Today marks the start of the 2016 Lurong Summer Challenge, and since we have a lot of people trying out the program for the first time, I thought I’d share what going through past challenges have taught me…
Patience. Not just with doing the workouts (more on that later), but overall. If you stick to the program, you will see results. It was frustrating for me the first time around because I lost a few pounds that first week, but then I plateaued – hard. It lasted for about three or four weeks (the Fall Challenge is seven weeks long), and it was driving me crazy; here I was, following the program to the letter, and I wasn’t losing any more weight! It wasn’t until the second-to-last week of the program that I started losing weight again, and by the time I was done, I had lost over fifteen pounds in total. So, practice a little patience.
Do the workouts. Don’t skip on them (even after you find out what they are), and most importantly, don’t skip on the first and last one. Those two are designed to show where you were at the start of this journey, and where you are at the end of it. If you’ve done any of the Open workouts, then you can do this. And it’s even scaled nicely: you can choose Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3. The first challenge I did, I went for Level1 on all of the workouts – the second time, I stuck with Level 2 as often as possible. This time around, I’m probably going to stay mostly in Level 2, with an eye towards Level 3.
Learn the workouts. They’re released every Sunday evening, complete with the standards for each Level and, even better, with full videos demonstrating them. And pay attention to the rep/round scheme; I made that mistake during this Pre-Challenge Workout a few weeks ago, and didn’t stay on top of my rounds. It wasn’t until I watched the video that I realized that I did an extra round because I wasn’t keeping track of them in my head!
Also, knowing the workouts, seeing them done, learning them, that will help you decide what Level you should go for.
(See – I told you I’d talk about that!)
Scale yourself appropriately. This applies to both the workouts and the meal plan since both of them have three Levels. Level 1 is set up for people new to the workouts, and to the Paleo way of eating, whereas Level 2 is designed more for people who have experience with both under their belts (both weight belt and pants belt). Finally, Level 3 workout are hardcore – super strict. Research all of them so that you know where you’re going to start.
Like I said earlier, my first Lurong Challenge, I stayed at Level 1 for the workouts; but because I had already spent most of the summer before it doing Paleo, I tackled the meal plan at Level 3. Was it tough? Yes – especially since there’s no room for cheats or anything. Take that into consideration.
Stick to the (meal) plan. The meal plan is there to help you: everything is laid out for you, all you have to do is follow through on it. Don’t like the what’s on the schedule for Tuesday’s lunch? You can go through the recipe book and find something that you do like. Stick to the meal plan and the recipe book as much as you can.
And when it comes to meal prep, find yourself the time to do the work in advance. I usually have Saturdays and Sundays off, so I would l do all of the food shopping for the upcoming week’s menu on Saturday, and then spend that Sunday cooking as many of the meals in advance as I could. Having those meals already made and waiting for you in the fridge will definitely help you stick with the plan.
Find out what’s allowed and what’s not. There’s a chart on the website that shows you what is approved, what you can have in moderation, and what’s a cheat – I print that chart out and tape it to the door of my fridge. This way, I have that quick reference.
And if there’s something that you like to normally have, and it’s not approved for your level, find a workaround: use coconut sugar instead of white sugar, or tapioca starch instead of corn starch. There are recipes all around, and so many ‘regular’ items can be revised using ingredients that are approved.
Take advantage of everything the program has to offer you. There are contests, there are opportunities to track how you’re doing in the Challenge, there are opportunities for you to create goals for yourself and track your progress on them. Every time some announcement was made about a feature – adding goals, entering a recipe onto the site – I took it on because it kept me engaged in the program, and the more engaged I was in it, the more I got out of it.
The Challenges work – I know because I’ve already been through several of them, to the point that I look forward to them. I’m looking forward to this new Challenge, and I’m looking forward to going through it with my Breed family.