BLOG: STRIP OFF FOR SUMMER
By Carl (Club Manager - The Gym Hub Wickford)
7 tips for anyone wanting to strip away that stubborn blubber this summertime!
EAT CARBS BEFORE MARBS!
Contrary to popular opinion carbohydrates aren’t the food of the devil. Carbs are one of the bodies main energy sources and vital for you getting the best results possible from your workout. Carbohydrates can be split into simple and complex. Simple carbs can be found in foods such as sweets and sugary items. Complex carbs, often known as starchy carbs, are found in foods such as rice, pasta and grains. The common misconception with carbohydrates is that you should completely cut out all carbs when looking to drop body fat, which is most certainly not the case. Dropping your carbohydrate intake is a great way of decreasing your body fat levels, however, this should be done on a periodic reduction not all at once. Jim Stoppani a leading expect on nutrition & supplementation in the fitness industry, recommends consuming 1.5g of carbs per 1lb of body weight. If you are already following a low carb diet and further want to reduce carbohydrate intake, he recommends drooping this down to 1g per 1lb of bodyweight, with a gradual drop to 0.5g over a period of time. Completely cutting out carbs will leave you feeling lethargic, unfocussed and actually inhibits your body’s ability to burn fat.
KNOW YOUR MACROS
Now we understand the need to eat carbs we can move onto knowing your macros. So what are macros I hear you ask? Macros or macronutrients to be precise, are the nutrients we gain from food and are split up into protein, carbohydrates, fats and fibre. It is crucial that you know your breakdown of your overall calories on a daily basis to get the most out of your training. Once you know the amount of calories you need to consume you can break this out into your macro goals to give you a daily breakdown of the nutrients. It’s also important to take into consideration activity when looking at your macros, the more active you are the more you will need to consume to replenish energy stores. Ever heard a PT say eat more, loose more? Well they aren’t having you on, but you need to know your macros otherwise excess food consumption will lead to energy not being used by the body and in turn, be stored as body fat. To find out your macros head to www.iifym.com for a free calculator.
TRACK YOUR FOOD
Now if we’d have said this a few years back we’d have sounded like we were trying to convert you into a bodybuilder, however tracking your food is vitally important to achieving your goals whatever they may be. In years gone by to track what you’re consuming you’d need to carry a calculator, pad and a set of scales with you at all times. On top of this you’d have to read every nutrition label and know it inside out to be able to work out what you’ve just consumed in your last meal. With the emergence of smart phones and apps has come, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest tools know to the modern day fitness professional. Myfitnesspal. For anyone who hasn’t heard of this app before, it is basically a calculator to allow you to total up your calorie intake on a daily basis. The app will also breakdown your foods into your macros and you can adjust your amounts accordingly to stay on track with what you need. The most impressive thing about the app is its food database. There are literally millions of foods to choose from around the world with all big brands listed so you’ll never struggle to find what you’ve just eaten and track it. The other great thing about the app is that it is quick, easy and user friendly meaning you can do all this in a matter of minutes.
UTILISE THE HIIT FORMULA
You probably at some point over the last few years have heard HIIT training crop up in the press or in the gym. A rise in people wanting to drop their body fat fast and 12 week transformation challenges has seen HIIT become more and more popular. The truth is that HIIT is a fantastic way of burning fat whilst improving both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. People get put off by hit because as the name suggests its high intensity, however HIIT can be applied to any area of fitness. For example, HIIT cardio can be performed on a treadmill by doing sprints outside on the track, however the same principle can easily be applied to resistance training simply by cutting down the rest time you have between sets. The principle can also be applied to those new to gym simply by ensuring the workload outweighs the rest time you give yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re sprinting at 20kmph or performing hill walking on a treadmill at 6kmph, is all HIITing the right notes!
HAVE A PLAN & LOG WHAT YOU DO
I cannot stress enough the importance of having a plan when you come to work out. Knowing what to do when you come to the gym gives you the edge on most people who simply wing it and do what they feel like when they come in. Having a plan makes you stick to a set routine which allows you to focus on the workout but also saves you time not having to think about what to do next. If you need some advice eon getting a plan together to suit you, we would recommend spending an hour with one of the PT’s it’ll be the best £25.00 you’ve ever spent! Now you’ve got a plan together our next top tip is to track what you are doing. Let me ask you a question, can you remember what you were doing at 4.30pm on Monday last week? Me either. We all lead busy lifestyles and forgetting things happens, but this shouldn’t affect your training and more importantly your results. We would recommend using one of our mywellness keys to log all your exercise information from cardiovascular to free weights. This way you won’t be spending 10 minutes trying to remember what you lifted last week!
MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS
If you’ve read one of my posts before you know me and the scales aren’t on good terms. For those new to my one man war on weight, in short weight shows you nothing but total mass without breaking this down into body fat, muscle mass and bone mass to name a few. It’s like me putting a cow on a set of scales and asking you to tell me how much steak in weight I’m getting out of it, it’s just impossible. Measuring your success is a vital part of your fitness goals, after all you put in the hard work to see the end product right? The best ways of measuring your success are photos and measurements. These are 2 ways where you simply cannot fudge your progress, the camera doesn’t lie for a reason! Measurements provide an unobtrusive way for the average person to gauge their progress in the comfort of their own home. If you were looking at going into more depth, there is also the skin fold calliper route which is more accurate but does require a trained & experienced person to get the right measurements.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS
Don’t be afraid to ask questions I’m a firm believer that no question is a silly one and the most important rule of the fitness industry is that there is no one size fits all solution to everyone’s training & needs. What works for you may not necessarily work for me. Whilst there are principles that we work to, everyone reacts differently to the training and nutrition stimulus form certain methods. One of the cardinal sins of most gym goers, in particular the more experienced user, is that they won’t ask for advice form the team. Whilst some of the guys may look young (I include myself at a push in that bracket) we have a vast amount of knowledge and experience level accumulated through years of research, training and personal experience. Another thing about the industry is it continues to evolve on pretty much a daily basis with new methods and studies being published all the time. The team at The Gym Hub have a commitment to continuing their professional development at all times and unlike a lot of gyms I’ve seen, practice what we preach.
So please if you have any questions on anything health, fitness or nutrition please pop us an email or message on social media and we will be more than happy to answer your queries.
Thanks for reading.