To tone your body, gain muscle, and lose fat, you must really be willing to change your habits and lifestyle. I will be the first to tell you that it is not easy to lose fat. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and consistency.
From my experience with clients, I have found that initially people are always, “gun ho” or ready and willing to train hard in the beginning; but what many lack is follow-through and consistency. In order to have success, you must be dedicated and consistent. Without these two principles as your motto, you are bound to fail in the long run.
I completely understand that you probably have more important priorities in your life such as family, work, religion, etc. It then becomes an issue of time management which is to fit all of these important priorities into your week. Taking this into consideration, I have put together a few tips that should help you along your way. The rest is up to you…
The following tips I use with my clients which should help you transform your body. They are broken up into the following categories: Diet, Strength Training (weight lifting), and Cardio.
You should be able to grade yourself in each category. Be honest and grade yourself between the letters “A through F.” For example, “A” is for a person who does extremely well within a particular category, “C” is doing okay, and “F” would be pretty much zero effort within a particular category. Ask yourself the question: “Am I making an A in all three categories?”
What I have found from working with my clients is that many people might do well in one or two categories, while completely ignoring another. In order to transform your body as efficiently and quickly as possible, you must grade yourself and get at least a B+ or higher in each category. Please be honest when your grading yourself.
I won’t elaborate on the physiological details as to why these tips work. However, the tips included in this article are an up-to-date reflection of the medical, bodybuilding, and scientific community.
DIET & NUTRITION
- Drink lots of water. Your body will hold less excess water weight. Half your body weight in water in ounces.
- Most of your carbohydrates should be from yams, sweet potatoes, yucca, squash, and any vegetables or fruits.
- Eat enough protein. This tip would be in relation to your body weight and how active you are. Athletes should consume about 1 gm for every pound of body weight. If you’re working out 2 to 3 days a week, then you would need within the range of .5 to .7 grams of protein per pound of body weight. As a percentage of your diet, I would recommend 25% to 40% of your diet is protein.
- Eat 5 to 6 times a day or every 3 to 4 hours. Don’t skip meals.
- Keep a food journal. If you have a trainer, have them review it weekly. If you don’t have a trainer, still keep a food journal. Having a journal will keep you aware and accountable with respect to your eating habits.
- Your diet should be broken up into the following macro nutrients – approximately 30% Protein, 50% Carbs, and 20% fat. This ratio may vary depending on metabolic type: see Bill Wolcott’s book on Metabolic Typing.
- Rest time in between sets should vary between 60 to 120 seconds. There are cases where you should wait longer in between sets, but for most this is the “ideal” rest period for muscle growth
- Change your workouts every 7 to 10 weeks. Your body can grow accustomed to training with the same routine. In order for it to continuing adapting and growing you should change your workout routines.
- Keep a workout journal. This tip is avoided by most people. Most people can’t remember exactly what they did in their last workout which probably had anywhere from 10 to 25 sets. The workout journal will help you keep track of the weights that you’ve lifted in previous workouts.
- Also, you need to either buy a stop watch or consistently use the clock to monitor time in between sets.
- Lift more weight. Now that you’re keeping a workout journal, you know exactly how much you lifted last week and the week before. One of the fundamental principles of growing muscle is simply adding more weight at your next workout. Every time or every other time you workout you should be a little bit stronger than the last workout. Thereby, your next workout you should be able to go up in weight on various sets in your routine. Try increasing the weight by increments of 2.5 to 5 pounds.
- Eat immediately after your weight training session. Your body will need the nutrition.
- Many women do not lift weights and primarily focus on cardio and diet. While those two categories are important, you must not forgot to do strength training at least twice a week. Building some muscle will add shape to your body. It tones your arms, legs, and of course your backside. Trust me, you won’t look like a body builder or too masculine if you lift weights. Gaining muscle is a lot harder than you think.
- Switch up your cardio routines consistently. For example, on one day perform sprint training for 20 minutes; the next cardio routine try walking on an incline treadmill. Next workout use the stair master or spin classes, or elliptical, or the bike. Also, you can use 2 or 3 different cardio exercises in one workout. For example, 20 minutes workout on the bike, then 20 minutes on the stair master, then 10 minutes of boxing or kick boxing. Your body is an efficient machine. It will get used to habitual cardio workout routines. By changing it up, your body will continue to burn more calories then if you keep performing the same cardio routine month after month.
If you feel like you need advice with your own training program, feel free to give me a call (310-720-8125) or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m more than happy to personally help you achieve your goal. During our phone consultation I would customize a fitness program which would include outlining a nutritional plan and supplement protocol, and advice on the best cardio and strength training program based on your goals and lifestyle.