Fitness Experts – Who is Right? Who is Wrong? Are you Confused?

November 5, 2009

I actually don’t believe in the term fitness expert. I don’t consider myself an expert.

I am a student of fitness. I consider the other bloggers, readers, people who comment, and product owners as one big mastermind. I soak up knowledge, look at and consider the newest philosophies and fine-tune my approach over time.

What I recommend today is slightly different than what I would have recommended 2 years ago. Two years from now, it will be slightly different than today.

fitness experts

[I can easily understand how someone could be completely thrown off by all the conflicting advice online. With the Internet, this becomes even more confusing. There has never been so much information available at the click of a button.]

Almost an Unlimited Amount of Approaches Will Work


With fitness, there are so many effective approaches to achieving the same result. Take me for example…my favorite method of training is low volume heavy weight training under a calorie deficit. I also like to add in HIIT followed by a bit of steady state cardio.

This allows people to get stronger while dropping body fat at the same time, which increases muscle definition at a rapid rate…without increasing muscle size. Is my method, the only one that I believe in? Not by a mile…

I Like to Think of Training Methodologies Like Martial Arts

Is Karate better than Tae Kwon Do for self defense? Well, we could argue between the two all day, but they both work extremely well when one becomes skilled in their particular discipline.

Obviously a black belt in Karate will crush a beginner in Tae Kwon Do, but does that prove Karate to be superior? I don’t think so. This is the same with different methods of training.

A 20 year gym veteran is probably going to look more impressive than a beginner no matter what methodology either of them is using.


[Speaking of Martial Arts…I plan on taking a Krav Maga class in the near future. It is an Israeli method of close range hand-to-hand combat. It was perfected to teach people to protect themselves in some of the violent areas of Israel.]

Test Out Different Methods from Time to Time

Going forward, I am going to spend the 3 months of winter each year trying out a completely different routine. Right now I am going through Coach Steer and Coach Murdock’s BBFL routine. I have never done anything like it and noticing some great benefits such as joint mobility and flexibility.

Last winter I did Craig Ballantyne’s Body Weight Circuits for three months. I have no idea what I will be doing next winter. Bottom line…even I don’t use my own workout methodology 100% of the time!

Don’t Take Your Advice from Just One Person

Let me be the first to tell you to not just use advice on my site as the place to get 100% of your fitness info. You will be much better off learning from many.

I still learn weekly from a large mastermind of blogs, paid products, and people who comment on my site.

When Scientific Studies Contradict Each Other?

This is a tough one! It is another reason it helps to have a cluster of sites and friends you can talk to regarding a subject. I really like Brad Pilon, John Barban, Mark Sisson, and Lyle McDonald as a start when it comes to analyzing the findings of scientific research. I also look in the comment section of my own site and use that as a resource.

Most of the time I will use this collective knowledge as a tool to find out what I consider to be the true answer.

What to Do About Information Overload?

My suggestion is to pick 1-2 “core sites” to learn from and spend 50% of your time there. Within a core site, you will find links in the articles and comment section.

These are typically people contributing to the same mastermind group. You will run across dozens of sites through one large core site. Out of those sites, maybe pick 5 more that you will read on a regular basis. Anything more than 6-7 sources and you will begin to feel overwhelmed.

I Believe My Mastermind Group Is the Best Online

I will never claim to have the best blog, but I will brag all day about the collective knowledge of the fitness sites I associate myself with. I also tend to brag to to other bloggers about having the most valuable comment section. I do my best to stay on top of the current research, get things rolling, but the real value of a post is 1-2 months after it is published.

Note: I still believe my methods are hard to beat when it comes to getting the lean and hip “Hollywood” physique. I also think that it is NOT in your best interest to add a ton of muscle to your frame.

----> (New) Facebook Comments..."Cause all the cool kids are doin' it!"

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

Grok November 5, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Solid post rusty!

“Brad Pilon, John Barban, Mark Sisson, and Lyle McDonald”

…and one hell of a good list I might add!

Michael - Fat Loss Tips November 5, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Well said Rusty.
Fitness and health are dynamic subjects with so many different approaches that have worked for someone out there. It’s important to be critical about the information you read and ultimately to test it to see if it works for you. I consider this blog to be a great starting point and kudos to you for always covering interesting topics.

Mike

Martin November 5, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Awesome post, Rusty. I’e been an avid reader of your site for some time, and I’m glad to say that you are definitely on my list of “mastermind” sites.

In fact, your site was the one that introduced me to many of the other sites on my list. Mark’s site, Brad’s site, and many more.

Thanks!

Brandon November 5, 2009 at 11:04 pm

Well done.

Several things.

1. I liked the sources and whom you got information from in your Supplement Conspiracy, that I’m going to use it for a paper I’m doing about “enhancing drugs and supplements.”

2. Also I tried bodyweights for about a month and a half which I liked, but I decided to try lifting again. As a result I got really sore, could lift as much but my endurance seemed down. Also my arms seem smaller and biceps not as strong, so I’m gonna have to wimp out on no gym for the winter and go back to low rep high weight free weights again.

