Weeks to Fast, Fit, and Lean
So you’ve decided you want to lose weight and improve your cycling, but how exactly do you go about it? Start by following this combined training and nutrition plan created by master coach Tim Cusick
and registered holistic nutritionist and sports nutrition coach Anne Guzman
. This plan combines daily workouts with a defined and flexible nutrition plan to help you achieve your training and weight loss goals.
Anne’s nutrition program provides a suggested range of calories and grams per kilogram of body weight based on your hours of exercise and body weight in kilograms, as well as meal recommendations that will give your body the quality macronutrients it needs. By staying in the ranges recommended for you, you can give yourself the right amount of energy to complete the workouts while losing body fat (assuming, of course, that you do all the training too!). Healthy food that promotes a healthy gut microbiome should be a part of any fat loss plan; food quality can affect mood, energy, and your gut bacteria, which have recently been connected to weight management and many other diseases. Both your health and your body composition are important focuses of this plan.
A word of advice: A program like MyFitnessPal will be a big help in staying on track with your nutrition program. MyFitnessPal is a free app that allows you to track your nutrition and immediately see your caloric intake and grams of macronutrients and other vitamins such as calcium, iron, and B vitamins. It’s an excellent tool and will keep you honest. We highly recommend you use this app or something similar; LoseIt is another great option.
The nutrition eBook includes two weeks of daily menu plans (eight unique meal plans) that can be repeated or adjusted to suit your tastes throughout the eight weeks. Switch out the proteins if you like, or change up the fruits or veggies, but keep the quantity the same. The goal is not just to lose weight but to learn better eating habits for life. Anne’s recipes and shopping lists are included. The meal ideas are a great guide for you to build from; you can match macronutrient intakes in MyFitnessPal as you add or create your own versions.
Tim’s high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program is the core of this superior training plan that will both enhance your cycling performance and guide you in burning through the calories.
As the name suggests, high-intensity interval training involves short periods of high-intensity, anaerobic exercise followed by short periods of recovery. The length of the high-intensity intervals ranges from between five seconds to eight minutes, and recovery periods are normally, but not always, equal to the length of the intensity. The key with HIIT is that the periods of intensity need to be above threshold, whereas the periods of recovery should be at around 50 percent of maximum heart rate or between 50-60 percent of functional threshold power (FTP). The first week of this plan includes a threshold test format to help you determine your FTP or heart rate threshold for use in the program.
Advocates of HIIT say that it offers both aerobic and metabolic benefits, bringing about similar physiological adaptations to a traditional, endurance-based training program but without the necessary time commitment, while also burning fat more effectively.
HIIT has crossed over to the fitness industry due to beneficial results established through both anecdotal reports and published research studies. In fact, studies comparing HIIT to continuous steady-state exercise have shown that HIIT is far superior for fat loss, despite requiring less time to complete. One of the first studies to discover that HIIT was more effective for fat loss was done in a 1994 study by researchers at Laval University (Ste-Foy, Quebec, Canada). They reported that young men and women who followed a 15-week HIIT program lost significantly more body fat than those following a 20-week continuous, steady-state endurance program, despite the fact that the steady-state program burned about 15,000 calories more than the HIIT program.