I was inspired to write this post after I made the below point on my Facebook profile a couple of weeks back and it got a great response, including a good bit of discussion which is always nice.
Here is the status update in question:
By the way, when I say it generated discussion, I don’t mean everybody agreed with me, oh no! In fact there were a lot of people who tried to rubbish what I was saying and come out with all the jargon and fancy lingo to counter what I was saying. Which was exactly the point I was making so I did have a chuckle.
I am not saying they were wrong to argue against me, far from it, I love a good debate. My point is most in our industry work with every day people, not athletes and not the time rich. We work with folks who work long hours, have kids, a partner, a social life etc and it’s important we consider this when writing their training and nutrition plan. This is the real world so we need to keep it real.
I guess the point I am making is this…
Fat loss, gaining muscle, getting stronger, feeling awesome or whatever your goal may be does not need to be as complicated as people think. In fact it’s much more basic than you might believe. Surprised? That’s because everywhere you look these days health and fitness professionals are putting that message across. Encouraging everyone to believe there’s a magical formula of supplements, macronutrient ratios, meal timing, rest periods, super foods, eccentric phases and specific six pack exercises that are the only way TO GET RESULTS!!
The best coaches I follow and those I’m lucky enough to know in person actually just stick to the basics. This applies to training, nutrition and supplements yet they’re still able to get fantastic results with their clients.
So here’s my 5 tips to nail the basics, I am yet to see a client who does not benefit from implementing these consistently:
Step One: Lift Weights 3 Times A Week
Some people train more than this and that’s fine if you have the time. I often train 4-5 times a week myself but I’ve been training for some time now. As long as I get 3 good lifting sessions in a week I am happy. Three sessions is more than enough when complemented with sound nutrition.
P.S. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym either, just be effective for 40-60 minutes.
Step Two: Perform Interval Training
For many people time is of the essence so when it comes to training High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) really fits the bill. It offers huge health benefits in a short space of time. The high intensity nature means you get to keep hold of muscle mass and benefit from what’s called the after burn, where you ramp up your metabolism and continue to burn calories at a higher rate for up to 24 hours after the training session. All this can be achieved in as little as 12-20 minutes. Awesome, right!
Step Three: 3-4 Super Sets In A Session Is Plenty
I’ve come across some training plans that have more exercises than my weekly shopping list! Personally I believe 3 supersets (so 6 exercises total) allows for a challenging workout and most importantly gets results. If you’re more conditioned and want to throw another superset into the mix go ahead, but understand that you need to perform every exercise known to man to get results.
Here is a sample full body workout:
*Rest 30-60 seconds between super sets*
*Perform 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps*
A1) Incline dumbbell bench press
B1) Dumbbell shoulder press
B2) Walking lunges
C1) Close grip press ups
C2) Supinated grip lat pull downs
Step Four: Get Some Sleep
It’s all well and good having an epic training plan and “super clean” nutrition plan, but if you’re not getting enough shut eye, your hormones will be out of sync, you wont recover from workouts properly nor build muscle mass. Your energy levels will also suffer and you’ll soon find you can’t stick to your training or nutrition plan at all because you can’t function properly, even after 5 coffees!! Sleep is the most under used fat loss tool and you are a tool if you don’t at least try to get some more on a daily basis.
Step Five: Chew Your Food Properly
By doing this you not only aid digestion, but it also means you take longer to eat which reduces your chances of over eating. It’s a win win. We often rush our food in stressful situations and when stressed our digestion is already compromised and our appetite is increased, so by not chewing your food properly you are only adding to the problem.
A BONUS TIP:
If you eat single ingredient, unprocessed foods most of the time as well as following the tips above then you are in a great position to get amazing results. We all deserve the odd treat so long as it doesn’t open the door for complete self sabotage and you end up joining the “I will start again on Monday” brigade. There are of course other variables to consider with different people, but nailing these basics goes such a long way to achieving your goals.
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