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5 Tips When Starting Calisthenics (I wish I knew these when I started)

Hope you are having a fantastic weekend.

As I let you guys know in the last email I went to the LA Ftiness Expo last weekend and got to meet some cool athletes in the calisthenics community like the whole THENX Crew, Demi Bagby and Nonny Nonemacher.

2 of my friends whom I workout with competed in battle of the bars so it was great to see them give it their all in the bars. You cans see some of the battle here:

Now I never realized how small the calisthenics community is and some of you might not even be aware of it.

Groups like barstarzz and bar brothers have given it popularity but it’s still not that big.

Ive gotten more involved in this sport in the last 5 months and I will continue to share tips on how to achieve skills such as the muscle up, handstand, lever and other skills.

My friend asked me yesterday how do I get started in calisthenics so I wanna share 5 tips that I knew when I started calisthenics:

5 Tips When Starting Calisthenics

#1) Master the basics: Pull ups, push ups, lunges, planks, dragon flags, dips, etc. All these are the basic exercises which more advanced skills like levers, muscle ups and human flags are built upon.

So master those exercises, do them with good form and build up your base of strength so when you attempt a muscle up it is a lot easier to progress knowing how to do 10+ pull ups vs barely being able to get 5 pull ups and kip your way up the bar and be prone to injury.

#2) Find a calisthenics group: I started making really big progress once I started working out with other guys who were more advanced than me. They always encouraged me to push myself more and to try the progressions that helped them achieve skills such as handstands and muscle ups.

#3) Define your goals: Define if you wanna build muscle, gain strength or get better at a specific skill.

==> If you wanna build muscle doing slow and controlled reps for 4 sets of 8-12 its a good rep range. Once you can do more reps than 12 start doing weighted body weight exercises. It’s simple but this works the best to build muscle since you wanna keep your muscles under more tension to induce growth.

==> For strength it is all about training your nervous system. Doing 4 sets of 1-5 reps of weighted reps will help you build up explosive strength. You can do this with pull ups, dips, push ups or any exercise: Grab a weight that you can only rep out of 5 reps max and try to explode up on every rep.

==> Plyometrics are also fantastic for building strength: Work on doing clapping push ups, pull ups and even dips. The first progression would be to learn to let go of the bar or ground and then catch again. You only need low reps for this too – 3-5 reps since you wanna be exploding with as much force as possible.

#4) Focus on mastering one skill at a time: If you want learn how to muscle up, handstand and back lever all at the same time it is possible but it will take a lot of hours of training. If you are limited on time I would suggest picking one skill and working on the progressions for it everytime you workout. If you wanna get good at handstands at the beginning of your training sessions practice frog stands, headstands, wall assisted handstand holds and free standing handstands.

Focus on one skill and you will make faster progress vs trying to learn everything at once.

#5) Learn Retraction, Protraction, Depression & Elevation: So this is the big one! For exercises such as the planche you need to learn how to protract & depress your scapula. This is very fatiguing if you are not used to it.

For handstands you need to learn how to both protract and retract while upside down as well as elevate your scapula for proper alignment.

This is a good video to get more aware of these planes of motion:

Try them out while doing an L-sit on the floor or parellets/dip bars so you get an idea of what is your weakest area.

Once you learn to be more aware and in control of how your shoulder blades move you will have better alignment when executing any calisthenic exercise.


That’s it for today, I think I gave you too much info and it might be tough to process it all at once, specially #5 so take your time and really think about your goals.

Feel free to reply to this email if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer them.

Attack Life and Get Stronger!

– Luis Carrillo

Let’s Be Friends:



FREE 4 Week Workout Plan to Build Muscle

Last year I moved out of my house for the first time and it was a big learning experience.

I had to be more responsible, get used to meal prepping and workout before or after my work, even when I was tired.

The same thing applied to my roommate who hired me to be his personal trainer. When he came back from work it was workout time for him even if he was super tired from walking around in the heat from 6am-6pm as a mailman.

Below is the workout that him and I did for a couple of months, it is nothing fancy but it worked to help him gain muscle, improve conditioning, lose body fat and get a lot stronger!

If you don’t have barbells or dumbbells don’t worry, find a substitute like a heavy rock or make a sandbag.

If you’ve been wanting to get started in your fitness journey or you’ve been slacking and need an all around muscle building plan to get you back into shape – print out the workout and give it a go. I know you will get you results like it did for us.


4 week muscle and strength plan

==> 4 Week Workout Plan to Build Muscle

Follow the plan, attack it once you are back from work and I know you will get results!

