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When you are working out do you ever question or research what you are doing? There are virtually a never ending amount of training routines, exercises and theories at your fingertips on the internet. They all promise to get you in the best shape you have ever been in.

Too many people blindly follow a routine because it’s new or different or their trainer told them to do it.

Set some goals, take some time and research the best way to get there.

Here is a common goal that trainers frequently hear. I want to lose weight, tone up and have more strength and energy. This is possible for anyone who wants to do it and is not as hard or time consuming as one might think. The problem is if you do the wrong things, you will not get there. By not getting there don’t just add more of the same wrong things, thinking you are not doing enough.

Do what works! Do it right and just do what you need at the right intensity.

Here is an example.. “Mary” wants the results listed above so she decides to eat better and start running. By eating better she cuts out a lot of junk foods, eats a lot of fruit and vegetables, cereal for breakfast, granola bars or fruit for snacks, lots of yogurt and nuts. This is the majority of her calories. She starts off running what she can, and increases the duration and distance as often as she can as “more must be better”. Her diet consists of mostly carbohydrate and much of it is simple carbs from all the fruit and granola bars. This is not ideal for getting leaner but is better than what she was consuming before. She loses a few pounds and is motivated by that and continually increases the running as “more is better”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking running, but Mary’s goal is weight loss-tone up and energy. With the higher carbohydrate diet she has put herself on, and the continual increase in the running she will reach a point where the weight loss will be some body fat which is desirable but she is also going to lose valuable muscle mass as her body will cannibalize it in order to stay as light as possible from all the running. This will be detrimental to her metabolism, strength and the toning she desires. If her goal is to run, that’s great. She is running and running further than she was capable of when she started.

Here is what would achieve all the goals of weight loss (fat loss is a better term) toning up and more strength and energy. Nutrition should be a consistent balance of lean proteins from egg whites, white chicken and turkey, fish, lean meats, very low fat dairy products and protein supplements if you want to use them. Your carbohydrate intake should consist of lots of high fiber green vegetables, oatmeal, sweet potato, brown rice, with a limited amount of fruit, whole wheat breads and pastas and a couple of servings of essential fats daily. The ratios of each depend on the person and takes some trial and error, but most people eat far too much carbohydrate, the wrong kinds, fatty sources of proteins and the wrong fats. Don’t underestimate the importance of nutrition. It will make or break any training, health and physique goals.

Training for fat loss works if you focus on metabolism building, not how many calories your cardio machine burns in an hour. The majority of your training should focus on working the hell out of your legs, glutes, back and chest muscles. These are the calorie burners, the metabolism builders. Pick the right exercises-squats, lunges, deadlifts, chinups, rows, presses, dips, pushups. Compound movements taken to failure will ignite your metabolism, put your calorie burn through the roof, tone your muscles and make you strong. Stronger means daily tasks are easier which translates to more energy. Best cardio for endurance/energy is interval or pyramid training for short periods of time. Twenty to thirty minutes of two minute bursts of hard cardio followed by a minute of lower intensity yields fat burning results and more stamina.

This training can all be accomplished in 4-5 hours a week. The nutrition is not hard if you prepare for it and know what you are doing. If you are not getting results with what you are doing chances are your nutrition is off, you training is not matching your goals and your intensity is low.

Don’t do more. Just do it right!

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