Create An Astonishingly Sexy Figure And Healthy Glow
Do you catch yourself staring at the cover models on your favorite fitness magazine, or scrolling Instagram assessing the hundreds of fitness models, admiring their physiques but never really being sure that you, too, could look like that? Do you want to step on the competition stage, or just look like you compete? What if all it took was a little commitment, a lot of discipline, and a rock solid program to get you to that goal, like what you’ll find in this toning guide?
Then look no further. I’ve got you covered from diet plan to cardio to weight training and supplements. This is a comprehensive guide on how to get a fitness model physique without starving or killing yourself with cardio. It will take hard work and dedication, but if it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth having. Follow this program and you will be rocking your bikini with confidence and a killer bod to back it up.
Are you ready to take your physique to the next level? Read on to find your step by step guide to getting the body of your dreams.
Part One: Diet
Although you will definitely need a strong training program to get your body cover worthy, your diet will be your greatest ally during your journey. One of the most effective ways to get your body to drop fat without losing the momentum during your workouts is carb cycling. The method of cycling we are going to cover in this plan is fairly straightforward – on heavy training days, you will follow a high carb plan, on other training days you will follow a medium carb plan, and on cardio only or rest days you will follow a low carb plan.
Carb cycling will allow you to burn fat by lowering your carbs on days when you are either having a medium lifting day or resting, while giving you more on days you are doing heavy weight training sessions. Basically, you are revving up your metabolism one day by fueling your body with carbs on high days, and on medium and low days your body’s insulin lowers so that you burn fat and preserve muscle mass. Your protein intake should remain constant throughout the week. On high carb days, you will lower your fat intake, and vice versa.
Throughout the week, your protein intake will equate to 1g per lb of body weight. Fats will be 20-35% of your diet, meaning about 0.3-0.4g per lb of body weight. Finally, carbs will be about 1-1.5g per lb of bodyweight .
For example, a 145lb woman will have a daily macronutrient breakdown like this:
Protein: 145lbs x 1g = 145g
Fat: 145lbs x 0.3g = 43.5g
Carbs: 145lbs x 1.25g = 181g
This equates to 1,1695.5 calories a day (for the sake of our example, let’s round that up to 1,696), and about 11,872 calories a week. Since we know you want to keep protein constant, that number will always fall to 145g a day.
For carbs, you want 50% to fall on your two high carb days, and 35% divided between your 4 medium carb days, and the remaining 15% on your low carb day. If you consume 1,267g of carbs weekly, that means high carb days will each have 317g, medium days will have 148g, and low carb days will have 95g per day.
Fats will be divided up similarly: you will consume 20% of your weekly fat intake between your two high carb days, 30% between your three medium days, and 50% between your two cardio and rest days. Using the example above, you would consume 304.5g of fat weekly. This breaks down to 30.5g on high carb days, 30.5g on medium days, and 76g on low carb days.
Here are examples of all three types of days for a 145lb woman:
High Carb (149g protein, 310g carbs, 31g fat)
Meal One: 6 egg whites, ¾ cups oats, 1 cup blueberries, ½ banana
Meal Two: 6oz sweet potato, 1 can tuna packed in water, 1 cup steamed broccoli
Meal Three: 5oz chicken breast, 1.5 cup cooked brown rice, 2 cups zucchini
Meal Four: 2 rice cakes, protein shake, 1 apple
Meal Five: 4oz 93% lean ground turkey, 2 wheat tortillas, ¼ cup pico de gallo, 1 cup bell peppers, ½ cup onion
Medium Carb (148g protein, 150g carbs, 29g fat)
Meal One: 6 egg whites, ½ cup oats, ¼ cup blueberries
Meal Two: 4oz turkey breast, 4oz sweet potato, 1 cup steamed broccoli
Meal Three: 4oz chicken breast, 2 cups romaine lettuce, ½ cup cucumber, 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
Meal Four: 1 scoop protein powder, 1 apple
Meal Five: 4oz salmon, 1 cup cooked brown rice, 2 cups asparagus
Low Carb (145g protein, 95g carbs, 76g fat)
Meal One: 2 eggs + 6 egg whites, ½ cup oats, ¼ cup blueberries
Meal Two: 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, 1oz almonds
Meal Three: 4oz 93% lean ground turkey, 2 cups romaine, ½ cup cucumber, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Meal Four: 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 apple
Meal Five: 4oz NY steak, 2 cups asparagus
Part Two: Cardio and Abs
No one likes cardio, but to get where you want to be, you will have to do things you may not want to do. There are two different cardio components to this plan – fasted cardio and HIIT cardio. Fasted cardio will be performed twice a week upon waking, before leg day and back day. HIIT cardio is done twice a week.
