TheFitExpo’s Best: Back Workout

Running out of ideas for back day? We’ve got you covered. We’re hitting all the target areas in your back: Outer/upper lats, middle back, lower lats, and lower back.  Get ready, this comprehensive back day will be a killer.   We are going to start at the top and work our way down –


We’re starting this out with wide grip pull-ups to really wake those outer lats up.  If you need, feel free to hop on the assisted pull-up machine for an extra boost.  For more of a challenge, increase your time under tension on these… ouch.

Now that your back is already feeling the burn, we’re going to move onto lower lats with reverse lat pulldowns. Flip around on that lat pulldown machine and remember to pinch your shoulder blades together at the bottom of the movement for better contact.

As if your lats weren’t hurting enough, we’re going to stack on some kayak rows.  You can perform these standing with a straight bar on the cable machine – if you need form help for these, seek out an online tutorial on either YouTube or a trustworthy bodybuilding website.  The burn will be real on these – it’s near impossible to not feel contact with these.

Sorry about your lats! But we are on to the next target area, so look alive! We are hitting middle back with some bent-over dumbbell rows – up to you if you want to perform these with a knee on the bench or standing and using a weight rack (or something of that sort) for support.  Whatever’s in your comfort zone works.

Making our way down – we’re finally hitting lower back. Don’t think that because this is the last part of the workout we are winding down. We’re not.  First we’re performing back extensions.  You can do these unweighted or holding a weight, but they’re great to get a stretch in the lower back before… Stiff leg deadlifts.  If you’re not exhausted by this point, we’re not sure what to tell you.  We’re tired just thinking about it.  No need to hit a PR on these – unless you’re really feeling it – but what you’re aiming for is a neutral spine and that killer stretch.  We’re here to provide you a back workout, not a back injury, so brace your core and maintain form above all else.  If you’re new to this movement, start light.

Well, that’s all that we have for you. Just kidding. We’re throwing in an optional burnout to kill your back just a little bit more.  Perform 1 to 3 sets of plate rows till failure. Now you’re done.


For the first six exercises, your reps will vary based on your goals.  For building mass, opt for anything in the 6 to 12 range.  If you go for lower reps, you should be pushing challenging weights.  For muscle toning, opt for the 15 to 20 range to really exhaust those muscles.

Thanks for reading & happy back day from us to you!


The Best Broke-College-Kid Meal Strategy

Most of us can relate to the whole “wanting to eat clean but not having the money or time” dilemma.  So we are laying out our best tips and tricks to help you out and keep you on that healthy lifestyle grind.  We’re providing you a list of good foods to keep around (+ our rationale) and other money-saving tips. Here we go: 


  • Kodiak Cakes Flapjack Mix
    • Protein-packed and low-fat. Comes in a ton of great flavors and they’re super filling.  They make a great breakfast paired with fruit or nuts. And the chocolate favor makes for a great dessert.
  • Milk
    • One we really like is the CarbMaster milk from Kroger: zero fat, only 3g of carbs, and 11 grams of protein per serving. Plus it’s lactose-free!
  • Protein powder of your choice
    • Typically wholesale clubs sell protein at very low prices per serving; also great in a pinch to keep you full & can be added to so many different recipes.
  • Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk
    • Only 30 calories & makes protein shakes taste delicious!
  • Ancient Harvest POW! Mac and Cheese
    • Mac and cheese is always a budget effective decision. The sharp cheddar variation tastes amazing, is protein packed, and contains minimal fat. So if you’re a cheese person, that means you can probably afford to put some extra shredded cheese on top. Yum.
  • Greek Yogurt
    • Greek yogurt is often sold in value packs and is a great solution to that pesky sweet tooth. Opt for lower sugar options or plain if you can handle that.
  • Almonds
    • We’re aware these are NOT cheap, but they’re a great investment, especially if bought at a wholesale club or in a value size.  They’re a great way to get in healthy fat and are a great calorie-dense snack.  Plus, you don’t have to eat that many at a time to get in some calories. Much better for you than eating potato chips.
  • Spinach
    • A great option when it comes to volume foods, and it’s packed with micronutrients and negligible calories.
  • Microwave popcorn
    • Opt for variations like Healthy Pop by Jolly Time and Smart Pop by Orville Redenbacher to avoid the crazy fat calories found in other options.  It makes for a relatively clean carb in a pinch and is another great volume food with a minimal caloric impact.
  • Lean ground Beef, Chicken breast, Turkey breast
    • One or all of these are essential if you 1) aren’t a vegetarian or a vegan 2) are in need of a protein source.  These can be cooked easily in a pan or an oven, but we chose these specifically because they often come in microwaveable varieties (just flip to the back of the package and watch those sodium calories!) or they can be purchased as cold-cut lunch meats, making them easy even if you’re living the dorm life. We suggest lean cuts of meat because we understand the temptation of processed, fat filled snacks in college. What’s up Flaming Hot Cheetos and late night cookies?? All joking aside though, it really is about balance – we figure you’d want to make up the lack of fat calories somewhere else. Just a thought though.
  • Beans
    • Great for our plant-based peeps.  Super easy to whip up, cost effective, and a great source of protein. It’s a win!
  • Eggs
    • Convenient and fast to make on the stove or in the microwave, eggs are a perfect way to get in some fat and protein.  Plus, when bought in bulk, they’re extremely affordable.
  • Plain Instant Oatmeal
    • They always say: “you could feed an army on this stuff!” That’s not entirely wrong.  It’s a great way to start the day – it’s a complex carb, packed with fiber, and another great volume option to keep you full for the early part of your day.  Avoid the pre-seasoned sugary options and make it your own with spices or fruits!
  • Steam Bags
    • You can find these in the freezer section and pick up veggies and brown rice on the cheap.  Each bag typically has multiple servings and you don’t have to worry about fresh produce going bad! Perfect for if you’re someone who tends to buy stuff and forget about it for a bit.

Money-Saving Tips

  • Shop somewhere with a rewards program or a loyalty card.
    • For example, if you shop at Kroger with your loyalty card, you can save up to 10 cents/gallon of gas when you fill up at Kroger locations.  Not a bad reward!  Another major key: Target’s Cartwheel feature on their app. Huge money saver – it’s as simple as scanning a product and saving the discount barcode for checkout if there is one.
  • Don’t shop on an empty stomach.
    • You’re more likely to grab what you’re craving – which oftentimes ends up being unhealthy (and also a whole lot of extra money). Do yourself a favor and eat before heading to the store!
  • Related to the above: Bring a list.
    • And stick to it!
  • For your unhealthy/processed food purchases, shop at a discount store.
    • The Dollar Tree and other dollar stores sell the same processed snacks you buy at the grocery store for much less. Make one more stop for those gummy worms and you’ve already saved yourself about a buck.  Small savings add up!
  • Bring your own bags.
    • In certain cities/states, stores will charge around 10 cents per grocery bag, which can really add up over the time. Invest in a couple of reusable grocery bags or recycle some you already have to save some cash over time and do the environment a solid. Killing two birds with one stone, woohoo!
  • Don’t pass over generic brands.
    • Oftentimes store-brand products are identical to the name-brands you love and grew up on. Flip to that back panel and compare the ingredients.  You might be surprised at what you find (+ those savings!!).
  • Check out weekly grocery ads.
    • You can find major savings, especially on fresh produce and meats. And we all know those are luxuries when you’re on a tight budget.


Wishing you all of the best of luck in your upcoming semester. Study hard and happy eating!

No Equipment HIIT Workout

No Equipment HIIT Workout

If you don’t know already, HIIT stands for high intensity interval training.  In practice, it consists of intervals of anaerobic exercise followed by a rest/recovery period, making it a great way to get your heart rate up fast and burn some calories.  A lot of the movements mimic weighted exercises, though HIIT movements are often performed as body weight exercises, meaning they make for great toning as well! This HIIT workout is perfect for the park, at home, the gym – anywhere you’d like!



This workout is a circuit. Perform each exercise for 30 to 40 seconds (depending on your level of fitness and cardiovascular endurance).  Rest 20 to 30 seconds (depending on how long your exercise interval was).  Each exercise plus its rest period should take a minute for this workout, so plan accordingly!

The key is to maintain intensity during your exercise period, so try to perform each exercise as fast as possible with proper form.

·       Alternating jumping lunges – Begin in lunge position; when you jump you’ll be alternating the lunging leg and landing back into a lunge position These are killer.

·       Jumping jacks – You know this one.

·       Push-ups (or knee push-ups for beginners) — Again, you know this one.

·       Bicycle crunches — Laying on your back, put your hands behind your head, perform a cycling motion with your feet and bring your opposite elbow to your opposite knee in a crunching motion. Keep alternating.

·       Prisoner squats — Stand with your feet slightly past shoulder width apart with your toes angled outward, place your hands behind your head with your elbows back. Perform a squat (neutral spine, to parallel) and come back up.  For more of a challenge, don’t lock your knees when you come back up to maintain constant tension (ow).

·       High Knees — Speed here is key.

This 6-minute circuit can be repeated as many times as you’d like, but 2 to 4 times makes for a solid cardio session. Between circuits, rest one minute (or don’t rest at all if that’s what you’re about).

Happy sweating!

A Guide to Healthy Eating: Summer Barbecue Edition

July 4th is on its way – which means cookouts and barbecues galore.  

Everyone has different nutrition goals so these recommendations are merely healthier suggestions rather than a one-size fits all nutrition guide.  Okay, let’s get into it:

Hamburgers vs. Hot Dogs

Hamburgers are typically more calorically-dense than hot dogs due to sheer mass – I mean how often have you really seen a footlong hotdog at a summer barbecue? So what we are asking is – how much other stuff are you planning on eating at this event? Eating right is like a puzzle; you just have to fit the right things together.  If you opt for the more calorically-dense burger as your entree, then you’d obviously want to eat fewer side options. But keep in mind, the burger isn’t a bad option. They’re typically packed with more protein, less sodium, less saturated fat, and fewer unhealthy preservatives than hot dogs. Plus, for a less calorically-dense option, opt for a lettuce bun.  We probably wouldn’t recommend that with the hotdog: best to keep the dog classic in our humble opinion.


Grilled rather than fried.  Fried chicken packs more calories due to its higher fat content, which probably means fewer cookout sides for you.  Grilled chicken is leaner and its lower fat content means you can have more of it – especially good for packing in your protein for the day.


Fruit salad is a summer staple; however, the most delicious ones are typically made with simple syrup, a sugar-water concoction that makes it taste great but can put a real dent into your carb allotment for the day.  If you go for that option, keep in mind the sugar carbs you’re taking in and the increase in calories. If you can find a fruit platter at the barbecue instead, you’ll ideally be taking in fewer carbs – just be sure to watch your portion sizes!

Potato Salad and French Fries

Potato salad is delicious, don’t get us wrong, but it’s also packed with mayo and therefore unhealthy fats.  Same with fries, we love them, but they’re full of unhealthy fats from frying oil. Instead opt for a baked potato with melted cheese (healthy fats – but keep in mind, not all cheeses are created equal).

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is a great way to get in your carbs, but it’s up to you to keep it relatively healthy.  It’s so tempting to slather corn in butter and salt, but that means you’re voluntarily adding fats and sodium to your meal.  Since there is a ton of savory cookout food, these are two things to watch. Fats for obvious reasons – your body should only have so much in a day – and sodium for blood pressure problems and the inevitable problem of water retention.  Be sure to keep your corn as condiment-free as possible for the cleanest meal. Another great option if you can’t resist slathering your corn on the cob in butter and salt is other grilled veggies – grilling them gives them great flavor, and you’re typically less inclined to slather these in butter.  But you should still be sure to watch your sodium intake on these.

Pasta Salad

Whether we’re talking macaroni salad or an oil & vinegar style dressing, this cookout classic is sodium-dense.  In proportion to a 2000 calorie diet, pasta salads can make up around 50% of your recommended daily sodium intake.  Plus macaroni salad is mayo based; you already know the deal with that. Lots of fat. This may be a bland recommendation, but it is a smart one.  If a regular salad option is available, go for that. It’s less calorically dense, meaning it’s a great food if you’re looking for volume. You can eat a ton of it and the calorie count is minimal – depending on what you top it with.  Our recommendation: a lower fat dressing (less calories), a serving or half a serving of unsalted almonds for some healthy fats and protein, avocado for your healthy fats if you’re not an almond person, fresh fruits (blueberries, strawberries, grapes, apples), or sunflower kernels (yay for fiber!).

Tortilla Chips and Salsa / Potato Chips and Dip

Both tortilla chips and potato chips are sodium traps.  Super delicious, but not the best for your overall health.  Dips are typically sour cream based, making them fat-based, and not necessarily the good kind of fat either.  Additionally, the serving size on these dips are about 1 tablespoon… and as we all know, that is near-impossible to stick to when chips and dip are such an irresistible combo.  If you can manage your portion sizes on these, you can probably afford to work these into your cookout palate. Getting to salsa; it’s really not a bad way to get some flavorful carbs in.  Our recommendation? Go for raw veggies dipped in either salsa or hummus. This is a healthier route and great for volume if that’s what you’re looking for. Just watch your dipping – nothing is good in excess.

