How many of YOU made the resolution last year to get into the best shape of your life? And if so, how many of you achieved this?
As I look round the gym I see so many people working SUPER hard on various cardio machines day in day out yet they still look exactly the same day in day out. This must be so frustrating! The commitment is there, the effort is there, but the results just aren’t.
The media leads people to believe that cardio burns fat and will tone their muscles. How many adverts do you see fronted by some Z list celebrity endorsing their new aerobics dvd and how you, yes YOU, can look like them in 6 seconds flat all from the comfort of your own home. It’s complete and utter BS. It’s criminal some of the stuff that gets printed in magazines and newspapers when it comes to getting in shape!
Today, I am here to cut through the crap and give you the definitive guide to achieving the best results from the gym, getting into the shape you desire and most importantly KEEPING IT.
I’m not talking about quick fixes, detoxes, shakes, lotions and potions here. No. I want to see people in shape YEAR ROUND. I want as many people as possible in the gym, training no more than 3-4 hours per week with the most effective exercises that I, as a personal trainer know to be correct. NOT what the media portrays or what the really skinny girl in the office says. You know the one, who eats bagels and jam for breakfast, goes to Zumba twice a week and looks like a million dollars?!
If you follow these guidelines and more importantly TRUST what I am telling you, then YOU can be one of those people looking back on this year saying:
“YES I DID STICK TO MY RESOLUTION AND NOW I’M LOOKING AND FEELING BETTER THAN EVER!”
- The majority of your gym sessions should be weight/resistance training
- Weight training will build muscle, and for every pound of muscle you gain you will burn an extra 50 kcals. This means you will burn body fat even at rest.
- The more muscle you have, the better you cope with insulin, which means your risk of diabetes is reduced.
- Having more muscle is the number 1 bio marker of longevity…Actually better than overall cholesterol and blood pressure.
- The majority of your diet should be lean sources of protein
- Protein will not raise your blood sugar rapidly, and instead will give you a nice slow release of energy, keeping you fuller for longer. Over the day therefore, you will consume less calories.
- Protein is thermogenic. This means the body will actually USE calories in digesting and processing the food.
- Protein is the building block of life. Your muscles are predominantly protein and after a workout need repairing. Protein will not only help you do this, but will also help you achieve the lean toned look that most of us are working for.
- Think GREENS rather than grains
- Many of us are carb intolerant which means our bodies don’t process carbs very well and instead we are left feeling bloated, sluggish and store fat easily.
- Instead of pasta, rice and cereals increase your intake of vegetables, particularly ones like broccoli, spinach and cabbage which are also thermogenic in nature.
- You have a good supply of essential fatty acids (EFA’s) every day
These can be obtained either directly from fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, or from high quality fish oil supplements such as the one I take daily from Usana. Other good sources are coconut oil, avocado oil, nuts, seeds and Omega 3 eggs.
- You should avoid conventional cardio as much as possible
Quite simply, conventional cardio will not help the majority of you lose body fat and will actually make your muscles smaller and weaker. What I mean by “conventional cardio” is 20-30 minutes on the stepper or cross trainer and nearly all group exercise classes.
It’s possibly worth noting here that I DON’T have a personal grudge against cardio machines and exercise classes…I actually find classes really fun – but they just don’t do what they are marketed to do, and too many people are sucked in by the false promises.
Choose HIIT instead (high intensity interval training) which can be done outside in the park, on a treadmill, on a rowing machine or in a more fun bootcamp environment.
To link this back to the beginning of this post…I want to see people in the gym performing 2-3 weight training sessions per week with the odd HIIT session thrown in on top coupled with a good, healthy, whole food diet consisting of lean protein, greens and essential fats. THAT is the key to the results you desire, not the cross trainer or a Zumba class.
This isn’t about working harder, just SMARTER…
Follow these guidelines and I promise you that by this time next year you’ll be looking back wondering why you didn’t start sooner.
As always if you have any questions at all then please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and I’ll be happy to help!