“You have to learn the rules of the game, and then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein
Building a great body is not about pumping iron and eating chicken out of plastic containers. It’s about following a few rules consistently.
Two, to be precise.
You want results? Play by the rules.
Rule Number I: Calories are King
Diets are a dime a dozen these days.
Everyone’s an expert and everyone claims to have found “the cure”.
Just listen to what some of these so-called gurus are saying. Actually, you’d be better off ignoring them altogether, but let’s just keep it rolling for the sake of the argument.
On the one hand, you have diet proponents claiming you don’t have to count calories (i.e. maintain negative energy balance) as long as you don’t eat carbs. Then there are the deluded vegans saying you could strip off bodyfat simply by avoiding animal products. And lastly, you have people saying you could eat whatever you wanted as long as you kept it to a particular time of day.
The dieting fairy tales propagated by the industry have clouded the judgment of many dieters, including myself. Instead of focusing on the fundamental rules, we’re wasting time stressing over the details.
We’re focusing on individual food items (i.e. wheat, dairy) and macronutrients (carbs vs. fats). We’re focusing on meal timing (“No carbs after 6 PM”) and frequency (“You have to eat every 2-3 hours”).
Rarely, however, do we look at how much we’re eating.
We’re obsessing over all the little details while neglecting the single most important factor of weight-loss.
There isn’t a single research study published today that has shown to facilitate weight-loss without the restriction of calories. Why? Because it simply doesn’t happen.
In the context of weight management, calories are king.
Eat less than your body expends and you will lose weight.
Even if you don’t consciously track your food intake, your energy balance (calories consumed vs. calories burned) will determine whether you lose weight or not. Again, your total calories, not the amount of carbohydrates, sugar or burgers you eat will determine the number on your scale.
It’s not the timing of your meals. It’s not the amount of insulin you secrete during the day. Calories are KING.
If you want to lose fat, eat at an energy deficit while increasing the amount of protein in your diet. But instead of becoming a food nazi, structure your diet in a way that makes it enjoyable and sustainable for you. The end.
Rule Number II: Progress over Pump
You can’t tone muscles by using light weights.
You can’t get abs by training them 5 days a week.
You can’t look like a fitness model by doing 50-rep-sets with baby weights.
You either grow muscle or you don’t. You either lose fat or you don’t. There is no middle ground.
If you want to look good naked you must train to build muscle, not to burn fat!
You have to either push progressively heavier weights or focus on progressive bodyweight training.
“But I don’t want to get too bulky!”
As long as you maintain low body-fat, you’ll never get “too bulky”. The bloated lifters you see at the gym have gotten there by eating too much, not by training too hard. They’re fat as a result of chronically over-consuming calories.
But that shouldn’t keep you from hitting the gym. HARD.
Get stronger, eat better (i.e. more protein, less crap) and you will build a body. Guaranteed.
Play the Game Better than Anyone Else
Once you’re at an advanced level, you can bend the rules slightly.
But you can never forgo the basics. You can never abandon the fundamentals.
Stop looking for the loophole and ignore the experts that try to reinvent the wheel.
It’s not going to happen.
People in the early 1900’s already cracked the code of ultimate human performance. They knew how to train and how to eat to build mythical physiques.
Meanwhile, kids are sipping on their neon-colored BCAA cocktails while bench-pressing 20 lbs dumbbells in compression tights…
Anytime you focus on getting a pump over lifting progressively heavier weights, you lose.
Anytime you focus on sugar intake and meal timing over total calorie intake, you lose.
Anytime you put the details above the fundamentals, you lose.
I think you get the message.
Stop spinning your wheels. Respect the game. Play by the rules and win.
Thank you for reading