How to Get Better at Burpees

Burpees are an amazing total – body conditioning move. You can do them anywhere with zero equipment. They are hard, and as a result are a fantastic way to build mental toughness.

On the other hand, they are tougher to do RIGHT than most people think or give respect to. They require both flexibility / mobility AND strength in the right places to do safely and correctly.

If you think your burpees could use some improvement, here are two quick tips to get better at burpees:

1 – Avoid the “Ground Hump”

This is when you kick your feet back into the push up position and you sag your hips to the floor.

This is bad because it adds stress to your lower back, and also makes the move less efficient.

Strengthening the core is the key to fixing this mistake. And the plank exercise is a great way to do that.

Here is a video that shows you how to plank properly:

2 – Fix the “Awkward Feet Tuck”

This is where you go to hop your feet forward from the bottom / feet back position, and you land in an awkward way – on your toes, with your feet either super close together or super wide, etc.

This is bad because it adds stress to the back and knees, and it makes the movement MUCH harder overall.

This many times is due to lack of flexibility and / or strength. Improve this is the right places and the awkward feet tuck we often find goes away on its own.

A great stretch you can do to help with this is called a “walking groiner” – here is how to do it:

Burpees really are a great exercise, but there are a lot of elements to getting them right, and you want to make sure you do them correctly to get the most benefit and safely to avoid getting injured.

I hope these two quick tips help you get better at Burpees!

Thanks, train hard, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance, MS, RKC II


Additional resources: – Full 12 week program to get STRONG with body weight – only training – 33 Kettlebell Challenge Workouts you can do in 20 minutes or less with a single kettlebell


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Halloween Body Weight Cardio Workout (burn 229 calories in 15 minutes)

We have a whiteboard at our gym where every couple of weeks, we put up a new body weight – based cardio / conditioning workout for folks to do outside of their
regularly scheduled boot camp sessions. It has been a big hit.

People really like the idea of getting some extra work in outside of their two, three or four boot camp workouts every week. And it’s a lot more fun – and productive!
- to do a workout like the one it today’s article, instead of more “traditional” cardio training like running on the treadmill or peddaling away on the eliptical

Today’s article is from my friend Ben Teal, and in it he talks about how to replace cardio and get more work done in less time with something called Metabolic Shred

Enjoy! And Happy Haloween!!

- Forest


How to Kick Cardio to the Curb, Have More Fun And Target Your Fat Zones
- Ben Teal, 7-Day Simplified Fat Loss System

Here’s the deal. I would much rather do Metabolic Shred circuits than cardio. They’re more fun. And they take less time.

But one question I get often is “How can I replace my cardio routine with these shred circuits?”

That’s like asking me “How can I take my current workouts and cover them with a thick layer or hot and spicy awesomesauce?”

What if I told you that you could burn more calories and get a bigger metabolic boost in less time?

And imagine what how much easier life would get if you didn’t need to spend hours in the gym (or even go to the gym at all).

How would you use your newly found free time?

And how would you show off your new, slim, sexy body?

Think about that for a second.

Now, here’s the exact workout I did to burn 229 calories in less than 15 minutes (without equipment).

This one is called “The 9′s”. This is not an easy 15 minutes – but it’s a lot more fun than staring at a treadmill screen for an hour!

You simply want to do each exercise in succession – one right after the other – with minimal rest between exercises (I usually rest about 5 to 10 seconds – just enough
time to move to the next exercise).

Do 9 reps of each exercise (there are 9 exercises).

Rest 30 seconds after each round. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

– Prisoner Lunge
– Seal Jacks
– Pull Ups
– “Perfect” Push Ups
– Jumping Jacks
– Prisoner Squats
– Feet Elevated Push Ups
– Full Body Extension
– “Frogger” (this is a fun exercise – you simply pretend you’re a frog and jump forward. Saying “ribbit” is optional!)

I did this workout in just under 15 minutes and incinerated 229 calories.

*Forest here – check out the video below to see ME going through a round of the workout – so you can see how to do all of the exercises:

Why is this type of workout so effective?

It’s a study in productivity. You can crank up the intensity without killing any one muscle group. This allows you burn more calories faster because you are cycling
through all of the muscle groups.

This type of metabolic workout also cranks up the after burn effect much, much higher than slow cardio on the treadmill so you burn more calories once the workout
has stopped.

Give this workout a try today to burn some extra calories and get an extra workout in over this holiday weekend, and let me know how it goes for you!

And Happy Halloween!!

- Ben Teal, author, 7-Day Simplified Fat Loss System

PS - If you want to maximize success, you need to do workouts like this not as a “one-off” sort of event, but as part of a comprehensive plan. You need to fit a
workout like this into an overall training scheme. You need to make sure your nutrition is dailed in. And more.

I have a comprehensive program that will help your reach your fat loss goals, called the 7-Day Simplified Fat Loss System. Click below to learn more about it:

=> Get the complete 7-Day Simplified Fat Loss System Here

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Conquering the Pull Up – a 4 Step Progression

I’ve got an awesome guest article for you today from my friend Callie Durbrow, who’s a fat loss expert and the owner of Durbrow Performance Training in Somerville, MA.

She’s got a amazing facility over on the east coast … she’s actually helping and giving me some ideas and advice as we plan out our new FVT training center here in Sacramento.

Callie has got an article for you today on the topic of coquering the pull up – and she breaks it down into a great four step progression.

Thanks -

- Forest


Conquering the Pull Up – a 4 Step Progression
By: Callie Durbrow, CSCS, author, Strong and Sexy in 25

Up until about 3 years ago I was struggling with Pull Ups. For a long time I just did them using assistance bands and sort of came to terms with the fact that I just wouldn’t be able to do more than one stand alone rep.

Then I started doing some research and saw a couple of my fitness colleagues rocking them for multiple reps. I made it my mission to start crushing Pull Ups and Chin Ups.

Now I’m rocking 8-10 reps for multiple sets and 3-4 reps with a weight belt for multiple sets.

Why are Pull Ups awesome?

– They are a bad ass exercise
– They sculpt your upper back and give you that V shape that men and women both love
– That sculpting effect makes your waist look smaller (bonus)
– They are a great fat burning exercise (they work a lot of muscles in the body which means more calorie burn)

Today I wanted to share a few progressions that both men and women can use to build up their Pull Up prowess.

1 – Perform Isometric Hangs

This may seem totally “unsexy” but this is one of the best ways to improve your grip strength and get your body comfortable being over the bar.

It also strengthens your biceps and lats to hold you in that top position, which is the toughest to achieve.

How it’s done:

– Jump up onto a pull up bar (make sure you’re not working to get up there, the work is done on the hold portion)
– Set your hands shoulder width with palms facing away from you
– Set your head above the bar and hold yourself in the top of the pull up position
– Hold for 5-10 seconds and then drop down
– Perform 3-5 reps and try to add 2-3 seconds every week

2 – Perform “Negatives”

This is another great drill to improve grip strength, body control and strengthen your lats, the major muscle needed for a great pull up.

How it’s done:

– Follow steps 1-3 from the previous exercise
– When you get to the top, instead of holding, you are going to lower your body down with a 5 second count until your arms are straight
– Jump back up (don’t use an extra energy on this part) and repeat for 4-5 reps
– Perform 2-3 sets of 4-5 reps using the 5 second count on each rep

3 – Use Band Assistance

I’m not a fan of the Assisted Machine that you see in a lot of gyms, or of a partner helping you because the resistance is not consistent.

Using a band under your knee or foot (I’ll explain more below) will help to reduce the amount of your own body weight that you’re lifting on each pull up.

Here’s how it’s done:

– Take a resistance band (you can get them from EliteFTS or Perform Better- the thicker the band, the more resistance so if you have a few bucks to spare, I recommend
getting a thick one, a medium one and a thin one to progress) and loop it over a pull up bar and slide it through so it makes a loop
– Put your foot or your knee in the loop
– If you put your foot in, straighten your leg and wrap your other leg around it to tighten your abs
– If you put your knee in, this gives you less overall resistance but is sometimes easier to get into if you don’t have a partner to pull it down for you
– Once you’re in the band, set your hands shoulder width on the bar and palms facing away from you
– Squeeze your shoulder blades together and visualize driving you elbows down to your rib cage as you come up over the bar
– Lower down slowly and repeat for 5-10 reps
– Complete 2-4 sets of 5-10 reps

4 – Add Resistance

For those of you that can perform multiple reps and need a challenge, add some resistance to your pull ups

Here’s how it’s done:

– If you have a weight belt, strap a dumbbell or kettlebell to the chain and perform your pull ups
– You can also use a thick resistance band a loop it through a weight plate or dumbbell for the same effect as above
– Other options- chains, weight vest

To wrap it up, the Pull Up is one of the best exercises to sculpt lean muscle, improve your athletic physique and burn fat over the long run. It’s intimidating and often hard to progress but now that you have some basics, give it a shot.

If you liked this post, you can find my full training program at the link below:

=> Strong and Sexy in 25 Minutes

- Callie Durbrow, CSCS
Owner, Durbrow Performance Training

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Ab Training for Strength (new guest article / video)

Got a guest article and video today for you from a new friend of mine, Andrew Raposo.

I met Andrew earlier this year in San Diego and was really impressed with his fitness knowledge – specifically when it comes to ab training.

In today’s article and video, Andrew is going to dispell a common myth about ab training – and show you how to train your abs correctly to get the rock hard midsection
you’re after.

He also gives us a workout to try – with video – as an example of how to train your abs the right way.


- Forest


Ab Training for Strength
by Andrew Raposo, author, Fighter Abs

A big misconception in today’s fitness world is that you have to train your abs for a high amount of reps to get the “burn”.

My question is, why train your abs differently than other muscle groups in your body?

If you’re training your abs for hundreds of reps and then train your other body parts in a way lower rep range … don’t you think something is wrong with that?

I’ll bet my money that you won’t be seeing the results you truly want from doing 100+ reps of different crunch variations. Training your abs for strength can be the one thing that is keeping you away from achieving a rock hard midsection.

Now, another big misconception is thinking you need to use weights to get stronger. Especially when it comes to ab training.You don’t have to do weighted sit-ups to get stronger abs.

As a matter of fact, you can do this with just your own bodyweight. And today I am going to prove that to you. I’m going to be showing you exclusive ab exercises that
top level fighters use for their core strength.

As you probably know, fighters have tremendous core strength and it all comes from the type of training that I am about to show you.

They also have to be able to take punches and kicks to their midsection. If fighters don’t have a strong set of abs, then they won’t be able to last in a fight. Trust me, I know this from experience. On top of all the core strength fighters have, they also have RIPPED abs that look the part as well.

Today, I am going to be revealing an ab-training circuit that fighters use to get their ripped six-pack abs.

Without further delay, let’s get right into it.

The Fighter Ab-Training Circuit

Box Plank – 10 Reps Each Side
Long Plank Armpit Touches – 10 Reps Each Side
Plank With Side Touches – 10 Reps Each Side
Rest 60 Sec

Repeat for a total of 3-5 rounds.

If it’s your first time doing this circuit, start with 3 rounds and work your way up to 5.

Here’s a video that shows you how to do the workout:

There you have it, an ab-training routine that will get your abs stronger than they ever have before. Training your abs like this won’t just help you get Six-Pack Abs,
you’ll improve your athleticism and it will help supplement other strength training exercises you perform.

If you would like more workouts like this, check out my Fighter Abs program for done for you videos and a complete step-by-step guide in getting you Six-Pack Abs with
just your own bodyweight:

=> Fighter Abs

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Legendary Body Weight Workout [burn 500 calories!]

Six years ago, I married my beautiful and wonderful wife.

Right after the wedding we headed to the awesome Hawaiian island of Kauai for a nine day honeymoon. We hiked, snorkled, kayaked, swam, enjoyed some amazing meals – it was truly one of the best vacations I’ve ever taken.

Of course, we also wanted to keep up with our workout program while we were on the trip.

But it was crazy – we couldn’t find a gym anywhere near where we were staying. (I ended up driving half way across the island to find a crappy YMCA, with nothing but a circuit of selectorized weight machines a couple of times, just so I could get a workout in.)

Here’s the thing though. At the time my knowledge of body weight training was limited, at best. I of course knew about push ups and jumping jacks and body weight squats and stuff like that … but I didn’t know how to get a truly great, complete, effective workout in, without ANY equipment at all.

If I knew what I know NOW about body weight training, we could have gotten powerful fat-burning and lean-muscle-building workouts, using nothing but our OWN bodies as our gym.

The way I’ve learned so much about body weight training over the last few years is studying from every quality body weight training resource – books, videos, in-person training and seminars – I have possibly been able to – like this one:

=> Click here for dozens of new, creative, fun, and EFFECTIVE body weight workouts (burn up to 500 calories each!)

My friend Kate Vidulich has put together a great new resource on body weight training – specifically for FAT LOSS – called Body Weight Cardio 500.

This program is PERFECT if you:

– Train at home, in your garage, etc. and have limited access to ZERO equipment
– Are beat down from years of hard training and heavy lifting and are looking for an alternative training method
– Love training with kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells, etc – but just want a break from your normal routine

=> Grab your copy of Body Weight Cardio 500 here

Here’s an example of an intermediate to advanced workout that uses NOTHING but your body weight for resistance – try it and you’ll see what I’m talking about!

1 – Set your timer for seven minutes; get as many rounds as you can of the rotation:

- 5 lunge jumps each leg
- 3 wall walks
- 5 pull ups

2 – Set your timer for seven minutes; get as many rounds as you can of the rotation:

- 20 body weight “speed” squats
- 5 clapping / plyo push ups
- 12 inverted rows

3 – Set your timer for five minutes, get as many rounds as possible of:

- 1 body weight Turkish get up R
- 1 body weight Turkish get up L
- 5 “double jump” burpees

The main part of this program is a 30 day Body Weight Cardio 500 plan – where you’ll get a day-by-day action plan, outlining exactly what you need to do in order to rapidly lose fat and build a lean, sculpted body with high intensity workouts strategically designed to burn 300 or 500 calories each.

But in addition to the main manual, you’ll also get:

– 15 coaching videos
– an exercise library
– BONUS 14 day trouble spot workouts
– BONUS 14 day trouble spot meal plans

And more!

=> Grab your copy of Body Weight Cardio 500 here (sale ends tonight)

When you learn how to use your body as your gym, you’ll be able to get a high-quality strength workout, ANYWHERE you are.

Enjoy your Friday, and talk soon -

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

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Finding Your “Sweet Spot” for Optimum Fat Loss (sample workout included)

This is a question I get almost every day. HOW MUCH should one work out, to lose fat as fast as possible?

Three times per week? Four? Five? Six?

20 minutes per day? 30? 40? 50?

The answer is not as simple as you might think.

See, it’s kind of a double-edged sword. Too much exercise, and you’ll end up destroying your muscle and joints. If you don’t exercise enough, you’ll bring your fat-burning metabolism to a halt.

Studies are showing that right around 20 minutes is the “sweet spot” for burning fat, without getting burned out.

But … most programs FAIL to include strength and a new and improved cardio in one workout … until now thanks to some new research …

My good friend Kate Vidulich (you remember her, right?) has put together a new program based on this research … and best of all, it can be done with ZERO equipment, in about four 20 minute workouts per week:

=> How to find your “sweet spot” for optimum fat loss

PLUS, her breakthrough allows you to burn 500 calories in one workout. That’s enough to burn:

– 2 slices of pizza
– Half a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
– 10 chocolate chip cookies

Not bad at all! And just in time for the holiday season ;)

Let’s take a sample from Kate’s Bodyweight Cardio 500 manual …


– Start with an approx 3 minute dynamic warm up

– Then, go to:

3 rounds

1A: Push ups
1B: Alternating prisoner curtsy lunges
1C: Toe taps

Repeat for 3 rounds

For the Push Up, you’ll choose the hardest variation you can do for the time period. Make sure you’re working full range of motion, and squeezing your glutes and abs tight. If you can’t continue for the entire set, choose as easier variation, like the Incline Push Up.

By keeping constant tension in your glutes, abs and chest, you’ll fire up more muscle.

Here’s the Alternating prisoner curtsy lunge… Point your right toe, and imagine making a semi-circle as you take a big step back.

– FINISH strong with the following Interval Accelerator

Accelerator 500 – AMRAP 7 minute time limit

Do as many rounds as possible in seven minutes, resting only as necessary. If your form gets sloppy, you must take a break.

Your goal is 2 rounds = 500 reps!

A) Squats x 50
B) Jump ropes x 50 (with the invisible jump rope)
C) Push ups x 25
D) Split shuffle x 50 (each leg)
E) Cross body mountain climbers x 25 (each side)
F) Jumping jacks x 50

Check out how to do the interval accelerator portion of the workout below!


So there you have it. How to find your “sweet spot” for optimum fat loss – and a 500 rep workout to help you get there.

Enjoy that one, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance

PS - Get Bodyweight Cardio 500 here (on sale ’till Friday)

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Game-Day Stadium Workout (takes less than 30 mins!)

It’s so important to figure out what INSPIRES you in your training, and to DO THAT on a regular basis.

End goals like fat loss, lean muscle gain, etc are great, and necessary really for maximum results … but so is getting fired up and attacking your daily workouts
with a passion.

I went out to and cranked a workout at the Stadium that’s a few miles away from my gym at lunch time yesterday, and it FIRED ME UP … I felt like I was back training as an athlete again.

I made my way up and down the stadium steps sprinting, jumping, and bounding, and did different body weight exercise variations in between.

So it looked like:

– Sprint up the steps
– Do a plank hold for 30 seconds at the top
– Jog down the steps and to the next row
– Do 15 prisoner squats at the bottom
– Bound up the steps (2 steps at a time)
– Do 10 recline rows off a railing at the top
– Jog down the steps and to the next row
– Do 10 lunges each leg at the bottom

And I continued in this fashion all the way around the stadium.

THEN, once I had completed a full “lap” (took me about 15 or 17 mins), I finished with this AT2 sequence:

Every time the clock hits “00”, perform the exercises below. Start by doing 4 reps on each exercise and then ADD 1 rep each new round (or minute). Whatever time you
have remaining in the minute is your rest period.


– 4 Burpees
– 4 Pushups
– 4 Squat Jumps

Clock Hits 1:00

– 5 Burpees
– 5 Pushups
– 5 Squat Jumps

Etc … until I completed all 11 minutes.

AWESOME stuff.

So what’s your motivation? What makes you train hard and be passionate to get better and be better, every day?

Find it and you’ll take your workouts – and results – to the next level, guaranteed!

Have a great weekend -

- Forest Vance

PS - The new Online Coaching program I opened up last week is ROCKING, having SO much fun putting together custom workouts and nutrition plans for different goals, and
interacting on a whole new level with super cool people from all around the world!!

We did fill up all 10 initial spots early last week … but one person ended up having to put their training on hold due to being on extended holiday out of the
country … and another person had an injury that ended up meaning they also had to pull out of the program.

SO … moral of the story is … I have a single spot in the coaching program that is now open. If you are interested, please go HERE, read more details about the program, and if you feel it’s a good fit for you, fill out THIS application. The first person to reply gets the final spot!

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Kick A@@ 8 Minute Zero Equipment Workout (new video)

Getting ready for a quick trip to Vegas to mastermind – meet, plan, strategize for the next 90 days – with some fitness business friends.

One thing I make a priority when I’m travelling is getting a morning workout in. If there’s a gym in the hotel I’m staying at, I take advantage of that. If not, I’ll typically set up my iPad with my Beats Bill and hit up a body weight follow – along video workout.

Here’s what I plan on doing tomorrow morning:

Turbine of the Day #8
from The Marine Body

>> Get 30 More Follow – Along Videos Like This One Here <<

If you:

– Travel
– Have access to limited / zero equipment
– Have limited time to train, but want a great workout
– Want the power and motivation and energy of a follow – along video

Try the workout in the video above – it’s perfect for ‘ya! ;)

Train hard, and talk soon -

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

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Turbine Workout #16 – Upper Body Dominant

Yesterday I shared with you an idea from my buddy Jason Klein on the WORST mistake you can make in your ab training … and how to fix it.

Jason is one of my go-to guys when it comes to fast, minimal equipment workout routines that are actually backed by SCIENCE.

The way I first met Jason is interesting … I stumbled accross a YouTube video of him going through a body weight – only routine, and was really intrigued. He was doing some exercises that were totally new for me … so I tried the workout myself, and LOVED it.

I did it several times myself, and then as a “finisher” at the end of some group workouts at my studio.

Then I ended up meeting him in person in Vegas about a year ago kind of randomly – we were at the same industry event, and crossed paths in a bar – I started talking to him about his workout video and how much I liked it, and we’ve become friends and kept in contact since!

ANYWAY, based on the feedback we got from yesterday’s article on ab training, I thought today I would share with you one of Jason’s Marine Body workouts.

This program is based on the science of Turbine Fat Loss. It’s centered on increasing lean muscle, increasing metabolism and increasing hormones that have a direct impact on our fat storage and lean muscle growth, dopamine and cortisol being two of them.

The best part of the workout is that it’s SHORT (that’s part of the secret to avoiding raises in cortisol).  This means that you can really PUSH yourself for the short amount of time it takes to work the fat burning magic of Turbine Fat Loss – which is like Afterburn on steroids.

Check it out, and try it yourself today:


Turbine #16 – Upper Body Dominant

Note: All exercises, 45 seconds work/ 15 seconds rest in-between sets


1) Superman + Push Up

2) Total Body Drive

3) High Knee

4) Butt Kicker


1) Wall Drive

2) Inchworm

3) Low Squat Hop

4) Alt. Revese Lunge

=> Get all of Jason’s workouts here

** Another quick note … Jason’s program, which you’ll find out more about at the link above, is in follow-along video format, which is really cool.  A few years ago I NEVER would have said that … but being in a situation where I personally have to workout at home more and more, I’ve changed my opinion ;) It’s awesome to have the motivation and push you get from a trainer. WITH no need to spend time in traffic, no need for fancy equipment. I do it all the time with my iPad, and Beats Pill hooked up to it, in my garage.  Follow-along videos rock! **


Alright, I’m off to get my day going.  Hope you enjoy that workout – it’ll literally take you about 8 minutes, so NO excuses to miss your training today.  Block out the time, get your mind right, and get it DONE!

Have a great one, and talk soon -

- Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Personal Trainer

PS - Check out the rest of Jason’s Marine Body Workouts HERE

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Leg Circuit Workout from the NFL

NFL football season is almost here.

So I thought it’d be a great time to share this NFL leg circuit with you.

Although – I haven’t shared the exact specifics of it publicly before, so just keep it between me and you, okay? ;)

See, in my short time in the NFL, I got to go through two off-season strength and conditioning programs – in both Green Bay and Kansas City.

I picked up a lot of cutting – edge exercises and training techniques and coaching points. I reference back to them and use some of them in training programs I design for myself and clients today.

Of of my favorite workouts that we used to do was this simple – but VERY powerful – leg circuit.

You can do this one using just your own body weight as resistance. Or, if it’s too easy, and/or you want to take it to the next level, wear a weight vest while you do it.

Also, you’ll want to do the full circuit three times, with NO rest between exercises, and about 60 seconds of rest between rounds.

Here’s how it breaks down:

– body weight squats – 15
– step ups – 10 each leg
– walking lunges – 10 each leg
– box jumps – 10

Simple, but powerful. Try that leg circuit workout today, and let me know how it goes.

Have a great weekend, and talk soon -

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

PS - This leg circuit is just a tiny glimpse of how powerful body weight training can be if you know how to do it RIGHT. Check out my progressive, 12 week body weight – only training plan designed to take you from wherever you are now, to body weight STRONG, HERE. It’s on sale this weekend (for one more day) at 45% off.

PPS - Body Weight Strong 2.0 is also available as part of a bundle of products we have on sale this weekend at a HUGE discount – over 60% off – in what we’re calling the FVT Baby Sale (to celebrate the birth of our baby girl, just a little over three weeks ago!) You can grab your copy of that package HERE.

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