This is just one question out of many! View the full listing of FAQs here.
I Have Used Body For Life. What Can I Do To Make It Better?
Here is a question from a visitor with my answers throughout.
Dino: This guy has quite a case, however I can help him. He is doing great but a few hints and tips will improve his progress dramatically. I address his letter in several sections listed below.
Hi, I'm 27 years old and stand 5'11", 225 lbs. with around 14% bodyfat. I have incredibly strong legs and gigantic calves. I leg pressed around 550 today without even trying and feel I have the legs and the capability to leg press 1000 lbs soon. I don't even take supplements.
I'm trying to build my strength back after my injuries. My upper body is huge and cut, but my bench press is nothing to write home about for a guy my size. I want to get down into single digit bodyfat percentages so I appear "ripped".
Dino: Damn you must be a mule! Pressing 550 pounds with out even trying! It looks like your strength is already up but keep building. You are correct, if you look cut at 14% you will look phenomenal in the single digits, lets see what we can do to help you.
Visitor: I am in my 4th week of the Body For Life program and have lost 10 pounds; however, I don't think I'm losing enough fat. I eat 6 small meals a day with a portion of protein and carbs at every meal.
Dino: I think that your fat loss is right on time. If anything it is a little quick. I like to preach that losing around 2 pounds of fat per week is ideal. This would mean that the weight loss is fat and not muscle. You have been dieting for 4 weeks. (4 X 2 = 8) You have lost ten pounds so far, great job! Eating the 6 mini-meals every day is also great. The problem is consuming a portion of carbohydrates and protein at the same time. I know that Bill Phillips says to do this in his book. Bill Phillips has helped many people better their physiques but that is primarily because they went from eating extremely poor to good. Of course you are going to see some improvements when you make a change for the better. Why not take it a step further?
If Bill's plan is working then my plan will work even better. I do not believe in food mixing. If you know anything about me, it is that! I eat a protein meal (I will add fiber to protein) or a carbohydrate meal. I never add the two together. Try eating only carbohydrates after training and in the morning. Besides those times eat protein meals. I recommend that you add some fiber to that meal as well, especially if it is a "real food" meal. If you are downing a protein drink you can house a fibrous vegetable with it as well. Eating fiber will only help digestion, burn kilocalories, and help curb hunger pains. Lets continue...
Visitor: I do 20 min of cardio, 3 days a week and weight train for 45 minutes, 3 days a week and take Sundays off.
Dino: Dude if you want to shed even more fat, bump up your cardiovascular training. Three sessions a week is not much at all. Add at least 2 more sessions each week and I guarantee that you will see results. I know that Bill Says to chill on Sunday but use it anyway. If you are not going to train than do some cardio. 20 minutes of cardio is fine if you make it count. Be sure to be intense when you do your cardio. The same can be said with training. I too only train 3 days each week, but my sessions last about 50-60 minutes. I go heavy while utilizing proper form. So in short I go as heavy as I can handle. Just be sure that you are still getting sore after training and you know growth is on the way. Contuinued...
Visitor: I drink at least a gallon of water or so everyday. I only cheat on my diet once a week.
Dino: Great job on the H2O keep that up! I know the whole theory of "eating junk and cheat foods actually helps the metabolism" and all of that. I do not believe that you have to eat pizza, ice cream, chips, etc to achieve this. By timing your carbohydrates and eating small frequent meals you will get the job done. If you need a cheat day in order to stay on track for the remainder of the week then I have a suggestion. Why not try having a cheat breakfast or lunch?
Eating your cheat meal early in the day allows you to burn some of it off during the day. An idea better than that is trying to consume the cheat meal right after a really intense training day. This will allow for some of the nutrients to be used in reloading glycogen that was stripped during training. Other energy provided by the cheat meal will by used up by the raised metabolic sate that you will be in for several hours following the killer training session. Lets continue...
Visitor: I don't know what to do over the next several weeks. Should I go on the Atkins diet to get "ripped"? I've read that by doing this diet, you could get a heart attack (probably because of all the greasy foods).
Dino: Look I am not advocating the Atkins diet but I want to remove the nasty rumors concerning it. I have consulted some clients through using the diet. I also currently know people that are on the Atkins diet. In all cases the dieters have lost 40-50 pounds. It actually changed their life. They do not even train and they have lost massive amounts of weight. The primary reason? They stopped abusing carbohydrates!
The best thing about the Atkins diet is the fact that it drops the whole carbohydrate macronutrient out of the diet. When we do this we start to burn our fat reserves as fuel. When we introduce carbohydrates into the system this process stops. As soon as we begin to utilize our stored fat for fuel we are able to convert the fat that we eat into ketones. Ketones are fractured fats that cannot be reconverted into a storable form of fat. This is why we are able to pass fat through the urine. When we detect fat in the urine they human body is in a metabolic pathway better known as ketosis. More about Atkins and Ketogenic Diets.
You can lose weight by utilizing the Atkins diet BUT... I do not think (actually I know I tried it) that it will allow you to live comfortably and training super heavy. The best approach is the way that I mentioned earlier. Time your carbohydrates and stop food mixing! This method works, I know from experience.
As far as heart disease or complications as a result from the Atkins diet, no way. Once you cut out carbohydrates or stop abusing them, watch all of the good things happen. Carbohydrates are more problematic than any other macronutrient. They get in the way and cause other macronutrients to go wacky or do wacky things to the body, but the problem always stems from carbohydrates. I like to say that carbohydrates can be our best friend and our worst enemy. You have to know how to use carbohydrates or you are going to self-destruct. The statement or article that stated that the Atkins diet was linked to heart disease was more than likely written by an close minded text book nutritionist, doctor, or nurse. The medical community has it all wrong. Take it from me, I have been there. Enough said - continued...
Visitor: I was planning on doing a cutting cycle for 3 months and then doing a bulking cycle for 3 months, but the way my metabolism is, it may take 6 months or longer to lean out.
Maybe I have a thyroid problem or something?
It's like my love handles are slowly starting to melt, but the fat around my lower abs isn't...
Dino: How is this for advice, just do not get on a "bulking cycle" if you know that you will only get fat from it. Your body does not need to get fat to grow my friend. Beside myself there are great bodybuilders that do no get fat during the off-season. Maris Lee (my nutritionist), Skip La Cour, Jeff Willet, and other greats believe the same. By timing your nutrient intakes you too can bulk or shred.
Your metabolism is just what you make it. If you are a go-getter you will get up and do something. If you think you have a slow metabolism then battle it with your mind. Make yourself have a fast metabolism by staying active. Oh and by the way, a slow metabolic environment allows you to hold on to your gains when dieting. I too have a slow metabolism but when I cut up I do not. I change it. Get the picture here?
Your love handles will go away by utilizing the diet and cardio regimen that I recommended. It may take time but eventually they too will go away. Some people have "problem areas". I personally have a hard time striating my glutes. It seems as if that is the last place to get shredded when dieting for a show. I did not see my glutes until I was 26 years old. In the end I get lean and the results are there but for some genetic reason my body holds on to fat in that region more readily that it dose in other places. My abdominals are the first place to become really sharp for others it is the last. Genetics!
Visitor: I was going to do Body for Life for the next 8 weeks and then switch over to Max-OT. I also exercise on an empty stomach to get "ripped" quicker, yet it doesn't seem to help. What am I doing wrong, man? :(
Dino: I recommend switching over to a MAX-OT style of training. Do not train with weights on an empty stomach but you can do your cardio in the morning on an empty carbohydrate stomach. Having a little protein in the morning is fine by me. The muscles need something. If you attempt to have a killer cardio session in the morning with depleted muscles you will rob them of the little that they do have. Protein is not really used for energy so consuming a little will only replenish the amino acid pool in the muscles cells. It is carbohydrates that you want to stay away from if you are going to use this theory.
Visitor: Take care and thanks in advance!! And let me know if there's anything else you need to know about my training history!!
Dino: Follow my recommendations and you will "see the light" I assure you. Try to use it as a lifestyle change and learn from it. Good luck in all that you do and never give up!
P.S. It may benefit you to try some supplements. Bodybuilding.com's cyberstore has a great selection to match their great prices. A multivitamin, L-Glutamine, and some protein would benefit anyone no matter what your goals are.