Looking to shape up or transform your body? Then there are some basic principles you might want to understand. Knowledge is power. And the same applies to your health & fitness. Knowing how your body operates will give you the power to make changes.
TRAIN SMARTER, NOT HARDER
If you feel stuck in a rut or don't want to waste precious weeks or months spinning your wheels and seeing little results for your effort, then you might want to consider these body composition facts:
Muscle is more dense than fat and is more compact within your body. As you gain muscle mass you will end up looking thinner, regardless of your physical weight. Therefore, measuring your weight is not always an accurate representation of progress.
Beginning in your 30s, you begin to lose muscle mass and function due to a process called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is an age related, involuntary loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength. This is a progressive, insidious process characterized by 3–8% reduction in lean muscle mass per decade after the age of 30 years. The only way to improve this is by incorporating strength training and eating healthy amounts of protein in your diet.
There is no secret to weight loss. A caloric deficit is when you are burning more calories than you eat in a day and is the key to weight loss. Eat more than your body needs and fat will be stored. Eat less and fat will be lost. You can't out-train a poor diet, so remember the 80/20 Rule: 80% Diet 20% Exercise.
How can you track this?
Using a Heart Rate Monitor to track your calories expenditure during your workouts (Myzone, Apple watch, etc.)
Using an app to track your meals/caloric intake (Myfitnesspal, Loseit, etc.)
RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) measures how many calories you burn when at rest. Resistance training fosters muscle protein synthesis and repair—a metabolic process that craves more energy than aerobic training. As a result, weightlifting and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns approximately 300 more calories in a day than steady-state cardio. Strength training enables you to burn more calories throughout the day, even when you are doing absolutely nothing!
There are 3,500 calories to 1 pound, so in order to lose 1 pound a week you would need to create a caloric deficit of 3,500 calories per week. That’s approximately 500 calorie deficit per day, which is not easy to do with a sedentary lifestyle and hectic schedule. Losing .5lb - 1lb a week is considered a healthy weight loss goal. (Keep in mind, if you're lifting weights you may not see a change on the scale every week but your body fat can still be changing.)
As a general rule of thumb: if you can only strength train 1-2 x week then each workout should have full body emphasis. If you are able to commit to strength training 4 x week then you are able to incorporate splits into your programming. Your personal fitness coach will help create a personalized plan to help support you towards reaching your goals. (Remember, more muscle = leaner shape.)
Body Scans are recommended to repeat once a month to ensure progress and to set realistic goals. You can't manage what you can't measure! These scans also provide real data to keep you on track and help you visualize your transformation.
Visceral Body Fat is the fat stored deep in the belly and wraps around the organs. High Visceral Body Fat can increase your risk for CVD, High Cholesterol, Type 2 Diabetes and Stroke. Losing weight through diet and exercise can help decrease visceral body fat.
As always, at Energy we aim to be your ultimate health & fitness support system. Our team of fitness professionals are literally here just to help you! If you have more questions about transforming your shape, speak to your personal fitness coach or a team member about how we can make your goals a reality.