Lift Weights to Lose Body Fat for Good!

By now I'm sure you know that I'm a HUGE proponent of using strength training as one of the most important strategies for getting truly lean for life.

Today, I have a special article contributed by a fellow fitness expert, Lynn VanDyke, who specializes in fitness for women, and is the author of the popular Melt the Fat program.

The Benefits of Strength Training for Women
by Lynn VanDyke

The benefits of strength training for women are so powerful! Strength training has been overlooked as a viable weight loss method for way too long. Women are beginning to realize just how important a proper strength training routine is for their overall health.

Below are my top 10 benefits of weight training for women. Soak each one of them up and start your routine today! If you are looking for step-by-step instructions on the best way to strength train, drop fat, and tone up, then I HIGHLY recommend Melt the Fat.

1) Increased Metabolic Rate - Here is one of the most important benefits of strength training for women. We always want to discover the secrets to weight loss... well here is the first secret! Strength training increases your metabolic rate by increasing the calories you burn on a daily basis. The more calories you burn, the more chance you have to drop body fat.

2) Increasing and Restoring Bone Density - Strength training prevents and fights osteoporosis.

3) Increased Lean Muscle Mass - Note: You will not get big and bulky by strength training! You simply do not have enough testosterone in your body. Yes, if you train for hours and hours and dedicate your life to becoming a bodybuilder you can bulk up. But simply lifting weights as part of a regular strength training routine will not cause women to bulk up.

With that said, for every pound of lean muscle mass that you have, you burn 35-50 calories per day! If you have 10 pounds of lean muscle mass then you burn between 350-500 calories. If you have 20 pounds you burn between 700 and 1000 calories per day! This is one of the biggest benefits of strength training for women.

4) Injury Prevention - Strength training strengthens our muscles and tendons. The stronger we are the less chance of an injury. This is especially important as we grow older. The benefits of strength training for women and men are highly touted for injury prevention.

5) Improved Balance - Especially important as we grow older. Strength training builds a strong foundation. Strengthening our legs and core section means an increase in overall balance and coordination.

6) Decreased Risk of Coronary Disease - Strength training can reduce your blood pressure. It can also decrease your cholesterol levels. These benefits of strength training for women alone are a great reason to begin your program today. Heart disease is one of the highest (if not the highest) killer of women in America every year.

7) Aids in Rehabilitation and Recovery - Strengthening the muscles around our joints is one of the best ways to prevent and recover from an injury. For example, the best way to recover from a knee injury is to strengthen the quads and calves.

8) Enhanced Performance in Sports, Exercise and Life In General - The benefits of strength training for women all boil down to one point- a better overall quality of life. We can perform our favorite activities with more ease and less pain. We are able to increase our health and mental state from a regular strength training routine.

9) Aging Gracefully - With less falls and less injuries we are able to age gracefully. Our lean and toned bodies create a warm and strong persona. Strength training is a major factor in aging well. Enhancing our muscles and reducing body fat are prime ways to prevent sagging body parts too ;)

10) Feeling Better and Looking Better - I don't think it is much of a secret that we all want to look great. We are all searching for ways to look young. Strength training is a vital part of a fitness routine. Strength training has been shown to increase our muscle tone, decrease body fat, and so much more. A toned body is but one factor to looking great. The other is purely mental. There are so many positive mental benefits of strength training for women. We feel accomplished, secure, and strong after a strength session.

Lynn's Melt the Fat program is a Step-by-Step Guide That Literally Hands Over Fitness Routines, Weekly Menus and the Secrets to Fat Loss. Written by Master Trainer, Lynn VanDyke, Melt the Fat Comes With:
  • 200+ Exercise Photos
  • 800+ Healthy Meals
  • 160+ Daily Menus
  • 100+ Strength Training Routines
  • 60+ Motivation Secrets

... and Loads More.

I hope you enjoyed Lynn's article today. Be sure to check out her site as it contains loads of useful fitness information for women.

Stay tuned for more Lean-Body Fitness Secrets coming soon. I have a special discussion coming up about whether there is any validity or not to different calorie cycling strategies that you read about all over the place these days.

Well, that's all for today. The spring weather has been beautiful lately here on the east coast of the US, and it's a perfect sunny day today, so I'm off right now to do some hill sprints and calisthenics at the park. Be back in touch soon.

Stay lean,

Mike Geary
Founder -


The Top Fat Loss Secrets for Flat Six Pack Abs

I had the pleasure of being interviewed recently by a fitness professional from NYC, Geovanni Derice, of The interview is below and I think you're going to like it...I reveal some of the hardest hitting strategies for getting rid of body fat to uncover those six pack abs that everyone wants.

