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The Simple Way to Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Online Personal Training

If all workouts went as planned, supplements were a magical cure-all, and the perfect diet really existed, most guys would be swinging a hammer like Thor and picking up Natalie Portman.

Instead, we bite off more than we can chew.

We throw the the old workout program in the trash, and latch onto the next big thing. 

We change our entire dietary strategy. We load up with tupperware containers. Or we starve ourselves for half the day until our magical “feasting” window arrives.

But there’s really no single perfect answer. One size never fits all. 

My approach is to focus on small steps that create big, life-changing improvements quickly. My clients get bigger, stronger, leaner, and more athletic.

The article explains explains how. 

First, Picture This

It’s 4:45 pm, Monday afternoon. Work is over. And you’ve traded in your button down for your slick new bro-tank.

 International bench press day has arrived. And your pump is going to be epic.

Dudes old and young flock to the center of the gym to take control of the bench press.

You’re no different. Warm-up and activation done, it’s time to get to work.

Reps one, two, and three pop up easily, four starts to grind, and rep number five is firmly planted on your chest.

“WTF?”

This is the same weight you started your work sets at last week…and the week before. You’re five weeks into your new program, the article said you would be hitting new PR’s by now.

Plus, you added two sets of 12 inverted rows before your bench.

Last week, you read a great article that advised plyometric push ups before you bench because it “instantly improves your strength and supercharge your nervous system.”

It seems, you’re doing all the right things.

In the last four weeks the changes you made should make your strength skyrocket, muscles grow in heaping slabs, and fat to slide off your chiseled new physique.

Problem is, you’re completely and utterly overwhelmed. Despite your efforts, strength and muscle are falling off…not piling on.

 

Here’s the hard truth: You bit off more than you can chew.

You have set goals, have huge ambitions, and a have the work ethic to match. These are all necessary tools to get a bigger, stronger, more athletic body. But, you changed too much, too soon.

I’ve learned huge lessons helping hundreds of clients transform their lives

Big problems are rarely solved with commensurately big solutions. Rather, they are often solved by a sequence of small solutions and small victories.

Rather than picking and changing as many things as possible immediately, pick just one.

One. Uno. Einer. Un. 

 JUST change one behavior at a time, and implement it flawlessly.

Let’s put this strategy into play. Let’s day a 31 year old man wants to gain ten pounds of muscle, and drop his body fat from 20% to 15% — a common and achievable goal.

To hit goals, break them into two categories:

  • Outcome Goals: drop body fat from 20% to 15% and gain 10 pounds of muscle
  • Behavioural Goals:  lift four times and week and bit macronutrient goals 80% of the time. Behavioral goals pave the path to the outcome goal.

 Each behavioral goal must be mastered over a period of two weeks. Once you have performed the goal 14ish times,  it will be ingrained as a behaviour.   After two solid weeks, we’ll take another baby step that brings you closer to your goals.

Here are some examples.

Weeks 1-2 ==> Perform four muscle-building workouts per week, all under 1 hour in length.

*Note: Because this is only four days per week it works as a great introduction to the method without overloading your motivation.

Why: Resistance training 4x/week in one my specialized programs provides the necessary hormonal influx, metabolic stress, and muscular tension to build muscle.

Weeks 3-4 ==> Drink two customized workout shakes each day.

Why: I hook my clients up with customized nutrition plans to fit their goals. In this case, it’s an influx of high quality nutrients  through real food and calories to support lean muscle growth and overall health.

Weeks 5-6 ==> Begin a Carb Cycling Routine.

Why: Carb cycling, the fluctuation of carbohydrate intake based upon the day, will keep fat loss at a minimum while providing fuel for high quality workouts.

Weeks 7-8 ==>  Spend 3 minutes foam rolling and stretching each day.

Why: Active recovery methods, such as foam rolling and stretching will boost recovery, keeping you healthy and consistent in the gym.

Follow this program and  you’ll be much closer to unleashing your inner athlete. And remember, it’s just one example of the customized approach I provide.

One goal, two weeks. Simple, right?

Build up over time, simple works. That’s how I help my clients get awesome results. May I help you? Click below to find out more and get a 20% discount.

Apply Now for 20% Off Select Packages

Wrap Up: How to Win Every Day

Winning your goal daily builds successful behaviors that bring you closer to the stronger, leaner, and more athletic body you’ve been working for. Getting better every day, even if it’s one small step keeps the seemingly impossible within reach.

If you’re struggling to get bigger, stronger, and leaner, then I’d like to help you.

By effectively helping you “chunk” your goals into small, easily attainable parts, I’ll speed up your progress in the gym.

The Best part?

I’ll personally guide you and carve the path to your goals, eliminating the confusion and winning every day.

Take charge and build your way to a stronger, leaner, and more athletic body today.

Head over to Bach Performance Coaching until September 21st for a 20% discount on all six-month training programs. That means we’ll get you bigger for Christmas, then leaner for Spring Break. 

How to have a weak, average, and un-athletic body

Building a strong, shredded, athletic body is brutally hard work. It’s much easier to pack it in, follow the crowd and be average, weak, and un-athletic.  The sad part is most people are fine with average, until finally, they snap. They get sick of it and go all in, making a change for the better. 

If you want to be average do the things listed below. Want to be a better, happier version of yourself? Avoid these things like deadlifts at Planet Fitness and start making some real headway in the gym.

Let’s get to it. 

don't blend in, be different.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidandseb/3789383937/

Don’t lift heavy weights. You’re not training to be a strongman anyways. Besides,  the pump is the only way a muscle grows.

Change your routine every week. Muscle confusion bro’!

Don’t Track progress. Besides, you’re changing workouts every week to do that “muscle confusion thing.” Body fat percentage, tracking strength gains, and analyzing your training is too hard anyways.

Focus on Curls, lateral raises, and calves. Cuz they’re my weak points that need bringing up. Sorry junior, you’re going to stay “junior” if you don’t seriously focus on strength in major compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, and chin-ups.

Compare yourself to everyone else. if you’re not first you’re last, right?

 Don’t Eat Fruits and Vegetables. There’s not enough calories to support training. Besides, vitamins and minerals aren’t vital for chemical reactions that control every physiological process in the body.

Neglect Sleep. “ I didn’t sleep well” is a great excuse for every lackluster workout, meeting, or day. Besides, why sleep when you get to  drink 67 Red Bulls, a few pre-workouts and be ready to take on the world? Nonsense, hack your sleep and get back on track.

Stronger, shredded, athletic
Gimme za red bull

Circuit Everything! supersets and giant sets are more time efficient, but you need rest to drive up strength levels and improve performance. 

Never sprint, cut, jump, throw or crawl.  You’re not training for sports these skills aren’t important anymore.

Warm-Up? Nah bro I’m hawt. Staying healthy, maximizing training performance, and preparing the body for a long and prosperous training career isn’t important. #YOLO

 

stronger, shredded, more athletic
photocredit: knowyourmeme.com

 

Focus on bulking… all day everyday! You need a caloric surplus to gain muscle and plenty of nutrients to support training, but your body needs a break. Try cycling calories and carbohydrates to support your training needs. Try this.

Rely On Supplements for all your nutritional gains.  Science is mixed at best for most supplements. Plus, pills and powders are more convenient.
Here’s a tip… eat real, high-quality food. If you want to see what works check out the Examine Supplement Guide for no-B.S.  research driven information.

GO BEASTMODE EVERYDAY. Okay, you need to work hard, but turn it down every now and then. Seriously, chill out, take a deload week and let your body heal. Without recovery there is no adaptation. With no adaptation there is no growth. Train, recover, adapt=> Strong, shredded, and athletic.

Yea, this is a sarcastic list, but it serves as a reminder for those trying to build a strong, shredded, and athletic body.  Take advantage of the day and do something to build your dreams.

photo credit: davidwhitedesign via photopin cc

Busy Man’s Carb Cycling: The Uber Convenient Way to Shred Fat and Build Muscle.

pizza

Carb cycling may be the best way to maximize the muscle building benefits of carbs while maximizing insulin sensitivity and minimizing fat gain.


The Problem?

A strict dietary regimen of counting calories, managing multiple menus, and analyzing every diet decision down to the gram isn’t practical for most people. Save for the elite physique or bodybuilding competitor, harping over every dietary decision is a first class ticket to frustration and overwhelm, not a better-looking body. 


It doesn’t have to be so complicated and in this article, I’m going to clear the air on how to simplify carb cycling so you can reap the same physique changing benefits without the frustration. 


And while you’re burning fat, here’s a free workout to maximize fat loss and retain lean muscle so you look, feel, and perform your best  Thanks for being here.

Hook me up with the Free Fat Loss Program, Eric!

-Eric


Building muscle while losing fat to unveil a lean, ripped body.

That’s what we’re all after, right? Recomposition, the process of losing fat while building muscle is the single biggest goal of most gym goers. The problem is, most folks tend to either build muscle easily but can’t lose stubborn belly fat. The others?
They have the metabolism of a hummingbird on meth and despite their efforts, can’t build a lick of muscle. 

Fortunately, carb cycling has been used for physique enthusiasts, athletes, and bodybuilders for decades and is one of the most effective ways to keep you lean and muscular. 

So…What is Carb Cycling? 

Carb cycling is the planned manipulation of carbohydrate consumption to maximize workout performance, build lean muscle, and minimize fat gain. It’s an advanced strategy that can do wonders for preventing fat loss plateaus and maximizing insulin sensitivity.   

But carb cycling isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. For most people, carb cycling is downright overwhelming and a first class ticket to saying “fuck it” to yet another diet. If you’re preparing all of your own meals, building separate menus of high/low carb days, and calculating nutritional requirements, carb cycling is extremely time-consuming. 

And if you have business dinners, have multiple people to cook for, and feel overwhelmed by the amount of “perfect” diets plastered all over the internet then another cumbersome diet plan then carb cycling is the last thing you need.

Fortunately, I have your back. You too can implement carb cycling to lose stubborn fat, build muscle, and transform your body without measuring and tracking calories.

I’ve refined and tweaked this process with hundreds of my clients to help them boost performance and look better naked.  It worked for them and can work for you, too. 

 Picture This: It’s early fall and Saturday around noon. College football season has arrived. You’re at your local alumni sports bar with your buddies. Everyone’s ordering, microbrews, nachos, chicken wings, and fries..food galore, a gluttonous paradise.

Carb Cycling

 

The waitress makes her way to you, what do you do?

The decision shouldn’t be whether you can crush a few nachos and beer with your friends, it should be “ did I earn my carbs today?”

Luckily, you crushed front squats and your quads are smoked. You order the double bacon bison burger, fries, a side salad, and a Hercules Double IPA. Now, this isn’t an everyday occurrence, but you’ve earned the right to splurge. That’s one of the beauties of carb cycling–the freedom to enjoy some of your delicious, higher carb, and sometimes less healthy options with less damage to your diet.

The key to this high effective strategy? Insulin.

Insulin and Carb Cycling

Insulin is an extremely anabolic hormone that can help you lose fat and build muscle if manipulated correctly. Too little and you’re doomed to flat muscles, poor recovery, and pre-shrinking your affliction t-shirts to look jacked. Too much and you’ll resemble the Michelin Man and suffer from myriad health problems.
 
Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas that plays a major role in metabolism and regulates nutrient entry into your cells. When insulin is seldom elevated (like long-term low carb diets) you won’t gain much muscle. Conversely, a higher carb intake when your body is more sensitive to insulin such as the hours after a workout triggers rapid tissue repair, protein synthesis, and muscle growth.
On the flip side when your body is not sensitive to carbs, such as non-training days and being excessively overweight, spending your afternoons at the pasta buffet will lead to carbs behind stored as body fat. As you can see insulin is a double edged sword. Through proper timing and fluctuations, carb cycling empowers you to control insulin and strip off body fat and build lean muscle faster. 

Carb Cycling Made Easy

Carb cycling is as easy as it sounds. Cycle carbohydrates on weight training days (high carb) and non-workout/cardio days (low carb). Rather than giving you a plethora of calculations and impractical menus we’ll simplify the process. 

Lifting heavy and with high training volume? It’s a high carb day. 

Due to the repeated muscle contractions during resistance training, your body will have an increased insulin sensitivity. With this increased response to carbs your body will drive nutrients into your muscle cells, aiding them in repair, growing them, and providing you with more energy. 

On lifting days you’ll be consuming fruits and starches (potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, and oats) as your carbohydrate sources. If you’re trying to build muscle like the Minimalist Muscle course or have long, grueling workouts then have starches during all meals and during your workouts.
If you gain fat easily or have shorter, less intense workouts like a 30-minute bicep blaster, use moderate starches. This would mean carbs during your workout and with your first meal post-workout.

Taking a day off or hitting a low volume workout? Keep the carbs low.

On non-lifting days keep carbohydrates low because there isn’t the same increase in insulin sensitivity. Carbs consumed when your body is less sensitive may lead to additional fat gain. Let’s minimize that, shall we? By minimizing carbs a few days per week your body becomes more receptive to insulin. This means on the days you do consume carbs, your body becomes hypersensitive and  shuttles carbs towards building muscle rather than being stored as fat.  

If you hit a light workout or interval session get your carbs from fruits or veggies throughout the day. It’s fine to keep carbs during your workout or in the meal after, but keep them lower overall. 

Lifting? Carb up and support your muscle-building workouts. More volume in the gym means more carbs. 

Intervals or taking the day off? Avoid most starchy carbs, improve insulin sensitivity, and burn more body fat.  

 

Sample Workout Schedule and Carb Intake

Monday: Lower Body Training (high volume) /High Carb

Tuesday: Upper Body Focus (low volume) /Moderate Carb

Wednesday: Off Or Sprint Work

Thursday: Upper Body Focus(high volume) /High Carb

Friday: Lower Body Focus/High Carb

Saturday: Upper Body Focus/High Carb

Sunday: Off Or Sprint Work

Low Carb Day

Breakfast: 4 egg scramble, 1/2 tomato, 1/4 avocado

Snack (Optional): Handful nuts and carrots

Lunch: Mediterranean salad w/cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, chicken, feta cheese w/balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Workout: One banana with protein shake

Dinner: Sirloin steak, broccoli, and a small salad. Optional: One sweet potato

High Carb Day

Breakfast: 3 egg scramble with spinach, 1 cup oatmeal with blueberries

Snack (Optional): Shake with 1 scoop vanilla protein, 1 cup berries, 1/2 cup cottage cheese

Lunch: Sandwich loaded with lean meat and veggies

Dinner: Sweet potato, barbecue rubbed chicken thighs and cauliflower

Snack (Optional): Shake with 1 scoop chocolate protein, 1 orange, 1 cup spinach, 1/2 cup cottage cheese

 

Common Issues and Questions

Do Calories Still Matter if I go Low Carb? 
Yes. The idea that dropping carbs will miraculously drop body fat is false…unless you’re burning more calories than you’re eating. Now, carb cycling can improve insulin sensitivity and over time lead to better fat loss, but if you’re eating more calories than your body burns you’ll still add fat. Sorry, butter in your coffee can still make you fat. 

How Low is Low Carb?

This depends on your size and body part percentage. With some clients, I’ll shoot for under 100 grams of carbs on low carb days for fat loss. A simple trick is to replace the grains/starches you eat with leafy, fibrous greens.

I’m not looking to build muscle, only lose fat. Is Carb Cycling still for me?

Yes! Carb cycling is great for a fat loss diet. When you’re consistently low on calories and carbohydrates you may see reductions in metabolic rate, thyroid hormones, sympathetic nervous system activity, energy levels, and sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen (Berardi and Andrews 368).

This leads to a plateau that stops your fat loss in its tracks, yikes!

When you cycle carbohydrates and calories back into your diet you raise leptin levels a powerful fat burning hormone that down-regulates when calories are low. Essentially, you trick your body into burning more fat by keeping it out of starvation mode.

Can I pig out on High Carb Days? You did use examples of fries, beer, and wings….

Although carb cycling does afford my flexibility in your food choices this isn’t a pass to go eat pizza, burgers and fill the gaps in with crappy protein powder.  You can indulge occasionally but stick to mostly high-quality foods and supplements like Grass-fed whey and a greens powder (here’s mine) if you hate veggies. As tasty as it is, the combination of high fat, high carb, high alcohol containing meals is a perfect recipe for gaining weight. Sorry IIFYM folks, junk food is still junk food and will come back around to harm your body in the future. 

That’s a Wrap

Carb cycling works–that’s been shown by coaches a long time ago.  For starters, you’ll improve insulin sensitivity and strategically maximize the power of insulin around your workouts to build muscle. Psychologically, my friend and fellow coach Ben Johnson points out carb cycling helps you pay more attention to what foods you’re putting into your body, leading to better food choices. In both cases, approaching your diet with awareness and timing carbs around your workouts is a no-brainer for losing fat, building muscle, and improving performance in the gym.

It doesn’t need to be complicated, just focus on eating healthy food options and staying true to your carb cycling schedule to reap the rewards of proper nutrient timing.

P.S. Looking to drop 8-10 pounds in the next month? That’s exactly what people have been doing in our 30-Day Fat Loss Contest. Apply today, spaces are limited. 

 

Citations:

Berardi, Jon, and Ryan Andrews. The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Second. Precision Nutrition Inc., 2012. 368. Print.

United States Department of Health and Human Services. “Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes.” Bethesda, MD: , 2013. Web. 

 

How to Estimate Your Percent Body Fat

body fat percentage chart for men and women

Hey! This is one of my first blog posts from the early Bach Performance days. If you’ve found this post, I’m betting you’re looking to get lean and shredded.

With that in mind, I have a free workout for you. Grab it here, and enjoy the post!

Hook me up with the Free Fat Loss Program, Eric!


Whether you have access to body composition measuring tools or not you should have a good idea of your body fat percentage. With that being said below is a post regarding what you can expect to see in the mirror based on several different body fat percentages.
Enjoy!

Body fat measurements are the superior method in determining body composition and weight loss.  Body fat percentages are very self-explanatory; they are simply the percent of fat that your total weight is comprised of. For example, a 200 lb male with 15% bodyfat would have 30 pounds of fat on his body. The remaining 170 pounds would comprise of bone, muscle, organ tissue, water, blood, and everything else.

Consuming fat and having baseline amounts of body fat and is vital to the human body for performing essential bodily functions. Body fat provides insulation and protection for vital organs, produces hormones, aids in digestion, maintains body temperature, and promotes healthy cellular function.

There are many ways which health and fitness professionals use to measure body fat percentages. There are circumference measurements, bio electrical impedance (BIA), skinfold measurements, ultrasound, bodpod, hydrostatic weighing, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), X-Ray, and MRI.

As with any test there is variation and error in body fat percentages, with even the best tests still having a percent error ranging from 1-3%. Most of these tests require skilled technicians, consistent testers, algorithms, and environmental variables, and some pocket change in order to perform the tests. As you see lots of variables must be accounted for in order to get an accurate reading of your body composition.

Picking out a professional facility and well-trained technicians is a great option and will give you the most accurate results but this is not always feasible. For that reason, I will provide some descriptions of different body fat percentages and what you can expect to see in the mirror at these body fat percentages.

Want to Simplify your Fitness and start making progress today? Click Here.

Essential body fat is typically 3-5% for men and 10-12% for women. In terms of obesity males reaching 25% body fat and females reaching 32% body fat qualify as obese by most standards.

How to Estimate Your Percent Body Fat

Below are descriptions of various body fats and what you can expect to see in the mirror:

20% Body Fat: No visible muscle definition, poor separation of major muscle groups unless extremely large and developed.

15% Body Fat: Some moderate muscle separation begins to become evident; specifically in the deltoids as they shoulders do not hold much fat. In most cases the abs are not yet visible.

12% Body Fat: The chest, back, and abs all gain some definition. There is an outline of the abdominal muscles and a 2-4 pack may be visible.

10% Body Fat: A 6 pack is visible when flexed. Deeper more pronounced muscle separation in the arms, chest, legs, and back.

7-9% Body Fat: 6 pack abs visible at all times. There is visible separation between quadriceps muscles and back musculature is clear. The serratus anterior (those wicked cool lines on the side of your ribs) should be visible  Arms should be visibly vascular most of the time.

5-7% Body Fat: Competitive male body builders often are in this range. Lower abdominals and legs are both vascular and well-defined. Striations appear in large flexed muscle groups, especially the chest.

body fat percentage chart for men and women
body fat percentage chart for men and women

These descriptions are by no means an end all, as everyone has unique muscular development. These percentages also only take into account subcutaneous fat, the fat that sits directly underneath the skin and not the visceral fat which sits around the organs.

Hydration status also plays a huge role in many tests such as the skin fold because subcutaneous fat holds water. In most cases body fat percentage is underestimated, so swallow your pride and be conservative with your estimations.

Knowing your body fat percentage is a great way to set body composition and FAT loss goals while giving you a tangible picture of what you can expect to see. For best results see a qualified professional and follow pre-testing protocols, but if this is not an option use these descriptions to get a good idea of where you are.

Hook me up with the Free Fat Loss Program, Eric!

Build Massive Shoulders in 30 Minutes

bodyweight training, Expert Tips to Build Muscle

I’ve got some more awesome short workouts for you coming up, as I already published a quick workout to build up your arms here. These workouts are extremely effective when you find yourself in a time crunch.

Building strong and defined shoulders is a trademark of having a good physique. Having a good set of well developed shoulders will be visible in any article of clothing while also making the waist appear smaller. Double Whammy!

Broad shoulders in men will make you stand out in any room while improving posture. In women having broader shoulders will accentuate the hour-glass figure and make the waist appear smaller.

The exercises below will improve shoulder health, definition, size, and power.

Dumbbell 1 arm Push Press: Use the legs to give your typical overhead press some extra power. Accelerate the bar with as much force as you can generate and hold the lockout position on each rep (this will build shoulder stability). Performing the push press with 1-arm will also provide a challenge to your core (specifically obliques) to stabilize the torso with a weight being held overhead.

 

1.Perform 4 sets of 6-8 reps with 30 seconds of rest between arms

Bent Over Lateral Raise: To perform stand up with the feet shoulder width apart and a slight bend in the knee. Hinge over at the hips, creating a stretch in the hamstrings with your body at a 45 degree angle. With dumbbells in hand and the arms hanging down retract the shoulders and pull the dumbbells apart (reverse fly). Hold each dumbbell at the top of the movement to stop momentum and squeeze the shoulders together.

2a. Perform 2-3 sets of 12 repetitions, super-setting with exercise 2b with 0 rest.

 

2b. Perform 2-3 sets of 15 repetitions, super-setting with exercise 2a with 0 rest.

Dumbbell Standing Y Press: Hold dumbbells in a neutral grip position and press up and out to form a Y. This exercise greatly challenges the shoulders, upper back, and their respective stabilizers to support the weight overhead.

**video performed using pronated grip rather than neutral grip, either works

Overhead Javelin Press:  With a neutral grip hold a straight bar, or barbell if able in a neutral position as if you were throwing a javelin. Press the bar overhead and transfer the bar to your other hand, perform a press and transfer the bar back to the original hand. The javelin press will really burn the shoulders and stabilizing muscles while simultaneously challenging grip strength.

3. Perform 2 Sets of 6-8 repetitions on each arm, resting 45-60 seconds between sets.

There you have it, a quick workout to build health, ripped, shoulders in less time than it takes you to drive to the gym. Share me!

Copyright 2012 by Eric R Bach.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be duplicated or distributed without written consent from the author.

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