Workout Routine For Someone With A Life – How To Maximize Your Time in The Gym

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Life is a balancing act. A man has to work, but needs to play as well. There is laundry to be done, dishes in the sink to do, and the new season of Ozark is on Netflix. Work your 40 + hours, build your social life, and pursue your passions and interests outside of the office and take time to see the family or call the parents etc. We are busy here in America (not necessarily a bad thing) Granny always said, and I quote…

“Idol hands is the Devils Workshop.” -Granny Lineberry somewhere in her garage probably smoking a cigarette circa 2000-present day.

Oh yes, and then there is all the training, meal prepping, and grocery shopping. That vicious cycle of buy it, cook it, clean it up, eat it, and repeat it that seems to control the perfectionist inside of you in search of the all elusive six pack. Trust me friend, I have been where you are today. I too have googled every great combination of words involving the phrases how to followed by get ripped, shredded, stronger, bigger, faster, etc. Still after all that googling I have found the following prescription that the fitness world is out there selling you, it looks something like this…

1. 6 meals per day – a ten foot long grocery list that takes you up and down every aisle at the store.

2. Training 4 to 6x per week with 2 hours of cardio mixed in

3. high volume training with 20-35 sets per workout costing you on average 6-8 hours of per week of training + 2 hours of cardio thats 10 hours per week (before you factor in travel time to and from that expensive box gym that your a member of)

And the crazy thing is, we buy this crap! Who has this kind of time!? Better question: if someone even had this time available, who in their right mind would want to spend it training? (there is more to life I promise)

Bottom line – Fitness should add to everything your pursuing and life and not take away from your family, your spiritual growth, or bankrupt you in the name of organic food shopping and the expensive gym membership and don’t forget the gas to and from the health club. Training is meant to be enjoyed and to enhance your life, not rob you of it.

So, before we get to the nuts and bolts, here are a few of my training principles (free of charge).

Me and Kenly Adams training together in our hometown circa 2014

1.Pick a time to train and stick with it – this is a date with yourself and don’t miss it. I always try to train in the morning hours in a fasted state. I enjoy the feeling of training on an empty stomach and it primes my body for the day ahead.

2.Less is more, if less is intense enough. This principle can be a tricky one considering everyone has a different opinion of what defines, “intense”. One metric that will never lie is your heart rate, I would recommend investing in a good watch (I use a fitbit) to keep track of your heart rate while training. A good rule of thumb is that while your training, try and keep your heart rate around 70% to 85% of your max heart rate. To find your max heart rate take your age and subtract it from 220 (example if your 25 years old 220-25 = 195 max heart rate during exercise) So 70% of 195 would be equal to 137 BPM.

3.Focus on compound movements (Squat, bench, deadlift). If you are constantly getting stronger in just those 3 movements, you can guarantee progress in your body composition.

4.Have a plan for when, what, and why you’re going to eat. Forget how many meals per day, the main ingredient for success here is all about the math, calories in vs. calories out. For losing weight take your body weight and times it by 12, to gain weight use 14, and to pack on a few pounds take your body weight and multiply by 16. Then take note of how your body responds and use ole fashioned common sense to amend the formula as needed.

5.Sprints, Sprints, and more Sprints. If you really want to change the way you look and feel. Learn how to incorporate sprinting into your workout routine and you can thank me later.

To sum it up, if you can implement these 5 principles into your routine, I can guarantee success in the long run. Make a date with the gym and keep it short and sweet. Zone in on big movements that recruit your biggest muscle groups and keep the intensity high (all about the heartbeat). Finally, add those magical sprints to the mix once or twice per week and watch your whole outlook on training change.

If you have found this advice helpful and practical let me know. I would love to hear from you.

below is a copy of my exact workout routine that I am currently following. Note that I don’t try to cover every body part in a weeks time. I complete my workout cycles in ten day increments, then I start back from the beginning. I have found this allows for me to recover much better than normal and also cuts down on my time in the gym. Over a ten day period I have three big lifts – short and sweet. Run sprints one day. Jog for light recovery one day, and I usually end up shooting basketball, hitting the heavy bag, going for a hike, or long walk once or twice during that ten day period as well. As for my abs, I throw them in at the beginning of every lifting day for about 15 minutes.By keeping your rest periods short 60 to 90 seconds top, you can be in and out of the gym in under 45 minutes.

