The most effective workout you can do is the one you’re going to do.

Here’s the thing… with so much information out there I can see how people get stuck on information overload.

You can’t open Facebook or Instagram without being bombarded by the “right” exercise you HAVE to do for bigger arms, ripped abs and stronger squats.

Here’s the thing though… we are all built different.  Believe it or not but what may work for one person may not work for you.  Because of different leverages, heights, builds and muscle insertion points, you may do an exercise and never make any gainz from it.

On the other hand, ever had a workout that was just amazing and everything felt smooth and in the groove?  You got an amazing pump and truly felt like you could keep going forever because of the intensity and motivation you had for more?

What if you could do that every time you trained?

If that sounds awesome to you, check out this quick video.  It just may inspire you to hit your best workout ever today.

CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO ⬇️

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that Sunday night was the premier of the long awaited final season of Game of Thrones that’ll conclude in 6 short episodes.

Along with all the excitement and buzz that surrounds the show, one of the star’s, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, otherwise known as Thor to the Strongman world, who also plays the mountain in GOT and is the current World’s Strongest Man, made headlines with his revealing of steroid use.

Although this is no where near a shock to the Strongman or any strength sport community, the internet couldn’t contain itself for the star’s prominent and no apologies given testimony.

I won’t even begin to try and debate as to whether or not Performance Enhancement Drugs are morally correct or cheating.  To each their own.

However, I thought I would share my thoughts on the ONE Performance Enhancing and LEGAL tactic everyone should be using to make way better strides in their strength, fitness and health goals.

This ONE thing has been shown to:

  • Reduce Stress. …
  • Reduce Inflammation. …
  • Make You More Alert. …
  • Improve Your Memory. …
  • Help You Lose Weight. …
  • Help Make You “Smarter” …
  • Help Reduce Your Risk of Depression.
  • Help The Body Repair Itself
  • Improve Your Performance Everywhere (in the weight room, more energy, better gains, etc)

You may be asking, what is this wonderful supplement or drug that has all these amazing benefits.

The answer may surprise you because its so simple to implement and you’ll probably think I’m crazy since it’s been at your disposal all along.

Simply put, it’s SLEEP.

Think about it.  How often are you always on the Go Go Go without ever allowing your body to fully recover and take the rest that it NEEDS.
Do you realize that if you’re trying to lose fat and aren’t getting enough sleep that you could in fact be putting all your efforts to a screeching halt.
Keep dieting hard, keep training even harder – guess what, without the 3rd component, REST, you’re not going to get anywhere.
If you’re on Facebook or any other type of social media I’m sure you’ve seen a variation of this pic before…
 
And It’s TRUE!  You know that I’m all about putting Intensity behind your Training and Eating Healthy but what you’re probably missing is a VERY Critical component in this equation – SLEEP!
When you don’t allow your body to recover and rest, you are allowing a couple of things to happen that will literally stop you from losing weight.  In fact, you will find yourself GAINING weight, and I’m talking FAT gain here…

I mean really, if the scale goes up and your clothes are fitting better, and you’re looking awesome in the mirror then its muscle gain so who the hell cares what the scale says!

I think Arnold says it best here –

But aside from that…
Here are the Top 5 BAD Things That Happen When You Don’t Get A Good Nights Sleep
#1 – You Raise Levels of Cortisol – You have undoubtedly have heard about the negative effects that Cortisol has on the body, especially if you are trying to lose weight.  
 
