Here we go straightening out all the wrong ideas that so many people seem to have about what it takes to get into shape. Like I keep talking about, people think it’s a lot harder and more complicated than it actually is. And as a result, people are either put off even getting started, or they do get started but with a plan that they can’t stick to, and won’t get results from.
Once again, it’s NOT about trying to do more and more and more exercise, on less and less and less calories. Your body needs fuel. When it is fuelled appropriately in combination with the right exercise program, it has no reason to store excess fat. It runs optimally, and the result is better physical health, better emotional health, and a more attractive physique.
So, #1 is forget about fad diets and starvation rations.
You might start off on quite low calories for a short period of time to get things moving, but by making wise choices of foods this doesn’t necessarily mean you will be going hungry. As your exercise sessions increase in intensity, your need to raise calorie intake accordingly. So, if you’re one of those people who works out their daily intake of calories and then stays on the treadmill until it tells they have burned off everything they’ve put in… that’s actually not good. You need to have some fuel in the tank!
Cliff notes of above: eat the right amount, not too much, not too little.
Oh and while we’re on the subject, point #1a is you can also forget meal replacements, diet pills, those things that are supposed to swell up in your stomach so you don’t feel hungry. Come on… are you really likely to keep using those for the rest of your life? Just learn how many calories you need, and how much you can eat of the stuff you like to meet that target. It’s actually really easy.
Now as for appropriate exercise and activity levels…
There are two things I hear a lot of. One of them is “oh, but Dave – you are SO active while I have a sedentary desk job, so it’s different for you”. Really? Listen up. I train for about 1 hour a day, most days. Sure I also have PT clients, but I’m not the one doing the exercise there. Maybe I demonstrate the exercise with a low weight that isn’t even a warm up for me… but that’s IT. Mostly all I’m exercising is my vocal chords!
The rest of my day is spend eating and writing blog entries anddoing boring business development type stuff, right? So… I’m actually only active for about one hour a day – THE SAME AS I ASK OF YOU; no more, no less!
The other thing I overhear a lot is something like “oh god, I have my first session with Dave today… I hope I survive!”. People have the wrong idea like I’m going to make them charge back and forth, jump over things, stand on their head and do somersaults or something, I don’t know! In actual fact nothing could be further from the truth, and this is the beauty of weight training. It’s real simple; you pick something up for about 40 seconds until I tell you to stop. Then I might say “that looked a bit easy for you, lets try a little heavier” and we do it again. In between we chill out for a minute or two.
So, consider that again. About half a minute of pushing / pulling / lifting something up in the air, then rest for a couple of minutes and talk about food or the weather or something. Then repeat. We’ll use a weight that’s a bit challenging for YOU… we’re not try to keep up with the incredible hulk over the other side of the gym or anyone else.
What’s so scary about that? Do some work, take a rest. Easy!
Now don’t get me wrong. As your strength and technique improves, you’re going to start throwing heavier weights up in the air, and then you are going to NEED that couple of minutes rest between sets – I know I sure as hell do. But again, it’s still just ½ a minute of hard work followed by a couple of minutes recovery.
You can do that, right?