Fitness Black Book Turns 2 Next Week – A Big “Thanks”

June 3, 2009

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for close to two years now! Back on June 8, 2007 I made the first post on this site and was just hoping that someone would eventually find it. I waited 4 days and got my first comment and immediately responded back. This was exciting, because the goal was to create a community of people sharing fitness ideas. I didn’t want this to be about me giving lessons. I can’t thank everyone enough for making this a positive and entertaining environment to talk about fitness.

fitness black book

[The amount of sites online is staggering. It almost seems like there is too much competition to ever become successful. If you are considering starting a site, don’t think like this. We are in desperate need for helpful sites written by people who want to make a difference.]

Just Checked the Stats – Over 9,400 Comments!

I appreciate each and every person who reads this site, but I really enjoy comments. I checked my stats in the back office and it is showing 9,404 comments. I appreciate this more than I can convey in this post. I read each and every comment and manually approve them all. What is cool about the Internet is the ability to reach people in every part of the planet…it makes the world seem like a smaller place.

I Love Hearing Positive Results

What makes my day is hearing results. There is nothing I enjoy more than hearing about a person who has struggled to drop weight and is now making progress as a result of a post or comment they read on this site. To be honest, a lot of great pointers are from other people who have fitness blogs…”thanks” to those guys and girls as well.

Thanks to Anyone Who Has Ever Recommended This Site

I have lost count of the number of people who link to my blog, submit posts to Digg, Stumbleupon, Twitter, etc. There is also no way of knowing about word-of-mouth recommendations. All of those are appreciated. The Internet has evolved into a social medium…so recommendations by other people is what will make or break a site.

There is Always Room for Good Sites

I used to think that there was big competition for website traffic when I first started out blogging. I had a mentality that there was only so much traffic to go around and that the more someone else had, the less I would get. I thought of the Internet like a big “pie” and that there were only so many pieces to go around. The reality is this…there are millions upon millions of sites, but only a small fraction are written by people who are dedicated to helping the reader.

Blogging is Hard at First, but Worth the Effort

I want to warn people a bit about blogging. One of the problems with the Internet is that people are anonymous and so there isn’t really any accountability. If you ever read the comments below some of the Youtube videos, you will see what I mean. I have several friends who have sites and they have created extremely helpful videos and posted them on Youtube. You would be shocked at some of the trash people write. The same things happen in blog comment sections…to all of us. I wish someone would have told me this before I started, so I would have been a bit more mentally prepared.

Tina Fey’s Golden Globes Speech to Negative People Online

[“If you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the Internet. You can find a lot of people there who don’t like you. I’d like to address some of them now…”]

Someday I Plan on Making a Blog About “Blogging”

These days I’m posting to Fitness Black Book just about 2 times per week. The rest of my work time is devoted to networking with other fitness sites and building links back to this site (a way to reach more people). At some point in the future I will have all of the traffic I desire and won’t feel the need to do anything except 2 blog posts per week and responding to comments. With my free time, I plan on creating a blog documenting everything I did to get this site to high traffic levels. I feel there are a ton of you guys with specialized knowledge who could do great if you had a good blueprint to follow.

Note: Let me know in the comment section if there is any interest in seeing a detailed case study blog about how to build a high-traffic site or increasing traffic to your current site. I may or may not do this, but I’m tempted…I think I could do a much better job than what 99.9% of what the paid courses teach.

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

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Fit Jerk - Flawless Fitness Blog June 3, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Hurrah! Gj Rusty. You have a serious pagerank for a blog that’s only 2 years old. SEO nut heads take note of what fresh content can do for your site!

Hey Rusty – we should do up a link exchange for our blogs. Hit me an email and we can work out the kinks.


Michael June 3, 2009 at 4:17 pm

This is a excellent site for fitness advice, I am very lean but before finding this site I was under the impression that I had to ‘bulk up’because I had been told I should by the bulked up people in the gym,this meant I was not particually cofident about my body because my muscles did not show throw my clothes. Although I have’nt actually taken up your advice,I prefer bodyweight excercise to strenght training and long distance cardio works for me, I have learnt that large obvious muscle look stupid as well as unsophicated and that being lean is the best look.

Drew June 3, 2009 at 4:47 pm


First of all i want to thank you for staying the course. I have been a personal trainer for almost 7 years now both in gyms and on my own. Over the years i have met and worked with many other trainers who begin so enthusiastic and full of energy but never seem to stick around. I read an article a while ago that said that the turnover rate for trainers in gyms is higher (about 54% quit within a year) then servers in restaurants (about 49%). So congrats for being in the minority (I know you are not a trainer per say) and I believe you will be here giving sound advice for years to come.

I regards to the blog case study i would be very interested in any info or advice you had about increasing web traffic. Thanks again and keep this stuff coming bro.

Adam Steer - Better's Better June 3, 2009 at 5:02 pm


I consider myself lucky to have stumbled across this blog. Even though my “niche” and audience are completely different, every post you write is an education. You are thought provoking and you provide a great template for other bloggers in the fitness sphere to follow. I think it would be absolutely fabulous if you shared your process through a separate blog. And it would be useful for bloggers in any niche – not just fitness.

Congratulations on your upcoming “anniversary.”


Biggahboy June 3, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Congratulations man!! Ive been a long time reader of your blog and it really is informative and encouraging, (even though im not an avid participant) But non the less, the info i have received has helped me lose 20lbs and i have about 17lbs to go. Thanks man, and once again “CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!” wish you the most success in your endeavours. God Bless

Daniel June 3, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Hi Rusty

Happy 2nd birthday!

Could you post a link to your first ever article?


Brandon June 3, 2009 at 5:33 pm

I found it looking for a workout like Cam Gigandets….and ever since..ive read every article and found every one of them to be appealing and to help me with my fitness. Ive always been able to lift a lotta weight for my weight of (previously)150, but since this site ive became more toned, dropped body fat to around 10%, increased strength, and have completely altered my workout routines. I now get compliments from girls all the time about my body and have gained so much knowledge about health and exercise. Thanks Rusty.

Patrick June 3, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Hey Rusty,
Like ive said before, i just wished I would have known about you when I was a rookie at gym many years ago, it would have saved me alot of time and money, but im just grateful that I found your site when I did. Ive read all your articles and I hope you continue all that you do. I am one of your disciples so anything that you advocate, i will test and tweak to the best of my ability. Thanks and congratulations on the two years. For those gym rookies who find this site, hats off to you, hope your realize how lucky you are get this knowledge at such a young age

Grant June 3, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Love your website Rusty! I’ve been following it since I stumbled upon it a little over a year ago and has definitely helped me improve my health dramatically by dropping over 15 pounds while developing more strength and overall athleticism.

Keep up the great work!

Anthony June 3, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Rusty I also found your site via Cam a Gigandet search, but I’d stumbled upon it once previously. Once I then found it in December, you changed my mind about so many things and cleared up misconceptions. Your presentation format is great and your topics are diverse. I tell everyone I know about this site because I love it so much. The fact that you answer our questions is simply unparalelled, and while there is so much conflicting information out there, your consistency is greatly appreciated. I am happy that your site has become popular and your message has been around for 2 years. Your other blog sounds interesting as well. Keep it up man! We are all very glad to find this site and I am happy for your success.

Irish June 3, 2009 at 7:47 pm


I found your website about 2 months ago looking for HIIT cardio information to drop body fat. I’m 24 years old and currently weight 182. I was always chubby/fat growing up until about 16 or 17 when I started lifting for football. I got really strong really fast and went to a gym in Redmond, WA that advocated power lifting. It was a great gym but filled with meatheads trying to get huge some of them on steroids. I got into this mentality for awhile but always wanted the six pack. I have been working out for seven straight years and have always researched fitness and nutrition. Ever since I got into decent shape (at about the age of 18 at roughly 12 – 14% body fat) I have never been able to get down to a weight and body fat I wanted. This was because I did the Main Stream nutrition of 6 meals a day eat tons of protein and don’t focus on calories. In two months of reading everything on your site I went from 195 lbs to 182. 12% body fat to 8 or 9% currently. I will get down to probably about 175 (I don’t care about weight just what will happen in my journey to get ripped). I finally have the six pack I wasn’t able to get after 6 days in the gym for seven years. I work in downtown Seattle and right before I graduated from College in 2008 I knew I had to stop lifting and try to refocus how I exercise so people didn’t look at me and think just another meathead idiot. However, I did not know how to do this correctly to get the lean look I always wanted and ended up doing exercises that were very time consuming and beat myself up. I ended up slipping a disk this last winter and that’s when I found out about HIIT and getting lean. I’m so grateful I found your site though because I now have a place that focuses and teaches me how to be healthy, fit, and look great. A lot of what the majority of people teach the masses about exercise and nutrition is terrible for you and I have learned that first hand. I now spend much less time in the gym, worrying about the gym, less time dealing with nutrition, less money on food, I no longer use supplements (that I probably spent over $3,000 on in the 7 years I’ve been working out). This site and the information on it as well as the links to other sites is amazing. I recommend your site to everyone I talk to about fitness. I now know exactly what to do and how to do it. Thanks so much Rusty and congratulations.

By the way, sorry for the extra long post but I just wanted to express my gratitude.

Also, since it sounds like you enjoy a good Mexican place as much as I do you have to try Oaxaca in Ballard on Ballard Ave. It’s incredible.

Monica June 3, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Hey Rusty, I just wanted to say thank you for all you do. I just found your site about two weeks ago when doing a search on training for toned, dense, strong muscle rather than bulky and I love your method!! I am doing the four day routine, though I do add a couple leg exercises to it. Afterward I add 15 minutes HIIT on the treadmill, running for 1 minute followed by walking for 1 minute and follow this up with up to 30 minutes low intensity steady pace walking. Two days a week when I don’t lift weights I do a different type of HIIV workout for 15 minutes on the bike or stairmaster followed by 30 minutes steady pace low intensity aerobics.

My question, what do you think about replacing the steady pace aerobics with a 30 minute light high rep aerobic weight circuit as added fat burning workout after the 15 min HIIT?

Thanks for your input.

Yash June 3, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Hey Rusty,
Congratulations on turning 2! I’ve been following your blog for almost a full year now and I cannot begin to stress how important it has been on my road to fitness. In fact, I’d say 99% of my useful knowledge about fitness comes from a select few sites/blogs, and yours tops that list. Thank you for putting so much time and effort into this selfless endeavor amidst your busy life and other priorities. It really is appreciated.

On another note, I’ve been planning to start my own blog about fitness in general and as it applies to my own progress. I’ve been toying with the idea for quite a while, and I figured now was a perfect time since it’s the summer, so I don’t have school, and I got a little more encouragement not to waste any time and take advantage of the opportunity provided by my injury. I’d like to take you up on that offer about some help in building a site. I was going to ask anyway, but once again, you beat me to it and put it in a post. I’ll email you with a few details and I would appreciate any knowledge you could impart.

Chris Glavine June 3, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Congrats on a great milestone Rusty. I just did a quick search of your site and discovered I have been a regular reader sometime shortly after Jan. 7, 2008. I remember doing a search trying to find the video of Matt Damon doing an impression of Matthew McConaughey on Letterman. It cracks me up everytime i see it. Not sure why i didn’t just youtube it but luckily i didn’t or i may never of come across your site. I have always been interested in fitness and became a regular reader ever since. Hope you continue this great blog for many many more years.

