Monday, December 22, 2014

3 Don'ts, 3 Do's of the Holidays

3 Don'ts

1. "If I'm gonna eat bad, I may as well go all the way" Excuse

I see this all the time. Somebody messed up with their diet so they decided to just go all out and eat completely horrible for the rest of the day, weekend, or even week!
I don't stub my toe and then go, well might as well break my ankle and slam it into a wall. I don't overspend by $50 on presents then decide to drain my entire savings since I'm already off budget. Hopefully those were good analogies.

Not to mention you're going to set yourself up for more weight gain, feel depressed, lose your momentum, and a downward spiral continues ever ...downward.

Seriously, you're just making excuses to overeat. Know that so that the next time your brain tries to talk you into cheating you know what's happening and don't let yourself be fooled. Because the easiest person for you to fool is yourself.

How about, I've been dieting, working out hard, might as well not ruin it over a few seconds of taste.

 2. Don't be that GUY/GIRL
You know who. The one that brings a protein shake and some celery while everyone else is eating as a family.
Just don't. I don't care if you got all your food in Tupperware that you can eat with the rest of the family. Just be normal and eat like a human for one meal. One meal won't ruin everything unless you just go crazy.

3. Don't weigh yourself immediately after
Of course you gained weight. You'll gain weight from a glass of water. You'll lose weight when you pee. Why weight yourself right after a huge meal and ruin your holiday moment with instant guilt.
Know that you'll gain weight and most of it will be from water. Lost of carb sources combined with lots of sodium will make you look and feel pudgier, but it's fake.
You'll lose it easy. No harm done.

3 Do's

1. Save your calories for the Big Meal
Intermittent fasting has proven that you don't have to eat every 2-3 hours, so if you can go most of the day without eating, then you can get most of you calories done while eating that big Christmas dinner.
I'm not saying you have to starve yourself all day. You can have very lean protein sources with fibrous carbs. That way you'll be full but still have lots of room for calories that night.
Which brings me to...

2. High Protein
Attack the turkey first, or whatever protein source you have. If you're vegetarian go after that tofurkey. Get all those pees as well. If you're filling up on protein and carbs first, then you'll be getting full of low calorie tasty food. Then with the little room you have left you can attack those pies and pudding without having to worry about self control. You simply won't have room for bad food. But you will be full, and have a good time doing it.

3. Be Prepared
I like to do the reverse of Fat Tuesday. A day where everyone knows they're going to be bad for Ash Wednesday that beings Lent.

So they get all the bad out of them.
You know you're going to be bad so get all the good out of you. Workout with lot's of intensity and volume. Get a good diet going before Christmas. And bring lower calorie desserts(that still taste great) to the event for everyone. 
I'd like to give Lyle McDonald credit for putting out a lot of good info on this as I took a lot of his ideas for this as well.

Monday, December 8, 2014

5 Most Popular Fat Loss Myths

1st  Myth:

You can't eat late at night


This isn't Cinderella where carbs turn into a Pumpkin after midnight. You're body doesn't have a digital clock strapped to it. It doesn't care what time it is.

By this logic, should we worry about time zone changes and daylight savings time?

What about someone who works at night and sleeps during the day? Will celery and oatmeal make them fat because it was eaten when the moon was out?

How it Started:

People snack and gorge the most at night. So when people stopped eating at night they lost weight. They then thought it was science.

I had someone recently tell me they lost weight because they started going to bed early and it stops the urge to eat bad.

It's definitely a good rule to follow if you have issues with eating at night. But if not, don't worry about it. Eat whenever you want.

2nd Myth:

You have to eat multiple meals a day


A little thing called Intermittent Fasting has proved this false. People who follow IF eat only once or twice a day and get very lean.

If you're a woman dieting on only 1200 calories and were supposed eat multiple meals it would be impossible. 6 meals at 200 calories?  4 meals at 300 calories? That's rediculous.

It doesn't matter how you eat it, just as long as you get the correct amount before the end of the day.

How it Started:

Most people go long periods without eating. So just when they do eat, they gorge. Which has a lot to do with the previous Myth we just discussed.

