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3 Methods to decrease body fat!

It is very likely that personal training clients are familiar with some of the most popular diets, those like: Atkins, Ornish, South Beach, Weight Watchers, and plenty of others, but it takes more than familiarity to burn fat and lose weight! It takes being motivated! A personal trainer is an expert in the field of exercise science and sports nutrition. He or she holds the key in regards to motivating personal training clients to burn more fat to achieve the ultimate weight-loss solution!

It is very important to point out that the above diets mentioned only support a negative calorie intake for the short-term. Most personal training clients need a long-term solution! The nutritional science is there, but it takes a personal trainer to educate clients on how to mobilize fat for energy in the long-term and how to make healthy eating and weight management a lifestyle change. With this in mind, one thing remains constant: You simply have to be in a negative energy balance if your goal is to burn fat and lose inches!

You simply have to be in a negative energy balance if you’re goal is to burn fat and lose inches!To get started, let’s say your BMR is 2,000 calories per day--which is the calories you will burn under normal physiological activity such as sitting, lying down, or basically doing absolutely nothing. Now, perhaps you take in 2,500 calories in that 24 hour period. You’re not going to be in a calorie deficit, and this will put you at risk of gaining weight, not losing it. Your body will store those excess calories that aren’t used for energy as body fat.

Now, let’s consider exercise. If you exercise and burn 500 calories, then you won’t have to worry about gaining weight, but you won’t lose any weight either...you will remain the same. However, if you plan your meals accordingly and take in only 1,800 calories, you’re going to be meeting that negative calorie deficit, but you do want to ensure that you’re eating healthy and those calories are coming from rich, nutrient-dense foods.

Eating healthy foods, complex carbs, complete proteins, healthy essential fats and lowering sodium and sugar intake will all be complementary to your end goal, which is fat loss! This encourages the body to turn to stored fat deposits for energy, muscle repair and normal cellular activity. Again, if you can burn body fat, you can lose weight! 

Now that we have some better understanding on what needs to happen to decrease body fat, let’s move on to some of the methodologies proven to increase lipolysis and enhance the mobilization of fatty acids for energy!

 

Method Number 1: Decrease your carbohydrate intake

 

Low carb diets do work! In fact, 20+ quality research studies have shown them to be worthwhile. You can lose a potential of 2 to 3 times more fat while on a low-carb diet, compared to a normal low-fat diet, which Western society follows. Now, there have been some incredible studies exploring and comparing weight-loss between low-carb groups and low-fat groups for a while. What researchers have found is that the restricted calories in the low-fat group had to be closely managed to even come close to the weight loss achieved by the low-carb group.

 

The low-fat group had to continuously restrict calories to keep up with the weight loss achieved by the low-carb group, but they still couldn’t match the fat-loss achieved. Now, if you’re questioning the safety of low-carb diets, we can put your mind at ease. The most recent research studies show amazing health benefits on this plan. For instance: triglycerides decrease, blood pressure becomes balanced, HDL cholesterol increases, visceral fat is minimized through the stomach and liver, insulin levels become balanced, blood sugar is stabilized and an appetite suppressant effect seems to be common (coming from complete protein intake).

 

You can lose a potential of 2 to 3 times more fat while on a low-carb diet compared to a normal low-fat diet.

 

Many researchers believe that the success of a low-carb diet is directly linked to insulin suppression. A low-carb diet regulates the production of insulin and keeps it low, while also managing blood sugar as well. This helps mobilize the burning of fat for energy! In turn, weight-loss occurs! Now, while this is great news for some, a personal trainer knows that a low-carb diet is certainly not for everyone! I have personally coached athletes who, while being very glucose tolerant, would still feel tired and sluggish even if they dropped below 200 grams of carbs per day.

 

In this respect, your carb intake is dependent on your individual goals, metabolism, genetics, and might require some variations. However, here we are focusing more on optimizing fat loss and-low carb diets unquestionably do this. Still, for those who are looking to gain muscle and strength -- a low-carb diet is not the the most optimal. For those looking to improve stamina and performance for football, or for the 40 yard sprint -- these individuals would benefit more following a higher carb diet, due to the energy system in use during these activities (anaerobic metabolism). See the difference?

 

Method Number 2: Increase the frequency, intensity, or duration of your workouts

 

A wise personal trainer isn’t afraid to tell personal training clients that it isn’t just the caloric intake that is significant for fat-loss. The intensity of your workouts can mean everything and what you put into them is exactly what you’ll get out of them! The more stress you put upon your body (muscles in particular) the more energy your body will require, which means a higher chance for burning fat for fuel! You’ll burn more calories for sure when you mix up routines and add variation! For example, resistance training 3 days per week (up to 5) increases the stimulus put upon the body and forces the body to burn more calories.

 

Now, if you can increase your cardiovascular activity to 3 times per week for 30 minutes each session, you’ll definitely reap the rewards you’re after! Just remember, you simply can’t train the same exact way day in and day out and then expect to see speedier results. It won’t work. You’ll gain progress and improvement when you increase your load and continuously lift more weight than before, also know as the progressive overload principle. In fact the frequency of your resistance training sessions directly elicits new results for: fat loss, muscle hypertrophy, strength, stamina, mood and so much more!

 

Method Number 3: Practice the proper timing of nutrients

 

You’ll find this section to be for those personal training clients who are more advanced and are familiar with resistance training, lifting weights, and more. This is for those individuals who have resistance trained consistently for years. However, it can also be beneficial for those who have established individual goals, know their calorie needs and understand macronutrient splits.

 

To bring more cohesion, let’s explain nutrient timing. Nutrient timing refers to how certain nutrients are assimilated and handled during various times of the day. Research shows carbohydrate tolerance is actually heaviest after exercise; therefore, taking in carbohydrates, specifically faster digesting carbs, following a heavy workout, is highly recommended. We want a quick spike in insulin after a workout, so complex, slower digesting carbs at this time are not optimal. Let’s not forget though, fuel use during exercise is very dependent upon the type of macronutrients consumed beforehand. For example, a high carbohydrate meal before you exercise creates a spike in insulin with available glucose, which in turn, fuels the workout. However, a low carb, higher protein, higher fat meal before exercising will encourage a higher percentage of fatty acids to be used as the fuel source. With this principle in mind, let’s again turn to a quick example. If you want to lose body fat and you’re consuming lower carbs (maybe 60 grams a day), you’ll see an improved optimization of fatty acids, and even more so when you take in higher amounts of protein in your meals.

 

A low carb, higher protein, higher fat meal before exercising will encourage a higher percentage of fatty acids to be used as the fuel source.

 

You also want to keep healthy fats moderate and carbs low. Once your workout is complete, this is the time to get in the fast digesting carbs, because this is when the spike in insulin is most beneficial (post-workout). You can just about be guaranteed that the carbohydrates you ingest after your workout will not be stored as fat, but will be utilized to re-glycogenate the muscle and enhance recovery.

 

As an experienced and well educated personal trainer, I’d like to encourage all personal training clients to try out these techniques for promoting fat loss more efficiently! We all like to see results fast, it’s just natural! Perhaps these might be workable solutions for many people hoping to push their bodies to the limit for maximum gains and optimal health.

Posted on March 16, 2016 .

Women and Weights: The myth behind the mass

 

After several years of coaching individuals and groups, I have come to understand what most women fear in terms of fitness.  They don’t want to sacrifice femininity for fitness.  They don’t want too much muscle, a deep voice and masculine facial features.  They don’t want to look like a man!  This is often communicated during the initial consultation with things like “I just want to tone up some” or “I don’t want to look bulky”.  This is often followed up quickly with a statement such as “I want to get stronger”.  

Marketing has largely contributed to the myths of fitness in an effort to attract more clients.   Workout videos are some of the worst when it comes to brainwashing potential customers.  The videos display women with “rock-hard” bodies and perfectly sculpted buns doing various exercises with dumbbells in the 5-8# range.  They tell you how doing these exercises a few times per week will get you the results you are looking for.  NEWS FLASH…. this is FALSE!  These models did not get those great bodies by lifting 8# dumbbells for only 30mins/day!  These ladies train hard with heavy weight!  When I say “heavy”, I mean they are doing things like deadlifts and barbell back squats with hundreds of pounds.  They are pushing their bodies to the limit AND adhering to a strict, often high calorie diet to get those types of results.  If you want to look like they do, then you have to do the same types of things.

In the fitness industry you hear people talk about doing “cardio” to get lean.  While aerobic training (I don’t like to use the word cardio) is a method used to lean out, if you do not have any muscle underneath the fat you are trying to lose, you will look like a bag of bones.  Strength training builds fast twitch muscle fibers and increases metabolism, resulting in increased fat loss WHILE building muscle, which will ultimately lead to that coveted “toned” body.   

Genetics and body type also play a roll in what type of results a woman will achieve.  Everyone knows that no two people are exactly the same.  Some people are tall, some short, some with wide shoulders, some with narrow shoulders; some have blonde hair while others have dark.  You get the point.   However, people often don’t consider this when they think about getting into shape, specifically with lifting weights.  Women often think that if they pick up anything heavier than 8#’s they are going to grow 20” biceps overnight.  While this is an exaggeration, the truth is, that your body is going to do what it is genetically designed to do.  If you are naturally tall and fairly lean, then the chances of you getting “bulky” are nearly impossible.  Conversely, if you are of shorter stature and/or maybe more athletic build, it is possible that your body will build muscle faster and therefore you may have to modify your training to achieve your desired results.  The level of dedication that bodybuilders have far exceeds what the average person looking to get “fit” has.  So, when you say “I don’t want to look like that” while pointing at some female bodybuilder, chances are you won’t!

So what does all this mean for the average female?  Strength training needs to be the foundation of all of your training.  Not only will it help you lose fat but it will also strengthen your bones and help fight off osteoporosis.  And after 5+ years in the fitness industry I can pretty much guarantee you won’t wake up one morning “looking like a man” with average weight and aerobic training.  So, don’t be afraid of gaining some muscle, adding some curves, and losing some fat!  Get in there and pump some iron!  Below is an article from Coach Charles Poloquin on prioritizing strength training over aerobic training for fat reduction.  Coach Poloquin is world renowned for training bodybuilders, Olympic athletes, and other professional athletes.

http://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/1026/Prioritize_Strength_Training_Over_Conditioning_For_Optimal_Leanness.aspx

Follow me on Facebook at “Paige Jernigan-Athlete” and on Instagram at “PaigeJFit.”  Use my special code “PJFit” at Custombuilt Performance Fitness Nutrition for a 10% discount on a workout and/or nutrition plan that is specifically designed for you. 

 

 

5 basic weight lifting exercises.

Nothing will beat the results you will get sticking to these 5 basic weight lifting exercises.

They’re not confusing, they’re not fancy, and they just plain work.

 

Military Press

The military press, or overhead press, is my personal favorite exercise. I just feel like an absolute beast when i’m pumping 150 pounds over my head.

But regardless of what I think, the military press is one of the most powerful full body exercises you can do.

It not only works your whole upper body, but it gives your stabilizer muscles one of the greatest workouts they can have, building incredible overall strength.

Muscles worked: Shoulders, Delts, Core, Legs, Chest, and all stabilizer muscles

How to execute the military press:

1) Start by positioning yourself under a barbell that is at chest height on a squat rack.

2) Grab the barbell with your palms forward, slightly wider than shoulder width apart.

3) With your feet shoulder width apart and the bar resting on your collar bone, slightly bend at the knees and explode up, lifting the bar over head by locking your arms.

4) Lower the bar back down the starting position as you exhale

5) This is one rep

 

Dead Lift

Deadlifts are incredible.

They are the single most effective strength building move that you can do.

And like squats, the deadlift also pumps testosterone throughout your entire body.

Muscles worked: Lats, Posterior Delts, Lower Back, Upper Back, Spinal Erectors, Abs, Obliques, Glutes, Hamstrings, Calves, Biceps, Forearms, Quads, and more.

