Have you ever noticed that upon the arrival of summer, we all start eating healthier & becoming more active, trying to follow all or any trends we read online, all in the hope of achieving the body we've longed for all winter! The only problem with this is do we really understand what we are doing or why we must do it for our certain body types? I personally have been struggling for years, following blind advice from 'health' magazines or googling answers that just don't help my situation. So what has changed this year compared to last year that has helped me progress far more than ever before? It's simple - it's my knowledge! From the type of exercise I need to do to achieve my goals with my body type to what type of healthy meal plan I need to follow. And most importantly I now have a basic knowledge of why & how it'll help me reach my goals.
With so much fitness advise now at your fingertips however, it can be hard to know what really works for you & what is just clever marketing. With millions of fitness related questions typed into Google each month, MaxiNutrition has curated a Q+A to bring you the facts & a solid starting point to how you can build the physique you've always longed for!
And before we start, remember one thing... It's not how you start, it's how you finish!
You Googled: How do I Loose Weight Fast?
40,500 average monthly searches!
MaxiNutrition: Quick weight loss is a huge query online. Unfortunately, the best way to loose weight is to healthily change your diet & your exercise habits. There's no quick fix - but you can loose lots of weight & build a better body by changing your lifestyle.
My Tip: If you are desperate to trim down fast, a quick fix would be a clean eating detox or a teatox, which will flush out toxins & reduce bloating. However these can be teamed with a healthier diet & more exercise, to keep the results for the long term & to kick start a new healthier lifestyle. Check out The Best Diet Plan? Common Diets Explained for more information on diet plans.
YG: What is the Best Way to Loose Weight?
MN: The second most common question is also centred on weight loss. While there's no easy answer, one of the best ways to lose weight is to work out your calorie intake & make sure you are eating at a deficit. Combined with good exercise, the weight will fly off.
My Tip: Nothing beats a clean diet & increasing exercise. Use an app like My Fitness Pal to calculate the average amount of calories you are currently eating in a day & how many you actually need; then start eating with a small daily calorie deficit (I deduct 300-400 calories when I'm trimming down, don't over do it or you'll plateau). For ideas of how how to eat healthier, read Healthy Food Guide for Exercise.
YG: How do I Get a Six Pack?
MN: One of the most common signs of a high standard of fitness, lots of people in the UK want to know how to get a six pack. You might be surprised to learn that almost everyone has ab muscles - but getting them to show is the hard part. Far from lots of sit-up's you'll need to slim down to around 10-12% body fat if you're male or around 16-18% if you're female.
My Tip: Start with basic core exercises to gain strength & endurance in your abs. Try to isolate each area & do all over exercises too - for example a plank is great for the whole core, use crunches for upper abs, leg raises & reverse crunches for lower abs & Russian twists for obliques. Do high reps & bodyweight exercises for a trim waist or add weighted exercises for a thicker core. Once you've got the strength, it's time to eat clean & get leaner to show off the abs! For more detailed advice, read Six Pack Diet Advice.
YG: How Can I Gain Weight?
MN: Gaining weight is a less common search, compared to those wanting to lose it, but if you're trying to pack on the weight you'll need to eat a calorie surplus. Consuming lots of protein will help aid muscle growth.
My Tip: Increase your intake of protein & complex carbohydrates. Don't just think that gaining weight means you can eat tones of junk food. You'll gain weight, but not the strength you'd ideally want. If you find large meals hard to eat, fit in your extra calories with 5-6 meals per day instead. For more Nutrition Tips - How to Build Muscle & Size is a great article.
YG: What is the Best Exercise to Loose Weight?
MN: The problem with this question is that it can depend on the person. However, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is often considered the best way to put your body into fat-burning mode - and it takes less time than steady state cardio.
My Tip: I hate long periods of cardio! So HIIT is a good option for me & can be built into my weight training, so I'm building strength & fat burning in one workout. Not sure where to start with HIIT training? Check out The 6 Best Dumbell HIIT Exercises.
YG: How do I Build Muscle?
MN: Building muscle is a matter of training - putting your body under tension to promote the process of muscle breakdown & subsequent repair. Ensuring you get enough protein to help aid this natural process is key.
My Tip: From my experience... make sure your protein intake is enough & focus on doing 4-6 reps to build strength or 8-12 reps per set for growth, where your last couple of reps feel almost impossible, then take a 1-2 minutes rest in between sets. This will ensure you're working your muscles to their full capacity. For a greater insight, read Training Tips for Hard Gainer Muscle.
YG: What is the Best Foods for Weight Loss?
MN: The best foods for weight loss are questionable, because if you're eating at a caloric deficit you'll lose weight. However, there are lots of foods to avoid such as sugary, saturated fat-filled junk food. Good examples of food to help aid weight loss are low-GI carbs such as brown rice, quinoa & wholegrains, lean protein such as chicken or tofu & plenty of fruits & vegetables.
My Tips: Try to avoid fad diets & focus on a more long term, attainable, healthy balanced diet. This will keep you on track, see long lasting results & will still allow you to eat foods you enjoy. For more ideas of how to enjoy food healthily, check out How to Maintain Your Summer Body.
YG: How Much Protein do I Need?
MN: The answer to this question is tricky, because it depends on your goals. Most fitness websites recommend around 1.5g per kg of bodyweight. You can get this from dietary sources & supplements like protein shakes.
YG: How Can I Get Bigger Arms?
MN: Evidently people in the UK want good abs & good arms. Growing your arms is the same as growing any other muscle - focus on heavy lifts for fewer reps to add mass. You can then use a higher rep range to cause hypertrophy & build definition. Lift heavy weights & eat plenty of calories to see your biceps grow.
My Tip: Don't just focus on one part of your arms, because they happen to grow quicker - for example biceps, or you'll end up front heavy! Make sure to work the whole arm, along with shoulders, back & chest, which all contribute to a bigger upper body. Try finding a good starting point to build from, such as The Full Arm Workout exercise plan.
YG: How Can I Get Toned?
MN: 'Toning' is a term that doesn't technically mean anything - but is searched more than 500 times a month by UK users. Essentially, the process of getting toned means losing weight & then building lean muscle on top of it. By combining a good diet with weight lifting, 'toning' will occur naturally.
My Tip: The best place to begin is to eat cleaner, to reduce bloating & cut over eating. Then find a training plan that works for you - such as the Lean Definition Training Plan.
I hope you've found this Q+A useful - I really liked how to the point & factual it was. Use this as a solid starting point, to help guide you towards the more accurate advice online & to build your routine around. If you want any further fitness plans, diet ideas or tips, MaxiNutrition has a lot more to offer than just supplements! So check out their website. Alternatively, if you'd like a mini series or just one off advice on how to lean, bulk, lose or gain weight & what food & exercise is the best, let me know & I shall deliver in time for summer!
* Research curtersy of MaxiNutrition, Google AdWords & Google Trends. To find out more information, please visit MaxiNutrion's website.