Train hard. Lift weights 5 days a week. Do cardio, eat, sleep, repeat.
That’s the generic guide give by many websites or bad personal trainers. That exercise is the solution, just exercise more. However despite having a busy life with work, school, family, and friends it can seem daunting to add on health as another area to manage. However it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to spend hours a day in the gym, or kitchen, you can spend an optimal amount of time to see great results and then still be able to live your life, work, relax etc.
Sometimes not knowing where to start for some people is the hardest part. I’m going to give you an idea on how to start, how to eat and train in alignment with your goals.
How do you exercise, eat and live in alignment with your fitness goals. Well that’s what I’m here to help with. I thought why not make an article for free on how to get started, if you want a more in-depth version you can grab the free one from becoming a fit life member. Or you can grab my program for a full version with everything. For now here’s enough to get you going.
The first major question is what is your end result? What do you want to look like?
If your sitting over here just saying “I want to be healthier” that’s not a goal. No one got rich just by saying I want to be richer. You don’t get good grades in school by just having the broad idea of “I want good grades.” You need a clear idea of your goal
Next you need to ask yourself why do you want to do it? Really, ask yourself what’s the purpose of eating healthy and training because if you don’t have a good reason 1 month in you’ll quit. Or when you have to choose for the instant gratifying cookie, or snack vs. making a meal, if you don’t have good enough reasons you won’t stick to it.
Change your identity. All of this I talked about in my previous article, “How to build a habit.” You need to identify yourself as healthy and fit. If you identify as unhealthy or fat you will act that way.
If you want to gain muscle. First of all you need to understand unless you’re brand new you won’t lose fat simultaneously. Even if you are brand new you will lose some fat, but primarily you will put on muscle. If you’re ok with that then good.
If you want to drop fat. You will lean out, get more fit. If you are new you will be able to add some muscle gradually, but it is a much slower process.
I usually recommend start off with dropping fat unless your around 10% body fat already. Even then sometimes people want to drop a little more. Generally speaking you want to be around 10% before primarily focusing on adding a little more definition.
How to Calculate Calories
The Mifflin-St Jeor Formula pounds divided by 2.2 = KG, or use the internet for CM and KG
Men: (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) + 5 = BMR
Women: (10 x weight in kg) + (6.25 x height in cm) – (5 x age in years) – 161 = BMR
BMR=Basal Metabolic Rate = Necessary amount of calories for your body to function
To Calculate Maintenance Calories (Multiply BMR x ____) = TEE (maintenance calories)
From here you have the amount of calories you need to eat. Whether you track or not that’s up to you. But I would ask yourself have you tried before without tracking ? If so how were the results ?
It’s easy to track with myfitnesspal, which makes the job easier. I tell most people that tracking for a month or 2 can help broaden your awareness on how much food you’re eating, how much actually need to eat, how much is too much, and how much is too little. Give it a go for 1 month see how it goes from there.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time giving all the research and science behind the foods. I’m just going to give you practical information, I wrote more research based articles. If you want the science behind it then you can look at those.
How to Eat
Gain Muscle, you should eat in a weekly surplus of 1500-1750 calories. You can break those up however you like. For example you could eat 400 more calories on lifting days, and 100 on rest days. Or 500 on lifting days and 0 on non-lifting. (I recommend 3 days of lifting) Here’s the deal I don’t recommend more than a 2,000 weekly surplus unless you’re looking to add too much unnecessary fat in the process. Yes you will add some fat because you are eating in a surplus but not as much.
Lose Fat, you eat in a calorie deficit. 20% of your maintenance calories, so say my maintenance (TEE) is 2400 then I need to eat 1920 calories. I recommend never dropping below your BMR.
The best way to get optimal results is to eat real, whole food 90% of the time.
Yes technically you could eat whatever you want in the confines of calories and macros and reach your goal. For the best results and not forgo overall health, it’s important to eat real, whole food.
How to calculate if you’re confused
Using my cutting calories (1920) (Protein & Carbs have 4 calories, Fat has 9 calories per gram)
Protein at 40% would be 768 calories from protein = 192g of protein.
(1920 x 0.4 =768/4 = 192)
Fat at 40% = 768 calories of fat. Divided by 9 = 85g of fat
Carbohydrates at 20% = 384 calories divided by 4 = 96g of carbohydrates
Repeat for yours
Protein: Vegetarian or Animal sources, Chicken, Eggs, Lean Beef, Fish, Lentils, Quinoa, Beans etc.
Fat: Nuts, Seeds, Avocado, Oils (Coconut, Olive Oils), Fish, Meat, Eggs, etc.
Carbohydrates: Vegetables, Fruit, Nuts, Seeds, Sweet Potatoes, Limit; Legumes (lentils/beans)
Eat plenty of vegetables, eat fruit everyday the healthiest are berries.
Drink plenty of water. (1-2 gallons a day)
Ideally, the example of meals are protein/fat/veggies or protein/carbohydrates
But I want to lift 6 days a week and build muscle? Well if you’re a natural body builder your body need time to rest and recover. Growth comes from lifting and recovering, not just lifting, lifting, lifting.
Chin Ups (weighted if possible): 3 sets + Warmup (4-8 reps) 2-3min rest
Standing Shoulder Press: 3 sets (5-8 reps) 2-3min rest
Deadlift: 3 sets (5-8 reps) 2-3min rest
Close grip Bench Press: 3 sets (5-8 reps) 2-3min rest
One Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets (5-8 reps) 2-3min rest
Skull Crushers or Tricep Extension: 3 sets (6-8 reps) 2-3min rest
Lateral Raises: 3 sets (6-8 reps) 2-3min rest
WHAT ABOUT ABS ?
Well first of all abs won’t come from working them out. They come from overall body fat loss. However working them out can help sculpt the muscle there so when the fats gone they look better.
If your looking to gain muscle then cardio is likely not necessary though it can help keep fat low. If you do cardio you might have a higher amount you’ll have to eat.
You can do cardio on off days of lifting.
For fat loss cardio can help and be beneficial. HIIT Cardio is the most optimal form of cardio. (High intensity interval cardio). It’s harder but has more benefits and you spend less time for better results.
You spend 15-30mins. Examples of what you can do Running, Rowing, Bicycling, Stairmaster, Swimming, Jump Ropes, etc.
1:1, 1:2, or 1:3 ratio (work to rest)
2 min warm up
20 sec sprint, 40 min rest (repeated 10 times)
2-3 mins cool down
Extra things that can help, intermittent fasting, fasted training, walking, swimming, bodyweight/calisthenics etc.
If you like other forms of exercise definitely feel free to do those as well. Just from a general standpoint I recommend at least 3 lifting sessions.
Figure out your goals and whys
Set up your eating
Remember the more you exercise the more calories you burn, so if your trying to gain muscle that means you have to eat more. That’s why lifting 3 days a week provides optimal results. If you’re trying to lose weight that doesn’t necessarily mean train for 7 days a week. Training makes you hungry and puts your body under stress and tension. Your central nervous system needs time to recover. Here’s an article on why exercise works, but it isn’t the reason why you lose weight.
Lastly remember majority of your results will come from your eating and your consistency and discipline to continue it through. Average fat loss is 1-2 lbs. a week, the beginning can be up a little more. Average muscle gain is 1-2 lbs. a month, it can be slightly higher at the start. Don’t expect amazing results in 1 month. Amazing results come after 3-6-12 months of consistency.
Thoughts ? Any questions ?
What do you want to know ?
Do you want a more in-depth approach grab my free eBook that comes with how to get fit much quicker and do it right
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Please Note: The author of this site is not engaged in rendering professional advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures, and suggestions contained within this work are not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician. All matters regarding your health require medical supervision. The author shall not be liable or responsible for any loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or suggestions within this blog. You, as a reader of this website, are totally and completely responsible for your own health and healthcare.