The recipe to changing your physique in 16 weeks
Disclaimer: This is not a quick fix program. You must put in a tremendous amount of work over the next 16 weeks. The more compliant you can be with the below principles, the better results you will get.
Principle #1: Workout Design
- Perform 7-9 training sessions a week
- One day completely off, so that means 1-3 days may have 2 workouts in that day.
- 3-4 strength workouts (you can do traditional body part splits or upper/lower body splits; the key is to push yourself and move well during these sessions)
- 2 cardio workouts (lower intensity, 45-60 minutes: treadmill walk or run, bike, elliptical, swimming; conversation pace for these sessions)
- 2-3 high-intensity interval/circuit workouts.
(bike sprints/running sprints/bodyweight circuits, etc; volume control is key here, too much and you risk injury)
Here is an example:
- Overtraining can happen when you are not recovering properly so pay attention to when the body is in a fatigued/stressed state; when you notice this fatigued state, decrease training session volume and intensity for a few days so you can bounce back and continue training and high effort levels
- Consistency with your workouts is a key component
Principle #2: Nutrition should support your goals
- Main foods will be: lean proteins (chicken, lean steak or hamburger, ground turkey, fish, eggs) – approximately 1-2 g per pound of bodyweight; 3-4 servings of vegetables (all colors), 2-3 servings of fruits, 2-3 servings of healthy fats (avocado, raw nuts, healthy oils and natural nut butters) – measure and know what 1 serving is as these calories can add up, 1-2 servings of lean dairy (milk, cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt) – one serving is 1 slice of cheese or 1 cup of milk; specific carbohydrates like small amounts (fist size) of brown rice/pasta/bread (1 serving a day) – carbohydrate consumption is dependent on training volume/performance goals
- Know your basal metabolic rate (http://www.bmrcalculator.org/), this is the number of calories you burn throughout the day. This matters when you are trying to get leaner. Put together a detailed food log periodically throughout the 16 weeks so you get an idea of the food coming in. (I recommend starting on day 1 and food log for 7-10 straight days to get started)
- COUNT EVERYTHING that you eat. Any nibbling, snacking, etc…it all counts! Once we get this food log, we can adjust the calories/macronutrients to support your goals.
- If you eat 3 meals a day that equates to 21 meals a week; 18-19 of those meals should support your goal. That’s 72-76 out of 80 meals in the month. The meals you decide to indulge on shouldn’t be large portions because that can disrupt the rest of the week. For example, if you take the kids to pizza, enjoy 2 small slices and 2 big plates of salad with light dressing. So indulge a bit but don’t shoot yourself in the foot.
- Limit alcohol intake to 4-6 drinks per week. (1 drink is 12 oz light beer/4 oz of wine/1 shot of hard liquor.) Though drinking is fun to do in a social environment, these calories can sabotage your fat loss goals, especially if the buzz you get leads you to late night munching, now we are in trouble.
Principle #3: Mindset
- There will be days you may not feel like working out or food logging, and you must do it anyways. These are the days that matter.
- Don’t give in to self-limiting thinking. How you perceive working out and improving your nutrition will matter when it comes to being consistent over the next 16 weeks. You just have to “clock in and do the work.”
- It’s all about being honest with yourself. Are you counting all of your calories? Are you getting in your workouts? Are you taking the time to prep your food? Look in the mirror, ask yourself, “how bad do I want it?” It’s up to your consistent action to answer that question.
- Many people want results in fitness but aren’t really understanding the work that it takes to achieve the goal, so then they think their 2 or 3 workouts a week and “OK” eating” should work. It takes time, effort and a complete mindset shift to get there.
- Life will go on after the initial 16 weeks of when the goal was set. You must create a longer-term mindset and lifestyle in order for you to sustain the results you will get. It’s not a type of thing where you will wake up one day and “arrive” and you stop doing all the action that it took for you to achieve your goal. If you want to maintain the results that you earned, work still has to be done.
- During the process there will be ups and downs. If you are consistently doing the work, no matter the circumstances in your life, you will reap huge benefits.