Week 1 Before Picture:
- Build muscle, lose fat, and improve overall health. More specifically I want to get my body fat down under 10%.
Keys To Success:
- Consistency will play a large role in my progress. I need to get my workouts done, quickly and efficiently, but need to stay equally focused on my diet/nutrition plan.
I am using a nutrition strategy that is essentially low carb. Simple idea here is to re-train my body to use fat. I am following this principle for the first 4 weeks. I’ll be eating lots of vegetables, protein from sources like eggs, chicken, beef.
I will also be completely cutting out junk foods, pop, desserts, basically anything with sugar in it.
I’ve planned out my workouts down to the duration, rest periods (big one) and times per week for the full 12 weeks.
- My training program will take place 3 times per week; Monday, Wednesday, & Friday. I will NEVER train without resting at least a full day in between. So Tues, Thursday, and the weekend will be my recovery days. Remember, muscles don’t grow while you’re working out, they grow while resting.
- I won’t be doing “extra” cardio like running aimlessly on a treadmill for a couple reasons. First, my weight training workouts are designed to be intense enough I simply won’t need too. Second, traditional cardio is boring and time consuming, and I’m not looking to add more things to do, I’m looking to save time. Third, did you know studies show that doing an intense weight training session will elevate your metabolism for up to 36 hours after you’re done training? Think about that, powerful stuff!
The Actual Workout:
First and foremost I need to warm up, stretch, and get my muscles firing for what’s about to come. I achieve this by doing a quick 5 minute dynamic warm up. I won’t be doing any old school static stretching. Static stretching simply doesn’t work nor does it increase performance. A dynamic warm up primes your body much better for an intense workout that, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do.
The first 4 weeks I’m putting myself through a conditioning program. It looks something like so:
Weeks 1 Through 4:
1A Static Lunge…15 reps…1 set…45 second rest period
1B Incline Dumbbell Press…12 reps…1 set…45 second rest period
2A Hip Extension…15 reps…1 set..45 second rest period
2B Dumbbell Row to Neck…15 reps…1 set…45 second rest period
Ending with about a minute of core work.
* 1A…1B..represents alternating sets. Simply means I’ll do one set of exercise A….rest for 45 seconds…then move to exercise B…
- I’m using very basic equipment throughout this 12 week challenge.
an incline/decline bench
chin up bar
- I got all my equipment locally through kijiji so I didn’t spend a fortune. I think I paid around $80 for a very good used bench that would have easily cost $300 new. The dumbbells were not that cheap but I have steel hex dumbbells that are very good and will pretty much last a lifetime. They range in weight from 10lbs to 60lbs. Quick piece of advice about shopping for dumbbells. Stay away from those old Weider plastic cement filled weights. I know they are cheapest, and they are also the worst quality. I used them when I started training at age 16 and I can still remember like it was yesterday how frustrating those things become.
Stopwatch – a stopwatch is a definite must have. It only cost me 10 bucks and it help keeps me accountable to the rest periods I’ve laid out in my training program. I like to think of my stopwatch as my coach. If I was working out with a coach he would be standing over me, timing my rest periods, then telling me to GO time to start a
Workout Log – another big piece to the puzzle. Over the years I have always used a training a log to track exactly what I am doing each week. I record sets, reps, weight used, the training date, etc. I’ve worked out in several commercial gyms over the last 10 years and It amazed me looking around that hardly anyone was tracking their workouts!
Keep in mind a workout log can simply be a piece of paper. You don’t have to get fancy and get the latest iphone fitness app (which then just becomes another distraction making your workout longer). I use a small plain workbook from the dollar store and it does the job.
Overall Fitness & Conditioning:
One of my goals during this challenge is to improve my health. So I went to the doctor and got some blood work done (cholesterol, fasting glucose, etc) so I can gauge the overall effectiveness my training/nutrition is having on my cardiovascular health. I also booked a follow up appointment 4 weeks later so I can compare the results.