12 Week “Get Lean” Summer Challenge

For the next 12 weeks I am going to be challenging myself and changing my workout routine to get fit, lean, and ready for the summer! Different goals mean different routines and now is the perfect time for a change.

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February 2016

When your fitness goals change, so do your fitness routines. When I first started exercising I knew I wanted to put on some weight and gain some muscle. I was skinny with fat in all the wrong places (like my lower belly and inner thighs). I wanted to gain muscle and tone up, so my workout plan reflected that. I ate clean, but didn’t really track anything, just paid attention the the calories in my meals and how much protein was in everything I ate. I lifted moderately heavy weights with high reps to help tone up my muscles and have them become firm. And with my cardio, I did mostly HIIT so I can keep the muscle I was gaining and burn some of the unwanted fat.

This has been pretty much my regimen for the past year and I love/loved it! It definitely helped me put on healthy weight (going from about 125lbs – 140lbs), added some wonderful curves to my body, and has helped me get strong but now I have a new goal and will have to put this regimen on hold

I’ve bulked up enough and now I want to get lean. I’m not talking about slim because I want to keep (and build) my hard-earned muscle, but I’m talking about losing more body fat so I am defined. I want my hard work to show and to get my bikini body ready, which is perfect because summer is around the corner.

Every 12 weeks, I switch up my routine a bit, whether I’m focusing more on a different muscle group, splitting my workout days differently, or trying a new form of cardio (like Zumba which is so much fun!) Here’s how I’m changing my routine:

  • CARB CYCLING: I adore carbs, who doesn’t love bread, pasta, potatoes, and tortillas? Normally I don’t check my carb intake but that is something I am going to change. Carbs that aren’t used for things like energy and muscle recovery can be stored as body fat. Since I want to get lean, I am going to eat the heaviest carbs on my heaviest workout days and have very low carbs on my off days and light carbs on my lighter workout days.
  • TRACKING MY MACROS: The macronutrients our body needs are protein, carbs, and fat. When we track macros we track how much of those + calories that we consume a day. In order to lose weight you have to be at a calorie deficit of your normal intake. Also, through tracking my macros, I realized I wasn’t getting enough of certain nutrients and too much of others (like sugars) that I don’t need. I use the MyFitnessPal app to track my foods.
  • LIFTING HEAVY: I really want to focus on building, retaining, and strengthening my my muscles instead of just toning them like I have done before. In order to do this I need to lift (and squat) heavier weights and decrease my reps to 8 – 10 instead of 15 – 20.
  • ADDING IN LOW INTENSITY STEADY STATE (LISS) CARDIO: I have been doing HIIT for a while, but since I will be lifting heavier, I can’t overload and overwork my body. I am still going to keep my HIIT cardio on my lighter workout days, but on my heavier days (like my leg days) I will be doing Lower Intensity cardio.

Those are my four major changes for the next 12 weeks. You guys are welcome to incorporate some of these changes in your own workout routines and we can get lean together! I’ll be documenting my progress on here too and letting you guys know what I’ve tried, what worked, and what didn’t work out so well. Ill be posting more lower carb recipes and let me know if you guys want me to post the workouts I’m doing!

I start April 1st and end on July 1st (a couple weeks before my birthday!)

I am 5’4 and my starting weight is 142lbs

I will also be doing other little things like restrictions my sugars down to one sweet treat a week and using only a little dairy products (because it upsets my stomach a bit, but its soooo good)

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