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It's time to start packing the protein for my upcoming fitness competition! I am so excited to start training for this contest because this year competing is my only goal. I'm not worrying about my weight, getting stronger, or how much muscle I can put on; I simply want to compete! Fitness competitions are like beauty pageants on steroids (sans the steroids of course ;)). Just getting on that stage will be a huge feat because I am not exactly a social butterfly (though I have come out of my shell over the past two years). So what will reaching this goal require? Meat, Cheese, Nuts, and Iron. Seriously though, it's going to take a lot of hard work and dedication to eating healthy foods, working out daily, and facing my fear of the stage.
My training will consist of three phases, and each phase will last four weeks. Today marks the beginning of the first period, which I am calling pre-training. Training to train may seem odd, but I haven't been pumping consistently since last November. To get myself back in the shape, I was in last year I want to ease into the routine. If I try to work in two-a-days during my first few weeks, I will quickly burn out. I know myself pretty well, and I want to set myself up for success, which is why I plan to start with changes in my diet and to work out six times a week.
My goals for the next four weeks:
The Food Plan:
- Planning, planning, and more planning! To keep my stomach in check, I use MyFitnessPal to prepare my meals. Instead of keeping a food diary, I plan my food before I eat my first meal. Every morning I log in and plan out my menu for the day. This helps me to prepare my meals for the day based on what I have on hand, pack snacks in my gym bag and keep an eye on what I may need to adjust before I eat. As you can see in the screenshot above, I am off on most of my numbers based on the foods I added. Since I did this first thing in the morning, I can work on this menu until I have reached my daily goals.
- Portable snacks make life easy peasy! When I went shopping at Walmart this week, I made sure to stock up on snacks that I could eat on the go. As a mom of four, I am in the van more than I am in the house, so I need snacks that are both nutritious and convenient. This week I purchased the new P3 Portable Protein Pack from Oscar Mayer in four different varieties. I have found that these snacks are perfect post-workout snacks because they are loaded with 13-14 grams of protein, are easy to toss into my gym bag before a workout, and they help curb my cravings. When I eat sweet foods after a workout, I usually end up eating more throughout the day. I love cheese and nuts but will admit that I don't eat much meat. It's not that I don't like meat. It's just that I don't eat meat unless I cook it, and I don't have a ton of time to cook food that isn't a part of a meal for my family. Not only does this portable protein pack meet my needs for convenience it also makes me feel a little better about my protein sources!
If you are looking for a better snacking option, I would highly recommend that you try these for yourself. They come in four different varieties: Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast with Reduced Fat Colby Jack and Roasted Almonds (my personal favorite), Applewood Smoked Ham with Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar and Dry Roasted Almonds, Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast with Reduced Fat Cheddar, and Dry Roasted Peanuts, and Slow Roasted Turkey with Reduced Fat Cheddar, and Dry Roasted Peanuts. I hit the jackpot because P3 was on roll-back at my local Walmart for only $1.00 each!
I think my favorite thing about the P3 Portable Protein Pack is the sugar content. As you can see in the picture above, I struggle with the amount of sugar I take in each day. When you pay close attention to the quantity of sugar, you eat you start to realize that everything has sugar in it. Thankfully these protein snacks have less than 1 gram of sugar in each pack, which is pretty remarkable compared to the 20 grams of sugar that my protein bars contain.
The Workout Plan:
The Dreaded Cardio:
For the next four weeks, I plan to do a variety of workout routines with my primary focus being on cardio. I didn't gain a lot of weight during my downtime. I have the same problem areas as everyone else (hips, love handles, and belly fat). I want to burn as much of that off as possible before I start lifting heavier so I can better see the results of my strength training. The awesome thing about weight lifting with cardio is what I like to call the "lasting burn." I burn fat stores while doing cardio and continue to burn all day while my muscles repair and grow.
I (like most women) store the majority of my body fat on my lower half. For this reason, I will work legs four days a week. I love working with machines, but find that squats and lunges are where you build muscle. I will also add 1-2 glute exercises to my leg workout to tighten and lift my booty.
Thankfully, I don't struggle as much with my upper body. I do have some fat to work off, but my shoulder and arm muscles tend to develop quickly, so I am only working upper body two days a week. For upper body, I tend to gravitate towards barbell exercises. There's no scientific reasoning behind this; I just prefer the barbell. 🙂
That was a lot of work! Time for a snack!
So there you have it! This is my plan for the next four weeks!
Are you working on changing your eating habits, training for a particular sport, or just trying to start a fitness routine? If so I would love to hear from you and follow you on your journey.