I decided to jump back on video today after a short Christmas hiatus. Today I talk about two things that you should be avoiding and the two things that you should be doing instead. And then one other thing. Watch below to find out what that other thing is.
See you in the comments.
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This post was actually going to be a bonus ebook for a product I was going to release earlier in the year. But instead, I decided to turn it into a blog post. The fitness lifestyle is all about turning what we do into a habit. That’s how you stick to it long term. And the habit builders below will help you do just that.
1) Get your recovery periods in check @ food ‘The Big 3′ (meals)
You already know what that is. But if there is one aspect of your training that you need to learn to get right, it’s this
A. The types of proteins and carbs you consume
B. The time of day you decide to train
if you plan on training in the morning then its a good idea to get into the habit of eating your 3rd of ‘The Big 3′ a little later than usual. This is because that will be the meal your body feeds off for that morning workout. Eating late has also proven to be an effective strategy for increasing muscle mass and promoting fat loss. Which is of course the ultimate goal when building the shred with bulk physique. And it is because of this meal why you wont really need to eat a big breakfast.
Well lets look at the realism of the situation.
Now, ‘The Big 3′ is all about meal portion size over meal frequency. It’s just a more realistic way to eat and structure your day. Heck, the majority of us were taught to eat this way anyway. And even then, most of us wouldn’t even keep up with that, even when we weren’t fitness meat heads. So while lack of extra nutrition may have previously been your concern, it really doesn’t need to be, because all you are doing now compared to what you wasn’t doing before, is just doing what you were supposed to be doing in the first place. eating ‘The Big 3′ (That’s whether you are bulking as a hard-struggler or shredding as a skinny fat)
But again, lets look at the logistics behind that.
Now, we all know about carbs, proteins fats and that they aren’t all equal, in terms of the foods we need to consume in bodybuilding nutrition.
But heres some real basic understanding on food digestion periods
Fast absorbing protein Empty stomach On a big 3 stomach
3 – 4 hours 5-6 hours
Slow digesting protein 10 hours More
With that being the case, can you see how and why the 3rd ‘Big 3′ meal will act as ‘In The Zone nutrition’ for your morning workout. Of course you can.
1st – You will get plenty of rest from sleeping a max of 8 hours (growth time)
2nd – You will have snacked on so many extra macronutrients in that big 3rd meal as well as 100 grams of protein or so (regardless of the type, although solid slow digesting is recommended) that the digestion period of all that protein and carbs would have been largely slowed. Which means your ultimate pre workout meal worry has been cured.
What if i don’t have have enough protein and carbs in my system to get me through the workout?
Seriously, that 3rd Big 3 meal will stack your body so well that you shouldn’t wake up hungry. (An emphasis of slow digesting proteins does indeed help and make a difference)
But cant the body only handle a certain amount of protein consumption in one sitting?
That really has nothing to do with it. If you eat more protein in one sitting, it just means it takes longer to digest into your system. Its all about portion size. You were raised that way I’m sure. Why should that change now that your in fitness. The only thing that changes is
1) Food recovery periods
2) Types of foods that you consume in the red zone
That’s it. And if you train the ‘In The Zone – Train insane way’, trust me… you will get plenty of sleep and rest, which is of course when you grow.
The only concern here is that when you wake up, you may feel a bit peckish. Most of this is your brain and tastes buds getting at you. Which is fine. At this point just snack on a high protein snack. It never hurts to get some quick protein in before a workout for an energy boost. But in terms of what your body needs in order to build the shred with bulk physique… you gave it all of that the night before on your 3rd meal of ‘The Big 3′.
2) Prevent sickness
Sickness is 2nd to injury in the race to what will kill your muscle building endeavors and fitness motivation. The natural way to prevent sickness is to…
- Eat well.
- Sleep well
- Next, is to take supplements
- Hygiene in the gym
Wear layers in winter
All of these are pretty common ground, in the goal to prevent sickness. But I’m pretty certain that many of you don’t follow through with all of them. And if you want to find long term success with any of the Stay Fit Bug workouts (Year long workout broken down into 4 periods), then you better just start doing that. Because I can tell you now. Sickness will knock you for 6 when it comes to maintaining that shred with bulk physique you worked so hard to build. You’ll lose your appetite, you won’t be able to get out of bed and worst of all, you won’t be able to workout. If you do, you’ll only be adding fuel to the sickness fire, as well as putting everyone else in the gym at risk of picking up your nasty germs. Yuck.
This is a no brainer. Just follow the In The Zone nutrition plan to perfection and you’ll get all the correct nutrition needed in order to help prevent you from catching the flu or any other related sickness.
Sickness detection solutions
Avoid crap food
When you are sick, the first thing you will start to think about is eating more food in order to…
1) Maintain your gains (More protein in this case – more on that later
2) Help you get over the flu
So good thinking. That’s the right mind set to have. But what you need to be avoiding is crappy foods such as cookies, hot chocolate and ice cream. Those will just make your shred with bulk results disappear. Banishing you back to the land of the ordinary gym goer. Something you definitely don’t want. So avoid them like the plague.
What you can do
Like I mentioned earlier, stick to the meal plans over at In The Zone Nutrition on the spreadsheets. In short.
The Big 3 +EFA’s + 1.5 grams protein per pound of lean body weight.
The decrease in calories should account for that extra time you find yourself in doors knocked out on the bed from sickness.
The drop in the amount of carbs you consume is due to you being out of training and because of the drop in calories.
The higher protein in take is of course related to balance out catabolism rates while you are in your sick state. And of course to keep a positive nitrogen balance. The food sources you should consume here should of course be lower in carbohydrates. In fact, you’ll need foods to be low in simple fast digesting carbs too (cottage cheese,omelets or other fast digesting proteins – refer to the guide to necessary supplementation)
Because a sick body is not in a good state to ingest these type of carbs (Which we know are best consumed pre-post workout).
So unless you’re on a morning in the zone workout, consume slow digesting carbs early on in the day. When you awake is the time when your body is in a positive state of glycogen storing.
And if you were wondering what the importance of consuming 1 fish oil in each of the big 3 meals, then this is it.
We know that EFAS play a vital role in improving the function of immune cells in our bodies. And when you are sick your body will start forming new cells in order to fight off the sickness (Hence the importance of good structured nutrition). With this being the case, it’s important to get those EFAS in (omega-3) To ensure your body fights off the flu effectively.
Basically follow ‘In the zone’ nutrition as it stands. Nothing extra needs to be consumed there in the case of sickness
1) Because the body is made up of 70% water
2) Because we lose water, even more so when we train insane.
- Through the build up and excretion of mucus
- Stationary breathing
- Sweat (Obviously we do plenty of this in training. But if you ever suffer from a fever or flu, trust me, you will sweat)
- The bodies extra work in creating new cells and fighting off the sickness
- Higher protein intake
The importance of staying hydrated when we workout is high enough as it is. All the extra factors listed above raise those stakes even higher. And trust me, when you are sick, you will feel the need for the extra H2O consumption.
I wrote a pretty detail post back on stayfitbug.com about the importance of getting enough sleep throughout your lifestyle of fitness and bodybuilding.
Like I mentioned earlier, when you are sick. Stay away from the gym
1) You’ll delay the process of getting better (Backwards thinking)
2) You’ll spread your nasty germs (When there really is no need for it)
The best thing you can do is sleep and nap the flu off. Stick to the usual 8-10 hours that I speak of in the article. And try to nod of a few times during the day too. The more rest you get, the better you will feel each waking morning during the sick period.
There are a lot of positive and negative discussions when it comes to bodybuilding supplements
A) Supplements aren’t needed. You can get all the nutrition you need from natural food sources in order to build muscle. (True). Big supplement companies are just pure evil, unnecessarily robbing from the pure to feed their own riches. (Which is why we created the guide to ‘necessary’ supplementation).
B) As a bodybuilder, our bodies are put through extra stress than your non gym goer. There fore, the body needs to be supplemented extra in order to grow effectively…. And to avoid sickness
Both arguments are true. Point A is fully covered in In the zone nutrition and which supplements are needed and when to take them is fully described.
Point B holds true to. But all one really needs to do is…
- Eat well
- Sleep well
- Focus on gym hygiene
And most worries about extra body stress are put at ease.
What you really need to take note of in point B is the last part…
And to avoid sickness
If you intend to live the fitness lifestyle and make it a year 5-10 year stretch. Then your best option is to take a long term approach in regards to the extra supplements and vitamins you need to take. Building a strong foundation is paramount in any long term plan to prepare for a ‘brighter’ future) (House building being the usual cliche here).
With that said. It is indeed important to focus on taking extra vitamins and supplements in the case of preventing future sickness (More so extra vitamins).
3) Cheat meals moments (the evening meal)
It’s time to talk about real life.
Now, as this is real life, and not just some robotic program to turn you into a living terminator (Now head of Cali – what has the world come to). The chances are that you will probably have some real friends. And unless you have just come out of a relationship, chances are you probably have a special someone in your life.. or at least have your eye on someone. If so, how would you think they feel about you becoming some robotic drone that lifts weights all day. As a male, I can tell you now. She will not appreciate. Yes, she doesn’t want a skinny man, fair enough. But she definitely doesn’t want some one who puts working out before her. However as a woman, she’ll be into fitness too, as it’s a natural way of healthy living and also prevents hair loss in women.
Any how, as we are on the habit builder and as we are talking about nutrition under this sub heading. One thing you could start to get used to is to go out every week with your partner.
Specifically.. go out for a meal, to a restaurant of your personal choice. It really has nothing to do with bodybuilding nutrition. Go out to go out and enjoy yourself.
How to gauge it?
Now, it would be very bad of me to tell you to just gauge down cheat meals freely. But the core rule that stands is that you should stick to a in the zone nutrition plan at least 80-90% of the time.
- 28-30 meals per week
- 6 cheat meals max per month
Meaning you are eating clean 80-90% of the time in a 4 week period.
Meaning that you should make it a habit to go out and eat what the hell you like at least once a week, a night out, with your partner. Which is actually healthy for both your sanity and for maintaining a healthy relationship. Seeing as the no.1 relationship killer is a break down in communication.
What makes it an even better habit to get used to?
If you have picked any of our programs/ebooks, the chances are that you are probably either a very busy (possibly cash strapped student) or a busy professional. In either case, time is against you. Even if it isn’t, I know that going out 4 times a month with your partner is still probably a rarity (unless you are going through that honeymoon period). With that being the case, this one habit could therefore enhance your relationship and save it at the same time, from preventing you from becoming a robot gym bore who does nothing but lift and eat for the gym ONLY.
We also recently bundled all of our ebooks into one package. So feel free to check it out below
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That’s right folks, Christmas is here!
And it definitely feels that way here in London, heavy snowfall and all. In fact, if you do have snow in your region as of this post, then read this post…
That will cause some plateau busting muscle gains. I’m sure of it
Any how, if you have been following the recent emails, you will know that I gave away a few bonuses over the past several weeks. If you missed out on what those were, then you can back track and view those emails here in the email archive.
===> The email archive
However, today will be the final bonus of the year, and I’ll be leaving it up until the 31st of December.
But for you newer readers to the site, let me tell you the story behind the creation of both of those ebooks.
#1 The Unique Bodyweight Exercise ebook (Now version 3.0)
Now, if you have read the about us page, you would know that I started Stay-Fit Bug in July of 2009. A time which I can now mark as my resurgence into the bodybuilding and fitness world after an unexpected 2 year hiatus.
Several posts in and 2 months of posting, I started to notice a trend and some strong attention to certain topics. The first was the need to want to build a 6 pac. The 2nd was bodyweight exercises. Which actually inspired me to write two ebooks, both of which you will now be familiar with.
Build a 6 pac: From flab to flat
The Unique Bodyweight Exercise ebook
The first I gave away for FREE and the 2nd I put a price on.
Why ‘Unique’ exercises?
Well, first of all, bodyweight exercises are the undisputed king of realizing your ‘true’ strength. And secondly, Stay-Fit Bug is all about teaching you how to take your gains to the next level. And the best way to do that is to train insane, switch things up and make your muscles scream at a pitch that they did not think possible. Therefore, the introduction to exercises that will help you do just that.
Fast forward to version 3.0 (released September 2010) and the ebook has indeed been upgraded (At no cost to existing ebook owners). And fast forwarding to Q1 2011 will see an even bigger update in version 4.0. That will indeed be existing. Sheesh, I’m even getting excited about creating it (Let’s just say,lights, camera, action! Stepping out of my comfort zone – Something you should all be doing on a regular basis).
Nevertheless, the current version of this ebook (And it’s own current bonuses) is now 1 of 2 Christmas bonuses. Oh, and did I mention that version 4.0 will be completely FREE to those who snatch this up now!
Q1 2011 might seem like a long time away, but I must inform you that those who end up on the Unique Bodyweight exercise mailing list receive ‘different’ ‘FREE’ bonuses to those on the regular mailing list. So you won’t have to worry about being left dry for the next few months.
Either way, that’s the story of how the Unique Bodyweight Exercise ebook came to existence.
#2 The Guide To Necessary Supplementation
As of May 2010, I decided to get active with my personal Facebook account (Add me here if you haven’t done so already) and invite everyone to my profile. Shortly after, my profile became a page for everything Stay-Fit Bugg/Fitness/ Bodybuilding/Network related.
Does that bother me?
Because I’m an open book, I don’t have much to hide. Go on… dive into my past photos already.
Any how, it wasn’t long until I started to get bombarded with fitness related questions, and one of the questions I got asked daily is…
‘Shaun, which supplements should I take’???
Now, I’m not one to force bodybuilding supplements down someones throat just to earn a quick buck. That’s just not my style.
So I decided to write the guide to necessary supplementation, which is just a No B.S guide to what you should be supplementing your body with. That is, natural foods AND bodybuilding supplements. That’s all there is too it. Nothing more, nothing less!
Now, that’s the story telling out of the way.
However, I think you need to have a little taste of what these ebooks have to offer. Something extra than just me babbling along here on this post. Actions do indeed speak louder than words, so here is…
#1 (a) The Unique Bodyweight Exercise FREE report
Download it here ===> FREE REPORT
(b) The Unique bodyweight Exercise video
#2 (a) The Guide To Necessary Supplementation video (Hosted by yours truly)
(b) Some inside ebook snapshots
Picture Preview #2
Picture preview #3
Picture preview #4
Picture preview #5
Remember, this bonus page will stay live and active until 31st of December, so you should at least be able to stay fit at home for the several days of festive Christmas activity. But I’d say grab it now, because you’ll probably forget by then, as you’ll be completely zoned out in Xmas and New years eve-ism.
And remember, binge, but don’t OVERRRR binge. That… is something you will regret come January (At you Abdominal builders).
Train insane, train safe and Merry Christmas.
To all our Bodybuilding successes in 2011
See you in the comments.
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(Guys that are strong but don’t look it)
aka this quote
”Hold up. Dude… you can lift twice as much as that guy over there. Why is HE bigger than YOU?” OUCH… painful comment! Solution: Eat more food… DUDE!
But lets look a little deeper in to this scenario. A scenario where I have been the victim of that painful comment (It affected me so bad, that I even remember the date. 17th February 2005) :O
Now, the reason why anyone would be a victim of this comment would be because of this point..
”Are you just lifting weights or actually stimulating muscle fibers?”
There is a big difference. Like I’ve said before, there’s more to it than just lugging a few weights around. And it often doesn’t take as much weight as people think to get the desired results.
So, let me start with the most important and relative point, so that you can avoid being picked on for being a scrawny looking guy who is in fact, REALLY strong.
#1 Focus on muscle tension
Now, there could be two reasons that could explain why the other guy is bigger than you.
- Genetics – That guy might have good muscle building genetics. A mesomorph style body type, where one can lose fat and gain muscle mass quite easily.
- He has been focusing on muscle tension. Or what I’ve previously described as shock body exercises.
You see, lifting heavy duty weight might make you look cool in the gym. But in fact, if I saw you lifting a heavy weight week after week, yet with no visible growth. I would have to…
1) Question your technique
2) Question your lifestyle and eating habits
Because there’s no real reason why you should be lifting super duper heavy weights in the gym, unless your goal is to grow muscle mass.
You can move more weight with momentum, sure. But you will not stimulate more muscle growth. For example, Olympic lifters don’t look even half as developed as advanced body builders. This is because the power moves they perform are accomplished by momentum and technique more so than actual muscle strength.
Muscle tension = Growth, not torque.
And in fact, you probably won’t have to lift as heavy as you may think. It’s more about this…
#2 Training insane – (Shock/ Explode muscles)
If you haven’t read my article about training insane, make sure you read it here. I’m confident that it will change your mind set and give you a good kick up the butt.
Any how, following on from my point above. Intensity is what you will want to focus on when you lift weights. Not doing so could be one of the key reasons why you might get the reaction described in the intro, because muscles will only grow when shocked with explosive activity (Have a read of the bugs quick tips)
This is the entire concept of training insane. When you train, you have to GO-AT-IT. Literally.
- Sometimes angry workouts (This music should help)
So quit lugging heavy weights around with technique-less flair. This really is not helping you to grow.
#3 Eat more food 5 times a day to avoid muscle break down
Now, if you are a victim of the ‘I am strong, but don’t look it’ squad, then I’d say at least 80% of the time would be down to an inconsistent diet. If you go through a day without eating for 4 hours or more then you are putting your body into a catabolic state, which is when the muscle tissues you’ve worked so hard to build up, begin to break down.
The best way to avoid this is to eat consistently throughout the entire day. Not just one big fat meal at dinner time (Which is probably most of you).
Think of it this way.
- When you drive a car and give it a full tank of petrol, it performs great… right? Of course it does.
- When you drive that same car on an empty tank it performs badly and the engine starts cutting out.. right? Yes, it does. We’ve all been there before.
That’s a no brainer. The killer point here is that when you run a car this way, you are actually destroying it’s shelf life, because doing so will wear the engine away.
The metaphor here =
Car engine/ Your muscles
Not feeding them is one thing, but to cause longer term damage to your muscle building results puts the nail in the coffin here. Muscle mass… NO MORE!
So do yourself a favor and start eating. Because even a crappy lifter will put on mass with the correct diet structure.
If you want a detailed program of…
- What to eat
- When to eat
- How much to eat
Then read this post
#4 Focus on compound exercises
Now this point I left till last, because it’s not entirely important, but still relevant.
If you aren’t growing, it could be because you are placing to strong of a focus on isolation exercises (exercises that work one muscle group). This isn’t a bad thing, but you should only really focus on performing these exercises when you are trying to bring out the best of a certain muscle group.
Your main focus should be on performing compound exercises (exercises that work all 4 limbs) such as the bench press and dead-lift. By doing so you will definitely notice an improvement of the overall growth of all muscle groups around your body.
The goal of this website is to help everyone build the ultimate physique. That is…
- V-shape body
- Super duper health
- And overall 110% uber awesomeness.
Part of which you can find inside the unique bodyweight exercise ebook v3.0
The goal however, is not to help turn you into the next Mr. Olympia.
So if you don’t want to look like a lean weakling, make sure you follow the above. Once you do, you will be a muscle bound machine that people will inspire to be.
See you in the comments.
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Now, I’m not sure what part of the world you are from, but if I go by this websites statistics and the relationships that I have with many of you, It’s safe to assume that the majority of you who read this will be from the west side of planet earth. Which means you are now living in the brutal winter months. Brrrrr (The chills).
Hopefully,this hasn’t put you off working out and I hope you are still training insane. After all, this is the season where the true gains are made, in order to get you ready for summer.
However, this is also the season that most of us will go wild with Christmas festivities.
Although I encourage both (Seeing as it’s the only time of year where we really get to have a break), we still have to keep it under control. As one string of wild nights really can cause havoc on your muscle building results. And yes, you hardgainer/ ectomorph types need to watch out too. Read this post to find out why.
With that being said, I thought it would be a good idea to remind you of what you should look out for when trying to keep that fat off of your waist, whether it’s Christmas or not. Re-introducing you to 3 of your familiar friends.
- The Tyre (Fatty waist)
- Mr. Insulin
- Mr. ‘I wanna be ripped’
- Mr victim
- Mr control
- Mr ultimate
OK, fat control is the game and Mr. Tyre is the name we will begin with.
Now, if there is one part of the body that everyone seems to struggle with, regardless of sex or body type, it will be the tyre aka that annoying layer of fat that sits around your waist and lower gut. Now, we all know about the rule…
- 30% gym
- 70% diet
Well, that is mostly true. What this means is that you could be working your ass off in the gym, training insane and the like. But all of it will be pointless unless you have a controlled diet. Controlled meaning, eating the right foods at the right time.
Now, they say that carbs are the enemy when it comes to building that ‘ripped‘ physique. And that you should avoid them at all costs (Because carbs in it’s basic form is just sugar).
Which of course is not true.
We need carbs to re-fuel and replenish our muscles. The key is to eating the right type of carbs at the right time of day. e.g fast digesting carbs right after your works to replenish your muscles from the nutrients it would lose from an intense workout.
Two types of carbs
Simple – Fast digesting – Explodes into your blood stream (literally… like fireworks)
Complex – Slow digesting – Moves into your blood stream like a mini earthquake that eternally erupts
Now, when people say carbs are bad, what they really should be saying is that simple carbs are bad. These are the type of carbs that will promote Mr. tyre around your waist.
Why… how, how… why?
Because these are the type of carbs that like to pick a fight with Mr. Insulin who is responsible for controlling the blood sugar levels in your body.
Mr. Tyre vs Mr. Insulin
Earlier I mentioned that simple carbs digest like an explosion into your body. This increases Mr. Insulin’s work load into overdrive, and what happens when you spread yourself to thin with extra tasks? You begin to fail, and that failure is the result of Mr. tyre… extra fat around your waist.
