Last year I came across Joe Wicks aka @thebodycoach, an Instagramer who had these quirky 15 second recipe videos called lean in 15 and after seeing a few I was hooked! Not only were they really funny, but the recipes were very simple, looked delicious, and seemed super healthy.
It wasn’t long before I became curious by his food and fitness videos, (and after piling on the lbs over Christmas) I wanted to learn more. I first saw his book titled “Lean in 15”, but after finding out about his tailored 90 Day SSS Plan, and how it had changed so many people’s lives for the better, I simply had to sign up!
What appealed to me about the plan was that it was tailored to the individual. They had me fill out a questionnaire that allowed the people at The Body Coach HQ to find what would work best for me in terms of nutrition.
I’ve always been a guy who’s shied away from sports and gym antics as I found it a bit daunting and difficult, but within a few short days after receiving my custom plan I was introduced to the world of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and clean eating, and it’s stuck with me ever since.
What I love about this plan is it is great for so many people, and especially those who – like me – love their food! Being half Spanish the problem I often faced when trying to stick to any kind of eating plan, was cutting out food groups and any sort of tasty treats.. it seemed sacrilegious! But Joe’s 90 Day Plan will never leave you hungry.. in fact in some cases you may struggle to finish all the lovely food! 😂
The plan is split into 3 cycles, each cycle lasting roughly 30 days. Every cycle came with its own food plan and workouts which I found was very helpful in keeping me engaged with the system, as I’ve often struggled with losing focus in the past when things become too much of a routine, but this way things were always fresh and new.
Cycle 1 (Shift)
In the first cycle you are introduced to a plan that aims to kickstart your metabolism and get you burning (shifting) fat. It comprises of a variety of recipes for low carb, high protein, high fat meals for the rest days, and tasty healthy carbs for your post workout meals. It was great having every ingredient set out in it’s correct quantity, it took away the hassle of counting calories or carbs etc.
The HIIT workouts were awesome, very tough to start with as my fitness level was very low. After a while it became pretty fun. Don’t get me wrong when you are doing HIIT you absolutely hate it and want it to end, but the high you get once your finished and the awesome food you can eat after makes it worth the hard work. I saw my energy levels rocket and would often feel buzzed after my workout, and at the end of this cycle I had lost some weight and felt a lot trimmer.
One of Joe’s mantras is “Stay off the ‘sad step’.” This simple idea makes total sense and is something I’ve never thought of before, as a lot of us when trying to get leaner will look to the scales aka the sad step, to monitor our progress. Joe advises not to focus on the numbers as body weight fluctuates and muscles/fat are not always counted on the household scale so are not as accurate as seeing real physical results in the mirror.
Cycle 2 (Shape)
After I submitted my results for the end of the first cycle, I had a few days eagerly awaiting for my new plan. At first it took a little while to get my head around it as this cycle was very different from the first. It introduced the “Pick n mix” system which for me personally was awesome. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a massive foodie and being able to create my own dishes from the list of ingredients on the pick n mix was fantastic. I can honestly say that I had no cravings whatsoever since the beginning of the 90 Day sss plan, and having the freedom to make what I wanted with this cycle helped even more.
The meals were more carb rich on workout days, instead of just the one post workout meal, and rest days were the same in terms of high protein high fat.
This cycle is when I really got sucked into the workouts. They were my favorite as the introduction of weights (GVT – German Volume Training) along with the HIIT gradually brought some noticeable changes in my shape which in return encouraged me to carry on.
One surprising difference in this cycle vs the first was the volume of food and carbs. I’m not going to lie, it took a while for me to get used to it at first, as I really struggled to manage to fit in the meals and did suffer briefly from the infamous bloat!
Thankfully I had my support hero available to answer any question I had and she was able to give me advice on how to approach this cycle as my metabolism had not kickstarted as well as I had hoped at this stage, but after about a week I was scoffing every meal with ease. The support heroes do an amazing job in keeping you on check and giving you some moral support, and this in itself is worth every penny of the plan. Thanks Samantha!
Overall this cycle was fun and I was able to create some meals that were really enjoyable and while I didn’t see any real difference on the scales I could certainly see a visible change in my body which I was really pleased about.
Cycle 3 (Sustain)
This cycle was by far my favorite. It reintroduced the familiar set up from the first cycle having just the one post workout meal, but also the option of pick n mix from the second cycle which gave me the freedom to change things about a bit as I liked.
The volume of food was much easier to consume and the workouts were really enjoyable.
DTP (Dramatic Transformation Principle) Training was new to me and the most enjoyable. It promised quick muscle gain and I can see why. At times it was a challenge getting the reps in, and along with the HIIT it could be tiring, but once I found the weights that were best suited to me I was able to power through and meet my goals.
This cycle really made me feel that this plan was more of a lifestyle change which I know is a term that gets passed about often, but it really is! I felt I could manage myself, my food and training better and could easily fit it into my lifestyle.
To anyone who may be interested in starting on this plan there are few things that I thought I’d share so you can make the best of it.
Ok this might seem a bit of an odd tip BUT I’d highly recommend following Joe on his Snapchat account. Apart from being hilarious, he often gives advice and I found that seeing him living this lifestyle on a daily basis helped to motivate me.
Prep Like a Boss
This is something that I wish I had done more often. I’ve been in the process of moving abroad so for me it was a bit of a challenge prepping, and with some extra time on my hands I would just cook each meal there and then. This could be a bummer at times as I’d feel I spent too much time in the kitchen, but if you take a day out of the week and get organised it makes things so much easier.
Trust the Plan & Be Patient
This 90 day plan is a challenge, there will be times when you feel you can’t do it, and days that you will fall off plan and have a blow out. But never lose sight!
Don’t let a bad day (or in my case days) eating turn into a week of bad eating. If you do go off plan, jump right back on it the next day, smash that HIIT and you’ll be laughing.
It takes time to transform your body, especially if you have some weight to lose initially, but if you trust in the plan you will get some awesome results!
Results & Overall Opinion
Well, after graduating from the 90 Day SSS Plan I can truly say that it has been life changing, which is something that I seriously never thought I’d be saying. It’s taught me discipline, given me strength and helped me gain control of my health and fitness.
I honestly can’t recommend this plan enough! In fact a few of my friends have since gone onto taking on the 90 Days themselves after I shared my experience, which to me speaks volumes. Thanks Joe!
I’ve since signed up to the 30 Day Graduate plan, which I’m now looking forward to doing to maintain and build up from.
For more information please check out http://www.thebodycoach.co.uk and all social media.