Eating often controls your appetite. You ever heard the advice "Never shop while hungry".

If you're really hungry you'll overeat before your brain realizes you're full. Or maybe eat a lot high calorie food that aren't filling because of how hungry you are.

But people use this as an excuse saying they don't have time to eat right. I call B.S. Eat 2-3 times a day and do it right.

Others use this for marketing and sell six pack lunch boxes.

Again, it's a good philosophy to follow, but not truth. Eat whatever size and amount works for you.

3rd Myth:

You must eat Breakfast


Why? Because you told me to? Because you lost weight when you ate breakfast, therefor it must make everyone lsoe weight?

That's not how science works.

Is breakfast food lower in calories? No, the opposite.

Does breakfast food have fat fighting ingredients? No again.

I was going to do some fasted cardio but I'm not allowed now?

What if I eat lunch food for breakfast? What if I eat breakfast but I woke up late?

Again, where is the logic in this?

Where it Started:

Breakfast is a good time to load up on carbs because you'll be busy all day and you'll need it to power through your workout as well.

Fruits, Oatmeal, Protien, Fats, etc. all found in a good well rounded breakfast is definitely not a bad thing.

In fact it may curb you from bad decisions during the day.

But it won't fight off fat if you eat it, and won't make you fat if you skip it

4th Myth

Cavemen didn't eat carbs, that's why you're Fat


For some reason Cavemen are now the authority on Car Insurance and How to Get Abs.

Carbs don't make you fat. Overeating Carbs make you fat.

By this logic fruit, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, are all bad for you.

If a person has a total maintenance level of 2000 calories, and eats 2400 calories from too many carbs then they will become fat.

But if a person eats 2400 calories (like my current diet) and has a maintenance of 3000 (Like me) they will lose weight even though they will be eating around 300 carbs a day...and I do and I am.

Where it Started:

First of all Carbs retain water, so cutting carbs instantly makes you look leaner. But it's just water weight.

Second of all, Carbs are the easiest thing to over eat. How often does someone overeat grilled chicken and flank steak.

Which is why dumbed down diets such as Paleo and Keto exploit this tactic. The amount of calories you'll eat from lots of fat and protein most often don't match up to all the calories you would obtain from the extraneous carbs people often munch on.

So it definitely works a lot of the time. Though getting all your calories from mostly meat means a lot of saturated fat. But we won't open that can of worms right now.

If you just eat in moderation and/or track your calories you can eat carbs like a real human being. Because cutting carbs completely is not practical for a long term solution. A very miserable existence indeed. Much like living in cave.

5th Myth:

Starvation diets work


While feeling your stomach rumble is normal in the beginning of most diets, it's not something to strive towards achieving.

In fact, I strive for small caloric deficits. Only 15-30% of a deficit from your maintenance is necessary for fat loss. Any more, and your body will get used to it and stop burning off calories as quickly and you'll be stuck in a Metabolic Slowdown.

Why starve yourself if not necessary?

Where it Started:

Massive crash diets are a trend that will never end. You will lose lots of weight quickly, but it will also plateau quickly.

When you're only eating 800 calories and the weight loss stops. Where do you go from there? 500 calories?  Then what?  300 calories?  Then what, live off the air and water?

Meanwhile, if you cut only 300 calories from 2000, you can then cut another 100-200 when you plateau. A reasonable rate of calorie cutting is both more long term beneficial and less miserable.

Plus most weight you lose off a crash diet is water weight, as we covered in the previous myth.

So think about that before you instantly join some one size fits all 500 calorie deduction, or all men should eat 1800 calories diet.

The only crash diet I know that works is miserable and requires a lot of effort but here's a link if you want to try it.

There are many other Myths out there as well but I'll get to them another time.

Can only do so much at once.

-Steven Farmer

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Main Exercises

Most people reading this will be beginners to intermediate, so why worry about accessory exercises when you should just worry about the main core workouts.

Plus these compound or multi-joint exercises burn way more calories, build way more strength, and get you way more real world results than you will working out one single muscle.

Also, almost all photos are female because many women are scared of weights. I wanted to highlight that not only they can do it, but they won't look like some jacked up roid freak from doing them often.

