We are starting with a big blog for 2020, EVERYTHING you need to know to get the body you want. This means there’s a lot to discuss and sorry there’s going to be a lot to read … BUT if you can apply what I put in this article you WILL achieve the body you want by the end of 2020. Here goes…..
I’ve said this a million times but I’ll say it again…. The most important thing is getting your calories right. Basically no matter how good your training is, if you aren’t consuming the right amount of calories for whatever your goal is it WILL NOT WORK. So to put it simply diets don’t work, they only work for a short time as most are unsustainable and therefore you often get results fast but then after a few weeks or maybe months you can’t keep it going and your body and weight will go back to what it was before you started the diet and often worse… You have to eat how you could eat for the rest of your life or again it WILL NOT WORK.
Weight loss and weight gain are both this simple when it comes to nutrition, eat more calories than your body needs and you will gain weight ... eat less calories than your body needs and you will lose weight, therefore the only way and honestly the only way that exists in science to guarantee you lose weight or gain weight is to count your calories and put yourself in a calorie deficit or surplus. Any fad diet that works is simply because it puts you in a calorie deficit but almost all are unsustainable so the key is to eat how you could eat forever if you had to. That means eating stuff you like, being allowed to eat anything, nothing is banned etc. So if someone like myself wrote you something that said eat this and eat that at these times, it just wouldn’t work, you wouldn’t be able to stick to it for long enough and you’d hate it.
There’s loads of things that contribute to how much you should eat each day/week. How active you are at work, how active you are in your leisure time, do you exercise, your basal metabolic rate, etc etc. Luckily there’s a simple few equations you can do to work out your calories and then all you need to do is track it and these days there’s awesome apps you can use that allow you to do this easily. Here’s how you work out how many calories you should have a day.
Simply do this on a calculator ...
Body weight in kg X 25 to workout your basal metabolic rate in calories.
Then add between 20% and 50% depending on how active you are to the calories, if you’re unsure on how active you are tell me what your normal day or week is like and I’ll say what % I think you are.
Then either minus 500 or add 500 calories depending on if you are wanting to lose or gain size, or you can actually not minus or plus 500 and that will mean you stay the same weight roughly but you should be able to lose fat and gain some muscle in its place. It’ll be minus 500 for most of you as a majority are after weight loss after a high calorie December haha.
This will give you how many calories a day you should be having. So eating that many calories a day will mean you definitely lose between 1 and 2 lbs a week. It literally doesn’t matter in terms of weight loss what you eat as long as you hit or stay just under that calorie number you worked out. Say it was 2500 calories a day ... you could eat all 2500 as crisps and I could eat a perfectly balanced diet of 2500 calories and our body fat would still be the same. Your body has no idea if you are eating a Pringle or a Strawberry, to it they are simply calories (energy). The person who eats 2500 calories of crisps would have the same body fat as the person who eats 2500 of good nutritious food but they wouldn’t be as healthy and would find it harder as they would have more hunger cravings. Basically what I’m saying is this way of eating works as you can have some crisps and some chocolate etc as long as it’s fits into your daily or weekly allowance of calories. Plus… say you know you are going to have a few beers/wines with friends and have a takeaway therefore going way over your calories on say Saturday you can under eat Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to limit the damage on that Saturday. You could under eat by 500 calories each day to give you an extra 1500 calories to play with on the Saturday for example. So there’s no excuse to not lose weight as you have complete control over it. That’s the main FACT here, you have complete control over your body when it comes to counting calories so there is NO EXCUSE to fail at this, now you have the knowledge all you have to do is apply what I’ve just said and you’ll lose weight. If you REALLY want to achieve your goal body weight/shape you will do this… if you don’t you’ll come up with excuses, I know that sounds harsh but it’s true.
If you aren’t as bothered about how you look and its more being healthy and giving your body the correct nutrients that drives you, the below info about working out your macros is important as well… this makes the nutrition a little more complicated but is worth it….
First you need to find out what your goal bodyweight is in lbs, then do the maths on the following:
1.2 g of protein per lb of goal body weight
0.5 g of fat per lb of goal body weight
Rest of the calories are carbs!
Workings are as follows:
Imagine this is you ... I want to weigh 11stone, about 70kg which is 154lbs so protein is 1.2 x 154 equals 185g of protein per day. Fat is 0.5 x 154 equals 77g of fat per day. Carbs are the rest of my calories that are left over so I've got to have 2250 kcal a day, so protein is 4 kcal per gram which equals 740 kcal per day, fat is 9 kcal per gram which equals 693 kcal per day, those added together is 1433 kcal per day. So 2250 - 1433 equals 817 kcal left as carbs. Carbs are like protein and are 4 kcal per gram so 817 divided by 4 equals 204g of carbs a day!
Conclusion is 185g of protein, 77g of fat and 204g of carbs a day which totals 2249kcal (2250) a day!
Like I said it’s a bit more complicated than just losing weight via calorie counting but it is beneficial, you don’t need to do this though to lose weight. As I’ve mentioned CALORIES ARE ALL THAT MATTER. I do think it’s worthwhile at least trying to get plenty of protein in though, protein is the most important of the macros, so maybe just track that as well as your calorie consumption.
Then all you need to do is put all this worked out information into the app called MyFitnessPal. Then you start tracking your food and drink on it and you will 100% lose weight each week if you are honest with it and track everything. It seems like a pain in the bum at first but once you get used to using it, it’s very quick and easy to use. For example it saves stuff you eat and drink so when you go to put it in the app it’s easily found.
That’s nutrition (the most important bit) bossed… now time to boost your training/gym knowledge so you can thrive in that aspect too. Firstly you need to know all the compound lifts and apply them to your weight training and you’ll do well. Remember as I’ve said in the past resistance training is more important than cardiovascular training when it comes to fat loss, I won’t go into that now or this will be even longer and will take you another 24 hours to read haha. Compound lifts are exercises that hit multiple muscles in one go, so therefore are efficient and you get more for your time in the gym. Isolation exercises are lifts that only work 1 muscle. They are good for working on a weakness or an injury as they target a very specific body part but if you wanted to train your full body doing isolations exercises it would take ages. Compound lifts are best as it means you can train multiple muscles in a short time which makes your workouts shorter and therefore more likely to keep you consistently training due to manageability. You will also get results faster as you are more likely to get a bigger calorie burn and grow more muscle doing compound exercises.
These are the ones you need to fit into your training:
Leg press or squats (lower body push)
Deadlifts (lower body pull)
Overhead barbell press or dumbbells shoulder press (upper body push)
Lat pull down (upper body pull)
Bench press (upper body push)
Low row (upper body pull)
There needs to be lower body, upper body, pushes and pulls to keep you strong everywhere and keep your body well balanced.
To make your training even more efficient you could apply training methods such as:
SUPER SETS... these are great for getting things done quickly and getting your heart rate up. Basically all they are is putting 2 exercises together eg row 200m quite quick and powerfully then jump off and do press ups to failure... then row 200m again and then do the press-ups again and so on. It works with anything... could do 10reps of deadlifts then 10reps of dumbbell shoulder press and keep repeating the two. You’d maybe do 5 sets or something like that.
GVT (German volume training)… this is doing something like 10sets of 10reps of leg press. It’s used to basically batter one area. So you might have a really sore upper body from your last training session so you might decide to do the GVT on leg press then just go home. It would work your legs hard and give your upper body a rest basically. It’s a great way to train hard for a short time.
NEGATIVES… these are great for building muscle. Basically you lift the weight quickly and powerfully like you should with any lift but you then lower the weight really slowly (around 5 seconds lowering) and keep going like that. Again you would do something like 10reps and 5sets. So with these you are focusing on the lowering phase more than the actual lifting phase. It hurts and really burns this one due to the high time under tension on the muscles. The reason this is efficient is because it causes the muscle to have to repair/grow due to the high time under tension which means a high calorie burn for days after training whilst your body repairs itself.
Finally for the same reason as negatives it’s important you apply progressive overload to your training... google it. Your body won’t progress unless you progress what you are lifting in the gym. You need to make things harder once your body gets used to them. Most common way of doing this is by upping the weight lifted when you are getting stronger. So for example always lift between 8-12 reps (this should be a good rep range for you) ... do each set to failure and say you can only manage less than 8 reps it means it’s too heavy ... if you manage 12 or more reps put the weight up a little as it means you are too strong for the old weight now, this is progressive overload. If you then manage say 10 reps it means the weight is spot on for now.
Here a few rules to stick by when it comes to lifting weights…
1. Lift quick and lower the weight slowly, think 1 second lift and about 3 seconds lower (or more if doing negatives).
2. Breath out as you lift and in as you lower.
3. Use your reps as your guide to improve, progress and up your weight. 8-12 reps for example. If you can’t do 8 the weight is too heavy. If you can do 12 or more you should be increasing your weight by a little.
4. Make sure you do full reps, nice big movements but don’t lock out your knees on leg press or elbows on bench press.
I understand that’s a lot for everyone to take in but I hope all this helps. Remember if you are ever unsure about anything please ask a member of the Pulse team as that’s our job and we love helping you all reach your body goals.