Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Underground Strength Manual - II

Underground Interview with Zach Even - Esh

Part II

Q - Zach, before we did this interview I heard of you running camps for athletes all outdoors. How successful were they and what kind of training did you do with the athletes?

ZE - Oh man, this was great fun! A few years back, the town I worked for had all these summer sports camps, but none of them were for getting athlete educated with the proper ways of training.

So I pitched the idea and they were concerned with how I could run a "strength, power and speed camp" without a weight room. Problem was that once summer started, Football started running the weight room, and the gym was being used by basketball.

So I told them not to worry, everything would be outdoors, and if it rained we would train under the gazebo's at the park with bodyweight and sandbags. No problem ?

I brought sleds and sandbags with me and the rest of the work was done with bodyweight and partner bodyweight drills. The camps kicked ass and they were a huge hit with all the athletes.

We always did a warm up with various movements and mobility drills and simple calisthenics. From there we moved on to sled training. We did relay races at the end of each sled workout and we really got the kids hyped on this. We would form teams, let the kids come up with team names, then the races would be various dragging movements and sometimes we would mix in sandbag exercises or calisthenics at the end of the drags.

We did the same with the sandbag training. Every day we would review the basics, perform strength work with them, then add one or two movements to learn and practice. After sandbag training would be more relay races.

We also took trips to all the local playgrounds and every day created different workouts with the different playgrounds. You'll see this a lot in my Underground Strength Kit. I have a boat load of training pics at various playgrounds because so much of my own training plus the training of my clients is performed at playgrounds and fields.

You can't beat the versatility of having an outdoor gym ready for you which is also FREE!

Q - That reminds me of the days of the OLD Muscle Beach in Venice, California! I loved seeing all the training those guys did on the rings, parallel bars and all the bodyweight partner movements! Did those guys influence you at all, Zach?

ZE - Heck yea, those guys motivated me and influenced me! The ladies trained there as well! You can see from their photos how much they were having fun and literally just loving life! Training out in the sunshine, the freedom to move their body as they wanted and not be confined to a machine or gym rules, those were THE days! That's why it was called "The Golden Era".

I am definitely a throw back to those days and I always felt I belonged on Muscle Beach back then. I bring my own traveling rings with me though! I heard they took the rings down from Venice Beach which is really too bad!

But, getting back to what we do, I was also influenced heavily from a college Gymnastics instructor I had who was also a wrestler. His physique was awe inspiring and his wrestling performance was like nothing I had ever seen!

It proved to me the importance of bodyweight and gymnastics training and the only place I have access to equipment similar to gymnastics equipment is at the playground!

I took it a step further and created a boat load of partner combative movements that can be used anywhere and anytime. I use them when I run seminars at wrestling clubs. I literally have no equipment at these clubs but the results and the workouts these athletes experience is awesome!

The great benefit to the partner combative drills is that they force both athletes to work but through different movements and requirements. One might be training speed while the other is working static strength to hold a position and so froth. These combative drills can also be applied with variations to accommodate less experienced athletes and even non athletes.

Stay tuned for part III, our final installment of our interrogation with Zach Even - Esh and his Underground Training Methods!

If you want to learn more about Underground training in the mean time, check out Zach's latest e book, The Ultimate Underground Strength Kit.

Go to http://get2site.com/u.asp?i=2437

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Urgent, must-see fat loss information

::: Important message about a great new fat loss resource :::

1. "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle"
2. What I have to say about it
3. A quick word from author/bodybuilder Tom Venuto about stubborn fat

::: "Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle" :::

If you're interested in getting leaner, there is a great new ebook that you must check out, by Tom Venuto. Tom is one of the most respected names in the bodybuilding game because of the amazing physique he has built WITHOUT the use of steroids or other drugs.

Here is a guy who has competed in bodybuilding 28 times at between 3.7% and 4.5% bodyfat, which is a phenomenal achievement when you realize that it's been done naturally.

Therefore when Tom decides to write down his fat loss secrets then you just have to take a look.

Tom's program is based on using the right type, frequency and intensity of exercise (BURN), which allows you to actually eat more (FEED) and still easily shed your unwanted body fat. There is NO starvation dieting involved.

This program also allows you to keep your muscle, which is important because most conventional diets cause you to lose at least a pound of lean tissue for every pound of fat you lose. Retaining muscle is the key to optimal fat burning metabolism.

On this webpage you can read all about Tom's new fascinating 'Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle' principles: http://www.2jump2.com/x.php?5co

Even if you're just a beginner, or even if you're already following a diet like Body For Life, The Zone, South Beach, or any other, I would consider 'Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle' to be a very worthy addition to the library of anyone looking to lose fat and keep muscle."

Art Breshears

See full details here:



::: Here’s what the author, Tom Venuto says about burning fat:::

“How to lose the last few pounds of ab flab...
Even those stubborn fat pockets that don't seem to budge!
By Tom Venuto, NSCA-CPT, CSCS

'Stubborn Fat.' You know what I'm talking about - the kind of flab that sticks to you in those hard-to-lose places: The lower abs, the lower back, the 'love handles,' the back of the arms, the upper-thigh/butt area - yeah, THAT fat! How do the bodybuilders and fitness models do it? I mean, how do they get that hyper-ripped, thin-skinned look that reveals every ripple and sinew and mound of chiseled muscle definition?

I can tell you this - the answer is NOT drugs. I've never taken a steroid or physique-enhancing drug in my life, and I routinely hit 3-4% body fat for bodybuilding contests without difficulty. Some drugs work, but they are NEVER more than a temporary solution, and the nasty side effects just aren't worth it.

The answer is NOT fad diets. It's a FACT - 95% of all diets fail. If you diet the way most people are doing it, you might even be slowing down your metabolism and making yourself FATTER!

The answer is definitely NOT supplements, either. Some of my protégés were spending $300.00 or even $400.00 a month on worthless supplements and they now get BETTER results, FASTER with my new system - with absolutely no supplements (or just the bare basics).

After 14 years of trial, error and experimentation, I finally discovered the answer and developed a fool-proof system to reach outrageously low body fat levels the natural way - no drugs, crash diets or supplements necessary. And now I'm finally revealing my secrets in this new 'encyclopedia' of fat loss called, BURN THE FAT, FEED THE MUSCLE (BFFM)

These advanced and powerful fat burning secrets do not appear to you magically just because you start working out. These insider nutrition and training techniques are not casually discovered on your own. You need a guide who has been there... done that...

I will be your own personal coach, take you by the hand, and lead you through the lousy advice, marketing B.S., hype, fads and gimmicks...and directly to the sort of physical condition that will make your body a specimen of magnificent proportions and flawless symmetry - The type of body that is envied, admired and noticed by everyone.

Don't even THINK about buying any supplements or going on a diet until you read my revealing, no-holds barred fat loss report...

Follow this link to learn more:


This is definitely must-see fat loss information, so be sure to take a look.


Art Breshears

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Underground Strength Manual

Underground Interview with Zach Even - Esh

Part I

Q: Zach, tell us how you learned about "Underground" training?

ZE - Well, without a doubt, my very first days of training at a gym always leave me with the recollection of George, a jacked dude who was built like he was carved from stone. This guy was solid muscle! He never did what the rest of us did. He trained his own way, his own style and he never cared what others said to him.

I still remember to this day watching him spend over 30 or 45 minutes on one movement! I would be finishing a workout and he was still training one movement! I remember watching him do endless sets of weighted dips, or flat benching or weighted pull ups. Back then I never saw anyone perform weighted bodyweight exercises except George. But, his arms were busting through his sleeves and his traps were stretching his shirts out big time!

My memories reminded me after many years of training by the rules, that to get seriously strong and jacked, there truly are NO rules!

Q - And now that you follow this "NO Rules" philosophy is this how Underground training evolved?

ZE - Exactly. My friend, Ryan Lee, was interviewing me one day about my training methods, and he asked me what best describes what I do. I flat out told him I don't follow the majority of what people say or advise on doing because it usually doesn't even work in the real world! All my training was taking place in garages, back yards, playgrounds, fields, parking lots, etc. - the only way I could describe what I do was by calling it "Underground".

