#SummerShred Winner shares his cutting plan to help you get shredded in 8 weeks! Find out what it takes to win
I made the last minute decision to give this #SummerShred "cutting" competition a go. I knew I was in OK shape and had found a love for weight training over the past few years after finishing University.
I used to be that active child/teenager who played football, joined the local athletics team and took part in cross countries. Sadly, as I reached my later teens this all went out of the window except for the odd few 10K / Half Marathon races that I did whilst at University. You get the picture, I have always been fairly active but skinny due to what I trained for. Now, at 27 years old I’m learning a lot more about my body, what it is capable of.
My Cutting Diet Plan
I tried 2 different methods to my cutting plan. During weeks 1 to 4, I calculated my macros based on a single calorie deficit whereby on training days my Carbs/Fat/Protein stayed the same and on a rest day I decreased my carbs further and increased my fats. During Weeks 5-8 I tried a slightly different method by utilising carb cycling. In this case I had a 3 day split of low, medium and high carbs. My fat reflected my carbs, so high carbs meant low fats and visa verse and my protein stayed the same. It also didn’t matter whether this was on a training or rest day which did make some sessions more difficult when energy was lacking.
A final point on my cutting diet is that I noticed that what I consumed pre and post workout made a huge difference. Throughout this 8 week competition, 98% of the time I trained in the morning before work. I was getting up at 5:30am most mornings and i really didn't feel like eating. This is where a carb and protein shake would come in handy. I'd consume a shake pre workout and also prepare one for post workout. My pre-workout shake would consist of Pure Whey Protein, Pure iBCAA 4:1:1, Pure Ultra fine Ground Oats and a banana. My post-workout shake is the same, except I replace the banana with; Pure Dextrose and Pure Peanut Butter. These shakes ensured I consumed a good amount of protein pre and post workout and also had slow and fast digesting carbohydrates at the right time. These shakes were also the key to my supplementation, along with my Pure Omega 3 Fish Oil Softgels and my Performance Multi-Vitamin.
My Cutting Plan Training
Now onto the cutting training, and this isn’t an area I can take credit for! I followed Joe Donnelly’s weekly training plans, and for anyone who has also tried one of his
workouts, you’ll know his workouts don’t hold back on the intensity. I followed his plan for 6 days a week, taking one rest day.The split was various and no two weeks were the same. Some weeks have a slight variation on the previous weeks workout but with just enough of a change to effect muscle memory. Weeks could consist of dedicated back, shoulder, chest, leg days etc and the following week you could have Shoulders/Legs, Chest/Tri’s, Back/Bi’s (you get the picture). It is probably worth noting that there were 2-3 leg workouts a week (which I love!) and I would spend 5-10 minutes after 3-4 workouts a week doing some form of core/abs.
Due to the intensity of these workouts it wasn’t always necessary to do the dreaded cardio (I hate that word) but I would incorporate Deadmill Sprints from time-to-time, along with going outdoors and doing some sprints/hill sprints. Unfortunately, I was somewhat limited with the conditioning in a commercial gym and so recently moved to a Strength and Conditioning gym. There is a lot more opportunity and variation of equipment in these types of gyms I also owe credit to my brother who got me interested in the industry and is one of the most knowledgeable and driven people.
A final note that I should make to anyone under going any form of cutting plan is to track your results. The best way to do this is to not go by the number on the scales, but by taking progress photos every few weeks to compare to. This is where you notice the real difference and they prove to be the real motivator in trying to achieve your goal(s). I took my photos on weeks 1, 5 and 8 (every 4 weeks) and could compare what I was working and what needed more focus or variation.
There is a lot I learnt from my 8 weeks on the #SummerShred competition, some positive and areas I would change. It’s all a learning curve and one that helps in making you a better person. There will never be a “one size fits all” solution and it’s about learning what works for you. After the 8 weeks were over I set myself some further short and long term goals to keep on pushing me further and driving for that success.
Thank you to all who took part in the #SummerShred and also to Bodybuilding Warehouse for putting it on. Well done to all, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! A huge thanks to everyone who voted for me.
2015 #SummerShred Winner