Daily Fitness Plan (DFP) and General Fitness FAQ
DFP Specific Questions:
What is your eating plan (diet) like?
Why the strong emphasis on calories?
Why don’t you provide a specific meal plan?
What does DCT stand for?
How do I read the eating plan abbreviation?
Can you provide me more guidance on what to eat?
General Fitness Questions:
What’s the best way to lose fat from my midsection (abs)?
How many calories to I need?
As a woman I don’t want a lot of muscle. Won’t weight training do that?
Can sleep affect my weight loss or weight gain results?
Sounds like a philosophy question, doesn’t it? Simply put ‘DFP’ stands for the totally free Daily Fitness Plan that I put together for anyone and everyone to follow. It doesn’t matter whether you want to lose weight, add muscle, or gain a higher level of general fitness, you can accomplish it on this plan. The plan is simple to follow and adaptable to any age, sex, or fitness level. Even though your workout weights and intensities may vary, the basic principles of fitness, weight loss, and weight gain don’t.
The daily plans are completed the night before so you have plenty of time to get started the next morning, and are posted to the home page of this site.
I have 3 ways for you to receive the DFP, so you can choose whatever works best for you:
- The DFP is posted to my home page, front and center.
- I also post the DFP in my blog, and you can sign up for the feed with any feed reader and have it pushed out to you each day.
- You can sign up to receive it via e-mail, using the sign up form on the home page.
The workouts are intense, as short as possible while still being effective (usually about 45 minutes), and are a combination of weight training, cardiovascular exercise, and stability training. They are preceeded by a short warm up, and followed by a short cool down and stretch. Expect to keep moving and working at a fast pace during the workouts.
The workouts are built in such a way that you can substitute similar exercises for one another, in case you don’t have the correct equipment or there is some other factor that prevents you from doing the exercises in the plan.
Aside from that it would take someone that has a good deal of exercise experience to be able to alter the plan and still have it retain the effectiveness. Try to stick to the plan the best you can to get the most out of it.
My basic approach is that you have to work out hard in order to see results, and you have to keep a close eye on your diet until it becomes second nature. Anyone who tells you differently doesn’t really know what they’re talking about, or doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
There are many good approaches to working out. But most workout plans are unchanging, allowing your body to adapt and halt its progress. My workout plan uses the best principles of bodybuilding, cross training interval training, balance training, and utilizing compound exercises to help you create the best looking, most fit body you can have. And it is constantly changing, challenging your body in new ways, to help keep the progress coming. That’s why it can’t be printed in a book, the plan changes from day to day, week to week.
The basic format is “Exercise – Sets(Reps)”. Exercise tells you what to do, Sets tells you how many times you’ll be doing the exercise in a row, and Reps tells you how many repetitions of that exercise will be in each set. Sets are usually separated by a 30-60 second rest period.
If two exercises are listed next to each other but separated by a backslash (/), then that means it’s a superset with the first exercise followed immediately by the other. If the reps section has an asterisk in it (*), that means do as many of the exercise as you can before resting.
For example, Bench Press – 3(10) means perform 3 sets of 10 bench presses. In other words, 10 reps of the bench press followed by a rest, 10 more reps followed by a rest, and one last set of 10 reps to complete the exercise. The weight you will use is dependant on your strength, so select a weight that allows you to do 10 reps before muscle failure.
Another example is the following: Pushups/Pull ups- 3(*). This means do one set of pushups, as many reps as you can before failure, followed immediately by one set of pull upsto failure. This is one superset which is followed by a rest. Complete a total of 3 times to finish the exercise.
For more information on the workouts and a more complete description of the abbreviations see the DFP Exercise Plan page.
Basically I help you calculate the number of calories you are to target for each day. There will be two numbers in particular to concern yourself with. The first is the DCT (or Daily Calorie Target), which is calculated based on your weight gain/loss goals. The secons is your ‘maintenance’ calories, which is an estimation of how many calories you need each day to maintain your weight. I discuss the need to cycle between the two more in the DFP eating Plan.
Every so often you will be given a free day, in which we toss the number out the window and you eat what you want. Other days might be fasting days, which is optional but (in my opinion) an important component to a healthy body.
Aside from giving you a specific number of calories to target, you will also be instructed on breaking them up into 5 smaller meals and be given some basic guidance on what foods to eat. The rule here is simple: the more processed the food is, the less it belongs in your diet.
The number of calories you eat isn’t the only factor in your weight, but it’s the most important. Nearly all of the popular diet plans out there work due to the plain and simple fact that they reduce calorie intake. The only real difference is in how they advocate you reduce those calories. I have my own approach based on lots of unprocessed foods, which you can learn more about on my eating plan page.
It would be too hard (virtually impossible) to individualize a plan for everyone’s different goals (gain weight/lose weight), their body weight and fitness levels, personal food preferences, and food availabilities.
In my plan I tell you how many calories to target, and you have the flexibility to hit that target in a way that makes the most sense for your situation. I’ll also provide information on making good food choices and provide tools to help you track your diet, but ultimately it’s up to you.
DCT means Daily Calorie Target, which is the number of calories you should be targeting each day. I do the calculation for you, and it is based on a number of factors such as your age, height, weight, activity level, and whether or not you want to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain weight.
DCT means you try to eat the same number of calories as your base calorie calculation (your DCT, or Daily Calorie Target) specifies.
‘MAINTAIN’ means you try to eat the same number of calories as your maintenance calorie calculation.
‘FREE’ means it’s a free day to eat as you choose, and ‘FAST (or DCT)’ means it’s a fasting day (or revert back to using DCT if you are medically unable to fast or simply choose not to).
Visit my nutrition basics information page and you’ll get information on making wise food choices, places to go for healthy recipes, and some of my own tips and tricks for eating a healthy diet without spending a fortune or every waking hour in the kitchen.
General Fitness Answers
A: Because research tells us that you can’t spot reduce (lose weight from one specific area), you’re left with losing weight in general. If you do that, you’ll lose weight in your midsection in addition to the rest of your body. However, where your body decides to pull fat from first is pretty much genetically determined. Hope to see your abs for a nice 6 pack? You’ll probably need to get down near 10% body fat.
You definitely need a good, all around workout routine, including weight training! Weight training, along side your aerobic training and diet, has been shown to be more effective on weight loss than aerobic training alone!
A: It depends on a lot of factors, namely your weight, height, age, gender, activity level, and whether you want to gain or lose weight. Heavier and more active people will typically need more calories, while older and more sedentary people will need fewer. To get an estimate of how many calories you should be consuming during the day, try out my calorie calculator.
A: Women lack the testosterone needed for overly big muscles, and the benefits of weight training are astounding. Among other things muscle gives your body shape, keeps your metabolism raised, and helps with balance. Unless weight training is your life, you have little to worry about. In fact, I can guarantee you that the women bodybuilders you see in magazines not only live, eat, and breathe weight training, but they’re also using steroids.
Absolutely. You should always be sure to get plenty of sleep. Not only will you have more energy for the day, but your body will recover more quickly from workouts. Studies also show that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight. What is ‘plenty of sleep?’ It will obviously vary from person to person, but kids should get at least 9 to 10 hours a night, and adults 8 to 9 hours per night.