Greg at Live Fit June 3, 2009 at 10:31 pm

Congratulations on the progress. I’m sneaking up on a year, and am becoming amazed at that simple fact. It’s interesting to watch the evolution of other sites, as a benchmark.

You’ve obviously got a labor of love here, and it shows. I enjoy reading your thoughts on fitness and health.

Frank June 3, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Congratulations on your 2 year milestone and I hope that you continue this project for many years to come. I first discovered this sight last summer when I was searching for information on how Kobe Bryant’s weight loss (most of it in muscle) helped him have an amazing year and probably prolonged his nba career last season and still this season. As I’ve kept up with the entries and read back over your old entries I’ve become more and more happy at discovering a good source of information for healthy living and happy living. The fact that you remind us that you too like to indulge in the good foods and go to far off beautiful vacation spots reminds us that you’re just like the rest of us in your ultimate life goals, and also gotta say thanks for connecting us with guys like Mark Sisson and Brad Pillon, and the guy who came up with turbulence training (name escapes me at the moment). And I do have to say that following your tips on HIIT, getting off the frequent meal habit that I developed from boxing in college, and training outside more has helped me feel fresher and inspired me to continue strong well after I’ve passed my 20s ( I’m 23 right now) since the you’ve shown us how the body can continue to improve as we age.

Addison June 3, 2009 at 11:23 pm

I am also grateful for finding this site which changed my mind about so many things. I got here by trying to figure out how to “square out” my pecs and stumbled across your Brad Pitt article. Here I was mindlessly jamming out flat bench presses just because that’s what everyone does, and not realizing that I would really never reach my goal that way. That is why i’m grateful, and it’s also a perfect example of just the kind of unique information this blog provides. Thank you.

Andy June 3, 2009 at 11:51 pm


Congratulations on the success of your blog. I’ll be the first to admit that I am not an avid reader, but do wander over occassionally and always find useful information. It is so true that there is so much information out there and so many sites that it takes me a while to digest the information. I wish 1% of this information sharing was available to me 20 years ago. I’ve also found that there seems to be an undercurrent of people who compete for web traffic – possibly for that advertising hit revenue. But I view that as ‘look at me!’

Like you mention, there is also that sordid anonymity that brings out the worst in some people. Another blogger I follow has had his identity stolen, twice. I think he suspects it is someone who really has a taken a dislike to his blog. Can’t figure out why, since he doesn’t strike me as controversial.

Anyway, keep up the good work!

Greeno June 4, 2009 at 12:25 am

Have been a reader pretty much from the start Rusty…my routines i have tweaked for myself are based around knowledge i’ve learned from this site…and the good thing is, it’s not just fitness tips…you get some style, diet, travel, humor, videos, great pictures and other interesting life comments as well… so keep up the blogs on this stuff also…most of us here like hearing about beer and beaches!…look fwd to seeing how the site grows in the next 12 months…cheers

Louis June 4, 2009 at 12:57 am

Congrats on 2 years. I am a trainer through NASM. I agree with you on the bulky look is not the way to go. I have been a fan of your site for a little over a year. I follow your belief of staying lean all the time and that’s how I tend to train my clients. I have also thinking about starting a site myself and would love so advice. Keep up the great job and Thanks for your time.

rob June 4, 2009 at 1:11 am

Congratulations! Fitness Blackbook is by far the best fitness blog I have seen both in terms of content and layout/design. It’s simple, direct and informative. It’s also collaborative, open and pragmatic. Hope the site grows stronger.

I for one, would be definitely interested in seeing tips on blogging.

Norbi June 4, 2009 at 2:57 am

Hey Rusty,

this is a cool post. I mean, you created this site to help others, and made success with it, or you’re on your way to reach it. One of my job’s first requirement is to be able to gather worthy information as fast it’s possible, so I DO have the skills to decide pretty fast what information is worthy. When I started thinking about diet and exercise, I saw tons of websites / recommendations / tips. When I found your site, read the rest of it, being an intelligent thinking person, I stopped looking further. You don’t know me but I don’t usually ‘stop’; but the wide range of information that makes sense is just all over the place, I felt no need to go further and look for more. Your style of writing just makes the whole experience even better, so if there’s anyone to say thanks, that’s us, your readers.

Take care,

The Fit News June 4, 2009 at 3:18 am

I’m up to 5 comments so far! 🙂

I think the “how to blog” and “blogging for money” market is too saturated at the moment. Every man and his dog has a how to blog website lol.

Perhaps your skills would be better used to create your own full blown book or online fitness product/membership site.

Your information on this site would be very valuable if written into one book or provided in a step by step basis to people wanting to learn how to tone up and get fit properly without wasting time on useless knowledge/equipment.

But if you do go into the “how to blog” field.. you should sell copies of your blog design with a full guide on every technique you used to write the articles and achieve this success.

Orrrr! Now here’s an idea. Set up a blogging network where you duplicate this blog design and cover a hundred different topics and get people to “train” with you by writing articles for your different sites while you give them tips and techniques on how to build their own site. At the end of their training course, they’ll have received all the knowledge necessary to build and run their own website through practical implementation on your site, and they’ll have contributed like 10 or more articles to your own websites.

Good way to build a giant network and training program in one.

Yavor June 4, 2009 at 3:44 am

Congrats buddy! you inspired me to start my site.


Bill June 4, 2009 at 6:50 am

Congrats Rusty! I came to your site about six months ago, and find your advice and knowledge to be some of the best for what I’m trying to accomplish.
Having said that, I’d like to air a few grivances 🙂
1) Your pages load SO slowly. I always have to open your page in a tab, go do something else for a few minutes, then come back and read it.
2) I read you via RSS, and you’re the only one that I can’t read the entire article in my feed reader. Why do you force me to come to the site to read, when I could stay in the comfort of my RSS reader? See above complaint.

