How To Lose Weight On A Vegan Diet Fast!

“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”

The Marines

Some people seem to think that because something is plant based that automatically makes it healthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some people also seem to think that it’s easier to get lean on a vegan diet than others. While this does have some merit, ultimately, it’s not the whole truth. Getting lean, or ripped on a vegan diet can absolutely be done, but it requires one to have and apply some basic understanding.

Firstly, let me just say getting ripped is never easy unless you’re naturally very lean. Secondly, it’s not necessarily harder on a plant based diet, but there’s less good information available. At least, for the time being. The problem is that there are so many conflicting sources of information. For example, people saying carb up, the vegan keto people (Don’t get me started with those.), etc. Let me clarify something. I don’t condone extreme diets in any shape or fashion.

That includes any form of starvation, or any other form of eating that drastically restricts one from eating a wide variety of foods. The key word here is foods, because alot of what is being sold as food is anything but food. I’m not saying we should eliminate processed foods from our diets entirely, but they should be looked at as treats, and therefore eaten in moderation.

The vast majority of what we eat should be whole foods if we sincerely desire to get ripped, or simply look and feel our best. However, although it does promote great health and overall well being, eating mostly whole plant based foods isn’t enough to ensure that we’ll be bringing sexy back when we hit the pool in our swimsuits. There are a few more key things to understand. Without further ado, here are the keys to getting shredded on a vegan diet.

Keys To Getting Shredded On A Plant Based Diet

  1. Avoid sugar unless it’s post workout. This is a tough one for most people, but it’s crucial. All sugary foods must be avoided, including junk foods, desserts, and sugary fruits such as dates, bananas, and mangoes. I know you didn’t wanna hear that, but it’s true. Remember though, you can have them post workout. When I say post workout, I mean after lifting weights, not cardio. If you eat sugar after hitting the weights hard, it’ll replenish your glycogen(energy) stores and jump start the recovery process. If you have it after cardio, you’ll just defeat the purpose of the cardio, which is to get leaner. Also, watch what you drink, there are many drinks out there marketed as healthy that are loaded with more sugar than ice cream!
  2. Fat is fat! Regardless of if it comes from junk food or healthy food, there are 9 calories in every gram of fat, while there are only 4 calories in each gram of protein or carbohydrates. This trips so many people up because they forget that regardless of if the fat they are eating comes from a healthy or unhealthy source, the calories still add up quickly! Sure, avocados, nuts, and seeds are healthy for you, but if you want to be lean, you must consume them in moderation. For those that want to be ripped, I recommend that no more than 10 percent of your daily calories come from fat. there is of course, some flexibility here. If you prefer higher fat, just reduce your carbs. remember though, the more fat you consume, the less food you can eat overall.
  3. Water is your best friend. Drink lots and lots of it. Besides being crucial for the survival of every cell in your body, water helps keep us feeling full. The more water you drink during the day, the less hungry you’ll feel. In fact, sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re actually thirsty. Most people are in a constant state of mild dehydration all day long. So drink up my friend.
  4. Lift weights! This is like the ultimate cheat code for getting ripped. Why? I’m glad you asked. The more muscle you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate becomes. Meaning the more muscle you build, the more calories you burn sitting, standing, or doing anything else for that matter. It becomes easier and easier to lose body fat.
  5. Find a form of cardiovascular exercise you love, and do it at least every other day. This can be anything that raises your heart rate, and keeps it up. It can be intense cardio done briefly, such as high intensity interval training performed for 15 minutes, or it can be a form of steady state cardio, done for 45 minutes to an hour. Whatever you prefer and can stick with is ideal. I encourage you to get creative here. If you don’t like running then don’t run. Maybe you prefer dancing, or swimming, or kickboxing. Whatever your cup of tea is, go for it. The most important thing is that you stick with it.

Conclusion

That’s all there is to it folks. A few simple lifestyle changes implemented over the next several months could lead to you being in the best shape of your life. Whatever you do though, take things one step at a time so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. The most important part of making any change is, and always will be consistency.

ADONIS

How Often Should You Work A Muscle?

“The worst thing I could be is the same as everyone else. I’d hate that.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

Is There A Magic Pill?

Nowadays, we don’t have to dig very hard to find information. A simple Google search can tell us everything we want to know about a subject. At first glance, that sounds great, and it is, but there are definitely some cons that we often overlook.

We say this in the health and fitness community all the time these days. Some kid who’s been in the gym 6 months will tell a veteran who’s achieved tremendous physical development that he’s doing this or that wrong. Or that he’s over training, etc. Let’s put this into perspective for a second.

Typically, when you start something new, you ask questions. You learn from people with experience who have a tried and true resume, and you apply what you’ve learned. You don’t start working at the hospital fresh out of medical school and tell the doctors how to perform surgery. They know how already!

You learn from the experts, and allow their wisdom to shorten your path to success. These days however, people seem to read arbitrary information, and then spit it out as fact. None of this arbitrary information published by scientists is anecdotal, and no the test subjects in the study don’t count.

Why? It’s simple. They aren’t a 30 year old natural bodybuilding champion that’s been working out for 15 years. They have never reached the kind of physical development where people start to question if it’s even possible naturally.

It’s like this. You can read every book in the world on training, but until you get in the gym and start logging hours of hands on experience, learning what works for you and what doesn’t through trial and error, you have no idea about how to create a great physique.

You have to put some skin in the game! That brings me to the purpose of this article. How often should you train a muscle? There are many answers to this question, so I’ll provide some context, and allow you to make your own informed decision.

So What Should You Do?

The recommended training modality for natural lifters these days is to hit a given muscle group every 24 to 72 hours. This is because after training, muscle protein synthesis is elevated for 72 hours max. Elevated protein synthesis means more muscle mass.

So, is this true? Well let’s take a look at my physique and compare. Here is my physique at 235 lbs training each muscle once every six days. My split at the time looked like this.

Day 1: Chest and triceps

Day 2:Back and biceps

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Legs

Day 5: Shoulders

Day 6: Rest. Then repeat that cycle. Oh, and yes this physique is 100% au natural.

Now, here is my physique training at about 225 lbs working each muscle once every 3 days. My split looked like this.

Day 1: Quads and chest

Day 2: Back and Hamstrings

Day 3: Shoulders and arms. Here is what my physique looked like on that program.

Finally, here is what my physique looked like at 240 lbs hitting each muscle every other day. My split at the time was full body every other day. Simple as that.

My diet in each was always similar, although in the last picture, I was definitely not as lean. However, my basic diet has always consisted of two protein shakes and four meals a day. So, as you can see, all of these splits worked to build muscle.

I was able to increase my strength and muscle size on all of these programs. I definitely have my favorite, but my point is that there is no optimal training frequency. You just have to adjust your training volume to whatever your split is.

I will say that high volume has always worked best for me and everyone I know. I did try lower volume routines, even high intensity training, but I found that I was smaller and weaker than when I did high volume. Also, there is a certain quality that the muscles get from high volume training that you won’t get from any other style of training.

In Conclusion:

All training splits can be effective. Ultimately, you have to figure out what works for you. There is no magic pill, there’s only willing yourself to improve, workout after workout. Week after week, and year after year. So, stop looking for a magic pill, put your head down and work. Eventually, when you look up, you’ll realize how far you’ve come, and that’s what makes this bodybuilding and fitness journey so worth it. Until next time, train hard! I’m out.

THE SECRET TO GETTING GREAT RESULTS IN THE GYM!

Intensity is the price of excellence.” Warren Buffet

The formula for creating a great physique is simple. Training+Nutrition+Sleep=Results. That’s not difficult to grasp right? However, there’s another crucial ingredient. One that’s not talked about as much, but without it, you will never create a great physique, or a great anything, for that matter.

Can you guess what that ingredient is? It’s intensity. Intensity is the difference between a decent physique and a great physique. The official definition of intensity is the quality or state of being intense especially : extreme degree of strength, force, energy, or feeling.

Let’s focus for a moment on the feeling part. Intensity is a feeling. It’s not hard to recognize, you can easily tell when someone is intense. However, when the average person works out, there isn’t a great deal of intensity.

Simply watch the average person workout, then watch a champion athlete workout. There is a night and day difference. Is this because the champion was born superior?

No, of course not. It is simply because the average person trains with vague goals and a vague plan of action to get there. The elite athlete on the other hand knows exactly what they’re training for, and it is something of massive importance to them.

Fitness woman workout with barbell on bench in gym

It’s for this reason that 9 times out of 10, they achieve their goals. In other words, they are able to workout with a high level of intensity because they have given themselves a great reason to do so, but a great reason isn’t good enough.

It’s got to be a great reason for you specifically. Something that pulls at you. Something that gets you emotionally involved. I want you to grab a sheet of paper and a pen, and write out your fitness goals.

Don’t settle for vague goals, be specific. How much weight do you want to lose? How many inches here and there? How much muscle do you want to build? What shape do you want to create? Now, look deeply within yourself.

Why is it important for you to achieve those goals? Maybe it’s to have more energy to play with your children. Maybe it’s to live a longer life. Maybe it’s to overcome a certain health issue, or get off a specific medication. Maybe it’s to build a loving relationship with your body. It could be anything. The only criteria is that it must be deeply important to you.

Now hang that on your bathroom mirror. Read it before you go to the gym each day. Remind yourself why you are training. If you take the time to pinpoint your goals and figure out your why I guarantee, no, I promise you that you’ll notice a newfound motivation to train.

Along with that will be a focus and intensity in the gym, and this clarity of vision, that gives birth to new levels of intensity and motivation, is what will take you, day by day, right to your goals. Now get out there and kick some ass!

ADONIS

The Simple Keys To Building Muscle On A Vegan Diet

“There is no fundamental difference between man and animals in their ability to feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.” -Charles Darwin

Of all the stigmas surrounding veganism, one of the most popular beliefs is that you can’t build muscle on a vegan diet. Sure, the film “Game Changers” did a great job dispelling that myth, but when you really get down to it, the questions the average gym rat wants to know the answer to is, Can I build just as much muscle on a plant based diet as a typical bodybuilding diet?

Is it more complicated? Is it gross? Etc. These kinds of questions clearly illuminate the fact that even a basic level of understanding about the vegan diet among the average person is just not where it could be.

That’s why I’ve decided to write this article, to simplify the basic changes you’d have to make when switching over to a plant based diet as an athlete, particularly an athlete concerned with building as much muscle as possible.

However, even if you’re not an athlete, you may still find this article enlightening and perhaps it can help someone you know. With that being said, let’s dive right into it.

Keep Things Simple

Simplicity is genius. The more complicated you make a thing, the harder it is to grasp, and to keep it up becomes nearly impossible. I believe in keeping everything as simple as possible. If it is simple, you can grasp it quickly and keep it up with minimal effort. That is the key to sustainability.

A Few Small Changes And You’ve Got It!

Essentially, the only changes you need to make are your protein sources. Instead of whey protein powder, get a vegan protein powder. Some are higher in salt, so be sure to opt for a low or no sodium option unless you want to risk bloating like a balloon.

Some other good vegan options high in protein are legumes of all kinds, peas, tofu, tempeh, seitan, lean vegan meats, and soy milk. Some vegans will tell you nuts and seeds are a great option, and that’s true, when you’re not looking to be lean and muscular.

Nuts and seeds are very high in fat, and should be consumed in moderation, or you may end up kissing your six pack goodbye! Since many carbohydrate and good fat sources are plant based by default, you typically won’t have to change many of those.

This Tip Will Make Your Life So Much Easier

Get the majority of your protein from a good protein powder! If you get 75% of your daily protein from a plant based powder, you won’t have to stress about your solid meals being super high protein. Just be sure not to overeat, and make adjustments as needed.

In Conclusion

As you can see, it’s really not hard to build muscle as a vegan, it can be as simple or complicated as you make it. So, don’t believe the hype. Give it a try for yourself and you’ll see just how simple it can be.

Eventually, as more and more of us become shining examples, this will become common knowledge. Who knows? It may happen sooner than we think. I love you guys,

ADONIS

How Much Protein Do You Need To Build Muscle? (The Truth)

“Protein is the building block of muscle.” Adonis

Protein, protein, and more protein! It’s a hot topic in the fitness community. The science is certainly there to tell us exactly how much we need. But there are many schools of thought on the topic.

There’s the old school train of thought, the new, and just some absurd ones. So who’s right? The obvious answer would be science, but it may not be that simple. I’ll show you why.

As a bodybuilder for nearly two decades, I’ve heard it all, read it all, and tried it all. One thing I’ve learned in all that time is, just because it’s in a book, or scientific journal, doesn’t mean it’s true for everyone.

There are way too many variables when it comes to building muscle and getting lean to make blanket statements. However, one thing that always remains true is that to lose weight, you must be in a caloric deficit (aka eat less calories than you burn) and to gain weight you must be in a caloric surplus (aka eat more calories than you burn).

Other than that, many things vary. For instance, some people, such as myself, can build muscle with remaining at eight percent body-fat, while others have to go up to around twelve percent or so. Some people can get lean while eating junk food daily, while others have to restrict calories and perform cardio to get lean.

My point is that we are all lean. With that being said, let’s look at some of the recommendations for protein intake. The RDA or recommended dietary allowance for protein for the average person is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body-weight.

That is the minimum amount required for optimum health. Keep in mind this is for the average person. For athletes, the RDA is much higher. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for athletes, depending on training.

For the person with a large amount of muscle mass looking to build more, even that is low in my experience and that of many people I know. I remember I built muscle to a certain point staying within the recommended range for athletes, but I eventually hit a plateau.

I increased my caloric intake, tried more carbs, more fats, training more frequently, training harder, and more. Keep in mind that I didn’t try all of those things at once. It wasn’t until I took the advice of some guys with more muscle mass than I, that I put on an extra 10 pounds of muscle. As you can see in this picture.

This made a huge difference in my physique, taking it from lean athlete to very densely muscular, and was exactly what I had wanted. So, what exact changes did I make? I went from one gram of protein per pound of body-weight to about 1.25-1.5. That’s over 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram.

I can’t tell you how quickly this benefited my physique, but I can tell you that it was quick. However, if I had listened to the scientific literature I never would’ve discovered that.

I later tried to lower my protein again, and guess what happened? I lost the extra 10 pounds of muscle! Now, I realize this isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t active and training consistently, then your body has no need for added protein, but if you train frequently, and have found yourself building muscle more slowly than you’d like, this could be the missing key for you.

Who knows, maybe you’ll take your physique to that next level that you’ve been looking for. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments. Until next time, I love you guys always.

ADONIS

Your Inability To Focus Is Killing Your Gains!

You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” Winston Churchill

In our modern world, there are distractions coming at us from everywhere and at ALL times. Whether it’s our smart phones, computers, televisions, friends, the news, or our mothers, it often seems as if we can’t avoid it.

This is exactly why we need to prioritize focus. You see, focus is like a muscle. If you train it regularly, it will be nearly unbreakable. However, if you don’t train it, your ability to focus will grow weaker and weaker.

There is one quality need to develop focus, and that is self-discipline. The problem is, lack of focus usually also means lack of self-discipline. A person with no self-discipline is like a sailboat without a sail.

They will most likely never get anywhere, and more often than not, it will ultimately have unwanted and unforeseen consequences. Obviously, nobody wants that.

So why do so many people drift through life, only doing what they’re told? Following the already beaten path, with little to no true fulfillment? It’s very simple.

It’s hard to be disciplined. Especially when you don’t have an authority figure standing over your back, threatening you with consequences. Really think about that for a second.

As adults, should we really need someone else to hold us accountable for the things we want to achieve? If you ask me, the answer is a resounding Hell No!

True motivation comes from within, not without! So, ask yourself now if you really want to achieve that goal body. Now, ask yourself why. Why is it necessary for you. Why must you achieve your goal?

Identify why you NEED to achieve it. That reason should move you emotionally when you identify it. It should compel you into action. This is why you will become disciplined, because even though building self-discipline is hard, it doesn’t hurt nearly as much as regret.

No-one else can do it for you, and you won’t get fired, or punished, or fail school if you don’t do it. You’ll simply have to live with your unhappiness. Unexpressed desires are energy.

The stronger the desire the stronger the energy. If we don’t express it, it gets stuck inside the body. If you have children, you can easily see what I’m talking about.

Stop them from playing. Make them sit and be quiet. If you do this often enough, they will start to get into trouble. They will act out, and it will often be completely out of character for them.

This is because the energy within them wants to be expressed so badly, that it will come out in literally whatever way it can. YOU are exactly the same way.

If you don’t express the desires within your soul, you will find yourself doing all sorts of things. Smoking, drinking, drugs, sex addiction, video game addiction, a short temper, and struggling with depression.

I’m certainly not a doctor, but it is my experience that depression comes from repression. There’s no need to go through all of these things though, if we just make it a point to develop self-discipline.

There are SO many ways to do this that I won’t go into them. I will however, reveal my favorite way. Meditation. Meditation is very simple, I explained how to do it in my last article which you can read here: https://frommeatheadtomeatless.com/2019/12/19/think-and-grow-fit-part-2-how-to-use-meditation-to-take-your-physique-to-the-next-level/

If you practice diligently, you can develop laser focus with meditation alone. Self-discipline will come majorly into play here. Please be aware though, that with time, it gets easier.

It becomes second nature, the way that you naturally are. At this point, the only thing standing between you and your dream body or any other goal will be a decision to manifest it.

If meditation isn’t your cup of tea, worry not. You can cultivate focus in many other ways, and once you do, you will be shocked at the things you are able to achieve. It will be Much more than just your dream body!

With that being said, I wish you ALL the best, and remember. Successful people fail ALL the time. The difference between them and failures is that they get up, adjust their approach, and try again.

I LOVE YOU GUYS,

ADONIS

Think And Grow Fit Part 2: How To Use Meditation To Take Your Physique To The Next Level

“Meditation is like giving a hug to ourselves, getting in touch with that awesome reality in us. While meditating we feel a deep sense of intimacy with God, a love that is inexplicable.” Paramahamsa Yogananda

What is meditation? Well, it is defined quite simply as a devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation. It has a great many benefits such as increased focus, self-discipline, stress reduction, memory, creativity, compassion, and many more. According to a 2011 Harvard study, meditation rebuilds grey matter in the brain in as little as 8 weeks!

So, How can it help you to improve your physique? It’s very simple. The increased focus and self-discipline will result in improved workout quality and better dietary choices.

So, how should you meditate? Well, I find that to get the most out of meditation, much like anything else, you need a simple routine. This should ideally be tailored toward your schedule.

Many people find that meditation first thing in the morning allows them to be more present throughout the day, but some schedules don’t permit that.

Truth be told, you can meditate at any time of day, though it’s easier when you are already in a relaxed state, such as first thing in the morning, or before bed.

Fifteen minutes is ALL you need. Simply find a comfortable place to sit. Somewhere you’ll be uninterrupted, set a timer for 15 minutes, and close your eyes.

Breathe naturally, through the nose. Relax your entire body, starting with your toes, and working your way ALL the way up to the top of your head.

To do this, mentally say to yourself, I’m relaxing my toes. Then, feel them relax. Repeat this with every part of your body. Next, observe your breath.

Watch it go in, and come out. From time to time, your mind will begin to wander. When this happens, bring your attention back to your breath, again and again.

As time goes on, your thoughts will become less and less prevalent, before ultimately ceasing ALL together. This, is the meditative state. You may not reach this state for days, weeks, or months, but it will come sooner or later.

Don’t become discouraged, it’s ALL part of the process. The mental presence required to focus only on the breath is a skill that takes time to develop. Eventually, this skill will give you super-human focus.

Apply this to maintaining absolute focus on each and every rep and it’s easy to see why meditation can help you to take your physique to the next level.

If you find that you enjoy the process, add a second meditation later in the day. I find that first thing in the morning and before bed are good times to meditate, but you’ll have to find what works best for you.

Remember, the things we do outside the gym reflect our results every bit as much as the things we do inside of it. I hope this has inspired you to give meditation a try if you haven’t, or if you have, I hope that it can reinvigorate your practice.

ALL MY LOVE,

ADONIS

Think And Grow Fit Part 1: How To Use Thought To Finally Get Your Dream Body!

                                   “As a man thinketh, so is he.”  James Allen
He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right.” Confucius
BRAIN-ACTIVITY-neurons-firing

Have you ever wondered why some people that go to the gym every day never change their bodies? While others who only go 4 or 5 times a week look like olympic athletes? Is it genetics? Is it steroids? Is there a fail proof method of achieving the body of your dreams? I Absolutely believe so! That’s why I’m writing this article. To show You just how to do that.

Welcome to the Think And Grow Fit Series! I hope you’re as excited as I am, because this is pretty life changing stuff. I know what you’re thinking. You’ve heard it all before and if it sounds too good to be true then it is. I agree 100 percent, but this is not too good to be true.

It is the result of the findings of many scientists, who have published their work, and countless men and women, who have put these findings into practice and verified them through no shortage of trial and error.

On that note, let’s dive right into this. The mind is the most powerful tool we have in this life. We can use it to literally sculpt our lives, and for ALL of us here at From Meathead to Meatless, our BODIES!

It is so powerful and infinitely complex, it’s full workings will probably never be completely understood. However, there are things which we do know. Wisdom that has been passed down through the ages and repackaged with a different name.

These basic truths about the human mind must be accepted before any of the information in this article can be applied. If you have trouble believing any of them I urge you to do your research. Learn from some of the greatest minds in human history.

Or, simply read and apply the wisdom from this article and reap the benefits. I’m personally a researcher. I want to research any new idea before I apply it to my life. It’s time consuming, but it also allows me to share things like this with you.

Here are the truths:

1. Everything is energy, including our thoughts.

2. We can choose our thoughts by identifying and focusing on what we want.

3. Thoughts affect our bodies and the world around us!

4. This changes Everything!

Okay, now that we got that out of the way, let’s move forward. As previously stated, since everything is energy, thoughts are energy. Thoughts, cause physical reactions in the body, known as feelings. Positive thoughts produce pleasant feelings, while negative thoughts produce unpleasant feelings.

This is important to note because you can use your feelings as a guide. If you’re feeling unpleasant, your thoughts are the culprit, although they may be subconscious, and if you are feeling great, again your thoughts are the culprit.

So, how do you apply this to help you achieve the physique of your dreams? It’s simple really. What we predominately focus on, we create the experience of in our lives. If you’re having trouble accepting this I urge you to Google the “double slit experiment” and Dr. Masaru Emoto’s experiments detailing the effects of thought and words on water.

Let’s talk briefly about our bodies. Our bodies are our true home, we can’t move out of them, and we only get one. It is good and wonderful to see the fullest potential of which they are capable!

Now, in order to get your dream body, you want to do a few things. Think about it often, not from a perspective of wanting it, but from a perspective of having it. For example. Visualize yourself with your dream body, feel yourself with it, affirm that you have it and how wonderful it feels.

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When you workout, picture the body-part you’re training as you want it to be. Speak it into existence, especially when you’re already feeling good! Print out pictures of the person that has your dream body and hang them up in your bedroom, on your bathroom mirror, even in your car.

The idea is that you want to be focused on having your dream body as often as possible. Every time you do this, you’re putting a little more energy into that picture in your mind.

This adds up! It’s like drops in a bucket. When the bucket is full, the manifestation occurs. Now, in the meantime, you will start to get ideas. Ideas about what to eat, what not to eat.

What exercise programs you should do. How often you should train. You MUST take action on these ideas or nothing will happen! They are your intuition guiding you.

Over time, you will see your body transforming gradually, so don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t happen over night. If you hold to your vision and always take action on your hunches, you will achieve your goal just as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow.

If you aren’t good at visualizing, don’t worry. You’ll get better. You could even try some guided visualizations to get you started. There are free ones ALL over the net.

Remember, there are no free lunches and what you put in is exactly what you get out. So, don’t try to rush the process in any way. Simply maintain a calm confidence that your dream body is already YOURS! You simply have to go along the physical path to see it realized in this physical reality.

This is really a simple process, but it works 10 times out of 10 if you follow it. Sure, it may take a long time, but the time is going to pass anyway. Now, I’ve done my part. It’s your turn. Identify and start creating your dream body NOW! With Infinite Love,

Amon 1-14198

How Often Should You Train Abs?

To train abs or not to train abs? That is the question. Whether tis nobler to have abs that a maiden could wash her clothes on, or to have a shapeless, blocky midsection, capable of frightening small children at a glance.

There are several schools of thought when it comes to training the abs. Some people say there’s no need. That to have great abs is simply a matter of proper dieting. Others say that the abs get all the stimulation they need from heavy compound movements such as squats and deadlifts.

The theories are endless. All of them have valid points, so where does that leave you, the reader? Often it leaves you pretty damn confused. Well worry not my good friend, by the end of this article you’ll be confused no more.

Before we dive into training protocols, let’s discuss exactly what we are talking about when we say abs. We are actually talking about are several different muscles that make up the midsection.

