3 KILLER V-Cut Abs Exercises (WORKOUT FOR VISIBLE V-CUT ABS!!!)

It’s time for another blog post! Today we’re going to be talking about how you can get the all coveted v-line abs.

If you want those deep cuts when you take your shirt off so you can get ALL the ladies, you’ve come to the right place.

I’ll be going over three AMAZING abs and obliques exercises that are guaranteed to help get you those v-cut abs.

BarbarianBody's Tanner Wideman Abs & Obliques

Obliques Exercise 1: Cable Side Bends

The first exercise will be targeting the obliques with cable side bends.

What we’re doing here, is keeping our spine in a neutral position and tip your shoulders over to the side. Then, you will use your mind muscle connection to think about contracting the obliques as hard as you possibly can.

You don’t want to be thinking “let’s tip over to the side and just perform a repetition for the sake of it”. Instead, you want to contract and shorten that muscle as hard as possible and add in one second of an asymmetric hold.

This is to ensure that you are increasing your time under tension and help develop mind muscle connection on each repetition.

In the video above, I explain the right way and wrong ways of doing this exercise and how to visually grasp what I’m talking about with mind muscle connection.

Cable Side Bend Exercise That Will Help Get You V-Cut Abs

For this exercise, I recommend 3×10 repetitions.

Abs And Obliques Exercise 2: Reverse Crunch With Posterior Pelvic Tilt (PPT)

The next exercise that we’re going to be doing are some reverse crunches with posterior pelvic tilt.

Typically, people perform the reverse crunch simply by bringing the knee’s towards the chest and dropping their feet towards the floor.

The main problem with this movement is:

  1. No posterior pelvic tilt, meaning you’re not actually getting your butt off the ground – which is responsible for shortening the abdominals.

2. At the end of the movement those feet are dropping to the floor and you’re losing all the tension.

Reverse Crunch Ab and Obliques Exercise That Will Get Your Abs To Show

Now, the correct way to do this is lift your feet off of the ground, make sure your heels never touch the floor through the entire range of motion.

This is going to keep tension on the lower abdominals for every single repetition during the set.

As you can see in the video demonstration, I’m getting that posterior pelvic tilt. You can see how my butt is coming off the ground and we’re getting that spinal flexion.

This is what’s responsible for shortening those abdominals and maximizing the effectiveness of a reverse crunch.

For the best results, I suggest performing this exercise for three to four sets with 15-20 repetitions.

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Abs And Obliques Exercise 3: Russian Twist Raised

Timer For Russian Twists Abs and Obliques Exercise

The final exercise of the v-cut abs workout routine is the Russian Twist Raised. This exercise will be performed under a 30 second second timer for the best results.

The reason for this is because I feel that the best way to train your abdominal is by not counting your repetitions. It’s by pushing yourself to complete as many perfect repetitions as you can in a specific time period.

Tanner Wideman Showing How To Do Russian Twist Abs and Obliques Exercise

Most people perform this exercise with their feet on the ground, which is a great way to do it. This allows you to mostly hit the obliques and a little bit of the lower abdominals.

Although, there is a method that we can add to this exercise to incorporate MORE of the lower abdominals.

We can intertwine our legs and lift them off of the ground, which will put a lot of load on the lower abdominals but also continue to hit the obliques.

Another Example of Russian Twist Abs and Obliques Exercise

Russian Twist – Common Mistake

A mistake that happens when people are performing this exercise is that they are touching the floor as quickly as possible. They don’t have any focus on actually getting trunk rotation.

Therefore, trunk rotation is what’s going to be able to maximally recruit the obliques.

When you’re just touching from the right side of your hips with our hands on the ground, you’re not getting as much of that rotation. This means you’re not getting activation from the obliques.

For maximum effectiveness, focus on getting the trunk rotation, have those feet up in the air, and try to maintain the position they’re in.

Through the entire set, perform for 30 seconds and focus on clean repetitions where you’re not doing fast movements. Rather, focus on controlled and concise movements, focusing on contracting the obliques and the entire core each repetition.

That concludes today’s blog post about a few great exercises to help you get those v-cuts abs that you are longing for.

Now, if you are looking for a full step-by-step training program, be sure to check out my fitness programs that will put you into the shape you want to be in.

5 KILLER Chest Exercises With NO BENCH

Hey Everyone, welcome to another blog post! Today’s post is going to show you 5 chest exercises without a bench.

Chest Exercises Without A Bench #1: Zevaend Press

The what?! The Ze-va-end press, weird word, right? Well, this exercise is phenomenal for helping you to isolate the pecs. What you have to do for this exercise is: grab two plates and put them together, press away from your body, then bring the plates back in towards your torso and ensure that you’re keeping your arms parallel to the ground at the horizontal. While doing this exercise make sure you are squeezing the plates. See photos below for an example of what this exercise looks like.

Exercise #2: Standing Chest Flys

Moving onto exercise number 2, standing chest flys. This exercise is absolutely terrific if you’re trying to target the upper pec area. Because of the range of motion that your arm is following here, you’re going to be able to target the upper pec area, coming from low, then coming wide, bringing those dumbbells together at the top and squeezing them there. What I do to level up this exercise, is do a half a second isometric hold at the peak of the contraction, squeezing my pectoral muscles as hard as I possibly can. Make sure when you are doing this exercise that you’re not doing too much swinging when you’re trying to get the weight up and focus on strictly using the pecs to lift the dumbbells.

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Exercise #3: Resistance Band Flys

The third exercise is an item of my own creation, resistance band flys. This is a substitute of what you might be able to do with the cables. The reason that you may want to try this, as opposed to just doing the cable flys, is because as you bring the hands closer towards the peak of the contraction, when they’re close to each other, that’s actually the most difficult portion of this exercise. When you’re pulling the arms in closer, this exercise gets much more difficult and requires a whole new level of pectoral muscle fiber recruitment that you now get to experience. Make sure when you’re doing this exercise that you have a nice, slow tempo to ensure you’re doing the best you can to stabilize yourself.

Exercise #4: Dumbbell Floor Flys

Adding to the chest exercises without a bench, is the dumbbell floor flys. What you want to be doing with this exercise is really milking the eccentrics, don’t just drop the dumbbells. This is going to be the point of motion where you’re going to tear open and break down the most amount of muscle fiber as you possibly can. Lightly touch your elbows on the floor and when you’re bringing those dumbbells up, focus on squeezing. The key is to actually focus on moving the dumbbell with your pecs and squeeze them at the top, making sure that you are not just slamming them at the top and bringing them right back down.

Exercise #5: Resistance Band Push-Ups

The fifth and final exercise is a variation of the classic, resistance band push-ups. Normally when you do a push-up, the easiest portion is when you’re about to lock out. But by adding in the resistance band, it’s actually going to be the most difficult portion of the exercise. This is going to get increasingly difficult as you begin to push yourself up from the floor. This is a great variation of a push-up and a great method to add some intensity which will have your chest, or pectoral muscles, screaming.

This wraps up today’s blog post about 5 chest exercises without a bench. I hope you guys enjoyed this one and add some of these variations to your exercises. Don’t forget to check out my programs if you are interested in these type of workouts, I have so many different programs that are GUARANTEED to get you in the shape you want. You can check those out here.

As always, thank you for tuning in.

Tanner Wideman

BarbarianBody

How To Get BIGGER Arms FAST (MASSIVE BICEPS AND TRICEPS!!!)

If you’re looking to get BIGGER arms in the fastest amount of time, you’ve come to the right place. Today’s blog will be all about my best tips to growing the size of your arms.

Tanner Wideman of BarbarianBody Showing You How To Get Bigger Arms

Tip #1: Insertion/Origin Vs. Lifting From Point A-B

This is one of the most important and effective tips for you guys to use when you’re training. Typically, people think about lifting a weight from point a to point b, which is the “newbie” way of training. You need to start thinking about moving the insertion and the origin point of the muscle you’re trying to target with the designated exercise as close together as possible, as if you were trying to squeeze that muscle as hard as you possibly can. Then, when you’re bringing the weight down on the eccentric portion of the lift, you’re going to be focusing on trying to stretch those points out as far as possible.

Arms Insertion/Origin Point Example Image
Insertion/Origin Points

What this is going to do is help you develop the all coveted mind-muscle connection. Once you’re able to develop this and apply it during your workouts, I’m telling you, your muscular growth is going to go through the roof.

Tip #2: Prioritize Your Triceps To Get Bigger Arms

Moving onto tip #2: prioritizing your triceps. People always go: “I want to get bigger arms” then they’ll go and hit up the barbell curls, dumbbell curls, literally six different exercises just for the biceps. Then, at the end,they’ll do one triceps exercise.

Well, here’s the fallacy with that; the triceps are about twice the size of your biceps.

So, if you actually prioritize your triceps at the beginning of your workouts, when you have the most amount of energy, focus, and intensity, you will be able to put the most amount of volume on the triceps as opposed to the biceps. This is where your muscular growth will start to accelerate FAST.

Example of Tricep Muscles
Triceps Size

I’m not saying to neglect the biceps, instead I’m stating to focus primarily on the triceps and you’re really going to be blown away with how quickly the overall circumference will increase on your arms.

Tip #3: Train Arms 2 Times Per Week

If you really want to maximize the growth of your arms, then start to train them two times per week. Now, don’t be a newbie and workout your arms two days in a row. I ALWAYS recommend you give your muscles 48 hours at the very least to rest before you start targeting the same muscle group again. This is to ensure that you aren’t impeding on the growth process after you’ve pummeled the muscle down and smashed it on the first arms workout.

So make sure that when you’re training your arms twice a week, that you are not doing it twice in a row. Spread it out a few days then hit them again to ensure you’re getting the most out of your workouts.

Tanner Wideman of BarbarianBody Doing A Bicep Curl

Tip #4: Increase Time Under Tension

So many people make the mistake of spending one to two seconds on every single repetition on a 10 rep set, which means they’re getting around 10-20 seconds on a working set. By increasing the time under tension, we’re going to take those one to two second repetitions and actually increase those to three to four seconds.

What this is doing is keeping your muscles working a lot harder and longer, which is going to help grow your muscles a lot bigger. A tempo that I recommend for this would be: one to two seconds on the contraction of the concentric portion. then, add in a one second isometric hold and utilize a two second eccentric portion of the lift. This will give you a roughly three to four second repetition, which not only promotes muscle growth, but will also improve your form.

This tip is something that you can incorporate into all of your exercises to promote the most growth possible.

Tanner Wideman of BarbarianBody Showing What Time Under Tension Is

As a note: you don’t have to have high time under tension repetitions for every set or exercise, you should combine them with sets of fast explosive repetitions which will increase your strength, so long as you add them into your routine if you are not currently doing so.

