The Eating Plan
I really like the eating plan, mainly because it's brainless. The meal plans are based on weight and all you have to do is go to the grocery, prep the food and eat it. You really can't get more simple than that. There are a lot of food combinations but not really what I would call recipes. There are some one-bowl style options that have taught me some new concoctions I wouldn't have come up with on my own. It tells you exactly what to eat and in what portions at each time of the day. You will even know exactly which meal to eat after you workout and can adjust that based on whether or not you workout in the morning or the evening.
You should know that this plan is low calorie and what I would consider to be very low carb. Consequently you will lose water weight the first week. This means you can expect the scales not to move as much on week 2; important to remember if you struggle with the scales mentally. The fat intake is moderate and the protein intake is generous which helps keep you feeling satisfied. This meal plan does include diary such as cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and cheese. The days are broken up into high carb, normal carb and low carb days. The only difference is your intake immediately following your workout. You can expect to only be able to sneak in a starchy carb at two meals a week. For some people that would be complete shock. Although I found that to be a relief after the high carb holiday season because it felt like a detox, it's hard to go from high carb to carbs this low without being mentally prepared.
A couple of negatives: you may feel a decrease in your energy level if you have been really high carb and then start this. That will level out and you can get through your workouts, but just be aware. It's harder to resist temptation when your guard is down. Secondly, drink plenty of water on this eating plan. It's very likely you will experience some constipation. You may have to add some fiber.
Mike Roussell is a fantastic resource and he offers very helpful information with this program. He explains things very well and offers solutions for beyond the 4 weeks, which I think is crucial. Mike tries to make himself accessible. I've learned a lot from his work this past year.
The Training Plan
Those who know me know I'm an Alwyn Cosgrove fan. He doesn't disappoint with his classic, no-nonsense style. It's hard to beat a Cosgrove workout and I find I turn to his work when I need to get grounded. This is no exception.
The workouts are just flat brutal. On paper they are always deceiving. Leg work, pushes, pulls, a little jumping around, yeah, yeah, I can do this! After a thorough warm-up you jump right into heavy lower body work and get busy. The general flow is strength (low reps, heavy weight), then a transition zone, (less weight, higher reps), then a burn zone (higher reps, less weight but cursing by now) and finally a metabolic workout that will leave you asking for a piggyback ride to your car. Those are the strength training days!
The days in between are metabolic days. Interval training, but there is no slacking on a cardio machine. This is jumping-around-I-look-like-a-fool-no-one-else-in-here-is-doing-this kind of stuff.
Side bar: Do you ever stop to wonder why some of the people in your gym are there faithfully but their bodies are not changing? Maybe it's because they're not doing this type of stuff.
A couple of negatives: the workouts seem long, and I'm not new to this style, so for someone who is new to it or less conditioned it might be easy to get discouraged. Secondly, while you don't have to go to the gym to do this (there is a home version available, and even in the regular version you can do the metabolic work at home) it does require working out 6 days a week, which might be difficult for some people.
That said, it's a 4 week commitment and it will allow you to lift heavy, it's a balanced full body workout, and you will see an increase in your conditioning as well as feeling energetic and revved up.
My experience this week
I loved the detox with the eating plan but found that I also struggled with the sudden drop in carbs after the holidays. This is not unusual for me however. When I go through a phase where my starch intake is higher or I eat junk carbs it's like weaning myself. Just shows the powerful effect of sugar, fat and salt. I also found at first I didn't feel like eating all the food. That also shows my eating choices were less than healthy for a phase. My body has to adjust. Once I tighten up on my eating and give my body clean fuel to use, it uses it more effectively. After a few days, I'm ready to eat every 3 hours or so to keep the fire stoked. The workouts were also hard because the last two weeks of December were such a challenge for me with my schedule. It's amazing how easy it is to lose some conditioning or strength in a short time, but my body still is able to bounce back, thank goodness! One of my favorite parts about this program is that I still get to lift heavy but I get the energy boost and fat blast with the metabolic work!
Overall impression, Week 1
This program is a keeper. Highly recommend it as a jump start or a fat loss finisher. I think this will be good to use periodically as a solid program during a focused fat loss phase. The program comes with more resources this time to assist in making a transition when it's over because it truly can only be done for 4 weeks, then you will need to do something else. If you are new to resistance training, it's not for you. I would suggest getting with a trainer and developing a foundation of experience with personalized programming first. Then if you want a pre-designed program I would then suggest Afterburn I. If you already have a firm foundation, go for Warp Speed Fat Loss 2.0. Also, anyone can benefit from this eating plan, but it might be a little too intense for people just beginning to clean up their eating. In that case I would suggest a program like Precision Nutrition first.
If you're doing this program, I'd love to hear about your experience!
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