Baked beans

Baked beans have a mixed reputation.  Some laud them for being healthy and others steer entirely clear. Why? Well there are different versions of this BBQ favorite that need to be accounted for.  The kinds that are avoided by health enthusiasts are those that are high in sodium (some up to half of your daily sodium intake) and those that contain tons of sugar.  If you’re the one bringing the beans, make sure you go for the reduced sugar recipes or no-salt-added versions. Other than this stipulation, beans are a great source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a great diet option.


The baked treats are always the hardest to avoid at a summer cookout.  They’re calorie-loaded, carb-heavy, sometimes fat-heavy, and typically not very protein-rich.  Popsicles (juice/water-based) are a great option to stave off a sweet tooth because while they are sugar-heavy, they amount to way fewer calories than baked goods.  Less calories doesn’t always mean better, but given the amount of food you’re probably consuming at this cookout, it’s best to go for the lower-calorie option. Another good option – jello.  It has no nutritional value, but it’s a great low-calorie dessert option and is almost solely carbs (it contains a very small amount of protein). Another tip: steer clear of the desserts at the cookout entirely and wait until you get home! This way you can pick a more preferable or healthier option instead of just eating what someone puts in front of you.

Sweet tea, beer, fruit cocktails

Drinks at cookouts are a carb-fest.  Beer? Obviously. Sweet tea and fruit cocktails? Sugar haven.  So how do we get around this if we still want to have a good time and enjoy ourselves?  Nothing beats a good sweet tea in the summer. We get it. Instead of scratching it completely, try a half-sweet, half-unsweet tea.  It’s a decent compromise: a little less of that classic sweet tea taste for way less sugar and carbs. Not too bad of a trade-off. As for beer, go for light beers.  Or opt for a dry wine instead if the cookout only has regular beers. Instead of fruit cocktails, try these modifications: a shot of your favorite liquor chased with lemon or lime, a gin and tonic with fruit garnishes, tequila and lime club soda, a mojito (but watch the sugar), the list goes on.  If you ever run out of ideas, Pinterest is your friend.

Also, a shameless plug for water: HYDRATE. Your body will thank you later.


Follow these tips and tricks to stay on track – or just have the ultimate cheat day.  No judgement. Chances are the food is good, and you deserve it. Happy BBQ season!


Comment below with your favorite tips, tricks, and food ideas; we love to hear from you!

TheFitExpo’s Best: 100 Songs You Need in Your Workout Playlist

Nothing accents a good pump or cardio session like the right music.  Toss these jams into your workout playlist to keep it fresh – We’ve got a little bit of everything in here for you. Special thanks to Alina over at Universal Music / Interscope Records for collaborating with us to make this playlist happen!

(Disclaimer: some of these songs ARE explicit; if that’s not your thing, grab the edited versions!)

1.     Five Hours x Deorro (a good pump up song with a great drop)

2.     Work Hard, Play Hard x Wiz Khalifa

3.     Lights – Bassnectar Remix x Ellie Goulding, Bassnectar

4.     Slide x Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean, Migos

5.     Gyalchester x Drake (good for heavy lifts)

6.     That’s What I Like x Bruno Mars

7.     HUMBLE. X Kendrick Lamar

8.     Work x Rihanna, Drake

9.     Like a G6 x Far East Movement

10.  I’m the One x DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne

11.  Slippery (feat. Gucci Mane) x Migos, Gucci Mane

12.  Mi Gente x J Balvin, Willy William

13.  Met Gala (feat. Offset) x Gucci Mane, Offset

14.  I Get The Bag (feat. Migos) x Gucci Mane, Migos

15.  Caroline x Aminé

16.  Ric Flair Drip (& Metro Boomin) x Offset, Metro Boomin

17.  Girls @ (feat. Chance the Rapper) x Joey Purp, Chance The Rapper

18.  Stir Fry x Migos

19.  The Buzz (feat. Big K.R.I.T., Mataya & Y…) x Hermitude. Big K.R.I.T., Mataya, TAPZ

20.  X (with 2 Chainz & Saudi) x ScHoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, Saudi

21.  Vámanos x Audop Push, Kap G

22.  B.I.D x Tory Lanez

23.  Trikot von Paris x Sugar MMFK

24.  Lemon – Drake Remix x N.E.R.D, Rihanna, Drake

25.  Walk It Talk It x Migos, Drake

26.  Remember the Name (feat. Styles of Beyond) x Fort Minor, Styles of Beyond

27.  Yes Indeed x Lil Baby, Drake

28.  Ain’t Sh*t Changed (feat. Chris Brown)

29.  Tell Somebody – Phil N Good Remix x Kid Ink, Phil N Good

30.  Wait (Featuring Offset & Vory) x Chantel Jeffries, Offset, Vory

31.  Throw Sum Mo x Rae Sremmurd, Nicki Minaj

32.  Taste (feat. Offset) x Tyga, Offset

33.  Yeah! X Usher, Lil Jon

34.  GDFR x Flo Rida, Sage the Gemini, Lookas

35.  Panda x Desiigner

36.  New Level x A$AP Ferg, Future

37.  All The Way Up x Fat Joe, Remy Ma, French Montana, InfaRed

38.  Classic Man – Remix x Jidenna, Kendrick Lamar

39.  Powerglide (feat. Juicy J) x Rae Sremmurd

40.  POWER x Kanye West

41.  Qa bone x Azet, RAF Camora

42.  Uptown Funk x Mark Ronson, Bruno Mars

43.  I Took a Pill in Ibiza – Seeb Remix x Mike Posner, Seeb

44.  Hey Mama (feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack) x David Guetta

45.  Man Of The Year x ScHoolboy Q

46.  Light It Up (feat. Nyla & Fuse ODG) x Major Lazer, Nyla, Fuse ODG

47.  Hymn For The Weekend – Seeb Remix x Coldplay, Seeb

48.  You Don’t Know Me x Jax Jones, RAYE

49.  Summer x Marshmello

50.  One Kiss (with Dua Lipa) x Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa

51.  Gucci Gang x Lil Pump

52.  More Than You Know x Axwell /\ Ingrosso

53.  Fade x Kanye West

54.  Survivor x Destiny’s Child

55.  Ima Boss – feat. Rick Ross x Meek Mill, Rick Ross

56.  Skateboard P (feat. Big Sean)

57.  16 Shots x Stefflon Don

58.  Pick It Up (feat. A$AP Rocky) x Famous Dex, A$AP Rocky

59.  Jumpman x Drake, Future

60.  Blasé (feat. Future & Rae Sremmurd)

61.  Feeling Myself x Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé

62.  Go Off (with Lil Uzi Vert, Quavo & Travis Scott) x Lil Uzi Vert, Quavo, Travis Scott

63.  Trophies x Young Money, Drake

64.  Truffle Butter x Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne

65.  Champions x Kanye West, Gucci Mayne

66.  U Mad x Vic Mensa, Kanye West

67.  For Free x DJ Khaled, Drake

68.  I Don’t F*ck With You x Big Sean, E-40

69.  Trap Queen x Fetty Wap

70.  LUV x Tory Lanez

71.  Low (feat T-Pain) x Flo Rida, T-Pain

72.  Bad and Boujee (feat. Lil Uzi Vert) x Migos, Lil Uzi Vert

73.  HYFR x Drake, Lil Wayne

74.  Look At Me! x XXXTENTACION

75.  Loin – Pilule Violette x Maitre Gims, Dany Synthé, SoFLY & Nius

76.  DNA x Kendrick Lamar

77.  XO TOUR Llif3 x Lil Uzi Vert

78.  wokeuplikethis* x Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert

79.  Magnolia x Playboi Carti

80.  BabyWipe x Ski Mask The Slump God

81.  Butterfly Effect x Travis Scott

82.  Shooters x Tory Lanez

83.  New Freezer (feat. Kendrick Lamar) x Rich the Kid, Kendrick Lamar

84.  Plain Jane REMIX x A$AP Ferg, Nicki Minaj

85.  King’s Dead (with Kendrick Lamar, Future, James Blake) x Jay Rock

86.  Barking x Ramz

87.  Work REMIX x A$AP Ferg

88.  Breathe x Jax Jones, Ina Wroldsen

89.  Zigarren Havanna – KMN Street EP. 2 x Azet

90.  Wieso? X Zuna

91.  Rap Saved Me x 21 Savage

92.  Spectrum – Redlight Remix x GoldLink, Hugh Pescod

93.  Fuego x Alok, Bhaskar

94.  Now and Later x Sage the Gemini

95.  House Every Weekend – Radio Edit x David Zowie

96.  Dynamite – Original Mix x Hot Light, Slow Motion

97.  Leather in the Rain (feat. Kyndall) x Tyga

98.  The Time (Dirty Bit) x The Black Eyed Peas

99.  My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light Em Up) x Fall Out Boy

100.  Praise The Lord (Da Shine) x A$AP Rocky

Think we missed a song? Comment your recommendations below!
























Women’s National Health & Fitness Day

In honor of National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, we’re busting 4 popular fitness myths!

  1. “Lifting weights will make you bulky”

Wrong! Lifting weights doesn’t make you look bulky, in fact, it will actually help you to look even leaner as building muscle helps to elevate your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate). An elevated RMR will cause you to burn more calories even at rest! Don’t worry about gaining too much muscle too quickly either. You won’t lift weights for a few months and then wake up looking like a bodybuilder overnight, despite what most male Instagram ads may show. The changes in your muscle mass will be gradual, and if you ever feel like you’re getting “too big” simply stop lifting for a while. It should be noted that hormonal differences between men and women will also make it even more difficult to become “bulky.” At the end of the day, any change that you make to your body will be gradual and you’re in control of how you look, so don’t be afraid of lifting!

2. “Doing tricep exercises will help burn fat behind your arms”

Nope! Spot reduction (the idea that you can target where fat burning occurs) is not real. While building muscle underneath the fat may help your appearance, tricep exercises won’t burn fat on the back of your arms just like crunches won’t burn extra fat in your abs! However as stated above, these exercises can lead to an increased RMR, allowing for more systemic fat loss.

3. “You should stretch before you workout”

Static stretching (the classic stretch and hold) will actually impede your muscle’s stretch reflex. Think of your muscle as a rubber band. Stretching the rubber band for an extended period of time will cause it to lose its elasticity, just as static stretching will cause you to lose your strength. Instead, save the static stretching for after your workout and focus on a more dynamic warm-up beforehand. Lightweight, banded, and body weight movements are all effective ways to warm-up in addition to foam rolling.

4. “Protein shakes have too many calories”

So do salads if you eat enough of them! Granted, you would have to eat a TON of salad. My point is that a protein shake will only cause you to gain weight if you’re taking in more calories than you are burning. What protein will do is help your muscles to recover and rebuild. Again, increases in muscle mass will increase your RMR. So, while you may have to drop some calories from elsewhere in your diet, the increases in muscle mass will be well worth it in the long run.

Thanks for Reading! Let us know what else you want to see in the comments below, and be sure to reach out on social media (@thefitexpo)!

Alex Gaynor

TheFitExpo presents: Top 3 Tips for Bulking Season

With Summer officially ending this Friday, bulking season is just around the corner for most of us. Or maybe you cheated on your diet a little too much during vacation and just decided to use “an early start to bulking season” as an excuse to keep you from feeling like crap about yourself. Or maybe that’s just me. My weight gain was totally intentional, I’m just bulking okay?!? Besides we’re talking about you here. So before I get completely sidetracked realizing just how far off my diet I got on vacation, let’s move on to TheFitExpo’s Top 3 Tips for Bulking Season.


  1. Carbs are your friend:

The primary goals of any bulk should be to add two things: size, and strength. Carbs have been shown to effectively help you reach both of these goals! In terms of size, it’s important to be in a caloric surplus when you bulk. This means eating more calories than you burn. As many of us have learned the hard way, carbs are an easy way to get in extra calories. While it’s true that one gram of fat (9 kcal/g) contains more calories than one gram of carbohydrate (4 kcal/g), carbs are also much more quickly digested. This allows you to eat more sooner, making it easier to get yourself in a caloric surplus! An increase in carbs will also help you to keep your muscle glycogen stores full, resulting in increases in both strength and endurance! This will allow you to work harder in the gym, resulting in more long-term gainz!

Continue reading “TheFitExpo presents: Top 3 Tips for Bulking Season”

Back to Gainz:

I know, I know, it’s not as much fun as chest or biceps. However, a serious back day is essential for anyone serious about building a complete physique. Not only is your back one of the most aesthetically important muscle groups, it’s also important to train back for overall health and posture. In fact, we have to do nearly twice the work on our back as we do on our front just to counteract the effects of all of the forward movements we do every day. Between driving, working on a computer, texting, and other movements we do every day, we are constantly rounded forwards. And that’s not even counting chest and shoulder workouts! Today we will set out to make that right; focusing on correcting your posture, strengthening your back, and building a better V-taper with lots of high-volume lat work. And with bulking season fast-approaching, it’s time to pack on some size! Without any further delay, let’s jump into this brutal back workout.


Wide-grip Pull-ups

We will begin with a classic back exercise, the pull-up. Wide-grip pull-ups allow you to work on on the uppermost part of the lat, really helping to accentuate the V-taper. This will make help to make your back and shoulders look wider while making your waist look smaller. Everyone has done pull-ups at one point or another, but the rep scheme here is what makes this exercise really unique. We are going to do 100 straight reps in as few sets as possible. Once form starts to suffer, it’s time to break until the next set. As soon as you feel semi-recovered, jump back in. It’s brutal but effective. The exercise is also scalable to your fitness level. While advanced lifters may be able to get 100 reps, some may struggle to do a single pull-up. This workout will work for all fitness levels! Simply choose your fitness level below, and follow the prescribed rep scheme.


100 Reps Weighted


100 Reps


50-75 Reps


100 Lat Pulldowns with 50-100 lbs less than your bodyweight, OR 100 assisted Pull-ups

Continue reading “Back to Gainz:”

Chest Day is the Best Day! A Killer Chest Workout From TheFitExpo

Whether it be Monday (a.k.a. #InternationalChestDay) or any other day of the week, everyone loves a good chest day. Get ready for the best chest day of your life! We’ll be mixing in some low rep sets with some high rep killers in order to destroy your chest. Not only will this workout get you stronger, it will also give you an absolutely insane chest pump! Let’s jump into the workout below.

Make sure you get in your warm-ups before starting as a heavy bench press can lead to a lot of injuries if you don’t warm-up properly first. A few sets of pass-throughs with a band or a PVC pipe are a great way to warm up your entire shoulder joint. Some rotator cuff work with a light dumbbell or light cables may also help if your rotator cuffs cause you issues. Next, do 2 sets of 20-30 band pull-aparts or cable face pulls to help set your shoulders before benching. Before you jump on the flat bench, go ahead and warm up your triceps with 2 sets of 20-30 light tricep pushdowns using a band or a cable machine. Now you’re ready to bench! I know this seems like a lot of warming up, but the protection that it will provide your shoulders and elbows is more than worth it.


Bench Press:

Start by doing 50 reps with the bar just to get your pecs firing and your movement pattern feeling good. This should be an easy warm-up. If it’s tough, do fewer reps! Now begin your working sets with a heavy pyramid with the rep scheme 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12. As you work up in weight the sets should be difficult, but are they strength-focused so give yourself time to rest between sets! Begin lowering the weight after your set of 2, taking less time to rest and focusing on pushing yourself near failure. NOTE: Always stop 1-2 reps shy of failure if you do not have a spotter! It’s not worth the injury risk.

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Eat Fat to Lose Fat?: The Truth About Ketogenic Diets

Ketogenic diets have been around for years, but have seen a huge boost in popularity recently. With so many diet trends coming and going, why has keto stuck around so long? And why has it become so much more popular recently?

Let’s begin by addressing what a “Keto Diet” is. In its simplest form, a ketogenic diet involves cutting out carbs, but there’s a lot more to a proper ketogenic diet that just not eating carbs. A general recommendation for a ketogenic diet is to eat 70% of your calories from fat and 30% from protein, eating as few non-fibrous carbs as possible (fibrous carbs are not digestible so eat your veggies. They’re an essential part of this diet). How is this possible? Surprisingly, carbs are not essential in your body. There are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, but carbohydrates are not needed for your body to function. It’s true that glucose is your body’s preferred energy source, however, in the absence of glucose, your body will adapt in one of two ways. One option is for your body to undergo a process called gluconeogenesis in which excess protein is converted to glucose to be used for energy. As you may have guessed, protein being converted to glucose is not exactly optimal for gains. The other option is for excess fat to be converted into a chemical called ketones, which themselves can be used for energy. This is why it is ESSENTIAL to make sure you’re eating excess fat when doing a ketogenic diet, otherwise, your body will begin to burn through protein that could otherwise be used to build muscle. However, if you are eating enough fat, this will not be an issue. Ketone supplements may also be able to help put you in a state of ketosis even in the presence of carbs, however, I need to do more research before I comment on any of these claims. By now we’ve established that people can get away with not eating any carbs, but why would anyone want to cut out carbs?

