I see a lot of people training, some training hard, others running through the motions.
Some train because they enjoy it, others are purely looking for an end results.
If you want to achieve something with your training it’s best to find the balance of the above. To do a type and amount of training that you can enjoy, but one that can help you reach some select goals you want to work towards.
The goals with keep you motivated and enjoyment will keep you consistent.
Often the reason people don’t stick with their training is because they don’t see any changes, on the flip side they often haven’t determined and planned for the changes they want to see.
If you struggle with motivation, seem to be making no progress or want to make a big change then follow these 3 steps.
- Set your goals
In general we all want more muscle and less fat. Some people at different rates and with some additional fitness/strength goals for a small percentage of people.
For more muscle and less fat you will likely achieve much more by prioritising each through different phases of training.
I’m not talking about a dirty bulk and starvation shred, instead I would focus on phases of building lean muscle and phases of dropping fat whilst maintaining muscle.
So first up, what is your priority? To drop fat? Or build muscle? To lose weight or to gain it?
If your goal is to drop fat then you can still build some muscle along the way with well planned training and appropriate levels of protein with calories not too low.
If your goal is to build muscle you will have a hard time losing fat at the the same time if done correctly but it shouldn’t see you ad much either.
Choose your priority now…
Plan for your goals
If you want to drop fat then you need a consistent calorie deficit. This can achieve by reducing how much you eat, becoming more active or a balance of both. I say balance as I believe it is the key to successful fat loss.
Don’t try and out train a loose diet, instead focus on your overall energy expenditure and intake.
Use this tool to determine your calories needs – http://davidkingsbury.co.uk/calorie-calculator
Within your calories aim to eat plenty of protein (1.5-2.5g per kg) and lots of fruit and vegetables. Don’t be overly restrictive on things you can and can’t have. Instead simple eat within your needs for your goals.
For your training focus on quality resistance training first and foremost. With some additional cardio if you have time. You can do LISS (low intensity steady state) or HIIT (high intensity interval training) it makes little difference which you choose to do if any.
You should train for the benefits of training not just to burn excess calories that you didn’t need to consume.
For optimum muscle gain you need to provide your body with slightly more energy than is required for maintenance. I wouldn’t go mad with it though. Keep the margins tight for slow steady progress.
Slow progress is often the best type of progress when it comes to adding muscle.
Train with weights for 3-4 times per week aiming to work each muscle twice per week and to apply overload when possible. Don’t chop and change your sessions too often, give yourself a chance to improve and get stronger. Work in a variety of reps ranges with suitable rest for the reps and sets.
Eat plenty of protein within your calories (1.5-2.5g per kg) and for fill the rest of the calories with a good mix of healthy foods.
Take action on your plans
The next step and a totally underrated one. Get stuck in.
Follow your plan consistently and only make small adjustments to keep yourself on track. Don’t chop and change too much. Give yourself the opportunity to develop, improve and progress towards your goals. Anything worth achieving will take time, patience and hard work. The real magic happens when you start to enjoy the process and the training and nutrition become habit, then all that’s left is to adjust the details for continued progress.