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Alpine Ice Hack to Lose Weight?  Does it Work?

Alpine Ice Hack to Lose Weight? Does it Work?

What is the Alpine Ice Hack to lose weight, and does it work?

To answer that, let’s start by looking at what it is.

If you like this article, check out my highly effective programs available through TrainHeroic

*Note, I am NOT trying to sell you this product nor am I an affiliate of it. This is an honest look at what it is, to save you from wasting money and effort if the product isn’t valuable.

What is the Alpine Ice Hack?

The alpine Ice Hack is another term for “Alpilean.”

Alpilean is a supplement for weight loss that claims to:

“Target your inner body temperature, electrifying your sleeping metabolism into full fat-burning, energy boosting mode!”

What’s in Alpine Ice Hack (Alpilean)?

As with any supplement that makes bold claims, your first move should ALWAYS be to examine the ingredients.

In this case, when I searched for this product initially, I came across a LOT of scam products on amazon.

So, warning #1, do NOT buy the product off of Amazon, as they are not the actual Alpilean product.

This is a list of the actual ingredients from the official Alpilean website (aka the Alpine Ice Hack):

  • Golden Algae (flucoxanthin)
  • Dika Nut (african mango seed)
  • Drumstick Tree Leaf (Moringa Leaf)
  • Bigarade Orange (Citrus Bioflavanoids)
  • Ginger Rhizome (Ginger Root)
  • Turmeric Rhizome (Turmeric Root)
  • Vitamin B12 and Chromium

Can these Ingredients Work for Weight Loss?

ice hack weight loss

Let’s start with the main ingredient, which is the Golden Algae (flucoxanthin).

Flucoxanthin, which comes from brown seaweed, has shown some promise in battling obesity, but that isn’t the issue…

The issue is, first of all, that we have no way to know HOW MUCH golden algae is in the product.

As with many supplements, it is listed as part of a “blend.”

A serious supplement company will know the clinical dose of an ingredient (how much is needed for results), and will list it on the bottle, period.

“Blends” with no specific ingredient amounts stand out to me immediately as a scam.

In fact, I will not purchase any supplement that does not list the amount of each active ingredient, period.

Check out this study that looked at 10 products claiming to contain flucoxanthin (Golden Algae):

  • 3/10 had no detectable amounts
  • 5 had only a trace amount
  • 2 had 2mg or less

You can buy the active ingredient (Flucoxanthin from brown seaweed) from Amazon. This brand is lab tested, at least lists the amount at 2000mg, and has great reviews. This would also save you hundreds of dollars.

Dika Nut

Moving on to the next ingredient, Dika Nut (African mango seed).

There are a few studies showing that Dika Nut may assist with both weight loss and Cholesterol.

The studies are small and flawed, but they do exist.

The problem, though, is that once again the clinical dose (the amount needed) is not clear.

In one study, they administered 3 grams of the product, which is far more than the total ingredients in the Alpilean product combined.

(The “blend” in Alpilean is 250mg, all ingredients combined).

Combined with inconclusive research, we really don’t know if it works, on top of not having enough of it to begin with.

So, Does the Alpine Ice Hack Work?

Alpine ice hack weight loss

Rather than continue looking at every angle here, I’m confident saying that this is just another trendy fad that won’t do you much good.

In other words, the Alpine ice hack is wack.

That is my opinion based on years of examining (and using) supplements.

You are of course free to decide for yourself.

The official Alpilean site is right here (I am not affiliated).

At $30-$40 per bottle, that’s not a cheap way to find out, though.

My reasoning for this conclusion is based on:

  • They do not list how much of each ingredient is present, but use a “blend.”
  • The clinical dose (amount needed for results) appears to be much higher than what they’re including, or is unknown.
  • The product is very expensive.
  • Many positive reviews are from people (affiliates) trying to sell the product.

Lasting Weight Loss Doesn’t Come in a Pill

Losing weight is never a hack. I will die on that hill.

A better alternative would be to try something like:

  • Intermittent fasting or OMAD (one meal a day).
  • Walk after every meal for 10-15 minutes.
  • Cut out sugars and vegetable oils from your diet.
  • Read this article on how fasting can dramatically improve your health

At the end of the day, you’re going to have to commit to lifestyle changes, or you’ll never get where you’re meant to be.

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6 Real Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science

6 Real Benefits of Fasting, Backed by Science

The potential benefits of fasting are numerous and powerful.

From curing Diabetes to helping prevent cancer, fasting has tremendous potential.

