Category Archives: Chad Waterbury

How the Frequency Progression Works

Here’s one truism we can all agree on: your body doesn’t want to build muscle unless it’s absolutely necessary. A muscle must be challenged to work harder so your physiology has no choice but to manufacture new muscle tissue to adapt to the demand.
Exercise variety is important and necessary to offset overuse injuries, but merely switching from a standing barbell curl to a dumbbell hammer curl won’t do anything to spark new growth in your biceps. This is true for training any muscle group.
You might get sore when you switch to a new exercise, but that’s mainly because the muscle is being challenged in a different way: it doesn’t mean the muscle has to grow to meet the demand. A better strategy is to find a free weight or body weight exercise that you like, and increase the frequency of training that movement over the course of 4-6 weeks.
Frequency Progression
What it’s best for: muscle growth
Explanation: we all know that increasing the load of a movement is great for building strength, and some muscle growth will follow. However, I’ve found that the fastest growth occurs when you significantly increase the weekly training volume for that muscle group.
Let’s take two guys (Jim and Tim) that perform the pull-up, as an example. Jim weighs 180 pounds and does the pull-up twice per week for 6×4 with an extra 30 pounds of weight attached to a chin/dip belt. You can calculate his weekly training volume with this equation: load x total reps = volume. Since his load is 210 pounds and his total reps are 48, his weekly volume is 10,080.
He’s been feeling pretty strong so the following week he adds 10 more pounds to the chin/dip belt. Now his weekly training volume for the pull-up is 10,560 (220 pounds x 48 reps).
In other words, Jim’s weekly training volume increased 5%.
Tim weighs 210 pounds and has been doing a body weight pull-up for 6×4 twice per week. Therefore, his weekly volume was the same as Jim’s first week: 10,080. Tim has been feeling strong too, but instead of adding an extra 10 pounds to a chin/dip belt he decides to add an extra pull-up workout, thus increasing his training frequency to three times per week. So if we plug in the numbers for Tim’s second week we get a volume of 15,120 (210 pounds x 72 reps).
In other words, by simply adding one extra body weight pull-up workout Tim increased his training volume by 50%!
So which method do you think would send a stronger signal for new muscle growth: a 5% increase in weekly volume or a 50% increase? Yep, you know the answer.
The irony is that it’s easier to add an extra pull-up workout than it is to strain like hell with more load to achieve the same 6×4 workout.
Now, I must state that for maximal strength gains you must focus on adding load to your workouts. But when fast muscle growth is the goal it makes perfect sense to increase the frequency for that movement because it results in a significantly higher weekly volume.
Exceptions to the frequency progression are a barbell squat, bench press and deadlift. However, use the frequency progression for any upper body lift or single-leg exercise and you will build new muscle more quickly.
How to use it: add one extra workout per week for the lagging body part. Perform around 25 total reps with a load that allows 6-8 reps per set. Keep adding one extra workout for that movement for 4-6 weeks straight.

Stay Focused,

An Interview with Dr. Stuart McGill, Part II

An Interview with Dr. Stuart McGill, Part II
In part I of my interview with performance and spine expert, Dr. Stuart McGill, we covered a lot of ground. Dr. McGill is mostly known for his approach to “core training,” but that term probably doesn’t mean what you think it does. When you implement the training techniques that Dr. McGill covers in these interviews your entire body will become stronger and more explosive, not just your abs.
With that in mind, let’s get back to the discussion and you’ll understand why Dr. McGill is one of the most sought after performance experts across the globe.
Chad Waterbury: Stu, the last time we met up for beers you asked me where I think the core is. I told you that I consider it everything from your head down to your toes. You seemed pleased with that answer. Or maybe it was just the lager talking? Care to elaborate?

CW: In the first part of this interview you gave us a progression of core exercises that have no, or relatively low, rotational velocity. However, some sports such as golf mandate that movement pattern, even if it’s high risk. Once a guy has worked through the progression, which exercise do you recommend to train higher rotational velocity?

CW: You mentioned your work with MMA fighters. Those guys can benefit from exercises that develop rotational strength. Some of the coolest and most effective core exercises you’ve taught me are the ones I use with fighters.

CW: Let’s talk about sit-ups. Stu, there are so many guys I know that just can’t get enough of them. I honestly believe that we have the Rocky movies to blame for them being so ubiquitous.
Your book Low Back Disorders was one of the first clinical-based texts that taught us sit-ups aren’t very good for our discs. Your lab determined one of the primary reasons and it’s due to the high compressive forces they induce, on the order of 3400N or 764 pounds. Tell us more about that.

CW: Some guys have said they listened to you and dropped doing flexion training and they became weak because of it. So they returned to doing sit-ups. What do you say?

CW: I know athletes that like to perform the sit-up slowly because they really feel the burn in their abs. I have a gut feeling they think that slow movements are safer for their spine, too. However, I can’t see how slow sit-ups would benefit an explosive athlete.

CW: Since sit-ups aren’t ideal for sprinters, fighters, linebackers, or explosive athletes in general, what do you recommend they do?
An Interview with Dr. Stuart McGill, Part II

CW: Before we move on from this sit-up topic, I’ve got to ask you one more question. What do you think of the notion that it might be acceptable to do a thousand sit-ups or crunches every day because some guys can pull that off without any problems?

CW: Okay, let’s move on. You talk a lot about stiffening the spine during explosive actions. Can you explain what you mean?

CW: You consult with enough professional athletes to make a person’s head spin, especially the NFL where disc problems are rampant. What’s the most common training problem you see with their training?
An Interview with Dr. Stuart McGill, Part II

CW: Let me wrap this up by asking you what you feel are the biggest misconceptions about your training concepts? Fire away.

  • Keep power low.
  • Each person has a training capacity that when exceeded, causes injury.
  • Certain exercises steal training capacity and they wear out the spine before the muscles.
  • Certain combinations of exercises are problematic while others are synergistic.
  • Build proximal stiffness for distal explosive power – this means a core that is stopping motion and not creating it.
  • Choose exercises that spare the underlying joints when supertraining the neuromuscular elements.
  • Don’t believe that you can train the injury mechanism.

CW: Excellent, Stu. Thanks for your time and incredible insight.


How to Build Any Muscle Group

How to Build Any Muscle Group

When you hear the word “science,” what does it mean to you? My guess is that word probably makes you conjure up images of a nerdy looking dude in a lab coat who’s hovering over a Petri dish that’s filled with bacteria.
And when it comes to building muscle, we all know that science often falls short of giving us the best solutions. That’s because there’s very little funding for studies that elucidate the best methods to turn little Henry into the Hulk.
Computer technology has progressed at an astonishing pace because there’s so much funding and because the potential financial rewards are enormous. Not so in the world of muscle building.
Yep, if you’ve got a burning desire to add muscle to a stubborn body part you’ll have no luck finding your answer on Pubmed, even if you pull an all-nighter.

So Where’s the Answer?

While I was in graduate school one of my professors made a profound statement that has stuck with me over the years. To quote the good doctor, “Science is about observing the world around you.”
For example, if you want to cure Alzheimer’s it makes sense to study cultures where the disease is virtually nonexistent. Then you try to figure out what they do that the rest of the world doesn’t do.
And if you want bigger quadriceps, it makes perfect sense to look for a sport where the athletes have proportionally large quadriceps development and figure out what they’re doing that you’re not doing.
That’s smart science.

