Below is an exercise routine that I put an advanced client through today to help to get his body fat percentage from 10% to 8%. We are putting his body through high intensity training coupled with a nutritionist that is analyzing his diet to make sure that he is eating the correct foods for his body.
My philosophy is that everyone’s body is different and that we cannot all train the exact same way and get the same result. You have to test, test, test to see what your body reacts to.
If you are serious about getting the results that you want then I recommend that you start logging down your exercises and seeing how your body feels and how you feel the next day. Below is a workout that I would like you to try and see how you do.
Do each exercise for 30 seconds for as many reps as you can and do 3 sets each before moving on to the next exercise.The rest period in between sets should be 20-30 seconds maximum.
Make sure to choose moderate weight that is challenging. You will know you are doing it right when your heart rate is up.
When you do the stair runs make sure you are holding dumbbells above your head or on your shoulders to add a different dynamic to your workout and really incorporate your core.
By pushing yourself in your workouts, you will build mental toughness AND it can also be a reflection of how hard you are willing to push yourself in other aspects of your life.
Stair Runs (hold dumbbells overhead or on shoulders) 3 rounds of 2 minutes
Rowing Machine (cardio) supersetted with Power Push Press for 5 rounds.
Need some creative ideas to use on the treadmill? Try this technique of walking backwards on the treadmill. It is a great way to use it on an incline as it can challenge your body in a different way.
Remember every time you change your workouts up they will make your body change. Variety is the key to results.
Looking for a way to get rid of the extra fat on your triceps (back of your arms)?
Do chair or bench dips. Make sure that as you are doing the exercises you are keeping your chest out and feeling the burn in your triceps. Do 10-15 reps for maximal benefits.
Leg Extension. The picture on the left is the starting position and the picture on the right is the end position. This exercise is a great exercise to develop your quadriceps (thighs).
Do reps of 10-15 for maximal results.
3 Fat Melting Strategies to Use on a Treadmill
The theory of eating no calories to lose weight makes logical sense but it is not how your body works. It has been taught for a very long time that it is all about calories in versus calories out.
What I have seen with many clients including trial and error with myself is that it is about the quality of foods you put in more than how many calories you eat.
If you are eating less than 1000 calories per day you are deliberately putting your body into starvation mode. When the body is in starvation mode it will betray you and actually do the exact opposite thing you are trying to do. It will instead, hold on to all of the food that you have in your system and not burn it off because it does not know when it will get nutrients next. It is literally in survival mode. You want to avoid this at all costs.
Our bodies are built to survive and so it will do whatever it takes to stay healthy and alive. The counterintuitive thing that we must do is to eat small meals often throughout the day.
This trains your body to get used to getting nutrients often so it can utilize the fuels you are eating more effectively. When your body feels “safe” then it will finally start to burn the fuel you are giving it so you can start to tone up and lose weight.
You may be wondering how often should you be eating per day? What I suggest is you eat every two to three hours and keep a routine. This will help tremendously in reaching your goals. This may be hard to believe because there are a lot of hang ups on if you are eating often then you are going to get “fat”.
I am here to tell you that if you give this technique a chance, it will work. You will notice that your energy will be higher, you will sleep better, and your overall mood will be happier because you will not go through so many blood sugar spikes.
Every meal make sure that you are eating a protein and a healthy carbohydrate for the best results. If you are really a busy person with school, work, or life then I would suggest you invest in a meal replacement, protein shake, or protein bars.
If you need some suggestions direct message me.
First think about quality versus quantity. If you are going really slow and using very little effort and you are on the treadmill for two hours or running up a hill for sprints, which one of those exercise techniques do you think will work best for you to lose weight?
I am a firm believer in what you put in is what you will get out (as long as it is smart and calculated). The more effort that you put into your cardio, the better and faster your results you will be.
Like any other workout program you should never start at an advanced level. For example, if you have not worked out in years, then you should not start out with high intensity incline sprints. This will be too much intensity too fast and will cause an injury.
But if you have been working out consistently (3-5 times per week) then you should definitely consider increasing your intensity and pushing yourself as hard as you can push yourself without getting injured.
So you are probably wondering how long should you do cardio to get the best results? I suggest that you focus on doing cardio sessions for twenty to thirty minutes at the highest intensity you can handle each session.
