Many guys need to get in shape. If you’re reading this, and you’re not sure if I’m talking to you, it means I probably am. Most guys (myself included at the time of writing this blog) have excess body fat and flab that detracts from our physical appearance.

Unfortunately, like the majority of men’s dating advice, there’s a lot of “theory” when it comes to nutrition and exercise, but very little concentrate advice, like, “Eat this. Lift that. Run this far.” I want to change that today, with this post.

Now, before I say ANYTHING about exercise, let me just state for the record that I am NOT an exercise and nutrition specialist. In fact, I wouldn’t even call myself an exercise and nutrition hobbyist.

If you want to experience a calorie holocaust, burn that excess fat by running.

There’s probably plenty of better workout blogs and articles on the internet that I’m not even aware of…therefore, take my advice at your own peril. However, here’s what I bring to the table: 1.) I have been able to quickly and easily cut body fat and build lean muscle in a short period of time without much effort, 2.) I have pictures to prove it, and 3.) I’ll tell you exactly what to did, what I ate, and how I think when I’m dieting and exercising.

My hope in writing this blog is to motivate you to take action without having the sludge through heaps of exercise advice without finding a specific game plan. So, sticking to my workout plan, here’s the sort of results you can expect:

Before I get into the “specifics,” I want to quickly outline how you should think about exercise and fitness. From what I’ve seen, most people only focus on dieting or only focus on cardio or only focus weight training…but, in my experience, getting into great shape depends on 4 elements:

1. Diet

2. Rest

3. Cardio training

4. Resistance

If any one of those four is lacking, you’re going to run into problems. In fact, you should always remain cognizant of keeping all 4 elements “balanced.” For example, you should adhere to a proper diet, get in 45 minutes to an hour of resistance training, get in a cardio workout that burns 500-1,000 calories, and make sure to sleep 7-8 hours a night.

Rest, which is obviously the easiest element to satisfy (but equally as important as the other 3), also includes taking one full day off of exercise. You should exercise hard for 6 days (most days a mix of cardio and resistance, some days just cardio) and then spend 1 full day resting your body and allowing it to recover.

As for cardio, I’d highly recommend running. Sure you can do the elliptical machine or some other form of cardio, but let’s be honest: those machines are for pussies who can’t take the pain of running. If you want to experience a calorie holocaust, burn that excess fat by running. No other form of cardio exercise will get you in shape faster. Ideally, you should have 2 cardio workouts: 1.) regular sessions (~600 calories) and 2.) fat burning sessions (~1,000 calories). You only need to do 1-2 fat burning sessions a week to see very quick results.

As for resistance training, I only work my upper body because that’s the way I am. I’m sure I’m doing all sorts of harm to myself by not weight training my legs, and you don’t have to follow my example. But generally, my weight training schedule goes something like this:

Monday: Chest

1.       4 sets of bunch press (Smith machine or free weights)

2.       4 sets of dumbbell press (Machine)

3.       4 sets of incline bench (Smith machine or free weights)

4.       4 sets of chest flies (Machine)

Tuesday: Back

1.       4 sets of pull ups (Pull up bar)

2.       4 sets of T-bar rows (free weights or machine)

3.       4 sets of seated rows (Machine)

4.       4 sets of pull-downs (Machine with pull-down bar)

Wednesday: Shoulders

1.       4 sets of military presses (free weights)

2.       4 sets of lateral raises (machine)

3.       4 sets of frontal raises (free weights)

4.       4 sets of arm extension (machine)

Friday: Arms

1.       4 sets of standing bicep curls (free weights)

2.       4 sets of triceps extensions (machine)

3.       4 sets of bicep curl (machine)

4.       4 sets of standing bicep curl with bar (free weights)

So you then combine those days with cardio:

Monday = 45 minute run
Tuesday = 45 minute run
Wednesday = 45 minute run (or rest)
Thursday = 45 minute run (sometimes 1 hour+ run)
Friday = 45 minute run
Saturday = 1 hour+ run
Sunday = rest

Also, I do 15 minutes of ad exercises Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. If you can maintain that schedule (which should take between 45 minutes to 1 ½ – 2 hours a day, depending on the workout) plus make sure to get 7 hours of sleep a night, all that’s left is keeping a healthy diet.

Here’s an exact diet (down to the minute of the day) to follow. There’s two versions of this diet: 1.) the regular diet, and 2.) the fat burning version. No matter what, if you’re following the exercise regiment, you’re going to burn fat regardless. However, if you want to lose a lot of weight—especially if you want to lose it quickly—try to adhere to the “fat burning” version 3-4 times a week.

(Note: you may need to adjust this diet for your needs. Keep in mind that I am 165 pounds at my heaviest and 150 pounds at my lightest — so I probably require less food than most average sized men. However, the types of foods should remain constant; just adjust your portion size.)

6:30am—1 scoop whey protein
Coffee
7:00am—1 apple*
9:00am—Prunes (1.5 servings)*
10:30am—2 slices whole wheat bread
Green tea
11:00am—Coffee
11:30am—1 scoop whey protein
1 Banana
Noon (WORKOUT: Resistance)
1:00pm—2 scoops whey protein
2:00pm—1 scoop whey protein
Coffee
3:30pm—1 chicken breast
1/3 cup of brown rice*
6:45pm—2 slices whole wheat bread
Banana*
7:15pm (WORKOUT: Cardio)
8:00pm—Chicken or fish (sometimes with ¼ cup of brown rice*)
Spinach
10:30pm—Cottage cheese (2 servings)

2860 CALORIES: 208 grams of protein, 220 grams of carbs, 42 grams of fat
* = food that can be cut out on fat decrease days (CALORIES: 1865)

Hopefully this post will motivate you to get into the gym with a solid game plan. I going to get back into my own fitness, and writing this post motivated me. Here’s to sculpting an attractive body!

  1. Nice article Rob. I found personally doing MMA / Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu caused me to burn more fat than going to the gym. Plus it’s really good for self defence. I just took it up because I liked watching UFC and Pride it wasn’t to help me get fit but I’ve been doing it twice a week for 12 months now and I’m in the best shape of my life.

  2. im 6’1″ and between 135-140 lbs most of the time…pretty much underweight due to fast metabolism and being vegetarian…a year ago i did some body building, sadyl without any optical results since i had no knowledge about nutrition…but at this moment im in a weird situation: eventhough im pretty sure that a bit more muscular body would get better reactions from girls, i personally started to like my skinniness…big dilemma hehe..

  3. Bro, I would consider changing your stance on leg lifting.. Most things I have read say that it will increase your testosterone. That has to be important for us, given our hobbies…

  4. @135lbs Don’t worry about being tall & skinny. Russell Brand and Robert Pattinson (Twilight) are both like that and they’ve been voted two of the most desirable men in the world (according to women).

    In fact every girl I know that’s under 25 seems to be in love with the Twilight guy for some reason…

    Learn to love being skinny, it’s better than being obese.

  5. Hey mate, good post. I particularly like that you’ve highlighted nutrition and rest as areas for particular attention. Often people don’t realise the importance of getting enough food and sleep, and they don’t see results!

    Diet and exercise have made a huge impact on my game in recent years. While gurus tell you frequently that looks are not that important (and they’re right), how you feel about yourself is crucial. I’m a little ashamed to say it, but since I’ve started to fill out my t-shirts I have a lot more confidence, and that translates to much better game. With that in mind, I’d like to share a couple of things that I feel more of which could have been made in your post.

    To start with: clearly define your goals! If you want to lose weight, set an end date for your program with intervening checkpoints so you can track your progress. If you want to get stronger, bigger arms, better abs, w/e, then set MEASURABLE GOALS, and make sure that these are things you can work towards in the short term. (e.g. improving your 1 rep max deadlift, measuring your guns, measuring your % bodyfat [at about 10% you see abs]).

    Also, as mentioned in an earlier reply, PLEASE do not ignore your legs. Squats and deadlifts are CRUCIAL if you want to gain muscle and burn fat. Doing big exercises with a large range of motion and that involve multiple big muscle groups cause a much larger increase in endogenous testosterone (and therefore muscle growth) than simple isolation exercises. By all means do bicep curls, but make sure you incorporate some of the following into your weekly regime: Deadlift, Squat, Barbell Military Press, Barbell Bent-Over Row and Benchpress. These are the essentials, and if you really want to see results, you should be squatting 3 times a week (but not 2 days in a row).

    It may sound counterintuitive, but working your legs will get you bigger arms, chest, neck and a stronger back. And this is all very much supported by science: have a little search on http://www.PubMed.gov

    My personal regime involves doing weights mon, weds and fri, switching between (squat, bench, bb row, pulldowns)5×5 and (squat, military, deadlift, dips)5×5, with cardio (rowing) and v-situps on tues and thurs, and taking the weekend off.

    And I try to eat about 3500kcals per day. If you want to get bigger DO THIS! There’s not a lot of evidence to say that a very very high protein diet actually makes much difference in terms of gaining muscle so don’t stress too much about that…just makes sure you get good quality calories and don’t eat a mountain of sugar or tubs of saturated fat.

    And if your goal is to lose weight, so you’re doing a lot of cardio, don’t ignore the resistance training. A hard 1 hr session of squats, rows and benching will burn upwards of 600 kcals, and massively increase your base metabolic rate so you burn fat at a higher rate for hours after. And putting on more muscle makes this effect permanent.

    Anyway, I apologise for hijacking, but this is a topic that’s really close to my heart and after years of trial and error, and research, I would feel remiss if I didn’t share.

    Best,
    g

  6. I fully understand that the most effective workout is the one you’re willing to stick with. A bad workout program is better than a great workout program you never do. That being said, this thing is just plain awful. You’ve been training for at least two months, that’s ample time to let go of the training wheels.

    There’s no reason you should be benching in the smith machine. It’s less effective and more likely to cause injury. By using a machine, your stabilizer muscles don’t have to work to hold the weight steady, which leads to less stimulation and fewer gains. In addition, because the smith machine is stuck in a very restrictive path, you can’t move the barbell in a more natural pattern. Unnatural pathways cause injuries to joints. Yes, you’ll see some pros use the smith machine for things like incline benching once in a while but they’re trying to extract the last bit of juice from the fruit by employing advanced techniques that allow them to lift as much as possible. This shouldn’t be your bread and butter.

    As for the nutrition, it’s crazy that the first gram of protein you get from real food comes after 5 scoops of whey protein. The body can’t digest supplements as well as real food. It’s not easy to consume 30 grams of protein several times throughout the day and there’s definitely a time and place for supplements but they’re meant to supplement your main meals. It seems like you’re using them to replace your meals. Taking in so much powdered protein is really hard on your kidneys, especially for someone your size. I hope you’re at least drinking a lot of water to flush out your system.

    Also, at this point i wouldn’t worry about losing bodyfat. You’re not very fat. It’ll be very difficult (eventually impossible) for you to continue building muscle while losing bodyfat. I’d stick with trying to build muscle if i were you but that’s just me.

    I’m not trying to get in a pissing contest with anyone here and this will probably be my last post but I felt the need to clarify some things for any readers out there that don’t know any better.

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