They are the rectus abdominis( the muscles that make up the six pack), obliques, serratus, and intercostals which all make up the muscles on the sides of the abdomen and last but certainly not least the tranversus abdominis( the muscle behind the rectus abdominis, which is responsible for core strength and a flat stomach).

When someone is at a relatively low bodyfat level, you can see these muscles. That’s where the belief that diet is ALL that matters comes in. On compound movements all of these muscles are engaged to stabilize the body.

That’s where the belief that compound movements are enough for great abs comes in. Then there’s the silly belief that it’s ALL about genetics. In my 17 years of bodybuilding I’ve come to one conclusion through not only personal experience, but also observation.

It’s this. The people with the best abs all train abs often. Usually a bare minimum of twice a week. Some even train them every day. I personally believe that you shouldn’t condone something unless you’ve tried it yourself.

This way, you can give an honest assessment of how it works from first-hand experience. This is exactly why throughout the years, I’ve tried all of these protocols, to find out for myself, exactly what works and why.

I’ve discovered a few golden nuggets that I’ll share with you now.

1. Abs recover much more quickly than other muscles and can therefore be worked every day.

2. The most effective ab routines are short and intense ones, with very brief rest periods.

3. Weighted ab movements can enlarge the waist over time, giving the torso a blocky look.

4. In order to really etch the fine details into the abs, squeeze at the top of each rep and hold for 1-2 seconds.

Now for the fun part. Let’s put those protocols together to create a basic ab routine. What I’ve found is that while the abs can be trained every day, they respond just as well to every other day training, and it isn’t so monotonous.

That day of rest in between is critical for maintaining your enthusiasm long term. As for the workout duration, you want each ab session to last for about 10 minutes, with very little rest, about 30-60 seconds between sets.

Decrease rest period duration as you are able. Pick two movements targeting different parts of the abs and superset them. Supersetting is performing two movements back to back without rest.

For example, perform hanging leg raises which emphasize the lower abs, and follow them immediately with swiss ball crunches. Due 2 regular crunches, and then one twisting to the left and one twisting to the right. This will emphasize the upper and middle abs, along with the obliques and intercostals. Keep repeating this until failure. Rest 1 minute and repeat the superset 2 more times.

Then pick two more movements and superset them with a minute of rest in between. Do this for 3 sets just like before. Follow this with a plank to failure for the transversus abdominis. Now you’ve trained the entire midsection in 10 minutes.

There is NO need to train the abs any longer. Remember, with the abs, you want to hit it and quit it. Due this every other day, changing up the movements every so often if you desire.

Obviously, if your bodyfat isn’t low enough you won’t be able to see your abs regardless, so remember to eat sensibly. Either way though, your core will be stronger and firmer, which will benefit you in several ways from lessening and preventing back pain, to being stronger in compound movements.

Remember, your core is the center of everything, and as such, it should be kept healthy. That’s it guys, I’m off to train. Don’t forget to hit those abs, I’ll be watching and counting your reps.

All My Love,

ADONIS

How To Identify And Smash Your Physique Goals

“No Wind Blows In Favor Of A Ship Without A Destination.” Montaigne

 

Exercise is a great way to stay young and healthy. It holds a host of benefits for all those willing to stick to it, but one of the most controversial is the fact that it augments one’s physical appearance. That is the MAIN reason many people get into it, quiet as it’s kept.

And that is perfectly okay. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, and shut shit down every time you step out the door. A healthy ego, not an out of control one, is an asset, not a liability. That brings me to the purpose of this article. This is for any and everyone who wants to achieve a specific physical aesthetic. With that being said, let’s dive into it.

Let me preface with a small disclaimer. This article is written by a male and primarily intended for other men, however, women can certainly benefit from it.

Look at you! You’re hitting the gym several times a week. You’re being more mindful about what you put into your body. You’re even seeing some results. Congratulations!

But before you celebrate your new found gains and confidence, let’s face facts. After that beginning period of 1-2 years of making decent progress, most people will Inevitably plateau.

Why is this? Don’t get me wrong. It’s perfectly fine to coast if you’ve reached your physique goals, although personally I believe coasting leads to losing ALL your hard earned gains sooner or later. Coasting is what happens when you lose motivation.