Each week try to push yourself a little more by increasing your incline or speed of your workouts based on what tools and exercises you are using to get your cardio work done.
Treadmill versus bike versus running outside
The best cardio workouts are the workouts that you enjoy, understand, and will stay most consistent with. If you love swimming or mountain biking then choose those forms of activities to measure and use as your main source of cardio work.
You always want to switch up your workouts so your body does not plateau but you have to have a main source of cardio that you can go to to get results.
In my opinion there is no one source of cardio better than the other. This is a common question that I get in the gym all the time by people who want to lose weight.
My simple suggestion is they are all great ways to lose weight so choose the ones you enjoy and do it consistently.
I would highly recommend that you get a heart rate monitor to track your effort and intensity in your workouts. Tracking heart rate is a great way to measure your exercise progress and can give you important data on how you should train.
The best data that it will give you is if your heart rate has been one hundred and thirty eight every single workout for the last four weeks and you have not seen results, then that will tell you that you are not pushing yourself enough to break your plateau.
The next step would be to either start running on an incline or a hill or push yourself to pedal faster in your workouts, or swim faster etc.
Your heart rate can be a great number to use to guide your workouts and take you to the next level.
What is your favorite form of cardio?
Empty Stomach versus Full Stomach
There have been research and studies that show both the pros and cons of exercising on an empty stomach and if it really matters. In my opinion, doing cardio on an empty stomach versus eating a light snack about an hour before is controversial.
The theory is if you workout on an empty stomach, you will burn more fat calories because you will not have any food in your system to burn through, therefore achieving lower body fat.
If your goal is to only worry about tapping into your fat stores then this may be an option for you. My argument is if you are exercising on an empty stomach is, are you going to have enough energy to have an intense workout, which in my opinion is more important for long term fat/weight loss.
If you are going for endurance you most definitely do not want to do cardio on an empty stomach as it will reduce your aerobic capacity.
A clear cut answer from me would be to eat a light snack an hour before so you can have more energy during your cardio workout but not have too much food to burn to get to your fat stores.
Cardio in the morning versus late at night
Cardio has been recommended by many fitness professionals to be done early in the morning because of the fasting that has been done after eight hours of sleep.
Once again I think this is questionable and it is all about personal preference. Doing cardio in the morning for some people allows them to have more energy throughout the day and have a more clear mind.
Doing cardio in the evening can for some people like myself, actually have more benefits because of the nutrients that you have ate and the water you have drank throughout the day is in your system to be used. I personally have more energy in the evening and find that I push myself harder at night.
I am a believer that everyone has a different peak workout time and that one should figure out that time and use it to their advantage.
In my opinion it does not matter when you do cardio in the day as long as you get it done effectively.
The speed of your workouts and weight loss
It has been taught for years that the slower your cardio exercise the better it is because it burns more calories from fat.
You must define what your goal is and what you want for the long term first before you come to any conclusions on your training style. I think that you can lose weight doing either slow and less intense exercise as well as doing fast high intensity workouts.
One thing that I would encourage you to look at is how you want your body to look like. Compare the look of athletes from different sports such as marathon running and track sprinters. You will notice the difference in how their bodies are shaped.
There is no one superior way to the other and so it is just about what your goals are and what you want to look like.
If you are going for a long lean and not as much muscle on your body look, then do the long duration like cardio workouts. If you are looking for a more muscular and defined framed then do the higher intensity and faster workouts.
My advice for you
Try the methods that I presented to you above and test them on yourself and see how you feel, how your body changes and reacts, and the overall results that you get.
If you are getting closer to the results that you are looking for, then stick with that program and train using those techniques.
I am not a believer in there is only one way to train. I just believe there is a systematic approach you can take to fitness and then it is up to you to test those approaches to see what works best for you.
We all have different bodies so we need to find out the best ways to train ourselves.
What have you found works best for you?
How I got started in the fitness. A little story about myself and how it can relate to you.
A Short Story about Weight Loss and Never Giving Up
There was a client that had lost complete hope in herself. She could not stand to look at herself in the mirror. Thoughts about what she wanted to look like and how “perfect” everyone else was made her fall deeper into her mental prison.
