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How to Build Muscle and Get Extremely Chiseled – 4 Unconventional Methods..

Do you love training as much as I do? Are you constantly searching for ways to make your workouts more effective? Do you live for the endorphin rush you get from a great workout? If you answered yes to all of the above, then there’s a good chance you have what it takes to rise head and shoulders above everyone else in the gym.

In part 1, I stressed the importance of not only “showing up” but making your workouts potent if you want real results.  In the Pure Payne Method, I outlined a basic template for a kick ass strength and conditioning program. Now I want to take it one step further and show you even more ways to improve your strength, build muscle, and just get fit as hell!!

Besides the big lifts and basic bodyweight training, there are some other highly effective and often overlooked training methods that deliver results in a big way.  The methods I’m going to reveal to you all have one thing in common – POWER!

That’s right, if you really want to spice things up, you need to start adding power development to the mix.  Simply put, power is the combination of strength and speed.  Training for power comes with huge benefits including:

  • Increased muscle mass
  • Increased strength
  • Increased explosiveness
  • Increased fast twitch muscle fiber development (the shit that makes you look amazing)
  • Increased athleticism
  • Reduced body fat

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Hershel Walker – the epitome of power!

Now, if that doesn’t get you excited you might as well stop reading now.  But if you’re fired up and want to add more intensity to your training then you have come to the right place.  Now, I’m going to show you 4 ways to develop power, amplify your workouts and take your fitness to a whole new level.

1. Olympic Lifting – The fastest and mightiest of the barbell lifts, the clean and jerk and the snatch, sit on a pedestal as one of the best group of exercises a human being can perform.   These full body exercises recruit a ton of muscle mass and ignite your nervous system making them an ideal choice for strength and muscular development.  However, with great benefit comes great risk due to the high degree of technical proficiency needed to do these movements.  Not to worry, if you’re new to Olympic lifting there are variations you can use that still provide lots of benefits and reduce the risk of injury.  Some typical variations include:

  • Hang cleans/hang snatches – The “hang” position is when the barbell starts above the knee rather than on the ground. This essentially will help to strengthen and develop the major part of the movement – the second pull.  The hang position allows less room for error (i.e. early arm bending and the bar coming away from the body)  and forces you to be more explosive with the barbell.
  • Clean pull/snatch pulls – One of the most difficult aspects of olympic lifting is the ability to receive or “catch” the barbell properly.  This hassle can be avoided by doing “pulls” instead.  Clean/snatch pulls allow you to start with the bar on the ground and generate maximal force without having to catch the weight.  This is a great way to lift relatively heavy loads without risking injury from improper catches.
  • Dumbbell variations – If you aren’t comfortable with a barbell, you can always opt for dumbbell variations that can be quite intense as well.  Dumbbell snatches and dumbbell cleans performed with 1 arm or 2 arm variations are excellent alternatives and far less technical than using a barbell.

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barbell and dumbbell variations both deliver HUGE results

Whatever variation you choose, always remember that these are “fast lifts” and the more explosive you can be the better.  Check out the video below to see how to perform hang cleans with good form.

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2. Sprinting – I remember the good ol’ days when I was a kid in elementary school and we’d spend an entire recess having little 50, 60, 70 yard foot races to see who was the fastest kid in our grade. Man, that was fun and it was damn good exercise too!  I don’t know about you but I can’t remember the last time (with the exception of the Olympics which is once every 4 years) I saw an adult do anything that resembles anything close to a sprint.  It seems we’ve opted for the more convenient and far less effective alternative – jogging.  You don’t need to aspire to be the next Usain Bolt to incorporate sprinting into your training but if you want to get chiseled like a world class athlete then you should strongly consider it.  Here are some options for sprinting:

  • Wind sprints – Good old fashioned all out sprinting.  30-60 meters will get the job done. Walk back and repeat or rest 2-3mins between efforts.
  • Hill sprints – The only thing better than running really fast is running really fast UPHILL!  Hill sprints will definitely put hair on your chest (unless you’re a woman of course, then it will just give you incredible hips and thighs).  Find a hill or use a treadmill (10-15% incline) and try 20-60 second intervals with a 1:1 or 1:2 work/rest ratio.
  • Resisted Sprints – Another great way to intensify your workout.  Like I always say “when in doubt, add a little more weight.” This mantra applies to sprinting as well.  You don’t need a lot of resistance though, just enough to make you work harder but not so much that you lose your running form.  Parachutes, weight vests, and sleds loaded with 10-15% of your bodyweight are great options.

