Today with have an interview with Blair Baxter and he placed 5th in the latest Adonis Index Transformation Contest.
Check out his before and after pictures:
Blair is a personal trainer and in the interview he says that he’s probably let a few people down, because he has given advice that he now understands was useless. He openly admits the fitness industry is pretty pathetic and leaves us with more questions than answers.
He always thought that he needed to eat every three hours or his body will go into a starvation mode.
It’s an irony that at college he pretty much understood how the body works, when he wanted to lose fat, he just cut out the calories and instinctively ate less. Without any nutritional courses he knew that it’s just about calories in and calories out. Later on when he started following the fitness magazines he got mislead and bought into the whole bodybuilding lifestyle.
Blair’s Experience with the Adonis Index
Being a personal trainer made the decision to start following the Adonis Index workout a bit tough. Blair just wouldn’t want to follow a different training routine, after all he was fully capable of designing his own effective workout. He would follow the Eat Stop Eat and Anything Goes Diet principles, but not the workout, he felt like it wouldn’t work and he knows better. He was predicting that his shoulders would hurt, that it would not help him build any more muscle mass and it seemed too complicated to him. He was just sitting at his gym and finding excuses why he didn’t want to follow this training program.
It took him a while to get his mind over the fact that he is going to do somebody else’s program and not change anything. But Blair saw the pictures of the previous contestants and he knew that if this worked for so many guys before him, it would work for him too. So he decided to put his ego away and just try it for three months.
Blair said that he works out not because he likes working out, but because he likes the results. However, in the past he was usually jumping from program to program every month. For the first time he was able to stick to one program alone and finish it.
The basic Adonis Index program changes so often with so much variety because more variety and change keeps the program interesting and helps you to stick to it for longer periods of time. Make no mistake, this is completely by design. We know that most people have a very short attention span with their workouts and half the battle with designing a good workout is keeping you interested in it long enough to see the results.
If You Want to Show the Work You’ve Done in the Gym You Have to Eat Less
Blair was amazed by the results of just eating less, his muscles were actually starting to show up. He always thought he is supposed to just bulk up otherwise he would lose muscle. Now he was doing exactly the opposite and surprisingly enough, it worked.
In reality the muscles were always there, but covered by fat.
In the past there were a few attempts to lean out, but after a while he would always think that he is getting too small, so he would start bulking again.
Now he has quite a different perspective. Here is how he put it: “When you feel like you are getting too small and you are almost there you have to keep going”. And that comes from somebody who spent a good chunk of his life bulking up.
The permission to be light seems to be a big challenge for most guys, especially for those not used to being lean and light. But truth to be told, no matter how it feels or what you now think, being big and heavy doesn’t equal being a bigger man, that is not how it works.
And while Blair was afraid that he will disappear if he drops a few more pounds, he persisted thanks to support of his friend that got him to Adonis Index in the first place and got himself a fine placing in the transformation contest.
It may not make any sense to you now, especially if you are in your early twenties with the ‘skinny-guy complex” and you want to just get bigger, but eventually you will learn that it’s about looking bigger, not necessarily being bigger.
Once your body fat is lower, then your muscles will show up and create an illusion of you being bigger than you actually are.
Dieting Doesn’t Equal “No Fun”!
Sometimes when people hear the term calorie restriction they get scared off and think that they will suddenly lose all the fun in their lives. Well, that’s not how Blair felt during the transformation.
He had a barbecue every week at least once, went to several weddings and a few all you can eat events. That doesn’t sound like restriction or a “no fun” lifestyle, does it?
And that’s the key, if you understand that you have something like a calorie budget, then it’s no different than balancing your bank account. If you have 200 bucks a week for purchases, then you can buy smaller items each week for four weeks in a row or just save it up and buy something bigger at the end of the month, it’s up to you. Same with calories. If you fast during the day, then you can have some chicken wings and a muffin at dinner, it’s all about choosing what you want to eat when you want to eat it within your calorie budget.
Ever had a lean friend that would “eat for three” every time you went out for dinner? Many people would assume he was just born lucky with a high metabolism…
…or could it be that he was just using his calorie budget more wisely than you and didn’t each much (if anything at all) earlier that day and not telling anyone about it?
Let’s take a look.
Here is the thing, you don’t know how other people eat when they are alone and usually those who restrict themselves at social events are those who are out of shape, trying to put on a show to get praise on their hard work and blame the weight on their genetics.
Remember this, it’s never what you do socially, but what you do when you are by yourself and nobody is watching that will win the battle.
If you can manage yourself, you are halfway there.
Yes, you may not get all the comments about how you can stick to your diet, but it really comes down to whether you want to impress other people with your effort or your results. So, what will it be?
This is why the concept of “Never Let Them See You Sweat” is so great.
Blair’s friends would see him losing weight, but he was always eating more than anybody else around him at social events. To his friends it may have seemed like magic, but now you probably understand that he was just
restricting, no lets say “managing” himself when he was alone. Blair didn’t want to impress everyone else with his dieting effort, he wanted to impress them with is dieting results.
If you have a big eating event coming up tomorrow, then just take a break from eating today and you will be able to eat pretty much whatever you want. Like Blair found out, you can live a day without food.
Does fasting scare you?
Well, do you think that your metabolism will suddenly break down if you don’t eat for few hours?
Doesn’t that sound a bit ridiculous?
Do you think that people in the past were timing their meals like they do now? What about regular people that are lean, but never cared about fitness? What about monks and other religious groups that regularly fast? Do you think all those people have “broken metabolism”?
If you look more closely you will find that there is no proof that your body will go to ‘starvation mode’ if you stop eating for 24 hours. It’s quite the opposite actually. It is quite healthy to provide your body a break from constantly processing food.
People will tell you that this kind of lifestyle is unhealthy, but what they are doing is just making excuses why they are not in great shape like you and justifying why they are not trying to improve themselves. And don’t kid yourself, this happens constantly…when you get in shape, be prepared for the negative comments and naysayers to try and diminish your effort and results. You have to grow a bit of thick skin and learn to shrug off these comments. Instead view them with sympathy because they desperately want what you have, but since they cannot fathom how you’ve done it they turn to criticism instead of asking for advice. Unfortunate as this is, it’s more common that you would think, and all of contest winners can attest to this.
Take home message from Blair:
- Follow the workouts as they are laid out, don’t try to ‘improve’ anything
- Most people have never committed to something for three months, be different, commit to sticking to the workout and really improve your shape
- Don’t spend your best years of life trapped in a bulking phase while you can be lean and ripped
- Listen to your body, if it needs a break, take it
- Don’t label food. There is no healthy vs bad foods, it’s just a source of energy and nutrients, nothing more
- If you save calories during the week, then you can enjoy your social eating events on the weekends
- Keep a food log, Blair writes down everything he eats, so his clients can take a look at his food choices
- It’s not about eating less than you are currently eating, it’s about eating less than you are BURNING
- Take action without hesitation, don’t predict what will happen before it actually happens
- There is a difference between working out hard intelligently and working out stupidly
- If you want to lose fat, find a way to eat less
- Keep going until you get where you are headed, don’t quit like most people
- Eating more doesn’t make sense, you can’t boost your metabolism by eating more food
- Understand that when you’re losing fat you will begin to feel small, but push through that feeling nonetheless. It’s just in your head and once you get lean, it will actually reverse and you will create the illusion of having bigger muscles.
- The hard work you’ve been doing in the gym will show only after you diet down
- Don’t listen to the conventional fitness industry advice. Everybody keeps repeating that you should eat six meals a day, bulk up, but nobody knows where they heard it, they just heard it so many times they think it must be true, so they keep repeating it
Words & phases mentioned in the podcast:
- Eat Stop Eat aka ESE - Lifestyle and diet protocol by Brad Pilon focusing on balancing social eating events with fat loss.
- Anything Goes Diet aka AGD - “Diet without rules”, forget about carb cycling, macro-nutrients or unhealthy foods. Eat what you like and lose weight.
Listen to the interview here: