1. Ask the expert: One of the most beneficial things a new or experienced trainee can do is find someone who knows what they are talking about. Without going on a rant, social media which has led to many great opportunities in the fitness industry has also led to an environment where anyone with a “six-pack” is now a nutritional and training expert- something you don’t find in many other industries. Finding a good trainer nowadays is a hard task, but there are basic qualifications you should look for to ensure you are getting a safe, effective and, most importantly, a specific program tailored to your needs. “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”.
2. Write down your goals. When we start with any new client, or are re-evaluating goals with a current client, we get very specific in terms of their personal goal setting and so too should you. We find those who are the most specific with their goals, by writing them down, keep focus and determination for longer periods of time into the new year. A sample goal could be; I will to add 10kg to my deadlift by X date or I will keep my food diary so I can drop X body fat by X date) and so on…
3. Know your calorie intake. The single most important variable to either dropping body fat or adding muscle tissue is knowing your optimal calorie intake. Start off by downloading the free app myfitnesspal, this allows you to count your calories and also know what your macronutrient numbers look like (carbohydrate, protein and fat intake).
An easy calculation for men (24xBW in KG), women (22.4xBWin KG) this gives you an estimated basal metabolic rate. Now we add in your goal, if you want to add weight you multiply this figure by 1.2-1.4 and if your goal is to lose body fat you multiply by 0.80.
Example. A 70kg women wanting to drop bodyfat, 70kgx22.4 =1568 BMR, minus goal = 1255 calories.
There are exceptions to this rule however. Never allow your calories to drop below 1200kcals. Allow for your cheat meal every 5-6 days. Diet cuts should be for a maximum 8-10 weeks for most people. Before starting any weight loss program make sure you have not been on a calorie-restricted diet before hand.
4. Plan your cheat meals. Cheat meals have their place in your new plan. Allowing yourself to have whatever you want for a meal or two has a few positive functions. A large increase in calories and, in particular, carbohydrates every 5-6 days aids in resetting your metabolism, by aiding in turning up the “heat” of your thyroid gland. An influx of calories also helps lower stress hormones like cortisol, which in higher levels stumps your body’s results, if in a chronic state. Also from a psychological point of view, cheat meals can help motivate you for the following weeks training and nutritional plan.
5. Measure your progress. Find a way to measure how your progress is moving along. If you have tried and failed at different attempts to start a new healthy lifestyle or gym program, you may just be lacking motivation. Keep yourself in check and measure progress- no matter how small. Progress might be adding 5kg to your squat, holding an isometric chin up for 10 seconds or dropping a kilo in body weight. Note: We measure using a body fat analysis tool; this allows us to differentiate between losing fat, water, adding muscle or for women separating between the phases of the menstrual cycle. Taking progress photos is also a great way to keep yourself on track.
Should you wish to discuss any of the above, email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about our FREE consultations.