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Usain Bolt – world class power and a world class physique

3. Plyometrics – The former Soviet Union knew what they were doing when they popularized this training method.  Plyometrics is essentially jump training.  The act of jumping recruits a ton of fast twitch muscle fibers and is one of the most effective ways to develop explosiveness.  Popular and effective plyometric exercises include:

  • Box jumps – Basic jumping onto a 20-30″ box is an excellent way to develop lower body power. Single leg variations are also an option for you keeners out there.
  • Split jumps – One of my personal favorites.  Split jumps or jumping lunges can be humbling to say the least.  The glutes and quads will get punished but rewards are well worth the pain.
  • Lateral jumps – There’s something about jumping sideways that slaps you across the face and completely shocks your body.  Jumping over a hurdle or onto a box laterally challenges your athleticism and makes for one hell of a workout!
  • Clap Pushups – A great upper body plyometric exercise.  Your chest, shoulders and triceps will be lit up after a few sets of these. Like a pair of Air Jordan 3’s, the clap pushup is a classic that will never go out of style.

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Air Jordans and clap pushups – timeless classics that never go out of style

4. Sled Pushes – Did someone say prowler? Disputably one of the most intense conditioning exercises in all of fitness, sled pushing will leave you speechless (because there will be no air left in your body to speak).  8-10 intervals of 30-50 meter pushes will have you spent but every muscle in your body will thank you for it. Stay low, push hard, try to breathe, repeat. Check out the video below to see how Joe DeFranco lays the smack down with the prowler!

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The name of the game my friends is power.  If your goal is to pack on serious muscle, build superhuman strength and have a body carved out of granite then power is your ticket to the motherland! You can use these exercises on their own or pair them together  with other strength exercises to really crank things up. It’s time to get in the trenches and get to work. And remember, doing what others are unwilling to do is the key to success.

Have you got your copy of The Pure Payne Method yet? If not, hurry up and subscribe below to become a powerhouse!

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21 Warning Signs that Your Workout Routine ABSOLUTELY SUCKS!

The health and fitness industry generates over $75 billion annually worldwide.  That’s a lot of gym memberships.  What’s even more staggering is that approximately 67% of that revenue is wasted due to under utilization.  Basically, that means 2 out of every 3 people that have a gym membership don’t even use it.  That’s over 50 billion dollars flushed down the toilet!  Now, these stats are primarily a reflection of big box gyms that provide very little service or value and don’t include fitness studios, Crossfit gyms, and other strength and conditioning facilities.  Even when you add these training facilities to the equation though, you’re still looking at least $45 billion wasted on an annual basis!

These stats tell me 2 things:

1. There is an extremely high demand for services that will help people look, feel and perform better.

2.  There are very few people that ACTUALLY look, feel, and perform better.

For the 33% that actually show up, only a small percentage of them make any progress whatsoever.  The abundance of choice inside fitness facilities combined with a lack of knowledge by most gym goers is a perfect recipe for failure.  The key is to avoid the pitfalls that the majority of people make.  Some warning signs that your workout routine could be lackluster include:

1.  You do too much isolation work – Too many people spend way too much time working the smallest muscles in their body (i.e. biceps, triceps, calves)  only to achieve equally small results.  To get the best bang for your buck, don’t waste your time with isolation exercises that do very little for your overall strength and muscle building pursuits.  Use more compound movements like the squats, bench presses, and deadlifts to make real gains.

2. You do too much upper body work – You know what they say, “friends don’t let friends skip leg day.” It’s quite tragic that guys will neglect the largest muscles in their body and deprive themselves of optimal testosterone production.  Don’t be a pussy, train your legs to get big and strong everywhere else!

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3. You do too much long, slow cardio – If you’re still sitting on the elliptical or stationary bike for an hour trying to burn more fat then you got a long road ahead of you.  They key to fat burning is intensity and anabolic (muscle building) activity.  Long slow, cardio is both catabolic (muscle wasting) and time wasting.  Start lifting more weights and doing intervals to get more results in less time.

4. You jump from program to program – Consistency is one the keys to success in the gym.  If you are constantly jumping from one program to the next you’ll never get a chance to make any real progress.  Give yourself at least 6-8 weeks before switching your training split or exercises.

5. You don’t sweat – As silly as this sounds, there a lots of people who exercise (or do what they think is exercise) and never sweat.  If you’re not breaking a sweat, you’re not giving your body a reason to get better.

6. You still do crunches – Honestly.  If you want to build a strong core use plank variations, FULL situps, russian twists, hanging leg raises , ab wheel rollouts, or anything other than a futile little crunch.  If you want to see those beautiful abs, remember six packs are made in the kitchen not in the gym.

7. You don’t do burpees – You can hate them all you want but that doesn’t mean they aren’t one of the best bodyweight exercises you could ever do. Improve your conditioning, burn more fat and get more out of your workouts with the dreaded “B” word.

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8. You measure your fitness by how much you can bench – Don’t get me wrong, I love me some bench press but it’s hardly a measure of my overall fitness level.  A little less bench and a little more #2 and #3 and you’ll be onto something.

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9. You only do exercises you are good at – This compliments #8 as a lot of people will only do the exercises they enjoy or what they think matters.  This is a surefire way to develop muscular imbalances, chronic injuries, and an undesirable physique.  Try to train at least one weakness every time you’re in the gym. Something as simple as a 1 arm dumbell row to offset all that benching will go a long way.

10. You’ve been doing the same routine for ages – I mentioned that consistency is important to success but variety is equally important if you want to break through plateaus and continue to make gains.  If you’ve been doing the same exercises in the same order with the same weight for the same reps since Maury Povich was a hit show then it’s time to switch it up.  Without variety, your body has no reason to improve.

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11. You think you can out-exercise a bad diet – Just because you workout 2 hours a day, 5 days a week doesn’t mean you can eat pizza and drink pop on a regular basis without any consequence.  Consuming excess calories and empty calories will still cause you store fat no matter how much you exercise.  Stop fooling yourself and clean up your diet if you really want that beach body.

12. You’re not getting stronger – One of the marks of a good training program is strength.  If you are hitting the gym on a regular basis and seeing no improvement in your strength then something is missing in your program.  I’m not saying you should be setting PRs every week but there should be a slow and steady increase in most of the exercises you are doing. If you’re not getting stronger, you’re getting weaker and that’s a low down dirty shame.

13. You’re not getting leaner – If you’re goal is weight loss or to reduce body fat then you better be watching your diet, interval training, and lifting heavy.  0 for 3? Time to go back to the drawing board.

14. You don’t work on mobility – If you’ve been training for any length of time then you’ve probably had your fair share of little tweaks along the way and if you haven’t consider yourself lucky.  Taking the time to focus on mobility and soft tissue work (i.e foam rolling, lacrosse ball, massage, chiropractic, general stretching) can go a long way in the prevention of soft tissue injuries as well improve movement efficiency.

15. You train like a body builder but you look like a sumo wrestler – I still can’t believe how many people still train with body part splits even though they lack the genetics, discipline, and intensity to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Full body workouts mixed with high intensity conditioning will get you to where you want to go a lot faster.

