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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 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 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 Food

3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Dieting PLUS Bonus Action Step

Dieting gets a quite a negative wrap. Mostly from people who don’t quite understand how to diet and why people diet.

Most people diet to lose weight. People also diet to gain weight. To diet is to eat or drink to achieve a certain physical outcome. It doesn’t sound that bad, nor should it.

It is just an action step to help you achieve your goals.

There are a few little mistakes people make when dieting. Here is how to combat them.The past has no power over the present moment

 

Mistake #1: Not having a clear end date.

This one is extremely important. So many people are always trying to lose weight or always trying to get bigger.  These people often never reach their destination because they don’t even know where it is. I give myself from 3-6 weeks to diet most of the time depending how far I have let myself go. Each week looks different and will include different foods.

Fix it: Set yourself an amount of days. It can be 60 days or 30 days etc. This gives you an end date and a sense of urgency. Otherwise you will just diet forever and miss out on achieving the physique you desire.

 

Mistake #2: Not having a plan.

You wouldn’t build a house without a plan because it would most likely fall down. If you don’t plan your diet, then that too will collapse in a heap and you will be left in the same place as you started or worse! My SHRED21 program solves this by telling you exactly what foods to eat and what foods to avoid and when.

There is a lot of broscience out there and every expert will tell you to follow their plan.

Fix It: At the end of the day, the best way to get results is to actually follow a plan no matter who’s it is.

 

Mistake #3: Everything in moderation.

This one absolutely annoys me. Most of the time it just a way for the non-dedicated to create an excuse for their lack of will power.

Sure, you can enjoy certain foods from time to time. A can of coke however, does not fit into anyone’s diet.

Having a chocolate bar every second day and calling it moderation is just stupidity. Cut the excuses from your life and you will see dramatic changes.

I like chocolate and beer. Not often, but when I do, I have achieved results that I am happy with and it is only a small serve. If I am not achieving what I want, then I simply avoid these foods.

If I am craving certain foods, then I find ways to incorporate healthy versions into my diet. Instead of a Mars bar, I might create homemade dark chocolate snack with low calorie chocolate dips such as Walden Farms.

Fix It: Find low calorie options and incorporate them into your plan. Don’t make excuses because excuses don’t make results.

 

Bonus: Do this for one week.

Record everything you eat. Every mouthful. Every Dorito. Everything.

You will be surprised at what goes into your mouth. This alone will ring some alarm bells and even encourage fat loss just by being more aware.

 

 

 

Categories
Fat Loss Fitness Food

4 Hard Truths About Abs

Everyone has once had the strong desire to have their abs showing. We all have abs. Some people’s just have a bit more soft protection covering them. People who are often lean tend to want to take things a step further and drop below 9% body-fat and have that “cover model” look. There is nothing wrong with that but just know these hard truths first.

Hard Truth 1: The diet that lost you the first 10 kilos is not the same one to lose the last 2-3 kilos.

Your body was quite happy to let go of the excess body-fat because it didn’t need it. The last few kilos…that’s a different story. Your body is quite happy hanging onto this fat and for good reason. It will provide energy when food is scarce and it also helps keep hormone levels high. Dropping too low as bodybuilders do is not healthy. They are “supplementing” with lots of things that prevent their hormone levels dropping.

Solution: The last few kilos will be the hardest. I have a simple method for achieving this. It is far from easy, especially if you are near 100kg like I am. The good news, it works. I don’t like to count calories either so it fits in well with my life.

 

Hard Truth 2: You may struggle in social situations.

Everyone is having a beer…not you. Everyone is digging into that birthday cake…not you either. It is much easier to maintain your weight than it is to lose it. What this means is, once ydreamstime_xxl_38153514ou have reached your goal weight, then you can be more flexible. The exception to this might be a refeed day or after an intense leg session. You could then indulge in that slice of cake (just 1) or enjoy an extra serve of chips.

Solution: I always look at dieting like this. If you are making great progress then you can indulge a little. If you are not making any progress then perhaps you should go without.

Hard Truth 3: You might have to give up some hobbies to train.

This one is different for everyone. I train once or twice a day for 6 days per week. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for many other things. The thing is, most people you see on Instagram or Facebook don’t simply do a weights session and BAM they have the perfect body.

They might do an hour in the morning, an hour at night, and a tonne of meal prepping each day. This isn’t ideal for the person who works 9 hours a day. It’s great if being fit for Facebook is your job. Most of us will struggle.

Solution: I like to find ways around problems or obstacles as I prefer to call them. My cardio lasts at maximum 20 minutes. My weights session will be around 45 minutes. I can easily chunk these two into the same workout. I won’t end up looking a ripped Facebook model but I will look amazing. I will still have abs showing. I also have other methods that take even less time but deliver the same result if not better!

 

Hard Truth 4: It feels great to have achieved what most people won’t.

Not sure this is a hard truth but I wanted to lighten to mood a little. Abs take work. They take dedication. They require effort 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. The good thing is that when you take your shirt off and someone makes a comment about your six-pack, it feels pretty damn good. Your new six-pack won’t stick around unless you work on it. Having a six-pack for a week is simple. Keeping it for months on end is the hard part. You know what makes it easier? Seeing it.

You will naturally want to work hard to keep it because you are proud of yourself.

Solution: Not sure this needs one. Work hard and follow a proven plan to get a chiseled core and keep it.