I’ve been lifting the weights for almost two decades now. When I first walked into a gym, I was a pasty, flabby guy. I was in horrible shape from eating nothing but hamburgers and drinking sodas for years on end. But you know what… I got fed up with my own crap so I decided to do something about it. Now it’s almost twenty years later and I’m in the shape of my life. Not that it took me that long to get the results. Getting there took me about 3 years. But staying there is easy if you know what you’re doing.

The trick is to have a hard goal for yourself. Don’t set a soft goal, such as ‘I want to shape up’. That’s not good enough. You have to have a hard goal such as ‘I want to lose 20 pounds and gain 10 pounds of muscle and achieve a fat percentage of 10% so I can see my abs’. That’s the kind of thing that will help you get there. You’ve got to use your mental imagery in order to see yourself in the shape that you want to get in. You have to see it in your mind’s eye. Use your imagination. Imagine where you want to be. Then work towards it relentlessly.

From hereon out, it’s all smooth sailing. Okay, so that’s a big lie. But let’s just say that you’ve already done half the battle. That’s not a lie. That’s a big, fat truth! A man with a plan is ten times more likely to achieve his goals than a man who doesn’t have a plan. Because if you don’t have a plan, you are obviously planning on not meeting any goals whatsoever. A complete plan for shaping up (read: getting more muscle and less body fat) will include not only an exercise regimen, but also a healthy diet that is rich in all the good foods under the sun.

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You’re going to need a lot of proteins. You can forget about most of the carbs that you are currently stuffing into yourself. Those aren’t going to do you any good whatsoever. In order to bulk up, you will have to make sure that you get enough proteins. Most people are unable to gain muscle mass and burn fat at the same time. If you’re one of those persons that can, then good on you. But most people will want to have a caloric deficit when burning fat, and a caloric surplus when gaining muscle.

I like to do one thing at a time myself. But don’t forget that lots of muscle can definitely help you get in shape quicker. All that muscle mass uses up calories for maintenance alone, you know. A guy who has more muscles burns more calories than a guy who doesn’t, just by sitting still. This can make it so much easier on you to burn off the pounds. And this is precisely the reason why you never want to lose a lot of muscle. You require your muscles in order to burn fat.

So even when you’re not gaining… make sure to hang on to your existing muscle. This is the reason why nobody ever does cardio anymore. It burns more fat than muscle. Instead, just do resistance training. It’s endlessly better for you.