Well, we’re at the beginning of another year and we’ve all hopefully set some new goals that we’d like to achieve in 2012! For many, the goal or New Years resolution always seems to be to get into better shape than the previous year. However, when February comes around gyms certainly look a little emptier than they did in January.
If you’ve been following my blog or have “liked” the LoseWeightBuildMuscles.com Facebook page , then you’ll know I’ve documented both a muscle building transformation and a fat loss transformation. In this post, I’m gonna make sure that you never become a New Years gym casualty again! Not on my watch..
Here are 10 simple steps that show you how to transform your body, no matter what your goal is!
STEP 1 to Transform Your Body – Get The Motivation!
You have to figure out what has motivated you in the first place to want to transform your physique. Get real deep and honest with yourself. The reason won’t be as simple as “Oh, I just want to look better” – That’s the reason on the surface but you need to get your diving gear on and go looking for the real reason.
A quick exercise to help you do this is to keep asking yourself “Why?” after every question – You know you’ve gone deep enough when you’ve disturbed yourself emotionally. Here’s an example :
I want to look better…Why?
Because it will give me more confidence..Why?
Because right now I don’t feel comfortable wearing my favourite dress..Why?
Because I feel like people are looking at *insert your least favourite body part here* and it makes me paranoid…etc etc
Do you see how the reason changed when we went a bit deeper? It’s usually not the nicest thing in the world to get to the real reason but it will give you that super crazy motivation to attack your transformation like you never have before instead of quitting two weeks into January. Try it!
STEP 2 to Tranform Your Body – Take Measurements
Take initial measurements of your bodyparts. I normally measure the following parts with a measuring tape – Biceps, Chest, Waist, Upper Thighs and Calves. Take measurements at the biggest points, then note them down somewhere. You will be doing this also on a weekly basis without fail. I also weigh myself once a week but be wary of the scales – They won’t always tell the truth. You could have lost/gained water, muscle or fat. (That’s where Step 3 comes in!)
STEP 3 to Transform Your Body – Take a Before Picture of Yourself
Take a before picture of yourself and make sure the picture is in good lighting and that each picture you take uses a fairly consistent pose. You will be doing this on a weekly basis without fail. Why? Scales won’t always tell you the full story..heck, sometimes even measurements don’t. However, pictures don’t lie. We’re using this as a motivation tool but wouldn’t it also be a fantastic diary of your achievements? Get snappin’!
STEP 4 to Transform Your Body – Look at Your Diet!
The fun begins! Time to take a look at your diet – Let’s not sugar coat it (excuse the pun!), your diet is probably one of the key reasons that you’re not in the shape you want to be in and have decided to transform your body.
Nutrition is a topic that requires an entire book to cover and in my attempt to keep this short and sweet I will simply suggest for you to take a look at a healthy diet that you can maintain for the rest of your life. You’re not going to “go on a diet”. No, this will be your diet full stop!
Be sensible and make sure the diet suits your lifestyle. For example, don’t pick a diet where you need to eat 5-7 small meals a day if your job requires you to be on your feet all day and it isn’t feasible for you to take lots of little breaks.
My top tip is to keep your diet as natural and as “caveman” as possible – Whatever was available for cavemen to eat at the time is a good base for your diet too! Ok, so you’ve decided on a healthy diet..
STEP 5 – Go Shopping!
Time to pilot your trolley and start shopping for your food! Before hand, decide on which kind of foods you want to include in your diet based on your diet guidelines and create a shopping list! This is important as it will keep you focused on what you are there to buy. No straying to special offers or treats!
Another tip is to NEVER shop while you are hungry. Your cravings will kick in and you’ll be sure to make some bad food choices.
STEP 6 – Supplement For Some Extra Help
Not a necessity, but they can help you towards your goals – If you’re just a beginner or new to supplements, don’t go crazy. Just the proven basics will suffice. This is another topic that you could write a novel about but in the interest of keeping things short..
For Fat Loss :- Green Tea and L-Carnitine are cheap, effective places to start. There are literally thousands of supplements that claim fat loss. Some more dangerous, expensive, more effective than others. Understand that no pill or potion will ever replace your diet and hard work. There’s no secret! If you are going for any fat loss supplements, use common sense and research thoroughly what their effects are, good and bad.
For Muscle Building :- A basic Whey Protein Isolate, Creatine Monohydrate and Multivitamin will be adequate to help you pack on some muscle if the rest of your diet and training is on point.
Remember the word “Supplement” means “in addition to”, not “instead of” so don’t think you can replace hard work with these things to transform your body. You’ll be bitterly dissapointed..
STEP 7 – Get An Effective Exercise Plan
Yup, it’s unavoidable. If your goal is fat loss, you can certainly lose weight without exercising but guess what? It won’t be the kind of weight you want to lose. You’ll lose some fat but a lot of muscle too. This will just create a smaller version of the current you with a S-L-O-W metabolism!
I truly believe that every person on this earth should be doing some sort of resistance/weight training at the very least 2-3 times a week. It’s a fantastic exercise for burning fat, building muscle (women you will NEVER look like Arnold Schwarzenegger I can assure you..Try J-Lo) and revving up your metabolism. I could list the benefits of weight training for men and women for days. Seriously..Just do it.
You could also include a cardio routine as well to help shift the fat and benefit your health – I’d go for a HIIT style training program (with which you can use almost any exercise you want) at least every other day if you are low on time for fat loss results. You can even use weight training for cardio if you’re inventive enough!
Whatever program you decide on, start slow and progress from there. So you’ve got your program, great! Now just..
STEP 8 – Print and Take Your Program to the Gym
95% of people I see at the gym don’t do this. Be the 5% of people that are always logging their workouts and progressing from week to week.
Recording your workouts will give you feedback and allow you to make tweaks to ensure that you progress the next time! If you’re not progressing, you’ve hit a plateau. You may need to tweak your diet, your training program or just be more consistent! Either way, you’ll never know if you don’t record this information. After all, what’s the point of training if you’re not seeing results, right? What a motivation killer…!
STEP 9 to Transform Your Body – Re-take Measurements, Pictures and Assess!
At the end of the first week, take another picture and take your measurements again. Your measurements should show movement in the direction that you want (but this will depend on a number of factors. How new you are to exercise, how much bodyfat you started with etc) – If I’m burning fat I normally look for decreases in my stubborn fatty area’s which for me is my waist and for muscle building, I look for every other body part of mine to gain in size.
Decide whether you are progressing (be honest with yourself!) – If your measurements or picture aren’t showing any improvements then you will need to change something in your routine the following week. Either tweaking your diet or your training. (Or you might just need to be more compliant to what you’re doing – Only you can honestly answer that!)
Remember : “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results”
Step 10 to Transform Your Body – Rinse and Repeat!
Simply rinse and repeat this simple cycle until your body is where you want it to be – Transformation Done! Just remember that from here you can choose to progress your transformation and set new goals or you can maintain your new found healthy body and lifestyle.
I hope this blog post has been helpful. My transformations were truly done in these 10 simple steps and these are the foolproof steps I’m using to compete in my first fitness modelling show! So now you know my not-so-secret formula – Go out there and transform your body.