Respect Where You Are Through What You’ve Been Through
Six months ago I started a health journey that took me from 26% body fat to where I currently sit at 16.9%. With all the frustration in previous programs, I’m happy to settle with one that is yielding results. As 2017 starts, I’m excited and anticipating the journey ahead to achieve a goal I thought nearly unattainable. The past six months were challenging old habits relentlessly and for a large majority were thwarted. I kept my goals conscious in all my actions. I went to the Wisconsin vs. Michigan game where tailgating ensued and I remained strong and true to my goals.
At times, I found myself excited to get to the gym, while others I felt as if I was going through the motions. Getting my ass in the gym wasn’t close to the toughest part. The dieting and justifications for poor diet habits were the worst part. It wasn’t until I laid out a plan for my macros consistently and consciously providing my body the necessary nutrition to meet my goals did I see changes in my body. I picked foods I normally consumed, but had to cut back or eliminated other foods, primarily beer and foods that pair well with beer. Through these cuts and strategic timed eating, the past six months have provided significant changes.
My Six Month Roadmap to Body Composition Success
My goals in the first six months differed. Mainly my goals in mind, dial in the diet, drink less beer, and stick to the Bigger Leaner Stronger program. If you’ve been keeping tabs on my progress, you’ll know that what I’ve done so far has been successful in terms of body composition. My goals this time around are straight forward and simple. My overall goal is to achieve 10-12% body fat. So how do I get there? How would you get there?
1. Knowing Where You Are
In order to get where you want to go, you need to know where you are. At the base of this, you’ll need to know your body fat percentage. Here’s a way you can measure your body fat percentage. I’ve gone the lazy way about things and have used my scale to retrieve my body fat percentage. You’ll also need to know how much you weigh, which I’m sure you can figure that out a bit more easily than body fat percentage.
For reference, I’m sitting at 16.9% BF and 168.8 lbs.
2. Calorie Consumption and Macro-Nutrients *
I’m looking to achieve 10-12% body fat over the next six months while keeping up my strength. For my purposes, I’m looking to cut. On muscleforlife.com a handy calorie/macro-nutrient calculator is provided to help dial in your diet. After you have your numbers from the calculator, make a spreadsheet of foods you enjoy and try to closely match your targets from the calculator. Here’s my spreadsheet of foods I enjoy and how I’ve dialed in my diet to help cut. I will note that my dinners typically healthy, but with a family I don’t eat the same thing every evening. How boring on the pallet would that be to eat the same thing every day? For some healthier dinner ideas, my wife and I have used recipes from the the Shredded Chef. We’ve enjoyed the gram cracker encrusted tilapia, protein pudding bars, french toast, muffins, and pork tenderloin.
Timing of your calorie consumption and the macro-nutrients are also important. As a guideline, I typically am a bit carbohydrate heavy before my workout, and protein heavy post workout.
*This is the hardest step in the roadmap. Mainly this is a lifestyle change in every aspect and moment in your life. I often found myself with “justification calories” or “what’s another beer going to hurt” mentality.
3. Weight Training
My weight training regimen will remain the same except, I’ll be working through eight weeks instead of my normal six weeks. For MOST weight training exercises, I’m doing three sets four to six reps. Should I get to six reps, I will increase five pounds per dumbbell or ten pounds be barbell usage. Between each set, I’m waiting two minutes between each set.
Cardio is limited to three sessions a week and will remain as High Intensity Interval Training sessions. For a mix of cardio activities so I’m not bored, I range from sprints on a treadmill, jumping rope with box jumps, and elliptical intervals. Typically these sessions last 10-25 minutes. If you’re in need of a timer for interval training, I’ve created a HIIT Timer available in the Apple App Store. I also play hockey on Sundays providing the best, and in my opinion MOST FUN, HIIT workout.
Six Month Roadmap Expected Result
With this roadmap above, it is expected that I lose 0.5-1lbs/week. I’m aiming to get my weight down to 159lbs and hopefully that will lead me to my 10% body fat percentage. After this stage has been completed, I will begin a bulk stage which will require more calories and heavier weights. Until then, wish me luck! Happy New Year!
Have questions? Email me at email@example.com