Q: Brian, I’m 39, trained with weights for sports in high school and later joined a gym for a couple of years. I’ve got a family and job but I try to play softball once a week during the summer and jog whenever I get motivated. Now, I’m approaching 40 and I want to get back in shape again. I’d describe myself as “muscularly average +”, about ten pounds overweight with some remaining muscle. What should I do?
A: Tom, It doesn’t matter if you are a bodybuilder, powerlifter, collegiate or professional athlete, or like most people, just a “family guy with a job who plays softball occasionally, runs if you feel up to it, and needs to drop 10 lbs of fat and maybe put on a few lbs of muscle”—my answer is going to be pretty much the same. There are two keys to achieving fat loss and muscle gain.
Eat an absolute minimum of 4, and preferably 6 or even 7 good, clean meals every day.
Train on a consistent schedule whether at the gym or home. Set a time and train – no excuses.
Now, before I go further, I need you to understand one thing. At least half of my clients are not physique competitors (bodybuilding, bikini, or figure). So, I’ve tended to write most of my articles to address the “average guy”. But, I realized that I what prescribe (diet, exercise, supplements) for the average guy is not much different than what I prescribe to the competitor. If it works, it works, right?
Yes, competitors do take it to the next level, reducing bodyfat to a crazy low percentage for that one day on stage, but other than that, everything else you must do to get in your best shape is pretty similar. The biggest difference I’ve seen is competitors make it a priority to take the information I give them and make it part of their lifestyle. Whereas, not all “average” people do so.
We competitors have no choice. We’ve made a commitment to get on stage wearing nothing more than some fancy “tighty whities”! Find your own personal source of motivation, Tom. Do you have an upcoming vacation? Or, on a serious note, maybe heart disease is prevalent in your family and you want to live to see your grandkids? Whatever it is, keep reminding yourself of it when you are tempted to skip training, or even a scheduled meal. Here’s an outline of what you need to do to be your best. Commit to a consistent 60 days. I promise if you’ll stick with it for 60 days, it will become a habit. No, it’s never easy, but it will become easier! Just stick to it 100% and get past those first sixty days.
I. COMPETITORS DON’T MISS MEALS.
Competitors take the time once a week to prepare their food for the week. They understand that being prepared is critically important. When it is time to eat, the last thing they want to do is grill chicken or beef, or fry egg whites. Instead, they want to open the fridge, pull out their food, warm it up in the microwave, and eat.
Competitors make sure they have shaker cups, almonds, protein, beef jerky, supplements, and water bottles, at work, at home, in their gym bag, car, etc. Eating a meal or having a shake every 2.5-3.5 hours is vital. It keeps us in a consistent anabolic state. Competitors make it a priority to eat up to 6 or 7 quality meals each day.
Don’t stop reading! I know the issues you are having with this one. My personal clients have the same initial response. “How in the world will I be able to make that much food”? “Where am I going to find the time to eat all this?” “How am I going to afford 6-7 meals a day”? “Won’t this much food make me fat?” “I just want to lose some fat, not gain it!”
These are all valid questions. I’m going to work through them with you and show you how to save time in preparing and eating those meals, and just as important, how to make your nutrition program very affordable.
The first thing you’ll need is a grocery list (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you the grocery list that I share with my clients). Being prepared starts with having the right foods to prepare. Get rid of the junk in your kitchen, and replace it with the foods on the list.
Next, get a shaker cup. One I really like is called the Blender Bottle®. You can order them online, or get them at your local GNC or Whole Foods. I’ve been pondering carrying them on my website, so check out www.wiefit.com to see if I have them by the time this article is released. And, get three of them while you’re at it, one each for your gym bag, office, and home.
Pick a few hours one day a week and prepare your foods. Make all of your meat, brown rice, sweet potato’s etc. Make as much as you can store for a week so that you can just heat them up when you are ready to eat. If you want to make things even easier, get Glad containers and store each meal in its own container. For example, put 8 ounces of marinated chicken breast, 3/4ths cup of cooked brown rice, and ¼ cup of almonds in the container. When it’s meal time, just pop it in the microwave for a minute or two, and presto!
Be prepared for an emergency meal when you least expect it. If you open the center console in my car, you’ll find a few bags of beef jerky, a container of almonds, a piece of fruit, etc. And under my seat, you’ll find a clean shaker cup, bottled water, and a jug of UMP. There’s is no excuse to miss a meal. Always be prepared. It really doesn’t take much time—just set aside a few hours once a week.
Save money and time. Let’s face it. Eating healthy isn’t cheap. So, I’m going to show you how you can make it a lot less expensive. First, you’ve got to come to grips with the fact that 5-7 smaller meals a day is non negotiable if you want to lose your fat and increase muscle. There are no “ifs, ands, or buts” about it. This is just the way our bodies have been designed to lose fat and gain muscle. Now that we agree on this, lets also agree that it’s very time consuming and expensive to prepare and eat 6 whole food meals each day. That’s where Beverly’s UMP, Muscle Provider, and/or Mass Maker come in.
What if I could tell you that three of your six meals will take less than one minute to prepare, less than one minute to eat (drink), and only a few dollars…Well, things just got better, didn’t they?! With this being said Tom, you have got to get this into your head, “BEVERLY’S PROTEINS ARE NOT AN EXTRA THAT YOU CAN DO WITHOUT; THEY ARE PART OF YOUR GROCERY BILL—PERIOD”.They’ll save you money and time, and there’s not much better than saving money or time (except hitting a most muscular on stage!!). In fact, with this struggling economy, if you want to get into shape and save money, then you should be stocking up on Beverly Proteins—it’s about as inexpensive high quality meal as you will find!
I have listed a typical diet template in a side bar accompanying this article. This will show you how shakes and foods work together to give you the meals you need!
Invest in other supplements besides your proteins. Tom, do you want to get there faster? Do you want to look your best? Do you want to actually enjoy working out—I mean enjoy it to the point of loving it?! If so, you’ll want to add these Beverly supplements pre workout. Take two 7-KetoMusclean, 2 scoops of UP-LIFT, 1 scoop of Creatine Select plus Phosphates, and 1 scoop of Glutamine Select plus BCAAs 20 minutes prior to your workout.
About 10 minutes into your workout, take another scoop of UP-LIFT, Creatine and Glutamine Select. I’m telling you, you’ll feel so energetic and strong, you’ll never want to workout again without them. Really Tom, if you are going to spend 4-5 hours working out each week, why not enjoy it? Why not get the best return for your efforts when it comes to fat loss and muscle gain, and feel just… GREAT?!
Your supplements like your training have to become part of your lifestyle. Now I know I told you that the protein powders save you money. But I’m going to be straight with you here, these other supplements aren’t going to save you money. But, if you really want to achieve your goals, then find a way to make it happen.
Here are some possible places you can save to pay for the supplements that are going to help you burn the fat and gain muscle. Let me ask you Tom, how many beers are you drinking when you play softball? How about cutting back on those (that not only will put money in your wallet, but it will also help you lose a few inches in the belly). Are you stopping to get coffee each day and paying a meals’ worth of food on a cup of coffee? Why don’t you make your coffee at home and save $30-$50 a month just on that alone? Skip the appetizers and dessert when you eat out—again, you’ll save money and inches on your belly!
Tom, we can all find ways to cut back. Again, these are the things that competitors do that a large amount of my “average Joe” clients have decided to do as well. That’s why these average Joe’s have achieved incredible results.
II. COMPETITORS DON’T MISS WORKOUTS
Now let’s talk about the other part of getting in shape—your workouts. Just as competitors make it a priority to always get their meals in, we also make it a priority to get our workouts in. I personally schedule clients from 9am to 8pm Monday through Thursday, and from 9am until about 1pm on Friday. But, if you were to look at my appointment book, you will see that I scratch off the hours from 1:30-3:30 Monday through Friday. That gives me enough time to get to the gym, workout for about an hour and 15 minutes, get back home to have my post workout shake, and then resume my meetings with clients.
There are no exceptions to this “block out”. I simply will not schedule clients during that time. Tom, you need to find the time that works best for you. Maybe it’s before work, during lunch, or evenings. Whenever it is, just block it out in your appointment book, and make no exceptions.
Just as I have given you a guideline on how to make the nutrition part work, I will do the same for your workouts.
Train at least three days a week. Remember, consistency is key. Four days a week is best for me, but I tell my clients to let three be the minimum, and five be the maximum. Yes, there is a maximum.
Use a variety of exercises and set and rep schemes. Tom, have your ever seen those guys in the gym who go straight to the barbell bench press, then to dumbbell curls—workout after workout. Have you noticed that their physiques never change? Well, that’s because their bodies have adapted to the same workout day in and day out. I know what I’m about to say sounds a little crazy; and maybe I’m on the extreme side of this, but I love to be sore. I love to know that I’ve broken down muscle tissue to its fullest (so I can feed it more proteins for growth!). I rarely do the same workout twice. For example, whatever I do today for shoulders, I’ll do something different next shoulder day. It may be different exercises or a different set or rep scheme, or both.
Make sure you take your supplements in a timely manner. Tom, if you are going to take the time out of your day to drive to the gym, workout, and drive back home, then let’s make sure you are getting the most out of it. I want to make sure that my energy levels are at their highest. That’s why I take a scoop or two of UP-LIFT and two 7-Keto MuscLEAN before hand. Let’s make sure your strength levels are at their highest. That’s why I take my Creatine Select. Let’s make sure we are feeding our muscles the necessary amino acids to keep from burning our muscle up for energy. That’s why I take Glutamine Select plus BCAAs, along with Mass or Density. And let’s not lift on “empty”. So that’s why I drink my pre workout shake of Muscle Provider about 30-45 minutes prior to my workout.
Tom, along with a diet template, I’ve attached a four day workout template, too.
In conclusion, I hope that I’ve helped you, and not overwhelmed you. Just reread this guideline a few times and remember to do your absolute best in sticking to this regime for 60 days. In doing so, it will become habit; you will love the results; and it will then become a part of your life!
Nutrition and Supplement Template for Tom who is 39 years of age, wants to regain muscle while at the same time losing fat.
Ultra 40’s & Mass 500: Take 4 BETWEEN each meal for consistent anabolic status.
Please email me for my “Clean Food List” recommendations (email@example.com) or consult any of the nutrition plans at www.bodybuildingworld.com to get a good idea of the kinds of lean protein, complex and fibrous carbs you should be eating.
1 medium serving protein
2 scoops UMP
1 large serving protein
1 serving complex carbohydrates
Mix with 12-16 oz water
1 serving complex carbohydrate
1 piece fruit
1 fibrous carb (green vegetable)
1 healthy fat (ex. 1 oz almonds)
Note: Always move Pre and Post Workout shakes around your workout—if you workout first thing in the morning, then meal four listed below would be meal one for you on workout days.
MEAL 4 – PRE WORKOUT
MEAL 5 – POST WORKOUT
2 scoops Muscle Provider
2 scoops Muscle Provider
1 large serving protein
¼ c oatmeal, or ¼ c brown rice, or 1-2 rice cakes.
1-2 servings fibrous carbs
Non Workout Days
Non Workout Days
2 scoops UMP
1 medium serving protein
Mix with 12-16 oz water
1 serving complex carb
1 serving fibrous carb
1 serving healthy fat source
“GO TO MEAL”Use this meal when hunger or sugar cravings are intense:
2 scoops UMP, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter – blend with ice and just enough cold water to make a nice milkshake consistency. Drink this through a straw SLOWLY (so brain coordinates with stomach).
WORKOUT PROGRAM TEMPLATE
Day 1: Chest and Back
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Shoulders and Traps
Day 4: Bi’s and Tri’s
— Do abs twice a week with any of the above workouts
— Do Cardio for 25 minutes (HIIT TRAINING) two or three days a week after weights or on off days. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. I want you to do a 3-4 minute warm-up, then a pace of 80-90% effort for 30 seconds, 50% effort for 1 minute, 90% for 30 seconds, 50% for 1 minute…continue for the rest of the 25 minutes.
Note: Don’t workout more than three days in a row without a day of rest. Note: Don’t workout the same body part more than once in a one week period.
CHEST & BACK
Pick 3 exercises each for back and chest. Do 5 sets of 8 (with two warm-up sets), or 4 sets of 10, or a pyramid set of 5 x 12, 10, 8, 10, 12 for each exercise. Don’t do the same exercise the following week. Choose three different exercises for each part the following week.
Choose 2 exercises for quads and 2 exercises for hamstrings. Do 4 sets of 15 reps each exercise, or 3 sets of 20 reps each exercise (make sure you do one or two warm up sets also).
1 exercise for calves.Do 5 sets of 20, or 4 sets of 30, or 3 sets of 40-and rotate the exercise each calf workout. Note: ignore the burn and work through it.
SHOULDER AND TRAPS
a. Shoulder Press Movements — Pick one press movement do 5 x 10, or 4 x 12 reps or a pyramid set of 5 x 12, 10, 8, 10, 12 for each exercise (always do a warm-up set).
b. Shoulder Raises — Do one exercise for sides, one for front, and one for rear each workout. Do 3 sets of 12 each exercise.
c. Traps — Choose one exercise and perform 5 sets of 12 reps or 4 sets of 15 reps.
BICEPS AND TRICEPS
Choose 2 exercises for tri’s and 2 exercises for bi’s each workout. Do 4 sets of 10 (with one warm-up set), or 5 sets of 12 each exercise. Don’t do the same exercises the following week, choose two different ones.
Choose 2 exercises for 5 sets of 15 reps, or 4 sets of 25 reps, or 3 sets of 50 reps.
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the list of the exercises that I have found work best for each bodypart.
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