The Invasion of Body Snatchers, Skinny Fat People

Everyone keeps talking about the zombie apocalypse that is ever approaching on the horizon but I first want to address Invasion of the Body Snatchers - Skinny Fat People - Fitness Revolution Rowlett the silent epidemic going on right now.

Body Snatchers…

Yes body snatchers.

Whether you may realize it or not there is a plague in the industry going on of this trend to where we are seeing more and more skinny fat people

Men and women that use to be overweight lose all this weight then they are skinny fat.

Young teens and early adults seem to be the favorite target of this fiend.

These people are walking in not really appearing to be overweight but still look very “soft”; they are what we would call “skinny” but yet they still have a pudge sticking out.

Remember the days when there were true hard gainers? Individuals that walked into the gym that WERE skinny but they HAD abs!? I have yet to see many of those anymore; they have been taken over by the Body Snatchers.

Instead they have been replaced by skinny people with very little muscular development but more pudge in certain areas; most notably breast tissue (gynomastia in the fitness circle for men) and lower ab fat.

If you thinking that you may be a skinny fat person then you have been taken over… but at least you haven’t lost all of yourself to the body snatcher just yet!

In an effort to treat this body snatching skinny fatness and get those people fixed so we are better prepared to battle out the predicted zombie apocalypse. [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.

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.



Tham’s Experience

Tham's experience with a personal trainer

In October 2011, a close friend enrolled in an Anytime Fitness membership. After noticing improvement in just two weeks, this motivated me to also join. She then referred me to Travis Merritt, her personal trainer. Through his holistic system, I have definitely met my goals. [Read more…]

Champion Core Series Level 1


Wow so that last blog post was a LONG one! Iol I got a few comments about that it may have been too long… yeah yeah it was a bit nerdy but get over it 😉

So depending on where you were in your test will determine what level you need to start at in the ab workouts. I’m going to start with the 50% individuals because to be honest this is where I see most people lacking in.

As a personal trainer what a lot of gym goers don’t know is that the starting position in ab work is one of the most important things you can do. I mean we just don’t flop on the ground and do sloppy leg raises and crunches, just like you wouldn’t go pick up some heavy weight with bad form in a deadlift… starting position in both cases is EXTREAMLY important. [Read more…]

Why you still don’t have abs.

This is part 1 of MANY that I’ll be doing dedicated towards PROPER core work 🙂


One of the most common questions that I get as a personal trainer is how can I get abs? I will say right off the bat that abs are built in the kitchen, you can NOT out train a bad diet, but this isn’t about the diet. This is about how I see many people doing crunch after crunch, leg raise after leg raise and not seeing anywhere near the development they want. So I apologize if this gets a bit nerdy but if you understand this you’ll be well on your way to getting those abs that you want.

What I’m about to share took me years to figure out; countless reps of crunches, leg lifts, sit-ups and other foolish ab exercises that I won’t even mention. I’ve been in the fitness industry for over a decade now and this information is over a decade’s worth of hard leaning.

Everyone wants them but how come they are so damn hard to develop!? With diet aside (though is my opinion its one of the MOST important figures in the abdominal equation), people are split up into two groups with ab work: first group does countless reps and spends hours a week on ab development. The second group hates doing them because of boredom or out of frustration because after being in group one they did not get the results they wanted. [Read more…]

Top 10 questions I get as a trainer

10 of the most common questions I get asked as a personal trainer

After doing this blog post I feel that over the coming months I’ll need to dedicate a blog or two to each question, what you see below is just scratching the surface. If you have any others that you have leave a comment below!

1. Can you just give me a routine?

Me: (Now I have mixed feelings about this). My usual answer to this is “no”, and its really for the big reason that I don’t know anything about that person. I don’t know their movement patterns, background and health history, their comfort level with exercise, do they even know what exercise I’m talking about and even if I do show them will they continue to perform it correctly? Here is what I usually tell this person: I do wish it was as easy as writing a program for you but I don’t know enough about you and a program HAS to evolve with your needs over a period of time. Not all programs are created equal and not all fit everyone BUT I never leave anyone emptied handed so here is one below that I feel is a good starter for most beginners looking to add some muscle (or tone for the ladies) and lose bodyfat.

2. I need to work my core, what’s the best exercise?

Me: Do you want to get it stronger for something in particular or do you want to have abs showing?

  • If you want have your abs showing then do cardio and eat cleaner
  • If you want to have a strong core, do the ab wheel
  • If you want both… well do both of the above 😛

3. Do I have to drink those protein drinks?

Me: Well I do recommend it to most people for the sole reason is that you need protein to not only build muscle, but to help with fat loss (yes protein helps you lose fat), it helps with nervous system function, just to name a few things. Whey protein is the most common after workout protein there is and it gets into the blood stream to the muscles MUCH faster than anything else. Now you can skip a workout shake but I have had clients that I have made consume them right after our workouts and I can say every one of them notices a big difference in the way they look and feel. In my opinion, if you don’t your missing out on a key part of you getting the results that you want. Not all are nasty there are some quite good ones out there 🙂

Here are the ones I personally use:

4. Is there a pill, like a fat burner, that I can take to help lose weight?

Me: The best fat burners only give you about a 6-7% edge in your fat loss and they all say that this MUST be done with a proper workout and diet plan. So if you don’t work out you may lose a pound or two but then put it back on next week. If you are doing everything right then you may notice a slight increase in your fat loss ability, but keep in mind what got you to lose those pounds in the first place was clean eating and busting your butt in the gym not a magic pill.

5. Can’t I just workout 20 or 30min three times a week?

Me: If it was that easy you would have done it already then. This answer is a double edge sword but yes and no you can work out 20min three times a week and reach your goals (your particular goal is a big factor in my answer on this one). SOME people can and it totally depends on their understanding of their own body, do they have movement disorders, have they worked out before, do they have good neural recruitment patterns, etc… If they are in tune with their body then yes they can, but if you have never worked out before then probably not. I AM NOT SAYING THAT YOU WON’T SEE RESULTS because you will, but you may not look like that bowflex model.  An example that I used recently was is that lets say your back in school and you’ve been assigned to write a 5 page paper. Now if you were in 5th grade this may take you a week, but if you’re in college you may knock this out in an hour; your experience is a big factor. The same principle applies to working out.

6. Do I need to cut our carbs before bed?

Me: Depends on your bed time and depends on the type of carbs. To keep this simple I would recommend to stop eating complex carbs in your last meal and instead have vegetables, yes they are a carb but they won’t spike the insulin like some grains and other carbs would. Understand without specific goals and variables answers can vary. So whatever your last meal would be just have an extra serving of veggies, this will fill you up and help with fat loss.

7. How much cardio do I need to do?

Me: Just like anything else the answers can vary from person to person and goal to goal. My general recommendation for starters is 4 days a week, two days of steady state cardio and two days in higher intensity interval cardio. If we were to have a scale of 1-10 in intensity (10 being the highest) you would want your steady state to be at a 5 or 6 on that 1-10 scale. You know you’re working out but you can keep going for a bit of time. I would generally recommend this for 30min. On the other two days I would want two days of interval training. Do a warm up of 10min at your typical steady state then immediately after that alternate between 8 and 5 (on our 1-10 scale) for 30sec a piece. So do 30sec at an intensity level of 8 then 30sec at an intensity level of 5. Do this back and forth for 7-10 min. You’ll notice a big difference.

8. If I lift heavy weight won’t I get “bulky”? (This is mostly from the women)

Me: 99% of women don’t produce enough testosterone to garnish the same muscle growth as men, and don’t even think that you’re the 1% who does because you would have been diagnosed and on medications at an early age. For me to get a female “bulky” we would need some pharmaceutical help AKA anabolic steroids and lots of time. The women that you see with masculine figures trained themselves like that, it didn’t happen by accident. Other words they didn’t go to bed with 28% body fat then wake up the next morning looking the way they do. Have no worries ladies it won’t happen. From my experience the harder and heavier I train a female client the more shapely and tone they get.

9. What’s the best exercise to get rid of this inner thigh fat and bring my butt off the back of my legs? (Another common one I get from the ladies… but guys should pay attention)

Me: Fat distribution patterns are different per person, some carry it around their legs, some their hips, others lower abs and back. Unfortunately that is genetic and something that we can’t change, but to get rid of the inner thigh fat you need to lose body fat and build your legs. I would recommend looking at my sexy leg video series for my recommendation on the best leg exercises, increase you cardio and if not already begin eating very clean. If you do that you will notice a visible difference in how your legs look in a matter of weeks.

A sample exercise routine would look like:

10. If I stop working out won’t all my muscle turn to fat?

Me: It is biochemically impossible for muscle to turn to fat, they are two completely separate substances. It would be the equivalent of turning silver into gold, can’t be done. What you may think is that if you go for a long period of time (3+ weeks) without working out, the muscle just loses it’s tone, and eventually the muscle will leave all together. You don’t use it you’ll lose it.








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.


Rate your trainer

Rate your Trainer

Does your trainer have a background in exercise science, kinesiology or athletic training? Is she certified?
(A) I don’t think so
(B) Of course, both
(C) I’m not really sure, she’s never brought it up.


When you ask her a question about health and fitness, what is her answer?
(A) Typically she doesn’t know. She always says she’ll get back to me but never does
(B) She knows a TON, but even when she’s not sure, she has a link of health professionals that she can ask
(C) We don’t talk much during our session.


Before you started training, did she offer you references or testimonials from clients?
(A) No
(B) Yes, several
(C) It didn’t come up


Does she know your spouse, children, dog, or other important factors about your life–your support system?
(A) We don’t really talk about it
(B) Definitely; she asks about the family at least once a week
(C) I know her boyfriend’s name


Does she create programs and track progress?
(A) No. She doesn’t do any of that.
(B) Yes. She gives me my workouts and tracks my progress.
(C) Why would I need a program?


Does she motivate you?
(A) I show up.
(B) She knows my good habits and bad habits, and encourages me to go further.
(C) I show up.


Are you seeing results?
(A) Some, I suppose.
(B) Definitely.
(C) Not the ones I wanted, but I’m getting more fit!


Mostly A’s:
Seriously consider hiring another trainer, or chat with your current trainer about these issues. Something isn’t working! You pay good money for great service, you should be getting every penny’s worth. If you need help, Contact Us!


Mostly B’s:
It sounds like you are seeing results, feeling great and have a well-educated trainer. Awesome! Keep up the excellent work and make sure that you two continue to communicate effectively.


Mostly C’s:
What’s the problem? If your trainer seems distracted, find out why. She hasn’t revealed much about herself, or asked much about you. She might just be a workout buddy. While fun and helpful, an elite personal trainer uses her education to design a program for you. Have a talk with her; if education or nerves are the problem, you’ll know after a heart-to-heart. If things just don’t click, get a new trainer. Breaking up with a trainer may be hard, but ultimately you are paying for results. For more help, just reach out! <—–click here


In Health and Fitness,

Travis Merritt


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***This rating was from my former business partner’s and I website here

I wish her the best in her new career choice :)***



“I don’t want to lift wights, I’ll get TOO bulky!”

“I don’t want to lift weights, I’ll get too bulky!!”

This is what I hear from so many women that I have to discuss that they need to lift weight(s), so let me set the record straight with a few key pieces of advice.


These are excerpts from my new e-book How to Have a Body Like Barbie… Except Without All the Plastic.


The Testosterone Story

First off let me say that women CAN NOT get muscle bound like men. No matter what you think I can assure you that you lifting weights will not results with arms looking like Arnolds, I’ve been doing this for over 10 years and I’m still waiting on that to happen J

What exactly builds muscle? Well to be honest there are a lot of things but one of the main components of muscle building is testosterone. Now the hormone testosterone is responsible for the large increases in muscle mass seen by men when lifting weights, because men have higher testerone levels they will see muscle gain and fat loss faster than women… sucks to hear ladies I know. To further prove this point let’s take a look at these numbers.

Normal testosterone levels in men are 250-800 ng/dl while 15-70 ng/dl are normal in women. As you can see, men’s testosterone levels are SIGNIFICANTLY higher than women’s. Even if a man is at the LOW end of the men’s normal testosterone range (250 ng/dl), he still has nearly three times the amount as a woman at the HIGH end of the women’s testerone scale.

So if you were to take a look at the midrange levels of testerone  we look at the median or mid-range testosterone levels in men and women, men = 500 and women = 43. So on an average, men have nearly 12 times more testosterone than women! Without getting too much into the science the numbers show that women do not have near the hormonal support that your avg man has to garnish that speed of muscle growth. If you need further proof go to your physician and request hormone panel, it wouldn’t hurt, and see where you rank in at. I can promise you that your fears of “looking like a man” are completely unwarranted.









I can promise you she isn’t bulky… look at what she is lifting


If you want further proof download my free Mission Metabolism Report!

Click Here <—- Click for the free report


I know that may be a bit on the science side, trust me there isn’t that much in the e-book, but in all reality women you can’t gain muscle the speed that which a man does… hormonal wise it is not possible.

To all my ladies out there LIFT HEAVY, the heavier you lift the MORE TONE you become!!!


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In Health and Fitness,

Travis Merritt

This little trick will make a difference ;)


Straight to the point since its a Monday and I’m sure that your tired from the day.

This week my birthday is coming up and one of my close friends gave me a case of organic free range beef (only a fitness buff could really appreciate this gift lol) and this reminded of a lesson that I learned many years ago about how food quality really makes a big difference.

Years ago when I was working the corporate world I moved to Virginia, I was in a new place and looking for my new grocery store. I didn’t know what any of the major chains were so I picked on close to my house to go shopping at. As part of my usual diet I picked up a couple of pounds of the stores meat (back then I use to eat about 2-3 lbs a day of animal meat) and cooked this for my meals for the next several days. Over the weeks I noticed that I was breaking out real bad… I mean I looked like I was going through puberty again! (hold your laughter 😉

It didn’t dawn on me until on day one of my co-workers to me of a place where he gets his free range beef to try out telling me how it taste so much better. So I went and bought about 5lbs and within the next two days my acne cleared up and I felt so much better! My workouts were better, I didn’t have this “puffy” or swollen look to me not to mention that I could tell a noticeable difference in  just my mood.

I was wonder what the heck was in this super beef that I could tell a major difference in so quickly!? It dawned on me that it wasn’t what was IN the meat but what was NOT in the meat that made a difference. (a duh moment)

You see mass produced animal meat is loaded with chemicals, hormones and preservatives that really do have a profound impact on your body. So much so that undertakers report that human bodies do not deteriorate as quickly as they used to. The reason for this, they believe, is that the modern diet contains so many preservatives that these chemicals tend to prevent the body from decomposing too quickly after death Ewwwwwww!











***you really think this is healthy?***

If you need further proof try the argument that meat from a fast food restaurant is the same quality as meat from a free range farm. I’m sure after that you can see my point.

You are what you eat and you are what you put into your bodies and I challenge you to try it for a week. Try just eating free range meat instead of the cheap bulk meat at the grocery store. I PROMISE YOU THAT YOU WILL NOTICE A DIFFERENCE! If you say that the meat is too expensive then take a look at your prescriptions or doctor bills… in my mind they are expensive and I can bet you that bad food quality had a factor to do with it. Your already spending the money just move it over to the quality of food that you put in it.

Sorry for the soap box but its true


In Health and Fitness,

Travis Merritt


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Be nice to your trainer :)

Be nice to your trainer…


Its been a few days since my last e-mail and I wanted to reach out for some Friday Video Time before I head off to the State Fair!


This is a great training montage:


So what all has been going on in the FR world? Well lets just say a lot! I can’t believe how much there is to do and honestly I can’t complain because this is all just making me a better trainer and I have clients that are seeing results even faster than before… I love it!


Trainer courtesy…

What exactly is trainer courtesy? Well that term can change from day to day but today its about letting your trainer know in a timely manner that your not going to make a session.


Just now I had a client txt me 5min into his session that he was at work and could not make todays workout… um could you please have told me as soon as you found out? There are other clients that I could be helping.


Now don’t get me wrong I completely understand that life happens but regardless courtesy is a must. As a business owner I would never want to work with anyone that this is what they do on a weekly basis (yes this is a weekly occurrence for this particular person). I’m sure that as a professional trainer I did this to my clients I would no longer be in business and no one would want to work with me. Don’t think this doesn’t work the other way around…


In my disclaimer and waiver that I have my clients sign I do have what I call my “douch bag” clause. Other words if your an a– to me, other clients, gym member or workers (timeliness is among this) I will exercise the right to fire you. I will be exercising this right.


I can tell that if I continue to work with this person it will do more damage than good to my reputation as one of north Texas’s top fitness professionals, and that is just not worth it.


Why am I venting about this. Let me just say that there are plenty of people to do business with (not just with training but with life) if the chemistry is not there save yourself time and stress by going to another that you “click” with and I can assure you that both parties will enjoy the meeting much better. Admit it you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about 😉


  • Here is a quick article by one of my favorite supplement companies, Prograde, on fat loss. Its worth the read guys 🙂
  • 5 fat loss mistake to avoid  <——Click Here


I have some new a cool things in the works right now that is sure to make FR stand out from any training service in the North Texas area, trust me when I say that some of this you have never seen before!

(a hint: how about having a trainer not only dictate your eating and meal order but make sure that you never have to go the the grocery store… EVER AGAIN!)


Have a wonderful weekend!

In health and fitness

Travis Merritt


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