Clickbait-y AF, but I did this. This is possible. But let me be clear…
YOUR PROGRAMMING NEEDS TO BE ON POINT! A lot can change in 7 months when you follow phased, effective programming. I've increased my calories, decreased my days in the gym and managed to decrease my body fat percentage. Sounds like a dream, right? How is that possible?
PROGRAMMING IS VITAL. PLAN YOUR WORKOUTS! Not just workout to workout, but workout phases. I had at least 3 months of programming laid out in advance. This ensured that I went to the gym with a plan each time, I could mentally prepare myself for the workout ahead of time. It ensured that I didn't constantly do the same exercises and volume. It's our body's job to adapt to the stress (exercise) we place on it, meaning in order to progress, we cannot do the same things for months on end. Each phase should be around 3-4 weeks. We tend so do the exercise we enjoy, and avoid the ones that are hard for us. We tend to stick to rep and set schemes that we most enjoy. This is why it's important to lay out phases.
Investing in a workout program from a trusted professional is one of the best investments you can make for yourself.
PRIORITZE YOUR WORKOUTS. I only trained 3 days a week and I gave those 3 sessions my all every single time. I mentally prepared myself for each lift. I made sure my body was warmed-up and primed; my pre-workout routine is at least 30-minutes. Slow & controlled movements. Every rep with intention. I was honest with myself and pushed myself to what I knew I was capable of. Those 90-120 minutes were mine and mine alone.
PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD. Within each phase, I kept track of my weights, repetitions, and sets each week. This allowed me to know if I was progressing, pushing heavier weight or squeezing out extra reps from workout-to-workout. Again, to get stronger, we need to place different stressors on the body.
PRIORITIZE YOUR SLEEP. Quality sleep is just as important to me as my workouts (if not more important). If I don't get quality sleep, my mind and body are both checked out. I don't have the desire to fuel my body with healthy foods it needs to function at its best and I don't have the same connection to my muscles and movements, resulting in less effective workouts.
If you do all the above and are getting stronger, your metabolism will let you know that your body needs to be fed! I knew my programming was working because I was HUNGRY. Eating more can be scary, so here is what I did: I kept a spreadsheet of my calories every single day and weighed myself in the morning several days a week to monitor the trend. My weight hovered around the same while week-to-week my average daily calories increased. (I am aware of how extra this sounds, but this is the route I had to take for peace of mind).
By the end of my planned 7-month programming, I:
Lost 7 pounds of body fat
Gained 2 pounds of muscle
Net Weight Loss: 5 pounds
Decreased my body fat percentage by 3%
Increased calories eaten per day by 400
There is still so much room to grow and I couldn't be more proud of the progress (mental and physical) that I have made recently. LET ME HELP YOU! I would love to program for you. Invest in yourself.