Want to do a physique transformation? Want to burn fat and improve muscle definition at the same time? Then this article is right up your street!
Physique transformations can be complicated and hard. However, there are some fundamental tips I can provide to help set you off on the right track.
Here’s the list:
- Perform High Frequency Weight Training,
- Add in HIIT,
- Periodize your Carbohydrates,
- Cycle your Calories,
- Add in Strategic Refeeds,
- Take Caffeine & Green Tea ECGC,
- Sleep More,
1. Perform High Frequency, Metabolic Resistance Training
Sure, you should do weight training, nothing new I know. However, most females don’t do the type of weight training I’m referring to.
The type of weight training, called Metabolic Resistance Training is like a combo of supersets, drop set and circuit based training. It allows you to cram in about 300% more volume, burn more calories, boost your metabolism for up to 48 hours and increase anabolic hormones.
It has dozens of studies supporting its use, with them all showing superior fat loss compared to typical body building resistance training. It’s also great for preserving muscle mass, due to increased protein synthesis, volume and frequency.
In short, it’s important to pair agonist and antagonist muscles, for example, pairing chest and back, biceps and triceps and quads and hamstrings. For bigger muscles, such as your legs and back you can also use giant sets to target the same area but position the exercises. This overloads different joints and muscle fiber direction, while allowing for a large build up metabolites that burn calories and boost your metabolism.
2. Add in High Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is famous, providing drastic results in only 5/10 minutes of time. As with the metabolic resistance training, HIIT plays a big role in all my physique transformations.
Plenty of research supports the benefits of HIIT, showing for only 5-10 minutes per day you can:
- Drastically increase metabolism,
- Burn as many calories as a 30-45 minute cardio session,
- Improve markers of health,
- Burn bodyfat,
- Increase fat utilisation,
- Deceased blood sugar level,
- Maintain muscle mass,
- Improve aerobic and aerobic fitness (helping with the metabolic resistance training).
People are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of HIIT, however, there’s still one key issue.
Real HIIT is extremely explosive and performed at 150% intensity. After 20-30 seconds you should be absolutely exhausted- feeling the need to lie down on the floor to recover. This is the intensity they use in the studies and research, so it must be replicated if you want the same benefits.
However, these days most people perform low intensity HIIT, which doesn’t have the same effect. There are only a few gym based workouts that you can perform for a true HIIT Workout.
HIIT Is one of my favourite tools for body transformation, I use it with most of my clients. Several people in the 90 Day Bikini Program have also reported that just adding in my 10 minute HIIT protocols, 3-4 times a week caused drastic changes in fat loss (remember, diet and normal training must also be in place first).
When my clients fat loss slows HIIT is always a first port of call. Try it yourself, add 3 sessions per week, 10 minutes per session. The results are amazing.
3. Periodize & Tailor Your Carbohydrates
Carbs are a powerful tool if used correctly.
Get your carb intake wrong, you’ll struggle to lose weight and increase insulin resistance. However, get it right and you’ll boost training performance, recovery, anabolic hormones, metabolism and fat loss!
The key, that most people ignore is carbohydrate periodization and carb cycling.
Quite simply, you tailor your carbs to your life, diet, goals and exercise regime. In the last 2 years I’ve started to use carbohydrate cycling and periodization with most of my clients, it works wonders.
If you think about it logically, why would you eat the same amount of carbs on a rest day, a cardio day, a back day and a leg day? They clearly require different amounts of fuel and carbohydrates, it just makes no sense…
To tailor your carbs, try 2 or 3 set days. For example, have some meal or macro plans for a high carb day, a medium carb day and a low-carb day.
Here’s some example macros percentages:
High Carb Days: 55% Carbs, 30% protein, 15% fat
Med Carb Days: 35% Carbs, 35% protein, 30% fat
Low Carb Days: 15% Carbs, 40% protein, 45% fat
4. Cycle Your Calories.
Calorie cycling is in my opinion (and based on the research i’ve read), one of the biggest break throughs in fat loss this decade.
If you understand the section above (i.e. everything should be tailored to the individual), this following point should be obvious.
As with carbs, calories should be tailored to your daily needs. This includes your exercise session but should also include your general activity that day, metabolism, hormones, bodyweight, how many hours you were awake, etc.
Along with altering calories to match your daily needs, you should cycle them on over a periods of weeks to avoid metabolic damage and hormonal down regulations.
