There is a misconception in the mainstream media today...
Ever since Mackenzie Pearson, a 19 year-old college student who wrote about what her roommate referred to as the "dad bod" -- a "nice balance of a beer gut and working out," there's been an internet explosion over the body type that chicks really prefer: a semi-chubby but sort of endearing and familiar "dad bod," or the classic muscular, sculpted physique that has inspired generations of dudes around the world to pick up a weight and train.
But is this a real debate?
Well, it's nice that there are ladies out there willing to write the Huffington Post and express their acceptance of a dad bod because it makes them feel better about their own bodies (there's less pressure to be in shape if you're dating or married to a guy who's a bit flabby himself), or because being a little pudgy might be less intimidating...
...but I'm here to call bullshit.
Body acceptance proponents aside, a dad bod isn't sexy, and although some chicks might not be deterred by it, let's go with our common sense and assume they're not aroused by it either.
I haven't seen it, but I'll guess it's fair to say that Magic Mike didn't gross $170 million at the box office (on a $7 million budget) due to its cinematic merits. Chicks have spank banks too, and you can be sure they draw from them regularly (like when you're giving your best missionary performance and Tatum's abs are being imaginatively superimposed over your hairy, jiggling beer belly).
So, what do you do when your busy schedule has caused your workouts and your diet to go off track for too long and -- as much as you hate to admit it -- you're now rocking the DAD BOD?
There is a solution...
The 28-Day Body Transformation
To get rid of dad bod FAST, you have to quickly (1) lose body fat and (2) build muscle.
Getting lean and building muscle at the same time is damned hard, and especially given a really short timeline like 28 days; however, it can be done with the right strategy.
It requires precisely dialing in two things: (1) daily nutrition, and (2) weekly exercise. I'm going to cover these below, and then outline a detailed plan.
Follow the plan to a T, and you'll get rid of your dad bod in just a few short weeks.
Take a look:
(NOTE: To get the entire 28-Day Nutrition & Workout Plan -- with daily menu and custom workouts -- click here.)
Your daily menu will consist of the following:
- 4 protein shakes, spaced evenly apart, and
- 1 regular meal with a large protein portion, moderate starch and fruits/vegetables
There are couple things to mention here.
First, calories are not counted. Instead, 4 of your 5 daily meals will be substituted with a top-quality protein shake, and your 1 regular meal will be portion-controlled (although you'll feel "full" and satisfied after eating it).
Second, the diet is obviously high protein, for two reasons:
- High-protein diets burn fat fast, and
- Protein supports lean muscle
Next, the type of protein shake used is critical.
Protein powders are NOT created equal, and bulk department store whey protein isn't going to work if you're serious about ditching your dad bod FAST.
To learn what constitutes the right protein shake [HINT: whey alone isn't enough; there is a magic bullet for losing fat and building muscle FAST] -- click below to access the complete body transformation plan (via printable PDF), with a detailed daily menu and weekly workout program.
Two types of exercise will be used during the 28-day shape-up: (1) weight training and (2) high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio.
Nothing builds muscle and burns fat faster than a properly-programmed weight training workout. Weight training:
- speeds your metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after a single workout, burning more calories over time than any other form of exercise;
- improves insulin sensitivity (which creates a metabolic environment favorable to building muscle and losing fat)
- stimulates muscle protein synthesis (muscle building)
- increases lipolysis (fat-burning) during exercise performed after weight training (example: walking after lifting weights)
Cardio sucks, no doubt about it.
BUT, high-intensity interval training is an unconventional form of cardio that is especially effective for fat loss because it includes both low- and high-intensity intervals, which are the fat-burning zones.
It’s well established that moderate-intensity cardio (like jogging, for example) uses carbohydrate reserves for fuel and, after they’re depleted, the body’s amino acid pool (which includes muscle!). At low and high levels of intensity, however, burning fat is preferred.
Also, to preserve muscle while "dieting," selecting the right HIIT exercise can actually spare (or even build) muscle. While many options would be appropriate, for the best results in the shortest time, I recommend hill sprints.
Hill sprints are simple: find a nearby hill, and:
- sprint up the hill, then
- walk down the hill, and
It’s really simple, but very effective. Sprinting up is obviously high-intensity, while walking down, in addition to allowing a rest and recharge, is low-intensity. Best of both worlds for fat loss.
So -- To summarize:
The 28-Day Transformation Framework
(Repeat the below for 4 weeks)
See below for a definition of terms:
PS = protein shake
Meal = whole-food meal (dinner)
Cheat = cheat meal (that is, eat whatever you want, within reason, for this meal)
WT = weight training
HIIT = high-intensity interval training
NEAT = non-exercise activity thermogenesis (a technical term for any light activity that burns fat, such as walking)
- As mentioned above, the type (and quality) of protein used for the PS is very important, and it can make the difference between success or failure on the program. Don't skimp or compromise on this. If you do, it will show through in your results.
- Your 6PM Meal should be a pretty conventional dinner, consisting of:
- Lean meat
- Starch (e.g. potatoes, corn or pasta)
- Vegetables (green, leafy veggies are best)
- Don't count calories, but do try to use the rule of thumb that each portion (meat, starch, vegetable) should be roughly the size of your clenched fist. This will ensure you're not overeating.
- On Saturday (or any day of the week, as long as it's only one day per week), your dinner should be a "cheat" meal, in which none of the above rules apply. Pizza, cheeseburger, whatever. Try to maintain at least a shred of dignity, however. :)
- Weight training should be about 45-60 minutes long at a high intensity, using mostly free weights (barbell and dumbbell exercises).
- Start each workout with a compound, multi-joint exercise (squat, bench press, deadlift, standing overhead press), and then perform isolation work for the remainder of the workout (bicep curls, tricep extensions, leg curls, etc.).
- Compound movements should be done for 2-4 sets of 4-6 reps (and be in the 75-85% range of max weight), while isolation work should be performed for 3-5 sets of 10-12 reps.
- Include relatively short rest intervals between sets (1-2 minutes) for isolation exercises (and approx. 3-5 minutes for multi-joint work.
- HIIT training (hill sprints) should be for a relatively short duration (8-12 minutes), increasing marginally each week over the 28-day period.
- NEAT activity will be done on weekends to allow proper rest and recovery after intense training Mon - Fri, without sacrificing an opportunity to continue rapid fat loss.
Click on the image below to access the full 28-day plan!