Hey San Antonio and beyond,
Here’s the first workout to be done 3 times per week in the eight week program. Sorry it’s a couple of days late, but I have been completely swamped. The range of reps simply means find a weight you can do the minimum rep range with and heavy enough you can’t go over the max. Warm up with 6-10 minutes of light cardio work (this does not count as a cardio workout) and then do a warm up set or two for each exercise. I’d prefer a day off between training, but since it’s Wednesday, get three in however you can (my fault). I’ll be quicker for the rest of the program, promise. :D
Rest 45-60 seconds between sets.
free weight bb squat 4 sets x 10-15 reps
flat db bench press 4 sets x 8-12 reps
lateral db raises 2 sets x 15-20 reps
Cable Lat Pulldowns 4 sets x 10-15 reps
Face Pulls 2 sets x 12-15 reps
Standing DB lunges 3 sets x 10 reps each leg
Tricep V-Bar Pressdowns 2 sets x 25 reps
Superset last set by bench dips until failure
Easy bar curl 3 sets x 15-20 reps
Your choice of ab exercise 25-100 reps (make it hurt)
Remember this is a very general workout created for the masses – for very specific direction on both nutrition and training, contact me about my online personal training programs.
Hey San Antonio and beyond,
I have received a few messages asking me about meal plans, and I do intend on creating a few sample meal ideas for you, but the amounts will be very user specific and I’ll give you an idea where to start and how to adjust it based on your progress. In the first two weeks, I’ll give you a wider selection of foods for you to use and will remove foods every week as we go on.
Under the 8 Week Program link on the side, find my food guidelines to determine when you should have either a carb + protein meal or a protein + fat meal. I’ll give suggestions for:
-breakfast when it is pre-workout
-pre and post-cardio
-meals that are protein and healthy fats.
I’ll leave veggie intake at this: eat them anytime and eat them often.
I’ll also go over a few simple principles that you’ll need to remember day to day. Hopefully, most of you will realize that unless you are planning to compete, the body transformation lifestyle itself is not as ridiculously complicated as most people try to make it (see my last post about the 80/20 philosophy).
Hey San Antonio,
Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope everyone is spending today with someone who is special to them!
I have a LOT on tap for the next few days/weeks.
I’ve been mentioning it forever, but we finally started putting it to action and I’m planning on recording every single exercise I can think of and listing them here on the blog. I think this will be an invaluable tool to help people all over the world reach their full body transformation potential.
Online Personal Training
With the video library being created, this will make my online personal training much easier to manage and enable me to take on a larger workload. I am very close to capacity for my online training, but once the videos are created, I’ll have better leverage of time and resources and will be able to accommodate many more online clients.
As I have mentioned in past posts: the programs will include complete nutritional programs, individually designed based on condition and goals, and a variety of training principles based on whatever your goals may be. I currently work with people from all points of the fitness spectrum: from professional athletes and fitness models to stay at home mothers and college students. Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle gain, increased athletic performance, bikini body preparation (hey, it’s in HUGE demand) or something that may not seem so common, drop me a line and let’s see if we’re a match.
With that being said, I will be using the same guidelines I use in my studio personal training business. What is that? I evaluate each and every potential client on a case by case basis and objectively determine if we’re a good fit to work together. My goal is getting you to your goals. That sounds like what you’ve read on every personal training site on the internet, but I take it a step further. I WANT you to have high expectations, as my expectations for you and your progress are very high. I only take on clients (in studio and online) that are willing to follow my guidelines to a “T” and who are going to do whatever it takes to get the most out of their programs.
As mentioned, I’ll be using email, videos, IM Web-camming, and telephone to guide each online client.
My services are like no other online personal trainers in the world – re-read that. When I train people online, I make sure that I duplicate my in-gym services to give them the greatest chance for fitness success. I always employ a no-excuses approach and hold every client very accountable, as consistency and hard work are the keys to success.
The Eight Week Body Transformation Program
Ok, I’ve had a lot of people ask me “what happens after eight weeks?” and the answer is I’m going to wait and see. Eight weeks was the initial time frame – In honesty, I intend on keeping it going permanently if there’s a demand.
