This week, I am focusing on exercise.
Last week, I came up with a calorie and macronutrient ratio for my specific goals, which is keeping my energy high enough to train up to twice a day, 5-6 days a week, while shedding a little of the fluff I've accumulated this winter.
This means I can't be balls-deep in the heavy lifting and Jiu-Jitsu at the same time. Sadly, I am mortal. A natty mortal, at that, so I must respect my body's limits and take a break from chasing strength. No more going for PRs, low-rep heavy lifts, or shooting for a 1 rep max. When you are lowering your calories and trying to cut weight, that mindset begets a frustrating exercise in futility. At least, it does for me.
I've chosen a more bodybuilding-esque lifting program with supersets in the 4x10 range. So it's humble pie for me these next few weeks, as my breath burns in my chest, and I reluctantly move the pins up a few notches from where I'm used to, and grab the 25's, like "I swear I can do more, usually... it's just this 45 seconds rest bullshit, you know?"
This week is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. I lowered my consumption a bit, now I have to up my activity level and see how it works out for me. I recommend more volume and the lower weight that goes along with it for the next few weeks.
If you're a beginner:
Assess your calorie situation. How are you feeling? A little discomfort, longing and mild panic is normal. Feeling dizzy, weak and/or "starving" are signs you need to tweak your plan a bit. Maybe this means up your protein, or eat more "satisfying" foods, or perhaps add one more small meal. If you feel okay, keep this budget for another week.
Now, up the ante by joining a gym, or making sure you are performing an activity at least 3-5 days a week for 10-45 minutes. (Again, it depends on your starting point and what you've chosen to do.) Every step you take towards eating a bit less and moving more is a step in the right direction.
If you are intermediate:
I'd suggest adding superset-style lifting into your routine, or shortening your rest periods to keep your heart rate up. Pump up the volume a notch in the gym. Start moderately. Remember, I started early to avoid burnout. I am of the mindset that the harder you jump into the deep end, the faster you are going to bounce right the fuck out. It's the same with cutting calories.
There is no need for cardio acceleration or crazy carb-cycling at this point in the game. Gradual is the key word. Make some initial changes, add some cardio and stick with your calorie budget.
Next week we are going to weigh in and see where we're at!
Do you need a beginners lifting routine?
Are you afraid of the weight room and would rather start with machines?