I received an awesome testimonial from a MuscleHack reader that I had to share with you guys.
Shalin Patel caught my attention with the following statement…
“Every transformation I see shows overweight people who undergo dramatic weight loss to reveal better muscle tone. For the group of men who have naturally smaller body frames, it is a tremendous challenge to cut body fat while trying to gain muscle…Thus my goal was not to significantly lose weight, but to lose fat and gain muscle while not significantly altering my body weight.”
He is of course referring to body recomposition, or altering the ratio of fat to muscle for the better!
I can identify with that, being a naturally skinny guy. Any fat I gain goes on my gut. In the past when I tried to get rid of it, I ended up losing my muscle mass too!
After repeating this depressing cycle over and over a few times, I got really pissed off and decided to actually research this stuff for myself. Much research and testing later, I developed Total Six Pack Abs
“I’ve been an avid musclehack reader for several months now and just wanted to share my results and summary with you. I’m planning on submitting my story to bodybuilding.com (transformation of the week) because I’m so happy with the results and couldn’t have done it without you.”
What I include below is only a portion of the full text Shalin is submitting to bodybuilding.com. Good luck, Shalin!
“I am naturally skinny with a smaller body frame but never really had a defined midsection or muscular build. My ultimate goals were to get six pack abs and at the same time increase my overall muscle tone.
“I knew the biggest improvement I had to make was to modify my diet. Since I was so skinny and wanted to get bigger. Although I was gaining weight, it was in all the wrong places.
“My favorite website and the person whose techniques I learned to trust the most during my research was MuscleHack, owned by Mark McManus. His basic idea is that, contrary to popular belief, you CAN build muscle and lose fat at the same time and one does not have to be done at the expense of the other. Once I understood the reasoning behind this concept, my entire diet and workout strategy completely changed.
“After carefully reading over all of Mark’s material and getting his Total Six Pack Abs book, I followed his diet plan as instructed.
“Once I started the new workout plan, with EVERY workout, my goal was to reach failure at 8-10 reps. During each workout, I would record my previous session’s maximum weight lifted and shoot to slightly increase the weight lifted for every exercise, every time. This workout regimen along with my new nutritional strategy – all found in Mark’s Abs book – simultaneously kept my muscular growth and fat loss continuous.
“The most important lesson I learned by the end of my three month regimen was that although my body fat decreased significantly, my body weight remained almost the same because as I lost weight from the fat, I gained it back from the newfound muscle growth. Thus, proving that even people with smaller frames like myself can gain muscle and lose fat all at the same time!
“I encourage everyone to create a specific plan and to implement it with full dedication. You have to be mentally focused to change your diet, which really is the key. The hardest challenge is definitely the diet.
“A great way to be successful in this endeavor is to get your friends and family involved in the dieting aspect….My wife and I did the diet together for a month and we both were amazed at the results. The two of us doing this together made things so much easier. Now I even have my parents and several friends changing their diets and all have successfully lost weight/body fat.”
Here are Shalin’s before and after stats:
Age: 28 Age: 28
Height : 5’8” Height: 5’8”
Weight: 164 Weight: 162
Body Fat: 14% Body Fat: 8%
A 6% body fat drop with only 2lbs of weight loss is a remarkable result and testifies to the RECOMPOSITION abilities of this program. More muscle + less fat = a much better looking you!
If you’re new to MuscleHack, I’d recommend you check out…
With TSPA there’s no fluff to wade through to get to the “how” of successful fat loss. This book is a DIRECT assault on unwanted flab and muscle-growth stimulation!
Shalin – Good work bro! I hope your transformation makes it bb.com – you deserve it!
Have YOU committed 100% to getting that six-pack?
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Shalin has the shape I am going for!
I also have a small frame so this is what I want. Great inspiration for me.
Great work! Truly a transformation.
But I don’t think the after % bodyfat is 8, or even single digits.
What do you think Mark?
I wonder if Shalin incorporated any form of cardio to achieve his impressive transformation. It would also be helpful to learn details of his weighlifting routine, such as # of days per week and length of each session.
I’m curious, were you using the MANS diet to get these results?
@Chris. For a normal person, it probably wouldn’t be. As Shalin mentions (and I’ve experienced), some people store more bodyfat around the gut than elsewhere. So his total BF% could be 8, but only if he is very lean elsewhere. I store almost zero fat on my legs and around my shoulders, chest, and back.It all goes to my gut. For an average person, I0% is the six-pack barrier to break, but that is only a guide. If Shalin had average-guy genetics, I’d guess around 10% by the pics.
@Jerry. Since TSPA does recommend cardio, I’m sure he did. The lifting routine is also in the book, though I think his longer testimonial mentions mixing it up with some of his own favorite exercises.
