I always say to my clients, followers and readers that before they embark on ANY new training plan, they first need to figure out their goal, and work backwards from there.
If a client told me they wanted to build muscle, I would start them on a hypertrophy (muscle building) training plan that saw progress overload en route, and I would work them up (or down) to their maintenance calories.
After a few weeks of training and eating at maintenance, I would slowly and incrementally increase their calories to allow for continued increased muscle mass over time.
This would ideally occur over the course of a year, or more if they allowed.
If a client told me they wanted to look ‘toned’ (side note, ‘toning’ isn’t real, it simply means increased muscle mass and decreased body fat), I would say CONGRATULATIONS, you have picked the hardest goal there is…
But, I just want to look toned?!
They would say (this isn’t presumptuous, I’ve never been met with a different response), and I would have to explain to them that ‘toning’ means FIRST building the muscle, and THEN shedding the fat.
It is a 2 part process – hence the length of time and difficulty.
So, first we would start with a hypertrophy plan (as above), and then we would move onto a fat loss plan…
If a client told me they wanted to achieve fat loss, I would say CONGRATULATIONS, you have picked the easiest goal in terms of requirement (fat loss really isn’t complicated), but the hardest goal in terms of mental effort.
Fat loss simply calls for a calorie deficit.
This means you are consuming FEWER calories than your body needs to maintain its current state (total daily energy expenditure).
You can stick with the same diet as always, just eating less of it (less NET calories), you can implement a totally different diet (protein and fibre) and potentially eat MORE of it, you can up your expenditure via daily movement and / or exercise, OR you do a little of all of the above (my personal recommendation).
Don’t just blindly walk into a gym and do a little cardio, do a little weight lifting, eat a little less or eat a little more.
Figure out your goal, and implement a road map that will lead you to SUCCESS.
Don’t waste your time, do it right.
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