Tag Archive: cutting



Click here to watch video “Confusing bodybuilding terms for novices”

 

Quite a few of my followers have requested that I must clarify some of the basic training terms I refer too in my videos. I can fully understand their confusion. Some of them has never seen the inside of the gym. After watching some of my videos they are so inspired and then want to embark on this new adventure but alas everything is soooo confusing! It is similar when a nuclear physicist is trying to explain cold fusion in the most basic terms, but you still have no clue as to what he/she is talking about because you do not grasp the meaning of the most basic terms.

Gert Louw white small

So although many of you will find this boring, let me lay the ground work and give some clarification for those newbies to the basic training terms I refer to in my videos.

Ok, let start at the big term: “training program”. This refers to the training aspect and does not include nutrition or supplements. It refers to everything where muscles are involved while you exercise.

By the way, I support a 4 or 5 day workout schedule.

Workout is the specific routine you will be following on a specific day.

There are total body workouts, which refers to a workout where all muscles groups are trained/exercised during a single session.

Then there are more goal orientated split routine workouts where one only focusses on 2-3 muscle groups per training session/day – this is the kind of training I support.

You will hear I talk a lot about sets and reps.

Reps are the time it takes to lift a weight to the maximum position and dropping it back to the original starting position. This will be a single rep. If you lift and drop the weight 8 times, that will be 8 reps performed.

concerntration curl

Sets are slightly more complicated. This is a method of grouping the reps together for a specific goal. For example if one wants to build muscle you will typically group the reps in sets of 8 (and reach muscle failure on the last rep). When you want to lose body fat one typically group the reps together with more reps, about 15 in a set (and just stop short of complete muscle failure).

Muscle failure is the point where one cannot perform another rep with the weight, meaning the muscle is literally failing.

Between sets one typically rest long enough to allow the muscles to recover enough to be able to do the next set effectively. This is usually 2-3 min but when one really training very heavy this might be slightly longer.

A muscle group refers to a single muscle like biceps for example. For effectivity one strings 2-3 logical muscle groups together in a training session. (For example: Pecs, Biceps and abs)

Warm ups is the process by which one perform light exercises before the training session to get the blood flowing and make sure the target muscles are sufficiently warmed up before you start training intensely.

Stretching is the process after each set which you use to lightly stretch the muscle which was just trained.

You will hear I will also refer to training concepts and things like supersets.

Training concepts is any activity that you add to your training session to perform your normal reps and sets in a different fashion to stimulate the muscle for growth.

The way the body works is that anything that become repetitive over time stop stimulating the muscles for a response. The muscles learn to handle that type of training/attack without further increasing in shape or size.

So training need always be fresh and changing to allow for effective muscle stimulation.

A training concept I regularly refer to is supersets. That is where you string two different muscle group’s sets together without resting in between. You only do this for 2 sets at a time. It is good tool to help burn more body fat and stimulate muscles for growth.

Dumbbells refers to the weights showing on the screen now.

Dumbbells

This is how a EZ barbell look.

EZ bar

Then one also get barbells with straight bars.

barbell

This is a flat bench.

flat bench

This is an incline bench.

Incline Bench.png

This is a seated bench.

seated bench.jpg

This is an exercise ball.

exercise ball

When I talk about technique, I refer to the specific way and form in which one performs an exercise or lift a weight.

I also regularly refer to Cutting Phase and Building Phase. Cutting phase is the process by which one train and diet with the focus on preserving muscles mass while losing body fat. Building Phase is the process and diet which focus on building muscles with adding a little more body fat to allow the body to build muscles effectively.

Lastly, you will hear I refer to health supplements and bodybuilding supplements.

Health supplements is anything (like a multi vit) you take to ensure optimal health. Bodybuilding supplements is something one takes in a specific way and timeframe to assist the body with certain aspects of the bodybuilding process (could be fat loss, muscle building, tissue repair, etc…)

 

Hope this give some better understanding for those newbie’s that want to start the great adventure.

 

WANT SOMETHING MORE ADVANCED & FULLY CUSTOMIZED?  The program I am following for the past 6 years (age 46 to 52), available now fully customised on all levels, just for you. Every little secret, every hard-earned practical fact, every scientific study that actually support the (very) few supplements between all the thousand ridiculous advertisement claims have been filtered en incorporated into one system that MAKES A DIFFERENCE click here: 

https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

 

Wish you all happy training!
Gert Louw

http://www.gertlouw.com


Hi guys and girls, Gert Louw from Cape Town.

Every year just after my birthday it is sort of a tradition for me to do a flexing and inspirational video.

This year it was my 52nd birthday.

So here is the video just after my birthday:

Click here to view video “Life INSPIRATION at age 52”

 

With this video I want to inspire a little.

Neither your age, nor your health should ever (!) stand in your way.

Now, most of you know by now that 12 years ago I nearly died and doctors did not give me any good news. But with faith I moved forward and apply healthy living on all levels and also did some house cleaning and moving closer to God ( I am a follower of Jesus Christ).

Obviously it was a long and hard road and the body took long to respond to this healthy living but the wheel did turn and it is keeping on turning as a result.

Now, I am not naïve in thinking everyone with serious health issues can and will turn around like I did, but what I do believe is that with faith in God and by living very healthy, one CAN make a huge difference. Obviously you need your doctor’s approval to embark on such a journey.

But, let me share with you the core of my healthy living

Gert Louw face2

 

My training program is as follows:

  • Mondays – Chest, Biceps and abs
  • Tuesdays – Shoulders, Traps and calves
  • Wednesdays – rest
  • Thursdays – Back, triceps and abs
  • Fridays – Legs, upper pecs and calves
  • Saturdays & Sundays – rest

 

My supplement regime

Health supplements:

  • ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid)
  • CQ10 (Co Enzyme Q10)
  • Omega 3+6
  • Strong Multi Vitamin
  • Slow release Vit C

Muscle building supplements:

  • Whey protein powder
  • L-Glutamine
  • BCAA

 

How do I structure my training?

I do a 3-months Cutting phase with a very specific cutting phase diet and training with lighter weights at a higher rep range followed by 1 week rest and then a 3-month building phase with a very specific building phase diet and training with heavier weights to absolute muscle failure at lower reps (about 8 reps per set) followed by 1 week rest and the repeat.

This allow me to build muscle but also to recover the strained tendons and joints.

 

About my diets

I make use of one of the top fitness nutritionists in the field (BERNADETTE BEYER) to work out my diets for each phase according to my bodytype and goals. This is the crucial part of your success and without a very focussed diet there will be no success.

My blog contains a LOT of info for free that can help you through all these processes.

But for those interested, I also offer my exact training/supplem and diet system via the ADVANCED SYSTEM II (option E). The same nutritionist I use will also work out your diet solution and I myself attend to working out your training and supplement attack based. If you want to signup, just choose option E via the following link: https://gertlouw.com/contact-me

Now, everyone…happy training!

Cheers

Gert Louw

Gert Louw REACH FOR THE STARS small


Cheat and still win with your diet!

Click here to view video “CHEAT & STILL WIN WITH YOUR DIET

Now this is probably what everyone wants to hear – lol! BUT, the truth is, there are methods to cheat and still get to the top!

Life is not meant to be without a dessert once on a while…and I am talking Baked Chocolate Fondant with oozing real sweet chocolate out if it’s center with ice cream (real ! ice cream) liberally used. The same goes for the odd glass of wine/whiskey or beer or whatever blows your skirt up, even a chocolate!

A certain balance needs to be applied to stay sane with anything in life. I’ve just done a 3 weeks severe cutting diet, sticking 100% to it…and, it’s was hell! The more you are going to disallow yourself a treat once in a while, the bigger the chance that your diet will fail completely in the end. You would just say…”I had enough”. And you know what? I have big compassion for that…so let’s have a look here how (!) you can cheat regularly without crashing your diet and keep yourself sane and focused to stick 98% to your diet.

Sundays to Fridays – sorry that (!) is where you stick 100% to your diet.

Get yourself some sugarless, carb less, fat free sweets. Do some searching and buy those that have as little calories as possible…like below 10! Then during the Sunday to Friday period…pop a few (3-4) of those during the day when you feel the urge to treat yourself a bit. Apart from that – nothing else.

The key is always to eat all your regular meals and drink all your water (2L-4L)…THAT is what keeps you full and keep the urges to eat wrong away.

Obviously, if you are at your target body fat then some different rules apply. Then you are allowed 2 -3 cheats evenly spaced out during the week. But for this documents purpose, let’s assume we are dealing with all those that are still far from the target body fat levels.

Your cheat should be left for a weekend day…when you are less stressed, more relaxed and doing something you like. This cheat will go to great lengths to make you not feeling deprived of some great things and food in life. Even if you don’t feel like a cheat, maybe it is a good idea…simply to help you stay balanced and not feeling deprived later on in the week.

Gert Louw LEGS CB

Now, “HOW?” should you cheat?

There can only be one cheat and that cheat can only be once per day per week on just 1 day of the week!

First you eat the diet as normal for that day as specified.

Let’s look at the next cheat scenario’s:

1.       Ice Cream cheat / Soft drink / dessert cheat / potato crisps – once anytime during day. Then for 2 of your meals for the day cut out carbs completely. One small meals carbs and one larger meals carbs.

2.       Chocolate cheat 150g – anytime during day. The same as above:  For 2 of your meals for the day cut out carbs completely. One small meals carbs and one larger meals carbs.

3.       Alcohol cheat (500ml equivalent wine) – anytime during day. Usually late afternoon or evening you will use this cheat. So for the evening meal cut out carbs completely and ONLY clean fatless meat and salad…no sauces, no carbs, nothing else! And definitely no dessert. If you want dessert, then no wine! One or the other… [Note: be very careful with alcohol. It is the key reason why men, especially older men, struggle to loose fat around the tummy and have a bloated look to the tummy. Best is to cut alcohol COMPLETELY out and have other types of cheats.]

