All posts in Strength Training

Do Towel Pull Ups & Get a Stronger Grip!


One of the things that always gets in the way of your training is your grip

Sometimes it fatigues before you do & doesn’t let you put the intensity you want into your workouts

You can always work on your grip by using fat bars, ropes, sandbags, trees, farmer walking…overall making the bar or object your trying to use to be a lot harder to grab

I personally love using Sandbags since they are a challenge to grab specially the heavier you go

But one thing that has always been on my list of to-use-items for grip are Towels

Those things that you use to dry yourself everyday are powerful grip builders

If you have done training with towels in the past then you know how difficult it is, and if you haven’t definitely start doing it – it will crush your grip!

2 of my personal favorite exercises to do with towels are pull ups and inverted rows

Towel Pull Ups for a Stronger Grip) Grip Training)

Grab 2 towels & do a pull ups while squeezing the hell out of them

Do this for 3-4 sets of 3-5 reps & I know your grip will be fried

If you get tired or can’t do towel pull ups no more, switch to inverted rows & finish your sets with them

Most likely your grip will give out before your muscles do, so keep the reps low (3-5 reps)

Sprinkle these at the end of your workouts & strengthen those hands

Overtime it will make any bar movement a lot easier & will help you to do more pull ups, so get to work!

If you want more grip training exercises, tips & workouts check out Zach Even-Esh’s Grip Experts Manual & take your grip training to the next level!

Grip Experts by Zach Even-Esh

P.S. The thinner the towel the easier it will be to grab, so start with those and progress onto thicker ones overtime

15 Different Push Up Variations

There are tons of other push ups variations you can do (way too many to list)

The beautiful thing about variations is that a simple change hits your body entirely different & can make the movement a lot harder or easier (great for more advanced trainers or those who get bored of doing the same bodyweigt exercises over and over)

Below I show you 15 Different Push Up Variations, So check & try them out + implement 1 into your workouts

What’s your favorite one? Drop it below in the comments!

Luis Carrillo

How To Structure Your Workouts for Strength & Performance

This is a special piece of paper How to Train for Strength & Athletic Performance Notes

That what you see there are some of my ugly notes notes that I took on Sunday when I went to a strength seminar with 3 badass coaches that showed me how to get stronger, move better & design better workouts

It’s always fun to meet some of your mentors & teachers live as you get to not only become their friends but experience how much care and attention they personally give to you…their passion and knowledge just shines every moment when they are sharing what they know with you

If you ever have a chance to go to a live workshop, seminar or camp DO IT! You’ll learn a lot more in those couple of hrs than in weeks studying by yourself

Travis StoetzelBut anyway back to my notes…

Those notes are from when Travis Stoetzel (the beast pictured o the right) was sharing with us how he structures some of his & his athlete’s workouts in order to improve their performance

It’s a pretty simple formula & am sure you can’t read my handwriting so I’ll explain what I wrote here:

1 – Soft Tissue work (AKA Foam rolling) – 2-4min (before & after workout)
2 – Dynamic Warm Up (5-7 min)
3 – Speed/Explosive Exercises (Done at the beginning as your CNS is fresh & can generate more power)
4 – Strength Exercises (1-6 rep range)
5 – Assistance Exercises (Sub Maximal Reps – so get close but don’t go to failure)
6 – Conditioning (+3 Core & 3 grip exercises)

There is a lot more detail as to why he structures things this way, but if you understand the overall picture you can implement this formula with your workouts to get stronger & stay lean!

I personally use a similar template when I create my workouts, and from experience I can tell you that this structure works a little bit too well to get stronger and stay lean!

Am sure you are still trying to read what I wrote in my notes, so keep trying as there are more tips to get stronger, train for fat loss & a simple tip to break trough a pull up plateau (hint: do towel pull ups;)

If your interested in seeing more of Travis’s workouts, then check out his Bags, Bells & Bodyweight program where he shares with you how to use sandbags, kettlbells & bodyweight training to get stronger, leaner, & more athletic, check it out here:

==> Bags, Bells & Bodyweight

Attack Life & Get Stronger

Luis Carrillo

P.S. The seminar was recorded, so I’ll let you guys know when you can get a copy of the videos!+ you’ll probably also see me getting hypnotized! :O

Is this really “The Worst Gym Ever”?

Am kinda fired up to train and also ready to smack some people in the face so they understand a little life lesson

Yesterday I stumbled onto this video:

My eyes lighted up with excitement & pleasure to see such an awesome outdoor gym & have it be actually used by the few warriors out there who get the work done

But along with my excitement I was also disappointed & awed at the title of the video + some of the comments on the video

The title of this video is “The worst gym ever” and to me I don’t see anything that signifies that at all

Some may complain about the rust & that it looks old & ghetto

A rusty gym is not a piece of shit

To me that is beautiful but to others the superficial shit is what matters

A lot of people live in this paradigm that if it looks good on the outside then it must be good in the inside, but not the other way around

It’s the same as judging a book by it’s cover which ultimately leaves you with an incomplete judgement of the person, place or situation

In this case weight is weight regardless of it’s shape & state….yet so many people are blinded to see past what is important:

When you go to a gym, yo go there to train & nothing else

Whether the equipment is new or not it doesn’t matter…because when you truly are training, a gym is simply a place where you just go get work done

You go there to put effort & become stronger…to see what you really are made of & battle trough the obstacles to fortify your mind, body & spirit

The equipment and location is secondary, what is primary and the most important is your attitude and work ethic

The guys on the video might not have state of the art equipment & that is great because that is only superficial stuff…what we don’t see but can definitely perceive is their work ethic, courage & hunger to just crush the weights and get stronger

When you have that, your equipment doesn’t mean shit

It saddens me to see people bashing on this great gym like that but at the same time I also feel a great deal of responsibility to not talk smack and call people crazy and stupid for doing so

That won’t solve anything as what we need to do is to help this people open their minds and have them realize what a real gym is:

A gym is factory of health & strength not a place where people go to look pretty

It’s a tough concept to share with people as many are comfortable & brainwashed into thinking superficially, but the only way we can help these people open their eye is by Leading by example

Not by bashing & starting fights, but simply putting in the work & showing to others that equipment is not what matters: Your Attitude Is

Results speak by themselves & Slowly as others see you getting getting stronger they will ask for help & advice

And in this you are in a position of power, where you can pay it forward & help others out

Not by saying “I told you so” or “Oh now you wanna listen to me?”

But simply saying “Yes I will gladly help you”

It’s a tough concept to swallow & showing superiority towards others might make you feel good momentarily, but ultimately being a compassionate cool guy or gal is what will make our community stronger

A lot of people need to re-evaluate what they truly value & we are here to help them achieve that, not by forcing them to do so, but by extending our love, experience & passion for health & fitness

The gym in the video might not be fancy but it has what it needs to turn those kids into monsters and that is: A whole lot of hard work & a heavy those of attitude

Attack Life & Get Stronger

Luis Carrillo

Please spread this message with others & lets make this world stronger, not by fighting or bashing but by helping each other 1 by 1 to get stronger!

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Recommended Resources
=====================

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

Bodyweight Bodybuilding – Gain Muscle, Reduce Pain & Revive your Energy with Just Bodyweight Training Alone (see my full experience with it here)

Grow Stronger Method – Get 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

 

Fasting = STRONGER?

Yo Yo Yo! … Hope you had an awesome day yesterday! I certainly did 🙂

I was without my car for the whole past week, and instead of being like the typical person that would bitch about how horrible it is to not have a car to drive…I actually enjoyed it

Having to walk or bike everywhere made me see how dependent I have gotten on that machine, so it was refreshing to take a break from the car….anyway lets move onto today’s controversial topic:

Fasting Makes You Stronger?

Well it is not as black and white as that, but personally I’ve been noticing in the last 2 months that:

When I train bodyweight with a fasted stomach I feel a lot stronger

Am able to do bodyweight moves easier as I feel lighter, more in control and mentally hungry to just move

Exercising while fasting

I’ve been experimenting with fasting for about half a year now & I have felt great ever since I started doing it

I didn’t do it because it is the cool diet that’s hot right now nor because of the health benefits…. I simply did it because my intuition told me to do it

I am fully aware that there is no perfect or ideal eating style or diet…

The way you eat is a constant evolution & a journey to find what works better for you with your current situation, goals & lifestyle

I’ve done the 6 small meals a day thing, 3 big meals a day, paleo diet, and a lot of other eating styles, but fasting opened my eyes to something that not many are aware of:

That we literally slave ourselves to food, we say “I have to eat in the morning or else Ima be cranky & irritated”

Well if you would have never conditioned yourself to eat in the morning, then you might not have that mindset at all

Am going on a rant now, but to keep it short:

Fasting has freed me from food slavery and allowed me to focus my energy on other projects instead of worrying about food and having to eat at certain times

I have the freedom & confidence to eat whenever I want and know that ima feel good

If you have never tried fasting I would encourage you to try out, not because it might help you lose more fat or anything like that BUT because you will realize the real difference between hunger & cravings

And once you can differentiate that, you can focus your energy on doing productive stuff vs just worrying or stressing about not having eaten & feeling like crap like most people do

So try it out & pay attention to how you feel & think…you’ll realize that skipping breakfast or a meal from time to time is not that bad at all…it’s actually quite refreshing to have this freedom & energy to spend on other things besides cooking and eating

I can continue talking about fasting all day, but will later expand on it… for now just be open minded to what I said & try fasting out for yourself so you can feel what freedom from food slavery feels like!

Attack Life & Get Stronger

Luis Carrillo

P.S. Yeah I know I didn’t give you any exact step by step to do’s…this is because there are different ways of fasting & I am no expert on the subject, but if you want a simple example on what to do, Do This:

Next time you wake up just skip breakfast

Just stay well hydrated and pay attention to how you feel, thing & act….you might feel great or horrible, either way become aware of this & test things out

P.P.S. For me fasting works great with bodyweight workouts or heavy lifting, not so much with high rep bodybuilding style workouts…(well at least right now it doesn’t, but I will keep testing!

=====================
Recommended Resources
=====================

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

Bodyweight Bodybuilding – Gain Muscle, Reduce Pain & Revive your Energy with Just Bodyweight Training Alone (see my full experience with it here)

Grow Stronger Method – Get 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

 

Quick Tip to Get Bigger Faster

If You are naturally a skinny guy like me, then packing on size is hard at times

You know you have to eat BIG to get BIG, but sometimes you just don’t get hungry

So what can you do to get bigger?

Do a shit load of squats (high rep squats – 10-20 reps/set) & sleep more!

Do squats to gain muscle fast

Squats won’t only increase testosterone & growth hormone production, but will make you hungry as hell! so if you say “I am not hungry” squat away & this won’t be much of an issue

As you train harder, you gotta rest harder in order for your body to recover… & those anabolic hormones you want – yup those ones are released at night while your body is at rest recovering, so make sure you get a lot of sleep + you’ll wake up feeling a lot better (less angry & not so stressed out)

And finally, take in mind that your legs are half of your body, so why are you training them only 1 or 2 times a week?

Train the legs regularly (3-4+ times/wk) & you’ll grow for sure!

Attack Life & Get Stronger

Luis Carrillo

P.S. Here is an extra tip:

If you think you can only do squats with a barbell, then you are just making excuses

Hit up BW squats, front squats with a backpack full of books or rocks, pick up your friend & squat him/her, etc

If your goal is to get bigger, then get creative & make it happen!

=====================
Recommended Resources
=====================

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

Bodyweight Bodybuilding – Gain Muscle, Reduce Pain & Revive your Energy with Just Bodyweight Training Alone (see my full experience with it here)

Grow Stronger Method – Get 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

Strength Motivation That Will FIRE You Up!

One of the things I love to do in order to keep learning & constantly be motivated to keep trying harder is to listen to others athletes & coaches interviews

There is something about listening to their past struggles that lights up a fire in me and let’s me know that things get hard, and the only way to improve is to keep going & take more risks!

One of my strength friend’s Dave Hall from Agoge Fitness Systems has been running an interview show weekly where he has interviewed some of the best strength and condition coaches & athletes

He calls these weekly interviews Mental Meat Heads

==> Check out The Interviews Here

That name is powerful & right away tells you that these interviews go a lot deeper than just training for bigger muscles or lifting more, those topics are disccused for sure, but these conversations also talk about about getting stronger mentally, so we can kick ass physically!

If you need some motivating & informative stories with some of the top strength and conditioning coaches then I invite you to check out the site & download a couple of the interviews so you can listen to them while you drive to work today (or anytime)

They will fire you up to be even more successful!

Motivation Strength Interviews that Will Fire you Up

That’s it for today, keep having an awesome day & let nothing stand in your way of reaching your goals!

Attack Life & Get Stronger

Luis Carrillo

P.S. he also has interviewed me there on how I gained 5 pounds by just using bodyweight training, so if that sounds interesting then check it out here: http://agogefit.com/luis-carrillo/

=====================
Recommended Resources
=====================

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

Bodyweight Bodybuilding – Gain Muscle, Reduce Pain & Revive your Energy with Just Bodyweight Training Alone (see my full experience with it here)

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

Intermittent Feast – Learn How to Fast to be Healthier, Gain Muscle & Be a Lean and Energetic Machine!

The First Time I Broke The Rules!

You beasts what is up! Hope your having a kick ass day,

Am fired up since I am seeing big improvements on my handstands & used bumper plates for the first time (which were hella fun)

Anyway, back to today’s story:

I still vividly remember the first day I said Fuck it! I am not following the rules anymore

Doing slow & controlled reps + just pumping the muscles wasn’t getting me exited anymore, I needed something more aggressive, something powerful!

zach even eshDuring this time Zach Even-Esh was the first ones to expose me to strongman & odd object training – the idea of making your own equipment or using cheap and heavy stuff looked hella fun & fired me up big time

I felt & knew this was the change I needed to do

That day before walking to the gym, I saw a video of Zach doing an explosive one arm presses with a heavy dumbbell…I got to the gym & was following my “bodybuilding” routine & it was time for military presses

I remembered Zach’s video & decided to try the 1 arm presses instead, so I grabbed the 45’s & exploded the dumbbell up as fast as I could!

BAM!My eyes were wide open & I felt an energy I had felt since I started training!… I started to bang out a couple of more reps & knew I had found something else

I continued to follow Zach’s advice & decided to his Underground Strength Manual in order to go deeper into his training philosophy

I devoured the book, and started to implement his methods little by little

As time passed, I grew stronger, was more mobile & my energy was trough the roof…I was exited to train again

zach even-esh farmer walkThe workouts always challenged me mentally & slowly forged my mind into stop making excuses

Till this day, Zach is one of the many person’s I constantly learn from & I owe him a lot!

His No Excuses attitude, the heavy weights, explosive moves, primal bodyweight exercises & mental toughness instilled on all of his programs changed me!

These are the type of workouts that forge you into a Beast, into someone who doesn’t make excuses & just get the work done!

If you are someone who is not conformed with just looking pretty, but actually being strong both in mind & body so you can kick ass in life

Then highly recommend you pick up his Underground Strength Manual

Underground Strength Manual Download

Inside is his philosophy for not just training, but living life with no excuses!

The workouts are tough & will challenge you mentally every-time, but nobody said anything worth achieving was easy!

So if your ready to stop making excuses then Go check out his Underground Strength manual & get ready to make some big changes in strength & life!

BTW he has his course on 50% off right now (you’ll see this at the checkout) so if you wanna get manual for cheap, I would act fast (discount or not, the program kick ass & is worth more than what it costs)

Attack Life & Get Stronger
 
Luis Carrillo
http://BeastLifestyle.com

1 Simple Tip to Keep the Wrists Healthy & Strong!

Your wrists are probably something that you don’t pay too much attention to…Unless you’ve gotten them sprained, injured or hurt in some way before

If you train with bodyweight then you know the crucial role that keeping healthy wrists plays in your training

Practicing muscle ups, ring exercises & handstands puts a lot of stress on them, and if you get them hurt you won’t be able to train comfortably for a couple of days (assuming is just a mild sprain)

Your wrists are a dynamic joint, so you should train them that way: train them for mobility

Mixed Grip Pull Up

Yet one of the mistakes a lot of people do is to only train 1 grip or just 1 variation of an exercise

Lets take for example the pull up

Most people just have an overhand grip & pull themselves up every time they do this exercise

Nothing wrong with doing a conventional pull up, But what happens when you got rock climbing? or wanna jump a tall wall?

You can pull yourself up for sure, but the surface you are touching is not a straight bar, or might not even be an even surface

And since you have always trained your wrists in a fixed position + are lacking joint mobility, this makes you more prone to injury since your wrists are not used to working dynamically…(and injured wrists are not fun)

So you should train your wrists for mobility in order to keep them happy & healthy

The easiest thing you can do in order to keep your wrists happy, healthy & strong is to change up your grip & do more variations of bodyweight exercises

For example, If you are doing pull ups:

  • Change your grip to a wide, narrow or neutral stance
  • Walk side to side on the bar
  • Swing on the monkey bars
  • Have a mixed grip
  • Use a towel to hang & change the grip
  • Wrap the towel around the bar or use Fat Gripz to make a thicker bar

Same principle applies to any bodyweight movement (especially push ups & handstands since they directly involve the writs)

It’s as simple as that: just change your grip & do a different variation of the exercise..it takes no time & will actually make things a lot more challenging & fun for you

I made this video the other day showing some simple pull & chin up variations so you can get some ideas from there:

And don’t think that because you are training different grips, that you will stop making gains on standard pull ups…quite the contrary will happen:

The more mobile & strong your wrists are the better & more control you will have of the bars

Personally for me making this change with pull ups, push ups & handstands has made a huge impact on my strength (especially when I walk side to side)…keeps my wrists healthy & less prone to injury

So next time you train pull ups, change your grip in order to keep your wrists healthy & strong!

Attack Life & Get Stronger

Luis Carrillo
http://BeastLifestyle.com

=====================
Recommended Resources
=====================

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

Bodyweight Bodybuilding – Gain Muscle, Reduce Pain & Revive your Energy with Just Bodyweight Training Alone (see my full experience with it here)

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

 

Ignoring Pain to Get Stronger!

dont give up quote

I just got done with a little sandbag workout & the whole time I was aware of my thoughts, emotions & pains that were happening

  • There were times when I was low in energy & my body wanted me to stop, but my mind knew to keep going
  • I was scraping some skin of my arms with the rough sandbag & my body told me “I am in pain, stop & take a break
  • I kept remembering all that I have been trough lately: all the emotional roller coasters, the muscle imbalances I have & the fact that I didn’t even warm up for this workout

My body was telling me: Your in Pain so STOP!

But My my mind simply ignored the body’s commands!

I knew these were only temporary discomforts & the more I kept pushing trough, the more I would simply stop caring about the pain

We all face these conversations when we train

Sometimes we are pumped up & everything goes great, but others we are constantly telling ourselves to keep going despite things getting hard

You have the ultimate power to stop or continue when things get tough, You are the only one in control of your decisions, thoughts & feelings

The more you keep pushing trough obstacles, the more normal they will seem & you will stop bitching every time something changes, something gets hard or anytime something makes you uncomfortable

Lately I’ve been reading a lot about how to develop a strong character, and the only way to do it, is to constantly face your fears & overcome them

To little by little, one day at time, win little battles with yourself & overcome hardships

  • Just like when your training to get bigger muscles: you got to constantly keep tearing your muscles down so they can come back up stronger & bigger
  • That is the same thing has to happen to strengthen the mind: you got to constantly overcome adversity in order to build up your mental toughness

It requires patience & discipline, but 1 year from now you will look back & smile at how much you have grown

Be grateful for the challenges, overcome them & kick ass!

A BIG part of this mindset is developed when you train, so become aware of your thoughts & don’t let temporary pains bring you down or make you stop

Keep Attacking Life & Get Stronger!

Luis Carrillo

P.S.  If you want a tough workout program that will challenge not only your body but your mind, check out Zach Even-Esh’s Underground Strength Manual