Tag Archives: Workout

How Do You Know What To Do For Your Workout?

I’ve been asked this question quite a few times so it’s time to get some answers:

“What exercises should I do?”

I put this post together to help people find a little bit of direction when they’re trying to figure out, what they actually need to be doing to get where the want to go.

The tricky part in all of this, is that, depending on what you want to accomplish, the path to take is different, and while I can’t cover every possible exercise or routine that would work for everyone, I can give you some ideas on how you can build your own fitness plan that meets your unique situation and needs.


The best place to start, is in getting a solid understanding of what you want to accomplish. Some people just want to ‘lose weight‘ or ‘gain muscle mass‘ but the problem with that is that it’s not a very clear goal, and vague goals lead to vague results.

Vague goals, lead to vague results.

Wanting to just ‘gain muscle‘ is really a fairly general goal and I think it leads to this hang up on what you actually need to do to reach your goal. Instead, we should aim for goals that are a little more specific.

If you want to ‘lose weight‘ where do you want to lose it from? Some people want to focus on the mid-section, or their arms, maybe the lower body, or maybe all three places. It’s okay to want to improve in multiple areas but you need to be specific on what you want to accomplish.

If you want to ‘gain muscle mass‘ where do you want that muscle mass at? Are you looking for broader shoulders, a bigger chest, maybe bigger arms, or possibly all three? It’s better to have 3 specific goals you want to accomplish than 1 general goal.


Knowing what you want, in a very specific manner, is exactly where you want to start. And it’s important to understand that if you want to target multiple areas, you should do it in phases. What I mean is, don’t try to ‘gain muscle‘ in every single area of your body all at once. That’s going to lead you to burnout, which means eventually you’ll quit, and what good does that do?

Instead we need to focus on playing the long game. Start small, add as we go, and give our bodies a chance to adjust. Once you’ve got a good idea of what our goal is, and we’ve narrowed it down to something specific, the next thing you’ll want to do is identify a single exercise that works towards that goal.

For example, if you want to work on your mid-section. Start by adding crunches to your routine. Do 1 more crunch, than you did the day before, for 7 days straight. Don’t miss a single day.

If you want to build a bigger chest. Start by adding pushups to your routine. Do 1 more pushup, than you did the day before, for 7 days straight. Don’t miss a single day.


When you get to day 7, take 5 minutes and Google, “core exercises” or “body weight chest exercises” and click on the first article. Look for an exercise that looks interesting and add it to your routine. This is exactly how I’ve built every single one of my routines, ever. You start small, you research what you need, and you build into your routine.

This is exactly how I’ve built every single one of my routines, ever.

Now on day 8 you should have 2 exercises in your routine. Maybe you have crunches and heel touches, or maybe you have pushups and decline pushups. Your count for the first exercise should be up to 8 repetitions and for your new exercise it should start at 1. Do this for another week, and then add 1 more additional exercise that you’ve researched and are interested in.

Do this for about 5 weeks. This will give you 5 different exercises, all focusing on the goal you want to accomplish, but allowing your body to build up to it, and adapt to the increased challenge of the routine. When you get to week 6, look and see if you can change your routine by swapping out an exercise or adding additional sets.


This is enough information to get you started on any workout routine. What you’ll find is that building the routine isn’t all that hard, it’s starting it and sticking to it day-after-day that most people fail at. If you struggle in these areas I have plenty of tips on how to overcome those challenges.

Be sure to reach out to me on what is most challenging for you and follow below for more tips!

If you want more tips read: 3 Tips to Stick Your Workout

How To Gain Mass By Eating Right On Pennies (Part I)

Historically… I’ve been the skinny nerd type most of my life. Sure I played plenty of sports, but I have always been thin with low muscle mass. Anytime I tried to bulk up and put on weight, I would fail miserably.

I tried weight gainer shakes in my early twenties, I tried various bulking diets in my late twenties, and by my thirties I’d pretty much given up on ever having any real size

That all changed for me in the last 3 months. I went from 165 lbs at 6 foot tall, to a wild 195 lbs, gaining 30 lbs of weight. I want to share how that changed for me and what steps I took to finally increase my size for anyone else out there that has been naturally thin and wants to put on a little bulk.


The first thing I really had to do was figure out what other people were doing to gain mass and by other people, I don’t mean some guy on the internet writing a blog (like me… lol) no I mean like how the big dogs like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dwayne Johnson were doing it.

I didn’t want to just take advice from someone who had only been going too the gym for a while (which is also what you’re doing by reading this… lol) I wanted to get it straight from the horses mouth so I basically just sat down and started reading up on what they were doing. What were they eating, how were they lifting, and what their strategy was. Once I had that, I pretty much had the blueprint for what I needed to do to reach my goal.

If you’re curious, their strategies are basically just to eat a shit ton of food and then go hit the weights a shit ton. That’s pretty much what I’ve done except I took that blue print and applied it to my own life. Do I do it exactly like they do? No way, not even close, but I did take that blueprint and used it as my guide.

Once I had a game plan I started by identifying areas I was already failing in or weak in. I started with what I was doing wrong instead of starting with what I needed to do. In most cases, I think we always know what we need to do, that’s typically not the problem. The problem to achieving most of our goals is knowing how to remove the hurdles that prevent us from reaching them. So that’s what I did.


I was a 10+ year smoker, I stayed up late every night, and slept in most weekends. I skipped breakfast and most of the time fasted through lunch. It wasn’t until about dinner time that I would eat and then it was junk food from there on out. Oh also I didn’t actually workout.

So those were all of the things I needed to change… easy right?

Next I planned out what I needed to start doing that I wasn’t doing before, so that I could get to where I wanted to go. I knew I needed to eat more so I plotted out 4 meals in my day. These 4 meals would be the same, every single day (which really just made it easy) and dinner would be whatever.

I added in a morning workout instead of an evening one and then I plotted out what was going to push me to do all of this. I’ve previously written about how to find a motivator in my prior post: Find You Why. Repeat Your Why and have gone into deeper detail to what motivated me personally.

Next steps were just to simply execute.

I started out by quitting smoking cold turkey and just replacing that with my meals. I don’t want to pass this off as something I did easily. It wasn’t easy and I was challenged every day by it. Powerful Why’s will take you far. Read the two links above if you want to read more on how I quit smoking.

Breakfast started out really small, I mean like really small. With just a bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal is cheap and a great source of nutrition you just have to be careful to watch out for some of the name brands as they can be loaded with sugar. I like Better Oats and the apple version is top notch.

Here’s the link on Amazon:

Better Oats Bundle: (1) Apples & Cinnamon 9.8oz, (1) Maple and Brown Sugar 9.8oz (2 Boxes Total)

It comes out to just under a dollar for breakfast every day. Not bad.

After breakfast I would head to the gym and get my workout out in. I would always have a glass of water with me and I went ahead and ordered creatine to mix into it to help give me an extra boost. I was basically looking to give myself every edge I could.

I go with this one because it’s fairly cheap and nothing fancy:

BulkSupplements Creatine HCL Powder (100 Grams)

After a couple of days I decided to add another wrinkle to my plan and include a slice of toast with peanut butter shortly after my workout. I can’t stress enough how much you have to learn to fall in love with peanut butter. I am not a fan of peanut butter. I’m still not. BUT you get a lot of bang for your buck with peanut butter. It’s cheap and can go on just about anything.

I also doubled up and included a protein shake. There are a lot of different flavors out there and some of them are miserable. You just kind of have to shop around to find something you like but I highly recommend Banana if you can find it.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder, Extreme Milk Chocolate, 2 Pound (Packaging May Vary)

I’ve got quite a bit more to cover so I will follow up with a Part II in the next couple of days.

I will leave you with this little bit of advice, start small. Don’t try to make all of your changes in one day. Find a blue print (someone else who has done it) and use that as your guide BUT I say start small because you need to be able to adjust and modify your plan to fit your life. If you try to take someone else’s plan and just paste it into your life there’s good chance you’ll fail.

Let me know if you have any questions so far and I’ll cover them in Part II!

Read Part II Here

Should I Do a 3 Day Split or 4 Day Split for my workout? – Surprise! Neither.

This is going to throw a lot of people for a loop. A lot people are sold on performing a 3 or 4 day split for their weekly workouts and really… it makes sense right? We workout for a day, we get a day of rest for our muscles, and then we do it again. We all know that we need to give our muscles a day to rest so why wouldn’t this strategy work?

Because it doesn’t.

