Bench Press, Weight Gain, Dropping 15lbs

Bench Press Stalling | Fitness Revolution Rowlett

Email Exchange 1:


E-mail from client:

Bench Press is stalling

I did your numbers that you sent for the bench but stalled out on the last rep, I got stuck at the bottom position.



Still follow the prescribed format for hitting the numbers but let’s do these exercises as your accessories for the following month. Without seeing the form directly it seems to me that your probably losing your elbow tuck and your chest needs to be a bit stronger from the bottom, all easy fixes.

[Read more…]

Some of My Favorite Building Exercises

We don't use machines, we build them.

“What exercise should I do to build (points to random body part) this muscle?”

This is one of the more common questions I get as a trainer because after a while the people asking this feel they have tried just about every exercise on their own and are looking for something else.

Now here at Fitness Revolution Rowlett we tend to focus on getting individuals to get better at big motions because we feel that this is what delivers great results when it comes to aesthetics; but it’s not to say that we don’t want to continue to bring up other “showy” muscles 😉

So I went on a bit of a video bender here and shot TWO of a favorite exercises to help build each particular body part. I must admit though that I do have about a dozen that I love to use but it all depends on the person and their specific goals. [Read more…]

No Limp Wristing a Bar

You remember that game “Mercy” that you use to play as a kid? Heck I see some guys at bars that still plat that after a few drinks lol

For those that don’t remember, this is where you interlock fingers and forcefully try to hyperextend the others wrist until the person cries “Mercy!”  Ya, it’s one of those moments in my past and I look back on and go “why…?”

Over the course I’ve been training I’ve seen a number of guys doing the same damn thing but not with another person instead of a dumbbell or barbell, and I can promise you that eventually that bar will win.


If you can’t grip it, you can’t lift it

I know a number of my clients are tired of hearing me say that but think about it. Your hands are the FIRST things to touch the bar in 99% of the case and if your grip is loose or wrong then the mechanics of the lift will not be efficient and the exercise will be a LOT harder.

How to grip a barbell - Fitness Revolution RowlettLet’s keep this simple and we will use the bench press as an example though what I’m going to write about will carry over into about every other exercise.

  • Step 1: You want the bar positioned in the PALM of the hand NOT the fingers.
  • Step 2: Turn your wrist where they are rotated IN, this will place the bar on the palm
  • Step 3: SQUEEZE the hell out of it! I can’t tell you how many times I’m training a person in their upper body lifts and they are  nearing their max but by yelling “Squeeze the bar!” they will all of a sudden get about two extra reps. [Read more…]

7 Shoulder Saving Tips

shoulder savers - Fitness Revolution Rowlett

Why do I work on shoulders so much? Well, if you bust your knee you can still train upper body, BUT if you mess up your shoulder then you’re just about done in the gym.

The more shoulders I see, the more I realize that the bitch of the matter is fixing them when they are busted. Usually this is because the majority of the time it’s a learned movement pattern that has to be broken and re-taught. This blog is for those people that THINK they are starting to notice a slight twinge in that area. If you feel the twinge, then trust me… stop.

Below are some tips that I have accumulated to help keep those shoulders healthy so you don’t have to suffer though the aches and annoyances of feeling hindered while you have to let yourself heal.

If you are already having some shoulder pain I would recommend taking a look at this first: Shoulder Pain

[Read more…]

7 Things to Look for in a Personal Trainer

Since summer is just on top of us more and more people are looking to get a trainer. Hey this is great for me! BUT… I will say that sometimes Fitness Revolution Rowlett and the potential clients schedules just don’t align, it happens.

If a situation like that happens I NEVER want a person to walk away and wonder “Well now what?” So for those that are looking for a trainer but for some reason can’t make it here but still feel like you just need that personal attention, I want you to watch this video.

Side Note: I do have a program that is made for these individuals that are set on being apart of Fitness Revolution Rowlett BUT just can’t make it to our times. It’s our distant coaching program and its begining to become pretty popular. Take a look here <==== Click the link

I made this video a while back but just never had a reason to post it until recently.


7 Things to Look for When Hiring a Personal Trainer


There are some great trainers out there, heck some even I would pay for, and unfortunately just as in every industry, not so great trainers. So I made this video to give you an idea on WHAT I LOOK FOR when assessing a great trainer. This is my experience over the course of 10+ years.

If your going to spend your time and money I want to make sure that you get a GREAT one not just some Average Bro that has you do bench press and bicep curls till you can’t move.

Its a long video but it has some valuable info for those NO BS people that want the best.



In Health and Awesomeness,




Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, CES, RBT is the owner of Fitness Revolution in Rowlett, TX.

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4 lessons from 2011

4 things I have taken away from fitness in 2011


Increasing Strength:

Now I’ve used bands in the past and have to admit that I’ve always notice an improvement in my performance in the gym but just chalked it up that hell if I do ANYTHING different I’ll notice improvement. Well always in a continued effort to find better ways to garnish better results I really started diving deep into band training, even obtaining a Resistance Band Coaching Cert, but through continued education and implication I was shocked at the amount of improvement that not only I received but my clients received in their strength training. I’m not talking only about attaching the band to free weights for speed work (i.e. speed bench press, squats, etc…) but just using the band by itself without and dumbbell or barbell attachment.

The misconception that has been adopted by a lot of the gym culture is that band training is only an afterthought, its for fine tuning and rehab work. Some bands do fit that nich but I do have bands that are over 200lb in resistance, trust me do presses and squats with that and that will demolish your body and you’ll still an amazing return on your strength training back under the iron. Truly in my opinion one of the most UNDERRATED gym tools for garnishing INCREASE FAT LOSS, INCREASE MUSCLAR GROWTH AND TONE AND INCREASED REAL WORLD STRENGTH.

I’ll dedicate a blog in the future to band training because trust me this little post doesn’t even starch the surface of all the positive benefits I’ve seen my clients get with band training.


Fat Loss:

We all know that nutrition is king with fat loss, so this is more about what can be done in the gym for fat loss. I’ll touch on nutrition in a bit.

My big take away this year is PROPER (and I stress the word “proper”) HIIT workouts or High Intensity Interval Training. If you have been in the gym culture for any length of time I’m confident that you have heard of this and maybe even implemented it in your training regimen. The mistake that I’ve seen over the years is the abuse of this concept, in fact I can think of a number of popular work out trends that abuse this principle more than anything else but I won’t go there lol.

The whole point of HIIT is quick bouts of exercise followed by a short rest done back to back for a specified time frame, this is suppose to take fat loss up to another world compared to long steady cardio workouts. Just look at why a sprinter is so much leaner than a marathon runner even though the marathon runner does SO much more volume of work compared to a sprinter. Now if done right I’ve seen bodyfat levels drop almost daily, but so many people don’t really understand how this system really works.

It’s too easy to over train yourself or a client over taxing the nervous system with this concept and lose that fat loss benefit; in addition most people don’t understand how hard they really need to work to hit those required intensities.

Not to leave you empty handed if you need a workout that gives you an idea refer back to this blog post last week and look at #7 <—- take a look!

Over the coming months I’ll do more blogs about how to correctly implement this and see amazing improvements in fat loss.


Muscle Building:

Ahhhhh, fat loss and muscle building combinations… the holy grail of most gym rats everywhere. I’ve played around with different theories and principles for years trying to not only find what works best for me but my clients as well. The big take away this year is a principle called undulating density. What this is in laymen terms is the constant change in rep ranges for muscle hypertrophy (building).

Muscle hypertrophy is mostly a result of work in rep ranges of 8-12 (there is a lot of variably of rep ranges with everyone here, I know, but for today let’s keep it basic). I’m sure that most of you are saying to yourself Ok Travis, I know this. Just about every gym rat knows this; what’s so special here? Well if it was that simple as in just working out in the 8-12 rep rang you would have the growth you want, wouldn’t you? Of course it’s not always that simple.

Undulating density

Without getting too detailed and an information overload look at it this way…

Week 1: Rep range of 6

Week 2: Rep Range of 15

Week 3: Rep Range of 10

Week 4: Active Recovery

Looks simple but if you just skim over this post and don’t check back up later for the full detailed program then you’re going to miss what really makes this tick. The point is that you need to vary your rep ranges on a weekly basis and in the following month BEAT your number (that’s where this thing becomes a beast). I’m sure this may not seem overly exciting but how many people or you stick with the same rep range and wonder why after only a few workouts you stop seeing results… I’ve been guilty of it over time.

Trust me on this, give it a shot for a few months and I PROMISE you still a difference. One last thing: you need to WORK AND BUST YOUR BUTT this doesn’t happen unless you really pushed it.

Key points to take away:

  • Keep a training journal and track your weights (this alone will make your life much easier)
  • Change the exercise ONLY after you’ve peaked at the results for that time frame. Other words if you stopped seeing change and noticed you’re not getting stronger then MOVE ON!


As I say in each one of these points each lesson really deserves its own article or big blog post so check back up later on to see the full detailed plan.



This field is constantly changing and improving year after year, in some cases you can see changes with recommendations of nutrients almost monthly coming from research journals.

My big take away this year was really getting a better understanding of food intolerances. What really blew my mind was how many of my clients had a food intolerance but never even knew! The last statics I read about this was that about 60% of Americans have a food intolerance and don’t even know.

When most people think of food intolerance they instantly think of lactose or gluten intolerance among others. Now a food intolerance doesn’t have to be just milk, bread or nuts but it can consist of other surprisingly healthy foods as well.

If you are unsure if you have a food intolerance symptoms to look for can range from IBS, feeling puffy or bloated after a meal, acne, mood swings, achy joints, puffy cheeks, lethargy… honestly the list can go on. So here is what I want you to do. Just look back over the course of the past few weeks and see if you had eaten ANYTHING and not too long afterwards you felt “off” or noticed any of the above symptoms (this can take up to a few hours till you notice anything).

If you say eat pasta and notice about an hour later you feel pregnant then that’s your body’s way of telling you that SOMETHING in that food it did not like! So what happens is that your body has to take care of this low level allergy reaction and can’t dedicate it time to processing the food and burning fat like we want.

You’re not supposed to feel bad after eating food; so if you notice that after you eat a certain food you get puffy then STOP! Promise you notice that you’ll lose fat pretty quickly after that.



I can see that I’ll need to do several blog post over each topic above so check back but if you want more updates please add your e-mail to our news letter HERE <—– Click on the link



In Health and Fitness,




Travis Merritt, BS, CPT is the owner of Fitness Revolution in Rowlett, TX.

P.S. – If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends using the social media buttons below.

P.P.S. – Please ask a question or share a comment with us in the Leave a Comment section at the very bottom of the page.  We love your feedback and will use it to develop future blog posts.