This was a 90 day programme to lower body fat, gain lean muscle and develop a “six pack” in the abdominal region. I joined this wave to support my partner on her journey and to put myself well out of my comfort zone with both my nutrition and training.
The background is that for several years I had been wanting to develop my abdominal muscles and also gain some lean muscle around my chest and shoulders. I had approached several of my friends for advice but nothing had quite fallen into place so I decided it was time to do something a bit different. In the words of Jim Rohn, for something to change you have to change something. My partner and I had met a lady at a meeting in Prague the previous year who I had stayed in contact with. She was joining the January wave and was explaining how she had seen some incredible results from the previous wave that had inspired her to join. At that time it was not right for me to join, my head was not in the right place and I was not “ready” for it. My partner and I saw her results in April and thought they were incredible and thought that we would have a look at it for when the next wave started in May.
We both signed up in April for the May wave. I was a little nervous about it and she was nervous and excited. We didn’t really know what we were letting ourselves in for but hey ho, in for a penny in for a pound….. We knew that we would get meal plans, exercise challenges and support through Facebook groups but like everything there is a bit of fear of the unknown. We had been told to buy a battle rope and download an abs app onto our phones so as you can no doubt imagine our minds were working overtime. We had also been told that we would be doing daily squats and press ups which would be increasing weekly, scary stuff…..
The process lasted for 90 days in total and was split into 3 sections of 30 days each. They all had different food plans and it had been well thought out. The exercise challenges varied through the whole process and were designed to cater for all abilities. If people hadn’t got the correct equipment then there were alternatives and if they were injured then they were advised not to complete the challenges so as to minimise the risk of further injury. As with all challenges though, they got harder through the course of the 90 days. Some I found were easy for me but not my partner and others were easy for her but not me.
The first 30 days’ meal plans were sent out the week before it all started to give us time to get organised. It was quite a shock to see what was on it as there was none of all the foods that I was used to and a lot of it was quite different to what I was used to. In addition we had to drink only water and energising tea, as a man who likes a good cup of tea that was quite a shock to the system. There was also minimal starchy carbohydrates and as I was 3 weeks out from a triathlon that was quite a challenge for me as I was used to using them to fuel my training. I spoke to the lead coach and he advised me to follow the food plan but continue fuelling and refuelling my triathlon training as I had been doing as I knew that worked for me. He said “trust the process and the magic will happen” so I did. The week before my triathlon I ran a personal best for 5km and I could see myself changing shape already. I was leaner and faster and felt amazing. For my exploits with the triathlon see my previous post. My partner was struggling to get her head round all the food prep given her day job so I helped her get through that as well as doing my own. I was grumpy at times as my body was getting used to a new way of fuelling and there was a lot of things missing that it was very used to having but once I got through that I was away! The exercise challenges were not that difficult I felt as I was already in good shape and the triathlon training had gone well.
Before I knew it the first 30 days was done. There was a new food plan coming out for the second 30 days and this had all sorts of good stuff on it that had been missing previously and some new things added in. The new plan was great. The food was pleasing to the eye and tasted great too. The challenges were getting tougher and really pushing some of the group to the limits whilst others found it a breeze. This third was very much a consolidation of what had happened in the first third and to get us ready for the final third. In this third I was working at “the next level” with a group of us that had been selected as we were already quite lean and were working towards shaping the “six pack”.
This third also flew by and again the meal plan for the final third was out. This was another change round and some of the nice food from the last third had gone but had been replaced with some interesting stuff instead. The challenges were getting tougher too and there were changes starting to develop within me, both physically and mentally. Unexpectedly the food and water plans changed for the last two weeks and then we were into the final stretch.
They say that time flies when you’re having fun and this certainly did. Before I knew it we were in the final week and it was time for the final photographs. The last day was finally here where we would be able to go back to our old eating habits and training regime or continue with the new ones. I knew what I was going to do 😉 My partner was getting some incredible results and mine were coming together too despite having the distraction of my dads’ recovery from a 2 week stay in hospital. Once the final photos had been submitted we could relax, have a couple of days “off” and then start again. I had a triathlon looming 5 weeks later so having done little cardio training for the previous month it was time to kick start it again and get race fit.
What have I gained from this experience?
- It has shown me a new way of eating. It has turned on its’ head a lot of the things I used to disagree with and thought would not work. I will be using this now going forward to help my training and my day to day life.
- My mind set has shifted. Things which used to scare me no longer do. I never will be a massive fan of weight training but I won’t be as scared of it as I used to be.
- I now truly believe in the power of a group of people to help each other. Even though they may have never met, they can still support and motivate each other through social media or instant messaging. The people in the groups come from all walks of life from mums trying to get back into shape to already lean people looking to better themselves and were spread all over the country and the world. Some already knew each other but that didn’t matter, we all worked together to achieve a common goal.
- I have seen an improvement in my sports performance with personal bests popping up all over the place and a massive increase in my energy levels to cope with my day to day life.
In summary, this programme is incredibly well thought out and delivers excellent results as long as the person wanting the results is committed to the programme. The coaches are on top of their game and support you all the way, they want you to succeed at the end of the day, and the head coach is a superstar and a true motivator. It has changed my life beyond belief and for that reason I have no qualms about recommending it to anyone that has the commitment to achieve the results they want.