the fitness journal
How I build Beyond
I have been personal training for over a decade and have built a solid reputation for results to say the least.
And what I wanted to do today was, as the video title suggests show you how I build a beyond plan.
I often get asked
What's included in the plans
What do I get?
Is it training and food?
Do you even write them.
And I wanted to make the entire process completely transparent.
I am incredibly proud of all of my services and I know that my Beyond plan is the best online product out there.
So, I wanted to show you step by step how it works, sign up to delivery.
I think the mass rush of trainers to online training has definitely had a big impact on the quality which is pretty poor across the board.
I mean its pretty easy to hide behind a website and Instagram page and pass out shoddy word docs.
I have invested huge amounts of money into my systems over the past year and also have the experience and knowledge to provide the very best service.
This video will give you an insight into what I do, how I do it and why it so incredibly effective.
So, let's begin.
This is Beyond
Immediately after someone signs up I am directed to questionnaire 1.
So, I have received the questionnaire, now I get to work understanding the individual and what they need to do.
The questionnaire is crucial and it gives me insight into every aspect of the person. I will also follow up with additional questions if they are required.
For example, for myself If I signed up I would talk through movements, frequency of exercises and any other factors that I needed to discuss based on in my case conditions.
I am going to just touch on the details here. If you want more information on my choices then keep an eye on my blog this coming month.
I have a 20+ video series coming soon that covers choosing your goals, planning your training to staying on track.
The first section I want to talk through is
The majority of my plans are built around resistance training, the benefits of resistance training for muscle building, fat loss, improvements in body composition and general health are vast.
I will therefore spare you the 5 hour video.
And move onto how I build a plan.
For each plan I will look to set some clear objectives and goals.
As part of the questionnaire I will assess what is trying to be achieved and what will do this most effectively.
Each 12-week training plan is normally set as a single phase, but not exclusively however.
Within this phase selecting a clear direction is important
If you want to hear more of my thoughts goals setting then check out the video
Lets move onto building a resistance training plan.
How a plan is built, structured and adapts is not the same for everyone.
Factors like how many times a week someone can train, their ability and their goals have a lot of influence on how the plan is designed.
The resistance section of this plan's job and purpose in this training phase is to maintain muscle whilst in a calorie deficit.
The deficit is created as a result on energy expenditure being greater than energy intake.
This can be achieved with increases in activity or reductions in calorie intake.
Let's get into the plan.
Choosing the movements for each person is a really important part of good planning.
I select movements best suited for the goals.
In the questionnaire I have info on the movements that be included.
In this plans case, my case. Due to certain conditions I am restricted to the movements I can do.
A lot of people think you need the "big lifts" for muscle growth, but ultimately squats, deadlifts and barbell bench press however useful are not essential, nor optimum for all goals.
So, if like me you can't do them it isn't a concern when creating the plan.
Aside the exercise selection there are lot of other details that need to be considered.
Training frequency is one of them, training frequency is how many times you train each week, this is somewhat decided by the time you have available but also your ability, training history and goals are also considered.
I lift weights four times a week and this is often the optimum amount of weight training.
But training frequency also is impacted by training volume. Typically, more volume will mean less frequency.
As well as training frequency there is "Muscle training frequency" and this is the number of times that a muscle group is trained each week.
For example, do you hit legs twice a week, or chest twice per week as examples.
Again, there a number of factors that effect this like session volume, level of experience, goals, available time etc.
Without going into too much detail about this there is more than one way of planning this and you can use a variety of techniques for continual progress.
Next up and one of the smartest parts of the way I design plans is the planning for overload.
Progressive overload is a key principle to a successful training plan.
It is strategy of progressively increasing overload to maintain an overcompensation and adaption through training.
If you don't progress your lifts the stimulus for improvements will plateau.
A lot of people think of overload as simply being adding more weight to the bar.
But this system does not work long term as strength gains are not linear. You can't expect to add 10lb to your bench every month, every year.
Other factors that effect overload are
Improving your range of motion with the same load
Lifting the same load and volume with better form, more control, and less effort (efficiency)
Increasing your number of reps with the same load
less rest time in between sets with the same weight and volume
Increasing the amount of work in the same amount of time
Maintaining the same work but decreasing the amount of time
Doing more sets with the same load and reps
Lifting the same load and volume more frequently
The overload system I use here uses variable overload for more consistent progress. It varies factors each week to increase workload. You won't always be lifting more but your volume will be increasing, with the acceptation of any back-off weeks.
Back-off weeks may be placed in your plan to provide a lower volume week. This will allow for some extra recovery which will help with long term progression.
A question I often get asked can I expect to maintain, lose or build strength when losing weight.
Naturally building strength on a calorie deficit isn't as easy as building strength on a calorie surplus.
Therefor I am able to adjust the amount of progress I am aiming for in each plan.
I can also edit this depending of other factors like years training.
An experienced lifter cannot expect the same level of progress as a beginner.
If I was creating a plan for myself here for muscle gain I would be shooting for a larger percentage increase.
Your 12 weeks of resistance training.
In order for the plan to be effective it is planned in advance to ensure the correct periodisation and overload is in place. But the plan is also fully adaptable.
This means if certain movements are causing you problems or they are not progressing or if your results as a whole are beginning to slow down then I can make changes at any point during the plan.
Rep and sets is a big topic which I am not going to get into too much here.
The key things I am looking for, for muscle growth or muscle maintenance is mechanical loading and metabolic stress.
Mechanical loading is about using the sweet spot of heavy to moderately heavy weights. An example here might be 6-10 reps with long enough rest to maintain heavy loads.
Metabolic stress can be achieved with higher reps, shorter rest periods and more intensity.
For certain plans I also include resistance circuits, but perhaps that's a story for another day.
I still have to cover cardio
LISS vs HIIT
The never ending debate.
Ultimately, both are useful tools.
Liss burns a higher percentage of fat during the activity.
Higher intensity burns more total calories, more total fat, but a smaller fat percentage.
- LISS is easy
- HIIT is hard
- LISS is good active recovery
- HIIT can have negative impact on recovery using weights (not always however)
- More calorie burned through cardio means you can eat more
- Few calories consumed means you don't have to do so much cardio.
I typically plan for a mix of LISS and HIIT but this does depend on the overall training plan and available time.
This is based on your available time and it will set out a plan that is most effective for the time you have.
The type of training you do will.
Working outsomeone's calories
What determines someone's calorie need to achieve their goals?
Calorie balance is the crucial factor when it comes to changes in weight.
The factors that influence this balance are numerous and complex, involving genes, environment, and their interaction.
But in order to create plans that work it is important to understand, identify and modify the amount of energy introduced and expended in order to achieve a goal.
It is also important for this number to be consistent, trackable and adaptable.
Calories out isn't just what you burn doing exercise however,
There are a number of factors that effect your Total energy expenditure or (TEE) for short
Base metabolic rate (BMR).
A measurement of the number of calories needed to perform your body's most basic (basal) functions, like breathing, circulation and cell production.
- BMR is effected by a number of factors. I don't want to go into too much detail here. I will save that for another vide.
- So let's look What effects BMR
- Your weight – more weight means more calories burned – having more muscle and more fat means you burn more calories, also being larger means your body is doing more work.
- Muscle to fat ratio - muscles require slightly more energy to maintain than fat, so the more toned you are, the higher your BMR.
- Your height and surface area - the greater the surface area, energy is required to regulate body temperature.
- Genetics - some people naturally burn more calories than others, though the effect is small.
Next up is
- Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)
- When you eat food, your body has to convert it into something it can use, which requires energy
- n general, the more processed a food is, the less energy it takes to metabolise.
You also have
- Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)
- Sounds complicated, but it's just the calories you burn by being generally fairly active. Think going for a walk, taking the stairs or standing instead of sitting. The more active you live your life, the more calories you burn
- Exercise thermogenesis
- Exercise. But beware - going for a short run doesn't mean you can eat all you want and still lose weight.
- Length and intensity of exercise are both important.
- Whole body exercises will also burn more calories than exercises which only work some body parts.
Epoc, excess post oxygen consumption which is The amount of oxygen our body consumes following a bout of exercise that is in excess of the pre-exercise oxygen consumption baseline level. We essentially expend more calories during our recovery due to the exercise. Although the effects of epoc aren't necessarily huge they can still be considered.
There are some other factors that effect TEE such as
- Genetic factors – different people do burn calories at different rates. Although the variation is not big on average.
- Metabolic adaptation – With weight loss and time in a calorie deficit comes adaptation. Metabolic adaptation means the energy used for basic functioning when the body is at rest — actually slows down to a greater degree than would be expected through the weight loss.
TEE = BMR + TEF + NEAT + EPOC + Exercise
- How do you determine your calorie needs:
- First, work out what your goal is. Are you trying to lose weight or gain muscle.
- Then determine your maintenance calories. There are lots of tools out there online. I'd recommend trying a few to see what sort of numbers you're getting. Be careful not to overestimate how much exercise you do.
- Then create a deficit or surplus, by adding or subtracting a manageable amount, around 15-20%. If you're trying to lose weight and you take off much more than 20%, you will likely get hungry and grumpy.
- To work out how much weight you should expect to lose or gain, a simple rule is that 1kg of weight change is equivalent to about 8000 calories. This is very approximate, but this means that if you are on a 500 calorie a day deficit, you can expect to lose 1kg over the course of about 2-3 weeks (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2376744/)
- As most people's weight fluctuates by about 2-3kg per day, you have to be on a calorie deficit of 500 calories a day for around 2 months before you'll see a difference
- The same is true for muscle gain - you should not expect to see any obvious muscle gains until you have been working out for at least 2 months
- Your goals and calories have to be realistic - gaining half a kg of muscle a week for a year is not realistic
- Losing half a kg of fat per week is not realistic unless you are currently very overweight and so have a lot of weight to lose.
Steady progress is good progress.
- If you are trying to lose weight, if you were to lose weight rapidly, you would have to starve your body of calories
- This can have a long lasting negative effect on your mood, your sleep patterns, your metabolism and your health. Your will also probably suffer high muscle degradation as your body breaks down your muscles for energy.
The best way to make progress is a small calorie deficit sustained over a long period of time.
- If you are trying to gain muscle, you have to work out, but you also have to rest and recover in order for your body to build and repair your muscles
- If you try to build muscle quickly, you will risk damaging your muscles as well as ligaments and tendons
- You will also have to be on a large calorie surplus, which may result in a high rate of fat gain
For these reasons, the best way to make progress is slow and steady.
- I will briefly touch on these factors.
- What surplus for muscle?
- What deficit for fat loss?
- There are optimum levels to aim for here, but ultimately they vary for each person based on current body composition, training age, genetics and goals.
- I will cover these in more detail later on, for now I will simply show you how the food system works.
I utilise a number of different macro set ups and also include carb cycling in many of my plans.
The options I use
- High carb
- High carb and medium carb (cycled or phased)
- Medium carb
- Medium carb and low carb (cycled or phased)
- Low carb
Cycled would be if there are regular changes, phased would be longer periods for example 4 days high carb 4 days low carb)
To cover the macros for each of these and why and who I use each for would push video to about a day long so I want to quickly summarise.
High carb – Positive effect on performance and session quality, plus glycogen replenishment.
Low carb – aid in weight loss, improve insulin sensitivity
Carb cycling can provide a combination of benefits.
I select each protocol based on selected goals, body composition and preferences.
How your account works?
- Access to recipes
- Photo uploads
- Download your training
Within your account you also have the option to renew.
I am in this for the long run with each and every customer. Results take time and I will be there every step of the way.