As a trainer, I buy at least 4 books a month, and after I read Vince Del Monte program, I knew I had to share his story with you.
Vince is a guy who’s beaten bad genetics and after years of running himself thin he was able to build muscle and burn fat with his workout and diet plan.
So let’s see how this muscle building expert was able to it.
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Craig Ballantyne: Vince, tell us your muscle gaining story. From the sounds of it, you made it really hard on yourself to put on muscle in the first place.
Vince Del Monte: I guess I’m unique considering that I went from being a national level triathlete and long distance runner to a bodybuilder and muscle building author. I competed in endurance sports (quite successfully and at a national level) for 9 years until the age of 22.
After university, I ventured into the fitness world and decided to look the part! I was sick of being called “Skinny Vinny.” The rest is history.
My transformation went on to be featured on Bodybuilding.com and the international magazine Maximum Fitness. I got so many questions from readers that I decided to just put my entire program and course online for others to follow so they could do the same as me.
Craig Ballantyne: Yes, I remember the article from MF. Hilarious “before” photo on your website as well. Tell us about the workout program you used.
Vince Del Monte: My program can be used by anybody – male or female, young and old, skinny or chubby. The program is based on high intensity and lower volume – the perfect formula for busy people.
Training with a high intensity (give your muscles a reason to grow philosophy) and lower volume system will produce the best muscle building and fat loss results. I train my female clients the same as male clients. I train my older clients the same as my younger ones.
They all get their butts kicked, go home, refuel, rest and do it again. The only consideration for certain age groups and sexes is recovery time.
Craig Ballantyne: As you know, I’m a fan of keeping things to the basics, so how do you keep your workouts simple?
Vince Del Monte: The workout is ‘simple’ in the sense that you have only one mission and goal with each workout: To fully exhaust the muscle by recruiting the greatest amount of muscle fibers possible with the least amount of sets.
In other words, your goal is to “out do” your previous workout with load, not fatigue. Once you do that, you are ready to move onto the next muscle group.
There is zero need to continue hammering the same muscle group for over an hour – that only results in muscular fatigue not muscular overload (which is the foundation of muscle growth).
Craig Ballantyne: What set and rep scheme do you like and why? Does it change for fat loss?
Vince Del Monte: For hypertrophy, whatever it takes to “out do” your previous workout. You might need two or three warm up sets however once your body is ready to go, it is your goal to load the bar with the maximal amount of weight and perform the maximal amount of reps.
My advanced program teaches you how lift high reps and high weight at the same time!
Craig Ballantyne: Do things change for fat loss?
Vince Del Monte: For fat loss, I use cardio and nutrition to create the caloric deficit. Not weights. My clients weight training programs do not change whether their goals are fat loss or muscle building. That is why my program is perfect for fat loss too. I don’t use high metabolic energy circuits for fat loss. If you gained muscle while training heavy, why would you change that?
The heavy lifting sends the signal to your brain to ‘keep the muscle.’ As soon as you start lifting lighter weights during a fat loss program your body starts to strip off muscle, which slows metabolism and results in a ‘soft’ look.
Craig Ballantyne: Vince, let’s talk more about nutrition, what is your general “philosophy” on eating for muscle & fat burning?
Vince Del Monte: For skinny guys – If you want to look like someone who is 200 pounds and 5% body fat then you have to start eating like a man who is 200 pounds and 5% fat. If you are a female and want to be a lean and trim 120 pounds and 15% fat then you have to start eating like a woman who is 120 pounds and 15% fat.
Nutrition is a mental game and knowing what you want and then becoming the part. My nutrition plans are about 45% carbs, 35% protein and 20% fat. Obviously, clean calories all around the board. I don’t believe in ‘forcing’ your muscles to grow with food.
What that means is that if your body only needs 4000 calories to grow, eating 5000 will not get you there quicker. It will only make you fatter. Genetics and hormones determine how fast you gain muscle. Your goal is to stay in that ‘surplus’ and your body will take care of the rest.
Craig Ballantyne: What do you recommend for post-workout nutrition?
Vince Del Monte: I have always used the 2:1 ratio of liquid carbs to protein. Whether you take it before, during, after or a combo of all three does not make a big difference.
Just make sure you are sending nutrients to your muscles within these times.One hour after your workout should be your most important meal of the day (although its the consisteny of all meals that ultimately build your physique). Again 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
Pasta and meat balls. Steak and potato. Chicken and rice.These kind of meals will get your muscles growing!
Craig Ballantyne: You also have a huge line up of shakes in your program – tasty ones, too, not the classic gross protein shakes. Where did you get those ideas and can you share a couple with us?
Vince Del Monte: The basic foundation of my shakes are to make it feel like you actually ate a real meal. Aside from the protein powder (which could be substituted with egg whites) my shakes are based on clean calories.
I hate store bought weight gainers. They are filled with low quality protein, fillers, artificial sweeteners and a ton of other crap that does not create a positive environment inside your body to build muscle.
Avoid them at all costs (and save your money).
Here are two of my favorite shakes…I have over 30 in my course:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Shake
1-3 scoops of chocolate protein powder
1 cup of 1% chocolate milk
1 cup of cottage cheese
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1.5 cup of ice
Splenda, for taste
Island Power Gainer Shake
1-3 scoops of protein powder
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1 cup of pineapple chunks in unsweetened juice, undrained
1 kiwi, peeled and cubed
1cup of ice cubes
That’s all for today join me tomorrow for more fat loss and nutrition!
Have a great day,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, Turbulence Training