2012’s New Year’s Resolution was to drop weight from 140 lbs to 110 lbs and maintain a healthy lifestyle. It’s nice to sit here a year later, reflect on my work and be proud of myself that I have achieved just that. Without professional help, I learned how to lose weight the healthy way by reading and becoming knowledgeable about the body, nutrition, and exercises. Trust me, I didn’t know what reps and sets were just about 9 months ago. After tons of research, I learned the best way for me to build up to the physique I wanted was to shed fat first and build muscle later. I went to seek whatever methods I could to do just that. In this post I will provide a brief overview of how I did it. Please be informed that this was all done through my own research and my own experience. I’m giving a summary of my own progress throughout the year and how it worked for me. By no means does this mean the same plan will work for you. Everybody is different! However, there is no harm to sharing your experiences because you might find some people can relate and some people can even learn from it I did not follow any workout programs or have instructions from a personal trainer until I started to build muscle (my physique in Oct 2012). I will talk more about the phases in greater detail in later posts. But my overall year progress here will be divided into 3 phases:
Phase 1: Shedding the fat
Phase 2: The Gradual Muscle Building
Phase 3: The Bulking
Phase 1: Shedding the Fat.
Losing weight is a result of how many calories we expend versus how many calories we take in. Therefore this means we need to create a deficit. So I measured and calculated some numbers according to my body statistics or to put it more simply a tool like CalorieCount also did the trick. It tells you how many calories you need to expend and how many calories you need to eat in order to lose the weight. For rapid weight loss, I made sure to expend more calories than I ate. This means a typical day for me would be performing cardio where I would expend around 1000 calories and I ate even less than that. I only did this for a month until I realized that this is most definitely not the healthy way to lose to weight. I increased my calorie input according to my needs and I continued doing excessive cardio. My cardio included using the elliptical, running or circuit training. Circuit training is a form of exercise where you constantly move one workout to the other. Thanks to Peanut Butter Fingers, a great example of a workout I performed looks like this. I would perform circuits that involved using upper and lower body strength for maximum fat loss results. No weights were used during this phase. I also stuck to a super clean diet full of protein, vegetables and only oatmeal in the morning. I consumed zero cheats.
As a result, I got rid of 30 pounds in two months. That is a SIGNIFICANT amount of weight in only 2 months, and it’s not recommended but believe it or not, I had a great amount of energy during the time. And it worked for me? =)
Phase 2: The Gradual Muscle Building
At first I liked the way I felt. All this fat was gone and I felt pretty brand new. At this point everyone had noticed my fat loss and kind comments were raving the air. I ate at my maintenance level to keep the skinny for the while. But over time, it stopped feeling good. Why? Because I wasn’t fit. This body is a result of excessive cardio, no weights, and little carbs. It’s called The Skinny Fat. My glutes were completely gone, I had no definition, no curvature, but more so just a lean skinny body. We don’t want that.
So I knew in order to look fit, I had to build muscle. This was by far the hardest part. There is so much to learn about muscle growth and maintenance that two months time cannot predict. I still have a WHOLE lot to learn.
With a ridiculous amount of researching and making Bodybuilding.com my best friend. I increased my protein intake, measured out correct macronutrients according to my body, and begin my resistance training phase.I learned perfect lower body form of exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts and upper body form with exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, lateral cross overs, cable rows, etc. I went from squatting (50 lbs) due to learning correct form to heavy (155 lbs). In October was where I started to really build muscle now that I got the main gist of it. Lucky enough I came into contact with, Peter Clark, a professional athletic trainer currently training Charlotte Bobcat’s Ben Gordan, and he created a workout program for me that delivered amazing results. This guy really knows what he is talking about.
Phase 3: The Bulking.
In order to reach my desired physique I still needed to build more muscle. I increased my caloric intake and increased weights during lifting sessions. My squats went from 3 sets of 5 reps at 155 lbs to 3 sets of 6 reps to 185 lbs. I didn’t eat entirely clean as well, which was unintended. =X I wouldn’t have carried as much excess fat now if I kept my bulking eats a little cleaner. Whoops.
Phase 4: Cutting.
The new year of working hard and staying sharp mindedly focused on FINALLY HAVING THE PHYSIQUE I’VE ALWAYS WANTED.
Bigger goals this year?
Maybe just maybe you’ll be seeing me on stage!
Lasting words, it’s a brand new year. I don’t know about you but I feel revitalized as hell. Take everything you learned from last year whether good or bad and grow from it. Let’s only look on the bright side and strive to be nothing but BETTER.