So I completed C1 on Tuesday (16th August) and submitted my results (11.5 inches and 7.7 lbs lost). My support hero emailed my C2 plan 48 hours later and I’ve got a lot of reading and prep to do.
For anyone who is seriously considering signing up to the 90 day SSS Plan, I would recommend it in a heartbeat, but you have to be prepared for it to consume you for 90 days. I’m only part way through and I have to think about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it constantly so that I don’t ‘fall off the wagon’ – an expression that’s used far too frequently. I’m not saying I was a saint for the entire time, I am human after all. In fact, in C1 we’ve had 4 family birthdays including my own, I’ve been out for 2 dinners and a BBQ. You just have to find a way to stay as close to the plan as possible, so for each of those occasions we (my Mr and I) made sure we did a hiit workout before hand so that we had a carb refuel meal to make good use of. On birthdays I was able to have a slice of birthday cake and a normal reduced carb meal and no booze. On dinners out I made the best choices possible, had a dessert but again no booze and at the BBQ I had a little bread with my meal and again no booze. At the end of this process you have to be able to live a modified life and have learnt what your body can handle before it starts to get out of hand. So this is what I did in Cycle 1:
The Food – I have to admit I found the food list a little restrictive. I stumbled onto the plan by trying the books for a couple of weeks. I enjoyed the variety they provided and how easily you could create a spicy, tasty noodle dish without lots of advanced prep (really handy for a mum of twin toddlers!). I used the prescribed meals for a week and then used my prescribed meals as a guide to adjust the macros for receipes in the books. I don’t have much time so repetition of meals was the key for me. When it comes to meal planning you should try to plan meals with similar components to cut down on wastage and repeat a recipe throughout the week, batch cook and freeze were possible. When it comes to groceries and especially meat, it maybe worth looking at somewhere like Muscle Food. Their produce is high quality and very reasonable. Also worth considering is a cash and carry like Costco. Their fresh produce is sometimes cheaper than the supermarkets and their meat prices are good also, you just need to know what you need, how much you need and what the supermarket costs are.
The Snacks – I wont lie, I didn’t regularly have 2 snacks each day just because I wasn’t hungry and didn’t want to start eating just for the sake of eating. Most days I’d have at least 1 snack and if I did feel the need for a 2nd snack then it would be on a rest day so I’d have a little fruit after dinner. I did try out some of the recipes from my prescribed list but also used a couple recipes from the books to add variety. Plain nuts can be a little boring!
Hydration – At first, with the help of a Infrution Sports bottle I got through quite a lot of water as you’re supposed to. I limited myself to 2 cups of tea a day and 1 Nespresso made with 1% milk a day. Admittedly I didn’t drink the prescribed amount, but I drank around 2-3 litres including hot drinks and BCAA pre and post workout.
The Workouts – I decided to work out for 5 days a week with 2 rest days. The 5 days were back to back and for me to give it my full attention without the distraction of my children I decided the best time for me was after they went to bed. Lucky for me, they’re in bed for 7pm so I could workout, shower, cook and eat for 8.30pm. So, for 4 of the 5 hiit sessions I started off using The Body Coach TV Channel on YouTube and used 3 different hiit workouts in rotation. During the sessions, Joe mentioned how high his heart rate was, so I used my Apple Watch to see what I was hitting. I have to admit that I found the watch tricky to use, it only periodically took my heart rate so I felt that I faffed about waiting for it to catch-up with me, so when I was out shopping and stumbled across the FitBit Charge HR I snapped it up and it tells me so much more than my heart rate. It can also tell me how long my body was in fat burning mode, and this is exactly the feedback I needed to get me to move more! I wasn’t getting anywhere near his heart rate readings, he’s loads fitter than me, but I also struggled with some of the exercises. It was mainly anything that put pressure on my hands/wrists (I had a problem a few years with an auto-immune illness that affected all of my joints and I still have problems with my hands and wrists) and he is a massive fan of burpees and mountain climbers, so I felt that I wasn’t working as hard as I could. I also went into each workout cold without doing a warm-up, stupid I know but when I started using his channel, i kinda hoped each workout would be complete with a warm-up and cool down. They weren’t and I think that if i’d carried on I’d have probably injured myself. I follow some 90 Day SSS graduates on Instagram and they mentioned T25 workouts, so I signed-up and gave it a go. I truly believe this revolutionised my workouts. Each workout is 25 minutes and includes a warm-up, each session focuses on a different area and pushes you harder and harder and then moved on to a different exercise combo. At the end of the 25 minutes a cool down session starts so in total you’re only at it for 28 or so minutes. I absolutely love it because I can follow the workouts and when a sequence is too hard or I’m a bit knackered I follow the modifier, Tanya. Tanya basically does a modified, slightly lower impact version of the workout, but even if you follow her for the entire time, you’ve done a really tough workout. Tanya works hard!
The 5th day was reserved for me to do a hiit session on our Healthrider Cross Trainer. We’ve not had it long so I wanted to make use of it as we already own it. I remember the first week I could barely manage 5 sets, 30 secs on, 30 secs rest. I was done for and I remember my instagram post of how hard I found it. BUT week after week I felt I could do more and by the end of C1 I did 10 reps, 25 secs on, 35 secs off with 5 mins warm-up and 5 mins cool down.
Supplements – I look every supplement recommended with the exception of the post workout protein drink. As we worked out during the early evening, we were already consuming a lot of liquids with the pre and post BCAA and it was so close to dinner time too. I did spend a lot of time nipping to the loo and I did have to get up once or twice during the night, not ideal if you have little ones, sleep is precious! If you’re thinking of skipping them I’d ask you to reconsider. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now and to my complete amazement I haven’t injured myself. Previously I’ve injured myself after a gym induction and have known back, neck, hand and wrist problems. So far, nothing on my body is broken and I didn’t suffer too greatly from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). I do get the occasional twinge, but I honestly put it down to the supplements. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
C2, here i come!