1 – Strength and Resistance Training
This chapter will give you a basic understanding of food, training, and cardio. I have included many helpful links for more information.
The first aspect of transforming your body is that you must have resistance training. It can be anything from using your own body weight, to lifting weights, to using bands and such. At the end of the day, we need to work our muscles.
Therefore, any type of training that makes your muscles work harder than they normally do by applying tension and stress is fine. It doesn’t have to get complicated; just pick a simple strength training program you like and go with it. You can always change the program if you want something else later on.
If you want to build more muscle, you’re going to have to go to the gym and lift some heavy weights. Here’s a great program I’ve used in the past, Lane Norton’s PHAT (Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training). Click the link here: http://bit.ly/1maTVeb.
Just remember to start slow and progress slowly to avoid injuries.
If you want to use more of a beginner’s training program, I would recommend P90x or Insanity to start. All you have to do is follow the program’s exercise and nutrition guidelines.
Choose a training program you enjoy and look forward to doing every day. For me, that was P90x. Man, I loved it. The instructor, Tony Horton, is awesome, so motivating and humorous. I would look forward to coming home after work so I could train every day. I believed that the results would come as long as I stuck to this program religiously.
Sure enough, they did. Extraordinary results, may I add. I lost over 20 pounds over a 90-day period of training and eating right. You too can get these kinds of results if you find something you like and stick with it.
The really good part is that after doing this for 90 days, the routine becomes a part of you and you continue with it. You will feel absolutely amazing and never want to go back to your old self.
It’s kind of like getting a chance to eat at a gorgeous restaurant that has three Michelin stars and impeccable service, then having to go back to a restaurant that has no stars and mediocre service. Which would you prefer?
I know, it’s another silly question, but seriously apply this analogy to your body. It’s like you at level 10, with tons of energy and loving life compared to you at level 3 with low energy and struggles to survive the day. Which version of “YOU” do you prefer?
Of course, you at level 10. This is my long way of telling you that when you transform yourself and become physically and mentally fit, you would never want to go back to your former self. I sure didn’t. I love who I am now compared to me 10 years ago. You, too, will feel this.
As you progress through your training and eating right, you’ll see the results and love it. This gives you the confidence to keep going, and then you will see more results and gain more confidence. Soon enough you will go so far, you won’t recognize the person who started this journey.
This habit becomes a lifestyle for you—looking great, feeling great, and doing great things. This is where I want to see you go. I want this to be your lifestyle because you will love the new you and you will go for bigger and better things. You won’t settle for less.
You have only one body, one lifetime, and one person who can take care of it…YOU. You know what’s right. Choose to do the right thing and not the easy thing. You will enjoy much more success if you choose to live this way.
2 – Nutrition
In pursuit of the body you want, I’d have to say that nutrition is king. If nutrition is king, exercising is queen. If you master nutrition, you are guaranteed the physique you want.
What do I mean by mastering nutrition? Is it hard? Can I do it? Mastering nutrition in this sense means being aware of what you eat and why you eat the things you eat.
In this case, we are eating to lose weight. We have to understand what we eat and why we eat it. For example, why would we want to eat brown rice over white rice? A quick Google search reveals that brown rice is better for you.
For weight-loss purposes, it helps keep you full for a longer period of time, so you don’t need to eat as much. It’s also full of vitamins and nutrients as compared to white rice, which has been stripped of its nutrients through the processing stage.
Nutrition definition: The process of eating the right kind of food so you can grow properly and be healthy.
When we break down food, we have macro and micro nutrients.Large scale supplements are the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, while smaller scale supplements are vitamins and the antioxidant properties of food. I won’t go over too much in detail, but enough so that you can get to your goals. If you want to dive deeper, you can always Google it or pick up a book.
Carbohydrate There are simple carbs and complex carbs. White pasta and whole wheat or whole grain pasta would be examples. Basically, any carb that is white in color is usually a simple carb, meaning it gets digested quickly, giving you fast energy but not sustaining fullness for long. A complex carb will take longer to digest, but will keep you full longer.
Knowing the differences between them, here’s how I utilize them for the best weight-loss results. I eat simple carbs after a strength training session so I can have quick energy to recover from strenuous activity. Your body is depleted after intense training, so you’ll need to feed it what it needs fast, hence simple carbs.
As an example, I eat rice cakes, any fruit, or Rice Krispies bars. I choose low-fat, simple-carb food. I combine simple carbs with protein right after my workout to maximize muscle synthesis—muscle
Protein is pretty simple. Just eat white meat most of the time. Why? Most white meat sources are lower in fat. We don’t need to eat much fat because most foods have fat in them. We need very little fat in our diet compared to carbs and protein. My choices are chicken breast, white fish like tilapia, and ground turkey. I occasionally will have extra-lean beef and ground beef as well. retention.
Most experts recommend eating at least your body weight in grams of protein for optimal muscle retention and fat loss. So if I weigh 150 pounds, I will try to eat about 150 grams of protein. Protein is the building block for our bodies and muscles, so we need to preserve them while we lose fat. The more muscle we have, the more calories we can burn, which will lead to the loss of more weight.
Fats. I find that it is very easy to eat the amount of fats we need in our regular foods today. This is the least of my concerns. I don’t really have to try very hard to eat the amount of fats I require each day because everything we eat has some fat in it already.
For example, when we cook, we use olive oil; that’s a fat. Whole eggs have a good amount of fats. Anything really, unless you buy 0% fat-free food. Just eat lean proteins and you’ll hit your fats requirement.
3 – Cardio
Cardiovascular training is a very important part of the overall plan to lose weight. Not only does this type of training burn the most calories in one workout, it also improves your heart and endurance level.
Having a consistent cardio routine alongside your resistance training and diet is important to maximizing fat loss. Cardio simply helps you burn more calories, which means a deeper deficit, which equals weight loss.
There are a variety of cardio exercises you can choose from, and each will help you reach your goals in a different way. For our purposes, the cardio we want to focus on is steady cardio and high intensity interval training (HIIT).
Steady cardio is walking or jogging at a slow pace, about 65% to 70% of your maximum effort. HIIT training consist of two parts. One is full-out, maximum, 90% to 100% effort for a short period, like 15 to 20 seconds. The second part is a slow, 10% to 20% of maximum effort for 30 to 60 seconds.
HIIT training burns a lot of calories within a short amount of time. In addition, it strengthens your heart and lungs and can help with your weight lifting.
For steady cardio you can use a treadmill, stair walker, bicycle, or elliptical. The choice is yours. I find myself mixing between the elliptical machine and the treadmill and a slow jog outside when the weather permits. For HIIT training, I used sprinting and the elliptical machine.
Variety is the spice of life. Mix it up. Do the activities you enjoy and that can bring results. You can have both. This way you’ll continue to do it and achieve great results.
The purpose of steady cardio is to burn calories, mostly from fats and carbs, instead of your hard-earned lean muscle. We don’t want that to happen because muscle keeps our metabolism high so we can burn more calories.
Without much lean mass, we would burn very few calories as we move around or exercise. That’s why preserving muscle is so important when losing weight. In addition, we have to strength train and eat enough protein to ensure that we keep all the muscle we can.
From my experience, doing any kind of steady cardio two or three times a week and one HIIT training a week will do wonders for weight loss. Along with proper eating and strength training, this will help speed up your fat loss.
4 – Supplements
The last piece of the puzzle is supplementation. We don’t necessarily need it, but it does aid us. The proper vitamins and nutrients can help us recover better, which means better workouts, which means better results. There are a few supplements I would recommend. Get yourself a decent multivitamin, omega fish oils, and vitamin D. I believe these are the minimum to help you with your workouts.
As a competitor, I take these daily to help improve my performance and functionality.
– vitamin C
– vitamin D
– glucosamine (for joints)