No Nonsense Q & A with Vince Del Monte (Part 1)

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

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!

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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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Comments

31 thoughts on “No Nonsense Q & A with Vince Del Monte (Part 1)

  1. In your 1st Q& Eh, you answered this question for a guy. What about for a woman? “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?”

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  2. Another great interview Vince. I really like the last 3 points you make in regards to meal frequency, protein intake, and the veggies. I’ve gotten the first two down and am working on the third now and let me tell you- BIG progress in my bodyfat!!

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  3. it would be great to have your reply.
    Thanks so much Vince!

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  4. quickly come to the point.
    I am female and have trained for 8 months.and the fat percentage came down from 29% to 20%.
    Now I just cant come down and stick to 20%…And the six abs i still cant see them. I am eating clean except cheat day.
    I have just shifted to 1000 calorie challenge,the metabolic phase already.3 day weight training.
    Maybe my cardio workout not intense enough?or some food that I take make my stomach to hold up the fat?

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    • @Kim. Sorry for the delay. I’m guessing a few things:

      1. You’re taking enough fish oils daily. You should be getting 15-20 grams a day based on your fat intake. Take half before bed and the other half with your meals. I recommend some products in previous responses on this page.

      2. You’re not absorbing your food. Are you taking an Greens product? This will help. Also, are you eating veggies with EVERY meal? Master this habit before reading anymore literature or listening to any more opinions. I’m sure between these 2 habits added you’ll drop another few body fat points. Don’t give up!

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  5. Hi Vince,

    I have also been using your Six pack quest program to great affect along with the XFLD, started at 119KG in March and broke 100KG by the end of September. I do not know my BF% but id say its about 20%. I am currently still around 100KG, Havent been working out as much due to an injury(Cardio), problem is I am finding it very difficult to lose the stomach fat, Ive always been a big guy Endomorph and never had problems lifting heavy weights, But trying to get cut down to see abs is a major issue.

    Long term goal is to cut down bodyfat, maybe to 10% and then build up my strength again+ about 10lbs of pure muscle. I also cant seem to break the 100KG mark on the bench press, about 5/6 years ago i could bench 150KG, now can just about get 100KG,

    I Have cut down A LOT carbs coz im carb sensitive, but is this holding me back from lifting heavier weights?

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Rob

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  6. Thanks Vince… 5 gms BCAA / 5 gm creatine is already part of my daily nutrition in addition to some glutamine / fish oil and whey protein. Will bump up my BCAA intake on fast days as advised by you. Will give zfld a shot and then will move on to 1000 rep muscle.. What say you?

    What are your thoughts on my pwo nutrition i work out everyday at 7 – 8.15 pm after work.
    8.15pm: 200ml fresh orange juice / 2 scoops whey + 1 scoop waxy maize + 3 gm micronized creatine + 4gm glutamine.

    9.45 pm 250gm grilled chicken + 3 boiled egss + 1 raw tomato 1 onion and some radish

    11.30 pm 1 scoop casein protein 2 gm fishoil

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  7. @Vince

    On Monday, Wednesday, Friday i do supersets (3 sets, 10-12 reps) and usually finish up with at least 20 min. on treadmill
    -Deadlifts, DB Bench Press
    -Front Squat, Bentover rows
    -Standing Military Press, Dumbbell swings (12-15 per arm)
    -Pull ups, Dips
    -Hanging leg raises, Cable crunches

    Tues., Thurs, Sat. – Cardio/Intervals/Conditioning (25-30 sec per exercise for 4-5 rounds)
    -Dumbbell punches
    -Squat thrusts
    -Dumbbell swings
    -20 min. intervals on treadmill

    Diet
    Breakfast – oatmeal, egg whites
    Snack – almonds, low fat yogurt, or protein shake
    Lunch – Turkey sandwich on wholegrain wheat, tuna, or turkey burgers, chicken (usually any type of lean protein)
    Snack – same as above
    Dinner – brown rice, chicken breast or fish, green beans
    i try not to eat after 7 pm except for a post work out protein shake.

    This is my entire routine. Thanks for your help.

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  8. Thanks Vince for all the advice.
    “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.”

    From May until now I’ve lost 30 lbs. (210-180) and I’m currently at 17 % body fat and I would like to get to 10-12 % but I’ve seem to have plateaued. I lift weights at least 3 times and week and do cardio/intervals on off days. What more could I do to break through a plateau?

