“Silver Strength Bullets” are my weekly shortlist of quick, actionable bullets to get you stronger, leaner, and performing at a higher level.
I send them to my private members-area via email every Friday morning. And over the past few months I’ve compiled a fistful of my best Silver Strength Bullets into one place (here!) and laid them out for you as neatly as possible.
There are 101 — because my marketer friend, David, told me odd numbers are catchy.
I don’t know if that’s true (I’m no marketer) but I did put a buttload (?) of time and effort into these — and they work very well — so I hope you enjoy them enough to plop a couple in your back pocket and save ’em for later.
As you’ll see, I’m not trying to sell you anything. These are free, a gift from me to you, because what I want to do — all I want to do — is give you clear, practical, and effective strategies to help you achieve your goals (whatever they may be).
Here’s your 101 Silver Strength Bullets. And, should you want it, HERE is a free copy of The Metabolic Blueprint — a comphrensive workout manual with 101 of my best metabolic strength workouts for faster fat loss.
1…There’s no such thing as “too much” rear delt work. You can literally train them every day (with varying volumes and intensities) and your shoulders will get stronger, healthier, and more defined. The Bent Over Rear Delt Raise is my go-to exercise for them.
2…Eating fat doesn’t make you fat. The main driver of fat loss is total calories in vs. calories out. I actually explain all of this HERE so if you’re serious about dropping some pounds and getting more defined give it a quick read.
3…There’s no limit to how much protein your body can absorb. That’s an old myth perpetuated by supplement companies trying to get you to buy more of their protein powder. Plain and simple, if our bodies could only absorb 20-30g of protein at a time and any “extra” went to waste..our species would not have survived, especially considering we used to only eat maybe once or twice a day.
4…The Russian Twist is arguably the best ab exercise for rotational core & oblique strength and endurance. But most lifters — even coaches — royally screw it up. HERE is my full video tutorial.
5…The Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press (HERE) lights up your chest, shoulders and triceps but — what I really like — is that it forces your abs to work overtime as they resist the downward rotational forces. So it’s not just an “upper body” exercise. Done properly it’s an unparalleled core exercise, too.
6…The Front Shoulder Raise (HERE) isn’t new but in this video I outline a small tweak you can make to your hand position so you hit your shoulders better for more strength and muscle definition.
7…The Nordic Hamstring Curl (HERE) is legitimately the hardest hamstring exercise I’ve ever tried.
8…The Dip (HERE) has 2 main variations: chest dips and tricep dips. And in this short video I show you exactly how to do each one from the United Airlines terminal in Los Angeles International Airport. Seriously.
9…Want Expert Advice On Your Squat Technique? THIS is my best squat tutorial on the internet and walks you through everything — literally — you need to know to keeping hitting new personal records without getting injured.
10…Tight Hamstrings? Try THIS drill.
11…The Pallof Press (HERE) is what’s called an “anti-rotation” ab exercise and, if you’re in need of a new way to fire up your obliques (the side ab muscles) you’re gonna love to hate to love this one.
12…The Bear Crawl (HERE) is my recent “go-to” warm-up drill because it forces your abs to work on overdrive and it’s also really good for improving shoulder health and function.
13…The Squeeze Press (HERE) is one of my personal favorite — and most underrated — exercises for not only getting your chest stronger but more visibly defined as well.
14…The Ab Wheel Rollout (HERE) is arguably the best dynamic anti-extension core exercise I’ve ever tried. It’s also one of the easiest to screw up. In this video I break down the most common mistakes, how to fix them, and what you need to do to recruit the most amount of abdominal muscle fibers while doing it.
15…The Dumbbell Hammer Curl (HERE) is [obviously] good for strengthening and shaping/building/toning/etc
16…The Reverse Lunge (HERE) is easy on the knees and brutal on the glutes and quads. But there’s a lot of conflicting opinions as to what constitutes “perfect” technique. This is what I think (and why).
17…Sumo Alternating Dumbbell Row (HERE) builds strength and muscle in your upper back — it also improves your posture — but where it really shines is how much it improves your core strength and stability in one fell swoop.
18…The ABC Plank (HERE) is just evil. That’s all there is to say about that.
19…The Half Kneeling Single-Arm Lat Pull Down (HERE) has a ridiculously long and obnoxious name but is one of my favorite exercises for improving your posture and strengthening your upper back.
20…The Band Pull Apart (HERE) is one of the simplest, quickest, and most effective ways to keep your shoulders healthy and pain free.
21…Stop expecting progress to be linear. You will NOT lose weight every day (or even every week) even if you’re perfect with your diet. And you will NOT gain strength every day (or even every month) even if you’re perfect with your workouts. So quit getting frustrated and de-motivated when things don’t “work” immediately. It takes time. Be patient. Or else you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
22…Pick ONE program and follow it perfectly for at least 3 months. Most people jump from new program to new program on a weekly basis. They go “all in” on a workout or nutrition plan for a week — maybe 2 — and as soon as the excitement wears off they bop over to the next shiny thing. Then they get sad and pout and whine and complain that, “nothing ever works for me!” when in reality they just don’t give anything enough time to actually work.
23…Squats aren’t “bad” for your knees especially if your technique is on point and you don’t have prior knee pain/injuries. Most lifters who hurt their knees squatting had it happen because they let their knees cave too far inward (called, “valgus collapse) and ended up causing structural damage. But that’s a technique issue – not an issue inherent to the squat because, done properly, squats will help your knees get stronger and injury-free.
24…The Hanging Leg Raise (HERE) is incredibly effective but ONLY if you do it properly — obviously. But most people — even coaches — completely butcher the technique. Watch this instructional video to get the most out of it for you and your abs.
25…If You’re Making this Deadlift Mistake (THIS ONE) you’re short changing yourself and putting yourself at risk of serious injury.
26…The Advanced Side Lying Clam (HERE) is a really simple and effective way to get your glutes firing harder which, truth be told, most people need to do more of especially if you wanna be stronger and/or build a more “shapely” backside.
27…The Front Squat to Reverse Lunge Complex (HERE) is probably the single most brutal exercise combo I’ve ever come up with. Try it near the tail end of your next lower body day and, no worries, it’s totally fine to cuss me out.
28…Creatine: is the most extensively researched supplement on the market, is 100% safe, and — if you’re a strength nut like me — can dramatically enhance your performance. I use THIS one because it’s fairly priced and very high quality.
29…Deadlift — Weak Off the Floor? For the next 4 weeks I want you to do 3 x 3 broad jumps BEFORE you start your heavy deadlifts. Basically, stand with both feet planted and leap forward as far as you can on every jump. Take 10-15 seconds between jumps and at least 60 seconds between sets. This builds a huge amount of explosive power and will help you get the bar off the floor way faster than usual. It takes advantage of something known as “Post Activation Potentiation” — PAP — which basically primes your nervous system to be more explosive. Here’s me doing a broad jump competition last year.
30…New Ab Exercise: There are several ways to modify the front lever but my progression (HERE) is the best because I made it up. So, there.
31…Best Exercise for a Round, Juicy Booty? There’s a lot. Way more than just one. But if you aren’t doing Single-Leg Hip Thrusts (HERE) you’re short changing your glutes. Also, guys. Just FYI girls like a nice ass, too. So do yourself a favor, get some hip thrusts in, and give the ladies something nice to stare at.
32…A push-up variation that hits the pecs and triceps really well is THIS one. Try it near the end of your next upper body workout for 3 sets of 8-12 reps. If you can’t do them on the floor then raise your hands onto a higher surface like a bench.
33…If you want to blow your glutes and hamstrings up but need to get in & out of the gym fast, try THIS exercise combo. 3 sets of 6-10 reps per leg is more than enough.
34…Chin-ups with an eccentric emphasis (HERE) are brutal and — if you can do them with perfect form — they will increase your chin-up strength very quickly. Start with 3-4 sets of 2-5 reps and use a 3-5 second eccentric per rep.
35…If you can’t do chin-ups yet, eccentric-only chin-ups (HERE) are one of my favorite progressions. Basically, jump up to the bar, lower yourself as slowly as possible, step back on the box, and repeat. Start with 2-3 sets of 2-5 reps and use a 2-5 second eccentric per rep.
36…Can’t do a true glute-ham raise with perfect form yet? Try THIS progression with a PVC pipe. I haven’t seen any other coach use this before and it works very well.
37…Need a more advanced glute-ham raise progression? THIS one increases the lever arm and drastically increases the difficulty without using any external resistance. I can count on 2 hands how many lifters I know who can do this properly.
38…Full Body Mobility: I use The Yoga Plex in between “strength sets” as active recovery during my rest periods instead of just sitting around doing nothing. Do 3-4 reps per side then wait 60 – 90 seconds before starting your next strength set.
39…Shoulder Health: Most people with shoulder issues have difficulty controlling their scapula (shoulder blades). You can quickly use Scapular Push-ups in your warm-up to improve your scapular control and keep your shoulders healthy.
40…Squat Mobility: THIS is the most in-depth article I’ve ever written on how to improve your mobility for a stronger squat.
41…Deadlift Strength: Do Sumo RDL’s 2x/week for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Re-test your Deadlift after 8 weeks and I guarantee your Deadlift will be stronger.
42…Grip Strength: Towel Chin-Ups are the hardest chin-up variation I’ve ever tried and the best at improving grip strength. If you can do 10 of these you’re strong as all hell.
43…For the sumo deadlift…two of my best video tutorials are HERE and HERE. The second one is an older vid (I know I look like a baby) but the info is still wicked important and most people completely screw it up. So watch them both and bookmark ’em for later.
44…For the conventional deadlift…my best video tutorial is HERE. Again, bookmark this one for later.
45…For the sumo deadlift…the hardest part is usually getting the bar off the floor. The two best exercises to strengthen that portion of the movement are speed deadlifts and 2″ deficit deadlifts.
46…For the conventional deadlift…the hardest part is usually locking the bar out once it passes your knees. The three best exercises to strengthen that portion of the movement are 2″ raised deadlifts, romanian deadlifts, and speed deadlifts.
47…Speed deadlifts — some people call them ‘dynamic effort deadlifts’ — quickly improve explosive power and rate of force development. But most lifters neglect them entirely which is, I think, one of the major reasons most lifters never deadlift as much as they’re actually capable. A lot goes into understanding speed deadlifts so I outlined everything you need to know in THIS article.
48…Broad jumps, aside from speed deadlifts, are the best way to improve explosive power and hip drive specifically for the deadlift. Box jumps and squat jumps are ok…but broad jumps force you to generate way more horizontal hip power than vertical jumping variations which is exactly what you need for an elite pull.
49…98% of my clients — myself included — train 3 or 4 times/week. That’s it. No more. Lot’s of internet experts say you need to train 5, 6, or 7+x/week to build elitestrength and stay lean year round. Not true. At all. Don’t fall into that trap.
50…Sometimes the best way to get over a plateau is to do a high volume ‘specialization phase.’ So if your bench press, for example, isn’t budging, spend 4-8 weeks using higher volumes and frequencies than normal. Then taper back down to normal and retest. If you did it right you’ll have gotten stronger. Guaranteed.
51…The best set & rep scheme? 3 x 3 (3 sets of 3 reps) is what I call “the nectar of strength.” If you really want to spend a phase or two getting as strong as humanly possible, spend a lot of time using 3 x 3 as your set/rep scheme for your main strength movements (squat/bench/deadlift/chin-up/
52…For the squat…most lifters aren’t sure if they should use a high bar or low bar. I’m a ‘middle of the road’ kind of guy so what’s “best” will depend on you and your individual needs. That being said, HERE is my rapid fire breakdown and analysis of high bar vs. low bar squats.
53…After you watch the video above, keep in mind if you prefer a wider stance you’ll probably do better with a lower bar position. And if you prefer a narrower stance you’ll probably do better with a higher bar position. Bar position — contrary to what most coaches say — largely depends on your stance width.
54…For the squat…if your ‘sticking point’ is a couple inches out of the hole, use pause squats (hold the bottom position of every rep for 2-4 full seconds — NO cheating!) as your main squat variation for the next 8 weeks and then re-test. Guarantee you hit a new personal record.
55…For the bench press…if you have trouble stabilizing the bar in your hands — it feels a little shaky or wobbly — think about squeezing the bar as hard as you possibly can. Literally try to choke the life out of it. The increased total body tension will not only make you stronger (seriously) but will protect your shoulders through something called ‘irradiation’ which basically helps your rotator cuff fire more efficiently.
56…For the bench press…as you lower the bar towards your chest think about bringing your chest to the bar. Literally reach for the bar with your chest. HERE is an older video I did on this topic several years ago but, still, the information holds true today.
57…For the bench press…THESE are the two most common mistakes I see on a daily basis (even among high level lifters). If you’re serious about improving your bench press you need to read this article now.
58…If the bar keeps slipping out of your hands in the Deadlift it’s not always a grip strength issue. A lot of times you just need chalk which is why even the strongest lifters in the world use it on daily basis. If your gym doesn’t allow chalk because it makes a mess, THIS stuff is amazing.
59…Superset the Dumbbell Squeeze Press with Push-Ups for a ridiculous chest and tricep pump. Do 4 sets of 12 reps each. 0sec Rest between each exercise. 90sec rest between sets. Use light weight and focus on feeling your pecs and triceps do the work.
60…For the squat…think about driving the floor away from you. Hard. Literally, imagine pushing the floor down and away from you as hard and fast as humanly possible. It’s an external cue I use with my lifters and it, without fail, improves maximal force production and strength every time.
61…For deadlifts…there’s no reason to do more than 5 reps per set. Ever. The point of the Deadlift is to get stronger and more explosive — not build endurance or work capacity (you can do that with other drills safely and more effectively). So keep reps to 5 or less and make sure technique is *perfect.*
62…For shoulder health…add 3 x 12 facepulls into your workouts at least 2x/week. Keep the weight light and focus on feeling the muscles work. HERE is the right technique.
63…For bench press…think about pushing yourself away from the bar instead of pushing the bar away from you. Literally try to press yourself away from the bar and into the bench. This’ll keep your shoulders in a stronger, safer position while helping you lift more weight. Try it and let me know how it goes.
64…For glute activation…use the Single-Leg Hip Thrust. It’s wicked easy to screw up, though, so watch THIS so you don’t make these 3 mistakes. 2-3 sets of 10 reps is plenty.
65…For core/ab strength…the long lever low tension plank (HERE) recruits your abs and has better “core activation” than nearly every ab drill I know. 2-3 sets of 10-30sec is what I use.
66…For deadlifts…THIS is the most common mistake I see lately, especially in women lifters. Men make it too but, because women tend to be more flexible, they’re more likely to “fall into” this position without realizing.
67…You don’t need to lift as heavy as possible to get stronger. My best strength gains have always come from lifting in the 80 – 90% 1RM range, making sure to leave one solid rep in the tank at the end of every set.
68…A lot of coaches say, “Abs are made in the kitchen.” b And, for the most part, they’re right. If your nutrition isn’t in check your abs aren’t going to show. But truth is smart strength training coupled with strategic metabolic conditioning can (and will) make your abs “pop.”
69…You can’t choose where you want to lose fat. BUT you can choose where you build muscle through targeted strength training. And if you want a spot (or spots) on your body to get more defined, hit it 2-3x/week in the gym.
70…Jumping is NOT for burning calories. It’s great for building explosive power. Improving your athletic performance. And, sparingly, in metabolic conditioning circuits. But doing it for high reps (more than 20) or long periods of time is not only dangerous, it’s a waste of your time. If you really want to burn calories (and fat) try kettlebell swings — they’re low impact and have a huge metabolic ramping effect.
71…Want to learn how to design an elite strength training program? Read THIS.
72…”Wait for the last second before the Kettlebell hits you in the junk,” is my favorite coaching cue — works for both men and women — to make your KB Swing, literally, perfect. I outline exactly what it means & how to use it HERE.
73…You should do, at least, 2 metabolic strength circuits every week. They don’t need to be long — 5 minutes is plenty — but they do need to be intense and you should be sweating when you’re done. Need new ones to try? HERE are 101 free metabolic strength circuits I threw together as a gift for you. They’re “on the house,” as they say, so enjoy.
74…Diet soda isn’t “bad” for you — there’s a lot of research showing it’s incredibly beneficial for fat loss and, to date, there’s no data showing it’s dangerous — but I also try to limit diet soda to only a couple per week because I don’t feel my best (and maybe this is just psychological) drinking too much from a can.
75…Are planks too easy for you? Increase the lever arm and challenge your abs 10x more by making THIS small tweak.
76…When You Deadlift is the Bar Slipping Out of Your Hands? It might be because you’re gripping the bar too high in your palm. Watch THIS video to see what I mean (and how to set your grip the right way).
77…Can’t Do a Chin-Up Yet? Start with the Eccentric-Only variation (HERE). It trains your neuromuscular system to control your body through a full range of motion without focusing on the concentric portion of the movement. If you can’t do a full chin-up yet this is by far the best place to start. I recommend 3 x 5 starting with a 3 second eccentric (lowering) portion on every rep.
78…Need a Harder Chin-Up Variation? Give 1.5 Chin-Ups (HERE) a shot. They build both dynamic and isometric strength and force you to control your body better than pretty much every other variation. If you can do 3 x 6-8 perfect reps you are very advanced.
79…For Faster Fat Loss: Fasting 1-2 days per week increases catecholamines and drives you into a big calorie deficit (which is a good thing, for fat loss). You don’t need to do this forever (I don’t) but having short phases with 1-2 full fast days per week will force your body to burn fat fast.
80…Quick “Trick” to Increase Your Bench Press: most lifters (coaches, even) grip the bar wrong by placing it in the middle of their palm — big mistake. Because when the bar is in the middle of your palm your wrist bends backwards (which forces a huge energy leak) so you can’t lift as much. Instead, grip the bar as low in your palm as possible so it’s close to the base of your wrist — this way there’s no loss of force which allows you to handle and press heavier weight.
81…Deadlifts Feel “Weak” Off the Floor? Try doing 3 x 3 broad jumps (jump forward as far as possible) before you deadlift. Broad jumps prime your nervous system to fire more quickly and powerfully, so by the time you deadlift you’ll be able to recruit more muscle fibers and force them to contract at a higher frequency which will help you get the weight off the floor much faster than usual.
82…Ever Tried the Nordic Hamstring Curl? THIS is, I think, the single most challenging hamstring exercise in the world. Let me know how it feels if you actually end up giving it a go 😉
83…Have the Munchies & Can’t Stop Snacking? Granny Smith apple and cold seltzer. Try it. Guarantee it blunts your hunger and — best part — only 80 calories (depending on size of the apple). Plus I love apples and seltzer so it’s actually enjoyable.
84…’Nootropics’ are supplements that boost your mental concentration: and while most don’t actually work (and are a huge waste of cash) there are some that legitimately enhance your concentration and productivity. Before you buy one, though, read THIS unbiased review.
85…Must Read for Fitness Junkies? Fat Loss Happens on Monday (HERE) is one of the only “mainstream” fat loss books I recommend because instead of telling you “what” to do it shows you “how” to do it. Big difference between the two and, in my opinion, much more effective. The author, Dan John, is also one of the best coaches in the world.
86…Most Lifters Have Tight Adductors and Don’t Even Know It: That’s why nearly all of my warm-ups include the Split Stance Adductor Mobilization (HERE). 1 set of 8-10 reps per side is plenty before you workout.
87…The Split Stance Deadlift is one of the most underrated exercises in the world. It lights up your posterior chain (glutes, hammies, erectors) and forces your obliques to work overtime. If you haven’t tried it (HERE), give it a shot in your next workout.
88…Cable Lumbar Hyperextensions (HERE) are a very advanced drill and should only be used by high level lifters. If you fit that category and want to take your Deadlift to the next level, try them near the end of your next lower body workout.
89…The #1 Reason Most People Never Achieve Their Fitness Goals has very little to do with following the “perfect” workout or “ideal” nutrition program. It has much more to do with something a little deeper. I explain it all HERE.
90…Reverse Hypers are One of the Best Exercises to Fix Lower Back Pain so I do 100 reps with my bodyweight every day. HERE is how I do it.
91…I Honestly Believe the More Women Dive Into Strength Training the more they will realize how strong they truly are. HERE is why I think every woman needs to strength train.
92…Cranky Shoulders? Start doing Face Pulls (HERE) at least 2x/week. Don’t do them to failure — just enough to feel the muscles working.
93…Does a Good Workout NEED to Make You Sore? No. Not at all. There is legitimately no scientific evidence showing soreness leads to better results. Don’t believe me? Read THIS.
94…Want a Killer Shoulder Workout? Tri-set these three exercises at the end of your next upper body workout. No rest between exercises. 75 seconds rest between circuits.
- Arnold Press: 3 x 8
- Seated Lateral Raises: 3 x 8
- Standing Lateral Raises: 3 x 10
95…The Goblet Squat with Pulse is one of the most deceivingly challenging drills I’ve ever used. It lights up your core and forces you to improve both lower body strength and mobility at the same time. HERE is how you do it.
96…Want to Light Your Lower Body (Glutes & Hammies) Up? Try the Single-Leg RDL to Reverse Lunge Complex (HERE). Fair warning, you’ll be walking like a penguin for a week.
97…Ever Tried the Farmers Walk Challenge? Pick 2 dumbbells that are roughly your 5RM DB Bench Press. Pick ’em both up (1 in each hand) and walk for as long as possible. Rest 3 minutes. Try again. Beat your score. Brutal way to finish any workout while building serious strength and muscle.
98…Want to Burn a Metric Ton of Calories? Try any one (or all three) of THESE new barbell complexes.
99…The Lateral Lunge with Pulse (HERE) is as “bang for your buck” as you get. It improves hip and ankle mobility, core stability, deceleration, frontal plane stability, and overall athleticism. If you haven’t tried it…try it.
100…TRX Rows Are Great (But I Like This Variation Better): I call it the Hinge Row (HERE) and it hits your upper back way better than a normal TRX Row. Plus, it has the added benefit of actually being better for your scapular health and function.
101…If You Aren’t Having Fun with Your Workouts you’re doing it wrong.
102…Every time someone does an ab exercise lying on the bench press a baby unicorn dies.
103…Lateral lunges double as an effective method to pick your wedgie without using your hands. (Thank me later.)
104…Wearing a lifting belt while doing bicep curls is the gym equivalent of wearing a Bluetooth headset when you aren’t on the phone.
105…Chalk makes you stronger. So always be sure to apply liberally and, remember, the more chalk you use (and the bigger the mess) the stronger you’ll be.
106…Kipping pull-ups were invented by Adolf Hiter. Saw this on the History channel.
107…Lifting the bottom of your shirt to wipe the sweat off your face while looking in the mirror is the universal symbol for “checking to see if I have abs yet.” (I do this one all the time.)
108…For both men and women (but especially men) if you plan on doing bicycle abs and wearing short shorts, underwear is obligatory.
If not, no worries.
If yes, great!
Because I’ve put together a free manual (The Metabolic Blueprint) with 101 of my all-time best metabolic strength workouts so you can burn fat, build strength, and improve your athleticism in the same workout.
If you want to grab you free copy, simply “internet punch” THIS (I’ll quickly guide you through the interwebz on a lightning speed magic carpet), plug in your best email (no worries, I won’t spam you, scouts honor), and I’ll send your copy over in less than 60 seconds.
PS just in case you missed it, HERE is where you can grab your free copy of The Metabolic Blueprint.
PPS love you.
PPPS sorry if that was too soon.
PPPPS seriously, though, I love you.