Q - Take us through an Underground workout that one of your athletes would follow.

ZE - Most of my athletes are Football players and wrestlers. I also consult with BJJ and MMA fighters. The workouts, I hate to say, are always different according to what the individual needs to work on at that point in time. This isn't a cop out, it's true, but, I'll give you a sample of an off season workout our wrestlers might go through.

1) warm up with mobility, movement drills and calisthenics. This might include skipping, galloping, mobility drills such as bird dogs, fire hydrants, hip bridges and various arm circles. After a thorough warm up we then begin the workout
2A) Trap bar DL 5 x 3 - 6 reps
2B) Recline thick rope body rows 5 x max reps
2C) abdominal movement 5 x 12 - 15 reps
3A) rope climb up & down 3 x 15 ft.
3B) sledge hammer swings across right & left shoulder 3 x 10 ea.
3C) sandbag zercher carry around back yard 3 x 1 lap

We will finish the workouts with soft tissue work on the foam roller and the medicine ball.

Some workouts are all indoors, others all outdoors and some are a mix as you saw above.

Q - What is the biggest misconception people have of Underground training?

ZE - People assume we do only odd object lifts and don't use barbell and dumbbells or other tools. This is totally off. We use everything because everything works. The odd objects hit the body in places that barbells and dumbbells simply have not or can not do.

Things like starting off a sandbag squat and ripping it off the floor. Every first rep is a power move that benefits the performance more than if we normally back squat and nothing else. The variety of implements helps us keep fresh as well. Eventually, people get bored of doing the same old stuff or training in the gym all the time! Training outdoors in the fresh air kicks ass! This is why Arnold and Franco and the rest of the crew loved training at Muscle Beach. The atmosphere and outdoor energy was electric!

Q - In your Underground Strength Kit, you have a separate manual solely dedicated to stone training! I thought it was awesome and I was shocked to see so many movements with just a stone! What motivated you to begin stone training?

ZE - Of course, watching The World's Strongest Man competitions was always an inspiration, but in addition to thw WSM, there were times when I was really strappedf for cash and had nothing but a barbell and a few dumbbells.

At the time I trained at my Dad's, and his backyard had a row of odd shaped stones of different sizes. I started using them with wrestlers, football players and basketball players. I didn't have a choice, I needed weights!

To my surprise, the stone training was phenomenal. We started simple by just doing carries from one end of the backyard to the other. We did military presses, bent over rows and deadlifts.

Strength was improving like crazy and they all were improving performance. Our football guys were playing in summer camps and were hitting harder, running faster and getting tougher.

The basketball players were out-conditioning their opponents and always had the strength and power endurance to rebound the ball more often and had improved defense.

The wrestlers were dominating like never before! They were lifting kids and throwing them around like rag dolls. I was seriously in shock watching my athletes perform and hearing their success stories.

I knew we landed onto something big by combining these Underground methods with the barbells, dumbbells and bodyweight!

To this day I keep on refining the methods and transforming athletes and non athletes with these methods that I have in The Underground Strength Kit.

As for my self, these methods have breathed fresh air into my workouts, literally! Training outdoors clears my mind and gets me away from the BS inside 99 % of the commercial gyms. I feel fresh air is man and woman's best friend and we should ALL spend time training outdoors. There is a lot of therapy that comes with training Underground and humans need it!

With all the stress we endure on a regular basis, people will realize that training outdoors makes them feel great. Sun and fresh air are powerful therapeutic tools for all people, adults or not.

In fact, I just had a Mom contact me for the second time to get her kid back here again. They live so far away that it takes them 45 minutes to an hour to drive here, one way! So I sent them to a friend who trains athletes but lives 10 minutes away!

They want to come back here! The Mother told me her son loves the Underground training, the atmosphere, the outdoors and everything we do! For young athletes, this style of training seems to be a huge boost to their ego as well. I feel this is a huge area we are missing the boat on when it comes to training young athletes - the need to train their mind first and foremost. Boosting their self esteem is a priority and I have been fortunate beyond belief to see how happy these kids are when we train together!

Stay tuned for part II with our interrogation with Zach Even - Esh and his Underground Training Methods!

