First off, congratulations to EVERYONE that participated in the New Year Transformation Challenge this year.
I have been involved in similar challenges for over 10 years, and we have never had one where the top teams were THIS close.
The winning team finished with 215.77 points, and the second place team followed up with 213.63 points. That’s less than a point per person difference! Not only that, but there were 4 additional teams that finished out the challenge with over 205 points!
Overall, 276 lbs of body fat were lost.
What an amazing accomplishment!
So… what’s next?
It helps to break down programs like this as simply as we can.
“Plan the program, do the program, discuss the program.”
At this point, it’s helpful to go back and review what YOU learned from this challenge.
I want you to think about each aspect of this program. Which parts were easy? Which parts were too difficult? Which parts seemed difficult at first, but by the end you got the hang of it?
I’ve completed exit interviews with some of the participants. I’ll share some helpful feedback:
“I was nowhere near the step count. Do I really need THAT many?”
So here’s the deal. Micheal Easter, author of “The Comfort Crisis” did a phenomenal job in explaining the research when it comes to daily step counts and what really matters.
In short, if you’re at 4,500 steps or less per day, that’s a red flag. You’re putting yourself into unnecessary risk categories and I would advise you to address this as quickly as possible.
Here’s the good news: 7,500 steps per day gives you about 85% of the health benefit. So if 10,000 seems insurmountable, this is a great starting point.
You don’t see another significant increase in health benefit until we jump all the way up to 15,000 steps a day. At this point it becomes a question of the return on your investment. Rather than work towards 15K steps, your efforts may be better spent addressing other weaknesses, such as strength or nutrition.
“It was REALLY hard to eat that much protein.”
This was a 6 week challenge and not a gradual program; therefore the initial allotted calories were a bit more aggressive. Given a shorter period of time, it’s ok to work a bit harder.
For long term progress, at a minimum you should consume between 0.7-1.0 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight.
For a 135lb woman that is anywhere between 95-135g of protein.
For a 200lb man that is anywhere between 140-200g of protein.
Going forward if you have greater than 30lbs you want to lose, you might want to utilize the above formula to set your own protein intake.
However, as calories drop, additional protein is required to preserve muscle mass. As a result, some of you likely had over the typically recommended 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. That’s not because there is something BETTER about having those levels, it’s just what is needed during this push.
Many of you also felt more full and satiated by increasing your protein intake, which is another benefit to making this adjustment.
“Do I need to count my macros forever to make progress?”
Of course not. If counting macros stresses you out, there are other methods available to keep yourself accountable.
One of the simplest ways is aiming for half a plate of fruits and/or veggies, and a quarter of a plate each of starch and protein.
If you did that 3-4x per a day you’d be well on your way toward your goals.
“Should I continue doing InBody check-ins regularly?”
If improved body composition remains your goal, we recommend, at a minimum, a monthly InBody and check in with your coach. I prefer every other Friday, but you may come up with a schedule that suits you.
What gets measured gets managed. If you aren’t tracking your progress it’s easy to slide off track without realizing it.
Additionally, Please, adhere to a consistent check-in schedule. Doing a check-in while in a fasted state one day, and then after a big meal the next, will only produce frustrating results and won’t offer much in the way of helpful feedback.
Stay tuned! Another challenge is coming next Spring!
If after reading this blog you still have questions regarding this program, please let me know. Your feedback is important to us for the planning/implementation of future Aspire challenges!
Keep moving forward,
Brian – Owner/Founder, Aspire Fitness