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2 Ways To Break Through Your Plateau And Feel Sore

So you’re stuck in a plateau?

You feel like you’re working hard, putting in the effort, and sticking to your diet, but nothing’s happening?

Well, that’s actually very common.

In fact, it’s the main reason why so many people get results in the beginning, and feel motivated, invigorated and pumped up, yet gradually become disheartened and fall back into old habits.

We all get stuck in plateaus – heck, I plateaued for about a decade!

But that was before I found out about the 2 tricks that guarantee you can break through any plateau.

Read on to find out what these are, how you can implement them into your training, and get back on track with blasting stubborn fat, building lean muscle and getting the body of your dreams.

“Man, I’m so Sore”

Are you sore after your workouts?

You should be.

I’m not talking “not able to walk up the stairs” kind of sore, but your muscles should be fatigued and tired the day of (or the day after) your sessions.

Soreness is a sign that you’ve worked hard, pushed yourself and had an effective workout. So if you’re not feeling at least a little sore, chances are you’re in one of these plateaus we’re talking about.

I explain a little more in the video.

Be sure to continue reading after the video to read more on…

  • Ways you can increase your training
  • How to increase your workout density
  • How to combine your workouts

How to Break Through Your Plateau and Feel Sore

  • Turn Up the Volume

Volume is perhaps the most crucial factor in any training plan, whether your goal is to burn fat, build muscle, or both!

Volume simply refers to how much work you do.

While I firmly believe that a tough 20 or 30-minute workout will always beat an easy, steady, hour-long workout and that it is possible to get a highly-effective workout done in a short space of time, sometimes, you do need to train for longer.

A longer workout, provided you still train with intensity and effort, will amp up your calorie burn, create more overload and stress on your muscles and cardiovascular system, and ultimately get you results faster.

To increase volume, try –

  1. Extending your workout time
  2. Doing more sets on each exercise
  3. Adding extra exercises
  • Getting Dense

Density is the amount of work you do in a given time.

Say, for instance, you’re currently in the gym for 45 minutes per workout.

In that time, you might do 6 different exercises, each for 4 sets, and take a minute of rest between everything.

Well, to get a higher density workout, you’d still do your 6 exercises for 4 sets, but instead of giving yourself 60 seconds rest, you’d reduce this to 30 or 45 seconds, or even pair exercises back to back, so that you get the same workout done, but in less time.

This is a sure-fire way to give yourself a huge challenge, improve aerobic capacity and muscular endurance and reignite that soreness.

  • A Killer Combo 

Here’s a bonus for you.

Instead of increasing volume OR density, why not try both simultaneously?

There’s no way on earth that any stubborn fat loss plateau would have the nerve to stick around were you to do this.

The first step here is taking your current workout, and condensing it into a shorter time period so that you’re boosting workout density.

So you might go from a 40-minute workout to a 30 minute one.

Then, take that 10 minutes you’ve saved, and add extra exercises.

Here’s a practical example for you –

Original workout –
  • Jump lunges – 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Dumbbell Clean and presses – 4 sets of 8 reps
  • Pull-ups (bodyweight or assisted) – 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Mountain Climbers – 5 sets of 40 seconds
  • Plank – 3 maximum holds

Total time – 40 minutes

Revamped workout –
  • Jump lunges superset with dumbbell clean and presses – 4 sets of 15 and 8 reps respectively
  • The circuit of 5 pull-ups, 40 seconds of mountain climbers and a maximum plank for 5 rounds.
  • KettleBell swings super-set with V-ups for 3 sets of 20 reps each
  • Tri-set of barbell curls, close grip pushups, and lateral raises, each for 2 sets until failure.

Total time – 40 minutes

That first workout?

It’d be relatively tough for a newbie, but after a couple of weeks, your body would adapt very easily.

The second, though?

Holy smokes – that’d be enough to make anyone sweaty, sore and breathing heavily!

So try it – how can you revamp your workout to bust through a stubborn plateau?

⚡ Related: Learn my 3 Top Tips for Busting Through Your Plateau

The Take Home

Above all, the message here is –

“If you train the same, you stay the same.”

Remember, to keep progressing, keep losing fat, and keep building lean muscle mass, you have to constantly push yourself, and make things challenging.

The 2 best ways to do that are by adding volume and increasing density.

Watch the video for more tips –

For more workouts that will challenge you and help you push through your plateau, check out HIIT MAX™ or our Custom Training Program, where we will customize a training plan according to your needs.

Speed Shred 60 Total Body Training System

Are you ready for the challenge of your life?  If you’ve been on workout program after workout program without the results to show, it’s time that you hopped onto what may just be the most insane workout program you’ll ever try.

Are you ready for the challenge?

You’ve seen home workout DVDs before.  Insanity, P90X, Turbo Jam – you might have even tried one or two of these before.

But I promise you that Speed Shred 60 is going to completely blow these programs out of the water and revitalize the way you see fitness.

What is this program?

Glad you asked.

The Speed Shred 60 Total Body Training System 

I get asked so frequently how to burn fat, build muscle and achieve insane levels of fitness that I wanted to create my very own program, built upon my training philosophies.

I will warn you, though, this program is not for those who don’t want to work.  You will be put to the test with this 8-week program that is broken down into 4 different phases, each phase lasting two weeks.

Each phase builds upon the last so you’ll see steady and ongoing progress as you progress through the 60-day program.

Within each workout, you’ll perform a series of different movements.  The first is a pure strength exercise designed to build muscle and boost strength.  Next, you’ll move into an isometric movement, which will catapult your muscular endurance to levels you’ve never seen before.

From there, you’ll move into a core phase, which will help flatten those abs, while giving you the strength you need to execute every other exercise in this program.

Finally, you’ll finish off with a dynamic phase, designed to build real-life strength that you’ll feel in every lifestyle activity you do.

Trust me, if you can get through to the end of the dynamic activity, you will be seeing unbelievable fitness improvements and fat loss like you’ve never known before.

The even better news is that all you need to complete this program is one single pair of dumbbells and an open space.

This makes it absolutely ideal for doing in your home or wherever you choose to workout.

What’s Included…

When you pick up the Speed Shred 60 Total Body Training System, you’ll receive:

  • 60 days worth of unique workouts, each designed to challenge your body in a new manner
  • A six-pack ab guide to help you discover how to flatten your midsection
  • Dozens of the most effective ab exercises on the planet
  • A full nutrition prescription – never question again what you should be eating for optimal fat burning
  • A grocery list so that you know precisely what to purchase when you head to the grocery store
  • A full exercise library that contains step by step videos of how to do each and every exercise – it will feel like I’m right there by your side
  • An exercise journal so you can track your progress
  • A macro list to make following the nutrition program easier than ever
  • A BMR calculator so you can easily enter your stats and know precisely what your target is for your fat loss diet plan

All of this will be yours when you make the commitment to work on your body for 60 days with this program.

Is it as good as all the other programs out there?

Let me tell you, it’s better.

And I’m not just saying that because I created it.  I’m saying it because I believe it.

Try it for yourself and see. If after the 60 day period, you don’t believe you’ve seen the results you wanted to or you don’t feel satisfied with the purchase, simply email me and I’ll give you a full refund – no questions asked.

I am that confident that you are going to love what this program has to offer.

So ask yourself, are you up to the challenge?

You can either keep going as you currently are with your workout program – and continue to see the results you’ve been seeing.

Or, you can wake up 60 days from today with a brand new body.

The choice is yours.

What will your future hold?

 

 

Why Cardio Is Negatively Impacting Your Fat Loss – Please Stop

Perhaps one of the most common emails I get coming is from someone who’s stuck with their fat loss.  They feel frustrated. They feel angry. They might even feel like giving up.

The email typically goes like this:

‘I’ve been doing everything right for so long – I run 5-6 miles a day, I eat properly, and I get enough sleep. But still, I cannot seem to lose any fat!  What am I doing wrong?’

The answer is to stop doing all that cardio.

What?!? You might be thinking, but cardio burns fat, right?

No, cardio does not burn fat.  A far superior method is 30-40 minutes of strength training, utilizing short rest periods in between.  Do that and the fat will practically fall off – provided your diet stays on track.

Why is this? Why is cardio ineffective but strength training is?

Here’s what you should know.

Optimal Fat Loss Occurs With A Higher Metabolic Rate

What you need to remember is that the best way to burn up body fat is to increase your basal metabolic rate, which stands for how many calories you burn at rest. Do this and you will basically burn more calories 24/7.  You’ll literally become a fat burning machine.

Doesn’t that sound ideal?  Hopefully, it does.

And what’s the best way to boost your BMR? The most optimal strategy is through increasing your overall lean muscle mass.  Since muscle is highly metabolically active, it will torch more calories at rest every minute of the day.

Strength training will help do this, while all that steady state cardio training may actually decrease your lean muscle mass and lead to a slower metabolic rate.

This isn’t to say that all cardio training is bad. There is a time and a place for steady state cardio training such as if you were training to run a marathon or entering a triathlon event.  When fat loss is not the goal and something else is, that form of cardio may be superior.

But if fat loss is the priority, steady state cardio is not the way to go.

Superior Options to Cardio

So what is? The best option is putting together a high-intensity interval training program involving weight lifting exercises.  A weightlifting workout that utilizes a challenging weight with short rest periods will be ideal for boosting your metabolism and reshaping your body.

To get a better idea how to structure these workouts, check out HIIT MAX™ and you’ll see some HIIT programs I’ve developed myself.

⚡ Related: Learn if HIIT is Right For You

Likewise, you can also do interval sprint training such as hill sprints or spin bike sprints. Both will be superior to the steady state, one pace training.

So don’t let yourself stay frustrated any longer.  If you want to lose fat, you must stop doing all that cardio training. It hasn’t delivered your results yet and it’s not going to deliver results anytime in the coming future either.

Switch it up, try something new, and prepare to be amazed at the success that comes your way.

 

 

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Fit

3 years ago, I thought I knew it all when it came to health, fitness, and nutrition.

I was sold on the idea of low-carb and low-calorie diets, thought cardio was the answer to my fat loss prayers and tried every single extreme trick in the book.

Well, through trial and (a lot of!) error, I realized that these weren’t the way to achieve my goals.

And through my own journey, and working with others, I found out the truth and put together the 10 things I wish I knew before I got fit.

Check out the video or read on to find out what lies, myths and misconceptions I fell prey to, so you can avoid making the same mistakes.

1. Muscle Burns Fat

Back in the day when I was 180 pounds and 24 + % body fat, I didn’t realize the importance of muscle.

I thought muscle was only for bodybuilders, and that if you wanted to get lean and drop pounds, you had to do cardio, cardio, cardio. All day, every day.

What a mistake that was.

I started weight training, built some lean muscle and the fat just fell off me.

Muscle increases your metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories 24/7 –even while you’re sleeping!

2. Carbs Don’t Make You Fat

Good quality carbs are essential if you’re training hard and want to build a fit, strong, ripped physique.

It’s refined carbs –your white bread, your soda, and your candy –that make you fat.

You never have to completely cut your carbs –you simply have to pick the right types of carbs and cycle them.

⚡ Related: Learn the Difference Between Good and Bad Carbs

3. The More Water the Better 

This is so simple to do but so effective.

My general rule of thumb is ½ oz of water per pound of bodyweight, but more is better.

⚡ Related: Learn How Much Water Your Body Needs Daily

4. Metabolism Adapts

If you eat more, you burn more.

If you eat less, you burn less.

That’s because your metabolism adapts to what you give it, and is the reason why ultra-low calorie diets end up failing every time.

Your body has nothing to use for energy, and so tries to store everything that you eat, meaning your fat loss plateaus and becomes stagnate.

5. Cardio Isn’t the Most Effective Exercise for Fat Loss

Are you still pounding away on the treadmill for hours and hours in an effort to lose stubborn fat?

Are you making steady state cardio the mainstay of your routine?

I can guarantee that this is one of the reasons why you’re not making progress and getting the results you want.

