Posted by Tony Montgomery under General  Weight Lifting  Diet  on Jul 27 2015

Now that my leaning out phase is over, it’s time to do what I do best and thats eat!! I took two days off completely and didn’t count a single macro and to be quite honest I don’t know how people do that. Maybe you get use to it but I literally felt like death, but than again I have no will power once I start eating bad so theres that. Which is why I decided to do this article and video going over the top 5 things I do to maximize my time to grow. So without further adu here are my 5 tips to help you grow this off season:

1. Having a plan, yeah I know its the off season why count macros or have a plan? Well for starters if you don’t have a plan you will fall into justifying crappy food just because you’re gaining and number two what happens when you plateau and trust me you will because as we all know weight gain is not a linear progression. So setting up a plan to follow will allow you to stay on course and to make smart adjustments when needed. I recommend giving yourself a day or two to not worry and just eat and then boom right onto your plan you designed a week ago.
2. The magical words Nutrient Timing, this plays a huge role in dieting in order to keep energy levels high for training and to help preserve muscle mass while cutting. It’s also a great way to add calories to a bulk that will help aid in muscle protein synthesis and more importantly prevent muscle breakdown. So if you time your carbs and i mean the bulk of your carbs like 60-70% pre, during, and after training not only will it help build muscle but you’ll recover faster so you can train more often and high volume training and high volume calories will only lead to big time gains. So don’t just throw calories in without thinking about where they belong and how they will benefit you.
3. The only way I know how to diet is to get regimented and by that I mean same days same meals, etc… it keeps me on track and laser focused. In the off season when I am trying to grow I introduce a lot of new foods. I do this for 2 reasons, reason 1 it allows me to see how my body reacts to certain foods, meaning does it keep me full or am I hungry after eating it, do i feel better during my workout or less energy, can I digest it well or does it bloat me. That way i can really dial in my go to foods as i start a diet again. Plus you have to have fun and break up the monotony of a rigid diet with fun foods, like cereal, pancakes, fro-yo, chicken wings etc… but remember tip 2 when doing this time these things out and watch how easy it is to grow and stay on track.
4. I know a lot of people have a hard time getting down all the food it takes to grow. So instead of force feeding try making a bedtime shake to have when you get up to go pee at night. This will not only help break up the catabolic process, it will ensure that you are getting in all your calories to grow.
5. As you’ll se with a lot of these tips they all relate to breaking up the monotony of eating so much food. So the last tip is to undulate your macros, I follow a carb cycling approach where I have high, medium, and low days that way I can have a day with high carbs, and a day with high fats this will always help with body composition as you grow as well, I don’t have scientific prove to back it up but I do have over 8 years of experience with hundreds of clients that proves it works. It only makes sense that you’re constantly giving your body different stimulus to adjust to just like in training so why not have your diet mimic your training? So the days you have high volume training you have high carbs, other training days medium, and off days low.
Try these 5 tips out and let me know how they work for you. Also be sure to watch the video, like it, share it and subscribe to my channel.

Posted by Tony Montgomery under Diet  Weight Loss  on Jul 23 2015

As my mini diet comes to an end, let me first give you a guide to how i got here. Last year in Nov I decided to try my hand at making the 198lbs weight class. The only problem was that as an endomorph I realized that being to lean with my body type was a huge detriment to my performance and as I was 2 weeks out from my meet not only was i weak as a kitten I ended up partially tearing my biceps. So at 209lbs i decided it was time to drop out of my meet and add some size. So from November until my last meet SPF Summer Slam on June 24th I worked my way up to 250lbs. Leading into the meet I dropped a few pounds and decided to make the cut to the 220lbs weight class. After successfully dropping 22lbs and making weight I quickly IV bagged up and ate my way bag to 250lbs for the meet. A nice little bloat to say the least haha!!! After the meet I was a mess my body hated me but I added 200lbs to my 220lbs total so it was def worth it. I made up my mind that night that a 4 week mini diet was in order. So I set up my plan and started the execution the next day.
The point of the mini diet is to do an extreme cut for 3-5 weeks to rid yourself of as much unwanted fat and weight as possible and for me I also added in a good amount of anaerobic cardio to improve my work capacity. Now the point behind this mini diet besides getting off some fat, is 1 it will allow me a leaner and better start point to add back size as my insulin will become more sensitive and my body will get that magical rebound affect that you hear about post show, so its like newbie gains all over again. Now the only way that this will happen is if it is an extreme cut, so I started at 235lbs and in 4 weeks got down to 225lbs and probably dropped 4% bf in the process and put me right around 8-10% at 225lbs so this is the leanest and biggest I’ve ever been. I can attribute the size gains to all the hypertrophy work I’ve been doing and the muscle retention especially from the 4 week hypertrophy phase that accompanied the cut phase. The big problem I see when powerlifters try to cut is that they don’t change their training style up and for me that is a huge mistake as volume and hypertrophy are the keys to keeping muscle size on while dieting. Its pretty simple look at the leanest and biggest guys around and see how they train they do a lot of hypertrophy work, but with the caveat that we are still powerlifters so we still practice our sport so for me I stayed with my heady compound movements i just undulated my ways of accumulating the volume which is all outlined in my journey on my blog so make sure you check out my past blogs to see exactly how my training, cardio and diet changed during this phase.
Hopefully this plus my video gives you a better understanding of how and why to incorporate mini diets into your prep.

Posted by Tony Montgomery under General  on Jul 22 2015

Tuesdays used to just be Tuesdays but now thanks to the magic that is social media Tuesdays are now used for transformations. Which in my opinion is awesome, I love seeing the hard work people put in to transform their bodies and minds to what they’ve always envisioned. Although its a never ending journey of self improvement and self reflection its also a time to keep things real and into perspective.
Perspective 1 if you post side by sides of a year difference and you look exactly the same on stage and somebody says so, please don’t get to offended as 9x out of 10 that person is being completely honest with you so maybe instead of bashing them, look a little closer and be your own critic and know that maybe you didn’t work as hard as you thought or maybe you were a little too flexible with your diet. Once you do this take the time to think about the next steps forward to fixing the problem, like hiring a new coach, training a different way or eating and following a different diet.
I think we as a society rely to heavily on our coaches and not enough on our guts and intuition. You pay your coaches and a lot of them are just yes men collecting a pay check or worst they tell you exactly how bad things are and you get pissed and fire them just to hire a coach that will tell you exactly what you want to hear. It’s absolutely ok to try new things and to have your own opinion because honestly at the end of the day none knows your body like you do and none can create a desire to get better like you can.
I think the main culprit is people don’t have a clear goal in mind and try to dabble in all things related to fitness instead of taking the time to fixate on one goal/sport and give it everything they have. The other issue is people just don’t work hard enough or aren’t willing to suffer to get things done. They want the path with the least resistance just to get things done especially in BB sports people just want the Pro card status so they will try ever other federation instead of the big ones to get it. Who gives a flying F if you are ISBGGF21 Bikini Pro. Buckle down put in the work and become the best its way more gratifying to know you gave it your 100% and lost than to slip through the cracks.
So instead of putting up newly filtered pics to show a huge difference, try doing a transformation of your mentality and start kicking ass and not making excuses!!

Posted by Tony Montgomery under General  on Jul 16 2015

“So great leaders don't try to please everyone. Great leaders don't water down their message in order to make the tribe a bit bigger. Instead, they realize that a motivated, connected tribe in the midst of a movement is far more powerful than a larger group could ever be.”
? Seth Godin
This quote has so many meanings to it, but the one I'd like to take away from it is a true leader doesn't need yes men, they need people willing to accept their flaws and grow to build a bigger and better team. It's not all about you, although many people feel this sense of entitlement that everything should be done for them. I've had to drop training partners before because all they wanted was me to coach them and not to be a training partner there to push me. These same people will continue to leach off of every person they can until they are by themselves.
<a href=""><img src="" alt="haka tribe" width="620" height="349" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-1211" /></a>
Trying to build a team with one mind, one goal is tough but it comes from the top. The one's willing to lead should be the ones who tell it like it is and to have higher expectations of themselves so that others will follow. True leaders lead from the front they don't hide when they should speak up, they don't coward down when faced with adversity. They look within themselves, reflect, fix and improve to show others this is how its done, this is how it should be.
To often leaders want to be liked more than they want lead. In the gym you keep people accountable, you tell them they aren't doing something right and tell them how to fix it. Its a tight rope for sure as if you are to truthful people get their feelings hurt and they leave and that affects your pay. I feel the fear of losing members is what creates an awful tribe. You set the standard stick to it, and the weak will leave and it may suck financially for awhile but you will start to build the team you want. This team will all have the same goal and the same mindset.
For me its hard to find that person or group that wants to be great as bad as I do. But I won't stop looking for it and demanding it because when that happens than not only will I reach my true potential but everyone in my group around me will. I will travel the world to find it and along the way I will learn, grow, and become a better leader and athlete so that I can bring out the best in the one's around me and to give my heart to them as well.