If you want to learn more about Underground training in the mean time, check out Zach's latest e book which will knock your socks off! I have NEVER seen such a thorough compilation of training manuals and amazing bonuses! My personal favorite is with Coach Ethan Reeve but you'll have to listen to him talk training to believe me! It is downright a** kicking stuff!

Go to http://get2site.com/u.asp?i=2437

Monday, February 19, 2007

Fat Loss Mistakes

Your 3 Fat Loss Mistakes

By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Let me solve your workout problem.

I know that you are:

- Eating well
- Exercising regularly
- and TICKED OFF that you aren't making progress.

I've answered dozens of emails from new readers that have said exactly that. And after I get more info from them, here are the 3 mistakes commonly made:

1) Your perception of your nutrition "success" doesn't match the reality of what, when, and how often you are eating. To learn the rules of fat loss, you need to read (scratch that, you need to STUDY), Dr. Chris Mohr's Fat Loss Nutrition Guidelines.

2) There is no variety in your training.

3) You need to up the intensity of your training.

Let's face it. Human beings like to stick to a routine. We don't like change. We like our comfort zone - some more than others.

But if there is no change in your workout from month to month, then your body will not change either.

That is why I insist on changing your workouts every 4 weeks as you do in the TT workouts.

You won't succeed by doing the same thing over and over again. Would you get ahead at work by doing the same tasks you did as the first day on your job? No way. You have to take on more challenges.

With variety in your training, you will continue to apply "turbulence" to the muscle, and making your body use lots of energy (i.e. calories and fat) during the recovery period to repair the muscle and replenish the energy used. That will "jack up" your metabolism.

If your body is used to the training, the exercises, the sets, and the reps, it will give a "ho-hum" response and your metabolism will flatline.

And that's why you need to raise the intensity of the workout as well.

Slow, boring cardio doesn't jack up the metabolism like intervals.

And research has shown that 8 reps boost your post-workout metabolism more than 12 reps. So you have to safely add a little weight (try using 5% more weight with perfect form, of course), and decreasing the number of reps per set by 2. That's a good place to start.

So if you've been doing a machine circuit, then stop, and give this sample free weight Turbulence Training workout a try.

Warmup with a bodyweight circuit. 8 reps per exercise, go through it twice.

Sample bodyweight circuit:

i) Bodyweight squat
ii) An easy pushup
iii) A bodyweight row if possible, if not, do stick-ups

Then do 20 minutes of total body strength training done in

1a) DB Squat
1b) DB Press

Do each exercise with a weight that allows only 8 reps. Do not rest between the squat and press. Rest 1 minute after the press. Repeat the superset 2 more times.

Next superset:

2a) DB Split Squat
2b) DB Row

Same as above.

On to intervals:

5 minute warmup.

6 intervals of 60 seconds at a "harder than normal cardio pace"
with 60-90 seconds recovery (at the easiest pace possible).

5 minute cooldown.

Stretch tight muscles only.


We don't do slow cardio. It does nothing for the man or woman who is short on time.

And of course, always train safe and don't do anything you are not comfortable doing...but if you are fit and healthy, you can increase the intensity, change the variables, and burst through your fat loss plateaus.


Craig Ballantyne,
Author, Turbulence Training

About the Author

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit http://get2site.com/u.asp?i=1134

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Muscle-Building and Fat-Loss Supplementation

A Quick, "No B.S." Guide To Muscle-Building and Fat-Loss Supplementation
By Nick Nilsson

In black and white...what you need, what you don't and why.
If you take supplements or even want to take supplements, this
information is going save you PILES of money AND help you get
the results you deserve.

One of the single most frequent questions I hear is "what supplements should I take to build muscle/burn fat?" To that question I always answer with a question: "what does your training and nutrition look like?"

The blank looks I often receive in response tell me all I need to know. Many people view supplementation as the sole key to results...the golden ticket, magically unlocking the door to the body they want. They feel without supplements, that door just won't open!

My view is different...

I use training and nutrition to rip open the door and supplements to help me step through it AFTER it's open. Because the bottom line is, without proper training and nutrition to start with, the door to results WON'T be open and using supplements to try and get through it is going to be like pushing on a door marked "Pull." Not going to happen.

I'm not writing this to bash supplements, believe me. I use supplements every single day and always will. I just want to be sure that YOU are getting only the supplements you need and NOT getting stuck with the supplements that you don't.

*** That being said, I want to be clear that I am NOT a doctor or nutritionist - this is NOT medical advice and DO NOT go against what your doctor or nutritionist has recommended to you! ***

So here's my common-sense, totally unglamorous approach to effective supplementation...

1. Start with the basics, no matter what your goal

If want to build muscle and you weigh 147 lbs soaking wet, you don't need some ground-up reindeer toenail fungus from Siberia or some chemical that was discovered 15 minutes ago and has 7 consonants in a row in its name. You need to get yourself under the squat bar and pile some weight on it. Then you need to feed your body NUTRIENTS.

And if you want to lose fat, let me put it this way...if the soundtrack of your life sounds like "Flight of the Bumblebee" because you're so hopped up on herbal stimulants, you're NOT going to get the results you want. But a completely shot nervous system, yes.

So let's boil it right down. You need to start with a good multivitamin. Cripes, even take a Flintstone multivitamin if that's all you can get your hands on! If you're not taking a multi, you are NOT giving your body what it needs for health, muscle growth OR fat loss.

Here's something to chew on...most obese people are actually very malnourished! Sounds strange but it's true. They're not lacking in calories...what they're lacking in is nutrients (like vitamins and minerals). But the foods they eat don't contain the nutrients that they need so their bodies tell them they need more food. And they eat more food. And they get fat.

If you want muscle, your body NEEDS those nutrients to even build muscle in the first place! Set the protein aside for a minute. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to actually USE that protein to build muscle.

Give your body a decent amount of nutrients in the form of a multivitamin and it'll pay off. And don't give me that garbage about having "expensive urine." I think my urine is worth it. I'd rather have "expensive urine" now than have "astronomically expensive urine" later caused by the drugs needed to make up for the textbooks full of disorders caused by chronic malnutrition.

I ask you, what's more expensive...a $10 bottle of Flintstone vitamins now or a $90 pill to make up for bone loss later.

In this category, I would also include a "greens" supplement. These are available at all health food and supplement stores. Basically, they take healthy foods (like barley and wheat grass) and turn them into a powder so you get all the nutrients without having to eat the food itself. This is concentrated nutrition and VERY good to take.

2. Protein is key but don't get nuts about it

You need protein to build muscle. It's just that simple. Protein is the basic building block of muscle tissue. I supplement with protein every day. But what I DON'T do is buy protein that's full of isolated fractions of this and "enhanced" with micrograms of that.

Sure, those fancy protein powders are backed by research and all that, but in the real world, it comes back to training and nutrition. The people I see buying those expensive proteins are often the ones stopping off at McDonald's on the way to supplement store or repping out on the pec deck machine for countless sets!

In order for your body to really make use of the extra protein you're giving it, you have to give it a reason. And that reason is hard, effective training. Next, you give your body quality nutrition to fuel those workouts and help recovery. THEN you give it the extra protein.

I can promise, if you're not training hard, it won't matter a bit if you give your body $40 a pound whey protein isolate or a bag of powdered skim milk. You won't get results.

3. Take your minerals

Here's a newsflash...there is no such thing as a Nitric Oxide deficiency. But calcium, magnesium, zinc, etc.? You bet. By sheer weight alone, minerals account for a fair percentage of your bodyweight (your bones are made of minerals). They're also absolutely CRITICAL for so many bodily functions and processes (including muscle building and fat loss), I can't even begin to name them all.

Without minerals, you would die. And without adequate mineral intake, you won't maximize your muscle gain OR your fat loss.

Taking that multivitamin I mentioned above is a great place to start. But even multivitamins don't have enough of the "big" minerals to maximize your results. Calcium, for example, is a mineral you should get 1200 mg of per day. That makes for a BIG pill and it's just not practical to put that much in a multivitamin. The same goes for magnesium.

