View Post

How I Switched From Weights to Calisthenics

In DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics by The Fit Rebel

I’ve always loved to exercise, and I’ve been strength training since college. However, I’ve only been focusing on calisthenics based workouts for the past 10 years. Before then, you could count on finding me on a bench press or leg press most days of the week. So how did I go from an iron-worshiping gym junkie to a calisthenics enthusiast? Well, …

View Post

Do Weight Lifting Methods Work with Calisthenics?

In Methods & Success Mindset, Playground Workouts, Suspension Training by The Fit Rebel

Weight lifting and calisthenics are not as different as some people may think. They both use progressive resistance to make your muscles bigger and stronger. The biggest difference between the two is in how you progress the resistance. With weight lifting, you maintain a fairly consistent technique while adjusting the weight you lift. Calisthenics does the opposite where you adjust …

View Post

How to Begin Playground Workouts

In DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Methods & Success Mindset, Playground Workouts by The Fit Rebel

Playground workouts are an excellent way to get outside and breath new life into your stale workouts. Nothing is better than getting out in the sunshine and fresh air while unleashing your creative nature with some workouts you may not practice in a commercial gym. While a playground workout may seem simple enough, I’ve learned a few things over the years regarding …

View Post

Exploring Freestyle Workouts w/ Adrienne Harvey

In DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Freestyle workouts can help you break out of workouts that feel like a soul sucking dead end job. It’s easy to forget that working out is supposed to be fun and an enjoyable part of a healthy lifestyle. Adding a little playfulness and creativity can breathe new life into any stale routine. Freestyle workouts are a great example of how …

View Post

Use Peak Set Training to Know How Many Sets You Should Do

In Methods & Success Mindset, Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

There’s a lot of debate regarding how many sets you should do to build muscle. On one hand, you have examples like Mike Metzer and Dorian Yates who endorse using only one or two work sets. On the other, you have guys like Arnold who embrace volume training and grind out many sets. Science and empirical evidence have shown that both …

View Post

Use Your Lats to Build More Muscle

In Core & Abs Training, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Pull Up & Biceps Training, Push up Training, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

I always used to think of the lats as a narrow muscle group that ran up the sides of the back. I also used to think they were only really used in moves like pull ups and maybe rows. Lately, I’ve been learning a lot more about this incredible muscle and it’s made a massive improvement in almost every exercise I …

View Post

The Link Between Range of Motion & Muscle Growth

In Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Pull Up & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Range of motion is one of the most important elements in progressive calisthenics. It’s why many of the steps in Convict Conditioning use range of motion as a way to progress and regress almost every exercise. It’s just a shame many people fall for the idea that there’s an ideal range of motion to use in each exercise. This is …

View Post

The Front Lever for Beginners

In Core & Abs Training, Playground Workouts, Pull Up & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  Front levers are magic. They work your entire back super hard, yet keep your spine and lower back safe. They will also lock down your back tension which carries over to improving almost every exercise imaginable. They are crazy efficient too. Just grab a bar, hang for a 10-15 seconds and you’re done one set. Check out this video …

How to Not Swing With Hanging Leg Raises

In Core & Abs Training, Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Hanging knee and leg raises are the gold standard in core training. They require strength and stability along your entire spine as well as strong hips. They also demand flexibility in the lower back to complete the package. The biggest threat to your progress is the tendency to generate a lot of momentum which can cause swinging. This swinging robs …

Shoulder Training With Tree Handstands

In Playground Workouts, Push up Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Trees are God’s gift to anyone who wants to work on hand stand work. It doesn’t matter if you’re working on static poses or full blown push ups, trees offer everything you need. One of my favorite shoulder building moves is to do handstand walking or crawling around a tree. Because it momentarily places your muscles under a lot more …

The Fixed Bar Bodyweight Biceps Curl

In Playground Workouts, Pull Up & Biceps Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Some of the best arm exercises are body weight moves and this is no exception. Like tiger bends, and floor triceps extensions, this fixed bar curl keeps your hands still while moving your entire body against gravity. This creates a lot of potential tension in your biceps while also sparing any stress on your spine and lower back. Give this …

The Center Line Principal of Advanced Calisthenics

In Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Push up Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Understanding the center line principal is crucuial if you want to build more than just an average level of strength and muscle with calisthenics. Moving your limbs towards your center line had many advantages. It places more tension on your target muscles so they get bigger and stronger. It helps protect your joints, espeically the shoulder, and it helps to …

How to Master The Strait Bar Dip

In Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Few exercises will build up your upper body strength and muscle like the strait bar dip. Unlike it’s 2-bar sibling, the strait bar dip requires substantial more coordination and strength in the arms, shoulders, chest and even the core. It is a staple of playground workouts the world over for very good reason. Check out this quick video I made …

2 Ways to Progress and Advance Your Pull Ups

In Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

There are a million ways to progress and advance that classic pull up into a muscle-building, mass-exploding, strength-crushing move from hell. But where do you start? Many of the advanced moves are a massive leap away from the classic pull up so many folks never explore beyond the 2 arm version because the advanced techniques are too far above their …

Why Core Training is Not That Important

In Core & Abs Training, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Core and abdominal training is great, but seriously, it’s not all that important. Back in the day,  core training was all the rage and everything that was supposedly “functional” was about working the core. Then it was about the hips, then the legs and so on. The lesson I eventually learned was that there is no part of human body …

A Better Way to Stretch Tight Hamstrings

In Leg Training, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  I’ve always been plagued by tight hips and hamstrings and it’s held me back in everything from Taekwon-Do to various aches and pains in my lower back. The funny thing was, every time I got on a dedicated stretching routine, things got worse. I actually became tighter and my muscles were all the more susceptible to pulls and strains. …

4 Facts About Muscular Tension

In Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Tension is the primary thing that causes muscle growth. Growth doesn’t come from weights, supplements, diet or even your routine. All of that stuff is just a means towards being able to control the tension on a muscle. If building muscle is a goal of yours then creating and using tension should be the biggest focus of your program. Below are …

How to Kill Workout Boredom

In DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  Boredom kills your ability to progress and advance your workouts. No matter how hard you’re pushing yourself, a boring workout is only slightly better than worthless. It kills you mental edge.  It kills your drive and desire. It kills your focus. Not to mention it’s also a total bear to get through. So I say it’s time we got …

Technique Isn’t Everything

In DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Methods & Success Mindset, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  “Technique isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” If I ever open a gym I’m putting that up on the wall in big BOLD  letters. Everything you’re looking to gain from your training boils 100% down to your technique and how well you can maintain it. If your results are lacking, look to your technique.  Never consider anything other than …

Intro to Handstand Push Ups

In Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Push up Training by The Fit Rebel

  Few moves will build upper body muscle and strength like the handstand push up. The only problem is it’s a really tough move to even start training even for the experienced exercise enthusiast. I’ve met more than a few folks who can lift a weight fine enough but struggle with handstand push ups. Even those who claim they can …

I Always Lift with My Ego

In Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  Lifting with your ego is something many experts caution you against. I however, aim to lift with my ego as much as possible. The difference between my approach is that my ego isn’t attached to weight or reps. My ego is 100% focused on my technique. The technical side of an exercise is always what’s most impressive, especialy when …

Are Isolation Exercises Holding You Back?

In Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Pull Up & Biceps Training, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  My initial workouts were heavily focused on exercises that would isolate the muscles I wanted to grow. Looking back, I now believe these moves actually held back my progress even once I focused on compound movements. The tricky thing about muscle isolation is the fact that the body likes to use muscles in synergy. So The abs like to work along with …

Volume Creep is Workout Poison

In Methods & Success Mindset, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

More is not always better, especially when it comes to your workout. Just adding more endless sets to your routine can cause what is known as volume creep. Volume creep is one of those false ideals that runs rampant throughout our fitness culture. It makes us believe we are getting a better workout. It feels like we should be getting …

Don’t Do Weighted Calisthenics Until You Read this

In DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Playground Workouts, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Adding more weight to your body weight exercise may seem simple enough, but there are a few risks to be aware of. The first issue is that you shouldn’t sacrifice your technique in the name of greater loads. Using a shorter range of motion or different body position doesn’t always mean you’re getting stronger. Often times, it simply means you’re …

Advancing Your Hanging Leg Raise

In Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  The hanging leg raise shares the following common characteristics of calisthenics exercises: – Almost anyone can do it. – Most people choose not to because it’s “too easy.” – Once you get the technique dialed down, it will challenge you in ways unlike anything else. Not to mention it also will build you a physique that looks and performs …

