Clear Out Your Cupboards and Go “All In”

Today’s  post is the latest installment of the Golden Eye for the Adonis Series.

Here is another  guest post from Eric Weinbrenner.  Better know by his True Insider Handle, “eweinbrenner.”

EWeinbrenner: True Insider and One of our Top Bloggers in the Community

EWeinbrenner: True Insider and One of our Top Bloggers in the Community

Clear Out Your Cupboards and Go “All In”


The real secret to getting in great shape is much less complicated than most believe: Clearly define your goal and go all in.

The real secret to getting in great shape is much less complicated than most believe: Clearly define your goal and go all in.

Have you ever watched Extreme Weight Loss on ABC? The TV show chronicles a year in the life of a person who is struggling with obesity and hopes to transform their bodies and experience a new way of life.

While the people involved in the transformation are different individuals, and the actual challenges they face may vary; there is one underlying concept present in every episode: in order to have a successful transformation, the participants must remove the “distractions” from their lives and focus on their ultimate goal of losing weight.

In nearly all cases, the “distraction” is one (or all) of the following–a limiting belief (“I can’t do this” or “I don’t deserve this”), a bad habit (overeating/eating junk food), or a tendency to hold on to the “comfortable” life they have been living–despite that state of misery it may have placed them in.

Typically, limiting belief systems and the self-sabotaging that occurs when one struggles to choose transformation over comfort are more difficult to uncover; eating too much junk food, on the other hand, is more obvious and often the first issue dealt with.

In almost every episode of Extreme Weight Loss I have seen, and in almost every weight loss article I have read, one of the first steps is always “go into your kitchen and throw out all of the junk food in your cupboards.”

Why is this advice given? Because anyone who has tried to lose weight, has helped someone lose weight, or has watched a TV show about losing weight KNOWS that leaving that kind of temptation laying around will diminish even your best efforts to lose weight and make better decisions.

Perhaps just as important, throwing out all of the unhealthy, high calorie food in your cupboards that costs a fair amount of money and serves as one’s “comfort” signifies commitment–it shows that you are “all in.”

You can’t be “all in” when you are distracted by things that oppose your goals.

By now, you may be wondering what this has to do with you, other than the fact that you may have just realized you need to literally clean your your cupboards, or assuming this is just another weight loss article–and you would be wrong on both accounts.

In short, this idea of “cleaning out your cupboards” can be applied in a figurative manner to the fitness journey that all of us are on in a much broader, but incredibly important sense.

The Biggest Challenge of Building An Awesome Body

Ten or twenty years ago the biggest challenge of transforming your body, and when I say “transforming your body,  I mean getting an “Adonis Body”, may have been getting the right information to accomplish that goal.

However, with the boom of the internet, the biggest challenge today is not lack of information–but, rather being overloaded with  too much information, often leading to analysis paralysis.

Consider this scenario for a moment:

Let’s say a few years ago you started really getting into health and fitness. You googled “how to get a six pack” and came across a few different sites promising to deliver. You subscribe to their blog feed and apply some the advice and things are going pretty well.

As you start to see results, you realize that the challenge of transforming your body is something you thrive on, a quest that provides meaning and purpose far above “working out” for health benefits alone–you see an email promoting a new muscle-building workout and decide to give it a shot. You stick with that workout for a few weeks until you see a brand new muscle building program advertised from an up-and-coming fitness pro, promising better results than anything you’ve ever experienced and reason that it would be foolish to not give it a try.

This cycle continues over the next few months, and as you compare the three, or four (or ten) programs that have accumulated on your computer, you realize they don’t all see eye to eye: one program prescribes “heavy weights and low reps” while the other says “moderate weights and moderate reps” are the key and yet another takes a “wacky exercise” variation on all of the above.

As you continue to seek more information, sure that further “clarity” is the answer, you soon become lost in a sea of confusion, constantly frustrated about your lack of progress and, on some level, disappointed in yourself for not being able to stick with ONE program long enough to see results.

Sound familiar?

Intervention Time

The “hypothetical” scenario we just explored is often all too true. I see it almost daily on the Adonis forums–guys who are following an AGR workout but are asking questions about nutrition information from  some other supplement company. Guys who want advice on this or that program from some other “fitness pro.”

Some are completely focused on the wrong things; others are obsessing over the minutia and missing the point. And on some level, I get it: I get that adopting the AGR philosophy, an approach that is often radically different from what you are used to, takes time and is a process. At the same time, though,  I can’t help but wish that I could speed this process up and help you avoid the frustration that many, including me, have experienced on our way to revelation.

So that’s why I follow with this reality check: You will NEVER see the results you want until you stop flip-flopping between workout programs, reading 10 different fitness blogs, and buying every new program that comes across your email.

I know because I have been there. Until about a year ago I was constantly going back and forth between AGR and a few other workout communities across the web.

Information from both sources was credible and quality–the problem was that there were competing ideals. AGR stresses a very specific look that is all about proportion and definition; the other sources focused on “getting big” and being a “real man” which was associated with certain levels of strength or by weighing a certain amount. This left me going back and forth between focusing on achieving the Golden Ratio as outlined here and trying to “get big”; in the end I just continued to spin my wheels, making little progress toward either ideal.

The issue isn’t necessarily “good” vs. “bad” inforamtion. The issue is, tucked within each segment of the fitness industry, hidden within each respective goal–whether it be to build a proportional physique without being a slave to the process or to increase maximal strength–is a “culture”, a framework of beliefs and ideals that drive everything you and inevitably lead to your success or failure, or at the very least, the rate at which you will find success.

From the language used to the measure of an “effective” workout or even what it means to “look good”, the culture defines your thought process and determines where your focus is directed.

Trying to combine the frameworks that lie within each goal, frameworks that clash at their core,  leads to confusion and frustration that will derail your progress. Soon you aren’t even sure what your goal is anymore, which often leads to even more program hopping as you go from trying to become more athletic one month to trying to build a proportional physique the next.

The Epiphany

Today, as a committed AGR  member, I feel like I am in the best shape of my life and know exactly what  I need to do to achieve my goals. This is no accident–this is because I clearly defined what I wanted to achieve and zeroed in on that goal.

I went all “all in”:

I unsubscribed from all other fitness related blogs.

I cancelled my subscription to the other online forum I had been involved with; where I had been shelling out $20 per month for workout programs that sat stagnant on my computer.

I took all of the workout programs I had purchased over the past five years (probably in the range of 15-20 programs costing thousands of dollars in total), dropped them on a jump drive, which I filed away in a safe place and then deleted them off of my computer.

In a manner of speaking, I “cleaned out the cupboards.”

All that was left standing was AGR.

As I did this I felt a sense of relief and clarity: I no longer had to wonder if what I was doing was as good or interesting or comparable to any other program. I was no longer confused about what I was trying to accomplish with fitness– I knew exactly what my goals were (Golden Ratio) and all of the other distracting, competing information no longer mattered.

Wrapping Things Up: A Call To Action

People often want to talk about the “secret” to building muscle, losing fat, or getting in great shape. Typically, this will be an ever-elusive quest without a clear answer, even when it’s delivery is promised with “one easy payment of $67.”

The real secret to getting in great shape is much less complicated than most believe: Clearly define your goal and go all in.

In the fitness realm, there are a number of possible goals one could pursue; improving athleticism, increasing maximal strength, or building an awesome looking body.

You must decide what your primary goal is and remove all distractions that stand in your way, which for many, often means all distracting (or competing) information.

Get rid of all the other workout programs you have on  your computer. If you can’t stand the idea of “wasting” all of that money and deleting them; at least put them on a jump drive or find a way to remove them from immediate accessibility.

Stop reading fitness blogs outside the Adonis community (this includes being a part of other forums as well).

Consider investing in Immersion–when JB, Brad, or Allen say “you will never need to buy another fitness product in your life, it’s TRUE. Everyone who identifies their primary goal as building an awesome body in the most efficient and effective way possible should have Immersion.

Many will read this and keep grinding away, helpless to their vices of chasing the “secret” promised by the newest workout program–and they will continue to struggle, wasting money they often don’t have and drowning in the confusion.

But for few, something will click; they will take action and go “all in”, and they will find success, they will find peace of mind–they will be the ones featured at the end of the next Adonis transformation contest while others hopelessly wonder what their “secret” is.

