Nutrition tips

You’re Fat! 10 steps towards never hearing those words again!

You’re fat! Is a painful statement for most people. Developing good habits to get and stay lean seems complicated and difficult because of the amount of do this and don’t do that information out there.

So I wanted to give 10 simple steps to get you on track and keep you there. Consistency is key. If you make a mistake get right back on the plan. The net benefit of 5 days of good habits will not be totally undone in a weekend! Increasing carbohydrates on one day will make you retain water you will appear puffy and you can gain pounds. But not to worry! Increase water intake to flush excess water and get back on the carb cycle and ride!



1) Workout early Forget the studies that say workout at this time or that. Go to bed early. Get up early and get it done! Working out early on an empty stomach makes you tap into your fat stores period. The bonus is you are now awake and you won’t skip your workout at the end of a rough work day. Give yourself a month to get used to it you won’t regret it!

2) Workout without carbs Skip the sports drinks  or pre -workout carb meal. You have plenty of energy stored in you muscles in the form of glycogen and once glycogen is depleted your body goes after fat cells for energy. If you feel like you tank during your workout ingest a little MCT oil or coconut oil in your coffee 45 minutes-1 hour before your workout. (1-2 tablespoons only! More can cause stomach upset.)

3) Eat fat to lose fat  Sounds crazy right? Wrong! healthy fats from coconut oils, seeds, olive oil, fatty fish, free range and grass fed animal sources. When going lower carb eat plenty of good fats and your body will learn to use them more efficiently as an energy source. Your body also uses these fats for .7651679180_d481a73587_n building hormones and cells

4) Plan Ahead More people fall off the nutrition wagon during social events than anywhere. The good news is most social events are planned. So you should have a plan as well. Try to find out what food they will be serving, eat before going, or make it your cheat day, and jump back in when it’s over. No need to feel left out just remember this is a life plan not a diet.

5) Pack your food Buy a cooler and pack an ample amount of the foods you need to eat to stay trim and satisfied. Pack things like lean protein, fibrous veggies, and nuts for that crunch. Throw in a square or two of dark chocolate if you get ravenous cravings for sweets when you’re stressed. It is a far better choice than a commercial candy bar

6)  Leave the money at home  In order to avoid the temptation of the snack machine.  Take your cooler to work or on trips to avoid the drive thru window. The rule is if it comes from a box, bag, or window it’s not for you!

7) Cycle Carbohydrates  I am a huge fan of carb cycling. Eating fairly low carbs for up to 3 days and then cycling off for a couple of days is a very simple way to carb cycle. Increase good fats and lean protein on your low carb days to keep your energy up. Used in a Paleo diet scheme this works very well. I have done constant carb cycling for years to keep the fat off. It is very gratifying to have those carbs to look forward to after three low carb days.

 8) Drink Water Duh right? Not really understand being dehydrated slows metabolic function (fat burning for one) and makes you retain water so metabolic function can continue in order to keep you alive.

9) Workout Intensely  Training Tabata style 20 seconds of all out effort with 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds has been shown the most effective method for torching fat in short order.Working out intensely is the way to go for fat burning.14407578424_6499f1080e_t

10) Lift heavy weights Lifting heavy weights will not make you huge. Cupcakes make you huge! Lifting heavy weight makes dense muscle, not voluminous muscle which burns more calories at rest. Lifting heavy weight spurs bone growth as well giving you the added bonus of osteoporosis protection.3890281501_7bf88c1e51_t


Most importantly don’t give up! Get knocked down once and get up swinging! look toward the long term goal you can do this!

Your Fitness Minion,

Dave Bittner



photo credit: <a href=”″>power lifter</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)

photo credit: <a href=”″>2014-04-08-tabata</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;





Nutrition tips

What is Paleo and is it for me?

What is Paleo? Paleo is short for Paleolithic which is a period of time when humans lived before the agricultural revolution; basically our Hunter–Gatherer ancestors. While many confuse Paleo for just being a diet; it is much more. Paleo is a movement and belief that the agricultural revolution has taken mankind so far from our nature that it weakens us in every conceivable way. The dietary arguments for the Paleo diet are that foods closest to nature are the healthiest (hard to argue with) However, things like grains, legumes, and Dairy are prohibited. (This gets confusing and lines get blurred, but we’ll get back to that)
Here are some excerpts from :

Because hunter-gatherers have lived in all kinds of environments, from deserts, to high mountains, to the arctic, to rainforests, to prairies, and to tropical islands, they have necessarily had to adjust their diet to the available foods around them.  They hunt and fish and collect foods that they learn, over thousands of years, how to find and prepare and eat.
Some of the problems we have that hunter-gatherers are generally not afflicted with are:
1.  Diabetes
2.  Hypertension
3.  Dental Decay and Periodontal Disease (caused by sugar and refined carbs)
4.  High Blood Pressure
5.  High serum cholesterol levels (even though h-g’ers consume a lot of dietary cholesterol.
6.  artherosclerosis and coronary heart disease/heart attack
7.  obesity
8.  some cancers, such as lung (probably because of smoking in modern societies), colon (because of high fat consumption and low fiber in the diet), breast cancer (far less for h-g women).
9.  Communicative Diseases (contact with the outside world was far rarer for h-ger’s, until recently, keeping these diseases much less common).
What health problems affect hunter-gatherers?
Hunter-gatherers typically can live longs lives, but many have their lives cut shorter because of certain problems, such as childbirth problems, traumatic injuries, long exposure to harsh environments, and many genetic or other kinds of diseases for which they have had no cure, such as appendicitis.  Though less common, viral and bacterial diseases can be devastating to a population because they have no adequate way to combat the spread throughout the population.

I chose these excerpts because they adequately summarize the arguments for the Paleo lifestyle. One of the greatest concerns to me is the belief among many Paleo dieters is they feel this lifestyle is a ticket to unlimited bacon when in reality meat among true hunter gatherers is typically only eaten once per week. With a big shout out to the ladies that even in these societies they were always doing our grocery shopping!

Because of the great variety of environments and available foods of hunter-gatherers, each group can be studied separately as to what they ate, how the foods were collected, and how they were prepared.  In general, though, it is the men who do the hunting of game and fishing, and the women who gather the plant foods.  Grubs and other insects and worms are also eaten.
Some have said that the typical equality of women found in h-g groups owes to the fact that women actually bring to the group more food and more calories than the men in most h-g societies.  There is great importance attached to hunting, and meat is desired by all and is important for general nutrition, but it seems that the men only infrequently, maybe once or twice in a week, go hunting, while women forage daily and do the cooking.


But if we were hunter gatherers can we eat bananas in Michigan and Apples in Florida? Hard to say, but genetically you ancestry may play a role more than your current location. If you are of Northern European descent bananas may not be a good choice and if you are of African or South American descent an Apple a day might not keep the Doctor away! But, that is a debate for another time. See the excerpts below from Scientific American regarding Modern day real hunter gatherers.paleo-diet-half-baked_3

Most nutritionists consent that the Paleo diet gets at least one thing right—cutting down on processed foods that have been highly modified from their raw state through various methods of preservation. Examples include white bread and other refined flour products, artificial cheese, certain cold cuts and packaged meats, potato chips, and sugary cereals. Such processed foods often offer less protein, fiber and iron than their unprocessed equivalents, and some are packed with sodium and preservatives that may increase the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
Note: This Scientific American article gives a good deal of pros and cons. Please read it here:
Fact: Most of us are NOT hunter gatherers whether we play that way or not. So, where do some of the lines get blurred.
“Paleo” convenience foods. An entire industry has started around Paleo just like any other popular trend. If you are dogmatic about it, these are out. If not: I would read the ingredients to make sure there are no thickeners or gums with names like carangeenan, and xanthan gum because they are suspect. Make sure your meets are grass fed and everything is Non GMO.
Dairy. While Paleo says dairy is out many will still consume grass fed butter, ghee, and sometimes grass fed cheeses. I personally consume Grass Fed butter and small amounts of Grass Fed cheese. (both from Kerry Gold)
Grains. One of the main arguments of Paleo against grains is gut damage and gluten. Einkorn is a grain that is the original form of wheat and as not been hybrid and does not cause such issues with the gut and is pretty low in gluten. (Where man tampers lurks peril!) Buckwheat, often mistaken for a grain, is indeed a berry and causes no such issues either. Buckwheat (not contaminated) DOES NOT contain gluten. Indeed Buckwheat has been shown to help reverse leaky gut damage.
Tubers. Not sure why there is controversy here. Except for the fact that too many white potatoes are not good for you (high sugar) Where hunter gatherers could dig roots they did. Period. (See the above graphic)
Minion opinion: Personally my family eats paleo-ish 80-20 to 90 -10. Strict Paleo simply does not support my training, and there are some foods that are worth having on occasion. I do not eat copious amounts of bacon, but I do eat an abundance of vegetables and some fruit. Live life and don’t freak out! You are best served to eat close to nature. If it comes from a box a bag or a window it’s voodoo food. Stay away from GMO’s and chemical additives. (Especially check your supplements) Eat organic, grass fed, and pastured. Research the clean 15 for foods that do not have to be organic. Side Note: fermented foods like Kim Chi and Sauerkraut can help heal your gut.
Moving Paleo style:
Chairs are the work of the devil and tech toys are his little demons!
This part will be brief and to the point. Paleo is right here. We do not move like we should. Sitting too much causes all of the muscles of the leg to shorten, and worst of all the Iliopsoas which is the strongest flexor of the hip and bends you at the waist it attaches to the upper femur is fused at the pelvic crest region and attaches in the low back. This causes a vast array of functional issues and Low Back Pain. Working at desks and computers, or chronic smart phone use will cause rounded shoulders, short Pectoralis muscles, lengthened, and weakened upper back muscles, and abnormal curvature of the neck which will later lead to shoulder, and neck problems.
Minion opinion: Ditch the chair. Get a standing work station, or make one.
I put this one together for about $35 with small step stools from Northern Tool.
Move your Butt. Don’t stay stationary too long. Move when you can go here and there to the restroom the water cooler, whatever!
Workout! Work out in full range of motion. Move heavy stuff, climb, play, work, lift odd objects, and practice yoga.
Get Outside. Get Outside get fresh air and vitamin D from the sun!
Minion Dave’s recommended resources:
Loren Cordain – The Paleo Diet
Robb Wolff – The Paleo Solution Paleo Solution Podcast
Mark Sisson – The Primal Blue Print Primal Blue Print Podcast
Diane Sanfilippo – Practical Paleo
Leslie Klenke – Paleo Girl (for the young ladies!)
Ben Greenfield fitness Podcast
Dave Asprey – Bulletproof Radio Podcast
Disclaimer: This blog contains my opinions and those of others and is no way intended for anything beyond information and entertainment. I am prescribing nothing. –Cheers! Your Minion Dave Bittner


The Real “Training Secrets”

My Fitness Minion

Wherever you go people are looking for the secret sauce for everything. The realm of performance and fitness is certainly no different and is probably a dominating force in the sale of “Secrets”. Everyone wants to know what there favorite athlete or star does to stand out above the crowd. I am going to present you with the methods most of these folks use to be at the top of their game. Notice I said the top of THEIR game. Most of us are not out to win the CrossFit games or insert your favorite endeavor here_______ but, we do want to be at the top of OUR game and perform and look our very best. If you are looking for a magic bullet or top secret supplement read no further. I will discuss supplements but only in a small way. I will cover the rules,habits, and techniques most of…

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The Real “Training Secrets”

Wherever you go people are looking for the secret sauce for everything. The realm of performance and fitness is certainly no different and is probably a dominating force in the sale of “Secrets”. Everyone wants to know what there favorite athlete or star does to stand out above the crowd. I am going to present you with the methods most of these folks use to be at the top of their game. Notice I said the top of THEIR game. Most of us are not out to win the CrossFit games or insert your favorite endeavor here_______ but, we do want to be at the top of OUR game and perform and look our very best. If you are looking for a magic bullet or top secret supplement read no further. I will discuss supplements but only in a small way. I will cover the rules,habits, and techniques most of these folks use and the ones they don’t they would fare well to.

 Rules & Habits:

# 1) Breathing: Done right? I mean we breathe all of the time without thinking about it right? Wrong!Most people, particularly in developed countries of the west breathe from the chest and not the diaphragm, they breathe through their mouths and not their noses. When studying top athletes an outstanding commonality is the ability to breathe calmly and correctly. This gives them a greater capacity to do work longer. Breathing through the nose not only filters and warms air nitric oxide a vasodilator which aids in carrying more oxygen and nutrients in the blood stream. Panicked labored mouth breathing during exercise will gas you Quick. Yoga, martial arts, and meditation teach proper breathing or visit and see what Former Seal Team 1 commander Mark Divine has to say about breathing.

#2) Sleep: Sleep comes in a close 2nd. While sleeping your body and brain repair and rejuvenate. Important hormonal function happen during sleep, Growth hormone builds muscle and burns fat, and is spit out during the Rem cycles of deep sleep about every 2 hours you are snoozing. 6-9 hours of sleep are not optional to be at the top of your game and to be healthy and fit.

#3) Pure clean Drinking Water: Drinking plenty of pure clean water free of chlorine and contaminants will cleanse the body and is necessary for all metabolic function, and will also keep your muscle pliable and less susceptible to injury. Drink plenty of water, but not so much that your urine is totally clear or you could be flushing out necessary minerals.

#4) Proper Nutrition: In order to recover from hard workouts Proper nutrition is vital. Everyone complicate this. It is really as simple as this. If it comes from a box, bag, or window you should not eat it. Stay with as much natural whole food as possible. Eat Grass fed and pastured meats, plenty of leafy fibrous vegetables, nuts and seeds, good oils like coconut, and olive oils, Fatty wild caught fish like Salmon and Sardines, a little starch, and NO sugar.

#5) Consistency and patience: These 2 walk hand and hand. Show up, work hard, follow these guide posts, be realistic, and the results will come. They will come fastest by putting effort and attention to detail when it comes to all I have listed above.

#6) Planning and Goal Setting: Set your goals and come up with a plan. Use Periodization. Periodization is breaking your short and long term goals into manageable blocks in order to achieve a sum result. One trip to Google will tell you all about Periodization.


#1) Intensity: For fat burning use Tabata, CrossFit, and High intensity interval training. Tighten up your diet and increase your water to strip fat and increase endurance.

#2) Diet: Carb Cycling and Zig-Zag dieting. (look these up or DM me @myfitnessminion on InstaGram) Eat light on days of low activity and eat more on days of high physical stress fuel your workouts not your TV watching time. Taper off food consumption as the day wears on Eat breakfast like a Queen (or King you get it) eat lunch like a princess, and dinner like a pauper. If you are overly hungry at night eat a high protein low carb snack. Include a cheat day or meal. This actually resets, and fires up your metabolism as well as allowing you to have something to look forward to and share a treat with loved ones.Use Cold Thermogenesis to increase fat burning.(for more  contact me)

#3) Strength First! In order to perform better and decrease your risk of injury develop strength first using simple compound movements in the 3-5 repetition range for 8-5 sets. Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, Shoulder press, and Bent Rows. I also recommend Olympic weightlifting techniques for more balance and flexibility. Use 10 -15 Repetition range for muscle Growth, and 15 and above for strength endurance.

#4) Keep it Simple, Keep it Fresh! You can build the performance and physique you want with a barbell, dumbbells, and or body weight exercises employing the proper technique. The Best trainers know simple is best and everything else is helpful and fun but not necessary. Change your training often to keep it fresh and to keep your body guessing.

If you would like instruction on these techniques. Get a coach There are so many methods of training and most have merit and each person responses somewhat differently, but the above rules and techniques are essential basics. Another name for a Master of the Basics is Black Belt!


Your Fitness Minion,

Dave Bittner


The Fitness Renaissance : Programs, Systems, and Inspiration

Let’s get this out of the way. I’m an old guy. There I said it. I bought my first set of vinyl and concrete weights in 1979 with some money I had saved up from doing various odd jobs like cutting grass and used an old buffet for a bench. In 1979 fitness was running. Only wing nut, lunk headed weirdoes were trying to get muscles. “You don’t want to look all freaky like that do you?” Well things certainly have changed! In the late 80’s Bodybuilding was gaining momentum because of the new action star Arnold Schwarzenegger and muscles started to be cool. Being strong was always cool, but Powerlifting and Olympic lifting were not what Arnold and other Bodybuilding stars were doing and none of this was even remotely regarded as athleticism not even Oly lifting which was, well in the Olympics. All of these modalities were compartmentalized and each very Dogmatic in their views. Very few crossovers were happening. Until some bodybuilders noticed how thick some of the old school strong men were and Power lifters had admirable development. So some started incorporate more compound moves in rep schemes and weight similar to powerlifting and some even called it “Power Bodybuilding” Pyramids and Bill Starr’s 5×5 training. But high volume Arnold-esque training reigned supreme. But for the average teenager like me, the realization of that kind of results just were not there. In fact in hindsight my best results were achieved with bare bones lower volume old school training from Reg Park’s book and Randall Strossen’s Super Squats. Fact is high volume without “special supplements” wasn’t going to get it. But slow as we are enthusiast started to figure it out, and so did Scott Chinery from Lakewood, New Jersey.
Programs & Systems
In the late 80’s L&S Research founded by Scott Chinery was born under the name” Cybergenics Total Bodybuilding System” Cybergenics was a wildly popular bodybuilding program in a box that offered steroid like results by using a scientifically researched methods and supplements.
For those of you who remember or even used Cybergenics the results were not quite steroid like, but if you actually used the product as directed (as I had 4 times) the results were definitely remarkable to say the least. I myself was at one point 200lbs at 5% body fat at 6’1 and had a 29”waist. But those who thought they could lift very little and take the 7 included supplement and follow none of the guidelines there was disappointment and anger. As we know the squeaky wheel gets the grease in 1994 (coincidentally with the emergence of Bill Phillips’ Muscle Media 2000’s miracle find –creatine) Cybergenics was sued by the FTC for false claims about their products results:
Here is where I agree & disagree. Cybergenics definitely did the old Before and after switch-a-roo which we still see today, but here is where I think they got it right: Intensity (any one that did this program will tell you ouch!)( Drop sets to + & – failure) Carb Cycling (we all know that works) Training in a fasted state, Using music to drive you, Psyching up with angry thoughts before a lift, getting enough sleep, Supplements B-12 & Leucine pre workout, heavy doses of antioxidants, zinc, magnesium and amino acids. Many of these have been touted 20 years later as cutting edge science! Most importantly it was a comprehensive program that laid it all out and became so popular other companies followed suit. The next best of the bunch being Fred Hatfield and Vince McMahon’s (yup the wrestling guy) IcoPro which was a Periodization plan, supplements, and aroma therapy. (btw Fred Hatfield is an awesome guy I did the ISSA cert with Dr. Squat!) Take away Programs and systems = success
Enter Muscle Media 2000 started by failed bodybuilder turned savvy entrepreneur Bill Phillips who started Mile High publishing in his mother’s garage on $180 he got from cutting lawns and published a newsletter on how to use steroids.
Phillips used MM2K to promote products first Met –RX, then EAS products like Phosphagen, and HMB. No matter what his motives or beginnings Phillips is a genius and popularized some of the most effective supplements on the market today. But how could Phillips possibly prove these things worked? He would let his MM2K readers prove it for him with a transformation challenge dated receipts of EAS products purchased and before and after pictures with dated newspapers, chronicle the whole thing in a documentary, live the code by looking great, and give away your awesome sports car as the prize. And a legend was born. Bill parleyed the whole thing into (you guessed it!) A SYSTEM! Bill wrote the book “Body for Life” and the rest is history.
Bodybuilding Magazines always have the newest program and are hawking some gimmicky supplements. Well because programs work maybe not for everyone or optimally for anyone but is you have a plan and adhere to a system it works.
Enter The Anti Program – Program and the Renaissance of fitness In 1996 former gymnast Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai came up with the idea for a gym which would be akin to the JEET-KUNE-DO of fitness where getting rid of all the garbage and combining the best aspects of all the best expressions of physical endeavor and actually putting a definition on what fitness is “Increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains”. They opened their first gym in Santa Cruz California. Glassman and Jenai founded the company CrossFit inc. in 2000. CrossFit uses Constantly varied Functional movements and includes elements of gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, Power lifting, calisthenics, cardio, Plyometrics , and whatever else the CrossFit coaches in the now more than 10,000 CrossFit gyms worldwide believe will make their athletes (as all participants are called) Generally physically prepared. Although controversy exists CrossFit has become hugely successful and I would argue when administered under good coaches it is because it is VERY effective.
A 2010 U.S. Army study conducted during a 6-week period produced an average power output increase of 20% among participants, measured by benchmark WODs. The average one repetition maximum weight deadlift increased by 21.11%.[37]
A 2013 study by exercise scientists at Ohio State University revealed that participation in a CrossFit program significantly improved VO2 max and decreased body fat percentage in both males and females across all levels of fitness.[38]
CrossFit Headquarters exists in cyberspace
Enter The computer age with the current ubiquity of smart phones and computers you can get fitness ala cart and find some real crap, but plenty of real gems as well. We also are seeing human potential pushed by the social media audiences into the realm of superhuman. It is not uncommon to witness superhuman lifts and box jumps over 60 inches, not to mention Parkour and insanely talented martial artists.
I myself am a fitness information junkie and when my former partner, Tae Kwon Do master and still good friend introduced me to The Barbell Shrugged Podcast I was hooked. Barbell shrugged introduced me to all of the podcasts I listen to now. Here are my favorites. (But warning if you read muscle magazines for information listening to these guys is like waking up from the Matrix!)
Barbell Shrugged, Ben Greenfield, Bulletproof Radio, Zach Even-Esh Strong Cast, The Barbell Life, Barbell Business, Spartan Up, The Unbeatable Mind.
It is a brave new world of fitness out there! Although I’m getting along in my days I am more fit than ever and excited everyday to be a part of it! THE FITNESS RENAISSANCE IS NOW!

Your Fitness Minion,
Dave Bittner


My Best Mass Program Ever

If you are reading this blog post and decide to use my program for gaining mass consider yourself privileged. I was never going to just give this program away because I got so huge on it. But, as time goes by I realize I have learned so much in these 30 plus years I have plenty of service to offer at a premium, and can still share some of my very best information for absolutely FREE!
First a little background about this program. I had been lifting many years loving to get big and strong in fact I just got down right nerdy about it. About 8 years ago I decided I was getting older and never had reached my full potential size. Sure I’d been very strong in my youth and had achieved single digit fat levels, but did I get as massive as possible without steroids? No. So I decided to sit down and use my collective knowledge of more than 20 years to design what I thought might be the best collection of movements, volume, and recovery to become massive and strong. Over the years I collected at information from top bodybuilders, and powerlifters at convention and alike fused them with my own experience and voila! I gained about 20 pounds in 12 weeks I went from 240lbs to 260lbs.
Beginning measurements were neck 17 ½” arms 17 ½” Chest 48” Quads 26”
Calves 18” Waist 38” End measurements were neck 19 ½” arms 19 ½” Chest 52” Quads 29” Calves 19 1/2” Waist 38” I am not guaranteeing results like this for everyone, but mine were pretty astounding I got pretty strong too. My Bench was 255 for sets of 6-8 (always weak on the bench) Squats were 320 for 9-10 as were Deadlifts. I would call that a pretty good result. As for diet I just ate, but as much good quality protein as possible and as a rule I ate 3 eggs and a cup of oatmeal twice a day between meals for protein and hormone support as well as slow burning carbs from oats. My supplements were creatine 5 grams, ZMA as directed, amino shooters pre – workout, protein powder (total protein was 1 gram per lb scale weight) and a multivitamin.
The Program is 2 days on 1 off 2 on 2 off. All work should be finished in 1 hour if possible, but should never take more than an hour and a half. Start with a weight at around the 5 rep range and increase the weight once you can do 12 clean reps with it for one of your sets. (unless otherwise directed)
Never sacrifice safety have a spotter when you need one, and learn proper technique from someone qualified if you are unsure. Keep a log to track progress and do this workout for 10-12 weeks during a mass cycle.


Incline Bench press- 4 sets (refer to bold print above for rep schemes)
Flat Bench press – 4 sets
Decline Bench press – 2 sets
Pec Deck Fly 2 Sets
Barbell Curl – 4 Sets
Preacher Curl – 3 sets


Deadlifts – 5 sets
Good Mornings – 3 sets
Leg Curl 21’s – 2 sets (Like bicep curl 21’s non stop 7 reps half way down 7 half way up and 7 all the way through I thought of this application myself and got huge hammies!)
Bent Row – 4 sets
Lat Pull down – 4 sets
Cable Rows – 4 sets
Calf raises – 4 sets
Seated Calf raises – 3 sets


Barbell Shrugs – 4 Sets
Hise Shrugs – 2 Sets go 15 reps here (Barbell on your shoulders in back squat fashion and shrug your shoulders)
Hang Cleans – 4 Sets
Seated Shoulder press – 4 sets
Lateral raises – 4 sets (go 10-20 reps here)
Reverse Cable Crossover – 4 sets


Squats – 4 Sets
Sissy Squats – 4 sets
Leg Extensions – 2 sets
Sumo Squats – 2
Close Grip Bench press – 3 sets
French Curls with triceps Bomber – 3 sets
Rope extensions over head our rope push downs – 3 sets

There it is! If you want size try this workout! Take before and after pictures and show them to @MinionDave720 on twitter and @MyFitnessMinion on Instagram. Eat Right, Sleep tight, and grow Big in the morning light!

Dave Bittner


Proprioception and Physical Excellence

Proprioception and Physical Excellence

  • Proprioception (/ˌproʊpri.ɵˈsɛpʃən/ PRO-pree-o-SEP-shən), from Latin proprius, meaning “one’s own”, “individual” and perception, is the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.[1] It is provided by proprioceptors in skeletal striated muscles and in joints. It is distinguished from exteroception, by which one perceives the outside world, and interoception, by which one perceives pain, hunger, etc., and the movement of internal organs. The brain integrates information from proprioception and from the vestibular system into its overall sense of body position, movement, and acceleration. The word kinesthesia or kinæsthesia (kinesthetic sense) has been used inconsistently to refer either to proprioception alone or to the brain’s integration of proprioceptive and vestibular inputs

After reading the above paragraph you should begin to understand why proprioception is important to athletic performance, but as you will soon learn it goes far beyond that. In many instances it functions almost like a sixth sense. Proprioception tells your body where it is in space as well helping you judge distance and sense when someone is behind you. Balnce and accuracy are absolutely reliant upon proprioception.

Here is the good news; you can train yourself for improved proprioception!  So, you ask how does that apply to me and my sport? Well here are some examples of where good proprioception is vitally important to high level achievement.

    • Golf Foot position and weight distribution a paramount especially for a good putt. Since the largest concentration of proprioceptors are in your ankles Training your ankles on unstable surfaces can literally be a came changer as well as wrist, shoulders, and elbows.
  • Wrestling/Grappling– Knowing exact joint position of yourself and in relationship to your opponent is vital, not to mention telling your brain to engage those joints to obtain optimal leverage.
  • Martial Arts/Boxing-Foot position, single foot balance, striking distance, and evading are all necessary skills to master in these sports.
  • Baseball, Football, Basketball, Soccer – The list goes on and on

Simply put if you want to be better at your sport regardless what it is you need to train your proprioceptors! So how do you do this? Here are some suggestions for achieving better proprioception with little or no equipment at all.

Here is an excerpt from

Perform a graduated program that works to improve proprioception until both the right and left sides have equal propriceptive ability (assuming one side is uninjured). Compare to your uninjured side (do exercises on both sides until each side is equal). Consider the following guidelines:

  1. Do exercises daily
  2. Do exercises for 30 seconds and repeat for 5-10 repetitions
  3. Gradually progress the complexity of the exercises:

Basic Exercise

  • Stand on one foot on a flat surface with your eyes open (30 seconds)

Higher difficulty

  • Stand on one foot on a flat surface with your eyes closed (30 seconds). Have something available to grab if you lose your balance.

Even higher difficulty

  • Stand on one foot on a flat surface with your eyes closed and move your head from side to side (30 seconds). Have something available to grab if you lose your balance.

Highest difficulty

  • Stand on one foot on a soft surface (ex. a pillow or bed) with your eyes closed and move your head from side to side (30 seconds). Have something available to grab if you lose your balance.

Also employ balance boards, Bosu balls, Swiss balls, or any other modality to get you off balance.  Also try standing on one foot while drawing out the ABC’s with the other and then with your eyes closed (be careful not to fall!)

For wrist, elbow, and shoulder:

  • Figure 8’s – Holding a lightly weighted object such as a piece of pipe or heavy wood draw small figure 8’s with your wrist for 10 then a little larger allowing the elbow to move in and out for ten and finally larger using the entire shoulder
  • Medicine ball push-ups- 10 with one hand on the ball for each repetition .
  • Swiss ball or inflatable ball plank hold- Both hands on the ball feet on the floor plank for 30 seconds.
  • Punch the leaf – Pick a leaf at different levels and punch at it. Endeavor to touch the leaf with a full speed punch, but only barely.

Incorporate these and some other techniques into your training for a few moths and see how you performance improves!

Your fitness Minion,

Dave Bittner


Is Your CrossFit Program Limiting You?

Is Your CrossFit Program Limiting You?

