Body composition is the measure of how much fat versus muscle tissue one has on their frame. The higher the muscle mass and the lower the fat mass the better one will look. The question is how do you accomplish this?

To spare you a lot of time and effort doing personal research, muscle is made from progressively lifting heavier weights overtime and eating a lot of food. This food in turn fuels workouts and after the work is done in the gym it is then is stored in the muscles in a very similar manner as fat is stored in fat tissue. Except muscle is aesthetic tissue and fat is not. The problem is when the body eats too much for too long you will not only gain muscle, but you will also gain fat. This can ruin the look you are trying to achieve.

On the other hand, to burn fat quite simply requires a calorie deficit. The problem is always staying in a deficit can reduce metabolic rate, lower hormonal status, negatively effect mood and happiness and increase your appetite in the long term. Not to mention people that always diet 99% of the time regain their weight.

In order to achieve optimal body composition you have to have periods of lowered calories to burn fat and higher calories to build and store more muscle mass. These two phases balance each other out and only doing one or the other will not result in the desired outcome. The answer is a weekly calorie cycle combined with a heavy lifting protocol.

As a man with a full time job, time is not on my side as it was in the past. Not only do I not have time to hit the gym everyday, I dont have the motivation. I also think fitness minimalism is underrated and needs to make a comeback. Essentially go in the gym do what actually works and dont waste time with daily marathon workouts. The routine for this plan is very simple and it works very well from a lifestyle standpoint and the typical 9-6 Monday - Friday work schedule.

The workout is as follows:

Saturday - Upper Body

  • Barbell Bench Press 4 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Dumbbell (DB) Rows 4 sets of 6-8 reps
  • DB Incline Press or DB seated Press 4 sets of 6-8 reps
  • EZ bar curls (biceps) 4 sets of 8-10 reps
  • EZ bar skullcrushers 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Sunday - Legs and Shoulders

  • Barbell Squats 4 sets of 6-8 reps
  • DB Lunges 4 sets of 6-8 reps
  • Hip Exentions 3 sets of AMAP (as many as possible)
  • Rear Delt Raise 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Lateral Raise 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Cable Crunches 4 sets of 10 reps

That is it. Focus on increasing the weight lifted each session and you are golden. I usually add in another Upper Body workout on Wednesday that is very similar to the one above. You may add in cardio on the other days but it is not necessary.

As for the diet, this is arguably the most important part. Friday night through Sunday night find a rough estimate of your maintenance calories, which we will just guess is about 2300 calories a day. Eat at least this amount and up to about 3000 calories. On Monday - Friday Afternoon you will at a deficit to burn fat. I would go anywhere from 500-1000 calories below your maintenance levels. Prioritize protein and veggies on your low calorie days, but as long as your are in a deficit it doesnt really matter too much what you eat. As for your high calorie days on the weekend, you may eat whatever you wish.

This post can get much more detailed and personalized but this is a template anyone can use to obtain optimal body composition year round. High calories over the weekend works well for a lot of people and many don't have problems going lower calorie during the week when the weekend is very liberal in terms of food freedom.

Also this works well for all body types whether you are skinny, skinny/fat or overweight. This is more of a lifestyle plan that works for long periods of time. There is no need to live in state of calorie restriction all the time even when overweight. Give it a years time and you will be pleased with the results with minimum gym time.

 

Published by Michael Cocchiola