By David Rowe, Personal Trainer
Too many people these days are always looking for a quick fix especially when it comes to dropping body fat and adding muscle. They will always look to the latest powder, pill and exercise to fast track their progress as their first port of call. Some supplements do work, yes but if you do not create a good environment for yourself you will not see any benefit from them. What you need to realise is taking care of the simple things first is more important – Training hard, good nutrition, optimal rest and hydration.
For you to see change and achieve the physique you want you have to address the following things; Mind set, hard work, consistency and time, nothing will beat these attributes when looking at results. The key is having the patience to stick to these things and I guarantee if you do, the results will come.
When it comes to diet you want to look for a healthy balance. I’m not going to say to eat sweet potato, chicken and broccoli 5 times a day because who wants to do that day in and day out. We all like our junk food but having this in moderation is important to keep you sane. Some people are lucky and can eat whatever they want and look good but unfortunately most us can’t.
So here is what you need to do; we need to establish a base line diet so keeping a log of what you eat will be pretty important in the early stages so you can see what is and is not working and to know how certain foods make you feel. This will then dictate any changes you need to make. I would recommend you starting off by having a simple 4 meal a day structure with each meal containing a good and different source of protein (Chicken, Beef, Eggs, Turkey, Lamb etc), carbohydrates (Rice, Potato, Oats, Quinoa, Berries etc), fats (Fish oil, Avocado, Coconut oil, Nuts and Nut butter etc) and fibrous vegetables (Broccoli, Spinach, Kale, Asparagus etc). I would also recommend cutting out snacking at this stage.
Change the sources you have each day and I recommend you do to keep things interesting but keep the size quantities the same. Experiment with different cooking methods, herbs and spices; find out what you like.
Keep the majority of your food intake as single ingredient food – Things that are what they say they are; For example chicken is chicken, tomato is a tomato etc. You can then add in a little of what you want so it does not seem so restrictive; This will also be good to help you stay on track and not feel like you are “dieting”.
As a side note however ask yourself one thing”With the diet I have constructed can I see myself doing this in a year’s time?”. If the answer is no you need to think again. You could have the world’s best diet but if you cannot stick to it what good is it to you.
Also try consuming 3-4 litres of water a day which will keep the body hydrated, working optimally and aid in helping you digest your food better.
Same as in the diet section it is important that we record your training progress as we go along so we can add progression and make a note of frequency and intensity.
Keep things simple. Don’t worry about doing a super high tech gym move or the latest stability ball dumbbell combo exercise. Stick to the basics (squats, deadlifts, pressing and pulling movements) but work hard and push yourself. Choose a variety of compound movements (multi joint exercises) and base your program around these. Week on week try and look at progressing upon your lifts for example; say if you did 10 reps on week 1 do 11 reps with the same weight on week 2 etc. After a few weeks up the weight so you can only do 10 again. Repeat this process
Don’t be afraid try different rep ranges anywhere from 6 up until 40 -50 reps – Test the body. Your body is made up of different fibre types so the number of reps and weight you do will hit a different group but this will be for another blog.
Any good fat loss or toning/muscle mass program will be centred around a good weight regime so this should be your priority - Look at 3/4 times a week to start with and maybe a cardio session/fitness class added to this on a separate day. Choose something you enjoy. This way you can always add upon this when fat loss stalls.
Rest and recovery
This is just as important as anything else, aim to get around 8 hours of consistent sleep a night. You could also look at having a day off in between your resistance training days to start with until your body adapts. However you would want to fit this into your lifestyle the best that you can – something that suits you.
I promise you if you do all these things, stick with it and give it time you will see a positive change in your physique, strength, health and lifestyle. It might not happen straight away or even in a month or two but it will happen. Stick with it.
I have never seen anybody that does these things that is not in good shape or getting in better shape.
Consistency is the key.
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