Weight Loss & Toning = 80% Diet & 20% Training

You are probably hearing it more and more often that what you eat will help you further your fat loss goals more significantly than how often you work out.

"You can't out train a bad diet".

This is due to a number of reasons, including the fact that we burn far fewer calories than expected during a workout, and it’s incredibly easy to eat those calories right back after the gym. So is the 80% diet, 20% exercise really the way for fat loss?

Absolutely with no exceptions. 

To lose 1lb (0.45kg), you need to achieve a 3,500-calorie deficit. If you’re following the 80/20 rule, you ideally want to burn about 750 calories through exercise within the week and the rest comes from dietary changes.

To put this whole 80/20 rule into perspective you would need to run about 7-10 miles a day (depending on the individual) to burn that 1lb of fat. This is, not time practical for most of us, the average person can’t keep up this pace without suffering injury and significantly increasing their caloric intake in order to fuel them through the run and this amount of running is not going to be helpful when your looking to get that toned look. Follow the link for why just cardio wont make you toned. The Secret To a Toned Look.

This doesn't mean you just cut out exercise it offers so many health benefits and if looking toned or putting on some serious muscle is the ultimate goal it is essential.

 

Static Stretching When & Why.

Static Stretching is used to stretch a muscle while the body is at rest. It is comprised of various techniques that gradually lengthen the muscle to an elongated position (to the point of discomfort) and holding that position for 30+ seconds.

Statically stretching a muscle before training has been shown to interfere with performance and augments the joint and can promote instability in the joint making the person more susceptible to injury. 

However stretching after a training session as part of a cool down to help improve flexibility can lengthen a tightened muscle. It can also help relive stress and tension.

Static Stretching should be done NOT BEFORE a training session but AFTER!

For your warm up I would start with Dynamic Stretching, stay tuned blog post to following on Dynamic Stretching.

 

Want a Faster Metabolism?

For a faster metabolism all you need to do is grow some muscle! Muscle is what we call metabolically active tissue. This means that your body expends calories to maintain it while you are at rest. The more muscle you have the more calories are required.

HOWEVER, Because of this, a common thing I see with clients is that they believe once they gain some muscle they can eat a lot more food and still stay lean.

This is not really the case, research shows that the effects of muscle growth on your metabolic rate shows only a very small increase. For every 1lb (0.45kg) of muscle you gain, most people will burn an additional 6-10 calories per day.

So if you want to have one extra 200 calorie snack each day, you will need to gain upwards of 20 lbs (9kg) of muscle, which can take years to accomplish.

DOMS & Your Workout

Many people think that if they are not sore after your workout its not been a good session and you are not effectively stimulating your muscles for growth. However how sore you are is not a good indicator of how effective your training is for muscle growth. (Have a look at this study if your interested).

Although muscle soreness may make you feel like you just had the best workout ever, it actually isn't a good indicator of how effective your training was for muscle growth or strength gain.

Muscle soreness usually occurs when you perform exercises you are not familiar with or are familiar with and have done some eccentric training.

The more often you perform a certain type of exercise, the less muscle damage and soreness it causes over time. This is known as the "Repeated Bout Effect" and it explains why you become less sore when you train consistently.

So, if you are making progress in the gym, you don't have to train for constantly sore muscles. In fact, being super sore all the time can inhibit you from pushing hard in the gym by increasing recovery demands and impairing performance. (See study here).

How To Do A Pull-Up - (STRICT)

I regularly get asked how to get that first pull up. Like "Four Stages To A Perfect Push Up" here is a progression model I use for getting that first pull up.

It's important to note that this progression model will work best for those who are at an average body weight and lack pulling strength to properly execute a pull-up. If someone is overweight, simply losing excess fat in combination with vertical pull training should be the main focus to start with.

Stage 1: Pulling Strength!

The goal here is to increase vertical pull strength. Once you're able to lat pull-down close to your own body weight for more than 5 reps, progress to phase 2. See "Strength Training - The Basics" for guidelines on how to build strength. These guidelines should be applied to all stages.

Stage 2: Strength, Skill and Range of Motion (Assisted)

Here he focus is on practising your pull-up skill through assisted pull-ups. Once you can comfortably go through the range of motion and need little assistance, progress to the next stage. You can use resistance bands or if you have access a Machine Assisted Pull-Up, this bit of kit is great at this stage but not many gyms have them.

Stage 3: Negative Pull-ups

Work on the negative (eccentric) pull-up, we turn things up a notch and let you practice pulling your own body weight. Once you can do several eccentric Pull-ups in a very smooth and controlled manner (controlling your body weight), it's time to start smashing out some pull-ups.

Stage 4: Pull-Up Progressions 

Once you can pull yourself up for 8+ reps per set with perfect form, it's time to progress, consider adding weight!