We created and administered our first Body Comp Challenge in September of 2009 (our “old” Plymouth location across the parking lot from our current Plymouth studio); 11 years ago. I started with the question, “What would a person do if they wanted to lose fat and increase muscle over a one-month period?” I wanted to cut out anything that was superfluous. After pouring over the research, and the result was the Body Comp Challenge. Since then, we have been through over 40 Body Comp Challenges.
Here is why we created it and why I still love it 11 years later.
- It’s short (4 weeks). Research shows that a shorter-term commitment in which we produce rapid progress (1) increases our motivation and (2) makes sustained fat loss more realistic. The adage that slow and steady is the best way to lose fat is not supported by research. The Body Comp Challenge is a great way to accelerate fat loss and body composition improvement in a short period of time.
- It allows you to decide when you really want to get focused. We should always reap the benefits of strength training (like brushing our teeth). But let’s be honest, we aren’t always equally mentally focused on our nutrition and caloric intake. We tend to ebb and flow in this area. And I think that’s okay. The Body Comp Challenge gives us a 4-week period to really get focused and disciplined with our nutrition and calorie intake.
- We don’t tell you what to eat. You can eat low carb or high carb (new research says it doesn’t matter: https://www.vox.com/
2018/2/21/17036004/do-low- carb-diets-work); Keto or Atkins; Zone or Ornish; intermittent fasting or small meals all day. That’s all up to you. We just want you to track your calories and receive adequate protein.
- The workouts are incredible. For the September Challenge, we’ve designed three different sets of workouts that integrate virtually all of the new protocols and techniques we’ve studied over the last two years.
- Measurement. The Bod Pod is simply the best, most scientifically valid way to track body composition progress. Knowing you have a test looming in four weeks is a great way to stay accountable.
- You pick the frequency. Traditionally, the Challenge has been 8 workouts in a month (2 per week); for the first time, we are allowing you to pick the frequency. An increasing body of research suggests some people may respond better to slightly higher frequency (2.5-3 workouts per week; specifically for a brief period of time) or less frequency (1.5 workouts per week).
Ultimately, the Body Comp Challenge excites me because it involves measuring progress and pulling out all of the stops in the design of the workouts.