I’m not necessarily impatient. I’m not the guy cursing under his breath in the grocery line at the woman who can’t find her reading glasses to sign the Visa slip. I’m not that guy. However, I am the guy that likes to get the things I need to get done quickly so I can do more of the things I want to do. I recognize that with so many demands on the average person’s time such as work, family, and friends, fitness, especially getting rid of unwanted fat, goes to the backburner. So you live with it. You might not remember your 10 pound friend hanging around from day to day, but you certainly remember when it’s time to shop for new clothes, when you run into old friends, or in the middle of the day when your energy is low. I had a client whose wakeup call came when her 6-year-old caught her in her skivvies and asked, “Mommy, why is everything jiggly?” She wasn’t what you would have considered overweight at the time but given her “all cardio” approach to weight loss, muscle tone was nonexistent. Even worse was that by adopting an all cardio approach she was actually lowering her metabolism and increasing her chances of gaining the weight back plus more!
One of the top reasons motivated people fail at permanent fat loss is because they take a majority cardio approach and half-ass the weight training.
Prioritize your fat burning activities to elicit maximum results in the least amount of time. Strength coach and world renowned fat loss expert Alwyn Cosgrove talks about the hierarchy of fat loss. He lays out the activities you should be focusing on in order to achieve the best fat loss results for your time. You’ll notice that resistance training ranks at the top of the list and aerobic training falls toward the bottom of the list. For those allergic to change, you can stop reading now and continue on in mediocrity. If you want to lose fat fast, read it, know it, apply it!
Before I go on you must know one thing: Fat loss will not happen if you take in more calories than you burn. It just won’t. A diet that contains a balanced amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats is a must. You must burn more calories than you take in. Oh, and just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean that the calories don’t count against you. If you overeat 800 calories of veggies it elicits the same results as overeating 800 calories worth of cheese burger and waffle fries at your local greasy spoon. The excess calories will be stored as fat. Buying organic won’t save you from this fact, too.
Cosgrove breaks down hierarchy like this:
1) “If you have 3 hours – high-intensity resistance train only.” This type of training kills calories on three fronts: calories burned during exercise, calories burned during recovery (up to 31 hours) and calories burned by adding muscle. You can do it in three 60 minute sessions or 4 forty-five minutes sessions. Focus on full body circuits using compound exercises that combine multiple muscles within the same movement, for maximum muscle stimulation.
2) If you have 3-5 hours – high-intensity resistance training and high-intensity anaerobic interval training. This type of cardio training burns more calories than steady state cardio and it also maximizes post exercise calorie burn. An example of this would be interval sprints at close to maximum effort on land or on a bike for 30-60 seconds followed by a rest interval. Note: this is a difficult interval. Beginners should build up to this gradually under supervision of a certified personal trainer.
3) “5-6 hours – add aerobic interval training.” This burns a bit more than steady state aerobic interval training. An example of this would be moderate intensity and low intensity intervals (2:1, 1:1) on an elliptical or treadmill that are continuous for 25-45 minutes.
4) “7-8 hours – add steady state high intensity aerobic training.” For those cardio junkies, steady state has its place; it just falls lower in the pecking order. Prioritize this activity and you’ll be cheating yourself out of post exercise calorie burn and metabolism increase from increase in lean muscle. Under this umbrella would be any cardio activity done at a constant pace for 25 minutes or more.
5) “8+ steady state low intensity cardio activity.” These are just the little activities that come under the umbrella of moving more. It doesn’t make a huge impact on fat loss but it doesn’t hurt either.
There is no magic here. Do the harder stuff before the easy stuff and you will get to your fat loss goal faster and maintain results.
I am currently putting together a program called Quiktrain 3x that integrates the hierarchy of fat loss along with principals of good eating and lifestyle in an 8 week package. I’ll be posting the details on the blog in the next couple weeks.
In the meantime, stay healthy and strong,
I love this. I definitely understand that the girl on the right is gifted genetically and potentially digitally enhanced however I have seen this many times in real life. The body on the left is typical of working out to “lose weight” and the body on the right is indicative of someone who trains with weights. This comparison illustrates the point that “losing weight” will not necessarily make you look better.
Resistance training has the ability to sculpt the body so you not only lose weight but also look better naked! P.S. The girl on the right probably weighs a lot more too!
So go hard in the gym and don’t be afraid to lift weights that challenge your muscles and push you outside your comfort zone. This approach will make sure you metabolism revs hot enough to shred the fat and build the strong defined body you can be proud of.
This is a concept that came about right around the time that gym goers would wear neon headbands and full body lycra to aerobics class without regret. Along with those mistakes, we also thought that reducing fat from our diets would make us lose fat. This is absolutely not true. Incorporating good fats throughout the day such as the fats found in nuts, fish, avocado and olive oil will boost your bodies ability to burn fat and get you to your goal faster.
Quiktrain Top Fat Loss Habit: “Supplement with a multivitamin and fish oil daily”
The leading research has shown us that supplementing with fish oil has tremendous affects on fat loss by increasing insulin sensitivity in the body. Increasing insulin sensitivity is important because it makes our bodies better at using stored fat for energy. So don’t be afraid of fats and make sure you incorporate them into every meal!
Bonus Fat Loss Tip: Two-a -days (two workouts in one day) boosts insulin sensitivity and helps accelerate fat burning.
Dinners, parties,wine, chocolate, cookies, candy, pastries and the list goes on! If your mouth is watering right now with the thoughts of cheating on your diet then this post is for you!
If you’ve been on a workout program chasing down that flat tummy or those bulging biceps now’s not the time to blow it! Make sure your diet survives the hollidays with some top strategies to help you enjoy the holiday cheer without having it spill over into the new year and your beltline
Tip # 1: Revisit your goals and focus
Remind yourself why you are doing this in the first place. Write it down. Try on your goal dress or pin up your old college ball pics. Getting fit is about looking and feeling your best. Is it a six pack you’re after, are you trying to improve your health markers like blood pressure or cholesterol. Do you want more energy to play with your kids, look good in a bikini or finally have the confidence to go shopping and love what you try on? Stirring up all these passionate reasons will give you the focus to maintain your workout schedule and make excellent food choices.
Tip # 2 Keep it clean and light
You know when your celebrations are scheduled. You also know that there are going to be tasty delights circulating around the office waiting to hijack your willpower and drown you in sugary calories. So for the next two weeks make sure you are keeping you calories in check by substituting your heavier breads, pastas and rice with a variety of veggies. Aim for 5 servings a day. Remember vegetable are carbs too. Anything you can eat in a sandwich you can have in a salad. Have 1 big salad a day. This substation will reduce your calories without you feeling hungry all the time and this way if you do end up having some treats you will balance out your net calorie intake.
Tip # 3 incorporate mini workouts
Mini workouts wake up your metabolism and give you doses of happy hormones that can keep you feeling great for hours after your workout. But perhaps the biggest value occurs on a much deeper physiological level. The trick is to get in a workout before you eat a big meal. This signals your body to devote those post workout calories to restoring energy balance vs. fat storage. For the biggest metabolic boost do combination exercises that use more than one muscle at once and train in a circuit. Aim for 15-20 minutes high intensity!
Tip # 4 Drink lots of water
Continue to drink lots of water throughout the day. The excess sodium from preserved foods and snacks can overload your kidneys and cause you to retain water and feel dehydrated. If this happens the last thing you’ll want to do is work out and the first thing you’ll want to do is reach for a sugary carb loaded pick me up. Avoid this cycle at all costs. Flush your body out with water to keep from retaining water and feeling dehydrated and fatigued. Start with 2 litres for women and 3 for men. If it’s a workout day you’ll need more.
Tip # 5 Be Selective
The rule is, if it’s not at least 8 out of 10 on your delicious scale then just say no. It’s not worth the extra calories. Personally, i’m a big cheesecake fan and I have no problems putting down a mediocre cheesecake. Savour the treats that you most enjoy in small amounts and leave the fillers out. Go for quality, not quantity
At the end of the day remember that its not what you eat from Christmas to New Years, its what you eat from New Years to Christmas so aim to eat well 90% of the time and you’ll have no problems keeping your body in check when it counts.
P.S. Special thanks to Elizabeth for some great ideas for this post!
Here is one of my first attempts at the Turkish Getup. This exercise makes mice out of men and reduces gods to trembling sissies. I was happy to get one off with a decent weight – 88 lbs. There are some cool videos on YouTube of people doing this exercise with people for weights! Really cool, but I’ll have to build up to that. Unless somone wants to lend me their toddler….
Life is a balancing act. We are working more and more hours for the things we want on top of having family, friends and social obligations. So when you finally decide that it’s time to lose unwanted belly fat there’s no time to waste.
No time to hit the gym? You can still easily tackle the first two rules of fat loss:
2) See number 1
Reducing your calorie intake is the most important factor to fat loss. If you think about it, working out is just another method of calorie reduction. So do that too. Most diets, as different as they may seem, are really just various methods of cutting back on calories so your body burns stored fat for fuel. Fortunately for you this doesn’t necessarily mean eating less.
Simple tip: Eat 5 servings of vegetables per day. (1 serving= your fist)
Vegetable carbohydrates have fiber and water which will help increase the feeling of fullness but while taking in significantly less calories when compared to starchy carbohydrates like breads cereals, pasta and potatoes. So long as you eat enough vegetables with your lean proteins and healthy fats you will get all the nutrients you need, stave off hunger and have tons of energy!
If you are a performance athlete or on an intense workout program (training over 4x per week) you may need heavier carbs to keep up with energy demands of your activity while still losing fat. In this case you can have starchy carbohydrates but save them for right after a workout when your body prioritizes replenishing stored fuel. Eating a modest amount of carbs in this window of time 0 – 30 minutes after your workout will help with recovery and ensure your next training session is as effective as the last!
Some studies show that up to 90% of people aren’t getting enough of one or more essential vitamins and minerals. This deficiency can lead to intense insatiable cravings. Veggies are packed with vitamins and minerals so as an added benefit, getting 5 servings of veggies per day will help you reduce cravings from not having what you need.
In my experience following the first two rules of fat loss can make a signifigant impact on your weight, bellyfat and energy levels so give it a try!
Special thanks to everyone who dontaed to help put an end to prostate cancer. Although I didn’t reach my final end goal, every little bit was apprecated and we’ll pick up the slack next November. For those of you that dontated, stay tuned for more info about the Metabolic Mayhem conditioning class which you and a friend will be able to attend for free in early January!
A couple of weeks ago when consulting with Elizabeth, a Quiktrain client, on her goals, we got into a conversation about why she trains. I found it really inspirational especially since I know how far she’s come since our initial consultation two years ago. So I asked her to do a short write up and I’ve included it as a blog.
Check it out!
A couple days ago when talking about my future goals, Derick asked me what training means to me. So I decided to write down a couple notes and share them. If it inspires one person to make a change then it’s totally worth it!
For years, I’ve had a hate-love relationship with my body… I’ve hated trying to love it. Arms? Flabby. Hips? Too wide. Thighs? Let’s not go there. And I hated the way I felt when I tried aerobics classes or used the machines at a gym…embarrassed, self-conscious, and uncoordinated. Finally, after 15 or so years of thinking about changing lifestyle, my body, and my confidence level, I did something about it… I started working with Derick about 2 years ago, and even though I’ve long since reached and exceeded my transformation goals, I’m still going strong.
Of course, I could talk about all the health changes… I’ve noticed like a lower resting heart rate, increased strength and endurance, etc., but you’ve likely heard or read about them before. I’d rather talk about some of the unexpected bonuses.
My closet used to be filled with only neutrals and darks… “slimming” colours, shades that were meant to hide. And now? I still have all those colours, except now I wear them with oranges, blues, greens, pinks, purple, and patterns with no wardrobe malfunctions!
My clothes have finally caught up to my shoes. Shopping is actually a lot of fun now and can even be an ego boost. Now salespeople bring me things my teenage niece would wear claiming that “I have the body for it!” The first time this happened I remember thinking, “Not me. Not the girl who used to only do black and baggy.” Now when someone tells me I look great I actually believe them and I’m able to say “thank you” instead of shying away. I feel comfortable and confident in my new body!
Jeans – Yes, jeans. I even have skinny ones and what my niece calls jeggings! (jeans/leggings).
Bikinis – That’s right. Plural. I own several and have even worn them out in public.
Right now, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been and that makes me so happy! I know that I’ll be better able to manage whatever challenges await me, I’ll be able to be active with my family for a long time.
If anything I’ve said resonates with you then don’t wait. Get fit while you can still enjoy it. You’ll be happy you did!
P.S. I included a picture of me in one of my fave outfits!