Fitness/ Motivation/ Weight loss

How To Lose the Muffin Top In 3 Weeks

How many times have you seen articles titled like that? Articles that have crazy diets and “fat-burning” exercises with the promise you WILL get SKINNY in 3 short weeks. Have you tried them? Do they work? I bet you think they don’t, so you quickly dismiss them and don’t try them.

how to lose the muffin top in three weeks

I’m going to be honest with you… they do work… sort of. If you follow the crazy diet, and exercise your ass literally off for three weeks you will lose fat, and probably build some muscle. But the way that these crazy things fail, is that no one can sustain them for long periods of time, and often people go back to their unhealthy lifestyles afterwards, typically gaining even more weight. We become frustrated, and distrustful of these fads.

A better title for these articles is: How To Lose the Muffin Top in 3 Weeks Intervals.

Let me introduce you to a new idea: Periodization. It’s a technique athletes use to prepare their bodies for peak performance. I briefly covered the topic in my post about how to build a half-marathon training program. In that article I failed to really go into detail over why the program is broken into hard/easy days and hard/easy weeks. You see, in order for our bodies to give up the fat that they’re storing, our bodies need to be challenged – continually. So if you do the same fat blasting workout for 6 months, somewhere after a month or two you will stop seeing results. You may even begin to GAIN weight. This is because your body has adapted to the demands you’ve placed on it. It’s no longer a challenge. And if you remember, I said to lose fat you need to challenge your body – continually. The same thing happens with athletes. That is why they don’t do the same workout day in, day out. They practice a technique called periodization.

So what is periodization?
The idea behind periodization is that you PLAN your exercise. You plan by week (a micro-cycle) and you plan by months (a macro-cycle). You don ‘t just hop on the treadmill and do the same workout that you’ve done the past 9 days. You break your week (called a micro-cycle) into hard and easy workouts. Yes, you mix it up and keep your body guessing. You alternate hard and easy days, strength, cardio etc. Perhaps one day you run hills, the next you do a slow easy jog, the next you do a fast tempo run, then you take a rest day, then you do a long distance run to build enduranc. You’re running, every day, but because you’re mixing it up your body is being challenged and is left guessing. Your body is not really sure what demands you’re going to place on it. As well, because you ‘re giving your self easy days, your allowing some recovery so you don ‘t get injured. You’re also not getting bored. You then break your month (called a macro-cycle) into hard and easy weeks. One week all of your hard & easy workouts are harder than the week before. Then you take an easier week, then a harder week slowly building your harder weeks to be harder than the hard week before. That, my friends is periodization.

So what does Periodization have to do with fad diets & exercise plans?
Think of those crazy fat burning hard exercises as your hard weeks. Maybe your macro-cycle is 3 months long. You workout hard following a fad exercise plan for 3 weeks, then you back off for a week or two and take it easy. Now I said easy, not complete rest. Remember, you also need to break that recovery week up into hard and easy workouts. By hard, I don ‘t mean super hard, just harder than your easy day. Then, and this is where we all fail,then you need to follow that rest/recovery week with another week or two of hard exercise.

The best part of all of this is that you’ll get results and you won ‘t get bored. Below is a calendar I created for you, with weekly micro-and monthly macro-cycles. I haven’t dictated what exercisies you do because I’m not sure what exercises you prefer to do. If it isn’t stuff you enjoy, then you won’t do it right? I ‘ve marked hard days and easy days. The hard weeks are in RED BOLD and easy weeks are in plain black. What ‘s hard for me, could be easy for you. This is another reason why I’ve left it up to you to decide what exercises to do:

How to lose the muffin top

(Here’s a direct link so you can download it).

YOU CAN DO IT!!! Break it off into smaller chunks. Try to get through your three hard weeks, then reward yourself during the easy weeks (but not with food, unless it ‘s veggies). Try it for a mont, tell me what you think. Did you get results? Did it keep you from getting bored? Are you losing your muffin top in 3 week intervals? I ‘d love to hear from you in 12 weeks from now 🙂

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  • Anita Alves
    May 7, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Hi!

    In the begining is not so easy, but after 9 days i’m getting nice results!

    TKSS

    Anita From http://www.maesabetudo.com.br/manual-da-barriga-negativa/

  • colleen
    March 19, 2010 at 9:26 am

    GReat tips!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Dolly Skinner
    April 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you for this post. I’m starting this today and throughout May to see if I can see real results (by my sister’s wedding May 1st 🙂
    If so, I will keep going. I used to be a cheerleader, but now have 3 kids and a busy life. I’m not fat, but I desperatly need to tone up and get rid of my love handles and feel better about my bod. I’ll post again and let you know how it goes.
    Thanks again!

  • pamela ponder
    April 15, 2010 at 8:56 am

    great tips..I need to get started

  • lucy
    May 13, 2010 at 8:49 am

    What do I do about my heel spur? Or Plantar Faciitis that I have. I’m picking up orthotics on Friday…it’s been a month,trying to heal it by not working out…but it still hurts.

    • Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader
      May 13, 2010 at 9:41 am

      Ahhh – I’m right there with you Lucy! I’ve been going to Physio for 2 weeks now for my plantar fasciitis. This sounds like an excellent post idea and I’m going to also follow up with an email to you with my response.

      Cheers and here’s hoping your foot heals soon!

  • Farrah
    June 22, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I’m definitely going to need to work periodization into my workout.

  • Beyond Mom » Blog Archive » Eating Less Sucks. Stop It.
    July 10, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    […] Now, don’t get me wrong, there is some truth to dieting and you can read about it in this great post from The Fitness Cheerleader. It even gets a little scientific which always makes me a little […]

  • FitGirl Formula
    July 27, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Great post! Definitely going to make some adjustments to my current workout plan. Thanks.

  • Lori Coralreef
    September 1, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Brilliant! Okay, I have my two hard days per week already…now I need to fill in the rest! Perhaps this will shake my body up , I’ll keep you posted!
    Thanks

    • Janice - The Fitness Cheerleader
      September 1, 2010 at 11:49 pm

      Yep, just the two hard days is probably not enough. Perhaps try my walk n tone mp3 for the “easy” days? We can chat about it tomorrow 🙂

  • Ross
    September 25, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I am a big fan of splitting my training sessions up into hard and easy days. I do a lot of running and by splitting my sessions up throughout the week I am able to accomplish more miles and therefore loose more body fat without over training.

  • RoorgoBab
    October 5, 2010 at 3:25 pm

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  • Extreme Fatigue
    November 2, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    This a really good article.The hard/easy workout routine that you mention is really good. You are right in saying you have to keep your body guessing to lose weight over an extended amount of time. Very well written.

  • Unhappy chappy
    January 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    🙁 I’m 17 and don’t eat that much junk (most of the time)… At school I’m surrounded by girls who gorge on fried chicken, skittles, poptarts, cake and pizza and they weigh 100 pounds! It’s not fair, why do I have to walk around with these huge muffin tops,thunder thighs and fat tummy – these girls barely exercise … And on top of that I have really bad skin problems that even my proactive stuff won’t work on 🙁 I just wanna die or at least get some advice on what I’m doing wrong

    • Mary
      July 2, 2011 at 10:40 am

      Hi, =O) : Fortunately we all have the potential to change our circumstances, “chappy chappy”. We can work really hard to achieve success in ANY area of our lives by changing the things we don’t like. The interesting thing is that since we are all so different, we each will have something different we will need to work at… on different levels, in different intensities, at different times… No need to fret about it, this is small stuff.
      *Do you like sports?
      *Dance?
      *Riding skates or bikes?
      find a local organization or program, maybe a team in your school, or just gather some friends with similar interests.
      and its good you avoid all the unhealthy food, that stuff tends to catch up to you anyways.
      Have a nice day, Happy Chappy.

      mcosme

  • MMA Outlet
    January 18, 2011 at 12:35 am

    As someone that regularly competes in MMA fights and grappling tournaments, I can attest to periodization as extremely helpful for achieving your fitness goals.

  • Jill
    April 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Hi…

    I saw your comment on Jason’s blog and popped over as I was intrigued by your article and wanted to read it. Then I saw you are a kinesologist (been search for one) :).

    A couple questions for you, I hope it’s ok – could you email me? Just reply to this message.

    Glad I found your site; I’m sure I’ll learn a lot of cool things – thanks! 🙂

  • Mika
    May 8, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Im 14 & i need help with losing my love handles and all of that so im going to try this whole monthly plan! I tried out for cheer a coupld of days ago… I didn’t make the cut. Wonder why? I’m going to train good and hard for next year so I WILL MAKE IT. For definate. Thanks for the inspirational article to get me started (:

  • Changing
    June 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    UNHAPPY CHAPPY- Run your own race. They may have high metabolisms. You have to re-evaluate how and what you do. As a former secondary athlete: track and dance, I can say you must change some things. High school is so cruel. Seeing with your eyes can be a deception because you can’t see a person’s family history, genetics, and/or med problems. As soon as I hit my mid 20’s and had my daughter my metabolism did a 180. It takes 3500 calories to make 1 pound. You have to burn more than you bring in. You can still eat but it is what you eat. Frequency is key. Eat at least 6 times a day- HEALTHY. Don’t use your normal size plate but your med size that way you don’t pile on food. Eat healthy snacks in between (a cup size measurement). And water, water, water. 2 cups of 8 oz. will decrease how much you consume. With all my advice, first seek counsel of a certified specialist. When you learn better you should do better. Share your knowledge. blessings.

  • Amy
    August 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    very clear explanation, periodization is great if you have hit a plateau.

  • Chandler
    April 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Hey Janice where is your fitness calendar at I’m going on a cruise in June and would like to loose my muffin top.The reason I need your calendar so badly is because i just can’t plan it out my self!!:)

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