If I had to pick the most popular goal when it comes to fitness it’s definitely fat loss! The key to success with any venture, including fat loss, is to have a plan and stick with it. In future blogs I’ll be outlining the why for each step and how these strategies can help you ditch your extra body fat!
I just returned from a weekend in Ottawa attending the Agatsu Kettlebell certification. It was an intense weekend and one that definitely progressed my kettlebell skills and technique.
I had some company this weekend, as one of our new coaches Abbie joined me for her very first fitness certification. She did an amazing job and killed her testing!
I posted some pictures of Abbie who was a client in March of this year and a picture of her executing an exercise called the bottoms up windmill this weekend at our course.
Since posting these pics I’ve gotten a lot of questions!
How’d she make that change? You mean she was out of shape before she started ? She was a smoker? WHAT!?
And what everyone wants to know – how’d she do it!?
Recently at a family gathering I was struck by an incident with one of my senior family members. One of our relatives, made me stop and think about one of the most pressing issues for seniors today, pushing me to write this post. This spitfire of a lady at age 86 lives on her own, takes care of herself, drives and is still 100% independent. She started a career as a housekeeper at the age of 16 (yes 16!) and continued to work this physically demanding job until she was well into her 60’s.
As we were serving dinner a couple weeks ago a shocking thing happened. As the dinner plates were being distributed, this strong independent woman spoke up and said her plate was too heavy. It was too much weight for her to carry and she requested another lighter plate.
WOW. I was completely shocked.
It made me wonder how many other seniors, who strive to be independent, would find themselves in the same boat. Something as simple as carrying a dinner plate had made me realize the extreme situation that presents itself to our senior population.
Fitness for seniors is brutal. They are misled into believing that walking, aquafit and 5lbs weight training programs are all they are capable of. I don’t blame seniors for not wanting to train – the thought of doing any of the above is simply mind numbing.
On top of losing strength, mobility and independence, osteoporosis for this generation is occuring at a staggering rate.
Here are the facts:
According to the research, living a sedentary life-style, specifically standing less then four hours a day, is the primary cause for weak bones. “Bones stay healthy only when they have vertical vectors of force placed on them regularly,” says Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of The Wisdom of Menopause.
Sadly, according to a report by the Surgeon General, by the year 2020, 50% of all Americans age 50 and older will have osteoporosis. This is an incredibly alarming statistic.
Here is the solution:
The key to training seniors (and really anyone for that matter…) is to empower them. How can we justify training seniors without load bearing activity when life requires us to carry groceries, vacuum cleaners, laundry baskets, grandkids and yes, dinner plates! We train a large number of clients who are in the 50+ generation and yes we train a lot of grandmas! They strength train, they push prowlers, they use our battle ropes, they carry kettlebells, they bear crawl across our turf and it allows them to live life to the fullest.
Here is my advice:
Trainers – don’t be afraid to challenge your senior clients. Do so in a progressive manner with solid technical coaching and you will see incredible results – we have at our studio!
Sons/Daughters/Nieces/Nephews – if you want your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to live a fulfilling life, have an active role with their grandkids and experience all that retirement has to offer, encourage them to train with a coach!
Seniors – Find an experienced coach that can help you train to move better and feel better and who knows how to properly progress your movement and your fitness. Find a training studio that makes you feel comfortable and it can be an extremely enjoyable part of your daily routine.
3 BRUTALLY HONEST FACTS ABOUT FAT LOSS & FITNESS
1) You have to commit long-term.
THE best program is called consistency. It’s the truth. A 6 week bootcamp or protein shake diet is not going to give you sustainable results. If you want to change your physique and your fitness you have to take the plunge and make a commitment to yourself. For anyone who has followed us for the past 7 years you will notice we no longer offer short-term programs. Why? They just don’t work. Our most successful clients plan to make fitness a part of their lifestyle. If you commit to the long term process, results will come. Stop acting like living a healthy life is ‘weird’ and don’t listen when your friends tell you that your facebook posts about going to train are annoying. SHHHH SECRET: The real reason they find it annoying is that when they read your posts they are faced with evaluating their own fitness and most often coming to terms with their laziness! Don’t see training as a sacrifice or an obligation, see it as time well spent to make yourself feel better, move better and look better!
