6 Months | Same Weight | No specific diet | Maintained 3-4 Workouts a Week
I remember taking the photo on the left in July 2021 and was so proud of the girl in the photo; it was one of the first photos I didn't pick apart. I've made so much progress from the beginning of 2021 up until that point. And now I'm even more proud to have a progress picture of myself leveled-up from it.
So what changed? The answer is…NOT MUCH! There are 3 things I've prioritized over the last 6 months to grow without gaining body fat.
#1. FOLLOWED A WORKOUT PROGRAM.
Workout programming IS SO IMPORTANT, I cannot stress this enough. If you have goals beyond general health goals, you need to have proper programming otherwise you'll spin your wheels making very slow progress if any at all. I'm a prime example of this; I spent 5 years doing the same things and staying in the same place strength, skill, and physique-wise. Doing different workouts constantly is inefficient. If you need help programming, I have a couple blog posts that could help. EFFECTIVE WORKOUT STRUCTURE | How to Design Your Workout and IDEAL TRAINING SPLIT | how to train depending on your training frequency. I also offer programming you can check out here.
#2. CARDIO = WALKING.
Cardio isn't bad. I'm certainly not demonizing it. However, my goal is to get build muscle and strength. Resistance training is anabolic (muscle-building), while cardio is catabolic (breakdown). If I'm doing both, I'm landing somewhere in the middle. If I'm not doing cardio, then I'll stay more on the anabolic side. My goal is 10k steps each day, which is a non-negotiable for me. Every single day I reach that goal. I prioritize it. Movement is medicine and it makes our bodies and minds feel so good. I used to do around 60-minutes of extra cardio each week to "burn calories", but have since replaced it solely with walking.
#3. TRACKED PROTEIN INTAKE.
Tracking macros..ugh! I know it can be tedious and time-consuming, but for me, it has always been a huge help in my fitness quests. To be clear, I don't have a specific number of calories I need to stick to or specific macros to hit. My priority is to hit at least 140g of protein each day and eat at least 2200 calories. That's it. Instead of restricting myself, I have a lower-limit to calories and no upper-limit. I'm really trying to get in touch with my natural hunger cues. And it must be working because I weigh the same, but definitely look and feel stronger.
So that is really it. There isn't anything too radical. I am not working out more or following a specific diet. It's nothing magical. It's effective training, rest, good sleep, and eating well.
Shop programs here.