What should I be focussing on?
With such a wide and varied range of information out there at the moment, it can be a little overwhelming at times to know what’s good, what’s bad, what's effective & what isn't when it comes to training and everything revolving around the subject. That’s why we've put this guide together for you, in hopes it can give a little clarity around the things you should be focussing on to make the most of your efforts.
Movement > Macros
Now, we're not saying that macros or nutrition isn't important, because it is. But, when you're just starting out, it’s likely that you have some type of goal of weight loss/muscle building/body image.
Most of the time, in our experience at least, it comes down to one simple thing. Movement.
Just by moving a little more you can burn through extra calories and make those goals a little easier to reach. Get an extra workout in, go out for that walk you’re putting off, get out for that run you said you wanted to do, jump on the bike and get out with the kids. Or do something that makes you feel GOOD. Get active as often as you can!
Setting yourself a step target can be a good start and make sure you hit it each and every day. You'll even notice that it’s not just great for physical reasons, but movement is amazing overall for the mind & wellbeing. Move well, move often.
Muscle Mass > Body Fat
Let's say you're overweight and you want to shed some fat mass. Or you want to look a certain way? We get it, initially, you’re looking in the mirror or overthinking the ‘fat’ aspect and that's what takes over your thoughts. So you think that you need to be doing loads of HIIT or cardio or even massively restricting your Calories.
If losing body fat is the goal, then building muscle mass will be one of the best and most beneficial ways to reach that destination. The more muscle you have, the more Calories your body will burn at rest (seriously!). This is called your BMR and is affected by activity levels and overall muscle mass. This doesn't mean you need to be Arnold Schwarzenegger but a solid amount of muscle and strength will REALLY help your fat loss efforts as well as bringing a whole host of other health benefits. Furthermore, strength training and lifting weights will help you 'future-proof' your body.
If you're following a solid training regime aimed at losing weight and building strength alongside a calorie deficit with lots of protein, you will be on the right road to building some quality muscle mass and dropping body fat whilst you’re at it.
Especially when you first start out, your body will take all of the training in its stride and love the stimulus. Make good use of this, train with effort, get good rest, and adequate nutrition then watch the results come! It takes time but it will be worth it.
Nutrition > Supplementation
Supplements have their place and can be massively beneficial. But they are just that, supplements. Take care of your diet and then include supplementation where necessary.
‘Cleaning’ up your diet can be hard and is potentially the biggest part of your journey. It does not tend to be the training that’s hard to stick to but actually it’s the food, temptation is always there and it's a daily commitment.
Our advice is to nail the basics. Lots of vegetables, protein in each and every meal, reasonable carbohydrates (especially on training days) and lots of water.
Taking a good, honest look at your diet is probably one of the best and easiest things that you can do. It’s then just about the implementation of small changes over time so that it is sustainable and still suited to your lifestyle.
Frequency > Intensity
In simple terms, this means turning up to your workouts, and getting them done on a consistent basis will be better long term than training inconsistently with higher intensity.
For example: 3 relaxed workouts per week is much better than 1 super intense workout. After 6 months you will have done 18 workouts instead of just 6!
You may think intensity is better, and in some cases, it certainly has its place. But you will find better results and less chance of injury following a proper plan, without fail over a longer period of time.
Keep it simple, keep it effective and most importantly just show up and get it done well: quality, control, and consistency are key.
Habits > Highlights
Sure, some of the things you see on social media look super cool. They may even work some of the time for some people.. but are they sustainable though? In our eyes, that's highly doubtful.. Especially the more complex they look or become.
Building habits with simple routines and basic exercises is most certainly the easiest way to make good progress. Sticking to the basics and building those habits will allow you to get into your routine without being distracted by shiny and fancy exercises which provide no further benefit and can in some cases increase your risk of injury or overtraining.
Try implementing little changes, which over time become second nature, they become a daily habit that requires little thought or effort.
It could be as simple as protein in every meal, 3 workouts minimum per week, hitting your daily step count, finishing food before you are full, no phone 30 minutes before bed, practising gratitude, stretching more than once per week, drinking your target of water…
All of these things when practised long enough become a staple in your day-to-day life, it'll just become a subconscious routine that you just do. It gets easier the more you do something, you just have to have patience. Stick to the plan, and trust the process.
If you'd like further guidance on what YOU should be focussing on as an individual then don't hesitate to get in touch with the team at Portside! Just click below to book your first session free!
P.s. we have 2 giveaways at the moment! If you'd like to enter, you can hit the link below for our 10 weeks of Personal Training sessions giveaway in our Hove studio or you can win a 55" inch TV from Hills Radio on Boundary Rd, Hove.