If your training program consists of bodyweight exercises, you’re in Phase 1.
During phase 1 we focus on achieving 3 goals:
- Shred excess body-fat.
- Master pull ups and push ups.
- Gain basic mobility (especially in the lower body).
I will deal with each goal separately below.
1) Shred excess body-fat
We want to shred the excess body-fat because…:
- Excess body-fat is estrogenic. It increases the female hormone Estrogen and thereby reduces your free testosterone levels (testosterone is the main muscle building hormone in the body).
- Excess body-fat makes your nutrient partitioning poor. This means that your body isn’t optimised for utilising food for muscle gains.
- Excess body-fat makes it hard to see your hard earned muscle gains.
- Excess body-fat has a negative psychological impact on you. It’s not fun to wake up and see love handles and man boobs in the mirror. We want to shred it once and for all.
The way we shred the excess body-fat is by being in a slight caloric deficit that enables you to lose 1-2 pounds per week on average (keep in mind that fat loss is non-linear so you might have weeks where you barely lose fat, while you have weeks where you lose 2 pounds).
This caloric deficit is mostly created through diet rather than training.
The reasoning for this is that it’s much easier to cut out a snickers bar from your food intake and thereby save hundreds of calories, compared to running for 30 minutes which achieves about the same thing.
To some of you, 1-2 pounds may not sound like a whole lot, but keep this in mind:
9/10 PEOPLE WHO LOSE FAT, REGAIN ALL OF IT WITHIN 2 YEARS.
If you want to avoid being part of that statistic you have to find a sustainable way to lose the fat.
And that’s why most of my clients feel full and energised on my High Testosterone Diet Plan…
I want every single one of you to feel great while shredding the fat, even if it means that you have to diet for a longer time, because once you’ve lost the fat, you’ve lost it for life.
So… How long time does it take to shred the fat?
For most skinny-fat guys, it takes about 3-6 months.
Here are the 2 most important factors that affect the time-frame given that you follow my program to the letter:
- Starting body-fat percentage (you can cut about 3 percent body-fat per month and we want to achieve around 12% body-fat, so a skinny-fat guy who is 24% body-fat will have to spend 4 months on fat loss).
Basically the closer you are to being a teenager and the less body-fat you carry, the faster your fat loss will be.
2) Master basic bodyweight exercises
During phase 1 we focus on mastering 2 exercises:
- Pull ups
- Push ups
These two exercises combined train your entire upper body.
Pull ups train back, rear shoulders and biceps.
Push ups train the chest, front shoulders and triceps.
Now, the issue is that most skinny-fat guys start out very weak on these exercises…
A typical skinny-fat guy can do something like 0-4 pull ups and 5-12 push ups. (You will almost always be almost twice as strong on push ups since it’s an easier exercise).
To correct the skinny-fat physique and prepare you for more rigorous training programs, we have to master these basic bodyweight exercises.
To be specific, we aim for 15 perfect reps on the pull up and as many push ups (or diamond push ups you can do at the time you achieve these 15 pull ups).
Once you can do these 15 pull ups, it’s a sign that both your joints and muscles are strong enough to progress into a more rigorous bodybuilding program.
3) Gain basic mobility
I’ve added a variety of stretches for your hamstrings and hip flexors:
- Modified hurdler stretch: Hamstrings and a bit of hip flexor.
- Standing hamstring stretch: Hamstrings and a bit of hip flexor.
- Open lizard hip stretch: Hip flexor and a bit of hamstrings.
I’ve added these because most guys today have shortened hamstrings and tight hip flexors. (The hamstring muscle starts shortening after 1+ hour of sitting down without getting up and it also shortens from a lot of biking, running and playing soccer). Literally everyone today who has a desk job, has shortened hamstrings and tight hip flexors.
When you have that, it causes anterior (forward) pelvic tilt, and thereby tilts your entire upper body posture forwards.
This anterior pelvic tilt not only messes up your posture and thereby the way you look, but also your mechanics on essential exercises such as squats, overhead presses and pull ups.
The goal of performing your hamstring and hip flexor stretches is to enable you to get all the way down in a bodyweight squat:
The other mobility factor we want to work on is your chest and shoulders…
Most of us have “forward shoulders” which is caused by a combination of the following:
- Overdeveloped and tight chest.
- Overdeveloped and tight front shoulders (your shoulders have 3 heads: front, medial and rear).
Now, you may think that it’s not possible that your chest and shoulders are “overdeveloped” because they’re still small, but you have to keep in mind that everything is relative.
When I say that your chest and front shoulders are overdeveloped, I mean that they’re overdeveloped compared to your back and back shoulders.
You see… Most people who have done sports or any kind of gym program, have most likely done a lot of pushing exercises such as bench presses and push ups, but not so many pulling exercises such as pull ups and deadlifts.
Now, keep in mind that when you train a muscle you shorten it and make it tight, so if you have been doing a lot of push ups or bench presses in your past without so many pulling movements such as pull ups and deadlifts, you most likely have tight and overdeveloped front shoulders and chest.
The fix for this is simple: stretch the chest and shoulder and strengthen your back.
For the purpose of stretching your chest and shoulders, I have implemented 2 stretches:
- Standing chest stretch.
These take just 2 minutes to do, and should be done even if you don’t have overdeveloped front shoulders and chest since they will prevent potential injuries from the pushing part of your program.
To strengthen your back, your program has pull ups (more on that in the next section).
The goals of Phase 1:
Phase 1 is about achieving the following 3 goals:
- 12% body-fat. (If you’re already quite lean we will just maintain your weight while working towards the other goals).
- 15 pull ups with perfect form.
- Full squat position.
Achieving these 3 goals should take about 4-6 months depending on factors such as starting point, age, response to training and diet and discipline.
Expectations For Phase 1
When some of you start my program you expect to start seeing incredible results right off the bat, but this won’t be the case if you’re in Phase 1 clients and now I’ll explain why…
When you start your transformation you have to invest 3-6 months into developing a solid foundation that enables you to make huge progress down the line.
You have to lose fat, build up some basic strength and mobility and optimise your hormones after years of bad habits. These things take time.
Besides that, when you start your fat loss you will start out looking worse since you most often lose fat in the “wrong places” such as your arms and shoulders and only at the end do you see the fat on your waist and hips shred off.
You can also potentially lose some muscular fullness during Phase 1 since you’re in a caloric deficit, so that combined with losing fat in the “wrong” places is a terrible combination. This small muscle loss is nothing to worry about though since that muscle will be re-gained in a matter of weeks once you enter Phase 2, so don’t worry about muscle loss!