Another Basic Body Weight Workout

Just posted a great body weight workout on my new Adelaide Personal Trainers website from Craig Ballantyne. There are six exercises and a great video to explain exactly how to perform each one, also how to modify for beginner and more advanced fitness levels.

View the body weight workout here.

Great Video From Vince DelMonte

Vince DelMonte No Nonsense 6 Pack QuestHere is a quick YouTube video from Vince DelMonte titled "Get Back In Shape Plan", which is a great workout for anyone getting back into the gym or starting for the first time.

Vince has dozens of excellent videos on his YouTube channel for all levels of fitness, and also specialises in weight training and nautral bodybuilding. Visit his page here:

He is also the author of several fitness packs including some of the best instructional dvd's I have seen, which will allow you to learn the correct technique for all of the workouts. As a personal trainer, I have used many of his workouts with my own personal training clients.

Watch the video below and please leave me a comment if you need any more information:

An Explanation and Solution For Slow Female Fat Loss

Burn The Fat Feed The MuscleAn excellent article below by Tom Venuto of aimed predominantly at females, but there are also some excellent fundamentals on nutrition that can be applied by anyone. If you have any questions about anything mentioned, please leave me a comment.

An Explanation and Solution For Slow Female Fat Loss

You may have heard (or, heh, realized), that it's more difficult for women to lose fat than men. Immediately most people think it must be estrogen or hormonal issues. But perhaps the biggest factor is NOT hormones, but the simple fact that women are usually smaller and lighter than men.

When you have a smaller body, you have lower calorie needs. When you have lower calorie needs, your relative deficit (20%, 30% etc) gives you a smaller absolute deficit and therefore you lose fat more slowly than someone who is larger and can create a large deficit more easily.

For example, if my TDEE is 3300 calories a day (I’m 5' 8" and moderately to very active), then a 20% deficit is 660 calories, which brings me to 2640 calories a day. On paper, that will give me about 1.3 lbs of wt loss per week, rather painlessly, I might add.

If I bumped my calorie burn up or decreased my intake by another 340 a day, that's enough to give me a 2 lbs per week wt loss.

That's hardly a starvation diet (Ahhh, the joys of being a man). For smaller women, the math equation is very different.

If your total daily energy expenditure is only 1970 calories, even at a VERY high exercise level, then a 20% deficit for you is only 394 calories which would put you at 1576 calories a day for (on paper) only 8/10th of a lb of fat loss/wk.

If you pursued your plan to take a more aggressive calorie deficit of 30%, that puts you at a 591 calorie deficit which would now drop you down to only 1382 calories/day.

That's starting to get fairly low in calories. However, you would still have a fairly small calorie deficit. In fact, I would get to eat almost twice as many calories as you and I'd still get almost twice the weekly rate of fat loss!

What this all means is that women who are petite or have a small body size are going to lose fat more slowly than larger women and much more slowly than men, so you cannot compare yourself to them.

It's great to be inspired by our success stories, but if you're looking for someone to model yourself after, choose one of our success stories of someone your body size and wt, rather than the folks who started 100 lbs overweight and were therefore easily dropping 3 lbs a week.

ONE POUND a week of fat loss is much more in line with a realistic goal for someone of a smaller body size. Overweight people can lose it faster. The best thing you can do is to be extremely consistent with your nutrition over time.

Suggestion #1: Weigh and measure all your food any time you feel you are stuck at a plateau, just to be sure. When your calorie expenditure is on the low side, you don't have much margin for error.

Suggestion #2: Take your body comp measurements with a grain of salt, especially if you are using Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA) scales (they are a bit wonky) and remember that body comp testing is seldom perfect. Pay attention to your circumference measurements, how your clothes fit and how you look in the mirror and in photos as well.

Suggestion #3: You might actually want to take fewer refeeds - once a week instead of every 4th day, or even just once every 10-14 days, so you can get a larger weekly deficit.

Suggestion #4: You may want to take 2 or 3 of your long cardio sessions on the treadmill and switch them to intense intervals or ANY other type of activity that has potential to burn more than 362 calories for an hour's investment of time, or perhaps that equivalent calorie burn in less time. No need to add more days of cardio or more time - get the most out of the time you are already spending.

Suggestion #5: If you do intervals, don't make the workout too brief (ignore the advertisements for those "4 minute miracle" workouts, etc.), or you may burn fewer calories than you were before! In fact, you might even try the method where you do HIIT
for 15-20 min, then continue for another 30-40 at slow to medium intensity. Increasing total calories burned should be your focus.

Dropping only ONE pound per week (or less) may seem excruciatingly slow, but it's actually the same type of thing I do. As a bodybuilder, I go from lean to extremely lean when I diet and I don't expect more than a pound a week during contest cuts.

You are in a similar situation, even if not competing. Even if you get a half a pound a week fat loss, if you get that progress every week, that’s what you’re looking for - steady progress – even if slow.

It's entirely possible that you HAVE been making progress, only very slowly. With the way water weight and glycogen levels can fluctuate (and lean mass may increase), a half a pound or pound fat loss in a week could have been easily masked... and therefore, missed. That's one of the drawbacks of going by the scale alone.

