No Nonsense Q and A with The Skinny Guy Savior Vince Del Monte
What is the best diet plan?
The one that you follow. Seriously. My formula for continual progress is 1) Take action. 2) Analyze the results. 3) Tweak and refine until you get the results you want. If you’re not following a specific diet than you have nothing to measure. I don’t care if you’re on the Twinkie diet or my diet, just follow something. Measure the results at the end of the week and readjust your approach each week until you get the result you’re striving for.
What are some good hamstring exercises? All I do is ham curls, deadlifts and good-morning. I know of nothing else.
That makes two of us! I don’t know many more than those either. I like to keep it basic bro. Sure you can get into weighted back extensions, lying leg curls with a stability ball but those are pretty tame movements and won’t build much size or strength. The toughest hamstring movement of all time would be an exercise called glute-ham hypers and they are insane. Give those a try because they will rip your hams up nicely!
My metabolism is slow so I have to be careful with my carb intake, especially in the offseason or I get fat. Do you have this problem? Do you do more cardio or just eat less carbs and deal with it? Or is this just genetics?
Yep, looks like you’re a write off! Just kidding. Cardio and dieting are the only solutions to getting into top notch shape (along with weights…duh). When I go away on my trips I’m quickly reminded that I’m just like everyone else and that if I’m not careful with my carbs and neglect cardio I can turn into “Sloppy-Vinny.” Believe it or not but it takes me a solid 10-16 weeks to get into crazy condition but what am going to do? Complain and cry about it?
To answer your question, I maintain cardio all year round except in dedicated bulking phases where the goal is to slow down my metabolism to employ growth. In terms of carbs, I just try to avoid them after 6pm all year round.
You should look at your challenge as a good thing because you’ll be forced to maintain more control of all your variables. I’m also betting that if you have a slower metabolism than you gain muscle faster so that’s a really good thing so stay focused on the positives you have riding on your side, not the negatives.
In the end, it comes down to how badly you want it – because we can sugar coat this thing all day and if you’re not that serious about getting lean and shredded, you never will. Suck it up and accept that you might have to work harder and believe me, it doesn’t matter how bad your genetics are – you can get as lean as anybody else – I’m living proof and there are thousands of others out there who are living proof too!
What method is better? First bulk up and then burn fat off of your body to give it the “cut” look? Or first get the definition you want on your body and then work on giving it volume?
Good question and the answer is it depends. If you’re hovering over 18% body fat as a male then you need to get into fat loss mode and bring that fat down under 15% right away. Then begin bulking but never let your body fat exceed 17-18% fat. This might sound high but it’s not. A properly set up fat loss plan will have you lose 1% fat each week so you’re always 7-8 weeks away from 10% fat. That’s my outlook. Some guys like to run a tighter ship and never let their body fat hover over 10%. It’s really personal preference and how confident you are in getting rid of that excess. If you’re bulking up clean then you might even experience some fat loss in the process from the anabolic hormones created from the healthy food and hard training.
I’m on a clean bulk up diet and it’s going well and I just upped my carbs. What is your rule for avoiding getting too soft and porky? Do you just reduce your carbs or add more cardio? Since I stopped doing cardio I’ve added a lot of mass really quickly but I’m still a little watery and soft looking and my abs are still showing.
It sounds like you got a really good appetite and a few tips to follow: 1)Only increase the quantity of the food if the quality is high. Never get extra calories from dirty food. You’ll find it’s very difficult to get fat on a clean diet and your body will use most of the nutrients. If you do gain some fat, the cardio can clean that up. I always think it’s better to have a surplus of calories rather than not enough. So the short answer is to keep eating as much clean food as possible and maintain at least 30-40 minutes of cardio at least four to five times a week and those abs won’t go anywhere.
How does Flavia fit in workouts when on 12 hour shifts – which gives?
Just in case you don’t know, Flavia is my wife. I call her my princess but she definitely doesn’t have a princess mentality when it comes to training or diet. Flavia will work from 7:30am (meaning she wakes up at 6:15am) until 7:30pm and go to the gym after her shift. What gives? Her body fat! Flavia is a little warrior and really serious about looking hot for her husband (and herself of course…ha) so she just does it and has trained herself to go whether she is feeling like crud or feeling great. The decision is made before she leaves the house in the morning by packing her bag and telling me, “I’ll meet you at the gym for 8pm tonight” and she does. Don’t get me wrong, some workouts she’ll be dragging her butt but she gets the results she wants. Hope that helps! Oh yeah, sometimes after a night shift Flavia will go straight to the gym at 8am! I’ve never met someone more dedicated and the craziest thing is – she rarely ever complains! If she can do it, you can do it!
It’s trips like these that you don’t regret your dedication.
I am an ectomorph body type and would really like to find out the exact calorie diet I should be on to gain lean muscle mass.
There are dozens of different formulas to figuring out your daily caloric intake. I invented “The Simple Method.” Not because I’m intimidated by formulas (although I do hate them) but because all calorie calculators are, at best, a guess. They are simply astarting point so don’t lose sleep over the calorie calculator formulas out there. I have never lost sleep over this so neither should you. Ready for “The Simple Method?” Your bodyweight x 20. That’s it. Some guys will say to do your body x 17 or your bodyweight x 22. I really don’t care which one you pick as long as you pick one! Now that you have a number to start with begin recording all the foods you eat in a diary and at the end of the week analyze your results. Did you gain weight? If so, keep doing what you’re doing. Did you stay the same? If so, look at your previous weeks meals and look for foods you can increase in quantity. Continue this approach until you get the results you want.
Fastest way to burn fat?
You kind of answered your own question. To burn fat you need to burn fat. Fat is simply stored energy and you’re body is carrying more stored energy than it needs. Many people try to starve the fat off and this is only good to slow your metabolism, strip off muscle and look like a softy. Begin with at least three days a week of resistance training workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and add in 30-40 minutes of cardio on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. If six days is too much, cut out the Saturday cardio and start with five days. You got to burn it off baby!
I become demotivated very easily so how do I stay focused?
What are you focusing on? Why are you focusing on it? When is your deadline? What’s at stake if you don’t achieve your goal? First off, do you have a clear picture of what you want? You should be able to sum it up in a few words: 200 pounds and 5% bodyfat. Bang! Why are you focused on this goal? Do you plan on competing or entering a contest? When do you need to be 200 pounds and 5% body fat? If there is no clock ticking than there is no urgency. Goals without deadlines are just dreams! Give yourself a deadline and tell your friends when it is. Lastly, what happens if you don’t achieve your goal? If you say, “nothing” than that is your biggest problem. You have nothing at stake or no blood in the game. I challenge you to do “The $1000 Guarantee” with a friend. Pay them $1000 cash if you don’t achieve your goal. Bro, you need to set yourself up for success and these are powerful steps to get you motivated.
Maybe you need to dress up like a Gladiator and get on stage in front of 1000s of people like I did!
I am very confused by the ratio of carbs, protein and fats I need to take and also the amount of food (calories) I am supposed to eat. There are way to many different contradictions out there in the world.
So what. Doesn’t that tell you something? If no one can agree that means you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands. Isn’t that more empowering anyways? You should be involved in the decision making process and until you decide to plant your feet and follow one formula (I don’t care which one you pick), you won’t learn anything about your body. You’ll remain in the same spot you are right now – lost. Before even thinking about calories and macro profiles I think you should focus on some foundational nutritional habits. Here are three I want you to focus on this next month:
1. Are you eating every three hours? If not, start. You must establish a regular meal cadence and if you wish to eat every 2.5 or every 4 hours I could care less. Just pick one meal frequency and watch what happens. Note the changes you experience in your body.
2. Are you eating protein with every meal? Every time you sit down to a meal ask yourself, “Where is the protein?” I don’t care how much you eat, just get some protein in your diet. Eggs, cottage cheese, chicken, salmon, tuna, sirloin, protein shakes, whatever.
3. Are you eating veggies with every meal? Every time you sit down I want you to ask, “Where are the veggies?” I don’t care if you eat one carrot stick, just start eating some veggies with every meal. Note the changes and improvements in your body.
Let’s master these 3 habits this month and then report back to me!
END OF TODAY’S Q & A. If you have a follow up question, feel free to drop it below. I plan on covering ten new questions every day until Sunday this week!
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