How to Lose Belly Fat in 1 Week – 10 Steps to Get Beach Ready

how to lose belly fat in 1 week

Soooo, you’ve left it late? Real late. The big date, wedding, vacation or whatever has crept up on you and you need to know how to lose belly fat in 1 week..Or maybe you’re already pretty lean but want to take it to the next level for when you’re letting it all hang out on the beach? (This article is aimed more for you peeps who sit at around 10-12% bodyfat or less)

With summer having arrived (Unless you live in the U.K like I do..) and vacation time draws near, my Facebook is full to the max with status’ of people trying to use “emergency” measures to get their beach body. Sometimes giving themselves only a month, a fortnight or even a week to lose belly fat..

There is a simple solution to this problem, of course, and that’s to stay in fairly good shape, year round. (Although, who stays “model-ripped” all year though, really? Unless you have work coming in left, right and centre which require you to be in photoshoot shape..)

Well, I’m going to show you how you can see a fairly drastic change in only a single week if you’re carrying a bit of extra belly fat. Keyword here is a “bit” – The results are obviously less noticeable, the higher in fat you are. It took you longer than a week to get that spare tyre so don’t expect to torch all of your fat in a single week either! First things first, though. This routine will burn fat all over..but if you’re carrying that last bit of fat in the belly, you’ll see a satisfying difference.

I really am not trying to enable or point this article in the direction of those people who never train but then suddenly decide to get serious with 1 week to go until their vacation!

But hey, I know it will be mostly you guys who use this article so hopefully when you see the results that this intense week brings, you’ll be motivated to pick up exercise as more of a lifestyle choice! And that would be my good deed for the day..Just be wary though, that these drastic steps aren’t to be used all year round to burn fat – This is what you would call a “peaking” method to get your body looking it’s absolute best. Quite similar to preparing for a photoshoot or competition but with vacation in mind. Using these steps week in and week out will burn you out, FAST. You’ve been warned.

Finally, before I stop blabbing on and get to the meat of this post, you need to know that the great thing about this intense week is that during your vacation you’ll have a window of a few days to be totally lax with your diet (Cause’ who want’s to worry about that on vacation??).

Now, this window is pretty awesome because it means that you’ll actually LOOK BETTER as the holiday goes on..by eating junk! The week before your holiday, you’ll be depleting your body and as soon as you start refuelling, all of that good stuff you’ll be eating at the all-inclusive will be directed straight to your muscles! So your muscles will be looking PUMPED if you’re a guy and if you’re a girl? That muscular definition will have you looking HOT in your bikini!

So, let’s get to it..Here are 10 simple steps on how to lose belly fat in 1 week!

 

How to Lose Belly Fat in 1 Week – Step 1 – Reduce Calories

Let’s keep things real – If you want to burn fat, you need to have a negative energy balance. Sure, there are some other factors involved but bottom line – Get yourself in a calorie deficiet..Meaning that you need to burn more calories than you are consuming.

Use this calculator on my site to figure out a basic number of calories to eat for this week..and be strict! Be honest about your activity levels when inputting your statistics into the calculator. Follow the calorie amount it tells you that you need to eat to “lose fat”. If you’re very high in bodyfat, this calculator will overestimate your calorie requirements so you’ll need to reduce further…but then again, if you’re too high in bodyfat don’t expect drastic visual changes in a week.

Count calories and weigh your food if you need to. You’re not doing this forever..If you’ve been disciplined at eating crap for most of the year, then a week of being disciplined at this won’t kill you, will it? 😉

 

Step 2 – Reduce Carbs

Reduce your carbs to the point you’re ONLY getting them in from fibrous vegetables and greens. Things like Asparagus, broccoli, kale etc.

This reduction in carbs will automatically allow you to drop water weight from your body. It’s estimated that for every gram of carbohydrate we consume, 2.7 grams of water is pulled into the muscle. So by reducing your carbs, 7-9lbs of water lost in a week isn’t that uncommon! The great thing about when you finally go on holiday and, I’m assuming you’ll be rather

The fibre from the veg will keep your digestive system and colon running smoothly in the presence of the high protein and essential fats you’ll be replacing your carbs with.

By reducing our carbs, we’re also trying to deplete our glycogen levels (“muscle energy”, in simple terms) over the course of the week to allow the food that we do eat on vacation to be driven straight into our starving muscles.

 

Step 3 – Increase Protein

Increase your consumption of protein to at least 1.5 grams per lb of your bodyweight per day. I.E. if you weigh 150lbs, then take in 225 grams of protein per day.

