Top 40 Things I Learned In 2015

By Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle Building.

It’s amazing that another year is behind us and, in traditional fashion, we’re running through the top 40 things I’ve learned in the areas of Muscle, Money, Marriage and Manhood.
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Let me know which lesson “popped out” at you the most in the comments section below.
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Cool? Let’s dive in…

 

Top 10 Things I Learned About Muscle:

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1. Get lean to get big!

If you’re trying to build muscle when over 12% body fat, you’re wasting your time. Get under 12% body fat to give yourself a hormonal advantage to build muscle faster and easier.
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2. You are what you can recover from.

How do you know you’re recovering? You’re making progress. If you’re not making progress and you’re training 6x a week, reduce it to 5x a week. If you’re still not making progress training 5x a week, reduce it to 4x a week. Still not making progress at 4x a week? Reduce it to 3x a week. Not making gains at 3x a week? Get some blood work.
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3. Periodizing all my training programs around Brad Schoenfeld’s research on the 3 mechanisms of muscle growth (Muscle damage, Mechanical tension, Metabolic Stress) has given my training a world of clarity.

You should have phases and/or days dedicated to each of these mechanisms. You can see this applied in the Beta No Nonsense Muscle Building 2.0 training program and you’ll be able to see it in the official No Nonsense Muscle Building 2.0 training program (released in mid February 2016).
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4. Training for your primary muscle fiber type delivers the best results, hands down.

Knowing that my body is primarily slow-twitch dominant, I’ve adapted the majority of my programming to this fact. I’ll be showing you how to train for your primary muscle fiber type very soon.
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5. M.A.T. (Muscle Activation Techniques) continues to be the most powerful therapy I’ve ever experienced.

It’s been a few years since I started M.A.T. but this year, I’ve been working through the Rx patterns by MAT therapist Eric Seifert from Core Strength in Toronto. He’s “turned on” my lats, biceps, chest, triceps, traps, shoulders, abductors, adductors, quads, hamstrings… I kid you not, virtually ZERO muscles in my body were working, and now I’m getting “more from less” in the gym. I can’t wait to see where Eric takes my body in 2016… If there is only ONE place you invest your money when it comes to building muscle, it’s MAT.
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6. Prioritize a lagging body part for 6 weeks every 18 weeks.

One of the most rewarding training routines I did this past year was the 6-Week Vanity Specialization Program for my Biceps. I gained ¾ of an inch in the first 3 weeks by training them 3x in the first 3 days of the week. If you have a lagging body part, start specializing.
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7. Take a simple and no nonsense approach to your nutrition.

Focus on the “needle movers” i.e. calories, macros and micros before you even THINK about nutrient timing and supplements. Since my son was born I’ve been simply focusing on whole food nutrition, 5-6 meals a day with virtually no shakes and feeling and looking better than ever. If you want to see how I’m eating check out my Simple, No Nonsense Already Designed Meal Plans.
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8. Whey protein is overrated.

I’ve been using vegan protein powders (my favourite is this hemp protein called Protein Breakthrough) and notice no negative impact on my gains compared to using a whey protein.
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9. The entire topic of peri-workout nutrition is overrated.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but that’s been my experience lately. While I promote a ton of peri-workout strategies (and they certainly won’t hurt you), I have simplified my nutrition to AminoFast during my workout (i.e. powdered BCAA’s and electrolytes) and just whole food before and after my workouts and have experienced better results with less complication.
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10. Got gut issues? Try taking 1-2 TRILLION probiotics a day.

If you have a gut problem, you need to attack the issue aggressively. I used a product called VSL#3 (contains 450 BILLION probiotics per packet) and it seemed to really help. I also have noticed that a high quality proteolytic enzyme, like Masszymes, keeps my gut tighter and less reactive to certain foods.
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Top 10 Things I Learned About Money:

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11. Decide how much money you want to save before the year begins.

Automate that amount to a “freedom fund” so you can “automate your wealth.” This past year my goal was to save a down payment for a vacation home (not sure where, yet) and I’m pumped to say that we’ll begin shopping in the New Year!
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12. Identifying your biggest expense is the first step to saving.

At the start of the year I discovered some “hidden fees” that were costing me a few hundred thousand dollars a year! It took a business coach to see some “leaks in the ship” I failed to spot. I wish I hired him 5 years ago…
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13. Get a monthly balance statement. Get a monthly balance statement. Get a monthly balance statement.

I got this advice from an individual who runs a 150 million dollar business and I asked him for one piece of advice and he said, “Vince, make sure you know if you’re getting richer or poorer every month.” You must know and manage this critical number.  Send your accountant an email RIGHT NOW and say, “I need a monthly balance statement moving forward.” It’s quite rudimentary but priceless data that answers the most important question, “Am I richer or poorer this month?” Your assets will include your money in the bank, investments, equity, anything you can liquify. On the other other side are all your expenses including credit cards, debt, mortgage etc. The ONLY number that matters is your net worth. Did you get poorer this month or richer? If you can’t answer this question, figure it out. Managing this number is the first step to improving your financial situation.
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14. You MUST pay to play.

I say this all the time. One of my students who attended my 0-6 Figure Formula seminar in October just sent me this… In short, he’s made 107K in 2 months!
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“I wanted to take action immediately on some of the info we covered so I applied it to my consulting business. I set up opt-ins with lead magnets, tied them to an autoresponder and started communicating regularly to those contacts.  I’ve had it up about a month and last week converted one of those contacts to a buyer of my consulting services to the tune of $107K with the potential to increase that order to over $300K in January.  So, the take away is that these tools and processes work!” – Name preferred private
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(Email me if you want to attend my next 0-6 Figure Formula seminar in Florida on  January 29-30 at personal@vincedelmontefitness.com I have a few seats left).
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16. The most important question you must ask yourself every single minute of the day is, “What do I need to stop doing?”

Now say that three times to yourself. Never stop asking yourself this question. It’s the question that helps you identify where you are confusing activity for productivity.
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17. Get clarity on your “super powers”.

What can you do that no one else can do? What do you do better than everyone else? What is the one thing, that if you do it, it will move your business, income and life forward? Focus on that and only that and build a team to do the rest. Over the past few years I don’t feel like I’ve been able to gift my “super powers” to the world and it’s because of a lack of vision and I think you’ll start seeing a Vinny 2.0 rise in 2016…
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18. Giving benefits the giver more than the receiver.

The best day of my year was flying out to Denver for the Toys for Tots Charity Drive hosted by EarlyToRise.com and buying $151,000 worth of toys from four different Walmarts and giving them to the U.S. marines to donate to kids less fortunate. You can see it on this Day In The Life episode. The event reminded me of how blessed I am and that I already have more than I’ll ever need.
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19. I don’t need to pay for my YouTube videos anymore!

My baby brother, the creative artist and genius behind my Muscle Camp, Muscle Camp TV and Day In The Life videos asked me a simple question when we started working together “Why do you pay for your own videos?” I replied, “Who the heck is going to pay for them?” He said, “Sponsors who value innovative and branded content.” I never thought of that! So, while we’re just in a “crawl phase”, you may have noticed that the video production of my YouTube videos has gone dramatically up.
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20. Spend your money on stuff that buys you TIME!

The best money I spent this year was on a food prep company (Fit Dish in Hamilton and Fuel Foods in Toronto), that bought me 5-8 hours a week so that I could continue building my body, working on my business and being a father to a 2 year old and new born.
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Top 10 Things I Learned During Marriage:

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**Note: Much of my next ten things was learned from a book called The Way of the Superior Man. I want to be clear — I do not agree with everything in this book as some of it can lead to ruin — but the stuff I learned was practical and worth sharing below. Be discerning when you read this book.

 

21. A woman’s word is not her bond.

If a man says to a woman, “I hate you, I want a divorce” he likely means it. If a woman says to her man, “I hate you! I want a divorce!” she does not actually mean it. That is how she is feeling in the moment. A man’s word is his bond. Don’t take your woman’s words literally.
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22. Your excellent track record is meaningless to her.

You could come home on time for dinner 5 years straight but on the day you arrive five minutes late, she’ll treat you like you’re always late. This is normal! Women respond to the moment of energy. Your track record is irrelevant to her. Don’t try to mitigate her anger or refer to your great record. To females, what counts is the feeling in the moment.
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23. A woman wants to be the most important person in your life, but not the most important thing in your life.

A woman does not want to sense her man’s dependence on her for happiness because this makes her feel smothered by his neediness and clinging. A woman wants a man who is fully dedicated to his higher purpose — which includes loving her fully.
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24. Raising kids is tough, some days it’s brutal.

Kids will test your marriage more than anything. You must become a united front and work together as a loving and supportive team… or else the challenges can depolarize your sexual intimacy.
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25. Shift the energy as quickly as possible.

When your woman is angry, shock her with your love and immediately assume happiness. Make her smile, pick her up, lick her neck, say something funny. Surprise her in some loving way and you’ll be blown away by how quickly you can wipe the emotional slate clean.
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26. Restoring love immediately is essential to maintaining sexual intimacy (like when you first met).

A less superior man runs away and fights back in the heat of the moment. A superior man picks his woman up and loves her. He places his heart and body against hers. He smiles, takes responsibility, apologizes and makes things right.
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27. When your woman asks for input, NEVER say, “Whatever you want to do is fine with me.”

This is the statement of a friend, not a lover. Don’t force women to make decisions. One of the greatest gifts a man can give his woman is clarity and decisiveness. By withholding this masculine gift, she will become distrustful of your love.
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28. Praise her.

Us men grow when we’re challenged, but women grow on support and praise. Praise is literally food if you want your woman to grow in her radiance, health, happiness, love, beauty, power and depth. Praise these qualities. Praise them daily, multiple times.
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29. Never change your mind just to please a woman.

Always listen to your woman but make your own decision. By “going along” with her you are saying, “I don’t trust my own wisdom.” You are weakening yourself and you are weakening your woman’s trust in you: why should she trust you if you don’t trust yourself?
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30. Never, ever, ever say this to a woman on her Birthday, “Happy Birthday sweetie! For your birthday, we can do anything you want. We can go anywhere and do anything. And I’ll do anything for you. What do you want to do?”

Believe it or not, this is the exact opposite of an ideal birthday for a woman. Here’s what to say instead, “Pack your bag sweetie, you have 30  minutes to be ready. Don’t ask me where we’re going, but we’ll be gone the entire weekend. My parents will be here any minute to babysit the kids. Everything is taken care of. Just pack your bags, and leave the rest to me. I’m going to give you the most memorable birthday ever.”
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31. One of the greatest gifts a man can give a woman and one of the deepest desires in intimacy of a woman is to be able to relax and surrender, knowing her man has got everything under control.

A.k.a. having your shit together! This is true financially, sexually, emotionally and spiritually. This doesn’t mean the man does all the work but he must be steering the course so his woman can relax without fear.
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Top 10 Things I Learned About Manhood:

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32. Identifying the top 10 core values of my life’s mantra, LIVING LARGE inside and outside of the gym, is keeping me focused in what I think, do and become.

I will be sharing the core values of Living Large in Season 7 of Live Large TV starting this January!
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33. Defining “success” for me has given me so much more clarity with my work.

For me, “Success is the number of people living large around me.” Running Muscle Camps this past year and hearing the transformation stories of my students confirmed that I’m on the right path.
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34. Real men create, they don’t criticize.

Criticizing is the equivalent of taking a baseball bat to a glass house. Anyone can do that. Wow, look at you! If you want to gain a following, do it by creating something lasting, that is far more challenging and impactful.
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35. I am at my best when I read regularly.

Some of my favorites this past year were Money by Tony Robbins, Essentialism by Greg McKeown, The Legacy Journey by Dave Ramsey (I read this twice), Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday and Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson, The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida and Flesh by Hugh Halter.

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36. Writing a book was one of the most rewarding projects I’ve ever completed.

The writing process helped me define my mission and purpose more clearly. By the way, it’s called LIVING LARGE and comes out October 18, 2016! 
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37. Always be sharpening the saw.

Don’t waste time listening to pessimistic radio hosts or crappy top 40 music. Turn your car into a “University on Wheels” and constantly be filling your head with podcasts that inspire you to think big and live larger. Here are some of my favorite podcasts: The Tim Ferriss Show,  I Love Marketing, Million Dollar Gym, The Jason Ferruggia Show, The Ryan Lee Freedym Show, Freedom Fast Lane, The Meeting House, Life Church TV, EntreLeadership and many more. By the way — think I should start a podcast in 2016?
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38. If you’re constantly busy, you’re lazy.

It means you’re procrastinating and avoiding the key projects that will lead to exponential growth so that you can be less busy! Busyness is not a badge of honour.
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39. My daughter and son are teaching me more about myself than anyone else.

If you think getting married reveals your true colors, wait till you have kids. Every day my patience and character is tested but I must recognize every test and trial is an opportunity to grow.
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40. Stop hoping for your woman to get easier.

Your woman will constantly test your capacity to stay true to your mission and purpose. She tests your depth of love to know you are trustable. These tests come in the the form of complaining, challenging you, changing her mind, and subtly undermining your purpose. These tests will never end. Appreciate that she does these things to reveal your strength, love, integrity and focus. As you grow, so will her testing.
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So, which ones “popped” out at you?

Leave a comment below. I would love to know.  

As a heads up, get ready for the “Vince Del Monte brand” to evolve to the next level…

I feel like I’ve outgrown being purely a “fitness brand” and I’ll be transitioning our world to a “lifestyle brand” with the overarching arc being: Living Large.

Specifically, The Art of Living Large: How to Master Muscle, Money & Manhood! The 3 M’s that myself and ambitious men are most passionate about.  

The majority of my teaching will still be related to muscle and fitness, but this new brand will allow us to grow beyond just a great body and towards a great career and character.

 

What do you think?

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Comments

18 thoughts on “Top 40 Things I Learned In 2015

  1. Amazing blog! Do you have any helpful hints for
    aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a
    little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there
    that I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any tips? Cheers!

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  2. Hey Vince, please start a podcast!!!!

    I loved your book and podcast recommendations.

    “What do i need to stop doing”
    “Buy things that give you time”

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  3. A lot of food for thought there. A Podcast would be awesome Vince, as you are evolving and expanding there is definitely an abundance of knowledge around the 3 M’s for a weekly show ? There are a lot of fitness podcasts out there but not an all encompassing one on living large. Thanks and continued success in 2016

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  4. I have to commend you in this transition to clarify and broaden your name and brand. I look forward to all you share with us. Children are a game changer for sure. My daughter is just turned 3 and we are doing best we can just the two of us. Maybe you could touch on some parenting milestones and share some stories in the future. Your words are inspiring and uplifting, Vince. Keep heading in this new direction. I am especially interested in more business/ money advice. If you can chisel the time for it, I think a podcast is a fantastic idea. Thank You for making a difference in my life.

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  5. I agree on a lot of points but mist of the “things” I learned in 2015 would be a sum up of the “marriage”part.
    Something like “man up!” or be A MAN for your woman. I always thought that the right way to treat a woman is to make her feel like a princess.
    Even though I still think that´s the case, I guess I sometimes forgot about the part of being a man, making decision, guide her, be her “rock”.

    Great post.
    merry xmas and a happy new near!

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  6. It was almost like you read my mind when you said you were expanding the brand into more of a lifestyle! ?I’m excited to see the transition and what’s to come!

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  7. Hey Vince. Gotta go with 16 (I have to ask many times, and I think it ties in with 38). Then I was glad to see 22, probably one of the most frustrating parts of marriage!! It’s tough being “perfect” 99% of the time and getting called out the one time you’re not. As always great job on the list. I always read your messages because they’re about life, not just squeezing another rep out in the gym (which IS important!!). Thanks.

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  8. Numbers 17. Get clarity on your “super powers” and 20. Spend your money on stuff that buys you TIME pop out for me. These are areas that will help me define my success in my business life. I always enjoy reading your thoughts and advice!

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  9. Well put Vince. Kids will open up your eyes to a whole new world.

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    • Glad we’re experiencing it together!

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  10. Regarding #21…then it means that Flavia lied in that Facebook post where she said “I love that I know that we will grow old together because divorce is not even a word in our vocabulary.” Lol 🙂

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  11. Most of the stuff you said a bought women is new stuff for me that I didn’t really think a bought. However, maybe part of the reason is that I am not yet married, and therefore, don’t know too much a bought what goes on in a women’s head.

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    • Most guys don’t, married or not! That’s where books like the one Vince is talking about come in 🙂 – Team Del Monte

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  12. Hey Vince,

    I appreciate all the hard work. The information you collect and share with us is invaluable.

    I do continue to get frustrated with your comments like “when over 12% body fat, you’re wasting your time”. I am over 12% body fat, working hard every day. Eating well and training hard. I get that being heavier means that it is more difficult to add muscle, not optimal and not as efficient. But let’s be clear. It is certainly not a waste of time.

    I get that your path has been from skinny to fit. I get that your market is geared to the skinny guy. Many people’s path is the opposite. As a trainer, who has a large diverse following, I would hope you would be more understanding of everyone’s journey. This is not the first time I heard the ‘if you don’t have abs … get some” mentality from your videos and posts. I know you want to be inspiring but it would be nice to temper that enthusiasm with some thoughtfulness.

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    • Hey Mike

      I appreciate the feedback and how you shared it thoughtfully.

      Keep it up!

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  13. I like your list. #27 jumped out at me. I’m guilty of doing that. It’ll be hard to change, but sounds like I should make a real effort to change.

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  14. Great list, Vince! I liked the lessons about marriage and being a leader for your family–good stuff.

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