Top 40 Things I Learned In 2013

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

It’s time! The top things I learned in 2013 when it comes to Muscle, Manhood, Marriage and Money — the four M’s I believe every man can resonate with! Afterwards, let me know which lesson stood out to you most in the comments section below. Deal? Let’s get started!

Top 10 Things I Learned About Muscle:

1. It takes a long time for your body to deteriorate after a layoff, in my case, elbow surgery in March. It took 4-6 weeks before my body started “deteriorating” in shape and size. I was fearful I would look like “crap” after 2-3 weeks of no lifting but my body maintained its shape and size longer than I anticipated.

2. Full body workouts provide an optimal amount of volume for beginners or someone returning from a surgery or injury. I performed 8 weeks of full body workouts to kick start my comeback program, before earning a split day.

3. An optimal first training split for beginners is to perform two strength-based workouts at the start of the week and three size-based workouts at the end of the week. Training for strength at the start of the week helps prime the nervous system for the size workouts later on in the week. It also helps you focus on one goal per workout. Here is my sample split from Weeks 9-12 during my comeback:

Monday – Upper body strength
Tuesday – Lower body strength
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – Upper body size
Friday – Lower body size
Saturday – Upper body size
Sunday – Off

4. The 8-8-16 giant set is one of the most agonizing set and rep schemes for size. It requires you to use heavy weights in combination with an enormous amount of lactic acid. I was so impressed that I created a full blown program out of the protocol.  You can download it here for free.

5. Use Indicator Sets to measure your performance and progress. Indicator sets are the #1 tool to help you set goals, track your performance and get an indication of your progress. I use Indicator Sets to track my overall strength in the bench press and deadlift. How do you perform Indicator Sets?

a) Determine your 6-Rep Max.
b) At the end of your workout, do an ALL OUT set for max reps with no rest-pause.
c) Record your number of reps.
d) Re-test every 2 weeks until you can achieve 20 reps.
e) Increase the weight 5-10% and then build back up to 20 reps.

I started off my deadlifts with 185lbs and am now up to 315lbs on my way to 20 reps. My goal is 405 for 20 reps.

6. Bodybuilding is about being inefficient. The #1 question you should ask yourself during every set and rep of your size-building workouts is, “How can I make this feel harder?” How can you isolate the working muscle? Eliminate momentum? Initiate with the working muscle? Move through a full range of motion? Increase lactic acid? Make your body scream for mercy? Building muscle is about staying in the moment and not escaping the pain. The more comfortable you can become with being uncomfortable, the faster you grow.

7. Got lagging shoulders and arms? Train them four times in the first three days of the week. Increased training frequency is the most underutilized hypertrophy variable helping me grow at a decent rate. Plus, this is one of the benefits of having a coach write your workouts for you. I do things I would have never subjected myself to! Curious to see how the split is set up?

Monday – Complete Recovery Functional Hypertrophy Upper Body
Tuesday – Complete Recovery Hypertrophy Shoulders and Arms
Wednesday AM – Incomplete Recovery Hypertrophy Shoulders and Arms
Wednesday AM – Incomplete Recovery Strength/Endurance Shoulders and Arms
Thursday – Off
Friday – Intervals and Abs
Saturday AM – Incomplete Recovery Hypertrophy Lower Body
Saturday PM – Incomplete Recovery Strength/Endurance Lower Body
Sunday – Off

8. Isometrics build MASS! Here are two brutal variations in my comeback programs:
a. 3 x 30 seconds at the end of the workout on exercises like lateral raises, dumbbell curls, chest flyes, lying leg curls, leg press and kickbacks.
b. 8 second pauses at 3 different points of the eccentric movement (turning into a 24 second eccentric!) Try this on military press, lying leg curls and reverse barbell curls to jack up your delts, hams and forearms. Aim for 4-6 reps and don’t beat yourself up if you are dying after 2 reps.

9. The secret to EASY and FAST muscle growth is LEARNING HOW TO COOK delicious meals in bulk. After investing $2,400 into personal cooking lessons with Chef Amy I realized that I should have taken cooking lessons 10 years ago! Learning how to prepare my meals in bulk, use residual heat, handle a knife, make small amounts of food go a long way, use a thermometer and so on is going to be a game changer for me. I strongly recommend you make it a priority to learn how to cook and prepare your meals in bulk or else muscle growth will always be slow and hard.

10. Accountability is my secret advantage. As a business owner who manages a team of a dozen full-time workers, a husband, new father and public figure, I need someone to hold me accountable to my commitments. That’s why I hired Coach Ryan Faehnle to design my workouts and diet and hold me accountable to my training goals. I believe in constant and never ending improvement but I can’t do that alone. I refuse to become one of those fitness “arm chair experts” who preaches the fitness lifestyle but doesn’t look or live the part. Going at it alone is the most foolish mistake anyone can make when it comes to achieving success.

Top 10 Things I Learned About Manhood:

11. Spending time with my baby girl makes the most magical and memorable moments of my life.

12. Going to bed at 9:30pm (instead of 11-12) has resulted in me becoming 10x more productive during the day.

13. Surround yourself with like-minded brothers and/or sisters. This past year I helped start an online Christian group with fitness business professionals and my father acted as our “chaplain.” He led us through The Purpose Driven Life and the book of Proverbs. It was a revival we all needed. Today we have a private community where we provide each other with prayer, accountability, encouragement and lessons the good Lord is teaching us.

14. A new baby forces you to focus on the most important things in your physical, professional and personal life.

15. Putting your family first is the best decision I’ve made, yet is still a daily struggle.

16. Challenges without purpose or meaning will always feel HARDER. Read that one again.

17. A life without discomfort is a life without change.

18. Shutting down my work day at 4:30pm has forced me to become 10x more productive.

19. Quality food and supplements is not a cost, it’s an investment into how good you look and feel naked.

20. Don’t waste your time or energy on haters. This past summer I had my YouTube and Facebook accounts attacked by trolls (multiple times) and I surrendered the entire situation to God (you can ask my accountability partners) and His will prevailed in my favor.

Top 10 Things I Learned About Marriage:

21. If she says, “STOP! That bothers me…” that really means STOP! Don’t bother me.

22. In the words of my wife, “Pushing it” isn’t going to get you any.  

23. If you’re not getting any in your marriage then it’s because you’re not meeting one of your wife’s needs. Find out where YOU are dropping the ball, meet her need, and she’ll give you plenty :)

24. A wife wants her husband to lead and take daily initiative.

25. One of the best things you can do for your marriage is a date night. Flavia and I usually do a movie and an Italian restaurant.

26. Red wine is a necessity for a happy wife.

27. Surprise your wife at least once a month with something that shows you care about her. HINT: Make sure this is a selfless act.

28. Putting your baby through sleep training is harder than any leg workout you’ll ever experience.

29. Make your baby adapt to YOUR life. Don’t let your baby rule your life. In the end, I believe the entire family will benefit, especially the baby.

30.  I can’t stress enough, “Happy wife, happy life!”

Top 10 Things I Learned About Money:

31. Focus more on becoming a VALUE CREATOR. The most financially successful people I know create an enormous amount of value in other people’s lives and focus on solving big problems.

32. When setting financial goals, only two time frames matter: 90 days and 10 years. Where do you want to be 10 years from now? Once you get a crystal clear vision the only thing that matters next is what you do the next 90 days.

33. The love of money will cause you to lose sight of what really matters in life.

34. The more you learn, the more you earn. Every coach, seminar, book, course and event I attended this past year has paid me back more than 10x the cost.

35. If it wasn’t tracked, it didn’t happen. In my business we track every imaginable stat so we can grow and help more and more people.

36. Having a baby girl is expensive. Having a baby girl with hair; financially dangerous. I never knew every outfit required a matching hair clip. And she’s only 18 weeks old… LOL

37. Learning how to cook will save us, literally, thousands of dollars each year because we won’t be eating out as often.

38. If you’re not responsible with the money God has entrusted you, don’t expect to receive anymore. This is a powerful truth. If you’re not responsible with $100,000 a year, He’ll never give you $1,000,000 a year. If you’re not responsible with $1,000,000 a year, He’ll never give you $10,000,000 a year.

39. Don’t buy new technology. You’ll save boat loads of money if you buy everything 2-3 years old and avoid paying a premium for new and shiny. 

40. Recognize you are beyond blessed- whatever your current situation. There are tragedies all over the world and a good percentage of people are living in a hellish nightmare right now. Remember that everything you have is a gift from above and that it can be taken away just as quickly as it was given to you. Be grateful and LIVE LARGE with what you have been given.

BONUS TIP: If you’re striving to grow a successful company, focus on hiring and growing a DREAM TEAM. Your success depends on it. I would not be where I am right now without Team Deal Monte.

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I hope you enjoyed that…. I believe that we should ALWAYS BE LEARNING AND GETTING OUTSIDE OF OUR COMFORT ZONE to grow and become the best versions of ourselves possible. Thank you for reading. I have been doing this on my website since 2006 and it’s a very reflective time for me. I would love to know what lesson stood out to you most. Leave your comments below.

Vince Del Monte

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Comments

34 thoughts on “Top 40 Things I Learned In 2013

  1. I know this web site gives quality depending articles or reviews and other stuff, is there any other web site which gives such data in quality?

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  2. That is powerful stuff, great tips and lots to ponder. Quite inspirational, so thanks Vince for sharing all of it with us.

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  3. This might of been the most amazing article I have read ever! Vince I can not stress enough how much you have influenced me, and not just with fitness. You have truly challenged me to be better man. The “manhood” and “Marriage” really stood out to me. One of the biggest things I am going to improve this year is to truly love, respect, honor, and protect my wife’s heart. Keeping my eyes only for her, and leading her in Christ has a true man really does. Vince I thank you for being a true man, and I will keep you in prayers to not grow weary of being the man your wife and your new little girl needs you to be. Thanks Vince!

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  4. Vince, you have given me yet again some very insightful life lessons that I will carry over into the next year as I am still transition into a career path and at the same time keeping a healthy lifestyle. Lessons 13, 16, 17, 19, and 20 really resonated with me, and although I’m not married lesson 23 is very funny and very true, and I can’t stress enough how true 24 is whether you are married or not women want a man who knows what he wants, knows how to lead and take charge. Lastly, lessons 31, 32, 33, 34, 38, 39, and specially (40) Amen, could not have said it better myself. Vince thanks again for all the great wisdom, and I know that yourself, team Del Monte, Kyle Leon, B-Pack, and all other Life coaches, fitness coaches/professionals within your team will continue the great work you have been doing and will continue to do into 2014 and beyond, have a wonderful new year and I wish you, your wife, and your beautiful baby girl all the best, happiness and health in the new year and every year, take care and God Bless.

    Cassio V.

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  5. Ranga Rathakrishnan January 1, 2014 at 12:01 am - Reply

    Great advice!

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  6. Very educational. Thanks Vince.

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  7. Love all the information. Gonna use it to get it to build my temple! Thanks for sharing and congrats on being a new father! God bless and have a Happy New Year

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  8. Holy moly you must be a part of dani Johnson’s mastermind because I felt like was continuing my reading in her book first steps to wealth. You hit the ball on the hammer :). Here a big lesson I have learned this year: if you can’t handle your own finances then you will never be rich. We are only given what God feels we are able to handle. Big change for me.

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  9. Great job Vince. Love this list. A must read every year. This is a great way to learn new things as well as to re-enforce and remind me of principles I already know, but don’t always apply. All the best to you and your family for 2014.

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  10. #40 – no matter what your situation is, just remember this; you’re alive. There’s gotta be a big reason for that …

    Happy new years to you and your family Vince Delmonte, hopefully many more =}

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  11. Vince

    The #1 thing I learned in 2013 is injury prevention. I got pretty banged up. I now do daily, yes, daily rotator cuff strengthening exercises. My shoulders were taking a beating with all the pressing I was doing. Now, I also do much more pulling. Like a 3:1 or even 4:1 pull-to-push ratio.

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  12. Thanks Vince this was awesome! Since discovering you 4 years ago I have built my workouts by your teachings! So many tips you have given has helped me “BIG TIME”! I actually feel my workouts, see my pumps, see my growth and know what to do when I actually go to the gym!!! Thanks for all that you do for the workout community and for all you have done for me personally, without having come across you, there is no way I would be where I am today!!! May God continue to bless you and your family…,Forever Grateful ,Terry…

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  13. This is all wonderful and true. Thanks for sharing it. I need some of this to get refocused in my life. We are blessed to have you sending us this life living lesson and truth. Have a Happy 2014 and please keep sending these lessons.

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  14. No 17 stands out for me.so much discomfort has led me to where i am today.thanks for everything throughout the year Vince

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  15. Sounds like you’ve got it all right, esp. re your wife, baby girl and money handling. Just keep on loving what you do.

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  16. Thanks Vince, brilliant words! Needed every one of them.

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  17. Thanks Vince, you just reinforced what I already knew, but forgot about. Health wealth and happiness to you and your family in 2014.

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  18. Hi vince,
    could you please send me the exercise schedule

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  19. So beautiful to read.. Thanks for sharing Vince, all the very best in 2014!

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  20. Love this! Have a great 2014.

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  21. Those are true core life values you have mentioned in your article Vince…. Life can be really peaceful and world a lot more heavenly place to live for all of us if we all follow and practice these values. MAY THE NEW YEAR BE A VERY HAPPY BEGINNING FOR ALL!

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  22. Love the list Vince. It’s great to see a fellow believer have his priorities in check. Everything does come from The Lord and we shouldn’t waste the short time we have here on this earth. You are a real motivator.

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  23. Hey Vince I read your “top things I learned” every year and you never fail to deliver really inspiring tips and i can’t thank you enough for that. I feel that I’d benefit a lot fro your online christian community. Is it possible to have access? Thank you again!

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  24. Vince – amazing list! Very encouraging and thorough! Thankful to have gotten to know you and your dad this past year. Keep up the great work!

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  25. What do you mean by complete functional hypertrophy training, incomplete recovery hypertrophy training. And incomplete strength trainging ect. What are the differences between them all.

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    • Functional hypertrophy training is working with 6-8 reps and hypertrophy training is working with 8-12 reps, generally speaking.

      Each day is dedicated to a different training effect to ensure you hit all the different muscle fiber types throughout the week.

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  26. What are indicator sets ?

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    • Justin,
      Google search “Indicator Sets” and you’ll find three videos that are mine explaining and showing you how to apply these.

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  27. Thanks Vince, that was super intuitive, the best one I think is “the more you learn, the more you earn”, it reminds me of “the more you know the more you grow” (note how knowledge is a part of both). Gotta love proverbs :D

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    • Yes, Timeless and timely truth in Proverbs!

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  28. I’m going through a tough situation and everything but the workout stiff really stood out to me because of my current situation, I’m still unsure as to what I want to do physically, lean, bulk, etc, so it didn’t stand out to me but everything else was great, I have been told to keep going to church, to trust in the Lord, and I just realized why at times I wasn’t successful at some jobs, a bit of everything I am taking and remembering so that I can be a better version of myself, God knows why I clicked your website to read this, thank you

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