Weight Room Battle of The Sexes

women weightlifting

 

Guest Post by Lee Bell

Take a look around the weight room of many gyms these days and you’ll see something you might not have seen even a few years ago: lots of women mixing it up with the men. Sometimes the numbers of men and women are about equal.

Times have changed. For the better. But some myths persist. But as a male trainer who encourages women to lift, I still sometimes get the dreaded “but won’t it make be bulky?” question.

There’s a new ethos about strength training:

It’s for everyone.

If you want a leaner, more athletic physique, then picking up heavy things is the way to do it.

So does that mean that women are no longer the fairer sex? Should the guys be trembling in their gym shorts and cowering behind the recumbent bikes?

Just how do men and women match up against each other on the gym floor?

 

women weightlifting

Absolute and Relative Strength

Strength can mean different things in different contexts.

Absolute strength refers to the maximal amount of force you can exert regardless of body size. It is essentially who can lift the highest max.

Relative strength, however, refers to how much force can be generated relative to body mass – what’s often referred to as the “strength-weight ratio”.

There’s an overwhelming amount of evidence to suggest that men have greater absolute strength. There are a few different statistics suggesting exactly what the difference is, but they largely state that females have only around 75% of the lower body strength of men – and an even lower 50% for upper body strength.

This means that when body weight isn’t factored in, men have a clear advantage. Men have much broader frames than women. They have longer arms. And they are typically taller and weigh more.

That’s why you’ll often see the guys lifting bigger weights on the gym floor.

But what happens when you factor body weight in?

Things get interesting, that’s what. Because in terms of relative strength that disparity pretty much disappears. Men then become only slightly stronger in the upper body and in the lower body, any differences completely disappear. Both men and women are pretty much even.

While men have 60% of their muscle mass in their upper body, females have only around 50%. That’s a big difference when you don’t take overall mass into account.

Eccentric to Concentric Ratios

A concentric action occurs when a muscle shortens under tension. Examples of this include curling the bar upwards towards the shoulders (which shortens the biceps) or extending the legs towards lock-out during a leg extension (which shortens the quadriceps).

An eccentric action is the opposite. The muscle lengthens under tension. It is still contracted but is resisting against a load, rather than actively trying to lift it.

So where do men and women fit into this?

It’s commonly accepted that both males and females are stronger eccentrically than concentrically. (The reason why is quite complex but is to do with the passive elastic properties of a protein filament called titin).

Men are capable of maximal eccentric strength up to 60% greater than concentric maximal strength. But for women that figure can rise to 100% or more.

Additionally, the eccentric to concentric ratio in females is higher in upper body testing than it was in lower body testing.

High-velocity Lifting

Lifting at high speed produces powerful athleticism. As with absolute strength, men have the upper hand once again. Take body mass out of the equation and many are still much more powerful, even when body weight is factored in.

But at lighter, matched percentages of maximum, females show higher velocities than men. They are quicker with the bar. So at lighter weights females show greater lifting speed. But as weight get heavier, men soon gain the advantage.

women weightlifting

Muscular Endurance

Muscle quality and performance isn’t all about strength and power. A lot of it can be using weights to challenge the structural system, lose fat, or condition the body.

Success depends on being able performing submaximal work over a prolonged period of time, what we refer to as muscular endurance. Males have a greater proportion of type ll muscle fibers. These fibers are large in diameter and can produce a lot of force. They do tire quickly, though. When you lift heavy they switch on and dominate the workload.

Women have a larger proportion of type l muscle fibers which are smaller in size and, resistant to fatigue but not well suited to heavy weightlifting. This means that from a purely physiological perspective,women are more suited to submaximal lifting.

In fact, because of these muscle architecture differences, women use less glycogen (stored carbohydrate) as a fuel source and more fat than a male at the same relative intensity. This is particularly evident during days 15-28 of the menstrual cycle when hormones further shift in favor of fat use post ovulation.

A specialized component of fat cells called glycerol helps this process by ‘freeing up’ fatty acids so that they can be used as fuel. In a way females are geared up to be submaximal, fat burning machines.

Women don’t build up as many fatigue-inducing metabolites as men. This means that they are much more resistant to fatigue and can consequently tolerate more workload than men at a submaximal level – even with lower rest times between sets.

The downside is that what women gain in submaximal conditioning they lose at higher intensities.

The Takeaway

The days of women feeling out of place in the weight room are drawing to a close. They can probably teach the guys a thing. And in many CrossFit and other gyms, they do. Women may not be as strong on an absolute scale, but pound for pounds both sexes are pretty much even. What really puts the females out in front is a resistance to fatigue. With more type l muscle fibers, lower glycogen and higher fat use, women don’t fatigue as males do. They can work harder for longer. And recover much better, too.

No wonder women are absolute machines in the weight room. Old stereotypes are dying, but not fast enough. Let’s all do our part to kill them, once and for all.

About the Author

Lee Bell is a Consultant Lecturer, Presenter and Content Writer in Fitness, Performance and Health in the UK. He specializes in female training, muscle physiology and muscle building performance. You can find other articles about women’s training, as well as on muscle building and fat loss by Lee at his website and Facebook page.

 

References
Miller, AE et al. Gender differences in strength and muscle fiber characteristics. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1993; 66(3): 254-62
Mata, JD et al. Sex differences in strength and power support the use of a mixed-model approach to resistance training programing. NSCA. 2016; 38(2)
Hollander, DB et al. Maximal eccentric and concentric strength discrepancies between young men and women for dynamic resistance exercise. J Str Cond Res. 2007; 21(1): 34-40
Tarnopolosky, MA. Sex differences in exercise metabolism and the role of 17-beta estradiol. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2008; 40(4): 648-654
Stupka, N et al. Gender differences in muscle inflammation after eccentric exercise. J Appl Physiol. 2000; 89(6): 2325-32

 

Five Surprising Ways to Get Strong Fast

5 ways to get strong

5 ways to get strongEvery successful lifter agrees on one thing: the gym is for getting bigger and stronger.

And no wonder getting as strong as possible makes every goal inside and outside the gym easier. Thus, the question becomes: “How do I continue to get stronger?”

Maximizing strength is all about creating tension. That’s why “stay tight” is the most common cue in heavy lifting.

Below, I’ll:

  • Outline the process of building strength
  • Explain why it’s so important…even if you just want to look better naked.
  • Hook you up with five easy-to-implement strength-building tricks you can start using right away

Before we jump in…if you want to save time get these strategies delivered straight to your inbox, just click here. We’ll sound you our FREE eCourse Seven Days to Superhuman. <<click here. 

 

Why We Need Strength: The SAID Principle

Strength provides a foundation for every other physical skill, whether it’s getting jacked or looking better naked.

Without strength,  your performance and physique goals remain just those: out of reach goals. First, comes an understanding of strength and adaptation. Then comes specialization. Maximizing your training comes down to the most basic principle of all: the SAID Principle.

The SAID Principle

How we respond stress was best described by Dr. Hans Selye as the General Adaption Syndrome (GAS.)
GAS states that the body goes through a specific set of responses (short term) and adaptations (longer term) after being exposed to an external stressor. Heavy barbell work is one example.

The theory holds that the body goes through three stages. Two contribute to survival. A third involves a failure to adapt to the stressor resulting in DEATH, or a disheartening lack of #gainz.

It follows that our goal should be to stress the body beyond its seeming capability. Recovery follows. And then we keep pushing the envelope.

Hey, that sounds a lot like progressive overload, right?

Stages of SAID

According to Practical Programming for Strength Training by Mark Rippetoe and Lon Kilgore, these are the stages of GAS and their relation to training (3):

Stage 1: Alarm or Shock

Alarm or shock is the immediate response to stress or lifting. An example is a soul-crushing soreness that keeps your ass glued to the toilet the day after squats. You feel flat, sore, but you recover for your next workout. The more advanced you get, the more stress needed to create a shock response.

Stage 2: Adaptation or Resistance

Adaptation occurs as the body responds to training and attempts to equip itself with the tools to survive the next onslaught of stress. An example is developing bigger quads and glutes to handle more and heavier squats. This occurs through hormonal adaptations, nervous system changes, and tissue building.

Stage 3: Exhaustion

Commonly called overtraining, this is what happens when you do too many squats on too little sleep while eating too much shit food. Perform decreases from too much training and poor recovery. A better approach is training to force adaptation. Then recover fully to build strength and muscle.

Building Muscle and Heavy Lifting

Brad Schoenfeld is a must read for all iron enthusiasts. His research suggests muscle building comes down to mechanical tension, metabolic stress, and muscular fatigue (4).

So what does this mean for my fellow muscle heads?

Without a base of strength, your muscle building efforts are futile.

10×10 training isn’t effective when you’re benching 15 lb. dumbbells. You need a foundation of strength to maximize volume and before tackling more advanced muscle building methods.

Get strong first. Your body must adapt to greater levels of strain or it won’t grow. This is especially true for beginners.

Now, I’m not saying chasing the pump and leaving the gym with big, veiny, triumphant biceps is bad. But if want to get jacked, it’s more effective to get your pump after recruiting the maximum number of muscle fibers and moving heavier weights.

Fat Loss, Diet, And Lifting Heavy

We all know poor diet is the biggest reason people fail at fat loss. But many overlook another important factor: excess muscle loss resulting from neglecting heavy strength work.

While some muscle loss occurs during aggressive diet plans, training for strength offset most of the damage through two major mechanisms:

First, heavy lifting increases nervous system recruitment. Lifting heavy stimulates muscle fibers to fire, helping you maintain strength and size even when your body is trying to break down your beloved biceps into enough energy to make it through your work day.

Second, lifting heavy stimulates the release of everyone’s favorite hormone: Testosterone. Since staying in a caloric deficit over time can decrease anabolic hormone levels, lifting heavy is essential to maintain an ideal hormonal environment for gym performance. Research and decades of anecdotal evidence show heavy compound lifts are essential to elevating testosterone. (1,2)

Taken from science to practice, lift heavy with 75-95% 1RM for 3-4 sets of 2-6 reps on compound lifts like squats even once per week can aid in muscle retention. Which leads us to five awesome tricks to help you lift more weight, stay jacked, and build more muscle.

Five Instant Strength Upgrades

Squeeze the Bar

The body functions as an integrated unit, rather than one muscle firing completely on its own.

Here’s a small test to reinforce that notion. Stand up and stay relaxed. No tension, right? Now, squeeze your fists as hard as possible. Do you feel the tension spread from your white-knuckles into your forearms, biceps, triceps, chest, and shoulders?

That’s irradiation, the process of activating more muscle fibers via the activation of surrounding muscle fibers.

What To Do: When used in lifting, grabbing the bar and squeezing as hard as possible during lifts fires the nervous system to recruit as many muscle fibers as possible.

farmers carry

Whenever you’re lifting, create tension through irradiation by squeezing the bar like you’re holding onto ten million bucks. This recruits nearby muscle fibers to provide extra stability, such as firing up your rotator cuff during pressing movements, for stronger lifts and safer training.

Push Through the Floor

We’ve all seen what happens when a lifter is bench-pressing near failure. They twitch and squirm. Then comes the spastic leg kick. Voila: The bar is stuck on their chest. Yikes.

In nearly every lift, a mental focus on driving your heels through the floor improves strength. Magical PRs await!

What To Do: On a bench press, driving your feet stabilizes the torso and provides a greater base from which to push from.
On deadlifts and squats focus on driving your feet through the floor for improved stability and strength.

Squeeze Dat Ass

Beyond being the primary driver of hip extension and the biggest muscle in your body, strong glutes aid in stabilizing your lumbar spine and knee. OH. And nice glutes make you hotter. #Science, right J-Lo?

Unfortunately, we spend hours with our asses planted, leading to decreased activation and what Dr. Stu McGill terms “gluteal amnesia.” Beyond leaving us with what I call pancake ass, poor glute activation may lead to back pain, increased the chance of knee injury, and pathetic lower body strength.

Why?

Strong glutes lead to strong lifts. Strengthening the muscles primarily responsible for hip extension, your glutes makes you stronger in lifts that need hip extension. Not surprisingly, the exercises that drive performance are the squat, deadlift, clean, sprints, and jumps, all of which require hip extension. Fire the glutes. You’ll be on the way to better booties, pain-free performance, and stronger lifts.

What To Do: During your upper body presses, squeeze your glutes to lock in trunk stability and prevent “swayback” pressing. On deadlifts, squats, and lower body exercises finish the top of each lift with a 1-2 second glute squeeze. Squeeze as hard as you can and you’ll be well on your way to a better booty, pain-free performance, and stronger lifts.

Breathe Through Your Nose

I recently heard the phrase: “You should breathe through your mouth as often as you eat through your nose.”
Troubling image, indeed. And despite being a highly evolved species, our group of mouth-breathing neanderthals sucks at one basic human function: breathing.

To test your breathing lay flat on the ground, facing the ceiling. Place one finger on the inside groove of your iliac crest, that pointy hip bone on the front side of your torso.

Now, breathe in through your nose, pulling air into your stomach, lower abdomen, and groin. Breathe in for 3-5 seconds, and then exhale as much air as possible, making sure the guy in the next cubicle next door can hear you.

If you notice your chest is rising instead of your stomach, you’ll need to improve your breathing. Beyond the health benefits, a daily meditation practice can provide a daily practice to improve breathing. In time you’ll calm down your keyed-up nervous system while improving your diaphragmatic breathing patterns.

What To Do: During your big lifts, focus on filling your belly button with air. Hold and maintain tension as your diaphragm maximizes intra-abdominal pressure. This creates maximum tension and protects your spine for pain-free strength gains. But don’t forcefully exhale or you’ll lose all tension. Treat exhalation as a by-product, rather than a necessity on your heavy lifts.

Spiral Your Way to Strength

The spiral (or corkscrew) technique works for over upper and lower body exercises.

On upper body exercises, it stabilizes the glenohumeral joint (this is mental masturbation and the complicated way of saying shoulder joint) for additional stability. This external rotation torque helps fire the joints, tissues, and ligaments that support your shoulder. As a result, you’ll have a bigger base of strength pressing to optimally train your chest, tri’s, and shoulders for greater levels of strength.

 

What To Do: During your warm-ups, perform 2-3 sets of 10 push-ups. Push your hands through the ground and simultaneously try to externally rotate/corkscrew your hands into the floor.

On lower body lifts, drive and corkscrew your feet into the ground, as if you were ripping’ the floor apart. This sets your femur into the hip socket to improve gluteus maximus recruitment and optimizes hip and back stability. This helps you generate massive improvements in strength and stability for superhuman strength gains.

If you want more strength and muscle, you need tension. By applying these five methods you’ll supercharge strength, stability, and neurological output for new PRs, rapid progress and the muscle to rapidly change your physique.

JOIN THE ELITE 10%

90% of lifters make excuses, get overwhelmed, and never get jacked. The other 10%? They reside in the Bach Performance Community. Sign up today for the latest scientifically proven, experienced backed tips to get you jacked.

It starts with a simple gift: Your FREE “Seven Days to Superhuman” course. I’ll reveal the step-by-step process to building high-performance muscle. You’ll get strong, lean and athletic. 

All you have to do is click here to grab your FREE Gift. Enjoy!

Resources:

1. Giustina A, Veldhuis JD. Pathophysiology of the autoregulation of growth hormone secretion in experimental animals and the human. Endocr Rev 1998;19:717-797.

2. Kraemer, WJ, Fry AC, Warren BJ, et. al. Acute hormonal responses in elite junior weightlifters. Int J Sports Med 1992;13:103-109.

3. Rippetoe, Mark, and Lon Kilgore. Practical Programming for Strength Training. Wichita Falls, TX: The Aasgaard Company; 2nd editon, 2009.

4. Schoenfeld, Brad. “The Mechanisms of Hypertrophy and Their Application to Resistance Training.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 24.10 (2010): 2857. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.

How to Train Beginners with Online Personal Training

online personal training

By Eric Bach, CSCS is a personal trainer, author, and fitness business coach in Denver, Colorado. Eric’s passion is on simplifying the process of building an online fitness business and helping trainers overcome information overload to a build a successful fitness brand. For free marketing, sales, and content tips join the Bach Performance Hybrid Fitness Business Community here


 

The first rule for personal trainers is the same as for doctors: do no harm. It’s your job to prevent injury to your clients and improve their fitness and health.

So is it wise to accept beginners for online personal training?

And what the heck qualifies someone as a “beginner” in the gym?

online personal training

Let’s define beginner as someone who isn’t proficient in basic movement patterns like the squat, hinge, push-up, or, and lunge. They struggle with basic gym terminology. (Did you say….Kettle Ball?) A beginner doesn’t grasp the idea of exercise intensity/frequency, the importance of recovery, or the basics of nutrition. A beginner struggles to exercise consistently and isn’t disciplined enough to make exercise a habit without support and structure.

Consider these numbers:
* As many as 67% of people who have gym memberships never use them
* Only 20.9% of adults meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
* Only12-16% of the American population belong to a gym or health club.

But the number of gyms and health clubs is rising. Kinesiology is one of the fastest-growing programs of US college campuses and personal trainer is one of the fastest growing occupations.

Much of the growth is fuelled by beginners, far and away the biggest market in the fitness industry. As a personal trainer, you have the opportunity to build a sustainable business by helping beginners lead better lives.

Can you train beginners online?

In a word, yes. You can train beginners with online training. But you must remember that every client is different and has different needs. You must take extra care and provide an extra level of support to ensure safety.

Then you’ll need to create habits and produce results.

Here’s how.

Liability and Insurance

Training someone online rather than in person does not mean you escape liability if they get injured. The most prudent course of action is to hire a lawyer to to craft an online training waiver that provides you maximum protection. Insurance for online personal trainers is still in its infancy. Check this provider and also ask your certifying organization if their insurance also covers online training. You also need to have your clients complete a basic Par-Q.

Perform a Thorough Screen

Dr. John Rusin of Drjohnrusin.com  says:
“Online coaching takes away your eyes, ears and real-time common sense of training as a coach. You must do your due diligence to objectify movement capacity before prescribing exercise. For my clients, we go through the exact movement screening and pattern evaluation as I do in my physical location. Yes, it may take a ton more time, but the results speak for itself. If you are trying to make a safe and effective impact in the lives of your clients, this is a non-negotiable aspect of online training.”

Even though Dr. John has a broader scope of practice than most trainers because he’s also a licensed physical therapist, his message applies to all: you need to screen.

Have clients do some basic movements on a video call or have them submit recorded videos. Like in-person clients, online clients need to master basic movements before taking on heavy resistance or going “beast mode” in the gym. Do your assessments to stay ahead of the curve, customize your client’s programs, and keep your clients healthy, happy, and on track.

Teach Basic Terminology

A few months ago, my wife and I took an Italian cooking class. Now, I whip together a pretty mean steak and a few other dishes, so I thought I would be good to go here.

Oh boy, was I ever wrong!

Within the first five minutes the instructor blurted out terms like:
* Al Forno: an expression for baking a layered pasta
* Battuto: knife striking ingredients against the cutting board
*Arrabbiata: by personal favorite! It means “angry sauce.”

Failed attempts to pronounce the words left me red in the face, flushed and tingling with embarrassment that I had no idea what I was talking about. I was frustrated and uncomfortable that everyone else knew more than I did.

That’s how your beginner clients feel when you say stuff like: sets, reps, tempo, intensity, compound vs. isolation, and periodization.

You need to meet your clients where they are. Speak their language. Teach them step-by-step. gradually. Gradually introduce the basic terminology they’ll need.

Teach Gym Code

One of my first training jobs was at a high-end gym attached to a Ritz-Carlton in Denver. The crowd was mostly athletes and business people. But some of the hotel guests made their way down to hop on the stepper and get the occasional biceps pump.

Something that is seared in my memory: an older female hotel guest using the adductor/abductor machine, apparently attired in nothing but a robe. As the coach, it’s your responsibility to make sure your clients follow some basic rules of gym etiquette. Teach them to be kind and respectful of others, to be aware of personal space, and to ask for help when needed.

Every client, in-person or online, needs to know: |

  • How to put weights away
  • Why they should use clips
  • How to ask for a spot and how to give one
  • Why they shouldn’t blow dry their…loins…after a shower in a packed locker room

 

Keep It Simple and Start Small

Your overarching message to beginners should be “You  can do anything, but not everything.”

Misinformation abounds. After all, by the time people get to you, they’ve seen Biggest Loser, late night infomercials, and sleazy marketing claims about “watching the pounds melt off” with no effort.

Long-term change, the kind that creates life-changing transformations, takes a long-term approach. You have to build habits one by one and manage expectations.Work on one thing at a time for three to four weeks. An example might be drinking a 20-ounce glass of water on waking up then doing a warm up, as described here. 

Move Beyond the Barbell

Charles Staley says:
“I love helping beginner clients, but I typically work with only those who want to lose fat. My clients fill out a detailed questionnaire for screening purposes (I won’t take folks with certain health issues) We focus on nutritional habits and increasing overall activity rather than solely focusing on resistance training.

A huge part of this type of coaching involves the development and sustainment of habits and strategies that will support the creation of long-term energy deficits needed for fat loss: goal orientation, self-tracking, environmental optimization, and social strategies, to name a few. I’ve had a lot of success with these types of clients and it’s certainly possible and incredibly fulfilling to see the changes they’re able to make.”

Determine Whether They Have “It”

Dr. Joel Seedman says:
“Although working with beginner level online clients comes with obvious challenges, the protocols I use for accepting clients is nearly the same. I’m less worried about their current or pre-existing levels of training, fitness, or experience and more concerned with how mentally engaged and committed they are to the process.”

At the end of the day, you need to explain “why” you’re doing certain exercises with your new client’s fitness plan. Explaining “why” not only teaches your clients to become self-sufficient, it reinforces you as the expert who holds the solution to their problem. You need to meet your clients where they, find what makes them tick and explain why what you’re doing matters. More often than not, beginners need both an expert plan and someone to inspire action.”

The Takeaway

Yes, you can train beginners with online personal training. This will sharpen your skills as a coach. You’ll tap into a huge  market to build a sound business and help people that need your expertise and guidance.

But beginners take a lot of work up front and a require serious attention to detail.

The Checklist:

  • Take care of the formalities like waivers and insurance
  • Put safety first
  • Screen online clients as you would in- person clients
  • Teach basic terminology and gym etiquette
  • Keep it simple and start small to change habits
  • Move beyond the barbell.
  • Mindset matters. Meet clients where they are and build the “it” factor.

Above all else, remember there are no absolutes. You shouldn’t take every client that comes your way. You need to thoughtfully assess your ability to maximize the results for each client before taking them on.

P.S. Are you sick of split shifts and low pay? Are you struggling to get the financial rewards you deserve? Online training may be the answer.

We’re down to our last few spots in our Hybrid Business Coaching Program. <<<===Click Here

We’re here to empower you to cut through the confusion. You’ll learn from mentors who’ve walked the walk and talked the talk when it comes to training clients and building thriving online and offline businesses.

We’ll help you hone your focus on what’s important, conquer information overload, and retake control of your career.

Apply for a FREE 30-minute call here. If you’re a good fit, we’ll contact you within 24 hours.

The Three-Step Process For Personal Trainer Lead Generation

The Three-Step Process to Creating Your First Email List

“Eric and Daniel…I need your help. My Facebook ads stopped working and my leads are drying up. What can I do?”

It was another sad story of failed personal trainer lead generation. 

We get calls like that every day from personal trainers in our Hybrid Fitness Coaching Program. Our 12-week program provides in-person trainers with custom coaching on how to add an online revenue stream, complete with weekly one-on-one calls and the threat of punishment burpees for incomplete homework.

The call was from someone we’ll call Noah, a composite character based on several of our clients. Noah runs a very successful gym. But the grind is taking its toll. It includes 14+ hour days and the occasional crisis (like a trainer quitting suddenly, taking clients with her.)  Noah has the nagging sense he’s spending too much time being too reactive.

That’s why we suggest:

Email for Personal Trainers

Noah loves his job and his clients. His transformation program works, and he has the testimonials to prove it.

Noah is changing lives and making a difference in the world. This is exactly what he’d hoped to do when he got into the fitness business twenty years ago.

But Noah’s been burning the candle on both ends for years. Now he’s preparing to add online coaching to his business. No wonder he was so concerned his Facebook ads stopped working.

I see a lot of this: fitness professionals put all their eggs in one basket to build their business. It’s often Facebook ads, but sometimes it’s Click Funnels, LeadPages, or a one-size-fits-all “system” or “blueprint.” Whatever platform or system they choose, they go all in.

And you know what?

It works.

Until it doesn’t.

As powerful as Facebook or another method can be, a single approach is just that: a single approach. And it is apt to change at any moment. Your perfectly crafted Facebook ad could stop working overnight due to a cranky Facebook employee (or algo) who’s sick of seeing shirtless fitness ads.

Or you could post a workout video with copyright music and have your account suspended.

Remember, social media sites like Facebook are rented land.

Bottom line: on social media sites, you don’t “own” the relationship with your readers; the social media site does.

Remember when Facebook business pages were the big thing? No longer. These days you have to pay big bucks to get most of your content seen.

Similarly, remember when MySpace was huge and that dude Tom put himself in your top eight there as one of your friends?

Yeah, that completely changed, too, and MySpace became irrelevant.

Snapchat just got one-upped by Instagram Stories and now, that’s withering away.

See the trend?

When building an online training business, you can’t afford to become completely reliant on any one system. If it’s your only source of leads, you’ll be in big trouble when something changes.

So, what’s a better method?

Building and maintaining a highly engaged email list.

Consider Sumo.com, formerly the email list building giant SumoMe. You have to supply your email address to move forward.

Consider The Personal Trainer Development Center website. Well, you can read the articles, but the first thing you see on the site?

Subscribe. And that builds the email list.

The first thing readers of your website or page should be able to do is sign-up to learn from you. If you’re not gathering emails, you’re missing out on a huge growth opportunity for your business.

Email provides you with the best way to get up close and personal with your audience and more importantly, own the lead. You’ll create a personal relationship by addressing their pain points. Use email to tell stories that solve your readers’ biggest problem. You’ll be rewarded with loyalty and sales.

How To Build An Email List

Here’s the step-by-step process we use with our Hybrid Business Coaching Clients.

NOTE: Our new programs starts on April 10 for few students who will get handcrafted, one-on-one coaching, with extended weekly calls and many additional hours of hands-on help. We haven’t even announced the program yet, but four of the nine spots are already gone. If you want to build a sustainable and lucrative online business, click here to apply today.

Step One: Determine Your Ideal Client and His/Her Top Pain Point

Before you create anything, you need to determine the number one problem you’re going to solve. To do this, you need to understand your clients. This is where most trainers screw up.

To find your clients number one pain point, I recommend talking to your clients or sending out a quick survey to find their hopes, dreams, pain points, and fears.

Why?

Your goal is to solve your clients’ problems better than anyone else. This starts with knowing your readers/potential clients on a deep level.

To determine your ideal client, take out a piece of paper (yes, now) and write out the following as clearly as you can in their words.

-Name
-Occupation
-Age/sex
-Family/relationship status
-Interests: Sports, music, books, hobbies, movies

Hopes: What are their goals? What do they want to achieve?

Dreams: What happens once they’ve reached their goals? How is their life improved?

Pain Points: What challenges do they face? What is getting in the way of reaching the goal?

Fears: What could happen if they’re not successful? What is the cost of staying the same?

Goals: What is their number one fitness goal?

Take the time to get inside your ideal client’s  head and understand truly motivates them. Your content should follow from that.

To learn more about determining your ideal client, read this.

Step Two: Validate Your Idea and Determine Your Message

Okay, you’ve determined your ideal client — or so you think! But is it really the right market for you? Unless you’re special snowflake, chances are someone else is already marketing to and reaching your ideal clients.

What will set you apart? What is your unique angle?

Don’t try to out-do John Romaniello at being John Romaniello, T-Nation at being T-Nation, or Steve Kamb at running Nerd Fitness. Sure, see how they work. But don’t copy.

Find where your market is, look at how your competition is marketing to them, and then create your own unique marketing message.

Step Three: Create The Solution

Now the fun begins: creating the solution to the problem you’ve identified. Your “ethical bribe” will solve the problem and you’ll supply it in exchange for their email. Your ethical bribe can come via webinar, video series, eBook, challenge, or eCourse.

A few pointers here:

Remember your customer research? Look at the most common goals and pain points of your clients. THIS is what you want to solve using their exact words.

Solve your client’s problem by using their language, not yours. Produce the content they want, not the content you want. If your clients talk about toning up and losing belly fat, so should you. Avoid “trainer-speak” like “maximizing fatty acid mobilization” or over-the-top ‘bro talk unless it’s your ideal audience.

Here are some actual titles of ethical bribes we’ve helped our Hybrid Business Coaching clients produce:

Lose Your Belly Fat
The Five Day Muscle Fix
Getting Past Busy
Strength by Nutrition: The Badass Guide to Getting Strong and Sexy

 

Here are three final tips:

Solve one problem. Your ethical bribe doesn’t need to be an encyclopedia on bodybuilding. Arnold already did that, so you probably won’t match it. Instead, just provide value and a solution to your client’s goal. When I first started, I tried to make every “giveaway” the best thing since sliced bread. And while you shouldn’t skimp on quality, keep it simple and solve one problem.

Get your ethical bribe professionally edited, make it look pretty, and make it attention grabbing. Go on fiverr or Elance to get a cover and editing. Don’t try to do it yourself. You’re probably not that good and you’ll waste a ton of time you could spend getting to know your customers. If someone can do a better job faster than you, suck it up and pay them.

Make “signing up” the first option people see on your website or landing page. It should leap off the page by being prominent.

Here’s how we do it at Bach Performance.

Make it as easy as possible. The harder it is for someone to sign up, the less likely they are to sign up. Makes sense, right? So keep it simple.

Calendly does a good job at this.

The Takeaway

We wean our business coaching clients away from over-reliance on a single marketing technique. We do tweak Facebook ads to get better results. But we also come up with new websites and new strategies focussed on building email lists.

Remember the process:
– Determine your ideal client.
– Find your audience’s pain point.
– Validate the market and create a unique message.
– Create the solution and make it easy to get it with a prominent opt-in

From there, keep the goal simple: get 100 email subscribers. Once you have 100, leads usually start flowing in. You’ll liberate yourself from the unpredictable Facebook Gods. You’ll build long-term relationships with the clients you most want to help.

May we offer to help you build your dream fitness business? Just five spots remain for our custom coaching program that begins April 10. Find out why we get rave reviews like this.

 

Are you ready to take action before we’re sold out? Complete the form TODAY to apply for your free 30-minute consultation.

Physique Training For Athletes: Look, Feel, and Perform Superhuman

Look, Feel, and Perform Like an Athlete

Look, Feel, and Perform Like an Athlete

Physique training for athletes? WTF? Is that a joke?

Training for physique and improving athletic performance are often seen as opposite goals. Which brings us to a common cliché: “opposites attract.” And like most clichés, this one contains a large measure of truth. But does it apply to training for physique (lookin’ better naked) and improving performance?

More importantly, can you harness the power of opposites to your benefit and have it all? That would include an athletic body and that looks like it’s a few weeks of dieting away from being on a magazine cover.belongs on a fitness magazine cover.

Want to Look better naked and perform like an athlete? I’ll show you how in our FREE course Seven Days to Superhuman. Click here to Join the FREE Course.

The Physique-Performance Dilemma

At one end of the spectrum lies physique. That would be physique-driven training aimed at maximizing lean muscle gains while staying more shredded than a julienne salad. (Yes, that was a Tropic Thunder reference.)

At the other end of the spectrum lies performance. That’s training focused on optimizing movement efficiency, strength, and speed to improve sports performance.

Can You Improve Performance AND Look Better Naked?

In a word, yes.

But it requires specific planning.

To be the best in anything, you need to eventually specialize in it.

This is why:

  • Tom Brady doesn’t strut onto the Olympia stage in a pair of nut-huggin’ briefs.
  • Rich Froning isn’t huckin’ touchdown passes all over the field.
  • Phil Health doesn’t crush cleans and kipping pull-ups at The Crossfit games.

World class performance requires a narrow focus and specialization.

But for you, me…and 99.9% of the people meandering around the gym? We’re pretty damn good, but we’re not world class. If you’re willing to make reasonable compromises in both physique and performance you can lose fat, build muscle, and improve your athleticism at once.

Sound too good to be true?

It’s not. You can drive performance gains while simultaneously building muscle and losing fat.

But it takes time. You’ll need an expert plan, patience, and consistency. Which brings us to…

What Happened At the Coffee Shop

The other day I grabbed a coffee (well, a red-eye with an extra shot of espresso) with a prospective client, Ryan, at a basic coffee shop near the gym. Ryan is a 29-year-old former college athlete sick of watching his gut grow bigger and clothes grow tighter (in a bad way.) His athleticism is vanishing and he isn’t happy with how he looks.

As we chatted, he made it crystal clear what he wanted: everything.

He didn’t want to train like an athlete anymore. His shoulder aches and his back twinges. Still, he wants to stay athletic, but he’s really more concerned how he looks and regaining the “I can accomplish anything confidence” he had in his early 20’s.

Translation: He wants to be confident and get laid more without looking like a scrub when he’s playing pick-up basketball. No harm in that!

Here’s my step-by-step process to creating the ultimate plan for Ryan. If you’re looking to boost athleticism and look a bit better naked, this sample template can serve as a guideline for your next training plan.

The Warm-Up (8-12 minutes total)

The typical gym-goer spends their day crunched up in a desk, car, or keeled over their phone. They’re left with chronically agitated body positions like locked-up hips, internally rotated shoulders, stiff backs, and dormant glutes that leave them with pain and quasi-modo-esque posture. Sexy. The best remedy is a specialized warm-up to attack stubborn tight spots, activate weak and dormant muscle groups, and wake your body up for intense training.

General warm-up

This is a three to five-minute spurt of general activity followed by five to seven minutes of dynamic activation drills. I’m not too specific here–get up, move, and warm your body up with a rower, jump-rope, or bike. Alternatively, bodyweight circuits work well.

Sample Bodyweight Circuit
Push-Up
Bodyweight Squat
Inverted Row
Reverse lunge
2×8 for all movements and minimal rest.

Activation and Mobilization
Emphasize improving movement through the hips, trunk, and shoulders. Moving from simple to complex drills. Hold each position for one or two seconds at the end range of motion.

Do these drills daily, as mentioned in my Warm Up Every Day article. You’ll find thorough explanations of each exercise there.

Quadruped Fire Hydrant 1×6

 

Quadruped Hip extension 1×6


Sumo-Squat to stand 1×6

Groiner with t-rotation 1×3/side

 

Inchworm 1×6


Overhead extension+ floor slide 1×6

 

I tend to keep all prehab/rehab based movements during the warm-up. If we need to dig into the nitty-gritty of improving T-spine or hip mobility, we’ll do it here then move on.

Workout Specific Warm-Up+ Power Development:
3-10 Minutes

Moving past the general warm-up, we look directly at the training goal for the day. Is it strength or power? Hypertrophy or fat loss?

I used to jump directly into a heavy lift after the warm-up, but I’ve found people have fewer injuries and better performance with a little more work.

Spending additional time grooving movement patterns is a great way to add pain-free volume for muscle growth. It also fires up your nervous system for better strength, power, and athleticism.

Lower Body Focus, Squat Example
1a. 45 degree back extension 3×10 Rest 0-30 seconds
1b. Pick one of the following: squat jump, box jump, medicine ball back toss. 3×5, rest 60-90 seconds

Why: This fires up your glutes, lower back, and prepares your posterior chain for all the gains. Explosive exercise to improve muscle fiber recruitment and athleticism.

Lower Body Hinge Pattern
1a. ½ kneeling Pallof press 3×8 rest 30 seconds
1b. Broad jump, box jump, or medicine ball back toss 3×3, rest 60-90 seconds

Why: Provide additional activation for deep stabilizers before heavy or explosive loading. Then, groove explosive movement pattern similar to the lift.

Upper Body
1a. Band dislocations 3×8 rest 0 seconds
1b. Band pull-apart 3×8 rest 0 seconds
1c. Clap push-up or medicine ball overhead slam 3×8 rest 60-90 seconds

Why: Here, we improve shoulder mobility activate the muscles responsible for stabilizing the shoulder joint, then add an explosive exercise to improve muscle fiber recruitment.

In all cases, we’re focused on movement quality and the mind-muscle connection first. Then if it fits your goals an explosive movement to boost athleticism, prime the CNS, and increase muscle fiber recruitment.

Strength (15-30+ Minutes Depending on the Day)

At this point, you’ve attacked faulty movement patterns, addressed weak-points, and fired up your CNS to move some weight. It’s time for world domination (aka lifting heavy ass weight!)

Focus on one or two strength movement per session and use primarily total body, upper-lower, or push-pull-legs style training splits.

Here are my favorite strength movements:

Lower Body: Conventional deadlifts, trap bar deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, back squats, front squats (here’s a wicked progression), or cleans

Upper Body: Chin-up (rings or rotating handles), dips (rings or rotating handles), floor press, close grip bench press, low incline press, single arm press, single arm clean and press, seated military press.

Reps and Maxes: Confession time. I rarely have clients shoot for a true one rep max. The risk isn’t worth the reward most times and we’re better off building strength with near maximal strength work between three and six reps. Older, seasoned, and more beat up lifters stay in the five to eight rep range.

The trade-off for a new 1-2 rep max P.R. is rarely worth the injury risk and systemic fatigue. Translation: it’s not worth feeling like dog shit for 2-3 days after all your lifts unless you’re training purely for performance.

Micro Progressions and Variations: Within each lift, we hit a ton of variety and cycle lifts frequently. Besides keeping lifts *fun* for clients, the slight tweaks prevent overuse and redundant movement patterns that can cause injuries. Make slight changes to:
Tempo (add a pause or longer eccentrics, like this neutral grip pull up)

 Mid-rep pauses (like this isodynamic biceps curl)

 

Accommodating resistance, like these band-resisted trap bar deadlifts

 

 

Every change, no matter how small, results in a different exercise with different muscle recruitment and adaptation for your body. If a movement pattern feels stale, even a slight change can bust you out of a rut without completely changing a program.

Your body doesn’t know an exact lift. It purely understands time, tension, coordination, and calling muscle fibers to generate force. Don’t fall in love with a particular lift. Once you’re strong, add in slight changes to avoid clawing your eyes out from boredom and continue riding the gains train to a better body.

Hypertrophy Portion (15-30 minutes)

Think back to when you looked your best. You weren’t just leaner; you were also younger, more active, and probably had more muscle mass.

With that is mind, training to build muscle mass is the most important factor in radically changing body composition…ergo looking better naked. Hell, more literature comes out daily that maximizing muscle retention is vital to your long-term health.

Why Muscle Mass Matters

Having more muscle mass can…
1. Improve insulin sensitivity, helping you lose weight and control blood sugar more easily. Basically, you’ll use food for what you want (exercise recovery, muscle growth), rather than adding fat.
2. Increase metabolism: Burn more fat at rest. Game blouses.
3. Lead to more activity: Given your strength also improves, everything in life gets easier from climbing stairs to chasing your nephew. More muscle begets you to be more active.
4. Make you look hotter. In clothes. Or naked.
5. Build a “dietary” buffer. Ever scowl at those jacked Fit Pro’s posting pictures of doughnuts? Me, too. But having greater muscle mass allows more flexibility in your diet. Your “cheat days” will be less harmful.

34577979 - muscular man skipping rope. portrait of muscular young man exercising with jumping rope on black background

In the hypertrophy portion of your workout, we’ll bump the reps up to 8-15+ reps per set, keeping rest periods from 15 seconds to 90 seconds. You’ll need to push the tempo, sweat, and bust your ass. But hey, nobody said it would be easy, right?

We’ll be attacking three main factors to help you build more muscle:

Mechanical Stress
Mechanical tension is achieved by using a substantial load and performing exercises through a full range of motion for a certain amount of time. The time you spend under load creates mechanical tension in the muscles to drive the anabolic process.

Metabolic Stress
Gettin’ a wicked pump isn’t just for stretching shirt-sleeves and feeling awesome, it plays an important role in hypertrophy. When you work out hard to achieve a pump, you build up lactate, hydrogen ions, creatinine, and other metabolites, but you also prevent blood from escaping. This metabolic stress plays a key role in signaling muscular growth.

Muscular Damage
Soreness is part of the training game. The inflammatory process from muscular damage actually aids in muscle growth. But too much muscle damage can keep you out of the gym, restricting your #gains. Pick two or three exercises based on your training for the day. Aim for anywhere between 25 and 50 reps with a slower tempo and 8-15 reps per set. Then add one or two more exercises focused on ultra-high reps, 15-25 reps for one or two sets. Keep the rest short, stress high, and make gains.

Finishers/Conditioning
The occasional 5-10 minute finisher or high-intensity conditioning bout can make you one tough cookie. You’ll build muscle, supercharge fat loss, and get the mental edge to dominate in and out of the gym. You can read more about finishers here.

Don’t crush yourself every time you hit the gym. Random challenges for the sake of being a training sadist and muscle “confusion” is a sure fire way to stay injured. But use periodic throwdowns and epic finishers as challenges to t0 see how tough you really are. They can help you conquer plateaus.

 

What you can do Going Forward

Ask what is missing from your current workout. Focus on giving your body the training it needs so you can look and perform the way you want.

This means hypertrophy routine would focus a little less on strength, power, and performance and more on volume and bodybuilding methods.

A performance focus would have a greater focus on strength and power, with less volume and fewer bodybuilding methods.

You can blend multiple levels of performance at any given time, but the attention you pay to each component should be specific to your goals at the point in time.

 

JOIN THE ELITE 10%

90% of lifters make excuses, get overwhelmed, and never get jacked. The other 10%? They reside in the Bach Performance Community. Sign up today for the latest scientifically proven, experienced backed tips to get you jacked. I’ll show you how in our FREE course Seven Days to Superhuman. Click here to Join the FREE Course.

 

McGill S. Low Back Disorders – Evidence-Based Prevention and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Human Kinetics; 2002

The 10 Immutable Laws of Successful Fat Loss

10 Fat loss Secrets

 

10 Fat loss Secrets

In the classic business book The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, authors Al Ries and Jack Trout discuss the best marketing practices required to build a successful business. Focus on those 22 Laws of Marketing and you’ll accelerate business, stand out in a crowded world, and of course, make cold, hard, cash.

If you ignore them?

You’ll fail and fall into misery and despair. I’m kidding. But as with all ventures, there are basic principles that drive success. Ignore them at your peril. But should you follow them, you’ll be on the road to success.

The same principles apply to fitness.

You need to ruthlessly execute the basics, particularly if you want to lose fat.

But as anyone who’s struggled with a diet can tell you, simple doesn’t mean dieting is easy.

This post provides you with the principles and tools to succeed in losing fat and looking better naked.

But principles and tools don’t tell the whole story. You’ll also need practical strategies if you want to successfully lose fat.

Just a quick heads up: this article is long. If you want to save some time and download the eBook (and get a free course to lose fat and look better naked) just click here.


1. The Law of Caloric Restriction

You must restrict calories to trigger fat loss.

The most basic rule of fat loss is governed by energy balance. Energy balance is the relationship between energy in, the calories consumed via cheeseburgers (food) and coffee (drinks) and energy out. Energy out is the calories burned through daily energy requirements and exercise. Basically, if you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming, you should rapidly lose fat. This is an oversimplification because the human body is complex. At their root, all successful fat loss diets focus on caloric restriction to drive fat loss.

Examples:

The Slow Carb Diet: The slow carb diet eliminates most starchy carbs, sugars, and fruits to limit the number calories you take in per day.

The Atkins Diet: The Atkins diet severely limits carbohydrate intake to restrict eating options and drive caloric intake down.

Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting limits the amount of time you can eat in a day, making it damn near impossible to eat too much.

There are many other diets and fat loss methods. At the heart of them all is eating fewer calories than your body burns.

2. The Law of “Why”

Wanting to lose fat isn’t enough. You need a “why.”

Do you want to lose fat and keep it off for good?

How about getting shredded and seeing your abs?

These are common goals, but they aren’t enough to sustain a diet. To lose fat you need to know “why” losing fat matters to you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to get ripped for the beach or lose forty pounds to be healthier and happier.

article images fat loss

Take a conversation I had with one of my clients. It went something like this.

Me: “You mentioned in your application you want to lose fat and see your abs for the first time. That’s great, but let’s dig deeper. Why do you want to lose fat and see your abs?”

Client: “Well, I have a vacation to the beach with friends at the end of April. I was always chubby growing up. Now I want to wow them.”

Me: “Wow, that’s great. Can I ask why you want to wow them?”

Client: “Well, I girl I used to date, Jenna, is going to be there. She didn’t find me as attractive as when we first started dating…although she never said anything. If I lean out and see my abs, I’ll be more confident and who knows, maybe Jenna and I will start talking again.”

The takeaway? Fat loss isn’t the goal. The goal is how you’ll feel once you’ve lost fat.

This “why” is what pushes you to persevere through the tough workouts and hunger pangs to stay the course.

Dig deep and find out the “why” behind your motivation. You won’t always like what you find, but it’s what you need to do to lose fat and keep it off.

3. The Law of Satiation

Eating a high protein and high fiber diet is a pillar for successful fat loss as protein boosts muscle retention (so your muscles look defined once you’re lean) while both fiber and protein keep you full.

So, what’s the secret sauce that makes protein and fiber so important?

Fiber is difficult for your stomach to digest. It takes up a lot of room in your gut and triggers receptors in your brain to tell you you’re full. Even better, fiber slows the release of insulin in your blood stream. So fiber is a slam dunk which helps you control blood sugar for faster fat loss and gains in lean muscle. As a bonus, fiber also improves cardiovascular health, controls diabetes, controls blood pressure, and of course, cleanses your GI tract and give you high-quality poops. 🙂

Consuming more fiber doesn’t have to mean consuming more grains. The best weight loss strategy is to replace grains with fiber-rich greens and fruits. At dinner, think about eating steak and asparagus, not steak and a quadruple bacon burger with fries.

So what about protein?

Eating a high protein diet is arguably the most important factor in improving your physique. For starters, proteins break down into amino acids. These are the powerhouse molecules that replace dead cells, support growth and help synthesize other important molecules in your body.

Eating a high protein diet can boost glucagon, a hormone released when blood sugar drops to stimulate the breakdown of glycogen (stored carbs) into glucose for your body to help you lose stubborn fat.

Compared to lower protein diets, high protein diets help you retain lean muscle mass during a diet while also keeping you full.

To maximize fat loss aim for protein at each meal and aim for at least 1 gram for every pound of bodyweight.

To hit your protein goals, eat lean protein like fish, poultry, lean cuts of beef, and mix in the occasional protein shake.

Eating protein and fiber rich foods keeps you full and provides your body with essential macros, vitamins, and minerals with fewer calories than most other foods. To stay full, optimize health, and avoid crushing a bag of Doritos in a diet fueled eating frenzy, crush your lean meats and veggies.

4. The Law of Longevity

Crash diets are temporary fixes, not long term solutions.

Crash diets promise massive fat loss in the shortest time possible. Look no further than the tabloids you see at finer checkout counters everywhere.

“Lose Ten pounds in Two Weeks!”

“Four Weeks to Fit: Muffin Top Melter”

Sure, these are catchy headlines.(I giggled at “Muffin Top Melter.”)But these not sustainable able methods for lasting fat loss.

So, crash diets are useless, right?

Not quite. Crash diets work for high-level athletes and physique competitors. It can help them get in tip-top shape. For regular folks, crash diets occasionally work in boosting motivation and building momentum for a diet.

But these are the exceptions, not the rule.

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If you want to lose fat and keep it off, then you need a long-term plan, not a hyped up band-aid approach. A better approach is recognizing and modifying the behaviors that got you fat in the first place.

I understand the attraction of following the Grapefruit Diet or whatever shit Gwyneth Paltrow shares on the internet promising 20 pounds off in three weeks. But this is the exact type of yo-yo dieting that leads you to gain and lose the same 20 pounds year after year.

I follow an approach taught by Precision Nutrition to help my clients tweak one small behavior at a time. This builds long-term, sustainable fat loss. Here’s a sample six week approach:

Weeks 1-2: Focus on drinking one glass of water before each meal
For optimal hydration and to keep you full.

Weeks 3-4: Drink a protein shake after your workout
Protein intake is strongly correlated with fat loss and dietary success.

Weeks 5-6: Eat a vegetable with each meal. Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals to fill you up and give your body the fuel it needs.

Simple? Yes. But simplicity begets consistency, and consistency drives change and fat loss.

Ten percent of the time use an aggressive fat loss approach to move the needle and build momentum. Spend the other ninety percent of your time building better habits to lose fat and keep it off.

5. The Law of Imperfect Progress

No diet is perfect.

Intermittent fasting. Paleo. Atkins. Mediterranean. South Beach. Ketogenic. The Doughnuts, Bourbon, and Steak Diet. (Okay, I just made that one up.)

But they can all work by restricting choices you so eat fewer calories, more protein, and more vegetables. That’s it.

There is no perfect diet. Don’t fall in love with the fancy marketing methods of any particular die. Focus on core principles instead .Eat less, move more, crush vegetables, and eat a high protein diet.

6. The Law of Reverse Dieting

You can’t diet forever without running the risk of metabolic adaptation.

Metabolic adaptation is a change in your metabolism that makes fat loss damn near impossible, even if you’re in a caloric deficit. Tell me if this sounds familiar: You started a diet and those stubborn love handles disappeared fast.

You lost four pounds the first week. Then, another three in week two. But by week six?

Nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. And now you’re pissed and wondering,
“Why can’t I lose weight? UGH. ”

So, you proceed to eat less and less. After weeks, months, and sometimes years of undereating in a desperate attempt to lose fat, your metabolism and fat loss comes to a screeching halt.

This is metabolic adaptation. After long-term dieting, your body begins to burn fewer calories to produce the same amount of energy, metabolism decreases, and catabolic hormones like cortisol skyrocket while anabolic hormones can plummet.

What to do instead?

First, acknowledge you can’t diet forever. There will always be some metabolic adaption when trying to lose fat. But when fat loss comes to a screeching halt you have two options:

Second, incorporate refeed meals. By increasing the amount of food you’re eating you’ll increase leptin levels to boost your metabolism and give yourself a mental break from dieting.

Third, reverse diet back to maintenance calories. Reverse dieting is the process of increasing your calories over time to minimize fat gain and repair your metabolism following a diet. If you’re coming out of a long-term diet and looking to maintain weight loss, reverse dieting is likely your best option. Here’s a sample:

Maintenance Calories: 2550
Fat Loss Diet Calories: 1650

Reverse Diet Week One:1800 Calories
Week Two: 1950 calories
Week three: 2100 calories
Week Four: 2250 Calories
Week Five: 2400 calories
Week Six: 2550 Calories

7. The Law of Tracking Calories

At some point, you must track calories.

Calorie counting is an inexact science at best. At worst? It can lead to neurotically measuring every grain of rice, and building an unhealthy relationship with food. So you’re probably wondering why the hell would I recommend it?

Per the Law of Caloric restriction and the first law of thermodynamics, energy balance, or consuming fewer calories than you burn is still the driving force of fat loss.

There some exceptions, including metabolic adaptation, but this is the general rule.

So why count calories then?

Counting calories gives you the biggest weapon in your fat incinerating arsenal: Awareness.

Most people think they’re doing everything right, yet can’t figure out why they’re not losing fat. Until they track calories. Maybe the culprit is that extra scoop of peanut butter or the sludgy syrup you’re getting pumped into your Starbuck coffee. But you’ll never know until you start tracking.

Now, you don’t need to track calories all the time. I don’t, nor do my clients. But if you’re in an agonizing plateau wondering why you can’t lose fat, then tracking your food to find out what’s causing the issue.

And if you’re looking to get in tip-top, magazine cover shape?

Make it happen. Nearly every ripped person I know has either tracked calories and built solid eating habits for years or still tracks calories to stay in line. Tracking calories gives you the awareness to build habits and maximize fat loss.

8. The Law of Flexible Dieting

Adopt a flexible dieting approach and forgive yourself for diet slip-ups.

My definition of flexible dieting is eating right 90% of the time, then allowing yourself the occasional cheat meal before getting back on your diet. After all, a key tenant of the Bach Performance community is that fitness should improve your life, not consume it.

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Stick to your diet most of the time. When you slip up, have a short memory. Forgive yourself forgive and make the next best decision. The stricter you are with hitting your diet 100% perfect 100% of the time the more likely you’ll go insane, develop a case of the “fuck-it’s” and quit.

One meal won’t ruin a diet and one Oreo doesn’t need to be a whole carton of Oreos. A life obsessed with diet and body composition isn’t a life at all. Make the best decisions most of the time, forgive yourself for the slip-up, and get back on track.

9. The Law of Lifting

The purpose of lifting weights is to build strength and muscle.

The role of weight training in a diet is to preserve the strength and muscle you already have. You’ll maintain anabolic hormone levels like testosterone and growth hormone, both of which support higher lean muscle mass and less fat mass.

This results in faster fat loss and reveals a strong, lean, and aesthetic body…not the dreaded skinny fat look from crummy training during a diet.

Lift heavy at least once per week if you want to stay strong and muscular during a fat loss diet.

For my clients, this means picking one upper body and one lower body lift to hammer in the gym each week. Rep schemes like 4×4, 5×5, and 6×3 work best.

Upper Body: Overhead press, chin-up, bench press, dip, row
Lower Body: Clean, squat, deadlift, lunge

Start with a moderate load and increase weight by 5-10% each set, aiming to reach your heaviest set in 4-6 sets. Ramping sets work better to avoid excess fatigue in your already depleted state.

10. The Law of Singular Focus

You can get stronger, lose fat, and build muscle…but pick one at a time.

I specialize in working with folks looking to get more athletic while losing fat and building muscle. Basically, if you want to look better naked and perform like an athlete, I’m your guy. But while we can improve all these factors at the same time, it’s much more effective to go all in on one goal at a time.

This is because at any given moment your body is either anabolic (building, such as building muscle or accumulating fat mass) or catabolic (breaking down fat, muscle, or carbohydrates for energy). This means at any given moment you’re either losing fat or gaining muscle…but not both. So, this would lead you to believe you can’t build muscle and lose fat at the same time, right?

Actually, you can. While your body can only build or breakdown fuel at one time, it can switch between phases of being anabolic and catabolic throughout the day. For example, increasing testosterone can help you simultaneously increase lean muscle and decrease fat mass.

For most people chasing simultaneous fat loss and muscle building is the first-class ticket to spin your wheels for weeks and months, hopping from program to program and diet to diet.

Go all in with one goal, make it happen, then switch gears.

Execute the Basics

Most people want to lose fat, get healthy, and look better naked. Fewer educate themselves on what actually works. After that, less than 10% of people are willing to do what it takes. Which one are you?

As a gift, I want to simplify fat loss for you with two gifts:

  • This entire article into a short checklist: I want you to be able to quickly reference this guide whenever you feel overwhelmed with your diet or training. Print it out and keep it forever.
  • A FREE Fat Loss Email Course: This is a lot of information to take in at once. Let me give you the step by step process to losing fat and keeping it off like the thousands of clients we’ve helped over the years.

    All you have to do is click here to grab those two FREE Gifts. Enjoy!

 

 

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