Leanne Caunce: A Typical Week
I am often asked lots of questions around ‘How do I do it?’, with regards to eating well, training hard, food prep, diet planning and fitting this around a full time job being a Primary School Teacher.
Well, first of all; it isn’t easy! But it is important to me, to achieve my goals and ultimately I do what I need to. I prioritise the things that are most important and go from there and do allow myself the occasional ‘off day’. An answer that I will always give, is about having a ‘consistent routine, that will get you the results.’ Consistent being the key word here, you won’t see results in a few weeks, it is a consistent and constant approach to nutrition and training that ultimately pays off in the end. This does demand a lot of time, effort and drive and some people won’t understand why you are doing it!
When faced with the opinions of others…. I think of a really cool quote I see at the gym.
“To achieve what others don’t, you must do what others won’t!’
There is NO quick fix, no magic pill, NO diet scam, insane workout or anything else that involves the word QUICK or EASY! Because getting results involves an awful lot of dedication, missed social events, will power and for me I find it can be a ‘lonely place’. I have my on nutritional plan which hits the macros I need and my training routine is specifically tailored to my goals. Therefore, I very often go it alone and have to push myself in my training.
If you want the results, you must put in the effort, and there can be an awful lot of effort involved.
So here I will just detail a typical week for me, and how I manage to fit everything in that I need to. I will also discuss my training and a typical nutritional plan.
So a normal day kicks off at around 5am, I roughly have an hour before I head off to the gym to do some form of fasted cardio, HIIT or BoxHIIT session. I have chance here to get everything together that I may need for the day and sometimes an espresso shot (pre training).
Other than a shot of coffee, I don’t use any pre training supplements as I don’t like the way they make me feel, and seriously must ask myself ‘Do I need it?’, and the simple answer is NO! Get in, get the job done and get out. That is in a morning cardio session at least, no hanging around and get the biggest burn off the shortest amount of time I can and then head off to work.
I will usually do morning cardio 3x a week, and alternate this with specific rehab leg work on the other mornings. Rehab plays a massive part in my training schedule, after two knee reconstruction surgeries my legs are obviously my weakest areas. I have a specially prescribed rehab program, that uses functional movements such as varied weighted lunges and squats to rehabilitate, stabilise and condition both the quads and glutes. This rehab is non negotiable and is required around 4-5x a week with the sessions taking around 25 minutes a time. A nice thing about rehab is I can do my programming anywhere, so I can do them at home if needed.
Post workout will be my first meal of the day, which will consist of carbohydrates and protein. Usually protein and oats works well, as this I can prep the night before and therefore quick and easy to grab post workout. I eat cold porridge, I really don’t have time to mess around, I finish my workout then grab a shower and usually eat my breakfast on route to work.
I work a typical day from 8am to around 5:30pm (on a good day) sometimes it can be a lot later than this, therefore I have to have all my meals prepped and portable, just incase I am held up in work. Training is also late at night, therefore I have to think about my nutritional split and eat around my training as much as possible.
Being a Reception teacher means I am active all day and have a set snack and lunch time to stick to. For me this works well, I won’t snack until my lunch which usually consists of protein and fats such as chicken, eggs and salad. At the moment I am going low carb at lunchtime and stacking my carbs around my training in a morning and at night and experimenting with how this goes. Snack 1 will be carb fat and protein (peanut butter and rice cakes) which is a pre workout meal before my night time training.
After work I will head home to food prep for the following day and also prep my tea for post workout. This works really well, as it gives me a chance to get organised for the following day and I walk the dog before I head back out to the gym.
In an evening, I lift weights. I am really fortunate to have access to a great gym facility ‘Heaven V Hell’ in Wigan. HvH has everything I need, great classes if I want to jump in on those for morning cardio sessions but it has great strength and conditioning equipment on offer.
Typically I work on different body part splits depending on the day, so legs, chest and tri, back and bi, shoulders and abs over the week and I will add in specific glute and quad rehab sessions also.
Lots of people ask about my shoulder workout: so here it is. Although I don’t have to really work on my shoulders too much. Years of Pole Fitness training demanded a good amount of upper body strength and I do have developed shoulder and back muscles.
For shoulders I will start with my main ‘strength’ element…
5 x 5 Dumbell Clean and Press – lots of people will start with dumbbell shoulder press but I really like the clean and press to start with. I will use 17.5kg dumbbells in each arm and aim for the last set to be a real struggle. Depending on the day and how I am feeling I may have to drop to 15kg dumbbells, although I will push myself to progressively overload each week as much as possible but keeping good form.
3x 10 Shoulder Press– here I will aim for a good controlled shoulder press, again heavy enough so the last set is tough. I will usually go for around 15kg-17.5kgs depending on the day.
3×10 Dumbell Lateral Raise– for me this is a tough one, nice and controlled- no swinging of the arms and sometimes with a twist at the top just to target the shoulders even more. I will use 7.5kgs for the first set and then drop to 5kgs sets 2 and 3. For me, good form and control is the most important element of lifting weights. It doesn’t matter what you lift, think about letting the weight work for you! Is it doing the job? If you find the set easy, jump up a weight and start there.
3x 10 Dumbell Front Raise– This is my final exercise so I will go for 5kg for all sets, good form and careful not to use the lower back to assist the movement.
That would have to be my favourite shoulder session, no fancy machines although I do like to use some assistance exercises to switch up my programming from time to time. There are lots of other exercises you could do, but for me this is a great one!
Post Workout I have my protein shake directly after training, usually on the way home before I have my final meal of the day. My final meal will have carbohydrates, protein and fats and hit my final macros of the day. I like to have salmon, greens and sweet potato for my final meal which is usually around 8:30-9pm, I find I sleep much better having a meal close to bedtime and of course carbohydrates such as sweet potato will help.
For me, sleep is so important. I do aim to get to sleep for 10pm as my alarm is set for 5am, which gives me 7 hours sleep a night Monday- Friday. I sleep a little longer at the weekend, but still 6am would be my normal weekend start time.
Monday-Friday I do have a very rigid training and nutrition plan, my diet is clean and I stick to my macros. The weekend I have a more flexible approach to my eating as I have time to prep, experiment and of course I enjoy protein baking. I will stick to my current macros and food swop, change things up slightly and allow myself a little more freedom. I do take rest days and these can be dictated by how I am feeling, or I will plan them into my schedule for the week as again these days are vital to my rest and recovery.
My training and nutrition will change over the coming weeks as I move into my competition prep. I will have to move away from my flexible dieting as my nutrition will become even more crucial to my training along with nutritional timing and my training plan will also change.
As my training evolves alongside my nutritional plan I will document the process through my BLOG, along with progress pictures, comments and tips along the way.
Know it! Feel it! Live it!