- 10%

You also have to consider that human beings are the only species that actually drinks the milk of another species. Think about that for a second and really let it sink in.

If I poured someone a glass of milk that I just squeezed out of a pregnant womans right breast they would freak out and not even consider drinking it. But if I poured them a glass of milk laced with 80 different allowable antibiotics (according to the FDA) that I just got down on my knees and squeezed out of a smelly, disgusting cow that same person wouldn't think twice about slugging it right down.

Pretty disgusting if you ask me.

High milk consumption has also been shown in studies to actually increase the risk for osteoporosis instead of decrease it. In fact, the calcium absorption rate of milk is quite low.

Below are calcium absorption rates for a few different foods:

Brussel sprouts- 63.8%
Mustard greens- 57.8%
Broccoli- 52.6%
Turnip greens- 51.6%
Kale- 50%
Cow's milk- 32%

As you may have guessed I am not a fan of milk consumption and no longer recommend it for anyone. But the choice is yours.

What should I drink instead?


What about in my cereal or with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

Soy milk, rice milk, almond milk or oat milk.

Doesn't soy increase estrogen?

The research is not conclusive in my opinion but even if it does, 1-2 cups of soy milk won't be enough to do it. Of course, if you are a pear shaped fat ass who already has a pair of D cups I wouldn't go near anything that even had a one in a billion chance of being slightly estrogenic.

I drink a glass or two of soy milk a day and haven't noticed anything negative from it. I also use rice and almond milk.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How to Overcome Weight Training Plateaus

When you are stuck with a certain weight on a certain exercise but are progressing across the board with the rest of your program there are a few things you can do.

Sometimes making five pound weight jumps is too much for most people. The problem, however is that you have no other choice. Most gyms only carry 2.5 pound plates which amount to a five pound increase when you put one on each side of the bar. With dumbbells it’s even worse because they go up in five pound increments which amount to ten pounds total. The way around this is to invest in some 1.25 pound plates and some Plate Mates. If you search the internet you can some sites that carry 1.25 pound plates or even one pound plates. These are great for adding to the bar in order to make small, consistent gains, week after week. Plate Mates are weighted magnets that come in 1.25 and 5/8 pound increments. They can be stuck on the end of dumbbells to allow for smaller increases from week to week. I highly recommend that you invest in both of these if you are interested in making continual progress and never want to hit another plateau.

If you don’t yet have one or 1.25 pound plates or Plate Mates you could add weight to the bar even if it means you have to drop out of your rep range slightly. So if you are supposed to be doing 5-8 reps in your program but are stuck with 225 pounds for seven and can’t go up you could actually try going to 230 at your next workout. While this may sound counterintuitive at first you have to realize that it is a new stimulus so at least you are not repeating the same thing again which does nothing to help you make progress. Even if you only get four reps with 230, it’s ok; it’s still something new. Next week you will try to get five reps with 230 and so on and so on. You will find, over time, some of your muscle groups have better endurance than others and that it is easier to add reps on some exercises while it is easier to simply add weight on others. This is just something that is very individual and which you will have to monitor closely over time.

The next thing you can do to break your plateau is to skip your second set of the exercise and instead of doing two straight sets do just one rest-pause set. So you would go to failure with 225, which in our hypothetical example would be six reps. At that point you put the weight down and take 10-15 deep breaths while resting 20-30 seconds. After your brief rest period grab the weight again and proceed to go to failure. You will usually get about half the reps you did on the first set so this would be three reps in our example. Repeat the sequence one more time and then move on to your next exercise. At the following workout you would try to beat the total number of reps that you got in the three sets.

Another option is to make a slight change to the way you do the exercise. Sometimes moving your grip in or out to the strongest position is enough of a change to get you on the road to progress again. So if you are bench pressing with a 26 inch grip you could move it out to a 30 inch grip. Most people will be stronger with a slightly wider grip because the range of motion is slightly less. If you were doing a chin up or pulldown you could move your grip inwards where you would again be stronger. This basically becomes a new stimulus that the body is not prepared for. It will also allow you to get more reps with the same weight or increase the weight which is a new stimulus as well as mentally stimulating and refreshing.

So there you have it, a variety of ways to bust through your plateaus and keep making consistent, steady progress. The end result will be a considerably bigger, stronger you.

Now go get after it.

For more ideas on how to get out of your rut and smash through plateaus check out

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How to Build Muscle Fast

If you want to build muscle fast there are a few very important factors you need to be aware of. First of all, if you have less than Herculean genetics you need to be sure to avoid overtraining. There are several different ways to do this which are listed below.

• Don’t do more than 12-15 sets per workout.
• Don’t train for longer than an hour.
• Don’t train more than four days per week; three days is even better.
• Don’t train for more than 8-12 weeks without taking a week off.
• Don’t train with 90% or above your one rep max for more than three weeks in a row.

Those are a few of the easiest ways to avoid overtraining. Heeding that advice will definitely help you build muscle fast.

Productive mass building workouts are centered on one concept and one concept only; progressive overload. You have to consistently get stronger and lift more weight and do more reps if you ever want to get bigger. Doing the same thing repeatedly will get you absolutely nowhere and is a complete waste of your time.

Also, you need to be sure that you are using big, compound exercises like squats, deadlifts and chin ups with heavy weights. Don’t waste your time with isolation exercises and pumping techniques that do nothing to help you build muscle fast.

Next, you need to be sure your diet is in order. This means that you are eating copious amounts of food every 2-3 hours. Going longer than this without a meal will impede your progress and you will never get huge. You should be focusing on organic whole foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds for the majority of your calories. The rest of your intake should be made up of clean sources of protein like eggs and fish.

Another thing that will help you build muscle fast is paying the utmost attention to your recovery. You should be getting as much rest as possible which includes sleeping a minimum of eight hours per night and hopefully even taking a short nap during the day. Another thing that can boost your recovery ability is regular massage. This can be a real massage from a masseuse or just a simple self massage with a foam roller or tennis ball. Either way you do it will help tremendously, just be sure to do it.

Although most people overlook its importance, stretching is another crucially important component of a good muscle building program. Stretching can help tight muscles grow more efficiently and can even help prevent injuries in certain instances. If you don’t do any stretching now, I highly recommend that you start. You will be pleasantly surprised by the results, I’m sure.

If you follow the tips above you will build muscle fast; perhaps faster than you ever imagined. I have provided the information, now it’s up to you to use it.

Good luck.

For more tips on how to build muscle fast visit

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Single Most Important Factor

What is the single most important thing you can do at the gym to ensure that you will continually get bigger and stronger?

It’s very simple. The most important thing you can do each and every single time you go to the gym is try to set a PR (personal record) on every lift you do. That’s it. What this means is that you should always be trying do either do more reps with the same weight (within reason, any sets above 12 on most upper body exercises and 15-20 reps on lower body exercises will do nothing to stimulate muscle growth) or more weight for the same number of reps. Doing the same thing that you have done in a previous workout will do absolutely nothing to help you get bigger and stronger. The first time you apply a new stress to the body it will adapt by building itself up bigger and stronger. But when it faces that exact same stress again the next time, it will be prepared for it and thus will not adapt again. This is why you have to go up in either weight or reps and try to set a new PR.

Powerlifters and weightlifters continually try to set PR’s in contests. They also do this in training by testing their one rep maxes every few weeks or months. But setting PR’s does not have to be relegated to singles. You should try to set six rep PR’s, ten rep PR’s and twenty rep PR’s. You always have to be improving. To do this you have to keep detailed records of everything you do in a training journal and always look back at it so you have a goal to shoot for at every workout and on every set you do.

No set should ever be done without the goal of setting a PR. The only exceptions are prehab exercises and times when you are rehabbing from an injury. If you continually try to set PR’s on everything you do it gives your workout a much greater purpose and meaning. Not only that but it is a thousand times more fun than just mindlessly going through the motions trying to get a pump. Suddenly your workout becomes something that has quantifiable results that can be measured each and every single time you set foot in the gym. What could be more motivating than that? Chasing PR’s also eliminates all the useless junk volume that most people end up doing after they have finished their main exercises.

Even if you start your workout with big exercises like chin ups and military presses and set new eight rep PR’s on those, it doesn’t mean that when you get to the little exercises and the end like hammer curls and pushdowns that should forget the principle and just do whatever it takes to get a pump. On the contrary, you should still be trying to set a new eight, ten or twelve rep PR on both of those exercises as well.

Forget about adding more sets, decreasing your rest periods and supersetting for a while because none of those approaches will ever give you the long lasting results you are looking for. If you want to really ramp up the speed at which you build muscular size and strength, start trying to set PR’s on every lift you do and get ready to be blown away by the results you achieve and how much more enjoyable your training will become.

To dramatically increase the effectiveness of your training, go to
, now.

"I gained 18 pounds of muscle, got noticeably leaner, faster and increased my bench press by 35 pounds in one summer using Jay's Muscle Gaining Secrets and dominated the competition when I returned to camp in August. When it comes to designing muscle building workouts, Jay is the best there is. ”
Jay Frank
Linebacker, Northeastern University

"Yo Jay! F*CKING THANK YOU! I can't tell you how much other nonsense workout programs I used that didn't do sh*t compared to Muscle Gaining Secrets. This is actually blowing me away. The info is awesome and the results are sick! People think I'm using steroids. I'm up 9 pounds in my first three weeks and my strength is crazy! I will send you more updates and pics real soon. Thanks bro.”
Mike Ritello
Stamford, Connecticut

Monday, January 21, 2008

Train Smarter

I enjoy all of your advice. Still, this "live to fight another day" piece came at just the right time. I too was deadlifting. With 495 on the bar and a plan to get a few at 585 I felt a twinge. Lucky I had checked my email earlier today. Your course is already helping me to put on more size with less time in the gym than I've experienced in a decade, so, there was no way I wasn't going to listen to this tidbit. I decided to put away the fangs, ratchet back down and move on to chin-ups. Not a doubt in my mind it was the right thing to do. Nor do I doubt I would have gone the other way if you had not interjected. Tomorrow instead of cursing myself, I look forward to some cardio. (not really but I'm going to do it anyway ; )

Lonny MacDougall

I can't tell you how helpful this would have been had I thought about this last week. I appreciate your newsletters and benefit from their guidance and suggestions. I love the kettlebells myself!

A brief history of my lifting career...I started powerlifting about 6 years ago with Donnie Thompson and Mark "Spud" Bartley, Carl Tillman, Shedrick "Tex" Henderson and a few others at the Compound in Columbia, South Carolina. During that time I did about 4 strongman meets. I did well in the powerlifting setting some state and national records but never did very well in the strongman because I wasn't conditioning myself nor was I training for it very often (did a few weekend training sessions with strongman/powerlifter Mikey Johnson). Then after recovering from a torn distal bicep tear, surgery and PT, about 15 months later I had regained all the strength I had before but my passion for PLing was gone. So, about April of '07 I switched to olympic lifting and began training with a renound oly coach here in SC, Mike Srock. I have been doing that full time for the last few months and haven't really gotten into the groove with the %'s during my workouts or without using gear.

Last week, doing heavy front squat singles (I have never done heavy front squats), I decided to see what I could do for a single. On my last set of 365lbs I went down and "POP!" I dumped the weight, left the gym and went to an orthopedic doc the next day. I have either torn my IT (unlikely he says) or my vastus lateralis. There is no bruising, but it does hurt=pain when I squat down/stand up. From the looks of the deformation in my outter quad, I think it's a partial tear of the IT.
I'm 28 now and have been lifting long enough to know, not to do something as stupid as I did. I shouldn't have tried to go heavy on the front squats, much less tried heavy singles! :(

But this too, has been another learning experience, just like the torn bicep tendon tear. I will be that much more of a cautious/smarter lifter.

Very Sincerely,

Aaron G. Pickens, CSCS
Spartanburg, SC


I couldn't agree more. This principle has saved me a few times here recently. Keep up the great articles. I've learned a tremendous amount from your previous e-books and look forward to learning more in the future.


Ken Finley

I couldn't agree more. I am in the same boat with my back. When I
feel this "twinge" on the left side, I am better off terminating the
training for that day. I will be way stiff and unable to train for a week
if I ignore what my body is trying to tell me. Took me a while to realize
this, but I can get back in the gym sooner if I listen to my body. Keep up
the great work.


Solid advice today bro.

I made the mistake of continuing through the pain a while back while I was performing dynamic squats. I was using about 50% of my max with light bands and had already done 2 sets before I tweaked my back but wasn't smart enough to call it early. By set 5 I was about crippled. Took several weeks for me to get back to normal and now feel weak as piss.

I guess one day i'll learn.


Visit for smarter mass building workouts and get twice the results in half the time.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Smart Thing To Do

Last night I was at the gym doing deadlifts. I had planned on doing two sets but I went a little heavier than I should have on my first set. As I stripped a plate off each side to prepare for my back off set I felt a twinge in my back while bending over. I stood up and tried to stretch out but it didn’t help much.

“Whatever,” I thought. I have had this happen a hundred times and have always plowed through it. I put the plates back and tightened up the collars.

When I finished writing in my training journal I dropped my pen and bent over to pick it up. Again my back felt like something wasn’t quite right. In the past I would have ignored these signs and would have tried to be tough and work through it.

