Let’s take a hypothetical, 30-something, man holding down a 9-5 job. They have probably a stone of fat to lose, would like to gain some muscle (read ‘look good naked’) and improve general, real world, fitness. Now Men’s Health enlisted a ‘master trainer’ for this task and had our man eating several, ‘protein packed’ meals a day whilst training in their lunch hour and before/after work most days. Our man also had to cut the booze entirely, always had to opt for low GI carbs and chow down several potions and shakes as well as a medicine cabinet full of pills a day.
Were this man to give the Breed project a ring things might have been different. Several meals a day? No. Training on lunch hour? Niet. Low GI carbs? Nein. Tubful’s of supplements? Nada.
Instead we’d make a few simple transitions that hopefully could be swallowed up in his daily life. Starting with the biggest area – diet – we’d want our man to shift his carbs all into his post workout meals in the evening. This means that he can enjoy meals out with his wife/girlfriend or dinners at home without having to change her eating habits. This process would also help him develop some metabolic flexibility, in other words, learning to burn fat for fuel. In this state he could easily miss a meal without feeling grumpy and hungry. We’d want him eating more wholefoods and cutting the processed stuff out. This negates the need for the meds cabinet of supplements and shakes. One shake of whey protein and creatine after a workout is perfectly adequate. With training, 2-3 sessions a week of compound lifts is plenty to start building some muscle and with his new diet he doesn’t need the hours of cardio. Instead we’d suggest he gets outside for a walk whenever possible, another great opportunity to spend more time with his partner. As for the booze? We’d be able to make 1 night a week work if he didn’t binge so no need to cancel those social plans just yet.
We’d also want to cover areas that Men’s Health didn’t even touch on. We’d want to talk stress and sleep, can he minimise the former whilst improving the latter? If so then it makes everything else run much more smoothly.
After the Men’s Health 12 week transformation our man did look very different. He also felt crap and was eager to return to his old ways. Our hypothetical man? It’s likely he hits 12 weeks looking and feeling great having forgotten that he was even doing a challenge in the first place. That should always be the aim – diets don’t work, lifestyles do..