Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

It tastes better than it looks...I promise.

This is between you and me.  I have the recipe to the most amazing tasting protein shake on this side of the Universe.  The best part is, it’s super easy to make, and has a low effect on insulin (less likely to be stored as fat).


AWESOME protein powder


Combine the ingredients in a blender or magic bulletBlend.  Drink up.


Do not change this recipe at all.  Follow it exactly with the exact ingredients.  The taste is phenomenal.  I’ve never tasted a protein shake as perfect as this.

How to Make This Shake Even Healthier:

This shake is pretty healthy as it is.  To make it healthier, consume it with a 1 cup of non-starchy vegetables on the side.  This way, you’ll be getting more fiber, phyto-nutrients, and vitamins.

Try this recipe and let me know what you think.

Gun Show: Paul and Jason style

It’s not often that I give up a beautiful Sunday afternoon to be in the gym.  I like to use Sunday as a day to rest.  It is a way to make sure that I don’t train every day.  Two days ago was an exception.  Why?  Geoff Girvitz and Paul Valiulis.

Mr. Geoff Girvitz

Enter the S2B Seminar at Bang Fitness.  Let me say one thing, these two guys know how to talk shop.  I’m fortunate enough be able to talk to Geoff on a regular basis…and Paul…not so much.  For those of you who don’t know, Geoff Girvitz is the owner of Bang Fitness in Toronto, Ontario.  Geoff is a fitness genius.  He’s one of those guys that you know you should listen to in the gym; he always has something smarter to say than you do.  On the other hand, Paul Valiulis is one of the Scrawny to Brawny coaches from Precision Nutrition.  He is a nutritional God.  In this case, take the word “God” literally.  Picture Thor from Norse mythology.  That’s Paul.

Paul's Scrawny to Brawny transformation

What is Brawny?

The seminar started with Paul asking the group, “What is Brawny?”.  The funny thing is: most guys didn’t have the answer.  All they knew was that they wanted to be bigger.  Paul, himself, said that he didn’t even know what “brawny” was until he decided to enter his first bodybuilding show last month (in case you were wondering, he won).  It seems that when you finally figure out what brawny is, you will see “brawny” as something different than your neighbour.  One person may picture their favourite bodybuilder, while another may picture their favourite athlete.  It is important that when you set a goal for yourself, you actually need to know what the goal is.

Paul just being Paul AKA Brawny

S2B Takeaways

Aside from creating our own definition of brawny, the meat and potatoes of the seminar was movement related.  This was Geoff’s forte.  What were the key takeaways?  Here’s your answer:

  • While deadlifting, it is easier to injure yourself while lifting submaximal weights.  This is because you are not properly engaging your core, thus, not protecting your spine.
  • On the deadlift, only work in the range of motion where your pelvis doesn’t start to tilt (butt tucking under your belly).  When the pelvis starts to tilt, you will start to feel lower back pain.  Instead, raise the barbell up and perform a Modified Deadlift (MDL; basically a rack pull).  Load the shit out of the MDL and get yoked.
  • If shoulder mobility is a problem in the push press, you have to regress to a seated incline shoulder press.  The incline should be approximately 80-85 degrees.  Do not use the smith machine.  There are no straight lines when it comes to the motions of the body.
  • In order to increase shoulder mobility, do a wall slide, but on the floor (floor slide?).  Move the hands far from your head, point your thumbs to the floor, and drive your shoulder down, focusing on firing the lats.  You want to crush the ground with your hands.
  • “Your body is what it is”.  That’s a Geoff Girvitz quote.  Accept your mobility while lifting, but focus on increasing this mobility while foam rolling and during your dynamic warm-up.
  • “If you’re going to push someone, do you put your elbows in or out?” (Krista Schaus; she was one of the few females at the seminar, but she sure deserved to be there).  This question will help you answer the age-old question of where your elbows go while bench pressing.  Hint: approximately 45 degrees from the body.
  • Power stance:  contract glutes, spread floor, shoulders down, lats engaged, core braced, hands squeezed.  Now that’s how to unlock your strength potential!
  • Paul was the “foam rolling guy” during the seminar.  Every day for the next two weeks, everyone should be foam rolling their adductors, glutes, and IT bands.  Remember your stripper butts!  (inside joke, but you probably laughed even though you didn’t understand it).
  • “Professionals are here for a reason.  Listen to them 100% and try to prove them wrong.  It is only after this that you can conclude that something doesn’t work” (Paul Valiulis).  This is great advice.  Don’t tweak your programs or nutrition.  “Even though your mom may have told you that you were special, you’re not special enough to change your workout programs and nutrition” (Geoff Girvitz).  The truth hurts.

Krista Schaus and Paul Valiulis checking out some dude's stripper butt.

All in all, it was an awesome afternoon.  I feel like it is safe to say that the ones who decided to attend this seminar are a step ahead of the rest.  Enough said.  Special thanks goes out to Geoff, Scott, Michael and the rest of Bang Fitness for hosting the event, and to Paul Valiulis for coming all the way from Vancouver (ok ok, he may have been in town to see his family as well).  Yeah buddy!!!

Paul, Geoff, Scott


I told you that I would answer some of your questions.  I’m sticking to that promise.  Here you go:

Jason, the fish oil I bought has 180mg of EPA and 120mg of DHA per pill.  Each pill is 1000mg.  How many pills do I need to take each day?


Brad L.

Brad, you’re not going to like my answer.  In order to get between 3 and 6 grams of EPA+DHA (combined), you’ll need to take between 10 and 20 pills each day.  Next time, try to opt for a brand that contains as much EPA+DHA as possible per pill.

Jason.  I read your fish oil article and noticed that you didn’t talk about different qualities of fish oil.  How do I know if I bought a good product?

Sara R.

Sara, I have a great formula for you to determine the purity of your fish oil.  I took this formula from Mike Roussell.  Add up the EPA and DHA in each pill.  Take that number, and divide it by the mass of each pill.  For example (using the fish oil mentioned above):

180mg + 120mg = 300mg.  Each pill is 1000mg.  Thus: 300mg/1000mg = 0.3 or 30%.  This means that this specific product is 30% pure.  Ideally, you want your fish oil to be 50% pure or greater (you want the number calculated to be above 0.5).

Another thing to note is that if your burps taste like fish, then it is likely that the quality (or pureness) of the fish oil is unacceptable.  Next time, go for a purer product (above 50%).  If you have the slightest taste of fish in your burps, try keeping your fish oil in the fridge.  If the fish burps stop, then it is likely that your fish oil is acceptable.

Hi Jason!  Thanks for all of your great blog posts!  I have a quick question for you.  Is it ok to do Tabata intervals at the end of the “20 Minute Fat Blasting Workout for Women”?

Farrah K.

Absolutely, Farrah.  Before trying this, I would advise you to try to increase the weight lifted in your 20 Minute Fat Blasting Workout.  At the end of this, you should feel close to beat.  Rest 2 – 4 minutes, then do a Tabata.  You could also try doing a leg matrix instead of a Tabata.

What will happen if I train without a workout drink?

Luke N.

Well, Luke.  It all depends on what you eat after your workout, and when you eat it.  Worst case scenario, you’ll end up being super sore for the next couple days after your workout, you will have trouble falling asleep, you’ll start to lose muscle, your strength will decrease and you’ll start to gain fat.  Best case scenario, you’ll be a little sore the next day, your strength won’t increase as fast as it could, and you won’t reach your goals as fast as possible.

Obviously, some people will benefit more from training with workout drinks than other people.  Athletes should always train with workout drinks no matter what…no excuses.  The same thing goes for people who want to gain muscle.  It is a must.  If you are training for fat loss, a workout drink is still very beneficial towards recovery and preserving lean mass (preserving lean mass makes it easier to lose fat).  If you are at maintenance, then occasionally not training with a workout drink is fine.  Just, don’t make it a habit.


That’s it.  Thanks everybody for sending in your questions and I am sorry if you sent a question in and I didn’t answer it here.  I don’t have time to answer everybody’s’ questions.  I’m only one person.

If you have a question for me, don’t hesitate to email me at and I will answer it in my next instalment of “Your Questions Answered”.

Don't mess with her.

Go into the gym with a plan!  Do this 20 Minute Density Training session 3 times a week and see amazing results such as skinnier thighs, a tighter midsection, a stronger body, and loads of extra energy throughout the day!

What to do…

Set a timer for 20 minutes and do 8 repetitions of each of the following movements in the order specified.  Try to get through the whole circuit of movements 4-5 times in the 20 minute session.  If you get through it more than 5 times, increase the weight you are using.  If you get through it less than 4 times, decrease some of the weights you are using.  Remember to only rest as needed.  Good luck!

Explosive Kettlebell or Dumbbell Swing
Knee Dominant Dumbbell Step-Up
Hip Dominant Supine Hip Extension with Leg Curl
Upper Body Push Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
Upper Body Pull Dumbbell Alternating Bent-Over Row

The Movements

1. Kettlebell or Dumbbell Swing

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, push your hips back, and grab the top of the kettlebell or dumbbell with both hands (A). Swing it back between your legs (B). As you stand up, snap your hips forward, squeeze your glutes, and swing the kettlebell to chest height (C). Let it fall back through your legs, but don’t put it down.  When done correctly, the swinging motion will look like you are going back and forth between (B) and (C).  The picture in (A) is only demonstrating how to pick up the kettlebell or dumbbell correctly.  You should not be using your arms to lift the kettlebell or dumbbell during the swing.  All the momentum comes from you snapping your hips forward and squeezing your glutes.

2. Dumbbell Step-Up

Hold a pair of dumbbells and stand facing a bench or step. Put your left foot on the bench (A), push down through your left heel, and lift your right leg up (B). Return to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 8 repetitions leading with your left leg, then 8 repetitions leading with your right leg before moving on to the Supine Hip Extension with Leg Curl.

3. Supine Hip Extension with Leg Curl

Lie on the floor, calves on top of the ball. Squeeze your glutes and raise your hips (A). Bend your knees to roll the ball toward you (B). Straighten your legs to roll the ball back, then lower your body to the floor. That’s 1 repetition.  (To increase the difficulty, keep your hips raised (A) throughout all 8 repetitions.

4. Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

Lie on your back on an incline bench, with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward. Push the dumbbells straight up until your arms are fully extended. Lower fully to the start position.

5. Dumbbell Alternating Bent-Over Row

Grab a pair of dumbbells, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Bend at your hips, keeping your lower back naturally arched, and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang at arm’s length from your shoulders. Now pull the dumbbell in your right hand to the side of your torso by raising your upper arm, bending your elbow and squeezing your shoulder blade toward your spine. As you lower that dumbbell, row the dumbbell in your left hand to the side your torso. That’s one repetition.   Continue to alternate sides until you’ve down 8 repetitions with each arm.

How Much Weight?

Usually, a weight that you can only lift for 10 repetitions works best.  Don’t confuse this with the 8 repetitions you are supposed to be doing for each movement.

Final Notes

A girl like you doing this workout will probably embarrass most guys in the weight room, so don’t feel awkward to be working out in the weight room, feel proud.

Remember that this workout can be tough, but it also only lasts for 20 minutes, so don’t give up!  Even though each workout is only 20 minutes, you will be burning fat up to 48 hours after your workout (talk about bang for your buck!).

Riddle me this…

I have a great idea.  It consists of you guys asking me fitness/health/nutrition related questions, and I’ll answer them.  It’ll be my gift to you.  I’ll release the answers to your questions in a monthly article.  Sound good?  I thought so.

Ok, here’s how to ask:  Email your questions to with the subject line: “Your Questions Answered”.  If you feel like remaining anonymous, ask your question in the comments box below.  Simple.

Warning:  Immature questions, or questions unrelated to fitness, health, or nutrition will be deleted and ignored.  Don’t waste your own time and don’t waste mine.  This will make our lives more enjoyable.

Until then, I’ll be looking forward to your questions…


I’m going to try to make this post as concise as possible.  The chances are pretty high that you’ve been doing the same thing for your workout for a long time now, and you still haven’t seen results.  So why are you still doing it then?  As Alwyn Cosgrove says, “Psychology trumps physiology every time”.  The psychology here is: people don’t like change.

As of right now, you will never do the same thing again.  If you start (right now) doing even one of the things that I’m about to suggest, you will be better off than you were 10 minutes ago.

A proper workout does NOT look like this:

Flat BB Bench 4x
Incline Dumbell Bench 4x
Fly’s 3x

Military Press 4x
Upright Rows 4x
Stratum Fly’s 3x (Front/Side/Rear)

Close Grip Bench Press 4x
Weighted Dips 4x
Tricep Isolation 2-3x

Why does this suck?  Too much volume, no pre-workout, and body parts are trained as opposed to MOVEMENTS.

That’s why you refer to your body motion as “movement” and not as “flexing”.  That would be stupid.

What an awesome workout looks like:

Foam Roll (5 min)

Mobility (10-20 min)

Strength Work (20-45 min)

Conditioning (4 – 10 min)

Notice that I didn’t include stretching.  I think stretching is great, but most people like to take their time with stretching and often end up slacking off.  Stretch before you go to bed every night instead.

Normally, I would include muscle activation, but chances are, if you’ve never heard of it before, you wouldn’t do it if I told you to.  We’ll let you cover the basics first.

99% of people have never foam rolled or done any mobility work in their life.  This is the reason why old people walk slow, have bad posture, and are in pain.  Sure, you lift to get strong, but you will not stay strong…I guarantee it.

Here’s a cheat sheet to your workout:

Foam Rolling

Foam roll the front, back and sides of your thighs, you butt, your calves, the fronts of your hips (hip flexors), your upper back, and your armpits (lats).

Mobility (this is a bastardized way of doing your mobility; I will post videos in a new article in the future)

Get on your hands and knees (knees wider apart than shoulder width) and rock your butt back towards your toes until your hips feel a sort of stretching pain.

Stand up and swing your legs.

Lunge side to side.

Wall ankle mobs.


Get your joints moving (ankle, hips aka groin, shoulders).  Forget about the neck and lower back.

Strength Work

Pair an upper body push with a hip-dominant movement.  Circuit back and forth between this exercises until you’ve complete 2-4 sets.

Rest 60 seconds then:

Pair an upper body pull with a knee-dominant movement.  Circuit back and forth between this exercises until you’ve complete 2-4 sets.

Rest 60 seconds then:

Pair a core bridge with a core anti rotation.  Circuit back and forth between this exercises until you’ve complete 2-4 sets.

For example:

Bench Press 8 reps, then:

Single Leg Deadlift 8 reps each leg, then:

Bench Press 8 reps, then:

Single Leg Deadlift 8 reps each leg.

(If you want you repeat through this 1-2 more times)

Rest 60 sec.

Chin-up 8 reps, then:

Lunge 8 reps each leg, then:

Chin-up 8 reps, then:

Lunge 8 reps each leg.

Rest 60 sec.

Hold a plank for 20-30 seconds, then:

Core chop 8 reps each side, then:

Hold a plank for 20-30 seconds, then:

Core chop 8 reps each side.



Do some HARD intervals.  For example:

Tabata for 4 minutes.  (


Make it your goal to finish your workout as fast as possible with proper form and lifting tempo throughout.  Translation:  don’t waste your time checking yourself out in the mirror or talking to your buddies.  If someone approaches you, talk to them, but let them know that you’re there to work.  Your goal is to get in, and get out.  That way, you won’t have an excuse not to workout.


I said I was going to make this post as brief as possible (kind of like the way you want to workout).  In the future, I will expand on Foam Rolling, Mobility, and Strength Work in separate articles.  This way you will get a better idea of what you should be doing.

Closing Thoughts

We will take baby steps together.  I will write articles, and you will incorporate them into your program.  Set yourself a goal to add in one of the things I talked about above every 2 weeks.  This means that in 8 weeks you’ll be doing a kickass workout.  Now that’s what I’m talking about.