How far from a beach bod are you?

Brandon Hahn February 19, 2013 Training Articles

We are already a decent way into the new year. That resolution you had to start eating healthier and lose weight hasn’t quite happened. You’ve been planning to increase your time in the gym, however other things got in the way. You do plan to hit up the beach this Summer but you’re far from the beach bod you planned. You want to get cut and look shredded, but not like Christian Bale in “The Machinist”.  It’s going to take proper planning. Let’s look at the numbers and see how much time it will take to get cut!

The Plan

Alright, ideally you would want to lose between 1 to 2 pounds per week to be sure you are burning fat (NOT muscle). You weigh around 200 pounds right now. The offseason turned into more of a burger and fries type of bulk, right? So, now you sit at around 15% bodyfat. The plan is to be shredded. So, ideally you’d want to be between 5-6% bodyfat. Some people can look good at 7-8%, but everyone is different So, shoot for the lower end just to be sure you look damn good. This means you have around 10% bodyfat to lose. Try to keep it towards the middle ground of 1.5 pounds per week. In the first few weeks due to; adjustments in diet, training, less glycogen being stored, and other factors you may lose more than 2 pounds. However, after the first 2 weeks this should level off. Focus on no losing 1.5 pounds per week from that point.

The Breakdown

You’ve found out that to look shredded, you need to lose 10% bodyfat. This translates into 20 pounds of fat that you need to lose. Now let’s calculate, 20 divided by 1.5 pounds is 13 1/3 weeks. Dieting does cost some muscle, so let’s shoot for 14 weeks to make sure those 20 pounds of fat are eliminated. You will need to make sure this weight loss comes from diet and training. The diet portion should consist of a larger portion of the weight loss which would ideally be around 70-80%. The additional weight loss will come from additional training. Depending on your setup, this will either mean an additional day or two of weights. You could also start adding in cardio sessions to assist in the weight loss.

Your current routine has been around 4 days of weights, and cardio whenever you can. Having 4 days of weight training is a good starting point, so it’s time to add in cardio to create the additional weight loss. Let’s be on the safe side and have the 80% come from diet. The additional 20% will be from your added cardio sessions. A pound of fat is around 3500 calories. You need to burn 1.5 times that, so you need to burn 5250 calories. DON’T FREAK OUT! This number will be broken up into your 7 days of dieting and training. Let’s take the 5250 multiplied by 80% and you get 4200 calories per week. Break that down into the daily portion, and you need to reduce your current caloric intake by 600 calories per day. Now, take 5250 multiplied by 20% and you get 1050. You can break that down into 3 separate cardio sessions averaging 350 calories burned per session. Those cardio sessions can be performed on your non weight training days, or after your training session. Since it’s been hard to get to the gym, have at least 2 of those sessions be after your weight training. To keep the sessions limited, you could do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) as your form of cardio.

Plateau Busting

As the diet progresses, you will need to continue to adjust your calories. This means you will need to reduce your caloric intake and possibly increase cardio. The method that works best is to alternate the two factors. One week you reduce your calories, and usually reducing 100-150 calories will help bust the plateau. The following week, or at the next plateau, increase your cardio. Focus on burning an additional 100-150 calories by adding a few minutes to your cardio sessions (these calories can be spread out over your 3 cardio sessions).

Now, it’s time to get moving. The timeframe may seem extremely lengthy, but you have the option to shortcut (right?). People do it all of the time. They lose weight way too fast and end up looking sickly. You did not put in all of that time to build your muscles over the past year to have them be wasted away by overdieting. You see how much time you need to get shredded, so this is the time to GET UP! There isn’t one second to waste trying to get to the gym. Your time is now, so get moving! Any questions regarding this article, please feel free to email [email protected]

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About The Author

Brandon has been in the fitness industry for over seven years and has trained over 1,000 clients. He has competed in several bodybuilding competitions and continues to improve his physique with hardwork and dedication. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, Brandon has the knowledge and skills to get you on the fast track to fitness.