When Male Standard Co-founder Victor Macias announced his intentions of starting the Get Shredded Challenge, there were nods of approval all-round. Who doesn’t want to get in shape, and look buff? We’re all about living our ethos of “being the best man you can be” here at MS HQ, but we quickly noted that if it were actually that easy, we’d already be in the best shape of our lives. This website wouldn’t exist, and Victor would already have his dream physique. So with that in mind, what’s to say that the journey isn’t as important as the end results? Discover how Victor fared in the first six weeks of his intensive Get Shredded Challenge, and take in some of his sage wisdom on how he intends to outperform the final six weeks of his wedding preparation by learning from his been-there-done-that rookie mistakes. You can also apply this advice to any goal you may have, as you carve out your own life expectations and Male Standard!
Get Shredded with Victor Macias
What prompted the Get Shredded Challenge?
Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to achieve the cover model look. You know, the guy with the shredded abs. I tried repeatedly with various methods, but I always came up short. As my wedding approached, I decided that it was time to get in the best shape of my life. It was not a goal about aesthetics. It was more about achieving a difficult goal and proving that it can be done. My rationale was I should be at my peak physical condition on the biggest day of my life.
Do men feel the same pressure to look good on their wedding day?
I don’t think they feel the same pressure as the bride, but they do want to look good. It’s a day that will be remembered forever. Why not look your absolute best?
Did you have any expectations of the Get Shredded Challenge going in?
I did. I knew it was going to be difficult. The discipline to stick to a strict diet plan and workout sometimes twice a day in the midst of running a business and planning a wedding was going to be hard, but I didn’t realize just how hard it was going to be.
What were your overall goals? Did you want to lose fat, bulk up?
My overall goal was to lose body fat. People would tell me “why are you on a diet, you’re already thin?” My response was, “It’s not about weight but body composition.” I wanted to hit 10-11 percent body fat while maintaining my muscle mass.
How did those expectations change once you started?
Oh boy did they. The first 6 weeks were an enormous challenge. The hunger pains and the irritability made me question my decision to do this every day. I was angry. That’s not a good combination when there’s so much stuff going on. Many of these events required me to be social, and the irritability did not help.
You have a rigorous diet and exercise plan, how did that come about?
It actually came from a few sources. I’ve had the pleasure of training with a personal trainer in the past; I’ve also read various books on fitness. I took pieces from each area. My fitness plan was one that I had tried in the past. The diet plan actually came from a book called the 4-hour body. It’s not what you might think. It’s not a fad diet. It’s written from a research standpoint that recommends cutting out sugar and eating the same meals repeatedly as a way of sticking to the plan and losing fat.
What was it like posting the photographs online for all to see?
That was the scariest part of the whole thing. Those who know me well know that I don’t always like to put myself out there for the whole world to see, but my team and friends suggested that I do that as a means of accountability and found that our readers would relate more to the challenge if I did so. I wanted Male Standard readers to feel supported. If they wanted to get in better shape, they would have someone on their side.
Did your fiancée, friends or family support you or join you on your journey?
They totally did. Without them, I don’t know if I could have stuck to the strict plan as long as I did. I feel sorry for my fiancée because she would get to see my irritable side more than anyone else did. Especially when I was about to cheat on my meal plan. She would be the one to remind me of my commitment to the challenge. I would be upset for a bit, but I knew she was right.
Where there any times when you wanted to call it quits?
Many, many times. However, this helped me learn more about myself. I would want to quit during times of extreme stress and pressure. It was those nights, when I would work late and know that I had to go to the gym at 11pm at night. Or the times, when I attended a function with amazing food, and I just had to eat sandwich meat and drink water. Those were tough times. The pictures and the logging of the progress helped me stay committed during those times.
Do you have an example of a time when you fell off the wagon?
I do, it was a Wednesday night. I had skipped two meals because I was running around hosting a few workshops. Our server had crashed on MaleStandard.com. There was an issue with the Tuxes for the wedding. Upon leaving the office at 9 pm, I went to “In-N-Out” and grabbed two burgers, fries, and shake. I then finished the night of with Reese’s peanut butter cups. It was the perfect storm; everything collapsed at the same time. That was the beginning of a real slippery slope. I cheated on my plan and seemed like I couldn’t get my flow back for a few days.
How did you get back on track?
Honestly, getting back to basics helped. At my peak, I was running on all cylinders. When I fell off the wagon, I expected to run at 110% right off the bat. However, something would always go wrong. I would skip a workout and indulge myself with food. I kept getting mad at myself for not being able to perform at my previous levels. I started reading a book about the power of habits, and I decided to take a drastically different approach. No more 110%. I would start small and focus instead on developing lasting habits that would contribute to a healthier me.
What advice would you give to other men looking to get into better shape?
Slow down. It’s not a sprint, but a marathon. I was driven by ads and programs that claimed phenomenal results in just 6-12 weeks. Even though the “results are not typical,” I still felt that I would be the exception. I felt like a failure every time I would crash and burn. I’ve come to learn that I’m not a machine; I have a hectic schedule and need to slow it down a little bit. What’s the point of hitting a goal if I’ll be miserable the whole way through it? In these times in prep for the wedding, I can’t afford to be miserable all the time.
If you could relive the first six weeks, what would you do differently?
I would start smaller and work on developing positive lifestyle habits first. For example, my first objective would be to develop the habit for a morning run. I would start with 5 minutes a day and then ramp up as things get easier. I would not beat myself up for falling off the wagon. I would go back to basics and know that the next time will be better.
What do you see coming of the next six weeks? Are you on track?
In the next few weeks, I’ll keep focusing on developing healthy habits. I’ll look at the plan like a marathon, not a sprint. While I tend to be impatient, this approach is necessary when deciding to make a monumental lifestyle change. It’s about constant improvement and not perfection.
That’s a fantastic goal to have. What’s your Male Standard?
“Take over the world. Forget average, it’s about excellence.” However, excellence is not always gained by going 110 mph all the time. It’s by making small but continuous improvements.
About Victor Macias
An entrepreneur since age nine, Victor Macias launched various online businesses since high school including a series of digital products which still sell on Amazon Kindle and other popular eBook stores to this day. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Entrepreneurship from California State University, Fullerton. Victor Macias is the marketing specialist for the Orange County Small Business Development Center (SBDC) where he delivers workshops and provides consulting.
His latest venture, MaleStandard.com, is an online community with over 50,000 monthly visitors. He has partnered with large men’s brands like: Gillette, Old Spice, AXE, BRUT, Philips Norelco and more. His work has been featured on CNBC.com, MSN.com and the Details Style Network. You can also find Victor sharing online marketing tips on his blog, VictorMacias.com. He also shares his passion for entrepreneurship and drive for constant improvement as a mentor for the Youth Entrepreneurship Program.
Follow the live coverage with Victor at https://twitter.com/victormacias!