Gut Check

How to Build Any Muscle Group

Before I get to the details of how to add muscle where you need it most, it’s important to understand what truly deserves the title as a stubborn body part. Your proportionally challenged biceps might not be stubborn at all, and that’s why you should first consider two points.
1. Be honest with yourself. Is the muscle group in question too small simply because you haven’t been training it more than once every week or two? Many guys have puny calves because they rarely train them. No big mystery there.
2. Understand that muscle growth takes months. If you just started lifting weights three weeks ago and you’re frustrated with your lack of upper arm development, join the club that every guy has been a member of. No one ever complains about building muscle too fast. You must be patient, even if you find the training method that’s best for your body type.
Now that those two points are out of the way, if you’ve been training the stubborn body part consistently for a few months without noticing any results, it’s time to do some problem solving.

30 Reps to Bigger Muscles

First, consider the training parameters you’ve been using. Three sets of 10 reps isn’t an ideal way to build muscle, even for muscle groups that welcome growth. Therefore, the best initial approach is to train a stubborn muscle group with a less traditional method that works awesome to build muscle.
– this is a more effective twist on the 10 sets of 3 reps method that I’ve been advocating for a decade. Instead of doing 10 sets of 3 reps, you’ll start with a load you can lift no more than six times for the first set.
Next you’ll perform a second set of as many reps as possible (usually it’ll be less than six reps). Then you’ll perform a third set of as many reps as possible.
You’ll continue performing as many sets as it takes until you reach 30 total reps.
You’ll use the same load for all sets and the reps will decrease with the sets. This is an ideal way to train since you’ll never miss a rep, and it’s the way I approach muscle building in my book, Huge in a Hurry.
Here’s a sample exercise pairing for the upper arms:
Exercise Weight Sets Reps Rest
1A Hammer curl * ** *** 30 sec.
1B Lying dumbbell triceps extension * ** *** 30 sec.
This is an example for one workout. You’ll use only one exercise per muscle group and you’ll put all your energy into that lift until you reach 30 total reps. Perform the 30-Rep Method three times per week with a different exercise in each workout throughout the week. You can use those same three exercise pairings for all four weeks.
Of course, the 30-Rep Method can be used for any muscle group that needs more mass without sacrificing maximal strength. You can perform straight sets with 60 seconds of rest between each set, but I’ve found that it’s more effective and more efficient to alternate between exercises for different muscle groups.
You don’t have to use an antagonist pairing. For example, if your calves and triceps need help, you could alternate a calf raise with a triceps exercise. The options are endless.
Here’s an overview of the parameters for the 30 Rep Method.
The 30-Rep Method is my first line of attack to build a lagging muscle group. Try it for four weeks and I bet you’ll like what you see. Importantly, you don’t need to perform an entire workout with this method, even though it’s an excellent way to train.
For example, you might be content with your current program, but you feel it’s neglecting a muscle group that you want to make freaky enough to scare the neighbors. Use the 30-Rep Method three times per week for four weeks to fire things up.

Back to Real World Science

How to Build Any Muscle Group

At this point you might be wondering what all my rambling was about in the beginning of this article when I talked about the relationship between science and real-world observations.
Let’s look at the deltoids and quadriceps. They’re two muscle groups that are sometimes outliers. They can be problematic for many good muscle building methods, even the 30-Rep Method. Yep, sometimes you’ve got to break the rules and look around for guidance. Sometimes multiple sets of heavy reps isn’t the best approach.
Indeed, if there were ever a muscle group that thrives on high-rep training with lighter loads, it’s the deltoids. You only need to look at the shoulders of professional boxers for proof.
The quadriceps can be tricky for a different reason: it’s extremely draining to perform 30 total reps of a heavy multi-joint quadriceps exercise three times per week. Elite Olympic lifters might have the best quadriceps development of any power athlete but we all know how impractical and time-consuming it would be to work up to their frequency and volume while keeping your joints in tact.
So we need to keep looking around. Which other athletes have quadriceps development with proportions that even Tom Platz can envy? Professional cyclists.
When you think about professional boxers or cyclists, it’s easy to hypothesize that any muscle group can grow if you stimulate it with enough volume and frequency. While that might be true sometimes, it doesn’t appear accurate in all cases.
Take the biceps, for example. If the amount of volume from boxing or cycling could carryover to head-turning biceps proportions, elite rowers would have the best biceps on the planet. But they don’t.
Gymnasts who perform the rings events hold the title of best pound-for-pound biceps on earth. That’s because the biceps need high-tension exercises for growth, unlike the deltoids or quadriceps which are made up of a higher proportion of fast fatigue resistant (FFR) motor units. Those FFR motor units love high-rep training like a fat kid loves cake.
If you need to add more muscle to your deltoids and quadriceps so you can finally hit the beach without ridicule, here’s your solution.

5 Minutes of Hell

How to Build Any Muscle Group

The two exercises I use to build the quadriceps or deltoids when traditional training doesn’t work are the hill climb and boxer drill. Both of these exercises induce a lot of fatigue so perform them at the end of your workouts or on a day when you’re not lifting heavy.
As an added bonus, the following two exercises will help you burn more fat!
Hill Climb: adjust the seat on an exercise bike so your knee joint can only extend to 160 degrees as you pedal. Basically, just make sure your knees can’t completely straighten during each revolution to keep tension on your quads. Next, crank up the resistance so you can’t perform more than 60 revolutions per minute (RPM) when you’re pedaling with maximum intensity.
Continue pedaling with the most effort possible for five minutes. As you fatigue you’ll need to decrease the resistance on the exercise bike. The ideal range to stay within is 45-60 RPM. Don’t let it drop below 45 or exceed 60 RPM throughout the five-minute climb from Hell.
Perform the hill climb exercise every other day or three times per week until you’ve added enough muscle to make the effort worthwhile.
Here are a few tips for the hill climb exercise.
  • Stay seated throughout the exercise! If you stand up and pedal it takes stress off your quadriceps (since your body weight can push the pedals down).
  • Don’t grip the armrests or handles because it will accumulate unnecessary fatigue. Keep your hands relaxed. It’s best to have your arms hanging down at your sides or interlock your fingers and place your hands behind your head.
  • Keep your chest held high throughout the exercise. It’s easy to slouch while you’re grimacing in pain but this can lead to disc problems.
  • If your cardiovascular system isn’t accustomed to high intensity training, start with three minutes and add 30 seconds every other day until you reach five minutes.
Boxer drill: the boxer drill is very straightforward and tough to screw up as long as you put out five minutes of continuous effort. Just grab a pair of 5-pound dumbbells and do your best to mimic Arturo Gatti against the ropes. Throw straight punches, hooks, and upper cuts for five minutes without resting.
Perform the boxer drill every other day or three times per week for as long as you desire.
Here are a few tips for the boxer drill:
  • Keep your hands up throughout the entire drill. You should never drop your hands in a fight and you should never drop your hands in this drill either, since it will take stress off the deltoids.
  • Move around as much as possible while you’re throwing punches and switch your stance from right to southpaw every 30 seconds to keep your T-spine mobility in balance.
  • If 5-pound dumbbells are too heavy, start with three pounds.
  • To get the most out of this drill you should be able to throw decent punches. So if you’re completely at a loss for how to throw a hook or uppercut, ask a qualified person for technique tips.
  • If your cardiovascular system isn’t accustomed to high intensity training, start with three minutes and add 30 seconds every other day until you reach five minutes.

Final Words

One of the best ways to build up a lagging muscle group is with the 30-Rep Method. It can work for any muscle group. However, if you want to mix things up, or if a traditional approach hasn’t worked for your quadriceps or deltoids, now you have a couple of solutions that will also help you burn more fat!


