Macros, muscle, and mindset


Ryan Allen

As part of my five-month transformation, I hit the gym everyday, but it took more than lifting weights. Diet, building muscle efficiently, and mindset are needed to create a improved physique.

Ryan Allen, Staff Writer

On July 20, I concluded my one-year transformation and changed my life completely. I spent every day learning about health, fitness, and the human body. I began to apply it in my everyday life and it made all tasks easier. It was incredible to see the results acquired when I knew what I was doing in the gym.  

You can’t out-train a crap diet.

— Snap Fitness trainer Andrew Mackorell

Fitness ads and specialists over-complicate everything when it comes to getting fit. It only takes three key things.


When it comes to building muscle and losing fat, diet is everything. For losing fat it’s important to be in a healthy caloric deficit, meaning that you eat slightly under your maintenance calorie level. I ate lean meats, vegetables (perfect hunger filler), natural fats, non-starchy carbs, and no artificial foods for a whole year to lose around eighty pounds. When gaining muscle it’s important to be in a slight caloric surplus and track daily macros. All food is made up of macronutrients, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, which fuel your body.

“Nutrition is just as, if not more important, than the gym,” Snap Fitness trainer Andrew Mackorell said. “You can’t out-train a crap diet.”

Diet can be the hardest part of the process because people don’t know where to start at the grocery store. It’s a difficult process but if you really think about it, it’s quite simple.

Lean meats can include chicken, fish, turkey and great sources of protein are nuts, seeds, and tofu. Since my diet is based around minimal carbs (under 50 grams a day), I increase the fat intake for energy. I eat seeds, nuts, avocados, and some different types of beef (sausage or steak). Protein and fats are the two macros for energy and muscle growth, but I eat tons of greens for vitamins and extra space on the plate.

There are some easy tactics to help not cheat and save the clean diet. Sugar cravings are worse than mosquitos because they are there twenty-four seven. A couple easy ways to knock the cravings is sugar-free, fruit-flavored chewing gum and Halo Top ice cream. I mindlessly chew and I subconsciously think I’m eating, and Halo Top is a healthy version of ice cream. These two things have saved me a countless number of times from wrecking my diet.


Building muscle is almost just as important as the diet because building muscle actually burns fat and assists the diet portion of the process. Hitting the gym effectively — not sitting around and playing on your phone — builds muscle, burning fat faster. Most people walk into the gym and are intimidated by all of the machines, lost to the point where they are not productive. The majority of the muscle building process is with free weights and barbells.

“Going to the gym isn’t about maxing out and trying to look like your ‘instafamous models’,” Mackorell said. “It’s important to your daily health. If you don’t take care of your body how do you think you’re going to look?” 

It’s smart to go into the gym with a plan, knowing what will be accomplished for the day. I go everyday super setting (combining different exercises without a break) different muscle groups and I’ve seen insane growth. I split the days up with muscle groups that correlate with each other. Monday is chest and triceps, Tuesday is back and biceps, and Wednesday is legs and shoulders. This split lets me isolate key muscle groups and it gives time for my muscles to rest and grow over the couple days in between.

The gym isn’t the hard part — getting there is.

— Staff Writer Ryan Allen


The last part of the trifecta is the mindset on the health and fitness journey. The parts where most people fail are consistency and attitude. People expect results within a week of a healthy diet and the gym, which is unrealistic. If I eat junk food for a month straight, I’m going to be in the gym for two months to see results. One thing I constantly see is people treating themselves with a cupcake or Doritos after every gym session. That’s essentially canceling out all of the hard work they’ve just done.

There are many ways to find motivation to get to the gym but the easiest ways are videos. Every day before I go to the gym I watch some Rocky or MMA. The gym isn’t the hard part — getting there is. As long as the attitude is positive and ready to kill it, then the gym is no problem.

Final thoughts

If one of these is missing, it’s impossible to acquire the flawless physique. There are hundreds of different exercises that can be done for each muscle group and it all comes down to personal preference.

“It isn’t easy and it takes time and work, but anyone can achieve their goals,” Mackorell said.

I learned most of the exercises from my trainer, Andrew, and a few from instructional videos. After a couple months of adapting to the diet, gym routine, and new mindset, this routine turns into a lifestyle worth living.  It’s a grind but it can be done.