Today we have an interview with Kris West who placed 2nd in the Open Level 2 Division in the latest Venus Index Contest.
Check out her pictures:
I bet that you think Kris had to follow a very strict diet and work out every single day for two hours to prepare for a photoshoot like this in just a couple of weeks or months.
Well, if you’d think that, you would be wrong…
The Magic of Maintenance Point - The Minimalist/Maximalist Approach
After placing in one of the previous Venus Index Contests last year, Kris wanted to just maintain her physique. This contest for her was all about finding a way to put the least time and effort into the training and diet to stay looking good. She wanted to spend as little time as possible in the gym to keep her look and ate the maximum amount of calories she could eat without gaining fat.
Do you think this worked?
Well, judge by results not words:
How’s the Maintenance in Reality?
Kris trains during her launch breaks and her workouts are usually about an hour long, because she needs to get back to work. Her fitness is made around her work schedule and kids. Not the other way around as some magazines or “experts” would have you do.
This time Kris didn’t want to have more than 3 workouts a week. And being with Venus Index from the beginning and having lots of experience in fitness, she could play with different programs and “lego block” them into various ways (not something we’d recommend for beginners) and since the Venus Index workouts are designed this way, you can cycle them however you want. She combined the main Venus Index workout with one of the workouts from Adonis Index and cycled them week by week.
Since Kris didn’t do any cardio and wasn’t obsessing over her training she had more time for herself and even if something came up on the day of her workout, she would just go to the gym the next day.
She didn’t strive for some strict workout structure in her weekly schedule and just went whenever she wanted. And as long as you are consistent, you can keep it flexible, the key ISN’T to make your fitness your life, the key is to look good WHILE having a life.
And it’s really not that important when you go to the gym anyway. If you have four workouts a week and you do them four days in a row, that’s fine, but remember that leaving some rest days in between will help you to be stronger in your next workout thus get better results out of it.
For diet, Kris changed her approach a bit. She was always a one meal type of person. This time, she didn’t do any fasts and tried eating more meals a day. Not because she was afraid of Starvation Mode or some other fitness media myth, but rather because she wanted to test out some new things.
She started doing several mini meals during the day to keep more energy and out of cravings. While this may sound as a surprise from a Venus, the truth is that there is a big difference in how you should eat if have 50 pounds to lose vs maintaining visible abs all year round.
We are starting to find more and more evidence that not only does weight loss slow down and gets harder towards the end, but it also seems that once you get really lean (visible abs for women and single digit body fat for man) you need to eat more often and just can’t do 24 hour fasts anymore.
When you get very lean your body has very little fat in its storage and your appetite will be higher as a result and your body may will want to naturally store more fat. So, to stay lean and avoid binging it seems like a good idea to eat more often and not creating large calorie deficits on a daily basis.
- Keep it simple, the simpler you keep it the less stressful it becomes
- Have some low calorie options in your house for snacks
- Start weight loss with counting calories with the goal to eventually learn to just “eye ball” the portions, nobody wants to count calories their whole life
- Don’t think about your diet, stay busy
- Don’t eat just because it’s “dinner time”, eat when you are hungry
- 7-10 o clock is good too, eat when you are hungry
- Account for water fluctuation in your weight loss
- Get into the Venus Index contest
- Don’t limit your food choices, you can have your cookies every day if you are smart about where the rest of your calories come from
- Good-food-bad-food mindset will have destructive effects on your weight loss and “relationship with food”
- Get into the Venus Index community and be active, that’s one of the most important things you can do
- A small protein+carb post workout meal can satisfy you and keep you out of cravings
- Get creative with the way you eat
- Google recipes with protein powder
“It’s all about obtaining/keeping “the look” with the least effort and not stressing over the scale numbers.”- Kris West
Links from Kris’ interview:
- VI Phase 1 and VI Phase 2 - Venus Index workouts focused on building your ideal hourglass shape
- Venus Index Community - Forum full of amazing women, sharing all their fitness and lifestyle tips and tricks
- Eat Stop Eat - Program that will teach you how to take simple breaks from food to lose weight while enjoying social eating events and eating the foods you love
- Adonis Index - Just like the Venus Index, just for men
- Vince DelMonte Interview Part 1 - The interview with Vince over at Adonis Index that Kris refers to in the interview
- Muscle Building is a Lifestyle: Interview with Kris West - The first interview with Kris
Read Kris’ experience with Venus Index in her own words:
After the last Open I pretty much decided I didn’t want to be in a deficit all the time. With that being said and after listening to the Vince podcast I kind of had an AHA moment. Physique competitors seemed to be the best at changing their look within the shortest amount of time. What was their “secret”? They also always speak of eating “mini meals” throughout the day. I had tried this concept years ago when first trying to build muscle but could never really conform to the thought of eating every 3-4 hours so never really gave it an honest effort.
Maybe there was something to it…
Listen to the interview here: