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Your Guide To Navigating The Substack
This is the official “directory” of the Strong As An Ox Substack.
The purpose of this is to guide you in a sense by categorizing the post and laying it out in a logical way/order to read the articles.
This page will be updated periodically to keep some type of continuity as we jump into more advanced concepts (this will be important in the future as you’ll need to read certain posts before reading the newer one).
Diet Guide 101 - This is your primer to diet and nutrition. This post alone will build up a good framework of how to diet and eat according to your goal.
3 Day Upper/Lower Program - This is a extremely effective and great program for a beginner looking for somewhere to start.
Cardio 101 - This gives a overview of the how’s and why of cardio, which is just important as lifting itself.
Basic Supplement Guide - This is an overview of some of the most basic/common supplements and their benefits for both your health and fitness.
My Advice To You - 5 pieces of advice for those newer to their fitness journey/avoiding the common pitfalls as a beginner.
Going from Beginner to Intermediate to Advanced - This post explains the process of gaining experience in the gym - tells you where you are in your process & how you should be training at that level.
A Day In The Life Of BowTiedOx - In this post, I systematically break down my typical day (most are legitimately the exact same) and explain exactly why I do the things I do—80% of everything I do has a very specific purpose and intent. This can also give you an insight into how I run biz and balance other things like family and fun into my life.
Starting Your Day - This posts does into detail about setting up the perfect day, especially when new to fitness.
Setting Up Your Own Training Program - This post enables you to create your own training plan with guidelines on how to do so.
Tailoring Your Program To You - The plan that is going to work for you is the plan that works for you. In this post I teach you how and give a framework to implement the best program for yourself.
Training Guide For Optimal Results - This is a guide I send to all of my 1:1 Coaching Clients, and I figured I would share it to all of you to apply to any programs you are running to ensure you have optimal results.
How Much Does It To Take For A Muscle To Grow? - This is going to be completely individual, depending on your genetics, lifting experience, training methods, and much, much more. In this post I go over what will work for most people as muscle growth is a very physiologic function all humans are capable of.
What Is Your Training Goal? - Defining your training goals and how to execute them—we simply cannot craft a training plan or come up with a plan of attack for training if we don’t have a clear and defined goal.
How to Target Your Muscles Correctly - An in-depth dive into how to target your muscles properly with examples of how to target certain muscles: quads, hamstrings, back, bicep, chest, etc.
Mechanisms Of Hypertrophy - This post goes into the how and why of muscle growth. This will help you understand the underlying factors of muscle growth/hypertrophy.
Intensity Vs Volume - This post discusses the what intensity and volume are, the difference between high volume and high intensity, and which produce the best results. +Bonus intensity techniques.
Progressive Overload - What exactly this is, and the best methods for maximizing it so we can continue to maximize our muscle growth—making your workouts harder overtime.
What Actually Causes Muscle Growth - We’ve gone over the mechanisms of hypertrophy, the aspects of working out that cause the muscle to grow, but what is happening on a deeper level and how to we take more advantage of this? Read this.
Healthy At All Sizes Is Bullsh*t - Instead of addressing this as an issue people need to fix to literally save their lives, this gives them a reason to be complacent and die a slow death—touching on what is “too big” in terms of muscle mass, then we will get into what the optimal size for someone to maintain in their life is to ensure we’re maximizing both physique and longevity.
Recognizing Causes of Chronic Illness - Part 1 of prevention: identifying preventable causes of chronic illness.
Recognizing Causes of Chronic Illness - Part 2 of prevention: preventing cardiovascular disease.
Don’t Fear The Gainz Goblin - In this post, we seperate what is a real concern, what is completely myth, and ways we can actually preserve muscle mass if we’re at risk of getting a visit from the Gainz Goblin.
SAID Principle - Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands - This principle governs all results in the gym and can be manipulated to create the outcomes we desire.
Protein: What You Need to Know - Everything you need to know about protein.
Lifting to Mechanical Failure - In this post, I discuss what mechanical failure is, how to do it properly/safely, pros and cons, and more.
Strength Gains vs Muscle Gains and Getting Both - Getting stronger while getting bigger…
Epigenetics & How To Create Generational Health - In this post, I discuss epigenetics and how to create generational wealth through lifestyle changes.
Stimulus to Fatigue Ratio - Decoding "Stimulate, Not Annihilate"
Programming Matrix - The Basis of Programming - Volume, Intensity, & Frequency.
Getting The Most Out Of The Least - Milking Each Small Change For As Much Progress As We Can Get.
Maximizing The "Outside The Gym" Factors of Muscle Growth & Fat Loss - Muscle Is Grown Outside Of The Gym, Abs Are Made in The Kitchen, Physiques Are Built In Your Sleep.
Hard Training vs Easier Training - An Honest Evaluation Of What Training Will Work Best For You.
Training Experience vs Development - Gaining More Individuality In Your Training.
Understanding Periodization - The Key To Continuing Progress All The Time.
What Makes A Good Exercise? - Determining what a good exercise is based on specific criteria.
Rep Ranges Explained - Rep Ranges Determine What Response You Get From Training.
Why You Need To and How to Lift With Intent - Stop Spinning Your Wheels and Going Through The Motions.
Your Guide to Newbie Gains - How to Make Your First Year in the gym your Best Year.
Train Everything - Where to Focus Your Training Efforts To Be Good At Everything.
All The 101s:
Gym Bag 101 - What you NEED and should have in your gym bag.
TRT 101 - This post goes into depth about TRT—what it is, how to get your levels checked, what levels you should be at, who needs it, what types there are, etc.
Fat Loss 101 - This post explains the science behind fat loss/A a quick guide to getting rid of body fat.
Recovery 101 - This post explains the influences of recovery, sleep, stress management, and other recovery activities.
Meal Prep 101 - Where to start, what you’ll need and sample meal prep plans.
Posture 101 - Posture is an integral part of our health, but often gets overlooked. This post provides insight on being cognizant of your posture and how to fix it.
Gut Health 101 - This post discusses the importance of gut health and how to improve it + more.
Skin Care 101 - Your skin is very important for your health as it is your first line of defense against bacteria and infection, helps with avoiding dehydration, and protects your internal organs. Skin is literally the biggest organ on your entire body.
Metabolism 101 - In this post what we are talking about pertains to metabolic rate, or how your body burns calories during the day.
Growth Hormone 101 - Growth Hormone is one of the most important hormones in the human body. Unfortunately for us, levels start to decrease rather largely every year after 35-40 years old. In this post I explain how you can take advantage of different protocols and lifestyle habits to mitigate this problem and potentially even increase levels as we age.
Caloric Expenditure 101 - In this post I break down the science behind “calories in vs out” and explain how we can manipulate it for fat loss.
Look I know it says “all the 101’s”, but hear me out..
Cardio 201 - In this post I further break down cardio and how to program it for your individual programming.
Hydration 101 - Everything there is to know about hydration (for the most part).
Fats 101 - Understanding the “most” complicated macronutrient.
Intensity 101 + 7 Ways To Bring More Intensity - What Do I Actually Mean By "Intensity" and How Methods To Bring More To Your Lifts.
Fitness and Mental Health - A post on how to use fitness for mental health.
The Mental Game of Fitness - A post on how all progress begins in the mind.
Mastering Your Body - In this post, I’m not covering one specific aspect of training or health, but the macro and concept that we can be in 100% control of our bodies and actions.
What It Takes To Build An Elite Physique - Making fitness your top priority and how to do it!
Managing Stress And Avoiding Burnout - Stress management is a skill and one we must develop if we want to live a long, healthy life. This post is about taking back control of healthy levels of stress + avoiding burnout.
Overcoming Caffeine Addiction - When used correctly, caffeine is a superpower. It makes you more productive, focused, and for me, much more creative—this post is about taking control of your caffeine intake.
Developing Consistency - Consistency is the "secret" to elite fitness—in this post, I give you some tools to help develop a habit of being consistent.
Coming Back From A Setback - This isn’t a post to tell you “it’s okay man it’ll be okay”—let’s dive into actionable methods to ensure your comeback is successful.
Advice for the Older Guys - Ways to keep you in the gym and feeling better and better as you age.
How I Manage my Severe ADHD - In this post I explain how I personally manage my ADHD and provide some tips that can be helpful to others with ADHD.
Win the Day + Avoid Thinking Traps - Playing the short-term game to win the long-term game…
Going From Zero To Hero: Joe's Story - a short story: From "Average Joe" to "Above Average Joe": 5 Practical Tips For Those Caught In a Rut in Life.
Lifestyle Design - Designing A Life That Makes Fitness Nearly Effortless.
Dealing With Discouragement When You Start - Don’t “Self Select” & Quit Before You Star.
Dealing With Body-related Insecurity - How to deal with body-related insecurity.
Purpose - The Gym Can Jumpstart The Direction of Your Life - using the gym to discover your purpose.
The Growth Mindset For Success With Fitness Goals -The Mental Framework For Making Real, Serious, Lifelong Progress.
Fitness & Business:
Mixing Business and Fitness - This post explains the importance in us finding a balance between our financial and fitness goals. This is easier said than done as life and work can often be unpredictable and demanding.
Building a Fitness Business - How you can use your skills and knowledge to create a lucrative career.
Fitness For The Crypto Degens - This post isn’t actually solely for crypto people, but anyone who spends hours a day behind a computer screen and wants to both optimize fitness and work performance and productivity.
Time Management for Health & Fitness - In this post, I debunk “I don’t have time” as an excuse and ways we can optimize our time, so we can easily blend fitness/health activities into our everyday tasks.
Can Being Fit Make You More Money? - How Lifting Actually Can Lead To More Gainz In Your Wallet.
Diet and Nutrition Posts:
Performance Nutrition - Here I explain how to optimize nutrition to maximize your performance in the gym. Mostly review for some.
Setting Up Your Diet For Optimal Results - In this post I lay out a diet model that can be efficient for those who simply want to prioritize work and still maintain the benefits of lifting weights and muscle growth.
Making Diets More Enjoyable - This is a post about making the dieting process easier on yourself.
Getting Your Daily Protein Requirements - How to get more protein intake, protein sources, mitigating appetite, etc.
Your Guide To Eating More Food - The number one recurring issue is that most can’t seem to eat enough food to gain size—in this post I explain how we can fix this if we want to put on any amount of appreciable muscle mass.
Healthy Vs Bad Foods - We hear all the time “eat healthy” when referring to everything from building muscle, losing fat, and just generally being healthy. The issue is there is no real standard for what is “healthy”. In this post I outline healthy vs not healthy and provide a sample meal plan.
Carbs Are Not Evil - Breaking down the MOST misunderstood macronutrient—How our body uses carbs, benefits of carbs, myths about carbs, when to eat your carbs, best carb sources, who should avoid carbs, etc.
Carb Cycling - What it is, the benefits of carb cycling, how to set it up, etc.
How The Muscles Use Insulin - A post about insulin and how your body uses it to grow muscle—as well as ways to increase your insulin sensitivity.
Muscle Protein Synthesis - What it is, how to take advantage of it, timing the “anabolic window” and more!
Reverse Dieting - What it is, who its for, how to do it and other helpful tips.
Diet Breaks, Refeeds & Cheat Meals - Three cheat codes for dieting and why/when/how we should utilize each.
Intermittent Fasting - What intermittent fasting is and how to use it as a fitness tool.
Building Muscle With a Caloric Surplus - AKA Bulking… what it is, how much of a surplus you should be in, when you should start bulking, etc.
Your Blueprint To Fixing Skinny Fat - This is one of the most common body types in the world, and through some proper weightlifting and cleaning up our diet, we can ditch this body behind.
Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting - How we can avoid it, what causes it/how it affects us, etc. All you need to know about Yo-Yo Diets.
Restaurant Eating Guide - How to eat when you’re dining out—while eating out is typically not our most healthy option, we can make it relatively healthy and fit into our diet goals.
Building Muscle For Less Than $50 A Week - You can eat well, better than you think, on an extremely limited amount of money—in this post I tell you how.
Is Alcohol Killing Your Gains? - This post explains the effects alcohol has on our gains, to answer in short, yes. Alcohol is killing your gains.
Developing a Healthy Relationship with Food - We must understand that food is not “bad or evil” it is simply just food.
Protein Sparing Modified Fast - In this post I break down what PSMF is and how to safely utilize this diet technique.
Eating Strategies for Flexibility - In this post I describe a number of eating strategies that we can use to mitigate flexibility.
The Truth About “Bulking” - In this post I break down why most people aren’t successful with bulks, where you start, and how to properly do them.
Setting Up a Proper Cutting Phase - In this post I explain how to maximize fat loss while maintaining muscle properly.
A 5-Step Foolproof Fat Loss System - 5 steps that make fat loss as easy as possible. No more guesswork.
The Bear Diet - What We Can Learn From The Apex Land Predator and What They Eat.
Blueberries, Superfood, or Myth? - Everything you didn’t know (or maybe you did) about blueberries!
Low-Calorie Diet Hacks - Make Dieting For Fat Loss Easier.
The Framework For Constructing A Lifelong Diet - Stop Thinking "Diet" & Start Thinking "Lifestyle"
Training Programs & Techniques:
30-Minute Workout - A quick workout for those with little time to get to the gym. In & Out, keeping gains in the equation.
Early Morning Workouts - The goal of this post is to provide you with the best framework for optimal performance, and muscle growth, and significantly reduce your risk for injury during morning workouts (the biggest concern—we’ll be covering in-depth).
Body Weight Program - Maybe you don’t have access to a gym or equipment. This post provides a bodyweight program that you can utilize anywhere—you just need yourself!
Full Body Program - This post teaches you how set up your own, individualized program + example program provided.
2-3 Day Full Body Program (Updated) - *This program can be used by beginners, but I want to emphasize that this is mostly for people who know what they’re doing and how to train with proper intensity.*
Dumbbell Only Full Body Program - This program is for those with limited gym and access to equipment, dumbbell only. This workout program will follow all of the general principles of every program I’ve posted before.
Upper/Lower Barbell Only Program - This program is for those with limited gym and access to equipment, barbell only. This workout program will follow all of the general principles of every program I’ve posted before.
4 Day Upper/Lower Program - This is an upgraded 4 Day a Week Upper/Lower Split (moving on from the 3 day program). This is for those that are familiar with lifting, and looking to maximize the most muscle growth with the minimal time in the gym.
Push Pull Legs - A program utilized by intermediate and advanced level gym bros +Bonus sample workout plans.
DC Training - This is an advanced program - if you fit the mold for this program, and you want to add serious mass to your frame in a short amount of time, this is one of, if not the best, program to do so.
Load Sets And Back Off Sets - This post is mostly about the 2 set philosophy, but we are also going to talk about the benefits of High Intensity, Low Volume Training.
Balancing Lifting and Martial Arts - This post touches on mixing our Martial Arts Training with our Weightlifting. Both of these goals are simultaneously beneficial and detrimental to each other. It is important for us to find a balance here.
Balancing Running And Lifting - Contrary to what an overwhelming amount of people say, we can absolutely build muscle while running - IF we do this correctly.
Your Guide To Becoming A Better Athlete - Defining athleticism and discussing working out in relation to becoming more athletic—improving our performance in a way that improves our athletic abilities.
Power Development - Pt. 2 athletic-based training. Here I discuss one of the most important aspects of athletic-based training—power.
Bro Split - This post explains a variation of the Bro Split, a workout routine that devotes a training session to each individual body part—chest, back, shoulders, legs, arms, etc.
4-Week Low Volume Workout Plan Challenge - An Experiment To Show How Little Volume You Need.
Weekend Warrior Workout Plan - 3 Day Modified Upper/Lower Split for Friday-Sunday.
Targeting Specific Muscle Groups:
Guide To Training Calves And Abs - The first post in my series of specific strategies for building certain body parts. Starting with calves and abs—these are two important muscles that are unique compared to other muscles.
Your Guide To Training Arms - This post is to provide you with some tips and advice that can really help blow up your arms and make this a reality. Pt. 2 of Specific Strategies for building certain body parts.
Your Guide To Training Chest - Pt. 3 of Specific Strategies for building certain body parts. A well-developed chest is an extremely powerful and aesthetic feature to your body, it is really the major focal point of your upper-body.
Your Guide To Training Back + Width vs Thickness - Pt. 4 of Specific Strategies for building certain body parts. Back is a rather complex beast when it comes to training and actually training the muscles correctly—this will also clarify what I mean when I say back thickness and back width. The training methodology for both have key differences.
Your Guide To Training Legs - Pt. 5 of Specific Strategies for building certain body parts. Your legs are arguably your most important muscle group—they are up there in importance with your back. This is because your legs are the foundation of your body and all movement. Without legs we would be useless.
Your Guide To Training Shoulders - Pt. 6 of Specific Strategies for building a certain body part. The shoulders are very important in terms of upper body structural health (they control the movement of your arms), and they are also a very aesthetically pleasing muscle.
Improving Weak Body Parts - In this post I explain how to improve muscles you are struggling with.
My Favorite Exercises For Each Body Part
Part 1: This post is part one of my favorite exercises for each body part including → Chest, Back, and Shoulders. I list my favorite movement, barbell and dumbbell variation, and accessories for each.
Part 2: This is part two of my favorite exercises for each body part including → Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves + Arms, and Abs—like part one I list my favorite movement, barbell and dumbbell variation, and accessories for each.
So You Got Fat.. Now What? - This post discusses developing a solid plan of action to solve this issue, permanently.
Breaking Plateaus and Deloads - This post discusses the “gains killer”, plateaus, and stalling in your fitness progress, and how to properly deload—as this ties in with plateaus—and this could be the main culprit behind your lack of progress.
Breaking Fat Loss Plateaus - This post discusses the methods we can use to ensure fat loss does not stall and we keep the progress going.
The Actual Science Behind Fat Loss - This is a post about how our bodies use fat and how we can take advantage of this.
Maximizing Aesthetics/Attractiveness With Fitness - Exactly what it says - ways to maximize aesthetics with lifting weights.
Body Recomp - What it is, why they’re difficult to accomplish, considerations and more.
Getting Back Into Shape - Easing back into fitness after some time off & bonus sample workout plans.
First 6-Pack - This is exactly how it sounds—how to get your first 6 pack ever.
The Big 3 - The Big 3 and how to properly perform and utilize them in your training program—Bench Press, Deadlift, and Squat.
5 Frequent Myths in Fitness - This post addresses 5 frequent myths we hear in the fitness realm, the truth behind them and more.
The 5 Biggest Mistakes I See In The Gym - In this post I go over a running list I’ve kept (as a reminder to avoid making the same mistakes) over the last few years—I discuss the major issues I’ve seen.
10 FAQs - In this post go over some of the most common questions I get asked and the answers to these questions.
Maintaining Muscle - In this post I go over how to maintain muscle mass with practically zero time.
Why You Should Have a 6 Pack 1 Time in Your Life - I tell you why you should, what it takes / how to do it, and the lasting benefits of getting a 6 pack for the first time in your life.
Going From Lean to Shredded - In this post I explain how you can take your physique from lean to shredded by fine-tuning the little details.
What Would You Do in My Position? - In this post, I lay out the basic framework for deciding what to do in your fitness journey.
Autoregulation - The End State of Being In Control of Your Own Fitness Regimen.
Your Guide To Baseline Optimization - Majoring in the major vs majoring in the minor.
10 Things That Will Happen When You Get Jacked - The Implied Things We Don't Normally Talk About.
The 5 Most Common Dieting Pitfalls I See (And Avoiding Them) - Make Progress, Not The Same Mistakes As Everyone Else.
Realistic Timeline on Muscle Growth, Fat Loss, and Other Fitness Goals - How Long Will It Take? As Long As It Takes.
Why The "Big 3" Are Overrated For Muscle Growth - Breaking Down The Big 3 With Science, Logic, and Reason
Finding A *Good* Personal Trainer or Coach - Qualities to look for and more.
How Much Is Too Much and Too Little in The Gym - Maximizing The Minimum Effective Dose.
Machines Vs Free Weights - The timeless debate and my “thoughts” on it.
Recovery Protocols and Optimizing Your Body:
Your Guide To Optimal Sleep - Sleep is the single most important thing we do every day—this post goes over the importance of optimal sleep, ways to maximize it, and other important aspects of sleep.
Sauna Therapy - All you need to know about sauna therapy and using it to our advantage.
Cold Exposure - In this post I breakdown what’s happening during cold exposure and tell you what you never knew you needed to know/using cold exposure to improve our health & fitness.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) - DOMS is inevitable, you will be sore at times, BUT we can take steps to largely avoid this and alleviate some of the pain—in this post I tell you how.
Mobility - One often overlooked aspect of fitness is mobility. We hear all the time how important it is and how lifting can even “ruin your mobility”. The reality is that it IS important and not only can you have great mobility and lift, you can actually improve it greatly while simultaneously adding serious muscle mass.
Good Form Vs Proper Form - The goal of this article is actually NOT to discuss good form, but rather give the distinction between good and proper form. The difference is subtle but can mean the world’s difference in your muscle growth.
Warm-Up Sets - This is a FAQ per programming - I explain warm-up sets.
Supplementation, Hormones and More:
Supplement Purchasing Guide - What supplements to buy, where to buy them and seeking out deals.
Creatine Facts, Myths, & Practical Application - Creatine is considered one of my “must haves” for the gym, and with this post I’m going to explain why, and dispel every myth you’ve heard about this wonder supplement. By the end of this you will have a complete understanding.
Naturally Boosting Testosterone - Exactly what it says, a post on how to naturally boost your testosterone.
Hormones and Lifting - This post is an introduction to the main anabolic and catabolic hormones that affect us during exercise and training.
Building Your At-Home Gym - This guide outlines building your dream at-home gym with different budget ranges, what equipment to look for, and how to set it up.
Fitness Trackers - This post explains the different types you can buy, what they do and how they can help you with your fitness goals.
10 Low Cost/Free Ways To Improve Your Health & Fitness - In this post I give specific protocols for all of these items + some others, in a way that anyone, anywhere has the opportunity to improve their health & fitness regardless of financial constraint.
Cost/Benefit Analysis of Health Decisions - The goal of this post is not even to necessarily go over the effects of various decisions (though it will be helpful), but rather give you the framework of thought that goes into making a better, educated decision.
Marijuana and Fitness - Here I will list the potential benefits, drawbacks, and my opinion of marijuana and if it has a place in your fitness regimen or not.
How The 90 Day Winner Won - The winner of the 90-Day Transformation Challenge, @BowTiedHusky, give us his exact breakdown on how and why he was so successful. This post is helpful for anyone just getting started, but can also benefit more advanced guys with things you maybe didn’t know before.
Minimizing Acne Issues While on TRT - Guest post with @BowTiedFawn clearing up TRT acne issues.
Happy Thanksgiving/Black Friday Deals - Bringing You The Best Deals On Fitness Products You Use + Bonus Workout.
Staying On Track During The Holidays - Mitigating your fitness goals with holiday eating. Even though it’s only two holidays, a month apart, this time period is notorious for people completely falling off their diets and putting on a ton of weight—and not the good kind of weight.
Fitness on Vacation - This post gives helpful tips to adhere to your plan and goals while enjoying some well-deserved time vacationing. +Bonus sample workout plan included.*
Your Playbook For The New Year - A lot of people are going to say “this is the year I finally get fit” or “This is the year I lose 50 lbs. and get in shape”. Great goals, but goals without a system and plan are largely just going to remain that: goals. Read for a plan of action.
New Year 30 Day Challenge - You don’t need to limit this to just January or do this one time. Come back to this anytime you feel you need a kick in the ass or want to hone in on your discipline a little more.
Maintaining Fitness During Ramadan - In this post I explain how we can set ourselves up for success during this sacred holiday.