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  • Apex Physiques

8 Go To Tips For Leaning Out this summer!

Greetings my good friend,

I am writing this for the dudes who wants to dial in, lean up and feel strong in his body without

starving himself, losing his sanity or giving up his social life.

In this email, I will be sharing what has worked for me as I know there are so many ways to achieve your body goals. I am simple kind of man and stick to the basics as this is what has given me amazing results and has kept my fitness journey constantly evolving over the last 2 years since retiring from bodybuilding!

Complicated doesn't work for me and for most. I need flexibility. And it needs to feel challenging enough to keep me interested. I like a little challenge. It makes me feel like the Guv'na man I am and I know you are too.

These core practices allows me to stay consistent in my diet and how I look and feel about myself when I look in the mirror. On average I allow myself to fluctuate within a year about 5lbs.

And with summer around the corner and my vacation to Mexico in 2 weeks, I always go back to the basics.

I found that following a mix of bodybuilding and metabolic style training has yielded a lot of results for myself. Nutrition is something I keep simple and realistic for me to be consistent with.

Now what does that even mean?

It means lifting weights as well as cardio and following some core nutrition principles that I will share.

Here are the ones that have worked for me

1. Eating Enough Protein: I am sure you hear this all the time. But what does this really mean?

Eating enough protein means eating at LEAST 1g of protein per body pound weight. I weigh 205lbs. That means I eat 205g or more of protein a day.

When I am really trying to cut or lose fat I tend to eat more protein and will increase that to 1.2g per body weight. Protein is the most thermogenic macronutrient. Meaning your body needs more effort to break it down and partition it so it can be used. It also helps to keep your satisfied and satisfied which is very important to keep cravings at bay when trying to lose fat.

For a rough estimate, this is what my day looks like when I hit my protein.

3 Protein Scoops = 75g Protein 150g Grass fed Chicken = 41g Protein

150g Salmon = 42g Protein 140g Extra Lean Grass fed beef = 40g Protein

2. Limiting Sugars, Dairy & Wheat: I aim keep my sugar levels to 25g or less. This is an 80/20 for mindset for me. I also like to keep my sugars during or after my training. I have found my body responds very well to this and will utilize those sugars after a hard workout. But also, by keeping sugar low, I tend to feel my best. Keep an eye out for these items below when you are shopping. Take a look at your grocery cart before you purchase. Get into the habit of reading labels and checking out sugar content per serving.

Here are some culprits of high sugar foods that might be in your rotation of foods.

  • Granola

  • Salad Dressings

  • Flavoured Oatmeal

  • Protein Bars

  • Cereal

  • Yogurt

  • Bread

  • Tomato Sauce

  • Canned Soup

  • Juice​​​​​​

  • Dried fruit

Also be careful of foods that are labelled organic or gluten free as they need to make these foods palatable and use fat and sugar to make them taste good so that people will by them.

I limit my dairy and wheat because it can effect my skin, digestion. A lot of people have sensitivities around these foods ESPECIALLY dairy! Pay attention to your body. Symptoms can show up days later. Not sure if your body handles these foods well? Try to eliminate them for at least 7 days and see if you notice any changes. When you add them back in, do it 1 item at a time. And see if how your body responds.

3. Avoid Hunger & Craving Inducing Foods:

There are so many foods out there that actually trigger hunger and make cravings worse and create unbalance energy in the long run. By limiting these items below I find that I can keep my hunger and cravings in check and avoid the struggle. Also, a lot of the items below can cause digestion issues like bloating, inflammation, etc.

  • Coffee/caffeine

  • Alcohol

  • Diet sodas

  • Artificial sweeteners

  • Sugar-free foods and gum

4. Meal Prepping Meal prepping is an obvious but I don't like feeling like meal prepping controls my life or is daunting. First, when I start thinking that I don't want to meal prep, it's too hard, takes too much time, I interrupt that thought and give myself a reality check.I remind myself why I meal prep.

For the results I want, save on time, money, energy. I meal prep every few days, cook in bulk and keep everything minimal. Nobody has time for fancy elaborate meal planning. As much as we like to think that and it all looks pretty on pinterest. Let's be real. If saving time for you is important, then basics are essential. But that doesn't mean I skimp on flavor. I keep my food tasting good, make it look pretty and make sure that I do enjoy what I am eating.

This is key for consistency.

How I prep:

  • 3 main breakfasts

  • 3 main lunches

  • 3 main dinners

  • Pre portioned veggies and fruit

  • Pre portioned nuts, seeds, etc.

Breakfast - I fast until 2 pm everyday


  • 1.5 scoop protein powder

  • TONS of frozen greens - helps to VOLUMIZE your smoothie(spinach, kale, spirulina, etc.)

  • 1.5 cups of frozen berries (antioxidants)

  • 1 avocado

  • Cinnamon

  • Cocoa powder (helps with cravings)

  • Stevia to taste

Go to Lunch:

  • Large salad - TONS of veggies

  • 150g Chicken Breast or Salmon

  • Homemade salad dressing

If I have chicken I will add some sort of fat source - whether it's a good oil or seeds or nuts. Salmon already has a good amount of healthy fat (omega 3) so no need to add extra fat.

Go To Snacks - I don't really snack but put these here are for you

  • Protein Shake

  • Jerky

  • Boiled Eggs

  • Coconut Yogurt with hemp hearts

  • Ezekiel bread & Avocado

  • Veggies, Hummus, Raw nuts

  • Protein pudding

Go To Dinner

I just keep it simple. But once a week I do try and new recipe to have a psychological break. It's fun to play in the kitchen. I tend to eat my carbs at night. Gives me a nice hit of serotonin.

  • 140g Extra Lean Beef or Buffalo


  • Carb source. Usually like a 1.5 cups of oatmeal, quinoa, rice, or whatever I feel like. All depends on my training that day and how much movement I got.

5. Training:

When you are working out to get a lean and fit look, it is important to focus. Staying off your phone, being overly chatty , etc. One of the biggest reasons why I have been successful at constantly transforming my body is because I take my training and my goals seriously. I go in with the intention of challenging my body. On average you spent 1 hour in the gym. Make it count. Get in there handle it and get results. Talk after, take your pics after your done training, and be efficient with your workout. This could make a huge difference in your results.

Things I focus on :

  • Compounds (deadlifts, squats, etc.)

  • Supersets

  • Giant Sets

  • Drop sets need to get fancy. You have to earn the fancy stuff. Doing a bunch of band, chain work will NOT transform your body. If you want a strong, lean muscular body, then what you really want is to build muscle. Not just get a pump and then it goes back to flat pancakes.

What is a Superset? Alternating sets of two different exercises with little to no rest in between.

Example: 4 sets

Bicep Curls x 10

Tricep Dips x 10 Rest 60 sec

Repeat 3 more times

What's a Giant set?

3 or movements performed in a back to back fashion with little to no rest inbetween. Like mentioned above with just more movements.

Example: 3 sets

Incline Dumbbell Press X 10

Dumbbell fly's x 12

Push Ups x 15

Rest 90 sec - 2 mins

Repeat 2 more times

6. Do NOT Starve Yourself

You do not need to starve yourself to get results and in fact can get you into a worse position. I am huge advocate of eating as much as you can while getting the results you want. Keeping your hormones, energy, and cravings in check are CRUCIAL with long term success and results. I will even eat more if I want to train more and continue to lose fat. Every time you rebound (gain weight back) from yo-yo dieting, you are creating a history in the body which tells it that the next time you want to lose fat, you will have to eat less and less to get some kind of results. And your body will increase it's body set point to want to stay at a HEAVIER body weight. You want to have your metabolism flexible.

What do I mean me metabolic flexibility?

It's essentially having the ability to switching between burning carbs and burning fat. Someone with great metabolic flexibility can burn carbs when they eat them and burn fat when they eat them (or when they don’t eat at all). They can switch between carbohydrate metabolism and fat metabolism with ease. People who can “eat whatever they want” most likely have excellent metabolic flexibility.

Signs for metabolically inflexible:

  • You get sleepy after eating carbs.

  • You can’t go five hours between feedings.

  • You get the midday crash every day after lunch.

  • You must snack to sustain your energy levels.

  • Fasting is difficult, and if you manage to power through the discomfort, you get worse results than you were expecting (muscle loss, very little fat loss).

  • You can’t function without a steady stream of stimulants, like coffee

7. Cardio: Steady State VS HIIT

I add steady state Cardio and HIIT cardio on top my strength training 3-4 times a week. I think of cardio as icing on the cake. I add as needed. I will ALWAYS choose weight training over cardio. Because you can actually turn your training into HIIT. I don't use cardio all year round either. I use at when appropriate for the results I want. Steady State means training at around 60% of your HRM (Heart Rate Max) OR breathing heavily but can still talk.

HIIT is training any activity at a maximum effort (80-100% of your HRM) for a short period of time, followed by a short rest (recovery) period (50-60% of your HRM). Most people have a hard time actually hitting this intensity at it is quite advanced.

If you are a person who experiences a lot of stress in your life and not sleeping, I suggest steady state cardio as HIIT will drive your cortisol levels up and further tax your central nervous system. I even suggest going outside for some mindful walking, 30 mins a day.

Steady State Workout

Equipment: Treadmill (not holding onto the machine) Incline: 5%-10% Speed: 3-4 Time: 30 Minutes

HIIT Workout Equipment: Stairmaster or Rowing Machine Work Interval: the highest I can go for 60 sec Recover Interval:any level that allows me to recover for 60 sec Repeat:10X Time: 20 Minutes

These duration's can change based on your fitness level. I will also incorporate TABATA type workouts for conditioning if short on time.

Example Tabata:

Kettlebell Swings x 20 sec

Rest 10 sec

Rest for 4mins

Rest for 4 mins

Jump Squats x 20 sec

Rest for 10 sec

Repeat for 4mins

8. Rest Days No days off is not helpful to your results and is not necessary. You must take a rest day. At least one a week. I take 2. Because I need it and my workouts and nutrition are on point. If you have the feeling you need to do more, I encourage you to review what you're doing and are you doing your best at it and being consistent. If not, there is no need to add more. Work on being consistent, training hard, and hitting your nutrition to get the results you want. Your muscles need time to rebuild themselves and your mind needs time away from dieting and to have some normalcy. I program for myself and my clients, rest based living days.

What does rest based days mean?

It means giving back to you. Going out in nature for meditation walks, spending time with yourself to connect, yoga, stretching, breathing exercises ( I practice 4,4,4 breathing. Breathe in for 4sec, hold for 4sec, out for 4sec - repeat 5-10 cycles), journal, ready, GET A HOBBY!

Training and nutrition are going to be only part of how you get results. Most people discount that rest is where it all happens. If you're not making SLEEP and STRESS management a priority, you will find yourself burnt out and burning the candles from both ends. If you're body is constantly in a flight or fight state, it will put your transformation goals on the back burner while it prioritizes survival mode.

I hope that these 8 training and nutrition strategies helps you create the physique you are after.

If you're not getting the results you want, have felt like you have tired everything, and are struggling to keep going, you know you can always hit that "reply" button and we can chat it out.

Tick tock, summer is coming.

Happiness is a habit....take time to cultivate it

Troy Guv'na Brown


23RD APRIL 2019





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