All photos are from people I deem natural, and shows how lifting heavy makes your strong, and lean. Not bulky like Chyna from the WWF.

Also, reps and sets listed vary because there's so many different ways to train based on what your goal is.

Most of you are going for fat loss with some strength building so I based it off of a broad range for what you want. More reps with less weight for fat loss. Less reps and more weight for more muscle and strength. Somewhere in the middle for building muscle size, and burning fat.

Too much to get into in a beginner's blog.

Anyway, just read ahead and learn ya a thing or two about a thing or two.


Everybody's all over the squats now. Strength coaches, bodybuilders and even cross-fitters will all give you shit if you're not doing squats. Which I guess is a good thing since we had years of people skipping legs before.

Squats are possibly the most important workout. You will build larger, stronger legs, and as well as strengthen your core.

So many people skip squats and the next workout because they're hard work.

Keep your chest up, toes 30 degrees out, knees out, and go to parallel or a llittle below for the stretch reflex, and then pop back up.

Legs. Quads, Hhamstrings, Glutes,

3-5 sets of 3-12 reps.


A great workout for not only your back but your hamstrings and grip as well. Some people live by the deadlift...but you can also die by the deadlift. Well at least get injured easily. Trust me and others on that one.

Make sure you have your technique down before you start going heavy. Once you're good at these you'll definitely see why they're important. They will ststrengthen muscle in your back, lower posterior, and your grip.

Start with bar over middle of foot, knees past the bar, glutes, hams, lats, arms all tight, back arched, chest up, slack pulled out, then lift.

Drop quickly and don't let knees extend infront of bar on way down.

back, hamstrings, glutes, forearms.

1-3 sets of 3-6 reps.

Bench Press

Every guys favrorite workout and bragging right. Even women should do this. Hear that you crossfitters!?

Make sure elbows are 70 degrees to keep your shoulders safe.

Arch your back, and keep your scapula retracted, and aim the bar for your nipple line.

Make contact with chest, the explode back up.

You'll build your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

3-5 sets of 5-12 reps.
Bent Over Row

While most people say deadlift is the best overall back exercise, and other proclaim pullups and chinups, I believe the bent over row is the king of back exercises.

It works lats, rhomboids, rear delts, traps, and biceps. It's a much safer a workout than deadlifts, and t's easier for beginners to do than pullups.

You'll build your overall back with this exercise, plus your rear delts and biceps.

3-5 sets of 5-12 reps

Overhead Press

Works more of your body than bench press. Very important workout.

Unlike bench press that injures shoulders via building big delts but not rotator cuffs. This also works the rotator cuff by actually using them to ROTATE.

You'll also have more bragging rights by pressing you own bodyweight over benching your own bodyweight.

Grip a barbell tight around shoulder width and press overhead while keeping body straight. Aim for your nose on the way up, once the bar is past your face, push your head forward, lock out, aim the bar for your nose on the way down as well. Don't actually hit it!

Shoulders, upper chest, triceps, upper back

3-5 sets of 5-12 reps.

Pull Ups/Chinups

These work a large amount of back muscles as well. Lats, trapezius, rhomboids, biceps, detloids, just to name a few.

Plus you impress people when you can do a bunch of them.

The challenge is being able to do them. For beginners the best way is to use a jump stretch band to build the strenth.

You should feel your core working at the bottom, arms at the top, and back all the way through.

3-4 sets of 6-12 reps.

Skull Crushers

The one photo of a guy, because none of the female photos were done correctly.

The way to properly do it is to not actually crush your skull, or even get near it. Go behind your head and go down to a nice stretch, then come up. Come all the way up and contract your triceps for full range of motion.

This will bring in more muscles such as lats and stop you from hurting your elbows.

Make sure to flare out elbows on the way down as well to prevent tendentious.

Triceps, Lats, Core

2-3 sets of 6-12 reps.

Biecep Curls

Start at the top instead of the bottom. Keep elbows by the ribs come down almost all the way, use stretch reflex and come up. You can even cheat a little bit as there is a workout known as Cheat curls.
Just don't get dumb and cheat too much, as in catch the bar bar from underneath.

Aim for 2-3 sets of 6-12 reps.

Cable Crunches

I usually don't have people do ab workouts as you're working your abs already with all these workouts. But it makes people feel better to do so, as if they're actually flattening their abs so I comply. Plus some people could use a little extra core work to help with their other lifts so I'll give you one.

So many core workouts but this is one of the best.

Get on your knees, usually put a pad underneath unlike the girl in the photo. Grab the rope, keep around your head, use core to bring head to the floor, then come back up.

Your hands may hurt and need some adjusting, so be prepared for that. Go for around 20 reps.

Standing Calf Raises

Just kidding. Those are Donkey Calf Raises, and are a legitamate exercise but that's for people who are far ahead of you. Very advanced stuff.

Dumbbell, Kettlebell, whatever. Hold something if necessary to give you more tension. Hold something else to balance off of and be on top of something to where you can have full range of motion as in go down further than where your weight is balanced.

Once again aim for 20 reps, as calves need lots of reps and weight to grow. They're worked all day from you walking so need lots of extra stress to grow.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weightloss For Blockheads

So as you know I always advise for people to follow an exact amount of calories calculated to a certain deficit from your maintenance, Then from there track your calories daily.

But today I'm going to give those who refuse to do this an easy way to lose weight without doing this.

I'm sure you've heard most of this stuff before, but whatever, maybe one more time of hearing it will help round out your blockhead...BLOCKHEAD!

1) Eat real food

I'm not going to tell you there is good food and bad food. Because there isn't really.

I will tell you why real food is looked at good and why other foods are seen as bad.

Real food has less calories. Processed food has more calories.

Real food is more filling. Processed food is less filling.

Real food has more nutrients. Processed food has less nutrients.

If you log your calories you can make room for fun foods like candy and cereal, but since this is for people who want a no logging life here you go.

2) Eat a lot of protein

Protein is the most filling of all foods.

Protein is highly thermic so 20% of it burns off anyway.

Protein helps you build muscle that burns more calories and makes you look lean and become stronger.

3) Cut down the fat

Protein has fat so the leaner the better.

Fat is highly caloric so a little fat goes a long way.

Don't avoid it as it is good for you, just eat a smaller amounts of it.

Again if you log your calories you can follow an exact amount and know if you're eating too much or too little.

4) Eat less carbs and No snacks

Carbs aren't bad. I eat a lot of them. They're often unnecessarily demonized.

The reason I say to eat less, is they're the easiest food to overeat.

You couldn't snack on ribeye, you can't snack on sticks of butter, but you could easily snack on chips and pretzels all day.

Take away carbs and you won't be snacking and they're the most heavily processed food as well making most of them non-filling.

Usually is somone is stuck at a weight, cutting carbs fixes the problem.

5) Eat more vegetables

Packed with nutrients, almost devoid of calories, and very filling what else can I say other than have as much as you want.

6) Cut out soda

The only thing more amazing than how much weight you'll lose is how fast you'll lose it.

7) Drink lots of water

Fills you up, keeps you healthy, it's a no brainer. Carry around a large bottle and drink it every day to keep you accountable.

8) Lift Weights

Less injuries than running, more calories burned than running, better body than running, more strength built than running, fights osteoporosis rather than give you joint problems, it's obvious to lift weights over cardio.

9) Measure yourself weekly

If you weigh and measure weekly you have an idea of what you're doing is working or not.

Then you know whether to change your program.

Don't just use a scale though, use body fat calipers, the way you fit in clothes, and a mirror to measure your success.

10) Hang out with healthier people

You are who you hang out. You can't quit alcahol and keep your drinking buddies. Surround yourself with people better than you and it will make you better. And don't ever try to change others, inspire them accidentally.

My main problem is finding people better than me.

11) Have a cheat meal once in a while

Make sure you've earned it before you eat it. If you're gaining weight, you're already cheating.

12) Eat slower

It takes time for your stomach to catch up to your brain so the slower you eat the more time you have to realize how full you are before you overeat.

So that's it for this week. Hopefully you learned at least one new thing. If not, then why are you having problems. You obviously know everything. Don't be a blockhead and get it together. Seen you next week.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Beyond Fat Loss

We all know why we really lift weights and eat better. But here's some other stories of how lifting improves your life.


My friend an online client Mark Durmon got himself in the best shape of his life and found his new passion in life through fitness and nutrition.

He later got in a near fatal car wreck to where it was thought he may have to lose his legs.

Turned out he had built his legs to such a muscular level that he essentially saved his legs.

He's now working out in a wheelchair and slowly regaining strength in his legs.

In fact the doctor has just updated him that he can now put weight on one of his legs.

Luckily he didn't end up like this guy


When she first started she had very bad knees. She couldn't do lunges, barely do any weight on leg press, Now she does heavy barbell squats with full range of motion, deadlifts, and every leg exercise there is.


Most people bring up Laura's tremendous weight loss. What they don't know is, Laura's first day she wore a leg brace to class. Lifting weights fixed her injury so quickly people don't even remember her one time injury.

Not necessary for Laura anymore.


Randy lost over 200 lbs and got in the best shape of his life. But it wasn't just aesthetic, People at his job were complaining about how heavy he was breathing and his job was being threatened. He couldn't even sleep unless he laid down in the correct positioning.

Those are just a few examples of what I've witnessed through my time training clients.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Simple Method to Getting Ripped

So those that have been keeping up with me know that I've used some of the more extreme diets to get lean fast.  But these are not necessary at all. You can eat moderately and have fun on the way there. I used them because I'm trying to get to a certain body fat as quickly as possible.

The problem with these diets, besides how brutal they are, is that they don't teach long term nutrition habits.  They actually do the opposite. As they make you never want to diet again, and they give you bad memories associated with your weight loss.

  Many people balloon back up after one of these diets. Same goes for over training. Ever watch Biggest Loser? Those people can't keep that kind of regimen long term. It's not practical. See Proof!

What about most of these outrageous diets give you the illusion of weight loss only to truly be ridding you of water and muscle weight. Just like getting sick and not eating for days. Basically the same thing except you're torturing your body on purpose this time.

Not to mention some people getting addicted to these extreme diets and never getting off of them.
But I digress. Let me instruct you on the basic way to get lean, preserve muscle and your mind, and do it at a steady pace.

K.I.S.S...Not those dudes
K.I.S.S. means:
"Keep It Simple Stupid"
1st: Find your caloric maintenance.
There's tons of formulas and online calculators that do this.  One of my favorites is the:

There's the old school method where you multiply your weight from a number between 12-15  based off of how active you are.  There's no 100% to say for certain. Bodies have different metabolisms. Bodies react to food and exercise differently.

Basically you have to experiment. Some guys like to start with 3000 calories per day and some women start with 1800 per day.  Anyway, just pick a starting point for getting to know yourself.  Now you're going to take 20% of that and it will be your amount of fat.

Fat is healthy and necessary.

The only problem with fat is it's calorie density. Fat is worth 9 calories whereas protein and carbs are only worth 4.
 =  4 calories

Protein, now, you need your protein.  The best way is to take your LBM (Lean Body Mass) and multiply it by 1.25-1.5.  Why so high?  Because you're on a deficit and want to retain as much muscle as possible.  Not to mention all the hardcore workouts you're doing. You're not the average human walking the streets. Though most could do with more walking.  Hiiiyyyooooo!!!!!!!

By the way, you obtain your LBM by subtracting your total fat from your body weight. You get your fat lbs from subtracting your body fat from your overall weight.

Now take your fat and protein calories. Remember that protein is worth 4 calories and fat is wroth 9. Subtract it from your total calories. That's how many carbs you need.

Measure yourself weekly.

Once you finally hit a plateau, you can subtract some calories. Maybe around 300. All from your carbs. Add some more cardio too.  This is that experimenting we were talking about earlier.  You're going to hit plateaus, and this is how you get past them.

Some people like to make it even simpler and just even  40% carbs  and  40% protein.  You can do that too. But I find the former version better calibrated to the individual.

I think it goes without saying you need to be on a weight lifting program.  I'll write some more posts about that as well.

That's all for today children.