I entered The Winter Warrior competition scared and nervous.
I had never really been over weight but I’ve always carried a bit of fat. I’ve always been active having played rugby at school and then continued gyming once I left school. I’ve gone up and down the scale but I found even when I dropped to my lowest weight I still carried a bicycle tire around my waist area.
Taking on this challenge I knew I had to change something. I decided to put my “know it all” attitude on the shelf and surrendered.
I went and spoke to a professional, Ashley Galliard, who could give me a diet plan and training program.
I was thorough and explained to my trainer what I had done in the past. We discussed the different types of exercises that I had done and then what I was looking to achieve in this 8 Week Winter Warrior challenge. Obviously because it was such a short challenge we were never going to get massive gains in muscle size.
The strategy was to cut some of my fat whilst attempting not to lose any muscle and if possible to add a little lean muscle. We set a goal of losing 5% body fat and adding 3 kg muscle weight.
I made a cool Vid below where I explain how I did it and also interview Ashley too.
I discussed with my trainer the various diets I had followed in my life. I explained the previous attempts to tone up had never been very successful. Either i did not enjoy the foods or I found it too much food or too little. I managed to always put on muscle but never managed to cut the fat weight.
My trainer took all this information and worked out the diet and training program. As first glance of my programs I was a bit sceptical but what did i know? Nothing I had done before had worked! It was time to trust.
I paid a very minimal amount for this service, definitely nothing that i was going to miss! I went home and for the first week I messed around. I made no effort to plan my meals and gym time. After day 7 the nerves had become too much. I had a point to prove and was not doing myself any favours with this stupid procrastination. I decided to give it a few minutes of thought and planned out my shopping list. I bought the ingredients and prepared enough meals for the next 4 days.
How I Trained
On day 8, I decided to force myself to go to the gym first thing in the morning. I had decided to put my training first. I continued this 6 days a week for the next 7 weeks. My specific program was structured to combine weights training with cardiovascular exercises. This was a completely new way of training for me. In the past I had always done my weights and on different days my cardio.
I was told to do abs three days a week. I decided to change it around a bit and started doing abs at night going to the gym for a second time in my day. I had never done abs before and felt quite intimidated to work on them in front of a fully packed gym in the morning. I found it much quieter at night. I worked on my abs 6 days a week because I was determined to get the maximum change possible. I wanted a flat stomach! One key secret that helped me here was the use of a timer which i downloaded onto my iPhone. I find doing stomach exercises quite monotonous. I found that after 2 min i would get up and convince myself that I done enough.
The timer changed this because it simulated having a trainer with me, telling me to go when i didn’t want to. I set it for 25 second intervals with 20 second rest periods after which the timer would buzz, to tell me to go again. This worked wonders as i found that i really started enjoying my abs exercises. The longer i lay on the floor doing them the more i became inspired and wanted to do them. I ended up doing at least 40 min of abs every night. Remember, i had never been an abs person before this challenge.
My food program looked like this.
I started each day with a whole lemon squeezed and topped up with warm water. Lemon is known to have fat burning qualities as well as disinfecting the mouth and throat from bacteria. I didn’t get sick during the challenge which was also a first for me when getting back into the gym.
My meals were broken down into 3 hour intervals which is essential to keep your metabolism going. Breakfast consisted of 4 egg whites and one egg yellow scrambled and accompanied with 2 slices of 100% rye toast.
Some days I would eat slices of tomato to change it up a bit. To finish off I ate mixed berries. These are know to have anti inflammatory effects on specifically the stomach area. They also worked as a ‘sweet’ substitute for me. I found my self looking forward to breakfast.
- Three hours later I had a small sweet potato, cottage cheese and I small whey shake.
- Three hours later it was 200g grilled chicken, half a cup of brown rice and a cup of broccoli. I used NO oils!
- Three hours later I had a full whey protein shake with a handful of pumpkin seeds.
- Three hours later i had 150 grams of chicken on frozen salmon cooked in the oven, 2 cups of green veg and a small sweet potato. The sweet potato was specifically included in MY diet because i traditionally get hungry late at night.
I am a big coffee consumer and was not prepared to give this up. I did however start teaching all the coffee baristas around Johannesburg, wherever i stopped for my coffee, how to make a ‘dry cuppaccino’. This is essentially espresso topped up with ONLY low fat foam and no milk as in how a normal cappuccino is made. I allowed myself one brown sugar a day to go with my coffee.
I stopped all fizzy drinks which was normally my staple. I hated water but by the end of the challenge had grown to love it. I found by topping up 200ml bottles and keeping many on hand in the fridge, it made it easy to get sufficient amount in which we all know is important.
I must add that I loved eating this way. It worked for me because I had worked out with my trainer what works for me. I stuck to my diet religiously and never cheated once! The preparation was definitely key. Many days there was no time to cook but because i had meals in the fridge, there was no reason or excuse to fall off the wagon.
What worked for me is not going to work for everybody and so the key is to go and sit with a professional. Work out what works for you. Be realistic and honest. Plan your strategy and prepare your meals in advance. Plan plan plan!
Good luck guys and gals!
- Sleekgeek with Derek’s coach Ashley Galliard (left) at Doppio Zero in Rosebank talking about the success.
- Ashley and his brother own Galliards Fitness in Norwood Johannesburg. They also work with corporate wellness.
- Contact Ashley on 083 2789469 or on Facebook here
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