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Contents

CONTENTS

PART1LOSINGALEG&BECOMINGWHOLE

CHAPTER1HITTINGTHEGROUND

CHAPTER2WAKINGUP

CHAPTER3LOOKINGDOWN

CHAPTER4THEBIGDEPRESSION

CHAPTER5ENDINGAFIVEYEARODYSSEY

CHAPTER6LIFEINSIGHTSFROMLOSINGALIMB

PART2MASTERTHEBASICS

CHAPTER1WHOSHOULDYOUTRUST?

CHAPTER2STRONG&LEANWITHOUTGOINGTOTHEGYMISITPOSSIBLE?

ParalysisByAnalysis(PBA)

DevelopTheCatMindset

UnderestimatingBodyweightExercise

Whatifyouhavebadgenetics?

CHAPTER3WHYTRAINATHOME?

AdvantagesofBodyweightTraining

GymMachinesvs.Bodyweight

IsThisProgramForYou?

CHAPTER4WHATYOUNEEDTOKNOWABOUTSTRENGTHTRAINING

WhatisStrength?

HowManyRepsShouldIDo?

HowOftenShouldITrain?

HowManySetsShouldIdo?

HowLongShouldIRest?

TrainingPlateaus

Overtraining

Recovery

CHAPTER5ABSTHEHOLYGRAILOFFITNESS

TheTruthAboutAbTraining

TheBigCrunch

CHAPTER6STRETCHINGFACTS&FALLACIES

Tostretchornottostretch?

CHAPTER7MOBILITY-USEITORLOSEIT

WhatCausesJointIssues

Mobilityvs.Flexibility

CHAPTER8TIPSFORDEALINGWITHBODYWEIGHTEXERCISERELATEDINJURY

InjuryTreatment101

Elbow,ShoulderandWristPainFromStraightBarChin-ups

Solutions&Tips

WristPainFromPushingExercises

PART3HOMEMADEMUSCLEWORKOUTS

CHAPTER1HOMEMADEMUSCLEPROGRAMSTRUCTURE

TheArnoldFallacy

The8EssentialBodyweightExercises

PrimalMovementPatterns

HowStrongShouldYouBecome?

CHAPTER2WARMINGUP

DynamicStretching

CHAPTER3BEGINNERS

CHAPTER4BASIC

CHAPTER5ADVANCED

6 TheNumberoftheBeast WhyDead-hangs?

IntroductionPart(1Week)

Phase1(3months)

Phase2(4months)

WorkoutC-Rest/Pausetechnique

Phase3(4months)

WorkoutC-ReversedPyramid

CHAPTER1LOSTINDIETLAND

PART4NUTRITION

HowDietsTrickYouIntoLosingWeight

WhyDoDietsMakeYouFeelBetter?

CHAPTER2BREAKFAST:NOTTHEMOSTIMPORTANTMEALOFTHEDAY

RealityandScienceBehindBreakfast.

SpecialWeightLossDiets-WhatWorksForMe

CHAPTER3INTERMITTENTFASTING&THEMYTHOFFREQUENTMEALS

TraininginaFastedState&TheFrequentMealMyth

CHAPTER4HOWCLEANSHOULDYOURDIETBE?

CHAPTER5MYSECRETWEIGHT-LOSSSTRATEGY

CHAPTER6THETRUTHABOUTSUPPLEMENTS

CHAPTER7

FINALTHOUGHTSONNUTRITION

FINALTHOUGHTSONHOMEMADEMUSCLE

CommonExcusesYourMindWillUseAgainstYoutoAvoidWorkingOut

Howtotrainwhenlifegetsintheway

Missingyourpassionforexercise

WeightsorBodyweightExercise-WhatisBetter?

EXERCISEMENU

DevelopingtheZenmindset RecommendedEquipment(optional) VideoTutorials

#1Pull-ups-Thekingofupperbodyexercises(Lats,Arms&Forearms)

#2Push-ups(Chest,Triceps,SerratusAnterior)

#3PistolSquats(wholelegs)

#4Dips(Chest,Shoulders,Triceps)

#5InvertedRows(MiddleBackArea)

#6HandstandPush-ups(Shoulders&Triceps)

#7LegRaises(LowerandSideAbs)

#8ProneCobra(LowerBack)

EndNotes

Part1

LosingaLeg&BecomingWhole

Chapter1

Hittingtheground

ItisMarchof2008andIamworkingthelatenightshiftasapizzadeliveryguy

while finishing my studies in sports science and physical education at the Aristotelian University in Thessaloniki (Greece). I'm driving in a dark alley whensuddenlybigbrightlightsunexpectedlyblindmyeyes.Icrashwithabig automobileandIstartfloatingintothinair

Moviestellyouthatinmomentslikethese,timegoesintoslowmotionandyou seeareelofmemoriesplayingashortversionofyourlife.AlthoughIdidn'tsee ashorttrailerofmylife,timeindeedfelttobeflowingalotslower.Whatwas

probablya3-4secondflightfeltmorelike15seconds.Iexperiencedaweird,but

pleasant,stateofweightlessness.ItfeltasifIwasgoingtokeepascendinginto

thevastnessofthedarksky.

Thensuddenly,Ihitthepavement,twenty-threemetersawayfromthecrashing point (as they inform me later on). I still haven't fully understood what happened.ItrytogetupandIlookatmyleg.Somethingiswrong.Thelower partofmylegistwistedandmyankle waitamomentthatcan'tberight.I closeandre-openmyeyestoconfirmwhatIhadjustseen.Mylegistwistedin suchawaythatmyankleislyingontopofmyknee.Thisisnotagoodsign,I thinktomyself.

TheweirdthingisthatIfeelnopainyet,whichmademewonderifmyeyes fooledmeforasecond.Fortunately,thehumanbrainreleaseshormonesthat relievepaininsituationslikethese.Unfortunately,thisdoesn'tlastaslongasyou wouldwantitto. SuddenlyIsenseaweirdelectrifyingfeeling.Itisasifburning electricityisstartingtoflowthroughmyleg.Theendorphinsthatwererelieving mypainstarttofadeawayandtheaffectednervesstarttowakeup.

AsIlayonmyback,painandfearstarttooverwhelmme.Ihearpeoplearound

meshoutingtocallanambulance.WiththesideofmyeyeIcanseeapuddleof

bloodnexttomylegonthepavement.Ican'tseemuchmorethanthatbecauseI

amwearinglongblue-jeans.IlaythereandlookatthedarkskywhileIfeel

peoplegatheraroundme.ThepainisgrowingstrongerandstrongersoIcan't

paytoomuchattentionthem.Ijustclosemyeyesandhopethattheambulance

willcomeassoonaspossibletotakemetothehospital(andhopefullynumbthe

pain).AtonemomentIfeelapresencenexttome,Ihearamalevoicetalkingto

me,tryingtocomfortme.Idon'trememberwhathesaidbuthegavemehis

handandtoldmetosqueezeit.Ididandithelpedalittlebitwiththepain.

Afterabouttwentyminutes,whichfeltmorelikehours,theambulancefinally arrives.TheystartplacingmeonthestretcherandthemomenttheyliftmylegI startscreaming.Theypainisexcruciating. Wearenowheadingtothehospital andI'minthebackoftheambulancewithaparamedic.HeasksmeifIhavea phoneonmeandsomeoneIshouldnotify.IsayyesandIreachintomypouch (youknowtheonepizzadeliveryguyswear).AsI'mreachingformyphoneI noticethattheflooriscoveredwithmyblood.Ihaveneverseensomuchblood inmylifebeforesoIstartstressingoutagain.Iaskedtheparamedicwhyisthere somuchblood?Ihaven'trealizedyet,thatbothbonesofmylowerleg,thetibia (thethickone)andthefibula(thethinone)arestickingoutofmyskin.SoI askedtheparamedicwhatiswrongwithme,whyistheresomuchblood?!I don'tknowwhy,buthedoesn'trespond.Iaskedagain.''Heyman!Whyisthere somuchblood,amIdyingorsomething?''Hedoesn'tansweragain Well,that can'tbeagoodsignIthinktomyself.

Iwonderedforquitesometimeaftermyaccidentwhydidn'theanswerme,orat

leasttrytoconsoleme.Whoknows,maybeitwashisfirstdayonthejobandhe

wasalsofreakingout.Anyway,backtothestory.

The drive to the hospital seems like it takes forever. Because there are no availablehospitalsnearby,wehadtodriveallthewaytotheothersideoftown, whichtookagoodtwentyminutes.Twentywholeminutesonabumpyroad,and everybumpfiringupthenervesinmyleg,causingmetoclenchmyteethand breatheheavilyoutofmynose.Theparamedicremindedmetocallsomeone,so Idecidedtocallmyparents.Itooktwodeepbreaths,andusedafakecalmvoice toinformthemthatIhada''little''accidentandtheyprobablyshouldcometothe hospital.WhenIarriveatthehospitalIstarttodozeoffasthepainisabitmore bearable. Maybe they have given me something for the pain, I don't know. Everythingisreallyfuzzy,asifI'minadream.

Suddenlytheytakemeinaroomtocleanmylegwound.I'mnotsurebutIthink theyareusingsometypeofwaterhose,designedforthesekindsofsituations. Thepressureofthewaterontheopenwoundbringsmebackintoreality.Thisis probablythemostuncomfortablesensationIhaveeverhad.Istarttogroanagain andthenursetellsme''relaxitsjustwater.'' Yeahright,Ithoughttomyself;easy

foryoutosay,youdidn'tsnapyourlegintwoanhourago. IaminformedI haveanopenfractureandI'mgoingtobeoperatedthemomentasurgeryroom isavailable.Afterthat,Idoseoffagain.

Iwakeupinasurgeryroomandasurgeonwithaverycalmvoiceandasmileon hisfacestartstalkingtome.Heasksmetypicalstufflikewhat'smyname, wheredidIgrowupandothersimilarquestionstocalmmedown.Butsuddenly, theseriousnessofmyinjuryoverwhelmsmewithhorrificthoughts.Ibeginto think what if I might not be able to run again? I loved mountain running, especiallyonthecoldandcrisp-airhighlandswestofGreece,whereIgrewup. ThethoughtthatImightnotbeabletodothatagainmakesmepanic.ItellhimI wanttorunagainandthatheHAStofixmyleg.Igrewupbeinganexercise-nut

andhavingahealthylegmeanteverythingtomeatthatmoment.Iwas23years

old and I felt too young to become crippled. Asweet sense of drowsiness disruptsmystressfulthoughts.Theanesthesiahaskickedin.Islowlyfallasleep.

AfterwhatIwastoldwasa5½hour-longsurgeryIwakeupvomiting.There'sa

reasondoctorsdon'tallowyoutoeatforadaybeforesurgeryIguess.Itfeltasif

IwasalreadypukingforawhilebeforeIevencametomysenses.Thedoctor

wasrelievedthatIwokeup.''Yougotusworryingthereforamomentchamp.''

Theyhadsomedifficultywakingmeup,Iamtoldlater.

Chapter2

Wakingup

ThenextdayIwakeupinatypicalhospitalroomtothesmellofiodoform(you

how can I say this

eloquently?Ifeellikecrap.Myleghurts,mybackhurts,everythinghurtsand

feelsachy.IbasicallyfeelasifIhavefallenoffsomecliff;likethecoyotefrom

Road-Runner.Itmadesense;Ididflytwenty-threemetersbeforelandingonthe

pavementafterall.Ateamofdoctorswhoareperformingmorningroundspass

byandtheytellmeIamluckyIdidn’tsustainanyotherwounds(besidesaleg

splitopenintwo).Oneofthemtellsmethatbeinginsuchgoodshapeasan

athleteprobablysavedmefromacoupleofmorefractures.

IhaveallkindsofIVtubesattachedonmyarms;anelectrolyteIVtokeepme hydrated, antibiotics for a leg infection (I later learn I have) and a blood transfusiontoreplenishthebloodIhavelost.ItsdayoneandIamalready runningoutofpatiencewiththesestupiduncomfortabletubes.Igenerallydon't likewearingexcessiveorrestrictivestuff.Icanbarelytolerateawatchonmy wristandIdon'twearacoatunlessit’sminusdegreesoutside. Duringthenext fewdays,Iwasgivenfiveofthosebloodbagsinordertoreplenishthelost bloodfromallthesurgeriesandtheaccident.Thedoctorwhoperformedmy surgery,andisresponsibleforme,entersmyhospitalroom.Hetellsmetheydid everythingtheycouldtosavemyleg.Althoughtheyhavereattachedit,theyhad toremoveaninchofbone,somemuscletissueandskininordertoavoidfurther infections.Iftheinfectiondidn'tcalmdowntheywouldhavetoremovemore boneandtissueoffmylegthefollowingdays.

know, that usual sterilized hospital smell). I feel

ahh,

Lessthantwenty-four hourshavepassed sincemyfirstsurgery,whenIam informedthatIneedtobeoperatedonagain.Asmydoctorsfeared,theinfection hasstartedtospread.Theantibioticshaven'tmanagedtokeepitundercontrol. Theytakemebacktothesurgeryroom,onceagaingivemegeneralanesthesia andremovemoreboneandsofttissue.

Overthenext5weeksIhaveanother4similarsurgeries.Aftersurgerynumber

4,Iwakeupandlookatmylegrealizingthatsomeweirdmetallicsystemis

attachedtoit.Thedoctorspassbyandtellmethatit'scalledanexternalfixator-

itspurposeistokeepthefracturedbonesaligneduntiltheyheal.Theytellme thatthepinsscrewedinmyleg waitwhat?Iaskthemwhatdoyoumean screwedinmyleg?Irealizethatthisweirdmetallicdeviceisnotjustexternally

attachedonmylegasIfirstthought.Itisactuallyscrewedinit.

I'mstillfreshoutofsurgeryandhighlymedicatedsoIcan'treallyfeelawhole lot,butthethoughtofhavingthisweirdsystemscrewedinmylegmakesitlook more like a medieval torture apparatus than a modern system for fracture treatment.Iaskthemagaintoexplaintomewhatexactlythisdeviceis.Theytell methatexternalfixatorsareusedinsevereopenfracturesinordertoimmobilize bonesandallowthemtoheal.Theyconsistofanumberofpinsandthickscrews whichgothroughyourskinandbone,enteringonesideoftheaffectedlimband comingouttheotherend.Thesepinsandscrewsaresecuredtogetheroutsideof theaffectedlimbwithclampsandrodsconstructingthiswholemetallicframe.

Picture1-ThemedievaltorturingapparatusIwastellingyouabout

Picture1-ThemedievaltorturingapparatusIwastellingyouabout

Thesurgerieshavewornmeout,physicallyandmentally,Iamtiredandin constantpain.Thepaintreatmentsucked.Yousee Greekhospitals,mainlydue tolimitedfundingandcorruption,arenotthemostidealplacetobehospitalized inthewestern''developed''world.Anyway,let'stryandstayoutofpoliticsand let'sfocusonthestory.

It'slateatnightandIamlyinginbedunabletosleep.Mylegpainstartsgetting worseandsweatisconstantlydrippingofmybacksoakingupthebed.Ipressa buttontocallanursesoIcanmaybegetsomemorepainmedication.Halfan

hourpassesandnoresponse.Ilookatanoldclockonthewall-its3a.m.I

squintmyeyesforacoupleofsecondsandwhenIopenthemitsdaylight. Nursesarepassingbyandfamilyandfriendsareintheroom.Howcanthisbe

possibleIthinktomyself,itwas3a.m.secondsago.Italktothepeoplearound

mebutnoonereplies.Myvoicehasaweirdecho Isquintmyeyesagainand I'mbackinthedarkroomlyingonsweatysheets.Ok,relaxIsaytomyself. You'rejusthallucinatingfromthefeverandthedrugs.SincedayoneIhada non-stopfeverwhichmadeeverythingevenworse.Thedoctorsinformedme thatitwasanormalreactiontothephysicalstressfromallthesurgeries,drugs andtheopenwoundIsustained.Nightmaresandweirdhallucinationsfromthe feveranddrugsishowIspendmostnights.

Anotherthingthatmakesthesedaysseemendlessisthefactthatmybackisalso killingme.Yourbackcangetextremelysorewhenyouhavebeenlyingonitfor days.Atsomepoint,mybackhurtevenmorethanmyleg.OnedayInoticeda physiotherapistdoingroundswithsomestudents.Youcouldseerightthrough hisfakeattemptstoimpresstheyoungfemaleinternswiththat''Irunshithere'' attitude.Itellhimmybackiskillingmeandaskifhecandosomethingaboutit. Hisresponse,''Andwhyareyouaskingmeaboutsomethinglikethat?''Ilookat himwithadumbfoundedlookasheleavestheroom.Theonlythingthatcomes to mind is the lyrics of my favorite rock poet, Jim Morrison''People are strange ♪''

Onweekthree,mydoctorcomesinwithsomebadnews.Hetellsmethatifthe infectionkeepsonspreadingtheywillhavetoamputatemyleg.''Weoughtto informyouaboutthissothatyoucanbeprepared.''Isaid,“ok”andpretendedto becooluntilhelefttheroom,whenIturnedonthesideandtearedupabit.I wastiredandconfused.Howhadmylifesuddenlytakensuchaturn?Aweek ago,IwassprintingalongtheseafrontofThessaloniki'sPortatlightningspeed andnowIaminahospitalbedwonderingifI'llhavemylegsawedoff.Iam operatedonagainthenextdayandthreedaysafterthatateamofdoctorsenters theroomtoupdatemeaboutmysituation.“You'vedodgedthebullet,”theytell me. Ifeelrelieved,fornow

Duetothetraumaandallthesurgeriestoavoidinfection,one-thirdofmylower

leghadliterallynoskin.Allthatwasseparatingitfromthinairwasthebandage

thatamedicalinternwouldchangeeverymorning.Inmylastsurgery,doctors tookaskingraftfrommythightocovertheexposedpartofmyleg.Insuch situationslikemine,skin-grafttransplantsarenottheequivalentofcosmetic surgery.It'snotliketheycoverthewoundwithwhatlooksasnormalskin.It's simplyathinlayerofscartissuethatcoversthewoundandmakesitlookmore likeathirddegreeburnthananythingelse.Toavoidinfections,thefollowing coupleofdays,aninternhadtoapplyaformofacidicliquidonthewoundand

thehealingskin.Hehadtodothiseverymorning.Everydayatexactly11a.m.

hewouldentertheroomandthetorturewouldbegin.Youknowthatstinging

feelingyougetwhenyouhaveasmallcutonyourfingerandlemonjuicecomes

intouchwithit?Imaginethesamefeeling,andmultiplyit,let'ssay,abouta

hundredtimes.AndthereIthoughtmytorturehadended.

Chapter3

Lookingdown

Afterfiveweeksinahospitalbed,fivesurgeriesandcountlessfeverishnightsI havelostmorethantenpounds.Ialsohaven'twalkedforamonthsomylegis extremelyatrophiedbutIhaven'treallynoticedyet. Becausethelowerpartof thelegisswollenduetothetrauma,Ididn'tnoticehowmuchmusclemassIhad beengraduallylosing.SomenightsIfeelmyabnormallythinthighmuscles whenIrubthemtodivertthepainfromtheloweraffectedareaoftheleg.But whenit'sdaylightIforgetaboutit.EventhoughtIknewonsomelevelthatmy thighhadlostalotofit'smusclemass,Ididn'texpecttoseewhatIsawwhenI observedmywholelegaweekbeforeIcheckedoutofthehospital.

It'saTuesdaymorningandmydoctorstellmeI'mgoinghomeinafewdays. OncetheyleavetheroomIhaveagoodlookatmylegwhileasI'mtryingto changemyshorts.WhatIseeshocksme.Ilookdownandrealizethatmythigh isactuallythinnerthenmyknee.Howisthispossible?Iwasintopconditiona monthago.Sprintingonthebeach,deadliftinginthegym,musclestriationsand veinspoppingfrommyathleticlegs itnowseemsasifmyleftthighbelongsto someonedyingofstarvation.Yousee,ourlegsmighthavethestrongestand biggestmusclesinthewholebody,butthesemusclesarealsotheonesthat atrophythefastestonceyoustopbearingweightonthem.Afewweeksofno

walkingwereenoughforwhatfeltlikemaybeeven70%ofmyleg'smuscle

masstodisappear.

Anurseenterstheroom,“tomorrowyou'llbeallowedtostandupagain,”she tellsme.“Whatdoyoumean,”Iask,whilefeelingdisorientedfrommyprevious realization. “Well, you'll get started on learning how to move around with crutchesonyourhealthyleg”sheexplains. Inod,openmylaptopandputina DVDwitholdFriendsepisodesabuddyofminehadbroughtearlierthatday.I trytoforgetwhatIhadjustseenandmaybedivertmyattentionenoughtogeta laughortwo.Onthebrightside,Ihadfamilyandfriendseverydaywhoalso cheeredmeupabit,oratleasttriedto It'sfunnyhowintimeslikethesepeople youthinkwillbebyyoursidevanishwhileothersyouleastexpectendup showingupeveryday.

LikemybuddyKostasforexample.Wehadmet6monthsago,mebeinghis

CanoeCoachattheNauticalClubwhereIusedtotrainandalsoworkpart-time during my studies. He was a hard worker and that's something I always

appreciatedasacoachinmyathletesbutalsoinpeoplegenerally. Wegotalong

wellbutIdidn'texpecthimtovisitmeeverysingleday-for5wholeweeks!He

wouldtrytocheermeupandalsodistractmefromthiswholemessIwasin.Not toolongago,IwasbossinghimaroundtheNauticalClubtodopullupsand workonhisrowingtechniquebutnowourroleshadswitched.Mydoctorshad medoingsometoeextensionsandflexionstokeepthenervesinthelegactive.I didn'treallyhavethemoodforit SoKostasmadesureIdidn'tslackoffand motivatedmetotryevenharder.

Ontheotherhand,somelifelongfriendsdidn'tevenappear.That'sok,Inever

kepthardfeelingsonaccountofthat.Imyselfwasaverydifferentandshallow

personbackthen,beforeallthis.

Ithoughtgettingoutofthebedwouldbeeasy.Yousee,untilnowduetoallthe surgeries,Iwasn'tevenallowedtositupstraightonmybed.Iwasconstantly laidonmyback.Aphysiotherapistenteredmyroomtogetmestartedonsome movingaroundwithmycrutches.Iexpectedwewouldbedoingthatfromday one.“So,amIgoingtowalktoday?”Iasked. “Ofcoursenot,”hetellsme. “Dayoneisjustaboutgettingyoutosituprightonthebed.”Thecockyignorant voiceinmyheadisgoingonsaying''ohcomeonman,I'mnotahundredyears old,I'mastrongguyforgoodness'sake.''

ThemomentIstanduprightonthebed,myheartstartsracing,Istartsweating andfeelingdizzy.ItwasasifthemomentItriedtostandupmybodytriggered analarm.Ilaiddownagainwonderingwhatisgoingon? Whyismybody freakingout?Theytellmethatit'sacommonreactionincaseslikemine.The bodyhasbeenadjustedtobeingonasupinepositionforalongperiodoftime anditoverreactswhenithastocompensatefortheeffectofgravityuponthe changeinthedistributionofbloodandbloodpressure.

So,thenextthreedaysIjusttrytoreadjustmybodyinastandingupright position.Ittookthreedaystobeabletodojustthat.Threedaysjusttolearnto sitstraightuponabed. ManhowdidIgettothispoint,Ithinktomyself. After that,Islowlystartwalkingoncrutches.Firstwalkingthreestepsandback,then threemetersandback,thentothebathroomandback,andafteraweek,Istart walkingabitinthecorridoroutsidemyroom.Itwasextremelytiringjustto movearoundmybed;thosewalkingattemptsfeltliketheequivalentofanhour ofmountainrunning.Buttheyalsostartedgivingmeabitofconfidence.

Forty-twodaysaftermyaccidentthedoctorscomeinmyroomwith,whatis

consideredforthem,goodnews.“Youaregoingtobedischargedinacoupleof days,”theytellme.Iaskthem,howlongismyrecoverygoingtotake.“Abouta year,”theyreply.I'mstartled ”awholeyear?”Iaskagain.''Wellyes,giveor take.Itwilltakealotoftimetore-lengthenyourlegtocoverthelostbone length,butwethinkwewillsucceed.''Youseethefixatortheyhadinstalledon myleg(thatmedievaltorturingdevice)besidesstabilizingmyleg'sfractured bones,alsohadtheabilitytolengthenit.

Thewaythisworksisthateverytimeyourbonesstarttosticktogether,youturn ascrewinthesystemthatpullsthebonesabitapartuntiltheyre-buildnewbone tissue between the new gap and start sticking together. Think of it as teeth braces,butinsteadofaligningyourteeth,italsolengthensthem(badanalogyI guess,anyway).Theytoldmethatevenshortpeoplewhowantedtobecome modelsusedexternalfixatorstogainheight.Ithinktomyself-thesepeopleare definitelyoutoftheirmindtogothroughsuchtorturejusttobecomeamodel.

OncethedoctorsleavetheroomItrytodigestthefactthatIamgoingtobea

patientforawholeyear.Itisn'teasy,especiallyforanon-sedentary/exercise

freaklikeme.HowamIsupposedtospendayearoncrutchesandsittingonmy

asswithoutgoingcuckoo?

Chapter4

Thebigdepression

Afterleavingthehospital,Ireturnedtomyparent’shomeformyrecovery.The thingIenjoymostofallduringthosefirstweeksis eating!Aftersixweeksof crappyhospitalfoodandlosingalotofweightmybodywasconstantlycraving anythingthathascaloriesandadecenthome-cookedtaste.

Thenightsarestilltough.Iamconstantlyuncomfortable.Besidesthescrewsand pinsinmyleg,therestofmybodyalsofeelsextremelyrestricted.Afterbeinga lifetimeprone-sleepermyonlyoptionnowistosleeponastrictstraightposition onmyback(duetotheexternalfixator).Ican'tgetusedtoit Iamconstantly cravingsleepbutatthesametimethelegpainandtheawkwardlyingpositionI am restricted to prevents me from shutting my eyes long enough for Mr. Sandmantovisit.

AnytimeIhavetomove,forexamplegoingtothekitchentogetaglassof

water,Ihavetocarefullywalkoncrutches-slowerthanaturtle.Ialsogetdizzy

mostofthetimeIstandupsothataddsextradifficultytothetask.Ihatethefact

thatIneedcrutchesforeverylittlemovementIhavetodoandwonderhow

handicappedpeoplegetthroughawholelifeinthismanner.Myadmirationfor

thesepeoplegrowstremendouslywithinacoupleofdays.Peoplewhospenda

lifetimeinwheelchairsandusingcrutcheswhilemaintainingapositiveattitude

deservetremendousrespect.Theygroundmeandremindmethatsituationslike

mineareminorincomparison.

Still,IhatedtheconditionIwasin.ForthenextthreemonthsIdidn'tleave

home.Ihadnodesiretoseeorsocializewithpeople.Ijuststayedinmyroom

mostofthedaywatchingTVshows.Thankgoodnessweliveinagoldenageof

TVandIhaveplentyofshowstodistractmyattention.

However,youcan'twatchTVshowsalldayonyourlaptop,youneedabreakat

somepointotherwiseyougetaheadache.Afterthosethreemonths,Idecideto

startmovingaroundabit.Afriendcomesbyandwegoforawalkinthe

neighborhood.Peoplestareatthemetallicdevicescrewedintomylegasifitis

fromouterspace.BeinganintrovertedpersonIhatedtheattention.Idecide

maybeitwouldbebettertogooutduringtheeveningtoattractlessattention.

ThenextdayIhadaroutinecheckupwithmydoctor.

Aftertakingsomex-raysofmyleg,Iaminthewaitingroomwithanotherdozen

fracturerelatedpatients.Alotofthemalsohavefixatorsontheirarmsandlegs,

whichmakesmefeelasifweallshareasilentcomradery.Ithadbeenquite

awhilesinceIwassurroundedbypeoplewithoutfeelingasifIwasfromanother

planet.Otherthanthat,it'slikeanytypicalboringdoctorvisit.Peopleinthe

waitingroomlookingindirectlyateachotherforwhatfeelslikeforever.Others

pretendingtobereadingsomethingseriousontheirphoneorflickingthrough

somemagazinepages.Acoupleofheavysighsfrompatientswhowereinpain

(someprobablymoredramaticandfrequentthanrequired).Thebuzzofthex-

raymachineinthebackgroundandfinally hearingthereceptionistcallyour name.Igoin,sayhellowithafakesmileandgivemydoctormyx-rays.After lookingatthemwithhisteam,hetellsme,“wehaveprogress.”Theboneseems to be healing and considering my youthful age and healthy background I probablywon'thaveanyproblemswithmyrecovery.Aftertheappointmentand forthenextcoupleofweeksIgraduallystartfeelingoptimistic.Unfortunately

thisdoesnotlastthatlong.

Amonthlater,andfivemonthsintotalaftermyaccident,thehealingprocesshas

cometoahalt.Wescheduleanewsurgery.Theyhavetoinstalladifferent

fixatorinmyleganddrawbonemarrowfrommypelvisandinjectitinthe

fracturesite.Theyexplainthisisatypicalprocessperformedtoassistbone

healinginextremefractureslikeminesoIagreetogoonwithit.IthoughtIwas

donewithsurgeriessoIwasn'tthrilledwhenIheardIhadtohaveanewone.

Unfortunately,thenewfixatorinstalledinmylegisnowevenbiggerandmore

uncomfortable. The following months I suffer from extremely painful pin infectionscausedbythisnewfixatorandI'monandoffheavyantibioticsand pain-killersallthetime.Days,weeksandmonthskeeponpassingby.Winter,

spring, summer

grow green leaves, the leaves die again and I'm just

waitinginmydarkroom,whichisonthelastfloor/atticofmyparentalhome.

Curtainsclosed,depressedandnotinthemoodforcompany.Thelegcontinues

toshownoprogressatall.

trees

Thenewevenbiggerandmoreuncomfortablefixator. Mydoctorsrecommendanewsurgeryagain.Theynowplantoremoveasmall

Thenewevenbiggerandmoreuncomfortablefixator.

Mydoctorsrecommendanewsurgeryagain.Theynowplantoremoveasmall pieceofbonefrommypelvisandplaceitontopofthefractureinsidemyleg. Theyexplaintomethisisanotherapproachusedincaseslikemineandmostof thetimeissuccessful.Man,Ithinktomyself,whatisnext,legtransplantation?! Theyinformmethatthedownsideofthisprocedureisthattheremightbe permanentnervedamageonthesideofmypelvisandthepost-surgeryrecovery periodisconsideredquitepainful(whichisthetechnicaltermfor''itwillhurt like a mother-f#$%r). Acouple of hours after waking up from surgery, the anestheticstartstowearoff.Ifeelasifahorsehaskickedmebelowtheribcage.

AcoupleofdayslaterIamonceagaincheckedoutthehospitalandbacktomy atticroom-orwhatIalsohadstartedcallingthatperiod''Thebat-cave.'' Every timeIhadacheckupwithmydoctor,Ijustaskedhowmuchlonger Healways gavemethesameanswer,''Acoupleofmonthsmore,havepatience ''Thatwas probablytheworstpartofalltheseyears.Buildinghopeeverycoupleofmonths justtoreceivebitterdisappointmentagain.TheX-rays(whichbynowIhave becomeanexpertinexaminingbymyself)onlyshowablackdishearteninggap. Nowhitecolor,nocalciumformations justablackgap,whichalsoresembled

mymentalstate.Istartedspendingmostdaysinmyroomcontemplatingifan amputationwouldbeabettersolution.WheneverItalkaboutitwithmydoctors theytellmetohavesomemorepatienceandnottorushintoextremedecisions. Nottorush? It'sbeenalmosttwoyearsandstillnoresults,whatdoyoumean nottorush?Idon'twanttospendallmyyouthsittinginadarkroomandhaving surgerieseverycoupleofmonths!

Thosewerethedarkesttimesofmylife.Lockedinmyroom,unwillingtodo anythingproductive,feelingtootiredtofeelangry,feelingdown. Ihavenever feltsotiredinmylifebefore,eventhoughIdidnothingbutsitorlayonmybed allday.WhereisallthisfatiguecomingfromIwondered.Ihadbeenanathlete mostofmylife,trainingfornationalchampionships,liftingweights,swimming

3km's,runninguptotwohourssomedaysandtrainingatotalof3-5hoursmost

days.Yet,IneverfeltastiredasIfeltnow.Justgoingtothebathroomfeltlikea

wholejourney.Physically,IfeltasifIhadgrownfortyyearsoverthepast

twentymonths.Iguessdepressiondoesthattoyou.

SinceIwasyoung,Ialwayshadatendencytogetdepressedandmelancholic

duetomynihilisticphilosophyaboutlife(Nietzschewassortofmyrolemodel).

But,exercisewasagreatwaytodistractmefromthosemoods.Now,however,I

wasgoingthroughallthisandhadnothingtodistractmefromsuchfeelings.My

bodyfeltheavy,mymindwasconstantlyblurrywithnoenergytofocuson

anything.Iwouldtryreadingabook,butaftertryingtofocusonacoupleof

lines,mymindjustbecamefoggyandIfeltwornout.Ifeltdisconnectedfrom

everythingandeveryone.TherewouldbedayswhenIwouldspendalldayin

bedwithsomemusicplayinginthebackgroundfrommylaptopspeakerswhileI

juststarredattheemptyceiling.Thosetwoyearsfeltliterallylikeaneternity.

SomedaysIalmostcountedeverysingleminute.

Everythingwasfailingandmydoctorsonceagainproposedanewoperation. Theywouldremoveapieceofmusclefrommybackandplaceitontopofthe fracturewheretheskinqualitywasbad.''Becausealotofmuscleandskintissue hasbeenremovedinthefirstsurgeries,thefracture-sightmightbenefitfrom someadditionalhealthysofttissue,”theytellme. “Yetit'squiteariskbecause youareleftwithonlyonefunctionalarteryforbloodsupplyinthisarea,''they explain to me. I begin to think they must be making a bad joke When I understandtheyareseriousaboutremovingpartofamusclefrommybackand placingitonmyleg,IdecideIhavehadenoughofallthisandthatIamgoing somewhereelseforasecondopinion.

Afterwhathadbeentwoandahalfyearsandatotalof8surgeriesandnoactual

progressinthelastyear,IdecidedtoflyovertotheNetherlands.Iamalsohalf

Dutchfrommymother’ssideandhaveafewfolksthere.TheNetherlandshave

agoodreputationintraumamedicinesoIdecideit'sagoodplacetogetasecond

opinion.ImovetotheNetherlands,findagoodsurgicalteamandgetstarted with treatment again. After a couple of surgeries and two different fixators installedinmyleg,theboneseemstostarttohealingagain.Ayearpassesby

andtheyinstallaninnertitaniumplateremovingmyfixator.I'mfinallyfixator-

freeforthefirsttimeinthreeandahalfyears!Youcan'timaginewhatareliefit

isnottohaveanymetallicobjectsgoingthroughmylegaftersuchalongtime.

AlthoughIdohaveaninnertitaniumplate,Idon'treallycare.Ican'tfeelitthat

muchanyways.Icouldfinallysleepinadifferentpositionotherthanmyback

andwalkoutsidewithoutpeoplestaringatmylegasifithassomekindofalien

technologyinstalledonit.

AftertwomonthsIhaveaninnerinfectionagainandtheyareforcedtoremove

theplate.Stillthebonehashealedquiteabitandtheytellmethatitmight

completelyhealinthefollowingmonthsevenwithjustalegcast.Afterthree

monthsmydoctorsallowmetowalkagainandIstartrehabilitation.Something,

though,doesn'tfeelright.ItisasifmylegwillcrackandbreakifIputtoomuch

pressureonit.Itjustdoesn'tfeelsturdyenough.Iinformmydoctorsandwedo

somex-rays,butnothingreallyshowsup.It'sprobablynormaltofeellikethis

afternotwalkingforsomanyyears;apparentlyit’sjustpsychologicalIthinkto

myself.Until,onedayItripwhilecrossingtheroadandthebonebreaksagain.

ThereIwas,afterfourandahalfyearsofwalkingoncrutchesandcanes,having

sixdifferentmetallicsystemsscrewedintomylegandseveredepression-back

tosquareone.Waitingonthesideoftheroadformysecondambulanceride.

ThismustbebiglongnightmareIthinktomyself.MaybeIwasleftinacoma

aftermyaccidentandI'mjustimaginingallthis.

Acoupleofdayslater,Iamonceagainlyingdownonacouchathomewitha

brokenleg,staringatthewall.Theyhadputasplintonit,hopingitwouldheal.

Sincetheskinofmylegwassodestroyedfromtheaccidentandalltheprior

operations,itcouldn'tsustainanymoresurgeries.Twomonthspassbyandthe

bone-healingrateisminimal.

Chapter5

EndingaFiveYearOdyssey

Thedoctor'ssolutiontomydesperationwasasusual,''havemorepatience.'' Thatsummermymentalhealthhadregressed.Outoftheblue,Istartedhaving panicattacks.MyheartwouldraceandtheairintheroomfeltsodenseasifI had to swallow it to breath. My hands would suffer from extreme eczema breakouts.Theywouldsuddenlygetcoveredwithpainfulredblisters,tothe pointwhereIcouldn'tevenusemycrutches.SothereIwas,meandmyuseless, deformedlimbthatdidn'tevenlooklikealegtomeanymore.Notabletoeven usemycrutchestogotothebathroomandstrugglingtobreathe.

Untiloneday,IsaidtomyselfIhadenough

IdecidedtochopoffwhatwasleftofthatuselesspartofalegIwasdragging

aroundforthelast4yearsandIwouldgoonwithmylife.ItoldmydoctorsI

wantedtoamputate(feelinglikeafoolthatIhadn'tdonethisearlier).Even

thoughnoneofmydoctorshadrecommendedituntilnow,Iknewthatitwasthe

onlytruesolution.Thedoctorsrespectedmyopinionandfinallytoldmeitwasa

betterchoiceifIwantedtohaveanathleticlifestyleagain.Aftermakingthis

hugedecisionthatdayandafterreceivingmydoctor'sapproval,Ifeltliberated.

ItwasasifahugeweightIhadbeencarryingwithmeallthoseyearssincemy

accident,waslifted.AfteralotoftimeIfeltasprinkleofself-confidenceagain.

Thatsummerwasahugerevolutioninmylife.Iwouldwakeupeveryday

feelinglikeadifferentperson.Ibelievethatpeoplerarelychange,butalife

tragedycanoffertheproperconditionsforthistohappen.Afterbeingdepressed

forfourandahalfyears,IdecidedIwasjusttiredoffeelinglikecrap.Iwanted

tobehappyagain.WithinacoupleofweeksIwastransformed.Meditation

playedahugeroleinallthisanditwaswhatgotmestartedonmyjourneyof

self-improvement.Idon'trememberwhy,butIorderedabookaboutmeditation

Ihadfoundonline.ItwaswrittenbyaTibetanmonkandasciencereporterfor

theNewYorkTimes.Thebooktalkedabouthowmeditationhadbeenprovento

havepositiveeffectsonthebrainandothercoolstufflikethat.Ithoughtwhynot

givethisatry.AfterstartingtomeditateIalsodecidetofeedmybodywith

properfoodandtostartsomestrengthtraining.

AlthoughIneedcrutchestomovearound,andgoingtoagymisn'tanoption,I am determined to find a way to workout. So I start developing a home

bodyweightroutine.Ijustdidacoupleofpullups,pushups,legraisesanddips inthebeginning.Idon'thaveanyequipmentsoIusedadoor-frametodomy pullupson(picturebelow)andanarrowstairwaytodomydips.Eventhough thiswasn'talot,mymusclesstartedtowakeupagain.Asbody-fatstartedtofall off, muscular curves and vascularity began to emerge beneath my skin. My reflectiononthemirrorstartedtoremindmeofmygoodoldfitself-itwas reallyempowering.Myhandeczemastartedtosubsideandmybrain-fogstarted toclearup,soIstartedreadingmorebooks.IbecameobsessedwithanythingI couldfindonhealth,nutritionandexercisebutalsoonself-improvement.

ThesurgerywasscheduledinsixmonthsandIpromisedmyselfthatIwouldbe

preparedforitineverypossibleway.Asanathletemostofmylife,havinga

strongbodywassomethingthatalsosupportedmementally.Idon'tknowabout

youbutwhenI'mingoodshapeIfeelmorerootedtotheground.Mybodyand

mindfeelsturdier.So,IknewthatifIwantedtofacethissurgerywithcourage

andtenacity,Iwouldhavetobestrongbothmentallyandphysically.Forsix

monthsItrainedconsistentlybothbody&mind.Meditating,strengtheningmy

musclesandeatinghealthy.Itallpaidoff.Iwasfeelinghealthierthaneverand

mybodywasingreatshape.Iwasreadytofacethebigchallenge.

Thebigday

It'sJanuary17thandAmsterdamiscoveredinsnow.Iamlookingoutahospital

roomwindowatthesnowyscenery.Afterwaitingpeacefullyforacoupleof

hoursanurseentersandtellsmewithasoftsmilethatit'stime.I'mreflectingto

mysituationandmyowncalmnessamazesmeforabriefmoment.Inever

thoughtsomeonecouldbeheadingtosurgery-tohavehislegcutoff,without

experiencingsevereanxiety,especiallywhenthispersonwasme.Ihadbeen

extremelycalmthesepastfewmonths,mainlythankstomynewdailyhabitof

meditation.However,apartofmewaswonderingifIwouldfreakoutthedayof

thebigoperation.Myheartbeatraisedandmyhandsfeltunsteadyafewtimes.

However,acoupleofsecondsfocusingonmymeditationaltechniqueswere

enoughtoremovethetension.Isimplyremindedmyselfthatthisallwasforthe

bestandobservedmyphysiology'sresponsetomyemotionsuntiltheymelted

away.

AsIlayonthesurgicaltableIsaytomyself-thisisit.Mypalmsfeelshaky againasIrealizethatapartofmybodywhichIhavebeencarryingaroundall mylifewilldisappear.But,mymindisatpeace.Iacceptthatthisisahuge turningpointinmylifeandthatit'sonlygoingtobeuphillfromnowon.The anestheticslowlystartstokickinandmyvisionbecomesblurry.Icanonlysee the gloomy white lights on the ceiling. Once again I enjoy the feeling of weightlessnessandIletmyselffallasleep.

AcoupleofhourslaterIwakeupandanursetellsmethesurgerywentwell.I amfreezingcoldwhichisatypicalpostsurgeryreaction.Thenursebringsmea heated blanket. Suddenly I realize I still feel my leg. Did they do the amputation?Iask.Thenursetellsmeyes.What'sweirdisthatIstillfeelmyleg, andeventhoughIwaspreparedforthis,thesensationwasremarkablyrealistic it's called phantom limb, and if you've never heard about it before, it's the sensationanamputeeexperienceswhentheamputatedlimbstillfeelsattachedto

hisbody.Approximately75%ofamputeesexperiencephantomsensationsin

their amputated limbs. Some of the typical sensations are pain, warmth, cold,itching,tightness,andtingling.

Luckily,Ididn'texperiencethatmuchpain,noteveninthebeginning.Mymain

feelingswherepressureandanextremelyannoyingitchwhichkeptmesleepless forthefirstthreeweeks.Thankfullythatalsosubsided.Aweekafter,Iwas dischargedfromthehospitalandhadtorestathomeforthreeweeksbeforeany kindofrehabilitationcouldbegin.HoweverIdidn'twanttogetcompletelyout ofshapeand,beingthestubbornpersonthatIam,Istarteddoingsomepullups after day 4 at home. I was also extremely eager to begin walking on my

prosthesis.Rehabtook5monthsandIwasfinallyabletowalkwithoutcrutches

again.OnceIstartedtowalk,Iwokeupeverydayearlyinthemorningandwent forastrolltopracticemygait.Ilovedthosemornings-thefeelingoffreedom wasincredible.Walkingwithmychinup,nocrutches,nocanesandwithoutthe hunched-up depressed posture I had all those years was something that felt extremely empowering. It still does, maybe not as much as those days but wheneverIneedtoupliftmyself,goingforapridefulwalkalwaysrefuelsmy self-confidence.

Chapter6

LifeInsightsFromLosingaLimb

AlexandertheGreatwasoncefacedwithaterrificchallenge.Inacitynamed Phrygia,therewasafamousknot-calledtheGordianknot.Nobodycouldundo thisknotandtheoraclesforetoldthatthepersonwhowouldaccomplishthis, wouldalsoruleAsia.WhenAlexander arrivedinthecityofPhrygiahespend sometimetryingtofigureoutwhichwaytheropeswerewrappedandattempted tofindasmartwaytountietheknot.Asalotofeagerambitiousmenhaddone before him, Alexander struggled, became frustrated and in the end failed to loosenit.Hesuddenlysteppedbackandcalledout,"whatdoesitmatterhowI loosenit?"Withthat,hedrewhissword,andinonepowerfulstroke,hesevered theknot.

Sometimestheonlywaytomoveforwardinlifeisbycuttingoffthatpieceof yourpastwhichyou'vebeendraggingonandon.Sometimesyoujusthaveto leavethingsbehind.Weallcarrystufffromthepastthatareholdingusback fromwhatwereallywanttodo.Eitherthat'speople,badmemories,negative mindsets(conditionedthroughalifetimegrowingup),auselesslimborasinmy situation:alltheabove.Sureit'sscary;ittakestremendouseffortandalotof courage. Being courageous though is not about being fearless. It's about accepting fear, looking deeply into its core and moving forward anyways. Melancholy and passive negativity are two of the mind's most favorite companionships.Gettingridofthistwo-headedmonstrousstateofmindrequires audacity.Remainingdepressedandmotionlesswhenlifegetshardiseasy.It doesnotrequireanyeffort,it'sastateofmindthatarisesbyitselfandthemore youstandstillinit,themoreitparalyzesyou.Themoreitbecomesaswampof quicksandthatkeepspullingyouin.

Whenlifehasthrownyoudownonyourknees,becourageous.Lookfearinthe eyeandcuttheGordianknotthatisholdingyouback.It'snotgoingtobeeasy andmostofthetimeitwilltakealotmorethanonestrikeofthesword.Youwill havetofallandriseupathousandtimes.Butthegoalisnottoremainstanding. Thegoalistolearnthatifyoucangetuponceyoucandoitagain.Youdevelop asortofmusclememoryinovercomingadversitiesandyoulearntodothismore efficientlyeverytime.Don'tlookatlifeasasprint,butamarathon.Amarathon filled with challenging obstacles. Everybody goes through dark times and everybodyhasthosemomentswhentheylosefaith.Whenyouaregoingthrough

hellthough-simplykeepongoing,asWinstonChurchilloncesaid.Because

oncethedarknesspassesbyanddaylightslowlystartstoappear,youalways

wakeupstronger.

Just do the best you can within your circumstances and in the process, if possible,tryinchingforwardintheworldjustalittlebit.Ifyoucannotdo anything about your own situation, find others you can help and support. Helpingothersgrowstrongerissometimesthebestwaytostrengthenyourself.I guessthisispartofwhatHomeMadeMuscleisabout

Thedayswelivein,comparedwithallhistoricaltimes,aresomeofthemost

prosperous.Ifyou'renotborninwhatisconsideredathirdworldcountrythen

youaregoingtosufferalotlessdisease,warandhungerthanmosthumanshave

wholivedonthisplanet.

However, even though we might not face as many external challenges, we definitelyexperienceequallydifficultinternalchallenges.Eventhoughwe'renot confronteddailywithdangersthatthreatenourlives,wedoexperiencenegative emotions almost every living hour. Even after all I went through with my accident,andeventhoughIcouldgothroughalegamputationwithanextremely calmattitude,Istillhavedayswhenthetiniestthingsstressmeout.Whyisthat? Well,thefirstsimplereasonisthatlifeisunexpected.Wedon'talwayshavethe luxuryofknowingwhenademandingsituation(likeamputationsurgery)will

happen.Wedon'talwayshave6monthstoprepareforitinthebestpossible

manner.Shitjusthappens-unexpectedly!Andbecausewearehumanwereact

emotionally.Webecomeangry,scared,anxietygetsthebestofusandwemight

evendotheworstthingstothepeoplewelovethemost.

Wecanthankandblameourhumanbiologyforthatbecauseit'showapartof ourbrainsarewiredinorderforustosurvive.Weevolvedfromanenvironment verydifferentfromtheonewecurrentlyinhabit.Asaresult,wecarryallkinds of biological baggage. Our brains convert daily situations into potentially harmfulthreats.Forexample,whenwe'reangry,bloodflowstothehands.This makes it easier to grasp a weapon or punch a potential enemy. Heart rate increases,andarushofcatecholaminehormonessuchasadrenalineproducea burstofenergytofacethisthreat. Whenweexperiencefear,bloodgoestothe largeskeletalmuscles,suchasinthelegs.Thismakesiteasiertorunawayfrom predatorsthatmightbehuntingus.It'salsowhatmakesourfaceturnwhiteas bloodisshuntedawayfromit(creatingthefeelingthatthebloodrunscold).

Nowhereisthegoodnews.Wearealsonotthelimitedanxiousorganismswe oncethoughtwewere.Advancesinsciencehaveshownthatthebrainhasgreat flexibilityinchangingthewayitiswired-whatisalsocalledNeuroplasticity. AsMingyurRinpochesaysinhisgreatbook,TheJoyOfLiving,''mostpeople simply mistake the habitually formed, neuronally constructed image of themselvesforwhoandwhattheyreallyare.''Agreatwaytochangethese negativethinkingpatternsandimagesismeditation.Whenwemeditateweadopt theobjectiveperspectiveofascientisttowardourownsubjectiveexperience. Practicingmeditationcanhelpusdevelopdailyawareness.Thisawarenesscan helpusseethingsmoreclearly.

Forexamplewhenourcupofcoffeespillsalloverourfreshlywashedclothes,

wecanbeawareofhowminorofaproblemthisis,smileandchangeourshirt

insteadofgoingcrazyoverit.Insteadofstartingtocurse,yellandwastetherest

ofthedayfeelingangryoverasimplecupofjava,wecantakeastepback,look

atthesituationasanexternalobserverandjustlaugh.Wecanbuildpositive

reactiveskillslikethese,andlateronimplementthemintoevenmoreserious

situations.Sadlythough,formostofus,minorthingslikebeverageaccidents

becomeleversfornegativeemotionswhichtriggerpatternsofnegativereactions

andbehaviors(anger,disappointment,etc)thatcontinuethroughouttherestof

thedayorevenmore.

Surely,wearenotalwayscapableofreactingcalmly.Nomatterhowwellyou train yourself, your emotions will sometimes get the best of you. However, insteadofsoakinginanemotionallakeofangerandstressorwhatisconsidered your''flightorfightmode''thereareotheralternativestoconsider.Youcanfind waystodischarge.DanielGoleman,inhisbookEmotionalIntelligencesays, ''Allemotionsareimpulsestoact.''Theyaretheinstantplansforhandlinglife thatevolutionhasinstilledinus.

Therefore,dischargingnegativeemotionswithsomephysicalactivityisagreat

alternative.Whenyouareoverwhelmedwithfearinlife,goforapowerwalkor

aruntomoveallthatbloodfloodedinyourlegs.Whenangeriscontrollingyou,

dosomestrengthtraining.Onceyou'redone,sitdownquietlyandobservethe

worldaroundyou.Realizethatyou'retheonemakingeverythingmuchmore

dramaticthanitis.

Lookaroundyouandusuallyallyou'llseeisstillness.Peopledoingtheirthing,

notevencaringaboutyou.Evenifhostilepeoplearesurroundingyou,observe

theirirrationalbehaviorforwhatitis:impulsive,emotionalreactionscausedby problematicbiologicalbaggage.Youmightnotalwaysbeabletocontrolyour exteriorenvironmentbutyoucanalwayscontrolyourreactiontoit.That'sall meditationisforme justshuttingoffthecrazyemotionalsideofthebrainand observingrealitythroughanunbiasedrelaxedlens.Yousimplysitinsidetheeye ofthecycloneandleavetherestofthecrazyworldspinningaroundyou.Ifyou don'tkeeponfeedinganger,fearorsadnesswithmoreanger,fearorsadness, youcan'treallyremaininsuchastatefortoolong.

Nowtakedeepbreathandobservethecalmnessaroundyou.Restthatdrama-

queenlizardbraininhabitingyourskullandslowlyobservehowmuchsuffering

youcansaveyourselfbyimplementingthismindsetinyourdailylife.

youcansaveyourselfbyimplementingthismindsetinyourdailylife. Enjoyingthebooksofar? Clickhere toshareonFacebook

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Part2

MastertheBasics

I love exercise; strength training, fitness, physique enhancement, running, swimming,rowing,younameit.IthasbeenapartofmylifeeversinceItook

trainingseriouslybyjoiningmyhometownrowingteamattheageof12.Since

then,committingtothedisciplinedlifestyleofanathletehasequippedmewith many helpful skills to deal with life's challenges. Leaving the world of professional sports caused me a great deal of disappointment due to not accomplishingasmuchasIaspiredto.FortunatelyIcannowseethebigger pictureinlife.Icanseehowexercisecanbeafriendinlonelytimes,aplace whereIcanfindcomfortandpeaceoramediumIcanfunnelmyfearsinand expressmyangerthrough.

Havingpurchasedthisbook,Iamhopingyoualsohaveatleastsomeinterestin

healthandexercise.Ifnot,thenattheveryleast,Ihopemystoryintriguesyou

intodevelopingarelationshipwithstrengthexerciseandhealthyhabitsaswego

;)

EversinceIbeganthisprojectIhavebeenfaithfultobodyweightexercise. WhetherItrainathomeoroutsideatapark,Ialwaysusebodyweightexercises. ThiswayIstayloyaltothisprojectandserveyou-thepeopleinterestedin homeworkouts-inthebestpossibleway.Iconsidermyselfalifelongstudent, constantlystudyingandlearningthelatestdevelopmentsinathleticnutrition, strengthscienceandbodyweightexercise.Iamconstantlykeepingmymind busyonhowtoimplementthisknowledgeintomyproject.Iwanttoaskyouto givemethehonoroftrustingmeasyourtrainer.Atleastforawhiletohelpyou getstarted.Bypurchasingthisbook,youhaveinasense,hiredmetoshowyou thebestwaytobecomestrongandleanwithoutgoingtothegym. WhenI committosomeoneIalwaysdomybesttohelpthemreachtheirgoals.Thisis mydutyasyourtrainer.

Keepinmindthatbecauseofthis,Imightoccasionallydisrespectwhatyou considertraditionalexerciseinformationandImightchallengesomeofyour ideas on exercise and nutrition. In this book you will read things such as ''breakfastnotbeingthemostimportantmealoftheday''orthat''youdon'thave

todoanymorethan15repetitionsifyourgoalisfatloss.''Thesesortsofthings

mightbeoldnewstosomepeoplelikefitnessenthusiastswhostayintouchwith thelatestdevelopmentsinexerciseandnutrition. But,becauseweliveinanage ofmisinformationtheymightbeneworevenconsideredirrationalforothers. Forthelatter,IsimplyaskyoutokeepanopenmindtowhatIhavetosay,

examine the science behind these ideas and give them a fair chance before rejectingthem.AlotofthemythsIwillbedispelling,willbemythsIalso sufferedfromuntilIstartedusinganevidencebasedapproachtoexerciseand nutrition.Ifyouhavespentthelastseveralyearsreadingthewrongexercise blogs,booksandfitnessmagazines,itmightbedifficultatfirst.

Zenstory

Nan-in,anancientJapaneseMasteroncereceivedaveryeducatedpersonwho

cametoinquireaboutZen.Nan-inservedtea.Hepouredhisvisitor’scupfull,

andthenkeptonpouring.Theguestwatchedtheoverflowuntilhenolonger

couldrestrainhimself.“Itisoverfull.Nomorewillgoin!”Likethiscup,Nan-in

said,“youarefullofyourownopinionsandspeculations.HowcanIshowyou

Zenunlessyoufirstemptyyourcup?”Trytoemptyyourcupforthefollowing

sixmonthsandgivethisprogramanhonesttry.Ifyouareatotalbeginnerin

strengthexerciseandyourcupisalmostempty,evenbetter!

Chapter1

WhoShouldyouTrust?

DonMeyer,afamousbasketballcoach,oncesaid:''Itisalwayseasytodoright, whenyouknowaheadoftimewhatyoustandfor.''Ilovethisquoteandthisis why I considered it important to write this chapter. Ever since I started HomemadeMuscle,Itrytokeepitsupportedbythelatestdevelopmentsin exerciseandnutritionalscience.Ihavethefortuneofbeingsurroundedbyvery intelligentpeoplewhohelpmestayuptodatewitheverything.Atthesame time, I spend every day studying and also filtering everything through experimentationinmyownlaboratory-mybody.

''Itisalwayseasytodoright,whenyouknowaheadoftimewhatyoustandfor''

PersonalResultsAreGoodButNotEnough Ihaveputhundredsoftraininghoursinthisprojectandmypersonalresults showthatIpracticewhatIpreach.Still,keepinmindthatsomeone'spersonal resultsarenotenoughtoputyourfaithon.Youshouldn'ttrustsomeonewho usessolemnlypersonalexperiencetobackuphisopinions.Therearenumerous peopleinthefitnesscommunitywhodothisandtheinformationtheyspreadis tosomeextent(ifnottoagreatextent)wrong.Manyofthemjusthaveamazing geneticsoruseillegalsubstancessuchassteroids.Unfortunately,thisdoesnot meantheirinformationwillapplytotheaverageJoe.Asshowninstudiespeople usingsteroidscangetbetterresultsthanpeoplewhoexercise,sometimesevenif theydon'texerciseatall!Ofcourseit'sagoodsignthatthepersonyoutrusthas ananalogousimagetowhatheispreaching.Iamabiggerfanofpeoplewho practicewhattheypreachandhavetheresultstoshowforit.But,thatalone, should not be a reason for you to put your faith in him. There are some incrediblecoachesouttherewholookliketheydon'tevenliftduetocrappy genetics. This becomes their personal reason and motive to become so passionateaboutfindingthebestwaytosupplementtheireffortsthroughsolid knowledge. Ifyouwanttobeapropercoachandtrainer,personalexperiencecannotbeyour onlyreferencepoint.Thefitnessworldisawildjunglefilledwithdeception, self-proclaimedguruswithGodcomplexes,pseudoscienceandscamartists.For thoseofyouwhoarefitnessandhealthenthusiastsandwanttoavoidbeing victimized,asI'veoftenbeeninthepast,Ihaveincludedsomeguidelinesthat canhelpyouavoidthesepitfalls.

ScienceisGoodButNotPerfect(yet) Scienceisforsurethebestplacetostartinthiscrazyworldbut itisnotperfect. Whenitcomestoexerciseandfitness,studiesperformedinuniversitieshave limitations.Forexample,whenitcomestobasicsofstrengthtraininglikeideal repetitionranges,orhowmanysetsshouldanadvancedtraineedo;thisareaof researchishinderedwithdifficultiesincomparingstudies. Forexample,the testing groups used are quite small, and in many cases they might even be undergraduatestudentswhoeitherarebeginnersinstrengthtrainingoreven subjects completely untrained. Due to this, the ''newbie gains'' effect can interferewiththestudy,producingbiasedresults.Thenewbiegainseffectisthe phenomenonofaddingmuscleandstrengthinafasterratewhenyouarea beginner in strength related training. This also happens, to a great extent, regardless of how optimum the training program that is being utilized. In

addition,menaroundtheageof18mightstillbedevelopingandthereforetheir

hormonalprofilewillbealotmoreoptimumformusclegrowththansomeonein

hisforties.

Ontheupside,weliveinagreattimeforexercisescience.Breakthroughstudies arebeingperformedontopics(suchastherecentstudyon'Recommendations forNaturalBodybuilding'')bygreatpeoplelikeBradSchoenfeld&AlanAragon who are some of the people leading the movement towards evidence-based informationinnutritionandexercisesciencenowadays.Researchisgradually starting to focus more on trained populations. The more of these studies accumulate,themoreofasolidgroundthereistomakeclearerconclusions.No doubt, these are very interesting times for evidence-based fitness. And even thoughthereisnotenoughsciencebasedonbodyweightexercise,Iwilldomy besttointegratethesetwo(bodyweightexerciseandweight-liftingscience)in thebestpossibleway.

AvoidingFitnessDeception

Whenyouwanttobesurethatahealthauthority,organization,youtuberorblog

canbetrusted,askyourselfthefollowingquestions:

1.Dotheyhelpyouunderstandtheirapproachordotheygetemotionalwhen

beingquestioned?

Someonewhohasknowledgeonatopicshouldalsobeabletoteachit.Itisalso

veryimportantishearpeopleonceinawhilesay,''Idon'tknow.''No-oneknows

everythingandifsomeoneistryingtogiveyouthatimpressionheisprobably

tryingtofoolyou.ManytimespeopleaskmesomethingandIsimplyanswer,“I

don'tknow.”EvenifIthinkIknowtheanswerbutIamnot100%sure,I've

learned to acknowledge my lack of knowledge and experience rather than misleadsomeonewithincorrectinformation.

2. Do they use their credentials instead of solid references to make heavy scientificclaims?

BasingsomethingonthefactsomeonehasaDrbeforehisnameoraPhDafter

it,isnotagoodenoughreasontotrustsomeone.Thisisthecommonfitness-trap

IfellintowhenIstartedthisjourney.Also,rememberthatreferencesshouldbe

basedonarticlesandstudiespublishedinreputableplaces(notWikipedia).

3.Aretheywillingtoadmittheyarewrong?

Whenhealthauthoritiesarestuckinoldoutdatedinformationandaren'tcapable

ofacknowledgingfailuresorfactsthathavebeendisprovedintheirprogram,it's

aclearindicationthattheyaremoreconcernedwithpreservingtheirimagethan

actuallyhelpingpeople.RealizingthatIhaveusedoutdateddataorhavemadea

mistakeandinstantlyadmittingithasbeenoneofthebestwaysformetolearn.

I'mfortunatetohaveanetworkofverysmartpeoplearoundme,soIcan'tget

awaywithmistakesanyway.

4.Dotheyhavefinancialand/oremotionalmotivesbehindofwhattheyare

promoting?

It'snormalofcourseforahealth/fitnessprofessionaltomakemoneyfromhis projectsandwork.I'mcertainlynotunhappywheneverIsellaneBook,because itgivesmethechancetoinvestevenmoremoneyinthisprojectandimproveit inanywaypossible.Still,thisshouldalsobeareasontoremaincautious.If someone,forexample,issellingmusclegainingsupplementsonhiswebsitebe cautiouswhenheismakingextremeclaimssuchas''myprogramwiththeright

supplementscanhelpyoubuild20poundsofmuscleinamonth.''

FeelfreetoquestionwhatIsay.It'sthebestwayforyouandmebothtolearn

andexpand.IfIbelieveIhavemadeamistakeinthisbook,Iwouldgladly

acceptanemailfromyouanddiscussyourconcerns.

QuickSummary

Inconclusion,theHomeMadeMusclecodeconsistsofaBruceLee-ianapproach

toexerciseandnutritionbutit'salsofilteredthroughscience.Herearemyfour

mostimportantsuggestionsforyou:

1.Researchandquestioneverything.

2.Absorbonlywhatisrewardingandfocusonperfectingit;Rejecttherest.

3.Onceyou'rematureenough,giveitatouchofyourpersonalexperience

andneeds.

4.Simplicityiskeytobrilliance(BruceLeeQuote)

Ihaven'treallycreatedanythingnewinthishomeworkoutprogram.Ihavejust constructed a simplified hybrid approach to home-strength and fitness development infused with the best information of Nutrition, Bodybuilding, StrengthTrainingandCalisthenics.

Chapter2

Strong&leanwithoutgoingtothegym

Isitpossible?

WhenIfirststartedtheHomeMadeMuscleprojectthereweredayswhenIused to chat online or Skype with friends, telling them I just finished my home workoutroutine.MostofthemthoughtIwasjustfoolingarounddoingacouple ofpushupsandpullupsanddidn'treallytakemetooserious.Acoupleof monthslater,whentheysawhowmybodystartedtochangetheywereamazed. ''Allthat,justbytrainingathomewithnoequipmentatall?''

ParalysisByAnalysis(PBA) TodayItrytoshowpeoplethatit'snotaboutcomplexworkouts,secrettraining techniques that ''shock your muscles'' and diets that have you eating magic berries and drinking weird colored beverages. Paralysis By Analysis is a common paradox that plagues the fitness community and one of the main reasonsweconsidergettinginshapesodifficult.Theinternetisoneofthemains reasonsthisparadoxexistsandifyouwerebornafteraninternetconnectionwas availableineveryhousehold,youhaveanevenbiggerchanceofsufferingfrom thisparadox.Donotworry,youcangetridofthisproblemnowthatyouare usingHomeMadeMuscle.PBAisacommonproblemnowadaysamongpeople whoaretryingtogetinshape(I'vealsogonethroughit).Inordertogiveyoua betterpictureofthisconundrum,I'llsharewithyouastorybyAesop,thegreat ancientGreekfabulist.Ifthesestoriesboreyou,justbearwithmeforafew morelines.

''Acatandafoxdiscusshowmanytricksanddodgestheyhaveinordertoavoid

theirenemies.Thefoxboaststhathehasmany;thecatconfessestohavingonly

one.Justatthatmoment,theyhearthecryofapackofhoundscomingtheirway.

Thecatimmediatelyscamperedupatreeandhidherselfintheboughs.Thefox

lostinconfusion,unabletochoosebetweentheplethoraofallitstricksgets

killed…''

DevelopTheCatMindset Thatispreciselytheproblemthatmostpeople facenowadayswhentheyfailto getinshape.Mostofthemcarrythefoxmindset.Theyhaveallthisabundance offreeknowledgeaccumulatedintheirheadsfromsurfingaroundtheinternet alldaybuttheyendupneuroticandunabletosticktoasingleexerciseplan.I

evenseethishappenquiteoftenwithexerciseprofessionals.Theyhavesomuch knowledgeaccumulatedintheheads,yetforsomereasontheyseemasifthey aretooafraidtoapplyanyofit.Theyareafraidthatitjustmightnotbethe perfect workout plan. As a result, they end up switching from program, to program, to program My advice? Be a cat! Ok that might not sound that masculine,butthinkofbigmanlyrippedcatlikeLionofromtheThunderCats (ifyouaretooyounganddon'tknowwhataThunderCatis,youaremissingone ofthegreatestcartoonsofalltimes).

Ontheotherhandthatiswhypeopleinprisonsgetsojackedup.Theyhavevery

fewmeansoftrainingtochoosefromandaverybigmotivetofuelthem.It’s

aboutsurvival,youhavenochoice.

Conclusion Thebasicreasonsmostofusfailtoattainourfitnessgoalsisthatwedonot appreciatesimplicity.Weprefercomplexapproachesandideaswrappedwith fancyandshinnymaterial.Welookfortheeasywayoutineverythingwewant toaccomplish.WhytrainhardfourhoursaweekwhenCindythefitnesschick

(withthatstunningbosom)tellsyouthatyoucangetrippedbytraining12

minutesaday.Wewantexerciseappsonourphoneasifwearenotwasting

enoughtimeonoursmartphonesalready

Screwallthefancymarketingfitnesshype!Focusonfindingproperguidance,

consistency,andeatingright.

UnderestimatingBodyweightExercise Bodyweightexerciseiscommonlyunderestimated.Havealookatgymnastsor thenewviraltrendthathasarisenonYouTubetheseverallastyears.Peopleall overtheworldaretrainingwithonlybarsandbodyweightexercises,doingwhat they call Street-Workouts and Calisthenics. You can see incredibly amazing physiquesontheseguysandthey’rejusttrainingintheirneighborhoodpark. Howcoolisthat?

Arecent study found that people’s ability to get up from the floor with no support from their hands was an accurate predictor of fitness—and even mortality.Idon'tknowaboutyou,butavoidingearlydeathwouldbeoneofmy topmotivesforgettinginshapeandtakingbodyweightexercisesseriously.I don'tcareifyoucancurlninetypounds;ifyoucannotdotenstrictpullups, chesttobar,Idon’tconsideryoustrong.

Bodyweightexerciseprovidesasenseofpersonalmastery,controlandself-

confidence.Whatcanbemoreempoweringinthephysicalrealmthanmastering yourownbody? ThatisoneofthemainreasonsIbelievebodyweightexercise issuperiortobarbellsandmachines;thatisifonemustchoosebetweenoneof the two. The bodybuilder physique was the ultimate accepted status quo in strengthconditioningduringtheeightiesandthenineties.Fortunately,thisis startingtochange;especiallyduringthelastfewyearswheremorenaturaland functionalformsofexercisearestartingtobecomepopular.Seriously,howcan somebodybeconsideredstrongifhecannotevenmovehisownbody.Insteadof "brocanyouevenlift?"therealquestionshouldbe''Bro,canyouevenlift yourself?"

Justpickaguyoutofanygymwhocaneasilypullhisownbodyweightinthe latpull-downmachineandaskhimtodothesamerepetitionsonapullupbar. Orpickaguywhocanbenchpressdoublehisbodyweightandaskhimtodoa one-armpushup 99.9%ofthemwillfail.Idon'tknowaboutyou,butforme doingaone-armpushuponthespotisalotcoolerthanclaimingthatyoucan benchpressanXamountweight.Stickaroundlongenoughandwe'llgettothat one-armpushupbeforeyouknowit!

FourReasonsBodyweightProgramsFailPeople

1.EitherDoingTooLittleorDoingTooMuch

SinceIstartedthisproject,veryoftenpeoplecometomeforadviceontheir bodyweightworkouts.Thefollowingareusuallythetwomainreasonstheyare notprogressing:Eithertheyaredoingtoolittleortheyaredoingtoomuch.The first category usually adopts a bodybuilding philosophy in their bodyweight routine-suchasdividingworkoutsintobacktrainingdays,chesttrainingdays andlegtrainingdays.Thistrainingapproachoftrainingonemusclegrouponce ortwiceperweekwillnotbenefityouwhenappliedtobodyweighttraining (moreonthislaterinStrengthBasics).

Thesecondcategoryisusuallydoingtoomuch.Notsomuchintermsoftraining volume, but rather in the variety of exercises. Doing a numerous variety exercisesinoneworkoutbutnotreallygoinghardonanyoftheimportant exerciseswon'tdoyouanygoodeither.Thisisacommonproblemwithmostof the bodyweight ebooks I have read. Most of them offer people a huge overwhelmingvarietyofbodyweightexercises.Asaresult,peopleendupdoing alittlebitofthis,alittlebitofthatwithoutfocusingonthesimplest,butalso

mostimportantprincipleofstrengthtraining,ProgressiveOverload.Progressive

Overloadsimplymeanstofocusyourtrainingeffortsinsuchawaythatyou

continuetoincreasetheintensityofyourexercisesthroughtime(moreonthisin

StrengthBasics).

Bodyweighttraining,incomparisonwithweightlifting,mayhavelimitations when it comes to finding a variety of high intensity functional exercises. Becausethereisalotofextrafluffintermsofhowmanybodyweightexercises thereareoutthere,youwillhaveto-asBruceLeewouldsimplysay–“absorb whatisusefulanddiscardwhatisnot.”Youneedtotakemaximumadvantageof thebigmusclebuildingbodyweightexercises.Ifyourememberonlyonething fromthischapter,rememberthefollowing:

Ifanexerciseisimportant,doitthreetimesperweek;ifit'snot,don'tdoit

all

2.NotDoingTheRightExercises.

Ifyouwanttogetstrongandbuildmuscleyouhavetotrainusingyourprimal

movementpatterns.Pull,pushandsquat.IfyouarenotfocusingonPullups,

Pushups,DipsandPistolsquatsasabeginnerineverybodyweightworkout,

youaretraininginvain.Thesemulti-jointexercisesgiveyouthebestbangfor

yourbuckandfocusingonanythingelsewillsimplywasteyourtime.Thewhole

secret to bodyweight strength is to repeatedly do these exercises in every

workoutwhilekeepingyourreprangebetween5-15repsasyouwillseeinpoint

3.

Pull,Push&Squat-TheBigMuscleBuildingMovements

3.ToooooManyReps.

Ifyouwanttobuildmuscle,sciencehasproventhatanintensitylevelbetween

70%and90%isthemostoptimumrange.Thismeansthatyouhavetousearep

range of between 5-15 reps. Applying this rep range to all the big muscle builderswillrecruitmusclefiberindepthandtriggeranabolichormonesinthe

mosteffectivewayinordertobuildmuscleandburnfat.Higherreprangesof20

repscanoffersomeextrabenefitsbutonlyafteryouhavebeentrainingseriously

foratleastayear.Wewilldiscusthistopicmorelateron.

Unfortunately, most people who train with bodyweight turn their strength

workoutsintocardioworkoutsbydoingpush-upsetsof30repetitionsormore.

Ifyouhavereachedapointinanexercisewhereyoucando15cleanpush-ups,

itstimetomoveontoamoredifficultprogression.Ifyouarewonderinghowto increasetheintensityofanexercise,Ihaveincludedinthelastchapterofthis bookenoughprogressionsforallofthebodyweightexercises.Stickaroundlong enough and you will be doing one arm push ups and all kinds of cool progressionsinthenearfuture.

Keepyourformcleanandstickbetween5and15repetitions

4.NotKeepingNotes.

Alwayswritedownyourrepsandtheprogressionyouareusing.Especiallyin

bodyweighttraining,it'sverydifficulttokeeptrackofyourprogressifyoudon't

dothis.Ifyouneglectthisdetailyouwillnevergetpassedyournewbiegains.

HereishowIdoit.Ialwaysnotetheexercise,myrepsandthepointafterwhich

myformstartedbreakingdownabit.

Forexample: Pullupswithelasticband:3X[8+8+(6+2)]

ThismeansIdid3setsof8repetitions.Thefirsttwosetsweredonewithperfect

formandinthethirdset,afterthesixthrep,myformstartedtobreakdowna

littlebit.

QuickSummary

Ifyouwanttobuildmuscleandburnfatyouhaveto:

1.Setasidealltheextrafluffandfocusonthebigmusclebuildingexercises

2.Dotheimportantexercisesthreetimesperweek

3.Focusonreprangesbetween5-15reps

4.Keepnotes

Thebigmusclebuildingexercisesforabeginnerare:

1.Pullups

3.PistolSquats

4.Dips

Whatifyouhavebadgenetics? YoumighthavenoticedbynowthatI'mafanofBruceLee.WhatIlovemost aboutBruceisthathewasquiteaheadofhistime.Eventhoughhewasamaster in everything he did, Lee would always focus on perfecting the basics and simplifyingwhatwastoocomplex.Thatistheproblemwithmostpeople-they forgettofocusonthebasics.Mycorevalueistostruggleforclosetoperfect resultsinthebasicsandscrewtherest.AnotherhugeinfluenceonmeisDan John.AlthoughIhavenevermethim,Istillconsiderhimtobeoneofmy mentors.Hisbook,“NeverLetGo”changedmylife.Ishouldprobablyreadit againnowthatI'mthinkingaboutit Evennowadays,whenmyprogresshitsa plateau, I know I have been neglecting the basics. This is one of the most simplistic,butalsothegreatestinsights,Ihavegainedtrainingtheselastcouple ofyears.

