How I prepared for my photo shoot

(All photography by Kane Vato Photography

UPDATE! (3rd July, 2012)

Reveal The Steel has been released. The entire 14-page ‘photo shoot’ ready detail can be read in it’s entirety at the ‘big link’ below.
Find out more >

A lot of people have been asking me what I did in the 2 weeks prior to being ‘photo-shoot’ ready. I’m talking photo-shoot ready in around 8 weeks from a ‘reasonable’ level of body fat. Circa 10-15% for guys and 20-25% for girls. The photos of how I look year round in ‘Maintenance’ mode are all over this site, so I don’t need to post another one here.

First a disclaimer

I’m by no means an expert in this area. Results can and WILL vary — what works for me, may not be ideal for you. Also, the shots are ALL without flash and used the natural light of the area we took the shots in.

The lead-up

In the weeks prior to my “2-week” out period, i had been slowly, but surely ramping up my training and fine-tuning my diet.

This began at about the 8 week mark and was done for two reasons:
1. I didn’t want to suddenly shock the system with a bunch of new training regimens that it wasn’t used to (this would have had a high chance in leading me to either burnout or unpredictable results).
2. Getting the diet spot-on BEFORE the “2-week out” period allowed me greater freedom on the weekends. I could STILL have pizza and wine, as long as my weekly dietary patterns were set in place.

In terms of my diet… I was fasting daily for 16 hours, with an 8 hour feeding window (ala lean gains). Nothing else really changed here. In terms of my training – I had been following both 5×5 and RPT regimens for quite a while (probably 6 months). This included big lifts with long rests, keeping it all very, very simple.

Diet 3 weeks out

At about the 3 week out mark, I started eating a lot more ‘whole’ foods. If I was after a snack, instead of reaching for a protein shake, I’d snack on something which involved chewing. Oats and protein powder mixed in was another staple I had quite a lot. My carb sources became yams and vegetables with very few grains originating from ‘bread’.

Training 3 weeks out

I changed up my schedule to a much higher volume of training using a similar technique to Phase 1 from Rusty’s Visual Impact. This would ultimately bridge the gap between the heavier, strength-training sessions and the glycogen depleting workouts I was going to be completing at 1 week out. Think short rests of 45 seconds and high volume.

Diet 2 weeks out

Still fasting daily at this point. Had a huge binge on steak, prawns, red wine and pavlova at the weekend. My last ‘real’ feast. Now it was time to ‘dial-up’ my adherence to ‘good’ foods and stop with the ‘sometimes’ foods. (It was only for 2weeks, so no real issues here. I don’t recommend doing this for a long time. It’s unrealistic, unsustainable and fricken boring as hell).

Training 2 weeks out

I made a few errors here, in that I was still researching the best ‘plan of attack’ for my final 2 weeks and suddenly I found myself already at week 3. So rather than changing it up significantly, I kept the training simple, but heavy using short rest periods to encourage additional fat-burn. This is when I started increasing my cardio to walking pretty much every day for 45 mins, with a sprint in there at least once.

1 week out

This final week involved serious adherence to diet. Whole foods, salt reduction, water intake increases. Controversially, I also ditched any form of fasting, and went back to a 3-4 meal a day schedule. I did this mainly due to the fact that I was coupling high volume glycogen depleting workouts with low body fat — high potential to lose some mass here. I also had a chest/arm wax, a spray tan and drank a heap of dandelion tea to shed any last bit of water from beneath the skin.

The results…

How I prepared for my photo shoot

All shots were taken with natural light in the surrounding area.

An old photo from 2001…

Just to give some perspective on where I’ve come from in the past 10 years, I thought I’d post this (embarrassing) picture for you to laugh at.

How I prepared for my photo shoot

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Such a long time ago now, but it goes to show that a ‘lifestyle’ change makes a big difference long term. Please excuse the fashion sense and blonde tips. A huge WTF moment I know!

Want more detail?

As I’m currently detailing the sh*t out of my diet and training for my impending book release, I won’t be giving away all of my info just yet! The final ‘STAGE’ of my diet and training is a key factor in the success that I had — so I don’t want to spoil the ending :)

UPDATE! (3rd July, 2012)

Reveal The Steel has been released. The entire 14-page ‘photo-shoot’ ready detail can be read in it’s entirety at the ‘big link’ below.
Find out more >

Clint Nielsen

Author Clint Nielsen

Clint is a dad and husband trying to stay in shape. He's also a highly opinionated fitness enthusiast and author of Reveal The Steel. Follow him on: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google+

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