Reviewed by Mike Westerdal
Preparation for a physique competition or a fitness photo session takes a special degree of commitment and effort that goes above and beyond the ordinary. Whether you’re up on a stage or in front of a lens your body needs to be as close to perfect as possible because even the slightest flaw will be magnified ten-fold and can mean the difference between success and failure.
Long-time fitness pro and natural bodybuilding expert Brian Cannone knows this fact well. Through his more than 20 years in the industry he’s developed a keen understanding of the subtle nuances in nutrition and training that shed fat, build lean muscle and result in a stage-perfect or photography-ready lean, muscular physique. Brian shares his secrets with us in his Stage Ready Nutrition and Training Guide. Let’s check it out see what Brian has to say.
For the majority of men, it can be an immense struggle just to get your body fat levels into the single digits. Most of us would be thrilled to achieve a body fat percentage of 8 or 9 percent. While that may be great for the average guy, if you’re considering getting in front of a camera or up on stage, that just won’t do. In fact, if you want to model or compete, you’ll need to target getting your body fat percentage down to between 2 to 6 percent.
If you’ve set your sights on this lofty goal, then Stage Ready Nutrition and Training might be just want you need. Brian has laid out a step-by-step plan that will guide you along the proper path to success. The 95-page book is divided into eight chapters, each of which covers a different aspect of the process.
Chapter one is focused on both mental preparation and planning. You might be tempted to skip this chapter but don’t, because it’s probably one of the most valuable parts of the book. Being in the proper frame of mind is absolutely critical to achieving success in any endeavor—even more so when you’re goals take you far above and beyond the ordinary. Second, without proper planning you’re most likely going to fail. After all, if you don’t know what your destination is, how can you get there?
In the next chapter Brian covers the scientific basics behind fat loss. He says that the purpose here is to provide you with a detailed and accurate assessment of where you are at any given moment a simple way to instantly measure your progress at any time. This feedback/guidance system uses body fat analysis, a strength assessment and a fat-burning zone assessment to help you track your progress.
Chapter three is focused on getting super lean and shredded in as little time as possible. The most important rule here is to maintain a negative calorie balance in order to push your metabolism to use stored fat for energy. Everything in this chapter is built on this core principle and is designed to ramp up the capability of your metabolism to burn stored fat. Individual sections cover daily caloric intake, increasing your activity levels and proper supplementation.
In the following chapter, Brian shares his no-fail way to get the best results from your nutrition program. This is an excellent chapter because it shows you how to take the guess work out of the nutrition component of the fat-burning equation. The information here is invaluable to say the least because miscalculating the proper negative calorie target for you could mean the loss of valuable muscle mass or it could add weeks, or even months, to your timeline.
Chapters five and six or also focused on nutrition and metabolism. There is good information about maintenance calories and Brian includes some handy tables so you can do your own calculations. Afterwards, he moves on to discussions regarding protein, carbohydrate and fat intake, along with information about macronutrients. The chapter also includes a food guide and a sample meal plan.
Next, the guide moves into the training aspect of preparing for the stage or camera. Brian’s approach is a four-phase plan that is designed to transform your physique so that it’s stage-ready. The first three phases last three weeks each, with the final phase being the recovery component. The final chapter of the book will tell you everything you need to know about supplements that can help you achieve your goals.
Although Stage Ready Nutrition and Training Guide is designed for those persons with the very specific goal of preparing for a competition or career in front of the camera, it can still appeal to anyone that wants the look like they compete whether or not they actually do. Just because you look like a high level bodybuilder or model does not mean that you have to compete. It’s cool to know that you could if you wanted to though.