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10 Reasons to Try Dips Plus Weight

Friday, March 14th, 2014

I love variety in my training.

If I do the same old stuff all the time, I get bored.

Honestly, as good of a lift the Bench Press is for developing upper body strength and putting on muscle, I just can not get “into it.”

Lately, I have been doing a lot more Dips instead.

And, I have been going super heavy on them.

I think you should try Dips Plus Weight too, and today, I am sharing my Top 10 Reasons for why you should use Dips Plus Weight in your Upper Body Training.

10 Reasons to Train Dips Plus Weight

1. Better for Shoulders and Elbows

On most Dip Set-ups, your hands will be in a neutral grip, or close to it. If your shoulders are beat up, this will take pressure off them. If your elbows are beat up, this will give them a break. Less distraction from pain, better effort during the exercise!

2. Freedom of Movement for the Shoulder Blades

When you lie on a bench, the shoulder blades are restricted in their movement. When you perform Dips, the scapulae can move freely. Again, if you are feeling beat up, this can give your body a chance to recover while still training hard.

3. Better for the Back

If you have lower back issues, a hard arch of the lumbar spine can really cause you problems. Believe me, I know. But with Dips, you actually experience a degree of traction, and the back can feel better. I talk more about how dips can make the back feel better here.

4. No spotter needed

When you are going heavy on the Bench you want NO DOUBTS whatsoever. It is a lot easier to do this if you have a spotter. No spotter, and you are taking a risk. You don’t even need a spotter with Dips. If you miss, you just drop down to the floor or foot platform.

5. Better Stretch for the Chest

One key aspect of lifting weights is getting the muscles to stretch under tension. This results in microtrauma that our body must repair, making us bigger and stronger. With Dips, I feel a better stretch than with Bench Press, and if you pay attention to your form closely, I think you will feel this too.

6. Works the Triceps Big Time

Just like the Bench Press, Dips will hit the triceps hard too. Depending on how wide the handles are and how you angle and load your body, you can also switch up how hard the triceps get hit by the movement.

7. Add Weight with Belts or Chains

You might not have tried this, but you can add a lot of weight to your body for Dips. You can use a Dip Belt and hang Kettlebells, Inch Dumbbells, Weight Plates or a Loading Pin from it. You can also use Weight Vests, Chains, and other forms of weight to your body to progressively overload Dips and keep your body growing.

8. Dynamic Stability for the Grip

I like the stability aspect that Dips require. You need to grip the handles harder in order to keep your balance, especially when you are loaded with a dynamic load, such as weight from a Dip Belt, or Chains around the neck/shoulders. Your hands get good solid work from Dips when you go heavy.

9. Improve Speed

You’ll quickly notice when training Heavy Dips that SPEED is your FRIEND. Being explosive out of the whole will get you more reps with heavy weight, and help you build more muscle and strength.

10. Deload the Body from Bench

If you are feeling beat up from the Bench, make Dips your primary lift for a couple of weeks. When you go back to it, your body will feel refreshed and ready to set new PR’s on the Bench Press.

Here is a recent video of 1RM Dip Plus Weight from the Grip Monsters Challenge. While super tough, I felt no pain in either of these attempts in my shoulders or chest, which is something I could never say about Bench Press.

Dip Plus Weight: 442.8 Total Lbs

Obviously, you don’t have to go adding close to 200 pounds to your body to get great benefit out of dips. Instead, start lower and go up. I think you will be happy with your results.

Dip Plus Weight Training Plan

Try this ramp-up for Dips Plus Weight.

Week 1: Bodyweight Only. 3 Sets of 20

Week 2: 25lbs Weight Added. 3 Sets of 15

Week 3: 50lbs Weight Added. 3 Sets of 10

Week 4: 50lbs Weight Added. 4 Sets of 12

Week 5: Deload

Week 6: Return to Bench or Dips + 25lbs 3 Sets of 20, and so on.

Enjoy your Dips and all the best in your training.


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The Morning Ritual Just Got Greener

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Every morning, I start my day with the same exact routine, whether I am home, in a hotel, or at a friend or family members house.

You see, about 4 years ago, I was having a run of nearly daily headaches.

This is kind of what the headaches felt like

Every day I went to work, the headache would start about 9 AM.

That meant the daily dose of Tylenol or Advil or some other pain relief pill.

Sometimes it worked a bit, but usually it did nothing.

I knew it wasn’t migraines. I’d had migraines before, and these weren’t that bad. They didn’t stop me in my tracks. They were just that dull, annoying, ache, that never changed, kind of like when the radio dial isn’t quite exactly where it needs to be for the station to come in perfect, and you are stuck with that little bit of static over top of every song that plays.

You know what I mean.


The static where it’s not Ice Ice Baby that’s playing, but Zice Zice Baby.

I knew it wasn’t a sinus infection. I’d had those before, too. I still do to this day. Generally, once in May and once in September my cheeks, forehead, and sinus cavity gets so filled with junk and the tissue so inflamed that every step feels like someone jabbing me in the sinus cavity with a pitchfork. And the only way to sleep is by placing my face on top of my fist so that the skin is pulled off to the side.

And I hadn’t had any head injuries, thank god, so it wasn’t some kind of trauma that had set these things off.

So I began looking at what else could be causing these low-grade daily headaches.

And the hunch that I came to was “maybe I was dehydrated?”

So, the next day, when I got up out of bed, I used the toilet, and I walked straight to the kitchen.

There, I filled up a glass of water, about 12 to 16 ounces, and drank it down. Then, I did it again.

My hunch was that I had somehow gotten myself into a rut of dehydration. I hypothesized that I was going to bed dehydrated, waking up dehydrated, and going through the entire day dehydrated, and this was causing me to have this crazy, nearly hungover, type of headache.

And I was RIGHT.


Once I downed that water, it was like I had hit the re-set button on a bad game of Super Mario and was able to start over from the beginning.

That day at work, it felt awesome to be able to look at other Managers in the eye without having to squint if there was a light behind them. I could sit and have conversations with employees without shuddering in pain if their voice was high pitched. And my workout that night was the best I’d had in a long time.

Every Day Brotherrrrr

So now, every morning, since then, with only a handful of exceptions, I have started the day with the Morning Gulp – 24 to 32 ounces of water, depending on how big the actual glass is, and I always will from now on.

But tomorrow, I am running a new experiment.

You see, my good friend Mark, with whom I train Back and Triceps on Friday mornings, pointed out something that I have been over-looking all year.

The water that I have been pouring down the sink after steaming my vegetables every other day or so, is most likely LOADED with nutrients and vitamins. So, today when I steamed the latest batch, afterwards I poured it into this giant plastic glass, and even though it looks like alien urine, tomorrow, I will be pounding this like a Keystone Pounder instead of just plain water, broccoli stubs and all.

Left-over Water from Steamed
Broccoli, Green Beans, Cauliflower, and Carrots

The idea is that tomorrow I will not only start the day off with a burst of hydration surplus, but also get a shot of vitamins and nutrients along with it.

Can’t wait brother.

Are You Chronically Dehydrated?

A quick google search on dehydration will tell you that an estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

When you consider that it takes only a 1% dehydration level to drastically decrease your mental focus and physical prowess, let alone cause headaches, it is worth it to sacrifice the 30 seconds of your morning in order to jump start your hydration status.

Yep, 30 seconds to fill and chug two glasses of water, first thing in the morning.

Risk of Water Intoxication


Naturally, if you drink too much water, it can reach levels that are considered poisonous, even carrying the names “water poisoning,” “hyperhydration,” and “dilutional hyponatremia.” So, you can’t go overboard here. I am not a doctor and have no idea how to figure out how much is “too much.” So don’t try this until you talk to one about it.

Either way, if you aren’t drinking enough water, you’ll know it when you take a leak throughout the day because your urine will be yellowish, or if you’re really dehydrated, then it will be like neon orange, and you’d better start drinking more water.

Why not get ahead of the curve by drinking it first thing upon waking up?

Start with just one glass.

Give it a try and let me know how you feel by leaving a comment below.

It’s been roughly 6 months since I’ve gotten a legitimate comment on this site. I half wonder if anyone reads this site anymore, since I get no feedback, no props, no complaints, nothing.

All the best in your training,


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Epic Upper Body Workout – Build a Big Back, Chest, Shoulders, Arms

Friday, September 27th, 2013
Me and Chris

A few months back, I was talking with an old friend of mine from college, Chris Christian.

Chris was one of my main training partners when I was in college between 1999 and 2001.

Unfortunately, he had been through an extended stint of “training vacation” and he wanted to get back into it.

He asked me for some guidance, and I asked him what he was currently doing.

He began to tell me about all this Beach Muscle work he was doing – each workout was filled with all this Pushing work and very little Pulling work.

Multiple Bench Variations, Shoulder Isolation work, Arm Training, but barely any Pulls.