This time was different though. I thought long and hard and concluded that I didn’t feel like getting injured again or at least being a little messed up for a few days.

So I skipped the set and unloaded the bar. I can’t tell you the last time I made such a smart decision in the weight room. It’s taken quite a few years but maybe I finally matured enough to not push through pain and hurt myself. I can only hope so.

This morning I woke up and felt great. I know for a fact that I would have felt terrible and would have been hobbling around all day if I did that second set. I have had the exact feeling plenty of times before.

Sometimes it’s just not worth it.

I have had several injuries in the gym over the last 20 years that could have been avoided if I trained smarter and listened to my body. My ego and relentless determination always got the best of me, however.

The morale of the story is that no matter how bad you want it, no matter how hardcore you are…you have to listen to your body. You can avoid so many injuries and continue to make great progress if you do. Some days you just won’t be able to generate any intensity no matter how hard you try. On days like that you probably shouldn’t be training. Don’t use it as an excuse, but if you are genuinely off your game that day, skip your workout or do less.

You will stay healthy and make continual progress. There is nothing worse than being on the shelf for three months with an injury. Trust me on that one. Smarter training equals better results.

Visit now for the best mass building workouts around.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Genetics and Muscle Building

Question: Just how big of a role do genetics play in the muscle building process? Are some people doomed from the word go, or is this nothing but a lame excuse?

Answer: Genetics definitely play a role in how big you can eventually get. Some guys can get absolutely jacked by eating three meals per day and doing a few sets of pushups and chin ups. These guys can also do workouts that would overtrain most of us into the ground and grow from them. This doesn’t mean you should compare yourself to them or do what they do. Some people succeed in spite of what they do. Great genetics let you get away with subpar training and a less than optimal diet.

But the fact of the matter is that these guys are few and far between. Most of us don’t have that luxury and will have to do everything right in our muscle building workouts and with our diets to gain serious amounts of mass. This fact is not to be used as an excuse for your failures and shortcomings, however. Everyone, and I mean everyone, can gain at least fifty pounds of muscle from the time they first start weight training. It may take some longer than others, but it can be done, every time. If you train and eat right there are no excuses. Sure you may never look like Flex Wheeler or Ronnie Coleman but you can make incredible improvements. The “hard gainer” excuse is nothing but a lame cop out, in my eyes. I have terrible muscle building genetics and have trained several guys who were in the same boat. We all gained a minimum of fifty pounds of muscle with some guys gaining close to a hundred. My advice to everyone is to ignore this kind of talk and forget about your genetics entirely. Don't listen to the weak minded losers who will tell you that those kinds of gains are impossible without drugs. They are destined for failure in all that they do in life. It’s corny and clich├ęd but if you believe it, you can achieve it.

For the best muscle building workouts you will find, visit

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Muscle Building Cardio

Many people live in constant fear that too much cardio will cause them to lose muscular size and strength. Their fears are not unfounded; too much cardio will, indeed, eat away muscle tissue and cause strength losses. There are a few types of cardio, however that will actually do the opposite. Instead of cardio that just burns fat or just improves your cardiovascular system or, worse yet, does neither of those but just causes muscle loss, there is actually such a thing as muscle building cardio.

Unfortunately most people don't do it. They waste all their time on the stair climber or eliptical machine when they could actually be doing something that will burn fat and build muscle at the same time.

My favorite types of muscle building cardio are sprints, hill sprints, sled sprints and Prowler sprints. These workouts should be be performed in the following manner:

-- Warm up thoroughly.

-- Sprint for 5-20 seconds straight as hard and as fast as you can.

-- Rest for 1-3 minutes or as long as needed to catch your breath, bring your heart rate down a bit, and prevent yourself from throwing up.

-- Repeat for 15-20 minutes 2-3 days per week.

This type of cardio training is what produces the incredible physiques you see on sprinters and NFL wide receivers. Technically it's not traditional, old school cardio, but it works to get you big and lean.

The most dangerous form of muscle building cardio is plain old sprints. If you are not accustomed to sprinting regularly you are at great risk for a hamstring, hip flexor or knee injury. Hill sprints slow you down, especially if the hill is fairly steep and for that reason are much safer. Sprinting with a sled attached to your waist does the same thing and is very effective and very safe. Pushing the Prowler is an incredibly demanding but result producing workout. For those who are unfamiliar with the Prowler, it is pictured above and can be purchased at It is worth every penny and will get you in great shape in a hurry.

There you have; the most effective forms of muscle building cardio. Get off the Nordic Track and give these workouts a try today. You won't be disappointed.