Bogged down from extreme methods, and tangled up with a few injuries, she was ready to give it another shot after a long layoff.
“I’m stuck, Dre. I’ve tried everything!”
Situations like this are not uncommon. With the advent of social media, exposure to practices with no rationale has become a concerning issue. In fact, every single time I look into what my clients have done prior, I cringe. It’s certainly not a knock on them or the people they’ve aligned themselves with to keep them accountable. What I’m trying to convey is, we’re making it more complicated than it needs to be.
It’s important to keep in mind that improving your body composition is fundamentally about consistency and discipline. Yes, it is difficult at the start. After all, meaningful changes doesn’t happen overnight. But once you get a grasp of the primary tenets, you’ll realize the cost of entry doesn’t call for a radical shift in lifestyle.
Q: I’m reluctant to touch the weights because I don’t want to get bulky. Is it okay if I stick to cardio?
A: So, let me get this straight. You think general exercise is going to ruin your appearance? Let that question sink in for a moment.
Prioritizing cardio and the like to shed body fat is, more or less, absurd considering all the evidence supporting that intensive aerobic workouts aren’t conducive to building muscle and improving body composition.
Just to be clear, cardio is, in fact, important. And if that’s your jam, roll with it. You can experience transient changes in your appearance. However, recognize it does little to nothing in shaping your body, particularly long term.
Everyone including—and especially—women can greatly benefit from adding strength training to the mix.
Q: What’s the first thing you try to address when someone is struggling with fat loss?
A: Most of us are aware that there has to be congruency with your training and nutrition—because it’s virtually impossible to attain the health and physique you desire separating both disciplines. On top of that, though, the major nuances also have to be taken into consideration.
A common example is sleep and daily movement. It’s been well-documented that poor sleep heavily impacts body composition and performance. To put things into perspective, you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you’re all gung ho in the gym but only getting 4-5 hours of sleep a night. In the case of daily movement, an hour in the gym doesn’t counteract a day of inactivity. In other words, move more. You’d be amazed at what getting more steps can do for you.
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Dre Delos Santos has spent the last six years working with people from all walks of life in Hawaii. He is a personal trainer at Gold’s Gym. He is featured on fitness sites such as Weight Watchers, T-Nation, and STACK and regularly contributes to TAGA Sports.
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Dre Delos Santos writes about fitness and nutrition for Saipan Tribune and TAGA Sports. Readers may send him questions at www.dredelossantos.com; he cannot make personal replies.