Original Post Date: June 14, 2012
The following was originally posted (via Facebook) exactly 6 months after I decided to completely revamp my life style. I hope to do this again in December to aid in realizing how much you can really do within a mere 365 days.
"At new years I decided that my resolution would be to make 2012 the happiest year I could as I feel that happiness is truly a choice. I started with myself: eating healthier and regular exercise. Needless to say that 6 months later (& more than 45lbs lighter) I am thrilled with this decision. Proper eating and exercise gave me better skin, more energy, better sleep, higher cognitive alertness, and a regular release of endorphins. I’ve learned that the only secret to weight loss and being in shape is known as: COMMITMENT. Stay committed and remember that you are what you eat! My hope is that others will realize how easy it is and furthermore how much better you can feel when you take care of yourself… take action!”
*The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new report in which they indicated that an estimated 42% of Americans will be obese by the year 2030.
In response to this posting, I had quite a few lovely young ladies message me regarding what exactly I was doing for such results. I have combined quite a few excerpts from our actual conversations to create a complete overview of my normal day and week.
Well, I started in Jan doing 45-1hr of cardio at least 4-5 days a week. I chose to do my reps before the cardio to ensure that only fat was being burned during the sessions. Around May, after I hit my goal weight (and 50 pounds shaved off later), I reduced cardio to 3-4 times a week and now I focus on my sets mainly which vary day to day between legs, glutes, and abs/arms.
Monday: I’ll do 9 sets of 16 lunges (and I’ve more recently changed them to dancer lunges to increase the intensity as well as the focus zones), 8 sets of 14 Squats, I usually do a set of 20 oblique side lifts using a 15lb weight in between lunge and squat sets also. Lastly it’s time for my 30 minutes of cardio and any ab sets I can fit in (depending on energy).
Wednesday: 4 sets of 20 sit ups (depending on how much energy I have for the work out that day), 3 sets of 20 leg lifts, 2 sets of 20 side leg lifts per leg (so basically 4 sets, 2 per leg), at least 2 sets of 25-30 scissor leg lifts and then 30 min of cardio.
Friday: 4 sets of 16 butterfly press’ for my arms/chest, 4 sets of 16 overhead extensions (these are typically using 5lb weights, you don’t want to hurt yourself and its super easy to do so on arm reps like these) 4 sets of 20 leg lifts and 30 min of cardio.
Saturday: 30 minutes of cardio and I just really do whatever I feel like needs more attention and pull the various workouts together to focus on the parts of my body which I feel need it.
I’ll admit that the first 5 months of my plan were rather vigorous and I did basically everything as explained above but with 45-1hr worth of cardio sessions which is initially what made the weight fall off so fast… During the first 4 months I would work out on Tuesday and Thursday as well, depending on energy and soreness levels. Though you must remain conscious of the fact that recovery is a vital factor in attaining the physique you desire. Allow one day per week for recovery at minimum. It is important to remember that you must listen to your body; If you are sore then you must give your muscles time to regenerate lactic acid.
If you haven’t really been working out though I would suggest starting out with about half of the reps that I do with only 30 min of cardio or so. In addition, when I do cardio I like to cross train or do interval training while jogging/running. However, the main part of this is simply watching what you eat. One of the most important notions I’ve found truth in is the saying “you are what you eat” as it could not be MORE TRUE… it shows in your skin, your hair, eyes, and most importantly you can tell in during your work outs… in order to have a good work out you need to make sure you are eating the mainly the right fats (polys and monos not trans or saturated) etc.
"You are what you eat. So don’t be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."
Theoretically, about 3500 calories equals one pound of body weight. This means that you’d have to take in 3500 fewer calories (or burn a rather high yield of calories) than you usually do, over a period of time, to lose one pound. Keep in mind, this is in theory; what happens in the real world can be very different.
So, while it’s nice to have an equation that generally works, the 3500-calorie figure does not always work out point for pound. However, it can serve as structured guidance and a goal if you are trying to lose weight. By cutting/burning 500 calories a day (a total of 3500 per week), and otherwise eating a balanced diet, you may find you lose approximately a pound a week. This rate of weight loss is considered reasonable and healthy.
Additionally, you will not have appropriate energy if you haven’t properly fed yourself the day before. At home we say "today’s food is tomorrow’s work out" and we focus on eating the most holistic things available… along with very clean lean meats and proper ratio of proteins fats and carbs. Holistic living also includes integration of as many antioxidant ingredients as I can fit in and taking daily multi vitamins (I also take biotin, beta carotene, and fish oil (on occasion - if my skin has been dry).
Feeding your body is an essential part of successfully maintaining that desirable fit physique. Your post workout meal should be within 15-30 minutes post workout as after an intense workout, muscles are depleted and thus require a substantial amount of protein and proper carbs. It is also important to note that during this time frame your muscles and body are in the most adequate form for nutrient intake; as such, be sure to take your vitamins and eat nutrient rich foods during such a window of opportunity.
A good way to remember these important concepts is to recall when you made the initial decision to start exercising and live a healthier life. You chose to dedicate a specified amount of your time per given day, each week for such a priority. Though if you choose not to adequately feed your muscles post workout, you will find yourself lagging with less energy the next day.