You WANT TO, but are you WILLING TO? Casey's Journey to becoming the Burn the Fat Challenge Champion
Meet the newest Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (BFFM) body transformation challenge champion, Casey Richardson!
The remarkable results you see in his photos were achieved over the summer Burn the Fat challenge contest in a span of only 98 days!
How did he do it? We recently caught up with Casey, a busy father and husband who works a stressful job in law enforcement, and had a chance to ask him this question:
"Casey, When you think back to the 98 day Burn the Fat body transformation challenge, what were the most effective strategies you used that were the most important in allowing you to get such incredible results, in the following areas:
1. Mindset and motivation, 2. Nutrition/ Diet, 3. Training, 4. Anything other random tips or advice you'd like to share. Thanks!"
Sure Tom! Well, the more you get to know me, the more you will know not to get me started on something I am passionate about, or I'll go on and on! And to say I am passionate about BFFM would be a huge understatement. I just went over your short set of questions, and I might have rambled, so edit this if you need to. I hope my answers are helpful to everyone and I'll look forward to talking with you even more again soon.
Here are the top strategies I used to get the results you see in my challenge pictures
First of all, in my role as a coach, I talk to young men about "Your WANT TO has got to be matched by your WILL TO!" We want a lot of things, but you really have to ask yourself if you're willing to do the things necessary to make it happen.
Second, you have to have a goal or prize that you're focused on that's great enough to keep you on track when you're tempted to let up (notice I didn't say quit! NEVER say quit!)
For me, the timing of your Challenge couldn't have been much better. My wife and I started dating in September when I was 15 years old. We have been together since, and we celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary during the Challenge. We got married shortly after she graduated from the university, and about 7 months before I started on the police department. Needless to say, we had no money. We decided up front we were not going to borrow money for the wedding and surely weren't going to borrow money to go on a honeymoon. We had a nice wedding and went for three days to a gorgeous lake resort here in Montana and vowed someday we would go some place warm and tropical during the winter to have a 'real honeymoon.'
To top it off, my entire family got on board. My wife went to work finding healthier foods and weeding out the junk in the house (she has lost 25+ lbs) and my 14 year old daughter loves to bake and cook. She got into finding healthy alternatives too. So a wonderful bonus for motivation is having a family that is on board with you!
So find a goal that can be the focus or hot button that pulls you back when you are tempted to slack off or maybe not follow your diet. Every time I felt like dragging or I was tempted by my favorite treat, I just pictured my gorgeous wife's reaction hearing we had won a trip to Maui! For some people, the goal could be six pack abs, bulging biceps, running a new personal record time in a 5k race, or simply fitting in those jeans you wore when you graduated from high school. Find the thing that is your personal hot button and set that in your mind. It has to be the thing that will blank out any desire to slack or break from your plan!
One last thing to keep locked into your brain on mindset and motivation: You have to have someone that will kick you in the fanny when you are feeling down, or a place to go to get that kind of encouragement. I often felt like I was dragging and I would just log onto the Burn the Fat Inner Circle. Sometimes I didn't even post a word, but just reading through some of the other progress journals gave me that kick and that encouragement. What a lift it was to log on and see some words of encouragement from a fellow "Burner" who had a quick note to tell me, "keep it up," or to read and see someone who had written about a great workout, or maybe they talked about the struggle they were having, and then you don't feel like you're alone in this battle.
YOU Could Be The Next Success Story!
People get such a negative vibe from the word "diet." I know I did! The word diet seems to scare people off. If you can sit down and read Tom's Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (BFFM), I mean really read it, then that will start to make total sense. It's exactly what Tom said in BFFM: I like to think of it as nutrition rather than a diet. I keep preaching to any folks who ask me about "dieting" that what they really need to do is build a nutrition system to fit your body type. Everything you need to know is right there in Tom's book! With that being said, here are a couple things that worked well for me.
I am NOT type A at all. Detail and organization are my weak suits! Motivation, excitement, encouragement, "light a fire under your ass and get moving," yep that is me. Planning out meals, measuring food, keeping a food diary... not so much. I tried and had some success with taking that approach, but early on I realized this was going to be a struggle for me. Then wham! I got one of the email newsletters that Tom sends outs with tips and hints and how to do it.
To begin with, I sat down and got a recipe card and a green sharpie marker and wrote "protein" on the top of it. I picked out about 8 proteins that were listed by Tom. Next to them I wrote the stats for calories and fats. On the back of the card written in blue were all the carbs and their stats. I also highlighted the quality carbs that I would eat after 1 PM and some carbs were just left for early in the day. I didn't do a card for fats, I just found that if I was hitting the quality carbs and lean proteins the fats pretty much landed where they needed to be, and to be honest, I am just not detail oriented enough to keep track of three things at once, LOL!
I did take the time to measure and weigh food from the start. After about 4-5 weeks, I got where I felt comfortable knowing how big a piece of chicken or fish I needed. Fruits and veggies were plugged in and were easy to measure and follow. By 4 weeks in, I had my "staples" that I could go to, but if there was a new food I wanted to try, I would measure it and plug it into my count. The key for me was to make it repeatable and somewhat simple. Having the card helped me make it work.
Also, if I didn't have time to pack 4 meals with me for work I developed "backup" go to locations. I planned out and knew which supermarkets in town that had fresh chicken that was shredded or what restaurants had cooks that I took time to say hello to and knew I was working hard to get fit and healthy.