2) Nutrition is a big deal.
You can train all you want but what you eat has a huge impact on your results. Getting dialed into the right nutrition plan will allow you to have kick-ass training sessions and see spectacular results. Depending on your body type, your metabolic type, your training program and where you are starting from, nutrition is a make it or break it factor when it comes to success with your fitness, physique and performance.
3) How you train is also a big deal.
How you train is just as important as what you eat. If you are stuck on the same training program you’ve been doing for the past year, then guess what – it’s time for a change! You need to strength train to increase your muscle and your metabolism. You need to train intervals to improve your fat loss capability. You need to make sure you train with intensity and challenge yourself or else you will be disappointed with your results. If you’re going to put the time and effort in – make it count!
Just a small sample of some of our awesome transformations, some of which are still in progress!
Here are just a couple of our amazing TT members:
We all have our reasons to train. It’s what drives us to train even on the days we might prefer to skip a session. It’s the reason that fitness becomes a part of your life versus a 6-week commitment or fad diet. It is HOW our members are so successful at changing their lives with fitness.
Recently we updated our TT website and our TT coaches bio’s. We asked each of our coaches why they train and we also had to think about that ‘why’ myself.
I train, so that I’m strong enough to take care of my family. This is a reason I did not fully appreciate until I had to call on this strength last year at this time.
Last year at this time after painting our house as a surprise for Taylor who was away, my Dad and I spent an incredible amount of time together. We had so much fun, shared a lot of stories and so many memories I cherish. I think we had more coffee breaks than logged painting time most days, but we had a great time catching up. Having just retired after 50 years of working, Dad was excited for his retirement and I was excited to spend more time with him. He was an incredible man with so many friends who adored and respected him. He was always so full of life and ALWAYS had a joke or story to tell.
He was diagnosed with a brain tumour just after that time and had a short battle with cancer from October of last year until his passing before that Christmas. The tumour, which had grown in the span of just over a year, was pressing on his thalamus and started to wreak havoc on his movement and motor skills. During that time he was able to seek help from our incredible physiotherapist Cassie, who helped manage his pain and taught him how to navigate with his limited mobility. It gave him an incredible amount of confidence to be able to discover ways in which he could get out of the car or out of his chair the best he could with his limited movement. It’s incredible how much your life can change so quickly and it really made me see the world so differently. At this time my focus wasn’t on my training, it was on him. Little did I know just how important my training would be during this incredibly challenging time.
When someone you love is sick all you want to do is take care of them. It’s the best way you can show them how much you love them. My strength became a huge factor in my ability to help my Dad. I simply told him I owed him many a bath time, help with walking and with getting dressed. Many times the nurses would come in and I could see the look of confusion on their face trying to figure out how I was able to assist my Dad as I did. My physical strength to be able to help Dad made me realize that every set, every rep and every training session led me to that point.
During my walks back and forth from the hospital, my nights sleeping in a chair or cot in his room, I thought a lot about not only my physical strength, but my inner strength I had to rely on during that time. It wasn’t just about being physically able to help him, but also being able to share a laugh, keep his spirits high and focus on the positive – which he always did.
I was so incredibly blessed to have spent the last few hours with Dad. We laughed, we joked and we even tried to order breakfast from the nurse before his final surgery. That time, that ability to be there, that strength I had from the inside out, was 100% due to my training. Without even realizing it, it had made me a stronger person and better able to take care of Dad. During this challenging time, I was stronger than I thought I could be. When I thought I wasn’t capable of being strong enough, I was – And that is why I train.
“I’m too busy.”
I’ve heard this common ‘fitness obstacle’ (otherwise know as an excuse) many times over.
Of course, I have some ideas to help!
If you want to move better, feel better and look better, I won’t lie and say you can cut corners. Doing 1-2 hours a week of physical activity isn’t going to cut it BUT the time commitment IS 100% doable if you make a solid plan.
1 – Acknowledge that free time just won’t show up.
You have to make time for your fitness but it is the best investment you can make.
Have you ever told yourself, “If I can just get through the next day/week/month/year, things will calm down and I’ll be less busy”?
Trust me on this – You’re never going to find time. If you want time, you have to make it, then take it.
2 – Make an appointment with yourself
Plan a time that works best for you schedule and book a time in your calendar. There is no “best time” to train in terms of getting results. What gets results is consistently training. Set reminders on your phone and follow-through.
3 – Defend your time.
Do you need someone to watch your kids? Do you need to account for travel time? Do you need to pack your workout gear the night before? Do you need to juggle schedules with someone else?
Anticipate obstacles before they happen. Plan out the best way to block off time for a solid training session. If you value your health than you must make training a priority.
4. If you don’t follow through, make adjustments.
We all get knocked off track sometimes. That’s okay. If one aspect of your plan isn’t working, don’t abandon it, just make some tweaks and keep trying.
For example, if dragging yourself out of bed at 5 am to workout just isn’t happening, consider adjusting your schedule to fit it in over lunch or right after work.
The main thing is, keep trying until you find what works for you.
Members at our studio can train anytime with a coach. We cater to busy schedules and the need to have coaching on a flexible time table.
Here are some strategies that some of our busiest members use!
PLAN A) Train early! (if you like mornings). We have a number of members who come in and train at 6am-7am so they are finished their training before work and before their day get swamped. This is one of our most popular times at the studio – because it works!
PLAN B) Train at lunch. Most workplaces allow food/lunchtime at your desk, so take your lunch hour to get away from the office and de-stress with a training session! With a time effective training session and a quick shower, you’ll be back at work and ready to attack your afternoon. Our members who train at lunch always say it increases their energy for their afternoon at work!
PLAN C) Train after work. We also have a lot of members who train after work before heading home for dinner. Pack your training gear, leave it in your car (just not during the Winter season…) and make it happen.
Ultimately THE best time to train is when you can follow through. Plan for 4-5 training sessions a week for the best results. If you have a smart training plan, support and commitment to your goal, you will be successful.
Some people might call them excuses, but I understand. Life is hard and fitness isn’t something you want to start right now. Wait for a few weeks when life is less busy, it will be easier then. When people tell you that you are making excuses, what do they know? They just don’t get how busy your life is.
Fortunately, I understand.
Here’s the thing. Fitness is too expensive, you’re too busy, it’s too hard, you’re not fit yet so it’s intimidating and OF COURSE if you’re a female you don’t want to bulk up!
I got your back.
1 – It’s too expensive. I get it. Spending $10 bucks a class or $16.00 for a personal
training session at my studio, Taylored Training, is too steep. Compare it to getting your hair cut, going for a massage, going to the dentist or going to seek any other professional help – really paying a fraction of the cost for fitness – it’s just nuts. I mean drinks at the bar these days are what, $8-10 per drink? That’s one class at Taylored Training! To spend that kind of money on feeling better, moving better, getting stronger and feeling confident about your body and yourself is SO not worth it. It’s definitely a lot cheaper to feel bad about yourself, constantly complain, get sick all the time and feel jealous of your fit friends. And because of their ridiculous spending habits on fitness and training, fitness freaks actually find it fun to play with their kids in the park, climb stairs without getting out of breath, wear bathing suits and move grocery bags and laundry baskets like they are filled with air. Fitness freaks are just plain nuts.
2 – You’re too busy. You are busy – I get it! Everyone has their obligations and commitments in life: work, family, being a chauffeur for your kids….etc.. I mean Who ARE these people who train at 6am and are finish by 7am to start their day. Or these CRAZY people who come in for 45-minute lunch time training sessions and eat their lunch at their desk upon returning to the office. I mean, who has time for that? Four hours a week out of 168 to spend on fitness and making your life better –that’s just insane. It’s just not worth the 4 hours to feel better, look better and move better. PS did you see the latest episode of Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy or the Walking Dead?
3 – It’s too hard. Yes, fitness is too hard. I mean all trainers scream in your face until you puke in their gym puke bucket, right? Trainers don’t understand what it’s like and no one else at the gym has ever struggled, they just don’t get it. Fitness just comes easy to them and they never have issues with their weight. No one at a gym would understand what it’s like to start out feeling nervous, challenged or out of shape. Everyone starts training when they are in their peak condition, it’s just how it works. They will just never understand it’s too hard.
4 – You’re not fit enough. I 100% get it. Going to the gym to get fit is LUDACRIS. I mean
every dude is shirtless to show off their six-pack and every chick wears booty shorts and sport bras. Who actually goes to the gym to feel better, move better and look better? I mean you have to do it on your own at home BEFORE you go, that just makes sense. Who would ever start training with a fitness professional in order to learn proper form and technique to decrease the risk of injury or learn how to eat in order to sustainably change eating behavior? Haven’t you heard? You HAVE to eat salad and boiled chicken to get lean – it’s just how it works.
5 – You will get too bulky. Ladies this is SO true. Can you believe the fitness professionals that tell you that lifting weights won’t make you bulky!? They are obviously lying. I mean as soon as you start lifting weights your fat cells disappear and your body grows giant muscles after every workout (particularly in your arms and legs). I mean think about all the ladies you know who train. They can barely put on shirts because of their giant biceps and they can definitely no longer wear pants because their quads are too huge. Stay away from the weights for sure. Who cares about increasing your metabolic rate, decreasing your risk of osteoporosis or getting stronger? It’s just not worth the risk of bulk.
So the next time your fitness friends invite you to come with them to train, you can tell them no thanks I’m too busy, it’s too hard, you don’t understand and I don’t want to turn into He-Man – I guess they just don’t get it and maybe they never will.
Wow. Time flies. Seven years ago this weekend Taylor and I launched Taylored Training!
I’ll never forget the days leading up to our opening weekend and our first open house. We advertised in the newspaper, online and via email, and told everyone we knew. We were excited, we were nervous and we are over the moon with anticipation for the launch of our new business!
Open house day came. 5 people showed up. And so the hard work began!
Any honest entrepreneur will tell you, when you open a business you will have many days when you want to give up and you will also have days when you will feel on top of the world. Only the entrepreneurs who cherish the good days will ever be able to tackle all the challenging ones (trust me, there are many). What has always made the challenging days better are the comments and the feedback we get from our members, which always somehow seem to happen on days when we need it the most. When our members tell us how much better they feel because of their training, or how much their training has improved their lives or how they look forward to coming in and training – it makes every challenge, every hard day, 100% worth it.
Just yesterday I was working with a new member who was actually and ‘old’ member. He trained with us 5 years ago back when we offered traditional private training. He was blown away by all the changes we have made since he had first worked with us and after just one session he was excited to get started!
Recently, I blogged about some of the problems with bootcamp programs http://eatcleanandtraindirty.ca/?p=650 . The concept of fitness being a short-term commitment just isn’t working. If you look around at the health of the average person, their fitness level, their stress level and most importantly their level of happiness, it demonstrates that the current approach from the fitness business needs to change.
When we started Taylored Training, we thought we could improve upon the private training model and we did. We created a place where people felt comfortable, were trainers were inspired to offer the best education to clients, but we new we had more changes to make.
From private training, we then tackled the semi-private training model with success. Although it was a new concept to the world of personal training at that time, now it is a norm you will see in most box gyms and smaller training studios. But still, we knew there was a better model, a better system and a better approach and we had the ability and the courage to create it.
We pushed towards a model where each and every session our members would have the coaching, training and support they needed. We could see that the traditional training model (expensive training packages, upselling, logging weights and reps and rest times) wasn’t the best process and we wanted to keep pushing and forging ahead.We like to think of ourselves as innovators. That can sometimes come at a high price, as it is much easier to do what has always been done. It is easy to avoid the critics and never change.
Our current model is based on the premise of unlimited training for all members. We offer unlimited training and unlimited classes. We strongly believe that fitness shouldn’t be about selling the next package of sessions, or the next specialty bootcamp program promising to get you shredded in 6-12 weeks, it should be about making fitness a part of your life.
As we celebrate 7 years of our business I can’t think of having a better partner in life and in business. No matter what the challenge, no matter what the problem, Taylor and I always know we are in it together. Although I don’t have as many tattoos as Taylor (yet), my very first tattoo was symbolic of a time when we were in the early stages and early struggles of our business. The tattoo on my forearm reads ‘believe’ – a simply yet powerful word. No matter what you want to accomplish, no matter what you want to achieve, as long as you have the belief in yourself and a commitment to hard work, you will be successful. Don’t let the critics tell you otherwise.
I always thought it was fitting that we opened Taylored Training on a Thanksgiving Holiday. After 7 years we are thankful for the support from our members, some of whom have been supporting us from the very beginning! So I will end with a Thank-you to our members. Thank-you for the support, thank-you for choosing to invest in your health and fitness and allowing us to be your coaches on that journey. We look forward to continuing to change the way fitness is done everyday with our awesome TT community.
Here’s to many more years of Taylored Training (we are just getting started!!) and continuing to change the way fitness is done.
Recently it seems quite popular to train for physique competitions. I see a variety of online programs, one on one-specialty programs and studios who specialized in fitness show training.
I’m going to start off by saying this; we have trained clients for shows and they have done very well. First and foremost it was their goal and in each situation we sat down and discussed the process, the commitment and most importantly how to transition into ‘real life’ post show. When anyone comes to us with a fitness goal we take it very seriously – that’s our job. But it’s also our job to always be 100% honest about the training, the commitment and the potential side effects to the goals and choices our members make (if you have listened to Taylor’s latest podcast about getting a 6 pack than you know what I mean!).
Recently I sat down with TT Coach Vanessa and we discussed her experience with training for a physique competition in comparison to powerlifting competition (both are a bit different if you can imagine….).
My goal with this post ? To give you some perspective on the importance of nutrition, training and mindset.
When/where did you compete in your first fitness show?
I competed in my first fitness show October 29th 2011 in Gatineau.
What was your training like?
The training program was a lot of fun. I loved it! Following a program with a specific goal helps stay focused. The program was definitely a challenge, especially closer to the competition date. To lean out my legs as much as possible I was training them every other day. On some of those days at the end of my workout I added a bonus set of either 200 squats (85 lbs) or 200 lunges/side (45 lbs). I kept my rest times short to complete the set in less than 10 minutes.
What was your nutrition plan?
Insane and very strict! I counted and tracked EVERY calorie and macronutrient over 16 weeks. I had a countdown calendar so each day I could see that I was one step closer to my goal. At the end of the day I would check it off. The nutrition program was the HARDEST part so I implement tons of strategies to help me reach my goal. Some days I felt great and others just like crap lol! I did enjoy some cheat days along the way but during that time my social life was non-existent. I would skip out on family dinners and nights out with friends because it seemed easier to not be around that environment. Keeping in line with TT nutrition philosophies it never went below 1600 calories and it did include boost days.
How did you feel immediately after your time on stage? What was the car ride home like?
Immediately after my time on stage I felt amazing and so excited!!!! The experience was completely outside of my comfort zone and I couldn’t WAIT to do another show. I placed 4th and was so proud. After the show I approached some judges to see how I could improve for my next one. The feedback was not what I was expecting. I could have been bigger on top, leaner, and more muscular. I had worked so hard…how could I have gotten any leaner? To say the least during the car ride home I felt horrible. It made me feel not good enough after all that hard work. Crazy I know!
When/where did you compete in your first powerlifting comp?
My first powerlifting competition was July 12th 2014 in Ottawa.
What was your training like?
AMAZING! Loved every second of it!! Again I’ve always found training for a specific goal works best for me. I love the challenge and dedication involved. There are a lot of differences between a fitness completion and powerlifting program. A fitness competition program is designed using a traditional bodybuilding split where you train different body parts on different days for hypertrophy gains. A powerlifting program focuses on building strength and power to lift 1 rep for the three big lifts, bench press, squats and deadlifts (my favorite). The BIGGEST difference between the training programs would be the mental side of it. A one rep max lift is the most amount of weight YOU can lift. Mentally preparing yourself for that lift isn’t easy but with a lot of practice and hard training you can do it.
What was your nutrition plan?
Amazing!!!! I still eat clean and have a set plan that I follow but it is much better rounded and healthy. Instead of eating the same thing every single day week after week I have more freedom to choose different protein sources, fruit (yes I can have this now), vegetables, grains and healthy fats like cheese!! The powerlifting team has been known to have a pizza night every now and then 🙂
How did you feel immediately after you competed? What was the car ride home like?
Unbelievable!!! I wanted to lift more and more lol! I have the opportunity to compete and coach the TT Powerlifting team. I absolutely love it! Seeing the progression of the team makes me so proud!
Would you ever do a fitness comp again?
I would say no. Powerlifting gives me the opportunity to set more positive goals.
Would you ever do a powerlifting comp again?
Absolutely!! October 18th is the next one in North Bay.
If someone asked you which comp you would recommend what would you say?
I would never want to change someone’s goal of competing in either one. My advice would be to understand why you are competing in a competition. If you’re doing a fitness show with the mindset that you will maintain that physique. You’re wrong! It is not healthy and impossible to maintain. I had the leanest stomach and legs of my life for one day. The downside to that, I was cranky, bitchy, starving, losing hair and actually started to not enjoy training. I’m biased to powerlifting because it has changed my mindset of always trying to lean out. Now I focus on staying strong and setting positive objective goals.
Did either competition experience have an effect on your current training and nutrition habits?
After the fitness competition nutrition was an issue. Going into the training I didn’t think I would have a problem because I always had good habits. The feeling of wanting to maintain that lean physique definitely took over and it was hard to eat certain foods again with the fear of putting on inches. That’s not the mindset I want to have. Powerlifting has completely changed that! I train hard, really hard, and because of that I can follow a healthy well-rounded nutrition plan. Are my legs and stomach as lean as the show date? NO, and that’s ok because they are not suppose to be 🙂
How to train for Fat loss; the behind the scenes of our TT System.
Just the other day as Taylor and I were driving with our TT member ambassadors we were noticing just how many people were out running in the gorgeous weather.
We love being outside and we understand the allure of training outdoors, but we couldn’t help but shake our heads as we know that the majority of those pounding the pavement (literally in some cases) are focused on fat loss as their goal; one that they will never achieve by running.
As fitness professionals it’s our job to provide the best education on how to eat and how to train. It’s our passion and what we’ve dedicated our lives to doing.
I’m here to tell you this myth, this urban legend, that running will make you ‘skinny’ is simply not true.
I can tell you this because I too was in search of fat loss results and I too tried to run off my fat. In my early 20’s I signed up for a 5K, then a 10K then ‘trained’ for a ½ marathon, sound familiar? I use quotations on the train because my ‘training’ was absolutely terrible. It consisted of running more, followed by a little more, followed by a lot more. That was before I had the knowledge to understand just how wrong I had it…
What running is really doing is putting you in an aerobic state. Based on the latest research, we know that aerobic training is NOT effective for fat loss.
What does the current research for aerobic training tell us? Let’s take a look.
In a study of 439 obese women 58 years old with an average of 47% fat, participants were divided into 4 groups:
1- Diet only
2- Exercise only via aerobic training
3- Diet plus aerobic training
4- Control – aka no change
The results of participant fat loss at the conclusion of the study were as follows:
1 Diet – 8.5%
2- Exercise – 2.4 %
3 Diet plus exercise – 10.8%
4 Control – 0.8%
When you look at group 1 and 2 you would think that there would have been more of an difference in results, yet the diet group yielded much better results that just the exercise group. Looking at these results, you have to wonder why the aerobic exercise wasn’t working? ONLY when nutrition changed, did the results improve.
In this next study participants added in 45 minutes of aerobic training 5 days a week over 3 months.
The results: The inclusion of the above exercise protocol had no effect on body composition over diet alone.
Two groups were divided with one being ‘diet only’ and the other ‘diet plus aerobic exercise’ for 6 months (3 months longer than study #2). The group did 50 minutes of aerobic training 5x per week.
The results: The group that included aerobic exercise saw no additional impact on body composition over the group that used diet only.
A group of overweight men and women were tracked for a full year. Their exercise protocol consisted of 60 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, 6 days a week. They were instructed to not make any changes to their nutrition.
The results: After an entire year of doing 1 hour a day aerobic training workouts participants lost on average 3lbs. Yes, you’re reading that right, 3lbs!
A study was performed on weight changes during the ‘Marathon of Sands’. Participants perform a marathon a day for 6 days.
The results: The average weight loss was 6.1% but the important thing to note is that 82% of that weight loss came from muscle.
In this study two groups were formed. The first performed 20 weeks of endurance training and the second group performed 15 week of interval training.
In terms of caloric expenditure the results were as follows:
The endurance group burned 28, 661 calories while exercising
The Interval group burned 12, 614 calories while exercising
The results: Post study body composition testing concluded that the interval-training group showed 9x greater fat loss in subcutaneous fat. Their training (which was 5 weeks shorter) was 9x as effective!
You might be wondering – what exactly happens to the body during steady state aerobic training?
During a steady state or aerobic training session the body does burn a higher percentage of calories from fat (as demonstrated in Study #6). In what is known as the ‘fat burning zone’ it was previously argued that working out at 60%-75% of your maximum heart rate (220-age) burned the most fat and therefore was the most effective. The thought was that after 20 minutes of aerobic training the fat burning started to take effect.
In present day fat loss training this is no longer thought of as the most effective or efficient way to train for fat loss. As your body adapts and gets efficient at an aerobic style of exercise, such as running, you don’t burn as many calories. As your body gets more efficient at performing the activity, it becomes more efficient at storing fat. Since during your aerobic activity you are now burning fat as a primary fuel source, your body it seeking to hold on to your body fat as it is required to preferentially preserve body fat for survival.
Additionally, when you are finished your aerobic training the caloric expenditure also finishes. Therefore the calories you burn during your steady state jog are exclusive to your session.
It is now well researched that with a style of training known as interval training of shorter bouts of higher intensity training (take that jog to a sprint!) there is an effect that takes place called EPOC or ‘afterburn’ which stands for exercise post oxygen consumption.
When training at this higher intensity muscles start to fill up with lactic acid and the oxygen stores quickly become depleted. Higher intensity interval training sessions or HIIT sessions force the body to work harder to replenish its oxygen stores for an estimated period of time ranging from 16-24 hours. During your rest and recovery post HIIT workout, the body is working hard to clear away the lactic acid and repay the oxygen debt created and therefore expends a overall larger total of calories.
This style has been researched to lead to greater fat loss when compared with traditional steady state aerobic training. An additional benefit is the stimulation and growth of type II muscle fibers. If strength training is used for a HIIT workout (pushups, chin-ups, free weight exercises) then there is also an added benefit of muscle hypertrophy aka you build muscle and add shape to your physique – this my friends, is what everyone wants and means when they say they want to ‘tone-up’.
Two groups were made, one performing intervals and the other performing steady state/aerobic exercise. Both maintained the same diet.
Results: The aerobic group gained a 1lbs of fat and the interval group loss 5.5lbs fat and increased lean muscle mass
So I hope it’s really clear that aerobic training, which most people do in the form of running is not the best way to reduce body fat and ‘tone-up’.
I am going to tell you what is effective, what works and how we achieve our incredible fat loss results at Taylored Training.
Here is our TT Hierarchy of Fat Loss:
#1 The Right Nutrition
#2 See #1 – and do it!
#3 Strength Training
#4 High intensity interval training (Metabolic or HIIT training)
#5 Additional ‘bonus’ cardiovascular work to promote relaxation
#6 Sleep, recovery and regeneration
#1 and #2 The Right Nutrition
What you choose to eat has the most important influence on how you feel, how you move and how you look. It is fundamental to fat loss. We can’t stress this enough.
If you fuel your body with packaged foods we guarantee you will never hit your goals. This ‘food’ will leave you feeling tired, frustrated and you will be unable to hit your fitness goals.
We teach our members how to eat. We teach the best nutrition practices for fat loss, performance and have a multitude of programs available on request. We teach our members to focus on whole food eating and what that looks like. Food should make you feel good. It should make you perform better and it should make you feel and look good.
#3 Strength Training
The foundation of our TT programming is strength training. Lifting more resistance that you do in your everyday life (books, groceries, laundry baskets, kids…) will increase your strength to help you perform your daily activities with ease.
From a fat loss perspective, it will give you the ability to live life to its fullest – just ask our members who are in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s!
Strength training will also increase your muscle and help decrease your body fat. Since muscle is more metabolically demanding that fat, you will not only increase the amount of calories you expend throughout your day you will also reap the huge benefits of a leaner physique!
#4 Interval Training
The concept that ‘the more you burn during exercise the more you lose’ is one that previously was adopted as being true, but thanks to the research we know a better and more efficient approach.
Fortunately interval training is more time efficient and it’s a lot more fun too!
An example of an interval training set:
A) 30 seconds of battle ropes or medicine ball slams
A) 60-90seconds of rest
By the time you finish and your resting your heart rate has decreased, you will be ready to start your next round! You will feel breathless, challenging and ALIVE! This is an example of a set we might build for a beginner aiming for 10-12 rounds.
From a safety standpoint, running for a beginner, which has the impact of 2-4x a person’s body weight is a highly intense activity and one that has a hugely high risk of injury. Give someone a set like we mentioned above and you take out that risk. With proper coaching I have never encountered a study about any injuries sustained performing medicine ball slams or battleropes.
#5 Additional ‘bonus’ cardio
Taking your dog for a stroll, yoga, pilates, biking, cycling – these are all examples of some fantastic additional bonus energy expenditure. The goal in choosing activities you enjoy doing. This extra activity should promote a sense of relaxation or be a fun social activity.
#6 Sleep recovery and regeneration
Just because it’s number 6, doesn’t mean it isn’t 100% important to your fat loss results! Getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night will help you avoid missing your workouts, help you to choose high quality food and will give you the time needed to recover and maintain your optimal hormonal health. Growth hormone, which kids have in abundance, is release during our sleep. This time is crucial for recovery and regeneration and will 100% assist you with fat loss. When you feel tired do you notice you tend to gravitate towards high carb/sugar foods? It’s your body’s way of trying to get your more glucose to give you a boost. Aim to get that boost through adequate sleep and recovery time.
Also make sure you give your body time to relax and your muscles time to recover from your training. You will commonly see our TT members foam rolling, performing active isolation stretching, warming-up and cooling down, before and after their training. This is key to the recovery process and will also help avoid injury!
So there you have it- the ultimate formula for Fat Loss! Research driven, effective and the approach that has made our Taylored Training members damn successful!
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Macpherson et al. Run Sprint Interval Training Improves Aerobic Performance but Not Max Cardiac Output. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise – 2010