Training for Aesthetics

Hi guys,

I don't train for strength or conditioning. I train to feel good, be healthy and look good.

Any tips to optimize my training for Aesthetics?

Diet will be priority number one. Do you want to start with a bulking, maintenance or cutting phase? Each phase will determine the number of calories you take in.

I noticed a weight gain in the last year which seems to be primary fat that landed around my belly(waist size didn't change much). I really don't like it so I'm ready to take the actions to do this and what I think I already am making the good choices at the grocery. The hardest part will be planning in advance, portion control and saying no or controlling restaurants/alcohol when out with friends.

I will be working on cutting first. I decided my first step was to get my diet(common sense, not 100% calculated having 3 meals and 3 snacks per day) in order and do some exercise 4 times a week for a full month.

After that I will add calculated portions and muscle training(3 to 5 times a week).

I downloaded some sample 2000 to 2300 calories meal plans.
I want to create a 500 calories deficit maximum per day and don't want to starve my body so that my metabolism slows down.Depending on which formula I used to calculate how much calories I burn in a day, my cutting needs right now should be in that range.

My grocery sample:

whole wheat bread
whole wheat pasta
brown rice
sweet potatoes


1% milk
low fat cottage cheese
some yogurt
some cheese

unsalted/unsweetened peanut butter
trail mix
olive oil
green mustard
light dressing(very light not noticeable if you use 15ml)

chick peas

orange juice with calcium
low sodium vegetable juice
rice cookies


turkey breast for sandwiches
chicken breast
chunk light tuna
whey protein
Marine fish oil 1000mg gel caps

Doing some more research I found a pretty nice tool to calculate caloric intake:

I will start with a 2300 calories/day diet and will adjust if I don't notice proper results then.

Your shopping list includes several processed food items: bread, pasta, oj and some others. I don't know too many body builders that were successful when eating those foods and trying to cut. You almost need a Zone diet level of compliance when eating those foods. Just something to consider.

For now my first goal is to get 2000-2300 calories per day and my exercise. Also eat 5-7 meals per day to spread out the calories. I did my calculations today(ate already 6 times) and I am not there yet... almost but not there yet. I will have to add proteins and also fats. Too much carbs.

Next nutrition goal is to get the proteins right(1gram per pound of weight) and stabilize the ratio between prots, carbs and fats.

I did cut 30 pounds in the past a in a few months without doing any dieting. I did not verify however my bodyfat% before and after.

I also don't want to go crazy and I'm not a bodybuilder so I will still include some whole wheat carbs such as bread and pasta for the morning and the afternoon. I will not eat those at night.

If I notice that I can't make the progress with those ingredients in my diet, then I will adjust it.

I've recently found that if I train for function and progression (increased weights, reps or decreased rest breaks) with a good diet, aesthetics are taking care of themselves.
My two cents... Phone Post

1st week done: It was a disaster on my part but still probably better than usual in the last year or so.

Alcohol: Drank a max of 1500 empty alcohol calories(multiple sittings so it's not that bad).


Chinese stuff(a lot of fried or stired so either fat or full of empty carbs) with 1 regular soda.
One Chicken meal with fat sauce, fries and coke zero.
One Grilled cheese.
Also ate a couple of chocolate bars, ice cream and chips.

I did stick to my workouts but I'm sure if I didn't eat/drink all that I would have done pretty good.

Yeah, not good results if you're trying to lean out. To me, diet is about behavior. If you're normal behavior includes drinking with coworkers and frequenting places that serve low end fare, then you're chances of succeeding at leaning out are diminished. Change your behavior or switch your goal to "bulking up". :)

2nd week: Getting better. As I advance in this journey of new habits, I realize that just a couple of months ago, I could've had more than 5 1000 calories fast food meals in just a week and also drink 1000 calories in one night. I feel better.

Drank 3-4 beers: less than 500 calories
Restaurant: nothing
Crap: A little bit, maybe 500 calories max

I'm waiting till next the end of next week when i'll start harder program to start really checking my measurements and body fat with caliper weekly.

I did stick to all of my workouts as well.

Girls seem to like pleasant looking balanced muscular physiques that are cut.

I can't believe I just said this, we need a bodybuilding forum so we can get this Zoolander bullshit out of here.

 I agree with those above who say that if you are training smart and well, the looks part often comes along for the ride.

That being said, it is also true that the bottom line of looking good is based on your nutrition more than any other factor.


3rd week: 6 beers, Restaurant 3 or 4 times.
I did however stick to the rest of my nutrition.

I finished my first 'program' which consisted of small workouts 4 times per week.

I did not weight or measure myself at the beginning, but will order the supplies to do it this week. I will continue with my nutrition plan but will take a week off between programs.

My weight is more or less the same with 3~lbs fluctuations so I can't say I noticed anything on the weight side.

I did however notice that my brand new pair of jeans now feel at bit loose around the waist and I now need one less notch on my belt. At some point that notch was even tight and sometimes I had to take one more. Now I take at least one less notch.

Can't wait to start the real training and see the results!

I extended my break but I am now ready to continue with my real training. I continued to semi-diet meanwhile and I am more or less 5lbs lighter than when I started. Hopefully it's not just muscle being lost.

The plan is:

1) Get calipers and tape to measure my evolution.
2) Use the Lafay Method as my primary strength/muscle workout.
3) Continue with a no-nonsense diet(this time with 0 carb drinks(only water and drinks with proteins and allow myself 2-3 cheat meals a week).
4) Compile results and adjust training/diet if required

Ordered sequoia digital caliper and measurement tape.

To be continued...

Received and currently testing different measurement methods.

What do you use? So far it seems I'm above 20%bf and I wish to go to 15 ideally.