OK, so we’re now under a week away from my wife’s BIG Fitness show that will be going down in good ol’ Montreal Canada.
It’s the WBFF Pro AM and I have zero doubt that my wife is going to tear sh*t up 😉
She’s been zero’d in on SUCCESS and 110% focused in on going 110% H.A.M. each and every day for the last 8 weeks (there’s been a few cheats here and there ;).
With her preparation, I’ve gotten asked quite a bit from people wanting to know how she’s been getting so lean and keeping muscle on her frame so I thought I would share some of her tips.
Now, before I get into this a bit further, I want to let it be known that preparing for a fitness show is a TON different then trying to get lean and mean for every day life (in some aspects). I’ll explain a bit more within this post.
Getting “Show Lean” is a whole different type of shredded. It’s the type of shredded you get only for a few days max. People that you see on magazine covers are typically only that shredded for a day then go back up a bit in body fat %.
Getting down below 4% for most men and 13% for women is NOT sustainable for everyday life. When you get that low, you have little to no energy and it’s NOT the best for your overall health if you try to stay that lean for too long.
You may look good on the outside but on the inside, it’s a different story.
It’s something people who compete in shows choose do in order to look as LEAN and SHREDDED as possible. I can remember the way I felt when I got myself down to sub 4% BF for my bodybuilding show… It wasn’t the best.
Now, if all you want to do is get to a bodyfat % that you can SUSTAIN easily, you’ll want to focus on getting to 7-8% for guys and somewhere around 16-18% for women. Being that lean, you’ll not only look shredded, but will also be able to lead a healthy lifestyle while having a TON of energy as well as a high level of performance.
Also make note before I get into these points that getting ripped up for a show is going to be a TON different then trying to get lean while also improving performance. Getting lean for a show will mean you’ll have to sacrifice your strength and performance results.
So, with that being said, here’s what my wife’s been focusing on to get SHREDDED…
1 – Train With Complexes
One of the big forms of training methods my wife’s been using within her workouts is that of barbell complexes.
She been using complexes with both barbells and DB’s.
If you don’t know yet, complexes are absolutely KILLER in getting you to shred fat while also helping you retain hard earned muscle.
What I like best about complexes is that they’ll test you both physically and mentally.
Me, I LOVE Complexes… ALL types – heavy, moderate, light…
For her show prep, my wife has tweaked her complexes so that they target fat loss more so then muscle gain, but since there’s some sort of resistance being supplied, you’ll give your muscles a reason to stay around.
One of the complexes she’s used was this INSANE little number bere…
For 30 Mins – Every Min On The Min Complete:
- Barbell Hang Clean x 5
- Barbell Push Press x 5
- Barbell Front Squat x 5
- Barbell Bent Row x 10
She did that will a 45 lbs bar on week 1, week 2 she did it with 65 lbs, then on week 3 went with 75 lbs.
It was a fight to get in all of the reps for each movement near the end of 30 Rounds.
HIGH volume for a HUGE amount of BURN 😉
Now, if you wanted to tweak that complex a bit to fit more of a performance based goal, you could easily do so by taking out the time factor and just doing that complex for total rounds instead of doing it Every Min on the Min. So maybe 10 rounds with a 60 secs break between rounds or you could increase the weight you use and decrease the total amount of rounds.
There’s a lot of different combos you could use for great results. If you want more ideas on how to use complexes in your training, check this out.
#2 – Rotate Your Proteins
Now, I’ve discussed this before in a an earlier post in regards to eating to get lean and improve performance.
If you want to get lean fast, make sure to rotate your proteins. You don’t want to eat the same thing over and over again unless that’s your absolute last resort.
The reason why is because of DIGESTION. You want your digestive system to be highly efficient and one of the best ways of helping your body digest food better is to rotate the foods that you eat, especially your proteins.
In short, it takes a lot more for your body to properly break down and digest protein more so than it does for carbs and fats. If you eat the same type pf protein over and over, you’re body will actually become less efficient at digesting it.
Now, instead of getting in too deep with all of the scientific mumbo-jumbo, just take it from me and make sure to rotate your protein sources as best you can.
For example, this is what my wife would eat over the course of a day…
- Breakfast – 5-6 Egg Whites
- Mid-AM Meal – Post Workout Shake (protein powder mixed with water)
- Lunch – Chicken
- Mid – PM Meal – Salmon
- Dinner – Grass-Fed Beef
- Late-PM Meal – Protein Pudding (frozen protein powder mixed with water)
To be honest with you, that’s what my own eating plan looks a lot like (I eat WHOLE eggs) these days as I too try my best to rotate my proteins throughout the day. Since I’ve done this, I feel TONS better.
On top of rotating proteins, my wife and I both have been adding in a solid digestive enzyme supplement to help digestion even more. Better digestion = better results and overall health.
#3 – Carb Rotation
Now, something that everyone seems to think you must do in order to get lean is to cut out ALL of your carbs.
This isn’t so.
Instead of cutting your carbs out 100%, rotate the amount of carbs you have each day.
What has worked best for my wife is 3 LOW carb days mixed with 1 HIGH carb day.
This method of “carb rotation” is nothing new, but it seems a lot of people don’t know about how damn effective this is at getting you lean.
The way my wife has been doing this is to have 3 days of LOW carb intake (meaning only having below 75-100g of total carbs over the course of the day) then 1 HIGH carb day where she would have around 175-250g of carbs for the day.
Of course, this would all depend on how her overall progress would go as time went on in regards to how she would tweak it.
When it comes to getting super low with your BF%, that’s when calculations in regards to your overall amounts become super important. For most people, you don’t have to worry about this as much as you’re not going to be trying to get to a “stage shredded” level of lean.
For someone looking to get lean and not “stage shredded”, you could take the SAME concept and apply it to your own nutrition, but you would want to modify the amount of carbs you take in all dependent on where you’re at BF% and weight wise.
For me, I’ve seen great results by doing 3 LOW carb days with 1 HIGH carb day and rotating that straight through.
My HIGH carb days would include about 250+ total grams of carbs and my low days would be below 100g total. If I didn’t see results, I would LOWER my low day first, then increase my HIGH carb day if need be.
As far as WHAT to eat for carbs, my wife isn’t a Paleo freak as I am so her main sources of carbs have come from brown rice, black beans, kidney beans, and Kashi Go Lean Crunch.
For me, I go with sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, or quinoa for my carb sources.
#5 – Fats Kept To A Minimum
Something that I found to be interested was how much my wife switched up her fat intake.
She usually eats a lot of healthy fats via avocados, whole eggs, and nuts, but not for show prep.
I’m a HUGE promoter of eating a lot of healthy fats, but if you’re #1 goal is to get super shredded, you may want to switch things up a bit.
Keep in mind, I said “#1 goal is to get SUPER SHREDDED”, not to “Increase Performance” 😉 If performance is of major importance for you, I’d keep your fat intake a bit higher.
For show prep, my wife’s main source of fat intake has come from Udo’s Oil and NutraSea Omega 3 Oil.
Both sources of fat supply a great amount of healthy energy.
I don’t take Udo’s Oil any more as I get my healthy fats via nuts, seeds, grass-fed beef, coconut oil, Whole Eggs, grass-fed butter, Fish Oil, avocados, and Bulletproof MCT Oil (this stuff is like MAGIC sauce!)
If you’re goal is PERFORMANCE, I would recommend you keep your fat sources coming from those sources I just mentioned.
If you’re goal is to get super lean and you don’t care a whole ton about your overall performance, I would cut your overall fat intake back a bit to maybe a few whole eggs a day + Udo’s Oil and some Nutrasea Oil. I’d recommend a tablespoon with your 1st and last meal of the day.
That should supply you with enough healthy fats.
#5 – Accountability
Now, I mentioned this last point within my newsletter on Monday.
This final point is CRITICAL as it’s been the crutch that has kept everything together.
If you want to achieve BIG things, of course you can do it on your own, but it’s always nice to have some people behind you pushing you forward not allowing you to quit.
There’s been a few instances where I’ve had to step in and say, “NO!” to my wife in times where she’s started to get off track a bit, but overall, her discipline is pretty damn strong as she’s been awesome at staying on track as it takes a lot to prepare for these shows.
I asked her what some of the things that have kept her on track were and she said it was the accountability that she created through getting herself a coach, as well as telling all of her clients about what she was planning to do.
What’s most important to note is how she didn’t keep her goals a secret, instead she told everyone she knew that would help back her up with what she was determined to accomplish.
Doing that helped create a nice “team” of supporters who would not only not let her fail, but would push her ahead through tough times.
That’s what creating a little bit of accountability will do for you.
So there you go, a few tips to get you SHA-RED-DED.
Drop any comments or questions you have below.
Live and Train Aggressive
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Barbell Battlefield – Over 30 Killer Barbell Complexes that will get you STRONGER, LEANER, and MEANER…