Using my framework to help individuals of all ages, shapes and sizes to help themselves become THE BEST they IMAGINE THEMSELVES TO BE. Photo: an A+ pupil Phil Waugh – retired Legend of Rugby, Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratah Captain. Knowing is potential power. Doing is Real Power. Knowing the right time to apply both is essential to goal achievement.
I have heard many, many reasons of wanting to lift weights from people in the gym over the last 23 years. Many myths are still being propagated too.
There is one such myth that still exists regarding the approach to take to building muscle and that is – “bulking up”.
A lot of men think that “bulking up’ equates to putting on muscle. They think it is the best or only way of building up their muscles. They think that just because they have put on 5kg in a month means that they have built 5kg of muscles.
I have news for you: It does not work that way!
I see it all the time, young men (and dare I say women, too) believing the myth that if they go through a ‘bulking up’ phase, they would see extra muscles when they trimmed down.
In my 23 years of weight training I have put on close to 15kg of lean body mass – not weight, muscle! That’s just over half kilo of lean muscle per year. Not much when you view it this way aye?
You see, in all these years, I have not gone out and purposely aimed to ‘bulk up’. I have always seen myself as a work-in-progress and have always been (and still am) in the ‘building up’ stage even after all these years. There are just different phases of ‘building up’.
Muscle does not convert in to fat and fat does not convert in to muscle. Period!
You should not try to gain weight just for the sake of it in an effort to look bigger or ‘bulk up’. Building quality lean body mass (muscle) takes time and patience and relies heavily on genetic pre-dispositions.
With the goal of bulking up, it would highly likely be that a high percentage of your bulk weight would come from unwanted fat. Yes, you will put on bulk and weight but you will look ‘smooth’ and fat deposits will settle on areas of your body that you may not be happy about.
When you have a mind-set of ‘building up’ your muscle density, you encourage your body to become more metabolically efficient because every hard-earned muscle ounce you build becomes a ‘fat-burning dynamo’! Your engine room or metabolism (the rate at which your body burns energy) gets bigger and bigger. I could liken it to a small car engine (say a 1.8L) compared to an 8.0L or a V8.
Fully focused! A true warrior & champion. Focusing on making every repetition of every set of every exercise as ideal as possible. Practise does not make perfect – Perfect practise makes perfect! Photo: Retired Champion Ex-Australian Wallaby & Waratahs Captain and player in action under my watchful eyes.
More muscle equals more engine power (even at rest)!
Huge difference in energy consumption and power output. Huge difference in body composition and ultimately body shape. The mirror would reflect this.
You feel better, you look better and you wear your clothes better. You make the clothes ‘look good’!
Working out with the goal of building up a physique is far safer and a smarter way to go about your weight training than simply aiming to bulk up just to trim down later. You don’t have to work hard to lose what you put on in the first place.
So, focus on building up rather than bulking up.
Keep your training continuous and simple. Aim to put on good, quality, lean body mass (muscle). It might take longer but it is better. So what does it take? It takes vision (of a better you), a workable plan and the work ethic (discipline, consistency and persistence) to execute, with patience.
Compare, say, a 75kg person with 15% body-fat than a 75kg person with 35% body-fat. They both weigh the same, but they will have totally different body-shapes and the latter person would more than likely have higher health risks.
This is why only focusing on your body-weight and not your body-shape (body composition) does not give you the full picture. Always aim to increase your muscle : fat ratio.
So, aim for building up rather than bulking up and help yourself manage one of your physical health and life risks.
Build up that engine room. Build up that ‘revving power’!
Drive safely through the roads you decide to take as you journey through your life.
All the best!
Until next time,
Side triceps pose. Contest: Australian Natural Bodybuilding Titles. Placing: 2nd.
With another woman, backstage. A fan.
All B&W photos by: Robert Walsh of Robert Walsh Photography. Visit: “www.robertwalsh.com.au” and see how this great artist may be able to help you. Vv.
February 2015. At my old school gym, just about to do a set of barbell biceps curls or what I would sometimes refer to as ‘loading the guns with ammunition’. Hope you’re wearing your bullet-proof vests, take cover!
One of the many things I have learned early in life is that the “big truth” will always beat the “big lie”. The truth is we are more than meets the eye – but having a physique sure makes a difference in how people treat and react to us.
What is that saying that we’ve all heard growing up – “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.
Well, it is lovely and idealistic but the truth is we all do. The whole world does, every single day in everything we do. Matter of fact it is how one of the many public games is played on this planet. That is one of the many less than ideal characteristics of most human beings – we all judge things we ‘see’ by how they ‘look’.
That is just how we are wired.
Packaging for products is vital to the successful sales as it directly influences consumer purchasing behaviour and ultimately the ‘bottom-line’. Manufacturers know this and marketers get huge dollars for helping them do this.
Now, another thing I have learned in over 23 years in the fitness industry is that Self-perception or how we see ourselves, greatly determines how we look.
Drop your past when need be, when it does not serve you any longer. Let go of beliefs and belief systems that does not add any value to your current phase of life. Remove beliefs that limit you, beliefs that do not allow you to reach for your best self.
In my experience, another key element that makes up a successful workout is – elegance. I think this is attained if you’re natural and genuine, searching for an artistic approach (sculpturing as opposed to just lifting weights) and having a great appreciation for “balance and symmetry” (another definition for beauty).
Not many people ever get to this level and truly experience the ‘essence of each and every rep of each exercise’. Just as not all golfers ever play as effortlessly as a Tiger Woods or a professional on a golf course, instead with constant frustration of under-performing handicaps.
Just because you can hit a ball with a club does not necessarily mean that you will hit it in the direction of the hole. This is the same as lifting weights in the gym for the majority of people – you see, anyone can lift weights but only a few ever learn the art of body-building and choosing the right exercise (club) for the right moment (set etc).
Elegance in your workouts or the ‘search for balance and symmetry’ is hard to describe but I find it easy to recognize when I see it. You see it when top sports-persons play for example – Roger Federer gracefully hitting returns on the tennis courts or Jonathan Thurston having all the time in the world to kick in rugby league and effortlessly creating a play out of nothing. Or Maria Sharapova gliding across the courts or Usain Bolt bolting like lightening on the 100m track.
It is sheer beauty, ultimate elegance displayed before your eyes. Very few things can beat the feeling you get from witnessing ‘elegance in action’.
Making elegance part of you or what you do is a reflection of attitude combined with aptitudebut taken to the HIGHEST LEVEL with the ambition of being the BEST. To achieve this takes the gifts of Energy and talent harnessed with a magnifying focus towards BEING THE BEST YOU CAN BE.
It requires hours and hours of not just practise – but deliberate practise with sustained FOCUS over many years.
Elegance fascinates me because I believe there is something eternal about it.
So, a successful workout for me is elegant (efficient, effective and a little sophisticated). This is similar to what we call –
FREEDOM … in dancing
SELF-EXPRESSION … in relationships
Being in the ZONE … in sports
EXCELLENCE … in work
NATURAL … in family
Looking HOT … in Sex
MAKING A DIFFERENCE … in Society
Getting the JOB DONE …. in business
So, there you go. After 23 years of working out in the gym, and my love of reasoning from and making deductions from patterns observed, my 2nd key to achieving a successful workout is simply: Elegance.
Strive for this if you haven’t already done so.
It is more efficient, effective and reduces the risks of injury giving you longevity and more years of enjoyment.
Learn to learn, again.
Strive towards the new man (or woman) that resides in you, with elegance in mind.
All the best in your journey.
Until next time,
Side Triceps. Australian Natural Bodybuilding Championships. Lost by 2 points. Final placing: Runner-up.
With my friend and coach at that time – 2 x World Number 1 (natural bodybuilder).
2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships staged in NY, USA. Represented: Australia. Placing: 4th. Repeated this in 2008.
Now, I know some of you may love your cars and affectionately refer to them in many ways, including a ‘set of wheels’, and I am sure many of you take good care of your set of wheels. Let me tell you a story about the first time I heard that phrase.
One day, early on in my body-building years, during a break from my ‘set’, I gazed out the window and down at the cars parked on the road (the gym was on the 1st floor), when the owner, came up to me and said –
“Son, you’ve got a good set of wheels there.”
I said “umm, no none of those cars there are mine. I jogged to the gym”.
He laughed and said that he wasn’t referring to the cars as he looked down at my legs. He pointed to my legs and said –
“those wheels – you’ve got a good set of wheels!”
I was a little embarrassed about the mis-understanding but I thanked him for the compliment.
Over the last 23 years of training with weights in the gym, I have managed to invest more time in those wheels he was referring to and the other body parts, with the goals of – balance and symmetry in mind. Sculpturing the most proportional physique that my genetic potential would allow. This harmony of the ‘flow-of-muscle’ has helped me represent Australia twice at the World Natural Body-building Championships and placed in the top 4 in consecutive years.
In all this time, I can proudly say that I have managed to stay relatively injury-free and have not seen a physio or chiro in that time for any serious injury. One of the contributing reasons is that how much weight I lift has been close to irrelevant to building my muscles and being considered one of the best natural body-builders in the world. What matters is QUALITY not QUANTITY. I have a ‘safety-first’ approach to training that does not hinder me or my client’s achieving the goals they desire.
I have never allowed the amount of weight I lift to be a critical factor of my progress. What mattered to be me has always been two things:
If I am not feeling the muscle and am not in control of the weight I am lifting then I am not building muscles in the most effective way. I am not maximizing my muscle growth potential. I always believed that to build good, quality muscle, one has to ‘leave ones’ ego at the door of the gym’.
I have seen it since I started lifting weights all those years ago and I still see it today, sadly, in increasing numbers amongst youth today – people using too much weight.
Aiming to build better wheels by using too much weight for movements like squats is like trying to bench too much, bouncing the bar off your chest and generally with very poor form. Not good at all. Flat Bench pressing with too much weight has been the primary reason that shoulder injuries is the most common injury sustained by men world over.
Not worth it, not good.
Why would you want to do that – overestimate how much weight you can lift or perform countless repetitions of a particular exercise with very bad form and for no particular purpose? Most people unfortunately use a scatter-gun approach to training and hope that what they are doing will get them to their goals.
So, back to my set of wheels analogy story, unless you just happen to have very strong legs and can train with huge poundages easily and copy the mass monsters you see on you-tube, there is just no need to try to squat 600 to 800 pounds.
As with any other body-part, use the appropriate amount of weight for the set/rep scheme you’re using, no more and no less. You need to remind yourself that you’re in the gym to train the muscle, not to impress the people around you with how much weight you can lift.
I have always said you should aim to “work the muscle, not the joint”.
So, it follows that if you’re aiming to build muscle and a more aesthetic, pleasing physique, remember that the actual amount of weight you use is irrelevant. You’re body-building, not power-lifting or weight-lifting or any other modern-day activities that are “off-shoots” of body-building, where measurements and numbers play a pivotal role. Knowing how much weight you can press or how many repetitions you can perform is how millions of weight-training enthusiasts all over the world, injure themselves.
Take care of your set of wheels, don’t damage them beyond repair. You don’t want to have to replace your knees and hips too early in your life.
Build your brawn with brain. Remember:You’re in the gym to help yourself, not hurt yourself.
Train hard. Train SMART.
Until next time,
Back lats spread a few weeks prior to the Australian Natural Bodybuilding Titles. Placing: 2nd in Australia.
A slight variation on the compulsory “Front Double Biceps’ – a signature pose of mine. Contest: 2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships held in NY, USA. Ranked: 4th Best Natural Bodybuilder in the World.
After 23 years of gym training, I would define my best workouts as what the subject heading states.
The best workouts are the ones that ‘flow’. It is the fusion or culmination of chaos and structure.
You want your workouts to be a continuous progression of 15 to 60 second ‘focused moments’ within a rough plan. Chaos and structure fused together. You want a workout to hang together like a champion team with many muscle parts moving along cohesively as ‘one’ with one objective.
So, how do you make your workouts more orderly and have structure? How do you go from the myriad of workout possibilities and the chaos of research and conception to the necessary order of the actual workout? How do you choose between low reps or high reps? Which is better? Should you use heavy weights or moderate weights or feather weights? How long should you rest between sets? So many questions, so many answers.
Its neither in the questions nor the answers. Its in the intention. Your intention.
It can all get quite confusing and overwhelming, so much so that it would stop well-intentioned beginners in their tracks enough to quit even before they get started. Very sad indeed. They have so much information, most of which contradicts one another and so it leaves them with a feeling of not knowing where to start.
