My friend Brad Pilon put up this blog post today and I thought I’d carry it over here as well.
Most people can lose weight, and many of them can get lean…but most people have a hard time getting really, really lean.
If you want to get really lean, I mean SUPER shredded then I have 5 tips to help you get there:*
(*As always, my recommendations are for people whom are not on steroids. If you are using, I have no clue what does and doesn’t work for you)
1. Give yourself permission to get “light”.
This one is mostly for the guys…
NEWSFLASH! ==> If you want to lose body fat then chances are you are going to have to lose some body weight too.
Unless you are 23, or just started weight training, your days of packing on 20 pounds of muscle while losing 20 pounds of fat are long past. I’m not saying you can’t gain muscle, but more than likely you will gain 1 or 2 pounds of muscle while dropping 10-20 pounds of fat..meaning..to get leaner you are going to have to weigh less..probably less than you think is ideal.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: Take the weight you think you are going to weigh when you eventually get shredded, then look yourself in the mirror and give yourself permission to get below that number…typically you will be lean at 90-95% of what you THINK will be the weight you should hit.
If you are positive that you will be lean at 195 pounds, plan to hit at least 185.
Doing this will remove a HUGE mental block that is preventing you from getting truly shredded. After all, do you want to be shredded or do you want to weigh some predetermined number?
2. Give your diet the opportunity to do the work for you.
Let’s face it, if you are going to get super lean, it’s going to come from caloric restriction. In other words, you absolutely must take in less calories then you are burning in a day.
And, whether you are following Eat Stop Eat or some other diet program, it is very easy to let “protein guilt” or “muscle anxiety” roadblock your diet, thus hindering it’s ability to get you lean.
For instance, let’s say you feel guilty about not eating enough calories or protein after your workouts while you are dieting so you start taking in an extra nutrition shake with 50 grams of protein and 100 grams of carbs after your workout…well BAM! You have pretty much just erased the calorie deficit you spent all day creating.
To get really lean, you need to put your trust in your diet program. Do your absolute best to block out ‘protein guilt’ and ‘muscle anxiety’.
If you are weight training properly you are NOT losing muscle, not even if you are eating 1000 calories and under a 100 grams of protein. let me repeat that you are most likely NOT LOSING MUSCLE. Let your diet do what it does…help you get lean.
3. Avoid using Cardio to Compensate.
I see this way to often – people don’t want to diet TOO hard, so they only cut calories a little bit, and then try to use cardio to create the rest of their calorie deficit. This just doesn’t seem to work. Most of us VASTLY over-estimate how many calories we truly burn during a workout session. I have yet to meet someone who has gotten themselves competition shredded by only doing cardio.
Use your diet to lose fat and use your workouts to maintain your muscle mass. You can do things like intervals and circuits to help speed up the process, but the effects are small compared to diet, and without a proper diet, I think many of these techniques are useless for weight loss.
4. Don’t let the Sine Wave get you.
OH NO! Brad’s doing advanced math again!
Don’t worry, its not that complicated. If you are not familiar with a sine wave, it looks something like this:
The one of the secrets to getting shredded
So If you can imagine the dotted line is your normal activity level…If you do a hard core, intense workout, full of intervals and crazy things like that, then you have obviously increased your activity level and thus have burned some extra calories…so the top of the red line would be your activity level during your workout.
Now (this is the kicker) imagine you are so beat from your workout that you come home and crash on the couch for the evening, and ‘recover’ while watching American Idol…This is the bottom of the red line…you are actually LESS active than you would be normally. Guess what? You are now starting to eat into the effectiveness of your workout.
To make your workouts TRULY effective, you have to act like they NEVER HAPPENED and just keep on moving like you normally would. NO COMPENSATING!
5. MEASURE, Measure and measure some more.
If you want to get shredded then MEASUREMENTS are your best friend. They let you know if you are progressing. They save you from the LIES that your mirror and your scale tell you. Measure your arms, your legs, your waist, your hips, your shoulders everything and anything.
If you keep track of your measurements, then the days when you look in the mirror and think you’ve lost muscle, or the days you step on the scale and think you’ve gained weight, you can refer to your measurements.
After all, if you are losing in your waist, and keeping the areas you want to keep, does the rest of it really matter?
There you have it, these are my top 5 tips for anyone who wants to get truly shredded.
Surprisingly, when most people decide they want to get lean they go looking for secret nutrition programs or underground training programs, but the truth is, if you follow these five tips, you will see results.