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Ben does 15-20 triathlons a year. This means he is not unaccustomed to stripping down to Speedos to hit the water.
Lucky for him he’s tri-ripped (a ripped triathlete).
After perusing his website I (Trevor) see that once you are tri-ripped, you can pose for half of all photographs with your shirt off.
The last time I had my shirt off in public I spent all day sucking in my non tri-ripped stomach.
The problem is . . . even though I am in pretty good shape because of marathon training my muscles are concealed under a cozy blanket of fat.
The Skinny Fat Look
This happens when runners have a lot of fat deposits along the waistline (love handles, muffin tops, gut) yet skinny legs, arms, and chest. This skinny fat look stems from a combination of low amounts of muscle, a lot of aerobic training, and a high carb diet.
And after reading that last paragraph you never need to see me shirtless.
The Fit Fat Look
Ben describes this as a runner who is built more like a rugby player. The body has stored its fat in various places throughout the body and copious amounts of exercise can’t blast it away. That’s because the real problem is often a hormonal imbalance which needs to be diagnosed by a hormone specialist. Also, the fit fat runner is dealing with the same dietary and exercise imbalances of the skinny fat runner.
Where to Go From Here
I would love to be an endurance runner with a more athletic looking body. I want less body fat and more toned muscles. I want to rip my shirt off at the next family gathering and say, “Somebody call a veterinarian cus’ these puppies are sick!”
And if you are like me and are tired of being skinny fat or fit fat then listen to my take-a-ways from this episode. Three simple action steps.
Three Action Steps
After talking to Ben I realized I need to take immediate action in three ways.
- Do two 60 minute body building sessions per week. That is Ben’s recommendation. I can handle that! Twice a week is not bad. I won’t have to live at the gym.
- Eat high quality fats. Ben says 80% of the equation is nutrition. He is a hearty advocate of eating healthy fat to burn fat. Check out his superhuman food pyramid.
- Train your brain while you build your body. Ben is a walking encyclopedia on nutrition. Talking with him really wet my appetite to learn more.
If you haven’t listened to this episode that should be action step number one. Tomorrow (March 1st) I’m hitting the gym for my first 60 min body building session. Then I’m hitting the buffet! Just kidding.
I’M READY TO ROCK THIS HARD BODY STYLE! I don’t know what that means but it sounds pretty cool.
Stay Tuned . . .
We are going to follow up this episode with a sequence of guest articles by Ben Greenfield about achieving a more athletic looking body.
Here is a link to the Tri-Ripped program. In full disclosure this is a paid affiliate link. It is geared more toward triathletes but he says many runners have purchased the product as well.
This Episode’s Quick Tip
GearBuzz is a new program from Competitor to deliver editorial reviews highlighting great products, with the opportunity to purchase at an exclusive discount every week.
Examples of this week’s discount products: 50% off SLS3 Compression Socks, Storm Cruiser iPhone bike mount, Chi Running DVD.
You had me laughing out loud there Trevor 🙂 But in all seriousness I need to dial in my nutrition better. After all, swimsuit season is coming…
Excellent podcast!!! Ben Greenfield knows what he’s talking about. I want to listen again, take notes and apply many of the things Ben advised. Keep up the great work Trevor & Angie!
Thanks Delores. I’m glad that you enjoyed Ben’s helpful information.
Great show with lots of good info!!
Thank you Therese!
I was annoyed that Ben claims you can’t really increase your muscle mass over age 40 and that a woman can’t increase her bone density after age 30. So are we just supposed to throw in the towel and sit on the couch eating twinkies if we’re over 40?
I believe anyone can make positive changes!
Hi Sarah. You’re right that anyone can make positive changes. While research supports the fact that our bodies can’t significantly increase muscle mass after 40 and bone density after age 30, that doesn’t mean we should just give up. There are things we can do to maximize the muscle mass and bone density that we have. On the other hand, things like inactivity and an unhealthy diet can significantly harm our health. Our job isn’t to compare ourselves to anyone else (younger or older). Rather we need to become the best version of ourselves. Fight the good fight!
Excellent podcast! So many people in the health and fitness community shun marathon training because they feel it is overtraining. Some of the most productive and creative people I know run marathons. Angie, you and Trevor prove this point. Over the years seeing how many people you have helped change their lives (including myself) for the positive is an example of what can happen when kindness, good will and good intentions remain at the forefront of all your hard work.
Where I think marathon training truly shines is the effect it has on your mind. I know in the two years since I began listening to your podcast and running I have had so much happiness, energy and the confidence to overcome obstacles in my life.
Thank you for all your hard work. And I am sorry about Boston. I haven’t listened to the podcast yet but I am sure watching you overcome this familiar disappointment will be the inspiration for many to overcome theirs as well… Oh yeah Ben Greenfield YOU ROCK!
Hey Stephen. Thank you for the kind comments. You’re right about the many mental and emotional benefits of running. One of the reasons I wasn’t overly disapointed about not qualifying this time around is because I don’t run marathons to only better my time. I’ve recieved so much from running over the years that qualifying for Boston would just be icing on the cake. Another wonderful thing is having such awesome people in the MTA community!
Great podcast guys. I just came across it on a google search. Quick question, any idea on the percentage of fats-vs-carbs-vs-protein Ben recommends in a day? I know he spoke about calorie cycling so I understand the percentage of carbs during the week will be lower than long run days.
Throughout my marathon years I’ve always heard/read about these high carb diets (50%-70%) but Ben is suggesting natural fats as the majority. I was having a hard enough time meeting caloric needs with a carb-heavy diet. It seems like I would have to eat all the time in order to meet caloric needs on a natural fat/veggie majority diet. =/
I’m gonna give it a shot and hit the gym to get rid of the little waistline.
Thanks again guys!