Often we have in our heads an idea of what our weight should be. This number usually comes from sometime in our lives when we feel we were at our best physically. Sometimes it even comes from comparing yourself to someone who you feel shares a similar body type. The problem with this is that you may have changed over the years. Many times we gain muscle along with some extra unwanted pounds. I find when I do body fat analysis that most are shocked to hear that they do not have as much weight to lose then they thought. As far as comparing yourself to someone else, DON’T DO IT! You’ll set yourself up frustration. The question is, how do you know how much weight you should lose to be the healthiest you can be?
The answer is, know your body fat percentage and what is an ideal body fat percentage for your age. Weight is secondary to your body fat percentage. It is much more important to make sure that you're losing body fat as opposed to just weight. Losing the wrong kind of weight can sometimes be more harmful that having the extra weight. Losing muscle will make you slower, weaker, and more able to store body fat. Many people say "muscle weighs more than fat". This actually is not true. If you take a pound of muscle and take a pound of fat and weigh them, they will weigh a pound. What they mean is that someone who carries more lean body mass (your body minus the fat), can look healthier than someone who weighs the same but doesn't have as much lean body mass. You will accomplish your goal faster if you maintain your lean body mass, and only lose body fat.
There are five components of fitness that you need to keep track of during your program: food intake, cardio, supplementation, resistance training and professional assistance. These components need to all be adjusted to fit your goal of fat loss. This is vital to get those last unwanted pounds off.
Food intake is first because if you are not in a caloric deficit (less calories consumed than being burned) than you’ll be unable to lose weight. It is also recommended that you balance out your calories by eating 4 to 6 meals a day. The body responds best when it consistently is refueled. The fuel needs to be in the correct balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
The second component is cardio exercise. You need to train your body to get the biggest bang for the buck. Understanding how to keep your body in the correct zone during cardio will do just that. That involves knowing your target heart rate zone. This is something we as fitness professionals can help you with.
Third is supplementation. We want to create the environment for change in your body. One major reason to be on a supplement regimen is that you can have nutrients without calories. Since your body is no longer consuming the same total amount of food, you are at even more of a disadvantage of receiving proper nutrition. Supplements, if taken correctly for your specific needs, can fill that gap.
The fourth component is resistance training. This component is neglected many times with people that have a goal of fat loss or people are just intimidated by weight lifting and prefer to remain in the comfort zone of the familiar cardio equipment. Resistance training, if done correctly, adds balance to your body. It also aids in burning fat loss by maintaining the muscle that in turn burns body fat. Resistance training helps keep bone density and healthy joint function.
The fifth component, professional assistance, is where the accountability, discipline, and habits are created. Knowledge of how to keep on track and stay safe is how you can get that extra edge to push through to your ideal body. Taking the plunge, and learning how to do it right the first time, will maximize your potential to get results fast, and maintain. Having something like the Bodybugg can keep that accountability there 24 hours a day.
One thing to keep in mind is that your program needs to progress. As you become stronger and you develop endurance, flexibility, and balance, your body needs to be continually challenged. If you don’t add progression, your body will adapt to the typical routine it’s been through and cease to change. Along with your workout, you must also keep the other components progressing. As your body changes, your food intake, cardio, supplements, and resistance training need to change with it. The idea is to keep your body guessing. If it never gets used to a routine, you can reach your goal faster.
What you will find when you begin to make the right choices regarding a healthy lifestyle, is that the added bonus is that you’ll look great. The real enjoyment will come from more active the freedom of being and enjoying life to its fullest.
Here are some example exercises that can show how to progress.
1. Squat, with front raise
Stand with feet shoulder length apart. Squat down while maintaining good posture and keeping your abs drawn in. Be sure to not let your knees go past your toes. As you rise up, raise your arms to eye level while keeping your elbows neutral. Repeat this motion for 15 to 20 repetitions.
2. One leg, reach to overhead press
Stand on one leg while holding weight in the opposite hand. Bend at both the knee and hip while reaching down, in front of you with the weight. While rising up, raise arm to an overhead press. Continue this exercise for 15 to 20 reps.
3. Dead lift, push up, squat, curl, to overhead press
Start off standing with proper posture and your arms, holding weights, in front of your hips. Lower the weight by bending at the hips, but keep your back straight. Once you’ve gone as low as you can without bending your lower back, bend your knees and put the weights shoulder length apart on the floor. Keep your hands on the weights and put your body in a push up position. Do a push up and jump into a squat position. Stand up while maintaining proper squat form while carrying the weight by your sides. Curl the weights. Then raise the weight to an overhead press. Depending on your fitness level, try doing anywhere from 10 to 20 reps.
There are many variations to these exercises that can be used as progressions and regressions for creating a fitness program. These are just examples of how one can progress.
For more workout tips, reach Jerod Langness at 24 Hour Fitness. 719-244-9532.
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