Ever notice all the same people at the same gym at the same time (because we are creatures of habit and keep our routine a ‘routine’) doing the same thing in the same manner week after week. At the end of the calendar year you look at most people and they haven’t changed at all, whether it is their weight or body composition there is no change in their appearance or shape despite 3-4 trips to the gym weekly.
‘Body Recomposition’ is about becoming a better version of ‘you’ – both internally and externally a permanently healthier version of yourself. Whether it is for your internal health, your desire to live life to the fullest and enjoy as much time as you can with friends and family, or even the simple vain truth that we eventually come to terms with and accept – when you look better, you feel better.
Regardless of the desired change or the motivation behind it, unless you want to keep getting the same results that you’ve got so far, don’t keep doing what you’ve done. So starting right now . . .
Don’t be the one who goes through long boring low impact cardio to stay in that old school “fat burning zone” . An hour of this type of cardio is considered cruel and unusual punishment according my training philosophy. The only time long slow cardio is remotely acceptable is if you have already trained with weights, simply feel the “need” to do some cardio, and want to mitigate muscle catabolism. Other than that, fun, hard, intense, high intensity interval training and crossfit style are the ways to melt extra fat.
Don’t spend an hour doing cardio and then lift weights. Do lift weights and then move to cardio afterwards or split them up on different days. Performing cardio before a weight workout cuts into your ability to lift your maximum and build the most lean muscle possible. It also means that when doing cardio first you will be burning stored calories at the muscle level, but by doing cardio afterwards once your muscles are depleted you will be breaking down stored fat.
Don’t bother lifting weights without maximum effort and intensity. Do lift as much as you can for as many reps as you can – regardless what any generic program tells you. When you start performing more repetitions than a program dictates then you must increase weight until the number of reps becomes difficult on the last two reps.
Don’t train without proper supplementation before and after your workouts. Do use fast digesting whey protein and carbohydrates for your pre and post workout meals. Your muscles continue to breakdown nutrients and muscle even an hour after your workout is completed so you must provide it with the quality fuel required to build and repair the muscle.
Don’t create a caloric deficit so extreme that you sent your body into “starvation mode”. Do cut calories gradually by reducing your intake by no more than 10% below your current maintenance level. Each time you aim for a caloric deficit only cut 10% at a time, this will allow you to maintain a higher metabolism (along with eating smaller, more frequent meals) and avoid sending your body into a fat storing starvation mode.
Don’t expect rapid fat loss to continue at the same pace. Do maintain the course of your diet and maintain realistic longterm expectations. Fast fat-loss is almost always gained back, usually with some extra pounds to go with it. When you lose fat gradually by making a lifestyle change and moderate calorie cuts you have a much better chance of changing your body composition forever.
Don’t be afraid of fat and protein. There are essential fats and protein is essential (essential amino acids) but anyone who has gone on a carbohydrate restricted diet knows that there are no ‘essential’ carbohydrates. While it is true that we need carbs and they help us power through workouts, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t eat enough carbs. On the other hand there are many people who are afraid of eating healthy fats and do not consume enough muscle building protein. Falling short of your lean mass potential simply because you failed to consume adequate amounts of protein is unacceptable.
As Albert Einstein has been attributed to uttering: Insantiy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.