"GD: Welcome Mike Geary to 4everToned's Fitness Journal. For those who do not know you, please tell us a few things about yourself.

MG: Thanks for having me, Geo. Well, to go back a little, I have been heavily involved in fitness and sports for about 15 years now, ever since I was a teenager. Being involved in sports in high school got me interested in strength training and conditioning. At that point, once I started feeling more energetic, getting stronger, and looking better, I was instantly hooked for life. I'm 30 now and still addicted to the way living a healthy and fit lifestyle makes me feel energetic, confident, strong, and youthful on a daily basis. I decided earlier in my 20's that I wanted to make the commitment to help other people experience the excitement of being fit and getting in the best shape of their lives, especially since we've reached an epidemic of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, etc. That's why I became a fitness professional. It just gives me so much satisfaction to help others, who have struggled for years to get in good shape, and show them that it can be done, and it can be fun in the process. I've expanded over the years from just reaching local individuals with personal training, into being able to help people all over the globe achieve their fitness goals with the reach of the internet. I only hope that my passion for fitness inspires people to take action and improve how they look and feel for life.

GD: Now Mike, there's so many things out there as to what works and what does not work...if you had to pick 3 things that work time and time again to get flat abs, what would they be?

MG: The first and most important thing to get control of in order to get flat abs is cleaning up your diet. Exercise is important, but your diet is king when it comes to losing body fat so that you can see your abs. There's so much confusion these days about what a healthy diet that promotes fat loss really is...after all, we are bombarded by conflicting messages in the media about what is healthy and what is not, and you have all of these gimmicky diet books about low carb, low fat, high protein, vegetarian, fasting, atkins, south beach, liquid diets, and hundreds more. There's so much conflicting info, that the average consumer doesn't even know where to start when it comes to eating for fat loss.

The second thing that works time and time again, is to focus on the intensity of your workouts and focus on working the body as a whole in order to get the best metabolic response to lose that stubborn body fat. In order to really get lean, the workouts should have a high intensity, with short rest periods, working the largest muscle groups of the body, instead of trying to isolate specific small muscles like the biceps, triceps, or calves.

For the third thing, let's talk about actually training the abs specifically. When it comes to training the abs, if you want real results, I always recommend forgetting about the crunches and situps for the most part. They are ok for someone that is really deconditioned, but most people that already have some training under their belt need a much better stimulus for their abs than crunches. Crunches are one of the abs exercises that actually provide the least amount of resistance, and remember that resistance is what develops and tones the muscles. I provide a ton of great abs exercises in my book, but one of THE highest resistance exercises for the abs, is hanging leg raises (but NOT the way you see most people at the gym doing them). The key to doing these and actually working the hell out of your abs is to curl your pelvis up as you raise your legs. Almost nobody ever does this right. To be honest, the majority of people cannot do this at first, but I provide some strategies in my book as to how to progress to doing these correctly.

GD: What are people doing wrong when it comes to developing the coveted "6 pack abs"?

MG: Well Geo, I know this sounds funny to most people, but the MAIN thing that people are doing wrong to get those 6 pack abs is...are you ready for this? They spend entirely too much time focusing on training their abs! Sounds crazy, but it's true. Remember, having a visible six pack of abs is all about getting down to a low body fat percentage. In order to do that, your workouts must focus on stimulating a fat burning hormonal environment in your body, and increasing your metabolic rate. That just does not happen when you focus too much time training a small muscle group like the abs. Instead, you must use the majority of your time focusing on training the largest muscle groups of the body like the legs, back, and chest. That's what stimulates your metabolism and the fat burning hormones that will get you truly lean and sporting a sixxer!

GD: Which exercises are the top exercises that people need to do if they are to get maximum defintion with their midsection?

MG: When it comes to developing the abs themselves, I again refer to any kinds of hanging abs exercises, as well as some good floor exercises like lying leg thrusts (all described and illustrated in my book). However, maximum definition in the midsection comes from losing bodyfat, and the most effective exercises featured in my program for that goal are various forms of swings and snatches (unique dumbbell or kettlebell exercises that almost nobody ever does in normal gyms), squats, deadlifts, lunges, step-ups, clean & presses, mountain climbers, sprinting, and other full body exercises and calisthenics. If you want great looking abs, focus on those instead of focusing so much on training the abs directly!

GD: When it comes to diet Mike, people really have tried millions of ways to get one thing...and that is fat loss. What recommendations have you used to successfully help your clients lose fat and keep it off?

MG: I have included a fully comprehensive discussion of this topic in my book, which accounts for almost half of the book, but I'll try to make some nice simple generalizations to get people started on the right path immediately. The most important thing is that your diet is as natural and unprocessed as possible. It almost always comes back to the overprocessing of food that makes it unhealthy, and makes it totally wreck your metabolism and hormone balance in your body. For example, why eat refined grains, when you can eat whole grains. Why eat refined sugar, when you can get natural sources of sugar from a high nutrient whole food like fruit. Why eat highly processed, refined, and hydrogenated vegetable oils (these are THE worst thing in the modern diet), when you can eat natural sources of healthy fats like nuts, avocados, fish, eggs, coconut milk, organically raised meat, and so forth. The point is to not fall for some gimmick like low carbs, low fat, high protein, or any other combination that has you focusing on one macronutrient vs. another. Your body needs all macronutrients to thrive and obtain a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. Trying to cut an entire food group out just works against what your body needs. I get into much more detail on this vitally important topic towards losing body fat for life in my book.

GD: Thank you very much Mike for sharing with us all of this great information. For more info on Mike Geary and his internationally popular Truth about Six Pack Abs book, please be sure to visit the site right now. Remember 6-7 weeks from now, summer will be here, and if you wait until then, I'm afraid to tell you, but it will be too late!"

Well, I hope you enjoyed this interview and plucked several nuggets of info to get you motivated and started on your showing off your flat abs by summer. If you don't already own a copy, be sure to pick up a copy of my Truth about Six Pack Abs book and discover the entire system I've developed for ridding yourself of that extra ab fat for good!

To your new flat abs,

Mike Geary
Founder -


Do You Really Need Cardio?

Welcome back to another edition of Lean Body Fitness Secrets Ezine. Today, I have an awesome peach protein ice cream recipe for you, as well as an intriguing discussion about cardio training, which will hopefully get you thinking differently, and trying new things.

You may know I've been called the anti-cardio guy before, but this week I'm back posing the question to you...Do you really need cardio training to get lean and in great shape? By the way, you'll see in a minute that I'm not really "anti-cardio", just "anti traditional cardio".

Most fitness buffs, weekend warriors, or anyone trying to get in shape or lose body fat, consider it a fact that they need "cardio" exercise to accomplish these goals. They would never even question it. However, I'm not only questioning it, I'm going to refute it! In fact, you may be surprised to know that some of the leanest and meanest people I know (men and women), NEVER do any type of normal or traditional cardio. And I've spent over 15 years working out in various gyms, and hanging out with athletes of all sorts, so I've seen it all. I will say that there can be a place for low-moderate level cardio for really overweight or deconditioned people, but even in those cases, there can be more effective methods.

But what exactly is "cardio"? Most people would consider cardio to be pumping away mindlessly on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike, or coasting on an elliptical machine, while watching the TV screen at their state of the art gym. This is what I call "traditional cardio". Hmmm, no wonder the majority of people get bored with their workouts and give up after a couple months without seeing results.

But if you look closer, "cardio" can be considered any type of exercise or activity that strengthens the cardiovascular system. I'm not going to get into anything technical like increasing your VO2 max or anything like that. To keep it simple, if it gets your heart pumpin, and gets you huffin and puffin, it's cardio. I don't care if you're holding dumbbells or a barbell and everyone calls it a weight training's still conditioning your heart.

Let's take a look at a couple examples. Take a barbell (or dumbbell, or kettlebell) clean & press for example, which involves lifting a barbell from the floor up to shoulders, then push pressing overhead. And listen up ladies, because even though this is usually seen as a manly exercise, it doesn't matter if you're not lifting 250 lbs; if 45 lbs is challenging to you, then you will still benefit just as much. At first glance, most people think of the barbell C&P only as a weight training exercise or strength exercise. However, I challenge you to do a hard set of around 10-15 reps on the C&P. If you used a challenging enough weight, what you'll find is that your heart rate is probably up to about 80-90% of your recommended max, and you are huffing and puffing like you just ran a 100-meter sprint (which by the way, sprinting kicks the crap out of jogging any day if you want the easiest way to lose the flab).

Try the same thing for a set of 20 reps of one-arm snatches or swings with each arm with a kettlebell or dumbbell, and tell me your legs aren't burning, heart racing, and you're gasping for breath. How about trying 5 minutes straight of bodyweight squats, lunges, and pushups with very little rest. Again, notice your heart pounding, sweat pouring off of you, and chest heaving for breaths!

Try and tell me you're not conditioning your heart with this style of training! Conventional thinking says that these are weight training or strength training exercises. However, they are fullfilling your cardio needs as well.

Not only do you save time, but you strengthen and condition almost every muscle in your entire body with these full body exercises if you do them with enough intensity...something that can't be said for that boring stationary bike ride or treadmill jaunt while reading or watching TV. Seriously, if you can read or watch TV while doing any exercise, you're not concentrating enough on what you're doing, plus you're probably not working out hard enough to see any real results.

I challenge you to give the "traditional cardio" a rest for a month or two, and start training the way I explain in my internationally-selling Truth about Six pack Abs Program, and see how you start getting leaner, more defined, and your six pack starting to show through what used to be stubborn stomach fat deposits.

If you're interested in more reading about the topic of cardio training and better alternatives, here's an interesting cardio article I wrote a few months back.

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Geary's Lean-Body Recipe of the Week - Peach Protein Ice Cream

Mix in a blender to a thick, ice-cream like consistency:
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (good source of healthy saturated fats)
  • 8 oz. container vanilla yogurt
  • a handful of frozen peach slices
  • 15-20 grams of vanilla protein powder
  • a touch of stevia powder if desired extra sweetness
Delicious! Great dessert to split with someone or even a good meal in itself for breakfast or as a mid-meal.

That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed these topics. Feel free to copy this webpage to any of your friends or family that might enjoy it.

Stay lean,

Mike Geary, CPT
Founder -


Why the Leg Press Sucks; Healthy Turkey-Wasabi Sandwich

As a professional fitness trainer, I come across a lot of people that ask for my advice on the best way to train certain body parts. Whenever someone asks me the best exercises to do for their legs, I will obviously start to mention all of the various versions of squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc. that they can use to build legs of steel that are both strong and functional.

Many times they respond by saying something like "Oh, those are too hard. I use the leg press, leg extension, and leg curl machines, because I think they are safer".

Safer! HELL NO!

Now if you've been a subscriber of mine for some time, you know that not only do I think machines in general are a total waste of time, but they also can lead you on the path to injury...they are basically a disaster waiting to happen in my book.

To prove my point, I've decided I'm going to start periodically sending out emails as to why each individual machine is both ineffective and an injury waiting to happen.
To start today, I wanted to look at the leg press. Instead of reinventing the wheel, I found this great excerpt on the leg press in Beyond Bodybuilding by Pavel:

"Q: What is wrong with the leg press machine?

A: Where do I start? The leg press puts you in an unnatural position where your knees extend but your hips do not (your legs do line up with your body). In a study by Canadian researcher Digby Sale, strength gains on the leg press had no meaningful carryover to the squat, read a functional movement.

The sled can be dangerous, especially if you bring your knees too close towards your chest as is typical among muscleheads. Your tail comes off the pad and your rounded lower back has to bear the brunt of the unrealistic poundage. This type of flexion is the number one cause of disc herniations.

Last but not least, the sled and most other machines do not challenge your stabilizing muscles. With very few exceptions, exercise machines belong on the junk pile of history next to Communism."

As always, Pavel tells it like it is. Beyond Bodybuilding has a ton more tips like this in it's 318 pages of solid gold. He knows what he's talking about too...the former Soviet is currently an expert consultant to the US Marine Corps, the US Secret Service, and federal nuclear security teams.

So please, do yourself a favor and stay away from the leg press machine. Squats, deads, and other full body movements will do your body a world of good when done correctly, stripping off fat and carving out a rock solid physique! All of these fat stripping exercises, plugged into my sure fire training & nutrition system for reducing body fat, are featured in my internationally popular book, The Truth about Six Pack Abs. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, get started today on the body that you've always wanted!

Alright, I know I've been slacking lately on giving you more of my secret lean-body recipes, so here's a quick meal idea that I've been using for my delicious lunches this week:
  • Turkey sandwich on whole sprouted grain bread with 1/2 of a sliced avocado, red leaf lettuce, thin slice of muenster cheese, and a touch of wasabi mayonaise
  • A small bowl of butternut squash soup with nutmeg
  • one ripe kiwi
  • a small square of extra dark (74%) chocolate for dessert
See, once again I smash the idea that healthy eating has to be boring! This meal is loaded with so many vitamins, minerals, quality protein, low GI carbs, healthy fats, and antioxidants, your body will be getting healthier by the minute.

I'll be in touch soon with more valuable training tips and more of my secret hard-body recipes.

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