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Tip #5: Utilize Progressive Overload

If you aren’t doing this, you need to start doing this! Lots of guys will go into the gym, head over to the barbells, grab their 40 pound barbell and pump out 10 repetitions of four sets. Next week, they’ll go and do the exact same thing, week after week, then they’ll complain that they’re training hard and consistently, but aren’t gaining any muscle mass.

The reason for this is because they’re constantly doing the exact same exercises, week after week, and they’re not challenging the muscles to grow stronger and bigger.

YouTube Comments

You can change this up by either adding one or two more repetitions and doing an 11 or 12 rep set. You could even start to do sets with a 45 pound barbell as opposed to 40 pounds. The best way really, is to actually track your workouts. Track the exercises, weights, reps, and sets that you do. If you want to do this and you’re too lazy or busy to create a log, head on over my website where I have printable workout logs. In these workout logs, you can track your workout information in when after purchasing any one of my fitness programs. These programs not only include printable PDFs for you, they also include tons of videos, structures, and workouts for the next 14 weeks.

Tip #6: Incorporate Intensity Increasers

This tip goes hand-in-hand with the progressive overload tip. Start to implement intensity increasers into your workouts. You may be wondering: what is an intensity increaser? An example of one is a drop set: let’s say you get to your 10th repetition on some cable curls, repetition number 10 was almost impossible for you, so after you get that 10th rep, you’re going to complete the set, grab the pin on the stack, and lower the weight by two plates, then squeak out as many more repetitions as you possibly can. When you hit failure again, go back to the machine, lower it by a few more plates, rinse and repeat for about 3-5 times until you get to the point where your arms can no longer move.

Tanner Wideman Showing An Example of a drop set and how it helps you get bigger arms

What this is going to do is shake you out of the plateau you’re probably in right now and challenge you a lot more than you currently have been. Another example of this would be partial reps. So, you hit that 10th rep, that’s failure. Now, you’re going to start to squeak out 3-5 repetitions just to completely fatigue and burn out the muscle group.

REST Quote (It's Part Of The Program)

The final intensity increaser that I would recommend you incorporate into your exercises are rest pauses. So, when you hit that 10th repetition, which is your failure point, you lower the weight and give yourself 10 seconds of rest, then you pick it back up and squeak out as many repetitions as you possibly can.

If you aren’t currently incorporating any of these intensity increasers, you should definitely consider it to help shake you out of the plateau you are in and help increase your overall muscle growth.

Tip #7: Diet

This may be fairly obvious, but if you aren’t properly monitoring the amount of calories and protein you intake, you are pretty much just spinning your wheels. This is the foundation, if you want to successfully increase your muscle mass.

I always recommend you give yourself one gram of protein per pound of body weight. So if you’re 160 pounds, guess what? 160 grams of protein every single day.

If you’re one of those people who has a tough time actually getting in that amount of protein, head on over to EHPLabs and grab one of their protein powders. They have regular protein powders and vegan protein powders available and if you use the code: Barbarian at checkout you will also receive a special discount.

Protein Filled Pork Chops On A Grill

Now, in conjunction with the protein, you have to get the proper amount of calories. If you’re in a calorie deficit of 500 and you’re trying to grow your muscles, good luck… Try to be in a calorie surplus of 250 on top of your maintenance level of calories every single day if you want to see muscular growth in your arms. If you’re at a maintenance level or in a deficit, you won’t be able to get the big arms that you want to get.

Tie all of these tips together I can bet that you will see some extraordinary gains in your arms in a short amount of time.

This concludes today’s blog and I hope you were able to take some of these tips and get the bigger arms that you have always wanted. These tips can easily be transferred to any other muscle group, so make sure to note which ones you want to incorporate.

As always, thanks for reading.

Tanner Wideman,

BarbarianBody

Chest Training MISTAKES That You Must AVOID!!!

Introduction

Hello everyone! It’s time to talk about some chest training mistakes that I see so many people (myself included) making when they’re working out. Today I want to share with you some of the tips that will help accelerate your chest growth quicker than you have ever imagined. Let’s begin the QUEST for a bigger CHEST.

Chest Training Mistake #1: Protracted Scapula

Chest Training Mistake #1 Protracted Scapula
Mistake #1: Protracted Scapula

Let’s start with chest training mistake number one, protracted scapula. I get SO many comments from people saying: “Tanner, I’m doing the bench press, but I’m really not feeling it in my chest, I’m feeling it more in my arms”. Now I’m sure that sounds familiar to some of you…

The problem is, that many people perform the bench press with a protracted scapula. What this looks like is: the shoulders are rolled forwards, making the shoulder blades protracted, which causes the shoulder to be elevated a lot more than it should be while performing a bench press.

Not only is this bad for you trying to hit your chest, but it’s also bad for impingement. When your shoulders are in this position you’re actually going to be taking a lot of the load off of the chest and putting a lot of it onto your shoulders. Thus causing the problem of, “I feel it more so in my arms and my shoulders”.

Example Of Tanner Wideman at BarbarianBody Doing A Bench Press
Bench Press Example

In order to maximize the role that your chest plays while performing a bench press you have to follow this setup. You have to retract the scapula, set the shoulders down, keep them depressed, then perform your bench press. From this position, your shoulders will be put back into the proper position and your chest is going to be put in the position to do the majority of the lift. This will allow you to feel the exercise more so in your chest, rather than your shoulders.

