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The Diet and Workout I Used to Lose 30 Pounds and Get Ripped



John Masgalas, 45, shares with Men’s Health the changes that have helped him transform his body, achieve his goals and find a new way of life.

I trained vigorously for 5 years and was quite muscular; I tracked my food intake and loved doing spartan races. I followed the “gym-bro” cycle of building up in winter and reducing in summer. But I could never really shorten enough to even see my abs. The motivation just wasn’t there. Last winter, I decided to build a meager mass.

This soon led to my allowing myself to eat whatever I wanted. My weight kept climbing until I peaked at 208 pounds. I had gained 20 pounds in 5 months – needless to say, it was no longer a lean mass. Also, the Spartan races I enjoyed had been canceled due to Covid and I had no goal of staying lean. I was still exercising while working from home during the quarantine, but my lifestyle was generally less active. I felt terrible about the heart. I was still strong in the gym, but felt sluggish, tired, and bloated all day.

While browsing YouTube, I stumbled upon a video by Paul Revelia talking about going to fat loss and mentioning Pro Physique’s 90 Day Transformation Challenge. I discussed it with my wife and told her that this would give me a date and set destination to finally get to where I wanted to be, physically. She said do it so I signed up.

Before the start date, I set myself a goal weight of 180 pounds. I figured this would get me into the stadium to be a top finisher in the challenge. I also planned my workouts and cardio, set an initial calorie deficit, and decided to cut calories as needed. I’ve cut my daily calories from 3,200 to 2,400, consisting of 220 grams of protein, 55 grams of fat, and 280 grams of carbohydrates.

I bought an inexpensive under-counter step machine that I used for 40 minutes each morning while I was working. The gyms were still closed so I knew I would work out from home. I started browsing and was able to buy a squat rack, barbell, bench, adjustable dumbbells, and a doorknob bar. I knew this equipment would allow me to learn all of the basics required.

My weightlifting routine consisted of a 4-day pull, push, leg, core, and abdominal program that lasted just over an hour per session. At the end of the fourth day, I repeated and did not take full days of rest. I’ve kept my exercises simple using basic compound movements that are good bang for the buck (bench press, squat, deadlift, and row). I kept my intensity high and used a rep range of 8-12. I made sure my last set of each exercise resulted in complete failure, and then I would drop the weight and go to failure one more time.

After my weight loss stalled, I bought a discounted treadmill for my basement gym. I added a 40 minute incline hike every night after dinner. This could reduce my weight. At this point, my activity was high between the two cardio sessions and daily weight lifting. I’ve lost over 2 pounds a week.

Every time my weight loss stalled, I cut my calories by 200, kept my protein and fat the same, but my carbs, until I was finally at 1,700 calories a day. At this point, I’ve added a refeed day every 10 days. On my refeed day, I ate about 3,500 calories. I noticed that this resulted in me gaining 3 or 4 pounds for a few days and then quickly dropping my weight to a lower weight than before my refeeding day.

At the end of the challenge, I was able to come down to 177 pounds. I lost 31 pounds and exceeded my goal weight. I could not believe it!

Whenever I was tired or felt that I wasn’t pushing hard enough, I would remind myself that someone out there thinks the same way I do, but is working harder than me right now. I also made sure I took photos along the way to keep track of my progress. Sometimes just looking in the mirror doesn’t help. Most importantly, I had tremendous support from my wife throughout the process. I would not have made it without her, from her with my crumbling to the point of encouragement to continue, she was great.

This trip changed my whole life. I have a body I could only dream of before! I have proven to myself that no matter how difficult something is or how unreachable it may seem, with hard work, determination and consistency anything is possible. My self-confidence has improved a lot. My energy level is much higher. Running outside for cardio was fun, now I’m carrying less weight!

I’m definitely not done yet. Now that Spartan is racing again, I’ve competed in three races to earn my Trifecta metal. This has always been a goal of mine. It also gives me reasons to stay fit and slim. I’ve shifted my training to more distance runs. I now only lift 3 times a week, but I’m working on functional movements and heavy weights. Once that’s done, I plan to focus strictly on bodybuilding and building more muscle to stay lean.

If you are at the beginning of your own fitness journey, I would say don’t just go through the movements. Really take yourself to the point where it is uncomfortable. Learn where that point is, then find out how you can go a step beyond that; this is where the real progress begins. And don’t look at what others are doing. Just look at yourself and try to be a better you. You only compete against what you were yesterday for a better you tomorrow.

      Philip Ellis is a UK freelance writer and journalist specializing in pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ + topics.

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    Men’s Health

    The healthy habits that men who want to be dads should adopt



    It’s no surprise that most fertility studies are looking at what women need to do to improve their chances of having a healthy baby, and while most of us know better, new research has found that the majority of women are still drinking and drinking Consumed caffeine when trying to get pregnant.

    But it takes two to have a baby – and what men do trying to be fathers is also crucial in finding parenthood.

    The new study by Tommy’s pregnancy charity found that more than half of women drank alcohol and four-fifths consumed caffeine while planning pregnancy. Another in five women smoked and one in 25 used drugs, with even higher rates among those under 25.

    The study did not look at male fertility, but Tommy emphasizes that a healthy lifestyle is very important for men who want to be a father, as it affects the quality of their sperm and therefore the chances of conception and future health can of your baby.

    “Much attention is paid to how maternal health and well-being can affect baby development, but when a couple is planning a pregnancy it is important that fathers are healthy too – not just for their own fertility. but for the long-term future of their family, as the health of the parents when they become pregnant can affect their children’s DNA, ”explains Tommy’s midwife Sophie King.

    “Small changes can really make a big difference to the long-term health of parents and babies,” she adds.

    And Dr. Raj Mathur, Chairman of the British Fertility Society, emphasizes: “We know from research that the lifestyle of the potential father is also very important for the chances of pregnancy and the outcome of the pregnancy.

    “Men planning a baby with their partner should take the opportunity to improve their health and lifestyle, including factors such as weight, moderate regular exercise, smoking cessation, reducing alcohol consumption, and following a healthy, balanced diet.”

    So what do men who want to become fathers have to do to improve their chances?

    Cut down on alcohol

    Alcohol can affect both male and female fertility, and Tommy says too much alcohol can lead to poor sperm quality and quantity, as well as decreased testosterone levels and even a loss of interest in sex.

    Men trying to have a baby are advised to reduce their alcohol consumption and not drink more than the recommended maximum limit of 14 units per week, and evenly spread their drinking over three days or more.

    Cut down on caffeine

    There is evidence that men who consume too much caffeine when trying to get pregnant can increase their partner’s risk of miscarriage.

    The same goes for women, so Tommy suggests that couples struggling to have a baby should limit their caffeine intake to 200 mg per day (around two cups of instant coffee or one cup of filter coffee).

    Do not smoke

    Smoking can lower the quality of a man’s sperm, resulting in lower sperm counts and affecting the ability of the sperm to swim. It’s even linked to sexual impotence (inability to get or maintain an erection), explains Tommy.

    Also, a woman who inhales cigarette smoke through secondhand smoke can affect her ability to get pregnant – and just opening windows and doors won’t help, the charity points out.

    Keep your testicles cool

    The NHS says a man’s testicles need to be slightly cooler than the rest of his body to produce the best quality sperm. That sounds harsh, but there are a few simple things you can do to stay cooler down there, such as wearing loose-fitting underwear like boxer shorts and, if you’re working in a hot environment, taking regular breaks outdoors. Also, if you sit at a desk for long periods of time, try to get up and move around regularly.

    King also advises: “Men who are having babies should avoid saunas and hot baths and shouldn’t sit still for long periods or have a warm laptop on their lap.”

    Maintain a healthy weight

    While the new Tommy research found that more than half of women who tried to conceive may report their weight had a high BMI, which can decrease the chances of conceiving and increase the risk of pregnancy complications Men who are overweight or obese can also negatively impact fertility as it can affect the quality and quantity of their sperm, Tommy’s says.

    Eat healthy

    If your partner is trying to stay healthy to support the pregnancy, why not join her? And make sure you eat your five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, as research by Tommy shows that sperm quality is affected by diet. In addition, it might be worthwhile to eat a serving of walnuts every day, as they have been shown to support the mobility of the sperm (ability to swim).

    “Sperm health can be improved with a balanced diet and regular exercise,” emphasizes King. “Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and walnuts has been shown to improve male fertility; red and processed meat, caffeine, saturated fat, and trans fats can all cause problems. “

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    Men’s Health

    Is Winning a Silver or Bronze Medal Really Not Worth Celebrating?



    What is a medal really worth? That question was debated all week after former morning TV presenter and journalist Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter: “Real sports champions don’t celebrate third place” and “If you don’t win gold, you’ve lost. I’m sorry (not sorry) if that simple cold hard fact hurts everyone’s tender little feelings. “

    We’ve all seen footballers remove runners-up medals after they were wrapped around their necks and even in Tokyo 2020 we saw athletes like Team GB’s Bradly Sinden can’t hide their disappointment with the win. just ‘a silver medal. So is Morgan right? Are silver and bronze medals really not worth as much as a gold plated medal? And is the saying “second place is the first loser” really true?

    Not according to former Olympic swimmer Keri-anne Payne, who spoke exclusively to Men’s Health UK about her own silver medal triumph at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. At the time, Payne came eighth in her event, the 10K Open Water Final, but still managed to get away with a silver medal.

    “I was so happy,” Payne told Men’s Health UK. “It was like a moment of confirmation that I was good at it and that all the training and sacrifices I had made were worth it.

    “I think almost everyone dreams of winning an Olympic medal, but thinking about the color or even getting one beforehand is a recipe for stress and pressure,” she adds. “It’s about focusing on the performance you’ve been training for, not the medal you could win.”

    Payne isn’t the only athlete who disagrees with Morgan’s hot take. Canadian figure skater Meaghan Duhamel wrote in response to him: “I’m pretty comfortable with my bronze medal, thank you very much. ‘Winning’ means different things to different people,” said the London 2012 Olympic soccer player and current head coach of the San Diego NWSL Team, Casey Stoney, wrote, “Why do people give Piers Morgan airtime. He has no idea what it takes to be a top athlete.”

    This content is imported from Twitter. You may find the same content in a different format or more information on their website.

    To be fair, it’s important to say that not all athletes agree with Payne, Duhamel, and Stoney. Morgan himself cited a Telegraph article by James Cracknell in which the two-time Olympic gold rower wrote: “All of a sudden, a bronze or silver won’t get you on the front page of a newspaper, the BBC’s leading sports bulletin, or add to it commercial support – it may sound brutal, but gold is the only currency that matters now. ”

    Keri Anne Payne celebrates winning the gold medal in the Women’s Open Water 10km during the FINA World Championships in Shanghai, China

    Quinn RooneyGetty Images

    Payne would certainly disagree, and interestingly enough, the scientific research that says value is not derived from the medal that a person achieves, but from how that person subjectively views their performance.

    In 1995 the psychologists Victoria Medvec and Thomas Gilovich from Cornell University and Scott Madey from the University of Toledo carried out an analysis of the emotional reactions of athletes to winning bronze and silver medals at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The researchers observed the reactions of medalists both at the end of their events and when their medals were awarded, and found that bronze medalists tended to be happier than silver medalists.

    The authors attribute this to the fact that while silver medalists were still upset about not winning gold, bronze medalists were more likely to leave the Games without a medal than with gold, so they were happy with what they got.

    So are bronze and silver medals worth less than gold? Not if science is to be believed, and as Payne says, the value of medals in the Olympics, regardless of color, is not just a personal achievement either.

    “I didn’t compete in the Olympics to win everyone on social media,” says Payne. “I was there for myself and I’m incredibly proud of my accomplishments and the legacy that this medal, along with my teammate Cassie Patten with her bronze medal, created for the sport in the UK.

    “That’s one of the things the Olympics are about to inspire a nation.”

    Daniel Davies is a writer for Men’s Health UK and has been reporting for various publications on sports science, fitness and culture for the past five years.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may find more information on this and similar content at

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    Men’s Health

    Tokyo Olympics: Simone Biles Withdraws From Tokyo Olympics All-Around Gymnastics



    US superstar Simone Biles withdrew from a second gymnastics competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday to protect her mental health, raising serious doubts about her participation in the rest of the Games. One day after her shocking departure from the team event, USA Gymnastics said the 24-year-old had also withdrawn from the individual all-around event at the Ariake Gymnastics Center. The American hit Japan as one of the headlines for the 2020 Games postponed by the pandemic and had immense expectations as she pursued a record of nine Olympic titles in her career.

    But she retired from team competition after a shaky opening jump, and her troubles mean she may not be able to add the four gold medals she won at the 2016 Rio Games.

    “After another medical examination, Simone Biles withdrew from the last individual all-around event at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health,” said a statement from USA Gymnastics.

    The US federation said a decision on whether Biles, who will be replaced by Jade Carey, will take part in individual finals will be made after the daily evaluation.

    “We support Simone’s decision wholeheartedly and welcome her courage to put her well-being in the foreground,” the statement said. “Her courage shows once again why she is a role model for so many.”

    After leaving the team event on Tuesday, where she won silver by starting the finals, Biles said she had to “do the right thing for me and focus on my mental health.”

    “I don’t trust myself as much as I used to, and I don’t know if it’s age,” she said. “I’m a little more nervous when doing gymnastics.”

    Support for the gymnast poured in from around the world after her withdrawal from the team finals.

    Michelle Obama tweeted, “Am I good enough? Yes I am. The mantra that I practice every day. @Simone_Biles, we are proud of you and we cheer you on. Congratulations on the silver medal, Team @USA! “

    Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao tweeted, “Once a champion, always a champion. God Bless @Simone_Biles. “

    Home fans are still coming to terms with the defeat of Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka on Tuesday, who contested her first event since retiring from the French Open, citing mental health problems.

    Ledecky strikes back

    Biles’ problems overshadowed the sporting program on Wednesday’s fifth day of action.

    Katie Ledecky, who won four gold medals at the 2016 Rio Games, lost her 200m freestyle crown to Ariarne Titmus two days after she also surrendered her 400m title to the Australian.

    But they regrouped to crush the field in the women’s first 1,500-meter run at the Olympics, finishing more than four seconds ahead of U.S. teammate Erica Sullivan.

    Ledecky, 24, is the fourth swimmer to win six Olympic gold medals, including her first 800m freestyle victory at the 2012 London Games.

    Titmus, nicknamed “Terminator,” emerged as one of the stars at the Tokyo Aquatics Center when Australia shot up the medal table.

    The 20-year-old, who achieved a new Olympic record time of 1min 53.50sec, still has the 800m freestyle and the 4x200m relay ahead of him in a grueling program.

    The Japanese Yui Ohashi completed a double medley and won the 200m race before the 400m gold, which she secured on Sunday, while world record holder Kristof Milak won the men’s 200m butterfly gold.

    The British freestyle swimmers brought the morning session to an exciting climax, narrowly missing out on the world record in the 4×200 meter freestyle by beating the Russian team by more than three seconds.

    Australia also won gold medals in the men’s four and women’s rowing competitions to increase their overall Olympics to six, moving up to fifth on the table, with Japan and China ahead at 11th place.

    Elsewhere on Wednesday, Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s time trial around Mount Fuji after being left red-faced on Sunday when she mistakenly thought she had won the road race.

    And the defending champions of rugby sevens, Fiji, have prepared a delicious final against New Zealand to take place later in the day.

    New Zealand beat Great Britain 29-7 while Fiji beat Argentina 26-14.


    World champion Nikita Nagornyy, fresh from leading the Russian gymnasts to a narrow victory in the men’s team against Japan, will meet Daiki Hashimoto once again in the men’s all-around match.

    In men’s basketball, the United States rebounded 120-66 against Iran after losing to a strong French team after their first Olympic defeat in 17 years.

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