IIFYM - Feed https://www.iifym.com If It Fits Your Macros Mon, 24 Jun 2019 19:19:33 +0000 en-US The No-Excuse At-Home Resistance Band Workout https://www.iifym.com/fitness/the-no-excuse-at-home-resistance-band-workout/ Mon, 24 Jun 2019 07:01:53 +0000 https://www.iifym.com/?p=53935 I know what you’re thinking… “Matt, I lift free weights – heavy ones at that.  Why would I do or even consider a resistance band workout?” Well, for many reasons actually.  People like to downplay a resistance band workout or utilizing resistance band exercises in their training as if it’s worthless – it’s not.  And this IIFYM.com article is going to show you why and how to utilize this strategy.

Why YOU Should Use a Resistance Band Workout

There are many reasons you should implement resistance bands into your training program.  The first could be because you are strapped for time and can’t make it to the gym or you’re at home and the weather outside doesn’t make it ideal for traveling to the gym.  Rather than completely skipping your workout, you can utilize resistance band exercises to stimulate muscle fibers. Additionally, resistance bands (even as a set) is extremely compact to the point where you can pack it in your suitcase and take it with you on business trips or vacations.  You have no excuses when you have resistance bands.

Now, be realistic with your expectations here.  You’re not going to have 315 pounds of resistance like you would on a bench press with three wheels on each side.  So, simmer down He-Man. What you are able to do is get an amazing squeeze out of each rep of your resistance band exercises and completely exhaust the muscle and feel a deep burn in the tissue.  

Some resistance band companies sell their products as a set that includes various resistance bands as well as attachments. This allows you to hit your entire body in the privacy of your own home.  If I were to make one suggestion, it would be to find a brand (like Bodylastics) and purchase one of their complete sets based off of your strength level and needs/goals.

Something else to think about is the constant tension you get from resistance band exercises.  If you think about it, there is constant tension on the muscle at all times pushing and pulling on a muscle where you won’t have the ability to “rest” or “relax” during an exercise.  While you may not be utilizing the same weight you use in the gym, a resistance band workout is more than enough to help stimulate muscle growth and help you achieve your fitness and physique goals.

Total Body Resistance Bands Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Click Here To Watch This Video

I’m going to give you a workout program at the end of this article, but if you wanted the trained professionals at IIFYM.com to create an individualized nutrition program for you to help speed up your progress, sign up for their IIFYM Custom Macro Blueprint to get started.

Additionally, if you wanted to set up your own diet, you can use the IIFYM calculators to get the information needed to plan out an IIFYM diet on your own.

Resistance Band Exercises

To start off, let’s look at all of the different resistance band exercises you can do at home.

  • Crunch
  • Twisting Crunch
  • Trunk Rotation
  • Side Bend
  • Various Grip Pull-Down
  • Row
  • Back Fly
  • Straight-Arm Pushdown
  • Chest Press
  • Incline Press
  • Decline Press
  • Chest Fly
  • Squat
  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Curl
  • Deadlift
  • Calf Raise
  • Shoulder Press
  • Side Lateral
  • Front Lateral
  • Bent-Over Rear Lateral
  • Upright Row
  • Biceps Curl
  • Concentration Curl
  • Hammer Curl
  • Triceps Kickback
  • Triceps Pushdown
  • Triceps Extension

 

And this is only the tip of the iceberg.  You can get creative with your exercise variations as well.  But, as you can see, you can utilize a variety of resistance band exercises to compile a complete resistance band workout.  

You can even take exercises from workout programs you found online or books like the IIFYM Laser Legs book and implement the same program, only using resistance bands to change things up and stimulate the muscle fibers differently.  

The At-Home Resistance Band Workout

For the resistance band workout I’m providing below, complete one exercise after the other without resting in between until you reach the end, then allow yourself a 45-60 second rest period before starting over again.  This style of training is called a “circuit.” It’s where you are continuously moving from one exercise to the next with no rest in between to keep your heart rate elevated and help you burn more calories during your workout.  

For each of the resistance band exercises, complete 10-15 repetitions.  Complete anywhere from two to four complete circuits based on your current fitness level.  Push yourself each workout to achieve more reps or more total circuits. While the program is fairly basic (to allow all fitness levels to utilize it), you can make it more challenging by slowing down your reps to increase the time-under-tension.

*As with any IIFYM exercise plan or IIFYM nutrition program, it is advised that you consult with your doctor prior to ensure you are healthy enough to engage in such a program.

To complete the resistance band workout, the only thing you will need is enough room in your home to complete the exercises safely, as well as your resistance band(s).

Leave a minimum of one day’s rest in between your resistance band workout to allow your body to properly rest and recover.  So, for instance, if you do a workout on Monday, wait until Wednesday at the earliest to complete the workout again (this is assuming you are following the exact full-body workout shown below).  Cardio, on the other hand, can be completed each day (seven days a week) if you wish to do so.

Warm-up before beginning each workout by engaging in some low-intensity cardio such as jumping jacks or walking up and down the stairs for five minutes to get the blood pumping and help get the muscles warmed up.  Once your warm-up is completed, you can move ahead with the workout below.

If you intend on doing cardio the same time you plan on doing your resistance band workout, complete your cardio AFTER you are completely done with your resistance training.

Exercise Reps
Squat 10-15
Deadlift 10-15
Calf Raise 10-15
Pull-Down 10-15
Row 10-15
Chest Press 10-15
Chest Fly 10-15
Shoulder Press 10-15
Side Lateral 10-15
Triceps Pushdown 15-20
Biceps Curl 15-20
Crunch 10-15
Side Bend 10-15

The following article The No-Excuse At-Home Resistance Band Workout was originally published on IIFYM MACROS IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]>
I know what you’re thinking… “Matt, I lift free weights – heavy ones at that.  Why would I do or even consider a resistance band workout?” Well, for many reasons actually.  People like to downplay a resistance band workout or utilizing resistance band exercises in their training as if it’s worthless – it’s not.  And this IIFYM.com article is going to show you why and how to utilize this strategy.

Why YOU Should Use a Resistance Band Workout

There are many reasons you should implement resistance bands into your training program.  The first could be because you are strapped for time and can’t make it to the gym or you’re at home and the weather outside doesn’t make it ideal for traveling to the gym.  Rather than completely skipping your workout, you can utilize resistance band exercises to stimulate muscle fibers. Additionally, resistance bands (even as a set) is extremely compact to the point where you can pack it in your suitcase and take it with you on business trips or vacations.  You have no excuses when you have resistance bands.

Now, be realistic with your expectations here.  You’re not going to have 315 pounds of resistance like you would on a bench press with three wheels on each side.  So, simmer down He-Man. What you are able to do is get an amazing squeeze out of each rep of your resistance band exercises and completely exhaust the muscle and feel a deep burn in the tissue.  

Some resistance band companies sell their products as a set that includes various resistance bands as well as attachments. This allows you to hit your entire body in the privacy of your own home.  If I were to make one suggestion, it would be to find a brand (like Bodylastics) and purchase one of their complete sets based off of your strength level and needs/goals.

Something else to think about is the constant tension you get from resistance band exercises.  If you think about it, there is constant tension on the muscle at all times pushing and pulling on a muscle where you won’t have the ability to “rest” or “relax” during an exercise.  While you may not be utilizing the same weight you use in the gym, a resistance band workout is more than enough to help stimulate muscle growth and help you achieve your fitness and physique goals.

Total Body Resistance Bands Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Click Here To Watch This Video

I’m going to give you a workout program at the end of this article, but if you wanted the trained professionals at IIFYM.com to create an individualized nutrition program for you to help speed up your progress, sign up for their IIFYM Custom Macro Blueprint to get started.

Additionally, if you wanted to set up your own diet, you can use the IIFYM calculators to get the information needed to plan out an IIFYM diet on your own.

Resistance Band Exercises

To start off, let’s look at all of the different resistance band exercises you can do at home.

  • Crunch
  • Twisting Crunch
  • Trunk Rotation
  • Side Bend
  • Various Grip Pull-Down
  • Row
  • Back Fly
  • Straight-Arm Pushdown
  • Chest Press
  • Incline Press
  • Decline Press
  • Chest Fly
  • Squat
  • Leg Extension
  • Leg Curl
  • Deadlift
  • Calf Raise
  • Shoulder Press
  • Side Lateral
  • Front Lateral
  • Bent-Over Rear Lateral
  • Upright Row
  • Biceps Curl
  • Concentration Curl
  • Hammer Curl
  • Triceps Kickback
  • Triceps Pushdown
  • Triceps Extension

 

And this is only the tip of the iceberg.  You can get creative with your exercise variations as well.  But, as you can see, you can utilize a variety of resistance band exercises to compile a complete resistance band workout.  

You can even take exercises from workout programs you found online or books like the IIFYM Laser Legs book and implement the same program, only using resistance bands to change things up and stimulate the muscle fibers differently.  

The At-Home Resistance Band Workout

For the resistance band workout I’m providing below, complete one exercise after the other without resting in between until you reach the end, then allow yourself a 45-60 second rest period before starting over again.  This style of training is called a “circuit.” It’s where you are continuously moving from one exercise to the next with no rest in between to keep your heart rate elevated and help you burn more calories during your workout.  

For each of the resistance band exercises, complete 10-15 repetitions.  Complete anywhere from two to four complete circuits based on your current fitness level.  Push yourself each workout to achieve more reps or more total circuits. While the program is fairly basic (to allow all fitness levels to utilize it), you can make it more challenging by slowing down your reps to increase the time-under-tension.

*As with any IIFYM exercise plan or IIFYM nutrition program, it is advised that you consult with your doctor prior to ensure you are healthy enough to engage in such a program.

To complete the resistance band workout, the only thing you will need is enough room in your home to complete the exercises safely, as well as your resistance band(s).

Leave a minimum of one day’s rest in between your resistance band workout to allow your body to properly rest and recover.  So, for instance, if you do a workout on Monday, wait until Wednesday at the earliest to complete the workout again (this is assuming you are following the exact full-body workout shown below).  Cardio, on the other hand, can be completed each day (seven days a week) if you wish to do so.

Warm-up before beginning each workout by engaging in some low-intensity cardio such as jumping jacks or walking up and down the stairs for five minutes to get the blood pumping and help get the muscles warmed up.  Once your warm-up is completed, you can move ahead with the workout below.

If you intend on doing cardio the same time you plan on doing your resistance band workout, complete your cardio AFTER you are completely done with your resistance training.