Be one who takes action.

-Eric Weinbrenner

eweinbrenner's Transformation Pics

eweinbrenner’s Transformation Pics


Focus on What Matters: Muscle vs. Movement

Hope everyone here in the U.S. celebrated a Happy Thanksgiving with  friends & family yesterday.

As the infamous “Black Friday” is now upon us, I would encourage those brave shoppers who dare venture out into the “savings wilderness” to shop safe.

Alternatively,  to some of you who might be heading to the gym, might I suggest making it a “Back Friday.” (Pun Intended)

Nevertheless, today’s  post is the latest installment of the Golden Eye for the Adonis Series. 

Here is another  guest post from Eric Weinbrenner.  Better know by his True Insider Handle, “eweinbrenner.”

EWeinbrenner: True Insider and One of our Top Bloggers in the Community

EWeinbrenner: True Insider and One of our Top Bloggers in the Community

Focus on What Matters:

Muscle vs. Movement

I struggled through a few more reps, dropped the dumbbells, and sat up.

Having just finished my third set of Incline Dumbbell Press, my chest (especially the upper portion) should have been fried… but as I sat there thinking about the set I had just performed, I realized I couldn’t really feel any specific muscle working.

Sure, my arms, chest, and shoulders were fatigued- but as far as feeling a specific muscle?- nothing.

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated case: this was a system-wide issue. With nearly every exercise, be it biceps curls or seated rows, I could lift “heavy” weights, but getting a pump and really feeling the target muscle work just was not happening.

To make matters worse, I felt like my muscles were lacking that hard, defined look that I was after. I had put on a decent amount of size, but even at a pretty low body fat (near golden waist), definition was not what I wanted, especially in my chest and arms–where I struggled to feel the muscles working the most.

How a Set Should “feel”

When you are lifting to achieve a certain look–note: I said “to achieve a certain look”; not “to get strong”; not “to improve conditioning”–each set you perform in the gym should feel a certain way.

At the most basic level, during each rep of each set, you should feel the target muscle working. There will be stabilizing muscles contributing, but overall, on any given lift, there should be one muscle (or muscle group) that you feel above all else. When you set the weight down, you should know, without a doubt, that you just worked the target muscle.

But… wait… what does that feel like?

Feeling the target muscle work produces a significant “pump” in the muscle; you should be able to squeeze the muscle and feel tension in the “belly” of the muscle, rather than in the joints around it; you should be able to isolate and flex the target muscle without feeling distraction from surrounding muscles.

In addition to describing what a good set feels like; it is also helpful to describe a bad set. Let me use the biceps curl as an example.


Focus On What Matters: Muscle vs. Movement
At the most basic level, during each rep of each set, you should feel the target muscle working.

When you do a biceps curl, you should get an insane pump in your biceps and you should have limited contribution from any other muscles. Every guy in the world who has ever been in a weight room has done curls. For some guys, their workout looks like the following:

Monday: Curls

Tuesday: Bench press, curls

Wednesday: Think about doing legs but actually do curls

…You get the point.

I’m using curls and this ridiculous example to show that everyone knows (or thinks they know) how to do a curl.

Yet, I know guys, and have personally experienced doing curls and struggling to actually feel the biceps doing most of the work. For a long time, I would do curls and feel my front deltoids getting a lot of the action and notice that my elbow joints would hurt the next day.

It wasn’t that I was doing curls wrong–I just didn’t know how to target the biceps muscle and make it do the work. I’ve noticed this is especially true, for a lot of muscles, when people have a background in powerlifting or working out primarily to get stronger. They come over to Adonis, where it is about working the muscles, not the movement, and find that they struggle to do that efficiently.

 Work the Muscle, Not the Movement

If you find that you struggle to really feel the muscle working on any given exercise; you have joint pain following certain movements; or you lack the hard, fully developed look in any of your muscles– you very well may be focusing too much on the movement and not enough on the muscle.  

This often stems from the “more weight = more muscle” mantra preached so often in the fitness industry. There are also a lot of experts that suggest things like, “you must lift heavy weights in order to build muscle”, and that “lifting light weights will never stimulate enough muscle for growth.”

