Fountain of Youth:
A 16-Week Muscle Building Coaching Program for Men
Fountain of Youth (FOY) is a 3-Phase Strength-Based DOUBLE KETTLEBELL Muscle Building Course (say that 5 times fast). FOY uses a combination of minimalist double kettlebell programming and strategically targeted bodyweight exercises to elicit a growth response. FOY will allow you to achieve a RECOMP (build muscle & burn fat at the same time).
👉🏽 ATTENTION: The 2020 summer enrolment for Fountain of Youth is NOW OPEN (July 16-24).
Below👇🏽 you’ll find the lessons that I’ve sent my subscribers thus far.
It’s my hope that the lessons below will give you a solid education on how to get stronger and build muscle with kettlebells…
…and do it in a safe, effective, scientifically-backed manner.
I hope that by being exposed to this education — all free — you learn to apply these lessons to your own practice.
Enjoy the journey.
- The Over-40 Muscle Building Ethos
- (July 16) Lesson 1 – Is Building Muscle Really THAT Important?
- (July 17) Lesson 2 – Mechanical Tension: The SKILL of Strength
- (July 20) PIVOT – ZEN and the Practice of Strength
- (July 21) Lesson 3 – Muscle Damage: Does it have to hurt to work?
- (July 22) Lesson 4 – Metabolic Stress: Get a PUMP with a Heavy Weight
- (July 23) Lesson 5 – The #AlphaDAD Diet: Eating for MUSCLE while staying LEAN.
- Lesson 6 – How to EAT whatever you want and get LEAN.
- Lesson 7 – Then Leaner you get, the MORE you can EAT.
Lesson 1 –
Systemic Overload: Is Building Muscle Really That Important?
STRENGTH, POWER & MUSCLE…
It’s always been a passion of mine – sometimes more like an obsession – whether it was trying to dunk a basketball in the 8th grade, or trying to beat my best friend in the 40 yard dash or trying to do more push ups than my dad.
I’ve always been obsessed by strength & power…
…and funny enough – muscle was a bi-product of that.
And that’s carried into my business and my passion for helping people attain and regain their health and fitness.
One of my clients, Brian from New York said it best…
I love that…
“Building muscle is important because the stronger I am, the harder I am to kill.”
–Brian from New York
To a certain extent that’s true.
If you get in a fight, assuming you know some basics, you’ll survive.
If you’re strong & powerful, chances are pretty good that you’re also relatively healthy, meaning you’ll have a stronger immune system and will be less susceptible to illness.
If you’re strong & powerful, there’s a greater likelihood that you’ll age gracefully and not have the worries that other elderly folks have – like falling, and osteo-you-name-it, and high whatever.
Case in point – one of my clients, Aravind, who’s 43+, was able to do his first One-Arm-One-Leg Push Up.
That’s fricken’ strong.
And Aravind is just like you and me – he’s a working man (he’s an airline pilot), with a wife, kids and bills to pay.
That’s what being strong & powerful allows you to do – All the things in life that are really important to YOU.
Spending time with family…
With few – if any – cares…
Being STRONG makes life EASIER.
A mentor of mine likens strength to a cup…
The bigger the cup, the more it holds.
If you’re stronger, it’s easier to train for endurance events like a marathon or a snatch test or an obstacle race.
All this begs a question…
How then do you get “Strong?”
The #1 way to get strong is to use Progressive Overload.
That means adding a little bit of difficulty – or a little more difficulty – virtually every time you train.
Notice I said “train” and not “work out.”
The difference you ask?
Training revolves around a long-term goal.
How then do you train with KBs to get stronger?
1. Add reps while using Mechanical Tension.
What’s mechanical tension?
It’s the primary SKILL OF STRENGTH… the ONE THING you must learn in order to get stronger.
In tomorrow’s email, I show you what I mean.
This is also known as increasing volume or total workload.
Adding reps while practicing the SKILL OF STRENGTH (ie Mechanical Tension) is the best way to progressively overload your body using KBs.
