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.
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Sprinting is one of the best ways to build a strong, athletic, and lean. They're the best conditioning tool to get started. Here are a few tips: Spend 2 weeks acclimating to "3/4 speed" sprints if you haven't turned on the speed for a few months. Dial back your lower body training volume. Sprint 2-3x week. No more, no less. Use a sight incline to prevent over striding, hamstring pulls, and decrease the impact on each stride. Keep sprint workouts separate from heavy lower body days unless you do term before lifting. Do sprint workouts on "off" lifting days or 4-6 hours after your weights. That's about it. Now, are you sprinting? If not, what's your preferred conditioning?
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.
Monday: Upper Body Push
Tuesday: Low-intensity CV, 30 minutes, P.M: Low Sprint
Wednesday: Upper Body Pull
Thursday: Lower Body
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.
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.
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. ‘
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.
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