Bodybuilding: Lean to Mean
If you’ve been reading our fitness blog I know what you’re thinking: “Uh oh. Foxhound with their shirts off again.” Yep. Our first official bodybuilding photo-shoot has become our second official Foxhound-team-effort-photo-shoot (if you missed our first one, the grad shoot, it’s right here).
So what makes this one special? Well. It took a lot of work, mostly in the gym. The photo-shoot itself was also rather tough. Flexing isn’t as fun as our smiles make it seem. But that’s the test of a true bodybuilding pose, right? Can you hold it while smiling. So we tried our best to smile our hearts out. A lot of effort went into the poses themselves, too. There are a lot of particulars to each pose.
The photography is probably what you’re curious about though. They aren’t HDR photos and they aren’t painted—in fact, they aren’t even touched up! We got this effect by combining four things: Dynamic lighting, olive oil, boosted clarity (Adobe Lightroom) and Jared’s Photoshop sharpening algorithm. I know everyone paints on muscles these days, and it’s more or less accepted. But this isn’t 300 or Twilight, this is our attempt at a legitimate bodybuilding shoot, so we tried to keep it real. We didn’t brush on muscles with make-up, we didn’t paint them in Photoshop, we didn’t selectively boost shadows—we didn’t even remove pimples or smooth out pores. This is us . . . albeit well lit and covered in oil.
How to Lose Fat Without Losing Your Mind
Our specialty is helping skinny people bulk up. However, over the years we’ve had a lot of friends and family ask us for advice about how to lose weight. Our skinny clients also have friends and family members who are overweight.
I thought I should write a short article about how to lose fat.
Lean to Mean Finale! A Summer’s Worth of Packing on Muscle and Tearing Off Fat. From Bony to Beastly.
Lean to Mean was the name of our four-month “ectomorph transformation,” as we’ve learned it’s often called. We followed a different bodybuilding routine each month, we diligently tracked our progress, and we photographed absolutely everything.
2019 Update: we’ve come a long way since then. Read the updated story in our article about going from skinny to muscular.
Now, Jared and I are both “ectomorphs.” We’re naturally skinny guys, we’ve always had a hard time gaining weight, and we have a lot of trouble eating the sheer volume of food in most bulking diets.
However, to make things more interesting, we added in a control group. Or, rather, we added in an average overweight guy who was trying to lose weight. His name is Willem, and he started his journey last year when we planned out a diet that helped him lose twenty pounds in a single month. (More on that in our article about how to lose fat.)
Jared and I, skinny ectomorphs that we were, decided to do a hypertrophy training program designed to help us gain muscle. Willem, on the other hand, decided to be more physically active and do more cardio.
So, what we’ve got here are before and after pictures and measurements. We’ve all gotten bigger. We’ve all gotten leaner. And we’re pretty happy with our results. We’ve gone from Bony to Beastly (or at least we’d like to think we did) in just one summer.Read More
12 Drinking Tips for Staying Thin, Buff ‘n Hangover Free
In the spirit of Friday and taking a night off here and there, no matter what your goals are, I’ve decided to put together a few tips to help you drink without packing on pounds of fat or losing the muscle you’ve worked so hard to pack on. It will help with hangovers too, so you’ll be able to get the most out of your tomorrow. As my dad likes to say, “everything in moderation, including moderation.”
(If you want a more advanced look into how alcohol affects you check out this article.)
1: Avoid the sugary mix drinks! They’re packed full of carbohydrate calories from sugar, which when added to the calories already in the alcohol (7 per gram), make for one mean fat making machine. And the sugar rush will spike your insulin levels, resulting in those calories being put straight into fat storage. They’ll also accelerate alcohol absorbtion. Alcohol itself does have calories, but those calories aren’t carbs. Gin, rum, tequila, vodka and whiskey have 0 carbs in them—and as it turns out less than 5% of the calories from alcohol contribute to fat storage. The main fat disadvantage of the alcohol is that it can decrease your metabolism temporarily by up to 73%! Adding in sugar when your metabolism is working so terribly really isn’t the best idea.
2: When putting your drink together throw in an extra slice of lime/lemon/orange. One of the big downsides of drinking is that it saps the vitamins and minerals from your body. Slices of citrus fruits are full of vitamin C and other key micronutrients. Plus, they’ll take the bite out of your sugar-free drinks. Ask the bartender to throw an extra two or three slices in.
Lean to Mean, 90 Days (Vid & Pics)
We’ll let the pictures and the numbers do the talking this month. As you can see, some photo-shoots went better than others. Bed-head and caveman-hunch aside though we’re pretty happy with how things are going. I’ll post our measurements and the video below so you can get an idea of how monstrous we’re becoming.
We just started our August fat burning phase today. Fifteen minutes of HIIT training in the stairwell. Eight 30 second sprints with 90 second jogs in between. Up and down 22 floors over and over. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired. My legs feel like jelly and I’m quivering as I write this . . . that isn’t saying much though. My cardiovascular training has been pretty absent my entire life. It doesn’t take many stairs to have me gasping for breath. Jared could hear me from several flights ahead.