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Fat Loss Fitness Food Health Uncategorized

10 Reasons Six Pack Abs Suck (And 5 Things To Do Instead)

Six pack pack abs suck. There. I said it. And I mean it.

In your heart of hearts, you kinda know that losing fat and getting a six pack means making sacrifices. You kinda know that there will be hard times, good times, and just normal boring times along the way.

And yet…you still dream of rocking a six pack. But you don’t want to think about how hard it will be.

Time to cowboy up, my American mates might say.

Here’s why getting six packs abs sucks — and how you can get them anyway with a little common sense an a little sweat.

Sound good? Keep reading. We start with common mistakes and end with what to do instead.

First, 10 things you’re doing wrong.

Then, 5 things to do instead.

  1.       You don’t work hard enough
    Sorry, but random 45 minute workouts two or three times a week are just not enough. Your gym sessions need to take priority over Netflix binges,  hanging out with the guys, and just good old relaxing.
  1.       Your program sucks

That workout you and your buddy do? Sorry, not good enough. You need a tailor made program that is designed just for you. Your new program will be hard, but will get you ripped.  It will involve advanced periodization protocols that will test you in ways you never have been tested before. You will have to track every weight you pick up and learn things you have never done before.

 

  1.       You neglect cardio
    Yup, you guessed it. You need to do cardio. And not just ten minutes on the treadmill before each workout. You will likely have workouts designated just for cardio. That means after you have spent your energy and motivation on smashing chest, you now need to come back later and do 30 minutes of sprints and some steady state cardio. This gets old real quick. But you need to do it.
  1.    You’re afraid of being tired
    Your legs are heavy. Your chest is still sore. Even the cereal box is heavy. You are expending so much energy each day that recovery will be much slower. Slowly you will start to wonder: “Is it worth it?” The correct answer is yes.

 

  1.      You love Facebook

But you’re wrong. Learn to love an app called MyFitnessPal instead. This will count every single macronutrient that goes into your body. No more rough estimates of what you think you ate. Measure it and get results.

  1.       You eat too much of the wrong stuff
    You will likely need to use calorie cycling. This means eating less on rest days and arm days, and more on leg days. Slightly less on chest and shoulder days but enough on back day. It’s not all that hard, but it does requires extra work.
  2.    You drink too much beer

Let’s cut to the chase. Less beer with the boys, more eating out of tupperrware. Are we clear?

  1.      You don’t meal prep
    But you need to. Prepare many meals in advance over weekend. You’ll get the headstart you need.
  1.      You compare yourself to a fitness model
    You don’t look like like a fitness model. But guess what?  Neither does he, most of the time. Kind of like how the bathroom lighting can make you look like The Rock until you take two  steps forward and now you’re Danny Devito. Stop idolizing athletes who have everyone in their corner making sure they look perfect.  Unlike you. they don’t have 9-5 jobs and a family to tend to.
  1.   The side effects discourage you

Yup, low bodyfat has side effects, including loss of sex drive in men. Guys who pump iron, diet hard, and do HIIT can end up now having not much sex drive. This can happen at anytime in your journey but generally when your absolutely ripped.

Ladies, your periods may stop coming. Extreme dieting can cause your hormones to start going nuts. You may be thinking not having a period for a while is a relief. It’s not. It’s a signal telling you something is wrong. You may also experience pain in your thighs from the stress of dieting.

5 Things You Can Do Instead

  1. Drink Less Alcohol is great. I’m about to pour myself a glass of Ballantynes Whiskey straight afterIi finish this. Tomorrow morning I’ll jump on the Assault Bike and remember to enjoy another whiskey in a few days. The key here is moderation. Don’t sink beers every night or polish half a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc with dinner. Save it for a special occasion. Have a couple on the weekend but don’t just drink for the sake of drinking. Your health and your abs will be forever grateful.
  2. Eat Smart

Aim for two palm sized portions of protein with each meal, 2 cupped handfuls of carbohydrates, and 2 thumbs of fat. Ladies, aim for 1-1.5 palms of protein, 1 cupped handful of carbs, a thumb of fat with each meal. Add or subtract based on how your body responds. Always keep a decent fist size of vegetables on your plate. No exceptions.

  1.  Train with intent

Do you ever feel like you are just going to the gym but not actually training? Having a clear reason for why you are there makes it so much more important. Find your why and make every rep count!

  1.  Don’t stress

You are going to miss a workout and you will blow out your diet. And it will happen more than once. Who cares? Life goes on and if you spend your time worrying about what you’ve done wrong, you’ll never get to enjoy what you did right. Life is for living. Find balance in everything and commit to what you want.

  1. Hire a coach

Not only will a coach get you to where you want to be, they’ll also be the voice of reason and share their secrets with you. A good coach will be able to guide you to getting a set of abs, enjoying Saturdays, and not living inside of a gym. Why stumble and fall when you walk straight to your destination?

Categories
Fat Loss Fitness Food Uncategorized

5 Reasons You Aren’t Building Muscle (And What To Do Instead)

You train hard. You chug down a protein shake after each workout. You even dropped $69 on a pre-workout supplement that had “proven to build muscle” on the label.