A Stronger Plank for Stronger Abs

In Core & Abs Training, Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  The plank is a rather new staple for core training. It’s quickly replaced the crunch in many routines and for good reason. That said, there are still plenty of ways the plank is abused and misused. Trying to hold the position for too long and trying to keep the body strait are a couple that come to mind. In …

How to Do a Stiff Arm Pull Up

In Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  The stiff arm pull up is one of my favorite back exercises. It looks cool as hell and it completely works your entire back like crazy. As a bonus, it also torches your shoulders, abs and even your biceps even though you don’t bend your arms. Here’s a quick video on how to get started with this seldom used, …

You Can’t Build Muscle Until You’re Stronger

In Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  I’ve long said that strength doesn’t come from muscle. Muscle comes from strength. There are a number of meanings behind this saying. The first one is that it pays reference to your inner strength, the power that comes from within when the going gets tough. For when your muscles are burning and your body feels like it’s made of …

Sit Ups vs Leg Raises

In Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  When it comes to building the ultimate abs which is best, sit ups or eg raises? Debating one exercise against another sets up the mentality that one is good and the other is bad. In the end, you’re probably best off doing both. Why throw out a perfectly good exercise? That being said, I think the leg raise is often playing …

The Science Behind Weight Lifting Speeds

In Playground Workouts, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  Lifting speed is kind of funny. If you lift slower the exercise is harder. If you lift faster…the exercise is also harder. It seems like a conundrum but here’s a simple way to understand lifting speed and how to use it to your advantage. The root cause of muscle building exercise is really simple. You have 2 elements which are time and tension. …

How to Pass the PCC Century With Flying Colors

In Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

When I first signed up for the PCC, I figured the century would be a walk in the park. Thankfully, I tried it and was humbled by the fact that I couldn’t even do it. I didn’t even come close! I also didn’t complete it the second, third or forth time I attempted it as well. Thankfully, I was able …

Body Weight Playground Workout 4 Super Leg Strength

In Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  When I made the switch over to calisthenics, I was worried that my leg strength would suffer. After all, I was using my heaviest weights to train my legs so if there’s one area of the body that demands heavy weight training then it would be the legs right? My to my pleasant surprise  my leg strength greatly improved over …

Top Lessons I learned From the Dragon Door PCC

In DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

I’m back fresh from the first ever PCC (Progressive Calisthenics Certification) by Dragon Door.com and let me tell you it was incredible! I learned so much in 3 days it will take weeks for me to share it all with you. My whole approach for fitness and body weight training has been shot forwards my a hundred miles. This audio …

How Easier Exercise Makes Your Body Harder

In DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  I have a crazy idea when it comes to fitness. I believe that achieving success comes down to making it easier to do what is necessary to achieve that success. The easier you make things, the faster you’ll reach your goals and the lofty peaks of success suddenly are well within reach. This is why I’m such a big fan of calisthenics and the Triad …

How to Strengthen any Weak Muscle / Body part

In DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  We all have areas that are stubborn and difficult to train. For me, it’s long been my shoulders and forearms. For others it’s their legs or arms. Whatever your weaker areas are many folks try to “fix” the area with extra hard work and exercises that focus on that muscle group. While this can work, it often doesn’t. Sometimes …

Using Your legs For More Pull Up Strength & Muscle

In Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Have you ever thought of your legs while doing pull ups? I know I never really did, but I should have been. Since over half of your body weight is in your legs, the use and position of your legs can radically influence the effect your pull ups have. Check out this quick video on how I used my leg …

View Post

4 Tips on How to Achieve Umami in Exercise

In DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Methods & Success Mindset, Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

In the last post I wrote about the satisfying and pleasurable idea of umami I thought I would dedicate a few words now to some ideas on how to increase your chances of umami with your exercise. After all, if exercise can bring about the sensation of umami more often you’ll gain far more pleasure from your workout and be …

View Post

Why Pleasure is More Important Than Pain in Fitness

In Methods & Success Mindset, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

In a previous post I wrote about how pain is weakness invading the body rather than leaving the body as some hardcore folks like to claim. As I’ve also stated in previous posts, every exercise you do is essentially a set of instructions you are “downloading” to the cells of your body. If we put the two philosophies together we …

