At Aflete we know how to appreciate rock hard perfect abs and Alex VanDerlinden has some of the greatest abs we’ve ever seen! We get the low down on how his diet which helps him to eat the foods he wants as well as maintaining his chiseled physique as well as workout tips from the NPC bodybuilder, model and online health coach. As well as having a body to die for Alex is an advocate of the macro counting diet which allows you to have more flexibility with what you eat and he believes it has been a great way for him to stay in superb shape yet enjoy the occasional treat.
Q Can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do for anyone who hasn’t come across your Instagram before?
I am 22 years old and fitness has changed my life. I started lifting when I was 15 years old and I could not stop, I was hooked. I was one of the skinniest kids in my whole school and I was sick of being over looked by girls and not having any confidence. When I was 15 I literally had almost no friends, because of how low my confidence was and I spent all my time playing video games. Within just 3 months of lifting I immediately started having more confidence and making more friends. Working out gave me something in common with a lot of people and it created friendships.
Q You are in incredible shape – how long have you been training?
I have been lifting for in between 6-7 years so I have learned a lot of things that work for me and things that don’t. When you’re just starting off, you will do anything that another person swears by, but over time you realize due to genetics or other differences it doesn’t work for you. This is what makes fitness a journey and a lifestyle. I have been competing in men’s physique for a little over a year and a half. I would recommend everyone to at least do one competition, it really makes you stay extra focused and motivated. You also learn so much about nutrition timing and again what works best for you.
Q You are a model for DT Model Management, how did you get involved with them and how did that change your training / diet?
I got involved with Modeling and DT model management, through sending my pictures out to agencies and photographers. I did a shoot with John Conroy and he really helped me find a good agent in DT. Once I got in shape and people started complimenting me often, I thought “Man If I could make money just being me that would be awesome”. So this inspired me to scope out the modeling industry.
Q You are a big supporter of macro counting – people sometimes have misconceptions about what macros are and how macro counting diets work – can you tell us what it means for you?
The biggest mistake people do not do, that want to get their body to change is not count their macros. You have to know what’s going into your body, everything! I make a goal and it’s usually 2400 calories, 40%protein 40% carbs and 20% fat on a normal day. I have to meet these numbers to keep the body composition that I want. If I miss by a couple percent, it is not the end of the world but I have to shoot for this daily. It’s so easy to eat 1 or 2 healthy meals and think you’re going to see results but when it’s the end of the day and you want popcorn or ice cream, it’s nice to not have the guilt when you can fit it into your macros. You cannot succeed without knowing what you’re eating and how much.
Q Since you have been on the macro diet how has it changed your life / training / diet?
Counting my macros has changed my physique drastically. My first years of lifting up to my first show when I was 20, I never counted my macros. I looked good for an average dude who lifted everyday but I never could dial in my body and truly get very, very lean. I started counting my macros shortly after my first show and I was blown away with how much I actually was eating and when I found out the best macro percent for me , My body went to the next level.
Q What do you think is the biggest advantage of macro dieting?
The biggest advantage of Macro dieting, is knowing what you ate and how much instead of halfway remembering and forgetting about the snack or treat you had. When you track everything, it becomes second nature and your body will drastically change! There is nothing more important and it’s not even hard. I was always turned off by it because I thought it would be hard, technology makes it so easy. I know so many people who say they really want to change but they don’t count their macros, needless to say they haven’t changed nor seen results and become burnt out and end up binge eating or quitting.
Q What are your 3 top tips for people just starting out who want to start macro dieting and working out?
My three top tips would be:
1 – Make a monthly, 3 month and yearly goal
2 – Start
3 – Don’t stop
Q You have a young son, how do you manage taking care of him and bringing him up healthy – what advice do you have for other parents who want to bring their children up healthy?
My advice for parents who want to bring their kids up healthy is make it fun. Take them to the grocery store let them help you pick out healthy options and help them learn what is healthy and what is junk. My son loves eating healthy and knowing it’s good for him, and also remember they still are kids and if they are in good health definitely let them have some treats. However instilling these healthy conscious into them early really can help mold them to be healthy as adults. Also so many moms or dads say they are so busy and they don’t have time for making food and working out. If I were to pick one, I would have them eat healthy. It is so important and if they really wanted to get healthy they would not find time they would make time. There is definitely time where I get up for work at 6, get off at 5 and go straight to gym then grocery store and I am finally home at 930 and I have to cook my meals for the next day. You have to do what you have to do, and sometimes instead of watching TV for an hour before bed, you cook. Or even better you put the TV in the kitchen and it’s much easier to accomplish your goals.
Q What is your impression of Aflete (a social platform exclusively for food, health and fitness), do you think it would have any advantages over the current platforms?
My impression of Nomnom is that they are going to be part of the growing fitness community and tools used to achieve the health and body you didn’t think that you could. I think its advantages will be its cookbooks and having people who can promote the product via showing the results you can get with it.
Q What features would you like to see Aflete introduce to cater to your needs?
The feature I would like to see in it is a database that you can search for the food in and it saves the calories for you and tracks the Macros. Also being able to see the pie chart of your % macros for the day, or week.
Q How can people keep up with you or get online coaching from you?
If anybody is interested in changing their body drastically and staying motivated and helping to minimize their mistakes from others advice or what you heard on TV, I can be reached at Trainingalex36@yahoo.com and Instagram naturalex36. I offer daily to weekly to monthly rates and help.