Waterbury Diet for Muscle Growth

In my first installment of the Waterbury Diet I covered the approach I recommend for fat loss and gut health. Basically, you’ll eat very little during the day, take supplements, and then eat the majority of your calories at night during a 4-hour period. This is essentially what the Ori Hofmekler’s Warrior Diet is, and that was the impetus for the Waterbury Diet.
If you haven’t read my first installment, please check it out because it contains the overview of this diet. Without that information, very little of the following will make sense. You can check out the first installment at this link.
The ultimate goal of the Waterbury Diet is simple: improve gut health so your body can use what you put into it. For years, naturopathic doctors and gastroenterologists have been telling us that it’s not what we put in our body that matters: what matters is what our body can assimilate. Proper digestion and absorption are absolutely critical for growth, repair and health.
You will never gain muscle or recover quickly if your gut is unhealthy. I guarantee that 99% of you fall under the category of an “unhealthy gut” or “a gut that’s not as healthy as it should be.” And I’m talking about myself here, too. I always considered myself healthy, but it wasn’t until I started eating this way that I realized just how messed up my GI health really was.
So this brings me to my approach for muscle growth on this diet. One of the primary reasons why most of us hard-training guys and gals have gut problems is because most of the supplements that promise muscle growth are destroying our GI tract. That’s why the system I use for muscle growth builds on the original Waterbury Diet for Fat Loss.
Waterbury Diet for Muscle Growth
There are two primary changes that should be made when fast muscle growth is your goal. First, consume an easily digestible protein source every 3 hours during the fasting phase three days per week to flood your body with muscle-building amino acids. Second, add carbs to your post-workout meal and Feeding Phase.
1. Consume more protein: you already know how important protein is for muscle growth, but you can’t cram crappy protein powders or supermarket beef into your body every few hours and expect your gut to respond well. Frequent meals and high assimilation rates don’t go hand-in-hand. However, our gut can cope with a few, high-quality protein sources.
Which protein sources to use:
1. Whey protein from cattle that were raised without hormones. I prefer Proventive’s Harmonized Protein powder.
2. Vegan protein powders for those who don’t tolerate whey. Sun Warrior’s Raw Vegan protein powder is outstanding. You can find it at this link.
3. Foods that contain milk proteins such as greek yogurt and cottage cheese. I’m only mentioning these because some people get tired of protein powders. However, if you have abdominal distention, or experience any allergy symptoms after consuming milk proteins, remove them from your diet because they’re doing more harm than good.
When to use the protein:
You’ll consume around 20 grams of protein from any of the above sources every three hours, three days per week. Why not every day? Because stuffing protein in your body every day will reduce your assimilation rate and it won’t give your body the fasting phases it needs throughout the week to keep your gut health in check.
Ideally, you’ll consume the protein feedings on the days you lift weights. So if you lift on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, those should be the days you take in extra protein. Just make sure you don’t have the protein feedings two days in a row, even if you lift weights two days in a row.
2. Consume more carbs: it’s extremely difficult to add muscle without a healthy dose of carbs because they release insulin, an important muscle building hormone. This is especially true immediately after your workouts when your muscles are starving for glycogen replenishment. The amount of carbs you need post-workout depends on how much muscle you have. A 250-pound powerlifter needs more carbs than a 150-pound woman.
However, you don’t need a lot of carbs post-workout – just enough to generate an insulin response so the carbs will be shuttled into your muscles. These carbs should be consumed with around 20 grams of protein powder. Here are the recommendations based on your body weight.
150 pounds: 30-35 grams of carbs with 20 grams protein post-workout
200 pounds: 45-55 grams of carbs with 20 grams protein post-workout
250 pounds: 55-65 grams of carbs with 20 grams protein post-workout
Which carb sources to use post-workout:
1. Organic cherry juice. Research by the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that consuming cherry juice post workout reduces soreness. As an added bonus, cherry juice contains a healthy dose of melatonin so you’ll sleep better.
2. Organic raisins. Raisins are an alkaline food so they help offset acidification from training. Also, they have a high glycemic load so the carbs can be quickly shuttled into your muscles.
3. Fresh pineapple. Pineapple is great post-workout because it contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps your body assimilate protein and reduce inflammation.
To gain muscle, I also recommend that you get plenty of carbs during the Feeding Phase. Your muscles can take a lot more carbs than you gave them post-workout because they haven’t had any for almost a day.
The ideal sources for carbs in your first meal of the Feeding Phase are: rice, potatoes or pasta. Each as much of those carbs as you want, with protein, until you’re completely satisfied. If you get hungry a few hours after dinner, and if it’s still within the 4-hour Feeding Phase, eat again. At this time mixed nuts, natural cheese or almond butter are good options.
Overview of the Waterbury Diet
As mentioned, there are differences between eating for fat loss and eating for muscle growth. You should read both installments to understand the whole plan. However, the following gives a brief description that shows the difference between the two.
For fat loss: eat very little during the day, consume protein post-workout on the days you lift weights, eat until you’re satisfied during the 4-hour Feeding Phase at night.
For muscle growth (3 days per week): consume protein every 3 hours during the “fasting” phase, consume protein with carbs post-workout, eat until you’re satisfied and include plenty of carbs during first part of the 4-hour Feeding Phase at night.
For muscle growth (4 days per week): eat very little during the day, consume protein with carbs post-workout on the days you lift weights, eat until you’re satisfied during the 4-hour Feeding Phase at night.
Stay Focused,

Waterbury Diet for Fat Loss

Waterbury Diet for Fat Loss

In the spring of 2010 I started experimenting with the Warrior Diet by Ori Hofmekler and it forever changed the way I approach nutrition. Without that diet, and my subsequent experiments with different versions of it, my clients and I wouldn’t be as lean and healthy as we are today. I won’t delve into why I initially tried the Warrior Diet since I covered most of that in this blog.
This installment covers the nutritional strategies I currently recommend for fat loss and gastrointestinal (GI) health. I’ll tell you upfront that I’m not going to explain why the Waterbury Diet ended up the way it did, or else I’d have to write a book. But I don’t want to do that. Why? There are a few reasons.
First, this version of the Waterbury Diet is similar enough to the original Warrior Diet that I don’t feel right charging people money for it. However, my approach is different enough to justify its own version or else I’d tell you to just follow the Warrior Diet. (Although, reading the Warrior Diet is highly recommended.) Second, since there’s not a lot of research on intermittent fasting (IF) – the key component to this diet – it’s unlikely I’ll be able to reference any new studies you haven’t seen from other experts. Third, it was time I outlined what I’ve been doing since I’m late to the game. My buddy Jason Ferruggia has his Renegade Diet and Dr. John Berardi wrote an excellent piece on this style of eating. Yep, there are many others out there that have their own versions so I thought it was time to outline the approach I use for myself and my clients.
Finally, I must mention that it’s essential for you to consult your physician before embarking on this, or any other, nutrition plan. Now let’s get started.
Gut Health and Intermittent Fasting
In the early part of the 20th century, Dr. Eli Metchnikoff coined the phrase “Death begins in the gut.” That’s probably the most accurate and important statement you’ll ever hear. Indeed, in 1908 he won a Nobel Prize for his work studying gut bacterial flora. In order to get leaner, stronger, more muscular or healthier, you must improve gut health. This is where intermittent fasting (IF) becomes essential.
In the Warrior Diet, Ori Hofmekler outlines two distinct phases of eating each day. The first phase is the aptly titled “undereating phase” where you consume very few calories. (He also refers to this stage as “controlled fasting.”) The undereating phase lasts 16-20 hours. That’s followed by the “overeating phase” at night where he recommends a specific sequence of foods to get the most benefit. During this 4-8 hour window you’ll consume most of your daily calories.
The effectiveness of this diet stems from the intermittent fasting (IF) stage. When you get it right you’ll burn fat, boost energy and improve overall health by reducing inflammation. Importantly, the terms controlled fasting, undereating phase, and intermittent fasting all refer to the same thing. I’ll be using the term “fasting” to describe this phase.
Waterbury Diet for Fat Loss – Fasting Phase (20 hours)
From the time you wake up, until four hours before bed, consume 0.5 ounce of liquid per pound of lean body mass. Your lean body mass is your body weight minus your fat weight. So if you weigh 200 pounds and have 20% body fat, you have 40 pounds of fat. That leaves you with 160 pounds of lean body mass. You need at least 80 ounces of liquid during the fasting phase, mostly from water. You can have up to 16 ounces of tea (green and white tea are best) as part of this liquid requirement. Coffee addicts are allowed up to 8 ounces of black coffee, although it’s not recommended.
The fasting phase is the toughest part of this whole diet, especially during the first few days. You’ll be hungry, cranky, and your energy will be lower than ever. I recommend starting this diet on a weekend when you don’t have work demands or when you don’t need to be a social butterfly. It’s never fun to go through detox, and that’s exactly what the fasting phase is. However, after a few days your physiology will shift, the hunger pangs will go away, your skin will start to clear up, and your energy levels will be higher than ever.
What can you eat during the fasting phase? This is where I differ from the original Warrior Diet that says you can have any fruits, fruit juices, an egg or two, or some yogurt. I’ve found the best results are achieved with the least amount of food possible. Look, anyone can go without eating much during the day, especially when you know you can eat until you’re completely satisfied at night.
Fasting Phase Rule #1: Don’t eat unless you’re really hungry.
At first you’ll be hungry within a few hours after you wake up, maybe even as soon as you wake up if you’re like I was. After a week or so you might not be hungry until 2pm. In any case, wait until the hunger pangs are too tough to withstand before eating anything.
Fasting Phase Rule #2: When you do eat, eat as little as possible.
Consume calories during the fasting phase from only five sources:
1. A handful of fresh berries. Any berries will work, but many people favor raspberries since the high fiber content controls hunger.
2. One-half of an organic apple. If it’s a relatively small apple, eat the whole thing.
3. A glass of vegetable juice made from any fresh veggies. V-8 is not recommended since it’s not fresh, but there are worse things to drink.
4. Mix 4 ounces of organic cranberry juice with 8 ounces of water. This adds toward your daily liquid requirement. Thanks to John Meadows for turning me on to cranberry juice – it’s excellent to support liver health and stave off hunger.
5. Drink 8 ounces of fresh coconut water. Because of the carb content in coconut water, don’t drink more than one serving per day. You can add a pinch of salt to the coconut water, thus making it “nature’s Gatorade.”
So whenever hunger takes over during the fasting phase, choose one of the five options above. You can have any of the above choices up to three times during the 20-hour fasting phase, but mix up your choices each day and spread them out as much as possible.
Fasting Phase Rule #3: Take supplements during the 20-hour phase.
Certain supplements will make the fasting phase much easier to deal with. The following supplements support your metabolism, immune system, and reduce inflammation. I always hesitate to mention supplements because there are so many. It’s inevitable that I’ll get hundreds of questions asking if “supplement x” is ok to take, too. What you see below is what I recommend, but you might want to add other things to the mix. Keep in mind that some supplements should be taken with food so they might not fit in the fasting phase.
1. Multi-vitamin/mineral – my two favorites are the “one daily” versions by MegaFood and Biotest’s Superfood. Take either when you wake up.
2. Curcumin/Turmeric – take 500mg of curcumin when you wake up. I use Biotest’s version.
3. Resveratrol – take a 600mg dose when you wake up. Again, I use Biotest’s Rez-v.
4. Probiotics – I recommend one capsule of MegaFlora by Mega Food when you wake up.
5. Iodine/herbs for thyroid support – each afternoon around 2pm, when I’m hours into the fasting phase, I take one Thyroid Complex by MediHerb. This supplement isn’t easy to find, and I’m sure there are many acceptable substitutes but I recommend a supplement like this to support thyroid health. The MediHerb version contains 600mcg of iodine and a mixture of herbs.
Waterbury Diet for Fat Loss – Feeding Phase (4 hours)
The feeding phase is where the real fun begins. Hofmekler recommends that you eat your foods in a certain sequence during his “overeating phase” at night. Even though I like his approach, I don’t think it’s necessary. Your body has been without any sufficient calories for 20 hours so it’s ready to assimilate what you give it. This is where dieting dogma goes out the window: you can eat the majority of your calories at night, even with carbs, and still lose fat. I’ve seen it countless times over the last few years with clients that range from 24 to 70 years old.
What can you eat during the feeding phase? Whatever you want that’s not processed or crap. Honestly, we all know what good foods are, so I don’t want to rehash them here. No, you can’t eat a bag of Doritos, but you can have a baked potato with dinner.
The key point is to get a big, healthy serving of protein with dinner. You haven’t had any protein yet so your body is craving it. That protein can come from chicken, fish, beef, turkey, eggs, shellfish, or any other complete protein source.
How much can you eat? As much as you want until you’re completely satisfied. But don’t gorge yourself with food, try to eat at a normal pace in order to give your gut time to tell your brain that it has had enough. Drink as much liquid as you feel you need.
You can have spaghetti with meatballs and a side of asparagus. You can have fish with rice and a side of broccoli. You can have chicken with a baked potato and a spinach salad. Again, there are countless options, just eat a complete meal with whatever good foods sound best to you. Dessert is fine, too. A square or two of dark chocolate or a bowl of fruit are great choices. Half a carrot cake isn’t smart.
I recommend three supplements with dinner, and two of them again later in the evening:
1. Digestive enzyme and/or HCl – my clients and I take 1 capsule of Digest Gold by Enzymedica at the beginning of dinner. During dinner some of them take 200-600mg of HCl in addition to the Digest Gold. Importantly, don’t take HCl if you’re having any alcohol with dinner. HCl is a tricky supplement, and beyond what I want to cover here, so consult with your doctor before taking it.
2. Fish oil – during dinner take two teaspoons (not tablespoons) of Carlson’s liquid fish oil or two Flameout pills from Biotest or two Krill oil pills from Pro/Grade that can be found at this link.
3. Astaxanthin – this powerful anti-inflammatory supplement is probably going to be the next big thing. Take one 4 or 5mg tablet with dinner.
That covers your first meal during the feeding phase. It’s likely that you’ll have a little hunger by the end of it. What should you do? Eat! Again, you can eat whatever sounds good that wouldn’t be categorized as junk. Maybe you want some leftover dinner, or a handful of mixed nuts, or another piece of fruit.
When you eat again at the end of the feeding phase take another serving of fish oil and astaxanthin like you did during dinner along with another 500mg of curcumin.
Before bed, preferably a few hours after your last food intake, I highly recommend that you take a full spectrum mineral supplement. It’s not easy for your gut to assimilate minerals so they should be chelated. Two versions I like are Biotest’s ElitePro Mineral Support and Mega Multi-Mineral by Solaray.
Training During the Waterbury Diet for Fat Loss
It’s best to train right before your feeding phase. That way, all those calories will shuttle into your muscles for growth and repair. However, some of you might train in the morning or earlier in the afternoon. Regardless of when you train (morning, afternoon, evening) take one scoop of protein powder immediately after your workout. Proventive’s Harmonized Protein is an excellent whey from New Zealand. If your stomach doesn’t like whey, Sun Warrior makes an outstanding vegan protein that can be found at this link.
This diet can be used in conjunction with any training program of mine. However, if muscle growth is your primary goal and if you’re on one of my more demanding HFT programs, my next installment might better fit your needs.
Final Words
This version of the Waterbury Diet is for those who need to lose a lot of fat or improve their overall health. I want to be clear that I’m not against a more traditional style of eating with multiple meals per day. This diet isn’t for everyone, especially those who want to have breakfast with their family or power lunches at noon. But if you can make this plan work for at least 6 weeks, I think you’ll look and feel better than ever.
You might think this plan is heavy on the supplements, but honestly, it needs to be. During the fasting phase your body is getting very few calories so the nutrients need to come from somewhere. And during the feeding phase your gut is ready to assimilate whatever you put in it, so make the most of that opportunity with the recommended supplements.
In my next installment I’ll cover the changes I make to this plan for muscle growth with fat loss.
Stay Focused,
References (thanks to Mike T. Nelson)
Gjedsted J, et al. (2007) Effects of a 3-day fast on regional lipid and glucose metabolism in human skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Acta Physiol 191: 205-216.
Johnstone AM. (2007) Fasting – the ultimate diet? Obesity Reviews 8: 211-222.
Aksungar FB, et al. (2007) Interleukin-6, C-Reactive Protein and Biochemical Parameters during Prolonged Intermittent Fasting. Ann Nutr Metab 51: 88-95.


Why You Need More Strength

Why You Need More Strength

Why You Need More Strength

In order to be powerful, you must be strong.
Developing huge levels of muscle force takes a lot of maximal strength, but it’s only after you enhance your ability to quickly reach that peak level of force that you achieve head-turning power.
Power is defined as work divided by time (P=W/T), so in order to become more powerful you must decrease the amount of time it takes you to perform a certain amount of work. Let’s say two guys can achieve the same level of peak force. The guy who can reach that peak force faster is more powerful.
The typical way a strength coach will build a power athlete is with a combination of speed and maximal strength training.
Speed training uses submaximal loads with fast tempos. For example, you’ll put a load on the bar you could lift 10 times but you’ll only perform three super-fast reps.
The goal of speed training isn’t to enhance your peak force, but instead to enhance your ability to reach that peak force in less time. Put another way – speed training won’t increase your maximal strength and this can be problematic for most power athletes.
For the purposes of this discussion, a power athlete is someone whose sport mandates lightning fast movements. Think of a MMA fighter or a running back.
Ironically, the only sport with the word “power” in the description – powerlifting – doesn’t mandate fast movements. Whether it takes you two seconds or eight seconds to lock out the deadlift doesn’t matter; either is acceptable in that sport. Nevertheless, speed work is important in powerlifting. There are two reasons.
First, speed work enhances your ability to reach peak levels of force. The inability to reach max force can cause you to miss the lift. The second reason is because, in most cases, powerlifters aren’t doing anything outside of the gym that challenges their speed. They need to train for speed in their workouts because they’re not getting it anywhere else.
You must be able to tap into your peak force very fast to get bigger and stronger. But this article isn’t an overview of how to train for speed. Eric Cressey already did an excellent job covering that in Training Speed to Get Strong.
Powerlifters aside, most power athletes don’t need additional speed work. They need to develop more maximal strength. That’s the focus of this article.

How to Target Maximal Strength

Maximal strength is your ability to produce the highest level of force possible. Based on motor unit physiology, your ability to maintain maximum continuous force decreases at the 10-second mark. So any set or exercise that lasts longer than 10 seconds of continuous tension isn’t directly training maximal strength.
There are two different ways to increase maximal strength. The first is with those big, compound exercises that you love to do in the gym because you can load plenty of plates on the bar. I’m talking about the deadlift and back squat, among others. You lift heavy, you keep the reps low, and you keep the rest periods long.
The other way to build maximal strength is with high-tension exercises. These exercises don’t require much external load but they’re brutally tough. Heck, in some cases you don’t need any external load before you have to stop.
Two examples include the iron cross on the rings or a body weight glute-ham raise. Most strong athletes can’t complete a single, full range of motion rep of either. So even though there’s no external load, it’s still maximal strength training since you can’t maintain muscle tension for more than 10 seconds.
There’s no new way to build pure strength. You need to lift heavy and use high-tension exercises. Thirty years ago a professional football player would practice to build his game and lift heavy in the gym to build his maximal strength. But then something changed.

The Sport Specific Training Setback

Why You Need More Strength

By the 1990’s, sport specific training became the rage. The concept was simple – try to mimic in the weight room what you’re doing in the sport. That way, what you develop in the gym will directly correlate with an increase in sport-specific performance.
Take a 100-meter sprinter, for example, whose replay video shows a high knee kick throughout the race. His strength coach has him perform a bunch of high knee kicks with a resistance band to build strength in that movement pattern because, well, that’s what the sport shows.
Yet, this type of sport specific training didn’t help. What proof do I have? Well, the progressive strength coaches who ended up removing those crazy exercises out of their athlete’s programs saw no loss in sport performance. In many cases, the athletes actually improved their speed and strength once those fatigue-inducing exercises were put on the shelf.
I was reminded of this fact when I recently met up with sprint strength coach savant, Barry Ross, to talk shop. He’s a guy who’s known for having his athletes perform an extremely basic strength-building program; I mean, really basic. His strength program focuses on building the deadlift and not much else.
A deadlift-focused program for sprinters seems about as far from sport-specific as training can be. Yet Ross consistently produces some of the fastest sprinters in the world.
He doesn’t have his sprinters perform a high knee kick against resistance because he figured out that the high kick was merely a rebound effect from the huge amount of force his sprinters were able to pound into the ground from their monstrous deadlifts.
Another example – back in 1997 I was fortunate to spend time around another legend in the world of strength training, Tim Grover. He’s the guy who trained Michael Jordan throughout his career, in addition to many other top NBA players.
One really smart thing Tim did was measure his players’ average heart rate on the basketball court. He wanted to see it decrease over time as they got further into the off-season strength and conditioning program he set up for them.
Tim didn’t have Jordan or Pippen run up and down the court wearing a weighted vest with ankle weights while shooting a 20-pound basketball. He used basic strength exercises to get them stronger. Grover knew that making his basketball players stronger would allow them to perform jump shots with less effort. This kept their heart rate down and, by default, increased their endurance.
I mention Barry Ross and Tim Grover for a reason. Ross’ athletes only need to run in a straight line for a very short amount of time. Grover’s athletes had to run in multiple directions for a long period of time. Yet both focused on a basic maximal strength-building program to improve their athlete’s performance, and both are hugely successful with their methods. They didn’t fall victim to the sport-specific training nonsense.
The problem with the sport specific training craze is that the exercises weren’t nearly as effective as training the sport itself. Those exercises just accumulated fatigue that kept athletes from practicing at their peak on the field or in the ring.
The idea of taking any sprint, punch or kick and adding resistance to it in order to build sport specific endurance is akin to prescribing a 4/0/2 tempo for the step-up. Both approaches set the strength and conditioning industry back 20 years.

The Fatigue Factor

Why You Need More Strength

Fatigue is the number one enemy of any athlete. Anyone who’s a fighter, or trains fighters, has a clear understanding of how detrimental fatigue can be.
Look, if you’re a running back, fatigue will decrease your agility so you’re more likely to get tackled. That’s not good. However, for MMA fighters, the inability to maintain their reflexes at the end of a fight could be a career ender.
It’s this respect for my fighter’s safety at the end of a fight that made me put such a large emphasis on speed training and sport-specific endurance development when I first started working with them. In those days, half of our training would be speed with endurance work, while the other half was maximal strength training.
But I wasn’t satisfied with their maximal strength development. I knew the problem – they were doing too much overall training throughout the week to recover. So I started tapering off the amount of speed work I had them do. Of course, their maximal strength went up.
And their endurance and explosive strength also went up!
I determined an increase in endurance by their ability to maintain a lower average heart rate while they were sparring. The explosive strength enhancement was determined by an increase in their broad jump score.
Of course, training for nothing but maximal strength won’t make you an endurance athlete. However, when I cut out the speed/endurance exercises, they were able to put more energy into their kickboxing, Muay Thai, wrestling, and boxing.
In other words, they had the extra energy outside of our strength workouts to literally build sport specific endurance by practicing their sport more frequently and with greater intensity. And remember that having higher levels of maximal strength means you can perform the sport with less effort.
The only type of sport specific training worth doing is the sport itself. I like battling ropes for MMA athletes as much as the next guy, but it’s still inferior to letting them spend that energy on actual striking.

