How to Transform Your Body in 10 Simple Steps

Well, we’re at the beginning of another year and we’ve all hopefully set some new goals that we’d like to achieve in 2012! For many, the goal or New Years resolution always seems to be to get into better shape than the previous year. However, when February comes around gyms certainly look a little emptier than they did in January.

If you’ve been following my blog or have “liked” the Facebook page , then you’ll know I’ve documented both a muscle building transformation and a fat loss transformation. In this post, I’m gonna make sure that you never become a New Years gym casualty again! Not on my watch..

Here are 10 simple steps that show you how to transform your body, no matter what your goal is!

 STEP 1 to Transform Your Body – Get The Motivation!

 You have to figure out what has motivated you in the first place to want to transform your physique. Get real deep and honest with yourself. The reason won’t be as simple as “Oh, I just want to look better” – That’s the reason on the surface but you need to get your diving gear on and go looking for the real reason.

 A quick exercise to help you do this is to keep asking yourself “Why?” after every question – You know you’ve gone deep enough when you’ve disturbed yourself emotionally. Here’s an example :

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I want to look better…Why?

Because it will give me more confidence..Why?

Because right now I don’t feel comfortable wearing my favourite dress..Why?

Because I feel like people are looking at *insert your least favourite body part here* and it makes me paranoid…etc etc


Do you see how the reason changed when we went a bit deeper? It’s usually not the nicest thing in the world to get to the real reason but it will give you that super crazy motivation to attack your transformation like you never have before instead of quitting two weeks into January. Try it!

STEP 2 to Tranform Your Body – Take Measurements

Take initial measurements of your bodyparts. I normally measure the following parts with a measuring tape – Biceps, Chest, Waist, Upper Thighs and Calves. Take measurements at the biggest points, then note them down somewhere. You will be doing this also on a weekly basis without fail. I also weigh myself once a week but be wary of the scales – They won’t always tell the truth. You could have lost/gained water, muscle or fat. (That’s where Step 3 comes in!)

 STEP 3 to Transform Your Body – Take a Before Picture of Yourself

Take a before picture of yourself and make sure the picture is in good lighting and that each picture you take uses a fairly consistent pose. You will be doing this on a weekly basis without fail. Why? Scales won’t always tell you the full story..heck, sometimes even measurements don’t. However, pictures don’t lie. We’re using this as a motivation tool but wouldn’t it also be a fantastic diary of your achievements? Get snappin’!

 Transform Your Body

STEP 4 to Transform Your Body – Look at Your Diet!

The fun begins! Time to take a look at your diet – Let’s not sugar coat it (excuse the pun!), your diet is probably one of the key reasons that you’re not in the shape you want to be in and have decided to transform your body.

Nutrition is a topic that requires an entire book to cover and in my attempt to keep this short and sweet I will simply suggest for you to take a look at a healthy diet that you can maintain for the rest of your life. You’re not going to “go on a diet”. No, this will be your diet full stop!

Be sensible and make sure the diet suits your lifestyle. For example, don’t pick a diet where you need to eat 5-7 small meals a day if your job requires you to be on your feet all day and it isn’t feasible for you to take lots of little breaks.

My top tip is to keep your diet as natural and as “caveman” as possible – Whatever was available for cavemen to eat at the time is a good base for your diet too! Ok, so you’ve decided on a healthy diet..

STEP 5 – Go Shopping!

Time to pilot your trolley and start shopping for your food! Before hand, decide on which kind of foods you want to include in your diet based on your diet guidelines and create a shopping list! This is important as it will keep you focused on what you are there to buy. No straying to special offers or treats!

Another tip is to NEVER shop while you are hungry. Your cravings will kick in and you’ll be sure to make some bad food choices.

STEP 6 – Supplement For Some Extra Help

Not a necessity, but they can help you towards your goals – If you’re just a beginner or new to supplements, don’t go crazy. Just the proven basics will suffice. This is another topic that you could write a novel about but in the interest of keeping things short..

For Fat Loss :- Green Tea and L-Carnitine are cheap, effective places to start. There are literally thousands of supplements that claim fat loss. Some more dangerous, expensive, more effective than others. Understand that no pill or potion will ever replace your diet and hard work. There’s no secret! If you are going for any fat loss supplements, use common sense and research thoroughly what their effects are, good and bad.