View Post

Why Body Weight Training Builds Such a Sexy Physique #3

In DIY Fitness Equipment & Reviews, Leg Training, Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  While progressive calisthenics  is one of the most challenging of body weight skills, it’s also one the most rewarding when it comes to sculpting a killer physique. I credit this with the fact that progressive calisthenics requires your technical abilities to improve to reach higher levels of strength. If you want to advance to single leg squats or U-shape …

View Post

Theories on Why Body Weight Training Builds Sexy Physique #2

In Core & Abs Training, Leg Training, Playground Workouts, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  I must confess, I was one of those guys who believed that all I needed to do to build an attractive body was to either be as lean as possible or pack on muscle like crazy. All through high school and college I worked like crazy to bring my body fat levels into almost impossibly low levels. Then after I …

View Post

When Setting A Goal Isn’t Doing You Any Good

In Diet-Free Healthy Eating / Fat Loss/ Nutrition, Methods & Success Mindset, Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

I’ve heard some folks refer to the practice of setting goals as an almost magical experience. Supposedly writing it down and reviewing it on a regular basis is part of the magic. The idea being that if you set a specific, realistic and time sensitive goal (and write it down) then motivation and inspiration is going to flow from you …

View Post

The Risk and Benefit of Adding Weight to Body Weight Exercises

In Playground Workouts, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Yes, it looks impressive but……….. So you’re getting pretty proficient at body weight exercise and you’re thinking of adding a little extra weight to spice things up a bit. Adding extra wait to body weight exercise is a great way to add intensity to your basic movements. However there are some serious pros and cons to consider with such an …

Diet and Exercise Isn’t Really All That Effective

In Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Even now, this car is still getting me further ahead than my last workout The fact of the matter is that almost all diet and exercise methods are not really all that effective. Even the worlds best methods don’t stack up on the whole effectiveness scale. No matter how hard you work or how hard you apply yourself you cannot …

View Post

2 Unique Playground Workouts

In Playground Workouts by The Fit Rebel

The playground is the place where I can often reach higher and go further than I ever had before. Something about being outside and on different equipment makes me feel like the sky is the limit. No rules. No clocks. No limits. Check out this video for 2 unique super sets that are particular favorites of mine when I hit …

View Post

The Incredible Fat Burning Device That’s Collecting Dust in Your Garage

In Methods & Success Mindset, Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

The great fat torching tool at work in the early days When I flip through photo albums of my past, I notice a drastic difference in my appearance during my freshman and sophomore years in college. I was always lean, but during that time I got super lean. It’s almost as if fat itself was being repelled from my body. …

View Post

The 3 Best Body Weight Exercises for Muscle Mass

In Playground Workouts, Progressive Calisthenics, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Note: These moves, and the muscle building program are explained in more detail in the Triad Muscle Revolution.   Calisthenics are often seen as lightweight exercises that do little more than improve endurance and muscle tone. I used to think this myself, however I’ve used (and have seen others use) the following 3 body weight exercises exclusively to pack on …

View Post

My Secret Weapon for More Strength & Muscle

In Methods & Success Mindset, Playground Workouts, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Let’s face it, strength is sexy. I’m not just talking about the “look at me all sweet and vulnerable” kind of sexy. I’m talking about the  “I can kick ass and take names, but I’m a lover not a fighter” kind of sexy.” There is one area of your body that, when strengthened even just a bit, drastically improves not …

View Post

Ultimate Functional Training With Progressive Calisthenics

In Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Both strength and balance are essential for functional strength outside of the gym. Over the past few years I’ve come to understand the essential relationship between balance and strength. To put it simply, strength without balance and control is largely useless. It’s like cramming a 700 horsepower engine into a car with worn brakes, soft suspension and bald tires. Even …

View Post

Build Big Round Shoulders With Wall Walking

In Playground Workouts, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

Shoulders have always been by Achilles heel. They’ve always been relatively weak as well as prone to injury. Despite anything and everything I did, I just couldn’t make them as strong and stable. That all changed with wall walking which forces my shoulders to become far stronger and more stable than ever before.

View Post

Use Your Spine to Guide Your Calisthenics Technique

In Leg Training, Playground Workouts, Suspension Training, Uncategorized by The Fit Rebel

  In a previous post, I talked about how you can only progress your exercise so far with volume or intensity. Keep piling on the sets or weight and eventually things will start to go south. Improving your technique however is an endless fountain of potential progress. You can spend years improving your technique and still have plenty of room …