As Seen On

Posts Tagged ‘bodybuilding workouts’

Get Lean/ Get Strong – Lose Fat / Gain Muscle – Guest Blog

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Get Lean/ Get Strong

By John Alvino

It has been stated that a non-chemically enhanced lifter cannot get stronger while on a fat loss program.

The popular justification for this claim is that in order to lose fat, you need to create a caloric deficit through dieting and higher volume training. And caloric deficits are NOT conducive to gaining strength or building muscle.

This is why when most people want to get stronger and/or bigger, they go on a high calorie diet and reduce their training volume. Unfortunately, this usually results in unwanted gains in body fat. It’s a classic catch 22 scenario.

Then, when they try to drop their recently gained body fat, they usually follow a typical fat loss protocol (low carbs/low calorie diets, high intensity cardio, high volume resistance training), and although they may lose some fat, they can kiss their strength gains goodbye. And then they are right back where they started.

Does it have to be this way? Or can you lose your unwanted body fat while INCREASING your strength simultaneously? The good news is yes: you can (and should) increase strength while decreasing body fat.

In order to accomplish this, you must focus on three different aspects. Here they are:

1) Target the nervous system with your training – To a large degree, your strength is a function of the efficiency of your nervous system. This is because your nervous system is responsible for synchronizing and activating your motor units. For those of you who don’t know, a motor unit consists of a bunch of muscle fibers and a motor nerve cell.

Increased synchronization and activation basically means you will be able to utilize more motor units per contraction. This phenomenon will increase your strength dramatically.

How do you target the nervous system? Well, there are two ways to make significant neural gains.

The first is to lift heavy weights. In fact, the weights must be 85% or more of your 1 rep max. This will result in performing sets of 1-5 reps each.

The second way is to move the resistance at high speeds. Any type of explosive movement will do the trick here. Examples of explosive movements are jumping, plyo pushups, Olympic exercises and various med ball drills.

It is important to note that the nervous system can take up to 10 times longer to recover than the muscular system can. Therefore, in order to maximize this training technique, you should be sure to get near full recovery in between sets. For an experienced lifter, this could result in up to 4-5 minutes between sets.

2) Maintain or increase your lean muscle mass. This is critical, because even if you make neurological gains, you can still compromise your strength if you lose muscle tissue.

There are two things you must do to increase muscle mass during your fat loss program.

The first muscle boosting trick will involve your nutrition. The key is to NEVER stay sub caloric (below maintenance level of calories) or carb depleted for more than 3 consecutive days. Obviously you will need to reduce calories in order to lose fat.

Just don’t keep them low every day. Keeping them low everyday will result in losses in lean muscle mass. Instead, lower your calories and carbs on light training or off days and then INCREASE both carbs and calories on HEAVY training days.

The second trick is to include some hypertrophy sets in your routine. Hypertrophy sets involve using a weight which allows you to get 6-10 repetitions. The key is to keep the volume low on these sets.

Do not exceed more than 4 total hypertrophy sets for each movement pattern. More than that can result in overtraining and/or muscle loss.

Additionally, these sets should ALWAYS follow your heavier neural sets.

3) Stay hydrated and nutrient loaded. Training at high intensities while dieting can result in dehydration. This will decrease your strength and thus negatively impact your workouts and future gains.

The obvious way to try and combat this is to drink plenty of water. Be sure to drink a daily minimum of half of your bodyweight in ounces of water. Although drinking a sufficient amount of water is important, it is not enough all by itself to maintain a high level of strength performance.

Additionally, 30-45 minutes before your heavy workouts, consume a liquid meal consisting of 30 grams of protein, 500 mg of magnesium, ¼ tsp of salt, 5 grams of glutamine, 5 grams of BCAA’S and 60 grams of carbs.

This will help jam nutrients into the body, thus improving workout performance.

