Sometimes it feels like I’m writing the same things over and over again on all the different platforms I write for. You’d think I’d mind but I actually don’t. There are always new people reading these articles or my social media posts (Hi, how are you, welcome!) and some of them might not know the basics yet. If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while (Hello again, good to see you!) then maybe you know this stuff but you won’t mind seeing it again as you know how hard it was to understand the first time and you know everyone has to start somewhere. My name is Adam. I’ve been a trainer, group fitness instructor and coach for nearly 10 year and these are the basics, again.
Energy balance is the equilibrium (or lack of) that exists between calories consumed and calories needed to cover the activity of your life. This is the foundation of all weight management. Whether you want to lose fat or gain muscle, if you succeed it will be as a result of appropriately manipulating your energy balance (whether you realise it or not). You don’t have to count calories but calories always count. If you want to lose weight you must, on average, consume less energy than you need. You can do this by consuming less overall calories (reduce the amount, and/or change the type of food and drink you consume) or by increasing the amount of calories you need (increasing your daily activity) or preferably both. If you want to specifically lose fat (as opposed to WEIGHT) then some form of weight training will likely need to be involved in order to maintain your muscle. The same is true of muscle gain (again, as opposed to WEIGHT gain) which nicely brings me on to my next section…
In order to be able to do specific things (like lift heavy weights), or at least look like you can do specific things, you pretty much have to do those specific things. There is some nuance in there, like training for size (bodybuilding) doesn’t always require the biggest weights but it does specifically require weight training (you aren’t going to look like a bodybuilder if all you do is Spin classes). Make sure your current plan or routine is actually right for your goals. If you don’t know if it is or not then talk to a trainer (you can message me on Facebook or Instagram @AdamWrightPT) or do the research yourself. Remember that sticking with what you’ve always done because it’s familiar isn’t always the best option. Set a specific goal. Create a specific plan. And stick with it! Which is another nice segue…
It’s going to take time. Longer than you want it to. They say the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now. Now also happens to be the best time to get started on NEXT YEARS summer body. How long is it going to take? 130 hours. An hour a day, 5 days a week for 6 months. Try not to expect to see much change before that. You might, and I hope you do, but if you don’t at least if you’re mentally prepared for it you won’t get disheartened. That covers long term but also includes hints about short term. Week to week the things you do to move you towards your goals have to be the norm, not the exception. NOT having dessert (if that’s how you maintain your required energy balance) has to be the norm, not the exception. Going to the gym has to be the norm, not the exception. Think of it like this: it has to happen MORE THAN half the time if you want to call it the norm, preferably more, for a prolonged period of time. It’s hard to stay motivated for that long, which brings us to my last point…
When you try to change something about yourself you’re fighting habits and subconscious ways of thinking that may have existed from as far back as when you were a child. The actual math of fat loss or getting fit is fairly straightforward, in many ways it’s your own mind that’s the problem. Be ready for this. Have plans in place to allow you to track successfully doing the right thing (like a wallchart, journal or app), plans for the celebration of continually doing the right thing (don’t celebrate with cake, more like a new piece of workout clothing or something) and base what the “right thing” is off of results. If you aren’t making actual verifiable progress towards your goal then you aren’t doing the right thing. It doesn’t matter what you THINK, it’s what you can prove. Using techniques like this will keep you moving towards your goals much longer than motivational quotes or willpower alone.
These are the basics. These are the things that I see trip people up over and over and over again. They’re not small, they’re not easy, but they are the foundation of so many other things. They’re also not impossible to figure out, it can be done, you can do it! Read over it again. Which one (or more) could be tripping you up?
And don’t forget about our Summer Sports Camp for the kids, if you want to make sure they stay active during the holidays (ages 4.5-12). Have a great week!