Posted by Tony Montgomery under Weight Lifting  Training  on Jul 14 2015

As lifters we are always looking for that secret weapon to take our lifts to the next level. In all reality there isn’t any secret you just have to put in a lot of work, stay healthy, stay consistent, and perfect technique. Simple enough no do that for a decade or so and you’ll be ready o lift some heavy weights!!! Now there are a lot of different ways to get strong, a million different programs, and some great coaches to help you along the way. During the offseason, meaning you’re not prepping for a meet, you have the chance to do a few different things outside of the norm to improve your numbers on the platform. A few of those things are

•    Improve Conditioning
•    Perform BB/Hypertrophy Rep Schemes and Movements
•    Improve Diet to Increase Food Volume
•    Play Other Sports or Do Athletic Activities
Conditioning thats crazy talk right?? Doing cardio will make you small and weak so lets just be fat and out of shape because we are powerlifters!! Thats the huge misconception in a lot of strength athletics, but lets think about the strongest and biggest guys in strength sports… Thats right the Strongman was, is and will always be the right answer. They perform medleys that will make you puke, heavy compound exercises for max reps for time, and the move with weights. This is the type of conditioning I am talking about it’s very specific for their sport but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that specific. You have a huge spectrum of choices and the closer you can get it to being specific the better but if it is to specific and strenuous it may impede recovery and your ability to perform during your next workout. So doing some that are more active recovery like pulling a sled, riding an airdyne bike, or some light boxing and jump roping. Doing these low impact types of cardio will not only increase your work capacity but they will help with recovery from workout to workout. Add in 2-3 active recovery conditioning and 2-3 HIIT conditioning workouts like pushing the prowler, 20 rep sets of squats etc… these will not only get you in great shape but will also build a ton of muscle while helping you drop some fat. Just like training you don’t want to go full retard on this to start. You want to slowly add it in over time so start off with 1 of each at 20 minutes a piece and slowly week to week add in more sessions and longer time.
As powerlifters we are always 52 weeks from being stage ready so why not throw in some bodybuilding work. Look back in the day with guys like Kaz who use to do 4 sets of 10 reps on bench, incline, overhead etc… he was jacked and strong as hell!! So when I say do some bodybuilding work I don’t mean machines, DB kickbacks, etc… I mean hitting up more hypertrophy style training with reps in the 6-12 rep range and sometimes up to 20 reps. Volume is the key component to adding on muscle size so throwing in these rep ranges during the off season in a periodized way can build up some bigger and stronger muscles. Plus it will allow you to really work on developing weak areas by building up those smaller muscles and conditioning them so they won’t lag behind when you start to get into heavier training. I am not saying just start doing everything 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps that you read in a Flex magazine I’m saying to add those rep schemes in here and there in a manner that will allow you to build but not take away from your heavier days as well. So an example would be if you bench 2x a week one day can be 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps and the next day you can do the 4x10 of bench press.
In order to improve we have to increase our work volume and capacity. The same can be said for food. If you are eating a more performance based diet that includes a bunch of whole foods, good carb sources, and healthy fats then you can start to add in calories in a slow manner that will allow you to eat more food while maintaining a desired bodyweight or close to but it takes time and it definitely takes dedication. I have a client who we dieted down for 3 months from 190lbs to 165lbs and now 6 weeks into his bulk phase we have upped his calories slowly every week and have now increased them by 1500 from his lowest point and his current weight is 166lbs. We have his body burning so efficiently that we have to throw in cheat meals to slow it down so he can actually gain some weight. So why is this important? Calories turn into energy, so the more calories we can consume the more energy we have for the workouts, the better the recovery process from day to day, and keeps your body well regulated. Now you can do this without dieting for 3 months, if you incorporate the conditioning aspect that I talked about earlier the same desired affect will occur. Do both these things slowly by adding in more calories week to week maybe 5-10% per week depending on the person and the same increase for the conditioning.
Breaking up the monotony of training is huge and performing other activities away from weight lifting or different forms of weight lifting will not only help you mentally relax, reset and get a renewed sense of motivation it will also allow you to fix some imbalances that come with lifting and doing less athletic things. So throwing in some things like boxing, hiking, pick up basketball, yoga, etc.. will help you in the long term. Remember its not where you are now but where you’re going to be in the next 5 years, 10 years etc… because in this sport if you can stay healthy and stay consistent by not burning yourself out than you will be extremely successful in strength athletics.

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