Imighthavedevelopedabetterthanaveragephysique,yetIdon'tconsidermy

resultssomethingoutofanybody'sreach.Peoplearoundmetendtosaythingsto

mesuchas,“Ijusthavegood“genetics,”or“Idon’tneedtotrainhardtostayor

getingoodshapeandthat’swhymyhome-workoutissoeffective.”Yes,there

arepeoplewhohavetoworkharderthantheaveragepopulationtoachievethe

sameresults.Andyes,therealsoarepeoplewithgoodgeneticswhoworkless

forachievingthesamegoals.Personally,Ibelongtotheaveragepopulation

whenitcomestoexercisegenes.Mostofusunfortunatelyarenottheunique

snowflakewethinkweare,eitherthat'sbeinggiftedwithaperfectsix-packfrom

thefitness-fairyorcursedbytheevildiet-witchwithbrokenmetabolisms.

Thesumtotalofthelifeyouhavebeenlivingtillnowiswhathasmadeyou

whatyouare.Acceptitandinsteadofcomplainingthatyouwanttomakea

change,takeaction.

Asanathlete,Iwasalwaysthetypicalguyintheteamwhotrainedthehardest,

followingmycoach’sadvicetotheletter.Still,Ihadaverageresultsandended

upnothavingachancewhencompetingwiththepairofguysonmyteamwho

wereblessedwithgreatgenetics.Ineverhadthat,andjustlikemostofus,Ihave

alwaysworkedhardformyresults.

Astobodycomposition,that'sanotherexcuseIhavebeenhearingallmylife.

Thingslike''youeatallyouwantandstillstayripped''and''it'sinyourgenesto

stayskinny''areexcusesIhaveheardfrompeoplearoundmeallmylife.Talking

isaloteasierthandoing.BecauseIheardthisonesooften,Istartedbelieving

thatIamprobablyblessedwithgoodbodycomposition.IthoughtthatIcould

probablyeatabitmorethanotherswithoutgainingasmuchfat.WhenIstarted

thisprojectanddelveddeeperintothefieldofnutritionandexercise,Idecided

totestthistheory.Thebasicreasonpeoplegainweightisbecausetheyconsume

morecaloriesthantheyburn(duuuh).

So,forthreeandahalfmonthsItrackedmycaloriestoextremedetailandkept closewatchonmyweight.Iatetheexactamountofcaloriesmybodyburned accordingtoaveryaccurateformulafortrackingcaloricneeds.Besides''clean''

foods'',mydietalsoincludedstufflikeice-creamandchocolateupto15%ofmy

totalcaloricintake.Results?Aftereatingtheexactamountofcaloriesmybody requiredforthreeandahalfmonths,Igained twohundredgrams!Twohundred gramsisaninsignificantamountofweightandmeansthatmyweightremained stable.ThissimplyconfirmsthatIbelongtothetypicalaveragemaleofmyage andIdonothavemagicmetabolism.Trustme,IwishIdid I'dbeprobably eatingabucketofice-creamwhilewritingthisparagraph.

(Fouryearsaftermyaccidentandanunhealthylifestyle) Theyearsthatfollowedmyaccidenttookagreatatolltomybody.Beinginand out of

(Fouryearsaftermyaccidentandanunhealthylifestyle)

Theyearsthatfollowedmyaccidenttookagreatatolltomybody.Beinginand out of hospitals for five years, being operated on a total of thirteen times, consuminghugeamountsofantibioticsallthoseyearsandbeinginastressed anddepressedmentalstateforsolongwasdetrimental.Frombeinginfantastic shapeasacompetitiveathlete,Iendedupbecomingwhatpeoplecall''skinny fat''(lackofmuscletissueincombinationwithexcessivefat).Mywholebody lookedweakandsickandmystomachwasconstantlybloated. Thegoodthing outofthisexperiencewasthatIwasabletostartbuildingmyphysiquefrom scratchandIcangiveyouanunbiasedpictureofmyprogressandresults.

AlongthewayImadealotofmistakes,butIalsolearnagreatdealfromthem.I

havemadeseveraladjustmentsinthetrainingprogramsIhavetodayinmybook

andIbelievethatyoucanmakeevenmoreprogressusingtheseprogramsin

theircurrent,perfectedstate.

Leftside:6monthslater.Rightsideafter1yearlater Myprogressafter1.5yearoftrainingwithHomeMadeMuscle

Leftside:6monthslater.Rightsideafter1yearlater

Leftside:6monthslater.Rightsideafter1yearlater Myprogressafter1.5yearoftrainingwithHomeMadeMuscle

Myprogressafter1.5yearoftrainingwithHomeMadeMuscle

Chapter3

Whytrainathome?

WhenIfirststartedtrainingathome,itwasmostlyoutofnecessityandfor personalreasons.Nowadays,havingacoupleofthousandsubscribersonmy YouTubechannelandpeopleingeneralreachingouttomewhofindmywork helpfulandmotivating,issomethingthathasbecomeaverypowerfulinspiration formetokeeponworkingonmyHomeMadeMuscleproject.Trainingathome every day gives me more and more insight to improve this project while implementingitwithallkindsofothertopicsthatIstudy.Evenifitwasn'tforall theabove,Istillwouldnotconsiderswitchingtoagymworkoutprogram.Once youknowhowtoeffectivelytraininthecomfortofyourownhouse,itcan becomeincrediblyconvenientandsuitabletoyourlifestyle.Idon'tknowabout you,butIloveconvenience.

Herearesometypicaladvantagesoftrainingathome:

•Nothavingtoplangoingtothegym,takingabusorthecar,lookingfora

parkingspot,etc.

•Notpackingabiggymbagandworryingaboutforgettingsomething(growing

upasanathlete,Ialwayshatedthis)

•Notundressingandchangingclotheswithweirddudesinthelockerroom

•Nosmellingpeopleinyourface

•Notsittinginsomeoneelse'ssweatorworryingaboutathletesfootinthe

showers

•Nowaitinginlineforbusyexerciseequipment,suchasthebenchpress

•Noonetohassleyouaboutlifetimemembershipsorrules

•NoChristinaAguileraplayingloudlywhileyou'retryingtoconcentrateandget

inthoselasttworeps.

MyFavoriteReasonsForTrainingatHome

1.HomeMadeMusclewillsaveyoualotofMoney

Thefirstandmostobviousadvantageoftrainingathomeisnotpayingforagym membershipandexpensiveequipment.Homebodyweightworkoutshaveonly two requirements: 1) gravity; and 2) your own body. The only equipment I

stronglyadviseyoutogetinthebeginningisapullupbar.Pullupsaretheking ofstrengthexercisewhenitcomestotheupperbody.Ifyouthinkofallthe moneyyouwillbesavingyourselffromgymmembershipfeesjustbyspending

$20bucksforapullupbar-trustmeyouaremakingawiseinvestment.

2.HomeMadeMuscleworkoutswillsaveyoualotofTime

ThemostcommonexcuseIhearfrompeoplewhodon’texerciseisthatthey don’thavetime.Well,traininginyourownhouse,besidessavingyoumoney, alsosavesyoualotoftime.Thinkaboutit,ifyoucalculateallthetimeyouneed topackagymbag,travelallthewaytothegym,changeinthelockerroom,wait foryourturnoncrowdedexercisemachinesandthenallofthatinreverse,it usuallycostsmostpeopleatleastanextrahourortwo.Traininginthecomfort ofyourownhousemeansnocommuting,noneedforlookingforaparking spaceandnoneedtounpackbiggymbagsofsweatyclothes.Onceyouare finishedtraininginyourhome,youcanimmediatelytakeanicehotshowerin yourownbathroom,weardryclothesandkickback,ordowhateverelseyou

havetodo.Thisprogramrequires,onaverage,3traininghoursperweekwhich

istimewellworthspendingbyanyonefortherewardofahealthier,strongerand

leanerbody.

3.HomeMadeMuscleisPsychotherapy

OneofthethingsIlovemostwhentrainingathomeisthatyoucanreallyletgo. Youcanexpressallofthefrustrationandaggressionthatbottlesupduringthe restofthedayatwork,schoolorwherever.Youcanscreamthroughthoselast reps,curse,yellandgenerallyexpresswhateveremotionsyouaregoingthrough thatdayorthatphaseofyourlife!(Trythoughnottodothislateatnight,you don’t want your neighbor calling the police thinking you are strangling someone).Thishasagreatcalmingaffectonceyoufinishtraining.Itmaysound weird to some and others will totally understand what I’m talking about. I consider it as a kind of catharsis. Alot of times, training for me is more psychotherapythanexercise.Justgiveitatryandyouwillunderstand.People nowadays keep too much emotion bottled up in them and expressing these emotionsthroughphysicalexertiongivesthebodyandmindagreatrelief.

Ah,homesweethome,whereyourownpersonalgymisalwaysopen,twenty-

fourhoursadayandthreehundredandsixtyfivedaysayear.Thespeakersare playing Rihanna wait what? I mean the speakers are playing Survival by EminemorBurningHeartbySurvivor,theairsmellsthewayyoulikeittosmell

andthewaterintheshowerisalwayswarm.

AdvantagesofBodyweightTraining

FromMichaelBoyle'sfantasticbook-AdvancesinFunctionalTraining

"Technique,Technique,.Technique. Never compromise. Use bodyweight when possible and practical. Do lots of push-ups, fee-elevated push-ups, one-leg squats,chin-upsanddips.Bodyweightexercisesarehumbling.Notonlywill athleteslearntorespecttheirbodyweight,buttheywillalsoseethevalueof theseeasyexercises."

FromEasyStrengthbyDanJohnandPavelTsatsouline

"Pull-upsnotonlybuildthepullingmusclesbutalsodeveloptheabs.Idareyou

tofindsomeonewhocando20strictrepsanddoesnothaverockhardabs.Use

manypull-upvariations:changegrips,dopull-upsoffropesandrings,etc"

IexpectpeopletobeexcitedwhenImotivateandtellthemthattheycangetin

greatshapeinthecomfortoftheirownhomespendingonly$20bucksonapull

upbar.Unfortunately,mostofthemjustlookatmeindisbelief.Itprobably

soundstoogoodtobetrueortheyhavetriedgettinginshapewithsomeother

promisingeasyhomeworkoutplanthatdidn’twork.

GymMachinesvs.Bodyweight Unfortunately,mostofushavebeenmisleadintobelievingthatinordertogetin shapeweneedallthoseshinycomplicatedmachinesweseeinbigcorporate gymswithtouchscreensandallsortofothergizmosonthem.Someofthemfeel asifyouareusingsomefightingmachinetobattleagainstaliens.Thetruthis thatbattlingehm Imeanexercisingonlywithmachinesandfocusingtoomuch onisolationmovementscanleadtodevelopingadysfunctionalbody.Thereis lackofdevelopmentinstabilizingmusclesinourbody'sconnectivetissue.Asa result,thereisnofunctionalstrengthandpeoplearemorepronetoinjury.

Ontheotherhand,masteringyourownbodyweightrequires:

•Multi-jointexercisesthatactivatemultiplemusclegroups

•Analogousdevelopmentofmuscleswiththeirconnectivetissues

•Superiorcoreactivationincomparisonwithgymtypemachines

•Balanceimprovement

•Coordinationimprovement

•Kinestheticawareness

Kinestheticawarenessisyourbody’sknowledgeofyoursurroundingswhich youreceiveviathesensoryreceptorsinyourjoints,musclesandskin.Also, those of you who are wondering if they are missing a lot from not doing isolationexercises,keepinmindthatmulti-jointexercisesaremoreeffectivein producingananabolichormonalstimulusformusclehypertrophythansmall scale/singlejointisolationtypeexercises.

Practicality: Bodyweight exercises can be done almost anywhere with minimumequipment.

AwesomenessFactor:Bodyweightexercisesareamuchmoreentertainingand motivationalwaytodevelopstrength.Insteadofstrivingtoaddthatextraplate ofweighteverymonth,yourgoalistoperformcoolerandmoreimpressive movementvariations.Onceadvancedbodyweightexercisescanbeperformed withgoodformandease,theycanprovidegreatvisualappeal.Thinkaboutit, whatismoreawesomeandfun talkingabouthowmuchweightyoucanbench pressatthegymorperformingaonearmpushupatthebeachwhilemakingit seemeasy?

AfterallthetrainingsystemsIhavetriedinmylife,Ialwaysconcludethat

bodyweightexercisemakesmestrongerandkeepsmybodyandmindhealthier

IsThisProgramForYou?

Bodyweighttrainingcanbequitechallengingespeciallyforheavypeopleand

peoplewhohaven'tpreviouslydoneanykindofstrengthexerciseintheirlife.

Forthisreason,Ihaveincludedprogressionsforeveryexerciseinordertohelp

yougraduallyeaseintothem.Therearemultipleeasierprogressionstostart

fromuntilyouarestrongenoughtoperformthebasicformoftheexercise.Plus,

Ialsohaveextraadvancedvariationsforwhenyougrowevenstronger.So,

regardlessofyoursex,currentphysicalconditionandyourweight,ifyoustick

totheguidelinesinthisbookyouwon'thaveanyproblems.

WhatIfI'mTooHeavy? JusttoberealisticandnotBSyou,keepinmindthatexcessivefatcangetinthe wayofthisprogramifyouwanttogetthemostoutofit.Thinkaboutit,ifyou

weigh300poundsandyouaretryingtoperformahandstandpush-upitwould

be the equivalent of trying to push more than 330 pounds on an overhead shoulder-pressmachine.Nomatterhowstrongyoubecome,itwillbepretty difficulttoattainsuchahighlevelofstrengthandyouwillbestuckinthesimple

progressionsofsomeexercisesprobablyforever. MyadvicetooverweightpeopleistocombineHomeMadeMuscleworkouts withaproperdietinordertoloseasmuchexcessivefataspossible.Besides beingmoreefficientatbodyweightexercises,losingweightandgettingcloserto a 12% body fat (for men) will help your physiology to maximize muscle hypertrophyanddecreasefatstorage.Insimplewords,yourbodywillbeableto buildmuscleandburnofffatfaster.

WhatIfI'mTooStrongForIt? Movingtotheotherendofthespectrum,ifyoubelieveyouaretoostrongfor bodyweightexercisesdon'trushtooquicklytosuchaconclusionbeforeyoucan perform all the advanced variations of the exercises with perfect form. Personally,I'mnotatthatpointeither.Justtryingtoperfectyourformcanhavea majorimpactonincreasingthedifficultyofanexercise.Sosetyouregoaside andfocusongoodformbeforeyouthinkyouaretoogoodforbodyweight exercise.

“Hewhoconquersothersisstrong;hewhoconquershimselfismighty”

-Lao-tzu

Chapter4

Whatyouneedtoknowaboutstrengthtraining

Inordertobecomestronger,yourbodyneedsthreethings:Stress,Recoveryand Adaptation.Thismeansthatyourmusclesshouldbestressedenoughinorderto understandthatnexttimethesamestressoccurstheymustbestrongertohandle it more efficiently. Once stress is applied to our neuromuscular system, an appropriateamountoftimeisrequiredinorderforourbodytorecover.Ifstress is re-applied too soon, strength development will happen at a slower rate. Therefore,thankstotheabilityofthehumanbodytoadaptandbecomestronger inordertosurvive,wecanmanipulatestress(inourcase,stressprovidedby bodyweightexercises)inordertobecomestrongeranddevelopamoreaesthetic physique.Infact,themainreasonourspecieshassurvivedtillthispointintime, ismainlythankstohowgiftedweareinthiswholeprocessofadaptation.

Ofcourse,therearelimitationsanddifferentratesinwhichadaptationoccurs. Forexample,ifyou'reacompletenoviceinstrengthtrainingyouwillbuild muscleandstrengthalotfasterthansomeonewhohasbeentrainingfortwo years.Soeventhoughabeginnermightaddoneortwopullupseveryweek, thisdoesn'tmeanthatthiswillcontinuetohappenatthesamerate.Thinkabout

it,ifyoubegindoing3pullupsandaddjustonepullupeveryweek,withina

year,whichisabout52weeks,youwillbeabletodo55pullups.Intwoyears

youwillbeabletodomorethan200pullups.Sorrytodisappoint,butthat'snot

howitworks(ifonly).

Asobviousasthisis,alotofpeople,andespeciallybeginners,tendtoignore this point. So did I when I started lifting weights at the age of 15. Man, I

thought,ifIcontinueadding10kilostomybenchpresseverymonthI'llbea

beastbeforeI'meven18!

As a forewarning, the rest of this chapter may be somewhat technical and clinicalinnature.So,thoseofyouwhodon'thaveabackgroundinexercise scienceorhaven'treadanyotherstrengthrelatedbooksmightgetatinybit boredbylearningwordslikeeccentricandisometriccontraction.Still,Ineed youtohaveabasicunderstandingoftheseconceptssothatwecancommunicate moreefficientlythroughouttheremainderofthebookandsothatyoucanget thebestvalueandresultsoutofit.

WhatisStrength?

Strengthisthefoundationfromwhichallformsofathleticmovementbecomes

possible.Asolidstrengthfoundationshouldbethefirstandmostimportant

elementinsomeone’sexerciseprogram.Ifyourgoalissimplytodevelopan

aestheticphysique,strengthtrainingincombinationwithaproperdietisallyou

need.Notthatcardioisbadorcannotaidyourgoalsifdonestrategically,butit's

notnecessary(moreonthislater).

Ourmusclesaregovernedbyournervoussystem,whichisoperatedbyour brain.Together,ourmusclesandournervoussystemformourneuromuscular system.Thesetwoarealwaysinterconnected;thinkofthemlikeelectricityand magnetism-youcannothavetheonewithouttheother.Therefore,whenever you apply stress on your muscles, whether you are doing pull-ups or pistol squats,youalsoapplystressonyournervoussystem.Bothofthemcanonly handlesomuch.Ifyouover-trainthemforalongperiod,theywilleventually starttofatigueandtheoverallamountofrepsyoucanperformonadailybasis willdecline.

TypesofMuscleTension

Strengthisproducedbyourmuscleswiththreetypesoftension:

1.ConcentricTension:Thisiswhenthemuscle''belly''decreasesinsizeto

produceforce.Torememberthistype,thinkthatthemusclealwayscontractsin

theconcentrictype.Keepinmindthatinallthreesituationsthemusclescontract

butmostpeoplehaveinmindconcentrictensionwhentheythinkaboutmuscle

contraction.

2.EccentricTension: Is when the muscle belly increases in size while the muscleiscontracting.Torememberthis,thinkthatthemuscleextendswhenthe muscleisineccentriccontraction.

3.IsometricTension:Iswhenthelengthofthemuscleremainsthesamewhile

stillproducingtension.IsoinGreekmeansequal.

Ifit'sthefirsttimeyouarehearingofthesetermsyoumightfeeloverwhelmed.

Hey,whenIfirstheardthemIwasmorethanoverwhelmed.But,havealookat

thefollowingexampleswhichwillclearupanyconfusion:

Becauseavideoisworthathousandwordshere'sashortvideoexample.

ConcentricContractionExamples

Concentriccontractioniswhenthemuscleproducestensionwhileit'sdecreasing

insize.

- When you are pulling yourself up by doing a chin up, your biceps are contractingconcentrically;

- When you are pushing yourself up during a push up, your chest is again contractingconcentrically;and

-Whenyouarepushingyourselfupduringapistolsquat,yourquadricepsare

onceagainperformingaconcentriccontraction.

EccentricContractionExamples

Eccentrictensionoccurswhen,aswesaidpreviously,themuscledecreasesin

size.Ineccentriccontractionourmusclesareusedasbrakessothatwehave

bettercontroloverthemovement.

-Whenyouareloweringyourbodydownfromthetoppointofachinup,your

bicepsactlikebrakestocontrolthemovementandmakeitsmoother;

-Whenyouareloweringyourselfdownduringapushup,yourtricepsare

performingaconcentriccontraction.

IsometricExamples:

Isometrictensionhappenswhenthemuscleproducestensionwhilethejoints around it remain in a fixed position. Whenever you are flexing your guns (biceps) in pride, while keeping your elbows steady, you are performing an isometric contraction. Isometric contraction is used mainly for stability and balancepurposes.Herearesomemoreexamplesofisometriccontractions:

-Ifyoupullyourselfupinachinupandremainatthetopposition,yourbiceps

arecontractingisometrically;

-Ifyouremainonthetoporbottompositionofapush-up,yourtricepsareagain

contractingisometrically;and

-Ifyoustandonthetipofyourtoesononeleg,yourcalfmuscleiscontracting

isometrically.

Don'tworryifyouarestillstrugglingtofullyunderstandthedifferencesbetween

thesecontractions,itscompletelynormal.Addabookmarkonthispageand

refertoitwheneveryoustumbleuponthesetermsintheremainderofthetext.

Asyoureadmoreexamplesinthisbook,youwillgainabetterunderstandingof

them.

PositiveandNegativePhasesofaRepetition Eachrepetitionhasapositiveandnegativephase.Thepositivephaseofthe repetition is when the muscle is contracting eccentrically (reducing its belly length).Inachinupforexample,thepositivephaseiswhenyouarepulling yourselfup.Duringthismotion,thebicepmusclescontract,becomingshorter. Thenegativephaseoftherepetitioniswhenthemuscleelongates(lengthens).In thechinup,thenegativephaseiswhenyouloweryourselfdownandstraighten yourarms.

Aneasywaytorememberthisistokeepinmindthatthenegativephaseofa repetition is easier than the positive phase. So if you are doing a push, for example,andyouwanttofigureoutwhichisthenegativephase,askyourself:

Whichistheeasiestpartofthemovement?Thecorrectansweristhelowering

phase.

Important Tip: Although the positive phase produces most of the muscle growth in an exercise, keep in mind that the negative phase (eccentric contraction) is also responsible for a significant part of it. Focusing on the negative rather than the positive phase is also another important factor in bodyweight exercise. You don't have to overdo it as some people believe; however you need to be actively controlling the movement while you are loweringyourweightinsteadoflettinggravitydoingtheworkforyou.

HowManyRepsShouldIDo? Ifyouwanttobecomestrongandleanyouneedtobuildasmuchmusclemass aspossible.SomepeopletellmeohwellIdon'twanttolooklikeabodybuilder. Don'tworry,gettingthatswollenwithoutsteroidslookisalmostimpossible. Evenifyoudoreachasizethatyouarehappywiththatyouwanttomaintain, justwatchyourdietandcalorieintakeandyou'llbefine.Ittakesalotoffoodto

continuetogrowafteracertainpoint.After2-3yearsofseriouswork,onceyou

havereachedyourgeneticpotential,musclegainsbecomeslowerandslower.

Themoremusclemassyouhavetheeasieritbecomestostaylean.Keepinmind

thattherearealsoimportantnutritionalparametersforthistohappenwhichare

discussedinthenutritionalpartofthebook.Whenitcomestogettingbig,thisis

themostimportantthingyouneedtoknow.

StrongerisBigger

Saythatonceagainanddon'tforgetit-StrongerisBigger.Thisisthemost important lesson I have learned from strength training while trying to gain

musclesize.Whenyouincreasethestrengthofamuscle,whetheryouareusing

lowerreprange(1-6reps)orahigherreprange(7-20reps),themusclewill

always get bigger. There is however a prerequisite for this - you also need enoughcaloriestofacilitatetheadditionalmusclegrowth.Thisisespeciallytrue ifyou'reaskinnyguy,ifyouaretryingtogetstrongerandbiggerbutyouarenot eatingabitmorefromwhatyourbodyneedsjusttopreserveitsweight(calorie maintenance),yourbodywon'thaveenoughenergytobuildadditionalmuscle. It'snotasifyouwillbebuildingadditionaltissueoutofthinair.Youmightthink thatyourbodywilluseallyourfatdowntothelastdropinordertobuildthe extramuscle.Thatisnottrue.Yes,youcanslowlybuildmuscleandcontinueto losefatifyouaredoingeverythingdowntotheletter,howeverthemoreyougo

lowerthan10%bodyfatthemoredifficultandslowerthisprocesstakes.Your

bodyseesgoinglowerthanthatasathreattoyourexistence.Thisishowyour

bodythinkswhenyouarelosingtoomuchfat:''WhatifIdon'thaveenoughfat

tosurvivethefollowingwinterorthenexttimetherewillbefoodscarcity?I

bettersavesomeofthisfatandgoeasyonthemusclebuilding

''

'' Traditional(outdated)approachtoStrength&Hypertrophy

Traditional(outdated)approachtoStrength&Hypertrophy

Still,therearemanyapproachesouttheretowardshypertrophy(musclecell growth).Themosttypicalapproachisthebodybuilder'sapproach,wheretraining focuses on higher reps (12-20) with brief resting periods (usually 20-50 seconds).Bynowyouareprobablyasking,''Sowhichisitdude?ShouldIdo lowrepsorhighrepstogetbig?'' Ifyouwanttogetbiginthemosteffective waypossible,theanswerisBOTH.Thelatestscientificresearchshowsthatyou

needagoodstrengthfoundationbasedonlowrepstobuildonahigherreprange inordertobuildmusclemassinthemosteffectiveway.HomemadeMuscle servesthatgoalbyalwaysstartingyouwithfiverepsandfocusingonbuilding

thatupto15.Onceyoureach15repsyoumovetoahigherprogressionstarting

from5repsagain.

WhyLowRepsAreImportant Ourneuromuscularsystem,asdescribedpreviouslyisthefunctionalintegrated wholeofourbody'snervesandmuscles.Trainingwithlowrepshelpsimprove this relationship by increasing the way our muscles communicate with our nervoussystem.Thishelpsstimulateourmusclesinmoredepthduringexercise. Usingourneuromuscularsystemwithsuchefficacybuildsanidealfoundation formusclegrowth.

To use a more scientific terminology: Low rep ranges improve muscle recruitment, which is defined as the number of motor units (motor neurons integratedtomusclefibers)activatedinthemuscleandgeneratingforceduring contraction.Duetothisandtheincreaseofcontractileproteinscreatedinmuscle cells,lowreprangesplayabigroleinmusclehypertrophy.Especiallywhenit comestobeginners.

Tomakealongandsciencysentenceshort:Youneedtobecomestrongerifyou

wanttobebigger

WhyBodybuildingRepsAreAlsoImportant Atraditionalbodybuildingreprangeisalsoessentialforgettingbig.Afterall,

it'showthemajorityofpeoplediditinthepast.Highrepranges(8-15reps)

causeourmusclestostoreadditionalglycogen.Glycogenis,insimplewords,

liquidmusclesugar.Itisthemainfuelusedbythemusclesinhighrepranges

anditcontributestotheincreaseinourmuscle'ssize.Howeverbecausehighrep

rangetraininglacksastrengthfoundation,itmightexplainwhysomeathletes

suchaslightweightpower-lifterscanliftheavierweightsthanbodybuilders.

Ifyouwanttogetbig,youneedtotakeadvantageofabroadreprange.

HowOftenShouldITrain? Themainconsensusontrainingfrequencyintheweightliftingworld,according

HowOftenShouldITrain? Themainconsensusontrainingfrequencyintheweightliftingworld,according

toscience,rangesbetweentrainingamusclegroup2-3timesperweek,leaning

mostlytowards2times.

Now even though this might be accurate in the weightlifting world, it's not something you can copy & paste in a bodyweight program. Aweightlifting programincomparisontoabodyweightprogramhasonlyoneadvantage;you cangoheavieronlegtrainingusingbilateralbarbellsquats,which,atthesame timewilltaxthewholebody.Yousee,aheavybarbellsquatdoesnotonlytrain thelowerbodybutitalsoputsalargeamountofloadonyourupperbodythat hastostabilizetheweight.Pistolsquatsontheotherhandfocusmainlyonthe legsthemselves. Duetothis,usingawholebodyworkoutwithafrequencyof threetimesperweekinbodyweighttrainingisalotmoreefficient.Youcanalso traineffectivelyusingahighertrainingfrequency.Butinordertoavoidburning outyourneuromuscularsystem,thistypeoftrainingrequiresabasicamountof experienceandknowledge,aswellasdiscipline.Tocreatesuchprogramand applyitsuccessfullyrequiresperiodization.

Periodizationinsimplewordsisatrainingprogramthathasbeenplannedin

advanceforalongperiodoftraining.Theaimistoreachthebestpossible

performanceusingprogressivecyclingofbiggerrestingperiodslikedeloading

weeks,differenttrainingvolumesandtrainingintensities.Thisisusedinthe

advancedprogramincludedinthisbook.

HowManySetsShouldIdo?

Foracompletebeginner,2-3setsseemstoprovidethegreatestresults.Still,this

isnotabsolutebecauseitdependsonhowmuchtheindividualpusheshimself. Inaddition,musclegroupslikelegsforexampleseemtotolerateanincreased training volume. As we mentioned previously when someone passes the beginners phase, his adaptive capacity becomes more advanced to the point whereprogressdoesnothappenfromworkoutsessiontoworkoutsessionbutis accumulative. Thegymandthebodyweightworlddiffersignificantlyinthis area since bodyweight exercises such handstand push-ups and pistol squats requiregreattechnique-neuromuscularefficiency.Factorssuchascoordination, balance and kinesthetic awareness are part of performing these exercises properly and therefore increased training volume and frequency strategically playagreatroleinbreakingtrainingplateausinbodyweightexercise.

Kinestheticawarenessisyourbody’sawarenessofyoursurroundings,which

youreceiveviathesensoryreceptorsinyourjoints,muscles&skin.

Sincemostofusarenotgymnastswhohavebeenworkingontheseabilities since we were six years old, we need a lot of practice to improve them. Increasingtrainingfrequencyandtrainingvolumebyreducingabitofintensity canhelptheadvancedbodyweighttraineetocontinuetoimprove.Increasing theseabilitieswillalsoincreasestrengthwhichwilleventuallyleadtomore musclemass.Remember-Strongerisbigger. However,aspreviouslysaid,this should be done strategically with an organized training program. Providing adequate rest for the neuromuscular system and joints from time-to-time by usingstrategies,suchasde-loadingweeks,isessential.

HowLongShouldIRest? The classic guidelines for muscle hypertrophy in the bodybuilding world recommendshortrestingperiods.Although,literaturedoesn'thaveanybasisto supportthistheoryjustyet,baseduponbothpersonalexperience,andrest,inthe anecdotalconsensusoutthere,Ibelievethereissomebenefitinsmallresting periodsformeansofhypertrophy.Internationallyrenownedhypertrophyexpert andscientist-BradSchoenfeld(whohasalsowonnaturalbodybuildingtitles)

saysthereisn'tenoughevidenceyettodrawconcreteconclusionsonthistopic butshorterrestingperiodsincreasemetabolicstress,whichisknowntostimulate muscle remodeling. For these reasons, I have concluded that shorter resting periodsusedonceaweekintheadvancedprogramcanaddsomevalueinthe trainingprogram.Plus,italsohelpstomakeyourworkoutsabitmorefun.

IntherestonthebookIconsideritimportanttotakeyourtimewhenyourest between sets until your body feels ready. I do recommend specific resting periodsforpracticalreasons(likesavingtime)yetit'simportanttoalsotrust yourownbody.Fromgeneralexperienceandduetothefactthatbeginnersdon't have enough experience to stress their body close to its highest potential, I recommendrelativelyshortbreaksofoneminuteinthebeginnersphase.Later onintheadvancedphase,oncethetraineehasmoreexperience,it'simportantto getadequaterestinordertoperformeverysetfeelingrechargedandusinggood

form(2-3threeminutesisusuallyenoughforthispurpose).Still,theseresting

periodsaren’tmeantforyoutologintoyourFacebookwithyourmobiledevice

tocatchuponyournotification-Stayfocused!

TrainingPlateaus

Ifyoucompleteawholeyearofbodyweightstrengthtraining,remainingfaithful

toyourprogram,progresswillbeslowerandslower,justasinanystrength

program.Assaidpreviouslyyoucan'tcontinueaddingapullupeachweekupto

infinity.That'snothowthebodyworks.

Therewillbeperiodsinwhichyouwillexperiencegreatimprovementinyour workouts and your body's physique. These periods are usually followed by plateaus.Unlessyouareabeginner,yourprogressinstrengthexercisewillnever begradual.Youadvancewithsuddenjerksandstarts.Thenyoumayremain stationaryforawhile.Insomecases,especiallyafteryoursecondyear,you mightevenregressatinybit!Youmaystrivehardforalongperiodoftimeand notseeanyprogress.Thenonedaywhenyouleastexpectit,yousuddenlystart ascending again. Many people get discouraged on these long periods of stagnationandthinkthattheworkoutplantheyareusingisnotgoodorisnot effectiveanymore.Sotheytaketheeasywayout-theyquit!

It is crucial to learn to recognize these plateaus and have the emotional intelligencerequiredtostayfaithfultoyourprogram.Plateausarenatural This meansthatyouarenolongerabeginnerandthatyouhavetakenyourworkouts seriously.Longperiodsofnoprogresscanbetiringmentallyandphysically,so

youmustremainpatientanddevelopmentaltoughnessduringthesetimes.What

youcanachieveisstrictlyuptoyou.Whenitcomestohealthandfitnessgoals,

itdoesnotmatterifyouhavethebestpersonaltrainerandthebestnutritionistin

theworld.Ifyouaremissingastrongwill,allelsewillcrumble.Asmybro

Brucewouldsay:

"Ifyoualwaysputlimitsoneverythingyoudo,physicaloranythingelse,itwill

spreadintoyourworkandintoyourlife.Therearenolimits.Thereareonly

plateaus,andyoumustnotstaythere,youmustgobeyondthem."

-BruceLee

Overtraining Recovery depends on multiple factors including how much time you rest betweenyourworkouts.Recently,aguynamedCTFletcherbecamepopularon YouTube.CT,whoisprobablythemostmotivationalexercisefigureIhaveever seen,promotesthe''Thereisnoovertraining''approachtoexerciseinmanyof hisvideos.Alotofpeopletakeitliterally,criticizehim,blamehimforlyingon steroiduse,etc.,etc WhatdoIthink?WellIwon'tgetintothewholesteroid thing,butIwillfocusonwhatmatters;overtrainingdefinitelyexists.Ifyou overdoit,youwillharmyourprogressandyourbody.Still,IthinkCTgetsa veryimportantmessageacross.Hismessageisthattherearetoomanylazy peopleandkeyboardwarriorsoutthere,afraidtopushthemselvesabitand talkingshitwhileeatingbonbons(asCTputsit)insteadofgettingtheirlazyass ofthecouch(ashesays).SomepeoplejustneedfigureslikeCTtowakeup.I don'tbelieveheisbeingliteralbysayingthereisnoovertrainingandI'msureif youreadhisworkoutbookstherewillbesomekindperiodizationinhistraining programs.Sodon'ttakepeoplelikehimliterally,avoidextremesandifithelps you-usethesepeopletogetpumpedupandmotivated.

Recovery Asidefromtheexercise/restingratio,therearealsosomeotherveryimportant factors that influence recovery and strength performance. Remember, our muscles grow while we are resting. Three important factors to take under considerationforaproperrecoveryinstrengthdevelopmentarethefollowing:

1.SleepQualityandQuantity

Sleepqualityandquantity.OurDNAhasn’tchangedmuchinthelast10.000

yearsandthatmeansthatourbiologicalclockworksoptimallyinthesame

naturalrhythmsasourancientancestors.Ourbodiesareprogrammedtosleep

accordingtothecircadiancyclewhichbasicallymeansthatweareprogrammed

tosleepwhenthereisdarknessandwakeupwhenthereislight.Studieshave

shownthattheremightevenbeaconnectionofbadsleepwithdiabetes,obesity

anddepression.

Sleepisprobablythemostimportantfactorforstrengthathletesintermsof

recovery.Gettinganaverageof8hoursofqualitysleep(30-60moreminutesif

youareinyourteens)isanaturalwaytosupplementyourexerciseprogramwith anabolic hormones. Proper hormonal secretion depends highly on having a propersleepcycle.HormoneslikeTestosteroneandtheGrowthHormoneare highlyassociatedwithpropersleepandplayabigroleinmusclerecovery.

SleepingTips:

Myapproachforgettingqualitysleepistoalwaysgetinbedearlyandstaythere

foratleasteighthours.ThereareperiodswhenIdon'tactuallysleepmanyof

thosehours,howeverIstillmakeitahabittoalwaysrestduringthattimespan.

InthewinterwhenthereislesslightIgotobedaround10:00p.m.,readfor

abouthalfanhourandsleep(orlaythere)untilatleast6:30a.m.Ifyouhave

troublesleepingearly,readinginbedisthebestsolutionIhavefoundtosolve

thisproblem.Thesecondbestis15-20minutesofmindfulnessmeditationprior

tonaptime.

Nevereatabigheavymealpriortogoingtobedunlessyoulikenightmaresand restless sleep. If you eat dinner late at night, either make sure you eat a moderate-smallportionoffood,orifyoueatabigmeallikeme,doitatleast threehoursbefore.

2.Physical&MentalRelaxationWhenYouAreNotTrainingorSleeping.

When you are too stressed mentally for long periods of time, your body’s

capabilitytobuildmuscleoptimallymightbehindered.Yourbodywillbeover-

producingstressrelatedhormones,suchascortisol,whichreducetheproduction ofoppositeanabolichormones(likeTestosteroneandGrowthHormone)which help your body recuperate and build bigger and stronger muscles. You may think,''Okbro,thisisallgoodbutIcannotcommandmymindnottobestressed ordepressed,canI?''Yesyoucanandthisbringsmetomynexttip:

Meditation

Exercise,incombinationwithmeditationandadailydoseofsunlightontopof

that,isthebestwaytonaturallyfightstressanddepressivemoods.Personally,

besidesexercising,Ialsomeditateeverydaywhichhasmadeahugedifference

inmystresslevelsandhasalsoimprovedthequalityofmythoughts,makingme

amorepositiveperson.Meditationhasclinicallyshowntohavethefollowing

effects:

-Reducesbloodpressure

-Stressreduction

-Improvessleepquality

-Strengthenstheimmunesystem

-Makesusreactmorecalminstressfulsituations

-Mighthelpusagainstprematureaging

-Improvesconcentration

Thetypeofmeditationthatworksformeismindfulnessmeditationbutthereare

manytypesofmeditationoutthere,eachsuitableforeveryone’sidiosyncrasies.

Herearesomedifferentformsofmeditation:

•Mindfulness

•Bioenergeticsanddancingmeditation

•Soundmeditation

•Bodyawarenessmeditation

•Chantingmeditation

Andthelistgoeson…

Ifyouareinterested,justfindagoodbookonthetypeofmeditationthatseems mostappealingtoyouandbeginpracticingeveryday.Asshowninstudieseven

aslittleas15minutesperdaycanmakeadifference!

PersonalTricktoStopStressingOverUselessStuff:WheneverIfindmyself stressingovertrivialmatters,Ihaveapersonaltricktorelaxmyself.Ivisitthe futureelderlyversionofme.Iimaginehimlaidonabed,wrinkledandhaving just a few more days to live. The moment I see myself through his eyes, stressingovertheinsignificantmattersthatareburdeningme,Irealizehow unimportantitallisandthatlifeistooshorttopayattentionto suchthings.Try

it;you'llbesurprisedathowmuchitcanhelpattimes.

3.Sunlight

Manypeoplesufferfromsymptomsofseasonalaffectivedisorderduringthe wintermonths.Thisisbelievedtobecloselycorrelatedwithlackofsunlight exposure. Sunlight exposure can benefit mood by boosting levels of key hormonesandalsobyproducingvitaminD.VitaminDisproducedintheliver andkidneysfromprecursorchemicalsthataresynthesizedintheskin,whenUV raysfromthesunshineonit.

Despitethelimitedevidenceavailablecurrently,athletesandtrainersintheearly

20thcenturybelievedthatUVBradiationwasbeneficialtoathleticperformance.

Accumulating evidence (1,2) supports the existence of a functional role for vitaminDinskeletalmusclewithpotentiallysignificantimpactsonboththe performance and injury profiles of young, otherwise healthy athletes. While further research is required to evaluate the level of vitamin D required for

optimalmuscularfunction,mypersonalexperiencesaysthatgetting15minutes

ofsunlightonadailybasis(ideallysomewhereafteryourworkout)canhelpyou

recovermoreefficiently.Considerthismybrotip.

Excuses ForthelastcoupleofmonthswhileIhavebeentraining,thenoisefromabaron thelowerlevelofmyhousehasbeeninterferingwithmysleepquality.Twoto threetimesperweekmysleepingqualitysucksandtherearedayswhenIseeit affecting my workouts. I feel heavier. Still, I pay my dues and follow my workoutplan.Mypointhereisthatifyouwaitfortheperfectconditionsinlife theywillnevercome.Youwillalwayshaveatleastsomestressinyourlife,you mightliveinacountrywithnotenoughsunlightoryoumighthaveakidthat keeps waking you up late at night. Try to get the best out of your current situationandfindawaytogetyourworkoutdone.Theonlybadworkoutisthe onethatdoesn'thappen.

Chapter5Abs

Theholygrailoffitness

I'mnotaBIGfanoftheexpression-absaremadeinthekitchen.Sure,its50%

true,butinordertolosefatandrevealtheabdominalareayoualsoneedtotrain it. Abs are just like any other skeletal muscle. They are a striated, skeletal musclegroup,whichmeansthatyouneedtoworkonthematleasttwotimesa week.Wherepeopletakeawrongapproachtoabtrainingisusingthewrong exercisesandoverdoingit.

exercisesandoverdoingit. Thisisapictureofmelastsummer.

Thisisapictureofmelastsummer.

Ifyouzoominonityoucanseethattheupperpartofmyabsextendsevenmore

thanmychest,soyoucouldsaymyabswerequitedefinedduringthattime

period.Also,Ihadaverylowbodyfatpercentagewhich,besideshelpingme

lookreallyripped,alsocostmesomemuscleloss;withmychestlookingflatter

thanever.Duringthatperiod,theonlydirectab-workIdidwasDragonFlags.

However,noticethatIsaydirectworksinceIwasdoingahellofalotof

bodyweightexercises.

HowMuchAbsisHealthy? ThefirstandmostimportantthingIwanttomentiononthistopicisthathaving asix-packisn'tperseequivalenttobeinghealthy.Onceyoustartgoinglower

than11-12%bodyfat(21-22%forwomen)andstartmovingcloserto6%body

fat(13%forwomen)youarelikelydoingmoreharmthangoodtoyourhealth.

Ofcoursekeepinmindthatpeoplearedifferentduetogeneticfactorsandwhile

somecanfeelgreatat8%othersmightfeelweakandevensick.

I'mnotsayingyoushouldn'ttrygettingrippedifthatisyourgoal.But,ifyour faceisstartingtolookwaytooedgy,orif,besidesyourabdominalarea,therest of your physique starts to look worse and if other related problems start occurring;likeexperiencingalowlibido,ifyou'reaguy,orhavingmenstrual issues,ifyou'reawoman,thesearegoodsignsthatyouareprobablydoingmore harmthangood.

Abstendtobeatopicpeopleobsessonalot. Sincetheabdominalsarepartofa biggerunit-thecore,Iwillalsomentionsomeimportantpointsaboutthecore ingeneral.First,let’sstartwithtwoofthemostcommonmythswhenitcomesto abdominaltraining

TheTruthAboutAbTraining

Althoughthesemythsarefinallystartingtofadefromthefitnessindustry,Ifeel

it’simportanttomakesurethateverybodywhoreadsthisarticleknowsthe

followingtwomythsaboutabdominalandcoretraining:

1.Doinghundredsofabdominalexerciserepetitionseverydaywon’thelpyou

build a strong ripped stomach! Your abs are anatomically just as any other musclewhichmeansthatyoudon’tneedtotrainthemmorethanthreetimesa

week.Youneedtousehighintensityandareprangeof1-15repetitionsperset.

Overtrainingyourabs,asmanypeopledoespeciallybydoingalotofcrunches,

canonlycauseyouproblemslikebackpainaswewillseelateron.

2. Abdominal exercises burn fat around your stomach! There is no direct metabolic pathway from your abdominal musculature to the fat tissue surroundingit.Inordertoburnfatandconvertittoenergy,yourbodymustfirst sendthefattoyourliverwhereitwillbebrokendowntofattyacids.Thisfat comesfromalloveryourbody.Gender,ageandgeneticsareresponsiblefor determiningwhichareasaregoingtobemore“preferred”asfatsources.For example, if you are the “chicken-leg” body type, while you are doing ab crunchesyourbodymightbeburningmorefatfromyourlegs!

AguynamedGedMusto,performed1,555UnaidedSit-Upsin30minutesin

2005whichwasanOfficialBritishandWorldRecord.IfyouGooglehimor

checkouthisYouTubevids,hisabsjustlookliketheysimplybelongtoaguy

thatsimplyworksout-nothingreallyspecialthough.

Rememberthatabsarejustlikealltheothermusclesyoutrain.Youneedmuscle

tension.Ifyouaredoingmorethan15-20repsperset,youaredoingtoomany!

Threebasicpointstokeepinmindwhenpursuingabs:

Youhavetogetridoftheextrafat.Althoughstrengthexercisecantoneyour absandhelpyouburnsomeextracalories,it'sonlygonnagetyouhalfway

there.Theother50%isdietwhichwillplaythebiggestroleinrevealingthem.

YourabsmaybeevenmoredefinedthanStalloneinRocky3butifyounever

burnthefataroundthemtheywillneverbevisible.

Itwon'thappenatthesamespeedforeveryone.Geneticsplayabigrole.

Somepeoplejusthaveahardertimegettingaribbedstomachbecausetheytend

tostoremorefataroundthestomachduetotheirbodytype.Ifyoubelonginthis

groupofpeoplethenunfortunatelyyouneedtohavegreaterpatience.

Leanerdoesn'talwaysmeanhealthier.Ifyoupassthepointof8-10%body

fatandcontinuetodropweight,keepinmindthatyouwillalsostartlosinga

significantamountofmuscletissueandyoucancreatehormonalimbalancesthat

canleadtofurtherproblems.

TheBigCrunch Alotofpeoplebasetheirabworkonthethoughtthatthebasicfunctionofthe abdominal muscles is movement production. If you study anatomy & kinesiologyyouwillseethatasignificantroleoftheabdominalmusculatureis actuallytopreventmotionandtokeepyourlumbo-pelvicregion(lowerback) morestable.

Arecrunchescausingyoubackpain?

Typicalfloorcrunchestrainmostlytheupperpartofyourrectusabodminis,

whichmostofthetimeisalreadytootight.Dr.StuartM.McGillaProfessorof

SpineBiomechanicsandoneofthemostfamousscientistsonthistopic.After

studyinghowthespineworksformorethanthreedecades,Dr.McGillhascome

toloathesit-ups.Itdoesn’tmatterwhethertheyarethefullsit-upsbelovedby

militarytrainersorthecrunchversionssoubiquitousingyms.“Whathappens

whenyouperformasit-upisthatthespineisflexedintothepositionatwhichit

damagessooner.”

MyFavoriteAbExercises

Thefollowingaremy2favoriteandonlytargetedexercisesforabtraining.

1.DragonFlags.Yourrectusabdominis(six-pack)incombinationwithyour

externalobliques(sideabs)actasstabilizingmuscleswhichareresponsiblefor keepingyourtorsoalignedwithyourlowerbody.DragonFlagsarethebest exerciseIhaveencounteredsofartoworknotonlyyourabs,butalsoyour wholecore.Ofcourse,thisisnotaneasyexerciseandyouneedtobuilditup verycarefully.Startwithlegraisesandslowlythroughtimeusetheprogressions intheexercisemenuchaptertoworkyourselfuptothefamousDragonFlag.It

personallytookmeayeartoget5cleanreps-sotakeiteasy;)

2.Onearm-pushups-thesideabexercise.Youmightbeasking,“howthehell

areonearmpush-upsgoingtoworkmysideabs?”Besidesbeinganawesome

exerciseforyourshoulders,armsandchest,it'salsoagoodrectusabdominis

exerciseandanevengreateroblique(sideab)exercise.Yourobliquesneedto

workveryhardtokeepthebodyfromrotatingduetothelackofstabilityby

balancingonlyononearm.ThefirsttimeIstartedworkingononearmpushups,

Iwokeupthenextdayfeelingasifsomeonehadpunchedmeonthesideofmy

stomach.Sureit’sadifficultexerciseandnotidealforbeginners,butyoucan

workonprogressionsandgraduallybuilditup.

Chapter6Stretching

Facts&Fallacies

Acommonmythisthatflexibilityincreasesthelengthofyourmuscles.Thisis something that has been disproven a long time ago. Still most of us have experiencedgreaterflexibilitybymakingstretchingahabitsowhyisthis?

Whenweassumeuncomfortableandunusualpositions,likebendingoverto

touchourtoes,ourmusclestendtotightenupduetoprotectivemechanisms.

Becauseofthesemechanisms.whenwetrytoextendourrangeofmotionin

thesepositions,forexamplewhenwearetryingtostretchourhamstrings,we

experiencediscomfort.Whathappenswhenwepracticestretchingisthatour

neuromuscularsystembecomesmoreaccustomedtounusualpositionsandit

learnstorelaxinthem.Thisletsourmusclesloosenupandasaresultbigger

rangesofmotionareallowedinourjoints.

Studieshavealsoshownthatitmightcauseyoutogetinjuredifdoneexactly

beforeintenseexercise.Somespecialistsstillrecommenditthough,notdirectly

beforethemainpartofanexerciseprogrambutpriortowarmingup.Personally

Iliketostretchsomeofthetightmusclesinmylowerbodybeforewarmingup.

Tostretchornottostretch?

Belowisalistofthemostcommonstretchingmythsthathavebeendisproven

byscienceinthelastdecades.Stretchingresearchhasshownthat:

•Stretchingisnotaneffectivewarm-up

•Stretchingdoesnotpreventdelayed-onsetmusclesoreness(DOMS)

•Stretchingdoesnotpreventinjury

•Stretchingdoesnotincreasethestructurallengthofyourmuscles

So,tostretchornottostretch?Thatisthequestion

Stretching feels good to a lot of people (including me). Also, even though researchhasshownthatitdoesn'treducemusclesoreness;alotofpeoplereport theopposite.Inmyexperience,sometimesitdoes,othertimesitdoesn't.Very often, I just have a strong urge to stretch. It feels as if its an annoying neurologicalitchIjusthavetoscratchinordertofeelbetter.Stretchessuchas toetouchesforhamstrings,aswellasstretchingmuscleslikethegluteusmedius andpiriformisinalyingpositionalmostfeelsasgoodasaprofessionalmassage.

Still,theexactscienceofthesefeelingsandwhatmightonlybephysiologicalin nature, isnotyetclearintheacademicworld.

HereismyrecommendationforstretchingwithHomeMadeMuscle.Stretch whenyoufeellikeitandspecifically,focusonthemusclesthatfeeltight.There isnoneedtoover-stretchyourjointsthatarealreadytooflexible.Doingthis,for no specific reason (like being a martial artist) and without professional acquiescence might even cause hyper-mobility related problems. Avoid stretchingintenselybeforeworkingout.Ifyouhavetheurge,justgentlystretch

whateverfeelstightforabrief5-10secondsanddoitabitdynamicallyinstead

ofcompletelystatically.

Ipersonallybelievethereismoretostretchingthanwhathasbeendiscoveredup untilnow,andinthefutureitwillfinditsplaceinexercisescience.Untilthen,I still like to stretch whenever it feels right. Stretching also helps me relax mentally.Ifyouwouldliketodivemoreintothewholescientificanalysisof stretching,IhighlyrecommendyoureadPaulIngraham'samazingarticle,“Quite aStretch.”Sayhellotohimfrommeifyoupassbyhiswebsiteandleavea comment.

Herearesomeofmyfavoritestretches

1.DoorwayChest&ShoulderStretch.Standunderthemiddleofadoorway

withonefootstraddlingthethresholdandyourhandsgrippingtheinsideofthe

doorway,oneachside.Shiftyourweightontheforwardfootuntilyoufeelapull

inyourshouldersandchest.Keepyourhandsatchestheight,firsttofocusmore

onthechest.Afterthat,placeyourhandsjustaboveyourshoulder’sheight,to

focusmoreonyouranteriordeltoids(frontpartoftheshoulder).Toisolatearms

separately,faceyourbodyabittowardstheoppositesideofthearmyouwantto

focuson.

(doorwaystretch) DeskStretchforLatsandChest. Youcanuseyourdesk,awindowsill,a

(doorwaystretch)

DeskStretchforLatsandChest.Youcanuseyourdesk,awindowsill,a

kitchencounteroranykindofledgeaboutwaisthigh.Sitonyourknees,bend

overandplaceyourhandsonthesurfacejustabitwiderthanshoulderwidth.

Gentlyloweryourtorsountilyoufeelthestretchonyourlatsandchest.Youcan

alsoisolateonearmatatime.

alsoisolateonearmatatime. (deskstretch) Hamstringstretchwithbiketube.

(deskstretch)

Hamstringstretchwithbiketube.Usingagainthebiketube,anelasticband,

orevenawidebelt,lieonyourback,keepyourleftlegonthefloorandbend

yourrightlegsothatyourfootrestsflatonthefloor.Loopyourelasticband

aroundtheupperpartofyourrightfoot,holdingontoanendofthebandwith

eachhand.Straightenyourkneeandpullthelegslowlytowardsyourchest.You

willfeelinastretchinthewholebackareaofyourrightleg.Pullyourlegreally

slowsoyoudon’tendupstrainingyourhamstringsoranythingelse.Dothe

samefortheotherleg.Thisstretchisidealforpeoplewithasedentarylifestyle

wherethesemusclestendtobequitetight.

wherethesemusclestendtobequitetight. (biketubestretch) Piriformis&GluteusMediusStretch

(biketubestretch)

Piriformis&GluteusMediusStretch.Lieonyourback,legsextendedalong

thefloor,rightarmrestingonthefloorstraightouttotheside.Bringyourright

kneeintowardyourchestandverygentlyclaspthekneewithyourlefthand,

thengraduallypullthekneeovertowardthefloor,keepingyourrightarmand

shoulderflatonthefloor.Youshouldfeelastretchinthehipandlowerback.

Thiscanhelprelaxmusclesthatcausebackpainandgettightwhenyouspenda

lotoftimesitting(officejobsetc).

(idealstretchforlowerbacktension)

(idealstretchforlowerbacktension)

Chapter7

Mobility-UseitorLoseit

Adaycamewhenmy,onceyoungandwell-oiledshoulders,startedfeelinglike

thesqueakyhingesofametallicolddoor.Sensitiveelbows,wristsandtight

shouldersarecommonamongpeoplewhoabusebodyweighttrainingfortoo

long.Twootherfactorsthatseemtocausethesetypesofproblemsforpeoplein

generalareagingandinactivity.It'seasytoblamethenaturalprocessofaging

forallourproblemsbutanotherveryimportantfactthatcontributestojoint

issuesisinactivity.

I did a lot of research and self experimentation with self-myofascial relief methodssuchasfoamrolling,massageandstretchingbutIfoundoutthatthe bestwaytotreatthisissuesisthealsothesimplest. Thebestwaytoprevent commonjointproblemsandalsoimproveissuesfrompastexerciseabuseis motion.Youjustneedtoprescribeyourjointswithahealthydietofmobility drills. Why?Simplysaid,“Motionislotion.”Jointhealthdependslargelyon repetitivehealthymovementthatcoversallthenaturalrangesofmotionthejoint has.

Wheneversomebodytellsmeaboutanewrecoveryorphysicalconditioning

method,thefirstthingIdoistocheckthatheisnottryingtogetinmywallet.

WhatCausesJointIssues Aging,imbalancedstrengthprograms,badexercisetechnique,notwarmingup oracombinationofallofthesearetheusualsuspectsandcancausereductionof your joint's synovial fluid (which in simple words is your joint's natural lubricant).Itcanalsocausecalciumdepositsandadhesions(connectivetissue growthinthewrongplacessurroundingyourjoints).

Mobilityvs.Flexibility Whenitcomestomobility,atypicalmistakeistoconfuseitwithflexibility. Stretchingformobilityisnotthathelpfulsinceonedoesnotdependontheother. You can be flexible with poor mobility and vice versa. If you want more functionaljoints-mobilitytrumpsflexibility.

''FlexibilitydoesnotequalMobility''

Joints in comparison with muscles have no direct blood supply to receive nutrients.Mobilitydrillsimprovethecirculationofyourjoint'ssynovialfluid,

whichalsohelpsyourjointsremovewasteproductsand''smoothout''adhesions. Practicingmobilitydrillscanrestorealotofrangeofmotionandcanhelpyou reduce that rusty sensitive feeling your joints have as you grow older. In summary,ifyouwanthealthierandmorefunctionaljoints,mobilitydrillsarethe waytogo.

''MobilitytrumpsFlexibility''

MobilityDrills-WhenshouldIdothem? Joints such as ankles, shoulders, neck and wrists can benefit greatly from mobility drills which can help restore the joints natural range of motion. A commonproblemIhearfrompeopleisthattheyhavenotimetodoallthese ''extra'' healthy things. Here is how you can include mobility drills in your routinetosavetime.Simplyreplaceyourwarmupwithafullbodymobility

routine,addapullandpushexerciseofacouple(2-3)easysetsfortheupper

body,amulti-jointexerciseforthelowerbody(likesquats)andyouarereadyto

go!Otherwaystoincludemobilitydrillsinyourscheduleareasactiverecovery

afteryourworkoutorasaseparatesession.Startingyourdaywithamobility

drillcanenergizeyouinthemorningorhelpyoudischargeatnightbeforesleep.

NowadaysIincludemymobilitydrillinmyexercise'swarmupandsomedaysI

dothembeforegoingtobedtoreleasesometensionfrommybody(whichalso

helpswithsleep).

Frompersonalexperience,practicingmobilitydrillsfourtimesperweekcan

makeabigdifferencewithinjust21days.CheckoutthisvideoImadewitha

basicmobilitydrillthatcoversallthebasicjointmovementsandfocuseson

shoulderswhicharecommonly-knownproblematicjointsinpeople.

Chapter8

Tipsfordealingwithbodyweightexerciserelatedinjury

WhenIstartedtrainingagainatage27,IrealizedthatIdidn'thavethesame

bodyIhadinmyearlytwenties.I'mguessingitwasn'tonlytheage,sinceI

wasn'tthatold,butalsoalltheyearsofinactivity,depressionandmaybeevenall

thedrugsIhadtotakeformylegrecovery;tonsofantibiotics,surgerydrugsand

severalothers.

InjuryTreatment101

WhenIwas20IthoughtIhadthoseindestructible"wolverinejoints.”Quite

oftenIwouldskipdoingaproperwarmupandnomatterwhatcrazystuffI wouldbedoing,Ialmostneverhadproblems.NowadaysIwishIcouldvisitthe youngerversionofmeandtellhimtoslowdownalittlebit.Hey,Idon’tknow

aboutyoubutIwanttobethatstrongandalean65yearoldtoughgrandpaone

day.Goingtotheplaygroundwithmygrandkidsandhitting20chin-upswith

easewhileyoungdudeslookinawe.

KeepinmindthatI'mnotanexpertoninjuriesbutI'llatleastsharewithyouthe

basics.Forverymildinjuriesthatleadtoinflammationtherecipeisusually

simple.Elevation,Ice,Rest,HeatandMovement.

Thefirsttwodays,icetheaffectedareaeverycoupleofhours(don'toverdoit

andgeticeburns)andtrytokeepitelevated.After48hours,if90%ofthepain

isgone,it'stimeforheatandsomemovement.WhenIsaymovement,youjust

wanttogocautiouslythroughthenaturalrangesofmotionoftheaffectedjoint

andlateronapplysomeverymildstretching.Allthiswithoutexperiencingany

painofcourse.Youmayfeelverymilddiscomfortbutavoidanythingmore

intensethanthat.Somesoftmassageandhotshowers/bathsafterthatarenota

badidea.Avoidworkingoutagainforatleastthreetofourdaysandalwaysgo

easyonyourfirstworkout.

Inthefollowingsection,wewillgooversomeofthemosttroublesomeareasin

bodyweighttrainees.

Elbow,ShoulderandWristPainFromStraightBarChin-ups

Acommonproblemstrengthathletesfaceiselbowpain.Atypicalreasonthis

happenstobodyweightathletesarestraightbarchin-ups.Whiledoingchin-ups

onastraightpull-upbar,yourarmsmoveinaconstantfixedposition,whichcan

placeunnaturalstressonyourjoints.

(Ihavealsomadeavideoaboutthisproblem)

Thoseofyouwhoareexperiencingelbowpainfromchin-upswillnoticethat

yourarmsandshouldersfeelrestrictionintheloweringphaseofthisexercise.

Especiallyifyoulockout(straighten)yourelbows.Thisiscausedbythelackof

mobilityyourarmshavetoexternallyrotate(that'sthemovementyourarmdoes

whenyouopenadoorknobwithyourrighthand).

Toverifythisdothefollowingexperiment(seeimagebelow):

1).Straightenyourarminfrontofyouwithyourpalmfacingthefloor;and2).

Slowly turn your palm towards the ceiling (rotating it externally) until it is facingitinaflatposition.Ifyouexperiencedifficultywithkeepingyourpalm flatwhilefacingtheceiling,orifyoucannotevenflattenyourpalm,thechances aregoodthatthisexercisewillcauseyoujointpainatsomepointifithasn’t already.

already.

Frompositionnumber2liftyourarmverticallyasifyouweregoingtograba

bartodochin-ups.Youwillobservethatitbecomesevenmoredifficulttokeep

yourpalmupwards.Whiledoingchin-ups,twistingforcesareoccurringinside

yourjointstocompensateforthislackofmobility.Continuousrepetitionof

theseabusivemovementswilleventuallycauseoveruseinjuries.

Alackofmobilityintheshoulderincombinationwithalotofchin-upsover

timewilleventuallycausesome,oracombinationof,thefollowingissues:

•wristpain

•elbowpain

•shoulderpain

Solutions&Tips Thatbeingsaid,IhopeIhavenotscaredyouawayfromchin-ups,thatwasthat notmyintention.Chin-upsareoneofthebestupperbodyexercisesandthey should be included in your strength exercise arsenal. Minimizing the injury potential of this exercise with the following tips will help you to keep on

poundingchin-upsuntilyou're65andbeyond.

Tip#1–Don’tLockOut

Alwayskeepyourelbowsbentabitwhiledoingthisexercise.Neverlockoutand

hangonthebottompositionofthereps.Don'tworry,thiswon'thurtyourgains

anditwillkeepconstanttensiononyourbiceps,givingyouacoolpost-workout

pump.

Tip#2–Frequency

Don’toverdoit.Sixsetsperweekisanidealfrequency.Therestoftheweekuse

differentgripvarietiesasmentionedbelow,whichwillalsosupportyouindoing

morechin-upsandimprovingpullingstrengthingeneral.

Tip#3–GripVariety

Ifpossible,alsotrytouseavarietyofgrips.Mostpull-upbarstodayhavea

neutralgrip(palmsfacingeachother)orazig-zaggripwhicharefriendlierfor

yourjoints.Ifyourpull-upbarhasoneofthesegripsIwoulddefinitelyprefer

themoverstraightbarchin-ups.

Tip#4–Don’tSqueezeTooHard!

Whenyousqueezeyourgriptooharditradiatestensionuptothearmandcan

affecttheelbow.Irecommendthistipespeciallyforpeoplewhohavesensitive

elbowsandexperienceelbowpainfrequently.Holdthebarmorelooselyandthis

willalleviateorpreventyourelbowpainfromflaringup.

Also consider some shoulder mobility exercises. These two exercises have helpedme:a)subscapularisstretch;andb)shoulderdislocations(Checkout videolinks).

EndingNotes.Itshouldgowithoutsaying,thatwhenyouareexperiencing persisting pain due to chin-ups, you should first let your body heal before applyingthetipsabove.Onceyougetbacktoyourbodyweightroutine,get startedwithadifferentandeasierpullingexerciseinsteadofchin-ups.Inverted rowsareagoodalternative.Whenthetimeisright,startgraduallyincluding chinupsbackinyourweeklyscheduleagain.

WristPainFromPushingExercises

Acommonproblempeoplefacefrombodyweightexercisesiswristpain.Too

muchhyperextensionofthewristinexerciseslikepush-upsandhandstandscan

takeatollonthem.

Tipsforpeoplewithsensitivewrists

Ifyouhavesensitivewrists,Ihighlyrecommenddoingyourpush-upsonyour

knuckles.Whendoingknucklepush-ups,yourwristsareinaneutralposition

andyouspearthemagreatdealofstress(plustheylookcooler).Ifknuckle

push-upsaretoodifficultforyou,youcanalwaysbuypushupgrips(orjustman

upandlearntodotheknuckleversion).Becausehandstandpush-upsarealso

quitestressfulforyourwrists,youshouldalsoprepareyourwristsbeforeany

handstandwork.CheckoutthisspecialwarmupIincludeformywristsbefore

workingonhandstands.

Anotherconditioningexercisegymnast’susefortheirwristsarewristpush-ups.

Anotherconditioningexercisegymnast’susefortheirwristsarewristpush-ups.

ChapterEndingThoughts Whenaninjuryhappens,stopworryingandrememberthattheyjustarepartof thegame.Evenwhenpeoplewarmupperfectly,useperfectformandeatsuper healthy,theystillveryoftenendupgettinghurt.Theimportantthingistofind waystominimizeinjurypotentialbyfiguringoutwhatwentwrongandhowit could be prevented. A lot of people get discouraged when injuries present themselves and react very emotionally (especially if this happens in the beginning).Forexample,youmighthavejuststartedyourprogramandyou're feelingthrilledwithalltheprogressyou'veachievedafteralotofhardwork. Then,suddenlywhenyouleastexpectit,yougetinjured.Youoverreactand thinkthatalltheeffortwasfornothing.YouthinktoyourselfImightaswell quitnowtoavoidwastinganymoretimeorgettingdisappointedagaininthe future.ThebestadviceIcanofferistotakeiteasyandseethesesituationsasa usefulbreakforyourjointsandmusclestorest.Youcanevendosomeisometric exercisesontherestofthebodythatisnotaffected,ifyou'reinthemood.Finda bookonisometricsandstudyaboutit,evenifit’sjustforfunandtokeepyour mindoccupied.

Part3

HomeMadeMuscleWorkouts

Chapter1

HomeMadeMuscleprogramstructure

TheHomeMadeMuscletrainingprogramconsistsofthreetraininglevels:

1)Beginners'level

2)Basiclevel

3) Advancedlevel

Evenifyouhavetrainedusingbodyweightexercisespreviously,ifyouhaven't trained for more than two weeks I highly recommend you start from the beginner’s level. This way you will avoid things like extreme soreness and injuries.Onceyouhitaplateauusingthebeginnersphase,moveontothebasic phase.Manybeginnershavethetendencytoskipstepsinorderto''getstronger faster.''ThisissomethingIalsotriedtodowhenIwasateenagerower.IfonlyI could go 10 years back with the knowledge I now have, I could have accomplished so much more. This brings me to the classic mistake most stubborn young dudes experience when they first get started with strength training,''TheArnoldfallacy''.

TheArnoldFallacy

WhenArnoldSchwarzeneggerreleasedhistrainingprogramintheseventies,

everybodywhowantedtodevelopthefamousArnold-physiqueboughthisbook.

Mostofthemskippedtheintermediatephaseandusedtheadvancedprogram

thatArnoldwasusingtotrainhimselfafterhefirstinvestedyearsonmastering

thebasics.Thatdidn'tworkwellforthem.Ofcourse,I'mnotcomparingmyself

tothegreatArnold,butthisisacommonthemeinstrengthtraining.

WhenIwasinthejuniorrowingteamofmyhometown,aroundtheageof15,

meandabuddyofminealwaystriedtosecretlydowhatthebigteamwasdoing

inordertogetbetterfaster(obviouslywethoughtweweresmarterthanour

coach).Results?Weendedupburnedout.

Ifyouarenewtostrengthandbodyweighttraining,skippingthebeginner’slevel willjustresultinhinderingtherateofyourprogress.Thereisnoneedtohurry; infact,thebeginnersphaseisanamazingperiod.It'stheperiodoftheglorious ''newbiegains''whenbuildingmuscleandaddingrepswillbeeasierthanever. Enjoyandappreciatethistimebecauseitdoesn'tlastlong.Don'ttrytooutsmart your body by rushing into a training phase if you haven't first done the

appropriatework.

Learntorespectthebasics

The8EssentialBodyweightExercises

Sculptingalean,muscularandsymmetricalphysiqueissomethingIconsidera formofart.WhatIlikethemostaboutitisthatifyouknowhowtohandlethe righttoolsitcanbeaformofartmasteredbyanyone.Ofcourseitmightseem complicatedinthebeginning.Ifyouenterahugegymforthefirsttimeyouwill probably become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of exercise equipment. Being completely new to strength exercise can make this experience intimidating. Something very important to learn from the beginning is that exercisequalityisalotmoreimportantthanquantity.

Duringmyjourney ofgettingstronger, Itriedalmostallofthe bodyweight exercises I could find out there. And trust me when I say this - there are countlessofthem.Afterdoingresearchonalotofbodyweightexercisebooks,I realizedthatmostofthemofferanendlesslistofexercises.Tryingtomastering allofthemwouldtakealifetime.Afterall,noteveryonewantsandcanaffordto trainalldaylikeaprofessionalathletejusttolookandfeelgood.

Afteragreatdealofexperimenting,Iconcludedthatinordertogetasstrongas possible and attain an aesthetic physique I only need to use and focus on

mastering8ofthem.The8bodyweightexercisesthatfocusonthebasichuman

movementpatternsinthebestpossiblewayarethefollowing:

1.Pull-ups

2.Push-ups

3.PistolSquats

4.Dips

5.InvertedRows

6.HandstandPush-ups

7.LegRaises

8.ProneCobra

Lessismore Keep in mind that all of these movements have progressions and advanced variationswhichgraduallybringintoplaynewstimulusforthebody.These

exercisesresemblesomeofourmostbasicprimalmovementpatternswhich highly stimulate our neuromuscular system and strengthen our body’s prime movermusclesinbalancewithyourcore,joints,ligamentsandtendons.Trust me;ifyouconquereveryvariationoftheexercisesinthisbookyouwillhave

greaterrelativebodystrengththan99%ofallpeoplearoundyou.

PrimalMovementPatterns

PrimalMovementPatternsaremovementswhichwereimportantforsurvival

beforemanstoppedlivinginthewild.Thinkaboutit,ifyoulivedinthewild,

wouldbicepcurlsservegreatpurposeinanyimportantmovements?Notreally.

Ontheotherhand,youwoulddefinitelyhavetoclimbuphighsurfaceswhich

wouldrequirepullingyourselfupinallkindsofdifferentangles,accordingto

theterrainaroundyou.

Onceyoupullyourselfuptochestheightwhileclimbingasurface,thenext

thingyouhavetodoistopushyourselfupinordertorestyourchestonit.This

resemblesthemovementuseddipsandpush-ups.

Livinginthewildwouldalsorequireyoutoholdheavythingsaboveyourhead;

forexampleinordertobuildaroofforashelter.Amovementlikethatwould

requirethesamemusclesusedinhandstandpush-ups.

Peopleusedtospendhoursinfrontofafireorwhilebuildingtoolsinadeep

squat.Nowadays,everybodyisafraidthatsquatsarebadforourknees.Squats

arenotwhatiscausingyourkneestohurt,butratherthelackofdoingthem.The

lackofusingadeepsquathasde-trainedtheproperneuromuscularpathways

requiredtoattainthispositionproperly.MoveslowlythroughtheprogressionsI

provideinthisbookandfocusongoodform.

Last,butmostimportantofall,toperformeverysingleoneofthesemoves efficiently,youwouldneedastrongcore.No,ourancestorsdidnottraintheir absandlowbackmuscles,becauseallofthesemusclesneveratrophiedandlost theirintegratedneuromuscularcoordinationinthefirstplace.Thesemuscles always worked in perfect sync with the rest of their body during all the movementsmentionedabove.

Unfortunately,ourlifestylehasdeeplyweakenedandde-trainedthesemuscles,

makingusforgethowtoturnthemoninharmonywiththerestofourbodywhen

needed.Usinglegraises,pronecobrasandalloftheexercisesintergradedinthis

bookwillhelpyoure-establishtherelationshipbetweenyourcoreandtherestof

thebody.

HowStrongShouldYouBecome? Thegoalofthebasiclevelistoprovideyouanimpressiveathleticphysiqueand a realistic training program that can be performed long-term without overstressingthebody'sjointsandligaments.It'salsoidealforpeopleoverthe

ageof40.Itusesathree-timeperweektrainingfrequency,whichmakesitan

easyandsustainableworkoutplanonwhichyoucancontinuetomakeprogress

steadilyovertime.Ifyou’relookingtobecomestrong,healthyandlookgood;

thereisreallynoreasontogobeyondthebasiclevel.

Keepinmindthatonceyouhavebuiltasignificantamountofmusclewiththe basiclevelprogram,thereisalsosomethingelseyoucandotodotoimprove

yourphysique,evenifyou'rejustworkingout1-2timesperweektomaintain

yourprogress.Improvingyourdietandsheddingacoupleofextrapoundsoffat istheeasiestwaytolookandfeelbetterwithouttheadditionalexerciseeffort. Leanness reveals detail. Looking stronger and bigger is not only about the amountofsizeyourbodyhas,butalsohastodowithdefinitionandhowvisible yourmusclesare(especiallyifyourgoalistolookgoodonthebeach).

Don'tgotoextremesthough.Obsessingoverbodyfatonceyouarearound9-

12%formenand16-21%percentforwomenisnotalwaysahealthything,

either mentally or physically. If you want an aesthetic physique your goal

shouldbeonaveragebelow15%allyearroundandmaybeabitcloserto10%in

theholidayseasonifyouwanttolookgoodonthebeach.

