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Year one: month two

Welcome to ‘MONTH TWO’ of my Superhero Strength: Year One series.

This is a series of articles that was inspired by the amazing Batman, graphic novel storyline, YEAR ONE, by Frank Miller.
The Year One storyline was a retelling of Bruce Wayne’s origin story and how he became the Batman that we know today. The story spans over the course of his first year fighting crime in Gotham. Bruce Wayne / Batman was not the seemingly invincible and highly intelligent detective that we know today. The dude made mistakes. A lot of them! So throughout the course of his first year, we see all of these mistakes and how he learns from them. If you havent read it, I highly recommend it. It’s a brilliant story that shows us that even the very best heroes, were once a beginner too.

I believe so many people judge themselves unfairly by comparing their chapter One to somebody else’s chapter Ten.
“Why dont I look like that guy?”
“How come he can lift way more than me? I should be able to lift that too!”



The creation of this Year One series is something I had wanted to do for a long time. I wanted to create a playbook for anyone that is just starting out on their own heroes journey that will help to guide you through that first and very important year of your superhero origin stor
Believe me when I say that soooo many people don’t even make it through their first year, or even their first three months. They either dont see results quick enough and they lose motivation and quit. Or they get so overwhelmed by the complete and sudden change in lifestyle that they cannot sustain it. There’s probably a thousand more reasons why many different people don’t stick it out, but I believe these two are a couple of the main ones.
Month by month I want to give you my ultimate blueprint to not only surviving your first year of this Superhero journey, but I want to see you get amazing results out of it too. BUT…. Remember that we are playing a long game here. Your Superhero journey is’nt a short 12 week transformation. This is a lifelong thing, and this first year is going to set you up to keep building upon your success for years to come.
If you have not already read and completed MONTH ONE, then I suggest going back and starting with Month One first. Don’t be trying to cheat the process and skip ahead, that will only put you behind.
So with all of that out of the way, let’s get into MONTH TWO!

Continue to focus on the basic exercises.

We are still working to build that foundation of strength. Remember the skyscraper analogy from last month. A structure is only as solid as the strength of its foundations. It’s gonna take more than a month to build those foundations to a decent level of strength. So keep focusing on getting stronger in the basic barbell exercises. The Bench Press, the Squat, the Dead lift, the Overhead Press. These are all the main functional movement’s that a human perform’s as part of their life. Bicep curls do not fall into that category Im afraid.
Keep learning these movement’s. Keep practicing. The better you get with them technique wise and the more natural they feel, the stronger you will become. Believe it or not, adding weight’s to the bar is not the only way you will get stronger. Actually getting better and learning on perfecting your technique will get you MUCH stronger. Not only that, it will help prevent future injuries and also any structural/ postural imbalances that can occur as a result from prolonged training with bad form. There are many video tutorials that you can watch on the internet, but if you want further help from myself, you can email me and I can probably send you some of my own video tutorial lessons.

Cut out all daily junk food, start to eliminate it from your home.

Last month I talked about cutting out the obvious crappy foods from your diet, and hopefully you did that. Don’t stress if you didnt…. But you should do it!
What ever junk food you have kept in the house, get rid of it. Give it away if you have to, and you dont like wasting food (like me!) This will include food’s like Ice Cream, Block’s of chocolate, sweets / candy, donuts, cakes. You know all of the things im talking about.
Dont hide it in the back of your pantry and think “out of sight, out of mind”. Trust me, we all go through moment’s of weakness. There are just times, when you feel tired, you can’t be bothered doing anything and you just want to sit on the couch with Netflix on and with a tub of Ice Cream or a block of chocolate in your lap….. It happens. Dont fool yourself and think that it wont happen to you.
Don’t believe me? Go hide that food in the back of the pantry. Pretend that it isn’t there. But I’ll bet you 20 buck’s that by the end of the month, it really isnt there… coz you ate it!
The best way to stop this from happening is to eliminate it as an option. We all get the sugary craving’s sometimes, so I suggest replacing those foods with Fresh fruits. That is going to do your body much better than any junk food’s using processed sugar’s and whatever else goes into that stuff.

Increase your protein intake

You have probably heard that protein is the main thing that is going to help you build new muscle tissue. I am not going to go into the depths of what a macronutrient is or how many calories per macronutrient, or how it works, or Blah blah blah. But at the end of the day, increasing your protein intake is one of the key things that you will need to do if you want to start seeing some results.
Start this off by just making sure you have some sort of protein source with each meal.
You don’t need to be weighing it all out, or measuring it, or calculating your daily requirement’s just yet. Your kitchen scales will one day become your best friend. But not today.
For this month I just want you to add roughly a protein source to each of your meal’s that is roughly the size of your fist.
Let me demonstrate. Take your hand and hold it up in front of your face. Now turn it into a fist. That right there is roughly the amount of meat I recommend having for each meal.
A quick exception though. If you are one of those genetically gifted people with hand’s the size of The Incredible Hulk, then maybe go with a little bit less than your first.
But for most of us, a fist full of meat will do us fine.
I like to go with protein sources such as Chicken Breast, Chicken Thigh, White Fish, Salmon, Steak, Beef Mince, Kangaroo mince (for us Aussies, (yes. sorry to my oversea’s friends, we do eat Kangaroo

Continue to not be taking any supplements for now.

There’s plenty of time to start spending more money and adding supplements in to your daily plan. Those supplement’s arent going to make any sort of difference to your progress until we have those basic’s covered first, which is what I have detailed above with the increasing protein and cutting out junk food sections. Stop listening to marketing hype and bullshit and save that extra money to buy better quality food. 

Have one “Cheat Meal” per week.

We’ve all heard of the cheat meal concept. Depending on the situation, I am not a big fan of cheat meal’s. They do have their benefit’s from a physiological sense, in that once you have lowered your bodyfat to a super low level (below 10%) and you are eating very low calories to get to this low bodyfat level, your metabolism starts to slow down. This means that fat loss starts to either slow down or stop altogether. The body doesnt want to drop any more bodyfat, because it goes into “survival mode”. It doesnt know when it’s going to get it’s next meal, so it want’s to hold on to whatever energy reserve’s it still has. Remember guys, we were once cave dwelling Neanderthal’s living in caves during Ice ages. We havent really evolved that much from a physiological sense since then.
So a cheat meal can actually ramp back up that metabolism again and get the fat loss train to start moving again.
So that’s the main reason behind a cheat meal.
HOWEVER. Cheat meal’s do have another purpose. A psychological one.
For some people a cheat meal can be considered a reward meal. It’s a reward that you can give yourself for sticking it out all week and eating healthier foods and cutting out the sugary junk foods, and going to the gym 3-4 days per week. For some people, this is the thing they look forward to each week and it’s the thought of this cheat meal at the end of the week that keeps them on track and focused throughout the week.
I no longer see a problem with this. One meal out of a few dozen isnt going to make a huge difference or really set you back too far in your progress.
There is one small caveat though. It is your “cheat” meal. Not your “Last” meal. So don’t treat the cheat meal like you are about to go to the electric chair in an hour.
Dont order every single meal on the menu!

Take a photo of yourself at the beginning of the month.

I want to be clear with this photo. This is NOT the progress that I made in my first year. This is probably after about 3 years of training and then a bodybuilding contest prep on the right.

Watching your own transformation unfold in front of you can become your greatest motivation to keep going. By taking a progress photo at the beginning of each month, you can then visually see the changes in your body every month. Changes may be subtle each month, but after a few month’s you will be able to compare your 1st months progress photo with your 6th month’s progress photo and you will definitely see a huge difference in the way you look.

Looking for some further help to put all of this into practice?
Then sign up for the free Year One Program.
You will get a monthly training program and nutrition plan examples sent straight to you.
Plus any extra resources that I think will help you on your journey.

jamesYear one: month two