You might have heard this everywhere that it is some secret that only trainers know of that can magically help you in building muscle & losing fat. Well, let me break it down to you so that the secret remains a secret no longer.
Here are the 5 essential tips (secrets) the fitness industry capitalizes on whether it is to lose weight or build muscle or both:
1. Cant lose weight no matter what you do? Hit one bird with two stones
Contrary to the popular saying, an aesthetic physique is a bird that mostly calls for both building muscle & losing fat. Even if your goal is to just lose stubborn belly fat or fat that is persistent elsewhere. That will require you to take both these approaches. The point is to understand what approach you need to take for your specific goals, because to get rid of stubborn fat you need to be just as stubborn if not more.
2. The Secret To Both Dieting & Training.
How can you train as a beginner? That is one of the most asked questions, as most people do not know where to start or how to start building muscle & losing fat or just one of both. The secret lies within the question and your specific goal.
Based on what your questions and goals are, your approach has to differ not drastically but enough for you to actually see the change you want to see in your body.
Do you want to just lose weight?
Losing weight requires you to do one of two things, which is either burn more or consume less.
Do you end up regaining lost weight (or more)?
Binging and gaining weight back is a sign of an improper diet approach that your body has rejected (mostly from liquid/ water fasting ).
Cant build muscle no matter how hard you train?
Lack of muscle despite training frequently is usually due to two things. Swinging through the motions with improper form or lifting too heavy than your current capabilities.
Eating more but cant gain weight?
Being unable to gain weight despite eating more is due to not eating at a caloric surplus or eating junk calories (empty calories that are just processed sugars) , not eating enough protein from whole food sources or not sleeping enough.
Eating less but don’t see change?
Feel like you are not losing weight even when your eating less ? This is usually due to the opposite of what was said previously. Eating more than maintenance calories, eating more calories in either junk or whole food form as well. Calories are calories, it does not matter if you eat 3000 calories worth of chicken or 3000 calories worth of junk in a day. You will gain fat.
The only difference would be that if you are doing resistance training, most of the calories from protein sources (chicken) would be used to rebuild your muscles back bigger and stronger while still putting on fat but less as compared to just eating junk.
Stubborn fat on various areas of the body
The biggest reason for stubborn fat, whether it is belly fat, love handles, bigger thighs or arms, is due to both gender and genetics. Women are more likely to store fat in certain areas of the body just like men are likely to store it in separate areas usually. You can, however, still lose fat from these areas provided you take an overall weight loss approach and, in some cases, “Kill One Bird With Two Stones”.
3.Cardio & Weight loss. Why Do Cardio ?
Depending on what your question and goals are from above. Cardio might be the only approach you need to take to lose fat. However, the question rises again. What kind of cardio? Should I do HIIT or LISS cardio? The answer is within the question itself. Do you want to lose weight? Or do you want to be able to run, walk, hike or bike for longer?
Cardio, based on what your goals are, can be done to either lose fat by burning calories (LISS) or increase endurance to perform better at various sports or physically demanding activities (HIIT). To know more about what kind of cardio is better for weight loss in detail click here.
4.Resistance Training. How to train as a beginner?
Resistance training is the only effective way to build muscles, whether it is at home or at the gym. Calisthenics (bodyweight exercises) can help you get stronger at your body weight, but sooner than later you will max out on it unless you find creative ways every month to increase your workout intensity to push your push muscles more. The more you push past your limits as far as resistance training goes, the stronger and bigger your muscles grow. This is also known as Muscle hypotrophy. One of the most effective ways to target muscle hypotrophy is through time under tension and Mind Muscle Connection. To know more about TUT or MMC.
The proper technique and lifting partially heavy weights is extremely important as a beginner to build muscle. You should make sure that the muscle that you are training is doing the work and is the only one under stress, especially for isolated exercises such as bicep curls. For example, lifting heavier than you actually can on a bicep curl can involve your back, neck, traps, shoulder to take the majority of the load and your biceps wont be under optimal stress to trigger muscle hypotrophy.
The rep range can differ based on both your training and goals, but as a starting point. If you are training with heavier weights, then you should try to go for a maximum of 3-5 sets each consisting of 8-10 repetitions. If you are training with lighter weights, then the sets remain the same. However, the repetitions should increase upwards of 20+ to actually hit muscle hypotrophy. The moment you start feeling the stress on the muscles you are training is where the real workout starts.
5. What should your diet be?
The saying that a body is built in the kitchen couldn’t be more accurate than this. Whatever your goal is, either it is building muscle & losing fat. Both require you to take a certain approach in terms of what you consume. Consuming more protein and fiber helps with both building muscle & losing fat. Even if you just do cardio and consume more of these two food groups.
You are bound to stay full and recover better from your workouts, whether they be cardio or resistance training. eating more fiber-rich fruits is another way to satisfy a sweet tooth and avoid trigger foods like ice creams or anything that you cannot stop eating once you start. Moderation is key. You can have a carefully planned out cheat day or a snack every single day as long as you stay in your caloric deficit.
If you do end up overeating a certain day, you can go for an hour +walk that day to burn off those extra calories. This will build discipline and deter you from doing it again knowing that there is an hour+ of walking, biking or any form of LISS cardio waiting.
Nothing works without you holding yourself accountable and to a standard. The dedication along with the discipline that you build for yourself is what’s going to help you through your fitness journey. No amount of personal training can fix it for someone who does not have the dedication and discipline to do it.