My recommendation...take at least 1200 mg of calcium per day in supplemental form (citrate is well absorbed - don't go higher than 2000 mg per day) and 600 mg per day of magnesium (again, citrate is good as is glycinate or aspartate).

** For zinc, the amount in a multivitamin may be enough for you but you can supplement with 15 to 50 mg per day (don't go over 150 mg per day and be sure to take a day or two off of extra zinc at least once a week to avoid taking too much).

Just adding these three minerals to your supplement regimen will pay off with increased results and better overall health.

4. Protect your joints

Want to build huge muscles and maximum strength? You need to lift heavy weights. Makes sense, right? But what parts of your body take the brunt of all that pounding? Your joints!

And if you went to a gym and asked, by show of hands, how many people take joint-protective nutrients, I have a feeling there wouldn't be many people reaching for the sky.

Joint-protective nutrients include glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, collagen, and Vitamin C. They are EXTREMELY important if you're lifting heavy and want to keep your knees and shoulders for later in life.

The example I use for this category is myself. When I first started training, I didn't have any idea that joint-protection was even necessary. As the years went by, I noticed whenever I lifted heavy for long stretches, my shoulders, knees and elbows would start to hurt and wouldn't ease up until I stopped lifting heavy for awhile.

After a little research, I began using a lot of joint-protective nutrients like glucosamine and Vitamin C. Now I can do extremely heavy partial training (often with 2 to 4 times the amount of weight I could use for a full range of motion) and never have joint pain.

Sure, it doesn't sound glamorous, but if joint pain stops you from lifting heavy, you're not going to build maximum muscle and strength. And all the pickled jellyfish tentacle extract in the world isn't going change that.

5. Take your fats

I'm talking about Essential Fatty Acids here (Omega 3 and Omega 6). Our food is notoriously low in essential fats yet they are critical for good health, muscle-building hormone production, and immune system function (among many other functions).

Flax oil, fish oil, krill oil, borage oil, olive oil...these are all good sources of Essential Fatty Acids. Taking these regularly can yield great benefits in your training - even 5 grams a day of any of those I mentioned will help.

6. Go with the research

Creatine has a TON of research proving its effectiveness. Glutamine also has plenty of research backing its use. But you can't show me a scientific, peer-reviewed study published in a major journal that demonstrates the muscle-building properties of NO2 supplementation. The research just isn't there, even though all the glossy pictures and fancy graphics plastered in the all the magazines claim otherwise.

So once you've got your training, nutrition and your basic supplementation in order (multivitamins, protein, minerals and joint protection), THEN you can start adding in the "fun" stuff. Creatine and glutamine are the best places to start.

And if you've still got money left over, definitely give some new stuff a try! I do the same thing myself on a regular basis. Do some research before buying and give some new supplements a try from time to time.

But here's the key...don't try everything at once. Rotate a new "treat" supplement in every month or so. See how your body responds. If you get greater results, you'll know it's a good one for you.

Stacking supplements (using a number of supplements in combination with each other) is often recommended and this can be a good way to go, especially because some supplements can be more effective when combined with others. But with all new supplements and with stacking, be absolutely sure you're not compromising on your basic supplements and make sure you are careful about researching how different supplements interact with each other!


The Bottom Line:

Supplements are a tool in your toolbox. If you can't get results WITHOUT supplements, i.e. your training and nutrition aren't effective, adding exotic supplements is NOT going to fix a broken program.

So before you ask "what supplements should I take to build muscle or burn fat," pick up the basics and get your training and eating sorted out.
Only THEN should you worry about what supplements will give you that extra 5% of results!


Nick Nilsson is Vice-President of the online personal training company BetterU, Inc. He has a degree in Physical Education and Psychology and has been inventing new training techniques for more than 16 years. Nick is the author of a number of bodybuilding eBooks including "Metabolic Surge - Rapid Fat Loss," "The Best Exercises You've Never Heard Of," "Gluteus to the Maximus - Build a Bigger Butt NOW!" and "The Best Abdominal Exercises You've Never Heard Of" all available at http://get2site.com/u.asp?i=2336. He can be contacted at betteru@fitstep.com.