100 Bullet-Proof Bullet Points – How to Get Stronger and Lose Fat
1. Coffee is the best pre workout. All natural. No filler. No bullshit. No added crap that makes your face feel like it’s melting.
2. Compound exercises for strength and fat loss. You’ll get stronger and burn more calories performing exercises that use more than one muscle group at a time.
3. You don’t choose where you lose fat. You lose it from everywhere. There is no such thing as “spot reducing”. That’s bullshit.
4. There is no “best exercise for…”. It’s a combination of all the exercises performed consistently that makes the difference. Not doing one “best” exercise and expecting a miracle.
5. There is no magic pill or shortcut for anything. Period.
6. Before taking a supplement, ask yourself “is this benefiting my health or performance?”. If it isn’t benefiting your health, put it down.
7. If you want to get stronger, treat your workouts like building blocks. Don’t test how strong your today. Build your strength so you’re stronger tomorrow.
8. Recovery is just as important as your training. Without rest, you won’t see any benefit from the gym. There are a lot of ways to recover, but the three major areas of recovery are sleep, nutrition, and mobility/stretching.
9. Strengthen your upper back. No matter who you are. You can always benefit from upper back training. It will improve your posture, strength, athletic performance, and just make you look and feel better all around.
10. Use weights that you can perform quality reps and full sets with. You get stronger and add muscle by performing completed reps, not missed ones.
11. Focus on form and movement quality before adding weight to an exercise. If it doesn’t feel right without weight, don’t worsen the problem. Work on your mobility so you can get into a better position and practice your movement before adding weight.
12. Make the light weights feel heavy. Use slow, controlled tempo when working with lighter weights to build a better mind-muscle connection. This is really useful if you travel a lot and work out in hotel gyms that don’t have heavy dumbbells!
13. Tight hips? Try these: Hip Mobility Drills
14. Tight shoulders? Try these: Shoulder Mobility Drills
15. How to feel your back muscles during bent over rows:
16. Eat protein and carbs before and after your workouts. Gives you energy to perform and helps you recover after.
17. Stay away from fat before and after workouts.
18. Drink water first thing in the morning before coffee or breakfast. Have one cup with every meal throughout the day.
19. Don’t buy fit teas. I know you already know this, but they’re a scam.
20. Don’t buy fat burning supplements. Again, I know you already know this, but this is another scam.
21. How many protein shakes should you have? I like protein shakes after my workouts mostly because of convenience, but you can have them whenever you want. 1-2 per day is more than enough.
22. Use supplements as supplements, not replacements. Eat whole foods and use supplements to help “fill the gaps”.
23. 3-4 workouts per week are plenty. Seriously, most of my clients (including myself) train 3-4 times per week. Despite what bro-scientists will tell you online, you do not have to train 6-7 days per week to gain strength, muscle, and stay lean. That’s a lie.
24. Need a quick but effective upper body warm up routine? Try this one.
25. Need a quick but effective lower body warm up routine? Try this one.
26. Need a new core exercise you’ve never done? Try this one.
27. Can you build muscle doing bodyweight exercises? Glad you asked. Here’s exactly how to do that: Build Muscle Anywhere, Anytime
28. Cardio before or after weights? I would say neither. Your goal when lifting weights is to build muscle and/or get stronger. You need two things to make this happen: 1) energy and 2) recovery. You are depleting your energy by doing cardio directly before weight training and aren’t allowing your muscles to recover after your workout if you’re doing cardio then. I would separate the days you do cardio and weights. Or at least do them at different times if you’re training twice per day (ex. morning low intensity cardio with weight training in the evening).
29. What type of cardio should I be doing? Find out here: HIIT vs LISS – Why and How You Should Be Doing Cardio
30. Do your knees hurt when you do lunges? Try doing reverse lunges:
31. Want to improve your posture? Learn how to here: Improve Your Posture – Exercises and Mobility Drills You Should Be Doing
32. You will not lose all of your progress on vacation. No one got fit from 1-2 weeks of exercise. No one lost all of their progress in that time, either.
33. Is stretching before working out bad? Not really, but I usually leave static stretches until after my workout to help my body recover. Too much static stretching before hand can make you too relaxed but a little bit to help yourself open up is fine. I do it all the time.
34. I have constant knee pain…what do I do? Try this:
35. What are some of the best exercises for a big, bold, beautiful booty? Squats. Deadlifts. Lunges. Hip Thrusts.
36. If you’re “stuck in a plateau”… read this: Why You’re Plateauing and How to Break Through It
37. You lose fat by being in a caloric deficit. Period.
38. When setting up for your deadlift…take the slack out of the bar. When you grab the bar during your set up, pull the bar up against the plates to take the slack out of it. This engages the upper back more effectively and helps you brace before the initial pull from the floor.
39. When you bench…push through the floor with your feet and push your shoulders back into the bench. For a full breakdown in bench press technique, see here: 8 Cues to Master Your Bench Press
40. During the squat…spread the floor apart with your feet by trying to rip an imaginary sheet of paper apart. This keeps your knees in a stable position and doesn’t allow them to cave in towards each other (known as valgus collapse which is very common).
41. Box jumps are not a conditioning exercise. Stop doing 50 box jumps at the end of your workout because you think it’s helping you lose fat. Box jumps are an explosive movement that is used to develop power. Perform 1-5 jumps for 4-8 sets with lots of rest in between to get the most out of this exercise.
42. You do not need to test your 1RM. Not everyone needs to test how heavy they can lift for one rep. If you’re a high level powerlifter, you probably won’t be testing your true one rep max many times (if any) outside of competition. If you’re not a competitive powerlifter, it’s probably not even a safe idea to do it for the most part. The risk of injury is too high. Focus on building your strength rather than testing it.
43. Keeping your workouts fun and interesting is one of the best ways to stay motivated. No one wants to go to the gym just because they feel like they have to.
44. You shouldn’t curl in the squat rack, UNLESS…you’re doing this exercise:
45. The reverse hyperextension is one of the best and most underutilized exercises in the gym.
46. The ab rollout is one of the best core exercises you can do.
47. Do more core work.
48. Find a program and stick with it. Don’t “program hop” and go from program to program without giving one a fair try. You’ll see benefits from programs when you follow them consistently and are patient.
49. Toning doesn’t exist. You already know this, but you don’t “tone” muscles. That’s a made up word used to make money and sell bullshit products/services. You build muscle and burn fat.
50. Deadlifts are awesome.
51. Do more horizontal rows than overhead pulls. Why? Rows are better for your mid back muscles and promote better posture. Overhead pulling is still great, but most people would benefit from a 2:1 rowing to overhead pulling ratio.
52. 4-6 exercises per workout are plenty. Seriously, you don’t need more than that. If you’re looking to gain strength, add muscle, or burn fat…4-6 exercises are usually enough. This way, you’ll be able to perform them at a high level of intensity and see the benefit from them. Not just throw a bunch of exercises together.
53. For the dumbbell bench press…turn your palms in at the top of the press, especially if you have shoulder pain. Do it like this.
54. If your shoulders hurt when bench pressing…try the floor press.
55. When doing the box squat…pretend the bench or box you’re using is a scale, and make that scale read about half of your bodyweight. This keeps the hips and core engaged so you can drive up from the bottom safely and more effectively.
56. Add weight and resistance to your core exercises. Stop doing a million crunches. Your core is made up of muscles. How do you build your other muscles and make them stronger? You add resistance to them. Do the same thing for your abs and lower back.
57. You should only be doing deadlifts for a maximum of 5-6 reps per set. Why? Deadlifts are a strength development lift. The goal is to get stronger. It is not a conditioning exercise. If you perform high amounts of reps, especially if you’re trying to complete a certain amount of reps within a specific timeframe, fatigue kicks in and your form goes to shit. Your risk of injury goes up performing deadlifts to fatigue and you stop gaining any benefit from the lift whatsoever. Deadlifts are a strength development lift, not a conditioning exercise.
58. For the bench press…don’t push the bar away from you, push yourself away from the bar.
59. For the bench press…strengthen your upper back as much as possible to create a stronger shelf.
60. Add Fat Gripz to your exercises to improve grip strength.
61. Sleep is essential to strength gains. Period.
62. You can’t outwork a poor diet. Period.
63. Long term consistency is always better than short term intensity.
64. Lifting weights improves grip strength. Grip strength is one of the key indicators of longevity of health. You don’t even need to do grip-specific exercises; just holding dumbbells, barbells, and other free weights will train your grip. Some of the best exercises would be the deadlift, farmer carry, and pull ups.
65. Track your progress. You can use measurements, pictures, how your clothes fit. Do something to track your progress. It keeps you accountable, helps you set new goals, and keeps you on track.
66. The hard-style plank is awesome. To perform it, hold a standard plank position and squeeze your muscles as hard as you can, creating as much tension in your entire body as possible. You want to go all out for about 5-10 sec, then “relax” your muscles and hold a regular plank position for about 10-20 sec. Repeat this for 3-5 rounds. You can use it as part of your warm up or finisher after your workout!
67. You don’t need to be in the gym for 2-3 hours at a time to get results. Actually, a lot of times training for extended periods is what’s holding you back.
68. Treat the light weights like they’re heavy. During your warm up sets, apply the same setup and force as you would for your working weight. This trains your nervous system to think fast. And you want to think fast when lifting heavy weights. You can’t lift heavy weight slowly. It might look like it’s moving slowly, but your brain and your body are trying to lift it with maximal force output. If you half-ass your warm up sets,
69. Make your weaknesses your strength. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. If you’re only doing what you’re good at and what you enjoy, the ceiling is low. Stop neglecting your weaknesses and start implementing movements into your routine that you know you should be doing.
70. Minor changes in your training can make a big difference. Our muscles respond to challenges, and there’s a lot of ways they can be challenged. Small tweaks such as your exercise selection, the order of your workouts, or the tempo you’re performing your exercises can be all the change you need to create a new response in the body so you can break through plateaus.
71. You are about 20% stronger during the eccentric phase of a lift. Ever notice it’s easier to lower the bar to your chest during a bench press than it is to press it back up? This means we can handle more resistance during eccentric phases and can slow the movement down and control it. This is great for building muscle and gaining strength.
72. Box jumps are great to warm up for heavy squats. Remember, our brain is thinking fast when lifting heavy. Box jumps prepare our nervous system for explosive power output that translates exceptionally well to squats and deadlifts.
73. Time under tension is needed for building muscle. This is how long you’re muscles are working against resistance during an exercise. You can create more time under tension by using chains, bands, slow eccentrics, partial reps, supersets, drop sets, and isometrics.
74. Master the movement before you add weight. If you load an inefficient movement pattern, you’re worsening the problem. Move well first, and then add weight.
75. Best protein shake – chocolate with peanut butter and frozen bananas. Boom.
76. Carbs do not make you fat. Eating too many calories does.
77. Try freezing your protein smoothies overnight. A client of mine had a great idea. She used to blend up a few servings of her protein smoothies, put them in individual shaker bottles, and freeze them overnight. Every morning, she takes one out and brings it to work. When it’s time for her mid-morning snack, the smoothie is thawed and cold so she can enjoy it. Genius.
78. Control your alcohol consumption if you want substantial progress. A lot of calories are in alcoholic beverages and too much can interfere with muscle development. Enjoy life, of course, but understand that too much will interfere with your health and fitness goals.
79. Creatine is probably one of the only supplements I would recommend for someone looking to get stronger and add muscle. Tons of studies on it and it is proven to improve recovery and increase muscle mass.
80. Naps are good for you.
81. Strength is at the base of the athletic pyramid. It benefits everything.
82. When travelling or on vacation…there’s a few things you should know. Check this out (especially if you travel for work or have a trip coming up): Training While Travelling – How to Make the Most Out of Your Workouts
83. Train the upper back muscles 2-3 times per week (minimum). Light loading and bodyweight movements are great for targeting the smaller muscles of the upper back we tend to neglect when performing heavy rows. These are some of my favourites.
84. Working out is random. Training is strategic. Learn more about the difference between working out and training here.
85. Dead bugs are awesome. Here’s how to do them:
86. Do more unilateral (one-sided) exercises. Why? Most of our natural movement throughout the day is unilateral so why don’t we train that way? Unilateral exercises help us correct imbalances, work our core, and improve bilateral (two-sided) movements like squats and deadlifts. See here for: Unilateral Training Methods for Strong and Powerful AF Legs
87. Zercher exercises are awesome. They train the entire fucking body. Core. Legs. Arms. You can use them with squat, lunge, or even good morning variations, like this one:
88. For the squat…during the sticking point (when you’re squatting up), push up against the bar with your arms. This will help.
89. Don’t lift weights if you’re sick. When you’re sick, you need to recover. So rest. If you’re feeling just a little shitty and think moving might help, try some very light cardio and go in the sauna to sweat that shit out.
90. Being afraid of becoming bulky from lifting weights is the equivalent of not reading a book because you’re afraid you’ll turn into Einstein.
91. Your muscle will not turn into fat if you stop lifting weights. Muscle is muscle. Fat is fat. Yes, your muscle mass will go down if you stop lifting weights, but it will not turn into fat.
92. You don’t HAVE to work out, you GET to work out.
93. Focus on adding to your routine. Add water, nutritious foods, movement, etc. Health is built on what you do, not what you don’t do.
94. The medicine ball triceps pushdown is awesome. This will be one of your new go to’s.
95. Keep a training log. The best training program ever written is your training log.
96. Set clear, specific goals. Be realistic, but set goals and then set new ones.
97. Be patient.
98. Stick to the plan.
99. If you fuck up, forgive yourself and remember that it’s part of the process.
100. Have fun with your workouts. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.