2012 “Quick Start” fitness guide (using exercises from any 7 Weeks program)
NOTE: This “guide” started out as an email to some family and friends. Consider it a blog posting – It is not intended to be a all-encompassing fitness regimen, nor does it take an individual’s medical history, weight, conditioning or any other physiological factors into account. Before starting any fitness regimen, be sure to get clearance to participate by a licensed physician. Use this program, nutritional examples and the associated exercises at your own risk.
While the programs are “7 Weeks” getting (and staying) fit is about lifestyle modification; learning what your body can do and what foods you need to power it is an amazing revelation. Once you figure it out, it becomes simple.
You have to learn the rules before you can break them.
This program is not that hard to follow, and it only takes a couple of weeks to make it a routine. With the “Cheat day” on Saturday, it’s pretty easy to stick to and only requires some effort and the will to get fit. The bottom line – you have to WANT to do it. Get your ass up and do it and it gets easier. Trust me, I’ve been there myself.
Sunday through Friday, (6) meals/day of lean protein, green veggies, no white carbs or fried food. Avoid fruit juice, soda & refined sugars.
Saturday: “cheat day” to reset your metabolism, start with a high-protein breakfast (like Meal 1 below) and then eat whatever you want until 9pm. Then 1 scoop casein protein after your evening walk.
NOTES: 7 Weeks to Getting Ripped has a much more extensive section with tips & nutritional advice, this is just off the top of my head.
- Like coffee? Make it black. No calories and it revs up your metabolism and fuels performance. If you’re not a caffeine person, then good ahead and skip it. (I personally am)
- Like soda? Swap it out with seltzer/club soda. You get the fizz with no calories or chemicals. Diet soda is ok, but too much aspertame is a bad thing.
- DON’T DRINK CALORIES! The biggest culprit? Fruit juice or sports drink. Read the label, fruit juice (even naturally sweetened) is a calorie bomb. Eat the apple instead of the juice; you’ll get fuller on the fiber in the apple and it takes longer to eat & enjoy.
- NO SPORTS DRINKS! Look at the label; unless you’re running for an hour in the heat, water is all you need. Don’t sabotage a workout by pouring 100-200 calories into your mouth when you *do not need it*
- Drink Water – Have a big-ass cup and fill it enough times to drink about a gallon a day. Keep refilling it over and over, drink all day long.
- TAKE BEFORE PICTURES. This is not a joke, don’t wait a week – take them the day you start. Yes, take your shirt off and wear shorts. You don’t need to share these with anyone for now – 6 months from now you will absolutely LOVE to show them off. I am 100% serious about this, it’s a simple investment you’ll appreciate in the future.
- Want a burger? Make it a turkey burger (or even with with 2 patties) and use lettuce as the bun. If you have to eat a burger, no cheese, ditch the bun or get a wheat bun and only use the bottom. Make sure you squeeze the patty of excess fat (away from the bun) and dab with a napkin. When you get rid of that extra fat, you can save up to a hundred calories!.
- Make friends with Google – use the guidelines below and google “calories in XX, protein in XX”, etc. and see how it compares to the meals I’ve listed below. If you don’t like the stuff listed then it’s up to you to find replacements… or maybe stretch yourself and learn to adjust to healthier foods.
- Meal 2 & 4 are interchangeable “snacks”
- Meal 1 is vital that you stick to the high-protein & low-glycemic carbs
- Meal 4 & 5 (lunch/dinner) are where you can swap protein sources, veggies and make it appetizing and not the same every day
- STAY AWAY FROM (almost all*) SAUCES – they are just places to add fat & calories. Ketchup is full of salt & sugar – use less than a dime. Mustard isn’t as bad, but use up to a quarter. *Hot Sauce is a-ok in my book
- When eating out, ask for EVERYTHING plain; otherwise expect everything to be soaked in butter (from steaks to vegetables) and double the calories you expect. Ask for steamed vegetables plain, they actually taste fresher & better. Get sauces on the side, etc.
- Remember, Saturday is your cheat day; so even if you’re eating the same thing for 6 days you can look forward to literally going nuts on Saturday. Save your pasta, pizza, ice cream, doughnuts, muffins & whatever bad stuff you are craving for Saturday – you’ll appreciate it even more when you wait for it.
- I REPEAT – SATURDAY IS YOUR CHEAT DAY! Do not drink those beers on Friday because: “Hey, it’s almost Saturday”
- Your cheat day has rules: make sure you follow ‘em. Start with a high protein meal after your morning walk, and your free-for-all ends at 9:00pm with 1 scoop of casein protein in water.