For Muscle Building :- A basic Whey Protein Isolate, Creatine Monohydrate and Multivitamin will be adequate to help you pack on some muscle if the rest of your diet and training is on point.

Remember the word “Supplement” means “in addition to”, not “instead of” so don’t think you can replace hard work with these things to transform your body. You’ll be bitterly dissapointed..

STEP 7 – Get An Effective Exercise Plan

Yup, it’s unavoidable. If your goal is fat loss, you can certainly lose weight without exercising but guess what? It won’t be the kind of weight you want to lose. You’ll lose some fat but a lot of muscle too. This will just create a smaller version of the current you with a S-L-O-W metabolism!

I truly believe that every person on this earth should be doing some sort of resistance/weight training at the very least 2-3 times a week. It’s a fantastic exercise for burning fat, building muscle (women you will NEVER look like Arnold Schwarzenegger I can assure you..Try J-Lo) and revving up your metabolism. I could list the benefits of weight training for men and women for days. Seriously..Just do it.

You could also include a cardio routine as well to help shift the fat and benefit your health – I’d go for a HIIT style training program (with which you can use almost any exercise you want) at least every other day if you are low on time for fat loss results. You can even use weight training for cardio if you’re inventive enough!

Whatever program you decide on, start slow and progress from there. So you’ve got your program, great! Now just..

STEP 8 – Print and Take Your Program to the Gym

95% of people I see at the gym don’t do this. Be the 5% of people that are always logging their workouts and progressing from week to week.

Recording your workouts will give you feedback and allow you to make tweaks to ensure that you progress the next time! If you’re not progressing, you’ve hit a plateau. You may need to tweak your diet, your training program or just be more consistent! Either way, you’ll never know if you don’t record this information. After all, what’s the point of training if you’re not seeing results, right? What a motivation killer…!

STEP 9 to Transform Your Body – Re-take Measurements, Pictures and Assess!

At the end of the first week, take another picture and take your measurements again. Your measurements should show movement in the direction that you want (but this will depend on a number of factors. How new you are to exercise, how much bodyfat you started with etc) – If I’m burning fat I normally look for decreases in my stubborn fatty area’s which for me is my waist and for muscle building, I look for every other body part of mine to gain in size.

Decide whether you are progressing (be honest with yourself!) – If your measurements or picture aren’t showing any improvements then you will need to change something in your routine the following week. Either tweaking your diet or your training. (Or you might just need to be more compliant to what you’re doing – Only you can honestly answer that!)

Remember : “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results”

Step 10 to Transform Your Body – Rinse and Repeat!

Simply rinse and repeat this simple cycle until your body is where you want it to be – Transformation Done! Just remember that from here you can choose to progress your transformation and set new goals or you can maintain your new found healthy body and lifestyle.

I hope this blog post has been helpful. My transformations were truly done in these 10 simple steps and these are the foolproof steps I’m using to compete in my first fitness modelling show! So now you know my not-so-secret formula – Go out there and transform your body.

How to Do Squats Correctly – 3 Myth’s About Squatting

If you’re looking for the most physique-changing exercise in existence, you would arguably be looking at the squat.

The squat builds lean muscle on your upper and lower body, burns fat and cranks your metabolism up to that which resembles a champion race horse!

But how to do squats correctly? With all of the benefits squats bring, it’s still interesting to see the massive variety of techniques people use when performing squats. Most of them invalid and/or potentially dangerous! (If squats are even included at all! Don’t get me started..Just do yourself a favour, get serious and include squats into your routine!)

It’s not just limited to trainee’s in the gym – Most qualified trainers are also providing gym users with incorrect and outdated information when it comes teaching their clients how to squat correctly!

Today I want to look at 3 myths which surround squat technique and correct them for you so that you are not only squatting correctly, but effectively for maximum results!

How to Do Squats Myth Number 1 – “Your Knee’s Are Not Allowed to Travel Past Your Toes”

I want you to look at your knee’s the next time you’re walking up a flight of stairs..Take a look at your knee when you step up on a kerb..Maybe take a look down when you next get up off of your chair.

You’ll very likely see that your knee’s travel slightly past your toes – This happens naturally and is FUNCTIONAL!

But what’s the first thing most trainers tell you when squatting?

“Don’t let your knee’s go past your toes!”

Although their safety is your priority, they are potentially making the exercise far more dangerous for you – How?

Well if your knee’s aren’t travelling slightly past your toes, you’ll need to lean forwards at the hips. This increases the pressure on your lower back by up to 300%!! Now imagine this with a 100kg barbell on your back..What about 140kg? 180kg (400lbs)? You’re asking for trouble – Once your lower back goes, you’re out of the gym. There are no work-arounds. The bottom line – Protect your lower back at all costs!

You’re also using your glutes for the movement predominantly when you don’t allow your knee’s to travel past your toes. Allowing your knee’s to travel slightly forwards will allow your quads to fire into the movement too.

“Won’t this hurt my knee’s?” – Ok, you are adding around 60% more pressure on your knee’s when using this technique – However, 60% more pressure on the knee’s VS 300% on the back is a much better compromise, trust me. Your knee’s will be able to handle the weight but everybody’s threshold will be different. I started using knee-wraps when I started squatting above 140kg (315lbs), Just as a preventative measure. My knees feel absolutely fine! If you’re worried about your knee’s, then wrap them up from the very start and don’t squat too deep.

How to do squats correctlySo what should the squat look like? Very simply, at the bottom of the movement your shins and upper body should be parallel with each other (like in the picture to the right – By the way, I’m wearing totally the wrong footwear here as I just decided to film impromptu that day – Your footwear should be flat i.e. converse or even bare feet).

Remember, we are only talking about your knees travelling VERY SLIGHTLY past your toes to make the movement more natural! DON’T make the movement dangerous by taking your knee’s or your back too far forward!

Do this and you’ll find your strength will SHOOT through the roof, you’ll see changes in your body and alleviate any lower back pain associated with squats! This is the number 1 tip you can take home if you want to know how to do squats correctly

MYTH NUMBER 2 – “Put All of Your Weight into Your Heels”

This one might surprise many of you but don’t misunderstand me – I’m not telling you to come up on your toes either, that’s asking for trouble and will likely be a result of your knee’s travelling too far forward or tight calf muscles.

What I am saying though is to push your weight evenly through the heel and the balls of your feet to ensure all of your muscles are firing properly and to maintain the technique I just recommended in Myth Number 1.

If you put all of your weight into your heels, your technique will most likely be back to where your knee’s don’t move past your toes and your back leans too far forward. This is another mistake nearly all personal trainers use to teach their clients how to do squats. The next time you squat, get a feel for how the pressure is distributed in your feet and keep it even.

MYTH NUMBER 3 – “Don’t Squat Deeper Than 90 Degree’s”

Another thing trainers teach incorrectly in my opinion is the depth of a squat – This advice goes hand-in-hand with MYTH NUMBER 1 – If your knee’s don’t travel slightly past your toes it becomes very hard to squat deeper than 90 degree’s..and if you can get deeper than 90 using that incorrect technique, I don’t even want to imagine what your lumbar spine is going through!

I don’t have a particular angle that you should aim for – It is all relative to your experience, flexibility, strength, current condition etc etc. There are too many variables for a one size fits all recommendation in this area.

I’ve seen people do squats “Ass-to-Grass” without a problem and I’ve seen some people who have unrelated knee injuries and are worried who stick to 90 degrees. I’ve also seen people “Squatting” (I put it in quotes because I don’t consider these fairy movements as “Squats”!) at about 45 degree’s. These people usually have an ego problem and stick lots of weight on to sacrifice the effectiveness of the movement and their form. You should be squatting deeper – end of! (unless you’re training for speed but that’s a different subject altogether)

I go slightly below a 90 degree angle but with increased flexibility in my calf’s I could squat deeper. Everybody will have their reasons as to why they squat the depth that they do but you should be squatting until you have at least a 90 degree angle in your knee’s or yo hamstrings are parallel to the floor if your goal is to build muscle or burn fat.

If you can’t achieve this with the technique I’ve explained then you may have tight or weak muscles in certain area’s. A common reason people can’t squat too deep is having tight calf’s. If you have tight calfs you’ll find that your heels come off of the ground as you go deeper into your squat. Be sure to stretch them out as often and for as long as you can. (this is a big problem in females who wear heels a lot as their calf’s are consistently in a contracted and shortened state – Be sure to have a nice, long calf stretch after a period of wearing heels)

There you have it – With these 3 myths busted, you should find your squat becoming stronger, safer and far more effective! Perform them incorrectly and squats can become your enemy – Perform the squat with correct technique and squats are the bestest friend you’ll ever have when you look at your new body staring back at you in the mirror!


Other Tips That Will Help With Proper Squat Technique

  •  Make sure that you are wearing flat footwear or bare feet (I prefer the ankle support of footwear)
  • Use a spotter if you are going heavy
  • Make sure that you knee’s travel in line with your toes
  • Your knee’s should not bow in or widen out when you squat. If they are, you need to strengthen/stretch the effected muscles.
  • Control and slowly lower yourself into the squat but explode up faster on the positive portion of the movement.
  • A belt is optional – I find them irritating and my core seems to be strong enough to handle the weights I’m moving at the moment.
  • Knee wraps are a neccesity in my opinion – Even if your knee’s don’t hurt, it’s better to have the wraps there and not need them, than to need them and not have them there. Squats should be an exercise where you lift the heaviest and challenge yourself (once form is correct) so the protection helps.
  • Have your toes pointing slightly out when you squat – Between 15 to 30 degrees out is a good angle. Make sure your knees follow the same line that your toes are pointing in.

A great program that utilises big movements like squats, deadlifts etc to build insane amounts of muscle is Jason Ferrugia’s Muscle Building Secrets below :
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Be sure to leave your comments below! and don’t forget to check out my FREE Transformation Workout Program HERE if you haven’t downloaded it already.

Post Workout Nutrition – 2 Crucial Things You Need Down Your Neck After a Workout!

One of my favourite scenes in a movie is in “End of Days”, when Arnold Schwarzenegger wakes up, sticks a pizza and whatever leftovers he can find around his kitchen into a blender whilst proclaiming “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” – Then of course, he necks the contents of the blender! Pure Genius..

But the great “Ahnullld” MIGHT have been wrong with that statement (blasphemy I know!) – Because he clearly overlooked post workout nutrition!

Don’t get me wrong breakfast is an extremely important meal to get your metabolism kickstarted for the day and switch yourself from a catabolic (muscle breakdown) state into an anabolic state. You should never skimp on breakfast (a common mistake) but for any kind of athlete, fitness enthusiast, muscle builder or even the casual gym user, post workout nutrition IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY! (You can tell Arnold I said that too!).

Then why do so many people still neglect this most important meal?

Why is Post Workout Nutrition the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Picture this – You’ve just hit the gym pretty hard and had a tough session. You’re exhausted! What have you done? Well without getting to scientific, you’ve just depleted all of your glycogen (energy) stores. Now at this point your body is literally screaming at you for nutrition so that it can refuel your muscles with energy and start the recovery process.

If you’re using weights in your workouts, and everybody should be, you’ve also caused micro-tears and damage to your muscles. They will be begging you for a hit of fast protein to save them from utilizing their own protein stores (Your muscles feasting on themselves? Not a cool scenario if you’re hoping to build muscle)

What do most people do? Go and get changed, have a shower, chat to the cute chick on reception or the personal trainer for half hour, wait until they get home..put their feet up a get the picture. By the time they’ve eaten and refueled it’s too late. They’ve lost that important window of oppurtunity!

What SHOULD Everyone do for Post Workout Nutrition?

For post workout nutrition everybody should come prepared and carry a shaker bottle around with 25-30 grams of whey protein and around 50-75 grams of fast release, high GI carbs (these doses are approximate and should be dependant on lean weight)  Ready to drink the INSTANT you finish your workout. <– IMPORTANT!

Some trainee’s will even also sip a protein/carb shake during their workout to ensure their glycogen and protein stores are always topped up – I personally also do this but reduce the protein and carbs for this shake.

Make sure you do not include any fats in your shake at this time. Fat will reduce the effectiveness of the shake by reducing the speed at which the protein and carbs are absorbed – Something that is counter-productive to what we want at this time!

When you get home you must then also eat a balanced meal as normal (All 3 macronutrients can now feature in this meal – Protein, carbs and fats)

Yes, these rules apply to you whether you’re a male or female, young or old, muscle building or burning fat (post workout carbs can and probably should be lowered for most people if this is your goal, especially in the last few weeks – experiment to see how you get on). The doses may also change depending on your weight and your body type but you can find out what works for you and make adjustments.

Important Note : I’ve heard so much nonsense recently from gym members and friends about “Oh I want to stay natural, these powders are cheating” – Really?? Do you drink milk? Whoops, looks like you’re a cheater then because milk contains whey..Do you eat packaged foods on the odd occasion? Eat cereals? There you go cheating again because you’ll find maltodextrin, dextrose and other forms of high GI carbs and sugars in those foods.

Get that “all powders are unnatural and bad” way of thinking out of your head because it’s an ignorant way of thinking – Most supplements suck, yes..but the ones you need for post workout nutrition are ESSENTIAL for your progress. Forego them at your own peril. I will however, look to find a vegan alternative to your protein shake if that is your preference – Watch this space..

Why Whey Protein?

Whey protein is one of the most bioavailable proteins out there which means that your body can use it’s broad spectrum of amino acids for muscle repair..and quickly! Remember, you don’t want to waste time eating solid food, waiting for it to digest before supplying the muscles and most of us don’t have that appetite immediately after a workout.

Whey protein is the smart choice for your post workout protein because it’s the fastest acting. Pick yourself up a decent whey protein supplement without breaking the bank on expensive brands who make fancy claims about how much better their protein is. Whey is whey for the most part. My recommendation is below. You can’t go wrong with Optimum Nutrition. Click on a product for different flavours and sizes if you want something different from what’s below.

Mix your whey protein and your fast acting carbs with water and simply neck the mixture! Done! (There is a school of thought that taking the carbs and protein seperately is better. If you subscribe to that then you’ll have to bring 2 shaker bottles – I personally am not convinced of the negligible difference seperating them would make post-workout.)

Why Fast Acting Carbs and Which One is the Best?

Carbs are an important and often overlooked aspect of post workout nutrition. If people do use post workout nutrition then it’s usually just a protein shake. This is also a big mistake because you’re not replenishing your muscles energy stores and this will impede your recovery and progression in future workouts! “Won’t fast acting carbs make me fat in those amounts?” Maybe during the day when you’re inactive, yes – But not after a workout when your insulin will shuttle them straight into the place that your body needs them the most – Your glycogen stores. You can play with the dose of your carbs but the ratio will usually be around 1:2 with protein to carbs. See how your body responds..if you start getting overspill due to the high dosage and you gain body fat, try reducing the dose of your post workout carbs. Although I took my post workout carbs even when I was cutting down and still got pretty ripped. It’s hard to store fat immediately after an intense training session.

So Which Carbs?

I will dedicate an entire post to this debate but, again it’s a minor detail in my opinion. Just get one of these 4 forms of carbohydrates down your neck and you will be fine.

  • Dextrose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Waxy Maize Starch
  • Vitargo (barley)

The further down the list you go, the more expensive and apprently more effective the carbs are for post workout. The latest two releases are waxy maize and Vitargo (which is patented by one company making the price extortionate for a carb). These are based on having a molecular weight that allows them to pass through the stomach easier and apparently into the muscles much faster than ever before. Real world results? I haven’t seen any studies but I’m certain they are negligible when comparing the four. They all get the job done so just pick the cheapest or most available one – I never recommend wasting too much time or money on supplements. Your efforts are better utilised elsewhere!

So there it is – The simplest of meals but one that is ironically your most important of the day. Don’t forget to eat a solid, balanced meal within 1-2 hours after finishing your workout as well to make further use of this window of oppurtunity.

A recap on your post workout nutrition –

Shaker Bottle with/

  • 25-40 grams of Whey protein
  • 50-75 grams of fast acting carbs
  • Mix w/ Water

Done! Enjoy and please leave your comments or questions below. Let’s get talkin!


The Top 4 Fitness Books and Programs

muscle building programsIt’s not exactly a secret that the health and fitness industry is one of the most misleading and misinforming markets – Fitness books, supplements, pills, programs etc you name it and they are normally designed part you from your cash without actually help you getting any closer to your goals.

This means that you’ll go back into your pocket and fork over some more cash for the next big fitness’s a neverending cycle. Luckily there are some good guys in this industry who ARE more interested in seeing you succeed and ARE more interested in helping you achieve your goals.

As a personal trainer myself, I get sick to death of misinformation and misleading products that give consumers false hope of a quick fix, which is why on my blog site you’ll never see me endorsing these embaressing products like most people online.

Out of interest, I’ve created a list of online fitness books and programs that I’ve personally reviewed and found to be the best. Hopefully this list helps you to see what fitness books are the hidden gems!

Before we start I’ve ranked these in order of the best FITNESS books. “Fitness” to me embodies every aspect of health. Such as cardiovascular health, muscular health, nutrition, exercise, stretching…everything. The whole package. Therefore, these rankings are based on the programs that encompass all of these aspects!

1) Mike Geary – The Truth About Abs

truth about abs reviewThe king of online fitness programs! Although the title of this fitness book may lead you to believe that it focuses on only one aspect of fitness – abs – This could be nothing further than the truth..and the truth is that this is probably the most complete and far-reaching fitness book online that I’ve read. By far-reaching, I mean that the information is useful to almost every member of the public who wants to get fit and healthy.

Contained within the program is theory, nutrition, diet plans, effective exercises that can be done in a gym as well as at home, exercise pictures etc. It is a complete lifestyle guide and I would recommend this to males or females, young or old who want to get fit permanently. The most important thing in this book is that the information is all true and proven to give results. I use these methods myself and on clients with GREAT results.

You can check out the Truth About Abs Book <– Here


You can find my detailed and honest Truth About Abs Review <– here

2) Vince Delmontes – My Six Pack Quest

your 6 pack questWhat is it with the authors and their obsessions with abs and six packs eh? Well, normally it’s because a great set of washboard abs go hand in hand with overall fitness. (not always mind you..some people have genetically great abs but are unhealthy on the inside).

Vince Delmonte, famous author of the best selling muscle building program No Nonsense Muscle Building , really hits the ball way out of the park with this fitness program. This book takes care of every aspect of fitness including fat loss, workouts, theory and nutrition. Not to mention you have an exercise database which is real handy.

But again, if the information wasn’t correct information then what would be the point? After a thorough reading of My Six Pack Quest, I can assure you that there is no need to worry. The info contained in this online fitness book is both effective and priceless.

Check out My Six Pack Quest Now <– Click Here

3) Vince Delmontes – No Nonsense Muscle Building and Fat Loss Upgrade Package

no nonsense muscle buildingLooks like Vince Delmonte gets a double listing in my top 5 list and for good reason. His No Nonsense Muscle Building e-book may not appeal to everybody but take the upgrade package and you now have one of the most complete fitness programs online!

Females shouldn’t be put off either. EVERYBODY should be using weights in their workouts whether it is to burn fat or build muscle. This is another dirty secret that the fitness industry has – Putting females off of weight training because they fear getting bigger. Trust me, you will NOT get bigger..only curvier and sexier because it is muscles that give you that toned look that everybody is after..

This program includes everything from workouts, theory, stretches, diet plans, nutritional information, exercise databases and a whole heap more. This program has it all but it also comes in a bit pricier than the other fitness books. However it is still the price of a months membership at most gyms and you get a more than one fitness ebook with this program so the value here is incredible.

Check out the No Nonsense Muscle Building and Fat Cutting Program <– Click Here


Read my honest and thorough Vince Delmonte Review of the No Nonsense Muscle Building and Fat Loss Package

4) The Diet Solution Program by Isobel De La Rios

the diet solution program reviewA fantastic lifestyle program by Isobel who you’ll see is clearly passionate about her role as a nutritionist after reading her amazingly detailed program.

She goes into lots of detail about body types and figuring out your metabolism – It almost feels like a personalised program by the author herself! Great value because she provides you with over 6 fitness books online as part of her program! There is no way you would get this much value in a book store.

The only thing that let’s this program down is the lack of exercise advice when compared to the other programs.

If You Want to Check out The Diet Solution Program Now Click Here


Check out My Thorough The Diet Solution Program Review <– Here

So those are my top 4 fitness books but what do YOU think? Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Write your comments below – Let’s talk!

Until next time, stay safe and train hard!