Burning fat, building muscle and transforming your body can certainly be a challenge mentally and physically, but a challenge doesn’t mean impossible, especially if you know what you’re doing. Today’s post is going to be slightly different. Think of it as an essential checklist of things you must do if you want to transform your body. Ofcourse there’s lots more involved, but these are all great starting points to transform. Some of the points will also branch out into further reading, so if you think it’s something you need to focus on, follow the link through for some more detailed information.
Set Yourself Goals
First things first, you might want to transform your body, but do you REALLY want to change your body? Too many people want to lose fat or build muscle, but at the end of the day they aren’t really that fussed about whether they actually succeed or not. If you really want to succeed this is what I want you to do right now. Grab a pen and paper, we are going to set a SMART goal! SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time orientated. First up, what’s your goal? Make this as specific as possible and put a time cap on it. For example, instead of writing “Burn fat for holiday” write “I want to lose 10lbs for my summer holiday on 13th August”. You can break this down into smaller chunks by working out how many pounds lost this would equate to per week. This process works for any goal, whether it’s fat loss, muscle gain or just improved fitness levels. Next up I want you to write down as many benefits as you can think of that would be a result of achieving your goals. For example, improved confidence, health, strength, fit into older clothes etc. With this piece of paper I want you to stick it up somewhere you’ll see it everyday, such as the fridge or bedroom door. The simple act of regularly seeing your goals and the benefits you could experience will really help keep you motivated.
Create And Reinforce Positive Habits
In the wise words of Aristotle “We are what we repeatedly do.” What habits do you have that are negative to your goals? What things do you need to make a habit that will support your goals? Have a good think about these questions, and decide when you’re going to implement them. Once you’ve created your positive habits you can easily reinforce them with some of the strategies outlined here.
A hydrated body is a happy body. We are made up of over 60% water, so it goes without saying, staying hydrated is a must for achieving your body composition goals. Ensuring you hit your daily water target should be one of your first ports of call. It’s needed in the body for many for many important tasks, including:
– Transportation of oxygen and nutrients
– Joint lubrication
– Flushing harmful toxins and body waste, mainly through urination
– Helping the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters
– Regulating body temperature
– Organ function
– Fat burning
Aim for 0.033L of water per KG of bodyweight per day. For a 75kg individual this would be:
0.033L X 75 = 2.4L per day
If you struggle with drinking enough water, check out these tips here.
Get 8-9 Hours Of Sleep Per Night
A good nights sleep is paramount for optimal recovery, not only from exercise, but from everyday life as well. Accumulating evidence from epidemiological studies and well-controlled lab studies indicate lack of sleep may increase weight gain and the risk of obesity. Lack of sleep also results in metabolic and endocrine alterations, such as:
– Decreased insulin sensitivity
– Raised levels of the stress hormone cortisol during the evening
– Increased levels of ghrelin, a hunger hormone
– Decreased levels of leptin, a satiety hormone
– Lowered release of human growth hormone (GH)
These alterations are bad news for pretty much any body recomposition goal. For some great tips to improve your sleep click here.
Have Some Structure And Direction To Your Workout Routine
This sounds pretty basic, but you’d be surprised how many people go into the gym for a workout and A) have no idea what they’re going to train, or B) bust their balls with a killer workout which has absolutely no correlation with their goals in mind. The typical example is someone wanting to increase their lean body mass, but spend an hour on the treadmill. It’s important to remember the SAID principle (specific adaptations to imposed demands). In other words, your body will adapt according to the stimulus you are subjecting it too. If you feel you need some structure and direction to your training regime why not check out the range of ABC fit training manuals? You could burn fat with The 12 Week Fat Burn Project, or build muscle with the The 12 Week Lean Muscle Project. For more info click here.