Chest Training Mistake #2: Not Performing Dumbbell Bench Press

ChesT Training Mistake #2 Not Performing Dumbbell Bench Press
Mistake #2: Not Performing Dumbbell Bench Press

Chest training mistake #2. Ignoring the dumbbell bench press. Instead, most people prioritize doing a regular bench press. I would recommend that you give the dumbbell bench press priority for the next few weeks, just to test it out. The reason for this is very simple. Most guys perform a barbell bench press and that’s it.

But with the dumbbell bench press, there’s more stability required, which is good, but the main part is as you’re pressing those dumbbells up and you start to actually bring those dumbbells to a nice wide position, bring them closer together at the top. This will get you more shortening on the chest while you’re performing a dumbbell bench press; which will recruit and activate a lot more of the pec muscle fibers.

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Chest Mistake #3: Lifting Too Heavy

Lifting Too Heavy Chest Training Mistake #3
Mistake #3: Lifting Too Heavy

The final point I want to make for mistake #3, is that too many people are trying to lift as much weight as possible. Often times, people will lift the most weight that they possibly can. This means they’ll likely be in a rep range of one, three, or five. This is a great technique to follow for training strength, not so much for training hypertrophy. I would strongly recommend that you increase your rep numbers to ten, twelve, or even fifteen repetitions, so that you can get a higher time under tension.

Chest Training Mistake #4: Bad Form – Isolation Exercises

Bad Form Chest Mistake #4
Mistake #4: Bad Form

Speaking of time under tension… We’re going to get into the isolation exercises! This is one of those chest training mistakes that absolutely destroy your growth potential for your chest. Now, when the average gym-bro is going to go into the gym and begin doing some isolation exercises for the chest, they’ll hit up the pec deck. Very frequently, they’re going to lower that pin as low as they possibly can, stack on as much weight as possible, and bang out ten repetitions.

Now, the problem with these repetitions is, well… They’re god awful. This is putting them at risk for injury, for one. For two, they’re having to incorporate other muscle groups and momentum in order for them to actually get the weight. Thus, making this “isolation” exercise more of a compound movement which is not as effective at stimulating growth, specifically in the chest.

Finally, they’re also focused on just lifting a weight from point A to point B, as opposed to moving the insertion and the origin points of the muscle it’s trying to target. Which again, is standing in the way of your growth potential.

Chest Exercise Origin Points
Isolation Example

So as opposed to focusing on eagle lifting and trying to lift as much weight as possible, the intelligent method is to recruit the single muscle you are trying to target the most. It’s important to master your form and use your mind-muscle connection to ensure that you are constantly thinking about which muscle you are trying to workout. This will help you get the most out of each exercise and give you the most growth.

Chest Training Mistake #5: Not Increasing Intensity

Not Increasing Intensity Chest Training Mistake #5
Chest Training Mistake #5: Not Increasing Intensity

Typically, how you would perform a set is as such; one rep, two rep, all the way to ten reps, sets finished. Now, you may have pushed yourself with some intensity, but did you know that there’s another level that you could have taken that set to?

Intensity increasers are ways to make the set that much more grueling and that much more demanding, to stimulate much more muscular growth. What you should be doing is a drop set. An example of a drop-set is this: finish your ten repetitions or the point when you hit failure. Pull the pin out or lower the weight by 20-25%, go back to the exercise instantaneously (no resting). Then, perform as many repetitions as you possibly can. Rinse and repeat this for around 4-5 times and you’ve just pushed your body a lot farther than you would have before.

Rest Pauses

It doesn’t just stop at drop sets! We’ve also got rest pauses. once you hit that tenth repetition and hit complete failure, take around 10 seconds to catch your breath. Feel the muscle group that you’re trying to target and let it rest for a bit. Then, go ahead and try to perform as many repetitions as you possibly can, with the same weight.

The same can be said with partial repetitions. So you’ve hit your tenth repetition, now what you’re going to do is try and push out as many half repetitions or quarter repetitions or third repetitions that you possible can until you hit the point where whatever muscle you’re trying to target can no longer lift the weight.

Implementing these intensity increasers to not only your chest workout, but all other workouts, will definitely maximize your growth potential and push you to that next level.

Chest Training Mistake #6: Not Warming Up

Not Warming Up Chest Training Mistake #6
Mistake #6: Not Warming Up

The final item on this list is not properly warming up before every single chest workout. Let’s start this off with a personal story…

About seven years ago I went to the gym and I wanted to lift a heavy bench press. I loaded on a plate and performed my set, then I loaded on two more plates, jumping drastically. I didn’t warm up or anything. Eventually, I got to my third plate (which was within three sets), then I got my fourth repetition and as I was pressing that weight back up, I felt something pop.

Guess what happened? As a consequence of me not properly warming up and jumping up way too much in weight on the bench press, I ended up tearing my AC joint. For the next two years after that, I had my AC joint tear hinder me on almost all of my workouts which really stunted me from doing any type of press exercises.

By not properly warming up and getting the blood flowing in the areas you’re going to be utilizing, you’re putting yourself at risk for major injuries. These injuries could last for weeks, months, or years, which will substantially reduce your muscle growth and affect your workouts for a long time.

That concludes today’s blog on my top 6 chest training mistakes. These chest training mistakes aren’t only in relation to chest workouts, but your entire body workouts. Whether it’s your biceps, shoulders, deltoids, traps, back, legs, you should consider fixing up these extremely common mistakes in your workouts.

