Why am I, a self admitted skinny fella, deciding to particiate in a shredding program? It’s a fair question. After all, the purpose of this blog is to take part in exercise programs designed to increase muscle mass.
The simple answer is – I’ve never had a six pack. Growing up, my body resembled that of someone with Malnutrition, skinny with a pot belly. I once owned a t-shirt that had a picture of Buddha on it with the tag line “for good luck, rub my tummy”, and was given the nickname Buddha Belly shortly afterwards. This had led to a big self confidence issue when on the beach in particular, especially being based in the US for most of the year surrounding by men who probably have the middle name ‘specimen’.
I also saw some added girth around the mid-section during Kris Gethin’s Muscle Builder, due to the need to increase the amount of food consumed a day by 100-200 calories each week – not only the belly, but also the lower back or love handles, as they are better known. My desire was to find a program that promised to burn fat and build muscle, and I came across Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred on bodybuilding.com.
The Shortcut to Shred program is “a fast-paced fitness attack GUARANTEED to torch bodyfat, build muscle, and boost your strength”, which sounds just the ticket for my goals. It is based on 6 workouts a week, working muscle groups twice a week in the following manner
- Days 1 & 4 – Chest, Triceps, Abs
- Days 2 & 5 – Delts, Legs, Calves
- Days 3 & 6 – Back, Traps, Biceps
The first 3 days of each week sees heavier weights and lower reps used, and the final 3 days sees lighter weights and higher reps, with each set being done to failure. In between each set, I will perform something called “cardio acceleration”, which, in everyday terms, means I will perform a minute of a cardio based activity without break. This doesn’t mean going back and forth from the treadmill, but includes activities such as kettlebell swings, jumping jacks and burpees. Just typing this makes me nervous for the first few days…
Diet wise, Stoppani states that I will be following a 3 phase nutrition plan, which will see the amount of carbs consumed changing in each phase. For week 1, I will consume 1.5 grams of carbs for every pound of body weight. Weeks 2-3 will see this reduced to 1 gram and for the final 3 weeks this will go down to 0.5 grams. Thankfully, during these weeks, the rest day allows for an increase in carbs to help accelerate the fat removal. Even someone as epic as The Rock appreciates a good cheat day! Protein will remain at 1.5 grams per lb of bodyweight and fats (combination of Polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated – no trans fat) will be 0.5 grams per lb of bodyweight.
Starting weight – 171lbs
Starting body fat percentage – 21%
Ideal finishing weight – 165lbs
Ideal finishing bodyfat percentage – 15%
For me, this program starts tomorrow. I’ll be posting again on day 3 with my initial thoughts on the program. Please leave any comments below.
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