If you were to ask Fitmark Ambassador Jakub Szylak for the most valuable lesson he learned for putting on size, he’d say, “Train SMART!” As an injury-prone athlete in his second year of high school, Jakub spent more time on the sidelines than on the football field. After learning more about training smart and proper technique, Jakub developed a safe and intelligent weight lifting program that has stayed with him through college.
During his first year of playing football in high school at the age of 13, Jakub was impressed by how big the older, varsity players were and he knew he wanted to be more like them. He told us:
That’s what started to fuel the fire within me to become a better athlete.
But like most young guys who want to be more muscular, they’ll over-train, lift too heavy and sacrifice form over technique just to get there quicker. But that can only lead to injury and will set you back with your gains. Steady, consistent progress is the way to go. This is what Jakub learned. Tired of spending his time in the sidelines due to injuries, Jakub took a different approach to his diet and fitness. He told us:
Going into my second year, I made the varsity team but unfortunately I was on the sideline due to being very injury prone. This went on until mid-season of my Junior year. During that time, I started doing more research on training and dieting and making sure I was training SMART, meaning that I wasn’t doing lifts incorrectly and I made sure that the type of training I was performing would help me excel on the field. Throughout my years in high school I learned how to build an awesome athletic physique through proper dieting (consuming LARGE meals consisting of protein, and carbohydrates) as well as busting my butt every day in the gym no matter what came up.
The more he learned, the more he grew and the more he realized how much he wanted to share his knowledge with others and help them avoid making the same mistakes. He says:
Even though football was a key factor to fitness becoming a lifestyle for me I also realized that I loved helping others and giving them helpful tips on how they could live a better lifestyle which has stayed that way.
Macronutrients and Muscle
For muscle development, Jakub has fine tuned his diet to suit his caloric needs and found the right macronutrient profile that works for his body type. He told us:
I run on a 40/35/25 diet, which means that 40% of my caloric intake is carbohydrates, 35% is protein, and 25% is fats. When trying to put on muscle I always try to keep my protein intake high because those are the macronutrients that help with muscle recovery and growth. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy that keep me going throughout the day, and key when pushing through high volume workouts. I’m lucky enough that my body utilizes fats very efficiently so even if I do consume too much fat, it won’t affect me in a negative way.
Getting to know which macronutrient profile works for you takes a bit of trial and error. But if you’re building muscle, a 40/30/30 split is recommended as a good place to start. Jakub has found what works for him and he says:
I run on this diet throughout most of the year, unless I am prepping for a NPC show or a photoshoot, in which case I will bring down my intake of carbohydrates. During competition prep I ALWAYS prep the meals I would eat throughout the day for that week in one big batch so I wouldn’t have to stress about making a meal that day if I’m in a time crunch. When I’m not a contest prep, I make all my meals the night before for the next day just to make sure I don’t have an excuse to go out and buy food.
To stay on track with his meal prep and diet plan, Jakub uses his Fitmark Bags every day for college, the gym and everything in between. He told us:
I love my Fitmark Envoy Backpack! When commuting to school every day, nothing is worse than getting there with one snack and 8 hours to figure out how I’m going to survive the rest of the day. Thankfully when Cr2 Talent gave me the opportunity to become an ambassador for Fitmark, I took the opportunity immediately. Having this Fitmark bag makes my life 100x easier being able to fit my meals in it as well as my laptop, and school binders.
Jakub’s Top 3 Fit Tips
- Don’t take away all the fat from your diet! Contrary to common misconception, fats are extremely important for the human body and if paired with aerobic exercise they can be utilized to help create energy for longer workouts.
- Keep Cardio Fun! Losing weight doesn’t mean you must walk on a treadmill for hours on end or a Stairmaster in that case. Keep it simple and fun by doing interval training, jump roping, using battle ropes, sprints, row machines and having your heart rate high for a shorter period rather than keeping it at a moderate level for an extended period.
- Prep Your Meals! At first it might seem a bit difficult to figure out what to prep, but once you know your foods of choice that contain protein, carbohydrate, and fats in portioned meals then you are already ahead of the game! Prepping meals will not only help you eat consistently but will also help keep those unwanted snack cravings away that can lead to weight gain.
You can follow Fitmark Ambassador Jakub Szylak on Instagram @jakub_sizzfitness