I wasn’t always the deadly handsome gringo the women here love to call ‘papi’.
Truth be told, in my late teens and early twenties, I was weak, small, and generally pathetic.
Not only did I look like trash but I was insecure, weak-willed, and lazy.
A typical product of the modern world.
It took me many years of training to build myself up to a respectable degree, to build myself up from the inside out.
Looking back, I don’t lament that time in my life. Those years made me. The chase, the struggles, the constant disappointments, the lessons…
They made me.
It was only recently, however, that I’ve come full circle. Only recently, after 2 decades in the trenches, my eyes were truly opened.
You see, over the years I’ve made many (many many) mistakes.
But by far the most destructive error I would habitually revert to was overeating.
I was small for most of my life. And nobody wants to be small.
Thus for many years, I was pushing food to see the number on the scale go up. Not an easy task for me, as I can eat like a gluttonous pig for weeks on end seemingly without gaining an ounce of weight.
Often I would misunderstand this as an invitation to overindulge and overeat.
Big mistake. BIG mistake.
Facing Modern Man’s Kryptonite
If you’ve been following my stuff for some time, you may or may not have noticed that I like to put myself through experiments or “challenges”.
[The daily training, the fasting experiments, to name a few]
I do this for multiple reasons. But there is one main reason:
I do it because it keeps me interested. It keeps me engaged in the process of redesigning my body.
It keeps me excited, and it keeps me learning. All the good stuff I learned in the last 20 years was born out of experimentation.
Not the easy kind. The challenging kind. The hard stuff.
That’s what expedited my results more than anything.
Speaking of experiments…
These past 4 months, I made it a goal to bring up my volume in the gym and regain some size.
I wanted to see if I could push growth without getting sloppy. If I could gain muscle without losing “the pep in my step”.
Something I was never able to successfully accomplish before (and I tried, believe me).
To fuel my massive ambition, I ate an average of 4000-5000 calories a day.
In the past, I would often force myself to eat beyond a reasonable level of fullness. All part of the game, I thought.
This time around, however, I didn’t force food. I simply allowed myself to eat to my heart’s content. And yes, that came out to 4000+ calories on most days.
Most days, not every day. I didn’t overstay my welcome in Candyland.
Still, for the majority of the week, I would load up on food like I was getting ready to compete at this year’s GRAND SUMO wrestling tournament.
Tons of carbs (as they drive appetite like nothing else), lots of protein and liberal amounts of fat.
Mostly high-quality “clean” food with some goodies thrown in here and there.
My body started filling out nicely. Numbers in the gym went up steadily. I was on track.
When the goal is to “put on size” we’re prone to overshoot the target, to eat like starvation victims for months on end.
Especially, people equipped with a blast furnace metabolism and a gargantuan appetite like myself.
Now, let’s make something clear here: Having a massive appetite is a good thing. Being able to effortlessly eat and process a ton of food is a good thing.
If you know how to play the game, that is. I had to learn to discipline my appetite.
Because despite hardly putting on body fat, overeating brings me to my knees like nothing else.
It kills me. Slowly but surely.
Just like it does you. Nobody is exempt.
The human body simply cannot handle chronic food abundance, as evidenced by ever-growing rates of obesity and related diseases in the industrialized world.
So even if you’re fortunate to have a fast metabolism, habitual overeating (eating above your physiological requirements) will catch up to you.
The way in which it does specifically varies from individual to individual. But sooner or later it will catch up to you. And it will bring you to your knees.
In my case, after a few weeks of eating “as much as I want” I become lazy, complacent, I require more sleep and more rest throughout the day, my muscles burn out quicker during training and my general well-being goes down the drain.
But the worst part is I become DUMBER.
I can literally feel myself losing brain function after a few weeks of reckless eating. And as if that weren’t bad enough, my mood also becomes highly volatile.
Not a good place to be (a nightmare, really).
During my latest mass-gaining “experiment”, however, I avoided every single one of those pitfalls.
By employing the most powerful tool I’ve found in 20 years of research – STRATEGIC UNDEREATING.
The Brain Goes ‘Woohoo’
Recently I posted on my Instagram that calorie restriction saved my life.
I wasn’t trying to be dramatic. I was dead serious.
Calorie restriction has given me a quality of life I never knew before.
It gave me energy and mental clarity, improved my sleep, my mood, and even my outlook on life.
Nothing has had such a dramatic impact on my general well-being as undereating.
It hasn’t just gotten me in shape over the years, it has made my life exponentially better.
So during this latest growth cycle, I threw in regular days of undereating, where I would bring my calories ROCK-BOTTOM (= 50% of maintenance calories or lower).
1-3 days a week I would restrict myself to a single, modest meal of meat, veggies and some fruit at the end of the day. A far cry from the quadruple dinners I usually put away.
Employing these low-calorie days at regular intervals kept me sharp, it kept me healthy (we’ll get to that in a sec) and it kept me functional, as I was slowly but surely putting on muscle.
And it works fast too.
The very morning after a day of undereating I would experience a noticeable bump in energy. (I would feel high, almost)
My workouts also greatly benefitted from the acute drop in calories.
But to get those benefits, I had to do it properly. No wishy-washy sh!t.
I had to go looow.
And this is critical. Don’t waste your time eating “a little less” here and there. Bring calories down low, bring ’em rock bottom.
STARVE YOURSELF if you want to experience what I’m talking about here.
Do that for a couple of days before resuming your habitual diet. Cycle between low-calorie days and days of eating liberally (no restriction).
The ratio of high to low days is up to you and your personal goals. 1-3 days a week of rock-bottom calories is the sweetspot for most, in my experience.
You will find your shape and overall well-being improving at a rapid rate on this protocol. And that is without changing your everyday food choices and habits.
This Is Your Life We’re Talking About
I have a family history of diabetes (on both sides of my family). Most men in my family become diabetic sooner or later in life.
I am no different. Genetically, that is.
If I eat like “everyone else”, I get sick like everyone else. In my case, it just happens to be diabetes and blood sugar related health complications.
Fortunately, I’ve learned early on in my life that the buck stops with me. My daily decisions – not my genetics – determine my health trajectory.
And I’ve made a promise to myself.
I will never put hedonistic pleasure before health.
I will never be dependent on drugs.
I will never betray myself like that.
As you might imagine, I’ve tried many different strategies, diets, supplements, etc. over the years to combat my genetic fate.
Most of the stuff I came across, however, was utterly useless. A complete waste of time and energy.
I would venture to say, even some of the most prominent and respected “experts” in the field today are absolutely clueless (or spineless shills).
Yet, the solution is so simple. Not easy, but so stupid simple.
I can tell you from firsthand experience – yes – what you eat matters, but not nearly as much as HOW MUCH you eat (= daily calorie intake).
And that’s whether we’re talking about reaching your physique goals or maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
ENERGY MANAGEMENT IS KING!
[But don’t take my word for it. This isn’t medical advice. I’m just a meathead writing articles online.]
You can eat the “perfect diet” prescribed to you by a well-meaning professional, but it won’t do squat if you fail to control THE AMOUNT of food you eat.
That is the bottom line. That is the make-it-or-break-it point.
I had to learn to control my appetite, to discipline my eating. But I also had aspirations of reaching a certain level of physical prowess.
Simply eating less wouldn’t cut it.
And for many years, I struggled to harmonize these seemingly contradicting goals. I would jump between periods of eating too little to perform and periods of eating too much for my body to handle.
I couldn’t seem to strike the balance.
I hadn’t figured out how to eat, train and how to live to see my God-given potential realized.
In retrospect, I can tell you this: Used properly, strategic undereating (aka calorie restriction) is the most powerful health and performance intervention I’ve found.
Nothing comes close.
How you choose to employ it is secondary. Whether you restrict your calories every day for a few weeks, eat very little a few times a week (WINNER), or do some extended fasting every month is up to you.
In my case, I vary the different strategies but always return to intermittent undereating.
Every week, without fail, I throw in a few days of starvation calories.
Regardless of what the scale says or what I’m trying to accomplish in training. This has become a non-negotiable principle in my life.
The fact that it has greatly improved my physical appearance is just icing on the cake.
I reckon a lot of you reading this are unknowingly running around with pre-diabetic or even diabetic blood sugar levels. (This is not a stretch. Over 50% of US adults are insulin resistant.)
And the effects on your quality of life are staggering.
I strongly advise getting a glucometer and tracking your fasting (morning) blood sugar for a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor, but if your fasting blood sugar is above 100 mg/dl you need to address it.
Chronically elevated blood sugar levels are a fast track to metabolic disorders and disease (regardless of whether you have a family history of diabetes or not).
As mentioned before, this is a byproduct of physical inactivity and habitual overeating. Yes, genetics play a role but it is minor in comparison to your lifestyle conduct.
Increasing daily activity (i.e. with daily workouts) and going through controlled periods of calorie restriction are the most powerful weapons to fight this modern epidemic.
We all operate with individual genetic programs. There are pre-determined limits to what you or I can do.
But within those limits, within your individual boundaries, there is A LOT you can do.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that where you are right now is the way you have to look, feel and perform for the rest of your days.
You might have to work so much harder for it than the next guy. But regardless…
You have tremendous power to change and overcome.
Before you go…
Let me introduce you to my baby. Her name is VICTORIOUS – The Alpha and Omega Of Bodyweight Training
WHAT IS VICTORIOUS?
- An uncompromising Bodyweight Training Program designed for SUPERIOR RESULTS
- Train anytime & anywhere using the 7 Best Exercises On The Planet
- The roadmap to getting bigger and stronger than ANYONE you know from the comfort of your own home (Spoiler: nothing about this will be comfortable)
- Includes the WORLD BEATER strategies that radically transformed my body even with the odds stacked against me (This information you won’t get anywhere else!)
- The blueprint to becoming a Real-World Superhero (I’m dead serious)
And much more…
This is the exact program I follow.
The exact program that has gotten me in the best shape of my life, bar none.
You ready to be Victorious?