May 16, 2017

Name:  Mikhail Gittens
Instagram:  @inkedape
Age:   27
Height:   6’ 5”
Weight:   215lbs

Why did you get started with your fitness journey?
My fitness journey actually started for me several years ago thanks to a trip to my doctor for a physical which brought a few health risks to my attention. This information was enough for me to consider making health and wellness more of a priority and a part of me regular routine.

    Addressing these health risks I was previously informed of was the ultimate goal of incorporating fitness into my cycle, but as I became more involved and invested, I realized that it was becoming much more than just “addressing a concern” and that it was actually becoming a lifestyle.

    Outside of the concerns, I started to feel positive benefits and impacts in other areas I would’ve never imagined. The physical and aesthetic gains were definitely noticeable and admirable, but what really got me more attached were the mental and emotional gains I started experiencing. These not so noticeable benefits to the eye started playing a major role not only in my daily activities but also the way I started looking at life and different challenges I faced.

    For me currently, my fitness journey and focus isn’t solely wrapped around building the best physique, but it’s now also about building/improving my overall wellness and outlook while maintaining what I do as a positive lifestyle.

    What is your ultimate goal with fitness?
    My ultimate goal in fitness is to instill a “lifestyle” understanding within individuals. I want people to start putting more focus on the mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of fitness in addition to the physical. I strongly believe that those who get a grasp on these other areas are the ones that will not only be more positively impacted and have a better outlook on life but also become more committed and dedicated to fitness as well as their overall wellness .

    In addition to that, I want to ensure that everyone I’m surrounded by is meeting their goals and maximizing their full potential by being a valuable resource while providing continuous motivation and inspiration.

    What is your current training program?
    Currently, I am on a 6 day per week training schedule. I am big on muscle isolation and making sure that each muscle group has its own focus each day which has yielded the best results for me so far. In addition to weight training for my muscle groups, I also include functional and   high intensity interval training  (HIIT) on one of those days to keep my skill set versatile and well rounded.

    The way I organize my split is starting with the largest muscle group at the beginning of the week to smallest towards the end with a mixture of rep styles (e.g. pyramid, drop sets). Here’s a look at my usual split:

    Sunday:  Legs
    Monday:  Back
    Tuesday:  Chest
    Wednesday:  Active Rest Day
    Thursday:  Shoulders/Traps
    Friday:  Arms
    Saturday:  Functional/HIIT

    What does your diet consist of?
    Diet is the most important piece to achieving any fitness goal. I strongly believe that results will not come just from the gym, but your nutrition has to be just as on point as your workouts.

    Currently, I have two different types of diets, one for my bulking phase, which I normally go through October-March, and my cutting phase, which happens April-September. In both phases, I consume about 5 meals per day, all preplanned and portioned out.

    During my bulking phase, I make a big increase in my nutrition intake, consuming around 350g of carbs, 250g of protein and 120g of healthy fats. I usually weigh in about 220lbs on my bulk. I prefer bulking with complex carbs and try to minimize simple carbs as well as unhealthy fats to ensure that I am picking up as much good clean size.

    During my cutting phase I decrease the amount of carbs I intake to around 200g, fats to around 100g, and maintain my protein intake around 250g. A key difference in my cutting phase is that I will also include CLA and Carnitine into my diet, 2 amazing supplements for assisting with fat loss. My weight usually ranges between 205-210lbs on my cut. Here’s a layout of what my intake daily intake schedule looks like:

    8AM:  Breakfast
    10AM:  Snack
    1PM:  Lunch
    4PM:  Pre gym snack
    8PM:  Post gym shake
    10PM:  Dinner

    What are your top 3 favorite EVL products?
    Such a difficult question being that EVL so many high quality products. For this one I’d have to split my answer in two because my top 3 varies depending on whether I’m cutting or bulking. When bulking, my top 3 are: ENGN®, RecoverMode™ and Stacked Protein ®  Gainer. During my cutting, my top 3 would be: ENGN® Shred, BCAA Lean Energy™, and LeanMode™.  

    Advise to people starting out with fitness?
    Have a planned routine.  If you’re new to the gym or unfamiliar with exercises, the worst thing you can do is start without a plan. Having a set workout routine ensures that you are having not only effective workouts that are going to help you achieve your goal, but will also make sure you aren’t wasting unnecessary time in the gym by wondering what you’ll be doing next. If you struggle with a plan, I’d recommend getting a trainer or an online coach that can design one for you.

    Grab a partner.  Not everyone is capable of taking themselves to the gym and being able to focus on their own. Sometimes a workout buddy can motivate you in ways you wouldn’t imagine. Workout partners can also make fitness a lot more comfortable and fun, especially if you’re one to feel intimidated or nervous when stepping into the gym.

    Take nutrition seriously. Part of losing weight and/or building muscle is controlling both what you put into your body as well as how much you put into your body. For anyone trying to lose or build, you have to make sure you’re outputting or inputting the right amount of calories to meet your goals. You can be committed to the gym as much as you want, but what matters at the end of the day is how you’ll fuel your body.