The other day I mentioned that I was going to tweak my workout plan to incorporate more weight training. The
anal Type A in me who likes her planning naturally meant I had to find some kind of plan. I like having a structure to follow, especially as regular strength training is a completely new ball game for me. As a result, I have started to follow the Body for Life program.
If you’re interested, there is loads of information on the BFL website but for now, here is the Sparknotes version of the plan:
- 12-week nutrition & exercise program
- 6 workouts a week, alternating between 45-minute weight training sessions and 20-minute cardio sessions. Both follow a specific structure based on RPE (rate of perceived exertion)
- Weight training sessions alternate between exercises for the upper & lower body
- Cardio sessions are based on high intense interval training (HIIT), and BFL suggests a specific RPE
- 5-6 small meals throughout the day, 2-3 hours apart
- Balance each meal with a carb, protein and healthy fat, striving for your total daily intake to come from 40% wholegrain carbs, 40% protein, 20% fat
- Drink at least 10 glasses of water
- Portions should be the fist-/palm-sized
- Vegetables must be eaten with at least 2 meals per day
- 7th day = “free day” in terms of no exercise and there are no limits to what can be eaten
I started on Monday with the intention to follow the exercise portion of the plan to the letter. As for the food aspect of it, BFL more or less corresponds to my regular style of eating. I love that it focuses on a balanced diet rather than eliminating food groups or eating more of certain foods. However after following an eating plan for a good 4-5 years of my life, I’m kinda over eating according to a list of “dos and don’ts”. For starters, I would be kidding myself if I said I was going to stay off alcohol for 12 weeks. I know what to eat to stay healthy and I know what foods work well for my body and hunger levels. Hopefully that combined with the workout plan will create the results I am looking for.
So far I am loving BFL more than I thought. I am still in the ‘honeymoon’ phase of the plan so this might change after 6 weeks . Initially I thought I would have trouble “only” doing 20-30 minutes of cardio but to be honest, that is more than enough. If you’re following the RPE structure and giving it your all for the full 20 minutes, it is HARD! Suddenly a 30-minute workout feels like
death an hour.
With BFL, I am not looking to lose weight on the scales. I am, however, working to tone up. As vain as it sounds, my primary goal is physically-related: I want to change the shape of my body. When I first started running, I lost A LOT of weight on it. However with any workout plan, there comes a point that you stop seeing results…at least the results you want. Unfortunately I stopped seeing physical results a long while ago so hopefully this change of pace will get me out of my plateau. I’ve read loads of reviews from people who have been highly successful with BFL but whether or not it works for me, time will tell. And if anything, at least it’s already given me one result in terms of working out: I have genuinely looked forward to every single session this past week, and left the gym feeling GREAT!