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Success lies in the ruthless execution of the basics
—> Get in the Gym
—> Get stronger every session
—> Set proper calorie requirements for your specific goal
—>Hit your protein and calorie requirements 95% of the time
—> Track your progress, adjust your course as needed
—> Watch the muscle pile on and the body fat melt off
—> Enjoy a higher status life
That’s all. Get in, get out. Be consistent with your efforts.
Success lies in the the ruthless execution of the basics
WARNING! The side effects of SLS may include: being lauded at; weak bones; poor health; and–worst of all–alarmingly asymmetrical physical proportions. Reader discretion is advised.
I remember almost getting kicked out of the bar like it was yesterday. My friends and I were sitting around the fire pit at the bar (yes this was a kick ass bar) rambling on about…well I don’t remember.
Slightly intoxicated, I look over to my left and spotted a bouncer. From the head up, he was absolutely jacked; bulging veins, tight abs and massive forearms.
However my eyes glazed downward (not there!) and behold…nothing. Literally, he had the legs of a long distance middle school track athlete.
Unfortunately, I blurted it out a little too loudly to my buddies. Mean looks were then followed by somewhat aggressive conversation. In the end, though, nothing really happened. We parted ways: me, with my killer physique; and him (hopefully), inspired enough to get to the gym and train some legs.
And that was the first time I begin to truly take notice of what I know call Skinny Leg Syndrome or, SLS. In the simplest terms, SLS is having disproportionately small lower body mass, relative to a well-developed upper body. While this is sometimes genetic, it’s nearly always the result of improper lower body training; and, very often, NO lower body training at all.
SLS originated from the fallacy that to have that hollywood look, big legs are out and big chests are in. While I somewhat agree with that statement, it certainly has its flaws.
First of all, the hollywood look is essentially the Vitruvian Man. The Vitruvian man for those that don’t know, is the drawing of the perfectly symmetrical man through the use of mathematics. (You can thank Da Vinci for that one!)
Now the ultimate male (or female ) body doesn’t have skinny legs and a big upper body. They have proportionate muscle, spread out over there entire body. This provides them with health, power and good looks.
So then why, in the 21st Century has leg training essentially gone to shit?
Well there are a few reasons but let’s start with the obvious…
Reason #1 : Everyone Is Afraid Of Having Legs That Look Like This!
Look, no matter how much legs you train, there is no scientifically possible way to end up with what I like to call, Horse legs. That requires thousands and thousands of dollars worth of drugs.
So start fucking training legs!
Reason 2: Squatting Is Bad For Your Knees, Back etc.
This lie refuses to die. And if you have fallen prey, do not condemn yourself because I was in your shoes for half a decade.
In 1960 a few studies showed that deep squatting stretched knee ligaments too far increasing the risk of injury. And the uprising against the squat began.
Today is 2016. It’s time to get your facts straight.
Researchers from Duke University concluded after analyzing more than 2 decades of published literature that the squat “ does not compromise knee stability and can enhance stability if performed correctly”
The NSCA (The National Strength and Conditioning Association) had this to say about squatting…
“Squats when performed correctly and with appropriate supervision are not only safe bit may be a significant deterrent to knee injuries”
So yes, as long as you are using proper form, the squat does not put you at risk for injury. Ironically it actually helps deter it.
Reason 3: My Legs Won’t Fit In Suit Pants.
Frankly, unless you are in the 0.01% genetic realm of endomorph than this is a pointless argument. Simply put, if your legs are too big for your suit pants, you are most likely carrying too much fat. So go get your diet in check, get down to 10% body fat and build the body of a badass. Then we can talk.
The James Bond Legs Routine… Sans Squats
The Badass Body is proportionate, powerful and perfect. It encompasses a delicate balance of aesthetics as well as athletics. It means looking good and performing better.
So don’t compromise your health and your body by avoiding training legs. Get in the gym, use the workout below (with proper form!) and execute. And help get rid of SLS once and for all!
Rest 2 min between sets and 3 min between exercises
Front (weighted) alternating lunge – 3 sets x 4-6 reps
Dumbbell or Barbell Stiff leg dead lifts 3 sets x 4-6 reps
Box jumps 3 sets x 10 reps
If you’re trying to lose weight, it can be difficult to know where to start. It’s a no-brainer that diet and exercise are both crucial to your well-being and your waistline.
Side Note: Taken from thinkeatlift.com. Radu is a badass and everyone should be following him.
Stealing and flattery aside, if you want a body that turns heads and performs like a superhero, focusing on certain areas of fitness offer you more bang for your back.
Many popular TV shows, such as the biggest loser, put an emphasis on exercising to lose weight; while everyone else is trying to sell you supplements.
Let’s just be honest for a second: If everything worked no one would be fat. Obviously thats not the case. With the adult and child obesity rate at a staggering %30+ in North America, something needs to change.
The #1 Factor To Successful Weight Loss.
Rake a look at the nifty chart above.
As you can see, supplements, food choices meal timing and the meal amounts fall very low on the importance level of building head turning, sex emulating body.
Energy balance is number 1 for a reason. The law of thermodynamics states that to lose weight you must burn more energy than you consume. Pretty simple. Now whether you burn those calories by eating less Cadbury mini eggs per day or you take the 17 flights of stairs up to your office doesn’t really make a difference.
As promoted on the biggest loser as well as every major media outlet on the talent people are taught to try an “out exercise” a bad diet. As phenomenal as exercise is for your health, it simply isn’t effective enough on its own to be the tipping point for engineering “that” body.
Why Exercise Alone FAILS To Control Weight…
Flash back to our mini egg conundrum for one second. I think we can all agree that not eating the 15 mini eggs, is far easier and time friendly, then taking those 17 flights of stairs – and funny enough it actually burns more calories! Even though many people believe the stairs workout would win this caloric battle.
In one 2010 University of Ottawa study, people guessed that they’d burned three to four times as many calories as they actually had during a workout; they also overshot when asked to consume the equivalent in food afterward.
“In general, people do overestimate the calories burned during exercise and underestimate the calories in food,” says Muth.
You Only Exercise For 1-2 Hours Daily
Pareto was a cool dude. He was also really smart. He created a business law which states that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your effort.
Fortunately for us, when it comes to your dream body, this is most certainly true.
As a person with a life, you are busy. Fuck, thats probably an understatement. You probably are so busy that you feel like punching a hole in the wall when your internet is slow (It has to go to fucking space and back…relax).
At your peak you are probably exercising 1-2 hours a day. Probably less. However you have the opportunity to be eating or focusing on eating for around 16-18 hours. So doesn’t it makes sense to be focused on nutrition since you have 16 hours to play with that will affect your body?
Physical activity should not be ignored in the battle against obesity, and it should certainly be promoted because of its many other health benefits. BUT, expectations regarding exercise need to be tempered, and more emphasis needs to be placed on encouraging people to make better food choices (the type and the amount).
The Bottom Line
The old saying holds true “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet,”
Find a weight-loss (or maintenance) plan that you can sustain long-term—and that doesn’t require you to go for a run every time you eat ice cream. Yes it is possible to eat dessert every day while enjoy 6 pack abs with religiously tracking every single calorie that enters your body.
Calculate your calorie deficit, practice intermittent fasting and consider exercise not only as a muscle sculptor but also as a as a buffer for those spontaneous mini egg indulgences.
And above all else, be consistent. Pick a plan or coach and stick with it for at least 90 days. Any less and you’ll be jumping from program to program, diet to diet or coach to coach, former spinning your wheels and never achieving your goals.
Reading this article, I assume you are into all natural weight lifting and not part of the enhanced, superficial world of bodybuilders, fitness models and everyday pseudo-heroes. If you are, leave. This isn’t for you.
You’re still reading. Good. This article is going to breakdown what it takes to really compete a successful fitness transformation – and then stay there.
There are 5 components to a successful fitness transformation.
4. The mental Game
Your diet, or how closely you adhere to it will determine 80% of your success on your transformation. Let’s get one thing straight though, its not about eating clean all the time. Seriously. You can have a mini desert every night if you want. You just have to make it work.
Know your macros, track them every day and make room for desert if thats your thing. Diet should be about freedom. If it’s too restrictive, you will fall off, give up or worst of all, have a successful transformation but then put back all the fat after you are done.
Your new diet must become your lifestyle. After your done your transformation you will just be able to eat more without gaining weight. Obsessively tracking becomes estimating. And life becomes awesome.
In a fat loss transformation, the goal would be to maintain strength and muscle, while dramatically losing fat. to do this you must be lifting heavy. 85% or more of your one rep max is fine. 2-3 sets of 3-4 reps is perfect. More is not better when restricting calories and going for fat loss.
Too much exercise can lead to a host of problems. Don’t get me wrong, I love the gym. However more is not always better; especially when in a severe caloric deficit.
Weight training 4 days a week is more than enough to preserve muscle and strength assuming proper workouts are followed. The other 3 days will be dedicated to walking, stretching and carving those gorgeous abs.
The third most overlooked principle here is having a coach. The power of a coach or mentor is unparalleled. Needless to say coaches have been where you have and gotten (hopefully) where you want to go. Take our advice, avoid all the mistakes on your journey and get there quickly, effectively and preferably still alive.
Maybe 5% of your results, supplementation is important, but means nothing if you don’t have your diet and training in check. Here are some potent supplements too help you get rid of stubborn fat…
Yohimbine: Yohimbine is a chemical extracted from a species of African plant,Yohimbe. Research shows that yohimbine blocks the activity of alpha receptors. This enables your body to reduce fat stores faster, and it’s particularly useful as you get leaner and are battling with stubborn fat holdouts.
HMB: β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) is a substance formed when your body metabolizes the amino acid leucine, which is an amino acid that directly stimulates protein synthesis. There is one benefit of HMB that’s well established, however: it’s an extremely effective anti-catabolic agent. That is, it’s very good at preventing muscle breakdown, which means you will recover faster from your workouts and experience less muscle soreness. It also has no effect whatsoever on insulin levels, which means it can’t break your fasted state.
Ephedrine: also known as ma huang, is a popular dietary supplement in the United States and has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. Ephedrine and Caffeine work together to suppress appetite, increase heart rate, increase body temperature, and block the process of converting carbohydrates to fat (lipogenesis). It is however a precursor to amphetamines. Therefore use with caution. Or don’t use at all (my recommendation).
Caffeine: America’s drug of choice, Caffeine is a useful pre-workout stimulant that can increase muscle endurance and strength. Clinically effective dosages vary between 3 and 6 mg per kg of bodyweight. Furthermore it can increase mental alertness, blunt appetite and burn body fat.
Nicotine: this one molecule could easily be called…The World’s Most Hated Substance. Now before you run off, this has nothing to do with smoking, chewing tobacco, or creating any addictive habits. Nicotine affects fat cells in a very unique way. It’s literally like a master skeleton key to fat cells that forces them to begin dumping fat. It’s so effective that no matter how much of a plateau you’ve had—or even if you’ve been using other fat burners—it will still work! More information can be found here
Regardless, without proper supervision, it can be dangerous. For the majority of the population, there is no need to use it. But I figured I would put it on this list so that as a grown, hopefully mature adult, you can make an informed decision.
But like I said, supplements are a small part of the game. Diet and training come first. But there is another which is just as important…
5. The Mental Game
The final component and arguably the most important is getting you read in check. Mainly your self image. If you have a fat self image you will not be able to shake that fat off for good. The whole point is to rewire your brain so that you see yourself as a healthy, fit person already and not some lazy bum on a diet. Behave like a healthy fit person would behave.
Behaviours are the most important trait to success. Fake it until you make it is cool, but id rather you adopt the behaviours of a successful person or fit person so that they become habits and ultimately the new you.
Focusing on the habits to fundamentally change who you are at the core; so that you become the kind of person who walks around naturally with 6 pack abs, pecs of steel and a Badass Body.
Many fitness professionals seem to think certain aspects of fitness have more value and provide more results than others; thus a ranking system has emerged. Certainly eating a proper diet is more important than taking the right supplements, however all the puzzle pieces fit together to form a masterpiece.
Therefore, make sure EVERYTHING is in check. From diet to supplementation. If you are 100% on with everything, you will succeed. Period.
Getting a strong midsection is all about getting to a low body fat percentage. In most cases, that usually means getting below 11%.
Everyone is born with abs. But after years of a lack of exercise and poor eating habits, sitting, they might now be hiding under a layer of fat. Fortunately for us there are only 2 simple steps involved to getting a strong core.
The First Step Towards A Strong Core Is To Lose Fat.
You do this by eating less calories then you burn. Get your diet in check first because it provides 80% of the results.
1. Calculate your maintenance calories. Your current bodyweight x 14.5
2. Calculate your deficit. Goal bodyweight x 12 or x 11 if you want to be aggressive.
3. Now that you have your calories, set your macronutrient ratios accordingly.
35% Protein, 35% Carbs , 30% Fat
4. Stay consistent to the course. It took you years to pack on that spare tire. Its not gonna magically disappear in a month.
5. Track everything that you eat. I mean everything. Be obsessive for the first month. That splash of milk in your coffee? Yes track that. That innocent finger dip into the Nutella jar when no one is looking? Definitely log that one.
Now the second part is to actually develop the core and train them so that when you do reveal them, they will look like they’ve been photoshopped on.
Follow this abs routine 3 days a week. You may perform this after your usual strength training session or on its own.
My Favorite Core Finisher Routine…
Perform 1 set of each exercise subsequently with little to no rest in between sets. Rest 1 Minute between circuits. Perform the this circuit 3 times.
Plank 1-3 Min.
(Weighted) Hanging leg raises 12-15 reps.
Side to Side knee ups. 12-15 reps.
You don’t need to confuse your muscles (last time I checked, your muscles lacked cognitive ability) or do tons of ab work. Simply put your head down, train your abs 3 days a week, hit your calories and macronutrients consistently.
Consistency is key. Nothing fails like success. Don’t cheat because you’ve been good. Cheat, because you’ve achieved your goal.
Everyone is born with abs, its now time to strip away the years of belly fat built up and reveal the hard work to the world.