Recently, people are joining the #WarOnCarbs (a term coined by world-renowned powerlifter Mark Bell) primarily as a way to lose body fat. The keto diet does allow for a tremendous amount of weight loss in a short time, but before we praise it as the new “miracle diet,” let’s take a look at how this weight loss actually occurs. A primary driving factor of fat loss from the ketogenic diet is the caloric restriction that occurs naturally from cutting carbs. This concept of calories in versus calories out (thermodynamics) is universal to all diets, meaning that keto does not hold an edge in this regard. However, it does have several other benefits outside of its direct impact on weight loss! Many keto-lovers are people who will binge on sugar uncontrollably as soon as they have a taste of carbs. With a ketogenic diet, these carbs are eliminated, making the diet easier to adhere to. Ketones themselves also have several other fat-burning benefits such as their ability to help suppress hunger, making it easier to eat fewer calories. Since the brain operates extremely efficiently on ketones you may also be more focused during your workouts! Their ability to help lower insulin levels will also provide more balanced energy, preventing the energy crash that you may sometimes feel after eating carbs. In terms of general health, ketones may also help to fight seizures and Alzheimer’s due to a potential increase in mitochondria in the brain. Diabetics may also do well on a ketogenic diet because the absence of carbs lessens the body’s reliability on insulin. Cancer patients may be the ones to benefit most from a ketogenic diet, however, as the cancer cells thrive in the presence of glucose. Because of this, the removal of carbs essentially “starves” the cancer cells.

Clearly, there are a ton of benefits to this diet. However, in terms of actual fat loss, almost every “benefit” relates to helping you to control your calories. While a ketogenic diet may all of for these calories to be easier to control, ketosis is far from necessary to achieve being in a caloric deficit. On top of this, much of the “weight loss” that occurs immediately is simply water weight. Your muscles store carbs as glycogen, a molecule that will be used for energy when you move. However, in the absence of carbs, theses glycogen stores will become almost completely depleted. Each gram of glycogen stored also carries 3 grams of water with it. This water is stored in the muscles so it will not make you look bloated, however, when you deplete your glycogen stores, you also lose the water that was previously stored within the muscle. This lost water weight accounts for much of the “weight loss” that many people initially see on ketogenic diets. I want to point out that this is alright as your body learns to run off ketones rather than carbs, however, this lost weight has nothing to do with fat loss.

There are also some negatives to a ketogenic diet that may discourage you from trying it. One of the biggest issues with a ketogenic diet is adherence. There’s no doubt that this issue exists throughout all diets, however, it is even more pronounced in the ketogenic diet. If you eat just enough carbs to take yourself out of ketosis, you will be left with no significant amount of ketones or carbs to use as energy, leaving you exhausted. Even if you remain in ketosis your performance may suffer due to the depleted glycogen stores that were mentioned earlier, which would greatly reduce recovery rates. It can also be difficult to get enough protein on a ketogenic diet. It would be nearly impossible to eat the 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight that the ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) recommends without going over your daily calorie allowance.

With a ketogenic diet relying primarily on the creation of a caloric deficit, it is far from a “miracle diet” for fat loss as many people claim, it could still very well be the best diet for you. In the end, I am not arguing for or against a ketogenic diet. I’m saying that you should adhere to the diet that works best for you! What makes you feel good? What is most convenient for you? What allows you to train harder? What allows you to recover best? What gives you results? All of these are questions that you should know the answer to in order to make sure you’re getting the most out of your diet. Look at these answers and decide if the keto diet works best for you! If you’re interested in switching to a ketogenic diet, do some more research and try it out! Just note that my basic explanation of the diet was just to give you an idea of what this diet is all about. Do some more research on exactly what you should be eating before starting. It is also a good idea to check with your doctor before making any big changes to your diet. To make this simple, the diet that is best for you is the diet that makes you feel great and is easy to follow. Find that diet and stick to it!

Thank you for reading! Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or reach out on social media (@thefitexpo) and let us know what you want to see in the future!

Alex Gaynor (@alexgaynor_)