6 Week Cut Progress

NOTE: Below, is re-blogged from my newsletter 1st Feb 2019.

I’m currently in the middle point of a diet for aesthetics. I’ve cut weight for fighting numerous times, but I’ve never followed a program specifically for aesthetics before. I have several  reasons for doing this.

 I feel that as a fitness professional there is a huge difference between being in the game 10 years growing constantly, and doing the same year over ten times. If you don’t try running the programs yourself how can you confidently implement them?

Maybe most importantly, the idea of being restricted in food (for comfort or socialization) and alcohol made me a little scared, to be honest. The idea of working a thirteen-hour day and then coming home and not being able to have something delicious made me uncomfortable. So, I felt this was something I had to do, we all know growth happens outside the comfort zone. Lastly, I need six pack abs if I’m ever going to destroy my enemies in the fitness world (not hyperbole).


I posted this photo recently on Instagram and I received a lot of positive feedback, for which I am very grateful. Also, all this encouragement I see as another layer of accountability, but even so, I felt the immediate urge to qualify it posting thIs comparison photo.


Posting this comparison photo I felt the immediate urge to qualify it. I wanted to say “hey you can still sort of kinda see the top two abs, or mention my recent squat/deadlift PR.” I felt the need to qualify looking puffy. I don’t really like the photo. Don’t like how I look, bad lighting (#fitspo is 85% lighting) but I think it’s important to share how much change can happen in 5 weeks. Also, I think it’s important if I’m going to LEAD you in your journey you understand I’m not a robot. I feel vulnerable, weak, and unsatisfied at times also. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be able to help you.

I wanted to say “Hey, you can still sort-of kinda see the top two abs,” or mention my recent squat/deadlift PR.  I felt the need to looking looking what I saw as puffy. I don’t really like the photo. I don’t like how I look, there’s bad lighting (#fitspo is 85% lighting), but I think it’s important to share how much change can happen in 5 weeks. That was a photo after completing week one of my diet and program. Also, I think it’s important if I’m going to LEAD you in your journey you understand that I’m not a robot. I feel vulnerable, weak, and unsatisfied at times. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to help you.


I received several inquires to what the diet I’m doing includes. My knee jerk reaction was to explain it’s complexity with: “well you train like a Viking and don’t eat like an asshole, repeat to desired effect.” In all seriousness, well actually in all seriousness, DO THAT! But, to be more specific I simply tracked all my food, kept protein consistent, and slowly dialed down the calories for the energy macronutrients (fat & carbs). To get slightly more detailed I try to time carbs around my workouts. No foods are off limits except alcohol (the 5th food group).

For the most part everyone already knows how to get leaner. If I showed you grilled chicken and broccoli and then a plate of pasta, you know which is better for weight loss! Eighty percent of results from a weight loss plan is hitting the appropriate number of macro nutrients and total calories. A widely excepted rule of thumb that predates the world wide web, blogger “experts,” and skinny jeans is that you should have roughly one gram per pound of bodyweight. I don’t want this to turn into a discussion of protein, if you want to delve deeper look into the material published by Renaissance Periodization.

Also, I’m not drinking. This goes back to my main point that unless you want to get bodybuilding competition shredded, you already know how to lose weight. I especially already know! So, why am I successful (at the moment)? I have layers of accountability, I know why I’m doing this, and I have confidence in the program.


 Does your diet pass the giggle test? What do I mean by that? Well, if you tell someone your new cockamamie diet plan and their first reaction is a giggle it’s probably not the best idea. “Jill I’m only eating foods in blue packaging on even numbers of the the clock.” That being said, this diet will work at least at first. Because any diet that reduces the number of calories in versus out will work (for a time). Keto, let’s just cut the shit please. You don’t actually believe it’s a good idea you just want to be able to eat bacon wrapped avocados all the time.


I have a coach. Yes, coaches need coaches, especially good ones! I have a very supportive girlfriend Cara (@captainstarbuck). As far as not drinking I told my girlfriend I was going to cut out alcohol on our anniversary until the project is done. Then on Christmas numerous people gave me bottles of whiskey. Which I asked Cara what that means people think? To which she replied: “well it’s because you’re like a man’s man, or they think you’re a functioning alcoholic, or a little of both.” Also, I now have this post on IG now I’m for my half-way mark, so I need to show change once I’m at 12 weeks. Next and maybe most important I paid money for this diet, I suggest you do too. This is isn’t even a sales pitch because I can’t legally tell you specific guidelines but I’m going to let you in on a secret I learned the hard way: people don’t respect things that are unconditionally free! So, throw down some cash. Even better keep a tally of all the money you’re saving by making your own meals and not drinking. Especially if you live in New York you’ll see this add up. Then get yourself something nice.

