Let's talk about FAT.
They're definitely a food group that i know confuses a lot of people, especially the types of fat and whether they have a positive or negative impact on your chances of losing weight.
Then there are some fats which you're told not to eat and others that you're told are the best thing since sliced bread, so what do you believe.
So let's clear things up for you with our definitive guide to fats!
Structurally, fats are made from carbon, oxygen and hydrogen and vary in length of bonds depending on the type of fat.
Fats, unlike carbohydrates and proteins, are the most energy dense macro nutrient available to us because they provide a whopping 9 calories per gram, 5 more than carbs and fats which come in at 4 calories per gram.
There are three main types of fats that we obtain from the diet
There is also another type of fat present in the diet called a trans fat which is man made - more on this one later
Saturated fatty acids are found largely most animal products such as beef pork and lamb, alongside diary products like cream, cheese, butter, whole milk and most prepared foods like pastries, cakes and some ready meals.
Structurally, their carbon chain is saturated with hydrogen bonds with zero double bonds. This raises the melting point of saturated fatty acids compare to mono and poly unsaturated fatty acids which are broken down much easier.
So here is the part where maybe you're expecting me to tell you that saturated fatty acids are bad for you and the rest are good. Well, kind of and kind of not.
You see, for a long time it has been the view that saturated fats increase the bad (low densisty lipoproteins, LDL) cholesterol that in turn clogs your arteries and increases risk for heart attacks and strokes. Whilst too high a consumption of saturated fat does increase LDL cholesterol, surprisingly saturated fatty acids also increase the good cholesterol too, high density lipoproteins (HDL).
A meta analysis of the research conducted in 2010 by Siri-Tarino, P.W. et al (1) which included 347,747 participants with a 5-23 year follow up, found there was no significant link to conclude that saturated fatty acids were the primary course of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and coronary heart disease (CHD).
The Cochrane Database Systematic Review by Hooper et al (2015) included 15 randomized control trials with over 59,000 participants found no significant improvement of reducing saturated fat in the diet in relation to heart attacks, strokes and all cause deaths.
However, Hooper et al (2015) and Vessby et al (2001) did find that replacing saturated fatty acids with mono or n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids did lead to improvements in cholesterol and insulin sensitivity due to the cardio protective nature of these types of fatty acids.
So whilst saturated fatty acids have historically been view as the 'bad' fat to be avoided at all costs, the literature doesn't support that view and actually, saturated fat can be included in a healthy diet.
Mono unsaturated fatty acids are found in some animal meats, milk, nuts, avocados and olives alongside oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil and nut oils.
The mono unsaturated fatty acid chain has one double carbon bond meaning that it has a lower melting point that saturated fats but a lower melting point than polyunsaturated fatty acids
There is plenty of evidence in the literature to show that mono unsaturated fatty acids can have a positive impact on all areas of health, especially when saturated fats and carbohydrates are replaced in the diet by mono unsaturated fatty acids whist maintaining energy balance or an energy deficit.
The presence of mono unsaturated fatty acids have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity and inflammation, (3, 4, 5, 6, 7). Which in turn reduces the risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer (3, 4, 5, 6, 7).
Structurally polyunsaturated fatty acid chain has more than one double bond and has the lowest melting point of all fatty acids.
Poly unsaturated fatty acids aren't like saturated fats or mono unsaturated fats in the respect that they and are considered essential and cannot be created by the body. These poly unsaturated fatty acids, Omega 3's and Omega 6's, must be provided by the diet to ensure the adequate levels needed.
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish such as Salmon, Herring, Sardines, Mackerel and Trout.
Between to two polyunsaturated fatty acids, it is the Omega 3 fatty acid that is superstar and the benefits of this fatty acid on cognitive function and heart health are well documented in the literature. This is due to two types of acids found in Omega 3's; Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA).
van Gelder et al (2007) concluded that a moderate intake of EPA and DHA may postpone cognitive decline. Whereas, Yamagishi et al (2008) found an inverse relationship between fish and omega-3 intakes and cardiovascular mortality, especially heart failure, suggesting a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases.
Omega 6 fatty acids are found in safflower oil, grapeseed oil, soybean oil, flaxseed oil, sunflower oil, nuts, cereals, wholegrains as well as condiments such as salad dressings and mayonnaise.