But nothing seems to be working. You have been sitting at 82kg for the last six months and it’s getting frustrating. The guy next to you at the gym is much bigger and more ripped.

Worse, it seems effortless for him.

You wonder: What’s he doing that I’m not?”

He’s doing the basics, mate. And so should you.

Here are five things many people do wrong and what you should do instead.

  1. Not Eating Enough

It’s hard to pack on the muscle if you’re not eating enough. Hitting 3500 calories each day can be a chore. You may have to eat more often or choose different foods.

But remember this: Muscle is made from food. So unless you eat enough, you simply can not gain muscle.

For a quick calculation on how much to eat, take your bodyweight in pounds and multiply it by 19. That’s roughly the number of calories you should be eating, assuming you’re not overweight. Add or subtract based on your results.

  1. You Eat The Wrong Things

Hitting calories is one thing but hitting your macronutrients is another. Macronutrients are proteins, carbs and fats.

If you eat too many starchy carbs like bread and potatoes,you’ll add weight but not muscle. Don’t eat enough, you’ll continue to have the same results you’ve been getting.

Proteins like meat and fish are  essential muscle builders. Amino acids make up the muscle. Without them, you will struggle to get that hard and ripped look.

 

Healthy fats in nuts and olive oil help maintain a healthy hormone profile. Eat enough and your testosterone will hit high levels promoting a muscle building environment. Just be wary of eating too many. Fats contain 9 calories to the gram whereas protein and carbs contain just 4. So plunging your spoon into the peanut butter jar and chowing down may not be the best idea.

3. Your Program Sucks

We’ve all used crappy programs with miracle methodologies that under deliver.  
Cheer up and learn from your mistakes.

Just because you paid $19 for an ebook doesn’t make it good. Stick to foundations or find someone competent who can coach you.

There are a range of techniques proven to add kilos of muscle. These include rest/pause, super sets, giant sets, negatives, or my favorite, triple drop sets.

Next time you are on the leg extension machine do this.

  •         Take your set to failure (12 reps)
  •         Drop the weight so you can perform another 12 reps
  •         Drop the weight again and perform another 12 reps
  •         Drop it one last time and go to failure

Just try not to vomit.

  1.       You Don’t Train Legs

Or at least  you don’t train legs with the same intensity as you train chest. 

I get it. Leg day sucks. It’s hard. It requires more energy and there’s DOMs…that just lasts forever!

The bad news: you have to train legs. It’s half your body.

The good news: it’s amazing for boosting testosterone levels, promoting fat loss, and not looking lke an upside down triangle.

Have a good set of legs means you can squat heavy. A heavy squat is going to annihilate not only your legs, core, and lungs. It will also treat your central nervous system to a beating. This will force your body to work harder to recover and use up more oxygen and fat. The end result? A solid physique.

  1.       You Rest Too Long

Unless you plan to be a powerlifter, you don’t need to rest for three minutes between sets.  Keep your rest periods shorter than two minutes.  The higher the rep ranges, the less rest you need.

When you force fluid into the muscle (aka a pump) your muscles have to reconstruct themselves to accommodate this ie get bigger. If your muscles get ample rest time, this fluid can escape and the need to get bigger is no longer relevant.

Aim for 45-75 seconds for anything over 10 reps. It will be hard. But that’s the point.

The Takeaway

Arm yourself with these tips. Act on them. Pretty soon people will start to look at you the same way you look at the jacked guy at the gym.

Start at the top and implement them one by one.

Count your calories. Adjust your macros. Start training legs again and keep up the intensity.

Go forth and sin no more. Build some muscle!!

Categories
Fat Loss Fitness Uncategorized

5 Proven Ways To Break Through Your Plateau

It happens to us all. Everything is going great. You’re adding muscle and shedding pounds. You feel stronger and more confident.

And then…WHAM! It hits: the dreaded plateau.

Suddenly, everything is going wrong. You stop building muscle, stop losing fat, and stop progressing. It’s a state of homeostasis,where here everything stays the same.

At this point, many people get discouraged and give up. They back away from the gym and stop watching what they eat. In a few weeks or months, they rouse themselves enough to try getting in shape again. After some rapid progress, guess what?

Yes, they hit another plateau. And give up again for a while. Sometimes this cycle can repeat itself for years.

I have hit so many plateaus in my life but the one I remember the most is when I sat around 92 kg. I must have sat there for 2 years. Up to 93, down to 91, but 92 was it.
I thought I was doing everything right. But I wasn’t. I was doing the same thing I had been doing for as long as I can remember. As soon as I made the changes that were required, I suddenly shot up to 97 kg. This is where I comfortably sit right now and i’m stronger than ever.


What does all this have to do with you? Everything! My message to you is:

Don’t get discouraged, get off your plateau instead.

Here’s how.

  1.       Cycle Your Calories

If your goal is 3000 calories per day., That’s 21,000 per week. The normal gym goer would split this up evenly over 7 days. This makes life easy but also makes it easy to stagnate.

 

Instead, eat more or less each day depending on what you are doing that day.

For example, you might eat 3,400 calories on leg day and 2,900 on arm day and so on.

 

This helps to trick your body into believing it’s not losing fat or on a long term bulk. The result: more constant growth.

 

  1.       Periodize Your Routine

Or in simple terms, switch up things every week or so. Periodization has been proven to improve muscle growth and fat loss. How it works is as soon as your body starts to figure out what you’re up to, you change your routine.


A simple protocol would look like this:

Week 1: 5 reps

Week 2: 8 reps

Week 3: 10 reps

Week 4: 12 reps

Week 5: start over

 

This is basic version of periodization where you alter the rep ranges to target different energy systems and muscle fibres.


As you advance, you can switch up the exercises as well as the rep ranges.

This will keep your body guessing and promote constant growth.

If you’re a guy who wants to get ripped and have six packs abs, download my free cheatsheet here.

 

  1.       Fast

Fasting is extremely popular and for good reason. It cleans out old cells, helps regulate hunger hormones, and can slow the effects of some diseases.

 

The sort of fast I recommend is a 24-36 hour fast. I personally go for longer fasts between 3-4 days for health benefits that aren’t gym related.

During your fast your body will forget about what it’s been doing and start cleaning out old cells in the body to use as fuel. The duration without food also helps your body look to your stored energy to keep it alive.

 

After your fast, you will have reset your body and you can begin your normal regime again.

If your fast is longer than 2 days then once every 2 months is a good frequency. If you decide the shorter fasts are your thing then once a month or up to once a week can be beneficial.

 

  1.     Work Harder

We can become the villain in our own story. We get comfortable and stop treating each workout with the intensity it deserves. Instead we look for something else to blame whether it be genetics, age, work, your bad knee etc.

 

Make sure you are giving every workout your absolute best. You should feel like crawling out of the gym.

 

My favorite way to increase intensity is to add dropsets to each exercise.

 

To do this, simply take the set to failure, drop some weight and go again. It will feel like someone has a blowtorch to your muscles.


5. Forgive Yourself

Plateaus are inevitable. Whether you like it or not, it will come. It happens to all of us. Whether you are a professional athlete or a weekly gym goer, you’re still human. The important thing is to keep going and say: “okay, what now?”

 

If you’re a lady who is sick of counting calories or isn’t sure how much you should eat, click here:  http://ethanhyde.com/ccd-landing-page/

 

 

 

Categories
Fat Loss Food Health

Would You Eat The Marshmallow?

In 1972, Walter Mischel performed a famous experiment at Stanford University.

He sat children between the ages of 4 and 6 in an empty room with a marshmallow on the table.

The kids were told they could eat the marshmallow now if they wanted but, if they waited a little while, they would get 2 marshmallows instead.

The researchers left the kids alone in the room and watched…The results were amazing!

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Some kids ate the marshmallow straight away. Some waited a while then ate it.

About one third managed wait long enough to get the second marshmallow.

Most of the kids struggled to wait though. Some covered their eyes. Some hummed. Others created little distractions for themselves.

These kids got the payoff!

By delaying gratification, the children succeeded in getting more in the long term as opposed to the short term fix.

Funnily enough, the same children that were able to delay gratification were actually succeeding more in later life.

Mischel checked in over 10 years later with the 2 kids and found they were doing better academically and had better social skills.

 

So how does this relate to weight loss?

Remind yourself of what you truly want. You are here for the long game.
There will be discomforts along the way but in the end, the payoff is far greater than you could imagine.

Take a lesson from these kids. When you feel like the late night munchies are creeping up on you, create a distraction for yourself.

This can be anything from reading a book or even focusing on why you would rather not eat the entire block of tim tams.

Always ask yourself:

1. What do I want right now?

2. What do I want long term?

3. Is the sacrifice worth it?

4. Can I hold off for a few minutes? Chances are, 10 minutes from now, the munchies are gone.

The long game is the key.

 

Would you eat the marshmallow?

Categories
Fat Loss Fitness

8 Uncommon Must Have Exercises in Your Fat Loss Program

Fat loss comes down to 3 things. Exercise, nutrition, and recovery.

When all three of these are in sync, you will notice massive results. If one is off, the triangle won’t function.

Recovery and nutrition are major factors in fat loss. If you can’t fuel and recover properly, you can’t expect to perform in the gym.

Here are 8 uncommon exercises that you need to recover from because they are that effective.

This is a list of exercises that deliver the most bang for their buck. They are multi-jointed exercises that are very calorie expensive. Not only that, research shows that explosive, full-body moves improves testosterone and growth hormone levels. These are essential muscle building hormones that every guy wants to optimize. You won’t see traditional exercises such as a deadlift or squat in there. These are already part of your program.

 

1: Pull-Ups:

These aren’t exactly an uncommon exercise in the sense that everyone knows what they are. The uncommon part about is, you hardly ever see anyone doing then. Or at least doing them for reps with added weight. Pull-ups are one of the best exercises you can do for you hormone levels and adding serious mass to your back. Add extra weight and you are pretty much telling everyone that you are too strong for you own body. Include pull-ups in your program at least twice a week and watch the fat melt away.

 

2: Dumbbell Snatch:

The dumbbell snatch is one of the best full body exercises you can do. You start with a heavy weight on the floor and launch it over your head. This exercises requires a massive transfer of power. This activates an incredible amount of muscle units. This exercise can either be done with a barbell or a dumbbell. I like using a dumbbell for the extra work my core needs to do to stabilize a heavy weight above one side of my body. I then lower the weight and change sides.

The snatch has also been shown to:

Reduce injury

Increase range of motion

Increase full body stability

Not only that, the strength gained is easily transferred to other movements.

If you look at most Olympic lifters you will notice these guys are jacked. Do what they do and you too will be jacked.

 

3: Clap Push Ups:

Clap push ups, like the snatch, are an explosive movement. Explosive bursts require your type IIB muscle twitch fibres to respond. These are the largest muscle fibres in the body and when trained, they pump up. This is because they draw more fluid into the muscle. Along with adding size, these muscle fibres need energy, and lots of it. If you have repped out 20 push ups, you’ll know it leaves you pumped. Rep out 8 clap push ups and you will be gasping for air and dripping with sweat. Clap push ups need more energy making it harder to recover from. Your body will then need more oxygen over the next 24 hours to facilitate this recovery. This is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption.

 

4: Deadball (medicine ball) Slams:

Have you ever slammed a ball as hard as you could at the ground? One rep of your best effort will leave you gasping. Like a snatch, take a heavy ball from the ground and swing it above your head. Slam this ball with all your might into the ground. You have just used all the major muscles in your body. Your legs, chest, shoulders, core, and back have come together to deliver a devastating blow. Grab that ball and deliver another 10 blows to the ground or until you can no longer move. This is a favourite exercise of mine. Give it shot and you will understand why.

Use a tabata timer and slam as fast as possible for 20 seconds. Make sure every slam is with all your power. Rest for 10 seconds and complete another 8 times.

 

5: Renegade Rows:

Renegade rows are very rarely seen performed in gyms. It is an incredibly intense compound exercise. Renegade rows build strength and power, all whilst melting fat.

Renegade rows build extreme power in the back and core. Performing a row in a plank position requires your entire body to work together. You start in a high plank position gripping two dumbbells. This move alone requires core strength and shoulder stability. As you row one dumbbell up, the exercise becomes more intense. It pulls down on your shoulder and your hip immediately wants to rotate to relieve the tension in your core. By resisting this, all off your upper body muscles and even your legs, will fire up to keep you in proper position. I like to pick a heavy weight and aim for 6-8 reps each side.

 

6: Prowler Sled

The prowler sled is one exercise that should be in everyone’s fat loss program. It increases your strength and power, boosts athletic performance and sheds fat. You can push it, pull it, drag it. You can sprint with it or load it up and build strength. Pushing a prowler sled forces your shoulders and abs to stabilize whilst your legs drive forward. This exercise uses almost every muscle in the body. The more muscles used = greater calorie expenditure.
Try this:

Load the sled with 20-30kg.

Sprint as fast you can for 40 seconds.

Rest for 1 minute.

Repeat 10 times.

 

  1. Tyre Flip

Nothing looks cooler than flipping a massive tractor tyre. You can pick one up for free from old farms or for a small fee. Stick it in your back yard and you have everything you need to get shredded.

The tyre flip is like a deadlift. If your goal is to reveal a shredded back and build functional strength, get flipping. Due to amount of strength needed to pick up, this one definitely makes the list of fat burning exercises.

If you are short on room, this is what I do. Flip the tyre, jump inside the tyre then jump out to the other side. Flip it back the way you came. You have now included a calorie expensive jump to go with your heavy lift.

Set yourself a time and go for gold.
8: Burpee

Ah, the burpee. We hate it. We hate it because it works. Nothing is more functional that being able to jump up from a lying position. The problem is people don’t do it enough to get good at it. Like a deadlift, you can’t do it once and expect to master it. Practising the burpee allows you to become more efficient at doing it. The more efficient you are, the more explosive power you will use.

Try and drop to the ground as fast as possible. If you drop to a push up position then lower yourself down, you will lose valuable time and energy. Be as explosive as possible. Include it as part of superset for maximum gains. Burpee pull ups are a great way to incorporate explosive pushing movements with a strong pulling action.

 

The exercises listed above made the list for several reasons. They work multiple muscles groups. They require lots of energy to perform. They are explosive, and they are fun. I love trying new exercises to break up the monotony of the same old routine. Set yourself a goal to work towards to make things more of a challenge. This might be 5 one handed push ups, 12 pull ups, or completing 200 burpees in under 20 minutes. This will make your fat loss journey a lot more stimulating and you are more likely to see that shredded physique you are working towards.

Categories
Fat Loss Fitness

7 Steps To A Successful Workout Program

  1. What is the goal of your workout?

Before you hit the gym you need to know your goal. What is your purpose when you step inside the gym? Perhaps you are training at home. The same rule applies.

Depending on your goal will determine how your program is structured. If your goal is fat loss then the program will look different to a mass gain program.

Creating a fat loss program requires you incorporate super sets, drop sets, cardio, and short rest periods.

A mass gain program would have longer rest periods and limited cardio.

Click here for a FREE mass gain chest and back workout. Click here for a FREE fat loss chest and back workout.

  1. Plan a week ahead.

The people who don’t get results are the ones who don’t plan. They wander through the gym unsure of what exercise they will choose next. Chances are they are doing 3 sets of 10. The same rep range for the last 4 years.

Plan your workout a week prior. This allows you time to think in a relaxed state. Think of what exercise combinations you would like to try. Jump on Youtube for ideas or follow a proven workout program.

I plan mine with what I need to do. Not with what I want to do. This simply means, instead of planning in a day of bicep curls, I plan a day of sprints, pull ups, burpees, crazy super sets that scare me, and whatever else I need to do to reach my goal.

  1. Eat before your workout.

Have a solid meal prior to your workout. Food brings fuel. That fuel will allow you to train harder in the gym and keep catabolic hormones lower. If you train harder, you burn more fat and build more muscle. If you train fasted, your body needs to find fuel from somewhere. Most people would assume that will come from body fat.

True….sort of.

It also comes from amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. This is what muscle is made out. You are training your body to use muscle as fuel. I know I would rather use carbs.

Christian Thibaudeau put it like this, “Fasted cardio works, but only if you’re on performance-enhancing drugs to protect your muscle. Otherwise it stinks.”

Aim for a handful of carbohydrates and a palm sized protein source an hour prior to your workout. Choose fast digesting options such as, egg whites on a tortilla wrap. These won’t sit in your gut and leave you feeling heavy during your workout.

  1. Prioritize Compound Lifts

The more muscles used in a lift, the greater the calorie burn. Since we tend to go heavier on compound lifts, we ought to put them first when we have the most energy. Save the calf raises for the end of the workout.

The best compound lifts are:

  • Deadlifts
  • Bench Press
  • Pull Ups
  • Bent Over Rows
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Clean and Press
  1. Maximize Rest Periods

If your goal is fat loss, keep rest periods short. If your goal is mass then take a little longer. Say, 30-60 seconds longer at most.

By resting less, you have less time to recover. This pushes your body harder into a fat burning state where it will use more oxygen. The result is more calories burned.

When it comes to mass, take a little longer so you can come back and stress the target muscle as much as possible.

    1. Utilize Advanced Techniques

If you stick to 3 sets of 10 you will not succeed. Adding something as simple as a dropset can increase calorie burn on that exercise by over 30%. If your goal is to get shredded then you might even add a minute of cardio in between each set. The science is very clear that you will skyrocket your fat burning and even increase muscle gains with the added cardio.

Training for mass is exciting. Blood flow restriction training and intra-set stretching are my favourite techniques for this. Both techniques are extremely anabolic and force the muscle to adapt and grow bigger. These techniques are used in the later stages on SHRED21.

Here is how to perform intra-set stretching:

  1. Take the set to failure (12-15 reps)
  2. Stretch the muscle using the weight or machine you are using
  3. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds.
  4. Rest for 30 seconds and do it again for 4 sets.

Tip: Choose an exercise that gives a good pump. This may be pec flys, leg extensions, bicep curls, hamstring curls, lateral pulldown, or overhead tricep extension.

 

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  1. Challenge Yourself

I always write a program that scares me. I want a program that I dread because it’s so effective. I then like to back it up with a program that is equally as hard. By Friday, I’m done.

If you always stick to your comfort zone, you will remain there.

One way to challenge yourself is to shorten rest periods to 30 seconds (use a stopwatch) and on the last set of every exercise, perform a triple dropset. This means you will take the last set to failure, drop the weight and keep going, drop it again, then drop it once more. This set may last around 40 reps. You will know all about it at the end.

Another great way to add intensity is to pick 2-5 exercises. Complete 5-10 reps of each exercise and repeat the circuit as many times as possible in a given time period (15 minutes). This will not only challenge you physically, but also mentally. Especially if you put burpees in there!

See the video below for another option.

 

Categories
Fat Loss Health

Are Supplements A Waste Of Money?

Ask someone about supplements and you generally get one of two answers. The first is “Yea I take (long list of every pill possible)”, or “No way, you can get everything you need from food”.

Due to clever marketing, both people believe they are right. Read the label of a popular fat burners and you will see ridiculous phrases like “Next generation fat loss”. What does that even mean?

Turn the label over and you see bizarre ingredients such as Ophiopogon extract. Good luck trying to figure out what this is in a hurry, let alone any scientific research to back up their ridiculous claims.

I might be starting to sound like a supplement Nazi. The truth is, I have been ripped off so many times it makes me mad. I bet you have as well.

Given the number of supplements available on shelves, you would be forgiven into thinking they are all legal and tested for efficacy.
A lot of pre-workouts contain controversial ingredients that after 6 months are no longer sold in Australia. That is because they often hit the shelves before they have been clinically tested. We then waste our money and the product is banned.

Here is the good news. Not all supplements are useless. Not all supplement companies are evil.
There are some honest people out there trying to provide a solution to this problem.62492547

Before I found these honest companies, I bought all the ingredients for my pre-workout separately. I would then mix it up in my kitchen. My neighbours could be forgiven for thinking I was a drug dealer. I had scales out, white powder everywhere, empty vege caps. Not a good look.

I am going to tell you what supplements truly have benefits. I could go through what doesn’t work but that list would take too long. Instead, just assume, if it isn’t on the list I don’t feel it is essential or I haven’t taken it myself to give an honest opinion.

I will leave protein powder out. This is one that I don’t put in the same category as the rest. Protein powder is a food rather than a supplement.

Creatine: Creatine is useful when the body is being challenged through high intensity training. By replenishing phosphocreatine stores in the body, you can work at a higher intensity for longer. In simple terms, when we train we use ATP. Creatine helps the donates more energy to our ATP stores.
Dosage: 3000-5000mg. It has been found that timing of this does not matter. What matters is that you take it.

Beta alanine: High intensity training produces lactate. Beta-alanine helps to buffer the hydrogen ions and acidity in the muscle during training. This allows us to train for longer before the burning in our muscles causes us to stop.
Dosage: 2000-5000mg depending on your size. Take this before your workout. Taking it after has also shown benefits.

Caffeine: Caffeine is a great supplement that is underappreciated. Caffeine increases alertness and reaction time. Caffeine has also been shown to increase fat loss, increase muscle recovery time, increase strength, and reduce the risk of certain diseases.

Dosage: Start with 100mg. If your tolerance is high and strength is your goal, up to 500mg can be beneficial. Take this before your workout.

Fish Oil: Our oceans are contaminated with pollutants. These pollutants get into our fish and reduce the quality of their meat. For this reason, some experts suggest reducing our fish consumption and supplementing with fish oil daily. Studies have shown the benefits of fish oil range from fat loss, maintaining lean mass, brain health, and joint support.

Dosage: 3-6g with meals.

Greens Powder: Green food blends are high in antioxidants, strongly alkaline, and rich in minerals. Always choose fruit or vegetables first but when these are not available, consume your greens powder.

Dosage: If fruit and vegetable consumption is high (7-10 servings per day) then you can skip this. If your fruit and vegetable intake is low, consume the greens powder more often. Use the dosing on the label as they are all different.

Branched-chain amino acids: These are one of my favourite supplements. Not only because they taste great and make drinking water easier, but because they have so many benefits. During a workout, our bodies need fuel. We also need to preserve muscle due to the stressful state we are in during our training. This is where BCAAs come in. By consuming BCAAs we are given that extra fuel to keep our muscles pumping. The leucine also spikes muscle protein synthesis. This is our bodies way of rebuilding itself from the stress we intentionally place on it.

I have also found it shortens the amount time my muscles are sore. This allows me to get back in the gym more frequently and increase muscle gains.

Dosage: At least 2.5g of leucine. You will often see leucine, isoleucine, and valine in a ratio of 2:1:1. Take only during workouts unless you are on a low-calorie diet. In this case, taking in-between meals can spike protein synthesis and reduce muscle loss.

Green tea extract: This stimulates your metabolism and can increase fat loss. This supplement is heavily studied and has lots of research to back up the claims. My advice would be to perfect your diet and training first. Fat burners are great for dropping to single digits or breaking plateaus. If you have more than 5-8kg to lose, I suggest saving your money until everything else is on point.

Dosage: 400mg in the morning and afternoon.

r-Alpha Lipoic Acid: This supplement is great for reducing insulin response in those with poor carbohydrate tolerance. Although not needed every day if your insulin is working as it should, before cheat meals can be beneficial. This would reduce the rapid insulin response caused by the high amount carbohydrates. If your diet is good and your carbohydrate tolerance is normal, you can save your money here. Still a great supplement for weight loss.

Dosage: 100mg 3 times daily before meals.

CLA: CLA helps to induce apoptosis of fat cells (killing old fat cells). It can also help to preserve lean mass during dieting. This supplement is very popular in athletes for good reason.

Dosage: 2.5g-5g when dieting.

I could list a few others such as citrulline, and taurine but I do not believe these are essential unless you are very serious about your training.

I always tell people that diet, training, and recovery come first. If these have not been mastered, then it would not make sense to spend money on supplements. The best way to know you have mastered these areas is that are you seeing amazing results with your training.
If you are not, I would suggest finding a program that can deliver this. No supplement will suddenly cause you to gain or lose 10 kilograms. That is a good thing!
Perfecting our training and nutrition is healthy. It allows us to learn and work hard. It allows us to dedicate ourselves to the art and refuse easy way outs
The more you know, the more powerful you can be. The more you do, the more powerful you are.

 

Categories
Fat Loss Food

5 Laws Of Eating For More Muscle

Do you “clean bulk” or “dirty bulk”? These phrases are often thrown around by guys at the gym who have no idea about nutrition. A “clean bulk” is eating healthy foods that are close to nature to gain weight. These guys don’t cheat on their diet and don’t get eat the “bad” stuff.
 
“Dirty bulkers”, eat whatever they want to consume as many calories as possible.
 
To me there is no clean or dirty bulk. Both are not sustainable. I’m all about sustainable approaches to fitness and nutrition.
 
Understanding nutrition is key to gaining muscle. This involves knowing how many calories your body needs to maintain its current state. From here it is a matter of adjusting up or down to suit your goals.
 
To gain muscle you need to increase your calories. If you think you can go to the gym and build muscle by doing the same old exercises, you will not see results.
 
Your body needs extra fuel to grow. If it doesn’t get this fuel, it will stay the same or shrink.
 
Because of this, so many people stay the same year after year.
 
Here are my 5 Laws of eating for muscle.
 
Law 1: Should You Bulk?
 
This may seem like a silly question but I see lots of overweight guys trying to pack on muscle. The problem with this is, they have so much stored energy they don’t need to consume more. Their body is more likely to store this extra food as it has gotten so good at doing.cartman
 
If you cannot see your abs, then you should go on a fat loss program first. This will reveal your muscle and make you look bigger, it also has profound effects on muscle growth.
 
Your body is more receptive to carbohydrates when you are lean. You will be more efficient at shuttling these to the muscle and using them as energy.
 
Carbohydrates are a great fuel source, but we can’t always give it what it wants. Eventually our body will stop working in our favour. It will be very hard shift our body composition if we keep eating a high carb diet. Fat tissue will then start taking in all those carbohydrates, not the muscle.
 
Fat will always compete with the lean tissue for absorbing those carbohydrates.
 
The more fat you have, the more likely it will take up those carbs. Go on a quick fat loss program and drop that fat. This will make muscle growth much easier.
 
Law 2: Control Your Calories
 
To build muscle, you need fuel. Fuel comes from food so it makes sense to eat more. The problem here is, people suddenly think it’s a free for all. Out the window with lean meats and vegetables and in with pizza and muffins. Not so fast!
 
To gain muscle, you need to tailor your calories to your activity level and metabolism. Failure to do so will result in fat gain. This then means you need to go back and forth between fat loss diets and muscle gain diets.
 
It can be quite hard to find figure out your ideal calorie intake. There are many calculators online that help but I find another method much easier. Remember, I like things simple.
 
Weigh yourself on day 1. Have your meals prepped and eat the same foods every day (or as close as possible). If you have not gained any weight by day 8, you have found your maintenance calorie amount. This means the amount required to keep your current body weight. From here, increase calories. If you are counting, this is around 100-200 calories. If you don’t count, add in an extra serve of protein.
 
Weigh yourself in another 7 days. If you have gained weight, great! If not, add in 1 cup of cooked carbohydrates. Repeat the process until you see a slight increase in weight gain. Do not rush this or you will get fat.
 
Law 3: Keep it Under Control
 
As I mentioned above, people often throw their healthy diet out the window and begin inhaling food.
 
This is not going to help you.
 
Research has shown that when you consume a high amount of calories, the Glyceamic index is more important. Consuming extra calories comes with the risk of fat gain. High G.I. foods spike insulin and can promote fat storage. If you are in a deficit, you can often consume higher G.I foods without too much trouble.
 
While the occasional treat is fine, consuming junk every day is not. I like to view things as a trade-off. If I am having pizza tonight (lets say, 70g carbs, 40g fat, 25g protein), I will then subtract those numbers from another meal that day. I will also make sure I train a larger body part that day such as legs. By doing this, my body will be hungry for energy and less is likely to spill over into fat gain. If it was an arms day, I would keep it healthy.
 
If you find your bodyfat is creeping up, then reduce the amount of treat meals and the amount of days you bulk. If I find my bodyfat percentage has risen around 3% then instead of doing a 20-week bulk, I will do a 12 week bulk.
 
Law 4: Pile Up The Protein
 
Research has shown that a high protein diet is very anabolic and helps to preserve muscle. We also know that digesting protein is a calorie expensive process. Roughly 30% of the calories consumed are used in the digestion process. Compare this to carbs and fats that only require 5% to digest.
 
What this means is, if you consume 100 calories of protein, you will absorb around 70 of those.
 
High protein diets when gaining muscle have shown to limit fat gain.
 
A study showed that a group of individuals on diet with a surplus of 800 calories from protein did not gain any fat. This equates to 1.5-2g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Another very similar study showed a decrease in fat mass!
 
If you worry about your kidneys, liver, or other health markers, don’t. High protein diets do not cause any damage here. Unless you have a pre-existing condition, a high protein diet could work in your favour.
 
On your next bulk, aim for 1.5-2g of protein per pound of bodyweight if your body can handle it.h
 
Law 5: Don’t Drink Your Calories
I can’t stand “Mass Gainer Shakes”. They drive me nuts. 1000 calories in one drink? Get ready to pack on the fat.
 
I don’t advocate drinking smoothies or juices either. The sugar levels are way too high and will cause a massive spike in your insulin. This will then send a lot of those calories to your fat stores.
 
If you struggle to gain muscle and think you need these, jump back to Law #2. These shakes are clever marketing by supplement companies. Most pre-workouts and fat burners fall into the same category of crap.
 
Eat your food and put in the effort. You will be rewarded for years to come.
Categories
Fat Loss Fitness

6 Rules For Fat Loss

Fat loss is an interesting topic. Everyone has their own method and rules for it. Don’t eat this. Don’t train that.
Those rules work for them. They don’t work for everyone.
One of the keys to fast fat loss is understanding your goal. The goal of fat loss is to look good.
When done right, you can increase strength and muscle size.
The flip side is a lot of muscle wasted and you end up feeling like crap.
After years of testing these methods on myself and my clients, I have come up with 6 rules that stand out above the rest.
 
1. Rest Less
 
If your goal is to burn fat then your rest period should reflect that. Resting for 2 minutes after performing 10 reps doesn’t cut it.
Let’s say you perform 10 reps or even 15. That takes around 20-30 seconds to complete.
If you rest for 2 minutes, that’s 4 times longer than it took to complete the set. Far from optimal. That means that at most you are only working out for ¼ of your time in the gym.
Long rest periods have their place but most of us have lives we need to get back to. We are short on time and want to be in and out after 30-45 minutes.
I like to keep rest periods between 30-90 seconds depending what I have done.
 
2. Metcon
 
This ties in with resting less. My metabolic conditioning workouts in SHRED21 are for ultimate fat loss in less than 30 minutes. These work due to their ability to boost your metabolism, increase fat burning hormones, and burn more total calories. This sure beats wandering around the gym for an hour trying to decide what exercise to do next for chest.
Try this:
60 seconds of pull ups
50 seconds of push ups
40 seconds of squat jumps
60 seconds of leg raises
50 seconds of med ball slams
40 seconds of burpees
As fast as possible.
 
3. Add a finisher
 
I love adding finishers to my workouts. I see it as one last shot at getting the absolute most from my workout.
These will often burn more calories and provide more benefits than my actual workout!
HIIT sessions are great separate to my normal workouts. Although, I will tag an extra 10-15 minutes onto my workout and go for gold.
 
Try these finishers:
 
Deadmill Sprints: Turn the treadmill off and sprint flat out for 20 seconds. Rest for 60 seconds and repeat for 10 rounds.
Deadmill and Burpees: As above but increase the rest period to 90 seconds. In each rest period, perform burpees. The first round will be 10 burpees, the second will be 9. Keep going until you reach 1.
Battle Rope Slams: Jump and slam as fast as possible for 25 seconds. Rest for 40, repeat 8 times.
Cycle and Overhead Press: Sprint on the bike for 25 seconds. Immediately jump off and grab some dumbbells. Complete 40 overhead push presses and get straight back on the bike. Repeat for 5 rounds and record your time.
 
4. Always move
 
Your rest periods are great for recovering but there is a more useful way of using that time.
Research has shown that staying active during your rest period has a long host of benefits. These include, fat loss, increase of muscle gain, and strength increases.
This is a key protocol I include in my SHRED21 42DAY workouts.
Next time you hit the gym try adding in 30-60 seconds of running, skipping, or abs. If you are training legs, you could add bicep curls or leg raises.
Your active time in the gym is already limited, don’t waste anymore.
 
5. Perform compound exercises
 
Large compound exercises should already make up the bulk of your workout.
When it comes to fat loss, these larger movements will burn more calories. The reason is they use more muscle. The more muscles required for a movement means more energy used.
Large exercises such as a deadlift have an amazing effect on anabolic hormone levels. Yet another reason to include them.
I still like to perform isolation work. When I do, I generally super set these or perform a giant set. This keeps me active and the calories burning.
 
6. Be consistent with everything else
 
Going hard in the gym is one thing. Backing it up with sleep, nutrition, supplementation, and recovery is another.
Knowing when to eat and what to eat are vital for fat loss. What’s even more vital is knowing how to sustain your hard-earned results.
All too often, we follow a plan, get great results, and then what? There is no plan. We can’t keep dieting forever but if we add food back to fast we will get fat right? What if we add the wrong foods? Even fatter!
By controlling your workouts, nutrition, and rest, you will not only look amazing. You will perform better than ever and get to keep everything you have worked so hard for.
This is the cornerstone of SHRED21. It’s not about the fat loss you experience. It’s not about getting fitter and stronger than ever. It’s about maintaining those results for as long as you want and not putting the fat back on.
 
 
Categories
Fat Loss Fitness

Commando Workout With Men’s Health Top Trainer 2016

Think your strong? Do this workout finisher!

I was skeptical at first but once we started moving, I knew I was in for it!

It only took us around 7 minutes to finish.

 

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Get a rower machine and change the display setting so that it shows calories burned instead of metres or watts.

  • Sprint on the rower for 10 calories.
  • 10 Burpees across the machine
  • 10 Dumbbell Clean and Presses
  • Repeat the circuit but this time we minus 2 reps from the burpees and presses.
  • Repeat again and keep subtracting until you reach zero!

So it will look like, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 finish!!

 

Let me know how you go!