If you have any questions drop them down below!

Attack Life & Get Stronger

– Luis Carrillo

Recommended Workout Programs

Lean Hybrid MuscleBuild Muscle While Losing Fat + Learn How to Create Your Own Hybrid Workouts

Bodyweight BodybuildingGain Muscle, Reduce Pain & Revive your Energy with Just Bodyweight Training Alone

Grow Stronger MethodGet Stronger & Lift Heavier Weights Without Adding Bulk!

Warrior Upper Body – Learn how to Do Advanced Exercises Like Handstands, One Arm Pushups And Sets Of 20 Pull Ups

15 BackUp Workouts – Short on time? No Equipment? Or Are Bored & Need a Challenge? – I Got You Bro!

Simplify Your Workouts & Nutrition + (Actually Eat Your Veggies Trick)

The other day I ordered a dash wallet and when it came in the mail, the package contained this quote:

 “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss

That quote made me think about simplifying my workouts & nutrition for this month.

My simplified exercise list:

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Bench & Overhead Presses
  • Farmer Walks
  • Pull Ups, Chin Ups, Inverted Rows & Muscle Ups
  • Dips
  • Push Ups
  • Squats & Pistols
  • Jumping
  • Crawling
  • Climbing
  • Rolling
  • Sprints

My simplified food list:

  • Eggs & Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Ground Beef & other red meats
  • Salmon, tuna and other fish
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes & Yams
  • Beans
  • Oatmeal
  • Fruits & Veggies (See my video for the “actually eat your veggies trick“)
  • Almond or Rice Milk
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter
  • Peanut & Almond Butter
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Avocados

**Pro Tip: Meal prep & cook your meats & carbs in advance so you only have to reheat them later – preparation is the cure to not desperately look for anything to eat once you come home hungry & are un-energized to cook**

My simplified supplement list:

  • I sometimes take creatine
  • Don’t take protein powders because they make me bloated (Haven’t experimented with pant based ones yet)
  • I am testing out making my own nootropic stacks (Limitless anyone???)
  • And zinc (ZMA’s) before sleeping – These have helped me a lot to not get sick, improve my sleep & my dreams are much more vivid

That’s what I am focusing on for this month, and I want you to ask yourself those 2 questions.

  1. I can do a lot of different styles of workouts but what are the most important goals for me right now? – For me it is Strength and movement efficiency.
  2. I can eat whatever I want, but what foods are the ones that will give me the most energy & support my fitness goals? – For me it is real whole foods that I know will not bloat me.

Answer those 2 questions for yourself & simplify your lifestyle so you can focus on what will give you the results you want.

Simplify Your Life & Get Stronger

– Luis Carrillo

Recommended Workout Programs

Lean Hybrid MuscleBuild Muscle While Losing Fat + Learn How to Create Your Own Hybrid Workouts

Bodyweight BodybuildingGain Muscle, Reduce Pain & Revive your Energy with Just Bodyweight Training Alone

Grow Stronger MethodGet Stronger & Lift Heavier Weights Without Adding Bulk!

Warrior Upper Body – Learn how to Do Advanced Exercises Like Handstands, One Arm Pushups And Sets Of 20 Pull Ups

15 BackUp Workouts – Short on time? No Equipment? Or Are Bored & Need a Challenge? – I Got You Bro!

2 Simple Tips for Eating More & Using Better Form (Beginner Workout Problems)

I always like to ask everyone who signs up for my newsletter:

What is your #1 struggle or problem that you are facing right now? what is stopping you from getting stronger or building more muscle?

I always get some really good questions that I am gonna start sharing more with you since I know a lot of you are facing these same issues.

Today I got this question from Dirk (who is a going through beginner workout problems) asking:

Don’t really have a “big” problem, mostly little things like eating enough, learning proper form, basic beginner problems I suppose

I know a lot of us suffer with the same issues, even if we are not beginners – consuming enough calories & using proper form are simple to do once you establish the habit, so today I wanna offer 2 simple tips that will help you develop this important habit.

Eating enough calories: Don’t stress out a lot about macros & precise calories, simply start eating more little by little (instead of all at once) add an extra bowl of brown rice everyday for one week, the next add a table spoonful of coconut oil everyday for one week & keep getting used to consuming more calories week by week (it will be easier to adapt this way)

Using proper form in your workouts: This is key to develop good habits, so don’t listen to your ego & don’t max out on lifts…since you are a beginner, you don’t need to max out in order to see results, just do more work/weight week by week. If you reach a point where a weight or exercise is too heavy for certain amount of reps (for example: 4 sets of 8 pull ups) then do more sets but with less reps (example: 5 sets of 6 pull ups) – in the end you will be doing more overall work & be able to keep better form instead of forcing ugly reps that can lead to injury (and being injured for 1 or 2 weeks is no fun)

A simple thing you can do to keep proper form in mind at all times, is to do a warm up set & focus on proper form only (don’t care about the weight you are lifting on this set, just prep up your body & mind for the lift – close your eyes & visualize the weight you wanna be lifting if you must)

Besides all of this just rest a lot so you can be ready to kill it next time you train.

These are very simple tips, but put them into use & I know they will make a huge difference overtime.

If you have any more simple tips for these issues drop them below & let help each other out to solve these beginner workout problems!

Attack Life & Get Stronger

Luis Carrillo

Recommended Workout Programs

Lean Hybrid MuscleBuild Muscle While Losing Fat + Learn How to Create Your Own Hybrid Workouts

Bodyweight BodybuildingGain Muscle, Reduce Pain & Revive your Energy with Just Bodyweight Training Alone

Grow Stronger MethodGet Stronger & Lift Heavier Weights Without Adding Bulk!

Warrior Upper Body – Learn how to Do Advanced Exercises Like Handstands, One Arm Pushups And Sets Of 20 Pull Ups

15 BackUp Workouts – Short on time? No Equipment? Or Are Bored & Need a Challenge? – I Got You Bro!

Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning Book Chapter

Underground Strength Book – Why I train the way I train.

I still remember the first time I decided to do a dumbbell clean & jerk with a 45 pound DB at LA Fitness – feels like it just happened yesterday.

I was doing my typical bodybuilding workout – 4 sets of 12 reps & body part splits – today was shoulder day & I had been consuming training advice from from this bald guy named Zach Even-Esh.Zach Even-Esh rock training

His style of training was unconventional – using tires, rocks, ropes and playgrounds as workout material. It was a little crazy for me back then since I was used to just going to the commercial gym and training there like everyone else. But one of the exercises that Zach kept repeating over and over was overhead presses with rock and dumbbell clean and jerks.

So while at the gym I decided to do a DB clean & jerk & since then I haven’t trained the same. The explosiveness of that movement hooked me & I needed more aggressive training.

Slowly I learned more & more from Zach until my training evolved into being part underground – training with an aggressive attitude & not making excuses.

If you have ever wondered why I train at playgrounds, use sandbags, rocks, playgrounds & love to simply train with anything – it is all because Zach injected me with his Underground Strength DNA ever since I started incorporating his training style.

This week he released his first published book & I am stocked! I just ordered & can’t wait to attack it.

Check out the trailer – it will make you wanna go tear it up!

Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and ConditioningPurchase the book at:

==> Dragon Door

==> Amazon

==> Kindle

There are some bonuses you can get if you purchase by tonight, but knowing Zach’s quality of products the bonuses are just extra icing on the cake – the book alone is worth it & I highly recommend you get it.

Matt WichlinskiEverything you need to know about getting stronger and mentally tough is covered in detail in this book. If you are looking for a shortcut, or don’t have a true desire to work as hard as possible, this book is not for you. This book is all about embracing the effort, doing your best, inspiring everyone around you, and being the consummate leader of your social circle, all while becoming the strongest version of yourself.

This book is loaded with inspirational stories and informational programs that work. Zach’s training methods are intense and his passion is unparalleled; if you want to succeed, this book is for you.”—MATT WICHLINSKI, Strength Coach, WWE Performance Center

Attack Life & Get Stronger

— Luis Carrillo

P.S. If you get the book at anytime, forward me your receipt to beastlifestyle [at] & I’ll give you my book: 15 No Excuses Workouts as a bonus.

How do I build muscle safely at 13 years old?

I was recently asked: How do I build muscle safely at 13 years old?

My answer goes far beyond just telling the kid to focus on the major exercises & eat a lot (which are highly important) but above that, developing the habit of always moving & being active, is key to keep making progress throughout the years.

At 13 years old your whole world is about to change & you will:

  • Become more civilized
  • You will sit down a lot more
  • You will be smacked with more responsibilities, orders and rules

And all of these can slowly make you comfortable, lazy & overtime make you loose your energy to want to workout.

Am I blowing this out of proportion & making it sound like your wold is gonna end? Maybe a little.

Truth is that if you always find a way to be active at a young age, you won’t have such a hard time dealing with having to manage school, social life & fitness (since it will be embedded in your DNA to want to move)

So if you want to build muscle at 13 years old: Constantly be active, eat a lot, rest a lot & master the basic bodyweight exercises.

It sounds simple & it’s because it is – the only thing you have to do is put in the work & have fun!

Attack Life & Get Stronger

Luis Carrillo

Recommended Workout Programs

Lean Hybrid MuscleBuild Muscle While Losing Fat + Learn How to Create Your Own Hybrid Workouts

Bodyweight BodybuildingGain Muscle, Reduce Pain & Revive your Energy with Just Bodyweight Training Alone

Grow Stronger MethodGet Stronger & Lift Heavier Weights Without Adding Bulk!

Warrior Upper Body – Learn how to Do Advanced Exercises Like Handstands, One Arm Pushups And Sets Of 20 Pull Ups

15 No Excuses Workouts – Short on time? No Equipment? Or Are Bored & Need a Challenge? – I Got You Bro!

Opportunistic Pull Ups at the Park

What’s up Beast!

Earlier this week I posted a video showing how you can do pull ups in many different places at the park.

Not just in the obvious monkey bars, but with swings, trees, metal pipes and anywhere I could hang in the playground area.

I’ve been getting good feedback with this video so I will do more like these showing you how you can workout and do different exercises anywhere.

“If you can bypass looking at the obvious then you’ll find opportunities everywhere!”

I would love to see more people having this “opportunistic” way of looking at exercise, so I am exited to make more videos.

If you have any specific exercise you wanna see let me know so I can make it happen…and if you have a video of you doing any type of of opportunist exercises or street workouts (with or without weights) drop the link in the comments below, I’d love to share it on my Facebook Page to get more people fired up!

That’s it for today,

Keep Attacking Life & Getting Stronger,

Luis Carrillo

3 Reasons Why YOU should Workout with Odd Objects

Whether it be sandbags, kettlebells, kegs, tires, rocks or a bag of potatoes

Odd objects are all around us and you can use them as workout equipment

Most of the times these odd objects are free or very low cost to make (compared to buying barbells and dumbbells)

But before I go onto describe some of these things that you can use as workout equipment let me give you 3 good reasons to train with objects:

Elliott Hulse Sandbag Loading#1 – They don’t have an even load so they force you to workout extra had, using more stabilizing muscles & activating more muscle fibers

These object don’t have to always be just heavier in order to increase their difficulty…you can just use a bigger, thinner or different material item

For example fatter sandbag (a lot harder on the grip), thicker bars (you can even use trees), or using towels & ropes

#2 – Odd objects are everywhere & will make you open your mind to working out anywhere and with anything

Working out at a gym is not always a necessity if you know how to use the tools in your environment to your advantage:

Use chairs as dip stations, walls to do pull ups, push cars for conditioning, etc

Doing this will also save you a lot of money on workout equipment…for example you can make a 100 pound sandbag for less than $20! (compare that to 100 pound dumbbell that might cost $70+ just for one DB)

Pro Tip: Buy used workout equipment on Craigslist & garage sales to save a lot of pennies

#3 – They are Fun & will make you Free

Free from always following rules & doing things like everyone else

When you use odd objects not only will you get stronger but will also be captivated by the challenge of using something uncommon to workout brings

  • You will walk out onto the world & see fences everywhere where you can do dips & pull ups at
  • You will see stop signs and try to do flag poles on them
  • You will see a heavy rock & wonder how much it weights, but curiosity & wonder won’t be enough so you will approach it, pick it up & start doing squats, lunges & overhead presses with it
  • You will pick up heavy things when you go shopping just, like front carrying a car battery all around Walmart just so you can get a massive biceps pump while everyone else doesn’t!

And perhaps all of those were personal examples, but either way your mind will be open to seeing everything as an opportunity to workout once you regularly use odd objects in your training

If you try working out with a rock for example you will feel your grip having to work extra hard – the uneven rock will force you to stabilize your whole body & you will unconsciously be freeing your mind form always having order and rules to workout

When you know you can use anything in your environment to workout you become free to explore the world & get stronger anywhere and with anything…

Life becomes your 24/7 Strength Playground!

My good friend Elliott Hulse was one of the first persons to ever introduce me to odd object training & ever since I haven’t looked back

I remember the first time I purposely pushed my car to workout, it was tough but fun

It was a different kind of energy & it made me realize that everyday things can be weapons for strength building – You just gotta be open minded & let go of always doing things “the right way”

Today Elliott’s program Lean Hybrid Muscle is on discount, but only for 8 more hours as of writing this

I’ve learned a lot from this program and this method of training is one that I personally use & will continue to use because it works

Inside you will not only get workouts, but also learn how to create YOUR OWN Hybrid Workouts + learn how to workout with odd objects

If this is something that sounds interesting to you then take advantage of his sale, if not then no worries

The program will still be available (just not with a discount)

If you do get it email me your receipt at: and I’ll give you my “15 BackUp Workouts” as a bonus which will open your mind even more to using your environment as workout equipment + you’ll get some kick ass workout challenges

I guarantee that after you start working out with odd objects, you will not be satisfied with just using barbells and dumbbells…it’s a whole new world after this!

Lean Hybrid Muscle Reloaded

==> Take advantage of his LHM discount right here <==

Keep Attacking Life & Getting Stronger,

Luis Carrillo

Eat these 2 Foods to get MORE Calories in!

Yo! What is up!

If you are naturally skinny & have trouble eating a lot, then I got a quick tip that will help you to get more calories in

Currently we are in holiday season so you will automatically be getting a lot of extra calories from the holiday parties

Which is fantastic if you are trying to get bigger (so really take advantage of this season & eat big + train hard)

But since you won’t be feasting at parties everyday then consume these next 2 foods in order to get more calories in throughout your day:

Extra Virgin Coconut oil & Organic Peanut/Almond Butter

I personally just started cooking everything with coconut oil, not just to get more calories in, but because coconut oil is fantastic for cooking at high temperatures (it won’t make your meats & eggs stick to the pan as easily)

extra virgin coconut oil

You can also just take a spoonful of coconut oil & eat it that way or add a spoonful or 2 to your shakes (you won’t even know it’s there)

Unless you are allergic to peanuts or almonds then Organic Peanut & Almond butter should be staples in your nutrition

organic peanut butter

You can add them to your shakes, make peanut butter & banana or apple sandwiches or grab a scoop whenever you are feeling hungry (It will tranquilize your hunger for a little bit)

A spoonful of each might not sound like much (and it really isn’t when you are eating it) but the calories form these fats really add up…just take a look at how many calories are in a spoonful of each:

  • Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: 121-130 (varies by brand)
  • Organic Peanut Butter: 90-105 (varies by brand)
  • Organic Almond Butter: 90-95 (varies by brand)

You can easily consume an extra 400-500 calories just from a couple of spoonfuls of these fats & not too mention that they are freaking delicious!

So really take advantage of this simple tip if your goal is to get more calories in

And in other news:

My buddy Elliott Hulse is having a sale on his Lean Hybrid Muscle program this whole week

Lean Hybrid Muscle Elliott Hulse

==> You can check out his LHM offer right here <==

And just to be extra cool, if you take advantage of his sale right now I will send you as a bonus a copy of my 15 BackUp Workouts for free!

Just forward me your email to & I’ll send you your bonus ASAP!

That’s it for today,

Attack Life & Get Stronger

Luis Carrillo

Free No Gym Equipment Workout

Yo! What is up!

Hope you are having an awesome start of week so far

I just finished setting up a workout guide for you, & instead of telling you more about it I wanna give you a free sample of it

A free sample? Yup! I want you to taste it first

You can download your free workout here

Or just follow the workout below:

1A) Incline Push Ups 5x 15 (Last set max out)
1B) Jump Squats 5 x 10
1C) Tree Pull ups 5 x Sub Max Reps (Last set max out)
Rest 1 Min between each superset

2A) Dips/Recline Rows 5×15
2B) Jumping Lunges 5×10
2C) Tree or Monkey bar Chin Ups 5x Sub Max Reps (Last set max out)
Rest 1 Min between each superset

3C) Leg Raises 5x 10 (on pull up or parallel dip bars)
Rest 30 sec between each set

4)Parkour Rolls 4×3 (Make sure to do it on grass so you don’t hurt yourself)
Rest 30 sec between each set

5) 3 Sprints x 10 sec or find a long distance (Max Out)
Rest 15 sec between each set

No equipment is needed for this workout if you are at a playground or even at home (you’ll just need a door frame pull up bar)

15 Backup WorkoutsGive it a try & let me know how it goes

The full guide contains 15 workouts that you can use next time you are short on time, don’t have any or very little equipment or when you want a crazy challenge

But before you get it, give the workout above a try

It’s perfect for you if you have no equipment!

Talk soon,

Attack Life & Get Stronger

Luis Carrillo