This week Lifestyle editor and Man Cave-dweller Adrian Collins got his first round of measurements done after a few weeks of training and eating clean and the results were fairly amazing.
Hard work is it's own reward, as the old saying goes, but what's even more like a reward is an actual reward, and this week there have been a few for the tough slog that I've been undertaking. I won't sugarcoat it (because I'm not allowed to, there's no sugar on this diet) it has been pretty crap, but I've also been a big moan, and needed to quit complaining so much since it's all for my own good in the end.
The end isn't here yet, but after three weeks of eating plain and working hard, Anthony at Raw Condition Gym called myself and my competition Pete in last Friday afternoon to measure our results and how well we were getting on. When we started out, my body fat was at 15.23%, and when I was measured on Friday, that came down to 8.53%, which, as even Ant was happy to admit, was amazing. That's single digits folks, it ain't no joke and it was a hard slog, but that result right there has been worth everything that I've had to do. I am, just four weeks in, already in the best shape of my life, and there are numbers to prove it.
We were also given a whole new eating regime with things that I could only dream of before, like steak, salmon, and delicious vegetables, not to mention the sheer powerful taste of a sweet potato. Low carb day hasn't changed, and there's still no dairy or sugar, but the other days are about eating much more, and the next phase will be shaping muscle since the progress so far has been so good. One of the big changes was for breakfast, where Ant revealed a trick that I wish he'd told me weeks earlier - to stomach the egg whites and oats, just mix them together and make a pancake out of them. It's simple and obvious, but psychologically has a big impact on how you eat. Throw in a touch of cinnamon and you're laughing too.
It doesn't seem like all that much, but I'll take any victory I can get. The workouts themselves have also now changed. Having had such success with cutting, it's time to start looking at some gains, adding muscle and shaping what's underneath now. For the next few weeks, we're going into a two-day split routine, one day focused on upper body, the other focused on lower body, and they're both as grueling as you might expect. Still, bros don't let bros forget leg day.
Warmup: Leg extension (2×25 at a light weight)
Smith Machine or Free squat (4×10)
Smith Machine or free lunge (4×10)
Leg Curl (3×12)
Leg Extension (3×12)
Calf Raise (3×15)
Abs are done every day now, and while I have some exercises that I can do myself and have done in the past, the Rip 60 stuff given to me by the guys at Raw, where they have the facilities to hold classes in it, are incredibly challenging.
Rip 60 Jump Squats (3 ×10)
Rip 60 jackknife (3 x 10)
Rip 60 stir the pot (3 x 20)
Incline bench press (4×10)
Cable Upright Row (3×12) with dumbbell Shoulder Press (3×10) in a superset
Dumbbell curl (4×10) with Lateral Raise (4×12) in a superset
For these exercises, the point is to find a weight that's heavy enough that you will be pushed to failure, so you really do need a spotter. The point of eating all the extra food is to help you through these workouts, and so far I've found them very tough, in particular leg day which leaves you feeling the effects for two full days, at which point it's leg day again. But thems the breaks, as they say, because the comparison between this week and when we started almost a month ago is hugely impressive. Here's just one side by side so that you have an idea:
There are a few challenges still to come, however with a regular cheat meal and the fact that the food is now better, I feel much more confident in my ability to get to the end of this challenge and achieve everything I need to. One thing that has been a bit of a shock is the cost of eating this way though. With so much meat on my plate, from tuna to steak to salmon, the weekly shop has gone up a good bit, and I'm finding it difficult to just keep eating like a mad carnivore. I'll be happy when that side of things is over to go a little bit vegetarian for a while!
Still, you can't argue with results, and when I look in the mirror, even now, I'm much happier with what I'm seeing. You can check out the other blogs from week one here, week two here and last week here too.
If you want the incredibly grim meal plan, or if you’ve started the program yourself or you’re thinking about making a change and getting fit, then don’t be afraid to drop me a line on Twitter or get in touch with the lads at Raw. They know their stuff, clearly.