Dave Dreas

Online Fat Loss Coaching

My Training Principlez

Let’s chat about getting jacked up.

Like Christian Bale Batman jacked up, not Christian Bale Machinist jacked up.

db20a0c256c774ccf601da948b4cbc95_viewBoth are legitimate versions of jacked up, just two completely different spectrums.

More specifically, let’s chat about my training principals (that may help you get jacked up).

My training “career” would probably flow in line with Brittany Spears singing “career.” It was rock star solid for a while, took a dip (mine not as major as hers) and revived itself as of late. Lot’s of similarities.

Overtime this has given me some knowledge and experience when it comes to training.


How it all Started


I’ve been training since I was 14 years old. I remember strolling into the weight room weighing >150 lbs not having a fucking clue what I was doing. Back then your program was the most recent Muscle and Fitness Magazine and your protein shakes were McDonald’s milkshakes. At that age, the pinnacle of my weight lifting existence was benching 135 lbs without using a smith machine. That 45 lb plate on each side meant you were no longer a p*ssy. It was the mindset of a naive 14-year-old kid that had to uphold a reputation, duh.

I’d spend my high school years training early before school started. I’d spend my summers in the Winona State University weight room learning how to Oly lift (yes, long before Crossfit existed). I would read Muscle and Fitness Magazines and talk non-stop about training. I was inundated in it. I learned through trial and error, I got stronger and I actually enjoyed lifting weights. It was that old school, bro science that educated me and taught me how to get better.

During college I experienced a more performance based training approach. As a college basketball player I spent all 4 years indoctrinated into a strength and conditioning program. Looking at it from a macro perspective it was as follows:

  • Pre season
  • In season
  • Post season
  • Off season

It was spent building strength, power, endurance and speed. Each cycle was treated differently with a specific purpose. I enjoyed it and it meshed well with my history of “just lifting weights because I was weak.” I loved being an athlete. There wasn’t anything better than running T-drills and 40’s on the football field in 95 degree weather.

After my college days were finished the dip happened.

It stemmed from getting lazy and being a grown up (career). I rarely did any cardio, my workouts were boring and I didn’t necessarily push myself in a way that was going to get me better. Not to mention my eating was a tad bit off…

Half Ass work = Half Ass Results. My fault, totally.

As time went on I figured it out. I tried a variety of diets, workout programs and flat out sold out to the idea of getting ripped up. It eventually happened and I haven’t looked back._NEV4175


What it all means


The point of  “How it all Started” was for you to understand that I’ve been doing this a very long time. I’ve been through a variety of different things and have worked with many different coaches. My progress wasn’t a quick fix. It wasn’t genetics. It certainly wasn’t luck. It was learning, applying, and time. Nothing that I did was right/wrong or good/bad.

Over the years my lifting has changed and I am beyond thankful that it it has. It has allowed me to develop a few principals that I think are crucial for better health and fitness.


My Principlez


#1 Progressive Overload

The number one thing I’ve always done is progressive overload. If you’re familiar with progressive overload you might say, well, no shit. If you are newbs to training then it’s vital that you understand what this means.

In order to get bigger and stronger you must lift more by making your muscles work harder than they’re used to. You increase the demand on the musculoskeletal system in order to continually make gains in muscle size, strength, and endurance.

Non-scientific explanation you must progressively increase the load/weight you are lifting over time. As you train more you need to push your muscles harder because they adapt.

You must force your body to change. I love the saying “force growth.” Push it and leave your muscles no choice but to grow.

Here are 5 ways that you can immediately incorporate progressive overload into your programming:

  1. Increase Resistance – add more weight
  2. Increase sets – do more sets by adding a couple more to each exercise
  3. Increase repetitions – do more reps by varying your training days with high volume or heavy weight
  4. Increase frequency – train your muscle groups more often by adding a second day (ex. Doing chest on Monday and Thursday)
  5. Increase exercises – do more exercises by adding a few more movements to your program

It’s imperative that you do this.


#2 Bodybuilding Splits/ Isolation

Lately, I’ve taken the more old school approach to training and program using bodybuilding splits.

Flat out, the reason I train this way is because it works. My goal is physique specific and these splits maximize my opportunity to get results.

When I started lifting weights my goal was to get stronger and look better. Eventually that goal shifted when my training focused more on being a baller. After my playing days I reverted more towards training for aesthetics and simply looking awesome naked.

I typically do a 5-day split. It looks something like this

  • Monday – Chest
  • Tueday – Legs
  • Wednesday – Shoulders
  • Thursday – Back
  • Friday – Arms
  • Saturday – Weak point/posterior or OFF
  • Sunday OFF

*This is always subject to change as I am busy, have different training partners, and travel.

The best thing about splits is they allow me plenty of time for recovery being that I’m only training certain muscle groups once per week. Depending on my goals I’ll throw in some cardio days which consist of HIIT or some slow steady state. This will all vary depending on what my focus is and where I am in regards to my condition.

Another important thing that I focus on is isolation. Unfortunatley, this gets a bad rap in the fitness world because it’s not “functional.” I say unfortunately because isolating specific muscle groups can in fact have a major benefit on your overall functionality/strength/performance. Once again this goes back to NOT looking at things as right v.s. wrong or good v.s. bad.

Compound movements are always front and center when it comes to my programming but  the isolation movements allowed me to develop and shape for the aesthetic purpose.

Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 9.19.44 AM

That about sums it up.

#3 Intermittent Fasting

For the most part I Intermittent Fast and I’ve found this to be a phenomenal eating style for my lifestyle.

I like the Lean Gains approach due to the fact that it’s easy and fits my schedule. The protocol is simple. You eat during an 8 hour window and fast during a 16 hour window

Why this fasting is beneficial:

  • It increases growth hormone production. Studies have shown it raises growth hormone levels in both men and women.
  • It normalizes your insulin and leptin sensitivity. Insulin and Leptin are hormones that play a crucial role in energy production and fat storage. If both of these are normalized it can regulate your blood sugar levels, which can prevent type two diabetes and potential weight gain.
  • It reduces inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Inflammation is your body’s natural response to threats from germs, harmful toxins, environmental pollutants, injury, stress, and other things.
  • It helps with appetite control. Gherilin is an enzyme produced by stomach lining cells that stimulates your appetite. By fasting gherlin becomes more stable helping you keep your hunger in check.
  • It improves gut bacteria. A healthy gut is one of the most important things you can do to improve your immune system so you won’t get sick, or get coughs, colds and flus. You will sleep better, have more energy, have increased mental clarity and concentrate better. A healthy gut can also help you get lean.

It sounds complicated but it’s not. I simply begin eating my first meal around 11 am or 12 pm and stop eating by 7 pm or 8 pm. (This could get very detailed so if you have questions feel free to post below or shoot me a message)

These three above have been crucial to my overall development. Life has caused a great deal of changes and that is fine. The key is to find what works for you right now.

Here are few other training principles that I frequently utilize in my training/eating.

  • Negative or eccentric training – I occasionally throw in some eccentric training to overload my muscles. This is also beneficial to increase strength, power and size. It’s a different variation to my traditional style of training.
  • I foam roll every day and to be honest it’s only for about 5 minutes. It doesn’t need to be long but it’s crucial to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation considering the intensity of my workouts.
  • Mobility drills are important and I do them a few times a week. . I primarily focus on hip, thoracic and shoulder mobility by doing a variety of exercises with a foam roller or PVC pipe
  • I get at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight every day (185lbs). That’s automatic.
  • I eat or drink a ginormous carbohydrate and protein meal/shake post workout.
  • I only drink water, green tea and coffee. Occasionally I’ll throw in a Kambucha.
  • My supplementing consists of Protein, Omega 3’s (fish or krill oil), BCAA’s, and Probiotics. I will occasionally have a pre workout drink or I keep it simple with an espresso.
  • I go to bed at 9:15 p.m. and I wake up at 4 a.m. four days a week. The other days I wake up no later than 6. Rest is crucial


I highly recommend you find out what works best for your body. If you have questions or would like more info on what I do feel free to comment below. I also have a few things that can help you get started right away. Check them out here or here.


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Comments for This Entry

  • Sara

    Question. If you lift before work in the morning (6am) and are wanting to try the intermittent fasting but know you need to refuel post workout, what should your eating time frame look like? Eating at 8am forces you to stop by 4 🙁

    October 13, 2014 at 2:58 am | Reply to this comment

    • dave_dreas

      Thanks for the message. I would train fasted and take 5-10 grams of BCAA’s post workout. Depending on your schedule you could certainly start at 11 and finish at 7 or wait until noon. There is nothing wrong with training first thing in the morning you will just have to wait a bit longer until you eat. Give it a shot and let me know how you feel.

      October 14, 2014 at 6:38 pm | Reply to this comment

  • Carolyn Constantine

    Thanks for sharing! I appreciate that fitness is a continuous journey and it does take a long time to figure out what works for you. I completely agree with your splits/isolation “old school” philosophy – it really does work! I’m with you on the foam rolling, water, green tea, coffee (Kevita once in awhile), sleep schedule and day of rest. I have not attempted the intermittent fasting because I “trained” myself to eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours when I was competing and the habit has stuck with me. Any suggestions on transitioning?

    October 13, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Reply to this comment

    • dave_dreas

      Awesome to hear all of this! Keep up the good work. In transitioning to an IF approach I would just take a look at your current feasting window and start to reduce time from there. So if you’re currently eating 12 hours a day I’d drop it to 10. Try that for a bit then drop it to 8. Does that make sense? Some people can easily start a window from 12-8 and some people have a difficult time with it. Try it and see. I will also be posting a detailed blog on IF soon.

      October 14, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Reply to this comment

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