Understand the calorie math I explained above and be patient, watching for slow and steady progress, paying special attention to the trend over time on your progress chart.

Keep after it - the persistence will pay, I promise!

Train hard and expect success,

Tom Venuto, author of
Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle

PS. You can learn about more fat loss strategies (including the details about the carb cycling method) inside my e-book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle. Learn more and see some of the inspiring before and after success stories at:

About the Author:
Tom Venuto is a fat loss expert, lifetime natural (steroid-free) bodybuilder, independent nutrition researcher, freelance writer, and author of the #1 best selling diet e-book, Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle: Fat-Burning Secrets of The World’s Best Bodybuilders & Fitness Models (e-book) which teaches you how to get lean without drugs or supplements using secrets of the world's best bodybuilders and fitness models. Learn how to get rid of stubborn fat and increase your metabolism by visiting:

Bodyweight Workouts For Adelaide Personal Training Clients

Here's a couple of quick workouts you can do at home with no equipment required, other than a towel, and preferably something like a bath or beach towel.

These 2 workouts are ones which I have used with personal training clients at the Adelaide studio. I mentioned I would email them the workouts but rather than just email, I have put them up here for easy access and so other clients can use them too, if and when needed.

Workout #1

1. Knee Pushups
2. Bodyweight Squats
3. Towel Rows
4. Prone Hold
5. Supine Hip Raise

Perform as a circuit with no rest, or as little as possible between each movement, and perform each for 30 seconds. To make this harder, you can increase the time on each movement to 1 minute for example.

Follow these rest/repeat cycles:
  • Rest 60 seconds, and repeat,
  • Rest 45 seconds, and repeat,
  • Rest 30 seconds, and repeat,
  • Rest 15 seconds, and repeat (this last one is optional depending on your fitness level).
Workout #2

1. Bar/Bench Pushups
2. Alternate Lunges
3. Bridge
4. Towel Rows
5. Static Wall Squat

Perform as a circuit with no rest, or as little as possible between each movement, and perform each for 45 seconds. Do this for sets only with 1 minute rest in between.

To make this harder, you can increase the time on each movement to 1 minute for example, and add additional sets if required, and reduce the rest period as per Workout #1.

A quick explanation of Towel Rows - performed like a low row/seated row, but with a towel wrapped around a vertical pole/post, etc. with your feet at or close to the base. Then, without bouncing or momentum, retract the shoulders and perform just like a normal rowing movement.

Any suggestions or comments, please let me know.

Good Protein Choices

Published a recent article on another fitness blog titled "More Protein Choices For Personal Training Clients" for my personal training clients in Adelaide who have been asking for tips on how to get more protein into their diets.

Just some very simple and easy tips on how to take your existing diet, and by adding protein to every meal, create noticeable change in energy levels and support all that hard work in the gym with the right foundation/nutrition.

Be sure to leave a comment on the site if you have your own preferred protein choices that I have missed.

Can You Drink Alcohol And Still Stay Lean?

The answer is yes, you can! Which will be good news to my personal training clients who often ask this question.

This is a great read by Mike Geary from, who publishes a great newsletter which you can subscribe to on his website. Full article is below:

Alcohol and TrainingThis topic seems to be a common struggle I hear from a lot of people... They want to get lean, but they don't want to give up drinking alcohol.

Now, I'm not talking about alcoholic type of drinking (that is obviously a problem)... we're just talking moderate social drinking here.

First, although some people may willingly choose to give up alcohol entirely, I still think most of us can drink in moderation, and still stay perfectly healthy and lean. But there are a few tricks that can help you to not pack on the pounds... and I'll mention those in a little bit.

As for myself, it comes down to choosing what I'm going to be strict about to maintain my fitness lifestyle and what I'm not going to be strict about.

For example, I'm pretty strict about never eating anything deep fried or made with trans fats, never eating white bread, and never drinking sodas or sweetened soft drinks of any kind... but I'll admit that one thing I've chosen to not be strict about is drinking alcohol.

I'm in my 30's now and I certainly don't drink as frequently as I did back in my crazy college days, but I'll certainly enjoy some cold ones when hanging out with friends, going to a bbq or dinner party, or during a night out at the bars and nightclubs.

It's all about balance in your life, and not every aspect has to be perfect in order for you to still get the body and health that you want. You'll drive yourself crazy if you're trying to be perfect.

Of course, if you have no problem abstaining from alcohol, then that will certainly be the best thing for your health and your body.

However, for the rest of us, that actually do like to partake in some social drinking, here are a few tips that have helped me to stay single-digit bodyfat lean, while still drinking occasionally.

1. Obviously alcohol gives you extra empty calories on the days that you choose to drink. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, compared to 4 calories per gram for carbs and protein, and 9 calories per gram for fats.

On nights that I know are going to involve some drinking, it helps to make sure that dinner is based only around protein and vegetables. You're going to take in a lot of empty calories with the alcohol, so eating a good portion of appetite-satisfying protein along with nutrient-rich vegetables can help to control your appetite and give your body the nutrients it needs.

