was successfully added to your cart.

Category

Articles

My 2020 Bodybuilding Competition Prep Routine | Rob Lipsett

By | Articles, Tips | No Comments

As you may or may not know, I am preparing for my first Bodybuilding competition since 2016. We are exactly 90 days/3 months/12 weeks out and I’m very excited.

In this article I’ll be going through my plan on how I’m going to get shredded beyond reality.

Now, as a disclaimer, this is my plan; it’s suited to my personal preferences. But I’m sure you’ll find a lot of tips, gems and guidelines that will be very useful to your fat loss efforts. So let’s get into it.

For a little background, I’ve competed twice before in my life. The first time I competed, I didn’t even place. I wasn’t ready and I learned a lot from that.

Second time, I came first in my class and top 4 in the overall. So this time I’m super motivated and really looking forward to bringing my best physique to date.

So here’s an index of what we’re going to discuss:

 

  • DIET & NUTRITION

 

  • Calorie Deficit

  • Plateaus

  • Meal Frequency

  • Refeeds

  • Macros

 

  • TRAINING

 

  • My Split

  • Strength Loss on a Cut

  • Cardio

 

  • LIFESTYLE

 

  • Sleeping pattern

  • Stress Management

  • Drinking Alcohol and Going Out

  • Eating out

  • Environment

  • Routine

  • Tracking

  • Goal Setting

DIET & NUTRITION

This is probably the most important factor when it comes to fat loss efforts. Specifically..

The main thing when it comes to losing body fat.. is being in a CALORIE DEFICIT.

It’s literally all that matters.

You can go vegan, you can go Keto; you can go six meals a day; you can go IIFYM; you can go Intermittent Fasting;  you can go all of them at the same time! It doesn’t matter if you’re not in a caloric deficit.

All these ways I just mentioned are just fancy, different ways of achieving the same thing: getting a caloric deficit.

What is a Caloric Deficit?

Before we know how to get into a calorie deficit, we need to know what our maintenance calories are. This is the level of calories we need to consume to stay the same weight/fat loss levels. Everyone has a different maintenance as it depends on your current weight, height, activity level etc. 

My maintenance calories are around 2,900-3,000 calories. If I eat that per day, my physique will stay the same.

If you’re a pro athlete or construction worker who trains 5 times a week, you’ll have a higher maintenance than someone who sits on an office desk who trains 5 times per week.

Activity levels change so much person to person. So you need to figure out your own, individual maintenance levels. I’ve done tonnes of stuff on this. But quickly, if you go here you can figure it out easily and for free.

This will give you a pretty accurate estimate. But if you really wanna be 100%, trial and error is the best way – you can track your calories around this mark, and see whether your weight goes up or down. 

When you have your maintenance calories you can figure out how many calories you need to consume to be in a calorie deficit. 

But how much should the deficit be? What’s a good amount? 1,000? A bit too much. 200? Not enough, you’re gonna see very slow results.

I’d like to recommend -500 calories. So like I said, my maintenance levels are around 2,900-3,000, which means gonna start off at 2,400. Simple. 

Now. This is where things get a bit more advanced. So get ready.

During my cut, I’m gonna have a GREEN ZONE, an AMBER ZONE and the RED ZONE.

As you can see, the calorie consumption goes down each time.

In the Green Zone, my starting zone, 2,400 will be my calories. I am going to stick to these calories FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, until I plateau or stop losing weight.

 

Plateaus

So this is important. People often change up their training or diet for no reason at all. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

So if you’re losing weight, there’s no need to keep dropping your calories. Only do it when there is a sustained period (maybe consistently over a week, if you weigh yourself daily) where you do not lose weight. 

Now, when I do stop losing weight. I plateau. What’s the reason for this? 

Let’s say I’ve lost 10lbs. I am now ceasing to carry this extra weight during day-to-day activities. Imagine you were carrying a 10lbs dumbbell around with you all day, but now you’ve lost it.

You don’t have to carry it to work. You don’t have to carry it around the gym. You don’t have to carry every time you stand up, or sit down. So you’re gonna burn less calories because your body is gonna need less energy, because it doesn’t have to provide for that extra 10lbs.

So when we start to lose significant amounts of weight, our calorie requirements go down. On top of that, our body is saying ‘oh jesus christ, rob is starving himself, we need to preserve some energy’. This is an evolutionary trait we have developed to protect us from food droughts, so in prehistoric times we could avoid starvation, be less vulnerable to predators and survive. 

So now you’re in a fat loss plateau. Therefore, you need to increase the calorie deficit. For me, this will be down to 2,200 (AMBER ZONE).

In the past I’ve gotten very lean when I’ve gone down to 2,200. I’m not sure if I’ll even have to go lower than that, but we’ll just have to see how things go (if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it).

Going back to my previous competition prep, I got super lean. I remember having to go all the way down to 2,000 calories (poverty calories as some people like to call it). I was on this for about 2-3 weeks, it was very difficult. For a lot of people in the bodybuilding community it’s called the ‘digging phase’. It’s not sustainable, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re prepping for a competition like me. If you’re just doing a normal cut, there’s really no need to go down this far. 

So yeah, these are my planned calories for this prep:

2,400 – first phase. 4-6 weeks.

2,200 – second phase, when I plateau 5-9/10 weeks.

2,000 – digging phase, last couple weeks before competition, depending on state.

Meal Frequency

How many times will I eat throughout the day? Am I gonna do intermittent fasting? Am I gonna do 6 meals per day? Does it even matter

The answer is NO, it actually doesn’t fucking matter at all. Meal frequency is one of the most overhyped things that I’ve seen in the fitness industry. People who work full-time jobs are there packing 6 tupperware boxes, going to work. You don’t have to do it. You don’t go catabolic after 3 hours, it’s complete bullshit.

Your meal frequency should be tapered toward your preferences.

So whatever you wanna do, whether it be 6 meals or 3 big meals: do whatever is gonna help you sustain your calorie deficit. Personally, I’m gonna go for 3 big meals a day and 2 snacks.

One thing to consider, however, is to make sure you keep your muscle protein synthesis elevated. For bodybuilding and stimulation maximal amounts of muscle building, you do wanna space your protein feedings out throughout the day, to at least 3-4 times.  

There’s a study on why this is important here.‘Leucine [type of protein] rich meals should be consumed multiple times per day.. with essential amino acids ingested between whole protein meals may further optimise Muscle Protein Synthesis’

Norton & Wilson, 2009

So by having 3 big meals a day and a protein shake and a protein bar on either side, that is gonna keep my protein synthesis elevated throughout the day. 

Refeeds

Refeeds are basically when you decrease your protein intake a little bit, keep fat as low as possible and then double your carbs intake. This is to replenish lost glycogen that often occurs when cutting.

These aren’t actually necessary, but some people do like to include them and see good results from them. When done properly, they can be quite beneficial, and I will be incorporating them 

How often should you incorporate refeeds?

When you’re first starting off a cut, general guidelines are about once per month. And then when you’re further into a cut, maybe twice per month. In the final stages, when you’re really lean and have sub-10% body fat, you can do them even more regularly.

My rule of thumb is just to do them when you feel really really depleted. It’s important not to look at them as a cheat day, as you still have to control your calories. Just double your carbs intake.

Macros 

Here are the macro-nutrients that I’ll be following:

Protein: 200g

Fats: 60g

Carbs: 265g, 215g, 165g

Macronutrients are the Protein, Carbs and Fats that make up your calories. 

1g Protein = 4 cals, 1g Carbs = 4 cals, 1g of Fat = 9 cals

With Protein intake, I like to set that at around 1g per 1lbs of weight. A lot of people say you need less, but I think this is just a good general recommendation.

I’ve actually set it at about 30g more than it needs to be (I weigh around 170lbs). 

Why have I done that?

Because I love protein. It makes my diet a lot more satisfying. It’s satiating. It stops me from getting hungry. It makes me feel good. I just love protein, who the hell doesn’t love chicken breast, beef and steak? (Vegans are backing out of this right now).

Beans, tofu, nuts.. I love protein!

So, I’ve set my fat at 60g. We all need fat in our diet for general health and bodily functions. Fat is an essential part of our diet. They support cell growth, help protect your organs and help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones.

General fat intake recommendations: an intake of 20-40% of total calories.

Some people like to go high fat (Keto), but ultimately it doesn’t matter.

The main thing is Protein and Total Calories. Your Macros are not actually that important, and you can play around with them a little bit. But me, personally I like to set my Protein and Fat intake, and keep them consistent.

So, if protein and fat are set, how am I gonna reduce my calories when I need to?

We got carbs to play around with.

265g, 215g, 165g. Everytime 50g comes out, this takes away 200 calories (because each 1g of Carbs is 4 cals, and 50×4=200).

I’m starting off at 265g and when fat loss stalls, I’ll drop it down to 215g (2,200 cals) and if it stalls again, I’ll drop it down to 165g (2,000).

165g will absolutely suck, but it’s gotta be done for the shreds.. For the Glory.. For the LF Army.

Before we move onto Training, here’s a summary of diet:

TOTAL CALORIES are so much more important than MACROS

The main thing in your diet for body composition is total protein intake and total calorie intake. So if one day you’ve fucked it on fats, you can just go lower in carbs on that day or vice versa.

As long as your protein is consistent and you hit your calorie goal, that’s the main thing. Calorie goal is even more important than protein.

You’ve probably heard it before.. CALORIES IN VS CALORIES OUT, that’s the “secret” to fat loss! That’s the secret to weight loss and weight gain.. So crazy right? Who woulda thought it would be that simple? Ma

So that’s.. done. Diet is done.

Let’s move on..  ‘cause I know you don’t got all day. 

TRAINING

This is my favourite split: Legs, Push, Pull. 

Day 1: Legs

Day 2: Push

Day 3: Pull

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Legs

Day 6: Push

Day 7: Pull

If you want a more detailed LPP, you can get one in eBook form here

But I’m not biased, I don’t think this is the best split. The best split is the one you will enjoy the most; the one you’ll actually follow, sustain and adhere to.

I’m NOT saying everyone has to go to the gym 6 days per week. Hardly anyone needs to do that. You can see amazing results lifting weight 3-4 times per week, and if that is the case, I recommend people going 3 times per week to do a full-body programme.

And if you’re going 4 days per week, I’d recommend an Upper-Lower-Upper-Lower split. And 5 per week, which I’m sure will be the case for me some weeks, I’ll actually do Legs-Push-Pull-Upper-Lower.

So, again, this LLP split is just the one I’m gonna set for myself , but who knows it may change a little bit. But either way, I’m gonna be hitting every body part twice per week to get in enough frequency and volume.

Now let’s get into the most common question I get, which is about..

Strength Loss on a Cut

Now, I’m about to go into a rant here..

People have this mindset that, ‘oh, i’m cutting and i’m going to lose loads of strength!’.

This is a BULLSHIT, QUITTERS MINDSET. This is weak.

If you’ve got everything else we’ve discussed on point, you can not only maintain  your strength, some people (especially beginners and intermediates) can actually increase their strength.

There’s so many other factors that come into play, and if you nail everything – your nutrition, your training, your protein intake – then there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to maintain your strength!

Now, perhaps in the latter stages (the red zone), am I going to increase strength? Most likely not, no. But in the first two stages I’ll definitely be looking to maintain strength. I’m really motivated with my training right now, and it’s going amazing. 

So don’t expect strength loss. That’s a terrible way to go into your training. You should be focusing on maintaining your strength at the very least.

If you start off benching 100kg at the start of your cut, and you lose a tonne of fat, and at the end of it you’re still benching 100kg, that’s a SUCCESSFUL cut

So your main focus on a fat loss diet is MAINTAINING STRENGTH. Mark down your lifts at the beginning of the cut, and say ‘I will do my very best to not go lower than this level of strength’.

That’s the take away point for training. Maintaining your strength during a cut is how you get that full look of having muscle and a low body fat percentage.

The physiques you see on social media and in movies were made from resistance training, not 80s aerobics classes marketed to ‘Get a beach body’ or ‘Get a booty’. You need good old classic weight training that’s been proven and around for years. Hit the gym, keep lifting weights. Maintain your strength.

Cardio

Right, so let’s HIIT vs LIIT (High intensity interval training vs low intensity interval training). There’s pros and cons to both of them. But which one should you do?

Do whichever one you’re going to sustain and stick to and enjoy the most

Are you seeing the pattern here? Your plan needs to be personalised: there’s no one-size-fits-all. This is why I also do personalised coaching, so people have a plan that is tailor-made for them and their preferences.

So yeah, just go with whichever form of cardio you enjoy the most. I know some people that love HIIT and they like just getting their cardio sessions over and done with. 

But me personally, I prefer LIIT because you can put on a podcast, watch a video, get some emails done and even do a Skype call. I can do all this whilst knocking out 40 mins on a stairmaster, or going for a big, long walk. 

I’m gonna start off with 3 cardio sessions per week, then up to 4 in the Amber Zone, and 5 in the ‘digging phase’.

You should also consider NEAT (Non-Exercise-Activity-Thermogenesis). This is a really good fat loss ‘hack’. 

So basically, NEAT is the calories you burn when not exercising and working out. And the reason why this is so good, is because you’re burning calories without even realising it. It’s not formal exercise.

It includes things like going for a walk, taking the stairs: just moving in general. Being conscious of NEAT is a really good way to get your Total Daily Energy Expenditure up without even putting in much more effort.

Recently I moved to London and I am literally walking everywhere (within reason). The city is amazing. I can walk to like Buckingham Palace, around Hyde Park: it’s all great for NEAT. And I’ll be making a conscious effort to get my NEAT high.

It’s also very relaxing to go for walks, and that actually perfectly brings us into…

LIFESTYLE

Sleeping Pattern

It’s only in the last year that I’ve realised how important sleep actually is. My mind was absolutely blown by a Joe Rogan podcast with Matthew Walker.

Sleep is huge. It literally impacts our performance in the gym so much. It also had a huge impact on our diet – when we’re sleep deprived were more likely to cheat on a diet, eat highly palatable foods like pizza and donuts and all that delicious shit. This is because when we’re tired, our inhibitions are lower

It also had an impact on your hormones, your stress. You’re more irritable and snappy when sleep-deprived. And you’re gonna be irritable anyway when you’re in a calorie deficit. So the last thing you need is to be more aggro and more annoyed. 

Stress Management

You’re gonna be putting your body under a lot of stress, so you need to be conscious of that and set aside time to do things that relaxes you. 

One thing I’m trying to do, something I’m so bad at, is meditation. Or even just some mindful thinking can help a lot. Just go for a walk, watch a movie, read a book. Have sex. Seriously, it’s a very important function that helps alleviate stress.

‘Sex is a great way to relieve stress. The benefits include release of endorphins and other hormones that elevate mood. It’s also a great exercise, which itself is an effective stress reliever’. 

Psychology Today

Drinking Alcohol and Going Out

In general fat loss diets where you’re looking to get a six-pack or whatever,I recommend keeping your social life as active as possible. You need to adopt a lifestyle that you can sustain. Just because you’re cutting that doesn’t mean you can never eat out or go for a beer with friends. It’s not true. 

There’s actually a full chapter in my book on incorporating alcohol into your plan. Name another fitness YouTuber who does that! This is the fun fitness channel. It’s where the party’s at.

But for me, I’m putting 100% into this competition prep over the next 90 days. So I won’t be drinking a drop. This is not meant to be a sustainable diet for me, it’s an extreme cut for a Bodybuilding competition. Therefore, I will not be drinking any alcohol over the next 90 days

Going out also affects sleep. If I were to go out on a saturday my sleep pattern will get thrown off. Alcohol is very high in calories, and often creates inhibitions that mean you could end up eating a pizza that you don’t even remember. There’s really no room for that in competition prep.

If you’re cutting normally, I think you can have the odd drink here and there, but going out every weekend and getting wasted screws up a lot of people’s results. 

So no more whiskey sours until the 17th of May, but as soon as competitions are over, I will see you ALL for a whiskey sour. And we will toast. And it’s gonna be a great time. But until then, no alcohol and very minimal going out. It will be just going out and meeting friends for a coffee or whatever.

Eating Out

This is kind of like what I said while drinking alcohol. If you’re just doing a normal cut, eating out is fine as long as you find a way to track it. That is no problem.

On competition prep, it’s more extreme and I’m gonna really have to know exactly what I’m eating. And I’ll probably have to go to a place that is more a fitness orientated place. Some places will have the calories on the menu, but realistically they’re not accurate – they’re just there for show. 

So you really gotta make sure that what you’re getting is what you’re ACTUALLY getting. Because I’m on prep, I will be doing very very little eating out. Instead I’ll be preparing at least 90% of my meals at home, or getting meal prep.

But yeah, on a normal fat loss phase, you can eat out for sure. Just remember to track it and add it to your Total Calorie Count for the day.

Environment

Your environment dictates performance, whether it’s your home, your friends or your city. If you’ve seen my apartment tours or kitchen tours, you’ll understand why a lot of people are like, ‘Is he a serial killer? Is he Patrick Bateman?

I’m very neat and very clean. And this helps a lot when you’re dieting. If you go into your kitchen and there’s pots and pans everywhere, and it’s a complete mess, you’re not gonna wanna cook a meal.

So keep your environment clean. Keep it organised. Being neat and organised will also help every other aspect of your life. A wise man once said, “Clean your room”.

Time Management

This is very important, especially if you work a strenuous job. If you are working a job like this, I recommend placing your training sessions either first thing in the morning, get it over and done with, or at lunch time.

If you leave it later in the day, there’s just so much stuff that can go wrong that could make you go, ‘ah screw it, I’ll skip the gym today’. Prepare and use common sense. Tailor your training around when you perform best.

Routine

Getting into a consistent routine is  so important. If you’ve read the book, ‘The Power of Habit’ (or seen my article), you’ll know that once you’ve built up habits, it makes things that once seemed difficult, effortless.

Habit is so powerful that, even when I’m deep into my cut and my calorie deficit gets to the Red Zone, by this time I’ve solidified my habits so much that I actually find it easier than at the start. Even though I’m low on calories and my training is more intense, things are easier because of the habits and momentum I’ve built. 

This tends to happen to me every time I do a competition prep or serious fat loss diet, like for a magazine cover. After a while, once you build up these habits and you get into a routine, things will just start to flow. Routines form habits, and habits are your friend

Tracking

This obviously relates to diet, but is something that has to be ingrained into your day-to-day lifestyle. However, for most people I wouldn’t actually recommend tracking extremely rigidly.

For most of my clients what I recommend is to track really rigidly for about a week, maybe 2 weeks. And then once you kinda get a feel for what certain foods look like, for example, a fist-size of chicken breast is about 30g of protein. Once you get the hang of it, you don’t need to track so rigidly: you don’t need to weigh out absolutely everything.

But again, what I’m doing is competition prep. I’m trying to get shredded beyond reality. So I’m gonna be tracking EVERYTHING for the next 90 days. It’s gonna be very difficult, but once I get into the habit, it gets easier and easier

And it’s kinda enjoyable. Like,  if people are scrolling through Instagram, scrolling through Facebook. Why can’t you have a little scroll through Myfitnesspal? I kinda look at tracking as a fun little game on my app. A game that gets your shredded.

