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Plan to succeed at shaping up

Wakey, wakey. It’s time to drag your butt up and out of that collapsing couch that you are slowly morphing into. If you’ve had visions of transforming yourself into something a bit easier on the eye, then it’s time to take action.

To shed some layers, and give yourself a boost read on for the first step to get on track to turning heads.

The thing I love about Summer is it’s a fantastic fixed deadline. It’s a pity some people don’t wake up and start preparing for it until waaaay too late. It’s clear that to get in shape and stay in shape the more time you set aside for getting there the better your long term outcome will be. Remember there’s no future in crash dieting, so don’t think you can rely on that. That can make a bad situation very BAD. The way to avoid this picture and reach success is through making a plan. Keep your eye on the big picture (you know, the other side of 2 or 3 weeks from now).

People that achieve serious body change sit down and prepare a game plan. Then stick at it. It doesn’t even have to involve much to put together. The simpler the better. Scribble down some guidelines you know you can follow and check back on them often.

If you think you may have a little trouble coming up with a plan find someone that knows something and ask them to help. One fast solution is to visit your local gym and sign up (you usually get loads of free advice when you first sign up). Another option is to do some surfing on the internet, maybe visit some forums. Although be selective about the advice you choose to follow. There are endless people claiming to be fitness and nutrition experts so check them out and make sure they are the real deal!

Once you have your plan you’ve got to get into the routine, and stick at it. Many people start a plan but within a couple of weeks they are looking for a new plan. It’s a weird pattern - they don’t even give the first one a chance to really fire up. That approach won’t achieve much. A reliable plan may take a good few weeks for your body to really adjust to and for results to begin happening at their maximum rate. So take the advice of the guru’s and stick at a new plan for at least 6 to 8 weeks.

Once you have plateaued it’s time to go back to the drawing board and make adjustments for more progress. The cool thing about having a game plan down is further along the track you can look back and use it as reference. If it worked particularly well then you can try the same again another time.

If you’d like to get started writing your own plan then make sure to include both cardio-vascular exercise (cardio) and some type of resistance training (that usually means weight training). A minimum of 3 x of each per week. This combination is the best solution to reduce body fat, tone up and/or add lean muscle.

There’s mixed thoughts on cardio, but the ton of real world evidence points to high intensity cardio for achieving the most dramatic results. When fitness level is low it’s best to ease yourself into it over the first few weeks. If you’ve morphed too far into a resemblance of the couch, a visit to the Doc first for the green light before beginning is best.

You will get the most results from 3 to 5 x cardio’s per week, a minimum of 20 mins and up to about 40 mins per session is plenty. Fat loss authorities claim that splitting a long cardio into 2 shorter cardios per day will produce the most dramatic fatloss so instead of 1 x 40 min session you could split that into 2 x 20 mins sessions per day, one in the am and one in the pm. But hey, not everyone has the luxury of time for that. Remember the bodybuilders rule of thumb - the best time for fat burning is cardio first thing in the morning before you’ve eaten. At that time your body has fasted all night, so it’s more likely you will be tapping into stored body fat for fuel. 

Definitely include resistance/weight training in your program. You should perform resistance/weight training 3 to 5 x per week. You can do this at home with a few simple weights - although eventually a gym is the better way to go for most. If you have little or no weight training fitness level, then ease into it over a few weeks.

The gym heads believe 45 mins or less of weights per session is the magic number. I personally aim for around 60 mins, I find this works for me. Listen to your own body and work out what’s best for you, but usually 45 to 60 mins per session is about right.

Now your plan should also include rest and relaxation. Aim to get plenty of quality sleep. The good thing with exercising regularly is your sleep generally improves a great deal. If you aren’t sleeping as soundly as you’d like there’s a simple solution - start training harder haha.

So there you go. The first step to get you underway is to prepare your plan. If you would like a hand getting started please feel free to email anytime and I can show you how.

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