Michael’s Approved Exercises


Good morning Internet readers.  I am so amazed at how our traffic is growing through this site.  Today lets discuss exercise selection.  Exercise selection is vital to your success in building your physique.  I don’t know how many times I have been to a gym and seen a young person performing cable crossovers for chest work and there chest development was nonexistent.  As most of my clients know I am into very basic movement patterns.  When we look at the body wesee that basic, multi-joint movements activate a large amount of muscle tissue.  When you are strength training activating a lot of muscle tissue is key to being efficient and getting results.   

Lets cover very briefly my list of approved exercises:

Chest             Dumbbell Presses (Incline, Flat,) Some machine presses

Upperback     Pull-downs, pull-ups, dumbbell rows, cable rows, machine rows

Lower back    Back Extensions, Dead lifts (if you can perform safely) dumbbells or barbell

Hamstrings   Same as lower back.  Adding leg curls

Biceps           Standing Dumbbell Curls, Incline Curls, some machine type curls

Triceps          Close Grip Presses, pushdowns, triceps extensions dumbbell, dips

Calves           Calf Presses, Standing calves, Seated Calf Presses

Quads           Squats (dumbbell or barbell) , dumbbell lunges, horizontal leg press, some 45 deg leg press

When choosing exercises make sure you choose exercises that don’t cause joint discomfort.  You should feel the exercises recruiting the desired muscle group.  I hope this information helps and please don’t get on a leg extension machine instead of performing a leg press, lunge or squat. 

Have a Great Day and Stay Strong,



December 30, 2008 Michael’s Training Log


I moved Wednesday’s workout to Tuesday for the time being.  This will help with my schedule.  I want experiment this week with training with slightly higher volume during Tuesday and Thursday’s workout.  I also decided to train in straight set fashion instead of training in a circuit.  Heavy and fast was the order of the day.  Rest intervals between sets was probably 35-40 seconds. 

Flat Hammer Presses 135 lb per arm x 10,8,7,4

Pulldowns 255 lbs x 8, 270 lbs x 8,7,5

Calf Slide Machine 6 plates x 20,20, 20 1 leg at a time

Dumbbell Lateral Raises Seated 40 lbs x 10,8,8

Row Machine 1 arm 150 lbs x 8,6,6

Dip machine 200 lbs x 20,18,15,10

Strive Curl Machine 80 lbs x 12,10,10,8

Horizontal Leg Presses 250 lbs x 50,50 (just did 2 sets here to give the knee a break)

Total Time 40 minutes

As you can see I did up the sets from 3 to 4 on some exercises.  I am wanting to see just how much volume I can tolerate and not regress in performance. 

This workout as I stated was performed with limited rest intervals.  Specifically, I would start a set each time my watch changed to another minute.  For instance, at 11:01 I performed a set and then at 11:02 I performed another set, etc, etc.  Rest intervals were about 40 seconds. 

Awesome Workout,



December 29, 2008 Michael’s Training Log


I was very disappointed this morning to have slept in.  Nevertheless I got to the gym with about 30 minutes to get my workout in.  I attacked the weights and surprised myself.  I trained in straight set fashion due to this lack of time.  By straight set I mean I completed all three sets of an exercise before moving on to the next exercise.  With this lack of time I had to limit rest intervals to about 45 seconds.  Here is the workout.

Low Hammer Chest Press  225 lbs per arm for 12,10,8

Pulldowns 270 lbs x 8,7,7

Standing Calf Raises 1 legged 75 lbs x 20,18,18

Lateral Raise Machine 110 lbs x 12,10,9

1 arm row Machine 130 lbs x 10,9

1 arm Rope pushdowns 40 lbs x 12,10,10

Leg Presses 6 plates x 40, 8 plates x 40,35

Strive Curl Machine 80 lbs x 12,12,10

Wow, was that workout fast and furious.   Believe it or not I got the thing done in 30 minutes.   When I saw that I was running late this morning I was very tempted to skip this workout.  I didn’t and I am glad I didn’t.  I surprised myself by the level of intensity I could apply with such limited time. 

Great workout.  You just never know.

This program is phenomenal folks.  Awesome result producing.



Routine 2 Summary A Radical Approach


Lets outline the basics of our awesome program.  Study all the entries under Routine 2 to get a detailed analysis.

Train the whole body 3 or 4 days per week depending on recovery.

Vary your set rep protocol per training day.  Example Monday 3 sets of 8-10 per bodypart, Wednesday 3 sets of 15-20 reps per bodypart, Friday 2 sets of 25-30 per bodypart.

