The Twinkie Challenge: Interview with Professor Mark Haub

Here’s the next episode of the UNCENSORED Podcasts Season 2.

Today’s topic:  The Twinkie Challenge: Interview with Professor Mark Haub

Professor Mark Haub experimented with The Twinkie Diet

Professor Mark Haub experimented with The Twinkie Diet

Today you will get a chance to hear John’s interview with Professor Mark Haub.  Professor Haub works at the Kansas State University in the department of Human Nutrition.

The “All-Twinkie” Diet experiment

Professor Haub challenges society’s beliefs about diet, nutrition and weight loss. His honesty and the fact that he is not endorsing or selling a diet or food product is quite compelling.  Mark’s journey to beginning the “Twinkie Diet” spawned from his desire for personal weight loss and  his  scientific knowledge in dietary fiber and whole grains relative to diabetes and obesity.

Since refined grains are listed by the USDA as potentially unhealthy and obesogenic Dr. Haub decided to use this opportunity to experiment with his own need to lose a few pounds.  He said it did not turn out the way he expected.  He learned a few things about himself during this experiment and after losing the excess pounds he decided to make some long term diet changes.


Professor Haub was surprised by the results of his experiment with snack foods. His health parameters improved.

Professor Haub was surprised by the results of his experiment with snack foods. His health parameters improved.

He measured his health parameters and used a DEXA scan to measure his body composition.  He lost 27 pounds of fat and 6 pounds of lean body mass which are both typical for this amount of weight loss on a just about any diet.  His health parameters improved.

Calories really do matter

Professor Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day.   A man of his size usually consumes about 2,600 calories a day.  He followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.

This confirms what most of us here at the Adonis Golden Ratio already knew all along from the principles of John’s Anything Goes Diet.

You have your own unique dietary needs

Most of us have experimented to find our own way to lose weight.  We have found that the right amount of calories was key, along with not depriving ourselves of foods we love.

So if you have weight to lose the key is to find the right amount of calories and do whatever it takes to keep yourself sane and satiated for the short term.  Then spend the rest of your life figuring out what type of diet is good for you.  All of us have unique likes, dislikes, and health needs.  Pay attention to your calorie needs, what nutrients you need, what your health practitioner advises, and refuse to let food control you.

You can find Professor Mark Haub on FacebookTwitterYoutube, and CNN online.

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Weight Gain And Muscle Gain Escalators Part Two – Sick vs Corrective Mentality

Here’s the next episode of the UNCENSORED Podcasts Season 2.

Today’s topic:  Weight Gain and Muscle Gain Escalators Part Two – Sick vs Corrective Mentality

There is a different degree of effort required to ascend the escalators vs staying at the top of the escalators.

There is a different degree of effort required to ascend the escalators vs staying at the top of the escalators.

Last time we talked about the muscle gain and fat gain escalators.  This is a new analogy and a better way of picturing what the process of muscle gain and fat loss is really like.

Today we will take the analogy further and talk about the process of getting to and staying at peak condition.

Specifically it’s the difference between viewing your body and the process from a ‘sick’ mentality vs a ‘corrective’ mentality.

There is a different degree of effort required to ascend the escalators vs staying at the top of the escalators.

Today we’ll talk about changing your mentality and what can and should be done to get to the top and stay there.


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What is Maintenance?

Here’s the next episode of the UNCENSORED Podcasts Season 2.

Today’s topic: Maintenance


What is Maintenance?

How do you enter maintenance mode? How long should you stay? Discover the answers to these questions and more.

What is maintenance?

The real answer is that you’re never actually just sitting in one spot at the exact same weight, and bodyfat %. You’re always fluctuating a little bit throughout the day, and throughout the year.

Maintenance is more of a transient state that you can dip in and out of when you you’re not necessarily trying to gain more muscle or burn more fat.

You can ‘hold’ and maintain a certain level of bodyfat and muscle for a given length of time and then get ready to push it hard again.

 The step-wise progression

In all the body transformations I’ve ever seen it’s always a step-wise pattern. This means you will improve for a given amount of time. Then you’ll need to take a break. Once you feel ready you can push forward again. The amount you move forward is dependent on your goals and how hard you expect to push things.

Thinking about maintenance is also about managing expectations and where you expect to go based on the energy you’re putting forward.

Moments of maintenance happen for many reasons including lifestyle factors, seasonal changes, periodic moments of being sick, and even generalized stress.

For example over the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season you may simply set a goal to just make it from nov to jan without gaining fat mass.

In this case you’re actually working to just maintain, and you’d probably have to consider it a win just to make through the holidays without gaining fat.

Maintenance is a mode you go into throughout the year, and it’s normal to go through phases of  “muscle growth vs muscle maintenance” and “fat loss vs maintenance.”

In this podcast we discuss what maintenance is, how to define what it is and how often you should expect to be in maintenance mode.


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How to Become a Triple Threat: Lessons Learned from FMI

California Dreamin’

In my previous blog I introduced the Golden Eye for the Adonis Guy  series, which will feature several topics not limited to but including my experiences, observations and “lessons learned” from fitness/fashion shows and my association with the modeling industry.  In this installment I’d like to talk about my very first trip to the “Left” coast, better known as “California.”

Although I  grew up in the Southeastern part of the United States,  from an early age I found myself fascinated with the lifestyle and culture of the Southern California area.  As I watched TV/movies or read in books & magazines, I observed that there was an emphasis placed on health, beauty, &  fitness which revolved around a “laid-back” yet fun and entertaining lifestyle on the beach.  I never forgot these childhood memories’ and would often daydream about what I would do if I was to visit or live there.  I believe these values are directly related to the Adonis Lifestyle;  living your life to the fullest while being confident that you look and feel your very best.

In essence, you are “Living the Dream” because many people wish or desire to get in shape, but very few accomplish this mental & physical transformation.  With the support of the Adonis Lifestyle community, after undergoing a transformation of my own, I’ve been empowered to view my physique as a business.  My first trip to California was of a two-fold significance. It was one-part “childhood dream come true” and one-part “business investment.”  Although the flight from Atlanta International  to John Wayne Airport was a  little under 5-hours, my actual journey began over a year ago when I first learned of a fitness and sports network known as FMI.

Fitness and Sports Network’s FMI™ is the FIRST EVER entrepreneurial and entertainment career development production for fitness and sports professionals.

What Is FMI?

The date is  May 21, 2011 and I am at my first National competition in the Men’s Physique Division.  This was a special event not only because it was my first time qualifying but it was also the first time a “Pro Card” would be awarded to the top Fitness models.  Needless to say, the stakes were high and the competition was fierce.  I had the opportunity to meet and chat with several successful fitness models and learn from their perspective and their own personal journey in the fitness industry.  I was eager to learn as I was just getting started myself.  I wanted to know what it really takes to make it or what other opportunities maybe available that I hadn’t considered.

One particular fitness model was gracious enough to inform me of company know as FMI or Fitness Model International .  He told me when he first heard of the company he attended one of their conference’s and although it wasn’t the most convenient to attend it was the greatest decision he had made in his fitness modeling career.  Later that night, he would go on to make history by becoming the first Pro in the Men’s Physique Division.  Our brief chat and observing what he went onto accomplish after the show left a lasting impression that this “FMI” thing was something worth checking out.

I’m sure by now you’re wondering what FMI is all about?

Fitness and Sports Network’s FMI™ is the FIRST EVER entrepreneurial and entertainment career development production for fitness and sports professionals.  FMI offers multiple educational methods to provide it’s clients the best chance for multiple employment opportunities.

Now after returning from my first FMI conference,  my only regret is not going sooner.  One of my new year’s resolution was to “work smarter and not harder” in my fitness model career; this conference was in direct alignment with that resolution.

The conference was like attending a “Fitness Entrepreneur Boot Camp.”  Whether you were a personal trainer, blogger, or model it didn’t  matter where you hailed from in the  “wide world of  fitness” there were challenging lessons and informative lectures inspiring you to perfect your skill or craft.  I personally signed up for the “Photography and Academic” course which afforded me the opportunity to shoot with some of the top Photographers on the West Coast and become educated on how to further market and develop my brand to a mass audience.

