Special for IWT: Live Q&A on fitness from master trainers (right now)

Ramit Sethi

The short version: My friends, master personal trainers John Romaniello and Adam Bornstein, are doing an AMA (Ask Me Anything) where they’ll answer your fitness questions — free — for the next hour. It starts at 2:00pm Eastern – today.

* * *

If you’ve been reading, you know that in the past few years, I went from a skinny Indian dude a somewhat-normal-looking person by working out and intentionally gaining 40lbs. Investing in my health has been one of my best investments ever.

Quiz: What is your earning potential? Choose the answer you agree with the most
View Results

One of the things I like to do for IWT readers is give you access to the cool sites and books I come across. And once in awhile, I like to open up my personal network to hook you up — free, just because I like you guys.

So today, two of my buddies, master personal trainers John Romaniello and Adam Bornstein, are doing an AMA for my readers.

AMA = Ask Me Anything, so if you have any fitness questions, you can get free access to them for an hour. If you’ve been trying to lose those last 10 lbs…or wondering what else to do besides the boring treadmill…or if you’ve at plateaued at 225 on the bench…John & Adam can help you.

bookcoverThey have a new book coming out: Man 2.0 Engineering the Alpha: A Real World Guide to an Unreal Life: Build More Muscle. Burn More Fat. Have More Sex. (The foreword is written by Arnold Schwarzenegger!) Before this goes live and they go on an insane media tour, I wanted to give you guys the chance to get personalized advice from them.

All free. No catch. It’s just my way of saying thank you for reading IWT and always aiming for a richer life.

The details:

  • John and Adam’s AMA starts at 2:00pm Eastern
  • Submit your fitness questions via the comments on this blog post
  • John and Adam will answer as many of your questions as possible.
  • Refresh your window to see the answers.

Thanks for reading!

*  *  *  *  *

UPDATE: The AMA is now over. You can read all the questions and answers below. To learn more about John and Adam and their new book, check out the links above.


Do you know your actual earning potential?

Get started with the Earning Potential quiz. Get a custom report based on your unique strengths, and discover how to start making extra money — in as little as an hour.

Start The Quiz

Takes 3 min


  1. Brady Johnson

    Like Ramit, I’m a skinny college guy looking to gain muscle. The weight room is daunting, though. What’s the best way to learn how to properly use machines?

    Also, what’s the short version on your advice to help a skinny guy gain muscle?

    • Daniel

      the book/DVD ‘Starting Strength’ is excellent on how to do compound lifts, which are much better than isolation machine exercises.

    • John Romaniello

      Hey everyone! Wow – looks like we got started a little early =) Sorry to keep you waiting.

      So, quick intro: my name is John Romaniello, but most people call me Roman. I’m a NYC based coach and writer, but also a serial entrepreneur and angel investor.

      I’ve been in the fitness industry for 12 year, written hundreds of articles in dozens of magazines, serve on a ton of advisory boards, and now have a new book.

      With that said, I’ll jump in to your questions!

    • John Romaniello

      Hey Brady, thanks for the question.

      As Daniel mention, Starting Strength is a good place to look.

      In terms of learning what to do: generally we advise that people use free weights. You can learn form from a variety of book and websites–even youtube! Having said that, I think the best way to learn technical lifts is to hire a coach to show you.

      As for tips to gain muscle: start tracking calories and macros. chances are you’re not eating enough!

      good luck =)

  2. Brian Nash

    If I want to be strong, are calisthenics enough?

    • John Romaniello

      Hey Brian. Depends on what you mean by “calisthenics” – if you mean jumping jacks, probably not.

      That said, if you’re willing to learn some complex exercise, then absolutely. Keep in mind, gymnasts are some of the most in shape guys around, and have incredibly high relative strength–and they pretty much only do bodyweight exercise.

      There are a lot of great sites around. I like

  3. Ryan

    Hi, what are some really good lower ab work outs?? I currently do crunches, planks, and medicine ball side to side. I have great definition on the top and sides of my abs but I can’t seem to get the focus on my lower abs.

    • Jennifer

      I’m with Ryan on this question. I had a baby more than two years ago and have been struggling to get by stomach flat again. I have definition everywhere except in my bellybutton region. I know foods also play a part, so could you also point to a good reference on what to eat for flat abs?

    • John Romaniello

      Hey Ryan,

      That’s an interesting question. Chances are, it’s NOT whatever you’re doing (or not doing) in the gym.

      You see, when you have trouble losing the last few pounds, particularly in a specific area, it’s generally a hormonal issue.

      In the case of lower belly fat, we’re taking about a hormone called cortisol; commonly called the stress hormone. When you have high cortisol, it manifests itself in the storage of fat in the lower belly.

      So, we need to address cortisol — ways to do this:

      1) perform workouts that increase growth hormone (google!)
      2) get more sleep
      3) practice yoga and meditation

      Hope that helps!

    • Jina

      Hey Jennifer, have you been checked for diastasis recti? It’s a separation of the ab muscles that occurs during pregnancy, and some ab exercises like crunches make it worse. I’m not an expert or anything, just a woman who had a couple kids.

    • Will

      Two things come to mind–how long ago did you progress your routine, for example, advance the level difficulty?
      If that recommendation doesn’t give you what you want, then you might find the missing component in your diet or adjusting a component in your overall lifestyle.

    • Will

      Sorry Ryan. My response didn’t thread under your question.

      Two things come to mind–how long ago did you progress your routine, for example, advance the level difficulty?
      If that recommendation doesn’t give you what you want, then you might find the missing component in your diet or adjusting a component in your overall lifestyle.

  4. Lydia

    Question: What, in your opinions, is the best way to get ‘beach-season’ ready? Also, what is the easiest way to maintain a great summer physique and workouts without significantly cutting into free time (ie not working out two hours a day, every day). I don’t need to lose weight, I only want to get extra-toned for short shorts and swimsuit weather. Thanks!

    • John Romaniello

      Hey Lydia,

      The best way to get “toned” is generally to lift heavy weights. Tone, or the look of a “hard” physique is the result of residual tension in a resting muscle.

      So, you want to increase something called “myogenic muscle tone.” To do this, lifting heavy weights is the way to go. Generally, 5 reps and under.

      A fantastic resource for women looking to do this is:

      Coach Neghar has one of the best blogs around for women’s fitness.

  5. Willow

    What’s your best tip for WOMEN looking to burn fat, increase lean muscle and drop the last 10-15 lbs?!

    • Anna

      I second this question! I’ve always been skinny to average as far as weight goes, but since my late 20s I’ve had to actually watch what I eat and now I feel like I can’t lose 5-10 lbs to save my life. I look fine now, but I want to look awesome, to have more definition and less butt fat, in essence. Advice?

    • John Romaniello

      Hey ladies!

      Generally, women need to worry a bit more about estrogen, so performing workouts that increase testosterone (don’t worry, this is a good thing!) is very effective.

      We’ve found that workouts that focus on something called “training density” (the amount of work you do in a given time), the more you’ll achieve results.

      I wrote a blog about this here:

      As I mentioned above, also check out for information on female fat loss.

  6. Alberto Artasanchez

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for doing this. I recently lost 30 lbs. in a few months quickly about six months ago. I have been able to keep it off. My problem is those last stubborn 5 or 10 pounds that hide the six pack. How do I break through past this barrier? I think I am still making progress but it is now glacial. Thanks for your time.

    • John Romaniello

      Hey Alberto – have you tried tracking your calories and macros?

  7. Bonnie

    There’s so many fad diets out there, no carb, fat free yada yada… What’s the healthiest option for optimal weight loss? I’ve been going to the gym 3-4x a week, both lifting and intense cardio (zumba & cycling) I’m trying to lose those last 10-15 vanity pounds, not drop 3 pant sizes lol

    • John Romaniello

      Hey Bonnie,

      Good question.

      The “best” option is the one you can live with, long term. For some people, the paleo diet (which is fantastic, objectively) is too hard to maintain; others, though, get life changing results. Same with something like veganism, which is pretty much the polar opposite of paleo.

      For me, it’s a combination of low carb and high protein, eating in accordance with the principles of intermittent fasting (I fast for about 16-20 hours out of every day). I also have 1 cheat day per week.

      This works for me and for hundreds of my clients.

      So, I would say:

      pick a diet–ANY diet–and follow it to the letter for 6 weeks. If you feel like you can keep doing it long term, stay on it. If not, try something else.

      You just need to find what works for you.

      PS: for information on fasting, check out these posts

  8. Jason Redd

    What is the most appropriate balance of cardio and weightlifting for weight loss? How long and how many visits per week?

    • John Romaniello

      Hey Jason,

      Great question.

      we find that for men, training with weights 4 days per week and doing cardio twice per week is great.

      The weight training should be about 45-60 min, and the cardio should ideally be high intensity sprints.

  9. Will

    What are some of the best things to do to get a good beach body by the summer? I’m in pretty good shape, but I’d like to get my abdominal muscles more defined. What exercises and what foods?

    I currently run 4-5 times a week and try to get to the gym twice a week or so, where I usually do plyometric exercises and sometimes go swimming. As of yesterday, I’ve started to track my food intake again to try to count calories. I try to eat healthy in general but have given thought to becoming a pescatarian.

  10. Matt Staton

    What helps a person lose weight or exercise? (I know both is ideal)

    • John Romaniello

      There’s a well known expression in the fitness industry: “abs are made in the kitchen.”

      Equally applicable: “you can’t out train a bad diet.”

      Diet is about 75% of the game.

  11. Gillian

    I’m with willow! I’ve lost 25 lbs but the last 10 don’t wanna go…any suggestions to jump start?

    • John Romaniello

      Another great question! Thanks, Gillian.

      I wrote about this here –

      Speaking generally, you need to get your hormonal environment sorted.

  12. Sandra

    While I know you can’t do spot reduction through exercise/diet, is there something that can be done to slim/tone your lower body (e.g., thighs, hips, saddlebags)?

    • John Romaniello

      Hey Sandra,

      This is what’s called hormonally-influenced fat storage. In the case of lower body fat, it’s estrogen.

      I wrote about this here:

      that article will give you some insight!

  13. Jeremy Meyer

    What is the best way to get toned abs?

  14. Alice

    I’m 36 & have lost about 100 lbs over the last year with lots of time in the gym & totally changing how I eat. But I’ve been left with a lot of flab on upper arms, thighs & abs. I do lots of work on triceps, quads/hams & core – typically lots of reps with low weight, as well as MMA training – but have kept my significant layer of flub. Any advice for hardcore toning for these areas given my circumstances?

    Thank you!

  15. Sean

    Ramit recorded a video with Tim Ferris where Tim mentioned it’s important to have a certain amount of protein within the first hour of waking up. Why is it important to eat protein within this time frame?

    • Liam

      Would love to know the answer to this question!

    • John Romaniello

      This recommendation is really for people with a lot of weight to lose )30+ pounds). The reason it works is that it helps stabilize insulin levels, which is essential for weight loss, and generally a problem in heavier people.

      Anyone just trying to lose the last 10 pounds can skip breakfast and practice fasting.

  16. Omer Kamal

    How do I balance cardio and gaining muscle/mass? I have been focusing on gaining muscle/mass but I don’t like that I have lost of my cardio fitness ability.

    • John Romaniello

      Great question! I talk about this a lot.

      It’s important that you maintain a decent level of conditioning when you’re gaining muscle. Not only is it great for overall health, but it will stay lean.

      So, the key is to find the balance that will allow you to stay lean without inhibiting muscle gains.

      For most people, I would say this is 1 session of sprints per week, and 1 bout of variable intensity cardio of about 20 min per week.

  17. James Levitt

    80/20 rule for gaining weight points towards fixing diet over perfecting exercise. As a 20 year old, 5’4″, 120lbs, I’m trying to gain muscle mass (specifically upper body).

    How can I tailor a diet that leads to gaining about 15 lbs of weight? Any online tools or outlines you suggest would be great.

    • Chris Bell

      I’m in the same boat–on the road to gaining about 15lbs of weight.

      My issue is that when I eat, I get full very easily. I know that I need to eat about 2x as much as I’m eating now, but it’s difficult to “stuff” myself…

      I suspect the answer = preparing healthy snacks and leaving them everywhere around the house, at work, etc. and eating consistently rather than 3-4 meals, which is what I’m doing now.

      Any tips on how to pack in the extra calories?

    • John Romaniello

      James – easiest thing is to start recording your foods, both calories and macros. If you’re eating enough to grow (I have some calorie formulas here: then focus on eating nutrient dense foods.

      @Chris Bell – try drinking more calories. Easiest way to get more!

  18. Ivan De Leon

    what do you thing about coconut oil, is healthy? Which are other healhty oil?

    • John Romaniello

      Coconut is one of the best. Olive is good. Must nut butters (walnut oil, etc) are good.

  19. david

    I’d like to get more involved in Olympic lifting. It appears to be a weightlifting exercise that would be good for you no matter what sport you are in (especially grappling). How do I find a qualified instructor for it to learn the proper technique?

    If I am moderately strong from sport but don’t weight lift heavily, what type of results could I expected to see in 3 months from a spending about 6 hours a week weight lifting (e.g., 4 1.5 hour weight lifting sessions?)

    • John Romaniello

      Hey, great question.

      You’re absolutely correct – Oly will help you with pretty much anything. For instructors, you’d definitely want to find people who are certified by the USAW, which is a body for oly lifting.

      If someone has a USAW, NSCA and RKC (kettlebells are close to oly), they’re a good start.

      Why don’t you want to lift heavy, if I may ask?

    • david

      Oops, I do lift heavy. I missed a word. “but don’t weight lift heavily frequently*”

      I maybe just weight lift heavy once or twice a week at this point, with 3-4 two hour sessions of sport activity, and a yoga class to help with old injuries and sitting at a desk.

  20. Alberto Artasanchez

    BTW, I am working out about 8 times a week, with a combination of running, swimming, boxing and weights (2 a week each).

  21. Anastasia

    Hi, there.

    I’m not looking to build muscle but want to feel energized and light on my feet. I’ve been flip-flopping between a raw, vegetable-based diet with protein shakes and a paleo diet, but haven’t done either long enough to see what works best for me.

    Do you have recommendations on nutrition (considering it’s complemented by an active lifestyle) for a lean figure and natural energy that doesn’t depend on caffeine?


    • John Romaniello

      Hey Anastasia,

      Honestly “everything works” is my mantra. I’ve done Paleo, vegan, fasting, backloading–you name it.

      As long as you stick with it for a month, it will work for you.

      The key is to find what works FOR YOU – so, I would say start with the paleo diet and STICK WITH IT aggressively for 6-8 weeks. From there, test a few other things.

  22. Kathy

    John, Adam,
    What type of safe exercises are there for pregnant women?
    Thanks so much!

  23. Sumit

    I have been talking with trainers from last 2 years or so, and i feel that the calorie concept is very flawed. How can you generalize that 3500 calories burnt = 1lb weight loss. Still i have been working out with this in mind and the numbers dont add up for me and many others. What’s the best method to forecast the weight loss vs the work out? Is there any other theory?
    Please share your views.

    • Cameron Reese

      Hi Sumit,

      The best way to forecast weight loss per work out is hands down by measure of the heart rate. If you really want to know, get a quality heart rate monitor, the kind that strap around the chest and connect to a dedicated watch. Most of the fitness bands are better for taking your rest heart rate and counting steps — and they lose accuracy as heart rate/intensity increases. You can use this information to calculate your total calories burned. Compare this to information such as weight lost, food intake/macros, etc. and you can get a really good idea of how active your metabolism is.


  24. Patrick

    Hey guys, do you have any suggestions for bulking with acid reflux? Unfortunately, fatty and high calorie meals seem to set mine off pretty badly. Do I just have to suck it up and buy a Costco sized container of Zantac? Much appreciated!

  25. Steve

    Leangains. It’s worked well for me in terms of getting and staying lean, however, I’m about ready to start trying to add muscle through a slow bulk. Do you have experience with Leangains and can you vouch for the slow bulk philosophy using it?

    • Chris Bell


    • John Romaniello

      Martin is a smart guy, and LG is fantastic. I’m not personally a “slow bulk” guy, because I am an instant gratification person myself. His approach is fantastic and will help get you to the same place, but will take a bit longer.

      I like 4 week periods of more aggressive bulking.

      That said, since you mentioned slow bulk it sounds like thats the route you want to go. So: two thumbs up

  26. Jeanie

    What kind of fitness activities would you recommend for improving your sex life?

  27. A V

    For men, what’s the best (or most effective) way to lose the last 5-10 pounds? To lean out, achieve ~sub 10% bodyfat and get a six-pack? While maintaining muscle mass.

  28. Tiya

    I have lower back pain from a variety of jobs. What exercises strengthen your lower back and give you better posture?

  29. George

    How do I find and assess how good a personal trainer is?

    • John Romaniello

      Referral is a good way to go about it. Great question.

      Certifications only tell part of the story!

  30. Sean

    There are lots of studies being published on meditation. Is meditation something either of you [and/ or Ramit] have found to be beneficial?

  31. Carl

    Can you go from skinny to ripped by just doing bodyweight exercises at home, or using minimal equipment like, let’s say an adjustable kettlebell? What are the 20% exercises (and schedule) that gives me 80% of the result?

  32. Aaron Biller

    Is there truth to the talk about not WHAT you eat, but WHEN you eat it? For example, exercising in the morning and eating slow-burning carbs to boost metabolism and keep energy up, then staying away from carbs at the end of the day?

  33. Ellie

    I was told 1200 calories is what a female should eat to lose weight, but it does not seem to be making a difference over the long term. Does it matter more what those 1200 calories comprised of?

    • Stevie

      1200 kcal is the average minimum you should be eating if you’re a woman – this doesn’t take into account activity level, your height or your weight. It is not necessarily the magic number for weight loss.

      1200 is not that much especially if you’re taller, more active, or weigh more!

    • John Romaniello

      I disagree with this completely. It’s too arbitrary. SOME women would do well on 1200. Not all.

      Keep in mind, a woman who is 5’8” and 150 pounds is not heavy. She would need more than that to maintain her (healthy) weight.

      A woman at 5’1” and 150 would be able to get by on 1200 to lose weight.

      It depends on the woman.

      To determine how many calories YOU need to be eating, check this out:

  34. Sami

    Hi guys,

    Is only bodyweight training (basic routine of a few sets of different exercises) 3 times a week enough to maintain muscle mass or even add muscle mass?


    • John Romaniello

      I love this idea. I have a lot of stuff on BW training on my blog if you’re looking for some ideas.

  35. Naveen

    It’s been a bit over a year since I was working out regularly (cardio only).

    I work from my home office and set my own hours.

    Instead of approaching my return to exercise haphazardly, what strategies would you recommend to lose 10% (20 lbs) of weight in a realistic and sustainable manner? Specifically, what should I study? Who should I employ or who else should I speak to next?

  36. David B

    A lot of people look at images of fit people and think its impossible to get to look ripped/lean/large,etc without eating like a body builder. Being a pretty naturally lean guy myself, how do I actually gain weight and just get bigger without losing my lean-ness.

    • John Romaniello

      The simple answer is, you have to eat enough to grow, but not enough to gain fat.

      Check this post for calculations:

      As a naturally lean guy, you won’t have to worry too much.

  37. Mike

    Hi guys,

    What’s the best exercise pairing for losing weight? I’ve been looking into complexes and wondered what you’d recommend.

    Thanks for your great work.

    • John Romaniello

      There’s no “best” but fast-paced metabolic circuits are fantastic. Complexes fall under that category.

  38. Guled

    John and Adam,

    I have a two part question.
    First part is whats the most efficient way to boost your testostorone without drugs?
    Second is I have plateaued on my pressing excersizes (benching, overhead press), whilst the rest of lifts are consistently increasing (deadlift, squat). Any idea as to why I cannot improve my pressing excersizes?


    • John Romaniello

      Hi Guled,

      Increasing testosterone is pretty much EXACTLY what our book is about.

      Some strategies:

      1) eat more (healthy) fat
      2) lift heavier
      3) get A LOT more sleep.

  39. Sarah

    Hello! I’m a female and I keep losing/gaining the same 5-7 lbs over and over again. How do I keep them off? I usually work out 3x a week and do about 2 mi of cardio on the treadmill intermittently walking/running, a few weights (but I don’t really know what I’m doing?) and I try hard to eat healthy, but I get really hungry after my workouts and tend to blow it calorie-wise!

    Also, if you have advice about how women can tone their upper arms to get rid of that pesky lady arm fat, I would love that.

  40. Marc

    I’ve read that you can build strength/power *or* endurance but not both. One usually comes at the cost of the other.

    I’ve been strength training for the last 10 years and have been practicing Martial Arts for close to 2.

    Can I up my endurance without sacrificing my strength to last longer when sparring but still be just as strong/powerful?

    • Michael

      Been wondering the same thing for a while.

  41. Jessie

    I’ve plateaued at 3×135 lbs on the bench press. What can I do to break through and keep progressing.

    • John Romaniello

      Try working with negatives – basically, load up the bar with 145 or 155. Have a spotter lift it, then you slowly lower it under control.

      will help you get stronger.

  42. Jay

    I’ve low testostrone and suffer from non alcoholic fatty liver . Whats the best way to acquire Alpha body for me?

  43. Stevie

    Thanks for doing an AMA, it’s so awesome to get access to some of Ramit’s most trusted sources for fitness!

    I started lifting heavy with squats and deadlifts, among others, a few months ago, but have always felt that my hamstrings are constantly tight and not activating in the squat – I’m always sore in my quads but never in my glutes or hamstrings!

    What are the best exercises for strengthing your glutes and hamstrings if I am sitting most of the day? (if it matters, I’m 22 and a lady)

    • Megan

      Hi Stevie, I had this same issue; I found that if I press through the “up” motion of the squat with my heels (instead of whole foot), my hamstrings really activated. And for both deadlifts and squats, if you take an extra three seconds at the top to squeeze the hell out of your glutes, you’ll definitely feel it the next day.
      (Just a couple of things that worked for me)

    • John Romaniello

      Great tip from Megan. I approve!

  44. Matt

    Hi 2 questions

    Im 40 have an office job and want to drop 30 lbs. I’ve tried following a lower carb diet but lunch is my sticking point. I don’t have access to a microwave and salads with meat just don’t make me feel satisfied. Any suggestions for a tasty low carb lunch?

    I have a recent bicep and long term shoulder injury which means I’m only doing pump style bodybuilder training. It’s giving ok results but I’m weak for my size. My goal is a lean compact physique. Will this help me achieve this?



  45. Sam

    Question: What is the best way to build stamina/endurance if running is out of the question?

    • John Romaniello

      Lots of things – jump rope, bike, rowing. Tons of options. Even metabolic based lifting will help.

  46. david

    What are some of the biggest time wasters in the gym (e.g., machines, crunches, etc.)?

    What are some of the best exercises in terms of overall body strength (e.g., cleans? squats?)

    Is there any equipment you think any ‘serious’ athlete should not go home without (e.g., heart rate monitor, stop watch for timing between lifts, notebook to track progress?)

    When should you “quit” working out and call it the day when you are lifting and everything just sucks, or should you just grit your teeth, push through it, and do the work?

    How much time a week do you feel is really necessary lifting to see significant strength gains? What exercises would you recommend?

    Can you provide insight into periodicity of strength training and explosiveness, e.g., how does periodicity work, when should we use it, how do we time our peak, when should we lift heavy and wear ourselves down, and then when should we scale back for competitions (but still maintain our strength)?

    How much rest time is truly necessary between weight lifting sessions?

  47. Allison

    Hi John and Adam!

    What’s the best way for young women to lose arm fat? I used to be a swimmer and rower and had strong biceps. In the last 5 years most of that muscle has turned to fat and my arms look bigger than ever. I’d be up for lifting weights, but am worried that would only make my arms bigger..?


    • Jen

      Lifting weight is the answer, and it won’t make your arms bigger, honestly. Just search online and you’ll learn that “getting bigger” from weights is a complete myth when it comes to us women, mostly because we don’t have testosterone 🙂 I’ve lost over an inch around my arms (combined) from weightlifting/Crossfit alone.

  48. Brian

    My fitness goals are pretty modest:

    1) Don’t die early
    2) Look passably fit (I shouldn’t be taken for fat, but I don’t need to be trim or buff, either)
    3) Achieve (1) and (2) without major lifestyle changes, major time commitments, or giving up all the tasty food I love (I love my carbs and sugars, not so big on the vegetables and salads).

    So far I’m achieving these goals through loose calorie tracking and a token fitness regimen, but I’m not sure I’m getting the most bang for my buck out of my approach. What would you say is the most efficient way to achieve my goals?

    • John Romaniello

      Actually, if you don’t want to make a lot of lifestyle changes, I’d say you’re on point.

      You could try for something a bit more dedicated than a “token” regimen, which i think would improve results.

      Lots of bang for your buck with a dedicated program.

  49. Mike

    I play competitive volleyball tournaments and have a question about warmups – what’s the quickest mobility warmup you know of?

    Usually there’s not much time between games – and no foam roller!

    • John Romaniello

      You could try this warm up – would be pretty effective

  50. Daniel

    Can you please describe how you use supplements in conjunction with your workouts and meals? your thoughts on the following supplements would be especially helpful:
    Whey protein

    Also, any suggestions on how to optimize sleep and other recovery time?

  51. Patrick

    Hi All!

    I am trying to design some triggers and rewards to build some habits to get me going to the gym/running more consistently.

    What are some triggers and rewards you or your clients have used successfully to create good exercise habits?

    Many thanks in advance! Looking forward to the “Engineering the Alpha” book.


    • Chris Bell

      Really interested in your take(s) on this… Ramit did an interview recently with behavioral-change guru BJ Fogg, and BJ mentioned that rewarding yourself after you do something is key to creating new habits.

    • John Romaniello

      I was going to reference the same interview

  52. Danny Lamas

    I’m a huge fan of Tim Ferriss’ work and have followed a lot of his core principles & body ‘hacks’ with varying but mostly very successful results. What are the strongest areas of agreement in your philosophies, and are there any interesting / curious points where you guys diverge or disagree with Ferriss? Thank you look forward to reading the book!!

    • Chris Bell

      Really interested in this question as well. Thanks!

    • John Romaniello

      I agree with Tim on most points. I would say a lot of people can skip breakfast instead of doing his 30/30, but that’s really it.

    • Maria

      me too.

  53. Louis

    I’m looking to put on more muscle and at the same time drop 5-10lbs. Is that a complete oxymoron? I know the real goal is the look I’m trying to get not the number on the scale… Do you suggest high-weight low-rep workouts (a la Tim Ferris 4-hr body) for quick muscle gain?

  54. CK

    What is the best way for a former personal trainer
    (who was inactive for a few years due to an injury)
    get strong again and get in shape?
    She went from super sets starting at lifting 30lbs for bicep curls
    and 200 for legs (smith-like machine with padded shoulder rests)
    only 15 lbs for curls and 120 legs max before muscle failure sets in.
    Building muscle is not occurring as easily as it did
    3 years ago, pre-injury.
    Other than animal nitro,
    (and of course eating, healthy, lean protein, lots of veggies and
    whole grains (lean protein and healthy carbs pre and post workout)…

    What is the best way for a naturally lean female to build muscle
    (not too much muscle, but more than “toned definition” which
    is where this client got herself back to on her own before
    seeking out a trainer)

  55. Bob

    Hi John and Adam,
    Great to have you and thanks for your time.
    With a 8-5(+2 for commuting) ‘sitting-in-front-of-a-computer’ job, expectant dad-to-be, food lover – I find it hard to integrate fitness into my daily grind. What suggestions do you have for me? I used to lift weights and run, but all that has changed in the last 5 years.

    I am a 34 yo,5’11”, 240 lbs(Big boned) – My doc gave me a clean chit when I did my annual physical this Jan. I’d like to keep it that way ~

    Best, Bob

  56. Ares


    I am a female college student who is in good shape. What are the best ways to work out to keep my body weight and muscle tone at the very happy medium they are currently on?
    Thank you so much for doing this!


  57. David

    What do you think of Al Sears P.A.C.E. training? Effective at getting fit and loosing weight when used with a slow/no carb diet?

    • John Romaniello

      It can be effective for sure.

  58. Jessie

    I’m a night owl and it is very difficult for me to wake up early. Even when I do, my energy levels are low. The only other time for me to lift weights would be at night, right before going to bed. Is it true that you shouldn’t work out 3 hours before bedtime? Should I force myself to get used to waking up early, or can I work out before bed without any issues?

  59. Abhi

    Hey guys!

    Judging by your cover, I would say you advocate total body heavy lifting with compound exercises in order to increase testosterone and HGH levels. This is my current lifting philosophy.

    I wanted to hear your opinion on what constitutes an appropriate muscle building diet for my style of training. I am currently on a modified version of Paleo ( still have kefir milk and the occasional beer). However, I’m not sure that the fruits I eat give me enough carbohydrates.

    Would love to hear your thoughts.

    • John Romaniello

      that is basically the approach.

      As for diet:

      I would say higher in carbs is better for muscle gain. white rice is the way to go. (robb wolf agrees with me on this point, btw)

  60. Sierra

    I’ve been told not to do that same exercises everyday and work out different muscle groups everyday? what are good sites to find exercises for women?

    • John Romaniello

      Hey Sierra,

      depending on the way your program is set up, you’d want between 24-48 hours between workouts, especially for the same muscles.

      As for how women should train – I write a piece about this here:

  61. Lauren

    Hi guys! I’ve heard a lot of different things on the subject of timing when you eat certain food groups. Ex. it’s better to eat more of your carbs during the day (healthy carbs meaning sweet potatoes, quinoa, whole wheat pastas/breads, brown rice, etc…as well as simple carbs in fruits) if you are trying to lose weight vs. eating them at night for dinner. Or eating protein/alkalizing drinks first thing in the morning is best to rev your metabolism. Is any of this true? Or is it simply a balance of protein/healthy carbs/lots of green veggies that is best for losing weight? Thanks!

  62. Melissa

    Is white bread evil?

    If so what other type of bread should I switch to? Wheat? Whole grain? Is there a difference between these two?

    • John Romaniello

      White bread is pretty terrible. Even as a “cheat” food, it’s hard to justify. Ezekiel bread is the best choice!

  63. Liv

    What are your fit female clients doing differently from non-fit women?

  64. Alf

    I follow the workout part to a T (going hard, resting fully) on a weekly basis, but dieting and gaining mass is really hard when you don’t have the budget for it. Animal protein is limited to canned tuna and eggs (budget can’t afford other types of meat), and I eat a lot of yams. I stay away from grains and cereals because of celiac disease and dairy because of lactose intolerance.

    What other money-saving foods do you recommend that I should eat given my limited choices? And what’s a basic math formula to calculate daily caloric/protein intake for gaining mass? Thank you in advance.

  65. Jane

    Hi guys. Over the past 6 months, after a move to a new state, new job and some other life stresses I have fallen “off the wagon” of good habits & gained about 8 lbs. I have been hauling my butt to the gym to try to start to lose it, but am already so out of shape I feel like I can’t make it through the kind of work outs I used to do (aerobics, interval running, weights classes, etc.) Any tips on where to start getting back into shape? My knees hurt when I try to run & I don’t want to injure myself but I am anxious to start sweating this weight off. Thanks.

  66. Fadeway

    A good way to build a habit is to incorporate it into the daily routine. Training schedules “every other day” or “twice a week” are much harder for me to maintain. What is a good set of exercises to do every day to maintain a healthy body, preferably ones that don’t require equipment and are thus suitable for someone who travels a lot?

    • Trevor Davis

      The “Veterano” routine in Convict Conditioning gives you a daily set of bodyweight exercises (on the 7th rest day do some active stretching to maintain the habit) for building strength – each day works out a different group of muscles to prevent overtraining. For cardio you can easily incorporate walking/running most anywhere. The only equipment you really need is something to hang from a couple days of the week (and if you can’t improvise you can buy fairly portable pull-up straps/bars).

  67. Mike

    I’ve read about IF (intermittent fasting) – what’s the best way to incorporate this into my diet efforts? Is it appropriate for everyone?

    • John Romaniello

      It can help just about anyone, but it’s not necessary for everyone. Most of my male clients love IF.

      As for how to incorporate it, here are a few ways:

  68. Alberto

    I’m 24, 5’9″ and weight 230 pounds, and I also have flat feet so besides having no condition at all, I get tired really quickly, and my feet burn like hell when I start exercising. However my greatest problem is not exercising per se, but to follow a diet.

    There are no healthy restaurants around my workplace, and I really enjoy eating burritos and coffee in the morning.

    The food that I got should last 1 week, but I eat it all in 1 or 2 meals…

    In your opinion, what is the best kind of food that someone like me can eat, that will make me feel satisfied?

    In other words, I could eat 2 pounds of broccoli and I’d still want more. However if a eat half a pound of beef the hunger is gone. Why is that?

    • John

      Why don’t you try eating 2lbs of broccoli.. I dare you. But seriously to stay full I just switched from highly processed foods to natural foods. The more dense the food the longer it takes to digest. Steak for example will leave me full for hours on end. While hamburger 20mins if I am lucky.

  69. Alicia

    An extension of Jennifer’s question, what to do if now that I’ve had baby #2 (in 2010), lost the weight and am a healthy/normal weight, but still have loose skin (below belly button) that won’t leave on top of otherwise very muscular abs? Thanks!

  70. Matt

    Do you have any suggestions on how to be more consistent in working out? I’ll go for a month or two working out great but for one reason or another (get sick, vacation, kids events, etc.) I get out of my routine and quit. How can I be more consistent? Thanks!

  71. Thomas

    What would be your tips to maintain a good training schedule (i.e. go every monday and thurday) and not bail out at the first opportunity ?

  72. Bobby

    I’m lean in most of my body, except for the chest and stomach.
    The chest is kind of droopy, I never really done decline dumbell press before
    Do you think I should add some in, or will simply fixing my hormonal issues work.

  73. Trish Phelps

    Hi there John & Adam, Can you recommend foods (to eat or avoid) that help keep your hormonal balance and cravings in check? Thanks!!

  74. Lanita

    I have heard that occasional fasting can help you lead an overall healthier life… Do you suggest fasting, and if so, how often? Also, should you stop eating everything during a fast, or just certain things?

  75. Casper


    What’s your advice on getting started properly with working out and eating healthy. How can I get disciplined so I’m not tempted by any junk food, chocolate or anything?

  76. matt

    Do you recommend a carb supplement after lifting weights, or any other supplements for that matter beyond whey?

  77. Mike

    I’m building a home gym – what do you consider essential equipment? Have you seen any creative equipment (homemade, repurposed, etc) in home gyms?

  78. Estelle

    Do I have to give up wine to lose belly fat?

  79. Stephen

    Looking forward to seeing the questions and answers over the next few hours!

    My question would be, what is your opinion on a glass of Red Wine, or even a pint of Guinness when on a diet or cutting phase. While I realize booze isn’t the smartest thing to be consuming during a workout or diet phase, I’m curious as to how detrimental the more “healthy” options are.



  80. Alicia C

    What is your opinion on juice fasts – healthy or harmful?

  81. Roop

    Being a vegetarian, I get most of my daily intake of protein from milk and protein shakes. Can you recommend another form of protein I can add to my diet? I weightlift and kickbox 5 times a week. Also, what other ingredients besides whey should I look for when buying protein mix? Thank you.

    • Trevor Davis

      The Veg* supplement to the Four Hour Body gives some grocery shopping lists. For a quick answer lentils (and other legumes) and nuts should be your friend.

  82. david

    Any weight lifting contacts you’d recommend for the Chicago area?

    What are your opinions on CrossFit?

    What is your training regiment? (e.g, frequency of training, how heavy you train, duration of training, cycles of training, rest days, etc.)

  83. JJ Kirkpatrick

    Are you familiar with DDPYoga? It’s a fitness program with a gluten and dairy free diet, along with yoga that includes elements of cardiovascular and strength training.

    I’ve been doing it since the start of the year, and lost 18 pounds (183 to 165) in the first 6 weeks. Since then I’ve gotten stronger and leaner, but my weight loss has plateaued despite increasing my workouts and maintaining a very strict clean diet.

    Do you think I need to increase my daily calorie intake (currently 1650) to reignite my weight loss? If so, by how much and with what kinds of foods?

  84. Oscar

    What is your opinion of the Body By Science approach to working out?

  85. Laura

    Could you describe one or two of the most impactful changes we can make to get into better shape? E.g. slow-carb diet, protein in the morning, avoiding white foods

  86. Iaian

    Would you recommend the conjugate sequential system or the undulating block system for training athletes? I know they are both similar but was wondering if you see one as better or not.


  87. Allison

    I just turned 50. My usual work out is no longer effective and I’m getting flabby. Are there special exercises that work better for my age group or do I just need to do more if them?

  88. Jane

    Another question: What is the difference in mindset/psychology between the women you know that are really fit and keep weight off long-term vs. those that don’t?

  89. PowPow

    I am betting my boyfriend I can lose 5 inches off my hips in three months. The stakes are really high.
    The deets:
    (1) I am eating paleo with one cheat day
    (2) I am getting a personal trainer May 1 (that’s when our bet officially starts)
    (3) I’ll likely be doing lots of reps, low weight.

    My question:
    (4) I know there’s no such thing as spot reduction – but even when I run, lift weights etc. I struggle like anything to lose weight on my hips. In your experience what has helped with your female clients?
    (5) He’s trying to gain 20 pounds of muscle – anything I can do to sabotage him??? (JOKING).


    • Trish

      PowPow ~ I also struggle with losing weight and toning my hips. Specific exercise advice for this area is definitely welcome! I recently discovered Tracy Andersons’ hipsentric videos and will be trying them today.

  90. Ian Dawson Mackay

    What advice would you give for getting a good diet going? I put a lot of effort in at the gym, deadlift and squat heavy, foam roll, bench press and other big compound lifts, do some accessory work and know I need more sleep and rest but my diet is seriously letting me down. How can I eat better, more regularly and the larger quantities I need to pack on serious muscle? I’m fed up of mediocrity.

    Thank you all for all the great advice and inspiration.

  91. Pat

    I’m 5′ 8″ and have been no more than 135 lbs my whole life. How can I pack on pounds on a vegetarian, dairy-free (lactose intolerance) diet? I’d love to hire a personal trainer, but I don’t think it’s in my budget right now.

  92. Adam

    How can I increase my push-up count? 6′ 2″, 225 lbs, current bench is 205 and I do a ton of push-ups as is. Seems like the issue is just my long ass arms. Weighted dips have helped the most till now but still stuck at 75 in 2 minutes and need to be at 100+.

  93. Matt

    I’ve heard that training with a heart rate monitor is an essential fitness tool for almost all exercise, particularly if you want to lose fat. Could you provide your opinion on the value of a heart rate monitor? If it is something you recommend, could you also provide some tips on how to begin training with one?

  94. Mike

    What are the most important (or overlooked) body parts to target with training? Best exercises for each?

    I want to make sure I’m covering my bases at each workout (home gym).

  95. lmarie

    Any advice for female, mid-50s, to tone and firm hips and butt? I’ve never had a weight problem but lately, I seem to have gained some winter weight. I like to walk and do yoga. Thanks!

  96. Brandon

    Have always had trouble gaining mass without blimping up like a fat kid after a Krispy Kreme bender. Should I use a weight-gainer in place of just a regular whey protein? Would your reccomend adding cardio or not? Currently just focusing on push-ups, pull-ups, kettlebell swings, abs. Thx

  97. Bibi Gnagno

    Skinny girl, lost so much weight and cannot gain it back. I am vegetarian and eat chicken sometimes (or religious reasons) How do I gain weight in a healthy way?

  98. logan

    I was a skinny guy but have be able to gain some weight to what I would call a more healthy norm. Now I cannot seem to gain any more, I want more muscle and to add about 30 lbs. to myself. Suggestions on how much to eat and how frequently and long I should work out?

  99. Wendy

    I’ve asked my overweight friend to workout with me but she always refuses. I’m beginning to be concerned. She’s gained A LOT of weight over the years. Have any recommendations on how to encourage your overweight friend to workout and eat better?

  100. Aaron

    What’s the best way to work out (with the goal of adding muscle mass/strength) if you can’t afford a gym membership right now and are limited with space in your apartment as well. I’ve heard great things about kettle balls. What are your thoughts on those or other programs/exercises?

  101. Kevin

    Do you recommend both running and weightlifting as a well rounded way of exercising?

    Is the best way to quickly lose fat intense interval training?

    What is the best all around exercise for weight loss?

  102. Heidi

    What’s your recommendation for workout routine and nutrition for gaining weight (5% of body weight) and more muscles? I’m in my 20s and healthy. Do you have different advice to give to girls who are trying to gain weight/muscles versus guys? Thanks!

  103. Tom

    I weight 150lb and have about 8-9% body fat. I have a little bit of definition on my body, and I’m looking to put on 10-15 pounds (mostly muscle) and to gain further definition. What mixture of cardio/strength should I be performing, and how many calories per day should I be consuming to gain the extra 10-15lbs?

  104. Jason Prime

    I recently read an article (linked from Tim Ferriss’ site) about a guy who stopped eating solid food pretty much and only drinks this superhuman bionic liquid called soylent. I’m not trying to go to that extreme necessarily but if I wanted to decrease solid food intake and not kill myself, what are the nutrients and amounts that are absolutely necessarily on a daily basis? Thanks guys, I wish you much success with the book.

  105. Dean

    What do you both think of gluten free diets and do you allow it on cheat days or Is it gone completely even if the intolerance is low?

    On a different note: what was it like to have two bros writing one book?

  106. Jessica

    John and Adam, thanks for doing this.

    I’m a tennis pro teaching on court 3-5 hours a day and always exhausted when I get home from work. I expect you guys feel similarly after a day of training students and demo-ing workouts or working out side by side with them.

    Recently completed Mark Rippetoe’s “Starting Strength” over the winter, but can’t seem to do it after 3-5 hours on court. Last week I couldn’t finish a 3×5 of 90 lbs squats (which used to be easy) because I was too tired from the day of work. I’ve tried working out prior to tennis, but find my legs are too shaky to do my job well after a morning workout.

    I want to continue to work out for myself and progress my fitness while still teaching. What do you do to keep in shape on days or months when your job keeps you active? I don’t feel 3-5 hours on court with clients is really enough to keep me in peak shape.

    Any suggestions?

  107. Cody

    I like to do triathlons and spend a few times a week biking and swimming with some running mixed in. This keeps me in relatively good shape to prepare for harder training sessions but does not define my muscles. I’d like to add weights to my routine 2-3 times a week. What’s the best exercise to achieve those results?

  108. Keith

    Does fasted cardio and fasted weight training help keep muscle and burn fat?

  109. Sam

    Hi guys! I’m a 4’9, 22 year old female trying to lose about 80 pounds. The problem is I have a physical disability and can’t do exercises like running or Yoga. I can move around some, but i spend most of my time in wheelchair. Do you have any advice on ways I can be more active?

    Also, I’m interested in adopting a vegan diet and am looking for some quality information on getting started and maintaining such a lifestyle. Are there any books or websites/blogs you’d recommend for someone like me?

    Thank you so much for doing this and good luck on your book tour. I’m not a man, so your book doesn’t apply to me, but I’m buying copies for my dad and brother. They’ll love it, I’m sure. 🙂

  110. John

    Occasionally, when I run, my lower mid back gets extremely tight and my stride dramatically decreases, sometimes its painful. Suggestions?

    I’m in above average shape. I work out about 5 times a week for an hour and I have completed programs like p90x and have ran various races up to 15k. I warm up and cool down and try to do yoga/hour of stretching at least once a week.

    • John

      I’m 6’3 195lbs

  111. Matt

    Hi. I injured my rotator cuff some time ago and underwent physio for it. I have since begun to lift again and I am wondering if you can recommend what you feel are the most effective exercises to build strength, flexibility, and overall resilience in the rotator cuffs to prevent future injury or reinjury.


  112. Tom

    I’m a fairly slim 20-something guy, but I do have a bit of a belly (I don’t drink alcohol so I wouldn’t call it a “beer belly”). Why am I slim all around except for this obnoxious, protruding lump!? What exercises would you recommend to get my stomach flatter?

    Thank you.

  113. jack

    Your new book title says “More Sex”… what 3 things to get more of sex?

    • John Romaniello

      Hey Jack.

      Great question. Easiest things for getting more sex are these:

      1) Improve your testosterone levels. This will not only increase your sex drive, but also make you more attractive (according to many studies).

      2) Lose fat. Generally, easier to have sex if you’re in better shape. Not to mention that you’ll feel better about yourself and generally have higher libido.

      3) Confidence. Nothing is more attractive than confidence, to both men and women. As you lose fat and your testosterone increases, your confidence will, too.

      Hope that helps!

  114. Adam Bornstein

    Hey everyone–thanks for joining today. Really looking forward to answering your fitness questions and talking about our newest book Man 2.0: Engineering the Alpha. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about hormones, building muscle, losing fat, and what all of this has to do with your sex life, so thanks for being a part of this and let’s get started.

  115. Maria

    I’ve already lost the baby weight (2 months postpartum), but would really like to do a more ambitious routine. I’m trying to work on my abs and lower back, what do you suggest?

  116. John William Johnson, CEO, LMT, MFCC

    Hi Guys:
    i’m 66, in great shape, but i had triple bypass 6 years ago and i have to watch my heart rate, i can get ST depressions (not good) if my rate gets too high, and i don’t really feel it happening (i use a watch that gives me my heart rate- sometimes it feels like it’s high and it’s not, other times i feel fine and it’s high). high at this point is only 125, that’s my suggested limit. but i do break it often, i do a lot of ecstatic dance (soul motion, 5 rhythms- have you heard of these? big in SF for sure)

    any thoughts?

    best ideas for joints? do you have any research or thoughts on best practices for balance and flexibility and minimizing pain as we get older?

    i’d much prefer an” i don’t know” than pure conjecture- i know most of you on here on young ‘uns, but you might have a ton of experience with us baby boomers…

    much love
    thanks so much

  117. Christopher W

    I always start and then discontinue a month. What are the basic few exercises that I should focus on for 1. Lean body 2. Feel fit and good 3. Have good energy levels.

    Thanks a lot

    • John Romaniello

      Well, it seems like the first thing we need to work on is getting you to stick with exercising for more than a month.

      Leo at ZenHabits has some great stuff here:

      I would say just focus on creating accountability. That will help with follow through.

  118. Jim

    No questions, just want to say thanks for posting awesome content.

    Check out Zach Moore from Mike Robertson and Bill Hartman’s IFAST. He’s a great up and coming trainer and I’m sure you both would get a lot out of interacting with him:

    • John Romaniello

      Seconded. I like Zach, good kid. One to watch.

    • Zach Moore

      Thanks for the link, Jim!

  119. Rishabh Jain

    have you heard about the stronglifts 5×5 program.. do you recommend it.

    • John Romaniello

      I love 5×5. Very good balance of muscle and strength, ESPECIALLY for beginners.

  120. Al

    What supplements should I be taking? I swim and lift, my diet pretty good and I am not getting any where. Also I mix up lifting workouts every couple of weeks. Any suggestions.

  121. Rory Hodgson

    Hi. I have a couple friends who’ve both bit the point where they’re about as muscly as they want to be, but they have this bit in their gut they just can’t shift. No matter what they try they have this pudge there, rather than nice toned muscle like everywhere else. Any advice on what they should do?


    • Adam Bornstein

      @Rory: Odds are it’s a diet issue. And potentially even a sleep issue. They need to assess how much protein/carbs/fats they are consuming, as well as look at the type of training they’re doing. Fat loss is usually a manipulation of diet. I’d start there by reviewing what they are taking in. Most guys either eat too many carbs and not enough fat, or just eat so many times throughout the day that they consume too many calories.

  122. Nichole


    I’m a woman, 35, in pretty great shape (pilates, cardio barre, etc) but CANNOT seem to get those last little areas around my tush and outer thighs. Dieting too much only leaves me looking too skinny, too much muscle work leaves my legs too bulky. I understand ‘no pain no gain’ but dayum this hurts.

    Realistically how long might it take to cut it off? 6-12 months working 3x per week on those areas? Thanks!

    • John Romaniello

      Hey Nichole.

      It’s really important to note just HOW OFTEN this question is coming up–those last few pounds are always a problem, and they also seem to be in a SPECIFIC area, don’t they?

      This is because of your hormonal environment. We need to address some estrogen issues. I covered this here:

      I have another post that provides more insight that I will find and post.

  123. Wojtek

    How can I effectively gain muscle training at home with almost no equipment (kettlebells, dumbbells, my own body weight)? Is it even possible?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Wojtek: So you have this equipment? Then it’s easy. That’s all you need. Machines are NOT necessary to get in great shape.

    • Frank

      I would go one further, I only own 2 40lbs adjustable dumbbells and youtube searched for how to do different workouts with them. I have not used anything else in 4 years. I am down to 10% bf, put on 30lbs muscle and dropped 150lbs of fat. I am thinking of getting a bench as laying on the floor and sitting in wood chairs gets old. Other than that you don’t need all the other stuff. Hell look at the success of p90x and other beach body products they don’t use anything other than body weight and a few cheap products like weight bands and push up posts. Those aren’t even necessary. Good luck

  124. Lindsay B

    My husband used to be pretty devoted to his gym time and has gotten great results but he’s been in a slump since Christmas- working long hours, always tired- and hasn’t been to the gym since. He’s having a hard time getting motivated. Any suggestions for him?

    Also, I’m one of those people who is naturally trim (5′ 100lbs) and I’ve never really worked out. I’m interested in starting something low-impact a couple of days a week for health reasons, preferably without paying for a gym membership. What are some really basic things I should do?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Lindsay: The workouts in our book are really designed for people like this. We use a lot of density work: That is shorter exercise periods (sometimes just 20 to 30 minutes) where you push at a high intensity with little rest for a short period of time. This requires very little equipment and has been shown to be extremely effective as transforming bodies of the busiest men.

      And if you want to start, just grab a pair or two of dumbbells and you can accomplish quite a bit at home. Take basic movements (squat, lunge, overhead press, row) and combine 4-5 movements together hitting all major body parts, with 30-60 seconds between movements. There’s more to it than that, but a great workout can be achieved with just 4-6 exercises and 30 minutes of time.

  125. Ashtar Paniagua

    Hello guys,

    What are the top action steps someone looking to be self employed in the Exercise sciences can do?

    And maybe a couple of references to most helpful learning materials and learning experiences would be great. Thanks alot guys! Looking forward to the book.

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Ashtar: I’d start by looking into certifications, such as the NSCA or NASM. That can help you build your foundation. From there, attend conferences and masterminds. You want to learn and work with the best, network with them, and allow them to help you chart your path.

  126. Arun

    As (yet another) skinny guy, my understanding is that trying to gain muscle mass and lose fat simultaneously while losing any fat around your belly or elsewhere is difficult to do. My approach to that has been to cycle between gaining muscle and some unwanted fat for a period and then to shift to a high cardio fat loss period before shifting back to muscle gain / maintenance. Thoughts?

    • Zach

      I second this!

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Arun: Our focus is a little bit different–we combined high intensity work in a way that allows you to focus on fat burning and muscle gain simultaneously. Trying to do shift to high cardio will only take you farther away from your goal. Instead, focus on becoming stronger and making your muscles more efficient. Fat loss is accomplished through more conditioning (high intensity intervals, density sessions) and diet. And diet is really the bigger of the two. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. Plain and simple.

      We’ve included a 16-week diet and exercise program in our book, which would help you towards that goal.

  127. Anil Kuppa

    Hi ,
    I have been preparing for a full marathon. But, I’ve kept injuring myself, my injuries started with IT Band and now I’ve shin splints. Currently, I’m not doing any physical activity as I’ve been advised not to run and just take rest for 4 weeks.
    I would like to know the different exercises to strengthen my shins
    I’m also a scrawny Indian. My goal is to run in the Hyderabad Marathon scheduled in the last week of August. To complete that, I should be really fit.

  128. Gary-A

    Looks like they tapped the same artist who designed the Tim Ferriss covers.

  129. Leo

    Hi Ramit, here’s a question for you. Being a Asian guy with a slim profile, I want to know how to gain weight like you did besides by working out. I need a workable plan other than say, eating lots of ice cream. Thanks!

  130. Royd

    I am a naturally skinny guy and have been struggling to put on weight. I have been going to the gym, eating right and using compound lifts but nothing seems to help. What am I doing wrong and why don’t I see any results?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Royd: It could be a hormonal issue. It’s something we touch on specifically in Engineering the Alpha. A bad hormonal environment can make it hard to gain weight. The first place I’d start is your diet. Most people simply don’t eat as much as they need to gain weight. And specifically they limit their carb intake to the point they can’t grow. If you want to add size, you need carbs.

    • Ethan Wilson

      Move in with a woman, it fatten me up really quickly…hormonal/chemical change from “settling down”

  131. Keith

    HIIT is supposed to burn more overall fat, but it also increases my appetite.

    So if I focus on lower intensity (65-70% MHR) to burn fat and keep my appetite more under control, am I missing out on anything by not doing HIIT?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Keith: The harder you work the more inevitable that you may become hungry. But your hunger could also be a direct result of what you’re eating. That’s why making sure you diet is high enough in protein and fat, as well as vegetables and water will make sure you’re taking in nutrients that will keep you feeling full, even when you’re pushing your body hard. I think that intensity is the #1 goal of any workout. That doesn’t mean that you need to go to 100% of MHR, but it does mean that you don’t want to be holding back.

  132. Erik

    Thanks for the Q+A!

    What do you think of CrossFit? 5/3/1?

  133. Andrew Lynch

    I’m a 24 year old guy, about 215lbs, 25% bodyfat or so, and I’m trying to get into running. In terms of my current fitness level, I can run 5k in about 34 minutes. What sort of running schedule should I follow? And what should my diet look like? My aim is to be able to do a 10k in 45 minutes, but I appreciate that will take a year or two of solid effort to get there (plus losing some weight).

  134. Vinay

    I’ve been doing some simple exercises daily (pushups, pullups, and some others) to help keep in shape. Is there a significant disadvantage to doing daily exercises as opposed to targeting different areas on different days?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Vinay: You want to create some sort of planned progression. Exercise isn’t rocket science–but it is a science. If you randomly do exercises each day, it’s hard to program in progress that will allow you to improve, burn fat, and gain more muscle. That’s why working different muscles–or doing a full body routine every other day–is more of a strategic approach that will help you recover and improve accordingly.

  135. megha

    i am a woman trying to lose 10-15 pounds. For about 2 weeks, I was watching my calories using MyFitnessPal and working out pretty hard. in the past, I was able to lose 8lbs. in 2 weeks simply doing this. but now I can’t seem to lose the weight. what do i need to change?

  136. Sage

    Similar question that’s been asked – best way for women to tone muscle.

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Sage: Muscle tone is really a byproduct of having more muscle, less fat. The best way is to lift weights. And in many cases, density training–which we focus on in our book–is a great way to create intense, short workouts that get results. The idea is that you take a series of exercises and push at a high intensity while keeping rest periods short. You can even start with bodyweight exercises (squats, pushups, lunges, inverted rows) and then graduate to added resistance. Bottom line: resistance training is much more effective than cardio at giving you the toned look

  137. Laurie

    Any suggestions for those of us with autoimmune disease (Hasimotos, celiac, rheumatoid arthritis)? Eating primal/paleo and gluten/dairy free has made a huge difference as I’m no longer “ill,” and I’m not gaining any longer, but I lose nothing unless I take calories below 1000 and then I have no energy. I’ve avoided anything more than light workouts for the last two years while trying to heal, but I’m finally feeling like some weigh lifting and harder workouts would be possible.

  138. Ian Dawson Mackay

    I get serious low moods/possible depression.

    Would improving my testosterone help and if so what foods should I be eating? Can’t stomach cottage cheese or nuts sadly.

    Many thanks,

  139. Kiriko

    I’m interested in proper squats form for women.

    1. Should be lowering myself all the way to the ground?
    2. Is it true that I should not squat more weight than I can lift onto my shoulders myself? I just can’t ever imagine having my upper body be as strong as my lower body.

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Kiriko: You want to lower yourself until you’re at least parallel. Listen, everyone wants to be able to squat to a lower depth, but if you don’t have the mobility and going lower forces you to overly round your back or otherwise alter your form, it’s not worth it.

      And yes, it is true that you can be capable of squatting more weight than you can lift. In fact, most people should have stronger lower bodies than upper bodies. But again, you don’t want to do it at the risk of sacrificing form or turning squats (a lower body exercise) into a painful back exercise (because you’re straining during the movement)

    • Daniel

      Also check out Mark Rippetoe’s youtube videos on squat form. there are mobility/prep exercises to get proper form into muscle memory before you add weight. not to ground I think, but beyond parallel recruits the hamstrings and glutes into the lift

  140. Laurie Hallsted

    What is the single biggest result you see people achieve by taking advantage of coaching opportunities?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Laurie: Ability to have more direct feedback, support, and become more educated. This empowers people so they believe they can make change. And when you believe + have the information + have the right programs that = sustainable, realistic results.

  141. Fong Fan

    I’ve been on a 12 week fitness plan and I have found that I have struggled with keeping up with the meals necessary to maintain the nutrition needed. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for recipes that are easy to make in bulk, relatively inexpensive, and tasty.

    I try to make about 12 (or more) meals at a time and I go through 5 (trying to eat 6 a day) meals a day.

  142. Elizabeth Barsali

    I second the question about post-baby fitness. I went to a personal trainer at the gym & said I wanted to tone my stomach muscles. He said “everyone has stomach muscles. You don’t need to concentrate on them.” He has no clue of what happens to them during pregnancy!

  143. Adam Bornstein

    @Ian Dawson Mackay: Your issue is quite common. This could be derived from a combination of hormonal issues, and testosterone is included. Rather than focus on “magic” foods, it’s better to look at some higher level issues. Particularly how many carbs you’re taking in each day, which could be causing insulin issues. Or, you’ll want to be aware of sleep patterns. A lack of sleep can cause severe mood disturbances, and is usually the best place to start.

    • Ian Dawson Mackay

      Thank you very much mate.

  144. JF

    What is a good program to focus on strength only, while minimizing hypertrophy as much as possible?

  145. Nikki


    I had a baby about 18 months ago and I can’t get rid of the stomach fat. I eat really well (meat twice a week and mostly vegan meals) and do equipment pilates sessions once a week. It’s really hard to do hardcore workouts at the gym (running, leg bends, etc) because I have knee injuries and I have to do physical therapy so I have to be careful with the exercises that I choose. Do you have any advice or exercises that I could do to minimize the stomach fat and get a toned stomach.


  146. JF

    Loving the tittle of your next book, I’m a woman, how do you guys think I will benefit from it, or if not?

  147. Sean

    What are your immediate thoughts on NYC-based Dr. Alejandro Junger’s ‘Clean Program’ ???

    Have you ever heard of this program/ know anyone who has attempted the cleanse?

  148. Mathieu

    I am always having aches for at least 2 days after sport. Even if i drink water and stretch. What can i do ?

  149. Erin

    What are your thoughts on calorie cycling for women? Also, I need to lose a lot. I am starting a round of high-intensity cardio. If I couple that with yoga that I am doing is that enough strength training? I bulk rather easily.

  150. Mark

    Hi Adam and John!

    I have been doing circuit training/crossfit with a trainer for a little over a year. My issue is that increasing my intensity from twice to three times a week results in falling sick very quickly. How would you improve this situation? What can I change to break past this barrier? Is it as simple as increasing my daily rest?

  151. Zach

    If you woke up tomorrow with a skinny fat body–that is 20% body fat, “skinny” yet with a gut–what is your approach to getting to a more masculine body? Thanks.

  152. Ryan

    I’m a 26 year old male, 305 pounds, almost all above hips. My lower body seems to stay well toned, but I have a very heavy top that I would like to get rid of. I work with computers all day and spend most of my work and leisure time sitting down. However I do walk a mile to and from work each day.

    What are the first 3 things I should do to start a maintainable routine to lose weight? Looking for more of a slow lifestyle shift rather than “lose 100 pounds in 90 days”

  153. Chandra

    Adding to Ryan, Jennifer, and Alicia’s question: what’s the most aggressive way to target belly fat? I already have a strong core, and I’m not overweight by any stretch. I’ve read that belly fat (when it’s not really elsewhere) can be related to stress levels/cortisol – can you recommend a particular supplement to balance that factor?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Chandra: It all starts with diet. That’s the most important factor. For exercise, it’s increasing intensity and reducing rest time. Cardio is great, but weight training more efficiently burns fat. So make sure you incorporate resistance training 3-4 days per week, ideally.

  154. Ethan Wilson

    I’ve recently (past 6-months) have focused on working on my body fat ratio by gaining muscle. I previously spent years trying to gain weight and went from 140 to 185. My gains have been very slow. Do you have 3 things that you recommend to increase the muscle growth in my body? (but not steroids lol)

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Ethan: Lift heavy weights, eat red meat, don’t fear carbs (especially rice and potatoes)

    • Ethan Wilson

      As a Filipino, eating rice will NOT be a problem!

  155. Amelia

    Congrats on the publication! I am wondering what you think of stairmasters? I recently got one and want to make sure I am getting the most out of my workouts.

  156. TH

    My bf is insistent that to have proper exercise you need to work out for an hour and a half for 3-4 times a week. I feel this is awfully impractical, what is your input on how much time a person should put in working out to either 1) maintain a healthy lifestyle and an added bonus of 2) obtaining a fit swimsuit worthy figure.

    • Adam Bornstein

      @TH: That much time is not necessary. Does it work for some? Of course. Is it the most efficient? Not at all. Ideally you’ll want to be in the gym 3-4 days per week, but you really only need 45-60 minutes per session. That’s not to say the workout can’t go longer, but if you’re efficient and pushing hard it’ll do the trick

  157. John

    Hey John and Adam,

    I’m currently at 14% body fat looking for the best way to shave off the last few lbs before this summer. I currently lift 4x a week and eat a balanced diet. What is the next step ? Carb reduction, adding HIIT , or a combo of both or neither ?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @John: Focus on getting strong, add conditioning (through HIIT, density training) and take a hard look at diet. A simple carb cycle does wonders for many.

  158. JF

    Do you recommend foam rolling? or any type of pre workout stretches, if so which ones?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @JF: Yes! Definitely do foam rolling one of the best things you can do. Hit your upper and lower back, quads, hamstrings, and chest. Do it before each workout or even on off days. Should take up first 5-10 min. I only do static stretch post workout or on off days.

  159. Genevieve Green

    I’m a 25 year old female, 5’2″ 135lb ish. I don’t have a ton of weight to lose, but cardiovascularly I’m in horrible shape. It gets discouraging & kinda embarrassing to get winded going up the stairs, let alone try walking or running to get in shape. Any recommendations on ways to get into better shape?

  160. Limegimlet

    Hi, I’m a somewhat fit 41 year old woman, but I’ve got a slightly “apple” body type. What is the best (most sustainable) way to get rid of belly fat, and the layer of flab covering most of my upper body?

  161. Radu

    What are the best three foods you’d recommend to someone who exercises regularly and is trying to have a healthy diet? Do you recommend any supplements, if someone is trying to gain weight?
    Also, what are your favorite snacks if you can’t have a proper meal?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Radu: I like steak/meat (preferably grass-fed), eggs, and green veggies (kale, spinach, you name it). Supplements–the basics are best. Read this

  162. Timothy

    Do you have any training plans that you recommend for training for the marathon?

    Also, what’s the best way to start getting up earlier?

  163. Maggie

    I’ve been out of weightlifting and boxing for a few years, and want to get back into these routines. What habits/workouts would you recommend as an on-ramp to those hobbies after being out of them for so long?
    I’m also going to have regular pool access this summer, so best swim routines for strength and endurance would be helpful.
    I want this to be a regular part of my life, so ways to stay engaged and interested in the routine would be a great help too.

    Thank you!

  164. Erika

    I store a lot of fat and muscle in my legs but very little fat and muscle in my arms (I have VERY thin arms and upper body). My body is very disproportional. I am also underweight. I’m concerned that if I intentionally start gaining weight, it will not be distributed evenly over my body– that most of the weight gain will occur in my lower body. Is there a way to distribute weight and muscle more evenly throughout my body?

  165. Greg Schwartz

    I’ve successfully dropped from 20% to 10% body fat over the past few years. Eating the “slow carb” diet has helped, and the drop from 12%->10% occurred in the last 6 months, when I started being even more careful about sticking to the diet.

    However, I’m struggling a bit with dropping below 10% consistently. Any algorithms that are applicable, such as the “eat 30g of protein within 30 min of waking up”? (I’ve tried it, but haven’t found a way to integrate it into my schedule long enough to test it.)

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Greg: Have you tried an intermittent fasting approach? It’s something we’ve both used to get sub 10%.

    • Greg Schwartz

      @Adam Bornstein: Haven’t, simply because when I get hungry (typically ~3-4 hours after eating a full meal) my concentration is significantly impaired. Worse, my mood drops significantly. Is there an aspect of intermittent fasting to solve that?

  166. Sunny

    I’m interested in the have more sex aspect on the book title, in what way will this book discuss about this, is it improving techniques or is it about taking supplements?

  167. Jessie Lee

    The Brain Trust fitness group has hadd
    MASSIVE success with intermittent fasting.

    Have either of you had experiences with it, and if so, do either of you currently recommend it to anyone?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Jessie: We both are fans of intermittent fasting and it’s something we suggest and recommend in our book.

  168. Victor

    Should I go to failure on any sets at all, if I’m training each muscle group twice a week?

    • Adam Bornstein

      In general, I’m not a big fan of training to failure on every set. I prefer “technical failure” when form starts to break down or rep speed slows.

  169. Holly

    Hi,I had a major lifestyle and diet change over the past year. Since moving back to the US I have gained about 25 pounds. I have been working out intensely and have try various diets, but have gotten little to no results. The Drs and trainers cannot figure it out. I recently started running again as my trainer hoped that running would kick start the weight loss, but I am not super confident that much change will be seen. Some say that I am just at the age where my metabolism and has slowed down so much that my weight is stuck (I am 34). What do you recommend? Do you believe in detox? If so what type? I am currently working about 6 times a week and lifting about 3 times. Any diet or work out recommendations are appreciated…
    Thanks so much!

  170. Monoah

    Hey guys,

    I look pretty in shape but seem to have no wind or stamina for real weight-lifting/cardio, probably because I haven’t been to the gym consistently for over three years since I started law school. Now that I’ve graduated, what do you suggest I do to build the stamina/endurance/wind needed to really tackle the gym hard? I feel like I need to start from the beginning but don’t know what that is and I have no idea how I should be pacing myself to eventually reach fitness model status.

  171. Rob Dugas

    What is your take on crossfit and paleo lifestyle?

    • Adam Bornstein

      I’m “fine” with both. Crossfit has a great community and Paleo helps people eat healtheir and eliminate lots of the crap they eat. The issues: Some people who teach Crossfit don’t have a plan. They don’t train the very technical movements (like Oly lifts) which make it easier for people to get hurt. So there needs to be a movement to emphasize teaching of the methodolgy. As for Paleo, it works for many but it doesn’t mean every other diet is awful. That dogmantic approach is my biggest issue with the Paleo community.

  172. Leanne Nurse

    I am a 64yo fairly sedentary policy wonk, in graduate school, with periodic family medical crises. How can I restart a fitness regime after a long gap from regular exercise?

  173. Dee

    I always seem to get stress fractures in my lower leg when running. I’d love to run more but this is a real problem. What can I do to minimize this kind of injury?

  174. Estelle

    I’ve been working out for 2 years, every single day now (mostly HIIT) and I still cannot do regular push ups. What can I do?
    Thanks so much!

  175. David

    Hi guys,

    Thanks for doing this. Over the past two years, I’ve put about 20 lbs. of muscle on my skinny frame following a HIT regime outlined by Drew Baye/Tim Ferriss. However, I seem to have plateaued with my weight gain despite eating ~3,400 kcal and 150 g of protein per day (5’11”, 160 lbs) . Something just isn’t adding up, is there any advice you can give to people who are supposedly eating the right amount of calories to gain muscle but aren’t? Are there specific macronutrients we should pay attention to?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @David: It all depends on your body. For instance, you might require more carbohydrates in order to gain size. Or maybe it’s more protein or fat. Without seeing your specifics it’s hard for me to judge. I will say though, in general, for people trying to add size most underestimate how many carbs they need.

  176. Ryan

    Lol there is a reason why AMAs work on Reddit. People are able to upvote or downvote questions so the most upvoted ones get replied. Answering every single question is not practical. Bad job understanding tech Ramit

  177. Josh


    I have never done exercise and i was fit

    Now I’m slowly getting fatter as i turn 22…

    Some advice on how to get started in fitness !

    • Adam Bornstein

      Start simple. Master the basic movements of exercise: squat, lunge, push (like pushups or overhead press), pull (like rows), and deadlifts. It can all start with bodyweight and then add weight. Most people try to go so fast that they end up doing more harm than good. Read some books (pick up ours if you’d like, we have exercise demos) and find workout programs for beginners that are created by professionals. And be patient.

      As for diet, don’t ignore it. Stick to basics as well. More proteins (think meats, eggs, fish, chicken), veggies, fruits, and non-processed foods.

  178. Claude Johnson

    For all of the really skinny people who are interested in gaining lean muscle mass, increasing strength and cutting fat, I highly recommend the work of Mark at

  179. Lang

    Hi guys,

    I’m currently doing 5×5 strong lifts, doing the workouts monday, wednesday, and friday after work which is around 5 pm. During lunch I run for 45 minutes on the treadmill at 5.5 speed. My goal is to lose bodyfat.

    However, I don’t like cooking and preparing my own meals. What do you guys think of done for you solutions like nutrisystem ?

    Where your order 28 days worth of food.

    I’m a 175 lbs at 20 % body fat.

  180. Shanti

    I am a 6ft, 240lb, vegetarian, 30 year old female and have been overweight my whole life. I keep yoyoing between 200-240 lbs, can’t seem to get below 200 no matter what I do with diet and exercise. How do I stay consistent and drop below the 200 barrier?

    • Adam Bornstein

      Make sure you have a plan. One that has been proven successful, but more importantly works for your lifestyle. Yes, it’ll be hard but if the requirements are so hard that you can’t succeed, then you’ll keep on ending up frustrated.

      That’s why some of the best fat loss programs take a step-by-step approach. Have you master certain healthy behaviors in a way that allows you to succeed. After all, success breeds more success. So maybe it starts with going to the gym 3 days a week. Once you master that, then you can add more vegetables to your diet. And then add healthy supplements like fish oil and vitamin D.

      It’s a slow approacher that will ultimately allow you to achieve results faster.

  181. Sara

    Adam & John,

    I’ve been an athlete all my life, playing lots of sports, and relatively fit. I’ve stayed highly active post school and typically workout 4-6 days a week. I run, swim, do yoga/pilates, do free weight sequences, calisthenics. and classes at the gym. However, I’ve always struggled with the backs of my arms. I have been focused on this area and usually work in at least 3-5 moves targeting the area: tricep dips, over head tricep press, arm extensions, tricep pushups, etc, however, it doesn’t seem to do the trick.

    Do you think I should increase reps/weights/frequency of the target area, or other recommendations?


  182. Tina

    Kettleballs–do or do not if you’re underweight?

    femlae, 5’6″, 110 pounds (and gaining now that I’ve switched to a more protein rich diet..targeting 120).

    • Adam Bornstein

      Kettlebells are fine for anyone. They are not the “cure all” but they are a great training tool.

  183. Andre

    What’s your general opinion on P90x/Insanity and what types of people and goals it may or may not work for?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Andre: I haven’t done the workouts so I can’t speak personally. Lots of people get good results, which is great. What I’ve seen is that those who don’t succeed have trouble with the amount of time it requires. So if you can’t commit to 6-days/week of training, then this isn’t something that will work for you.

  184. Johnny S

    Wow, thanks for doing this! I look forward to reading and learning a lot from this thread.

    I’ve got a question about how long it really takes to transform your body. The more I’ve gotten into fitness, the more it looks like a long, slow process. I didn’t have a timeline expectation going into things, but now I see that it will take years to see drastic change, even if you’re doing things very correctly.

    How do you coach/estimate your clients for how long it takes for someone to go from slightly overweight overweight to very fit?

    Also, in case it helps: I’m 30 and have gotten into the proper eating/fitness over the past year, working with a very excellent trainer over email consulting, long in-person sessions about nutrition, and three educational workout sessions. But, I don’t have an in-person trainer working out with me. I use the Fitocracy app, Livestrong calorie counter app, and focus on barbell workouts and hitting 1g protein per pound. Started out at this whole process at 174 and down to about 161 with some good recomp results. This is the path I’ve been on for a while:

    1) Lose weight, eating at a defecit (April 2012-December 2012)
    2) Re-comp, eating at maintenance (Jan 2013 – April 2013)
    3) Slow bulk (.5lb – 1lb per week) (Length TBD)
    4) Slowly cut (.5lb – 1lb per week) (Length TBD)

    Thank you!


  185. Lala

    I’ve been losing weight just with a change in diet and periodic visits to the gym. Fifty pounds in fact.

    More vegetarian. Mostly home-cooked. As organic and low preservatives as possible

    I’ve got a pesky last 20 to go…any recs?

    • Adam Bornstein

      @Lala: First, just wanted to say congrats! That’s a great accomplishment.

      It’s hard for me to say what else you need to change without knowing more details. But I will say this: weight training is extremely effective at helping you lose weight. So make sure it’s part of the plan.

  186. Hilary

    Trying to keep the questions simple without long winded personal history:

    1) How do you get back on track and stay motivated when your body isn’t necessarily letting you do the workouts as regularly as your mind would like? I’m not talking about being a sissy with muscle soreness, I’m talking about a chronic back injury that gets in the way sometimes.

    2) And any food tips to help lose weight and / or speed muscle healing without losing brain power? I can’t sacrifice work productivity to weight loss (I don’t get paid if I don’t complete projects.) Name as many as possible … I have some strange allergies like bananas and various things in green powders. Supplement recommendations are also a possibility. I’ve recently been using coconut oil and cinnamon in my coffee and teas which has helped.

    Goals for me: get fit and lose some weight to be healthier. I know I would have fewer back problems if I lost 20-30 pounds as well as strengthen the surrounding back muscles to my problem areas. I already tend to eat a low starch diet, it’s not quite no starch and not quite paleo.

  187. Tammy

    Hi guys,

    Do you recommend alternating high and low calorie days. Also do you have any suggestions for any good healthy snacks?

  188. JF

    How do you guys adjust your workout timing with IF? and is there any tips you have found help at making IF optimal for fat loss

    • John Romaniello

      Generally, I fast until after my workout

      If i need to train in the morning, I just use some BCAAs until i break my fast at about 2pm

  189. Pramit

    1. What one meal can I eat every day that will have the biggest impact on how I feel?

    2. How consistent are the Bulletproof (Dave Asprey) and Slow Carb (Tim Ferriss) diets with your recommendations?

    3. How can I best use my time with a personal trainer?

  190. RJ

    What do you recommend for increasing your vertical?

    In the past, I was up to 33 inches and was able to dunk a basketball at 6 foot 1. Now, I can barely get rim. I’m only 28. What can I do to regain my vertical?

  191. Dee

    I am a 32 year old female, 5’5″ and 169 lbs. I lost almost 30 lbs 3 years ago and have kept it off since. I am not necessarily interested in losing more weight. If it happens, good. If not, good. But I still have really loose skin, especially my upper arms and stomach. I look really good dressed but naked, not so much.

    I recently bought a rowing machine. Would rowing help with the flabby arms and stomach? Are there other exercises I can do to tone and tighten my arms? Or something that would help tighten my skin overall?

  192. Jenny

    Are there exercises or activities I can use to build upper body strength without causing my tendinitis (hands, wrists, ulnar nerve) to flare up?

  193. Betsy

    I apologize if this has been asked already – don’t have time to read through all the other comments. I’m curious to know what you think about CrossFit. I’ve been CrossFitting for about a year now and have seen tremendous results. The biggest problem is that I can’t cross-train with other things (like yoga and spinning) because CrossFit eats up my entire budget. Any advice?

  194. david

    I have been a victim of muscle imbalances that eventually cause injuries. How can I catch muscle imbalances early on and prevent them?

  195. Chris Bell

    What’s your opinion on “Alkalizing” foods/diets?

    Here’s an interesting link on a debate re: alkaline water… a little off topic but figured it might be interesting to you guys. Thanks

  196. Rhonda

    Hi: I am a full time nursing student and unfortunately don’t get to workout on a regular basis but over the last year have been diligently working (mainly with diet to lose weight. It is suspected that I may have some insulin resistance because what weight I have lost is Crome lack of sleep, stress, and decreased calories. I say this because even though my weight has dropped (30 lbs since sept. 2012) my fat ratio has not changed much. I know that my dietary changes have been good as evidenced by my total cholesterol and LDL’s coming down to normal, but my fasting sugars have remained slightly high (105, they have not changed) and a HgbA1c of 5.9%. I have plateaued weight wise but have noted that my body is very reactive to carbohydrates. It is not uncommon for me to gain 2-3 lbs in a matter of days if dont remain super restrictive of carbs. Yes diabetes is strong on both sides mainly type two but at least 1 grandparent on moms side w/ type 1. So any suggestions on diet and the best workouts that I should do knowing that I’m lucky to get 1-2 30-45min workouts in a week? I am 5’4 and 162 lbs. I would like to lose at least 25 more. So what do you think

  197. Rachel

    I just had a baby three weeks ago. My third, but my first two are teenagers, so it’s been a while. I’ll be 40 in four days, and want to know the best way to get back into a fitness routine after being too sick to do any exercise for the past 10 months. I was in excellent shape before baby, but it’s been many months of sickness and now healing… And as an added surprise during my 7th month, I’m doing this on my own and will need to head back to the workforce in a few weeks. I want to return to a healthy place despite my time and healing obstacles. Any suggestions?

  198. Jessie Lee

    ‘I’ve read that you can build strength/power *or* endurance but not both. One usually comes at the cost of the other.I’ve been strength training for the last 10 years and have been practicing Martial Arts for close to 2.Can I up my endurance without sacrificing my strength to last longer when sparring but still be just as strong/powerful?”

    (I want to know too)

  199. T

    Do you recommend any sort of specific protein powder. Some people say whey is the best while others recommend hemp. Then some people advise to use a single processed (pristine) protein powder. This confuses me since I’m not sure which is the best. Any guidance would be helpful.

    Also Tim says eating 30 grams of protein within the first 30 minutes of waking up aides in weight loss. Do you recommend this?

  200. John

    Male, 35 yo, 5’10”, 220 lbs. What’s the most effective thing I can do for the next six months. Goal is 180 lbs.

  201. sig

    I have about 20 min to do lifting at the gym before/after hard cardio. I’ve concentrated on squats and overhead thrusters. For overall conditioning, what motion would you recommend next, if I have time for 2-3 reps? Kettleball? I want to focus on a crucial few and do them well.

  202. Caylena

    I’ve lost about 35 lbs in a little over a year, but I still have about 20-30 lbs to go to reach the “optimal” BMI according to my doctors. I’ve been stagnant/maintaining for a bit now, and probably some of the lack of continued loss is due to things like stress, less exercise and dietary elements, however, I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS and my doctor told me that generally speaking my masculine hormones are higher than normal and that having PCOS can contribute to weight gain and more difficult weight loss. (My exercise is generally much more cardio based, running/elliptical a few times a week, and diet is more of a balanced approach (+protein, +whole foods, +fruits/veggies, -sweets/desserts), rather than a specific thing like vegan/paleo etc.)

    Do you have any insights or recommendations on what would be beneficial for this hormonal situation?

  203. William

    What are your thoughts on Diet Soda? I read so many articles saying it is good/bad, drink it/don’t drink it.

  204. Mike W

    About a year ago, I developed issues with my IT Band in one leg from running/hiking. I’ve stopped running, and have been doing PT for months and tried lots of different approaches but can’t seem to resolve the issue.

    Any suggestions or proven methods for treating aggravated IT Bands?


  205. Charles

    I’ve read that you can build strength/power *or* endurance but not both. One usually comes at the cost of the other.

    I’ve been doing Martial arts consistnely for about 3 1/2 years and weight traning for about 1. Can I up my endurance and condisitoning without sacrificing my strength to last longer when sparring but still be just as strong/powerful?

    • Marc

      I’d love to know the answer to this as well.

  206. will

    Whats your take on “bulletproof coffee”?

    This is as an alternative to my current breakfast of 2 fried eggs (in olive or coconut oil) + kale

  207. Michael

    I’ve hit a plateau. I have hired coaches and trainers to prescribe both my workouts and nutrition for the last 17 months in order to help me gain mass. I’m looking for something to help get to the next stage.

    The only legal alternative I have come across are prohormones. Can you direct me towards a quality product/protocol? Is there any other alternative to prohormones you would recommend?

  208. Mike

    What are the most important movement patterns to be competent in? I’ve tried Gray Cook’s Functional Movement Screen, but wondered if there was a condensed version for self-assessment.

  209. Mike

    What’s the best nutrition strategy for game-day – I assume it would differ slightly from a daily eating pattern? I play volleyball (sometimes all day outdoors in the heat), but I’m sure the information would apply to any intense game situation.

  210. mike

    I currently have a labral tear in my left shoulder. In September I had surgery (second time) for labral tear and femur resurfacing of my right hip. Have also had right shoulder surgery for labral tear.

    Due to joint issues, my lifting movements are limited – no squats, DL, bench, chin, OP, etc., – and I’ve lost a lot of muscle. Any ideas on muscle building or maintaining movements that will be very easy on major joints? I use bands and a bike right now.

  211. Amanda

    Hello John and Adam,
    I’m a fake skinny girl – 116 lbs at 5’5. I don’t workout regularly, but I’m fairly active. I run, hike, and walk a lot, but nothing consistent. I also do yoga at least once a week. I’m also a vegan, so I take a lot of care into eating very well. I bulk up really quickly, so I don’t want to build too much muscle. However, I’d like to tone my thighs and butt. In my opinion, they’re disproportionate to my otherwise petite body. What should I do?

    • Jen

      Look into kettlebells. They’ll revolutionize your posterior chain.

      Weighted squats would be better but if you feel that is too likely to bulk you up then you might not be so keen to do them (though I don’t think you could get too muscular on a vegan diet, I’m happy to be proven wrong and learn something).

  212. Justice

    John my friend, whenever I see a picture of you I cannot help but notice that you have fantastic hair. As a rampagingly hetero man with only average hair, I was wondering what shampoo and conditioning and styling routine you have. Follicular fitness tips?

  213. Anna

    How should I work out to lose fat (not too much – cellulite issues and stubborn fat – cankles, knee fat, fat around the tank top area, with the rest being quite slim) without building up muscle?

    I gain muscle mass quite fast for a 26 year old woman, and my legs seem to have a lot of muscle covered with fat (I had a body composition exam a couple weeks ago). Is jogging (interval style) enough to burn fat and tone but not build up?

  214. Kris

    Hit a wall:

    So I’ve been working out regularly lifting weights about 3 times a week for the past year. I feel like recently I’ve hit a wall with muscle gain. My calorie and protein intake I would consider to be on the higher scale, but not incredibly high. What do you think I should do to overcome this wall?

  215. Helen

    I’m 21 years old and i’ve been always working out through ballet,swimming or doing yoga. For the last 2years I decided to go to the gym.I tried “Curves”. At first it was great cause it toned me up and generally made me lose fat very easily.
    But for the last 5 months not only did my body stop gettig better, but I also gained weight.

    Do you think that I should change my exsercise routine given that at “curves” you follow the same pattern over and over again in order for my body to start reacting again? Note that I have already started eating healthier and nothing changed.


    • John Romaniello

      Definitely switch up your routine. 5 months is too long on any routine, especially something like curves.

  216. Christine

    Grazie John for answering these questions.
    All of mine have been addressed and some.

  217. John Romaniello

    Hey all! I’m afraid that’s all the time we have for today!

    I’ve got to jump on a call, but I’ll come back and try to answer as many questions as I can that were posted before 3pm EST.

    Thank you SO much, everyone, for your question, and thank you Ramit for having us!

  218. Adam Bornstein

    Hey, everyone–thanks so much for chatting with us today. We had a great time answering all of your questions. And a special thanks to Remit for inviting us. We hope to be back on soon to answer more questions. Have a great day!

  219. Amy

    Hi guts,

    What do you recommend for those of us that gain all of our weight in our bellies? I do Pilates 2x a week and am fairly certain I will never have a girl 6 pack. The exercise I do only gets it to a certain point, as the muscles in my diaphragm start to get bulkier as a result..

    • Jen

      The more you target your stomach the more those muscles strengthen causing a thicker waist in the long term. Bizarre but true. Attack belly fat by cleaning up your diet first and foremost — then work on stress levels, since cortisol is a big driver of belly fat storage (see John & Adam’s comments on cortisol above). Only then is it time to address the exercise part, I’d recommend working on high intensity metabolic conditioning e.g. complexes, Tabata, sprints.

  220. Amy

    By the way, I’m about 5 ft, and a little over 100 lbs in case that matters.

  221. Amanda

    What about the laaaaadies?

    • Sarah

      Sensitive much?

  222. T

    Lost a lot of weight due to stress. I don’t eat when I stress out.

    Female and want to gain weight–go from 105 to at least 120. 5’6″

    What should I eat? I maintain a fairly healthy low carb, protein, veggie diet. I do a 20 minute glute raises, planks, kettleball workout every other day.


  223. William

    Hey guys. Regarding fitness, I am currently getting in the process of achieving my fitness goals and have implemented an ideal workout and nutrition program. I am a college student and I will be travelling this upcoming fall all over Europe as part of a study abroad experience. What’s your advice on maintaining a good nutrition for constant travelling; i.e. a new location/country every 3-4 days. Thank you.

  224. Mixed Media

    There’s an amazing lot about these guys at the moment – they must be very special!