T Nation

6 Week Weight Loss Competition


My wife is urging us to do a weight loss competition that lasts 6 weeks and the top male and female place is a cash prize. The winners usually range in the 10% up to 15% range of total body weight lost. It’s not based on BF % or anything else, but whatever.

I’m currently at 172lbs and about 23% BF. There’s some mild upper abb / chest / arm definition and in the leg but I’m obviously not beach body ready. At 172 lbs, I’m looking at needing to lose at least 17lbs in 6 weeks to have a shot. This would put me at 14-15% BF if I lost 99% pure fat, which is probably not do able, but we’ll see.

Is 3lbs per week for six week straights really achievable? In the past I’ve failed pretty hard at the 1,000+ calorie deficit per day … i immediately get low energy and wind up catching a cold and get sick. I usually do a lot better if I’m burning 3-4,000 calories and eating 2,000 calories but it’s also pretty challenging to burn that many calories, day after day.

Based on this info … anyone have any good suggestions for how to tackle this? Part of the deal is I have to go to 3 Orange Theory Classes per week to qualify, so this will fill at minimum 3 workouts / week.

Thanks in advance!


Can it be done: sure. But if you’re doing this in the name of ‘health’ you shouldn’t have to resort to ‘unhealthy’ deficits to accomplish it.

These competitions favor the obese, not out of shape.

Can you participate in healthy living with your wife, but not compete in this contest? Are you after longterm health, or winning a days of bragging rights a little bit of cash?


I think I’m in it to help my wife but I’d also like to be in great shape. To your point … I have a full time stressful job and won’t have the luxury to be “off” mentally. My honest goal is to lose at least 4 inches off my waist, period. I’d rather LOOK like I lost weight than really care about the weight itself. But yeah, bragging rights and cash would be awesome.


I’d highly recommend doing this:

If your longterm goal is health, this is a simple time-effective program that will keep you in shape. Also, you don’t have to go to a gym do to this, just 20 minutes in the garage.


Interesting… I did this for a week when I went back to visit family during the holidays a year ago, it was fairly brutal, even if just for a week. Have you done it? Any diet considerations with it?


Ya, I’ve done it and had good success. That was a quite awhile ago. My father did it a year ago and dropped considerable weight. I don’t recall how much he lost on the program, but afterwords it was a drastic difference.

I recommend this program, simply because if your goal isn’t to be extremely muscular and lean, this is a simple way to - initially lose the weight and - maintain a good level of fitness without requiring a huge time sacrifice. Again, predicated on your statement about having a busy full time job. If I misunderstood and you want to lift weights, then I would recommend another programs.

Diet wise, I would calculate your daily caloric needs. Then create a macro breakdown that adds up to those calories. For example, a daily TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) of 2500 calories could be reached by eating 180P (720 calories), 250C (1,000 calories) and 85F (780 calories). I would then time my meals around workouts, having carbs before/after training.

Obviously, the tracking can be a tad tedious, but after a week you have a fairly good idea of what you are eating. Myfitnesspal has a great calorie counter.


I think this is a good option, however I have to do 3 Orange Theory workouts per week as part of the competition. My goal is to be as lean and muscular as possible, but also strong. My thought would be orange theory on Monday Wednesday Friday, 5/3/1 on Tuesday Thursday and maybe Saturday. I’ve done 5/3/1 where you double up doing lower and upper body on the same day, and while it’s tough, it’s pretty efficient. Heavy squat, w 5x10 deadlift. And then heavy bench with 5x10 overhead press, then whatever else afterwards. If there’s a better 2-3 day total body weight training option to combine w the three cardio sessions per week id be open to it.


To follow up on the details, I was pretty spot on w the estimated body fat and lean mass. Currently 172 pounds w 23% body fat. I’d like to lose 15 pounds of fat and gain a few lbs of lean mass in the process. The timeline is 6 weeks. Is a 1k calorie deficit per day reasonable? Should I shoot for a little less on workout days and then a little more on non workout days? I’m thinking on weekends or 1 -2 days a week doing just really low calorie protein shakes, 600-800 calories on non training days in order to hit a weekly caloric deficit.