Yet most people have never even fasted for longer than 24 hours.

*Always consult your doctor before fasting or beginning any new diet or exercise program. This artile is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition (have to say it).

Let’s take a look at why fasting is so incredible and how it can dramatically improve your overall health and wellness.

First, though, let’s take a quick look at why this is so important and relevant. (or just skip ahead if you wish)

Why is Our Society So Sick?

fasting benefits

Here are a few shocking statistics about our current society:

  • 1 out of 5 deaths in the US are from heart disease. Heart disease was rare pre-1900.
  • Roughly 40% of the US population are diabetic or pre-diabetic!
  • Over 40% of the US are obese, an 11% increase since 2000.
  • Average testosterone in men has decreased over the past several decades significantly (see here) (and here)

Our Food is Killing Us

The explanation for all of this illness is not complicated.

There are 2 primary culprits that are responsible for almost all of it:

  • Insulin Resistance (from sugars and processed carbohydrates)
  • Inflammation/oxidation from Industrial Oils (vegetable seed oils)
  • A third would be chemicals in plastics and processed foods, but the above two are (in my opinion) the worst.

Scroll through this post below from my IG if you like for some more info on Vegetable Seed Oils.

Insulin Resistance and Inflammation

fasting and insulin resistance

The two worst things we have going on are insulin resistance and chronic inflammation.

This is literally the origin and cause of the majority of heart disease, diabetes, cancers and many other illnesses that are rampant in our society.

Here’s a study from UAB showing that 40% of young Americans are already becoming insulin resistant. 40%!

How this isn’t viewed as a health epidemic is a true mystery of our times and is going to have major consequences in the not-too-distant future.

And most importantly, it can all be avoided through proper eating (and fasting.)

Straight from one study on PubMed:

Overconsumption of food with such eating patterns often leads to metabolic morbidities (insulin resistance, excessive accumulation of visceral fat, etc.), particularly when associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Because animals, including humans, evolved in environments where food was relatively scarce, they developed numerous adaptations that enabled them to function at a high level, both physically and cognitively, when in a food-deprived/fasted state.”

Having constantly elevated insulin levels is NOT natural for the body and is highly undesirable and toxic.

Coupled with constant inflammation, our lipids get thrown into chaos and this environment within our body wreaks havoc on the cardiovascular system (atherosclerosis and “hardening” of the arteries.)

Multiply this by 10-20 years of damage, and the stage is set for all things bad.

For a good read on cholesterol, check this post out.

We Were Designed for Scarcity, NOT Overindulgence.

fasting benefits and scarcity

Our ancestors evolved genetically over hundreds of thousands of generations to handle scarcity.

Going days without food was the norm for a very long time, and we’ve adapted genetically to THAT.

It’s only been a handful of generations where we have food in such abundance.

And an even smaller fraction where we have sugar-filled, processed foods everywhere.

Bottom line: our genetics are not capable of properly dealing with the way (and the things) that we’re eating.

The result is, of course, disease.

Autophagy

In 2016, Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize for his work on Autophagy.

When we have scarcity, our body naturally shifts into ketosis (burning fat for fuel).

After prolonged time without food (more than a day), we also begin a process called Autophagy.

Autophagy means “self-eating.”

The body begins to recycle old, damaged proteins and DNA.

Think of this as a way for the body to cleanse and purge itself of old and damaged, toxic material.

Autophagy has implications for treating and preventing cancers and other diseases like alzheimers, anti-aging, and much more.

6 Real Benefits of Fasting

fast for weight loss

1. Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Easily one of the most important benefits of fasting.

Improved insulin sensitivity can reduce your risk for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and many other morbidities.

Your blood pressure and triglycerides can improve. and symptoms of depression can potentially be alleviated (1).

All of this is due to the fact that we are simply not designed to be insulin resistant.

We’ve built up insulin resistance through the modern industrialized diet full of sugar, seed oils and chemicals.

Fasting will allow your glucose and insulin levels to drop, which will be soothing to the body and allow you to re-sensitize to insulin over time.

Both intermittent fasting and prolonged fasting can reap this benefit.

2. Prevent and Possibly Cure Some Cancers

Fasting has been shown to delay the growth of tumors in breast cancer (see here) and brain tumors (see here), as well as preventing their reoccurrence.

There are many different pathways that fasting can act on to achieve this.

Fasting can naturally reduce insulin and IGF-1, which can slow the growth of tumors.

Through autophagy, fasting can also cause the body to “eat” damaged cells before they become problematic.

