The Body Coach Graduate Plan follows on from the 90 Day Plan and contains the same basic principles towards food and exercise. After my graduation from The Body Coach 90 Day Plan, I decided to progress onto The Body Coach Graduate Plan to further improve my fitness and to lose more weight. After a lot of ups and downs in Lockdown, I have finally completed Cycle 5. Keep reading to find out more about The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 and my experiences during this cycle.
2020 will definitely be a year to go down in history. For many reasons.
Over the last month or so, I’ve experienced so many ups and downs, and don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not the only person to experience this.
If it wasn’t for participating in The Graduate Plan and having the structure of the plan in place I don’t think I would have handled things quite as well.
I completed Cycle 4 of The Body Coach Graduate Plan a little while ago and smoothly moved onto Cycle 5. Keep reading to find out more about The Graduate Plan Cycle 5 and what to expect.
Progressing to Cycle 5 of The Body Coach Graduate Plan
The format of Cycle 5 follows the same principles as the previous cycles. You’ll receive some delicious new recipes and exclusive workouts to enhance your activity and fitness levels whilst also delivering results based on how strictly you follow the plan.
As with previous cycles, you can pick and choose the recipes and workouts that you like. Or, you can also create your own delicious recipes using your ingredient allowances to keep you on track.
Cycle 5 Workouts
Cycle 5 workouts are an increase in intensity compared to Cycle 4. This will help to build upon your strength, stamina and activity levels to get leaner.
In order to affect positive changes to your body and maintain them, it’s important to remain consistent with your exercise. Therefore you should aim to complete 4 to 5 workouts each week.
To help you remain consistent, it’s a good idea to plan your schedule for the week ahead and stick to it.
You’ll receive another four exclusive workouts to choose from. The workouts will include EMOM, AMRAP, Tabata, and Ascending Ladders.
For your fifth workout, don’t be afraid to get creative.
You can go for a 5k run if that’s your thing. You could pick a workout at random from YouTube.
If you have a gym class that you love, you could plan that for your fifth workout, or indeed create your own workout based on the formats used in the Graduate Plan so far. I.e HIIT, EMOM, Tabata, or AMRAP.
Kettlebells are handy for some of the moves, but you can easily replace them with dumbbells. So don’t worry if you can’t get your hands on any kettlebells.
The important thing to remember is to make sure you’re lifting a weight that is right for your current strength and abilities.
You may have had to drop weight during Cycle 4, compared to what you lifted in Cycle 3. This is quite normal as the intensity and reps of the exercises have increased.
Just make sure you are lifting a weight that you are comfortable with. The weight you choose should not be too heavy to ruin your form, and not too light to feel little to no tension.
Whichever type of exercise you choose to do – whether it’s from The Graduate Plan, The Body Coach YouTube channel or a workout you have created yourself – I really can’t express enough the importance of warming up and cooling down.
Good solid warmups and cool downs will help you to avoid injuring yourself which could set you back by months.
In the same vein, rest days are incredibly important to allow your body to recover properly from the highly intense workouts. Taking 2 to 3 days per week to rest your body will allow your muscles to repair and recover.
Food & Nutrition
The Body Coach Graduate Plan contains a range of new delicious recipes and snacks to try throughout each cycle. You’ll also receive a create your own section with quantities for each ingredient.
The principles and how you’ll be eating in Cycle 5 is similar to Cycle 4. You’ll receive 25 brand new recipes and snacks to choose from.
As with both the 90 Day Plan and Cycle 4, on rest days you will eat three reduced carbohydrate meals and two snacks.
On training days you will have the option to choose how you eat from the methods below:
- One carbohydrate refuel meal to be consumed after a workout. Two reduced carbohydrate meals and two snacks.
- Two carbohydrates refuel meals (one after a workout), one reduced carbohydrate meal and two snacks
- Or three carbohydrate refuel meals and two snacks on training days
Cycle 5 Recipes
In Cycle 5, like with other cycles, you’ll receive a mix of reduced carb meals to eat any time, along with carb refuel meals to eat on training days and of course, some delicious snacks to tuck into.
As with all cycles, one of the best habits to maintain is to prep a number of your meals in advance. By cycle 5 you may be a pro at meal prepping however, if you do need a little extra help, check out our 10 tips to successfully meal prep here.
In cycle 5, you’ll receive some firm favourite recipes such as smoothies, porridge, pancakes and banana bread. There are plenty of recipes to batch cook along with some quick and easy meal options.
As with all of The Body Coach cycles, you will receive your tailored ingredients to create your own meals.
As there aren’t as many recipes, when compared with the new 90 Day Plan, I have found myself getting creative with the CYO section in Cycle 5.
The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 – Challenges
I loved Cycle 4 but coming towards the end of that cycle I was more than happy to move onto Cycle 5. However, I did find Cycle 5 a bit more of a challenge for a number of reasons.
I loved progressing onto tougher workouts but I found myself needing to press the pause button more often during the workouts. In a way this was good because it really pushed me to my limits and I felt the benefits.
The downsides to the workouts were that there weren’t really that many weighted exercises, it definitely appeared to be more body weight and cardio based. I don’t think this is terrible, but after using weights a lot in Cycle 2, Cycle 3 and even Cycle 4 I worried that I may start losing some of the muscle mass that I have spent a long time trying to build.
I did enjoy a little more cardio moves, but on the whole, I found after a couple of weeks that the workouts in Cycle 5 were a bit repetitive. Therefore I took to YouTube for more alternative routines to spice things up a little bit.
One thing I really noticed during Cycle 5 was that I did not feel like I had enough energy when only eating one carb refuel meal per day.
I found myself feeling completely drained and sluggish, and not able to put 100% effort into the workouts. This surprised me a little as I was fit and able to complete Cycle 3 and Cycle 4 on one carb refuel meal per day.
I increased to either two or three carb refuel meals per day on my training days. I noticed a massive difference in the amount of energy and effort I could put into the workouts, and even the energy I had throughout the day.
During Cycle 5 a few things were going on that made life a little more challenging. The pandemic has been a particularly difficult time for everyone.
In fact, as I’ve said multiple times, if it wasn’t for The Body Coach plans I don’t think I would have been able to keep focused and make it through the lockdown without going stir crazy.
That being said, the last couple of months have been difficult. Job losses and redundancies are sweeping the nation, sadly the husband happened to fall victim to this. He was lucky enough to find another job within a couple of weeks, which turned out to be horrendous.
Although hubby had found another job, the manager provided no induction, no health and safety measures (which for a bar is extremely negligent at best) and created a completely toxic working environment.
After suffering weeks of being bullied, being treated like he was unwelcome and even threatened by this manager we decided it would be best that he didn’t work there anymore.
Luckily during this time I returned to work part time. Although we were now down to one income, at least I’d have a little extra money coming in.
I was a little anxious about returning to work after having such a long time off but I was happy to get back into some semblance of a routine. I had struggled during Cycle 4 to remember to eat. Purely because I had little to no routine. At least now I would be able to keep some sort of regularity, even if only for two days at first.
Towards the end of Cycle 5 I celebrated my birthday.
For a week.
Happy Birthday to me.
There was a LOT of off plan food. There was a LOT of chocolate cake. It happened. I’m not beating myself up about it.
It did take a little while to get back on track but at least I made it back on track.
Lost track of time
Although I did get back on track eventually with the plan, I completely lost track of time.
Curiously, I did think Cycle 5 was dragging on a bit. I was convinced it was the longest three weeks I had experienced.
Then I happened to check my calendar.
Apparently, I’d been on Cycle 5 for approximately 7 weeks, including the week I had off for my birthday. Whoops!
I put this down to the lockdown effect. Even writing this I still feel like it’s April. So it’s not really too much of a surprise that weeks have passed by without realising it.
The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5 – Victories
I did have some victories in Cycle 5. Which is always a bonus and makes me work harder.
During Cycle 5 I noticed my clothes were hanging off me. The difficulty going clothes shopping now, is that we can’t try clothes on in store.
However, I decided to get a few things in a smaller size. Worst case scenario if they didn’t initially fit, I knew eventually they would so it wouldn’t be money wasted. Simply that I had to put a little more hard work in to reap the rewards.
Imagine my surprise when I got home to try said items on and they only went and fit me. Like a glove!
I was thrilled.
I know given the recent circumstances this is hardly groundbreaking, or indeed important in the grand scheme of things. But it is nice to see that my efforts are paying off.
What’s more surprising was my colleagues, friends and family commenting on how much weight I’ve lost.
I didn’t set out on this mad journey through The Body Coach plan to garner compliments from others. I started this and I am continuing to do this for myself. I want to be healthier, leaner, stronger for me. I want to live longer and to be able to enjoy my life with my fabulous husband and family.
Possibly, most importantly, I wanted to get fit and lose weight so that if we did decide to have children there wouldn’t be any complications.
Final thoughts on The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 5
Cycle 5 has certainly been interesting. Although I felt like it was dragging on, which was entirely my own fault for losing track of time, I did enjoy many aspects of this cycle.
I may have found the workouts a little repetitive, which again may have been due to losing track of time, but I felt more confident about trying new workouts on YouTube from The Body Coach and other PT’s.
I was able to recognise fairly quickly that my body needed to be fueled a different way on training days. This is something I wouldn’t even have considered before I started my journey with The Body Coach. I’ve learned to listen and understand my body more.
Although I’m on this journey for myself, to improve my overall health and fitness, it’s a very rewarding feeling to know my efforts are paying off. Both by dropping a dress size and clothes generally feeling better on my body. And also by receiving compliments from friends, family and colleagues.
I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before and I am also confident this will not be the last time I say this. The Body Coach 90 Day Plan and the Graduate Plan have been life changing. This whole experience has been life changing.
These plans may not be for everyone but if you are really looking to change your lifestyle and build a healthier life I cannot recommend The Body Coach plan enough.
Regardless of your plan choices, I guarantee that you will not regret making an investment into your health and fitness.
Are you thinking of participating in The Body Coach Graduate Plan? Are you doing something else? Let me know in the comments, and don’t feel shy about sharing some fitness tips, tricks and hacks!