How to Improve Your Chin Ups

The last post I wrote about how to improve your chin ups detailed how to get from zero to one. Once you get to one you will, in time, work your way up to sets of five or even ten reps. But again, you will hit a wall at some point and be unable to make any more improvements. So today I am going to offer a very easy, completely unscientific method that will help you add more reps to your chins. One of the major problems is that for most average guys a set of chins is a… continue reading.

Reps: How to do Them Properly

Now I know what you’re thinking; “What a boring ass blog post topic.” But it’s a topic I feel needs to be addressed because some people just don’t seem to have a clue what they’re doing. Or maybe I just feel that way because I’m so OCD and incredibly analytic that I see and think about things that most people never do. But I promise I will do my best to make this worth your time. Go to a public gym and watch ten different people perform a set of ten reps. You may see speed reps, grinder reps, death… continue reading.

The Unmaking of an Athlete: Part 2

Originally written For Elite Fitness Systems in 2004 When Part One of this article was written a few years ago the focus was on college strength coaches. Unfortunately the unmaking of an athlete begins long before college. It starts at a very young age with uninformed but well intentioned parents. By doing what they think is best for their kids; many parents actually end up destroying their children’s athletic futures. For this story to be complete we have to go back to the beginning. The father of three high school aged boys I used to coach is one such example… continue reading.

The Unmaking of an Athlete

This is an old article from 2004, originally written for Elite Fitness.  Since it was quite popular and many of you may have missed it, I figured I would reprint it here today… **** I sometimes wonder if there are any prerequisites at all to getting a job as college strength and conditioning coach. As the owner of my private athletic training company (Renegade Strength & Conditioning) I have had the opportunity to work with athletes from numerous colleges and universities across the country and have witnessed their disgust with their schools strength and conditioning programs. Some athletes, such… continue reading.

Tap or Nap

While everyone’s busy searching for the perfect rep scheme or newest miracle supplement, one of the greatest progress boosters of all is constantly overlooked. The concept of taking an afternoon nap is foreign to most of us yet it can do more for your training than 90% of the other minutia bullshit people waste their time obsessing on. There’s a popular MMA t-shirt that reads “Tap or Nap.” While the intended meaning of the t-shirt is obvious, this slogan can also be applied to your training. Taking naps is so important that if you don’t find the… continue reading.

How to Build Muscle Mass

Q: Jay, everyone thinks they know how to build muscle mass. But as you and I know, most people never really even get close to their true potential. What is the biggest mistake people make when trying to get big and strong? A: They follow the same old, traditional bodybuilding routine. That means they are training each body part with too much volume, not enough intensity, probably too much intensiveness, and not enough frequency. Just so everyone is on the same page, when I say intensity I am referring to percentage of one rep max. That means that they… continue reading.

9 Quick Tips For Bigger Arms

1) Include a lot of close grip chin ups and dips in your workout program. 2) Never go ultra heavy on curls or direct triceps work unless you want screwed up elbows. 3) If you already have tricky elbows I’d recommend some neoprene elbow sleeves when training arms directly. 4) Get a massive pump. That’s more important than moving big weight when it comes to direct arm training. 5) Let your bench and overhead presses take care of the heavy loading for triceps. Then pump on pushdowns and extensions for higher reps with low rest periods. 6) Consider training biceps… continue reading.

What it Takes to Train at Renegade Gym

Question: Jason, I just wanted to let you know that I have been following your stuff since 2003 and am a huge fan of your work. I am thinking about opening a small, hardcore gym like yours and had a quick question for you. Would you mind sharing with me what kind of application form you use and how you determine who gets to train at Renegade Gym? From what I understand you don’t just accept anybody off the streets, correct? Thanks for all that you do and keep up the great work. Andy Answer:… continue reading.

Eliminate The Useless Crap

You’re busy and have little time to spend researching how you should be training and eating. So let me make it super simple for you. First, let’s cover your workouts. You’re going to strength train three days per week and you’re going to get in and out of the gym in 45-60 minutes. This helps to keep your testosterone levels high and allows you to maintain maximum focus throughout. You’re always going to choose big, compound exercises for each body part. Starting from the top down you will do the following movements: Traps- Deadlift, high pull, clean, farmers… continue reading.

Top 5 Muscle Building & Fat Loss Tips

I was interviewed for a big name fitness magazine recently and they asked for my top five muscle building and fat loss tips. This is, of course, very hard to narrow down and come up with just five. But I did my best and here’s what I told them… Train Like an Athlete Just about everyone I know wants to look like Reggie Bush, Nate Marquardt or even Dwight Howard. So why train like Ronnie Coleman or Flex Wheeler? Train like the guys you want to emulate. When you train like an athlete you always end up looking significantly better. continue reading.

How to Build Muscle with High Rep Leg Training

Question: If someone’s trying to build muscle, is there any benefit to including sets of 50-100 reps, either with lighter weights as a “burnout” set, or with moderately-heavier weights done to failure and then continued in a rest-pause fashion? Answer: For beginners, absolutely not. I actually do the opposite of what a lot of people recommend with beginners who are trying to build muscle; I keep their reps low, not high. Until they master the skill of a complicated exercise like a squat or deadlift I would never risk exposing them… continue reading.

5 Ways to Burn Fat Fast

Today we have a great guest post from one of the top fat loss experts in the world, John Alvino. 5 Ways to Burn Fat Fast 1) Don’t decrease calories by more than 15% below your maintenance levels. This is one of the keys to maintaining all of your muscle mass during a fat loss phase. If you have a time constraint (weigh in for sport, wet t-shirt contest, etc), you may have to decrease your calories further than 15%. In these rare cases, you can decrease calories as low as 25% below maintenance, but… continue reading.

12 Simple Muscle Building Tips

Here’s a quick list of a dozen simple muscle building tips that you can start using immediately. 1)  Do Full Body Workouts as a Newbie As a newbie you need frequent exposure to strength training for two reasons. The first is that you will be too weak to do any kind of damage that will demand longer recovery. The second is that you need to learn the lifts. When learning anything you want to do it more often than less. Three workouts per week consisting of a lower body compound movement, an upper body push and an upper body pull… continue reading.

When to do Conditioning For Fast Fat Loss

With summer rapidly approaching I’ve been getting lots of questions about which conditioning methods will help you lose fat fast and get in playing shape without compromising your size or strength, and exactly when should you do them. First of all, I recommend a strength training schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This leaves Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday or Sunday for conditioning and/or playing. To start you should be training on a four way upper/lower split. This means that you have two upper body days and two lower body days. You train three days per week rotating through the… continue reading.

TRX Exercises

Today I’m going to show you a few cool exercises you can do with the TRX Straps. Everyone knows by now that I am a huge fan of heavy, traditional exercises like squats and deadlifts, but for years I have always preached the value of bodyweight exercises and moving your body through space. This elicits a higher level of neuromuscular activation than simply moving your limbs around a fixed object and helps you build muscle and develop strength faster. Most of my workouts include some kind of big heavy barbell or dumbbell lift for… continue reading.