I have used this protocol with great success with many of my clients. But just recently, I put this protocol to the test on myself for 6 weeks. Here are my results:

Starting weight – 211lbs

Finishing Weight – 202lbs

Starting Body Fat% – 13%

Finishing Body Fat% – 8 ½ %

Trap Bar Deadlift Starting Max – 505lbs

Trap Bar Deadlift Finishing Max – 545lbs

I also did a Trap Bar Deadlift rep test. The test was simply 405 for max reps. At the beginning of this program, I was able to get 11 reps. After just 6 weeks, I was able to pull 20. Here is the video:

405lb Trap Bar Deads for 20 Reps!

I also performed a similar before and after test using a Military Press.

Standing Military Starting Max – 175lbs

Standing Military Starting Max – 205lbs

Those were the only two exercises I took maxes on. These are very good results. For strength athletes, the benefits of this protocol are obvious. But this is incredibly beneficial to anyone who looking to lose body fat as well. Give this protocol a try, You’ll be glad you did!

About the Author

John Alvino is a strength And Conditioning Coach, Fat Loss Coach, Vegetarian, Fitness Author, MMA Junkie, Ex Convict and Pit Bull Advocate from Morristown, NJ

Get his killer new FREE report at



20 Awesome Warm-up Exercises, Shawn Phillip’s AMPED Warm-up Routine

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

We have discussed the importance of warming up many times here on Diesel.

Essential Hip Mobility

3 Insanely Effective Upper Body Warm-ups

Ultimate 2 Minute Shoulder Warm-up

Ultimate Shoulder Rehab Video

and this is only a couple of the cool videos on my Youtube:  TheDieselCrew

Why is a Good Warm-up Important?

You also know that I just released the best selling warm-up system this year with Joe Defranco, called AMPED Warm-up.

With all this attention to warming up, do you think it might be an important component of a good workout?

For years I went into the gym, put plates on the bar and started hitting reps.  Years later I couldn’t jump, I couldn’t squat full range and both shoulders felt horrible.

Over the last two years, both Joe Defranco and I have been really focusing on the warm-up, activation exercises and mobility.  It is now a staple in all of our programs.  That is the truth.  It is that important.

Today I can honestly say I am more mobile, agile and hostile.  I can jump again, squat again and hit any exercise I want to hit.  Working out is supposed to get you stronger and more explosive.  It isn’t supposed to make you less flexible, hurt your joints and injure you.

If you make the warm-up a focus in your workout, you will be rewarded immediately AND be able to lift virtually injury free for as many years as you want.

I recently got a note from Shawn Phillip’s who got a copy of AMPED.  He let me know that he really liked the program and has been using it for his workouts.  I decided to do a special new warm-up routine and name it the Shawn Phillip’s Warm-up Routine.

There are over 90 exercises in AMPED and literally 100’s of different warm-up routines you can create for any sport, any workout or any program.  These are just a small few that I’ve demonstrated!   Now if you use AMPED along with AMD (complete muscle building / strength training system) you’ll not only have all the warm-ups you need, you ‘ll have 16 weeks of killer workouts AND you learn how to create your own routines!

“Joe and Jim have done the unthinkable<they’ve made warming up seem cool.
The Amped book and DVD are a must-have for people who want to be strong and
injury-free throughout their training careers. Every move and technique
you’d ever need is in here, along with plenty of sample routines so you
never get bored. I can’t wait to “Bitch Slap My CNS” next workout!”

-Sean Hyson, C.S.C.S., fitness editor for Men’s Fitness magazine

Shawn Phillip’s AMPED Warm-up Routine

20 Awesome Warm-up Exercises


Shawn Phillips, 10 minute AMPED Warm-up Routine

Jumping Jacks, 20 reps
Seal Jumps with Leg Switches, 20 reps
Full Body Circles, 5 each way
Arm Circles, 10 reps each arm, forward and back
Elbows Circles, 10 each arm, forward and back
Wrist Circles, 10 reps
Shoulder Twists, 5 reps each way
Bodyweight Squats, 8 reps
Squat to Stand, 8 reps
Push-up Plus (Level 1), 8 reps
Push-up Plus (Level 2), 8 reps
Push-up Plus (Level 3), 8 reps
Push-up Plus (Level 4), 5 reps each arm
Cobra, 5 reps
Striders, 5 reps each leg
Striders with Rotation, 3 reps each side
Hamstring Stretch / Hip Flexor Stretch, 3 reps each side
Band Pull Aparts, 10 reps
Band Dislocates, 5 reps
Backward Rolls into Hamstring Stretch, 5 reps
Backward Rolls into Glute Stretch, 5 reps each arm
Squat to Forward Lunges, 3 reps each leg
Standing Glute Stretch, 5 reps each leg
Cradle Walks, 5 reps each leg



3 Insanely Effective, FAST Upper Body Warm-ups – Repost

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

In honor of AMPED Warm-up, I am re-posting two previously released articles for all of our new subscribers.

Check out this essential upper body warm-ups, how to warm-up article below.


If you’ve picked up the latest edition of Men’s Fitness, there is a big 4 week AMD workout in it. You know from all of my posts here on Diesel and if you’ve purchased this innovative muscle building system, that I’m big on full range of motion movements, a thorough warm-up, activation exercises, SMR and everything else that helps you stay healthy and move better.

It is so important as you get older and it is so important for coaches and personal trainers who are responsible for helping athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

With this in mind, I created a killer new video. Each warm-up might look like a whole lot of exercises; more than you’re used to. But as you get proficient, you’ll flow from exercise to exercise and it should not take you longer than 10 min.

In this video you’ll find 3 choices.

Three different upper body warm-up routines that you can pick and choose from for your workouts.

What To Do Next?

1. Watch the Video

2. Rate at 5 stars

3. Print out all 3 Warm-up exercise lists on this page, or in the description on the YouTube video.

Copy and paste the following into word and print it out. Take it with you to the gym.

Upper Body Warm-up Routines

Warm-Up #1

Perform 1 Run Through

1a) Jump Rope, 3 min

1b) Foam Roller, 30 seconds each area

1c) Shoulder Bridging, 10 reps each side

1d) Push-ups, 20 reps

1e) Push-up Plus, 10 reps

1f) Kneeling Reach Through, 5 each side

1g) Banded Diesel Face Pulls, 20 reps

1h) Muscle Snatches, 10 reps

Warm-Up #2

Perform 1 Run Through

1a) Jump Rope, 3 min

1b) Foam Roller, 30 seconds each area

1c) Med Ball Wall Dribbling, Left to Right, 10 times

1d) Db Laterals, 10 reps

1e) DB Flyes, 10 reps

1f) DB Raises, 10 reps

1g) DB Presses, 10 reps

1h) Banded External Rotations, 10 reps each arm

1i) Standing Rotator “Y”, 10 reps

1j) DB Lateral Drops (Activation), 15 reps

1k) Plate Extensions into Halos, 10 reps

Warm-Up #3

Perform 1 Run Through

1a) Jump Rope, 3 min

1b) Foam Roller, 30 seconds each area

1c) Lat Stretches, 5 resets each side

1d) Band Shoulder Stretches, 3 Ways, Various

1e) Hindu Push-ups, 20 reps

1f) Cable Face Pulls with External Rotation, 10 reps

1g) Cable Face Pulls, 10 reps

1h) Side Lying External DB Rotations, 10 reps each side

1i) Blackburns, 10 reps

1j) Full Range DB Laterals, 10 reps

Highly Effective Upper Body Warm-ups

PS. If you want to learn how to pull all of this together into a complete workout, guaranteed to not only build muscle and get you stronger, but also help you rehab your injuries and feel better now, check out Accelerated Muscular Development

PPS. Want power? Want real core strength? Check out Combat Core Strength

Great Tricep Finisher – Improve Pressing Power

Friday, January 1st, 2010


Arm Workout

Effective Tricep Finisher

During last nights workout the energy was lagging.

It was a great workout and everyone was pretty run down.

So I decided to challenge my workout partner on one of our last sets.  We were finishing up with triceps after an upper body workout and we decided to hit a giant set.  But, little did I know.  When Brad stepped up, he not only increased the weight, but did more reps!  That bastard!


Ultimate Pull-up Video – How to Progress to Performing Pull-ups

Sunday, December 13th, 2009


Ultimate Pull-up Training

If you remember from one of my previous posts on big back training, you’ll know that there are several ways to modify conventional pull-ups.