10 tips for getting your body in shape

A healthy diet for sport and exercising is not aimed at losing weight instantly, rather than making sure that your body gets all the needed nutrients and constantly scores a great shape. Indeed, a dedicated sport diet is only reserved for professional athletes, but its principles may come handy for those who train regularly and expect results. A spoiler: no starving required, only workouts and quality nutrition are what is asked of you. Here are some tips I’ve curated to help you along the way.

   1.Make your meal ration varied

If you exercise regularly (and I hope you do), it is important that your ration is balanced and diverse. Take your time to adjust to new eating habits to avoid the stress of dropping your favorite (and I bet not the healthiest) products. To start, make sure your meals contain one of the following six groups of natural produce:

  • Vegetables (including beans)
  • Fruits
  • Nuts, seeds and natural oils
  • Unprocessed meat, fish and seafood
  • Whole grains
  • Natural dairy products

 

  1. 2.Do not starve

Your body should not suffer from lack of nutrients either before, during or after exercising. Use a designated app to count your individual amount of calories needed by following the 25-50-25 rule , where 25% of daily calorie consumption should happen at breakfast and dinner and the rest (50%) at lunch. If you have a specific goal of gaining muscle or losing weight, do not forget to count fibers, fats and carbs as well to avoid fiascos such as eating a baby french fries portion instead of a whole bowl of fresh salad (don’t try this at home, especially during the quarantine).

 

  1. 3.Create a meal schedule

Draft out a nutrition planning based on your daily timetable. Add a second breakfast or an afternoon snack based on when you usually workout, but remember not force yourself if you are not feeling hungry. Do not exercise an empty stomach (if you are not into fainting, of course). Better grab a high-protein dish 2-3 hours prior to hitting the gym or have light (and I mean light!) snack 30-40 minutes prior to sweating. Keep in mind that during 20 minutes after you’re done, a so-called post-workout (anabolic) window opens up and it’s perfect timing to consume protein and carbs (not fat!)  to grow muscle.

 

  1. 4.Do not drop out on fats

Regardless of whether you follow a low-carb or a low-fat diet, you do not want to refuse fats completely. Better keep in mind that 30% of recommended fat consumption norm should be divided into 18% unsaturated fats (fish, avocado, nuts, sunflower, soybean, rapeseed and olive oils), 10% saturated fats and no more than 2% to trans fats. Surprisingly, but due to secretion of testosterone, fats play an important role in muscle growth, reduction of body fat and increase of strength and stamina levels.

 

  1. 5.Carb up your life

Do not neglect another very important nutrient, carbs. Hit on complex carbs (legumes, seedlings, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, whole grain cereals, bread, brown rice) before your training and treat yourself with some fat-free carbs after the workout, such as potatoes, pasta and fruits.

 

  1. 6.Drinking helps.

Our muscles are 75% made of water that comes out with blood, sweat and tears (while you exercise under my supervision). Although this was a joke, the important thing is that losing as low as 2% of moisture cuts the training effectiveness in four and drives to quick fatigue and loss of coordination. If you plan to ignore any of my advice, never ignore thirst! Fuel yourself up with 0.5 liter a few hours before sweating and try to drink water every 15 minutes during your training. After you’re finished, think of finding out how many grams you’ve lost and fill it in with the same volume of water.

 

 

  1. 7.Breakfast is King. Be (and like) breakfast.

It makes it easier to wake up if you anticipate tasty breakfast, since it gives you a necessary energy boost for the day ahead. Once again, remember to keep the portion individual and do not make yourself overeat. I suggest that a healthy breakfast consists of oatmeal or buckwheat porridge, omelet, wholegrain bread, vegetable salad, fruits, berries and farm dairy.

 

  1. 8.Plan out your menu

Whenever you sit down to (hopefully) plan out your exercising, take some time to plan your meals, too, to avoid hibernation in front of your fridge or cooking the same dish over and over again since you run out of inspiration. And, it can help you to save some budget, too – for a stylish fitness outfit, for example.

 

  1. 9.Cook it

I bet you are already all-envious about your fit colleagues bringing lunch boxes to work while you are still addicted to take-aways. Just note that a habit takes only 21 days to settle and preparing food at home  guarantees a needed calorific value and freshness of your meal.

  1. 10.Sneak snack

Snacking is not a crime, especially if it contains apples, bananas, vegetable juice, fermented milk, yogurt or cottage cheese, which are basically the healthy products outlined above. So, now take a snack once finished reading and see you in the gym!

MUSCLE

How to gear up for summer (Trust me, it will come anyhow)

 

Building up the muscular system is the number one demand of my determined and hard-working clients.

 

With most of them, we start with complex measures (trainings, nutrition, lifestyle coaching) aimed at losing weight – otherwise all the effort invested into getting ripped in the gym will be hidden under the rug of extremely high body fat. With others, lucky ectomorphs (no, it is not a nickname for another Marvel universe antagonist, rather than an another name for someone who’s naturally thin), we get down to business. This is how we do it.

 

Step  1. Forget your diet

 

The sugar pill of gaining muscular volume is surpassing your usual calorie norm by 15-20%, meaning that the average amount of calories you consume daily should not be less than 2500. Your nutrition should include enough healthy fats and good carbs, as well as not less than 1,5 or 2,5 grams of protein pro kilogram of dry weight. Hope that’s not too much  calculation for an athlete, especially keeping in mind the fact that we do not posses an infrared vision (yet) to count the calories without using specialised charts, so don’t try rough rookie estimations and take the calorie count seriously.