3. I was also wondering what you tell yourself to keep motivated away from the food temptations. Trying to keep fresh-15 off.

4. The HGH Booster recipe..how effective would you rate it? I am thinking about trying it, but don’t know if its even worth about 30 bucks with shipping and such for 2 months supply..and yes I know it wont do ALL the work.

James November 5, 2009 at 11:53 pm

Mate I visit this website everyday as it is, I am just gutted you can’t write more. I think I have officially read every article on the blog hahaha.

Brad Campbell November 6, 2009 at 12:18 am

Hey Rusty – well said my man. All of us so-called “fitness experts” have our strong opinions of what works best, but like you said – there are literally thousands of different approaches any of us can take and still get great results.

Agreed that a more suitable term would be “lifelong student”, as any reputable trainer, coach, guru, etc would never stop learning and trying to figure out a better way to achieve an awesome body, optimal health and a better lifestyle through diet and exercise.

I do feel bad for everyone out there looking for answers to their fat loss and muscle building questions – there’s way too much bad information in circulation…and then there’s also an overwhelming amount of great information as well, which often times contradicts other reputable sources.

So who or what is one to believe? Almost all scientific studies are flawed, may contain biases or have failed to account for important variables that may have impacted the final outcome. Scientific studies will almost always be limited in their generalizability to the public and I can’t stand when “fitness experts” hang on one silly study that they think proves or disproves a major principle…

I say question everything and everyone…read and assess a small and varied amount of reputable sources of information…and then be your own guinea pig and come to your own conclusions about what works best for you.

Just avoid information overload and have that BS meter on full blast, so you don’t waste time learning from a fraud 🙂

Thanks for providing great info and offering a no-nonsense approach to health and fitness…BTW, lean and ripped is definitely the look to go for…so great taste in that regard as well. The last thing we need is more bulky meatheads walking around the gyms with their chests puffed out, haha.

Dr. Brad Campbell CFT, PharmD

Aditya November 6, 2009 at 12:55 am

When I first started reading Fitness a couple of years back I was totally confused with all the different concepts. The Diets were mixed up, The ideas were contradictory and it all felt like a big mess. I was looking for that perfect e-guru which I can follow devotedly. I came across Rusty, first, I also came across Craig and Brad and Ori. That was not it, I still kept on reading random stuff and I must admit, no matter what I do, I also go on Bodybuilding.com at times. But in the end there are standards I have set, Rusty/Brad/Craig. I keep them at the top and the rest of the stuff just needs some relative comparison in order to extract the gold of it all. And I also admit, Rusty, your site is the only one I read and conclude things. I like your interactive nature, its not found in others. And I like your ideas too and thats the reason FBB is the all in all place for me. The rest are there but yours is the ultimate standard I have placed for me 🙂 You dont confuse like most others in the business. Thats the beauty of it all, I guess!

JE Gonzalez November 6, 2009 at 1:18 am

Excellent Rusty
I have one suggestion for a future article. JC over at JCD Fitness is making a series for skinny guys. Maybe you should give the Fitness Blackbook method for skinny guys. His is pretty good so far, but I would really like to see your take on it.

Bill November 6, 2009 at 1:22 am

Hey Rusty,

For me, you are already in my top 5 pick I read on a regular basis.
Others include Mark Sisson,Brad Pilon, John Barban, then always leave room for referals from those sites.

Have to say though, you have consistently given relevant informative posts along with making them an easy read. All in All can say you are one of the few sites that I’ve read every post and/or article. Every one of them delivers a gem for me to hone in my own daily practice….for that a big Thanks Rusty!!!

Btw, been enjoying rockin with the BBFL too.

Wish you and your site all the best of success!!!

Bill

Kat November 6, 2009 at 2:44 am

You are already one of my regular sites, for sure! I’ve learned a lot in the past year that I’ve been keeping up with your “teachings.” I completely agree that there is no one way (for anything, really) and that fitness is a fluid thing that ebbs and flows in its function, quality, and relatability. What works for one might not work for some or was fun but now we’re done (and on to something else fun and effective.) You obviously are sincere in your reasons for helping others by sharing the fact that your a constant student of fitness and health and that we all should be. Cheers!

Anthony November 6, 2009 at 3:27 am

Great post. I suffer from info overload myself. Just think about all the other kinds of genres of sites people visit as well. No matter what, I always go to FBB every day anyway.

Chris Highcock November 6, 2009 at 3:32 am

well said. Lots of stuff works. There is a danger from hopping form one thing to another though. Sometimes a little consistency helps

Johan November 6, 2009 at 5:13 am

Thanks for a great Blog!
I’m also one of those that read your blog daily and truly enjoy it. I have a better stomach than I have ever had just from reading this blog, I can’t wait til next summer!

But I’m naturally a skinny person and have in the past had trouble with belly fat but thats on its way off now after reading a lot more about dieting and moving more, I walk everywhere now days and I feel a lot better in every way.

My next goal is to add muscle, but I want to stay lean and fit. I’m not after the bodybuilding body. Does anyone know of a good blog or resource for reading more about this? Should I just boost my protein intake and push my muscles more? Currently I work out at home but will get a gym membership again soon. All advice and pointers much appreciated!

Cheers
Johan

Rafi Bar-Lev at Passionate Fitness November 6, 2009 at 5:22 am

Rusty,

Yeah, you do give great information here. I’ve been reading this blog for tips and enjoyment long before I got personally involved with the fitness world. Passionate Fitness probably wouldn’t be around today if it weren’t for this blog.

I think the examples you gave of the different martial arts to underline your point is pretty interesting. I’ve actually taken both Taekwando, Karate, and Krav Maga (while serving in the IDF).

Although by no means am I currently advanced or even good at any of them, from my limited experience I found that Taekwando was the least practical in real life fighting situations and the best for working out and keeping limber because of its high kicking and focus on working out. (This could just have been a product of the place where I trained, which was also a gym and had judo classes as well.)

I think the analogy can be applied to fitness as well. Depending on whether you want to get lean, or put on muscle, or get functional strength you have different methods to achieve your goals. There’s no one right way to do something, and part of which training methods to use depends on what kind of outcome you want to get.

Anyway, great post Rusty. It’s really nice to see good people trying to spread good, practical fitness information to the world. The sooner people start getting the right information, the faster they can reach their fitness goals and start enjoying life more.

-Rafi

Rajiv November 6, 2009 at 5:31 am

Hi Rusty, you are totally right. There are so many different philosophies out there, you just need to keep an open mind and use trial and error to find your best way. Even if you think you have found the perfect style of training it is very important to mix it up or tedium will set in and your results will plateau compared to the start.

This is why I love your site as it provides different and new concepts that you can easily integrate which will keep your body from becoming too familiar to a certain set of exercises.

Let us know how the Krav Maga goes once you start, I’ve heard good things about it!

Rahul November 6, 2009 at 5:42 am

Superb post, Rusty 🙂

One thing that diffrentiates you is that you just seem to have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on in our minds or at at least a large segment out there….

You are right, this is a big issue specially for nerds like me who like to read up and try and ‘get the logic’ of different approaches. As for me, since I have seen my body transform in different ways trying out different things…

Rahul November 6, 2009 at 5:43 am

Oops….that just got submitted by mistake….anyways, I was just saying that for myself, since I have seen my body transform in different ways trying out different things, I just prefer to experiment with my body and check out the results 🙂

Adam November 6, 2009 at 6:14 am

I’m always on your site I’ve read all your posts and find my self going back to them for tips and ideas and all thecomments are very helpful aswell. My list is FBB, Brad Pilon, John Barban, Mark Sisson and Vince Del Monte. I think that’s a good enough list I get all the info from l you guys

great site rusty love it!!!!

Simon November 6, 2009 at 6:38 am

Excellent post, I think it takes a great deal of humility and honesty to admit that you’ve still got much to learn, your way is not THE way or the best way and you may be wrong.
I’ll always be suspicious of people who claim they have some sort of special secret that’s the key to your goals, they generally just want cash in on your dreams.
There are many methods that work, the only real constants are your own hard work and consistency. (Interestingly I just read a post by Brad Pilon about this earlier).
Everyone is different, you need to intelligently find what works for you and find the determination to do it.
Echo Martin’s comment above.

Amy November 6, 2009 at 9:41 am

Rusty,
My whole story started with your site, thanks for that! Since then I am regular to Craig Ballantyne, Brad Pilon, John Barban, and you always give me reason to remain faithful to this site too!
Try, and keep what works!

Joe November 6, 2009 at 10:13 am

Rusty your website is absolutely AMAZING!!! the information is very helpful I have followed your advice for about a year straight now!! Iv noticed that you don’t have any posts about any kind’s of power yoga iv dedicated my last three months to it and I haven’t ever seen my physique the way it looks today especially with 2 fasts a week…… You should research it and do a post and the health benefits I get from it are endless. I FEEL AMAZING!!! thanks for all your wonderful advice

-Joe

ankur November 6, 2009 at 10:30 am

hi rusty ,i m following strength training routine for gainin sm muscles 5×5 bt the prob is tht wth chinups & barbell curls i am not able to reach 5×5 so i am doin 10×3 & i am getting stronger is it ok if i do 10×3 instead of 5×5 jst in these 2 specific exercise? another thing i wanna ask tht in last 1 month i cudnt sleep ,eat & exercise properly so i lost my hard earned muscles bt im still maintaing the 95% of strength ,so wht sud i do to gain those muscles quickly which i lost…..i hve a frnd she wanna lose sm weight & get a smoking hot body so i wanna know a gud weight training routine for her ,wht exercise she sud do how many sets & reps ,& if she dsnt go to gym thn wht r gud bodyweight exercise she sud do at home wth sets & reps..actually i dun know anythin about female routine so give me a link so i cn get complete routine .i’ll be thnkful to u..

Simon November 6, 2009 at 10:40 am

BTW Two of my “master sites” are this site and stronglifts.com, although Rusty and Mehdi from Stronglifts.com preach the opposite on certain topics (squats, deadlifts) and the goal is different (hollywood lean look vs pure strength), much of the fundamental thinking is the same.
Both sites are NOT typical BB sites.
I take what fits with me from both.

I also like; laurensfitness.com/
relativestrengthadvantage.com
Craig Ballantyne is always good
http://www.musclehack.com only BB site I really like.
and others already mentioned.

Dan November 6, 2009 at 10:46 am

Nice post Rusty! The only thing I would add is to make sure that all of your “core” sources are not from one sided view points (i.e. – high carb/low carb/high fat/vegetarian/etc.). I’ve found that if you want something to be true, it’s pretty easy to find sites/forums/blogs/people to support that lifestyle, no matter how “unbalanced” it may be. Not saying that any lifestyle or methodology is wrong, but even if you believe in it 100% it’s always good to get other sides of the story before just doing something because someone tells you it’s the only way.

With that being said, I really appreciate your site’s sense of balance and your approach of always learning. Striving to give results and cutting through BS is definitely challenging, but I think you’ve got it nailed!

ali November 6, 2009 at 11:02 am

great post rusty ur an expert :d

Mike OD - Fitness Spotlight November 6, 2009 at 11:06 am

Rusty,

Good article….as there is a new fitness expert created probably every day on the internet….and that is ok as there are many people that need to be reached. But if one person spends too much time reading, and not enough time applying…they will not get results.

Like said above….people can read up on many ideas, but should just stick to a basic approach and do it for a set time. Most people fail because they hop around too much and never stick with a program for very long.

If you want to gain muscle, you need progression over time. If you want fat loss, you need to get the right hormonal responses from exercise and eat right. It’s not hard…..but the only way is to just keep with it. I tell people if they are not willing to do something for 12 weeks, then good luck getting results.

So people need to pick their approach, turn off the computer and just do it…the results can come. Thinking there is always a better way to try, will just leave most confused and never getting anywhere.

Somewhere in the back woods of Canada there is a person on a farm lifting heavy stuff, eating bacon and drinking Molson….and has plenty of muscle without ever reading a fitness magazine or blog.

Mike OD

FitJerk - Flawless Fitness November 6, 2009 at 11:15 am

“Take what is useful, discard what is useless to you and create something that’s essentially your own” – The JKD way.

Nuff’ said.

dust November 6, 2009 at 11:29 am

Well Rusty I’ve been reading your site for a long time and am pumped to see you are giving martial arts a go. I am a really big fan of martial arts I wrestled all throuought high school, have a blue belt in Karate, trained in boxing for a few months and I have been fathful to Thai boxing, MMA an BJJ classes for over two years.

Basically it is nice to see you talk about martial artists because once martal artist reach the top of their carrier they usually look like the hollywood people you like to talk about. Examples are Bruce Lee, GSP and Randy Couture(he is in his fouties and is very lean for a guy of his size and always stays in great shape)

Elle November 6, 2009 at 11:29 am

I fully agree with the the formation of a Mastermind Group. Performance and results will only improve when there’s a confluence of focused, deliberate practice under “continuous, guided feedback”. I like the way you go about challenging yourself and others, Rusty.

You’re in my Feed for posterity. 😉

Jeffrey343 November 6, 2009 at 11:38 am

I’ve really been seeking out fitness info the past several months after having good results with running 20 – 30 miles per week and doing pushups each day. When I have done that consistently, I’ve lost weight and gotten that slim but muscular look. (I’m now 43). But my wife wasn’t getting quite the same results (she’s 42), although she didn’t run quite as much or as hard. So I’ve been on a quest for several months…

And it does get very confusing. The weight-lifting stuff isn’t quite as conflicting – most people seem to agree on most items. Most people say that machines are OK but free weights are more effective. And lower-body exercises (squats & deadlifts) are very important. And compound exercises are better than isolation exercises. There is controversy on using the Smith machine for squats – some say it’s a good machine, some say it will mess you up.

Diet – most people are onboard with eating mostly minimally-processed food, including lots of fresh fruits & veggies. Most are OK with lean meat. Bread & grains are somewhat controversial. And some folks are fans of intermittent fasting and ESE, while others say eat small meals every 3 hours – six meals a day.

My main source of confusion is cardio. Like I said, running (almost always steady-state) has always worked well for me. Mostly 3 – 5 miles at a time, at what is an quick-to-intense pace for me (usually 6:30 – 7:30 per mile). Sometimes a longer run of 8 or more miles. I really hadn’t done any HIIT or interval training per se, but I would frequently sprint the last part of my run. There are a lot of folks, though, that are not fans of steady-state cardio.

My personal conclusions on cardio are that steady-state does work well for some lucky folks. But it doesn’t work as well for everyone. I can run a lot and not lose upper-body muscle – I’ve never looked “skinny-fat” while doing a lot of running. Maybe it’s because I did several years of heavy weight training, so I built up a lot of muscle (especially when I went 2.5 years without any consistent running).

My wife is starting more from a “skinny-fat” point – she hasn’t gotten much heavier than she was when she graduated high school (less than ten pounds after having two kids). But she hasn’t worked out intensely since then either, so her body composition has changed more than mine. Hence my search for knowledge. I am glad to say that putting a greater emphasis on weight training is paying off for her (and me too).

I’ll keep running (and she will too). I have found out that running immediately after lifting is working well for us. It’s kinda like what I read in the Stubborn Fat Protocol (and similar to Rusty’s approach). The lifting is similar to HIIT as far as depleting glycogen. Then the running is able to burn off the fat that is in the bloodstream. And I’m actually able to run pretty intensely, which is surprising when my legs are already cooked from lifting.

Jeffrey343 November 6, 2009 at 11:50 am

To make a long post even longer… I do think steady-state cardio can work very well for someone who has not gotten too far out of shape. If I don’t run consistently, I gain weight. Some may be because I tend to relax my good eating habits, but it is more the inactivity. Over then past 13 years, I’ve twice gained 30 pounds (from 180 to 210 on a 6’2″ frame). But when I started running consistently again (plus taking my diet from maybe a B- to an A- and doing pushups most days), the weight came off quickly. But as they say – my results may not be typical…

Helder November 6, 2009 at 11:54 am

Nice advice, that’s one of the things that makes your blog different, you never claimed to be a guru, or that your way is the only way, and while your teaching and helping a lot of people here, you’re also always learning.

Cathy November 6, 2009 at 1:21 pm

I am a up-to-date reader of your blog and love the information (and the pictures!!!) Currently I am getting ready to take the ncsf exam but I was wondering if you know of any women’s blogs????
Thanks for all your time giving us your information
~Cathy~

Jason November 6, 2009 at 2:36 pm

I LOVE the fitness black book! And just like you said it has led me to so many other great things that i found, here, because of you. So really, for me, i owe it all to you Rusty. Your site seems to be the most real world, down to earth fitness advice i have ever come accross and I am very thankful for stumbling accross this site last year. Once again i greatly appreciate all that you do and look forward to whatever comes next.

Keep up the great work!

D November 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Long time viewer, first time commenter…Rusty, I have been reading your blog for about a year now and have gotten great results. I used the strength training with HIIT to lose addl 15 pounds after platauing at about a 20 lbs loss. One thing I like about your blog is the fact that you point us to other sites to get additional info and create different programs. I appreciate the efforts you put into the site. Thx

matt rosenberger November 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm

Rusty, I think your always going to be one of those experts you go back to time to time and esp made a huge impact on my fitness knowledge and have directed me more than you can imagine…. I recently have been chnaging my goal only to give my body a new experience so that when I come back to your approach it will be even more challenging…. Thanks man. Matt.

Venee November 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

Good topic! I ,like an above poster, owe my physical shape and new healthy lifestyle to this blog as well. Its here where I learned about intemittent fasting which changed my LIFE! I’ve been doing the crazy 8 (again learned about it here) for a couple of months now. IT is, in a word, fabulous (don’t look forward to it and it kills me) but it is soooo effective. I’m into one thing and that is RESULTS! I could care less about expert this and that. I’m into what works period. If it doesn’t work I’m not wasting my time. Your Vacation Body Blueprint book is fantastic. I LOVE reading straight forward no bull advice. I read all these fitness books and my biggest pet peeve is the “You don’t have to give up all the delicious sinful foods you love with such and such plan and you can still look fabulous” Well guess what you can’t eat junk and still look good. So many people are kidding themselves

Ramon November 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Great stuff Rusty! I find it especially interesting when reading about nutrition. So much confusing info out there. FBB is definitely one of the few sites I read on a regular basis. Keep up the awesome work!

Bob November 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Rusty, I think you have one of the best blogs on the internet. This is a great article, and is so true, one size does not fit all. We all have to glean information from many sources and take what is good for ourselves from them. In the end, we are our own trainers.

Patch November 6, 2009 at 6:06 pm

I think what strikes me as most appealing about your site is that you never waver off topic. You have clearly identified your focus area or “mission” so as to speak, and there is no contradictory posts. \

Keep up the good work!

Morgan November 6, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Hi Rusty,
I’ve been meaning to submit a comment for quite a while now, and this seemed like the right post to follow. First, let me say a big THANK YOU to you and those who post on your site! I found it about a year ago, and it has dramatically changed my thinking and approach to fitness and weight training. Like a lot of skinny guys, for years I inhaled the bodybuilding magazines and websites, and tried to “bulk up” desiring to gain 25-30+ lbs. of muscle. But thanks to the overtraining and over eating, I accumulated more injuries and body fat than muscle. Coincidentally, I had taken up Krav Maga training shortly before finding your site, and soon realized that the big beefy muscles I thought I wanted were probably not necessarily all that practical. Your post on “Tarzan vs. Conan” really nailed it!
Since then, through reducing calories and mixing in some intermittent fasting, so far I have dropped about 13 lbs. of body fat, and look and feel much better. I also don’t feel guilty about skipping a meal, or even a weight training session anymore (and I love not chugging down a gross protein shake every afternoon!). As others on your site have noted, I too feel like I’ve been paroled (or better yet, pardoned!) from the self-imposed prison of the bodybuilding psyche.
Now I train with weights twice a week and do Krav twice a week, which serves as my HIIT (note: I highly encourage anyone looking for a solid Martial Arts training regimen to check out a Krav school…the techniques are extremely practical, and the conditioning drills are fun and intense!).
Anyway, thanks for a great site Rusty, with encouraging posts from everyday people who share a passion for fitness, but also lead normal lives that don’t revolve around the gym and/or counting micrograms of protein!
Here’s to being fit and healthy while enjoying life!
Morgan

Esteban Armendariz November 7, 2009 at 1:47 am

good to see you don’t call yourself an expert in fitness. i have read several so called experts and after reading their material i realize they are only interested in pushing their ideas down ones throat and sell you their e-books. a true expert will have many different ways to train and teach their clients, put free information about different methods and techniques. if i like what you preach i will buy the e-books if not -good bye-. stay the course.

Greg November 7, 2009 at 8:07 am

You’re exactly right here. The truth is that there are so many ways to be successful in fitness and weight loss that no one can be truly called an expert. Each person needs to find what works for them.

Baz November 7, 2009 at 11:34 am

That’s exactly right rusty. While I love what you preach I do read other blogs that might nit agree with you, I like to hear out both views before I decide which I choose to believe.

I wanted to ask you for me personally. I read another blog from another fitness expert and in one of his blogs he has a picture of a guy who has the exact body type you preach. He Is not very muscular but is very well defined and has great proportions. I wanted to ask you if you would have any idea how much one of the guys on the picture would weigh. Assuming he’s 6 foot tall would you have any idea?

http://www.vincedelmontefitness.com/blog/

it’s not the juiced up guy but the guy doing the bicep curl.

Would you have any idea?

Fred November 7, 2009 at 11:53 am

Hey Rusty, why don’t you do a post about Eugen Sandow and the Greek Ideal? He actually measured ancient Roman and Greek statues and built his body to those exact proportions by strength training (he once lifted a 280 lb dumbell overhead) and dieting to keep fat low. Sounds familiar?

Oh and he did that in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Talk about being ahead of the curve!

Cheers,
Fred

Drew November 7, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Hey Rusty,
have been following your blog for months now and I can safely say that you are my go to Blog when it comes to overall health and fitness. You stress being lean, functional and looking/feeling good, everything I strive for when I hit the gym.
Cheers buddy,
keep fighting the good fight.

Monica November 7, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Rusty, I would like to hear your thoughts on endurance exercise, especially also HIIT, increasing so called AMPk which interferes with protein synthesis as well as strength gains. I read that it should be done far apart from strength training for that reason.

Primalfit November 7, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Hey Rusty,

Recently I became very frustrated that my college gym only has dumbbells and guided weight machines so I decided to look for different ways to get fit. The body weight exercises are great but I found something else cool too. I was out hiking near campus and I found an open area with a ton of rocks and boulders. Anyways, my new workout consists of rock deadlifts, rock squats from my rock squat rack lol…overhead rock throws, behind the back rock throws, rock shotput and rock overhead presses. I’m not even going to try a rock benchpress without someone else there to spot. It’s awesome and so much fun! It’s improving my grip and making my skin tougher. And instead of having to carefully put the weights back, I can just chuck them when I’m done with my set. For my deadlifts, I can add resistance with extra rocks as well. I am also trying rock sprints but they kick my butt hardcore. I lay out 4 or 5 rocks with different sizes each, sprint to them, pick them up, run back and drop them and continue til all rocks are moved.

I love this site, it’s been on my favorites toolbar since I started getting lean and fit. In the last 6 months I’ve gone from 16% bodyfat to about 12 to 13% meanwhile increasing strength. I am getting to the point now where a lot more definition is starting to show in my groin/lower abs area. I follow the Warrior Diet 1 big meal a day approach but I switch it up every once in a while. I think breaking through plateaus has a lot to do with tricking your body and making it wonder wtf you are up to. I also switch between carnivore days and carb/protein days.

Thanks for the excellent info you have here it really has helped me a lot in understanding and in working for optimal fitness and health. I have one question. What kind of diet/exercise does it take to get the hard muscular look rather than the soft big bodybuilder look? Is it just leanness or muscle density? And if the latter, what exercises would increase the density? I am thinking strength endurance but with heavy weight instead of light but I’m not sure. I’d rather have a chiseled warrior look then a soft bodybuilder look. I am hating my non chiseled baby face..lol

Thanks for putting up a great site and helping a lot of people reach their goals!

-Craig

Yash November 7, 2009 at 9:35 pm

He Rusty,
Great post and great message. I think the best part of the whole internet fitness community is that it’s sort of it’s own living, breathing, organism, with everyone’s personal insights put together. This way, everyone can fond out what best suits them and form their own personal ideology and methodology to getting in shape. That’s kind of what happened with me, and now I’m taking all the different tihngs i’ve learned and combining them into my viewpoint on my site. It’s finally up btw, and I’ll have a few more posts once exams are over. Thanks again for all your help, its the little things that get you sometimes, and it was nice to have someone experienced to refer to when things came up.

Alex November 8, 2009 at 3:14 am

Hi there:

It is easy to get confused about how are you supposed to exercise, by the huge ammount of information you will find on the web.

Here is my comon sense advice for anyone who want to exercise:

1. Think first of what do you expect from training. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to lose fat? So you want to put on some muscles? Do you want to get stronger? Do you want a better overal conditioning? You want more of these at the same time?

After you know what you want train accordingly.

2. Think about how much time can you really dedicate to physical training every week. Choose a training plan which works in the time you are able to train.

3. If you want to understand what is right and what is wrong I strongly recommend to get back to basics and read a good book of ” Exercise physiology” .

4. Keep in mind that there are more ways and differnt methods of achieving what you want , so find what you like and fits you more.

5. And last but not least:
Make physical exercise a lifetime habit .
Eat healthy every day.
Eliminate bad habits from your life: smoking, overdrinking, laziness

Train hard

John Romaniello November 8, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Great post, Rusty. I’ve been reading your stuff for a while – in general I happen to like a great majority of what you do.

In particular, I really enjoyed the comparison of training to martial arts disciplines. Excellent analogy.

Keep it up, looking forward to reading more

Adrian November 8, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Good advice! Focus on one site and use it as main source of advice. Still be experimental with routines but not too often (not once every week you know).

BTW, Alan Aragon is another great expert on nutrition along with Lyle McDonald hey did nice job calling out T-Nation on I,Bodybuilder program..

Zlaja November 8, 2009 at 9:55 pm

I am 18 years old and I was reading about protein supplements, and from what i understood, protein supplements are anabolic also, just not steroids. I have not ever taken them out of principals and belief that i can get a good body naturally without taking them. But i have not achieved my goal, while my friends who do take it, have bulked up really fast. Do you think that protein supplements are necessary to achieve a “model body”, or can i get it without them?

And just for clarification, when i said my friends bulked up, i meant that they have great definition and muscle mass, not like a bodybuilder but more like models. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

Thanks,
Zlaja

Jeffrey343 November 8, 2009 at 11:10 pm

One other thing that is frustrating is that the fitness magazines – even the ones that I think are good – make getting fit seem sooooo easy. My wife has a subscription to Prevention and Women’s Health, both which I think are good mags. I think the fitness advice is sound, but I think they oversell the results that you should expect. My wife is not going to take off those last five pounds or get a perfectly flat belly by performing six simple moves three times a week. It takes pretty hard work to get results like she wants. I will say that the diet advice in those mags seems very good, but the vast majority of it has become common knowledge over the past several years. At least there are photos of cute fit women in there…

Jason the Caveman November 9, 2009 at 1:16 am

Hey Rusty,

Your blog is my core site, and if links are here I just click on them to read about them. Whenever I loose motivation or i need a boost, I just come here and read your recently posted articles. It somehow always leads to me being more motivated to stay on track towards achieving my goals in fitness.

Adam @ Order Carisoprodol Online November 9, 2009 at 1:22 am

Most of the people got confused on how to start there exercise when they search a huge amount of information from the web. I think the best part of the whole internet fitness community is that it’s sort of its own living, breathing, organism, with everyone’s personal insights put together. Thanks for the excellent info you have here it really has helped me a lot in understanding and in working for optimal fitness and health.

julissa Guerra November 9, 2009 at 4:19 am

its all about the diet-eating right, i work out hard 4 days a week, its only when im spot on in my diet do i see changes in my body

Shaun November 9, 2009 at 6:39 am

These are points that I talk about all the time. To summarize that.

– HIIT is always great
– 1+1 minds = 11
– And Martial arts or similar activities are great for providing overall fitness. especially for those under 16’s who want to get fit and build muscle.

Oh… and as mentioned, online is king. Power of the communities

Chris November 10, 2009 at 3:54 pm

Real experts are too humble to admit it!!

Alexis segura November 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm

hi Rusty, once again from Mexico…I´m a little confused about my nutrition plan. I don´t know if a meal plan based on fruit and only fruit can help me keep my lean body.

In other order of ideas, have you seen the documentary about Greg Valentino and abuse/use of steroids? whats your opinion?

J. November 11, 2009 at 1:27 am

Hi Rusty. I have been reading you articles for a while and really like your website. I have a few questions, but the only one I can remember right now is this one. Would it be good to alternate exercises that make the muscle bigger and ones that reduce the strength deficit throughout the course of one or two weeks? What I’m saying is, can I do one week of one exercise and then the next week do the other kind and keep switching off? And, if this works, could I switch off between hypertrophy and creating max tension every few days?

J. November 11, 2009 at 1:31 am

Also, since most bodyweight exercises are not near the 1 rep max in terms of weight, and since people usually do more than 5 of them, wouldn’t they generally lead to lots of muscle hypertrophy? But they don’t seem to. I don’t really understand this

baz November 11, 2009 at 1:45 am

Rusty

You talk about BOVA alot in your email, and being an australian myself i feel proud, even though i had never heard of him or had nothing to do with anything he preaches. I wanted to ask you if this guy looks physically like he knows what hes talking about. from what you share he sound like he knows what he is talking about but the best way to tell is is he uses his own methods on himself and has the body to prove it.

Jason November 11, 2009 at 2:29 am

I have been coming to your site for a while and I have enjoyed your approach on working out to get lean and not look like the Hulk lol. Most of the sites on here talk about getting big, but you are rare in talking about the hollywood look.

I think you can always learn something new no matter how good you are in something

Jason G November 12, 2009 at 3:21 am

J

Sarcoplasmic hypertropy occurs when the body performs body weight exercises in the six to fifteen rep range if adequate tension is created and you come close to failure. Since most athletic people can do more than twenty pushups it is unlikely that any sarcoplasmic hypertrophy will occur. However if you are currently doing between six and fifteen pullups then you will get sarcoplasmic hypertrophy if the above conditions are met. Its important to realize that high rep(over twenty reps) body weight exercises are particularly useless for creating hypertrophy. High rep body weight exercises can be good for endurance training for athletes and individuals who want overall conditioning.

Fred November 12, 2009 at 12:58 pm

When doing anearobic activity (sprinting or any heavy effort), your metabolism produces 2 ATP molecules (muscle fuel) for each oxygen atom and in aerobic activity it produces 38… which means aerobic metabolism is MUCH more efficient. So to burn a certain amount of calories, you need to jog for miles and miles, or you can just sprint a few hundred metres with HIIT.

tom April 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm

Rusty:

I would like to comment about the term “fitness expert” that you have in the title of the blog. I appreciate you saying “I don’t consdider myself an expert”. You see, I come from the school of thought, too many fitness gurus or so-called experts are using that title without a leg to stand on.

In academic and many circles, 10hrs or 10,000hrs in a particular field of study or service can call themselves an expert.

For fitness guys:

1. Do they have a degree or advanced (Masters or PhD) in exercise science, physiology, kinesiology, etc…

2. Do they have a top notch Cert. NASM, ACSM, NSCA, ACE?

3. Have they been training clients for 10yrs or 10,000hrs? For the gung-ho training non-stop 40hrs a week for 52 weeks, it would be around 5yrs to do this, but most likely it would take around 10yrs to achieve the hours.

4. Do they have their CPR/AED Cert?

5. Have they taught coursework to others or seminars?

The closest guy I have found is Dr. John Ellis, founder of NESTA and Adventure Boot Camps….another guy I found is Dr. John Berardi, founder of Precision Nutrition and ScienceLink. There are others, but these guys have in the trenches for a good 20yrs and 10+yrs, respectively.

I just hope for the day that the fitness industry gets regulated and this whole crap about “fitness expert” will change.

My 2 cents.

Robert C - The Wholesale Products Guy May 29, 2010 at 2:01 am

[Speaking of Martial Arts…I plan on taking a Krav Maga class in the near future. It is an Israeli method of close range hand-to-hand combat. It was perfected to teach people to protect themselves in some of the violent areas of Israel.]

Good choice. I plan to, at some point in my life when I have time, to take Kray Maga as well. I think it is the best combination of all the arts and you train for real world fighting situations.

With no disrespect to anyone’s martial art discipline – but – I have taken karate and Judo and the way it was taught to me, was more for tournament, arena fighting, and “kata” competitions..

Furthermore, not saying that people are not dangerous who have mastered any martial arts discipline. It just takes years of dedication to be really good. I think KM can be more practical a martial art if you are short on learning time. But, I could be wrong..

Great blog…Robert C – The Wholesale Products Guy

doria June 23, 2010 at 5:32 am

I was wondering why I don’t get any bigger or stronger when I lift weights. I have eaten right and loaded up on the calories, I’ve gotten plenty of sleep. I have a routine that a trainer/ bodybuilder gave me at the gym. And I take all the right supplements. I have been lifting for about 4 years and all that has happened is practically nothing….can you please tell me what is going on with me?!

Raymond - ZenMyFitness September 6, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Excellent advice there is so much info out there you need to question and test it yourself … I don’t listen to people who are less fit than I am but am always interested in what they have to say.
Raymond

Seane September 28, 2010 at 3:43 am

I like that Rusty. Student of fitness! We are all students, I agree, students of life. Except we aonly have one chance of getting it right! Or do we!

Alex Allmert - Hardcore Natural Bodybuilding Tips November 1, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I completely agree Rusty, there is no such thing as an expert in any field, you could be good at what you do but there is always more to learn.

-Alex Allmert

Ron November 29, 2010 at 2:47 am

Health is also about the health of a mind – obsessive BB is obviously very harmful to health and with so much information out there, it is better to exercise (pun intended!) prudent when it comes to following health advice. A mastermind group is a pretty good idea but be flexible.

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