Archive for the ‘7 Minute Muscle’ Category

December 1

Muscle-shaping 101: 5 Tips (Part 1)

Ever heard of Rowdy Gains?

Rowdy was swimmer and Olympic gold-medalist in the 1984 Olympics.

But that’s not what made Rowdy special.

And certainly not what makes his story worth reading when it comes to muscle-shaping secrets.

Over the next few days I’m going to be sharing 5 Tips for putting on lean muscle. If you want to put on a 2 lbs or 20lbs of muscle, these 5 Tips will help you do it faster than ever.

Remember: Muscle burns calories at rest… the more lean muscle you have the less bodyfat you’ll have if you eat the way I suggest. It’s as simple as that.

Back to Rowdy Gains…

His story is golden because of “how” he won the medal.

You see, Rowdy was an underdog. He was considered too old to be a legitimate threat in the race, despite being a world record-holder. He has missed his prime due to the boycott of the 1980 Olympics.

But Rowdy had a good coach (more on that tomorrow)… and his coach knew the power of “distinctions”…

Distinctions are the subtle things that turn average into excellence and losers into winners. Often distinctions are so hard to spot that even the smartest people miss them.

The men and women who succeed massively rarely miss them.

Rowdy was focused on the race… but his coach was focused on the distinctions.

“What can Rowdy do that no one else is doing to give him an edge?”

Well, his savvy coach noticed that the guy who started the race was calling “on your marks…” and then quickly firing the starting-gun. Very quickly in fact.

His coach came up to him moments before the race and said, “Rowdy, jump early.”

And jump early he did. He was first off the blocks and never looked back.

Turns to find out that his time off the blocks was the difference between winning and losing. And the second place guy was furious! He was hitting the wall and yelling about the “false start”… but there was not a false start upon reply.

Just a savvy start! A start based on one, small, tiny… actually monumentally huge distinction.

The first thing you need to ask yourself when it comes to your weight-training goals is this:

“What small distinctions can I make to turn an average workout into a super-productive workout”?

Again, these are small distinctions… little things that add up to huge gains.

Here’s an example:

When doing a chest press exercise, I have two distinctions that have made all the difference in my chest gains.

First, I turn my palms inward, rather than facing out, when pressing with dumbbells. Obviously this does not work with barbell presses, but I use mostly dumbbells.

The result? No rotator cuff or shoulder injuries.

This alone has allowed me to train three more months out of each year. That’s how much time I used to lose before an orthopedic surgeon gave me this tip.

Second, when pressing, I explode up. Then I slow DOWN… I always lower the weight slower than I lift it up. This gives me TWO growth factors rather than just one in the same movement, and without one second difference in the gym.

Again… distinctions.

If you want my book on the best distinctions I’ve ever used for gaining lean muscle, then go here:

7 Minute Workouts <– go.

Think about it next time you plan your workouts.

June 4

Star Trek, Stravinsky, and Fat Loss?

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June 4

Gun Control

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May 7

Workouts For Black People (Formerly Workouts For Dutch-Irish People)

Can’t see the video? Go here —

Just a wee bit of comedy and fitness fact for you to chew on.

Ladies… this one is especially for you.

NOTE: Please comment on this video by clicking here. Let me hear your thoughts. Do you think I’m right? Wrong? Insane? Damn sexy in those Prada shades? Just plain silly?

Let me have it… ; )

April 29

What You Must Know About Your Self

The Kruger/Dunning Study:
What You Must Know About Your Self

This study and story absolutely fascinated me. I hope you get the same “ah-ha!” moment from the results of the study as I did.

Have you ever met someone who thought they were … well, “more special” than they really are?

Perhaps they believe themselves to be fantastic musicians when in reality they stink. Or maybe they think they know something about XYZ when in reality they are hopelessly lost.

When I was on the debate team in college I ran across a lot of these types of folks. Debaters who, even after being thoroughly trounced maintained victory. I also saw this while dabbling in boxing (I never really boxed, but my father was into it.) Fighters would almost always claim victory when they were clearly beaten.

But never is this self-blindness more evident than in the fitness world… especially bodybuilding. Man, ‘everyone’ seems to think they are in better shape than they really are in these shows.

Almost everyone.

There’s a minority — perhaps you are a part of that minority — that can actually see themselves as they really are.

But this minority, according to the Kruger/Dunning Study, also have a handicap: The overestimate the talent of others and undervalue their own.

Let me paraphrase the results of the KD study before letting you know why I think it’s vital for us all to understand it.

