Getting Closer to Your Ideal Body

Today we have an interview with Gavin Rennison.

Gavin has been following Adonis Index for about 12 months now and today he has decided to share with us his astonishing progress.

He is definitely among the more experienced and muscular guys in our community.

Check out his picture:

The ideal body shape – Lean muscle mass, no excess body fat.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Gavin got into weight lifting at the age of 25, so right after juvenile muscle growth. You would say that he could not build lots of muscle after the age of 25, but then he has pictures that show otherwise. This is a proof that you can still gain lots of muscle mass even if you are not starting with your training in your teens or early 20s.

However, Gavin as most of the guys who go to the gym wasn’t very consistent with his workouts, it was on and off training throughout the years. He also lacked any knowledge in how to structure his workouts, so he just did basic splits like everyone else. Since he tried increasing weights on regular basis he got some results.

However, then he felt into the whole bulking, 6 meals a day approach, gained lots of weight as a result and got up to 200 pounds.

After finding out about Adonis Index he was shocked at the contrast between bodybuilding diet and Anything Goes Diet we preach here at AI. The bodybuilding diet is very strict, but doesn’t provide linear results compared to freewill eating with the AGD principles were the results are linear.

And that’s the issue with the traditional bodybuilding and fitness approach – too much hassle for little results. It doesn’t have to be that way, getting in shape and achieving an ideal body shape isn’t as difficult as people think.

You can make it simply, and quite frankly you should, because the chances of you getting achieving your ideal body with perfect measurements are ten times higher if you keep things simple. Once you overcomplicate your approach, start to read dozens of diet books, you will second guess yourself, you will try various approaches like 6 meals a day, bulking or whatever is hot right now and for no results.

Gavin decided to keep it simple and stick to his approach and he got amazing results.

Here are a couple more of his pictures:

Gav’s awesome photos from his photoshoot.

More Tips from Gav:

  • Know your boundaries
  • Be consistent
  • Don’t make it your lifestyle
  • If you have some fat to lose, lose it first, because once you do you will never have to do it again, you will get lean for life and as a bonus you’ll finally see how much muscle mass you have
  • Don’t try to get big at every cost
  • Don’t obsess over supplements
  • Do a photoshoot after your transformation (you can use it as a deadline)
  • Don’t ever try the traditional bulking, it doesn’t work and it’s stupid
  • Get a workout program that keeps changing, because that will keep you interested longer
  • Bounce back when you push it too far

Gav’s measurements:

  • Waist: 31″
  • Shoulders: 48.25″
  • AI score: 1.56

Links from the interview:

Read Gav’s experience with Adonis Index in his own words:

Well, where do I start in thanking all at Adonis for what they’ve achieved in creating such a simplistic approach to all things diet and fitness?! The Adonis Index has been a truly and literally life changing find for me. It has…Continue Reading Here

Listen to the interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

Do You Have to Give Up Alcohol to Get Ripped?

Here’s your new interview with one of the winners from the 8th Adonis Index Transformation Contest.

Today John talks to Rodrigo Caceres who placed 3rd in our last 12-Week Transformation contest.

Check out his transformation pictures:

Rodrigo’s 12 week progress with Adonis Index.

Rodrigo wanted to place in the top 10 and he did, he placed third, let’s look at his story and what he did that brought him this results.

Until recently Rodrigo wasn’t doing any sort of training. He was stuck in the rut of  gaining weight after getting married. .

One day he decided to get back in shape. So he got a routine from a  personal trainer and started going to the gym. He got a bit leaner, but also got annoyed and bored with his routine, so when he stopped training he fell back into the rut of weight  gain.

He once again got back on  track by attending some spinning clases  combined with a “whole foods” diet.

But as he got leaner, he had no muscle mass and started to receive comments that he was “too skinny.”

In response to these comments he decided to join the bodybuilding community and adopted the usual approach – eat more, eat every 3 hours.

The result? Fat Gain yet once again.

Over the years this became a never ending cycle of weight loss and weight gain.

Rodrigo truly believed that if he leaned out he would have more muscle.

So in an act of desperation, he went online to find a way to lean out and that was when he stumbled upon Eat Stop Eat, which lead him to Adonis Index.

At first he didn’t want to accept the ideology, but listening to the podcasts and the grand opening of  a new gym near his home convinced him to get started.

Before we get into his transformation, there is something you need to know about Rodrigo, let’s consider his educational background.

Rodrigo studied philosophy, so his perspective is a bit different than most. He was used to self-analysis and introspection and was always consciously aware of his feeling at any giving moment. Posessing this knowledge he expected to have very little  trouble with the mechanics and assumed that the mental part of the transformation would  be fairly simple.

However, quite the opposite happened.

Truth is that the mental part of any transformation is tough, no matter what your experience  or expertise is. Even though some people have it easier, everyone will have to overcome inner challenges that’s why we call it a transformation, because at the end of it, you are a different person, both physically and mentally.

Rodrigo was very motivated, but like everyone he had moments when he felt a bit depressed.

He told us that this was actually one of the hardest mental challenges he’d ever went through.

It all seems superficial, but it’s really not and even despite the fact that the contest is only for 3 months it’s still very challenging. It’s just not what people expect  it will be, you have emotional ups and downs, and the process is far from straightforward.

It will definitely push you out of your comfort zone and force you to break old habits.

We always say that it’s simple but not easy, however this doesn’t mean it’s not doable.  A successful transformation is indeed possible and as you can see here, lots of people have gone before you. It’s important to realize that the promises you see on TV are false, it’s what the marketers wants you to believe to be true.  Nothing worth  pursuing in life is ever easy.

Can You Drink Alcohol and Cut?

As you have read previously from the Naughty Guide post, you can have alcohol and still get ripped, the key is moderation, as with anything.

Rodrigo decided that he won’t give up alcohol and that’s something he wants to enjoy even during the contest prep and he did. You can too if you want, it’s up to you whether you want to enjoy your calories in meal or drink.

What Rodrigo realized was that with drinking comes a lot of eating, so he limited himself  to only a couple of glasses and refrained from eating. This allowed him to stay within his weekly calorie budget and continue  to lose fat.

If you keep your eyes on your calories, no diet is impossible for fat loss.

Summary Rodrigo’s advice:

  • Stick to the workouts, they work and are fun to do
  • Always think of your form first to stay injury free
  • Treat your workouts like a meditation, you should relax your mind and stay fully focused on the training
  • Be strict with the rest periods (use stop watch) – Timing is important, people fail to get results when they don’t follow the workout plan exactly
  • Don’t worry about your bodyweight or how much you are lifting
  • Listen to all the podcasts and interviews
  • You don’t have to do cardio if you hate it, diet is what matters for fat loss
  • Get involved in the AI community, use the support there and help others
  • Expect to have bad days
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment
  • Be aware that the process isn’t nearly as glamorous as the end result

Links from the interview:

Read Rodrigo’s experience with Adonis Index in his own words:

In one of my first blog posts, I wrote: “I’m thinking of entering AT8. This way I know I’ll just get there, get to where I’ve never been before, travel the road I’ve travelled so many times, but getting to the end this time.” I never expected what was coming.

This is the first time I stuck with a program…Continue reading here

Listen to the interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

10 Most Useful Lessons from Our Successful Adonis Contest Winners: Part II

If you haven’t read the first part go here: 10 Most Useful Lessons from Our Successful Adonis Contest Winners: Part I

In the last part we were talking about the first top five lessons from our contest winners, let’s take a look at the other five.

What defines a champion?

Here are the 5 lessons we discussed:

  1. Get Going…Learn on the Fly!
  2. What Drives You to Take Action?
  3. Don’t Change the Workout…Stick to It!
  4.  Form Comes First Before Weight
  5. Focus on Muscle Activation

Let’s move on to the second half of the 10 most useful lessons from our successful Adonis Index contest winners…

Lesson #6: Challenge Yourself

So form comes first, muscle activation come second. However, if you want to make your body strong and build some muscle mass all of your exercises must be performed against some type of resistance.

While there are many different ways to create that resistance, your best option range from barbell, dumbbell, or body weight exercises which you will find in the AI workout plans.

Pick the appropriate amount of weight and challenge yourself as you train for  muscle growth.  The challenge is to know how much weight you can lift while keeping  strict form through the entire set.   For example, eight  reps properly performed at a lighter weight far exceeds 3 reps performed at a heavier weight while sacrificing your form to finish the last 5 reps.

This will  involve a bit of trial and error, but rest assured your training skills will increase and muscular development will come.

Lesson #7: Ask Questions and Listen to Others

This is why we have the community, so use it, seriously.

Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and ask questions.

Lesson #8: Track Your Progress

Many successful contest winners have been known to track their results.   It’s almost a given, otherwise how would you know if you’re improving?  Even traditional bodybuilders keep a journal.  I don’t mean in the sense of  writing in a diary like: “Dear diary today I had a …” but rather writing down training information and having a diet log.

While the diet log is something you will probably do for only a couple months, the training log is far more important.  It will help you track the amount of weight used in certain exercises, record gains in strength over time, and even how you felt during your most challenging workout.

This is a tremendous return for the little amount of time it takes to write this information down.

Lesson #9: Give the Program and the Concepts an Honest Try

This is a huge one! It goes hand in hand with the first lesson, “Get Going…Learn on the Fly!”

If you ask any successful coach or mentor about goal setting they will almost always state that you must follow one approach until you learn the process and are able to get results.

If you read 10 different fitness sources and then try to follow all of their advice there is no way you will ever get any results. If it’s not your job as a marketer, writer, or journalist to read from several sources then YOU should read only one source of information. If you are serious about your results then you must focus and see beyond the entertainment of reading an article while drinking your morning coffee. It may sound funny when we say unsubscribe from other fitness “experts”, but that’s really what you should do. After joining our community, most people eventually choose to do the same. Keep in mind, if you want results you can’t afford to get conflicting information, so pick one source and stick to it. If it happens to be us, great!  If not, then no hard feelings, we hope you find what you’re looking for.

For me personally, this was difficult to overcome, but I now understand what was holding me back during my first year of training with Adonis Index.

Even if you don’t want to completely abandon other sources of fitness advice, then just simply put them on hold.  If what you are presently doing is not working, then you need to try something different. What’s important is that you follow the program in its entirety for at least 3 months before making any judgment calls.  Remember this is crucial, because if you don’t “try” you will never know.

Sometimes the struggle can be mental and not physical.  While training for an ideal body, you may face difficulty fasting or mentally accepting that you are now lighter in body weight, yet have a leaner and more muscular appearance.

A good rule of thumb is that if what is preventing you from trying our approach is your emotional system and not logic, fact, or proof…You’re on the right track!

Remember lesson one, “Get Going…Learn on the Fly!” Judge yourself only AFTERWARDS and not before you start – this is the biggest mistake of guys who fail to transform their physique.

You’ve got to decide how you want to get to your goals, pick one strategy and follow it through to the end. Don’t mix and match programs or philosophies otherwise you’ll never know if any of them work, or what works and what doesn’t. – John Barban

Lesson #10: Take Pictures

This is something most fitness experts rarely teach, but it’s a pretty neat technique to keep track of  you’re progress. First of all, a picture can be objective and allow you to compare your before and after pics, which is something you can’t do with a mirror. When you look in a mirror, you can often times fool yourself, because you see only what your brain wants you to see. While pictures serve as more accurate snapshots of reality you will  need some prep before capturing some quality images.  Shooting several images weeks or months apart lets you know whether your current plan is working or not.

There you have it!  These are the top 10 lessons learned from our contest winners.

Here’s the entire list one more time:

  1. Get Going and Learn on the Fly
  2. Figure Out What Drives You
  3. Don’t Change the Workout and Stick to It
  4. Put Your Lifting Form First and Foremost
  5. Focus on Muscle Activation
  6. Challenge Yourself
  7. Ask Questions and Listen to Others
  8. Make Notes as You Progress
  9. Give the Concept an Honest Try
  10. Take Pictures

Now, for the bonus tip! Yes, there is a bonus tip included. LOL

To make this more than just another random fitness article you will read; let’s put this information to use by taking a moment to grab a pen and paper.

Now write down the numbers one through ten.  You will use these numbers to refer to the ten lessons.  Next take a look at the list and if there is something you’re already doing place a “check mark” next to the appropriate number. If not, mark that number with an “X.”  Once you are done, go back and write out the lessons you have marked with an “X.”  The list you have just written is what you should work on in the next couple weeks before we begin the new contest. If you have several things to work one, take it slow.  Begin by focusing on one lesson a week.