Everybody (regardless of age, experience, and ability) is better served to make weight training or HIIT the focus of their program when it comes to getting lean, fit, and healthy.

⚡ Related: Learn if HIIT Cardio is Right For You

6. Weight Training is Essential

Strength training is so incredibly underrated when it comes to changing your body.

Weight training absolutely has to be the foundation of your workouts. You don’t have to do bodybuilding-style workouts, but you should be striving to get stronger, be that with free-weights, incorporating weights and bodyweight moves into your HIIT workouts, or even with machines.

A good analogy of this is a sprinter vs. a marathon runner.

The sprinter does virtually no steady state work, and focuses on power, yet is jacked, ripped and lean.

The marathon runner only does cardio, and is skinny, weak and still, has some stubborn fat.

7. Fats Don’t Make You Fat

While the name might imply the opposite, fat isn’t the enemy.

Low-fat foods are actually a huge roadblock to your success, as they’re highly processed, contain nasty ingredients your body doesn’t like, and can seriously wreck your results.

Stick with natural fats like avocados, almonds and olive oil.

⚡ Related: Learn the Difference Between Good vs Bad Fat

8. Consistency is Key

Don’t try to go all out, straight from the start.

Just pick a goal you can easily achieve, and stick with it from day one.

Even if that means you only commit to two 15-minute workouts each week, you’re far better off doing that, and making it a habit, then declaring you’re going to do an hour every day, then completely falling off the wagon by the start of your second week.

9. Goals 

“A goal without a date is merely a wish.”

People never achieve anything without set, time-defined goals –so start making them.

Like point #8, making it attainable is crucial, so goals like –

  • Make sure I get all my workouts in this week
  • Avoid alcohol for the next 7 days
  • Have 4 servings of vegetables every day for the next month

⚡ Related: Learn How to Set Goals for Faster Fat Loss

Work like a charm.

Even better are 30-day goals, such as –

  • Lose 8 pounds
  • Drop an inch from my waist
  • Fit into my favorite suit again

10. Be Patient, Stay the Course and Let’s Get Fit Together

I cannot stress how important this is.

Patience is a virtue, and never more so than in fitness.

If it took you 5 years to put on excess weight, it won’t come off overnight. Sure, you can make quick progress, but try to keep the big picture in mind.

This runs into staying the course –nothing worth having comes easy, so be prepared to put the work in, enjoy the highs and ride out the lows.

And as for getting fit together?

Are you surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are also goal-driven?

Are you making fitness part of your life?

You know that I’m in your corner, cheering you on, but have you got these kinds of people around you too?

A great social support network can be the difference between failure and success. If you need extra support, head over to become an ELITE member, where you will find a community of people just like you who are there to support you, not to mention support directly from me and my team, with updated workout videos that are updated constantly, new recipes every month, complete training guides and much more!

For a more in-depth look at the 10 things I wish I knew before I got fit, check out the video –

The Best Time to Train for Optimal Success

Getting results with your training isn’t all about sets and reps.

It doesn’t just have to do with exercise selection.

And, surprisingly, it isn’t even about how much intensity you put in.

These factors do all undoubtedly matter – particularly the final one – but there’s something that you’re overlooking by focusing on these alone.

It’s something many people don’t even consider when planning their routines and setting their fat loss goals.

And that’s the time you train.

Because this really can make a difference in your success.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • What science says about training…
  • The BEST time to train
  • Hack the timing for your workout

What “Science” Says is Best

The first thing we need to address is what science and theory tell us are the best time to train.

In a perfect world, this is when we have the most energy, and due to our genetics, and our development since the days of our ancient ancestors, that is when the sun is at its highest – i.e. the middle of the day.

I know what you’re thinking –

“But Michael, the time of day I have most energy is straight after I’ve downed an energy drink, or I’m on my seventh coffee of the morning! Does that mean I should train then!?”

I hear you.

But here, though, we’re talking about the best scenario if we took all that caffeine and all those stimulants out of the equation, and focused on what our bodies do naturally – working in tandem with the sun.

Therefore, 12 pm is probably the best time to train.

This whole theory works on a bell curve system.

You can see exactly what that means in the video –

We Are Not Cavemen!

As great as it would be to be able to train at this peak time every single day without fail, and make the most of our bodies’ increased natural energy levels, it just doesn’t always happen.

In this crazy modern world you have a job, a family, kids, and so many distractions that training doesn’t always come top of your priorities list.

And that’s absolutely fine.

You can still get great results training at other times.

The “Real” Best Time to Train …

Is when you can fit training in.

It certainly isn’t a case of training being worthless, or a waste of time if it’s done mid-morning, late at night, 3:57 am – the real best time to train is whenever it fits your schedule the best.

Therefore, if that means the only time you can get to the gym, or even crush a workout at home is first thing before work, as soon as you get home from the office, or even last thing at night, then that’s when you should train.

Don’t be dictated to by theories if it means having to turn your life upside down just to get your session in during this “optimal” mid-day window.

3 Quick Hacks for Timing Your Workouts

To take away the stress of workout timings, and ensure you get your workouts done, I’ll share my top 3 tips for scheduling sessions with you –

  1. Plan

First and foremost, you need accountability, and you need to know in advance when you’re going to train.

So grab your diary, flick through the next few weeks, and write down the days and times you’re going to train … and stick to them.

  1. Have a Working Lunch

Or should that be a “working out” lunch?

Training during your lunch hour has three huge advantages.

Firstly, it means you are training at the optimal time.

Secondly, by only having an hour to change, work out and shower again afterward, it forces you to push yourself, and make the most of every minute.

And finally, getting your exercise done during the working day makes you more productive for the afternoon, and doesn’t detract from family time (the most important).

  1. Get Habitual

The key to having productive, successful workouts is to get into a groove, and become accustomed to the time that you train, so your body gets used to having to work hard at set times.

Therefore, it’s a great idea to find a time you can train every day, and stick to it.

The Moral of the Story

If you can train between 12 pm and 1 pm, you absolutely should.

But if that just isn’t an option, don’t worry.

You can still have a successful, productive workout that takes you closer to your fat loss goals, provided you get your session in, work hard, and don’t make excuses.

Finding the time to train and workout can be difficult, and even more so if you don’t have a plan of attack. Let us take the guesswork out of what workouts you should be doing by creating a Custom Training Plan just for you and your goals.

For more detail, tips and tricks, have a watch of the video:

The #1 Way to Burn Fat Above All Else

Do you know how we burn most of our calories?

Surprisingly, it’s not through exercise.

It’s not by simply being active day today.

And it’s not through what we eat. (That includes even if you eat a high-protein diet, which encourages a greater calorie burn.)

Nope, the way we burn most of our calories is through our Resting Metabolic Rate or RMR.

Redefining RMR

So what exactly is RMR?

Essentially, it’s the calories you burn while at rest, but not sleeping.

It might sound crazy – your body actually burns calories and torches fat while you do more or less nothing, but here’s the cool thing – your body is ALWAYS working.

Just think about it – your organs are working, you’re breathing, blood is pumping in and around your body, you’re creating hormones and enzymes – so many things are going on, that your body has to keep on burning calories while you rest.

Even when you sleep you’re burning calories.

In fact, this is so important, that 60 to 70% of the calories you burn every single day come from RMR.

That’s compared to 20 to 30% that comes from exercise, and 10 to 15% from digestion (Thermic Effect Of Food).

I explain more in this video –

So now, can you see just how critical RMR is?

But that leaves us with a question:

If RMR plays such a huge role in how many calories we burn, and how quickly and how efficiently we burn body fat, then what can we do to increase this and accelerate our progress?

More Muscle

You know me – I always talk about how having more muscle is critical.

And sometimes, I think people assume that I’m trying to turn them into bodybuilders and strongmen – but I’m not.

The reason why muscle mass matters, is because the more muscle you have, the higher your RMR.

It takes your body more energy (and therefore more calories) to preserve lean muscle mass than it does to preserve fat, which means that if you’re carrying extra muscle, your metabolism is higher, you’re burning calories faster, and you’ll lose fat quicker.

Lose an Extra 7-10 Pounds This Year?

Let’s put some math into the equation here, to look at just how effective more muscle can be when it comes to losing fat.

The average woman, weighing 140 pounds at a height of 5’5 has an RMR of around 1400.

A man, at 180 pounds and 5’10 has an RMR of roughly 1900.

Can you imagine – if you could add a few pounds of muscle and boost your RMR by even just 5%, that could have an enormous impact.

An extra 5% on 1400 means an additional calorie burn of 70 per day for our lady, and 5% of 1900 is an extra 95 calories for the guy.

Over the course of a year, that adds up to 25,550 calories and 34,675 calories respectively.

Or, to put it another way (bearing in mind there are 3,500 calories in 1 pound of fat) – a little more muscle could mean our 140-pound girl could lose over 7 pounds of fat, and for our man – almost 10 pounds.

Muscle Myths

Adding muscle will not make you big and bulky.

The guys you see in the bodybuilding magazine specifically train to get that way.

They have ultra-complex routines, follow mass gain diets, and take a whole host of supplements. Additionally, it’s taken them years, if not decades, to get that big.

All we’re talking about here is adding a little lean mass by way of weight training, circuits, bodyweight moves, and even HIIT work.

The Bottom Line: Build Muscle to Lose Fat

You can do all the cardio you like – as much jogging as your heart’s desire.

You can cut your calorie obscenely low and live off salads and grilled chicken breast.

And you might lose a little weight, but eventually, that will slow right down, as your body has no mass to keep your metabolism ticking.

Or, you could focus on building a little muscle, taking your RMR through the roof, burning extra calories every single minute of every single day, and making your fat loss easier for life.

Remember, check out the video for even more tips and advice –

 

Also, check out HIIT MAX™ for workouts that will not only burn fat and build lean muscle, but also keep you challenged and focused.

How to Set Up New Year’s Resolutions That Stick

Did you know that as many as 25% of all people who make New Year resolutions fail within the first week?

Scary stuff, huh?

And that’s why I waited until now to put this blog out.

See, if had I released this at the end of December, or the very start of January, it wouldn’t have been much use – you’d have been all amped up and ready to go.

That fire in your belly would be there to get on and smash your 2015 goals.

But now, though – over 50% of you will probably have slipped up, and perhaps already even given up for another year.

But I don’t think that’s the case, and even if you have made a bit of a resolution faux pas, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t get back on the grind and CRUSH it for the rest of the year.

After all, if you’re reading this and following me, that sets you apart from all the others who’ve already broken their resolutions.

So read on to find out how to set New Year resolutions that stick using…

  • 7 Day Goals
  • 30 Day Goals
  • Tricks to make these goals stick

Step 1: 7-Day Goal

A year’s a long time, right?

That doesn’t mean we need to look that far in advance, though.

Sure, you may want to drop 30, 40, or perhaps even 50 pounds.

Perhaps you desperately want that six-pack but know it’s still a ways off.

It’s great to have lofty ambitions, but you need to start small.

Give yourself a goal to hit over the next 7 days, and keep it simple. It could be something like –

  • Get 5 workouts in this week
  • Spend 3 hours per day with your kids
  • Get your diet 90% right – whether that’s eating lean protein at every meal, getting 4 servings of veggies a day, or taking all your supplements.

Got one? Good, let’s move on.

Step 2: 30-Day Goal

This is a little different.

Switching things on their head, let’s look at a BAD 30-day goal –

“I want to lose weight.”

This is just far too vague.

It doesn’t mean anything – you can lose weight from one day to the next, or drop half a pound by sweating in a sauna, yet neither of these is what you want.

Try this instead –

It’s February 20th, 30 days from today. I have lost 2 inches off my waist, 7 pounds, and my clothes fit better. I am happier, healthier, and feel fitter than I did just 4 short weeks ago.

 See the difference?

These goals can be measured.

They put you at the finish line.

Step 3: Grab a Pen … 

And write these down.

Get two sticky notes, and write both goals on each.

Put one of these in your car (on your steering wheel or your dashboard) and the other on your bathroom mirror.

