Every year millions of people all over the world make the decision to change their lives for the better through fitness. Many of these people have spent years joining and cancelling gym memberships, starting and stopping diet after diet and spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on weight loss products and other supplements. As a consumer how are you supposed to know what works and what doesn't? Well, fret no more because I'm going to go over a few of the trends that I've noticed in my time as a fitness professional.
Go into any sporting goods store in America and you're going to see hundreds of products that promise to give you that chiseled physique you see in super hero films. Usually these products will have some sort of hyperbolic phrase like “Xrteme” or “Hardcore” or promise some sort of amazing transformation that seems too good to be true. Many of these products are also going to include the word “an” somewhere in them. The key to remember with these products is that if it seems too good to be true it probably is. Another important thing to remember is that it is impossible to target belly fat directly. Body fat storage is determined by genetics and the only way to get rid of it is to get your nutrition on point and to do “inefficient” movement. Some of you are probably now asking what I mean by inefficient movement and it's really simple. If we can do a movement easily for a long period of time then it's probably not the fastest way to lose body fat. I'll go into more detail on that in a later post. Just remember that no matter what technology comes out in the fitness industry, nothing is going to come close to the fight between you and gravity.
But what about supplementation? Over the last 10 years I have probably spent thousands of dollars on different workout supplements. I've tried proteins, pre workouts, fat burners, creatine and just about everything else that you can think of and in my experience 90 percent of them don't work at all. The ones that seem to catch people's eyes the most often are fat burners and I truly believe that they are the biggest scam in the supplement industry. Read the packaging and you'll notice that most of these bottles say something to the tune of “works best when used in conjunction with diet and exercise”. Convenient right? Fat burners work best when also doing the one thing that will guarantee you results in fat loss. I don't think this is a coincidence. Some of you may be wondering if I still take any supplements and the answer is yes. Currently I use a protein powder post workout and I take a krill oil and glucosamine supplement every morning for my joints. I have found that my joint discomfort has been greatly
reduced since taking the krill oil and glucosamine and I take the protein powder to assist with recovery.
The last thing I'm going to talk about is your gym membership. How many times have you started a gym membership only to cancel it several months later when you realized you had only been 6 times. Luckily there are a few tricks to help make sure you get the most out of your gym membership.
Find your why.
I wrote and entire blog post about this a few months ago. You can read it here. Summarized it just means that you should think long and hard about what made you sign up for a gym membership in the first place. Losing weight is just a means to an end. How will your life improve by reaching your goals?
Set clear and attainable goals.
Don't set goals that are impossible to reach. While losing 20 lbs in 2 weeks may sound nice, you're setting yourself up for failure. Small victories compound into larger victories. Start with something easy such as “adding 10 lbs to your squat in a month” or consistently losing 2 lbs a week until you reach your goal.
Don't go home before going to the gym
This is very important. No matter what, don't plan on going home after work and then going to the gym. This NEVER works out the way you think it will. As soon as your ass hits that couch all motivation to go to the gym will melt away. Your best bet is to either go before work or to keep a bag in your vehicle and go straight to the gym after you get off work.
Prioritize your time
This is simple. Don't tell yourself that you don't have time to go to the gym and then also have a favorite TV show that you watch ever night.
Develop a support system
This one may be the most important. You will not meet your goals if the people closest to you aren't supportive of what you're trying to do. I don't know where you are while reading this but I live in Louisiana and our culture revolves around food. You can't meet your goals if you're constantly being harassed into going out to eat every night. You have to have a support system that understands your goals and won't guilt trip you into falling off the rails.
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