This time of year always adds a good few pounds around my waistline. I believe it has something to do with comfort. As I am hugged in big, fleecy hoodies I don't need to worry about a few extra pounds. Well, now I have decided that I do need to worry about my weight, and so should you.
The effect carrying extra weight has on our morale, which influences our everyday attitude, is unbelievable. Besides, no matter if it's winter, in the gym it gets hot, and it is nice to look good in a vest right? Agreed. Now follow me through my guide, which I guarantee will see you shredded like a "lion's victim".
Firstly, let us discuss what nutrients we should get in to achieve our goals. Well, in fact, there is little difference in diet to weight gain. Therefore, protein, carbohydrates and even fats all stay contrary to some people's thoughts. It has more to do with the management of what we eat and when.
There are a few basic principles to take note of which contribute to making our goals tangible. For example, we need to be taking in a small 'meal' every 2-3 hours while awake (if you're hardcore, you may have a protein shake at about 2:00 am, I don't). We need to drink about 6 liters of water a day to transport all of our nutrients to the muscle fibers we have torn up.
Lastly, this is your religion for what of a better word. Getting ripped requires the ultimate in dedication and commitment. The odd ice cream here and the sneaky burger there add up, and will have an effect on your progress.
So now that we have everything out in the open, let me help you put this in to a simple 7 day plan, which you can repeat for as long as you need to (approximately 12 weeks).
Let's work on a few assumptions such as you have a 9-5 job, train 4 times a week and have other commitments. This way we design an efficient plan for the "average Joe" instead of replicating an IFBB Pro's plan. Nevertheless if it does not fit in with your day to day life, the fundamentals are the same, so you can apply these no matter what.
Breakfast: 6:30 AM
- 8 egg whites
- 1 whole egg
- 50g of oats with pineapple
- Flaxseed oil
This gives everything we need in the morning. The eggs bring a very good dose of protein to the table. With our oats, we are able get a great supply of slow acting carbohydrates.
This is essential to fat loss, as our body has time to burn them effectively as opposed to breaking it down to fat, as it would with sugar carbohydrates. The flaxseed oil brings essential fats to the diet, which helps keep us healthy, sane and prevent cravings.
Finally, the pineapple brings some flavor and texture. However it also brings some sugar. This spikes our insulin levels which is not something we want any other time of the day except first thing in the morning.
By doing this in the morning, it boosts our metabolism and brings us in to an anabolic state from a catabolic one. This is vital to our muscle development and fat loss. With this we need a good amount of water to hurry all of these nutrients to every corner and curve of our body.
We are gaining a good deal of protein intake which we know is vital to muscle maintenance as well as development. In this concoction, there will also be a healthy serving of carbohydrates, again slow acting and a high dosage of calories.
As we are hard trainers, these calories are vital to prevent muscle loss and maximize muscle hypertrophy. So do not concern yourself with these calories, they will help lose fat.
The second dealing of slow release carbohydrates contributes to the energy required for this evenings training. So once again, as they are all slow acting, no body fat will be gained.
- ¼ cup of wholemeal rice
- Chicken breast
- Flaxseed oil
Working on similar principles, we are optimizing our progression by rewarding ourselves with the best sources of carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Again, this all contributes to later on in the gym, and to the future where we want to eventually shed our current body fat.
Lunch Break: 2:00 PM
- Sweet potato
- Turkey breast
- Flaxseed oil
The sweet potato brings in the very best variety of carbohydrates. Turkey breast has a great deal of quality proteins with good fats.
Pre-Workout Fuel Up: 5:00 PM
Firstly, the protein powder brings us protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. The creatine & glutamine will help you push your strength to new levels when eating this well.
As well as this, afterwards you will recover quicker, mainly due to the glutamine. This in turn will leave you and your 'guns' feeling fresh for the next workout. Of course this all helps your campaign to burn that body fat and rip out.
Nitric Oxide is my favorite supplement full stop. This is the closest thing to "hulking up" and it feels amazing. After 5 minutes in the gym this magic formula will send blood flowing by the liter to the working muscles.
This is how we achieve a cartoon character look in the gym. Back to the topic of burning body fat, by speeding our heart rate up NO2 helps speed our metabolism and again promotes harder training.
Training: 6:00 PM
Post-Workout Feast: 7:15 PM
The apple is for fast acting carbs which keep us anabolic straight after the workout. I stress we only want these kinds of carbs post-workout and at breakfast.
Evening Meal: 8:30 PM
- Extra lean steak
- Flaxseed oil
This meal is moderately different to the rest. However, the small difference is key to kicking that pot belly into touch. Yes we have protein and yes we have fats. However these fats are good and it is only saturated fats which we steer away from.
The rest help burn body fat. The only nutrient which won't be included will be carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are our main source of energy. So after we have trained we do not need these again until breakfast.
Should you decide to sneak a few cheeky carbs into your evening meal, don't expect brick wall abs. What do you prefer, a potato in the evening or striations like a toddler's scribble pad for the summer? If option one is your answer, I very much doubt you would have read this far down.
Before Bed: 10:30 PM
This is simply to give your temple enough protein nutrients to feed the recovering muscle fibers while you're asleep. This is the time to do so, as when we sleep we are most able to recover and build our muscle. This in turn will take us that extra mile to becoming ripped up like a rag.
There we have it! Eat, train and sleep like this for a minimum of 12 weeks. I guarantee none of you will be able to tell me you haven't dropped a significant amount of body fat. If you don't then ask yourself, "have I really followed this like my life depends on it?"
No one can do this for you, but you. Unfortunately in this instance I cannot 'bring the mountain to Mohammed; he has to come to the mountain.' Being ripped is a great feeling so give it a try.