Start with multiple sets of 1 rep with a medium-heavy weight. Then over time start doing 2 or 3 reps of multiple sets. You’ll have doubled or tripled your workload… and have gotten stronger.
2. Add weight and use controlled eccentrics to move the load.
There comes a point of diminishing returns when doing more and more reps with the same size KB.
Then it’s time to get a bigger KB and start the process over again (see point 4 below).
And sometimes “forcing” the weights – albeit in a controlled and safe manner – is a great way to take an uncomfortable load and make it “work” for you.
I’ll show you how to do that on Saturday in a video I filmed for you.
3. Increase complexity and Stress the System.
Learn more challenging and more demanding exercises for your body.
Delve into rep ranges that feel uncomfortable.
Push a little… but do it safely.
For example: Once you’ve done enough Presses, move on to the Push Press or the Jerk.
The increased distance you have to move the KB requires and produces more strength in your hips, arms, and hands.
4. Increase systemic demand.
What I’m about to say won’t be popular, but it’s the truth.
A single 16kg (35lb) KB isn’t heavy for a man.
If it feels heavy to you it’s because you’re still weak.
Yeah, saying that probably goes over about as well as a fart in church.
It seems… Insulting.
It’s just factual.
And it doesn’t meant that you’ll stay weak… it just means that you’ve got some work to do.
And I tell you that because I respect you and I’m not into all this “touchy-feely” PC crap.
So spending all your time with a single 16kg KB is just short-changing yourself.
It’s an “entry level” weight…. A “pay to play” weight, if you will.
You’re not good at the piano because you can play notes or put scales together…
Like the 16kg that’s a starting point – the foundation for the work – and the REWARDS to come.
Once you’re at that point where those weights feel relatively easy, it’s time to move on – time to GROW.
The best way to do that is to demand more from your body as a whole – as a SYSTEM.
And the absolutely hands down way to do that is to learn to start using a PAIR of KBs.
When you learn to use a pair of KBs, your strength skyrockets…
…you start to build muscle;
…you stimulate the use of your fast twitch fibres;
…and you become MORE POWERFUL.
F.O.Y. is a 16-week COACHING PROGRAM for men who want to get stronger and put on muscle while learning how to use Double Kettlebells and their own bodyweight.
It’s a program where I TEACH YOU how to properly build muscle using double kettlebells.
It uses a system that uses SYSTEMIC, PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD to stimulate growth in your muscles using exercises that promote POWER (ie using your fast twitch muscle fibres).
If you’re unsure of why strength, muscle and POWER is important, I suggest you read my complete Muscle Building ETHOS first.
If you’re ready to pack some useable, powerful muscle on, head over to the registration page and get yourself set up!
I think I’ve explained everything clearly on that page but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to hit “REPLY”
Lesson 2 –
Mechanical Tension: The SKILL of STRENGTH
Happy Friday! Today we’re going to talk about Muscle Building Principle #1: “Mechanical Tension”… and I’ve got a video for you to watch below about it.
Mechanical Tension is always the first thing that I teach when I work with someone because it teaches the SKILL of STRENGTH.
How do you TEACH strength?
Isn’t it just about lifting weight?
Well, yes… but that’s only one aspect of it.
Today’s email will go a little deeper into this.
Yesterday we talked about why being strong (and having powerful muscle) just makes life easier.
So now, the question becomes, how do we get strong?
The important thing to remember here is that STRENGTH is a SKILL.
And just like any skill, it has to be “PRACTICED”.
Notice how I didn’t say “strength is a skill that must be ‘worked out’“?
Nope, when it comes to strength – because strength is a skill – it is very neurologically intensive.
What does that mean?
It means that just like learning how to swing a golf club for the first time;
…or learning a new language;
…or learning how to use a skill saw;
…strength must be practiced while you’re fresh & alert and you must AVOID fatigue as much as possible.
You wouldn’t mess around with a skill saw when you’re not fresh and alert, right? So…
…why would you mess around with a pair heavy kettlebells over your head when you’re tired or pushing exhaustion?
Strength is defined as someone’s ability to apply force on an object… and this is true.
But there are 2 underlying foundational components that support that definition…
Component 1 – Movement
Strength training – in the end – is just loaded movement.
When you are squatting – as you’ll see in my video below – you are moving under load.
If you’re doing a One Arm, One Leg Push-Up you are moving under the load & leverage of your body.
If you’re picking something up from the ground… that’s LOADED MOVEMENT.
Here’s the thing though…
You must have CORRECT MOVEMENT PATTERNS – especially when you’re under load…
…if you don’t, the chances of injury goes up.
Let’s use a squat as an example…
If you pull yourself down into a squat and one knee has the tendency to “collapse” towards the middle (in the physiology world, we call this “valgus”)…
What would happen if you squatted with the collapsing knee 50 times?
What would happen if you were squatting with 135lbs of weight and did that for reps?
You may not injure yourself right then and there… but you will… eventually.
That pattern would have to be corrected first before you could continue squatting.
And just like a skill, you have to be conscious of that correction – purposely grooving the correct pattern – until it becomes automatic…
…just like your golf swing or your roundhouse kick or your jump shot.
Component 2 – Tension
The 2nd aspect of the SKILL of STRENGTH is your ability to create and master tension in your body.
Tension is about the ability to contract your muscles – to create tension in them – to a high degree.
Pound for pound, someone who is able to contract their muscles harder is usually stronger – and usually has greater muscle definition as well.
There is a principle that I teach in my Fountain of Youth Program called “Irradiation”.
I learned this concept firsthand from my mentor & coach Pavel Tsatsouline (the Godfather of the Modern Kettlebell Movement).
Irradiation allows you to “borrow” nerve impulses from surrounding muscles to create a much stronger contraction to the muscle you are working.
And when you create tension in the surrounding muscles… the exercise you’re doing – a military press for example – ends up being a FULL BODY exercise, more than just a “shoulder exercise”.
And when you train full body, you experience SYSTEMIC OVERLOAD (remember that term from yesterday?)…
…that means a greater overall response from your body which result in more fat burned and more muscle built.
Because you’re using the entire system and not just a single muscle group.
So when we talk about MECHANICAL TENSION, we’re talking about creating tension in your body while displaying correct movement patterns.
So How Do We Apply Mechanical Tension and the SKILL of STRENGTH?
Step 1 – Make sure you have a correct movement pattern.
Step 2 – Use a medium-heavy weight (a 5RM is about right)
Step 3 – Use LOW reps (multiple sets of reps between 1 to 3 if you’re using the weight above)
Step 4 – Make sure you recover between sets (about 2 minutes)
Step 5 – Contract ALL your muscles and create tension when you perform each rep… don’t just contract the muscles you’re “working”.
ZEN and the Practice of Strength
We’re going to continue with our Hypertrophy lessons tomorrow, but today I want to share with you an email I sent to the guys that have already registered for FOY.
I’ve received some solid feedback from this email, so I think it’s important to share with you as well.
There’s an underlying lesson here…
…one that you should really internalize regardless if you decide to invest in Fountain of Youth or not.
Take it with you and implement it into your training and you’ll be better for it.
Let’s get to it.
****Re-printed from the FOY Customer Coaching Email Series****
//==== FOY: Begin ====//
<<Reading time: 2min 43seconds>>
When I was in 11th grade, I played on the varsity basketball team.
I started at guard mainly because “I could run for days” as my coach would say and I was pretty athletic (I could dunk a basketball at height of 5’11”… although I only weighed 140lbs).
The problem was I couldn’t shoot.
The ball stayed in my hand too long (I had a slow release)…
I would get blocked a lot, so I needed to create a lot of separation between me and the defender to get my shot off (either that, or I couldn’t see because my hair was in my face – enable images)…
So my coach restructured my jump shot – tucked my elbow in; straightened my wrist out more; increased the height of my release & follow through.
I got worse.
Couldn’t hit water if I was standing on a beach.
I felt like I regressed and as a result didn’t get the ball as much.
I wanted to revert back to my old technique because it was what I knew… what I was comfortable with.
But he wouldn’t let me… and he called me out every single time my elbow dropped or if my release was at forehead height instead of fully extended over my head.
He taught me that in order to get better, sometimes we must tear down and destroy the pyramid we’ve built in order to rebuild a stronger and wider foundation that can hold a taller & stronger pyramid.
So I kept at it… and after a few weeks, the shots started falling.
I became more consistent… more reliable.
I got the ball more and started getting plays called for me.
I tell you this because sometimes in your training, you have to break down what you think you know, what you think you can already do…
…and go back to the fundamentals to build a wider and stronger foundation.
Zen Buddhists call this “Shoshen” or “The Beginner Mind”.
The BEGINNER MIND refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject – even when studying at an advanced level – just as a beginner would.
It’s the concept of coming into every situation, every day with the mindset of a student…
…even if you think you know everything already. (Sorry, you don’t… and neither do I.)
So as we begin this 16-week journey into muscle building, I’m going to ask you to do something:
I’d like you to temporarily suspend disbelief…
In other words, adopt a Beginner’s Mind.
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few”
-Shunryu Suzuki, “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind”
Temporarily “forget” everything you may know or think you may know about training and let’s start rebuilding the foundation together.
Bruce Lee once said…
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced ONE kick 10,000 times.”
Expertise and advancement come from mastering the basics.
That’s what we’re going to do in Phase 1… focus on the basics.
And it all starts with Mechanical Tension… and the practice of tensing your entire body, in the right sequence, with the right breathing, when you do your presses and squats.
This is why…
- We use a heavy weight (your 4-5 RM kettlebells)And
- We “only” practice 1 to 2 reps at a time (albeit multiple sets of 1-2 reps).
This allows us to groove the right pattern into our system and builds the foundation for strength that we’ll need later on.
PRACTICE, don’t “work out”.
We have 16 weeks together (at least), there will be a time to push, to chase reps, to “feel the burn”.
Right now – during Phase 1 – is NOT that time.
Now let’s go build an impressive pyramid.
– Coach Chris
//==== END ====//
If you have a chance, I’d love your feedback on the underlying message behind that email.
What do you think about it?
How does that mindset differ from what the mainstream teaches you about “no pain, no gain” or “one more rep, bro!”?
Please don’t misunderstand… I am all for hard work.
But when it comes to training for strength, muscle and fat loss when you’re over 40…
…you MUST do things differently.
We’ll get back to our regular lessons tomorrow.
Does it have to hurt for it to work?
What I mean by that is – do you have to make yourself sore all the time to build muscle?
Is that an indicator that something is working?
We’ll dive into that tomorrow.
Lesson 3 –
Muscle Damage: Does it have to HURT for it to work?
Does muscle soreness mean that something good is happening?
Why do your muscles get sore after a hard session?
In today’s lesson, we’re going to talk about 2nd Principle of Muscle Building…
I’ve got a quick story to tell you and a video for you to watch that will show you the best exercise to use with kettlebells to elicit a “Muscle Damage” response so you can beef up your shoulders and upper back.
I started training in the mid-90s when my fitness education came from 2 sources…
- “Muscle Media Magazine”
2. A bodybuilder that went to my high school named “Demos” (pronounced “dee-mohz”) – who vaguely resembled The Undertaker…
Demos used to train at the local gym and because he was big – because when you have a name like “Demos” you’re destined to be huge – the local gym hired him as a personal trainer.
But because I knew Demos personally, he used to help me “work out”.
Every Monday – all over the world – is “Universal Chest Day”…
…and for the bodybuilder, muscle head types, this means it’s BENCH PRESS Day.
In today’s video, I’m going to share with you what we did to get “huge” on bench press day and how we can apply this “Muscle Damage” Technique to using Double Kettlebell Training to build muscle.
Lesson 4 –
Metabolic Stress: Get a PUMP with a Heavy Weight
Q: How do you build muscle?
A: Get a PUMP with a heavy weight.
In our last 2 lessons we talked about building the foundation of strength (Mechanical Tension) and lifting explosively using “forced reps” (Muscle Damage).
