This is the first article in our new series called “Ask Obi Obadike”. Obi Obadike, known in the fitness industry as “The World’s Most Ripped Fitness Expert”, is an internationally published fitness celebrity. In this weekly column, Obi will discuss his views on training, nutrition, and general health. You’ll get it exclusively on Muscle Prodigy!
What is your opinion on these new diets such as gluten free, intermittent fasting, and paleo? Don’t these all contradict the traditional bodybuilder diet of frequent meals packed with a steady supply of carbs and protein?
Obi: I truly believe that finding the perfect diet is all about finding the diet that is consistent with maintaining it from a lifestyle perspective and something that encourages moderation of everything. A diet that blends moderation and balance and is not too extreme I think will always be effective to the masses and will yield results. I think any diet that is too extreme can make people fall off on their program and indulge too much of the wrong things. In terms of intermittent fasting it obviously can work for a short term period of time but I am not an advocate of fasting for too long and then eating again. And this is because I think when you fast for a long period of time it makes you overeat because you are so hungry from that fasting.
The diet that has always worked with my celebrity clients is a balanced diet that includes a little of everything. 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% fats with a little wiggle room up and down with some of the carbs and proteins and fats periodically. I always believe that indulging in cheat meals or junk food from time to time is a good thing too when eating healthy from a psychological perspective. I like the 80/20 rule or 70/30 rule in terms of eating healthy 70 to 80% of the time and cheating 20 to 30% of the time.
You were a terrific sprinter in college and you often say that was the main component in looking as lean as you do and developing the abs you now have. Why do so many bodybuilders and fitness models stick to low intensity cardio to burn fat? Do you throw some low intensity work in also?
Obi: I think many bodybuilders and fitness models stick to low steady state cardio because they believe that high intensity cardio will make them lose muscle when all the research states that isn’t true. The only way to lose muscle is when you are on a serious caloric deficit and your daily caloric intake is so low that you are not consuming enough calories to support muscle growth. High intensity cardio such as sprinting is more anaerobic than aerobic and it actually does a great job of maintaining the muscle. When you get done sprinting your lower body is so pumped that it feels like you just got done doing tons of squats and lunges and that is because of the anaerobic component to high intensity cardio. I think a lot of bodybuilders and fitness models have this falsified mentality that if they do any cardio faster than a slow walk that they are going to lose muscle by the second or minute which is not true.
Personally I switch my cardio throughout the week from 25 to 30 minutes of high intensity sprints to 3 to 4 mile runs at an 8:00 to 8:30 minute mile pace so it is a combination of high intensity cardio and sometimes moderate low intensity cardio as well. I actually like going on 3 to 4 mile runs and being done anywhere from 25 minutes to 34 minutes.
How many times a week do you train your abs? Do you train them with weights also?
Obi: I train abs about 2 to 3 times a week and most of the abs exercise that I do are weighted exercises because I believe when you add weight to any abs exercise on a regular basis that it makes your abs thicker and no I don’t believe in theory that it will make your waist blockier. Some of the abs exercises that I like to do on a regular basis are Kneeling Cable Crunches, Planks, Weighted Sit-Ups, Leg Raises, etc.
About Obi Obadike
Obi Obadike is a nationally recognized Celebrity Fitness Expert/Trainer and nutrition expert. In 2014 he was metrically recognized as one of the top ten most influential fitness experts on the web by Dr Oz’s Sharecare.com. He was 2012 Writer Of The Year for Bodybuilding.com, the largest fitness website in the world. He has graced over 50 fitness magazine covers and has been published in fitness magazines over 100 times. He was a Top Division I collegiate star track athlete at Cal State Fullerton where he was the school record holder in the 100, 200 meters and 400 relay.
He is one of the most educated fitness professionals in the fitness industry where he holds a B.A, B.S and M.S degrees and is certified with the ISSA as a nutrition specialist,(SFN) and Trainer (CFT).
He is the new co-Judge of a new reality fitness competition called Sweat Inc. which airs on Spike TV on October 20. The show is hosted and judged by Jillian Michaels and co-judged by Randy Hetrick, founder of TRX.
He currently co-hosts a national syndicated health TV show called Lifestyle Magazine which airs on several national syndicated networks across the country.