I’ve discussed the importance of this and how your hormones crash during a normal diet in this article. In short, these metabolic adaptations cause a rapid decrease in anabolic hormones, metabolism, calories burnt per day, strength and also increases your cortisol and hunger hormones – the complete opposite to what we need for physique transformation!
Calorie cycling is a great way to avoid these. To cycle calories you may do mini cycles within a week OR longer cycles, here are some examples:
- The Weekend Cycle: 5-day calorie deficit of around 500 calories, 2 days at maintenance
- Davoodi’s Cycle: 11-day calorie deficit of around 500 calories, 3 days at maintenance
- 3 On, 1 Off: 3 Weeks in a 300-500 calorie deficit, 1 week at maintenance
- Monthly Cycle: 4-5 weeks in a 300-500 calorie deficit, 10-14 days at maintenance
(Related: Get my calorie cycling diet plan in this program).
5. Add in Strategic Refeeds.
Along with cycling your calories, refeeds can help stop the issues and metabolic damage which i discussed above.
Reefds also provide an important psychological break, allowing you to eat plenty of food but in a strategic and beneficial manner, so it won’t mess up your progress (like cheat meals do)!
The Refeeds must be in place at the right time and programmed in advance. I experimented for 4 years and analyzed all the research on it with a fine tooth come to optimize the protocol I use in my programs and coaching.
If you add them in to often or early, you will stall or slow weight loss. In contrast, if you wait to long then you may have suffered from some of the negative metabolic and hormone adaptations above. As you can see, it’s a fine balance and requires skill.
Here are 2 recommendations for you to try. As always, you may need to adjust based on progress!
- 11 Day Normal Diet – 2-3 Day Refeed
- 21 Day Normal Diet – 5 Day Refeed
For the Refeeds, we use around a 50% increase in the 90 Day Bikini Challenge. For those that aren’t on an aggressive diet, you may only need a 25% increase in calories and macros. These extra calories can come from all 3 macros, just increase each one proportionally.
6. Take Caffeine & Green Tea ECGC
Most fat burners are a waste of time and money. However, caffeine & green tea have a TON of research supporting their benefits.
To start, caffeine is known as one of the worlds best supplements, inline with creatine. It has numerous benefits, including:
- Increased Fat Oxidation
- Increase Adrenaline
- Increased Strength & Power
- Increased Higher Rep Bodybuilding Training
- Increased release of Stored Fat Cells
- Increased Energy & Focus
- Decreased Fatigue
- Decreased Rate Of Perceived Exertion (stuff feels easier!)
As you can see, it’s pretty impressive. Green Tea also compliments this well and they work synergistically together. Like Caffeine, Green Tea can have some special effects on your belly fat and help you get shredded.
Although I don’t recommend many supplements (most lack research & are a waste), these 2 are part of the 90 Day Bikini Challenge and I use them a lot with personal clients. Based on the research, the this is the best legal and natural fat loss stock around. You can learn more about green tea and the best fat burning supplements in this article, 3 natural fat burning supplements.
7. Sleep More, A lot More…
Not sexy, but just as important as exercise, diet or any supplement protocol. Sleep is extremely unappreciated and there’s plenty of sleep research showing it can help you get shredded, improve health, reduce disease risk and add muscle!
Several studies have highlighted that to start, if you have a bad nights sleep you are:
- More likely to overeat that day
- More likely to make bad nutritional choices
- More likely to skip the gym
- Have decreased workout performance
- More likely to cut your workout short
- Have increased hunger and cravings
- Reduced Metabolism
- Reduced daily activity level (simple things like walking)
- Decreased Strength
- Decrease in Anabolic Hormones
- Increase in Cortisol
As you can see, it has a MAJOR impact on every aspect of physique transformation! If you have a bad days diet or skip a training session not much will happen, however, get a bad nights sleep and it has a cascade of effects!
Try to sleep at least 8 hours per day, when training and dieting hard your body can require more, I recommend some clients have 9-12 if needed.
Take relevant steps to optimize sleep as well, quality is as important as quantity. Aim for a deep and uninterrupted sleep:
- Remove any lights (even little red dots),
- Make sure your blinds / curtains block all or most of the natural light from windows,
- Invest in a good mattress,
- Block Blue Light, don’t use any electronic devices 60-90 minutes before bed,
- Take relaxing supplements or sleep aids, such as 5-HTP, GABA, ZMA, Melatonin etc
I hope you found the above points helpful and take immediate action.
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