Wakey, wakey, it’s time to drag your butt up and out of that collapsing couch that you are slowly morphing into… If you’ve had visions of transforming yourself into something a bit easier on the eye then it’s time to take action. Summer sun will be here before you know it and there’s a lot of fun and partying to be enjoyed when you are fit, look the part, and are charged full of energy!
To shed some layers, and give yourself a boost read on for the first step to get on the road to turning heads.
The thing I love about Summer is it’s a fantastic fixed deadline. It’s a pity a lot of people don’t wake up and start preparing for it until waaaay too late. It’s clear that to get in shape and stay in shape the more time you set aside for getting there the better your long term outcome will be. Please remember there’s no future in crash dieting so don’t think you can rely on that, that can make a bad situation very BAD… Next time you think along those lines think of those contorted magazine covers of Kirstie Alley. Every new ‘Before’ shot from her latest ‘Before and After’ transformation seeming to get continually more gruesome. That really is a living and breathing metabolic disaster, so don’t fall for the bull and end up on the path to the same horrific fate. Haha makes you wonder about the conspiracy theory… Set people on a dieting path that will eventually rebound them into a worse scenario than they started at and then convince them to get back on the merry go round for another hit of metabolic destruction… Anyway I digress. The way to avoid this picture and reach success is through making a plan – and keep your eye on the big picture (you know, the other side of 2 or 3 weeks from now).
People that achieve serious body change sit down and prepare a game plan – and then stick at it. It doesn’t even have to involve much to put together. The simpler the better. Scribble down some guidelines you know you can follow and check back on them often. If you think you may have a little trouble coming up with a plan find someone that knows something and ask them to help. One fast solution is to visit your local gym and sign up (you usually get loads of free advice when you first sign up). Another option is to do some surfing on the internet, maybe visit some forums – although be selective about the advice you choose to follow. There are endless people claiming to be fitness and nutrition experts so check them out and make sure they are the real deal!
Once you have your plan you’ve got to get into the routine, and stick at it. Many people start a plan but within a couple of weeks they are looking for a new plan, it’s a weird pattern – they don’t even give the first one a chance to really fire up. That approach won’t achieve a heck of a lot. A reliable plan may take a good few weeks for your body to really adjust to and for results to begin happening at their maximum rate. So take the advice of the guru’s and stick at a new plan for at least 6 to 8 weeks. Once you have plateaued it’s time to go back to the drawing board and make adjustments for more progress. The cool thing about having a game plan down is further along the track you can look back and use it as reference. If it worked particularly well then you can try the same again another time, if it worked like a ‘Kirstie Alley’ roller coaster ride then bin it forever.
If you’d like to get started writing your own plan then make sure to include both cardio-vascular exercise (cardio) and some type of resistance training (that usually means weight training) – a minimum of 3 x of each per week. This combination is the best solution to reduce body fat, tone up and/or add lean muscle.
I know there’s mixed opinions on cardio but the ton of real world evidence points to high intensity cardio for achieving the most dramatic results. When fitness level is low it’s best to ease yourself into it over the first few weeks. If you’ve morphed too far into the resemblance of a couch a visit to the Doc first for the green light before beginning anything would be best. You will get the most results from 3 to 5 x cardio’s per week, a minimum of 20 mins and up to about 40 mins per session is plenty. Fat loss authorities claim that splitting a long cardio into 2 shorter cardios per day will produce the most dramatic fatloss so instead of 1 x 40 min session you could split that into 2 x 20 mins sessions per day, one in the am and one in the pm… But hey, not everyone has the luxury of time for that. Remember the bodybuilders rule of thumb – the best time for fat burning is cardio first thing in the morning before you’ve eaten. At that time your body has fasted all night so it’s more likely you will be tapping into stored body fat for fuel.
Definitely include resistance/weight training in your program. You should perform resistance/weight training 3 to 5 x per week. You can do this at home with a few simple weights – although eventually a gym is the better way to go for most. Once again if you have little or no weight training fitness level then ease into it over a few weeks. The gym heads believe 45 mins or less of weights per session is the magic number. I personally aim for around 60 to 75 mins and find this works for me. Listen to your own body and see if you can work out what’s best for you, but usually 45 to 60 mins per session is about right.
Now your plan should also include rest and relaxation. Aim to get plenty of quality sleep. The good thing with exercising regularly is your sleep generally improves a great deal and if you aren’t sleeping as soundly as you’d like there’s a simple solution – start training harder haha.