How does a fitness model like you avoid gaining bodybuilder-type size? Do you train and diet a certain way to achieve that shredded look?
Obi: There was a time where I thought bigger was better. I weighed 245, a 50-spot heavier than I am today. No wonder--I consumed 5,000-plus calories a day and avoided cardio like vampires shy away from garlic and sunlight.
After about two years, it finally dawned on me: I wasn't happy with the body I was creating. So I slashed my caloric intake in half and made other changes to help me achieve a more fitness-oriented physique.
The difference between a fitness model's physique and bodybuilder's is that a fitness model is slightly smaller and lean year round, with body-fat levels of 4 to 8 percent. A fitness model trains and eats to maintain that lean look. No "offseason" allowed. We're always in shape because we don't have the luxury of being out of shape. After all, we can receive a call at any day or any time of the week for a paid fitness booking.
In contrast, a bodybuilder is typically in tip-top shape only near a competition, with body-fat levels hovering at 12 to 15 percent in the offseason. A bodybuilder typically trains for size in the offseason and then cuts down and leans out for a competition.
If you're trying to maintain a lean physique, here's what I recommend:
- Consume no more than 2,500 calories a day, which should shake out to 10 to 12 calories per pound of body weight a day.
- Follow a high-protein (50 percent of total calories), low-carb (30 percent), and low-fat (20 percent) diet.
- Do cardio 3 times a week, consisting of 20 to 25 minutes of high-intensity interval training. Use sprints, hill work, stadium steps, the treadmill-whatever pumps up your heart rate as required.
- Weight train at least 4 times a week, emphasizing techniques such as super-setting and circuit training. Your reps should fall between 10 and 15 per set. When doing supersets, you'll rest only minimally as you move from one exercise to the next. In general, rest only as needed, and seldom for more than 30 to 45 seconds.
Once you pick a diet and training routine that works toward the goal of looking a fitness model, your body will acclimate to the program. Over time, your body will indeed change into that of a lean fitness-model physique.
Just look at mine!