115 – The Truth About Beginning a Fitness Routine

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

In today’s episode I talk to you about beginning a fitness routine. There are no quick fixes or magic pills to get you to your dream results. It is going to take work, and I am here to help you through your process.

True Beginnings is launching soon. It’s a revolutionary program that is going to help so many people in all areas of their lives. Email me at josiah@thetruetransformation.com to reserve your spot!

Be sure to subscribe, leave a rating and review and let me know what you think of the show – every Wednesday I’ll be giving away a gift to a lucky winner who leaves a rating and review!

To apply for my online coaching program – please email Josiah@thetruetransformation.com

Today’s episode is brought to you by Four Sigmatic – this is my new daily addiction (good thing it’s super healthy right?) !

Check out Four Sigmatic Here and Save 15% off your purchase when you use the code “Fitman”.

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Over Training or Over-Life?

Josiah Novak

If you spend enough time around any popular fitness forum, read any fitness magazine, or watch youtube videos you are bound to stumble upon the concept of “Overtraining”. First, we will examine what coaches and science classify as overtraining and then we will uncover whether this is a concept that applies to regular hard-working gym-goers like yourself.

First let’s examine the concept of overtraining. Somewhere many Olympiads ago foreign coaches testing their athletes with brutal two a day sessions and aggressive Bulgarian squat cycles uncovered the concept that the body can only tolerate a certain degree of working out before it would eventually begin to rebel via overuse injuries, decreased performance, or other negative biofeedback & symptoms (such as changes in body temperature, sleep disturbances etc.). However, let’s remember this occurred within the framework of perfectly monitored conditions with athletes whose full time job is just to train, recover, and optimize their life solely for the sake of lifting performance. Unfortunately, this concept of “overtraining” wasn’t created in the lab of a stressful white collar desk job, a strenuous manual labor job, or the parent who can barely make it to the gym in time before the child care desk closes. So then why do symptoms of overtraining occur in a population of individuals like yourself who aren’t working out 14 times per week? The answer – LIFE STRESS.

Our bodies were programmed thousands of years ago to manage acute physical stress or trauma. If there was no food around, or some beastly animal happened to find where you were camping we would face very intermittent stressful situations where we would likely either a) escape or b) die. In modern day society we face what scientists and doctors consider to be chronic stressors – too many TPS reports from our boss, kids not sleeping through the night, paying the bills on time, or telling little Timmy to stop playing video games. These are problems, stressors, and stimuli that simply didn’t exist thousands of years ago, nor did they exist within the social vacuum of an athlete’s training camp. Combine this with the fact that a challenging workout is physiologically stressful in an acute (short-lived) manner (albeit the good kind) and we have a recipe for limited recovery capacity. Whether we like it or not we are still largely biologically identical to our ancestors and this happens to backfire within the context of balancing work, life and training.

Did I lose you somewhere in the science between life stress and TPS reports? Don’t worry – here’s an easy way to break things down- Think of your total volume of stress like a bank account. While individual tolerances and savings thresholds may vary we walk into the week with a set amount of “cash flow” or, in this case “stress flow”, along with a set amount of recovery. To keep your account balanced you need to carefully monitor the outputs or stressors drawing from the account, and the inputs or personal recovery investments you are making into the account. Maintaining this fine balance it what allows some to train more than others over the course of weeks, months and years. Compound this over time and you’ve got a recipe for continued progress.  

If you find yourself struggling to recover from your weekly workouts begin to ask yourself – have I balanced my account? Are my life stressors + training stressors exceeding my capacity to recover? If so, we need to implement more tools for recovery: sleep, nutrition, meditation, breathing, soft tissue work, or any other activity that primes the “rest and digest” response in your body (also known as the “parasympathetic”). Keep a close eye on your progress (weight lifted, repetitions performed, and workout time) as well as a general awareness for your current life demands outside of the gym. There’s a chance your workout routine doesn’t have you over-trained. You may just be overloaded in life.


– Sam Miller 



The 2 Biggest Mistakes Women Make in The Gym

If you’re a woman who’s new to the gym, chances are you’ve been overloaded with information and you’re not sure what is the right thing to do. In this blog we discuss the most common mistakes women make in the gym, and what to do instead.

One of the first mistakes women make is thinking they need different supplements and products than men.

Have you ever gone to a local supplement store or scrolled through instagram looking for fitness inspiration, only to see a ton of products or ads claiming they’re made just for women?  

Yeah, me too. I went to a GNC recently and saw a ‘just for women’ protein powder. It was flashy with pink lettering and a thin silhouette of a woman on the front. Curious, I looked at the back to see the nutrition labeling. It had less grams of protein per scoop than the other regular brands.

It was even in a smaller container. But it cost about the same. It made me angry because I wonder how many women fall prey to this marketing nonsense!

One of the biggest fitness mistakes women make when trying to improve their health is falling for this BS marketing. Just because it says it’s for women doesn’t mean it’s actually any different. Don’t fall prey and pay more money to get less of a product with the exact same ingredients. Look at the nutritional labeling and ingredients before purchasing. Compare products back to back. Ask questions. Know what your needs are and save yourself some money.


The second biggest mistake is thinking that the best way to get slim and toned is to stick to ‘women’s workouts,’ ie; 2lb pink dumbbells and tons of cardio.

For generations now women have been told they shouldn’t lift heavy like men, because they’ll get too big, or that their uterus might fall out. <– seriously that’s a real claim. Cue eye roll.

As a result, women have flocked to step-class and Jane Fonda style workouts out of fear of ‘training like a man’. I’m starting to think of the movie, The Stepford Wives now where they exercise in heels.


Just say no.


Here’s the truth. Sticking to high reps/light weights and several hours of cardio simply because you’re a woman is also a bunch of BS. The best sets/reps/weight to use is going to be specific to your current strength and your goals. Not your gender.

The training plan should reflect if your goal is fat-loss, building muscle or getting strong. If you’re trying to lose that final 10 lbs stuck around your midsection, but you’re only picking up 2 pound pink dumbbells and flailing around doing donkey kicks every day, you’re not going to get there.

Want to get slim and toned? Getting slim has more to do with nutrition, and getting toned means the same thing as building some muscle. Building some muscle is not equal to becoming the hulk’s female counterpart. Building some muscle means the same thing as being “lean and toned.” Let go of the fear to train “like a man.” You won’t blow up and your uterus won’t fall out either. Scouts honor.



Side note: The women who do get large muscles train deliberately for years and years to get that way. It doesn’t just happen by looking at a dumbbell over twenty pounds. It’s focused work that is intentional and takes discipline and dedication. To the women who do want to build more muscle and train for size, there’s nothing wrong with that either! That’s awesome and something to be respected!


Point being, you should train according to how you like to train, what’s going to get you to your goals and make you feel confident. That’s going to look different for everyone.


Which leads me to a conversation about body image. As women, we’re told our entire lives what’s attractive and how we should strive to look like society’s standard of beauty. Most women spend their entire lives in a constant state of trying to lose weight with dreams of being slim, all the while feeling insecure and never truly stepping into their strength.

We’re told we need to look a certain way if we want to attract a man; be desirable, but not slutty.

We’re told we need to be slim, but not too skinny, toned but not too muscular. We’re told we need to go to the gym to lose the baby weight, but that our bodies will never be the same after having children.

So much confusing and conflicting information… and it’s a load of crap.


Try your best to block out all this nonsense. Take a seat and write down your goals.

What do you want to accomplish? Why are these goals important to you?


Then, create a plan, or find a coach to help you reach your goals.

Once you start training for your goals, you will begin to feel more confident in your skin.

As you get stronger, you will see that strength is beautiful.


With all of this being said, this pendulum indeed swings the other way too when it comes to women training in the gym. Let me explain.

Many professional athletes and even doctors aren’t aware that there are some key differences in women’s fitness!

One of the biggest differences is that we do have ovaries, a uterus and can grow babies!


Yayyyy we’re special…. I got so excited I almost peed myself.


Just kidding… But now that  we’re on the topic of incontinence, did you know this is a COMMON thing that happens to women in and out of the gym? As women, our pelvic floor health is unique and absolutely crucial to our health and fitness, especially if you’ve had children.

When a baby grows inside us, our abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles stretch out. Many women sadly have to ‘accept’ what’s known as Diastasis Recti (separation of the abdominal wall) and leaking urine during pregnancy, with little to zero education and guidance from their doctors about recovery post childbirth. Most women never fully recover postpartum, either!

I kid you not, my sisters doctor delivered her baby a year ago and said verbatim,

“It [her abdominal muscles and pelvic floor] will go right back to normal after her six week recovery. It’ll heal on its own.”

Cue my angry face again.

It makes me angry that even our medical doctors aren’t educated on the detrimental and long term side effects that pregnancy and childbirth do to a woman’s body. It’s simply brushed aside like it’s nothing when evidence clearly shows it’s a big deal and something that requires recovery.



The good news is, there is help out there. Pelvic floor physical therapists are staking their claim in the industry. If you’re a woman who’s been hitting the gym and trying to get strong but can’t seem to *not* pee your pants with some exercises, I highly encourage you to search around for a pelvic floor PT specialist. If you don’t know where to start, email me and I’ll refer you to someone.


Incontinence is not a badge of honor (which some box-gyms may lead you to believe), it’s actually a red flag. Your body is warning that your pelvic floor has a dysfunction. Listen to your body and take care of the necessary foundations of strength and in turn you’ll lift safer and be stronger. 


As always, do your research, ask questions and if you’re paying more for a product because it’s marketed towards women, chances are you can buy the “mens” product and it’ll be the exact same thing.

Use that money you saved on some new workout pants. I know I will.



Jordan Raye

Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor & Wellness Coach



Transform Your Body in 8 Weeks! (8 Weeks of FREE Workouts)

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

For the past 18 months I’ve run numerous 8 week Body-Transformation Challenges – The TRUE8 Challenge – that have resulted in hundreds of successful permanent body transformations.  Each 8 week program is centered around teaching you the habits, routines, workouts, nutrition guidelines and tips to ensure that fitness becomes a permanent part of your every day life.

In today’s blog, for the first time ever, I’m mapping out the exact workout and cardio routines that has been utilized in our TRUE8 program to help people transform their body and keep their results.  Our TRUE8 is getting a makeover and, moving forward, will be an even better transformation program called TRUE8 BEGINNINGS.

APPLY For 1 on 1 Coaching HERE


Phase 1 is all about building a strong base.  Whether you’ve been out of the game for awhile, or if you’re just starting out – it’s important to build up your baseline of strength to ensure you’re building momentum as you go into the next few phases.  Having strength helps you avoid injuries, improves energy, increases muscle functionality, and can boost your metabolism.

Each workout starts with a dynamic warm up – I’ll cover a quick exercise list here for a solid warm up.  Be sure to start each workout by warming up properly to avoid injury and ensure that your workout is effective!


-Jumping Jacks 30 seconds x 3

-High Knees 30 seconds x 3

-Arm Circles 30 seconds x 3

-Walk-Outs x 10

-Seal Jacks 30 seconds x 3

-Push-ups (hands elevated if necessary) x 10

-Lunges x 10

-Air Squats x 10

-Crunches x 10


  1. Squats (barbell, goblet or bodyweight) 4 sets of 4-6 reps – Rest 90-120 seconds between sets
  2. Reverse Lunges 3 sets of 6-8 reps each leg – rest 90 seconds between sets
  3. Push-ups 3 sets of as many reps as you can (stay 2 reps shy of failure) – rest 90 seconds between sets
  4. Chest Supported Dumbbell Rows – 3 sets of 6-8 reps – rest 90 seconds between sets
  5. Planks – 3 sets of 30-45 seconds


On days off from the gym – you should focus on total activity.  Start by tracking your steps using a free app such as Pedometer to figure out where you stand now. Aim for 6,000-8,000 steps per day for Phase 1 on all days (especially off days).

Besides activity, focus on stretching, mobility and staying hydrated on days you aren’t working out.


  1. Hex Bar Deadlifts – 4 sets of 4-6 reps – rest 120 seconds between sets
  2. Glute/Hip Thrusts – 3 sets 0f 6-8 reps – rest 90-120 seconds between sets
  3. Seated Rows – 3 sets of 6-8 reps – rest 90 seconds between sets
  4. Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 6-8 reps – rest 90 seconds between sets
  5. Face Pulls – 3 sets of 8-10 reps – rest 90 seconds between sets


Same as Off Day #1


  1. Goblet Squat – 3 sets of 6-8 reps – rest 120 seconds between sets
  2. Bulgarian Split Squats – 3 sets of 6 reps each leg – rest 90-120 seconds between sets
  3. Incline Dumbbell Press – 3 sets of 6-8 reps – rest 90 seconds between sets
  4. Pull-Up Bar Hang – 3 sets of 30-45 seconds – rest 90 seconds in between
  5. V-Ups – 3 sets of 10-15 reps – rest 90 seconds between sets

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Phase 2 is all about building more muscle size and shape.  In this phase the reps will start to increase and rest time will decrease.  You’ll definitely sweat a bit more than phase 1 and your total work volume will begin to increase.

This phase also comes with the introduction of “Finishers”.  These are short, challenging cardio workouts to add to your calorie burning for the day.


  1. Goblet Squats 3 sets of 10-12 – rest 60 seconds between sets
  2. (SUPERSET) Dumbbell Bench Press 3 sets of 10-12 superset with Band Pull-Aparts 3 sets of 15 – Rest 60 seconds after Superset
  3. (SUPERSET) Seated Row 3 sets of 10-12 superset with Lying Leg Curls 3 sets of 10-12 – Rest 60 seconds after superset
  4. (SUPERSET) Calf Raises 3 sets of 15 superset with Decline Bench Crunches 3 sets of 15 – Rest 45 seconds after superset


As Fast as Possible Do:

10 Rounds of:

10 Squats / 10 Burpees


In Phase 2 your target steps for each day, especially off days, goes to 10,000 steps.  The best way to do this is to schedule time to walk and to be sure to stay as active as you possibly can.


  1. Standing Dumbbell Press 3 sets of 8-12 reps – rest 60 seconds between sets
  2. Leg Press 3 sets of 8-12 reps – rest 60 seconds between sets
  3. (SUPERSET) Lat Pulldowns 3 sets of 8-12 reps superset with Push-ups 3 sets of 12 – rest 60 seconds between supersets
  4. Bent Over Rear Delt Flys – 3 sets of 20 – rest 45 seconds between sets
  5. (SUPERSET) Barbell Bicep Curls 3 sets of 10-12 superset with Tricep Rope Pushdowns 3 sets of 10-12 – rest 45 seconds between supersets


Same as off day #1.


  1. Sumo Deadlifts – 3 sets of 8 – rest 60-90 seconds between sets
  2. Dumbbell Incline Press – 3 sets of 10-12 – rest 60 seconds between sets
  3. (SUPERSET) Barbell Row 3 sets of 10-12 – superset with Dumbbell Lateral Raises 3 sets of 12-15 – rest 60 seconds between sets
  4. Dumbbell Lunges- 3 sets of 12-15 – rest 60 seconds between sets
  5. Plank – 3 sets of 45 seconds – rest 45 seconds between planks


Complete as many rounds as possible in 5 minutes:

2 Kettlebell Front Rack Squats – 8 reps

2 Kettlebell Swings – 8 reps


Phase 3 is going to push you both physically and mentally.  The last 2 weeks of this 8 week program are all about taking your training to new levels. Your workload in this phase will increase and you’ll be pushed outside of your comfort zone.  These types of phases are meant to last long, but in short bursts they can be super effective.

In this phase you’ll be introduced to more density work through Giant sets.  This is where we group 3-5 exercises together and perform them with very minimal rest between exercises (10-20 seconds).

Buckle up – you’re almost done with the 8 week program!


GIANT SET 1 – Rest 15 seconds between exercises- after all exercises are complete -rest 60 seconds and then repeat for 4 total rounds.

1A) Dumbbell Front Squats – 15-20 reps

1B) Push-ups (hands elevated if necessary) 15-20 reps

1C) Dumbbell Reverse Lunges 15 reps each leg

1D) Planks – 45-60 seconds

GIANT SET 2 – Same as giant set 1

2A) Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 15 reps

2B) Split Squats – 15 reps each leg

2C) Push ups (hands elevated if necessary) – 15 reps

2D) Bench Dips 15 reps


Complete 100 sit ups – everytime you break you must stop and complete 10 burpees


In Phase 3 you’ll continue to aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.  On off days try to reach for 12,000 if possible.


GIANT SET 1: Rest 15 seconds between exercises- after all exercises are complete -rest 60 seconds and then repeat for 4 total rounds.

1A) Chest Supported Dumbbell Row 15-20 reps

1B) Dumbbell Deadlift 12-15 reps

1C) Dumbbell Curls – 15 reps

1D) 3 Point Plank – 30-45 seconds

GIANT SET : Same as Giant Set 2

2A) Seated Cable Rows 15-20 reps

2B) Rope Face Pulls 15-20 reps

2C) Rope Cable Crunches 15-20 reps

2D) Lat Pulldowns 15-20 reps


Complete 21-15-9 reps of — Wall Balls & Box Jumps


GIANT SET #1: Rest 15 seconds between exercises- after all exercises are complete -rest 60 seconds and then repeat for 4 total rounds.

1A) Lateral Lunges – Max reps each side

1B) Wall Slides – 20 reps

1C) Reverse Snow Angels – 20 reps

1D) Hollow Hold – Max Time

GIANT SET #2: Same as Giant Set 1

2A) Hand Release Push-ups 15 reps

2B) Pike Push-ups – Max Reps

2C) High Knees In Place – 30 seconds

2D) Calf Raises 20 reps


In each phase there’s only 3 workouts, but if you have the time and recovery ability you can workout 4-5 times a week.  Simply start again at workout 1 after completing all 3 workouts.

To speed up recovery – be sure to stay active on rest days.

Drink plenty of water.

Practice perfect form.

Working out is just one piece of the puzzle.  Nutrition, mental strength, recovery, sleep and lifestyle are major pieces when it comes to transformation.  If you’re ready to get the guidance and accountability needed to make a permanent change, hit the apply button below and we will set up a consultation!

APPLY for a 1 on 1 Consultation Call HERE

Doing Booty Building the Right Way

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Building your booty is a big attention grabber these days.  The past decade has been the decade of the booty.   Build your butt, shape your glutes, grow a peach, and loads of other backside promotion headlines have been topping female fitness marketing.   It makes sense when you think about it.  The most popular female celebrities have been bringing curves back in a big way.  J-Lo, Pink, Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose, and plus-size models are all flaunting their curves while still sporting a healthy and fit look.  Let’s just say us guys aren’t complaining at all.

Of course with the booty craze comes a ton of information from a variety of sources on how females should train to grow their butt and get fit.  Unfortunately, as is always the case, there’s a mix of quality and crappy information out there.  It’s easy to get mislead to believe some of the crap out there.   This article is here to help you cut through all the noise and figure out exactly what it takes to grow your butt, feel comfortable with your body and enjoy your health and fitness plan so that you can continue to make progress.

BOOTY BUILDING RULE #1: Stop Comparing
This is easily one of the hardest parts of life in general these days.  We compare ourselves and our accomplishments to all the “perfect” people we see on social media.  Women with small waists, toned arms and a nice big butt are in your face telling you how “easy” it is to grow a butt with a few simple band workouts and some jump squats.   You follow their plans and expect to see your body transform into a curvalicious hottie, but when things don’t seem to be happening or your results aren’t identical to them you begin to question your self-worth.  Let me be the first to tell you – STOP.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  You’ll drive yourself insane if you constantly compare your body and booty to others.

Here’s the real truth.  Genetics are a BIG deal.   We are all born with unique bodies and different physical traits.  Nobody talks about how genetics can play a massive factor into your progress and how your body looks.  You can’t train and eat like someone else and expect to look exactly like them.  Not happening.  Instead, embrace your individual strengths and weaknesses.  Work on the things you are weak at and continue to utilize your strengths.  Quit the comparison game.   It’s a road to nowhere.  Admiring others is great, but feeling inadequate because you don’t look like them is a big mistake.

Commit to eliminating the constant comparison and you’ll be starting off on the right foot.  We are all guilty of falling back into a social media hole of wondering why we haven’t reached certain levels, but just remember this rule and be diligent with checking in with yourself to make sure you aren’t robbing yourself of positive vibes.

BOOTY RULE #2 :  STOP Starving!

To build your butt it’s going to take a well put together weight training routine coupled with sufficient food to give your body a chance to grow new tissue (butt) and possible (GASP!) store some fat.   Now before you hit the panic button and stop reading, hear me out on this one.  Most of the diets that you see advertised are meant to help you lose fat.  They aren’t built to help you grow new butt muscles.

If you want that curvy body that looks fit and sexy you’re going to have to eat sufficient calories to support the changes that need to take place.   This doesn’t mean you’ll be stuffing your face and pigging out, but it does mean you should toss your lettuce and air diet out the window.  Going super low calorie and starving your body is the exact opposite approach you should be taking with your butt building plan.

When it comes to calories you’ll want to hover around the amount needed to maintain your weight or even slightly above that number.  An occasional “fat loss” period can help keep your bodyfat levels in check, but fueling your body with sufficient food is extremely important.  Calorie needs will vary based off genetics (shocker), daily activity in your job/life, training plans and your height, weight, and age.  Don’t worry I’m going to give you a simple way of figuring out a good place to start with calories.

This is not an exact scientific formula, but based off training hundreds of women over the years it will get you close to where you need to be.  If you gain weight easily take your weight and multiply it by 12.  If you don’t gain or lose weight easily multiply it by 13.  If you lose weight fast multiply it by 14.  This will give you an excellent starting point for building your booty, body and improving your curves.

hould You Count Calories?
Let’s stop here for a second and discuss counting calories vs. not counting calories.  You don’t have to count calories.  Will counting calories help you be more accurate?  Yes of course.  Will it drive you crazy?  Maybe…maybe not.   Being able to track your food is a good skill to learn.  It helps you increase your awareness of what’s in the foods you’re eating so that you can make better eating decisions.   My belief is that, when you gave goals, it pays to at least spend some time tracking your food.

Food starts with calories, but it doesn’t end there.  The type of calories you’re eating is arguably just as (if not more) important.  Let’s say you need to be eating around 1500 calories per day to achieve your booty and body goals.  Imagine for a second eating all 1500 calories from rice, fruit and bread.  That would mean 100% of your calories (roughly) are coming from carbohydrates.   Yes you’d be nailing your calorie goals, but you wouldn’t be getting the right amount of nutrients your body needs.  That would be liking throwing on random clothes in the dark and going to an important event.  Yes you’d be dressed, but you wouldn’t be dressed appropriately.

Calories should be coming from three nutrients:  protein, carbs, and fats.  All three are important.  Anyone who tells you that you should completely eliminate any of those nutrients is absolutely trying to sell you a scam.  Run as fast as you can in the other direction.   The amount of each will, once again, vary from person to person but let me help you find a simple starting point for each nutrient.

Just as a side note here, if I were you I’d take 30 seconds to download the My Fitness Pal app on your phone.  It’s a free food tracking app that will make this tracking thing so simple and easy.  Do it and thank me later.

Now that you know your calorie totals – let’s map out your protein, carb and fat goals.

Protein, Carbs and Fat Goals
All food labels measure nutrients in grams so I’ll give you some simple protein, fats and carb goals in grams based on your total calories.  Let’s take a female who weighs 130 lbs and doesn’t gain or lose weight that easily.  Her starting calories would be around 1600-1700.  This might seem high, but that’s why we test things and adjust as needed.   Starting with protein we would aim for about .7g per pound of bodyweight.  This comes to 90g of protein.  Protein contains 4 calories per gram.  For this example, she’d be eating 360 calories from protein.    That leaves us with around 1300 calories to play with for fats and carbs.

To keep things really simple, take 1300 and divide in half.  Half of those remaining calories goes to fats and half goes to carbs.   650 each is a solid place to start.  Carbs contain 4 calories per gram so she’d be aiming for about 160g of carbs.  Fats are almost double the amount of calories per gram at 9 calories per gram.   That gives her 72g of fat per day.

Let’s recap this example.  Our booty building project for this female who weighs 130 and doesn’t gain or lose weight easily starts with 1600-1700 calories.  She’d be aiming for 90g of protein per day along with 160g of carbs and 72g of fat.  That would be her daily goal to start.  She would track her food and hit these targets (or at least close) for a couple weeks and monitor how she feels, performs, looks and sleeps with that level of food intake.

As far as the number of meals you should be eating goes, that number is truly up to you.  Some people prefer 4-5 small meals throughout the day.  Others like 3 big meals with a snack.  My suggestion is find what works for you.  Most of my clients go for 3-4 meals and maybe a small snack.  That seems to be the most lifestyle friendly schedule for most.  As long as your calories and nutrient goals are met – you can add or take away a meal as needed.

Adjustments would of course need to be made at some point.  However, as you’re testing out your calorie levels, I’d suggest avoiding big changes.  Taking away a little bit of food or adding a little bit of food at a time is the best bet.  We will cover adjustments later in this article.

BOOTY RULE #3: Weight Training is BAE

Take a stroll through Instagram and you’ll see quite a few “booty builder” exercises.  Most of these women truly mean well with their advice and exercise videos, but most of the time they’re way off with what they’re recommending.  Let’s talk about why that is.

Remember when I mentioned genetics?  A lot of the curvy IG models you see were blessed with a body that responds very well to all types of training.  Doing things like squat jumps, side lunges with bands on your knees and other activities might look like its building their butt, but unfortunately that doesn’t work for most women with booty-building problems.

Butt building is best done through good ol’ fashion weight lifting.  Yes, this means you’re going to have to step out of your comfort zone and learn how to train with weights.   I know it might be scary and often times annoying to venture into “meathead” land but it’s very necessary when it comes to building your butt and body.  Training with weights places a stress on the body that requires the body to build new tissue to support your training efforts.  Building a big ol’ butt comes from the response your body gives when you’re putting your glutes through some serious resistance training (with weights).

The truth is most shy away from weight training because it’s not easy.  It’s much easier to do some fun jumps and lunges and call it a day.  Those exercises do have their place, but only when they’re a part of a solid resistance training program.

Now here’s the good news…I have a booty building guide that maps out a solid butt-building routine for you.  It’s called my TRUE BOOTY program and I’m giving it to you for free.

If you don’t want to download the free book (not sure why you wouldn’t) I’ll give you the cliff notes here:

-Strength training isn’t just for guys. Building strength and learning to properly utilize your muscles in your butt, arms, back, etc. will help those areas develop  and grow much faster.  This doesn’t mean you’re going to look like a man.  In fact, female bone structure and ability to build muscle is much different than a man.  Hormones such as testosterone and estrogen play a huge role in the body’s ability to gain significant muscle.  Think about how many men you see walking around with tremendous muscular development.   Even if you go to a gym you won’t see loads and loads of men with tons of muscle.  What makes you think it’s so easy for females to build muscle?

-Squats are important for butt and leg growth, but only if done properly and with proper activation of the butt muscles. Squats are not the only glute building exercise either, sure they help, but combined with hip thrust variations, lunges, step ups and stiff leg deadlifts they are much more effective.  Your squat form and genetic body structure are very important when it comes to the effectiveness of squats for building your butt.

-High reps are NOT the best way to build your butt. In fact, all versions of reps should be utilized to build your body.  Low reps can help build strength which will help you lift more weight for higher reps.  Your standard “20 reps for everything” routine is just one phase of training styles that you can use.  Think about most routines you see as one ingredient in an entire recipe.  Most workouts are just a fraction of an overall program that should be followed.

-Exercise bands and leg bands, if used properly, are a strong tool in the overall toolbox when it comes to training. They shouldn’t be relied upon for every workout.  Plus, they aren’t a replacement for good ol’ fashioned free-weights done with proper form.

-Cardio can be a booty killer. Doing hours of jogging on the treadmill or elliptical is a booty-shrinking disaster.  Instead focus on weights first.  Then, if you enjoy cardio, stay active during the day by enjoying things like walking, hiking, and just being an active person.   An occasional higher-intensity cardio workout (1-3x per week) is fine, just be mindful of your recovery ability and how your body feels after workouts.

-My secret weapon for booty growth is doing “touch-up” workouts on days you aren’t in the gym. Simply doing some body weight squats or exercise band deadlifts to “feel” the muscle working can help with both recovery and development.  This doesn’t just apply to the butt.  This can be used for any body part that you want to “tone” or improve.

BOOTY RULE #4: Don’t Program Hop!
It’s so easy to hop on Facebook and see someone you know hyping up a new workout or diet plan.  Here’s the issue with that.  Your brain will get all tingly and you’ll want to try their program on for size, especially if you just started yours and haven’t seen major results yet.   It’s tempting, but don’t fall for that trap.  Stick with your program and be consistent.  Only after a good chunk of consistency should you think about trying something else (and if you’re getting tons of results, why would do that?).

How do you know if your program is working?  Well there are a few factors.  The first factor is how your clothes are fitting.  Do they seem tighter in all the right places?  That’s a good sign for sure.

Progress pictures are very helpful as well.  Take them every 2-3 weeks.  Notice the changes (even if they are small changes).  If you can visually see progress then you’re on the right track.

Stay away from the scale.  I know you want to weigh a certain amount.  Think about this scenario for a second.  What if you woke up one day with the body of your dreams?  You went to the doctor and your health was in perfect condition.  Your energy was amazing and you felt sexier than ever.  Then you jumped on the scale and your weight was double the day before.  What would you do?  You’d be shocked for sure, but you wouldn’t care because the important things were happening!  You look good, feel great and your health is perfect.

You might be used to checking the scale every day.  Let me encourage you to quit that cold turkey.  Instead, monitor how you feel energy wise.  Are you workouts going well?  Are you feeling excited to eat better?  Are you staying active?  Drinking enough water?   FORGET the scale.  Throw it out.  It honestly doesn’t really do much for your psychological health.

Building your body takes time.  A booty and body that you’ll be proud of will take effort, but I want to encourage you to focus on what’s important:

– Feel the muscles working.  You’ll need to develop a mind-muscle connection that allows you to actually feel your muscles working, contracting, and firing while you lift weights.

-Don’t be afraid to get stronger – over time you’ll need to get stronger to build your booty.

-Eat to support your goals – do NOT starve yourself

-Train your butt frequently (just not crazy intense every time)

-Stop comparing your results to others. You don’t know their struggles or their strengths.

-Enjoy the process!

-Take progress pics

-Appreciate and love your body

Follow these guidelines and you’ll be a booty building pro in no time!

Jump into our FREE 7 Day Challenge!

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Diet Myths That Refuse to Die!

Get a Lean Body At Home: The Ultimate Home Workouts Guide

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

Going to the gym isn’t for everyone.  Driving to the gym and battling the crowds each day might not be your thing.  It can feel like you’re trapped in a crowd of zombies scene out of the Walking Dead, especially at peak hours.  Well, what if I told you that you could get in incredible shape by working out home?  In fact, what if you could save precious hours each week and still get super ripped with 30-45 minute home workouts?

No, this isn’t a P90x commercial.  I truly respect Tony Horton, but his methods are just a piece of the pie when it comes to the Ultimate Home Workout program.  If you’ve tried those type of programs, awesome!  This guide will give you the additional pieces you need to have a complete game plan for your home workout plan.

Do you need tons of equipment to transform your body?
Let’s cut the BS.  If you want to be crazy strong, build a bodybuilder’s type of physique, or compete in crossfit…yep you guessed it, you’re going to have to train specifically for those goals. A basic home gym set up might not cut it for reaching elite levels in specific sports.  You might have to either stock up your home gym or join a facility that carries the necessary equipment to help you reach those goals.

But, I’m guessing if you were shooting for those very specific type of goals you probably wouldn’t be reading this article.  Nope, I bet you just want to look good naked.  Maybe see some abs or have ripped arms.  And that, my friend, doesn’t require tons of equipment.  In fact, in a lot of cases you don’t need any equipment to build an athletic, lean and healthy body.  Which, in my experience, is what most of you reading this truly want.  You want to take your clothes off and feel really sexy.  Cool.  You’re in the right place.  

How to Set Up Your Home Workout Area

When I was going through my own 80 lb fat loss transformation, I used to wake up early and jump rope in my house for 30 minutes before work.  It worked really well, except for one thing.  I lived above people in an apartment complex and they didn’t appreciate me jumping around at 5am.  Needless to say my home workouts took a hit pretty quick.

You might not need much equipment to start,  but you will need some reliable space to train.  Clearing out an area in your house where you’ll be able to move comfortably and train without disturbing anyone is a major key.  The last thing you want is to feel limited by your training space if you’re working out home.  You’re working out at home for convenience after all!

Don’t stress about having a perfect “Garage Gym” or “Basement Bro Barbell Club” – just find a spot and make it yours.  If you want spice it up – you can lay some rubber mats or rubber flooring to a hard surface more “workout friendly”.  Once again, if you workout on carpet – cool.  As long as you’re committed to a spot in the house – that’s what really matters.

Personally, my home workouts happen in my garage.  I’ve laid down some rubber flooring to cushion the area and prevent bloodying my elbows and knees each time I train.  Plus, I can blast music and not wake anyone up or piss anyone off.  I tend to opt for Hip-Hop and the occasional EDM – so working out in the living room isn’t an option.  The garage is also a great place to store my basic equipment – which we will cover next.

What Equipment Should You Buy for Your Home Gym?

We’re going to breakdown a specific home workout routine later in this guide which doesn’t require any equipment.  However, eventually you might want to invest in some tools to help make your workouts more challenging and exciting.

If we’re playing “Stranded on a Home Workout Island” and you can only bring one piece of equipment – I’d be torn between exercise bands, a jump rope or a moderately heavy pair of dumbbells.  You really can’t go wrong with any one of these 3 options as your first addition to your home workout area.

Exercise Bands

Exercise bands are great for numerous reasons.  First, they are super easy to take with you wherever you go.  Plus, they are incredibly easy to store in the house. They can be utilized with other pieces of equipment too or they can be tied to furniture to give you more exercise options.  On top of all that they are super cheap.  A nice set of bands can be found for less than $50 on Amazon or at your local sporting goods store.

Jump Rope

A jump rope is another cheap and effective tool to have in your house.  You can travel with it pretty much anywhere and it’s a tremendous form of cardio.  Jump rope workouts are amazing for endurance and building mind to muscle connection.  Once again, you can grab a quality jump rope for under $30.  Our Body Transformation Program has optional cardio done with a jump-rope – which tends to burn a lot more calories than your average “walking-on-the-treadmill” workout.


Quality dumbbells can be pricey.  You’re gonna pay a pretty penny to get your hands on heavy dumbbells.  Moderately heavy ‘bells (20-50 lbs) can run $20-$50 per dumbbell.  Now, if you plan on using them a few times each week then they can be a worthwhile investment.  Just remember – you won’t be traveling anywhere with moderately heavy dumbbells – unless you want to pay a massive bag fee just for your weights.  Dumbbells are a valuable addition to home gym if you have the extra cash.  Personally I have a 25 lb, 50 lb and 75 lb set to accommodate different strength levels for different movements.  For all 3 I spent about $250 but I’ve used them hundreds of time so the investment has paid off big-time.

Additional Pieces of Equipment to Consider (if you have the extra cash)

Just so you don’t get triggered and think I’m contradicting myself, you don’t NEED any of these pieces of equipment. In fact, these are far from necessary, but if you have the extra cash to spend feel free to add them to your home workout set up.

Ab Wheel

An Ab Wheel is a very cheap, yet effective tool for core and abs training. It’s not a beginner level exercise so don’t invest in one until you’ve built up the core strength to handle it.


This past year I’ve started incorporating kettlebells into my routine on a regular basis and they’ve become a big part of my training. I invested in a few for my home gym and it’s been great to have them available for my home workouts. That being said, they are not cheap. I wouldn’t invest in them unless you’re truly going to use them on a regular basis. No need for expensive decorations.

Pull-Up Bar

You could argue that this piece belongs in the “must-haves” but in all honesty you could walk to your local playground and knock out tons of pull-ups while the local soccer moms or babysitters get weirded out by your playground usage. Pull-up bars are pretty cheap and simple to install, but make sure you get a professional to help if you’re unsure of the installation standards.

TRX Bands

This is another tool that’s becoming very popular because of how diverse they are and how easy they are to travel with. My reasoning for including them in the “extras” section is due to their high price point and the fact that you can get a ton done without them. Most big gyms are now carrying TRX bands because of their growing usage amongst gym goers and their diverse options. If you have the extra money – I’d strongly recommend a pair.

How to Set Up a Home Workout Routine

The first order of business is assessing where you are now.  If you’re coming off a long layoff from working out – it’s important to map out a plan that will gradually build up your ability to handle more challenging workouts.  If you jump into advanced programs after a long break from training, you’ll be in for a rude awakening when it comes to soreness, recovery and potentially an injury.

If you’re going from working out consistently in the gym to now being 100% at home – that’s a different story. You’ll be able to handle a bigger workload and your main concerns will be ensuring your program is built to help you hit your goals and that your schedule meets the demands of your lifestyle.

I suggest you map out a schedule that you know you’ll stick to consistently.  It may be tempting to shoot for an aggressive schedule at first, but long-term that may lead to burnout.  Just because you’re working out in the convenience of your own home doesn’t mean you should train every day.  Rest and recovery is important not just physically, but mentally as well.

Our Body Transformation Coaching Program is designed around 3-4 effective workouts at home or in the gym each week.  Sure, it may be tempting to train 5, 6 or even 7 days a week to speed up results, but long-term if you can’t stick with that much training or you get worn out – then you could wind up back where you started very quickly.  This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay active each day.  Being active doesn’t always mean you have to train.  It could just mean walking more or standing more – depending on your unique lifestyle.

A Home Workout Schedule

Just for argument’s sake – let’s say you have 4 days to train for 30- 45 minutes.  And then on other days you have 20-30 minutes max. We’ll use a standard Monday-Sunday calendar set up.


Full Body – Bodyweight Training Feet Elevated Push-ups 3 sets of 6-10 reps Bodyweight Dips 3 sets of 6-10 reps Lunges 3 sets of 10 each leg Wall Squats 3 sets of 5 – 30 second holds Planks 3 sets of 20 seconds


Cardio 30 minutes of Interval Training Pick a form of cardio like walking/jogging/jump rope and vary the intensity levels for 30 minutes, but keep moving for 30 minutes.


Full Body Workout -Warm Up for 10 minutes -Wall Squats 3 sets of 5 reps of 30 second holds -Jump Squats 3 sets of 10 reps 4 Rounds of: -Push ups for 30 seconds -Planks for 30 seconds Rest 1 minute 4 Rounds of: -Jump Squats for 30 seconds -Squat bottom position hold for 30 seconds


Active Recovery Head out for a brisk 30-45 minute walk.  Stay active, but also take time to recover.


Full Body Workout Pull-ups 3 sets of 6-12 reps Feet on Chair Pike Push-ups 3 sets of 6-10 reps Squat Jumps 3 sets 8 reps Reverse Crunches 3 sets of 12 reps Burpees – Max reps in 5 minutes


Death by Push-ups Start a timer and do 1 push up in the first minute.  Minute 2 do 2 push-ups.  Minute 3 do 3 push-ups.  Minute 4 – 4 push-ups.  Go all the way to 30 minutes if possible.  Now, if you have extra time – go back down for 15 minutes.  So do 15, 14, 13, 12, etc.


Active Recovery Enjoy some walking, biking or maybe a hike if its nice outside.  Stay active, but don’t overdo it.

How to Make Progress At Home

If you stay consistent with your workouts at some point you’re going to need to make them more challenging.  That’s the beauty of being consistent – eventually you have to establish new workouts and continue to push yourself.  Fun huh?  LOL

You might be thinking “How do I progress without equipment?” – and that’s a fair question.  The simple answer is to manipulate factors such as angles, time under tension, doing unilateral movements (one arm or one leg at a time), increasing the difficulty of basic movements such as push-ups or squats, and super-setting or even tri-setting movements to increase the density of your workload.

These terms might seem confusing or like I’m writing in a foreign language – and I don’t blame you for feeling that way.  The good news is that my team and I can help you with all this stuff.  Our Body Transformation Program has both gym and home workouts that can be scaled for beginners to advanced gym lifters.  The program is designed to help make all this information easy to understand and simple for you to apply to your routine.  If you want to learn more – visit our coaching application here. 

The Final Word on Home Workouts

Working out at home has been an incredible asset in my workout arsenal.  You can definitely get amazing results by working out at home – especially if you follow the advice outlined in this article.

If you give home workouts a real change – you’ll be shocked at how much you can change your body.

If this article was helpful – I’d love to hear from you.  Leave a comment below or connect with me on social media.  Feel free to share this article if it helped you get clarity on home workouts and setting up your home gym.


How to Get Lean Without a Gym Membership

Josiah Novak

Looking For A Jump Start To Your Fitness? Grab my Guide to Getting Lean Below


If you want to get lean without a gym membership – this video will help you map out the key factors you should consider when putting a plan in place for a fat loss routine (without a gym membership).

Getting Lean Without a Gym Membership

Do you really need a gym membership to get lean?  Absolutely not.  In fact, getting lean and losing bodyfat comes down to a very simple formula.  First, you must eat fewer calories than you burn each day combined with eating the right amount of protein, carbs and fats.  Then you must incorporate a consistent exercise routine that can be done at home or anywhere that gives you some space for bodyweight training movements.


The 6 Week New Year – New You Program

New Year :  New You 

Waiting till January to start getting in shape is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, especially if you’ve been putting off your fitness  goals for awhile.  Getting fit, losing belly fat, and improving your energy comes down to habits and routines.  Habits and routines take time to build, so by putting off your fitness goals you’re doing 2 things.  One, you’re making your bad habits and routines a bigger part of your life AND you’re setting yourself up for an uphill battle when it comes to implementing good habits.  Well it’s time to say “screw that!”  

This 6 Week New Year New You program will help get you set up for January success.  This will serve as a “prep” program to ensure you have a good baseline going into the New Year.  You’ll drop some pounds and bodyfat for sure, but more importantly you’ll have created some new habits and routines that will serve you extremely well when the New Year rolls around.


6 Week Workout Split : 3 Full Body Workouts Per Week

The first step in the program is committing to a manageable workout routine.  For the purpose of building consistent habits – this 6 week program will start with 3 Full Body workouts per week.  This is NOT the only workout split you can follow, but to keep things simple – you’ll hit the gym or do a home workout 3 times per week that hits the entire body each time.


What Days of the Week Should You Workout ?

Our suggestion is to train Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  However, you can do any 3 days of the week that work best for you.  We suggest having 1 rest day in between each workout at a minimum.  If you’re worried about resting too much, don’t worry, we will have “active rest” protocols later in the program.

Workout 1 (Full Body) – Gym 

Warm Up – 5-10 minutes on bike, treadmill or row machine

Rest 90 seconds between sets

  1. Squats (with bar, dumbbells or body weight) 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  2. Seated Cable Rows 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  3. Incline Dumbbell Chest Press 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  4. Rear Delt Machine Flys 2 sets of 10-15 reps
  5. Lying Leg Curls 2 sets of 10-15 reps
  6. Planks 3 sets of 30 second holds


Workout 1  (Full Body) – Home Version 

Warm Up: Jumping Jacks (20 reps) , Push ups ( 5 reps) , Squats (5 reps) x 4 rounds

Rest 45-60 seconds between sets

  1. Bodyweight Squats for 1 minute – 3 sets
  2. Push Ups – max reps – 3 sets
  3. Single Leg Glute Raises for 1 minute each side – 3 sets
  4. Side Planks – 30 seconds each side – 3 sets
  5. Burpees 3 sets of 10 reps

Workout 2 (Full Body) – Gym

Warm Up: 5-10 minutes on bike, treadmill or row machine

Rest 90 seconds between sets

  1. Flat Bench Press 3 sets of 8-10
  2. Underhand Pulldowns 3 sets of 10-12
  3. Walking Lunges with Dumbbells 3 sets of 10 each leg
  4. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 2 sets of 10-12
  5. Standing Dumbbell Curls 2 sets of 10 each arm
  6. Rope Tricep Pushdowns 2 sets of 10-12


Workout 2 (Full Body) – Home Version

Warm Up: Skipping Rope or Jumping Jacks for 3-5 minutes

Rest 45-60 seconds between sets

  1. Feet Elevated Push Ups 3 sets of 10
  2. Bodyweight Dips on Chair or Floor 3 sets of 10-12
  3. Reverse Lunges 3 sets of 10-12 each leg
  4. Bear Crawls 3 sets of 10 yards and back
  5. Exercise Band Rows 3 sets of 12-15

Workout 3 (Full Body) – Gym

Warm Up: 5 minutes on stepmill, eliptical, or row machine

Rest: 60-90 seconds between sets

  1. Deadlifts 3 sets of 6-8 reps
  2. Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 sets of 10
  3. One Arm Dumbbell Rows 3 sets of 10 each arm
  4. Standing Calf Raises 3 sets of 10-12
  5. Dumbbell Hammer Curls 2 sets of 10 each arm
  6. Bench Dips 2 sets of 10-12

Workout 3 (Full Body) – Home Version

Warm Up: 5 push ups, 5 squats, 5 burpees (4 rounds)

Rest: 45-60 seconds between sets

  1. Close Grip Push Ups 3 sets of 10
  2. Squat Jumps 3 sets of 10-12
  3. Exercise Band Pulldowns 3 sets of 15
  4. Bulgarian Split Squats 2 sets of 12 each leg
  5. Back Bridge Hold 3 sets of 20 seconds
  6. Bodyweight Dips 3 sets of 10-12

 There you have it!  Phase 1 of the 6 Week New Year New You Prep Plan is all laid out for you. Now it’s up to you to take action and start training.  Stay tuned for the nutrition and “active rest” protocols, plus a few more surprises coming your way!

How to Perform a Perfect Thruster

Josiah Novak - Author of Diets Suck

The perfect thruster is an amazing movement for strength, power, full-body development and can make a killer conditioning movement when performed correctly.  This tutorial will outline how to perform the perfect thruster.

How to Perform the Perfect Thruster

The Thruster Set Up 

  1. Stand with your feet slightly inside shoulder width
  2. Hands on the bar just outside of shoulder width
  3. Rest bar on shelf created by shoulders
  4. Keep your core tight and stabilize by squeezing your glutes.

The Perfect Thruster Execution

  1. Squat down and perform a full front squat
  2. Explode up using your legs and create momentum to push press the bar overhead
  3. Drive your movement through the heels, keeping your body and core tight and under control.
  4. Drive the bar straight up – moving the head slightly back to make room for the bar to press overhead.
  5. As you press overhead – your head will come forward slightly.
  6. Bring the bar back to the starting position.  That is 1 rep.

Workout of the Week – Ripped and Athletic

Josiah Novak

It’s that time of the week again!  Time for the Workout of the Week.  This workout is part of my current routine which is focused heavily on getting lean while improving overall performance and athleticism.  I think you’ll enjoy it!

Speaking of getting lean…check out this YouTube video and subscribe to the channel if it helps!

Now for the workout…

Always be sure to warm up before jumping into the workout…here’s one of my favorite warm-up videos that I recommend you check out.

A) Back Squats SUPERSET with Front Squats

Every 2 Minutes on the Minute

6 Reps of Each Using 50% of Your Back Squat 1 Rep Max

12 Minutes Total (6 Rounds)

B) Dumbbell Front Rack Walking Lunges SUPERSET with Dumbbell Thrusters

4 sets of 8 reps

Rest 90 seconds

1 Lunge Each Side with 1 Thruster is 1 Rep

C) Barbell Hip Thrust

Complete 50 Reps in as few sets as possible

Rest 60s each time you break

D) Jump Squat Tabata

4 minutes of 20 seconds on / 10 seconds rest

E1) Dragon Flags

4 x 10 reps

E2) Hollow Rocks

4 x 10 reps

Rest 60 seconds

F) Conditioning

15 Minutes of As Many Reps as Possible

15 Wall Balls

3 Wall Walks

This workout is super tough – but if you plan on attempting it – comment below and let me know !