(The way I track my food is through an app called Myfitnesspal and I use a digital food scale to weigh everything I eat). 

 

Goal Setting

The whole competition prep is like one big goal that I’ve set, but in general on a fat loss diet, goal setting is gonna help you a lot. Little goals like, ‘I aim to lose 2lbs per week’, are very helpful.

Set short-term goals, and the medium-term goals that contribute to your long term goals. They’re gonna keep you motivated and they’re gonna help a lot with your routine and your consistency.

Conclusion

I cannot wait to absolutely kill this prep and take you guys along with me. Make sure you check out my frequent YouTube series where you guys can follow along this prep with me.

If anyone’s looking for online coaching to give some accountability, or even an ebook to tell you exactly how to create your own plan, I’ve made this available for you.

If you purchase the eBook and read the whole thing through and through, and you still can’t put together your own plan, I will personally refund you. It’s fool-proof. 

Get Personalised Online Coaching

Create your own plan

Let’s get shredded. 

 

References

Garnett, L. (2014). Is Your Environment Hurting Your Chances for Success?. [online] Inc.com. Available at: https://www.inc.com/laura-garnett/is-your-environment-hurting-your-chances-at-success.html [Accessed 23 Feb. 2020].

Levine, J. (2002). Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, [online] 16(4), pp.679-702. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1521690X02902277 [Accessed 23 Feb. 2020].

Norton, L. and Wilson, G. (2009). Optimal protein intake to maximize muscle protein synthesis Examinations of optimal meal protein intake and frequency for athletes. [online] https://www.researchgate.net. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/288150322_Optimal_protein_intake_to_maximize_muscle_protein_synthesis_Examinations_of_optimal_meal_protein_intake_and_frequency_for_athletes [Accessed 23 Feb. 2020].

Rogan, J. and Walker, M. (2018). Joe Rogan Experience #1109 – Matthew Walker.

Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwaWilO_Pig [Accessed 23 Feb. 2020].

Tdeecalculator.net. (2020). TDEE Calculator: Learn Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure. [online] Available at: https://tdeecalculator.net [Accessed 23 Feb. 2020].

The Conversation. (2016). Stored fat is a feat of evolution – and your body will fight to keep it. [online] Available at: https://theconversation.com/stored-fat-is-a-feat-of-evolution-and-your-body-will-fight-to-keep-it-52468 [Accessed 23 Feb. 2020].

www.heart.org. (2014). Dietary Fats. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/fats/dietary-fats [Accessed 23 Feb. 2020].

4 Tips for Starting a Fitness YouTube Channel in 2020

By | Articles | No Comments

Are you keen to start a YouTube channel, but feel like you need a little bit of encouragement? 

YouTube is a very saturated place to put out content, so in order to have success you’ll have to be GOOD. But there’s always room at the top if you’re the best, regardless of when you start!

I’ve put together some key tips here about what will make you STAND OUT when starting a YouTube channel in these modern times. 

1) Just START

I still think the most important thing is just starting

The only way to really find out if YouTube is for you is to try it. We all communicate in different ways. Some people like writing, others podcasting and some – if you’re really lucky – are natural in front of a camera. 

But yeah, the only way to really find out is to just start videoing, start providing value and get the ball rolling. It’s all about progress, not perfection.

2) High Quality Production

In today’s day and age what’s really important is production quality. People are starting to LEVEL UP with their editing and content, as well as creativity in general. So you have to have amazing, top-notch editing in order to stand out from the crowd and get noticed.

This, combined with really informative, value-bringing content  is what is gunna stand out these days. 

Be informative, provide value and make it look sick

3) Having Little Equipment is NOT an excuse

When I started out I used my iPhone 5

But with phones like the new iPhone 11 Pro – yous have all got no excuse! Honestly. 

The new iPhone camera is better than my big Sony A7 in some ways – it’s crazy how good the cameras are on phones now. 

The same applies for starting a podcast. The microphone on your phone is perfectly capable. Really, all the equipment you need to get started is right there. It’s literally in your hands!

 

4) Make sure you nail the TITLE and the THUMBNAIL

Nailing the title and thumbnail  is one of the most important parts of YouTube. 

You can make the best video ever but, unfortunately, if the title and thumbnail are wrong, it just gets no views. 

And again, the opposite could happen – people could  have really crappy content but if the title and thumbnail are good, people are gonna click on it.

There’s plenty of ways you can learn how to create a great title, you just have to put in the work!

“To come up with an interesting title, ask yourself why somebody would want to watch your video in the first place. What’s in it for them? Why should they care? Once you’ve identified your main selling point, put it front and center in your title. Try to make people feel like they’ll miss out on something great if they don’t watch your video”

Animatron – Video Marketing company

Overall, I think informative, high-quality production and content is the go-to in the fitness industry. You just need to start, using the means available to you, be consistent, and make sure you nail the basic things like titles and thumbnails. 

