• Mark Baker

How to Lose a Gut in 10 Weeks



Goal: Luke will lose 10kgs in 10 weeks while maintaining as much muscle mass as possible.


Tech used: “Strong App” and Renpho weighing scales + app.


Before photos: 28th December 2021:


Starting stats:


  • Weight: 109.9kg

  • BF percentage: 19.9%

  • Visceral fat: 13

  • Fat free body weight: 88.12kg

  • Muscle Mass: 83.7kg


Introduction:


The turning of the year, the winter solstice, the new spring on the horizon. The end of December is a great time for change and reinvention.


I’m a big believer in taking massive action. Some shifts in behaviour never really appealed to me. Whether it's travelling the world or building a podcast I like to go all out and make sure what I’m trying to achieve gets done.


In 2014 I was working in a stockbroking firm in Dublin, I really hated the job and a year of working there I found myself out of shape (around 110 KG). I was a competitive kickboxer growing up and my fighting weight was 94kg, so I had a good understanding of what ‘in shape’ meant for me. I had always been lifting weights throughout this period, but my discipline had really waned and I didn’t really have a plan - I was just going through the motions.

Mark (my brother-in-law) had bought me Tim Ferris’ book “The Four Hour Body” as a gift but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it, let alone putting the plan in the book into action.


I remember the day I decided to turn things around. I had just come back from a going away party in Kerry, for a friend who was moving to Vancouver to live and work. We gave him a great send off and the pints of cider flowed for 3 days or so. When I returned, hungover and knackered, I decided that would be my rock bottom when it came to physical fitness. I was going to turn things around, I was going to get back into fighting shape… I just needed a plan, any plan would be better than the current one I was on (pints + takeaways), so I decided I’d read the Four Hour Body that Mark bought for me and test it out for myself.


The book outlines an eating plan that seemed simple enough to follow - so simple that I was skeptical it would work. I had always lost weight by simply eating less - feeling hungry - and becoming irritable. This plan lets you eat to satiety and let’s you eat whatever you like one day per week. More than that - the plan encourages you to ‘scratch the itch’ on your cheat day so you don’t cheat for the rest of the week.


After 10 -12 weeks of this I was transformed. I didn’t look like the same human. I had boundless energy. My workouts had real purpose and I looked forward to my Friday weigh in. I continued this plan for about a year or so. Until my 2 years of travel started. My lowest weight was 92kgs. Back then I didn’t check BF % but I reckon I was 14% or so. What I found the most interesting was how easy the plan became once you got momentum. I think this is the key to achieving anything in life.


Although my weight is back to almost 110kg, I’m at a totally different starting point when it comes to fitness. I have been lifting heavy for a year and I’m starting off at a good starting point when it comes to metabolic health (my body composition is far better now than when i was in the stockbroking firm). It will be interesting to discover what the results will be if I apply the same plan to a different body comp starting point. My hope is that readers of theis and listeners of the SharkPod try this for themselves and follow along with the progress I’m making.


Nutrition Plan:


I will be following what I call the “Modified Four Hour Body” Diet. I will basically just be eating meat - eggs - beans greens and lentils. All of these are included on the approved food list in the 4HB diet. I will be adding fruit and a limited amount of nuts to the diet for health reasons and I have found they don’t make a big impact on the outcome of the plan as long as you eat them in moderation.


There is a special focus on eating 30gs of protein for breakfast - sometimes I will supplement with a whey protein powder but I’ll do my best to use natural foods first and foremost.


I’ll eat as much of the above as I like Sunday to Friday and my cheat day will be Saturday.


Here is a list for the foods that can be consumed on the plan: https://www.shortform.com/blog/slow-carb-food-list/


Here is a handy one pager for reference for the nutrition plan:


tim.blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/tim_ferriss_the-4-hour-chef_one_pager_slow_carb_diet.pdf


Training Plan:


I will only lift weights 3 times per week, in a “Push, Pull, Legs” training split. I won’t be doing any ‘cardio’ on machines in the gym but will continue to be active as normal, walking, hiking etc.


The workouts will look like this:


Push Day -


  • Dumbbell press 4 - 5 sets

  • Shoulder Press Machine- - 4- 5 sets

  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises - 4 sets

  • Incline press machine - 4 sets

  • Cable tricep extensions - 4 sets


Pull Day -


  • Deadlift - 5 sets

  • Upright Row Machine- 4 sets

  • Lat pull down (wide grip) - 4 sets

  • EZ Bar Curls - 4 sets

  • Preacher curl machine - 4 sets


Leg Day -


  • Squats - 4 -5 sets

  • Calf raise machine 4 sets

  • Hamstring curl machine 4 sets

  • Leg extension machine 4 sets


Conclusion:


Because This is the plan I used before I would expect the same results but you never know. I was 25 when I applied these principles and I’m a 32 year old dad now in suburbia. It will be interesting to see if the principles still produce results today. I’d encourage anyone out there looking to shape up to come along on my journey with me. If you want more info or encouragement email Luke@shark.ie to get involved.


Final weigh-in stats and pictures to come 7th March 2022.


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