In part 1 of this post, I discussed just half of the issues Iâ€™ve directly seen or been involved with even with my own clientele that hopefully resonates in your mind and find ways to change it. You know, a lot is to be said about change and change behavior and although as a personal trainer, we can help with that but we can only do so much. We do what we can to assist in change and help lead a better path in a clients fitness goal but we are not psychologists. For those new to this blog and training in general, Iâ€™m sure it still isnâ€™t hard to figure out that trainers become not only the help you need to reach your physical goals, there is an inherent bond and relationship thatâ€™s created and next thing you know, weâ€™re giving you financial, emotional, and psychological advice. Lol. Maybe thatâ€™s extreme but itâ€™s definitely not too far off.
Further, there are other points that need to be addressed so without further ado:
#6: You Do Too Little
Â This right here comes in various forms.
-1 The people who are consistently inconsistent (I,e.: the people who come 2 times this weekâ€¦1 time the following weekâ€¦0 times the following 2 weeks) and then complain about how fat theyâ€™re getting and how losing weight is tough. No, its not hard. It takes consistency.Â Youâ€™ve actually got to workout consistently to drive results. Now I have clients who do travel A LOT for work and I understand we have lives, bills to pay, kids to feed, so on and so forth. What separates the people who see results even in a high stress job or one that requires travel vs ones who donâ€™t see results is they make the adjustments fit THEM and their life. Not the other way around. Hotel gym? Lift. Cruise gym? Lift. No gym? Hit up a dynamic warm-up and bodyweight exercises in a hotel room. Where there is TRUE will, there is one hell of a way.
-2 The people (and I hate to say it, primarily women) who donâ€™t lift heavy enough. When I started training full time, it boggled my mind why women would constantly lift 5lb and 8lb dumbbells, do a few curls, a few shoulder presses, overhead triceps extensions or kickbacks (which arenâ€™t great btw) then hit the treadmill for 2 hours expecting to lose weight. Iâ€™m sorry ladies but in the most respectful way, you need to start lifting heavier and cut back on the treadmill and elliptical (if your goal of course is fat loss and looking to be lean). You will hear it until the cows come homeâ€¦You CANNOT get bulky by lifting heavy Â since your donâ€™t have the same hormone profile as men…and even if you are an unlucky oneâ€¦UNLESS you are training at a higher volume (meaning doing A LOT of sets like a bodybuilder) in ADDITION to a caloric surplus much higher than you need to build muscle, you will not. If youâ€™re â€œfatâ€ in your eyes, wouldnâ€™t THAT be considered bulky? Chances are you got there by running a lot, lifting light (if at all), and eating/drinking more than you needed to. Now mind you, I have clients that love to run. They donâ€™t run to lose weight. They run because they enjoy it. Iâ€™m here to clarify for you, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, you DO NOT NEED TO RUN TO LOSE WEIGHT. PERIOD. I keep hearing. â€œI need to run to lose weightâ€ or â€œWhen I was running, I was shreddedâ€ but the fact is, is you were a skinny-fat and the more you did it and the older you got, the less metabolic you became and thus more â€˜fatâ€™ (in simplistic terms obviously). Â Increase your weight lifting, build muscle, and increase your metabolic capacity because youâ€™re doing too little, period.
-3 The bros who waste their time at the gym trying to pick up girls and shooting the shit with their boys. You dudes are taking WAY too long with your sets, not getting in enough reps and sets, wasting your time, and seeing minimal results. You want to get big? Start lifting and stop bullshitting. Period. Watch your rest and go to work.
PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD IS THE KEY TO THIS GAME. Just one more rep. One more set. 1 more pound. ANYTHING that will be a little more than the time before is PROGRESS.
#5: You Do Too Much
6 letter word: CARDIO
Touching back on #4, too much cardio and too little strength training is not going to give you the body you want. Even if you loved to run and were a marathoner, strength training is priority. For instance, if you run marathons, someone who had a STRONG lower body from strength training will have a harder more firm foot stride and will be a stronger one making a person faster.
Many people who enter the gym have aesthetic goals in mind. Low intensity aerobic cardio is good for recovery especially from strength training BUT ONLY for lets say 1 session of 20 minutes.Â Other than that, itâ€™s really doing too much unless of youâ€™re a runner who enjoys it. Itâ€™s a shame to see people on the Stairmaster and elliptical and the treadmill consistently for 30/40/60 min and even more DAILY and wonder #1: why they arenâ€™t losing weight or #2: why isnâ€™t the weight coming off. I have virtually witnessed people run themselves fat as their ration of running and Stairmaster stuff outweighed their strength training. Call it anecdotal evidence, and Iâ€™d agree as Iâ€™m not a researcher but yes, I have witnessed it.
To further put it in perspective: I live just outside the greatest city in the world, NYC (even though our sports suck right now). MANY and I SAY MANY people:
- Walk to work
- Walk blocks to the train/bus
- Run to the bus because theyâ€™re late
- Ride their bikes uptown/downtown
- Enjoy walks on their lunch breaks to get out of the office
With all of that walking/jogging/even running, WHY would you go to the gym later on in the evening, nix the weightlifting and continueâ€¦.walking? Why have a gym membership? Walk outside and take in the beautiful skyline of NYC. Whatâ€™s even worse than that?
The people with knee problems. Why continually stress your KNEES when they are week and you complain how they hurt but you â€œhave to runâ€? Thatâ€™s absurd and Iâ€™ve heard this COUNTLESS times that itâ€™s frightening. I am no world-renowned physical therapist or orthopedic surgeon but common sense tells me to stop running. and IfÂ you are weak in the knees you must strengthen your hips, glutes, hamstrings, and core. The answer is not to continually run more and trying to â€œget down in weightâ€ is not the solution to having healthier knees that donâ€™t hurt when you run. This just means you weigh less with the same crappy knees thatâ€™ll still give way.
Strength train folksâ€¦please. I canâ€™t say it enough.
PS.- Walking backwards/sideways/skipping steps/side kicks/straight-leg kick backs/whatever the hell else you do on the stairmaster DOES NOT BURN MORE CALORIES, ADD MORE MUSCLE, *TONE ANYTHING. It makes you look ridiculous and a wannabe ninja. Stop. Itâ€™s a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y pointless.
*You cannot TONE a muscle. It can only shrink or grow. You cannot turn fat to muscle. You can only lose fat or gain it. Stop letting media fill your minds with nonsense.
#4: Your Nutrition Is Awful
This is one of the top determining factors in weight loss. People have this idea that whatever works for me will work for everyone. Personally, I am SICK of the dogma people throw when it comes to nutrition. Lets make a few things clear:
-Calories are a measure of energy. Thatâ€™s it.
-QUALITY calories from whole foods are a priority BUT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SNACKSâ€¦Balance, NOT BINGE.
-Doesnâ€™t matter if its gluten or not AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT HAVE DIAGNOSED -CELIAC DISEASEâ€¦oh, and â€œgluten sensitiveâ€? About 10% of the population may experience thisâ€¦â€“ And there are IN VITRO studies which have proven this. Still think youâ€™re â€œgluten sensitiveâ€, lets talk about all the beer and pizza youâ€™ve kicked back recently.
– Calorie Deficit = Weight Loss/Fat Loss
– Calorie Surplus = Muscle Gain
– Tons of supplements are not neededâ€¦multi-vitamins are a bit useless as the only vitamin deficiencies generally in ones diet is D and K.
– High Fat/Low Carb diets tend to work well for overweight/obese clients as they are more prone to insulin resistance.
– High Carb/Low Fat diets can still work for fat loss if one is not terribly heavy and less insulin resistant.
-Sugar isnâ€™t the devilâ€¦yea I SAID IT. SAY SOMETHIN.
At the end of the day, diets arenâ€™t diets. They are a lifestyle. Choose a lifestyle that fits YOU. Donâ€™t like carbs? Donâ€™t eat them but donâ€™t make them seem like the devil and tell EVERYONE not to eat it. Donâ€™t like meat? Vegan or Vegetarian? Great, thatâ€™s YOUR choice. Respect the lifestyles of others you want them to respect yours. Remember, choices are made because they best fit the INDIVIDUAL.
