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Benjo Training Solutions Client Statistics Sheet

Name: _____________ Introduction to the Benjo Training Solutions (BTS): If you're here, more likely than not you're not satisfied with the way your body looks and performs. Whether you have too much body fat, too little muscle mass, not enough strength to perform on the court, field or weight room, the principles outlined in my BTS program apply to all of you, and can be done for as long as you're still able to stand. Other programs and gurus would convince you that you only need to diet for a few weeks and the six-pack would come out, or that a few weeks drinking a certain juice would clean your body; there will be none of that here. This program is designed to give you a no bullshit, scientifically accurate and logically sound approach to dieting, exercise and your entire lifestyle, to let you achieve your dream physiques and strength goals while not taking away from other aspects like work or health. This does not mean though that this program will be easy; there will be plenty of hard work ahead, as with all things that you want to achieve in life. The objective of this program is to place you on a path of least resistance to your goals, and impart in you the principles that'll allow you to stay that way. Illogical and pseudoscientific "rules" that the fitness industry has made for certain people, like "carbs being the enemy" or "juice cleanses", have wasted enough people's time and money.

The Training

Ben Rice, a drug-free elite level powerlifter The foundation of any proper training program should be free weighted, basic compound resistance training. This program will be no different. This entails performing movements like squats, lunges, pull-ups, rows, presses and deadlifts with barbells, dumbbells and of course proper form. These movements allow your entire body, not just the "show muscles", to be properly and adequately stimulated and strengthened, allowing you to burn more calories, become stronger, look better and feel better. This is not a conventional commercial gym routine; there will hardly be any machine training, relatively little to no "cardio" work, and definitely no bull shitting in the gym. It's not designed to impress your gym buddies by getting the biggest bicep pump, lift the most weight (at first!) or conform to whatever everyone else in the gym is doing. The first thing you must do for this program is to leave your ego at the door, put your assumptions about exercise at the back of your head, and keep an open mind.

What You Should Be Doing In The Gym

When the average person goes into the gym without proper guidance, he or she usually just follows whatever popular culture has dictated to them. Males usually head straight for machines or free weights that let them train "showy" muscles like the delts, lats, abs, chest and arms, with the occasional dalliances with bodyweight exercises like pushups and pull-ups. Legs, not so much. The average female on the other hand is conditioned to remain in the cardio area and the exercise classrooms, to play around with bosu balls and pink dumbbells. Now these types of routines, while immensely popular, are on their face already quite ridiculous. Men beat certain muscles in their upper body to the ground to get a pump in their muscles, and feel good about themselves, usually neglecting progression, less visible muscles and their legs. The typical female gym-goer, more likely than not, works only one aspect of fitness: cardio. This is despite the mountain of evidence that shows that heavy resistance training is just as good, and usually better, for your health and body. Whether it be because of sexism, laziness or groupthink, women get the short end of the stick. What's a real training routine then, for the average person trying to get into shape? It's one that stimulates all forms of training and the energy systems that are trained by these (endurance, speed strength, power, absolute strength, metabolic conditioning, etc), for the entire body. And in my opinion, the best way to do that is to do whole body resistance training. It's the type of training that encompasses all layers of strength: heavy barbell squats allow you to stimulate all the muscle fibers in your legs, develop better posture and flexibility, get you a cardiovascular workout and get you very strong all at the same time. The Elliptical should be ashamed of itself.

Why Resistance Training is More Effective than Cardio

You may have heard of the generalization that cardio should be done for those concerned with their health, while weight lifting should be reserved for those concerned with appearances and building muscle. "Cardio for the heart and body, and weights for the muscles", as my father once told me. Nothing could be further from what scientific research and observations over the past 60 years of weight training has told us! Now, a disclaimer to the endurance training fans out there, I am not claiming that the "cardio" that our typical gym-goer does, which is either low or medium intensity steady state cardio (LISS and MISS in short), is not beneficial for people's health. Many of the health benefits that aerobic exercise (another term for this type of cardio) has been claimed to have improved bone mineral density, insulin sensitivity (how little insulin your body needs for glucose in blood, and is a strong indicator of your risk for getting type-2 diabetes), weight loss, blood lipid profiles (your HDL and LDL levels), and hypertension.8 But, most of the benefits showed in this research has been almost exclusively for untrained and unhealthy individuals. It doesn't seem to have much additional benefit once you have lost excessive weight and have become better conditioned. Now compare this to resistance training, especially a proper resistance training program. Trainees placed on proper programs have exhibited most, if not all, of the health benefits one would get from cardiovascular activity, and more, with the exception possibly of reducing hypertension. Body composition10, bone density11, lipid profiles13 and more factors usually associated with "health" are all improved significantly with weights; it's just the "side effects", or the muscles and the testosterone-filled males chasing after these, developed from the training become the only thing many people can see.

But wait I'm a girl! I just want to be toned!

This is still a very common misconception, even though the science has thoroughly debunked this myth, and the mainstream through Crossfit has broken it down a bit. Put simply, the majority of women do not have the hormones or the genetics to build a significant amount of muscle without "assistance". The caricatures that parade around in female bodybuilding shows are just as much a representation of the physique a woman would get through hard work and good nutrition as Mr. Olympia's would be for average male gym rats. The mythical "toning" only happens when you burn the fat and keep the muscle beneath the fat; and unless you give your body a reason to keep that muscle through resistance training, your body would much rather burn the muscle rather than fat as you lose more and more weight. You'll end up looking almost exactly the same, but a few pounds lighter. That is the definition of spinning your wheels.

Internet-famous female powerlifter Barbie Barbell. Doesn't look "bulky" to me.

But what about the professionals? They're huge! They die early! There must be something wrong!

Dorian Yates, former Mr. Olympia, has talked extensively about the amount of drugs professional bodybuilders have used. When most people start out at any competitive activity, be it a sport or a job, they usually look at the people at "the top" and rationalize whether all the hard work, time and dedication they're investing is worth the chance to be on top, to borrow a quote from a popular American modeling show. And when they analyze the weightlifting industry, it looks like a terrible deal: many top level bodybuilders and strength athletes die at early ages because of heart conditions, and bodybuilders of both genders reach absurd sizes of muscularity. Women look like men, men look like elephants, and regular society has radically different ideal bodies. But this generalization assumes that weightlifting automatically leads to building obscene amounts of muscle, and ignores the absurd amounts of drugs involved in the top levels of bodybuilding, strength training, fitness modeling and weightlifting. The drug "stacks" of these athletes can cost them tens of thousands of dollars, and unless you're willing to invest that much money and inject that

many drugs, you are guaranteed to never even come close to looking like that, and your hearts will thank you for the damage and strain you spared them. This is not a judgment call on pro bodybuilders, rather a necessary clarification for the possibly confused general public.

The Training Routine

If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail. If you do not have a solid plan going into the gym, you're going to gravitate towards the "easy" things that don't require much though like machines and the things you remember from television. Therefore planning out your routine is essential to keeping you on track and focused.

The Bare Necessities

- Three days for training - 45lb Olympic Barbell and weight plates - Dumbbells (optional) - Squat rack or power cage

- An open mind - Foam roller (optional) - Lacrosse or tennis ball (optional)

You need medical permission before starting any training program, and if unsure about any existing issues, please consult your physician!

The Foundation
Proper training only really requires a few basic compound movements, or movements that work multiple muscle groups at the same time (in contrast to isolation movements that work one muscle group). When just these movements are done, with an emphasis on proper form followed by progression, the entire body is given a thorough workout. These movements, with slight variation, could potentially be enough to get 99% of people's dream bodies and optimal health, accompanied of course with proper nutrition. Every workout that you have must have at least one of these movements, and all must be done in almost equal amounts, so as to not waste time, to build the most overall strength, and to achieve muscular balance.

The Routine
While there are many, many training programs out there, the one I would recommend the most for beginners is Stronglifts 5x5, and that will be the program (with modifications) that I will share with you today. This program requires you to be in the gym three times a week, and your whole body will be trained each time, with the weights slowly increasing over time. NOTE: It is highly recommended that you have a cursory understanding of human anatomy and the major muscle groups, as to not be confused by some of the jargon that will follow, and so that you train efficiently and balanced.

What is Stronglifts 5x5?

5x5-training programs are the grand daddies of all weight training programs, predating the steroid era, and give you a way to get the best of all training worlds. 5x5 means 5 reps of specific compound movements done for 5 sets, and this type of training allows you to get sufficient conditioning, significant hypertrophy and strength all at the same time, all in a much shorter time frame. It cuts out the bullshit and makes you concentrate on the things that really matter: progression and lifting properly. The program is split into two templates of full body workouts, to be performed three times a week. The first session of the week you do workout A, then next you do workout B, then workout A. The next week you start again with workout B. Week 1 of Stronglifts (On week 2, start with Workout B)

NOTE: You must only have 3 Stronglifts workouts every 7 days, as to avoid under recovery.

Why So Little Work?

You may notice that there are only 3 exercises to be done per workout, and that is intentional. This is especially important for beginners and once sedentary


individuals rather than athletes, because a precious resource of yours, namely work ethic, is scarce and should not be wasted on less productive exercises. Also, while the work may seem "too easy" and "too little" at first glance, once the weights start becoming heavier and heavier, you will wish there was less to do.

Rep and Set Schemes

You will do 5 sets of 5 reps (5x5) with the same weight on every exercise, not including warm-up sets. On deadlifts though, you'll only do 1 set of 5. Any more could and usually would lead to under recovery, and you will not be able to progress the way the program specifies.

That's not enough! I usually do 30 sets for chest! My arms are undertrained! Blah blah blah blah.
The reason you do such "little" work is because of the increased frequency of training; traditional body-part splits where your chest, arms, shoulders and back each get their own training day dedicated to them (with a leg day once in a blue moon) have you hit these muscles only once a week. When you are training your entire body three times a week, and lifting heavy weights each time, the work you do per session may be lower, but over the week you have probably progressed more and subjected your muscles to just as much tension.


Why such few reps? Shouldn't I do this number of reps for cutting, building muscle, gaining strength, conditioning, etc?
There's been a false dilemma presented for many trainees: the way you train solely determines the way you look. If you lift "low" reps, for whatever reason, you're going to become a fat-ass. If you lift "high" reps, you're training for "cuts and definition". When you're dieting, you should concentrate more on cardio, and less on weights. Without mincing words, these arbitrary rules are frankly based on the idiosyncrasies of drug-filled elite bodybuilders, scientifically illiterate magazine writers, and wishful thinking on the behalf of progressively lazier trainees. First and foremost, the amount of weight you carry, gain or lose on your body is solely determined by the amount of calories eaten vs. expended. You could do all the cardio, conditioning and "high reps" you want, but if you're still eating too much for what you burn, you will continue to gain weight. You could do exclusively heavy strength training, but look like a skeleton if you're not eating enough. While the type of training you do DOES have an effect on how many calories you burn, it's a relatively small part of the equation. Your body's resting metabolism (how many it needs just to live) and your food are much bigger factors. Also, the most important TRAINING factor when you want to improve your body composition, whether you're trying to build muscle or burn fat, is maintaining and building the strength and muscle you presently have. Our bodies are evolutionarily predisposed to storing fat because of the scarcity of food, and the most powerful signal you can send to your body to stay lean and strong is through intelligent weight training. And there has been a dearth of that lately.


Working Weights and Progression

The program has you starting with only the bar for all of the exercises, with the exception of the deadlift where you have two 10-pound (5kg) plates on each side of the barbell. While this may seem light at first, this program assumes that you have never lifted weights before, and you should take advantage of these light weights in the beginning to learn the proper forms of the various exercises. However, every next time you do the exercise (the next workout for squats, and the next workout A/B for other lifts), you will add 5 pounds (1.25kg) to the barbell. So if you begin with 45lb for the squat, bench press and barbell row for workout A, for workout B you will have 50lb for the squat, 45lb for the overhead press and 65lbs for the deadlift. For the next workout A, you will have 55lb for the squat, and 50lb for the bench press and row. Repeat until you are no longer able to complete all of the reps and sets.

Stalling and Plateaus

Inevitably, you will stall on one of the lifts, or being unable to complete all of the required reps and sets with proper form. When this happens for one of your lifts, if you still have remaining sets for that workout (say you failed on the 3rd set of squats) you must immediately reduce the weight for the following sets by around 10-20%, depending on how badly you were unable to complete the lift. You will then finish the sets and reps with that weight. For the next workout you do that lift, you will do the exercise with the original weight that you failed at, and ideally give it more concentration and rest time between sets, so as to avoid repeated failure. If you are able to complete the lift, you can proceed with the progression. If you were not, you will reduce the weight by 10-20%, again depending on how badly you failed, finish the sets, and this


becomes your NEW starting point/working weight. So in the next workout, you will add 5 pounds to this new starting point.


If you cannot use proper form with whatever weight you are using, for whatever lift, you must lower the weight. A little form degradation in your last rep is acceptable, but not going through the full range of motion of the exercise is unacceptable. If you're unable to do the exercise with proper form, you have failed to do the lift.

Rest Times
When first starting out with the program, and when doing warm-up sets, you can minimize your rest times to however short you are comfortable with doing. These can sometimes last as little as 45 seconds, and can be a sneaky way of getting cardiovascular conditioning in during the workout. However, when the weights start becoming heavier and heavier, rest times from 2 - 4 minutes are acceptable in between sets. However, anything more than 4 minutes is usually too long for novices on this program. You do not have to do anything during the rest time (no shadow boxing please), but placing the plates in place for your sets and returning the plates to their storage area are perfectly acceptable and polite ways to spend your rest time.

Can I Substitute Lifts? Use the Smith Machine? NO!

These exercises will all be performed with an Olympic Barbell and weight plates in a squat rack, no exceptions. If your gym does not have a squat rack or the free weights, it's time to move to another gym. The "Smith Machine" or similar machines (like a "3D" Smith Machine where the bar is attached to a cable) are not acceptable alternatives to free weights. These machines, while appearing to


be safer, do not make trainees utilize very important stabilizing muscles (muscles that keep your posture correct & core strong) that are developed when doing the squat, deadlift, etc. The fixed path also does not allow your muscles to go through their natural range of motion, possibly leading to injury or imbalances.

Smith machine

Squat rack

Won't I "over-train"? What if I'm still sore?

This is not a common question when trainees first start out on 5x5 programs, but as the weights creep up, it becomes more and more of a concern, aided by warnings and hysterics from magazines about "over-training". The theory is that muscles need a long time, usually a week, to recover properly from a training session, and any more would be counter-productive and cause your body to go into a weak and "over-trained" state. This is used as a rationale for "body-splits" where you're told to train one muscle group, say chest or arms, once a week. This theory has not only been debunked by exercise science through the discovery of the repeated bout effect, which says that resistance training actually makes our neuromuscular (nervous system +


muscles) system better adapted to more frequency (you can basically lift more, more often, while being less sore), but also observation of laborers around the world. Farmers and laborers often work 12-16 hour shifts in the third world, and their bodies and minds have not fallen apart. On the contrary, many of them have actually adapted remarkably to the workload, and are able to function as normal human beings the rest of the day.

These guys are jacked! Now of course these laborers are pushing the limits of what the human body can adapt to, and their physiques are usually not close to our ideals because of the lack of proper nutrition, but most of us are not in that situation. This program makes you train at most one and a half hours a day, three times a week, nowhere near the workload of most laborers, and you probably have enough food to sufficiently recover.

Warming Up
Never immediately do the exercises with the prescribed weights. You must warm-up in an appropriate fashion, to avoid lifting with unprepared muscles and nervous system. These drills take no longer than 10 minutes from your workout and save you the grief of injuries. There are three ways I recommend:


1) Foam rolling (optional) Simply roll whatever parts of your body feel tight or inhibited. Usual problem areas include the inner thigh, the thoracic spine (middle of your back), your glutes (ass muscles) and your pectorals (chest muscles). This is optional however, and can be done at any point in the day. 2) Dynamic stretching (especially for lower back, glutes and hips) To keep things brief, I will simply give a great video for anyone to follow if they feel like performing a dynamic warm-up: De Franco's Agile 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B-3Khbht5s - Lower body stretches: There are though two corrective stretches that I highly recommend that fix imbalances usually caused by our sedentary lifestyles and careers. These are the glute bridge, to activate your otherwise unused glute muscles, and the third world squat, to open up your hip flexors and stretch your ankles.

Third world squats

Glute bridges


- Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Exercises The shoulder joint is a very complicated region, and is one used every single time we lift weights. So not only is it very important, but it's usually a problem area for most new trainees because of past structures of training (too much chest, not enough back) and bad lifestyle choices (too much sitting).

How we spend most of our day Two of my most highly recommended shoulder warm-ups are the shoulder dislocation, using a resistance band, towel or PVC pipe, and the wall slides.

Shoulder dislocations. Use a width that allows you to not move your traps up.


Wall slides. Keep your arms on the wall, and do not contort your torso to become a little more flexible. Only go as far as you can. 3) Working up to the prescribed weight for each exercise: These are the most important of the three possible warm-ups, as this actually has you performing the lift. The number of sets necessary to warm-up are highly individual, and can be discovered through practice, but a good rule of thumb is to always have a few sets with weights at certain fractional multiples (1/4 of weight, 1/2 of weight, 3/4 of weight, then working sets) to allow you to get used to the movement pattern, and make sure you're executing proper form. Speed and proper form are of utmost importance here, as if you can't lift light weights correctly, how are you supposed to lift heavy weights any better? Sample warm-up for first set of a 5x5 of 135 pound squats 2 ! 5 45lbs => 2 sets of 5 reps with the empty Olympic Barbell 3 x 1 90lbs => 1 set of 3 reps with the 45lbs bar + 22.5lbs(10kg)/side 5 x 5 135lbs => sets of 5 reps with your work weight (two 45lb/20kg plates)

The Lifts
Barbell Back Squats
This program will be founded on the barbell back squat, and unless you're medically unable to perform the back squat on doctor's orders, you must learn how to squat. If you're not flexible enough to squat, you must stretch whatever


muscles are too tight to let you squat. If you have some self-diagnosed knee or back issues, it's time to go to a physiotherapist and get it fixed. If you're afraid of working hard, please grow a pair and get over yourself. Squats are the fastest way to become strong, become conditioned and muscular all at the same time. Learn to love it.

Why Squats?
Squats are sometimes called the "king of all exercises" because of how many functions it fulfills and how many muscles it works. Done correctly, squats work your flexibility, your entire lower body, numerous back muscles, stabilizing muscles in the core and even your upper body requiring you to keep the bar stable. The strength and conditioning you get from squats doesn't just make you better at squatting, unlike other isolation exercises; you become a better runner, jumper, sprinter and athlete.

Why Can I Squat So Often?

The amount of squatting in this program can be daunting, especially for those used to either never working their legs this way or only once a week. But the volume (how many times you do a lift in a time frame) is specifically high for squats because of the unique mechanics of the squat.











shortening/contracting of the muscles (the concentric) and the lengthening (the


eccentric). When you perform the squat, you're beginning with the eccentric movement of the lift as you descend. Elementary physics tells us that objects (you and the barbell in this case) accelerate as they descend, and this is no exception. This momentum, along with a reflex by the legs at the bottom of the squat called a myotatic reflex, gives your body more energy to use for the more difficult concentric portion (going up) of the lift. This puts less strain on your nervous system, and allows you to recover fairly quickly.

Aren't squats dangerous?

Done incorrectly, absolutely. These are potentially high-risk movements, especially when you've begun to lift heavy loads and your ego gets a little too big. They can potentially wreck your back and your knees. But done correctly, the squat can actually improve these injuries! Most injuries are caused by muscular imbalances, resulting in the overstretching of certain tissues, like the Anterior Crucial Ligament (ACL) tear of 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose. The safety precautions given to people like sticking to half (range of motion) squats and machines actually exacerbate these imbalances and lead to more injury. Also, plenty of injuries can be avoided if one simply checked their ego at the door and only squat weights they're capable of squatting. Also, ALL forms of intense exercise have some injury risk. Basketball players' knees deteriorate, football players have potential brain damage, swimmers and baseball players have abysmal posture and shoulder health; and all of these athletes would perform and do perform better in their sport if they did these athletic movements. And many of these injuries are simply unavoidable and accidental parts of the sport. If done perfectly correctly, strength training is actually MUCH safer than many other intense sports.


Tell me how safe basketball is again? (c/o USA Today)

Guides on How To Barbell Back Squat

I will defer to other more knowledgeable experts on teaching the barbell back squat. I highly recommend watching and reading all three of these resources, as well as searching for "mobilitywod" guides on getting the flexibility to squat deep. However, I generally recommend that you find the squat form that works personally for you while still following certain rules, like reaching a certain depth when going down, keeping the spine neutral, pushing the knees out, and keeping your heels on the floor.

The three types of barbell squatting: front squat, high bar squat, low bar squat


1) Mehdi's Guide on How To Squat: http://stronglifts.com/how-to-squatwith-proper-technique-fix-common-problems/ 2) So You Think You Can Squat by Dave Tate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ME8gEN54Ao 3) Omar Isuf's Guide To Squatting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLwiGkywKN4 4) BASIC: How To Squat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoZWgTrZLd8

Low Bar or High Bar Back Squat?

You may have noticed in the picture that there are two variations of the back squat (disregard the front squat for now): the low bar and the high bar squat. The high bar squat has you placing the bar right at the top of your traps, without touching your neck, and the low bar squat has the barbell situated farther down the back and around your rear deltoids. The low bar squat focuses more on the hamstrings, glutes and lower back (muscles at the back of your legs/body), while the high bar squat forces you to stay more upright, and strains your quadriceps (the front part of your legs) to a greater degree. BOTH forms are acceptable on this program; you simply have to choose one you prefer and master it. Do not switch back and forth between workouts, as this will take away from valuable time that could have been spent becoming better at the other squat.

NOTE: You may see a pad in the gym for squatting that helps reduce the discomfort on your back from the barbell. Do not use this piece of equipment as it shifts your center of gravity and can mess up the placement of the bar. If the


discomfort is too much to bear, a rolled up towel or an extra layer of clothing could help alleviate the pain.

Also called the pussy pad

Barbell Deadlift
The deadlift is maybe the second most important exercise of the 5x5 because of the sheer amount of strength and synergy needed from your body. Almost every muscle in your body, especially the much-neglected posterior (backside) muscles, needs to be working together to get the bar up. Any weaknesses you might have are revealed in this lift, and there is no cheating here unlike in the squat or bench press. You either get it up or fail miserably. Of course, as in the squat, you cannot perform this lift with improper form or you could severely hurt yourself. There are two "basic" forms of the deadlift that compliment the squat in this program: the sumo deadlift and the conventional deadlift. I strongly recommend one read and watch the following resources before attempting to deadlift, lest they destroy their lower back performing it incorrectly.

Conventional Deadlift

Sumo Deadlift

(From bodybuilding.com)


How To Never Get Injured on the Deadlift

Popular fitness personalities have called the deadlift "back snaps" because of the high risk of injury they believe is associated with them. And this is actually very true, IF you do deadlifts with improper form and allow your lower back to shift positions.

c/o Crossfit. Observe the back rounding. The most important thing to avoid when deadlifting is the movement or flexion of your lower back, and subsequently your spine. There are different schools of thought on the position of your lower back, with some believing that you should maintain a "neutral" spine the entire time, while some advocate an "extended" lower back (you look like Donald Duck during the deadlift). I personally recommend the neutral spine deadlift, as when you use the extended position, your lower back usually shifts back into the neutral position during the lift with a heavy enough weight or loss of concentration.

Observe the neutral spine here


This can be achieved by "squeezing the glutes", both during and before the deadlift. Doing exercises such as the bodyweight glute bridge shown above allow the normally unused muscles to "turn on", and not only protect your lower back by putting your spine in a safe position, but assist you in lifting more weight!

What grip should I use?

For most beginners, you should start with the double overhand grip; this means your palms should be facing your body. When your grip starts to fail you, then you can use other grip methods like the hook grip or the mixed grip.

Double overhand grip

It is called a "dead"-lift for a reason

A common error by trainees new to deadlifting is that they tend to bounce the weight off the floor, utilizing momentum to get more reps. The exercise is called a dead-lift, as in lifting from a dead stop. After you complete the exercise, and the bar is back on the ground, pause for a couple of seconds, and pull again. The alternative, called "touch and go", may be easier because of the momentum you're using, but is an almost completely different exercise.


Why only 1 set of deadlifts?

In contrast to the squat, the deadlift begins at the most disadvantageous position, and requires you to put a significant strain on your nervous system even before you lift!

Notice Arnold's muscles are contracting, but the weight is not moving. This is mainly because of the initial position of the barbell (the floor) and the lack of stored energy that you could use to assist in the process of lifting the weight (the concentric). Heavy weights and injury prevention require your body to "tense up" all of the muscles involved (the hamstrings, the glutes, the lower back, your abs) before even beginning to lift, or you end up failing miserably. This is why if you watch anyone deadlifting a relatively heavy weight, from beginners to world record holders, there is a slight delay in the movement of the bar. That slight delay puts an enormous amount of strain on you, and you're usually only capable of this amount of effort for one set.


Can I use gloves? What do I do about calluses?

