The Power Look

Nothing says power like a big set of traps and a thick neck. Think about it. When you’re out somewhere and you see a guy with massive traps and huge neck you automatically know he’s the last guy in the joint that you’d ever want to mess with. Maybe he’s an ex wrestler. Maybe he competes in MMA. Or maybe he played football. You don’t know but you definitely don’t want to find out. No other muscle groups instill fear in and command respect from all those around you like the traps and neck do. Plenty… continue reading.

Is a Pump Needed to Build Muscle?

Is a pump needed to build muscle? Some people emphatically state that getting a good pump is necessary. Others say just the opposite. First of all, the ability to easily obtain a good pump is a sign that your body is in an anabolic state and ready to train. It shows us that the body and the cells are well hydrated and ready to grow. Some days, you go to the gym and can’t get a pump no matter what you do. Your body is telling you something, and that something is that you are not in an anabolic state,… continue reading.

Strength Training For Combat Sports

There is an old idea that still permeates mixed martial arts circles and that is the idea that strength work is not necessary or should, at best, be a secondary consideration. Many combat coaches and athletes spend hours and hours a week on conditioning. Often times this is all they will do, neglecting any kind of strength work whatsoever. I understand that conditioning is the most important quality for a combat athlete to develop but you have to realize that improving your strength is vitally important as well. Statistics have shown that at lower… continue reading.

Leading By Example

Yesterday I spent the afternoon in Central Park at the Men’s Fitness Ultimate Athlete event. While it was a great event for a great cause and I met a lot of great people I was reminded of the importance of leading by example. My good friend, Sean Hyson of Men’s Fitness, who was looking as jacked as ever, jumped into the competition to show that he can not only talk the talk but walk the walk. I was really impressed by Sean’s willingness to get his hands dirty while he was working and put his money where his mouth… continue reading.

How to Build Muscle with High Reps

Although I am not a fan of high reps on most exercises for most lifters, there are actually times when I do recommend them. So if you want to learn how to build muscle with high reps, then read on. When you are more advanced and have developed a respectable level of strength, high reps can actually be a great tool for stimulating new muscle growth. The reason I don’t recommend high reps to beginners is because they don’t have the strength, coordination or stabilization to maintain perfect form throughout a long duration set and are likely… continue reading.

How to Get Flat Lower Abs

By John Alvino I’d be a very rich man if I had a dollar for ever time that someone told me, “My upper abs are getting lean but I still have this pouch of fat on my lower abs.” Unfortunately, this “upper then lower” fat loss progression is typical for the majority of people. This “lower ab bulge” happens for three totally different reasons. If you are going to achieve flat lower abs, all three reasons must be addressed. The first reason the lower abs are not flat is simply due to excess body fat. Most… continue reading.

Paleo Recipes: Roast Pumpkin & Red Onion with Rosemary

From Paleo Cookbooks Ingredients ½ butternut pumpkin, seeded and sliced 4 red onions, peeled and sliced 4tbs rosemary leaves, chopped 4tbs olive oil Instructions Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180o Celsius/350o Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place pumpkin, onion and rosemary leaves on the baking tray and coat with olive oil. Place tray in the oven and bake for 15-20minutes or until pumpkin has cooked and onions have browned. Serve. For over 300 more great paleo recipes check out… continue reading.

Fit To Fight Review

First off, I want to say congratulations to my buddy and fellow vegetarian Mac Danzig for his outstanding performance Saturday night at the UFC pay per view. Big things ahead for this guy. Secondly, I wanted to thank everyone for all the positive feedback so far on Fit to Fight and to share the latest review with those of you who haven’t gotten your copy yet. Click HERE to read it. continue reading.

Combat Q&A

Question: What is more important for a fighter to focus on; strength or conditioning? Answer: Neither is more important than the other. It really depends on what the particular fighter needs to work on and what his major weakness is at the time. If he is inhumanly strong yet completely gassed after a minute, then max strength work will be a complete waste of time and he should focus most of his time on conditioning. The reverse, obviously holds true for someone who is in great conditioning yet weaker than tissue paper. Determine your weakness and what is… continue reading.

Hardcore Conditioning

If you want to really bring up your conditioning and lose body-fat you need to get your ass off the stair stepper and treadmill and start moving. Sprints, Prowler pushes, jumping rope, sled drags, sandbag work, sledgehammer swings and bodyweight exercises are far more effective than any “cardio” machine could ever be. A great exercise to really bring up your conditioning rapidly is the burpee/chin up combo. You perform a burpee and then at the top of each rep you jump up into a chin up. The higher the chin up bar, the better. Try performing a few sets… continue reading.

Back to Basics For Advanced Ab Development

As much as people tend to want to get into advanced exercises as soon as possible, I firmly believe that high levels of core stability are required before you can even attempt to do some of the more basic ab exercises. I made this mistake for years when I was younger and had the chronic back pain to show for it. Core stability is actually often more important than core strength when it comes to preventing injuries and staying healthy. I highly recommend that everyone start with the following four isometric exercises done on a 6-7 time a week basis… continue reading.

Bison Burgers

By Dave “The Muscle Cook” Ruel Makes 4 Servings Ingredients * – 1 Tbsp olive oil * – 1 chopped onion * – 2 egg whites * – 1/4 cup oat bran * – 1/4 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato * – 1 teaspoon oregano * – 1/2 teaspoon sea salt * – 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper * – 1 lb / 455 g ground bison Directions * 1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Cook the onion until soft and… continue reading.

Dining With Danzig

Along with my friend Sean Hyson of Men’s Fitness, I had lunch on Saturday with Mac Danzig, the winner of last seasons Ultimate Fighter and future UFC champion. Upon meeting Mac for the first time one of the things you notice immediately is that he is incredibly polite and respectful; nothing like the image that they created for him through the magic of editing on The Ultimate Fighter. The second thing you notice is that his hands are incredibly huge compared to the rest of his body and that you probably wouldn’t want to get hit by one of them. continue reading.

How to Build a Barn Door Sized Back

If you want to build a thick, muscular back there are three exercises that you need to become very familiar with. Those exercise are chin ups, rows and lastly but most importantly; deadlifts. If you did nothing but those three exercises faithfully you would end up with a muscular and impressive looking back. The back muscles make up a huge portion of your total musculature and developing them will add pounds of mass to your frame. So how do we go about developing all of the muscles of the back? Firstly we have to address the traps which start at… continue reading.

How to Build Muscle Fast

If you want to know how to build muscle fast you’re in the right place. Because I’m gonna reveal five quick and easy tips that will help you reach your goals, while avoiding frustration, plateaus and injuries. Sot let’s get to it… 1) Train Your Ass Off… But Don’t Kill Yourself You’re not gonna get anywhere if you don’t train your ass off. Let’s make sure everyone is clear about that. I see guys in the gym pussyfooting through workouts, texting between sets while resting five minutes, and using weights that my mom would use. That’s how you waste time,… continue reading.