Although Winter is probably the best time of the year to train and keep fit, especially for those of us living in hot climates, we tend to resign ourselves to waiting until after Winter is over to get our bodies back on track. I’m no different to most people and I’ve even taken it that one step farther by resigning myself to not looking after myself for the past two or three years. As you can imagine, this hasn’t exactly done wonders for my body shape and health generally. In my defence I have had a couple of physical restrictions over this time, but those restrictions, which I still have, do not include an inability to prevent myself from over eating. So, when you combine inactivity with over eating, you are opening yourself up to some serious weight gain which then leads to potential health issues.
There has been various times throughout my life whereby I’ve neglected my health and put on significant amounts of weight. Fortunately for me those times just happen to coincide with times, when I’ve been required for career reasons, to get my butt into gear and get fit. This has happened on several occasions and each time I had to lose at least 10 kilograms whilst at the same time getting much fitter and stronger.
I know that there are a lot of people out there who struggle with their weight and their fitness, and it doesn’t help that there are so much different information out there about training and dieting which just adds to the confusion of those wanting to change their bodies and their habits. I am NOT an expert on health and fitness, but I am happy to share the knowledge that I have acquired over many years, participating and competing in various sports, participating in competitive martial arts, and in doing cardio and weight training.
I think sometimes it’s easier to just keep things simple in life and I don’t think that this is any different when it comes to health and fitness. So, keeping that in mind I’ve designed a basic 12 week training plan to guide especially those with limited knowledge of health and fitness, to getting a healthier, fitter and stronger body. The plan is very similar to the ones I’ve previously used to get back in shape in the past. For those who have a lot of weight to lose, it is possible to lose in the range of 10 kgs on this plan. Like I’ve said I’ve done it several times before. For those who do not have much weight to lose, you will probably find that you may lose a couple of kilos at the most but your body will definitely be more toned and look aesthetically better.
Here’s a snippet of me using the plan to help some ladies get into shape.
NOW here’s the real plan: 12 Week Summer Body Plan (Check for the download on your windows task bar)
As you can see in the plan, a lot of the training revolves around doing weights. I tend to include a lot of weight training in my workouts because I find that weight training works extremely well hand in hand with cardio. Weight training, done correctly and with plenty of rest to allow each muscle group to repair, allows your body to burn more calories even when your body is at rest. Any weight loss plan that combines weight training with cardio creates better results than a plan that includes cardio alone. If you don’t know what each exercise is, just do a quick google search or ask a member of your gym staff.
A lot of females worry that if they do weights, they will gain so much muscle that they will look like a man. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Without the use of certain anabolic (muscle building) drugs, growth hormones or peptides, it is very difficult for females to gain enough muscle mass to look like a man. Females who naturally gain significant amounts of muscle mass, consistently train with heavy weights for many years. Even then they usually still maintain a feminine look.
I haven’t included a diet section with the workout as I believe that pre-determined weekly diets, tend to put people off and are rarely followed. Just eat smaller versions of what you enjoy to eat, keeping in mind the diet notes at the bottom of the plan. It’s all about consistency and keeping it simple. I used to cycle through 4 or 5 versions of each meal. For example, for breakfast I would have Oatmeal one day, weet-bix the next day, poached eggs on wholemeal toast the next day, an omelette the next day etc, and then start over. I’m not a huge fan of watching my calorie intake, so what I use as a good gauge of how much I need to eat everyday is that I eat until I’m about 80% full. Japanese people are well known for using that method for maintaining a healthy weight.
What I can add further is that a high quality protein drink is recommended immediately after each workout. Protein is essential for repairing muscle fibers after training to help your muscles grow. (Just remember to include the drink as part of your meal plan). I also recommend a good Creatine supplement, especially one that contains Glucose. Creatine helps with muscular endurance allowing you to train harder and for longer and also helps with muscle growth. Creatine is best taken about 30 minutes before each workout and also with the protein drink you have after each workout. The glucose helps with the absorption of the Creatine making it more effective.
This 12 week plan is primarily designed for fat loss, so keep in mind that when your body is deprived of calories it will also want to breakdown your existing muscle to use as energy so having these supplements will reduce the extent to which that happens.
I would also highly recommend recording your weight once per week and using a small cloth measuring tape to measure your body parts, once per week. I find that it helps in two ways. It shows you whether what you are doing is working and also when you do see improvements, it helps motivate you to keep going.
If you have any questions, please ask them through the comment section.
Good luck with your training and feel free to comment and to update us with your results.