Hello and welcome to March! Those new resolution people out
there....are you still on track? If
you're still flying high then keep going!! If you're losing interest then time
to shake it up a bit! Your goals don't turn up on your doorstep gift wrapped;
if it's broke....fix it!
Whatever you're training for, no matter who you are, you'll
be bombarded with confusing statements of what you should and shouldn't be
doing. They will be someone telling you cardio is 'bad' for you, another saying
it's the best thing for you. Then it might be someone claiming saturated fat is
the devil, then the next person telling you it’s the best underrated fat. Everyone’s
an 'expert' telling you, ' Do this, don't do that'. I even read an article
recently claiming that eating six meals a day was 'dangerous'! Maybe it doesn't
suit everyone, but dangerous?! He then proceeded to explain that the 'caveman'
wouldn't have eaten six meals a day portioned off in Tupperware tubs so we
shouldn't. Well, the caveman wouldn't have trained in a gym with weights, or
gone running because he felt like it or tried to reduce his body fat to look
good on the beach with the cavewomen. Times have changed and we eat differently
now for different reasons. Like with training,
someone will declare they are the 'guru' and tell you that the only way to eat
is to be vegetarian or follow carb-free plans or to fast a few days of the
week. Perhaps what you should be thinking about is eating in a way that
represents and compliments what you're actually training for. Athletes will go
through different phases of nutrition and training depending on what the
purpose is. For example, they may go through a strength phase in off season
where good carbohydrate intake is vital followed later on by having to make
weight and dieting to do so.
If you're looking at training for an endurance event, such
as a marathon, then following a low carbohydrate plan does not sound like the
plan for you, whereas if you're training to reduce body fat with weight
training and cardio then it could be? It's important to fuel the body in the
right way for the desired result.
But what about body
type? Perhaps that’s even more important and should also be a consideration.
Does your body actually match your nutritional intake? Your string bean friend who
seems to never stop eating and seems to be able to inhale carbohydrates like
air may need that for their type, whereas yourself could be more insulin
resistant and just need to look at a piece of bread and you're wearing it.
The same goes for training. Certain body types can gain
muscle quicker than others. Some retain body fat in certain areas and not
others. Some bodies are better designed for slow twitch muscle activities, like
an endurance runner, others fast twitch explosive actions like a sprinter. Note
the dramatic difference in their bodies and musculature. This doesn't go to say
one type can't do another type of exercise, but your body may naturally be
suited to something in particular.
So how do we manage to filter the information that gets
fired at us from the self-proclaimed guru network? What is right and what is
wrong? Well, all of it! Just to make things difficult. As a Personal Trainer
it's my job to help clients with this, figuring out the most complimentary
training to their bodies. Experiment! The majority of people wanting to reduce
body fat respond well to a good structured weight training program in
conjunction with some interval training. But find out if you're best suited to
heavy weights, or circuits, whole body, split part training. It's important to
consider your goals, experience, how long you have or haven't been training and
ultimately, what works for you. Be consistent and persistent. Rome wasn't built
in a day and neither are muscles. Follow a weekly plan and assess your results
monthly. Your plan should progress, keep a log of your weights, sets and reps
and a few notes to summarise your workout. Re-read your previous session’s
notes before you begin to set the tone for your workout. If you wrote that you
struggled with a particular exercise, approach it with determination and drive
to go better. If it was easy.....aim higher and increase the intensity.