 

References

Bedrina, O. (2019). Writing Great Video Titles Isn’t as Hard as You Think. [online] Wave.video Blog. Available at: https://wave.video/blog/great-video-titles/ [Accessed 12 Jan. 2020].

 

5 Reasons Why I Moved to London

By | Articles | No Comments

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.” 

Friedrich Nietzsche

 

1. I just needed a Change of Environment

 

I LOVE Dublin. I love it with all my heart! You won’t find someone who loves Dublin more than me. But I just needed to change things up a little bit.

I was living less than a kilometre away from Raw Gym. I would go to the gym, go back to my apartment. Repeat. That was my day. That was literally my day.

Routine is great, but it got to a point where I started to feel a bit uninspired.

The location of my apartment didn’t help either. It was in a hotel in an industrial estate,, looking out onto a motorway. It really just didn’t really seem like home. 

I just needed a bit more inspiration. Something new. 

2) I wanted to Break Out of my Comfort Zone

I was too comfortable. I needed to get out of my comfort zone and give myself a new challenge, in a new place. 

If you’ve lived your whole life seeing the world from your front door, you’re missing out. Visiting new and different places is perhaps one of the best ways to really broaden your perspectives

‘The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone’, Henry & Fishbein

I just felt it was important for me to break out so I could keep improving both myself and my business.

3) I may never get the Opportunity again 

Whilst I have an ‘online job’, I felt like I should take the opportunity to experience living somewhere else.

I’m still young and don’t have responsibilities keeping me tied to a certain place, 

I actually nearly  bought a house in ireland. I got my mortgage approved and everything. 

But then I realised.. I’ve never actually lived anywhere else. I’ve travelled a tonne, but never actually moved somewhere else for a few months.

I thought, do I really wanna rush into buying a house – something that’s so permanent? I felt by doing so I would have been missing an opportunity I may never get again. 

4) YouTube Fitness Scene and Producing Content

On top of all this, there’s a bigger YouTube and Fitness scene in the UK. There’s only a handful of fitness bloggers in Ireland, all of whom I’ve already collabed with.

So by moving out to London will help increase my connections and make it easier for me to collab with new people.

This, combined with the fact my new apartment literally looks like a recording studio, means you can expect plenty more content in 2020!

5) Rent is NOT that much more expensive

Finally, rent in London is not that much more expensive than Dublin!

London is known for being super expensive. But my place here is SO CENTRAL, so much bigger and so much more open than my apartment in Dublin, and it’s actually not that much more expensive. 

When I return as President of Ireland (you have to be 35, so I’ve got a few more years to wait) the housing crisis and rent prices in Dublin is one problem I will look to fix..

 

“Step out of your comfort zone. Comfort zones, where your unrealized dreams are buried, are the enemies of achievement.”

Roy T. Bennett

References

Henry, A. and Fishbein, R. (2019). The Science of Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone (and Why You Should). [online] Lifehacker. Available at: https://lifehacker.com/the-science-of-breaking-out-of-your-comfort-zone-and-w-656426705 [Accessed 19 Jan. 2020].

Nietzsche, F. and Volz, J. (1910). The dawn of day. 1st ed. London: T. Fisher Unwin.

  1. Bennett, R. (2016). The Light in the Heart: Inspirational Thoughts for Living Your Best Life. 1st ed. Roy Bennett.

 

10 Things We Learned in Our Twenties | Rob Lipsett & Mike Thurston

By | Articles | No Comments

During my recent trip to Dubai, I sat down with Mike Thurston (@mikethurston) and Louis Armstrong (@louisarmstrong7). We discussed 10 things we’ve learned in our twenties, including what we might have done were we to start them again. 

There’s some really valuable advice in this article that I wish I’d heard when I was a bit younger. Enjoy!

1)  Start Working on your Dreams Straight Away

I started doing YouTube at 22, but if I started earlier, I could be 4 years ahead of where I am now. So if you’re thinking about doing something, stop putting it off. Don’t think you’re too young. 

Get that head start whilst you’re in your 20s when you have the most energy.  Whatever your passion is, just start. 

LOUIS: Also, don’t think that it’s too late to start YouTube, because it’s definitely not. A lot of people are worried that others started YouTube 5-6 years’ ago, and feel like they’ve missed out. But you haven’t. There’s still so much time, and YouTube is still growing. So it’s not too late.

A lot of times people don’t start because they think certain industries are oversaturated, but that’s just an excuse not to try. If you’re good enough, you’ll find a way to rise to the top.

2) Don’t be Afraid of Taking Risks

MIKE: Some of the best things that have happened to me are when I’ve taken risks. When I’ve done something which could have gone completely pear-shaped. But most of the time they ended up working out. 

Making the move from Newcastle to London is an example; moving out to Dubai another. Both have worked out to be two of the best things I’ve done. 

Before that, I quit my job and became a Personal Trainer. And then another risk was I completely stopped personal training to move everything online.

It was risky. But if you work hard, it will pay off.

I’m currently taking a risk with the London move, which I have a really good feeling about. So definitely look to take those risks – whether it be moving, travelling, or quitting your job to pursue something better.

Since my move I feel like I’ve got a new lease of life. 

3) Don’t Worry About Getting Older

As long as you put in the work, you shouldn’t worry about aging. Recently I looked at a photo of myself when I was about 21, and physically I look so much better now!

I feel so much better too. Every year you get bigger, faster, stronger. And you get more financially set too. You get more resourceful. You learn to look after yourself.

So don’t worry about getting older, as long as you stay consistent in the gym and keep working hard. If you do this you’re gonna age well.

Some people fear getting older, but I fuckin’ can’t wait until I’m like 35! I’ll be peaking around then.

 

4) Stop Caring About what Other People Think

MIKE: Particularly in my early 20s, I was very bothered about what other people would think of me. It put me off speaking my mind – especially with my YouTube channel. 

I thought maybe I didn’t know enough or people would judge me. There were so many times when I just didn’t post things or talk about things because I was too bothered about how other people would respond. 

Now I’m just like: go for it. You’re always gonna get people who might not agree with you, or are gonna criticise or say something negative. That’s just the way it is. 

I’ll never forget when I first started a Facebook page. I was so afraid of putting up my first status, that after I did it, I had a mini panic attack. I was just talking about fuckin’ macros!

The thought of posting a video of myself.. well, I thought it would never happen. But the best thing you can do is put yourself out there, and you’ll get used to it.

But it’s so mad to think that I used to literally be SHIT SCARED of posting a status.

LOUIS: It’s crazy to think people are worried about posting a video or whatever, when their intention is to help others. 

There are obviously people who are gunna dislike the video and leave negativity – but they’re not doing any good, you’re the one trying to have a positive influence so.. fuck the haters.

@mikethurston @louisarmstrong7 

5) Be Good to the People Around You

Don’t put people down, bring them up.

Get the right people around you, get a good crew, treat them well and you’ll feel great too.

Don’t be that person leaving hateful comments online. That’s just not doing anyone any favours. Get out there. Be a nice person. Surround yourself with like-minded and positive people.

6) Play to Your Strengths (but be aware of your weaknesses)

MIKE: Figure out what your strengths are, what you’re good at.. and play to them. Use them to your advantage.

But at the same time, if there are weaknesses holding you back, realise you may need to work on them. For example, if you have terrible people skills, or you’re really afraid of public speaking and being on camera. Depending on your career..

If working on a weakness is necessary for you to get the most out of your strengths, you should do it.

For myself, I felt that I was quite good at coaching people. I spent 1000s of hours coaching people 1 on 1. But when it came to speaking on camera, I used to freak out and turn into this mumbling idiot. 

So I realised, if I was going to excel in my career, I had to be better at being on camera. I had to be more charismatic. So that’s something I worked on. I got a tripod, a camera, recorded myself talking and watched it back.. and made sure I improved every time.

You could look at something like talking on camera and think, ‘I’ll never get good at this’. But you’ll be shocked at how good you can actually get at something if you put in the hours. It’s crazy.

7) Choose Experiences Over Things

I could talk for hours about the trips I’ve had, but I couldn’t tell you much about the things I’ve bought.

So my advice is, instead of buying them new trainers or whatever, consider saving up for a trip, an event, or experience. 

You’ll always remember what you did over what you had.

8) Travel as much as you can

MIKE: I’d say travelling is what has taught me the most and changed me the most as a person. 

Just by seeing the world: seeing different cultures, doing different things, and socialising with different people: you learn a lot. Spend a week in a different country, and you come back a completely different person. It can be life-changing.

And I know not everybody can do it as freely. Some people might have restrictions with work and money and so on. But, if you really wanted to, you can figure out a way.

LOUIS: For anyone that says that they can’t travel – you can. You just have to be smart with your money. For example, if you’re renting a car for £1,000 a month, ditch the car and get the bus for 6 months. And then you’ll be able to travel.

Similarly, there’s people who will go down the pub every weekend and have 6 pints and a takeaway that they won’t even remember. But then they’ll say they don’t have money for travel.

If they saved that money every week – that’s flights, that’s accommodation. You can fly around Europe for like £40 now. 

Travel is something that has completely changed me as a person, especially over the last 2 years. So if possible, I strongly advise you to do it. You definitely won’t regret it.

9) Life Doesn’t Get Any Easier

You’ll never have it all figured out. You’ll always have problems that you’ll need to come up with solutions for.

Realistically, problems and thoughts don’t change that much over time. Look at your parents – they’re kind of like big kids in a way. So, go easy on your elders and your parents, because they go through stuff as well!

When you’re 19 you might think that when you’re 28, you won’t have problems.. But you will. You just get better at learning how to deal with shit. Learn how to embrace coming up with solutions, and you can overcome anything.

10) Don’t Rush into Relationships in your Early 20s

MIKE: When you’re in your early 20s and things don’t work out or things come to an end, don’t be so bummed out about it. There’s plenty more fish in the sea. So, there’s no point being depressed or wining about it.

Just go spend time with your mates, go have some fun, and someone new will come into your life. You’ll attract what attracts you. 

The True Secret to Self-Discipline

By | Articles | No Comments

“Motivation comes and goes but what are your keys to building discipline that carries you through the lows?”

 

I got this question in a Q&A recently, and thought I’d answer it in more depth, because I think it’s an important subject.

The first thing I’d say about this is that you need to know your weaknesses and remove temptations.

Knowing what your strengths and weaknesses are, and doubling down on your strengths is one of the most invaluable pieces of advice I could possibly give.

We’re brought up to try and equal out our capabilities: if we’ve got a weakness, to focus on improving that rather than smashing on our strengths.

When it comes to discipline, you need to be aware of your weaknesses so that you can remove them. For example, if you’re cutting and you know you absolutely fucking LOVE chocolate, maybe refrain from buying a whole packet from the shop, and having it in your cupboard.

That way you don’t have to use willpower to prevent from over-eating. You’ve removed the temptation.

People need effective self-regulation strategies to put this understanding  to work. Such strategies might involve arranging situations to minimize temptations (e.g., keeping junk food out of the house; blocking Facebook while trying to study)’

Veronika Job, Gregory M. Walton, Katharina Bernecker, and Carol S. Dweck, 2013

Next, I’d say you need to have a clear vision of what you want and set yourself realistic, specific, SMART goals.

Goal-setting is just one of those things we you’ll so much about – and it’s for good reason. It fucking works.

Set aside some time (maybe half an hour) to just sit down and write down some specific goals, with a completion date. Having specific goals applies not just to fitness, but to general life as well.

‘A person who is focused and goal-oriented is likely to have a more positive approach towards life and perceive failures as temporary setbacks, rather than personal shortcomings’.

Having dates written down too are so important. Having them on record creates a kind of subconscious trigger that will make it more likely for you to complete the goal in that timeframe. In order for this to happen, the goals have to be ambitious, but also realistic.

If they’re not ambitious enough, they won’t get you excited enough to stick to them. But if they’re unrealistics, this too will be detrimental. Having goals with a correct balance can be difficult, which is why it’s good to set time aside to concentrate on making sure they’re right.

‘Edwin A. Locke, a pioneer in the field of goal-setting, found that individuals who had highly ambitious goals had a better performance and output rate than those who didn’t’

When you do start making progress and hitting goals, make sure you reward yourself in some kind of way. Acknowledge you’ve achieved the goal, get that internal sense of gratification can give yourself renewed motivation to carry on, and trust that you’re making progress. It’s a great feeling.

But for me, personally speaking, when it comes to productivity, diet, training..

The most powerful way to stay disciplined is to develop good habits.

There’s an amazing book called The Power of Habit that I recommend you guys read. 

‘Champions don’t do extraordinary things. They do ordinary things, but they do them without thinking, too fast for the other team to react. They follow the habits they’ve learned.’

Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit

The key point here is that once you get into a habit of doing something, it becomes effortless. It requires no willpower, no discipline and no motivation.

How much discipline does it take for you to brush your teeth? Not that much.. Because it’s so ingrained into your day.

I find working out very easy because it’s so wired into my brain. I don’t need motivation or discipline to go there, I just go. 

That is the true key to self-discipline. Make the actions that contribute towards your goals habits so that motivation or willpower is not required to complete them.

“Habits are powerful, but delicate. They can emerge outside our consciousness, or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permission, but can be reshaped by fiddling with their parts. They shape our lives far more than we realize—they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.”

Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit

 

References

Chowdhury, M. (2019). The Science & Psychology Of Goal-Setting 101. [online] PositivePsychology.com. Available at: https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting-psychology/ [Accessed 10 Jan. 2020].

Dweck, C., Job, V., Walton, G. and Bernecker, K. (2013). Beliefs about willpower determine the impact of glucose on self-control. [online] https://www.pnas.org/. Available at: https://www.pnas.org/content/110/37/14837.full#sec-5 [Accessed 10 Jan. 2020].

Park, W. (2019). How your friends change your habits – for better and worse. [online] BBC.com. Available at: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190520-how-your-friends-change-your-habits—for-better-and-worse [Accessed 10 Jan. 2020].

Purcell, M. (2018). The Health Benefits of Journaling. [online] https://psychcentral.com/. Available at: https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/721/ [Accessed 10 Jan. 2020].

 

Bitnami