the fitness journal
Big picture progress
"Is it best to train weights in the morning or afternoon?"
"What time should I eat?"
"fasted liss cardio or non-fasted?"
"I'm not sure I can do intermittent fasting"
"Do I need to eat 6 meals a day for progress?"
"Am I too old to get in good shape?"
"I can't train every day, so I probably can't get in shape"
"I want to start training but how long will my transformation take?"
I get asked a lot of questions, and I mean a lot. These questions and problems are major barriers for people and can be the difference between starting and not starting, or success and quitting.
It's time to look at the big picture and start worry less about the details. If you want to succeed long term you need to strive for consistency not perfection. Get the basics right day after day, week after week, month after month and you can achieve incredible results without the stress of perfection.
So let's get the basics right first and foremost.
1. Set a goal
2. Calculate and balance your food with your training to be optimised for your goals
3. Eat this food
4. Do this training
5. Repeat 3 & 4
Whilst the details of a training plan do influence the results they will not make or break your progress. The best plan of action is the one that you can follow most easily for the longest possible time.
The idea that there is a right and wrong time train is quite common, there are studies that show benefits and of various times. The truth is what is most important is that you bank your training each week. The best way of doing this is training at the time that is most convenient for you. Some days I train at 5am if that's all I can do. Other days I might do 4pm if I have a gap. Don't get worried about time, just focus on getting it done when is best for you!
Food timing is something that has turned full circle, when I first qualified eating little and often was the holy grail. It never suited me I have to admit. When you eat is another personal factor, when can you eat? When would be best for you? I typically go for three meals per day and one snack/shake, this is very conventional and therefore fits well with other people and in turn makes it easier for me to stick with.
Fasted cardio or non-fasted, the big debate. Ultimately your weight loss is decided by overall energy balance. I do like fasted LISS cardio for my energy and focus but I don't always do it because it isn't always possible or necessary. Consistent with the First Law of Thermodynamics, if a person's calorie expenditure exceeds intake it is the most conducive environment for fat loss.
Intermittent fasting is something I am well known for, I did it with a certain actor for a certain big film. What people should be aware of is that the shape that he and I were in came from years of training that didn't feature IF. IF has its benefits but it also has its problems. If you can't do it or are unsure of how to do it then don't worry it isn't crucial to results, not even close. It is a useful tool if it fits your lifestyle. I personally no longer include it with structure, I do a couple of longer fasts once in a while only. The best shape I have ever been in I wasn't using any fasting, just getting my cals spot on.
I have actually seen meal frequency issues stop someone even trying to get in shape. "I can't eat 6 meals per day so can I even get in shape?" Don't worry about meal frequency, just gets your calories right for the day and the results will come!
Just like food timing I have seen a lack of time for training stop people from starting any sort of exercise plan. The truth is you don't need to train every day or work out for hours for results. You need to provide a training stimulus and calories for balanced with your training to be focused on your goal.
As for age, you can improve your health and fitness at any age. This is about being the best version of you so let's get too it and stop comparing yourself with others!
Lastly but most importantly worry less about how long your transformation will take and more about starting it and working towards it!. Are you not going to start training because the results will take too long? The longer you wait the longer you are going to have to wait!!!
I get my training in, when I can. I eat my food when I can. My timing isn't perfect. Not even close. My sessions are not perfect and I sometimes miss them. I often don't sleep enough.
But I do get the basics right with consistency.
If you want to make sure you are getting the basics right with your calories, macros and training then check out my online training plans that you can trust!