Part two of this series aims to show the methodology in which I transformed my physical self into what it is today.
The fundamentals of the human biology have remained the same since the Stone Age. To lose weight, the formula is the same:
Caloric deficit = Body mass reduction
The larger the caloric deficit, the faster your weight loss, with a pound of fat comprised of approximately 3500 calories. This comes with a caveat though, because there is a difference between weight loss and fat loss. The catch here is that weight loss also involves a loss in muscle mass AND fat mass, which was not what I wanted.
That being said, these are the criteria that I set for myself when I began my ascension three weeks ago:
TARGET: Nike Photoshoot
PREP TIME: 2 weeks INITIAL BODY WEIGHT: 74.0 kg
- Create caloric deficit through exercise
- Preserve the maximum amount of muscle mass
- Regulate carbohydrates to reduce caloric intake
I aspired to keep the process simple so that I could refer to it in the future, and tweak it whenever I needed to. The primary tool that I used in the process was carbohydrate cycling. The overarching goal of carb-cycling is to reduce the weekly caloric intake by regulating the intake at various days, meaning that I would consume my normal amount of food on days where I worked out, and eating little to no carbohydrates on days where I didn’t work out.
My schedule for WEEK 1 looked like this:
DAY – WORKOUT – CYCLE
Monday – Upper (Bench, Overhead Press) – Normal Carbs
Tuesday – Lower (Squat, Deadlift, Back) – Normal Carbs
Wednesday – Rest – Low Carbs
Thursday – Upper (Overhead, Bench Press) – Normal Carbs
Friday – Lower (Deadlift, Squat) – Normal Carbs
Saturday – Miscellaneous (Back, Shoulders) – Low Carbs
Sunday – Rest – Low Carbs
Notice that I enter my Saturday workouts from a place of low calories, meaning that I would perform them in a fasted state, where I could maximise the amount of calories burnt. On top of that, I added cardiovascular training at the end of every workout, aiming to lose approximately 200 calories on the treadmill before I called it a day.
Post week 1 picture:
I lost 0.9 kg in the first week, ending up with 73.1 kg.
Week 2 was when I was supposed to step up the game, to shred body fat at a faster rate, entirely through carbohydrate reduction. I was going to accelerate the process.
My schedule for WEEK 2 looked like this:
DAY – WORKOUT – CYCLE
Monday – Upper (Bench, Overhead Press) – Low Carbs
Tuesday – Lower (Squat, Deadlift, Back) – Low Carbs
Wednesday – Cardio Only – Low Carbs
Thursday – Upper (Overhead, Bench Press) – Zero Carbs
Friday – Lower (Deadlift, Squat) – Zero Carbs
Saturday – Miscellaneous (Back, Shoulders) – Zero Carbs, Water Fast
Sunday – Photoshoot – Carb Load, Water Fast
This week was meant to accelerate the process, the ramifications of which I will cover in the next post of the series. The idea here was to create a massive caloric deficit with my standard training volume and intensity, resulting in an insanely calorie-deprived week. The first three days alone saw me drop to 72.5 kg, and I haven’t even entered the zero-carbohydrate phase.
The idea of a zero-carbohydrate phase in the process was to facilitate ketosis, which is what the entire keto-diet is based around. I would get my daily calories from fat and vegetables to keep me going, with Wednesday and Thursday being the period to re-accommodate my body from running on glycogen (carbohydrates) to running on triglycerides (fat). The temporary ketosis period worked wonders, putting me right on 71.9 kg by the time Saturday rolled around.
Week 2 pre diuretic photo:
In many a photo shoot session, what people see as well defined abs is a result of water fasting, where the water from the interstitial fluid and skin cells are drained, leaving the well-defined muscle for all to see. MMA fighters and body-builders do this all the time, and the lower your body fat percentage, the more wonders this process accomplishes. I began my water fast on Saturday night, 12 hours before the photo shoot, and complimented the process by popping a diuretic (40 mg frusemide).
Week 2 pre-carb load photo (water fast):
Last but not least, the carb-load on Sunday. This one is meant to replenish the liver and muscle cells with glycogen, ‘filling’ them up, and facilitating the maximum amount of muscle pump when combined with light exercise. I did some light cardio, too, to rid myself of a little bit more water, and it put me squarely on 69.0 kg just right before the photo shoot.
But of course, the process comes with a cost, and in the final installation of this series, we’ll dive right into that.