Omega Body Blueprint Review John Romaniello

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I’ve had an opportunity to review the Omega Body Blueprint, the latest body transformation program from John Romaniello.

Let me start by telling you a little bit about the author/creator of this program:John-Romaniello-Omega-Body-Blueprint

John Romaniello (aka “Roman”) has been in the fitness industry for over 13 years.  His work has been featured in several well-known publications and he has been interviewed on fitness-related television shows.  He is also a New York Times best-selling author.  Roman specializes in fat loss and body transformation.

Now let’s talk about what you get if you decide to order the Omega Body Blueprint program (I have listed these components in the order I downloaded them–not necessarily in order of importance or in the sequence from the program website).

Component 1: Training Manual

This book begins with an explanation of hormones and their role in fat loss.  Romaniello focuses much of this information on why it gets more difficult to lose fat and how we can overcome the body’s natural resistance to getting lean.  One important strategy, he argues, is to alternate training modalities.   This allows the trainee to get the optimal benefits of several types of training (in addition to keeping things interesting).  The illustrated manual takes you through six complete weeks of training–workouts designed to maximize fat loss and overcome plateaus.

Component 2: Workout Log Sheets

These printable workout logs will allow you to follow the previous manual and keep a record of the weights you use.

NOTE: I should say something here about Roman’s workouts.  I’ve done some of them before and they are not easy–even if you are in decent shape.  This program is for those who are willing to work hard–not for those content to sit around and talk for twenty minutes in between sets.

Component 3: Nutrition Manual

Roman begins this manual with an important observation: most trainees will meticulously plan their training but fail to put even a fraction of that time and effort into planning their diet.  This is why so many people in the gym never really see visible improvements in their physiques.  He goes on to explain some of the most nutritional strategies for this program: intermittent fasting, eating certain macro nutrient combinations, etc.  I think you’ll find his advice simple and straightforward.

Component 4:  Calorie and Macro Calculator

This file includes a link to an online calculator that will show you exactly how many calories and macro nutrients (protein/fat/carbohydrates) you should be eating every day.  This feature is nice because it will take all the guesswork out of your diet.

Component 5:  Supplement Guide

As the name implies, this is a list of recommended supplements.  I greatly appreciate the fact that Romaniello does not over-emphasize supplements (he states that you can do the program without them).  Having said that, the supplements he mentions are relatively expensive in my opinion.  I’d just recommend you stick to the basics (protein, fish oil, etc.) and use brands that you trust.

Additional Products (these items below are not included in the basic Omega Body Blueprint program–you will be given the option to purchase these as an addition if you chose):

The Hormonal Response Diet (by Chad Howse)

This document is primarily about our favorite hormone–testosterone.  Optimizing this hormone, Howse argues, will help keep you lean and healthy.  It will even influence your mental health, helping you be more focused and happy.  Howse explains some dietary and supplement strategies that will help you optimize your testosterone levels naturally (he mentions intermittent fasting, for example).  He also explains why this is an important issue for women as well as men.

Overdrive Training Manual/Log Sheets:

This is a more advanced version of the training you can follow if you finish the basic program and want to take things to another level in terms of conditioning and fat loss.   This is six additional weeks of programming, which would give you twelve weeks total (including the basic program).

VIP Coaching

This option is for those who want to join the exclusive Facebook group.  This will allow you access to additional training information that is not open to the general public.


I believe Roman’s strong point is fat loss–he has developed nutritional and exercise strategies that help trainees achieve levels of leanness and aesthetic beauty that they never thought possible.  The Omega Body Blueprint combines the “best of the best”–the best of everything he has learned in over a decade of studying fat loss.

I think this program would be helpful for the following:

*People that are healthy enough to train with intensity.  As I mentioned, the workouts are difficult.

*Trainees that want to overcome plateaus in fat loss and leanness.  Roman does a good job of explaining why we reaching “sticking points” when losing fat.  The diet and training will help you get past these.  This is a good program for men and women who want to lose those last few stubborn pounds that are keeping you from having your ideal physique.

*Guys/girls who are willing to follow a nutrition plan.  The diet is laid out very well, but you have to follow it for it to be effective.  Remember that diet/nutrition is responsible for most of your fat loss results.

*Trainees that want to focus 6-12 weeks on losing fat.

If any of these descriptions match you or your goals then I think the Omega Body Blueprint would be a good investment.  It is a cost effective way to get solid diet and training information (especially when compared to hiring a personal trainer).

Just CLICK HERE if you are interested in ordering this program or learning more.

Carb Cycling Diet for Weight Loss


Cycling Carbohydrates: An Introduction

One of the dietary strategies you may have heard about about from bodybuilders, fitness competitors, or those just wanting to lose weight is called carb cycling.   This is a term for scheduling days of high carbohydrate consumption followed by days of successively lower carbohydrate consumption.  This approach seems to be a very effective way to maximize fat loss while maintaining training intensity.  I’ll explain the basics of why this works.

Why Lowering Carbs Works

Restricting carbohydrates (aka low carb or ketogenic diets) can be very effective for helping people lose weight.  Going several days with low carbohydrate intake (lets say 50 grams or less) eventually causes glycogen levels (glucose in the liver and muscles) to get so low that the body has to switch to another fuel source.  This metabolic shift is called ketosis, meaning the body is primarily using fat as its source of calories/fuel.   I discovered ketogenic/low carb dieting years ago and have used it with good success.

Some have adopted adopted a low carbohydrate lifestyle and credit it with saving their health (if not their very lives).  These individuals follow this diet year-around in order to stay at a healthy weight.  More power to you if you are able to do this.

The Drawbacks of Restricting Carbohydrates

But eating this way all the time is not very practical for athletes or those who engage in intense exercise like weight training.  Those of us who have trained while in ketosis can testify how sluggish the workouts are.  Eating carbohydrates refills the before-mentioned glycogen so muscles can perform optimally.

Thus the dilemma: low carb eating is great for fat loss, but not so great for exercise performance.

Carb Cycling: Lose Fat, Maintain Training Intensely

One solution to this is carb cycling, which may be able to give you the best of both worlds.  It really isn’t that complicated: you simply lower your carbohydrate over the course of a few days.  The first day, for example, you can eat 200 grams of carbs, followed by 125 on the second and only 50 on the third.  You could then repeat the cycle or just reverse it over the next two days (125 grams of carbs on day 4 and 200 again on day 5).

You may want to do your most intensive training on high carbohydrate days and try to consume most of your carbs after you work out.  This will encourage the glucose to go to your muscles and liver instead of being stored as body fat.

Most of the plans I’ve seen also incorporate a “cheat day” where you just eat what you want.  This shouldn’t hurt your fat loss in the long-term as long as you are consistent the rest of the time.

Just keep this in mind: all successful diets are based on a negative calorie balance–using more calories than you are consuming.  Carb cycling is not a “secret formula” to get around this–it is simply one dietary strategy that you may find useful.

I would encourage you to check out the 4 Cycle Solution if you’d like a step-by-step guide to this approach to fat loss.  It goes into a lot more detail than what I have written here and it is not very expensive.

High Rep Training

I’ll start this post off with a video I first saw years ago.  Here is the legendary Tom Platz doing high repetition squats with heavy weight (well over 500 lb).  This video was filmed back in 1993.  Tom Platz and Dr. Fred Hatfield (aka “Dr Squat) were doing a “squat off” in Germany.  Hatfield won the one-rep max competition by squatting 855 lb.  Platz won the rep competition with the weight you see here:

A while back I wrote an article on the best rep range for building muscle and burning fat.  I basically argued that a 5-10 rep range is going to be ideal for both of these goals.  I still believe that–most of your gains will probably come from this range.

But more advanced and older trainees may want to consider experimenting with higher repetitions (let’s say 15 and up).  There are some good reason to do so:

Leg Traininghighreptrainingplatz2

I’ve heard several bodybuilders say they had better leg growth from training with higher repetitions.  This makes sense because the quadriceps in particular tend to have a high number of both fast-twitch and slow-twitch fibers.  You’ve just seen what Platz was capable of in his prime–his legendary thighs were built with both heavy lifting and high reps.

Joint Health

High rep training has the advantage of being able to stimulate the muscles with less strain on the joints.  Older trainees in particular may find this to be very helpful.  But even younger guys can benefit from simply giving the joints a break.

Lactic Acid

Training with higher reps will produce more lactic acid, which in turn tends to produce growth hormone (a helpful hormone for burning fat).

Mental Toughness

I’ve found that training beyond my usual rep range also helps me learn to push beyond the pain barrier and force my body to keep going when my muscles are screaming to stop.

Variety in Training

Going to the gym can get kind of boring if you do the same thing week after week.  Dropping the weight and going for higher repetitions is a simple way to challenge yourself and keep things interesting.


Some recent studies indicate that training with high repetitions is an effective way to build muscle.  One study, for example, took fifteen healthy young men and randomly assigned them to different workouts, measuring their bodies’ responses to different training stimuli: 1.  One set to failure with 80% of one-rep max (1RM)  2.  Three sets to failure with 80% of 1RM, and 3.  Three sets to failure with 30% of 1RM.  Needless to say the third workout tended to be much higher in repetitions (20-23).   They found that lower weights/high reps produced a similar anabolic response to lifting with heavier weight and low reps.1 This is just one of many studies you can find verifying the efficacy of this kind of training.   Bottom line: training heavy is not the only way to build muscle.

These are just reasons to consider incorporating higher reps into your workout.  Now let me give you some practical tips (in no particular order of importance):

Exercise Selection:  I think you’ll find some exercises simply aren’t good choices for high reps.  I love deadlifting, but I rarely go over 5 repetitions for that particular exercise.  My form simply starts to break down if I try to go beyond that.  The same goes for front squats.

I tend to be old-school and prefer free weight exercises, but it may be advantageous to consider machines with this kind of training–especially if you are working out without a spotter.

Time Under Tension:  Using less weight will mean you can lift more slowly and deliberately.  Take advantage of this and maximize the time your muscles are under the tension of the weight.

“Burnout” Set:  One of my favorite techniques is to finish my training with one or two sets of high reps after I’ve done some heavier sets.

I hope you find these tips helpful.  Try them and see if they don’t produce new gains.

1. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2012 Jul;113(1):71-7. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00307.2012. Epub 2012 Apr 19. Resistance exercise load does not determine training-mediated hypertrophic gains in young men.

Incredible Bulk Review (Ben Pakulski)

Ben Pakulski has a new program out called Incredible Bulk.  I’ll start this review by summarizing what you get when you buy this program:

Program Components

1.  The Incredible Bulk Main Guide:

This is the main book which explains the overall training/nutrition philosophy of the program.  Traditional bulking, Ben argues,  is not effective because trainees often just overeat for several weeks hoping to gain muscle mass.  This eventually works against the body’s hormones (and I believe causes damaging inflammation).  Many who do this end up creating fat instead of hypertrophy (muscle growth).  A smarter approach is cyclical in nature–alternating between “shred” phases and “growth” phases (diet and training are adjusted for each phase).  That’s it in a nutshell, but the book explains this in much more detail.

2.  Ben’s Personal Grocery Shopping List for Massive Size:

This guide will show you the kind of foods you should be buying the next time you go grocery shopping.  I think you will find this helpful, but I don’t worry too much if you can’t buy a bunch of organic foods (as he recommends).  Just use it as a general guide for the types of foods you should be eating.  One more thing I’ll add here: Ben recommends “gluten-free” items.  I am personally skeptical of all the hysteria regarding gluten.  A small percentage of the population is sensitive to gluten, but I don’t think it makes much difference for the rest of us.  My advice (at the risk of being repetitive): use Ben’s list as a guide for the general types of foods that will help you follow the diet, but don’t be overly concerned about organic, gluten-free, etc.

3.  Incredible Bulk Workout Guide: 

This training manual will show you how to set up your workout for both the cutting/shredding and bulking phases of this program.  Ben explains the variables you should consider when setting up your workouts: volume, frequency, rep ranges, rest intervals, etc.  He also addresses cardio and other things you should consider when training.

4.  Example Weekly Workouts Guide:

This document is a sample workout showing the exact exercises you could use on a five day split (training 5x/week) during the growth phase.  It gives you a good idea of how to set up your training.

5.  Supplement Stacks Guide: 

This is Ben’s recommended supplements.  My advice:  just stick with whey protein, creatine monohydrate, fish oil, and a multivitamin.  Do that and you should be just fine.  I also would not recommend supplementing over 30-50 milligrams of zinc per day (going overboard on zinc can cause a copper deficiency).


I agree with the premise of the Incredible Bulk program and I think this is an effective method for putting on quality mass while minimizing fat gain.  I think this program would be good for the following:

*Intermediate/advanced trainees who are looking to break through plateaus in building muscle mass.

*Bodybuilders who are looking to add some size in the off season.

*Athletes who want to go up in weight class without getting too fat.

If you fit these descriptions then I think the Incredible Bulk program would help you reach your goals.  Just CLICK HERE if you’d like to order the program or learn more.


NOTE:  I’d recommend MI40X if you’d like more details about Ben’s training strategies.  This has been one of my top sellers with many satisfied customers.

Starvation Mode: fact or fiction?

Christian Bale in The Machinist
Christian Bale in The Machinist

You may have heard about the danger of going into “starvation mode” if you don’t eat enough calories while trying to lose fat.  The idea is that you’ll start losing muscle and wake up one morning looking like Christian Bale’s sickly movie character.  This fear lead many of us bodybuilding types to believe that you had to eat six times a day to keep the precious lean mass gained during training.

The starvation mode terminology still gets thrown around a good bit today.  I remember hearing it from a trainer a few years ago while watching The Biggest Loser.  The before-mentioned trainer was warning a contestant (his trainee) not to go any lower on calories.

Do we really lose all our muscle when calories are set very low?  Not necessarily.  One study looked at the impact of very-low-calorie diets (VLCD) on body composition in twenty subjects (17 women and 3 men).  All twenty subjects ate only 800 calories for 12 weeks (a liquid diet). The subjects were divided into two groups: one group did cardiovascular training four times a week while the other did resistance training (lifting weights) three times a week (the weight lifting group did circuit training–their routine consisted of 10 different exercises).

There were some striking differences in how the exercise type affected the subjects’ bodies. Those who trained with weights experienced an increase in their resting metabolic rate (RMR) despite the low calories (the cardiovascular training group’s resting metabolic rate decreased).  The cardiovascular training group lost more weight, but some of this weight was muscle.   The resistance training group kept all their muscle despite the ultra-low calories.  Repeat: those who trained with weights did not lose muscle. 1

Let me make something clear: I would not recommend anyone attempt this kind of diet without medical supervision.  800 calories a day is extremely low:  the typical trainee will lose weight on around 11-12 calories per lb of body weight a day (much higher than what these subjects were taking in).  And I can’t tell what the subjects’ starting body fat levels were, which would also make a big difference (the leaner we get, the more resistant our body becomes to losing fat).

But this experiment does leave us with an important takeaway: weight training is a powerfully effective strategy for preserving your muscle mass.  Those who desire to try intermittent fasting , for example, need not worry about losing muscle as long as they continue with resistance training.

Note:  I’d recommend Lyle McDonald’s Rapid Fat Loss Handbook if you are looking for a scientific guide to “crash” dieting (losing fat as quickly as possible).


1. J Am Coll Nutr. 1999 Apr;18(2):115-21. Effects of resistance vs. aerobic training combined with an 800 calorie liquid diet on lean body mass and resting metabolic rate.

Deadlifting without Calluses


I’m a big fan of the deadlift.  It’s one of those foundational strength and mass builders that packs on muscle like few exercises can.  This exercise has a tendency to give me calluses on my  hands, and that used to be fine with me: I considered them a badge of honor in my younger days.

But my wife hates them, and this has changed my attitude considerably.  I started wearing training gloves (something I never did in my single days), but that didn’t seem to help very much.

That’s when I ran across this helpful tip: try gripping the bar in a slightly different way.  Grabbing it in the middle of your palm (like you are going to bench press) really doesn’t make much sense because it will pinch the skin as it pulls towards your knuckles.  Grab the bar lower in your hand (where it’s going to end up as you pull) and you’ll avoid calluses.  I tried this today and it works–I didn’t notice any reduction in grip strength and it drastically reduced the pinching/callusing.

The point of the deadlift is to build strength and muscle–not nasty, bleeding hands.  Check out the video below for a visual.

Hypertrophy Max Review Phase 5

Phase Five of Hypertrophy Max is called Max Intensity.  Previous phases have been geared more towards hypertrophy in terms of the rep ranges and weights (% of one-rep max) you were using.  But the training you’ll be doing in this phase is designed for neurological adaptation (strength and speed).   One of the techniques you’ll use is wave loading, a technique that has been proven to optimizing strength gains.

You’ll be training heavy this month with the goal of increasing strength.  This will in turn help you build size: generally speaking, the strongest guys will also be the biggest guys.  Be sure you have a capable spotter and don’t sacrifice form in order to lift more weight.  You’ll notice that the coaches (Ben and Vince) emphasize controlling the weight.

Just CLICK HERE if you are interested in ordering Hypertrophy Max or learning more.

Visual Impact Frequency Training Review

Visual Impact Frequency Training Review

I’ve had the opportunity to look over Rusty Moore’s latest workout program.  I’ll get start by explaining some of the basis premises of this workout:

We know that frequency (how often you train a muscle) is one of the training variables we can adjust in order to meet our goals.   Conventional wisdom is that a muscle must get trained then have 48 to 72 hours of recovery.  Most bodybuilders try to take advantage of this by doing body part splits: training a muscle with a lot of volume, then allowing it to rest for the next day or two while you train other body parts.

No one is questioning the effectiveness of traditional split training.  But it clearly isn’t the only way to get stronger–it may not even be the best way, depending on your goals.  Many athletes, for example, train at least once a day.  Let’s use boxers as an example:  they don’t hit the bag for an hour then wait 2-3 days to do it again. Athletes sometimes practice/train several times a day, yet they end up improving in their sport.

Moore argues that we can learn from those who don’t follow the typical bodybuilding pattern of working out.  He believes, in fact, that training like an athlete (with higher frequency) is a much more efficient way of getting stronger and leaner.  He also believes a higher frequency style program will produce a harder, more dense kind of muscle.

Moore spent a great deal of time studying the methods of Eastern European athletes in developing his program.  He looked at the philosophies of legends like Pavel Tsatsouline and Vladimir Zatsiorsky.   Zatsiorsky believed in lifting with maximum velocity in order to create the maximum amount of force possible.  Tsatsouline emphasized lifting the weight with slower, controlled speeds in order to maximize the tension on the muscle.   Rusty’s program combines both of these philosophies, since each of them have merit.

How is this program set up?  I’ll try to summarize it without giving too much away:

You’ll be training 5-6 days a week, training every muscle group daily.  That may sound like a lot, but it can be done when other variables (like training volume) are properly adjusted.

You’ll only be doing one exercise per body part per workout.  Since you will be training daily there is no need for multiple sets.

You’ll be alternating between “explosive” workouts (emphasizing lifting with maximum speed/force) and “TUT” workouts (time under tension–emphasizing slow, controlled movements).

Moore says he was “blown away” when he tried training this way: he saw improvements in in his physique and strength levels in just a few weeks.

Here’s another bonus to high frequency training: fat loss.  The book goes into detail about the best way to adjust your diet and add some cardio so you can get lean while building strength.


I’m very impressed with Visual Impact Frequency Training.  I really like the way Rusty has put this program together.  Is it right for you?  It depends on your goals.

I would not recommend this program for beginners–those who have not put on their first few pounds of muscle.  Jason Ferruggia’s Muscle Gaining Secrets may be better if you are a novice trainee who is just getting started.

I would also not recommend this for guys who are looking for a typical bodybuilding physique.  MI40X would be better if you are only concerned with mass.

But this program would be great for the following:

1. Trainees who are basically satisfied with their size but want to improve their strength and muscle definition.

2. Guys (or girls) who want to lose fat while maintaining (and even improving) their lean mass (muscle).

3. Those who are willing to train 5-6 times a week.  This program is designed for those who can go to the gym (or train at home) several times a week.

4. Trainees who desire to “mix things up” for two or three months in order to add variety to their workouts and keep things interesting/challenging.

5.  Older trainees who would like an effective way to work out that is relatively easy on the joints.

I think you would enjoy this program if you match any (or all) of the five criteria I’ve just described.  Please CLICK HERE if you’d like to order or learn a little more about Visual Impact Frequency Training

Stubborn Fat Solution Review Lyle McDonald

I  read StubbornFatSolutionReviewupdated ordering information):

As some of my regular readers know, I’ve been a “fan” of Lyle’s for over a decade now (since I read The Ketogenic Diet back in the 90’s). I knew this would be a good read.


Lyle explains the way fat functions–the way our body stores it and uses it. He then explains the issue of stubborn fat (usually the hips/thighs in women and “love handles” in men). There are specific issues which cause stubborn fat to be . . . well . . . stubborn (circulation, hormones, etc).

There is some surprising information here. Lyle noted, for example, that female fitness models used to tell him their upper bodies were getting leaner while their lower bodies seemed to be getting fatter. At first he dismissed this, but his research led him to believe there may be something to this claim.

Lyle proceeds to give a solution to the problem: a specific exercise/supplement protocol designed to first mobilize, then oxidize stubborn fat. What he says makes perfect sense, and he backs up his statements with research.

Now, let me explain something: this is not a book for those who have significant weight to lose (you may want to check out his Rapid Fat Loss Handbook/Guide to Flexible Dieting package if you have a lot to lose). It is a resource for those who are already fairly lean and need some help getting rid of the before-mentioned problem areas.  If that describes you then I think you’ll find The Stubborn Fat Solution to be the only thing short of plastic surgery that works.


UltimateDiet20Lyle is now offering two more books as a part of this package: The Ultimate Diet 2.0 This is a complete manual of  diet, training, and supplements for those who want to get lean while preserving as much muscle mass (and strength) as possible.  I know of some professional bodybuilders who have used this diet to prepare for competitions.

This package also includes The Ultimate Diet 2.0 Addendum.  This book addresses what you should to to prepare for the diet and what to do when you take breaks from the diet.

Just click here if you’d like to learn more about The Stubborn Fat Solution and The Ultimate Diet 2.0.