You’ve likely heard how crucial diet is to your weight loss success. Most experts will agree a deficit in calories is about 70 to 80 percent responsible for fat loss. While weight can certainly be lost through diet alone, the body composition will not change. This leaves you existing as just a smaller version of the body you didn’t like. This is what is referred to as “skinny fat”.
The only way to change both the shape and size of the body is through exercise. Resistance exercise paired with proper, balanced nutrition will result in a smaller and far more attractive, fit looking physique. Instead of a thin soft form, imagine having capped shoulders, a firm behind, washboard abs and ripped biceps.
Transforming the body isn’t easy, but it is possible. With some hard work, knowledge, guidance and patience, you’ll be rocking a beach body before you know it.
Hard work pays off. A body transformation workout may be simple, but it certainly isn’t easy. Be honest with yourself about how hard you’re actually working and really challenge yourself.
Countless studies have proven time and time again that high intensity bodyweight workouts are far more effective when it comes to fat loss than moderate, steady state cardio. High intensity levels burn far more calories over a shorter amount of time and due to the oxygen debt created, the body continues to burn calories for hours following the workout.
High intensity training has also been shown to target abdominal fat which is very promising, especially in regards to transforming a physique. Most of us consider our bellies to be our problem areas, or at least one of them. Women struggle with the muffin top while men resent their beer guts. While spot reducing is still not entirely possible, high intensity workouts may just offer some promise.
Spending endless hours on the treadmill or elliptical at a moderate pace, may have you believing you’re doing the right things but will get you no closer to a new physique. Moderate, steady state cardio alone will only work as well as diet alone. You may be smaller in the long run, but you will still have the same shape.
Transforming the body requires sculpting muscles, firming up problem areas and evening things out. Resistance can be used to even out small legs with a large torso and vice versa. Sculpted shoulders will make the waist appear smaller. Strong back muscles will improve posture and can easily take 10 pounds off the appearance. Abs can be worked to build on the muscle that lies beneath the fat. This is how a body is transformed.
There are many methods of resistance training that will work. You don’t need to run out and buy a bunch of expensive equipment or sign up at a fancy gym. Your own bodyweight is one of the most effective pieces of equipment you can use. Bodyweight exercises like squats, push ups, lunges, dips and burpees are all very effective body transforming exercises, when combined properly.
Supersets and Circuits
Supersets and circuits are the most efficient way to set up a body transformation program. Not only do they allow you to save time, they also significantly increase the intensity and as mentioned previously, this leads to greater effectiveness. Supersets and circuits also provide intermittent recovery for muscle groups to allow the muscles to rest briefly before working again. You’ll get more out of the muscle with this technique.
For example you could set up your first set as a bodyweight speed squat and a push up. The legs will be resting during the push up portion and they will be ready to go when you’re done. This shortens rest time dramatically and keeps the heart rate from dropping.
A circuit offers the same benefits only with more exercises. Typically less resistance is used and this is where a bodyweight workout works well. A circuit may consist of squat jumps, inverted rows, alternating lunges, dips and a cross body mountain climber. The cardio level of this type of workout plan is equivalent to high intensity interval training and you’re still reaping the benefits of a resistance workout.
Variety in your workout plan
Changing up the bodyweight program after a few weeks will keep the muscles guessing and help to avoid plateaus and boredom. By changing things up, you’ll give every muscle in the body a chance to put forth its greatest effort. This is how you can sculpt all kinds of muscle and really target the areas that require a great amount of help.
In addition to changing up the workouts within a program, you’ll also want to make variety a priority in each workout itself. Focus on using all the muscles, on all planes of motion, through full ranges and degrees. A number of different exercises for each body part will get ensure all the muscles fire and work to their fullest capacity.
For example, instead of limiting yourself to just bodyweight squats, try adding pistol squats for the unilateral component, squat jumps for explosive strength, prisoner squats to recruit more core action and Bulgarian split squats for extra glute involvement. Adding variety will earn you a well rounded and balanced physique.
Proper nutrition is just as important to your body transformation as the workout itself. You can workout 8 hours a day but if your diet is rich in donuts and jujubes, you simply will not see results.
Imagine a marathon runner. Most of them are within a healthy weight range but rarely will you ever see one that’s ripped and muscular. There are two reasons for this. Long distance, steady state cardio eats muscle so there just isn’t an opportunity to build it. Also, due to the high energy demand, a marathoner often relies on simple, sugary carbohydrates for fuel, and lots of it.
Balance is key when it comes to diet. High quality, lean protein aids in repairing broken down muscle tissue. Complex carbohydrates replenish glycogen stores, ensuring the body has sufficient energy supplies, sparing the use of muscle tissue. Healthy fats, rich in Omega 3s support healthy hormone function, which is imperative to fat loss, and body composition.
If you choose not to make nutrition a priority, your workouts will be wasted. Transforming the physique requires a delicate balance between the two in order to be successful. Train smart, work hard and refuel properly and you’ll be seeing amazing results in the mirror.