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How To Look Like An Olympic Athlete

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

With the Olympics underway, millions around the world stare in awe at the amazing athletic feats in everything from boxing to sprinting to  kayaking — and yes, even rhythmic gymnastics.

Jokes aside, every athlete at the Olympics is among the best in the world at their respective. sport. None ended up at the Olympics by accident.

But one group of athletes stands out from all the rest: the power athletes. And the events themselves aren’t even the most captivating part. It’s their blend of incredible athleticism, power, and lean, muscular body. It all add up to you looking at your training and asking:

“How can I look like an Olympic Athlete?”

A body that’s is show and go.

A body made of substance, with a little sizzle.

In this post, I’ll show you four exercises that bring you closer to the total package. And while they’ll make you stronger, leaner, and more athletic, I can’t guarantee you’ll be swift like Bolt or yoked like Klokov, or shredded like a gymnast.

But I can promise that if you take action and focus on developing these skills with the program I have below, you’ll build your ultimate athletic body.

The Components of Looking Like an Olympic Athlete

 

How Can You Build Olympic Strength?

There are multiple types of strength, but for simplicity, let’s address relative strength and absolute strength. Relative strength is the amount of strength relative to body size. All else being equal, smaller individuals have higher relative strength. Think of your middle-school fitness tests when the 90-pound wrestlers would destroy the pull-up test while big kids struggled. This reflects your ability to control or move your body through space (relative strength), as in most movement-based sports like sprinting.

Absolute strength refers to the maximum amount of force exerted regardless of muscle or body size. Greater amounts of absolute strength favor those with higher body weight and, in general, larger individuals like Olympic throwers or heavy weight wrestlers.

Throwing it back again to your middle-school days, faster-maturing kids with greater absolute strength absolutely destroyed their counterparts in tackling or blocking drills.

Relative Strength & Absolute Strength

Strength training improves your performance primarily due to increased nervous system activation. Increased nervous system activation via strength training does two huge things for your training:

  1. Increases muscle fiber recruitment
  2. Increases speed at which the body sends electrical signals to the muscles

Take a look at the following chart:

Bodyweight Deadlift Max Absolute Strength Relative Strength
185 pounds 405 pounds 405 pounds 2.2x bodyweight
205 pounds 405 pounds 405 pounds 1.97x bodyweight

Notice that while the larger lifter has the same absolute strength as the lighter lifter, his relative strength is less than the lighter lifter. If you’re a dedicated gym rat, your objective is to get stronger, leaner, and more athletic. Both absolute strength and relative strength are needed to maximize your high-performance beastliness.

Developing greater absolute strength builds greater relative strength. You develop greater absolute strength by improving technique on big lifts, improving neuromuscular function, and in many cases, increasing bodyweight. When body weight is kept the same, an improvement in absolute strength improves relative strength, thus improving your ability to generate force on exercises like jumps, bodyweight exercises, and moving your body through space like an Olympic bad-ass. 

To improve both maximum and relative strength, you need to emphasize multi-joint exercises to stimulate larger increases of anabolic hormones (Hansen et al., 2001). For well-rounded strength development, combine heavy strength work like presses, rows, cleans, and squats with relative strength exercises like chin-ups, jumps, and sprints with maximum explosive intent.

So what’s the best?

When in doubt, the basics are best. If I had to pick one lift, I’d pick the squat. More specifically, the front squat.

The Front Squat

FrontSquat

Read More: How to Front Squat

Olympic Abs

Most high-level sprinters have athletic bodies that make the gods envious.

So, what’s the key?

Genetics aside, sprinting!
Similiar to high intensity weight lifting, sprints can trigger the release of anabolic hormones that help you build muscle and burn body fat.
Your glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves and hips generate insane amounts of force during a sprint. Your spine works on stabilizing you and transferring power through your body. Altogether, this builds stronger legs and activates a youthful-like athleticism while triggering a massive hormonal shift in your body.

Sprinting has an impact on three hormones that help you look better naked:

Testosterone

Testosterone is the major masculinizing hormone in your body. Greater testosterone levels will improve your energy, help you build lean muscle and cut body fat. I’d wager you’d be happy with all three of those things.

Growth Hormone (GH)

GH is released in response to large muscle contractions and is further stimulated by training without long periods of rest. Triggered by metabolic stress (the stressful environment in which you’re gasping for air and your muscles are on fire), GH is often described as the fountain of youth. It slows the aging process, aids in the metabolism of fatty acids and boosts protein synthesis.

Insulin

Huge muscular contractions promote greater insulin sensitivity. This results in improved nutrient partitioning. In other words, your body gets better at breaking down nutrients for energy and muscular recovery instead of storing them as fat. With better insulin sensitivity, you’ll improve your cardiovascular health, build lean muscle and reduce body fat.

Adding Sprints:Hill or incline sprints are best because they greatly reduce the risk of injury. It’s mechanically impossible to over stride while running up a slight inclination, which decreases the risk of the dreaded hamstring pull.

Running up a hill also shrinks the distance your foot covers on the ground, decreasing joint stress on your hips, knees, and ankles. Fewer injuries, better conditioning, and burning fat?

Yes, please.

Sprint twice a week as an individual workout or after a lift.

Here’s a sample six-week progression. Make sure you warm up before starting and repeat each interval 8 to 12 times.

Week One: Sprint 10 seconds, rest 50

Week Two: Sprint 11 seconds, rest 49

Week Three: Sprint 12 seconds, rest 48

Week Four: Sprint 13 seconds, rest 47

Week Five: Sprint 14 seconds, rest 46

Week Six: Sprint 15 seconds, rest 45

Sprinting is a mainstay in all of my Power Primer Programs for a good reason: They work well for developing an athletic, shredded body.

Olympic Power and Explosiveness

Explosive exercises improve your workouts by teaching your nervous system to fire faster, helping you jump higher, run faster, and throw further.

Even more, explosive exercises recruit high-threshold motor units (HTMU’s)—units within each muscle to fire simultaneously for improved strength. And as the icing on the cake, the more HTMU’s  you can recruit, the more muscle you’ll stimulate to grow during workouts.

Altogether this means explosive Power Primer exercises help you move faster, lift heavier, and build more muscle—three key traits to looking like an Olympian.

Read More: Four Training Splits to Build an Athletic Body

Exercises:

The Olympic lifts would fit well here (and rightly so), but a lot of gyms frown on “aggressive lifts” and dropping big weights.

Shame on them.

And while you could flip them the bird and find a better gym, that’s not always practical.

Therefore, if you allowed to the Olympic lifts like power cleans, please continue doing so.

PowerCleans

Otherwise, here’s my favorite alternative: The Squat jump.

You’re probably wondering what happens when you combine squatting and jumping, right?

Magic, of course.

The truth isn’t really that far out: Using the same movement pattern (squatting and jumping) with both heavy and light resistance improves intermuscular and intramuscular coordination: two factors in your central nervous system’s ability to perform movements faster and with more power.

When your goal is looking athletic and building explosive power, then explosive training like this is exactly what you need to bridge the gap between strength and speed to build an athletic body.

There are three phases to completing a jump squat: loading, exploding, and landing.

Loading: Set up with feet about shoulder-width apart in an athletic stance with arms up at chest height; simultaneously swing the arms down, while bending the hips and knees to load your legs.

Exploding: Rapidly swing the arms up while driving your feet into the ground, extending the hips and knees, and then taking off. Fully extend the arms overhead to fully extend the body with the ankle, knee, hip, trunk, shoulder, and ear all being aligned.

Landing: Bend your knees into a squat position and absorb force evenly through the foot, not just through the toes. Keep your chest and head up, looking directly ahead. Your shins should be vertical and knees straight to avoid joint stress.

How many: Three sets of five reps with 60-90 seconds between sets. Perform on a lower-body training day, before or in place of a squat.

How you can Look like an Olympic Athlete

Most people plateau in the gym and stay mediocre because they continue doing what they’ve always done in the past. They lift only heavy and focus only on the weight or muscle. They neglect rep quality and explosiveness. 


This mistaken approach is not performance training.

A solid strength foundation remains essential. 

But to build your best looking AND best performing body focus on:

*Getting more explosive

*Generating strength fast, with exercises like cleans and jumps

* Conditioning to build wicked endurance and shred fat

 

How To Look Like An Olympic Athlete

 

There’s no better tool to bridge the gap between the body you want and the athleticism you deserve than my latest program The Power Primer, 2.0.

I’ve created eight months worth of programming to get you Strong, Shredded, and Athletic. This isn’t a program for athletes.

It’s for those of us that refuse to accept pathetic athleticism at the cost of building your best-looking body.

Here’s what Power Primer users are saying:

“The Power Primer program uniquely blends the best methods to improve the way your body performs, looks, and feels. For both athlete’s and nonathletes, the workouts are comprehensive, effective, and really fun. Anyone looking to develop an athletic body that looks as good as it performs will really enjoy this program.”
– Brian Y.

“If you’re looking for a program, this is it. Athlete strong, burning fat, hypertrophy with an in depth video guide of all the exercises. Coming from a minor league baseball player I follow the program as is and has been nothing short of awesome.
– Brad J.

It’s time to bridge the gap between athleticism and aesthetics.

It’s time to unleash the Power Primer and build your leanest, strongest, and most athletic body to date.

There are three workouts: fat loss, performance, and muscle gain. When combined,  they help you build your best body.

Coupled with a comprehensive video guide and optional full nutrition guide, you’re getting over eight months of workouts for less than your favorite bourbon protein powder.

Get the Power Primer Today.

Athlete Strong in 12 Weeks

 

How to get Shredded for Summer

shredded doorway

Can you lose fat and get shredded in 30 days? 

I’ll cut to the chase. The answer is “yes, you can still get shredded this summer. ”

But it raises the summer dilemma: choosing between getting shredded for the beach and the delights of beer and barbecue.

What does all this have to do with the choices we make on the road to becoming our best selves? Everything, as I recently discovered. My choices were starker than most, at a time my training had stagnated. I had to undergo the rigors of hard dieting for a recent photo shoot.

What I learned along the way was a revelation. And it can help you. Because I’m a lot like you: imperfect.

Here’s my story. It concludes with how I can help you apply what I learned. You, too, can get shredded fast.  

So please read until the very end.

 

Willpower is a Finite Resource

Willpower is the power to create change, even when you don’t want to.  

It’s the grit to suck it up and head to the gym at 5:00 am, even though you didn’t get to sleep until midnight.

Or switching to club soda after a single beer when your buddies are still ordering round after round of the good stuff.

And while these all appear like simple decisions, they’re not easy. Examples include your decision to take the train instead of driving to work. Or picking out your outfit. Or deciding what to eat for lunch (mmmm broccoli.)

My surprising suggestion? Automate.  Here’s how:

Set a morning routine and stick to it. For me, this is waking up and heading to the gym for 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio. After a few days, it’s  no longer a decision. It’s just something you do.

Set a deadline. How far away is that wedding or special event for which you want to look your best?  Start working towards it. If there’s no event or deadline, create one! This will encourage you to say no to the chicken and waffles temptation and stick with the egg white frittata.

Prepare. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t change to accommodate your decision to change your body. Like you, I went to a Memorial Day cookout. My friends were hanging in the pool, playing beer pong, and crushing handfuls of chips, burgers, and dogs.No, it wasn’t fun passing on a good time, but I made the best of it. I prepared for the razzing by telling told most of my friends I wouldn’t be drinking. Any shit-talk was over and dead before we got there. Then, I made a few steaks —  enough to be part of the event without being the macro-counting dweeb in the corner.  

Increase Training Frequency

Train more to get better results. Duh! It’s hard to beat this for a statement of the obvious.  Less obvious is why this is so: momentum and physiology.

First, training more reinforces your goal. We’ve all missed workouts. Suddenly, one missed workout turns into to two and you realize you’ve eaten like shit for a week. Keep the momentum going in the gym and good decisions expand from there. Hit foam rolling sessions or cardio between lifts. Warm up. Do something — anything —  to build momentum.

Second, increase the physiological responses to training. That means you’ll activate muscles and burn stored carbs and body fat more often. Since muscles contract with training, you’ll increase protein synthesis to hold onto lean muscle. You’ll increase exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC), leading you to burn more calories when you’re resting.

Try four 30-45 minute lifting workouts, two high-intensity conditioning workouts, and two low-intensity cardio workouts builds momentum maximize discipline and accelerate fat loss.

Example Week

Monday: Upper Body Push

Tuesday: Low-intensity CV, 30 minutes, P.M: Low Sprint

Wednesday: Upper Body Pull

Thursday:  Lower Body

Friday: Sprint

Saturday: Total Body Lift

Sunday: Low-intensity CV, 30 minutes

Drinking Really Jacks You Up

While it’s possible to drink — even get drunk — and still make progress, it’s a slippery slope. More often than not, a night out sends momentum barreling away from your goals. You know what I mean. Five drinks later and you’ve got an acute case of the “fuck-its.”

You wake up to an empty pizza box, skip your workout, and spend the next day on the couch. Now, I’m not saying you can’t drink. You’re a grown up. YOLO. But be reasonable.

If you drink, go with a vodka and soda with lime.

Or try a
Nor-Cal Margarita: 
2 Shots MezCal. Two full limes, squeezed. Club soda to chase.

Tip: Keep it to 3-5 drinks per week, max, and avoid drunk food. Want more guidelines? Watch my dude John Romaniello explain God Mode.

Do Shorter Workouts

When you’re dieting down, your workouts exist to maintain muscle, testosterone, and metabolism. That’s 95% of it. Keep the workouts short, sweet, and to the point. Each week had two upper body days, one total body day, and two conditioning days. Plus: 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio 3-4x per week.

But the workouts weren’t long. Many of my lifting sessions were 45 minutes from warm-up to cool down.

If it’s not essential, eliminate it. Pay close attention to your rest periods. Save for lifting heavy once per week to hold onto strength, keep rest periods 45-60 seconds on most exercises.Yes, you’ll have to drop the weight a bit at first, but you’ll eliminate a lot of wasted time scanning Facebook between sets.

Focus on the task at hand.  Get wired in knowing your workout is short, and put in high-quality work. Focus on the essentials. Eliminate the trivial junk.

Lift Heavy Once Per Week

During fat loss diets, most people jump into endless circuits and short rest periods. This is a mistake.

While some high-density work is okay, you’re better off keeping lifting for what it does best: Improving  anabolic hormones and muscle retention. You’ll get stronger as your diet creates a caloric deficit to burn fat.

Once a week, use a compound lift and push the weight for 2-3 sets of 3-5 reps. I chose the chin-up and front squat, but you can pick whatever you like as long as there is an upper body and lower body exercise.

Fasting, Hunger Pangs, and Dietary Discipline

I love to cook and eat. A lot. So it was hard to stick to my macros when dieting down, especially since I’m the primary chef at the Chateau Bach.

I adopted an intermittent fasting protocol, abstaining from food for 16 hours every day, and eating only in eight-hour windows. There are sacrifices in all diets. Skipping big meals with my wife, Lauren, was not something I was willing to do. So fasting during the day allowed more flexibility at dinner.  #Marriagegainz

Beyond sipping BCAA’s and creatine throughout the day, three strategies help me stave off hunger and stay disciplined.

Hydrate like it’s going out of style.

Most folks still mess up and don’t consume enough water. Aim for ½-1 oz of water for every pound of bodyweight.  Beyond the metabolic and health benefits of proper hydration, additional fluids will help you feel fuller, longer. If you’re still struggling, try carbonated water. The carbonation takes up more volume in your stomach to make you feel full and gives you a kick of flavor.

Eat “Clean”

I admit, I hate the term, but for simplicity, eating “clean” means natural foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean sources of protein, rather than Ben and Jerry’s and stacks of poop inhibiting quest bars. Natural foods give you more bang-for-your-buck and fill your belly full of essential macronutrients and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. They are less calorically dense. Translation:  despite crushing three cups of spinach, they’re low in calories. So stock up on veggies and lean protein.  


We’re All Way Different

Dietarily speaking, your kindergarten teacher was right when she said you’re a special little butterfly.

But she didn’t know she was referring to your diet. What we all need to remember is what works for me, won’t necessarily work for you. That’s why actual experience working with humans—not just an IG account of half-naked selfies—is so damn important..

On one side of the scale image an ex-athlete, muscular dude.

He’s sort of a douche, so we’ll name him Chad.  

Chad has trained for ten years, is strong as an ox, but needs to lose the beer gut.

On the opposite, we have your aunt Mary.

Mary has been dieting for years.

But it’s yo-yo dieting. Mary has gained and losing the same 20 pounds like it’s going out of style.

There’s no way in hell that the basic “ bodyweight/lbs x12” calculation to determine calories works evenly for both Chad and Mary. Chad’s actually a bit easier in this case and will drop body fat fast if he lays off the burgers and beers for a few weeks.

But not poor Mary. She’s been dieting for years and as a result, her metabolism is jacked up and her metabolism is down-regulated. 

Basically, that means she’s been in a deficit so long her body holds onto fuel and her hormonal systems are jacked up.  

In this case, even calorie calculations that are considered very restrictive (10x BW/lbs for fat loss) is a lot of food for your poor aunt Mary.

This all brings me to my point:

If you’ve been dieting long-term, there’s a good chance you need to repair your metabolism.

Eat a well-balanced diet for a slight excess. Yes, this is a mental mind-fuck. I get it. And yes, the scale will go up—but that’s taking one step backward, repairing damage, and setting you up for ten massive steps forward.

Fitness Photo’s and Cuttin’….This Shit Ain’t Natural

I’ve never thought myself a “bodybuilder” or physique dude. To me, training has always been about building a better high-performance machine. But, I still train for vanity because, in the end, I want to look awesome in a t-shirt, and butt naked.  Or for a photo shoot.

So there was nothing natural about my photo shoot preparation.

But my basic approach didn’t change. It has always been to get amazing results through the ruthless execution of the basics.

Those fitness models in the magazines? The Ryan Reynolds in Blade or Brad Pitt in Fight Club?

These physiques we see and idealize are the result of incredible dedication. They work hard for a time, but the results are mostly short term.  

Ordinary people like my clients have the same issue. They can’t sacrifice their careers and family life to look their very best all the time.

I had the same issue with my photo shoot prep. But  I was feeling stagnant in my training. And I wanted to better understand the industry I work in, all its glory and craziness.

If you’re  dropping fat, depleting  your body, and improving  insulin sensitivity… you become ultra-receptive to both training and a higher calorie diet.

If you’re struggling to build muscle, your best bet is to dial back and go into a cut, getting to 6-10% bodyfat.  Then, ramp back into a muscle building diet. You’ll find your body is adding muscle, not fat, and at a much higher clip than before.

Diet down to boost your ability to build muscle. It’s cheat code for gains.

Control

A few months ago, my brain was spinning. My business was growing, but I was spending all my time working with my clients to the detriment of my own training. I wasn’t in bad shape. But I wasn’t accountable until I set an ambitious  goal. Going through an aggressive fat loss phase forced me to take action and be accountable.
 

Finding Out What It’s Like

I have no intention of ever competing in bodybuilding. And I no longer play competitive sports. So the discipline required for the hard cut was essential to best serve my clients and readers.

I needed to better understand their struggles.

You see a “beginning photo” and a final shot. But but you don’t see the 5:00 am workouts or 1300 calorie struggles after a killer sprint session. And I won’t mention again manning the grill on Memorial Day while your friends and family drink beer and hot dogs, knowing you’re relegated to chicken and broccoli.

A Personal Challenge to get Shredded for Summer

Life is pretty cushy in 2016. Our biggest concern is what other people think of us, not whether we’ll have a fire to stay warm, or be able to impale a rabid Saber Tooth tiger before he rips your arm off.  

To grow physically, mentally, and spiritually, we need a challenge.

Adaptation must be forced.

It doesn’t come naturally.

Changing your body and going all in is one way to do that. When times get tough, you must persevere, kick the resistance in the face, and keep on  truckin’.

Bit I’ll admit it. During the cut, I sometimes wanted to quit.  And I fucked up a few times. Poppin’ bottles until four A.M. (because “networking”)  was not a good idea. Neither were the missed a cardio session or taking cheat meals a little too far.

But in all cases, I looked in the mirror and asked, “Really? Is that all you’ve got?”

Then I got back on track, made up the workouts, and kept moving forward one meal at a time, one workout at a time.

Push yourself. You’ll be amazed at what you accomplish mentally and physically. ‘

shredded, eric bach fat loss, fat loss, shredded for summer


How to get Shredded for Summer.
It worked for me. And it can work for you. Here’s How.

I’m giving you my top secrets to build your best body in the next Month 

Willpower is limited. That’s why having a coach is so important. Together, we’ll create the perfect plan that improves your life, rather than consumes it to build your ultimate body.

Apply Now: Only Five Spots Remaining  

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