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During the first four-week phase of your Rock Hard Diet, you’ll follow a basic low- to moderate-carb plan with a moderate calorie reduction. Then, during Weeks 5–8, you’ll switch that up, taking your calories and carbs even lower for most days while including high-carb days, to keep your metabolism humming, pulling body fat from storage. This is a one-two punch that combines the benefits of two classic bodybuilding diets. Here’s what you need to know about Weeks 1–4.

When you’re training intensely to reduce body fat while also striving to maintain or build muscle mass, you have two basic nutrition goals. First, you need to make sure that you’re getting adequate sustenance in the form of protein, carbs, and fats to allow you to recover and grow. The type of training you’ll be doing for the Rock Hard Challenge breaks down muscle tissue, so you need to feed your body to make sure you don’t lose muscle mass. Second, you need to cut calories so that you’re in a deficit, allowing your body to shed fat. When you cut calories your body tries to hold on to body fat and burn muscle tissue. To prevent this and target body fat, you have to assemble a program that puts you in a calorie deficit while providing the macronutrients you need to encourage muscle growth. On the surface, these two objectives may sound as though they’re at war with each other. And they are a bit. But it’s M&F’s goal to help you find the armistice between these extremes. Our two-phase program is designed to allow you to get in all the macros you need to support your training and recovery, but to do so while keeping your calorie consumption below what you’re burning so you’ll lose body fat and maintain muscle mass.