Top 10 Devices To Build Muscle And Burn Fat

There are tons of gizmos out there claiming to help you get into great shape. If I tried to review all of them I would be here all day… and that ain’t happening. I have been working out since I was 14, and the fitness industry was really in its infancy. Yes, I am that old! Damn, 43 comes fast. I can tell you because of the following list I am in the best shape of my life at 43 and can move great for a 245 pounds guy. Ok, are you ready? Then let’s rock-n-roll…here we go.

Your own bodyweight

Ask the average person to do a push up or chin-up and the results will be frightening. Run away when you see that quality of movement. When we start lifting weights and using machines we tend to forget about basic bodyweight movements and this is a shame because if done correctly in a routine it can build your body quick. Try mixing in chins, push ups, burpees, power jumps, etc into a superset workout with your weights. Say hello heart rate. Example: Do a set of benches and then go right to push ups no rest until exhaustion.

TRX Suspension Trainer

This blends perfectly into bodyweight training because it helps your body move in so many directions (called vector training: see my latest YouTube video on this topic) Click here: Vetor Video
I love my TRX, we are very close! Relax now, not that close. TRX allows you to do bodyweight exercise virtually anywhere, hence their business name ‘Fitness Anywhere’. Check it out here:

Renegade by PurMotion

Now this device is the ‘mack daddy’ of training with an Olympic bar. Talk about movement with resistance. Put this device inside a few 25lb plates and then insert your Olympic bar (45 or 35 pounders) into the Renegade and start twisting, turning, pressing, pulling, rotating and kicking your own ass. I use this every single workout in conjunction with my TRX…try super setting these and oh my will you feel some serious burning. Click here to learn more:Renegade


Say what? How can playing with ropes get me tone? I love rope training. This movement really builds stability and activates your core like there is no tomorrow. Superset it with resistance training for a deep muscle activation burn and now you are talking fun stuff. As you can tell, I really like super setting and fast paced momentum between sets. Get that heart rate moving to burn more calories in less time.. Your arms will be on fire.


Unless you have been living in a cave you know what a kettlebell is and you better be training with one too. If not, get off your ass and get some. This is old school movement training that is fun and challenging. The Turkish Getup is probably my number one favorite exercise and is damn near close to be a perfect movement. Master all the steps and really feel a difference in your body. Here is an idea, superset it with ropes. Imagine that?

Prowler Sled

This device I call the ‘Hurler’ because it makes me throw up all the time. Nice! Now why in the world would you want to do that? If you workout hard, you know the answer to that one. I should not have to explain. This device builds everything and there is no way to make it easy. You want hardcore…this is it. Do a few rounds of this and you will have a heart rate through the roof and quads that are screaming. Hello fun times.

A blender

Yes, a real food blender. Why? Cause burning fat and increasing lean muscle comes down to nutrition and diet. You gotta be adding additional supplementation to your body via meal replacement and protein drinks. When you train hard, you gotta eat hard! Meaning you have to make sacrifices and choose between the things you want and the things your body needs. You will not get beyond a certain point in appearance and training without supplementation. So go to the store and invest in a blender. Make shakes not margaritas.

Your Refrigerator

Eat with purpose!! You must be strategic in giving your body the necessary nutrients to heal and grow. If you eat like crap, you look like crap! Pretty simple actually. And listen up!! Eating healthy is not the same as eating for fitness. Read that again! Lots of people eat healthy and still look like crap. Why? Fitness nutrition is totally different than plain healthy eating. It’s about nutrient timing, meal combinations, changing hormone levels based on activity and fitness goals. A great book on hormones and fitness nutrition is Ultimate You by Joe Dowdell and Brooke Kalanick. Check it out here: Ultimate You

Body Bar

These bars are awesome. You can swing them in all directions and be so creative with lower body exercises to isolate the glutes and hips. Rotational training gets an added bonus when you put some resistance on it. Try doing a reverse lunge with a twist holding a Body Bar, or lumberjack chops. Guys, don’t’ think this is girly training either. Give me 5 minutes teaching you a core circuit I will have you panting for air and screaming for rest. Click here to see more details and sample routines: Body Bar

Resistance bands

Variable resistance is the key to muscle activation. Variable resistance means the tension changes based on distance from equipment and you must fight the eccentric load. Men are guilty of not using these. They think these are girly things. Well listen up guys, bands and tubing can take your body to an entirely new level.

Perry Nickelston, DC, SFMA