#3: Your Expectations Are Unrealistic
I blame those Instagram pictures and Facebook pictures to start. Thatâ€™s not motivation. Thatâ€™s feeding in to an already damaged mind when it comes to fitness that one needs to look like what they see and on top of that, itâ€™s supposed to happen quick.
When trying to obtain the body you want, there are PLENTY of factors and variables to consider so you have to know what will work for YOU and what will work AGAINST you. For instance, I remember reading a Bret Contreras blog and he posted something along the lines of how to look like Jessica Alba or Zoe Saldana (and also, you have guys that would love to look like The Rock). Now these girls are slender and in the eyes of the world, incredibly sexy and there is one thing Bret says that speaks volumes and needs to be drilled in the minds of people who are trying to obtain a certain look: â€œYou are essentially trying to look like the most genetically gifted people on earthâ€. Some other considerations to consider besides genetics is:
1-Â Â Â Age
2-Â Â Â Current weight
3-Â Â Â Modes of training
4-Â Â Â Frequency of training
5-Â Â Â Nutrition
6-Â Â Â Previous injuries
7-Â Â Â Hormonal/Metabolic disturbances
8-Â Â Â Sleep
9-Â Â Â And Iâ€™m sure Iâ€™m missing a few but you get the point
The point Iâ€™m trying to hit him is this; you cannot go in to the gym expecting to look like what you see on TV, the Internet, heck, even in your own gym. It is GREAT to have expectations and goals that shoot for the stars but #1, you donâ€™t know what the people youâ€™re trying to look like did to obtain their physique, #2, you donâ€™t know HOW LONG theyâ€™ve been at it, #3 the variable and factors that worked for and against them. â€œAll roads lead to Romeâ€ weâ€™ve all heard. Some are much harder than others to travel but whatever your road is, with the right attitude, plan, and attack, you will get there.
â€œBe you, thatâ€™s what sounds be-you-tifulâ€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â – J. Cole
Â #2: Youâ€™re Stuck On Spot-Reduction Myths
You can do 10000000 crunches and sit ups until the cows come home but it will NOT reduce your body fat around your hidden 6 pack. Fat loss is a total body effort. For women, many will tend to lose weight top to bottom as they shrink. Men start getting smaller in their limps (legs/arms) and work their way in. If you want to drop fat and get lean, STICK TO A PLAN. Super-low calorie â€˜dietsâ€™ and tons of aerobic exercise will not lead you to the promise land.
General Rule Of Thumb: Total Body Workouts + Proper Nutrition = Fat Loss.
#1: You Donâ€™t REALLY Want What You Say You Want
Â Simple as that. Letâ€™s put this in the context of a job opportunity and step out of the fitness realm. We all would love a million dollars in the bank account (and if youâ€™re reading this and have that already, Iâ€™d love to train you 😉 lol) If you knew the job you wanted required X+X+X, would you not do what it takes to obtain it? If you half assed your work, you know you will have not done enough to get what you wanted and your bosses sure as hell wouldnâ€™t put that type of opportunity and money in your hands. Well, when it comes to your training and end goals, it is no different! When someone wants to be a better marathoner and have a better time in the NYC Marathon or Boston Marathon or just wants a better 5k run, what do they do? They train as such and seek to get better and better. When Kobe or LeBron or Jordan wanted to become the best at their sport and achieve greatness, what did they do? They practiced and practiced and through hell and high water, they became great. If you want to look the best you ever have whether itâ€™s to look real lean and muscular, or have that slim look, or just look better than you ever have in general, what should you be doing? Getting your training right. Getting your nutrition right. Being consistent. Training for that end goal. Period.
I know I can preach until the cows come home about all 12 reasons Iâ€™ve listed. You might have even learned a thing or two and might research it yourself and I applaud that. What it boils down to is this: You really need to want it in ALL areas of your fitness and training life. If you want to be able to look at yourself in the mirror, even butt nekkid, and be proud of how you look, then you need to find it within yourself to make these changes. If you need that help, Iâ€™d be more than ready to assist.