The Quest for Killer Abs: The Reset
How Turning 30 Reset My Metabolism in 30 Days!
I felt like I was going to puke my hammering heart out of my throat. My juvenile lungs were raw, and wanted to burst open with each heaving breath. My triceps raged as the raucous ruckus of the exercises ripped into the“comfortable” status quo of my body.
50 walking lunges. 800 meter sprint. 25 shoulder presses. Repeat. Three times. It was time to run. “I can. I can. I can”, my mind screamed fanatically, as my legs wobbled like an under baked cake. This was my first Boot Camp class in four years. Although my cells revolted in a grappling state of shock, I appreciated every second.
Why am I pushing myself? I’m turning thirty in July and although each year seems to stew richer in wisdom, what is not so enriching is my slowing metabolism. As we enter our thirties our metabolism decreases by as much as one percent per year. The big 3-0 hasn’t hit yet, and I’ve already started to notice the extra “muffin top” around my midline.
The mindset of our time stems from the human potential movement, we create our destiny. I’ve invested years into crafting my career and molding my mind, yet have selectively forgotten about my body. Well, that’s not entirely true; as a yoga devotee I appreciate the practice, however am craving something different. A slab of sizzling intensity; the way a char grilled steak bolsters the flavor of a barbecue. I want to push myself again; to test my lung’s capacity and muscles’ endurance. I want to move into my body’s potential. And sure, sculpt killer abs in the process.
The approaching number (thirty) was just what was needed to ignite my internal fire of motivation and launch me into the pursuit of the perfect fitness program. My intention is to defy the status quo of slowing metabolisms, and enter my thirties stronger than ever. A life coach once told me, “don’t complain; If you don’t like it, change it!”
It’s time to drop my insecurities, and take a massive bite of her advice. After lots of due diligence, I went straight to the experts.
Precision Athletics is my secret weapon. I’m putting their 360 Abs Program to the test for four weeks.
Precision Athletics has been sculpting the bodies of Vancouverites since 2001. They have two locations; in eclectic Yaletown and in stunning Coal Harbour. I’ll be training in Yaletown, just off Robson and Beatty Street.
Co-owners and co-founders Craig and Pepe met backpacking while feasting their eyes on kangaroos in Australia. Coincidently, they were both Canadian. Once they nestled back into the forests of Canada, Craig convinced Pepe to start Precision with him. They’ve been friends and business partners ever since.
I bet you’re wondering about the program, let’s peak at what 360 Abs entails: 360 Abs is supposed to do exactly as it sounds- it melts our midsection by focusing on our nutrition and lifestyle choices, combined with core strength and cardio training.
The program includes: • 360 Degree Abs Coaching • Fat Furnace cardio program • 21 Day Fat Flush Nutrition Program • Ongoing Nutrition and Lifestyle coaching.
Naturopath Dr. Natalia (featured on Dr.Oz) says “we are in a new revolution of weight loss. It’s no longer about calories in minus calories out equals weight loss. If you don’t add hormonal balance to that formula you will diet and exercise until you are blue in the face, and not be able to keep it off”.
And that is exactly what 360 Abs intends to do- re-balance the body’s hormones so it can proficiently burn fat again. Screw the diamonds ladies- Hormones are a woman’s best friend.
When these dainty regulators are out of whack, the whole body suffers- especially our waistline. Hormones control every aspect of weigh loss- from metabolic functioning, to fat storage, appetite and even cravings. The 21 Day Fat Flush Nutrition Program is designed to kick-start our health regime and re-set the body’s ability to shed fat.
After understanding the program, and meeting the team- I felt I was in skilled hands. Meet the Team:
Craig: Craig has a stack of credentials pinned to his name. He’s a personal trainer and a certified Nutrition Coach. He’s also the brains behind the 21 Day Precision Fat Flush & Nutritional Counselling. Craig’s no-fluff approach to fitness, coupled with authoritative motivation will whip anyone into shape. Dedication is his practice, and it shows. In 2009 he completed the Penticton Iron Man.
Pepe Picco: Pepe’s personality is just how his name sounds- super peppy! It’s no wonder his positive attitude snagged him a spot touring and training famous Irish Rock Band, U2, in 2005-2006. That’s right; Pepe was the behind-the-scenes-fitness-guru sculpting the bodies of Irelands’ rich and famous. A dream come true- he’s a massive fan and saw the world…like a rock star!
Dave Sims: Dave loves Cross Fit and uses the cross training philosophy to slap his clients silly into Speedo worthy shape. He has the perfect balance of alignment and intuition- knowing when to push us, and when to soften.
Sarah Youssef: Sarah is a bubbling button of optimistic energy. It’s impossible to curse her while huffing and puffing in a frenzy of Burpees- because she is just so darn encouraging!
I also took Bootcamp classes with Charlotte, Amy, and Tanya; who all brought their own unique training talents to the table.
As Craig so correctly said, “we live in a society which thinks more is better. If you power through a 5km run, people ask, “What’s next? Will you train for a 10km? A half? A full marathon?”
That was me five years ago- and I shot my adrenal glands in the process. It’s no wonder I was gaining weight while training for a half marathon- my hormones were in harmonic havoc! My only choice was to stop, recover, and in the process loose all my fitness gains.
That’s why I was so excited about starting 360 Abs. The program works with nutrition, nutrition counselling, interval training, and ab coaching- to keep our hormones balanced and happy.
I’ve segmented my experience for easy reading. Hope you learn a thing or two!
Nutrition: Craig made it clear how critical diet supports fat burning and fuels workouts. Certain foods promote fat burning, while others encourage fat storage. I learned how to eat the right combination of foods in the right portions to rev my metabolism into fat burning mode.
If you tell me to count out my carrot sticks, weigh my turkey breast, or only use a dime size serving of peanut butter- I might punch you! All jokes aside, I was delighted to discover there was no finicky measuring. The dietary guidelines also coached me how to love my liver. The liver is the organ responsible for regulating metabolism- so it better be kept happy. If the liver is overloaded with toxins it stores fat- because it’s tied up detoxifying the body instead of burning blubber!
I made an effort to eat mostly organic foods- which can be expensive. Fortunately, I discovered Organic World Specialty Meats (who delivers), and treated myself to organic foods without the organic price tag.
Nutrition Counselling: The Nutrition Counselling feedback was really informative. I always thought I ate “healthy”, but realized how my proportions of fat, carbs and proteins were halting my progress. Craig really understands the biology of blubber- and helps nudge it in the right. Each week I sent him my food journal. He’d tweak it a smidge and advise me on making better choices.
Interval Training: Intervals are short bursts of high-intensity exercises and are extremely powerful. I’d alternate between Precision’s Cross Training, Boot Camp classes, and my own practice. I appreciated the motivation the group classes spurred in me.
The science behind the intervals motivated me even more. Not only is interval training the quickest way to melt fat, it’s also the most time efficient. Twenty minutes, five times per week will elevate our metabolism by an additional 10-15 percent its normal rate! All that’s required is commitment and a skimpy 2.5 to 3.5 hours per week- which is a small investment for delicious summer abs!
Another motivating fact is when interval training the body works harder, and depletes itself of oxygen. This creates an effect called EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption) or “after burn”. The body needs to replace the lack of oxygen so raises our metabolic rate. Not only is the metabolism raised by up to 15 percent (at its peak)- we burn way more calories for up to 36 hours afterwards!
The Group Ab Coaching really tightened up my core. Craig and Pepe spent two years developing 360 Abs. They wanted to devise a program which trains the abs- from every angle. Most programs only target one or two.
Are you curious about my results?
My Results: After thirty challenging days, my cardiovascular capacity has significantly increased- and I could probably outrun Forrest Gump to his box of chocolates. My body’s muscular structure feels firm, and sleek vertical abdominal lines are slowly shining through. My dietary choices hacked a big piece out of the Paleo pie and significantly contributed to my success. It’s empowering to fuel my workouts with my new found energy, and not caffeine. And the numbers don’t lie.
I lost 3.5 percent body fat in one month, which equals 4.5 pounds of gooey fat; and replaced it with seven pounds of solid muscle! Strong is the new skinny. My toned legs took center stage- and decreased from 21 to 11mm of pinch able fat. Oh, and we must not forget my doughy muffin top, which shrunk by 4 cm. I’m well on my way to resetting my metabolism, and sculpting the toned body of my dreams.
My abdominals felt as if there were going to rip like tissue paper. My shoulders fatigued as I chiselled my fingers deeper into the mat- in plank pose. “Breath. Focus on the breath”, my mind cooed like a frenetic lullaby. 30 plank leg lifts.30 V-sits. 20 Hollow Rocks. Repeat.
This was my last Ab Coaching class for the month. At Precision Athletics it gets easier, but it doesn’t- and that’s the beauty of the paradox. The program progresses as our body morphs into a metabolic masterpiece of muscle. So we don’t plateau, and can continue to grow into our body’s potential. I’m excited to see my progress for the big 3-0. See you in class!