ACoupleofWordsontheAdvancedPhase

Goingbeyondthebasictraininglevelmeansthatyouwilladdasignificant

amountofstressonyourbody.Theadvancedlevelisnotmeantforeveryone

sincealotofdisciplineandcompromiseisrequiredforittowork.Yourlifewill

befocusedaroundyourtrainingprogram,whichmeansthatyouwillhavetobe

seriouslydevotedtoit.Youwillneedtorethinkalotofyourlife'sprioritiesand

realizethatthiscommitmentwillrequireyoutofocusabigpartofyourtimein

yourtrainingprogramandalltheotherextraaspectsit'stiedto(suchasnutrition

andrest).Youwillhavetochooseagoodnightsleepoverstayinguplatewith

yourfriends.Yourdailyfoodshouldincludeatonofprotein.Youwillhaveto

passonthatextrabeerandyouwillprobablyhavetogetridofalltheuseless

habits(likewatchingTV)tofindmorefreetimetoworkoutandrest.Ifyoudon't

mindallthesesacrificesandyouwanttotakeitastepfurther,youcanmoveon

totheadvancedphase.Thistwelvemonthtrainingprogramwillbringyoucloser toyourstrengthandphysique'shighestpotentialmuchfaster.However,before youmoveontheadvancedlevel,makesureyoucompleteatleastsixmonths training with the basic level's program. You should also meet a couple requirementsthatImentionlateroninthisbook.

DoThisBeforeYouGetStarted Iwanttotalktoyouabriefmomentabouttheimportanceoftakinga''before'' photoonceyoudecidetobegintraining.Whyisthissoimportant?Wellthink

aboutit,thisissomethingthatwon'tcostyoumorethan20seconds(justgonext

toamirrorandtakeaquickselfiewithyourphone).

Hereiswhyyoushouldtoconsiderthis:

•Ifyoustartlosingmotivationalongthewayyoucanlookbackatyour''before''

photoandremindyourselfhowyoudon'twanttolooklikethateveragain.

• As we mentioned previously, after your newbie gains, progress becomes slower.Therefore,ifyouhaveamonthlypictureofyourprogress,itwillmakeit easiertotrackyouradvancement.

•Getyourpicturepostedonmywebsite.Onceyoustartseeinggoodresults

fromyourhardwork,youcansendmeyourbeforeandafterpictureandIcan

uploaditonmywebsite.Thisisacoolwaytoshowofftofriends,girlsor

whoever.It'salsoagreatreminderofwhatyouaccomplished.Plusitalsohelps

mespreadmymessage.

•Getpersonaltrainingadvice.Workhard,followmyplanandshareyourresults

withmeandI'llgiveyouapersonaltrainingconsultthroughSkypeforfree!

TipsonComparisonPhotography

Ifyouwanttotakeaproperbeforeandafterphoto,herearesomehelpfultips:

1.Forbettercontrast,chooseaneutralbackgroundsuchasawhitewall

2.Standafewfeetinfrontofthewalltominimizethesharpnessoftheshadow

whichmaydistractbodyoutline.Notedownyourdistancefromthewallandthe

camerafornexttime.

3.It'sbettertohavenaturallightasalightsource.Ideally,thelightsource

degrees).

Afterallthis,Iamveryexcitedthatyouhavereadthisbooksofarbecausethis

isthepartwherethingsgetinteresting.TimetobuildHomeMadeMuscleand

becomeStrong&LeanwithoutgoingtotheGym!

Chapter2

WarmingUp

Hereisaquotethatyoushouldengraininyourmind:''Ifyoudon'thaveenough

timetowarm-up,youdon'thaveenoughtimetotrain.''Ialwaystakemywarm-

upserious,sinceaproperwarm-uphasbeenproventoincreaseperformanceand reduce injuries probability. I hate watching results I have been building for months go down the drain just because I was too lazy to warm-up for ten minutes.InthiseBookIincludetwowarm-upmethods,dynamicstretchingand warm-up sets. For the beginners and the basic phase, dynamic stretching is enough.Ifyoucontinuetotheadvancedphase,specialwarm-upsetsareadded afterdynamicstretching.

DynamicStretching A short definition of dynamic stretching would be - stretching as you are moving.Dynamicstretchingisanactivemovementofyourbodythatbrings forthastretchbutisnotheldstaticallyintheendposition.

Whenitcomestostrengthtraining,dynamicstretchingandwarm-upsetshave been proven highly superior to “traditional” types of warm-up routines like joggingorstaticcycling.Traditionaltypeslikethesedon’treallyprepareyoufor theintensityandallthespecificmovementpatternsofyourworkout.Think aboutitthisway,duringastrengthworkout,stressisappliedtospecificmuscles, tendons,ligamentsandjoints;sohowwouldstaticcyclingorjoggingprepare yourupperbody?Forexample,howwouldyourshoulderjointbepreparedfor doingasimplepush-up?Theonlypositiveeffectcyclingorjoggingwouldhave isbyraisingyourtemperatureandwarmingupyourlegs.Thisisnotbadof course,butitisalsonotenough.

Dynamicstretchingontheotherhandcanprepareyourbody’sconnectivetissues and muscles by performing targeted movements related to the movement patternsyouwillperform.Morebloodispumpedintothepartsofthebodyyou areabouttotrainandtheirtemperaturerises.Thiswillalsoincreaseyourjoints rangeofmotionrequiredtoperformyourexercisesproperlyandinjury-free. Onceagain,Iamnotsayingthatsomejoggingorcyclingwillhurt.Forme, however,doingtoomuchcardiobeforestrengthtrainingtakesmyedgeoff. If youwanttocombinesometraditionalcardioexercisebeforedynamicstretching, fiveminutestoraiseyourbody’stemperatureisenough.Ifyouwanttodomore cardioforweightlosspurposes,Iwouldrecommenddoingitafteryourstrength

workout.

workout. 1.Neckrolls. Standingtallandrelaxed,dropthechinclosetoyourchestand

1.Neckrolls.Standingtallandrelaxed,dropthechinclosetoyourchestand

gentlyrolltheheadtowardoneshoulderinasemicircularmotion.Do5rollsin

eachdirection(rightandleftshoulder)butbecarefulnottoleavetheheadfall toofarbackwards.Makeslow,bigandfluidmovementswhilekeepingother muscles that aren’t directly involved in the movement (like your shoulders) relaxed.

2.Shoulderrolls.Theshoulderareaisoneofthemosteasilytensedareasinour

bodiesnowadays,duetobadposturalhabits,lifestyleandmentalstress.Again standingtallandrelaxed,startrotatingyourshouldersforwardsinabigsmooth, circularmotion.Bringyourshouldersupclosetoyourearsandthenbackand downaslowaspossible.Repeatbydoingthemotionbackwardsthistime.Start

slowandincreasethespeedabitafter15seconds.Dotwosetsof10rollswitha

10-15secondrestinbetween.

3.Armrotations.Startrotatingyourarmsforwardinacrossedposition(right

armoverleftarmandtrytoalternateaftereveryrotation).Keepyourelbows slightlybentusingaslowtempo.Asyougetusedtothemovements,increasethe

tempoabit(aslongasitfeelscomfortable).Dothisfor20seconds.Nextrotate

yourarmsforward,oneatatimeandeachonefor15seconds.Last,repeatallof

thisagainbutthistimerotatingyourarmsbackwards.

4.Dynamiclatstretch.Standwithyourfeetshoulderwidthapart.Gentlystart

toswingarmsupandaboveyourheadandthenbackdownallthewaybehind yourbody.Keepyourelbowsslightlybendedduringthemovement.Asyoufeel yourselflooseningupandgettingwarmer,trytoextendthearmsfurtherineach

direction.Performthisexercisetwice,for20secondswitha10-15secondpause

inbetween.

5.Dynamiccheststretch.Standingagainwithfeetshoulderwidthapart,raise

armstochestheight.Startswingingthemacrossyourchestandbehindyour bodygraduallyincreasingthespeedabit.Makesureyoukeepyourarmsclose

tochestheight.Perform10repetitionstwicewithapauseof10-15seconds.

6.Dynamicshoulderstretchwithelasticband.Youcanalsofindthisexercise

onlinecalled“ShoulderDislocations”butIfindthatnameabitfrightening. Don’tworry,youaren’tgoingtodislocateyourshoulders(ifyoupayattentionto myguidelines).Thisexerciseisusuallyperformedwithspecialresistancebands. Ifyoudon’thaveone,justfindabicycle-wheelinnertubethatyoudon’tneed anymore.I’msurethereisonelyingsomewherearoundyourhouse.Ifnotthen

youcanbuyacheaponeforjust2dollarsinsteadofspending30dollarsfora

regularresistanceband.Iactuallypreferbicycletubesbecausetheyhavethe ideal amount of elasticity, not to hard and not too soft. Many people use broomsticksaswellbutIhighlyrecommendsomethingwithelasticitytomake sureyoudon’tinjureyourshoulders.

a)Startbyholdingthebandabouttwiceaswideasyourshoulderwidthinfront

ofyou.

b)Startraisingyourarmsupoverhead.Becarefulnottoallowyourshouldersto

shrugupwards.

c)Bringthebandallthewaybackwards,alwaysmakingsurethereisenough

slackonitthatallowsyoutodothismovementwithoutover-stressingyour

shoulders.

Asyouwarmupyoucanslowlytrytodecreasethewidthofyourgriponthe

band.Themoreyouincreaseyourflexibilityinthisexercise,themoreyouwill

beabletoholdanarrowergrip.Justmakesureyoualwaysstartwideenough

andgraduallydecreasethewidth.

7.Alternatingsittingtoetouches(Windmill).Thisexercisewillwarm-upyour

backandopenupyourhamstringswithoutoverstretchingthem.Fromaseated

position,placeyourfeetapart-abouttwicethedistanceofyourshoulderwidth.

Bendatthehips,andkeepyourspinestraightandelongated(veryimportant).

Don'troundyourback!Ifyoufeeltoomuchtensioninyourhamstringsbend

yourkneesalittle.Fromthisposition,performthefollowing:

a.Extendbotharmsouttoyourside,atshoulderheightand

b.Rotateyourtrunkbybendingabitforwardreachingwithyourarmtowards

theoppositetoe.

c.Ifyouarenotflexible,bendyourkneesenoughinordertotouchyourtoes

(aimfortensionnotpain!)

d.Alternatesides.

Note:Ifyoudothisexercisewithbadformyoucanplaceunnecessarystresson

yourlowerbacksopayattentiontoproperform.

8.ChairSquats.Thisismoreofawarm-upsetbutit'simportantinorderto

properlywarm-upyourlegs.Findachairthatisnottootall;anythingbelow kneeheightwilldo.Placeachairjustbehindyouandstandinfrontofit.Place your feet shoulder-width apart or even a bit wider (whatever feels more comfortable)withyourtoespointingacoupledegreesoutwards.Bendtheknees and slowly squat towards the chair while keeping the weight on your heels (important).Avoidlettingyourkneessurpassyourtoes.Sitonthechairforhalf asecondandpushupagainthroughyourheels,feelingatthesametimeyour glutespushyourbodyup. Fullyextendthelegsuntilyou'rebacktoastanding

position.Repeatthisfor3setsof5-20repetitions.

FinalNotes:Payattentiontotheguidelinesaboveforproperformandtechnique

Thegeneralsensationweoughttohaveaftercompletinganefficientwarm-up

shouldconsistofthefollowingbasicpoints:

•Feelingourmusclesstimulatedenoughandenergizedbutnotdrained.

•Enoughfreedomofmovementinourjointsandmusclestoperformallthe

exercisesourbasicprogramconsistsof.

•Ariseintemperatureenoughtocauseatleastamildperspiration.

Itisfarbettertospend15minuteswarmingupeverytime,insteadoftrainingfor

monthsandwatchallyourresultsgodownthedrain,justbecauseyouskipped

warm-uponceandgotinjured.

Chapter3

Beginners

Whenyou'reabeginner,youarefarfromyourultimatephysicalpotentialof strength and muscle growth. Your body doesn't know how to perform bodyweightexercisesproperlybyactivatingneuromuscularpathwaysefficiently. This means that your body doesn't know yet how to combine strength and techniqueefficientlytouseallthe''horsepower''italreadyhas.Thereasonyou improvealotinthebeginningofastrengthtrainingprogramisnotonlybecause yourmusclesgrowbigger,butalsobecauseyournervousandmuscularsystem learntoco-operatemoreeffectively.

Themoreyouperformanexercise,themoreyourneuromuscularsystemevolves andbecomesmoreefficientatusingeverybitofneuronally-integratedmuscle fiberthatcanfacilitatethismovement.Thinkofyourneuromuscularefficiency asuntappedstrengthyoualreadyhavebutcannottakeadvantageof.It'slike having a fast car but not knowing how to drive yet. Focusing on proper techniqueineveryexerciseisessentialinthebeginnersphase.

Abeginner'sabilitytorecoveralsoimproves.Recoverycanbetrainabletosome

extent,especiallyinthebeginning.

Simplyput,abeginnerissomeoneforwhomthestressappliedduringasingle workoutisenoughtocauseanadaptationuntilthenextworkout.Thismeansthat abeginnercanbecomestrongerineverysingletrainingsession!Thisallowshim to add repetitions or move to a more difficult progression in almost every workout during the first couple of weeks. After that, more reps or a more difficultprogressioncanbeperformedabouteverytwotothreeworkouts.The endofthebeginnersphaseismarkedwhentheminimumprogressofaddingone reporperformingamoredifficultprogressioneveryweekceasestohappen.For peoplenewtostrengthtrainingthisisusuallysomewherebetweenthesecond andthirdmonth.

Theexercisesthatwillbeusedasacriteriontothegeneralguidelinesabovewill

bepull-ups,pistolsquatsandpush-ups.Onceyouareabletoperformatleast5

repetitionsofpull-ups,pistolsquatsandpush-upswithgoodform,thenyouare readytomoveontotheadvancedprogram.Thisdoesn'tmeanthatyoushouldn't focusonimprovingyourstrengthintherestoftheexercises,butthesethree particular exercises are the best criterion to test your pulling, squatting and

pushingstrengthandtoconcludewithwhenyouarereadytoswitchtothe

intermediatephase.

BeginnersProgramStructure Thebeginnerprogramisdividedintwoparts.PartA,whichistheintroductory programwiththepurposetograduallyintroduceyoutoessentialbodyweight concepts and exercises. It contains 4 basic exercises, each one focused on strengtheningaprimalmovementpattern.Thebasicprimalmovementpatterns arePull,PushandSquat.Tocovertheseyouwilldo:

1.Pull-upsandChin-upsaspullingpatternmovements

2.Push-upsasapushingpatternand

3.Pistolsquats(orbodyweightsquats)asasquattingpatternmovement.

Supplementary exercises will also be included for your core. I say supplementarybecausenomatterwhatexerciseyoudo,bodyweighttraining always activates your core for stability and control (this is one of the cool benefitsofbodyweightexercise).

-YourprimalmovementpatternsarePull,Pushandsquat

PhaseAlaststhreeweeks.Becauseeverybodydiffersinweight,heightand strength,manypeoplewon'tbeabletoperformthebasicformofeveryexercise. Manypeoplecannotdoapull-uponcetheygetstarted.Ifyou'reoneofthem, don'tletthisoverwhelmyou.It'snaturalandIgotyourback.Asmentioned previously, in the exercise menu you can find easier progressions for every movement.Forexample,evenifyoucan'tdoregularpush-ups,youcanstart withpush-upsonyourknees.DipsarenotincludedinpartA,buttheywillbe addedinPartBsothatyourshoulderscantoughenupabitfirst.

Firstweek'sgoalistoexperiencealittlesoreness,butnotsomuchthatdaily

activitiesareimpaired.Feelingsometendernessthenextday,likeforexample

belowyourarmpits,inyourchest,legsandglutesistobeexpected.Ontheother

hand,ifliftingyourglassofwateriscausingyoupain,youcouldhavegonea

littleeasieronyourself

Workoutfrequencyinbothphasesisthreetimesperweekandonedayofrest

minimumisrequiredbetweeneverysession.Youcantrainforexampleon-

Monday,WednesdayandFridayorTuesday-ThursdayandSaturday.Ilikethe

firstexamplebecauseIpreferkickingbackontheweekend.Theprogramstarts

with pull-ups & chin-ups, doing 4 pulling sets in total. Combining these exercises two pulling variations in a workout builds immense upper body strength,especiallyinthearmandbackareas.

PartA(3Weeks)

body strength,especiallyinthearmandbackareas. PartA(3Weeks) PartB(5-10Weeks)

PartB(5-10Weeks)

Ineveryworkoutoftheweektherewillbeadifferenceintheexerciseorder.

Thiswayyoufocusonceaweekoneachbigmuscle-buildingexercise,inthe

beginningoftheprogramwhenyourmusclesarefullyenergized.Keepinmind

thatpistolsquatswillalwaysbeplacedinthemiddleoftheprogramduetothe

factthattheyarealowerbodyexercise.Thiswayyougiveyourupperbodyabit

moretimetorecoverbeforecontinuingwiththerestoftheupperbodyexercises.

Workout#1

Workout#2 (Workout2startswithdips.Makesureyouwarmupyourshouldersproperly) Workout#3

Workout#2

Workout#2 (Workout2startswithdips.Makesureyouwarmupyourshouldersproperly) Workout#3

(Workout2startswithdips.Makesureyouwarmupyourshouldersproperly)

Workout#3

ThelastworkoutoftheweekstartswithPush-ups.

ThelastworkoutoftheweekstartswithPush-ups.

Chapter4

Basic

Theendofagreatera Theendingofthebeginnersphaseisalsotheendofthe ''Newbiegainsperiod.''Anythingyoudorelatedtostrengthtrainingcanproduce somekindofmusclegrowthwhenyou'reabeginner.That'sright-everything works!Evenstrengthexercisessuchasrunningcancausesomehypertrophy

effectonyourlegs.Evendoing40repetitions,whichisfarawayfromwhatthe

idealreprangeforstrengthandhypertrophy,canstimulateasignificantamount ofmusclegrowthwhenyou'reanovice.Still,thisdoesn'tmakeallthecrazy trainingprogramsouttherevalid(eventhoughalotofpeoplegetconfusedby this).ChoosinganappropriatetrainingmethodcanextendtheNewbie-Gains period as much as possible, so stick to a proper training program like HomeMadeMuscle.

Some beginners might even respond better to a greater frequency than 3 workoutsperweek.Thishappensbecausetheydon'tpushthemselvesenough andarethustrainingwithlowerintensitythanrequired.BUTitisimportantto establishahealthytrainingfrequencyfromthebeginning.Thiswayitcanbea frequencythatwillbemaintainedlong-termandmakeyourtrainingprograman inseparable part of your weekly routine. A three time per week training frequencyinthebeginningisenoughtoproduceoptimalmusclegrowthand strengthwhilekeepingyou,atthesametime,hungryenoughformore.Thiswill keepyoumotivatedinthelongrun.Don'tworry,thereismoretrainingvolume cominglateronifyouareuptoit!

Afterthenewbiegainsperiodstartstofadeaway,comesacriticaltime thisis whenabigpartofpeoplegraduallystarttogiveupontheirexerciseprogram. Onceplateausstarttohittheirprogress,theybecomediscouraged.Theymight blame the training program and they're usually right. Most flashy training programsyoustumbleupon,whetheryoufindthemonlineortheyweregivento youbyyourneighborhood'sgym,areonlyeffectiveforbeginners.Trainersget away with this because as we said, ''everything works when you're new to strengthexercise.''

Asyourrelationshipwithstrengthtrainingdeepens,yougettoknowyourbody better.Youcannowutilizeyourneuromuscularsystemmoreefficientlyandpush yourself closer to your strength potential. Although this is a great

accomplishment,italsomeansthatprogresswon'thappenasoftenasitdidin thebeginning.Itisnowcriticalnottoobsessonimprovementfromoneworkout to another. Sometimes progress won't even happen from week to week, but insteadmighttaketendays,twooreventhreeweekstowardstheendofthis phase.Don'tworry,youarestillontherightpath.Beproudofyourprogress whenitoccursandsticktoyourprogram.Remember,nobodyaddsrepsevery weekthrougheternity.Thehumanspeciesisagreatadaptiveorganismbutstill, there'salimittohowfastyoucanadaptasyoukeeponimproving.

Bodyweight athletes (that's you) who pass the beginners level, benefit from exposure to new movement patterns. This is why handstand push-ups and invertedrowsareaddedatthispoint.

BasicProgramStructure

ThemostdemandingbodyweightexercisesforthemajorityofpeoplearePull-

ups,Handstandpush-ups,DipsandPistolsquats.Thatiswhythefirstthreeof themareplacedinthebeginningofoneworkout,onceeveryweek.Thisway,as mentioned previously in the book, you can hit them hard with your neuromuscularsystemfresh.Asforpistolsquats,sincetheyarealowerbody exercise,theyareplacedinthemiddleofeveryroutinesothatyouarenottoo drainedandtheycangiveyourupperbodyabitmoretimetorecoverbefore continuingwiththerestoftheupperbodyexercises.

Youwillnoticethattherearesomedifferencesinthetotalamountofsetsfrom

daytodaywithintheweek.Thisisdonefortworeasons.Numberone;thereis

alwayssomeextravolumeinthefirstexerciseofeachworkout(forthereasons

mentionedinthepreviousparagraph).Numbertwo;thereisadecreaseinsetsof

someotherexercisesthatcomelateronineachtrainingsession.Thisisdonein

ordertobalancethetotalworkloadappliedonpullandpushmovements.

Thefirstworkoutoftheweekstartswithpull-ups&chin-upsdoing5setsin

total.Combiningtheseexercisestogetherbuildsimmenseupperbodystrength,

especiallyinthearmandbackdepartment.Becausethesetwoexerciseshave

verysimilarmovementpatterns,theywillbeconsideredtobepartofthesame

exercise-exerciseone.

Workout#1

AveragetimetocompleteWorkout:1hour Workout2startswithhandstandpush-ups.Remember,handstandpush-upstake

AveragetimetocompleteWorkout:1hour

Workout2startswithhandstandpush-ups.Remember,handstandpush-upstake

awhiletoaccomplish.Onceyouareabletoperformthishighlyintenseexercise,

makesureyouthoroughlywarmupyourshoulders.Addingsomehandstandson

awallandtwosetsofpikepush-upstoyourwarmupsetsbeforedoingthe

exerciseisagoodidea.

Workout#2

AveragetimetocompleteWorkout:1hour The last workout of the week starts with dips which are one of the

AveragetimetocompleteWorkout:1hour

The last workout of the week starts with dips which are one of the best bodyweightexercisesforthechest.Thisisthelastdayoftheweek,sowarm-up wellanddon’tbeafraidtopushyourself.Therewillbeplentyoftimetorecover duringthenexttworestingdays.

Workout#3

AveragetimetocompleteWorkout:1hour

AveragetimetocompleteWorkout:1hour

Chapter5

Advanced

Forthoseofyouwillingtomoveontotheadvancedlevel,Ihighlyrecommenda

completeweekoff.Giveyourjointsandtendonsabreaktorecoverproperly.

As I mentioned previously, the advanced phase is for serious bodyweight athletes.Ifyoudecidetogoforwardonthischallengingpath,IsaluteyouandI promiseIamgoingtobenexttoyoutheentireway.Anytimeyouneedme,just e-mailmeathomemademusclemail@gmail.comandadd''advancedlevel''inthe subjectarea.Thatbeingsaid,it'stimeforsomeseriousworksolet'sgetstarted

Theadvancedtraininglevelconsistsofatwelve-monthplanwhichisdividedin mainthreephases.Phaseonelaststhreemonths;phasetwoandthreebothlast fourmonths.Thereisalsoatransitionalweekinthebeginningtoeaseintothe program.Ihighlyrecommendthisifyoutooksometimeoffaftercompletingthe BasicProgramorifyouareanexperiencedbodyweightathleteandskippedthe firsttwoprograms(Beginner's&Basic).Toperfectthistwelvemonthprogram,I wentthroughalotoftrialanderror.Foranentireyear,Iexperimentedand

trained10-15traininghoursperweektoperfectit.IntheendIlooked,feltand

becamestrongerthenIeverwas.AndSowillyou!Infact,youwillbeeven

betteroffthanIwassinceyoudon'thavetogothroughmymistakesnowthat

theprogramisperfected.

IncreasingTrainingFrequency

Asyouremembertrainingfrequencyisimportantandyoushouldtrainusing whole-bodyworkoutsatleastthreetimesperweekwhenitcomestobodyweight exerciseforoptimumprogress.Ifdoneproperly,youcanincreasefrequencyby loweringabitofyourintensity.Trainingmorefrequentlywillbenefityouatthis pointbecauseyouwillimproveyourneuromuscularefficiencyfasterthisway. As we discussed in strength basics - factors like coordination, balance and kinestheticawareness-arepartofperformingcomplexexercisessuchasone armpush-upsandhandstandpush-ups.Increasedtrainingfrequencycanhelp youalotduringthisphaseofyourdevelopmentasabodyweightathlete.

Unlessyouareblessedwiththegeneticsofatalentedgymnast,frequencyis

moreimportantthanintensityatthispoint.Thisdoesnotmeanthatyouwill

trainlightly.Itjustmeansthatyouwillnotbegoingtofailureonlowintensity

days.Usedinaproperorganizedtrainingprogram,highfrequencywillmake

youstronger,fasterandbigger.