You’re trying to maintain your muscle mass and lose from the place it matters the most – FAT!

Increasing your protein will allow you to do this while you’re in a calorie deficiet – Use sources like whey protein isolate (or hemp protein powder), chicken, turkey, lean beef, eggs, tuna, oily fish etc.

 

Step 4 – Remove Allergens

This step is optional – Remove food allergens from your diet. I’d take away gluten, wheat and dairy. These are the usual suspects. So things like milk, cheese, whey protein shakes, bread, pasta etc will need to go for this week.

Now, this is a controversial topic. I know for a FACT, and I have people who can verify, that I was eating bread and lots of it when I was the most lean I’d ever been in my life. So already, this means I was getting a lot of wheat and a lot of gluten..

You know what, though? I still had a negative energy balance at the end of the day and I burnt fat..a LOAD of it too.

There are some “guru’s” that will have you believe that you’ll see instant changes in your belly fat as soon as these allergens are removed from your diet..

I personally tried this for a good 3 weeks when I was preparing for my fitness model contest in April 2012 and I didn’t see any increase in fat loss what so ever or any drastic changes in my physique. I guess I’m not allergic to any of these things?

Now, if you are allergic, and you might not even know you are, then you will see a reduction in your belly fat. Or at least you’ll see the “appearance” of drastically reduced belly fat because of the bloating that may have been caused by these foods and your allergy to them.

Test it out for a week. Remove these allergens – It won’t kill ya and you might even discover some foods that don’t agree with your stomach!

 

Step 5 – Drink Tons of Water

You should be getting in 2 litres a day anyhow but if you’re in training that should easily increase to at least 3-4 litres a day.

70% of our body is made up of water so it only makes sense that we need to nourish it with what it’s made from!

Drinking plenty of water has been shown to help burn fat more efficiently, gets rid of more water from beneath your skin to make your skin tighter (ironic eh? – Drink more to lose more) and increase your performance in the gym, which will of course lead to more fat loss. This is a no-brainer when it comes to losing your belly fat – Drink plenty of water.

 

Step 6 – Metabolic Workouts

There’s a simple training routine I want you to follow here. A resistance routine with minimal rest periods and select exercises that are big, compound movements to burn maximal calories. (an example is below)

I’d recommend either an all over body workout each session.  Or you could split your body in two. Upper Body and Lower Body/Abs.

Hit this example routine 4-5 times in the final week before your vacation or 3 times if you’re not as experienced.

Perform each exercise in a circuit fashion, using approximately 70% of your 1 rep max (if you’re not sure what these means, just pick a weight that challenges you for 12-15 reps. Your muscles should be close to failure, but not quite, at the end of each exercise). The only rest you’ll take between exercises is the time it takes you to walk to the next exercise. Here’s an example all over body routine :

[box style=”rounded”]

Exercise 1 – Squats | 12-15 reps

Exercise 2 – Pullups/Lat Pulldown | 12-15 reps

Exercises 3 – Deadlifts | 12-15 reps

Exercise 4 – Bench Press | 12-15 reps

Exercise 5 – Dumbell Lunges | 12-15 each side

Exercise 6 – Military Press | 12-15 each side

Take 2 minutes rest and repeat the circuit X 3

[/box]

This routine serves three purposes

1) It will help to deplete your muscles of glycogen, turning them into a sponge ready to soak up all of your holiday food/drink
2) You’ll be burning tons of fat during and after the workout with the “afterburn” effect you’ll cause. Which means you’ll be melting fat way after the workout is over and all throughout the week.
3) You will be retaining muscle with this routine. If you lose muscle, then you lose definition and also slow down your metabolism. Something nobody wants. FORGET about “weight loss” for the sake of weight loss. That’s old thinking. If I said You could either LOOK the way you wanted or see a particular number on the scales, which would you choose?…Thought so.

 

Step 7 – Get Your Cardio in Everyday

Burn even more calories by doing either high intensity interval training cardio or just a steady-pace form of cardio for 40-60 minutes (hill walking at a steady pace has worked well for me).

Do your cardio after your metabolic workouts for even more calorie burn.

On your days off from the weight training, perform a short intense ab workout after your cardio. Three exercises emphasizing upper, lower and obliques in a circuit fashion will be fine.

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Ab crunches (slowly and hold contraction at the top) | 3 x 20

Laying leg raises | 3 x 20

Oblique V-Twists | 3 x 20 each side.

[/box]

 

Step 8 – Supplements

Optionally, take the following supplements to help with lipolysis (fat burn) – Click for more information on each supplement :

Green Tea Extract
Caffeine
L-Carnitine
CLA
Yohimbine (as long as you’re not sensitive to it)

 

Step 9 – Fast

Admittedly, this isn’t something I have tried for myself just yet but after reading a few pieces of research, I’m certainly giving this a go before my next vacation and experimental fat loss phase.

On the final day before your vacation, depending on when your flight is, try to abstain from food for around 16-24 hours. This has many reported benefits such as burning even more fat and calories as well as increasing your fat burning hormones.

Some people even use this method once weekly to burn fat or control their bodyfat levels!

You want the end of the 16-24 hour fast to coincide with your first meal on vacation.

 

Step 10 – Enjoy pigging out on holiday and look EVEN better

You made it! You should now be looking a lot leaner and meaner after that intense 7 days of work and the funs just about to start..

You’ve earned your vacation and the best part? You can pretty much go wild, totally guilt free because you’ve just set your body up in such a way that everything you eat (to a certain point) will go straight to your muscle and energy stores, rather than turn into unsightly belly fat!

So you’ll actually look BETTER as the holiday goes on (you’ll probably peak around day 3 or 4)! Be sure to bring your swagger to the beach on days 3-4 where you can put that new torso on display! 😉

While everybody comes back from their vacation moaning and depressed about the new “holiday weight” they are carrying, you’ll be back having not suffered very much damage at all! Perfect, right?

It’s a tough week to put yourself through but nobody said it would be easy…just totally worth it when you’re on that beach being hated on because of your washboard abs!

Well, now you know how to lose belly fat in 1 week. You’ll lose a fair amount of fat for a 7 day period but this routine is far better to peak a physique that is in pretty good shape already and minimize holiday damage.

Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments below. Don’t forget to share and like this article if you think it may help others..(or keep it yourself if you want it to be your secret weapon, I guess 😉 ) Don’t forget to join my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter. Links can be found in the side bar of my blog!

Keep kickin’ ass

Altug

Carb Cycling Diet – Sample Day of my Pre-Contest Diet

So, this is a question I get asked on pretty much a daily basis. “What was your diet when you were getting ripped? Can you give us a sample?”

Well, here it is – A sample day from the carb cycling diet I used to get myself into contest shape in April 2012.

To be honest, I’d rather people bugged me about this than some of the other questions I get (nobody truly bugs me, really – I do like answering questions ;). The importance some newbies place on supplements and some of the questions I get in relation to them sometimes make me wanna bang my head against a wall! So, being asked about my nutrition is refreshing considering how important this aspect always is.

I’ve also filmed a video about the diet if you prefer to watch video, where I also explain how I was logging my diet and macronutrients. Check it out below and underneath that, you’ll find the sample day of my carb cycling diet!

 

[box]Carb Cycling Diet

2249 Calories
307 grams Protein
62 grams Carbs (not including green veg)
97 grams Fats.

Meal 1 – 2 x Bacon Rashers (fat cut off), 4 egg white + 1 whole egg scrambled, cooked in a dash of Olive oil.

Meal 2 – 400gram Fillet Steak, 20 grams Almonds, Vegetables/Greens

Meal 3 – Chicken Breast 170 grams, Brown Basmati Rice 100 grams, 100 grams Brocolli

Meal 4 – Post Workout – Whey/Casein Protein mix 55 grams, Maltodextrin 20 grams

Meal 5 – 4 Egg Whites Scrambled, Half an avocado

Meal 6 – 4 Liquid Egg Whites, Mixed with Casein Protein 53 grams (2 scoops)[/box]

 

This diet breaks down to approximately 60/10/30 ratio of protein/carbs/fats

The idea of carb cycling is to go a certain number of days with low carbohydrates to encourage lypolysis (the breakdown of fat) followed by a refeed day of moderate to high carbs to enhance the fat burning signalling hormone, Leptin, which is suppressed by a consistently low carbohydrate diet.

You can use a ratio as low as 2:1 (2 days low carbohydrate followed by 1 day of higher carbohydrates – Rinse and repeat). All the way up to a 5:1 ratio where you utilise a low carb diet on 5 days followed by a 1 day refeed. The maximum I went was a 4:1 ratio and continued to burn fat whilst keeping my muscle and strength in the gym. I found the carb cycling diet to be fantastic for keeping muscle mass and strength in the gym all the way to contest day.

The trick to the carb cycling method is to keep your protein nice and high. (At LEAST 1.5 grams per lb of your bodyweight to maintain muscle) You are also increasing your good fats slightly from fish oils, nuts, avocado and seeds. A lot of your energy for the day will be from these sources.