Exercise Reps
Squat 10-15
Deadlift 10-15
Calf Raise 10-15
Pull-Down 10-15
Row 10-15
Chest Press 10-15
Chest Fly 10-15
Shoulder Press 10-15
Side Lateral 10-15
Triceps Pushdown 15-20
Biceps Curl 15-20
Crunch 10-15
Side Bend 10-15

The following article The No-Excuse At-Home Resistance Band Workout was originally published on IIFYM MACROS IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]>
What is the best way to start IIFYM after a low carb diet? https://www.iifym.com/weight-loss-programs/what-is-the-best-way-to-start-iifym-after-a-low-carb-diet/ Sun, 23 Jun 2019 02:13:47 +0000 https://iifym.com//?p=1138---b1daa890-f497-43c7-8e3a-996c22c9854e

 

Switching from a low carb diet or keto to flexible dieting can be a bit tricky. Not due to IIFYM mind you, but due to the fact that when eating such a low carb diet, your body has been trained to perform a certain way.

Once you start adding carbs back into your diet, your body might love it, or hate the change. It really depends on how long you were in depriving your body of glycogen for. If you we eating low carb or keto for a few months, your transition into flexible dieting will probably be a cake walk. All you'd have to do is slowly increase carbs over a period of 3-6 weeks until you get to your daily allotment.

If you were doing keto or Atkins for a year or more, you might run into a bit of glycogen rebound (don't research that term, I just made it up - basically just added weight from sodium, water, glycogen and fat depending on how hard you go with your carb orgy).

Simplest Approach Moving Forward

The best action most people can take is to ease back into a regular diet that includes all three macronutrients. Moving into it slowly, and following a structured program will help keep you focused so you don't pig out on everything you were craving while you were eating such low carbs.

Simply put, The best way to come off of a low carb diet or low-calorie diet it to reverse out of it.

Before I go any further I want to be clear, that I am not talking about any of the popular reverse diets that are designed to rebuild your metabolism. I am simply talking about introducing carbs back into your diet in a slow and methodical fashion that will ensure a smooth and body fat-free transition.

Let me also say that the best way to reverse out of any kind of diet is with the help of an experience nutrition coach.  Click here to see our IIFYM Coaching programs.

Where To Start Your Journey Post Low Carb

If you have decided to go it alone, and not use a coach to guide you out of your low carb madness you will want to start by visiting our IIFYM macro calculator.

When you first input your numbers into our IIFYM Calculator, you will be given a specific amount of carbs to eat. Many people that have been on a low carb diet usually (not always) have developed some sort of fear of carbs. Don't worry, it happens to the best of us.

Even elite level bodybuilders develop this phobia over time. Luckily there are great contest prep coaches out there that are doing an awesome job helping athletes and general population dieters come out of these low carb nightmares and restore their metabolism.

Following a simple program like this, rather than pigging out on every single carb source you set your eyes on, will ensure that you transition smoothly into IIFYM with as little unwanted body fat gain as possible.

Most people want to jump right into the new macros that the IIFYM Calculator gives them but they forget that those numbers are what a person with a healthy metabolic capacity should be eating.

If you have been low carb dieting for a good amount of time, you will certainly gain weight (water and glycogen mostly, with some fat and hopefully a little muscle), which is when most people get discouraged, quit, and then claim that IIFYM does not work.

The issue, however, is not with IIFYM, it is with their metabolism, but more importantly, the speed at which they jumped into the new macros, and in many cases, simply because they were counting macros incorrectly.

broccoli-carrots-chopped-1

 

If you go it alone, you will have to follow some sort of cookie cutter plan, and modify it as you progress.  Basically, stay low, and slowly increase carbs over a 4-8 week period. If you were following a true ketogenic diet, your fats should have been very high. While reverse dieting your fats will need to come down, while your carbs will increase slowly.

A cookie cutter program for someone transitioning out of keto, into IIFYM might look something like this if they are trying to eat at caloric maintenance levels (TDEE):

Week 1

  • Protein - Hit the number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs - Hit 60% of the carbs our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Fat - Multiply the fat our Macor Calculator gives you by 1.25

Week 2

  • Protein - Hit the exact number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs - Hit 70% of the carbs our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Fat - Multiply the fat our Macor Calculator gives you by 1.25

 

Week 3

  • Protein - Hit the exact number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs - Hit 80% of the carbs our calculator gives you
  • Fat - Hit the number our Macro Calculator gives you

Week 4

  • Protein - Hit the exact number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs - Hit 90% of the carbs our calculator gives you
  • Fat - Hit the number our Macro Calculator gives you

Once you have completed these 4 weeks you can eat the exact number of macros our macro calculator gives you, or if you wish to be prudent, you can keep increasing them slowly.

If you were not on a ketogenic diet, and simply just eating very low carbs (the difference being the amount of fat you eat for energy while in ketosis) then you could simply follow the above cookie cutter program without adjusting your fats at all. Hit your protein and fat, and slowly bring carbs up over a 4-6 week period.

Again, this is a cookie cutter plan, rudimentary program. It is basic, shrewd, limited and ugly, but it is a solid start if you are the kind of person that needs a bit of guidance before you jump in IIFYM without a coach.

 

The following article What is the best way to start IIFYM after a low carb diet? See more on: IIFYM STORE IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]>

 

Switching from a low carb diet or keto to flexible dieting can be a bit tricky. Not due to IIFYM mind you, but due to the fact that when eating such a low carb diet, your body has been trained to perform a certain way.

Once you start adding carbs back into your diet, your body might love it, or hate the change. It really depends on how long you were in depriving your body of glycogen for. If you we eating low carb or keto for a few months, your transition into flexible dieting will probably be a cake walk. All you'd have to do is slowly increase carbs over a period of 3-6 weeks until you get to your daily allotment.

If you were doing keto or Atkins for a year or more, you might run into a bit of glycogen rebound (don't research that term, I just made it up - basically just added weight from sodium, water, glycogen and fat depending on how hard you go with your carb orgy).

Simplest Approach Moving Forward

The best action most people can take is to ease back into a regular diet that includes all three macronutrients. Moving into it slowly, and following a structured program will help keep you focused so you don't pig out on everything you were craving while you were eating such low carbs.

Simply put, The best way to come off of a low carb diet or low-calorie diet it to reverse out of it.

Before I go any further I want to be clear, that I am not talking about any of the popular reverse diets that are designed to rebuild your metabolism. I am simply talking about introducing carbs back into your diet in a slow and methodical fashion that will ensure a smooth and body fat-free transition.

Let me also say that the best way to reverse out of any kind of diet is with the help of an experience nutrition coach.  Click here to see our IIFYM Coaching programs.

Where To Start Your Journey Post Low Carb

If you have decided to go it alone, and not use a coach to guide you out of your low carb madness you will want to start by visiting our IIFYM macro calculator.

When you first input your numbers into our IIFYM Calculator, you will be given a specific amount of carbs to eat. Many people that have been on a low carb diet usually (not always) have developed some sort of fear of carbs. Don't worry, it happens to the best of us.

Even elite level bodybuilders develop this phobia over time. Luckily there are great contest prep coaches out there that are doing an awesome job helping athletes and general population dieters come out of these low carb nightmares and restore their metabolism.

Following a simple program like this, rather than pigging out on every single carb source you set your eyes on, will ensure that you transition smoothly into IIFYM with as little unwanted body fat gain as possible.

Most people want to jump right into the new macros that the IIFYM Calculator gives them but they forget that those numbers are what a person with a healthy metabolic capacity should be eating.

If you have been low carb dieting for a good amount of time, you will certainly gain weight (water and glycogen mostly, with some fat and hopefully a little muscle), which is when most people get discouraged, quit, and then claim that IIFYM does not work.

The issue, however, is not with IIFYM, it is with their metabolism, but more importantly, the speed at which they jumped into the new macros, and in many cases, simply because they were counting macros incorrectly.

broccoli-carrots-chopped-1

 

If you go it alone, you will have to follow some sort of cookie cutter plan, and modify it as you progress.  Basically, stay low, and slowly increase carbs over a 4-8 week period. If you were following a true ketogenic diet, your fats should have been very high. While reverse dieting your fats will need to come down, while your carbs will increase slowly.

A cookie cutter program for someone transitioning out of keto, into IIFYM might look something like this if they are trying to eat at caloric maintenance levels (TDEE):

Week 1

  • Protein - Hit the number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs - Hit 60% of the carbs our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Fat - Multiply the fat our Macor Calculator gives you by 1.25

Week 2

  • Protein - Hit the exact number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs - Hit 70% of the carbs our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Fat - Multiply the fat our Macor Calculator gives you by 1.25

 

Week 3

  • Protein - Hit the exact number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs - Hit 80% of the carbs our calculator gives you
  • Fat - Hit the number our Macro Calculator gives you

Week 4

  • Protein - Hit the exact number our Macro Calculator gives you
  • Carbs - Hit 90% of the carbs our calculator gives you
  • Fat - Hit the number our Macro Calculator gives you

Once you have completed these 4 weeks you can eat the exact number of macros our macro calculator gives you, or if you wish to be prudent, you can keep increasing them slowly.

If you were not on a ketogenic diet, and simply just eating very low carbs (the difference being the amount of fat you eat for energy while in ketosis) then you could simply follow the above cookie cutter program without adjusting your fats at all. Hit your protein and fat, and slowly bring carbs up over a 4-6 week period.

Again, this is a cookie cutter plan, rudimentary program. It is basic, shrewd, limited and ugly, but it is a solid start if you are the kind of person that needs a bit of guidance before you jump in IIFYM without a coach.

 

The following article What is the best way to start IIFYM after a low carb diet? See more on: IIFYM STORE IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]> Interviews Brandan Fokken -IIFYM.com https://www.iifym.com/weight-loss-programs/interviews-brandan-fokken-iifym-com/ Wed, 05 Jun 2019 01:55:28 +0000 https://iifym.com//?p=1334

 

IIFYM: Thanks for taking the time out to speak with IIFYM.com Brandan.
I know you are extremely popular in the bodybuilding and fitness world, but for those IIFYM.com readers that don’t recognize your name, would you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your position in the health and fitness industry?

BF: Well I do a lot of various things. I am a corporate wellness coordinator for the worlds largest ethanol company. I have a successful prep business called “Fokken Strong Training”, I have 13 sponsors Bodybuilding.com, Beast Sports Nutrition, Quest, P28 foods, MuscleEgg to name a few. I am a physique competitor, fitness model, published writer, and I speak about health and fitness at universities and corporations around the country.

IIFYM: When did you first get involved in fitness and at what point did you realize that modeling was an option?

BF: I have been active my whole life and weight training since I was 14. I always wanted to be big and strong and that was it. I never even competed until I was 30! From there things spiraled for me and a lot of positive things started to happen. I actually did my first photo shoots as favors to some photographer friends of mine. I soon realized I could use those images to market myself and potential companies I wanted to work with.

I NEVER actually thought I would make it into any of the major fitness magazines. It wasn’t even a goal for me because I didn’t think it was possible. Slowly though I started to appear in ads in some of the smaller magazines and eventually worked my way up to all of the larger ones.

I have a lot of content waiting to be released and a lot of photo shoots already set up this year. I will say however that I do some fitness modeling from time to time; I am NOT a fitness model. I only consider someone who could make a living at it a legit fitness model. For me I do it because I enjoy it and its allowed me to do many things I never thought I would get the opportunity to do.

14-Day-Bodyweight-Cardio-Fitness-Challenge

 

IIFYM: Posing for so many photo shoots, I am sure you need to stay leaner than most bodybuilders year round. I have seen some of your magazine spreads and you always look to be about 5-6% body fat or so sometimes leaner. Do you ever let yourself get out of shape, and if so, what would you consider “out of shape” to be?

BF: I actually do let myself go a bit. I take time off after what I call my “season” which is usually May-Nov to give myself a break. Maybe take some vacations, eat what I want and give my body some time off, but also time to really grow. I cut a lot of muscle when I compete, so the years I compete I like to especially have that time off to build back what I lost.

IIFYM: What about bodybuilding? Can you tell us a bit about your competitive career?

BF: I started my competitive career in bodybuilding as a light heavy weight. I then worked up to heavy weight and physique from there. Physique has been hugely successful for me and is far more marketable for me than bodybuilding ever would have been.

At 6’1 I was never going to be a 300 lb monster so the physique class suits me and my current goals, Although I will ALWAYS have a love for bodybuilding.

Contest history:

  • 2010 Fargo Upper Midwest light heavy 3rd place
  • 2010 Minneapolis Gopher State Classic 2010 light heavy 1st place
  • 2011 Fargo Upper Midwest heavy weight 1st place
  • 2011 Minneapolis Gopher State Classic Physique 2nd place
  • 2011 NPC USA’s Physique tall class 16th out of 32
  • 2011 Muscle and Fitness Gaspari Super Pump Challenge Online Winner
  • 2011 Muscle and Fitness model contest “Olympia expo ” 4th out of 53
  • 2011 Minnesota State North Star Physique mixed class 3rd overall
  • 2011 Photo Vision model
  • 2011 World Physique magazine competitor of the month and “promoting greatness” winner
  • 2012 Bodybuilding.com Body Space Spokes model finalist
  • 2012 Bodybuilding.com Body Space spokes model contest LA expo 5th place
  • 2012 Muscle and Fitness Online Winner *First two time winner*
  • 2012 Bodybuilding.com “Amateur of the Week July 2012”
  • 2012 Bodybuilding.com 2012 “Top 20 Extreme Physiques”
  • 2012 Bodybuilding.com 2012 “Top 20 Extreme Physiques Part Two”
  • 2012 Muscle and Fitness model contest “Olympia expo” 6th out of 64
  • 2013 Muscle and Fitness Online Winner *First three time winner*
  • 2013 Muscle and Fitness model contest “Olympia expo” 2nd out of 70
  • 2013 Minnesota State North Star 2nd
  • 2013 Oregon Seven Feathers 2nd
  • 2013 NIKE promo model/athlete

Have also won many online titles not listed above.

article-2509227-1974C8C700000578-452

IIFYM: Why men’s physique instead of bodybuilding? I’ve seen you in person and you are jacked!!

BF: I actually did my first physique show two weeks after winning my class at heavyweight at the Upper Midwest in Fargo. I tore a muscle in my quad and my leg swelled all up and it looked really bad. That was at the same time physique had come out.

I was going to do that second show after Fargo, but knew that my leg looked like hell. So my coach suggested physique. I initially didn’t want to do it and thought I would get made fun of, but ended up giving in and tried it anyways.

I essentially went zero carbs for two weeks and lots of cardio to try and bring my size down. I never carbed up or pumped up as to not look too big. I ended up taking 2nd behind my friend Trevor Larsen who is now a pro. From there I was hooked.

IIFYM: What do you feel is your most lagging body part and what are you doing to turn it into an asset?

BF: My legs. Yea you can say what you want about physique guys not having legs. Are mine perfect? No… But I’m not ashamed of myself. I train hard in all that I do, but my legs are def something I would really like to bring up.

That’s one body part that when you have a jacked set of wheels people take notice, not many can say they do. I have started training them twice a week and its paid off so far.

IIFYM: Can you give the IIFYM diet community a taste of what your contest prep diet is? What are your macros and what kinds of foods do you eat?

My diet is pretty simple. I used to measure every single thing to the ounce but this last prep I really let loose and eyeball measured everything. I changed my proteins when I wanted, at a lot of beef and had weekly cheat meals.

I kept those mostly cleaner cheats, meaning I didn’t gorge myself on fast food etc. My body reacts well to fats so I usually will implement a lot of fat into a cheat/treat meal.

Meal 1 7-730
1 cup MuscleEgg Whites
½-3/4 cup my
oatmeal flavored oats

Meal 2 10-1030
0.75 cup Brown Rice - cooked
6-8 ounce(s) lean protein

Meal 3 1230-130
1 cup Broccoli
6-7 ounce(s) lean protein
6 ounce(s) sweet potato

Meal 4 3-330
1 tablespoon P28 almond butter
2 scoops Beast Whey protein
Periodically I will have a P28 bagel

Meal 5 630-730
4-6 oz. sweet potato
15 almonds
1 cup greens
6-8 ounce(s) lean protein- periodically I have a 8 oz sirloin

Meal 6 930-10
1 tablespoon P28 almond butter
1 cup MuscleEgg

Once a week I will have a “cheat meal”. Off season it can be about anything, on season I eat 3 quest nutrition bars and 4-6 tablespoons of P28 almond butter.

IIFYM: From what you know about IIFYM, what do you think are the strong points and what are the flaws?

BF: I think a lot of people don’t have the dedication to count all their macros day in and day out. For me I’m busy and I like to have something a bit more regimented in my on season. However I think that both ways work. You just have to be educated in what you are doing.

My fiancé follows IIFYM and I don’t, but yet again I do because I have my base diet set up and from there I’m not afraid to substitute out foods in place of what’s on my plan.

iifymsteak

 

IIFYM: I know that you have a consulting business where you help top-level bodybuilding competitors get in shape for the stage. I have seen some of your clients and I have to say that I am very impressed. I know that you don’t follow an IIFYM approach to nutrition and contest prep, but I am sure our readers would still love to hear more about your philosophy.

BF: Well I like to build their metabolic capacity to start things off. All too often someone comes to me and they've been eating absolutely nothing and doing hours of cardio etc. I like to work with people longer than the norm “12 weeks” and really take the time to make sure they aren't going into a show eating 800 cals etc and still burning no body fat.

So we start with that and when we get them up to a reasonable level we then will slowly add in some cardio and slowly take down their calories as they progress, but only if necessary. When you have enough time a person’s body will essentially get used to more calories and get leaner in the process, unfortunately a lot of coaches never give their clients a fighting chance and just cut everything out.

I always implement a cheat meal each week. Some people again don’t agree with that, but I think for what I do and the methods I use it does and has worked great for my clients. Post show I help them out of “prep” and help reverse diet them out of the show.

 

I also REALLY believe in the mental aspect of things. So with that I have a private team page all of my athletes can interact on and can encourage one another.

My team is more of a family and I don’t just take everyone on for the purpose of making a buck.

I want hard working people that are ready to work, but also good people that respect others and support others in their quest to betterment. My team members are all very unique but also at the root of things very much the same so it all works great.

I am never unavailable to clients and have a support system of assistants below me that they can also contact if at that very moment I am unavailable. Essentially when I take someone on, Its all-encompassing. I do everything I can to help them be successful on stage, but also in life.

IIFYM: Are there any clients that you are particularly proud of that you would like to mention? Anyone, that has beaten the odds or overcome an amazing struggle?

BF: I love all my clients. I will however name a few.

    • Ashley Kurtenbach
    • Kay Jordt
    • Nikki Walter
    • Tera Busker

With a large team its hard to name everyone, but these ladies have all pushed through many life events to gain success and become the strong ladies they are today.

As one of your Facebook friends I see your daily updates and I have to tell you man, I am impressed with how encouraging you are. You always bring a very humble, forgiving and positive sense of self to your followers while encouraging us to do the same.

IIFYM: Can you give our IIFYM readers some insight into your belief system? Maybe a few tools we can implement to move towards a more positive version of ourselves?

BF: I can’t just give one tip. I think a lot goes into this lifestyle and you have to have a lot of things in order to be successful.

You need to first of all be ok with yourself in whatever you are involved in, or what level you are at in everything you do “workout routine, diet, etc.” When you are ok with yourself and love yourself, you will make more of a commitment to the betterment of you. You also won’t get discouraged when things don’t go exactly how you want them to. You will have the strength to carry on and continue to try to achieve the results you are striving for.

If you don’t love yourself now and every step of the way, you definitely won’t be happy wherever it is you are going.

Everything takes time; it took time to put on the weight so it will take time to take it off. Set some realistic goals and then set a big goal at the end. Enjoy each incremental goal that you have achieved on the way to your big goal and celebrate those victories on the way to a better you.

If you are having a hard time with the plan you are on, take a step back and reevaluate what you are doing and make sure the plan is right for you. Make sure your diet and workout routine fits in accordance with your goals, diet being the most important.

If you’re not eating for results you will never have the success you want. Also change up your plan. Your body adjusts to workouts etc rather quickly, so if you are always doing the same stuff your body won’t make the changes you want it to.

Surround yourself with positive people and people that help you along the way. Negative people will just bring you down and make it that much harder for you to achieve your goals.

The people that bring you down are afraid of change, and feel that you’re positive attitude and hard work somehow makes them have to make those changes too, which scares people, so they will become your worst critics.

Rise above that and work on you, you are the best investment you can make. Also be open to advice. Ask questions and absorb what others pass on to you. However don’t make this information “truth” as many gurus out there believe they know it all and will pass on bad advice every chance they get. Do your homework and investigate the advice you are given and find which advice best works for you.

Use the resources you have and educate yourself, Bodybuilding.com being a major one. Make sure you are doing a routine that is right for you and you have a good diet plan in place too, nutrition is 80% of the equation. If that doesn’t work, consider hiring a trainer.

Don’t try to be just like someone else – that’s a recipe for failure. It’s ok to look up to, learn from, and be inspired by others, but don’t put yourself below them and assume they are better than you, be you and proud of your own accomplishments. The people you admire were once not so different than you. Blaze your own trail! You can accomplish anything you want with a strong mind, strong goals, and hard work. So if you want something, go get it.

IIFYM: How about sponsors? Are there any sponsors you would like to mention? Any companies you think our IIFYM readers should check out?

BF: All of my sponsors of course

Sponsors: /Nike/Bodybuilding.com /Beast Sports Nutrition/ P28 Bread/ Quest/MuscleEgg/Fat Gripz / MyOatmeal.com/Cyclone cups/Phit Hair and Body/ Fitmark bags/Tainted Industries/Cutandjacked.com

 

NEAT

IIFYM: Now I’d like to move on to the part of the interview we call Rapid Fire IIFYM.
When you agreed to this interview, I asked the IIFYM facebook group for some questions they might have for you. Feel free to answer these with short answers:

What does your shoulder routine consist of?

BF: Lol the shoulder questions…I get this one A LOT I like to train my shoulders with higher reps and LOTS of angles.

    • Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 4 sets 15,15,12,10
    •  Smith Machine or seated db Shoulder Presses: 5 sets 15,12,10,10,10
    • Standing straight curl bar side raises: 4 sets 15,15,15,15
    • Dumbbell front Raises: 3 sets 15,12,10
    • Barbell Shrugs: 5 sets 20,20,15,12,10
    • Upright rows: 4 sets 15,12,12,10
    • Seated rear delt machine, cables, or dumbbells: 4 sets 15,12,12,10
    • Angled side raise with db to the side: 4 sets 12,12,12,10

Did you ever struggle with your weight?

BF:  Of course…I don’t care who you are, nobody is perfect. I’ll tell you the first time you see yourself in photo-shoot or stage condition it’s hard to be anything less than that. When I was younger I was just happy being big, but now its hard to see myself sometimes anything less than stage ready.

In my off season when I add weight its one of the hardest things for me to do and see. Over time though I grow to accept how I look and when I fully accept it I know I'm ready to go at it again. I've fallen in that self-loathing and feeling terrible about myself and even bouts of body dysmorphia because I didn't think I looked good, but even in off season I probably am leaner than 90% of the people at the gym.

Essentially if you don’t love yourself at EVERY step of the way, you'll never love yourself where you are going and NEVER be happy. So that’s another reason for me taking time off. Letting myself KNOW I don’t need to be perfect.

What supplements do you believe in?

I wouldn't be where I am at today without supplementing my diet. There are a lot of products on the market, and some great ones, but for myself I recommend Beast Sport Nutrition supplements, their entire line is GREAT!

They are also priced right and offer a lot of knowledge/science that backs up what they sell. If I were to recommend any other company for products Beast doesn't offer, I would recommend looking at and reading the reviews on Bodybuilding.com and go through them for your nutritional needs. You can also purchase Beast products through Bodybuidling.com, so you get the best of both worlds.

    • Beast Mode pre workout
    • Creature pre workout
    • Multi core with breakfast #1
    • Omega 3 with breakfast and last meal #1, #6
    • Glutamine post workout 5g
    • 2 Shredded or Amphetalean both by Beast*when dieting* upon waking and mid-day #1, #4
    • Beast Whey post workout- before bed #6
    • Aminolytes by Beast Sports - intra workout and post
    •  L-Carnitine with breakfast and pre workout
    • ALA with breakfast and lunch #1, # 3
    • Vitamin D3 with breakfast #1
    • Baby aspirin
    • Mangnesium breakfast #1
    • B complex breakfast #1
    • Vitamin C breakfast #1
    • Adrenal Support breakfast #1

I have tried pretty much EVERYTHING out there. I’m not about gimmicks and the promise of quick results. The supplements I take I believe to help me recover and give me that edge I need in training as hard as I do.

I have had great results with my supplement regimen and feel it works best for me. I think when you push yourself as hard as I do or any competitor for that matter having that extra boost that supplements offer keep you healthy, and help you recover to keep you moving forward.

 

We restrict our diets when we diet down, so making sure to fill those gaps, which that’s what supplements are meant for, NOT to take the place but to add to a nutrition plan, helps me to reach my goals while always striving for new ones.

How much cardio do you do when dieting?
BF: 20 mins on a stepper and then in the summer I like to walk outside, I do that almost every day.

HIIT or LISS?
BF: LISS

When was the last time you ate fast food? What was it?
BF: I had two cheese roll-ups from Taco Bell after the LA expo…I think I cried a little bit. Sometimes the most simple of things are the best lol

What is your ideal cheat meal?
BF: I don’t ever have cravings, but on season I normally stick to quest bars and peanut butter. Or I have a burger and sweet potato fries. I’m NOT a picky eater and love all food as long as I’m eating

How do you reflect haters negativity away from you?
BF: I don’t have any time for that… I basically feel if you surround yourself with good things, positivity, good people, etc it acts like a shield to repel negativity. I actually wrote an article on haters. There is too much of that going on. https://www.cutandjacked.com/Dealing-With-Haters-And-Negativity-On-Your-Quest-For-Success

Are you married?
BF: No but I will be June 28th of this year to my fiancé Amber Dawn Orton 

Do you dehydrate for a show or do you increase water to flush water?
BF: I have done both, but find that having water in my system works FAR FAR better when done right. I also do the same for my clients.

IIFYM: If there is anything you would like to tell the IIFYM community, now is the time!!
BF: I think you have a great site and a great attitude. I also think that having methods like IIFYM is a great way to get more people interested in health, nutrition, and fitness and am impressed with the knowledge that so many people display online or your site day to day.

I also am a fan of a community that takes the time to help others and educate them, so to me you guys are doing it all right!

 

Interviews Brandan Fokken -IIFYM.com was originally published on IIFYM IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

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IIFYM: Thanks for taking the time out to speak with IIFYM.com Brandan.
I know you are extremely popular in the bodybuilding and fitness world, but for those IIFYM.com readers that don’t recognize your name, would you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your position in the health and fitness industry?

BF: Well I do a lot of various things. I am a corporate wellness coordinator for the worlds largest ethanol company. I have a successful prep business called “Fokken Strong Training”, I have 13 sponsors Bodybuilding.com, Beast Sports Nutrition, Quest, P28 foods, MuscleEgg to name a few. I am a physique competitor, fitness model, published writer, and I speak about health and fitness at universities and corporations around the country.

IIFYM: When did you first get involved in fitness and at what point did you realize that modeling was an option?

BF: I have been active my whole life and weight training since I was 14. I always wanted to be big and strong and that was it. I never even competed until I was 30! From there things spiraled for me and a lot of positive things started to happen. I actually did my first photo shoots as favors to some photographer friends of mine. I soon realized I could use those images to market myself and potential companies I wanted to work with.

I NEVER actually thought I would make it into any of the major fitness magazines. It wasn’t even a goal for me because I didn’t think it was possible. Slowly though I started to appear in ads in some of the smaller magazines and eventually worked my way up to all of the larger ones.

I have a lot of content waiting to be released and a lot of photo shoots already set up this year. I will say however that I do some fitness modeling from time to time; I am NOT a fitness model. I only consider someone who could make a living at it a legit fitness model. For me I do it because I enjoy it and its allowed me to do many things I never thought I would get the opportunity to do.

14-Day-Bodyweight-Cardio-Fitness-Challenge

 

IIFYM: Posing for so many photo shoots, I am sure you need to stay leaner than most bodybuilders year round. I have seen some of your magazine spreads and you always look to be about 5-6% body fat or so sometimes leaner. Do you ever let yourself get out of shape, and if so, what would you consider “out of shape” to be?

BF: I actually do let myself go a bit. I take time off after what I call my “season” which is usually May-Nov to give myself a break. Maybe take some vacations, eat what I want and give my body some time off, but also time to really grow. I cut a lot of muscle when I compete, so the years I compete I like to especially have that time off to build back what I lost.

IIFYM: What about bodybuilding? Can you tell us a bit about your competitive career?

BF: I started my competitive career in bodybuilding as a light heavy weight. I then worked up to heavy weight and physique from there. Physique has been hugely successful for me and is far more marketable for me than bodybuilding ever would have been.

At 6’1 I was never going to be a 300 lb monster so the physique class suits me and my current goals, Although I will ALWAYS have a love for bodybuilding.

Contest history:

  • 2010 Fargo Upper Midwest light heavy 3rd place
  • 2010 Minneapolis Gopher State Classic 2010 light heavy 1st place
  • 2011 Fargo Upper Midwest heavy weight 1st place
  • 2011 Minneapolis Gopher State Classic Physique 2nd place
  • 2011 NPC USA’s Physique tall class 16th out of 32
  • 2011 Muscle and Fitness Gaspari Super Pump Challenge Online Winner
  • 2011 Muscle and Fitness model contest “Olympia expo ” 4th out of 53
  • 2011 Minnesota State North Star Physique mixed class 3rd overall
  • 2011 Photo Vision model
  • 2011 World Physique magazine competitor of the month and “promoting greatness” winner
  • 2012 Bodybuilding.com Body Space Spokes model finalist
  • 2012 Bodybuilding.com Body Space spokes model contest LA expo 5th place
  • 2012 Muscle and Fitness Online Winner *First two time winner*
  • 2012 Bodybuilding.com “Amateur of the Week July 2012”
  • 2012 Bodybuilding.com 2012 “Top 20 Extreme Physiques”
  • 2012 Bodybuilding.com 2012 “Top 20 Extreme Physiques Part Two”
  • 2012 Muscle and Fitness model contest “Olympia expo” 6th out of 64
  • 2013 Muscle and Fitness Online Winner *First three time winner*
  • 2013 Muscle and Fitness model contest “Olympia expo” 2nd out of 70
  • 2013 Minnesota State North Star 2nd
  • 2013 Oregon Seven Feathers 2nd
  • 2013 NIKE promo model/athlete

Have also won many online titles not listed above.

article-2509227-1974C8C700000578-452

IIFYM: Why men’s physique instead of bodybuilding? I’ve seen you in person and you are jacked!!

BF: I actually did my first physique show two weeks after winning my class at heavyweight at the Upper Midwest in Fargo. I tore a muscle in my quad and my leg swelled all up and it looked really bad. That was at the same time physique had come out.

I was going to do that second show after Fargo, but knew that my leg looked like hell. So my coach suggested physique. I initially didn’t want to do it and thought I would get made fun of, but ended up giving in and tried it anyways.

I essentially went zero carbs for two weeks and lots of cardio to try and bring my size down. I never carbed up or pumped up as to not look too big. I ended up taking 2nd behind my friend Trevor Larsen who is now a pro. From there I was hooked.

IIFYM: What do you feel is your most lagging body part and what are you doing to turn it into an asset?

BF: My legs. Yea you can say what you want about physique guys not having legs. Are mine perfect? No… But I’m not ashamed of myself. I train hard in all that I do, but my legs are def something I would really like to bring up.

That’s one body part that when you have a jacked set of wheels people take notice, not many can say they do. I have started training them twice a week and its paid off so far.

IIFYM: Can you give the IIFYM diet community a taste of what your contest prep diet is? What are your macros and what kinds of foods do you eat?

My diet is pretty simple. I used to measure every single thing to the ounce but this last prep I really let loose and eyeball measured everything. I changed my proteins when I wanted, at a lot of beef and had weekly cheat meals.

I kept those mostly cleaner cheats, meaning I didn’t gorge myself on fast food etc. My body reacts well to fats so I usually will implement a lot of fat into a cheat/treat meal.

Meal 1 7-730
1 cup MuscleEgg Whites
½-3/4 cup my
oatmeal flavored oats

Meal 2 10-1030
0.75 cup Brown Rice - cooked
6-8 ounce(s) lean protein

Meal 3 1230-130
1 cup Broccoli
6-7 ounce(s) lean protein
6 ounce(s) sweet potato

Meal 4 3-330
1 tablespoon P28 almond butter
2 scoops Beast Whey protein
Periodically I will have a P28 bagel

Meal 5 630-730
4-6 oz. sweet potato
15 almonds
1 cup greens
6-8 ounce(s) lean protein- periodically I have a 8 oz sirloin

Meal 6 930-10
1 tablespoon P28 almond butter
1 cup MuscleEgg

Once a week I will have a “cheat meal”. Off season it can be about anything, on season I eat 3 quest nutrition bars and 4-6 tablespoons of P28 almond butter.

IIFYM: From what you know about IIFYM, what do you think are the strong points and what are the flaws?

BF: I think a lot of people don’t have the dedication to count all their macros day in and day out. For me I’m busy and I like to have something a bit more regimented in my on season. However I think that both ways work. You just have to be educated in what you are doing.

My fiancé follows IIFYM and I don’t, but yet again I do because I have my base diet set up and from there I’m not afraid to substitute out foods in place of what’s on my plan.

iifymsteak

 

IIFYM: I know that you have a consulting business where you help top-level bodybuilding competitors get in shape for the stage. I have seen some of your clients and I have to say that I am very impressed. I know that you don’t follow an IIFYM approach to nutrition and contest prep, but I am sure our readers would still love to hear more about your philosophy.

BF: Well I like to build their metabolic capacity to start things off. All too often someone comes to me and they've been eating absolutely nothing and doing hours of cardio etc. I like to work with people longer than the norm “12 weeks” and really take the time to make sure they aren't going into a show eating 800 cals etc and still burning no body fat.

So we start with that and when we get them up to a reasonable level we then will slowly add in some cardio and slowly take down their calories as they progress, but only if necessary. When you have enough time a person’s body will essentially get used to more calories and get leaner in the process, unfortunately a lot of coaches never give their clients a fighting chance and just cut everything out.

I always implement a cheat meal each week. Some people again don’t agree with that, but I think for what I do and the methods I use it does and has worked great for my clients. Post show I help them out of “prep” and help reverse diet them out of the show.

 

I also REALLY believe in the mental aspect of things. So with that I have a private team page all of my athletes can interact on and can encourage one another.

My team is more of a family and I don’t just take everyone on for the purpose of making a buck.

I want hard working people that are ready to work, but also good people that respect others and support others in their quest to betterment. My team members are all very unique but also at the root of things very much the same so it all works great.

I am never unavailable to clients and have a support system of assistants below me that they can also contact if at that very moment I am unavailable. Essentially when I take someone on, Its all-encompassing. I do everything I can to help them be successful on stage, but also in life.

IIFYM: Are there any clients that you are particularly proud of that you would like to mention? Anyone, that has beaten the odds or overcome an amazing struggle?

BF: I love all my clients. I will however name a few.

    • Ashley Kurtenbach
    • Kay Jordt
    • Nikki Walter
    • Tera Busker

With a large team its hard to name everyone, but these ladies have all pushed through many life events to gain success and become the strong ladies they are today.

As one of your Facebook friends I see your daily updates and I have to tell you man, I am impressed with how encouraging you are. You always bring a very humble, forgiving and positive sense of self to your followers while encouraging us to do the same.

IIFYM: Can you give our IIFYM readers some insight into your belief system? Maybe a few tools we can implement to move towards a more positive version of ourselves?

BF: I can’t just give one tip. I think a lot goes into this lifestyle and you have to have a lot of things in order to be successful.

You need to first of all be ok with yourself in whatever you are involved in, or what level you are at in everything you do “workout routine, diet, etc.” When you are ok with yourself and love yourself, you will make more of a commitment to the betterment of you. You also won’t get discouraged when things don’t go exactly how you want them to. You will have the strength to carry on and continue to try to achieve the results you are striving for.

If you don’t love yourself now and every step of the way, you definitely won’t be happy wherever it is you are going.

Everything takes time; it took time to put on the weight so it will take time to take it off. Set some realistic goals and then set a big goal at the end. Enjoy each incremental goal that you have achieved on the way to your big goal and celebrate those victories on the way to a better you.

If you are having a hard time with the plan you are on, take a step back and reevaluate what you are doing and make sure the plan is right for you. Make sure your diet and workout routine fits in accordance with your goals, diet being the most important.

If you’re not eating for results you will never have the success you want. Also change up your plan. Your body adjusts to workouts etc rather quickly, so if you are always doing the same stuff your body won’t make the changes you want it to.

Surround yourself with positive people and people that help you along the way. Negative people will just bring you down and make it that much harder for you to achieve your goals.

The people that bring you down are afraid of change, and feel that you’re positive attitude and hard work somehow makes them have to make those changes too, which scares people, so they will become your worst critics.

Rise above that and work on you, you are the best investment you can make. Also be open to advice. Ask questions and absorb what others pass on to you. However don’t make this information “truth” as many gurus out there believe they know it all and will pass on bad advice every chance they get. Do your homework and investigate the advice you are given and find which advice best works for you.

Use the resources you have and educate yourself, Bodybuilding.com being a major one. Make sure you are doing a routine that is right for you and you have a good diet plan in place too, nutrition is 80% of the equation. If that doesn’t work, consider hiring a trainer.

Don’t try to be just like someone else – that’s a recipe for failure. It’s ok to look up to, learn from, and be inspired by others, but don’t put yourself below them and assume they are better than you, be you and proud of your own accomplishments. The people you admire were once not so different than you. Blaze your own trail! You can accomplish anything you want with a strong mind, strong goals, and hard work. So if you want something, go get it.

IIFYM: How about sponsors? Are there any sponsors you would like to mention? Any companies you think our IIFYM readers should check out?

BF: All of my sponsors of course

Sponsors: /Nike/Bodybuilding.com /Beast Sports Nutrition/ P28 Bread/ Quest/MuscleEgg/Fat Gripz / MyOatmeal.com/Cyclone cups/Phit Hair and Body/ Fitmark bags/Tainted Industries/Cutandjacked.com

 

NEAT

IIFYM: Now I’d like to move on to the part of the interview we call Rapid Fire IIFYM.
When you agreed to this interview, I asked the IIFYM facebook group for some questions they might have for you. Feel free to answer these with short answers:

What does your shoulder routine consist of?

BF: Lol the shoulder questions…I get this one A LOT I like to train my shoulders with higher reps and LOTS of angles.

    • Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 4 sets 15,15,12,10
    •  Smith Machine or seated db Shoulder Presses: 5 sets 15,12,10,10,10
    • Standing straight curl bar side raises: 4 sets 15,15,15,15
    • Dumbbell front Raises: 3 sets 15,12,10
    • Barbell Shrugs: 5 sets 20,20,15,12,10
    • Upright rows: 4 sets 15,12,12,10
    • Seated rear delt machine, cables, or dumbbells: 4 sets 15,12,12,10
    • Angled side raise with db to the side: 4 sets 12,12,12,10

Did you ever struggle with your weight?

BF:  Of course…I don’t care who you are, nobody is perfect. I’ll tell you the first time you see yourself in photo-shoot or stage condition it’s hard to be anything less than that. When I was younger I was just happy being big, but now its hard to see myself sometimes anything less than stage ready.

In my off season when I add weight its one of the hardest things for me to do and see. Over time though I grow to accept how I look and when I fully accept it I know I'm ready to go at it again. I've fallen in that self-loathing and feeling terrible about myself and even bouts of body dysmorphia because I didn't think I looked good, but even in off season I probably am leaner than 90% of the people at the gym.

Essentially if you don’t love yourself at EVERY step of the way, you'll never love yourself where you are going and NEVER be happy. So that’s another reason for me taking time off. Letting myself KNOW I don’t need to be perfect.

What supplements do you believe in?

I wouldn't be where I am at today without supplementing my diet. There are a lot of products on the market, and some great ones, but for myself I recommend Beast Sport Nutrition supplements, their entire line is GREAT!

They are also priced right and offer a lot of knowledge/science that backs up what they sell. If I were to recommend any other company for products Beast doesn't offer, I would recommend looking at and reading the reviews on Bodybuilding.com and go through them for your nutritional needs. You can also purchase Beast products through Bodybuidling.com, so you get the best of both worlds.

    • Beast Mode pre workout
    • Creature pre workout
    • Multi core with breakfast #1
    • Omega 3 with breakfast and last meal #1, #6
    • Glutamine post workout 5g
    • 2 Shredded or Amphetalean both by Beast*when dieting* upon waking and mid-day #1, #4
    • Beast Whey post workout- before bed #6
    • Aminolytes by Beast Sports - intra workout and post
    •  L-Carnitine with breakfast and pre workout
    • ALA with breakfast and lunch #1, # 3
    • Vitamin D3 with breakfast #1
    • Baby aspirin
    • Mangnesium breakfast #1
    • B complex breakfast #1
    • Vitamin C breakfast #1
    • Adrenal Support breakfast #1

I have tried pretty much EVERYTHING out there. I’m not about gimmicks and the promise of quick results. The supplements I take I believe to help me recover and give me that edge I need in training as hard as I do.

I have had great results with my supplement regimen and feel it works best for me. I think when you push yourself as hard as I do or any competitor for that matter having that extra boost that supplements offer keep you healthy, and help you recover to keep you moving forward.

 

We restrict our diets when we diet down, so making sure to fill those gaps, which that’s what supplements are meant for, NOT to take the place but to add to a nutrition plan, helps me to reach my goals while always striving for new ones.

How much cardio do you do when dieting?
BF: 20 mins on a stepper and then in the summer I like to walk outside, I do that almost every day.

HIIT or LISS?
BF: LISS

When was the last time you ate fast food? What was it?
BF: I had two cheese roll-ups from Taco Bell after the LA expo…I think I cried a little bit. Sometimes the most simple of things are the best lol

What is your ideal cheat meal?
BF: I don’t ever have cravings, but on season I normally stick to quest bars and peanut butter. Or I have a burger and sweet potato fries. I’m NOT a picky eater and love all food as long as I’m eating

How do you reflect haters negativity away from you?
BF: I don’t have any time for that… I basically feel if you surround yourself with good things, positivity, good people, etc it acts like a shield to repel negativity. I actually wrote an article on haters. There is too much of that going on. https://www.cutandjacked.com/Dealing-With-Haters-And-Negativity-On-Your-Quest-For-Success

Are you married?
BF: No but I will be June 28th of this year to my fiancé Amber Dawn Orton 

Do you dehydrate for a show or do you increase water to flush water?
BF: I have done both, but find that having water in my system works FAR FAR better when done right. I also do the same for my clients.

IIFYM: If there is anything you would like to tell the IIFYM community, now is the time!!
BF: I think you have a great site and a great attitude. I also think that having methods like IIFYM is a great way to get more people interested in health, nutrition, and fitness and am impressed with the knowledge that so many people display online or your site day to day.

I also am a fan of a community that takes the time to help others and educate them, so to me you guys are doing it all right!

 

Interviews Brandan Fokken -IIFYM.com was originally published on IIFYM IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]> Meditation: An Underrated Tool For Dieting Success https://www.iifym.com/weight-loss-programs/meditation-an-underrated-tool-for-dieting-success/ Sun, 02 Jun 2019 01:48:11 +0000 https://www.iifym.com/?p=27425

 

So you have now calculated your macro numbers from the macro calculator here on IIFYM and you have begun following all the necessary steps to your new weight-loss plan. However, you're beyond stressed at work and it's taking a toll on your motivation to follow through will all of your hard work and research.

IIFYM knows that life can be challenging and stressful, but the main goal is that you find success with what you're doing. Meditation and mindfulness can be a great tool add to your tool belt along with all the wonderful IIFYM  programs we have to offer.

The Mind and Body

The human body was designed to move and endure the challenges of everyday life. The more you work on your body, the more the body will give back to you in the form of strength, stamina, and endurance.

The human mind is similar: the more work and focus you put in maintaining the health and wellness of the mind, the more benefits you will see in return. In order to tap into what the mind can really do, you need to do the opposite of what you would do with the body: Quiet the mind and eliminate excess thought.

The world we live in is very fast paced. We are constantly being stimulated by social media, digital devices, and computer screens. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can give you mental focus and stamina to keep up with your body.

Meditation has been widely practiced among the yoga community for thousands of years and lately it has started to make its way into other areas of health and wellness. Many corporate and educational settings have used meditation as a tool to promote mental and emotional wellness.

What are the benefits of meditation

#1 Reduces Stress

When the body is under threat, it releases adrenaline that increases your heart rate and cortisol which increases your blood sugar. Your body uses adrenaline to increase blood flow to your heart to increase your energy supplies and the added cortisol increases the glucose in your bloodstream to help with tissue repair. [1]

Both of these phenomena are great for the body to experience if you find yourself in a life-or-death situation because when the threat goes away the hormone level will return to normal.

Like if you are being chased by a bear. However, if your bear is a metaphor for work pressure and problems at home, then your stressor never goes away. You are constantly being chased by a bear and your hormones never return to normal.

Effects of Stress on the Body

Being under constant stress can cause a whole host of health problems, including weight gain, memory problems, headaches, digestive problems and increases in anxiety and depression. Which is why meditation can be so helpful in reducing your stress levels.

Dr. Herbert Benson, professor, author, cardiologist, and founder of Harvard's Mind/Body Medical Institute coined the term Relaxation Response, which uses meditation to encourage your body to switch out of fight or flight and into rest and digest mode.

Meditation encourages the brain to release chemicals that tell your body to slow down and increase more blood flow to the brain, allowing the body to relax and relieve stress. [5]

#2 Weight-loss

Stress can be incredibly counterproductive to our weight-loss goals. Increased levels of cortisol have been shown to cause higher insulin levels and lower blood sugar; both of these can lead to craving high-calorie foods.

After asking 400 participants questions about mindfulness, he noticed that people with lower levels of mindfulness were 34% more obese than people who scored higher. [4]

Eating can be a stress reliever because the chemicals released while eating fatty and sugary foods can combat the symptoms of stress. [1]

Therefore, that could conclude that those who have less stress also have fewer cravings for junk food. Because meditation can lower stress levels in the body, it can certainly become one of your tools for weight-loss.

belly-body-clothes-diet-53528

 

Weight Loss and Mindfulness

Eric Loucks is leading a study about mindfulness and weight loss at Brown University. He found that people who practice mindfulness tended to have less body fat. Loucks thinks that is because we are hardwired from the early days of man to eat as much as we can while it's available.

This is due to us not knowing when our next meal will come, Loucks believes we haven't yet evolved out of that human trait. So, when we are in the presence of fats, sugars, and salts, we might not know when to stop, especially when we are under stress.

Our mind and body will crave more of these items because it thinks they we require more nutrients. However, those who are more mindful are more aware of why they are eating. Whether they are truly hungry or they can stop, helping them recognize if they need more (macro) nutrients.

After asking 400 participants questions about mindfulness, he noticed that people with lower levels of mindfulness were 34% more obese than people who scored higher. [4]

Increase your Awareness

Meditation teaches us mindfulness so we can become those people who can decide if they really need that cupcake or our bodies are actually just asking us for something else. People who practice meditation can also practice mindful eating.

wellnesssidekick-meditation-photo

This is where you notice how you feel before, during, and after eating to determine if you are full, satisfied, and properly can digest the food you have eaten. Practicing meditation can increase your awareness of how you feel in your own body and allow you to not only lose weight because of decreased stress levels but be more mindful of what you are eating, which can also help you lose weight.

#3 Focus

Whether you're challenging yourself to 30 days or 90 days with IIFYM it is important to have a constant focus on your goals. Meditation is a mindful relaxation technique that allows you to release your thoughts and worries from your mind.

So as you go through your fitness journey with IIFYM you don't have to worry about all of the issues you have had in the past or worry about if this program is going to work because you know it will work and you can use meditation to help you just enjoy the process.

Therefore, people who meditate over longer periods of time had better memory and decision-making skills. [7]

When we hold onto the conditions that stress us out, it can prevent us from seeing the real solution, thus making us even more stressed out causing further difficulties. This can cause the mind to become clouded with unnecessary thoughts and problems.

When you follow a regular relaxation exercise, you can allow your blood pressure to drop, your mind to quiet and the cluster of thought to dismiss. That will allow you to think more clearly.

chess pieces falling demonstrate diet strategy

Change your Brain

A study by Sara Lazar Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, showed that meditation literally changes your brain. She looked at long-term meditators and a group of people that had never meditated before.

What she found was that meditators had increased gray matter in the insula and sensory regions, the auditory and sensory cortex. This happens because when you meditate you're focusing on the present moment, on your breath, and not on your cognition.

You are only focusing on what you're doing not thinking ahead to what will happen next or what this practice will do for you. The frontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with decision-making and memory, had more gray matter. Therefore, people who meditate over longer periods of time had better memory and decision-making skills. [7]

How Long Will it Take?

During a second study, she found that people had a difference in brain volume even after only 8 weeks of practicing. So, it doesn't take long to see the results of meditation.

From personal experience and those of my students, you will see them after a short 30-minute session, but if you keep with the practice based on the data Sarah LazarPh.D. found, you'll see more results after 8 weeks and even more through the remainder of your life. [7]

#4 Decreased Anxiety and Depression

Meditation can help relieve anxiety and depression because it teaches us how to let go of what is troubling us. Anxiety is the mind worrying about the future and depression is the mind worrying about the past.

Meditation teaches us to live in the present moment and connects with ourselves on a deeper level. People can improve their symptoms of anxiety and depression through practicing meditation and mindfulness.

Anxiety

According to Dr. Chopra, anxiety can be a habit formed by the mind that is causing you to react to every stressful thing that happens to you. [3] Anxiety is initiating the fight and flight response in the body that causes you to become on edge and alert even when you don't need to be.

Mediation can help correct that response by relaxing the body and easing the mind. Over time, the habit will be corrected and you will notice a decrease in your anxiety or you will learn to better deal with what triggers your anxiety.

black-and-white-person-woman-girl

 

Depression

Depression is similar; meditation will teach us to let go of the entities that are troubling us about the past so we can be at ease. Psychologists from the University of Exeter published a study about meditation and how it can improve depression.

It showed that patients who meditate for 30 minutes at home showed a significant reduction in symptoms over the course of the 8 sessions. For people who were looking to get off their anti-depression medication, it was also helpful in preventing a relapse.

Professor Mark Williams is also the author of Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World. A leader during this study said that "One of the key features of depression is that it hijacks your attention"[5]. Meditation helps focus the mind and keep your attention on what's happening in the present, instead of remembering the bad things that have happened to you in the past.

#5 Sleep

IIFYM knows how important sleep is to the fat-loss process. It is crucial for the body to heal and recover especially after an IIFYM workout. Meditation has been shown to decrease stress, promote weight loss, help with anxiety and depression.

All of those things that can reduce insomnia and promote better sleep. As your health begins to improve, so will your sleep. People who suffer from insomnia generally have a lot on their minds right before retiring.

 

The can't sleep to turn off your mind but meditation can help you do just that. From what you have read above, you already know that meditation is designed to quiet the mind and promote relaxation.

Well, the more you practice it you will notice it outside of your practice, especially when it comes to the quality of your sleep. When our minds are quiet and calm, we sleep better but don't just take my word for it.

Facts about Meditation and Sleep

JAMA Internal Medicine did a 6-week study, with about 49 middle-aged people, a few years ago. The study had them meeting weekly for 2 hours to learn mindfulness through seated meditation and other mindful practices.

The participants had to practice 5 to 20 minutes of mindfulness and meditation daily. At the end of the study, they found that just after 6 weeks of practice, participants of meditation and mindfulness improved their sleep. [2]

relaxation

 

How to Meditate?

Step 1: Find a comfortable seat (can be in a chair or on the floor). Have a nice straight tall spine. Sitting on a cushion or blanket to elevate your hips above your knees can make this easier.

Step 2: Take 3-5 nice deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Step 3: Close the eyes and begin to breathe in through the nose and out through the nose.

Step 4: Begin to notice your breath. In the beginning, it is easier to follow your breath when you count it. There are two ways of doing this.
A) You can inhale to count anywhere from 4 to 8. Then exhale for the same count.
B) You can inhale and exhale. Inhale and Exhale. All the way to 10. Then start over.

Step 5: Begin to relax the body. Relax the shoulders, legs, hands, feet, and face. Anywhere there is tension in the body, try to relax it. Still, maintain a tall spine so you leave room for your lungs to expand.

Step 6: If you notice that your mind keeps wondering, don't worry; just come back to focusing on the breath. Over time this will get easier and easier to do, but keep in mind that every day will be different.

IIFYM recommends you practice meditating for 5 minutes if it's your first session and work your way up to 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. Add this to your regimen to see all the wonderful changes you can make to your mind and body.

However, if you're up for a real challenge, a daily practice of meditation is always recommended for best results. So, give meditation a try and start noticing the benefits it has to offer! Don't let stress kill your progress!

 

Meditation: An Underrated Tool For Dieting Success was first seen on www.iifym.com IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]>

 

So you have now calculated your macro numbers from the macro calculator here on IIFYM and you have begun following all the necessary steps to your new weight-loss plan. However, you're beyond stressed at work and it's taking a toll on your motivation to follow through will all of your hard work and research.

IIFYM knows that life can be challenging and stressful, but the main goal is that you find success with what you're doing. Meditation and mindfulness can be a great tool add to your tool belt along with all the wonderful IIFYM  programs we have to offer.

The Mind and Body

The human body was designed to move and endure the challenges of everyday life. The more you work on your body, the more the body will give back to you in the form of strength, stamina, and endurance.

The human mind is similar: the more work and focus you put in maintaining the health and wellness of the mind, the more benefits you will see in return. In order to tap into what the mind can really do, you need to do the opposite of what you would do with the body: Quiet the mind and eliminate excess thought.

The world we live in is very fast paced. We are constantly being stimulated by social media, digital devices, and computer screens. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can give you mental focus and stamina to keep up with your body.

Meditation has been widely practiced among the yoga community for thousands of years and lately it has started to make its way into other areas of health and wellness. Many corporate and educational settings have used meditation as a tool to promote mental and emotional wellness.

What are the benefits of meditation

#1 Reduces Stress

When the body is under threat, it releases adrenaline that increases your heart rate and cortisol which increases your blood sugar. Your body uses adrenaline to increase blood flow to your heart to increase your energy supplies and the added cortisol increases the glucose in your bloodstream to help with tissue repair. [1]

Both of these phenomena are great for the body to experience if you find yourself in a life-or-death situation because when the threat goes away the hormone level will return to normal.

Like if you are being chased by a bear. However, if your bear is a metaphor for work pressure and problems at home, then your stressor never goes away. You are constantly being chased by a bear and your hormones never return to normal.

Effects of Stress on the Body

Being under constant stress can cause a whole host of health problems, including weight gain, memory problems, headaches, digestive problems and increases in anxiety and depression. Which is why meditation can be so helpful in reducing your stress levels.

Dr. Herbert Benson, professor, author, cardiologist, and founder of Harvard's Mind/Body Medical Institute coined the term Relaxation Response, which uses meditation to encourage your body to switch out of fight or flight and into rest and digest mode.

Meditation encourages the brain to release chemicals that tell your body to slow down and increase more blood flow to the brain, allowing the body to relax and relieve stress. [5]

#2 Weight-loss

Stress can be incredibly counterproductive to our weight-loss goals. Increased levels of cortisol have been shown to cause higher insulin levels and lower blood sugar; both of these can lead to craving high-calorie foods.

After asking 400 participants questions about mindfulness, he noticed that people with lower levels of mindfulness were 34% more obese than people who scored higher. [4]

Eating can be a stress reliever because the chemicals released while eating fatty and sugary foods can combat the symptoms of stress. [1]

Therefore, that could conclude that those who have less stress also have fewer cravings for junk food. Because meditation can lower stress levels in the body, it can certainly become one of your tools for weight-loss.

belly-body-clothes-diet-53528

 

Weight Loss and Mindfulness

Eric Loucks is leading a study about mindfulness and weight loss at Brown University. He found that people who practice mindfulness tended to have less body fat. Loucks thinks that is because we are hardwired from the early days of man to eat as much as we can while it's available.

This is due to us not knowing when our next meal will come, Loucks believes we haven't yet evolved out of that human trait. So, when we are in the presence of fats, sugars, and salts, we might not know when to stop, especially when we are under stress.

Our mind and body will crave more of these items because it thinks they we require more nutrients. However, those who are more mindful are more aware of why they are eating. Whether they are truly hungry or they can stop, helping them recognize if they need more (macro) nutrients.

After asking 400 participants questions about mindfulness, he noticed that people with lower levels of mindfulness were 34% more obese than people who scored higher. [4]

Increase your Awareness

Meditation teaches us mindfulness so we can become those people who can decide if they really need that cupcake or our bodies are actually just asking us for something else. People who practice meditation can also practice mindful eating.

wellnesssidekick-meditation-photo

This is where you notice how you feel before, during, and after eating to determine if you are full, satisfied, and properly can digest the food you have eaten. Practicing meditation can increase your awareness of how you feel in your own body and allow you to not only lose weight because of decreased stress levels but be more mindful of what you are eating, which can also help you lose weight.

#3 Focus

Whether you're challenging yourself to 30 days or 90 days with IIFYM it is important to have a constant focus on your goals. Meditation is a mindful relaxation technique that allows you to release your thoughts and worries from your mind.

So as you go through your fitness journey with IIFYM you don't have to worry about all of the issues you have had in the past or worry about if this program is going to work because you know it will work and you can use meditation to help you just enjoy the process.

Therefore, people who meditate over longer periods of time had better memory and decision-making skills. [7]

When we hold onto the conditions that stress us out, it can prevent us from seeing the real solution, thus making us even more stressed out causing further difficulties. This can cause the mind to become clouded with unnecessary thoughts and problems.

When you follow a regular relaxation exercise, you can allow your blood pressure to drop, your mind to quiet and the cluster of thought to dismiss. That will allow you to think more clearly.

chess pieces falling demonstrate diet strategy

Change your Brain

A study by Sara Lazar Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, showed that meditation literally changes your brain. She looked at long-term meditators and a group of people that had never meditated before.

What she found was that meditators had increased gray matter in the insula and sensory regions, the auditory and sensory cortex. This happens because when you meditate you're focusing on the present moment, on your breath, and not on your cognition.

You are only focusing on what you're doing not thinking ahead to what will happen next or what this practice will do for you. The frontal cortex, the part of the brain associated with decision-making and memory, had more gray matter. Therefore, people who meditate over longer periods of time had better memory and decision-making skills. [7]

How Long Will it Take?

During a second study, she found that people had a difference in brain volume even after only 8 weeks of practicing. So, it doesn't take long to see the results of meditation.

From personal experience and those of my students, you will see them after a short 30-minute session, but if you keep with the practice based on the data Sarah LazarPh.D. found, you'll see more results after 8 weeks and even more through the remainder of your life. [7]

#4 Decreased Anxiety and Depression

Meditation can help relieve anxiety and depression because it teaches us how to let go of what is troubling us. Anxiety is the mind worrying about the future and depression is the mind worrying about the past.

Meditation teaches us to live in the present moment and connects with ourselves on a deeper level. People can improve their symptoms of anxiety and depression through practicing meditation and mindfulness.

Anxiety

According to Dr. Chopra, anxiety can be a habit formed by the mind that is causing you to react to every stressful thing that happens to you. [3] Anxiety is initiating the fight and flight response in the body that causes you to become on edge and alert even when you don't need to be.

Mediation can help correct that response by relaxing the body and easing the mind. Over time, the habit will be corrected and you will notice a decrease in your anxiety or you will learn to better deal with what triggers your anxiety.

black-and-white-person-woman-girl

 

Depression

Depression is similar; meditation will teach us to let go of the entities that are troubling us about the past so we can be at ease. Psychologists from the University of Exeter published a study about meditation and how it can improve depression.

It showed that patients who meditate for 30 minutes at home showed a significant reduction in symptoms over the course of the 8 sessions. For people who were looking to get off their anti-depression medication, it was also helpful in preventing a relapse.

Professor Mark Williams is also the author of Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World. A leader during this study said that "One of the key features of depression is that it hijacks your attention"[5]. Meditation helps focus the mind and keep your attention on what's happening in the present, instead of remembering the bad things that have happened to you in the past.

#5 Sleep

IIFYM knows how important sleep is to the fat-loss process. It is crucial for the body to heal and recover especially after an IIFYM workout. Meditation has been shown to decrease stress, promote weight loss, help with anxiety and depression.

All of those things that can reduce insomnia and promote better sleep. As your health begins to improve, so will your sleep. People who suffer from insomnia generally have a lot on their minds right before retiring.

 

The can't sleep to turn off your mind but meditation can help you do just that. From what you have read above, you already know that meditation is designed to quiet the mind and promote relaxation.

Well, the more you practice it you will notice it outside of your practice, especially when it comes to the quality of your sleep. When our minds are quiet and calm, we sleep better but don't just take my word for it.

Facts about Meditation and Sleep

JAMA Internal Medicine did a 6-week study, with about 49 middle-aged people, a few years ago. The study had them meeting weekly for 2 hours to learn mindfulness through seated meditation and other mindful practices.

The participants had to practice 5 to 20 minutes of mindfulness and meditation daily. At the end of the study, they found that just after 6 weeks of practice, participants of meditation and mindfulness improved their sleep. [2]

relaxation

 

How to Meditate?

Step 1: Find a comfortable seat (can be in a chair or on the floor). Have a nice straight tall spine. Sitting on a cushion or blanket to elevate your hips above your knees can make this easier.

Step 2: Take 3-5 nice deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Step 3: Close the eyes and begin to breathe in through the nose and out through the nose.

Step 4: Begin to notice your breath. In the beginning, it is easier to follow your breath when you count it. There are two ways of doing this.
A) You can inhale to count anywhere from 4 to 8. Then exhale for the same count.
B) You can inhale and exhale. Inhale and Exhale. All the way to 10. Then start over.

Step 5: Begin to relax the body. Relax the shoulders, legs, hands, feet, and face. Anywhere there is tension in the body, try to relax it. Still, maintain a tall spine so you leave room for your lungs to expand.

Step 6: If you notice that your mind keeps wondering, don't worry; just come back to focusing on the breath. Over time this will get easier and easier to do, but keep in mind that every day will be different.

IIFYM recommends you practice meditating for 5 minutes if it's your first session and work your way up to 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. Add this to your regimen to see all the wonderful changes you can make to your mind and body.

However, if you're up for a real challenge, a daily practice of meditation is always recommended for best results. So, give meditation a try and start noticing the benefits it has to offer! Don't let stress kill your progress!

 

Meditation: An Underrated Tool For Dieting Success was first seen on www.iifym.com IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]> Adjusting Macros-How often should I make changes? https://www.iifym.com/weight-loss-programs/adjusting-macros-how-often-should-i-make-changes/ Sun, 02 Jun 2019 01:48:10 +0000 https://www.iifym.com/?p=4067

 

How Often Should I Change My Macros?

So you used the IIFYM Macro Calculator to get your fat loss macros and you are ready to start rapid weight loss diet.

As you go about your If It Fits Your Macros approach, there may come a time when you begin to wonder, how often should I make diet changes? Do I need to adjust my macros on a regular basis or can I just keep using them as they are?

For whatever reason, everyone seems to think they need to change their weight loss macros every time their weight changes. DON'T DO THIS!!!

The answer to this question is it depends on the situation (of course). If our clients are seeing great results, it makes no sense to fix something that isn’t broken. With this said, there are some specific times when we know it can pay off to do something a little differently.

In all of the instances below, we will begin to change macros or create a greater diet shift in order to ensure our clients keep seeing results.

Let’s look at these times so that you can get a better sense of how often you should change macros. For some people, it may mean changing your macros every few weeks. While for others, it may mean changing them every month or two.

Here are the instances you need to know.

Instance #1: Your Fat Loss Has Stalled

When a client of ours has hit a wall in their fat loss, we move to a change in their strategy. Often times it's a complete overhaul of their approach.

Remember that as you continue with your diet, your body will begin to adapt to the amount of food you’re eating. Soon enough it may no longer produce the amount of weight loss that you desire.

If this is the case, you’ll need to adjust your macros a bit downward. Make small diet changes at first, such as a slight reduction of five grams of carbs or fats from your daily intake.

Make the adjustment, wait a couple weeks, and then monitor progress. Often this is enough to get your diet moving along again.

Instance #2: You’ve Lost A Significant Amount Of Weight

The second time that you may want to consider making diet changes is if you've lost a significant amount of weight. For instance, let’s say you’ve lost 50 pounds.

At this new body weight, your calorie intake is simply going to be a lot lower to maintain this new body weight. Thus you need to re-adjust your macros.

Yet, we only suggest doing this if you are no longer making progress or if your energy levels are tanked. Lower energy levels might be a sign of a slowed (temporarily adapted metabolism). If this is the case with you, we suggest taking a 2-week diet break (eating at TDEE for 2 weeks).

After which, you'd drop to your appropriate deficit calories with a slight shift in macros. Sometimes these simple changes are exactly what was needed to improve mood and gain more commitment to dieting for weight loss.

Instance #3: Your Goals Have Changed

When our clients come to us with a change in goals, we know this also means that we need to change diet requirements. If you were focusing on fat loss but now that the months have passed and it's winter. You may instead decide it’s time to focus on muscle gain instead.

This means you are going to need an entirely new macro and calorie set-up. While those using a strict fat loss approach may be following a reduced carb protocol. Those who are using a muscle building approach will need to add far more carbs back to their day.

The carbs are what will help keep you in an anabolic state, building muscle as quickly as possible. Re-working your macros to accommodate your new calorie intake. As well as the change in your macro ratios will be a wise move.

Likewise, if you are going to step up your game and start intensifying your workouts to boost your conditioning and performance. This may also be a great reason to shift macros around a bit.

As your workouts become more intense, you’ll be requiring more carbs. Also, protein to support the repair of the muscle tissues, enabling you to see ongoing results.

If you don’t adapt your macros and make the diet change to these new demands being placed on your body. It will be hard to see results from the new training program you are utilizing.

4.-alergi-olahraga

Instance #4: You’re Not Feeling As Well As You Could

Finally, the last instance you may need to change macros is if you just aren’t quite feeling as well as you could be.

If you’re constantly feeling drained in energy on an everyday basis. Also, if you aren’t recovering as fast as you prefer from your workout sessions. This could be more the reason to make a few diet changes.

Remember that everyone’s body is unique. What works great for one person may not necessarily work best for you. It’s all about figuring out your own system and how you are responding to various protocols. This is a significant part of what we do with our clients and how we can devise programs that are custom-built for their bodies.

If you attempt a low carb diet for instance and constantly feel hungry, miserable, and low in energy. Raise those carbs up and cut back on your fats. That’s the beauty of the IIFYM diet plan. You can easily make a few shifts like this without having to reformat your entire diet strategy.

Monitoring Fluctuations

By making these tweaks along the way, you’ll also be putting together a diet that is absolutely perfect for you. You’ll be learning about your body, what types of foods it responds best to and how you can maximize the results that you desire.

There you have a few of the main instances that will call for you to make some diet alterations. It’s a smart move to constantly be monitoring your progress. Taking a look at whether you need to make any shifts every two weeks or so. This is about the length of time when you can determine if what you are doing is working. Or, if you need to make an adjustment here or there.

Then if you do find that you need to start changing diet requirements. It's crucial to remember that slow and steady is the route to go. Avoid making dramatic shifts as this can get harder to track and pinpoint where you need to be.

Still, find yourself confused with Macro Dieting?
Have you considered hiring an IIFYM Coach to create a fully custom program for you?
We make it super easy. Just follow the program we lay out for you and the results are guaranteed! Click here to read more about our  Macro Blueprint

 

Adjusting Macros-How often should I make changes? was first published to IIFYM Blog IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

]]>

 

How Often Should I Change My Macros?

So you used the IIFYM Macro Calculator to get your fat loss macros and you are ready to start rapid weight loss diet.

As you go about your If It Fits Your Macros approach, there may come a time when you begin to wonder, how often should I make diet changes? Do I need to adjust my macros on a regular basis or can I just keep using them as they are?

For whatever reason, everyone seems to think they need to change their weight loss macros every time their weight changes. DON'T DO THIS!!!

The answer to this question is it depends on the situation (of course). If our clients are seeing great results, it makes no sense to fix something that isn’t broken. With this said, there are some specific times when we know it can pay off to do something a little differently.

In all of the instances below, we will begin to change macros or create a greater diet shift in order to ensure our clients keep seeing results.

Let’s look at these times so that you can get a better sense of how often you should change macros. For some people, it may mean changing your macros every few weeks. While for others, it may mean changing them every month or two.

Here are the instances you need to know.

Instance #1: Your Fat Loss Has Stalled

When a client of ours has hit a wall in their fat loss, we move to a change in their strategy. Often times it's a complete overhaul of their approach.

Remember that as you continue with your diet, your body will begin to adapt to the amount of food you’re eating. Soon enough it may no longer produce the amount of weight loss that you desire.

If this is the case, you’ll need to adjust your macros a bit downward. Make small diet changes at first, such as a slight reduction of five grams of carbs or fats from your daily intake.

Make the adjustment, wait a couple weeks, and then monitor progress. Often this is enough to get your diet moving along again.

Instance #2: You’ve Lost A Significant Amount Of Weight

The second time that you may want to consider making diet changes is if you've lost a significant amount of weight. For instance, let’s say you’ve lost 50 pounds.

At this new body weight, your calorie intake is simply going to be a lot lower to maintain this new body weight. Thus you need to re-adjust your macros.

Yet, we only suggest doing this if you are no longer making progress or if your energy levels are tanked. Lower energy levels might be a sign of a slowed (temporarily adapted metabolism). If this is the case with you, we suggest taking a 2-week diet break (eating at TDEE for 2 weeks).

After which, you'd drop to your appropriate deficit calories with a slight shift in macros. Sometimes these simple changes are exactly what was needed to improve mood and gain more commitment to dieting for weight loss.

Instance #3: Your Goals Have Changed

When our clients come to us with a change in goals, we know this also means that we need to change diet requirements. If you were focusing on fat loss but now that the months have passed and it's winter. You may instead decide it’s time to focus on muscle gain instead.

This means you are going to need an entirely new macro and calorie set-up. While those using a strict fat loss approach may be following a reduced carb protocol. Those who are using a muscle building approach will need to add far more carbs back to their day.

The carbs are what will help keep you in an anabolic state, building muscle as quickly as possible. Re-working your macros to accommodate your new calorie intake. As well as the change in your macro ratios will be a wise move.

Likewise, if you are going to step up your game and start intensifying your workouts to boost your conditioning and performance. This may also be a great reason to shift macros around a bit.

As your workouts become more intense, you’ll be requiring more carbs. Also, protein to support the repair of the muscle tissues, enabling you to see ongoing results.

If you don’t adapt your macros and make the diet change to these new demands being placed on your body. It will be hard to see results from the new training program you are utilizing.

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Instance #4: You’re Not Feeling As Well As You Could

Finally, the last instance you may need to change macros is if you just aren’t quite feeling as well as you could be.

If you’re constantly feeling drained in energy on an everyday basis. Also, if you aren’t recovering as fast as you prefer from your workout sessions. This could be more the reason to make a few diet changes.

Remember that everyone’s body is unique. What works great for one person may not necessarily work best for you. It’s all about figuring out your own system and how you are responding to various protocols. This is a significant part of what we do with our clients and how we can devise programs that are custom-built for their bodies.

If you attempt a low carb diet for instance and constantly feel hungry, miserable, and low in energy. Raise those carbs up and cut back on your fats. That’s the beauty of the IIFYM diet plan. You can easily make a few shifts like this without having to reformat your entire diet strategy.

Monitoring Fluctuations

By making these tweaks along the way, you’ll also be putting together a diet that is absolutely perfect for you. You’ll be learning about your body, what types of foods it responds best to and how you can maximize the results that you desire.

There you have a few of the main instances that will call for you to make some diet alterations. It’s a smart move to constantly be monitoring your progress. Taking a look at whether you need to make any shifts every two weeks or so. This is about the length of time when you can determine if what you are doing is working. Or, if you need to make an adjustment here or there.

Then if you do find that you need to start changing diet requirements. It's crucial to remember that slow and steady is the route to go. Avoid making dramatic shifts as this can get harder to track and pinpoint where you need to be.

Still, find yourself confused with Macro Dieting?
Have you considered hiring an IIFYM Coach to create a fully custom program for you?
We make it super easy. Just follow the program we lay out for you and the results are guaranteed! Click here to read more about our  Macro Blueprint

 

Adjusting Macros-How often should I make changes? was first published to IIFYM Blog IIFYM MEMBERSHIP

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