As hard working humans, our time is valuable. We all have our priorities and commitments but are we making the MOST of our days and how we go about living a healthy lifestyle? I can't tell you how many times people come to me asking me WHY they aren't seeing results. They explain that they are working HOURS in the gym, going all out and doing hard core cardio on top of that. They claim they are eating healthy too and that they just don't know WHY they can't drop body fat or achieve a certain aesthetic.
If there is one word to describe me and my madness of training I would say it is EFFICIENT. The dictionary describes this word as "performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort." Who wouldn't want that? I am trying to say that you could be doing too MUCH in the gym and running your wheels under water with nutrition. Now you ask, how does one train efficiently? I'll let you in on my theories...
I wrote a blog a few posts back on running and how you can't do it forever and expect the same results. Our bodies are pretty smart machines that understand repetition. Our bodies actually try and work as efficiently as possible by conserving energy as they get used to something. I know it sounds contrary to what I am saying, but here me out. If Bill runs 6 miles a day every day for 1 year his body will start to conserve the amount of energy he is expending because it becomes used to it. If Bill runs 6 miles 2 times a week but adds in interval training 3 times a week for only 15 minutes, he will be burning more calories with less work. Why you ask? His body doesn't know what he is doing and gets confused because his daily routine is constantly changing, therefore he will keep burning calories and using his energy at an optimal level. In turn, he will also be doing less work for less amount of time but getting more out of it. Not only will he be training his muscles differently but he will also increase his metabolic rate, burn more fat, and increase his cardiovascular endurance. Are you catching my drift now?
Training efficiently can be applied to strength training as well. I've had people tell me that they repeat my workouts every day during the week. I always ask, why? If you have trained with me you know that I will NEVER repeat the exact same workout, EVER. Your muscles, just like the scenario above, will get used to it and therefore you will stop seeing results. My advice? Switch it up! Its OK to have some sort of split for the week but make sure every muscle group gets at least 48 hours to recover and that you aren't becoming stale on exercises. Increasing your weight, changing your repetitions, or messing with your tempo of exercises are all great ways to keep your body guessing.
Last but not least, nutrition. This is probably the most IMPORTANT one. I don't think people understand how IMPORTANT proper nutrition really is for ALL goals. Did you know that 80% of your success in fitness comes from proper nutrition? That means you could be working as hard as you possibly can in the gym but getting nowhere if you are eating unhealthy or not the right proportions. So what to do? Well, it is slighthly more complicated than a one word answer BUT here are some tips that can help you decrease body fat and increase lean muscle.
- Increase lean protein and have it at EVERY meal
- Eat often. I eat 6 times a day and never go more than 4 hours without food... even at NIGHT!
- Vegetables are your best friend. They are packed with nutrients and will keep you full and hydrated.
-Fat is good for you! Choose good fats to add with your protein such as egg yolks, peanut butter, almonds, olive oil or avocado.
-Drink water!! <------- read that again.
-Eat good carbs, not BAD ones! What I mean by that is don't eat junk food/processed food! Complex carbs are great for breakfast, before your workout and after your workout. Try adding in one of these to those meals: oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread or pasta, or beans.
So if you have been working your tail off in the gym and haven't started to see results then I suggest re-evaluating your time. Are you creating the most efficient workout and food plan? If not, that could be holding you up!
For questions or comments please leave them below! I will respond as soon as possible.
In good health,
Cristina Walterman, owner of CW Physique, let's you in on fitness and nutrition tips, recipes, exercises and much more. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, she loves to inspire and motivate individuals. She always practices what she preaches and leads by example.