James McQuarrie

A collection of random links and thoughts curated by James McQuarrie

2013 Fitness Plan: The results

Six weeks of training and following the slow carb eating plan with 2 days of fasting a week: done.

Six whole weeks. When I started this experiment six weeks seemed like quite a long time. Now, it feels like it’s gone pretty quickly. Quickly in the sense that it doesn’t feel like it was a long slog, or particularly hard work. Nor did it feel like I was making any huge sacrifice either. Eating clean and training hard didn’t seem as difficult as I’d thought it might be.

Each week I tried to follow a simple plan:

Monday – run 5km in the morning, eat a high protein, slow carb diet and then do an evening workout consisting of: crunches, kettle bell swings and press ups.

Tuesday – run 5km in the morning, eat a high protein, slow carb diet and then do an evening workout consisting of: kettle bell clean and press sets.

Wednesday – rest day, no running, no workout. Fast by eating less than 600 calories.

Thursday – run 5km in the morning, eat a high protein, slow carb diet and then do the same evening workout as on a Monday.

Friday – run 5km in the morning, eat a high protein, slow carb diet and then do the same evening workout as on a Tuesday.

Saturday – no running, no workout, no diet: eat anything and everything.

Sunday – no running, no workout. Fast by eating less than 600 calories.

Overall I spent about 2 hours a week running and between 2 and 3 hours a week doing the evening workouts, so in total I had to find no more than 5 hours a week to do the exercise element of the plan. 5 hours max spread over 4 days a week.

If you’ve been following along with my daily updates, you’ll know that I’ve not stuck to that routine 100%, but I’ve not deviated too far from the plan either. I didn’t train as much as I’d have liked in week five because of a throat infection and in week three I had a minor set back when I pulled a muscle in my neck doing a Friday workout. That lead to lifting less in week four. But, other than those two hiccups I’ve followed that basic 7 day plan for the full 6 weeks.

As far as the diet has gone, I’ve managed to stick to the two fasting days a week without any trouble and while I’ve not been 100% slow carb accurate every single day of all six weeks, I’ve only had one or two days in total where I’ve had something I shouldn’t have. And even then, those slight cheats have only been things like having some milk in a tea or having a wrap with my lunch, so nothing too outrageous.

So, the question everyone wants to know the answer to is: has it worked?

Simply: yes.

On the first Monday of week 1 my morning measurements read:

Weight: 104.1kg (~16.4 stone)
Body fat percentage: 19.8% (~20kg of fat)
BMI: 26.6

Today, six weeks later my morning measurements read:

Weight: 95.2kg (~15 stone)
Body fat percentage: 16.7% (~15.9kg of fat)
BMI: 24.3

Which means in six weeks I’ve lost 8.9kg or 1.4 stone in total. Of which just under 5kg was body fat.

When I started out I didn’t have any specific goals in mind other than getting those three numbers to drop. I’m more than happy that they’ve all gone in the right direction, and have continued to do so all the way through the whole of the six week plan.

This week I’m having a rest week, where I’ll eat carbs, fruit, dairy, etc again and not watch what I’m eating / drinking too much. I’ll not go crazy, but not be too strict either.

Next week I’m planning on starting another six week cycle, though I’ll mix things up a little for the next cycle, adding in some more carbs to my diet and changing my workout schedule to include more lifting. The goal will be to build more lean muscle and drop my body fat percentage to below 15%.

Thanks to everyone who’s followed along and sent messages of support over the past six weeks. Knowing that I needed to log all my training and eating here every day, publicly, has really helped motivate me to keep going. Tracking everything each day also really helps to motivate too. Being able to read back over the last week’s numbers and see even just small improvements really helped me push on each day.

I’ve tried a number of different diets and training routines over the last two or three years, but I’ve never been able to get sustainable results from any of them. I think with this routine I’ve finally found one that works for me, and that I can stick to and build on.

Six weeks in numbers

Having tracked my training, eating and body measurements every day for the last six weeks I’ve got a nice set of data to look through and see where things worked, where they didn’t and how small, daily efforts really add up to make a difference over time. I thought I’d share some of the numbers here:

In six weeks I’ve run 105.011km. For me that works out as roughly 11125 calories burnt just running.

Over the six weeks I’ve done 8900 crunches, 2160 kettle bell swings (that’s 60480kg swung in total), 1225 press ups and 570 clean and press lifts with a kettle bell.

In terms of food and drink over the last six weeks I’ve eaten 100 eggs. I’ve had 83 pints of water (97 if you include pints of tonic water). I’ve had 50 mugs of green tea. 36 protein shakes. 28 cups of coffee. 22 apples. 15 pints of beer and 8 bottles of beer. 6 glasses of red wine.

I’ve eaten 24 portions of spinach (that’s 2.4kg of baby spinach!). I’ve eaten 2.9kg of tomato salsa. 10 avocados. 10 slices of roast beef. 7 biscuits. 5 cup cakes. 13 bowls of soup. 4 chocolate bars. And 1 Cornetto.

I may keep tracking my food / drink in take for the rest of the year just to see what those numbers look like over the course of twelve months. It’s not until you track these things that you realise how much / little of something you’re actually consuming…