Talk to you soon,

Vaclav Gregor


PS: Do you have some questions about this list or do you feel like you could add one or two more lessons? Let me know in the community here.

PPS: If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends and like it on Facebook.


The “No Bulk, Eat Less” Way

Here’s your new interview with one of the winners from the 8th Adonis Index Transformation Contest.

Today John talks to Justin Dyke who placed 6th in our last 12-Week Transformation contest.

Check out his transformation pictures:

Justin’s 12 week progress with Adonis Index.

Justin was accustomed to building  his own workout routines; he simply applied the information he read from magazines and online articles.

It wasn’t until he began college that the concepts of diet and exercise truly peaked his interest.

He realized there might be more to to health and fitness than just weight lifting.  Justin even considered the possible advantages of controlling his  food intake.

Rather than focusing on calories, he decided to follow the “healthy eating”  approach.  However, when he began to monitor his calorie intake, he finally saw a difference in the mirror.

What’s interesting is that even though he got some results, he continued to  look for new ways to improve his diet.  He became more and more obsessed with diet and controlling what he consumed.

His obsession reached new levels when he added the  bulking regimen in addition to his healthy diet.

He ate lots of food to gain weight. He was successful in this approach; the only issue was that it was gain of fat and not muscle.

Instead of  moving forward he was actually heading in the opposite direction (the worst feeling ever).

He felt powerful in the gym, but still didn’t have the look he wanted.

Justin was neither fat nor skinny, he maintained normal weight and BF%, but this bulking method ballooned his weight up to over 200 pounds.

The tide began to turn in his favor when a friend of his introduced him to the Adonis Index. Oddly enough, that was a couple years ago and Justin just didn’t believe the program would work for him, so he simply put it off.

It wasn’t until after listening to dozens of AI interviews and podcasts  that he finally decided to give it a shot. He asked himself “What do I have to lose by trying the workouts for 3 months and entering the contest?” when he realized that he could only gain from the experience, he decided to committ to the contest.

He stayed focused by keeping his goals in mind  and used the contest deadline as motivation to get the job done.

How to Slowly Condition Yourself to Eat Less

In a short amount of time Justin went from eating six times a day like a pro bodybuilder to eating just once a day by following Eat Stop Eat‘s intermittent fasting protocol.

So how exactly did Justin do this?

Well, he didn’t do it overnight, he took the slow approach.

During the first couple of weeks he transitioned from eating 6 times a day to eating just 3 times a day.

After he was comfortable with this pattern, he slowly began to skip the other two meals and tried fasting for 24 hours.

As soon as he realized that he is not going to die of starvation, he decided to incorporate fasting into his regular lifestyle.

It’s really just about mentally letting go and then physically conditioning your body to follow these new patterns.

For Justin, it was a tough mental game though. At first he had to let go of the emotional attachment he had to the bodybuilding diet and then start skipping the meals.

Summary of Justin’s Best Tips:

  • Keep it simple at all times
  • Focus on workout consistency
  • Have faith in the process and it will work out for you
  • Ignore other outside forces – You will be tempted to change things, so don’t, stick to this one thing and give it an honest try

Links from the interview:

Read Justin’s experience with Adonis Index in his own words:

I have been working out since high school and never really started taking it serious until my junior year of college when I started concentrating hard on the nutrition side. At this point I didn’t have a ton of nutrition information and I was able to lose a decent amount of fat and get in pretty good shape. From that point I thought I had to change everything in order to gain muscle. I ended up gaining close to 25 pounds …Continue reading here 

Listen to the interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

10 Most Useful Lessons from Our Successful Adonis Contest Winners: Part I

This article is focused on guys who are just starting to use the Adonis Index systems and are seeking clarity on how to use the workouts to their benefit. If you want to make a successful transformation and even win our contest this information is for you.

FYI make sure you read the whole article to its end!

Everyone who goes through our contests and crosses the finish line reports a huge shift in there perspective of life, accompanied with  improved confidence, and also an amazing physical and mental transformation. The question is what sets the winners apart from the guys who give up and don’t finish (not everyone finishes the contest)?

Adonis Index Winners

So what exactly makes you a winner? What defines a champion?

Well, if you’ve listened to a couple of our interviews with the winners (if not I encourage you to do so) you’ve probably noticed that certain points were emphasized by almost all contest winners.

I’ve listened to every single interview we have ever done at least once and after listening to them I’ve realized that there were 10 key points repeated almost every time.

Here they are…

Lesson #1: Get Going…Learn on the Fly!

Usually when somebody gets into the Adonis Lifestyle community, he starts asking a bunch of questions, which is a great thing, because that’s what the community is for.  However, the issue is when your couple questions turns into long term discussion over the workout’s or diet’s effectiveness even before giving it a try.

If you follow Pareto’s principle, then preferably you would want to spend 80% of your time practicing and 20% of your time reading new information or tweaking your current approach.

While the community is one of the best tools we have, you don’t want to spend 3 weeks there before actually going to the gym and trying the workout. All the information and help we provide should be viewed as a guidance and supplementation to your actions.

With that being understood, start going to the gym first and then use your down time on the weekends to listen to  some podcasts and share your challenges inside the community.

Lesson #2:  What Drives You to Take Action?

In my last article we’ve talked about figuring out your “why” – your reason why you are working out and maintaining a good diet. Which is in my opinion, your primary driver. Once you know the reason for your goals it’s easier to achieve them.

If motivation is an issue and you feel down all the time, read this:  The Key to Lasting Motivation

Lesson #3: Don’t Change the Workout…Stick to It!

One of the issues with inexperienced guys who never get the body they want is that they jump from program to program. They are simply never satisfied with the structure of the program.  They feel pumped for the first week or two and share their excitement with friends, but after about 3 weeks they become bored.  Feeling frustrated because they didn’t see any massive gains, they jump to a different program and then wonder why they look the same as they did  last year.

If you want results you need to go to the gym regularly and stick to the workout plan as it’s designed and continue to follow that workout plan in its entirety  (yes, 3 weeks simply ain’t enough, muscle growth is very slow).       A realistic and achievable goal is to stick to the program for 12 weeks. After comparing your starting and final progress pics, it’s up to you to decide in which direction you are to continue.

Lesson #4: Form Comes First Before Weight

This should go without saying but almost every beginner (myself included back in the early days) and the vast majority of regular trainees with some experience neglect this and everyone goes for the biggest weight plates and heaviest dumbbells in the gym despite the fact they are just not strong enough to train with them.

I firmly believe that the weight you are able to lift and the weight you are able to train with ARE DIFFERENT. The word “training” is not about lifting some weights, it’s about conditioning your muscles;  it is for that  reason we focus on proper form. If your form sucks and your bicep curls look like a “Good Morning” back exercise, you’re likely to be injured long before the time you will build any muscle.

Lesson #5: Focus on Muscle Activation

This goes hand in hand with the lesson four.

Anyone who has some solid weight training in their background knows exactly what muscle activation feels like.  If you don’t have that much experience, don’t worry it’s something you will learn and master over time.

As you progress through the beginner’s stage and gain strength, you will be able to feel your muscles in a completely different way. It’s at this stage when you should feel comfortable with basic form and begin the art of  focusing on the reps in each exercise more so than just the weight. For example, what do you’re muscles feel like as they complete each rep?  If your goal isn’t to be a power lifter, but rather a “body builder” then this is what you should focus on.

I always though that building muscle is just about moving some iron around in the gym. On the contrary, guys who get the best results are usually the ones who can activate their muscles properly.

Check this out for more information: Give Yourself Permission to Lift Light

Anyway, this is the end of Part I, so stay tuned for Part II.

Talk to you soon,

Vaclav Gregor


PS: Would like to guess the other 5 key lessons we will talk about next Friday? Let me know in the Adonis Lifestyle Community here.

PPS: If you are wondering who are the ripped gentlemen on the picture above, you can check out their stories here.

Can You Do AI Workouts and Keep Doing Sports like MMA or Football?

Here’s your new interview with one of the winners from the 8th Adonis Index Transformation Contest.

Today John talks to Cristiam Reinoso who placed 9th in our last 12-Week Transformation contest.

Check out his transformation pictures:

Cristiam’s 12 week progress with Adonis Index.

After going through different program Cristiam has decided to try the Adonis Index and he followed the program exactly as it’s designed, which is what we always recommend for the best results.

Cristiam understood from his gymnastics background that even though he may not be able to do all the workout programs at the beginning, as he keeps progressing the level of intensity he can handle will increase, it’s all just a matter of conditioning.

He told us that he knew he had it in himself to place in the contest, but he just needed some sort of motivation to push harder, this is when the forum really became a motivating force. Despite the competition everyone was super supportive.

So he decided to stick with the workout plan. He had the energy and as his conditioning was slowly improving he started to add more intensity to his training.

You have to understand that Cristiam is a very active guy. He is basically doing sports or some sort of physical training from five to eleven every day. Apart from strength training his activities include things like MMA or volleyball.

Because of all the sport activity Cristiam was always within striking distance, but never really ripped before the contest. What he also lacked was any sense of direction. This is one of the biggest down falls of the traditional bodybuilding approach. Most guys never get the body they really want, and their goals get hijacked by stuff like “performance training”, marathons or whatever is adored in the media.

And that’s what happened to Cristiam. He wanted a great looking body, so he tried all the famous programs you see online or in TV, he tried gymnastics, MMA and climbing among other stuff.

He tried eating lots of protein and timing his meals, but as you could guess he never got close to the ideal body.

Let’s take a look at the diet approach that finally worked.

Don’t Eat Your Breakfast

Each morning Cristiam woke up, had his coffee, skipped breakfast and continued fasting. He had a small meal in the afternoon and then something bigger for the dinner in the evening. He fasted for 16-18 hours daily.

FYI this is something that works for most people because it’s simple. Fasting creates an eating window, so you can focus on different things other than cooking and eating. You know you are not eating right at that moment, so you can think of something else and be more productive with your time.

And since you won’t be eating, you won’t get tired and sleepy, but in fact you’ll like feel more energetic instead. (might take a couple of fasts till you adjust and actually have more energy when fasted)

Another thing is that we have less “will power” towards the end of the day, we are more tired and usually have some sort of social interaction in the evening  so it seem logical to eat at this time of the day rather than have a big breakfast and feel sleepy for the whole day like most people do.

Most people eat a big breakfast, spend the whole morning thinking about what they will eat for lunch, then clean the dishes, take a nap and suddenly it’s late afternoon and nothing got done. And when they actually go out with friends in the evening they play the whole “oh I can’t eat that, I’m dieting” game.

No surprise that the conventional eating pattern leads to a lot of frustration.

Just skip a couple meals each day and you will be surprised by how many things you can get done and how amazing you will feel.

Be Aware of Were the Water Deplete technique comes from

Water depletion is a technique borrowed (as most of the advice you hear from fitness media) from bodybuilders. So what you have to realize is that if you try these techniques they might get you just 10-20% of their results at best (if any).

There is a big difference in carb loading done when using the synthetic drug insulin and carb loading without insulin…just as there is a difference between water deplete done with diuretics and without diuretics.

So don’t expect the same results that you see in magazines. However, that doesn’t mean carb loading or water depletion might not help to get the best pictures. The best thing is to test it out and decide whether it’s worth the effort in the future or not.

FYI – for those techniques to work you will mostly likely have to be close to or under 10% bodyfat.

And if your look is naturally ‘dry’ and you don’t carry a lot of water then it might be something you don’t even have to do, as it would likely make almost no difference in your final look.

Tips from Cristiam:

  • Regulate your calorie intake
  • Fasting is an eating window, use it
  • You don’t have to fast for 24 hours, you can fast for 16-18 hours and do that pretty much every day (drink coffee and water during the day and introduce food in the afternoon)
  • Listen to your body and scale things up slowly
  • Trying to make it happen faster might result in rebound, you need to be able to hold it, be content with slower progress
  • It’s a lifestyle and about moving forward and not about getting overnight results
  • If you hate running you can find other activities for “cardio”
  • Detach yourself from food – the less you eat, the less you want to eat
  • If you get injured back off, rehab and recover, don’t push through pain

Links from the interview:

Listen to the interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done: