The Body Coach graduate plan is a continuation of The Body Coach 90 day plan. The graduate plan has certainly helped to keep my sanity throughout the continued lockdown.
While still being furloughed with no inclination of when I return to work, the plan has given me something positive to focus on. My health and fitness levels.
And what better time to focus on myself and my fitness goals than in the middle of a pandemic? In this post, I’m detailing my experience of Cycle 4 of The Body Coach Graduate Plan.
*Disclaimer: I am a participant of the 90 Day Graduate Plan and I am writing about my experience with the plan so far. Please note: I am not affiliated with Joe Wicks The Body Coach, The 90 Day Plan or the Graduate Plan.
Life After The 90 Day Plan
I completed The Body Coach 90 day plan at the beginning of May. Towards the end of Cycle 3, I started to think about what I would do once I had graduated. I had a few options; repeat the 90 day plan, try to go it alone, or continue to the graduate plan.
At this point, I realised it wouldn’t benefit me to repeat the 90 day plan. I wanted to take what I had gained from the plan and build from there.
Although, I knew I wasn’t really ready to go it alone. I need the structure, discipline and guidance that a plan provides. I had thought about moving onto a different plan with a different personal trainer, such as the James Smith Academy. But at this time, I was familiar with Joe Wicks and his structure.
Therefore, I did a little research into the 90 day graduate plan. I asked other participants who had completed the grad plan and I ultimately decided that would be the best option for me.
Starting The Body Coach Graduate Plan
When I completed cycle three, I chose to take a short break before beginning the Body Coach Graduate Plan.
Initially, I thought I would take a week off for a breather. I was thrilled with my results from the 90 day plan. Impressed that I had made it through the whole 90 (plus) days without giving in. And ultimately, determined to continue building on my success. I just needed some time to collect myself and to recharge.
The lockdown has been like riding a rollercoaster of emotions at times. My graduation is definitely one of the high points but we all need some time to rest and refocus. During this time, I still made good food choices and carried out my workouts as I would have done on plan.
However, I wanted to take a slightly more relaxed approach for a few days.
That lasted for a maximum of four days before I was crawling the walls. When Joe said it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change, he wasn’t wrong.
It turns out, I craved the routine and structure. This is hardly a revelation. The routine and structure of the 90 day plan have spurred me on in these uncertain times. I survive on a routine when I’m working. This is possibly the only thing keeping some level of normalcy in my life right now.
So, I jumped headfirst into the graduate plan.
Understanding The Body Coach Graduate Plan – Cycle Four
The aim of The Body Coach Graduate Plan is to reinforce and continue to build on the positive habits formed during the 90 day plan.
The graduate plan comes in a similar format to the original 90 day plan. There’s some brand new tailored recipes to fuel your body. Along with four new exclusive workouts to help keep you active and garner more results.
As with the 90 day plan, you can pick and choose which recipes and workouts you enjoy.
The workouts in cycle four are a further step up in difficulty, when compare to the 90 day plan.
As always, consistency is key in order to achieve good results. The aim is to complete four to five workouts per week. Cycle four of the graduate plan contains four workouts. The fifth workout is entirely up to you.
Alternatively, you could make up your own workout based on the formats used in the 90 day and the graduate plan so far. I.e HIIT, EMOM, or AMRAP.
What’s New With Cycle Four Workouts?
In cycle four, as mentioned above there are slight variations to the workouts.
The workouts are a mix of bodyweight exercises, exercises that require dumbbells and the introduction of kettlebells.
However, kettlebells can be replaced with dumbbells. So don’t panic if you can’t find any or don’t want to spend the money on more equipment.
I mentioned EMOM and AMRAP earlier. Just in case you are wondering what these mean, here’s some clarification.
EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute. This type of workout involves alternating between different exercises every minute.
You’ll have a set of reps to complete. How long you take to complete the reps will depend on how long of a break you get in between moves. If you take the full minute, you won’t get a break unless you hit the pause button.
AMRAP stands for As Many Rounds As Possible. You will have a time frame; usually around 7 minutes. The challenge involves repeating a round of exercises as many times as you can before the time runs out.
These new types of workouts are a step up in terms of intensity. However, you’ll be surprised at how much the 90 day plan has prepared your body for the challenge.
These workouts are designed to push you but to also create more definition on your body.
How You’ll Be Eating On The Body Coach Graduate Plan
The Body Coach Graduate Plan contains a range of new recipes and snacks in each cycle. Once again, there is a create your own section with measurements to enable you to build your own meals.
Although the graduate plan follows the same principles of the 90 day plan. There are some slight modifications to how you may eat on the graduate cycles.
On rest days you should aim to eat three reduced carbohydrate meals and two snacks.
However, on training days you can choose to eat by the following methods:
- One carbohydrate refuel meal to be consumed after a workout. Two reduced carbohydrate meals and two snacks.
- Two carbohydrate refuel meals, one reduced carbohydrate meal and two snacks
- Or three carbohydrate refuel meals and two snacks
Then, of course, you should consume your allocated volume of water each day. It is important to drink enough water each day to boost bodily functions, recover well after each workout and to aid in weight loss.
The recipes in cycle four are reminiscent of the 90 day plan. There are a number of carbohydrate refuel and reduced carbohydrate meals to choose from.
Some firm favourites feature in cycle four. Such as smoothies, granola, pancakes, bagels and delicious curries.
There is also a range of new snacks to choose from. A firm favourite trail mix reappears. A handy tip to up your trail mix game is to make them into tasty bars.
You will also have the option to make delicious low calorie muffins, vegetable crisps and sorbet.
The Body Coach Graduate Plan – Cycle Four Challenges
I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed cycle four. The workouts were challenging but I was surprised how I was able to push my body further than I thought I could.
However, I did face other challenges during this cycle. This could have been due to suffering some lock down blues.
I found that I spent so much time trying to keep myself occupied during the days that I’d forget to eat. Or I’d have a completely irregular eating pattern.
For example, I’d wake up each day. Drink my morning coffee, then go off to complete a project like upcycling furniture.
Then before I knew it, it would be lunchtime. I’d eat, then go back to my project. Then remember I needed to eat again so I had enough fuel for a workout.
Other times, I found that I couldn’t eat enough. I would be constantly hungry. I put this down to my body adjusting to the new cycle.
At points, although I loved the workouts, I struggled with motivation some days. I knew I had to do a workout. I knew I’d feel better after working out. But I really had to force myself to get my workout gear on and get started.
I’m proud that I persevered and moved past that point. It shows real strength and dedication to building a better lifestyle.
It won’t always be easy but it will be worth it. This is something I feel I say a lot on Instagram. I do believe it.
Lock Down Blues
I have mentioned here and in my round-up of the 90 day plan that I’ve suffered from the lockdown blues. I think everyone has to some extent. Some days are great, others are a bit of a challenge.
C’est la vie.
However, I think nearly everyone has had a spell of broken sleep. Or not enough sleep. Having severe nightmares or intense dreams. Feeling restless and anxious about the future. Too hot to settle. Brain on overdrive throwing every possible eventuality into the mix when you just want some peace and quiet. Or even just being so far out of a routine that bedtime is 1 am and you don’t wake up until 10:30 am.
Surely that’s not just me?
I can’t cope with a lack of sleep, I’m too grumpy to tolerate. Take pity on my poor husband. I have my reasons though, sleep is important to your health and well being. Thankfully, a good night’s sleep returned during cycle four. Otherwise, I may have pulled my hair out.
The Body Coach Graduate Plan – Cycle Four Victories
For as much as the lockdown blues affected me, I have experienced some victories worth mentioning during cycle four.
During cycle four I have felt more toned than before. I still have a long way to go on my journey but the plan is giving me the tools to achieve my goals. I have more muscle definition and overall strength.
My clothes are much looser than before. In fact, I have officially dropped a dress size.
I can knock out a string of burpees without dying in a heap. And the victory I am most proud of, I can now do 10 full press ups in a row.
Each day I am learning something new about my body and what it can do. Throughout my journey with The Body Coach I have gained the confidence to really push myself. I said it before and I meant it. This experience has been life changing.
Whether you choose to carry on your journey with The Body Coach Graduate Plan, or subscribe to another plan. I can promise you that you will not regret making an investment in yourself and your health.
Are you planning to continue onto the graduate plan? Do you have another plan in mind? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear your thoughts!