These three pictures span over 3 years: [from left to right] 2013, 2015, and 2016.
[Grayscale pic] 2013 is the leanest I’ve ever been, not sure about body fat levels, but I’d hazard a guess at somewhere around ~6%.
[Middle pic] 2015, from my last cut, I was probably around ~8%.
[Right pic] 2016, current condition and the conditioning I now maintain more or less year ’round. ~10-12%.
I’m showing you these pictures because I want to post some thoughts on getting ”shredded”. These aren’t in any order but are in response to a lot of questions I get from you guys.
1/ The Beginner overestimates what he can accomplish, the pro underestimates – I’d rather be the beginner.
Remember in The Matrix when Cypher is brokering a deal with Agent Smith to get out of the ‘real world’, and remarks: ‘ignorance is bliss’?
He’s alluding to one of the truisms of life: often when we venture into a new domain, not knowing what we can and can’t accomplish puts the odds in our favour. This is one of the reasons I got as lean as I did in 2013, and why I’ve never gotten that lean [and probably never will] again.
Not knowing how much it was going to suck [extreme hunger, no energy, no libido, etc.] meant I didn’t overthink and procrastinate on starting.
Back then all I was thinking about was how awesome it was going to be when I was shredded.
My point here is simply, sometimes ignorance can be a good thing – just start and correct course as you go along. I’d rather you start, fail, try again with a lesser plan than spend time researching, (over) thinking, and never starting in wait for the perfect protocol.
2/ I’ve said it in the past, and I still stand by it – every guy should at one point in their life get as lean as they can. But…
This probably isn’t in your first year of lifting. Nor the second, maybe not even the third.
I’d been lifting for just under 10 years when I dieted down to the conditioning in 2013.
Even then, I was lacking a lot of muscle – yep, even after almost a decade of being in a surplus and focussing on getting bigger.
If you’re just starting out and you’re a skinny guy; focus on building muscle for a good, solid 2-3 years before you even think about getting super shredded.
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