This is the most common advice I see on the internet on how to plan and schedule your workouts and to me it’s one of the worst. The advice isn’t intentionally trying to tell you to do the wrong thing, but in most cases it doesn’t provide you with enough context to really understand how to implement it.

The best way to go here, is to go with a 0 day split. Zero days, as in no days off. *Insert gasp*

What does a 0 day split mean? It means instead of going to the gym on Friday and then taking Saturday and Sunday off to ‘recover’ and then trying to go again on Monday, you just workout every day *insert second gasp*. Here’s why this works better than any type of a split.


One of the main reasons that people start workouts and then quit, is because they are trying to pick and choose which days they workout and which ones they don’t. They are trying to line up on and off days but if you’ve ever been a real life person, you know that sometimes you just have bad days on any random day of the week.

When this happens, people tend to try and shuffle around their workouts. They say, “oh I’ll just have today be my off day and I’ll pick back up tomorrow.” People do this all the time. I know because I’m people. And then what happens is it gets even harder to get back into your workout. And so before long…. you aren’t going at all.

photo cred: John Arano

Another reason split days become problematic is because people have this idea that they are going to go into the gym and they are going to bang out this super hard workout. They decide that today is chest day and they are going to go so hard and get a good pump in, but what happens every time after that? They are so sore, they can’t even function. Going to the gym seems like a nightmare and it takes them a full week to recover from that one workout. Which means more skip days.

The better way to do all of this is to just not have an off day. If you’re going to get into shape, and you’re serious about it, it has to become a part of your lifestyle. It has to be a part of who you are. It has to be something that you work on daily, rain or shine. It has to become habit, routine…. And I already know what you’re thinking, “but what about rest days?


You rest your muscles by working out other groups of muscles. That’s how you rest. You don’t do the same workout routine every day. You rotate around the body. So maybe Monday is chest, then Tuesday is core, followed by legs on Wednesday, and then Yoga on Thursday. Friday then becomes cardio, and Saturday is Back day. Wrap it all up with a Stretch day or another Core day and BAM! You’ve got a 0 day split.

The real reason this is a more successful way to go is that it allows you to build up consistency within your workouts. It doesn’t ask you to be Superman on Monday and then Shrek on Tuesday. That’s such an extreme to have to go back-and-forth on. Instead, it asks that you show up and get a little bit of work in each day and then hopefully you’re tracking your progress and each week you’re pushing for a little bit more.

Getting another little victory.

3 Tricks to Stick Your Workout

One of the most challenging things with getting our workouts in is sticking with them day-after-day. It’s always so easy when we’ve had a good night’s rest, things went well at work, we’re in a good mood and hitting the gym seems like a piece of cake.

But then it hits us… that day where things aren’t working out. Maybe we overslept or we’re feeling sore. Maybe work was shit or we’re just having a bad day in general and then when we think about the gym we stop ourselves and say, “I deserve a break from this day” and we skip.

It’s so easy to skip. It’s so easy to convince ourselves that we need a break from our struggles and that we should skip the gym. What we typically fail to realize is that there are some simple tricks to getting around these roadblocks and they are so easy you just can’t say no to them!


Trick #1

When you’re having that bad day. You know that day where you know you are going to skip the gym… well instead of telling yourself you’re going to skip, tell yourself you’re going to have a modified day.

When you have a modified day, do as little as you want to, to still get some level of physical exercise. Just do one pushup or one crunch. Do a single squat or a single jumping jack. Just do one and call it a modified day.

What’s more important isn’t that we go to the gym every day. What’s actually important is that we start building a streak. A number of consecutive days where we are getting physical exercise. Instead of taking a zero, take a modified day and do one exercise.

Trick #2

A lot of times when we fail to go to the gym we make it hard to start back up again because we realize the enormous amount of work and effort that needs to go into it. We see this huge mountain and we know there’s just no way we can climb it.

photo cred: Jeremy Bishop

Instead of trying to climb that mountain, use a graduated scale. That means, when you do fall off from your workout, start over from the beginning. Don’t try to climb the mountain in one big step.

Instead, try to do one pushup. Then on the next day, do two, then three, then four… if you fall off and miss a day, then pick back up again at one, then two, then three, then four… then five (one more than your last streak).

I make it so easy to build up with Little Victories each day, that’s it’s almost impossible to fail.


Trick #3

My last tip is one I see so many people trip themselves up on. They have one little thing go wrong in their life, and it ruins the entire rest of the day. They have one bad morning, one bad moment, and it sticks with them the entire day and ruins any chance of getting to the gym.

Any hurdles you have in your way to getting in shape you need to create alternatives for. For example, some people like to run, except when it rains. When it rains, they take a day off. One day off turns into two, and pretty soon they’ve missed a week.

Don’t let one little imperfection ruin your streak.

Find alternatives.

If you can’t make it to the gym, come up with an at home routine to do. If you can’t run because it’s raining, come up with an indoor routine. If you can’t go to the gym because of a pandemic, come up with routine you can do 6 feet from everyone else. Whatever it is, don’t strive for everything to be perfect. Find alternatives and modify when things aren’t ideal.

If you take these three tips and you use them every day, I promise you, you will stick to your workouts. You will have bad days and that’s exactly what these tips are for. It’s okay to have a bad day. Bad days should already be a part of your game plan because they are going to happen. The trick is knowing how to handle those bad days and not letting them ruin your streak.

Happy Lifting!

The One Trick to Getting in Shape

There is one very simple trick to getting in shape.

It’s not a new workout program or diet. It’s not waking up early in the morning or hitting the gym twice in one day. It’s actually a mental battle that we fight every day and the trick is in winning that battle.

The problem most people face when it comes to working out is that they get incredibly motivated and hyped, they get all fired up, and they tell themselves, “I’m going to start going to the gym everyday after work.

And most of the time they do… but sometimes they don’t. Those that do inevitably face the same challenge that plagues them every time they start on this journey. They get to the gym, they get in a good workout, maybe even they go again the next day and the day after that.

photo cred: Cathy Pham

Then it happens… they have that bad day. The day where they stop going to the gym. Maybe they’re really sore or maybe life threw them a curveball. Life gave them a bad day and when it was time to go to the gym, they just couldn’t make it happen. Instead, they took a rest day telling themselves they’ve earned it.

Then one rest day turns into two. Two becomes three, three becomes five… and pretty soon they haven’t gone to the gym for a week…

This happens every year on New Years for thousands of people. Literally thousands of people get all fired up and excited to change themselves and a lot of times they can get started but eventually the majority of them will burn out. What these people fail to understand is that they are actually doing great. They are actually doing so incredibly good that they don’t realize it and what happens is that they make this one mistake.


They let perfectionism win out over accountability. What I mean by that is that instead of showing up at the gym and doing a shit workout, they tell themselves that since they don’t have it in them to go hard that day, that they shouldn’t go at all. This is the point at which they fail and so here is the one trick to making your workout work.

Just show up.

Just show up to your workout even if you do it half ass and you only do one repetition at a fraction of your normal workload. Showing up and being accountable, even if it’s at a half ass rate, is still more effective to getting in shape than not showing up and eventually quitting.


What most people don’t understand is that fitness is a part of life. It’s not something you do for six weeks and then never do again. It’s something that is a part of your life every day. You live it. And sometimes you have bad days. Too many people let one bad day decide the rest of their future. Stop giving yourself a day off and show up to your workout.

Show up and do the shittiest workout you have ever done.




And if you need some extra motivation watch my really shitty YouTube video on showing up…

…and then jump over to my Instagram for some higher quality videos with even more tips!

7 More Tips to Achieving your Fitness Goals

Week two of daily fitness tips. Here’s a weekly recap on those tips. If you want to get them every morning keep up with us on Instagram and Facebook!

Day 8: Invest in Yourself

Day 9: Rockets Need Rocket Fuel

Day 10: Find Role Models


Day 11: Find an App to Help

Day 12: Set a Due Date

Day 13: Stop saying, ‘Should’ start saying, ‘HAVE To’


Day 14: Be Grateful

7 Tips to Achieving your Fitness Goals

I’ve recently started sharing daily tips on reaching your fitness goals. Here’s a weekly recap on those tips. If you want to get them every morning keep up with us on Instagram and Facebook!

Day 1: Just Show Up!

Day 2: Little Victories

Day 3: Powerful Why’s


Day 4: No Rest For the Wicked

Day 5: Why You Don’t Have Enough Time

Day 6: Do What You Want To Do


Day 7: Compete