Oh man…

So, we began working on that right away, because when you do too much Pushing and not enough Pulling, you run the risk of serious shoulder issues. Any doctor, physician or therapist will tell you that.

I laid out some new routines for Chris and shot him this video on balanced shoulder training guidelines.

He set forth following these new guidelines and said that once the Summer was over and his weekend job working security at an amusement park was done for the season, he would be up to hit a Big Workout, just like Old Times.

This past weekend, Chris made it up, and we had an awesome training session.

The way I laid it out, I wanted to give him plenty of new options for his training that were balanced between Pushing and Pulling movements for his entire upper body: Chest, Shoulders, Back, and Arms.

What this meant was that we would be hitting three upper body movements all in one day.

DISCLAIMER: I would not normally recommend training sessions like this on a regular basis. We trained for a solid 2.5 hours with very little rest. Doing this on a routine basis will almost definitely result in undue soreness and most likely over-training. That’s your warning, DIESELS. Don’t try this at home.

Part I: Intro Video, Warm-ups and Pressing

In this video, you’ll get to meet Chris. I immediately got him going on some warm-ups for his hips since he spends much of the day sitting on his ass and had just driven nearly 2 hours to my place. Even though we weren’t going to be hitting much lower body stuff, I still wanted everything to be limbered up well so that he was feeling right and performing well.

As I mentioned in the video, Chris’s job has recently been pretty intense. It was a long week filled with altercations, so I decided to add in some Odd Object Training along with the conventional barbell and dumbbell work. The idea behind the Odd Object Training is to get him better prepared for the altercations he sometimes sees in his job.

Part II: Log Incline Press, Incline Flies and Shrugs

Since Chris’s gym’s equipment selection is limited at best, I wanted to give him a treat of working the Incline Press with a Log. He said he loved it.

Also, since Chris is limited to a 30-minute workout since he trains at work, we threw in a nice super-set combo of Incline Flies and Shrugs. There’s no reason why Chris can’t get back into awesome shape. Even with 30-minute workouts, he can build muscle and burn off fat if he keeps his sessions intense, by including back-to-back pairings like these.

Part III: Pull-up Variations for Back and Grip Development

One of the ruts Chris and many people get into is they abandon Pull-ups and instead do all kinds of work on the Lat Pull-down Machine. I told Chris to start working Pull-ups back in because they are the Ultimate Back Builder.

You’ll also see in the video that we varied the grip and hand position throughout this section of the workout. We did this because I want Chris to start training his hands harder in order to be ready for anything on his job. You will see several different grip implements you can use.

This doesn’t even scrape the surface of what we did that day. Here it is almost a week since we trained, and I still haven’t got all of the footage edited and uploaded.

Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel so that you get to see all of the footage from this awesome workout.

All the best in your training,


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How to Train for a Full Ab Wheel Roll-outs

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Perfect Tool for Core Strength

ab wheel standing out

4 Days ago, I did the drill I am going to show you today, and I am STILL SORE.

Normally, I wouldn’t judge the effectiveness of an exercise by whether or not it made me sore, but consider the following…

I have been doing Ab Wheel work for several months. I have been working it HARD.

I did 10 sets of 10 Roll-outs on my knees one day while I was on vacation, so I thought I was getting where I needed to be.

Then, last Friday, I set this drill up and 4 days later my abs are still cooked. That just goes to show you how vicious this exercise is, and why you should start doing it right now.

Standing Ab Wheel Roll-out Training

If you are looking for a way to build core strength, get stability for the lower back, strengthen the hips, and build your abdominal muscles, the only real piece of equipment that you need is the Ab Wheel.


Over the last 4 months or so, I have been including the Ab Wheel in my training on at least a weekly basis and I love it. I have written several articles about the Ab Wheel this year and will be continuing to experiment with it.

I would say my experimentation is still in its infancy, although the ideas that are going through my head are non-stop. I am doing my best to get them onto my ever-growing note pad, and hope to one day compile everything for you.

I have decided that one of my goals I hope to complete before the end of this year is a Full Ab Wheel Roll-out on the Feet.

As I am sure many of you know if you have tried one of these variations, the difference in difficulty between Ab Wheel Roll-outs on the Knees and Ab Wheel Roll-outs on the Feet is crazy. These two drills are not even in the same galaxy.

For Full Ab Wheel Roll-outs on the Feet, you must have much more abdominal strength, you must be much more stable through the core and the hips, and your shoulders must be able to with stand a great deal force in the full flexed position as well.

