Height: 5’4″ – 163 cm
Weight: 155 lbs – 70 kg

1

What was your lifestyle like prior to your transformation?

I started weight training at the age of 17 while in high school and I immediately fell in love with it. I ended up spending all of my spare time in the weight room. During high school, I had weight training class every day and after school, I would go back to train. At that time, there was no internet, so I relied on bodybuilding magazines to get my workouts, nutrition and supplementation information. After I finished school, I found myself working in the nightlife industry in Dallas, Texas. I ended up doing that for many years and it wasn’t too healthy to say the least!

There was lots of drinking, smoking and eating fast food during the day and especially at night after the clubs closed. During that time, my exercise regimen was sporadic at best.

2

What was your low point or turning point?

After about a three year layoff from any type of consistent training and consuming fast food just about every day of the week, I was at my heaviest. I lost whatever muscle I had gained during my previous years of training and I was no longer happy with myself mentally or physically. I had done too much partying, too much eating and not enough training and it showed! One day, I was online and I came across a photo of Pham ‘Flexx’ Vu; it might have been on SimplyShredded.com when you guys ran an article on him. I was instantly inspired by his physique and being half Asian myself, seeing another Asian with a physique like his really motivated me. I remembered how I felt in the past when I had trained and I knew I had to get back at it. My goal was to see if I could obtain a physique similar to Pham ‘Flexx’ Vu’s.

That’s when I decided to get to work and make some serious changes. I started hitting the gym consistently; I would go for runs almost daily and I even started trying to eat better.

3

What was the hardest part about your transformation?

The hardest part was just getting started. At that time, I didn’t have a gym membership, so I pushed myself to run almost daily. Only, I’m not a runner at all, but I knew I had to start somewhere and do some form of cardio to lose my body fat. I was able to slowly build my way up to 3 miles a day and I even ran up to 6 miles a few times, which was a big deal for me. (Laughs)

When I finally got a gym membership, I started hitting the weights again and that was a great feeling!

4

What motivates you to keep going and push harder?

I think competing in the IFBB as a Men’s Physique Pro at the age of 45 and being one of the oldest pros is highly motivating! Also, being from Minnesota, there are not a lot of pros that have come from my area. I want to show our local community of competitors that someone from our area can make it to the IFBB pro league and not only make it, but do very well.

I aim to inspire my competitor friends from back home to keep pushing for their dreams too!

What is your next goal and where do you see yourself this time next year?

My ultimate goal is to win a pro show and earn enough qualification points to make it to the Olympia stage.

If I can continue to hang with some of the top guys, next year at this time, I’d like to still be competing in the IFBB. For a challenge, I may even try the ‘new’ Classic Physique class.

What is your current training philosophy?

Because I’m 45, I don’t train as heavy as I used to. My goal is to reduce the chance of injury. I tend to focus on the movements, changing the tempo of the reps, focusing on the contractions and really emphasizing the ‘squeeze’ during each repetition. I also focus on keeping tension on the muscle throughout each set. For me, I feel it’s very important to have that mind to muscle connection for every rep of every set.

Full Routine:

Monday: Legs/Shoulders/Abs

  • Squats 4 x 8-12
  • Front Squats 3 x 10-12 (Superset)
  • Leg Extensions 3 x 10-12
  • Romanian Deadlifts 3 x 10-12 (Superset)
  • Leg Curls 3 x 10-12
  • Standing Calf Raises 5 x 15-20
  • Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press 4 x 10 (Superset)
  • Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises 4 x 10
  • Hanging Leg Raises 3 x 15
  • Russian Twists 3 x 20
  • Cable Rope Crunches 3 x 20

Tuesday: Back/Biceps

  • Pull Ups 4 x 15
  • Pendlay Rows 4 x 10-12 (Superset)
  • Seated Cable Row 4 x 10-12
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Rows 4 x 10-12
  • Behind the Neck Pulldowns 4 x 10-12
  • Dumbbell Pullovers 4 x 10-12 (Superset)
  • Wide Straight Arm Pulldowns 4 x 10-12
  • Barbell Curls 3 x 10 (Triple Drop Set)

Wednesday: Chest/Triceps

  • Dumbbell Flat Bench Press 4 x 8-12
  • Incline Smith Machine Press 4 x 8-12 (Superset)
  • Incline Dumbbell Fly’s 4 x 8-12
  • Decline Smith Machine Press 4 x 8-12 (Superset)
  • Cable Fly’s 4 x 8-12
  • Cable Pushdowns 3 x 10 (Triple Drop Set)

Thursday: Shoulders/Abs

  • Behind the Neck Press 4 x 10-12
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises 3 x 10 (Triple Drop Set)
  • Dumbbell Front Raises 4 x 10 (Superset)
  • Bent-Over Dumbbell Rear Fly’s 4 x 10
  • Crunches 3 x 20
  • Leg Raises 3 x 15

Friday: Arms

  • Barbell Curls 4 x 8-12 (Superset)
  • Dumbbell Skull Crushers 4 x 8-12
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curls (Superset) 4 x 8-12
  • Pushdowns 4 x 8-12
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curls 3 x 10-12
  • One-Arm Cable Kickbacks 3 x 10-12

Saturday: Priority Training

  • On Saturdays, I will pick a body part I feel is lagging behind and focus on it. For example, I will hit my upper chest, lats or legs.

Sunday: Rest

  • Recovery

5

What is your secret to your incredible upper and lower abdominal development?

Using a wide variety of exercises has allowed me to really develop my abdominals. For the upper abs, I use a variety of crunches and for the lower abs, I do a lot of hanging leg raises.

Do you deplete your water prior to a show? Tell us about the process and what’s worked best for you.

This season before a show, going into peak week, I’ve been water loading. For example if the show is on a Saturday morning, several weeks leading up to the show, I’ll drink 1.5 gallons of water a day. Once peak week arrives, that Monday and Tuesday, I will increase my water intake to 2 gallons. Then on Wednesday and Thursday, I will increase my intake to 2.5 gallons. The day prior to the show, I’ll increase my water intake to 3 gallons a day.

On the day of the contest, if I’m thirsty, I’ll sip on water and drink a little just to wash down my food.

What is your approach to nutrition?

For all of my shows, I’ve worked with a contest prep coach in Minnesota, Mike Gritti. So during contest prep, I just eat what Mike tells me to eat, when he tells me to eat it! (Laughs) When I’m in off season and I’m not competing, I go by the 80/20 rule. I’ll eat good and clean 80% of the week and then I will let myself indulge the other 20% of the week.

For example, Monday – Friday afternoon, I’ll eat all clean meals and when Friday night rolls around, I’ll allow myself a cheat meal or a treat. On Saturday and Sunday, I will also allow for a cheat meal.

Do you bulk and cut or stay lean year round?

I try to stay fairly lean year round. I try not to go above 10% body fat, so when I prepare for a show, I don’t have to follow any drastic weight loss strategies.

Daily Diet:

  • Meal 1: ½ scoop Protein, 1 cup Oatmeal and 1 tablespoon Peanut Butter and 1 Protein Shake mixed with 1 cup liquid Egg Whites and ½ Scoop Protein
  • Meal 2: 1 cup scrambled Egg Whites, 1 cup Spinach, ½ cup Peppers, ½ Avocado and 1 Tortilla Wrap
  • Meal 3: 6 ounces Chicken, 1 cup Jasmine Rice and 1 cup Broccoli
  • Meal 4: (post workout) 1 cup liquid Egg Whites, 1 scoop Protein and 1 Apple or Banana
  • Meal 5: 93% Ground Beef or Turkey, 1 cup Sweet Potatoes and 1 cup Broccoli
  • Meal 6: 6 ounces Tilapia or White Fish, 1 cup Spinach and 6 Asparagus Spears

6

Do you have a sweet tooth? And what’s the one food you couldn’t live without and how do you handle food cravings?

Yes, I have a major sweet tooth! (Laughs) My favorite food is probably ice cream, if you can call that a food. (Laughs) Otherwise, I’d have to say pizza.

To handle cravings, I prep all of my meals in advance for the week and I always keep extra meals in my meal bag. This really helps me stay on track.

What does your supplementation look like?

Year Round:

  • Protein Powder
  • Creatine
  • Glutamine
  • Vitamins
  • Fish Oil
  • Pre Workout
  • BCAA’s/EAA’s
  • Fruits and Greens Powder

Cutting:

  • L-Carnitine (Liquid)
  • CLA’s
  • Fat Burner

7

What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to reach their goal physique?

  1. Eat according to your fitness goal. What you eat is crucial to achieving your goal!
  2. If you want to achieve the results you’re after in the shortest amount of time, be as consistent as possible with your workouts and your nutrition.
  3. Learn to be disciplined. You must be disciplined to achieve a goal physique. There will be plenty of obstacles in your way, both in training and what you should and shouldn’t eat. The more disciplined you are the better results you’ll get!

8

Everyone wants to get ripped and peeled, but usually only a few ever make it. With the hot months on the horizon, everyone at the gym starts talking about their upcoming diet and how excited they are to get the ball rolling.

A common scene really, but it’s uncommon that someone’s efforts actually payoff the way they originally intended. Within a month most guys find themselves pretty frustrated. They are halfway done cutting at best, and feel like they are running through quicksand. As a competitive bodybuilder and contest coach, I get to hear my fair share of rants from these guys and it’s the same issues over and over. Landmines placed in the exact same spot as last year get stumbled upon the following year. In this article we will name a few of the most common traps that slow down, discourage, often leave cutting phases unfinished, and with results that leave so much more to be desired.

Bodyfat

“What’s your body fat dude?”
“What’s my body fat at?”
“So what bodyfat should I get to?”

This has got to go!!

Be it if you are trying to compete in a bodybuilding show, gain the notoriety from the opposite sex, or just look good for your upcoming vacation. Nobody is going to look at you, point and say “WOW! Check out his 5.62934% bodyfat!” Truth is you are either in shape or not, and aiming for bodyfat percentages is a waste of time, a distraction at best. When I start dieting for bodybuilding shows I will get that question quite a bit. “So what bodyfat are you going to cut down to?” Truth is I just keep losing weight until I have achieved the look I desire. While your goal might not be striated glutes, I am sure you have a look in mind. What if you get callipered at the 8% you were aiming for, but don’t quite look the way you anticipated? Do you end your diet there? Which brings me to my next point: bodyfat testing in general is pretty hit or miss, at least all the affordable ways are. This is why I never have my clients send me bodyfat percentages in their weekly reports to me. I want weight (which tells us how many lbs. of bodyfat we have lost) and pictures which of course you can’t argue with. You are either ripped or not, and it’s that simple. Yes numbers are sexy, and being able to quantify things is something people just like to do in general, but “ripped” you either are or you aren’t.

Let the mirror decide, not some plastic calipers. Much like the judges don’t get on stage and caliper myself and the other competitors, neither will that young lady at the beach. Shredded doesn’t need a number, it just is.

Carbs

Fat loss and carbs just don’t go together in the eyes of most people looking to get into shape. Dieting is synonymous with low carb, and even no carb diets. While you will have to cut out some of your carbs when you start your mission towards getting lean, usually the amounts that are cut are too extreme. I will get asked often “so how man carbs should I take when dieting?” The answer is simple: as many as you can while still losing fat at the desired pace. Key words there being as many as YOU can!

Carb intakes can be one of the biggest variables when it comes to dieting.

Two guys with similar training programs, ages, and weights will often require two different approaches nutritionally. Some people might need to diet on 100 grams of carbs, others might require double or triple that amount. One thing is for sure, most folks low ball their carbohydrate threshold and diet on too little food. When you diet on less carbs than you require you will see the following occur: You will come out flying at the start, and then it will drastically slow down, and from there you will likely have to apply more aggressive protocols. Either dropping food lower or adding ungodly amounts of cardio will be required. You will then plateau to where nothing seems to work and progress will simply stall. This is where most guys end up a few weeks into their diet plan.

Use as many carbs as you can, as they will help power through your workouts in the gym, keep your metabolic rate healthy so you can lose fat longer and more efficiently and not just make progress the first month.

Second Approaches

Well if it worked for him than it should work for everyone else? If it were only that simple, how wonderful would it be. It would be great because I would no longer need weeks and weeks to get a feel for a client’s metabolic rate. Actually it would not be a good thing because there would be a “secret diet’ that would be applicable to everyone, and in turn I would be out of business. All joking aside, there is enough variation from individual to individual that one diet plan simply can’t fit all.

So while it’s cool, and I am always intrigued as to what other guys have done to get into magnificent shape, my interest has nothing to do with me wanting to mimic their approaches. I enjoy reading these protocols because it confirms the notion that we are each very unique and a wide array of approaches do work.

Some guys need to get in 3-4 hard cardio sessions a week, and others can count the number of cardio sessions they do during their whole diet on one hand. Varying protein intakes, caloric requirements, training guidelines etc. However as intriguing as these protocols are, what most likely makes these athletes successful is trial and error over the year, attention to detail, and being consistent. Good genetics usually help too, which in most cases these individuals happen to possess. For these guys almost anything will work, and let’s be blunt for a moment, if you were genetically predisposed to being muscular and lean you would likely not be reading this article.

Hard work and persistence is going to really make a big difference, the other half will come from using more sound physiological approaches, and not some copy and paste job.

Abs & Cardio

I am talking about the guys that go to the gym and spend 30-40 minutes working out abs. Not only is it a waste of time, but there could be better things you can spend fluff time at the gym on. For example prehab work, foam rolling, as in all the things that will help keep you healthy and progressing for a long time. Quite often I will get curious inquiries from clients about dedicating a whole workout to abs in an effort to tighten up the mid-section. Which still leaves me in awe since we can’t spot target fat loss, and why would a bicep grow when you use it, but the torso muscle shrink and tighten up? Truth is a little goes a long way since abs are involved in some of the bigger movements we do in the gym, and also what works best for other muscles works best for your ab development. Weighted ab exercises in the 5-12 rep range, at about 3-4 sets twice a week is more than enough. Real definition and true sculpting is going to come via fat loss, but like any other muscle in your body it can be very well developed, but if you are not lean enough it won’t show.

As the old saying goes: “abs are made in the kitchen”, not on the 400th rep of some weird ab crunch variation that is synchronized to some horrible techno music.

