A few weeks ago, I entered one of bodybuilding.com contests, the 100k Transformation Challenge. They often offer contest, and I often register for them. It forces me to take progress photos of myself (which I hate!), and it adds a little fire under my ass to do well and eat well. This particular challenge is 12 weeks long and we are currently entering into week 10. For the first few weeks of the challenge, I used a combination of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer and Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred as the basis for my workout plan. I stuck to back half of Jamie’s 12 week plan for the first few weeks then I switched it over to Jim’s before we headed off to Columbus, OH for the 2014 Arnold Sports Festival (our very first vacation as a married couple!) His plan is a grueling, non-stop, fast-paced, fat burning killer of a program and out of the three times I have taken it on, have not competely finished the program. IT IS HARD. Usually by week 4 I am so worn out and exhausted that I can hardly force myself to do any of the prescribed “cardio acceleration.” A.K.A. doing bench step-ups, or jump rope, or box jumps, or any number of things that keep you moving with intensity and your heart rate up instead of resting between your working sets. If you are up for a challenge and you want to torch some fat and stay strong, this is the program for you. Get your big girl (or boy) pants on though, because it will kick your butt! So after our vacation and tons of eating, standing, walking and little to no actual gym time, I was ready to get back to our garage and attempt to erase all the not so clean or healthy food I ate. The 100k Challenge was entering into week 8 at this point and I knew I had a lot of ground to make-up. For the weeks prior, I was limiting my carbs quite a bit and ramping up the intensity with Jim’s program, so I thought it would be nice to just do some good old fashioned lifting for a couple weeks and eat as many carbs as I did protein. Limiting carbs for too long can really do a number on me mentally and physically I’ve learned, so it’s important that I make sure and not limit my carbs for longer than 2 or 3 weeeks at a time. I kept the workouts simple. By “simple” I certainly do not mean “easy,” but what I do mean is performing conventional, basic, no-frills lifts at a moderately heavy weight. For the most part I prescribed myself 3 sets of 10 reps with a 60 rest period.
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