How hard should I be working for the ‘sprint’ section on my Cardio workout?
When calculating sprints we decided to use our own scale with regards to exercise intensity, rather than working from heart rate. The reason for this is that a fit 50 year-old man’s heart rate (i.e. 90% Maximum Heart Rate 153bpm) would feel very different to the heart rate of an unfit 50 year-old man. So to keep it simple: rest phase = should be able to hold a conversation; lactic acid removal phase = can talk but would rather not and; sprint phase = can’t talk at all!
Can I change the piece of equipment for an exercise i.e. can I use a medicine ball instead of a kettlebell?
Yes you can. The important thing is that the weight is still challenging.
How do I know what weight I should be using for different exercises?
It’s impossible for us to recommend a specific weight you should lift, as some people will be stronger than others. Every programme has your specific rep range or time duration. The weight should be challenging whilst still allowing you to maintain proper technique i.e. if your rep range is 10 reps, and you can’t reach 8 reps then the weight is too heavy, if you can do 12 reps and more then it’s too light.
What should I do if I have to miss a workout?
Don’t worry, life will get in the way of training from time to time. Just continue with the next workout on your specific schedule. It’s important to keep to the correct rotation of sessions.
I find the X exercise hurts my knees. Can I change it?
If you find a particular exercise doesn’t work for you, then take a look at our Alternatives pages. We’ve grouped exercises together by body part or movement so that you can easily find an appropriate alternative exercise should you need to. You can also use this Alternatives page if your gym is missing a piece of equipment, or maybe you are training in a new place.
What time of day should I train?
Our general advice is to train whenever feels best for you. In an ideal world training in the morning would be preferable as it will boost your metabolism, but it’s not a necessity. As a guide, there are a few simple rules that you should ‘try’ to stick to:
Eat 2 hours before you train
Always have your post-exercise shake regardless of training time
Always try and get your allocated number of meals in per day and spread them throughout the day.
So if you planned to train at 5.30pm, you would endeavour to eat a meal around 3.30pm, drink your post-exercise shake at around 6.30pm (roughly) and you could then have your last meal of the day by 8ish (which would be high protein with veg/salad).
Or if you were training at 7.30pm for example, you could eat your last meal at 5.30ish and have your post-workout shake at around 8.30pm after training.
I can’t hear any sound on the exercise videos. Is that right?
We haven’t added voiceovers to the videos, but you can find written guidance notes below each video should you need them. Voiceovers are something that we’re considering for the future.
My cardio session is really hard. Should it feel this difficult?
The cardio is hard. It is meant to be. We still find our cardio sessions hard, but it’s necessary for the body to adapt and to get the appropriate hormonal and metabolic response. Over time you will become fitter and have more energy and we can keep adjusting the sessions to take that into account. If you are finding your cardio sessions easy, you are not working hard enough. The body will adapt quickly and you will start to find sessions become easier, and inevitably progression/results will slow. This is why we change both the resistance sessions and cardio section each month.
How important is it to achieve my recommended macro ratio at each meal?
We understand that hitting the macronutrient breakdown can be difficult, but remember this is only a guide. Of course the closer you can get to the target the better, but it doesn’t have to be exact – 10% here and there won’t dramatically alter your progress.
Does it matter if I don’t reach my daily calorie goal?
Don’t feel like you have to stay “under” calories, it’s better to get as close as you can to the target calorie intake. We have already adjusted your calories to take into consideration how many you need for your lifestyle and goal. From both a health and a results point of view it is important to not under-consume. Eating less calories than we have recommended is not advised, and this will hinder results and even potentially your health.
It’s not always possible to measure and weigh my food.
It’s not essential to measure everything you eat. We recommend doing so for a few days when you start to ensure that you’re hitting your calorie and macronutrient targets as accurately as possible. However, once you have seen how this looks in terms of ‘real food’ it’s easier to know what it looks like on your plate and judge by eye without the need for the scales or measuring cups.
I’m struggling to hit my protein goal each day. Any tips?
Hitting protein levels can be challenging. I personally (when on a fat loss programme) will top up on chicken breasts and hard-boiled eggs, and then top up further with a low carbohydrate protein shake. Try and persevere if you can.
Can I add my personalised macros to MyFitnessPal?
Yes, when logged into MyFitnessPal, tap goals in the menu and then Calorie and Macronutrient goals. You can then edit your settings here. You also need to be aware that if you’ve connected your MyFitnessPal account to an exercise tracker, such as MapMyRun, it might also deduct calories for the workout you’ve done. It is important that you stick to the calorie estimate on your programme. If an exercise tracker deducts calories further you will have too big a calorie deficit which will slow metabolism and hinder your results.
Where do you recommend I buy any supplements or protein shakes?
There are lots of online options for buying supplements or protein shakes, such as MyProtein, Amazon, Revital and Dolphin Fitness to name a few of our favourites. There are also high street health food shops that stock a good range and you can pick up supplements in your local supermarket. The thing to remember when buying any supplements is we believe that you get what you pay for. It’s also good to buy organic if you can. With protein shakes it’s important to check the breakdown of protein and carbohydrate. Post workout you need your shake to include both protein and carbs, while at other times you want high protein and low carbs. We usually recommend buying a good quality protein that is low in carbs and then separately buying some dextrose, which you can then add to your protein as and when you need to for that boost of carbs.
The tropical flavoured BCAA supplement from My Protein is bright orange and stains everything! Do you recommend anything else?
Try their Berry Blast or Watermelon flavours. These taste nice and are much paler in colour!
What time of day should I take any recommended supplements?
If not specified as part of your exercise routine, then we recommend that you take your other supplements at a time of day you will remember. As a rule of thumb minerals should be taken in the evening, others in the morning. Always read the instructions on the supplement packaging.
Can I drink alcohol while following the programme?
In an ideal world we would say to avoid alcoholic drinks due to the ‘empty’ calories and the effects of alcohol on the body. Obviously the more you can avoid alcohol the better, however, we also understand that doesn’t always fit with real life! If you are going to have a drink then in terms of calorie intake the best option would be spirits, either neat or on the rocks to avoid high sugar mixers, or as a second option, wine. Take a look at our article about alcohol, which gives more detailed information. From a dietary aspect avoiding alcohol is one of the best things you can do to optimise results.
Can you have more than one fat spot?
No. A fat spot it just that, a spot or isolated area. If you have more than one then it’s really classed as general fat!
GENERAL / LIFESTYLE
What’s a ‘month’ in the YBP world?
At YBP a ‘month’ means a calendar month, as people can sign up whenever they want to, not just at the start of a month. This means that the length of a month varies from 28 to 31 days.
I’m going on holiday. What should I do about exercise and diet during this time?
It depends on whether you decide to continue the routine or not. If you are going away you can use a gym or (if you are not already) request we change you to a home programme. If you choose to take a hiatus for a week just continue as normal when you return. If you take a break for two weeks or longer start the routine from the beginning when you return. Let us know at YBP so we can postpone the release of your next programme.
I’ve followed the programme, but haven’t lost any weight. What am I doing wrong?
Don’t worry too much initially about weight loss. Sometimes the scales don’t reflect your hard work straightaway as you’re building muscle and losing fat. You can often better judge results by the fact that your shape changes, which is why we also ask for a series of measurements at the end of each month. We have seen people not lose weight initially but their measurements are changing, and then on week 6 the weight comes off.
I haven’t lost as much weight as I hoped. Is that normal?
Weight loss will vary from individual to individual, but a healthy amount to lose is 1-2Ibs per week. Losing too much weight too soon may have the effect of slowing metabolism and subsequently causing the body to hold onto fat. We all hear stories of people losing a stone in a week. This is largely water loss. Rapid weight loss is unhealthy, detrimental and hard to maintain. It’s important to hold onto and even build a little muscle. This has the effect of speeding up metabolism so you burn a higher percentage of fat while resting. Weight loss should be controlled and consistent.