I encourage you to do something about your page load times and also allow us feed readers to read your entire article in our reader.

Great knowledge, but aggravating way to get it 🙂

Keep up the great work!

Henrik Edberg June 4, 2009 at 7:05 am

Thanks for all the great work and awesome and inspiring articles, Rusty! =P

MC June 4, 2009 at 7:08 am

First time commenter.

I found this blog a few months ago, and decided to incorporate some of the things you mention (such as jump rope – seriously, if anyone who is reading this hasn’t tried it yet, go buy one now!).

Even though I have been working out for a few years, I began to see some changes in my muscle tone and definition that I didn’t have before.

And since then, I’ve been recommending this blog to other friends who are also into fitness.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to create this community!

Misiune Imposibila June 4, 2009 at 7:19 am

First of all congratulations, it’s a very interesting blog and i like it a lot.

It would be great to have a study case about how to create traffic for your fitness blog.

Here’s something that can inspire you:×5/overnight-success/


gus June 4, 2009 at 8:21 am

amazing work rusty, u have done an incredible job with this site, which is after my opinion the best side by far when it comes to fitness advices!
thx allot rusty

Ramon June 4, 2009 at 8:50 am

Congrats Rusty and happy b-day to FitnessBlackBook!

I must have found this site just over a year ago and it has been great to read the posts and comments and occasionally post a comment of my own. The information has been great in terms of getting myself in better shape. I just turned 30 and my goal was to enter the new decade fairly lean. I’m 5’9″ and currently weigh 152lbs. I haven’t been that light since I was 15! I still have 5-10lbs to lose to get as lean as I would like and I know the info here is going to help me achieve my goal. Thanks again Rusty!

Terry June 4, 2009 at 9:06 am

Congratulations! And well-deserved traffic.

Strength is my goal and you are helping me to achieve it. You inspire me as well as teach techniques that work.

Love the Utubes and the pix as well. You have a way of mixing it up and keeping it interesting and informative and I like your practical approach.

When I feel like slacking off now, I think of you and your encouragement and your own staying power. It so helps to propel me forward. Thank you.

Brad June 4, 2009 at 10:06 am

This site has been very helpful for me as well. Rusty writes great stuff and does an excellent job at responding to questions and comments which I think is really cool.
This site has TOTALLY changed my way of thinking as far as my fitness goals and my approach to fitness. I used to be a slave to the 6 meals a day approach, and bulking and cutting and all that garbage. Since I stumbled across this site I’ve realized it is okay to workout to be in great shape without trying to be huge and put on bulky, cheesy looking muscle. I have a normal amount of muscle that I now am okay with, I just lift to get stronger and increase muscle density and tone. I really enjoy being functionally fit and doing lots of bodyweight exercises as well. Lifting for strength and not size, along with cardio sessions revolved around HIIT have been so benefitial for me and much more realistic then for me to try and bulk up and be huge. Thanks Rusty for really helping to open up my eyes to these things. This approach to my workouts and just eating 3 healthy meals a day have helped me get as lean as I want and still have fun and enjoy eating foods that aren’t so good for me once or twice a week.
Awesome site Rusty, keep up the good work buddy. Hope you have a great summer! Take care!


Liam | gyms stevenage June 4, 2009 at 10:36 am

Congratulations on 2 years of blogging! My blog has been going a few months now… Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Caleb - Double Your Gains June 4, 2009 at 10:37 am

Hey Rusty!


And I would love to see you do a blog on traffic/IM stuff!


sandruzzo June 4, 2009 at 11:04 am

hi Rusty

I’m quiet new of this forum,but I like It.good work and good luck and
Congrats Rusty


fitness-siren June 4, 2009 at 11:08 am

Rusty, congratulations on such a milestone! I am with you about blogging and how it can be difficult at first – finding topics, finding the time to write topics, researching stuff, etc (although it can be fun because I love talking about this stuff). In the end, it really is worth it to know that people appreciate and learn from your posts. You have done a great job in your two years. You are one of the few bloggers I aspire to.


Rachel June 4, 2009 at 11:45 am

i have this rinky dink accountability blog. i HAD to put your site on there, because i owe so much of my success to the inspirational stuff on here, coupled with spot on information.

you really have a talent and its clear you really want to help people, and guess what ? you are!!! a blueprint would be great! ive still got my training wheels on, but who knows? you learn by doing. a sincere thankyou rusty!

Elle June 4, 2009 at 12:26 pm

Rusty for President.



Helder June 4, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Hey Rusty WOW 2 years already, time really flies 🙂 2 years for you to be really pride of yourself, of this blog, for all the truth told, for all the real help you give to people.

2 years of some sort of “Shelter” to all the ones who like fitness, who like to build lean well balanced bodies, for those who simply want to look good and feel good about themselves, to all the ones who want to be healthy and enjoy Life, to all the ones who don’t want to be bodybuilders or powerlifters and were offended and kicked out of BB sites and forums.

Like you say a lot of times, it was 2 years, trying to make the planet a more good looking place

I wish you all the best, and a lot more years blogging and making this blog an online home for all the readers

Lia June 4, 2009 at 2:03 pm

I recently found your blog and enjoy reading it and it has made me rethink and plan some fitness stuff I used to do. I am actually really interested in your advice on how to improve and increase blog volume. It would be really nice to read that if you choose to write a post or more on it.

Bill C. June 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Great stuff. Has helped me break the bodybuilder style workouts I used to do. Came across the site awhile ago via a search for Laird Hamilton’s workout.

mickieb June 4, 2009 at 8:14 pm

I havent been commenting much, but I am keeping up with your site! I have read everything and keeping up with the new stuff. You have some really great things to say about food and training. I have tried many of your suggestions and have found my happy medium where I can do my best workouts and diet. Its hard to find that little comfort zone and have things work too. Your site really gives this support and has great ideas. Keep up the great work and Happy Anniversary!

Michael June 4, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Rusty, congrats on making it to the 2 year mark. Many people start out but quickly give up when there is no instant gratification (ie. traffic and comments) to be had.

I’ve read and listened to some of the audio interviews you’ve done on the web about blogging in general and have enjoyed them immensely because of your honesty and truthfulness for which you run this site. Definite recommend for ppl to dig up using google.

Although the blog about blog niche seems to be abundant, I’m confident you would be able to deliver a fresh perspective!

Congrats again!

Dan June 4, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Congrats on the success Rusty.

I discovered your articles awhile back through Ezine. I’ve read almost every one since then.

Andrew R - Go Healthy Go Fit June 4, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Hey Rusty,

There isn’t much I can say that hasn’t already been said about your site. On a personal note, I’ve taken a great deal of joy in being able to learn from you both about health/fitness as well as blogging. You’ve provided me with tips that have been instrumental in the success of my blog.

All I can say is, if you wanted to write a blog about root canals I would read that too! You’re the man and those 9,000 comments and change only scratch the surface of the benefit you’ve had in so many lives. Well done!

You’re friend,

Andrew R
Go Healthy Go Fit

Rahul June 5, 2009 at 4:21 am

Hey Rusty,

CONGRATS!!! and keep going. Apart from the great info…what I really love about your site is that it’s positively motivational for me….

Btw, talking about results, I met up with a girl I really liked a couple of days back after a gap of almost 4-5 months (long story)…well, guess what she said when she saw me…..” wow!! you look so toned and ur face has become kind of, kind of……angular”……….. (and this was when I was wearing formal clothes not even T-shirts etc. 🙂 🙂 )forget about weight or measurements or fat percentage just that comment made everything worthwhile for me…………….so, THANKS for it’s ur site that I have been following all this while…..

btw, been recommending ur site to everyone I know. Keep going.


Anne Siri June 5, 2009 at 6:18 am

Hooray, and congrats on your first two years, Rusty!

I just want to thank you for sharing your interesting, educating, well written and entertaining posts!

I think it’s fascinating – even though I don’t know you, give me advice and inspiration and make an impact in my life – without demanding anything back from me. It makes me want to do the same for others.

Keep up the good work!

sangita June 5, 2009 at 7:50 am

Hi Rusty! Happy Birthday!! I have been reading your blog for quite a while now but thought that now was a good time to start commenting. I too agree with Andrew here and would read anything you wrote! Thanks a lot for all the information. I came to your blog after Vic Magary (from recommended you and I can’t thank him enough! Your’s is one of the most sensible sites on health along with Tom Venuto. The only grudge I have against you is the pics of hot gals you keep posting lol! I’m gonna have to put in some work before I can look like that!

wolverine June 5, 2009 at 10:15 am

Hey Rusty congrats, 2 years aint a joke!!!! finding your site has really changed my attitude towards fitness and coupled with marks daily apple i have devised what i think really works for me. As a birthday gift, could you please give me ur 2cent on my prog. you can tell by now that i have a big build and hate being remotely bulky, i have been jogging for 7 miles every other day for years with no obvious changes to my bulky build, i have switched to your strenght training, and sprints, and also tried bodyweight intervals, i have come to realise that what really works for me is to keep doing my steady state jogging while incooperating a gruelling bodyweight interval, with a once weekly bout of full body low rep training. i dont mind not looking like Brad, my aim is to look slim without bulges and bulk. Thanks alot Rusty

mark June 5, 2009 at 10:22 am

could someone please give me something like a formula to get a sixpack.What exercises,how many reps,how long I have to wait for results?I am skiny so don’t have any fat to lose ,there are lots of ab excercises on the internet but there don’t seem to be any rountines on exactly what you have to do.

Mindbodygoal June 5, 2009 at 10:31 am

Hi Rusty and congrats on the 2 years.

It’s a great site that I have enjoyed reading and posting on, always something to think about and chew over. A breath of fresh air.

Inspiring post for me having been writing my own site for the last 6 months and hoping it will eventually reach the kind of success yours is enjoying.

I wish you all the very best.

Sam June 5, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Congratulations Rusty! Thank you for providing a great source of information for people interested in getting fit without all the confusion that the supplement industry creates. I had a question on one of your earlier posts regarding optimal cardio equipment for getting lean. You recommend running on the treadmill for reducing the size of one’s legs and gluts. However, I have had 3 ACL surgeries as a result of college soccer and find it very uncomfortable to run for long periods of time due to the pounding. I have been doing my HIIT in the eliptical and was wondering if this will help me resuce the size of my legs and glut? If not, what other machines would you recommend other than the treadmill?



Richard Nikoley June 5, 2009 at 5:48 pm


I started my blog in 2003. Surprisingly, I kept with it (many posts per week, over years). Political blog. Wrote over 2,000 posts over four years. Then in 2007, I somehow got into this fitness thing, personally — for myself. I blogged a bit about it, interspersed with my other posts.

I don’t think that in all those years of pretty dedicated blogging that I had more than about 300 regular readers per day.

Last September, I decided to make it exclusively about the whole realm of health, fitness, weight loss, diet, exercise, food, and so on.

In just months, I’m at over 1,200 daily readers and it’s growing, and growing more rapidly.

It’s so much more rewarding, now, which goes to your comment about loving how people get results. Love that!


Let’s keep it up, folks, and really promote one-another. Rusty has been very giving.

And I must also echo Rusty’s cautions about blogging. My input is that you really have to love it. I also hate it, but only very infrequently. See, you have to know that you’re passionate about it — that you love it and that you hate it — but that you love it quite a bit more — and more often — than you hate it.

