We’ve all been there before. After weeks (or months) of telling yourself that you’re going to start “that diet” that you heard about. Or that you’re going to pay your gym membership “next week,” you’ve finally decided that enough is enough. However, as with a lot of things in life, when it comes to health and fitness the hardest bit is getting started!
For the novice, one of your biggest fears may be that you will go to the gym and not know where to start. Or that you’ll go out for that 5 km run and it’ll eventually turn into a lovely stroll. For the seasoned veteran, one of your biggest fears may be the thought of having to go back to the proverbial drawing board. You might be disheartened to see that your bench press has dropped from 80kg’s to 60kg’s since the last time you were in the gym. You needn’t worry. There’s always a bit of a psychological hurdle that needs to be conquered before you fully get back into the swing of things. The good news is that it can be a very easy hurdle to clear, all it needs is a little commitment.
Know Your Goals.
While there’s a plethora of information out there about what the best exercises are to get into peak physique, here at 10TenOne we believe that everyone is different, so you need to do what works for you. We also believe that your health and fitness goals should fall in line with your body type, so make sure you have an idea of what you want to achieve before you begin your fitness regime.
Whatever your specific case may be, it is important to note that nutrition and exercise go hand in hand so it will be helpful — once you have an idea about what your body type is and what your fitness goals are — to make sure that your nutritional plan and exercise regimes compliment each other from the start.
There are many theories and diet plans that claim that they are “The One” but, in truth, this ultimately comes down to your own personal goals. However, put simply, your calorie intake or “caloric consumption” will determine what kind of body you will obtain. For example (major key ? alert):
- To Get Toned: Toning your muscles means building lean muscle mass progressively without getting too much fat in your system. In order to do so, you will have to eat more calories than you burn, meaning you’ll have a “caloric surplus.” However, if you increase your calories too quickly, your body will store fat. This why it’s important to do it progressively, so you can track your progress and avoid looking bulky.
- To Maintain Weight: This is when you burn as many calories as you consume. This is called “caloric maintenance.” Knowing the caloric intake you need in order to maintain your weight is the starting point. From there, you can determine how you would have to eat in order to tone your body or lose fat. An easy way of doing this is downloading a calorie calculator app. We recommend Argus (free, IOS and Android) or Lose It! (free, IOS and Android).
- To Lose Fat: If you want to lose fat, you will have to burn more calories than you consume, this is called a “caloric deficit.” It’s when your body uses stored fat for energy, which leads to weight loss. However, you must be aware that the body can also use muscle tissue… which is bad. This is why you must lose fat progressively, if you’re doing it too quickly you will put your health at risk and most certainly give up.
Goodbye Deep Fried, Hello Grilled Chicken!
One thing that must not be underestimated is the importance of your diet. While we’re not nutritionists or dietitians, we recommend from the start that you consider cutting junk food out of your diet. Cutting junk food from your diet will make it easier to burn fat and get toned, so say goodbye to deep fried and say hello to grilled chicken. When trying to lose unwanted body fat, replace sugary drinks with water and limit (or cut out completely) other added sugars, sweets, sugary gums, fried foods, baked goods, high-fat meats, high-fat dairy foods and refined grains (such as nshima, white bread, white rice and regular pasta).
This sounds incredibly difficult, but one way of getting into it is by dedicating four to six days in the week to clean eating and giving yourself one or two “cheat days” where you can eat pretty much what you please to reward your discipline.
Look Good, Feel Good, Train Good!
Now, enough with all the technical mumbo-jumbo! We’re here to talk about what you need to do to get into the physical shape that’ll have you owning any boardroom, courtroom, surgery or stage and have you feeling and looking great in the process!
Once you’ve decided on what your body goals are and paid the gym membership, the only thing left to do is make sure that you have the appropriate clothes to exercise in.
Because we’re current and aspiring leaders of industry and society, we aways have to look the part. This is no different in the gym. In the same way a lawyer wouldn’t turn up to court wearing a bright green t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms, it is important to choose the appropriate attire that will allow you to perform all your desired exercises without compromising your form (or damaging your reputation). For example, you wouldn’t wear loafers to run on the treadmill, or wear a skirt to go spinning. So please do invest in some decent gym wear. At the end of the day we believe that if you look good, you feel good. And if you feel good, you’ll train good!
Last but definitely not least, have fun with it!