"Why do not I look like that?" The ads want you to believe that anything is possible. In his article "How To get a Fitness Model Body " Ask Men fitness expert James Fell explained that no piece of equipment or dietary product will get you perfectly carved. Even with the right dietary restrictions and workout regime, It is extremely difficult to attain the ideal physique. Author and fitness model Vince Del Monte goes even further, explaining that the bodies we see in the media are not only near impossible to achieve but are impossible (and unhealthy) to maintain.
To get into this extreme shape, I began weight training at the age of 22 and have continued to lift consistently for the past nine years (not nine weeks). I was able to take my scrawny, 149-pound body to a muscular 227 pounds (and not without gaining fat through the "bulking up" process). Understand, it's impossible to gain muscle without fat unless you're taking performance-enhancing drugs. I chose not to.
For the four months leading up to this picture, my diet was very strict. I ate every three hours. I ate six different protein sources a day (sirloin, whole eggs, white fish, turkey, chicken, protein powder), four different carb sources a day (brown rice, Ezekiel cereal, quinoa, yams), two different fat sources a day (avocados, mixed nuts), consumed vegetables with every meal, trained from 1.5 to 3 hours a day (six days a week), and eliminated all alcohol and sweets. I went to bed at 10:30 p.m. and rose at 6:00 a.m. every day.
My weekly grocery and supplement bill was around $300 a week. I invested $4,000 to hire one of the top bodybuilding coaches in the world. I have a very supportive wife who lives and breathes the same lifestyle, making it easier. I was also training at one of the best gyms in the country and was surrounded by celebrities and professional athletes to keep me motivated. I grew up in an extremely goal-oriented home so I have my own natural drive to be successful. I was competing for my Pro Card (which I won), giving me huge motivation. Did I mention I was filming my entire transformation to create a brand new product called Stage Shredded Status? That gave me financial motivation, too. I also invested in a professional photographer who shot over 800 images to capture this one. I wouldn't doubt that some digital retouching was applied to fix some of my cosmetic flaws -- and that was after my body was already water-depleted and carb-loaded (sneaky tricks we fitness models know)!
In fact, what most people do not know about the fitness models and bodybuilders who are promoting the next pill, powder or potion is that these models are scheduled for photo shoots immediately after competitions. This is to ensure the model is in extreme shape after months of dieting, intense training (often times with the use of steroids and growth hormone), tanning, posing practice, using diuretics, and other photo-enhancing products and tricks.
Although this type of extreme shape is temporary, many magazines and advertising campaigns hope their prospects buy into the belief that this condition is the standard look, rather than the exception, and never do they explain that this look is temporary and that these models do not look like this all the time. These images may inspire millions, but they also mislead millions. Individuals are encouraged to emulate their idols, not knowing how they really got there.
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