3 Guidelines for Training Power Athletes

Why You Need More Strength

Use the deadlift as the ultimate measure of high-load training strength with being able to pull at least a raw double body weight lift with an unmixed grip as the goal. Focus on building the glute-ham raise, iron cross, muscle-up, and handstand push-up from rings for body weight high-tension exercises.
A key with maximal strength training is to rest at least three minutes before repeating an exercise. This doesn’t mean you need to sit around for three minutes, though. Here’s a sample sequence I like for developing the core and posterior chain.

Exercise Reps Rest
1A Pallof press-hold for 10 seconds 60 sec.
1B Deadlift* 2 60 sec.
1C Body weight glute-ham raise ** 60 sec.

Repeat 1A-1C four more times.

If that doesn’t work, add battling ropes, sled work, sprints or something similar into the program, one at a time. Make sure whatever you add in is improving their sparring endurance.

The broad jump is a versatile tool in athletic settings. Not only is it an accurate way to test your potential increase in RFD, but it’s also a good measure of which young athlete might be genetically predisposed to being a great power athlete.
The kid with the longest broad jump is often the one chosen by an Olympic coach who’s looking to build his resume.
In science, all possible variables must be kept consistent through subsequent trials or the data will be skewed. This need for accuracy, of course, is just as important when testing athletes. The biomechanics of the broad jump must be as consistent as possible.
In subsequent trials, if the athlete uses a wider or narrower foot placement, if he’s wearing different shoes, or if he’s jumping from a different surface, you won’t get an accurate measure of his changes in performance.
Testing Surface: Ideally you’ll jump from a hard surface and land on a slightly softer one. Think of a basketball court floor for takeoff and a hard rubber surface like you see in gyms for landing. A surface that’s too soft, however, isn’t helpful either since it’s difficult for the athlete to land solid. It’s not imperative that you land on a softer surface, but if one is available, use it.
Footwear: I usually have my athletes perform the broad jump with bare feet. Any shoe with minimal cushioning will work, too. Avoid testing athletes who are wearing shoes with thick, cushioned soles.
Foot placement: When the athlete is ready to perform a broad jump, measure the distance between the inside of his heels and place two marks on the floor with tape so his heels are the exact same width with each subsequent attempt. Whichever foot placement feels most powerful is what you want to test. That stance width will be slightly different for everyone.
Attempts, Measuring and Calculations: Perform three broad jumps with three minutes of rest between each attempt. If the athlete loses his balance on the landing, it doesn’t count. Wait three minutes and perform another attempt.
Measure from the front of his toes at takeoff to the back of his heel at landing. Measure to the heel that’s closest to the takeoff line if the feet aren’t perfectly even. The longest jump is the one that counts in your data.
Testing frequency: Test the broad jump every four weeks. Ideally, you’ll test it on the same day at the same time with the same warm-up, if you choose to use a warm-up (as little as 10 jumping jacks one minute before the first jump is usually sufficient). The key is to keep whatever warm-up you’re doing consistent over time.
Now, in a perfect world the athlete would refrain from any heavy weight training for two days before testing the broad jump. If you test the broad jump two days after a heavy deadlift the first week, and retest it one day after a heavy deadlift the fourth week, you’re going to skew your data. Be smart with your timing of the broad jump test and try to keep all variables as consistent as possible.
It would be easy to get into a scholarly discussion over what constitutes an ideal broad jump distance. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that your broad jump is consistently increasing over time. Once it stops increasing, add speed exercises into your training program if you feel that’s what’s lacking.

Final Words

This article isn’t a slam on speed training. It has its place. If you’re an avid lifter who doesn’t compete in any sport and wants to get bigger and stronger, traditional speed training should be a part of your program.
However, if you’re a power athlete it’s important to remember that your sport probably gives you all the speed training you need, if you practice it enough.
What you’ll most likely get the greatest benefit from is maximal strength training. This is especially true if your goal is to be the next MMA champion!


>Strengthen Your Core and Loosen Your Hamstrings


by CHAD WATERBURY on MAY 9, 2011
Core training is what fitness is all about these days. Ten years ago, “core training” was basically crunch variations along with an assortment of leg raises. Then Dr. Stuart McGill came along and changed the game. Thanks to his terrific research, Dr. McGill taught us that the ability to brace the core, and maintain that position for time, improves back health and performance. When I say “brace,” I’m referring to that core tension you instinctively create when someone is about to punch you in the stomach. You don’t need to bend your spine around like a twig to get the most bang for your core training buck.
McGill’s research also shows how detrimental spinal flexion can be. Each time you do a normal crunch, your spine flexes. It’s the repeated flexion of the spine that can lead to all sorts of nasty problems such as disc herniation. And when you bend over to pick up a weight while your spine is rounded the story gets even worse. In order to protect your discs and nerves from undue stress it’s essential to learn how to properly brace your core.
Now, teaching someone to brace their core isn’t as easy as it sounds. Sure, we can all tense our abs, but most of us can’t maintain that tension while moving our body, especially when an external load is added to the mix. A simple way to train someone to maintain core tension is with the plank. Most people should be able to hold the regular plank for 90 seconds. This core endurance is essential to keeping your back healthy and strong.
However, we’ve been inundated with pics, articles, and videos about the plank, so doing that exercise probably doesn’t sound new or exciting to you. That’s why I want to show you two of my favorite core exercises once people are ready to move past the regular plank.
The first exercise is called “Stir the pot,” and I learned it from Dr. McGill. It’s an outstanding exercise to build core stability strength. Here’s how you do it.
First, rest your elbows on a large swiss ball with your body in the plank position – body straight from neck to ankles and core braced tight. Second, make circles with your forearms/elbows so the ball rolls aroundwithout moving your body. This exercise is tougher than it looks when you do it right. You’ll feel muscles working all the way down to your spine. As you get accustomed to the exercise focus on making larger circles. The goal of this exercise, or any core exercise, is to make it as difficult as possible.
The second exercise, the “leg curl with single leg balance,” I learned from Dr. Craig Liebenson, owner of LA Sports and Spine and a terrific doctor who specializes in everything related to the spine.
To perform this exercise, lie on your back with your legs straight and heels resting on a Swiss ball. Then, lift your hips as high as possible and perform one leg curl. Next, brace your core/hips super tight and lift the right leg in the air and hold it for 4-5 seconds. Do the same with the left leg. From start to finish it’s one rep. Perform 5 reps.
Not only does this exercise improve core stability strength and performance, but it also induces a surprising side-effect that I hadn’t measured before: it loosens your hamstrings.
Try it with yourself or a client who has tight hamstrings. First, perform a standing toe touch and make a note of how far your fingertips reach. Then, perform five reps of the leg curl w/single leg balance and test it again. It’s common to increase your range of motion 3-4 inches. Pretty impressive considering you didn’t do any stretching.
How does the leg curl exercise increase hamstring mobility? Before I answer that, let me explain why your muscles get stiff in the first place.
You see, when a muscle is stiff most trainers will stretch it. Immediately, the muscle will increase its range of motion. But here’s the important part that I’m sure you’ve experienced: the added range of motion from static stretching doesn’t hold. A few hours later, or the next day, the muscle is stiff again.
More advanced trainers will do deep tissue work such as the Active Release Technique (ART) to restore range of motion. This hands-on style of improving mobility and tissue health can be effective and I’ve used similar techniques for years. But again, the added range of motion doesn’t hold for long.
The problem with typical stretching or soft tissue techniques is that they don’t address the root of the problem. I’d say that 99% of the time the problem is actually in the spine. In order for a muscle to be flexible, the nervous system must get the memo that it’s safe to increase the range of motion. In other words, if you have super stiff hamstrings it’s likely the deep muscles that support and surround your spine aren’t firing correctly, or they’re just plain weak. So the nervous system puts the brakes on your hamstrings mobility.
The leg curl with single leg balance activates deep core and hip muscles that provide a strong foundation of support for your muscles to work against. This immediate neural enhancement (potentiation) allows the nervous system to release the brake that’s currently holding your hamstrings tighter than guitar strings.
And when you perform the “stir the pot” exercise right before the leg curl exercise it works even better. So, test your hamstring mobility by attempting to touch your toes, then perform one set of each exercise I posted above. Retest your hamstring mobility and prepare to be impressed. Continue doing these two exercises for one week and the increased range of motion will hold.
Get ready for a more effective approach to mobility training. It all starts at the spine.
Stay focused,