That way, you’ll see them multiple times every single day.

⚡ Related: Learn How You Can Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Step 4: Call Me!

Accountability is a huge part of goal setting and one that’s all too often overlooked.

That’s why I want you to reach out to me.

My job is to help you as much as possible, and I want to empower you to achieve great things and crush your goals this year.

None of us can get where we want on our own – we need that support and motivation.

So get in touch – either by commenting here or on the video, on Facebook, on Instagram or via email, and let me know how you’re doing.

If you tell me what I can do for you – whether that’s creating products, hosting webinars, or putting out blog posts on different topics – I’m happy to do it.

The Proof is in the Pudding

Since implementing these tactics – the 7-day and 30-day goals, writing them down on sticky notes, and the accountability factor, I’ve hit every goal I’ve set for myself.

Before this, I was haphazard and sporadic, and 9 times out of 10, I failed.

So follow my lead, break down your goals, and let’s get fit together in 2015.

Oh, and if you need some help losing that last bit of winter excess? Then HIIT MAX™ could be perfect for you, you can check it out here.

The BEST Cardio for Faster Fat Loss

So I’m going back on my word.

I guess this could sound like a contradiction.

See, I’ve always come across as pretty anti-cardio.

I bash long-form cardio and decry it as a method for burning fat.

Here’s why –

Your typical person who relies on long-form cardio (i.e. a 60-minute steady session on the treadmill, the elliptical or the recumbent bike) is around 20% body fat – possibly even higher.

They do their workout, finish up feeling, well – pretty fresh still, hardly having broken a sweat.

They repeat this 5, maybe even 6 days per week, and get …

Absolutely nowhere.

See, there are 2 reasons why this long-form cardio is absolutely useless for our above individual.

1. They’re not focusing on their diet

It doesn’t matter how much cardio you do, if you’re not cutting down on junk, monitoring your caloric intake, and eating plenty of good, wholesome, clean foods, you simply won’t burn fat.

2. They’re not an endurance athlete

This slow, steady state cardio definitely has a place if you’re a runner, a triathlete, a cyclist, or if boosting stamina is your main goal.

If not, it’s a pretty lousy way to torch fat.

Finding Your Foundation:

Before deciding on what the “best” form of cardio is, you need to sort out your foundation.

The foundation is the mode of training you base your whole routine around.

When it comes to fat loss, that needs to be weight training.

No ifs, no buts – weight training is by far the most effective way to rid yourself of unwanted body fat, torch calories and boost your metabolism.

After you’ve got this in place, taking the number 1 spot, it’s time to work out what comes in after the weights in terms of importance.

What is HIIT: 

HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training.

After weights and diet, it’s just about the best thing you can do to get that lean, ripped body.

It’s a form of cardio, but it’s far superior to long-form cardio.

HIIT combines very short but very intense, periods of all-out maximum effort – think sprinting, running up a hill, or even pedaling a stationary bike at a super-high resistance for all you’re worth.

You intersperse these “sprints” – whether they last 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or even a minute – with resting periods, where you don’t stop, but take it a bit easier to recover, and get ready for your next burst.

This cardio is seriously effective.

I’ve actually got a whole program dedicated to it, that’s how much I believe in it.

HIIT MAX™ has been downloaded by over 35,000 people in just the first 6mo of its creation, and is changing bodies and lives the world over, helping men and women shed fat faster than ever before.

Here’s why HIIT is so great –

  • You get an insane metabolism boost, which increases your body’s calorie burning potential.
  • You keep torching calories AFTER you finish working out
  • You get better results in less time
  • It helped me (and thousands of others) go from 25% body fat … to sub-10% body fat. It is that effective.

⚡ Related: Learn whether or not HIIT is right for you

What is LISS:

Another acronym for you – LISS.

That’s Low-Intensity Steady State.

Now LISS involves working at a low-intensity, and often fasted, on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning (which is actually what I’m doing in my own training right now.)

The benefits of LISS include –

  • It’s an easy way to burn a few extra calories without compromising recovery
  • It can actually aid muscle recuperation, helping you feel less sore
  • It’s easier to do on an empty stomach, so you get the fat-burning benefits of fasted cardio without wanting to throw up
  • It hardly takes any effort. It’s a simple, straightforward, calorie-burning “win”.

Once again, LISS should NOT be the foundation of any fat burning program.

Just like the scenario, we started this article with – our guy or girl at 20% body fat – making LISS the mainstay in your routine is not a smart option.

You need strength training and you need HIIT.

That being said, LISS does have a place for certain people.

The main reason for this is that the pace at which you do LISS (around 135 to 145 heartbeats per minute) is the optimal zone for burning fat without sacrificing muscle.

And when you’re already very lean, (i.e. sub-10% body fat) that matters.

The Cardio Continuum 

Here’s how it goes.

How you need to schedule your workouts, your foundations, and your priorities –

1. Strength Work OR HIIT

Ideally, I’d like you to make strength training the key player in your regime.

But HIIT works too – if you do it right.

A program like HIIT MAX™ for example, incorporates strength training as a form of cardio, so you can choose this, or traditional strength training supersets and circuits.

2. LISS

This should always be seen as an addition.

If you’re starting your journey, it’s unlikely to be the best use of your time, but if you need a simple way to burn a few extra calories, or are pretty much “there” and just looking to burn some flab while preserving muscle, add LISS after your HIIT or strength work, or do a little first thing in the morning.

3. Long-Form Cardio

For most folks, this just isn’t needed.

But if you want to increase your endurance, or partake in an event like a marathon or triathlon at the same time as getting lean, then make some time for slow, steady, longer duration cardio.

There you have it.

Cardio has a place in everybody’s routine, it’s just that the type of cardio you do, and how you prioritize it depends entirely on your goals, and where you are in your transformation.

So, what method of cardio were you using and will you make some changes?

10 Super Snacks for Super Fat Loss

“Hey Michael, what’s the best thing I can snack on?”

I get this question so much, you wouldn’t believe.

It seems that snacking right for fat loss is one area people just can’t quite get their heads around. And that’s understandable.