8 CHEAP Muscle Building Foods

Muscle building can be tough, which is why I put together a list of 8 cheap muscle building foods that will give you the gains you want. In relation to this post, I have another post that explains how to lose fat without losing muscle, see it here.

I’ve been in the position that you may be currently in right now. I had no money or resources when I first moved out on my own and I needed some cheap food that would help support all of my fitness goals. In this list, I will be including all of the stuff that I ACTUALLY bought when I was budgeting but also trying to gain muscle.

Cheap Muscle Building Food #1 – Pork

Back when I was budgeting I was always looking for cheap muscle building foods that provided the proper nutrients.  I would head over to the butchery or meat section of the grocery store and see various meats that are typically recommended by all types of bodybuilders and athletes. 

The only issue with that, was that it was way out of my budget. This changed when I went to the pork section and found some meats that were not only cost effective but also a high source of protein. I would always grab: pork chops, pork loin, and ground pork. Pork not only tastes good, but it also has a high amount of protein. 

Typically, I would make ground pork with any of my pastas or stir fries. Once I got sick of these meals, I would then move onto the pork tenderloin. I was always surprised to see how much pork you could get for a low amount of money. On the weekends, I would typically bring out the pork chops for a nice weekend meal that was still high protein and tasted great.

Facts

Onto the facts of pork… As I said above, pork is a high protein food. Around three ounces of lean pork have 23 grams of protein, which is pretty great considering how cheap it is. This amount of protein in your diet is guaranteed to help you build muscle mass.

Now you may be going: “Tanner, I was told that pork is extremely high in fat”. This is actually a bit of a misconception and confusion with sausages, bacon or pepperoni. In reality, pork tenderloin, for example, is just as lean as skinless chicken breast. So try to get out of the mindset that pork is high in fat because this is associated with the very obvious high fat options.

Now, if you want to learn more about incorporating pork into your healthy diet, visit pork.org/cooking to learn more.

Cheap Muscle Building Food Number 2 – Eggs

Eggs are a great cheap muscle building food that you should add into your diet. They’re not only a great source of protein; they’re also budget friendly. Now, lets not just cook these eggs in the regular way that everyone does it by pan-frying it. 

What we’re going to do is: fill up a pot with water, boil the water, toss in 12 or 18 eggs, boil it for around 20 minutes, then toss them back into the carton. Now for the next three or four days, you’ve got high protein snacks ready to grab whenever which will help you hit your protein goal.

Number 3 – Peanut Butter

Yeah, that’s right, the tastiest and most beloved item on this list, peanut butter. Peanut butter is great because it has a high amount of protein and it’s high in fats. As a consequence of this, it’s around 95 calories for a tablespoon, which is a good thing for you skinny guys or those looking to bulk up and put muscle mass on. Grab around 2-4 tablespoons of peanut butter every single day. You’ll then notice that you can pack in several hundred calories on top of what you’re already eating currently to give you the bulk you want.

 

Tablespoon of Peanut Butter

Number 4 – Nuts

In relation to peanut butter, this cheap muscle building foods list includes nuts! The two cheapest options of nuts are peanuts and walnuts. These have a unique benefit compared to just regular peanut butter. They’re more of a portable alternative that you can bring with you. I typically toss them into a sandwich bag. Typically. I bring them on the road or wherever I go and just snack on them. These nuts will give you a high amount of calories, fats, and a decent amount of protein.

 

Nuts

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Number 5 – Oats

The price of oats is incredibly low and offer a great source of complex carbohydrates that you can use throughout the day. These are slow digestion carbs that will not cause significant insulin spikes. I typically eat oats in the very beginning of the morning. Sometimes, I’ll mix the oats with my protein shake. Mixing it with a protein shake makes it taste amazing and it’s also a great source of fiber.

If you have room in the budget for some fruit, I highly recommend you toss some fruit to mix with the oats which will turn your oats into a great tasting breakfast that will kick-start your day.

Number 6 – Brown Rice

Brown rice has been a staple in my diet for so long, I don’t even remember a time I didn’t incorporate this into my diet. I eat this pretty much every day when it comes to my stir fry’s, as a side for my pork chops, and so on. Typically, I’ll have it around lunch and again at dinner. Like oats, it’s a great source of those complex carbohydrates that are nice and slow digesting. This is going to provide you energy that will last throughout the day without causing insulin spikes.

Number 7 – Bananas

The price of bananas is incredibly low and they offer a great source of calories and carbohydrates. I recommend you have a banana right before you workout. This will help raise your blood sugar level so I typically eat one 20-30 minutes before the gym; this energy will allow you to maximally perform all of the exercises in your routine.

You can also combine this with a few of the items I listed above, like oats, it will make an incredibly delicious combo and a great addition to your meals.

Number 8 – Frozen Vegetables

Frozen vegetables aren’t just amazing because yes, they’re super cheap, but they’re also incredibly easy to prepare. You don’t have to worry about any cutting or formal cooking, they’re prepared exactly as you want it. Toss some into a dish, microwave it, and add it as a side to those delicious pork chops. You could also add it to your stir fry and brown rice.

Let me tell you, back in the days of me being broke, frozen vegetables were pretty much my only source of micronutrients outside of bananas.

This concludes my list of cheap muscle building foods that will help build your muscle mass while not breaking the bank. As I stated above, a lot of these foods can be mix matched together. Make sure you find creative ways to make the most out of these foods. This will make it so you can maintain muscle mass without spending money on expensive food.

Thank you for reading today’s blog about the top 8 cheap foods to build muscle mass. Be sure to check out my FREE fitness quiz that will set you up with workouts tailored to your body type.

How To Increase The Size Of Your Back – 6 Steps

BarbarianBody How To Get A “V-Taper” Back FAST

Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome back to another step-by-step process blog post. Are you wondering how to increase the size of your back for that v-taper look? Well you’re in the right spot. Today, we’re going to be talking about how to achieve a “v-taper” back or get a wider back with my 6 step process. By doing this process, you will be able to increase the width of your lats and give you the appearance of a narrow waistline. Let’s begin!

Step 1 – Prioritize Vertical Pulling

Typically when people are trying to increase the size of their back, they will do horizontal exercises. Doing horizontal exercises focuses on developing the thickness of your back, whereas vertical pulling is going to engage your lats.

I’m not saying to not do ANY horizontal pulling, rather, put your vertical pulling at the beginning of the workout to ensure you have the most amount of energy when doing vertical pulling.

A big mistake that I made when I was exercising, is that even when I was doing vertical pulling, I wasn’t actually activating my lats; what I was doing, was mostly pulling with my arms. Sure, I was lifting a lot of weight and impressing myself with some of the numbers that were on the stack, but the problem was that these efforts were pointless when it came to developing and growing the width of my lats. Knowing these steps earlier on would have definitely helped me when I was trying to increase the size of my back, so make sure to understand what is going on here!

Step 2 – 1 Set Of 10 Reps – Scapula Retractions

As I stated above, when I was learning to properly use my lats rather than my arms, I began to use the technique scapula retraction or scapula abduction.

You don’t need to start this out with heavy amounts of weight, in the video above I was only doing 5 plates. What I was focusing on was keeping my arms completely stationary, a slight bend of my elbow, and then I retracted my scapula as the image shows above. I would hold this position for 1 second to initiate the movement that is going to begin to activate your lats. You are also able to do this on a pull up bar as well, although it is a little more challenging because you are doing your body weight but the benefits are the same.

Step 3 – My “2 Cue” Set-Up

So now that you understand the mental awareness of working out your back, lets move onto two more important things I do before I get into any pull exercises. The first is an extension or a curve of thoracic spine, the second is initiating the movement with my scapula before my arms to pull the bar towards my chest. Click here to see this in action.

Step 4: 1 Set Of 10 Reps – Scapula Reset Pull Downs

This is what I use to help me develop that very important mind muscle connection inside the back, so that I can recruit my lats much better when I do pull downs. I try to reset my scapula before every repetition to ensure that my scapula is being initiated. While doing the 10 repetitions (as seen in the photos below) I am doing scapula retractions to help initiate the scapula and when I do this, I am flexing the scapula as hard as I can for one second, then following through by pulling the bar down towards my chest.

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Step 5: Pull Through Pinkies/Elbows

This is a great tip that I wish I knew about YEARs ago when I was first training. You’ll notice on the photo below that I only have my pinkies and ring fingers on the bar. The ring finger is only on there so that I can have the stability of the bar, but the purpose of this is to demonstrate what I am trying to queue when I’m pulling through the bar. I’m not just thinking of gripping the bar, rather I’m trying to pull with all of my force through my pinkies. Then, I’m focusing on trying to bring my elbow down and pull through it, which will ultimately help you recruit your lats each time you perform this exercise.

Step 6: “Pulling” It All Together

The final step that I want to show you all is the use of an overhand grip. You’ll notice in the photo below, that my thumbs are over the bar which helps minimize the role that my biceps play on each repetition, which helps me to immensely queue myself even more to pull through my pinkies.

For each time you come down, you will want to hold for one to two seconds each rep, hold it for a full second, consciously you should be contracting your lats as hard as possible and utilizing the eccentric. For maximum results on this with the proper form, the main tip I have for stimulating hypertrophy (aka muscular growth), is to increase time under tension.

That concludes today’s blog post on how to increase the size of your back and get those big, wide lats to get you that v-taper physique you’ve always wanted.

Make sure to check out EHPLabs for any of your workout supplements (use promo code Barbarian for 10% off) and be sure to complete my FREE fitness test for workouts tailored to your specific body type.

How To Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmFIs5AZN88
BarbarianBody How To Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle Video

Introduction

An extremely common issue that people run into when they’re trying to lose fat, is that they notice they also lose muscle. Today, I want to cover the topic of losing fat while also maintaining as much muscle mass as possible.

In order to lose as much as as possible, while also maintaining muscle mass, you’re going to need to be going through a calorie deficit. Although, we don’t want that calorie deficit to be too severe or strict that you begin to lose your muscle mass. Rather, you will want to go through a less intense deficit that can prolong over a longer period of time.

I’ve structured this calorie deficit so that you can continue absolutely crushing your workouts, which is important when losing fat and maintaining muscle mass. We want a calorie deficit, but what we don’t want, is that calorie deficit to affect our workouts. You want to maintain your intensity as much as possible, if not at the same level that you were going through when you were bulking.