Starving Cancer

Tumors often rely on glucose to survive and grow.

Fasting, especially longer duration fasts, will naturally lower glucose levels as the body shifts to ketosis, thus essentially “starving” the tumor of its preferred fuel source.

This is known as the “Anti-Warburg effect” of fasting.

There are numerous accounts of people completely ridding their body of cancer through prolonged fasting.

Animal studies have also shown that fasting can have potent anti-cancer effects:

According to another study:

“Periodic fasting or FMDs consistently show powerful anticancer effects in mouse cancer models including the ability to potentiate chemoradiotherapy and TKIs and to trigger anticancer immunity.”

3. Fasting is Anti-inflammatory

foods to lower cholesterol naturally

Inflammation increases risk for many diseases, including heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and others.

Studies have consistently shown that fasting results in a decrease in inflammatory markers. (see here)

Inflammation is not a natural state for the body to constantly be in.

It is the result of living against our nature and genetics.

Again, we are designed for scarcity, NOT overindulgence.

We have not adapted to eating constant sugar and inflammatory, processed oils and foods.

Fasting can provide relief to the constant cycle of inflammation and lower our risk for many diseases.

I also highly recommend getting a quality omega-3 supplement as well to further reduce inflammation and improve your lipids.

I’ve had great results with cod liver oil, and I very highly recommend the brand below as one of the highest quality I’ve found.

4. Stem Cells and Anti-aging.

A fascinating study by MIT shows that age-related loss of stem cell function can be reversed by a 24 hour fast.

Stem cells are the body’s building blocks for all of our organs and tissues.

As we age, we lose the ability to regenerate, thus accumulating damage, also known as aging.

Fasting seems to stimulate stem cell production. This boosts the body’s ability to regenerate.

fasting and stem cells

Caloric restriction is linked to longevity in both humans and animals.

It’s possible that stem cell regeneration plays a significant role in this phenomenon.

5. Fasting can Make You Live Longer

We know that caloric restriction leads to a longer lifespan in both humans and animals.

We don’t know the exact mechanism for this, but the theories are very interesting.

Some believe that this is an adaptation billions of years old from prokaryotes (single-cell organisms) trying to survive amongst very limited resources.

We can view this today by observing that E. Coli will survive 4 times longer when given a calorie free medium vs. a calorie dense medium.

Coupled with the reduced insulin, inflammation and oxidation seen with fasting, there’s a very strong case that it is highly conducive to living longer.

6. Fasting can Protect the Brain

fasted brain scan

Several animal studies have concluded that fasting and low-calorie diets can delay cognitive decline.

Smaller human studies have also shown similar results.

It is known that diabetics have about twice the risk for Alzheimer’s, so we can reasonably assume that fasting will have a positive effect.

Fasting is possibly the best remedy for insulin resistance, so logically this makes a lot of sense.

A reduction in inflammation and an increased reliance on fat (ketones) also appear to be highly beneficial to the brain.

Many people swear by increased mental clarity even several days into an extended fast.

While we are still learning about how fasting affects the brain, it appears there may be significant neuroprotective benefit.

Final Thoughts and Recap

If one thing is clear in our current society, it’s that we are extremely unhealthy overall.

Obesity, insulin resistance, cancer and heart disease are all being caused by what we consume every day.

Fasting is one tool you can incorporate into your life to combat this trend and reclaim your natural health.

Combined with a diet free of sugars, industrial oils and processed foods, you’ll have a simple and powerful plan of attack to stay healthy, live longer and feel better.

How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally

How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally

If you’re searching for how to lower cholesterol naturally, you’ve come to the right place.

If you like, you can scroll straight down to the diet list of foods and supplements that naturally lower cholesterol.

But I do recommend reading the whole article to get a full picture of the problem and solution.

I’ve searched through research and listened to many experts who are on the cutting edge of this topic.

I’ve also experimented on myself after discovering my lipids were a mess.

This article is what I’ve discovered to be most useful and important.

*Note, I am not a doctor. This article is my opinion based on what I’ve seen and experienced and is not medical advice. You should always consult your doctor before taking any supplements, making dietary changes, or analyzing lab results.

There are some affiliate links in this article. All are products I’ve tried and believe can benefit you

Ok, that’s out of the way. Now let’s move on.

Why I’m Passionate About this Topic

A while back, I got some deep bloodwork done through a company called Marek Health.

I’d never really paid much attention to my cholesterol before, and assumed I was in great health.

I eat well (I thought), work out all the time, and feel good.

By outward appearances, I looked perfectly healthy and strong.

The results from the bloodwork shocked me.

My lipids (cholesterol) were a mess, my glucose levels were high and by all measures I was at a high risk for cardiovascular disease and pre-diabetes.

This led me down a path of getting as much information as I could to fix the problem asap.

And that’s exactly what I did.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is essentially a type of lipid (fat). It is a waxy substance that is made by the liver.

Cholesterol is made by the body because it is extremely important.

It is used by the body for everything from making hormones, to creating new cells.

The first thing to understand is that cholesterol is not “bad.”

It is actually vital, and you literally could not survive without it.

In fact, there are studies showing that certain types of cholesterol can be protective against diseases like Alzheimers.

The Framingham Study

Most of the current beliefs surrounding Cholesterol come from what is known as the Framingham Study.

The conclusion of this study was essentially that high cholesterol is bad and is predictor of heart disease.

This is known as the “lipid hypothesis” of heart disease.

The study further divided cholesterol into “good” HDL cholesterol, and “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Major Flaws and Ulterior Motives

foods to lower cholesterol naturally

As with any study, it is very important not to just take its conclusions as objective truth.

The Framingham study has many flaws.

A great critique of it can be found here in more depth if you want to go deep down the rabbit hole.

From how it was funded, to the bias of those carrying out the study, to the fact that it’s a purely observational study (which can never be used to prove causation).

Despite many shortcomings, this study is still the reason your doctor will put you on statin drugs with an outdated and misinterpreted cholesterol test.

Statin drugs are one of the best-selling drugs on the market, and one of the biggest money-makers for pharmaceutical companies.

So obviously, contradicting the notion that cholesterol is the boogey-man is going to be bad for business…

Unfortunately, statin drugs come with a host of undesirable side effects, such as:

  • Increased blood Sugar and Diabetes (study here)
  • Severe Muscle Damage and/or pain (see here)
  • CoQ10 Depletion, which can damage heart function (see here)
  • Neurophathy (weakness, tingling, pain in the hands/feet)

The point of this first section is to highlight two important things:

  1. Cholesterol is not in itself bad and has to be analyzed deeper. Traditional tests do NOT do this.
  2. Statins are handed out like candy to anyone with even moderate cholesterol levels. This is more due to profits and ignorance than actual benefit to a given individual.

Logic and Reason

When I say that cholesterol is not “bad,” what I mean is this:

First, your body would not produce something and place such a high priority on it, with such complex mechanisms, if it was not extremely important and beneficial.

Second, we need to look deeper into our cholesterol to understand which parts are actually harming us and which are beneficial or benign.

And last, it is our diet and lifestyle that cause our cholesterol to become problematic, and it is probably fixable for most people without prescription medication.

This is where an advanced lipid panel comes in.

Before we discuss diet to lower cholesterol, we need to get an accurate picture of what our cholesterol profile looks like.

Below is my original lipid panel done through Marek Health. It was not pretty, as I said.

cholesterol lipid panel

Advanced Lipid Panel.

To get an accurate picture of your lipids, you have to get an advanced panel.

The way most doctors are using the old method is unacceptable, as we know that we can easily get a much more accurate picture with additional measurements.

In my opinion, the old panel is used as it continues to allow the prescribing of the statin drugs. It’s part of the profit machine.

Most doctors are probably just taking the safe route and following the “standard of care,” in which case they are free from liability by prescribing statins for “high” cholesterol, as it is the accepted norm.

They should be discussing a diet to lower cholesterol, including lifestyle changes, before handing out medications.

The Real Cause of Heart Disease

heart disease picture

While we’ve allowed cholesterol to be deemed the boogeyman in relation to heart disease, there’s another monster lurking in the shadows.

That monster is insulin resistance.

It is estimated that over 10% of the US population is diabetic, and up to 2/3 are pre-diabetic.

This is NOT natural. It’s a symptom of a massive problem in our society.

The majority of people with diabetes will eventually develop cardiovascular disease.

This means that through a poor diet and lack of exercise, our bodies have become full of inflammation and resistant to insulin, one of the most important hormones in the body.

When you eat sugars (carbohydrates), Insulin clears that sugar from the blood and stores it away inside cells. When you’re resistant, you cannot properly deal with that sugar.

The result is constant inflammation and oxidative stress, among other things.

Heart disease is an inflammatory disease.

The real enemies are sugar, dangerously unhealthy oils, and unhealthy chemicals in our food that cause all of this inflammation and stress.

If this article was titled “how to raise your cholesterol and increase risk of heart disease,” the recommendation would literally be the Standard American Diet.

It’s All About Your Diet

Starting with what you put into your body, it all comes full circle.

It goes something like this:

We eat a diet full of unhealthy sugars and carbs, seed oils and chemicals..

This leads to insulin resistance and inflammation, along with oxidative stress.

This inflammation and oxidative stress damages the LDL particles transporting cholesterol around your body, shrinking them.

Those now small LDL particles (Small LDL-P on the test), will wreak havoc on your vascular system and arteries, leading to further inflammation and plaque accumulation.

Further, eating this way can also lower your HDL or “good” cholesterol.

The test actually measures the size of the small LDL particles, giving you a snapshot of how damaged those particles really are, and how dangerous they may be.

LDL on its own is not necessarily “bad.”

The larger LDL particles are healthy and may not cause problems.

It’s the damaged particles that are dangerous, and that’s critical to understand.

A test that doesn’t differentiate between the two is throwing darts in the dark and handing you potentially harmful medication in the process.

Diet to Lower Cholesterol Naturally

diet to lower cholesterol naturally

So now the reason you probably clicked on this post in the first place.

What foods can lower your cholesterol naturally?

Here’s a list, with links to studies that show they work.

Note some similarities in a lot of these;

They often work as antioxidants and/or have anti-inflammatory properties.

This is addressing the root of the problem, as we discussed earlier.

Citrus Bergamot

One of the best supplements to lower cholesterol naturally is Citrus Bergamot.

Bergamot is a citrus fruit native to southern Italy.

Studies have shown that supplementing with Citrus Bergamot can lower both total and LDL cholesterol.

It is thought to be the potency of phytochemicals (flavonoids) that provide this protective effect.

Below is a brand that worked really well for me and is rated very high:

Grapefruit

Similar to citrus bergamot, several studies (like this one) have shown that Red Grapefruit (about 1 per day) can reduce triglycerides.

This is likely due to the antioxidants present, including naringenin, a powerful antioxidant.

(note, grapefruit can interact with some medications, so make sure to consult your doctor)

You can also get Naringenin as a supplement, if you don’t want to consume grapefruits every day.

Berberine

Studies have consistently shown that Berberine can reduce LDL and Triglycerides by 20-50 mg/dl.

Berberine is made from the bark, roots and stems of certain plants, so it is natural.

Here is a link to a high quality Berberine Supplement.

Olive Oil

Studies have shown that olive oil can reduce total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, as well as increase HDL more than any other plant oil.

I believe the reason for this is the way it is made.

Other oils like canola and vegetable oil are heavily processed.

If you don’t believe me, check out this YouTube Video on how Canola oil is made (gross).

Cold Pressed, Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made by simply pressing the oil from the olives. That’s it.

It’s important to only buy good olive oil (cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil should be the ONLY ingredient.)

Here’s a good one off Amazon:

Garlic

Garlic has been shown by several studies (like this one) to lower both total and LDL cholesterol by up to 10%.

While the mechanism is not fully understood, it is thought that compounds in garlic inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver.

Eating about 1-2 cloves/day should do the trick.

You can also blend garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to make an extremely heart-healthy dressing.

Of course, if you don’t like garlic, you can always take it in supplement form.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver Oil is a rich source of Omega-3 Fatty acids (DHA and EPA).

Many studies have shown the effectiveness of Omega-3 at reducing inflammation and “bad” cholesterol..

Our typical diets are low in omega 3’s, so making this addition can have a profound effect on your lipids and inflammation levels.

This is the one I use (pure ingredients, no fillers, just cod liver oil and lemon).

Lower Your Sugar Intake Dramatically

If you’re eating the SAD diet (Standard American Diet), you are probably consuming a ton of carbohydrate and sugars.

As we already discussed, this is leading to insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress in your body.

Eating healthier fats and cutting out a lot of those carbohydrates will lower insulin levels and go a long way to fixing your cholesterol issue, and probably other issues as well.

Here is a fascinating study where people were put on a carbohydrate restricted diet for 12 weeks.

At the end of 12 weeks, their lipid panels were dramatically improved.

The Large LDL particles (good) increased in size and number, and the small (harmful) LDL particles decreased.

This has incredibly powerful implications for improving your risk for cardiovascular disease.

Avocado

Avocados are naturally full of monounsaturated fats.

Eating about 1 avocado a day (along with avoiding processed foods and sugar) can help raise your HDL cholesterol.

Avocados are one solid way you can replace carbs/sugars with healthy fats and see progress.

Cardiovascular Fitness

This discussion would not be complete without at least mentioning this.

Studies show that increasing cardiovascular fitness has a positive effect on lipid profiles.

It also has been shown to reduce all-cause mortality (higher cardiovascular fitness means you’re less likely to die from just about everything.)

By combining increased cardiovascular fitness with an improved diet, you’ll have a very solid plan of attack.

Final Thoughts on how to lower cholesterol naturally.

The overarching theme of this article is pretty clear.

Profits often dictate a lot in our current world. Reliance on pharmaceutical products and the widespread consuming of garbage foods is a symptom of that fact.

The root of much of our cholesterol and heart problems lies in what we eat.

Insulin resistance, inflammation and oxidative stress are wreaking havoc on our bodies.

But, we can take steps to combat the problem.

Through eating the right foods, taking the right supplements, avoiding processed foods, sugar and chemicals, you can see dramatic improvements in health, which are likely to be reflected on your lipid panels.

For some people who have genetic disorders and simply cannot control their cholesterol, statins may provide enormous benefit.

But for the majority of us, it’s lifestyle changes that are long overdue.

Hope you enjoyed this one, leave a comment and let me know!

Here’s another article you might find interesting: How to Get Lean Fast

Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson

ISSA Tactical Conditioning Specialist, creator of Forged Female and Swole Town Training programs, author of SupaStrong.net. Former Army 11B Infantryman. Coach, Husband, Father, Brother, Son, Friend.

Is a 3 Day Workout Split Optimal?

Is a 3 Day Workout Split Optimal?

Is a 3 day workout split optimal?

Choosing the right workout split can be tricky business.

Train too often, and you end up overtraining and losing gains. Too infrequently, and you end up undertraining and losing gains.

In this article I want to make the case for a 3 day split and share how I’ve organized this into a highly effective option for putting on size and strength.

If you like this article, check out some high-level programming through TrainHeroic.

Is 3 days a week enough to put on size?

The short answer to this question is, yes, absolutely it can be.

Many bodybuilders and powerlifters have built impressive physiques on a 3 day training split.

The bodybuilders of the 1960’s and 70’s often used the 3 day split, and their physiques were definitely nothing to scoff at.

A solid example is Bill Starr, who made 5 x 5 famous, which was designed as a 3 day training split.

3 day workout split

Those who prescribe to the High Intensity Training model of bodybuilding (HIT) also frequently utilize a 3 day split, ala Dante Trudel’s Doggcrapp training, which is one of the best training systems I’ve every put myself through.

My team training program, SWOLE TOWN, Also frequently uses the 3 day high intensity training split to great effect.

So why do people train 5 or 6 days a week? Because it’s optimal?

Or because they are simply obsessive about training and are stuck in the “more is better” fallacy?

Read: The Best 4 Workout Programs for Size AND Strength

More Is NOT always better.

The truth is that more is not always better.

People train 6 days a week often because they are obsessive about training, and enjoy doing the extra work.

The problem with this is that inevitably, most people are unable to push themselves hard enough with that many training days.

If they did, they’d crush themselves and never recover adequately.

Now, there are some out there who thrive with heavy amounts of training volume and frequency.

Especially guys who are genetically gifted in the recovery department AND on various amounts of the sauce…

But instead of imitating what others do… don’t you think you should take the time to find out what actually works the best for YOU, and brings you the most optimal results?

The Case For a 3 Day Workout Split

muscle and strength and power

When you organize your training into a 3 day split, you HAVE TO prioritize everything you do.

There simply isn’t room to do anything half-assed.

This results in very intense and focused training sessions, where each one is pushed to the brink of your abilities (and beyond).

When you train 5 or 6 days, a lot of the work can sometimes be “fluff.”

If you’re on your 3rd or 4th chest exercise, how hard can you really push those sets?

With 3 days, there is no room for that. Everything you do is big, meaningful work.

And of course probably the most important part.. you have more time to recover (i.e., adapt and grow).

The most shocking thing that stood out to me when I started training 3 days vs. 5-6 days/week was that I was SORE.

I had gotten used to training so frequently that I had stopped truly taking sets to and beyond failure and really pushing the envelope.

So, the primary benefits of training 3 days are:

  • Much More Intense and Focused Sessions
  • More recovery days, which = more time to adapt to the training stimulus, which = MORE GAINS.
  • No fluff. Everything you do has to be meat and potatoes.

What Does Science Say?

It’s always helpful to dig into some research when implementing training methods.

In this case, it’s important to understand a few important factors:

Number one, training frequency matters.

Training a muscle group twice a week will result in greater hypertrophy than training it once. (Schoenfeld 2016)

Number two, more is NOT necessarily better.

Studies (like this one by Yue Et al) have shown that training a muscle group twice per week can be more effective at building muscle than training it 4 times per week.

The reason I’ve highlighted these two concepts is because when training 3 days, the challenge is to get adequate training frequency to optimize hypertrophy.

As you’ll see below, this is definitely doable and possibly even optimal on 3 training days.

You can also check out Dante Trudel’s DoggCrapp training, which is the epitome of the 3 day HIT split, and where I’ve gotten much of my information and ideas about training over the years.

What are the Drawbacks?

As with all things in the training arena, there are pros and cons.

The biggest drawback of using a 3 day workout split is that many people simply are not accustomed to pushing themselves to and beyond actual failure all the time.

Most people think that they do.. but are in reality multiple reps away from failure, and going beyond failure is a whole different animal.

Check out this classic clip of Arnold pushing 40 year old Ed Corney to failure on the back squat, then discussing his philosophy on training through failure.

Now, Arnold, and many greats have pushed themselves this way AND trained 6 days a week.

You have to keep in mind that these guys are highly genetically talented, have years of training history, AND are highly enhanced (on steroids.)

Training is also their job.. they don’t have the stress of a 9-5, and whatever else you may have stealing recovery energy away..

You can NOT assume that what they do is what will be optimal for YOU, right now. (or possibly ever).

Instead, hitting a 3 day split and hitting it HARD… leaving all your effort in the gym, may actually be optimal for YOU.

When you can master the 3 day split, and truly push yourself to and past your limits regularly, THEN, you can earn the additional day or two, as you may have adapted to the point that you actually need and can benefit from it.

Additional days/training volume should be added only if you NEED it.

How to Design a 3 Day Workout Split

In my opinion, the best way to organize a 3 day workout split is to have an A and B version of 2 different training days: A and B will hit the same muscle groups with different exercises.

Chest/Back/Shoulders: A and B version

Quads, Hamstrings, Biceps, Traps: A and B version

Your weekly split can be broken down this way: This is just an example from the SWOLE TOWN program.

WEEK 1:

UPPER ALOWER AUPPER B
Incline Barbell Bench Press
3 x max reps
Leg Press
x 8-8-8-20
DB Bench Press
3 x max
Seated DB Press
3 x max reps
Romanian Deadlift
3 x 8-12
DB upright Row
3-4 x 12-15
Lat Pulldown (Neutral Grip)
3 x max reps
DB Incline Curl
3 x max reps
Weighted Dips
3 x max
Snatch Grip Rack Pulls
2 x 8 reps
Cross-Body Hammer Curl
2 x 12
Pull up/Pull down
3 x max
DB Pause Triceps Ext.
3 x max reps
Shrug LadderSeated Row
3 x max

WEEK 2:

LOWER BUPPER ALOWER A
Back Squat (or hack)
x 8-8-8-20
Incline Barbell Bench Press
3 x max
Leg Press
x 8-8-8-20
Machine Hamstring Curl
4 x max reps
Seated DB Press
3 x max
RDL
3 x 8-12
Barbell Curl 3 x max repsNG Lat Pulldown
3 x max
DB Incline Curl
3 x max reps
Incline DB Hammer Curl 3 x 8-12SG Rack Pull
2 x 8
Cross Body
Hammer Curl
2 x 12
Farmer Carry/Shrug Combo x 2-3 setsDB Pause Triceps Ext
3 x max
Shrug Ladder

Cardio

On the days in-between training sessions, you should be hitting 30-60 minutes of low to moderate intensity cardio.

You don’t want to go so hard on the conditioning that you compromise gains by inducing more recovery debt.

BUT you definitely want to build or maintain your aerobic engine…

This is a topic for another discussion, but it’s critical not to neglect this area, or you WILL limit your gains (and health) on many levels.

Progressive Overload

The above template is just an example, but there’s a lot of detail left out (This is why following with strict details is optimal).

Most importantly, rest periods (we use 15 breaths between sets as indicated in Trudel’s training system, or other timed rest at times).

You HAVE TO have consistency with this stuff, in order to measure your progress over time.

If you hit 3 sets of 10 on 60 seconds rest, then next week do 3 sets of 12 on 3 minutes rest, that isn’t telling us much.

Progressive overload is the #1 most important factor to consider in your training.

Anyone, including all these Instagram influencers preaching otherwise, are usually just selling something (probably BS).

Yes, Progressive overload is absolutely mandatory.

You must get stronger over time on the movements you’ve chosen.. and to do that, you need to have consistency in how you’re performing those movements.

This is a law of the training universe. (Progressive overload is literally one of the 7 grandaddy laws)

Conclusion on the 3 Day Workout Split:

As we discussed, a 3 day training split can work really well for a lot of people.

It offers more recovery time to adapt to training and growth, and will likely result in much more focused and intense training sessions.

The keys to remember are to emphasize progressive overload over time, and to train to failure on a lot of your sets. When you only have 3 days, and often 1 exercise for a muscle group on a given day, you HAVE TO push yourself extremely hard.

There are other variables we could discuss, like diet and nutrition, cardio, etc. and specifics on the 3-day split, but we’ll save that for another article.

Thanks for reading. Please follow my blog, check me out on Instagram, and leave a comment if you’ve got feedback!

Tactical Alpha:  Tactical Training Program Manual

Tactical Alpha: Tactical Training Program Manual

If you’re reading this, you have likely taken the challenge of beginning the Tactical Alpha 8 week Tactical Training program. This short manual is meant to assist you in performing the training properly and getting the most out of the program.

This programming has been used for Special Ops candidates, Infantry, Firefighters and high level LEO’s with great success. You can be sure that if your effort is sincere, you will see big improvements.

Overview

Tactical Alpha is an 8 week Tactical Training program designed to make you a stronger, more powerful and better conditioned athlete.

It is a conjugate-oriented program, simply meaning that we rotate the big strength movements each week, and perform them heavy (1-3 reps). We also include max effort days (heavy), and dynamic days (speed/power) in classic conjugate fashion.

The reason for this is the essence of conjugate training.. we avoid burnout and endless repetition of the same exact movement, avoiding overuse injuries and continually challenging the body through similar but slightly different movement patterns.

The conjugate influence is present in a lot of areas of this program. We vary our conditioning but still target the same energy systems, building them up over 8 weeks.

The System: Tactical Athlete Pyramid

Tactical Alpha is designed around the needs of the modern Tactical Athlete.

tactical athlete pyramid

You must be good in all areas of fitness: Including:

  • Possess high level of limit strength (think 1 rep max). This is your foundation.
  • High level of power (ability to produce force fast.)
  • Speed: You have to be able to move quickly, and in all directions (agility)
  • Endurance: This includes strength-endurance and general endurance. If you can’t stay in the fight, you’re in trouble.

Great care has been taken to avoid training interference. Each training day will typically be dedicated to similar desired adaptations.

Evolutions

Evolutions are the “warm ups” of this program.

Evolutions are a series of movements that are meant to be done as a continuous circuit with very LIGHT weights.

For example, DB bench press, bent over DB rows and push ups, 3 sets of 25 reps each, done without taking any real rest.

It is critical here that you understand that you must go light. If you aim heavy, you will turn the warm up into a grind and negatively influence your session.

tactical bench press

Work Capacity

The Evolutions serve multiple purposes:

  • Increase Work Capacity: Hitting a ton of reps at a fast pace will serve as a mild form of conditioning and build work capacity: Your ability to handle and recover from more training.
  • Prep the body: By the end of the evolution, you should be warm, Heart rate should be up a bit, and you should be ready to push yourself in the main session.

TrainHeroic App Features

Tactical Alpha is delivered through the TrainHeroic app, the world’s best training app.

Video demos and clear instructions are annotated for every segment of every session.

It is important to tap on each segment to read the detailed instructions and ensure you’re performing the training properly.

This is NOT a beginner, cut and paste program. There are specific training methods at times, so it’s important to train like an athlete and be detail-oriented.

Log Your Training

TrainHeroic gives you the ability to log all of your training. This allows you to track progress, and allows your coach (me) to see your performance and offer feedback if necessary.

Highlights:

The most important take-away here is:

  1. Perform Evolutions quickly and with light weight.
  2. Pay attention to details and read all instructions/videos
  3. Log your training and use the app for all it’s worth.
  4. Have fortitude, push yourself, and be consistent.
  5. Reach out with any issues.

If you havn’t already, come check out the best Tactical Training program out there, and take yourself to new levels.

You can also check out Swole Town, if straight up Gainz is what you’re after…