Updated Sept. 3rd (Complete rewrite)
Do you look the same you did six months ago?
Haven’t had the success you thought you would following the advice you read in the magazines? Perhaps you’ve just stumbled upon this without wasting your time on that stuff before. Either way, welcome.
The method described below will help you get ripped, without all the training, meal management, and expensive supplements you probably think you need.
I’m not going to pretend that this is the answer to chasing your physique goals, but I honestly believe it’s the simplest method to go about it for 95% of people – busy people like you. So, are you going to keep spinning your wheels or dare to try something new?
Steps to Success:
- Get Motivated
- Learn What We’re Going To Do Different
- Try the Simple Set-Up
- Read my Tips for Success
- Get More Detailed
A training or diet method is merely means of achieving your goal. Many people get hung up on a single method at the cost of progress – don’t let this be you.
Be flexible. Be open minded. Be prepared to make a change, to see a change.
Are you thinking you can’t do this? Have a quick look at this results gallery below. For every person you see there are 100 times more scattered throughout the internet. These are regular people that decided they would do something, rather than complain about genetics or something else. There are no more excuses, all the information is right here, right now. Stop reading right now and click. Self belief is important.
1. Shift the focus to diet rather then training.
For a lot of people the emphasis on training over diet is what has stopped them seeing the changes they have worked so hard for.
Body-recomposition is 70% diet, 30% training. We’ll put our efforts in that ratio for results.
This man trains once every 3 days, for less than an hour, with no cardio. He is natural, doesn’t use fancy supplements, and used to be fat and flabby himself. His name is Martin Berkhan and is the founder of the Leangains diet system I introduce in this guide.
2. Purposefully skip breakfast.
Dieting generally isn’t very fun, but by reducing meal frequency so we can eat bigger meals it’s possible to still feel full and satisfied most of the time and yet lose weight. (Sound counter-intuitive? Worried that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Let me allay your fears here.)
3. Eat more food when your body needs it.
We’ll eat more carbs on the days you weight train for recovery; less on those you rest. On training days you’ll eat more of your calorie intake after training than before.
Make the smallest changes you can to bring about progress. Stick with this simple set-up first, before adding in unnecessary complication. This guide will get you going.
- Choose an 8 hour ‘feeding window’.
- This means an 8 hour time frame within which you will consume all your calories for the day.
- So as not to destroy your social life it’s better for most people to skip breakfast and eat lunch and dinner. Something like 1-9pm. Think about when you usually eat with your family or friends when deciding.
- Don’t eat anything for the other 16 hours. (A splash of milk in the coffee/s is fine.)
- If you have irregular work hours/schedule see this guide.
- Getting it right 90% of the time is good enough.
- Somedays timing will be off. Don’t stress it. Yes, you can still drink on the weekend and not have to worry about your feeding window too much.
- Meal frequency doesn’t matter…
- …but simplicity is your friend. Two meals (at 1pm and 8:30pm for example) or three meals is fine if you prefer.
- Weight-train 3 days a week. Rest 4 days a week.
- Training days: eat more carbs, less fat.
- Rest days: eat less carbs, more fat.
- Keep protein high on both days.
- Leaner cuts of meat/fish for training days.
- Fattier-cuts of meat/fish on a rest-days.
Looking ripped or shredded is a function of two things:
Low levels of body fat and sufficient muscle mass. You need both so don’t skimp on it.
- Strength-train 3 days a week.
- I believe barbells are the most effective for building strength and muscle mass so I strongly recommend them. (Reasons: “Why Barbells?“)
- Do big compound movements and forget about the rest for now. (Squat, Deadlift, Press, Chin-ups, Benchpress, Dips)
- It’ll take around an hour.
- Use correct form so that you build yourself in the fastest, safest way.
- Read the book ‘Starting Strength‘.
- Watch Mark Rippetoe’s coaching videos if you are unsure of form. (If you’re going to spend 3 hours in the gym a week, it makes sense to spend an hour or two reading about what you should be doing in there. Very few people do this though.)
- Hire a trainer if you’re unsure. It can be tell the good trainers from the bad, certificates don’t mean much. My guide on how to decide is here.
- Your training times can vary. Some people train fasted, some in the afternoon and others in the evening. You can even vary your training times. The only requirement is that you have at least enough time after you train to eat before going to bed. For a detailed timing guide check out Martin’s ‘Leangains Guide‘.
- Can’t get to a gym? Use bodyweight exercises and workout at home, but bear in mind that you are likely to plateau at some point.
To get the maximum return on your gym time, basically:
- New to barbells? Do the Squat/Deadlift/Bench-press every session for the first 2-3 months to maximize gains. You don’t need the recovery time that advanced trainees need because you haven’t learned to push yourself to the point of being sore for days after training yet. Don’t mess around with split routines.
- Barbell training experience? Consider some form of split routine. Details on how to choose what routine you should be using are in the detailed guide below. All training questions posted as comments will be answered there also.
As I’ve worked with a lot of people I know the mistakes that people often make. Here are my top tips to avoid making them:
- Keep to the plan. - It works! Don’t make the classic mistake of trying to fix something that isn’t broken.
- Use the guides on the site. Get a pen and paper and figure it out.
- Cook your meals for the fastest gains. It’s much easier to know what you are eating that way. – Abs are made in the kitchen.
- Eat the same meals frequently and often for ease and success. – This way you only have to count the macros in each of your favorite meals once.
- Get support:
- Educate yourself. Many people will tell you that not eating breakfast is bad, or that if you don’t eat for 16 hours your muscles will fall off. Arm yourself with the facts. Martin’s Top Ten Fasting Myths Debunked article is a great place to start.
Ok, so have you acted on the simple set-up above? Time to get a little more detailed then. I’ve put all the diet and training guides in one place. This includes How to Calculate Your Macros, How to Track Your Progress, How to Choose a Training Program… basically everything you need.
The guides on this site have helped thousands of people to achieve their physique goals. However chasing physique goals can become an obsession. If you want to take the guess work out of things I offer personal consultations. I have helped hundreds of busy people get ripped without it taking over their lives.
Thanks for reading and good luck! – Andy.