 

Remember that with any of the above cheats it will set you back 24 to 48 hours before your body reverted to the level before you cheated and only then will it be able to start losing fat again. So even though you have cheated it is STILL very much possible to loose fat for the week, but only within above rules.

 

I strongly believe that the only winning approach is a balanced approach. That keeps you focused and you feel like “life” is not deprived of you. Part of this balance is to cheat on a weekly basis with your diet by applying above wisdom!

 

Wish you all happy dieting and a great training week!
Gert Louw

http://www.gertlouw.com

Gert Louw green small

 


What to do first? Cut or building phase?

This is probably the most frequent question I get ask.” I want to start with my body transformation now, but which phase must I do first?”

Cutting and Building phases play a very important role in allowing the body to cope with the strain of training. Every 3 months during the Cutting Phase the weights are lighter with higher reps per set, allowing the tendons and joints a rest and time to recover and strengthen for the next attack with the Building Phase. It also has many other positive effects on health and the body in general.

Click here to view video “Cutting or Building Phase first?”

 

Just to clarify the terms:

Cutting Phase

  • The phase by which you drop body fat while attempting to hang on to the muscle size.
  • Lighter training (more reps per set), generally not to the point of failure.
  • Fewer calories consumed.
  • Usually 3 months in length.
  • Can go as low as 4-5% body fat where competing athletes push the limits to 2-3% body fat levels for very short durations.

Building Phase

  • The phase by which you slightly increase body fat to enable you to build bigger muscles.
  • Train to muscle failure at low reps on EACH set to ignite growth.
  • Slightly higher calories consumed (approximately 10% more than cutting phase – ALWAYS stick to 40/30/30 split – protein/carbs/fat).
  • Usually 3 months in length.
  • Should not go lower than 8% body fat otherwise you will struggle to add decent muscle size.

 

The answer is not a simple one and some factors needs to be considered. I think it will be best explained by going through a couple of scenarios.

 

Training status: beginner to moderate / Body fat levels: Above 10%  / Goal:  Shredded, muscled body.

ANSWER:  Considering your goal of a shredded physique and the fact that you are not an advanced athlete and body fat levels are above 10% it is a clear sign that you should start with the Cutting Phase. In fact I would say that if your body fat levels are over 15% or 20% you should strongly consider an extended Cutting Phase until such time that it drops below a 10% level before you start alternating between the Phases.

 

Training Status: beginner to moderate / Body fat levels: 8% – 10% / Goal: Shredded, muscled body

ANSWER:  For this scenario the freedom of choice is yours. Depending on how much you want that shredded look, I would suggest you decide. If it is all important, then start off with a 3 month Cutting Phase and then alternate with a 3 month Building Phase and repeat. If it is not all out important then nothing stops you from starting with the Building Phase in this scenario. The fact that you are a beginner to moderate athlete however would suggest the Cutting Phase could be a better option to start with since you might still not have all the techniques of the exercises fully under control and heavy intense training might put you in risk of injury.

 

Training Status: advanced / Body fat levels: between 8% – 10% / Goal: Shredded, muscled body

ANSWER:  The exact same as above scenario with the difference that this is an advanced athlete. Due to this fact he/she will have strengthened tendons and joints and exercise technique should already been well under control. These facts lend to the suggest that such an athlete might rather want to start with the Building Phase (although he/she have complete freedom to decide).

 

Training Status: advanced / Body fat levels: below 8% / Goal: Shredded, muscled body

ANSWER:  In this scenario the athlete is already in shredded territory (below 8% body fat). Unless it is a  hardcore athlete that want to go down to like 5% body fat levels, the better choice here would be to do a Building Phase.

 

Training Status: advanced / Body fat levels: above 10% / Goal: muscled body

ANSWER:  In this scenario the aim is just to get a muscled body (call it a Rugby player look). Body fat levels are not such a great concern to this person plus he is a rather advanced athlete that knows his technique. There is no reason why such a person should start with the Cutting Phase. He can start off with the Building Phase and from there onwards alternate every 3 months between Cutting and Building Phases.

 

I hope this clears up the confusion. (BODY Transformation SYSTEMS worked out just for you: https://gertlouw.com/contact-me/)

Keep training hard and GROW!

Gert Louw

http://www.gertlouw.com

Gert POOL


Hey guys and girls, 2015 in full swing.

Hope all back at gym and training going good. Make sure that diet is fully in check!

If u want a cutting diet, click here: https://gertlouw.com/2014/08/16/cutting-diet-challenges/

If you want a building diet, click here: https://gertlouw.com/2014/10/27/muscle-building-phase-sample-diets/

If you ant to know how to start a transformation from scratch, click here: https://gertlouw.com/2014/06/02/how-do-i-start-a-body-transformation-from-scratch/

 

To help you get focussed, here is a free e-book on some great bodybuilding advice.

Just click the link below:

19 Tips To Build Muscle

 

Wish u much success.

Gert

gert smiling white


Many new guys starting out on the journey of muscle-building struggle to grasp the reasons and concept behind a building and cutting phase in training.

Let’s first get the naming conventions sorted out. Doing bodybuilding natural (without anabolic steroids) means you will be doing a building and cutting phase.

