Like Rome, body transformation doesn’t happen in a day.
They take time, dedication, good systems, commitment, focus and structure. There is no easy route when it comes to making lifelong changes, but drive and discipline go a long way. No matter what the reason is to put down the hot dog and pick up the dumbbell these key ingredients will ensure that you not only change your body but your life for the better.
Nutrition is the one most important factor in improving body composition. Without it the other body transformation ingredients won’t work. With new clients getting with diets in check is always one of the first steps otherwise we will be wasting time. Here are five must-follow rules to help anyone dial in their nutrition:
- Restrict processed foods
- Eat a high-quality lean protein source at every meal
- Include a large quantity of colourful veggies with your meals, (eat the rainbow)
- Include good sources of fat
- Stay hydrated drink 2-3 litres of water a day, more on days you work out
Improving sleep and using recovery techniques will absolutely improve your body composition. A lack of sleep causes an increase in the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin and a decrease in leptin, a hormone that helps you feel full and burn fat. Your body changes when you are in recovery, give your body the chance to build on your hard work. Don’t train in insane everyday and deload the body every few weeks so tendons and muscle have a chance to regenerate, your body will change when it is at rest so be sure to program rest days into your plan.
- Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night
- Take at least two rest days a week
- Program deload weeks every 4-6 weeks.
Strength training should be an integral part of anyone’s quest to build a strong, lean body. Resistance training, providing that it is progressive in nature, builds lean muscle mass, which ultimately helps burn more calories and gives you shape. I recommend three total-body strength training sessions a week incorporating compound movements. Performing your resistance moves as a circuit or alternate between exercises that train opposing muscle groups. Always make sure your form is correct to avoid injury and to increase effectiveness.
- Compound exercises
- Form is paramount
- Group exercises together training different movement patterns
- Don’t be worried about going a bit heavier then usual
HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the most effective and efficient way to perform traditional “cardio”. HIIT will have you burning calories for hours after your session as long as the name suggests its “high-intensity” and will get you fitter in no time. I typically find that most people do very well with two days a week of high-intensity intervals on the days between strength training sessions. There are many exercises to perform these intervals, but my favourite methods include: hill sprints, air dyne, kettle bell swings and rowing. There are different formats of HIIT but here are two simple rules to create a great HIIT workout for body transformation:
- Work intervals should be 20-30 seconds at more than 80 % of your max heart rate, that means an all out effort.
- Recovery intervals should be 40-120 seconds at 55-65 % of your max heart rate.
HAVE A PLAN
Finally, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Be sure to have your week organised and planned. Know what you have scheduled and when you will be doing it. That goes with meals, workouts and getting enough sleep. Be sure to stay motivated by reminding yourself why the body transformation is important to you that you achieve your goal, keep some inspiring quotes and pictures near by to get you through the tough days.
- Create a schedule
- Prepare meals ahead of time
- Place materials of motivation where you will see them
- Focus on small achievements as you progress
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