It’s been one hell of a year…

I got hitched…

Moved into a NEW gym…

And in addition to those great things, I’ve built a ton of new friendships, connected with other successful coaches / gym owners, continued to help my Elite Online Clients achieve some MAJOR results, conquer other BIG time goals, and have continued to grow and adapt to what life’s been throwing my way.

The important thing to note is that I’ve continued to “adapt and change”.

That’s inevitable in life.

You’ll always be changing and growing so you must embrace that vs. trying to fight it.  If you’re not growing or changing, you’re only decaying and getting worse.

So, what have YOU accomplished this last year?

Can you look back and honestly pick out 1 or 2 things that you’re 110% satisfied and happy about accomplishing?

OR, do you look back at this past year and feel disgust and disappointment with things?

I hope it’s NOT the latter…

The TRUTH is we’ll always have failures (as I had a TON in 2012), but it’s how we react to these failures that matter most.

Either way, to end out the year right, I thought that I would share with you some of my top Tips / Takeaways.

Some of these you may have read in past blog posts, and some of them I’m sharing for the first time.

Bottom Line, I hope these tips help you out with the new upcoming year to kick more ass with your fitness and performance goals.

Tip #1 – Training Twice A Day Is SUPER Effective (When done RIGHT)

When it’s come to training twice a day, I’ve found that it works exceptionally well, but there’s a few rules to follow if you’re going to be doing this.

1 – Do strength and skill focused work in the FIRST session – this is the most focused work and will be far more effective when your fresh.

2 – Do your volume / conditioning work later in the day

3 – Give yourself 4+ hours in between sessions – If you’re going to be training twice in one day, give yourself at least 4 solid hours in between sessions.  For me, I was typically training around 730-8am and then again later in the day around 4 or sometimes around 530-6.  I’d feel more then ready to go when I gave myself that much time.

4 – Only train twice a day if it’s needed for YOUR goals – The main reason I train 2 times a day is to split up my strength and conditioning sessions as it’s specific to my sport.  What sport you ask?  The sport of Crossfit 😉

Most athletes and lifters will NOT have to train twice in one day.  I use two-a-days only a few times a week.  Other than that I’m training only 1 x a day like normal.

Tip #2 – Training The Same Muscle Groups and Movements Multiple Times In A Row Won’t Kill You

You know this is something that bothered me for a long time when I first switched over to a full body style of training vs. my old upper / lower splits.

I wouldn’t even think of programming squats on back to back days as I was always under the impression that doing so would crush my gains and ultimately make me weak.

At first it was hard switching over to strict FULL body workouts, but after a few weeks your body adjusts.

While upper and lower splits work great, I’ve seen some major gains while training with  FULL body workouts.

As long as you’re aggressively attacking mobility work and getting in enough focused recovery (which I’ll talk more about in a second) you’ll be fine.

There’s been many weeks where I’ve squatted heavy on Monday then came back and did some form of squatting again on Tuesday and even again on Wednesday and guess what, I’m still alive and my strength and overall performance levels have continued to go up!

Tip #3 – Recovery Is KING (Seriously, it is)

Something that is critically important, but no one likes to talk about is that of RECOVERY.

I can remember when I spoke with The Worlds 3rd Fittest Man, Kyle Kasperbauer about what his major focus in preparation for the 2012 Crossfit Games, he told me his number one rule was that he treated RECOVERY as KING.

Instead of just throwing in stretching and mobility work after workouts or when he felt he needed it, he made it a priority and treated it just as important as his normal training sessions.

I took that advice and have been treating it the same as I’ll have separate mobility / stretching sessions.

Also in regards to recovery, (which I’ll be doing a full blown post on here soon) the one thing that you MUST not ever overlook is that of SLEEP.

Some people say you can “sleep when you’re dead”, but the truth is, if you want to increase results, you’ve better get your Z’s.

No excuses on that.

I make it a point to get at LEAST 6 hours a night.  8 hours of sleep is even better.

If I’m busy, I make sure to get in a good quality 20 min nap during the day or I make sure to get my ass into bed a bit earlier.

It’s all about what your priorities are in life 😉

If better results and performance is at the top of your list, make a way to get in more sleep.

Tip #4 – You’re NEVER “Good Enough” w/ Your Own Bodyweight

Need I go into more about this?

If you haven’t done so yet, check out The Bodyweight Gauntlet and test yourself out to see where you rank out on that challenge.

Now, the key takeaway when it comes to bodyweight training is to always focus in on getting yourself better by becoming more efficient.

The only way you become more efficient at bodyweight training is by training it more often.

Real quick before you read any further…  Crank out a set of push ups x 50, squats x 50, and go ahead and do a plank for a min.

3, 2, 1….  GO!

Ah!  Much better right?

I do that all the time when I’m on the computer.  Keeps me sane.

The important thing to note is that you can fit in bodyweight training anytime, anywhere!

Now, back to getting more efficient at bodyweight training…

The first way to do this is to include in bodyweight training more often within your training program.  I always have a ton of bodyweight work in my warm up, then again in my main workout, and usually have something bodyweight specific blended into my finishers. That’s three areas you can slip in some bodyweight work.

Another option to use that will get you better at bodyweight training is to increase the intensity of your bodyweight movements by adding weight via a weighted vest or chains.

If you get to a certain point where say you can crank out 60 non-stop push ups, why not get to the point to where you can crank out 60 non-stop push ups with a 20 lbs chain around your neck?

Same goes for progressions.  You can always increase the progression of a bodyweight movement to a tougher variation.  You don’t always have to do the same variations of push ups, pull ups, rows, etc.  It’s better to switch things up more often then not.

One last tip or challenge for you to do is to pick a movement or set of bodyweight movements and crank out 1 set of each to failure after a training session to see how you do.

You’ll humble yourself a bit especially if you’re a bit fatigued.  Even an all out set of basic bodyweight squats for just a minute can crush you.  It’ll get you better in the end.

Tip #5 – Mess Up “The System” and Go Against The Grain

I’ll admit that when I first started training years ago that I was always one to go “by the book”.

Over the last few years I’ve had the most success by going against what’s written in books.

There’s coaches out there that are strictly by the book and coaches that aren’t, and both can be successful.

For me, I always keep the basics in mind, but I very rarely go by the book anymore.

I’ve found I’ve gained the most progress by mixing it up a bit and going against the grain.

Why not try training strength @ the end of a session???

What do YOU think you could pull for a 1RM deadlift after a 45 min workout session instead of at the beginning?

Or, how about squatting 90% of your max reps in 5 mins after a long training session?

Think it doesn’t work?

Guess again…  I’ve made some HUGE gains by doing just this.

I’ll be sharing more in the near future of this sort of “madness training”, but just know you can go against the book and still get some SICK results.

The bottom line is you gotta let loose every now and then.

Tip #6 When It Comes To Nutrition…

All I can say about nutrition when it comes down to it is to find out what works BEST for YOU.

There’s a lot of different nutrition philosophies out there that work great, but you’ll run into trouble when you try to follow all of them at once.

I actually just got done answering a question from someone that was rather frustrated and totally confused with what to do in regards to his nutrition.

He was trying to follow Carb Back Loading and eating like a bodybuilder while also trying to use intermittent fasting while also trying to stay primal with Paleo all while trying to count his calories and macros…

No wonder he was frustrated and confused…

All of those methods work when you follow them specifically, but when you try to use ALL of them together, you’re results will be minimal unless you know exactly what you’re doing to a T.

I’ve found that a mix of different philosophies work for me best because I’ve tested and tweaked overtime…

Here’s what I’ve made work best me:

  • I eat Paleo about 80-90% of the time
  • I have specially planned cheats meals that include anything from chocolate cake to cheese cake to fried chicken to mashed potatoes about 2-3 times a week – when I cheat, I eat whatever I feel like eating – that’s why it’s a cheat 😉
  • I use intermittent fasting 3-4 days a week depending on when and how I’m training the next day
  • When I do use IF, I make sure to fast for at least 16 hours
  • I supplement with Fish Oil, Athletic Greens, Vitamin D, BCAA’s, and always have a post workout shake that consists of Spinach, Kale, Whey Protein Powder, Leucine, Glutamine, and Creatine.
  • I DO NOT count calories or macros

Everything that I’ve found to work BEST for me and a lot of my clients and athletes has been put together within my Lean. Mean. Strong -Simple Nutrition System.

It’s PERFORMANCE based eating that blends the use of strategic carb rotation and intermittent fasting, but you can choose to use IF or go strictly with performance based eating in which you eat meals all throughout the day based off of your training schedule.

Bottom line when it comes to nutrition, it’s BEST to find what works for you.

Does Paleo work best for you?  I’m not sure…

Does eating like a bodybuilder work for you?  I have no clue…

How about eating what ever you want when you want?  Maybe you have FREAK genetics (lucky)…

You’ve got to test and tweak to see what works best.

My BEST advice for that would be to try a philosophy of eating and stick to it for at least 4-6 weeks.  Track your results then decide from there on what works for you.   If it works for your lifestyle, roll with it.  If not, find something else.

Also, make sure to pay attention to Tip #8 I give on the post as it will help prevent you from getting too frustrated with things such as this 😉

Tip #7 – Do something that not only challenges you, but scares the sh*t outta you.

When it comes to your fitness and performance results, if you’re looking to get better in 2013 and you’re not an athlete, find something to join that will push you to perform as if you were an athlete.

Even if you’re not competing in a sport, you’re still an athlete…  A HUMAN ATHLETE.

I say to challenge yourself by signing up for a race, a mud run / challenge run, do the Crossfit Open, or go enter any of the other 100 Crossfit competitions they now have each weekend…

Also, pick something that when you think about doing it, scares the sh*t outta you 😉

Remember how I mentioned at the beginning of this post about “growing and changing”?

Do things that are going to force you to grow and change.

It should be something that will CHALLENGE you plus give you new life and energy to train instead of the old, “I want to get into shape” goal that everyone seems to have around this time of year.

What does this mean anyways = “To get into shape”

It will be different for everyone.

What will make the difference is to connect some PURPOSE and PASSION to your fitness goal instead of having it be so broad.

This will help you DOMINATE this up coming year fitness wise.

Tip #8 – “Trim The Fat” For More SUCCESS

This last tip probably made the MOST difference in my life…

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I’ll always continue to learn through absorbing and collecting information from lots of different sources and people, but, what YOU must understand, especially if you’re just starting out, is to find 1 or 2 coaches at the most and then listen to just them

Shut out all of the other info.

As I said in the video, there’s 1000’s of coaches that know their sh*t, but each one will have a little bit of a difference in regards to how they approach different types of things.

What will happen if you try to follow too many people is you’ll find info to be contradicting (such as Fasting vs. Non Fasting or Full Body Workouts vs. Split Training Workouts) and in return you’ll get totally confused and flustered.

While all of the different methods and philosophies you discover over time may work, you’ll mess yourself up if you try to do everything you learn all at once or even worse, you’ll get so overwhelmed with the amount of info your taking in you’ll freeze and not do a single thing.

So, if you do anything this coming year, TRIM THE FAT.

If this means you cut me off, unsubscribe from my newsletter and stop listening, watching, and reading what I put out, so be it.

If that means that you progress ahead in life, I’m in favor of it.

Obviously I do NOT want you to leave me, but if it works better for YOU, that’s how it must be.

So, find the 1-2 coaches / experts that know their sh*t and follow them.  Not one more.

When you start to figure out what works for you best, that’s when you can start branching out and listening and absorbing more information from more sources.   Don’t bite off more then you can chew because you’ll choke.

Also in regards to this that’s absolutely CRITICAL that you do is to make sure and listen to YOURSELF. 

While there will always be outside influences on what we learn and what inspires up, never deny what YOU can come up with on your own from within in your mind.

We are ALL genius’ in some way shape or form and to deny our own thoughts and ideas is not deny life itself.

Bottom line – Always BE YOURSELF.

FINAL Tip – Cross the Goal Line! 

One last tip in regards to getting the BEST results possible with your training is to STAY COMMITTED.

If you buy a training manual and it calls for a 6 week program, follow that program from start to finish.  NO EXCUSES.

The worst thing you can do is start something and never finish it.

99% of people in this world get themselves to the “goal line” to never cross over for a touchdown.

This is the BIGGEST reason for failure = Quitting before the finish.

If you do anything in 2013, make sure you stick more things through.

Don’t give up on something when you experience the first bit of resistance.

Push through it and be RELENTLESS until the end.

Here’s to an AWESOME upcoming year.  It starts now!

Your journey has already begun!

Live and Train Aggressive!