get shredded in 7 days

Suddenly it’s July and everyone is going to the pool or beach; consequently, people are scrambling to get shredded and beach ready. No, ‘shredding it’ isn’t a surf term! Figuring out fitness and how to shred fat can be a daunting experience, but it doesn’t have to be. Just follow a few steps to get your mindset right to begin shredding.

What Does Shredding Muscles Mean?

A shredding exercise is a movement that makes your body burn fat. Although focused on exercise, shredding is a combination of diet and workouts consisting of cardio and weight-lifting. It allows you to step into a whole other level of muscularity and definition.

What is Shredding Season?

Shredding season is slang referring to shredding exercise or shredding bodybuilding to prepare for either a bodybuilding contest or for the general warm months. It refers to cutting down to a low percentage of body fat while maintaining muscle mass aka get shredded.

Fitness: How To Shred:

Hydrate- The body is 70% water, so it is important to make sure you are fueling your engine. A body can survive 7 days with food, it can only survive 3 days without water. Dehydration slows the fat-burning process and has negative effects on your muscles and joints. Therefore, water is the best weight loss asset out there.

Eat frequently- Yes you heard that right. Eat. Frequently. Also drink water often (see above). But the trick is to be careful what you eat; you would think that splitting up your food into smaller meals would help and that is correct. Additionally, you want to think about spreading your calories across meals so you feed your body throughout the entire day. You also can’t eat just any food, but food that is good for you. Think along the lines of lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs; if you space these evenly throughout the day it will help your metabolism stay constant promoting fat loss.

Nutrition- Although it sounds boring, what you eat as well as when you eat makes a difference; if you stick to plenty of protein your will lower your hunger while maintaining lean tissue. Instead of frying, stick to steaming or sautéing food in a little oil; find flavor by adding spices, herbs, and kinds of vinegar and steering clear of any creamy or fatty sauces or dressings. Heavy or sugary desserts and alcohol tend to hide a lot of calories; you can always read the menu at a restaurant or do a quick Google on your phone to figure out the best choices on the menu.

Use Good FormWeight-lifting as a fat burning work out is fantastic, but if you are using bad form plus going too fast this can end in hurting yourself. Correct form is essential to gaining the most from exercise as well as protecting your body from injury. Check yourself in the mirror or partner up with a workout buddy to help.

Strategic Cardio– Just getting on a bike or treadmill and starting the machine is not enough to get what you need out of cardio. For the best shred results there are many cardio programs; try “Fasted Cardio” when you do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach 4-5 times a week. HIIT that stands for High-Intensity-Interval-Training is also a popular strategic cardio method as it combines sprints with walks as break periods designed to push the body to the peak. Post-workout cardio is another cardio method to fatigue already tired muscles and burn through those glycerin stores to get shredded.

Less Sitting/More Moving– The human body was not designed to sit for extended periods of time; in response, the body has weakened butt muscles and consequently lower back pain. The key is to break up long periods of sitting down with short periods of standing or walking; every hour try standing up either when you are on the phone or the commercials or on tv. Walk around to refill your water cup (when was the last time you drank water?). Remember that consistent movement shreds fat even if you are making small progress.

Sleep More- In sounds contrary to what you think you should be doing, but sleep is an essential part of the body’s process of rebuilding and replenishing to do more work. Little sleep, broken sleep, or even light sleep can hinder your metabolism rate.

BONUS

Stress Less– When the body is stressed, it retains cortisol that hinders fat breakdown by encouraging the body to hold on to fat and breaking down muscle instead. So take a deep breath, square your shoulders, you can handle this!

Be realistic without yourself about your goals; there is only so much you can change in a week. However, if you can turn these tips into habits, the structure for a better performing body with cardio and nutrition will pay off over time.

What is Shredded Academy?

Check out Shredded Academy for fat-loss workouts and nutrition plans at all levels. The free articles on ShreddedAcademy.com also have a ton of information and motivation.

Losing body fat to get shredded may not always be easy, but it’s always worth it. Keep your eyes on the prize!

Love him or hate him, Conor McGregor, is a force to be reckoned with. If you’ve ever watched his interviews one thing certainly shines through – the guy just believes in himself.

In this video he shares, just how exactly he maintains that level of motivation.

“There’s no talent here, this is hard work. This is an obsession. Talent does not exist, we are all equal as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time. You will reach the top, and that is that. I am not talented, I am obsessed.”

If Conor achieved his dreams, you can too. If you’ve failed, try again. Just like lifting weights – it’s the resistance that builds strength.

What can’t kill you, only serves to make you stronger!

