So now you know a little bit about nutrition from my last two newsletters and the basic principles to adhere to in order to achieve your fat loss goals.
What about the second part of the jigsaw puzzle? Are you training effectively in your mission to shed those pounds?
What I keep seeing in our gyms day in day out is the fact that people are doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing in order to make the most effective use of their time and be on the right track in achieving their fat loss goal.
Its no wonder why statistics shows that over 95% of gym goers do not achieve their goals, weight loss being one of the major ones that most people train for.
Let me dispel some of the common myths that we often hear or perceive:
– Doing high repetitions by using lighter weights in order to shed body fat and rip up.
– Doing lots of endless cardio exercises.
– Using isolation exercises to tone-up certain muscle groups.
– Afraid that doing too much weights will bulk you up and make you look big.
– Spending more time each session in the gym will mean burning more calories.
Doing cardio only – The number 1 biggest mistake, and also the most often made, is to leave off the weights and only use cardio as the only means to burn body fat. In fact some studies have shown there is no reduction in bodyfat after several weeks of cardio alone on some participants and others have even put weight on!
Doing cardio alone, especially steady-state cardio (easy intensity and long duration), burns very little fat. In fact it could lead to the loss of lean muscle tissue in extreme cases which can lead to lower metabolisms and sabotage your fat loss attempts.
Your metabolism is the key to a lean body. The lower your metabolism, the less efficient your body gets in burning that fat!
For you ladies who are horrified by the sight of dumbells and linking them hulkamania, don’t worry, you are not going to get huge overnight! Otherwise you hold the supergene holy grail and solve the worlds skinny guy problem! Bottom line is, if you want to lose weight, then use those weights! If you don’t know how to use them then find someone who does!
Using high reps and light weights to tone up – What is the definition of ‘toning up’? I don’t really like this word as I think it is miss used. Let me just clarify this notion. In order to achieve the tone look , the bottom line is, you need to have some muscles and be low in body fat. When you are toned, your muscles are in a constant state of tension even when you are relaxed and not actively flexing your muscles. This tension, together with little bodyfat covering them is what give you that ‘toned up’ look. So if you have little muscle you can forget about getting this look.
Now, I don’t want to bore you with science but doing high rep exercises does not build much muscle at all but instead, will increase the endurance of the muscles that you already have. So in order to build raw lean muscle, you need to be doing quite the opposite!
Doing mainly isolation exercises – I’ve seen time and again people doing exercises such as bicep curls and tricep extensions in the hopes of toning up their arms. This is fine if you’re either a) Into bodybuilding or b) already low in bodyfat. Its a waste of time for someone who is trying to lower their bodyfat as these exercises do not burn much, if any, bodyfat at all.
To lose bodyfat most effectively you need to do compound exercises that target every major muscle group in order to perform the move. This builds more muscles in your body, burns more calories and will also improve your cardiovascular system to boot! Don’t forget that our bodies are build to function together as a unit and not in isolation! So get that whole body moving!
Too much weights and I will turn into hulk – As mentioned above, unless you have a magic wand its not going to happpen overnight. You need testosterone to build muscle. Even for guys it takes time to build muscle and we have 15-20 times more testosterone than females. So ladies, unless you love needles, you’re not going to get big anytime soon. Also the type of training that you do plays a part in how you shape up. We won’t go into that as its beyond the scope of this article.
Spending a ton of time each visit – The more you exercise the more calories you burn right? That holds true to a certain extent but there is a point of diminishing returns. If your body is not fuelled adequately in order to sustain your training, you may risk burning some muscle away. You could overtrain and lose muscle, the very thing you try so hard to build.
When we exercise our body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol will leave your body in a catabolic state and causes muscle break down. Its much more effective and safer to train short and frequent. No morethan an hour each visit. In that hour you train as intensely as you possibly can, then get out of the gym and let your body recover through appropriate nutrition and rest. So leave your magazines at home, plan your gossip times away from the gym and stay focused with your training. You’re on a mission, its just you and the weights. The intensity of your training is key in getting results.
To get your beach body, bottom line, is there are 3 main pieces to the fat loss puzzle:
WEIGHTS – CARDIO – NUTRITION!
Would you brush your teeth without toothpaste?
Would you not have a drink to go with your meal?
And ladies, would you dress to kill on a big night out but leave out your make-up?
Well if you are normal like most of us, the answer to all three is most likely to be NO!
Well, its the same here, leave one out and you will struggle to get there.
They work synergistically and compliment each other. If you want a major body transformation you need to make sure that you integrate all three.
Until we meet again..
Stay Healthy & Strong,
Steven Wong – CPT, Pn1
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