It is easiest for a fat and out-of-shape person to make fast progress. Three months to a year and anybody can have an entirely different body.
Key factors of success
The keys to getting super-ripped are
- good nutrition.
Combining them correctly gets you fit and turns your body into a 24 / 7 fat-burner.
It's possible to get there in a hurry
And you can do it without a killer workout and starvation diet.
You will begin improving the day you start, and the longer you're at it the more efficient you become at fat-burning.
Eventually you reach the plateau of plateaus -- fitness that is admired and that you can push up another level almost anytime if you so desire.
The great thing about the fitness-lifestyle is that once you commit you keep improving. And unless you have a problem that requires a shrink, you will never revisit where you were at the start of your fitness quest.
The only thing that holds most people back is they don't believe you can do this virtual ease. It is all doable.
Surely there's some bad news
I don't consider this bad, I actually think it's a positive, but here goes:
It takes three months to a year to reach your start-up objective, which is almost always focused on weight-loss. That's what most folks think about, losing weight and looking good.
Even a person aiming to lose 100 pounds can be there in a year. And when you arrive you will not only be thinner, you'll be more fit and healthy by a whole bunch. These are changes changes that make peoples' jaws drop when they haven't seen you in a while.
Karen started her quest last June and as of right now she's lost about 55 pounds and unreal numbers of inches and body fat. If you are a non-believer you can drop Karen an email on her blog and ask how hard or easy it is, or whatever you want to ask.
A big concern for beginners is that they're going to be hungry all the time. I can tell you in advance that won't happen if you follow my less-is-more program.
And the good news
Even before you hit your weight-loss goal you are already deeply into the fitness-lifestyle. When you reach your start-up go you are in the rest-of-your-life phase.
Amazing it gets easy to keep up the fitness lifestyle. And you look and feel so much better you have no desire to go back to your old self
If you care to daydream, it's great for your ego when you finally recognize you're living inside a body that others look at with admiration. It's almost funny because all you really have to do is take care of yourself.
A reasonably bright person understands that there isn't anything more important than taking care of the one and only body you get.
Not to be cruel, but people who don't take care of themselves have, uh, issues.
The less-is-more formula
Anybody who looks great has put time into themselves. But that doesn't mean all day in the gym. The less-is-more strategy shoots for an hour max, four-or-five times a week. Do that and your body will be something special.
Although your health is a more important than your looks, the truth is most folks want to look better and that's why they start on the fitness lifestyle. If you put it off until you get sick, your chances diminish by a long shot.
Watching TV and stuffing your face will never make you healthy or hot-looking. Never. But if you love TV spread all around most gyms.
Some people looking for reasons to NOT get fit (yes some actually do this) will say that spending time with their family is more important than going to the gym. That's mostly blah-blah talk. Families are important, but if you get sick or too fat to do your job you aren't doing your family a service. In fact you're being a crappy role model for your kids.
On the plan I'm laying out there's only rule -- if you're going to do it, do it correctly.
When you exercise you burn extra calories. That's basic body science. But there are ways to get extraordinary returns from your exercise time -- Less is more.
Last article I said most women prefer cardio over weight-training. It's pretty much axiomatic.
Regardless of your current preference, if your progress seems to have slowed (and even if it hasn't) a woman should try to flip their percentages of cardio to weight training. Change is good and if you try doing that for just ten consecutive workouts, I'll bet you'll like how you look.
A general rule is you burn more calories as your exercise intensity goes up. The exception is when you go beyond the point where you should stop and get out of the gym.
You do the less-is-more workout in 40 to 60 minutes. Surely no more than 60 minutes. A lot of hardcore exercisers find it hard to shut down at an hour. Just try it for ten workouts and you'll start looking like you've been working out instead of like you're anorexic. You won't get fat.
Weight training, weight-lifting, strength-training, and resistance-training all mean the same thing -- Using your muscles to move a a dumbbell, weight machine, or your own body weight.