If this carb cycling diet was helpful to you, feel free to use the toolbar to like, share and tweet this to your friends! Also, don’t forget to leave me your comments below and let’s get some chat going!

Let me know how much ass you kick with this diet and, oh yeah..how much fat you burn too.

Altug

Carb Cycling – 8 Things I Learned About this Low Carb Diet

Argh! The dreaded low carb diet. To be honest, before my first contest, my only other experience of a “low carb” diet was a very, very bad one where I felt low on energy and like I was having a weird “out of body” experience..So, I was really apprehensive about starting a low carb diet…

Some of you may know that for my first ever contest prep on April 1st of this year (2012), I decided to utilise the Carb Cycling method to get shredded for the stage.

If you don’t know, Carb Cycling is a method where by you are on a low carb diet for as little as 2 days in a row all the way up to 5 days in a row (I went as low as 50-80 grams of carbs a day). These low carb days are then followed by a “refeed” day of moderate to high carbs and then back on to your low carb days..

Here’s what I learned :

 

1 – Your Energy Levels Actually Get BETTER

This was a strange revelation to me. As I metioned, the last time I utilised a low carb diet was not a good experience at all. But then again, I too was way less experienced and knew less about nutrition than I do now.

I remember it was a member of my team when I used to be a gym manager handing out a “challenge” which was his crazy “Zero Carb – 1000 calorie” method of dieting for a week.

As I had a vacation coming up, I thought I’d take him up on it. I am also one competitive mofo by nature 😉

Now, I had got shredded before on a fairly moderate carb diet that also included grains, pasta etc. (Those “experts” and gurus who tell you that you can’t get ripped on grains/bread/pasta are talking S%&*!)

Anyway, after 2 days of this low carb and low calorie diet, I started trembling and feeling like absolute death so I sacked off this crazy and, in hindsight, very stupid diet. So, deciding to use carb cycling for my pre-contest diet, I was very fearful the same thing would happen.

I had nothing to fear and neither do you!

My energy levels were stable, my mind was totally clear (I didn’t have that “foggy” feeling you get when you’re on crazy-high carbs) – The thing with carb cycling is that it isn’t a “super low” calorie diet.

You’ll still have energy from the good fats that you’ll be consuming and in the absence of plentiful carbs, your body will re-route that energy from fats and protein. Our bodies are smarter and more adaptive than we give them credit for.

 

2 – WAY more focus in the gym!

Another really strange effect I wasn’t expecting. When I have a big carb meal pre and intra workout like many of the literature in my certifications and fitness experts recommend, I always found myself yawning through my workout!

Not so with Carb Cycling! On my low carb days, my focus was laser-like! No unnecesary rest periods or moping around. I had a mission and that mission was to get the workout DONE as quickly, as intensely as humanly possible and GTFO of the gym to recover!

I always try to train like this anyway but the mental clarity I got from being on low carbohydrates made achieving this a whole lot easier.

 

3 – NO muscle loss

This is what everybody is fearful of. I just wish I would have started cutting fat earlier because I would have been in better shape on show day.

I left myself 12 weeks to cut down for contest shape and I got lean but not quite lean enough to place top 3. Just missed out on it by placing 4th out of 13, Not bad considering I had a 36.5 inch waist 12 weeks prior but there was no need for me to delay cutting fat..and there is no need for you to delay it either!

95% of the people I meet at the gym who ask me how I got so shredded for the contest are bigger than me and bigger than I was before I started cutting too BUT they are all too scared to start cutting because they don’t feel big enough..

I was exactly the same and my only advice to anybody who feels this way from my own experience is…Stop being such a P***y!!

Seriously, I barely lost any strength until depletion week (This is where you literally empty every last drop of your energy stores before the competition so that’s to be expected) and I didn’t lose any muscle.

My arms, which is what I always go by when measuring muscle loss because they are always first to go, were 16.25 when I started cutting. Contest day they were 16 inches. Factor in I lost a TON of water and fat..I’m pretty certain I lost zero muscle mass..and guess what?? 5 days after the show, my arms were back up to a solid 16.25 inches again and I was still pretty lean.

AWESOME – What more can you ask for? Having the same size muscles but your body is now leaner and fuller! What’s not to love?

Trust me, don’t be scared of losing muscle if you’re getting in enough protein and still keeping your intensity high in the gym. Don’t be one of those guys who are bulking for 8 years straight but never truly look in great shape.

 

4 – It’s NOT a very depriving or mentally challenging diet to follow

Low-Carb sounded like hell to me and I was preparing myself for the worst. I was mentally up for the challenge and was bracing myself to be super strong in that regard..Well, the challenge never really came.

Don’t get me wrong, if I had to stay low carb for the duration of the 12 weeks I probably would have cracked but the beauty about carb cycling is that you always have that carb day within reach.

That day, you get to stock up on your carbs and you’re off on your merry way. Easy peasy. At least, that’s what I found it to be.

Don’t get me wrong, you can DEFINITELY burn fat and get shredded whilst still giving carbs a place in your diet but my point is that it’s not as mentally challenging as most people think to go without them. This was just the method I used this time round.

However, most of our society loves their carbs too much and are too afraid to give them up, even for a little while. The discipline is lacking if you’re one of those that just can’t say “no” then that doesn’t bode well for my next point..

 

5 – You MUST be strict on Carb Cycling

There is no, “Oh I’m going to go out for a few drinks” on your low carb day. Or, it’s my best friends birthday so I’m just going to have a pizza and a Nando’s (“YOLO” and all that annoying cop-out shit!).

If you’re carb cycling, you need to stick to the program. This goes for any diet or program you’re following. If you can’t say “no” to getting drunk or “no” to a food binge, at the very least on your low carb days then carb cycling isn’t for you. Find a different type of lifestyle diet that will allow those things within it.

Heck, my birthday fell on my low carb day. We all went to a club and got a table filled with alcoholic drink and I just had sugar free Red Bull all night because I had a goal. I wasn’t about to stray from it regardless of what day it was.

This isn’t me getting on my high horse or insinuating that people who are strict are better than anyone or anything like that – I’m just saying that if you’ve made a choice, have the balls to stick to it and carry it through to the end! WHATEVER your chosen method is.

I hear people so many times saying “I’m on this diet” or “I’m doing this bikini body challenge” etc and their next Facebook picture update is a shot of an empty box of Krispy Kreme’s..Really??

“YOLO” I guess? *rolls eyes*

Anyway, Carb Cycling needs DISCIPLINE. If you ain’t got it, don’t do it.

 

6 – It burns fat, WELL – even WITHOUT cardio

Confession – I hate cardio, At least I hate standard, boring machine cardio. I put off cardio for as long as I could and I still burnt 4 inches of fat off of my waist in 8 weeks just by hitting my weight training hard and carb cycling.

The weight training was a VERY important factor in this fat being burned so if you’re licking your lips thinking “Awesome! I can burn fat on this diet without exercise” then you’re wrong..well, only half right.

You might burn a bit of fat but most of your loss will be muscle and water because your body will see no reason to hang on to your muscle if you’re not using them.

Which means your metabolism will slow right down because muscles burn calories..which means you’ll put the fat back on quicker than you lost it if you go back to your old eating ways. Fun, fun!

My rule I used for this was to keep measuring my waist weekly and when I stopped losing half an inch on my waist was the week I added cardio 3-4 x a week as well as my weight training 5-6 times a week.

This got the last 2 inches off my waist like a charm.

If you’re not competing and just want to be in great shape, I think you’ll be really impressed with the cardio time this diet saves you if you are weight training intensely.

 

7 – Meals Are TASTY!

When you’ve made a choice to use a diet that’s predominently low in carbs you have two options.

You can either dread it and hate every single meal that you struggle to get through

or

You can get your creative hat on and make some SERIOUSLY tasty meals to make carb cycling a joy!

Yeah, I said it..you can actually enjoy carb cycling.

I don’t confess to being the greatest cook but with a little effort I made some great tasting meals including chilli beef strips, lemon and herbed chicken with sweet potato mash and baked salmon with lemon and asparagus.

Get good with herbs, spices and vegetables. Learn which marinades are healthy like lemon, mustard, chilli paste, vinegarette etc.

Get to know what goes with what and you’ll actually look forward to your meals!

Here’s a free tip : Nando’s Medium or Hot Sauce – Almost calorie-free! Oh yeaaah 😉
(Don’t go crazy though..One or two teaspoons will suffice)

 

8 – Carb Cycling is a Maintainable Lifestyle

Following on from the last point – Due to the variety of tasty meal options you have at your disposal with a little creativity, it’s not that difficult to maintain your new lean, mean physique!

Once you’ve got to where you need to be, all that needs to happen if you wish to maintain is to simply use the minimal carb cycling protocol of 2 days low carb with 1 day of moderate carbs. This is achievable for most lifestyles with a bit of preparation.

Simple!

Conclusion

I was very impressed with the Carb Cycling protocol for burning fat and if you haven’t tried it yet, I’d definitely recommend giving it a shot.

You’ll have great energy levels, feel more focused in your workouts without feeling deprived of your sanity and best of all? You’ll keep all of your hard earned muscle, strength and burn a boatload of unwanted fat.

Remember though, if carb cycling doesn’t appeal to you then simply choose another method of burning fat that suits your lifestyle better. There’s no point being miserable while you’re getting in great shape because fitness should be the culmination and wellbeing of all aspects of your life, including the mental aspect.

There were plenty of athletes who just progressively lowered their carbs weekly in preparation for the contest and I’m sure others used different methods too. Carb Cycling was just my weapon of choice and it did a great job of declaring war on my bodyfat levels!

Stay tuned for a video and an

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter to stay updated and where you can also download my free transformation program! Leave me a comment below and don’t forget to “Like” my page on Facebook, subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow me on Twitter. All links can be found in the right sidebar or at the top of my blog!

If you liked this, as always, help a brother out and share with your friends on FB or Tweet this – *Arnold Voice* “DO IT NOOOW!”

Til next time..

Altug

10 Things I Learned About Competing as a Male Fitness Model

So, I just completed my journey towards becoming a competitive male fitness model and placed 4th out of 12 at the Miami Pro Championships on April 1st 2012 in my very first fitness competition. It’s a couple of months after the show and upon reflection, I want to share with you some of  the valuable lessons that I learned during my 6 month journey..Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

 

1 – It’s not THAT hard when you’ve set the goal

When I spoke to people who had just discovered that I planned to compete, there was a common theme – “Wow bro! Mad respect to you for doing this. I could never do that. You gotta be totally dedicated!” – Well, I might have said the same if you asked me a year ago. I only decided to compete 6 months before the show and I looked and felt like crap at the time.

However, trust me on this – When you set that goal to get in the best shape of your life in front of all of your peers, friends, family and the hundreds of people that will pack out that arena on the day of your competition, it’s sink or swim!

It suddenly becomes a lot easier when you have locked in that date for your goal. What choice did I have but to do it? I purposely invited TONS of friends and family (The judges said my crowd support was crazy when I received feedback) – It was either achieve my goal or look like a complete mug on stage! The choice was easy and it will be for you too if you decide to compete.

 

2  – Everybody is watching

I documented almost my entire journey during those 6 months on YouTube and Facebook. Either through status updates, videos or pictures.

This not only helped keep me on track and motivated but you’ll be shocked at how many people and who exactly is watching! People I couldn’t even remember I even had on Facebook were inboxing me asking me questions.

That was when it hit home how powerful this journey of mine was and how many people I had following me and cheering me on. I knew I couldn’t fail and I knew that my journey now had purpose. I was inspiring more people than I could have ever imagined.

 

3 – A few people will dislike you for competing

This is an interesting one – I’m not gonna do the whole, “OMG I have sooooo many haters” because I believe the people who do that are those folks who have none at all! Anyway, I don’t think it was exactly “hate” I received from the odd few people. Let’s just say you will notice some people acting differently towards you.

Strangely, you would think girls would LOVE the fact that you compete and are in great shape. Don’t get me wrong, most of them do and are very supportive that you’re getting into tremendous shape but there were a few of my girl-friends that started acting a little differently. (Any other athletes notice that??)

Heard some strange things like,

 “I just prefered you when you were fatter!”

or

 “You’re just too much of a poser now”

or

 “Hmm you’re too vain and just love yourself sooo much” (Ok, I’ve heard this one before..But it’s unjust I tell you!!)

or

“I don’t really want to see you until I’m in great shape. I don’t feel good enough” (That one made me quite sad..)

Obviously, you get the dumb shits who just don’t understand or are intimidated by what you do so they instantly call it “gay”, “vain”, “you have no life” or they even question your manhood for getting in great shape. Luckily, these people are very few and far between. most people who mean anything to you will be supportive and happy for you.

Just be ready to thicken your skin just a teeny bit. I love this quote which sums it up perfectly :

Want to avoid criticism? Do Nothing, Say Nothing…Be Nothing”

 

 4 – Give Yourself Enough Time

 

This is an important lesson if you’re training for a physique competition or fitness competition. I gave myself 12 weeks to get totally ripped and stage ready from a starting waist size of 36.5 inches..

Yeah, I know – That’s crazy. It literally came down to the last week for me to get into stage condition and given the circumstances, I did pretty good. Feedback from the judges was that I wasn’t as lean as the top 3 and I totally agree. I was carrying a little round my lower back.

