Showing posts from December, 2012

Training for an Unpredictable Schedule

Hey James,

I am an officer with CBP down at San Ysidro guarding the border and have really wacky hours. I have the drive for workouts and love working out, but my schedule doesn't always promise a lift everyday. I want to make sure my officer presence and size remains high, so I can take care of myself in a very hostile environment. 

 Do you have any advice/routines/diet plans for me to build mass? I'm 6', 210 and fairly solid, but I feel to have plateaued. I was attracted to your article about LEOs and workouts and got your email from there. Thank you for your time looking forward to hearing from you.


My Answer: I actually wrote a book specifically about how to train for an unpredictable schedule like that of law enforcement.  It's called Strength and Physique: Training for the Busy Bodybuilder. In this book I show you the least you can do to achieve mass and muscularity while still living a life outside the gym. It's meant for the modern day Renaissance…

Exercise Substitutions on the Lean and Lethal Program

Hey James,

I just received High Tension Exercises for Muscular Growth for Christmas, and I like it a lot, so thanks! I also have 3 other books of yours, so I am a big fan.  

My question is would you recommend combining the more advanced or different pushup, pullup, and deadlift variations from your most recent book, with the MMA routine from Tactics and Strategies?  For example, instead of doing regular pushups in the MMA routine, could I replace them with one-handed pushups or side to side pushups? Could I replace regular pullups with sternum or side to side pull ups?  

You should probably also know that I am not doing MMA training other than your routine.  I just like the fact that your MMA routine is dense, quick, hits most major muscle groups and gives me some conditioning as well.  I'm a busy guy, so I like the MMA routine and wonder if it would be appropriate to make this routine even more challenging and beneficial by using higher tension exercises, such as those from your mos…

Stubborn Fat


Got the last book and it complemented the whole series.  I have made major changes in my lifting because of your books, and even at this stage in life I am making gains.  

I do still have some troublesome parts, like my belly fat. Even though there is not a lot there to cover up the six pack.  And for some reason I am bloated and tried probiotics, but it's not making much of a difference.  If I can get those under control I would be at the goal I have set for months in the future. 

I have a couple questions.  First about chest specialization.  I don’t know, but I may have missed it.  What type of weekly workout routine should I do with it?  Every other day and only 4 workouts a week?  How long should I use this routine (2-3) weeks?  I have my upper middle chest area that I need to add mass to.  Would you say to substitute the day of bench presses with 20° incline dumbbell presses?

I have done the density and decompression training then went to Shotgun and now to chest specializ…

Common Mistakes in the Gym

I thought I'd go over some common mistakes that I see in the gym.  I think people make these mistakes for a variety of reasons.  Some guys are lazy.  Some are trying to protect their egos and look strong (as opposed to being strong).  Some guys are just trying to play it safe and not get injured.

But I think a lot of times people make the following mistakes, because they are either misinformed or uninformed.  People sometimes make these mistakes, because they just don't know any better.  I think this is partly the fault of personal trainers who are also misinformed and uninformed.

Mistake #1: Using the Smith machine for squats, bench presses, military presses, etc.  People use the Smith machine, because they think it's safer and that they don't need a spotter.  But in reality the Smith machine is more dangerous and can develop pattern overload in a trainee.

You see the Smith machine locks you into a single line of movement, so you develop strength in only one dimensio…

Rome Was Not Built in a Day

I'm hitting a weight loss plateau. After losing around 14 lbs my body seems to not want to lose more fat. I'm currently at 22% body fat on the bioimpedance machine. Current weight of 146 lbs. I can see my 6-pack when I flex my abdominals hard, but it doesn't really show if I don't squeeze it out. If you can get what I mean.

Although I could never perfect the idea of counting calories, because I don't cook and it's hard to avoid fat in meat or protein, seems to go hand and hand w/ most of it. I'm also having a hard time controlling sugar cause let's face it I'm human! But most of the sugars I get is from fruits like mango or banana, plus I need fiber. I do drink a Starbucks flavored drink almost every other day!

I do try to keep at least a 110g of protein at least 160g of sugar and fat is about around 84g. I tried reducing my protein this week, and I noticed some weight loss.

Question: Am I losing muscle if I am reducing my protein? Would posting pic…