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We aren’t always busting to get lean right? We all have our lean periods but really if we could just take a magic pill most of us would totally jump on that band wagon. Amiright?
Well look, over the years as a personal trainer, I’ve worked on finding balance in my training (and body) rather than searching hard for perfection and being about an all or nothing lifestyle. Long story short- perfection doesn’t exist so you can stop trying to find it and the all or nothing “thing” leaves you feeling tired and angry with the world. Want a better way? It’s simply about keeping a routine going year round with a few little sneaky ways to tweak your program. Here’s my top tips for sneaky ways to get lean NOW!
Countless times, women (especially) are uneating. The old 1200 calories seems cemented in their brains as their calorie goal. If you are working out and under eating, I’m sorry to say that you will not see long term performance from your body. Stop treating like it’s a bad boyfriend! Nourish it, love it and FEED IT. Women need approx 2000 calories per day and more if you are physically active. Don’t aim to cut your calories by more than 100-200 per day if weight loss is important to you. It’s about being prepared to tweak and understand your body. A trip to a nutritionist can do you the world of good!
Sleep well and stress less
Seems kind of obvious but loads of us are not sleeping and are highly strung out. Do a rethink of all your commitments. Are you possibly spreading yourself too thin with your social or work life? Just pull back, yep. Pull back. Dump a couple of those commitments that simply don’t serve you.
To help improve on your sleep, improve your sleep environment. No TV, no screens in your bedroom and try to get to bed no later than 10pm- just make it a sleep haven! Doesn’t that sound inviting? A palace of luxurious sleep awaits.
Weight based circuits
Always include weights to get lean and build healthy (strong) muscle at least 2-3 times per week. Most bootcamps or outdoor fitness classes will offer something like this or develop your own circuit at the gym using free weights or machines (if you are more of a beginner)
Interval running sprints
Rather than your treadmill walking for 60+ minutes try short sprints for 30-60 secs alternating with a slower pace of jogging for 2-3 mins (3:1) for a maximum time of no more than 45 minutes. As you get fitter and more capable to handle to intensity, change your timing to a ratio of 1:1
Ditch take away
Yeah, yeah, it’s yummy and easy but it’s got to be a sometimes food. Why? Well, the biggest problemo with takeaway food is the portioning and ingredients used. You may be a health freak most of the time trying to avoid this ingredient and that ingredient but you really don’t know what is going into your food unless you make it right. I’m talking mostly about oils, sugars and additives here- you know we like the olive oil/coconut oil and non refined sugar.
So work on packing your lunch and having that fridge stocked with fresh ingredients every 3-4 days. Yes, a nice meal out once in a while is great but smashing take out every second day is excessive. You’ll have a new pair of runners in no time with all the money you save- BONUS!
Incorporate body weight HIIT sessions
You can do them anywhere! Hit your whole body with Step ups, push ups, lunges, dips, planks and squats. Work in intervals- Tabata is fun and quick (download the app or use a timer). You are only limited by your creativity!
Be thankful that you woke up! Holy smokes we can be ungrateful sometimes. We get rapt up in our crazy busyness and sometimes forget to just be in the moment. You hear the stories of folks that once a catastrophe hits they crumble and wish they had just been more happy, more in the moment with their loved ones or just themselves. So rather than waiting for your world to crumble just take small moments in time, each day. A gratitude jar or journal is such a nice way of stopping for a brief moment and documenting what you are happy about or grateful for.
Dump the notion of spot reduction
Don’t get into the trap of trying to spot reduce one particular area like your tricep fat or your thigh/butt fold. Some amount of fat is actually supposed to be there and no matter how freaking hard your try or how much you pay your trainer it will continue to be there FOREVER- it’s about survival and hormones. You’ll have way more success if you work the body as a whole and accept you need some body fat to live (women aim for 21-32% Body fat). You’ll also save a stack of time and save yourself those sleepless nights. You really MUST incorporate heavy lifting/weight training. Think: squats, hip thrusts, lunges, deadlifts, push-ups, step ups, pulls ups, dips, planks, twisting movements and plyometric work.
Work outside of your comfort zone
What’s that old saying, “Nothing good happens inside your comfort zone”. You know what? It’s cosy inside your comfort zone. Like the warn in pair of trackies that you mooch around the house in. Nice- I get it but it’s kind of vanilla, right? Sometimes it’s necessary to spice it up and try something that involves a little grunt work or simply pushes you in the direction of WTF! Go rock climbing, try a zip-lining, ride a skateboard or give kite surfing a go. You don’t have to do it everyday just a couple of times when you feel your body needs that boost
Get active on the weekend
We all love a good booze session but by swapping a few of those for a scenic bush walk or bike ride means you’ll dump a load of those unwanted beer belly producing calories. You don’t have to be a saint but at least aim for 2 out of those 4 weeks to be hangover free!