Step 1: The Calorie Deficit Strategy

Start with a 300 calorie deficit, which won’t affect your muscular gains, making it a good place to start. You should tweak this number based on your results, but a 300 calorie deficit is a good place to begin this. Normally, people would recommend you just continue this 300 calorie deficit 7 days a week, which would be a total of 2100 by the end of the week. What I would recommend you do instead of doing 300 calories per day, is to stagger it out. An example of this would be: You train three times per week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) – this will be structured to: Mondays you maintain your regular calorie count, Tuesdays you will cut 600 calories, Wednesdays keep it the same, Thursdays you will cut 600 calories, Friday you keep it the same, Saturday you will cut 450 calories, and Sunday you will cut 450 calories which totals to 2100 calories by the end of those 7 days.

 

Nutrition Label Calories

Why?

You may ask, why would you do this? It seems easier to just cut 300 calories per day. Well, the reason I recommend you stagger it is because if you notice the days you maintain your regular calorie intake, those are the same days that you are training; which allows you to maximally perform each and every single workout without the feeling of starving yourself.

You will be able to put out a lot more performance on the days that you do go to the gym, compared to if you were at a 300, 400, or a 500 calorie deficit. If you’re a little more strict on the days you’re not training and try to keep your calories up on training days, you will be able to maximize your performance at the gym while also losing fat.

Step 2: Protein Intake

Step 2, MONITOR YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE! This is extremely important when you are trying to maintain muscle mass. I recommend that on a daily basis, you get 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. 

You may ask why I’m recommending to go up to 1.5 grams per body weight. That’s because you are in a calorie deficit and your body will have tough time maintaining the muscle mass. You may also notice that having 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight will actually yield you a lot more results without putting on a lot of fat. 

Gauge what will work best and make sure to monitor what works for your body. If you are wondering what protein to purchase, head over to EHPLabs and check out their vast selection of quality proteins and use the promo code Barbarian for 10% off.

Step 3: Peri-Workout Nutrition

What the heck is peri-workout nutrition? This is your pre-workout nutrition, your during-workout nutrition, and your post-working nutrition. Typically, I don’t focus much on the during-workout nutrition. Some people do, but these are the guys who are really strict on body building, which I’m not. When it comes to the pre-workout, the most important thing to do is get the majority of your carbs or a high amount of carbs prior to you working out.

Pre-workout Nutrition

When I’m talking about pre-workout nutrition, I’m talking about 60-90 minutes before, so that your body has time to digest everything and not have an impact on your workouts. Digestion takes a lot of energy and you don’t want that process to be happening while you are trying to maximize your training. Doing this will fuel you up and give your body the resources required so that when you go into the gym, you can go BEAST MODE. Now, here is a quick example of a peri-workout strategy. The image below shows the ideal situation that I personally try to go after.

 

BarbarianBody Peri-Nutrition Schedule

Do I hit this every single time? Absolutely not! A couple of days of the week I will and I’ll be proud of that, just try to follow your structure as closely as possible.

Structure Breakdown

Let’s break this structure down: So from the point that I wake up (around 7:30-8 A.M. until about 11:30 A.M) my goal is to get either no carbohydrates or a low amount of carbohydrates. Instead, what I’m going to be focusing on consuming at this point is a high amount of proteins and I’ll throw in some fats in there as well; like avocado, peanut butter, and any form of nuts and seeds.

Lunch

At 12 P.M, it’s lunch time. This is when I’m going to be getting in a little bit more carbohydrates, just a moderate amount. My lunch is typically going to be a form of a stir fry with a lot of protein, a lot of meat, and some vegetables in there. But a moderate amount of carbohydrates, which is going to be either in the form of brown rice or white rice. The carbs are just to keep me mentally going, it’s just what I feel that my body best responds to.

After that lunch, from about 12:30 P.M. to 5 P.M., my goal is to get either no carbohydrates or a low amount of carbohydrates.

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Dinner

Then we hit 5:30 P.M., This is when I’m going to focus on getting a high amount of carbohydrates. You’ll notice that I’ve planned this meal about an hour, sometimes an hour and a half, before I get into the gym. This is just so I can give my body the time that it needs to digest, as I spoke about above. Directly after that workout, about 15, 20, 30 minutes after, that’s when again I’m going to focus on getting a high amount of carbohydrates so I can replenish my body with all of the energy that I just burned off and consumed.

Directly after that meal – from about 8 P.M., to when I go to sleep, my goal is to have no carbohydrates or low amount of carbohydrates for the rest of the day. It’s important to at least monitor peri-workout nutrition and understand it, so that you can optimize the calories that you are using in a day.

Step 4: Track Your Maxes

TRACK YOUR MAXES. This is important! What I mean by “track your maxes”, is to track your exercises, your compound lifts. The big movements like: squats, dead-lifts, bench press, and overhead press. You may notice that, because you’re going through a deficit, you may lose a bit of your muscle mass. Although, you want to ensure that you are losing as minimal muscle mass as possible and the best way to track that is by tracking your maxes. Whether that’s your one rep max, your three rep max, or your 5 rep max, track this consistently, week after week, while going through your cut. The main goal of this is to try and maintain those numbers for as long as possible.

For you guys who just learned about peri-nutirion workout and implement it, you may notice that your maxes actually go up because you are properly fueled before your workouts. If you notice that your bench, dead-lift, overhead press, and squads go down by around 20-25 pounds, then you should change the calorie deficit; it’s clearly too strict for you.

Keep these steps in mind when you are trying to gain muscle but also lose fat. It’s fairly simple and it will take you some time to figure out what works for your body, but the outcome will be extremely noticeable.

Thank you for checking out the BarbarianBody blog. If you are looking to transform your physique, why not get started with our FREE fitness quiz?!