Simplysaid:Morefrequencyminusabitintensity=morestrength=moregains

Preliminaries(IMPORTANT)

Besidestrainingwiththebasicprogramforatleastsixmonths,Ihavethree

basicprerequisitesyoushouldmeetinordertomakesureyouarereadyforthe

AdvancedPhase,asfollows:

1.Pull-ups-10cleanreps(chesttobar)

2.Pistolsquats-6cleanreps(asstothegrass)

3.Handstandpush-ups-5cleanreps(headslightlytouchingthefloor)

Ifyoucannotperformtheseexerciseswithgoodformjustyet,sticktotheBasic

Programforawhilelonger.

6TheNumberoftheBeast

Ifyouwanttobecomeabodyweightbeast,thisistheexactnumberofexercises

youaregoingtoneedtofocusoninthebasicpartofeverytrainingsession-six

basicmovements.Whiledevelopingthisprogram,Ionlyhadonethingonmy

mind-howtogetthebestoutoftheminimum.Thinkingintermsofanatomy

andkinesiology,thesewerealsothebestbodyweightexercisestostrengthenthe

bodytoitsgreatestpotentialwhilekeepingitinbalance.

Thisishowthemainpartofyourworkoutshouldlookbytheendoftheyear:

1.HandstandPush-ups

2.PistolSquats

3.Pull-ups(chesttobar)

4.Onearm-push-ups

5.DragonFlags

6.Onearmdeadhangs

Don'tworryifyou'renotyetatthepointwereyoucandoone-armpush-upsand

dragonflags.NeithercouldIwhenIstartedworkingonthisprogram.Follow

thisprogramtotheletter,losetheextraweightthatisweighingyoudownandby

theendoftheyearyouwillbeameanonearmpush-upmachinetrainingabs

BruceLeestyle.

One-ArmDeadhangs

AnewexercisethatisaddedinthislevelisDead-hangs.Forearmsandgrip

strengtharequiteneglectedinmostoftoday'strainingprograms.Ifyouarea

beginner,thenjustdoingsimplepull-upsisenoughfordevelopingthisarea.But

ifyougopastthepointofabeginner,youwillneedtoincludespecialized

traininginordertofurtherdevelopthesemuscles.Itmightsurpriseyouhow

difficultitcanbetojusthangwithonearmonapullupbar.Thinkaboutit;if

youcompareittoasimpletwo-armdead-hang,whichyouareusedtodoing,you

arenowaddingtwicetheintensity.

Grip Strength Importance: Unless you're genetically gifted with thick forearms,theycanbequiteresistanttogrowth.Apairofmuscularforearmsis quiteimpressivevisuallybutthatisnottheonlyreasonyoushouldstrengthen them. Grip strength adds strength to all pulling exercises, it can help you overcomepull-upplateaus,andingeneraltheyallowbetterstabilityandcontrol duringmostpullingrelatedbodyweightexercises.Themainreasonthishappens canbedescribedbytheprincipleof''Irradiation.''Thisprinciplestatesthatyou cancontractamuscleharderifyoualsocontractthemusclessurroundingit. Ifthisallsoundsalittleweird,trythefollowingexperiment:

1.Tryflexingyourbicepashardaspossiblewithoutmakingafist.

2. Now try to flex your bicep as hard as possible while making a fist

2. Now try to flex your bicep as hard as possible while making a fist and squeezingitreallytight.

2. Now try to flex your bicep as hard as possible while making a fist and

Didn't your bicep contract harder the second time? Grip strength is also extremelyimportantifyourgoalistoachieveaone-armpull-upinthefuture.

WhyDead-hangs?

Itriedseveralwaystostrengthenmyforearmsduring2013,Ievenboughtthose

70'sgrippers.Well thatwasabigwasteofmoney.Servedmerightformaking suchastupidcompulsivepurchase,Icouldeasilyhaveavoidedjustbyusingmy brainfortenseconds.Imeanseriously,howissittinginfrontoftheTVand squeezingthesegrippersacoupleofhundredtimesaday,goingtoimproveyour gripstrength?Also,howisitgoingtoaddfunctionalstrengthtoyourtraining program? Our forearms need progressive overload and a rep range of 1-15

repetitionsor(ifyouareusingisometrics)atotaltimeundertensionof5-60

secondsinordertogetstronger,justlikemostofthemusclesinourbody.What

canbemorefunctionalindevelopinggripstrengththanhangingonsomething?

Whenitcomestostrengthtraining,generallythesimplestsolutionisthemost

effective.

effective. ForearmRecovery

ForearmRecovery

Inordertoaidyourrecoveryabitmore,itisagoodideatoaddsomesofttissue

workonyourforearmswhiledevelopingthem.Findaballaboutthesizeofa

tennisballbutabitharder.Likealacrosseball,agolfballorabaseball.Placea

towelonthetable(sothatit'slessslippery)andapplypressureonyourforearms

byrollingthemontheballagainstthetable.

Afteryoursofttissuework,youcanaddasimplestretchforyourfingers.Just putyourfingersontheedgeofatableandsoftlypresssothattheyextend.Once finished, do the same thing with your thumbs. Two or three sets of twenty secondsisenough.Clickhereifyouwanttoreadmoreonwhygripstrengthis important.MoreonhowtobuildthosePopeyeforearmsintheexercisemenu.

WarmingUp Anotherparameterthatchangesinthisphaseisyourwarmup.Youarenowata pointthatyourbodyknowshowtotapintoyourbody'sultimatehorsepower. This also means that you need to warm up even more efficiently to avoid stressingyourjointsandligaments.Infact,inthistraininglevel,thewarmupis halftheworkout.Yes,youreadthatcorrect,halftheworkout! ''Thewarmupishalftheworkout''

Invertedrows,push-ups,bilateral(twolegged)squatsandpronecobrasarenow partofyourwarmup.Youbodyhasnowmaturedenoughtouseeasy-sets(low intensity)oftheseexercisesinordertowarmupandprepareyourselfforthe remainder of the program. Inverted Rows will prepare you for pulling movements.Push-upswillprepareyourwrists,elbows&shouldersforpushing movements.Bilateralsquatswillwarmupyourlegsandpronecobraswillwarm upthewholebackchainallthewayupfromyourhead,throughyourupperand lowerback,anddowntoyourglutesandhamstrings.Warmingupthiswaywill alsoaddalittlemore''easystrengthtothebank''withoutexhaustingyouforthe restoftheprogram.

1.Startyourwarmupwithourdynamicstretchingroutine.

2.Restfor30-60secondsandmoveontoeasysets.

EasySets

Sensation:Whiledoingthesesetsyouarenotsupposedtobeexperiencingany

greatamountoffatigue.Amild''pump''togetsomebloodflowinginyour

musclesiswhatyou'reaimingfor.

Warmupsetsorder:

1.Invertedrows

2.Push-ups

4.Pronecobra

SetsandRest:Theseexercisesaregoingtobeperformedinaformofcircuit

training.Aftereachexerciserestbriefly(5-10secondsmax)andmoveon.Once

youarefinishedwithoneroundofallfourexercises,restforninetysecondsand

repeat.Youaregoingtocompleteatotaloftwotothreerounds.Tworoundsare

enoughifyouareworkingoutinawarmenvironmentandifyou'vebeenawake

formorethansixhours.Threeroundsarerequiredifyoutrainearlyinthe

morningand/orincoldenvironments.

Reps:Thenumberofrepsshouldbeabouthalftherepsyouwouldneedtodo,

inordertocomeclosetofailureinanexercisebydoing3setswithoneminute

restinbetween.Ifyouhavecompletedthebasicleveltraining,thenyounow thatexactnumberbutlet'sseeanexamplejusttobesure.Ifyouwoulddothree

setsof15push-upswithoneminuterestinbetweeninordertocomecloseto

failure,thenyourwarmupsetsshouldconsistof7-8repetitions.Rememberto

balancethisnumberwiththesensationdescribedabove.Feelfreetoaddor

reduceafewofrepstogettherightfeeling.

IntroductionPart(1Week)

Thefirstweekismeanttoeaseyouintotheprogramandgetyouaccustomed

withthemainphilosophyandpurpose.Itconsistsofthreetrainingsessionswith

eachtrainingsessionhavingatleastonedayofrestinbetween.Therearetwo

typesofworkouts:WorkoutAandWorkoutB,whichwillalsobeincludedinthe

AdvancedPhases.ThemaindifferencebetweenworkoutAandBistheorderof

theexercises(forthesamereasonsmentionedinpreviouschapters).Specifically,

workoutAbeginswithHandstandPush-upswhereasworkoutBstartswithPull-

ups.ThesetwoexercisesarethetwobasiccornerstonesofHomeMadeMuscle

andthatiswhyitiscrucialthatyouperformtheminthebeginningofyour

workout.

Rule#1oftheAdvancedProgram-NevergountilfailureonworkoutsA&B.

IntensityshouldnotbeveryhighinworkoutsA&Binorderforthisprogramto

work.Rememberincreasingfrequencyneedstooccurstrategically.Allofyour

setsshouldbeperformedwithperfectform.Useperfecttechniqueineveryset

andeveryrep!

-Havegoodcontroloveryourbodyineverysinglerep;observeandfocuson

musclecontraction.

-Don'tjustpullorpushyourselfup-contractyourmusclesconsciously.

-Feelthefloororthebarineverymovement,don'tjusthangordependonthem.

-Beawarenotonlyofthewholemovement,butalsoofthemovementasa

whole.

ImportantNote:Untilthispointyouhavejustbeendoingreps.''Inowwant

youtoexperienceconsciousmovementagainstgravity''.

Once you get to the point where you feel that your next rep might not be performedwithperfectformormightfail-stop.Ifyoumiscalculateandyou comeclosetofailure,simplyquittherepatthatpointinstantly.Youwilllearnto dothismoreefficientlyovertime.

Hereisanexamplewithpull-upstomakethisevenclearer.Let'ssayyouare

doing3setsof10repetitions.Yourfirstsetshouldberelativelyeasy.Inthe

secondset,somewhereafter6-7repsyoushouldbestartingtofeelquiteheavy.

Insetnumberthreeyourlast3repsshouldbetoughenoughsothatyouhaveto

putamoreeffortinthem,butnotthattoughthatyoubreakform.Allthreesets

shouldbedonewithoutstandingform.

putamoreeffortinthem,butnotthattoughthatyoubreakform.Allthreesets shouldbedonewithoutstandingform.
putamoreeffortinthem,butnotthattoughthatyoubreakform.Allthreesets shouldbedonewithoutstandingform.

NowthatyouhavereachedtheAdvancedTrainingLevel,youshouldbegetting closer to exercises like one arm push-ups and dragon flags. Work on the progressionsandvariationsoftheseexercisesanddon'tworryifyoustillfeelfar fromachievingthese.UsingtheAdvancedLevelTrainingProgramwillgetyou therebeforeyouknowit.Allyouneedispatienceandconsistency.

therebeforeyouknowit.Allyouneedispatienceandconsistency. Phase1(3months)

Phase1(3months)

Phase1laststhreemonthsandconsistsoffourtrainingsessionsperweek.You

willstartyourweekwithtwoback-to-backtrainingdaysfollowedbyoneday

off.ThatmeansyouwillbedoingWorkoutAondayoneandWorkoutBonday

two.Afterrestingondaythree,youwillperformagainWorkoutAondayfour

andWorkoutBondayfive.Daysixanddaysevenarerestingdays.

Duetotheincreasedtrainingfrequency,itispossiblethatyouwillfeel''heavy''

thefirsttwentydaysofPhase1.Don'tworryifthishappens.Onceyougetpast

thesedaysandhavethelowvolumetrainingweekIprescribe,yourbodywill

adaptandyourperformancewillgoupagain.Thisishowyourweeklyplanwill

look(assumingthatyoubeginyourtrainingweekonMondays).

adaptandyourperformancewillgoupagain.Thisishowyourweeklyplanwill look(assumingthatyoubeginyourtrainingweekonMondays).
LowVolumeWeek Fromnowoneverytimeyoucompletefourweeksofcontinuoustrainingyou
LowVolumeWeek Fromnowoneverytimeyoucompletefourweeksofcontinuoustrainingyou

LowVolumeWeek

Fromnowoneverytimeyoucompletefourweeksofcontinuoustrainingyou

willhavealowvolumetrainingweekasdescribedbelow.Thiswillallowyour

neuromuscularsystemtorecoverproperly.

neuromuscularsystemtorecoverproperly. Rule#2 oftheAdvancedProgram-Havealowvolumetrainingweekevery

Rule#2oftheAdvancedProgram-Havealowvolumetrainingweekevery

fourweeks.

Phase2(4months)

BeforemovingontoPhase2,insteadofhavingalowvolumetrainingweek,

takeawholeweekoff.Trustme,youaregoingtoneeditforthenextphase.Do

notworry,nobody'sphysiqueandstrengthfellapartfromtakingasingleweek

offonceeverycoupleofmonths.Ontheotherhand,therearemanypeopleout

therewhoachievedagreatphysiqueandamazingstrengthlevelsbutdidnotlast

verylongduetoproblemssuchasbadshoulders,elbowpainorrepetitiveknee

injuries.Ifyouworryaboutissueslikegainingweight,etc.,juststayactive

duringthisweekbydoinglowintensitycardioactivities.Goforaone-hourlong

walkinthemorningorajogforthirtyminutes,threetimesperweekandyou'll

befine.

Rule#3oftheAdvancedProgram-Takeaweekoffwheneveryouswitchfrom

onephasetoanother.

Taking one week off replenishes muscle glycogen storage, helps you avoid overuse injuries and lets your muscles and especially the nervous system, recoverproperly.Theremightbeaslightfeelingofstrengthlosswhenyouget backtoyourprogrambutdon'tworry.You'llbebackontrackaftertwoworkout sessions.

Toavoidextrememusclesoreness,goeasyonyourfirstworkoutafteryour

wholeweekoff.Otherwise,toomuchsorenesswillgetinthewaylateron.

Rule#4oftheAdvancedProgram-Alwaysgoeasyonyourfirstworkoutafter

awholeweekoff.

Phase2lastsfourmonthsandconsistsoffivetrainingsessionsperweek.You

willstartyourweekwithtwoback-to-backtrainingdaysfollowedbyadayoff. ThatmeansyouwillbedoingWorkoutAondayoneandWorkoutBondaytwo. Afterrestingondaythree,youwillrepeatthesameondayfouranddayfive.On daysixyouwillperformWorkoutCandondaysevenyouwillrestagain.Once again,duetotheincreasedtrainingfrequency,itispossiblethatyouwillfeel

''heavy''thefirstthreetofourweeksofPhase2.Onceyougetpasttheseweeks

and have a low volume training week, your body will adapt and your performancewillgoupagain. Thisishowyourweeklyplanwilllook:

performancewillgoupagain. Thisishowyourweeklyplanwilllook: (WorkoutsAandBarethesameasinPhase1)

(WorkoutsAandBarethesameasinPhase1)

WorkoutC-Rest/Pausetechnique

InWorkoutCyouwillbeusingapopularstrengthdevelopingtechniquecalled Rest/Pause. The Rest/Pause technique became popular by a famous 1960's powerlifternamedJimWilliams.InhisearlylifebigJimhadbeeninvolvedin somecriminalactivityandwassentencedtotenyearsinprison.Duetothe limitedequipmentavailableintheprison,thistechniquehelpedhimtrainhard withoutusingalotofweight.

WhatyouneedtoknowabouttheRest/Pausetechnique

Rest/Pausetrainingdividesyourtrainingsetwithabriefrestingperiodof15

secondsthatallowsyoutodoacouplemorereps. Forexample,let'ssayyoucan performthreesetsoftenpull-upswithaboutaminuteofrestbetweeneachset. UsingtheRest/Pausetechnique,onceyouarefinishedwithtenrepetitions,you

restfor15secondsandaddtwotothreemorereps.Afterthat,yourestand

repeat2moresets.

repeat2moresets.

Thistechniquewillgiveyouagreatmusclepumpandwilladdextra(metabolic) stresstoyourmuscles.Itisbelievedthattheeffectsofmetabolicstressincreases musclefiberrecruitmentandenhancesthegrowthpotentialofthemuscleasa whole. Although exercise scientists (such as hypertrophy expert Brad Schoenfield)arestillresearchingthis,ithasbeenoneoftheclassicsecrettools bodybuildersusetogetbigsincetheriseoftheirsport.Besidesthat,italso makesyourworkoutsmorechallengingandmotivational!BecauseRest/Pause setsarequitedemanding,youwillonlyfocusontwoexercises.Theseareour favoriteHandstandpush-upsandPull-ups.

Note:Nevergotofailureinhandstandpush-ups.Shouldersneedalotofwork

andtimetogetusedtothisexerciseuntilyoucangohardatitwithoutrisking

injury.Pull-upsontheotherhandcantakemoreofabeatingsofeelfreetogoall

inwiththisexerciseonWorkoutC.

Don'forgetyourlowvolumetrainingweek Phase3(4months) Again,beforemovingontothisnextPhasetakeawholeweekofffollowedby

Don'forgetyourlowvolumetrainingweek

Don'forgetyourlowvolumetrainingweek Phase3(4months) Again,beforemovingontothisnextPhasetakeawholeweekofffollowedby

Phase3(4months)

Again,beforemovingontothisnextPhasetakeawholeweekofffollowedby

thetransitionweek.Phase3,justlikePhase2,consistsoffivetrainingsessions

perweek.

perweek. (WorkoutsAandBremainthesameasinPhase1&2)

(WorkoutsAandBremainthesameasinPhase1&2)

WorkoutC-ReversedPyramid

Thereasonthisworkoutiscalledthe''ReversedPyramid''isbecauseoftheway

therepetitionsarestructured.Youbeginyourfirstsetbydoing50%ofthetotal

repetitionsyouwoulddoonWorkoutAorB.Afterthat,yourestoneminuteand

addonemorerep.Continuedoingthisuntilyoufailtoaddanotherrep.Again,

becausethisprogramisquitetough,youareonlygoingtodotwoexercises-

Handstandpush-upsandGiantpull-ups.

Ifthisseemsabitcomplicated,let’shavealookatanexamplewithpull-ups.

Let’s say that the amount of pull-ups you do on a regular workout such as WorkoutBiseight.Thisishowyourreversedpull-uppyramidwilllook:

•1stSet:Do4reps(50%)andrestforoneminute.

•2ndset:Do5repsandrestforoneminute.

•3rdset:Do6repsandrestforoneminuteetc

Dothisuntilyourreachthefirstsetwhereyoufailtoaddanotherrepwith

perfectform.

Dothisuntilyourreachthefirstsetwhereyoufailtoaddanotherrepwith perfectform. LowVolumeWeek
Dothisuntilyourreachthefirstsetwhereyoufailtoaddanotherrepwith perfectform. LowVolumeWeek

LowVolumeWeek

JustasinPhase1and2,everytimeyoucomplete4weeksofcontinuoustraining

youwilladdalowvolumetrainingweekasdescribedbelow.

BasicRulesoftheAdvancedPhase:

1.NevergountilfailureonWorkoutsA&B.

2.Havealowvolumetrainingweekevery4weeks.

3.Takeaweekoffwheneveryouswitchfromonephasetoanother

4.Alwaysgoeasyonyourfirstworkoutafterawholeweekoff.

Part4Nutrition

Alldietswork,untiltheydon't.GetstartedonanydietplanandIguaranteeyou thatyouwilllosesomeweightorfeelbetterinthebeginning.Also,somediets workgoodforsomepeoplebutnotsogoodforothers.Afterextensively studyingnutrition,Iunderstandthatitcanbeafrustratingsubjecttoresearch. Everydaynewdietsarise,nutritionspecialistsandtheeventheUSDAchange theiropinionsonwhatishealthyornot.Andthenumberofobesepeople continuestorise Nowadays,statisticsshowthateventhoughmorepeopleare onmoredietsthaneverbefore,wearealsofatterthanever.

Chapter1

Lostindietland

WhenIfirstbeganmyhealthy-eatingjourney,Iquicklybecameavictimof

countlessfaddiets.AsDeniseMingersaysinhergreatbook-DeathbyFood

Pyramid,''Ihadfallenunderthespellthatseduceshealthvoyagers;thepowerof

unsubstantiatedanecdoteandwell-posedbeforeandafterpictures.''

SinceIwasn'tthebestcriticalthinkeratthetime,Ijustreadallthepopulardiet booksavailableonAmazon.ThecriteriaIusedtojudgethemwasprobably

identicalwitheverybodyelse;Ijustpaidattentiontotheshinny5-starreviews,

thefancyPhDtitlesnexttotheauthorsnamesandallthe''scientific''studies

quotedinthem(whichInevercaredtoexamine).Tomydefense,theeducational

systemIgrewupin(asprobablymosteducationalsystems)nevertaughtme

criticalthinkingskills.TheSportsScienceUniversityIgraduatedfromhada

courseonnutrition(taughtbyasuspiciouslyoverweightnutritionprofessor)and

focusedprimarilyonthetypicalfoodpyramid,whichdidn'tseemtowork,either

formeortherestoftheworld.

TheTruthAboutWeightLoss. If you only care about controlling your weight, then the solution is simple (althoughnotpractical).Ifyou'reahealthyindividual,losingweightisstrictlya matterofcaloriesinandcaloriesout.Yourbodyburnsaspecificamountof calorieseveryday,whichyoucaneasilycalculateifyougoonline.Ifyouarenot familiarwithcaloriecalculators,justGooglesomethinglike“freedailycalorie intakecalculator”andyouwillfindatonoffreecaloriecalculators.Afterthat,it isjustamatterofcountingyourcalorieseveryday(althoughthisisapaininthe ass).Ifyouwanttoloseweightyouhavetobeonacaloricdeficitandifyou wanttogainweight,youhavetobeonacaloricsurplus.Someofyoureading thismightbequiteskeptical;Ialsowasacoupleofyearsago.

AnutritionistfromtheUniversityofKansasnamedMarkHaubperformedthe

followingexperiment.Hefollowedahypocaloricdietbasedon70%junkfood

suchasDoritos,Oreos,cerealsbasedonsugarandotherfoodswith''empty calories.''Therestofhiscaloriescamefromsomeveggies,aproteinsupplement

andamultivitamin.Resultsafter10weeks?Helost27poundsandhisblood

workimproved!Ofcoursewedon’tknowwhatthelongtermhealtheffectsof

thatdietwouldbeandneitherInorMarkHaubthinkitwouldbeahealthy

dietary approach in the long run. The professor himself obviously doesn't recommendthisdiettoanyoneandthereasonhedidthisexperimentwasto

provethatadietdoesn'thavetobe100%cleaninordertobehealthyasmany

nutritionalandfitnessgurusouttheresuggest.

SpecialDiets Theonlydietssupportedbysolidscientificevidencethatmighthaveaslight benefit over the general rule of caloric intake, are high protein diets. High protein diets have a slight benefit, mainly due to the fact that protein is a macronutrientthathasabiggerthermogeniceffectonyourbody.Thismeans thatincomparisonwithfatandcarbs,yourbodyusesmoreenergyinorderto break down protein (or what is also called protein catabolism, which is the processofyourbodydissolvingproteinmacromoleculesintoaminoacidsand othersimplederivativecompoundstoserveallkindsoffunctionsinyourbody).

AnotherhottopiccurrentlyisfastingrelateddietssuchasIntermittentFasting.

Somesaythattheymighthaveasmallmetabolicadvantagemainlyduetothe

hormonalmanipulationthatoccursfromthefastingperiodsthesedietshave.

Stillthereisnosolidscientificevidencetosupportsomethinglikethis,sinceat

theendofthedaythehumanbodytendstobalanceoutmostofthesehormonal

fluctuations.

Themainpointhereisthatnomatterwhatdietyouchoose,ifyourdailycalories

overextendyourdailycaloricneeds,youwill,withoutadoubt,gainweightafter

acertainpoint.Ofcoursethemedia,doctors,andotherhealthspecialistswho

wanttopromotetheirnew“groundbreaking”dietbooksandotherproducts,will

trytomisleadyou.Whenyouaretryingtoloseweight,thetruthisassimpleas

doingsomecalorie-math.Nomatterwhatyouhear,keepinmindthatallthe

seriousandunbiasedscientificresearchbacksthisup.

HowDietsTrickYouIntoLosingWeight Dietshelpyouloseweightbytrickingyouintoeatingless.Whilethatmightnot sound bad, it can lead to unhealthy eating behaviors in the long run. For example,let'stakePaleodiet.Paleocutsoutmostcarbs,sugarandprocessed food,whichmeansthatyoucanonlyeatfoodcategorieslikemeat,nutsand fruits.Oneproblemwiththisdietapproachisthatit'sreallydifficulttofillall yourcaloricneedsbasedonthesefewfoodcategories-trustmeI'vetried!No wonderpeople''miraculously''loseweightonPaleo.Ifyou'reoverweight,itcan workforalongtimebutatsomepointyouwillendupstarved.Anothertrick

Paleoandotherdietsuseisencouragingyoutoeatmoreprotein.Proteinhas shown to be the most satiating macronutrient. This means that eating high- proteinfoodshelpsyoufeelfullforlongerperiodsoftime,whichagainhelps youeatless.

Let’salsoexamineanoppositedietlikeveganism.Vegandietshelpalotof

peopleloseweightbecausetheyexcludetwoothermajorfoodcategories,meat

&dairy.Atthesametime,theyalsoencourageyoutoeatmorefiber,waterand