The Truth About Fitness
I am always being asked: “what’s the best way to lose weight” “how can I tone up and build muscle” etc. So I thought I would give you a brief overview on what I think…
The media in particular portray a false sense of accuracy regarding fitness advice. They are always writing diet advice which in the long term will cause you more harm than good – and will not help you lose weight and certainly won’t make you fit. For example, I was reading an article that stated if you eat a certain piece of fruit every day for 1 month you will lose 1 stone. What rubbish!
I am going to tell you what’s good and what’s not.
Why people publish these awful tips and advice is beyond me… like drop 2 dress sizes in one month. For those of us who work 9 to 5 this is just about impossible. What you can do in a month is, get a good level of fitness and the foundations for losing your weight. Start to eat healthily and eat the correct things to have a well-balanced diet. We all know what foods are good for us and what are not. Don’t do these “diets” you see online or in magazines, trust me they are not good. Eat healthily – have a good amount of protein in your diet, include lots of fruit and vegetables and carbohydrates but ensure you don’t overload on carbs. Your diet starts in the supermarket – if you buy junk, you will eat junk! If you don’t buy it, then you won’t eat it. A good idea is to plan healthy meals for the week, it only takes a few minutes to write down what you are going to have. Ensure you are getting the essentials for each meal, ensure you are not going to over load your plate with carbohydrates and having a mixed and colourful plate. Another major point to consider is your portion size – cut down the amount of food, don’t overfill your plate. It’s all in the mindset – you don’t need it – have a sensible amount.
Try not to snack! Cut out fizzy drinks and cut down your alcohol intake. If you do feel hungry and have the urge to eat, why not have some nuts or some fruit. You don’t need chocolate or fizzy drinks, replace these drinks with water, ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids, this is essential in your start to getting fit and healthy. Once you start eating healthily and drinking plenty of water, you will feel better within yourself.
Another very important point… I am a very big believer in not weighing yourself! You should not regularly use the scales. My theory is that it depends on how your clothes feel on you, are they starting to feel looser etc. Stop weighing yourself! If you feel the urge to step on the scales, try and cut it down to once a month maximum.
Some of the major things that people ask me regarding fitness are, “what’s the secret to losing weight in the gym? How can I tone up and build muscle?” I have read and heard a lot of rubbish with people trying to answer this question. The majority of people give bad advice and if you want a factual answer – the secret is hard work. If you attend the gym I would highly recommend you use a fitness plan which is tailored to you. Everyone is different and has different fitness needs relating to their body shape and their metabolism etc. You shouldn’t only do cardio or just go and do weights. A good fitness plan involves a range of exercises. Females need to do weight exercises too, don’t be put off to go into the weights area and complete your exercises.
I have been in the gym and witnessed people on one machine for 60 plus minutes doing the same level… trust me, that’s not going to work. You need to mix up your training, and you need to be doing different types of exercise. I would recommend you doing cardio, weights, and abs exercises as well as fitting in some decent fitness classes.
When doing cardio, it is pointless to stay on one machine for 1 hour and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it. Don’t get me wrong if you are training for a marathon a running machine can be a useful piece of equipment. However, even then it’s not great for that as it’s not realistic, when you’re running outdoors you have different terrain to deal with. Therefore if you’re training for a run – train outside. Ensure when you are using cardio equipment you have a programme to follow as this will ensure you have a better workout. I write loads of cardio workouts that use sprints, long burning workouts, rest periods but still exercising. Most of all I make sure that it’s fun, cardio can get boring so make sure you have a plan that makes it fun but challenging. Find something that pushes you! Remember to change your programme every 4 to 6 weeks maximum so that it continues to be effective.
Using weights, most of you will have walked into a gym and been put off the idea of doing weights as you see people doing exercises wrong and making it look extremely difficult. Firstly, before you start you to rack up the weight, make sure you have the correct technique, technique is everything! Don’t listen to anyone who says it’s about how many weights you can lift. Remember trainers are there to show you how to do things correctly, ask a trainer how to do a certain exercise; they will be delighted to help you. Having the correct technique will make a huge difference. To have the most effective workout – get yourself a programme, something you can follow, something you can keep track of your progress and remember to change it frequently. Exercises have to be put into a specific order to make your programme a good programme this is going to get you the best results and push your body hard, as I said at the start, the secret is hard work!! Having a well write programme will do you the world of good. So go out and get yourself a great programme it’s worth the money. I could write down 10 exercises and send you one however this is completely wrong as I need to know many things about you and your training needs and what results you require. Good programmes are going to get you results!!
Girls doing weights: I am going to be honest here; you need to do weights to get toned and to get yourself looking in shape. Don’t go in and lift 1kg weights, this is a waste of time; you need to get yourself a plan that you can follow. Don’t be scared of the dreaded weights room and don’t worry doing weights will not make you look huge, will not make you look manly but will make you look toned. Again ask your trainer for a plan it’s worth it girls.
Fitness classes are great, they work you harder than you would probably push yourself. Get yourself involved in a good class – it’s meant to be hard, it’s meant to push you and mostly it’s fun.
I run boxing fitness classes, and they are excellent. They push you to your limits, they get you results. Boxing fitness is sensational if done correctly, you work hard and I am a massive and passionate fan of fitness. I could not boast enough how good these classes are for you. You can burn around 800 – 1000 calories in 1 hour session. You learn how to punch, you add body weight exercises into your workout for an all body workout. Anyone who does not believe me – come along and try it and see for yourself how good the classes actually are. I have seen people change; people get great results and from only doing this class a few times a week. There are other good classes out there too however after training for years and having done a huge range of different fitness classes and different types of training, I believe boxing fitness is the most effective!!
If your not a fan of the gym then get outside! I am a massive fan of outdoor training, and body weight training outdoors is sensational for you. I do a lot of work outdoors, it’s nice getting fresh air as well as not having to stare at yourself in the mirror while working out! You can get a fitness plan for outdoor training and trust me you can do more than you think if you’re training outdoors. Bring a skipping rope and get an even more intense workout. Just ask for an outdoor plan from your trainer.
So lets recap… start by adapting your diet and eat healthily, then find yourself a trainer who can write you a fitness plan – one which you can enjoy and have fun but still get you a great workout and the results you want. Remember to update your plan regularly. Try to get involved in fitness classes, trust me they will push you harder than you may push yourself. If you can, working with a personal trainer 1:1 will ensure you get your results as they are completely focused on pushing you to your limits resulting in you achieving your fitness goals.
You shouldn’t drink any shakes, there are natural foods out there which are much better for you than processed shakes. Try and get your protein etc naturally. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes there is a need for shakes, but try not to, it’s much better to do it naturally. If you’re stuck you can ask me and I can help you find foods to suit you.