Intense 30-Day Fast Start Challenge - Lose Weight, Get Fit, Look Better
Consistency is the key to achieving amazing things. Unfortunately, it's hard for most to stick to a new fitness regimen and eating lifestyle.
Unforeseen challenges arise. Work stress. Relationship struggles. Even nasty winter weather can do its best to keep us from the gym.
Ask any experienced trainer about the value of consistency. They will likely tell you that 90% of the battle is to get clients to stick to a plan for a long period of time. Someone might eat well for five days, but then break and sneak a bagel (or three) at work.
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I tell folks all the time:
"If you can just dig in and stick to your plan for a month, you'll experience much better progress."
This program is all about consistency. It's 30 days of no cheating, clean eating, and an intense exercise protocol. It is challenging, but it will change you - both physically and mentally.
During the next 30 days, you will focus on remaining consistent with your:
- Resistance training
- Overall fitness and conditioning
- Healthy eating
- Weight loss
Well, I said "focus on remaining consistent" but that's not entirely true. You WILL remain consistent.
So here we go...
30-Day Fast Start Challenge - Workouts
Let's start with the gym. Over the next 30 days you will have the goal to complete at least:
- 2,500 resistance training reps
- 2,500 bodyweight exercise reps
- 25 miles of walking/running/hiking
- 500 minutes of cardio
Now, this might seem like too much or too little based upon your current level of conditioning. If you do more than this protocol already, then - obviously - this is not the program for you. Just keep in mind it's very challenging for the average individual that is struggling with consistency.
It boils down to an average of:
- 83.33 resistance training reps per day, or 166.67 every other day. This is about an average of 17 sets of 10 reps.
- 83.33 bodyweight training reps per day. This boils down to a minimum or 42 bodyweight squats and 42 jumping jacks per day. Not much, really.
- 0.833 miles of walking or running per day. Get out into the sun and fresh air if you can. Aim for a morning walk or run.
- 16.67 minutes of cardio per day. And yes, this is in addition to your walking/running goal.
How much work is this per day? Well here is a rough estimate.
- Resistance training - One 75-minute workout every other day. This is about 262 minutes of gym time per week
- Bodyweight training - About 10 minutes per day, or 70 minutes per week.
- Walking/running/hiking - About 20 minutes per day.
- Cardio - We established an average of 16.67 minutes per day.
So, in total, we are looking at 84 minutes per day. Is this too much? I think most of us can find time each day to squeeze in this challenge.
Turn off the TV at night, or knock some cardio while watching TV. Wake up each morning and do your bodyweight work and then a morning walk/run.
Find time. make time.
Here are some good bodyweight exercise choices. It's really easy to squeeze these in. This should be one of the easiest challenges to complete in the next 30 days.
- Bodyweight squats
- Bodyweight lunges
- Jumping jacks
- Squat thrusts
- Jump squats
- TRX Push-ups
- PRX Pull-ups/rows
It doesn't really matter how you get your reps in, just do. They must be complete using non-bodyweight movements, such as:
What follows are two sample programs. The first is an A/B split that involves four different workouts. It can be performed three days per week, or rotated as follows:
- Day 1 - Workout A
- Day 2 - Off
- Day 3 - Workout B
- Day 4 - Off
- Day 5 - Workout C
- Day 6 - Off
- Day 7 - Workout D
- Day 8 - Off
- Continue with this pattern
The second workout is a body part split. It can be performed as follows:
- Day 1 - Workout A
- Day 2 - Workout B
- Day 3 - Off
- Day 4 - Workout C
- Day 5 - Workout D
- Day 6 - Off
- Day 7 - Off
30-Day Fast Start Challenge - Diet
Diet, we're going to keep it simple. Not only will you be in a calorie deficit, but you will also COMPLETELY avoid:
- Fast food
- Processed food
- No drinks with calories
- No white sugar or white flour
- No alcohol
Simple, but challenging. This will be 30 days of no straying or cheating. You'll clean up your eating, drop a few pounds, and start to feel better. The point is to not only challenge yourself but also to improve your health and see just what the impact of sticking to a tight diet can do.
Protein intake. Many of us don’t consume enough protein. To help build a fit, athletic, and/or muscular physique, we need a proper and consistent daily protein intake. Protein is also essential for muscle recovery, as well as being a very satiating food choice.
Over the next 30 days, aim to hit the following minimum targets each day:
Men - 150+ grams per day
Women - 100+ grams per day
I can’t stress this enough: consistency is important. IMPORTANT.
During the next 30 days, you will be working hard while being in a calorie deficit. Your body will require a consistent protein intake to repair and recovery from workouts, and to help maximize your existing muscle mass - and perhaps even assist you in building more.
Calorie intake. To coincide with a diet that focuses on clean, whole foods, you will also need to maintain a consistent calorie intake.
No binge eating. No more bursting bellies. For the next 30 days, you will be consistent, consistent, consistent with your calorie consumption.
- Men will eat NO MORE than 2,400 calories per day.
- Women will eat NO MORE than 1,400 calories per day.
The goal here is to ditch some extra pounds of fat while improving our conditioning, muscularity, and overall health.
Because this challenge series is about HEALTH, you should NOT do anything unhealthy, such as trying to starve yourself.
The above calorie guidelines are maximums. Some of you have naturally slower metabolisms, either from a history of inactivity, mediocre genetics, poor hormonal profile, or age. You may need to eat less than this to sustain a reasonable and motivating level of weight loss.
NEVER, go below these calorie levels. EVER.
- Men - 1,500 calories minimum
- Women - 1,000 calories minimum
In fact, I personally don’t encourage men to drop below 1,800 calories per day, but have had several clients that maintain a healthy body weight at that level. They have had to dip slightly lower to lose weight.
Women over 40 may need to eat 1,000 to 1,2000 calories per day to sustain a reasonable amount of fat loss, even with exercise.
Use your best judgment and take care of yourself. Play the long game and focus on transitioning to a healthier lifestyle.
Ready. Set. Go!
Made it through these 30 days? Let us know your results. Post a comment below.
This challenge allowed no for cheating. If you made it for 30 straight days without a mistake, keep it going. You're equipped for success. Don't lose this momentum.