Today we’re gonna tell you an amazing story about a guy who carries an artificial heart in his backpack. Yes, exactly, you got it right! Just imagine, his heart doesn’t beat like everyone else’s. He even hasn’t got a pulse. His life is supported only by a special machine that pumps blood through his veins. Moreover, this guy is now in perfect shape. He constantly trains and can beat many other athletes. Of course you can’t wait to find out who he is and how his artificial heart works.

Andrew Jones, from Conneticut, first became unwell in 2012 after struggling to breathe during a run. He was horrified when two years later he started to cough up blood and developed a high fever.

In hospital, doctors diagnosed the 26-year-old with cardiomyopathy – a hereditary disease of the heart muscle – and soon he became so weak he couldn’t stand, walk or dress himself. A few months later, medics told if he didn’t have a transplant immediately he would die. As there were no organs available, he was fitted with a pacemaker and an artificial heart – which he now carries around in a bag on his back.

Despite his brush with death, he is now back to the gym and said he cries after workouts as he feels so ‘thankful to be alive’.

Iron man was never real, until Andrew Jones came along. His heart runs on electricity, stored in the form of a battery, in place of a beating heart.

He awaits a donor for a new heart made of bone and flesh but until then he runs on the chemical reactions in a battery caused most likely by the build up of electrons within it. To be more specific it is known as an electrochemical reaction, the process discovered by Italian physicist Count Alessandro Volta in 1799 when he created a simple battery from metal plates and paper. Iteration upon iteration and the battery began to power everything around us, now it imitates a beating heart, maybe one day it powers our emotions too.

Imagine the pumps then, the hypertrophy, the gains from a heart made of steel.

In the meantime, Andrew Jones does not let his artificial heart hold him back.

Like a silent monster of an electric vehicle, one made by Porsche, or BMW, he is silent, he literally has no pulse. When he plugs in his phone at night, along with it he plugs in the batteries to his heart, they too need charging.

Imagine waking up and your heart is out of battery? No good. So he makes sure he always has a spare just in case.

Video: “I’m the best looking zombie you’ll ever see”

Recalling suffering from heart failure, Mr Jones said: ‘It’s something I would never want to wish upon my worst enemy.

‘You can’t breathe, you can’t think, you don’t eat and you don’t sleep. He continued: ‘Living with this disease put me in a pattern with depression and physical pain. ‘I had to stop working because I wouldn’t be able to stand for more than 10 minutes. ‘I dreaded going to the kitchen because that meant that I had to go up and down my stairs.

‘I couldn’t even get dressed without panting and gasping for air – my life was falling apart and I just wanted relief.’

As hard as the process has been for him he has realized that at least for now this is his reality and he will make the best of it. The lesson we take from Andrew Jones is that when life takes you down and breaks your heart, don’t just come back. Come back stronger.

Life, they say, is full of contradictions, so why shouldn’t that also apply to working out? You train regularly with both weights and cardio and carefully watch what you eat, which together are supposed to produce a ripped, muscular physique.

There’s the catch: “supposed to.” What if you do practically everything you can truly giving 110% to your training and nutrition efforts and you’re still a little soft around the middle? Are you forever doomed to wearing tank tops on warm summer days so friends can see your big guns without knowing there’s an inch to pinch?

That being said we’re not going to recommend an expensive liposuction operation. Rather, we’ve written down our personal strategy with tweaks and techniques so you can add to what you’re already doing during the course of a day. Instead of asking you to drop your workouts and follow some one-size-fits-all program, we’ve come up with a list of ways you can increase your caloric deficit each day.

All of the tips presented here use one or more of three bodyfat-fighting strategies: reducing the amount of food you eat (the calories you take in), increasing the amount of exercise you perform (the calories you burn) and boosting your metabolic rate (the number of calories your body requires for body weight maintenance).

Added together, these tips and strategies could theoretically help you synergistically burn up to 3,650 calories a day, but most individuals will want to pick and choose items that allow them to burn up to 1,500 calories* a day without requiring a significant change to diet or training regimen. You can still perform the same weight-training exercises and routines just add our training and nutrition tips to the mix.

1) Add Intervals To Your Cardio Work
The Caloric Effect: 150 calories

“Interval training burns more calories than steady-state training because you can do more work in the same amount of time,” says Tom Seabourne, who has a PhD in exercise science and is author of Athletic Abs with Scott Cole (Human Kinetics, 2002). To use this calorie-burning technique, Seabourne suggests that you include sprints with your jogging, add jogging to your fast-paced walking or increase the difficulty level or pace when using cardio equipment. “Add 60 seconds of interval training every other minute or so. The harder you work, the more calories you’ll burn,” Seabourne advises.

Not only do you burn more calories during these intense interval cycles, but they also rev up your calorie-burning during the hours following your training.

2) Increase Your Weights By 5%-10%
The Caloric Effect: 500-600 calories

“This technique shakes up your workout,” says Steve Zim, fitness expert for NBC’s Weekend Today. “A lot of people get stuck using the same weights and reps over and over. Their bodies acclimate to the workload, and they don’t burn as many calories as they would if they provided their body with unexpected stimulation.” Increasing your training weights 5%-10% is a great way to do this.

Research shows that heavy training (in the 6-8-rep range) increases metabolic rate over the subsequent two days, helping you burn up to 600 calories more than after lightweight training (12-15-rep range). In addition, by raising your weight just 5%, you may find yourself more inspired, encouraging you to work harder and burn even more calories.

4) Avoid Consecutive Days Of Rest
The Caloric Effect: 250-500 calories

“Try to avoid taking more than one rest day at a time,” Zim says. “You need a rest day after every 3-4 days of training in a row, but subsequent rest days can begin to lower your metabolic rate.”

For the best effect on both metabolism and muscle recovery, strive to train three days on, one day off. To keep up your metabolic rate, take off a second or third day only when you feel overtrained or under the weather. Even though you don’t feel like hitting the gym on those days, try doing some kind of aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes.

5) Split Your Workout Into Two
The Caloric Effect: 100-300 calories

“Instead of doing an hour-and-a-half workout in the morning, try doing 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes after work,” says Zim. This revs up your metabolic rate twice a day instead of once. During the last half of a long training session, you may work out with less intensity because of fatigue; by splitting your training, you recover enough to burn more calories in your second 45-minute installment.

Calorie-burning can vary based on your intensity. The effects of two metabolism-boosting sessions will stay with you all day.

6) Eat Spicy Foods
The Caloric Effect: 200-500 calories

The Technique: “Spices such as red pepper and cayenne can significantly crank up your metabolic rate and decrease your overall food intake,” explains Zim.

The number of calories you burn from this technique is correlated to the amount of low-calorie spices you consume. The more spices you add to your food, the greater their effect on your metabolic rate.

7) Record The Food You Eat
The Caloric Effect: 300-500 calories

Keeping a food journal can have a surprising effect on your discipline, because it makes you think about everything you put into your mouth. Just by committing to write down all the food you eat, you’re less likely to include unhealthy foods in your diet.

Whether this has a minimal or profound psychological effect on you, it provides you with valuable information about your nutritional habits.

8) Cut Out All Caloric Beverages
The Caloric Effect: 50-500 calories

Eat your calories instead of drinking them. Ingesting more liquid calories is a good weight-gaining strategy because they’re easier to consume when you don’t have an appetite. On the flip side, liquid calories don’t satisfy you as much as solid foods. Sodas, milk, juice, sugar added to drinks such as coffee or tea and other caloric beverages are a significant source of calories for many people. Try drinking only water, plain tea, black coffee or diet (no-calorie) beverages for a couple of weeks and see if you notice a difference in your bodyfat stores.

The caloric effect depends on how many calories you consume in liquid form. Be careful if you typically get a lot of your protein from milk and protein shakes you’ll need to consume this nutrient in different ways.

9) Drink Green Tea & Black Coffee
The Caloric Effect: 50-200 calories

When you drink green tea and coffee, you may notice the energizing effect they have on your body. “Green tea and black coffee also boost your metabolism without adding significant calories to your diet,” says Zim. In addition, these caffeinated beverages tend to reduce appetite, helping you further cut calorie consumption.

While the metabolic boost from caffeine is small, the decrease in calories consumed can be significant.

10) Reduce Carbs Later In The Day
The Caloric Effect: 200-300 calories

Cutting back on carbs during the later part of the day is smart for two reasons: One, you decrease the number of calories you consume each day, and two, you reduce the amount of insulin your body must produce, which decreases the amount of fat your body stores. You don’t need to eliminate pasta or potatoes, but cut back on them late in the day, eating one-third to one-half of your normal servings.

Pro body-builders know this is one of the most significant ways to reduce stored bodyfat. But if you train late in the day, get some carbs after your workout to replenish muscle glycogen stores.

It’s important to note that the number of calories burned is based on a 200-pound man who exercises four times a week and currently consumes enough calories for bodyweight maintenance. The total number of calories you burn will likely vary.

So you are extremely busy and don’t have time to work out, but you also want to have a beautiful physique. Well, we have good news and bad news. The good news is – you can stay in shape in ways, other than engaging in rigorous workouts in the gym. The bad news is that you will still have to make an effort. But don’t you worry! In this article, we share with you 8 simple ways to quickly burn calories. They are really engaging and fun and should keep you motivated as well as entertained. Well, some of them at least.

1. Go For A Swim

It’s time to hit your local swimming pool! When it’s so much fun to swim, it’s much easier to motivate yourself to do it on a regular basis, than, say, to go to the gym. In only 15 minutes of swimming, you’ll burn 100 calories. If you breaststroke, it’s even less than that – only 9 minutes!

2. Go Bowling

When it comes to exercising regularly, we can have a million excuses, but not so much when it comes to going out and having fun with friends. And the next time you’re wondering what to do, go bowling. Within half an hour you’ll lose 100 calories!

3. Jump Rope

7 minutes of relatively intensive rope jumping, will be a nice little cardio workout, that burns 100 calories. No need to go to the gym either! You can easily do this exercise at home (and have a lot of fun along the way).

4. Dance!

Just dance! In 15 minutes of dancing, you’ll burn 100 calories! Do you like going clubbing with friends? Well, there is a great opportunity to lose some weight! If you are more of an introvert or just don’t feel like going out, you can easily put some tunes at home and dance! It works miracles for your mood and is a lot of fun!

5. Give Your Car A Wash

Rather than taking your vehicle to a car wash on a weekend, you can get your hands dirty by washing it yourself. In just 17 minutes, you will burn 100 calories. Be sure to give it a good body waxing as well. May not seem like fun at first, but put some nice music on and enjoy yourself!

6. Do House Chores

Well, that doesn’t seem like fun. And to be honest, we agree. But house chores are something that needs to be done, so you might as well enjoy it. In only 20 minutes you’ll burn 100 calories. And working in a backyard or garden (if you have one) also counts! This is something you may actually enjoy.

7. Take The Stairs

Just because you have an elevator in your office building doesn’t mean you have to use it all the time. You can take the stairs instead! We understand that it might be hard to force yourself sometimes, but it is worth it. In 14 minutes at a steady pace, you’ll burn 100 calories.

8. Walk Your Dog

Now, walking your dog is definitely fun! If you have a dog, that is. The chances are you already walk him or her twice a day. Even a short walk is beneficial for you. You’ll burn 100 calories in 17 minutes. It’s really a pleasure, so why not consider doing it for longer, now that you know how good it is for you?

Conclusion

With these 8 simple tips, you will be able to burn 100 calories even if you’re really short on time. We hope you found this advice useful and will apply some of it in real life. If you’re really busy and want to lose weight faster, we suggest you check out Lazar’s article 7 Foods That Speed Up Your Metabolism.

Height: 5’2” – 157 cm
Weight: 123 lbs – 56 kg

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

I started to take training serious about three years ago, but before that I had always been athletic. When I was a kid I used to play several sports including volleyball, basketball and soccer. A couple of years later I decided to train with a personal trainer as my goal was to get in shape for summer. However after 1 year of intense training and strict dieting my trainer and I realized I had already achieved a competition body, so I decided to take the risk and enter a competition. I went to three different bodybuilding competitions; in Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, and Ohio. It was truly an amazing experience and when I look back on things I feel happy to see how far I have come.

 

Where does your motivation come from?

My motivation comes from the desire to overcome all the limits of my body.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

Day 1: Lower body

  • Superset: Leg Extension with Leg Curls 3×12-18
  • Leg Press: 3×12-18
  • Superset: Squats with Switch Lunges 3×12-18
  • Superset: Lunges on the Smith Machine with Pop Squats 3×12-18
  • Superset: Walking Dumbbell Lunges with Free Weight Walking Lunges 3×12-18
  • Adduction Machine 3×12-18

Day 2: Upper Body

  • Pullovers: 3×12-18
  • Superset: Back Row Machine 3×12-18
  • Machine Shoulder Press: 3×12-18
  • Superset: Front Raises with Shoulder Side Raises 3×12-18
  • Superset: Cable Pushdowns with Body Dips 3×12-18

Day 3: Lower Body

  • Lunges: 3×12-18
  • Squats: 3×12-18
  • Leg Press Unilateral: 3×12-18
  • Superset: Glute Extension with Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 3×12-18
  • Abduction Machine: 3×12-18

Day 4: Upper Body

  • Chest Press Machine: 3×12-18
  • Superset: Front Raises with Seated Rows: 3×12-18
  • Shoulder Press: 3×12-18
  • Inclined Lateral Raises: 3×12-18

Day 5: Lower Body

  • Lying Hamstring Curls: 3×12-18
  • Seated Leg Curls: 3×12-18
  • Stiff Legged Deadlifts: 3×12-18
  • Lunges on Smith Machine: 3×12-18
  • Adduction Machine: 3×12-18

Cardio:

  • 40 to 50 minutes of cardio on the Bike or Elliptical Machine 5x a week

If you had to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  • Barbell Squats
  • Bench Press
  • Back Row

All of these exercises are compound movements, which involve the use of more than one major muscle group at a time. In my experience they are the best for building mass.

5

What is your diet like?

  • Meal 1: 6 Egg Whites, 40g of Oat Bran
  • Meal 2: 150g Chicken Breast, 100g Brown Rice/Whole-Wheat Pasta & Salad
  • Meal 3: 30g of Whey Protein
  • Meal 4: 150g Salmon or Filet Mignon & Vegetables
  • Meal 5: 6 Egg Whites
  • Meal 6: 30g Casein Protein, Probolic or Pro Complex

6

What is your supplementation like?

My supplementation is:

  • Glutamine: 4 x 5g per day (Pre, during, post-workout and before bed)
  • BCAA Powder: 10g during training and before cardio
  • L Carnitine: Before cardio
  • Mega Woman, Vitamin E, C, Omega 3: At lunchtime

7

Favorite Quote?

Try to be the best version of yourself in all areas of your life. Only the ones who fight for a goal are the ones who can achieve success!

8

MICHAEL COUNIHAN

Age: 32
Height: 5’9″ – 175 cm
Weight: 205 lbs – 93 kg

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

Initially, my motivation for working out came from training for football at the age of twelve. Throughout college, I continued to have a passion for training. At that time, I loved the way training made me feel, and I loved seeing my body change over time as it become stronger.

Where does your motivation come from?

Today my motivation has changed because I feel like I need to be in shape for my career. I also feel as if I have a small group of people that rely on me for motivation. This in itself is motivation for me, as I don’t want to let those people down.

What do you love most about being a police officer in NYC, and do you feel your celebrity status has helped you while patrolling NYC?

I love being a cop, especially in NYC. And no, I wouldn’t consider myself a celebrity by any means. People very rarely recognize me on the street, but it’s gratifying when they do. It’s nice to know I motivate them to live a healthier lifestyle, and sometimes they even fill me in on what accomplishments they’ve made because I have inspired them. News like that really helps keep me going!

What workout routine has worked best for you?

For me, hammering one body part at a time has worked best for me. Training this way also allows me to focus on bringing up any areas I feel may be lagging behind. Some conventional training methods have also helped me to achieve more overall muscle mass. For cardio, I do thirty minutes each day, and I prefer using the treadmill on an incline.

Full Routine:

Monday: Chest/Cardio

  • Incline Bench Press 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Flat Bench Dumbbell 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Incline Dumbbell Fly’s 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Incline Machine Press 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Cable Fly’s 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • 30 Minutes Treadmill (Steady State)

Tuesday: Back/Cardio

  • Lat Pulldowns 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Cable Rows 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Barbell Rows 15/12/10/8/6
  • Dumbbell Rows 15/12/10/8/8
  • Low Rows 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • T-Bar Rows 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Deadlifts 15/12/10/10/6/4/2
  • 30 Minutes Treadmill (Steady State)

Wednesday: Quads/Hams

  • Squats 25/15/12/10/8/6
  • Wide Leg Press 5 x 15 (Superset)
  • Narrow Stance 5 x 15
  • Hack Squats 15/12/10/8
  • Lying Leg Curls 15/15/12/10/8
  • Leg Extensions 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Walking Lunges 4 x 15 (per leg)
  • 30 Minutes Treadmill (Steady State)

Thursday: Shoulders

  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Behind the Neck Military Barbell Press 15/15/12/10
  • Reverse Pec Deck Fly’s 15/15/12/10
  • Lateral Raises 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Wide Grip Upright Rows 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Front Raises 15/12/10/8
  • 30 Minutes Treadmill (Steady State)

Friday: Arms/Cardio

  • EZ-Bar Curls 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Rope Pushdowns 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • Cable Curls 25/15/15/12/10
  • Skull Crushers 25/15/15/12/10
  • Straight Bar Curls 15/12/10/8
  • Close Grip Bench Press 15/12/10/8
  • Machine Curls 25/15/15/12/10/8
  • 30 Minutes Treadmill (Steady State)

Saturday: Cardio/Abs

  • 30 Minutes Treadmill (Steady State)
  • Crunches 3 x 25
  • Hanging Leg Raises 3 x 25

Sunday: Fasted Cardio/Abs

  • 30 Minutes Treadmill (Steady State)
  • Crunches 3 x 25
  • Hanging Leg Raises 3 x 25

If you had to pick only 3 exercises what would they be and why?

If I had to pick three exercises, they would probably be squat, bench and deadlift due to their overall value.

  1. Squats: I love doing squats for my overall core stability and leg mass.
  2. Bench: This is a great overall compound movement that not only works my chest, but it hits my triceps, shoulders and back.
  3. Deadlifts: In my opinion deadlifts are a true strength builder.

What is your diet like?

My nutrition solely depends on my desired physique, so it will vary from time to time. For example, if I’m trying to get leaner, I will manipulate my carbs and fats, and I will keep my protein levels relatively high. Currently, I am eating an unlimited quantity of vegetables during my meals, and I’m keeping my carbs at about 25-50 grams per serving. My diet at the moment looks something like below.

Daily Diet:

  • Meal 1: 1 scoop Protein
  • Meal 2: 6 Egg Whites and 1 Whole Egg
  • Meal 3: 6 ounces Chicken and 1 cup Vegetables
  • Meal 4: 6 ounces Lean Steak, 8 ounces Rice and 1 cup Vegetables
  • Meal 5: 1 scoop Protein and 50 grams Carb Powder
  • Meal 6: 6 ounces Chicken and 1 cup Vegetables

They didn’t call him “The Oak” for nothing. When he was in his prime Arnold Schwarzenegger was unlike anything anyone had ever seen before. He took bodybuilding by storm and put the sport on the map.

You don’t get to level Schwarzenegger attained without being insanely driven. Here he is in his own words on what it took to get push himself to those heights.

“The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I hate that” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

So you want to build muscle without steroids do you? Well let me tell you that natural bodybuilding is hard…

Especially since it feels like it’s an uneven playing field in the gym, doesn’t it?

There are some guys where you just know they’re on steroids. Other guys, you suspect, but aren’t really sure.

It’s a sad fact of the matter: steroids are far more common than you’d like to believe and it can feel like everyone is doing them…

But, if you’ve resolved tostay natural and want to build muscle without steroids fast no matter what it takes, you may be feeling a little discouraged at your ability to build muscle.

But don’t worry, you’ve actually made a very smart decision…

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why staying steroid-free is better
  • How to build muscle without steroids or any other illegal substances
  • The secret trick to keep the muscle on without spending hours in the gym

When you hit the gym, you might feel like there’s two camps: those on gear and those who are not. If you feel like your group – non-steroid users – is growing smaller by the day, you may be tempted to try a cycle.

I mean, how bad can it really be, right?

Fact is, it can be very bad…

Why Using Steroids To Build Muscle Is a Bad Idea

Consider this:

Most users of steroids take 10 to 100 times more than what a doctor would prescribe to treat a real medical condition or illness

  • Steroids don’t just impact your body. They also impact your mind. symptoms related to steroid use include mood swings, manic behavior, insomnia, irritability, and impaired judgment. Some individuals also become very aggressive.
  • Steroids are not a long-term solution. Do too many cycles and your body may become reliant on external testosterone, reducing own natural production. Then, should you choose to come off, you’re left with testosterone levels lower than normal. Say good-bye to that muscle you’ve built!
  • Steroids are addictive. Rarely will someone ever just do one cycle. The reason? See above. Men who use steroids can suffer from any of the following: Shrinking testicles, breast growth, infertility, impotence, a higher risk for prostate cancer. Steroids may impact your ability to have children.
  • Steroid users are at a higher risk for HIV/Aids if unsterile needles are used.

While steroids may give you that initial boost you long for – to feel like you have superhuman powers in the gym, when you get right down to it, you know very well it’s not a wise long-term option.

Be smart and stick to your guns. Staying natural will not only give you the feeling of being able to achieve excellent muscle group without assistance, but will also set you up for long-term health.

Plus, your chances of keeping your gains will be far higher if steroids aren’t involved.

Okay, so now that you’re back on the straight and narrow, let’s talk about how you can build muscle without steroids but so it would actually seem like you are on steroids even though you know (proudly!) that you aren’t.

Get Serious About Creatine

One product that isn’t illegal that you definitely want to get serious about using is creatine. If you aren’t using this product already, now is the time to start.Creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements in the industry and has been proven to help accelerate the rate of lean muscle mass tissue. Of course, it won’t do the work for you – you’ll have to bust your ass in the gym each workout to build muscle quickly, but with creatine on your side, you’ll do more each session, thus seeing faster results.

Need proof?

One study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise noted that when test subjects were either given creatine with carbohydrates, creatine with whey protein, or whey protein or carbohydrates alone, the creatine focused groups showed greater improvements in muscle strength as well as size compared to carbohydrates alone.

The researchers determined that up to 76% of the strength improvements in the squat exercise being performed could be attributed to hypertrophy of the muscles involved in this exercise.

Creatine isn’t a magic bullet where you take it and grow muscle out of thin air. But, it may help you do more before reaching that point of fatigue where you have to stop each set.

This in turn is what helps you grow.

Even better, unlike steroids and some other supplements out there, there is no need to cycle creatine either. This is something that can help you get bigger 365 days per year.

Know That Building Muscle Naturally Is All In The Food

You might think that the true secret to getting as big as possible is through hitting the gym as hard and often as you can. But if you’re natural, the real secret lies in the kitchen. What you eat is going to help or hinder your success, period. Now, when steroid users eat, it’s pretty much a game of eat as much as you possibly can to grow as fast as you possibly can. Steroids ramp up the rate of protein synthesis so that the trainee is able to accelerate muscle building without much body fat gain. As a natural trainee, you need to be smarter. Yes, you do need to eat big to get big, but timing your food becomes more important. This is what helps get you big, but keeps you lean at the same time. If you just eat everything in sight, unless you’re a natural ectomorph, you’ll find yourself gaining unwanted body fat as well. What you’ll want to do is set your calorie intake to around a 600-700 calorie surplus on training days, placing the bulk of those added calories before/after your workout session. This is the time when protein synthesis will be elevated, so when you’ll be most likely to shuttle those calories towards the process of muscle building. Then on rest days, cut back slightlyEat in a 100-200 calorie surplus (remember, recovery uses energy too!) and focus on keeping your dietary fat a little higher that day while carbs are slightly lower. Using this eating style will help you maximize your muscle gain while minimizing additional unwanted body fat. As a natural trainee, you want to avoid lengthy cutting periods as this is a time when you can begin to lose your hard earned muscle.

Back Off Your Training (Slightly!)

As much as it might come as a surprise, as a natural trainee, you might want to consider backing off your training. Now, don’t get me wrong – training is still critical and when you hit the gym, you need to be giving 110% of your effort each and every set you do.

As a natural trainee though, too much training will just lead to slow muscle growth and possibly lead you down the path to overtraining. While steroid users may be doing two-a-day sessions, for you, you’re better off hitting the gym hard once per day and making sure that you have at least two days off a week for rest and recovery. It’s during recovery that you grow, so don’t miss out on this opportunity. Many natural lifters are already on the verge of overtraining and when they finally do cut back, that’s when they see the best results. If you aren’t getting any gains and you know your calorie intake is where it needs to be, chances are, you’re training too much. Back off slightly and your results may skyrocket.

Clock More Sleep Time and Build Muscle Before You Even Start the Day

Believe it or not, sleeping more will actually help you build muscle without steroid. Since you aren’t getting the help of external sources of testosterone, you’ll want to do whatever you can to maximize your internal production. This means getting serious about sleep. I get it. You’re busy and your to-do list never stops. But if you want results, you need to be clocking 8-9 hours of sleep each night.

Get this:

In one study published in the Jama Journal, researchers studied what the implications of one week of sleep deprivation would be. They had test subjects sleep for 8 hours for one week (the washout period) and then spent 11 nights in the lab. The first three nights they slept for 10 hours to really restore any sleep debt present.

Testosterone levels were then recorded to serve as a baseline reading.

After this, they were then subjected to 8 nights with just 5 hours of sleep. After this period, testosterone levels were taken once again. After the results were in, it was seen that subjects experienced a 10-15% decline in free testosterone levels.

Considering the fact that testosterone naturally declines about 1% a year, this means you could be walking around with testosterone levels that are a decade older than you.

Moral of the story?

Get serious about sleep. To do natural bodybuilding, you cannot afford to not be getting the natural boost to your testosterone that sleep gives. As you know your natural testosterone production is vital if you want to be able to build muscle without steroids fast.

Eat More Saturated Fat (Really!)

Chances are, you’ve probably been told that decreasing your saturated fat intake is best for health purposes. And, if you feast on a half dozen eggs, steak, and bacon daily, then yes, that probably is good advice. But for the natural trainee who eats a relatively healthy diet? Adding more saturated fat could actually be key to success. Research suggests that men who consume too much dietary fiber and not enough saturated fat show suppressed testosterone profiles compared to men who eat more saturated fat and less fiber.

So should you swap out your broccoli for bacon?

Not so fast brother. You don’t want to avoid fiber entirely but instead, make sure you aren’t overdoing it. And then make sure that the saturated fat sources you are eating come from natural sources. Think lean red meat, eggs, and possibly even some higher fat dairy products. Stay away from deep fried foods or those heavily processed. While they may contain saturated fat, they contain a number of other things that will do your health harm.

Take home advice

So after this natural bodybuilding guide you now have the key steps to take if you want to build muscle without steroids as fast as possible.

Make sure you:

  • Take creatine
  • Fully understand the importance of nutrition
  • Remember that muscle is built while you rest
  • Get 10 hours of sleep
  • Eat more saturated fat

Work hard, follow this advice, and don’t give in to the pressures to take steroids. You can build muscle without steroids and when you do, you’ll feel far better knowing you did it through strictly your own resources.

REFERENCES:

Cribb, Paul J., et al. “Effects of whey isolate, creatine and resistance training on muscle hypertrophy.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 39.2 (2007): 298-307.

Leproult, Rachel, and Eve Van Cauter. “Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men.” Jama 305.21 (2011): 2173-2174.

Dorgan, Joanne F., et al. “Effects of dietary fat and fiber on plasma and urine androgens and estrogens in men: a controlled feeding study.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 64.6 (1996): 850-855.

