The High Performance Journal

My Body Transformation Plan For 2024

4 minute fridays Dec 05, 2023

The High Performance Journal - December 5th, 2023

2023 has been a whirlwind.

I started the year by uprooting my family and moving them to the West Coast of Canada, I witnessed the birth of my second child in April, and I've seen massive growth in the business.

But hold the congratulations because this year I took a step back with my body.

I gained some weight when my daughter was born and my body seems to be slowing down. I'm recovering a bit slower, things are more sore than usual, and this was all on a good dose of sleep deprivation.

But things have settled down to a point where I can put the energy and focus into my training goals.

So for today's article, I want to share with you my plan to upgrade my body for 2024.

If you're ready, let's get into it...

My Body Transformation Plan for 2024

Step 1 - Set The Destination

"A person without a goal is like a ship without a rudder."
- Thomas Carlyle

Your goals set the destination where you'll point your attention.

I keep myself to 3 goals as I find to be the sweet spot for ultimate focus.

Here they are:

Goal #1 - I kept my body fat at a range of anywhere between 12-15%.

Goal #2 - I gained 2-3 lbs of muscle.

Goal #3 - I achieved a V02 max of 41.0-44.9.

The goal is to make 2024 the year I turn into a
hybrid athlete, which is someone who has a healthy body composition, is well-muscled, and can endure long distances.

I've always focused on body fat and muscle but rarely on cardiovascular capability.

This year that's going to change as a long-term goal of mine is to live as long as humanly possible and a high V02 max is key to making that happen.

Step 2 - Plan Out The Year Of Training

"I think we have the approach that every race is a sprint. Some races are just longer sprints than others"
- Katie Ledecky

To achieve these goals I must periodize my training. This means getting clear on my
macro, meso, and micro cycles.

  • A macrocycle refers to your season as a whole.
  • A mesocycle refers to a particular training block within that season (e.g., the endurance phase).
  • A microcycle refers to the smallest unit within a mesocycle (e.g., usually a week of training).

Note: For this article, we're going to focus on the Macro and Meso cycles.

macrocycle will be the entire year of 2024 and it will be split up into 3 mesocycles:

Phase 1 is January to April where I'll be focused on gaining muscle.

Phase 2 is May to August where I'll be focused on staying lean while keeping my muscle

Phase 3 is September to December where I'll be focused on improving my endurance while keeping my muscle and body fat levels the same.

Doing this helps me focus on what's important and gets me off the hamster wheel of wondering what I'm going to do next.

It's also best to think of your training year as a set of "sprints" as this keeps the training fresh and helps you focus on one thing at a time.

Step 3 - Create The Plan For each cycle

"Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even should they rarely stick to their plan."
– Winston Churchill

Within each cycle, you need a plan to attain the goal you're trying to achieve.

Muscle Building Phase:

  • Nutrition - I'll be eating a slight surplus of calories (200-300) while keeping protein to 1 gram per pound of ideal body weight.
  • Workouts - I'll be increasing my workout frequency to 4x a week. This will also increase the volume of exercise I'm putting on my body.
  • Cardio - I'll be walking every day hitting 10k steps as a form of zone 2 cardio. I'll be doing one HIIT training session a week.

Leaning Out Phase:

  • Nutrition - Depending on where my body fat is I'll be eating a slight deficit of calories (200-300) while keeping protein to 1 gram per pound of ideal body weight. Once I hit my ideal body fat I'll eat at maintenance level calories.
  • Workouts - I'll be decreasing my workout frequency to 3x a week. I'm doing this for my recovery because I'm adding a few more cardio sessions a week.
  • Cardio - I'll be walking 10k steps a day while doing 2-3 HIIT sessions a week.

Endurance Phase:

  • Nutrition - I'll be eating at a slight surplus of 100 calories a day. I'm aiming to eat 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight to help prevent any muscle loss.
  • Workouts - I'll be working out 2-3x a week.
  • Cardio - I'll be doing 2 long running sessions (5-10k). I'm also doing 2-3 HIIT sessions a week usually after weight training sessions.

I'm doing mobility sessions every single day to maintain healthy joints.

I'll also have backup plans for what happens when things don't work out as expected. You need a plan for the obstacles because this makes the goal more real.

Final Step - Track The Things That Matter

"If you cared about it enough you'd track it"
- Dan "Yes, I just quoted myself" Go

What you measure you manage. This is why we must track

Here's what I'm tracking:

  • Weight - Step on the scale every day and use a 7-day average to see my "real" weight.
  • Inches - Tracking my chest, waist, and hips every week.
  • DEXA Scan - This tracks my body fat percentage. I'm doing this once a quarter.
  • MRI Scan - This tracks how much muscle I gain. I'm doing this once every 6 months as the cost to doing this is quite high.
  • Blood Work - This helps me see if I'm healthy on the inside. I'm doing this every quarter through
  • V02 Max - I'm going to get a lab test done for this if I can find one. If not I'm going to do the Cooper test to track my progress.

You won't know where you're going unless you are tracking where you came from.

Tracking helps me adjust my plans just in case things don't go the way I want to.

Where Do We Go From Here?

As the saying goes, "There's nothing to it but to do it"

I don't expect things to go perfectly. I expect myself to slip up and make mistakes. I'm not aiming for perfection. I'm aiming for progress.

The idea of having goals is not about the outcome but the type of person you must become to achieve them.

The good thing about making the plan now is that I can fall back on it if the vision gets blurry.

Something I want to get through to you in this article is to bring intention to your fitness. You don't want to go to the gym without a plan or a goal.

I also don't believe in the idea of "maintenance". Keeping the status quo is a great way to go backward.

This is how I'm approaching my year of training. I hope it gives you some clarity on how to plan out yours.

Onwards and upwards 🚀

- Dan


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