Plus, most importantly, there's just no room for loads of carbohydrate-rich foods if you're also going to be consuming alcohol. Carbs + alcohol is a perfect recipe for growing a beer belly!

2. If you want to save your body from adding layers of ugly fat, by all means stay away from syrupy, fruity drinks that are loaded with sugar... this is a double whammy for your gut as you're not only getting all of the empty alcohol calories, but also loads of empty sugar calories. Big fruity drinks such as a margarita can sometimes have as much as 500-600 calories per serving!

Instead, your best bet is to stick with a clear alcohol mixed with club soda and a squeeze of lime or lemon. Vodka with club soda and extra lemon/lime squeeze is my drink of choice at the bars/nightclubs.

Stay away from tonic water mixers! Some people don't realize this, but tonic water is loaded with almost as much sugar as regular soda pop... on the other hand, club soda has no calories at all. It's clearly the lowest calorie way to drink.

3. If you're going to drink beer, you're better off choosing just 1 or 2 dark beers rather than 5 or 6 light beers. Sure, dark beers have more calories than light beers, but dark beers also have more B vitamins and antioxidants than light beers, so you actually get more nutrition from the dark beer. As long as you keep it to just 1 or 2 dark beers, you may still stay within 150-400 calories.

4. Try to get in a high intensity full body workout before your night out of drinking. At least you've revved up your metabolism and have your body processing calories a little faster.

Also, trying to get in some sort of exercise the morning after your night out can also help to get your body back to a good state of health. This may not be your best workouts in terms of energy, but it can help to just get your body moving and break a sweat.

5. Avoid the late-night munchies after a night of drinking! This is where most people do the biggest damage to their waistlines.

Instead, make sure to have some lean protein and vegetables quickly available at home (perhaps some pre-cooked chicken breasts, grass-fed steaks, or even tuna fish and some veggie sticks) so that you can satisfy your late night post-party appetite with lean protein instead of carbohydrates.

The worst thing for your body is loading up on pizza, ice cream, and other carb-rich junk after a night out of drinking.

6. If you drink multiple drinks socially, try to keep drinking alcohol to only 1-2 days/week maximum if you want to stay lean. On the other hand, if you never drink more than 1-2 drinks per day, I think having 1-2 drinks daily with a meal can still be part of a healthy lifestyle. As long as those calories are accounted for and you still stay within your daily caloric maintenance.

7. Wine is one of the healthier drink choices... if you must have a drink, you might as well choose wine so you at least get a good dose of antioxidants as well. Red wine is known for it's antioxidant content, however even white wines contain antioxidants as well.

And finally, like I mentioned before, drinking alcohol just adds one more thing to your list that you have to work against in getting the body you want.

Abstaining may always be the best choice, BUT we also need to be realistic and know that social drinking is not something that most people are willing to give up entirely.

For that reason, this list of tips to help manage social drinking in a healthier way can really help you to stay leaner and healthier and still balance a little bit of social drinking into your life.

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer
Founder -

The Aerobic Conspiracy

Read this excellent article today by Phil Stevens titled "The Aerobic Conspiracy", which shows just how badly out of proportion the whole cardio vs weight/resistance training argument really is.

In reality, if you could only choose one, and no doubt this all comes down to personal preference also, you would choose resistance training over cardio/running every time. A better solution would be to incorporate both into your workouts and they are both beneficial.

It's a great read and you can see it here:

A Personal Trainers Quick And Easy Protein Snack

Have been doing this for the last couple of weeks as it saves a heap of time and you always have a handy source of one of the best sources of protein available and at a very small expense.

Hard Boiled Eggs - A Great Source Of ProteinWhat is it?

Hard boiled eggs!

I do these a dozen at a time and it takes 10-13 minutes in boiling water (vary your time depending on how you like them, and yes, the water must be boiling when you put them in, or else you might end up with something slightly underdone...).

These really are the perfect snack or even as a whole meal, say for breakfast have 2 eggs with sea salt and cracked pepper, with a piece of fruit, a handful or two of raw mixed nuts, bottle of water and you are really starting your day off in seriously good form. The yolks are fine to eat and they contain most of the essential nutrients found in eggs, so don't discard them no matter what anyone says about the fact that they are high in fat. This comes from an old bodybuilding style of nutrition which has its place, but not in the context of this post which is for every day people which is 80%-90% of those in the gym, or with personal trainers.

Nutritional Information For 70g Free Range EggsThe following picture (click to enlarge) is taken from the box, and note that these are 70 gm free range eggs, showing the nutritional information for you calorie conscious people out there.

For those of you that don't follow any type of nutritional plan, maybe now is a good time to start as we only need a certain amount of food, or energy each day, and you know where the rest goes if you don't use it? Fat.

I hope this helps and saves you a heap of time.

The Top 10 Weight Loss Foods That Burn Fat

Quite a lot of personal training clients have been asking for information on nutrition lately, which is great because it is probably the most neglected area of a training program.

As with many other factors in the general fitness world, the amount of information is simply staggering and can be overwhelming to someone looking to make some changes in the way they eat, and more importantly, how much they eat (and drink!).

A recent article by Tom Venuto titled "The Top 10 Weight Loss Foods That Help You Get Six Pack Abs!" (click the link to read the entire article) contains the following food groups and why your diet should consist mostly of these:
  • Top 10 Starchy Carbs and Whole Grains
  • Top 10 Vegetables
  • Top 10 Lean ProteinsFruit and Vegetables Are Essential For Fat Loss
  • Top 10 Fruits
One particularly good point that Tom makes, which is mentioned throughout his very well know Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle program, is to zig-zag your carbohydrate intake. Very simply this means to rotate those foods you select based on your training schedule, or when you need the energy the most.

To give an example, lets say your do your strength training on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays and you do cardio or some other sport, or whatever it is you enjoy that gets you burning calories on the other days. As a general rule, it would be best to pick foods from the "Top 10 Starchy Carbs and Whole Grains" on your strength training days when you need the energy the most and choose from the "Top 10 Vegetables" on all other days when your need for such energy dense foods is not as great.

It doesn't mean you never eat the starchy carbs on non-training days, but it's a good place to start and to change your way of thinking in terms of how much food does my body need today in relation to what tasks you have planned for the day. If you are working in an office and are sitting down for most of or all of the day, then your energy requirements are going to be much different than if you are "taking the day off" and playing golf, or out jet skiing or a big day at the gym.

Don't forget though, your body needs fuel, just like a car does, to perform at it's best so choosing the majority of your food intake from these lists will put you in a great position to achieve whatever fat loss or muscle building goals you have.

A Personal Trainers Favourite Breakfast

A Personal Trainers Favourite Breakfast - Rolled Oats With Mixed Nuts and HoneyYes, this is seriously my favourite breakfast most days of the week, especially at the moment, because it is just a tad frosty in Adelaide, South Australia at the moment.

Traditional rolled oats with selected mixed fruit, nuts and honey. My very lovely lady makes up this mix herself, although it is pretty easy to whip up. Straight to the Central Markets if you are in Adelaide.

Here's how I like to make it and the ingredients, calories, etc.:

3/4 cup of rolled oats (about 70gms)
1 1/2 cups of water
- Cook this for 3:30 on high in the microwave or on the stove top if you prefer.

Add the following:

Ingredient Measurement Calories Kilojoules
premix raw nuts 30g 189 789
dried coconut 3g 20 83
dried apricot 3g 7 30
sultanas 3g 10 40
yoghurt coated sultanas 3g 14 59
rolled oats 70g 270 1127
honey 3 t 61 255
453 1892

You can add pretty much anything you want to this, I often have this or with just banana and honey, but make up your depending on what you like. I like it with extra honey (organic) so don't panic if you do too. If you are on a strict calorie intake just allow for it elsewhere, or get in the gym and work it off!

Tip: Toasted hazelnut meal (lightly toasted in a dry fry pan) sprinkled over this is also pretty damn tasty.

10 Cardio Exercises That Burn Fat

Here are some other forms of cardio that you can use in your workouts to break up the use of the more traditional "machine based cardio" (treadmill, elliptical trainer, exercise bike, rower, etc.). No doubt there are others but these are fairly standard and in my experience, they are (unfortunately) the most heavily used pieces of equipment in most gyms.

1. Step Ups
Have been used in aerobics for years. All you need is an elevated surface, box step, chair, etc. that you can step up and step down off, and you're good to go. It's a great cardio workout that also tones and shapes the legs.

2. Stairs
Are a fabulous cardio routine that can be turned into an interval or repetition exercise. They get the heart rate going and will surely leave your legs feeling like jelly.

3. Hill Running
Is another great workout that not only builds cardiovascular strength but shreds your legs as well.

4. Skipping
Has been used by boxers for years as a cardio workout and gives both the legs and arms a great workout.

5. Cycling
A great low intensity cardio workout that just about everybody can do. You can even spice things up a bit by popping the bike in a higher gear or hitting some hills, there's plenty of things you can do to make your ride more interesting.

6. Sand Running
One of the most challenging cardio workouts but probably one of the best and quickest for building cardiovascular strength.

7. Swimming
Another low-impact cardio workout that also works the entire body. You can do laps, pool running, or just tread water, there all extremely effective.

8. Interval Running/Cardio
Probably the most popular cardio workout and is basically done by choosing a length of time to run for and then resting for that same time or even less. You then repeat this over and over again until you give up or pass out. Take a look at these examples.

9. Suicides
An old gym class drill where you basically mark off a short distance of about 50 metres or less and then sprint from one side of the area to the next. Not only is this a great cardio routine but all the turning around works muscles in your legs that you probably didn't know existed.

10. Jumping Jacks
They never grow old and are a personal trainers favourite exercise to give to their clients because they know they're an extremely effective cardio exercise. Might not win you any points, but they will thank you later.

This all relates to a previous article on just moving in general and you can add to this list with your own favourite exercises. Don't forget, they don't have to be in the gym!

More Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do At Home

These exercises are for a personal training client who has a couple of teenage boys at home who want to start getting stronger, but aren't quite ready or perhaps old enough to start hitting the weights just yet.

They can be used by pretty much anyone and you will often see me writing up these bodyweight programs (here's a previous article) for personal training clients if they need extra for home, or while they are away on business, etc.

In no particular order, here they are, and I will show you some examples of how to progress them and make up combination's so you can increase the difficulty as far as you can.

Upper Body 1 (Chest, Shoulders & Triceps)
1. Pushups* - 12-15 Reps (vary hand position from wide to narrow on training days)
2. Bridge - Hold for 1 Minute (top of the pushup position and hold)
3. Bench Dips - 12-15 Reps
4. Partner Assisted Shoulder Press - 12-15 Reps (while seated have someone stand over you and hold your fists as you replicate a dumbbell shoulder press)

Repeat this as a circuit, rest and then repeat for 3 sets in total.

* Watch the video below for plenty of pushup variations:

Upper Body 2 (Back, Lower Back and Biceps)
1. Standing Towel Rows 12-15 Reps
2. Supermans - 10 Reps to each side
3. Partner Assisted Seated Towel Rows - 12-15 Reps
4. Partner Assisted Towel Bicep Curls - 12-15 Reps
5. Negative Reverse Grip Chins - Maximum time possible (ie. just holding the top of the movement)

Repeat this as a circuit, rest and then repeat for 3 sets in total.

Lower Body (Legs, Hamstrings & Glutes)
1. Bodyweight Squats - 15 Reps
2. Supine Hip Raises - 15 Reps
3. Alternating Lunges or Jumping Lunges - 12-15 Reps each leg
4. Step Ups - 12-15 Reps each leg
5. Toe Touches (Knees slightly bent) - 15 Reps

Repeat this as a circuit, rest and then repeat for 3 sets in total.

Circuit Combinations
You can take any of these exercises from each "group" and make up your own circuits. For example, and try and keep the body parts somewhat staggered so you alternate from upper to lower body where possible. This is a general rule so feel free to experiment.

Here is an example circuit:
1. Wide Grip Pushups - 12-15 Reps (Upper Body 1)
2. Jumping Lunges - 12-15 Reps each leg (Lower Body)
3. Negative Reverse Grip Chins - Maximum time possible (Upper Body 2)
4. Bodyweight Squats - 15 Reps (Lower Body)
5. Bridge -1 Minute (Upper Body 1)

Repeat this as a circuit, rest and then repeat for 3 sets in total.

You can mix these up in an unlimited number of programs. If you need any examples of technique let me know and I will get some videos for you. A great way to make them harder is to reduce the overall time you rest in between each set. So if you rest say 1 minute after the 4-5 exercises back to back, start reducing that rest period to 45 seconds, then 30 seconds, or add another exercise. These can be tough if give them a go and put everything into it.

If there is a favourite exercise you have that's not listed here, leave me a comment and I will make up another program for you.

The Ten Fat Loss Mistakes You Are Making At The Gym

Charles Staley's Escalated Density TrainingHere is a great article from Charles Staley's website titled "The Ten Fat Loss Mistakes You Are Making at the Gym", by Matt Lisk.

These are some from the list and you can view the full article here:
  • Stop Doing Hours and Hours of Cardio!
  • Never Workout Without Music!
  • Stop Socializing at the Gym!
He loves using exclamation points so I will leave them in there!

Leave me a comment if you can think of any others.

Adelaide Personal Trainer

Adelaide Personal TrainerFor any readers of this blog from Adelaide, Australia I would like to invite you to try out a personal training session with no further obligation other than the cost of the initial 1 hour consultation. The session will involve a full body workout and a body composition test is also available on request, as is some general nutrition advice.

If you have a personal trainer already, fantastic, but if not or you would simply like some variety in your training programs, please contact me via email at

A great site to use that has some excellent online fitness tools if you are reading or visiting this page and are not from Adelaide or Australia is You can track your workouts, monitor and upload your goals, meet new friends that can help support you, and has a great database of exercises all available at no cost. For those of you who don't have or choose not to have a personal trainer, this is a great alternative.

Cardio Interval Training

Here are some easy ways to add variety to your cardio routine if it's getting a little boring. This training is often referred to as high intensity interval training or HIIT, but for the purposes of this article we'll just keep it nice and simple.

There are many benefits of this type of training and these include increased metabolism, shorter workout time and dramatic improvement in overall fitness.

The cardio interval training is performed in on/off or fast/easy periods of time, allowing for recovery, and you can use pretty much any time frame you wish such as:
  • 30 seconds fast/30 seconds easy
  • 1 minute fast/1 minute easy
  • 30 seconds fast/1 minute easy

For example, sprints on the treadmill are a classic use of cardio interval training where you would sprint for 1 minute at a pace you can handle or approximately 80% of your maximum effort, then rest for 1 minute and repeat the process.

This is a general guide so experiment with a few time frames which can be performed on any type of cardio equipment like an exercise bike, x-trainer or elliptical trainer, rower and treadmill as already mentioned.

Depending on your level of fitness, start with 5-10 minutes and work your way up to around 20 minutes which would be a very solid effort. You can perform this as many times as you want during the week but realistically aim for 2-3 per week combining other forms of exercise such as body weight and/or resistance training.