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How to Build Muscle AND Lose Fat At The Same Time (MY SIMPLE STRATEGY!!)

Introduction

Wondering how to build muscle and lose fat? You’re in the right place. These 5 steps will motivate you to change your bad habits, save you time, save you MONEY, and help you get on track to getting the body of a barbarian.


How To Build Muscle and Lose Fat Step 1: Dietary Error Hunting

Let’s start out with the foundation of losing fat and gaining muscle, your diet. Start error hunting, which is where you reflect on what you are doing wrong with your diet. Write down the food and liquid that you consume for 7 days and reflect on what should and can be removed from your diet. It’s important to understand what you eat so that you can then supplement the junk food items with clean food items to help straighten out your diet.

 Another important part of this, is monitoring what you eat when you dine out, included in this is your alcohol consumption. Write it down and understand what errors you make and highlight the easiest ones to change. For example: If you notice that each day you consume one or two beers after work, you need to consider cutting that out.

It’s easy to shrug off that one beer each day because, well, it’s only one beer, right? One beer is around 200 calories so daily you are wasting 200 calories so making that simple change just saved you around 1400 calories PER WEEK! These small changes will add up and help you lose fat in the process.


How To Build Muscle and Lose Fat Step 2: Welcome to the purge…

PURGE YOUR KITCHEN! Get rid of 80% of your “junk food”, because we all know the human temptation that, if it’s in the room, you will most likely gravitate towards it. Make it harder for yourself to access the food by simply not having it around you.

By having the food in your kitchen, it makes it easy for you to eat it. Add that extra step of not purchasing it and you will soon realize how easy it is to crush the temptation when it isn’t readily available.  


How to Build Muscle And Lose Fat Step 3: Add Clean Sources of Protein

Typically, I will go out to the grocery store and grab myself 2-3 cooked chickens that I can pair with rice and get my protein intake while also keeping costs low. That meal will normally be what I have for lunches it’s easy to make, as the chicken is already precooked. Adding onto that, don’t forget about protein shakes (See EHPLabs for 10% discount) if you don’t want chicken or you are looking for a way to add more protein to your diet.

For dinner, head out to the grocery store and get some clean food for yourself to cook. It’s easy to eat out, but it’s important to cut that and focus on creating your own healthy meals. You may even find that you can cook BETTER meals than the ones you eat when you go out! Another consideration when you are making these meals, is to make extra and pack it up for the next day to help save you time and keep you on track.

How To Build Muscle and Lose Fat Step 4 Resistance Training “Error Hunting”

Looking at training, reflect on the past 1-2 weeks of your training and see if you have been slacking. Get yourself into a schedule that works for you, typically 3-4 times per week. With that, how much have you been slacking around while working out? Are you sitting on your phone most of the time? Are you working out as intense as possible?

When you’re at the gym it’s important to stay focused and ensure that you are ACTUALLY getting a good workout. Don’t just go to the gym, text all your buddies, do small workout and leave the gym feeling exactly how you came in.

If you aren’t drenched in sweat and feeling the pain, push yourself more. The worst part about slacking at the gym is that YOU ARE the only one affected by it! Reflect on these errors and make changes where you can to guarantee that you are not wasting your time and making proper gains.


How to Lose Fat Without Losing Muscle Step 5: Cardio Activity "Error Hunting"

Cardio… The word that strikes fear into every gym-goer… How many times per week are you doing it, if at all? This is easily the most overlooked workout, but it’s extremely important to add cardio to your workout for fat loss. Figure out which cardio workouts you enjoy doing or work for you and keep yourself motivated as well as consistent with it.


Concluding Thoughts

That’s pretty much the process of how to build muscle and lose fat. Once I have all that down pat, and I’m consistent with it, after two or three weeks I notice that I have lost a lot of fat and built up a lot of muscle mass.

 

What the main problem was is that I just didn’t have my routine. I didn’t have the foundation laid, and you know what? I don’t really need to focus on doing an exact calorie surplus, or an exact calorie deficit, or my exact macros. Protein, I do recommend that you keep track of, because too many guys miss that.

 

 

I like simplicity. So that’s, personally, how I like to do it. So, there you guys go. That concludes today’s blog on how I, in a very simplistic process, build muscle and lose fat.

These Transformations Are Insane (Are You Next?)

I just wanted to quickly share with you guys some of the incredible Transformations guys have been able to make with BarbarianBody!

And not just that, but take a look at some of these testimonials!

Case in point, this system works!

Here’s what you’ll receive inside the Physique Sculpting Program: 

  • 14 Weeks of Workouts To Build Muscle/ Lose Fat
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How To Build 10lbs Of LEAN MUSCLE FAST [Step-By-Step]

Are you looking to add 10lbs of lean muscle mass FAST?

Meaning with EXTREMELY minimal fat gain.

Yes? Then you may be interested in this one…

How to Build 10lbs of LEAN MUSCLE FAST [Step-By-Step]

In this video you’ll see:

  1. The EXACT caloric surplus you should be in for maximal muscle gain and minimal fat gain
  2. The #1 training split for maximizing muscular growth
  3. The super-simple step-by-step formula that you can literally steal TODAY to add 10lbs of incredibly lean muscle mass

This video is a bit longer than I normally post. I focused on packing as MUCH detail as I possibly could. It’s jam-packed with 100% value.

This is the exact formula that I personally follow when I’m looking to pack on slabs of lean muscle mass in a HURRY! SO I imagine it’ll be of value to you 😉