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5 Week Challenge

In order to get ready for the LA Soccer league for the fall season, I wanted to lose 8 to 10 pounds of body fat in 5 weeks. To better understand soccer, it is better to have a lighter frame than a heavier frame. This is similar to race cars. In racing, engineers set out to design a car with a big powerful engine and a light frame. The more powerful the engine is with a lighter frame – the faster the car.

Soccer is very similar, when an athlete needs to drop weight for a specific sport he wants to drop body fat and preserve as much muscle as possible. As you can imagine, muscle is extremely important for speed, quickness, agility and dexterity. When I played high school soccer and I was looking to get in shape for the upcoming season my goal was to drop weight. While I did accomplish this goal, unfortunately I lost muscle in the process. I could tell that I lost muscle because I felt a decrease in speed, quickness and shooting power. In order to learn from my mistakes I wanted to get ready for the soccer season by losing body fat and maintaining muscle. This combination is significant for sports performance – specifically to decrease the weight and maintain or increase horse power or muscle.

To attain this goal I gave myself 5 weeks. I felt that this was enough time to drop 8 to 10 pounds of body fat and to gain about 1 to 1.5 pounds of muscle. I felt that with the right diet, training program and supplements I could accomplish this goal and avoid the mistakes that I’ve made in the past. My starting weight was about 192 pounds. For a soccer player this is really heavy. Most pros are around 155 to 173 pounds. I’m 6 feet tall and I felt that 173 pounds would be a little too thin for my height and frame especially given the industry that I’m in. So I decided that 180 to 183 would be a good soccer weight for the upcoming season. I’ve listed below my progress over the 5 week period. Included is the date and my waist measurement.

7/07 192,  33  – Official Start Date
7/07 187.5
7/07  187
7/07   186.6,  32.25
7/07 184.8,  32
8/4 185.5,  32
8/6 184, 32
8/15 185.5,  32
8/17  184,   31 3/4
8/20  186, 32
8/31 183, 31 3/4

In mid July, I believe my body fat initially was around 14%. While this is a healthy amount of body fat by national health standards, for an athlete this is a little too high. Usually I keep my body fat a bit lower but at the time I was taking a break from training. I believe this is important psychologically to take a break from time to time.

By late August my body fat was around 10% which I believe is a much better body fat percentage for soccer. Most importantly, my training numbers went up during this 5 week period and not down. So, I was lifting more weight at the end of August compared to when I started. This means that I probably gained some muscle during this 5 week period. Below are my before and after pictures.

Before Picture – 7/16

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This is me in Yosemite. This camping trip was a blast. If you never been to Yosemite I would highly recommend it. It is gorgeous!!! Anyway, as you can see in the picture, I really don’t have much of a six pack. This is my non-playing weight.

After Picture – 8/31

afterpic

As you can see in this picture I’m much leaner and better defined. This is a much better body weight and frame for performing well in soccer. Of course this wouldn’t apply to all sports. Take football for example. If was was going to get in football shape like I did in high school a much better playing weight would be 195 or 205 with 10% to 14% body fat.

Diet program

The diet that I was on was very similar to the foods that are on my free grocery list. I was eating clean sources of protein – chicken, fish, and turkey; whole grains such as Ezekiel bread, beans, rice, sweet potatoes; and fruit and vegetables.

Training Program

To train for this I was lifting weight 2 to 3 days a week and playing soccer 2 to 3 days a week. Also, when I felt a little too sore after a week of training I would cut back my training to 1 day of soccer and 1 day of weights. I believe this helped a lot so that I wouldn’t plateau and over-train.

What works for me

What works for me I believe can work for most people. Suffering from chronic fatigue my entire life has made goals like this an impossibility in the past. But over the past several years I have figured out my biochemical flaws and with the right training, diet, and supplements I have overcome my physical limitations. It is my belief that all of us can overcome any physical symptom, illness, or issue that is preventing a person from reaching their goal. It is simply a degree of consistency and the right education and knowledge. I share this story with you so that you can be inspired to change your body and your life. Good luck with your pursuit of a healthier, leaner body…