I’m fortunate enough to be able to speak with Rusty Moore from fitnessblackbook.com on more than one occasion. In fact, he’s largely the inspiration for this sites existence.
Not only does Rusty run his high-traffic website, but he’s released several books — most notably Visual Impact for both Men and Women as well as his newly released cardio book Visual Impact Cardio
Firstly, thanks Rusty for stopping by and taking the time to answer some ‘Crude’ questions.
Rusty Moore: No problem Clint. I don’t too many of these interviews, but I’m excited about the growth and emergence of your blog…so I’m pumped to be part of that.
For those that don’t know much about you, mind giving us a run-down on how you started and made a name for yourself in the fitness industry?
Rusty Moore: Well…I started a blog back in June of 2007 after being a bit fed up with where fitness was headed. The only sites online back then were geared towards bodybuilders. Most of the sites had a corny meat-head feel about them.
Sites filled with men who looked like ex-cons women who looked like 80’s strippers.
My world was filled with people who’s goal was to look more like the men and women in a James Bond film…and less like the men and women at a WWE match.
…that probably sounds harsh, but fitness had turned into this weird subculture. My world was filled with people who’s goal was to look more like the men and women in a James Bond film…and less like the men and women at a WWE match.
My blog, Fitness Black Book, quickly took off. I certainly had my critics, but the overwhelming response was positive. My methods were aimed at getting the slim and muscular look. Getting fit without adding as much size as possible. This allowed people to still wear stylish clothes. People used the techniques I had perfected over a 20 year period and got outstanding results. The word spread and the site went viral in a big way.
I flog Visual Impact Muscle Building quite a bit on here, and have done the course myself with some pretty amazing results.
Why do you think your programs have been so successful?
Rusty Moore: The mens program is aimed at adding hard muscle without ever having to bulk up. At no point does a guy have to look like a chubby ex-football player like so many other muscle gaining programs. The program flat out works for guys to get the lean and muscular “Hollywood Look”…probably better than anything else on the market.
The women’s program is the first program that helps women get in shape without adding size. My girlfriend is a women’s fashion designer and I go to a bunch of fashion shows. Most the women I come in contact with want to look smoking hot in stylish clothes. Too much muscle makes a woman look “manly” and masculine. My program avoids that problem 100% and allows women to get a sleek and lean physique without their jeans getting tight. It is aimed at women who want a feminine physique similar to Jessica Alba…and less like Jillian Michaels.
The women’s program is the first program that helps women get in shape without adding size.
Can you give me an example of a wrong piece of fitness advice that both men and women get from magazines, blogs and personal trainers?
Rusty Moore: That high reps “tone” the muscle and low reps build muscle. Completely bogus and false info. If someone wants to create definition, they need to get stronger while dropping their body fat percentage. The goal should be to increase performance of a muscle without increasing size. This creates a more “efficient” muscle. The more efficient a muscle becomes, the more “tone” it will display.
In regards to Visual Impact For Women and the workouts you recommend. You claim that women should not train with high reps. Why’s that?
Rusty Moore: “Lifting High-Reps for muscle tone” is quite possibly the worst piece of training advice. High-Reps are more likely to create a “pump” in the muscle. Creating the “pump” in a muscle is a great way to create large Vascular (veiny) muscles. This is why body builders train for the pump.
Most women don’t want large muscles with bulging veins…so probably best to stay away from high rep training. It gets even worse if they train to failure with high reps.
That high reps “tone” the muscle and low reps build muscle. Completely bogus and false info. If someone wants to create definition, they need to get stronger while dropping their body fat percentage.
To be honest, training to failure and fatigue is what builds the muscle. So 5 reps to failure can build muscle as well as 15 reps to failure. I recommend training short of failure in the lower rep range…this way women won’t build size and they won’t get “the pump”.
You talk about and recommend a lot of cardio in your program. If a reader was keen on using lean gains fasting in association with the Visual Impact program, would you cut a lot of that cardio out?
Rusty Moore: Lean Gains style fasting works well, but I still recommend cardio. If you add my cardio program to any diet or workout routine you will hit your goals much quicker than without this cardio.
My advice is to hit cardio the way I describe in the program…get incredibly fit quickly…and then back off when you are simply maintaining your amazing physique. My approach is to get the fat loss over with, rapidly. Why pull a band-aid off slowly?
Your blog, Fitness Black Book is very easy to read and digest. Do you think that’s the main reason it has been so successful?
Rusty Moore: Yeah…I think that is part of it for sure. Another reason is that I don’t pretend to be a saint. I’m a normal guy who likes to live life to the fullest while staying lean. I like to meet up with friends for Happy Hours on Fridays, I like to eat my Aunt’s amazing sugar cookies around Christmas time, I enjoy beer fests, etc.
I don’t think someone has to become an obsessed “gym rat” to stay in amazing shape. I also don’t think people need to trade style for fitness either. People can get fit without living in sweat pants and workout gear.
What are some of the other writers, artists and fitness leaders that have inspired you?
Rusty Moore: I’m a huge music fan and love reading. My favorite author is Seth Godin. As far as music goes I like Indie Rock. I grew up in Seattle and we have had a pretty cool indie scene for decades. I’m not one of those guys who simply likes what was popular when I was in high school…I’m constantly searching for bands that push the envelope. I still will throw in some New Order, The Smiths, The Cure, etc. on my iPod…but I’ll mix it with newer indie groups like Crystal Castles, Foster the People, Band of Horses, etc.
For fitness leaders? My favorites are Pavel Tsatsouline, Anthony Bova, Brad Pilon, and John Barban.
I also don’t think people need to trade style for fitness either. People can get fit without living in sweat pants and workout gear.
It would appear that you don’t endorse supplements or any bullsh*t gimmicks. Would you mind explaining if you’ve had such offers to endorse various things, and if so why you turned them down?
Rusty Moore: I do get people asking me to promote stuff all the time, since my site is getting around 5 million visitors per year now. Typically it’s their fitness programs. As far as supplements go, I do take a multivitamin, meal replacement powder, BCAA’s, and now krill oil. Nothing magical about these. I let people know about the brands I like, but I don’t push these hard like some fitness guys.
You can get in amazing shape without any supplements. I take them now, simply because my diet isn’t always spot on. It really is a personal choice.
I debunk a lot of gimmicks and scams on this site. Is there anything you’ve fallen victim to yourself and wasted your money on in the past?
Rusty Moore: The whole idea of eating a lot to gain muscle is probably a common one that I see. So many guys are fooled by the scale. They put on 20 pounds in 2-3 months and believe that most of it is muscle.
I made this mistake myself for 4-5 years in a row…when I first began to train. I would put on 20-25 pounds, then diet down before summer. After dropping 15-20 pounds of fat, I would gain a total of maybe 4-5 pounds of muscle. I would highly recommend that guys avoid this method. The gyms are filled with chubby guys with a bit of muscle…don’t add to that statistic.
A better method is to train and have a six pack the entire time. When you are lean, your face looks more attractive as well. Why look terrible for part of the year? Life is too short for that!
You can get in amazing shape without any supplements. I take them now, simply because my diet isn’t always spot on. It really is a personal choice.
Finally, what’s a day-in-the-life for Rusty Moore like. Give us a run-down of how you eat, train and move on a regular day.
Rusty Moore: Sure…let’s outline today to make this easy. I’m leaving for a beach trip in a week, so I have tightened up my diet a bit. This morning I got up at 6:30 and had a Myoplex meal replacement shake. I had a strong cup of coffee an hour later. It is now 8:30. I’ll be on the computer until around 9:30. I have a multivitamin and omega 3’s that I take at some point in the morning as well.
At 9:30, I’m going to head to the grocery store and pick up some food to put in my Crock Pot. I’ll make some sort of beef stew and get it started at 10:30 or 11:00. I head into the gym at 11:30, then take a shower at my gym, and head into my work space. Before and after training I’ll eat 10-15 grams of BCAA’s. I was taking powder form, but like to take them in tablets now…for convenience.
I have a workspace that I rent on the waterfront in Seattle with my girlfriend. She designs clothes and has huge tables to roll out and cut fabric. She also has 4 sewing machines and a pretty sweet setup. I have a smaller office in our workspace with a large desk and computer. So after working out, I sit down at my computer until 5:30 or 6:00. I’ll drink another shake about 1-2 hours after training.
I get home at around 6:00-6:30 and we will eat around that time. The stew will be done slow cooking in the Crock Pot. All whole organic ingredients and it will taste great. I’ll eat 2 bowls of this stuff. After dinner we will chill out on the couch and watch a couple hours of TV. Typically we have some sort of TV series we are following on Netflix (Mad Men, Sons of Anarchy, Weeds, etc.).
Before and after training I’ll eat 10-15 grams of BCAA’s. I was taking powder form, but like to take them in tablets now…for convenience.
Note: On 1 day this week I won’t eat until dinner. Those who follow Eat Stop Eat will understand why. I’ll probably do the 2 shakes and meal thing on and off before summer. It helps me drop 4-5 pounds to be extra sharp for summer season. This also gives me a lot more “wiggle room” for high calorie meals, BBQ’s, etc. without become pudgy during the summer time.
Thanks for your time Rusty, is there anything you’d like to add?
Rusty Moore: I just like people to know there are countless routes and programs that work well. I do believe that my programs are some of the best to get the lean “Hollywood Look”…but I’m not going to tell you that my approach is the only way that works.
If you ever run into a fitness author or coach that has the attitude that their approach is the “only one that gets results”…run away! Honestly, these are the people who are too stubborn to adapt to new research and aren’t open to learning. A better coach is someone who is constantly learning and hungry to improve their methods over time.
Rusty’s programs are some of the best on the market. If you’d like to see my own before/after and progress videos, checkout this link here >
Interested in the mens program?
Click here for Visual Impact for Men
Interested in the womens program?
Click here for Visual Impact for Women
Interested in the NEW Visual Impact Cardio program?
Click here for Visual Impact Cardio
Clint’s Note: Got a question for Rusty? Ask it below.
Join the discussion 13 Comments
Great interview Clint!
Rusty, knows what he’s talking about and his products and blog are just top notch. He’s a guy that is excellent at what he does and he is an overrall great guy as well.
His fitness advice ruffles a few feathers and naturally so, since he goes against the grain. He doesn’t shy away from giving advice that works rather than rehashed myths we have been exposed to by the fitness/ bodybuilding community.
His advice really is spot on and I know that if anyone who’s never tried his methods gives him a chance they will find that he knows what he’s talking about and you will get the results you’ve been looking for.
Great interview. I’ve enjoyed watching your blog. I too have been inspired by Rusty. So great to see a community forming that support each other.
Keep up the awesome work.
Hi Clint, nice interview. I’ve been reading Rusty’s blog from almost the beginning, it’s one of the best out there. First time to your site and it looks great also…will have more of a look around later. Are you based in Australia also?
A plug for my site if any of your Aussie readers need mortgage services…cheers
Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.
Thanks for the interview. Very good questions and you chose some great pictures!
I will try and answer questions for the first few days. Unfortunately I can’t keep checking back, because my blog and Facebook page keep me really busy.
Thanks for the kind words…and I’m loving your blog!
Thanks guys for the kudos — it’s been a while coming, but many thanks for Rusty for taking the time.
Rusty – completely understand that you won’t be able to answer questions on here for that long.
Get in quick people :)
It is a good thing I caught wind of Rusty’s program when I did because I had just entered into the issue he had after lifting heavy for so long (muscle built in the wrong places (buttocks, upper thighs, & waist)). To make a long story shorter, my question to Rusty is this, if I train for strength or power, for competitive reasons. How would I go about training to continue development of those two things without dead lifting or squating heavy (which would continue the building of muscle in the wrong areas)?
P.S. Mr. Nielsen, this was a great interview.
Great interview. The reason I began following Rusty’s blog was exactly what you guys discussed: I was looking for good information on how to obtain a lean, Hollywood look. The bodybuilding “meathead” sites turned me off and Fitness Black Book offered a fresh perspective that I hadn’t seen anywhere else. I became hooked and I still am!
Keep up the great work! You are an inspiration to many in the fitness niche!
Great post Clint! I like Rusty’s down to earth style and common sense. He is also a big time giver and I think that draws people to him. He has challenged many of my fitness beliefs over the years and has helped me keep an open mind. Thanks for sharing this interview.
Great interview with Rusty. His website and products have really helped guide me in the right direction. I wish he had been around 15 years ago when I was stuck in Barnes and Noble reading bodybuilding magazines.
i bought the fitness black book and CANNOT download it to my phone or computer!!!!
i have been trying to contACT RUSTY OR HIS PEOPLE WITH NO AVAIL i bought the program
can you please forward this
or have him print it out for me?
Awesome interview with Rusty I love how honest he is, he straight up disses the bulky and over muscular female look because most guys and girls want aesthetics not conan the barbarian style muscle.
Great interview Clint, I like Rusty’s approach to bodybuilding ,its sensible and real life approach. Thanks.