For the past few years I’ve been compiling a top things I learned list and it’s that time of year. Just like last year I broke up my top forty list into four categories that I’m extremely passionate about and they all start with the letter M: muscle, manhood, marriage and money. Lots of personal reflection that I’m sure will resonate home.
Looking forward to your comments afterwards… which one stood out to you? What did you learn in 2011?
Top 10 Things I Learned About Muscle (& Fat Loss):
1. It is possible to build lean muscle mass while in a caloric deficit. My preparation for the WBFF World Championships proved it. Optimization of your hormones via training, nutrition, supplementation & recovery is the key. In short, if every variable of your approach is PERFECT, be prepared to surprise yourself.
2. It’s almost impossible “to lose muscle mass” until you reach the 4-6% body fat range. Don’t get caught up in fear-based marketing. The only time you can lose muscle is when you’re body is demanding more energy than your body can supply. Avoid “extremes” and you’ll be fine.
3. The ABSOLUTE most important component of your training is LEARNING HOW TO SELECTIVELY RECRUIT THE TARGET MUSCLE THROUGH A FULL RANGE OF MOTION. You must be able to FEEL the muscle. Initiate from the working muscle. Use Ben’s Intentions. Control the weights. TENSION TENSION TENSION! Sound familiar?
4. The best “cheat day” strategy is two half-days a week for building muscle & losing fat. Thursday from noon till midnight and Sunday from noon till midnight is when Vinny lives like a true Italian! The rest of the week is perfect so I’m able to grow while staying lean.
5. The absolute best time to build new lean muscle is immediately after a week or longer of being in a caloric deficit. This is coined The Anabolic Amplifier Effect (by Lee Hayward and I) and also known as the “Rebound” effect, which is fully explained in 21 Day Fast Mass Building. Your body is primed for massive anabolic activity when you transition from a cut phase to a bulk phase.
6. The Meats & Nuts Breakfast is the best dietary tip for optimal body composition, energy and mental focus. The meat allows for a slow and steady rise in blood sugar. The nuts provide a great source of healthy smart fats that allows the blood sugar to remain stable for an extended period of time. Rotate your meat and nut sources. Here’s my typical breakfast: 8 oz of extra lean beef, 2 organic eggs, 2 cups of spinach, coconut oil (mix all together) and a handful of nuts.
7. Specialization training is the key to balancing out your physique and you can prioritize two body parts at a time. I focused on brining up my shoulders & back in in 2011 by training them on Monday and Friday.
8. High volume body weight training works! In prep for World’s, Ben Pakulski (my coach), had me do 50 variations of chin-ups and pull-ups each morning alongside 200 push-ups (in mini sets and with different hand positions). I did this about 5-6x a week in the morning alongside my stretching, cardio and abs! I didn’t win Worlds but I think it’s safe to say my back and chest development were superior to all my competitors.
9. MI40 is HANDS DOWN the most bad-ass muscle-building program of 2011! NOS! Intentions! 40 days. 40 second sets. 40 second recovery. If you don’t own Ben Pakulski’s MI40 System, are you CRAZY?!
10. What gets measured, gets managed. I’ve been preaching this ALL YEAR LONG. Trying to build muscle & lose fat without tracking your workouts and diet is like trying to get out of debt or save money without looking at your bank statements. It’s RIDICULOUS.
Top 10 Things I Learned About Manhood:
11. We need to revolve our life around three phases: GRIND time… PRIME time… & UNWIND time. Grind time is the stuff that just has to get done – working, keeping the home clean, errands etc. Prime time is the 2 hours in your day dedicated to your BIG GOAL. If you’re starting a new business, the time you spend BUILDING the business is prime time. And Unwind time is when you disconnect and close your laptop and mobile and connect with your friends and family. Or it’s time spent resting and relaxing.
12. It’s not how many times you get knocked down but how you get back up. This past year I got attacked by haters on You Tube, which resulted in over 85 of my videos being “Rejected for inappropriate content” although these were purely “how to” videos. I could have sat and cried but I searched out alternative solutions.
13. Treat people like people, not like projects. Cherish the relationship, not what you might get out of the relationship. People hate being treated like projects.
14. Pleasing your wife is pleasing to yourself. Or, making your wife happy leads to you being happy. Married guys know what I’m saying 🙂
15. A real man does not cheat on his girl. Being tempted is NORMAL. Cheating is not. Giving in to sexual temptation is for the WEAK. If you struggle with sexual temptation, read this book: Every Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker. Get some accountability. This battle is NOT won alone.
BONUS NOTE: Porn addition will DESTROY YOUR LIFE (slowly). Get help here: http://www.xxxchurch.com/
16. When a man gets caught checking out another women he does not rationalize his “bad habit” by saying, “Every guy does it…” Instead he says, “I’m sorry. You’re hotter. I’ll do better.” (Yes, I’m human and guilty of this too)
17. A real man does not compare himself to other men and make excuses for living “below par.” He does not say, “Every guy struggles with this…” He OWNS it. He STRIVES to do better. Strive for progress, not perfection.
18. Real man know how to take a REST. “Go, go go…” is not always honourable. It’s amazing to be able to unplug and enjoy the MOMENT without wondering who’s emailing and texting you.
19. It’s CRITICAL to make time for “your boys” a.k.a. your close male friends. Schedule time to work out together, go on an adventure, talk about life and struggles, grab a drink, go to a sporting event, play on a team or serve together.
20. Invest in someone younger than you. Who looks up to you? Where can you be a role model? How can you serve someone who needs you?
Top 10 Things I Learned About Marriage:
21. You can either be right or happy. You can’t be both. LOL But seriously, know when to swallow your pride.
22. The best way to have an argument is with my hand on my wife so reassure her that everything is okay.
23. LISTENING helps. If you expect respect from your girl, show her respect first.
24. It’s never “the issue” that is the issue.
25. If it hurts the one you love, whether it makes sense or not, STOP IT!
26. Leave the iPhone at home when we go out on dates. No one wants to fight for attention with a “third wheel”.
27. Go to bed with your wife (at least 5 out of 7 nights).
28. The couple that plays together, stays together. Continue to do life together. Flavia and I regularly go to the movies together, workout together, cook together and get dressed up for each other for “hot dates!” Basically we continue to do the same things that we did that lead us into marriage.
29. Associate with positive couples. Protect your relationship from negative influences.
30. Don’t run away during an argument. This is when she needs you the most.
Top 10 Things I Learned About Money:
31.Your beliefs about money will determine how much you receive and or retain. If you have limiting or negative beliefs about money, your ability to create/attract income and or your ability to to effectively retain that money will be limited by those beliefs.
32. You have in life now what you deserve and desire to have. Your physical reality reflects your mind’s reality. Your sub-conscious beliefs will dictate your current financial situation.
33. Modern economy is based on consumes spending more money. Be aware of today’s mentality of, “If I don’t have this product, you’re lacking in life.” This mentality will lead to spending, spending, spending. Start reading less newspapers and watching less TV to be less influenced by this marketing.
34. Your income is based on THREE THINGS – the value you place on yourself, the value you provide others and how you market yourself.
35. It’s not what you make, it’s what you keep! Just because someone makes a million dollars a year does not mean they keep it. Don’t get caught up in people bragging about how much they make, most of the times they are in worst shape then you think. (Even celebrities).
36. Pay yourself first and implement the Rockefeller Rule. (10% to saving, 10% to investing, 10% to giving and then 70% on yourself). Always dedicate a FIXED amount each month to saving and investing and restrict your standard of living to what you have left.
37. Continue to give at least 5% of your income to a charity of some kind. This past year Flavia and I supported three causes – NationWares.com, CompassionCanada.ca and HopeForTheSold.com
38. A quote from Dan Kennedy, “You either believe, like me, that because 1% of the people are rich that ANYONE can get rich, or you believe, like many others, that because 1% are rich that NO ONE can get rich. Don’t let self-limiting beliefs hold you back.”
39. Eating out is EXPENSIVE and addicting. Be careful.
40. Recognize you are 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.
I hope you enjoyed that…. I believe that we should ALWAYS BE LEARNING & GROWING so this was a fun review. 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 hear which one stood out to you and what you learned in 2011. Leave your comments below.
Vince Del Monte
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