All of these factors, plus more that I am surely over-looking, make the Ab Wheel Roll-out version on the Feet much harder.

I have begun implementing more Ab Wheel work on my feet and moving away from Ab Wheel work on my knees altogether.

Today I want to show you a very promising progression step I have been using for working up to the Full Ab Wheel Roll-out on the Feet, and it involves using bands.

Someone asked how to do this method if you do not have bands. My answer to them is GET BANDS.

Bands are useful for countless exercises and methods. There are innumerable ways they can be used to make exercises easier, harder, and to de-load or assist you in bodyweight movements.

If you do not have a set, here are a couple of places to get them:

Again, if you don’t have bands, I really have to ask why. They are very affordable and the myriad of ways that they can be used make them very high in value. The links above are affiliate links. When you order through them, you will not only be getting yourself some training tools that you will use in countless ways, but you will also be helping me out with some commissions. Although they are small, it all helps me continue to improve this site and keep it available as a source of reliable information.

Keep an eye on new updates on my pursuit for legit Standing Ab Wheel Roll-outs by joining my Ab Wheel Roll-out Update List below.

If you don’t have an Ab Wheel yet, you can get one here: Where to Buy an Ab Wheel

All the best in your training,


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How to Get Stronger, Bigger and Beat Your Competition by Using Your Mind

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

One of the biggest parts of strength training has nothing to do with how big you are, the loads you use, the volume you perform, or the time you spend in the gym.

Most people have those aspects pretty well covered.

This is something totally different that most people never give a bit of attention to…

The Mental Side of Training.

Today, I am interviewing someone who knows a great deal about that. Logan Christopher.

Interview: Get Better Results in the Gym Through Mental Training

Jedd: Logan, thanks for doing the interview. Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got your nickname, the Physical Culture Renaissance Man.

Logan: I have to thank Geoff Neupert for calling me that in the first place. For those that don’t know, physical culture is an old term to describe all different aspects of health and fitness. And renaissance man is the term used to describe someone who is good at a wide range of things. The term is usually applied to people like Leonardo Da Vinci for his amazing work in art, music, sciences, invention and more. So basically this term refers to someone who is good in all different sorts of strength and fitness areas. If it’s related to strength I’ve probably done it. Some of the things I’m more or less regularly working on are heavy lifting, bodyweight training including hand balancing and gymnastics, oldtime strength feats, grip strength, kettlebells and more.

Jedd: Logan, what does it mean to “Think and Grow Strong?” Your DVD Set is the first I had heard of this, and I think I have an idea, but tell us more.

I came up with this title based on the famous wealth and business book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Everyone has heard the stories of old ladies lifting cars off of their family. Well if a person has that amount of strength stored within them strength training isn’t really about getting stronger but unlocking the power already within us. As you mentioned proper physical training is crucial and there is soooo much information available on that. Many people reading this will be quite versed in how to train to get stronger.

But very few people pay attention to the mental side. What I have found with myself and clients is that how you use your brain will instantly effect the amount of strength you can put forth, thus you can literally think and grow stronger.

Jedd: There have been some strength feats that I just knew right away I was going to attain and I did. Why is it that the way you think can have such a profound effect on something like strength training?

Logan: Just think about it for a second. When we’re exerting strength our nervous system is sending signals to tell the muscles to contract. If the CNS sends a stronger signal than you can contract harder and thus be stronger. And its not about trying any harder. In fact, with many of these drills you get better results with less effort. I recently did a simple experiment using hypnosis and curls. I saw a 27% improvement on reps using my weaker arm than what I could do with my stronger arm.

Basically you mind is going to direct EVERYTHING that you do. If it is optimized it just makes sense that you will see instant effects in performance. This stuff is actually easy once you understand how it works. But it only took me several years of studying it all to put it together :)

Jedd: Are some people born better able to optimize this mental strength than others?

Logan: Yes, just like some people are born physically stronger than others. But they’re all trainable skills. Many people, when they see what I can do, assume I was always strong. That’s not the case. In fact I was a very weak and scrawny kid growing up. Although I was fairly smart I wouldn’t say I was mentally strong either. If anything what I did have was a strong will to succeed, and that too is a trainable skill.

Jedd: Is this about repeating a mantra? Having motivational posters in the gym? What all is involved in this?

Logan: No, no, no. A mantra is a form of affirmations. While they can work mantras are the weakest of any techniques I’ve seen. The problem with them is that if you don’t believe what you’re saying you’re actually going to be affirming the opposite of your desire. You have to be careful of these limiting beliefs, but once you know how, they’re actually quite easy to change once you’ve identified them.

A motivational poster can do something but its not going to double your reps. Let’s talk about motivation. If you need to be motivated it means there is conflict between different parts of yourself. One part wants to achieve a goal and another wants to sit on the couch and eat cheetos. You can work to integrate these parts of yourself and then be congruent as you work towards what you want. And if you’re in this state than no motivation is necessary.

Some of the main techniques of what I teach come from Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Hypnosis, Visualization and Energy Psychology. There are different ways to help you achieve whatever your strength training goals happen to be by using these methods.

Everyone knows about visualization but few people practice it, at least regularly. But even with that I’ve found there are much more powerful tools. As an example visualizing yourself doing an exercise may help. But if you change HOW you visualize in specific ways, which changes your mental programming, you will definitely see an improvement.

Jedd: OK. So it’s not just about practicing Mental Programming, but also about How You Do it. Awesome. Another thing that caught my eye about your Think and Grow Stronger Master Course is that you talk about “manipulating your past, present and future.” How is this possible?

Logan: Time isn’t something that is real, in the sense that its not a physical thing. All it is is a mental construct that has many uses, but people also become trapped by it. All you really have is the present. In your mind you can go to the past and the future. Any exercise in goal setting is working towards a future time. You can also change how you frame the past. Just how much is possible with it? I think an example will show you what sort of manipulation you can do.

At the Wizards of Strength Workshop I led Matti Marzel through a drill. He was already quite strong in that he did two handstand pushups against the wall on just the index finger and thumb of each hand. At the time this was the best he could do. I led him through a little drill accessing how he programmed this exercise within in his mind. I had him step into the future where he had continued to practice this exercise. In this state he had more for a “feeling of owning the exercise”. I had him step back to the present bringing that feeling with him. He then did another set and was able to get 4 reps. He doubled what he could do by manipulating his mental programming and the future.

Jedd: When I played baseball, my dad always said I “wore my emotions on my shirt sleeve.” What exactly do emotions have to do with all of this?

Logan: The emotions are intimately tied into your thinking processes. Psyching up is a form of mental training that is common among strongmen and powerlifters. To get into this state people use anchoring, even if they’ve never heard of that term. What are they doing? They’re doing something to trigger their emotions, usually anger, to enter an altered state where the can lift heavier things. And it works. BUT there are better methods and while it works for non-complex heavy movements, psyching up does not work as well for everything else. Different emotional states are more or less useful for different lifts and exercises.

Jedd: Logan, I truly believe having your Mind right is a huge factor in success with strength training. I have seen people wrap up horseshoes and steel bars and then just before they attempt the bend they say, “I’ve never been able to get this.” And sure enough, they fail. I would love to put together a resource to help people improve this, but your Master Course is amazing. Please tell people about it and how to get it. I know you are planning on retiring it and it won’t be around much longer.

Logan: Limiting and empowering beliefs are such a huge aspect of success in any field. These not only directly responsible for your success or failure in training, but whether you even train and how you do it in the first place!

The Think and Grow Strong Master Course is a huge amount of information. It originally began as a monthly program but is now available all in one set. Ten modules cover all of the areas I’ve discussed and more. In total there is a binder full of written manuals, 12 DVD’s and 5 CD’s. The CD’s have hypnotic tracks that all you have to do is listen to in order to help you get stronger, gain muscle or lose fat. And they work.

But I’ve decided to retire this course and pull it off the market. I’m doing this to make way for new information in the future like my upcoming book Mental Muscle. So once this month is over it is gone for good. But right now you can get it for about one third of the price.

My guarantee is that with this course alone you’ll be far beyond any personal trainer and even sports psychologist out there in knowing how to properly use mental training.

I only have a few copies left and if they don’t sell out right away I’m pulling them off the market for good at the end of this month.


Jedd: Think about this guys:

It’s likely that you have spent a decent amount of money in acquiring training information in the forms of books, videos, certifications, etc. The great thing about mental training is that it builds on top of whatever knowledge you currently have. Regardless of how you’re training or what you’re training for it can be added on top to act as an accelerator for your goals.

If you want an edge on your competition, whether you are in strength sports, more classic sports, are a coach, or just want to look better, this could be the final piece to the puzzle to make your preparation complete.

Get it here while you still can for 1/3 the regular price:
Think and Grow Strong Master Course

All the best in your training,


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