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My best friend is getting married next month and I'm in the wedding. It turns out they invited my ex whom I haven't seen in a year. I would like to get into shape quickly. However I work long days in a camp and don't usually have lots of energy to hit up the gym.

I heard of a new product out there called Muscle Core X, but it doesn't seem too trustworthy. I'm a male, 6'0 tall, 185lbs with a bit of a belly, and average arms. Please please help me strike jealousy into my ex.

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Have you done any research, either searching on this site or elsewhere, about what you could do? –  Matt Chan May 25 '13 at 12:38
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LOL, how about not caring that your ex will be there at all. Just saying... –  Ryan Miller May 25 '13 at 14:57
    
@MattChan You're right, but let's not close it. "How do I achieve amazing results with no work in an absurdly short period of time?" is a common question, as is "will Product X solve my problems and overcome obstacles in my life?" and I think a canonical answer would be good. –  Dave Liepmann May 25 '13 at 15:15
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As far as your ex, I recommend a healthy dose of WGAF. –  JohnP May 26 '13 at 15:27
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Forget all weight loss or muscle gain product rubbish. Train hard, eat well, sleep well and you might see changes in a few months. The wedding isn't about you, just go there, drink and have fun. Real fitness requires changes in attitute. –  Franz Kafka Jun 2 '13 at 12:09

6 Answers 6

Supplements

Muscle Core X won't do any good. I don't know what's in it, and it doesn't matter. It could be anabolic steroids mixed with cocaine and it wouldn't make much of a difference for you, because what you need cannot be distilled into a powder.

For someone just starting to work out, no supplement will do much good. Powders and shakes are well-advertised and quite profitable for the people selling them, but are indistinguishable from useless for someone just starting to get in shape. Save your money.

Stop putting your hopes into consumer products. They will not save you. The only thing that can get you in shape is hard work, performed consistently, without excuses. The universe doesn't care that you work at a camp. The laws of biology and physics will cut you no breaks. You must overcome these obstacles.

One month to get fit

You can get in better (but not great) shape in a month--if you rearrange your entire life. But even the perfect workout schedule, Herculean effort, and optimal diet will only have moderate results. One month is simply not that much time.

But you could change everything you do for one month and make a dent. Go to sleep early every night, wake up early to run a mile every morning, eat only real food with plenty of animal protein and good fats. Start doing sets of 20 barbell squats three times a week, keeping in mind that using imperfect form with heavy weight will cause injury but using only light weight will not produce change. Do fifty chin-ups each day, split up however you have to, and pray you don't get elbow inflammation. Learn to deadlift and bench. Run two sprint or high-intensity interval training workouts a week. Miss no workouts. Skip no exercises. Get perfect sleep, avoid all stress, get plenty of sunshine but no sunburn, and eat a perfect diet. (Remember that there are at least a dozen broad definitions of the perfect diet and they all contradict each other and the right choice depends on a thousand individually-nuanced factors.)

If you do all of that perfectly, no exceptions, no injuries, no mistakes, then you'll be in somewhat better shape in a month. You won't be "in shape", it won't be a stunning, head-turning difference, but it'll be a modest improvement. As Earle Leiderman said:

Many men with waning energy, or diminishing vigor, will try all sorts of vitamins, whether through medical shots or orally, yet, if these same men would take up a systematic regime of progressive squatting they would soon discover that these movements can do more good than any synthetic method of securing added vitality.

That plan is conceivably possible. But more likely you won't or can't restructure your life so drastically, or something will go wrong. Therefore you should define your goals, research a workout program that fits your goals, and ease into it slowly so you don't get injured. You won't stun your ex, but that's a silly goal anyway. Better to work out for you, to become the awesomest Matt you can be, than to chase someone else's fickle affections. Take the long view.

Ross Enamait uses an example of someone who dramatically changed his body over the course of a year:

Significant changes in body composition do not happen overnight.... Quick fixes are a marketing creation. They don’t exist in the real world.

The best time to start may have been ten years ago, but the second-best time to start is today.

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Supplements will never replace a proper workout routine. Especially the stuff in buckets crammed full of advertising and buzzwords. –  Darcys22 May 26 '13 at 11:54
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When I started training for the first time, it took me a little more than a month just to get used to lifting weights. I remember for about 10 days after my first chest workout I had to hold my chest as I walked down stairs because it felt like it was going to tear in half. Worst pain I've ever had. –  Marty May 28 '13 at 1:10
    
^ This is the best answer, the point is, it is impossible to look amazing in one month. You can certainly become 'better,' but don't expect bulging biceps and a six-pack in one month. If you train very hard, eat right and rest well, you can get bulging biceps and a six-pack in 6 months. –  RealityDysfunction Jun 3 '13 at 0:06
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I can't express how much I love this answer. It gets so old hearing people ask about "get ripped quick" schemes. Everyone today is looking for a shortcut. –  Taylor K. Jun 14 '13 at 16:20
    
"Powders and shakes are well-advertised and quite profitable for the people selling them" I love this statement. –  Christopher Bruce May 5 at 13:29

If you cut out the following (presuming that you consume the items off the below list) you will likely lose a couple of pounds and look slightly trimmer without doing anything else.

The nice thing about not being fit is that if you make any changes at all to improve your lifestyle you will notice a difference.

Consume no bread, beer, coffee, refined sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Needless to say junk food is also out. Cigarettes are out. Pizza out. Soda Out. Any food that makes a paper bag translucent is out.

If you do just this for even just two weeks the slight improvement should act as a motivator to actually make the time to get more active and eat even more healthily.

Best of luck to ya.

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Nothing wrong with a little coffee, a few pieces of fruit (sugar), or even a little bread. Emphasis on "little" and "few." Cutting junk food is hard enough for most people, no reason to make it an all-or-nothing endeavor that many will simply refuse to try. –  Evan May 28 '13 at 15:56
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@EvanJohnson For many people, titrating the dosage of such foods is harder than simply declaring them verboten. –  Dave Liepmann Jun 1 '13 at 22:05
    
@EvanJohnson by sugar I really meant refined sugar. Naturally occurring sugars exist to encourage us to eat fruit, –  Rob Kielty Jun 2 '13 at 13:47
    
@DaveLiepmann I guess what I was getting at was that rather than cut all of those foods, it's easier for people to start by cutting pizza, donuts, and other junk food while still keeping some parts of their diet unchanged (coffee with breakfast, sandwich for lunch). I also think the problem with coffee is not so much the coffee itself as the things people put in their coffee. –  Evan Jun 3 '13 at 14:55
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@Evan - For every person that does better phasing things out, there's a person that does better going cold turkey. –  Shauna Jun 13 '13 at 17:58

Try the following workout 3-4 times a week. I would recommend a full body workout!

So: 20min warm up on bike 6x20 pressups 6x8 chest flies (6/7 reps) 3x8 pull ups 4x10 pulldowns 7/8 reps 4x10 bicep curls

then try planking 1 min on and 1 min off for approx 10 mins!

It's all in the diet too! So get o a high protein, low carb diet and most of all cut the alcohol before the wedding. if this sounds inconceivable I would recommend 3 weeks off 1 week on!

Nutrition should come from natural sources so good proteins (chicken, fish) and good carbs are welcome (sweet potato, vegetables) good fats too olive oil, nuts, natural yogurt).

best advice is to cut beverages that are high in sugar (fruit juice/ cola etc.)

Mornings I would go for scrambled eggs with a slice of wholegrain toast!)

Good luck!

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Your results would be 90 percent nutrition.

If your body can handle it (not sure since you mentioned that you were a bit out of shape) there is a 30 day program that is very intense that. Its has a big following in the at home fitness space. You can google it -- I was told not to give product recommendations though (even though I have zero vested interest) Be cautioned, I would NOT recommend this for someone that isn't in decent shape already.

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If you want to achieve quick results you should look into a VLCD diet. There are plenty of options available. It'll mean you will be drinking lunch and dinner for awhile. Its not the most fun thing to do, but it will guaranteed give results in the short time you are talking about. You will probably have little or no energy for training during this time, since the diet is gives very low energy.

Be warned though, that this is not a permanent solution since you will eventually have to stop with this diet. Most suggest at most two weeks on a full vlcd diet, the step by step going back to normal food.

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The true answer is you shouldn't!!!

However if you were to do it my recommendation is for you to go on a "Juicing" Diet, basically you got to get your self a juicer, and only drink juice for a full month, I would highly recommend you do it with a 1/2 hour run 3x a week, I lost 15 LB in 2 weeks like Doing this.

For more information on this diet go to http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/ where you will find all the info you need.

here is 1 recipe for the juicer called "Mean Green" to get you started.

1 cucumber 1/2 lemon 6 big kale leaves 2 Green apples little chunk of ginger a few mint leaves 4 celery stalks

this should give appox 1 to 1 1/2 servings keep drinking this all day there is no limit on how much you should drink of it, whenever you feel hungry drink juice.

I hope this helps.

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How reliable is this method? I haven't heard of any diet without food. May be this is true, I am not denying it but give us some proof. It looks more like an advertisement without proof. Please don't take it rudely. –  Freakyuser Jun 18 '13 at 13:47
    
Let me start by saying that in general a healthy amount of weight loss in a week is 2 LB, anything beyond that is deemed unhealthy and mainly because that means you are loosing "Muscle" and even worst because if you are loosing that much weight its because you are eating very little which in turn means you are not getting all the "nutrients" your body needs. –  Bernard Goldberger Jun 18 '13 at 14:39
    
Having said that there are some cases where you would beyond all that and that is when you trying to cleans your body, and this particular diet is one of them and the reason why its probably the most healthiest one of all of them out there is because you get a full load of nutrients the only thing you are really loosing for that period is fiber. and in regards to how reliable it is I can only speak for myself "I have done it and it works" if you want to understand it a little more I highly recommend you watch Fat Sick and nearly Dead. –  Bernard Goldberger Jun 18 '13 at 14:40

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