Most people are consuming more than enough Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet, though an increase in Omega 3 fatty acids may be needed if you aren't eating fatty fish or supplementing with Omega 3 fish oils on a regular basis to optimise health.
It has been suggested that an imbalance in amount of Omega 6 fatty acids vs Omega 3 consumed may lead to increases in inflammatory markers associated with health decline (10, 11)
Here's where things take a little twist in our guide to fats.
Because there is another fat that we must be aware of, that potentially can have huge implications on our health and ability to lose weight and that is trans fats, in particular the man made versions.
Trans fats can actually be found naturally in some foods such as diary, beef and lamb.
But the hydrogenated trans fats are not found in foods naturally. These type of fats, through the hydrogenation process, have a chemical structure that has been altered to have hydrogen atoms on opposing sides of the carbon chain. The structure of unsaturated fats to create trans fat were altered to be used during the cooking process to extend the shelf life of foods.
Foods containing trans fats include cakes, pies, biscuits, crackers, shortening, most bakery products, margarine, most fast and deep fried foods, some frozen foods and some microwavable meals, vegetable oils.
Trans fats have been shown to significantly increase the bad cholesterol (LDL) without raising the good cholesterol (HDL) like most fatty acids do alongside impairing insulin sensitivity and blood sugar management as well as increasing markers of inflammation (12,13,14).
Because these fatty acids aren't found in foods naturally and have been chemically altered in a way that can impact physiological function and overall health, it would be a good idea to limit your intake of trans fats to the odd treat here and there.
Also, historically food manufacturers weren't required to list the presence of trans and hydrogenated fats on the food labels. Though thankfully, due to more awareness regarding their negative impact on health, some companies will display that their product is trans and hydrogenated fat free so i'd recommend checking the food labels of what you're eating to be sure.
Whilst there are clear differences between the type of fats we eat and also differences in the impact of these fats on our health, it is important to note that all types of these fats provide 9 calories per gram.
And because the body, in relation to fat storage, is able to store all these types of fats triglyceride within fat cells it is important to understand just how many calories you're actually eating from fat within your diet.
Naturally, based on what you've read so far in this article it would be remiss of me to not suggest ensuring that polyunsaturated fatty acids (in particular Omega 3 Fatty acids) and mono unsaturated fatty acids are higher than saturated fats due to their cardio protective nature and improvements on markers of health. It would also be remiss of me to not suggest keeping trans and hydrogenated fats to the bare minimum within your diets to preserve function and health.
From a caloric point of view, when setting a meal plan, my personal preference would be to recommend going no higher than 30% of your total calories from all types of fats to preserve a calorie deficit and allow you to see improvements in your body composition results.
Results like the ones below.
1. Siri-Tarino, P.W. et al (2010). Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the associated of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. Mar;91(3):535-46
2. Hooper, L. et al (2015). Reduction in saturated fat intake for cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Systematic Review. Jun 10;(6):CD011737
3. Garg, A. (1998) High-monounsaturated fat diets for patients with diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis. American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. 67 (3 Suppl):577S-582S.
4. Perez- Martinez, P. et al (2010). Dietary fat differentially influences regulatory endothelial function during the postprandial state in patients with metabolic syndrome: from the LIPGENE study. Atherosclerosis. April;209(2):533-8
5. Vessby, B. et al (2001). Substituting dietary saturated fat for monounsaturated fat impairs insulin sensitivity in healthy men and women: The KANWU study. Diabetologia. Mar;44(3):312-9
6. Appel, L. J. et al (2005). Effects of protein, monounsaturated fat and carbohydrate on blood pressure and serum lipids: results of the OmniHeart randomized trial. JAMA. Nov. 16;294(19):2455-64
7. Franceschi, S. et al (1996). Intake of macronutrients and risk of breast cancer. Lancet. May.18;347(9012):1351-6
8. van Gelder et al (2007). Fish consumption,n-3 fatty acids and subsequent 5-y cognitive decline in elderly men: The Zutphen Elderly Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Apr;85(4):1142-7
9. Yamagishi, K. et al (2008). Fish, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and mortality from cardiovascular diseases in a nationwide community based cohort of Japanese men and women the JACC (Japan Collaborative Cohort Study for Evaluation of Cancer Risk) Study.
10. Tortosa-Caparros. E. et al (2017). Anti-inflammatory effects of omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Critical Reviews in Food Science. 2;57(16):3421-3429
11. Simopolous, A. P. (2008). The importance of the omega-6/omega-3 fatty acid ration in cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. Experimental Biology and Medicine. Jun;233(6):674-88
12. Hans, S. N. et al (2002). Effect of hydrogenated and saturated, relative to polyunsaturated, fat on immune and inflammatory responses of adults with moderate hypercholesterolemia. Journal of Lipid Research. Mar, 43(3):445-52
13. Hu, F. et al (2001). Diet, lifestyle and the risk of type 2 diabetus mellitus in Women. New England Journal of Medicine. 345:790-797
14. Mozaffarian, D. et al (2009). Health effects of trans-fatty acids: experimental and observational evidence. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 63,5-21
Let's talk about it.
For sure, it's an uncomfortable time for most ladies
With symptoms including;
There's no doubt about it, your body is changing in a pretty big way.
But there's another part of the menopause that affects Women just as much as the above symptoms.
Am i right?
Well speaking for experience of working with menopausal ladies over the last 12 years, i know for certain that most ladies find it harder to lose weight as they go through the menopause and the aim of this article is to give you some reasons as to why that is so.
So here are the top three menopausal changes that you need to be aware.
The two most prominent hormones in female physiology are oestrogen and progesterone.
These two hormones work together in aiding the function of the female body whilst also impacting other hormones and physiological processes in the body.
As your body enters the menopause, changes in the levels of oestrogen and progesterone occur, as do levels of stress hormones, testosterone insulin, thyroid and other hormones that influence your metabolism.
Your levels of insulin sensitivity drop, meaning that you're able to use less carbohydrates from the diet.
Stress hormones such as cortisol, stay elevated for longer periods of time which in turn will affect energy production, sleep and concentration.
Levels of active thyroid (t3) begin to decrease too, again affecting energy levels throughout the day and also your weight.
Testosterone levels also influencing libido alongside your female sex hormones, which are dropping too.
All in all, there's a lot of change and it's more or less occurring at the same point in time.
Simple put, these changes in the levels of oestrogen and progresterone are responsible largely for the symptoms and side effects you're experience during the menopause, of which will vary from person to person but the changes in the other hormones are also affecting how your body is functioning too!
One other unwanted side affect to aging in general and not just the menopause is that metabolically we start to decline as we age.
This means we become less efficient at creating energy and burning / using calories. The same is said for digestion and assimilation of food too.
We could be eating the same amount of calories but actually not using those calories in the way we do when we're more metabolically robust. It has been estimated that we decline 0.5 - 1 % for each year we live after the age of 30!
Not only that, naturally we start to lose muscle tissue as we age which party contributes to the loss of metabolism.
Muscle tissue is largely where we house the specialized metabolic machinery that creates energy from protein, fats and carbohydrates!
Combine this with those changes in hormones listed above and it's easy to see why you start to lose the ability to drop body fat in the way you were able to before you entered the menopause.
When the levels of oestrogen and progresterone aren't balanced or the levels of each are lowered, body fat distribution goes with it.
Your body starts moving excess nutrients to be stored more centrally than pre menopause where the bodies preference would have been to store more fat around the uterus to aid the female reproductive system.
This is bad news if you wanted a flatter tummy and slimmer waist!
And just like we highlighted above, how you use calories is changing too which can make you feel more prone to storing weight than you were before.
* Ruth dropped 30lbs in 30 weeks to look phenomenal at 60!
* Rachael achieved her ultimate aim after her phenomenal transformation
* Kay lost 16lbs and a lot of belly fat by eating right and weight training with CMP
* Jona lost a whopping 31lbs in 12 weeks following our guidance.
Despite everything we've just talked about above, about how much your body is changing and making it harder for you lose weight.
You're not a lost cause as the couple of results i've just shared with you show.
The truth about losing weight and body fat during the menopause, is that it is the same approach that will work as when you were younger. So if you're not sure, here's a few tips of what we would include in your transformation fat loss plan to achieve result inspite of menopausal changes;
Once you start consistently doing the things that will bring success, results will start to follow.
