Do ex­actly the amount of ex­er­cise you need, and don’t go over­board

Men's Health (Malaysia) - - Fit­ness -

Many men think the only way to de­velop their abs is to ham­mer in the gym and to slash their calo­rie in­take. But if you do too much too soon, you could burn mus­cle and burn out men­tally. Yes, big goals re­quire big mea­sures. “But if you go ex­treme right away and then stop pro­gress­ing, where do you go from there?” Rous­sell asks. So start by cut­ting 200 to 300 calo­ries a day from your diet. Stick to it. Once you reach that plateau (usu­ally in two to four weeks), cut out another 200 to 300 and re­peat. Hart­man, for ex­am­ple, launched his plan by drop­ping to 2,200 daily calo­ries; then he cut his in­take fur­ther to 2,000 and ended at 1,750. A typ­i­cal train­ing pro­gramme pre­scribes a spe­cific num­ber of sets, such as 3 or 5. But be­cause your per­for­mance can vary from day to day based on in­flu­ences such as sleep and stress, that pre­scrip­tion might be too rig­or­ous or too easy on any given day. That’s why Hart­man based his train­ing pro­gram around “au­toreg­u­la­tion” sets. In those, your reps stay the same but the sets can vary depend­ing on your per­for­mance. You do as many as you can un­til your form breaks down or your strength gives out. This strat­egy ac­com­plishes two things: it hits your body with a stim­u­lus that’s enough for you to make progress, and it keeps the brakes on to pre­vent you from dig­ging too deep and sus­tain­ing an in­jury. To try it, see “The Fast Track to a Six-Pack” on page 30. Ev­ery Satur­day for the past decade, Hart­man has taken his gym’s in­terns out for lunch at a lo­cal Mex­i­can cantina to talk shop, de­com­press, and re­view the week. “Ob­vi­ously the fa­ji­tas, mar­gar­i­tas, and all the chips I could eat didn’t fly any­more,” Hart­man says. So Rous­sell helped him find a meal he en­joyed that also worked for his diet. The so­lu­tion? A spicy chicken breast on a bed of greens. “Main­tain­ing nor­mal ri­tu­als dur­ing your diet is key to sus­tain­abil­ity,” Rous­sell says. Mid­way through his trans­for­ma­tion process, Hart­man had to travel to China for 10 days. He stuck to his nutri­tion plan by pack­ing 24 Epic pro­tein bars, 10 pack­ages of Chef’s Cut Buf­falo Style Real Chicken Jerky, and four cans of cashews. “When you’re com­mit­ted to a goal, your nutri­tion de­ci­sions need to be made be­fore­hand,” Rous­sell says. At home, Hart­man tacked his eat­ing plan on his fridge so that he and his wife could eas­ily shop and cook around it. “She also lost weight,” Hart­man says.

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