Upgrader diary: beach body – part 3

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I may sound like a broken record here but the training intensity has been upped again! Only this time I’ve been way more prepared for it and I feel I’ve taken it in my stride.

My rest periods between sets are much shorter and Tim has introduced more supersets and dropsets, which are where most of the intensity is coming from. I also am now doing five cardio sessions a week. While I’m much better adapted to the intensity of the sessions I can’t say the same for cardio. It’s gruelling! I do three steady state cardio sessions a week before my first meal in the morning and two HIIT sessions after weight lifting.

With my final photo shoot coming closer the amount of carbs I’m eating has dropped right down. I struggled at the beginning as my calories came down by 1000-1500 but now have no problem. My energy levels aren’t quite the same as what they were though. I think that’s mostly because my carbs have gone down from 250g a day to 150g. My restricted carbohydrate intake has meant that out of all the supplements I’m taking, Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy is my favourite as I’ve started to notice the boost it gives me.

On a normal training day my diet looks like this:

Meal 1: 2 eggs, 6 egg whites, greens & steak mince.

Meal 2 (pre workout meal): Chicken, veg and rice

Preworkout: Optimum Nutrition preworkout, 5g creatine, 5g glutamine

Workout session

Postworkout: 1.5 scoops Optimum Nutrition Hydrowhey

Meal 3: Chicken and veg

Meal 4: Chicken, sweet potato, and veg

Meal 5: Chicken and veg

Before bed: Casein & peanut butter

I think Tim has timed the diet perfectly for final photos. My diet means I am losing weight at a very steady level making sure I haven’t lost any of that hard-earned muscle from the first three months of the Upgrade!

Coach’s verdict says:

‘Ben made some great gains in both muscle mass and strength over the first half of his Upgrade challenge,’ says Tim Chase. ‘Now the real hard work starts as we put the focus on reducing the body fat.’

‘His weight training sessions have not altered that drastically since we started but the exercises and rep ranges are always changing to provide his body with new training stimulus,’ says Tim. ‘However the intensity Ben is training at has increased throughout the training, with more weight lifted each week. In addition, Ben is now performing high intensity interval training 3x a week to really boost his metabolism.’

‘We pushed Ben’s calories up continuously over the first 3 months to assist with adding on some muscle tissue,’ says Tim. ‘We have now begun reducing his calories slowly, as well as keeping his carbohydrate intake to mainly around training sessions to help reduce his body fat percentage.’

Workout:

Legs & Abs:

A) Barbell Sumo Squat (wide stance) (4×8-10)

B) Leg Press (4×8-10)

C) Alternate DB Lunge (4×8-10 per leg)

D) Seated Leg Extensions (4×10-12)

E) Seated Leg Curls (4×8-10)

Abs circuit:

1) Reverse Crunches (3×15-20),

2) Med Ball Russian Twists (3×15-20 per side)

3) Swiss Ball Crunches (3×15-20)

4) Plank (3×30-60secs)