Author Fitness Fondue


The End


No, I don’t mean the end of daily gym visits and broccoli mashing.

The truth is that I LOVE daily gym visits and I LOVE broccoli mashing. Big bowls of broccoli mash with chicken and hot sauce make my day.

Most of you already know this story, but in the spirit of The End, I’m going to tell it in one fell swoop…

Almost 5 years ago now, my PT of an ex boyfriend put an Olympic bar on my back, and my whole world changed.

I fell in love with weight lifting and started training properly, daily.

I started learning about nutrition so I could see the changes to my body (if you train like an athlete and you’re not getting anywhere aesthetically, you now know you are not genetically blessed – sorry – and your nutrition needs changing).

I learned fast, I changed fast, and I fell in love with every sweaty, painful, scientific second of it. I started this site and began blogging about what I was doing.

I remember watching PT sessions and seething with jealousy, so I enrolled on a PT course, got my L2, later my L3, and finally my nutrition qualifications, before taking on as many clients as I could. At one point, I think I had 21. I have NO idea how I managed that, but thank God I did, because what I learned in those 3 years of PTing in parks and gym studios was invaluable.

My knowledge grew and evolved – continues to grow and evolve – and before I knew it, what I could do to my body and the bodies of those who really wanted it amazed me – continues to amaze me!

Several preps, photoshoots, alterations, implementations and goal posts later, it was October 2016, and I was trying, and failing, to best myself.

Cardio, calories, macros and consistency, and my body had finally stopped responding.

Now, make NO mistakes about it, changing your body is a simple science, and if you follow the formula, you get the results. Period.

But the fool proof formula wasn’t working…as it turned out, there were roads of knowledge I had yet to wander down.

In short, my metabolism had crashed. My body had readjusted to my new patterns and if I wanted to change it AGAIN, I was going to have to take some drastic diet and or training measures. But I was burnt out. I didn’t want to take drastic measures. I’m not a science experiment, I am a 29 year old woman with a life beyond abs. I was done.

I took November and December off. I trained every day, I ate healthy every day, but I didn’t push myself in the gym and I didn’t say no to a glass of wine. I didn’t TRY to do anything to my body other than love it, nurture it, and accept it for its soft, curvy, natural state.

By mid December I was gunning for a push. I am the kind of girl who gets a serious kick out giving something 110%, and then some. I will empty the tank into a task and love every exhausting second of it. But I knew I had to hold tight, Christmas was coming and I wanted to do it properly.

By January 1st 2017 I was well fed, well rested, and well ready for the next few weeks of 100%.

As you can read on this site, I progressively lowered my calories (slowly down to 1300) and my macros (eventually entering a carb cycle), while progressively upping my cardio.

I didn’t cheat. It wasn’t easy. And yes you can do it too. How? YOU JUST FUCKING DO.

By week 9 I was the lightest and leanest I’ve ever been at 122lbs and 12.5% body fat.

Yes this is maintainable – with no cheating for weeks at a time and pretty horrific training sessions.

I am not interested in having a pizza every 3 weeks and I am not interested in horrific training sessions.

I am interested in eating some serious pizza and gaining some serious muscle before May, when I will start my next prep.

No, it’s not ‘throwing it away’, it’s progressing my body, my life, and my goals.

*If you want to change your body, see my 12 Week Body Transformation Guide, written by, followed by, and fully endorsed by me, me, and me.*


Day 4, Week 9


DAY 1 WEEK 1 – 137lbs / 20.1% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 2 – 135.5lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 3 – 134.4lbs / 18% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 4 – 132.5lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 5 – 129.9lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 6 – 127.6lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 7 – 126.3lbs / 14.8% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 8 – 124lbs

DAY 4 WEEK 9 – 122.1lbs / 13%bf

Nearly 9 completed weeks of:

  • 6 days weekly cardio and weight lifting – 1 rest day weekly
  • 7 days weekly eating 100% clean – within my calorie and macro counts – implementing a carb cycle in week 4 – progressing said carb cycle weekly (high carb day every 3 days / 4 days / 5 days / 6 days)
  • One big old cheat night after my first photo shoot (exactly 1 week ago today) to refeed and relax

So here I am after nearly 9 full weeks – how am I feeling?