Some Great Tips From Vince DelMonte

Just read a great article on Vince DelMonte's blog titled "23-Ways To Get Shredded At Last", which has some excellent advice on what to incorporate into your fitness plan.

Even if you were to take just a couple of these excellent tips, no matter what stage you are at of losing weight, shedding bodyfat or just looking for ways to improve your training, this is well worth reading.

Vince is a fitness competition model, Men's Fitness Magazine writer and the author of the best-selling ab and fat loss program, Your Six Pack Quest.

10 Golden Rules of Health and Fitness

It can be overwhelming when trying to figure out what is good advice when it comes to looking after your body through proper exercise and nutrition. The following "golden rules" are some very fundamental steps obtained through years of experience and self-testing, that you should be prepared to include in your daily or weekly routine if a healthy and lively body is your desired outcome.

1. You must have an exercise program
There are literally unlimited ways to exercise, most importantly you need to be active in whatever form is appropriate and enjoyable for you.

2. You must burn (output) more calories than you take in (input)
No need to get super technical on this one. Measure your progress weekly to be sure you are heading in the right direction, making changes to your level of output (exercise/movement) and input (intake of food/drink/alcohol) where necessary.

3. Incorporate different forms of exercise
To use an example in the gym, combine body weight training, resistance training and cardio (both steady state and interval) and some core work and you have got pretty much all bases covered. Keeping your level of intensity is key here.

4. Eat clean and healthy food
Most people can tell the difference between good and "junk" foods. An easy rule to remember is to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. For example, can anyone tell me in which country where you will find a tree that grows doughnuts?

5. Drink lots of water
2-3 litres per day is a good benchmark. The best thing you can do for your body is to drink a litre of water as soon as you wake up. Just pure water, nothing added.

6. Avoid anything with artificial sweeteners
Any food or drink that is "diet" should be removed from your diet completely if possible. You would be amazed how many things contain these products.

7. Get plenty of sleep
6-7 hours should be baseline, and yes I know we are all busy. There is no better feeling than waking up every day bouncing out of bed because your body and mind are in great shape.

8. Change your program around frequently
This leads on from #3 and will be determined largely by your interests and need for change. Some people are very comfortable and get great results repeating a similar program but for most, change is a welcome addition and your body will respond accordingly, ie. well!

9. Find some trusted sources of information
The fitness industry would have to be rated very highly in the too much information category, without question. This will save you a lot of time and frustration when you read conflicting points of view and your too hard switch comes on. Listed on this blog are some of the most well respected authors I know of.

10. Don't listen to losers
It doesn't matter where you go or who you are, there are always people telling you it can't or even worse, shouldn't be done, or why bother? If you have friends like this, maybe it's time to get some new friends.

So that last point may seem a little harsh, but seriously, how badly do you want to succeed? Apply this to almost any area of life and you will find similar circumstances.

You can do it and now you have some great places to start.

The Most Important Thing Is To "Move"

There are so many different ways to get in shape it would be hard to count and list them all in one article. Regardless of the method, there is one very important component central to even the most sophisticated calorie counting, skin fold testing, drop-set, tri-set, superset based program and that is you must move.

Boxing classes are a great way to get you movingThey don't all have to be in the gym either. This will naturally depend upon your personality and what works for you, but here are just some of the ways you can move:
  • Various gym programs and equipment - body weight, cardio, weights, etc.
  • Boxing/Kick boxing/Martial arts which can be great for teens or those not comfortable in "the gym"
  • Bike riding/BMX
  • Surfing/Windsurfing/Kite boarding/Wake boarding
  • Skateboarding/Roller blading
  • Tennis/Squash or almost any racket sport where you cover some distance
  • Walking/Jogging/Running
This is obviously a very small list but you get the idea.

A very basic and important equation is the "Law of Calorie Balance". In it's simplest of terms this means we must burn (ie. move) more energy (food) than we eat or drink in order to lose or maintain weight. Pretty simple.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that their way of exercising or getting/staying fit is better than your way unless they are a trusted friend or someone with the experience to know better, like a personal trainer or a sports coach. Everyone is different and we all like and respond to different forms of exercise as we do in many other aspects of life.

For the most part exercise is free. There is absolutely no reason why those who are able can't manage to move the one and only body they have been given that they'll have to the very end.

Make sure you look after it!

Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle Review

Burn The Fat, Feed The MuscleBurn The Fat, Feed The Muscle (BFFM) by Tom Venuto is the #1 best selling diet and fitness ebook in the history of the Internet. In fact, it's one of the best selling e-books on any subject in the history of the Internet.

As a personal trainer I have studied and used this information myself repeatedly and constantly refer to it to apply to my own training. Without it I would not be as knowledgeable especially in the area of nutrtion and what is required to achieve low levels of body fat, and the ability to lose or gain weight as needed. That might sound a little odd but there really is a science behind how to do it and BFFM is considered the "bible" at least in fitness terms to making those goals a reality.

Here are a few reasons why, and also why Tom is considered within the fitness industry to be a leader in training, nutrition and possibly the most important piece of the fat loss puzzle: the psychology behind what makes one person succeed while another fails, even when using the exact same information...

