At this time of year most people have their summer holidays booked and are starting to ask the same questions they do every year, what do I do about my beer gut? How do I get my arms and bum toned?
As a personal trainer, I always see a rise in the amount of people hitting the gym around this time of year. The good news is that for the gym newbie, or the gym member who rarely makes the most of his subscription, losing a bit of stubborn belly fat around the midriff is really quite simple.
Here is a step-by-step plan which will lead to an impressive level of fat loss. It’s designed to do two things: keep your hard earned muscle in place, and help you lose body fat. That’s it. Follow the plan below and you should start to see results just in time for that holiday:
Assess where you are today
First off, you should gather an idea of your current body composition. Your lean body mass will be important later when we are trying to work out how many calories you’ll need to achieve your goals.
It’s important to determine how much body fat you should expect to lose in a 6 week period. Lean individuals will want to set smaller goals, for example if someone had 10pc body fat, I wouldn’t recommend trying to lose more than 0.25-0.50kg of fat per week, otherwise you may run the risk of eating into muscle, which nobody realy wants to do!!!! If your body fat is much higher than 10pc, you could aim to lose anywhere between 1-2kg a week.
Body fat readings are normally available at local gyms and some Personal Trainers will do this for you during your first consultation.
Once you have your body fat percentage, you need to calculate your amount of lean body mass (LBM), which is your mass minus your fat. So, someone who weighs 75kg @ 20% body fat has an LBM of 61kg.
How many calories should I eat?
If you are looking to lose weight eat less calories than your body uses in a day or if you are trying to put on muscle or weight eat more calories than you need in a day.Its that simple!
Meal Planning and preparation
To determine where your calories should come from, first determine how much protein you need to consume. You want 2.5g of protein and 1.3g of fat per kilogram of your LBM. That gives our example athlete 152.5g of protein and 79.3g of fat, with the remainder of the calories coming from carbs.
An example day might look like this:
- 2 boiled eggs 200g oats 1 protein shake
- 2 x chicken breast 1/2 avocado 1 x 150g salad
- 1 serving king prawns 1 x 150 salad 200g Cooked Brown rice
Protein: 176g Carb: 230g Fat: 86g
This works out at 2470 calories for the day, which would constitute a near perfect rest day.
Ideally you should plan and prepare meals ahead of each day, so that way you know exactly how many calories you will be consuming. Planning food intake also helps keep you on the straight and narrow: you don’t have to decide what to cook each evening, so the possibility of a cheeky trip to the local takeaway diminishes.
Keep Training Simple.
For the purpose of a six week fat loss program, we are going to begin by setting aside almost all cardio training (though walking at 105-120 BPM on rest days can be used as an ace up the sleeve), all circuits, and all elaborate weight training programs. Instead, resistance machines, which don’t require a lot of technical know-how, are the order of the day.
Whether beginner, intermediate, or advanced, all this regime requires is that you spend three hours a week working out. Here’s the program:
- Leg Press 3 x 10 Chest Press 3 x 10 Lat pull down 3 x 10
- Leg Press 3 x 10 Shoulder Press 3 x 10 Machine Shrug 3 x 10
- Leg Press 3 x 10 Chest Press 3 x 10 Lat Pull Down 3 x 10
Repeat for the first 4 weeks. At this point, ask to be shown proper form on barbell training, as your body will be conditioned enough to attempt strong lifts and you will begin to suffer from diminishing returns by just using machines.
After four weeks, you can consult with a Personal Trainer in your local gym and ask questions and even ask for them to train you or ask for a tailored programme depending on your level of training experience.
Aside from nutritional supplements like multivitamin tablets, you shouldn’t need any additional supplements to achieve fat loss on this program. Protein powders can be utilised to meet your protein quota for the day, but you certainly don’t need thermogenic fat burners or anything stronger.
Your caloric deficit plan and good wholesome food choices will see you strip fat with ease. Enjoy the gym and keep your treats in moderation and enjoy the holiday!