Last week, in the last 2 days of my 6 day carb cycle, my cardio hit a wall. This was because my quads are big, they are heavy, and when they are depleted, man alive do I feel it. I managed to get through my weight lifting giving 100%, but my cardio took a big hit. I simply couldn’t complete it when I my quads just wouldn’t fire for me. I tried, but only ever managed to get 10 minutes in before I had to walk away.

Knowing I was the lightest and leanest I’d ever been at 124lbs and 14% bf kept me from panicking. Also knowing that I was 2 days out was a huge comfort, a lot of pros stop training at this point as they start to lower their water intake before a shoot / competition, so I knew the fact I had the physical energy to train in the first place was a luxury.

Since having my big old post-shoot-cheat-night, my body and brain are back to their best. A nice reminder that there is a time, place and purpose for a big fat cheat meal.

I have to say that I am shocked at how physically, cognitively, hormonally and emotionally at ease I am given 9 weeks of 100% mental and physical effort. I’ve never done this for so long before, and I am extremely content.

However, like always, KNOWING the end is near is playing HAVOC with my cravings.

I know that in a few short days I will be done with my shoots, and I will allow myself 1 great big cheat night before starting my new plan. This means that ALL I think about now is said cheat night, and it is really annoying.

My new plan will see me SLOWLY and PROGRESSIVELY decrease my cardio and increase my calories and macros over the course of a few weeks. The goal is to get my metabolism up and stable, and get my muscle nice and fed before May, when I will start my next lean prep.

4 days out, and then the next journey begins!


Day 1, Week 8


DAY 1 WEEK 1 – 137lbs / 20.1% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 2 – 135.5lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 3 – 134.4lbs / 18% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 4 – 132.5lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 5 – 129.9lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 6 – 127.6lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 7 – 126.3lbs / 14.8% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 8 – 124lbs 

I have now completed 7 full weeks of:

  • 6x weekly cardio sessions
  • 6x weekly weight lifting sessions
  • Eating 100% clean
  • Slowly moving into a progressive carb cycle (the last 3 weeks)
  • 0 cheats, clean carb refeed days only

The longest prep I have ever done was 5.5 weeks, so this is new territory for me, and here’s what I have discovered…

Longer preps are mentally easier. There is time to implement changes, room to manoeuvre, space to stay calm.

However, longer preps are physically the exact same experience. The lead up and the last week, whether that’s week 5 or week 7, is always the last week…

Because of that ‘peak week’ carb cycle – that last ditch attempt to burn fat – my body is now depleted. For me personally, this manifests itself in my quads. They are weak. They are heavy as lead. Walking up stairs is basically an opportunity for my legs to say TIME FOR CARBS NOW!

It sounds minor, but it’s not. It’s unpleasant and exhausting.

This is where I want to talk about carbohydrates…

Yes I carb cycle, every 4th day and eventually leading up to that 7th peak day, over the course of a few weeks, in order to burn fat while continuing to feed my muscles and train hard. But this is as far as I would ever go re carb depletion…

The fact of the matter is, if you train, especially if you lift weights, but cardio bunnies also, your muscles need carbohydrates.

By all means keep them clean – oats, rice, potato etc…

By all means cycle them…

But unless you are super carb sensitive, PLEASE keep them in your diet.

On top of the unpleasant physical feelings of depletion, the visuals aren’t great either. You look and feel flat and soft, both when you train and when you look in the mirror.

There are some amazing arguments for ketosis, especially when it comes to aesthetics, but if you want to train like a BOSS instead of a tortured soul, EAT CARBS.

I have 2 days left until my shoot, so at this point everything is 100% for aesthetic results…

I will slowly decrease my water intake and increase my carbohydrates.

I will have short, sharp training sessions IF I feel up to it, but I’m not going to push, all the hard work is done now.

I want to take a minute to say thank you, everyone, for your amazing messages and support.

I LOVE what I do, it’s fun, and I know I’m good at it.

But like EVERYTHING in life, there are tough days, mentally, physically, internally or externally.

I know I can rant, but the amount of support I get from you lot is PHENOMENAL, and for anyone who has every written a kind word to me or about me, THANK YOU.

It really does help.

Cruise control time…

 


Day 1, Week 7


DAY 1 WEEK 1 – 137lbs / 20.1% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 2 – 135.5lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 3 – 134.4lbs / 18% bf

DAY 1 WEEK 4 – 132.5lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 5 – 129.9lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 6 – 127.6lbs

DAY 1 WEEK 7 – 126.3lbs / 14.8% bf

Sorry this update is late, I took this morning off to enjoy a longggg lazy breakfast of coffee, egg whites and mushrooms, while my boyfriend demolished French toast and maple syrup right there in front of me…

It actually wasn’t that bad because I do love a mushroom or ten.

Here I am after 6 completed weeks of daily cardio and weight lifting, having rest days when I felt my body needed them (usually 1 a week) and being my diet’s ride or die down ass bitch.

This is now my fake peak weak, as I have my first big shoot of 2017 next week…

My training won’t change for a few more days:

A.M. – fasted cardio (at home) – 25 mins circuits (see fat loss app/12 week plan) OR 25 mins incline interval sprints – (no cardio added)

P.M. – weights (at the gym) – different body part a day (weights4women app/12 week plan) – followed by a secondary 25 mins fat loss workout OR a secondary 25 mins incline interval sprints – (no cardio added)

 

DIET:

100% clean – 0 cheats – carb cycle – carb load Tuesday (tomorrow – hallelujah)

Current calorie count 1377 (no change)

Things will start to change toward the end of this week / beginning of next, when water and carb manipulation will play a roll in getting me as tight as possible.

Until then, it’s high carb day tomorrow, GOODNIGHT FONDUES!


Day 1, Week 6


WEEK 1 – 137lbs / 20.1% bf

WEEK 2 – 135.5lbs

WEEK 3 – 134.4lbs / 18% bf

WEEK 4 – 132.5lbs

WEEK 5 – 129.9lbs

WEEK 6 – 127.6lbs (and still far too lazy to do my bf%)

So here I am after 5 solid weeks  of 24/7 dedication, with 2 more weeks to go.

My longest EVER prep was 6 weeks, so this is going to take me into new territory, if only by a little.

The interesting thing is that I normally start to go crazy with cravings by week 4, but that hasn’t happened yet.

I normally start to feel exhausted by training by week 5, but that hasn’t happened yet either. The days I’ve felt exhausted have been because of social events and or driving long distances, not because of training or diet.

So again, I want to express how hugely important my 2 month break was. I still weight trained daily (I always have progression on the brain), but cardio was minimal.

I ate clean and healthy most days, but most evenings were for wine and home cooked meals with my boy, or dinners out with my friends and family.

My body had some time to get back to NORMAL. Normal hormone levels, normal energy levels, normal sleeping patters, a long overdue calorie surplus, 10lbs of healthy weight gain and NO pushing.

My brain had time to relax, and then prepare. I enjoyed sleep, food, friends, family and training, all the while knowing a push was on the horizon, when I was ready.

So, 2 weeks left, this is when I ramp things up just a little…

 

Like last week, I am not changing my training. I am doing 2 lots of cardio a day (NO, you do not need to do cardio twice a day! I just like to split my cardio in 2 because I LOVE an early morning sweat session, and LOVE finishing off a weights session with a sweat, too). Weights don’t need to change, I have muscle, I work said muscle, we are all good.

However, like last week, I will change my calorie count to ramp up results and stand me in good stead for week 7.

Again like last week, I will change my carb cycle, to stand me in good stead for a gentler depletion come week 7.

So this week, my training will look like this:

A.M. – fasted cardio (at home) – 25 mins circuits (see fat loss app/12 week plan) OR 25 mins incline interval sprints – (no cardio added)

P.M. – weights (at the gym) – different body part a day (weights4women app/12 week plan) – followed by a secondary 25 mins fat loss workout OR a secondary 25 mins incline interval sprints – (no cardio added)

My diet this week will look like this:

DIET – 100% clean – 0 cheats – carb cycle – 6 days low – 1 day high (+1 day low carb added)

-10% from my current calorie count of 1,530, brining me down to 1377.

Week 6, let’s MOVE!