>Ab Exercises For Men, How to Get Ripped | Chad Waterbury


The dieting craze, like any craze, goes in cycles. In the 1980′s, fat was the culprit. Fat was stripped from every food imaginable and the results were disastrous. By the 1990′s people realized that fat wasn’t the problem, it was those pesky carbs. This carb-phobic approach was ideal for the protein powder manufacturers that convinced you to load up on their carb-depleted product. And man did those protein pushers make a ton of dough.
Along with the low-carb boom came the frequent-eating craze. Everyone, including myself, recommended that people should eat every three hours. Calories should be spread evenly throughout the day to ensure a steady supply of nutrients for energy, repair, and hormonal control. This approach works well if the dieter is diligent and the food choices are fresh.
Then in 2002, Ori Hofmekler came along and told us that we had it all wrong. His Warrior Diet focused on extended periods of undereating, or “controlled fasting” as he calls it. This was followed by a big meal at night where the majority of your daily calories are consumed.
The Warrior Diet, a system of 18 or more hours of fasting followed by one huge meal (at night!), shocked the world. When the book came out, small frequent meals every few hours was considered the holy grail of dieting. And the evening hours were considered such a hazardous period to your waistline that most trainers recommended that dinner be nothing but a small portion of protein and some vegetables. Any carbs at this time would surely lead to a morning scare where woke up to find the Michelin man, with your head attached, staring back at you in the bathroom mirror.
I didn’t think much of the Warrior Diet when it first came out. I didn’t read the book, but I heard enough talk and read enough interviews from Hofmekler to have a firm grasp on the approach. His system was definitely at odds with what I was doing, and the results my clients were getting didn’t mandate any significant change on my part. That was 2002.
Since then, I’ve learned one essential truth. Whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, or boost your energy, gut health is key. I firmly believe that the reason why you could eat virtually anything when you were 17 and not gain fat was because your gastrointestinal (GI) health was at its peak.
Being a nervous system guy, I usually talk about the power of your motor system to build size, speed, and strength. This central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord, while the associated neurons that control your muscles are part of the peripheral nervous system. However, the simple term “nervous system” is an umbrella that covers many areas.
Your gut also has its own neural power source, the enteric nervous system. It controls the function of your gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and gallbladder. The human enteric nervous system contains 80-100 million neurons. That’s virtually as many neurons as are found in the spinal cord! And if that’s not surprising enough, the enteric nervous system functions almost independently of the central nervous system. In grad school my professors referred to the enteric nervous system as the body’s “second brain.”
Yes, that’s how important your gut is.
So what does this have to do with the Warrior Diet? Well, this month marks the year anniversary when I actually read the book cover-to-cover and put Ori’s principles into play in my own life. Since I was already ears-deep in gut research, I had been using many supplements for support such as probiotics and HCl. I was satisfied with the results those supplements gave me, but I felt I could do more. I kept reading about the benefits of fasting, so that’s when I decided to give the Warrior Diet a try.
There are many ways to follow the undereating (controlled fasting) phase of the Warrior Diet as Ori explains in his book, but here’s a quick overview of what I did.
From the time I woke up until 7pm I had three glasses of juiced vegetables spread evenly throughout the day. Each glass contained the following:
1 medium/large carrot
1 beet
1/2 of a large cucumber
2 large celery stalks
A pinch of sea salt (to keep electrolytes in balance)
I drank this concoction at 8am, noon, and 4pm. From 6-7pm I trained and then I had a big dinner that started with a salad, followed by a large protein source, followed by a starch such as a yam or wild rice. For dessert I’d have berries and maybe a small serving of a chocolate dessert. This is the basic formula Ori recommends for the evening meal (minus the chocolate dessert).
Here’s what I experienced while on this diet for one week.
The controlled fasting phase for the first day was tough. I felt pretty lethargic overall. This was no surprise given that I’d eaten every three hours for the last, oh, 17 years. But I powered through it. I was hungry as hell when dinner came around and I ate a larger dinner than I’d had in years.
The first thing I noticed after dinner was that my stomach was almost as flat as when I started, even though I was completely full. This reminded me of my teenage years when I could eat a horrendous McDonald’s super size meal and have no gas, bloating, or indigestion because my gut was so healthy. Without a doubt, my controlled fast with vegetable juice upregulated digestive enzymes higher than the probiotic/HCl supplement combo I had been taking.
The second day was much easier. I actually felt pretty good during the day and by 5pm, the time of day when I usually have an energy crash, my overall energy and alertness was high. Hofmekler says that fasting will boost growth hormone throughout the day and activate the sympathetic nervous system (your energy system). Given the way I felt, this could certainly be true.
By the end of the week I had lost an inch off my waist, my gut health was higher than it had been in a decade, and my energy was at its peak. My venture in the world of the Warrior Diet paid off.
There were other reasons why I chose to give the Warrior Diet a run. First, I’m so busy during the day meeting with clients that I prefer to not eat. Second – and this is the honest truth – I go out to dinner every single night. Why? First, I’m the world’s biggest foodie. I live for great, rich, satisfying food. The boiled chicken breast and steamed vegetables lifestyle has never been a part of my life. Sure, it’s been a part of my client’s plans when fast fat loss was the goal, but these were people who didn’t really care about food. I, on the other hand, think about what I’m going to have for dinner the second I wake up.
So for me, the Warrior Diet fit my lifestyle perfectly. I have no problems with willpower so I could easily skip food during the day, especially when I knew I could eat a lot of satisfying food at dinner that night.
But many people want to eat during the day. Maybe breakfast is the only time when they can sit down with their kids, or maybe power lunches make up the bulk of a business person’s lifestyle. Or maybe the idea of not eating until 7pm every night sounds like torture. These social reasons are valid, and for them, I wouldn’t recommend the diet because you really have to get the undereating phase right for the diet to work.
Out of all my clients, half of them eat Warrior style. The other half eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. Both methods will work. The trick with eating frequent meals is that your food choices have to be fresh and you have to keep the calories relatively low in each meal. A huge meal like the Ori recommends thrown into a frequent feeding diet plan will quickly expand your waistline.
One of the best elements of the Warrior Diet is that you end the day feeling completely satisfied with food. This is where the small, frequent meal dieters typically fall short since they usually eat bland foods. The reason why this approach doesn’t work is simple: if you’re going to eat, the food must be satisfying to your body and senses or else you’ll fall off the wagon.
So here are the points I want to make in this post. First, I give the Warrior Diet my thumbs up. If fat loss, improved gut health, and longevity are what you primarily desire, and if that style of eating fits your lifestyle, give the diet a trial run. Second, I’m seeing more and more people in the fitness industry recommend a style of eating that Ori brought to the forefront almost a decade ago. In fact, I was at dinner last week with a colleague that I highly respect and we had a good laugh about the Warrior Diet. He started experimenting with it at exactly the same time that I did last year. His clients have all reaped big benefits from that style of eating, and he has made it a part of his routine, too.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the next diet “revolution” is going to revolve around periods of fasting.
Finally, you don’t have to eat Warrior style to change your body for the better. However, if that style of eating fits your lifestyle you should definitely try it. I think the key point that Ori taught us is that we probably don’t need to eat six times per day to get results. Our guts aren’t designed to be crammed with food every few hours.
It’s the quality of food that matters. Three or four meals with fresh food sources are better than six or seven meals made up of protein powder and a handful of supplements. Fresh food sources contain all the enzymes your overworked gut is craving. So you can fast, or you can eat fresh produce and wild fish, etc to restore your gut. You shouldn’t be afraid of food, you should be afraid of poor-quality food that doesn’t satisfy your body.
As Wolfgang Puck likes to say, “Live, love, and eat great food.”
Stay focused,


>Perfect Your Single-leg Squat


Single-limb exercises, especially for the lower body, are essential for everyone, regardless if they’re a pro athlete or weekend warrior. The benefits of single-leg exercises are numerous, but a few key points to mention are that they recruit additional hip muscles that often get minimal stimulation with double-leg exercises, and they make the core play a larger role in each movement.
The single-leg squat has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years. But there’s a problem: most people do it with terrible form, as evident by extreme spinal flexion. It’s not your fault, as the saying goes. You just haven’t been given the right information to make it work for you. To perform a full single-leg squat requires a lot of strength, mobility, and stability. So you must improve those qualities to get it right.
I could honestly write an entire book on perfecting this exercise. I mention this because I’m about to outline the common problems that are probably holding you back, but there could be other factors working against you.
Now, before I get to the good stuff I must differentiate between a single-leg squat and a pistol. A pistol is the exercise that requires you to squat on one leg with the opposite leg held straight out in front and off the ground. It was popularized by my friend, Pavel Tsatsouline. It’s a good exercise, but it’s extremely advanced. To get it right you must have crazy hamstring flexibility and plenty of strength. Most people are severely lacking the hamstring mobility needed to keep your spine from bending like a fresh twig.
Perfecting the pistol requires another set of guidelines. This post is about the single-leg squat for people who have average mobility. Here’s how to get it right.
Step #1: Start with a few minutes of rope jumping or similar exercises to increase your body temperature. Do some foam rolling at this time if you wish.
Step #2: Stretch your hip flexors: the rectus femoris and psoas. I’m not a big fan of static stretching before a workout, but when it comes to the hip flexors it’s usually a good idea. Stiff hip flexors can diminish your ability to build maximum tension in your glutes and lockout your hips. That’s why stiff hip flexors are often referred to as a “parking brake” that’s partially engaged, thus limiting your hip power. Another reason to stretch your hip flexors is that it allows you to remain more upright in the single-leg squat.
Step #3: Groove the right motor pattern with a single-leg squat facing a wall. When most people do a single-leg squat they shift their torso forward. This can be caused by subpar thoracic extension and a lack of dorsiflexion in the ankle joint. This exercise restores both. It’s a fantastic technique-builder that I learned from spinal expert, Dr. Craig Liebenson. Perform 10 reps with each leg.
Step #4: Activate your hip abductors. Another problem people tend to have is that their leg buckles in as they squat. This is caused by weakness in the gluteus medius/minimus muscles that must fire strongly to hold your leg in proper position. The hip external rotation exercise strengthens and activates those muscles. This can be used as a stand-alone exercise when weakness is evident, or as an activation drill.
Step #5: Perform the single-leg squat on a high bench. The first way to build this exercise is to start by standing barefoot (or with Vibram shoes) on a relatively high bench. The key point is that you must be able to maintain an arch in your low back. If you step down and you feel your low back round (your spine will flex), the bench is too high. Start at a height that allows you to maintain lordosis (low back arch) and increase the height – or the distance you drop down – to build your single-leg squat. The goal is to be able to perform a range of motion that allows your hips to drop below knee level while maintaining an arch in your low back. This can take time so be patient.
Perform these exercises a few times per week and focus on increasing your range of motion with the single-leg squat while standing on a bench. Your hips, legs, and core will get stronger and more powerful than ever!
Stay focused,


>How to Get Ripped with Food: A 7-Day Plan


You’ll never get ripped without changing your diet. It’s as simple as that. So what changes should you make? This is where you’ll get a million different answers. It seems that every week a new book, article, or diet comes out claiming there’s a better way to lose fat. But you know it’s the same ol’ B.S.
I can sum it up for you right now. The key to losing fat super fast and finally get the lean body you want hinges on vegetables.
Yuck. Vegetables. Who likes them, anyway? Not me. If I never had another one again it’d be too soon.
But vegetables are loaded with all the stuff you probably don’t get enough of such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients while being low in the stuff you probably are getting too much of: calories. Whenever a client needs to lose fat like yesterday, I put him/her on a diet that consists mainly of veggies. It not only works for them, it also always works for me.
And let me tell ya, it works fast!
However, like I mentioned, most people don’t like vegetables. So the question is: How bad do you want to lose fat? If you’re sick of feeling like your fat loss is going nowhere, it’s time to get focused and just do the vegetable thing. The good news is that you can eat any vegetables from the following list in any amount. Just eat until you’re full four times a day. After day 1, the diet will slightly shift toward protein sources.
Trust me when I say that this is one of the fastest, healthiest ways to boost fat burning to the max. It’s not easy, but it works incredibly well.
Vegetables to choose from: artichoke, asparagus, beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, green beans, kale, mushrooms, okra, onions, peppers, spinach, squash, tomato. These can be eaten raw, steamed, or in a big salad drizzled with a little olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar.
DAY 1: At 8am, noon, 4pm, and 8pm eat as much of any vegetable as you want, in any combination. You don’t have to eat at those exact times, but spread out the four meals as evenly as possible. Drink 100 ounces of water.
DAYS 2-4: Eat vegetables at the same four times each day but add in 20 ounces of protein from fish, chicken, lean beef, turkey, eggs or seafood at 8am and 4pm meals. Drink 100 ounces of water.
DAYS 5-7: At 8am, noon, 4pm, and 8pm eat vegetables in any combination and quantity and have 20 ounces of protein from fish, chicken, lean beef, eggs, turkey or seafood. Drink 100 ounces of water.
What about supplements? For one week I recommend you avoid any of them, even after lifting weights. This should not be a week where you’re looking to achieve a new one-rep max in your lifts. Think of this as a detox program for your body and organs with the side-effect being rapid fat loss.
On the morning of day 1 take your weight and waist measurement (around your navel) and repeat those measurements on the morning of Day 8 – the day you return to your normal schedule.
I’m challenging you to do it for one week. Don’t worry about anything else. Just do this and post your results on this blog. Heck, take before/after pics and I might use them for a future blog.
Fast fat loss doesn’t have to be complicated. Give this 7-day plan a try and you’ll see how effective a simple plan can be to finally bring those cuts out of hiding.
Stay focused,


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