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    • @Scottie. What’s your current routine? It sounds like we might need to give your entire plan a fresh overhaul. The next level you want to go to is going to require smarter and more advanced principles. I’m guessing a bodypart split, some regular post workout cardio for 30 minutes a session and really grinding out any “junk” calories in your diet. Feel free to post your current routine and I’ll take a look at it.

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  9. Thanks a lot Vince, really means a lot coming from you. I would never have been where i am without your program I think its a must for any beginer. Only wish i had taken before pics to show you my progress, i was just too ashamed of the why i looked. Will definately incorporate what you have suggested only problem is here in India we dont get any greens product any alternatives? Also i was thinking of doing 25 days of XFLD to try and loose those last few pounds of BF and i so badly want to have abs. Any chance of muscle loss though? especially on the fast day. I know you have done this for your photo prep and hence the questions. Thanks for everything.

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    • @Nikhil. Give XMLD a shot… can you buy BCAA’s? You should take about 40-50 grams a day for the fast days and you’ll be fine. Keep creatine in the program too, 5-10 grams a day, and you’ll keep your muscle in tact.

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  10. Hi Vince.
    Really love the way you say things to the point without all the fluff. I started with your 6 pack quest 10 months ago at 34% BF and 69 KGS today i am 11% BF and 61 kgs. But lately i have hit a plateau and my power and fat loss has as good as stopped. I have the 1000 calorie challeneg / XFLD / belly blast diet by Joel and as part of that i got your 1000 rep muscle and 3 min muscle. I still cant see my abs clearly and thats my first goal. I am mentally a bit scared to get into a bulking phase and putting on weight after i have just managed to loose so much. I workout 1 body part 5 days a week with 10 min of HIIT pwo.

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    • @Nikhil. In 10 months you lost 23% body fat? INSANE bro. That’s 2% a week and where you started that sounds about right. HUGE congrats. A couple thoughts:

      1. Stick to more a bodybuilding style split like 1000 Rep Muscle because that will keep your muscles full and hard. Or 3 Minute Muscle is excellent too for weight training.

      2. Consider getting your fish oils up to 20 grams for the next 2 weeks and then drop them to 10 grams a day and see if that helps. Fish oils are very powerful at high dosages and also add a Greens product to your regime. Make sure you’re body is alkaline and absorbing all your proteins for muscle growth.

      Your training sounds good… maybe bump that cardio up to 20 minutes and eventually 30 minutes max and that should do the trick. Peace out.

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  11. Originally Posted By Big AHey Vince. More great info from you. Really appreciate it. My wife works out with me sometimes and also my two neighbours who are also female. I have them doing TACFIT Commando and Mass Assault with me and some boxing training. I have gotten comments from them that these are “Man workouts”. I say no such thing. What is your take on this? Thanks in advance.

    I mean should there really be difference between the way guys train and the way women train? Some women think if they lift heavy weights they will end up like Chyna from WWE.

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    • @Big A. A female has to eat like a man to look like a man. The only reason they’ll look like Chyna is if they start running some steroids and have her genetics. If your female friends had genetics to be super muscular, they would already know it and look it. There training intensity should match yours and their diet should be based on proteins, veggies, clean carbs and a frequent meal cadence of every 3 hours. Those rules will keep them slim and tight.

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  12. Hey Vince. More great info from you. Really appreciate it. My wife works out with me sometimes and also my two neighbours who are also female. I have them doing TACFIT Commando and Mass Assault with me and some boxing training. I have gotten comments from them that these are “Man workouts”. I say no such thing. What is your take on this? Thanks in advance.

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    • @Big A. I don’t have time to worry about technicalities or labels. Are they referring to the “man workouts” in a negative way? I would encourage them to keep training alongside with you and to have them give it a 4 week test. If they don’t work, you take the ladies out for dinner. If they do work, they take you out for dinner to your favorite steak house and they’re paying! That’s what I say. Get them to learn by “doing” not by judging the book by it’s cover.

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  13. vince i was wandering what was more effective for dropping my body fat percentage, intervals or cardio done at low/medium intensity? im at about 12% right now

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    • @Joe. It depends. Have you tried either methods before? I wouldn’t get too caught up on the method of cardio until figure out an optimal frequency. Start with 20 minutes after all your weight training workouts. I doubt you need to come in on off days at 12% unless you’re trying to get 5% range? You pick the method for now. At 12% fat you don’t have much to go. I’m guessing that 1 minute intervals of hard/slow for 20 minutes on the bike will get you leaner. Do that after your weights. document your progress so that at the end of the week you can measure your results or else you won’t have any new info about your body.

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  14. Straight to the point and no punches pulled, gotta respect that. A ? for you sir in one of your answers you say that you should never be more than 15% body fat, but what if your like me and have let yourself go and are about 32% b.f. and the wrong side of forty, what is the most effective time efficient way to lose the blubber.

    Thanks for your time.

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    • @Michael. I want to say something to the serious bodybuilders reading. 15-17% is too high to be at any time of the year. You should be closer to 10% all year round. Most pro bodybuilders have abs all year round which is pretty amazing.

      For your situation… You need to commit to a plan. 2 days of weights and 2 days of cardio is a great start. Monday and Thursday can be Weights. Tuesday and Friday can be cardio. Take Wed and the weekend off for now. All i want you to focus on for now is mastering the habit of training 4 x a week. NOTHING ELSE. Once this routine is mastered, let me know and we’ll talk specifics or I can recommend you one of my many programs to choose from. Cheers mate 🙂

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  15. Hey vine… Great Info!! I would you to help me out on one subject…. what do you think of Hemp and Almond milk… I personaly hate real milk and i’m allergic to soy…. If I keep drinking them will they help me reach my fat loss goal? I want to lose about 30 pounds… I lost 4.5 already using your six pack quest.. and I only started two weeks ago (actually I’m in the middle of my 2nd week)!!
    Also I need help about nutrtion…. I love eating vegetables…. but not for breakfast… I bought a green product that you said would be a good idea to add to my nutrition plan… What does do you recommed? the bottle says “2 pills twice a day”…. Should I take a pill everytime I don’t have veggies??
    THANKS SOOO MUCH!!!!!! keep going strong!

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    • @Junia… I know that I don’t use either of them. I personally don’t drink milk. Although we’ve been consuming milk for thousands of years, I don’t think humans should be concerned about drinking the breast milk of another species. A lot of the excitement about milk was pushed by the dairy industry and the million dollar campaigns behind the “Got Milk” fraud. I’m pretty sure that soy milk, rice milk and almond milk are all better choices than cows milk but I would personally recommend you avoid milk all together.

      At the end of the day, forget the geeks and nutritionists, listen to your body. I end up in the can for 45 minutes after I drink milk so it’s an easy decision for me. If you MUST drink milk then seen out non-antibiotic organic cows milk or raw non-pasteruized milk but good luck finding that… It’s hard to find that unless you milk the cow yourself and I doubt you’ll even want to drink that!

      In terms of hemp protein, I’ve never used it. I know it has a number of benefits being plant based but I get enough EFA and fiber from my normal diet so have never been interested in it. I do know it has has decent utilization and digestibility preventing bloating and it doesn’t contain lots of additives. I can’t tell you how it works from experience so it’s another one those things you’ll have to measure on your own Junia

      Congrats on the fat loss after only 2.5 weeks! Good job getting a Greens product. Take 1 or 2 scoops in the morning with breakfast and immediatlely after your workout. That’s it. Those are two times your body is most acidic. Keep going strong!

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  16. I love the straight forward answers! Simple and to the point. There is too much ‘fluff’ out there about how to cut fat. My fav was your answer about diet. I HATE the word diet .. it evokes butterflies in my stomach and thoughts of night-time rendezvous’ with carbs 😉 But like you said, you have to find a ‘way to eat’ that works for you. Some people do great with counting everything down to the gram (including lettuce) and some people (such as myself) it drives them crazy. The best diet is one you can stick to. I like that because it’s true.

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    • @Heather. The best diet is the one you follow. No nonsense baby!

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  17. Awsome. Truly some no nonsense answers to some good questions.

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    • @Rob. Thanks

      @Paul. Thank you sir.

      @Kevin. I could do that for a future product I’m sure. That’s actually a great idea for when I want to focus on form and technique.

      @Xena. Appreciate your feedback. It’s tough to gauge how many calories you will burn. I would focus on the scale at the end of the week to gauge your energy expenditure. Roughly maybe 300-400 calories for a 30–60 minute bodyweight workout… That does not include the extra calorie burn. Check out http://www.1000CalorieChallenges.com for some really tough bodyweight workouts.

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  18. Hi Vince, I was just wondering if you would ever personally train someone in the gym or can we only listen to you online? thanks for taking your time and reading this.

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  19. Great answers,funny harsh direct but fair! gotta love it! lol
    Got one more question 4 you: I’m planning on doing a bodyweight only program. How can I tell or figure out how much calories I will be burning this way?
    As a matter of fact I also would like to know this if I’m going to work out with dumbells/machines? Please inlighten me! Thanks and have a great one!

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