Monday, 22 April 2013

What i would do for a 10 week shape up competition

If you've not seen my other blog post on my 10 week summer shape up competition here it is 10 Week shape up competition details

Since i've posted this up i've had emails and facebook messages asking for tips on what the best approach would be, so here's a little guide on the approach i would take depending on your start point, note this goes for men and women too. This is not an all encompassing approach, it is merely to give you a rough idea of what you should be doing and what your approach to your diet and training should look like.

You'll likely fall in to 1 of 3 categories which will require a slightly different diet approach:

Group 1 - overweight, no abs, fair to say you could be classed as untrained

Diet wise start with eliminating the carbs completely, have a look in to ketogenic diets. This is the quickest way to drop excess weight and fat. Training wise it's not optimal for performance, however you wont be training anywhere near optimal just yet anyway.

Once the outline of your abs are showing for me or your stomach is looking flat for women it is time to add in carbs, i would initially opt for doing so in the post workout window only and in the form of complex carbohydrates, my preferred choice would be sweet potato due to it's higher nutrient value compared to normal white potato, i also think it tastes better! Another option would be to add in some porridge oats to your pwo shake. Once you reach this point your training will be intense too and so focussing on increasing performance should be a training consideration, you'll be wanting to lift heavier, have shorter rest periods, train with more intensity, maybe even train more often, for that you need to employ some smart nutrition techniques so timed carb intakes to fuel and recover the intense training will be needed. You'll still need a high protein and fat diet too and dont fall in to the trap of massacring calories to lose weight, your body is crying out for nutrients due to the increased training load, dont starve it of what it needs. There's a list of my preferred foods at the end of this article.

As a guide you should base your macro breakdown around the following figures

CHO <30g
Fat 1g/kg bodyweight
Protein 2.5-3g/kg bodyweight

Group 2 - skinny fat or slim and wobbly

You may have dabbled with the gym at times or you may go for the odd run to 'keep fit' overall you're not fat but you also dont have much muscle definition either, you're not out of shape but you're not in shape either. Women may have a slight paunch and men may have too but with twiglet arms, ok so you get the picture...

Diet wise you need to first clean up your diet, most people i see like this do not eat anywhere near a varied enough of a diet, it usually consists of grazing on poor quality nutrition and in some cases not eating enough at all. You're lucky that you are actually in a good position to make a huge difference to your body with only relativley small changes needed you'll be able to notice that you will add muscle and burn fat (the holy grail!) at the same time. Eat plenty of protein to recover from your training sessions and stimulate growth (ladies this does not mean you will look like Arnie!) have a good base of healthy fats and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables including root (that's root, not route) veg. Fruit wise opt for berries/forest fruits with apples and bananas, the latter is good when it's turning for around training for either an energy kick or replenishing energy stores after training.

Your main concern when you eat should be "where's the protein and is this a clean meal" coming from a porrly structured and low nutritional value diet if you hit these goals and train hard you will make a significant change to your physique.

As a guide you should base your macro breakdown around the following figures

CHO: 0.8-1.2g/kg/bodyweight
Fat: 1g/kg bpdyweight
Protein: 2-2.5g/kg/bodyweight

Group 3 - need some direction crowd

You go to the gym but never seem to really progress, you do look like you train but you're nowhere near where you could be and while watching what you eat you dont get great results unless you're on an extreme diet and you dont really know too much about nutrition anyway. Sounds familiar, then this should be your approach:

Are you eating enough of the good stuff? Lean protein, healthy fats and complex carbs with plenty of vegetables too?

The majority of people i come across like this actually need more of an overhaul of their diet than they think, the way you look is more down to the amount you train, if you stopped training it wouldnt take long before you realised how poor your diet was. It could be worse so lets not dwell on the negatives.

As you're already training and gym fit you can really crank up your training and take yourself out of your comfort zone, if you dont have a training log, start one and you'll have it written down of what you need to do to progress, most people in this catagory pick the same weights for the same reps each week, progressive overload is key!

With this increased training output you need to concentrate on fuel and recover with your nutrition, therefore i would opt for a carb cycling approach with carbs timed around training (before and after). The rest of your meals need to be rich in vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein. Keep a log of your food intake too. For more info on carb cycling then have a look on google, there's plenty of reading to be done.
As a guide you should base your macro breakdown around the following figures

Protein: 2-2.5g/kg/bodyweight
Fat: 1g/kg bodyweight
low day: <30g per day
Moderate day: 0.5g/kg bodyweight
high day: 1.5g/kg bodyweight

Here is a basic list of 'good foods' which should make up the majority of your diet:

Skimmed Milk
Fibre Rich Veg (broccoli, greent beans etc)
Wholegrain Bread
Basmati/Long Grain Rice
Whole-wheat Pasta
Wholemeal Pitas
New Boiled Potatoes
Natural bean soups 
Split beans
Black beans

Lean Red Meat
Cottage Cheese
Whey Protein shakes
Greek Yoghurt
Egg Whites
Bacon back


Olive Oil
Flax Seeds
Flax Oil
Nut Butters
Fatty Fish
Nut Oils
Columbus Eggs
Macadamia nuts 

In part 2 i'll look at the type of training you should be doing to maximise results, part 3 will cover the supplements i would recommend.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Total Body Development Summer Shape up competition - £500 cash prize!

As summer is fast approaching you should really start thinking about your diet and training to get in shape for the week or 2 of sunshine that we have or that sunny holiday you may have booked!

To help give you some extra motivation i'm launching the Total Body Development Summer Shape up competition and putting in £500 cash for first prize. I will also come up with some prizes for runners up too, bare with me i only came up with this idea today! I reckon i'll be able to draft in some good prizes though, maybe even bump up the cash prize pool too.

The competition will run for10 weeks and you must submit your start photo's between 22nd April and 29th April, the competition finishes on Saturday 6th July. Your end photo's must be submitted by midnight July 6th.

How to enter: Simply submit your photo to my Facebook page at Total Body Development Group

Or you can email me your photo's to

You must also include the following details in the description of the photo:
Start weight
Goals (get lean, lean bulk, add mass)
You can add in any additional info you wish such as years training or type of training you will be doing.

The winner will be decided by myself and a select few friends from your start and end photo's, we are looking for the best physical change over the 10 weeks, you dont have to be cover model ready or stick thin to win, i'll be looking for someone who gets stuck in, grinds out the results and makes a big change!

Your start and end photo must be taken from the front and we need proof of date, holding a newspaper from the day you take the photo will do. If you wish to add more photo's you can do. However rest assured i've prepped many males and females for shows, i know all of the lighting tricks so dont try and pull a fast one!

Ok so i know there will be a few people who want to enter but dont want to put their photo's up publicly, this is fine, however you must submit your start photo to me via email, i will blur/block out your face and post the photo for you, email them to

This is just a bit of fun and it's my way of encouraging people to get in shape, i will have people i trust on my page to offer out advice and tips and i'll be posting up routines and diet tips, i am not doing this to increase my page 'likes' i dont need to do that to get more work, i'm doing this as i think plenty of people will benefit from this and i'm not taking any new clients on for at least 6 months.

So to recap:

Submit start photo's between 22nd and 29th April
End photo's must be submitted by midnight 6th July
1st prize is £500 CASH
2nd prize will be £150 worth of supplements
3rd prize will be £50 worth of supplements
Everyone who finishes will receive a free t-shirt or vest
There will be other prizes along the way too.