Ripped In 6 Weeks Part 3 – Max Gingell
The Evolve Team are all training for our annual photo shoot in six weeks time. We thought it would be fun to share some of our trainers’ training diaries, so you can see how PTs get themselves in shape. Tim Digan’s is here, Lee Bennett’s is here, next up it’s the turn of World’s poshest man Max Gingell.
It took a photo from a recent holiday to see the imbalances I had developed over the past couple years of training. Having a program consisting of mostly of pull ups and press ups had left me on the verge of kyphosis with some serious imbalances in my physique. Since I was fifteen I have been lifting weights. To begin with it was for rugby at school then when I left school it was for vanity. My training changed I went into Royal Marine selection then it changed again when I was in Marine basic training and once again when I got out and began working as a PT again. The point I’m attempting to illustrate here is I have a longer training age than some may think as I’m only twenty-six years old. The training styles changed over the years but still imbalances remain. Weaker glutes and a posterior chain needed to be addressed as well as shoulders needing more development. This does not necessarily mean a complete overhaul in training approach. Rather its a case of refining the approach to training. My Training split recently used to be a five day split which revolved around doing the basics to death. Nothing wrong with this approach but it was clear that it had gotten stale. I used to pride myself on being the member of the team who would sleep 4-5 hours night be in for 6am most days leave around 8pm and still have put in a solid 60 min+ training session. And guess what, I have felt sore, tired and generally fatigued for months.
After listening to my body I decided to shift my focus to recovery just as much as the actual training itself. I’m not a pro Athlete. I’m a trainer who works 12 sometimes 14 hours a day four to five days a week. I do not have a pro chef who does my meals for me, I don’t have a sleep coach and I am not taking performance enhancing drugs to help with recovery. So why would I train like someone who is? One small but powerful change I made was to actually train slightly less. Instead of training five times per week I now train four. I was guilty like many of being a stimulus addict thinking that more training sessions a week is a better way to go. After a few weeks of employing these subtle changes my body composition began to improve as well as my general mood and well being. Funny that, practising what I preach to clients on a daily basis actually working.
My Diet protocols also changed. Previously I had employed carb cycling which would involve manipulation of carbohydrate intake on different days of the week. Again this previously worked but I wanted to take a more sustainable approach.The idea of a zero carb day filled me with dread so that was sacked off. For this reason I decided to give Intermittent fasting (IF) a try. There are supposed to be many benefits to IF such as keeping your metabolic rate high , increasing your natural GH levels and potentially fighting cancer so that’s good. However the main reason I started IF was it’s just easier to maintain a calorie deficit when your eating window is smaller. I like to eat big proper meals potentially around the 700 calorie size so having a couple of meals like this a day augmented with some smaller snack size meals suits me down to the ground.
My Macros: As previously mentioned I decided to take a more sustainable approach this time round. Everyday I would eat at moderate calorie deficit of 300 calories under maintenance. This is generally the system I use with clients looking to lose body fat, its simple and effective and easy to adhere to and to be honest if your not putting in some sort of thought into what you’re putting into your body every day if your goal is body recomposition then your pissing in the wind my friend. Before you can create a deficit you need to know what your maintenance calories are. The equation for this is as follows. Firstly weigh yourself if you’re lucky enough to be living in England you will be using KG as units. At the start of this mini cut I was 84 KG, now for this to work you need to convert your weight in KG into LBS simply this is done by Body Weight (BW) in KG x2.2. So for me it was 84×2.2 which equalled 189.2 or 189 lbs. Step 2 take your weight in lbs (189 for me) and multiply that number by 15. So 189 x15 = 2838 which becomes 2,838 calories per day for maintenance. Remember this is me training four times per week and doing on average 15000-20000 steps per day. If one was perhaps a little less active multiply your BW by 14 to account for less activity but enough about you back to me.
I had established that to maintain 84 kg I’d need to eat roughly 2,800 calls per day. To get leaner all one needs to do here is take 300 cals off so eat roughly 2,500 cals a day whilst keeping up the activity. Easy. However I now had to workout Macros. What makes up that 2,500 cals is just as important as the number itself. The average Krispy Kreme is 350 cals but no one got ripped eating those all day. When cutting I wanted to have a nice balanced macro split what I’ll normally go with is this of my total calories per day 35% will be made up from protein 35 % from carbs and 30% from fats. One gram of both protein and carbohydrate equals 4 calories so to get the correct amount all I had to do was get the calculator out again and throw this in. Total calories (2,500) x 0.35 = 875 (that’s the amount of calories I’ll eat from protein) then take 875 and divide it by 4 (four calories to one gram of protein) this comes to 218. So I’d eat 218g of protein per day, this is exactly the same for carbs as they are equal in terms of calorie amount. Fats is a slightly different story. Fats are more calorie dense with a cost of nine calories per gram so it would be the exact same equation as above but using 9 instead of 4. E.G 2,500 x 0.30= 750 then 750 divided by 9 (9 calls to 1 gram of fat) = 83.
So there you go after using a scale and a calculator I found out my daily calories at a 300 cal deficit with a macro split of 35% protein 35% carbs and 30% fats or in other words 2,500 cals per day. Eat 218g protein , 218g carbs and 83g fats. Make sure that 90% of all that comes from whole foods and boom there you go. £80 please.
The Biggest mistake people make when cutting is to stop strength training altogether and go mad on cardio. Unless you wish to look like a meth addict with osteoporosis this is a bad course to follow. I not planning on beating myself into the ground whilst doing this cut rather take it as an opportunity to work on some imbalances in my physique and get a bit leaner for the shoot. I am a huge fan of total body trading as I believe its the most efficient way to train. Why Max? Good question. Honestly I personally don’t like the idea of going into a training session an only hitting 20% of my body. Eg Chest/arms. I prefer to go in and hit all the major muscle groups eg Chest/shoulders/back/legs. My plan is to make sure all the major muscle groups get stimulated three times per week this is in my option the optimal frequency to train a muscle group, stimulate growth and get some solid recovery in. How I approached this on a weekly basis is as follows:
4 sessions a week, training days Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat. The first two sessions of the week are total body in nature and consist of the following template: Compound Upper body push movement eg Overhead press, Upper body pull movement eg chin up and a lower body compound movement think Squat or deadlift variation generally performed for 4 sets of 8-10 reps per exercise. Following this I like to throw in some Met con or Metabolic conditioning if your being fancy. For me this looks like pairing a movement such as a press up and a Med ball slam for 5 sets of 10 reps with very little rest perhaps 30 seconds between movements. It’s Time efficient and gets the heart rate up whilst concurrently working relevant muscle groups for a photo shoot chest,triceps (push up) Back/core (med ball slams).
The third and fourth sessions are either lower or upper body focused. Again I’ll use the same template of a big Tri set as the main body of the session example for upper body would be 4 sets of Chin ups/DB Floor press/Bicep curl variation all performed for 10 plus reps.
Generally I have found this way of training to work for me. It’s taken a while for me to work out that working smarter ie training slightly less but as I’m better recovered and less stressed getting a lot more out training. Take away thoughts would be this. Firstly do not be a stimulus addict. Just because your doing more doesn’t necessarily mean its better for you. If your not a pro Athlete sleeping 8 hours a night with a pro support team around you 24/7 then maybe don’t train like one. Fight your fight not someone else’s. Secondly and this is something I say to every single one of my clients. CONSISTENCY UNDERPINS EVERYTHING. If you’re not consistent with your training and diet nothing will ever change. If actually training 3 times a week instead of pretending you’re going to train 6 times a week means you’ll get shit done then that’s clearly the way to go. Same with nutrition, If the idea of tracking macros fills you with fear then don’t do it. Instead look to make a few small changes in your diet as that will lead to bigger results. Fight your fight, not someone else’s.
Max Gingell out.
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