John woke up, went to the bathroom and washed his face and brushed his teeth.
He made his morning coffee, sat down with his laptop and began reading the emails in his mailbox.
As usual there were few emails from the fitness magazines he was subscribed to and from some bodybuilding forums. He started reading the one that said “Get big like Jay Cutler with this new Whey Protein and the super pyramid training style”. The headline was really catchy, so he dived in.
It was an interview with Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler who was describing his eating and training style and which supplements he takes every day.
There were some tips from cutler that John wrote down that he wanted to try.
Actually he made a list:
- Start eating 4000 calories to build more muscle
- Bulk up to bigger muscles
- Train each body part just once a week and dedicate the whole strength training session to it
- Drink five protein shakes a day
- Get at least 250 grams of protein
- Spread the food into 8 meals a day
- Prepare all meals at home
- Cut on all the sweats
This was his new lifestyle. He was thrilled by this list he made and was looking forward to eating and training like the big Mr. Olympia.
After five months he gained 30 pounds. His shirts definitely felt tighter, he even had to buy some new jeans. So, he was happy with his new gains. Just like Cutler promised in the article and on what they said on the supplement claim, he gained all of that. However, the shock came when he decided to take a picture.
John set up the camera, the background and took a few shots. Then he looked at the pictures at his laptop. He was big, but unfortunately it was clear that it’s all fat. Nobody could even tell that he was working out, he just looked like any other average fat dude walking down the street. He wanted to cry, because the past five months were all for nothing. All the morning workouts, meal preparing, shopping for specific foods, avoiding any sweets, making sure he got his supplements right on time, all went to hell.
This day he went to the gym, without any energy and completely pissed off.
A friend saw him, wondering why is he so sad, but also clearly angry at something, so he asked him why.
John told his friend Tom what he did and that it didn’t work and that now he looks fat and not like him, cut and jacked. That he doesn’t get it, he did everything they said in the magazine, he took the supplements at the exact time, he prepared all his meals and all that stuff. He did nothing else than training and eating like Mr. Olympia and that was his only lifestyle during the past five months and all for nothing.
He told his friend that he probably just has crappy genetics and can’t ever get in a killer shape, average is probably the only thing he can be.
Tom looked at him and just shook his head.
“Bodybuilders are not the ones you should take advice from”
“You did basically everything wrong.”
John looked at him at him confused like he was talking in Chinese.
“Instead of using training and dieting just as a tool to get in shape, you lived the pure fitness lifestyle and for what results?”
“To get fat?”
“You have to focus on your social life and use training and dieting to just get in better shape with a purpose of having even a better social life, not to avoid socializing completely for the sake of training more and eating like a bodybuilder.”
“Plus eating so many calories will just transform into storing fat and you will end up overweight just like you did after overeating for the past five months.”
“And preparing your meals at home? What were you thinking, that just because you prepare something at home it will change what’s in it?”
“There is no need to prepare your meals at home. In fact I never eat at home, sometimes I even have to grab a burger, because I am out with friends and we go to eat and just have fun.”
“What you eat doesn’t matter, as far as your weekly and monthly diet is balanced and you get all the important nutrients, you can eat whatever you want and whenever you want. The important fact is to keep your calories in check. You need to calculate your BMR, which stance for Basal Metabolic Rate and operate with that. BMR is the amount of calories you burn a day by doing nothing. So if you want to maintain your weight then you just eat around your BMR. On the other hand if you want to lose weight, you will have to eat slightly below it. Plus you will always create even bigger deficit by training.”
“However, I like to use training as a tool for building muscles and leave the fat loss for the diet part. The reason for that is that you absolutely have to control how much calories you eat, because you can’t out train a bad diet. It works the other way around as well. No matter what you eat, if your workout plan sucks and you just try to eat your way up to big muscles, nothing will happen, meaning you won’t gain any muscle, just fat. That is just what you did. You thought that by eating a lot you will gain muscle, but the weight you gained was just fat, because your training wasn’t right.”
Now John stepped in, committed to fight for his belief.
“But I trained like the Mr. Olympia, he is the best, so how else should I train?”
Tom started smiling.
“You can’t train like bodybuilders , if you are not on ‘something’ then such a training style won’t get you any results at all.”
“I thought that there are no drugs in bodybuilding.”
Tom almost burst in laugh.
“Are you serious?”
“Bodybuilding is a perfect study of drug abuse.”
“Top bodybuilders are on an insane amount of drugs that none of us can imagine or buy.”
“Even the lower level bodybuilders are on something, whether it’s to get cut for the show or build muscle.”
“And if you think that there are any regulations, you are dead wrong. Top bodybuilding is not regulated and the local shows don’t have the money to afford the tests, usually they are glad they can at least do the show. Plus it would scare away the contestants and they wouldn’t make any profit.”
“But back to the strength training.”
“You need a good workout program you can follow and no I don’t mean the one from Bodybuilders featured in Men’s Health, I mean a really good one. Something that a natural fitness model would follow. It should be aligned with your goal and well-designed by someone who has a fairly same physique as you do, in other words is not a genetic freak, is probably not on some kind of drugs and have the body you want to achieve by yourself.
“A good workout hits your muscle groups several times a week, not just once. And it focuses on the muscle groups that are responsible for the masculine alpha look, which are your shoulders, back and chest muscle groups.”
“You see, you don’t have crappy genetics, you are just doing things that don’t work and usually backfires your progress.”
“Trust me, you can get in shape, it’s no rocket science, in fact it’s pretty simple stuff.”
“You know what, next time I will design you a workout that will have all of this incorporated, okay?”
“Until than just eat less calories.”
“See you around.”
Fiction vs. Reality
The story above is almost an exact transcript of a conversation I have with one of my friends few months back. I just changed the names. It’s also a story that 90% of guys who train for some time can relate to. You are probably one of them. You started reading fitness magazines, looking for advice at bodybuilding forums, following the advice of the big pro bodybuilders and listening to what the current Mr. Olympia has to say on the newest supplements.
Listening to a professional bodybuilder and then trying to eat and train like him is like learning few tricks from a formula one driver and then trying to drive your Prius without any gas just by using these tricks.
Well, there is a reason why there are only few bodybuilders in several billion people. In fact there are two reasons. First, Jay Cutler is a genetic freak and you will find someone like him probably in a million. Second, there are only few bodybuilders who look like Mr. Olympia because there is not much people who are willing to take such an insane amount of drugs and inject themselves with it.
If you are a genetic freak you would know it and probably be a professional athlete or already competed in bodybuilding.
You are probably just a regular guy who wants to get in shape and improve his social life and dating life. If that is the case, you need to stop listening to bodybuilders who are on god knows how many drugs, stop reading fitness magazines that just promote mostly useless supplements, which are ironically marketed by spokespeople who are on all sorts of stuff that you don’t even wanna know about.
Start listening to what really works and is not just fantasy or fiction. Listen to the advice that helps regular guys just like you or me get in shape and incorporate it to your lifestyle.
The goal of fitness magazines, supplement companies is really to just make money on you, not to help you. Longer you will stay out of shape, the better, because they can keep coming up with new fancy workout tips and supplements every month and you will just keep buying it, because you want to get to your goal. Got it? It’s a never ending cycle of desperation and frustration by not getting results on your side.
There is a lesson and no matter how much money you spend or for how long you have been working out and not gotten any results, you can still get in shape, you just need to take the right approach.
Today, you’ve learnt a lot from the story above, let’s summarize it.
Key points to remember:
- Get a good workout
- Train hard, often and with a perfect technique
- Follow the workout as written
- Keep your calories in check, they are responsible for weight loss or weight gain
- Calculate your BMR and set your goals around that
- If you want to lose weight eat below the BMR and create bigger deficit by training
- Remember to train for muscles gain and eat for fat loss, not the other way around
- Stop spending fortune on supplements and get a coach who knows what he says (or at least get some of his programs, if you can’t afford a personalized training plan)
- Unsubscribe from all the fitness magazines, bodybuilding forums, supplement stores and any expert that has similar advice as them
- Focus on one expert who sounds most logical and has simple approach that is usable for your lifestyle and has a body shape you like
Links to check for more information on this topic:
- Book that explains how much protein you really need to build muscle (backed up by real research)
- Uncensored podcasts about steroid abuse, supplement industry and much more
- A workout for guys who want to look like natural fitness models
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