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Premise: It was a whirlwind romance that started out as an innocent friendship ended with a declaration of “I like you” and talks about what it would be like to be married and plans of a future together, but due to current circumstances we had to end it. It only lasted a
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“And the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers is always the first to be touch’d by the thorns.”
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We’ve all been there. Injuries happen. Life happens. Regardless of your reason, I am here to help you get back into the gym and on a structured eating and supplement regiment. You have a dream about what your body should look like, so put down the Bud Light, it’s time to get to work.
Chances are you currently aren’t eating small meals through out the day, haven’t been to the gym regularly in weeks or even months and don’t even know where to start. That’s okay. Over the next 5 days, we are going to evaluate your current eating, supplementation and training habits and then implement 5 changes (minimum) to get you where you want to be by the end of the 5 days.
At the end of the 5 days, my goal is to have you back into a routine. Once you are back into a routine of going to the gym regularly, eating small meals throughout the day and following a proper supplement regiment, you can start perfecting things. Remember that you need to walk before you can run.
Chapter 1: Working the Steps.
Step 1: Assess your current eating and training habits. Decide where you want to be
A) Ask yourself what you want to change. Pick a minimum of 5 things. Be honest with yourself. Don’t just do this mentally. Write this down so you have something concrete. Be specific with your goals. Here are 5 examples but please do set some of your own.
1) Drink more water
2) Eat a minimum of 2 servings of vegetables per day
3) Eat 6 small meals a day that all contain protein
4) Weight train 5 days a week
5) Perform 30 minutes of cardio 3 days a week
B) Different people have different ideas of clean eating. An example of clean eating is listed at the end that includes animal protein sources. You have the option to make substitutions based on personal and religious reasons.
Expanding on that, everyone has different goals when it comes to training. An example workout program is listed at the end. If you have any current injuries or specific goals you can modify the program to your specific needs. However, this program will be a good starting point for most people looking to add lean muscle mass and decrease body fat.
Step 2: Know your caloric needs
Calculate your energy expenditure to see what calories you require daily and what portion sizes you should be eating. The macronutrient breakdown I recommend is 40% carbohydrates, 40% protein and 20% fat. You can use calculators to find out the macronutrient contents of your favorite foods, or follow the diet example I have listed at the end.
To find out how much you should be eating: calculate your TDEE. A good simple way is juts to take your desired bodyweight and multiply it by 12. That equation should give you your caloric maintenance level. So a guy that wants to be 200lbs would multiply that number by 12, which would give him about 2,400 calories per day to maintain that much muscle mass. An athlete trying to cut down to say 185 would need to times that number by 12, which would give him 2,220 calories per day. This is the best way to find the caloric maintenance for your desired bodyweight. For guys bulking, you may want to add an extra 10% – 15% of your caloric intake on training days to offset calories burned.
Most people are surprised to find out how much they are under-eating. Muscle is a very energy demanding tissue in the body. Each pound of muscle requires approximately 50 calories per day just to maintain its function. Eating too little is just as bad as eating too much. Remember it’s all about balance. Think of your body as a high performance racecar. You want to fuel it optimally so you can perform at a high level, look and feel great.
If you are currently under eating you will need to slowly work your way up to the required calorie level over weeks and months. Start with 60-70% of the calories you should be eating and add 100 calories to your diet every 2-3 weeks. Don’t ever force food and make yourself feel sick.
Step 3: Take action now
Implement the 5 changes (minimum) over the next 5 days. Keep them quantitative so you can measure progress and make sure you implemented all the changes. For example, if your goal is to eat more frequently, set a number of how many meals you want to eat per day, and track yourself. Give yourself a nice big checkmark on a calendar (paper or your smartphone) every day that you accomplish this goal.
Keep that checklist on the fridge or on your phone so you are currently reminded of the changes you want to make. The first few days are the hardest because you are redeveloping a routine.
Chapter 2: Putting It All Together – The diet
A) Diet characteristics
PLUS whatever changes you wrote down in step one that isn’t already included in the above list.
B) Meals ideas
The ideas follow this pattern: Pair one serving of protein (vegetable or animal) with 1-2 servings of vegetables and (option) one serving of complex carbohydrates. Examples:
1) Braised beef with grilled broccoli, onion and sweet potato
2) Whey protein powder mix with almond milk
3) Beef & vegetable chili
4) Veggies with hummus
5) Egg whites with oats
C) The following sample diet is an example of how to eat in a given week. You may substitute things of similar caloric value while keeping in mind the challenge characteristics listed under A. You may also switch the meals around. The diet plan is created for a 180-pound male who is getting back into the gym after a lay off. Either increase or decrease portion sizes to make the diet tailored to you.
The suggested whey protein listed in the diet program can be purchased from: https://www.needtobuildmuscle.com/store/Proteins/Isolation-p67.html
Chapter 3: Putting It All Together – The workout program
A) Workout program characteristics
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