And why do you lose motivation? It’s simple. Undefined goals! Think about it. Why would you bust your ass in the gym when you don’t even know exactly what you want to look like? Exactly! You wouldn’t.

Luckily, this is a simple fix. People are obsessed with the way things look. When something is beautiful, we can’t stop staring at it. The body is a thing. And we have the ability to change it. Look at it like an artist. Our genetics are our canvas. What we eat is our paint. And the weights are our paintbrush. With these tools we can create a masterpiece, or a mess.

This brings me to my next point. What do you want to look like? Seriously, if you could have any body you wanted, what would you choose to look like? It’s very important. Find someone, an athlete, a celebrity, that you would love to look like, and put a picture of them up on your wall, or the mirror.

Pro tip: Make sure that they are similar in structure to you. If you are tall, they should be tall. If you have a small waist, they should too, etc. Obviously they won’t look like you due to added muscle mass and lower body fat, but just look at the structure. This will ensure that you can build a very similar physique to them.

Look at this picture in the morning and before bed, and try to imagine looking at yourself in the mirror with that physique. You look great, you feel vibrant and fit.

This will create a deep level of motivation that will make it easier to go to the gym and make responsible eating choices, and will aid you in staying focused throughout your workouts.

Next, create a basic plan to attain your goal physique. Don’t get fanatical. Just remember this, junk food is a treat, not fuel. Whole(REAL) food is fuel. Eat to fuel your body and treat yourself every so often. Try to drink mostly water, or other zero calorie beverages, and eat mostly whole foods.

This will of course vary from person to person, and if you’re naturally as thin as a rail, you may be able to eat junk more often and still get the results you’re looking for. Generally speaking though, it is always wise to eat healthy most of the time.

Now, let’s talk about identifying the type of physique you want. Different physiques are created by different types of training and nutrition. Here are a few basic physiques to help you identify your goal.

Physique 1

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This physique is slim and very lean. To achieve this type of look you would have to eat very clean, ideally knowing and tracking your macros, at least in the beginning. You could lift weights as little as 3 days a week, preferably in a circuit training fashion, and attain this look as long as you were doing some cardio as well to burn extra calories. You would want to keep rep ranges around 10 to 15 to increase the length of your sets and therefore burn more calories. Remember to keep rest periods short to keep your heart rate elevated while you train, no more than 60 seconds rest after each circuit.

 

Physique 2

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This physique has quite a bit more muscle, but isn’t quite as lean. For a physique like this, you would want to train a with relatively heavier weights in the 8-10 rep range. You would also want to get in a good amount of volume each week, and therefore hit the gym more like 4-5 times a week. To accomodate the heavier weight lifted, you would want rest periods between sets at 90-120 seconds. You would also want to eat in a slight caloric surplus, in order to build muscle.

 

Physique 3

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This physique is basically a blend of the first 2. A fair amount of muscle, but also shredded. This is my ideal physique type, but it should be noted that this physique is the hardest to achieve of the 3. It takes several years to build the muscle mass, and absolute dietary discipline to stay so shredded year round. If this is your ideal physique type, prepare to be in the gym 5-7 days a week. You need to lift light, moderate, and relatively heavy and do cardio several days each week to achieve this look. Figuring out your macros is a must! If you want to look like this, you can’t afford to lose focus in the gym, or in the kitchen. Of course you can still have cheat meals every so often, depending on how lean you are. Let me make it clear that these physiques are just a few examples, and there are many more to choose from. The most important thing is just to find a physique that inspires you!

There you have it. A clear cut way to identify and SMASH your physique goals! Remember, be honest with yourself, and also remember that it’s ok for your goals to change with time. Maybe you start off with something more attainable for you now, and set higher goals over time. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

If you do, you’ll most likely just burn yourself out. So, if all you can commit to is 3 days days in the gym, then do it. Set your goals accordingly. Monitor your progress. It’s incredibly motivating to see your progress on paper, or in pictures. If you know where you’re going, you have a much better chance of getting there. If you have read this far and still feel overwhelmed and confused, you aren’t alone. I would LOVE to work with you. I offer one-on-one coaching, as well as custom training and meal plans. Simply go to my products page to check it out, or you can follow this link: https://wordpress.com/page/frommeatheadtomeatless.com/125 As, always, I love you guys.

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Adonis