Broad and inclusive. This is a familiar CrossFit mantra, but what do you think Coach Glassman meant by this statement? Surely not every modality of exercise is CrossFit right? Well I’m going to say; right and wrong. Let’s break it down like this: CrossFit is High Intensity Functional Movement, also Increased Work Capacity across Broad Time and Modal Domains. Sounds pretty broad and inclusive right? I believe that is exactly what Coach Glassman meant. I started dabbling in Functional workouts over 20 years ago and grabbed right onto the CrossFit Idea in about 2004 when I read some obscure article about it somewhere I cannot even recall, but I could not get enough information about CrossFit to really put all the pieces together until about 2006. At that time we had just moved to North Carolina and I did not know of a box anywhere in the area. I kind of let it go and went full blown back into the Bodybuilding scene I got huge 265 lbs 19.25 inch arms yada-yada. I also got very immobile. In 2008 I started practicing Tae Kwon Do with my family I was forced to trim down because lumbering muscle and jump spin kicks do not bode well together. As I began to trim down and recognize my need to become more functional I began gravitating back toward functional workouts or caveman training. Lifting, Virtual shoveling, Sword Play, Rock carrying, push –ups, and Tae Kwon do all at a high level. Many would say “That isn’t CrossFit!” I say “Stop the snobbery! You are ruining the guttural appeal, and spirit of CrossFit!”  Everything listed above is very functional and effective when correctly combined and practiced at high intensity, but I would understand someone’s problem with some of that. Where I fail to understand some CrossFitters is when THEY decide what CrossFit is and what is not simply by what is RX and what is not. For instance; my friend and I have a mutual acquaintance from another state that CrossFits and he insisted to tell him that because we only had a 12 foot rope to climb that is not CrossFit!

Let us take note and not forget: The purpose and beauty of CrossFit is General Physical Preparedness (GPP) and by combining Gymnastics, (bodyweight movements) Weightlifting, (lifting heavy or weighted crap) and Metabolics (variations of torture that cause your heart to race for a period of time) while working toward achieving a degree of competency at the 10 general physical skills. Balance, Strength, Flexibility, Accuracy, Coordination, Endurance, Power, Agility, Speed, and Stamina, a very wide range of skills to achieve. I submit to you, virtually anything you do moving in a range of motion normal to the human body is functional. This is where combinations of gymnastics, weightlifting, and metabolic programmed in the correct rotation and building proper recovery is far more important than whether the rope is 12 or 15 feet or not. Choosing Multi joint movements over your bodybuilding style isolation exercises is also preferred.    

Maintaining proper alignment, flexibility, and mobility are also very integral in the CrossFit lifestyle. These aspects are not always fully addressed by practicing the snob’s ideal of what CrossFit is and are intervened upon by “other modalities” which is where Kelly Starrett found his niche in the CrossFit world.(and has raised the quality of CF for everyone in my opinion) We are also seeing many CrossFitters doing Yoga. Guys Yoga is not CrossFit! But, it is very effective and useful to CrossFitters for increasing ROM and improving recovery. So are there Hard Fast Rules to follow?  Kind of. Here are some thoughts on a good attitude about training, fitness, and dealing with others.


  • DON’T BE A SNOB! There is no best training, However there is better training and varying levels and styles of coaches find one that is a good fit for you.
  • ENCOURAGE OTHERS CrossFit is about encouragement and community. Whether it’s CrossFit or not, applaud the efforts of others and tell them about your Box family. They might just bite.
  • OFFER HELP By no means do not give instruction you are not qualified to give, but you can share methods and resources that have worked for you, and explain why you think they did
  • EVERYONE IS NOT YOU Remember you are you and no one else. Don’t expect others to have your level of grind. Encourage others to make small changes over time then the changes will stick and you will make new friends.
  • DO NOT QUALIFY WHAT IS OR IS NOT CROSSFIT BY EQUIPMENT! CrossFit is method, ideology, and philosophy not hardware. It does not have to be Rogue, Dynamax, Concept 2 , or 15 feet of rope for that matter to be CrossFit.
  • THE WORLD IS YOUR PLAYGROUND Find training anywhere and everywhere in the unknown and unknowable – Now that’s CrossFit! Enjoy!



Dave Bittner: AKA Minion Dave


How Do You Choose Your Programming?

7 Steps in The Right Direction

If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you’ve got. If you and/ or everyone you train is happy with how you choose your workouts stop reading here. However if you are looking for some guidance on how to decide how to program for yourself and others I believe you will get some worthwhile insight in this article.
Good workout programming is truly an art than seems to elude many athletes and trainers. Athletes and trainers alike are inundated with a plethora of confusing information about how to train. So, let’s cut through the rhetoric and give you a template you can use to develop programming that has your own flavor.
STEP 1) Put down the Muscle Mag. While some of the information can be useful you should be thinking in terms of the big picture and not what the newest workout powder or pill is.
STEP 2) Identify what your “Big Picture is” In other words what is your medium to long term goal (s) for health, appearance, performance, or improving in weak areas. In Periodization this is called a Macro Cycle, but you can call it long term goal or whatever you like. Or if in a group setting use a few benchmark workouts that focus on specific markers of fitness i.e. cardio, strength, strength endurance, balance, agility, and flexibility etc. You should be able to identify holes in your program where most in your class are ubiquitously weak. CrossFit© benchmark workouts do this well and are available free of charge at
STEP 3) The Main focus of any training should be holistic It is a training no-no to hyper focus on your long term goal so much you or your clients develop other weaknesses. It is also important toward over all development and optimizing hormonal responses. The weak areas of yourself or your clients are addressed by adding strategically placed added work within your overall programming.
STEP 4) Blueprint your long term goals. After completing and identifiing your bench mark: Set a realistic long term goal or macro cycle (usually a year) to determine how to set up Medium term goals called Mesocycles and short term goals or micro cycles. For instance: If you squat 250 lbs in your benchmark workout it is unrealistic to think you can squat 500 lbs in 3 months. It is more realistic to set a goal of 350 lbs in 4 months. You than can set up goal posts along the way of say 25lbs per month (just to make it simple) Then do the appropriate research needed to determine what exercises / rep schemes assist in increasing a 1RM in the squat and apply them accordingly. This of course is a simplification.
STEP 5) When you write your program know in advance how you will scale exercises. Whatever you do never go into workout without planning how to scale any exercises in your plan should you or your client(s) not yet possess the applicable skills or ability to perform the movements as written. Think of scaling as building blocks to success. Never say I or you can’t. Say: “I am currently unable, but will soon meet this challenge.”
STEP 6) Program for adequate recovery Most coaches know rest is necessary, however many do not know exactly how to train in a fashion that keeps moving forward at adequate levels of intensity or how and when to change set and rep schemes. Here are some general guidelines.
Larger muscle groups worked at low reps under heavy loads recover slowly
Rotate body parts and focus at rotating intervals
Rotate rep/set schemes to provide better recovery (light /heavy)
Understand how exercise work synergistically to cause a desired effect
Recovery is crucial for improving weaknesses. Work priority/extra training at appropriate intervals. Example :If you need to work in an extra leg day alternate heavy/ light and the way the leg is trained. If Leg day was Monday and Thursday was a running day you might do Goblet squats, Kettlebell Swings, and Jump rope to improve your leg weaknesses.
STEP 7) Be Creative! We live in a marvelous age of fitness like no other! There are so many different modalities methods and resources out there from CrossFit, to Spartan Races, to You Tube. There is no excuse to be stuck in a gym or not working out because there isn’t one available. Never choose your workouts randomly, but change them frequently using all of this free and readily available content to choose different and unique movements to compliment your program and keep it fresh.
Closing Thoughts: Programming can truly be fun stay original and fresh yet structured with your goals in mind. When possible engage in recreational sport and if you coach encourage your clients to do so as well or in a group setting you may even put a game of ball into your programming. So go out have fun and Crush it!

Minion Dave

Nutrition tips

Dietary Supplements, your Food, and the garbage they put in there

Whether you are a Paleo head, a Vegan from planet Vega 4, or are Zoned out, you are probably quite conscientious about the food you are putting in your body. But are you aware that the label “Organic” may not mean pure or even safe? Here some things in your foods or Supplements that could be, or certainly are harming your health.

1. Carrageenan , Xanthan, gum and other suspicious thickeners. Lie: Added to make your food thick and creamy. Well not a total lie. It does make food thick and creamy. Fact: They are cheap fillers so food companies can lower their costs. This stuff is potentially harmful to digestion or worse.     You’ll find these thickeners in your protein powders etc. as well. Ask yourself: “Why does whipping cream need a thickener!”

2. GMO’s Genetically Modified Organisms. Get ready for your Godzilla Get-away run on this one! This is a real conspiracy crime against your health that is so convoluted I can only give you a preview of a” Take the world over scheme” that would make Gru blush. 95% of all corn grown in the US is now genetically modified. So you think I guess I won’t eat corn. Mwahahahaha! you already are. things like Maltodextrin, Citric acid, and vitamin E & C! this only scratches the surface. Here is a list of foods containing corn for folks with corn allergies. Nobody even knows what GMO’s have been doing to us for the past 20 odd years! Read all about GMO’s and your right to know.

3.Sweeteners Besides the fact they may be made of GMO corn products, Things like Aspartame, Sucralose, Agave, and even Stevia are either known to be dangerous or can be suspect.
To be fair let’s start with stevia. Stevia is a sweet natural leaf. The only issue I may have with stevia is when it is processed and bleached. Let’s just say organic green stevia is best. Agave is a real problem too. We are mad to think it is the greatest thing since Paleo bread, but truth be told Agave is another big lie!

4. Preservatives and Colors. Sodium Benzoate and it friend potassium benzoate. It’s in Soda, Hot sauce, and other sneaky places it causes Cancer and the FDA doesn’t care a bit. Caramel color = cancer too. Just ask someone who has a child with A.D.H.D or Autism give there child blue food coloring.

This is the kind of garbage the food and industries are feeding us. Arm yourselves with the truth! In the future I will break these subjects down.  Now quickly Run to your cabinet  look at all of your Supplements and other goodies and see what is in there. It is a complicated dangerous food world out there, but your minion is here to help you navigate!  Just Visit: