What’s next?

7 Apr

Lately, my routine has been to wake up, down a scoop of No Explode before my pre-Meal 1 cardio, go to the gym for an hour, come back home, do some abs, eat Meal 1, then study for a few hours. Following the end of my diet, I’ve put myself on “forced rest” to heal my foot and avoid getting burnt out, so while I’ve still been lifting and doing cardio in the afternoons, I haven’t done pre-Meal 1 cardio this week.

It hasn’t been easy to stop my pre-Meal 1 cardio because I started to really enjoy it. It’s a good energy booster and it makes me feel like I accomplish something early on each day. But I think it’s necessary to rest for now, and I will start again when I get back from FL next Wednesday. Since my focus now is on building more muscle and less on leaning out (although I still want to be leaner!) I might just get my cardio out of the way in the morning before Meal 1 and not do as much in the afternoon. It’ll be trial and error. I think cardio really helps to keep that metabolism up, but I want a good balance so I don’t eat into any muscle.

So, what’s next?

I am really happy with the results of the diet, but I’ve still got a ways to go before I look like my inspiration picture. My legs aren’t as lean as I would like, my abs are still very much “in progress” and I am all about putting on more muscle everywhere.  The places I want to focus most on in the upcoming weeks are my abs, glutes, and shoulders. Here’s the plan:

My diet

What I eat is such an important part of the overall goal of building a better body. It’s been a little scary coming off the 12-week diet because I feel like I could just go spaghetti-meatball-ice cream crazy. But that’s not going to happen. (On my birthday it MAY happen, but it won’t happen until then!!)

One of the main reasons I did the diet was to jump start a consistent clean-eating lifestyle. Continuing to eat six meals a day will ensure that I get enough protein, and I’m aiming for a very high amount, between 1-1.5g per pound of body weight. Getting high amounts of protein is the number-one nutrition rule to pack on muscle, so I have to be conscious that I’m getting around 30g or more of protein at each meal.

I will add in a few more complex carbs than I was eating in the last weeks of the diet, but no more than 150g per day. I found on the diet that I did really well without a lot of grains, breads, and pastas. I physically feel better when I eat mostly proteins and veggies. (Roasted veggies are my new fave.) Of course I will also add in some fruit, which has been missing from my diet since January. I still won’t eat a lot of dairy.

Training

My number-one focus going forward will be on training. I haven’t ever really paid attention to other people’s philosophies on training because I’ve just done what Greg has taught me and built on that. It’s worked for me so far, but I know that I need to spice it up if I want to continue to “trick” the muscle into growth.The primary focus of my blog  will be about what I am doing in the gym, why, and if it’s working. Of course I’ll know that it’s working if (1) I can lift more weight and (2) my pictures show it. I’m much more about “looks” than “strength”, but the amount of weight I’m able to lift is a good baseline for how much muscle I’m building.

I’ve actually had quite a few people ask me about my training over the course of the diet so I’m excited to focus on those specifics, what seems to work (or not work) and of course seeing results. Everything I do has to be results-driven (i.e., for a purpose), otherwise it would be pretty boring! The goal is to continue to see definite progress in my body from month-to-month and year-to-year. That means by my 30th birthday (May 10), I should continue to show progress from my April 4 pictures.

Steph

Watch  me do it!

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6 Responses to “What’s next?”

  1. Rowan April 8, 2010 at 12:34 PM #

    Hi!

    I love your blog and have been following you since I saw you on Tosca’s forum. You’ve done a fantastic job!

    A few questions (if you don’t mind);

    1. How much weight did you drop while you were on VPX? You mention it was hard to get off of it – do you regret doing it? Would you do it again?

    2. When you did carb cycling what was a typical no carb day? I tried this last week and kicked myself into a 3 day migraine.

    Great job! You’re such an inspiration.

    Rowan

    • Stephanie April 8, 2010 at 9:32 PM #

      Hey Rowan! Thanks for writing.
      1. I’m not sure how much weight loss was attributed to the VPX, if any. I took it for the first 8 weeks of my diet and lost about 10 lbs. during those weeks. I took it mostly for energy and to curb my appetite. But I doubt any weight would come off without the diet and training. Actually, I know it wouldn’t. I probably would take No Explode or some other energy supplement and skip the VPX next time. It was crazy coming off that stuff and I didn’t like that feeling at all. I felt like I was in a fog.

      2.I never did a no carb day. Actually I did it once and hated it. I did 50g or less the last 2 weeks of the diet and upped my protein. I think carb cycling is a GREAT way to break through a plateau and definitely helps fat loss — if you can do it. It’s very hard to be that disciplined because if you eat high carbs one day and the next is supposed to be a low carb day but you mess up all the sudden you are high-carbing all the time and that fat is sticking like glue!! My goal is to get to a point where I eat more carbs on lifting days and less on resting/cardio only days.

      Please let me know how it goes!!

      • Rowan April 9, 2010 at 7:57 AM #

        Thanks so much for the reply.

        No, I totally believe that its diet and exercise that is
        important for weight loss. I’ve been eating clean since Jan
        and have lost nearly 30 pounds (although I have ~50 more to go)
        . It just seems recently that I have to fight for every pound
        loss so was wondering if therewas something that could help
        that along. I’m also halfway through my first round of P90X
        which is going great.

        I know I’m making progress – I’m just getting a little impatient.

        Again, great job. I look forward to seeing your further tweaks
        and progress.

      • Stephanie April 9, 2010 at 9:23 AM #

        WOW!! Rowan that is amazing!! Please keep going — I know it gets difficult sometimes, but just be persistent. I think it probably wouldn’t hurt to take supplements, esp. if you aren’t taking any now. Get every little bit of help you can. I love L-Carnitine — I take it in liquid form and I do believe that it works. You should go on bodybuilding.com and read about fat loss stacks and see what people have put together and maybe try that.

        Do you have progress pictures up on the forums?

  2. Sarah April 7, 2010 at 4:53 PM #

    I started follwing your blog a few weeks ago. Wow you have done great! You talk about your inspiration picture and today I printed off yours and hung it up. Although I have always been athletic and enjoy working out I did fall of the wagon but have started eating clean and working out again and feeling great. I still have a ways to go but I will get there. Thanks for sharing your process and progress with people!

    • Stephanie April 7, 2010 at 7:59 PM #

      Sarah – thanks so much! That picture is from Oxygen Magazine and I think it’s Maggie Diablo, although I’m not 100% sure. I like having a picture instead of a goal weight because seriously, it is about how we look vs. how much we weigh. I don’t care if I weighed 200 lbs. as long as I looked lean and toned! Plus the picture gives me clarity as far as meeting my goal. I didn’t want anything vague. Anyway, please keep me updated on your progress every now and then!

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