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Ryan Z.

74.90% change in body fat percent

*Results not typical

When I signed up for the 60-Day Challenge, I really had no expectations of seeing any amazing results. I have done Challenges in the past and have experienced success, but that was when I had big goals, and this time, I didn’t have a BIG goal I wanted to accomplish. I just wanted to stay the course of maintaining a healthy way of life that I had started during the August 2015 90-Day Challenge. However, the results I have experienced are definitely AMAZING.
Side note #1 – I did not change anything in regards to my nutrition. With all my food sensitivities, my food is on point 99% of the time. If not, the consequences are huge.

I kept my goal simple – increase my conditioning, mainly my VO2, with a hope of decreasing my body fat. Being a powerlifter who focuses mainly on the three core lifts (Squat, Bench, Deads), cardio is not part of my regimen and any cardio I do is something short and light on an elliptical. Having a background in anatomy and exercise physiology, I knew if I didn’t improve my cardio conditioning, I would never come close to reaching my full potential as a lifter.
Side note #2 – I would never consider myself a runner and haven’t consistently run in several years due to injuries. Personally, I believe my body has always responded best to running, so I decided to give running a chance again.

I did have concerns. I was already lifting three days a week. Adding cardio would potentially double the number of days I was working out. Could my body handle that?? I am a big fan of balance. The body loves balance and is constantly working to achieve a homeostatic state. Too much or too little is never good. But if I cut my lifting down to two days, would I lose strength because of it?? Losing strength is not an option for a competitive powerlifter. It was a lot to think about, and it wasn’t easy, but I made tough decisions. I dropped down to two days of weight lifting a week and committed to running three times a week. THREE!!

I wanted to focus on process and not product. I completed a running ActiveMetabolicAssessment and wrote myself a coaching program. It was not an easy beginning. My speeds were slow. The pain in my knees and hips was high. The first month, I HATED it. However, I had the right motivation: I will set a good example for my children. I will not fail. I will not settle!! I made a commitment, and when I commit to something and stay focused on “why,” I am all in. I kept with it. As time went on, it got easier. I retested four weeks later, and my speeds increased! I wrote myself a new program and stayed committed. I retested again, and my speeds increased AGAIN! I was getting results!! My zone 4 workload went from 5.5mph to 7.7mph in two months. My fat burn doubled!! My body fat has gone from 15% to 4%!! Most importantly, at the end of this 60-Day Challenge, my VO2, which was originally 25, is now 43. AND, I haven’t lost any strength!!! My three core lifts are still where they were when I started, and I even set a personal record on the bench last week. I feel great, and I love the way I look.

I want people reading this to understand two things. One, there are no limits to what you can do with your health and fitness. Simple or complex, small or big, goals are goals. With the right approach and the right commitment level, you can accomplish anything you set out to do. Maybe you’re already doing things 90% correct, but in tweaking one thing just a little bit you could get everything you’ve ever wanted!! Two, fitness is not a destination but a journey. 60-Day Challenge is not about achieving ALL of your goals in 60d days. It is about having a more intense focus and an elevated commitment for 60 days, using that time as a catalyst to get to where you want to be six months, a year, five years from now. My current journey started in August 2015 during the 90-Day Challenge. I accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish then, but there was more to be done. That wasn’t the end. There is no end point. It’s not just about, “What have I accomplished,” but more importantly, “What can I accomplish next??!” I want a healthy way of LIFE, not a healthy way of a few months.

So I ask myself, with enthusiasm… “What’s next?!!”

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