When I ran the marathon in December 2013, I was left with a weird question in my head.
Leading up to the day of the Marathon, I had never really run a full 21kms. The maximum I had was 14kms – 5 days before the marathon day.
And as a newcomer, you are given 3 hours to complete the 21km stretch. Thats 7kmph – brisk walking I’d say!
Was it possible that I didnt prepare for the marathon at all, but would have still ran the 21kms on the day?
The math (7kmph == brisk walking) suggested yes! This realization was unsettling. And as I love doing, I asked myself a tough question
So what is it that I can do, for which I will have to prepare each and every day. I cant cheat the system by suddenly “running” on a decided day, if I hadnt prepared for it for every day before it!
6 PACK ABS!
The marathon training has done some good. From 85kgs I had come down to 79Kgs. However, the days post the marathon were spent in celebrating the success. And I was back to 82!
I needed to exercise
and I needed a diet plan
Basically I needed a trainer.
And it was Ajay Singh again (Groupon colleague and the same guy who shared the video that changed me!)
On 17th Jan, he shared the diet plan that would lead me to the healthiest phase of my life
6:30am: 2 bananas + 10 almonds
8:30am: Protein Shake + Oatmeal + Apple
11:30am: 2 tbsp Lemon Juice + Veg Salad (Olive Oil Dressing) + 1 Green Tea
130pm: 2 bowls of boiled Kidney Beans + 2 carrots + 2 borwn bread toast with peanut butter
400pm: Handful of nuts + Green Tea
700pm: Protein Shake + Roasted Veggied + 1 bowl of boiled chick peas
900pm: Green Tea
Drink 8 bottles of water everyday
No sugar at all
And then he added a clear piece of instruction
Dont eat anything that is packed, processed, canned or on someone else’s plate!
I measured my body fat percentage on the 1st of Feb = 26%. Your abs shows when body fat reaches sub-10% levels!
Basically – I had to burn my fat.
One way was to not consume it – which is something that the diet plan ensured.
The other way to get into an intense fat-burning exercise regime – Weight Training
Weight training builds your muscles. And when you strain your muscles you body spents energy the entire day trying to recover from the “shock”. Cardio, on the other hand, stops burning fat the minute you stop doing it!
Ajay gave me the schedule – one body part a day
and so it started – the race to the abs!
BF had reduced to 18%
The abs could be felt if I dug my fingers into my stomach. But that wasnt the point
I weighed 78kgs
This was a month I lost! Was travelling almost all of it – and wasnt able to work out.
Surprisingly, the unregimented diet that I was on during this month, didnt increase my weight or body fat. Testimony to the muscle-burns-fat logic.
It was working!
BF reached 15% – it was getting harder to burn more.
“Concentrate on your legs. Thats the biggest muscle in the body – and can sustain the most pain. There are only two modes when you are doing legs – vomit or faint!”, advised Ajay, in his true style
That month, I lifted 100kgs on my legs!
My personal deadline for the abs. BF had reached 12% and the first 2 packs were showing. The rest 4 were buried under what seemed like irritating-hard-to-dissolve stomach fat.
Aparently it was water, and not fat! It was time to reduce the water flab around your lower abs.
June 23 2014
I weighed 72kgs – an incredible 14kgs below my highest
Body fat had reached 10%
I stopped all salt in my diet (salt absorbs water). And reduced water content to 1 bottle a day
The first day was tasteless. The next day I called Ruchi to ask why she had added salt to my lunch.
She replied that she hadnt!
Brain >> Senses!
July 7 2014
I finalized the photographer for a shoot.
Yes – I was planning to have it all this while. Life doesnt give you too many opportunities to get shot in 6packs!
July 12 2014
Day before the shoot
Body Fat: 8.3%
No salt for the past 2.5 weeks
July 13 2014
Day of the shoot. Went to Ajay’s gym for “pumping” – spent an insane 2 hours out of my wits!
Sharad (colleague who got the shoot organized) and Ajay were there during the shoot. Absolutely weird and amazing experience. I realized I suck in front of the camera, am too concious and I cant carry looks that are not me!
When the photographs finally came in – I couldnt believe my own eyes. I was looking at a body that didnt feel like mine. It was a healthy body – a confident one! And one that had been an absolute pleasure to build.
I sent a text thanking Ajay for all his help. His reply was fascinating.
The best part about bodybuilding is that it is not a team effort. It is just YOU. You cant blame anyone for your failure so no one gets the credits for your victory.
What I told you all through is something easily available on the Internet and I have shared it with several others. You have to believe and know for a fact that it is only you who decides what happens to it now.
The power of knowing that you alone control this – is a powerful one.
Because its really the same with everything else as well.
Here I am – from an era before
And here I am today
Lessons I learnt from this phase
- Being healthy is fascinating. There is no bigger rush!
- Your body is amazingly adaptable. You give is less but enriched food – it readjusts. You give it no salt – it readjusts. You kill it everyday by forcing its muscles – it recuperates even faster
- I now realize why working on your body is perhaps the most disciplined act ever. It requires commitment at a very different level. No excuses, no cheat days, no team. And no one else to feel as happy at the end of it!
- Brain >> Senses
Amen to a life life this, forever!
DO EPIC SHIT!
Updates (based on feedback)
- Body Fat is measured through an instrument called the Body Composition Analyzer (BCA). Here is what it looks like
- I dont drink, so cutting down on alcohol is not applicable to me. However, for the diet to work, it is necessary to reduce alcohol and preferably remove it all together.
- Here is the 6-pack abs workout regime I followed
Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Shoulders
Day 3: Abs
- Leg Raises – 20 – 15 – 12 – 10 – 8 – 8 – 8 – 8 (30 seconds rest) –
- Hanging Leg Raises – 10 – 10 – 10 (30 seconds rest) –
- Wood Chopper – 15 – 15 -15 each side (30 seconds rest) –
- Crunches – 15 – 15 – 15 (30 seconds rest) –
- Side Crunches – 15 – 15 – 15 (each side) – (starts at 5:59)
- Side Bends – 15 – 15 -15 (each side) – (starts at 0:55)
Day 4: Back
Day 5: Arms
Day 6: Legs