What does it take to be a personal trainer? What does it take to be a professional bodybuilder. In this blog post we will dive in to the lifestyle, training regime and nutrition habits of Matt Law, co-founder of BLK BOX GYM. How much sleep does one need, how much protein do you need, how do you warm up and cool down before and after an intense workout session, and how do you plan effectively so you always stay consistent?
Matt has worked as a personal trainer for over 5 years and is a Lifetime Natural bodybuilding champion. He graduated with a bachelors degrees in Kinesiology from the University of British Columbia in 2016. Currently he is the co-founder of BLK BOX GYM. To Learn more about Matt's accomplishments checkout his bio here.
To understand what it takes to have a fitness lifestyle let us follow Matt on his weekly routines and habits.
To become successful in fitness, you need to create consistent daily habits. Although motivation helps you get started, habits are what keep you going. Matt's training routine has changed many times over the course of his life, but he's never skipped a workout unless it was an emergency. His current training split is a 5 day body part split. This allows him to hit every single muscle group in a week. Below is Matt's training split.
Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Back
Day 3: Shoulders
Day 4: Legs
Day 5: Arms
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Rest
Abs: Matt trains abs 2-3 times a week on top of his split
Cardio: 30 minutes everyday
Warm Up: 10 minutes incline walking on treadmill. Dynamic warm-up exercises specific to what he is training that day.
Dynamic warm-up is a type of stretching exercise that involves movement. While you are moving, you are simultaneously stretching your body. This helps to warm up your body and increase your heart rate to prepare you for the workout ahead.
Cool Down: After his workout, Matt cool downs with another 20 minutes of incline treadmill followed by static stretching. Static stretching as opposed to dynamic stretching is a slower type of stretch that involves holding a stretch for a set duration. This type of stretching is more suitable done after an intense training session because your muscles are already warm.
During his weekly training, he alternates between low intensity/high volume (lighter weights more reps) and high intensity/low volume (heavier weights and less reps)
Sleep: Matt Sleeps 6-8 hours every night.
Diet: Matt uses intermittent fasting, a dieting technique that involves fasting during the day time, and eating all of his calories later in the day. This type of dieting is sustainable for Matt because the timing of his meals fit his lifestyle.
If he eats during the day, he feels sleepy and is inclined to take a nap. By following intermittent fasting, he is more awake and alert when training clients during the day. Then at night, when Matt eats large meals, it helps him relax which also helps him fall asleep.
However, Matt doesn't simply just fasts in the daytime and eats at night. He also counts his calories and macronutrients: Protein, Carbs, Fats so he doesn't overshoot his daily quota. By combining intermittent fasting and counting macros, Matt is able to diet consistently and has been following this eating style for over a decade.
Example Foods for each Macronutrient:
Protein: Beef, chicken, whole eggs, sea food like shrimps
Carbohydrates: Rice, cereal and oats
Fat: Fish oil, trace fats from other sources, olive oil, seasoning/dressings
One of the reasons why Matt does not worry too much about cheat days is because of he counts his macros everyday. He has a set amount of protein, carbs and fats to eat everyday. As long as he hits those targets, he is free to eat as he likes. It is possible to abuse this and eat a lot of junk food, however, most of Matt's food choices are healthy, so in the event he eats a donut or two, he isn't worried because the majority of his diet is made up of nutrient rich food sources.
Another advantage of macro dieting is that this system inherently prevents you from eating too much junk food. Items like cake, fried chicken, donuts are not only high in carbohydrates, but fats as well which means if you eat too much, you will go over your fat limit. However, this also means if Matt wants to satisfy his cravings, he can budget some of his carbohydrates and fats to spend towards a donut or two. By doing this, Matt is still able to experience the joys of junk food without sacrificing his fitness lifestyle.
Matt has been counting his macros for over a decade.
How exactly do you count your macronutrients?
Macro dieting is eating a set amount of calories a day. The calories are broken down into three categories: Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats. You set a target for each macronutrient and eat a combination of foods that add up to the targets. It it analogous to having a daily budget. You cannot go over your budget, but there are many different items you can buy from that amount of money just like there are many different foods you can choose.
There are many online tools and apps that can help you count your macronutrients, our favorite one is MyFitnessPal.
Where does he get his food from?
Matt lives in Vancouver B.C and there are many options to do his groceries such as Costco, Superstore, Safeway, Save on etc... Food quality is definitely important, but when it comes to macro dieting, consistency is way more important than how organic your chicken breast is.