In a recent episode I shared some of my frustrations with my current fitness progress and the plateau I have seemed hit. Now I’m not saying I’m over the plateau, but there has been some movement. I’ve also decided on a path forward as far as training program change-up and nutrition go. Plus, I’ve been dragging Steffan along for the ride.
Before I jump into the new training and nutrition, I do want to share the progress. I’ve dropped a percentage in body fat, down to 27%–who hoooo! Now, that is really the only change, and it’s not huge, but I think it’s pretty f’ing awesome. It means I’ve dropped some fat and traded it for muscle. We like muscle! So yeah, go me!
The Training Program Change-Up
Now as far as the training program change-up goes, first I did a lot of reading and planning. Over the years, I have read lots of stuff in books and online about working out and macros for nutrition. I’ve put together my own workouts and meal plans. I know how to do it with some success, but, this plateau had left me seeking. I started looking into some of vegan athletes I follow on the social medias. A couple of them stood out:
- Kim Constable – The Sculpted Vegan. Kim is a physique competitor and she is vegan. She looks amazing and has programs you can buy with her work-outs and nutrition.
- Nimai Delgado – He is a vegan body builder. If anyone asks you if vegans get enough protein, just show them a picture of Nimai. Let’s just say he is definitely NOT protein deficient.
Both athletes have great information, but, I ended up buying Kim’s 12 Week Shred and Workout. I knew I wouldn’t like all the recipes (and I don’t), but I’m always looking for cooking inspiration. I did know I wanted the workout, and as of 9/27/2018, I’m in week five. For nutrition though, I’m following Nimai’s protein needs advice. I’m also considering the How Not to Die recommendations and advice from Leigh Peele, a training/nutrition/fitness expert, while doing meal planning and basing my calorie needs on experience. I’m kind of still tweaking nutrition as we go, but we’ll get there. I am also tracking everything from meal plans, macros and workouts—we even did ‘before’ pictures. Once we get to the ‘after’ pics stage, we’ll share. I say ‘we’ because although I’m the driver on all this work-out business, Steffan is a mostly willing participate. 😉
With Kim’s Sculpted Vegan program, the whole thing is meant to get physique athletes show ready. So, it’s lifting, cardio along with slow calorie decreases. I’m not getting ready for a physique competition and I am not in a decreasing mode right now. I want to build muscle, so I’m skipping the calorie decreases. And, unlike I normally do, I’m also skipping cardio. I pretty much focusing on nutrition and lifting, to build muscle. After 12 weeks, we’ll evaluate, revise and more than likely start cardio for dropping fat.
And again, I’m dragging Steffan into all this. He’s doing the same workout. I’m also trying to increase his calorie consumption (macro-based). He needs to GAIN weight, which is something I have never had to try to do, so it’s interesting. And when the 12 weeks are up…he will still not need to cut any weight. But we’re not there yet, so we’re focusing on building right now.
You might be asking what exactly ARE we doing on this program? Well, here are the details:
Workout includes lifting 5 days a week. Each session is divided between body parts and takes 40 to 50 minutes. It’s the same work out for 12 weeks, but Kim says that’s intentional, so we’re sticking with it for the full 12. Once that’s up, I’ll switch it up based on needs.
Nutrition includes trying to get 2100 to 2300 calories a day for me and 2500 to 3000 for Steffan. As far as macro’s we’re shooting for about 100g of protein per day. Protein calcs are individual and based on Nimai’s recommendation of .8 to .9 g of protein for each pound of lean muscle mass. Despite our weight differences, both Steffan and I have approximately the same lean muscle mass (for now), so our needs for protein are about the same. That means about 17% to 20% of calories from protein. I try to keep fat to 25% to 30% with the rest carbs. And when I say carbs I mean as many whole-food non-processed carbs as possible.
With nutrition, we are not there yet every day. That many calories is a lot of food, especially when you are plant-based vegan. Plus, I refuse to count calories every meal, every day, so I’m working on a spreadsheet with weekly meal plans with macros pre-calculated and recipes ready to go. Sort of plug-and-play to get with-in these nutrition goals. It’s a lot of work, but in the end, it simplifies meal planning and prep.
We’ve also been trying to pre-cook for the week with partial success. We do usually double-batch and freeze though, so it should get easier as time passes—at least some weeks.
As usual with us, it’s all a work in process.
Now the 12 week mark of this endeavor happens to fall mid-November and at that time or there about’s we hope to have another sharing session. Until then, we’d love any feedback or thoughts you may have so let us know with a comment.
Kelly (& Steffan)
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