  1. The study look at self-perception and competency and how they relate.

  2. The study showed a striking result between those who literally ‘were’ competent at something versus those who merely “thought” they were competent but were actually incompetent.

  3. Those who were incompetent, even AFTER being showed the results of the test, still perceived their competence to be far greater than it actually was.

  4. After being showed the results, the truly “competent” adjusted their perceptions to be more accurate in the positive direction (aka a release of false modesty or over-expectation of the general population.)

  5. In short: Incompetence breeds an inability to “recognize” incompetence, while being competent allows you to recognize the skill more accurately in your self but yet overshoot the mark when it comes to recognizing it in others.

Whew! That’s a mouthful… and you’re probably still wondering what this has to do with anything, despite being really kinda cool.


This is the fundamental link between mastery of a dietary and/or fitness solution and those who “dabble” at it and proclaim success.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve met the dabblers — folks who genuinely believed themselves to be “healthy eaters”, “in terrific condition”, and “so lean they can eat anything.”

The irony: Almost all of them were fat… I mean F-doubleA T — F A T.

One woman in particular stands out. She was lecturing a group of professional fitness buddies and myself over dinner about how to eat “in alignment with your body’s natural energy.”

Blah, blah, blah… All I saw was the roles of bodyfat hanging over her belt and the “wing effect” — the flapping underarm bodyfat — waving at me as she raised her arms.

Harsh? Perhaps…. but it’s necessary to the story.

Now, all of us “knew” that she was hopelessly lost, even if some of her points had validity. Why? Because we are all competent in the art/skill/science of body-shaping.

It wasn’t until she said, “Look at me… I mean, I can barely keep my weight on! I literally have to eat dessert every night just to keep from being too skinny!” that I hit the breaking point.

“What do you consider to be too skinny?” I asked.

“Anything under 12% bodyfat for a woman,” she said. Technically, a pretty good answer. That’s very lean for a woman.

But she wasn’t anywhere NEAR 12% bodyfat. 22%… perhaps. 32%… more like it.

“Okay, what’s your bodyfat right now?”

(I know, this is getting heated… : )

“Oh, I think it’s too low… under 12%.”


“Well, I happen to have calipers in my room if you want to check to make sure (as I try to maintain my composure) you’re not getting too lean.”

Here’s the shocker: She agreed.

“Oh, that’s great! Sure, let’s go…”

Now here was an otherwise very intelligent gal who was completely blind to her own competency when it came to her own body and what worked for her nutritionally.

And frankly, it shocked me when she said “yes” as I NEVER expected it. I really wanted out, as I didn’t want to embarrass her. That was not my intention. I was just curious as to why she was thinking the way she was.

Well, up to the room we go and I measured her bodyfat. My latter guess was pretty close: 29.7%.

What to do…. what to do….

Well folks, I’ll let you guess what I did. All I will say is that I handled myself as a gentlemen — meaning “gentle” man. And it turned out to be a positive experience for her.

But this led me to wonder why I have just the opposite reaction with myself. I usually see myself in far ‘worse’ shape than I really am.

Herein lies the value of the KD Study:

  1. If you see yourself worse than you are, you may be quite competent but really over-estimate the results and competency of others. The harm in this is if you are like me you can turn to “anti-depressing” tools like food from being bummed out! (More on that in my article on my “drug addiction.”)

  2. If you are not competent, you may overestimate your health and fitness levels. This can lead to ‘serious’ health and social issues.

  3. The more open-minded and intelligent a person is, the more apt they are toward learning competency and learning how to evaluate their self. This is crucial in knowing what to do, how to eat, and how to exercise to meet your own specific goals.

If you want to read the study, it was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; 1999, vol.77, no.6, pp1121-1134.

All of us need an external eye — feedback to not only keep us going but let us know where we truly stand.

Fit Bits: The Missing Study

Man, I hate when this happens, but I lost a study I had saved for a Fit Bits article. I’ll try to find it online and post the source in my next newsletter.

Bottom line: People who exercise for shorter periods of time more frequently progressed faster and stayed with their programs longer than those who exercised infrequently for long periods of time.

Duh. No surprise. But it’s nice to see this in print.

The shocker was the timed intervals of training were as low as 10 minutes a day.

This is really the tortious and the hare scenario. Slow and steady wins the race.


The study said they “progressed FASTER” — so it’s like the tortious “fused” with the hare.

Bottom line: You can train less and gain more. My book 7 Minute Muscle is a prime example of shorter duration training that also gives people faster results.

You’ll want to get it this week as my freee coaching offer is attached at the hip.

7 Minute Muscle     Click to get your copy