Midsummer is crazy around here. Sales suck, workload is high and it's hot and humid outside. Stress? What do you think? Yet...

I LOVE it!

I still haven't figured out why, but in business and training I love it when things are pressing, challenging and hard. I love it when I have to think, strain and push my limits and expand my boundaries. Mistakes come with the territory,but the more you make, the more you learn and can move forward. Chuck Palahniuk once said, "Your birth is a mistake you'll spend your whole life trying to correct." While I'm sure there will be many who disagree - I fully agree. When I think of experience I think of all the mistakes made to get something right and sacrifices that had to be made to have the ability to make these mistakes.

Why am I writing this?

Who knows, I needed an intro to this column and this is what came out.

Moving on with a bunch of purely random topics and Q and A's.

More Diet Tips


When your bf percentage drops to sub 10, generally what adjustments do you usually make to continue fat loss down to single digits?




To be honest this is where I usually screw up and why I contract other people to help me.

I can get down to that range (10%) on my own without much problem, but from there it's not easy for me. That's because what I think I need to do usually isn't what somebody else would have me do.

For example...

When coming down from the upper teens all I need to do is get the junk out of my diet, break my training split out from four days per week to five and maybe add some cardio.

If I just keep adding cardio and dropping calories when I get leaner, I just get smaller, look flat and lose muscle.

This last time when I got to the single digits this is what we (credit to: Shelby) did.

1. We increased the cardio.

2. We changed the time I was doing cardio from post training to later in the day.

3. We added another training day to the split so there were 6 days per week.

4. We lowered the carbs.

5. We added a super high carb day.

6. We added cheat meals.

7. We used a super high fat day.

8. Added Fat Burners.

9. We changed some of the foods I was eating.

10. Increased fluid intake.

These weren't all at the same time and I never bothered to ask why. I have enough on my plate and I know from helping others that it takes time to explain everything and I didn't want to take up more of Shelby's time than I needed. When I contract someone to help, I put my trust in what they're doing and just do what I'm told unless I've done it before and it didn't work. If this is the case I let them know and decide if we stay the course or change direction.

I can guess on why some of these things were used, but I'd rather not unless I know for sure. Most of them I've used several times in the past with other people I've worked with and do know their reasons. This is another reason why I never asked.

I may be forgetting some things, but the point is the answer may not always be more cardio and fewer calories (granted - this will be true most of the time).

The other thing is to know we all have a point where the diet will begin to kick your ass. For me this has always been around 8%. This is when you need to really kick it into gear and just stick to the plan. For me it seems like it's easier to just become a robot eating the same foods at the same time so your life is just the same crap over and over again, day after day. This way you can just go on autopilot and there's nothing to think about. The more times you diet down and the learner you get, the easier the entire process becomes. Just getting to 10% the first time I ever dieted was a nightmare.

If you hit this point don't fight it - embrace it! This means you're about to get leaner than you have ever been if you just stick to it. This is also the point where most people will say screw it and walk away because...well...it sucks!

You won't be able to think right, cardio sucks, the food sucks, just doing daily activities will suck, pretty much everything sucks.

If you're doing this for a reason and that reason is to prove to yourself you can do it than this is what you got into it for, so why walk away when it gets hard? For many people this is what it's all about.

Right about this time also seems to be the same time your support network begins to crumble around you. People will wonder why you don't eat normal foods. If you go out to eat they will look at you funny when you order.

I don't get this one. If I go out with people to eat and one person decides they want wings and another ribs, what do I care? Granted if you assume when you eat an animal you ingest their spirit. One just ate an animal with the neck the size of a pencil and the other...I regress...

Anyhow...one might order Sprite and the other Coke. Nobody gives a shit what they order or eat. Hell, afterward they'll ask if it was any good.


You order two plain chicken breasts with a side of Broccoli! Then all of a sudden everyone gives a shit what you order.

Why are you ordering THAT?

Why can't you eat NORMAL?

OMG are your serious!

Are you on a diet or something?

This list of questions goes on and on and for the next 10 minutes you have to answer all this crap as well as questions such as....

How can I get rid of my belly fat?

How come it's SO easy for you to lose weight?

EASY!? I'm ordering freaking chicken breast and you're eating ribs and fries. You don't think I want to eat about six plates of ribs right now?

Meanwhile, you're pretty much a walking zombie at this point and just want someone to refill your diet coke.

OK, I have no idea what I was answering now, I'm done.


Dave, will you also release in the article about your six month diet plan the dosage of testosterone used?

I'm curious. Also if there was any other influence such as GH, clen, Tren, etc.?


Hey Dave. How come you and the others don't discuss the steroids taken? I am not natural and would be interested in a conversation, but I don't know the legalities if the subject is brought up on your site. Don't want to get anyone in trouble. We all speak of how we train and use various training and diet ideas, but never the juice. Just curious. Thanks.
- Tony

Here's my answer that was posted after Tony's question.

There are several reasons for this.

This is our official position: Public health officials have concluded that possible serious health problems exist that are associated with the misuse and/or abuse of performance enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids. All athletes should rely on these messages in making all performance and health-related decisions.

Elite Fitness Systems believes that all athletes should be guided by the conclusions of health officials and medical professionals regarding the health effects of performance enhancing drugs, including anabolic steroids, when deciding whether or not to incorporate these substance in their training regimes.

Thought you would like that...

There are other factors as a well that go into the above statement. These include, but are not limited to...

1. We are not doctors and do not have the authority to give this advice. Even with disclaimers this can come back on us and shut the site and business down. Yes, you can educate, but as soon as one person tells another what they should take, this becomes medical advice and a potential serious issue. At the very least a huge legal bill on our part. This is one of the reasons people who do give this advice do so under a fake name. We're protected being internet media, but we're also a for-profit internet retail business and that has to be taken into consideration.

2. The author who answers, opens themselves up to their own personal and professional liability. Not saying it can happen, but if you piss the wrong people off, they have cops knocking at your door. I've seen legal threats made towards lifters here because of situations like this and have also seen them put on watch lists because of calls from parents, etc.

3. If you look at the numbers - the benefit of doing this is not worth the risk. We already know the risks explained above. You can add to this loss of business from coaches, educators, etc. Looking at the numbers of one sport, powerlifting, you'll see what I mean. About 80% of all powerlfting members lift in drug-free federations. This is not saying they're all clean, but at the same time, not all tested federation lifters use. If there are 12,000 registered lifters (and I feel this number is high) then we only have 2,400 that use IF 20% use. My guess is it's less than that. Looking at ALL athletes across the board from ALL Pro's to Jr. High the vast majority are clean.

I'm not saying there aren't people that use. What I'm saying is the media and government has made this out to be a GIANT problem, when there's actually a very small percent of people using. There are more important things they could be spending their money on.

This perception has gotten so bad that we have five or six lifetime drug-free sponsors on the site right now who would rather us not tell anyone because the BS is far worse. Most will say this "Ah, he lying there's no way he is clean,"or "So and so if full of shit, can you believe he said he was clean?" That's worse than them not saying anything at all and letting everyone assume they use. Trust me, they have no reason to lie to me about it. We've had others in the past that came on clean (and I thought they were lying) and then started a year or so later and added 350 pounds to their total in one meet. I've learned from them and others that some people can get insanely strong being clean.

I personally think it's an interesting topic and I'm amazed at how drugs can be cycled with training and diet to achieve different results. While on one end it's very simple, just take shit and lift weights, there's another side that's very complex. This is how they interact with each other, the use of other agents and how all this can work with or against your diet and training program. The complex side peaks my interest as well as I'm sure many others because this is what's being done in the very very high level of sports. At the same time, it has very little use for anyone under those levels. In other words it won't get you to the top, but it does help those who are there get better.

The problem is not so much "having the balls to say it" but willing to risk an entire company for a very small percent of the population.

I already get emails for things that slip out, so I know if the flood gates were opened, there would be no positive outcome and it'd just cost me a ton of time, money and stress.

There are places you can go to find decent information from people who've been around and do use. They aren't hard to find.

I will say from my own experiences over the years, whatever you read is almost always pure bullshit. They still have to protect the interest of the publication, the site, themselves or their trade secrets. You need to get face-to-face with these people if you really want to know. They'll almost always tell you. Very few will not. I still suggest discussing whatever you do with your doctor, but first find one that has a clue. They will NOT prescribe it for you, but if they have a clue, they'll run blood work and other tests to make sure you're OK to use and if you are using, to make sure things are in check.

I guess you can always ask these guys...

Celebrity Ripped Club: 8 Non-Athletes Who've Gotta Be On Steroids

The Recession BS

Not sure exactly what I'm asking here, but as someone who has lead a company through a shitty recession and come out the other end better than the start, what advice would you give to people in general who are sick of this recession bullshit?
- Bill


We are all fighting the same battle here. I wouldn't say we're (elitefts) better than when the recession started - that's for certain. We're different in almost everything we do now, but we're still off of where we should be right now. HOWEVER, we are still here and that says a lot for the staff and people associated with the company.

Operating capital has to be watched very close so that would be the advice I have for other business owners. Watch your capital and when you forecast and set budgets look at everything...not just what sales were last month, last quarter or last year. You need to look at what your payment terms are, how much capital there is to float and for how long, when and how you get paid, what your real margins are - not just net but on every single product, person and operation you do. Also look at what projects you have projected in the future and what the costs will be. Basically look at ALL OF IT and then you can see what your sales need to be to "get by" and to "build" and be "profitable."

I personally feel capital has to always be going back into the company for future development. This is the reason I have "build" before "profitable" in the statement above.

Keep in mind, this is business. People's jobs and careers are at stake if you tank. Your actions and decisions have to always put the needs of the business first. This is also where many people mess up - myself included. It's one of the hardest things in business to do because it can be uncomfortable and stressful. Just think of this as a test of your ability to actually run a business.

I do not see the "recession bullshit" ending soon. Actually, the way I see it is that it will never end.

As I stated at the start, we're all fighting the same battle here. Like it or not it's a battle and one that needs to be fought differently than the fights we faced in the past. If it's (the recession BS) not going to change, then WE do. When I look at it this way, I stop waiting for the day when all the customers will come flying back and I begin to look  for better and different ways to grow the business NOW.

Another Book List

Hi Dave,

Firstly thanks for sharing your articles - have been very inspirational. Have noticed that some of the very best articles on this site has not just been the lifting ones, but the ones on self improvement/'life management' as well. Your article on time/role management was fantastic. Could you share with us readers what are your favorite top 5 books on personal improvement for life in general, and while we're on this topic, the most important 5 strength books you have ever read?
- Hunter


I'm not sure I could pick a top five, but these are the ones that came to mind right away.

Personal - Business

  • The Emyth - Gerber
  • The 48 Laws of Power - Greene
  • Awaken The Giant Within - Robbins
  • Execution - Burck
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Covey
  • In Search of Excellence - Peters
  • Good To Great - Collins
  • How to become a rainmaker - Fox
  • How to get Rich - Dennis


I'm sure I forgot some, but I guess these have made some type of impact on me if they were the ones I just ripped off the top of my head.

Final Thoughts

Three things I've learned from King's Island this year:

  • It's an awakening experience when your kids know their way around the park better than you.
  • You can learn a lot by listening to other people in lines...but it also makes me really wonder how our nation is a "super power."
  • Peanuts must have kicked Scooby Doo's ass, because they now the headline of the kids section - and rightfully so.

Scooby Doo vs. Peanuts

Life Lessons from Peanuts

1. Keep on trying and never give up.

2. The wisest is the one who speaks the least and has the biggest ears.

3. All great things begin with your imagination.

4. Daydreaming can be a GREAT thing.

5. Having a friend who can't and won't share your thoughts is important.

6. Don't set limits on what you can do.

7. If you can't let something go - learn to embrace it.

8. No matter what you try, there will always be someone there wanting to see you fail.

Life Lessons from Scooby Doo

1. It's always a good time to eat. I guess they never heard of carb back loading...

2. Only do something if the reward is big enough.

3. Splitting up is the best way to get the job done.

4. There are always clues along the way.

5. You only need one smart person on a team.

6. Stupid and lazy people never hold a team back.

7. No need to check if your gas tank is ever full.

8. If you need to make a comeback you need to change the way you look on the outside, not your actions or how you think on the inside.

Don't get me wrong, I love Scooby and the gang, but if I had to take one over the other it's Snoopy all the way. Maybe someday we will see them in a cage match. WAIT! Stop! That is so "Vick."

This is so wrong!

I'm done now.