For the anabolic crowd it is a more of a “bulking and cutting” phase than a “building and cutting” phase.

The difference in the naming is due to the anabolic crowd having greater control over manipulating body fat percentages than the natural crowd. Being natural means that you will not fluctuate as heavily with body fat between building and cutting phases.

Anabolic crowd can fluctuate up to 12% body fat between phases but natural guys usually limit fluctuation to a max of 4 or 5%.

 

So why a cutting and building phase?

I can speak from personal experience. Since I introduced a cutting and building phase into my training my shape and power has gone from strength to strength.

The alternating of these phase allow your muscles and especially tendons to recover and growth stronger for the next attack. After every cutting phase you will see you can lift more intense and heavier weights than during the earlier building phase.

Let’s get to phase specific reasons.

Benefits of a building phase (max 8 reps per sets and total of 14 sets per routine):

  1. Body fat at higher percentage allowing for better lean mass growth.
  2. Training intense with low reps and very heavy weights building muscle.
  3. Eat excess calories to feed the body for growth during this process.
  4. The heavy and intense training stimulates extra release of testosterone and Growth Hormone further helping with adding on muscles.

But alas this cannot continue indefinitely. You usually run a building phase for 3 – 4 months.

The tendons and joints will be stiff and sore at the end of this phase (if u trained intense enough like u should). Continuing for a too long time in this phase WILL result in severe injury which will keep you out of gym for a long period.

Young guys can still extend the Building Phase period for a few months extra but the older guys must stick to the 3 to 4 month max period.

It is good practice to rest for 7 to 14 days between phases – NO TRAINING! To allow the body to rest and further recover. It will also be a boost to your immune system.

Always after the building phase you will do a cutting phase and then alternate again.

 

Benefits of the cutting phase (max 8 reps per set and total of 14 sets per routine):

  1. Tendons recover and strengthen for an even more intense cycle in the building phase.
  2. “Train” body to lose body fat easily.
  3. Eat into “grey fat” areas and slowly eradicated them (love handles, etc…)
  4. Result in aesthetic pleasing body with 6-pack.

 

A crucial rule for the cutting phase is to train at not more than 80% your max.

Also cut out any cardio or severely limit it.

Cardio on top of the weights will overtax your energy resources with the cutting diet and this will result in smaller muscles (NOT FATLOSS!).

It is critical that you find the “sweet spot” during your cutting diet where you will lose fat and not muscle. Visit my cutting diet video for detailed explanation about this process.

 

Scenario 1 : “I am 20% body fat what phase do I do?”

In this scenario I will suggest that you kick off with the cutting phase and cutting diet. I suggest you drop at least 10% body fat before embarking on a building phase again. Then make sure that you do NOT pick up more body fat than a maximum of 5% during the building phase. With your following cutting phase you must then bring the body fat down from 15% to at least 7% before embarking on the building phase again. From there onwards you can stick to a 3-4 month alternating routine between building and cutting phases.

Scenario 2: “I am 10% body fat what phase do I do?”

In this scenario you are close to slot in with a normal building/cutting approach. Do a cutting phase and bring down the body fat to 5% before embarking on a building phase. From there onwards stick to the standard 3-4 months building/cutting phases.

 

A cutting phase can theoretically be stretched over a slightly longer period than a building phase because of the lesser strain it places on tendons and joints. But even so I would still not suggest longer than 6 months before switching over to a building phase and then alternate.

 

I am now 60 days in my building program and already added nearly 8kg bodyweight. Weighing 89 now. Targeting 92 to 95kg by time I finish the building phase.

Here is a recent pic with the added weight:

gert1

Wish you all happy training!

Cheers…

Gert Louw

 

Cutting Diet Challenges


The most impressive physiques are shaped by a successful cutting diet – full stop!

Sure, training helps and all the other things helps but the success of your cutting diet is 85% battle won!

The biggest challenge is determining the exact daily calories and manipulating them to allow your body to respond correctly.

  • Too little and your body go into starvation mode = losing muscle but little fat.
  • Too much and your body will lose not fat and continue to add fat.
  • Just right and your body will keep the muscle but start losing the fat.

It is not such an easy process. You might think you hit the right combination when the scale drops, but how sure are you you are dropping fat and not muscle?

Those interested in the program I’ve been following: available now fully customised on all levels, just for you. Every little secret, every hard-earned practical fact, every scientific study that actually support the (very) few supplements between all the thousand ridiculous advertisement claims have been filtered en incorporated into one system that MAKES A DIFFERENCE click here: 

https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

 

That can only be determined by tedious effort of taking your weight and bodyfat levels with calipers at various places around the body.

Most of the time a diet coach is needed to help you with this monitoring process.

And do not think what works for one person will work perfectly for the next.

Each of our bodies responds differently to the exact same calorie intake.

There are guidelines determining a rock solid starting point but that will have to be monitored at least every 14 days with weighing in and extensive bodyfat measurements with calipers.

For example, I had my coach put me on a rock solid approach for my cutting diet to reach my target 3% bodyfat. (remember I want to keep my muscle not loose it!)