It’s official: party season is in full swing, and once that holiday cheer starts flowing, any semblance of healthy living goes right out of the window. From cheese platters to tequila shots, the effects of partying can wreak havoc on your physique. Even those with serious fortitude find themselves buckling under the strain of constant temptations. And while all the celebrating will raise your spirits, it’s also likely to derail your fitness progress. The good news is your physical accomplishments don’t have to go down the drain just because you want to partake in the festivities.

You can still party and stay in good shape. With a little advance planning and a few simple techniques, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to maintain your current level of fitness throughout the party season. It doesn’t take CSI: MiamiNY, or even Toledo to identify the main progress-crushing culprits—bad foods, bad habits and booze. Get a handle on these and you’ll be able to weather the perfect storm of office, family and bowl game celebrations. So follow my lead and you just may be able to keep those killer abs you spent countless hours chiseling at the gym.

How to prepare:

When you know you’re going to go all out and balls to the wall, you need to be aware that your calories on vacation are going to be all out of wack. I prefer not to track calorie intake, because I’m not trying to stress about that stuff.

Instead what I like to have clients do is prepare for a couple of weeks before hand by constantly under eating, and training just a bit more intensely.

For example: 2 weeks out from Austin I made a continual effort to eat about 300 calories under my maintenance level. That’s not a big deficit at all, but over the course of 2 weeks it works up to about 4,200 calories. That’s over 4,000 calories I’ve stashed away to play with on vacation. Not a bad start.

On top of that I typically like to start including some additional cardio 3-4 times a week. I respond well to steady state cardio, and that helps fat come off pretty quickly for me. For others, they do better with HIIT, barbell complexes, or circuits. Find what works for you, and start implementing it.

After the deficit and additional cardio I had given myself roughly 7,000 calories or so to work with during the week. I’m already kicking ass and vacation hasn’t even started.

What to drink:

I knew I’d be drinking constantly. And since I would be seeing old friends and a bunch of fitness professionals that I love to hang out with, there was no way I was going to bitch out and only drink water. I wanted to go balls to the wall.

The trick is going balls to the wall and being smart. I love beer, but it’s rather easy to drink a ton beer and throw back an additional 1,000 calories a night from alcohol alone. And since alcohol is a true empty calorie, I wasn’t about that life. Instead my drink of choice became the Old Fashioned. The average Old Fashioned is about 155 calories, similar to a beer, but packs more of a punch. On top of that, shots were flowing like the Guadalupe River. That keeps calories down, but provides plenty of liquid courage for me to make an ass out of myself.

Pro tip: avoid mixed drinks with heavy mixers. Opt for low calorie sweeteners and straight liquor. Not only do you save calories, you look like more of a man.

How to train:

When you get a bunch of fitness professionals together your bound to do some hardcore training. That’s just a fact of life, even when all of you stayed out until 4am drinking and eating pancakes at Kerbey Lane and IHOP. No joke, one of us actually got cut off from bacon by the waitress at IHOP. For me this didn’t mean I really trained any differently, but I did try and cut down rest periods to make each workout more metabolic, and burn through some extra calories. I wasn’t trying to do anything crazy. I was just lifting heavy, doing some extra mobility work or other exercises between sets, and kept moving. This helped keep my heart rate high, and also helped me feel like a functioning human being again.

How to eat:

Just fucking eat, man. I’m not a fan of trying to stay on point all the damn time on vacation. I would actually like to round up the people who bring Tupperware containers of prepped food on vacation and throw them off a cliff into Lake Travis.

Unless you’re prepping for a big event like a bodybuilding show, wedding, or something similar then just go enjoy yourself, especially if you’re in an awesome food city like Austin. Enjoy the food trucks, enjoy the local fare, and don’t beat yourself up over it.

It’s natural to feel bloated and like you’ve gained 10lbs of fat, especially if you’ve been dieting before hand. Thanks to increased sodium intake and the high intake of carbs you’re going to carry more water.The good news about that is that it’s not fat. It’s more difficult to put on pure body fat than you think, and a few meals isn’t going to do the trick.

Once I started eating I kept it relatively “clean”. Lots of leafy greens and fibrous vegetables, along with plenty of lean proteins, and I kept carbs relatively low. The combination of the fast, lots of water, and fewer carbs helped me flush most of the water weight. I actually weighed in 3lbs lighter when I got back than when I had left. Part of that is thanks to my metabolism working overtime thanks to the excess food, and also thanks to shedding that excess water. The body can do some crazy shit, bro.

The big takeaways:

Preparation is key. Prepare beforehand for your vacation, and then enjoy the fuck out of the vacation. That’s why you’re on vacation. Get some training in, but don’t stress about it. Enjoy the people you’re with, and make some awesome memories. You’ll look back and be happy you did.