However, this hormone is necessary and a healthy function of the body such as regulating your metabolism, acts as an anti-inflammatory, helps control the body’s blood sugar levels, helps with memory and controls salt and water balances.
So as you can see, Cortisol is needed to maintain a healthy, functional body.  It’s when we have high levels of Cortisol that we see more weight gain.  Cortisol is generally high in the early morning and start falling throughout the day.  
However, stress can cause these levels to remain high which will eat muscle and increases body fat storage.  High levels can also mess with your cognitive abilities, leaving you feeling mentally drained and impair your memory.
Help keep your Cortisol Levels in Check by doing the Following:
  • Avoid Stress – I know, in today’s world Stress seems to be a part of life so easier said than done but try to do this with your very best effort
  • Keep your workouts Short – 45 – 60 Minutes, TOPS
  • Don’t do excessive amounts of aerobic exercise
  • Get 8-9 Hours of sleep every night
  • Surround yourself with happy people and get away from negative people and negativity as a whole
  • Meditate / Pray for 30 Minutes per day.  Get out in nature away from it all, take a walk, relax.  You need this time for YOU!
#2 – You’ll Eat More Calories – Especially Junk Food.  Research from the University of Chicago suggests that lack of sleep changes how the body regulates appetite, leading us to crave more food.  You may not only start eating more overall calories but more calories from high fat and comforting carbohydrate foods.
#3 – You’ll Exercise Less – Because of lack of sleep, you’ll skip out on your daily exercise due to fatigue.  This of course means less calories burned.  Couple this with higher Cortisol and Eating More Calories and it doesn’t take long for the waistline to expand.
If this wasn’t bad enough there’s more…
#4 – You’ll SLOW Your Basal Metabolic Rate – Now you’re really in trouble because you’ll be starting all over with your fat loss goals if you allow all that hard work of raising your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) to come crashing back down.  Why is this important?  Your BMR is the amount of calories your body burns just to perform its daily functions like breathing and maintaining your bodies normal temperatures.  When you raise this you are able to eat more calories, build more muscle and burn more fat – the reverse happens when it lowers!
#5 – You Don’t Build As Much Muscle – When you strength train you break down your muscle tissue (as in damaging it).  The body needs to rebuild that damaged muscle and strengthen back up so it can handle the same work load when placed under it again.  The only time it has to do this is when it is resting.  Rob the body of its sleep and you rob it of its muscle rebuilding capabilities.  End result, you become weaker instead of stronger.  
 
Here’s how… More Growth Hormones(GH) are released during sleep than during waking hours.  GH is responsible for cell regeneration, reproduction and growth.  Again, these hormones are what are responsible for building muscle and as we’ve discussed, the more muscle you build, the more fat you burn due to an increased metabolism.
BONUS #6 – Your Strength & Performance Will Suffer – I already touched on this some in each of the other points but this is where it’ll hit home the most.  
 
Once you start to tire out, you’re muscles are more apt to small injuries, you will fatigue out and your performance will suffer.  
 
Ultimately you’ll have less energy and won’t maintain your goal of living a healthy lifestyle and the weight piles on.  
 
Point Blank – You Need to get adequate rest (SLEEP) in order to do everything else you want to in the gym, whether it is to lose weight, build muscle or perform at your very best.
OK, so this all sounds great right but maybe you’re one of those who has trouble going to sleep and staying asleep.
Here are some Key Tips To Getting A Good Nights Sleep
  • Set a Bed Time and Stick To It – Make sure you are getting an average of 8 Hours of Sleep Every Night.  Trust me, there is nothing going on that HAS to take your sleep time away from you, (unless you’re a Mother of an infant, I’ll give you that)
  • TURN OFF THE TV, cell phone, computer and any other devices that could interrupt your sleep – do this at least 30-60 minutes before bedtime
  • Wind down for 30-60 minutes before Bedtime – read a book, turn off the TV, meditate, write in a journal.  Practice calming the mind before lights out
  • Keep a notebook on your nightstand – Instead of laying there thinking about everything you have to do the next day, write down your to do list for the next day and let it rest along with you.  Again, nothing is that urgent that it needs to keep you up or get done at this very moment.  Something great psychologically happens when you write things down as well… all of a sudden you’re able to stop thinking about that task and your brain can calm down and rest.
  • Don’t have caffeine within 3-5 hours of bedtime, maybe longer is you’re really caffeine sensitive
  • Finish your last meal 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • STAY HYDRATED and keep the room temperature cool.  You’ll get a much better nights sleep when your body temperature (which drops at night) matches the room.  Everybody is different so you may need to experiment with this.
  • Get in a great workout regularly – Tire yourself out.  By leading an active lifestyle you’re body will want and NEED its rest.
  • Wake up the same time every morning Don’t hit that snooze button or sleep in.  By establishing regular sleep patterns or a normal bedtime and wake up time you’ll make it a routine for your body to get the required rest it needs.
I know an afternoon nap isn’t feasible for everyone (unless you have a really cool boss like I do) but listen to your body… when you need more rest, TAKE IT.  In the long run, it’ll do your body and overall health a world of good.
Get SLEEP Done
Murph

This past week I received an email from Brian who wanted some ideas on some great upper body strength training exercises that they could do from home.

His message went something to the tune of, “Help! Summer is on the way and The Suns coming Out. I need some home exercises to build my arms so I can have the Gunz Out.”

No problem Brian, this should help.

Here are my TOP 5 Killer Exercises for a Killer Summer Body!

1. Rope Climb / Pull-ups / Inverted Rows – Ok, I know Pull-ups aren’t doable yet for everyone so I have some different progressions until you can get your feet off the ground and body up to new heights. Lets start with the lessor of these 3 exercises (although still very challenging) The Inverted Row. You can use the Kitchen table or throw a strong rope around a low hanging branch of a tree in your yard. Perform this exercise by getting up under your table and pulling your chest up as seen in the pic below. From here you can move into the Assisted Rope Climb. Essentially the same movement as the inverted row, you’ll start by lying flat on the ground and grasping the rope. You’ll climb the rope hand over hand until you are almost in a full standing position. Keeping your feet in contact with the ground at all times reverse the movement by walking hand over hand back down till your laying flat on the ground again. Both of these exercises are great for beginners who can’t get their first pull-up yet or struggle to climb a rope.

2. Push-ups – These are the most basic of all upper body pressing movements however there are many variations to take it up a level. Choose from regular, close grip, wide grip, spider crawl, 2x10s, plyometric, weighted, etc – Check out this video of so many different variations.

3. Odd Object Throw – This one is as basic as it sounds but a heck of a lot of fun and will build tremendous strength and give you a great metabolic conditioning workout as well (cardio to burn fat!) Execute this movement by finding any large, heavy object (Big Rocks, Bricks, Concrete Blocks, Weighted Medicine Ball, Sandbag, Even a Dumbbell) pick it up off the ground and heave it as far as you can with a variation of different throws.

4. Sledge Hammer Chops / Split Wood – Sometimes, the ol’ fashioned household chores growing up were the best workouts I have ever done. Splitting and sawing wood was definitely one of those winter chores that I never looked forward to because it was hard work! When we were kids, Dad would do most of the splitting but my brother and I would carry and stack the wood into nice piles to burn later in the wood stove. If you don’t have firewood to cut, get out a heavy sledgehammer and “chop wood” by hitting an old tire. The heavier the hammer, the better the workout.

5. Farmer Carry – One of my all time favorite movements that’s pretty much the Ultimate in a Strength and Conditioning exercise. Not only will you test your entire bodies strength and endurance from your grip, to forearms, biceps, shoulders, traps, upper back, core and even legs but you’ll also be huffing and puffing trying to manage the weight for more distance or time. Of course once you get good at a certain weight, its time to take it up or increase your distance, time, etc. Simply grab 2 heavy objects in your hands and start walking. Keep your body as tall as you can (think tall spine) and try not to drop. Don’t need anything expensive here, just grab a couple of 5 Gallon buckets and fill them with water or sand. They’ll get the job done!

So there you go.

5 Great Upper body (and really full body) drills you can do at home with things you already have laying around.

Try these exercises on this week and let me know how you do.

Get Work Done.

Murph

I got to thinking about the several hundreds of client transformations that I helped over the years.

For almost two decades, I have worked with so many men and women who possess different personalities, body types, emotions, habits, challenges, health issues, physical complications, work schedules and family dynamics that it would seem it would take a different strategy and approach to help each individual for their own personal success… and to some degree that is very true.

I have definitely learned a lot over the years that the text books just don’t teach you about addressing difficult challenges and meeting the personal needs of each individual client.

And with each person that I have worked with I can tell you a unique story about how they accomplished their strength and fitness goals.

But even with my proven track record, there are still some who haven’t yet even begun their strength and fitness journey.

I got to thinking about this and then I had my AH-HA moment.

I recently discovered that there is ONE THING that separates those who get amazing results from those who don’t even attempt to start.

Even in pursuit of my own personal goals, whether it be passing or improving my score in the APFT (Military fitness test), fat loss, rehabbing my lower back or improving strength & athleticism (which are my goals today), I had one thing that kept me driven and determined to reach my goals that were and are important to me…

And that one thing, that one common bond that I share with my cliental that has had tremendous success and the one thing that should drive you is Frustration!

You actually need to GET ANGRY to Make Results Happen!

I know, this isn’t the same speech you’re use to hearing from me with Positive Mindset and such but hear me out on this.

It’s only when you are Truly Frustrated with where you are currently at…

It’s only when you are Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired…

It’s only when you are at your weakest point…

It’s only when you are finally feed up with being overweight, out of shape, zero energy, feeling sick, weak, feeling unattractive, , insert your feelings here_______________.

Whatever that feeling is that has you down and out and miserable, its only when you finally get angry and say enough is 🙊ing enough is when you will actually do something about it and be serious enough to make the changes necessary to reclaim your strength, fitness and health.

When you allow yourself to get angry and attack your goals with a vengeance you will find yourself UNSTOPPABLE!

Nothing will step in your path of rage as you stare down the limitations you placed on yourself and discover they no longer have a hold on you, that you are in control of your strength, fitness and health and that you do have the will-power and drive to get work done and accomplish your goals.

Just like when Bruce Banner has had enough and he transforms into the HULK – He has to GET ANGRY and then he SMASHES everything in his path.


Imagine you have that same energy, that same drive, that same passion, that same level of intensity as the Hulk when you GET ANGRY!

That anger will be your fuel to use after years and years of frustration and you will break barriers and become the absolute BEST version of yourself.

You see, it has been in my personal experience that those who finally say enough are the ones who truly find that inner warrior to Get Work Done and change what they don’t like about themselves.

It’s this trigger that sets them off and they break out of the mold that once held them back.  In fact, once they start making the transition into the new confident, vibrant, healthy and stronger person they want to be, they never want to experience that old self again.

I’ve seen it time and time again and heard the same story over and over again from those who went from:

  • Overweight and feeling unattractive to fit and feeling sex
  • Weak and feeling insecure to strong and feeling confident
  • Health issues and life threatening illness to healthy and medication free

They all have said the same thing to me…

“I hated where I was and it was TIME for me to change.”

Yes, these words come out from their mouths – HATE, UNATTRACTIVE, DISGUSTED, MAD, DEPRESSED, WEAK, INSECURE, FAT, UGLY – these are not words that express any type of good feeling about one self that’s for sure…

So if you look in the mirror and have any of these adjectives depicting how you feel or how you look at yourself my advice to you today, as in – RIGHT NOW is to get angry and do something about it!

No sugar coating, coddling, pat on the back, its gonna be ok softness here – GET ANGRY and GET TO WORK!

If you desire to be more, to do more then you need to know that the time is now.

HULK OUT – GET MAD and DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW!

