Ten Simple Ways To Minimize Body Fat (Revisited)

In 2010, I wrote a very popular article called "Ten Simple Ways to Minimize Body Fat".

By popular, I mean someone I know actually quoted it once. And by quoted it once, I mean I sent that person the link and they read a few sentences in disgust before smashing their phone with a hammer and setting it on fire.

Regardless, it is time to brush the dust of this bad boy and provide you, my loyal readers, with a new and improved list of 10 Simple Ways to Minimize Body Fat.

I can only hope that it is as forgettable and unimpactful as the first version I wrote 6 years ago.

1. Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water per day - For example, drink 100 oz / day if you weigh 200lbs

2. Do not drink your calories - aside from Green Tea and Protein Shakes, water should be the only thing you drink. (If you are over 21, 1-2 glasses of red wine are acceptable. If that red wine is Merlot, you will be shamed mercilessly by friends, relatives, co-workers, and any bartender willing to serve it to you.)

3. Eat slowly - The faster you eat, the more you will eat before you realize you are full. A simple trick is to actually chew your food instead of swallowing it whole. It will allow you to do incredible things like taste what you are eating or talk to the person you are eating with.

In all seriousness, the simplest trick I can offer is to not take another bite of what you are eating until everything from your previous bite is completely out of your mouth. If you are really committed, you can put your fork down after every bite.

4. Eat a vegetable with every meal - Not only is this healthy for you, but it should also help fill you up more quickly so you don't eat too many other nasty things during your sitting.

5. Get 7-8 hours of sleep a day - believe it or not, but not sleeping enough will increase daytime cortisol levels and impair glucose control ... both of which can derail your efforts to lose fat.

Now you know why she was 8% body fat ..

6. Do not go to bed on an empty stomach - Not only will it slow down muscle growth and recovery, it could also impact the quality of your sleep to the point you wake up feeling exhausted. 

Your best bet is to have a small amount of slow digesting protein like turkey or chicken.

If whole foods are not available, consume a protein supplement that is mostly composed of casein protein as opposed to whey protein.

7. Build Muscle - At rest, muscle is believed to burn more than 2x the amount of calories than fat. If you are reading this blog, you probably don't need me to convince you to lift weights.

Just know that when I am forcing you to squat heavy, I am actually making you burn fat at the same time.


8. Avoid White Carbs - This includes bread, rice, pasta and cereal. If you need carbs for energy, I highly suggest getting those carbs from beans and vegetables. (See point #4)

9. Have 20 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up. Protein has a satiating effect and will prevent you from overeating throughout the rest of the day.

One of the simplest ways to get protein for breakfast is to have eggs. Below is a picture of what I have for breakfast almost every day.

If eggs are not an option in your life, another good alternative is a Biotrust Organic Protein Bar.

10. Cheat once a week ... and love every second of it. For me, this is the only real way to stay so dedicated to points 1-9. Knowing that I can have a glorious "Cheat Day" once a week gives me the will power to stay strong when everyone around me is having a bagel for Joe's birthday or a beer to commemorate some nonsense fantasy football draft. 

For those in fear that your cheat day will make you fat, fear not. It actually helps increase your leptin levels.

What is leptin?

That answer can be found in yet another popular, but unmemorable, article I wrote called "Cupcakes and Minimus".


Note: I am not a nutritionist nor am I even close to being ripped. I am simply sharing with you some tips that have helped me in my own personal life to keep off excessive body fat. If you are planning on making changes to your diet and lifestyle, I highly recommend you consult your physician.

The Pain of Discipline Versus the Pain of Regret

One of my athletes, Qadir Forbes, told me this phrase after our 5:15AM training session on Friday.
It came up while we were discussing what time he actually had to wake up to get there.

While almost all of our athletes live on the South Shore of Staten Island (which is where we train), this athlete lives in Canarsie, Brooklyn.

This means he has to get up before 3:30AM.

He would rather deal with "The Pain of Discipline" than "The Pain of Regret".

The discipline involves going to bed early, so he can wake up well rested at 3:30AM.
The discipline involves driving to SI and paying a toll on the Verrazzano which is almost $15.

What if he didn't do this?

What if he just trained on his own in Brooklyn?

What if he never got to make Advanced Training part of his DNA?

That would be "The Pain of Regret"
  • The regret of not being prepared for his college combines
  • The regret of watching his friends becoming more athletic and stronger than he is.
  • The regret of not meeting a great group of training partners.
  • The regret of having to watch the game from the side line.
  • The regret of never meeting his full potential.
That's why he gets up at 3:30AM.

He understands that the pain of regret is way worse than the pain of discipline.

Do you?

4 Minute Warm-Up

Here is a clip of a typical warm-up we do at Advanced Training.

You will notice a few things.
  1. It's short (~4 minutes)
  2. There are no static stretches
  3. It focuses on both mobility and function.

While I would normally cut music over a video this long, I decided to leave this one in its natural form.

I think a great deal can be learned from the coaching points being given to the athletes.

In case you were wondering, the athlete in this video is Dennis Heedles.
I also train his brother Eric, who is a WR for Suny Maritime.

He's famous too...

How NOT to get FAT on Thanksgiving

A few years ago, a buddy of mine and I made a bet to see who could gain the most weight over Thanksgiving Break.

Being the ultimate competitor, I decided to pack on a whopping 12 Pounds between the Thursday of Thanksgiving and the Sunday night of that week.

Even though I was the champ, it took me two months to get rid of the excess weight I gained.

In order to prevent you from making the same mistake I did, here are five tips to keep you from getting "fat" on Thanksgiving.

1. Exercise
Lift weights, sprint, do plyometrics, whatever... Just make sure you put yourself in a situation where your metabolism is amped up.

2. Drink Lots of Water
This will keep you from eating too much. Plus, being hydrated will help keep your body from packing on too much fat.

3. Eat Something Healthy Before Dinner
Going to your Aunt's house on Thanksgiving with an empty stomach is a bad idea. This will only make you eat like an animal once its time for dinner. Before you go to the party, try to fill up on some healthy food like fruits or vegetables.

4. Eat Plenty of Turkey
White meat or dark meat? Who cares? Its Thanksgiving. Load up on as much protein as you want. If you are really that concerned about which meat to eat off the turkey on Thanksgiving, you should probably not be reading this website.

5. Bring Your Own Dessert.
Not all dessert has to be horrible for you. There are plenty of protein bars or organic cookies you can slip into the party so you don't have to eat pumpkin pie all night.

If anyone has any other tips they would like to share, please post them in the comments section.

The World Must Be Changing

You can tell alot about the world simply by looking at what people watch on YouTube.
Videos that get the most hits usually involve some form of FAIL or social disaster.

In the "fitness" world, people usually watch videos of the bench press more than strongman training.
This correlates perfectly to the question people get in the real world (when they actually speak to each other) "What's Your Bench?".

We currently have 27 Advanced Training You Tube Videos.
As you can probably guess, the video with the most hits is of Billy Blanco bench pressing 330lbs.

That is until now....

A week after I wrote Death to the Squat, we now have a new leader in "hits".
Its the video of Lyle McCombs performing Mixed Isometric Back Squats.

While I hate using the squat as a means to test athletes, I do think that the Mixed Isometric Squat is a much more interesting movement than the barbell bench press.

Is the world changing?

Will people no longer use the bench press as the overall indicator of a man's strength?

Considering we only get a few hundred views per video on our humble YouTube Channel, the answer is probably no.

But it does make me feel better that in my small world people are starting to recognize what's important.

For those of you that are still on the "FAIL" bandwagon, enjoy.....

Death to the Squat?

Before anyone loses their mind, please understand that I really do like the squat.

I just hate coaching it while we test for Power Points at Advanced Training

Starting today, we will no longer use the Squat as one of our three main indicators.


Its very hard for our athletes to differentiate between guys who are cheating (not getting deep enough) and guys with flexibility issues (can't get deep enough).

Since our guys are so competitive, this becomes a very big deal when it comes to Power Points   Ratings.

Enclosed is a good example of this situation.

"Technically" the athlete should go deeper on his squat.

Unfortunately, he has some mobility issues in his ankles that are preventing him from getting to the desired depth (bucket level) without risking injury.

Is the athlete a "cheater"?

Absolutely not.

He is actually an animal.

Having said that, I am pretty sure there is only a small percentage of people out there who could actually move 430lbs x 6 on the back squat (even if they "only" went as deep as he did).

You Forgot to Add the Other Weight

"Hey buddy, you forgot to add the other weight"

This is what I heard from people when I first started experimenting with "Chaos" movements.
At first, it really irritated me.

I wasn't irritated because they were telling me, I was irritated because they were telling me while I was in the middle of my set.

Do you know how hard it is to perform a Chaos Overhead Lunge with 45lbs on only one side of the barbell, and carry on a conversation at the same time?

In order to prevent some future questions, especially while I am executing my set, I am going to do my best to explain "Chaos" movements and why I "forgot to add the other weight".

I picked up the concept of "Chaos" Training from the Diesel Crew.

To keep it very simple, the overall concept is to build a bridge between traditional structured movements that happen in the gym and the random movements that happen during sports.

These random movements often put us in uncompromising positions that our bodies may not be able to handle.

"Chaos Training" is a method used to train our bodies to overcome those uncompromising positions. It actually forces the body to work in multiple planes of motion versus just up and down or left and right.

Lets take the "Chaos" Lunge as an example.

Imagine you are a running back hitting a hole, and as you plant your foot in the ground, a linebacker hits you from the side.

What do you think will prepare you better to adjust to that hit?

A traditional lunge where you just move forward and backward ....

or a "Chaos" lunge where you are moving forward and backward
and you have to stabilize your body from falling over because you only have weight on one side of the bar.

I am sure the answer is pretty clear.

I want to use this forum to once again thank the Diesel Crew for developing the "Chaos" Training manual.
It has certainly added a new element to Advanced Training.

As we move forward, I will continue to post more clips of our group performing such movements.

For those of you that missed it last time, here is a clip of a "Chaos" Overhead Lunge.

What Kind of Exercises Do You Do?

If you ask anyone in our program to tell you what type of exercises we do at Advanced Training, they would have a pretty hard time telling you.


Well, could you easily explain something like this? .....

How Do You Compare?

People keep asking me, "What are Power Points?"

To put it simply, Power Points are the way Advanced Training measures your overall training level.

The Power Point number is derived from your bench, squat, and pull-up max.
The higher your max, the higher your Power Points.

Why do we use the bench, squat, and pull-up max to determine power points?

There are actually a few reasons.
  1. I wanted to look at the athlete from every angle (Bench - Upper Body Focus; Squat - Lower Body Focus; Pull-Ups - Relative Body Strength)
  2. I wanted to level the playing field between the big athletes and the small athletes. In our system, doing 40 pull-ups is as good as benching 400 pounds.
  3. I wanted to separate the Good from the Great. The Good only excel at 1 or 2 of the lifts. The Great excel at all 3.
    • For example, the good bench 300+, but can only do 10 pull-ups. The great bench 300+ and do 25+ pull-ups.
Enclosed is a list of the Top 10 All-Time Power Point Holders of Advanced Training.

How do you compare?

(Max Numbers for Bench and Squat Based off of Theoretical 5-Rep Max)

Pull Ups
Power Points

Its the Small Things that Matter

Being a member of Advanced Training is more than moving weight, conditioning, and taking your game to the next level.

Its also about building relationships, making connections, and making the world around you better.

In 2010, some things happened that made me proud to be a member of Advanced Training. Some of the things were very little things, but its the little things that count the most.

Its the little things that make Advanced Training different from other programs. Its the reason the program has remained so strong. Its the reason the guys keep coming back.

Here is a short list of those things:
  • Dom Martelle woke up alittle earlier 3x a week to drive John Pallis to 5AM workouts. At that time in the morning, every second of sleep matters.
  • Billy Blanco drove back to the gym on his day of to get Coach Mahoney's shake mixer. He then drove it to my house so I could have it for my next lift.
  • Billy Blanco got a jump stretch band to help him stretch out his lats (which were like bricks).
  • The Igneri brothers got sponsored so they could start a Flag Football Team.
  • Drew Olsen brought Gary Fiore a training program to help him prep for college tryouts at his new school.
  • Drew Olsen brought the entire Advanced Training Team lacrosse balls.
  • Chris Igneri filmed the entire Strongman Competition.
Like I said, the list is small.

But its the small things that matter.