@Phil. He was on the TSPA diet and lifting/cardio routine.
I’ll email Shalin. Hopefully he can answer any more queries if you have them.
What kind of cardio we should do? frankly I am lazy to do cardio. Hitting gym 3 times a week using only weight is enough?
The before/after pictures you show in your postings are ALWAYS the same type: they always show guys who were only slightly out of shape before they started training. No one in his right mind would say Shalin had a beer belly or sagging muscles. In fact, I’m sure this guy on a t-shirt looked perfectly fine. Given that, it’s not that surprising to see his transformation (although it’s hard work anyway, I don’t deny that!!).
How about finding a before/after case where the before guy looks like Newman from Seinfeld and the after guy looks like you? THAT would be impressive.
Shalin totally has the cut I would love to have. The difference between him and me is I have a more thick frame and a lot more flab to lose I have and am doing everything I can and still not seeing much results. Any tips?
good job man thats inspirational. I’m 10% body fat and i can see my abs but i would love to get my body fat% to 7% and at the same time not lose any muscle but actually keep gaining muscle at the sam time I’m 5’4” and 15 years old. 141 pounds. do i have to buy the total six pack abs!? i can’t but it now when i will get older i will but what do i do for now cuz i dont do any cardio just run to the gym for like 5-6 mins and do weights there.
Mark, great post. By lifting routine in the tspa book, are you referring to ab routine or total body routine? thanks
@Ross – Thanks and good luck… Check out the TSPA book and I know you will be there in no time!
@Chris – I use body fat calipers to measure my body fat percentage and that is the number I recorded. I completely agree that I could be currently higher on the body fat percentage because the calipers are subject to human error (location of the pinch, proper skin-fold, etc). However, as Mark said, if the 10% barrier shows a six-pack, I feel I am in that range. My point is not what my exact body fat percentage is at the end, rather that my body fat percentage decreased while simultaneously increasing muscle mass which was my goal. Thanks for the comments!
@Jerry – Thanks! I definitely incorporated cardio into my workout regimen but you will be surprised to see how little cadio time is actually required in the Total Six Pack Abs regimen. I am not a big fan of cardio so I really loved this part! As for the lifting, I did modify a few workouts to suit my personal preferences and available gym equipment, but the majority of every workout I did is listed in the book.
@Phil –Thank you Phil. Although I do love the MANS diet, I was not on it during this time. Total Six Pack Abs literally spells out EXACTLY how to calculate the amount of fat, carbs, protein along with what to eat, when to eat, and even gives examples and recipes on how to make it happen.
@zam – Definitely agree I did not have a Newman-like body (LOL) when I started, but just wanted to share my story that people who were born with smaller builds can still cut fat and gain muscle at the same time. As far as taking a bigger guy and getting him lean, I don’t know about you, but seeing Darshan’s transformation was very impressive! (see link above)
@Andrew – Great start at such a young age! I would highly recommend getting the book when you get older. I firmly feel the only way you can achieve a six pack is by proper dieting. It does not matter how much you work out your abs or do cardio, dieting is still the key. Just keep this concept in mind as you get older, it took me 10 years to figure this out! 😉
That was really a good dedication. The picture of before and after it gives me a fire, because my body type is like the same what you had. Thanks for your good encouragement.
@Shalin_ thanks man. yeah i will try and get it when i get older for sure i hope. thats right diet is the most important key to a six pack. dont worry i will always remember this concept and oh 10 years thats a lot haha but now you figured it out and you have a six pack ab so thats amazing :).
@Shalin. Thanks for stopping by and answering reader questions. Much appreciated.
@George. On a cutting cycle, 3 weight training sessions alone really isn’t going to cut it unless you’re prepared to wait longer. Apart from extra calorie burn and growth stimulation, there’s the issue of needing to fully deplete glycogen stores. This issue ties in with the TSPA diet which needs to be done to strict macronutirent grams and calories (all spelled out in the book).
@ Shalin Progress is what it is all about mate, I was just suprised when I saw the 8% bodyfat. It might be you store very little fat below the waist and that is what puts your at overall 8%.
Either ways, great work and keep going!
hi Shalin i was just wandering wot type of cardio u did eg : treadmill or cycling n how many times per week u did this am well pleased 4 u brill job ive been training 4 about 2 yrs getting good shape but still carrying at least 18% overall body fat round da belly my back shoulders arms n legs are very lean and help to burn off this un wanted fat would be great
i train 4 times a week oh mark i did sign up 4 yr free book but i never got dont wot happen if u can send again plz thank you
Wow great work Shalin!!! Quick question: Does TSPA include a full muscle building routine for the entire body or is it to cut down on fat? Thanks for the great work Mark!!