I’ll be flat out honest with you… In some of the early instructional videos I filmed for Gym Junkies, I’m down right pudgy. I was hovering around 175lbs. back then and had a bit of a spare tire around the ‘ole midsection.
I was stressed to the gills and just flat out not in a good situation in my life. I think everyone can relate to this, and we all feel this way at one point or another in our lives. Whether its a problem with your job, your spouse, or a big change in your life…we all slack off a little bit and somehow that little bit usually snowballs into an out of control week of binge drinking and loaded cheese fries.
It’s easy to just give up when this happens, but that’s not what we do here. Giving up isn’t an option. I get so many emails from people who say that they’ve tried to lose weight but just can’t do it, or that they have a slow metabolism, or they can’t find time to workout. So I decided to prove to all of you that anyone can get into KILLER shape even if you have a job, a family and a million other things going on in your life.
Most people are under the impression that just because I’m a personal trainer, I have all the time in the world to workout. This couldn’t be further from the truth. At the moment, I’m putting in 12-15 hour days, 6 days a week at the gym. So getting in an hour long workout just isn’t in the cards for me. Fortunately, for me and you I’ve come up with workouts that can be done in under 20 minutes.
A few weeks ago I hopped on the scale and weighed in at 162.2 lbs. I made a decision right then and there to get lean and mean in just 3 short weeks. I had my buddy take these pics a few days ago, when I was weighing in at 148.8 lbs. This was a total weight loss of 13.4 lbs in just 3 weeks!
This is the best shape I’ve been in since I left U.S. Army Basic Training back in 1998, and I did it without starving myself and keeping the vast majority of my exercise sessions to 15 minutes or less. Oh, and I still worked about 70 hours per week at my storefront business.
So how did I do it?
By following the few principles below and not beating myself up when I strayed from them. . .
How To Lose Weight In 3 weeks
1. Eat Only Fruit And Nuts Up Until My Training Session.
I was training in the late morning or early afternoon on most days. That meant I had anywhere from 2 – 4 hours between the time I woke up until my training session. During that time I ate only fruit, nuts, and coffee. I didn’t limit the amount of fruit I ate; if I was hungry I ate a banana, apple, or a delicious fruit salad of pineapple, melon, grapes, and apples. The nuts I did limit by keeping it to only one small handful of either raw almonds or walnuts. And the coffee? Black – no cream, no sugar.
You must be eating real food at all times. If it comes in a box, don’t eat it.
2. Give my body fuel immediately after my workouts.
As soon as possible after my training session – I’m talking about 15 minutes after the last rep – I would eat. Well, actually I would drink most days. I would drink 8 ounces of chocolate milk. Then I would do my best to eat again within an hour after the chocolate milk. At this meal, I would consume some carbohydrate – usually white rice – but I would keep the quantity pretty low (about half the size of my clenched fist). I would also eat a good protein source such as chicken breast and a large serving of vegetables with broccoli being a common choice.
3. Never repeat the same workout twice.
Over the course of the three weeks, I never repeated the same workout. And most workouts were 15 minutes or less. One thing that the workouts did have in common was intensity. You’re not going to drop over 4 pounds per week doing the 30 minute sleepwalk on a treadmill.
4. Watch the carbs like a hawk, but allow a little indulgence occasionally.
Other than the post workout meals, I did not consume any of the typical carbohydrate rich foods like breads, pastas, rice, beans, or dairy. I relied on lots of vegetables and fruits for my carbs. Now I did have a bit of red wine and even some dark chocolate on occasion. And by on occasion, I mean at least 10 days out of the 3 week training period.
5. Know when to say when.
This is unfortunately something that can only be garnered from experience. If I felt that my body needed a break from training, I took the day off. If I could sense the high impact from burpees or box jumps was going to be too much, I used an alternative like kettlebell swings.
And if I felt my focus go fuzzy and the headache of carb depletion bared its ugly head, I ate some pasta – but I only ate a little bit.
There is a fine line between listening to your body and being a slacker. If you’re new to training, a better alternative is to get a solid coach or training partner to help you evaluate if you really need the rest or you are having a momentary lapse in motivation.
The truth of the matter is most people don’t push themselves hard enough in the gym, and it’s one of the main reasons they never see any results.
(Little woozy after some deadlifts)
The “Strong & Shredded For Summer” Challenge
I’m issuing a challenge to all of you, the loyal Gym Junkies readers. Summer is right around the corner, and whether your goals are to look better, get stronger or improve your performance for a sport, I think ALL of us can benefit from 31 days of intense training and focus.
On May 1st, we’ll start the “Strong & Shredded” challenge, and I’ll have some cool little prizes to give away as well. In the next week I will give you EVERYTHING you need to participate in the challenge. This includes diet, workouts, motivation and tips for staying on track.
If you’ve been looking for a kick in the ass to get in shape, this is EXACTLY what you’re looking for.
