The Computer Programmer’s Fat Loss Toolkit

January 16, 2011

The Computer Programmer’s Health & Fitness Toolkit

Losing fat, getting strong and running fast is tough, especially when you’re sat behind a computer all day.

I struggled with motivation for years. It is difficult to know where to start when you are looking for clear, concise and most importantly accurate health and fitness advice, especially as a beginner.

This list contains some of the most useful resources I have made use of during the last six months as I lost close to 40lbs of fat whilst getting stronger and faster.

Every link listed here is something I have followed myself for sometime and I recommend their advice to anybody who is looking to improve their health, lose fat, build muscle and increase their fitness levels.

Health & Fitness Writers

Craig Ballantyne

Blog | Twitter

Before I began reading Craig’s posts on his Turbulence Training site I thought the first, best and only way to lose weight was to jog, and jog a long way. And I hated jogging. I now know just how wrong I was, and why. Craig destroys fitness and health myths and his blog regularly features details of his workouts as well as motivational advice and quotes.

Favourite Posts12 Weeks of Your Life, Don’t Let THIS Stop You, Avoid The Cardio Confessional

Follow if: You’re interested in health and fitness in anyway. Craig Ballantyne’s advice should not be missed.

Steve Kamb

Blog | Twitter

Steve Kamb’s Nerd Fitness covers health and fitness whilst writing about topics as diverse as Homer Simpson, Star Wars and The Matrix. Seriously, some of his writing needs to be seen to be believed! He’s created a fantastic resource with some excellent advice. It’s well worth reading regularly and I like his site so much, I bought the t-shirt.

Favourite PostsThe Homer J. Simpson Guide to Success, Harry Potter and the Life of Awesome, How to Travel Around the World for $418

Follow if: You like your fitness advice mixed in with Zelda, Donkey Kong and Karate Kid references.

Jason Ferruggia

Blog | Twitter

Jason Ferruggia is a strength and conditioning specialist who always gives his honest opinion on matters ranging from strength gain, nutrition and life in general. His 39 Ways to Not be Like Everyone Else post was one of the greatest of 2010.

Favourite PostsGetting Ripped at 48, Beginner Gains- Consistency is Key, 44 Muscle Building Workout Tips

Follow if: You want no-nonsense advice on building muscle and gain strength

Alwyn Cosgrove

Blog | Twitter

Hailing from Scotland, Alwyn Cosgrove now runs one of America’s top gyms at Results Fitness, specialising in creating efficient, effective workouts for real-world busy people!

Favourite PostsGoals, Educational Half-lives and the Fitness Business, Strategies

Follow if: You want information on time-efficient, high-quality workouts.

Brad Pilon

Blog | Twitter

Author of Eat Stop Eat, a book written to show how fasting can be an easy, safe way to lose weight and burn fat. His blog covers all aspects of strength gain, health, fitness and nutrition. Plus he’s a hockey fan, which makes him alright by me!

Favourite PostsHow Much Can I Gain With Bodyweight Exercises?, My Approach to Muscle Building, What We Can Learn From Ryan Reynolds

Follow if: You want serious, well thought out advice on nutrition.

John Barban


John is a smart guy who writes intelligently about health and fitness and whatever else is on his mind. His blog has some interesting ideas such as this post titled What Does Eating “Normal” Mean?

Favourite PostsWhat’s More Important: Exercise or Diet?, Flexibility is the Key to Lasting Weight Loss, How Many Calories in a Coffee?

Follow if: You want intelligent comment on everything relating to human biology.

Information on Nutrition & General Fitness

Mark’s Daily Apple

Blog | Twitter

Mark Sisson’s site covers ‘Paleo’ nutrition, a lifestyle based on how humans have lived throughout time, rather than one based solely on the past 100 years. I read Mark’s site daily. There is lots that can be learned from the ‘Paleo’ lifestyle and this is the best place to start.

Favourite Posts10 Real-Life Reasons Why the Primal Blueprint Works For Me, How to Gain Weight And Build Muscle, It’s Time to “Get Real”

Follow if: You are interested in doing what Grok would do.

No Meat Athlete

Blog | Twitter

Matt Frazier’s site answers the question – “Does being vegetarian put you at a disadvantage when running long distances?” Matt runs marathons and is expanding into ultra-marathons, all whilst maintaining a vegetarian diet. There are also recipes and a busy community. Awesome!

Favourite Posts63 Ways To Shake Up Your Running Routine, How YOU Can Run an Ultramarathon (and Still Have a Life), Protein – A Primer for Vegetarians

Follow if: You ever doubted it was possible to do amazing things on a vegetarian diet.

Zen to Fitness

Blog | Twitter

This is one of my favourite sites on the internet. The ideas about health and fitness are so simple and effective that it’s amazing some people in the industry make things out to be so complicated.

Favourite PostsFoods to Avoid for a Good Nights Sleep, The Art of Wholesome and Moderate Eating, A Story About 100% Caffeine Free Living

Follow if: You want don’t want to obsess over your health and fitness.


Turbulance Training Podcast


The podcast of Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training program. This is a weekly coaching call featuring sample workouts, nutrition advice and motivational messages. He regularly has expert guest speakers on to share their thoughts, too. You can lose fat and gain muscle without cardio!

Listen to if: You want short, sharp informative health & fitness information on a weekly basis.

The FitCast


The FitCast is another great, long-running fitness podcast, though I find it a little tougher to listen to than the Turbulance Training podcast, simply because it is so much longer. Kevin, John and their guests enjoy some funny banter whilst sharing expert advice and theory.

Listen to if: You want a fitness podcast you can get your teeth into.

Robb Wolf


A former research biochemist, Robb Wolf has affected the lives of thousands of people across the globe thanks to his bestselling book, popular podcast and seminar series. A quick-start guide to his book The Paleo Solution provides a five-step process to beginning the ‘Paleo’ lifestyle.

Listen to if: You are in anyway intrigued by the ‘Paleo’ solution.

YouTube Video Channels

CB Athletics


We return to Craig Ballantyne for a third time, this time to look at his CB Athletics channel on YouTube. This is the channel that gave us the eye-opening Diet Vs Exercise, one of the greatest challenges in the 300 workout as well as many more simple, effective workouts – with and without equipment. Craig’s message is simple – Just say NO to Cardio!

Sample VideosBig 5 Fat Burning Exercises, Circuit Training, Bodyweight Cardio Workout

Watch if: You want to know how to lose weight and build muscle without resorting to cardio.

Brad Pilon


Brad’s channel is an extension to his site providing more insightful, informative advice on strength, fitness, health and nutrition.

Sample VideosHyperMetabolism, How to Lose Weight

Watch if: You want to understand the science behind fat loss and muscle gain.

Adonis Effect


Adonis Effect is John Barban and Brad Howard’s strength, health and fitness channel. Their ‘True or False’ and ‘Fact or Factoid’ series dispel many of popular myths circulating the health and fitness industry.

Sample Videos – Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?, True or False? You Cannot Lose Weight Without Exercise, Eating Healthy Vs Eating For Weight Loss

Watch if: You want to see some of the biggest health and fitness myths destroyed.

Free Resources

Precision Nutrition Strategies – Dr. John Berardi


This book answers the question of what should people eat to 1) look fit, 2) be healthy and 3) perform to their highest potential. To receive it, you’ll have to sign up for John’s newsletter, ‘The Beradi Report’ but that too is packed full of nutrition advice, tasty recipes and other ideas, which isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Fearless Health – Matt Gartland


Matt Gartland is the man behind Healthy Lifestyle Design, a fascinating site that is sadly no more since Matt began his new site Modern Audacity. Not to worry, it’s already shown it’ll be just as great a site, if not better. Anyhow, Matt’s free ebook, Fearless Health was one of my favourite finds of 2010. Download it now.


Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It – Gary Taubes


I’m close to finishing reading this book and I have to admit it has completely opened my mind with regards to the reasons why we get fat. It blows many of the well known ‘causes’ clean out of the water. In all honesty, I do not have the words to do this book justice, at least not as much well as this Amazon book review.

Also look out for this other book, Good Calories, Bad Calories.

Read if: You want definitive answers as to why we get fat and what we can do about it.

The 4-Hour Body – Tim Ferriss


If you haven’t yet heard of this book, where have you been? Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Work Week has created a follow up in the form of ‘The 4-Hour Body‘ – a ‘create your own adventure’ style book promising to make you thinner, bigger, faster or stronger depending on the path you choose. There is a lot of research that has gone into this book and the results are pretty exciting. When I complete the Manchester 10k, I’m going to return to sprinting and will be following his chapter on sprint work to the letter. Love him or hate him, you cannot argue that he is not entertaining.

Read if: You’ve ever dreamed about being superhuman.


Website | Chrome Web Store allows users to motivate themselves towards fat loss. I have not used yet as I’ve not currently looking to lose fat (though I guess it’s possible to track your weight upwards, if that’s what you’re after) but I have been following its progress for some time. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Use if: You want to track your fat loss with a challenging, motivational edge.

What have I missed?

This list is, as much as I can recall, the most useful resources I have come across during the last six to twelve months as I have lost close to 40lbs of fat whilst getting faster and stronger. If you have other suggestions for me I’d love to hear them in the comments. I will then add your suggestions to my own as a source for great health and fitness advice. I’m always on the look out for health and fitness inspiration as I struggle to overcome the sedentary lifestyle that comes with working with computers all day, every day.

I’m looking for:

  • Your favourite health & fitness bloggers
  • Your favourite podcasts and YouTube video channels
  • Book recommendations
  • Tools which help you track your goals

Thanks for reading!

This site is intended to provide advice for web developers, designers, programmers, software developers and any other regular computer users. You can subscribe to Fitness Hack updates using RSS or email. You can also follow my own mission to lose fat, get strong and run fast on Twitter.

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  • Kevin Morrill

    You can try out for a simple way to track your weight on a daily basis. You get an text message in the morning that reminds you to reply with your weight. You can then go to the web anytime and get your own personal graph.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Kevin. Looks interesting. Bookmarked for future reference!

  • Steve Kamb

    Thanks for the shout out Adam!

    You’ve got a great list there – I’m a huge fan of guys like Jason, Craig, and Alwyn as well, so it’s an honor to see my name listed anywhere on the same page as them.

    Hope you’re doing well dude!


    • Anonymous

      Thanks for the visit, Steve!

      I hope all is going to plan with your trip – have fun.


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