It can be done. Sure exchanging a smooth and spongy body for a hard and razor sharp physique will take work, but you and I both know the rewards will well make it worth it!
The tried and true methods to make it happen all require the discipline of consistency – when a regular routine is applied it all comes together.
So here they are. Introduce these principles, train hard and intense – and in 4 to 6 weeks people will be asking “What have you done to yourself?”
Train with weights. 3 to 5 x sessions per week of intense weight training will fire your body into lean, muscular change. Whether you are already on a weight training program or not, intensity is the name of the game. Make your muscles scream. If you aren’t feeling sore for a couple of days after weight training then train harder, that following day and day after that post exercise muscle soreness is the indication you are training in ‘the zone’. If you are an experienced trainer and you aren’t feeling this anymore, what fitness buffs call ‘Doms’ (delayed onset muscle soreness) then it’s time to step up your program.
Pump out plenty of cardio. Cardio is the catalyst for torching body fat. The way to go is 100% effort, and 3 to 5 x sessions per week. The harder you push your cardio the more calories you will burn in your workout, and the longer you will burn calories after you finish training. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is the cardio choice of champions, this involves cycling intense short cardio bursts with medium paced breaks. The most simple way to go about it is to warm up for 2 or 3 minutes at a moderate pace on your favorite cardio machine (elliptical cross-trainer, seated bike, or rowing machine) then for 1 min push yourself as hard as you can, at the end of the 1 min drop back for 2 min of a moderate intensity level before hitting another 1 min intense interval burst. Continue like this for around 20 minutes. You can go for longer as your fitness level improves, but up to 30 minutes is usually enough. If you are time pressed HIIT is a great way to fit maximum fat burning into a short space of time.
Sort out your eating. To build a harder, more defined body it’s important to place a priority on including high quality protein sources with EVERY meal you eat. And you should be eating 5 to 6 x of these protein meals per day. This eating system is the secret behind the Greek god’s and goddess’s you see flexing on billboards and magazine covers. It will also make you feel more energised so you can push yourself harder at training. The best protein sources are lean beef, chicken, fish, egg whites – and sports nutrition experts agree, at the very top of the list is whey protein powder. When it comes to whey powders there are plenty to choose from, go for one that is low carbohydrate and stay away from added artificial sweeteners Aspartame (951/Nutrasweet/Equal) and Acesulphame-K (950). Choose a powder that is whey protein concentrate on it’s own – this is what you are really after – avoid crackpot protein blends of 2 or 3 different proteins and anything with added maltodextrin carbohydrates, or dextrose, these are junk sugars, actually the same sugars they use to make beer and we all know what beer can do to the waistline! Whey protein when unadulterated with quality reducing ‘filler’ ingredients is absorbed ultra fast to supply the critical components for rapid muscle repair and growth. Always have a whey shake immediately after any physical activity. DO NOT underestimate the importance of regular quality protein intake, this is the cornerstone for lean muscle development – without it you will seriously impede your progress.
Get your rest. Go to bed early, aim for your full 8 hours or more of sleep a night, this will promote optimum muscle repair plus healthier hormone levels. One hormone to be particularly aware of is Cortisol – this is a stress hormone that has been linked to muscle wasting and reduced health. Cortisol production can escalate when you let stress get out of hand in your lifestyle. The ways to prevent skyrocketing levels are to remove unnecessary stress, maintain healthy sleeping patterns, and have plenty of time out.