In my five years as a personal trainer, I am often asked, Erik, what is the best way to lose weight?
When I first started training clients my response was a low carb paleo modification due to my own success and research on it. The research convinced me that insulin was the culprit and that if you kept insulin low you would burn more fat and lose weight faster. Now this did work for some, but some didn’t do that well either. I followed this approach for the first four years of my career. But if you asked me that question now, I would give you an answer that you would hate, and that answer is: It depends. It is an interesting question, one that doesn’t have a correct one because there are multiple answers to it.
Congratulations on taking control of your health by caring for your body and feeding it what it needs to be slim, healthy, and vibrant! If you’re like me, you really want to look and feel great! Battling excess weight can be one of the most frustrating, challenging, and emotionally draining experiences on earth. Many people struggle with a never-ending battle to lose weight and get healthy. Despite the numerous fad diets, exercise regimens, and magic pills for weight loss, Americans continue to grow larger and larger year after year.
In the last installment of Fitness Myths I went over how small frequent meals have no impact on your metabolism and that overall calorie consumption is the most important thing when it comes to metabolism. This week I will debunk the myth that fasting causes your metabolism to slow down, when in reality, fasting will actually speed up your metabolism.
I know we have all heard it before,
“If you stop eating, your body will go into starvation mode and slow down your metabolism to conserve energy.”
I am not sure when this myth started or how it gained its popularity. Maybe it is due to a multi billion dollar industry that relies on people consuming snacks throughout the day in order for it to make a profit. But I digress. The myth states that when you consume smaller meals throughout the day your metabolism will increase more versus larger less frequent meals. This is based off the concept of thermodynamics. Put simply, when you consume calories your body requires energy to digest that food. Therefore, if you eat more frequently then your body would have to use more energy to digest the food, and this is completely correct. Unfortunately, your metabolism doesn’t care about how many meals you consume, all it cares about is the total number of calories.
During my two day fast I was leaving work and walking to the metro station to head home for the day. I was hungry, but I wasn't starving and I was functioning perfectly fine. As I walked down the street of downtown los angeles, I came across a woman sitting on the street corner with a sign,
'Need money for food, haven't eaten in days, thank you"
At first glance, the sign did nothing for me and I walked passed her. I continued to walk, but something pulled me back. I can't explain it, I just knew I had to do something. I walked to the nearest restaurant and asked for a menu. I took the menu and brought it to the lady. In today's society she would not be considered beautiful, and her eyes were no different. They lacked life, they had no hope, and they were filled with pain. She was older, skin scarred, wrinkled and lacked muscle. It was obvious that she was malnourished and needed a meal.
So I handed her the menu, "Go ahead, pick whatever you want from the menu, it's on me."
2016 was a great year for me and Rokiskyfitness. I graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science as a health fitness specialist. I passed the CSCS test and became a certified strength and conditioning coach. From there, I moved across the country to start my internship at Equinox in Downtown Los Angeles. The internship consisted of 12 unpaid weeks totalling 480 hours. It was a humbling experience and made me realize that there's still plenty of work to do. Fortunately, they brought me on as a personal trainer. The job has been filled with long days and 60 hour + weeks, but it has been an amazing learning experience and the staff feels like family. So don’t feel sorry for me, I love my job and look forward to more 60 hour + weeks.
Last week I just got done writing about the benefits of a high intensity workout and how it can save you time in the gym. This week I am going to go over another sprint workout that was shown to help reduce body fat. With summer approaching you will be outside much more, but that doesn't mean you should take a break from exercise, rather, you should switch your workout to one that accommodates your lifestyle. The easiest way to do this in a time efficient manner is through sprint training.
What if I told you you could get the benefits of a 50 minute cardio workout in just ten minutes, would you believe me?
It almost sounds too good to be true. Ten minutes of cardio versus fifty minutes of cardio, the longer duration has to have more benefits, right?
Not so fast, it all depends on the intensity of the exercise. Put simply, if your workout duration is short then you need to push the intensity and if you have a longer workout duration then the intensity needs to be lowered.
The hardest part with coaching is teaching your clients patience, especially in a world where people are conditioned to believe that expect results to happen overnight. And all the blame can’t be put on the client nor the coach. Both the coach and the client have to work together. Humans are the most adaptable species on this earth and our current environment has taught us that results happen instantly. In seconds you can have your questions answered with Google or a date lined up by “swiping right”. Never before has this ever happened. Before the exponential growth of technology, humans understood that things took time because everything around them took time from making a meal to finding a date, well at least for me it took a while. You may not realize it but your everyday activities influence your expectations throughout your other hobbies like working out.
Before proceeding any further, make sure you click here and read over the blog post. That blog post covers my 60 favorite exercises. I will be referring back to that post throughout the this post.
Today's post will cover the topic on how to write a workout plan. Now, don't be intimidated. Writing a workout plan is much easier than you think! In fact, it will take you less than 15 minutes if you follow the steps below.