The Body Coach Graduate Plan is a continuation of The Body Coach 90 Day Plan and follows similar basic principles towards food and exercise. I graduated from The Body Coach 90 Day Plan in May 2020 and I decided to progress onto The Body Coach Graduate Plan to take my weight loss and fitness one step further. Here’s my honest review of The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 4.
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Who Is Joe Wicks?
Joe Wicks The Body Coach began sharing quick and easy healthy recipes on Instagram along with HIIT workout videos on YouTube in 2014.
After completing his degree in Sports Science he worked as a teaching assistant before becoming a personal trainer then later progressing to an online fitness coach.
He released his first recipe book in 2015 titled “Lean In 15: 15 Minute Meals” which became a bestseller.
The Body Coach 90 Day Plan
With the success of the Lean In 15 books, Joe created a version of his plan that was specifically tailored to individuals who signed up. Thus The 90 Day Plan was born.
The aim of The 90 Day Plan was to focus on different elements of weight loss and body recomposition in each 30 day cycle.
Through a lot of hard work and determination, Joe Wicks grew his brand to become one of the most famous fitness personalities in the UK.
The 90 Day Plan has been modified over the years based on user feedback and technological improvements.
In late 2019 the new style version of The 90 Day Plan was released and in December 2020 The Body Coach App was released for Apple devices. A version of The Body Coach App is due for release on Android devices later in 2021.
The Birth Of The Body Coach Graduate Plan
Seeing the success of The 90 Day Plan, Joe Wicks decided to create a follow on plan to allow graduates to continue enhancing their health and fitness by following similar principles.
Life After The Body Coach 90 Day Plan
I completed The Body Coach 90 Day Plan at the beginning of May 2020. As I was coming to the end of The 90 Day Plan I began to think about what I would do next and came up with a few options:
- Repeat The 90 Day Plan
- Go it alone
- Progress to The Body Coach Graduate Plan
I wasn’t ready to go it alone. I knew I needed the structure, discipline and guidance that a plan provides. I briefly considered looking at other plans but I liked Joe and I trusted his plan. After a little research and input from other graduates, I decided to join The Body Coach Graduate Plan.
The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 4 Review
The aim of The Body Coach Graduate Plan is to reinforce and continue to build on the positive habits formed during the 90 Day Plan.
The Graduate Plan comes in a similar format to the 90 Day Plan with delicious new meals and exclusive workouts. However, it seems a little more compact than the 90 Day Plan.
Once again, the recipes included in the plan are tailored to your specific caloric needs.
The workouts are a step ahead of The 90 Day Plan and are designed to help you achieve further results in terms of weight loss and body recomposition.
As with the 90 day plan, you can pick and choose which recipes and workouts you enjoy.
The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 4 Workouts
It should come as no surprise that the workouts in Cycle 4 would be more intense than those on The 90 Day Plan.
Although The Graduate Plan does include HIIT workouts, it also introduces new workouts in the form of EMOM and AMRAP.
As before, if you want to achieve good results on The Body Coach Graduate Plan you’ll need to remain consistent with your workouts. It’s recommended to complete four to five workouts per week on Cycle 4.
One of the drawbacks I found initially was that Cycle 4 only includes four workouts as part of the plan. However, this does give you an opportunity to try workouts by other personal trainers such as Caroline Girvan, Sydney Cummings and Tracy Steen.
Alternatively, you can get created and make up your own workout based on the formats used in the 90 Day Plan or the graduate plan so far. I.e HIIT, EMOM, or AMRAP.
What’s New With Cycle Four Workouts?
I mentioned EMOM and AMRAP earlier. Just in case you are wondering what these mean, here’s some clarification:
EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute.
This type of workout involves alternating between different exercises every minute.
You’ll have a set of reps to complete. How long you take to complete the reps will affect how long of a break you get in between exercises.
If you take the full minute to complete all of your reps then you won’t get a break unless you hit the pause button.
AMRAP stands for As Many Rounds As Possible.
You will have a time frame; usually around 7 minutes.
The challenge involves repeating a round of exercises as many times as you can before the time runs out.
Once the timer is up you will likely have 60 to 90 seconds rest before beginning the next AMRAP.
These new types of workouts are more intense than what you might be used to. However, you’ll be surprised at how much the 90 Day Plan has prepared your body for the challenge.
My Thoughts On Cycle 4 Workouts
The workouts are designed to push your fitness but to also create more definition on your body.
I did get a little bored with the workouts after a couple of weeks. They are more repetitive than the workouts on The 90 Day Plan.
The videos look like they were filmed quite a while ago using slightly older technology (camera & microphone) and I found I had to really crank up the volume to hear Joe explain some of the exercises.
The editing doesn’t doesn’t quite match up to the quality of the workouts on The 90 Day Plan or indeed workouts that have been uploaded to The Body Coach YouTube Channel over the last two years.
I missed the little timer icon, even though I could hear the beeper most of the time when I had cranked up the volume.
I know it sounds like I am nit picking but I found the videos to be a bit off putting and Joe doesn’t really seem to have the same energy compared to some of the more recent videos of the last couple of years.
I normally enjoyed working out along with Joe as it always felt I was exercising with a mate.
However, after the first week in Cycle 4 I downloaded my own timer, wrote out the workouts and put on my own music instead.
The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 4 Nutrition
Just like The 90 Day Plan, one of the key elements of The Body Coach Graduate Plan is nutrition.
The plan is built around nutritious meals tailored to your specific caloric needs and you don’t need to count calories or track macros. In fact, you don’t actually get the calories or macros for any of the meals included in your plan.
If you are curious about tracking your calories and macros then of course you can input your meals into MyFitnessPal. It can be helpful to educate yourself on the macro values of each of the meals.
Just like The 90 Day Plan, you should ensure you keep to a varied diet. By the time you reach The Graduate Plan you should be a pro at meal planning and prepping like a boss.
It is just as important to plan your meals for the week and conduct your meal prep for The Graduate Plan.
You should spend around 20 to 30 minutes a week planning out your meals for the week ahead. I found this magnetic weekly planner to be very useful. I stuck it to my fridge door so I could easily see what I was making (and it also helped me stay on track and avoid excess snacking when I was bored during lockdown).
How You’ll Be Eating On The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 4
Although the graduate plan follows the same principles of the 90 day plan, there are some slight modifications to how you may eat on the graduate plan cycle 4.
- Three reduced carbohydrate meals
- Two snacks
However, on training days you can choose to eat by the following methods:
- One Carbohydrate refuel meal to be consumed after your workout
- Two reduced carbohydrate meals
- Two snacks
- Two carbohydrate refuel meals (one to be consumed after your workout
- One reduced carbohydrate meal
- Two snacks
- Three carbohydrate refuel meals
- Two snacks
It is entirely up to you how you choose to eat on training days. Only you will know your body and what your body responds better to.
In cycle 4, I decided to eat two carbohydrate refuel meals on training days because I found that my body was craving more carbs due to the intensity of the workouts.
The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 4 Recipes
The Body Coach Graduate Plan contains a range of new recipes and snacks on Cycle 4. There’s also a handy create your own section detailing your ingredients and quantities to build your own meals.
The recipes in Cycle 4 are reminiscent of the 90 day plan. Which for me is a bonus, because I love The Body Coach recipes.
You’ll find some firm favourites that feature in cycle 4 like smoothies, chocolate and nut granola, pancakes, bagels and delicious curries.
There is also a range of new snacks to choose from. Our favourite trail mix reappears.
You will also have the option to make delicious low calorie muffins, vegetable crisps and sorbet.
I can’t really fault the food at all in Cycle 4. The recipes are delicious, my one criticism of the recipes on The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 4 is that there aren’t as many to choose from when compared to the 90 Day Plan.
I found myself getting a little bored of the recipes towards the end of Cycle 4 and I started to build my own using my CYO section.
I also took inspiration from the following recipe books:
- Joe Wicks – The Fat Loss Plan
- Joe Wicks – The 30 Day Kick Start Plan
- Chris Bavin – Fakeaway: Healthy Home-Cooked Takeaway Meals
Below is my favourite recipes from The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 4:
Cycle 4 Reduced Carb Recipes
- Blueberry & Coconut Smoothie
- Chocolate & Hazelnut Granola
- Low-Carb Chocolate Chip Pancakes
- One Pan Breakfast
- Chicken & Mushroom Pie
- Spicy Beef Soup
Cycle 4 Carb Refuel Recipes
- Banoffee Pancakes
- Lemon & Garlic Chicken
- Smoky Pulled Chicken Burger
By now, you should know how important water is for a healthy body.
Hydration is key for many factors of weight loss. Consuming water will help to boost your bodily functions and act as an appetite suppressant.
Increasing your water intake can help your body to stop retaining water, leading you to lose extra pounds of water weight.
My water allowance actually dropped in Cycle 4, but I still found myself drinking at least three liters per day.
Victories & Challenges Of Cycle 4
Although I sound like I’ve been a little negative towards The Body Coach Graduate Plan I have to admit that I did enjoy Cycle 4 for the most part.
Although I had minor annoyances with the workouts and found them to be repetitive, they were challenging. I was surprised at how I was able to push myself further than I thought I could.
I can knock out a string of burpees without dying in a heap. And the victory I am most proud of, I can now do 10 full body press-ups in a row.
I also enjoyed branching out and discovering new personal trainers and workout routines on YouTube.
In saying that, there were times when I just was not motivated to workout and I really had to force myself to get going. I always felt better after a workout and I’m glad I persevered.
It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it!
Controlling My Appetite
There were some days when I just wasn’t hungry, I’d maybe forget to eat or just not feel like eating at all.
Then there were other days when I was constantly starving and I could not eat enough to feel full. I put this down to the lockdown effect and my body adjusting to the new cycle.
During lockdown I think nearly everyone has had a spell of broken sleep. Or not enough sleep. Having severe nightmares or intense dreams. Feeling restless and anxious about the future. Too hot to settle. Brain on overdrive throwing every possible eventuality into the mix when you just want some peace and quiet. Or even just being so far out of a routine that bedtime is 1 am and you don’t wake up until 10:30 am.
Surely that’s not just me?
I can’t cope with a lack of sleep, I’m too grumpy to tolerate. Take pity on my poor husband.
I have my reasons though, sleep is important to your health and well being. Thankfully, a good night’s sleep returned towards the end of cycle 4. Otherwise, I may have pulled my hair out.
During cycle 4 I have felt more toned than before.
I still have a long way to go on my mission to lose 20 – 25kgs but the Graduate Plan is giving me the tools to achieve my goals.
I have more muscle definition and overall strength.
My clothes are now much looser than before. In fact, I have officially dropped a dress size.
The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 4 Results
During the Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 4, I managed to lose another 2kgs which I am delighted with.
My measurements dropped by another four inches which I was equally pleased with but my pictures looked a lot more toned than my progress pictures at the end of Cycle 3.
I still have a journey ahead of me but I keep reminding myself, it’s a marathon, not a race.
What Have I Learned On The Body Coach Graduate Plan Cycle 4?
I feel like I’ve learned a lot on The Body Coach Graduate Plan and in Cycle 4 in particular.
It Has To Be Enjoyable
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. You have to enjoy what you’re doing. If you’re not enjoying it then either switch things up to make it more fun, or change tactics completely.
I love Joe’s workouts but I found the training videos to be a little too distracting so I switched it up. I wrote out all the exercises, got my timer on and pumped some music in the background to make it more fun for me.
I also loved the opportunity to branch out with new workouts and trainers.
I think it’s important to try new things. Especially if you are forming new habits for a healthy lifestyle.
Get Creative With Recipes
I’ve always enjoyed cooking and being creative. Although there weren’t as many recipes as I was used to on Cycle 4 I saw it as an opportunity to get creative with my recipes.
I took inspiration from a few cook books and my CYO section to create delicious healthy recipes to keep my meal plan fresh.
Progress Over Perfection
Here’s something I’ll say time and time again.
Understanding the idea of progress over perfection is key.
There will never be the perfect circumstances, or the perfect day or the perfect workout, or whatever. The point is to take tiny steps each day to make progress towards your goal.
You won’t always be motivated. You don’t always have to be motivated.
It’s OK to be tired. It’s OK to take a rest.
But sometimes pushing through builds character. You will know what you need to do. Listen to your body.
Whether you choose to carry on your journey with The Body Coach Graduate Plan, or subscribe to the app (if you’re an Apple user) I can promise you that you will not regret making an investment in yourself and your health.
Are you planning to continue onto the graduate plan? Do you have another plan in mind? Let me know in the comments.
Who Is Joe Wicks?
Joe Wicks The Body Coach began sharing quick and easy healthy recipes on Instagram along with HIIT workout videos on YouTube in 2014. After completing his degree in Sports Science he worked as a teaching assistant before becoming a personal trainer then later progressing to an online fitness coach. He released his first recipe book in 2015 titled “Lean In 15: 15 Minute Meals” which became a bestseller.
Since 2015 he has released nine more recipe books tailored around healthy meals that can be made in less than 30 minutes.
How Was The Body Coach 90 Day Plan Created?
With the success of the Lean In 15 books, Joe created a version of his plan that was specifically tailored to individuals who signed up. Thus The 90 Day Plan was born. The aim of The 90 Day Plan was to focus on different elements of weight loss and body recomposition in each 30 day cycle.
How Was The Body Coach Graduate Plan Created?
Seeing the success of The 90 Day Plan, Joe Wicks decided to create a follow-on plan to allow graduates to continue enhancing their health and fitness by following similar principles. The aim of The Body Coach Graduate Plan is to reinforce and continue to build on the positive habits formed during the 90 Day Plan. The Graduate Plan comes in a similar format to the 90 Day Plan with delicious new meals and exclusive workouts.