10 Tips To Get You In The Best Shape Of Your Life

Robert Connick
Written By: Robert Connick
May 13th, 2011
Updated: June 13th, 2020
Categories: Articles Training
148.7K Reads
Trainer and competitive bodybuilder Robert Connick presents tips, along with a diet and workout plan to help you get in the best shape of your life.

Fit maleSince becoming a personal trainer, I have seen training techniques and diet fads come and go. Individuals tend to complicate their routines/diets by reading several published periodicals and through advice from amateur consultants. Physique and health progress should be continual and consistent. Forget about the excuse of having below par genetics. We are of the same species, human... homeosapiens.

We all breathe the same air, digest food virtually the same, have the same vital organs of life, and grow muscle tissue through the same process as some of the top bodybuilders in the world. Now on to my philosophy of getting into the best possible shape of your life. Remember the K.I.S.S. Principle? It works in all aspects of life and leads to simplicity and efficiency. Don’t we all want things in life to be simple?

As a personal trainer these are my top 10 health and fitness tips that I suggest to all my clients to get in the best shape of their lives. This list ranges from healthy eating habits to exercise programs, these health and fitness tips will help educate you about weight loss, wellness and healthy living overall. This list is in no particular order.

1. Stay away from sugars! When we take in sugar, it causes our bodies to release insulin, and insulin causes the body to store fat. That's why those fat-free desserts with extra sugar are actually causing you to gain weight. Take a good look at the ingredients label and stay away from products high in sugar and fructose corn syrup. "Healthy" breakfast cereals and bars are notorious for being high in these two ingredients.

2. Stay away from foods that contain hydrogenated oils and processed foods. Hydrogenated oils, (trans fats), cause havoc on the body and some states are even banning them. Read ingredients of the foods you eat, the label will tell you if it contains hydrogenated oils - and if it does, get rid of it! Processed foods are the chemically altered and packaged foods like so many of the foods that target kids now days. You can usually tell if food is processed if the ingredients show a list of chemicals a mile long.

3. A simple way to keep weight under control is to stop eating before you're full. Portion control is the easiest way to not over at. If you continuously eat until you’re uncomfortably full, you will end up consuming too many calories and end up stretching the stomach out, causing you to eat more, more often.

4. Try giving Yoga a go. You'll be surprised at the difference it will make when the body is flexible and limber, plus it helps reduce the chances of injury. Yoga consists of 15-20 minutes of deep stretching and some meditation. The body will feel younger and Yoga also helps relieve stress. Combine this with some cardio, weight training and a good balanced diet, and in 12 short weeks you'll be in the BEST shape of your life!

5. Try adding more of the following foods to your diet: whole grains, olive oil, eggs, natural peanut butter, fish, poultry, berries, apples, almonds, protein powder and water. These foods will help you burn more fat, get in shape and better your health.

6. Drink MORE water. I know we hear this all the time and there's a good reason for it - because it's important! Drinking water helps curb your appetite, hydrate your body and nourishes you from the inside out, including your skin. You should aim for half your body weight in ounces per day. EX if you weigh 200lbs, you would aim to drink 100 ounces of water per day.

Fit pushups

7. For fast fat loss and to build a stronger heart, try interval training. The basics of interval training is run/walk/run/walk, etc. Pick somewhere to do this like a high school track, run for 50 yards, and walk back at a moderate pace, repeat - do this 10 times. Make sure you've warmed up before you starting to run and that you cool down when done. Interval training boosts the metabolism, burns the most fat, and takes less time to complete.

8. Add weight training. Adding weight training to your exercise routine helps add muscle to your body and increases your life span, making you stronger and burning more fat. If an individual is looking to tone up, use a weight that you can lift 8-12 times; if an individual is looking to bulk up, they should add weight they can lift 4-6 times. Weight train 3-5 times per week and keep your training sessions to 45 minutes max.

9. Supplement your diet. At the minimum, you should add a quality multivitamin to your diet and fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids). Most people don't get a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals from foods alone so it's important to compliment your new found healthy eating habits with a strong multivitamin. Fish oil is important because most people's diets are lacking in omega-3 fatty acids and this is suspected to be a contributing factor to many health diseases, including obesity. Fish oil is the best way to get omega-3's into your diet. You should try to consume 2,000 to 3,000 mg of omega-3's per day.

10. Add more Alaskan salmon to your diet. It's extremely high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and low in fat. A fantastic and healthy combination. Alaskan salmon is low in mercury, the one problem with regular salmon.

Sample diet:

This a template for a controlled carb diet plan. I have also included supplements.

  • Meal 1: (if this is a pre-workout meal) 2-3 slices of whole wheat toast and 1 scoop of whey protein. Add in 3 grams of creatine monohydrate and 2 grams of beta-alanine.
  • Meal 2: (if this is a post-workout meal) 8-12 ounces of simple carbs such as Gatorade, 1 scoop of whey protein with 3 grams of creatine monohydrate and 2 grams of beta-alanine.
  • Meal 3: 6 eggs with 2 yolks and either 1/2 cup oatmeal dry with 2 tbsp natural peanut butter. You can add Splenda and cinnamon for taste. 500 mg of vitamin C.
  • Meal 4: 4-6 ounces of turkey on whole wheat bread with 1 oz of almonds or mixed nuts.
  • Meal 5: Medium sized salad with 4-6 ounces of meat such as turkey, chicken or beef with oil-based dressing and a small sweet potato or 1 cup of rice cooked.
  • Meal 6: Similar to Meal 5 can sub the salad for some green vegetables, but take in some avocado if no oil dressing.
  • Meal 7: (night) 1 cup of cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with 1 oz of nuts or 2-3 grams of fish oil. Multivitamin, 500 mg Vitamin C, 350-450 mg Magnesium, 20-30 mg of Zinc.

Sample workout:

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps

  • Incline DB - 3 sets 6-8 rep range (You can go as low as 5 reps if you feel comfortable,Go with a medium to low incline)
  • Barbell or DB Bench - 3 sets 6-10 reps
  • Flyes (Cable, DB, Machine whichever you prefer) 2-3 sets 10-12 reps
  • DB/Barbell/Machine Press - 3 sets 6-10 reps
  • DB Side Laterals - 3 sets 8-12 reps
  • Skullcrushers - 3 sets 6-10 reps (If joint pain stay in the 8-10 range)
  • Dips/Pressdowns - 3 sets 6-10 reps

Day 2: Back, Rear Delts, Traps and Biceps

  • Wide Grip Pullup - 3-4 sets 6-10 reps
  • Chest Supported DB Rows - 3 sets 6-10 reps (Let me know if you haven't done these and I'll put up a video)
  • Another Row that doesn't bother your back - 3 sets 6-10 reps
  • Incline rear delt raises - 3 sets 8-12 reps
  • DB/Barbell/Behind the Back Shrugs - 4 sets 6-10 reps
  • Barbell/DB Curl - 4 sets 6-10 reps
  • DB Hammer Curls - 3 sets 6-10 reps


DAY 4: Quads, Hamstrings and Calves

  • Leg Press/Front/Hack/Barbell Hack Squat - 4 sets 6-10 reps
  • Bulgarian Split Squat - 3 sets 8-12 reps
  • Leg Ext - 3 sets 8-12 reps
  • Glute Ham Raises/Seated Leg Curls sets - 8-10 reps
  • Lying/Standing Leg Curls - 3 sets 8-12 reps
  • Standing/Donkey Calf Raises - 4 sets 6-12 reps
  • Seated Calf Raises - 4 sets 6-12 reps




Posted on: Sat, 02/27/2016 - 05:06

You cannot cut sugar, when you're drinking GATORADE! LOL, really?

Posted on: Fri, 08/29/2014 - 17:30

Great tips on nutrition
Just starting

nitesh rai
Posted on: Sat, 08/09/2014 - 05:57

can you please help me how to recover my hollw chest through exercise?

Posted on: Tue, 09/03/2013 - 15:10

Currently my weight is 77kgs my
Biceps 16
Chest 44
Shoulder 16
Tell me exercises n diet plan for getting muscularity in my body wid proper shape???

Posted on: Sat, 08/17/2013 - 21:53

We are suppose to train Chest, Tri and Shoulders on day 1 and 5? So we train those muscles twice a week and every other muscle once a week? That makes no sense. Please explain if I read that wrong.


Posted on: Sun, 02/17/2013 - 21:02

The issue is not that we're not getting enough omega 3, it's that we're getting too much omega 6. The ratio for humans is supposed to be 1:1, and people with a Western diet are closer to 20:1. Taking omega 3 supplements isn't going to help, reducing your intake of omega 6 will. Don't eat meat that comes from CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) they feed the animals corn, and in turn it absolutely ruins the healthfulness of the meat. Don't eat fish that is farmed either, they're being fed corn too. The bet practice is to eat non-processed foods, and naturally raised meats (grass-fed for beef and poultry, wild for fish) bonus: you'll actually get more protein and good fats this way, instead of processed corn product. Remember: you're eating everything that your meat has eaten, make sure it's good :)

Priyesh Damania
Posted on: Tue, 09/06/2011 - 06:31

Does eating Potato helps in gain weight initially..

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/22/2011 - 12:07

Weight gain comes primarily from overall calorie intake.

Posted on: Tue, 05/24/2011 - 22:39

Respectfully, I have to disagree with #8 on rep structures. It is a false fact that more reps equals toning. Being "tone" and showing ripped muscles means having a low body fat percentage. High reps will not get anyone there, only controlling diet... and of course building lean muscle in sensible progressive weight training.

Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2011 - 05:25

Thank you Joe! If you haven't already join the forum and start a log so we can answer questions and watch your progress.

Posted on: Fri, 05/13/2011 - 16:56

Excellent detail and plan to work this into my next 6 week plan!