Here follows the diet I started with:

cutting-diet-one (Click to open file)

This Diet failed miserably with a drastic decreasing in muscle size and very little decreasing in bodyfat levels.

Date BodyWeight BodyFat BodyFatKg ChangeKg LeanMassKg Change Lean Kg Chest
2/7 87.60 8.37 7.33 0.00 80.27 0.00 113.00
1/8 86.40 8.82 7.62 0.29 78.78 -1.49 112.00

Then I switched to the following 2nd diet with a increased calorie intake:

cutting-diet-two (Click to open file)


I had very good success with the 2nd (above) diet and although I weighed heavier on the scale, I actually recovered all my lost muscle weight and more and lost as well more than 1% bodyfat in 14 days
. This simply by increasing the calories to better suite my body.

Too add even a bit more muscle mass my calorie content was increased even more with this 3rd version of the diet for the next three weeks.

It will allow me to continue putting on muscle mass and still lose a little bodyfat at the same time:

cutting-diet-three (Click to open file)

For the last 3 weeks of my cutting I will revert to a special diet helping me to get rid of unwanted water levels. This will get me very close to that magic 3% bodyfat level for 20 Sept.

More on the last trick in a future post.

The lesson learned here is that it is money very wisely spend to have a few sessions with a bodybuilding diet coach to get that diet correctly geared for your body.

We spend sooo much money on all the supplements and put in a huge effort with the hard work in gym but when it comes to the most important aspect (which have by FAR the biggest impact) we make some very unwise decisions.

Sure, you can try one or all of my diets and you might hit the jackpot, but chances are you will not nearly reach your maximum potential unless you take charge and manage your diet and body-fat/muscle mass ratios very carefully with a coach.

Happy training! (in this case…happy dieting!)

Gert


Hey all you fitness folks!

 

 

On 20Sept I will do a fitness photo shoot and had to re-align my normal cutting diet to achieve a contest ready body at 3% bodyfat for that day.

So here I will give you a quick breakdown as to the key factors that changed for this “Contest Prep Diet” vs. my normal cutting diet regime.

For those that think a waterpill or diuretic  will do the trick a day or two before the contest to bring body fat into acceptable parameters, please think twice.

A waterpill will most definitely get the water content down in the skin and that will help with a ripped look, but it will also get a lot of water out of the muscles that will make you seem flat, the last thing you want. Then off course it will place rather severe stress on the kidneys. Much safer ways is to make sure your diet is really in check to produce the results.

 

The key factors of a “contest preparation diet”:

Calorie controlled pre contest diet with 6 to 8 meals per day each containing a protein and carb content to protect muscles in harsh diet environment – preferably designed and monitored by bodybuilding diet coach. The fact that each meal MUST contain a protein helps in overall muscle hardness.

Crucial 4 liters water intake (no bottled or sparkling water – it slow down fat loss. Filtered water only) and for the last 4 weeks, severely limit salt intake – in all forms. (NO salt added to foods and be very beware of hidden added salts in processed food).

It is highly suggested that you re-align and recheck your diet and results at least every 3 weeks. Three weekly weight-in sessions and adjusting of calories for target goal depending on progress.

NO CARDIO! Cardio decrease muscle size. Especially in low-calorie contest prep diets, cardio immediately diverts energy to be derived from muscles because of semi-starvation diet (unless one is on anabolics) – on “off” days only 40 min walking allowed. The more pre contest cardio you do, the smaller your muscle size will be…full stop! Many people are of the viewpoint that cardio is the best fat burner. NOT IN A CONTEST PREP CUTTING DIET! You WILL loose a rather severe amount of muscle doing cardio. Your aim is now to preserve the muscle mass you have and divert all energy usage to your fat storage areas. This cannot be achieved via cardio.

Weight training must not be more than 75% of max and not longer than 45 minutes otherwise you will into a catabolic state and energy will be derived from muscles (since your body has limited energy resources). Your aim is to just protect muscle size and drop the body fat levels. Training at regular max levels is requiring waaay too much energy from the body and when that happens the body always tap into the muscles to provide energy.

It is crucial to drink a BCAA and L-Glutamine drink during training to keep the muscles flooded with protection against going catabolic.

Meal times for this cutting diet is extremely important, the more so the before and after training meals. You cannot skip or delay meals, that will result in a catabolic environment that will literally decrease your muscle size! EVERY 3-4 hours eat your meal containing a protein and carb source. Fruit is healthy but it has very little place in a cutting diet – it contains waaay to much fruit sugars.

Many serious athletes are scared to lose their hard-earned muscle during such a strict cutting diet (which unfortunately is a real concern even with the best structured cutting diet available) and later turn to anabolic cutting steroids to protect their muscle size while diverting all energy usage to the fat layers. Typically Anavar (cutting anabolic – oral) is used for 6-8 weeks duration period at 80 mg per day. (Some use Winstrol but the adverse effects on your liver is well documented plus it makes the tendons brittle and has been a culprit in many sports related injuries.) Although Anavar is fairly safe and will definitely give the user the edge, it is something you need to consider carefully.

