Q: It’s the new year, and I feel bloated, guilty, and smooth. Abs are gone from all the holiday eating and so is most of my vascularity. Should I start dieting now to get ripped by spring? I’d guess I’m about 15 pounds overweight.
A: It’s still winter, so you want to continue building as much muscle as possible; however, it’s never too early to start leaning toward lean. And if you say you have 15 pounds to lose, it’s probably more like 20. So that’s 10 to 12 weeks to lose it—late-March, which is right when you want to be fairly lean if you want to be ripped by spring…
So what should you do now? Clean up your eating—remove most of the junk food and alcohol.
Cleaning up your diet will also prime your anabolic environment for faster muscle gains (fewer toxins for your body to deal with).
After a few weeks of cleaner eating, you’ll want to gradually reduce your food intake and/or ramp up activity. For example, you could add a cardio day once or twice a week. A few weeks later, reduce your portion sizes at one or two meals a day.
The key is to whittle fat GRADUALLY—so you don’t lose muscle and actually stimulate hypertrophy.
The biggest mistake most people make is cutting calories drastically and/or doing cardio too many days a week. Too much too fast is a sure way to burn off your hard-earned muscle tissue faster than you can say, “No, I’m not a marathon runner.”
We have examples of how to get ripped by spring in our X-treme Lean ripping guide—with our exact diets and how we gradually cut calories over a few months to get photo-shoot lean without getting mean (or skinny like a green bean—LOL).
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
ATTENTION OVER-40 BODYBUILDERS
One of the most interesting read-me pages on Testosterone and other muscle-building hormones we’ve seen is The Truth About Testosterone.
It even talks about a fruit, a specific part, that can up your T naturally. Cranking up your testosterone will not only get you jacked in the gym, but in the bedroom too—not to mention help rip up your midsection as it ignites fat burning. If that interests you, there’s more from our colleague and registered dietician, HERE.