Current Workout Routine

Day 1
Chest and Triceps

Incline Bench Press 3 sets 6 to 8 reps
Dumbell Flat Bench 3 sets 8 to 10 reps
Bodyweight dips 3 sets 12 to 15 reps
Pushdown tri set
Rope pushdowns 3 sets 8 to 10 reps
Flat bar pushdowns 3 sets 8 to 10 reps
reverse bar pushdowns 3 sets 8 to 10 reps
*for the tri-set – complete all three movements as one giant set. Rest 1 min and repeat for two more sets

Day 2
Sprints and conditioning

Warmup 2 mile run
100m Sprints 6 sets 2:30 rest between each sprint
Cool down – walk and stretch

Day 3 Rest
Day 4 active recovery 20 minute light jogging

Day 5
Back and Biceps

warmup 5 sets of 5 slow pullups
Deadlifts 2 sets 3 to 5 reps
Pull downs 3 sets 6 to 8 reps
One Arm Rows 3 sets 8 to 10 reps
21’s Barbell curls 3 sets of 21 reps
hammer curls 3 sets 6 to 8 reps

Day 6 Rest
Day 7 Rest
Day 8
Legs and shoulders

Squat 3 sets 5 reps
Dumbell lunges 3 sets 8 reps
Leg curls 3 sets 10 reps
Shoulder press 3 sets 8 reps
Side raises 3 sets 10 reps

Day 9, 10, Rest basketball, hiking, heavy bag if my body feels like it
Day 11 Repeat Cycle


The importance of defining your values…the key to realizing a dream that actually matters…

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Is it just me or does anybody else ever struggle with the future? I couldn’t tell you how many nights I have stayed up past the midnight hour, notebook, pencil in hand, Bible open writing goals and dreams and aspirations for my future self. Sometimes these dreams are wild, write a book, make a documentary film, start a non-profit etc. Other times they are as simple as my southern VA roots, fall in love, get married, raise some babies and build my dream house with a wrap around porch and with blue shutters nestled back in the country. Is it just me or is everyone else out there just a little bit confused as to which dream they have in their hearts that is worth chasing?

Personally, I believe anything (and I honestly mean ANYTHING) is possible. If you really want something bad enough in life, it is just my belief system that you can and will achieve it if you persist long enough at it. But the real question isn’t IF you can achieve something, the heart of the matter is WHY you want to achieve it. See that has been my problem…I have spent most my life knowing that I can acheive my goals and dreams, but I haven’t spent near enough time defining the real WHY to all my wild aspirations.

This is where I think the significance of clearly defining what you value is the single most important thing to success in life. Imagine for a second you dream of becoming the CEO of a major organization someday (I’m talking fortune 500 big). You spend your youth doing all the right things, getting an education, landing your first job, and so you begin your climb to the top. Along the way there will be sacrifices…you’ll have to move two or three big times in your life to major cities where you don’t really know anyone. Later you’ll go back to school…get more education…and get out and really start to climb that ladder again. After some time let’s say a modest 25 years you wake up and you’ve made it. You are now the CEO of widgets and gizmos company and they pay you well…your a 1 percenter for sure. You’ll be able to afford the finest foods, the finest schools for your children, and drive the nicest cars all while being invited to the finest parties. Congratulations you have made it…

Or have you?

What if you finally reach that dream you thought you had and realize…you don’t even like nice things. You miss your old pickup truck and your middle class friends. You could care less for the fancy restaurants and if your honest you don’t even know if you like the suit and tie look? What I have just described is what I believe a text book example of what living out, “your dreams” would look like if you didn’t first live out your values.

When I graduated from college this is exactly where I found myself. I was living out my, “dream” of one day becoming a big somebody in a big corporation somewhere. I talk to a lot of college aged kids and it still amazes me how almost 90% of the kids I talk to fall into this exact category. Full of dreams and ambitions and empty on real values.

So what do I value? If I’m honest…I like middle class. I value blue collar work. I value building things that make a difference. I value being around my family. I value being there when my ten year old brother trace hits that home run or pitches that perfect game. I value my church family. I value real relationships with the people that God has placed into my life.

So what about those dreams and ambitions? I don’t think I will ever give any of them up. I believe that God made me a dreamer for a reason and I refuse to neglect that gift…and you shouldn’t neglect your God given gifts either.

What I am trying to say in a nut shell is this…your dreams are important…but if you want to reach that dream that really matters…shape up your values first. Define what is important to you. Once you do that…any dream you have that aligns with those values…pursue them with your whole heart. Make the sacrifices, work the long hours, go to bed late, rise early and chase the dreams and hold the vision. But just remember define your values first, then follow the dream.

written with love,

Tyler Reavis


Serving God or money? getting started in Kingdom investing

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no one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

The word of God never ceases to amaze me. For one, its the best selling book of all time (year after year) It’s full of wisdom and stories that even thousands of years later tell simple truths that help every believer navigate his or her life. The above scripture comes from Matthew chapter 6 and it’s probably one of the most quoted verses regarding money in the bible (right behind the camel through the eye of the needle thingy) I have to admit, the verse is probably one of the toughest to swallow for young professionals like myself who in our hearts know that money shouldn’t be an idol, but we can’t help but think about how it could pay off our student loans and buy us a boat, and a truck to pull it…and you know the rest.

I often wander, why did Jesus say such a thing? I have heard various arguments and biblical points on the matter and I agree with most of them. I agree that God is a jealous God, and he doesn’t want us to have any idols before him…but I also believe, God is a good father, and he doesn’t just tell us this because he doesn’t want believers to prosper financially. I personally believe He is a God of abundance and prosperity who desires for his children to do well in their work. I don’t see him as a paycheck to paycheck type of guy, more like a gracious giver who pours out handfuls of purpose on us and desires to see us succeed in every single area of our lives and that includes our personal finances.

So why would Jesus say you can’t serve God and money?

And how does this effect me as a christian?

First of all serving money is actually a pretty ridiculous concept. I mean think about it. Spend your whole life devoted to making more money…let’s say things go well for you and you wake up one day at 85 years old and you’re the richest man in the world (the chances of dying the richest man in the world are 1 in roughly 7 billion as of today). You spent your entire life in search of more. You made sacrifices, working long hours and weekends, missed more ball games than you care to count and who knows what else. But you did it, now what? when life is over what will people say of your legacy? Will the money even matter?

Absolutely not!

But what about serving God? I think one of the greatest treasures about serving the Lord is the consequences are eternal. Jesus said that even when we give a cup of water to a child in his name there is a reward. Once upon a time I dreamed of being a real estate investor…I would sit and make plans to one day have hundreds of rental properties…I quickly have given this foolish dream up after managing my first rental property (blog post on that later) getting started as a real estate investor isn’t easy, it takes a lot of capital (which I didn’t have) you need great credit and some good bankers who believe in you. Maybe it’s time I shifted my focus to becoming a Kingdom investor? The deal is much better…to be a Kingdom investor requires no money, no education, and thankfully no bankers. All you have to do to get started is confess Christ and the cross. And investment opportunities are everywhere!

Or as Jesus would say, “the harvest is plentiful”

Happy Investing!


What happened to real men and intentional dating? Let’s make a change

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It’s a different world out there dating in the year 2018. Trust me, I know from experience…

I recently had a conversation with my Grandmother (who thinks I should already have a wife) about just how different dating is today. I made the case that both women and men are growing into functioning adults later and later in life. She quickly agreed as she reminded me that at 15 years old she was growing and managing a garden to feed her family, keeping house (before washers and driers where a thing I may add) milking cows and working a full time job and all the other things a mother with a family has to do. I can say with confidence that most the women who I have come across can’t do 1/5th of the things that the women of that generation could do.

But then I reminded myself that maybe the men of today (myself included at times) are more unprepared for marriage and fatherhood than any other generation of men before.

Perhaps the reason for my singleness comes from my lack of being the man that I am suppose to be?

Perhaps men it’s not the Woman’s fault for a culture of hookups and one night stands over real intentional dating in pursuit of ones life partner. Maybe, just maybe, it is no ones fault but our own.

Real intentional dating today is almost a thing of the past. To really express your interest in someone is a sure fire way to get rejected. If you want that girls (notice I said girls) attention, your best bet is to ignore her…it drives the girls crazy.

Which believe it or not, circa social media (anytime pre 2000ish) this is how the dating process actually worked.

Boy sees girl
Boy thinks girl is pretty.
Boy ask girl out.
Girl agrees (meaning she has mutual interest)

and BAM! you got a date…

Now I’m afraid it has become much more complicated than meeting the pretty girl at church or at the coffee shop. No, now we find her on social media. Like a couple of pictures, maybe get her Snapchat (which she posts on her Instagram cause shes single duh) and then you slide in the DM’s. (gah just saying that term makes me want to vomit anymore.)

Maybe it’s both parties who have lowered our standards of love and exchanged the real thing for a counterfeit version. Men, today if you want to be with a beautiful woman who is under the age of 25, good freaking luck. You will most likely be competing with a hefty Instagram following and Lord only knows of how many snapchat trolls who wouldn’t care if she decided to marry you or not.

I don’t claim to have all the answers to this epidemic that the world has against marriage and intentional dating. I certainly can’t speak to the lack of real women…(I think a woman would be better fit to deal with that topic) But I think as for the men I can say this…

Lets grow up. Lets be real men again. I understand we live in a world of conveniences…we don’t have to have the same skill set that an early settler at Jamestown had to have to be able to live and survive. But my goodness, lets go get some real man skills, work on ourselves a little bit, go read a book, fix something; literally anything will suffice, or (hold your breath) teach yourself some basic old fashion chivalry.

and for the Love of God…quit liking the butt picks on Instagram…Don’t even give those girls the time of day…quit sliding in the DM’s and go back to opening doors and trade in snapchat for a phone call and actually ask her out…plan a date…ya know…actually court her with purpose. You don’t have to marry her after the first date but have some intention and look to see if you two could actually have a life together.

Maybe men it is time that we stand up and make a change…Or maybe I’m just thinking out loud to myself…we CAN do better.


Dirty Hands are a Sign of Clean Money

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7 life lessons I learned from leaving the office and following my dreams

After two years in banking it’s safe to say that I was ready for a change. I remember staring out of my office window watching the main street traffic pass by day after day wondering if this is what life is? Get up, go to work, pay the bills, do your best, expect a 2% pay raise every year and hopefully save enough so by the time I’m 65 I can retire and then one day lay down and die and hopefully someone will remember the reason I lived and the things that I stood for. (more…)