What I found particularly interesting about the academic course is that majority of the speakers were Alumni of previous conferences’ who had returned to share their wisdom and knowledge.   The conference also gave us unique access via the “Q & A session” with a Talent Panel  ranging from celebrities’ from the popular “Baywatch”  TV series to Director’s of  National Modeling Agencies.  This was very encouraging  as I was able to relate to some of their obstacles they were able to overcome to be successful.

The 21st century Fitness Entrepreneur is a Triple Threat! They successfully Model, Write,
and Speak well on camera.” -Obi Obadike
FMI Photographer: Noel Daganta
Model: Allen Elliott

How to Become the Triple Threat: Modeling Alone Is Not Enough

While there were several topics covered at FMI, the over-arching theme I took away from the conference was in order to take full advantage of what the fitness industry has to offer you must become the triple threat.  In other words, you need to diversify your strengths.  I mentioned earlier at the beginning of this post that I was looking for opportunities in fitness that I hadn’t considered.  Attending the FMI conference served as an introduction to several facets of the fitness industry that I’ve yet to pursue.

I learned that a Fitness Model in the Digital age has so much more to offer than modeling alone.  In this paradigm of thought we are beginning to see a new breed of model known as  the “Fitness Entrepreneur“.

A Fitness Entrepreneur is able to successfully model, write, and speak well on camera. This “Triple Threat” model is not only valuable to themselves as their able to take personal responsibility for their “Physique Business”  by developing their own “World Class Brand”  they are also highly sought after by  major companies’ in the form of endorsement contracts,  for their ability to market/influence a mass audience.

Never has their been a time where the “Fitness Modeling Field” has been so equal in regards to opportunity.  While no one can guarantee that someone will succeed in their goals, one key element that all success individuals possess is the ability to F.O.C.U.S

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand.
The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” -Alexander Graham Bell
Logo Design TradeMark Credit: William Lockley

F.O.C.U.S. – The Path to Becoming EXTRA-Ordinary

F.O.C.U.S.- Follow One Course Until Success — A great acronym which captures the essence of the actual word itself.  In the  pursuit of your goals whether it be fitness or anything else in life there will be obstacles.  This was the story told by William Lockley, an Alumni from a previous conference. (He had a stunning transformation in which he lost lost 140+ lbs in 9 months with no gimmicks or surgery.  You can check out his story here. )

For his business he has branded the term “F.O.C.U.S.” as it was the most resonating thought in his mind which allowed him to overcome obstacles that stood in his way.  Keep in mind William’s transformation wasn’t overnight, but his ability to F.O.C.U.S.  served as the pathway to an EXTRA-ordinary transformation.

In conclusion, I hope that by sharing some of the lessons learned from the FMI conference you will look for ways to apply these principles in your own lives’.   Take advantage of the positive association around you here in the Adonis Lifestyle community.

Similarly to becoming a triple threat fitness entrepreneur, I’d encourage you to discover you’re strengths and then look for ways to improve upon them to have a greater positive impact on those around you.  Last but not least, within moral and ethical reason be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals and dreams despite the obstacles that may come in your way.

Simply put, Just F.O.C.U.S.


Yours in fitness,


Allen Elliott

The “Photo-Shoot Ready” Recipe: Four Key Ingredients Needed to Prepare your Contest Photo Submissions

The clock is ticking… The deadline for AT8 Contest Photo Submissions is rapidly approaching.

If you’re participating in the 12 week transformation contest, you’re putting the finishing touches on your “Final Look”.

If you’re in the 20 week transformation contest, you’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, stay the course.

For many contestants, this is the first workout program that you’ve followed consistently.  Thank you for your commitment to the Adonis Index Workout Systems and more importantly for your commitment to your own personal goals.

Win or lose, regardless of your contest placement, your transformation is a personal achievement and you should be very proud of your accomplishment.

All of your valiant efforts over this contest period stem from the synergistic combination of proper nutrition, strength training, and cardio.

One way to celebrate this achievement is by capturing some stunning images of your new & improved physique.

There are several tweaks or methods one can apply to enhance their overall appearance.