The menopause can cause big changes to your body and how you feel, but the parts you can control are usually the ones that are going to improve your shape, weight, health and how you feel if you're doing the right things.
Don't let the menopause make you feel like a lost cause, because you aren't and you still have a lot you can achieve.
Yours in health,
Complete our enquiry form here and we'll be in touch to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve the results you want.
Sometimes the biggest challenges facing us when we're trying to lose weight are the ones that i'd say are life challenges.
Like making sure you've done your 'big shop' and have every bit of food you need in your cupboards or fridge to stay on your meal plan
Or looking at your diary for the week ahead and making sure that on the days when you're literally flying from meeting to meeting, client to client or job to job that you know how to get through it without gorging on sugary foods and treats just to get your through to the end of the week.
Another challenge, and this one is hugely important, is when you're trying to stick to your diet but can't eat with your family. You're making completely seperate meals in attempt to stay to plan whilst your family eat their regular food.
You stick it out for a while, but it's no fun when you're making different meals all the time and feel segregated at meals times.
So what do you do?
Here's the thing,
You don't have to make your meal with your family different or less enjoyable if you work a little harder on the meals that come before your evening meal.
And in fact, you can still include most of your favourite family meals and still be in the calorie deficit you need in order to lose weight and body fat.
So here's how you do it.
Make your breakfast, lunches and snacks higher in lean proteins and lower in both carbohydrates and fats so that you can 'save' those calories till later
Side note : this isn't a plan that means you can overeat and not put weight on, because you will if you still eat too much. It's a plan to save most of the calories you're going to be eating for the time where you'd rather eat them.
And it means you can still eat the following family meals and enjoy losing weight as you go.
The tradional family meal, Cottage Pie
Chicken Fajitas, anyone?
Who doesn't love a roast?
You can include other foods like
Now, your meal plan will still need a little individualization depending on your weight, level of muscle mass, activity level, current calorie intake but you can use a similar template to the one below;
M1. Greek Yoghurt Protein Mousse or Omlette with 1-2 Eggs, 1-2 Egg Whites and Vegetables (GY and Protein Powder Mixed in a bowl - try it!)
M2. Cajun Chicken Salad
M3. Snacks - Banana, Apple, Deli Meats
M4. FAMILY MEAL
Now, no meal plan is ever perfect and always takes time to adjust your habits and behaviours and requires time to build consistency so make sure you develop the system that works for you!
To achieve results like these.....
No need to segregate yourself from your family, just to lose weight.
Structure your food, organise your meals and more importantly enjoy the process of seeing the results that you want.
Yours in health,
Here is the itinerary for the Mastermind day;
Personal Trainer Mastermind
9am Start – Delving Deep Into Your ‘Avatar’, Business Model and How To Refine Your Services To Reach The Right Audience
10am – Understanding Your Client’s Motives and ‘Why’ – How To Go From Average Results To Exceptional Results and Keep A Diary Full Of Happy Customers (Adherence Strategies)
11am – Resistance Profiles Of The Exercises You’re Going To Use With Your Clients – What To Look For And How To Optimise
12noon – Lunch Break (30 mins)
12.30 – Fat Loss Metabolism and Nutritional Strategies For Results
2pm – Periodisation / Organisation of Training Systems For Transformation Results
3pm – Results Based Personal Training Sessions
4pm – 5pm – New Client / Lead Gen Strategies – Q and A on Business / Marketing / Personal Training / Systems / Anything You Want To Know or Ask
FINISH – Go Home, Recover and Level Up Your Personal Training Skills, Client Base and Career.
I look forward to seeing you there.
If there is one thing i know, it's that Women are capable of phenomenal fitness transformations and results!
Many a time i've been absolutely blown away by the Women we train.
Especially as when most of the time, the things that they're being asked to do, 100% flies in the face of what is normally expected from Women in the gym.
Truthfully, you're pigeonholed by the big commercial gyms and expected to only either attend classes, lift light weights in the 'ladies' section or worse yet, you're expected to just go on the treadmill or the cross trainer for your gym sessions.
You might find it strange of me to open up an article around my best transformations tips for Women, to begin talking about Men.
But after 12 years of hearing the frustration and disappointment from Wifes and Girlfriends of Husbands and Partners who seem to lose weight but cutting out just a few treats where as the Woman is busting her ass in the gym and dieting hard but struggling, it's time for me to address the big fat elephant in the room
Men will almost always lose weight and body fat faster than Women solely because their physiology allows it.
Because they're not and your ability to achieve amazing results depends 100% on your mindset and your ability to stick to the plan.
Consistency doesn't care whether you're male or female.
So let's dive right into the article and discover my top tips for a female transformation!
If it feels like you're always on a diet, it's probably because you are!
Well, of sorts.
I wouldn't be remiss of me to say that most of the time you feel like you're stuck in the cycle of dieting ----->>> losing a bit of weight ------>>>> fall off your diet or miss a week or two at the gym ------>>> feeling like you're starting again.
This goes on year in, year out without you ever feeling like you've made the progress that you wanted to.
Instead, and i'll give you an insight into the CMP Transformation program here, set a specific fat loss phase and see it through knowing it will come to an end.
I call this phase based coaching.
Setting a target ----->>> Creating a plan designed around achieving a particularly target in 12, 16, 20 weeks ---->>> Achieving the result you wanted ------>>> Slowly build calories back up as you 'END' the dieting phase ------>>> Complete as many times as desire until you reach your DREAM GOAL.
This is how, in short periods of time, we can help our clients achieve results like these.
I want to share a secret with you.
My gym has just TWO pieces of cardiovascular equipment. The rest are free weights, machines and racks.
And for good reason.
Because, without doubt, weight training is the DRIVER behind body transformations and your ability to change your shape depends largely on just two things occurring;
1. Losing body fat
2. Building or retaining lean muscle tissue
and fear not ladies, for reasons as we pointed out above in the differences between Men and Women, you won't pack on slabs of muscle and begin to look bulky just because you start weight training.
If anything you'll notice that, because you're lifting weights, the parts of your of body that you struggled to tone up (like your arms, legs and abdomen) are now starting to take noticeable shape!
=== Why Should Weight Training Be A Huge Part Of Your Exercise Routine ===
When we lift weights, we breakdown our existing muscle fibres.
That's right, lifting weights actually breaks down muscle whilst we're exercising. This is important because this process starts signalling processes within the muscle cells to repair and even build existing muscle fibres or can potentially mean that the body creates new muscle cells. As we repeat this process, the body continues to adapt providing we're following a well thought out training program.
As the body adapts and makes changes to meet the demands of your exercise, we start to see improvements in muscle tone, shape and strength.
If you combined regular weight training with a calorie deficit and a smart cardiovascular plan, you'd start to see the type of results that i've shown you of our clients here at CMP.
Want to know more about weight training and my top five tips to build lean muscle? Click the link to the article below
An interesting fact about the human body is whilst we're able to store carbohydrates (in muscle and in the liver) and we can store fats (in subcutaneous and visceral fat) , we don't actually have any specialised cells in the body where we can store proteins.
So what that means is that we have to acquire enough protein from our diets DAILY
Why is protein so important?
Well protein, found in chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs etc breaks downs into something call an amino acids.
Grouped into non essential and essential amino acids, we have to ensure that we're providing enough amino acids from the food that we're eating for a robust, healthy and potentially lean body.
Amino acids are used for everything in the body from our DNA, building muscle, supporting the immune system and energy systems, formation of cells plus much, much more.
Not only that, as it relates to our goal of building a lean body, protein is actually the hardest food source for the body to breakdown through digestion. This helps in two ways;
1. It slows down digestive transit of food which essentially means that digestion and absorption of all other foodstuffs in the stomach is released into the blood stream at a slower rate. This means less peaks and troughs in blood sugar and energy.
2. It increases the thermic effect of food because it is the hardest food to break down. All this means is that we're actually burning more calories during digestion which makes a small contribution to the metabolism and amount of calories 'burned' in a day.
Remember the above where we found out that proteins don't have a storage system?
And that carbohydrates and fats do?
Yes, and that's an important distinction.
Because when calories are too high in the diet from carbohydrates and fats, the end result is that they are going to get stored.
