Are You Guilty Of Making These Mistakes While Trying To Stay Shredded? - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Are You Guilty Of Making These Mistakes While Trying To Stay Shredded?

For Brendan Jones, his five-year fitness journey was something of a learning process. Here, he shares everything he wishes he’d known while trying to stay shredded.

The fitness world loves a trend. From diets that cut-out all manner of food groups to workouts and boutique gyms that more closely resemble a nightclub than they do a fitness space, these trends pop up and garner attention quicker than a blossoming relationship on Love Island. Naturally though, they fizzle just as quickly. Despite the science behind health and wellness, it seems so much of it is a learning game. Over the years, we come to find not only those routines that are compatible with the lifestyles we want to live, but we also sift through the trends to find those workouts and exercises that not only work, but are ones we love. 

No-one knows the struggle of making mistakes along the way quite like YouTuber Brendan Jones, who has been on a body transformation journey for some time while looking to achieve a physique that’s more lean and ripped. If there’s one thing we can all take away from Jones’ journey, it’s that such a transformation takes time and in Jones’ case, it was five years. Starting back in 2016, Jones set out to become more healthy and began taking on workout challenges on the Goal Guys channel. Now, he’s sharing the rookie mistakes that held back his gains and what he wished he known from the outset. 

Doing too much, too soon

Chief among the mistakes Jones made from the get-go was that of taking on too much, too soon. While the mind immediately goes to the gym and things like load and weights, it also applies to diet. “Starting out as a new lifter, I was so eager to add size that I interpreted any increase on the scale as a sign that my muscle gains were coming in,” says Jones. “And why shouldn’t they be? I was clean bulking with an ever-increasing calorie surplus, and training as hard as I ever had in the gym.”

Research would suggest that Jones could expect to gain a maximum of 1 or 2 pounds per month following this diet and exercise regimen, but he was also gaining upwards of 4 pounds each month which led him on a path of discovery. “My calorie surplus was so intense, my body was converting more and more of those calories into fat,” he explains. When he then tried to up his cardio in order to burn more calories while simultaneously reducing his caloric intake, he did manage to lose the weight – along with a lot of his gains. He realises now that he shouldn’t have been focusing on bulking or cutting early, but rather remained intent on simply cleaning up his nutrition while training to put him in a “perfect spot” to build muscle while burning fat. 


Jones also acknowledges the importance of accountability, be it in the form of a trainer or workout buddy, which he credits as being one of the best ways to ensure success in your fitness goals while staying motivated and on track to achieve them. “It’s silly that even as an adult, I’m still motivating myself with the equivalent of a gold star from the teacher, but having that social incentive to follow through really does make the difference between skipping a workout once a week or actually getting the workout done,” he admits. “And those small victories over time actually add up to significant improvements in your final results.”

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Think long-term

Jones admits that early on in his fitness journey, he focused on short-term wins over the long-term goals he had in mind. Rather than look to set himself up for success, he favoured intense workouts and restrictive diets that weren’t sustainable. It’s led him now to see the importance in building sustainable habits that he can stick to permanently. This includes go-to meals that hit his macro and calorie targets, going for a 30-minute morning walk, carving out 30 minutes each evening for a workout, and aiming for a minimum of seven hours of sleep a night. 

Consider external factors

Jones also notes that while you can have the best routine in place and be eating clean, there will always be external factors that affect your fitness journey. These can include the length of a morning commute, the number of fast food restaurants in a neighbourhood, and working conditions. He found that he was spending a lot of time sitting in traffic, often snacking in the car, which was contributing to his stress levels and sedentary lifestyle. 

“Understanding what environmental factors may be affecting you and the goals you’re working towards can help you form better plans to adjust, find strategies to cope, and maybe adjust your timeline if it looks like the goal weight you set for yourself may take longer than you expected,” says Jones. “All this is part of the process of training smart, making the right adjustments as you go, and learning from your mistakes.”

More From