I’m almost never indifferent about it. That’s what you have to be sure of. Love and hate are both caring. indifference is not caring.

admin June 5, 2009 at 7:56 pm

Fit Jerk,

I don’t think the pagerank is great, but that doesn’t matter as much as it used to. The main thing is that my site gets a lot of traffic. A bunch from Google and even more from people finding my site on links from other sites.


I think a lot of guys at first want to look big and muscular when wearing clothes. I don’t think that is the best way to go. Think about James Bond wearing a tux…he doesn’t look particularly muscular, but you can tell he is in decent shape due to the angular features of his face. To me this is ideal. To have the “GQ” look when dressing up and looking defined and athletic on the beach.


I’m sure running a blog is a lot like personal training. The idea of it seems easy, but many quit when they hit a road block. I guess it is like being successful in any endeavor…you just have to keep pushing forward even when the efforts don’t always produce immediate results. I’m not sure when I plan on creating a case study blog, but think it will help…giving a game-plan on what it really takes to generate tons of traffic online.


Thanks a bunch. You add a ton of useful comments to just about every post I make. This is where the real value of the blog is. I really appreciate it. I may do the whole case study blog as a video blog. I think it would help for people to see how to build traffic to their sites step-by-step.


Results like yours are incredible and makes all of this worthwhile. The great thing is that you know it is just a matter of time to drop those last 17. It is a done deal!


I just read my first few posts…great info, but not formatted well. A lot better stuff the second month!


Sounds like you have achieved outstanding results. I typically do those posts targeting celebrity names as a way to get a lot of traffic from Google. I don’t necessarily think their workouts are great, but it is a way to pull people into my site. A lot of people search for celebrity workouts.


Yeah…I wish I knew about this approach to training when I first started as well. It would have saved me from years of muscle soreness and unnecessary weight gain by following traditional bodybuilding methods. Some of the younger trainees will find this info useful…many will continue to follow the mainstream fitness info found in bodybuilding magazines. I’m reaching more and more beginners who will have a decided advantage over those who follow outdated methods taught at many gyms.


A 15 pound weight drop makes a big difference on your physique. Glad to hear you are getting such outstanding results! I felt a lot better after I “lightened up” a bit. Being strong and light is the way to go.


Anoter guy who found my site looking up Cam Gigandet’s workout. I almost didn’t do that post, but I knew there were so many guys searching about how to look like Cam Gigandet that I could get a lot of new readers. Thanks a ton for recommending my site to others…I really enjoy the fact that the readership is growing at a rapid rate. I also do my best to not put up too much conflicting advice. That being said, it will happen to a certain extent…just due to the fact that there are so many ways to get in great shape.


Redmond is a funny place. It is a nice area, but has a bit of a “Zoolander” thing going on…the guys that tan a bit too much, have the same spiky gelled haircut, and try a bit too hard. I guess Kirkland falls under the same description. The East Side is beautiful, but a bit much at times. I’m glad you mentioned Ballard, because that place is much more down-to-earth. I spend a lot of time there, because that is where my girlfriend lives. Sorry to hear about your slipped disk in your back. Have you read my 3 part post on back injury? Search for it with the search function if you haven’t. I slipped a disk in my back doing the leg press when I was 20 years old (half a lifetime ago)…and now have found a way to workout hard with zero back pain. I’ll try that Mexican place on Ballard Ave…I love Mexican food!


You can certainly replace the steady state cardo that you typically do after HIIT with a high-rep weight circuit. You probably only want to do this about 2-3 times per week max, if you are keeping everything else the same. So maybe you would followup every other HIIT session with the weight circuit. If you feel too drained, maybe every third session. It will really depend on what your body is telling you, but is a great strategy overall.


I sent you an e-mail about starting your own blog…did you get it? Hopefully you did. Thanks for the compliment on my site…It a rewarding and important part of my life. It feels good having the ability to reach a lot of people. It feels great hearing all of the positive results. The big reason I want to help people build high-traffic successful blogs is that there is still a massive need online for focused quality content on EVERY subject. I like sites that provide helpful content that gets right to the point. For people who have a specialized knowledge, which is almost everyone…there is a way to package that knowledge in a way that can eventually help millions.


I remember that post. That was a long time ago. I plan on doing this for a long time to come. I still have tons of subjects to write about.


A year online is almost like 3 years in the “outside world”. Things just move so fast. Two years doesn’t sound like a lot, but most people with sites give up so quickly. Half the battle online is sticking with it…the other half is giving people your best effort. You have a nice site as well.


Thanks buddy. I really do my best to let people know that I have all of the same isues that they do. I eat real food, go to parties, etc. The great thing about Mark Sisson, Brad Pilon, Craig Ballantyne and most of the guys I recommend is that they too live normal lives while staying lean. I am not impressed with people who atarve themselves to get in incredible shape for a magazine photo shoot or movie. People who stay in shape year round are the ones I am most impressed with.


Glad you found the “square pecs” post. That one still gets tons of daily visitors. In my opinion the best chest exercise is incline dumbell pressed because it develops the upper pecs at the same rate as the rest of the chest. I’m not against regular benching, but most guys need to focus on incline work for a while to get rid of that rounded pec look and develop that line all the way to the collar bone.


Yeah…there is competition for traffic to a certain extent, but the best way to build steady traffic is to provid useful content. If people find a site especially useful, they will come back over and over again. These types of sites are tough to find amongst the millions of sites online. Luckily, many of the regulars who comment have extremely helpful sites and they contribute on a steady basis.


I think people want to be entertained while learning. I can’t stick around a bland lifeless blog. I like to read blogs that have a visible person behind the content as well. A big mistake is to just remain anonymous while providing facts. I don’t think people enjoy those blogs as much. I know I don’t. I will do my best to talk more about beer and travelling!


God to hear that you keep your clients lean. That is the way to go. Also…it would be smart of you to start a blog. It would help your clients understand many of the ideas behind your philosophy.


Thanks a bunch…there are also a ton of great bloggers who comment on my site. The funny thing about my design is that it is really out-dated, but I don’t want to change it because it is so easy to read. I like the color combination…the narrow width, etc.


Thanks…I try to make the content easy to digest. We are in the “attention age”…just so many things to grab our attention. I do my best to keep things to the point and entertaining…otherwise people will quickly click away. I really appreciate it that you have stick around and are reading on a regular basis…It is what makes this work worthwhile.

The Fit News (James),

You will get there! I remember working my way up to 100 visitors per day. This is the hardest milestone to reach (anyone reading this, who gets 100 visitors per day needs to know that this is a big deal). As far as selling my blog design…my blog design is old…really old and not even 1/2 as functional as the other blog themes. I like it because I enjoy the ease of reading and color scheme, but there are much better themes out now. I could do a coaching program of some sort.


I remember begging you to start your own site. I liked your writing style so much when you left comments that I felt it was mandatory that you start a blog. It is doing well…glad I pushed you to do it 🙂


I’ve heard the page load complaint once before…not too much I can do about that. I’m sure it is because of the photo quality and size I use on the images on my site. As far as RSS goes…I like to use snippets of my post on the front page of my blog…which automatically makes it appear that way in RSS readers. Thanks for pointing that out…and please keep reading despite that…I really do appreciate it!


A HUGE thanks for listing me as your “favorite blog so far in 2008″…you have a massive blog with amazing content! I have learned a lot about what to look forward to by following your site. I really appreciate the nice things you have said about this site on your blog. Note: For anyone reading this…go over to Henrik’s site, The Positivity Blog, and subscribe to his RSS feed. He puts a lot into his content and it shows.


Glad you liked the jump rope workout…it is a Love-Hate thing with me. Jumping rope is a killer exercise, but can be brutally tough. Thanks for recommending this site to your friends. Also…I’m glad you are seeing changes in the apperance of your physique. Just wait what happens when you train like this for a few years!

Misiune Imposibila,

Thanks for the compliment. Also…thanks for that link. Chris’s site looks outstanding!


I appreciate the compliment. These kind words do mean a lot to me…it makes me want to do this as long as possible. I’m extremely excited to keep pumping out the posts.


That is cool that you are only 5-10 pounds away from your goal. Those last 5-10 pounds can take a little longer to lose, but I’m confident that you will get there! Typically people begin to gain a lot of weight around the age of 30 (earlier for some)…Doesn’t it feel great that you are doing the reverse?


Glad to hear that you are getting stronger. To be successful in anything, I’ve realized that you have to accept the fact that occasionally the thing you are doing will feel like “work”. So many people quit things, the minute they aren’t fun. Just keep pushing through tough times and it will eventually be more rewarding than you can imagine.


I will have a great summer…thanks! What is cool is that I will probably get in the best shape of my life while spending less time and effort devoted to it. In the two years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve adapted my workouts a bit as well. I still stick to the same core principles, but have tweaked things a bit to make workouts more time-efficient. Life is too short to base your life around working out. Much better to stay in shape while living a rewarding life.


Keep at it…I think the first 3-4 months of blogging are practice more than anything! You are still in learning mode. My advice is to get your best ideas on your site and you will succeed.


Tina Fey seems like she would be fun. I like people who seem down-to-earth. 30 Rock is an outstanding show. So many people want to have a blog, but get discouraged by lack of traffic. I could really help people a lot in that regard.


Thanks a bunch. Keep reading…I appreciate it.


Your blog looks great. Did you do a theme update? Looks good. I can tell you have what it takes to build a popular site. I see your name all over the place at the other fitness sites I visit…plus you write well.


I’m convinced I could help anyone build a large readership as long as they genuinely care about helping people. Making money is fine, but putting people first is where the long-term success happens. Keep building your blog and helping people the best you know how. I am now more and more convinced that I need to start a blog on getting website traffic.


Well…Only if it is “President of Beach Vacations and Boating”…just dreaming!


Thanks buddy. You have been a commenter since day one and I appreciate that. Truth be told, I have been slightly harsh to the bodybuilding community at times, but those forums are out-of-control. I simply wanted a positive place for people who want to live a fun life while being fit and healthy. Getting fit shouldn’t consume people’s lives. I wanted to show that people can have a blast, live life to the fullest, and look great on the beach.


If I do talk about blog traffic, it will be an entirely different blog. I still may hold off for a while, but I think I could help others spread info about their passion (whatever that is).

Bill C,

Laird Hamilton is a guy I look up to. I like the idea that he stays fit and healthy doing what he loves. I appreciate this guy much more than a typical fitness model. Anyone can look good for a magazine cover…that doesn’t impress me at all. People who stay in shape year after year are the ones to look up to.


You worded it in a great way…finding “that little comfort zone and have things work too”. That is the ultimate goal.


I do have a few interviews out there on some general ideas on getting internet traffic. I’ll give people those links once I start a blog on getting website traffic.


Thanks Dan. I put in a few Ezinearticles a while before I started this site. You have been reading for a while! Thanks buddy.


I have enjoyed watching the progress of your blog and I do recommend it to others quite often. You have one of the best fitness blogs online…I just have a bit of a head start. I will do the blog on website traffic at some point. I just need to make sure I’m putting better and better content on this site. This is my true passion.


That is awesome! There is a “clean look” to the face of a guy who loses a lot of body fat. It is like having a face lift, but is actually better because it doesn’t look fake. Feels good, doesn’t it?


The Internet should be about sharing great info. My hope is that others adopt a “give first” mentality. My hope is that the Internet gets cleaned up a bit and good info on any topic is easier to find. I wanted to do this with fitness info, but if others follow my lead on fitness or any other topic…that would be great. Also, I am certainly not saying that I have the best site or I’m the first person to do this…I am saying that I give this site 100% of my best effort. We just need more sites run by people who care.


I have tried to “tone down” the pics a bit. I still like having inspiring photos, but not as provocative as when I first started. Tom Venuto does have a great product and website. He certainly knows his stuff. I would like to thank Vic and Justin from Gym Junkies as well. Those two have an outstanding site. Keep pushing and you will reach your goal. As far as looking like the girls in the photos…they don’t even look like that 100% of the time.


It sounds like you just easily gain muscle…nothing wrong with that. As your name implies, you may just have a physique like Hugh Jackman. Believe me…that isn’t a bad look…Hugh is consider by many women as the sexiest man in Hollywood. This site really frowns upon the idea of adding “excess” muscle. What I mean by that is pushing past your normal, natural amount of muscle. Hugh Jackman naturally carries a lot more muscle than Brad Pitt, but they both look great…it is the right amount of muscle for their frame. Brad Pitt would look stupid if he bulked up to the level of Jackman…Hugh Jackman would look weird being as light as Brad. It is cool to lighten up a bit, but don’t get down on yourself if you naturally carry more muscle. Your approach should work well to lose a bit of size.


Many routines work, but it is a case of putting in the time. It takes a bit of time to build the density in the abs for a sharp six pack. I wish it could happen overnight, but that isn’t always the case.


Just continue to give away your best information to your readers and you will succeed. Write with the idea that you already have 10,000 visitors per day and you will get there!


With injuries you do have to adapt and an ellitical will do the trick. What you will want to avoid for a while is the exercise bike…this “pumps up” the legs a bit and makes it tough to lose muscle, even under a strong calorie deficit.


I am so glad you are getting great website traffic. Your posts are top-notch and I can tell that a lot of thought goes into them. I’m a regular reader of your site and subscribe to your RSS feed. It is one of my favorites.

Thanks for all the positive comments everyone…You are too kind!


Kenneth June 6, 2009 at 1:13 am

Hi Rusty,

Avid fan of your posts and I find every new post intriguing.
Your stuff not only helped me regain my fitness (hampered with injuries in the past) but also keep these injuries at bay.

Happy 2nd Birthday… Keep the great stuff coming!!

Coleman June 7, 2009 at 12:25 am

Hey rusty,
I am 15 years old and have been dieting for about 3 months now by eating around 1400 calories a day and I am at 5% body fat and weigh 150. Now that I have reached my goal I do not know how many calories I should eat to maintain this body fat. I have read that to maintain your current weight, you should eat around 15 times your body weight in calories. is this accurate for someone at such a low body fat and so far under their natural body weight?any advice would be greatly apreciated

Aviel June 7, 2009 at 6:22 am

Hey Rusty,
congrats on turning 2 years!

I love this site and thanks to you and Brad Pilon I’m really changing my life from having the “average” look that you’re not exactly proud of on the beach to a much leaner version of myself. I started working out half a year ago and I’ve experimented with a lot of various workout tips I got from this site and talked my dad and brother into dropping the typical bodybuilding workout. Now we’re having fun and challenging workouts where we currently do supersets for low reps but heavy weights, focusing on compound lifts. And we’re all seeing results and enjoying ourselves much more.
I just began benching my maximum which rapidly reached 100kg which is a proof i’ve had some results in gaining strength while simultaneously dropping around 10kg, from 90 to 80, and on my way to the six-pack look.

Aviel June 7, 2009 at 6:23 am

I forgot to add that I’m in Sweden, so the Fitness Black Book philosophy is spreading around the globe! 😉

trubulence ques June 7, 2009 at 10:31 am

OFF topic: i would like to start the turbulence training fusion fat loss program but can i still use the 5×3 strength system(from rusty’s summer workout)

admin June 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm


I have been working around a back injury for 20 years, so I know what you mean. I wish I could go back in time and avoid ever doing a “crunch” or work on the leg press machine.

Note: Here is a post I wrote on my personal story on a bad back injury. It is a 3-part post to help people who have had a rough spinal injury. Search for it, by typing in “back injury” into the search bar at the top of my site.


It is so hard to give people exact calorie amounts. I would recommend that some days you go 15 times your body weight (or more) and some days where you eat quite a bit less. Maintenance is pretty easy…the key is to just track yourself once per week.


Thanks for spreading the love in Sweden! Some of my best friends are twins and their oldest brother lives in Stockholm. They visited him last summer and the pictures were outstanding. They were surprised by the beauty of the city as well as the people. I do plan on visiting at some point.

turbulence question,

I do the 5×3 workout 3-4 times per week. On the weeks that I workout 3 times per week…I do a bodyweight circuit in my apartment on a separate day. On the weeks that I go to the gym 4 times per week, I do a body weight circuit after one of these workouts in the gym. The rest of the time, I do HIIT right after my workout. There are so many ways to approach this. At this moment I’m working out just 4 days per week and getting great results. The only way to know for sure if your combo will work is to test it. My guess is that it will work as long as you don’t over-train.



gerard June 8, 2009 at 10:30 am

hey man, just like the rest i’d like to say thank u very much,
thanks to this site i’ve found answers o many questions,
and then more questions and found new answers, if that makes any sense, haha
thank u for the none bullshit advice, the great pics in the posts haha
cheers man

Gina from Diet Renegade June 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm

Congrats Rusty on 2 years! Your blog stands out way above the rest and inspires me every time I read it.

I credit a lot of your posts with giving me that little extra push I needed – and now I’m 45 pounds lighter because of all those extra pushes. 🙂

And I would love it if you started a blog about blogging!

Thanks for everything,


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