It has been a long time coming but finally- FINALLY, the warm weather is here. If you’re anything like us you have been counting down the days to warm weather from the first of June.
With warm weather however naturally comes the panicked rush to get in shape. Everyone wants to transform their bodies- which is cool. So cool in fact. Especially if it lasts.
Just how do you get a good transformation that will last? Given we have not long come off the back of our own sixteen week transformation we like to think we can shed a little bit of advice on what worked really well for us, what didn’t and what some of the challenges were. With that in mind, let’s get stuck in:
1. Set a realistic goal
No doubt you’ve heard us say this a thousand times and although it’s taken time, we are now less likely to expect to lose 35kg in two and a half weeks. Your goal setting is unbelievably important- it is so important to your motivation and subsequent success however that your goals are realistic.
A “realistic” amount of fat loss is 0.5-0.88kg a week, although it may not be as rapid as some may like it is still pretty fast. Imagine the difference you would experience if for 16 weeks you lost half a kilo per week of unwanted body fat- 8kg all up.
The same applies to gaining muscle, mobility improvements etc. Keep it realistic and stick to the plan.
2. Set a plan
It should come as no surprise that this is perhaps the most important part- if your goal is the destination then the plan is the journey. The more detailed your plan is across training, recovery and nutrition the more likely it is that you will succeed.
This is where the services of a good personal trainer are very valuable- rather than throwing anything and everything at the wall and hoping something will stick, your plan should take you from as you are today to how you hope to look when you think of your realistic goal.
Unfortunately just doing some weights Monday, pump class Tuesday, swim Wednesday and so on, although you will see some improvements its unlikely you are forcing the body to make adaptations that will see constant progress.
3. Be prepared to make some sacrifices
This doesn’t mean say goodbye to fun, but if you’re looking to drop a decent amount of body fat there will come times when you may need to make a couple of sacrifices.
This may mean opting for steak and vegetables while out for dinner with friends rather than the burger- not sacrificing the social interaction with friends.
Plan a cheat meal here and there that allows for the occasional burger or something that is off the meal plan- but if you like to eat out regularly the more often you make a choice that aligns with your goal the better off your transformation will be.
4. Prioritise Recovery
The typical transformation program works on the premise of work hard and eat a little to get results, when the results slow down, work harder and eat less and repeat. This is why it is so common that people make great transformations and then in no time at all are back to where they began when they can’t maintain the work load.
Both Adam and myself achieved the best results we have in our most recent transformation and a lot of that can be attributed to an increased focus on recovery. Regular rest days, keeping total calories high, sauna sessions, massage, mobility, deload weeks, consistent sleep, hydration and more- recovery was so important to our eventual success and it should be a priority for you too.
5. Enjoy the process
It sounds lame, really lame but the way you view the process will impact the outcome greatly.
In years gone by, mainly our first transformation almost three years ago I can remember I really didn’t enjoy the process- it was unbelievably hard work and I felt like I was missing out on way too much. Unsurprisingly I struggled to stick to the plan, I strayed a lot in nutrition and got mediocre results. End of the day- I was the only person to blame for the lack of success.
This time however I really, really enjoyed it. I loved seeing the changes, I loved the foods I was eating, I was feeling great, skin looked great (that’s important now I’m getting old!), training was going really well and the further I got into the sixteen weeks and the harder everything got I was better prepared than before and enjoyed it more and more.
Simply choosing activities, exercises and foods that you enjoy will make all the difference when it comes to sticking to the plan.
6. Measure your success
It doesn’t need to be high tech- just consistent. We only used before and after photos which show a great change on their own but we probably should have done some circumference measurements along the way as well to really measure the progress.
The more data you collect from measurements the better you understand what changes are actually taking place and the better your eventual progress will be.
There is nothing worse than finishing a challenge no matter the length and thinking “I’m pretty sure I changed- I finished it, so surely I must have”.
A solid transformation is like most things in life, its dependent on strong planning, taking action and measuring results. Consistent behaviour leads to incredible results but that doesn’t mean you need to wipe yourself out just to get a fancy after photo.
As with all training the number one priority when making change should be to optimise your health, that was our number one focus throughout our own transformation and without doing anything drastic we achieved that goal and were fortunate to see as a by product a really nice physical transformation as well.