Your Questions Answered III

I just found your site and checked it out! I’m super impressed!  Is it possible to build a workout routine without going to a gym? I have full access to a gym but I’d prefer to do the majority of working out at home. I’m really motivated to work out, I’ve gained probably 15-20 pounds in the past 6-7 months…I really want to focus on my abs though, any recommendations?

Justin P.

Justin.  First of all, congratulations on your success thus far.  Secondly – to answer your question – it’s very possible.  In fact, I actually covered this topic in a workout called The BW Workout.  You say you really want to focus on your abs though.  My assumption is that you want them to be more visible and ripped.  The fastest and most effective way to get a solid six pack is to dial in your nutrition.  I forget where I heard the following quote, but I agree with it 100%:  “Abs are built in the kitchen.”  Once you get this covered, then you can try adding in exercises from my article How to Get Six-Pack Abs.

In Extreme Exercise and Nutritional Minimalism, what do you mean by “leave 2 reps in the tank”?


Maybe I should have added this to the FAQs section.  Let’s say that your goal for that workout is to rack deadlift for a heavy set of 5 reps.  Use a weight that will allow you to lift 7 reps (to failure), but only lift that weight for 5 reps.  Thus, you leave 2 reps in your tank (think: gas tank).  Jason Ferruggia (awesome first name) says it best, “Do a bunch of five rep warm up sets and work up to a starting weight that you can do for five reps with perfect form. If I held a gun to your head you’d be able to get it seven times. So it should be a good hard set but not to failure.”

Thus, brings us to the next question:

Jason.  There seems to be a trend happening on your site.  You always talk about not lifting to failure?  Why don’t you lift to failure?  I always thought that it’s the best way to get stronger and build muscle.

Joseph B.

Training to failure is training to fail.  Here’s why:  whenever you train until failure, you fatigue your CNS.  Too much CNS fatigue leads to far-less-than-optimal recovery.  Recovery is one of the fastest ways to reaching your goals in the weight room.  I just don’t see the point to grinding reps out with the help of a spotter.  Especially when progressive overload is the name of the game (trying to lift a tiny bit more each workout).  Here’s something for you to try:  always make sure that your first reps looks just as beautiful as your last rep in each set.  Always leave 1-2 reps in the tank.  Always try to lift either more weight, or one more rep each workout.  You’ll be amazed at how much progress you start making in the gym.


Thanks for the great questions, and I look forward to answering more questions in the future.

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