What To Do When You Can’t Count – A Letter From Two Soldiers In Afghanistan

Andy MorganClient Stories & Results4 Comments

Letter from Afghanistan

This is not the first e-mail I’ve had from soldiers in a war zone, but it is the first that I was told I was free to publish. I enjoy reading military biographies, history, and war stories, so I’ve been keen to publish one of these for a while.

The soldiers talk about the difficulties they faced while trying to get their diet and training right while away, and how they overcame them. This may seem like a strange thing to focus your attention on while you’re in such a place, but it’s quite common among service personnel, and I can definitely see how pounding the weights would be a nice distraction. Working to get your diet right to support that is the natural extension.

It gave me great pleasure to read this, and I hope you can take something away from it too.

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What To Expect | Physique Goal Setting (pt2)

Andy MorganCoaching36 Comments

Physique Goal Setting | Skinny | Shredded

This is the second part in my serial guide helping you to identify where you’re at now so that you can set your diet and training up accordingly to make the fastest possible progress. (Part 1 here.)

This part we cover two categories of trainees, Skinny, and Shredded. – Very different physiques, but very much related in terms of diet strategy. Two lessons here:

  • Why You Are Still Skinny, What You Need to Change, and What Pitfalls You Need to Avoid.
  • How to Slow-Bulk – Avoiding the Dream-Bulk Trap

I share a lot of my own personal lessons in this part of the guide having languished in that skinny category for a long, long time and also having gone on a couple of dream-bulks myself.

Audio version available ↓

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What To Expect | Physique Goal Setting (pt1)

Andy MorganCoaching46 Comments

Physique Goal Setting

Identifying Where You’re At Now, Deciding On Your Best Course of Action, and Setting Realistic Goals

I have had to decline nearly half of all coaching applicants in the last three and a half years because the expectations on what they thought could be achieved, and my opinion on what would realistically be achieved, simply could not be reconciled.

Nearly half. Let that sink in for a moment.

To be sure, it is a shame for my bank balance that I have a conscience.

The reason for this huge disconnect is simple – the exceptional results of the drug-enhanced or genetically elite are promoted as being normal by the industry. We are told that when results don’t pan out to the expectations we were sold on, we just need to buy a new, more specialised training program (and maybe some more equipment), along with, of course, the appropriate supplement stack  – because the one that we purchased before wasn’t right for our body type, or biology, or something like that. This process spirals out of control, people eventually get frustrated and give up, and the collective result is that we’ve all pitched in to buy Mike Chang and his friends another Lamborghini.

Unfortunately it seems to me that the effect of the industry’s marketing is so powerful that the majority of people need to go down the hard road and get screwed first, before they are willing to listen to someone with a more realistic outlook.

The goal of this serial guide is to save you from taking that hard road. Using a similar categorisation system that I use when working with clients I will help you identify your current physique condition, and then give practical recommendations on the path I think you should take (cut, bulk, slow-bulk, recomp for example) realistic expectations of what you can achieve, the common mistakes that people make, and what you should be aware of as you progress.

This is potentially going to save you time on your journey to getting the physique that you want. It’s going to get exceptionally detailed, and I sincerely hope that you find it useful.

Audio version available ↓

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Simplifying Your Way To Shreds – Katsu’s Story

Andy MorganClient Stories & Results22 Comments

RippedBody.jp Results - Katsu

The picture above is of a former client Katsunobu, winning his masters class (50+) bodybuilding competition. It is possible that this means even more to me than it does to him. For me it represents the culmination of three years of effort.

Katsu is the first real bodybuilder to take our Japanese site seriously enough to consider competing with the minimum. I mean 2 meals a day, three days a week training and no cardio. This is in stark contrast to the typical 5-6 meals a day, 5-6 days of training + cardio that pervades here, and is a big win for the science-based crowd and our battle against the industry nonsense here.

It wasn’t a smooth ride. It started with an argument (almost), and ended up with him on stage a little over a year after our first contact. Here’s the translation of the Japanese article, but with a bit more emotion and background inserted in there. Thank you to those that responded on the Facebook page when I asked, I really had no idea that you’d be so interested.

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Don’t Make It About The Money

Andy MorganNews40 Comments

Underpants Gnome Profit Theory

“Nice guy, not the kind of person to change an industry though.”

Reading these words didn’t sting like you would imagine. I realised there was truth to them and felt the comment was fair. They came from a man who had single-handedly lit a rage-fuelled fire in me that lead me to quit my stable government job and plunge head first into this business.

I’m talking about Martin Berkhan. I didn’t think that there was a possibility he would be wrong about that one day though.

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How Do I Find Maintenance Calorie Intake After Dieting?

Andy MorganDiet Theory37 Comments

Finding Maintenance - Epic Meal Time

While you can’t go crazy like the Epic Meal Time gents above, you can certainly eat a lot more and maintain most, if not all of your leanness, after dieting.

But people screw this up. They either diet blindly without ever thinking how they were going to maintain it, diet too hard for too long and then can’t maintain it, or they mess up a calculation trying to maintain it.

When people ask the above question then, what they really mean is, “How do I find the maximum I can eat each day after dieting while still looking shredded?”

The following is my guide to doing this using observation and incremental adjustments rather than calculations. We’ll cover: 1. when you should consider maintenance rather then attempting a slow-bulk, 2. why you can eat more after dieting, 3. the practicalities of finding maintenance, 4. what affects the maximum level of leanness you can reasonably maintain.

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The Myth of the ‘Best’ Macro Ratio

Andy MorganDiet Theory18 Comments

The Myth of the Best Macro Ratio

There is an idea out there that ‘golden’ macronutrient ratios exist that can transform a person’s physique. The idea was born in bodybuilding forums by people looking at someone else’s body transformation, asking their macro intake, then reverse engineering it to come up with a macro ratio that is assumed to be somehow special.

I’m not a fan of this idea. It’s logically flawed and here’s why:

Metabolism is adaptive. Calorie needs increase over time (when bulking) and decrease over time (when cutting). Protein needs to be set (mainly) according to lean body mass, and fat also (to an extent), so carbohydrate increases and decreases will be used as the main energy balance manipulator. Ratios are therefore a function of the stage of dieting, not something to target.

Let’s explain this with one quick and very simplified example.

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Summer 2014 Client Result Selection

Andy MorganClient Stories & Results18 Comments

Rippedbody.jp Summer Results Selection

I’m trying to figure out a compromise where I can still share photos & testimonials, but save you the hassle of the results page load times (and me the headache of editing that huge lot of html). I think we’re nearly there, but in the mean time, here are a three recent client results that I thought might be of interest. Hope you find them motivational, and thanks to Adrian, Tom and Marc for agreeing to share.

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On Cardio for the Physique-Focused Trainee

Andy MorganCardio71 Comments

Rowing Cardio Fat Loss

Cardio is a poor time investment, it’s not necessary for most men to get shredded, it can steal recovery capacity, serve as a distraction, and the level of fitness most people will be happy with for their weekend warrior activities can be achieved by simply getting leaner and stronger.

If physique change is your priority then strength training and diet should be your primary focus. Cardio has its place, but shouldn’t be thrown in randomly and is best used sparingly.

I’ve done my best to bring together all notes on cardio that were previously scattered around the site into one comprehensive guide, and I’ve updated things drawing on the knowledge of some of the smartest minds in the industry in doing so. Time is a gift you will never get back, so use it wisely.

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Which Routine Is For Me?

Andy MorganTraining Principles58 Comments

Lifting ChalkImage EliteFTS

This article ties together the threads that link the training program suggestions on this site. It shows you the big picture: what routine is going to be most suitable for yourself and when, what to expect, and suggestions on when it’s suitable to modify things to chase progress. We start off by filling in the broad strokes that will apply to most, then we discuss some caveats. Take what is relevant to you now and ignore the rest, bookmark it then come back later.

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