Today, we’re going to talk about the 3rd Muscle Building Principle…
I’ve been a strength coach for exactly 2 decades now (I got my first certification in the year 2000).
And my biggest influence, mentor & teacher has been the work done by Russian Strength Coach, Pavel Tsatsouline…
Above all things, the most important thing that Pavel taught me was that STRENGTH IS THE MASTER QUALITY.
In other words…
STRENGTH makes everything better.
[+] The stronger you are, the more powerful you can become.
[+] The stronger you are, the faster you can be.
[+] The stronger you are, the more work you can do (and therefore the more calories you can burn).
[+] AND the stronger you are the more muscular you can become.
So… even though all of the past lessons have been talking about BUILDING MUSCLE…
…if you look deeper into everything that I’ve been teaching you thus far…
…the lessons have really been about GETTING STRONGER.
And that’s no different in today’s lesson.
In an interview in 2001, Pavel was quoted saying…
“I shall sum up the energetic theory of muscle hypertrophy without using any big words: If you get a pump with heavy weights you shall grow.
You need the volume to really deplete the muscle, but you need the tension to increase the amino acid uptake.
Now if you lift really heavy like a powerlifter and rest for five minutes in between sets, you have the tension but don’t have enough fatigue.
If you start using the little colour coded dumbbells and do a hundred reps, you have the fatigue and the pump, but not the tension. You may build some “virtual” muscles, but nothing else.
But if you set it up like this, if you use a heavy weight and do reps of 1 to 5 (not taken to failure) with only one or two minutes of rest for up to twenty sets, you’re going to be able to use a heavy weight AND get a great pump.”
That right there 👆🏽, Folks, is worth the price of admission.
1. Get a PUMP with a heavy weight.
2. No more than 5 reps per exercise.
3. Maximize tension.
4. Rest less than 2 minutes between sets.
So in today’s video, I’m going to show you how use Metabolic Stress and Pavel’s method above to build muscle.
Check it out…
Lesson 5 –
The #AlphaDAD Diet: Eating for MUSCLE while staying LEAN
The #AlphaDAD Diet s a simple EATING template that flat out works… if you put it to work.
This type of eating – above anything else – is sustainable…
[+] It will allow you to eat the foods you enjoy;
[+] It will allow you to develop a good relationship with food (which is important if you have kids… because they’re always watching);
[+] It will allow you to BOTH build muscle and burn fat.
It was created with the modern day family man in mind.
Someone who wants to eat healthy to model that type of behaviour to their kids, but still wants to enjoy the Friday Family Pizza & Movie night.
Here’s the thing though…
The template that I’m about to share with you is a LONG TERM approach to health.
This is not about some “lose 30lbs in 15 days”, instant gratification BS.
This is about playing the LONG GAME…
…or better yet, THE INFINITE GAME…
There are two different types of games: finite and infinite.
In finite games—like football or chess—the players are known, the rules are fixed and there’s an agreed-upon objective that ends the game with a winner often being declared.
INFINITE GAMES, on the other hand, can be played by known and unknown players, there are no exact rules and the length of play is infinite.
There is no winning in infinite games. The objective is to continue playing the game.
Examples of infinite games include HEALTH, business, politics and life itself.
-Simon Sinek, Author
So here’s the approach that I take for optimal PERPETUAL fat loss while maintaining/gaining muscle mass…
Step 1 – The Foundation
There are specific “non-negotiables” to this way of eating.
These are your everyday “rules”… things that you must do everyday to be successful.
If you’re trying to build the habit of healthy eating, this is where you start.
- Drink 2-3 litres of water everyday
- Eat an average of 100g of protein everyday (you will need MORE protein the leaner you are, but 100g is the minimum)*
- DO NOT consume caffeine after 2pm
- Eat at least 2 servings of green vegetables per day
*A NOTE ON PROTEIN: Protein must be broken up into smaller servings throughout the day. The human body can only ingest up to 40g of protein at a time after which a refractory period occurs for 3-4 hours.
Step 2 – Macro Cycling
Take a look at your weekly training schedule and plan your meals according to the days you train.
For most people this means that you’re training with weights/resistance 3-4 times per week depending on your program.
On the days that you are training, you can eat starches (grains, pasta, bread, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, root vegetables, etc).
You will eat these starches in combination with your 100g of protein.
On your non-training days, you will focus on only eating your 100g of protein with green vegetables and healthy fats ONLY.
No starches, no “carbs”.
Just greens, healthy fats and protein (you can have a serving of fruit if you like).
The idea behind this is that “fat burns in a carbohydrate furnace”.
With muscle sugar (glycogen) as your primary fuel source for anaerobic training (strength & power training), we need carbs on the days we train to fuel our bodies.
On the days we don’t train, we don’t need the carbs for fuel…
… so we use the “afterburn effect” from our training the previous day to burn fat.
So to simplify…
[+] On your training days… eat carbs/starches & protein
[+] On your non-training days… eat only protein & vegetables
Step 3 – Free Day
Once per week you need a day where you don’t have to worry about food and just eat whatever you want. That’s your FREE DAY.
Ideally, we want the free day to fall on a day that you’re training (I’m guessing you’ll eat starches anyway on your free day, right?)
On this day, eat whatever you want until you’re comfortably full.
DO NOT overstuff yourself.
Anything goes here… pizza, ice cream, burgers, fries, etc
Just eat without stress; enjoy time with your family; have fun.
Step 4 – Fast Day (24hrs)
One day per week – preferably after your FREE Day – eat nothing.
No “zero calorie” soft drinks (there are always calories in those).
No calories at all.
What can you have on your fasting day?
Water. Black Coffee (no sugar, no cream). Black Tea.
Incorporating a fasting day will reset your system and allow you to take advantage of a massive growth hormone surge (growth hormone secretion occurs in the fasted state with the biggest surge coming when you sleep).
If you’ve never fasted before, this is a big step… I know.
But you can hack this and fast for a 24hr period.
So keep track of when you eat dinner the night before and then don’t eat again until dinner the following day.
Technically speaking you wouldn’t have eaten for a full 24 hours – dinner to dinner.
It would be wise though to work your way up to not eating the entire day, going to bed and then breaking your fast at breakfast the next day.
For example, here is my schedule…
My free day is on Saturday.
On Sunday I don’t eat anything at all.
***(Sunday is a good day for me to fast because I’m busy all day with physical labour stuff around the house and on our property… so I don’t have time to think about the food I’m not eating)***
Then when I wake up Monday morning I’ll have a big glass of water and my morning coffee;
Then I’ll TRAIN;
and then I’ll eat breakfast… usually a bowl of fruit followed by some eggs, leftover meat from the night before and maybe some rice or sweet potato.
Mondays are my favourite days of the week now.
IMPORTANT: When you “break” your fast, You MUST EAT NORMALLY.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they break their fast is eating a full day’s amount of food in one meal.
Do not do this.
Eat normally staying on the lighter side.
When we get deeper into customizing the #AlphaDAD Diet for you (beyond the scope of this email), you’ll learn…
[+] exactly how much food you should be eating (the leaner you get, the MORE you should be eating)
[+] exactly how much protein you should be eating (the leaner you get, the MORE protein you need)
[+] why carbs & fats don’t matter in the long run so long as you hit your “numbers”
[+] exactly how many calories you should be adding on your training days
[+] the theory of fat availability and how to use it to your advantage
Right now The #AlphaDAD Diet will only be available to 2 groups…
1. My #AlphaDAD ELITE Guys (because they get EVERYTHING I create and put out).
2. The guys in my 16-Week Fountain of Youth Coaching Program.
If you want to learn how to customize a way of eating that won’t have you depriving yourself of the foods you love;
If you want to model healthy eating for your family while still enjoying life;
If you want to get leaner and still add muscle if you’re over the age of 35;
If you don’t want to have to worry about taking your shirt off at the beach or the pool;
Then you need to sign up for my Fountain of Youth Coaching Program and implement the strategies in the #AlphaDAD Diet right away.
Enrolment is open thru the weekend and closes on Monday.
Have a great weekend,