Updated: Nov 14, 2019
Common Questions Received by Personal Trainer's:
What training types will produce the fastest results for fat loss without loosing muscle?
How can I building muscle in the process?
Majority of clients are looking to achieve one or more of these 4 things and preferably fast:
Muscle tone/increase muscle mass
Drop body fat
Increased fitness levels
Today I have decided to share my approach to training with you; this is constantly evolving day by day. This is a hard topic to write about so please keep in mind that:
Personal Trainers have their own view and niche, therefore mine is just one of many
Personal Trainers are gym floor based
Sessions typically run for 30 minutes
The above bullet points form the focus of this blog.
This is about Bang – For – Buck.
There are benefits to all different types of training, they all bring uniqueness and contribute to overall health! We should trial and test the different types and also do our own research to see what works and what doesn’t as we are all individuals. Part of what determines the most effective type of training comes from genetics (fast twitch vs slow twitch muscle fibres) and also partly what you are training for or to look like. In brief.
This next sentence is tough love however; what you are currently doing probably isn’t the right approach if you’re stuck in the same predicament! You have to be willing to change what you’ve always done to find out what works.
The previous blog was about Nutrition, even being Personal Trainer's we are not afraid to admit that Nutrition should receive high importance, choose your Personal Trainer wisely as one that strictly focuses on training in isolation is not going to provide you with the added edge required, however also keeping in mind that specific Nutritional requirements should be referred to a Nutritionist. The right combination of nutrition and training will fast track your goals exponentially!
So, how can you get started in a direction that will produce results?
A good starting point is to pick a goal that is your own and for deeper reasons than just wanting to look a certain way, ask yourself this question over and over again - “yes, but why?”
Then, once you have gotten clear about your reason as to why you want to achieve your body transformation and have written down some SMART goals, proceed to pick a role model that you value not only because of what they look like but also for what they stand for as a human being. Physically they should be a similar height and build to you and not what the media is portraying that you should look like.
Here is a short snippet of my story as an example of this process: When I first started receiving Personal Training as a client, I was doing a lot of long distance endurance running, I was thin but held a lot of body fat (especially around my mid section that I couldn't shift) and certainly not a lot of muscle mass because my body was constantly in a Catabolic State (muscle mass wastage) rather than an Anabolic one (muscle mass gain), plus to top it off I was only eating 1200 calories on a low carbohydrate diet!
My newly adopted Personal Trainer said to me something along the lines of this: “if you want to look like a marathon runner keep doing what your doing, but if you want to look more aesthetic like a sprinter then drop the running and start sprinting/doing HIIT” (High Intensity Interval Training), so I did, slowly, it was hard to change my perspective, but I was so thankful later!
We started doing HIIT and Weights/Resistance Training, and I was astonished at the transformation my body went through also that I was able to maintain this. At this stage he also started to educate me on Nutrition to fuel my body and my results. As a result I dropped body fat, gained muscle mass, became fitter, became stronger, kept furthering my results, managed my weight and my metabolism sped up, all in a short amount of time.
FURTHERMORE my passion for Personal Training was born!!!
Some reading this article may be wondering, what is HIIT? HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, and recovery periods. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.
This type of training is very effective for Personal Trainers to use with their clients as it addresses pretty much all of their goals, the trick is to deliver the workouts at different levels in terms of exercises and intensity to cater to majority of people (similar principal to CrossFit scalability), with the exception of people with certain heart conditions for example.
The body adapts quickly to Steady State Cardio/LISS or Endurance Training (those who live on the cardio equipment in the gym and do group fitness class after group fitness class), the body also adapts quickly to the same weights program if it is performed day in and day out month to month AKA the Plateau. As mentioned earlier in this article, with HIIT the body struggles to adapt and is continually guessing what will be thrown at it next.
Now, on Weights Training or Resistance Training, Personal Trainer's know the importance of using this method of training with their clients due to the following benefits (to name a few); the more muscle you build the more body fat you will burn as your metabolism speeds up, increased muscle mass and bone density puts you less at risk of many illnesses particularly as you age, weight lifting aids every day life activities and improves strength and posture by correcting imbalances . These benefits are definitely going to help a number of different people.
Weights programs should be altered every few weeks and weights should be progressively upped week-by-week if possible and you should be struggling to get out the last few reps.
In regards to reps which is the number of times/repetitions you perform a movement, I believe the magic number is anywhere between 10-15 for most people in terms of fat burning and muscle gain with 3-4 sets (hypertrophy), don’t over do the volume of your workouts or the speed at which you perform your reps, it's very much about mind to muscle!
What is Hypertrophy? Hypertrophy involves an increase in size of skeletal muscle through a growth in size of its component cells. Two factors contribute to hypertrophy: sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which focuses more on increased muscle glycogen storage; and myofibrillar hypertrophy, which focuses more on increased myofibril size. However, neither happens in isolation, which is why top-level bodybuilders and strongman competitors differ so greatly in muscle size and strength.
Allow me to bust a myth for the readers, especially the women... Weights training is not going to make you bulky. Taking steroids and other illegal substances in conjunction with weights training will though! So please rest assure that this is not the case, and that if you are looking for fat loss and muscle tone which is the majority of women, then your Personal Trainer is most definitely going to suggest Weights Training and HIIT over Steady State Cardio,
Lastly on cardio vs HIIT... Cardio burns calories then and there but Weights Training and HIIT burn calories then and there and for hours afterwards, due to the different energy systems used and the trigger of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) response as a result speeding up your metabolism and progress.
If you enjoy endurance training and that works for you awesome, but if you’ve tried this and not gotten anywhere or find it boring then mix it up. With HIIT, the workout will be over before you know it! If you do enjoy cardio and you find it helps, ensure you do this separately to Weights Training as they counteract each other.
There are plenty of resources online to provide you with Weights Training and HIIT programs or workouts, however if anyone is interested in a personalised one you are welcome to message me.
Further information on this heavily debated topic: