Try This Exercise: 28 Method EZ Bar Curl

These are a @corygfitness classic.

7 regular reps, 7 super slow reps (3 sec. up and down), 7 top half reps, 7 bottom half reps.

This makes your standard 21’s look like child’s play. Use a weight that you can control through the entire set, and maintain form from beginning to end.

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Try This Exercise: Big Back Superset

  • Cable Straight Arm Pulldowns
  • Cable Face Pull

Use this superset as either a warm-up or finisher on your upper body days. Whether it’s a push or a pull day (or even legs), it’s always a good idea to throw in some extra lat and upper back work.

On pulldowns, I like to start in a hinged position with my arms fully stretched, and then bring my hips forward as I contract my lats. On face pulls, I’m fully protracting my shoulders and extending my arms, then retracting and squeezing to hit all the muscles of the upper back.

Big Back Superset

Recipe: Protein Brownies

Protein Brownies

These protein brownies are perfect for satisfying that sweet tooth while on a healthy diet. They have no added sugars, no artificial ingredients, and (best of all) they're kid-approved!

Ingredients:

  • 6 Bananas
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa
  • 2 Spoonfuls Honey
  • 3 Scoops Whey Protein (preferably chocolate)
  • 3 BIG Spoonfuls Peanut Butter

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender (or bowl) and mix until smooth.
  2. Pour mixture into a baking pan.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Recipe: 3 Ingredient Protein Pancakes

3 Ingredient Protein Pancakes

Looking for a low carb and healthy alternative to everybody's favorite breakfast food? You've come to the right place. Skip the trip to IHOP and make these pancakes at home with just 3 simple ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Bananas
  • 2 Scoops Whey Protein (preferably vanilla)

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender (or bowl) and mix until smooth.
  2. Pour a moderate amount of the mixture on a pan.
  3. Cook on LOW heat for approximately 3-5 minutes per side (or until golden brown).
  4. Top with peanut butter and honey.

Recipe: Bacon Wrapped Guacamole Stuffed Chicken

Bacon Wrapped Guacamole Stuffed Chicken

Give that bland chicken a little kick by adding a couple foods that are universally loved: bacon and guacamole!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 8 Bacon Slices
  • 4 Avocados
  • 1 Tomato
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Limes
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder

Instructions:

  1. Slice the chicken breasts in half, cover in olive oil, and season with sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  2. Bake the chicken on 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes (or until fully cooked).
  3. Chop the onion and tomato into small pieces and, in a bowl, combine with the avocados. Squeeze the juice from the limes into the bowl, and mix.
  4. Spread the guacamole on the cooked chicken breasts and wrap in bacon (two slices per chicken breast).
  5. Place the chicken on a pan on medium heat and fry until the bacon is crispy.

Recipe: Protein Pudding

Protein Pudding

I discovered this by throwing together a bunch of stuff that I had in the kitchen. It's great by itself or as a dip for fruit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Scoop Whey Protein (shown with vanilla, but any flavor will work)
  • 1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 BIG Spoonfuls Peanut Butter
  • 1 Spoonful Honey
  • 1 Spoonful Cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Just mix everything together and enjoy!

Recipe: High Protein Oatmeal Raisin Protein Cookies

High Protein Oatmeal Raisin Protein Cookies

These cookies are quick, easy, and perfect for satisfying that sweet tooth while keeping your diet in check. No added sugars or crazy ingredients. Great for kids, too!

Ingredients

  • 3 Bananas
  • 1 Cup Oats*
  • 1/4 Cup Raisins
  • 2 Scoops Whey Protein (preferably vanilla)
  • 1 Tsp. Cinnamon

*Add more oats as necessary to get a clumpy consistency

Instructions

  1. Mash bananas in a bowl, then add all other ingredients and mix well.
  2. Place 8-10 medium-sized scoops of the mixture on a non-stick baking sheet (or foil or parchment paper).
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (or until golden brown).

Recipe: High Protein Crock-Pot Chili

High Protein Crock-Pot Chili

It's winter time, and there's no better way to stay warm than with a big bowl of chili. Most chili recipes you'll see floating around the internet are extremely oily and loaded with salt, leaving you feeling greasy and bloated. My take on this classic, however, is low in sodium, high in protein, and bursting with flavor. Grab a bowl, for winter is coming!

Ingredients

  • 4 lb. lean ground beef or turkey (85% lean or better)
  • 1 onion
  • 5- 10 oz. cans Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles (No salt added)
  • 3- 15 oz. cans black beans (reduced sodium)
  • 1- 15 oz. can kidney beans
  • Mrs. Dash Chili Seasoning
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Put the ground turkey/beef in a skillet or pot on medium heat to cook until browned.
  2. While cooking, lightly season the ground turkey/beef with garlic powder and black pepper.
  3. While cooking, add diced onion to ground turkey/beef.
  4. When fully cooked, drain all excess oil from the skillet/pot and put ground turkey/beef in the crock pot.
  5. Add all other ingredients (beans, tomatoes, chili seasoning) to the crock pot, thoroughly mix, and cover.
  6. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.

Recipe: Healthy Almond Crusted Chicken Strips

Healthy Almond Crusted Chicken Strips

Chicken breasts are a staple of any healthy diet. They're low calorie, high protein, and extremely affordable. Unfortunately, eating plain chicken week after week gets boring. REALLY boring. Spice things up with these juicy, all-natural, breaded strips. Great for kids, too!

Ingredients

  • 6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Fine-ground almond flour
  • 4 tbsp. Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend*
  • 4 tbsp. Mrs. Dash Chicken Grilling Blend
  • Olive oil

*For kids, go light on the Extra Spicy Blend and double up on the Chicken Grilling Blend (or use another Mrs. Dash seasoning).

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash the chicken breasts, dry with a paper towel, and slice into halves.
  3. On a baking sheet, coat the chicken strips in olive oil (I prefer to use the spray).
  4. In a bowl, mix almond flour and Mrs. Dash seasonings.
  5. One at a time, put each chicken strip into the bowl and roll around until completely covered with the flour/seasoning mixture. Use additional flour and seasoning if necessary.
  6. Place chicken strips back on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes (or until golden brown).

Macros*

Calories = 260

Fat = 11 g

Carbs = 4 g

Protein = 38 g

*Each serving is two strips. Recipe makes approximately 6 servings.

Recipe: Low Carb Spaghetti With Ground Beef

Low Carb Spaghetti With Ground Beef

Spaghetti squash is a delicious, "real food" alternative to calorie-dense pasta. This versatile vegetable is cheap, easy to cook, and great for meal prep. Here is one of my favorite low carb, high protein recipes using spaghetti squash:

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef (85% or better)
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Seasoning Blend
  • Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend
  • 8 oz. sliced white mushrooms
  • 6 oz. spinach
  • 24 oz. pasta sauce (ideally low sugar and low sodium)
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Face up on a baking sheet, coat the spaghetti squash in olive oil (I like to use the spray) and season with Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb.
  4. Cook the spaghetti squash, face down, for 45 minutes-1 hour.
  5. Cook the ground beef in a skillet or pot on medium heat until browned.
  6. While cooking, lightly season the beef with Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy.
  7. In a large skillet, saute mushrooms in olive oil on medium heat.
  8. After about 5 minutes, add spinach to the mushrooms and saute for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  9. When the ground beef is fully cooked, drain the oil, and add the pasta sauce and sauteed spinach and mushrooms.
  10. Let the spaghetti squash cool for approx. 5 minutes after fully cooked, and then use a spoon to scoop out the "spaghetti".

Macros*

Calories = 318

Fat = 12 g

Carbs = 17 g

Protein = 35 g

*Recipe makes approximately 6 servings.