What I have always tried to do in almost all areas of my life is to manage my funnels better, to keep things simple. This includes my approach to my gym training. Keep this in mind.
In other words I try to arrive at my completed workout (in my mind) before I begin it.
I always have a ‘rough plan’ in mind. Here, a rough plan is like the scaffolding of a non-existing building, its there and provides structure and a bit of security but I don’t usually stick to it like glue. Nope, most of the time I do something completely different.
So, I have a rough plan – but I don’t stick to it!
“Why have a plan?” you may be thinking.
Well, I have found over the years that a rough plan will serve you better than an elaborate one or none at all when it comes to getting the best experience and results from workouts. You see, workouts generally have a way of making itself up as you go along due to the many variables you are faced with when you are in the gym within a rough plan.
Some variables you may likely experience is fluctuating energy levels, unavailability of machines, lack of focus, lack of sleep, rude patrons and so on.
2. Know what your goals are: be specific and then stick to it!
Whilst a rough plan is ideal, knowing what your specific training goals are is critical and will serve you much better than a general, loose one. You need to know what it is you’re trying to achieve before you go lift any kind of weights. What are you striving for – strength, power, endurance, better shapely physique? For example, if you want to train for strength then training like a marathon runner in the gym will highly likely end in disappointment.
Know where you stand and where you mean to go and be very clear about it. A workout is also not meant to be a walk in the park or sleep walk!
3. Dream it before you lift it.
Workouts are usually more enjoyable and shorter when its been thought through first. That is what I have concluded in my over two decades of deliberate practice of contracting and extending skeletal muscles in my entire body.
I ask myself questions – what am I trying to do here with this set of this particular exercise? What am I trying to achieve? How well am I doing each rep of each set of each exercise? What am I trying to feel after doing it? What am I looking for? Unless you’ve got answers to those questions, you’d better keep your hands away from those weights or don’t rush in to it or you may increase your risk of injuries. Better still, seek help from a suitably experienced professional.
Whilst training goals and a rough plan gives you structure and order the danger is that you can spend all your time planning and doing nothing. The truth is we discover weight training through training. Its that simple. You do your hardest training doing the training, the actual physical lifting – not in your mind.
A workout process gives you that sense of achievement at its completion among other things. Out of the process of its own unraveling. Out of the process itself chaotic – the thinking of the sets of the exercises and the order of the exercises that make up each workout and then the execution of the actual physical workout.
.. the road ahead ..
It is through trial and error and deliberate practice over time that a genuine gym enthusiast discovers what it is he or she is really trying to achieve and how he or she needs to bind it together in some order – some framework. He finds his or her muscle success formula.
You may find you asking yourself how each set you doing of a particular exercise contributes to your physical goal. I know I have always done so and still do.
If you’re diligent enough you may find yourself getting to the end of each set doing it rhythmically, economically and competently and moving progressively towards your specific goals. This is ideal.
You may find yourself feeling one of the best feelings you could feel in your lifetime, a feeling that only a few gym enthusiasts feel. I have trained people that have trained for over 30 years and have not felt this feeling.
This is a feeling that is as elusive as the Tasmanian tiger. You see anyone can lift weights but not many people get to learn to lift weights the right way and really ‘feel’ what you’re meant to feel in the worked muscle and your whole body. All my clients past and present feel it in their workouts. Its a gift from me to them.
A feeling that all bodybuilders refer to as the ‘pump’.
A feeling that I call the ‘essence’. A feeling that is climaxed through the ideal reps of the ideal set which makes for the best workout – the fusion of chaos and structure in and out of the gym. Its almost like daily living in some ways.
… but that essence ain’t vanilla essence!
You friend in muscle and body transformation success,
Educating a top national sprinter of the importance of proper nutrition for recovery & growth for optimal performance
Eating more snacks
How good is that?!
Eating more snacks, that is. It makes us all feel good just reading that tip. Gives you some mental peace of mind, a release valve when you’re on a ‘slimming diet’ program or just contemplating the thought of going months on end saying ‘no’ to all the good food you’re used to eating.
It can be quite difficult for many to create what I refer to as your own self-imposed ‘purity bubble’ when everyone around you is consuming everything. In abundance. Yes, indeed, it can be very difficult.
The more vivid your imagination is of the image you visualize yourself to be, the less difficult it is to maintain that purity bubble. Your desire and need for this has to be greater than your need for instant gratification from temptation in the short-term. You goal (image) could be to ….
… To look and feel better about yourself at Christmas, say.
My tip of eating more snacks will assist in your journey towards this goal. Phew, finally, a nutritional tip that agrees with the majority of us! Finally, a tip that we all want to do more of and yes, the more snacks you consume, the better.
But not too fast now … there are conditions though.
There is a definite ‘mind-muscle’ connection. Train your muscles to train & exercise your brain and help it release all those necessary life-affirming hormones to flood your body … needed nutrition for the cells and soul. Try it.
there are conditions
This tip should take you less than 4 minutes flat!
Add that to the running total of my previous Top 5 Tips which was thirteen minutes.
Sum of estimated time taken to perform the Top 6 Tips = 17 minutes. A whopping 17 minutes (or 1020 seconds) out of your busy day with the goal of eating right.
Just to remind you that these Top Ten Tips to eating right also has another goal and that is to demonstrate to you that it should take you less than 30 minutes (1800 seconds) out of your day to eat right. And why is this important to you and worth your body, mind and spirit’s time? Because it is important to provide the best ‘mix’ of raw materials to the being, the machine, the energy-ball that is – YOU.
What I am going to do is give you a list of some good snacks you should carry with you every day before you leave the house for work, play or socialize. Whether you’re a vegetarian or an omnivore, we all still get most of our protein from the three main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, before you get the wrong idea, by snack I don’t mean cupcakes and fries!
Nope, I refer to a well-composed small meal on the run.
Your life is a continous journey of setting, failing and succeeding in goals … until you … kick the bucket! Keep moving forward, I say!
The choice of what you eat is always yours
Whilst food is analysed to shreds keep this one fact in mind for simplicity’s sake: once any form of carbohydrate is eaten (whether its fast burning or slow burning), your body converts all carbohydrates to sugar. So, from that standpoint all sources of carbs are equivalent. However, what is different from the types of snacks I will be listing below and junk choices are essential input the body needs.
Essentials such as fiber, the vitamins and minerals and some cancer-fighting phyto-chemicals found in vegetables and fruits.
At the end of the day, the choice of what you eat is always yours, but so are the level of risks attached to those choices and the consequences likely to occur to your health. Your life.
Carbohydrate (Carb) comparisons examples:
1 marshmallow = 1 medium raw carrot = 7 cups mushrooms = 420g (3 ½ cups) of broccoli = ½ cup melon = ½ orange = ¼ very small potato = 1/7 Mars Bar = 1/3 medium banana = 7 jelly beans = 14 cups fresh lettuce = 3 french fries!
Interesting calorie to volume ratios relating to just a small sample comparison, isn’t it?
The snacks below provide approximately 5g or less. If you’re hitting the weights in the gym, add a protein shake (with low carbs or no carbs) to these to ensure that you’re getting adequate levels of protein for muscle repair and growth. A serving should give you between 20g and 30g additional protein.
½ medium avocado = 1 medium carrot = 1 cup frozen spinach = 1 medium tomato = ½ cup diced eggplant = ¼ cup blueberries = ½ cup strawberries = ½ cup snap beans.
An exhaustive list of ideal snacks? No. Rightly so.
Homework for you: try to become more aware of what you’re consuming. Start measuring the food you eat. We measure everything else – how much money we spend; how much time you spend at work; what size coffee you want; buying a new pair of shoes or trousers.
Measuring is part of our every-day life. We’re constantly measuring. Why not start measuring your food intake. Buy yourself a food scale and measure your foods. Make it habit. To make it habit, repeat to remember and remember to repeat. Like a good pair of shoes, make your food ‘mix’ fit right. For you – the YOU, you want to be (in a few months perhaps).
There you have it, my 6th Tip of my series of Top Ten Tips to a better you, this summer.
If by some chance, a part of you, a part of your goal is to lose excess body fat – and for most people who suffer from insulin resistance, it is – this tip, along with the previous five and the next four will be good for you. It will offer you one of the easiest and most effective system available (through the power of habit) for doing that quickly, safely and sustainably.
Two common questions I have heard from the many hundreds of people I have helped over the last two decades is:
How quick can I lose weight and how long will it take to reach my goal?
How much food can I eat each day?
Before you seek answers to this, my tip to you is try adopting my Top Ten Tips in to your daily life. Work it in to your lifestyle. The metabolic adaptations that occurs in your body as a result of falling insulin and the increased sensitivity achieved triggers off many good things.
Your improved sensitivity to insulin will in turn increase the rate at which you burn calorie (even at rest) and you will find the new you, sooner than you think.
Re-engineering your body to where you want to be is hard. Matter of fact it can be very difficult for some. It can be like asking an amateur golfer to play in the Pro Ranks and win! One of the reasons that it can be especially difficult for some is that there are so many conflicting information out there.
People get confused. And confusion leads to inaction at worst. You see, everyone has a little bit of information and knows a little bit of everything but very few know exactly how everything, every piece of the jig-saw puzzle is put together. In an efficient, effective and above all – safe manner.
Fat intake, for example is one variable that delays the search for a better you. Below are ten habits I carry out in my daily life that helps me maintain or lower my fat levels and which does not take much time at all to implement. Try working these jig-saw puzzle pieces in to your daily life.
1. Choose only one. When eating cheese or cheese products (say a plate of assorted cheese and biscuits), choose only one cheese variety and stick to this during your ‘snacking’. You can change the biscuit but only choose the one cheese. My favourite is Blue Cheese. So, choose well.
> Calories saved (approx.): anywhere between 400 and 1000 cal.
2. Spice things up! I use hot chillie powder or whole chillies on almost every meal I have during the day. Has a thermo-genic effect (or heats up the body which in turn forces the body to burn more energy, even at rest). People mostly add sugar to their cereals in the mornings. You may not want to burn your tongue and taste buds with chillie so try substituting cinnamon on your foods. We all need a bit of spice in our lives! My wife, Cathy loves adding cinnamon to her breakfast meals. Your food or drink will taste just sweet but without the extra sugar calories.
> Calories saved (approx.): 15 cal per teaspoon.
3. Choose soft over hard. Choose versions of butter, cheese or cream if you use these on your breads for meals. There is less calories per serving in soft versions than the dense-packed hard ones. I like using cottage cheese or ricotta cheese on my crackers and breads. Has a better protein to fat ratio.
> Calories saved (approx.): 150 to 200 cal per 30g (serving)
4. Slice and dice. Applies if you enjoy eating sandwiches or wraps. Finely slicing and dicing cheeses can cover the same amount of space (and taste) with half the quantity (and calories). Less quantity is less fat storage on your body.
> Calories saved (approx.): 100 to 150 cal.
5. Pizza please! My wife makes pizza with our kids once a week at most. They enjoy making it. We keep it simple. A nice thin base with a touch of tomato paste and simple topping. Make your pizza for you and your family … and eat it too! Less is best when applying cheese. Also, the choice of cheese is important. Regular pizza cheese has more calories so go for feta cheese of goat cheese. Refer to tip # 1. Less topping on pizza is best. So, add one or two vegetable toppings to add volume and make you fuller sooner.
> Calories saved (approx.): 200 to 300 cal.
6. Eat cold. Try eating your cooked lean meat cold. Yep, cold. I take my meals wherever I go. I tend to eat a lot of my meals cold. I have found that eating food for its functional value and at a lower temperature makes you eat less. Try it if you’re serious about losing unwanted fat. I know, I know, food is more enjoyable when it’s hot but keep in mind that this tip is to trim off fat – also done by reducing calorie intake per serving. This is what happens when you eat food cold.
7. Eat your treats. Sometimes, it is very difficult for people to give up all the treats that they love to eat with their foods when asked to do so. I have found that a big reason for people not undergoing or not sustaining any body transformation program is the ‘thought’ or ‘idea’ of giving up things they find pleasurable for any length of time is torturous. I understand. Pleasurable things like – food, for example. I totally understand. That is why this tip is about ‘whining off’ the treats like a baby is to its mother’s milk.
> Strategy: try halving or even reducing down to a third of every portion of treat you currently taking. That includes all condiments on foods – tomato sauce, cheeses, salts, humous, jams etc.
8. Soak it up. If you’re like me and you like eating fried food – in olive oil, then do so. However, after applying oil on the pan, use a paper-towel of sort and soak and spread it around the pan. Here’s the next important thing: place the fried chicken, beef and other lean meat on to paper towel. This further soaks up the fat. Less in you. Less chance of putting on unwanted fat.
9. Freeze it. Freezing cooked meat allows separation of the excess fat. You could also cook food in advance and in bulk. Leave just enough in the refrigerator for the day and put the rest in the freezer for the following days. It will save you time and save you calories as you will have food available to eat almost immediately when you feel the need to eat.
10. Be the surgeon you know you are. Every man is a doctor or specifically a surgeon (you see it in action around the bbq) out there. Yes, all you men out there – whip out the best knife you’ve got and perform surgery on the piece of meat(s) you have ready in front of you to cook. Slice off the fatty parts of the meat like the best surgeons in the world. Slice off fat that is hanging off the bone, clinging to the meat, parts that is obvious to the eye, normally the skin of chicken and the side portions of steaks and pork cuts. Be the best surgeon you’ve always wanted to be. Slice away, meticulously and slice away unwanted fat from entering your mouth in the first place. Remember: less in the mouth equates to less time spent exercising in the gym.
> Approx. time (depending on size of meat): 30 to 60 seconds.
There you go, my current Top Ten Tips to a less fatty YOU. I can almost guarantee that with the right attitude and desire for a better you and the consistent implementation of these tips, you will not only stop putting on unnecessary fat but also lose fat. Lose fat around the gutt (for men, maybe even aim for a ‘6-pack’ but not of the beer variety) and arms (for women) and butt (for both men and women).
You could do it the healthy way or you could do it the unhealthy way. Your definition of ‘healthy’ may differ from mine, as I have found over the many years I have assessed clients’ diets.
A big part of successful body re-engineering or transformation is ensuring that you are on a ‘healthy’ diet which is aligned with your end goal in mind. Typically, before I am even given a chance to assess peoples’ diets, they usually say something along the lines of “… oh Paul, you know, I eat healthy … “ or “ … no problems with my diet. I eat healthy all the time.”
Your life. Your choice. I understand that. I accept that I cannot help everybody, but I will do my very best to reach out to the many readers (like you) around the world who take the time to read my blogs. Hopefully, each one you read adds some value to your life.
A wise man told me this over five years ago now, when he saw that I was upset for a client who sabotaged their own progress by giving in to temptation.
He said “ Paul, don’t be upset my son. You cannot save everyone. Especially those who don’t want to be saved.”
I have never forgotten that. You can only do so much.
Something that we all need to remember as we serve those around us, and particularly if you’re lucky enough to be doing what you love to do. A big bonus indeed. But, we must continue to love to serve those who love what we do, to the best we can perform them, without prejudice.
Until proven wrong.
That is just an integral part of life’s journeys. Each and every one of us’s – JOURNEY: CHOICES.
Most weight loss diet programs work. Yes. And how do we know this? Well, a pictorial representation of “ before” and “after” is normally displayed as proof of success, with a bucket load of testimonials. Wow!
Healthy? Some are. Many, are not.
There are many unhealthy ways of losing weight, too. One should not just focus on the scale and make decisions on the change of scale weight when undergoing body transformation programs. It could not only be mis-leading but also unhealthy, especially if you’re not including resistance training or weight training a pivotal part of your journey.
I’ll give you an example: I lost 5kg in absolute terms when I went on the ‘drip’ for four days when I was admitted to hospital in 2007 for a complication. Was it a healthy way to lose weight? Nope!
The worst part of losing weight in an unhealthy fashion is how it made you feel. I felt this feeling when I was in hospital for almost a week. You lose that sense of vitality. You feel weak. You don’t feel like your usual self. Essentially, you feel like cr#p!
The scale does not know that. The scale still tries to make you feel better by indicating your loss of weight. The questions you’ve got to ask yourself is:
Is this good for me? What is the risk/benefit ratio?
Is this sustainable? (Can I work it in to my life-style?)
What is the opportunity cost? Short-term and long-term?
Now, I want to get to the gist of this latest tip – Top Five of my Top Ten Tips to eating right and proving to you that it actually takes less time than you think.
So, you’ve got this far with your body transformation. You’re either implementing my last four tips (if you’re serious about learning) or you’re still eating the way you’re eating. And wishing the excess blubber (weight) you’re carrying around your waist and butt and thighs and arms (those ‘tuck-shop’ arms ladies) would just melt away.
Melt away before summer. Before you hit the beach. Melt away so that you can fit back in to those summer shorts you wore three years ago. When you were a little smaller, perhaps.
Well, you cannot do that by sitting around and wish the excess will just ‘melt away’.
Can you spare 2 minutes?
Well, if you’re still eating the same way and find it difficult to adopt a more ‘green’ approach. Fine. This tip requires you to just halve all meals you are currently eating. Specifically – cutting your carbohydrates in half. Yep, that’s right, half!
What are some typical sources of carbohydrates eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks, I hear some say? Examples include – bread, pasta, rice, biscuits, wraps, potatoes. Put simply, if it white-powder based, halve your consumption of it.
Easy, right? Wrong.
It will be a challenge. It won’t be easy. Why? Because habits, especially, bad habits, are very difficult to break. We now know that habits cannot be eradicated – it must instead be replaced by another (good) habit. The hard part with this intervention is the first 5 to 7 days. Allowing your body (and mind) to adjust and adapt.
Your stomach ( a smooth muscles, which also contracts and extends like other muscles) needs. You need to be strong. Its one thing having the discipline for the physical. Its another having the mental discipline to stay focused. Your stomach will shrink and you will eat less. Over time.
Give it time. Have patience.
I have found that people generally work very hard at maintaining their bad habits or habits that are less than ideal. If they only took that same focus and work and apply to the adoption of good habits that are aligned with their life goals. Maybe, just maybe, the successful attainment of their goals may be more forthcoming. It is difficult, I know – replacing habits and then sticking to it.
One of the major reasons that replacing habits does not ‘stick’ is that it is NOT ENOUGH just to REPLACE A HABIT. Nope, not enough. This is where belief comes in. You must believe change is possible. Real, sustainable change. That is one of the critical components of my unique body re-engineering programs. The power of belief. No belief, no nothing. In the photo below is an example of the successful habitual change in the successful achievement of a pupil’s physical transformation goals using the principles in my programs.
Change CAN HAPPEN. I know that because I have seen many examples over the years. Alcoholics can stop drinking. Smokers can quit puffing. You can stop ‘snacking’ at work with less than ideal snacks. Perennial losers can become champions (change can be applied to companies, clubs – like the recent NRL champions – South Sydney Rabittohs, winning a premiership after 43 years).
So, if you’re eating 4 pieces of bread for breakfast, reduce it to two. Add more of tip # 3 (eat more greens) to fill you up a little more.
There you go, a running total of 13 minutes (11 minutes from past 4 tips and add this two minute tip) to adopt these Top Ten Tips so far in your day. Can you spare thirteen minutes of your day to eating right. Do you have the time?
You bet you do!
Help yourself. First. This allows you to become more useful and a better servant to others.
Until next time,
Me and one of my students who did excellent in her physique contest a few years ago. In ten months, this determined and disciplined mother of two young children went from not training for 8 years to number 2 ranked physique competitor in New South Wales, Australia. Very proud of her achievements. Consistency and persistence and focus on daily habits helped her achieve such great results. Her podium finishing results demonstrates the power of habits (aligned with goals).
And what class of foods would fall in this group – yep, you’re not wrong: vegetables.
This includes all the green vegetables, all shades of green. Some good examples include – broccoli, spinach, asparagus, cabbage, long beans.
Obviously, the darker green it is, generally, the better for you. I should also include fruits that are in the shades of yellow to orange in this tip also.
Total estimated time so far (previous top 2 tips) = approx. 8 minutes.
Add: green vegetables (this tip) = approx. 2 minutes.
Estimated time taken out of your day = approx. 10 minutes!
Why is eating greens (or yellow or orange fruits) important to your life? What value could it possibly pass on to you?
Well, besides being natural sources of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients, they tend to keep you fuller – for longer. This helps you curb your appetite throughout the day and from snacking on ‘junk food’. Yellow, orange and green fruit and vegetables offers your body and mind multiple nutritional benefits.
Educating a top national sprinter of the importance of proper nutrition for recovery & optimal performance
Lets have a look at a few of these fruits – bananas and oranges for example. Their yellowish-orange pigmentation have been shown to slow down the ageing process and also reduce risks of some types of cancers. Bananas are loaded with potassium and magnesium which reduce the risk of muscle cramping.
This is especially important for anyone who trains with weights in the gym. Potassium and magnesium assist in the muscles extending and contracting properly and are essential for maximising muscle performance.
Obviously, not all yellow-orange fruits and vegetables have the same sugar content and don’t all have the same impact on your insulin levels. Lets keep it simple, if your body transformation goal is to lose unwanted fataround the butt and belly then:
** stay away from high – sugar or High Glycemic Index (GI) fruits and vegetables.
Some examples include: pineapples, yams, corn and carrots.
Instead choose options which include low to moderate GI, that is foods that have more complex carbohydrates and does not ‘spike’ your sugar levels and keeps your insulin steady. Some examples include: grapefruits, mangoes, oranges, paw-paws, peaches, pumpkin, capsicum and tomatoes.
A good teacher is hard to find but finding a good student is even harder. Plan the work – to work the plan. Photo: discussing fine points of one of my programs with retired legend of rugby – Phil Waugh.
Eating in a way that does not encourage fluctuations in sugar and insulin levels is critical to body transformation and weight management. Like I have mentioned before, the key to body transformation is hormonal management – specifically, insulin management.
Make time to eat properly
When insulin is under control, your body’s drive to store fat is minimized and under control too.
So, there you have it! Tip # 3 of my series of Top Ten Tips to being in Tip-Top Shape come summer. The awareness of these top 3 tips is one thing.
Application is the other pillar. Adaptationis yet another. The philosophy of my blog.
So, as you can see, to implement these top 3 tips, it should not take you any more than 10 minutes out of your day. Now, of course you can spare 10 minutes.
My goal is to not only inform you but also to show you how Eating Right actually takes less time than you think. Matter of fact, one of my goals is to show you how the application of my Top Ten Tips should not take more than 30 minutes or 1800 seconds out of your busy day.
Make the time to eat properly.
It might not only add years to your life, but along with consistent weight training and regular cardiovascular training, may just add more life and zest in to your years.
Its your choice. Your life, after all.
Good luck in your decision.
Until next time,
Cheers & ahoy!
The old Cap’n Viking Pirate Muscled Prophet … & eating well and time
Planning my meals and cooking meals in advance (in bulk( allowed me to build a Physique worthy of standing against the best in the world. Efficiency in the preparation and timely consumption of meals is critical to achieving the physique your aim to create.
World Natural Bodybuilding Championships. Side Chest pose. Managing your meals allows you to build the best physique you can. Attention to detail and time, matters. Placing: 4th.
When you wake up, go to the toilet and relieve yourself first thing, drag yourself from the bathroom to the kitchen sink and pour 12 glasses of water (approximately 250ml per glass) in to a larger flask or water bottle. The water bottle should be able to hold 3.0L of liquid, in this case – water or H2O (for the chemistry inclined).
Approximate time needed to do this:3 minutes or 180 seconds.
Can you take 180 seconds out of your ‘busy’ day to do this very important task? You bet you can! This is the 2nd Tip to “Tip-Top” shape and all it takes is 3 minutes.
So, back to my previous blog, when we add the 3 minutes to the time it took to do the first habitual tip (which was less than five minutes), you have an accumulated total of 8 minutes. Yep, eight minutes to invest to a more healthier – YOU.
What to do after you’ve filled the water bottle? Put it in the fridge to cool. Why? Because, you are going to take it with you to work and be ready to drink from it throughout the day until you finish it.
Why is this tip valuable to your body and worth your time investment?
Water makes up more than sixty percent of your body’s mass. It is vital to your health and vitality and without sufficient water intake, you could put your life at risk. If you didn’t know this, sometimes when your body tells you that it is hungry, a lot of times, it is actually asking you for more water. It is telling you, you are thirsty.
Why? Well, if you are not aware of this, the body does draw a lot of its water from the food you eat.
So, when you constantly sip water throughout your work day, in addition to its health benefits, you will feel fuller. And when you drink before, during and after every meal, it reduces your appetite, especially during the rest of your day.
There are many studies done on what the recommended daily amount of water an average person requires and generally, there is a consensus that a person should drink anywhere between 8 and 10 glasses (250ml) per day. Great!
The question I would like you to ask yourself is this: are you currently drinking that many? Be honest. I am certain that many (maybe you included) are not drinking anywhere near the recommended daily allowance.
If you’re staying physically active (and I am presuming most of you reading this are active), having a little bit more (12 glasses) is wiser, giving you a little buffer for the additional energy output you expand during exercising.
Most of you know that the moment you realize that you’re thirsty, it’s a little too late. The body, by that stage has already lost approximately 4-5% of its total water. Now, you should note that your energy output is heavily dictated by the amount of water or hydration level you have at any point in time. Losing just 1 percent of your body weight in water (approximately 1kg to 2kg) can decrease your overall energy output by as much as 20 to 30 percent.
Now, that is a significant reduction in potential energy output. It will affect your vitality. You will notice this lack of energy in your training sessions. You can see that dehydration puts unnecessary stress on your body, on your organs. Your body goes hunting for water in other places – within the body itself. Where do you think it will find water? Yep, you guessed it – your kidneys, your stomach, colon and also, where you least want to lose it – your hard earned muscles.
All that muscle you have been working hard in the gym for months. Years, perhaps. Being catabolised. Not good. Not what you desire. You want to work hard to build muscle and then hang on to whatever muscle you have. Muscle is precious. Preserve it as best you can from it been cannibalized by its own body.
From a health point-of-view, your organs are put under unnecessary stress than it already has and does not work at its most effective and efficient selves. Your brain requires adequate water to allow you to focus and think at its optimum. A lack of water can also relate to recurring headaches and migraines. I have seen a reduction in these ailments over the years with my clients, the frequency and intensity of such drops.
From a muscle point-of-view, muscles that don’t have sufficient water will mean that your lifts in the gym due to a reduction in your strength levels. This would mean a less than your best effort which would translate in to less potential for muscle growth. No growth means no progress. No progress ultimately leads to an empty, unhappy feeling in your gut. This remains true not only for muscle but for almost all areas in our lives – not experiencing a step-by-step progression towards whatever goal you are working towards.
No progress – you get de-motivated. Progress – you feel motivated. The latter feeling is preferable, I believe.
We are all ‘goal-seeking’ animals, so make this 2nd Tip of my Top Ten Tips to a healthier you a part of your daily life. Take action and start making this habit a part of your life. Today. In a week, see how you feel.
It takes approximately 8 minutes of your day to carry out these two habits. Give your body, your life what it needs. Simply, because you’re worth it. The compound effect of making these two tips habit is contribution to a better quality of life in your future.
You’re now Aware. Apply Action. Adapt accordingly.
In my experience, eating right can actually save you time. Save you, life.
It is winter in this part of the world (I’m live in the beautiful city of Sydney, Australia). Stop, project less than 12 weeks from now, when the next season arrives – ahhh, Spring. Picture this: people are getting out their spring/summer clothes from the cupboards and are feeling a little down because they can’t squeeze in to them like they remembered they did last year. It can be quite de-motivating for some.
Maybe , you’re in that spot of bother right now?
In this first blog of an 8.5 Reasons why Eating RIGHT should not take too much of your time.
My Tip # 1: Never Skip Breakfast!
In one of my earlier blogs, I state that imagination is key to the achievement of any worthwhile goal or goal you place value on . So, if achieving a more sculptured (tonned body) is what you desire you need to learn to use your imagination.
Yes, use your imagination to visualize (now) how you would like to look by summer. This is a very important step – ‘seeing’ yourself as you imagine yourself to be. Having a clear understanding of your destination (refer to earlier blog: “Don’t be a rudderless ship”).
The more vivid the picture of your destination is in your mind and the more it connects with your heart, the more drive and focus you will muster.
Champions practise a lot of visualisation and simulation. To create magic, you need to fuse the worlds of sanity (where you are) with insanity (where you dream/imagine you are, before you are). That is difficult. That is one of the key keys. Don’t stop. Trying. Believing. Keep on … keeping on. You’ll get there. Everyone always does. Especially, if you do it with your heart. and …. with LOVE.
And, with the help of “Coach Mo” (incidentally, that little voice on your shoulder, we can call Coach “Mo”) to start your steam train again …. Hoot … hoot … slowly towards your goal). Just like a steam-train, getting started in your body transformation goals, getting those wheels cranking at the beginning of the journey is the difficult part.
But when you pick up [Mo]mentum (Coach Mo), you, just like that steam train can smash through whatever obstacles that lay in your path. To smithereens! Because you have Big Mo (momentum) on your side.
Here we go again.
Its easy to put off things, to procrastinate. Don’t. Don’t leave it for September, it will be too late. That’s when the majority of people start panicking and joining gyms. Start now. Find your plan (or get help from the relevant professional) and work your plan. You don’t want Spring and then Summer time and Christmas to roll around and you not feel happy about the way you look in you clothes, now, do you? Or you can just buy bigger clothes to hide it all.
Up to you.
You’re the Captain of your ship through the seas of Life. Set you goal towards being your BEST and put a quality plan in place (includes your health & overall well-being) and set sail … Towards your destination.
Making better use of the 86,400 seconds given to us every day
I have said this before: no matter what your exercise goals are, eating healthy (well-compositioned meals), can help you achieve them faster.
And right now, time is ticking and time is your friend as we have just started Winter and have a little under 10 weeks to Spring. But, the question you’re probably thinking is how are you supposed to spend time preparing healthier meals. You barely have enough time to hit the weights, how are you realistically supposed to find time to watch what hits your plate? Right, I hear you …. that is why I wrote this blog to convince you to help you, help yourself more effectively.
Eating right is actually easier than you think.
Well, in my more than two decades in the health and fitness industry and helping hundreds of people around the world. It is one truth I have discovered. They have learned that, too. You can save more of your life. Here’s how …
I believe that spending a few minutes a day making the right decisions about your nutrition could save you from spending twice the time in the gym or four times as much time on the treadmill or aerobics. How so, Paul, you may be asking? I don’t have the time, you may say!
I argue that it typically takes less time to prepare a healthier meal than it does to work off the extra calories you would eat if you didn’t spend time watching your diet.Makes sense? Yes, it does!
Think about it.
You have 86,400 seconds of your life everyday to live, the way you choose to. But, my question is why would you spend more of those seconds sweating and exercising (and for many enthusiasts doing group classes – smelling intense body odour in small bacteria-infested rooms).
I pity these folks and their poor, poor nostrils. If you do like it, God bless you. Applying my tips could mean you spend less time doing those classes. Smelling those arm-pits. That would be good for you and your nostrils, wouldn’t it? Also, I see so many people lining up outside cafes and stressing about what they are going to have for lunch. How about I say, we take that wastage of time and thought pattern with my tip here?
Achieving a well-balanced physique should be understood for what it is: a masterful fusion of art and science. One should improve once’s “BODY Smart”knowledge. this takes time and deliberate practise.
Your daily eating habits
Ok, it isn’t always easy predicting how much time you’re going to have each day to pay attention to your nutritional habits. It isn’t easy. I realise that. Still, there is a smarter way you can make sure you’re getting the most from what ever number of seconds you can use each day.
What if I told you that there are ways to change your daily eating habits without making major sacrifices in your diet. What are you thinking now? For many people, they have tried everything, and ‘nothing works’ is a common frustration. What if I told you that these changes are very real and can be implemented in to your “all-day” eating routine. And the great thing is that you could implement these changes anytime you wanted to?
In the next series of blogs, I will be sharing with you my top 8.5 tips to successfully making changes to your daily eating habits with sustainability in mind. Changes that you can sustain forever. These Valentine Top 8.5 Tipsonly takes a few hundred seconds (a few minutes) to master, but I believe, when implemented, they can take months of unnecessary hard work off your schedule, provided you follow them each day.
This is the real challenge for you:Unlearning old habits that are not aligned with your new, ‘imagined self’ and learning these new habits, my Top 10 tips. Successful change is and can only be brought about through improvement in your self-regulatory behaviour . This is heavily dependent on the power of your imagination.
Changing habits – releasing bad eating habits and adopting some good ones is like facing an internal Predator. You need to ‘face the Lion’ within you. Having a conversation with a lion.
Spring/Summer/Christmas?New Year, here you come – You, only better!
How much time do you have a day to apply these tips?
How much time can you spare? Can you spare 30 minutes in your day or 1800 seconds of your 86,400 seconds? We will do a little maths exercise and count the amount of time each of these tips will take out of your day, starting with Tip # 1 in this blog. Doing all 8.5 of my tips would take less than 30 minutes tops each day. Yet they can give you everything you need to maintain a balanced diet. That’s not much time, is it?
Can you allocate that time to YOU? Simply because your life is important and you would like to do everything you can to not only add years to your life but more importantly, add Life in to your years.
It’s going to save you spending your valuable life, your valuable seconds, thinking and exercising unnecessarily to undo what you unknowingly – did in the first place!
How good is that?!
These tips are not meant to create more stress in your life, it is meant to help make your life a bit more manageable, a little less stressful, when it comes to eating a balanced diet with sustainability in mind. It is about making the best of whatever time you have. Allow me to show you how.
My Top 8.5 Tips will cover all main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in-between. We will begin with the first meal of the day – breakfast. So, I will go through your day, from sunrise to sun-set and piece together a sustainable, efficient and effective schedule for melting off fat, building muscle and having increased daily energy towards reshaping your body, not tomorrow or next week.
Spring/Summer/Christmas/New Year’s here you come. You – only better!
Sunrise – you rise.
Education through a perception of the truth. Increasing your awareness, taking sufficient and appropriate actions and adapting accordingly is key towards self-improvement. Funny thing is that the process also applies to relationships and response. In the photo, Former Australian Wallaby Captain listening intently to learn key principles of my philosophy in to being your BEST, ALL the time, not some of the time. Great student. Great Champion. Great friend. Vv
Tip #1: DO NOT Skip Breakfast.
It should consist of a mix of the 3 basic macro-nutrients: carbohydrates (oats), protein (eggs – 3 eggs/1 yolk) and a little fat (avocado, peanut butter, almonds).
Estimated time spent: < 5 minutes.
Why not skip Breakfast, you may be thinking?
It is one of the best advice our parents and grandparents have given us when we were children. Missing this very important meal creates more hunger later on and increases your risk of ‘bingeing’ and taking in more calories than you truly need in later meals. With no food in your stomach, your body’s response is to take in whatever calories you ate the night before – and whatever you eat later on and … bingeing at lunch and like many reading this – at dinner. Just before bed.
Result? Guess what? All these ‘extras’ TURNS INTO UNWANTED BODY FAT!
Yes, around the gut ( as some call a ‘spare tyre’) for most men out there after they turn 30 and deposits around the butt and legs for the ladies. Very de-motivating indeed. Not exactly what you want, is it?
So, I insist, make this first tip if you’re skipping breakfast a part of you life. Make it your first habit to master: take 4 minutes when you wake up and eat a meal for breakfast but make sure that it combines all macro-nutrients. You will get sustainable energy all day long and lower your desire for extra calories from other food to provide energy later.
This is a very good rule of thumb you should apply for every meal during your day. Ask yourself – do I have a good mix of carbs, protein and a little fat.
Use what I’ve told all my past customers – my “eyeball method” or ‘I see with my two eyes’ method. Look at your plate, ensure the macro-nutrients take up space on the plate in this ratio:
P:C:F = 0.4:0.5: 0.10. ( where P = Protein; C = Carbohydrates; F = Fats)
Steve Reeves was a Master Poser. He imagined and built the Best Built & Aesthetically beautiful body in the world through synergistic awareness. He understood that optimum health of body & mind required the fusion of art and science. Become a scientific artist of YOU … of your life.
Homework: Lets keep adding the time needed to apply each tip I share in successive blogs and see if it requires you to spend less than half an hour of your day.
Let me prove to you using numbers (minutes spent) that Eating right actually takes less time than you think over the next month or so. Let you in on a secret: I love Physics and Mathematics. They were my first majors in my first University Degree almost 30 years ago now.
Let me show you how these little but significant 8.5 Tips can and will encourage an optimum environment that is a fusion of art and science, allowing for Synergy. This synergism is KEY: it is in the combining of the elements that creates a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
You must be logged in to post a comment.