I’m on a mission the next 10 weeks to get as lean as Mr Bean! I’ve made many mistakes in the past, mainly trying to rush the process. In this post I share some absolute knowledge bombs to prevent you making the same mistakes I did, i’m also going to give you some examples of systems I use to get lean without living of rabbit food 24/7 and feeling blooming tired all the time!
Chloric Deficit = Fat Loss
In order to get lean you’ve got to create a chloric deficit, there’s no hiding from this! That said it doesn’t have to be too drastic – when your too aggressive you lose a load of weight (in the form of muscle, water and a bit of fat!) then results come to a grinding halt, you end up feeling miserable (as the lifestyle is unsustainable!) and then end up binging because you body is signalling you to eat (it’s been deprived!) and you will find it hard to stop binging (been there! done that! got the t-shirt!) it sucks!
Here’s 4 tips to help you get lean, and prevent muscle loss…
1) Calorie Cycle
The best way to get lean is to create a small chloric deficit – perhaps 200-300 calories per day, done through training or diet or both. Cycling calories works tremendously well for example on BIG intense training days my calories will be higher and on rest days calories will be lower. It’s like putting petrol in the tank… the further you travel the more you need! and vice versa. You need energy to train hard.
Coming back to cycling calories my target aim for the week is 18,800 calories, I know if I stay within this number i’m likely to lose weight (1-2 lbs). This works out at 2,685 calories per day. I don’t however eat this exact number each day, some days will be higher, other days lower – depending on output.
Here’s an example of what I’m currently doing…
- Monday : 2,900 cals – Training: 60 mins full body workout
- Tuesday : 2,400 cals – Training : 60 mins cardio
- Wednesday 3,100 cals : Training : 60 mins lower body workout
- Thursday : 2,200 cals (rest day)
- Friday : 2,900 cals – Training: 60 mins full body workout
- Saturday : 3,100 cals : Training : 60 mins lower body workout
- Sunday 2,200 cals (rest day)
Total calories for week = 18,800
2) Protect Muscle
It’s inevitable that when we are chronically in a chloric deficit we’re going to lose some muscle. What we want to do is mitigate this and protect it as best as possible. Having muscle provides very little benefit to the body from a survival stand point, therefore it’ll be the first thing to deteriorate if your not careful. One way to protect muscle is ensuring your getting adequate amounts of protein in your diet. As a general rule of thumb I find 2.5-3g of protein per kg of bodyweight to be extremely effective, let’s say you weigh 80kg thats 80 x 2.5g = 200g of protein per day – you can then split this up into 4 meals, 50g of protein per meal.
3) Eat a Minimum of 4 meals per day
I advise eating at least 4 meals per day to ensure you have adequate amounts of amino acids circulating around your bloodstream, this is to protect muscle. Again as a general rule of thumb eating at least every 4hrs is a good starting point. Personally I find 5 meals works very well (if you can get them in!) for example at the moment i’m eating around every 3hrs. Failing that eating every 4hrs is a good starting point.
4) Strength Training
It’s inevitable that you’ll lose some strength. Your body is using it’s reserves, strength will decline. One way to hold onto muscle is by maintaining strength based exercises into your routine: squats, deadlifts, bench press, pull ups. It’s also wise to pull back on training volume (overall sets and reps) the leaner one gets, this is to prevent unnecessary muscle loss, and overtraining. The leaner you are the more likely you are to lose muscle, it’s therefore wise to pull back as you progress through your diet. For example when in my off season (calorie surplass, muscle gain – whatever you wannaaa call it!) I typically do 18-24 sets per workout, right now in a fat loss phase i’ll complete between 10-16 sets. The number typically goes down the leaner I get.
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