Another article from the archives. Enjoy.
I have this client. Let's call her Joanne Bending, a totally random name to protect her anonymity.
Joanne told me she wanted to lose weight and look better. A lot of people come to me with these two goals and I always ask them which is more important, weighing less or looking better? Most say looking better. So it is fat loss they want appose to general weight loss. It's easy to lose weight, just don't eat enough protein and your muscles will waste away leaving you, what I call "skinny fat". People who do lots of cardio are at risk of being "skinny fat", they may be slim, but don't have a desirable body shape and are still wobbly around the middle with no definition on their arms due to lack of muscle. Joanne does not desire this figure, so I don't make her jog. She eats well and lifts heavy, perfect for promoting fat loss and looking good.
I met Joanne today, she told me how good she was feeling, her training had gone well and she was looking better. She then asked to get weighed, personally I didn't see the need as she had already stated how she looked and felt better, which was her goal, but I obliged, also measuring her body fat and muscle mass. The scales showed a gain of 0.3kg, not much but still a gain. When we looked at body fat and muscle mass, it actually showed that she had actually lost 0.6kg fat and gained 0.9kg of muscle, probably the reason she was looking better. When you haven't got a lot to lose 1lb of fat off and 2lb of muscle on can make a big difference.
Being the objectionable character she is, she was not pleased.
I was a bit bewildered and explained how she had lost fat and looked better, exactly what she wanted. Joanne proceeded to tell me how she used to weigh less and wanted to get back to that weight.
"Did you look better at that weight?" I asked
"No, I was flabby" she replied
After banging my head against the wall and using a lot of language that my mother wouldn't have been proud of, I sat her down and tried to explain again.
The moral of this story is that you need to 'keep the goal, the goal'. Losing weight may be a sign that you're looking better, but it also may not and it can become a distraction that starts to sabotage what you want to achieve.
A few years ago I used to write a blog about various things to do with health and strength and I've just been reading back through a few of them. Some of them weren't half bad although my opinion on certain things has changed and I have definitely learnt more since then. I thought I would share a few of few of the ones I enjoyed reading on a Thursday, partly because it will make me feel young and hip being able to hashtag 'TBT'
When it comes to losing weight and looking good, diet is Batman and exercise is Robin. You need both to be truly kick-ass, but one definitely takes center stage.
For the sake of this argument, let's say that 1 pound of fat is 3500 calories (in truth it could be anywhere between 2500 and 400kcal). Most fitness classes and workouts that last an hour will burn between 300 and 500 calories, so that means you would need to complete nearly 12 hours of exercise per week to burn 1 measly pound of fat, which is ridiculous. Unless you are a professional athlete earning a five figure sum each week, that much exercise is unnecessary, will do you more harm than good and will make you hungry, real hungry, none of which is very productive to weight loss. The food equivalent of 300kcal is a doughnut with chocolate sprinkles. Now i like doughnuts and I like exercise, but if I wanted to shift some fat i would find it far easier to not eat a doughnut than slog it out in the gym for an hour.
It's not just about calories though, we can use Batman, I mean diet, to control hormones, such as insulin, leptin, grelin and mTOR in order to maximise weight loss and lose more than 1 pound a week with far less effort. Think of it as a utility belt full of Batarangs, napalm and smoke pellets.
Robin isn't useless though, he's always there and pops up in sticky situations with a swoosh, pow, bang! to help beat the bad guys and this is exactly how you can use exercise. Strength training should always be there 3-5 times per week (bodyweight, kettlebells or barbells) and a couple of times a week throw in 15-20 minutes of metabolic conditioning or high intensity work like sprints or kettlebell complexes to melt away the fat.
So don't be joker (ha ha, get it?!) and get the Optimum Nutrition Diet and if you need some ideas for metabolic conditioning just let me know.
3 Clean & Press each side on the first minute
3 Thrusters each side on the minute
Repeat 4-8 times
Suspension trainers are a great way to increase the difficulty of some exercises and get some variety in your training, but you should be able to hold a standard plank with correct tension for at least 40 seconds before progressing.
A great warm up for the shoulders using a broom stick or PVC pipe:
- Figure 8's
- Reverse Pullovers
- External Rotation
This week I am stealing a great complex from Dan John and butchering it by adding 10 swings.
- 2 Cleans
- 1 Press
- 3 Squat
- 10 Swings
On the 28th October 2017 Hybrid Strength hosted the Tactical Strength Challenge, which is a worldwide strength competition hosted in 18 countries with over 100 competitors.
James Maude was kind enough to be the official photographer taking some great snaps in between his own lifts, you can enjoy his work and the funny faces below!
(Click to enlarge the picture)
Home of Workouts o't' Week and somewhere for me to ramble about all things health and strength