Knock it off!

Most personal training clients come to a trainer with one goal in mind, to drop some body fat. Along with strength training and “cardio”, creating a solid Personal Eating Plan is an important part of reaching this goal.

As most of you might expect, I take pretty good care of myself. This being said, I am also human. I noticed recently that I had picked up a bad habit. Although I would eat well all day long, I had started late night snacking in front of the T.V.

As my friend, coach Tom Kelso says “5 minutes of bad eating can negate 30 minutes of traditional exercise. 6 x chocolate chip cookies = 300 calories. 150 lb. man jogging at 10 miles/hour pace for 30 minutes = approximately 300 calories burned above BMR. Message: if you spend time “working out,” be disciplined in your eating”.

With this in mind, I decided to try a little experiment. I would not make any drastic changes to my training and eating plans, other than to cut out all superfluous snacking. I started this on the first, and took all of my measurements (circumference, body-fat %, weight etc). I trained hard with the weights, and added no specific conditioning work (other that what I regularly do).

At the end of 28 days, I re-took my measurements. I had dropped my body fat by 3% as well as lost 2 inches on my waist. I even added an inch to my thighs. All this was accomplished while only training hard about 5 times every two weeks or about 10 total workouts. The above mentioned changes may not seem too dramatic but what I am showing you is that with that one small change to my lifestyle, I made a noticeable improvement in a very short time. As a matter of fact, many people noticed the subtle changes to my body composition as, I frequently received positive comments from a variety of sources.

The moral of this story is that it is not too difficult to make small changes that can and will have a positive impact on your health and well being. Weather you have 10 pounds you would like to lose or 50, it is just a matter of consistency over time. Take baby steps, and make it your goal to change one small thing per week over the next few months. Before you know it, you will be looking and feeling better than you have in a long time.

So what are you waiting for? Get to it, and knock off the bad habits.





Following up from the awesome articles from Dr. Ken, John Wood, and Jim Bryan, I offer a straight-forward, no nonsense workout. No magic, no gadgets, just hard work on a handful of basic exercises. You should be able to get this workout done in under thirty minutes. If you are following the instructions below, this should see you breathing like a freight-train and totally spent by the time you make it through.

To begin the workout, skip rope, row  or do other light, total-body movements for 5 minutes followed by an easy, dynamic stretching routine. Then complete a set of neck* exercises . Then an abdominal / Core** routine. Once you have a sweat going, you are warmed-up and can begin the resistance training.

You will notice that the repetition ranges have 2 numbers. If an athlete reaches momentary muscular fatigue before he reaches the lower number on the rep-range the weight is too heavy. Likewise if he reaches momentary muscular fatigue beyond the higher number then it is time for him to increase the load.

Train with high intensity, push yourself to the point of momentary muscular failure and use just 1 set. I am a big believer in the 1 set protocol and am confident that one set is all that is required for success.

Strength train on Mondays and Thursdays, and do agility / conditioning work on Tuesdays and Fridays.


  1. Leg Press or Squat 15-20
  2. Leg Extensions 8-12 Seated or standing
  3. Leg Curls 8-12 Seated or standing
  4. Calf Raise 8-12 Seated or standing
  5. Chest press 8-12 Dumbbell, machine, or straight bar.
  6. Push-up
  7. Back Row 8-12 Dumbbell, machine, or straight bar.
  8. Shoulder Press 8-12 Dumbbell, machine, or straight bar.
  9. Chin-ups / Reverse Grip Pull downs 8-12
  10. Dead Lift 12-15 Dumbbell, machine, Hex or straight bar.
  11. Dips / Triceps Extensions 8-12 Dumbbell, machine, or straight bar.
  12. Bicep Curls 6-10 Dumbbell, machine, or straight bar.

If you are not used to training all out (and I meet very few who are) than I would ease into it by adjusting the rest intervals between sets as follows:

Week 1 – 2 = 2 minutes rest between sets
Week 3 – 4 = 1.5 minutes rest between sets
Week 5 – 6 = 1 minutes rest between sets
Week 7 and beyond, attempt to move between exercise with as little rest as possible. Pause only long enough to move from exercise to exercise or to change weight etc.

* Neck series = One set each of four-way neck exercise + any shrug movement. Resistance for the neck may be applied with a neck harness using Bands, or cables and or manual resistance etc.

** AB / Core series = One set each of Hip-curl / Low Back Ext / Resisted Rotation

For ideas for Conditioning work, search through our archives.