There are two major problems with both of these ideas: First, “heavy” and “light” are relative; a weight that is “heavy” to me may be “light” to someone else, and vice versa. Second, this kind of thinking places tends to cause focus to fall on lifting maximum weight, thus focusing more on the movement, rather than the muscle.

This whole idea of working the muscle is not new to the AGR community, but it is so important, it is worth repeating–this is THE focus of our workouts. John Barban himself has described the ability to contract and relax each muscle at will as the “key to full muscle development”– this is how important working the muscle is.

So how can you get better at working the muscle and avoid just slinging weight around?

There are a few ways to do this and nearly all revolve around improving your mind to muscle connection. The best way to do this without overcomplicating things is to align your lifting with your breathing.

This means you will need to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and use light(er) weights. Remember: “light” weight is relative, choose a weight that allows you to complete the prescribed amount of reps with perfect form using the target muscle.

When I say “slow down”, I am referring to the tempo of each rep. AGR members know that this is built into some of the more advanced programs where specific tempos are prescribed. If you are following one of those programs, just stick with the tempo as written. 

During each rep, lower the rep while inhaling and counting  1 one thousand, 2 one thousand; pause for a second at the bottom of the lift; then complete the “lifting” portion of the lift while exhaling to the count of 1 one thousand, 2 one thousand. The entire motion should be controlled (i.e. you controlling the weight; not the other way around).

 Final Thoughts

The strategies above can be applied to any and all exercises where you struggle to feel the target muscle work or simply as a way to improve mind to muscle connection overall and refocus on what is most important during our work outs: working the muscle.

Be careful to assume that this is for “beginners” and that you are too advanced for this. Remember: John Barban has noted the ability to target a muscle at will is the advanced stage of muscle building–this is something that will take years or practice and consistency to achieve. I can personally attest to the difference this has made for my physique as I have made improving mind muscle connection the focus over the past year or two–I have noticed a much more dense, hard look to my muscles and my ability to work the target muscle has noticed incredible improvements.

 While I wanted to make sure I provided some applicable strategies that you can use at the gym within this article; I also want you to use this article as a way to adjust your mindset, if need be. Becoming distracted and getting caught up worrying about lifting heavy enough weights or feeling like you must “prove” yourself will distract you from what is truly important.

-Eric Weinbrenner

eweinbrenner's Transformation Pics

eweinbrenner’s Transformation Pics

Adonis Spotlight:Tales from a True Insider — “Why Average Is Ok”

Tales from a True Insider


Today’s special post is the latest installment of the Golden Eye for the Adonis Series.   Because it’s Friday and The Goal Is Frequency (TGIF) we are shining the Adonis Spotlight on one of our community members.

I’m pleased to announce a special guest post from Eric Weinbrenner.  Better know by his True Insider Handle, “eweinbrenner.”


EWeinbrenner: True Insider and One of our Top Bloggers in the Community

Eric Weinbrenner: True Insider and One of our Top Bloggers in the Community

The Adonis Community truly is an awesome resource to help answer the questions of those just becoming familiar with the AGR Program.  Veterans of the community are more than happy to lend sound advice and support one another in their journey to “Golden.”

While browsing the community earlier this week, I happened to stumble across a Blog of Eric’s and was simply blown away by his content.

Here is a sample blog entry from eweinbrenner that has transformed into a guest post!


 How to Look Awesome: Why “Average” is OK

When it comes to building muscle and getting in shape-being “average” is OK. Getting-and staying-in great shape is also a lot easier than most people believe (or would like you to believe). Before you disagree and point to the bazillion articles on the web arguing that building an awesome body is full of complicated formulas and endless hours in the gym–Let me explain.

First, we need to define a few terms, or perhaps ideas, that are essential to understanding–terms and ideas that nearly everyone in the fitness industry (fitness “gurus”, your average meat-head, and perhaps even you) tend to ignore.

The first idea that needs explanation is “building an awesome body.” There are many different ways to say this, some choose to express the idea by “building muscle” or “losing fat”, but these all really mean the same thing–trying to achieve a certain look.

What is an “awesome body”?