Recipe: Ground Turkey & Mixed Veggies

Ground Turkey & Mixed Veggies

Ground turkey with sautéed spinach, onions, and bell peppers is one of my go-to meal prep recipes. It's easy, cheap, and super versatile. I pair it with an avocado when I'm on a low carb kick, rice and black beans when I'm trying to carb up, or even fry it up with a few eggs to make a big omelet. Can't go wrong with this one!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. lean ground turkey (85% or leaner)
  • 6-10 oz. spinach
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • Coconut oil
  • Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning Blend

Instructions

  1. Cook the ground turkey in a skillet or pot on medium heat until browned.
  2. While cooking, lightly season the beef with Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle.
  3. Cut onion and peppers into thin slices and place on a separate skillet.
  4. In the skillet, saute peppers and onion in coconut oil on medium heat.
  5. After about 5 minutes, add spinach to the peppers and onion and saute for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  6. When the ground turkey is fully cooked, drain the oil, and add the sauteed onion, peppers, and spinach.

Macros*

Calories = 360

Fat = 16 g

Carbs = 9 g

Protein = 47 g

*Recipe makes approximately 4 servings.

Recipe: The Perfect Bulking Breakfast

The Perfect Bulking Breakfast

Perfect for breakfast, or, well, anytime really.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of chopped peppers & onions
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 6 oz. of potatoes (pre-cooked)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of egg whites
  • Topped with Frank's Red Hot

Instructions

  1. Simply throw all of this stuff in a skillet (in the order above) and let it cook.

Macros

Calories = 650

Fat = 30 g

Carbs = 45 g

Protein = 50 g

Training to Failure

There is a common thought among most people that the “harder” a workout is, the better is. Often, people consider it a good workout only if:

  • They sweat through their shirt
  • They come close to throwing up
  • They are so sore they can’t move
  • Their Apple Watch tells them they burned a bunch of calories

Truth is, that stuff doesn’t really matter much.

Since day one, I’ve been fighting an uphill battle with my athletes (whether they know it or not), that training to complete failure every session is NOT the best approach. Any jack wagon off the street can write you a workout plan that will make you throw up. It’s easy.

What’s not easy is creating a workout program that will actually make you BETTER. One that will make you stronger, leaner, and healthier over time. One that will teach you proper technique and emphasize progressive overload. One that will keep you coming back for more.

Every session you have with me will not leave you completely wrecked, nor should it. My workouts are hard, sure, but not life threatening. Because tired DOES NOT equal better.

THAT BEING SAID...

I do think there is still a place for pushing limits. A place for testing what you’re made of, both physically and mentally. My athletes know I refer to this as “The Dark Place”.

We don’t go there often, but when we do, it’s rough.

Don't Forget Intensity

We always discuss the “perfect” training program.

What’s the best split?

How much volume?

Machines or free weights?

Morning or night?

Often, these variables get in the way of the most important thing- intensity.

A “so-so” plan done with 100% intent and focus ALWAYS trumps a “perfect” plan done with so-so effort. Don’t get so busy contemplating the minutia that you forget to do the work.

My Number One Fan

You know that feeling when you would meet somebody in class for the first time and suddenly you start seeing them everywhere?

Or when you buy some shoes and the next day you notice like 10 more people who have the same pair?

Or when you get a new car and randomly see the same make and model at every single stop light?

Well, losing someone to cancer is kind of like that.

You more than likely know someone who has been effected by cancer, but you don’t really recognize or understand it until it happens to you.

Since my mom’s passing one year ago, I’ve had conversations with dozens of people who have also lost someone to cancer. It’s not a group that you want to be a part of, nor that you want to add any new members, but it’s one that you’re happy exists. Because while any and all sympathy is appreciated, it’s tough to truly resonate with someone who hasn’t experienced loss themselves.

I’m thankful for the friends that have helped me through this year, and I empathize with those who are experiencing something similar. I’m thankful for my wife, who has been patient and understanding with me. And I’m thankful for my dad, because despite everything that he’s gone through, he remains strong.

A lot of times, it still frustrates me to think about what happened. It all was so sudden that I didn’t really have time to process or “deal with” it. To be honest, I probably still haven’t.

While I don’t know if there’s any “right” way to handle it, I do know that my mom would be proud of me. Much of her still lives on through the way that I treat people, the way that I love my kids, and the way that I go after what I want.

She was always my “number one fan”, and I know that she still is.