1. It's because thousands of women and men of every age are burning off BODY FAT - not muscle or water weight - and they're doing it naturally, without supplements, pills or "magic potions," simply by using the proven, scientifically-accurate and common-sense advice found inside this amazing diet and fitness guidebook.

2. It's not a "weight loss" program, it's a "fat" loss program. This may seem like semantics or wordplay at first, but once you've read just the first three chapters, there will be no doubt in your mind that pursuing "weight loss" is not only the wrong goal, it may be the reason that you've failed to reach and maintain your ideal body weight. Burn The Fat shows you exactly why it's fat you must lose, not "weight" (which includes muscle, water and other lean tissue) and then goes on to show you exactly how to do it.

Tom Venuto3. What makes Burn The Fat different is the amount of attention that is paid to each and every element of successful, healthy, permanent fat loss. Burn The Fat not only thoroughly dispels the lies, myths and fallacies surrounding a very confusing subject, it is simply the most detailed book about fat loss ever written. By reading Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle, (or better yet, "studying it"), you will learn more about fat loss than you could from an entire semester of nutrition classes or from an entire shelf of mainstream diet publications at your local bookstore.

Tom Venuto, a respected fat loss expert, natural bodybuilder, and personal trainer, has not just pumped out yet another "diet program" into an already over-saturated market. Tom's Burn the Fat can be more accurately described as a "Fat Loss Bible." It is quite simply one of the most complete, detailed, and precise guides to fat loss you will ever read.

Who will benefit most from Burn the Fat?

In the broadest sense, anyone and everyone who needs to lose weight will benefit from Burn The Fat. Men, women, bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and especially motivated individuals and avid readers will love this book. Although it was written by a bodybuilder, this book is certainly not just for bodybuilders.

You will find no "30 lbs. in 30 days" miracles at work here. It's all about intelligent eating choices, planning, hard work and lifestyle change. As author Tom Venuto says, 'Burn the Fat is simple, but it's not easy."

You may be wondering, "Is this a low carb diet? A high protein diet? A high fat diet? what type of program is it???" The truth is that Burn the Fat is neither a high protein diet, or a low carb diet. That's because with the information in this book, you will be able to easily determine your own ideal protein, carbs and fats ratio. You will be able to analyze your body type (are you an endomorph, ectomorph, or mesomorph?), you will determine your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate, or the amount of "maintenance" calories your body requires every day), and you will find out whether you are carb tolerant or carb intolerant.

This personalized approach makes perfect sense because each of us is a unique individual and no two people are exactly alike in terms of body physiology and personal goals.

One of the most powerful chapters in the book is the first one called, "How To Set Powerful, Compelling Goals That Will Propel You Forward and Charge You Up with Unstoppable Motivation." In this chapter, you will learn what is probably the ultimate secret to burning fat and getting in shape... and it has nothing to do with diets, supplements or training programs. There's also a great quote in this chapter from the legendary Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi...

"The dictionary is the only place success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must all pay for success."

That line does a nice job of expressing the "no quick fix" philosophy behind the entire book. In the rest of the book, you'll learn the complete and exact mechanics of fat loss - explained on both a scientific and a practical level (which you can easily apply in your own daily life in terms of what to eat and how to exercise to burn fat).

If there is any drawback to the Burn The Fat ebook, it's that it contains so much information, that some readers may find it a bit overwhelming. Those who are looking for a rapid fire type of fat loss program, might be a bit intimated at first. The good part however, is that even these types of readers can feel confident and assured that it will be worth the effort because this will literally be the last book they ever have to buy on the subject.

Why I recommend and my own personal training clients use BFFM?

Anyone looking for a quick fix solution to fat loss, anyone looking to be told fairy-tales, and anyone looking for a "magic bullet" offered by the likes of body wraps, fat burning pills, diet shakes, or "fat-burning" creams and gels might be best advised to steer clear of Burn the Fat.

On the other hand, anyone tired of "spinning their wheels" going nowhere, who wants the truth about fat loss and who is ready and willing to put in the hard work and discipline and make the lifestyle changes necessary to get a fat free body, will find Burn The fat to be one of the best investments they ever made in their lives. Click here to learn more about Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat program.

As a follow up and addition to the BFFM program, Tom has also released a book called The Body Fat Solution and you can read more about this on a recent post.

3 of My Favourite Blogs For You To Check Out

Here are 3 great blogs for you to check out and subscribe to if you haven't already seen them from previous posts I have made or emails sent out, etc.

1. Burn The Fat Blog by Tom Venuto
2. Turbulence Training by Craig Ballantyne
3. The Abs Expert by Scott Colby

I use all of these sites as resources and their training methods which I recommend for anyone to use in their own workouts and for tips on health and fitness, nutrition and psychology.

Hope you find them useful.

Reducing Rest Time Between Sets And Exercises

Reduce your rest time between setsA really simple way to increase the difficulty and the benefits of your existing or even future workouts is to reduce the rest time between sets and exercises.

It's very common for people to rest "the standard" 1 minute between sets and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially if you are really pushing it and need the time to recover.