Also, postscript for next December my brand is Talisker.

FAQ's: When Is It Time To Switch Up My Routine

Knowing When it’s time to switch up your routine: the first two questions I have to ask are 1-“are you still experiencing gains/progress.” 2-“are you experiencing pain that is possible from an overuse injury.” The answer to the second question could be changing exercises. Exercises from different angles can hit the same muscles. But I like to think of the joints and angles of pressure put on them being like a drip of water on a stone, if the pressure and strain on the joints and bones is always at the same angle you might be wearing down that same spot over and over.

To the first question, “are you still experiencing gains?” If the answer is NO, Don’t immediately look to the workout itself, first think about other factors. Your workouts do not happen in a vacuum. You have all types of stress, and most likely inconsistencies in your recovery. I swear I can have an identical diet and training protocol from one week to another and let’s say one week I get 6 hours of sleep and the next I’m getting 8, I see significant differences. This example is highly subjective but I swear I see cuts and muscles more filled out with everything else identical but I’m just sleeping more l. In fact science supports this theory as well. So, don’t always look to just the workout, look at your whole human biological experience.

It might be time to mix it up if you’re not having fun anymore! If you’re not going to be a powerlifter you don’t necessarily have to straight bar bench press. Switch it up, depth jump push ups, TRX push ups, dumbbell work, and even the Jacobs Ladder hits the chest. If you aren’t going to be a powerlifter you don’t necessarily have to barbell squat. Everyone needs to do some sort of squat but the variation can change. My recommendation for general fitness is to cycle a different squat every 4 weeks unless someone has a specific goal of adding weight to a specific style. Personally I start a clients squat journey by teaching the front squat first. Reason being I feel this is the most intrinsically less risky and practical. Less risky because if form seriously breaks down the weight simply falls. More practical because many of my clients lift something up in front of them (heavy hag, object, or child) but rarely do they ever throw something on their back and squat it.

So to sum things up, it’s time to change things up in my opinion if you’re: hurting, not making progress, or bored. Other than that keep getting after it!

Respect for the Beginner


It’s natural for us as humans to want to compare, rate and rank. Now, let’s say you’ve been boxing and training for about a year. You now crave a good training session. The next few days after class your body no longer feels like it was hit by a car and will revolt against you any moment. Another human tendency, and one of our less admirable ones, is to gain a feeling of superiority by comparing ourselves to those less skilled. Remember you will always be a beginner compared to someone else out there.

Thailand Lessons

In Thailand over the course of 4 months I lived in a room underneath the gym at Sitsongpeenong Muay Thai Camp. I showed up to Sitsonpeenong with a couple of decades of experience, in shape (but still fat by Thailand standards), and 20 fights under my belt. However, compared to many of the Thai 16 year olds there, who will already have close to 100 professional bouts at that age, I was a rank novice. Also, fighters in camps such as the one I was at are usually there because there is no other choice for them and their family. Despite sweating all over the place, being comparatively a beginner with motivations most likely perplexing to someone fighting for survival, I was never treated with anything but respect. I strive to, although not always successfully, to remember this lesson in humility and graciousness.  

Back to New York

So, back to New York and group boxing classes. Even though you are now finding a “groove” there will be times when your motivation begins to flag. You might know exactly what to do at this point. “Jab,” “cross,” “slip,” and “weave,” are now all part of your vocabulary. You have all the right gear, you have a gym community, your comfort level is higher, yet still sometimes you might find it difficult to make it to the gym. Take a moment and think how much more of a challenge it is for someone new. Someone who feels awkward, doesn’t know anyone, and isn’t speaking the language yet. 

It’s Takes a lot of Heart to Begin

There is a difference between knowing because you’ve experienced something and knowing because you have been told something. If you have been in shape before, or used to be an athlete, you have a tremendous advantage over a beginner. You truly know that the results can and will happen with work, fuel, rest. The true beginner is venturing into uncharted territory with their body. In many ways what they are do is the more than just difficult, it’s courageous. They deserve our respect.