You may be wondering if you're going to be able to use gloves to prevent calluses from forming because of gripping the bar. NO GLOVES ALLOWED. If your grip gives out, use weight lifting straps. If your hands are slippery, use chalk. If your calluses are becoming dry and a nuisance, buy some moisturizer. Gloves do not let your hands adapt and form protective calluses for when you deadlift, and if and when the bar ever slips, the skin on your hands will tear and you will be out of commission. If you need help treating calluses, this video will help you treat them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otorSGl3sG0

Guides on How To Barbell Deadlift:

1) BASIC: How To Deadlift By Jonnie Candito: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6UgD1H_AXw 2) Mehdi on How To Deadlift: http://stronglifts.com/how-to-deadlift-withproper-technique/ 3) Joe De Franco How To Deadlift Without Wrecking Your Back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nRRlk6264I

Barbell Bench Press

While done by almost every gym rat out there, it's rare to actually see someone performing this lift correctly. Done right, these work all the muscles in the chest, the front deltoids (the front part of the shoulders), your triceps and (again) synergy in your entire body, taking tension from your legs and using it to lift the weight up. Sadly, this is hardly ever the case, and this movement becomes a form of cock fighting; whoever can bench press the most has the largest penis, form be damned. This disregard leads to painful shoulder injuries, muscle tears and muscle imbalances, and is frankly dangerous when dealing with heavy weights.


The standard form of bench pressing has you gripping the bar, in the bench, a little wider than shoulder width apart, with both feet planted on the ground, your shoulder blades pinched together and stuck on the bench, your ass also glued to the bench, and pressing the bar up and down, with the bar resting at the bottom on your chest, and around the nipple area. The key here is total body tension; you do not want any part of your body loose and shaking. Everything must be working together.

What your chest should look like. (c/o Lee Hayward)

Why chest out, and shoulders back?

Besides being much safer on the shoulders than the typical flat back bench press form many use, it allows you to lift the most amount of weight, putting you in a good position to build strength, and build or maintain muscle. Retracting (piching) your shoulder blades allows you to isolate your chest. Think of it as a pushup, with the bar being the ground. This allows you fully use your chest, keep tension on your entire upper body allowing strength to move from one part to another more fluidly, and to protect your shoulders and rotator cuffs from injury.


What your upper body should look like at the bottom of the bench press

Guides to Barbell Bench Pressing:

1) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Diesel Strength and Conditioning: http://www.dieselsc.com/how-to-bench-press/ 2) Omarisuf Guide To Bench Pressing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33mjoyc5JbE

Barbell Row
The barbell row is just as important if not more so than the bench press, despite its relative obscurity. This is because the muscles of the back far outnumber those in the chest! This seems intuitively correct because the chest is only half of the front of your torso (the abs take up the other half) while the back is, well, your entire back. The number of muscles in these regions also backs this up: there are basically two muscles in your chest, while there are around 50 muscles located in the back. Of course that is oversimplifying things, but the point is it's vital to train your back, and the barbell row is the best way to do that. There are many variations to this lift, but they all generally entail you holding a barbell with an overhand grip, keeping a neutral spine and a retracted scapula (pinch your shoulder blades together), bringing the barbell below your knees and


even beyond, and bringing the bar to an area between your belly button and your chest. Pick one form and make sure you keep it consistent even as you progress.

Guides to Barbell Rows:

1) How to Perform the Barbell Row from the floor (Pendlay Row): http://stronglifts.com/how-to-perform-the-barbell-row-with-propertechnique/ 2) How to Perform Various Types of Barbell Rows: http://www.tnation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/barbell_rows_for_batwings

A properly executed barbell row from the ground

Overhead Pressing
The overhead press is the shoulder developer of these compound movements, and can be a crucial builder of core (abs and lower back muscles) stability, shoulder balance and upper body strength. The bench press predominantly works the anterior (front) deltoid, neglecting the posterior and medial deltoids as well as your trapezius muscles, and the overhead press takes care of these.


With this lift, you simply take a barbell from the uprights of the squat rack by resting them on your front deltoids, gripping the bar similarly to the bench press, tightening your entire body (squeezing your glutes, keeping your chest up), and pushing the bar in a straight line up. You will have to tilt your head back slightly, as the bar will slam into your chin if you do not, but make sure to not lean your torso back. Once it is past your head, tilt your torso and head forward and squeeze your entire body. Bring it back down in a straight line, adjusting your head and torso as necessary, and rest it on your chest. This is the most straightforward of the lifts, but can be tricky to pull of if your shoulders are unhealthy.

The overhead press Overhead Pressing Guide: http://stronglifts.com/how-to-overhead-presswith-correct-technique/

Do not use your legs in this movement!

A very common mistake is when trainees use momentum from their lower body to be able to lift more weight. While this is actually an acceptable exercise (it is


called the push press), it is not what we are trying to train here. Keep your legs straight and tight, and do not use momentum.

Push press. THIS IS WRONG.

Auxiliary (Assistance) Exercises

While the main lifts should be enough to give you a solid strength foundation, some body parts may lag compared to others and will require additional work if these deficiencies are to be addressed. These are placed here to correct common imbalances that I have noticed to pop up in most novices, but should not be the priority in the workout. They are to be done at the end of your chosen workouts, and progression should still be attempted, but at a slower pace. These are 100% optional, and when pressed for time can be ignored. Arm Curls When: Workout A Ranges: 2-3 sets, 6-12 reps Why: While biceps are not directly used in most of the compound movements, they do function as a stabilizing muscle in both the bench press and the deadlift. That being said, they will not grow significantly if they're not trained, and if you have physique aspirations, it will benefit you to do some bicep training. Equipment used: Cables, dumbbells, barbells


Cable Crunches When: Can be done at the end of every workout Ranges: 2-3 sets, 6-12 reps Why: While all the main lifts require stability in your abdominal region (the core), it is mainly the transverse abdominus being trained. The rectus abdominus, or in layman's terms your abs, are not trained directly, and will therefore benefit and grow from direct training. The cable crunch allows you to directly train your abs with enough tension to grow. Equipment used: Cables Seated Calf Raises When: Can be done at the end of every other workout (alternate with standing) Ranges: 3-5 sets, 10-20 reps Why: Calves, like the biceps, do not get direct training, and will be underdeveloped if not trained. The seated calf raise allows you to directly train and isolate the soleus muscle, which is found in the back part of the lower leg. The rep ranges are higher because of the predominantly slow-twitch muscle fibers present in the muscle, which respond better to longer time under tension. Equipment used: Seated Calf Raise Machine Standing Calf Raises When: Can be done at the end of every other workout (alternate with seated) Ranges: 3-5 sets, 6-15 reps Why: This type of calf raise trains both the gastrocnemius (the visible part of the calf) and the soleus a significant amount, and should ideally be alternated with the seated version. Equipment used: Standing Calf Raise Machine, Barbell + platform


Pull-ups When: Workout B Ranges: 2-3 sets, 6-12 reps Why: While a basic, compound movement, most trainees are unable to perform a pull-up, and for that reason it is not placed in the main program. Once stronger though, one can add them to train the movement pattern of vertical pulling, and all the muscles associated with it. underhand, etc) is acceptable. An important point to remember when doing pull-ups is to keep your lower body and back stationary, avoiding a "kipping" movement. You will be able to do less reps, but be able to work the targeted muscles (the back and biceps) more effectively, and avoid injury better. Equipment used: Pull-up bar Any hand position (neutral, wide, close,

Face Pulls When: On Workout B, after pull-ups Ranges: 2-3 sets, 6-12 reps Why: This exercise allows you to almost isolate the numerous muscles found in the upper back such as the rhomboids, the rear deltoids and the trapezius muscles, without having the much stronger latissimus dorsi (the lats) take over,


such as what happens in the barbell row. There are two variations to this exercise: one with and without external rotation. Both are acceptable variations.


Equipment used: Cable machine *Pictures and some information were taken from exrx.net

Why am I doing the same lifts again and again? Won't my body adapt?
P90X and other similar programs have advocated a system of "muscle confusion". To avoid creating a strawman argument, I will directly quote Tony Horton, inventor of P90X: "Here's the true secret of how P90X works: Muscle Confusion. P90X uses targeted training phases so your body keeps adapting and growing. You'll never "plateau"which means your body will never get used to the routines, making improvements slow down or even stop. "


This is simply inaccurate, because all exercise is is your body adapting neurologically and muscularly to the stress of the exercise. Strength training in particular is most beneficial, in both physique results and in health markers, when you are progressing in the amount of tension you place your muscles. If you don't give yourself enough time to learn complex exercises specific variations of the squat or bench press, let alone progress in them, your results will not be satisfactory. This does not mean that changing exercises doesn't have a place in training routines. It just isn't required when you just start out.

Training Accountability
You only have two "homework assignments" with this training routine: 1) Take videos of all of your compound lifts 2) Keep a training and weight log You may be embarrassed to take videos of yourself in the gym, and would prefer to judge your form in the mirror, but it's time to suck it up just a little bit more. Most of us have some form of camera on their cellular/smart phones, and a discreet and crude video would be enough for me to review your form. When you're checking your form through the mirror or worse by feel, your brain can play tricks on you to make you do less work by cheating a little bit. You may be doing half-squats to placate your ego and your eyes don't know any better. The video doesn't lie. The training log also allows you to make sure that you're still progressing or maintaining throughout your diet, and the weight allows you to adjust your calories and food as necessary.


No cardio????????
For the average, sedentary and overweight trainee just starting out on this program, no cardio is necessary to lose weight. Most of the health benefits of "cardio" are already reaped, and arguably more so, by doing whole body resistance training. The calories burnt during cardio work should not be necessary to create a calorie deficit, as your food tracking should have already accomplished that. Also, your attention span and will power are limited resources, and burning them out on possibly redundant cardio would be a waste. However, cardio could be done if you desire to simply be better at doing cardio, are an endurance athlete or want to eat more food already. Low to medium intensity cardio of any sort (jogging, walking, swimming, on exercise machines) can be done on days when you are not in the gym, or even on days you are in the gym, as long as these do not significantly affect your workout.

- Get enough sleep! 7-9 hours are essential if you want to get anywhere. If you don't have enough time, make some time! - Foam roll, self-massage and stretch out tight or inhibited muscles - Ice and heat compress painful body parts - Stay moving! If you sit around all day, muscles become tight and it becomes harder to get over soreness

In Conclusion....


This diagram basically tells you all that you have to do: eat enough nutrients to reach your goals, lift heavy things with proper form, and get enough sleep and recovery to do it all over again. Get lifting!

Describe your Current Nutrition: Here you describe what your typical diet is, in rough amounts, and ideally in calories. You can also just place a link to an online food diary that I can check on. There will be plenty of food tracking and accountability in this program, so if you have difficulty remembering what you usually eat, time to start tracking! Popular websites such as myfitnesspal.com and fitday.com are big helps here.
Meal 1 ___________________________________ - _________ Calories ___________________________________ - _________ Calories ___________________________________ - _________ Calories Meal 2 ___________________________________ - _________ Calories ___________________________________ - _________ Calories ___________________________________ - _________ Calories

39 Meal 3 (Add more if necessary) ___________________________________ - _________ Calories ___________________________________ - _________ Calories ___________________________________ - _________ Calories Snacks ___________________________________ - _________ Calories ___________________________________ - _________ Calories ___________________________________ - _________ Calories

Why do I have to track my food?

To put it simply, every single one of our bodies works through a system of energy taken in vs. energy burnt. If you want to build muscle, you must take in enough excess calories and protein to be able to build muscle. If you want to burn fat, you'll need to burn more calories than you took in. While there are of course exceptions, such as people undergoing starvation or people with diagnosed metabolic illnesses, this rule applies to the overwhelming majority of people. So unless you're tracking your food by some means, whether in your head, phone or notebook, you won't be able to consistently eat enough to reach your goals. A research done by the Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research helped sedentary and obese Americans lose 44% more weight when compared to others following other popular diet plans.1 While of course not conclusive, it suggests the seemingly intuitive accountability that comes with tracking food, as well as the avoidance of binge eating, allows one to stick to their goals much better.

How do I track the calories of food?

You simply search for the food in any food database (myfitnesspal.com and fitday.com are examples), get an estimated or weighed amount of the food, and


do simple multiplication. Repeat until you've input all of the food you've eaten. This is optional, but it is highly recommended that you at least have a rough idea of how many calories you're eating. Do I have to track food forever? No! While it would be ideal that one could weigh and count everything they ate, circumstance and life doesn't let it happen. Simply being aware of how many calories you need to reach your goals, and having a rough idea of how much you're eating, is enough.

The Primer for Losing Fat or Building Muscle

As I stated earlier, it's predominantly about calories in vs. calories out, and you simply have to adjust your food intake based on how fast you're gaining or losing weight! Starting Points "Maintenance Calories" Your "maintenance calories" are the amount of calories you can eat every day (or amount of food) that allow you to maintain your weight, with all other factors like exercise, water and salt being equal. This will be the foundation of your diet plan, and can be computed for in two ways. The first is by tracking your calorie or food intake over a week or two, and get an idea of how the average daily calories you eat (total calories eaten over that time divided by number of days). Also, you must weigh yourself daily, or at least a few times a week, with all things like time, amount of clothing, amount of water in system, being as equal as possible. After a week or two, you average your weight out as well.


If you have not gained any weight over that time frame, and your exercise regime has stayed roughly the same over that time, you have found your "maintenance" calorie/food level. This is roughly the amount of calories you can take in without, within a margin of error, gaining or losing weight. If you gained or lost weight, you simply have to multiply that amount in pounds by 3500, as 1 pound of body mass equals roughly 3500 calories, divide by however many days you tracked your weight, and either add (if you lost weight) or subtract (if you gained) to your daily calorie intake. If this is too much math or effort for you, you can simply take the amount of calories/food that you regularly eat over the week, and start from there.

How to lose fat or building muscle

Get ready, as it's mind-bogglingly simple. You just get your maintenance calories or food intake, and you either subtract 10-20%, depending on how high your body fat percentage is, (if you want to lose fat) or add 10% (if you want to build muscle and strength). Calories are the basis of all body composition changes, and all diets inevitably adhere to this. Of course, if it were just this simple to burn fat/build muscle, look good and be healthy, there would be no need for this program, so we go on. Why cutting on only a 10-20% deficit? Won't that take forever? The objective of this program is to make you lose fat as efficiently and as sustainably as possible, and anything more would make you lose more muscle than is necessary as well as impair your performance in the gym and in life. Showing up for the diet is half the battle, and if this program planned on starving you, no one would ever be able to stick to it.


What if I don't want to gain or lose weight because of a sport, budget? Then simply eat at maintenance calories with a good amount of protein! While you won't gain strength as rapidly as someone eating in a surplus, or burn fat at the rate of someone in a deficit, there's nothing wrong with being satisfied at your current condition. It's even possible, though difficult and very slow, for your body to "recomposition" (lose fat and build muscle at the same time) when near your "maintenance" if protein is sufficient and performance is improving. So this recommendation is generally for those that are happy with their current body composition, and can allow them to focus on performance.

Should I start at a deficit or a surplus first?

Most beginners are in a conundrum: they have an excessive amount of body fat, yet are weak as kittens. So a calorie deficit would make them lose body fat, but have no muscle to show for it after the diet, and a calorie surplus would make them even fatter. Which should you do? First of all, if you're obese (above 25% body fat), you must go into a deficit. Enough excuses and enough whining. It doesn't matter if you don't have that much strength or muscle, being at that high of a body fat percentage is neither healthy nor attractive, and is a problem that must be fixed as soon as possible. However, if you have the "skinny-fat" syndrome, where you are at an average body weight, yet have a significant amount of fat without any muscle or strength to show for it, a deficit could leave you looking like a bamboo tree. So I recommend that these trainees begin at maintenance calories and focus on maximizing their current strength there, and potentially burning fat and building muscle at the same time.


When to stop eating at a surplus? When your body fat percentage breaches 20% (you can't see your abs), OR you are uncomfortable with the amount of fat you carry, you stop eating in a surplus and reduce calories to your predicted maintenance level. After a month at maintenance, you reassess whether you maintain, go into a deficit, or continue the surplus.

When to stop eating in a deficit? When you approach 10% body fat (doubtful) or have dieted at a 10-15% deficit for at least two months, and feel psychologically tired, you can go back to your predicted maintenance level. Dieting and simultaneously training hard can become difficult, and "diet breaks", or periods of time where you eat to just maintain and replenish glycogen stores (too much detail to go into here, Google diet breaks for more details), can help keep you on track.

Why you have to focus on losing fat, not weight

Most modern diets and mindsets focus on losing weight, the composition be damned. As long as you lose those ten pounds in 8 weeks and you did some crunches and body weight lunges during that time, you're guaranteed to get more "toned" (my least favorite word in the fitness lexicon). But this way of thinking fails to take in to account how your body actually looks! Our bodies (mutants and aliens exempted) are made up of tissues and material that weigh certain amounts. This includes blood, muscles, bones, water, digested food, fat, skin and basically anything inside your body. All of these things weigh a certain amount, and when combined, make up your weight!


Where dieters are concerned, this mass is divided into two parts: fat-free mass and fat mass. The fat mass divided by your total body weight is your body fat percentage. Simple enough? The goal of all dieters is to minimize the fat (by reducing their body fat percentage) that they store in their body, and this is pretty tricky to accurately measure, so it is usually done through tape measurements or eye tests. This is very important to remember because many, many diets (I'm looking at you juice cleanses!) simply have you stop eating a substantial amount of food for a short period of time, usually unaccompanied by an intelligent training routine. Most of these diets when performed correctly will make you lose weight, but your body fat percentage will most likely not change at all! The 10 pounds you may have lost on this 'cleanse' could have consisted of 5 pounds of food and water, 3 pounds of muscle and 2 pounds of fat, actually leaving you worse off than before. So the goal is always to improve body composition by maximizing muscle and minimizing fat.

Basic nutrition would tell you that calories are made up of three, and arguably up to five, macronutrients (macros for short): carbohydrates, protein and fat (alcohol and fiber are the other two). Beyond that, the myth-machine of the fitness industry takes over. "Carbs are bad!", "Fat makes you fat!", "Meat kills!", "Protein kills your liver and kidney!". All of these statements have been made by the media and by authorities over the past 50 years, and they've all contributed to a gross misunderstanding of the public of such basic nutrients. They all have specific amounts of calories in them (a gram of protein and carbohydrate roughly have four calories each, a gram of fiber has 2 calories, and a gram of fat has 9 calories), and any combination of these things, within reason, can be used to the


desired effect. All have their benefits and functions in our body, and all have their place in any diet.

So macronutrients are only one side of the coin of nutrition; "micros" play a key role in both how our body looks and how healthy we are. For us to get all the micronutrients (and phytonutrients and antioxidants) we need to function optimally, a varied and balanced diet is a must. This means that it is NOT correct to eat at a 10% food deficit while only eating whey protein, olive oil and Twinkies. Fruits, vegetables, varied grains and an assortment of food will not only keep you healthier, but also help you balance healthy living with social situations. BUT, there are recommended daily allowances (RDA's) for all of the micronutrients, and when you consume more than necessary, you're literally pissing these nutrients away. Excessive micronutrients do not make you healthier than someone consistently hitting the recommended amounts, and they can sometimes have side effects. I have personally had my skin turn a shade of yellow because of an excessive amount of vitamin A from pumpkin and sweet potatoes, and an excess of certain vitamins can actually lead to malabsorbtion of other vitamins! So the rule of "more is better" does not apply here.

If It Fits Your Macros and Micros

The goal of this nutrition plan is to be able to partition your calories in the most efficient and enjoyable way into fats, carbs, fiber and protein, while still reaching the recommended daily allowances for all of your micronutrients from whole foods. This does not have to be done through tracking each one gram per gram;


as long as certain minimums requirements are hit throughout the day for protein (~0.75g of protein and 0.4g of fat per pound of body weight every day), the rest of the calories can be filled in whatever way you prefer. So this can entail that you do a low-carb or paleo-style diet, where you eat only meat, fats and vegetables, and minimize your carbohydrate intake, or to be able to feast on carbohydrates while minimizing fats and protein. A Sample Nutrition Plan Client: Juan Dela Cruz Weight: 200 pounds Averaged Daily Calorie Maintenance: 2500 calories Goal: Lose fat (10-15% deficit required) Goal calories: 2150-2250 Weight lost per week (250-350 calories * 7 * 1lb/3500 calories): 0.5-0.9 lbs Fiber required: 21.5 - 22.5 grams Minimum amount of protein needed (0.75 g/ lb of body weight): 150 grams Minimum amount of fat needed (0.4 g/lb of body weight): 80 grams Discretionary calories: 830-930 calories left But xxx diet works better for me! That's the point of this flexible approach to dieting; you make the decisions based on what your body and mind prefer! If your insulin sensitivity is bad and your blood sugar fluctuates a lot, you can minimize your carbohydrates (or eat it with fats and protein) to blunt the spikes in blood sugar. If you absolutely love carbohydrates and feel no bad effect from consuming heavy amounts of them, you can maximize your carbohydrate intake! There are too many psychological factors, and even some physiological ones, to create a one size fit all diet plan, so my objective is to give you the responsibility and privilege to change your diet as you see fit.


What about meal timing? No post workout, pre workout shakes or meals? Intermittent fasting? No carbs after 6pm? To cut through the bullshit, daily meal timing matters much, much, much less than the total amount of nutrients that you consume throughout the entire day. Many of these rules, like intermittent fasting, recovery protein shakes and the "no carbs" after six, are grounded in short-term studies that lose value over other dieting methods when looked at in the long term. Of course there can be psychological benefits to eating at certain times, making your performance in the gym better or your sleep more enjoyable, but those are highly individual and not for any magazine or guru to determine. Eat your nutrients when you feel like it! Wait, why are we talking about nutrients? Why not food (names)? Aren't (insert meat, eggs, cholesterol, cookies, sweets, etc) bad for you? Something I want to emphasize here is the importance of MODERATION. This is an almost extinct idea in our culture of bingeing, extremism and quite literally "Insanity", a workout program, but it still applies. This means that while certain foods may be unhealthy when consumed in excess like alcohol and "junk food" like chips, pizza and cookies, most foods, except those with artificial trans fats, foods that you are allergic to like lactose, and a dangerous amount of heavy metals like mercury, can be eaten in moderation and in a controlled fashion. So if you're able to control your appetite and not turn into the Cookie Monster, there's nothing wrong with the occasional treat in the context of a balanced diet. And some restrictions are just based on outdated science, like the previous example of excess protein causing renal failure, and the cholesterol from dietary sources like eggs causing health problems. 7 Of course there are "healthy" and more nutritious foods out there like broccoli, kale and other vegetables, as well as micronutrient deficient "junk foods" easy to


overeat like sweets and soda, but it does not have to be a one-way street. Being "healthy" does not mean eating exclusively chicken breast, egg whites, steamed vegetables and brown rice throughout the week, followed by a weekend of binge drinking and eating. As long as the bulk of your calories come from micronutrient rich foods, especially when hunger is an issue when dieting, there's nothing wrong with having the occasional junk food to fill in the rest of the calories. Junk food is sometimes even necessary when trying to gain weight, as it's sometimes extremely difficult to get enough calories from purely "healthy" food. Supplements Supplements are supposed to only supplement your diet, yet many experts and gurus claim that these are a necessary component of any exercise routine! Anyone claiming so is selling you snake oil. Most if not all of the things found in supplements can be found in cheap and readily available foods (caffeine in coffee, creatine in meat, vitamins and minerals in everything you eat). I recommend a generic Vitamin D3 tablet (up to 5000 iu's a day) and 3 grams of EPA/DHA combined, probably from fish oil. Most supplements do have a body of research around them, and it would be best for you to critically analyze the supplements individually, but more likely than not these are just companies trying to figure out new ways to scam you out of money when you can simply exercise more, eat more nutritious food, and possibly eat less. Should I "take" whey protein, fat burners and BCAA's? Whey protein and other processed protein powders are just convenient sources of protein (AKA FOOD), nothing more and nothing less. Supplement companies have tried in vain to fund studies that prove that whey "builds more muscle", but when adjusted over time the whey proves just as effective as other protein sources like eggs, chicken and beef. BCAA's are an unnecessary luxury, especially for beginners that have much more pressing needs. Legal fat burners


are simply stimulants that raise your metabolic rate by an almost insignificant amount, with potential side effects. The effective fat burners are illegal in most countries and are regarded as performance enhancing drugs, accompanied by legitimate cardiovascular side effects.

How to adjust your diet

Every dieter has and will reach a point where his/her weight loss or gain stops, and they simply throw their hands up in defeat and go back to their old habits. That's obviously not the goal of this program, as I want to impart principles in you that last a lifetime, so adjustments of course are necessary. If you'll recall, my recommendation earlier was to have either a 10-15% calorie deficit or surplus, or stay at maintenance calories, depending on your goals. If you're not gaining or losing weight at the expected rate (divide the weekly surplus/deficit by 3500), or you're not maintaining your weight, and this has gone on for at least two weeks, you just move your maintenance calories up or down, and get a new percentage of that to reach your goals! Maintenance is not some fixed number that our bodies cling on to throughout muscle building and fat burning; there are way too many factors that affect your metabolism to have a consistent number. So adjustments are very necessary, and are the crux of this nutrition plan.


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