Cyclical Ketogenic Diet: Low-carb Dieting Made Easy

This P.E.P. is based on the work of Dan Duchaine (Body Opus) and Lyle McDonald (the Ketogenic Diet). The version that I am presenting is a highly simplified version of the original Duchaine / McDonald works as laid out in their above named books. If you wish to attain copious amounts of detail into how to really tweak this approach I suggest you purchase one or both of the books written by these two gentlemen. Although their approach is reliable, I am confident that similarly consistent results will be attained without following some of the extreme guidelines set forth by these two authors.

With my personal experimentation using this approach I have found it to consistently reduce BFP% while maintaining LBM. Below I have shown examples of weekday and weekend eating plans consistent with this style of P.E.P. The basic premise is to reduce Carb consumption to as low a level as possible during a five-day period Mon-Fri. Then take in high carbs on the weekend to facilitate glycogen super-compensation and the sparing of LBM. My weekday goal for carb consumption is 30 grams or less a day. On weekends the carb consumption is unlimited and should be as high as is comfortably possible. Once you feel you have fully re-loaded your carb stores (usually indicated by an increase in water retention), you may begin to de-carb once again.


The goal for protein consumption is a minimum of 1 gram per pound of total body-weight, with a maximum of up to 1.5 grams per pound of total body-weight. The calorie level should be set at approximately 90% of daily maintenance levels*. Once protein levels have been established, the remainder of the calories should come from “friendly” fat sources and a minimum of low glycemic carbs (as indicated in the eating plans below). When trying to make up the proper calorie levels start with protein. Then add the “good” fat, + bad fat, then finish with the LGC.


Protein consumption should be set at a minimum of 1 gram per pound of LBM with a maximum of up to 1 gram per pound of total weight. Carbs should be set as high as 3-5 grams per pound of total body weight. Fat should be set at a maximum of 1 gram per every 2 pounds of total body weight.


You may notice an energy slump in the first couple of weeks, this is normal and is the interim period between your body burning carbohydrate for energy and converting to burning fat. Stick with it and you will achieve your goals.

The program is a 5-days on 2-days off schedule, the days off may be fitted in at your convenience but weekends are probably best.

Suggested eating plan No1

Meal 1.

4 eggs any way, or 6-10 egg whites, 2 slices of ham, 2 Oz l/f. Mozzarella cheese. Make into omelet, if desired add chopped veggies

Meal 2.

Small tin of tuna (6 Oz) in oil (drain oil), ¼ avocado, salad or 2-3 scoops Whey Protein + 1 Tbsp Flax Oil in 10 Oz water

Meal 3.

Chicken breast w/- veggies &/or salad (stir-fry) & ¼ avocado

Meal 4.

Handful of nuts or 3-4 Oz meat (ham, turkey etc) & 2 piece string cheese Or protein drink as above

Meal 5.

Steak (8 Oz) with veggies, salad & ¼ avocado

Drink tea, coffee, or water. (If not using the ECA stack** then a load of brewed coffee is best)

Use artificial sweeteners to sweeten protein drinks & hot beverages only if you feel it is required. (I do not recommend artificial sweeteners)

Absolutely no fruit or sugar sources outside the weekend.

Suggested eating plan No. 2

Meal 1.

(6-10) Egg white omelet w/- mushrooms, tomato, l/f cheese, onions etc and tea, coffee or water.

Meal 2.

Chef salad w/- ham, cheese & egg. Or handful of raw nuts & cheese

Meal 3.

Chicken Caesar, Cobb, or Spinach and bacon salad etc w/- (no croutons)

Meal 4.

4 eggs, 4 strips bacon (or ham, Canadian bacon, sausage etc)

Meal 5.

Salmon (6-8 Oz) grilled, poached or baked with veggies, salad & ¼ avocado.

Meal 6.

(Optional, use only during transition phase if you are really craving sweets), nonfat yogurt, whey protein (1 scoop), flax oil 1 Tbsp (mix together as pudding)

Note: For the best results I recommend you stick as close as possible to the weekly examples I have provided. It is really not hard once you get into a groove.

The taper in.

In order for the transition to this P.E.P. to be smooth and relatively discomfort free, a lead in period of gradual carb reduction is suggested. This is a fairly simple process, as follows;

Week 1. P.E.P. only on Tuesday & Thursday.

Week 2. P.E.P. on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

Week 3. P.E.P. every day except Wednesday.

Week 4. P.E.P. Monday to Friday.

This should see you make a smooth, pain free transition into the amazing world of fat burning.

During a 48 hr period on Saturday & Sunday basically eat what you feel like, try to keep it fairly healthy but succumb to your cravings because Monday you get strict again.


Meal 1.

Non-fat milk (8 Oz), Oatmeal (8 Oz cooked), 3 egg whites (stirred into oatmeal), 5 dates (chopped & stirred into oatmeal)

Meal 2.

