Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Answers to Gain Weight Queries

Great comments Charlie Mikers! A couple of generic comments before I address specific issues. First, this is part 1 of a two part post. Second, most of the comments regarding weight gain were posed by younger athletes (teens) that were having a difficult time trying to gain weight - so keep that in perspective. Finally, nothing has ever, or will ever, replace proper nutrition. If you want to re-read the questions, check out the comments to my Part 1 post.

Joe G.: Everyone has a six pack - you just can’t always see it. Typically, for men, your abs start to show when your body fat is under 12% - better around 10%. For women it is a little more. To put this in perspective, the male model for the perfect push up is under 7% body fat. The best way to measure body fat is hydrostatic testing - immersion in a tank. Electronic impedance testing and calipers will also give you a baseline BF measurement.

Paul: I agree. It is absolutely possible to lose fat and gain muscle. People do it all the time. However, it can be very difficult for a novice to dial in their nutrition to the point where they maximize muscle gain without gaining excessive fat as well. As you pointed out, it is all about discipline with nutrition. Check out the second part of my post.

Jim: As Paul points out, you can gain muscle and be extra lean – but you have to watch your nutrition religiously. It also takes longer to build a pound of lean muscle mass that it does to pack on 1 lb of fat. So the gains take a bit longer to achieve. Finally, supplements aren’t inherently bad – as a matter of fact, they can be immensely helpful in achieving your fitness objectives. If used correctly and in the context of proper overall nutrition they are great. Much more on this later.

Mike Ryan

Monday, September 28, 2009

How To Gain Weight Part 1

CM SEAL Team blogger: Mike Ryan.

There have been some recent questions from those trying to gain weight. I'm here to share with the Perfect community some of my thoughts on the matter.

1. Be Careful What You Wish For: Gaining weight is not a typical goal in the fitness community. In general, those who wish to gain weight do so for two reasons

• to gain mass for sport specific purposes (football linemen)
• to build mass for bodybuilding.

If either of the above are your goals, there is a fairly reliable formula; eat everything that moves. Seriously. At a certain level calories are calories- and you need calories and protein to build muscle mass. But fat comes with those extra calories as well.

2. You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: When athletes try to gain weight, they typically consume vast amounts of calories during a ‘bulking phase”. They do this so that they have the baseline caloric intake to offset the calories burned by exercise. But be careful. Most of these athletes ‘cut weight’ after they have reached a certain goal. Fighters, particularly those jumping up in a weight class, are famous for doing this. Many of the Mr. Olympia candidates do this as well. Have you ever seen a bodybuilder during a “bulking phase?” They look like a bowling ball with eyes. Totally unrecognizable from the ripped look they have during competition. Bottom line, if you bulk up, at some point you need to come down. If your goal is a having perfect 6-pack abs you don’t want to gain weight – you want to lose weight. As a guideline, your body fat has to be under 10% to show your ab muscles.

Part 2:
• Fighting Mother Nature is difficult
• Still want to gain weight?

Gaining weight is oftentimes harder than losing weight. Hope this helps you reach your goals. If you have any questions, post a comment and I will get back to you.

Mike Ryan
Michael Ryan is the President and CEO of Intensity Nutrition LLC. Founded by former Navy SEALs, Intensity develops super-premium sports supplements for professional, semi-professional, tactical, and functional athletes. Intensity will launch in 2009 and welcomes any recommendations for product development. Mike and Alden met during “running remediation” at Basic Underwater SEAL (BUDs/s) training. Special thanks to BMC Pardue for the introduction.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Doors Around the World

Teammates! We need your help on the Doors of the World project. The goal is to measure doors from around the world so that we can make products that fit right. Please forward this to friends in Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, etc. and ask them to help us out. Should only take them a minute and it would be really really helpful.

Thanks, Team Perfect

Doors of the World
First, email and we'll send you a PDF, which has the following questions. Or simply print out this blog and get started: whatever's easier for you. Please fill in the following information for 1 - 4 doors in your home. If there is no Door Jamb or Door Frame, please indicate as “none.” Please email responses and photographs (file named the same as the Door #) to Again, thanks for your help!

Units (inch, cm, etc.):

Door # 1
Door Opening Width A =
Door Opening Height B =
Door Opening Depth C =
Door Jamb Width D =
Door Frame Width E =
Door Frame Thickness F =
Top of Door Frame to Ceiling G =
Photograph name:

Door # 2
Door Opening Width A =
Door Opening Height B =
Door Opening Depth C =
Door Jamb Width D =
Door Frame Width E =
Door Frame Thickness F =
Top of Door Frame to Ceiling G =
Photograph name:

Door # 3
Door Opening Width A =
Door Opening Height B =
Door Opening Depth C =
Door Jamb Width D =
Door Frame Width E =
Door Frame Thickness F =
Top of Door Frame to Ceiling G =
Photograph name:

Door # 4
Door Opening Width A =
Door Opening Height B =
Door Opening Depth C =
Door Jamb Width D =
Door Frame Width E =
Door Frame Thickness F =
Top of Door Frame to Ceiling G =
Photograph name:

Perfect Monster Arms: Take 2!

Build "PERFECT MONSTER" arms FAST with these cool exercises! The "Guns." The "Pythons." "Thunder and Lighting." The "Rockweillers." -- there is no other muscle group that has earned more nicknames than the biceps!

Bulging biceps - every guy wants them and gals, no worries, because while your arms will get "PERFECT"ly sexy, you just don't have the required problem of fast growth that the guys do. You all will just get lean and hot hot hot! Gents, if your arm growth has hit a rut... your gains are coming to a screeching halt... or maybe you're just plain bored with your arm exercises, then I've got some insane, new exercises - specifically to grow your guns - that will not only give your arms a shock but will electrify your motivation again. Here are the “The Best PERFECT Arm Exercises You've Never Heard Of."

Like a pullup (palms facing your face) but your heels are on the floor and the bar lower so your biceps are fully engaged! Like you're about to lay on your back but that's just the angle you need, no back on the ground! You can do both regular as well as reverse curls! "IT'S ALL GOOD." But you're holding on to the chinup bar holding your body up using your biceps. It may sound easy but try it one hand at a time! Then add reverse curls to the mix. That bracing technique is just your heels on the floor to aid the movement! It's a bodyweight exercise for your biceps that LOOKS like a chin-up but uses a special "bracing" technique to put almost ALL your bodyweight directly onto your BICEPS. Imagine the growth you'll get with THAT much resistance going directly onto your BIs!

Try using the handles on the perfect pullup turning your palms out as you do a push up at an angle so the bar is low and perpendicular to the floor. The wide perfect pushups work for this movement too! A breakthrough in tricep contractions, this exercise targets the most anatomically-possible contracted position of the muscle with body weight. Get ready for it because I guarantee you've never felt a tricep contraction this hard in your entire life. Just using your "PERFECT PUSHUP" wide grip with a partner pushing on your shoulders or weighted vest "DOING MANY" (grins) (keep a count in your note book)!

Doing the standard Curls with both arms you can slowly work your way to one arm. If you do it right tests your strength, balance, coordination and determination. It can be extremely difficult to do but the results are totally worth it. Not only does it increase muscle activation in the biceps, it gives your grip a tremendous workout as well!

We do a morning training ritual called "MONSTER MASH" where we just set up a number of different exercises in a row fast! Setup time is sometimes an issue when you're training. This great tricep exercise is a mash-up between close-grip push-ups and bodyweight tricep extensions. The key is how you do them in a rack to basically spring-load the tension onto your TRIs. Very quick to do but brutal! Using the perfect pullup bar at a low angle to do pushups with your weight 70% on bar/on ground on feet 30%. Again, it sounds easy but mix in one handers!

Have the perfect pullup bar facing directly in front of you holding it with hands & using your wrists to affect forearms. Again sounds easy until you use more of an angle & then one handers! (it's all in the wrists) but be careful, the forearms weaken fast. I assure you that you will feel this one quick! Like the same movement as using a dumbell wrist curl using the turning handles to attack all angles of the forearms!

This unique version of the wrist curl adds a new dimension of tension...instead of just doing a plain old wrist curl, you'll also be supporting your bodyweight on your forearms to increase the tension. This position also gives you natural "occlusion training" (which is basically limiting the blood flow out of a muscle while training in order to increase hormonal growth factors in the area). If you've ever had trouble building forearms, this exercise might just hold the key for you...

So here's the deal...

I’m desperate for new exercises. As a result I've gotten "HOOYAH" creative............... If you've got access to "perfect products" and bodyweight, you'll be able to use the VAST majority of these exercises. I think once you've tried these examples, you'll be hooked...

HOOYAHS & Cya at the gun show,"carpe diem"-- NUFF SAID

CM SEAL Team blogger: Marcus Colburn

Teammates, stay tuned for CM SEAL blogger Mike Ryan -- you want to put on weight in all the right places, in all the right ways -- he'll tell you how! And Marcus, when are you going to do a YouTube for all the Teammates who'd like to see this live?! HOOYAH!!


Monday, September 21, 2009

What's Your Input and Output?

Teammates, losing your love-handles and losing 10lbs means you need to focus on two things: Output and Input. Output is the number of calories you burn in a given 24 hr period, and Input is the number of calories you eat in a given 24 hr period.

• Make sure you’re conducting some long cardio workouts – run/jog/fastwalk, bike, swim – whatever, at least three 60 min sessions a week where your pace should be where you can speak 10 words or so before taking a breath.
• Secondly, make sure when you conduct your bodyweight exercises – pushups/crunches/squats/lunges/pullups (this is all you need) – you should progressively make them harder, to the point of muscle failure (form failure). This will help you build muscle which will in turn raise your metabolism (your ability to burn more calories at rest in a 24 hr period).

• A simple formula is to eat for your target weight. For example: let's say you’re 210lbs, but your target weight is 200lbs – then you’d multiply your target weight by 10 for 2000 calories per day.
• Now if you’re ramping up the muscle building exercises and trying to really build more muscle, you’ll need to supplement more protein and should also consult with a nutritionist (which I am not). Eat more often but in smaller amounts – try eating 6 meals a day to stave off hunger pains.
Drink half your body wt in fluid ounces of water/day (e.g. you weigh 200lbs, then drink 100 floz of water/day).

Most importantly, don’t you dare ever give up! Stay Fired UP and let me know how it goes!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

How to Lose Your Love-Handles

Teammates, whatever you call it -- love handles, muffin top, Molson muscle or spare tire, men and women everywhere are trying to lose abdominal fat. Just got this great set of questions: I have bought your product and started using: it is a great workout. I am also trying to lose my “love-handles”. I know this will work some of those muscles but can you suggest another exercise to target mid section? Not looking for another tool, just a suggestion of sit-ups etc.

Also I have heard that sit-ups may not actually do any good. What is your opinion? If crunches are a better option please instruct on a basic exercise I can work into my routine. I run three times a week but I still seem to keep an extra 10 pounds just above my waist.

Jacob – thanks for your questions! Here are 2 things to think about while you attack your lose 10lbs mission:
1. You can spot tone but not spot reduce – that is to say the muscles you work will get stronger and more toned depending on the intensity, frequency and amount of resistance you place on them; HOWEVER, your body does not burn fat in the area you’re working on – example, just because you do crunches doesn’t mean you burn fat in your abs – your body will burn fat from whatever it decides. So every time you exercise know that you’re getting stronger and certainly more toned, and yes, you’re burning fat but it is not where you might expect to burn it (scientists still don’t have a solution to which fat gets burned first and why).

2. I’m not a fan of traditional Situps – I’m a fan of conducting what I call an Atomic Crunch: hands on your ears, curl your upper torso 30 degrees off the floor while simultaneously lifting your bent knees to your nipples on your chest – do both at the same time and you’ll find that your lower back is supported, your upper abs will scream while your all important lower abs will be activated and eventually tighten (helping you get into a smaller pair of pants while strengthening your core). For further intensity, conduct these Atomic Crunches with “bicycling” your legs – that is alternating left knee to right elbow, then right knee to left elbow.

Stay tuned for Part III: focusing on Output and Input to lose 10 lbs. Most importantly, don’t you dare ever give up! Stay Fired UP and let me know how it goes!


Follow me on Twitter to check out last month's Operation Lose 10 Pounds.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Surviving Disaster" TV show

Who knows more about surviving disaster than a Navy SEAL? Surviving Disaster, on Spike TV, is hosted by former Navy SEAL Cade Courtley. Cade and I go back to 1996 when we both served in SEAL Team TWO. His locker was next to mine when he was the AOIC (assistant officer in charge) of my sister platoon. A good guy and a hard worker. I'm so Fired Up for his success! Teammates, I'll be watching tonight -- HOOYAH Courtley!


Cade Courtley's photo courtesy of imdb

Advantage of Adversity Pt 2

Teammates, this bears repeating: you can’t learn the confidence adversity teaches you in a classroom or from a book – you can’t fake it – you learn it from experience – there’s no short cut – period.

Six weeks before I started Hellweek I was getting to know my classmates. One classmate – let’s call him Schmuckatelli -- was boasting about how he was going to “smoke” Hellweek (smoke = ace it) because for the last 2 years he had been taking cold showers (I’m not kidding) and Hellweek is about being cold, therefore he proclaimed he was more than ready for Hellweek … well Schmuckatelli didn’t even make it to Hellweek – he quit 3 weeks into training. My point, you are only as strong (mentally and physically) as the adversity you have overcome. In SEAL Team we live by this correlation, it’s our secret weapon to success, which is why we used to lose more SEALs in training than in war. Recent events have unfortunately reversed this statistic – and it’s not that we’re proud to admit we lose teammates in training - but rather it’s our willingness to embrace adversity with the knowledge that Nietzsche has so succinctly summed up: “that which does not kill you makes you stronger”. Nietzsche's statement is a window into SEAL confidence that has been built through their personal experience of overcoming the adversity of Hellweek. And it only gets stronger as the candidates are tested with more challenging adversities, and, by the way, it’s what makes SEALs so exceptional at what they do.

So what’s this all mean to you? Simply this: adversity and the struggles and hardships that come with it make you stronger – they will empower you to get what you want out of life. If it were easy, everyone would do it, but you’re not just anyone, you’re on a mission – a mission after your dreams, your goals – a mission to maximize your life.

So the next time adversity comes knocking, welcome it and then knock it back with a vengeance of persistent action so overwhelming that any future adversities that come down your path are no longer considered adversities, they’re treated as opportunities to excel. This, my teammates, is the advantage of adversity.

Go challenge yourself!


Picture of the Great Wall of China courtesy of

Monday, September 14, 2009

Advantage of Adversity Pt 1

Teammates, with all this talk about tough times, I want to discuss the benefits of adversity with you. HUH? Adversity and Benefits – since when do those two words co-exist!?! Hear me out … When I use the word adversity I mean it defined as: an overwhelming challenge – a seemingly insurmountable obstacle – a wall so thick that you have no idea how you’re going to get through it, over it, under it or around it. For most, adversity is not a welcome word, and why should it be, after all we’re human and humans are wired to avoid pain and pursue pleasure … and adversity is directly associated with pain. So it’s no wonder when folks hear about adversity their first instinct is to avoid it. A totally natural and completely understandable reaction, but here’s the rub. There’s a silver lining to adversity that is critical to know – it’s the confidence you gain from overcoming it that can’t be earned any other way. This confidence is the cornerstone of your attitude, it’s the engine of your persistence and it stokes your ability to dream bigger dreams which in turn – and paradoxically – puts you on a path to encounter greater adversity.

In the world of SEAL Team training, candidates are tested daily with all types of physical and mental adversity, such as running a 4 mile timed run only to find out (as you’re puking at the finish line) that it’s actually a 10 mile run. Perhaps the most well known military training adversity is SEAL training’s Hellweek where three shifts of SEAL instructors dish out around the clock mental and physical punishment while depriving you of all but 3 hours of sleep (total!) over 5 days. It should come as no surprise that a dramatic number of candidates decide to quit during Hellweek. However, those that make it through Hellweek, which is actually early in SEAL training (wk 6 of 35 wks when I went through) are different – they have a swagger about them, an attitude of “bring it on” – “give me all ya got” – “you’re not going to stop me” attitude. And that is exactly the attitude the SEAL instructors want to develop. This attitude becomes the foundation for creating a special breed of warrior, and it can only come from experiencing and overcoming an adversity as intense as Hellweek. My point, you can’t learn the confidence adversity teaches you in a classroom or from a book – you can’t fake it – you learn it from experience – there’s no short cut – period.

Stay tuned for Part 2: how do these lessons from SEAL Hellweek relate to you?


Picture of the Great Wall of China courtesy of

Friday, September 11, 2009

Honor 9/11 by Staying On Mission

Teammates, Freedom is not Free - God Bless our troops and the families that grieve for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Some of you may remember Tom's thoughts last 9/11: the message is as valid now as then.


CM SEAL Team blogger: Tom Rancich

9/11. The day that changed America. Separated us into pre and post 9/11. Well, those who have read “For the Courage of the Founders” know how I feel about that. It is wrong. But that got me to thinking about the things that change us and how. So there have been some positive changes in the country since 9/11, but I think that at a very basic level, when you allow your enemy to change the way your conduct your life, you are making a fundamental mistake. Your enemy does not want you to succeed. He, by definition, wants to see you fail. So to change the way you live because of his actions, well, just fundamentally wrong to me.

So what does that have to do with CHARLIE MIKE? Well, continuing the mission is CRITICAL to the success of the mission; be it a pyrrhic success or otherwise. The point is, if you let the enemy stop you---well no CHARLIE MIKE in that. So who are your enemies in your quest for fitness and a more healthy lifestyle? Is it the high school gym teacher that said you can’t do pull-ups because you are a girl (whether or not you actually were a girl)? Is it the pie in the fridge? A beloved enabler on the couch? Or, like most people I know, is it the voice that says, I can’t, or I don’t have the time, or I am too tired, or, or, or……

So on this 9/11, let’s share some of the enemies that are trying to turn us away from fitness---and then share ideas on how to defeat them. I have met a lot of people who say, “I want to be fit and I feel better when I PT, but I just never have the (time, energy, desire.)” I could never make sense of that thought---but clearly an enemy is getting in the way---let’s kick its ass.

Tom Rancich
Lt. Commander Thomas Rancich, US Navy SEAL (Ret.) is the co-founder of VRHabilis, a disabled veteran-owned small business that seeks to employ the highly trained and motivated veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for work in construction and related fields. Rancich and co-founder Elliott Adler are pioneering the concept of using adaptive technology to bridge the gap between industrial and medical technology. Their company contributes proceeds to two worthy causes: a fund for the development of adaptive technology that will allow disabled veterans to pursue their desired career path and the EOD Wounded Warrior Fund.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Link Your Passion & Your Purpose

Here's the formula: follow your passion and link it with a purpose . This is not rocket science folks - it's just hard work. It’s easier, though, when the work you’re doing is work that fires you up. One of my life’s passions is fitness – it has transformed my life from the days of being an asthmatic, sickly little kid to an adult with the confidence and courage to pursue what matters most to me in my life. Passion is a great start, and I would argue an absolute must for those considering embarking on a mission. But passion alone won’t be enough firepower for you when the going gets tough. You need to link this passion with a purpose, and the stronger the link, the stronger your resolve.

In the case of starting Perfect Fitness, and not quitting when we were down to the last few dollars, my purpose was wanting to tell my children to follow their dreams, just like their dad. If I failed and turned over every single stone so doing, then fine. But we hadn’t turned over every stone, even with the few dollars left, and under that next stone was the Perfect Pushup. I created a link so strong that failure just wasn’t an option. I could recite hundreds of SEAL stories where SEALs had a similar mentality on their missions and they found a way to succeed because they had built such a strong sense of purpose with their passion, that their persistent action was overwhelming fire superiority for anyone in their way. That’s exactly what I want you to think about:

• what’s your passion?
• create your purpose
• take persistent, unrelenting action to accomplish your mission

More to come, but I want to plant this seed with you now, because life is too short not to follow your dreams!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

FOX Biz interview re-cap

Teammates, did you all follow Mike's great barbeque advice?

If you missed the interview I did with David Asman on Fox Business News, here's a link. Check out the stage manager demo'ing the Perfect Pushup.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Don't Fall Off the Wagon!

CM SEAL Team blogger Mike Ryan: Teammates, this Labor Day: Don’t Fall off the Wagon! Have you ever thought about the perfect holiday meal? Holidays are a dangerous time if you are trying to stick to a nutrition plan. Just one poor meal can erase an entire week of productive training. Let me put this into perspective. A typical Labor Day party usually consists of a bar-b-que with an assortment of appetizers and cocktails. Let's say you have a traditional meal of: 6 oz. rib eye (or cheeseburger with bun), 2 ears corn, ½ cup guacamole (8 tablespoons), 2 oz tortilla chips, salad (with unknown dressing) 3 Sam Adams beers, and one 2” brownie (or cookie).

To some of you this may seem like a lot, but over 3-4 hours it seems pretty reasonable. Having said that, you just consumed a minimum of 1,500 calories with 81 grams of fat. In just one meal! I bet most of you are saying “well I wouldn’t eat a brownie - or that much guacamole.” Yeah right. For most people, this meal would take 1.5-2.0 hours of moderate to intense exercise to burn off. This assumes that there was no net gain in your net caloric intake over the previous week. Bottom line, it’s not worth it.

Here’s a better meal. 1.5 chicken breasts, 20 grilled asparagus, ½ avocado, one whole tomato, and about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Put the oil in a flat dish and dip coat veggies first – meat last. Some of it will burn off on the grill. Salt, pepper, and season everything to taste or use Santa Maria Grill seasoning on everything! This meal only sets you back about 570 calories in an almost perfect 40:30:30 PRO, CHO, FAT ratio. Just remember, everything else you eat adds to the caloric values above – so watch out!

Here are some other tips to keep you on the right track.

Avoid all dips – the better they look and taste, the faster you should run.

Eat a moderate/large snack of high fiber veggies before you go to the party. This is key. You should plan on being almost full when you arrive.

Guzzle water – as soon as you arrive – slam 12oz of water and stay on that track every hour or so.

Avoid mixed drinks – this is a killer. Mixers can be as much as 300 calories of sugar per cocktail. Aim for wine, soda water mixers, or shots.

Chuck the buns. You can save almost 150 calories of useless carbs by chucking the white bread.

One final tip.

Plan for a brutal training session at 0600 the morning after your festivities. (When I say brutal, I mean 1 hour of "dry-heave difficult": the worst workout ever.) You have two choices – a) eat anything you want and throw up what’s left 30 min into your workout or b) eat my meal, sleep in, and blow off that workout!

Don’t quit. Stay focused. Remember, you only get one go-around. Live with Intensity.

Mike Ryan
Michael Ryan is the President and CEO of Intensity Nutrition LLC. Founded by former Navy SEALs, Intensity develops super-premium sports supplements for professional, semi-professional, tactical, and functional athletes. Intensity will launch early summer ’09 and welcomes any recommendations for product development. Mike and Alden met during “running remediation” at Basic Underwater SEAL (BUDs/s) training. Special thanks to BMC Pardue for the introduction.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Watch Alden on FOX Biz Friday

Teammates, set your Perfect Pushups in front of the television tomorrow! David Asman*, the anchor of FOX Business "America's Nightly Scoreboard" is interviewing me -- 7 pm ET.

According to, “America’s Nightly Scoreboard” (7PM-8PM ET) is a fast-paced, primetime hour where viewers get a daily fix on who’s in, who’s out, whose stock is rising and whose star is falling. The people, the issues of the day, the companies and their CEO’s – all fair game. The Scoreboard tallies the hits, runs and errors."


* Picture of David Asman courtesy of