Recently I was fortunate enough to absorb a ton of knowledge about body transformation, losing fat, gaining muscle, and just all around physical and mental health. I had fantastic experience and opportunity to chat with, and pick the brain of Russ Yeager.
Russ is one of the top online fitness coaches and physique transformation experts in the world. He has been in countless fitness magazines and recently contributed on an article about how exercise can reduce the effects of mental stress.
I’ve personally been doing Russ’s program and after 4 weeks I’ve seen tremendous results. I reached out to Russ and asked him if he could share some insight on his methods and approach to fitness and body transformation.
Turning Point For Change
To create a change, you must first make a decision that you are not happy with the current situation. With any commitment we make, or goals we set to achieve, human behavior requires an avoidance to pain and a desire for pleasure to create lasting change.
In this interview Russ opened up about the turning point in his life that created the change in him that led to a commitment to healthy living.
Russ remembered his dad filming him on one of those old VHS cameras and telling Russ to “say something to the camera.” Russ looked up enthusiastically, “I love my dog, I like basketball and soccer”, he then paused and looked down. Dejectedly Russ muttered, “and I’m fat.”
What sparked Russ was not the concerned look on his parents face when he called himself fat, but the seven magic words his mother responded with. “You’re not fat, you’re just husky!” Although spoken with good intention, a mother’s intent to cheer up her son sparked him to transform himself, and his body.
Often, our initial push for change is a desire to escape from pain. However, to create a lasting change, pleasure needs to be the link to our motivation.
Find Your Why
Think about what drives or inspires you the most each day. Search for the spark that can set in motion your wheels of change. We must have a strong passion for something to create long term and permanent change.
Being slightly uncomfortable in your jeans might cause you to think, “I should drop a few pounds.” That would probably make you feel a little more comfortable with yourself. But, is that enough “pain” to incite change? Or enough pleasure to create a permanent transformation within yourself?
How about a heart attack from being overweight? Being diagnosed with cancer from smoking?
Are those strong enough pain points to provoke a change and permanent lifestyle transformation?
The reality is we don’t have to wait or need such a horrible action to happen, like a heart attack or cancer diagnosis to illicit change. We can search for small pain and pleasure points in our everyday life to motivate and inspire.
Pain can be not being able to walk upstairs without being out of breath. We can find pleasure with being able be active and enjoy our children the way they deserve because we’ve lost weight and got into shape.
“You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen.”
― Neil Gaiman
Your Program Must Speak To You
Russ was fortunate enough to train with some of the top bodybuilders in the world. He was taught to eat every two hours. Eating just chicken, broccoli, sometimes green beans, and rotate those meals with protein shakes.
Yes, he was able to get into phenomenal shape with his workout and meal plan, but the problem is a program like this is not sustainable for a majority of people. Most people looking for a body transformation program, to lose fat, or gain muscle don’t want to be bodybuilders or fitness competitors.
It’s not enjoyable for most people to be eating only health food and living on dry chicken and broccoli. This adds a harmful stigma that people feel they can’t achieve weight loss or have a body they are happy with unless they are miserable. People want to enjoy pizza, ice cream, and enjoy a glass of wine or a beer.
Russ realized when creating a body transformation program, to be happy he still needed to appease the appetite and allow for food to be enjoyed.
Eating Healthy VS Eating To Lose Weight
Eating healthy and eating to look good or lose weight are not the same thing. Nobody wants to eat lettuce and salads all day. Russ stressed that his nutritional theories have evolved over the years and people want to enjoy their food.
To lose weight and cut the fat he recommends a small calorie deficit. About three to five hundred calories. Enough to burn fat on a regular basis but it’s not so much that you’re starving or feeling fatigued.
Eating the right things can be simplified. Make sure you are consuming your fruits and vegetables, getting your protein, omegas and healthy fats, and drinking plenty of water. Avoid all the processed foods, foods with too much sugar, and excessive alcohol.
However, we all know that vegetarian who eats nothing but healthy food, does yoga, but they are still overweight. You probably know that other guy too, right? Who eats nothing but fast food and drinks beer but has a ripped body!
Individuals can eat bad foods, be unhealthy on the inside, but still have a great looking body if they are staying within their macronutrient ranges. Eating healthy is important, countless health benefits will confirm that. A good meal plan to get lean should allow you to eat healthy but still let you get a great looking body. It all comes down to your calories and your macronutrients.
Get Lean And Eat What You Want!
Calories are fairly straight forward, most of us understand what calories are. Macronutrients are less talked about and even less focused on. Macronutrients are just the three types of calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fats. As crazy as it sounds, if you get your calorie level right and your macros correct, you can have a lean fit muscular physique eating nothing but junk food!
Of course, Russ doesn’t recommend getting a ripped body from eating junk food. It was just to highlight that the fact that you can get a shredded body from eating junk food if your calories and macros are correct. Russ likes to simplify this even further by stating you must learn your calorie and protein intake should be each day, and focus on those. He does not worry about carbs and fat that much.
If you want to sculpt your body and still eat the foods you love, Russ explained his philosophy. Simply broken down it’s to eat “mostly” healthy foods about 80% of the time. The other 20% eat whatever you want, guilt free!
It’s unrealistic and not pleasurable to eat “healthy” foods 100% of the time and not have the foods you love. 20% of time eat guilt-free what you enjoy, but 100% of the time get your calorie and macro levels right based on your goals.
Turn ‘Shoulds’ Into ‘Musts’ And Short Term Goals
Creating short term goals will increase your chances of accomplishing the long-term goal you’ve established. It’s very easy to become complacent and lose motivation when you’ve established a long-term goal that might require months or even years to reach.
By setting short term goals it becomes easier to stay on track. You can have success to stay motivated, and it becomes easier to establish non-negotiables. Tasks become “musts” instead of “shoulds”.
Tony Robbins said, “the difference between ‘must’ and ‘should’ is the life you want and the life you have.”
When you ‘should’ do something an exit strategy is already in place. There is no consequence for not completing the task. If something is a ‘must’, it becomes imperative to accomplish. When it is a ‘must’, you will always find a way to get it done.
To get yourself motivated to begin a body transformation program, lose fat, gain muscle, or any achievement in your life, begin replacing your ‘shoulds’ with ‘musts’. Begin telling yourself you ‘must’ go to bed earlier, you ‘must’ exercise today, you ‘must’ put away the phone at dinner and have better conversations with your loved ones.
You’ll find quickly as this becomes habit, you’ll be able to accomplish more and will be able to maintain long term, permanent change.
Have you wanted to begin a body transformation program, lose fat, or gain more muscle?
What has stopped you, or what did you do to get the results you wanted?
Russ Yeager is currently one of the top fitness coaches in the world.
A Peak Performance Coach to business owners and executives globally.
Russ owns two private personal training studios in Atlanta, GA.
The author of Live Longer, Feel Better, and Look Great Naked!, and has written for and appeared in numerous fitness publications.
Click to learn more about transforming your body and begin a FREE 7 day trial to Russ’s Body Transformation University