HOW TO SHIFT YOUR CHRISTMAS BULGE IN FOUR WEEKS
JDP Manager Matt Williams helps you shift the extra Christmas bulge with a four week blast.
It’s January. Christmas festivities are firmly behind us. The mince pies have been served, the wine has flowed and all that shortbread, chocolate, toffee and biscuits have been devoured. You’re probably feeling that the only thing that’s lost weight over the last month is your bank account.
It is said that the average amount of weight gain in the UK over Christmas is half a stone. Given the type of foods we traditionally consume over the period, in combination with what is usually a marked drop in exercise frequency, it’s pretty safe to say that this weight gain is going to be comprised almost entirely of fat.
Now you want to shift that weight. But how? Well, it’s commonly accepted that it takes us around 14 days to ingrain a new habit or behaviour.
On that assumption, I’ve designed a simple to follow program that will help you get back into shape after the festive season. It lasts for a month and will help to get you back into shape after the festive season. In the first fortnight, you concentrate on your workout habits, in the second fortnight, you try to improve your lifestyle.
Follow these tips for the next 14 days, and you’ll have the momentum and skill set required to move forward and be in the shape of your life in 2018.
Weeks 1 & 2: The Workout
This program is comprised of three workout days, two activity days and two rest days.
The training days are split into upper body resistance, lower body resistance, and high intensity cardio. This ensures you get the metabolism-boosting benefits of resistance training, the all-round fitness improvements that come with cardio training, and spend a good deal of time in the fat burning zone with the low intensity activity.
Here’s how the week breaks down:
• Monday: Upper Body
• Tuesday: Activity
• Wednesday: Lower Body
• Thursday: Activity
• Friday: High Intensity Cardio
• Saturday: Rest
• Sunday: Rest Upper Body
Upper Body Workout
This consists of basic push and pull movements. I’ve offered two choices: a fixed plain machine version of each exercise for those who have not been in regular training in the run up to this program, and a free weight version for those who have been consistently hitting the gym.
•3 x 10 Barbell Bench Press / Machine Chest Press (Chest)
•3 x 10 Bent Over Barbell Row / Lat Pull Down (Lats)
•3 x 10 Military Press / Machine Shoulder Press (Deltoids)
•3 x 10 Upright Row / Machine shrug (Traps) 2 x 10 Bicep Curls (Biceps)
•2 x 10 Tricep Pull Downs (Triceps)
Here you focus on your legs and lower body. I’ve added a little bit more volume to these exercises and again provided fixed plain and free weight options for most of the exercises.
•4 x 12 Barbell Squat / Leg Press
•4 x 12 Deadlift / Machine Hamstring Curl
•4 x 12 Step Ups (onto a bench or box). Weighted if currently training, bodyweight if new to exercise.
High Intensity Cardio
The high intensity cardio day will spike your metabolism and improve your fitness.
•10 x 100m sprints on Concept2 rowing machine
•30 second high and low intensity intervals on a treadmill x 6
•One minute plank followed by 5 burpees, x 3
These are days where you stay active but don’t actually do anything so vigorous that you would consider it a workout. The aim here is to keep the heart rate in the fat burning zone to get rid of the extra calories. The fat burning zone is approximately 60-70pc of your maximum heart rate (which can be roughly calculated by subtracting your age from 220).
In the fat burning zone, 85pc of the calories you burn will be from fat. Activities such as walking, cycling, swimming and dancing are great choices.
Weeks 3 & 4: Lifestyle Changes
While continuing with the above workout, it’s now time to focus on making sure your nutritional intake is in order.
Let’s keep things simple. Here’s 10 rules to ensure that you are on the right track:
1. Empty the shelves of all the festive goodies. Now that it’s time to get in shape you’ll need to get rid of all the Xmas naughties. If you leave them in the cupboards, let’s face it: you’ll eat them.
2. No Alcohol. It’s fairly likely that you consumed just about as much as you could take over Xmas, so drop the drink for two weeks. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes to the way you feel.
3. Go For Colour. Try to make your meal plates as colourful as possible. A wide palatte serves as a good indicator that you are getting a healthy amount of fruit and veg.
4. Stay Hydrated. This is a simple one. Aim for at least 2 litres of water each day. Staying hydrated is very important to physical and mental performance: even slight dehydration can really affect us.
5. Treat Each Day As A Journey. Try picturing each day’s food intake as a journey. If you’ve had a big workout, you’ll need to consume more ‘fuel’ that day; if it’s a rest day you’ll need significantly less. Apply the Journey metaphor to your carbohydrate intake.
6. Keep Protein Intake High. You’ll need a high protein intake to allow your muscles to recover from the resistance training. Maintaining your lean muscle mass is important because it’s effectively the coal in your fat burning furnace. The more lean mass you have the higher your metabolism will be.
7. Eat a Lot of Fat. Healthy fats that is. Foods like avocado, olives, fish, nuts and seeds contain healthy fats that are essential for healthy hormones, skin and joints. Don’t worry: you won’t put on more weight by consuming these healthy fats.
8. Avoid Simple Sugars. Aim for slow releasing complex carbohydrates like oats, quinoa, and sweet potato for a steady release of energy. Avoid white rice, white pasta, sweets, cereals, sugary drinks, etc. Simple sugars are the cause of unwanted body fat.
9. Food Timing. It is a good idea to consume the majority of your carb intake before and after your workouts. This is when your body most needs the carbs and consuming foods at this time will help manage blood sugar levels.
10. Plan Ahead. Plan your healthy meals ahead of time so that you don’t slip up and have to grab something far worse in a rush. Prior planning really helps keep to any nutrition plan.