Fight clubWant the body of a bare-knuckle fighter without having to get in the ring? Personal trainer Tim Drummond offers these long-term, sustainable guidelines for achieving the ultimate fighter’s physique
If a male client says he wants to change his body shape and appearance, one of the first things I ask him is, who does he ideally want to look like? After the initial male embarrassment, which invariably comes with talking about other men, one name crops up more often than any other, Brad Pitt in Fight club. Most men don’t want to look like a body builder, but instead want a lean, muscular look with defined abs and a sculpted, proportional physique. While this takes some dedication, with the right strategies you can achieve dramatic results and get the body of Brad Pitt, without having to fight to the death.1. Start with the end in mindDo you have a final goal? Set a specific and measureable target, and have a set time frame, for example, ‘within five weeks I will drop three per cent body-fat and by six months I will be under 10 per cent.’ With many of my clients, we write these down on a ‘results contract’ and we both sign it. Then I get my client to ask someone close to them to countersign the contract, further reinforcing personal responsibility.2. Take photosBefore and after photos make a great motivational tool and let’s be honest, men love seeing themselves looking leaner every month. By re-taking every four weeks you will see the changes as they happen. When I send over their monthly photos, this really motivates my clients and they always come to the session raring to get to the next level.3. NutritionIt is a de-motivating and thankless task attempting to out-train poor nutrition. Try to stick to meat, fish, nuts, eggs, fruits and veg. Eliminating all the sugar and starchy carbohydrates from your diet stops blood sugar spikes and in turn controls insulin production. This way the body stores fewer calories as fat. Proteins and fats also make you feel fuller, which will stop you craving sweet things. A diet based on animal produce supplemented with fruit and veg will easily give you enough protein, so no need to count protein grams anymore. 4. Get eight hours of sleep a night I can’t understate the effect sleep has on body composition. Poor quality and quantity of sleep lead to increased body-fat and decreased muscle. Of particular importance is the influence of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol has an inverse relationship with testosterone, as they are both synthesised from the same limited building blocks. More cortisol equals less testosterone. And higher testosterone equals less body-fat and more muscle. 5. Drink less alcohol A biggy; most people are aware that alcohol has empty calories in it; but the most damaging effect is actually that drinking leads to bad decisions. No evening meal on the night out until that kebab or burger on the way home, less sleep, a fry up breakfast, then if it was a really heavy night then maybe a pizza later that day. This behaviour, allied with the effect alcohol consumption has on blood sugar levels, puts the body in a consistent fat-storing mode for at least 36 hours. Alcohol also wreaks havoc with your testosterone production and causes your body to increase oestrogen levels (hence man-boobs!) 6. Make a commitment Getting lean isn’t easy, it takes motivation and dedication. ‘Success is simple. First, you decide what you want specifically; and second, you decide you’re willing to pay the price to make it happen - and then pay that price.’ says Bunker Hunt, and as a successful oil billionaire, he should know. Heed Hunt’s good advice; decide what you need to do; then do it. Set the rules and get into the right habits. I have devised a commitment matrix, which sets out from the beginning what level of commitment is needed to reach a clients goal. Include nutrition, alcohol, sleep and training days. Do something similar yourself and it will have a massive effect on the results you get. 7. Get in the habit One of the most common things I hear is, ‘I find it hard to make the time to train four or five times a week’. Treat training sessions like important business appointments. Put them in your diary so they become a priority. Habits take about 21 days to build and getting to the gym soon becomes an essential part of your weekly routine. 8. Lift weights three to four times a week Resistance training is the number one training stimulus when seeking body-fat loss. Training with weights elevates your RMR (resting metabolic rate). This will in turn make you both leaner and more muscular, so for this period tone down the cardio and concentrate on weights. If you have been doing more than two cardio sessions per week, research has shown that cutting volume by one third to do resistance training actually improves running performance, while changing body composition. But don’t be tempted to train more than five times a week. Less is often more; while it varies depending on the person, four to five sessions a week is generally the optimum amount. The ‘training’ effect happens in the times not in the gym, so give your body enough time to rest and re-build. 9. Tempo and rest Whatever training programme you follow, the two variables that men often discount are rest and tempo. Wanting to bench as much as possible, men often do whatever they can just to get the most weight on the bar and get to their eight reps. This can lead to letting the bar drop too quickly, and then when they’ve finished the set waiting two to three minutes before they feel strong enough to go again. All good programmes will advise on tempo and rest periods. If they say something like 301, this means a lowering, or eccentric, portion of three seconds, no pause at the bottom, and then a push portion, or concentric, of one second. It will mean lifting less weight but your real goals, lean muscle development, will go through the roof. 10. Get yourself a good personal trainer Following the above protocols will make you lean and muscular. However, if you are still unsure, make use of professional knowledge. Seek a PT who specialises in lean muscle development, and ask for references from past clients who have seen results. They should be able to provide you with some. If they can’t, go elsewhere.
For a personalised consultation with personal trainer Tim Drummond at his Mayfair studio in London, call 07823 697605, email email@example.com or check out his facebook page