I Never Do Sit-ups, How I got My 6-Pack(Maybe 8?)

It always seems like clients ask this question, “ How do I get a 6-pack “, expecting an overnight secret solution to obtaining it. There’s no genuine secret to it, and the most common answer is the most truthful answer: Proper Nutrition.

Everybody has heard that before, and even though that’s the main component to it, I have an answer that pairs well with a Proper Nutrition to accelerate the process. It still won’t be overnight but makes results noticeable faster.

I never have my clients do actual Crunches or the likes of. Like most, Compound Lifts are a large portion of my Programming, and that’s plenty to replace Crunches. Instead, I focus on exercises with a focus on your Obliques. Russian Twists, DB Side Leans, Side Planks, etc. I have my clients start their focus on a Stronger, Smaller, Tighter Core.

Training your Obliques will lead to a sleeker core, and also better stability in general. Seeing results is one of the most motivating factors in anything. Watching your midsection tighten up, shrink and develop from the extra focus on your Obliques, while dialing in your nutrition, will make the process to obtaining your 6-pack a lot more enjoyable.

A hidden benefit of training Obliques is a tight, sleek core is always noticeable. When you’re out in public, generally speaking, nobody sees if you have a 6-pack or not. But, regardless, a well kept midsection is always prominent and noticeable.

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How to Stick with a Diet

Sticking with a Diet

 
   Longterm dieting has always been a problem for a majority of people. This isn’t about which specific diet is the most effective, but the way to implement the start of any diet. Rushing into, being overly strict, or constantly leaving yourself feeling hungry, especially in the beginning, typically leads to failure or maybe a “Yo-Yo diet.”

Repeatedly I get clients coming to me with this issue. They have been going through diets spurts, where they follow a stereotypical strict diet for anywhere from a few days to weeks, to end up laid out on the couch burying themselves in Ice Cream, Chips, Pizza and Soda.

Luckily, I have had a large amount success with clients, giving a different approach.

1.) Deciding on Your Diet or Diet Guidelines
   Before choosing a diet, figure out what you actually want from a diet and how much effort you want to put into it. Are you looking to track down and calculate every little thing you eat and drink? Can you handle eating minimal carbohydrates a majority of days? Is going all organic something you can enjoy and afford to do? Is it possible for you to get the proper nutrition excluding meats from your diets? So much research has been on effective dieting, there are a plethora of options out there to improve your diet. Figuring out what will fit your life and goals is the first thing to do.

2.) Make Your Changes Gradually
Rushing into a diet can be successful for some, but for the majority it leads to overwhelming cravings and a want to just quit the diet altogether. Instead, focus on making gradual changes to your diet instead of changing everything at once. For example, when first starting a diet, don’t add restrictions but start with one meal being specific to your diet.

3.) Prepare More Easy-To-Access Healthy Options
As you start implementing more gradual changes to your diet, begin preparing more healthy snacks or small meals to be readily available. Instead of having unhealthy “junk” food all around your house, have more Small Salads, Portions of Salads, Bottled Water, etc instead. Naturally, when we are hungry or thirsty, we reach for what is the most available and convenient to grab. Having your healthier choices be more readily available than the unhealthy, makes it more effortless to choose. Before my clients start actually restricting or limiting themselves from specific items, I lead them towards the habit of choosing the healthier choice regardless.

4.) Limit / Reduce Before Fully Restricting

   After you are getting comfortable eating healthier and preparing healthier snacks, now it’s time to start adding limits and restrictions. Of course, all of this depends on how unhealthy or healthy your diet is in the beginning. For example, we are going to say it is on the more unrestrained side. In beginning, we will say you drink a 12-pack of Soda a day & eat 15 servings of Potato Chips and 10 Cookies a day on top of your regular meals. Generally, most people will start out immediately trying to have no Sodas, Cookies or Chips a day. While this is a great goal to have, it unfortunately doesn’t last long enough to have much of an effect before you find your buried on the couch.

Instead of the “Cold-Turkey” approach, start gradually limiting the amounts before fully restricting. Instead of the 12-Pack, 15 Servings of Potato Chips, and 10 Cookies, limit it to 10 Sodas, 12 Servings of Chips, and 8 Cookies. Start replacing the deficit with healthy preparations of your choice.

5.) Don’t Be Afraid to Enjoy Special Occasions
   Being overly strict with a diet can be uncomfortable for your friends or family. Allow yourself to enjoy a piece of Birthday Cake, have an extra plate of your Family’s Meal at Thanksgiving, or enjoy the Nachos and Pizza while at a Family Game Night. An occasional night of no restrictions and enjoying yourself can bring positive effects and avoid outcasting yourself from everybody else
 
6.) Turn Your Diet into a Lifestyle
   Don’t aim for just a short-term body imagine goal with your diet. Not that it isn’t a reasonable goal or that I don’t understand why you are wanting it. But what happens after you achieved the look or weight you desired, looked great for Bikini Season, and then lose interest? Realize there’s more to a diet or proper nutrition than just how you appear or the number on the scale.

Make your goal to be all around healthier, and longevity in general, and you’ll realize a hidden benefit of that is appearing and feeling better.

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What is IIFYM

IIFYM
If It Fits Your Macros
If It Fits Your Macros is a diet that allows you to eat whatever you want, as long as you stay within and hit your Macros and Daily Calorie Intake.
The idea behind it is great, and it can definitely work with the right Macros, as far as Body Composition goes. For first starting out dieting, it can teach you a great skill: How to Track and Hit your Macros, which can have a place in any diet. It allows you to focus on learning to track your macros without focusing on all the normal restrictions of a diet.

Outside of beginners, I’m not a fan of it though. As said before, it can definitely work as far as body composition goes and I’ve seen it work. With the right mindset, and choice of foods, it can definitely work longterm as well. However, normally, that isn’t the type of person who uses the diet. The majority of people who follow IIFYM are out eating Ice Cream and McDonald’s, chanting If It Fits Your Macros bro.

A diet should be directed towards more than just Body Composition, it should have an aim towards Proper Nutrition, Longevity, Athletic Performance and/or Overall Health. While there are some out there with this mindset who follow the IIFYM diet, generally that is not the norm and hurts my opinion of it. It has finally died down some, but you can still stumble upon individual with great physique(attributed to this diet or other substances, who knows) giving their followers the opinion that it’s perfectly fine to have a diet full of junk, total crap, and still have a healthy life.

To the portion of individuals who don’t have that type of approach with the diet, props to you and I wish more were like you!

The diet can definitely be effective, read more at their website https://www.iifym.com

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What Are Macros in Dieting

All the time, I hear the question ” What are Macros in Dieting? “
It’s a pretty straightforward question and here’s an explanation

Macros, or Macronutrients, generally refer to Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats.

When you start tracking macros you come up with a breakdown, or ratio, for the amount consumed of each. A generic weight loss Macro Ratio could be 30:40:30 meaning 30% of your calories are from Carbs, 40% are from Proteins and the remaining 30% is from fats.

To get started with the 30:40:30 ratio, you need to figure out your desired Calorie Intake for each day. To keep it simple, we will say you are aiming for 2000 Calories a day which translates into the below

2000 Calories a day – 30/40/30
150g of Carbs a day – 600 Calories
200g of Protein – 800 Calories

67(66.667)g of Fat – 600 Calories

Following the break down above, ignoring other diet restrictions, your goal would be to eat 150g of Carbs, 200g of Protein and 67g of Fats spread throughout the day to hit your Macros daily

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Recommended Foods to Gain Weight on a Budget?

I get asked a lot about what I would recommend to eat while on a budget(College Student lyfe) to gain weight.

My Recommendations:
1.) Quaker Banana Nut Oat Meal
2.) Chicken Breast
3.) Scrambled Eggs & Egg Whites
4.) Baked Potatoes
5.) Check Deli Meat Specials – Especially Ground Beef(I see great prices all the time)
6.) Milk
7.) Pasta
8.) Yogurt

And lately I really enjoy an English Muffin with light butter, Turkey and Provolone – My Secret Weapon – whether I have to budget or not.

3 Keys to a Bigger Back

Nothing stands out more than somebody who has a big back, but it’s one of the most lacking things on a majority of guys. What has helped me make the most improvements on my back:

1.) Barbell Rows – I do over-hand and underhand, but I prefer underhand. I go as heavy as I can for 8-12 rep with clean form. Also, try super-setting with DB Rows twice a month.

2.) Lat Pull Downs – I also like to go heavy on these, but I have my grip as wide as I can comfortably go and still pull down to just above my chest.

3.) Weighted Pull-Ups & Chin-Ups – Find a weight that you can manage to do at least three sets of 12, 10, 8 and go up consistently once you get close to doing 12 for all three sets.

Just as important, but mentioned constantly: Eat more & Deadlifts. 

 

 

Supersets

Supersets are my favorite things to do for Traps, Biceps & whenever I’m limited on time. Barbell Shrugs paired with DB shrugs and Barbell Curls with Isolated DB Curls gives me a burn and pump like no other. Also giving me a noticeable size increase in both but not so much in strength(Which I’m not really worried about how much weight I can shrug or curl).

While I do them regularly for Traps & Biceps, I also incorporate either supersets, “burn-outs” or drop sets for every other body part around twice a month. Nice change from my typical routine and it also has been adding progress in everything doing them that way.

Another way you could do a super set is two different groups at once, i.e Biceps and Back. Superset let’s say rows with preacher curls. Still lets you use your typical rep/weight scheme but can cut your work out time in almost half.