As far as the nutrition side it was not too restrictive. There was no measuring of food our counting calories, just a combination of intermittent fasting and nutrient timing to optimize a fat loss environment with a much needed cheat meal/window on the weekends.
In regards to the workouts, a few special NYNY workouts were added to the schedule, but for the most part the workout schedule was kept pretty normal for the participants. For me on the other hand, it was a little different. I had a few other goals that were set to fall in this time period as well. I had my DVRT Level 1&2 Certification the last weekend in February. You can read about that experience by clicking here. During this cert. I had to pass the Clean & Press Test which entailed me completing 40 reps of the Ultimate Sandbag Clean & Press with a 100lb sandbag! I also was throwing around the idea of competing in my first official powerlifting competition (goal is to set the max weight you can lift in the bench press, squat, and deadlift) at the end of March, with the goal of surpassing my PR total of 1400lbs which I did, unofficially, when I was 17 years old. So basically I was trying to set all-time strength records for myself as well as reach my lowest weight as a grown up. These goals do not typically go hand-in-hand.
So how did I do? Well you already clicked the DVRT link so you know I passed my Clean & Press Test with flying colors. As far as the powerlifting competition goes.... I never signed up. A few weeks into training my elbow started flaring up. Years of football and silly training have led to the right elbow getting a little mad at me from time to time. I know how to fix it though... stop bench pressing. So bench press was out, but you don't have to complete all three events in order to compete, but trying to break my total from half my life ago was out. The Squat....meh; this used to be my best event, but I haven't trained it seriously since 2006, and I always improved dramatically when I was heavier and eating a lot. So ditch the Squat! So that left the Deadlift, which I enjoy thoroughly and have been training fairly consistently over the last few years. While training I did set a new PR in my deadlift of 555lbs. My previous high was 550. This new personal record also was over 2x my bodyweight, as I weighed in at 267lbs that day! I was over 300lbs. when I set the previous deadlift PR.
Until these last 8 weeks I never had an intention of losing weight. Right after Easter last year I decided that enough was enough and I at least had to get working out consistently again. Dan was creating a KB swing challenge for his members that he didn't start until closer to summer, but I started the Monday after Easter. 300 KB Swings a day for 30 days. However my goal was not weight loss, it was could I increase my deadlift without deadlifting. The answer was...no. But it didn't go down either, 500lbs on both pre and post tests. The unexpected result was I was below 300lbs. for the first time in a while, with absolutely no nutritional changes except for the removal of the 8" solid milk chocolate bunny and the Reeses' Peanut Butter Eggs. Conclusion at the time... Geoff does well with consistency.
Over the summer I played around with 16/8 intermittent fasting protocols. This is the same protocol as the NYNY, 16 hours of fasting followed by an 8 hour eating window. I did this simply out of necessity, I'm really busy in the mornings June-August. Result... I lost weight, I don't know how much because it was not a goal of my nutritional alteration. I was doing it because it was what worked for me in the summer.
As the fall rolled around I was doing more workouts as coach and a participant in Dan's program. He was preparing me to take the DVRT certification so I wanted to use his programming expertise in the DVRT system to alter my workouts. I also stayed busy throughout the fall and nutritionally went to 20/4 intermittent fasting protocols from time to time, simply because I wanted to. I felt good. My workouts were not suffering and I had a ton of energy. It was during this time that people were noticing and commenting about me losing weight. Although I'm not certain I was probably down in the 280's.
As we rolled through Christmas and the New year I was hovering around 275 and then it was time to start the NYNY. Lets form a "Trainer Team"... well I've already lost a bunch of weight so I don't know how much help I'll be... 24 lbs later and over 60lbs lost for our team, I don't think we will have to find a "special gift" for any team that beats us. The results are being tabulated as I write this, but I am obviously pretty confident.
So what is my ultimate take away from reflecting over the last year? Well, I titled this blog post Strength In Numbers. I filled this page with weight loss numbers and strength numbers, but that is not what it was. The results that I have accomplished and the goals that I have reached have been because I have surrounded myself with the members of this gym and immersed myself in the culture that we have created here. Many people are unsuccessful at losing weight because they place a huge personal burden on themselves and create a hill that too tough to climb. Our culture takes that burden and spreads across everyone so that there truly is strength in numbers. Everyone wants to reach their own personal goals, but in turn wants everyone else to be successful as well. We may have some points of the year where we pay more attention to the scale for a few weeks, but even though it is a weight loss challenge still most of the nutritional talk is about what people did for their cheat meal :) And for some reason we always take pictures of those cheat meals too.