Strictly that's not 100% accurate because, without wanting to bore you with the science, when carbohydrates are too high the body will first attempt to 'use' those excess glucose molecules floating around in the blood stream. Whilst this is happening, receptors on the fat cell, adrenoreceptors are activated and more than happy to add circulating fatty acids to existing fat stores, thus increasing the size of the fat cell and also potentially the number of fat cells.
When fats are too high in the diet the same thing happens, the body tries to utilise the fatty acids before ultimately storing any excess.
In short, when we eat too many carbohydrates, fats and calories the end result is that you gain weight, your clothes get tighter, your problem areas get worse and you don't feel great about yourself.
Without doubt, the most frustrating thing about wanting to lose weight and body fat is not actually losing weight and body fat.
No doubt, it's demoralizing and makes steam come out of your ears!
Actually, not seeing results is 9/10 the reason why you quit.
The human body can hold as many as 220 BILLION fat cells and each 1lb of fat you carry, you're storing a whopping 3600 calories.
So for example, let's says that you're a good 30lbs off your target weight.
Based purely on the math, that's a good 108,000 surplus calories.
If we consider that in an average gym session burns only 200-400kcal per session, again based on the math which doesn't always work out exact in real life, it's going to take a lot longer for you to reach your target weight than you think. And the initial weight loss you achieve will mostly be water.
You might think that i am sharing this information with you to put you off trying to lose weight completely which obviously i'm not.
You deserve to be happy and confident in your body, so just be prepared for the many ups and downs in this journey along the way but ultimately stay committed to keeping things going when you're doing well and getting back on the horse if you fall off.
No more four week weight loss plans or being all or nothing in your approach to losing weight.
Over the last 12 years, Chris Mason, has gone from struggling personal trainer in a commercial gym to the owner of one of the fitness industries most successful private personal training gyms, CMPGyms.
In the one day personal trainer Mastermind, Chris aims to share with you the body transformation strategies behind his incredible results and the operations and marketing strategies behind his business.
If you're a personal trainer who is serious about building a career in the fitness industry, the one day personal trainer mastermind is for you.
Complete the form and jump on a strategy call with me to see if you're a good fit for the mastermind.
You've been going to the gym for years, and you're stuck in the rut of endless bulking phases, only to feel like you've put too much fat on.
Which then means you start 'cutting' and end up paranoid that you're actually losing muscle so stop trying to get lean altogether!
It kind of keeps you stuck somewhere permanently in between big and fat but lean and skinny, right?
And it's every serious gym goers, training nightmare, so to help push things along and get you on the level of achieving the results you want, here are my top 5 tips to build lean muscle tissue, FAST.
The situation goes like this, when you're cutting and trying your hardest to get abs, you'll track your food and you'll eat healthily.
But when it comes to bulking?! bulking?.... Oh my god, you go all out.
Whatever is on the menu, you're going to be eating it!
After all, calories fuel muscle growth, right?
Well, yes and no. The truth is, when you're looking to add lean muscle tissue, you're not actually going to need as much of a calorie surplus as you think, if the goal is to not add too much body fat at the same time.
Slowly but surely start by adding 300-500kcal bi-weekly and assess how your body responds.
Keep a keen eye on your training performance too! In the gym, you should start to see your lifts increasing concurrently with your calorie increases. This is vital feedback to let you know that you're getting stronger.
And like we said above, increasing strength and training performance is a key driver behind building lean muscle tissue!
To grow muscle tissue we're looking to do one of two things;
1. Increase the number of muscle cells
2. Increase the thickness (density) of existing muscle fibres
To do either or these two objectives we need volume of training (think the amount of work you're performing in your reps, sets and total sessions) and we need intensity (think load lifted during the workouts).
But we also need another crucial element to our muscle building triangle.
Without effort and pushing our body to a level that it isn't use to, we aren't going to create enough load on the muscle fibres to initiate the General Adaptation Syndrome that it must go through to ensure remodeling. Make sure when you're training, you're giving everything you can into your sets to keep progressing.
Studies have shown that training a muscle twice per week, produces a better hypertrophy (muscle building) response than stimulating the muscle once per week.
Schoenfeld et al (2016), (1), concluded a systematic review and meta analysis of the data, finding two stimulus per week per muscle group to be more optimal for hypertrophy response than one or three stimuli per week.
These findings are of particular importance to us as trainers and you the reader, as essentially it means that we can grow without necessarily having to resort to super volume training programs that we often see promoted by seasoned body builders training multiple times per day, never mind per week!
We have some great options here in terms of program design, right the way from whole body style programs to upper / lower programs to '3 in 5' bodybuilding split programs.
Protein is a powerhouse macro nutrient, of that there can be no doubt.
Amino acids are essential for life, not just building muscle! From energy creation to cell formation to helping our immune system, amino acids are more than just the building block of muscle cells.
Which means for you, the trainee interested in building a Jason Statham like physique, you're going to want to become friends with protein. And it's going to have to be in most meals that you eat to help you get jacked and lean.
Protein recommendations for each day provided that your goal is the above and you're training consistently and hard, stands around 1.8g/kg of body weight (Phillips and Van Loon, 2011), (2)
Some interesting things start to occur when you're consuming enough protein in your diet;
1. We increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and not muscle protein breakdown (MPB). Muscle protein synthesis is a biological process that helps us repair and build new muscle tissue as a direct response to resistance training consistently.
2. Through the stimulation of MPS and the fact that you're eating enough protein based foods in your diet, we're now able to shuttle the available amino acids into the muscle cell to be used for repair and growth.
3. Because of this enhanced recovery and growth, you're now able to repeat intense resistance training sessions to continue building lean muscle tissue!
It's pretty well established in the research that power and strength training (1-5RM) produces more central nervous system adaption and increasing reps produces more metabolic / hypertrophy adaptations (6-15RM).
Interestingly, research has gone one step further in a quest to help us quicken our gains and build lean muscle faster
The takeaways from recent study by Schoenfeld et al (2014), (3), where groups were assigned to a high rep based whole body workout (25-35 reps per set) or a moderate rep based whole body workout (8-12 reps per set) no differences were observed in muscle mass response in either group. As you'd expect the higher rep group increase muscular endurance whereas the lower rep group increased strength.
What this essentially means is that it is possible to gain lean muscle mass on higher rep, lower load workouts if that was your preferred style of training.
In 2015 Schoenfeld et al went one step further. This time pitting groups of powerlifting style workouts vs traditional body building style workouts with volume equated. The powerlifting group performed 7sets of 3RM per exercise with the bodybuilding group performing 3 sets of 10RM, again equated for volume. In both groups again, no differences in hypertrophy response were observed over the 8 week study. But again as above, the group performing the highest load (and lowest reps) style of training, achieved greater improvements in strength.
In conclusion, this means that we have numerous options available to us to achieve the results that we wanted. We could choose a linear style approach to training, for example a block of 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps per exercise per workout.
Or we could choose undulating periodization as an approach where we might start the week with 3-4 sets of 8-12 per exercise for an upper body training session and in the next upper body training sessions of that particular week, throw in 3 sets of 15-20 reps per exercise to train across the broader spectrum of reps and challenge the body to adapt.
We could also decide to go the other way and begin our upper body week with 7sets of 3 like above and finish the week on 3-4 sets of 8-12. The options here are endless!
The trick is to not just marry yourself to one style of training with one approach in mind.
Now go and build the muscle you want!
1. Schoenfeld, B J, Ogborn, D and Krieger, J W, Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med, 2016, Nov;46 (11):1689-1697
2. Phillips, S M and LJ Van Loon, Dietary protein for athletes: from requirements to optimum adaptation. J Sports Sci, 2011, 29 Suppl 1: p. S29-38
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Here is a hellish workout for you to get into,
It will have your spine tingling and your heart pounding,
Frankensteins Fat Blaster!
Watch the video in full to discover this ghoulish workout that will put some bite into your halloween workouts!
Looking for a grizzly ending for an arm workout?
Try the Ghoulish Gunz Workout!
In this tri set you'll do the following;
A1. X Pushdowns - 8 Reps
A2. Close Grip EZ Press - 8 Reps
A3. Decline DB Extensions - 15 Reps
Repeat 3-4 times if you dare!
Looking for a grizzly ending for an arm workout?
Try the Ghoulish Gunz Workout!
In this tri set you'll do the following;
A1. EZ Curls - 8 Reps
A2. Hammer Curls - 8 Reps
A3. Arms Behind Curls - 15 Reps .
Repeat 3-4 times if you dare!