by Chris Warden, Body Composition Specialist
As a personal trainer I enjoy “torturing people” as much as the next trainer.
However, my torture methods differ to those mainstream “fitness myths” would have you use.
When it comes to fat loss I don’t use treadmills, pink dumbbells, stationary bikes or morning walks. Nor do I try to create a fear of eating a certain food. These strategies don’t work.
Maybe a slight exaggeration (as anything will work for someone), but the problem is that a lot of strategies aren’t reliable or can’t be adapted alongside the individuals progression.
To achieve and maintain good results you need to employ exercise and nutrition methods that produce the best results alongside the best cost to benefit ratio for yourself (cost being your time : benefit being looking better). You can’t make more time but you can use the time you have wisely.
Enter Social Disobedience
‘Don’t get too muscular’, the treadmill is over there ‘get back in your place’.
Strength training is border line disobedience for women, the ‘scare factor’ which surrounds getting ‘too muscular’ has women running away from picking up a weight heavier than their hand bag. The problem with women who don’t strength is they don’t know how hard it is to build muscle, so the phrase ‘don’t get too muscular’ abnormally deters women from engaging in a form of exercise which aids in offsetting osteoporosis, increasing hormone sensitivity, produces meaningful lasting results which can all be achieved in 45 minutes, 2-4 times a week.
How many women have been brain washed into this? Trust me ladies, you WON’T end up looking like She Hulk
Don’t misunderstand me, running, cycling, swimming and playing sports are excellent ways to incorporate activity into your life but don’t be afraid of doing a chin up, picking a few heavy weights up off the floor or putting heavy things over your head. Theres a reason athletes participate in resistance training alongside their chosen sport, IT WORKS!
Even for the guys out there, building muscle isn’t exactly an easy process, you still have to be committed, lifting weights isn’t going to turn you into Mr Universe, period [never mind overnight]. I’ve trained guys who utter the words; I don’t want to get too big.
Newsflash; I’ve been trying to get TOO big for well over a decade now and well, err…it hasn’t happened yet. Fair enough I can’t fit into skinny jeans, but what self respecting human with a Y chromosome would want to.
Think of muscle building as a continuum. Theres the skinny guy at one ended the jacked dude at the other. Somewhere along that continuum is a place you’ll be content. When you get there, switch to maintenance mode and keep your body in the condition you happy with, it doesn’t have to be rocket science.
If I’m going to say anything to the women out there its be disobedient and think about lifting the treadmill more than mindlessly walking on it. To the guys, aim to get as big and as strong as you can, there will come a point when you’re content with how you look, all you have to do from that point is maintain the gainzzz.
After all being strong makes everything easier!
Stop Eating Like A Clown
If you’re reading this then you’re old enough to take responsibility for your dietary choices. There is no excuse for eating crap and blaming the weight gain on genetics, not having the time to exercise or god forbid actually having to cook your own food.
Yes, to lose fat you have to take in less calories than you expend and this can be achieved eating a sub-par diet however, what you put in your mouth has a profound effect on the results you’ll achieve, your health and the way you’ll feel.
You must include healthy sources of protein, fat and carbohydrates in your diet, not the crap that can live on a shelf for 3-6 months. The nutrients you acquire from protein are involved in well nearly every process in the human body, you can’t store protein like fat and carbohydrate so you need to have a consistent delivery on a daily basis, fast food burgers and pepperoni don’t count here, by all means have a burger just make sure [you] made from lean, well sourced beef!
High quality fats are required for hormone production, brain function, cellular communication and a whole host of other things. Makes choices such as salmon, sardines, omega 3 eggs and olive oil on salads. Cook using butter or coconut oil and you can’t go far wrong.
Carbohydrate, aka the demon!
There’s no need to be scared of carbohydrates, just make smart decisions, most likely you have to actually cook the smart decisions. Vegetables, root vegetables and fruit are the best sources. They provide the highest nutrient content to calorie ratio alongside providing much needed fibre. However sources such as quinoa, rice and some breads (sour dough/rye that won’t live on a shelf for months) are also suitable choices for some individuals. It doesn’t take long to make very tasty and appetising food, investing in a slow cooker can make your life a lot easier. It will literally take you 15 mins to chop some veg place it in the slow cooker, put the meat on top add some water [maybe some spices]. Turn it on and in the evening, when you get in from work dinner is ready, you can then have the left overs for lunch the next day, or cook something else over night.
SLOW COOKERS: IMPROVING BEDROOM ACTION IN 15 MINUTES A DAY!
Take ownership of what you put in your mouth, stop eating like a child and put the minimal time required into food preparation
Pills, Pills, Pills!
People change supplement regimes faster than Dexter could de-member and bag his latest corpse. In all seriousness, you’ll never find a supplement that will make you lose fat. There are supplements that can aid you in being healthier, which in turn will aid fat-loss but green coffee extract, CLA and Di-indolylmethane (what you mean you don’t Di-indolylmethane supplement?) aren’t the answer to fat-loss.
Allow me to put this in context. Those who creatine normally do so to increase strength and muscle mass, it is the most tested and well researched supplement ever. It has be shown to repeatedly work [as long as you’re a creatine responder] and it works very well. Now if someone taking creatine isn’t content with the results then its unlikely you are going to be happy with the results that any other supplement or protocol produces.
There’s no a magic pill.
Instead of looking for the next pill to pop, defy mainstream fitness media and be wise about your choices. Think about supplementing like a investor, picture putting your hard earned savings into and investment. You wouldn’t blindly do this, you’d think long and hard about it before deciding to part with the cash.
Supplementation is similar to this. Don’t blindly use a supplement, use specific supplements to top up the nutrients which are either lacking in your diet or those you have low levels of (this would require a blood test for accurate prescription of vitamins and/or minerals).
It’s All About The Cycle
The body works on a circadian rhythm.
What this means is the body performs certain tasks better at specific points in the day than others. The body also likes automation as it reduces stress and becomes accustomed to incoming and outgoing stimuli during certain timeframes during your daily routine.
My point: adopt a routine for the everyday tasks associated with fat-loss, this will also aid you in improving your performance in all areas of your life. Due to lowering stress levels imposed on the body, with regards to fat-loss this includes regular eating windows, a regular training window and a regular wind down/bedtime routine.
Even though research shows it’s best to perform strength training in the evening, it is only best to do so if you can consistently stick to training around the same time. If you have to train in the morning due to work/life commitments your body will get used to doing so and there’s always the caffeine to give you the helping hand you need in the early hours of the day.
But…….I Can Keep Going, I’m Not Dead Yet!
People were lifting weights long before before HIIT or getting hit by a truck was fashionable.
Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to feel like you been hit by a truck at the end of your workout to think you’ve actually accomplished something. Yes, you should push yourself, train hard [and smartly] but only hard enough so recovery can be accomplished by your next session.
Otherwise you’ll be compounding the problem where by you’re adding more and more stress to your body without allowing adequate recovery. Adequate [depending on your training plan] doesn’t always have to mean full recovery but adding more and more stress to you body WILL eventually take its toll and at that point you’ll be sorry you tried to take on a 16 wheeler at its own game!
I have worked with a lot of individuals who have very stressful job positions and mindlessly throwing as much exercise as you can fit into the spare hour they have isn’t the best way to get results. A well tailored plan takes stress levels, nutrition, sleep and family life into account.
I’d rather the individual takes a little longer to meet their goal vs burning out in week 8 or 9, having taking a week of and comes back 2-3 kgs heavier.
Where’s the prize in that!
Mainstream Gyms Don’t Care About You, Only Your Wallet!
Just like Dr Oz spouting B.S. on daytime TV, commercial gyms sell you the January join up then psychologically manipulate you into not attending the gym.
Because they make their money via over subscribing memberships, its in their best interest if you DON’T attend the gym.
These gyms are designed to be more like bars, social hangout spots so out of shape people feel comfortable, the gyms know that out of shape people are unlikely to frequent their location therefore they make them feel comfortable when they come in to sign up.
Show them some fancy equipment, a few group classes [I’ll leave the demonisation of quarter squats, sit ups and spinal flexion for another post], the latest and greatest smoothie bar [wheat grass shot included] and they’re hooked.
The free weights section is normally tucked away in the corner, they don’t want people using the right equipment and actually enjoying doing so they see results as they’ll actually keep coming back.
On the flip side a good gym is the total opposite, they have minimal cardio equipment, a variety of free and machine based weights and the knowledge of actually knowing how to use these tools to get results.
How much does a good gym cost?
Well that depends on the level of equipment and information you want but they are generally smaller and have members who are serious about exercising and obtaining results.
It’s far better to learn how to train safely and effectively as you’ll be able to take the knowledge and skills learnt with you. Therefore the initial outlay will be more but in the long run you’ll protect yourself from injuries, save yourself money and a lot of time.
Remember the cost:benefit ratio.
You can’t make more time so don’t waste it. Hire someone to teach you the basics alongside the correct way of approaching exercise and you’ll take this with you for life.
As the saying goes: BUY CHEAP BUY TWICE.
Online and in Context…..
Enter Miss L.
She works as a consultant in a very stressful business sector. After a lengthy conversation and explanation of how things would be planned out [and that she wouldn’t end up a She-Hulk] we began working together.
She dedicated 3 x45 minute sessions to weight training alongside 1-2 x30-40 min cardio sessions per week. She didn’t do anything extreme, she just implemented what I told her to and was consistent in doing so.
Her workouts were tailored and I taught her to adapt training to how she ‘felt’ on the day meaning she only performed in the gym to the point she felt she could [this is especially important in those with high stress jobs/lifestyles].
She worked hard VERY hard but never felt like she’d been hit by a truck. Low and behold her recovery, health and physique improved.
Her total training time varied due to work commitments but on average was 4 hours per week sometimes less during busy work period.
To put that into context 4 hours is 2.38% of you week. Now I’ll go out on a ledge and say you spend more than 2% of your week watching TV, hell you probably spend more time than that on social media!
Small sacrifices have profound effects when compounded, 2-3% of your weekly time spent exercising and half of that spent preparing food, for a total of 4-5% or 6-8 hours isn’t much to ask of yourself.
WOULD YOU COMMIT 5% OF YOUR WEEKLY TIME TO GET RESULTS LIKE THIS?
Take ownership of how you got to where you are and know that something has to change to better your body and health.
You may not know how to best go about approaching fat-loss and thats where hiring someone to take that task out of your hands can provide you with some much needed guidance.
Remember the cost:benefit ratio.
If you have to spend time looking into the best form(s) of exercise, nutrition and supplementation for fat-loss alongside how these should be utilised, you’ll be spending more time reading than doing.
Trust me when I say I’ve done the reading so you can undertake the doing and save you spare time to actually train, relax and enjoy yourself.
Start 2015 in the right direction, shed that post festive fat, improve your health and energy levels by jumping on our lean gains project. If you accomplish the goals you and your coach set out you’ll be inline to get half your money back.
Do you want to be the one everybody envies on the beach or by the pool?
Make the right decision, learn how to eat, exercise and enjoy the new found body you could have in only 16 weeks.
Contact me and I’ll guide you through what the programme entails, what will be expected from you and how you’ll receive the knowledge to maintain your results.
However….if you want weight-loss here’s the key, don’t eat for a day, chop off a limb, jump on the scale and Shazam you’ve lost weight.
Told you I like to torture people!