Expanding my San Antonio Personal Training Studio
We have more than doubled the amount of equipment we have – so now, in total, I have 9 pieces of high end cardio equipment and more weight training equipment and machines than most full commercial gyms in San Antonio. The good part is that I’m working with the landlord of my strip center to move into a MUCH larger space to accommodate our equipment and to get it out of storage and into our personal training studio. We’re also in the process of adding a full time massage therapist to our staff, and having enough space to allow them to move their massage therapy practice inside of our personal training studio, while also offering a full line of nutritional supplements and recovery services such as electromagnetic stimulation and ultrasound therapy.
I have a very high sense of urgency here, and want to have everything in place by early to mid-March, with the exercise videos and online personal training in full swing by the end of next weekend (as I intend on recording 20-30 videos tonight :D).
Never stop pushing toward your goals – let nothing slow you down!
Hey San Antonio,
Zero week will be here Monday! Here are the goals of the week to begin your fat loss and body transformation.
Let me reiterate – this is a program designed to maximize body transformation! That means fat loss and muscle maintenance to maximize definition and changing the way you look. This is not a starvation program designed to make you lose 50lbs. It is for re-partitioning what you have.
1. Keep or increase what lean body mass you have. This is extremely important. I can hear women all over the world saying “I just want to be smaller” and “I don’t want big muscles.” Here’s the kicker: you are not going to gain huge muscles at a rapid rate. It is physically and hormonally impossible. I mean, think about it – how many guys do you see in the gym that DO want huge muscles? Ok, now how many of them actually have huge muscles?
Keeping what lean body mass you have is important for metabolic reasons. The more lean body mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate you have. This is important, because I want your body being a fat burning furnace when you’re doing nothing. LOSING lean body mass slows the metabolism, which means you have to continue to eat less and less. What does that do? It invokes the body’s natural defense: the starvation reflex. The metabolism comes to a screeching halt, making the body more likely to metabolize muscle rather than body fat. Lean body mass looks better than fat. Skinny isn’t always desirable. If you want the toned, defined look, it is important to control where the pounds you lose comes from.
2. Burn fat. This goes without saying. But the goal is not to lose sheer weight. Remove adipose from the body – that’s it. To do this, there is a lot of nutritional timing, nutrient manipulation and training strategies that go behind this. Forget what you think you know. I don’t care about “Well, I burned 300 calories doing this” and “500 calories doing that”. You’re wasting mental capacity and effort. I am concerned about nutrient intake more than I am concerned with caloric intake. A calorie is NOT a calorie, and the body DOES pick and choose where it burns calories from based on your current nutritional/fed state or the type of exercise your doing. Oh, but there is more – the body is picky and will go out of it’s way to compensate in a way you don’t want it to. If the body feels like too much fat has been burned during a given time period, it will go into a fat preservation mode.
3. 8 Weeks is NOT a long time, so there’s no margin for error. No excuses, no “I did OK”. You either commit or you don’t. I’m laying this all out to give you what you need to make the maximum amount of progress in a very short amount of time.
4. Set your baselines NOW. What are your baselines? Over the next week, it’s important that you figure out what your capabilities are in different exercises. I’d spread this out over a week’s time to figure it out, but the point is that we have to force the body to adapt by progression.
Cardio for the first 2 weeks is simple: 20 minutes on Days 2 and 4 at a very intense effort. What is intense? Warm up for 5 minutes and then push it at an effort that requires deep breaths before speaking for 20 minutes (and then cool down for 3-5 minutes). I PREFER lower impact machines like the elliptical or recumbent bike, but if you’re a runner, run. The goal is to go all out as much as you can for 20 minutes. If you need to take a breather for a minute or two here and there, that’s fine. But the goal here is to establish an efficient cardiovascular response.
On day 6, this cardio is much less intense, yet longer in duration. 5 minute warm up, moderate intensity (you should be able to talk, but should be breathing heavy and breaking a sweat) for 35 minutes. Cool down for 5 minutes.
-Warm up for 5 minutes on your favorite cardio machine.
-For each exercise, do 2-4 light sets to acclimate the body to the exercise.
-Once perfect form ends, the set ends and that is your baseline. No swinging, rocking, cheating, leaning, etc.
-A rep range is just that. Find a weight heavy enough that you can’t do more than the higher number and light enough to where you can at least do the minimum reps.
On Day 1:
Determine how much weight you can do for 8-12 reps on db front squats
Determine how much weight you can do on the flat db bench press for 8-10 reps
Determine much weight you can do for 12-15 reps on the lat pulldown
2 sets of standing lateral raises x 15-20 reps
3 sets of 12-15 reps of standing db curls
3 sets of tricep pressdowns for 15-20 reps
Determine how much weight you can do on the leg press for 12-15 reps
Determine how much weight you can do on the db incline bench press for 10-12 reps
Determine how much weight you can do on the seated cable row for 8-10 reps
Standing Ez bar curls 3 sets x 15-20 reps
Bench Dips 3 sets until failure
Front db raises 2 sets x 15-20 reps
Determine how much weight you can do on a bb stiff leg dead lift for 10-12 reps
Determine how much weight you can do for 6-8 reps on a flat bb bench press
Determine how much weight you can do on a bent barbell row for 6-8 reps.
Seated incline db curls 2 sets x 12-15 reps
Flat bench bb skull crushers 2 sets x 12-15 reps
These are not the only exercises you will be doing – this is just to get your baselines on a few simple exercises and are the ones you will work to progress in. Weekly, workouts will include different exercises from the list that is posted in the 8 Week Program section here on the blog, including squats, dead lifts, lunges, bench press variations and several other that really stimulate the body.
IF you don’t understand how to do some of these exercises, I would suggest to either email me and ask me where you can find a video of someone doing it properly. I am in the midst of adding an entire library of every exercise that I can think of, but it’s going to take me a little bit. At least if you email me, I can tell you where you can find the correct way to do it, and not a video of someone with terrible form.
Of course, for my online personal training clients, I do offer webcam conferencing and step by step instruction for any exercise you may need help with.
For now, choose a few core exercises that you enjoy and finish your workouts with them, but once week 1 starts, I will be adding specific core exercises to your regimen.
Questions and/or comments? Feel free to email or comment!
Hey San Antonio,
Since I’m not available to measure each and everyone and help them make an assessment of their progress, here are the sites that I’ll recommend you perform circumference measurements to help track your progress. A little disclaimer here – I’d recommend taking a pic of yourself in shorts (or a bikini for females) and using that as your progress indicator and to track your progress, as this provides visible proof aside from metrics.
Neck – center of the neck
Shoulders – top of the chest, around 3-4 inches down on the arms
Chest – center of the chest
Abdominal – belly button
Hips (females) – largest visible point
Quads – approx 4″ up from knee
Arms – middle of the tricep, largest part of the upper arm
These are rough estimates, and due to different builds, everyone is different when measuring. The key is to be consistent and to measure in the same place each time you measure.
I recommend weekly or measuring every other week to ensure you are staying on course. Of course, the more often you measure, the less progress you will notice each time, but be patient.
Hey San Antonio,
Here’s a list of the exercises that I’m going to be using in the program. Some of these are pretty simple, but if you’re not familiar with form, I’d recommend you either find a correct video on how to perform the exercise or ask someone who actually knows what they’re doing how to do them.
Of course, my online personal training clients can ask me for videos on how to perform any exercise that I may prescribe.
-bent bb rows
-pullups (for some)
-seated cable rows
-rear (freeweight) squats
-front squats (both bb and db)
-stiff leg dead lifts
-db bench press (incline and flat)
-bench press (bb flat and incline)
-db shoulder press
-Several different varieties of curls
-reverse grip bench press
-close grip bench press
-overhead tricep extension
Various abs and core exercises
Hey San Antonio (and beyond),
I promised the supps I’d recommend, and here they are. I’m starting simple here and will add things as we go. This is the same list I posted in December, but these are definitely the necessities.
I’m also accepting 8 Week questions for a Q and A section, so let’em rip.
-Fat burners are the most common asked about supplements on the personal trainer in San Antonio blog. Too many people think they can pop these “magic pills” and eat a little sloppier or get away with a lax diet. That isn’t the case, and the best results will only be obtained with a strict, disciplined approach to nutrition.
With that being said, I like to combine my thermogenic and pre-workout drink. Right now, I prefer “Endorush” by BSN (it is a drink, not a pill). I like the jolt it gives, I don’t crash, and it curbs the appetite. I usually drink a bottle in the morning (pre and into my workout) and one in the early afternoon to avoid the post-workout, afternoon crash.
If there’s a supplement you cannot live without (for both fat loss and muscle gain) it is BCAAs. Check out my articles by using the search feature. My favorite is Scivation Xtend. The Lemonade is phenomenal. Read my BCAA articles for recommendations on dosage.
I prefer a blend that provides sustained delivery of amino acids. I don’t like proteins loaded with carbs or fats, as I’d prefer to add my own sources (a side of oatmeal, etc). The best protein product on the market right now is “ProComplete 40″. It’s loaded with digestive enzymes to aid absorption and just a minimal amount of healthy fats. By the way, every flavor I have tried has been quite tasty. I use it as a snack between meals, as part of a meal for added protein and every night as a pre-bedtime snack to keep me full of muscle repairing amino acids.
Secret Weapon Fat Loss Supplement
Sesamin is the do it all supplement. You don’t “feel it” when you take it, but it has the ability to spare muscle during dieting, burn fat, store amino acids, and also has antioxidant properties. I take a sesamin capsule with 3-5 meals per day, and I’ve sworn by it for years.
My favorite brand is Scivation’s Sesamin.
Essential Fatty Acids
My favorite blend of Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids is LaBrada’s EFA Gold. It’s the perfect blend, it’s high quality and relatively inexpensive. I take a serving in the morning with breakfast and a serving in the evening.
Nutritional supplementation can become quite expensive, and I don’t think that everyone needs to take everything at all times. These are my essentials that I’d recommend for anyone, no matter their goals before I’d recommend anything else (cell volumizers, creatines, etc). Supplementation is just that – it is only effective when it is a part of a whole exercise and nutritional regimen, and is NOT designed to replace proper nutritional habits or skipping workouts.
Hey San Antonio,
Here are the simple rules for nutrition that I’ll be using for your 8 week training program. I posted the food list a few days ago, and I will modify that every 2 weeks. For my actual studio clients, I zero this in based on the individual. Since I can’t do that for the 7500 monthly readers of this blog, I’ll try to be as flexible as possible. I do offer online personal training, so if you’re interested, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. I get very specific with my in-gym and online clients. Of course, this program is broad, but scalable.
-Don’t forget to drink PLENTY of water. Before, during and after every meal and workout. That means all the time. The goal is 1oz per pound of bodyweight.
-Eat at LEAST 5 meals per day!!! There are NO exceptions here. You should be eating every 2-3 hours.
-Sugars, juices, sodas, and sports drinks are a big NO (maybe a sports drink + protein post-workout, but at no other time). They’re empty calories and they WILL MAKE YOU FAT.
-Alcohol? Only if you want your fat burning to come to a complete hault for 72 hours after your drink. Stop it, cut it out, and don’t do it. If you want it once per week, we can live with that, but you’re better off without it.
On with the actual diet guidelines:
-Foods are simply grouped under their 5 headers on the list: protein, carbs, veggies, fats, fats to avoid. I realize that some things actually have protein and carbs or proteins and fats – in my diet, that is irrelevant. Each food is under one heading. Don’t over-complicate this! When a meal calls for a protein + carb, that means a source of protein and a source of carbs from the above lists, not “A glass of milk”.
-Center each and every meal around protein. That means every single meal must have a portion of protein from the above list. How big is a portion? For simplicity’s sake, it’s the size of your closed fist.
-Three meals MUST have one portion of carbohydrates: breakfast, the meal immediately before your workout (within 2 hours) and the meal immediately following your workout (within ONE hour).
-No carbs in the final meal of the day (unless it’s immediately after you workout).
-Veggies are unlimited and can be eaten during every meal and used as snacks. This is VEGGIES only, not fruit.
-You will NEVER eat a source of carbs without protein. Never, ever..
-Do not combine fats and carbs in the same meal. One or the other.
I will be posting the supplement recommendations and workouts for next week over the next couple of days.
Get ready for amazing!
Hey San Antonio,
Here are the goals for the first two weeks of the 8 week training program. With the Super Bowl this weekend, I decided to start the 8 week program the day after (on Monday). Nonetheless, these are the objectives for the first two weeks.
Weight Training: focusing on all aspects of fitness, especially strength, muscular endurance, form, safety and consistency. Progression is the key, but before we can decide where we are going, we have to decide where we are at. This is where baselines are established for a few important lifts.
Cardio: The key to becoming efficient in both cardio exercise and training is by establishing an efficient cardio base. This is done by training at the upper end of the “heart rate” chart. I won’t obsess about you keeping up with your heart rate, but I will show you simple ways to gauge your effort. The key here is to make the heart more efficient to help recovery and to become more fat burning efficient with less perceived exertion.
Nutrition: This is where most people have issues but there are no excuses. The goals are cut and dry: regular feedings (at least 5 per day). Increased and regular water intake. Basic guidelines of my nutrition timing principles (which I will be reviewing very soon). Oh, and there are absolutely no cheat days for the first 2 weeks. Hey, I went 16 weeks without as much a piece of bread in the prep for my last bodybuilding show, so it’s a small price to pay (and the reason why I’m waiting until after the Super Bowl).
Who is ready? The feedback has been high, so I’m anxious!
Hey San Antonio,
So here is the starting of the program! This program operates under the idea that you have access to some training equipment (ie at least a moderate equipped gym).
I’m going to make this scalable for individuals, so that they can workout at whatever time they’re able to based on their schedule. I’ll be posting nutritional guidelines and exercise ideas for each day, but today is jammed and I’m making due.
Monday: Leg Day/Abs
Tuesday: Intense Cardio Day
Wednesday: Upper Body (Push muscles)
Thursday: Intense Cardio Day
Friday: Upper Body (Pull muscles)
Saturday: Duration Cardio
I’ll be explaining the difference between each cardio day, and each week, the amounts will change!
Stay tuned! I will be posting ideas for carb cycling on different days and rough amounts for you on each day and how to determine what to eat when.
Hey San Antonio,
This weekend, I’ll be posting the nutrition, cardio and training session for the 8 week program, so get ready!
Long week, but the weekend is finally here. Still working on the restoration of my website, and that is very time consuming.
Get ready for massive fat loss!!!
Hey San Antonio,
This is zero week of the 8 Week Transformation series I’m going to be doing. Here is a quick grocery list:
lean ground turkey
top round steak
top sirloin steak
lean ground beef
egg whites or substitutes
low-fat cottage cheese
steamed brown rice
steamed wild rice
whole grain pasta
natural peanut butter
Gladware reusable containers
Hey San Antonio,
So the last 24 hours have been nuts for me! I can finally walk again, my website is up and running, and I feel like me again (almost). The back issue has been a “pain” but things are definitely feeling better.
Starting this weekend, I’m going to be running an eight week guide to help readers get from where they are to where they want to be. Eight weeks isn’t going to make a morbidly obese person into a super model, but it will jump start any fitness program, and I’m going to break it down meal by meal, workout by workout, cardio session by cardio session. The goal here is body transformation, and I’ll be introducing many of my newer readers to carb cycling and timing of meals and individual nutrients. This program is for everyone – novice to advanced, designed to help you look better when you get out of the shower and walk by the mirror!
Saturday (tomorrow), I’ll post a grocery list and a simple meal breakdown to help you get started for week one. The first 10-14 days are going to be base lining the diet.
There’s going to be NO calorie counting here. I will not answer questions about how many calories you should be taking because I’ll give you guidance on how to measure your meals based on your size and goals…
I’ll be focusing on progression – each week will become harder and harder. I’ve created a new category on the side (8 Week Program) and I’ll be placing every article there, so you’ll be able to follow along there. If you refer a new reader, tell them to start there as well!
So, keep checking in daily!