The Best Pieces of Equipment for Your Home Gym for 2020

Never worry about the gym again with this home gym set up.

Your home gym can quickly replace a commercial gym if you have the right equipment (and atmosphere) to support your fitness goals. 2020 has been an insane year so far and it’s a good time to start setting up your home equipment to ensure your fitness goals don’t fall by the wayside.

The coronavirus has most people staying home and avoiding crowded places for the time being. A crowded gym can be an easy place to spread germs and it might make sense to get your home gym equipped to handle your workout plan for the next few months or so.

Worst case scenario you have a badass home set up that allows for you to get a great workout in anytime you can’t make it to the gym.

To help you get set up – I’ve put together a list of my favorite home gym equipment for 2020. I’ve linked to Amazon wherever possible.

The Basic Kit

Let’s start with a solid home gym kit that you can grab on Amazon. I’ve personally purchased this stuff for my garage so that I never have an excuse when it comes to my training.

  1. Adjustable dumbbells – Dumbbells are so versatile. I’ll have a link to normal dumbbells later in this blog, but I’m a huge fan of adjustable dumbbells to save space and give you better bang for your buck. Buying each weight of dumbbells individually can ramp up the pricing quite a bit.

2. Exercise Bench – having a bench is almost more important than dumbbells. There’s so many bodyweight movements you can do on a bench, plus it adds a whole new dimension to your home workouts if you have a bench plus dumbbells.

3. Rubber Mats – once again this is another underrated piece to have in the home gym. If you’re training on concrete surfaces this can keep your equipment from breaking and prevent injuries if you’re doing bodyweight work. Plus these are super cheap and I highly recommend you grab them.



The Anywhere Anytime Tools

4. Bands – exercise bands are a great tool to take with you anywhere you train or travel. Having bands in the gym can add some variety to your training so it’s a good idea to invest in a few pairs to add a new level to your training.

5. Rings – rings aren’t usually mentioned in the home gym discussion simply because they might be considered an advanced piece of equipment by some fitness pros. Personally, I think they are tremendous for anyone who wants to build as much muscle at home as possible. They are extremely versatile and can add a whole host of options to your home workouts.

6. Sliders – talk about another underrated piece of equipment. Sliders add some serious intensity to basic bodyweight movements. Plus they can be taken anywhere you go just like bands.

7. TRX Home Suspension Trainer – the TRX is a powerful piece of equipment that allows you to train the entire body at anytime. This is a must have for beginners who want a safe option for home workouts as well as advanced trainees who want to add some variety to their training.

The Next Step Up Kit

Need to add some spice to your basic set up? These next few home gym items will take your workouts to the next level.


8. Kettlebells – kettlebell training falls under the more advanced training, but if you’re looking for a step up in intensity and functional capability, kettlebells can work wonders. I recommend starting with a moderate to light kettlebell to get the feel for it before graduating to heavier versions.

9. Pull Up and Dip Station – if you have some space in your garage – I highly recommend a dip and pull up station. This is a tremendous piece when it comes to taking your bodyweight training to the next level.

10. Individual Dumbbells – the adjustable dumbbells are awesome and can work great. There may come a time where you need a few pairs of individual dumbbells for convenience and for certain exercises. These can get pricey but having a few pairs helps keeps your workouts progressing.

Good Things to Have Around The Home Gym

Here’s a few more items that make workouts even better at home. Some of these are nice to have if you want to keep workouts from getting boring or too predictable. These items aren’t 100% necessary but I promised the best equipment so these need to be on the list.

11. AirDyne Bike – this is a torture device that burns fat like crazy if used frequently enough. I can’t think of a better conditioning and cardio tool to have in the garage.

12. Foam Roller – you could technically classify this as a must have piece of equipment. However, there’s mixed reviews on how necessary foam rolling really is. It’s a solid piece to have around for warming up and working out sore muscles so I’m including it here.

13. Row Machine – another rock solid cardio piece that I prefer over the treadmill. This one works your whole body and is a killer for heart health and conditioning.

14. Treadmill – ok fine, a treadmill is a pretty nice thing to have when it’s cold outside. Plus it can be a valuable tool to improve cardiovascular conditioning. If you have the space, I love the Nordic treadmill.

15. Ski Erg – this is another piece of cardio equipment that I like more than the treadmill. You get a nice upper body pump while doing this one. This is my personal favorite machine along with the bike.

That wraps up my top 15 pieces of equipment for your home gym. If you need a full blown home workout system – you can check out our 12 Week HomeBody program.


How to Workout at Home if Quarantined During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

The Coronavirus panic has officially hit threat level midnight. Michael Scarn is no where to be found. March Madness is the latest victim of the Coronavirus and God knows what else is next. People are losing their lives all over the world and everyone’s daily routines (including mine) have been affected.

As a fitness professional, I want to make sure you have a plan to keep your fitness and health in check – even if that means working out at home for the rest of the year (hopefully it’s not that extreme). If you get quarantined or if your city gets put on lockdown it will be easy to fall into a terrible routine of eating Cheetos, playing Madden and not training (or am I just fantasizing?) By the time the virus blows over you could easily be in worse shape if you aren’t proactive now.

The last thing we should do is completely quit on taking care of ourselves. We don’t know everything about the virus yet, but we do know a few key things.

What do we know right now about the Coronavirus?

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Well for starters, people with underlying health issues, smokers and obese people are all at risk for serious health consequences due to the virus. The big takeaway here is to start getting into an exercise routine and getting proper vitamins and minerals into your daily diet.

In other words – it’s time to workout and eat right. Wait, maybe not much has changed?

We know that the virus moves quickly. It’s extremely contagious. We also know it doesn’t last long when its exposed to sunlight (more on that later) and highly sanitized surfaces. It’s basically SARMS 2.0 that escaped China and now wants to feast on the lungs of all races and colors.

Big crowds are probably a bad idea right now due to the speed at which the virus can be transmitted. Avoiding handshakes and close contact with strangers is highly suggested. I always preferred fist bumps anyway.

Practicing excellent personal hygiene is a must. This means washing your hands with soap and warm water for 20-30 seconds, avoiding touching your face, and not being a dirty little bitch.

In other words – be a clean human for God’s sake.

Supplement wise my dear friend Jay Campbell put out a great tweet outlining some key supplements to take. You can check it out here.

Also don’t be a douche and follow me on Twitter.
You can find me here.

How to Set Up a Workout Routine if Quarantined

“This my nightmare!” you scream as the news of your city being shutdown is trending on Twitter. Looks like you’re not leaving the house unless it’s for work or (maybe) groceries. Your usual routine of work and the gym are done for a bit.

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck
Notice the empty gym ? People are already staying home

What are you gonna do?

First of all, don’t panic. Working out at home is amazing. In fact, some of the best client transformations I’ve been a part of are from people who workout at home. I’m just saying – don’t knock it till you try it.

First, let’s take stock of what you have available around the house. If you don’t have dumbbells, exercise bands or kettlebells – don’t stress it. Bodyweight training can be a real ass-kicker if done right. If you have some spare cash and want to grab a couple pairs of dumbbells and some exercise bands – I’d suggest doing it. It never hurts to have some tools in the toolbox.

Here’s the bands I recommend.

Dumbbells can be pricey – but I love these adjustable dumbbells here:

Pick these badboys up.

or these

Love these too.

There’s some other cool toys you can grab and we’ll cover that in a bit. For now, stick to these basics and you can’t go wrong.

Once you have some equipment (or just your sexy bod) – it’s time to carve out some space in the house (or outside). If you live in a warmer climate, I highly suggest training in the sunlight. Sunlight kills this virus and does wonders for your health. Your body needs the sun – there’s no way around it.

If you can’t train outside – I suggest the garage. Open the doors and let the fresh air in. Pump some tunes and get after it. Just make sure to wipe down the equipment afterwards. Remember- don’t be dirty.

What Kind of Workouts Can I Do?

Josiah Novak

I like to suggest simple and effective home workouts.

If you have a full gym set up at home – great – you’re one of the cool kids. Sit this one out. I’m talking to the folks who have their bodyweight, maybe some dumbbells and a few exercise bands. Rise up!

Let’s start with the basic bodyweight workout.

Here’s an example from my HomeBody workout program.

Warm Up: Glute Power Squeeze for 30 seconds and 10 walk outs

1) Feet Elevated Push Ups 3 sets of 6-10 reps – lower yourself with a 3 second count

2) Doorway or Table Bodyweight Rows 3 sets of 6-10 reps – hold the top squeeze for a 1 count

3) Reverse Lunges 3 sets of 10 reps per leg

4) Supermans 3 sets of 10-15 – hold the top for 1-2 seconds

5) Glute Bridge 3 sets of 12 reps – squeeze glutes for 1 second at top

Simple and highly effective.

What if I Have Dumbbells?

Glad you asked bud.

Here’s a workout straight out of my HomeBody Program that drops March 13th 2020.

Start with 10 minutes of Mobility

Warm Up: Glute Power Squeeze for 30 seconds and 10 Walkouts

1) Goblet Squats 3 sets of 10-12

2) Bent Over 2 Arm Rows 3 sets of 10-12

3) Floor Close Grip Press 3 sets of 10-12

4) Rear Delt Flys 3 sets of 10-12

5) Stiff Leg Deadlifts 3 sets of 10-12

6) Weighted Sit-Ups 3 sets of 10-12

If You Want to Spice Things Up – Try This

If you find yourself feeling bored or uninspired when it comes to your home workouts – here’s a few ideas.

  1. Crank some music. Atmosphere is everything for some of us and having the right songs playing at the right time can change everything.
  2. Think about how cool you’re going to look when this virus goes away and you’re jacked and ripped walking back into the gym like a boss.
  3. Remember- the best way to boost your immune system is to eat well, train hard, and get good sleep. This virus won’t stand a chance if you crush home workouts.

If all else fails – here’s a challenge style workout that will throw some spice in the mix:

15-10-5 For Time

Do 15 reps of all 3, then 10, then 5 as fast as possible with perfect form

Dumbbell Thrusters (keep dumbbells light around 10-20 lbs)

Air Squats


How About Cardio?

Ahh cardio. Can’t forget about little ol’ cardio now can we?

The best bet is to walk outside in the sunlight. If that’s not an option I suggest ordering a jump rope and doing 15-20 minutes of jump rope each day.

If you can walk outside – be sure to avoid shaking hands with anyone or making eye contact as you power walk through your neighborhood. The virus can be easily transmitted just by making direct eye contact. I’m kidding, sort of. Fist bumps should be used from here on out.

I suggest aiming for a step goal while you’re stuck in the house. See who can get the most steps each day. The losers all have to make dinner that night (rice again?? WTF MOM!).

What About Nutrition?

Without sounding like a Simple Scrub – I suggest keeping your food very basic and healthy.

Whole foods as much as possible, protein powder should be used if you can’t get out and get fresh meat and fish, veggies and fruits (order a greens and reds powder from HERE and use code TRUE to save money and make me rich), and get plenty of Vitamin C and Vitamin D.

Along with that be sure to stock up on fresh water. The virus thrives in people who are dehydrated. Stay hydrated at all times. I suggest 1 gallon of water per day.

The Most Important Thing to Remember

Here’s the most important thing to remember.

Don’t panic.

Whatever you do – do NOT panic.

Focus on your health and the health of those around you.

Stay calm.

Stay focused.

This too shall pass.

Get Free Workouts Each Week Here

The Best Science-Based Diets For Rapid Fat Loss (Meals + Calories)

What’s up, guys? I promised in my last video that we were going to talk about nutrition, specifically science-based diets and how to start rapidly losing body fat. Because honestly, most people get the workout side, right? You know, they start training, they start working out at home. If you watch previous videos, we walk through some really awesome home workouts, you can go check those out.

But most people trip up when it comes to nutrition. They just can’t seem to get their diet right. So today I want to map out a whole plan for you to follow so that going into 2020, you’re super confident with your nutrition plan. So, let’s jump into it.

Setting up a Nutrition Plan

Step 1

Okay. And we’re going to walk through step by step on how I would suggest you go about setting up your whole nutrition plan. The first step and I came to Chipotlé with Ryan who’s behind the camera because the first thing that I have to stress is that you have to be able to enjoy your nutrition plan. If you don’t enjoy the foods you eat, it’s only a matter of time before you quit. You go back to whatever you were doing before, whatever you find the most enjoyable. So whenever you’re starting a nutrition plan, you’ve got to figure out what am I going to eat that I’m actually going to be able to enjoy every day and not get so sick of it or regret doing this to where I want to just go back to whatever felt comfortable before.

So if you don’t have some kind of satisfaction in your diet, if you don’t have an enjoyable lifestyle-friendly plan, well, you got to change it. My advice is if you don’t wake up every single day thinking “I can totally do this.. I enjoy the food that I eat.. I really like this plan”, then you’ve got to switch plans. Don’t follow something just because someone said it worked for them. Think about what’s going to work for you. So that’s step one. Make sure your nutrition plan is based around foods that you actually enjoy. For me, I like Chipotlé. Chipotlé is one of my favorites. Quick, easy, fast, and a calorie friendly meal. So that’s step number one.

Step 2

All right, so step number two is calories. Now before you get like super intimidated and think “Oh my God, calories, I’m going to have to track every little calorie…”, It’s not true. You are going to have to understand at least in general ballpark of how many calories you’re taking in every day. But the reason why calories are so important is at the end of the day, calories are king. It doesn’t matter which kind of diet you follow. If you follow a keto diet, if you follow a paleo diet, it doesn’t matter. You have to be aware of how many calories you’re taking in versus how many calories you’re burning through exercise, cardio activity. To lose fat, you have to be in what’s called a calorie deficit.

So when we’re talking about rapid fat loss, losing fat quickly, well we have to be burning more calories than we eat. So we have to figure out how many calories do I need on a daily basis, weekly basis, monthly basis in order for me to achieve the goal that I have, which, in this case, is fat loss. So my suggestion, and this is just a place to start– because, in reality, I don’t know exactly how many calories you need. I don’t know what your situation is, but I’m going to give you a ballpark figure to start getting the right amount of calories. To be honest, the best place to start is to take whatever goal bodyweight you have. So if you’re 250 pounds today and you want to be 200 pounds, take the goal bodyweight that you have times that by 12 and that’s your starting calorie point.

A good place to start is tracking your food, seeing how much you’re eating, and aiming for a specific target. You don’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to hit that number every day. In fact, you can be higher some days, lower the next, but on average 12 times your goal body weight. So in this case, if you wanted to be 200 pounds to 2,400 calories would be a good starting point without getting your calories right. You’re not going to get the progress that you want. You’re not going to see the results that you want longterm. You have to make sure you’re taking the right amount of calories. Now, one thing I will say is that some people argue that calories aren’t all that matters. You know, not all calories are created equal. You’re right, calories aren’t the only thing that matter. And we’re going to get to that here as we go through the next few steps.

But understand that calories are just a unit of measurement. They’re just telling you how much energy is in the food that you’re eating. So the Chipotle that I’m about to crush right now, there’s a certain amount of calories in this food. One calorie is just like one mile, okay? If I run a mile through the street here, or if I go swim a mile, it’s still a mile, okay? That’s calories. A calorie is a calorie. It doesn’t matter what kind of food it is, it’s just a unit of measurement. So keep that in mind as we go through the next few steps. That’s step number two. Let’s go to step number three.

Step 3

All right. So we talked about calories and despite the fact that calories are King, they’re not the only thing that matters. The type of calories you eat definitely matters. In fact, the most important type of calorie is protein. Protein is the most vital macronutrient that you’re going to eat. And if you get nothing else right when it comes to nutrients, whether its carbs, fats, or protein, get your protein right. Protein is going to do a couple of things for you. Number one, it’s going to help you maintain muscle. Muscle is crucial, especially when it comes to getting in better shape. You want to look your best, you want to feel your best. So keeping the muscle that you have is vital muscle, and equates to a better metabolism. The more muscle you have on your body, the faster your metabolism is going to be, which results in better fat loss.

Protein is going to help spare muscle and build new muscle. Plus, protein is very satiating, meaning it’s gonna help you feel more full, more satisfied throughout the day. Um, not to mention protein itself requires more calories to break down inside the body than any other macronutrients. So despite the fact that one gram of protein equals four calories, it’s actually less than that because your body can’t utilize all those calories from protein when it goes to breaking it down. So my suggestion, this is once again a very basic suggestion, but start with one gram of protein per pound of goal body weight. So if you want to be 200 pounds, 200 grams of protein, give or take 10 to 15 grams. Either way is a good place to start, but make sure that if you don’t get anything else right, calories and protein are the two most vital things.

Step 4

All right, so tip number four, the number of meals, right? How often should you eat? Where should you eat? How should you schedule your meals throughout the day? Like I said, this is all science-backed, right? Don’t want to give you any BS or any bro-science. This is all based on scientific research and to be fair, the research tells us that meal frequency is not really that big a deal. I know you might’ve heard, well, should I eat every two to three hours to speed up my metabolism? Don’t I need to eat like at certain times or certain cutoff times I shouldn’t eat? It’s not true at all. In fact, the most important thing to remember when it comes to your metabolic rate is the total amount of food that you eat, all right? The amount of calories that you’re taking in every day is what’s going to increase your metabolism or slow down your metabolism.

As you lose fat, you’re actually slowing down your metabolism. It’s your body’s natural way of warding off starvation, right? Making sure that you don’t die. If all we did was start losing fat and continuously lose weight day after day, while we’d eventually wilt away to nothing, right? So our metabolism is there to protect us. So when it comes to meal frequency, the best tip I can give you is just to eat when you’re hungry. So, for example, I don’t typically eat breakfast because I’m just not a breakfast person. I don’t feel hungry in the morning. Eating in the morning kind of makes me feel sluggish, slow. I prefer to wait and eat til early in the afternoon, midday, and finish my meals later at night and actually save most of my calories for later in the day when I’m actually hungry on. I recommend most people eat three, maybe four meals a day.

It’s just a little bit more lifestyle-friendly that way. I don’t want you constantly thinking about food, having to look at the clock and make sure that it hasn’t been too long since your last meal. Spread your meals out a little bit. That’s going to also afford you the opportunity to eat bigger meals. I just had Chipotle, crushed probably about 900 calories of food. I eat roughly 2,500 calories a day, so I have another 1500 calories to play with. Now that it’s almost three o’clock in the afternoon, I can wait another three or four hours and have a nice big dinner with my family. And at the end of the day, as long as my calories are where they need to be, I’m getting enough protein. I’m good, right? Because at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing. That’s the most important factor when it comes to fat loss, total calories, protein, and then making sure that we’re getting enough vital nutrients, micronutrients to support our health and overall wellbeing.

But when you eat, that’s up to you. Eat when you’re hungry, schedule your meals around your day and relax.

Step 5

So tip number five, this is the last, and this is going to help bring everything together because we’ve talked about calories, we’ve talked about the importance of getting enough protein, talked about meal frequency and how it’s really up to you and your appetite. Whatever’s going to work best for your schedule. And now I want to bring it all together with what I call The Power Method.

The Power Method

All right, so this is my secret sauce if you will. It’s really just a way to organize all of this because honestly, I know nutrition can be confusing. There are a hundred different ways to get ripped. There are a thousand different ways to schedule your meals. You know there’s keto, paleo, carb cycling. It’s all a little bit confusing. I get it. So I created something that is going to help outline all this, make it crystal clear, simple to follow, and easy to stick to over a long period of time.

The Power Method looks like this, so you’re going to have a few different things that you do throughout your day to make nutrition easy. One of the things that, something I just did, which is a power bowl or power salad, whatever you want to call it, where we have a high volume meal where it’s very filling, it’s got a lot of nutrients, right? I had a bunch of lettuce, vegetables, I had a good source of protein. I had a little bit of, you know, corn just to kind of color up my nutrient intake for the day and it isn’t a ton of calories. Yeah, it was like 900 calories.

That’s not a lot for me. You could cut it down if you need a little bit less, but it’s a power meal right in the middle of your day that satisfies you, right? It doesn’t leave you wanting more and craving a bunch of junk. It’s enough to kind of fill you up till later in the day. At some point, I’m going to have what’s called a power smoothie. This is just like a quick, easy to drink, high protein shake, right, but you can put some nutrients in there like fruit, spinach, things to make it a little bit more health-friendly. Right. Then we’re going to finish off the day with what’s called a power feast.

This is where you might go out with friends or you might have a sit-down dinner with your family, or maybe it’s a date night. Whatever is in your lifestyle schedule– its an opportunity to enjoy more food than you might normally, but not mess up your nutrition plan. Save a good chunk of calories for the power feast because it’s satisfying and it’s lifestyle friendly. You don’t have to stress, you can go out to you, you can do what you need to do. Have a business meeting, go to dinner with friends and family, or if it’s a birthday, you can enjoy a slice of cake and not go over your calories.

Guys, that’s it. That is the science-backed nutrition plan meal plan to get rapid fat loss and also keep your fat loss for life. For more nutrition guidelines, grab my book, Diets Suck, FOR FREE (just pay shipping) HERE. If you are interested in learning some of my proven ways to get into shape for absolutely free, check out
As always, if you like this topic, make sure to subscribe, leave a comment, and I’ll talk to you soon, peace!

Back Workout for Size

What’s up, guys? Josiah here in North Virginia at the gym over in Manassas with Alexander Cortes and we’re getting ready to hit a back workout. I’m actually just going to let Alexander run the show and I’m following along just working on getting some gains.

So you guys get a chance to see how we train and work on some very basic moves like rows, pull-downs, with progressive overload over two working sets. So all a very simple process that takes adding weight through reps and you can see how it goes down.

Move #1: Seal Rows

With back training, your back is weakest in the short position, meaning that when you are doing that back movement, you’re weakest as you pull back. So, back is the one muscle group where actually okay to kind of cheat the form on and you can arch your back, thoracic spine, and get those elbows behind you, you want to have that happen. You don’t want to train back where you keep it strict, and you pull back but you never actually pulling the traps and making a full contraction. As I said, it’s going to look like you’re cheating a little bit. That’s okay to do.

Now you don’t want your too much momentum, but you want to engage more in the spine, otherwise, you’re never going to get that whole track of stimulation in those muscle fibers. You’ll see here as I do this until it gets here. I’m going to use my torso a little bit. I’m not going to keep myself into a super flat and controlled.

Move #2: Close-grip Seated Rows

Move #3: Close-grip Pulldowns

Move #4: Good Mornings

Move #5: Back Extensions

Move #6: High Rows

Move #7: Plate Overhead Raises

Move #8: Dumbbell curls

All right. We just got done with a pretty sick back session. You know, pump top to bottom, posterior chain. Good to lift Some iron. Super old school barbells, dumbbells, threw in a couple of little things for our lower back and our spinal erectors, but overall, just old school, hardcore bodybuilding workouts.

Awesome. Keep it basic, guys. Keep progressive. You’ll see the gains come.

If you liked this video check some of our other videos here:

5 Minute Full Body Home Workout (NO GYM)

💪 Getting Stronger With Bodyweight Workouts NO GYM (Try This!)

Can You Drink Alcohol and Lose Fat?

We are talking about alcohol today and whether or not you should cut out alcohol to get rid of body fat.

I get this question all the time. It’s one of the most common topics that comes up. Anytime a client or a potential client reaches out to me and says, “Hey, uh, you know, I’m looking at my lifestyle and trying to make some changes and I just want to know, does alcohol make me fat?” So today I want to talk about how to manage your relationship between weight loss, fat loss, and alcohol because let’s face it, when people ask me, what do you have to lose? Do you have to cut out alcohol to lose fat? It’s not an easy question to answer necessarily because everybody’s situation is a little bit different. And we’re going to jump into some things today.

Because overall, here are my thoughts on alcohol. You don’t have to ditch alcohol to lose fat, right? From a scientific standpoint, you don’t have to, but if you do cut out excessive alcohol and excessive drinking, it will definitely help you lose fat. So without further ado, let’s jump into it.

Basics of Alcohol’s Relationship to Weight Loss

Let’s first of all cover just the basics, right? Cause there’s actually been a lot of research into alcohol and weight loss over the years and numerous studies have shown that people can consume light to moderate amounts of alcohol and not necessarily gain weight. Okay. And by the way, moderate drinking is defined as one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men. So just so we’re clear on the definition of moderate drinking. Okay, so one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men. And of course, the reason why it’s split up between men and women is just the average weight of both genders is different, right? Men typically are heavier than women, so the moderate definition becomes a little bit different when we’re comparing the genders.

Part of this is due to alcohol’s unique effect on the body. Your body can’t store alcohol and there are seven calories per gram of alcohol than alcohol brings to the table, right? So cause most people don’t even understand this basic point that alcohol does have calories, it’s more calories per gram than both carbs and protein, but less than fat because fat has nine calories per gram. Okay? So the body’s main priority is to get alcohol out of your system. Uh, there’s also a good, uh, a rather significant percentage of calories from alcohol that get burned up by your metabolism through a process called the thermic effect of food or ‘TEF’.

The thermic effect of alcohol is about 22 and a half percent, which basically puts it right on par with protein and causes proteins. TEF, the thermic effect of food is about 25% to 30% and it’s well ahead of carbohydrates because carbs are about 6% to 8%, and fat is about two to 3%.

So Now What?

Okay? So all of that is just to say that alcohol on its own won’t necessarily make or break your weight loss goals. All right? So if you enjoy a few drinks per week, it’s definitely still possible to have a highly successful fat loss process.

But here’s why alcohol might make you fat: Just because your body doesn’t store alcohol’s calories, it doesn’t mean that you can just drink however much you want and everything’s great and you know, you’re tracking calories and what-not. it’s fine when your body is processing those alcohol calories, they’re basically taking over other calories you could be burning.

So, for example, a lot of people drink and they go out and have like a burger or fries or pizza or whatever while they’re drinking. So the alcohol calories get put to the front of the line and your body makes that a priority because alcohol once again, can’t be used by the body. It’s a toxin. It’s got to get out of the body as fast as possible. So the body prioritizes alcohol, calories over food, calories.

What the Research Says

So a lot of research honestly leads to the, to the point that it’ll make it at least the leads you to believe the problem isn’t necessarily the alcohol itself. It’s what comes along with drinking, right? It’s the candy, the Twizzlers, the wings, pizza rolls, pot pockets, whatever the to eat. You know, at two in the morning when you get home from drinking, that ends up pushing your calories way too high for the day because many people who eat, or, excuse me, many people who drink alcohol have a tendency to eat more food.

There was a review published in physiology and behavior that found that drinking before or during a meal tends to increase your overall food intake. It’s also important to note that even though your body can’t store alcohol, it can and does store the calories that are mixed with the drink. For example, if you put in a margarita mix, which has about 83 grams of sugar, that can most definitely be stored inside the body as either energy or body fat.


So let’s talk about a game plan. What should you do in terms of alcohol? Well, the first step is to get clear on how much you’re drinking currently. So it varies, for some of you, it can be an eye-opening experience to really say “how much am I actually drinking on a weekend or week”, and you might say, “Oh, I normally drink a couple beers”, but then when you look at it, it’s like more like six to eight beers. Okay.

Heavier drinking is associated with weight gain is associated with a larger amount of belly fat. Um, as well as poor health, right? So excessive alcohol consumption is the third leading cause of premature death in the US if you’re drinking exceeds that one or two drinks per day guideline that I talked about before, then yeah, I highly suggest cutting back on alcohol just to help you lose more fat. The second thing is to pay attention to what else you do when you drink. If the occasional beer or glass of wine with friends is just that, right? Just a beer, glass of wine, then the calorie impact probably isn’t that significant. But if your drinks come with you know, late-night pizza or burgers or take out or whatever, you might have an issue on your hands. Okay. So here again it’s not so much the alcohol but cutting out alcohol can help you with better habits and routines. It can lead to less overall caloric intake.

All right, so number three. Um, number three is let’s say, let’s say you’re drinking and your appetite is under control, but you’re still not losing fat. And let’s say your drink, you know, your glass of wine every night is like a, a non-negotiable. It’s a must-have. You really want to have it. So what we should start to do then is start to offset those calories by trimming elsewhere. For example, a glass of wine is about 120 calories. Okay? A typical beer is about 150 calories, and although there are some heavier drinks out there in those categories. Like there’s some wine that’s a little bit more, there’s some beer that’s more, um, if you were to cut out 30 to 40 grams of carbs or you know, 10 to 15 grams of fat somewhere else in your meals, then that can offset those calories.

Okay. So overall, you know, when I talk about alcohol and my clients that I work with one on one or inside of our transformation coaching programs or inside of our digital programs, anytime I talk about alcohol, I say everyone’s unique, right? Because here’s the thing, not everybody drinks the same amount, you know? It’s not like everybody sits down at dinner and has two beers, right? That’s not always the case. We have to take a look at it from an individual perspective. Just like I preach with everything else, right? Diet workouts, cardio, everything has to be tailored to you as an individual. If you’re somebody who drinks excessively every night, obviously we need to start cutting back. If you’re someone who only drinks excessively once a month, then it may not be that big a deal. We have to take a look at your unique situation.

Couple more rules of thumb. If you’re a wine drinker, red wine is going to be your better choice because white wine has more sugar. Typically, if you’re a beer drinker, light beer is going to be your best choice, the heavier IPA [inaudible] and like the Guinness and stuff like that is, you know, going to come with heavier amounts of calories. You gotta be aware of that liquor, uh, and spirits, the best choices, a clear liquor or clear spirit, uh, the top two or tequila and vodka. It’s funny because tequila is often associated with, you know, hardcore partying and you know, somebody trying to get really drunk. But in reality, there’s some very easy-to-make drinks that are low calorie, using tequila as the primary liquor; and I highly suggest you take a look at vodka as well.

So if you’re into those, those are going to be your two best choices. Um, avoid as much as possible. Heavy calorie mixers, margarita mix, regular sodas, you know, the fancy drinks that are just that– they taste amazing but they’re just packed with sugar. Those are things you’re going to want to avoid if you’re trying to lose body fat. Why? Yes, could you technically drink those and track the calories and see some progress? For sure. It’s just gonna make your life so much harder though I would much rather have you make a few sacrifices with what you put in your drink and lower calories that way, over having to cut out alcohol altogether.


Overall, it’s important just to be aware of the habits that you have around drinking. So if you find yourself feeling really crappy the next day, not able to get your workouts in, and your appetite is out of control, you’re not getting enough sleep. Once again, we just have to dissect what alcohol is really doing to you from a lifestyle perspective, from a habits and routines perspective. And is it leading to poor habits, right? Is it leading to things that are just not going to serve you long term for your fitness goals?

People always ask me what I do, and I say, look, you know, I’m not a big drinker. Never have been. Uh, probably never will be. So I don’t struggle with keeping alcohol very moderate. When I do drink, which is probably on average once a month, once every six weeks. I’m a big Moscow mule guy. It’s, it’s not the lowest calorie drink by any means, but since I’m not a big drinker, I don’t really worry about it because I only drink probably two or three once every six to eight weeks on average and that doesn’t really impact my lifestyle, my fitness goals or anything like that.

So that is my 2 cents on alcohol. I hope that this gives you some insight into not only how to approach alcohol from a fat loss standpoint, but just an overall health standpoint as well. Because let’s face it, you know, looking great naked is just part of the equation. It’s awesome. It’s a great thing. Being lean is phenomenal. It’s great for health, it’s great for confidence, it’s great for just overall enjoyment of life, but if we’re not healthy, we’re not taking care of the internal side of things then or missing half the equation, and alcohol can obviously lead to some detrimental health issues. So let’s just keep that in mind as we move forward into 2020 where your alcohol intake is, what habits and routines is it serving or leading to, and how can we make your health a priority as well as your fat loss goals more of a reality.

I had a lot of info jam-packed ready to go for you, and hopefully, the alcohol subject gave you some insight into my thoughts but wanted to give you something to consider because I get this question almost every week.

If you want to get to know more about how to lose the weight and keep it off, we highly recommend a valuable guide called the Look Good Naked Guide, that is a free program designed to give you all the tools necessary to get started. Download it Here.

As always, I just want to say thank you so much for taking the time to read. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope it provided some insight and some value for you today would love it if you subscribed to the show, left us a rating and review.

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Try This Fitness Challenge (DEKA-FIT)

Hey, what’s up, guys? 

Just Novak back again and today I’m talking to you about a brand new fitness event/competition. 

If you’ve followed me for however long you know now that I love Spartan races, it’s one of my favorite fitness challenges to partake in. And over the past 5 to 10 years, the Spartan race has taken over the world. It’s all over the place. People are doing it from all walks of life. They just released a brand new version of the Spartan race called DEKA-FIT.

Today I want to talk to you about what DEKA-FIT is, whether or not it’s a good idea for you to jump into and how to actually prepare and train for this crazy new event that’s going to be taken the country by storm in 2020 so without further ado, let’s jump into what DEKA-FIT is.


So you guys are probably wondering what in the heck is DEKA-FIT? What exactly is this new event? Let me break it down for you. So over the past 5/10 years, the Spartan Race has been well known for its obstacles, right? It’s basically an obstacle course race at the end of the day where you run for a certain period of time and then every mile or two miles there’s an obstacle that you have to get through, climb, overcome, whatever. Right? 

So what is DEKA-FIT? Well, DEKA-FIT has basically taken that idea, combined it with CrossFit competition and made an event that pretty much anybody in a gym setting who works out on a regular basis could jump into without any problem. What exactly is DEKA-FIT? Well, it’s 10 fitness stations with a run in between. So there are 10 different fitness obstacles that are all based around your normal fitness movements.

And then in between each obstacle you run 500 meters. So a little bit over a lap around the track. That’s it. And it’s timed, right? So you get to compete against people in your age group, people in your gender group. And then overall, if you’re trying to shoot for elite status, you can compete against other professional racers. That’s what DEKA-FIT is. They’ve basically taken the Spartan race, combined it with CrossFit and their baby is DEKA-FIT. 

So let’s jump into the events, how to start working out using those events, and we’ll cover exactly how to prepare for the race.


All right guys, zone number one or exercise number one in DEKA-FIT is the Spartan Ram squat. That’s where you’re taking the Spartan Ram, which is a tool to just a heavy piece of equipment that is recycled tires form together into a Spartan Ram. Men are going to do 55 pounds elite women and open men will do 44 pounds and open women will be doing 33 pounds. You’re basically going to do six different sub zones inside zone number one and each zone you’ll do five squats, so that’s 30 total squats using the Spartan Ram. That’s zone number one. 


Zone number two is a row. You’re just gonna do a 500 meter row as fast as possible. Using the rowing machine takes however long you need, complete 500 meters and you’re on to the next run, which is another 500 meter run. 


Next is zone number three. Exercise number three is box jump overs. You’re going to jump up on a 24 inch plyo box, step down the other side, jump back on, step down the other side, and repeat until you completed 20 reps. Once you’ve done 20 you’re onto the next 500 meter runs.


Next up is the medicine ball road. This is where you’re gonna complete 20 medicine ball throws. Men are going to use 20 pounds. We’re are you gonna use 10 once you’ve completed 20 reps, guess what? You’re onto another run. 500 meter run after the medicine ball throw


Next up in zone number five exercise number five is the ski ERG. The skier is a relatively unique piece of equipment. Not every gym carries it, but what I’ve demonstrated here is how to do it with just two exercise bands so that you’re fully prepared for the exercise. You have to complete 500 meters on the skier machine. Once you’re done with 500 meters, however long it takes, you’re onto the next 500-meter run.


entering zone number six, which is the farmers carry men will carry 70 pounds in each hand. Women will carry 35 pounds in each hand. You have to walk 100 meters using that weight. Nobody can break, can’t drop the weight, take as long as it takes to get to a hundred meters. Once you return the weight, you’re onto the next run 500 meter run.


Zone number seven or exercise seven is the assault bike. On the assault bike, you have to complete 20 calories, so on the screen, it’ll tell you how many calories you burned. You’re going until you burn 20 however long that takes. Then you’re onto a 500-meter run. 


Zone number eight is dead ball wall-overs. Now, once again, I’ve demonstrated how to set up a wall over exercise. Here, just using a big tire, you can use whatever is about four to five feet high and all you’re doing is squatting down, picking up the ball, putting it over the obstacle in front of you, which in this case would be a wall in the competition. That’s one rep you’re going for 20 reps. men are going to do 70 pounds. Women are going to do 50.


After another 500 meter run. You’re going into the sled push pull. Now, DEKA-FIT calls it the tank push-pull, but it’s basically just a sled, and once again, you’re just going for distance here, so it’s forward 10 meters back, 10 meters. That completes one round and you’re going for five total rounds and then you’re onto the last zone exercise, which is Ram burpees.


Using the same tool that we started the race with Ram squat. Now you’re just doing a burpee with an overhead press. 20 reps here, men are doing 55 pounds. Women are going to do that. 33 pounds, 20 reps total. Once you’ve done here, you’re done with the race and you’re onto the finish line.


So that’s a breakdown of DEKA-FIT. The events, some of the exercises, and how to prepare. What I’ve also done for you in the description of the video here is I’ve listed three different workouts that you can start incorporating into your routine to start preparing for the deck of fit.

Obviously, you’re going to need to really get ready for this thing. You’re not gonna be able to just jump into it and crush it. So I suggest starting to build in workouts like the ones I’ve listed into your routine at least a couple times a week to start familiarizing yourself with the movements and start building up your athletic conditioning. Overall, I highly suggest something light deck, a fit as a goal, as a target, as a checkpoint in your year to challenge yourself, get yourself out of your comfort zone. Personally, I love the Spartan race. It’s been an amazing experience. I’ve done almost 10 races in my career and I’m going to continue to do things like DEKA-FIT. So if you’re at an event, you might see me there. Otherwise, jump into this. See if this challenge as you start to push, get a little bit of a variety into your training and I’ll see you in the race

Until next time,

Josiah Novak

PS. If you’re serious about losing weight and keeping it off for good, download our free guide at to help you get started. Let me know if you like things like this and you might see more DEKA-FIT style training info in the future. Talk to you soon.

Can You Drink Alcohol and Still Lose Fat?

One of the top 3 questions I get from people all the time is:

“Josiah – I enjoy drinking alcohol here and there – can I still lose fat and enjoy a few drinks?”

I’ve answered this question over 1800 times now, but I figured I’d outline my thoughts in a podcast to kick off the New Year.


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Can you lose fat and still drink alcohol?




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The Best Science Based Diets For Rapid Fat Loss (Meals + Calories)

When it comes to dieting, losing weight, and fat loss there is no “best diet for any of these. But there are The Best Science-Based Diets For Fat Loss. Today at True Transformation, we are going to walk you through the four things you need to know when it comes to the best diets for rapid fat loss. Scientifically speaking of course!

The most important thing when dieting is being able to wake up every day knowing your diet works great for you. Too many people start diets that are impossible to maintain, and they quickly lose and give up entirely. Here is a key tip for all dieters: Do NOT follow a diet plan just because someone else said it worked for them. Everybody is different both physically and mentally. What works great for one persons body might not work at all for another person. Included in this video are four key tips everyone needs to know about fat loss using scientific methods. If you follow these four tips, you will lose weight, lose fat, get healthy, and not hate your diet! Let’s get started.

Tip #1: Make sure your nutrition plan is based around foods you enjoy. This is important. If you are trying to eat spinach every day and you don’t like spinach… your diet will fail faster than you can count to ten. Make sure to find foods that are going to work for you.

Tip #2: Calories Are King. Whether you are doing the keto diet, the paleo diet, the McDonalds diet or any other diet, doesn’t matter, the key is How many calories are you taking in vs how many are you burning? To lose fat, and have rapid weight loss you need to burn more calories than you take in. Simple as that. A great starting point to identify how many calories you need to eat is to start with your ideal weight and then multiply that number by 12. If you want to weight 200 pounds, you need to aim to eat approximately 2400 calories per day. Over the course of a week, that means you can eat roughly 17,000 calories. And over the course of a full month (30 days), this means you can eat around 72,000 calories. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than this.

Tip #3: Eat Protein. Protein is the most vital nutrient for the body as it helps your body to maintain muscle which makes you look and feel good. And the more muscle you have the better your metabolism is going to be. Which means better fat loss. In addition to those benefits, protein makes you feel full. We call that satiation in the fitness world. By feeling full, you don’t go through periods of unnecessary eating. This is important as snacking all day is the downfall of any diet. And if you aren’t getting enough protein, you won’t feel full and you will snack. One gram of protein is around four calories. Aim to eat around one gram of protein per goal body weight. If you want to weigh 200 pounds, 200 grams of protein is a good place to start. This would mean eating roughly 800 calories of protein each day.

Tip #4: Don’t stress out over meal frequency! Many diets out there will have you believe that you need to eat every few hours for it to be effective. This simply is not true. A better plan is to spread your meals out further and eat bigger meals. The most important factor when it comes to fat loss is this: total calories plus protein and getting in vital nutrients.

As promised in the video, check out this link: to get your FREE book “The Power Method” Its all about Fat Loss, Muscle Growth and a True Lifestyle Transformation!

If you liked this video check some of our other videos here:

5 Minute Full Body Home Workout (NO GYM)

💪 Getting Stronger With Bodyweight Workouts NO GYM (Try This!)