Confession: I haven’t wrote in over 30 days.




Despite it being a goal of mine and something I love to do, I fell off track.

I can try to justify it with excuses such as the influx of new clientele sucking up my time or that I spilled coffee on my PC and fried it, but those are just… excuses.

The root of it (and the reality is), I simply lost momentum.

Before this, I was pounding out words. The habit was greased and my brain didn’t even have to think twice, it simply knew what to do. I was writing even when I was not writing. It was beautiful.

Now, I am a bag of rust. It has become work again. With this post, however, I am re-greasing the proper neuron channel. “Writer myelin” is becoming created and things are looking up.

Truth be told, however, I tried to jumpstart this ship about 20 days ago.

It never happened.


In large part it was because I had built it up in my head that I had to do something big, to write something epic. Go hard or go home, right?

Just like everyone else, I was looking for results (and this is exactly what prevented me from re-started again).

It prevented me because, as we all know, we suck in the beginning. It is here where results are minimal or non-existent as there are just things we need to learn first before we can see the progress we seek.

So just like a complete newbie exerciser is not going to see much gains in terms of muscle gain or fat loss (as they have to learn how to move first), the same is true of writing (learn how to write badly first).

And just like if we take a couple months off exercise we are not going to be as awesome at it as we were before we quit, the same is true for everything else.

So here is my advice:

If you are creating a new habit or re-establishing an old one, that is where our focus should be… ON THE HABIT.

Don’t fall prey to the type of thinking that you are going to be world class right off the bat or that you will just pick things up where you left off.

When in doubt:

  • Go small.
  • Go easy.
  • And don’t put pressure on yourself  or hype it up, just go do it.

And if you really want to succeed, do what Jerry Seinfeld does:

Go get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step is to get a big red magic marker. Each day that you do your task,  put a big red X over that day.  After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.

Today’s post is my first red X.

It may not have been my best post ever, but it was very much needed.

A couple more and I’ll have momentum.

With that, I always find it hard to stop…



When it comes to building muscle, there are 2 things that matter most.

  1. Volume progression
  2. Ability to recover

Volume is simply Weight x Total Reps. This is usually an arbitrary number such as 6,700 lbs. In order to keep building muscle, this number has to progressively go up. We do this by using more weight and doing more reps and sets.

If we are not recovering, however, than new muscle won’t be built. To recover, we have to 1) ensure an adequate supply of calories ( a surplus) and 2) give our muscles a break (sleep and rest).

If you get these 2 criteria down, muscle should be built.

After awhile, however, it can become hard to keep doing more and more work.

When this happens to you (and even if it doesn’t), I recommend giving Pyramid Training a try.


Pyramids come in 2 different flavors: Ascending and Descending

Ascending pyramid is when you do more and more reps with each set.

  • Set 1: 2 reps
  • Set 2: 4
  • Set 3: 6
  • so on and so on

Descending is of course the opposite.

  • Set 1: 12
  • Set 2: 10
  • Set 3: 8
  • so on and so on

I just did an ascending pyramid of front squat with 195 lbs that looked like this:

1 rep, rest, 2 reps, rest, 3 reps, rest, 4 reps, …. until I got to 10 reps. This came to 55 reps total.

I find pyramids (mainly ascending) ideal for muscle growth because not only can I use heavy weight and get a lot of reps in, but it allows my mind and body to get used to it. It can be rough starting out with 10 reps at a heavy weight since our central nervous system isn’t primed as much. To prevent this, try to always start a workout with low reps, ramping up the weight with each set before you move onto higher reps.


This is my first workout back from being sick so I had to stop myself from activating Beast Mode. What I would usually do after this is start a descending pyramid while adding weight:

205 lbs for 9, 215 lbs for 8, 220 for 7… until I hit a single that resembled my max.

This would leave me with 110 reps with weights that were quite heavy.

For one movement or one muscle, this is more than enough.

Give it a try.


Erase the phrase “You are what you eat” from your brain.

It’s no longer valid (and it’s really stupid).

Pretty much everyone in the health and fitness industry regurgitates this line and tells us that if we just eat “clean, healthy” food, than that’s what we’ll be: Clean (disease-free) and Healthy.


  • What if we are not properly digesting what we eat?
  • What if we are allergic to “clean, healthy foods”?
  • What if we have holes in our gut that don’t allow you to properly absorb the nutrients from this clean food?

Then that advice won’t mean crap.

And if we continue to eat the way authorities tell us too (with set foods and diets) without question, it may just take us further away from health.


Our health is in our poop, not in our food.

More specifically, it’s in our gut (and it’s our butt that shows us what our gut looks like.)

If we can learn what good poop looks like and how to get it, than we can know if our diet really is healthy (and for us) and/or if we need to improve other factors in our life (such as more sleep).

Our butt doesn’t lie.

First up on this truth quest is to good a good idea of what it is trying to tell us.

For this, we turn to Paul Chek’s Poopie Line-Up (from right to left)

  • The Policeman – The ideal in poops. It’s well shaped, easy to pass, light brown in color, smells earthy, and about 12” in length (per day)
  • The Flasher – You’re seeing bits of breakfast, lunch or dinner. Means that food isn’t being digested for some reason – not good. Could be a sign of food intolerance, an inflammatory disorder of the gut, low stomach acid, or that you’re not chewing enough.
  • Diarrhella – You’re body is trying to rid itself of something toxic. Not only bad because you have something bad inside of you, but it also leads to dehydration since your body will find water from wherever it needs to in order to facilitate Diarrhella’s exit.
  • Pellet Man – Rabbit turds are for rabbits. If you’re pooping pebbles, it could be that you’re dehydrated, or that your gut flora or bacteria may be out of balance.
  • The Bodybuilder – Like a condensed pellet man, meaning that it’s probably sitting in your colon for a longer period of time . . . not good. Poop shouldn’t hang out in the body for more than 72 hours. Build-up like this can start pushing up against other things and cause discomfort and impede other body functions. The diameter of the poop also won’t feel good coming out.
  • The Olympic Swimmer – Lighter in color than the Policeman, indicating a higher fat content. The undigested fats could be a sign that stools are passing too quickly, or that your bile salts aren’t breaking down the fats.
  • Mr. Sinker ‘n’ Stinker – Paul considers this persistent little guy one of the worst offenders and attributes his presence to too much processed foods, toxic environment, or medical drugs (think anesthesia).

To summarize, healthy poop should be-

+ Light brown color – not too dark, not too light.
+ Smells like poo, but not like death and poo.
+ Soft, well formed, and consistent in shape and color.
+ Easy and satisfying to pass.
+ 12 inches a day.
+ Transit time (mouth to out) should be between 12-18 hours.

If it’s not, something is off.

It could be that you’re emotionally stressed, lacking proper sleep, been eating some real cruddy food, allergic to something in your environment, or something else that is pissing off your gut.

In the following posts, I will lay out some reasons for why the poop may have gone bad, as well as the ways to make it better again.

“Good Poops is a Good Life” Click to Tweet

Everyone has the right.


Running sucks.

I’m sorry, but it does.

As a mental pursuit, I hold running marathons with the up most respect.  Physically, however, it takes us further away from our aesthetic and performance goals and, in the process, makes us hobbled and wobbled earlier in life.

I don’t know if we do it because we think it will “get us ripped” or that it is “healthy”.  Most likely, however, we do it because it is easy (ie, no skill learning or research needed) and because we can get high off it.

A lot of Resolutioners this January will use running as tool to “get in shape”.

Running will, no doubt, do this (as well as produce some unwanted side effects).

It is because it produces some unwanted effects that we need to ask the question:  “Do we need it to get in shape?”

Many people (and even people in the fitness industry), seem to think yes.

I say no.

You see, this “getting in shape” roughly equates to the goal “breathing better while doing vigorous activities”.

That’s what we mean, right?

Rather than get scientific and dive into facts about the heart and our cardiovascular system, the solution to this goal is simple: To breathe better during activity, do activities that make breathing hard(er).

Like this:

Here are some more of my favorites:

  • Jump rope
  • Walking w/ heavy stuff (favorite)
  • Tabata squats, lunges, and thrusters
  • Sprinting and high intensity sports such as crossfit and basketball
  • Adding more reps or less rest to your current exercise routine

With these, not only will we be sending a signal to our body “to learn how to breathe”, but we will also be telling it it to “burn fat over muscle” (because we need that muscle to move the resistance).

And the beauty of these exercises is the more intense we can make them, the less we need. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather do 4 minutes of tabata rather than 30 minutes of jogging any day of the week.

Now I am not saying long distance running doesn’t have it’s place (I like feeling high), I am just saying it’s an option and not mandatory.

Here are some more tips if you choose to use that option:

  • If you do not run with your feet straight ahead, you are going to mess your knees up. The average person will probably have to do ankle mobility exercises (like this one) before they are able to get their feet into the right position.
  • For most people, once a week of long distance running is enough! If you are training for a marathon, bump it up to 2 – 3 runs.
  • When in doubt, run faster not further.
  • Run after strength training, not before.
  • Long distance running is a catabolic activity. Meaning, it uses cortisol to break down fat and muscle to use as fuel. If you run all the time, not only will your muscle stores take a huge hit but so will your positive hormones (like testosterone).

To all my running lovers:

Don’t hate me.

The thing is, I used to be a runner-lover too. I used to be in Cross Country and did the whole “run for fun” thing.Since than, however, I’ve scaled way back.

For 2 reasons:

1) It killed my athletic performance (= less strength and speed + injuries and tight hip flexors).
2) It made me skinny fat (not cool)

Some people can pull off running and some can’t. It just so turns out my body was made for fighting tigers and not running away from them. Everyone is different and there will always been an exception to the rule (ie, the super healthy, fit dude that runs all the time).

What is clear from experience, running is a great quick fix (both for our body and mind).

For long-term results, however, we may need to look elsewhere…


Random friend: You wanna get some breakfast?
: Nah, I don’t really eat in the mornings.
Random: What?!
Me: Yeah. I pretty much just fast.
Random: Isn’t that a little unhealthy?
Me:   …   (big smile on my face)


Even though fasting (and more specifically, intermittent fasting) has been on a meteoric rise for a few years now, the virtue of it is not as common as I thought.

So here is a short post to answer the question, “Is it healthy to go without food?”

In short, the studies say yes, my own experience and energy say yes, and the current science and the evolutionary perspective say yes as well.

At the root of these “Yeses” lies the why: It gives our digestive system a rest.

Less energy for digestion = more energy for other processes

If we can give our digestive tract a break, it not only gets to work on cleaning and repairing itself, but the whole body  is “cleaned” as well. This often entails improved skin complexion, better tissue repair, and enhanced mental clarity.

And when we do eat something, we will break it down faster and more efficiently (good poops is a good life).

Like anything, though, to really understand the benefits, one has to do it.

So how do we  fast?

Let’s not make this rocket science.

  • Go once a week for 24 hrs.
  • Or go every other day for 18 – 20 hrs.
  • Go 5 days a week at 14- 16 hrs.

Note: The fast is the length between meals. Most people wake up rocking a 10 hr fast already. Go without solid food to noon or 1 pm and you’ll be there.

In the end, do what is natural. It may feel totally unnatural in the beginning, but that is simply because you are running on different instructions (your current software). To change any habit (code), will require work.

For this, let the caveman of our past be your inspiration: Wake up. Hunt / gather  = Move. And then relax and eat in the afternoon.

That is, get busy. Do what is most important. If you must, drink a coffee concoction like I do. Then when the work is complete, eat and/or nap.

Remember: Your health is your energy.

If you become mentally fuzzy, physically fatigued, and your libido dies, than fasting may not be healthy for you. Often, however, we just have to adjust some variables (like a shorter fast or more sleep) to make it be.


young slim girl drinking green coffee

It goes without saying, how we start our day sets us up for the rest of it. A good morning leads to a good evening, but a bad morning… well, look out!

So what entails a good morning?

  1. A full night of sleep
  2. Great nutrition
  3. Love, positivity, laughter, and sunshine

Let’s focus on #2.

What we eat (or don’t eat) in the morning is crucial. Failure to eat the right energy-sustaining foods in the morning could cause us to eat rather draining foods later on (chinese food for lunch? otay). On the same token, having a big meal in the morning can weigh us down (literally).

So it is my belief (and this jives with the evolutionary perspective) that we were meant to go light or fast in the morning.

Before I get the “I must have my  8 eggs and 2 slices of toast to start my day” rant, let me state this:


So the more we eat in the morning, the more we build the habit and the cravings. It doesn’t mean this is the best way to eat or how we should eat, it just means this is how we programmed ourself to eat. To know if this is the best way, we must experiment with other techniques.

Note: Building a new eating habit takes work but it’s the only way to know, really, how great your diet is.



So the first thing we should do after we wake up (and go to the bathroom), is drink a lot of water. We just went 8 hrs without liquids and we are more than dehydrated.

Next, start making your “breakfast”.

This consists of 2 parts.

Part 1: If you plan on exercising or have a manual labor job, I recommend coffee. If you are more sedentary, I advise weaker coffee or going the hot coco route. Personally, I tend to make a hot little mixture over the stove of some coffee, some baking coco, stevia for sweetener , and half and half for flavor.

Why caffeine?

Because it gets us going! Caffeine is meant for movement – both for legs and for our bowels. It also breaks down our body fat so we can use it for fuel. On top of that, it can be great for focus and helping us face the to-do list.

Part 2: To your beverage, add 30 grams of the following: Coconut oil and/or pure MCT oil. I buy my coconut oil from Vitacost and the MCTS from Swanson Vitamins.

Why coconut oil?

Not only is this probably the safest/healthiest oil,  but it is also over half MCTS. These MCTS (or medium chained triglycerides) are special in the fact that they do not need enzymes or bile to digest. They can be used for energy almost right away and unlike carbohydrates (which can get stored as fat if we don’t use them), MCTS are almost impossible to store.

So with part 1, we provide a source of energy by unlocking our own fat to use as fuel. But because we can go through this rather quickly, we add in another healthy fat source to keep us energized longer.

It’s light, we don’t have to cook, and because MCTS are so nice to our body, it’s pretty much a liquid fast.

I first learned of this coffee + coconut oil trick from Dave Asprey of Bullet Proof Exec (dot com).  I usually drink 2-3 cups of this mixture in the morning and stop around noon. He suggests making 2 pm your cut off point.

In taste and in energy, coconut oil will only add to your coffee (or coco) experience.

Have a great morning.


A large focus of this website is on how to accomplish our goals when we are WITHOUT stuff. It’s also about purposely going without this stuff to become stronger (both mentally and physically).

So first up, we have our gloves and shoes. We don’t need them.

More importantly, if we ditch them, we can become stronger.



Strength is largely determined by our ability to generate tension in a muscle. The harder we can contract a muscle the better strength we can demonstrate in that muscle.

Related to this is the Principle of Irradiation:

We can contract a muscle much harder if we also contract the muscles surrounding it.

Gloves mess this up by making our grip weaker/ less tense. This has a domino effect which then makes the surrounding muscles (biceps, chest, core) less tense as well.

Weaker grip = weaker everything else.

My suggestion:  I understand some people (mostly women) will want to use gloves to prevent calluses. This is cool with me, but please don’t disrespect the Iron lord. When you go for maximal lifts, take them off so you don’t have to leave tonnage on the floor. And if your grip is sweaty and slipping, use chalk instead.



The average tennis shoe causes our foot to slope forward, putting us on our toes. This can lead to bad posture as it becomes easy for our knees to slide forward. If we are deadlifting, squatting, and overhead pressing, we need to be able to sit back. For this, we need to be on our heals.

On top of that, most shoes have a squishy sole. Strength loves hard, dense matter. Things that are not “hard”, however, tend to dissipate force. So just like we could jump higher on concrete rather than in a sand pit, we lift more weight when we remove our shoes (because there is less stuff in the way to dissipate the force).

