Halloween Ideas For Adults

Growing up in a small town offered many opportunities for great Halloween memories. As a child, the month long costume making sessions with mom, the school Halloween parties and the eventual trick or treating around my neighborhood. Small towns offered a safe environment for accepting candy from strangers and we never had to worry about town bullies taking our candy.

As an adult, Halloween costume ideas revolved around sex or creating a funny costume. Times have changed, we’ve grown up and instead of candy, Halloween brings thoughts of eating that pumpkin and looking for recipes on how to cook with squash.

Halloween Roundup

Over the past few years, various writers have shared their thoughts on these various subjects here on the blog, so I thought I’d put together a little summary of Halloween ideas for recipes, costumes, workouts and even some environmental tips. The authors would love to hear from you, so please leave comments where applicable.

Halloween Recipe Ideas

Squash is a most excellent food. If you’ve got pumpkins laying around after the holiday, make use of it’s nutritional goodness by making one of these:

halloween recipe ideas

Pumpkin Butternut Squash Curry Soup – Butternut squash is one of my favorite’s. Here it’s combined with pumpkin and then spiced up with ginger and curry. Lots of Vitamin A and Beta Carotene!

Pumpkin Pancakes – great recipe for any fall morning. Spiced up for the cold months too.

Pumpkin Corn Chowder – If you like a chowder, this makes a great Halloween recipe, suitable for sharing. My wife and I are still trying to come to a conclusion about “what makes a chowder anyway?”, so please leave a comment with your thoughts and help us settle it once and for all.

Halloween Costume Ideas

halloween costume ideas
When I was a kid, I distinctly remember making a robot costume out of cardboard boxes. One for the head and a bigger one for the body. I also remember parading around our school gym for a costume competition where the teachers would vote on the best costume. The only other one I remember was a pirate costume.

Regardless, things are different now. With age comes a more mature theme.

Burn Off Those Calories

pumpkin workoutScott Tousignant, personal trainer and author of many great exercise products including Fat Loss Quickie put together a outdoor workout that makes use of any decorations you may have used.

Check out the video and start pumping your pumpkins!

Environmentally Friendly Halloween

For years, Scott Bird wrote many excellent articles on conservation including his series on how to save water. He’s from Australia and suffice it to say, they’re way ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to water conservation.

Once the holiday is over, what do you do with all the leftover “stuff?” Here’s an idea:

Environmentally Friendly Halloween – Check out the 10 ways to make your Halloween environmentally friendly.

As far as I’m concerned, when it comes to Halloween, I’m just happy if there’s no snow. I like to think we can make it through the holiday with out the slush, snow and cold weather, but that’s not always the case.

I hope you have a great time trick-or-treating this year and every year, and encourage you to make use of one or all of the Halloween recipe ideas. They’re seriously good, and not just in October. Soup is a wonderful way to keep filled up and make use of your winter squash. Next year? I’ll be growing them myself.

The End of a Classic | Does Being Slightly Overweight Matter?

[ Note: This article was written by fitness and nutrition author Jon Benson. Jon is the author of Seven Minute Muscle Workout and many others. I have his permission to share it with you. ]

Does Being “Slightly” Overweight Matter?

Shockingly so.

A 2008 study nicknamed “The Physician’s Health Study” proved that just a little bit of extra weight can raise the risk of heart failure. The study was designed to calculate the heart hazards of being pudgy but not obese.

Researchers tracked the health of 21,094 U.S. male doctors for two decades found that even those who were only modestly overweight had a higher risk for heart disease. The numbers grew along with the amount of extra weight.

In men who are 5 feet 10 inches tall, for every seven pounds (3.2 kg) of excess body weight, their risk of heart failure rose on average by 11 percent over the next 20 years, the researchers wrote in the journal Circulation . The average age of the men at the outset of the study was 53. During the study, 1,109 of them developed heart failure.

Overall, the risk of heart failure increased by 180 percent in men who met the definition of obesity according to their body mass index (BMI of 30 and higher), and by 49 percent in men who met the definition of overweight (a BMI of 25 to 30).

So, what about the leaner and more active doctors?

“The lean and active group had the lowest risk and the obese and inactive group had the highest risk,” Kenchaiah said in a telephone interview.

And what about “all those hours” needed for exercise?

Yet another myth –

“As far as vigorous physical activity is concerned, even if somebody said they exercised one to three times per month — which is a very low level of exercise — they had an 18 percent reduction in the risk of heart failure after accounting for all other established risk factors,” said Kenchaiah.

This is just more support for my approach to exercise as found in 7 Minute Muscle. It is by far the shortest workout you can do to reap the greatest rewards.

It’s time to get more serious about that “little flab” — and studies like this one conducted over twenty years will go a long way to showing exactly how beneficial cutting the flab can be.

Fit Bits: In-Home or In The Gym?

For my top 5 questions of the day received, this makes the list.

“Jon, can I workout in my home or do I have to go to a gym?”

Here is both sides to the story…

First, the answer in most cases is “Yes” — you can workout in your home with little to no equipment and make very good progress.

With some exceptions.

First, you have to really have a great plan. Home workouts are fine, but honestly they are less exciting than going to a gym and being around other fit-minded folks. So a plan is crucial. If you just try to “catch a workout”, you will probably end up being inconsistent and not progressing.

Next week I’ll be releasing my 7 Minute Body System. This the in-home version of 7 Minute Muscle that requires only bands, a rubber ball, and your body weight. Dumbbells are optional.

This is a great plan for in-home workouts… and of course it’s only 7 minutes long.

There are other plans you can find on the Internet or in another book that may work for you too. Just be sure to USE on. Do not just wing it.

Results for in-home training tend to be lower on average than in-gym training for two reported reasons: Commitment and variety.

Commitment is crucial. If you have a good system and you can commit to it, then you can do well. But a gym fosters commitment in most people due to the costs and the environment. This is not always the case of course. Some people waste their bucks on a gym membership.

Variety is obviously much better in a gym — more equipment, more people to interact with (mental variety) and so-on.

One more thing: Progression. Progression is key in the gym or at home. So no matter what workout environment you choose, write down your workouts every day. The next time you perform that workout, be sure to add a rep or two here and there or some more resistance. Perhaps less rest between sets.

Always try to progress. Some days you will, others you may not — but the mental attitude of progress is essential.

The bottom line is this: If you can make the commitment to your self and get yourself a good, solid in-home plan, you can make in-home workouts work for you.

Best Abdominal Exercises – Win A Free Copy

The Best Abdominal Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of” is a book about unique and innovative exercises devoted entirely to the abdominal area. This abdominal training manual contains information on 77 extraordinary new exercises including pictures, videos, tricks for performing them, and common errors to avoid.

For one day only, TODAY, I’m giving it away to one lucky reader. So if you have ALWAYS wanted to train your abs so that they literally pop out of your skin but have been getting nowhere with crunches, this is the information you need.

This is NOT your typical ab training book that shows you a bunch of exercises you already know. I’ve gone through this book and I can’t believe how many completely new exercises are in it. If you’re serious about getting amazing abs, you owe it to yourself to check this out now!

Want to learn how to do these KILLER abdominal exercises?

I thought so.

Want it for FREE?

Free Gift – Best Abdominal Exercises

During the week of February 2 through February 6th 2009 (Mon to Friday this week), and I are giving away a free copy of all his fitness books and programs including The Best Abdominal Exercises You’ve Never Heard of.

Anyone can do this as long as you’re willing to GOYA and put in the effort.

Create an eye-popping six-pack that will reach out and GRAB attention. The exercises in this book make the contraction in ordinary ab exercises feel like a gentle breeze.

You’ll get MAXIMUM tension at the most “anatomically possible” contracted position, creating the abs you’ve always wanted!

Continue reading to find out how to Win a FREE Copy…

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How To Build A Bigger Butt – For FREE

How would you like to add 2 firm inches of muscle to your butt in 2 weeks? Whether you’ve always wanted to have a rounder, firmer butt to show off at the beach or just to get rid of the flat ass you’ve always had, stop everything you’re doing and read this post! This is THE butt building ass workout program straight from the evil mind of Nick Nilsson.

Maybe you’ve always had your thighs kick into gear and take over the load of your glutes, resulting in a less than impressive butt, or maybe you’ve just thought you were born with a flat bum and blamed it on your genetics.

Well today’s Gluteus To The Maximus butt building program is exactly what you’re looking for.

To be honest, we’re all interested in looking better whether we’re coming or going. The boost in confidence and self-esteem you can get when you really feel good about how you look gets noticed by everybody.

With a bigger firmer butt…

  • You will look better in your jeans
  • You will look better in your shorts
  • You will look better in a bathing suit
  • You will look better naked…

When you’re done with what Nick has designed, you’ll know you had a great ass workout!

Free Gift – Gluteus To The Maximus
Build a Bigger Butt NOW!

You CAN build a bigger butt FAST, regardless of what you’ve tried before, because today, you’re going to get the secrets of how you can build those larger, rounder, firmer glutes of your dreams quickly and easily !

build a bigger butt

You CAN build a bigger butt…

  • Regardless of genetics
  • With as little as a few minutes a day
  • Whether you’re a beginner or an extremely advanced trainer
  • With home fitness equipment OR at your gym
  • …. And with guided, large, full color videos of each exercise so you learn proper technique

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Win A Free Copy Of Muscle Explosion

Who wants 6 to 10 pounds of muscle added to their body in the next 28 days? Win a FREE COPY of the rapid muscle building program Muscle Explosion, by Nick Nilsson as part of his Fitness Bailout Sale.

Nick is doing his part by putting fitness programs in your hands at 50% of the normal retail value! Here at Former Fat Guy Blog – I’m giving them away!

Every day this week, February 2 through February 6th 2009, it’s my pleasure to be able to give away a copy to one lucky commenter. Winners will be chosen over the next weekend, so make sure you leave a comment telling me why you MUST HAVE the fitness and muscle building program of the day.

Free Gift – Build Muscle Fast

“Muscle Explosion! 28 Days To Maximum Mass” is a powerful program for building muscle as FAST as possible. It’s a 28 day program that utilizes cutting-edge training and nutritional techniques to help trainers blast through training plateaus and gain 5 to 10 lbs of muscle in just 4 weeks.

build muscle fast muscle explosion

If you’re looking for some rapid muscle growth, this is an excellent program to consider. It’s only 28 days long but MAN, those 28 days are tough. You really have to WANT to get big to do this one…but the results are just AMAZING.
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Poor Me Syndrome

PMS. The Poor Me Syndrome.

Guys, you too can be afflicted by PMS and not even know it.

This disease selects all gender, every ethnicity and all demographics!

Its running rampant and I saw three cases of it yesterday. Myself included!

Levels of severity can differ day to day and some of the symptoms to watch for might include:

  • Making excuses
  • Justifying to yourself that you have chosen to do the ”right” thing
  • Commiserating with others
  • Seeking sympathy

gym bag
I will share a personal experience with you. On Tuesday, I believed I couldn’t go to the gym because I was too busy from my work and at the end of the day I felt tired. A raise of hands if you’ve felt the same way. That was my belief but actually it was my own personal opinion created by what I thought was my own reality.

It all begins with a single thought and snowballs from there



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10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Gym

If you are a beginner like myself or a seasoned gym rat, choosing a gym is an important decision to be made and there are lots of things to consider. As the saying goes, “location, location, location”, but it’s more than just that. There are costs involved, contracts to be signed, hours of operation and if you’re a mom, what about the child care options. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a gym, and it should be done only after careful consideration.

I’m on a journey towards a healthy lifestyle filled with vibrancy and vitality. Most recently, I have made the decision and committed to a gym membership after serious contemplating. Exercise was the missing piece to my puzzle.

Significant changes over the last several months in my eating and lifestyle choices have been made but until now I was not mentally ready to join a gym.

The year was 1981 and Olivia Newton John zoomed to the top of the music charts with her song, Let’s Get Physical which inspired everyone to join a gym, sign up for gym class and wear spandex. Me, I was in Grade nine and (mandatory) gym class later ended ended for me in 1985. Not to mention, Participation.

Folks, it’s now 2008!

During my recent tours of various fitness facilities, the following are the top considerations I had to make before signing my contract

10 Things to Consider When Choosing A Gym

1 Atmosphere You’re going to spend a good portion of your time and money here so make sure it feels right to you. When a friend and I started looking for a gym I felt incredibly intimidated by one such gym with the amount of grunting, groaning and amount of posturing that went on in front of some of the mirrors. Make sure you get good vibes and feel comfortable the moment you walk into the door. Think of it this way, why would you spend your time or money going somewhere that you don’t enjoy? If you don’t consider this, your money will be wasted.

2 People A gym is like any other business, it’s there to make money. No matter how good the product is, it’s the people that can make or break a business. What is their interaction with others when you check out the gym(s) to make your choice? Are there many staff around when you need to ask questions? Can you connect with them or are they unapproachable? Do they have the qualifications? I actually interviewed the manager of the gym we chose and discovered she had been with this company for 25 years! She showed passion, enthusiasm and genuine interest in us when we met.

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Upper Body Training With Chains

Diesel Crew does some great chain training here. Chains provide an unstable environment for lifting as well as changing the resistance by putting more load on your muscles when they’re in their strongest part of the movement. Jim Smith is the author of Combat Core Conditioning, the most advanced torso strength training manual I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

combat core conditioningJim “Smitty” Smith is a strength coach and cofounder of the Diesel Crew. Jim dedicates himself to studying, developing and enhancing athletic performance through the utilization of conventional and non-conventional training protocols, including; powerlifting, weightlifting, strongman, odd-objects, Russian kettlebells and grip strength methodologies. This distinctive and comprehensive approach has helped athletes of all skills levels attain their goals and “Achieve Beyond Potential.” Jim is an active student of strength athletics and is always seeking new ways to innovate and provide a unique perspective for gaining muscle, rehabbing injuries, improving performance and building better athletics. Jim is a contributor to Mens Health magazine.

Get Smitty’s free report on Combat Core Exercise!

The Body Is One Piece – There Is No Core

Dan John, the Strength Coach and head track and field coach at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper, Utah originally said that the body is one piece and that there is no core. Mark Twight at GymJones took that to heart and filmed a bunch of “center oriented exercises” where movement was initiated from the center. Have a look

A previous video shows

Olympic Lift Training From Dan John

“Pick the bar up, put it over your head”, pretty simple. Dan John is the Strength Coach and Head Track and Field Coach at Juan Diego Catholic High School in Draper, Utah and aside from holding multiple state champion titles (California and Utah) in discus, hammer, shot, highland games and Olympic lifting, can lift a shitload of weight.

Dan shows us how to lift Olympic style in this 33 minute video. Great stuff!

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Weight Loss Tips – Maximum Muscle Stimulation for Fat Loss

Today’s weight loss tips are about exercise and how to best use your time in the gym to get more work done, stimulate more muscle and burn more fat. They say that building muscle while burning fat can’t be done, and that you should focus on one or the other, never both. That said, what if you just wanted to burn fat as efficiently as possible, end workout boredome make your time in the gym as quick as possible. These three weight loss tips are the very thing to take you in that direction.

leg press

Weight Loss Tips

1 Focus your training on the largest muscle groups:
The largest muscle groups of the body are the legs, back and chest. By working the largest muscle groups, primarily, you end up putting a larger demand on your body for energy and nutrition. Then a larger demand on your body for repair of that muscle tissue. You burn fat twice, first when you’re actually training and secondly when your body is busy rebuilding the muscles.

Arms (tricep and bicep) are smaller muscles, and where training certainly makes them look good and allows you to work harder on pushing and pulling movements, they don’t burn as much fat as the larger muscles.

As my trainer says, even if you don’t specifically train arms, they still get worked when you’re doing chest and back movements.

Chest – Bench press, Incline bench press, decline bench press, flies, pushups etc
Back – Bent over row, one arm dumbbell row, pull downs, pull ups, chins, seated rows
Legs – Squat, hack squat, leg press, lunges

So for maximum fat loss, create workout routines for the largest muscle groups.

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Out of Your Comfort Zone

I’ve realized that exercise will increase my weight loss and help get my body get into better condition. I finally decided that it was time to step out of my comfort zone

If I was going to be true to this experience, I had to go to the gym.

Remember, I haven’t exercised since 1985 and the hardbodies at the gym became more and more intimidating as I visualized myself in that situation.

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Poll: How Far Ahead Do You Plan Your Meals?

I was just talking with my friend, a personal trainer from Toronto and author of The Fit Bastard and The Fit Chic, Scott Tousignant, about his current goals of getting to 5% body fat.

I asked him what method he’s using to reach his goals and he replied “My Fit Bastard Workouts” and Jon Benson’s Every Other Day Diet. I caught him while he was making a tuna salad meal and asked him how the rest of his program looked and if he was on target to reach his goal. He’s three weeks out and 2% away from achieving it.

meal planningI realized that I’ve got my next 6 weeks of cardio and training planned and I’m following my own Reverse Caveman Diet on which Fat Loss Fundamentals is loosely based. I know what I’ll be eating for the next 6 weeks and I have it mapped out on my calendar.

It got me thinking about this poll, asking that very question – about how far ahead you plan your meals. Do you know what you’ll be eating for the day, or tomorrow? If I asked you what you’re having for lunch tomorrow, how would you answer? What about next week on Wednesday? is it a re-feed day? a low carb day? A meat day? a cleansing day?

I’d like to know how far ahead you plan your meals and what sort of reasons or results you get from the format you follow


As always, leave your comments with your thoughts.

As a side note, Scott and I were talking about the Fit Chic workout program and all it has to offer. It sounds like it’s quite the kick ass program for women wanting to get in shape. I’ll be doing a review of it soon. In the mean time, check out The Fit Chic women’s workout program.

As of today, the results of the last poll had coming in as the #1 choice.


Poll: Is Cardio or Weight Training More Effective at Burning Fat?

Many experts agree that can burn fat 300% faster while others say that interval training with bodyweight exercises is as effective or more effective than cardio.

The never ending question of the best way to burn fat has proponents on both sides of the fence. Then there are those who think that to have the best health, one should do both cardio and weight training. Weight training to build muscle, strength and bone density and then cardio to improve heart and lung health.

What are your thoughts?


as always, leave a more detailed answer in the comments. It may take 30 to 45 seconds for the poll to record your answer. Thank you for your patience