Holidays, travel and Dubai summers – as if working out was not an uphill climb already (pun intended)! So whether you’re looking to get back into your regimen or just want to go on a fitness spree, we decided to put together a list of How, What, When and How Much with the help of some experts from GymNation. So give these guys some attention. They know what they’re talking about…
A mix of low to moderate intensity cadio-work with Weight Training to optimize body composition (aka: increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat). Such intensity of exercise for a longer duration can result in a more significant body-fat loss than higher intensity-shorter duration exercise. Gaining muscle mass increases the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) significantly, therefore leading to a greater number of calories burned, even at rest. So I recommend an aerobic exercise intensity of 65% to 75% Max HR (Heart Rate) and 70% to 85% Repetition Max (8 to 12 Reps) of muscular focussed work for optimizing positive body composition changes.
Engage in aerobic activities on most days of the week for more calorie expenditure and also because most of the researches have shown that cardiovascular training once or twice per week would only help maintain fitness but does not provide enough of a stimulus for significant aerobic fitness gains. For the cardiovascular system to adapt to exercise by improving its fitness, training needs to occur three to five times per week.
For Weight Training, two to three full-body workouts per week should be enough to produce significant strength and endurance gains. For those who prefer to exercise more frequently, training the same muscles on two consecutive days should be avoided. Those who work at higher load should allow a longer resting period between training sessions. Muscle gain is key as 1 lb of muscle can help burn 30 to 60 calories a day.
Training is important to achieve our fitness goal, but recovery is just as important. Intense weight training causes micro tears to form in our muscles. Recovery allows our muscles to rebuild. Here are some of our recommendation for good recovery:
1. SLEEP – HGH (Human Growth Hormone) is very important in the repair of muscle tissue. It is naturally produced by our body during our sleep. This is also the time that we allow our brain to recharge. Ideal sleeping hours varies between 7-10 hours. If you train 3-4 times a week aim for 7-9 hours of sleep.
2. PROPER NOURISHMENT – It is very important to refuel our body with nutritious food. Protein is made up of amino acids which are the building block of our muscles and we use Carbohydrates or Fats in our Metabolic Conditioning, depending on the intensity of training. So maintaining a well balance diet of protein, carbs and fats is very important to replenish our body for proper results.
3. FOAM ROLLING – To help reduce pain and muscle soreness and promote blood circulation in our body which delivers nutrients and oxygen to our cells which is important for our recovery, foam roll for 10-15 minutes after training.
4. MASSAGE – It gets rid of acid produced in the muscles after intense training which could lead to painful and sore muscles. A good massage promotes blood circulation and reduces muscular tension.
5. STRETCH – Stretching after a workout helps promote blood circulation, get rid of lactic acid and increase range of motion and should be a part of every workout routine.
Being self motivated is hard at the best of times, and it’s even harder when you just get back off holiday! But get back to the gym as soon as possible. The longer you leave it, the harder it will become. Try and get back into some sort of routine, even if it means taking it easy for a few days until you’re back in the swing of things. Then if you still can’t get yourself motivated join some group classes, train with friends or recruit the help of a Personal Trainer.
Without proper nutrition you would not be able to achieve your goal despite working out hard. Therefore, it is essential to know what and how much to eat. Based on my experience with clients, the best way to guarantee losing the excess holiday weight is to calculate calories. While some might think it’s difficult, it actually only takes a few minutes to plan your food today and eat to make your goals a reality!
One needs to start by determining his/her base metabolic rate (BMR); this can be done using various methods and there are many calculators online. Next, one has to factor his/her activity level depending on his/her lifestyle and job in order to determine his/her Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). This again can be done very easily through online calculators. I would recommend using the Mifflin St Jeor formula to determine the BMR and TDEE. While no formula is accurate 100% for all cases, this is a good place to start.
Once the TDEE is calculated, one needs to eat about 300-400 calories less than his/her TDEE in order to guarantee fat loss. Last, one has to monitor his/her weight closely and make sure their average weekly weight decreases over time (about 1 kg lost every 2 weeks or more is a good rate). If the average weight doesn’t decrease then all you need to do is decrease another 100-200 calories and try again.