 

Step 2. Spice up your life

Regardless of feeling hungry or not (the latter is typical for ectomorphs), you should consider optimising your metabolism by taking whey protein with keratine at least a few times a day. Caffein, arginine and beta-alanine – based supplements intensify the rush of blood to your muscles and facilitate its growth. Good news is that in time your metabolism adapts itself to the increased energy boost.

 

 

 

 

Step 3. On the minimal

Focus on 45-minute long workouts (excluding warm-up and hitch).

Bring down your gym routine to key basic multi-joint exercises and do not attempt more than 10-15 repeats in one go (ideally five -seven if you opt for big weights and my assistance). Otherwise you’re dead. Joking. You’re dead anyway. And, I never believed I’d say that, but hit the gym no more than three times a week, otherwise I’ll force your exhausted body home once you knock on the gym’s door.

 

 

 

Step 4. Exercise in a smart way.

Contrary to popular belief, the Oscar of building muscles goes to barbell squats, and the supporting roles are awarded to CrossFit and exercise machines.  And, if you were a diligent biology student, you should remember that your muscles need to suffer to permit growth. In other words, they must iMessage your brain once they can no longer handle the exercise stress and signal their need to increase volumes, so you always need to (literally) be a blade runner and train (and live) on the edge. And – my favorite part – the last attempt in one round should leave you breathless so that you are no longer physically able to do a repeat.

 

 

 

Step 5. Stock Energy

Grab a gainer (a mixture of fast carbs and amino acids) 15-20 minutes prior to hitting the gym. Do not forget to supply your body with some whey protein while you sweat it out and polish off with BCAA supplements straight after the workout. Last, but not the least: do not skip a full meal one or two hours after you’re done.

 

Step 6. Analyse this

 

Just like any pre-graduate neighbourhood school girl, you should keep a diary. Not of the hearts you broke and of the times your heart was broken, but of your workout. Write down your workout program, study your weight change and summarise consumed calories. Devote 10 to 15 minutes out of your precious weekend time to track progress and plan your exercises for the upcoming week. At first it may sound that I’m asking for too much, but if you realise how much time and effort you waste on sweating and on getting to the gym, it is a must to check if it brings any results at all.

 

Step 7. Set up realistic goals.

 

I know that you spend hours on Instagram stalking accounts showcasing your dream bodies, but trust me that these guys spent years getting where they are now. The harsh truth is that a year of intensive training and following my advice outlined above will bring you maximum 6-8 additional kilos of pure muscle. But, if we take in mind that the average muscle growth speed for a typical male with  standard genetics is 0.5 – 1 kg monthly, it is already a huge achievement. But don’t expect to show off a completely new body within one month of workouts – we are not in Kansas, baby. Exercise and eat thoughtfully and we’ll chat in a year.

 

GOALS

Some of my clients train to lose weight, some to build muscles, some to show off (joking). But I often ask them to consider and concretise all of the following goals once subscribing to my coaching program so that we can then celebrate (with kid’s champagne) the results accomplished.

 

Goal One.

Instead of desperately wanting to lose weight, set your sails towards losing fat. Muscles are thicker than fat and thus fill in less volume of your body than the same amount of fat. So aim at replacing the percentage of fat in your body with muscles. How to find out about how much fat you have, apart from taking a look at the mirror? Go to a dietologist for hydrostatic weighing and bioelectrical impedance analysis, enquire at your local gym about caliper-based measurement of the skin thickness, buy a specialised scale that shows the percentage of fat or sit down the charts that reveal fat based on your waist and hip volume.

I can also  help with measurement and nutrition plan... 


Goal Two.

Become stronger. No, you are not training to become a new Skywalker, but consider including strength and muscle building into your workouts. No, you won’t become the next Schwarzenegger, since you need to reconsider your nutrition as well to do that, but a bit of elasticity and body tone wouldn’t hurt. Plus, you won’t be afraid to fight criminality in Gotham City or at least gain more independence in your daily tasks like carrying more grocery shopping bags home.

 

 

 

 

Goal Three.

I bet you’ve already read my article about sports helping to slow the aging process down, but what if I told you that sweating it all out makes you smarter? On a short run, the activity boost you get during exercising influences both your body and your brain, and on the long run it prevents dementia by stimulating the growth if brain cells, especially in the area which is responsible for our memory and education (that’s why you are probably reading this now), betters cerebral blood flow and even amplifies brain volume and meanders count.

 

 

 

 

Goal Four.

Switch your mode from plain exercising to learning new sports. Thai boxing, swimming, dancing, board sports… there is enough room for imagination. Tip: it is also acceptable to divide main goals into supporting ones: even if you are planning to beat Shaun White in halfpipe anytime soon, I suggest you simply start with attempting to slide down the slope and I’ll stay there and laugh. Joking. You’ll send me a video and I’ll laugh anyway – in a good way.

 

 

 

Goal Five.

 

Make your workout a habit. Don’t sweat for a best friend’s wedding, graduation anniversary, birthdays or funerals. Anyway, would a few hour long – even stunning – appearance  be worth all the blood and tears you’ve put in? Sweat for your own self, all the while enjoying every step in your way. Block a time slot in your busy schedule, choose a sports center close to your home don’t skip trainings. Otherwise I’ll be after you.