Now, I don’t want to bore you with some biology lesson. Instead, let me give you a real life example of this scenario. One that I know all of you will be familiar with.
This battle is kind of like a large queue to an event such as a concert, football match or even a night club. You have
- The boss and his men (Mr. Insulin)
- The guards (Muscle receptors)
- The people queuing up (The carbs – complex *good* or simple *bad*)
All it takes is for a few bad people to kick up a fuss (simple carbs) for a big fight break out. The boss and his men (Mr insulin) loses control and begins throwing all the bad people into one corner (In this case, into your muscles. Which is actually good). However, what we really want to do is keep the Boss under control and tame his temper. Then we have a good smooth process for the rest of the night. So they begin to only let good people in (complex carbs).
If too many people coming rushing in too fast, The Boss and his men then need to up their game and give the thumbs up to the guards to open up the doors wider (This is where Mr. Insulin spikes and where muscle receptors open up the doors for the carbs to be let in to the muscles more quickly).
Now, if we go back to where the Boss (Mr insulin) throws everyone into a corner. This would usually cause even more of a fight, more people trying to get in, causing even more havoc. The Boss say enough is enough and tells the guards to let no one else in, sending everyone else elsewhere.
(It is at this point where your muscle receptors say enough is enough. These insulin levels are spiking far too often. At which point they begin to shut the doors, letting no more sugar into your muscles. Where do the rest of the excess carbs go? They get stored as fat)
But even worse is that those guards won’t even consider letting those people back in. They beat them up and threw them out, almost for good. And the club stays empty for a while. They will just go for a different crowd. They still have to bring the money in after all.
(So Mr. Insulin switches off the fat burn, stores fat, and leaves nothing behind. That is no more carbs. Once that happens you are even worse off than before you ate, because your blood sugar levels would have dropped even lower. Which means you are still hungry. The body needs to then go somewhere else for energy. It can’t go to the stored fat, because Mr. Insulin has switched that off for the time being. So it goes for the next best thing. The protein in your muscles. But the part you really need to be careful about is the fact that too many high sugar rushes will cause your muscle receptors to stop letting sugar in entirely. Which is not good, and can lead to diabetes).
And that is why there needs to be some control in terms of managing insulin levels.
And this is also why you need carbs in your system. To prevent your body from going into a catabolic state (Muscle break down). But the right type of carbs at the right time.
Such as dextrose, post workout. You will cause an insulin spike yes. However, you will be filling up empty muscles, because you would have used up all of the carb storage that was in your muscles in your workout. Which is the only time of day when it’s a win, win to spike insulin levels high.
Such as pasta, rice, potatoes, and oatmeal. Because they spike moderately throughout the day.
The Mr. Insulin vs Fat storage fight is also the same reason why it’s impossible to build muscle putting on fat. Because you will never be able to maintain perfect insulin levels. Fat will always be stored. How long that fat get’s stored for depends on the level of the insulin spike.It’s all about balance.
So if you want to keep fat at bay, then ease off the candy bars (Unless you’re going for a quick run) and stack your system full of complex carbs. That way you can keep your system running, Mr. Insulin happy, which in turn prevents you from putting on unnecessary fat and burning that precious lean muscle mass.
Enter Mr. ‘I wanna be ripped’
Enter training insane
The best way to make this practice a reality is by creating habits.
- Get rid of all the simple carbs in your house. Buy them and consume them only when you need them. Don’t bring them home.
- Cook pasta, rice and potato meals, but leave some left overs that you can carry and pre-heat with you the next day while at work. That way your hunger strikes can be fed on the go with complex carbs.
- Add creatine to your post workout shake. It will latch on to the carbs you consume at this time, making for an even more effective absorption of creatine into your muscles (Which of course is energy).
- And last but not least. If you want a complete DONE-FOR-YOU no B.S guide on how you should be structuring your diet for maximum gains, then you need to look no further, as I have created a guide that does just that with The Guide to Necessary Supplementation
Any how, that’s how you win the fight between The Tyre (Fatty Waist) vs. Mr Insulin vs. Mr ‘I Wanna Ripped’.
Now get to work already.
Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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What’s a bodybuilding network?
Well, a short while back, I wrote a popular article called ’15 things Bodybuilders and Entrepreneurs Have in Common’… It turned out to be quite controversial (Wasn’t intended… maybe I’m one big controversy), but one thing I didn’t talk about was the importance of having a strong network. A network of people that you choose to associate with, who just happen to be just as good or even better than you are at what ever game you are trying to succeed in.
Why do you want to build a strong network?
# 1 Because you are only as good as the company that you keep!
So if you decide to associate with fat lazy bastards in your spare time, then their habits will likely rub off on you and you too will become a fat lazy bastard. If your current friends ARE fat lazy bastards, then ditch them and find some real muscle heads to ‘knock heads’ with. Doing so will have a serious positive impact on your bodybuilding lifestyle and achievements.
Troubles finding serious people?
At least one person there will inspire you, other than myself of course
# 2 We Naturally Compare With Others Close To Us
I’m not quite sure why this is, but us humans tend to have a habit of comparing ourselves with others, when in fact, we should only be comparing with ourselves. We are all individually unique in our own way.
Nevertheless, comparing is what we do. If you are going to compare yourself with anyone, then it might as well be against other great people. At least that way you can improve and develop the traits and mind set to be great throughout your body building life. Comparing yourself to crap will make you… well… crapper!
# 3 Find A Motivational Partner With Ease
Once you have a great network at your disposal, finding motivation and inspiration from others will be a breeze. No more searching around for someone to go to the gym with, or to seek sound advice from. Just jump on Google talk, Skype or what ever it is you use to communicate and shout! Its your trusted network. People will listen.
# 4 Rapid Learning
Mistakes will be made in almost anything that you pursue in this life. That includes bodybuilding too. Lack of knowledge is a key reason why you haven’t got the body that you wish you had. But the fact is, you can only learn so much by yourself. Your best bet is to learn from others. Learn how they,
- Avoided injury
- Overcame hurdles (Mental and Physical)
- Busted through plateaus
- Made the bodybuilding lifestyle work for them.
I mentioned earlier that we are all unique in our own special way, so the information you take away from your network should be used and incorporated into your own bodybuilding lifestyle plans. Only you can make something well work for you. No one else.
# 5 Be Introduced To Even More Powerful Peers
This is that whole 6 degrees of separation thing. It just takes ONE great connection in your network to be able to be introduced to the people that you would like to meet. And once you become connected with these folks, you too will be perceived as great by their peers. It’s a case of being guilty by association.
However, perception of greatness isn’t what’s important here. It’s all about the doors this can open up for you, inside and outside of bodybuilding. We are all human beings and we mostly do and want the same things.
- Good Health
- Good fun
- Build families
- Find happiness
Amongst that sea of needs and wants is a network (6 degrees of separation). A network where each and every person has the power to give someone one of the above, and the ability to receive one of the above too. There WILL be something that you can give to someone in that network. No doubt about that! But it’s all about what you can give. You have to give to receive. The more you give, the more you get back. That’s just the way the world works.
Once you do begin to receive, your lifestyle inside of bodybuilding will change for the better. But even more important than that is how your lifestyle will change outside of bodybuilding. None of us are bodybuilding robots. We don’t turn off our personal on-goings the moment we enter the bodybuilding zone. Life and bodybuilding merges as one, just like everything else, such as the relationships with colleagues you work with in your profession.
Once your bodybuilding life does merge with your personal life, you’ll find that good health, good fun, good family and happiness just happens. When it does, just remember who told you to go out there’ and build a strong network.
See you in the comments.
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It’s a new week folks. It’s getting colder, darker and Christmas is right around the corner. And… I’ve always got some presents on the way to give to you all. Will you get them early? Well, you’re just going to have to wait and see.
Any how, today marks the release of the first ebook, of a series of ebooks. All of which focus on a specific aspect of the fitness lifestyle.
The Guide To Necessary supplementation
I won’t bore you with any more text blurb. Watch the video instead. British accent and all
119 Page Cookbook
100′s of recipes to take advantage of
Note: $9.99 for the next 72 hours ONLY!
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I hope all of you muscle heads are staying true to the Stay-Fit Bug mantra and maintaining those muscle building results from your workouts. And if you are, you might just want to take a break from your workouts, and just like in the video above, you will need to ‘TEST YOUR MIGHT’.
Well, for the same reasons people conduct performance reviews in the work place.
Every few months it would be a good idea to test your strength gains to see where you have improved, where you are lacking and how you can fix that. After all… it’s all about progression… right?
There are many tests you can take, and I’ll go over most if not all of them at some point, but to begin with, I’ll start with Just Three.
Lower body, Upper body and Core strength tests
These are 3 key areas of your body that you will need to know for sure if you are improving or failing. Here are the basic tests for each.
- Lower Body – One rep max squat
- Upper body – One rep max bench press
- Core – Sit ups test (Performing the most number of sit-ups you can in 30 seconds straight)
All of these are essential if you intend to build real strength in your workouts, and if you aren’t testing your strength, you could well be training blind. But fear not, I will soon provide you with a detailed post on how to perform these, along with some other vital strength tests. And now to portray my flying strength like Raiden from Mortal Kombat.
See you in the comments
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In The Zone ‘ Training insane’
In The Zone Training Insane = Workouts where you perform at your utmost intensity, explosive exercises, for only 25-35 minutes per workout.
Because that is when your muscles will positively react, talk back to you and REALLY grow.
Why not 1 hour + workouts?
A good muscle building program places a strong focus on the big 4 compound exercises. As it has been proven time and time again that these are the most effective exercises for overall gains in strength and size. Each workout only requires you to perform just 1 core compound exercise per workout plus assistant exercises (usually 2 or 3 extra exercises).
Why extra exercises if compound lifts work so well?
- Strengthen weak areas of the body that compound exercises may miss
- Help increase your performance of the 4 compound lifts e.g Barbell rows to help with bench press performance
- Balance and symmetry
- To build muscle (Dips, lateral raises being my personal favorites)
All of those performed at max ‘In the zone’ intensity will only take you max 40 minutes to perform in one workout. After that, you workout no more.
Because a lot of the growth you achieve with a good program will be a result of what you ‘don’t do in the gym.
This is where you may have previously been going wrong in your works. By doing too much. Causing you to plateau, get frustrated, become demotivated and in turn, quit your workouts. No growth. (boo hoo!).
Now, we do indeed have a ‘core’ program to follow here and as you will notice, there are exercises other than the big 4 that can benefit you. The program isn’t designed so that you train like a robot. No. The program is designed so that you do whats important (the big 4). And then do what is important to YOU. There are no right or wrong exercises.
If you feel and believe that dips is helping you build upper back strength and size, then keep on performing dips.
If you feel that bent over barbell rows are helping you increase your bench press performance, then keep on performing bent over barbell rows.
I personally like to regularly perform dips and lateral raises, because I know that I notice better trap/lats development. Which is of course a vital piece of the bodybuilding puzzle in terms of building that perfect ripped v shape physique with the bulk to match.
So don’t be afraid to experiment with the ‘after core’ exercises. Tweak and repeat.
Choose progression over fast bulk
Now, if you are a newbie weightlifter, it wont be an uncommon thing to pack on a ton of muscle mass within the first few weeks of this program. In fact, I’m 99% certain that you’ll gain 4-5 times more than the monthly goal of 3lbs increase in size per month.
But the common problem that arises is the dreaded plateau. You’ll hit those super gains within the first several weeks, but then it all changes.
The gains stop, you start experiencing jack shit gym days, your motivation levels drop (A natural thing… that this program will help you maintain) life happens. You just simply stop growing, which is of course the ultimate motivation killer. And is the reason why the average gym goer will look the same year in year out.
Now, the goal is of course to build a physique that makes you stand out from the crowd, so that you don’t look like the average gym goer. Shred with bulk! But the goal is also maintenance. But we also want to be progressing all of the time.
The first part of that solution is to focus on steady progression ‘over time’.
Lets start with the goal of shred + bulk when it comes to the goal of building a shredded physique with muscle mass to match. Now, the common way to get big fast would be to follow a bulking and cutting phase. There is nothing wrong with that. But that simply is not an ideal approach when it comes to building the shred + bulk physique, while living the fitness lifestyle. That approach is an end goal approach, which of course rings true for why bodybuilders train that way. Which is of course to prepare for bodybuilding contests. The program is not a contest and it certainly isn’t an end goal. Therefore, bulking and cutting approach is void.
The approach we take in terms of the actual shred with bulk program is to increase your gains steadily over time..
- Avoid facing those dread dreads plateaus.
- Actual progress year after year
Its entirely understandable why one would want overnight success and wanting to increase their bench weight by 30-40 pounds in a matter of a several weeks. But the long term result will be disappointing to say the least.
The gains stop, you start experiencing jack shit gym days, your motivation levels drop (A natural thing… that this program will help you maintain) life happens. You just simply stop growing, which is of curse the ultimate motivation killer. And is the reason why the average gym goer will look the same year in year out.
That is what will happen if you take the bulk approach.
Strength is relative to size
Now, it is because of this why its important to focus on steady progression along with what has been mentioned above. If you grow fast with ‘In The Zone’ nutrition, you’ll bulk up yes, but with the excessive fat, and you’ll look like the average gym goer. Learn to switch your mindset to increasing your weight from 220lbs to 225lbs before you try to lift 275lbs.
1) You’ll actually make real progress over time
2) You won’t plateau
3) You’ll actually get strong this way. Focus on ‘In the zone’ intensity yes, but without sacrificing good form, (Which I know is the no.1 killer of why most people quit working out due to injury).
The second part of that solution is how to stay motivated?
The way to stay motivated is by not treating what we do here as an end goal. But to treat it as a lifestyle. (You’ll learn a lot about how to do that with the habit builder). Motivation itself is driven from an outside inspiration. Something that you have seen or heard has motivated you to walk in to that gym and get the best bang for your buck. However, motivation will eventually die, so what you have to do is focus on the things that matter to you in life, so that you create your own inspiration (Again, much of what you’ll learn about in the habit builder). This is what will separate you from everyone else. Because you will now learn how to adapt the goal of shred with bulk to your everyday life, without it feeling like a means to an end.
- Stop training after 3 months
- Get more sleep and focus less on actual workouts – working out more is actually counter productive in terms of the goal.
Death of the hardgainer
Introducing – The hard struggler
And naturally, you will ask. What is a hard struggler?
A hard stuggler is some one who struggles to build muscle, not because of their genes. Not because they are natural ectomorphs. No.
A hard struggler is someone who struggles to build muscle because they have struggled to stick to a process of building muscle. In most cases, not following a good program.
Seriously, this concept relates to ANYTHING that you decide to put your mind to in order to achieve something greater. It could be anything from building a successful business, relationship.
If you are going around trying to blame your lack of muscle building gains on your genes, think again. Your genes only account for approx 10% of your inability to build superior muscle building gains. The other 90% is down to what you are ‘not’ doing, for reasons why you are still puny and un-shredded.Therefore, I today have eliminated the word hardgainer from the bodybuilding dictionary and re-labeled it with the word
Hardgainers are just individuals that are simply under eating and NOT because of their natural physique or bad genetics.
This is the Fit Bug approach to building muscle. An approach where you actually enjoy the journey. If you want to know more about it, just enter your BEST email below to stay updated about the program and all things muscle building related.
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Before I begin my rant, I just want to get one thing clear.
Bodybuilding is not complicated!
- Train to stimulate muscle growth
- Eat the right foods at the right time to feed that muscle growth
- Supplement when necessary
You do the above and you will achieve. Simple!
But the mistake that many people make (Especially new lifters) is that they become addicted to the 1 hour muscle pump. Which is, that period where your muscles inflate briefly during the period that you workout. What then happens, is that thought then becomes fixated in their minds, that they have to train more to maintain that ‘look’. It’s not a completely silly way of thinking either, because it’s like, what you see is what you get. And looking fantastic for that brief moment in time does feel nice. But it’s a flawed way of thinking that needs to be corrected. Because as most of you may know. The real growth happens in your sleep, and most of you don’t get enough of that as it is.
Now, if you are a mature muscle mass lean machine, you’ve probably trained your body over the years to handle 5 workouts per week. But for those who…
- Are still working to get shred with bulk results.
- Hold down a separate professional career
5 workouts per week will often prove to be too much.
Think about it….
A young professional or higher education student will work say 10-12 hours per day. Add 2 hours of travel back and fourth. Add workout time (2 hours with travel). Add evening leisure time (3-4 hours). And you are left with only 4-5 hours to sleep.
You need at least 8-10 hours of rest if you intend on following a good program such as the upcoming shred with bulk program, if you are serious about seeing some serious results. Especially within the first 4 weeks.
You can get the full scoop on the upcoming Stay-fit Bug strength progression program that’s coming in a few weeks below.
The Stay-Fit Bug 31 Day Shred with Bulk program
You can eat well and train well, but skip that one crucial part of the cycle (sleep) and you will indeed break a very necessary link in the chain in order to build necessary gains. If you feel you have been doing everything right, but sometimes feel you are unusually deflated (Most will feel it in there arms first… this post does a good job of explaining that) it’s probably because you have been depriving your body of the necessary rest that it needs.
How much rest do you need?
Well, first things first. If you train insane the ‘In The Zone’ way, as described in the upcoming shred with bulk program (Enter your details above to learn more) then getting enough sleep will be an after thought. Because the way the program teaches you to train will indeed put you to sleep.
But the amount of sleep you should aim for is about 8 hours, to be realistic in this day and age. Which of course is something that we all struggle with. Some people may need even less. But if you find that your gains are lacking compared to the amount of dedication you are putting towards your nutrition and workouts, then sleep is the link in that chain that you need to fix. Yes, I know you may like those late nights. Sitting up on Facebook, PS3 or whatever. Just save 2 hours out of those few hours of leisure time that you have to get some proper rest. You’ll make your mirror very happy.
5 day workouts vs 3 day workouts
Like I said earlier. 5 workouts per week will often prove too much for a gym goer with a separate career. Yes, it’s fine for those pro bodybuilders who do nothing but lift all the time, or for those who have built stacks of mature muscle over the years. But for Mr. I have a career, Mr. I have a Family, or Mr. ”I have a damn life”. 5 workouts per week will prove to be too much. Your body simply will not get enough rest between the days in order to develop some real muscle growth.
A break down for your perspective.
168 hours in a week
- You work 50-60 hours of those (Young professional or busy Further education student – Masters degree)
- Travel 10 hours back and fourth
- Workout 10 hours of those (Assuming 5 day workouts)
- You need 56 hours of sleep per week
- Leisure time 20 hours per week (On week days)
- Weekend of doing nothing or leisure time of 24 hours
That is your entire week ‘overly’ maxed out. And this is without leaving room for actual ‘life’. Because as most of us know. Most weeks aren’t stream lined and perfect like that. You have things like…
- Spending time with your partner/love interest
- Seeing a friend on the odd day
- Evenings out with colleagues
- And other things
Training 5 days a week for someone with life demands other than bodybuilding is not a lifestyle. You become a prisoner to the gym, when you really don’t have to. Seriously, cut back. Change 5 days a week to 3 days a week.
”Most of what you achieve from going ‘to’ the gym, will be a direct result of what you do ‘outside’ of the gym”
Let that quote sink in. Because it’s the truth in all its simple glory.
Have ‘Jack all’ days. Focus on the other links in the bodybuilding chain other than working out. Live the lifestyle! Once you do, you’ll start getting quotes such as this…
‘Dude, what you been doing. You been juicing haven’t you?’
That is a compliment in all its glory right there. And your response will be something like…
”Dude, I haven’t even been training’
‘Yea… right dude, I really do believe you’ (I’ve experienced this first hand. It was a glorious day to say the least :))
Once that happens, you are succeeding with the formula of obtaining more sleep, a balanced bodybuilding chain, a balanced lifestyle. And a happier fit bugger.
”Less is more”
The only other thing you need to focus on is consistency. Which is in fact, arguably, the most important aspect of this lifestyle. Because if you don’t stick to it, you won’t grow and progress. And even worse, you won’t develop any mature muscle mass. Which is of course muscle mass that sticks. Which allows you to decide if you want to train more or less, without there being much effect on your gains.
So when it comes to getting your optimum hours of sleep per night, whether its 6, 8 or even 10 hours. Stick to it. Try not to miss 1 -2 hours of sleep every other night. That’s 30-60 hours of rest that your body would have missed out on. And you can bet a mighty dollar that the hours missed will have an affect on your shred with bulk results.
Training tired is the same as training drunk
Lack of sleep… worse than training drunk?
I didn’t realize this in my earlier years of training. When I got my first car, I would do crazy things like, drive in a tired state of mind (And body). All I can tell you about that now, is DON’T DO IT! You will crash and die. And for a while I argued that driving tired is actually worse than being drunk, or driving drunk (Which of course is illegal. Again… don’t do it). And it wasn’t until later on that I found out that being awake for 24 hours or more has the same physical affects as being over the legal driving alcohol limit. But again, from experience, I’d say driving tired is worse.
That then means, in regards to your training, that training while you are tired is the same or worse as training as if you were drunk. Obviously something you would never do… right?
Of course not.
Therefore emphasizing the importance of getting enough sleep. Besides, lifting and dropping a 30kg dumbbell on your toe (Or on someone elses) is not a good look.
Don’t workout too late in the day
Working out too late in the evening may also be a factor in keeping you awake. Efficient sleep is directly connected to body temperature. Build up heat, you’ll stay awake. Get cold and you’ll go out for the count. Intense workouts will raise your body temperature high, therefore it’s a good idea to keep your workout periods up until the early evening hours only.
Don’t put sleep on the back burner just because you are ‘busy’. Set goals and structure into your life and getting enough sleep will become an after thought. Besides, what’s the point of being ripped and sexy only to look like a dead zombie half the time
Get those hours in.
See you in the comments.
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