16. You think more exercise is better – Some people just don’t know when enough is enough.  Working out 3 hours a day isn’t necessarily better than 2 hours a day and 6 days a week isn’t necessarily better than 5.  More exercise means a greater rise in cortisol (the muscle wasting and fat storing hormone) which will only make you feel like crap and make you weaker in the long run. The body needs time to recover and rebuild and it can only do so when rest is in proportion to training volume and intensity.  Aim for more QUALITY workouts and less quantity.

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17. You think you can’t build muscle AND burn fat at the same time – You don’t have to go through the long, drawn out process of “bulking” and then “shredding” to get the body you want. With an effective training program, you can increase strength, muscle mass, and reduce body fat simultaneously.

18. You follow too many fad diets – Building a lean, athletic physique takes discipline, sacrifice, and time – more time than most people want to put in.  Looking for a quick fix by jumping on some celebrity diet may meet your short term needs but it won’t be the answer to long term, sustainable gains.  Like Jason Ferruggia says “the secret to being an overnight success is 10 years of hard work.”

19. You are overly concerned about supplements – The highest quality protein powder isn’t going to do jack for you if your training is all over the map.  Don’t worry about protein powder, BCAA’s, creatine, pre-workouts, or any other distractions on the market until you practice sound nutritional habits and consistent training.

20. You ALWAYS lift heavy – Now I know I’ve said that lifting heavy is vital to a good training program but if you’re always lifting at 90% or higher it’s gonna take a huge toll on your joints and nervous system.  Not even world class powerlifters and olympic weightlifters train heavy all year round and they’re the strongest lifters in the world so why should you?  Dial back your training loads and allow some time to recovery to make more long term gains.

21. You’re not using the Pure Payne Method – Yeah I said it. Now sign up for it, it’s FREE!

Take heed of these warning signs and adjust your training accordingly.  Don’t be another statistic, instead be one of the few that ACTUALLY looks, feels, and performs better.

What can you do right away to improve your training routine? Drop a comment below!

 

 

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The One Piece of Equipment You REALLY Need to Get in Shape! Hint: It Ain’t a Barbell..

I’ve been doing this a long time.  Working out and training people that is.  For over 13 years, I’ve been putting myself and others through rigorous workouts and finding great success with many and little to no progress with others.  That’s right, not every person who’s crossed my path has transformed their body into a picture of chiseled granite. Not everyone will.  That’s the hard truth that me and every other passionate trainer out there are going to have to swallow. Having said that, there are definitely some common characteristics I’ve observed with those who have achieved their goals and gotten into great shape.

Obviously, great programming followed consistently will pay huge dividends. For now let’s put aside sets, reps, intensity and all the other “fitness ideologies” that are so heavily debated these days and take a look at the more intangible side of becoming a physical specimen.  Let’s take a look at what REALLY separates the STRONG, LEAN, and CONDITIONED from those that are too scared and/or lazy to even break a sweat.  I’m talking about the most powerful tissue in your body and it sits right between your ears….

A BULLETPROOF MIND

It seems the proper mindset is the driving force behind reaching any type of fitness goal.  I’m not talking about some fleeting motivation that comes around every January and evaporates like morning dew in mid February.  I’m talking about a mindset that is built to last, fortified with an indomitable foundation, and impervious to futile distractions.  This is the cloth that champions are cut from. These are the doers, the people you read about, the alpha dogs if you will..

A bulletproof mindset is comprised of many things including but not limited to the following:

1. ENTHUSIASM – Ralph Waldo Emerson once said ” Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”  When was the last time you saw someone that was in great shape that dreaded going to the gym?  How often do you see that shredded guy lollygagging his way through a workout just to get it over with?  The hard truth is if you don’t wake up excited to hit your next workout you might as well refill your bowl of Doritos, loosen the drawstring in your pants and just bask in your mediocrity.

2. BELIEVING IS SEEING – That’s right, I didn’t write it backwards.  It sounds sounds simple enough but this may be one of the biggest roadblocks to people’s success.  The hard truth is most of you wish you were in better shape but very few of you BELIEVE you can really take your fitness to the next level.  Stop and ask yourself “Do you really think you can get a six pack?” “Do you really think you can do 10 unassisted chinups?” If you don’t think you can succeed why even bother starting an exercise program?  Your wishful thinking has to be turned into concrete confidence. Your determination and will has to be greater than any other external force.  Middle class thinking won’t get you a first class body.

3. THREAD IT INTO YOUR DNA – The strongest, fittest, and leanest don’t get that way by casually working out here and there.  They get there because its a part of who they are; their character, well-being, and happiness are directly intertwined with how well they take care of their bodies.  Make looking and feeling the best you can a purpose in your life.  When a day you haven’t trained feels like a day you haven’t lived, then you have armed yourself with the weapons you need to build a better you.

4. THE JOURNEY IS THE REWARD – Most of us train to achieve some desired goal or result (i.e. get a six pack, lose 10lbs, deadlift twice your bodyweight, etc.) and this is a great way to stay motivated and consistent with your training.  However, the reality is good habits implemented on a daily basis are what separate the good from the great.  Waking up on time, staying hydrated, and treating every rep like it’s your last are just a few of the little things that lead to huge success.  I wake up every morning excited about the PROCESS of becoming better.  The hard truth is there is no destination!  ” The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.”  If you think you’ve arrived, you’ve only made a pit stop.  Every squat, every pullup, every burpee is your reward for not taking the easy way out.  ENJOY THE RIDE!!

5.  GO THE EXTRA MILE – This can be taken both figuratively and literally.  For some of you, getting to the gym and running an extra mile may be exactly what you need to do to step your game up.  The hard truth is you need to go above and beyond the call of duty.  This could mean getting to the gym early, working on your mobility, a few extra sets of cleans, whatever the case may be it’s not enough to just “show up” or “punch your time card.” Hold yourself to a higher standard.  Ask yourself “Am I doing everything I can to be the best I can?”  Nobody ever got to the top just by doing the bare minimum.  I challenge you to push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of and see where it takes you.

Remember, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste” so rise above the average Joe and do what others are unwilling to do. Then, and only will you stand a chance.

Don’t forget to subscribe below to get more of these great articles delivered directly to you!

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The Secrets to Eating Healthier, Building Muscle, and Becoming Insanely Fit!

Getting to the gym consistently and putting in quality workouts can be challenging enough for most people.  Couple that with the necessity to eat a clean diet can make getting in shape a daunting task.  With the abundance of information available to us, it’s hard to decipher what is accurate and what is complete rhetoric – especially when it comes to nutrition.

Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, vegan, low fat, high fat, the list goes on and on.  At the end of the day, our bodies are all different and respond differently to a variety of foods.  So what is the right way to eat for optimal health and performance?? The answer is a resounding – IT DEPENDS.

Depending on your goals, body type, metabolism and a plethora of other factors, your nutritional intake is going to vary.  However, I’m a firm believer in principles and general rules of thumb.  This means that there are definitely certain types of foods we ALL should be eating more of and others that shouldn’t be within 50ft of us.

I recently stumbled across a great resource that eloquently lays out how to approach our dietary habits.  It’s quite informative and entertaining at the same time (which is why I was able to read the entire thing without falling asleep).  Some of the most popular questions are answered in this resource:

  • Do I need to take vitamins and other supplements?
  • How important is it to eat organic?
  • Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?
  • How much should you eat in one sitting?
  • How many times/day should you be eating?
  • When and where should you be eating?
  • When is the best time of day to eat?
  • What are the most dangerous foods you should avoid?
  • What’s the easiest way to tell if the food you’re eating is good for you or not?
  • Should you keep a food diary?
  • How many calories should you eat per day?

All these questions and more are answered in this special report!  Find out how to get a kung fu grip on your dietary habits by subscribing below to get this SPECIAL REPORT FREE!  Plus, you will also receive the Pure Payne Method, a 6 week training program aimed at building a STRONGER, LEANER, and more CONDITIONED  you!!  Trust me, it’ll be well worth your time!!