“Power Shake” 8 Oz Non-fat milk, 8 Oz Non-fat yogurt, 1 Banana (mix in blender)

Meal 3.

Roasted chicken (6 Oz), rice (1 cup), beans (6 Oz), Sherbet (3 scoops)

Meal 4.

Cottage cheese (1 cup), Pears (canned in own juice) 4 halves

Meal 5.

Peanut butter sandwich 1 Tbsp p-nut-butter + 1 Tbsp jelly on sprouted (flour-less) bread, Non-fat milk (1 cup) 1 Banana

Meal 6.

Tuna sandwich (tuna packed in water) on sprouted (flour-less) bread, 1 apple, handful of nuts (your favorite)

Meal 7.

“Power Shake” 8 Oz Non-fat milk, 8 Oz Non-fat yogurt, 1 Banana (mix in blender)

When trying to maximize strength, size and power, I load creatine on the weekends (5 grams with every meal). You may of course add whatever supplements you currently feel are beneficial to you reaching your health goals.

LBM = Lean Body Mass

BFP% = Body Fat Percentage

LGC = Low Glycemic Carb

P.E.P. = Personal Eating Plan

**ECA STACK = Ephedrine, Caffeine, Aspirin combined to elicit a Central nervous system stimulus which aids in fatty acid mobilization as well as increasing mental focus, suppressing appetite and may also aid in the increase of workout intensity.

If you have never experimented with this “stack” do so cautiously. I suggest using a mainstream brand such as “Ripped Fuel” by Twinlab etc. Start with less then the suggested dose and work up from there. I use one dose a day Mon-Thu when on this plan. If you do choose to use it, do not take it Friday-Sunday as it may interfere with the carb loading process. It is not required that you use the ECA stack to achieve success on this plan I mention it, only FYI.

*Lowering calories further during the weekdays can speed up weight loss but will increase the challenge and potential discomfort during this phase of the eating plan.

Supplement recommendations and all other aspects of this article are intended for informational purposes only. Consult with your primary care physician before experimenting with the CKD or any other P.E.P.




The type of training that we advocate at Hybrid Fitness emphasizes quality over quantity. For us, quality is synonomous with intensity of effort.  The tool you use is less important than how you use it. As long as one strives for maximal effort with perfect technique then you are working in the right direction.

With this in mind I will set out some basic principals I use to organize a successful total-body, strength training routine.

1. Train with weights 2-3 times per week on non-consecutive days.
2. Choose 4-6 exercises for the lower body.
3. Choose 6-8 exercises for the upper body.
4. Choose 10-14 total sets for the entire workout.
5. Perform 1 work set of each exercise (not including warm-ups).
6. Create variety by frequently manipulating training variables.*

There are many effective sequences of basic exercises that may be used to achieve success with your strength training program. The real secret to successful strength training can be summed up in these simple words from my friend, coach Tom Kelso:

“Lift the resistance for as many good repetitions as possible, record the result, and attempt to do more next time.”

Rememeber the tools you choose are less important then how you use them. Here is an example of a basic total-body strength program, using free weights:

1. Barbell Squat
2. Dumbbell Reverse Lunge
3. Barbell Stiff-Legged Dead-lift
4. Dumbbell One-Legged Calf Raise
5. Barbell Bent-armed Pull-over
6. Barbell Standing Shoulder Press
7. Barbell Bent-over Row
8. Barbell Decline Press
9. Barbell / Dumbbell Shrug
10. Dumbbell Triceps Extension
11. Barbell Curl
12. Barbell Roll-outs
13. Dumbbell Side-bend



*Manipulate training variables including: sets, reps, exercise order, rest interval, rep cadence, type of exercise etc.


Well, I never thought I would ever say this but I have discovered the greatest workout ever created in the history of the world. That’s right, you will never need another workout program as long as you live. Read that last sentence again.

There is no sense beating around the bush, just read on and you will discover the “Holy Grail” of Weightlifting / Strength / Conditioning Training routines. This single program will deliver everything you could possibly want in one, complete program.

Yes I  mean it. This program will do it all:  Strength, Power, Hypertrophy, Sports Performance…You’ll even look great naked!

So (drum roll please) Let’s get to it.

Mon – Sat A.M.

Run 5 miles A.F.A.P. (As Fast As Possible). Your goal for this should be around 30 minutes or less. (I do it in 25 minutes)

Mon – Wed – Fri  P.M.

Bench press 5 x 6-10
Flat bench flyes 5 x 6-10
Incline bench press 6 x 6-10
Cable crossovers 6 x 10-12
Dips (body weight) 5 x failure
Dumbell pullovers 5 x 10-12.  

Wide-grip chins (to front) 6 x failure
T-bar rows 5 x 6-10
Seated pulley rows 6 x 6-10
One-arm dumbell rows 5 x 6-10
Straight-leg deadlifts 6 x 15

Squats 6 x 8-12
Leg press 6 x 8-12
Leg extensions 6 x 12-15
Leg curls 6 x 10-12
Barbell lunges 5 x 15

Standing calf raises 10 x 10
Seated calf raises 8 x 15
Oneplegged calf raises (holding dumbells) 6x12 

Wrist curls (forearms on knees) - 4 sets, 10 reps
Reverse barbell curls - 4 sets, 8 reps
Wright roller machine - to failure

½ hour of a variety of nonspecific abdominal exercises, done
virtually nonstop. 

Tue - Thu - Sat P.M.

Barbell curls 6 x 6-10
Seated dumbell curls 6 x 6-10
Dumbell concentration curls 6 x 6-10  

Close-grip bench presses 6 x 6-10
Pushdowns 6 x 6-10
French press (barbell) 6 x 6-10
One-arm triceps extensions (dumbell) 6 x 6-10 

Seated barbell presses 6 x 6-10
Lateral raises (standing) 6 x 6-10
Rear-delt lateral raises 5 x 6-10
Cable lateral raises 5 x 10-12

Calves , Forearms & Abs:
Same as Monday, Wednesday, Friday workout 

As you can see, this is a six days a week plan. Too much?
Can't handle it? I guess you are just not good enough yet.
Come back when you are not such a pansy.

I really do not need to say anything else.
The plan speaks for itself.



P.S. APRIL FOOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

H.I.T. – High Intensity Training

H.I.T. is a safe, efficient and effective form of strength training based on workouts that are brief, intense, and infrequent. Because of their
efficiency H.I.T. style workouts provide maximum benefit in minimum time. This has many advantages for both the general health and
fitness enthusiast as well as the highly competitive athlete.

For coaches and athletes, utilizing H.I.T. based protocols allows more time to be devoted to all other sport requirements including skill
training, strategy and tactics and any other conditioning needs that may be required. Due to their brief and infrequent application H.I.T.
based protocols also allow for maximum recovery time which promotes rapid improvements as well as a lower likelihood of over training.

Finally due to their ability to provide maximum benefit with minimum volume and frequency; H.I.T. based protocols may be easily adapted to in season training allowing for greater maintenance of higher performance levels throughout the duration of the athletic season and if needed, post season as well.

For the general fitness enthusiast, the brief and efficient H.I.T. based workouts mean more time to devote to all other aspects of ones life. Effective H.I.T based strength training programs can be easily accomplished in as little as one hour per week.  (yes, you read that correctly!)

H.I.T. Specifics:

  • Brief – 1-3 sets of a few basic exercises performed in an hour or less.
  • Intense – as hard as possible in good form. The key for most is performing quality repetitions to a point of volitional fatigue.
  • Infrequent – No more than three times per week, often times two, or even one.
  • Safe – HIT is intended to be an extremely productive protocol, but also one that stresses safety. One of the fundamental goals of strength training is to prevent or limit potential injury.
  • Execution – Repetitions should be done in a controlled fashion so that continuous tension is placed on the muscles. We advocate a 3-5 second count for both the concentric (lifting) and eccentric (lowering) phase of each movement. Regardless of the actual repetition speed, the key is performing quality repetitions to a point of volitional fatigue.

So there it is.  For more information on H.I.T training and how to maximize you training efficiency, join the Hybrid Fitness community and see what you’ve been missing.

Keep Training Hard!


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“Drawing In”: Draw your own conclusions

At Hybrid Fitness, when it comes to program design, exercise selection etc, we try to base what we do on TRUTH not TRENDS.

Unfortunately the fitness industry is full of myths, misinformation, half truths and just plain bad science. Case in point, the “Drawing in” maneuver, has been recommended by some of the leading “fitness experts” for quite some time now. The theory is that “drawing in” is an important concept to help individuals learn to activate deep abdominal muscles while training.

I have never recommended that people draw in. I know my anatomy and recognized two things wrong with the idea right away.

1. For the most part the transverse abdominis is not truly under 100% conscious control.

2. “Drawing in” can cause an inherent structural weakness due to the nature of the movement.

Instead I have always told folks if they want to activate their “ABS” to brace as if expecting to be “punched in the gut”. Better yet recognize that if you are relatively normal and healthy that the system will take care of itself naturally bracing to match the demands placed on it.

If you are a trainer or coach you may regularly teach people to “draw in”. If you are an athlete or work with a trainer, you may have been taught to do this. Either way I suggest you check out this interesting article on one of the most pervasive trends in the Fitness Industry and then, draw your own conclusions.



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