Let me show you a few examples of why and how you could do this:

1. You are rushed for time!
- Most of us have this problem from time to time and rather than just skipping your workout completely, reducing your rest time between sets can get your workout done in less time and even have significant benefits on your metabolism.

2. Your current program is getting a bit stale
- If your current workout takes 45 minutes for example and you rest 1 minute between sets and then the same or even longer between exercises, cutting your rest time to 20-30 seconds will dramatically reduce the time required to complete a workout.

3. Your recovery and general fitness has improved
- A simple rule I use in my own training is to rest just enough to get my breath back and then straight back into it. When your overall fitness and ability to recover improves from training, if you feel good to go after 30 seconds why wait 1-2 minutes for the next set/exercise? If you want and enjoy spending more time in the gym then by all means rest as long as you feel comfortable.

One last tip is to record the time for your whole workout as you would normally do it. Start by reducing the time between exercises, ie. the time you take from say moving from Low or Cable Rows to Lat Pulldown, and try and decrease this overall time. You will also get a more cardiovascular workout from shortening your rest periods and keeping the heart rate elevated.

Try this with any of your workouts whether they are strength training based, body weight, cardio or combinations of either and watch the time fly and your overall conditioning improve.

Don Tolman and Whole Food Signatures

Don Tolman is a genius when it comes to food and the way each and every natural food that we should be eating is related to a physiological function within our bodies.

I was fortunate enough to hear him speak in Adelaide, Australia late last year and since then have made some changes to what I eat and just the way you look at food in general.

Watch the following video from YouTube, where there are many more related videos from him:

Also, check out his main website and also his page on Whole Food Signatures. He appears regularly in Australian capital cities and you can find other dates relevant to your location at his site. If you need any more information please leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

Short and Sharp Workout in 20 Minutes

I was a bit short on time this afternoon and it would have been easy to just not do anything considering it was 45 degrees outside and the third hottest day on record in Adelaide, Australia.

But, I am a personal trainer after all and I should be leading by example right. Thank God for air conditioned gym's though...

A 20 minute workout can be plenty if you keep the intensity up and the rest time between exercises and sets down to a minimum, usually just enough to get your breath back.

Here it is and I have shown the weights I used for illustration purposes and you can see how I have increased the weight on each set

1. Dumbbell Chest Press - 10/12.5/15 kg - 12 Reps
2. Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown - 33/40/40 kg - 12 Reps
3. Dumbbell Deadlifts - 10/12.5/15 kg - 15 Reps
1-3 is done as a small circuit (or Tri-Set) with no rest in between but taking approximately 30 seconds rest between sets/circuits. Repeat for 3 sets in total.

4. One Arm Bridge - 1 Minute (15 seconds per arm and swap x4)
5. Prone Hold (on elbows) - 1 Minute
6. Pushup Bridge - 1 Minute (same as 1 but with both arms for the minute)
Repeat as for 1-3 but only ONCE

7. 1 Arm Alternating Bicep Curls - 10/12.5/12.5 kg - 12/10/10 Reps (each arm)
8. Bench Tricep Dips - 15/15/15 Reps
Repeat as for 1-3 (2 exercises back to back is referred to as a 'Superset')

That's it! Obviously this could be a number of different exercises and the weights will vary from person to person. But what is important here is the short space of time allowed and how much you can get done if you keep the rest period down which really elevates the heart rate.

If you need any further explanations of any of the exercises let me know and I will get onto it.

Tom Venuto's New Book: The Body Fat Solution

The Body Fat Solution by Tom VenutoTom Venuto has a new book out called 'The Body Fat Solution: 5 Principles for Burning Fat, Building Lean Muscle, Ending Emotional Eating and Maintaining Your Perfect Weight.'

I have just received my copy and can't wait to start reading it. It is not available from Australian book retailers just yet but can be ordered online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble in the US. Go to his website for the correct links if you would like to order it.

His first publication was an ebook called 'Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle' (BFFM) and has been one of the most popular fitness books on the web for several years. I have used it extensively and can honestly say his information is the best out there.

Tom is a life time natural bodybuilder and BFFM was a little more on the technical side of how to get really lean based on training methods used by bodybuilders and fitness models. The Body Fat Solution was written to deliver the same kinds of training, nutrition and psychology that BFFM contains but in a more everyday language that anyone at any level can use and benefit from.

It comes with my highest recommendation and would make an excellent gift to someone you know who may need it.

Would love to hear your feedback when you get to reading it.

One Of My Favourite Body Weight Leg and Glute Workouts

This is an excellent body weight leg and glute workout from Craig Ballantyne. He is a very highly respected fitness writer and his blog is an excellent source for workouts as is his YouTube channel, cbathletics. You can also find great workouts for any body part just by typing in your chosen exercise. Anything that comes up with Craig's videos or material is highly recommended and very effective.

I actually use something very similar to this in my own workouts sometimes with weights but it can certainly be done as a circuit without weights. Just click on the video below to watch.

If you have a particular exercise that you want to or know more about, leave me a comment and I will post it for you or send you some information directly via email.