Fasted cardio burns more fat because you haven’t taken in any other nutrients yet for the day. This means your body focuses on tapping into stubborn fat stores rather than digesting food or shuttling those nutrients to your muscles. This should be done at a moderate intensity for 30 minute sessions on either a treadmill, elliptical, or step mill.
HIIT cardio is proven to burn more calories and fat, tapping into the afterburn effect by raising your metabolism for the rest of the day. We are incorporating both types in order to hit your body from different angles and it keep it guessing.
To perform a HIIT session (treadmill, elliptical, or step mill), we will be using the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale of 1-10, with 1 being sitting on the coach and 10 being an all-out sprint like a bear is chasing you. You will start and end your session with a 5 minute warm up and cool down session at a 4 on the RPE scale.
Intervals will be performed as followed: 30 seconds at a 9-10 RPE with a one minute recovery period at a 6-7 RPE. Perform 10 intervals for a total of 15 minutes.
Abdominal training will consist of 100 stick turns for 3 sets, followed by a circuit of 4 exercises with little rest in between. You may pick from: leg raises, decline crunches, crossover crunches, reverse crunches, Russian twists, variations on planks, etc. Complete 15-20 reps per exercise.
Part Three: Weight Training
As we talked about earlier, the only thing that is even close to being as important as your diet is your weight training program. Because we are working on leaning out while putting on some decent muscle tone, you will go through circuits using heavy weights and midrange repetitions – about 8-12 reps per exercise.You are going to keep your heart rate up during lifting sessions so you burn more calories both during your training session and the EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) phase, when the body burns more calories to get the metabolism back to a resting rate, also known as the afterburn effect of lifting.
You are also not going to kill yourself with cardio, especially because we want to prevent losing any of the muscle you are working so hard to put on. You will focus on hitting every body part at least once throughout each week in order to keep your physique balanced and not over develop any one muscle group.
Plyometrics are commonly misused as a way to get the heart rate up to burn calories rather than what they are actually meant for, which is power production in mainly athletic training. The reason I incorporated plyos is to build up that power in your legs while keeping them lean as many women not only tend to hold more weight there versus in the rest of their bodies, but also struggle to get the lean muscular shape desired. The plyometric exercises begin each set with a bodyweight exercise that focuses on a certain muscle, followed by an explosive exercise using the same muscle group to really target that area.
Monday: Fasted Cardio + Legs/Glutes
Tuesday: HIIT Cardio + Abs
Wednesday: Chest and Shoulders
Thursday: Plyos and Abs
Friday: Fasted Cardio + Back and Arms
Saturday: HIIT Cardio + Abs
Sunday: Active Rest
Some routines include a burn out set, which means going until failure on the final set for a body part with medium weight. As noted before, each exercise will be performed for 8-12 reps, at 4 sets per exercise unless otherwise noted. The rep range is on the cusp of the hypertrophy and endurance ranges, so it will allow you to build muscle by lifting heavy but still keep up with the circuit training method. When choosing a weight, go for one that allows you to complete all reps in the set with good form, but struggle to keep that form on the last two or three reps.
Barbell Squats x 10
Step Ups x 8 (each leg)
Wide Stance Leg Press, toes pointed out x 12
Romanian Deadlifts x 10
Reverse Lunge from 8-10” box x 12 (each leg)
Weighted Hip Thrusts x 15
Dumbbell Leg Curls x 12
Pistol Squats x 8 (each leg) – using a TRX or machine for stability if necessary
Standing Calf Raises x 15
Burn Out Set: Narrow Stance Leg Press
Chest and Shoulders
Pushups x 12
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press x 10
Flat Bench Chest Flies x 10
Lateral Raises x 10
Arnold Press x 8
Incline Chest Press x 12
Bent over Rear Delt Flies x 10
Dumbbell Pullovers x 12
Front Plate Raises x 10
Burn Out Set: Machine Lateral Raises
Body Weight Squats x 25
Jump Squats x 30 seconds
Walking Lunges x 12 per leg
Jump Lunges x 30 seconds
Ice Skaters x 20 per side
Tuck Jumps x 30 seconds
Switch Kicks x 15 per side
Box Jumps x 30 seconds
Back and Arms
Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs x 12
Straight Arm Cable Pushdowns x 10
Bent over Barbell Rows x 8
1-Arm Rows x 15
Assisted Pull Ups x 10
Supermans x 15
Alternating Dumbbell Curls x 12 (each arm)
Triceps Dips x 12
Cable Rope Hammer Curls x 10
Cable Rope Triceps Push Downs x 10
Burn Out Set: Seated Cable Rows
Part Four: Supplementation
When you are working for a cover model ready body, diet and exercise alone isn’t always enough. You will be putting wear and tear on your body and you need it to keep working like a well oiled machine. One of the pitfalls of carb cycling is every day will have a different range of nutrients which can lead to gaps. Supplementing your food intake with a multivitamin is a surefire way to keep your nutrient levels where they should be for optimal health.
Taking fish oil 2-3 times per day will help keep your skin healthy and provide important Omega-3s to support brain function which can decline as a result of consuming fewer calories than you are used to.
Using a preworkout like Wild Thing or Mesomorph is also a great way to increase your energy levels when it comes time to train. The kids may have worn you out or didn’t get enough sleep, and lack of carbs during carb cycling may make those days even little harder. Using a preworkout formula will give you that extra dose of motivation to not only hit the gym, but complete your workout with enthusiasm and energy you may not have known you even had.
During fasted cardio, you need to sip BCAAs in your water. One of the criticisms of fasted cardio is that it can burn muscle. Taking in a steady stream of amino acids will help prevent such a tragedy.
A good, quality protein powder is important after a weight training session to help your muscles repair and recover faster. Stay away from protein “blends” – you want high quality whey or vegetable protein that will provide plenty of amino acids, the building blocks of muscle, straight to your body. It’s an easy way to get protein on the go as well, but don’t rely on protein shakes.
A fat burner will not only help suppress your appetite, but will also boost your metabolism when simply dieting and exercising no longer seem to have an effect. Despite its name, a fat burner alone will not do the work for you – you still have to put in your hours at the gym and in the kitchen. The ingredients are designed to work with your body to enhance metabolism and fat loss while providing a steady stream of energy, and will also help you get to a lower body fat percentage when your body is desperately trying to stay where it is.
Finally, add in CLA with your three main meals. CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, helps your body convert fat into fuel and boosts your metabolism.
A crucial step in monitoring the effects of this program lies in tracking your progress. Make sure you take before and after photos in natural light in either a bathing suit or sports bra and shorts from a front, side, and back angle. Take measurements: chest, waist, hips, thighs, and arms. Get your body fat percentage taken (trainers at most gyms can do this for you). And even more importantly – retake your photos and measurements monthly to check your results. If your progress begins to slow down, reevaluate your diet. Always be looking to lift heavier weights when your workouts begin to seem easy.
Stay consistent and you will reap the benefits. Whether you are already close to cover model shape or just starting out, if you follow the plan you will see the difference. Are you ready to commit to getting in the best shape of your life? Comment below with I AM STRONG and share your before and after photos with us.