His Body Was Nuts!
Last week I was watching the movie ‘Deadpool’.
Although the quality was a bit shaky because I had purchased it from a shady bootlegger in the alleyway behind a pizza place in Baltimore (not kidding), the movie itself was great.
I was in the middle of enjoying Ryan Reynolds’ snarky sarcasm and impeccable bone structure (straight men can appreciate the God-given handsomeness of other men, FYI), when all of a sudden, the guy takes his shirt off.
“Holy shit that guy is shredded” I thought to myself. How did he get in THAT good of shape?
I am a seasoned strength and conditioning professional with a firm understanding of the scientific principles behind building muscle and burning fat, yet I found myself rushing to my iphone to search for what Ryan Reynolds did to prepare himself physically for the role in this movie.
I was hoping to see that he did something completely out of the ordinary.
That he participated in this crazy new workout regimen that I had never heard of that produced crazy-ripped bodies in a matter of weeks.
I was hoping there was some incredible fitness gamechanger that I had overlooked.
When I searched the training program that he followed to get his body in shape for ‘Deadpool’, I found exactly what I had expected to see.
His program was a classic, by-the-book approach to strength training.
There were no fancy frills or celebrity secrets. The training program adhered to the exact same principles that I have learned and utilized to help 100’s of clients build better bodies.
But why did I find myself anxiously searching to see if he had found some overnight miracle training program when I already had a firm understanding of the proven principles for effective fat-loss?
Because the fitness industry, in all of its salesmen-like wisdom, constantly bombards us with unrealistic fat-loss solutions that propose to be the answer to all of our prayers.
So instead of relying on fat-burning methods that have proven time and time again to effectively build strong, lean bodies, we search around for something fancy and new.
New pills. New workouts. New pieces of equipment.
Well ‘new’ doesn’t always mean better. And ‘new’ doesn’t always mean NEW.
Let Me Ask You This
If any of the crap that you see on TV or on the cover of magazines actually worked as well as they said it did, then WHY would they constantly have to come up with new stuff that claims to be more effective than the stuff that came before it?
Try this to see what I mean.
Do a google image search for the last 12 covers of Men’s Health (or any popular health magazine for men or women).
Every single one advertises a grand workout plan that is going to get you a strong, lean body and a nice set of abs.
If the Men’s Health from 2 months ago finally cracked the code on how to get an awesome body, why is the Men’s Health from this month claiming to have figured it out AGAIN?
Are the geniuses over there making scientific discoveries every 4 weeks?
In reality, they are taking what we already know and repackaging it so that you give them money.
And why am I going on this tangent and having you look up magazine covers?
Is it because I hate Men’s Health? No way. Those magazines have great articles and reading them gives you a good excuse not to talk to the weirdo next to you on a plane.
I am having you search the magazine covers because I want you to realize that we have already found the solution to achieving amazing results when it comes to improving the way you look and feel.
We already know how to build muscle. We already know how to burn fat.
But these days, information is presented in a way that has us feeling as if we are constantly missing that special ingredient that is going to get us the body of our dreams.
It can happen to any of us.
It happened to me (although I probably shouldn’t admit it) and I do this stuff for a living!
So, how does me looking up how Ryan Reynolds got his body to look so awesome in ‘Deadpool’ affect you in any way?
It made me realize that anyone can fall victim to the ineffective lies of the fitness industry, and it is my responsibility to dispel some of the most common fat-loss myths out there so we can all stop wasting our time doing stuff that doesn’t work and instead all start looking like chiselled superheros.
Stop The Lies!
If we want to stop wasting our time on stuff that doesn’t work, we need to identify the lies out there that we are constantly believing.
The following are the 3 most common fat-loss misconceptions that I find people falling victim to, so it’s time to shed some light on these lies to expose them for the filthy time-wasting frauds that they are.
Stop making these 3 mistakes, and you’ll be well on your way to burning fat and building muscle without wasting time.
Fat-Loss Lie #1: Cardio Will Make You Sexy
Why This Lie Sucks: It has the opposite effect (fat gain)
How come when you walk into most gyms and ask the best thing to do to burn fat, people say ‘cardio’? (cardio meaning a steady-state activity you do at a low-to-moderate intensity for 20-60 minutes)
On paper, it makes sense. Cardio burns calories, and burning more calories means losing more fat.
Yes, cardio temporarily burns calories, but in the grand scheme of things you are actually doing yourself a disservice if you are relying on cardio for fat loss.
Reason 1: The calories burned from cardio aren’t all from fat
Although we hate fat, the body sees it as a necessary energy source for survival and it is not very willing to let it go.
This means that during cardio, the calories that you burn are coming primarily from muscle tissue, not fat.
Breaking down muscle tissue instead of fat tissue is EXTREMELY problematic.
To burn fat, you want to have as much lean muscle mass as possible. Lean muscle significantly increases your metabolism all day, which means it helps you burn fat all the time.
By doing cardio and causing your body to break down muscle, you are actually lowering your metabolism and your bodies ability to burn fat, which will lead to more fat gain.
So even if the scale says you losing pounds, note that the weight lost is mostly from muscle, which means that although your weight might have decreased, you have just gotten weaker and softer, not leaner.
Reason 2: Cardio increases your appetite
Cardio is a metabolically fatiguing activity, which means it will cause an increase in appetite later on. This leads many exercisers to eat back all, if not more, of the calories that they just worked to burn off.
Reason 3: Cardio Takes Up Time That Could Be Spent Doing Better Stuff
Making changes and improving the way you look and feel takes effort. Since this is the case, you want to invest your effort in methods that are going to produce the best results, right?
As I mentioned before the body will only adapt and change (aka results) if you give it a reason to. Well, cardio does not give the body a reason to change and adapt.
Simply performing cardio over and over again will not lead to significant muscle growth (more muscle means more fat burned!) and therefore will not produce significant results (even if your only goal is fat-loss, muscle development is crucial).
In fact, the body is great at adapting, so the more cardio you do, the more efficient your body gets at performing cardio, which means you will burn less and less calories from the same type of workout.
The Cold Hard Truth: Resistance training (lifting weights) gives your body a reason to change and adapt, meaning it is a much better use of your time if your goal is to burn fat. Cardio, however, can also play a role in effective fat loss if utilized correctly. Brief bouts of intense cardio (aka conditioning) are a great fat-loss tool and should be used a few times per week if you are looking to amplify your fat loss efforts.
Fat-Loss Lie #2: Restrictive Dieting Will Make You Ripped
Why This Lie Sucks: Restrictive diets make you fat and sad
Dieting for weight-loss is unpleasant.
Just ask anyone who ever had to interact with me in high school while I was cutting weight for wrestling. I sucked to be around.
Depriving yourself of calories and nutrients makes your body upset. And when your body is sad, your mood shifts from normal human being to hangry hellion, and no one wants to hang out with you. Your energy levels plummet, and life is all around miserable.
Besides making your friends want to avoid you, dieting can also sabotage your fat-loss efforts in the following ways:
Reason 1: By Throwing Off Your Body
Severely cutting out calories or entire groups of foods from your diet (aka cutting out ALL carbs, cutting out ALL fats, cutting out all ‘XYZ’) throws your digestive and hormonal levels out of whack, ultimately leading to weight-gain
Reason 2: Creating A Pattern Of Sadness
Depriving yourself of calories too drastically shifts your body into starvation mode, which slows your metabolism and exaggerates sensations of hunger. This makes it easier to gain fat and also leads to a binge-eating pattern (aka taking out your frustrations on a poor pint of Ben & Jerry’s) that leaves you feeling guilty and mentally defeated.
Reason 3: Science Says So (and those guys are smart and stuff)
Studies have shown that even in instances when restrictive dieting produced initial weight-loss, the majority of individuals ended up gaining back the weight, and putting even more on, as a result of the mental and physiological side-effects of restrictive dieting
Cold Hard Truth: Instead of messing with your mind and metabolism by dieting to achieve short-term weight loss that is mostly muscle-loss, you will achieve way better results by making a few nutritional adjustments that will promote long term leanness.
Click HERE for a free fat-loss training program that incorporates manageable nutritional changes that will keep you lean for a lifetime without making your life suck.
Fat-Loss Lie # 3: Lifting Weights Is For Meatheads
Why This Lie Sucks: Strength training is the most effective exercise method to promote fat loss, and is for ANYONE who wants to look and feel better
Please please please know, if there is one thing that I want you to get from this article, it is that lifting weights will not turn you into an over-bloated muscle-ball (this goes for guys AND girls).
Like I mentioned earlier, your body is an incredible adapting machine….but it will only adapt and change if you give it a reason to.
Lifting weights provides your body with the stimulus it needs to grow new lean muscle mass.
Adding lean muscle mass is important because the more muscle that you have on your body, the more calories that your body burns on a daily basis (aka your metabolism gets a boost). And the calories that your muscles use come from fat.
Lifting weights is also a double-edged sword when it comes to fat-loss because it works in two ways.
- You burn calories WHILE you are training, which burns fat
- You develop new lean muscle, which increases your metabolism, which burns fat
So please know that when you see images of gargantuan freaks pumpin iron and grunting around in their muscle tanks, those individuals train in a very, VERY particular way (and use shady eastern european supplements that are banned everywhere except uzbekistan) to end up looking like that.
So rest easy, and train in peace knowing that lifting weights will make you look strong, lean and awesome, not awful.
Cold Hard Truth: Lifting weights will turn you into a majestically lean piece of eyecandy, not an overbloated meathead. Strength training 2-4x a week will drastically increase your ability to burn fat and stay lean for the long-haul.
Let’s Get You Lean
It would be a real dick-move for me to shed light on these 3 fitness fat-loss lies, and then leave you without any actionable plan to follow that utilizes all of the sweet knowledge I have revealed to you in this article.
And since I am not a dick (unless I am stuck in traffic and haven’t eaten for more than 3 hours), I am going to tell you exactly how to burn fat the right way.
Strength Train Properly
I sound like a broken record, but strength training is the best way to lose body fat. I realize, however, that this fact does you absolutely no good if you do not know how to strength train properly.
Here are some helpful pointers to assist you in creating an effective strength training session that will build muscle and burn fat:
- Train 2-4x a week to ensure you are getting enough workouts in while also allowing days for recovery
- Prioritize compound exercises that involve multiple muscle groups. These exercises work the most muscles, and therefore have the potential to build the most muscle (which will burn the most fat)
- Think squats, deadlift variations, push ups, bench presses, shoulder presses, pull ups, row variations, lunges
- Find an appropriate training split (aka schedule) that allows for adequate muscle recovery
- Hammering away at the same muscle group day after day will not allow for recovery so you will not see results. Instead, alternate your training days so that you can focus on certain muscles while allowing other muscles to rest and recover
- Example: alternating between upper body and lower body days, or doing full-body workout routines with a full day of rest in between
- Stay within the 8-12 rep range for the big muscle groups. For smaller muscles like your biceps and delts and calves, you can up the reps to 14-18
- Keep track of what you do and make progress when you can
HEY: If you read any of that and are confused as hell, just download my free 4-week fat burning guide. It lays out everything for you so all you have to do is sit there and look pretty…and then work your butt off
Remember when I said that cardio can play a role in fat-loss if it is utilized correctly? Well, conditioning is cardio’s way of helping you burn fat.
Conditioning is a brief but intense bout of cardio that will burn calories like crazy. Just make sure to keep the following in mind:
- Muscles are like engines and calories are like fuel. How do you burn as much fuel as possible? You work as many engines as you can as hard as you can.
- This means that your conditioning should involve multiple muscles, and you should work those muscles hard
- Since you are working your muscles hard, conditioning sessions should last no longer than 15 minutes.
- Conditioning after strength training is an effective way to burn fat since your muscle’s energy stores will be depleted and your body will use fat as its energy source
Good examples of conditioning
- Metabolic Resistance Training
- Perform rounds of weight lifting exercises in a circuit-like fashion, so you work multiple muscle groups in a short amount of time without getting much rest
- Incline or hill sprints
- High-Intensity Interval Training
- Simply perform a compound exercise for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. Perform anywhere from 5-10 rounds
- Examples of exercises include kettlebell swings, burpees, squat jumps, push ups, jumping jacks, jump rope, etc.
Nutritional Adjustments That Won’t Ruin Your Life
Dieting sucks. We already established that.
It makes you sad and fat. So we know we do not want to do that.
Then how do we adjust our nutritional habits to promote fat loss while still allowing us to eat the amount that a human being should?
Follow these tips:
- Prioritize Protein
- Protein is the single-most important nutrient for fat loss. In addition to helping you feel full and satisfied, your body has to work hard to break down protein, which means you burn a lot of calories while digesting it. Protein also helps you build new muscle mass, and as we know, new muscle mass burns calories like crazy.
- Good sources of protein include: chicken (breast or ground), beef (90% or leaner), steak, turkey (breast or ground), wild caught fish, ham, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, whey protein supplement, quinoa, beans
- Stay away from processed carbohydrates
- These are stripped of all nutritional value and are filled with sugar and other artificial crap that will slowly kill you.
- They are literally engineered to release reward-mechanism-chemicals in your brain (like crack cocaine) so that you over-consume them. No good!
- They also raise insulin levels like crazy, which promotes fat storage
- Eat more vegetables
- Similar to protein, veggies help keep you full and require a lot of work for your body to break them down, meaning you burn a lot of calories while digesting them. They also are filled with vital nutrients that will help you in everything from powering intense workouts to promoting critical brain function
- If you spend more time eating these, you’ll have less time and less room in your belly to eat crap. It’s science!
- Be prepared
- Eating healthy is hard when it is not convenient. Unfortunately, the unhealthy stuff is usually the stuff that is the easiest to get. So do not make yourself susceptible to taking the easy way out when hungry.
- Shop and cook regularly, and keep whole, minimally processed foods around your house so you’re not tempted to massacre the keebler elves when a late-night craving strikes
The Most Important Part Of This Article
This is by far the best part of this entire article for one reason: I am giving you a plan of attack.
It’s great to give you all of this information and help educate you on what is effective and what is not, but I also realize that I have thrown a lot of knowledge at you and it can be overwhelming to try and to put all of this into practice.
I want you to be successful and I want you to be happy with your body for one reason: I know that it will make your life better.
I lost my amazing mother to breast cancer 3 years ago, and since then I have realized that life is too damn short not to love each day and the body that you live in, so it is my goal to help you achieve a body that you are excited to see in the mirror.
Not because you are shallow and want everyone to drool over you (even tho they will, OWW OWW) but because living a healthy life in a strong body will make each day better and thoroughly more awesome.
So, I went ahead and put together two free training programs that have all of the fat-loss principles that we discussed in this article built right into them.
All of the workouts are designed to help you get stronger, leaner and healthier, and each week is laid out step-by-step so that you have the knowledge and support needed to kick ass along the way.
Each program is absolutely FREE and the workouts are designed to last 45-50 minutes each, so you really have nothing to lose except the chub around your stomach that has been hiding your amazing abs from the world for WAY. TOO. LONG.
Click below to choose your free training program, and comment on this article if you have any questions.Claim Free Training Guide
Also, if you found any of this information helpful, please hit one of the Share buttons found at the bottom of this page. I will love you forever.