Again, stay tuned to the posts coming up this week, I will send updates out through the newsletter so enter your name and email below if you’re not on it yet…
Latest posts by Vic Magary (see all)
- What’s the Healthiest Alcohol? - Apr 23, 2013
- Destination X—What’s The Exact Body You Want? - Mar 9, 2013
- How to Save Money while Eating Super Healthy - Mar 8, 2013
sounds like fun vic, my last blow out on the beer & wine will be this weekend, then I’ll get stuck into your challenge…should be in good nic for my mate stag do in june 🙂
Awesome, looking forward to helping you Steven!
Nice work bro!!! I run a gym myself and I’m going to have all my staff participate.
Good job bro.
Most guys don’t realize they need to get lighter than they think to look good…
Btw, how tall are you – like 5’7”?
about 5’8″ – 5’9″
thanks for compliments Yavor!
Vic I’ve been following the site for the past few months and love it. I’ve made amazing progress because of all of your great advice. I cannot wait to participate in Strong and Shredded! Great idea and thanks again. Way to go on losing all the weight, by the way. Excellent work.
SWEET! Im glad you are seeing results. Thats what makes this all worth it.
You look great. I envy you and am up for the challenge. When you partook in red wine and chocolate, how much per sitting? I ask because I have this ugly tendency to ‘only’ drink two glasses. Then all of a sudden, the bottle empties itself 🙂
What should my shredded weight be?
I really want the abs, I can see hints but the lower abs are soft –
I use Rusty Moore’s fat loss protocol – workout in a fasted state and eat at least 1 hour after a workout.
Would you recommend no alcohol until I get down to my “goal” weight?
I crossfit at least 4 times per week.
your shredded weight is a function of ab definition not scale weight.
Thanks for the response – I agree, however, I am a mid frame build “avg” guy…I don’t want to shoe horn my results…more of a goal to shoot for.
Having a goal is good, just make sure you’re not losing lean mass while focusing on the scale. You may want to buy some cheap fat calipers or just do the pinch test. Rule of thumb for males, pinching 1 inch = 5 lbs.
I’m down for a shredded for summer.
Because of you , i’ve traded my crunches for situp standups, leg raises for knees to elbows, tricep kickbacks for weighted dips… I can’t wait to see what a month is gonna do !!
Oh hell yeah. . Vic I to will be going along with this. . LETS DO IT MAN!
See ya in the monster room.
Any modifications needed for endurance racers? I’m 5’5″, 175lbs and I train and participate in Ironman races. Seems like no matter how hard I try I can’t break 175lbs (I fluctuate from 174-177lbs but never drop below).
As an endurance athlete I’m in top shape but I have about 20 extra pounds that I’d like to get rid of. Seems to me that “eating fruits and nuts until after a training set” is fine but then what do I eat *during* the set?
My training usually lasts several hours and we’re supposed to be eating and hydrating during our training (for example I had a 3 hour 10 minute bike ride yesterday… there’s no way fruits and nuts are going to satiate me enough for that). Can I eat power bars or other foods during my long sets?
vic, just thought, what equipment will we be needing for this challenge.
I’ll provide seperate workouts depending on what type of equipment you have….
So if you have a gym, we’ll use barbell/dumbbell, if you dont we’ll be doing mostly bodyweight exercises.
Yeah I also don’t have access to a gym right now. Including as many body weight exercises as possible would be much appreciated.
Your challenge sounds like fun 🙂
I’ve gotta stick with my normal muay thai and conditioning training, though. But I might have a play with the diet recommendations you suggest and maybe swap some of my normal strength and conditioning workouts with the ones you suggest (that have similar goals).
btw. Great work with your own physique!
Looking forward to the challenge 🙂
I know your pain of long days and stressed out times…as sometimes this industry can get to all of us. Way to lead by example and just get it done. Very motivating.
im totally down for this, i have another 15lbs to lose and it’s been hanging round for ever, im sick of making excuses for it
bring it on!
I’M up for the challenge, marking the days of the calendar!!
Please include Kettlebell exercises! I would love to see more Kettlebells on your site. .
Also a reasorce to help determine exactually what is the ideal weight i should be would help a tremendious deal. .
Congrats on the transformation. Though I can’t say I’m surprised. You don’t seem like the guy thats lacking the means or the motivation.
Looking forward to the challenge, though I may have a bit of a hard time juggling it in between final exams, rugby, and end of the semester partying for the first 2 weeks.
I love this “You must be eating real food at all times. If it comes in a box, don’t eat it.” I am not prepared to give up real food for fitness and I appreciate your approach to this!
I really believe that eating real food is fundamental to health – and cutting out processed food can go a long way to weight loss too.
You have a great physique, congratulations!
I’m a girl and I’m not looking to be ripped but I know that a toned body is key to health and I know that by building muscle I can more effectively lose weight and keep in shape. So I will be watching your blog for more information.
I’m doing the Couch to 5K to build up endurance and general fitness right now but definitely looking to mix it up with some weight/strength training.
Wow!! Looking good Vic!
Vic, I’ve been following your site and your advice since the start of March… I’m down from 12st 7lb’s to 10st 13lb’s in less than 8 weeks. At the same time I’ve been slowly increasing my muscle mass with your suggested compound movements for building strength. I bought a bench, cage, some weights and some rings… and haven’t felt this good, or looked this good since I was 29…
There’s still a long way for me to go to build up my strength and muscle mass (which I’m excited about)… and your posts really do help to keep me fired up and motivated. Roll on the next 6 months, because the changes in my body (and mind) so far are already dramatic.
AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME. Congrats Max!
Thanks Vic. Today hovering around the 10st 11lb mark, I realise that I’ve achieved as much as I can over the last 9 weeks to lose fat, at the moment there is very little left. The last few evenings training I feel a little below par, and slightly fatigued and I believe the stripped out diet is starting to hamper my lifting progression. I’m now up to squatting 40kg (1-2kg jumps every workout), and my body feels like it is starting to need more food.
So as from tommorow (1st May), I’m gonna increase my calories/protein so that I can recover properly after each workout and continue to build strength/muscle. Stage 1 ‘fat loss’ plan is over (22lb’s lost), Stage 2 ‘muscle building’ plan starting.
I’m assuming that’s the right course of action…
I’ve been excited to start your “how to lose fat” workout May 1st. Can I enter the challenge using that workout? Is the new workout plan going to be much different?
There will be a few different ones for strength, fat loss, muscle building. I suggest you use the one I recommend on May 1st. In the meantime, you should get started on the lose fat one tho if you can…
Definitely up for the challenge!
I want to lose body fat. I am 34 years old and 5′ 7″.
Where I’m at now:
35% body fat
size 12/large in most women’s clothes
Where I would like to be:
25% body fat
I do 12-20 minute tabata and high intensity interval/circuit workouts 2-3 times a week. I keep saying I will add a day of swimming, but I never do. I want to try to get pregnant for the third time–holding out for a girl–later this year, and being pregnant and overweight sucks!
I’m in this to lose some more body fat. I’m in decent shape but would like to be more “shredded” 🙂 I am 41 years old and 5′ 7″ (and male).
Where I’m at now:
18% body fat (this is a guess coming from the scale)
Where I would like to be:
135 lbs (I really don’t care about the weight)
13% body fat
I lift weights Mon, Wed., and Fri. at home. I only have dumbbells but also use a sandbag, ab wheel and pull-up bar. I do a tabata type workout on Tues. and Thurs.. using sprints, jump rope, and db swings/snatches.
Looking forward to it.
Looking forward to this challenge. I’d like to lose about 8 – 10 lbs of fat. I’m female, 5’7 and 140lbs with a decent amount of muscle, but I’m still struggling with a stubborn layer of fat. I can feel those abs under there and would like to actually see them!
I am curious about the chocolate milk. Something like that is supposed to be avoided in the “easy fat loss diet,” so should someone like myself who needs to lose at least 20 pounds and 10% body fat drink 8 oz. of chocolate milk immediately after weight lifting? (I am female, 5’7″, 190lbs., medium frame, 34% body fat, and I am doing your “lose body fat” workout).
Simone, something more along the lines of canned tuna and carrots is approximately the same nutritional value but with less sugar than chocolate milk. That would be fine as well. Choc. milk just makes it easier on you so you dont have to have a meal prepared and with you at the gym.
Wow!!!! You look great!!!!! I’m up for the challenge for sure.
I’m in this to lose weight and body fat, with the ulimate goal of looking great and being confident in a bikini by my 40th birthday in September. I’m in decent shape but would like to be more defined and lean. I am 39 years old and 5′ 6″.
Where I’m at now:
I don’t believe in the body fat % my scale gives me as it fluctuates alot being a woman or depending on how the moon and stars are aligned or something, but last check was 29.2%
Where I would like to be:
24% body fat
I lift weights Mon, Wed., and Fri. at home. I use dumbbells,kettlebells and a medicine ball. I do a tabata type or other interval type workout on Tues. and Thurs. doing things like sprints, jump rope, burpees, db swings/snatches, etc.
Let’s do this thang!
Just one thing – We don’t kettlebells at my gym so please provide alternatives if you can.
staying lean and building more strength. Always love the challenges that come out of Metro! Can’t wait.
Awesome stuff Vic. The tip of eating fruit and nuts only before training is something I have done for a while with great results. I usually wake up have a coffee then do a BW workout. On days I hit the gym mid morning I will get a bowl of berries, some peanut butter and coconut flakes and mash it up. Do some work for an hour or 2 then hit the gym. Warrior style!
So I’m curious about what routine would work best with this? The PDF says no equipment required but there are pics of Vic with a kettlebell, rings, and I believe a sledge hammmer. I have (2) 16kg KB’s and (1) 24kg. Also have a 300lb barbell set. Thats it. I’m sure I could rig up some simple equipment if need be. Any suggestions of a good routine to start with this 31 days??