Thursday, April 18, 2013

Adelfo Cerame's Beach Ready Program: A Blueprint to Shed The Winterfat in Time. Sample Workout + Diet Guide

The beach season is almost at the ready... what about you?
It's another of those "every other Thursdays" and after realizing that even after months of the same routine not everyone out there has gotten that these are the days, when Wheelchair IFBB Pro Adelfo Cerame is doing the lion's share of the work here at the SuppVersity and I (=Adel) am just editing the stuff Adelfo shot me via email earlier today. I write an introduction (the words you are are reading just now) and add a short preview on what you can expect from the thursdaily 1PM (ET) Science Round Up on the Super Human Radio Network (listen live!) and hit the "publish" button.

Adelfo Cerame's Beach Ready Program: A Blueprint to Shed The Winterfat in Time

Summer is just around the corner, and I’m positive that the majority of you will be preparing those beach bodies within the next couple of months. So while you guys and gals are trying to get lean and mean and shredded for the summer, I will be fighting the inevitable and doing the opposite. Lol!

Adelfo's current off-season form is probably better than the 2beach body" of most of the posers on Jersey Shore ;-)
So I thought it would be a good idea to share my thoughts and opinions on how you can set up a sensible training and nutrition regimen to get you ready for those upcoming hot summer nights!

I. Training - Keep it simple. 

There really is no need to over-analyze or overthink your training routine, just because you are now "cutting". "K.I.S.S." (=keep it stupidly simple) the tried and proven:
Focus on core/compound exercises such as your bench, squats, dead lifts, and horizontal rows like a bent-over BB row and maybe 2-3 other exercises to supplement those core exercises depending on the focal point on that day.
Here’s a sensible training regimen I’ve put together that’s simple and straightforward. It has a sensible volume (no more than 5-6 exercise), but is condensed enough to be challenging and help you maintain your muscles while your diet is taking care of the midriff bulge you can't seriously want to be carrying along the shore:
As you can see you will be kicking your training week off with two "volume workout" and follow them up with workout 3 and 4, both of which have a strength focus.
It goes without saying that adequate rest is imperatively needed before and in-between the 5x5 strength day - after all, you're going to be doing some heavy lifting on those days.

Do you do (additional) cardio? If you have been following my posts here at the SuppVersity for quite some time, now, you will be aware that I am not a fan of cardio.

With cardio more ain't more. If you do too much you can actually hamper not promote your progress (learn more)
Especially the notion that you can "run away" from dietary mistakes, or "outtrain a crappy diet" as Adel likes to call it is simply hilarious and will inevitably lead to failure. In other words, you should actually be able to answer the cardio question, yourself.

With cardio for fat loss, doing less is more. Therefore you'll do the least amount that will allow you to make continuous progress towards your beach body goal. Reevaluate your progress on a weekly basis and decide whether it is really necessary to up your cardio volume.

I would start with 0-1 cardio sessions per week and just make adjustments depending on your progress week by week. (Weight, food intake…) but don’t run yourself to the dirt neither.

How much weight so you pick? Since we’re trying to K.I.S.S. the chubbiness goodbey, you're simply going by how you feel: Pick a weight heavy enough that you can bang out the given reps yet challenging enough… So how do we do that?
  • high volume days - pick a weight heavy enough that you probably will have 2-3 reps left in the tank - obviously after you've completed the number of prescribed reps
  • strength days: pick a weight heavy enough that you probably will have 1 more rep left in the tank or will be able to exactly do just the given rep range.
In a way, it is like using an RPE scale (learn more) - with a lot more leeway, though and without the constant revision of RPE-numbers from workout to workout or even exercise to exercise.

A brief note to those looking for detailed diet + training counseling: Adelfo also offers coaching services via email. You know that he happily answers all general questions in the comments, here at the SuppVersity, but I guess you will also understand that he cannot write an individual training plan for everyone who asks politely. So, if you want more than just "rules of thumbs" and "general guidelines", reach out to him via Facebook.
Why does the routine look like that?

I’ve become a real fan of high volume/strength training splits nowadays, and in my opinion they can be very beneficial whenever you are trying to improve your body composition while maintaining or even building your baseline strength and muscular endurance. To put it in simpler terms, you need to be strong in order for your body to handle the workload and in turn your body will have to compensate for the increased workload by building new muscle tissue, so it kind of makes sense to me that by combining a hypertrophy style training regimen with a strength split you can get the best of both worlds.

A typical BB style workout combined with a simple strength training protocol like 5x5 is a pretty simple model/split to follow. It's self explanatory and you don't have to put much thought into it. Just pick a heavy weight that you can lift for the prescribed 5 sets of 5 reps (5x5), and when that load begins to feel "light", you increase the weight - it's as simple as that, but guess what: It's about as effective ;-)

Again this workout is not set in stone, you can make tweaks as you see fit but this is just to give you an idea of how simple it can be to structure a training regimen for yourself without have to over analyze and out think yourself

II. Diet - Nutritional guidelines to lose fat not just weight

You can lose weight on just about any type of diet just as long as you are in a negative energy balance. However, if you are trying to lose fat, not just weight, want to maintain/build muscle and keep your gym performance and overall energy levels up, a sensible macronutrient composition is key.

The latter entails that you get adequate amounts of protein, adequate amounts of fats and adequate amounts of carbohydrates in your diet and top that off with a reasonable amount of fiber. It stands to reason that this won't work, if you don't track your macronutrient & fiber intake and keep an eye on the micronutrients.

A. Determine your overall calorie intake for the dieting phase

Firstly, you will have to find identify your baseline energy requirements. This is best done by logging your food intake for 1-2 weeks and subtract ~20% from that to determine initial caloric intake for this cutting phase. Alternatively, you can use the following rule of thumb as a basic guideline to estimate your starting energy requirements: Multiply your body weight in lbs 9-12 kcal. If you’re already fairly lean it’s fine to just use your overall body weight. If you are on the heavier or obese end of the scale, you'd want to get as close to your lean body mass as possible

While you are dieting your goal should always be to keep the maximal caloric intake that allows you to achieve a slow and gradual weight loss of around 1 lb./ week if you are a man and .5-1 pound/ week if you are a women. Don't beat yourself up if you don’t lose that pound on a given week and by don't make any drastic changes – remember everyone's body is different and we have to allow our bodies to adjust and adapt. That this process takes one week for some, while two or even three for others is only natural.

What else do you have to take into account? A brief summary of the most important things to keep in mind as far as your actual diet composition is concerned:

(1) prioritize protein and fiber over carbs and fats

(2) eat at least 2-3 servings of veggies/ day, and at least 1-2 servings of fruits/day

(3) eat a variety of whole “nutrient dense” foods and limit your intake energy dense, but non-nutritive foods

(4) use an 80/20 ratio of whole to processed "fun/cheat" foods

Don't forget: Deviating from these rules ain't a good idea, but it's even worse to give up, once you've fallen off the wagon. You can take it for granted that it's going to happen. It's part of the game and as long as you get back on track asap, it won't break your neck ;-)
B. Set a baseline protein intake - ca. 0.8-1g /lbs lean body mass
You will have to consume roughly 1g of protein per 1lbs lean body weight. Again, if you are fairly lean, it does not really matter if you use your total body weight, but if you are still on the heavier side of the divide, try to estimate your lean mass or you will end up consuming way too much protein.

C. Set a baseline fat intake - ca. 0.3-0.5g /lbs lean body mass

If you’re on the higher BF% or on the heavier or obese end of the scale you'll probably benefit more of a high to moderate fat intake with low(ish) carbs (never go below 50g, though; more around the 100-150ish range). If you've already come a long way or have never had any real weight problems, though, low carb is not the way to go for you and you'd better go with a high(er) carbohydrate intake while keeping the fats on the low(er) to moderate end.

D. Fill the rest of your macros up with carbs 

Your daily carbohyrate intake can now easily be calculate by dividing the rest of your energy intake, i.e. total energy (A) minus protein intake (B x 4kcal) minus fat intake (C x 9kcal), by four, which is the kcal-content of 1g of carbohydrates. If you've calculated a 2,400kcal baseline energy intake for your "beach body diet", have a baseline protein intake of 200g and a baseline fat intake of 60g, this means that you have 2,400kcal -200g x 4kcal - 60g x 9kcal = 1080kcal, or 265g of carbs "left"

E. Make sure to get your dietary fiber

Actually you are almost done, now. The only thing that's left to consider is a baseline fiber intake of 35-50g/ day for men and 25-50g/ day for women.

That's it: If you have never been counting your macros it may appear complicated, but if you compare this protocol to the complicated prescriptions of other "diets", you will see that you it's actually pretty easy. After you've done the math, the "only" thing you still got to do is being patient and consistent. As long as you do that, allow your body to adjust and adapt and don't pull the trigger to make adjustments too quickly, when all it would have taken was another week of consistent dieting, you will achieve your goal - and if you don't get to the "ridiculously ripped" zone this summer, you still have the next year to make further improvements ;-)