In today’s world of convenience foods, on-the-go eating, and where things need to be done as fast as possible, it can be easy to make the wrong snack choices, or worse, forget about snacking altogether.

People fall into the trap of buying “health foods” – things like low-fat cereal bars, (that are incredibly high in sugar) or highly-processed, poor-quality protein bars, that doesn’t help your fat loss at all.

Instead, I wanted to share with you my own personal favorite snacks – not just from a health and results point of view, but from a taste one too.

They’re all quick and easy to prepare and eat, can be made in advance and stored, and taste great.

You get a sneak peek inside my refrigerator, to see what I snack on, on a daily basis, and I reveal my top snacking tips.

#1 Deli Meat 

People often associate deli meat with being junk food or processed, but it doesn’t have to be.

In fact, if you buy the right type (which I reveal in the video) then deli meat is one of the best snacks out there. It’s high in protein, low in carbs (which is great for your low- or no-carb days on Carb Cycle) and full of the high-quality protein your body needs to build and repair.

#2 Veggies

The humble vegetable shouldn’t be dismissed as a snack.

It’s one of those things that most don’t even think of, but I always keep some pre-cooked, or even raw veggies in my refrigerator, ready to go, to give me that vitamin and mineral boost and get all my nutrients in.

#3 Protein Shakes

I’d always advise people to get their protein from whole foods (meat, fish, cottage cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and so on) but in a pinch, if you think you’re not going to be able to do so, then have a protein shake instead – it’s the next best thing, and better than skipping your snack altogether. And, if you are going to make your own protein shake, be sure you are using a quality protein such as Organic Vegan Protein Superfood.

#4 Yoghurt

I switch between low-fat and high-fat yogurt, depending on what day of Carb Cycle I’m on, but either way, yogurt is awesome.

If you want to make it like a dessert, then you can also mix yogurt with protein powder (for an extra protein hit) and berries (to get even more vital micronutrients and slow-digesting carbohydrates.)

#5 Tuna

It may be a bodybuilder’s staple, but canned tuna is one of the best go-to snacks for anyone on the quest for fat loss.

Like deli meat, it’s high in protein, with virtually zero carbohydrates, and it’s very low in calories.

I like wild Albacore tuna. It goes great with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

#6 Nuts 

On those low-carb days where you just feel like you could just do with a little more energy and need to increase your fats, nuts are the best food to do this with. Tasty and nutritious – a handful of almonds is a perfect snack. Or, you can go with nut butter instead.

#7 Beef Jerky

If you’re worried about carrying deli meat around with you all day without a refrigerator, then beef jerky is the ideal solution. Again, it’s extremely high in protein, with a very low carb count. Make sure you watch the video if you want to find out exactly what jerky I go for.

#8 Granola

Granola?

That sugary cereal?

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, granola really is in my top snacks. But it’s a specific type of granola, and I’d only recommend using it on a high-carb day. There’s also just one granola that’s extremely healthy, and the perfect higher-carb snack.

#9 Protein Bars

The protein bar market is flooded with products that are loaded with calories, packed full of sugars and artificial ingredients, and actually not that high in protein.

But there are a few diamonds in the rough too, and I’ll reveal my go-to bar for the ultimate in high-protein convenience and taste in the video.

#10 Dark Chocolate 

Nope, it’s not a trick – good quality dark chocolate really does make my list.

Again, it’s one that should be saved for a high-carb day, but pick the right stuff, and you really can enjoy chocolate as part of a fat loss diet.

Snacking doesn’t have to be boring. It doesn’t have to be bland, and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Not snacking is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when losing fat.

Eating all of these regularly as part of your routine will bring you closer to your goals, and get you to a lean, fit figure even faster.

Top Tip: WHEN to Snack

If you’re undecided when to snack, here are the 2 golden times –

1. Between meals.

You shouldn’t ever go longer than 3 to 4 hours without food, so throw a snack between breakfast and lunch, and another between lunch and dinner.

2. Post-Workout

You train hard, right?

And hard training means you need nutrients to recover.

In fact, if you’re doing an intensive fat loss program, such as HIIT MAX™, you’re potentially sabotaging your results by not refueling after your session.

All the above make fantastic post-workout options to kick-start your metabolism and start delivering essential compounds to your muscles.

Top 3 Proven Tips For Fat Loss

One of the most common comments I hear not only as a trainer – but from friends, family and online is:

‘How do you lose fat’

It should be simple, shouldn’t it? Eat less and move around more, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.  With so much conflicting advice, I wanted to write this blog today to give you the 3 steps I have personally tested not only myself – but on thousands of others worldwide.

Keep reading after the post to learn:

  • How carb-cycling can help you lose weight
  • Why increasing your protein will help you fight fat
  • Reasons why you should focus on your training

I will also wrap up with my personal ‘formula’ for training success when it comes to fat loss. But first, let’s get you started with tip number 1:

Carb Cycle for More Fat Loss

If you caught my video the other week when I was dressed up as the Cookie Monster for Halloween (and if haven’t  you’ve got to check it out – not only do I look funny but it’s a great overview of carb cycling, you know I am a huge fan of carb cycling for fat loss?

Why? Because it works.

Period.

When you cycle carbs, you give your body one of the most effective ways of burning body fat – but without feeling like a zombie when you go fully low carb.

I come from a Paleo/Whole foods background. So it’s not like I don’t have experience with multiple eating lifestyles (as I like to call them). If you look at my early videos and pictures – the difference in my physique from when I used to follow that protocol, to what I look like now from carb cycling is night and day difference.

To make it work, you cycle from high carbs to low carbs over the course of a week. The thing about carb cycling is, not only is it super effective when it comes to leaning out – it allows you to have a weekly cheat or ‘free’ meal. This means you can stay committed to your physique goals, but you still get to have a life (and some fun!) with your family, friends or co-workers.

By the way, in the next week or so, I will be releasing my definitive book on carb cycling. So if you like the idea of trying this, and want to be told exactly how to make this work for you, and your lifestyle – keep an eye out for that.

⚡ Related: Learn Why Carb-Cycling is the Key to Losing More Fat, Fast!

Increase Your Protein Intake for Fat Loss

Protein is the cornerstone to successful fat loss regimen, and there are a few main reasons why you should make sure your protein intake is high enough.

Firstly, protein is fantastic for satiety – it’s is one of the most filling macronutrients, and can help keep cravings down. This is because it takes a long time for your stomach to break down the proteins to be digested, hence you feel fuller for longer.

This brings me neatly to the next great point when it comes to protein – TEF – also known as the ‘thermic effect of food’.  Don’t worry, am not going to take you through a science class! Today, all I want you to understand is that because protein is harder for the body to digest – it actually needs extra energy to break it down.

In fact, up to 15% of the calories in a protein meal are burned in digestion alone.

Finally, protein is crucial for your health. It allows your body to repair cells, and rebuild them. This is especially important if you are training regularly, as your body needs the building blocks of protein (called amino acids) to build muscle.

⚡ Related: Find Out How Much Protein You Should Consume on a Daily Basis

Focus on Your Training to Fight Fat

I promised I would share with you my personal training formula for fat loss, but before I do – I just want to break down exactly what I have seen work with myself, and thousands of times before.

For fat loss, you HAVE to get some form of weight training in. If you want to really ramp up your results, then you need to follow your weight training with HIIT (high-intensity interval training), such as something like HIIT MAX, which over 18,000 people have achieved success with to date.

Heck, I have even had personal trainers email me to say they use my program in their classes!

The above combination of weights and HIIT sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But I am going to explain to you how everything you need to do can be done in one-hour max. That’s right, in just 60 minutes you can get your weight training, your HIIT training – everything you need for fat loss…nailed.

‘The MoreFIT Formula’

40 + 20 = Fat Loss

What that means is you are going to do 40 minutes of weight training, followed by 20 minutes of HIIT training. I bet you are thinking ‘how can I get my weights done in just 40 minutes’ Well, let me show you:

You need 4 pairs of alternate upper body and lower body exercises. So you could have shoulder press & squat, you could have chin up & box jumps, or even press ups & walking lunges.  Then, all you have to do is follow up with your HIIT training, and boom – maximum fat loss in just one hour.

There you go, my top 3 tips for getting a lean, toned physique.

Fat loss in a nutshell!

What Supplements Are Really Worth Taking?

Curious to know what supplements are REALLY worth your money? One of the most common questions I get asked is about supplementation. While we don’t need supplementation, certain supplements can really be beneficial to our overall health by helping our bodies run more efficiently, whether that be with digestion, exercise performance, or detoxification, just to name a few.

This list provided here should give an insight on the supplements that I recommend and what I think is really worth taking.

Health-Promoting Supplements:

Okay, first we’re going to talk about the products I believe will support proper health. By nature, they will also support your performance and body composition goals because both of these are easier to achieve when you’re healthy.

These are all natural products that will work with your body, rather than against it.

  • Organic Vegan Protein

First, we have organic vegan protein.  Now, I always recommend you get as much of your nutrients from real food whenever possible. But, that said, for those who have higher protein requirements, this can be a challenge.

A protein supplement can be helpful. This is the most natural and healthy option available. This is why I stick with Mfit’s Organic Vegan Protein Superfood as my protein powder of choice. The reason this one is better is that it is made with few ingredients. And all the ingredients are natural. 

Consuming protein will help you enhance your peak performance and endurance, recover from your workout faster, and it supports muscle development. It will help you burn calories throughout your workout and get you to your goals faster, whether you are trying to put on lean muscle or lose the extra fat (1, 23, 4).

Aim for one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight each day as a starting point. Realize if you are training hard, you may need even more.

  • Krill Oil

Next, we have krill oil.  All of us need this.  It really is that necessary.  Krill oil provides us with omega-3 fats, which have an endless list of health benefits.  Realize that if you do eat a lot of fatty fish, especially salmon, you may not need to supplement as much as others, but here in the US, the majority of users could really benefit from taking an omega-3 supplement.

One of the most widely known effects krill oil is the positive effect it has on hyperlipidemia, otherwise known as high blood pressure [5, 6].

For a long time, krill oil has been the go-to, but today krill oil is gaining in popularity, and for good reason!

⚡ Related: Learn Why Krill Oil is Superior to Fish Oil

  • Vitamin D

Another key vitamin – vitamin D is also important for overall health. Unless you get a lot of direct sunlight (the best natural way to get vitamin D), you will need to supplement.

Read the label and take the dosage indicated.

  • Multi-Vitamin

Again, while you should strive to get all your nutrients from real food, having a good multi-vitamin for backup support is always a wise decision.

Just do be sure to get a quality product here. Don’t pick up that bottle of Centrum that you find in the grocery store. Get a product that’s natural and of high quality.

  • Greens Blend

For those of you who really struggle to get in enough vegetables in your daily diet, a greens blend such as Detox Organics is also a smart choice.  This will give you the antioxidant support you need to promote superior health.

A great greens supplement, like Detox Organics, will help your body with its digestion process and its ability to rid the body of waste. Your body naturally detoxes, but using the right supplement will help give your body a boost and help it function better.

⚠️ Are you ready to prevent cravings, reduce appetite, and beat the bloat?

Join 225,000+ fans all over the world who trust Detox Organics to prevent food cravings & finally eliminate stubborn fat.

 

  • Probiotic

Finally, the last health promotion supplement I recommend you consider is a probiotic, a supplement that has so many health benefits. This will help to keep your digestive system in proper working order and ensure that you are making use of all the foods you eat as best as possible.

Your gut contains millions of bacteria that actually help to keep you healthy. When most people think of bacteria, they think of something that is bad make them sick, but this isn’t the case.

Along with the bad bacteria, your body also consists of good bacteria, mainly consisting of bacteroids and firmicutes, and these bacteria have been linked to overall health and even weight loss (7, 8).

 

Performance Enhancing Supplements:

  • BCAAs

BCAAs are also a wise idea to consider and will help to delay the onset of fatigue. If you find you’re running out of energy early on in your workouts, BCAAs can help.

Drinking BCAAs increases the rate of perceived exertion, meaning you can go stronger, faster, longer and more efficient while you are working out. This is why I recommend you taking them inter-workout if you were to only take them one time once a day [9].

Drinking BCAAs can also help you recover faster after you finish your workout. Muscle go through a process of repair and recovery after use, especially after an intense training session and drinking BCAAs can help your muscles through this recovery process [10].

I’d recommend starting around 7.5 grams per day, however, if you are training hard, you can take this up to 10-15 grams per day. Again, Morellifit Nutrition BCAAs are top of the line and made with 100% all natural ingredients.

⚡ Related: Top 6 Benefits of Drinking BCAAs.Discover the

  • Caffeine

Finally, you might wonder about fat burners. Should you use one?

I would say no.  Firmly. Fat burners will mess you up if you aren’t careful and are not natural for the body at all.

Need an energy boost? Go for a cup of coffee instead. Caffeine is the most under-rated fat burner out there and you can get it right from your coffee pot. No fancy supplement needed.

Coffee has been around for thousands of years for that boost of energy and concentration, but it can also help you in the gym and support your weight loss efforts. Besides an energy boost, caffeine in studies has shown to increase fat burning in the body. Along with increased fat burning, it can break down fat as well. Plus, the effects of caffeine can last up to 6 hours after ingestion which means these fat burning benefits last a while. After a hard work out caffeine has been shown to decrease post-workout pain by up to 46% (1112, 13).

⚡ Related: Learn How Caffein Can Help You Burn Fat

There’s no need to turn to a fat burner in my opinion, so I’d recommend you stay away.

So there you have my line-up of supplement recommendations. Stick to these and you can feel confident you’re hard-earned dollars are being put to good use.

Bonus: SHOULD You Be Taking Supplements?

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, nobody needs to be taking supplements, but they can be extremely beneficial to your overall health. Because of this, I would recommend that people learn what it is that the different supplements do and assess which ones they would benefit from.

Whether you are looking to build lean muscle, lose fat, or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, there are supplements that could greatly improve our lifestyles.

With a solid diet, a structured workout routine and a lot of dedication, you can achieve your goals. But, if you really want to ramp up your results, and not only get that extra 5% boost but get there quicker, too – this is where supplements come in.

With a highly-efficient workout plan such as HIIT MAX™ that focuses on burning as many calories in a single, short session as possible, and has an emphasis on pushing you to your limits, so you never hit a plateau – I’d say supplements become more important.

How To Effectively Structure Your Workouts

Wondering how you should go about structuring your workout sessions? You know that you need to have two main types of exercise in your program – strength training and high-intensity cardio training.

But, how do you set them up? And more importantly, within those two types of workouts, how do you set up each exercise you’ll be doing?

Many people often find themselves confused when it comes to workout programming, so today we’re going to set the record straight.

How you structure the exercises you do in each session will influence the nature of the results you see, so it’s something to start paying closer attention to.

Let’s go over what you need to know.

And be sure to stick around after the video to learn:

  • The 60-Minute Time Block Is
  • How to Structure Your Strength Workouts
  • Why You Should Add HIIT Cardio to Your Routine
  • When You Should Focus on Abs

The ‘60’ Minute Time Block

So let’s say that you have 60 minutes to workout total. How much do you devote to strength and how much to cardio?

A good split that I would recommend is about 30-40 minutes to your strength work and the remaining 20-30 minutes to high-intensity interval cardio training.  Note that strength work must come first.

If you have a longer or shorter block of time, adjust these time frames respectively.  The key point to note is that strength training is the priority, gets the most time, and comes first in that session.

Structuring Your Strength Workouts

To best structure your strength workout, you’ll always want to do your multi-joint or complex exercises first.  These are your squats, your deadlifts, your bench presses, your bent over rows – if they utilize more than one muscle group, they are going to take more energy to perform.

As such, doing them first helps ensure you perform them without a problem.  After those exercises have been completed, then you can move into your isolated exercises such as bicep curls, triceps extensions, leg extensions, and so forth.

Adding Cardio Into The Mix to Increase Results

After your strength work is completed, now you need to add cardio to the mix. If you’re still doing that steady state cardio, going at it at one straight pace for 40-50 minutes at a time, you are missing out on results.

Those who participate in this form of training experience greater fat loss all over their body, as well as specifically from the trunk region, as was found in one study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

For instance, you can bike hard for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Or you can run uphill and walk back down.

Do whatever mode of cardio you prefer as long as you can do it intensely. Or, if you want another option, try my HIIT MAX™ program, found at insanefitnessanywhere.com.  You’ll see noticeable improvements in just a few short weeks doing this type of cardio.

⚡ Related: Learn How HIIT Can Gets You To Your Goals Fast

What About Abs?

Now you might be wondering when you should do abs?  Because abs will help to support your core throughout all the main strength moves, you want to make sure you’re doing any intense weight lifting moves requiring core support before abdominal training.

This means squats, deadlifts, lunges, rows, shoulder presses, and of the like. If you were just going to do an arm workout and you want to blast through abs first, that’s fine, but anything more intense on the strength side, abs come last.

So keep these points in mind as you go about structuring your workout protocol and you can be confident that you are going to head toward results.

⚡ Related: Can You Get Abs in Just 30 Days?

Cut Out the Confusion…

Now, this was one of my more “science” blog posts.

And I know I didn’t give you any real specific guidelines. But that’s because this is a rather complex topic, and reality, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do things.

However, The way that I’ve found most effective?

The one that not only got me from 24% body fat to 8% body fat in a little over 3 months?

And the one that I’ve used with thousands of clients. (Over 60,000 to date, to be precise) is this one – HIIT MAX™

HIIT MAX™ takes the methodologies and guidelines we have here and lays everything out into one easily accessible, done-for-you training & nutrition program.

We give you a plan that’s easy to implement, takes no thought process, removes confusion, and guarantees to torch stubborn fat in record time.

Plus, you only need to commit 20 minutes, three times per week.

Reference:

Chisholm, D.J. et al. (2008). The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. International Journal of Obesity.  32, 684-691.

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