Yesterday, a buddy of mine sent me an email with a link to a BodyBuilding.com “12 Week Challenge”. As I was sitting in a Mexican restaurant pounding back AYCE chips and Dos X’s like it was my last day on earth, I felt a little guilty. Since I lost my initial 100 lbs, I have been seeking for a new challenge. Something to push me. Anything to keep those competitive juices flowing. Instead, I found complacency and excuses. The same routine and diet that helped me lose 100 lbs simply isn’t working anymore. I’m bored and whats worse, my body is bored. I need something new.
Enter the 12 Week Challenge. When I first clicked the link I was taken aback at the typical gym “Douchebag, way too into his body, muscle head” type language and overall feel of the “challenge”. I watched a couple of videos, read some comments, looked through the exercises and quickly came to the realization that this routine was/is exactly what I’ve been looking for…its a new a challenge.
Not only is the routine crazy intense, it’s meant for a novice or advanced lifter like myself looking for something new. It throws conventional dieting wisdom out the door and challenges you to rethink what you think you know about exercise. I won’t be counting calories (thank god) and I won’t be asked to perform moves or exercises I can’t do (looking at you P90x).
The idea is simple, combine a heavy weight lifting routine with a high (lean) protein, high carb, low sugar and extremely low-fat diet. No cheat days either. You dedicate yourself for 12 weeks (84 days) to the idea of getting lean and building muscle. This is EXACTLY what I was looking for.
This is not only a challenge to see if I can stick to such a long, strenuous routine but a personal challenge to prove that at 30 years old, I can be in the best shape of my life. It’s great that I’ve lost 100 lbs but that’s no longer good enough.
Here are the links to the challenge. Go take a look and see if it’s for you. Before you get started there a couple of things I want you to consider.
#1- Supplements. The routine calls for a lot, I mean A LOT of supplements. In my opinion, they are not necessary. I only use Whey Protein and a multi-vitamin. If you have the dolla bills to afford the amount of supplements he suggest you take, then go for it. But I would rather see if my body can change naturally. (this also will help with maintainance after the 12 weeks is over)
#2- Exercise. Some of the exercises will force you to get a gym membership. If you don’t have a gym membership don’t fret. I personally work out at home and only have an olympic style weight bench (with a leg curl attachment and squat rack and shoulder press options), a curl bar and adjustable dumbbells. You may have to get creative with your exercises especially if you don’t have a cable machine but you can still do the challenge. All it means is you’ll just have to be more creative.
3# Diet- Don’t be discouraged in the monotony of the meals. It’s only for 12 weeks and like I said, this is not a maintainance diet. Try and get as much variety in your meats and carbs as possible. The guy who developed this routine obviously is OK with eating the same thing every day. If you aren’t that type of person, sit down before you start and list as many meals as you can come up with that meet the requirements.
I’ll be updating my progress at the start of eack of the 12 weeks with videos and blog posts. So, if you decide to join me I’d love for your input as we go along.