- Wait, what’s a “Zyzz”?
- From Ectomorph to Aesthetics God
- Get Shredded like Zyzz Part 1: The Fat-Shredding Diet
- “Get shredded like Zyzz” Part 2: Training
Wait, what’s a “Zyzz”?
Get out. You know who he is.
But seriously, in case you live under a rock, Zyzz (spelled Z-Y-Z-Z, NOT “ZIZZ”) was the poster-boy (Seriously, he has fan sites dedicated to him) for amateur bodybuilding and lean-mass aesthetics. In fact, at 6’2 he epitomized the ectomorphic bodybuilder.
Arnold-style mass, he wasn’t. Insanely ripped, he was. Skinny Yoked is all about lean mass and Zyzz epitomized what you could call being a “yoked as f*ck ectomorph”.
You can’t truly appreciate what the man did until you see one of his amazing before/after transformation pictures.
From Ectomorph to Aesthetics God
From the late 2000s up to his untimely death at just 22 years old, Zyzz was the guy that “gymrats” wanted to be, and girls wanted to get under.
Even five years after Zyzz died in Thailand, his ripped-to-shreds body and wild lifestyle are driving people to hit the squat rack instead of the club (even though he was a club rat too).
Fact: 7/10 trolls on Reddit and Youtube that talk sh*t about Zyzz secretly have his poster above their beds.
Zyzz, (or Aziz Shavershian), set the bodybuilding scene on fire, not just because of his crazy aesthetics, but ‘cos of his swagger, arrogant catchphrases, party-loving attitude and ‘dirty bodybuilder’ lifestyle. Not to mention the dumb-as-hell chat-roulette videos.
Zyzz putting on a chat Roulette show. Not really our thing but there’s no denying that the ladies sure seem to get a kick out of it.
There’s no doubt Zyzz was self-aware of his “bro” egotist image, but to him it was all a part of “the show”.
I love playing up my perceived stereotype, and at the end of the day, never take myself seriously, which is one of the reasons I have accrued the fan base that I have. -Zyzz (Simplyshredded)
Then in 2011, Zyzz died suddenly of a heart attack in a sauna in Thailand. It took the bodybuilding world by storm, and a bunch of online communities even started to wonder if it was some kind of internet joke or CIA-style conspiracy theory. We think that given his love of partying, drugs, and steroids, it’s probably not a conspiracy.
Then again who knows, maybe he’s getting his pump on at a private beach somewhere with Elvis and Heath Ledger. We won’t rain on anyones parade.
Even though Zyzz was on the record as juicing, and told Tim Sharky he was on ‘everything’ shortly before he died, it doesn’t change the fact that Shavershian’s body was built on more than just drugs. You can’t get a body like that from a needle. It takes dedication, diet, and training to unlock Zyzz-level aesthetics. And that’s what this article is about.
Gear is only a small part of the equation. The mentality, exercises and whole foods diet of a bodybuilder are even more important and those are the areas we wish to explore the most.
We’re going to give you the most comprehensive training and diet plan to get a Zyzz body and honor Shavershian’s legacy in 2017.
We built this complete workout guide using info from real interviews with Zyzz online, his contributions to online bodybuilding forums, and his general philosophy to life, eating, and training. Let’s start by talking about nutrition.
Get Shredded like Zyzz Part 1: The Fat-Shredding Diet
The three commandments of the Zyzz diet (you should be doing this already bro)
- Ditch the soft drinks. Only water and green tea.
- No sugar and s***t. Get rid of the candy.
- Obviously, stay away from McDonalds and similar. Fast food won’t get you shredded.
Eat Big, Eat Clean, Eat Often
Zyzz wasn’t into cardio, and preferred to keep his ripped physique in check through diet alone. That’s great news for some of you guys; if you hate running, cycling, or in anything that doesn’t involve sitting on your ass, you’ll be pleased to know you don’t have to run 10 miles a day to get the Zyzz body. But just for the record, do some cardio for your own heart health. It’s not that hard.
Zyzz wasn’t that big on cardio because he was a natural ectomorph and was probably burning calories like mad, and to him cardio was just a waste of burnt calories.
For a sample diet plan, this is one Zyzz himself posted online. First take a read, then we’ll look at analysis below.
- 6 whole boiled eggs, protein shake, 2 cups oatmeal
- Boiled chicken breast (300g), brown rice and broccoli
- Tuna in water (200g) spinach leaves, pasta (wholemeal)
- PWO (Post workout) shake, supplements as necessary (e.g. multivitamin)
- Stirfry with either kangaroo or beef (lean protein) and vegetables
- Lean protein (kangaroo or steak) and vegetables
- 4 eggs, scrambled, with salmon
- No-fat cottage cheese before bed
Calorie estimate: 3800
Protein estimate: 400g
You can see from the sample meal plan that lean gains don’t mean small meals and feeling hungry all the time. Sure, some of it depends on your metabolism and body type, but the bottom line is that to get lean muscle, you’ve got to eat clean, and eat big, especially if you’re a tall ectomorph like Zyzz was.
We’re looking at approximately 8 meals including post-workout nutrition, a hell of a lot of lean protein, and a decent serving of green stuff. Whole-grains like brown rice and pasta provide the carbohydrate, and big servings of lean meat like beef steak or kangaroo pack in most of the protein.
Timing of meals never seemed to be a huge priority to Zyzz, and he subscribed to a philosophy that let it slip on occasion – not a cheat day, but going to festivals meant no time to eat six whole eggs. But this is a 95/5 diet. That means follow it 95% of the time and only a 5% slip. If you don’t follow that rule of thumb, you won’t get the Zyzz-tier aesthetics.
Most diets fail because they’re too extreme. They’re 100/0, as in, dieters take on too much and eventually snap because everyone needs to give themselves a little wiggle room for the occasional non-eggwhite based food.
A healthy mind and positive disposition are just as important as a balanced diet.
For your balanced diet, try to aim for a decent serving of protein from a range of protein sources – primarily eggs and meat. No junk. No sugar. Keep it clean.
To summarize in one sentence: Eat lean at a calorie surplus, and go minimum 1.5g protein per lb of bodyweight. Follow the three aesthetics commandments above.
What about Supplements?
Zyzz was open about using less than legal gear to help build and maintain his physique, but he also used plenty over-the-counter supplements to help maintain his health and growth. (Source: Simply Shredded interview with Zyzz) These included:
- A standard hydrolyzed whey protein
- High potency fish oil capsules (look for high DHA content)
- Animal pack multivitamin (another alternative is O.N’s Opti-men)
- Xtend for BCAA’s (BCAA’s are a must for the long workouts he’d do. We recommend O.N’s Amino Energy as it’s tested and doesn’t contain creatine if you’re already supping that.)
- ZMA (to promote solid sleep and recovery)
- Vitamin C (keep immune system strong. Getting sick means lost gym time!)
- Green Tea (antioxidants and metabolism booster)
- A over-the-counter pre-workout like Mesomorph or Jack3d. (Unfortunately neither are available via big name shops like Amazon anymore, however SY highly recommends B-Nox by Betancourt for serious lasting energy and a dope ingredient profile.)
Here is a summary of some of the supplements that are LEGAL that can help you stay anabolic and build lean mass over-time in combination with a workout plan. Note, to achieve Zyzz-like shredded however you’ll probably need to invest in something a “little stronger” in the long run.. but first get your essentials covered.
“Get shredded like Zyzz” Part 2: Training
The three commandments of a Zyzz training program:
1. “Don’t follow what a piece of paper says. Go with how your body feels.”
2.”Visualize your goals in your head and eliminate all negativity in your mind.”
3. “It’s your willpower and determination that are the ultimate deciders in whether or not you will achieve your goals.”
* Training tip #1 is very important. People search things on the internet and expect copying to produce the exact same result. This simply can’t happen given everyone’s different genetics and starting point. Instead, take Zyzz’s words of wisdom to heart and listen to your own body.
Training Plan – Train high volume. Train heavy. Train hard.
Monday: Chest & Biceps
- 4 sets of Incline Dumbbell Press, 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Bench Press, 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Incline Flies, 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Chest Dips until failure
- 3 sets of Barbell Curls, 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Preacher Curls, 8-10 reps, then drop the weight to half, and push out another
***For a variation check out the SY Mass-Building Chest Workout for Ectomorphs***
Tuesday: Legs & Calves
- 4 sets of Squats 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Lunges 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Leg Press 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Leg Extensions till failure
- 3 sets of Leg Curls 8-10 reps
- Standing Calve raises, seated calve raises, mixed variations of high volume, high time-under-tension sets.
- 3 sets of Lat Pulldowns 8-10 reps
- 4 sets of Deadlifts 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Bent Over Rows 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Dumbell Rows 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Hyperextensions 8-10 rep
Thursday: Shoulders & Triceps
- 4 sets of Shoulder Press, alternate with Barbell & Dumbell every week 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Upright Rows supersetted with Lateral Raises 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of front raises 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Lying Rear Delt Raises 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Close-Grip Bench Press 8-10 reps
- 4 sets of Pulldowns 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Skull-crushers 8-10 rep
Friday: Day Off:
- Catch up on sleep
- Maintain a relationship/get laid
- Go rock out with your c*ck out
Saturday: Full Body Workout (Compound Lifts)
- 3 sets of Deadlifts 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Squats 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Clean and Jerk 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Weighted Pull ups 8-10 rep
This is an intense training program. We’re talking a 5-day split including a full-body Saturday workout. It’s not for the faint-hearted and you’d better give it the respect it deserves. But with hard training and dedication comes real reward. So if you want Zyzz style aesthetics, this is what you’ve gotta get on board with.
Combine it with the diet plan and you see why we’re looking at 3800 – 4000 calories a day. Your body needs that fuel. Train intense, train hard, and keep a positive state-of-mind. If you need some Zyzzspiration, blast some trance music. Tiesto’s Clublife podcast is a great one that’s updated weekly!
Personally, we think that cutting down this routine to a four day split is good enough. Remember, Zyzz did have some chemical help, which definitely let him run a training program this intense. While you can do it without, this might be counterproductive.
We’d suggest you take it down to a four day program, especially if you have a full-time job. Zyzz’s intense workout routine is fine for a full-time bodybuilder but difficult for a someone with full-time daily commitments.
Cut out the full body Saturday and throw in a run or some cardio instead. This is especially applicable if you’re not a natural ectomorph like Zyzz. Swimming is one of our favorite therapeutic cardio exercises.
There you have it. Now you’ve got the info to go out and get ripped as f*ck like Zyzz.
Make no mistake, that path is difficult, challenging, and intense. But if you’ve got the passion and the energy, there’s no reason you can’t do it too.
So we’ll leave you finally with one of Zyzz’s favorite quotes:
“Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.”