So, you’ve read my posts and followed my progress over the last few months and are left sitting there wishing you were that little bit less fat or that little bit more muscular. Yea you’re sure you want it (again, are you sure you want it?), but haven’t got the slightest notion on how to get it. Well if this is where you’re at, this post is right up your ally. I’m about to de-bunk all the mumbo jumbo and tell you EVERYTHING you need to know to achieve it.
So here’s my few tips on what YOU need to do to achieve it.
- Find your own motivation, don’t wait for it to find you.
I recently read an article by the great Arnie on what he call’s “The spark”. The spark is basically the ignition source for that fire your building under your arse. A fire whose fuel is bookmarks of “5 fat burning tips”, “10 minute abs” and “the one diet mistake your making that’s holding up your progress” saved in the browser. A fire who’s kindling is that look of distaste on your face when you look in the mirror.Yea the source of your motivation is there, there for all to see, but without that “spark”, that ignition source, all it is fuel for a fire that’s never going to burn. What you need now is to light that fire and use it to drive you forward. For some it can come in the form of a deadline – a wedding or graduation. For others it could be bad news from a doctor caused by an unhealthy lifestyle. One thing that is common to all though is the one spark that sets the entire thing alight.My advice to you is to go make that spark and don’t wait for it to come find you. Go out and get started, hit the gym or eat better. Get more sleep or even just drink more water. Take that first step. Because I can tell you for sure that you have more of a chance at making fire by using a piece of flint rather than waiting for it to blow through the air and land on your pit!
- Train to get huge, eat to lose weight.
One of the most confusing things out there when it comes to training is the different styles that apparently “target” fat loss or “get you shredded”. While there are different styles of training to achieve different things, loosing weight and “toning up” is a lot simpler then that.Train to get huge and eat to lose fat.What I mean by this is don’t try to lose weight by the exercises you do. You should go to the gym and do a kind of program that’s built around getting stronger and building muscle. Use your diet to provide the right building blocks for your body to allow it to use up its fat reserves for energy rather than building more.When trying to lose fat, the most important reason to train to get stronger isn’t because of the calories it burns or the “fitness” it gives. It’s due to the effect it has on your hormones. If your fat, your hormones are out of whack. Strength training helps fix this. When your hormones are at a more normal level you’ll find your fat loss is much more successful That and getting more muscle mass will help you look better and not just skinny when you do lose your fat!
- Avoid long and traditional forms of cardio.
Our bodies are crazy complex and intelligent things. We are all able to think and go about our lives just because of a series of electrons allow us to. Our bodies heal themselves and alter our mobility when where injured to prevent further harm. It’s not crazy then that the body uses different energy sources for different things and that it learns which ones are more common than others.We all heard the story of stored fat being kept there for “a rainy day”- Essentially a famine. Our bodies are getting extra calories in and it doesn’t need them all, so it stores them for times when it does need energy but were not providing it. Pretty smart. Similarly, our bodies can tell what activities we do and tailor its energy storage for our typical activity patterns. There are three types of “activities” as far as our body is concerned.A-lactic Anaerobic – 10-15 Seconds of duration, fuelled by ATP in muscles.
Lactic Anaerobic – 15-90 seconds of duration, fuelled by glycogen contained within the muscles
Aerobic – long-term durations, fuelled by oxygen and fat reserves.If you do a lot of jogging or running to lose weight, here’s where the problem rises. Your body can tell that you’re doing it frequently due to the hormonal effect its having. These hormones signal to the body that it needs energy from fat quite often and the body reacts by prioritising its storage for later use. Not great when your trying to lose weight.Again, this hits home the importance of point three. Train to get huge, not to get good at running long distance.
- Sort your diet.
Diet in this industry is made out to be a crazy complex thing, and rightly so. Everyone is different and has different needs. Everyone has different genes, base levels of fat and generally need different levels of food’s. One thing that common to them all though is that unprocessed, organic and natural foods are best. And you know what, for the level the general public are at, that’s as far as it needs to go. You’re not a bodybuilder or an olympic athlete. You’re a simple person who simply want to lose some fat. So lets pair this simplicity with an equally easy diet. Cut out all processed foods. No more microwave pizzas, no more oven chips, no more anything like that. Sub it with meals which consist of two big handfuls of veg and nice lean organic meats. Carbs aren’t the devil they’re made out to be, but make sure there coming from the right source. Places like rice, beans and (limited) dairy are great. Sweets, pasta’s and other starchy carbs should be avoided. Pair this with a slightly reduced level of food (to get a slight calorie deficit) and the odd 12-16 hour fast if it takes your fancy and you’re well on the way.Pair this with as about 2 liters of water a day and you’re golden.
- Get at least 7 hours sleep a night and find time to unwind during the day.
As y’all know, I broke my leg a while back. I’m back in the gym but my ankle mobility is shot due to scar tissue and a big chunk of stainless in my fibula. Because of this I have to do a lot of rehab, including daily leg foam rolling. For me, its great because I’m seeing improvements in my leg and I’m also getting time to unwind.I come home from the gym, get a bit of food in my belly and head to the bedroom. I stick on “Home and Away” and roll that sucka out! It takes a half hour but come the end I’m de-stressed and unwound ready to attack my dinner! A few hours later I’m asleep for what’s usually 8 hours at least. For me, it would be the MOST important thing you can do for a healthy life.
There are a lot out there. Some work. Some don’t. They are ALL optional however. There’s a reason there called supplements – there only there to aid your current lifestyle and diet. So long as you’re following point 4 above, you don’t need them as bad as the companies and mag’s say you do. If you do choose to supplement, there are only 3 that I’d recommend for fat loss.A good quality multi-vitamin
A good quality fish oil (With at least 1000 mg total of DHA and EHA a day, usually easier to get in liquid forms rather than tablet)
A good quality protein powder for post workout and any more protein you might need! (Optional)There are two other’s I’d recommend for those training to get huge (Creatine monohydrate and a good quality post workout shake), but for laymen and women out there, get yourself the above and you’re well on the road to greatness!
- Be consistent – make changes slowly
Doing and implementing all this is great, but if you don’t keep it up you won’t get anywhere. That’s why its important to keep at it and at it. For this I recommend taking the above points and implementing them into your life one by one. If you take on too much too fast you’re going to fail. It’s far too overwhelming. Take each tip I’ve given and start them one or two at a time. Make sure you’re comfortable with them and that they’ve become habit before taking on the next one. That way you won’t notice the change, won’t be overwhelmed and will more importantly keep it up!
- Don’t expect it to be easy.
Fat loss, muscle gain and being awesome is simple. Simple, but not easy. It’s tough and you have to work hard. Real hard. If you didn’t everyone would have the bodies they wanted. This is why _REALLY_ wanting it is so important. It keeps that fire under you lit right to the end.Below is a great inspirational video of CT Fletcher by the guys over at Strength Project. Great channel and in this vid he explains what he thinks of programs like 10 minute abs!
I covered a lot there, but to summarise, here’s the take home points!
- Get started today and motivate yourself to get started, don’t wait for motivation to find you.
- Train to get huge not to lose weight, that’s what the diet is for!
- Keep cardio to a minimum – only if it’s a sport or event your actually training for.
- Eat more fresh veg. Eat more lean meats. Eat less starchy carbs. Generally eat a little less.
- Fast for 12-16 hours if it takes your fancy. If not, no biggie.
- Sleep and relax
- Supplement with fish oil and multivits!
- Be consistent
- Expect it to be hard.In ranking order, here’s how it fares;
- Sleep > Diet > TrainingBest of luck, and as always leave any questions you have here, on Facebook or on twitter!