HIIT it hard
Over the last 10-12 weeks I’ve been dieting down and training for a physique competition called the Muscletalk UKBFF Championships.
Probably because unless I have a goal, my nutrition/training is never as good and I’ve never been happy with my body.
Why am I writing this blog?
Well a few people have asked how I’ve gone from picture 1 to picture 2 in 10 weeks.
This is the first part that needed addressing really.
I was 105kg in January. Jesus, I am embarrassed just writing that.
I let myself go. I got the leanest I’ve ever been last year, around about 8% bodyfat. It was a struggle.
I did a ketogenic diet, plus Intermittent Fasting – you can read a bit more about that here: IF
I hit the weights hard x 2 a day, plus some HIIT training and generally struggled my way from about 20% fat to 8% after realising that I was not a happy boy.
This year, I knew that I had a goal to achieve and I wanted to ensure that it was a better ride than last.
Carb Cycling and Calorie Deficit
There is no way on this planet did I ever think for one moment that I could achieve this without counting calories.
So that’s exactly what I did.
First of all, I worked out my BMR and caloric need using a spreadsheet I put together. Then I reduced that by around 350kcals per day.
Usually I wouldn’t have done this, but you can see it was necessary for me to do that from the pictures.
I am a huge fan of Carb Cycling and I function on a higher fat slightly lower carb diet, so I took that in to consideration.
So I worked out my protein goal, which was extremely high, but again, I prefer this for me personally and then my carb/fat split from that.
So I did a bit of Intermittent Fasting, using the 16:8 protocol for a few weeks to get me started too.
Possibly a bit mental, but I like the balls to the wall style for myself. Definitely don’t take this approach for my clients though!
After a while, the whole IF approach got a little bit hard to do every day, so I dropped it on low carb days as they sucked already, I didn’t want to make it even tougher than it already had become.
Basically, I would make changes weekly, based on weight/caliper measurements. If they hadn’t changed, I’d make a 10g p/d drop in carbs. Every 3 drops in carbs, I’d make a 5g drop in fat.
This worked. A treat.
I do however think that at times I made some dramatic drops when I had a wobbly.
This is down to a few things.
Not having accountability – I will DEFINITELY use a coach next time, to stop me from doing silly things, panicking and making too drastic a decision in my diet.
Not trusting myself – getting negative input from people caused me to really question myself, therefore thinking I wasn’t on track and making some drastic drops, of which I had to counter act and bring myself back from being too low on cals etc.
Currently, with just 12 days until the competition I am on very low calories. Far lower than I’d want to be next time, but, I’ve gradually upped them, and in the whole process, I’ve got down to 88kg, from 95kg in that time, and there has been significant changes in body fat changes. I think I’ve added some lean mass along the way.
Training has been daft at times.
I train with a friend of mine Phil. Great bloke to have alongside you in the gym.
I’m a little bit easy to distract when in the gym, he keeps me focused. Cheers lad!
We adopted Dr Layne Norton’s PHAT training about 8 weeks ago.
It’s a daily undulating periodization program, you can read more about this on Mike’s Blog – HERE
Basically, it works.
Volume increases over the 7-8 weeks we performed it, made a huge difference. I got stronger, I adhered to a plan, and I also learnt a lot about what volume my body could handle. A fair whack, until my calories got lower.
Now, as the tipping point nears, we are just messing about lifting for fun in the gym, nothing too heavy or mad, just stimulating the muscles.
Now this is a big topic.
I hate cardio. Running/Static Cycling/Cross trainers etc, all bore the tits completely off me. It’s a shame that my tits couldn’t have been just bored off me rather than through hard work, but hey ho.
I have done some circuit training, some HIIT sprint intervals, mountain biking, Racketball, interval training, and now, as crunch time nears, less of the HIIT.
More of the steady state stuff.
As much as I hate it, it is a damned sight easier to do than HIIT.
I learnt overtraining. I did HIIT as well as weights for about 7 days in a row.
I crashed, I binged and ate a lot of dark chocolate, about 1000kcals in nuts and about 1000kcals from Greek Yoghurt.
Could have been worse.
I’ve had a few vino’s along the way, some cheat meals, gone over my macros sometimes and other times felt like I really couldn’t be arsed.
All in all, the process has taught me a few things about myself, which I am glad about, and I have enjoyed it immensely.
I would encourage those who are embarking on a fat loss protocol to get a coach.
I would also encourage to take it a lot slower than I did, because I had a lot to lose, and not a lot of time to do it in.
It sucked at times, but we go there in the end.