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Important things learned – JP van der Spuy

Name: JP van der Spuy, founder, Cape Town

Overall Winner: Sleekgeek 6-week Beach Body Challenge (25 October – 5 December 2011)

In my journey in no particular order these are things that I learned and would like to share ……

1. Focus on Protein. Protein does not only build muscle, but it helps fit a leaner body, so whether you are training to loose weight, build muscle or do both, trust your protein! Get yourself a protein shake to supplement your meals.

2. Become aware of the nutritional details when preparing a meal. I never actually counted kilojoules, fats, protein and carbs, but had a good understanding of what goes into my body.

3. Focus on small, but powerful changes – he difference can be huge! i.e Instead of having a braai with chops, sausage, potato salad and cheesy garlic rolls… Get yourself some Ostrich sausage/steaks, lean chicken breasts, some jimmy sauce for taste and a potato, Greek salad or gem-squash. Even rye bread with garlic, herbs and Extra-Lite margarine states fantastic. Also, instead of having coke, wine or champagne, have some coke light. coke has 185kj per 100ml whereas Coke Light only has like 5KJ per 100ml. Small changes can go a long way.

4. Don’t restrict yourself from eating, just eat intelligently.

5. Drink enough water!

6. Sleep – When you work out, your muscle’s needs fuel and recovery in the form of Protein and sleep. So make sure you sleep enough.

7. Weight and resistance training – This was one of my big time focuses, I done a lot of resistance training with free-weights. Both men and woman will benefit from free-weights, not just men as some people may believe. Woman won’t bulk up doing free-weights. Not only do men build and shape muscle, but it also burns calories at an exceptional rate. So whether your focus is loosing weight, building muscle or shaping up, weights has something for everyone.

8. Bread is not evil, but it is a bitch! I have come to almost completely cut out bread altogether. I still have some bread with my breakfast, but rye or Low GI seed loaf. One of the biggest reasons I’m saying cut out bread, is because not only does it carry the unwanted carbs, but it leads to other more unhealthy stuff, like cheese, spreads, margarine, mayonnaise etc. I had no margarine, butter or cheese throughout the challenge. Whether it worked or not, I don’t know. As long as I believe it worked… which works just fine for me. 🙂

9. Have more protein! Again, I might have mentioned this, but I’m a firm believer in the benefits of protein, combined with good training and solid rest.

10. have your cheat meals on a training day. If you train in the morning and you’re having your cheat day, it makes you more aware of how to cheat, without messing things up. Some people confuse a cheat meal for 4 double cheese burgers. It’s not! I have some sushi, or a Spur chicken burger with cheese sauce, No chips! Again, its the small changes and training in the morning, then having KFC is impossible. Try it. I did, it just seems a bit senseless and time-wasting. This might have been a complete placebo, but it worked for me, so I stuck with it.

11. If you enjoy a game of squash, play more often! Forbes Magazine earlier this year rated squash as the highest all round weight loss activity, higher than swimming, despite the myth!

12. Get a TAN! If you have a darker complexion by nature, you’re lucky, otherwise get tanning! I know some of you might think, but wait, that has nothing to do with training or eating. You might be right, but you’re still wrong. This challenge and the reason we train is not only to feel good, be healthy and strong, but also to look good. a tanned body from the human eye is naturally more defined than a body that does not have a tan, so if you want to top your hard work of with some strawberries and cream, get a tan!



  • Originally published at on December 12, 2011


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