Starting out as a new trainer, like a lot of people, I would over flood my clients with information and exercises. I would give too many exercises or go way too in depth on actions and breakdowns of what and why we are doing certain movements. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing; I was just really excited to be working with somebody. We all have done something similar in our own lives, where we take something and make it more complicated than it needs to be. As a trainer now, I keep things very simple and try not to over-complicate matters. I KISS. Have I lost you yet? I KISS every day. You should KISS every day as well. I Keep It Simple Stupid. KISS. When it comes to the weight room and exercising, countless people come up to me with over-complicated issues and ideas on exercise. In the spirit of this website let’s attack one of the biggest and most asked questions at the gym to a trainer, “what’s the best way to….” There are many variations of this question with the most, I think and a lot of other trainers is, “what’s the best way to lose fat?” I have come up with five ways for you to burn fat. Granted, these are not “quick” fixes or revolutionary tactics that will blow the fitness realms mind. No. These are five tried and true methods that will require time, discipline, and determination. Nothing in life is easy, and the best things in life are worth working your butt off for! Let’s start:
Guys I think this is a no brainer. If you want muscle, you must life heavy objects more than once. Girls on the other hand, I know a lot of you are scared about this topic. Rest assure, you will not become bulky like a dude. You want that toned look? Guess what? You must lift. Nothing requires more energy, aka burning calories, than lifting heavy weights. I am not talking about the 20 reps of the 10lb dumbbells you do. NO. Double the weight and try to do that same set of 20 reps. Get there too easy? Add more weight. If you really want to push yourself, why not try to lift as much weight as you comfortably can? Your body will use more energy to lift that weight and a lot more energy to recover those muscles that lifted said weight. You ladies want that Julian Michaels look? Well, she lifts weights that challenge her: you should do the same. Guys, whatever you do, don’t take this to the extreme. Getting hurt while lifting heavy can have very negative aspects on your life; torn and replaced body parts are no fun. Lifting heavy is one thing, being stupid and lifting heavy can be dangerous. Please use your heads.
Have you ever had to run to catch and elevator or bus? Did you run as fast as you could in a short amount of time? How was your heart rate after that? A little elevated and shortness of breath maybe? I have talked on this subject in the past and my opinion has not changed. Sprinting, like lifting heavy, requires more energy than your jog around the block. Now this doesn’t have to be running, you could sprint on a bicycle, elliptical, arm bike. Heck you could even use the battle ropes( one of my favorite) The fact remains the same, sprinting taps into those fast twitch muscle fibers that rarely get used on the long, runs. The more fast twitch muscles used, the more energy you expel, the more energy you expel the more needed to repair muscle. See a pattern here? Even if you have a bad knee, you can use sprints. Try pumping your arms like you are running as fast as you can with your feet on the ground, one leg staggered back behind you. Do that for 20 seconds, then switch legs. Repeat.
I may be sounding like a broken record, but I wouldn’t be telling you these things if people were not doing them. How many times have you been at home and you are hungry. You don’t know what for, so you look in the fridge. Left-over meat loaf? No. A salad with turkey? No. How about in the pantry some nuts or a bar? No and no. How about a drink of cold water? Too many a time do we supplement food with thirst. Our bodies are 80% water, why not give it what it needs? This can be especially true in the mornings after a six to eight hour fast, that pain in your tummy may not be food, but for water. Try drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up. This may actually help curb your cravings for a big breakfast. You would be amazed at what one glass of water can do.
This is probably the topic where the most opinions and arguments can be created. To keep things easy and simple, do a few things when it comes to eating: eat the rainbow, don’t eat what you can’t pronounce, lay off the breads and alcohol and eat one. Eating the rainbow is clever way of getting you to eat your fruits and veggies. Get some greens in salads, some reds from apples and purples from grapes. I would advice away from corn as it has no nutritional value, it comes out the same way it goes in (ask me if you want details) But be creative, mix the reds of strawberries in with your green salad with a little turkey. You should literally taste the rainbow every day. Tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, spinach and eggs is how I start my day every day. When it comes to labels on the back of food, my rule of thumb is if I can’t pronounce it, I usually don’t eat it. This doesn’t rule out other ethnic foods, but pronounce this, butylated hydroxyanisole. Sound good? This is a common food additive and comes in many other names, which may cause cancer. Breads and alcohols, I hate to say it, need to be ditched. Both of these come from wheat, which when consumed in excess, inflame the body. Cut these out and in about a week I guarantee you will feel less bloated. With the alcohol, you have to remember that it is just empty calories. Eat one. This is something my brother taught me. Eat one ingredient at a time. This I think wraps up this real nice. Take an onion, peppers, garlic, and some olive oil with a pound of ground turkey. Those five ingredients combine to make something great. I could go on and on about nutrition and I won’t. If you are a meat eater, keep the meats lean and fresh. Fish, turkey and chicken are always great.
This one I see all the time. A person is hurt but doesn’t want to take time off from working out because of the fear of gaining weight. Or, a person states they hate said exercise or class but do it anyway. If your body is tired, rest. If it is sore, stretch and foam roll. Don’t feel like lifting heavy, but fancy a walk? Go for it. Our bodies break down, plain and simple. The key to being successful and pain free is being able to recognize and deal with these breakdowns. Shoulder hurt? Maybe lay off the heavy chest and shoulder press, do a little stretch and foam roll, then ease back into it? All I am trying to say is listen to your body. If you feel like going big and dead lifting your max, go for it. Want to ride the bike the day after to loosen up the lactic acid in your glutes from the max dead lift? Go for it! There are days I don’t feel like working out, but still remain active. Nice day? I go for a walk, or shoot some hoops. My chest is sore from my bench work out? Better stretch and take it easy. Do not be afraid to break the norm and take time off. Your body may welcome the rest.
There you have it, a quick way to keep things simple. Now, I can and will go more into depth on a lot of these subjects later on. I hope this encourages you to make the right choices, inside and outside the gym.