There are, of course, more Tips. That is why we share with you 4 more (part 2) COMING SOON!!!

 

No matter where you are on the fitness scale, there’s a better version of you locked inside of you that wants to get out. 99.9% of all fitness material is geared toward telling you what to eat or what exercises to do to unlock your best self. But this article is focused on things to AVOID, so your best self has an easier chance of coming to fruition!

1.)Avoid sticking to light weights and high reps

“Heavy weight just bulks you up,” says the shapeless gym enthusiast. “Lighter weights with higher reps is what really gets you ripped.” Tsk, tsk tsk. Mr. Nonsense and his amoebic physique have good intentions, but this way of thinking is as archaic as eight-track cassettes.

High-rep sets definitely have their place increasing muscular endurance and pump, for instance but they should never from the backbone of your program when you’re trying to get lean. Sticking to lightweight sets (12-20 reps) for an extended period robs you muscles of what they need most a constant challenge. In the absence of new stimuli, such as constantly increasing weight loads, your muscles will simply grow content and either plateau or backtrack in size and shape. Lifting heavier will help you gain more lean tissue, which allows you to be slightly more metabolic at rest. Plus, heavy training (6-8 reps) increases the total caloric expenditure during and after your workout.

Best Tip

Base you program on heavy, multi joint lifts such as squats, deadlifts and various presses that recruit and build more total muscle and burn more calories. Use moderate (10-12 reps) and lightweight (12-20 reps) sets to complement your heavy training, not the other way around.

2.)Avoid cardio before weight training

Some silly folks like to shamelessly exploit a fundamental training mantra that you should always train for priorities. If losing bodyfat is your primary goal, for example, then cardio should be your primary focus in the gym, right? This is one case where your priorities are just backward, pal. While cardio by itself is certainly productive, doing cardio after your weight-training session is almost twice as productive at burning fat.

Research

Japanese researchers recently determined that doing a weight workout before cardio resulted in significantly more fat-burning than doing cardio alone. In the study, a cardio-only group burned just more than 20% of their total calories from fat, while another group who did cardio after weights burned nearly 50% of their total calories from fat. One reason for this amazing disparity is that the body plows through stored glycogen during your weight routine, making fat the primary fuel source once it’s time for your cardio.

Best Tip

Perform cardio when it’ll be most productive for you after you hit the weights. Try mixing in 3-4, 20-30- minute, postlifting cardio sessions per week.

3.) Avoid eating fast-digesting carbs preworkout

Before you hit the gym, you definitely want to have some protein, but some people still reach for white toast, Gatorade and other fast-digesting carbs to round out their preworkout meal. Somewhere on a cave wall it is written in ancient Sanskrit: A crab is a carb is a carb. Today, we know better. Your definitely don’t want to head to the gym on an empty tank, which is why you should fuel up in the 60-90 minutes or so before your first rep.

But before you guzzle a sports drink or have a baked potato, know this: Fast-digesting carbs will have a negative impact on your body’s ability to burn fat for fuel in the gym because they boost insulin. This anabolic hormone is great to boost after the workout for encouraging muscle growth, but during the workout it blunts fat-burning.

Best Tip

While having some carbs in your system is ideal preworkout, you’ll want to make smarter choices to keep your fat-burning high. Take in 30-40 grams of slower-digesting sources such as oatmeal, whole-grain bread, fruit or sweet potatoes 15-30 minutes before training. Research shows that athletes who eat these foods burn more fat.

4.) Avoid doing steady-state cardio at 70%-80% of max heart rate (MHR)

We love those skinny dudes who hit the treadmill with a heart-mate monitor strapped around their chests it helps round out their already stylish headband-and-Adidas Gazalles look. But that leisurely prance is simply no match for a hard-sweat, fat nuking interval session. Steady-state cardio done at 70%-80% of your max heart rate will definitely eat away at bodyfat, but you may be selling yourself short.

Your best bet is to train using intervals, where you frequently alternate between bouts of high intensity (80%-90% MHR) and low intensity (50%-60% MHR). This method of training leaves the body burning more fat long after you put in you last sprint no heart rate monitor required.

Best Tip

Perform 20-30 minutes of interval training on a treadmill, elliptical or bike 2-3 times per week. Try one minute of high intensity (a fast run) followed by bone minute of low intensity (a slow walk) and keep repeating.

5.)Stop avoiding caffeine, green tea and carnitine

Men. We’re too proud to ask for directions, sure. That’s because our navigational prowess makes it unnecessary for us to do so. But we’re here to tell you that refusing to sue supplements to power your fat fighting efforts could leave you feeling as though you’re driving in circles. When it comes to shedding bodyfat, there’s no substitute for hard training and sound dieting. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use everything at your disposal to speed up you results. Virtually every fat-burner on the market contains some form of caffeine, green tea or carnitine. Why? All three attack fat-burning from different sides, making your training and nutritional efforts all the more productive.

Caffeine binds to fat cells to enhance fat-burning during exercise, green tea prevents the breakdown of the metabolism-regulation neurotransmitter norepinephrine and carnitine helps transport fat into the mitochondria of cells, where they’re burned for energy. Avoiding these supps is an easy way to downshift your progress.

Best Tip

Take 200-400 mg of caffeine with breakfast and 200-400 mg 1-2 hours before your workout. Take 500 mg of green tea extract three times a day, including one serving just before your workout. Take 1-2 grams of carnitine three times a day, including one serving just before and one serving immediately after your workout.

6.)Stop avoiding protein or amino acids before cardio

If you’re a member of Shredded Academy, you should know just how important pre and post workout nutrition and supplementation is. It’s easy to eat like a maniac after a hard workout, but some guys miss the mark when it comes to the pre-workout prep, particularly in terms of halting muscle catabolism on a cardio-only day. What a shame, because it’s an easy fix.

Leaning out isn’t nearly as fun unless you have some muscle underneath that blubber. So before hitting the treadmill Maurice Greene-style, make sure you’ve primed your body to hold on to as much muscle as possible. Taking 10-20 grams of fast-digesting whey protein or 3-6 grams of amino acids before a hard cardio session particularly those done in the morning on a empty stomach will help ensure that your body has available energy for the work ahead rather than tapping into muscle protein.

Best Tip

Take 3-6 grams of amino acids or consume a light, 10-20 gram whey protein shake before cardio. This is especially important for cardio before breakfast.

7.)Avoid eating three square meals a day

We don’t blame you entirely for this one. The whole, “breakfast, lunch and dinner” approach to nutrition has been an American mainstay seemingly since time began. It has worked wonders, too, what with us Yanks now in the midst of a national obesity epidemic. This philosophy works for our armed forces, but unless you’re doing 8-mile hikes with a 70-pound rucksack twice a day, you’re better off consuming 5-6 small meals a day. While some people rely on three squares to meet their daily caloric needs, such large infrequent meals can cause stomach bloating, overeating, drops in blood sugar and greater fat retention.

Smaller, more frequent meals keep your metabolism higher, allowing your body to use more of the food for fuel instead of dropping it off on your waistline.

Best Tip

Even if you’re chained to a desk for 10 hours a day, make sure your consume small meals or snacks every 2-3 hours. Protein powders, canned tuna, nuts, jerky, fruit and protein bars are all good things to keep on hand.

8.) Avoid sticking to straight sets in the gym

Three sets of 10 on every exercise, 1-2 minutes of rest between sets, huh? Yawn. How long have you been doing that, and how much has it helped you lean out? If you’re reading this, the answers are probably, “too long” and, “not much.” If your really want to blast away at stubborn fat stores, you need to kick things up a notch. Supersets are a perfect way to do that. Performing two or more exercises back-to-back without rest can boost pos-workout growth hormone levels, thus increasing muscle mass and stoking fat-burning without really increasing your workout volume.

Plus, moving from one exercise to another with limited rest in between increases your calories burned during exercises.

Best Tip

Try using an all-supersets workout for 2-4 weeks to elevate your metabolism, burn more calories and boost GH levels.

9.) Avoid eating carbs alone

Even the most dedicated, carb-deprived bodybuilders need the occasional carb-heavy snack to keep their sanity intact. So if your diet makes you feel as if you need to chow down on a plain bagel from time to time, feel free to do so. Just don’t have it alone! If you eat carbs by themselves, particularly outside of training times, you might as well start shopping for wider-waisted jeans.

It’s okay to have carbs when trying to get lean just make sure you have some protein, too. An extra glass of milk, some egg whites or some cottage cheese are all suitable items to add to a carb-rich dish. The addition of protein will help slow the digestion of carbs, keeping your body form storing them as fat.

Best Tip

Never eat carbs alone. Always have them with protein and small amounts of fat to slow digestion and keep your blood sugar levels in check. Eating fibrous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower and green beans helps ensure slower digestion of all carbohydrates.

10.)Avoid being a night owl

We known how it is. After a hard day’s night at the gym, you like to come home, refuel with food, plop down on the couch and take inventory of your DVR list. After your sixth episode of Rescue Me, however, you find that the night has gotten away from you. Is it really 1:15? Your finally commit to exiting your recorded shows when you realize, Hey, that’s Jessica Biel on Late Night with Conan O’Brien! There goes another half-hour. Got to bed already!

Studies have shown that those of us who like to stay up late be it channel surfing, web browsing or just reading and get up early for work suffer the consequences by way of the belly. That’s right getting less sleep actually contributes to higher levels of bodyfat over time.

Best Tip

If you’re looking to drop bodyfat, then you need to manage you time better, especially in the evening.

Age: 28
Height: 6’1” – 185 cm
Weight: 198 lbs – 90 kg

What was your lifestyle like prior to your transformation?

I was brought up in the US from a young age although originally from London. Having moved around a lot, finding the right direction and what I wanted to achieve in life was tough. Things changed when I moved back to London and joined a gym. From there I slowly started to learn and tried new things by observing others. I still train in the same gym I walked into as a 9 stone guy in 2009. Since being involved in BodyPower in April 2013, my commitment and enthusiasm for being an active part of the fitness industry took on a new direction as my energy levels and motivation grew.

I realized I could share my experiences and demonstrate how, with commitment and determination, anyone can dramatically increase their fitness levels and change their outlook on life.

What motivates you to keep going and push harder?

The feedback and support I get from everyone on social media has been amazing! It’s a two way street, I motivate them and they motivate me.

3

What is your next goal? Where do you see yourself this time next year?

I am working towards owning and operating a full scale gym. This will be my main focus for the next year, but I wouldn’t say a competition is out of the question either!

4

What is your current training philosophy?

Right now, I am focusing on building more muscle and bringing up my weak areas. I plan to build more muscle before I do another cut.

Monday: Chest/Biceps

  • Flat Bench Press 4 x 10
  • Dumbbell Fly 3 x 10-12
  • Decline Dumbbell Press 4 x 10
  • Cable Fly 3 x 10-12
  • EZ-Bar Curl 4 x 10
  • Cable Robe Curls 3 x 10-12

Tuesday: Quads/Hamstrings

  • Leg Extension 4 x 10
  • Squats 4 x 10
  • Leg Press 4 x 10
  • Leg Curl 3 x 10
  • Deadlifts 4 x 10
  • Leg Curl 4 x 12

Wednesday: Abs

  • Decline Bench Oblique Crunch 4 x 12-15
  • Hanging Leg Raise 5 x 12-15
  • Cable Rope Crunch 3 x 20
  • Ab Machine 3 x 25-30

Thursday: Back/Triceps

  • Seated Row 3 x 10
  • T-Bar Row 4 x 10
  • Upper Back Row 3 x 12
  • Lateral Pulldown 4 x 10
  • Single Arm Close Grip Pulldown 3 x 12
  • Bench Dips 4 x 10
  • Dumbbell Overhead Extension 3 x 12
  • Cable Rope Extension 3 x 12

Friday: Shoulders/Traps

  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 x 10
  • Arnold Press 4 x 10
  • Smith Machine Shoulder Press 3 x 12
  • Lateral Raise 3 x 12
  • Rear Delt Raise 3 x 12
  • Smith Machine Shrugs 4-5 x 12

Saturday: Cardio/Abs

  • Lower Crunch 3 x 15-20
  • Hanging Leg Raise 3 x 15-20
  • TRX or Normal Squat Thrusts 3 x 20-30
  • Swiss Ball Crunch 3 x 15-20
  • Russian Twist 3 x 20-30
  • V-Sit Crunch 3 x 15-20
  • Bicycle Crunch 3 x 20-30
  • Mountain Climbers 3 x 20-30

5

Favorite form of cardio?

I use HIIT to shed stubborn body fat for contest prep and when I’m cutting. Spinning is ideal for this because it allows a smooth transition between high intensity and resting phases.

Describe your cardio routine:

I perform 20 minutes of cardio. I warm up for 5 minutes and slowly increase the speed to a working heart rate of 50% max effort.

6

What is your approach to nutrition?

I keep it clean and simple. Eating clean 90% of the time makes a huge difference in my ability to keep my body fat down while I am bulking or cutting.

9

Do you bulk and cut or stay lean year round?

I rotate between bulking and cutting. Being a hard gainer, I’m always striving to build more muscle mass during the winter. My main bulk runs from November through February. Then, I make the transition to a cutting phase. I usually aim for an event in May, so I try to plan my cut accordingly.

Daily Diet:

Weights are dry/raw measure.

  • Meal 1: 2 ounces Oats, 1 Scoop Whey, 4 ounces Skim Milk, 4 ounces Water and 1 tablespoon Peanut Butter
  • Meal 2: 2 Whole Eggs and 3 Egg Whites
  • Meal 3: 3 ounces Almonds and 3 0unces Blueberries
  • Meal 4: 8 ounces Ground Turkey Breast, 4 0unces Onions, 4 0unces Peppers, 8 0unces Sweet Potato, 3-4 ounces Green Beans and 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
  • Meal 5: 1 Apple and 2-3 tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • Meal 6: 3 ½ ounces Tuna and Salad
  • Meal 7: 7 ½ ounces Chicken Breast, 6 ounces Brown Rice, 2-3 ounces Snap Peas, 4 ounces Onions and 4 0unces Peppers
  • Meal 8: 1 Scoop Whey and 5-6 0unces Cottage Cheese or Fat-Free Greek Yogurt

7

What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to reach their goal physique?

  1. No excuses, train hard!
  2. Nutrition is key!
  3. Have a structured routine and be consistent.

10

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

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.

Physical exercises, undoubtedly, are critical to getting a well-built athletic body. Regular workouts are also instrumental to staying in shape and living a healthy life. Although very important, physical activity is not the only component of a balanced lifestyle. In both, getting and staying in shape, it is also important to support fitness efforts with a healthy diet and positive day-to-day habits. This article presents you with six things, that can meaningfully enhance your lifestyle if integrated into your daily routine.

1. Have A Protein-Rich Breakfast

There is a tendency among many people to consume processed and refined foods in the morning. This is hardly a good idea since such breakfast adversely impacts your endurance and stamina levels that are particularly important if you exercise. Such food barely contains any nutrients and raises your blood sugar levels, hence increasing the risk of type II diabetes.  Instead, your breakfast should consist of protein-rich food, like eggs and beans. It will energize you and set you up for an active productive day. Breakfast is often referred to as “the most important meal of the day” – and this is justified to a high extent, as you need to get as much nourishment as possible in order to boost your stamina and endurance levels.

2. Have A Dietary Plan

The importance of a healthy diet is widely acknowledged today. In spite of this, unfortunately, the fast-paced lifestyle and the increasing need for quick and easy food, lead to many people eating poorly. You need to be mindful of what, how much and when you eat – especially if you have a strict workout regimen.

Your diet needs to be designed with your health and fitness goals in mind. Professional and aspiring bodybuilders need to estimate the number of calories burnt as a result of the training and develop their meal plan accordingly. For this, naturally, it is important to know exactly what the food contains, in terms of calories, vitamins and minerals. Align your diet with your training requirements, and ensure that the food you are eating is natural and diverse.

3. Don’t Miss On Food Supplements 

4. Drink More Water

Water is crucial, as it helps detoxify the body. Vital organs, like the liver and kidneys, are dependent on water to remain healthy. If you actively and regularly exercise, rehydrating yourself is critical during and after training sessions. Water also assists digestion and helps avoid constipation problems. For best effects, consumer 1 gallon (4.5 liters) daily.
5. Get Plenty Of Sleep And Rest

One way to stay fit and strong is to get a lot of rest and sleep. Your body burns a lot of energy during the day, and “the batteries” need to be recharged overnight. The optimal amount of sleep you should be getting is 8 hours per day. This way you will feel rejuvenated in the morning, and be more energetic and concentrated during the day. The health consequences of not getting enough sleep include fatigue, migraines, lack of focus, indigestion, constipation, weak immune system and deteriorating muscle tissues.

6. Be More Active During The Day
As part of your daily routine, you need to engage in activities, that involve movement, in order to stimulate your body. You can be regularly going for a run or cycling to work every day. Whatever you do, make sure you are actively moving, as this will be a good cardio exercise, which would allow you to effectively burn fat and calories. Living a passive lifestyle is a step on the way to obesity, heart attack and diabetes.
Conclusion

A healthy lifestyle is not simply a result of regularly going to the gym. It is a complex combination of factors, from physical activity to diet and sleep. These six habits will allow you live a more

Many of us aspire to live a healthy lifestyle, to feel fit and energized. But let’s face it, life can be busy! While setting goals to eat healthy may be easy, following through with those goals and staying consistent can be tricky.

When you’re busy navigating through your daily life, the thought of cooking all of your own meals at home can sometimes feel impossible. Not to mention warding off temptations at restaurants. And let’s face it- time is the number one “make or break” factor when it comes to deciding on a meal.

If you’re tired of ordering junk food out of impulse, spending too much money at restaurants, and not reaching your fitness goals, get ready to meet your new best friend: meal prep!

Short for meal preparation, ‘meal prep’ is the act of planning, preparing, and packaging your meals and snacks in advance, typically for the upcoming week, with the intention of clean eating and portion control. It is the key that helps many people reach their health and fitness goals. Keep in mind there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to do meal prep, as it’s all about what works for you personally. The ultimate goal is to save time in the kitchen and to have access to healthy meals during the week. Some people find they like to prepare their breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week, while others will only prep one meal for each day. Set aside some time for initial planning and cooking, and you will be amazed at the many benefits meal prep has to offer.

1. You will save money

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive if you plan in advance! Buy things in bulk, and don’t forget to take advantage of your freezer. By planning your meals in advance, you will know exactly what you need to buy, instead of going to the store a few times each week to pick up last minute ingredients. You will also be freed from buying pricey meals at lunchtime.

2. It will help you lose weight

Planning your meals in advance is key to weight loss as you know exactly what you are putting into your body, and how much. A weekly meal prep routine allows you to control how many calories you are inputting everyday, which is the perfect recipe for weight loss.

3. Grocery shopping will become easier

Once you know what meals you will be eating for the week, grocery shopping will feel like a breeze! Let wandering aimlessly around the aisles be a thing of the past. Show up prepared with a list and divide it into categories such as fruits, vegetables, protein, frozen food, dairy, grains, and fats. It will also help you avoid the aisles you don’t need to be in, such as the candy aisle!

4. You will learn the art of portion control

The beauty of meal prep is that it teaches you balance. Packing your meals in containers refrains you from being able to reach for more. If you want to lose weight and consume the right amount of nutrients, portion control is vital. You can still treat yourself from time to time, but monitoring how much you eat is an important factor.

5. You won’t waste food

Have you ever had to throw away produce that went bad before you had a chance to eat it? It’s not a good feeling. When you meal prep, you utilize all of your ingredients for the week, and it is very unlikely that you will have any left over if you plan correctly!

6. You will save time

Although you do need to invest some time upfront to plan out your meals properly and to cook them, you will still end up saving time overall. Think about how much time we waste standing in front of the refrigerator, trying to figure out what to cook. Once your meals are prepared ahead of time, all you need to do is take them out of the fridge and heat them up!

7. It is an investment in your health

The best part about meal prep is that you get to choose ahead of time what you will be eating! People who do this are able to eat cleaner than those who don’t, with ease! You won’t be scrambling to find something to eat, and risk being exposed to unhealthy options, because your meal is already prepared, and it’s healthy! The benefits of eating a clean diet are endless. Good nutrition won’t contribute to just a smaller waistline, but it will also contribute to heart health and other factors!

 

8. You will gain more willpower

As you get into the swing of consistently eating healthy, you will gradually stop craving sugar and other fattening foods. Keeping a routine in place is key to healthy eating, and you will find it becomes easier to turn down the foods you know you shouldn’t be eating!

9. It will reduce stress

Stress can affect your immune system, cause digestive issues, and disrupt your sleeping patterns. Coming home from work and trying to come up with a plan for dinner can be stressful. Not with meal prep! You can say goodbye to the “what’s for dinner” stress and relax knowing that your meal just needs to be heated up!

10. It will bring variety to your meals

If you are able to put thought into your meals ahead of time, it will become easy to choose from several different food categories (protein, fat, grains, vegetables, etc) in order to get the variety you need to fuel your body. Feel free to mix it up every week! You won’t be limited to the basic foods you make out of habit as meal prep encourages you to get more creative by looking up new recipes.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to achieve a meal prep routine. Everyone has their own way of doing it and through trial and error you will begin to realize what works best for you, and what doesn’t!

 

 

Losing weight can be hard, but there are ways in which you can get good results.. No, I do not mean taking the fast route to success. I mean taking organic well-paved shortcuts that can help you achieve your weight loss goal sooner.

If you’re wondering, which of these shortcuts you should take, you’re in luck, my friend! Today I share with you 5 healthy tips that can help you.

These are healthy habits that should be integrated into your day-to-day routine.The fitness and health benefits are tremendous! If you want to look athletic, these tips will also help you build up your muscle mass.

Are you ready to find out what these tips are? Great! I’m sure you’ll learn something new and hopefully incorporate those into your daily routine.

 

#1 Drink A Lot Of Water

Water is essential to human life. And of course, we all drink it. The real question is whether we drink enough of it… If you’re looking to lose weight, not drinking plenty of water is a mistake, and many people make it. Water helps your body burn excess fat if you drink enough of it. If you want to see positive results on your body, it’s recommended that you drink between 3 and 4 litres of water daily. I know, it’s quite a lot.

#2 Eat More Fibre

Not only does fibre stabilizes insulin and sugar levels in our bodies, it also has positive effects on digestion. This leads to a boost in metabolism, which enables your body to burn fat faster. It’s also beneficial to you overall wellbeing.

#3 Stay Away From Sugary Drinks

It is no secret, that most soft drinks and sodas aren’t good for you. And the challenge is that you really like them because they’re so addictive! You need to make an effort to say “No” to high-calorie soft drinks, as they are full of sugar and empty calories. All the artificial additives are not particularly great for your body either.

#4 Eat Healthy Fats

This is a mistake that many people still make – they think that all fat makes you, erm… fat. It is not necessarily true. Not only this, but eating healthy fats can actually help you with losing weight. All the artificial trans-fat foods, however, must still be off your table. There are much better and healthier alternatives! So if you’re looking to lose weight, make sure to have the following in your diet:  seeds, olive oil, raw nuts, fish oil, coconut oil and avocados.

#5 Have a Proper Diet Plan

Diets are the key to weight loss! Having a proper diet plan and sticking to it is crucial to the success of your efforts. Think carefully about what you include in your diet and how you balance it. Make sure to consume plenty of protein- and fibre-rich food, but stay away from carbohydrates.

 

Final thoughts…

These 5 tips, that I’ve shared with you, are nothing new. However, they are prerequisites to successfully shredding fat and making some serious gains.