How to execute a deadlift:

1) Stand above the bar with your feet a little less than shoulder width apart. They should be just inside your arms when you go down to reach for the bar.

2) Position your feet under the bar so that when looking down the bar is directly over the center of your feet

3) Grab the bar with you arms perpendicular to the floor.

4) Bend down through your knees until your shins make contact with the bar.

5) To prepare for your lift, lift your chest up and pull your shoulders back.

6) Now pull up lifting the bar while keeping it as close to your body as possible. Keep your back straight through the entire movement.

7) As you bring the bar past your knees thrust your hips forward while you straighten out your legs and form a straight line throughout your hips, knees and feet.

8) Return to starting position.

 

1) The back is completely straight the entire time

Never arch your back during deadlifts. Some good ways to achieve this is to keep your head up the entire time, as if you are looking at the ceiling, and to keep your abs tight throughout the whole movement.

Arching your back can cause a whole mess of problems so really focus on that before you get to the heavy weights.

2) Keeps the bar close to the body

3) Thrust the hips forward

As the bar passes his knees he does not pull up with his back, but instead he thrusts his hips forward completing the movement.

When he lowers the bar he does so by simply pulling his hips back until the bar reaches knee height where he proceeds to bend his knees back to starting position.

So with deadlifts and squats alone, you are already on your way to building an incredible body.

These are the two most core exercises that will give your explosive increases in strength and mass.

 

Bench Press

The bench press is probably the favorite exercise of most men out there.

When it comes to how strong you are, a lot of guys go right to their bench stats to display their superiority.

Even though they are not as powerful as squats or deadlifts for a true reading of strength, they are a powerful upper body movement that will produce great results.

Muscles worked: Pecs, Deltoids, Shoulder Muscles, Coracobrachialis, Triceps, Anconeous Serratus Anterior, Middle and Inferior Trapezius, Rotator cuffs, Core and more.

How to execute the bench press:

1) Grab the bar with a slightly outside shoulder grip. Your hips should be firmly placed on the bench with a slight arch on your lower back. Your feet should be planted flat on the ground. Your shoulders should be locked downwards with your shoulder blades squeezed together.

2) Lower the bar to your sternum area keeping your elbows at a 45 degree angle.

3) Drive the bar up keeping your body and legs tight.

4) This is one rep.

 

Squat

The squat is the single most effective weight lifting move that you can do. The problem is that most people hate to do them.

Why? Because they are so dam hard. But anything that hard has to reap huge benefits, and they do.

Not only do squats work almost every muscle group, but they send surges of testosterone running through your body giving you massive increases in size and strength.

Muscles worked: Glutes, Quads, Hamstings, Erector Spinae, Rectus Femoris, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis, Abs, Abductors, Adductors, Soleus, Gastrocnemius.

Yes, the squat works muscles you didn’t even know you had!

How to execute a squat:

1) Position the bar in a comfortable position on your trap muscles. This may be uncomfortable at first but you will become accustomed to it as time goes on.

2) Keep your head up, hips and shoulders back, weight on the heels, and knees inline with your feet.

3) Squat down, keeping the posture outlined in step 3, down to your preferred level. Many people say it is best to go 90 degrees, some like to go all the way down until their ass hits their ankles. This is a debate for another article.

4) Make sure that your knees never go beyond your toes. This puts terrible, damaging strain on your ligaments.

5) Push up through your heels on the ground and raise the bar back to starting position while keeping your back straight, head up and shoulders back.

6)This is one rep.

1) Keep your back tight

To keep your back tight, keep your elbows down and imagine as if you are about to do a military press with the bar. This will keep your chest up and you back in the correct position throughout the whole movement.

2) Keep the pressure on your heels

All the force going into the ground to propel the bar up needs to be done so through your heels. This will save you thousands on expensive knee surgery in 10 years.

3) Start the squat by breaking at your knees

By breaking at the knees first and then sitting back with your hips, you will ensure that your back remains straight and does not round during the movement

4) Open up your hips

As we stated before, you need to make sure your knees do not go out further than your feet. In in order to do this you need to open your hips as needed.

Point your knees and feet out at the appropriate angle based on your leg length so that when you squat down your knees and feet are on the same vertical plane.

I can’t stress enough how important good form is on the squat.

Make sure that you start with very low weight, maybe even just the bar, until you perfect your form like you see in the video. This may be a little tedious for a month or two but will help you achieve greater lifts without nagging injuries years down the line.

So get that form down and start doing squats.

I am sure you have seen the guys roaming around the gym with huge arms and a puffy chest and skinny little frog legs. Or maybe you haven’t because they are probably wearing sweatpants.

Please don’t be that guy, everyone hates him. Get your squats done.

Pull-ups

Yes pull-ups don’t involve weights, but in this scenario your body is the weight.

Pull-ups are an incredible exercise for overall strength and endurance.

Muscles Worked: Biceps, Triceps, Pecs, Lats, Teres Major, Coracobrachialis, Subscapularis, Rhomboid, and more

How to execute the perfect pullup:

1) There are a few different ways to do pull-ups, each as beneficial as the last, which we will go over in an in depth pullup article later.

a) You can have palms facing forward

b) You can have palms facing backward

c) You can do close grip

d) You can go wide grip

2) The most traditional pull-up, is with palms facing forward with a wide grip, slightly wider than your shoulders.

3) Simply hang with this grip and pull your body straight up until your chin is over the bar.

4) Hold here for a second and then slowly lower your body back to free hang position.

5) This is one rep.

This exercise is great full body exercise for beginners who are not used to the gym yet.

It is an excellent indicator of your level of fitness as it works your anaerobic system as well.

For a good idea of how many to do just keep going until you can no longer get your chin over the bar

 

These are truly the most powerful yet most basic weight lifting exercises you can do.

Just doing these 5 movements alone, once a week, will give you massive increases in size and strength. 

 

 

Are you new to fitness and looking for a great program? Check us out at www.CustombuiltPFN.com - Please submit all questions to info@custombuiltpfn.com

 

 

Gluten Free? Why?

Let me preface this article by saying I AM NOT A DOCTOR. While I am a certified personal trainer with over a decade of experience and studying to be a certified sports nutritionist, my professional opinion should not take the place of a medical professional. Serious questions about your health and diet should be directed to your doctor. That being said: I know the craze of the day in the past few years has been "going gluten free". While I myself am (mostly) gluten free due to a medical condition, that doesn't mean I suggest it to my personal training clients. Before I explain why let's cover quickly what gluten is.

What is gluten?

gluten Is a mixture of proteins found in wheat and related grains such as barley. They create a strong bond, which gives bread it's elasticity to create doughy-ness and help it rise. Gluten has some protein but a low biological and nutritional value. Meaning it is not packed full of vitamins and minerals and mostly just makes you feel full before quickly being burned as energy by your body. This is good in high amounts for endurance athletes but the average person doesn't need to be eating as much as they probably are. This doesn't mean it is bad for you. Just like anything else in our diets it should be eaten in moderation.

Who actually needs to avoid it?

Celiac disease, autoimmune/auto inflammatory disease, digestive disease: Unless you have one of these then going gluten free won't give you any real medical benefits. Yes you will see some weight loss but that's because you're dropping your carb intake and therefore are probably only losing water weight. Carbs are quick energy for your body and unless you've noticed a marked improvement in your pain levels, inflammation, or bathroom habits after 30 days of gluten free you are probably fine to go back to the bread.

In Conclusion, unless your doctor has told you that you need to be on a gluten free diet, you are just buying into diet trends like the "fat free" buzz of the 80s, the Atkins diet of the 90s or the raw food craze of the early 2000s. Simply put, eat clean, balanced, nutrient dense foods with as few chemicals as possible and you are doing better than most.

 

Beverly Provost

AAAI Certified Personal trainer, Semi-pro Athlete, Fitness model.

Athlete Liaison and OCR Branch Manager for CustomBuilt PFN

 

Interested in learning more about improving your nutrition? Check out CustomBuiltPFN.com for online meal plans and use code PSYCHO for 10% off