30 days into my Strength Challenge

4 weeks ago, on the 16th of December I started a dedicated strength and fitness programme along with a carb cycling nutrition plan to see if I could: Get leaner and stronger.

I asked for help from Mr Muscle, and on the 9th of December, before I started I had a PT session with him where he introduced me to mystrength workouts, and measured me up.

As well as the strength workouts, I was to train with running 2-3 times a week, and decided a good aim in line with fat burning / getting stronger would be to focus on speedwork / a5k PB Challenge.

There was the question as to whether it was a good idea to start it with Christmas coming up, but I knew I could be determined and disciplined. I’ve remained active, not over indulged and really refrained more than I normally would at this time of the year.


My mindset truly has shifted from, ‘I’m a runner so I can eat this’ to ‘my goal is to stick to the plan to get leaner, if I don’t do it, it won’t work’.

The plan helped me to refrain from over eating at Christmas, and kept me more focused on my goal and more motivated to train and eat well over the festive period.

See my strength workouts and plan here.

However, the period did include:
– 2 three course meals out with work.
– Christmas Dinner (although that day was just Breakfast and Lunch really).
– New Years Day Dinner (same as above).


Apart from those days, my nutrition was really to plan.

I followed the plan we had, and tended to get / eat up to:
– 100g of carbs on a Rest / Low carb day,
– 200g of carbs on a Run / Med carb day,
– 250g of carbs on a Strength / High carb day.


Here’s the number results:

Start 09/12/13: 124lbs, 20.1% body fat, 58.7% water
Two weeks in: 126lbs, 21.5% body fat, 57.6% water
Four weeks in 08/01/14: 124lbs, 20.4% body fat, 58.1% water
(with a bit of a blip on Boxing day: 131lbs, 22.2% body fat eeek!)

So to date – 30 days in, my weight and body fat are virtually the same with my:
Body Fat lbs: increasing from 24.9lbs to 25.3lbs (+0.4lbs)
Water lbs: decreasing from 72.8lbs to 72.0lbs (-0.8lbs)
Lean Mass (other than water): decreasing from 99.1lbs to 98.7lbs (-0.4lbs)

To be honest it’s quite hard to pin point what might have gone wrong.
Or to look at it more positively, what I could have done differently to get a better result.

The change is so small and could be down to a number of things, however:

> Food has been good and to plan.
(Except for the 6 balls of ice cream (staggered) on Christmas day,
along with the bit of Christmas pudding, and a pudding on New Years Day).
> Water intake has been good, and only other liquid is 1 coffee a day and green tea.
> Sugar cravings have more or less gone, and I’ve not had chocolate / mars bars (honest!)
> I have experienced hunger though, but felt ok with it.
> Weights have progressed steadily and I’m working hard in the workouts – could I be working harder?
> I feel stronger, and feel I have maybe changed shape slightly (before and after pic will be done).

Here are some ideas (which I’ll discuss with Mr Muscle on


· I’m possibly not eating enough carbs (between 150-250g on med – high carb days)?

· I’m possibly running too much (not that much, but running between 4-6 miles 3 times a week)?

· Christmas Dinner and New Year’s dinner (stuck to the plan apart from those days plus 2 work meal outs)?

– There’s maybe not enough change in my exercise to see change in my results? (I was running and strength training before / same activity levels)

· I’m a girl / at my Set Point / and/or I’m not genetically built to build muscle? / destined to be this way?

Some thoughts any way. Who knows.


What I can say is that it’s been good to check my nutrition and be really strict with it.
Keeping my goal in mind at all times. It’ll be interesting to see what Mr Muscle thinks, and be good to see if he suggests any changes to see what happens.

Better be ready for Mr Muscle!
Super Muscle Strength: PT Session 1
My Nutrition Plan and Measurements

Day 3 food: med carb day
Last week, next week and Low carb day today
Food prep for carb cycling
Day 18/84: High Carb Day Food

My Fitness Pal App
5k PB Challenge Time

Deadlift Training Tips
Squat & Weights tips

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