Before I made fitness a priority in my life, I would look at the muscle and fitness magazine covers and think, it would be great to look like that, but I just do not have the time to count calories and spend all day in the gym.

The truth is, you do not have to spend all your time counting calories and working out to get a muscle and fitness magazine look. By following a few simple diet rules and maximizing the time you spend in the gym, you'll be on your way to a muscle and fitness magazine body in no time.

First a word of caution. Before you start any diet and exercise program always check with your physician.

Slow Down Your Diet

We're going to use a variation of a slow carbohydrate diet as used by Dean Karnazes, a world class marathon runner. I found it on the blog of author Tim Ferris, where he used it to lose 20lbs of fat in 30 days. Do not worry, there's no calorie counting, just follow these rules:

  1. Drink lots of water, tea, or your favorite diet soda.
  2. Eat lots of protein like egg whites, chicken and lean red meats.
  3. Avoid white carbohydrates. Do not eat bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta or fried food. Remember if it's white do not eat it ..
  4. Eat lots of legumes and fresh vegetables. Remember vegetables are not calorie dense, so make sure you're eating legumes to keep your energy levels up.
  5. Break your meals into 4-6 smaller meals throughout the day.
  6. Have one day where you eat whatever you want.

As for meal planning you want to keep it simple. Find a few meals you like and eat those over and over again. I know it does not sound exciting but it will keep you on track when your busy.

HIT The Gym And Gain Muscle And Lose Fat By Working Out Less

To pack on the muscle we're going to apply the principles of HIT (High Intensity Training). Arthur Jones, creator of nautilus gym equipment proved the value of HIT training with his Colorado experiment. In that test, Casey Viator gained 63.21 pounds of muscle in 28 days. I'm not saying you're going to get those results, but I'm guessing you'd be happy with even a fraction of that kind of gain. Do the following workout:

  1. leg curl
  2. leg extension
  3. leg press
  4. lateral raise
  5. pullover
  6. bench press
  7. biceps curl
  8. triceps extension
  9. trunk curl

Workout Rules

  1. Do one set of each of the above exercises, but do that set to complete muscle failure.
  2. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets
  3. Work out 3 times a week, but on one of the workout days do not go all the way to muscle failure. For example work out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Wednesday you would stop short of muscle failure on each set.
  4. Drink a protein shake 45 minutes before you work out and one 45 minutes after you workout.
  5. Get a lot of sleep (that's when your muscles really grow).

That's it. I know it sounds simple, but if you follow the above plan you'll look like you just stepped off the pages of a muscle and fitness magazine.