Phase 1, Day 26: Cardio Flow (aka One Down, Two to Go)

Today I got up at 4 am on a Saturday to get in my Cardio Flow before a road trip with my Dad.

You know you’re obsessed when you’re planning your day around your workout and proceed to pack 80 Day Obsession approved snacks for the road (read: Extra mini peppers and carrots because veggies are usually in short supply when eating out). At this point in the program, you have to be obsessed. You’re in it. You’ve made it this far, you’ve finished a full phase, you might as well keep it going and finish the rest.

So, first, CONGRATULATIONS! You did it! Phase 1 is in the books! Take a moment to recognize what you have accomplished. For the past four weeks, you have worked out according to plan and (hopefully) followed the timed nutrition plan to a T, or as closely are you are able. As someone who has started and stopped many a workout program, I know this is no small feat. Doing something for two days in a row, a week in a row, two weeks in a row, four weeks in a row, is difficult. Especially when it comes to exercise.

Which means if you have made it this far successfully, before embarking on the second phase of this journey, take a moment to reflect. Think about the past month. What worked for you? What didn’t work for you? Was it easier to work out at a particular time of the day? Were there any meals that were super easy to make that you enjoyed?

For me, I ended Phase 1 knowing that working out in the morning was essential to my success. And, in order to get up early before work to make that happen, I had to be in bed by 9:30 pm. In addition, I also ended Phase 1 knowing that I loved the FIXATE turkey sloppy joes and that that they were easy to make.

So, when I started Phase 2, I did so prepared to do what it took to get to bed early to ensure an early workout time, and with a weekly menu that inevitably involved turkey sloppy joes.

HOWEVER, despite my own reflection, there was one crucial error I made prior to starting Phase 2: I did not recalculate my caloric intake.

PRO TIP #34: RECALCULATE YOUR CALORIC INTAKE PRIOR TO STARTING PHASE 2.

If you have been keeping up to date with these posts, then you know that one issue I struggled with for about half the program was not eating enough. For weeks, I was tired in the evening, cranky, starving by 6 pm, and just not very pleasant to be around. Yet despite these warning signs, it didn’t occur to me to bump up my caloric intake because I thought what I was experiencing was just a natural side effect of cutting calories.

WRONG WRONG WRONG.

I wasn’t eating enough. And had I correctly followed the 80 Day Obsession starter guide, I would have realized this at the start of Phase 2 instead of weeks later.

If you read the starter guide, it tells you to recalculate your calories at the start of phases 2 and 3. Why? Because if Phase 1 was about building muscle and stamina, phases 2 and 3 are all about leaning and shredding out. To accomplish those goals, Autumn has put together some killer workouts that work multiple muscle groups at once thereby causing you to burn more calories than you did in Phase 1. Somewhat counter-intuitively for those of us who experienced the heroin chic phase of the 90s, this means you have to eat MORE to lean out, because your body needs more fuel to keep your metabolism high and thus burn more fat. I think. I’m not a nutritionist and I don’t play one on TV.

All I know is that you WILL need to eat more in Phases 2 and 3. Figure out exactly how much more by actually doing the calculations in the starter guide.

That is the best and most important advice I can give you at this juncture: Do the math and adjust your meal plan accordingly.

Other than that, I hope you continue to practice what worked for you in Phase 1. And I also hope you identified what DIDN’T work for you so you hopefully can avoid those problem areas in Phase 2. The next few weeks are going to be TOUGH, but know this: Every move in Phase 2 builds upon a move you already conquered in Phase 1. Which means you should KNOW you can do it. Just like you did in Phase 1, start with a manageable weight and go from there. Don’t try to kill yourself out the gate. Pay attention to your body and your form.

Most of all, enjoy how much stronger you feel. Because you WILL be stronger. And you’re about to get a whole lot stronger and see some real results.

ALSO, when you watch Weekly Obsession this week, Autumn is going to talk about those magical “refeed days.” What exactly those days are will be better explained in several of the upcoming posts. I have my own thoughts on the matter, which I will detail in those posts. All I will say at the moment is the approach I’m going to take to refeed days this time around is a little different from the one advocated by Autumn, mostly because I already did the program and I know what worked (and didn’t work) for me.  I’m going to try and make some adjustments.

But in the meantime, again, enjoy your accomplishment! Reflect on what you did well in Phase 1 and how you’re going to make sure you continue to be successful in Phase 2. Plan your menus and your workout times and continue to kick ass.

At this point, more than anything, I hope you are enjoying the program and are able to see what I got so obsessed. Why I am so obsessed. I hope you are feeling a change not only physically, but mentally. If you are, feel free to share. If you’re not, feel free to let me know. Shoot me a message or an email. Or click on the usual link to connect to more Beachbody stuff.

Shit’s about to get real good, so buckle up!

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