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30 Day Evo-lution Challenge 2014

About the author

FitMenCook

My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.

If you’re reading this then maybe you are where I was a few years ago when I first started my journey into a fit & healthy lifestyle. I was curious. Curious about knowing what to do & what to eat, and then later – how to do it and how to cook it. (para la versión en español, haga clic aquí)

Or, perhaps you’re well into your fitness journey and you’re just looking for new ideas or concepts to keep your journey fresh and interesting.

Regardless of where you are, it’s always possible to challenge yourself in new ways so that your journey is long and adventurous.

One thing that that helped me was starting small. That way, I didn’t get burned out and I built my confidence over time by trying new training methods and foods at my own pace.  And that’s what the 30-Day Evo-lution is all about – running your own race and self-empowerment through learning & discovery.

You should know that this is not and should not be considered a custom fitness & nutrition plan. That’s something that you’ll need to design over time through trial and error or maybe through professional 1×1 guidance.

Rather, these are merely weekly challenges in fitness & nutrition to help you consider small ways you can change your lifestyle.  This is not an exhaustive list of things you can do; again, this is just to get you started. And I revisit these same concepts when I need to freshen my diet & training.

For the fitness portion of the challenges, Nate Costa (@FXSportsPerform), Under Armour Elite Trainer, has provided 3 workouts to challenge you to be at your best in 2014.  Also, I’ve teamed up with some amazing friends & fitness bloggers who are personal trainers, bodybuilding & physique athletes & competitors, boot camp instructors and even athletic coaches to give you inspiration as well! Please “meet” & follow them below.

Boom!

–Kevin (@fitmencook)
headshot-kevinC

 

ABOUT 30 DAY EVO-LUTION CHALLENGE

Each weekly challenge builds on the preceding week. At the end of 30 days, you would have hopefully learned how to:
  1. “listen” to your body and attend to its needs; and
  2. make adjustments to your training and diet to complement the goals you have set for yourself

There are 2 tracks – the Regular Challenge and the Advanced Mode Challenge. It’s all up to you regarding which track you decide to follow and how much YOU want to push yourself.  You are unique.  So, do what works for you, your lifestyle, your budget and your goals.

For a limited time from Monday, January 6, 2014 through Saturday, February 1, 2014, our friends at Under Armour want to reward YOU for participating and challenging yourself to Evo-lve in 2014.

Just tag your pics on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with #UAEVOLVE and #FITMENCOOK for a chance to win free Under Armour gear. Here are the rules!

Note: You should always consult with a physician before starting any exercise regimen or nutrition program. Even though this is neither, it’s always beneficial to check with a doctor so that you can understand your total health and any physical or dietary restrictions.

 

Meet 30-Day Challenge Team
Adonis
@bodybyadonis
headshot-Adonis
Anthony
@gonzalezfit
headshot-AnthonyG
Anthony J Perez
@atrain_100
headshot-AnthonyP
Frank Medrano
@frank_medrano
headshot-Frank
Jhon B
@jhonb973
headshot-JB
Julian
@bfitbyj

headshot-Julian

 

2014 30 Day Evo-lution

WEEK 1

30day Evo-lution Infographic - Week 1v4

NUTRITION: Up your fluid intake & go raw & green!

Objective: Make sure you are properly hydrated and eating your “spinach” like Popeye to supply you with fresh vitamins & minerals, as well as to detoxify your body.

Regular challenge:

  • Swap higher calorie drinks for water
    • Men: 13 cups water/day Why?
    • Women: 9 cups water/day. Why?
  • Eat 2 servings of raw veggies/day
  • Eat 1 serving of raw fruit/day
  • Drink 3 green juices in 1 week
  • NO cheat meals
  • Have your body fat percentage measured at a local clinic, gym or doctor in order to understand any potential health risks * (optional yet recommended)

Advanced challenge:

  • Swap higher calorie drinks for water
    • Same as above. However, if you perform intense exercise lasting more than 1 hour, then challenge yourself to drink about 1 gallon water/day
  • Eat 4 servings of raw veggies/day
  • Eat 2 servings of raw fruit/day
  • Drink 5 green juices in 1 week
  • NO cheat meals
  • Have your body fat percentage measured at a local clinic, gym or doctor in order to understand any potential health risks * (optional yet recommended)

 

FITNESS: Get Active (Cardio & Yoga) & Set 4-week Goal

Objective: Get active and stay active with light or intense exercise, and work on flexibility to prevent injury and to promote healthy blood flow.

Regular challenge:

  • Get active for 30 minutes at least 6 times/week
    • Examples: walking your dog, running, walking, biking, jumping rope, skating, swimming, basketball, soccer
    • Stretching or yoga for 30 minutes – 3 times/week
    • Increase physical activity
      • Take the stairs when possible (of course be reasonable here)
      • No close parking spots unless needed
        • Set realistic activity goals for 4 weeks
        • how many times a week do you want to exercise?
        • Is there an exercise class you would like to join?
        • Register for a marathon, obstacle course, triathlon, etc?

Advanced challenge:

  • Same base requirements as above
  • Perform Under Armour Elite Trainer Nate Costa Routine #1 (with video instructions)
  • Perform a HIIT routine for 20 minutes – 2 times/week (see example of HIIT below & Week 1 Resources)
  • Total body Tabata circuit
  • Sprint regimen at a track (Walk then sprint. Repeat for time period)
  • Jump rope intervals (jump rope, then rest. Repeat for time period)
  • Perform some form of strength or resistance training at least 3 times/week (see Week 1 Resources)
  • Stretching or yoga for 30 minutes – 5 times/week

Assess your progress following Week 1:

  • How do you feel?
  • Has anything changed?
  • What was the most difficult?
  • What was too easy?
  • What can I tweak or change for the following week?

Week 1 Resources:

Sample HIIT Routine by Julian (@bfitbyj)
Screen Shot 2014-01-04 at 11.11.08 AM
Select the picture to view the video.

  • Jump squats 
  • Alternating knees
  • Jump rope high knees

Regular: 20 seconds each exercise, no rest in between. 60 second rest in between each circuit! 10 rounds total!

Advanced: 30 seconds each exercise, 60 seconds rest in between. 10 rounds total!

 

WEEK 2

30day Evo-lution Infographic - Week 2v3

Nutrition: How much are you eating & “Leave no meal un-prepped!”

Objectives: Learn the basics of understanding calories so you know what you are putting into your body, and learn the importance of meal preparation to lessen the likelihood of making unhealthy food decisions.

What is a calorie? See Week 2 Resource links below for more information about understanding calories and how to calculate the optimal amount of calories for you, including macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates & fats.

Regular challenge:

  • Complete Week 1 challenges
  • Track AND record number of daily calories you’re consuming for 3 days/week (the results may surprise you)
  • Prepare at least 2 meals or snacks for 5 days. Here are 2 options for meal prep:
  1. Prep your meals all at once, freeze them and then defrost in the refrigerator the night before you are going to eat.  You do not need to freeze raw veggies or fruit; or,
  2. Prep for only 2 or 3 days and then prep later in the week when you run out of prepared meals.

Advanced challenge:

  • Complete Week 1 challenges
  • Track & record daily caloric intake for 5 days/week (use tools listed above)
  • Prepare at least 4 different meals or snacks in advance for 5 days (yes, a meal replacement smoothie even counts)
  • Incorporate 2 new raw vegetables and 1 new complex carbohydrate source
  • NO cheat meals & no alcohol

 

FITNESS: Digging deeper! Increasing intensity

Objective:  Take it one step further by adding resistance or weight training and assess your max in certain exercises.

Regular challenge:

  • Complete Week 1 challenges
  • Perform resistance or weight training – 2 times/ week
  • Find your 1-minute max for each of the following exercises. For added motivation, try friendly competitions with your friends. (Perform again during Week 2 & Week 4.)
    • Air squats
    • Pushups
    • Crunches
    • Rest for no more than 1:30 minute between working sets (if you are lifting weights)
    • Finish each workout with 50 jumping jacks and increase by 10 each week!

Advanced challenge:

  • Complete Week 1 challenges
  • Perform Under Armour Elite Trainer Nate Costa Routine #2 (with video instructions)  
  • Perform resistance or Weight training – 3 to 4 times/week
  • Find your 1-minute max for each of the following exercises. (Perform again during Week 2 & Week 4.)
  • Finish each workout with a burnout jump rope set! – Perform 50 double-unders to finish your workout.

Assess your progress of Week 2:

  • How do you feel?
  • Has anything changed?
  • What was the most difficult?
  • What was too easy?
  • What can I tweak or change for the following week?

Week 2 Resources:

WEEK 3

30day Evo-lution Infographic - Week 3v3

NUTRITION: No processed sugars & Low sodium.

Objective: “Recalibrate” your taste buds to enjoy more of the natural flavors in foods & spices, as well as evaluate the impact lowering sodium & processed sugar has on your body.

Regular challenge:

  • Complete Weeks 1 & 2 challenges
  • Max of 1 serving of 5g raw honey per day. Otherwise, NO sugars or sweeteners.
  • Prepare 1 NO-sodium meal for your weekly meal prepare. Use spices like Mrs. Dash, herbs and ingredients like green onions & diced tomato to enhance flavor of your food.  Here are some low-sodium ingredient ideas.
  • NO processed foods
  • Swap salt for fresh lemon juice

Advanced challenge:

  • Complete Weeks 1 & 2 challenges
  • NO sugars. NO honey. Only sugars are from raw fruits.
  • Prepare 3 NO-sodium meals for your weekly meals
  • NO processed foods
  • Swap salt for fresh lemon juice

 

FITNESS: Bodyweight work & Calisthenics

Objective: Demonstrate how bodyweight exercises can enhance your fitness regimen, and underscore the benefit of having a workout partner.

Regular track:

  • Complete Weeks 1 & 2 challenges
  • Perform Under Armour Elite Trainer Nate Costa Routine #3 (with video instructions)
  • Incorporate at least 1 bodyweight exercise for legs, chest and back (see Week 3 Resource section for ideas)
  • Incorporate at least 2 bodyweight partner drills for those who have a workout partner (see Week 3 Resource section for ideas)

Advanced challenge:

  • Complete Weeks 1 & 2 challenges
  • Incorporate at least 1 bodyweight exercise for each of the following: arms, legs, chest, shoulders & back
  • Incorporate at least 2 bodyweight partner drills for those who have a workout partner (see Week 3 Resource section for ideas)
  • Perform two bodyweight, bar or calisthenics routines by Frank Medrano (see Week 3 Resources for routines)

Assess your progress of Week 3:

  • How do you feel?
  • Has anything changed?
  • What was the most difficult?
  • What was too easy?
  • What can you tweak or change for the following week?

Frank Medrano Routines

Intermediate Routine

Advanced Routine

Week 3 Resources:

 

WEEK 4

30day Evo-lution Infographic - Week 4v3

NUTRITION: All natty! No food supplements or processed foods. All real food.

Objective: To only rely on natural, unprocessed (or very minimally processed) foods and monitor how our bodies and taste buds react.

Regular & Advanced mode:

  • Complete Weeks 1, 2 & 3 challenges
  • NO protein powders or power bars (unless authorized by primary physicians)
  • All REAL food – no processed foods

 

FITNESS: Putting it all together to go HAM

Objective: Take what you have done and put it into practice for yourself by customizing your own plan for the week and noting any improvements or changes in physique and strength.

Regular & Advanced

  • Complete Weeks 1, 2 & 3 challenges
  • Increase total workload or intensity in every workout
    • Choose one of the following to change:
      • Increase sets or reps with good form
      • Alter tempo in training to increase intensity (from Week 2)
      • Decrease amount of rest between sets
  • Assess developments in strength

Assess your progress after 30-Days:

  • What can you do now that you could not do before?
  • How do you feel?
  • What has changed?
  • What changes will you make moving forward?