Choose 8 exercises that cover all muscle groups.  Examples Flat Dumbbell Press-chest, Pullups and rows for back, Dumbbell shoulder press or lateral raises for shoulders, Curls for biceps, Close grip presses for triceps, Leg presses or squats for quads-hams, calf presses for calves.

Each training day choose a different exercise for each muscle group.  Example for chest: Monday Flat dumbbell, Wednesday Incline Dumbbell presses, Friday Flat Barbell.

Limit training time per session to  45 – 60 minutes.

Be progressive.

Give each set your best effort.

Thats  it for today.




December 27, 2008 Michael’s Training Log


I met some friends at the gym today to get in some training.  I had a great workout today.  Definitely strong and got in some great work.

Flat Bench Press 225 x 20,18

Pullups x 20,20,20,18

Close Grip Presses 225 x 10,114

Seated Lateral Raises 30 lbs x 25,25

Seated Calf Raises 180 lbs x 30,30

Leg Presses 6 plates x 80-100 for 2 sets

Preacher Curls 50 lbs x 30,30

Freaking phenomenal workout.  This program has produced huge gains for me and my clients.  Study this routine 2 and get after it.  Give it 8 weeks and tell post up your results.


I want to discuss a topic me and my wife were discussing this morning.  We were talking about raising our children and the importance of them having confidence in their abilities.  Folks, I want to tell you that I believe you can accomplish anything.   I believe if you are willing to work hard enough, long enough anything is possible.  I want to instill that belief in my boys.  I also want my clients to believe.

To me the real questions are:

How bad do you want it?

Are you willing to endure to achieve?  Are you sure about that?

Are  you willing to persevere even when everything in you tells you to stop?

The sky is the limit.  Lets go for it.


The video below is of my buddy Chris benching.

December 26, 2008 Michael’s Training Log


I got up early this morning to workout before my early appointments.  This morning I decided I wanted to shock my body with a totally different set-rep program.  My plan was to do 80-100 reps per exercise.  I wanted to complete these reps by performing a drop set.  I started each exercise with about 80% of my normal working resistance performed as many reps as possible then reduced the resistance about 15-20% performing as many reps as possible, then further reducing the resistance again.  Repeating this sequence until I completed 80-100 reps.  Here is the exact workout.

Flat Cybex Chest Press  Stack for 20, reduced resistance completed 15 more reps, reduced resistance completed 10 more reps, reduced resistance complete 10 more rep, etc, etc

Pulldowns  stack  for 20 reps, reduced resistance etc, etc,

Calf Slide Machine 6 plates total for 50 reps rested 20 seconds 20 more reps, rest 20 seconds 15 more reps

Cybex Row Machine stack for 15 reps, drop the resistance 10 reps , etc.

Lateral Raise Machine 90 lbs for 2o reps, drop resistance, etc

Cybex Curl Machine 110 lbs for 20 reps drop resistance, etc

Cybex Dip Machine 200 lbs for 20 reps, drop resistance, etc

Leverage Leg Presses 6 plates for 40 reps, 8 plates for 40 reps, 8 plates for 30 reps.  I performed the leg press in straight set fashion.

Generally for all the exercises I started with a resistance I could complete 20 reps.  After I completed the 20 reps I dropped the resistance and once again completed as many reps as possible until I got to 80 total reps for the exercise.

This workout was very, difficult.  The workout was definitely a nice change.   I may add in this type of workout every week or so.

Remember the level of effort you apply is proportional to your results.



Price of Health


Over the years of working with clients I have found that many times folks don’t understand the value of their health.  It doesn’t matter how much money you have or properties you own, if you aren’t healthy you won’t be around to enjoy it.  Recently, I had an interview with a prospective client.  During this interview we discussed my rates for training.  Keep in mind this client was a multimillionaire.  This individual proceeds to tell me that he just couldn’t afford my services.  Which are very reasonable for my guarantee of results with adherence.  Basically, I am promising that we will transform your health if you follow my program.  This particular individual proceeds to tell me that he takes 4 medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, onset diabetes, and joint inflammation.  So we finish up the interview and I realize this person is not going to choose to work with me.  No biggie as I have many great clients.  As he is leaving I thought I would ask this multi millionaire a question.  I asked him, “Sir if I cut my rates in half would you choose to workout with us?”  He said, “Yes” he would.  He proceeded to explain that my rates were just too expensive.  I finished our conversation by explaining that I could not lower my rates and I was sorry that he couldn’t afford my services.

As I watched this man go out to drive his 100,000 dollar car many thoughts went through my mind.  Is the value of his health worth more than that car he is driving?  Is the value of his health worth more than the rolex he was wearing?  Is the value of his health worth more than the expensive country club lifestyle?  Obviously, to this person all those material possessions were worth more to him than working with me and allowing us to improve his health.  Which by the way I have never had a client work with me more than 3 months and not significantly improve many areas of their health.  This person obviously doesn’t value his health or his own body.    This person would probably not be a good client anyway and I was not upset by the lack of a sale.  I am just using this post to make us all think about our priorities.

I am asking you, what is your health worth?

Yours Truly,





Today lets talk about balance.  I believe balance is very important to success and long term happiness in most aspects of life.  You show me someone who is extreme in an activity and I’ll guarantee you they won’t last long in that activity.

Lets look at a couple examples specifically relating too exercise and nutrition.  First, lets start with exercise which I think runs parallel to life principles.  A lot of folks start an exercise routine and they jump in doing an hour a day of cardio along with 1 hour of strength training.  Individuals think that exercise must be hard, long and painful.  Since they have been inactive for many years they have a lot of time to make up, right??  Soon after they start this extreme approach (which is my opinion) they find them selves totally exhausted.  This whole process takes about 2 weeks to go from start to exhaustion.  They wake up on the 3rd week and there is no way they are going to the gym to workout.  Their body hurts, muscles ache, and besides they haven’t lost any weight in fact they weigh more.  All that work hasn’t gotten them closer to their goal.  Now this individual wants nothing to do with health, working out, or eating right.  No way!!!   I don’t blame them.  Do you?

Now lets look at what went wrong.  First, we are taught in school or media that exercise must be painful, and consist of long workouts.  Besides we all have seen what happens on “The Biggest Loser.”  Let me set the record straight.  Exercise should not be painful.  Exercise should stimulate your muscles by choosing proper exercises, rep ranges, form, and frequency.  Exercise should be intense and brief.  Many, many times I recommend clients to strength train 3 days per week for 45 minutes per session and perform cardio 3 times per week for 20 minutes.  That is less than 3 hours of workout time per week.  Compared to the individual working an hour and a half a day 5 to  6 days per week.  I promise you if you are choosing the right exercises you won’t need more work than that.

Finally, lets look at the reasoning behind the above example actually gaining weight from this extreme exercise program.  Working out for more than 1 hour tends to be very hard on the body.  Long exercise sessions tend to drain the immune system, excessively break down of muscle, cause production of cortisol (hormone that wil cause your body to hold on to bodyfat), and many other negative effects.  After this long exercise session the individual is now completely exhausted and to make up for this exhaustion they overconsume nutritionally in an attempt to recover.  That is what causes the weight gain.  The overtrained person is actually causing too much damage to the body and they are  over eating in an attempt to have energy to function.

Balance is the key.  Balance of exercise, balance of nutrition, balance of cardio.

Have a Great Day and Stay Strong,



December 22, 2008 Michael’s Training Log


I got up this morning a little late.  I had to rush around a little to get to the gym and then make it to my appointment.  I got it all done.  Today’s workout was incredible hard.   Monday’s workout is usually the hardest training day of the week.  I attacked the weights and was very happy with my performance.

Cycle 1 Round 1

Flat Hammer Machine Presses 135 lb per arm x 10 reps, Pulldowns 270 lbs x8 reps, Calf Slide Machine 7 plates for 15 reps, Leverage Leg Press 6 plates for 40 reps

Cycle 1 Round 2

Flat Hammer Presses 135 lbs per arm x 10, Pulldowns 270 lbs x 8, Calf Slide Machine 7 plates x 15, Leverage leg press 6 plates x50

Cycle 1 Round 3

Flat Hammer Presses 135 lbs x 10, Pulldowns 270 lbs x 8, calf slide machine 7 plates x 15, leverage leg press 6 plates x 6

Cycle 2 Round 1

Seated Lateral Raises 40 lbs x 10, Strive Curl Machine 80 lbs x 10, Dip Machine 200lbs x 20, 1 arm row machine 130 x10

Cycle 2 Round 2

Seated lateral raises 40 lbs x 10, strive curl 80 lbs x 10, dip machine 200 lbs x20, 1 arm row machine 130 x10

Cycle 2 Round 3

Seated lateral raises 40lbs x 10, strive curl machine 80 lbs x 8, dip machine 200 lbs x 18, 1 arm row machine 130 x 10

I am very happy with this workout.  I definitely gave each set my best effort.  I can tell though my body is needing some time off.  I may skip a day or two this week training and give my body some much needed rest.  I usually like to take a few days off every 8 weeks or so.

This program has produced some great gains.  I definitely believe this is one of my top 3 or 4 favorite training routines.  Of course, no training routine will produce without YOU applying maximum effort to each and every set.

YOU must take responsibility and train with high levels of effort and progress from week to week.

Have a Great Day and Stay Strong,