To keep the calorie-burn going all day and night you just need lean muscle, which comes from sane nutrition and training.
Women won't get huge muscles, but hard muscles and low body fat -- what you call a physique complete with curves.
Cardio builds muscle. Or does it?
Yeah, it does, but it's your your heart muscle that benefits more than your leg muscles. The heart is vital, of course. I do cardio for my heart and lungs. And cardio burns calories. Cardio is good, but it's not the answer many women think it is.
It's not necessary to be on a treadmill or running to get a cardio workout.
I'll betcha that in the next couple years exercise science will move toward a balance of more strength training and less traditional cardio; the end game will be strength training at a level that makes it a cardio workout -- in spurts. True cardio will be WOT (wide open training -- watch the videos. My own cardio workout eight minutes.
It's okay with me if you want to run, but running and excess cardio make for a not very attractive physique compared to what you get from weight-training and WOT.
Ideally you do both WOT cardio and weights. And ideally you use weight techniques that also give you a short cardio boost.
Cardio as your main source of exercise can make you lose weight, but if that's all you do you will be soft and jiggly.
And too much cardio -- unless it's purpose-specific cardio will give you a flat and shapeless butt (in case anybody cares about that).
I don't hate cardio ... well, maybe I do
Running and treadmill-type machines work your leg muscles, but it's a different outcome than, say, doing squats with a barbell or even just your body weight.
Cardio is generally good for your heart. But like most things it can get excessive, and then it can do weird things to your body IF you want curves and hard muscles.
In my estimation -- for almost everybody -- nothing takes you toward fitness and lean muscle like weight-training done correctly.
I know that most women think cardio is the answer, but it doesn't do a whole bunch for your muscles. If you question that just do some body weight squats and lunges and note how your legs feel compared to when you run.
Most women approach weight-loss backwards
Women who are overweight shriek when you tell them to eat more food.
A calorie-burning technique is to eat every two or three hours. Eating every two-to-three hours goes contrary to what most women believe, but it works when done correctly. You don't necessarily eat more total calories, you just spread them out over more meals. This way just about the time your body is finished processing the previous meal it is time to start again so your metabolism keeps humming so it's like you burn calories without having to do anything.
Sometimes it seems like fat triggers a duh-mechanism in the brain. I say that because so many women who want to lose weight think the only way is to go on a semi-starvation diet.
Being hungry has not merit or redeeming qualities
You will definitely lose weight If you starve yourself. But you can't continue starving for very long. You will eventually listen to your brain screaming "Feed me you moron!." And when you give in to your hunger you are pretty much going to stuff yourself trying to catch up, because you are, after all, starving. So bye-bye to any weight-loss you had from your starvation strategy.
Not eating slows your metabolism, because the body believes it is starving so it slows down to preserve energy so it can manage life-support functions. That slowdown makes it hard to use stored fat for energy. So as contrary as it might seem, severe calorie restriction makes it harder to lose weight.
If you have lots of dieting experience, you may have noticed the tendency to put on additional pounds almost as soon as you return to eating.
Main point is that starvation diets are guaranteed to not work. So don't even bother with them. They're too miserable.
I usually say diets fail because they are stupid, but I'm trying to be more polite. No, wait, changed my mind -- diets are stupid. You don't have to do them.
I'll tell you why we get hungry and I'll further show you why using diet alone is almost certain to fail every time.
Weight loss keys never change: Eat and exercise sanely and appropriately, which if you think about is exactly what you did when you were a kid.
A kid with a weight problem had hormonal issues, was inactive, and / or used food as something other than fuel -- dare I say they used food to satisfy an emotional issue? Do I dare say a lot of adults do that?
The best part about life so far is everything can be undone so long as you catch it before it turns into a physical trauma or disease. Fat people beware. The clocks are ticking, and some of them are time bombs.
Remember to have an annual physical. Articles by Thomas Amshay are not meant to take the place of your doctor or health care team. Talk to them before starting any exercise program, diet, or supplement.