Your Holiday Survival Guide

Holiday Survival Guide

Let’s face it: It is hard to stick to a healthy eating and exercise plan during the holidays, I’m not naive about that. Everywhere we turn, there are tempting foods, drinks, and treats from office parties to our own traditional family favorites.

When you add in a busy, stressful schedule filled with shopping and get-togethers that make it tough to squeeze in exercise, you have a recipe for disaster as far as the pant sizes are concerned.

The good news is that you really can get through the holidays without gaining weight. It will take SOME effort, but you will thank yourself a thousand times when January 1 rolls around and you have no regrets!

There are 3 main components to surviving the holidays and emerging a healthier, happier person in the New Year instead of the “Oh I feel like crap” that we have all experienced.

Workouts: I know that you don’t want to spend some of your holiday factoring in gym time; so that’s I’ve assembled 4 effective workouts that take a min of 20 minutes to complete and keep your metabolism up long after you’ve finished the final exercise. The best part? These can be done at home with minimal equipment or just bodyweight for those that are in the middle of travel.

Nutrition: Eating supportively during the holidays is a struggle for most. Between the ever-present holiday sweets and the seemingly weekly holiday feast, keeping your calories in check becomes a monumental challenge. In this guide, here is a simple but effective system to help you control the holiday binges and keep you on track.


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My Pre-workout Hack That Saves Money

Pre Workout Hack to Save You Money - Fitness Revolution Rowlett


Recently I got this question on Facebook: Travis, what pre workout do you recommend?

SHEEEEET… that is a loaded question.

First off let me just say that pre-workout is not mandatory for every workout, BUT I do understand that it’s almost equivalent of a proverbial switch that flips in the brain to let you know it’s time to kick a$$ and work out… to a lot of people it’s ritualistic that they fill their shaker cup with water and start chugging their liquid energy.

Hey I get it, I have been guilty of this myself on many occasions and still find myself picking up an RTD (ready to drink) pre workout if I was ill prepared for the day.


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15 Rookie Gym Mistakes

I’ve been in the gym since I was 15 and I’ve seen my fair share of new people come and go. A lot have always made the same mistakes starting out; I get it, we’ve all done it (me especially).

I’ve made PLENTY of mistakes, in fact that’s how I learn best, and the reason I SEEM like I don’t have a case of the dumbs is that I’ve made so many eventually I learned 😉

Below are some of COMMON newbie mistakes that I’ve seen made in the gym and quite a few I’m guilty of as well.

ONE. Thinking I could out train a bad diet – See video below

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13 Lessons of 2013

13 lessons of 2013 | Sprinting

1. Limit sprinting to no more than two times a week.

Sprinting has become one of my new favorite ways to really shed people down and it is virtually one of the few exercises that I have seen that can ALMOST produce VISIBLE results within days (yes, days).

So when we have clients that are looking to drop body fat to very low levels we will have them sprinting weekly.

The more we had them sprinting the more we observed taxation on the nervous system and thus further muscular development would start to stall.

The sweet spot we had found was that doing two sprint workouts a week still allowed them to get better hamstring, glute and abdominal development while shedding body fat and allow them enough time to recover for their weight sessions.

When we started approaching three times a week after a few weeks our clients were generally pretty beat up and needed a week off (not something that you want to do if you’re on a deadline). [Read more…]

Some of My Resources

weights do a body good | fitness revolution rowlett

So I had an interesting email from a client the other day asking me for more info and resources so they could learn from.

Normally most trainers WON’T give out their resources, because they think if they give out all their stuff that made you buy their services in the first place then you won’t need them any more…

That is a complete moronic way of thinking, I WANT my clients to be smart and I want them to learn as much as they want, so if they want more info and more resources I’m always happy to show them where I get my material.

So below are some of my more popular go-to resources that I get a some of my material from, but honestly guys I have a TON of people that I learn from.

What are below are free resources so don’t worry you won’t have to spend anything… unless of course you have money burning a hole in your pocket in which case I can help 😉 [Read more…]

Acidic Blood?

Yes this IS a real topic.Game Over Man | Blood Acid | Fitness Revolution Rowlett

Blood Acidity…

Now I’m not talking to the extremes that when you bleed a drop of blood it burns through metal like the sci fi horror movies would have you believe. Though that would be pretty cool.

No instead what have are acidic blood levels and how nasty they can be for workouts, recovery, and just life.


What is Blood Acidity? [Read more…]

4 Parts to a Successful Fat Loss Program

Part 1:  NUTRITIONAbs are made in the kitchen - Fitness Revolution Rowlett


Nutrition – No matter how many times I say this sometimes it still doesn’t through to peoples head,

You can NOT out train a bad diet” Believe me I’ve tried, so your nutrition should be FIRST in your program.

Side Note: For more info on nutrition check out the Gluten Blog, Intermittent Fasting Part 1 and Part 2 [Read more…]

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.

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