I would suggest that 99% of guys out there are working out, primarily, to build an awesome body. Or, at the very least, that’s why they started working out.
It would make sense, then, that people know what an awesome body looks like–considering this is their primary goal for working. Surprisingly, the idea of actually qualifying what an “awesome body” looks like  is extremely difficult to nail down–but I have found it really comes down to two images of male body perfection that are presented as “ideal” in the fitness industry.

As part of my thesis during my undergrad seminar course, I evaluated a few of the sales letters for the top selling online muscle-building products. Included were products by Mike Chang, Ben Pakulski, Zach Even-Esh, and Rusty Moore.

I chose these specific products because I think it is a good representative of the fitness industry and the authors are names that most fitness-junkies will recognize.

To avoid re-hashing a 25+ page paper (and boring you to death), I will break down my findings to this precise statement: There are two forms of an “ideal” or “awesome” male body portrayed in the fitness industry. One is the roided-out, massive bodybuilder look and the other is the more lean, athletic look associated with hollywood actors.

Most guys who workout consistently tend to use one of these images as their ideal-look–whether subconsciously or consciously.

My take is that most guys do NOT want to achieve the look of the “roided” out bodybuilder, but rather would prefer the lean, athletic look (which is, of course, what is exemplified within the AGR community).  Sure, there is a certain dominance that makes the idea of being  “massive” and “insanely huge” appealing, but when being honest, most will agree that this is not what is attractive to women or something they truly desire to look like.  Brad Howard has also provided numerous examples of data that support this idea that more muscle, or bigger muscles, isn’t equivalent with being more attractive or respected.

I go into all of this detail to define what I believe constitutes an “awesome body”, because I want you to be aware that you are likely, on some level, to be bombarded with conflicting messages about what your ideal body should look like. 

This is important because I know what it feels like to constantly feel like you should have bigger muscles, weigh more, or look like a roided-out bodybuilder in order to be a “real man.” I struggled with this for years, until I finally realized that wouldn’t be my best look, or even what I want to look like. I have simply been misled by the ridiculous marketing of what I consider a dark-side of the fitness industry.

Your Best Body

I have some news for you–news that some consider unfortunate, but I would suggest is actually freeing: If your goal is to look like the huge bodybuilders that grace the covers of fitness magazines and are placed alongside internet articles of all the major online fitness sources; you need to do 1 of 2 things (or both):

1. Go back and be reborn with different parents–preferably those of John Cena or The Rock.

2. Take steroids.

Number 1 is obviously not going to happen, so that leaves the second option–steroids. I personally have never taken steroids and never plan to, so if this is something you are interested in, please go find someone who can provide information related to that.

So… the vast majority of us will never look like the guys in fitness mags…. should we just give up?

Absolutely not.

In fact, this is one of the most freeing realizations one can have, because building your best body–your version of “awesome”, is so much easier than what it takes to pump your body full of steroids and spend every waking hour in the gym.

Most of us not only don’t want to be as big and massive as bodybuilders; most of us don’t even want to be bodybuilders–we just want to feel confident when we go to the beach and take our shirts off. You don’t need to be “bodybuilder lean and muscular” to turn heads at the beach and look awesome–and achieving levels that are good enough to do so doesn’t take nearly as much work as many believe.

Dedication and consistency?  Definitely. But directing one’s whole life to training and obsessing over everything you eat or dropping hundreds of dollars on supplements each month? Not even close.

Many of the complicated formulas, expensive supplements, and marathon workouts are things that may matter if you are trying to get “insanely big” and compete in a show–but are not necessary to build an awesome looking body naturally.

Why Average is OK

So when I say crazy things like: “being average is OK”, I’m referring to “average” in terms of the fitness industry–and I’m being completely serious.

Let’s say Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his prime, is the ideal physique–the top-of-the line “awesome” that every man could aspire to; getting 80 or 85% of the way there is still awesome–and that’s all any of us will be capable of naturally and without committing every aspect of our lives to all things fitness.

This is confirmed all of the time in the AGR community. Look at any of the past contest winners or any of the guys who have reached Golden–do they look awesome? Yes, absolutely- but do they have the level of muscular development of Arnold or pro bodybuilders? Typically, no.
The vast majority of of guys who reach Golden would still be considered “average” when compared to a pro-bodybuilder if we buy the idea that being “massive” and “stage-ready” is the ideal look, as is often portrayed in the fitness industry.
So… is this a rah-rah, “you’re special in your own way” call that everyone is OK just as they are and no one should push themselves to get better? Am I telling you to embrace mediocrity?
Definitely Not. 
This doesn’t mean we stop setting goals or stop striving for improvement–it just means we keep things in perspective. It seems that all too often guys are reaching Golden AI measurements and still feel inferior–when this is the case, it may be time to refocus on what we are really trying to achieve and trusting in the system that will deliver YOUR best body.
The guys here at AGR have done a great job of reframing what the ideal “look” is, but we need to continually remind ourselves that we are NOT trying  to achieve the look that is often heralded as perfection the fitness industry
When looking at most of the images that we consider male-body perfection and look at to see if we “measure up”–pictures that are taken in perfect light by a professional photographer, when the person who is in the picture spent days preparing specifically for that photo shoot, and in pictures that may, or may not be digitally altered–and then feel inferior when we look in the mirror–it’s no wonder most guys feel like they suck at fitness and need more dedication, more supplements, and more time in the gym with the “perfect” workout.
But instead of responding by feeling inferior, we should respond with a sense of freedom–freedom knowing that we don’t even need or want to look like those guys–and that “average” is OK.
eweinbrenner's Transformation Pics

eweinbrenner’s Transformation Pic
So when I say crazy things like: “being average is OK”, I’m referring to “average” in terms of the fitness industry–and I’m being completely serious.


Wow Eric! Way to raise the “Adonis Bar” for the rest of us. You touched on a lot of great points in your post.  From avoiding “goal hi-jacking” to affirming the source of a man’s true  sense of  self-confidence when it comes to having an awesome body.

We look forward to hearing more from you in the future!

Well that’s all for now, hope you enjoyed the Adonis Spotlight.

Have a great weekend!


your brother in Iron,

Allen Elliott | Adonis Transformation Coach

P.S. If you want hear more from Eric you can reach out to him in community here. 

Vote for Allen – A True Adonis Spokesmodel!

Today’s post is about Spokesmodels…

So you may ask, what exactly is a spokesmodel?

A spokesmodel is someone who is an attractive or otherwise appealing person who is hired to speak on behalf of a company or product.

As you know, Allen Elliott is on our team here at Adonis and he’s been selected as a Top 20 Semi-Finalist for the 2014 Spokesmodel search. He is a National Level Men’s Physique competitor and of course he’s got a perfect Adonis Golden Ratio!


Vote for Allen - A True Adonis Spokesmodel!

Vote for Allen – A True Adonis Spokesmodel!


We’re asking you for your support to go vote for Allen as the next BodySpace Spokesmodel and give the world a bit more exposure to a true natural Adonis Golden Ratio Body!

Allen definitely has the look most guys are aspiring for so let’s give him some support for making the most out of his body and fitness modeling career!

Allen’s BodySpace Username: CaptainHealthy

Vote for Allen here ==> VOTE FOR ALLEN

– John Barban

Adonis Spotlight: M&F Feature + Tales from a True Insider

Today’s special post is the latest installment of the Golden Eye for the Adonis Series.   Because it’s Friday and The Goal Is Frequency (TGIF) we decided to superset today with an Adonis Spotlight “Double-Header!”

First and foremost, wanted to drop a “shout-out” to all my brothers’ in IRON for your continued support and encouragement in the pursuit of my Fitness Model Endeavors.  It was just three short years ago that I began to follow the principles of the Adonis Golden Ratio Systems.  Those simple principles of both art and science  have remained the core of my personal training foundation and continue to fuel my passion for health & wellness.

I still remember my first conversation with John Barban & Brad Howard after making the “Watch List” in AT3.  After the interview, Brad H. asked me, “So where do you want to go from here?”  I nervously replied, “I don’t really know, I just really like this program [AGR] and want to run with it as far as it will let me.”  To that response, John simply said, “Well it’s time to buckle down, and throw your hat in the ring; then we’ll see how good you are.”

I’m pleased to announce that thanks to the lessons learned in mentorship from the AGR Founders as well as my contacts within  Fitness Models International (FMI)  and International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) I was selected as a featured trainer in the November 2013 issue of Muscle & Fitness Magazine.


Muscle & Fitness Magazine Feature

Adonis Lifestyle Ambassador: Allen Elliott | Featured in November 2013 Muscle & FItness

Adonis Lifestyle Ambassador: Allen Elliott | Featured in November 2013 Muscle & FItness Magazine

Next time your in the bookstore  or the check-out line, feel free to pick up this copy and read about my experience as a trainer and how the ISSA helped me, “Do it  at my own pace.”


Tales from a True Insider

Continuing onto the next topic of our Adonis spotlight double-Header,  I’m pleased to announce a special guest post from Romeo Giovanni.  Better know by his True Insider Handle, “VTaper.”

VTaper: True Insider and One of our Top Bloggers in the Community

VTaper: True Insider and One of our Top Bloggers in the Community

The Adonis Community truly is an awesome resource to help answer the questions of those just becoming familiar with the AGR Program.  Veterans of the community are more than happy to lend sound advice and support one another in their journey to “Golden.”

While browsing the community earlier this week, I happened to stumble across the Blog of VTaper and was simply blown away by his content.

Here is a sample blog entry from VTaper that has transformed into a guest post!


The Scale, Lies!!!

In each transformation story, each individual has a progression that takes place and this progression must exist no matter what. The question is, “How does one measure progress? “, and the best way to track this progression is all in the numbers, correct?

Well this is true, but isn’t truly necessary.

Numbers, like statistics, can be skewed and bent, manipulated and, most importantly, misleading. Let’s look at the weight scale as a real life example. This common household weight scale is undeniably the most commonly used device in today’s society to track ones weight from home. This form of tracking is only a single form or aspect of the total progression, known as weight. The problem with only going by this measurement, a scale, in reality does not inform an individual of the entire story; there are simply too many variables and factors, which lead to false impressions. Variables such as water and food amounts.

An even larger reason a weight scale numerical value is unreliable is simple, it does not factor an individuals true body fat. An individual partaking in a fat loss routine, such as AGR, may become displeased, depressed, or just disappointed to reveal he/she only dropped 6 pounds within the month on the bases of just reading the fluctuations of the weight scale, but the question is, “what if , while losing their fat, the individual actually began to gain muscle mass?”

So if the scale lies or is inaccurate, why does one just measure body fat? The answer is simple, unless an individual is getting their body fat tested by a very expensive manner, using a DEXA Scanner, Bod Pod, or by hydro-static weighing, any other way of measurement are simply inaccurate means. An example of this is handheld devices like the Tanita or the Omron scale, who proclaim they measure an individuals body fat, but unfortunately these are inaccurate numbers as an individuals hydration lavel can cause these numbers to fluctuate.

Alternatives to tracking Progress

The following are considered the top alternative methods for an individual to monitor their progress without the use of any tools:

1. Changes in a person’s fitting of Clothing

When your clothes don’t fit anymore, you know you’re heading in the right direction!

Does it really matter what the scale says, if you find yourself buying new (smaller) clothes because the ones you own don’t fit? When the numerical value on the scales never budge for a few weeks, but your clothing start to look like they are XXXL on you, there is no doubt that ones progression is taking place. It means that you simply are gaining muscle as you are losing fat all simultaneously.

VTaper's Arm Progress pics over 6 Week Period of Transformation

VTaper’s Arm Progress pics over 6 Week Period of Transformation

The greatest and most motivating form of measurement is the photograph! The old saying,”A picture is a 100 words” is never wrong in measuring a individuals progression in weight loss. Taking progression photographs will allow a person, and others, to have a clear visual record of these weight and body changes physically. This has psychological, and in my opinion somewhat, magical, effect as one can literally see the changes in his/her physique, when comparing the images over time. Progression photographs are simple to take and do not require much. Many use a mirror and a cell phone or have their significant other take the pic against a plain wall. The key is to take two photos every 2 weeks, first thing in the morning before consuming any food or water, and just after a workout.


Progression is never just about ones aesthetics or physique. A individual should also be measuring his/hers performance in the workouts. When I began my own fitness adventure, with AGR, I was literally, the fat guy who wanted to put on some muscle and lose fat and this was after my trip to Germany and seeing the photographs of myself. I was disgusted. The only way to keep a record and monitor ones progression in strength is by maintaining a workout log. Those with the new smart phones have the ability to use tools like BodySpace, Fitocracy, Cody, FitnessFast. Then some, like myself, just use traditional pen and paper. I then transfer my information to an excel spreadsheet on the computer. Logging your workouts are simply the only means of measuring ones strength over time.

Measure through Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes are the tangible items that one can feel and see everyday, and for a lot of people, this is the ultimate joy and sense of accomplishment. An individual understands they are progressing when…

  • The kids feel light as a feather when you carry them
  • A Person feels better about themself. More motivated and happy.
  • The level of energy is significantly higher
  • Sleep becomes deeper and more relaxing
  • While doing the “honey do” list, the back and legs do not hurt anymore.
  • Using stairs are easier and you are less winded when walking up and down them

There is absolutely no doubt that a persons progression is getting better from their fitness program.

So now what?

Clearly, the Adonis Golden Ratio program, and just getting in shape, is not all about numbers. It may be nice to see the weight go down, but ones satisfaction with that measurement is short lived. Simply strive for a real long term goal that takes very little effort. Let the new clothing, progression photographs, workout logs, and changes in ones lifestyle truly gauge your results, instead of a false and misleading weight scale. It is these that will motivate and make ones self esteem much higher and rewarding in the end.

Hope this helps some of you newer members.

yours in fitness,

Romeo Giovanni aka”VTaper”



Needless to say, VTaper has outdone himself with the amount of knowledge he displays in the above post.  It is obvious that since he has made the mental transformation the physical is soon to follow.

Stay tuned for VTaper’s Final Transformation as he’s currently a contestant in AT12!

Well that’s all for now, hope you enjoyed the Adonis Spotlight: Double-Header.

Have a great weekend!


you brother in Iron,

Allen Elliott | Adonis Lifestyle Ambasador

P.S. If you want hear more from VTaper you can reach out to him in community here. 

Marrying the Numbers to Your Picture

In light of the recent AT11 Contest, I felt compelled to add the latest installment of  the  Golden Eye for the Adonis Guy series.

Today’s Topic: Marrying the Numbers to Your Picture

The AT11 contest entries  yet again challenged the beliefs of what was believed possible to achieve in a mere 12 weeks.  Nevertheless,  the contestants of AT11 provided some valuable feedback from their transformational journeys.   As you may recall from Monday’s post, contestants were judged in a total of five equally weighted categories:

1-  Final Adonis Golden Ratio (AGR) – 20%

2-  AGR  Transformation (Delta) Change -20%

3- Weight Loss (LBS) – 20%

4- Muscularity- 20%

5- Aesthetics/Photogenic Quality – 20%

Here is an example of charted numbers in each category:


Scoring Metric Applied in AT11 Contest

Scoring Metric Applied in AT11 Contest

The Scoring Metric above serves as a great benchmark tool for quantifying your overall transformation.  However, this is only part of the equation…

Although, you may be familiar with the phrase, “The Numbers Don’t Lie,” there is another quote that states, “Statistics are No Substitute for Judgment.”  In the AT11 Contest, the numbers told the truth for the majority of the contestants,  however as the last quote stated, mere facts alone were not a substitute for “Visual Assessment.”  How you present yourself on camera with both confidence and proper posing is critical to balancing the equation.


Marrying the Numbers to Your Picture

For the first time in tangible form we’ve now been able to identify both the “Science and  Art” of a transformational contest.  John Barban summed up our finding best by simply saying, “marry the numbers to your picture.”

Michael B. AT11 Results truly demonstrate how to marry the numbers to your physique!

Michael’s AT11 Results truly demonstrate how to marry the numbers to your picture!

In conclusion, your numbers are helpful metrics to keep you guided in a logical 12-week transformation process.  However, a “Visual Assessment” should marry to your numbers and help to root the emotions of how you actually look, with the logic of what your measurements are telling you.  Ways to improve upon your “Visual Assessment”  is to take progress pics and practice posing which in return build confidence.

Stay Tuned for Monday’s Post as we’ll be revealing  a “Special Awards” category to the AT11 Contest!


Yours in fitness,

Allen Elliott