The Duel Nature of Diet: Part 3 of 3
ALWAYS BE STARVING – A.B.S.
By Louis Costa
Catch up with Part 1 and 2 below:
You see that guy. He looks really excited to be eating that icecream doesn’t he? He should be happy right? 230 pounds. Shredded. 22 years old. Just competed well in a national level natural bodybuilding competition. He’s got life by the proverbial balls!
When I think deeper in retrospect. I can only remember a scant few moments in my time pursuing and competing in the bodybuilding lifestyle that I actually enjoyed.
Most strength guys think having abs would be like driving a Ferrari. It never worked that way for me.
After I would starve myself down to shredded abs, roadmap veins and having entered the zombie like state of mind for 20 weeks, there was ALWAYS a gaping feeling of being unsatisfied left over.
My intention is not to criticize fellow physique enthusiasts or ostracize a large reader base.
I’m just saying the steel determination it takes to be unwavering from your diet and to continue to pound your body relentlessly until it resembles a shiny modeled specimen is something I just did not have the overall gumption for!
I found that after the judges subjectively critiqued my physique and my 60 second flexy time on stage with Disturbed blaring in the background was abruptly over with that I was tossed un ceremoniously back to real life.
“Here’s your plastic trophy; thanks for the debilitating dedication to your diet. Have a nice day. “
It was a sinking feeling actually. All of that torture… for THIS ???
But! Beyond that feeling of despair there always remained a glimmer of hope in my emaciated state.
The ability to eat food again! MMMMmmmm
The payout is the week following your diet where you get to eat again! When you can go out and socialize. Drink Beer Again!
Become integrated back into normal society. When your strength comes back and you still have a 34 inch waist!
It’s glorious. It’s more than glorious. It’s amazing actually. It’s like your getting one big delicious icecream joke over on the fat gods of metabolic rate. It’ll never end, right?
The eating, strength increase and skinny jean usage? Hey, I’m eating brownies with every meal, home made lasagna for lunch and Taco Bell for dinner and just look at my abs!
All my lifts would go back up. Muscles would “Fill out” or balloon back up from months of starvation.
My workouts would feel great again. It’s was like a Christmas Lou Miracle!
Then it comes.
The sweating slowly starts again.
“I’m not fat. I’m not fat. Its just hot in here,” you foolishly rationalize.
“The dryer heat was just turned up AND that’s why my pants are tight.”
“Not the Doritos. My god it cannot be the Doritos.”
Someone is headed back to Fatty Town USA on the gordita express.
One fantastic lesson that everyone knows in life and no one will force himself or herself to believe is that old adage, “If it’s too good to be true, It usually is.”
Aint that the truth !
Our body acts to everything we put it through with an equal and precise reaction. I’ve learned that the hard way my friends. A few times! This principal holds true for not only dieting but water cutting for weight class also, hold this dear to your hearts:
The natural pendulum of moderate diet and exercise is incinerated when we starve our bodies and then gorge food. This behavior casuses a near catastrophic swing in insulin sensitivity/blood sugar/electrolyte imbalance/hormone levels and terrible damage to adrenal glans controlling the whole process.
Every time you deplete your body of fat, carbs and water down to almost to a catastrophic state, you are putting yourself in danger. No I’m not saying getting lean is dangerous. I share these stories with you to steer you away from using extreme tactics or gimmicky fads completely that we’ve all fallen prey too.
Put it this way:
We used to march around the weight room in college mimicking then Mr. Olympa Ronnie Coleman and his battle cry, “Everybody wanna be a bodybuilder, but ain’t no body wanna lift no heavy ASS Weight!”
The truth behind looking extreme like a Pro bodybuilder rests more in the idea of diet and water manipulation than in the actual training.
So here are some no B.S. guidelines and training tips for strength athletes, or anyone, to get lean and actually maintain it that work better than your favorite MuscleTech advertisement.
Top Ten Tips for Shedding Bodyweight!
- The only calories you drink should be from Protein / Carb drinks during and after your workout.
- Water is a natural fat burner – Drink till you drop.
- Eat the right type of fats. Legumes, PB, Fish, Virgin Olive Oil are amazing for testosterone production and promote healthy joints as well.
- 3 hours or less between every meal.
- Eat less portions than you are used to. Duh! Healthy food takes up more room in your stomach!
- No carbs after 7 oclock
- Go to bed hungry to wake up skinny. Go to bed with a healthy meal of solid protein and healthy fats to wake up “ripped.”
- Eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. (I know it is recommended at more, But I have seen gains in muscle/strength with less)
- Eat low glycemic carbs (Wheat Breads/Pastas, Sweet potatoes, Vegetables) for every meal EXCEPT after your workout.
- After your workout eat 30 – 40 grams HIGH GLYCEMIC carbs (Sugars, Fruits, Sports Drinks,)
Your physique will benefit greatly from these basic nutrition guideline’s as they are the perfect start to shrink your midsection and lean out your body.
Everyone’s BODY is different and for that reason after a certain amount of time a more personal nutrition plan is needed.
*If you want a personalized strength or weight loss diet: Please inquire at email@example.com. One of our certified nutritionists will assist you in getting you lean!
Changing your workout AND nutrition is imperative if you plan on taking that shirt off at your next powerlifting meet also! Girls, I would not advise this. Well…..
Here is the top gun secret formula that I’ve used as a natural athlete to cut body fat while increasing my strength! Is it guaranteed to work for you? No. Again, every BODY is different.
But if you are reading this, you must be interested in improving your physique.
So, before we get into an actual workout, there is but one main principal that you must live by during these workouts!
(We also like what what Dan Masshardt says in his Powerlifting Preacher article “What it Takes” )
To change your body will be harder than you think. It will take time, dedication and my favorite principal: INTENSITY.
Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler was once asked what principal he relied on most to win his Olympia titles.
Jay, very pragmatically said, “Consistency.”
Consistency is a motto I tried to believe in for years but was never very good at adhering to.
In my world, INTENSITY IS KING!
If you unabashedly walk into a gym and attack the weight, force yourself into a place of battle and tell yourself you are now in a street fight: your body will adopt that principal and armor itself accordingly to whatever you throw at it.
I’ve skipped days in the gym. Been short on time. Not had the tools that I thought I needed to get the job done. But when I engage that overdrive mentality of intensity with no excuses, every other variable does not matter.
It is with that mentality that you must adhere to if you are seeking out the holy grail of strength while being Lean! So:
Here we go.
REMEMBER: THIS IS NOT FOR BUILDING MAXIMUM STRENGTH: THIS PROGRAM IS FOR KEEPING STRENGTH WHILE DIETING!
Mock Workout 1: Legs / Back
Exercise 1: Olympic style (Deep) Back squats: Or Front Squats/Box Squats
Warm Up: Sets of 5 until you get near your max or, more importantly, what feels like your max on this day.
Once you are close to that number, aim for 2 sets of 3. All out: balls out reps. You should not be able to get 5 reps at this weight.
*De load the Bar down to a weight manageable for 15- 20 reps for one last all out set.
Warning: This last set of 15 -20 reps are near death. Anyone that works out with me despises these sets during but loves them after.
Now that your legs are a tiff wobbly, buckle up your chinstrap and get ready for war.
Exercise 2: Leg Press superset with Barbell Rows. (USE MANAGEABLE WEIGHT)
3 sets – 20 presses x 20 rows
*No rest between besides walking to the bar. After each set of barbell rows – 30 seconds only.
Exercise 3: Pullups to failure superset with Straight Leg Deadliest
3 Sets of Pullups x failure and Straight Leg Deadlifts x 10 (Heavy)
30 Seconds rest after each set of Straight Legs.
Exercise 4: Finish with high intensity cardio on the treadmill or preferably a prowler or truck push
Treadmill : Set a high incline: sprint for 1 minute: Rest for a minute : Repeat five times OR
Prowler/Truck: Push 50 yards rest 30 seconds / Push Back : Repeat 8 times.
That’s the workout Template.
Pretty simple stuff. Just remember: Every set must be attacked with INTESNITY!
RECAP: One heavy, compound movement set with a large rest period at the beginning of your workout to keep your body acclimated to heavy weight.
2 dynamic supersets of different exercises to shed off body fat and keep your muscles working into fatigue
1 high intensity cardio session to keep your metabolism ramped up past your workout.
The weak need not apply to these guidelines.
Any workout is easy on paper. When I write something on my tablet while formulating a workout for myself and training partners, I cringe, because I know what is about to come forth.
My clients and partners are starting to realize the same! Intensity is the end all to changing your body.
Let your intensity define the workout, while your program merely is set as a guideline. Your body wants to stay in a state of homeostasis; it has zero desire to change. It likes the same routine daily of tacos and Dr. Phil. It is your job to break yourself of that routine and into a new chapter of fitness.
I hope these guidelines and principals have helped you on your way to a healthier look to that ox strong body of yours!
These past 3 articles have been very exciting to write and have motivated me back into the area of nutrition for strength!
Always feel free to inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org for any specific advice you are looking for to jump start your metabolism and change your body.
I’m glad I could share my journey and personal experiences of diet with you and show you the DUAL NATURE OF DIET and hopefully you gained some nutritional insight and how it can be used to your benefit as a male or female strength athlete.
I appreciate your time and interest in reading very much.
We look forward to keep adapting to our readers needs and putting out a plethora of articles, interviews and media that keep you motivated to change your body for the better.