A couple weeks back I wrote about “minimum effective dose”, doing the smallest dose to get a desired result. Well, I’ve been playing around with this idea being combined with cheat meals.
Cheat meals or eating outside of your normal meal plan is expected and doesn’t make you a bad person. I’ve heard of people doing hours of cardio the day after a cheat meal, but I don’t think punishing yourself with boring ass cardio is an effective tool for dealing with cheat meals.
Instead of making up for eating a cheat meal the day after, why not make room for your body to use the extra calories with a quick high rep superset.
When you workout you deplete your muscles of nutrients and energy leaving space to fill back in with your next meal. Knowing that you plan to eat extra calories in your cheat meal, you can use exercise to empty our muscles, essentially making the cheat meal work for you.
Now, don’t go overboard and think you can do a little exercise before every meal and turn each one into a glutinous smorgasbord. It’s simply not gonna work. But it can help with the occasional or weekly cheat meal.
My pre-cheat depletion superset has consisted of 4 sets of 25 body weight squats and 25 push-ups for a total of 100 squats and 100 push-ups. Your exercises may be different and reps can vary based on strength, but the important point is to pick two full body movements that can be done anywhere and with high precision, so they don’t break down and look like shit after a couple reps.
I personally think a few high rep sets of squats and push-ups is a million times easier for me to do than any form of cardio, so this method works for me. Maybe you prefer doing 90 minutes of stair master to work off your pizza and ice cream cheat meal. Just not my thing.
Give this a try this week when you plan to have a cheat meal or dinner out that’s not quite meal plan approved. Pre-deplete your muscles with a high rep superset. Now, don’t get crazy and complicate things, just pick two movements that you’re good at performing and do them to a comfortable yet challenging point before stopping, at least 20 reps of each. Do 4-5 sets total and it should take only 5 minutes or so.
Enjoy your cheat meal and put those extra calories to work for you at the same time.