The Blueprint For Getting Lean, While Enjoying Life
- I’m finally back to training clients, and I’m laying out the masterplan
- Muscle. Mind. Metabolism. The three prime movers that get your fitness transforming.
- Perfect the daily grind.
- How to book a consultation
- The Gyms Are Re-Opening And It's Time To Get Serious
- Building Muscle - Technique-Based Lifting
- Mould The Mind - A Resilient Brain
- Metabolic Flexibility - The Apex Diet & Fasted Training
Why Training Programmes Often End Up Biting The Dust
We all fall into the same trap when we find a new diet, or training plan. It’s fresh, it feels great, and we pile in, finally believing.
Maybe it’s trying out german volume training for the first time, and the exhilarating pump that follows. Or it could be a reluctant stab at keto that turns into a week where your weight drops off a cliff. You do the sensible thing and buy a couple more scales, and the new numbers are still there.
And that’s the honeymoon period of a new programme. A flurry of results that usually fizzles out after a few weeks. Progress might dial back to a meandering crawl, or stop altogether. Now you have to wait till the next bit of inspiration finds you. That’s the familiar cycle of a fitness transformation. You stumble on a bit of novelty, declare it the holy grail, then rid it till the plateau hauls your mojo down.
There’s one rule that cuts through a transformation, that everyone needs to accept with a grudge. The body really doesn’t want to change. And much of the time, it doesn’t know what’s good for it. Homeostasis is wired into the motherboard. If you’re looking to put on ten pounds of muscle, or drop 10% of your bodyweight, then you’re going to have to go to war against the status quo.
In such a scene, the odds are against you. Any progress will be met with pushback., and it often makes little sense. If you’re genetically or environmentally challenged, then any decent transformation is going to take a titanic effort. Pinning all your hopes on one holy grail of a programme isn’t enough to move the needle. Even when you are moving forward, it’s likely not going to be at any decent rate.
How To Beat Homeostasis
Despite the fact that you’re on an uphill struggle, the solution isn’t that complicated. When one isn’t enough, you add more. If training alone doesn’t get you anywhere, then you have to call on the other major players in your life.
And there are three.
These players add up to make the apex lifestyle. Tick each of these boxes and you’ll no longer be worrying about plateaus. They’ll be taken out of the game. The only thing left to puzzle over would be, at which stop do you get off? It’ll be a hard thing to break.
This isn’t just a plug for my coaching. I’m laying out a blueprint that anyone can follow. For one, it makes sense once you skim it for the third time. And as a second, it works. Read this guide to discover how you can carve out a transformation that actually lasts, with science-based coaching that sweeps across the entire fitness lifestyle. This is a guide for setting up and living the perfect grind.
The Gyms Are Re-Opening And It’s Time To Get Serious
This isn’t your usual average fluff motivational piece. I don’t think throwing out a few inspirational one-liners does much for anyone. That’s a short-term fix that rarely pans out. Even if it stirs up enough adrenaline to get you off the couch, the effect’s going to be fading by the time you start fumbling for the keys.
So this is going to be based around creating actionable steps for losing fat and building muscle, ready to be slotted across your average day. Once you have these steps in place, you get to use as many wallpaper one-liners as you want.
With DW opening its doors on Monday, I can finally get back to the confusing business of counting reps. So from the 10th of August, I’ll once again be available for personal training in Wrexham. But there’s going to be a lot more going on than counting people up to ten, despite the fact that it’s harder than you think. Over the lockdown I’ve been biding my time, bustling around the man cave, dreaming up a blueprint that can get clients progressing on all fronts.
A masterplan to get someone stronger, smarter, and stress-free. And doing all that without making things complicated. Find actionable steps for your daily grind that can tick the three boxes of an apex lifestyle.
In case you haven’t followed the thread that stretches across the 200 articles I’ve penned on this website, I can give you the cliff-notes. Lifting, although fantastic and potentially life-changing, is just one of the ingredients that make up the apex lifestyle. And it’s likely not going to be enough by itself.
The Apex Lifestyle Across My Blog
I’ve already laid out a few comprehensive guides to some of these, so chances are, as a regular reader, you’ll already be familiar. If not, there’s a lot of deep diving below.
Technique-Based Lifting (This one hasn’t been written yet)
None of these are necessarily avant-garde, but combining all of them into one average day. That’s going to be a little different. Take on any of these alone, test it out over a month, and you’re bound to notice an extra spring in the step. Then the plateau comes along. Bunched together, that’s a whole lot of momentum that the motherboard isn’t going to be able to stop.
Building Muscle – Technique-Based Lifting
The Problem – Lifting heavy doesn’t necessarily get you injured, but it will make for slower progress.
If you think this is going to be another lecture about mind-muscle connection, then you’re damn right. The body doesn’t have a rep-counter built-in, that tells it when it’s time to start growing. Neither does it have a way of remembering that today’s weight is heavier than last tuesday’s. All that really matters for the business of building muscle, is tension. You’re picking up a weight, and doing your best to make sure you feel it.
Go into the gym with the goal of maxing out on every machine you come across, and you’re guaranteed to lose out on muscle, and shorten the lifespan of the joints that are picking up the slack.
It’s definitely a fun way to kick things off, but you’re using all your tokens on the first machine. You see results every session, the weights are constantly moving up, until the gains suddenly dry up.
The body doesn’t like change, and it has a mechanism for this very situation. The repeated-bout effect is there to stop you from becoming too muscular. In this case it stops you from being nearly-muscular.
Lifting for weight isn’t just dangerous and a show of neglect for joints that don’t have receipts. It’s stale. With so many different ways to stress a muscle and force it to adapt, you’re going in with the lone option. The motherboard gets wise, and you end up butting your head against the wall.
But if you make a point to hone in your technique, then it’s a different ballgame. Now there are so many ways to improve and vary the stress. You can work on stabilising the working joint till it becomes a true isolation exercise. Then there are dials for fatigue, tension, angles, and load.
No more plateaus. There’s way too much going on for homeostasis to fix.
You end up netting two with one hit, because not only are you progressing from session to session, but you’re also having a great time doing it. Variety is like opium for workouts, just less dangerous.
Takeaway – Weight is only one mover for gaining muscle. If you really want to draw the best shape from your genetics, then you have to hit the other levels. Lifting heavy is easy, just work yourself up into panic-mode, then push or pull as hard as you can. It’s not exactly a skill. Lifting with technique gives you a host of extra ways to gain muscle, and can be continuously developed till you finally become a muscle sensei.
Coaching – During my sessions, I put an emphasis on learning stability before you get your license to move up in weight. Once you’re stable, then we cue the mind-muscle connection. Finally, it’s time to add a plate or two. This learning process is the perfect way to help you go ahead and nail your own workouts.
Mould The Mind – A Resilient Brain
The Problem – The modern lifestyle is often at direct odds with the brain, resulting in a control hub that’s sensitive to stress and terrible at task completion. It’s the perfect set up to fail at a transformation.
As I’ve already outlined, the biggest obstacle to a transformation is the body’s staunch defense of the status quo. Nothing is going to better represent that than the brain. It’s hard to get a handle on it, with all its criss crossing wires and proneness to overheating. But it’s absolutely something that needs to be tackled head-on. Most of the pitfalls that can end a transformation before its due date, will be psychological.
- The motivation well runs dry
- Stress shuffles training down the priority list
- You take up running because it feels better
These are just some examples to give you the idea. The mindset is often the culprit. But that’s not your fault, not necessarily. The brain has to be trained, just like the muscles. The common underlying issues can be fixed by getting the reps in.
The brain may be an obstacle, but it’s also incredibly plastic. You can absolutely shape it to suit whatever shoes you’re stepping into.
- Daily Habits That Build Resilience
These are actions that become short-circuited into the brain, until performing them becomes almost subconscious. You no longer have to wonder whether training after work is a good idea, because the choice has already been made for you.
Which habits you pick are crucial. It’s always best to plan out the hours most under your control, most resistant to change, and evolve things from there. For most people, this is going to be the evening, and morning hours.
And they need to be habits that push you forward. There is the whole essence of the daily grind, getting one step closer to your goals with each day you get under the belt. I’ve outlined the whole process pretty comprehensively in my guide, linked below.
- The Diet
This is where it becomes obvious that the prime movers are heavily interlinked. The muscle, the mind, the metabolism. What you eat has a sweeping effect across your ability to think clearly, stay focused, and relax when necessary.
Eat Inflammatory Foods
Constantly go through cycles of brain fog and depressive symptoms, stemming from whatever you just allowed into your gut. The biggest source of inflammation of all, is the sugar rollercoaster.
Eat Nutrient-Dense, Toxin Free Sources
Get some normality back. Stable mood, stable neurotransmitters, giving you the perfect base for those resilience-building habits. As an extra plus, you’re also now primed to build muscle, which is rarely a given.
Before it crosses your mind, I’m not on a quest to get everyone to eat organic.
This is just a happy extra, a coat of icing to celebrate a fantastic bit of baking. Nootropics are essentially whatever supplements you take to change your mood. This could be a mug of coffee to shake some life into the body for an early workout, or it could be a little dose of theanine to cool you down in time for bed.
They definitely have their uses, just as long as you can step back and have a supplement-free day when necessary. When it comes to neurotransmitters, your diet and habits do the heavy pulling.
Takeaway – The brain is plastic, and you’ve got the chance to mold it through the strategic use of daily habits and toxin-free food. With the mindset to match the physique, you’re unstoppable.
Coaching – As part of my training, I set up consultations with the client, where we can discuss potential habits that can be worked into the daily routine. Once they’re up and running, I set up a tracker that can be used to tick those habits off after each completion. This will encourage adherence long enough for the habit to enter the clockwork stage.
Metabolic Flexibility – The Apex Diet & Fasted Training
The Problem – Fat loss is being barricaded by insulin resistance, while whatever you’re eating never seems to agree with you.
You can’t outrun a bad diet, and you’re not getting far with a suboptimal one. When most foods are either loaded with toxins, or processed to the point of being devoid of nutrients, it’s easy to see how we’ve ended up with an obesity epidemic. But the issues of a bad diet go much further than a spare tire.
These are the classic side-effects that crop up with mismanaged nutrition.
- Brain fog
- Energy swings
- Constant hunger
- Depressive symptoms
- Muscle loss
- Skin blemishes
- Dental problems
So to find the ideal human diet, you just have to move those levers across to the other end of their spectrums.
The Carnivore Diet
That leaves us with one set of candidates. The all-in-one nutritional powerhouses of the ruminant division. In terms of quality, this meat is highly bioavailable, while containing plant nutrients minus the toxins.
Then there’s the ketogenic effect that comes from cutting out carbs, which exerts radical upgrades by itself across the diet.
- Raised satiety
- Steady energy
- Improves intermittent fasting
- Easier fat burning
- Lowered inflammation
You could make a good argument that the carnivore diet really shines during weight loss, but there’s nothing here to suggest that it won’t have the legs to go further and become a lifestyle de facto.
Read The Full Apex Guide – The Apex Diet
2. Fasted Training
While the whole idea of training on an empty stomach might take some time getting round to, it is an incredibly potent metabolic disruptor, and resilience builder. During such a session, you take on considerable stress, and the body adapts to meet it.
Intermittent fasting by itself does wonders for eroding insulin resistance, the aforementioned blocker of fat loss. And as it happens, training works along the same lines. You’re getting a synergistic effect that pushes back against the biggest impediment to your summer dreams.
Insulin resistance can’t be understated. You don’t need to be holding visible fat in order to be a victim. A huge chunk of the western population have pre-diabetes, characterised by insulin resistance. And as long as you have it, you won’t just be in danger of being moved along to Type 2. Carbs won’t absorb well, fat loss will stay suppressed, and there’ll be a constant influx of inflammation, which is the biggest driver of disease.
Not to mention, fasting itself feels great. It’s a natural detox that’s always going to trump whatever you can get by whipping up a kale shake. Judging it as a diet, fasting is extremely similar to the effects of carnivore. There’s more ketones, less toxins, suppressed hunger, and enhanced fat burning. The apex lifestyle is all about synergy. Each of the levers match perfectly with each other, and that’s bound to end up with better results and a primed physique.
So it’s worth the inconvenience of a missed breakfast here and there. Fasted training doesn’t have to be your default option for training, but you should definitely consider throwing it into the mix at least once a week.
Read The Full Apex Guide – Fasted Training
Read The Full Apex Guide – Intermittent Fasting
Takeaway – Carnivore provides the ultimate version of a diet high in nutritional density and free of toxins. It’s also ketogenic, offering up a separate set of perks that come from having ketones running up and down the bloodstream.
Add in fasted training, and you can speed up the transition from being insulin resistant, to sensitive. Intermittent fasting is by itself a very potent diet for weight loss or metabolic health, but in this setup it’s merely one piece.
Coaching – I provide meal plans and nutritional consultations to assist people with whichever diet they choose. Which would ideally be a meat-based diet, or even just a low-carb one. Fasting protocols can also be worked into the weekly plan.
Stronger. Smarter. Stress-Free.
Each of these prime movers has a direct say on your ability to grind your way from A to B. And that means that you can’t simply rely on one. Things could still pan out for the better, but chances are the results will be nowhere near the point they could have reached. If you’re really after a physique that doesn’t just look better, but feels better, then it’s worth putting your entire day under new management.
While it’s always going to be a boost if you can set your sights on some ultimate goal, the initial phase should be hyper-focused on setting up the perfect average day. Add in the steps that would make up the apex lifestyle.
It’s not complicated. It may be uncomfortable, but that’s the point of the whole thing. Taking the body, and brain, outside its status quo.
Muscle – Get in the gym and train, honing in on technique the whole time.
Mind – When you wake up, siit down and get through 10 minutes of meditation before you reach for the phone
Metabolism – Skip the morning cornflakes and wait till lunchtime to break the fast.
Take The Apex Blueprint On For Yourself
In case you’re looking to test it out for yourself and get through some mild discomfort, I have just the thing. At DW Wrexham, I provide the whole package of one-to-one training, nutritional support, and habit coaching.
To start everything off, you can book a consultation through the app in my link here.
For those who aren’t roaming around the wrexham vicinity, I also have an online membership programme that provides plans across training, nutrition, and habits. And you get to kick off with a free week’s trial.