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Q & A With Chris Zaino - Part 4.

Find out what kind of exercises you can do without a gym on a boat, how to get rid of water retention, how to get rid of stretch marks and much more...

I am a captain on a supply boat that carries stuff to offshore oil rigs. I am out of shape and overweight and I want to get in shape, but I don't have access to a gym on the boat. As a matter of fact I'm restricted to a pair of dumbbells and a jump rope. Could you please help me configure a routine suitable for my situation? My fitness goals are to lose fat while at the same time gaining muscle.

Well, it is time to get creative. Some people feel that they need a lot of fancy expensive equipment to get a good work out. Not so! Using some creativity, and the resources surrounding you, a sound training program can be developed to get you on your way to seeing results. I will go over exercises you can do that will ensure you of a great workout, with little or no equipment at all.


Pushups: I would use all different hand spacing and placing. (Hands wide, hands narrow, hands pointed out, hands pointed in, etc.) Perform 6 sets for as many reps as you can. You can even elevate your feet on a step or chair for added resistance.


Pull-ups: These may be difficult at first, but keep trying them. You may be only able to get 1 or 2. Find a beam or door way that you can do pull-ups on. If they are too difficult, have a chair underneath you and use your feet to help "spot" you and give you some help where needed. Also try different hand grips (over hand, underhand).

One-arm dumbbell rows: Lean on a chair or on a bench with your back parallel to the floor. With one arm, pull the dumbbell up and back into your waist, like starting a lawn mower. Repeat with the other arm. Do 3 sets to failure.


Free Standing Squats: Squat up and down as many times as you can. I would do 4-5 sets of 50 to 100 non-stopping reps.

Walking Lunges: With a dumbbell in each hand, lunge forward with one leg, then repeat with the other. Do 3 sets of walking lunges until failure.


Dumbbell shoulder press: Press the dumbbells straight over your head. Pick a weight that you can handle for 10-15 reps or as many as you can do. 3 sets to failure.

Front Raises: with a light pair of dumbbells, raise them in front of you to eye height.

Side laterals: Raise the dumbbells straight out to your sides.

Rear laterals: Bend over, and raise the dumbbells straight back.

Perform 3 sets of each exercise for as many reps as possible.


Dumbbell Bicep Curl: With a dumbbell in each arm, curl them up one arm or both arms at a time. 4 sets to failure

Close grip pull ups: With a reverse grip and hands close together, pull yourself up as many times as you can. 3 sets to failure.

Close grip push ups: with hands narrow or together, do as many push-ups as you can. 3 sets, as many as you can do.

Triceps bench dips: With 2 benches or chairs parallel to each other, place both your feet on one of them, and sit on the other. Feet staying on one bench, lower yourself down, and with your arms, push yourself back up to the starting position. 3 sets for as many as you can do.

Abs & Calves:

Crunches, leg lifts, side twists: do 3 sets of each to failure

Standing calf raise: Standing on a step with you heels hanging off, rise yourself as high on your tip toes as you can, then lower your heels as low as they can stretch. Repeat. DO 4-6 sets of as many as possible until an intense burn sets in.


I would walk or jog on the boat for at least 30 min a day for the fat burning and cardiovascular benefits.

Eat Right:

You know what is good to eat and what is not. Make sure you can get in about 5 small meals a day. Make sure each one has a good source of protein, a serving of complex carbohydrates, and a serving of green vegetables. The meals should be big enough to just last you until your next meal.

I would divide the body into 3 days:

      Day One: Chest, Shoulder, Triceps

      Day Two: Legs

      Day Three: Back and Biceps

    Then take a day or two off.

As you can see there is plenty to do. With these exercises not only can you get a great workout, but you can also build an impressive physique, and burn quite a bit of body fat. You must work hard and be consistent to see the gains and progress you desire. Train Hard, Train Smart!

How can I work off my water retention, especially my lats and love handles?

Hi Anthony! Unfortunately, you are probably not holding water on your love handles and lower lats, but FAT! You see, as a bodybuilder I tend to see a lot of people use the "holding water" excuse to make up for their lack of conditioning. They are the areas where your fat will come off last. You need to stick with proper diet, cardio and weight training. All those, combined with time, will equal superior results. When you are at a lower percentage of body fat, you will no longer have a problem with those areas.

I am glad you wrote. A lot of people tend to believe this "holding water" myth, and go to the store loading up on water pills and diuretics. All they do is make you dehydrate and eventually can cause a hazard to your health. In fact, if you want to lose any kind of water retention, drink more water. I would shoot for 1 gallon a day. Take care!

How can I get rid of stretch marks from fast muscle gains on my chest? Or at least stop them from growing? Thanks in advance.

Hi Craig! Well, I can say that the stretch marks you have presently will fade away and become virtually nonexistent in time. Instead of thinking what you can put "on" the stretch marks to take them away, you should be searching for a way to condition the skin "internally' to prevent them. Genetics play a big part in whether or not you get stretch marks. Some peoples' skin is very elastic and never have a problem with them. Here are a couple of things I would suggest you use to help prevent stretch marks in the future.

Vitamin E, about 400 iu/day. This is a great antioxidant and helps with the maintenance and repair of your skin tissue.

Essential Fatty Acids. These are products like flaxseed oil, olive oil, fish oils. These are the good fats that our body needs. They help promote strong and healthy skin, hair, and nails, along with a lot of other important processes in the body. These essential fatty acids will also help your gains in muscle if you are in need of them.

Water is very important to the body for hydration. If you do not consume enough water your skin will not be properly hydrated and will not be as elastic as it should be. SO make sure you drink plenty of water.

Tanning will also help make the stretch marks less noticeable. Make sure you always keep your skin moisturized with a good lotion, preferably with aloe vera in it. Hope this works out for you. Try some of the items listed and see how they work. Take care!

Note: This is part four, click here for part one!
  click here for part two!
click here for part three!
click here for part five!
click here for part six!
click here for part seven!
click here for part eight!
click here for part nine!
click here for part ten!
click here for part eleven!