Get Stronger with the 54321 Method

54321 MethodGet strong. Then get stronger. Those are goals you can never go wrong with.

There are so many benefits to having a pure strength building focus with your workouts. For one, they’re fun!

When you focus entirely on doing a little better than you did the last workout and gradually strive to add more weight to the bar, you’ll likely look forward to each and every session.

This means you’ll anticipate your workouts and perform them consistently, and that is the magic recipe for achieving the results you’re after.

That’s just one of the main reasons women should strength train.

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5 Extreme Bodyweight Strength Exercises

alkI’m super excited to share this great guest post with you courtesy of Al Kavadlo the author of Pushing the Limits! Total Body Strength with No Equipment and Raising the Bar: The Definitive Guide to Bar Calisthenics.

In this article he’s going to share 5 advanced bodyweight strength exercises. If these are too advanced for you right now, then check out progressions for hip thrusts, pistols, push-ups, and handstand push-ups that will show you how to work your way from beginner to advanced variations.

Oh, and don’t think for a second that bodyweight exercises aren’t challenging or won’t help you build a better looking, stronger body. We’ve already busted those bodyweight workout myths.


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Two Tools for Healthier Elbows & Shoulders

Presses with Fat Gripz
Presses with Fat Gripz

If you have any nagging aches or pains in your elbows or shoulders, then pay attention. If you want to prevent aches or pains in your elbows and shoulders but still want to train hard and get results, then pay attention.

My goal with this article is to share with you two very affordable training tools I have been using in my training, and with my clients, to take unnecessary stress and strain off my elbows and shoulders while still allowing me to train hard and frequently.

Over the past few weeks I’ve increased the frequency of my training, and I started to notice my left elbow acting up; this happened in the past when I increased my training frequency so I was hardly surprised.

My left elbow started to feel achy. I believe my left elbow was affected not only because of the increase in training frequency, but also because I’m left handed and, therefore, use that arm for more daily tasks.

Two Great Tools

First, I should note that I was performing a lot of chin-ups (supinated, neutral, and pronated grips) and pressing with a straight bar when I noticed the dull ache in my left elbow. These movements, straight bar chin-ups and barbell pressing, can put a lot of stress on your elbows and shoulders because they are forced into a fixed position.

To understand what I mean, compare a barbell overhead press with a dumbbell overhead press. When you use dumbbells, you’re able to naturally rotate your hands, but with a barbell they are in a fixed position throughout the movement.

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A Day in the Life of Nia Shanks: Life

Training a Beautiful BadassToday is the third and final part of the mini-series A Day in the Life of Nia Shanks. In the first two parts I covered my current Training and Nutrition practices and goals. If you missed those, be sure to check them out.

Now that we are to the third and final part, I’ll be revealing to you what I do during my typical work days such as training clients, writing, playing, and maybe even a hidden talent.

I could write out a boring timeline for you on what I do from the second I wake up until I go to bed, but, that wouldn’t be very interesting. Instead I’ll share some videos with you and give you a glimpse of what I do on a daily basis.

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Have a Fun Workout Part 2

Zercher Squat with Sandbag

It was a breezy, blue sky Sunday afternoon with temperatures in the low 90s. We stood in the middle of a large park with soccer fields, hair being blown from the wind, my crazy dog running around with her tongue hanging from her mouth, and we stared at the toys we brought with us: three kettlebells and one 50 pound homemade sandbag.

Let the fun begin.

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Want to Save Time or Money? Try Bodyweight Training

handstand pushupBodyweight training – it has definitely become one of the latest crazes in the fitness industry. While some people call it a “fad”, I definitely think bodyweight training has it’s time and place to be used. Especially if you want to save time and/or money. (More on that in a second.)

I use a lot of bodyweight exercises in my own training (push-ups, inverted rows, parallel bar dips, chin-ups, just to name a few) and recommend you do as well. Push-ups, inverted rows and other bodyweight exercises provide benefits you can’t get from a barbell or dumbbell.

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Fat Burning Jump Rope Workout

By far one of my favorite workout tools is a jump rope. You can take it anywhere you go (that is one of the main reasons I love jump rope workouts), and it provides benefits beyond conditioning such as improving hand and eye coordination.

If you have never incorporated jumping rope in your workout routine, I highly suggest you give it a try. Here is the easiest way to incorporate the jump rope: replace it with your traditional cardio workouts.

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Upper Body Exercises You Could be Performing Incorrectly

Train for StrengthEvery day I step foot in the gym, I see people doing exercises incorrectly. (Or stupid exercises all together). Either they aren’t getting the most out of the exercise, or they are simply putting themselves in danger.

As a result of seeing many people (and numerous trainers) performing exercises incorrectly, I am going to make sure you are getting the most out of your workouts.

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Women Should Not be Afraid to Get Strong

If you’ve been reading my blog for anything length of time, I’m sure you knew this was coming eventually.

The truth of the matter is this: most women are terrified to lift anything remotely heavy because they are afraid they’ll be big and bulky. *Sigh*

I’ll start off by stating this fact. A woman I used to train competed in pageants. I’m not talking figure or bodybuilding pageants—think beauty pageants. She competed in the Mrs. Kentucky pageant and won. She later went on to place in the top 10 in the Mrs. Universe pageant.

I’m sure you know that women in those competitions are not big and bulky. They are lean, fit, and sexy.

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27 of the Best Weight Loss Exercises

I created a list with some of the best exercises for weight loss. Now while this is by no means an exhaustive list, you could simply only use these exercises and get amazing weight loss results.

If you don’t know how to perform an exercise, just leave a question below and I’ll help you out. Now, on to some of the best exercises for weight loss!

1) Back squats—this exercise needs no explanation or introduction. The squat has been known as the “king of all exercises” for great reason. Squats involve the majority of the body’s muscle mass and definitely build a great pair of legs. Squats are very beneficial for weight loss when performed with low reps and high reps. When in doubt, do squats!

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