A lot of people have been asking about my diet (nutrition), and exercise plan since I went public with my 2017 New Year’s 90 day challenge goal to drop 5% body fat. So, I’ve decided to put together this blog post detailing how my meals and snacks are structured, as well as my workout routine which you can copy if you have similar goals of dropping your body fat percentage, and building lean muscle.
My Diet Plan
I’m focusing at the moment on lowering my body fat percentage, which crept up to 23.6% – the highest it has been in quite a few years.
I would blame all the chocolates I was given for Christmas presents, but the only person I can blame for actually eating them is myself!
My aim is to drop my body fat by five percentage points during the next 90 days, so I’m aiming to get it below 18.6% to be precise. Then I will be very close to my eventual aim of getting it down to 15%.
At the same time, I’m aiming to increase my lean muscle mass, so I will be eating protein rich meals (I’m aiming to get up to 35% of my daily calories from protein). This will help me to retain my existing muscle mass, and increase it through my intensive exercise program.
Yes, despite what you may have been told it is possible to lose fat AND build muscle at the same time – I’ve done it before previously which proved many people wrong at the time who told me it was impossible!!
So this time round, I’ve calculated my daily calorie requirement to be around 2,616 calories per day, and I’m aiming for the recommended five eating experiences per day, with a smaller evening meal than the breakfast and lunch. When we look at how many calories to aim for, the following is a good guide:
- Breakfast – 30% of calories
- Mid-Morning Snack – 12.5% of calories
- Lunch – 30% of calories
- Mid-Afternoon Snack – 12.5% of calories
- Dinner – 15% of calories
I have a mixture of real food, and meal replacement products to aim for my daily requirement of calories, with emphasis on raw food, freshly prepared food, and home cooked meals – and I’ve cut out all processed foods, with the exception of the high quality meal replacement products, and healthy snacks that I buy in.
I avoid aspartame, hydrogenated fats, and mono-sodium glutamate. I supplement with hemp oil, Omega 3, 6, & 9 oil, vitamin D, probiotics, and use coconut oil for cooking – as well as adding some to occasional shakes.
I will be posting more details of my clean eating meals, and healthy protein snacks in future blog posts.
By the way, one fitness app that is excellent for tracking your daily calories is My Fitness Pal (free).
My Exercise Plan
I do a three day split for my exercise, and keep repeating it over and over, having a rest day every fourth day.
When I train I aim to put in everything I have (especially when it comes to building my legs as the leg muscles work all day long, and they need intense stimulation to make them grow). Also I try to stick to correct form to get the maximum results from every workout, and rest only as long as needed between sets.
You’ve got to push through all the burning and shaking, as results are the other side!
Here is the workout plan I’m currently following, which is designed to increase lean muscle mass:
Barbell Squat – 4 sets of 4 to 6 reps.
Walking Dumbell Lunges – 4 sets of 24 steps.
Leg Press Machine – 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps.
Lying Leg Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps.
Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 20 reps.
Standing Calf Raises – 4 sets of 12 reps.
Barbell Deadlift – 4 sets of 4 to 6 reps.
Dumbbell Rear Lunge – 4 sets of 15 reps.
Hack Squat – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Seated Leg Curl – 3 set 8 to 12 reps.
Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 15 reps.
Seated Calf Raise – 4 sets of 20 reps.
Leg Press – 4 sets of 4 to 6 reps.
Romanian Deadlift – 4 sets of 8 reps.
Dumbbell Step Ups – 4 sets of 15 reps (each leg).
Leg Extensions – 3 sets of 12 reps.
Thigh Abductor – 3 sets of 12 reps.
Standing Barbell Calf Raise – 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps.
Back & Shoulders Day
Snatchgrip High Pull – 5 sets of 3 reps.
Bentover Row From Floor – 4 sets of 10 reps.
Pullup – 4 sets of as many reps as possible!
Close-Grip Pulldown – 4 sets of 15 reps.
Behind-The-Neck Press – 4 sets of 8 reps.
Lateral Raise – 4 sets of 15 reps.
Chest & Arms Day
Dumbell Flye – 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Incline Bench Press – 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps.
Dip – 4 sets of as many as possible.
Close Grip Bench Press – 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Triceps Pushdown – 4 sets of 15 reps.
Drag Curl – 5 sets of 8 reps.
The way I work is I do a legs day, followed by back and shoulders day, followed by chest and arms day, then I have a rest day where I just do cardio. I do cardio to warm up for 15 minutes on the gym days.
Bookmark this blog post as I will be linking each exercise to a demonstration video, and updating you on my progress.
Day 1 – Starting Stats
My body fat percentage on 24th December, the week before I started this 90 day challenge was 23.4%.
On 3rd January 2017, I went public with my goal to drop 5% body fat, as I have been lower than 23% in the past, and obviously the body fat had crept back up on me again.
It was time to re-double my efforts!
I started my clean eating program, and upped my efforts at the gym considerably, making sure that I train 4 out of 7 days minimum, and putting in more effort into every workout even on days I felt weak.
Day 4 – Weighing In
I’m tracking my progress regularly using the S-Health app by Samsung, recording my weight, and body fat percentage.
I was absolutely blown away with the results from just a few days of strict healthy eating, and intense workouts. In fact I had to check it three times to make sure it was accurate, every time getting the same result!
Day 30 – Progress Pic
Very pleased with my results so far, I’m doing my best to stay on track with the healthy eating, I’ve cut out a lot of the sugary snacks I was eating before late at night, and still training hard at the gym – plus I’ve added in extra cardio events with the Get Fit Nottingham local fitness social group that I organise.
I’m going to keep my foot on the pedal for sure, but I’d love it if you can spur me on in the comments section below, and please bookmark this page so that you can come back to see updates.
End result – I ended up losing 4.2% body fat in 90 days. Make sure you keep on watching my journey!
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