As a the owner of a personal training and nutrition company I can say with certainty that not a day goes by when I am not asked a fitness or food related question. It can occur in the strangest of places and come from casual acquaintances to good friends to people I have never even met before. I suppose sporting my company attire around brings on a fair amount of these questions.
But to be honest, I don’t mind in the least bit. I enjoy sharing information and dispelling the fitness myth’s out there. It crush’s me when someone tells me they can’t lose weight and then they proceed to tell me everything they are doing “right” only to find out from me that they are actually doing most things “wrong” for what their body type most likely needs.
This I know for sure: Every BODY is different and every person needs to know their numbers so that they can develop a custom approach to their exercise. It’s true; believe it or not, you might actually be working out too hard and in the completely wrong training zone.
What you think is efficient is actually not efficient at all so you don’t end up seeing the results you wish to achieve. If you don’t get assessed and get a customized approach your results will be average or sub par at best. It’s like driving a car around in circles. Do you want to get closer to your destination and finally arrive or do you just want to keep going in circles never really getting where you want to go?
I have seen it time and time again – you work your arse off only to wonder what it is your doing wrong when you feel like you are doing everything right and everything you have been told to do.
Well my friends, I have a great story to share with you that explains exactly what I mean by “THIS I KNOW FOR SURE” – it will make everything so much clearer to you and hopefully allow you to see the results you have been striving for.
One of my more memorable run-ins happened last month while I was shopping at the whole foods in Reston. I ran into a casual acquaintance while barely grabbing some bananas off one of those high racks’ (hey, I am only 5’2). Pleasantries were exchanged and then the usual “well, you really know what you are doing since health and wellness is your business…do you mind me asking…”
This gal proceeded to explain that she works out 5 times per week at a high intensity level, but just can’t seem to get the layer of fat off her body and she knows she has some great muscle underneath. I told her I would be happy to help her and to give me a call.
We caught up on the phone later that afternoon where I was able to ask her more details about her eating habits and workouts. Her nutrition was easy enough to pinpoint. She was doing a great job but she wasn’t front-loading her calories. She was eating only about 400 calories before 1pm and then stuffing all the rest of her calories at the end of the day. She was thinking she was starting the day off good by not eating that many calories, but then by end of day she was making up for it by snacking after dinner and into the night. All she had to do was change that one piece to be on the right track again.
But, here was her even bigger mistake. Turns out, all of her training was high intensity. She was actually in great condition and working her butt off with programs that were similar to “insanity” type training. What’s the problem with this you ask? The problem is that she was burning mostly all sugars during these workouts and never giving her body a chance to experience a different intensity and burn rate zone.
She was floored! “You mean to say that I could actually be working out more efficiently and not having to bust my butt so hard everyday?”
Yes! That’s exactly right! You have been thinking you are doing your body well when it’s been nothing but counter productive because you have not seen the results you wish to receive.
Like I said earlier, it’s like she was driving her car around in circles…burning gas but not reaching an actual destination of a place she wanted to be at!
I told her she needed to get her Resting Metabolic Rate tested so that she would know how many calories she burned at rest as well as her Active Metabolic Rate so that she would know which heart rate zones she should be working in during each of her workouts.
It turns out that all this gal actually needed was 1 or 2 times a week of high intensity exercise and not the 5 days per week that she was doing! She was thrilled to hear that walking on a treadmill at an incline would actually be a better workout than intensity training and yield better results –although I must admit I think she was skeptical at first.
Well, the results were in the pudding so to speak! It’s been a month since we last spoke and she notified me yesterday that not only does she feel better from her workouts and more refreshed, she knocked off 5 lbs. of pure fat when she went back for her testing! She actually increased her bodies ability to burn fat instead of sugar. She is leaner, better conditioned and most importantly happier with her varying workouts.
I am telling each and every one of you out there that customization is key if you want to see change in your body. Please don’t drive blindly in circles. Find out how your body works and what your body specifically needs and then give it exactly that. You will feel a thousand times better and get the results you desire.