Do you feel wiped out when you get home and just collapse on the sofa? Urban living certainly has its challenges. Hiking around the cityscape day to day requires endurance and stamina. Wether it’s that mad dash for the bus or the hike up the stairs with groceries because the elevator is stuck again, urban life can seem pressured and non stop.


But we love it, that’s why we live here.

Below is not so much a full workout, but ideas to incorporate into your existing routines. Ways to up the ante a little. ✔



Also known as “jump training”, incorporating plyometric exercises is almost garanteed to help build the strength and speed needed to navigate the urban jungle. (Or a weekend hike).

Get ready to jump


First, start by warming up with a few sets of body squats. 2 sets of 10


Keeping your core tight push off and land squarely on both feet. 3 sets of 10.

Explosive power is what your building.

Get a Grip


Often times getting creative with workouts simply involves changing the grip your using while performing an exercise. Some basic grips most oftenly used are:

  • Overhand
  • Underhand
  • Close grip
  • Wide grip

Baby got back

If you want an impressive set of “wings” switch your grips in the same workout to target the whole back.

Here are two (2) exercises to help strength the back and build the lean muscle needed to help propel you through this world.

  • The Lat Pull 
  • The V-Bar Pull

The Lat Pull is a standard, all-around, go-to exercise for building upper body strength. Above is the short grip. Position your arms shoulder width apart. 3 sets of 12 – 15

Muscle Group – Latissimus Dorsi


A wide grip (above) works the inner lats, while a short grip helps to build the outer lats.


⬆The V – Bar Pull is a mass building staple. Working the inner muscles of the back called the Rhomboids, as well as the lats, this move is also working your biceps.


It isn’t a jungle in here. This is your sanctuary. This space is where you come to escape the grind.

Utilize it. Think outside the box.

While you have the V – Bar in hand, stand with feet shoulder width apart and switch to working your abdominals.


The truth about abs is this: Everyone has them. It’s the layer of fat on top that keeps them hidden. Endlessly doing crunches is not the key. Watching what you eat and performing 3 sets of 15 repetitions 

slow and controlled is.

The science of grips applies to your #bicepblowout too. Using your Lat bar, alternate between a short grip and a wide grip:

Muscle Group – Biceps Inner/Outer


Why? Stimulating the muscles from different angles helps promote hypertrophy, or muscle growth. 

Tip Using an overhand grip here (not shown) will target the forearms. Think Popeye the Sailor Man.


The concept of a superset is simple. Maximize your time and your efforts. Working opposing muscle groups,  (“push/pull”) is an effective method for building size as well. Utilizing a Machine Chest Press is a an excellent opportunity to build the back and the chest simultaneously. Rest periods should be little to none during a superset combo.

Muscle Groups – Pectorals/Rhomboids/Deltoids



When using the Chest Press for the back adjusting it allows for either a full range of motion or partial. The debate about machines continues. Perhaps the critics haven’t learned to get creative. When it comes to sets and reps choose from any number:

  • 12, 10, 10, 8
  • 10, 10, 10
  • 10, 8, 8
  • 5 sets of 5
  • 10, 8, 8, 6

You get the picture? Switch things up. Muscle confusion, man!

Add 3 sets on the Chest Press next while your at it.

Variations on a theme

Dips are a mass building exercise that can be done just about anywhere. Home, gym, office.

Muscle Group – Triceps/Deltoids



If you can’t fit on the railings, or don’t feel like moving the bench, or simple can’t get downstairs….


…push two chairs together in the comfort of your home.

If you chose the railings, stay there and add stair step climbs to your routine. Start with 1 step intervals then graduate to two. Eventually, your quads and glutes will thank you for it.


Muscle Group – Quadriceps/Gluteus Maximus ⬆

Time to stretch. Static stretches, or stretches held for an extended period of time are good at this point.


Hold each stretch for a minimum of 30 seconds. Repeat 2 – 3 times while your iPod is stuck on replay-ay-ay.

Tip Focus on holding your core tight and on your breathing. Your stretching the Quads, Hamstrings, and Back here.

And of course don’t forget your core. But how do you take a basic plank and change it up?


Muscle Groups – Abdominals/Obliques


Keep your core tight, twist each knee to the right and left, hold each pose for a 5 count. Perform as many as you can.

Again, these are variations to add into your existing routines. By simply changing the grip and the rep counts, you’ll continue to think outside the box and above all else…






Big things, small packages

Sometimes you don’t always have the benefit of a large facility with copious amounts of equipment. Thats when you get creative, take what you’ve got and make it work. You can still burn fat and build muscle. Really.


Circuit Training


While not as intense as H.I.I.T, this style of workout still aims at burning calories and inducing sweat. Studies continue to show that lean body mass increases with the use of circuit training. (less body fat.) With a set routine of moves done in the 12 – 15 rep range, and moderate rest in between, the body gets a good strength and aerobic workout in a shorter amount of time.

Levels – I /II

It depends on the individual and what their fitness level is. Not everyone will use the same amount of weight or go at the same speed.




Exercises in this workout are chosen to target as many muscle groups as possible, both upper and lower body.

Warm up 5 – 7 minutes with cardio of choice. 

1. Unassisted Dips

Reps: 12 – 15


Dips are a powerhouse, compound upper body exercise that targets the chest, shoulders and triceps. After warming up sufficiently, position yourself between two treadmills.

2. Weighted Body Squats 

Reps: 12 – 15


Elevating helps to acheive a deeper squat, really targeting the quads and the glutes. Staying with the treadmills, reverse your stance holding a dumbbell. Keep the core tight and shoulders back. Tip: At the top of the exercise focus on squeezing the glutes.

3. One-arm Machine Back Rows

Reps: 12 – 15

Think outside the proverbial box. Utilize the Chest Press of the workout station to work the back and rear delts. Bend at the knee to adjust for your height while focusing on keeping the back upright.


Reps: 12 – 15

Move to the

4. Standing Bicep Cable Curl

Reps: 12 – 15


Everyone wants an impressive set of pythons. Utilizing the Straight Bar Cable Attachment, keep elblows tucked in and shoulders back, and focus on slow, steady repetitions.

5. Rope Extensions/Triceps

Reps: 12 -15 


● Alternate – Reverse Grip Tricep Extension

If you do not have a rope extension use a Wide Lat-Pull Bar with either a regular or a reverse grip.


6. Standing Weighted (w/dumbbells) Lunges – Focus on keeping the core tight.

Reps: 12 – 15


7. Dumbbell Bench Press

Reps: 12 – 15 

8. Ab I/Crunches w/bench +  Ab II/Toe Raises Reps: 12 -15 


A common misconception is that abs should be blasted with excessive reps. Not so. Perform 2 – 3 sets in excellent form and their good.


Chest Press Reps: 12 – 15

Cable Shrugs


Reps: 12 -15 

Using the same bar as with the gun show, stand with feet shoulder width apart, and keep shoulders back.

Keep rest periods between exercises 30 seconds for advanced, 45 seconds to 1 minute for beginniners. Repeat entire circuit x 2.

Even better, do it a third time!


Fitness Term (s) of the Day





  • Slow-Twitch Muscle Fibers     (Type I) – These fibers allow for sustaining over long periods. i.e. sets with lower weight/higher reps, body weight exercises, and marathon running.


  • Fitness-Twitch Muscle Fibers (Type II) – These fibers allow for greater force but fatigue easily. i.e. sets with higher weight/lower reps.


A person looking to put on size, or “mass-gaining” as it’s known, will often incorporate 5 sets of 5 repetitions, or 5 x 5 at a heavy weight.

On the other end of the spectrum a person looking to “cut”, or achieve more definition, will focus on say 3 sets of 15 – 20 repetitions at a lower weight.


Workout routines designed with these fibers in mind are almost sure sure to put you on the fast-track to gainsville.


For complete randomness Tweet: @jwilltrain




Nicknamed the “Godfather of Fitness,” Jack Lalanne first began training at the YMCA in Berekely, California. He opened one of the nation’s first gyms in Oakland, CA in 1936. Initially perceived as not only a fanatic, but a charlatan. Health professionals of the day warned to stay out of his facility.

He lived to be 96.

Throughout the ancient greek society the gymnasium was one of the most important structures within a city, and over time became institutions of higher learning and social interaction.

In fact, a great deal went on at the gym.

Derived from the word gymnos, or greek for naked, the bluprint of the gymnasium seems to have taken shape somewhere within the 6th century BCE. All follow the same basic floor plan of a large center courtyard surrounded by colonnades and lower lying buildings. As the preeminent sport was wrestling, attached was a Palaestra, or wrestling school.

The ancient greeks learned the connection between mind and body early on and so, a young  boys education would start with attention to health and physical strength. The gym was his school. The gymnastai were his teachers. These ancient personal trainers oversaw every aspect of a students formation.

Below is a pair of ancient dumbbells, called Halteres. They sit in the National Archeological Museum of Athens.


Carved from stone with handles at the top, they were used for helping an athletes long jump. This method is clearly seen depicted on terra cotta pots dating back to the 5th century BCE.


For a free copy of my upcoming e-book on ancient gymlife and fitness, subscribe by email!




Sit up straight we’re taught. And don’t put your elbows on the table. Growing up I had a hard time with that one. Proper posture and strength is required for our daily lives. Many people stand for long periods of time or sit at desks pouring over important data, spreadsheets, and analytics.


Our cores are made up of some 30 different muscles. The four main groups:



    The most recognized, focused on, and closely associated with being fit is the rectus abdominus. The “6 pack”, or for some genetically gifted individuals 8. It runs vertically from the pubis to the ribcage and acts as a flexor of the spine. The obliques work together to rotate the trunk. The deepest muscle, the transverse, runs horizontally and acts to compress and stabilize the lower back and pelvis.
    Like the skyscraper in part 1, a strong core is necessary for strength and integrity.


      Recently I have started a series of new exercises to help with both. Using a stability ball this exercise not only works the core but the upper body as well.
      1. Begin in a plank & resting your feet on the ball, walk yourself out into the pushup position. (I hold for a count of 6)


2. Slowly pull your knees to your chest into the “Jackknife” position. (Again, I hold for a count of 6)

CAM01494           3. While engaging your upper body and legs extend your glutes/hips up again bringing the ball closer in to you. “The Pike”.


This is 1 rep.


  • Increase core strength
  • Get my Pike on-point!
  • Increase stability by extending hold times for each position
  • Increase flexibility

For more info on the Stability ball go to: