How to Hack Your Metabolism Like A Marine

How to Hack Your Metabolism Like a Marine


in Exercise, Make Money

I don’t do many guest posts, but when Sgt. Manny Melgoza asked to write for my blog, I couldn’t say no. Manny is marine with one of the best personalities—and ripped bodies—that I’ve ever met.

Manny wanted to teach my readers how to hack their metabolism in order to improve muscle growth and fat loss. I’ve been following many of his tactics for months (especially drinking cold water in the mornings and deadlifting). These strategies have helped ratchet my fat loss considerably.

So, check out Manny’s article on how to Hack Your Metabolism. Follow these strategies, plus a consistent workout regime and diet, and you’ll find yourself in shape in no time. Don’t forget to subscribe to Manny’s content at

Take it away Manny


[Editor’s Note: Some people have mentioned that a few of these ideas can also be found in the 4 hour body, by Tim Ferriss].

I don’t know about you, but I like to do things the easy way. It’s not that I’m lazy. It’s just that I like to do things the most efficient way possible. I’m a huge believer of working smarter not harder.

Not only that, I’m also a believer that a small fraction of actions influence a huge part of the outcome. Simply, less can be more.

Today I’m going to talk about my best and most efficient techniques for getting in shape fast. I will be teaching you how to hack your metabolism with minimal effort. It will however, require consistency.

The first technique will teach you how to take advantage of water and the laws of thermodynamics. Some of us have heard about Michael Phelp’s 12k calorie diet. It’s amazing to me how someone could eat so much and not get fat. It’s even more amazing to me that he was doing it just to maintain his weight.

The second technique will teach you about some common foods that have been studied and known to provide an incredible boost to your metabolism. Imagine eating something that causes your body to react as if you just had an intense workout.

Lastly I will teach you the “Teuful Hunden Routine.” It features two exercises that will work out 90% of your muscles. With just two exercises you can provide resistance training to almost your entire body. Stay off those cardio machines and learn to tear down some muscle fibers. The more muscle your body has the higher your metabolism will be.

Hack Your Fat Using H2O

Understand this basic concept. Your body uses more energy and burns more calories to accomplish the same tasks when it’s cold than when it’s warm. When you body temperature drops your body reacts, and attempts to maintain your core temperature. This reaction causes your body to burn calories.

  • Want to boost your metabolism first thing in the morning? Drink an ice cold glass of water when you wake up. Your body has to work to bring the water to a temperature suitable to be metabolized, and this reaction burns calories.
  • Want to burn some extra calories while you’re watching TV? Place ice packs on your back, behind your neck, and your upper chest for 30 minutes while you’re watching TV or sitting around. The body has to do work to keep you warm, and that burns calories.
  • If you really want to step it up, start taking cold showers. After your regular routine, turn the water to cold and try to hang in there for 3-5 minutes. It’s as if you’re trying to induce the shakes for a short duration.
  • For the hardcore only, and only after you have done the steps outlined above, take an ice bath up to your waist for about 10 minutes, do this three times a week, typically after your workout, this will help with the soreness, and burn even more calories.

3 Foods That Burn Fat

Now I’ll reveal 3 foods that you should be adding to your diet to hack your metabolism even further.

  • The first is cinnamon, and it has the power to increase your metabolism by 20 times the normal rate! Try adding ¼ tsp per day to your coffee.
  • Next is protein. When your body digests protein, it burns about twice as many calories than when digesting fat and carbohydrates. Eating lean protein sources such as fish, eggs, beans, chicken and lean beef boosts your metabolism.
  • Lastly is caffeine from coffee or tea. Believe it or not caffeine will boost your metabolism quite a bit. Try combining coffee with cinnamon for a dramatic boost in your metabolism every morning.
  • Here’s a fun bonus. Grapefruit or unsweetened grapefruit juice prior to a crappy meal will do some damage control. The fruit effects your insulin levels in a way that leads to less fat storage. Be very careful if you’re taking meds because this crazy fruit can affect its properties.

The Teufel Hunden Routine

Finally, the best way to hack your metabolism is to perform some level of physical activity. But that’s not really a hack is it? No not really, but me teaching you two exercises that work 90% of your muscles is.

Performing these two exercises 2-3 times a week will give you a complete muscular workout that will generate lean muscle which will then speed up your metabolism.

This routine is known as the “Teufel Hunden Routine.” According to US Marine Corps tradition, the nickname was used by German soldiers to describe the ferociousness that the Marines brought to battle in the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918. The term translates to “Devil Dogs,” they described us as fighting like dogs from hell.

  • Your first exercise will be the Dead Lift.

  1. Stand with the balls of the feet directly under the bar. (To exercise the muscles in your feet you could do this barefoot)
  2. The feet should be flat on the floor with the toes pointed directly forward or slightly toe-out.
  3. Stance is relatively narrow with feet positioned between shoulder and hip-width apart.
  4. Keeping the hips below the shoulders, squat down until you can grip the bar with an alternated grip. (mixed grip)
  5. The hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The arms are completely straight and outside the knees.
  6. While in the squat position the bar will be approximately 1 inch in front of your shins.
  7. The body position will be similar to the Squat and all good lifting positions: head neutral, shoulders back, upper back flat, trapezius relaxed and slightly stretched, chest up and out, scapula retracted, straight back, shoulders over or slightly in front of the bar, eyes focused straight ahead or slightly upward.
  8. Begin the lift by driving through the heels, hips, thighs and knees.
  9. Keep the bar as close to your shins as possible without touching.
  10. Once the bar clears the knees, slowly return to the starting position or carefully release the bar without crushing anyone’s toes.


  • The second exercise will be Pull-Ups and Push-Ups.

You should perform 3 separate sets of 3-5 repetitions of the dead lift immediately followed by a set of pull-ups or push-ups. You should try to perform 5-10 pull-ups, or 15-20 push-ups.

For example if you did 5 dead lifts and then immediately follow it with 10 pull-ups that would be one set.

After each set you should rest a full 5 minutes. Then repeat the process 2 more times. This should only take you about 30 minutes to do, and you will be resting for 15 of those minutes.

Make sure to warm up properly before attempting any type of exercise. I’m not a doctor, I’m a Marine so please don’t kill yourself attempting any of this.

If you follow the steps for good exercise, and a proper diet, you’ll easily be able to achieve your goals. You don’t need to be a member of the most expensive gym in the world—you just need to exercise right and eat well.

My Gift To You

I love finding ways to hack my metabolic system just as much as Maneesh loves to find ways to hack life.

That’s why I put together a free email series that takes you through my entire workout program 1 week at a time. I will transform you from a regular body to a military physical fitness test hacker.

Thanks a lot for reading!


Rachel April 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Hey Manny! Just thought I’d let you know that I read this post over a year ago, and have been using almost all of these tips ever since. It’s helped me so much, and so has your website. I was 16 at the time, and I wanted to get into the best shape I could. Because of this post (and your other ones at 300PFT), I’m fitter than I’ve ever been. Thank you so much! God bless!


Rachel April 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm

… And it’s helped me put on 20 lbs of muscle :)


Sarah McCulloch August 9, 2013 at 3:14 pm

While I have absolutely no doubt that Tim merely synthesised ideas that had been around for a while when he wrote the Four Hour Body, the fact is that this article isn’t “inspired” by him, it’s a repeat of his entire chapter on weight loss, virtually page for page. Just without any of the references that Tim made to the people who gave him his ideas, such as Thermogenix, StrongLifts, and the details of the numerous experiments he performed on himself to determine optimal effect, including the ice packs and the cinnamon.

It’s obviously a good idea to spread knowledge about weight hacking, but I think you need to be giving a bit more credit to begin with and not just leaving down to your commenters to point out considerably more bluntly where you got your thinking from.


Coleman August 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I would use this a lot, but I barely have enough calories to burn running track…


JYves August 9, 2012 at 1:05 am

I am ready to try some of the tips, it is very encouraging, and look easy, but i am also a bit sceptical. I am sorry. here is why :
as far as i know, American people drink more than anywhere else iced drinks and coffee, there is cinnamon on most of there sweets, and they eat more proteins than anywhere else. But it doesn’t seem to help enough to have a lean body. It seems to me that just doing that won’t help me losing weight, but may be combine with eating less ?


maneesh August 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Americans also are winning the most gold medals in the olympics, does that make us the healthiest country in the world?

Truth is, there are different people in the US, healthy and fat. I don’t drink iced drinks, no cinnamon, no sweets…just protein. And I eat less too.


Manny January 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Hey JYves, did you ever give the tips a try?


FRANK August 2, 2012 at 2:22 am

Nihil novum sub sole est. Nothing is ever completely original, it’s just not possible.

I’m sure these techniques have been around for ages in different times and places, it’s just the presentation and condensation of information that makes things seem new or novel to us now.


Jess July 31, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Hey – these tips are new to me as well. Thanks Manny!

I second Ben’s comments about the haters though – if it ain’t useful to you, then don’t use it. Don’t think that the utility of information starts and ends with you though.


Ben Peterson July 12, 2012 at 12:19 am

I didn’t read the 4 hour body. These concepts are new to me and I enjoyed them. Thanks Manny! The haters need to go do some pushups and quit trying to be the originality police.


Manny January 11, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Thank you! Did you get a chance to apply any of them?


wagner July 10, 2012 at 5:51 am

First of all, thanks and congrats for the tips.
Then now i would like to help to enhance those tips by giving another one, which is:
>Intake as much as possible fiber carbohydrates, because they will require much more energy in their break down process, which means 3 times more calories spent then other types of carbohydrates. Eat vegetables as much as you can, then see the results.


Manny January 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Good tip!


Alexandra Griffin July 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm

I went to Kroger today and went down the cookie isle (not the smartest choice, I know) and saw chocolate chip cookies being advertised as be nutrient rich with tons of calcium and protiens. I think that maker was Keebler Elf. Haha I burst out laughing at the stupidity and had to share.


Rob Paige July 4, 2012 at 6:12 am

I think the point here is give the source of the information credit. You come across as original, when it is a rip off of Tim.


maneesh July 4, 2012 at 7:30 am

Rob, I didn’t know these ideas were in the 4 hour body, I’ve included a reference. Thanks.


Rob July 30, 2012 at 8:43 am

Every single one of them!


Stanley Lee July 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm

I would like to second Maneesh on not being able to recall Manny’s content from the 4HB.


Indrek Stern July 5, 2012 at 12:47 am

Rob, it is definitely not a rip off just because the overall point is the same. Someone who suggests using a lighter for lighting a fire is not a ripoff, just more efficient than using a stick.


Right Page July 12, 2012 at 9:01 am

TIM’s NOT ORIGINAL. I was doing all in each of his books, at least 40 months before they were released. People who don’t know better think Tim created them. Being well known, doesn’t mean you’re the best. You’re almost irritating me.


Alexandre July 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm

Really good man!

The cinammon is really good to masculin hormones too. Testosterone and anothers.

One tip, for MAX CRAZY AFTER-BURN EFFECT would be do burpees with pullups instead of just pullups or pushups. With this, the 5 minutes to relax will make A LOT of sense! lol…



Manny July 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm

or some plyo jumps!


Zachery August 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I do the workout insanity and with caffiene and grapefruit juice oooo man does the weight just fall off.


Manny January 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Melts right off!


Mike July 3, 2012 at 2:04 am

Nice summary of a few useful techniques. Although not new, and similar to the 4HB, it is easier to digest and handy as a crib sheet. I find its easy to read about these techniques but harder to make a habit of doing them. I’m happy to take any help I can in doing this. Thanks for the summary.


Bryan July 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Guys, Tim Ferriss didn’t invent any of these tips. They have been around forever. He hardly ever comes up with anything original and he admits that. 4 Hour Body hit the shelves and there was nothing new in it for me, as someone obsessed with fitness and health.

You also don’t have to publish completely original information to help people. Tim wrote a lot about the Pareto Principle but there have been entire books written on it and everyone who studies economics knows it. Doesn’t mean that getting it to a wider audience didn’t help people.


Manny July 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Hey guys!

Thanks for checking out the article and taking the time to write comments.

The article does highlight some of the best parts of the 4HB yes, but that’s because Tim’s book is all about efficiency. Naturally I read his book, and agree with most of the techniques.

I do plenty of research and the 4HB was not the first time I heard about this. The article I highlighted about thermal dynamics even highlights how Tim is talking about this technique. It wasn’t new in 2010 and it isn’t new now. It is new to a lot of people who never heard of it before.

“It turns out, this phenomenon was well-studied by the military and the space program in the 1950s and 1960s, only in the context of keeping weight on soldiers in cold, harsh environments, not on weight loss.”

As a Marine, this peaked my interest, and researched it further.

The foods have been well documented in the past as well.

Fitness professionals should know that multi-joint exercises is the best way to develop muscle in the least amount of time.

None of this is new, all of this material was researched extensively by Tim as well. He wrote an awesome book about it and was able to put it in front of millions of eyes.


Tommy July 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Isn’t this pretty common sense and mainstream info, where comes the hacking part?


Manny July 3, 2012 at 8:26 am


It’s not as mainstream as we think. There are still millions of people trying to get in shape by using inefficient methods.

Just hang out at the gym for a little while and see how many people will go in there and “run” on a treadmill for an hour (without warming up), and call it a workout after barely breaking a sweat.

It’s also common sense that burning more calories than you eat will make you skinny. If it’s that easy than why are we so unhealthy? (American population)

To guys like us it may seem like common sense, but that’s because we seek knowledge and self improvement. When I wrote this, I was thinking the same thing, but there was a time I didn’t know any of this.

To the regular folks, this may be just the ticket to get in shape.


Indrek Stern July 2, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Some very nice and simple but effective content, Manny. I’ll echo back 100% the concept of working smarter, not harder.
And I’d forgotten about the cold water in the morning! I can start doing that again.

Have you by chance measured your basal body temperature after waking up to see how effective this protocol would be in boosting the metabolism? That is, assuming you agree that body temp is one of the simplest and best ways to measure metabolism.

If you added in the temperature monitoring (something I told Maneesh about a while ago), it would just be an easy way to track progress and to see if someone is actually responding the way they “should” be with an increased metabolic rate. There are always people who don’t. Adrenal fatigue and too restrictive of a diet are the usual culprits.

Thanks for the great (and simple) post, man.


Manny July 3, 2012 at 6:24 am


Thanks for reading it! I appreciate you taking the time to write as well. I haven’t had a chance to try that out, but that sounds like a cool self experiment. (I use the methods on myself) I may do that and write about it soon! Thanks!



Your friendly german neighbor July 2, 2012 at 10:30 am

The expression “Teufel Hunden” doesn’t make any sense in german and is the literal translation of “devil dogs”. Is it US marine corps tradition to use google translate?


Manny July 3, 2012 at 6:19 am

I’m guessing that you’re German? What would be the correct translation for “devil dogs” then?

This is something I picked up in boot camp. Ask any Marine about it.

Google translate didn’t exist back then, maybe they got it wrong when it the term originated.


Michael July 4, 2012 at 2:33 am

You can find an article on Wikepedia on this nickname. The correct word in German therefore would be “Teufelshunde”.


teufelskerl July 11, 2012 at 6:41 am

@german neighbor – you are a walking cliché of a grumpy German wise ass

you’re doing nothing good for the image of your country.


Your friendly german neighbor July 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm

jupp, thats right! :)


Rob Paige July 2, 2012 at 8:41 am

This is just a summary of the 4 Hour Body.


Nick July 2, 2012 at 8:33 am

Tim Ferriss stole your tips! Then he time traveled to 2010 and published a book on it!


Manny July 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm

He’s genius, I don’t doubt he has a time machine stashed somewhere.


AFL July 2, 2012 at 8:23 am

This reads like a very shortened version of the Tim’s Ferriss’s Four Hour Body. Especially the part about Michael Phelps


Georgie May 2, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I have honestly never heard of the 4 hour body, but the bit about Micheal Phelps I had heard from a lot of people. Thanks for the tips. I hadn’t heard of most of them but they do make sense. Maybe I will even read this 4 hour body book…


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