  • Throw out the junk food that clutters up the kitchen
  • Get Outside and go for a 30 minute walk
  • Write down what you don’t like and how you’re going to fix it – this is called setting goals

And if you who are looking for the perfect timing – let me be very clear…

THERE WILL NEVER BE A PERFECT TIMING!

You think you’re busy now?  I guarantee your life will continue to be busy and become busier as time marches on.  You must make the commitment and the time to yourself.

I get it – You have a full time job, maybe two or three jobs…

A demanding family at home…

Kids homework…

Appointments…

Volunteer Work…

Etc… Etc…

We all have the SAME 24 hours in the day and life is not going to slow down – I guarantee it.  If you’re angry enough you’re going to do something about it today.

If you’re ok and not frustrated with the way you are, you will make excuses and remain the same.

If you need help with any of this, hit me up… Simply send me a text 804-274-8315 with “I’m ready to HULK OUT!” and we’ll explore different options finding one that will work for you.

Murph

In this post I am going to explain exactly why you need to take your intensity up in your training and provide exactly how to do so.

The tips I’m about to uncover WILL invoke the body to re-shape with eye popping, muscle definition, causing the opposite sex to sustain neck injuries from whiplash and weakness in the knees…

Ok, little dramatic there but you get the idea.

Through the concepts I’m going to describe to you, you’re going to learn exactly what you need to do to rev your metabolic rate so high that you’ll burn up body fat even while you’re at home kicked back watching t.v.

Sound too good to be true?

If you’re like most people, this is exactly how you would LOVE to be able to lose fat. You’re doing very little work but melting fat off your body.

Possible? Absolutely. But, only after you put in the hard work with your trainingfirst.

Continue reading 5 Ways To Take Your Workouts to the Next Level

If you’ve been in the fitness game for any amount of time you have undoubtedly come across some sort of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

P90X, CrossFit, Tabata, BodyPump amongst many other popular fitness trends are all variations of HIIT and they do work, until they don’t.

There are several issues I have with HIIT and reasons why this style of training stops working and I’m going to cover all of it in this email.

I’m also going to cover what you should be doing instead to ensure the results keep coming so let’s get into it.

First, what is high intensity interval training.  

If you are unfamiliar with HIIT I highly encourage you to Google more info but simply put, HIIT is a time period of going extremely hard on an exercise followed by a short rest or low intensity exercise.

These protocols can be prescribed in many different ways such as Tabata’s famous 20/10/4 – Go hard for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and repeat for 4 rounds.

You also have CrossFit’s complete the workout as fast as possible such as the Fran WOD.  Complete 21 thrusters and 21 pull-ups, then 15 thrusters and 15 pull-ups, then 9 thrusters and 9 pull-ups, as fast as possible.  Quickest time wins.

Or you could come up with your own HIIT using something as simple as the treadmill.  Sprint as fast as you can for 20 seconds, slow down and walk for 60 seconds and repeat for x amount of rounds.

I’m not even going to pretend that these methods don’t work.  They in fact do and I have personally incorporated these tactics into my own programming at Mayhem Fitness.

These methods have long been the “secret sauce,” of producing fast results in body transformations. Continue reading The Problem With High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

People often over complicate their strength and fitness program with tons of needless accessory work, machines, and endless cardio 😖
.
Those things are important and belong in a well rounded program however 80% of your workouts should be focused on these 8 Basic movements if you want to get Jacked and Strong 💪
.
They are:

💥 Deadlifts
💥 Squats
💥 Pushups / Dips and possibly Bench Press
💥 Chin Ups and Pull Ups
💥 Heavy AF Carries
💥 Rows
💥 Sprints
💥 Jumps of all types
.
Clean and Presses could honestly be in this list however, jumping movements as well as throwing implements can be used in place of the classic Olympic lift, especially for the beginner to intermediate lifter who doesn’t have the mobility or coordination yet to perform the clean and press.
.
With the said, get work done with these Basic 8 Movements and all their variations and stop wasting your value time and effort on the needless 💩