We are currently in the middle of a Fall fat shed challenge here at Ambitious Athletics. Members who participate in the challenge receive personalized education and quality one-on-one attention throughout. Here’s a beefed up email I sent out to the participants awhile back. I thought everyone could learn from it.

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You can work your ass off and do everything right but still lack optimal progress. Sleep and stress are crucial to one’s success and must be regulated like your training and nutrition.

Quality strength and conditioning + nutrition + sleep + stress management = optimal results

Quality strength and conditioning – strength train 3-4 times per week, heavy condition once per week.

Nutrition – knowing your metabolic rate and what body type you are is crucial for macronutrient set up.

Sleep – 7 quality hours of shuteye, no excuses. Manage your time better.

Stress – chill out! Hate your job? Quit and find something you love. Need a change of pace? Follow the green signs hanging above the interstate to your new dream spot.

Results – do you want ‘em or not? Things that are worth achieving don’t come easy.

Stress test: __Blank__ often stresses me out.

Write your answer down and begin to work on dissolving the issue.

Think about it - stress causes anxiety and anxiety ties your stomach in knots which then wrecks havoc on your eating and sleeping patterns, while the food that you do eat and semi shotty sleep pattern attempts to rebuild, rejuvenate, and balance hormones (cortisol). Stress doesn't allow for a full rebuild or rejuvenation. It becomes a cumulative cycle that you must break to restart your healthy habits.

Sleep test: __Blank__ often prevents me from getting 7 quality hours of sleep per night.

Write you answer down and begin to work on dissolving the issue.

Check out your body after you get a solid 7 hours of sleep on the weekend compared to during the week, most people can easily tell how much tighter they look after quality sleep. Also, record your mood changes and overall mental well being. Take pictures of yourself all week long. No, not duck face Instagram selfies, real full body pictures, like the ones your ex boyfriend would post of you after your tweenage breakup. But seriously, take a picture, it lasts longer and definitely speaks more than 1,000 words.

As far as achieving results, this is a reminder that your exercise program stimulates muscle growth while nutrition builds muscle growth and creates fat burn; more muscle equals more fat burn. Which means you've got to eat, and eat clean. You wouldn't starve your car or feed it garbage like Marty's DeLorean Time Machine and expect for it to run efficiently would you? This isn't some Back to the Future movie, it's real life.

Everything in Moderation = moderate results.

Your homework: 1 week

1. Check your value of clean meals. Say you eat 4 meals per day X 7 days of the week = 28 meals. 90% success = 25 perfect meals. Anything below that will provide you with minimal success.

2. Record your solid sleep hours. Every morning upon waking, write down the total hours that you slept. Separate weekday and weekend hours.

3. At the end of the week grade yourself.

Grading scale

A = 95% perfect meals & 35+ hours of sleep (49 hours incl. weekend)

B = 90% perfect meals & 33.5 hours of sleep (45.5)

C = 85% perfect meals & 29.5 hours of sleep (42)

D = 80% perfect meals & 26 hours of sleep (38.5)

"C’s may earn degrees" but won’t land you the body that you truly seek.

Extra credit: At least 10 minutes of uninterrupted meditation/self reflecting/me-time per day.

Are you happy or unhappy with your grade? Record your grade below in the comments field.

If you’d like more help, sign up for coaching here.

Hope this helps.

Dedicated to your health,

Carmen

Comments Submitted by Melanie on 11/19/13:

for 2 weeks, i have been an A, but i was a C for a looooong time after i moved away from Carmen and couldn't train with him any more :/