Microdose Your Mobility

If you’re neglecting mobility exercises, you probably have tight muscles, poor lifting technique, and even worse posture.

If you’re spending the first 30 minutes at the gym every day laying on the floor stretching, you’re probably not spending enough time actually working out.

The solution?
Microdose your mobility.

The most effective way to get your mobility work in is by breaking it up into short, 2-3 minute segments throughout the day. Just focus on one or two exercises at a time, then get back to whatever you were doing.

If you work a desk job, this is a game changer. Getting up every 30 minutes or hour and mobilizing for just a couple minutes will have a significant impact over time.

When you get to the gym, just focus on stretching and activating the key areas that you’ll be working that day rather than meticulously going over every inch of your body. An effective warm-up shouldn’t last more than 10 minutes.

Some areas to focus:

  • Ankles
  • Glutes
  • Hips
  • Thoracic Spine
  • Upper Back/Shoulders
  • Lats
  • Pecs

There are a ton of exercises that will target each of these areas. Find a few that you feel working (and that you enjoy), and practice them routinely. A few minutes a day goes a long way.

Creating Content

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Creating content is essentially a full-time job.

In this industry, valuable content is non-negotiable. It’s a necessity.

Producing work that informs, motivates, and entertains has been my intent since day 1. And honestly, I love doing it.

I love sharing new workouts, effective exercises, nutrition advice, productivity hacks, and pretty much anything that could benefit my friends. It’s extremely rewarding.

But it’s also extremely exhausting.

For every perfectly placed picture, video, article, and podcast, there are hours of work behind-the-scenes.

Often, this process can get frustrating, repetitive, and overwhelming.

It’s frustrating when a well-researched, 1000-word article that took me nearly 6 hours to write gets less than half of the likes and views as a picture of me with my shirt off.

It’s repetitive to pull out my camera stand and set it up perfectly to capture every exercise in my workout (and then to open the same app every day to edit those videos).

I get overwhelmed when it’s 6:00 PM and I have yet to post my daily piece of content on Instagram.

I know that stressing about the caption or the filter of an Instagram photo sounds ridiculous, and is the very definition of a #firstworldproblem, but it’s a problem nonetheless.

Over the past two years, I have put out (what I believe is) a literal fuck ton of content. Since June 2016, when I released my very first blog, I have:
• Written 50+ personal blogs.
• Written 40+ published articles.
• Recorded 50 podcast episodes.
• Recorded 200+ exercise demo videos.
• Posted 800+ times on Instagram (an average of more than once per day).
• Written 1 eBook (#10weekstobeach)

I’ve also recorded about 15 vlogs...but we don’t talk about those.

During this time, consistency has been my best friend. I know that not every piece was a grand slam, but I was getting base hits day-in and day-out. But recently, I’ve been in a slump.

Since I put out 10 Weeks to Beach, my creative energy has been almost non-existent. Ideas will come, but the moment I sit down to expand on them, I lose all motivation. Its frustrating as hell.

So here I am, trying to take a bit of my own advice, and “just get a win.”

After not writing anything longer than a couple hundred words in a month, I’m articulating some thoughts. After not recording an episode of Saved By The Barbell since June, Justin and I just dropped a new episode. They’re not massive jumps, but they’re steps in the right direction.

Sometimes when we get in a rut, we think the only way out is by some monumental display of force. A grand slam that will send the crowd into a frenzy and make everyone forget about the slump. Really, we just need a few base hits.

Stop Chasing Soreness

One of the biggest myths in fitness is that if you didn’t get sore, you didn’t get a good workout.

No pain, no gain.

For the longest time, it was my only metric. If I wasn’t sore, I didn’t work hard enough.

Now, I know that’s bullshit.

On my current program, 10 Weeks to Beach, I run an upper/lower split. It’s a 4 day workout plan with an optional 5th upper body “pump” day (which I obviously do every week). Among other things, one of the reasons I do this is so that no one body part is too sore to function.

I’ve done the programs where my chest is so sore that I can’t spread my arms out wide. Where my biceps are so sore that I can’t extend my arms. And, of course, where my legs are so sore I can’t sit on the toilet.

I’m not saying soreness is always a bad thing (in a weird, masochistic sort of way I even kind of enjoy it). And I’m definitely not saying that I’m never sore. Some days, I still have trouble getting on and off that toilet.

What I am saying is that soreness is NOT necessary.

When my dad calls and says that he has a tee time the next morning, I want to be able to go out there and swing a golf club.

When my buddy tells me to meet him at the gym in an hour to play ball, I want to be able to shoot.

When I randomly jump into a boxing or jiu jitsu class at Paradigm, I want to be able to perform.

When my daughter wants to run around in the backyard, I want to be able to keep up.

I can’t do any of that if I’m too sore to move.

The people that I work with, and the people that I’m making this program for, want to make lifting weights a PART of their life. Not their ENTIRE life.

I have guys who play on high-level adult softball teams. Guys who play 18 holes every weekend. Guys who run pickup basketball games throughout the week. Even guys who are professional fighters.

I want to ENCOURAGE and SUPPORT those activities. Not sideline them because they’re too sore.

Separate pain from progress.

Soreness does not equal hard work.

Hard work equals hard work.

Make Food That You Look Forward to Eating

It’s 2018, and people still believe the only way to eat healthy is to have tilapia and broccoli 6 times a day. What a shame.

Let me let you in on a little secret- you CAN enjoy what you eat and get results. Finding meals that you actually look forward to is one of the most important parts of good nutrition.

Just about anybody can starve themselves for a few days and lose weight.

Most people can jump on the latest fad diet for a couple weeks and shed some pounds.

A few can choke down their coach’s designated meal plan (that never changes and revolves around the same exact foods every single day) for a few months and get in great shape.

But then what?

Once the first sign of adversity hits, people resort right back to their bad habits, ultimately gaining back all of the weight they lost (and then some).

So how do you make sure that doesn’t happen to you? EAT FOOD THAT YOU LIKE.

Creating meals that you look forward to eating will not only make you more excited about your diet, it will improve your adherence to it. Improved adherence leads to better results, and better results leads to long-term success. Sustainability is always the end goal.

You don’t have to be a 5-star chef to whip up some decent meals, either. Here’s the latest thing that my wife has been hooked on:

Healthy Asian Rice Bowl

  • 6 oz. shrimp
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • Asparagus
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (best soy sauce substitute)

3 Steps to a Powerful Morning Routine

“How you start your day is how you live your day.”

Almost every successful person I know has a powerful morning routine. It primes them for a day of intention, mindfulness, and productivity. It provides a way for them to work on themselves before working on others. It creates positive momentum and a sense of accomplishment that leads to a brighter and more enjoyable day.

A powerful morning routine doesn’t need to last for hours. It can be done in as little as 5 minutes, and can be adjusted to the amount of time you have available.

Here are the 3 Steps to a Powerful Morning Routine:

1. Silence

Before opening your text messages, social media, or emails, spend some time completely disconnected from the world. If you check those things the moment you wake, you’re already on someone else’s clock. A few minutes spent in complete silence will calm your mind, relieve stress, and get you focused on what needs to be done that day.

Examples include:

  • Meditation

  • Gratitude (or prayer)

  • Breathing practices

  • Journaling

  • Power List (or a to-do list)

2. Personal Development

Before you help others, you must first help yourself. Daily personal development will ensure that you’re consistently building your mind, just as you would build your body in the gym. Consume positive, uplifting, growth-oriented material first thing in the morning to get in the right frame of mind for the rest of your day.

Examples:

  • Reading a book/article

  • Listening to a podcast/audiobook

  • Watching an educational/motivational video

3. Movement

Get your body moving first thing in the morning to get the juices flowing, improve your mood, and think more clearly. It doesn’t have to be a full workout, although that’s certainly an option. Even 5-10 minutes of purposeful mobility, walking, or bodyweight exercises can dramatically improve the way you approach the rest of your day.

Examples:

  • Yoga (or mobility/stretching)

  • Walking

  • Bodyweight exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, squats, etc.)

  • Full workout