This may come to a shock to a lot of people, but I didn't use weights during this challenge. The BFFM program has a motivation element, a nutrition element, a cardio element and a resistance training element. For the resistance training part, I used a series of exercises such as push up, pull ups, chair dips and ab exercises. I added in some yoga and some plyo workouts into the mix throughout, in addition to my cardio.
Am I against lifting weights? Heck no! I lived in the gym when I was playing football and I just purchased a gym membership at a charity auction, so I am going to try to add a little mass next. The main reason I chose the workout schedule I did at the time was simple: I felt I would need to work out every day and I planned 3 days per week (at least) for double workouts. I live almost 70 miles round trip to the gym that we have for the police dept where I work (and unfortunately there is no shower there so it was impossible to drive in and workout before my shift started). I also work some wildly variable shifts, so working out at home seemed to be the only option that was repeatable week to week. And it's all about consistency.
Like a lot of people 42 years old, I have parts and pieces that hurt more than others. I have had two knee surgeries and both my shoulders have had their moments. What I found is using these workouts at home has gotten me in shape and gave my joints a break for a while too and that has now given me a good jumping off point where for the next goal I can push my fitness to the next level.
You can get on the Internet and search "push ups" or "pull ups" and you can find dozens and dozens of different techniques and styles. There's a great article on getting insanely good at pullups by trainer John Sifferman right on the inner circle as well. You can also do the same with plyo workouts. If you don't feel comfortable with finding reliable info off the net just by searching, you can purchase one of the commercial dvd workouts that are available. I went to ebay and found different used dvds and used many of the techniques I learned from them. The main thing I believe is most important is consistency: Find a workout you CAN stick with based on your life and your schedule at the time, and then stick with it.
One last thing on doing these types of simple workouts: They're very measurable and it's quite motivating to see the improvements over time. When I started, I could only do one standard pull up and the second one would kill me to try to get it. Now I do a series of 55 pull ups on Monday nights followed up with a series of 200 variable types of push ups. It is a great motivator to see these improvements as you get stronger. Same with plyo and cardio workouts. Set time limits and do as many as you can in 30 seconds or a minute. Track this! As you improve, so will your confidence and your desire to push on, you will get where you are wanting to hit the workout again so you can try to break your personal record each workout.
4. Final thoughts and random tips.
This one might upset some people Tom, so you can edit this part if you want to. Folks, we've got to stop lying to ourselves. Really, I mean it! I know I have done it myself for years.
I hear it all the time when people talk to me about their health and diet. I know anyone who is overweight is probably either nodding their head "yes" and saying, "I know what you mean," or they're getting angry. But when it comes down to it, we are responsible for how we look and feel, how healthy we are and what our own diet/nutrition is...
Quit telling yourself, "I can't", quit telling yourself, "I don't have time," quit telling yourself, "I can't work out because I don't have a gym," and quit telling yourself, "It won't work for me!" Those are all lies that are holding you back from being healthy.
You noticed, I say HEALTHY. Not skinny, not thin... HEALTHY! Because I think of how I felt before the Challenge, I was absolutely unhealthy. I would check my heart rate in the morning at the start of the Challenge and it hovered in the high 70's and low 80's. Now it is 46-48 when I wake up in the morning, my body is saying 'thank you'.
One last thought on goal setting. A lot of times, goals get focused on things we can NOT control. When I first sat down for the Challenge and started working on goals, of course the first thing that goes on top is "WIN". Then I put down the "Why?" Of course, that was the trip for my wife. Then I started breaking it down into the things that I felt would be needed to win. Visible abs, good biceps, developed lats, muscle development in my back... Then I asked myself, how do I get those things?
The answer to those questions became my daily goals and they were all things I could control. Can I control having abs or biceps and check that off everyday? Not so much, but I can control how many workouts I do, how clean I eat and getting 6 meals per day.
I know we often pick goals that are the big picture (like taking my wife on a honeymoon) and that is great to keep us on track, but be sure to map out the action steps you need to take to accomplish the end goal, and make those your daily goals.
At the end of the day, as I lay down to go to sleep, I always went through my checklist in my mind (you may want to make a calendar with a checklist to actually check them off - it works great!). It always felt good (and still feels good) to go over that list and check things off knowing that I did everything I could do every day to make myself healthy!
Keep it burning, Casey
The Burn the Fat Challenge is a twice-a-year event sponsored by Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle (BFFM) and hosted at the Burn the Fat Inner Circle. The 'original' 49-day challenge runs across the holidays and starts Every November before Thanksgiving and finishes in January as we bring in the new year.
The summer challenge is known as the "BIG BURN" because it starts in May and runs across the entire summer - 98 days of "burning!"
There's nothing like a BIG GOAL and a CHALLENGE for ramping up your motivation (the chance to win a trip to a tropical island to show off your new body doesn't hurt either).... and when it's done inside a community like our Inner Circle, the support skyrockets your chances of success compared to trying to go at it alone.
Join us for the next challenge and join us in the Inner Circle to stay motivated and connected to positive people all year round. Your membership at the Inner Circle gets you free enrollment in all our challenge events and remember, it's never too early or too late to get started.
To visit Casey's 98-day Burn The Fat challenge journal CLICK HERE (members only)
All text and photographs copyright Burn The Fat Inner Circle. No reproduction permitted.