- Don’t cram your meals down quickly; in most cases it’s more than you would normally eat. A meal should take 30 minutes to eat, a snack 5-10.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The below guidelines should be adjusted for your own specific weight/composition/weight loss goals. For example, I weigh 155lbs, and eat (3) eggs/egg whites for meal #1, 4oz of grilled chicken for meal #3 and 4-6oz of lean meat for meal #5.
Meal 1 (NOTE: This is your Saturday meal too!) - immediately after morning walk / exercises
2-4 egg omelet/scrambled with green peppers
3 links of turkey sausage
1/4 cup steel cut oats (coaches oats are my favorite)
8oz 2% milk
(remember to drink water all day)
Meal 2 - 1.5 hours after meal 1
1/2 cup cottage cheese or whey protein shake
handful of almonds
Can of seltzer/club soda
Meal 3 - 1.5 hours after meal 2
4-6oz grilled chicken
Big salad w/veggies, oil & vinegar dressing (you want the fat from the oil to help keep you full, just don’t overdo it)
If you like avocado, 1/2 of that on your salad is a great thing to add healthy fats
If you want a diet soda, this is a good time (if not, seltzer/water)
(remember to drink water all day)
Meal 4 - 1.5 hours after meal 3
Sliced apple w/peanut butter (about 2tbs)
4 sticks of celery w/pb
Plain rice cakes or Nature Valley plain granola bar a tablespoon of peanut butter (this is much higher carb than the others, this is what you’d eat if you have been sluggish all day)
Meal 5 - 1.5 hours after meal 4
4-8oz Lean meat – beef, chicken or fish (Lean Protein, Fats – in the case of Fish really good fats)
Steamed or grilled veggies (w/a dab of butter) (veggie carbs)
1/4 cup Brown rice, quinoa or 1/2 sweet potato w/little butter & cinnamon (energy carbs)
Meal 6 - 1 hour before bed or after evening walk
casein protein shake
greek yogurt w/a handful almonds and fresh berries (I prefer vanilla greek yogurt, make sure to check the sugar content!)
Morning: (20 minutes)
Go for a brisk walk immediately when you wake up – do not eat anything.
Why? During sleep, your body is burning ~60% fat as fuel, so you want to extend it by going for a brisk walk. I bring a cup of black coffee (once you get used to black coffee the whole program becomes easier. Caffeine helps keep your metabolism revved and black coffee has no calories. In my book, it’s a win-win) *No matter how cold, windy, snowy, shitty it is – get your ass up and out the door. You’ll warm up soon and realize it’s worth it* The minute you say “not today” is the start of the end of your fitness. I’ve been there. If time is tight in the morning, do the workouts M, W, F and walk Tu, Th, Sat & Sun. If you can swing it, walk every morning.
Workout: (15 minutes)
Monday, Wednesday & Friday use the Prep Level of 7 Weeks to Getting Ripped – it is all the exercises you’ll need in 15 minutes. You can use any of the FREE Programs – I recommend Getting Ripped, Ultimate Jump Rope Workouts and 300 Sit-Ups. They feature the same programs, but books have a helluva lot more info. I prefer to do my workout after my morning walk before breakfast, but you need to work it into your schedule. Some days I need to eat something before the program, so I have a cup of milk and oats 10-15 minutes before the routine and then eat the rest of breakfast afterwards.
During the workouts if you need more rest, take more rest. If you have to break up the exercises, then go ahead. The main goal is to make fitness part of your routine, after about 14 days you will adapt to the eating & exercise. Let me repeat – it only takes about 14 days of being committed to adapt and make it routine. Progress through the program at your own pace. I recommend band-assisted pull-ups, there’s a link in GEAR to a really awesome one (Pull-Up Revolution). Don’t skip the pull-ups, they are hard and challenging but amazingly rewarding. They are core to the program and actually work your core as much as your upper body; these are the secret weapon to getting ripped.
Evening: (20-30 minutes)
About 1 hour before bed, it’s time for another brisk walk. This one helps start your fat-burning a little earlier before you sleep. After a few months, this will become a walk/jog, then a jog. Believe it or not, you *always* have time for this walk. It’s a great time to reflect on your day, plan tomorrow or just chill out. Eventually you’ll look forward to this as your “personal time”. Wear a whole bunch of layers, it helps fat-burning to work up a sweat.
It’s not that hard to follow this program – especially with the cheat day on Saturday – but it requires commitment. Let’s say it really sucks and is amazingly hard; doesn’t that make it even MORE rewarding of a goal? You have the strength and willpower, don’t quit. If you screw up, then *immediately* get back on the program.
I am 100% positive you can do this and I want you to – because I know how much it will change your life for the better.