Let’s see. Where to start. Okay, workouts. For the past year and a half I have been following Paola Marquez’s (@paosfitworld) 12 week Strong and Sexy Body Method (#S2BM) pretty religiously. Her guide consists of mostly free weights, some plyometric exercises, plus 1-2 LISS sessions/week (low intensity steady state) for cardio. For the first three rounds that I did her guide, I followed it exactly. My workouts looked something like this:
-Monday: biceps, triceps, abs
-Tuesday: full body
-Thursday: LISS or full body
-Friday: shoulders & back
-Sunday: rest day
*On average I’d workout for 4 hours a week. For LISS I’d do stair-master for 45 minutes. See my total stair-master workout in this blog post here).
After doing her guide several times, I really wanted to grow my legs and butt more, so I increased my carbs, added an extra stair-master day, and trained legs (with weights) 2x a week. Again, you can get the details on that workout and diet here). I did this for several months, and then opted for a less intense workout routine. This meant lowering my carbs slightly, cardio 2x a week instead of 3, and legs only 1x a week. With my bachelorette party, the wedding, and the honeymoon all around that time I just couldn’t dedicate that much time to the gym! Hence the switch to a less intense and time consuming routine. I was training legs alone for like 4 hours a week, so yeah, like I said, time consuming lol.
I maintained this less intense (more “normal”) workout regimen up until a few weeks ago. So to clarify, I was training my major muscle groups from Paola’s guide 3x a week (biceps, triceps, abs/legs/shoulders, back) and then cardio on the stair-master 3x a week. While I liked this routine, I felt like I needed to change things up because I was becoming a little complacent and lazy (TBH). I was deviating a fair amount from my macros, and I wasn’t pushing myself at the gym. I just felt like I needed to challenge myself and switch things up! My initial reaction was to switch up my diet, and start cutting (eating in a caloric deficit). I felt like this would challenge me because I’d have to be more disciplined, but it would also help me prepare for my bulk (eating in a caloric surplus) this fall/winter. I figured that I would lean out more now, so I wouldn’t have as much fat to lose once my bulk finished and I’d have to cut (if that makes sense?).
So, this cut lasted only about 3 weeks lol. Which brings me to what my current macros are like. I decided to change my macros again and stop my cut for a couple reasons. One being, while I liked the challenge, this cut was almost too challenging. I realized that so much enjoyment that I get from life revolves around socializing, food, and just not being as strict with myself TBH. In the past, I’ve done cuts around this amount of food and I’ve been fine because the gym and fitness was my main priority, and that just isn’t the case anymore. I love working out, and I do love the mental and physical changes from it, but I am no longer at the point in my life where I want to sacrifice other things just to achieve a certain aesthetic. On that note, I started getting “worried” about doing a bulk. No, not because I’d have trouble eating that amount of calories LOL, but because I was worried I wouldn’t be as disciplined in the cut I’d have to do afterwards. After a bulk, you have to do a cut to lose the fat you gained in order to reveal the extra muscle you were able to build. Well, I started thinking that just given my current priorities that when time came I wouldn’t be as strict as I needed to be with a cut. So this brings to me to how Paola and I decided on my current macros: a reverse diet.
Now, I won’t claim to know all the specifics of how a reverse diet works (that’s why I use Paola, and don’t attempt these things myself!), but basically a reverse diet is kind of what it sounds like. Over time, you slowly increase your calories so you are able to build more muscle. However, the key is to do it slowly. By doing it slowly, you give your metabolism time to adjust to the increased calories and as a result you won’t put on fat. When it’s finished, these increased calories become your new maintenance calories. You’ve essentially retrained your metabolism to burn the same amount of fat as it was previously when you were eating less calories. So, now you’re eating more food at baseline but retaining the same amount of fat, instead of gaining fat. Win win! When doing a bulk like I originally planned, you dramatically increase your calories right away and so your body will inevitably put on fat. I found what I think is a good article on reverse dieting here, if you want to read more about it. So, that covers what I’m currently doing for my macros/diet. My calories are starting around 1750 and will go up from there! (Ps. If you’re interested in getting your macros calculated in general, I highly recommend Paola 🙂 ).
As far as workouts go, I’m still following Paola’s guide for the most part. Right now, I am doing weight training from #S2BM 3x a week, and then I do cardio 3x a week. My weight days consist of the large muscle groups from her guide meaning I cut out the full body sessions and just train biceps, triceps, abs/legs/shoulders, back. For the cardio, I still do my stair-master 1x a week, but now I am incorporating kickboxing! I tried a class a few weeks ago and loved it. While it definitely takes more time out of the day to do a class versus just running to my apartment gym, I really enjoy it and it is such a good workout. So, even though time is tight most days and it’s not as convenient, I’m making an effort to go 2x a week!
Sorry for the novel, but hopefully that gives you guys a fairly good idea of what my workout routine and diet have been, and what it consists of now. Any questions? Happy to answer! xx Thanks for reading 🙂