Amazingly, I was on stage with a 30.5 inch waist. Which means at my optimum for show day, I should probably be around 28 inches to really get an awesome V-Taper. (I have been as low as a 27 inch waist when I was boxing so I know that it’s possible)

Give yourself at least 16 weeks to get into stage condition if you’re starting with as much bodyfat as I did. Obviously you can shorten that time if you’re leaner and stay lean throughout the year. That’s the best practice! This also means that you’ll be in stage condition with a few weeks to spare so you can really nail your conditioning perfectly on the day of the show.

 

5 – Going gluten-Free, dairy-free, meat-free etc are over-rated.

Whoa, put your guns down vegetarians and children of the earth! Let me explain..

For the last 4 weeks leading up to my competition, I totally eliminated dairy, gluten and meat products (apart from fish) from my diet. I’d always heard that going vegan (I suppose I wasn’t totally vegan!) would literally drop 7lbs pounds off of your body in a week just by clearing out your digestive system and helping it to burn fat more efficiently. Not to mention the energy benefits have been well documented.

Personally, I didn’t see much difference in anything. In bodyfat level or in energy level. I just lost fat the same rate as I was before and my energy was exactly the same.

On top of that, the winner of the overall at the show, Jason Dwarika, didn’t drop gluten totally from his diet and came in head and shoulders above the rest of the competitors in terms of conditioning. There was only one other guy who’s conditioning was on that level and that was Rowan, the winner of my category. Guess what he told us he had to eat the week of the show? Mcdonalds..I kid you not! Of course, for some competitors, that might bloat you right out the week of the show but Rowan knows what works for his body and you should find out what works for yours too.

You can check out Jason Dwarika’s Facebook Page Here to see the kind of condition he brought to the competition! Also check out Rowan’s page here

NOTE : That’s not to say that eliminating those things from your diet will not benefit YOU. Dairy and gluten are allergens which means that some people may react badly to them and bloat. Eliminating these foods can work wonders for some people! The only way to know is to try it. I will say that my diet is fairly low in these foods to begin with. I just discovered that eliminating these foods for me didn’t make enough difference to my physique and energy to make it worth doing on a regular basis. (If I ever have to drink a hemp protein shake again, I’ll jump off a bridge..)

What I AM saying is that it is not the end of the world for you to enjoy the odd bad food (mmm cheesecake) and that the whole thing MIGHT be slightly over-rated..At least for ME and if your goal is to look good. Especially if you’re following a fairly healthy lifestyle in the first place.

I firmly believe that at the end of the day, fitness should be a meeting of every kind of wellness. Social, physical, mental, emotional and health.

 

6 – Making Sacrifices Clears Your Mind and Makes You Stronger

It’s funny that this point should follow the last point I made..but there were some things I thought I’d be depriving myself of during this journey.

I thought I would miss going out and drinking – Turns out I really didn’t. I even went out for my birthday and had nothing but water or diet coke all night while my friends enjoyed our table in London with bottles of Grey Goose and Jack Daniels.

I thought that would be difficult for me – It really wasn’t. Making those sacrifices really opens your eyes and changes your opinion on things that you previously thought meant “living life”. I thought I had to drink to have a good time. After giving up drink for 4 months I realised I was wrong.

Why does anybody need drink to be social and have a good time?? If we do then surely our problems run deeper than a few glasses of wine or shots of sambuca can fix..

Making those sacrifices made me feel stronger, focused and more certain about my life than I’ve ever felt before. Make big sacrifices for big results.

 

7 – Fitness Competitors are some of the most positive people I’ve ever met

Male Fitness Models

To everybody who asked me when the show was over, I’ve said time and time again, “If you compete, I promise you’ll get the bug for it and want to do it again and again”

One of the main reasons is the positivity that surrounds the entire event. It’s a huge buzz from start to finish and the biggest factor in that for me were my fellow competitors. I don’t think I’ve ever met such positive and helpful people in all of my life. You actually leave the competition a little sad that it’s all over and craving the next one.

You’d think a locker room full of about 15 muscular dudes, tanned and ripped out of their minds in swimwear would be awkward as hell..that couldn’t be further from the truth. It was inspiring, motivating, funny, helpful and an overall awesome time all rolled into one!

 

8 – Everybody gets to their destination in different ways

If you look at the fitness landscape especially in the era of the internet, it’s actually even more confusing than before.

Opinions about fitness methods are like religions and cults. You usually fall on one side or the other. I’ve been guilty of this myself. I have totally disregarded certain methods in the past. It can be difficult to challenge what we think to be true in any aspect of life and fitness is no different.

When it’s all said and done though, just talking to all of the athletes in amazing shape is proof that the method used really doesn’t matter so much as long as you are sensible, dedicated, challenging yourself and progressing.

Here are some of the things I’ve personally heard different athletes in tremendous shape say about their training :

 

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“I used steady pace cardio”

“I used HIIT interval sprints”

“I did no cardio at all”

“I never train abs”

“I train abs every single day”

“I use carb cycling to burn fat”

“I just progressively lowered my carbs”

“I did zero carbs”

“I do cardio and abs on an empty stomach”

“I do whole body workouts”

“I use the XYZ workout method”

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Do you see how many contradictions are in there? And yet every fitness athlete who uses these methods looks pretty much as awesome as the next athlete who uses a totally different method.

The method you choose to reach your goal isn’t that serious. What is serious is your dedication to that method and to your goals.

 

9 – WHO You Inspire. You’ll Gain More Respect.

Kind of a follow up to point 2 – Everybody is watching but you’ll also be surprised at how many people and WHO you inspire.

I get the feeling that nobody really thought much about me when I was training at my gym. I always wear a loose fitting t-shirt or a hooded jumper. I’m one of those guys that look like the average Joe with clothes on. Very deceptive.

So when I told some gym members and other people that I was going to compete, I could tell by the look on their faces that they thought I was nuts! (I think people still believe “competing” has to mean bodybuilding where you need to be the size of a double fridge)

What surprised me afterwards was that after my competition where I placed 4th, a lot of people I never would have expected started asking me about training, supplements and just for general advice. I’m talking about people who are experienced lifters!

When you compete and prove to people that you can get into great shape, your respect in the gym goes up 10-fold and you inspire so many people. That part shocked me the most and validated to me that I really do have an important role that can help people.

 

10 – Where You Place Doesn’t Really Matter

You can come 1st or 12th – It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Certainly there are some fitness models that will be more marketable than others and those are some things that you can do nothing about.

However, even if you came first and you’re expect everything to fall into your lap, you’ll be mistaken. It’s an amazing platform to get your name and face out there but it is up to you after the show is over to keep yourself relevant and in the public eye. (Which shouldn’t be too difficult if you love fitness, right?)

Simply put – If you use competitions as a platform to move closer to where you want to be, then you won’t come out of the show dissapointed. You can use them to give your personal training business more credibility, increase your exposure for castings, add it to your C.V, the sky is the limit and you can take it into any direction you want to go. If you go there expecting everything to fall into your lap – You’ll be bitterly disapointed..Fitness modelling is a tough game and fitness models are a dime a dozen! Work hard and you’ll earn your stripes.

For me, the 4th placing was a bonus. I wanted to prove to myself that I could get into amazing shape. The real win for me was discovering my purpose and how many people supported me or were inspired by my journey. Don’t forget to enjoy that journey too..sometimes we are so obsessed with the goal that we forget to enjoy the journey, myself included. ENJOY IT!

 

BONUS – Don’t go for a pee 30 seconds before you’re due on stage..

Of course, after my first 10 points I’ve obviously convinced you to compete! So here’s some free bonus advice. Go for a pee WELL in advance of your call-out to the stage. I don’t know whether it was nerves but when they asked for our category to come up and get ready to go out, I suddenly had an urge to go.

So I’m running as fast as I can to the toilet because I didn’t want to be late for my stage call and be disqualified. I get to the cubicle and do my thing as fast as I can…I finish up and do the customary “Shake and tinkle” but I guess in my mad rush I didn’t quite shake enough..

Big Turk goes back into my swimwear (Come on, we’ve all got nicknames for our lil man..) but decides to punish me for not paying him enough attention after my wee..The punishment? A slight leak down the inside of my leg. Which would have been fine if it didn’t take a big streak of tan down with it!

PANIC – There was nothing I could do really apart from try to blend it in and hope nobody noticed. Just trust me, you don’t want to be nervous and then worrying about a wee streak of tan down your leg on your first competition. Just make sure you’re relaxed and everything that needs to be done is done in advance.

As for me? I don’t think anybody noticed the streak as it was luckily down the inside of my leg and that wasn’t really on display too much. All’s well that ends well 😉

Well I hope that you enjoyed some of the things that I learned on my way to competing as a male fitness model. If you get the chance I would DEFINITELY recommend that you enter a fitness competition. If for nothing else, then just to get yourself in the best shape of your life and feel amazing. There is nothing like it and if you learn as much as I did during this crazy journey, then it will all be worth it.

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Stay safe and keep kickin’ ass

Altug