To keep things simple, yet effective I’ve chosen to focus on the top four ingredients of any “successful” fitness photo-shoot. So before you step in front of the camera, you can assure yourself that on command, you will be “Photo-Shoot Ready”.

The “Photo-Shoot” Ready Recipe: Four Key Ingredients to Prepare for your Contest Photo Submissions


1.    Conditioning: Shirt-On vs Shirt-Off? What’s the Difference?

 When it comes to conditioning, there are two different worlds we live in.

There is the “Shirt-On” world where most people reside and then there is the “Shirt-Off” world which is displayed on many a beach or magazine cover.

Neither world is bad but there are rules for living in both.

A person who has good conditioning will possess these three  features:  separation in the muscle groups, striations, and vascularity.  Unfortunately, in “Shirt-On” world it is is very difficult to tell the conditioning of a person because clothes cover the body.

A man who looks muscular “Shirt-On”  may not have the same conditioning as a man who  “Shirt-Off”  is ripped but not as impressive  in the same outfit.

In regards to this contest you will be judged by the rules & standards of  “Shirt-Off” world where conditioning is paramount.

As you’ve followed the AI programs, you have heard of the the term “Golden Ratio” or your body’s ideal  shoulder-to-waist (AI) ratio.  This transformation contest measures your starting and final AI-ratio to evaluate your progress over the 12 or 20 week period.

Nevertheless, here are a few suggestions to enhance your conditioning for your Contest Photos:

1. Mild Water Depletion: Sometimes your body retains water on the outer layer of your skin which can impact your conditioning. To help rid the body of excess water eat  foods such as asparagus and oatmeal or drink a low sugar green tea beverage 2-3 days prior to your photo-shoot for best results.

Additionally, take photos of yourself  in this state early in the morning as opposed to later in the day.

2. Fasted State: Intermittent fasting  has also been known to enhance conditioning.

Your skin is tighter  and muscle appear more defined as your body’s fat burning hormones are elevated.

To capture yourself  in the fasted state take photos first thing in the morning upon waking up.  If your following the “Eat Stop Eat” or the “The Reverse Taper Diet” regimen try planning your photo-shoot about 6-8 hours into your fasted state.

3. Carb-Loaded:  The “Carb-Loaded” state is the direct opposite  of being fasted.

However, they both create two very aesthetic looks which are ideal for a photo-shoot.  In the carb-loaded state you body resembles more of a full-muscular look which also helps to tighten your skin and improve vascularity.

To achieve the “carb-loaded” effect choose between one or two  of the following foods: honey (2 tablespoons), dark chocolate (4-6 squares), a peach (medium-size), or banana (medium-size) about 15-30 min prior to your photo-shoot and get your body pumped up with some simple exercises (i.e. push-ups, resistance band curls, etc.)

You still have a few days to experiment with what technique works best for you.  So take several photos in the various states and see which one’s turn out best.

2.    Posing: If you got it, make sure you show it…Properly!

Posing is the art of positioning your body in a specific way to present the best visual effect.

How you pose is very important.

In traditional bodybuilding competitions if a judge cannot see a certain part of your body they cannot judge it. Or even worse they will assume this area is under-developed.  We all have strengths and weaknesses in certain parts of our body.

Some muscles respond better to the training than others.

Posing is also a way to creatively display the parts of your body that are most flattering to your physique.

Practice, Practice, Practice! In front of a Mirror is preferred… Here is a “quick refresher” video of  the standard front, back and side shots that mimic your ‘before’ pictures and are required for the contest.

Remember “Pose Like the Pros!”


3.    Tanning: The Icing or Glaze on the Cake

The use of tanners and oils will also  improve your final look.  It has been observed that the darker your skin, the more definition can be seen.

This is most evident in bodybuilding competitions when two competitors of different ethnic backgrounds appear equally dark but are of different skin tone.

You may already tan regularly but if you don’t, there are some “sun-less” alternatives to enhance definition  for example, body oils, spray tans, sunless tanners, etc.  It’s always best to begin with a moderate amount and increase from there.

Your Final Contest Photos are a composite of: Conditioning, Posing, Tanning, and Lighting. Capture your physique at its best!

4.    Photography & Lighting: Almost Live

Since this is an Online and not a “Live” competition your photos will be all the judges have to grade you on.

While a professional photo-shoot is not mandatory,  it’s very important to  select an area whether indoor or outdoor with ample amount of lighting.

If you decide to use extra lighting, the best results were achieved  from past contestants when the lighting was balanced on either side and were pointed upwards at a 45-degree angle.

A solid black or white backdrop is preferred for indoor photos to help eliminate distractions and keep the focus on your physique.

Feel free to be fun and creative in your outdoor poses.  The bottom line is  that you’ve worked hard on your physique and you want the camera to tell the “whole” story.

In conclusion, remember these Four Key Ingredients in order to become “Photo-Shoot Ready” on Command:

  1. Conditioning
  2. Posing
  3. Tanning
  4. Photography/Lighting

Very Respectfully,

Allen Elliott

3 Dirty Lies of Chasing “Confidence”


I’m CONFIDENT I can’t toss this “bell” over the 17′ bar like the Highland Games pros do…

About 2 weeks ago, Greg had asked me if he could write an article on “confidence”, how to get it, what it’s not, and more.

Initially, I was a tad squeamish about the idea, mainly because I was concerned he may write about how traditional mainstream media describes how to get confidence…

… which I personally view as an exercise in mental masturbation. Fun to do, yet never gets you anywhere and many times has you feeling worse about yourself than when you started.

However, once I gave it a read, I told him to run it – because he knocked it out of the park!

Afterwards, I decided I wanted to do a quick follow up with a few mistakes I see people make when chasing “confidence”. I narrowed it down to 3 of the most important ones I could think of. They are:

1. Confidence is NOT a precursor to success, it is the RESULT of it.

I’ve made this argument a few times. “Confidence” isn’t what people are attracted to… it is what that confidence IMPLIES.

Having confidence is like having battle scars. A person knows you’re a successful warrior if you have a lot of battle scars, yet are still alive.

Confidence works in the same way. When someone interacts with a person with grounded confidence, you inherently assume (“Halo Effect”) the other person has SUCCESSFULLY navigated trials and tribulations. You get a good feeling the other person has what I consider the big 5 parts that make up “confidence: self ESTEEM, self RESPECT, self WORTH, self BELIEF and most importantly, self TRUST.

You don’t magically gain these qualities… you EARN THEM. You WORK for them. You OWN them.

So a big part of confidence is successfully navigating a PROCESS – and understanding what value that has. As an example, having a great body generally instills confidence in the other person, yet it’s not the RESULT that gives confidence – it’s the WORK that went into it COUPLED with the result.

Case in point, many of the guys I know that have used steroids are generally NOT confident people, because they KNOW that they basically “cheated” their way into the body. They have the RESULT, but they know if they take away the steroids, they take away the results. This is where you can see the “impostor syndrome” rear it’s head again due to the fact that they didn’t really CONQUER the issue at all.

(it’s like winning to lottery versus earning the money, one you were given a fish and are afraid to lose it because you KNOW there’s no way for you to get it back, the other you know you can start over and EARN it back if need be)

However, what if you HAVE put in the work and seen success, yet as a whole aren’t “confident”?

Here’s something to consider:

Smart and talented people tend to DEVALUE their abilities, because they ASSUME everyone else is at the same level. Contrary to this, those that are typically inept or unqualified tend to OVERVALUE their abilities. In other words, those that should be confident in their abilities generally are not, while those that SHOULD NOT be confident in their abilities generally ARE.

(since it’s election year, one could make a sound argument that many politicians fall into the OVERVALUE category… as an example)

This is known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect.… (and understanding this has helped me personally, a LOT)

Naturally, this affects your sense of self worth.

Therefore, it helps to take an inventory of your talents and successes – so you can understand you really ARE a bad ass.

(Side note: another thing about getting a great body CORRECTLY is that the success is very OBVIOUS, especially when you compare to others. You know you’ve created something within yourself of VALUE – because people tell you so, and people also treat you differently)

Now, what I’m talking about isn’t mental tricks or CONVINCING yourself you’re awesome (which seems weird… if you have to say you are, you AREN’T in my opinion). It’s about UNDERSTANDING your value – not making up FAKE value for yourself…which leads into…

2. Quit chasing the SYMBOLS of confidence and status when it’s easier just to go for the REAL THING.

It’s no secret: men’s self confidence is positively correlated with their perceived status level in society. And much of that is tied to his work and/or life’s mission.

However, many people chase the SYMBOLS of confidence and status instead of just focusing on getting results and increasing your status level as a whole.

Things such as:

Using steroids to “get the body”
reverse engineering confident or “alpha” behaviors (things such as taking up more space as an example, taking up space is a by product of confidence, it doesn’t CAUSE you to be confident, long term)
putting up big weights in the gym, for the sole purpose of telling others (competitive powerlifting is different, many are VERY confident people because they are acting in perfect alignment with their goals)

Basically, instead of DOING to achieve confidence, many are looking for the secret “trick” that will make others THINK they are confident. Plus, most of these SYMBOLS actually bring the wrong people into your life as a whole, and sadly you KNOW they are there basically because of the SYMBOLS, so what REALLY does that do to your self esteem?

As an example, I used to have a lot of really nice stuff… and I knowingly bought it for the reason above.

You know, the whole “fake it til you make it”.

The problem was, I was so busy FAKING IT and because of the energy and focus demands of keeping up that charade…

… I wasn’t MAKING IT.

That’s the danger of SYMBOLS. Pretty soon, the goal isn’t to be happy and confident, it’s to maintain and grow the layers of bullshit you’ve created for yourself.

(I’ve since sold almost everything “symbolic” I owned. I’m actually happier now, believe it or not)

Now, there’s nothing wrong with fake it ’til you make it. The problem is many people forget the “til you make it” part.

Remember that, because this often can lead into…

3. Confusing “confidence” with “arrogance”

When you are confident, all of your actions come from a place of STRENGTH.

When you are arrogant, your actions come from a place of weakness.

An arrogant viewpoint is “never care what others think”.

A confident viewpoint is “what other’s think is FEEDBACK, and it’s up to me to acknowledge and act on that feedback or not”

Here’s the deal, you DEPEND on others for your survival. PERIOD.

Therefore, what they think about you does matter. Now, people don’t have to necessarily LIKE you or your viewpoints, yet if they RESPECT you as a person, things just work out.

(As an example, plenty of people disagree with some of our viewpoints and/or personalities. For example, some dislike me, but like Barban and Pilon. Some dislike Barban, yet like Pilon and I. However, because people RESPECT what we are trying to do, our products and services still get sold.)

And so I think the whole “never care what people think” is really a “don’t worry if people agree with you”… in context.

In essence, just like with many other “self help” issues, in the attempt to gain confidence, many people resort to arrogance. It’s like people go from one extreme to the other. Instead of “building” confidence, they resort to PROJECTING confidence through arrogance.

Does arrogance work?

Absolutely. It’s better than the alternative of feeling beat down. And at least it’s taking action and trying to impose your will on the world. Unfortunately, it’s also a bandaid (or training wheels) solution. Many times, it’s the continuing attempt to PROVE something to yourself and others.

It’s also overshooting the bow.

Confidence is quiet and humble. Arrogance, loud and obnoxious.

Arrogance is great for short term flings, be it business or pleasure. (people always find out the truth!)

Confidence is LONG TERM.

So give these some thought if you feel like you need to work on your confidence levels. Trust me when I say there is NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.

Remember that “confidence” is a STATE of being based on a history of navigating tough waters, getting results, and from also understanding the VALUE of those results.

Confidence is a state based on DOING… which is a fun coincidence, since we’re judged based on what we DO and how we ACT more so than anything else.

Confident people create VALUE for themselves and others… that, my friend, is the true secret of it all. Store that in your noggin or tape it to the fridge, it will serve you well… I promise.


p.s.  This may sound weird, but I reread my own articles from time to time.  It’s odd how simply reminding yourself of certain things helps to keep you aiming in the right direction…