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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Planning Diet & training: an Introduction

Let's talk about your training & diet for a bit.  First of all you have to set one thing.  What are your goals?
If you are trying to loss weight then what you do will be different to a person who is trying to add muscular mass, or the athlete who needs time & recovery to also work on their skills.  So, first pick what you want to do!
Next work towards that goal & that goal ONLY!  It is amazing how many people I see that will have a goal of losing fat & then read the latest "Big & Buff" magazine article about adding 20 pounds of muscle in 2 weeks & get excited & start doing that, then read the latest "Supercleanse diet" & hop onto that, then onto the next thing.  This is the way to stay exactly the same!  Just pick a goal, a single goal right now - imagine I have a gun up to your head, I am now forcing you to write down one thing you want to do between now & summer, if you write 2 things I WILL shoot you!  Do not fudge "Big & Ripped" is TWO, you will get shot!  Pick one goal, this will be your aim over the next month or so (or maybe longer depending upon what your goal is).

So, now you have one goal, let's set a date to achieve that goal, make this goal realistic.  Let's say you want to loss 10 pounds of fat.  Do not give yourself 2 weeks, that is stupid. Give yourself a decent amount of time to get those goals, something like 10-12 weeks for a 10 pound loss in fat.  Why?  Because although you could lose weight much more quickly if you wanted to, you actually want to hold onto muscle while you lose fat.  This makes fat loss a slower process.  Now we have a goal & a time frame.  We can now see that a loss of about a pound a week will have you hitting your goals while still holding onto your precious muscle mass.  Muscle building is a slower process than fat loss.  While fat loss can be fairly quickly, muscle mass gain can be really time consuming.  Often you will gain some fat while you gain muscle, you will almost certainly need to up the amount of calories you need to consume as you are trying to make a bigger you.  For a reasonable time frame, assuming you aren't near your genetic potential (the more muscle mass you have the harder it become to add to), if you plan a 12 week training cycle you could add 5 pounds if you are quite new to training & very lucky.  Also bear in mind you are fighting homoeostasis (the bodies desire to stay the same) & adding muscle is a harder fight than losing fat, so a real hardgainer may take a couple of 12 weeks cycles then from zero gain they suddenly gain 5-7 pounds from nowhere.  Exactly why this happens I'm not sure, but these 'growth spurts' seem common amongst people who gain more slowly, it's like you have tip the metabolism over a cliff before it accepts growth, then it shoots you up to a new size (which you have to cling onto for a while), then you have to start work again looking forwards to another few months of zero growth before you hit another growth spurt.
If you have 2 goals here's what you do.  First do one, then do the other.  Simple huh?  I prefer to add mass, then loss fat, but really the way you do it is which is most important to you.  Remember you don't have to do everything at once.  You don't have to go first from 100 pounds to 200 pounds (if your goal is 180 lean), then try to cut.  You can go from 100 to 120, then cut to 110 lean (holding onto that muscle mass), then up to 130, then down to 120 lean...see the pattern.  That way you don't get too fat between.  Of course you could go 100 to 200, then cut to 180 lean, it might mean you even get there more quickly?  But you will add more fat & for some that simply isn't acceptable, so consider your methods.

Now let's talk about the issues competitive athletes may come across.  You can't afford to suffer bad DOMS (after exercise soreness) if you have to do skill work & training.  So moving to things like one leg deadlifts, split squats etc are important, exercises that work you out hard, allow you spot developing imbalances between left & right.  For the athlete spotting compensations becomes a even bigger issue as athletes are experts at developing patterns of lifting that hide weakness.  Hiding things like glute weakness are so common it's frightening.  No having weak glutes is not affecting you right now, but having weak glutes means that the lower back & hamstrings are doing the glutes job, does that sound like a recipe for a long sporting life to you?  Ideally I'd say get yourself assessed & screened by someone you trust, if that's impossible you & a mate learn a bit about assessment & screening then screen each other, keep an eye out on your range of motion, check out ankle & hip mobility, check shoulders for full range of motion.  If you are in some sports (throws, hitting, kicking etc) then some differences left to right are ok, but keep track of them, if they change, then something could be wrong, so get it checked out.  Athletes can often still perform, but be a mess physically, so be honest & work out any issues before they end your career.
We have basic guides for anyone into training whether for fun, fatloss or muscle gain for basic nutritional advice download this, for basic beginners lifting download this we haven't got a basic guide for athletes as there are too many variations in sporting needs to really do it justice.  If there is a demand we could write a basic cookie cutter guide for the totally novice athlete in a strength related sport, so let us know & we'll get one done if you want it?
That's a basic outline of how you should be laying out your training, if you'd like any specifics just ask & I'd be happy to go into more detail about it

1 comment:

Hamid Mehmood said...

Diet and training is most essential thing in a human life. With the help of this article you can bettertake care of your health