Well, bombs away and I will checking-in just after 20 Sept 2014 to give you some proof on the pre-contest cutting diet results!

Gert Louw

 

gert


How do I start a body transformation from scratch?

Click here to watch the video “How to start a body transformation from scratch – for the novice”

 

I get ask by many guys how they should start out on this road of transforming their body.

They know what their end-goal is looking like, but the process just sounds and look very overwhelming, especially if you’ve never been into bodybuilding before.

So with this article let me help you to get it off the ground.

I am assuming you are starting from ground zero…very unfit coach potato with little to no weight training experience.

NOTE – FOR THOSE THAT WANT THE SAME SYSTEM I AM USING, HAVE A LOOK AT OPTION E (ADVANCED SYSTEM II) HERE: GERT LOUW’S TRAINING SYSTEM AND DIET CUSTOMIZED FOR YOU

Gert Louw at age 52:

 

Sure if you got the money, you can get yourself a personal trainer who will then guide you through the process – however, choose well, not all personal trainers are equal. In the very least, if his body does not look like your end goal body, stay away! You do not want someone with theoretical knowledge, u want someone who has the knowledge AND reached success!

But alas, most of us are not so fortunate to be able to afford a personal trainer.

The good news is that in the early steps (first couple of months) a personal trainer is really not a critical part. (and then after these first few months all you really need is a dedicated training partner with the same goals and dedication as you!)

The critical part is the fact that you have made the decision to change your life and to what degree you are ready to sacrifice your comfort levels to reach this success.

I don’t know you, but for this one time, tell yourself you’ve made this decision and gonna stick to it no matter what. Then be a MAN and show some dedication and perseverance!

OK, this is now week one, tomorrow is Monday and you want  to START!

Consider this…

CORRECT DIETING DETERMINES 80% OF YOUR BODY TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS.

CORRECT AND INTENSE TRAINING (AND NOT OVERTRAINING) DETERMINES 17.5% OF YOUR BODY TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS.

CORRECT SUPPLEMENTATION DETERMINES 2.5% OF YOUR TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS.

 

So, for now, forget about supplements and only focus on the correct diet and training. Supplements you should only consider once you have the training and diet well under your control.

 

WANT SOMETHING MORE ADVANCED & FULLY CUSTOMIZED?  The program I am following for the past 6 years, available now fully customised on all levels, just for you. before-and-after-dec2016Every little secret, every hard-earned practical fact, every scientific study that actually support the (very) few supplements between all the thousand ridiculous advertisement claims have been filtered en incorporated into one system that MAKES A DIFFERENCE click here: 

https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

 

How to approach the training:

MONTH 1

Train 4 days a week for first month: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Rest on the other days or do moderate cardio for not more than 20 minutes.

On these days train with weights (resistance exercises) for not longer than 30 minutes.

During each training session do the following:

  • One exercise for biceps
  • One exercise for triceps
  • One exercise for pecs/chest
  • One exercise for shoulders
  • One exercise for back
  • One exercise for upper legs
  • One exercise for calves
  • One exercise for stomach.

Each exercise must consist of two sets of 12 reps. No resting between reps. 1 min resting between sets.

Use a light weight allowing you to comfortably do the 12 reps.

Each 7 days increase the weights by about 10%…very important rule, this allows the body and tendons to adapt to the new exercise and weights.

 

MONTH 2

Train 4 days a week for the 2nd month: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Rest on the other days or do moderate cardio for not more than 20 minutes.

On each of these days train with weights for not longer than 40 minutes.

On each of the following day you must do:

MONDAYS

  • Three exercises for biceps
  • Three exercises for triceps

TUESDAYS

  • Three exercises for shoulders
  • Three exercises for trapezuims

THUSDAYS

  • Three exercises for pecs/chest
  • Three exercises for back

FRIDAY

  • Three exercises for upper legs
  • Two exercises for calves
  • Two exercises for stomach.

Each exercise must consist of two sets of 10 reps. No resting between reps. 1 min resting between sets.

Use a light weight allowing you to just-just complete the 10 reps.

Each 14 days increase the weights by about 10%…very important rule, this allows the body and tendons to adapt to the new exercise and weights.

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Stay with the same program from month three, but in month three increase the weight size to allow you to achieve muscle failure on the 8th rep in each set. From here onwards do only 8 reps per set and you MUST not be able to do 1 more rep after the 8th rep due to muscle failure!

This is the KEY PRINCIPLE for muscle growth.

At this point you are not considered a novice anymore and can start from month 4 with the following focused transformation training regime: https://gertlouw.wordpress.com/my-transformation-program/

 

Regarding the execution of exercises and which exercises to choose:

Always do the compound exercises fist in a training session…this simply means it is an exercise that involved the most possible amount of muscles: bench press, shoulder press, squats, deadlift, barbell bicep curls. These are the core group exercises that sparks growth.

Look around in the gym, ask trainers and talk to those who got the muscles to show you on how to correctly execute an exercise – 99% of the guys would be very friendly showing you the ropes.

dONATION BANNER

The DIET

This is a much simpler aspect and a basic plan can be laid down rather easily. Just remember….you will NOT grow if you do not eat for growth. You need to eat small balanced meals every 3-4 hours from waking up to the point of going to bed. The period just before and after training is also very important.

 

Diet

One thing I realized – I will not grow if I do not get my diet sorted correctly. Diet makes up easily 80% of muscle Building Phase success. I did not believe that in the past and paid hard penalties for wasted effort!

My diet is not a diet to lose weight without training. My diet will work great to lose unwanted weight but only with a dedicated and serious training routine.

This is just a sample. It can help you get started and may just be all you need to achieve success. However, each of us are different and body types and sizes vary…so if you have concerns, do more homework or best yet, see a sports doctor or dietician to design a muscle-building diet for you. However, I had GREAT success by following this basic diet structure.

 

Here an example of my typical dieting routine:

(note: 40g of whey protein shake can easily be exchanged with 6 eggs whites or 150g tuna in brine or 150g chicken fillet, etc…)

 

MEAL 1: UPON WAKING

whey protein

1 scoop (20g)

casein protein w/ water 1 scoop (20g)

 

MEAL 2:

oats w/ fat-free milk 1 bowl

honey 2 tbsp

 

MEAL 3:

egg whites 4

whey protein w/ 400ml water 1 scoop (20g)

apple 1 medium

 

MEAL 4 – 45min before training

whey protein w/ 400ml water 2 scoops (40g)

 

MEAL 5: POST WORKOUT

whey protein w/ 400ml water 2 scoops (40g)

banana 1 medium

 

MEAL 6:

casein protein w/ 400ml water 2 scoops (40g)

1 apple

 

MEAL 7:

steak chicken, or fish 150g

veggies or salad w/ 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 large serving

 

MEAL 8: BEFORE BED

500g of fat free cottage cheese

2 tablespoons salt free/sugar-free peanut butter

 

Here is a more advanced diet approach for a shredded look: 

Click here to view video: “Advanced cutting diet for a shredded look” 

 

More Diet Info:

Meal 1:
For extra calcium and protein, I sometimes mixed my shake with fat-free milk. However, water is cheaper. I never drank concentrated shakes. I used at least 400ml of water/fat-free milk.

Meal 2:
Oats and muscle-building go perfect together as a morning meal. Oats release their energy slowly throughout the day, so I won’t feel drained or experience hunger pangs. Substitutions: none really, nothing comes close to oats. Sometimes I used cinnamon over my oats. Be careful of the calorie count and do not exceed the calorie count of the oats.

Meal 3:
The 50g at this meal was a solid food protein. I was weary of bananas. They are excellent directly after working out, but due to their quick releasing energy, I want to avoid them at any other time. Substitutions: 50g protein = 4 medium size egg whites / small piece of chicken fillet/fish or beef fillet.

By small is meant about half a fist size. Although the yellow of an egg is healthy, the amount of calories it has due to its fat content makes it unsuitable for muscle-building purposes. At most I took one yellow and mixed it in with the 4 whites. But as stated, it’s best without.

Meal 4:
This I took immediately before working out. Substitutions: None

Post Workout:
Note this is the ONLY time I ate a banana. My body requires immediate energy after workout and a banana is excellent in providing it. Substitutions: The whey and glutamine cannot be substituted. However, the banana can be replaced by 200ml fruit juice, any flavor. Apple works great. But, a banana stays the number one choice.

Meal 6:
Substitutions: None

Meal 7:
Small evening meal with no starches, only veggies/salad and protein (fillet, chicken or fish – 150g). No butter and limited salt with veggies/salad. I used a liberal (2 spoons) amounts of extra virgin olive oil with salad/veggies.

Meal 8:
Substitutions: Although the casein protein powder is preferred, I sometimes ate 250g fat-free cottage cheese.

General Diet Points:

  • I did not eat starches after 6 p.m. That means no rice, pasta, bread, rusks, potato, etc.
  • The protein portion in the evening was a solid food and is typically the size of my fist in volume.
  • All the protein portions were fat-free. I chose chicken fillet, beef fillet or fish.
  • I was careful to use sauces over protein. It adds a lot of unwanted calories. I rather use herbs and spices liberally and things like squeezed lemon juice, basic gravy sauce. I also tried to cook the chicken in orange juice for a tangy change.
  • I allowed myself a large salad portion. But we are only talking basic salad here, no fancy stuff. Only green leafs, tomato, cucumber, gherkin, seeds, very little nuts and some parmesan shavings allowed. I used 2 spoons of extra virgin olive oil over salad. For a something different, I also used balsamic vinegar to taste. It goes especially nice with the olive oil.
  • Cooked and raw veggies were allowed.
  • Butter and salt were a taboo for me. However, over veggies I used a tablespoon of butter for taste purposes.

Critical Diet Points I Adhered Too:

  • I tried staying away from diet carbonated drinks and too much coffee (only 2 cups daily with fat-free milk and no sugar). Both these items act as a mild diuretic and means I will have to drink even more water to replace the water lost as a result. Plus the sweeteners used in diet carbonated drinks are questionable!
  • I NEVER skipped a meal. This is the #1 enemy for Building Phase muscles.
  • I never ate more than the suggested amounts, otherwise I would gain fat.
  • I never ate less than the suggested amounts or I would struggle to build muscle.
  • I ate my meals even if I felt full!
  • My meals were spaced between 3-4 hours apart.
  • I used NO alcohol during the week and weekends only one glass of wine or one beer per day. Alcohol is a big enemy of dieting and building muscles. Cutting it out completely is the best option.
  • I do NOT smoke. I cannot be successful at building muscles and continue smoking, the two oppose each other.
  • Sweets and chocolate: Sorry, I had none of these.
  • Cheat meal? Once per week (only one meal). I never stuffed myself (important), but had a sit-down meal and ate whatever my taste buds felt like including my favorite dessert.

Why did I use two different proteins powders?

  • Whey isolate is a quick releasing protein powder and perfect to use when my body requires an immediate uptake of protein.
  • Casein protein is used when I need a slow uptake of protein, such as while I am sleeping.
  • I tried to use trusted local (South African) supplements when I can, simply because they are cheaper than the imported ones.

Why so many shakes?

  • Well, simply to make my life easier. I did not have the time to stand for hours at night preparing the next day meals. But know this, solid protein sources are always preferred to protein shakes if you can manage the time. But I was careful not to replace my existing solid meals with shakes. The human body was not designed to live on liquids alone.

 

Conclusion

Remember – Each one who has reached body transformation success holds some truth. Use these recipes but keep on educating yourself and starting to mould it to make it your own unique winning recipe that suites you best.
Never change more than one aspect at a time before verifying that it works and only then introduce another change.

It is a battle of the mind and wills…but we each has but ONE life to live…and we need to make it the BEST life we can!
Don’t wake up like me at 41 and start making a difference…if u are young, use that opportunity and never live with any regrets about wasted opportunities! But that being said, even if you are 60, you can still transform to kick many a lazy 25 y/o’s ass! Time is precious…never let it slip you by.

 

gertxb

 

I wish u MUCH success!

Gert Louw


As the years progressed, I have evolved my training regimen from my original transformation program (https://gertlouw.wordpress.com/my-transformation-program/) to be more focused and more goal oriented in nature.

In this video I discussed the routine I am currently applying for bicep and tricep growth when I am on my 3-month cutting phase.

Cutting phase implies the process of bringing bodyfat down to enhance the muscled ripped look while keeping muscle size or even slightly increasing it.

In short, the arm routine for the cutting phase involves performing two huge super sets: Super Set One and Super Set Two.

SUPER SET ONE

  • Super Set One consists of a bicep exercise (20 reps) + tricep exercise (20 reps) +bicep exercise (20 reps) performed back to back with no resting in between.
  • When you completed above set for Super Set One, rest for 3 minutes and repeat Super Set One for a total of three times.
  • SLOW (!) and very CONTROLLED (!) movements during every rep.
  • Visualize the target muscle during each rep in your head and get a very focused “mind muscle” connection. Feel only the target muscle work to perform the movement.
  • During all triceps and bicep exercises, keep the elbows as stationary as possible to make sure that only the bicep do the lifting. The more you move the elbows the more involved the shoulders (and to lesser extend pecs and back) become to lift the weight.
  • Use full range of motion for exercises, meaning widest possible angle to make sure that the whole bicep/tricep muscle gets a workout.
  • You MUST (!) fail with each exercise on the 20th (last) rep of each set. [very important – key principle for growth]

When finished with 3 x Super Set One, stretch for 5 minutes to relax muscles (perform various stretching exercises involving the biceps, triceps and shoulders).

This not only help the muscle recover better but also enhances blood flow plus it helps keeping the veins more elastic and prevent hardening of arteries to and extent. It is also believed to be an important factor in obtaining aesthetic looking muscles.

SUPER SET TWO (the same as above with the following differences)

  • Perform 3 different exercises (biceps + triceps +biceps) than those you did in Super Set One.
  • When finished with 3 x Super Set TWO, stretch for 5 minutes to relax muscles (perform various stretching exercises involving the biceps, triceps and shoulders).

End of your routine with 15-20 minutes of moderate cardio.

Be wary of too much cardio. Cardio is a muscle size killer. You cannot expect to have  big muscle size and do a lot of cardio. The two goes against each other.

If you have body fat you want to get rid of you should do that via fine tuning your diet and not through excessive cardio.

Supplements?

Before training (stick to basics don’t waste your money on fancy stuff!):

  • 45 minutes before training 8 tablets BCAA’s (prevent a catabolic state during training)
  • 45 minutes before training 5g L-Glutamine

After training:

  • Immediately after training eat 1 apple or banana.
  • Immediately after the apple/banana drink a serving fast absorption whey protein.
  • 1-2 hours after training eat a small fat-free meal containing a decent protein serving.

 

Any questions, please feel free to contact me.

 

Gert Louw

gertlouwljc@hotmail.com

gert louw

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