She was completely hopeless and depressed. She daydreamed about all of the amazing things that would change in her life if she could only lose the weight. She simply could not believe that she had allowed herself to get to this level.
Going shopping for clothes was an embarrassment. Dating life? Forget about it. She simply did not have the energy or pride to even present herself out there in the world.
One day she decided she needed a change. She was tired of her life and where it was going. She thought to herself “if I keep this up where will I be 10 years from now?”
The answer to that question was a scary thought. It was not where she wanted to be, so she decided to get a gym membership.
Getting the gym membership was one of the most intimidating and humiliating things that she had to go through. All of her self doubt and fears were going to be out there in the open where people could judge her every move and even worse, her body.
She almost thought of cancelling her membership and quitting. She did not know what to expect at the gym but she weighed her options and decided that she was going to do whatever it took to change her life.
Day in and day out she started off with the regular routine of wanting to lose her lower belly fat, tone up her arms, get rid of her back fat, and lean up her inner and outer thighs.
She was lost though. Working out was something that she had never done before.
As the weeks passed she saw very little results and became very discouraged. She thought “what’s the point?”.
After she gave in to some self pity, she remained brave and kept going despite her insecurities and frustration. She made a commitment and was determined to change her life.
After a couple of months she decided to be pro active and started reading fitness blogs and magazines. She wanted to educate herself on how to tackle her obstacles and reach her goals.
She immediately started to apply the tips that she was learning and slowly but surely got comfortable with the new techniques.
She became more educated on how her body was and what she could do to help change it.
Her attitude changed immensely. She now felt like she had hope.
Results started to come and the scale was getting lower and lower each week.
After months of training she finally hit her goal weight. Needless to say, she changed her life forever. She owes it all to not giving up on her dream and most importantly on herself.
And guess what? She found herself a boyfriend.
Never give up on yourself.
1. Prepare and cook a weeks’ worth of meat on Sunday, weigh out your portions and store them in individual zip lock bags or tupperware containers to have meals ready when you need.
2. Eat 5-6 small meals per day and include a portion of lean protein in each meal.
3. Scoop out your shakes for the next day the night before so they are ready to go with you in the morning.
4. Pack your lunch whenever possible to avoid the temptation to eat out with co-workers.
5. Prepare as many of your own meals as possible – then you know exactly what is in them!
6. Never skip breakfast.
7. Drink minimum 8 glasses of water a day to keep you hydrated and it helps keep you feeling full. An active woman needs at least 1 gallon of water per day.
8. If you have a craving for breads or pastas, go with wheat breads instead of white breads or 12 grain.
9. Cut out regular sodas completely.
10. Avoid simple sugars and saturated fats whenever possible.
11. Try Crystal Light for a low-calorie flavored drink - you can even make Popsicles!
12. Allow yourself one cheat meal a week to have whatever you have been craving. This is the problem with crash diets they fail to realize that people have cravings and can’t stick with a program if they aren’t allowed to splurge once in a while. Plan this meal around special outings, occasions, parties, etc.
13. Switch to low calorie dressings or sauces
14. Try having sugar free jell-O for dessert instead of cakes, chocolate or pie.
15. Try Stuvia, sweet n’ low or nutra-sweet instead of regular sugar
16. Use a variety of spices to make your food less bland
17. Be creative and include your whole family in your nutritious meal plan!
One of the most commonly asked questions that I get as a personal trainer is how long will it take to lose a certain amount of weight? I am going to provide below a healthy weight loss timeline.
A healthy amount of weight that you can lose per week without sacrificing too much muscle will be anywhere from 2-3 pounds (Maximum).
So take a look at the following numbers below to see your timeline. How much weight do you want to lose? (Keep in mind these are the maximum numbers you can expect if you are training hard, anything more than this is considered too much and unhealthy) Also use this as a guideline. This is the potential you can lose if you wanted to lose a certain amount of weight.
Be safe and realistic with your goals. Remember it is about living a healthy lifestyle.
1 month- 8-12 pounds
2 months- 12-24 pounds
3 months- 24-36 pounds
4 months- 36-48 pounds
5 months- 48-60 pounds
6 months-60-72 pounds
Follow me on twitter @thefiture
Like me on facebook @thefiture
Subscribe to me on youtube @gregmarshall17
Why I wrote my book Body Fit