Plans, Plans, Plans!

I have noticed that people who are “in to fitness” tend to be those who like planning too. Or maybe we just develop an affinity for planning because “Failing to plan is planning to fail!”. It kind of ends up being a chicken vs. egg argument. The end result being mounds upon mounds of fitness and nutrition plans. I am no exception, except that I tend to change me plans on a an almost daily basis.

What doesn’t change are my goals.

Goals for me are the foundation of a plan, so that is always where I start, and today I have decided that my goal will be a repeat of last years (with a better placing). I will be competing at the UFE Halloween Mayhem Show on October 26th!

I have shown you what my plans tend to look like before, but I wanted to go through my though process a bit more and why I plan how I do.

FIRST – The Goal

This is 2 fold; What I want to achieve before I start competition prep, and what I want to achieve by the show.

The goal is to be a little leaner and a little more muscular!

The goal is to be a little leaner and a little more muscular!

1 – I want my off-season to end with me about 6-8 pounds away from ideal and which a bit more muscle than last time (maybe 4-5 pounds).

2 – Show up slightly leaner with 4-5 pounds more muscle than last year and place top 5 at the show.

SECOND – The Math

So my goals include building some muscle; I figure I have probably put on 5 pounds of muscle already, but the trick is maintaining that while losing fat. And I want to come in leaner.

My stats from my show last year were 132 pounds and about 13% BF. This year I would like to have about 10% body fat and about 4-5 pounds more of muscle, so what does that result in for the scale?

Last year’s Lean Body Mass = 132 lbs / (1 +13%BF) = 117 lbs of LBM

This year LBM goal = 117 lbs +5 lbs = 122 lbs of LBM

This year’s goal weight = 122 lbs * (1 +10%BF) = 134 lbs of scale weight

Therefore my goal weight per my scale for the show is 134 pounds if I hit all my targets, this is completely flexible based on what the mirror is showing! And my goal for the off-season is to end at around 140 – 142 pounds.

My current weight as of this morning is 149, so I need to lose 7-9 pounds in the 15 weeks before contest prep.

THIRD – The Timing

Now that I have the dates and the weights in mind I plan out the timing of things and see what special events I have to compensate for (because I don’t believe in not eating what you want on your birthday and the like). For this I usually download a calendar in word and put in all the dates that I thing are pertinent. Some of the ones I have included are:

  • The contest date
  • The contest prep start date (12 weeks before the contest date)
  • Vacations the will interrupt workouts and eating
  • Special events where I will be going out to eat (like Mother’s day, Father’s day, Birthdays, anniversaries etc.)
  • Active events that may interrupt my training schedule (like the 2 spartan races I am doing this summer)
  • Fitness events that I might want to look good for (like the Toronto Pro Supershow) – this is only relevant if I want to cut back on salt or carbs in order to make sure I’m not all puffy, nothing would change for the workouts or diet and I would never crash diet for something like that

When all that information is in the calendar, I start counting back and labeling the weeks away from the competition and contest prep and divide my goal needs, by the weeks to get my weekly goals.

I have 15 weeks until contest prep would start, minus 2 weeks in San Francisco, so 13 weeks. Therefore 9 pounds/13 weeks = 0.7 pounds per week on average

I have 12 weeks of contest prep. Therefore 6 pounds / 12 weeks = 0.5 pounds per week on average

Once I have those amounts I back look at the special events and estimate any “damage” I might do, for instance, on my birthday I might think I would gain 2 pounds over the various celebrations, therefore I would need to compensate by losing 0.7 pounds per week.

And we haven’t even gotten to the strategy of how to get there yet!

FOURTH – The Workouts

I always start my plans with a workout schedule, this time around I intend to workout more with a routine and in the morning. Since I want to build muscle in the off-season, my focus will be hypertrophy training with between 24-30 working sets and working in the 8-12 rep range. I adjust as I go and the plans I have for workouts will be used only as long as I see progress.

I also what to improve my running capacity because I am doing some races this year, so I am planning on doing 3-4 days of cardio, mostly running, per week.

My current plan is:

Build muscle in the off season!

Build muscle in the off season!

Sunday – Legs + abs
Monday – Pull muscles + shoulders + 30 mins run or Stairs
Tuesday  –   Yoga + 30 mins run
Wednesday – Legs + abs
Thursday – Shoulders + 30 mins run
Friday – Rest day
Saturday – Push muscles + 30 mins cardio
FIFTH – The Diet
This goes last because it is so dependent on everything else! My goal for my diet is to keep my calories as high as possible while still losing weight. My plan right now (which will start on Monday) Is to eat 2000 calories per day for one week and see if I lose any weight, if I don’t lose weight I will decrease my calories by 100 cals/day, but given the amount of exercise I am planning on, I should be able to lose between half and one pound per week. Starting with calories high allows you to adjust when you hit plateaus, which are inevitable.
I also aim for a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of LBM and try to keep my carbs between 100 – 150 grams, the remainder of the calories come from good sources of fat.
I don’t want to say too much more about my diet because everyone is so different, but just make sure that you don’t try to go from eating 2400 cals per day at maintenance to 1300 cals per day for 12 weeks, you will destroy your metabolism and after 3 weeks of rapid weight loss (muscle too!) your body will adjust and you will stop losing weight.
So that is my (long-winded) approach to planning for fitness goals.
Does anyone have something that they do differently? I am always looking for new ideas 🙂

5 thoughts on “Plans, Plans, Plans!

  1. You seem to have it all figured out good. I hope you do well at your competition!

    I have never competed, but I admire the dedication of those who do when it comes to contest prep. Watching their journey is always encouraging to me.

    So I can’t wait to read about your weeks leading up…go get’tem! 😉

  2. Pingback: Layne Norton and my love of plans | On The Go Fitness

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