Resources


muscle building resources page

Here is a list of some links and products that I think can aid you in your journey to becoming the strong and fit person you deserve to be. I will continually update this page and add products that I think are beneficial. You can bookmark this page for easy reference. Enjoy!

Disclosure:  Many of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to purchase through these links. I am recommending these products because they can help you get fit and not because of the small commissions I make if you choose to buy something.  Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.


Work Out At Home

TRX Suspension KitThis is a great apparatus, although it seems pricey for what you actually get. When you consider what you can do with it, it’s a good value. This won’t replace heavy weights, but it’s versatile, easily portable and can add some functional training to your workout. If you travel you can do a full-body workout in your hotel room and one of my clients brought it with him on a camping trip.

Kettlebells – Kettle Bells can be used for a bunch of tough full body strength exercises. They come in a variety of sizes so you may need a few if you are doing a full workout at home. Swings and goblet squats are some great exercises that work a lot of muscles at once.

Jump RopeThe cheapest and most portable pieces of cardio equipment. Jumping rope can get your heart beating pretty fast and you can take it anywhere. Doing a few rounds of jump rope will get you in shape in a relatively short period of time.

Battle RopesThe first time I learned how to use battle ropes, I did an hour long training class doing every exercise imaginable and my forearms were sore for days. Most people would not do a full battle rope workout, but if you do, be prepared. I prefer to incorporate these with other exercises, but there is a lot of different things you can do. Know that you will need a lot of space and something to anchor the rope to.

Captains of Crush Hand Gripper– If you want to lift heavy, you need to have a strong grip. Captains of Crush are the real deal and are for those serious about lifting heavy. These aren’t the cheap ones you find in a sporting goods store. The resistance goes all the way up to 365 pounds. If you are new to grip work you may need to start with the trainer or sport levels because the high level ones can be pretty tough. There is also a cheaper version here that works pretty well but is not as standardized with the weights.

Polar Heart Rate Monitor -Tracking your heart rate will let you know if you are slacking with your workouts. There are cheaper monitors out there but Polar has been the standard in accurate devices for years. I never had any problems with my monitor (until someone stole it.)

 


Increase Your Mobility

High Density Foam Roller – Everyone should have one of these for SMR stretching and relaxing tight muscles. Remember if you compress any muscle there should be no pain. Over time foam rolling will loosen adhesions in the muscle and give you better range of motion. They come in a variety of lengths and densities but most are around 5 or 6 inches in diameter.

Lacrosse Balls – These can be used like a foam roller to do SMR stretching but they can better pinpoint a spot since they are smaller. They work well getting those hard to reach muscles that surround the shoulder and hip joints.

The Stick– Another SMR stretching tool. Instead of using the bodyweight to apply the pressure you can do it manually so this may work well for some muscles that are extremely painful.

Hip Circle– Helps with strengthening glutes and hip abductors. You put this around your thighs and can do lateral walks, squats, deadlift and anything else that involves leg strength. It’s really good for correcting knee adduction which is a very common problem for beginners.

Stretching & Resistance Bands– These are a great tool for doing many corrective exercises. The lighter resistance ones are great for injury rehab. I like the orange one for the Band Pull-Apart exercise to develop the upper back. The heavier ones are can be added to your lifts to can change the tension and work through sticking points. They can also be used to assist with exercises.

 


Gym Accessories

Slingshot– No, this is not something you use to shoot rocks. This little contraption gives you a little help at the bottom of your bench press, which allows you to add more weight and do overload training. You can also use it for pushups. It helps me get thorough a workout with minimal pain to my injured shoulder.

Fat Gripz These are little rubber accessories that wrap around dumbells, barbells and any other lifting bar. They make the bar thicker and harder to grip and over time will make your grip stronger. I love these little things and use them with many of my clients.

Wrist Wraps– Sometimes when you are going heavy you will need a little extra support for your wrists.

Gloves– If you don’t like callouses on your hands, gloves will help prevent them.

Knee Wraps– If you squat heavy knew wraps give you a little extra support and let you handle more weight. I don’t use them often but if I use more than 4 plates I will throw them in my bag just in case.

 


Food & Supplements

Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein – There are a lot of protein powders out there. I like Optimum Nutrition because there are very minimal fillers and I have not heard that they amino spike their powder. They have a lot of flavors and some will have more fillers than others. Read the labels and if you need a more detailed protein powder review check out this artcle.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil– There is a lot of research that suggest coconut oil may help people in many ways. Many of them are because of the lauric acid in the oil which is a Medium Chain Triglyceride. Look for a coconut oil that is ‘virgin’ or ‘extra virgin’ because it has been processed less.

Fish Oil– Provides many benefits to the body including helping with brain function, inflammation and muscle recovery. I like Barlean’s because it doesn’t have a fishy aftertaste.

Creatine Monohydrate Powder– There is a lot of documentation that shows that creatine increases strength and muscle size. There is not really a need for any expensive fancy variants of creatine. Over time the results will be about the same.

Beta Alanine Powder– Research indicates that Beta Alanine helps to increase muscle endurance and strength. You may get a tingling feeling after taking it but it is a harmless side effect.

Citrulline Malate 2:1 Powder– The research on citrulline malate shows it this increases recovery and reduces muscular fatigue. It is best when used about before your workout.

Caffeine Tablets– It is great before your workouts. You can get caffeine from coffee or pop one of these bad boys. Caffeine is why a lot of pre-workout powders actually work. It is a stimulant so make sure you are healthy before you take any.

Quest Bars– Most protein bars are really bad with tons of sugar. Quest bars are recognized as one of few that are actually pretty decent. In fact, most people would agree that these are the best protein bars on the market. There are a lot of flavors to choose from and they all have very little sugar.

Pure Protein Bars– Not quite as good as Quest, but they acceptable in a pinch and don’t’ cost as much so they give you more bang for your buck. They do have a little more sugar than Quest bars but they are not as bad as most bars. They come in 2 different sizes, one 50 grams and the other is 78 grams. is Some of the flavors contain soy, so if you are avoiding it you need to read the labels.

 


Nutrition Guides

Anabolic Cookbook– Some great recipes for building muscle that are simple to make. Some people don’t mind eating the same things every day, but if you need more variety, this cookbook helps you come up with nutritious ideas.

Metabolic Cookbook– The recipes in the fat-burning cookbook are based around the thermogenic effect of foods and how many calories your body will use to break them down. Even though I am more in favor of a ketogenic style diet for losing weight, there are still some useful recipes in this book for whatever diet plan you are on.

Renegade Diet – This fat burning, muscle building diet plan is based on intermittent fasting where you are consuming most of your calories for the day in a short timeframe. I experienced good results with this plan but found it difficult to time all the meals properly because off my variant schedule. I ended up going back to a more traditional nutrition plan, but if your schedule allows you to time your meals whenever you require then this plan my work for you.


Fitness and Nutrition Books

Good Calories, Bad Calories This book goes into extensive detail about many of the nutritional myths we have been told over the years and re-examines the research and it’s interpretation. This is the book that made me go back and question a lot of previously believed “common knowledge. Taubes also wrote Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It which is a condensed version of the information.

Grain Brain For some people gluten can cause some serious problems. This book expands on why carbs should be limited or avoided. If you are suffering from “foggy brain” or are having trouble remembering things, this will be an interesting read.

Starting Strength If you want to get strong you need good technique. This book breaks down the basic lifts in extreme detail. If you train by alone, or even with a partner that does not know what they are doing, you need to read this book.

Kettlebell – Simple & Sinister– This is the latest book from Pavel Tsatsouline, the guy who introduced the Kettlebell to the United States. A great book if you want to start to incorporate Kettlebells into your routine.

The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding– This is here for nostalgia sake. This is the updated version of the book I read growing up. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the man took bodybuilding mainstream and this was the first book about fitness I ever read. There is lots of content written by best bodybuilder of all time.

5/3/1: The Simplest and Most Effective Training System to Increase Raw Strength – The title says it all. The 5/3/1 system is a great program for getting stronger and increasing your lifts. Beginning and advanced lifters can use the program to see gains.

 


Miscellaneous

You can also check out my article about the Best health and fitness apps for your phone.

To give you a rough estimate on how much food you should be consuming, here is a Calorie Calculator to help figure it out.

Blue-Light Blocking Glasses – Electronics like computers, smart phones and televisions, emit blue light and using them at night can screw up your sleep cycle. These glasses may not look cool, but they can improve your sleep if you wear them 2-3 hours before bed.

Digital Food Scale – If you are serious about sticking to your nutrition plan then you will need something to weigh your foods. Scale that measures smaller increments, like this one, will be better for your supplements though.

Blender Bottle – I use these for my pre-workout mix and for my post-workout shakes. Just shake it and the wire ball inside blends whatever powder you have in there.

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