My suggestion: If you have to wear shoes, buy ones that don’t have such a thick sole and that much material such as Chuck Taylors, wrestling shoes, Nike Frees and Vibrams. Also, if you train at home, lift in your kitchen and not your carpeted living room (it dissipates your awesomeness).

If you follow these recommendations, it won’t just be some small barely noticeable increase in numbers. No, you’ll probably set a personal record. Many times I’ve had clients go up 30 lbs in deadlift in one session by removing their shoes. And many more have set records by removing their gloves.

It makes a phenomenal difference.

Try it out.



We go broke. We get sick. We get hurt. We move. We get depressed. We go on vacation. We have kids. We get sick again. We move again (this time to a town that doesn’t have a gym). We lose the motivation (for the hundredth time)….

In short, life throws some wicked curveballs.

If you’ve never been taught how to hit these, relying on gyms to reach your goals and stay in shape will be futile (remember: shit happens). Along the same token, the same will be true of depending on doctors, physios, nutritionists, and a host of other wellness professionals to ensure we are healthy.

With this blog, we are going to show you how to take the power back.

Your brain, your body, your responsibility – let’s do this.




Hey, what’s up? I’m Levi Clampitt, the founder of Without A Gym, and if you ever asked yourself:

  • “How can I motivate myself to workout?”
  • “How can I lose fat, build muscle, and get stronger without a gym?”
  • “How can I easily set up my own diet that I can follow pretty much forever?”
  • “How can I create the habit, get it to stick, and actually like exercising (or any other activity)?”
  • “How can I learn how to fix my own pain and injuries (without spending a fortune)?”
  • “How can I build my own home gym without it taking up a ton of space?”

…then you’re in the RIGHT place!



(When Others Can’t)

Let’s be honest.

Many of our problems we face today are not real. Lack of money, time, energy, knowledge — it’s all in our heads. In fact, the only real problem we may have is of lack of belief.

We believe less in our own strength and creativeness yet more into the ideas that we need certain things to be successful. No where is this truer than with exercise and fitness. Because of assumptions like “I must workout 5 hours a week” or “I need a gym to be in shape”,  many of us never get started in the first place.

It doesn’t matter if these are factually right or wrong statements, what matters is what we believe.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”- Henry Ford

WAG is not here not to add to the confusion, but to get you to challenge your current beliefs.

Our posts are short for a reason: To fuel your action.

What we need is not more mind, but less.

It’s time we thought with our body.



Without A Gym was founded by Levi Clampitt while working nearly endless days and hours in the Bakkan oil field.

After many years of personal training, he finally had a dose of what his client’s go through ( lack of time, energy, gym, etc.). With this new insight, he is now able to deliver practical advice and some key psychological techniques on how to overcome these obstacles.

You’ll find that his approach to fitness is effective. Having developed it over the past decade, it has helped him build a few wildly popular communities (including The Funk and WAG Nation).

More specifically, he believes in hacking our own innate desires and surrounding environment so that we are able to do the things we must (like exercise).

If you want to learn some of the tactics he uses, all you have to do is enter your email below and click “subscribe!”


[ CLASS OF 2014 ]

WAG. U  is now in session.

We are currently accepting applicants (teams of 3 people or more) to join the WAG roster and add to our diversity.

More specifically:

  • One group of intermediate to advanced guys
  • One group of ladies in the 20 – 30 (ish) age range
  • One group of ladies in the 40 – 60 age range
  • And one co-ed group such as a husband and wife team

Course length

12 weeks



Our objective

Simply, we want to teach you how to dominate your fitness goals without a gym (and without many other conventional things we’ve been taught we need).

Course outline

You will learn how to:

  1. Nail any habit (including exercise and healthy eating).
  2. Find which exercises and foods are best for YOU (and which ones aren’t).
  3. Set up a sustainable program for your goal.
  4. Hack your environment so that you are able to do the things you must (even when you don’t want to).
  5. Get the most bang for your buck (i.e. high results, low investment) and learn what you should invest in when that time comes.
  6. Troubleshoot injuries and pain (without a doctor) and how to work through them if you must.
  7. And much more…


For the past 5 or so years, a large interest of mine has become human psychology. More specifically, the psychology of persuasion.

The questions I find myself asking over and over are:

  1.  How can I persuade myself to stick to behaviors I “know” I should do?
  2. And how can I persuade other people to do the same?

Now, I am not a talker. Nor am I an in-your-face preacher. And if I think YOU should do something a different way, I am probably not going to tell you about it (unless you show me you are open to critique).

I am like this because 1) I don’t have all the pieces so I could be wrong and 2)  it doesn’t work.

The fact is, we don’t like to be told what to do.

It seems like we forget this, however, when we want to influence and help out others. We think if we just tell them how to do it or tell them why they should do it, than they will logically choose to do it.

If only…  (we weren’t so emotional)

Even when it is good advice and we know it, we still want to rebel against it. When people tell us what to do (without us asking), following their direction leaves us feeling like we have less control/power over our own lives.

In short, it leaves us feeling like children.

So please, don’t tell people what to do (Mom and Dad).

And if you are trying to influence someone (including yourself), do some homework.

Here is what’s worked for me.


What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You want to help someone change?

Show them what change looks like. Show them what a healthy diet can do. Show them what exercise can do. Show them what dedication and commitment can do.

If and when they inquire, keep it simple. Assure them what you are doing/have done is nothing extreme (it’s all pretty basic anyways) and is something that every one of us can do with proper planning and training (ie, so pretty much don’t scare them away).

Show them love, support, and positivity.

In the end, we want people thinking, “If he/she achieved it, then so can I!” and not have them making justifications for our achievements ( “They are obviously privileged…“)

Note: You can’t influence everyone directly. Still, there will be people who will not able to relate to your change experience due to differences in age, sex, and background. Thankfully, however, you can [in a non intrusive way] lead these people to the experiences and people they will be able to relate to.

She is going to be able to influence way more grandmas than I will ever be able to.

You want to help yourself change?

At the root of this inability to change is, most-often, fear (regardless what the surface manifestation is). To help ease this fear, we look towards others who have done what we want to do.

We want people who had the same tools of us (or less) and already achieved what our goal is.

Yes, we want to know how they did it, but really, we are looking for support for the belief that what we want to achieve is possible.

The more belief we can get, the more we feel inspired to pursue.

The reason this is, is because a large chunk of our fears is wrapped up in “wasting time“. Because we are going to die, the life we have left is extremely valuable. Makes sense then that we want to spend it doing things that are pleasurable and fruitful.

For the average person, this means staying away from things that have a low success rate and/or painful.

So the key to change is really reversing this.

To influence ourselves, find ways to make our desired behavior fun and the end outcome more plausible.

This starts with finding the right “inspirational” people.

Note: These people will not eliminate fear (only action will), but they will take away some of the sting.

This “looking to others for inspiration” idea above is based on the SEE – FEEL – CHANGE model.

Basically it equates to this:

See something which accidentally or intentionally provokes an emotion, feel the emotion intensely, and as a result change an opinion or behavior.

When we see a recent picture of ourselves and we see how out of shape we have become, we are utilizing this.

This works.

Counter to this, is the ANALYZE – THINK – CHANGE model that is all head and no heart, and often fails to motivate people to recognize the importance of a given problem. Because it doesn’t feel real, it’s too easily forgotten or ignored.

Here, check out this fact sheet on obesity or the cost of (insert whatever). Pretty shocking, right?”

Not really.

What would be shocking is seeing that exact same amount of money piled up.  Then it becomes real. And with that, comes remembrance.

Inspirational quotes and photos? Both suffer from the same problem. Words alone will rarely get the people going and photos only work if they are relatable.

In the end, we need to see it.

If we want to quit a behavior or adopt one, a great place to start is through finding others who have done the same.

Let’s find out what it LOOKED like.

ps – this idea is from the book Switch: How To Change Things When Change Is Hard. Possible homework?  :)