Alright in this post today I feel I need to address something if you really want to take the next step to be more “Fit Wise.” We need to cover why you want to lose fat, and not focus on your weight as much.
I’m taking this subject down in two bites, so, today will be part one of two parts on learning how to focus your fitness efforts for dropping fat and building some quality muscle.
In this post I’ll go over healthy body fat percentages, how to find yours and the workout breakdown that I use for my clients. Plus today I will have exercise videos and a workout template for you, for free.
To start, I’m not talking about body building here and I’m not discussing getting jacked. Today I’m talking to those who need some help getting back to a healthy body fat percent. These are the tools and approaches I take to getting my clients more lean muscle and dropping body fat.
I do want you to know that your weight IS important to me… just not as much as how much fat you carry though. So let’s cover how I walk my clients through fat loss programs and the tools I focus on when building good habits.
I have been spending a lot of time this week answering some survey, client and email questions. And the ones that keep hitting my inbox are “how do I lose weight” or “why am I not losing weight faster?”
But then it’s followed up with these two desired reactions “I just want abs” or “I’d like to look better in a swim suit.”
Guess What? Those questions and responses really don’t fit in the same categories. Losing weight will not NECESSARILY help you look better in a bathing suit. And losing weight faster definitely will not make those abs show up any better (You and I know many thin people that still don’t have abs).
Now specifically trying to lose fat and you will absolutely look better in a bikini and you will absolutely be able to show off some abs.
And if you ever read that you can spot reduce fat on your body, just walk away. You cannot burn fat on JUST your stomach, or JUST your arms, or JUST your butt. You can burn fat… period.
So, what now?
Well let’s learn how to drop body fat, first let’s see how much body fat you currently have and what range you should be shooting for.
How do you find how much fat you have?
You will need some form of body fat tester in order to find this number out. Here are some options for finding out your body fat.
- Ask a Trainer at your local gym, they will generally do this for free.
- If your gym has a BodPod, sign up to use it. This may cost a little money as whoever bought the device spent tons of cash on it (by the way, this is the most accurate method).
- Purchase a BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analyzer). Not the most accurate, but definitely close enough. These are cheap about $30-$60, Here is the one I use. Omron Fat Loss Monitor
- Have a professional do a multi-site (3, 5, or 7) skin fold caliper test. Don’t do this unless the tester has been doing it consistently for at least 6-8 months, if it is done wrong your results will be all over the place. Don’t try and do this on your own, you won’t do it right and you will look like one of those kids in middle school who tries to touch his tongue to his elbow at lunch. Go ahead try it; No lie, I just tried. All these years and it still doesn’t work… one day…
What is a healthy body fat range?
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) classifies a SATISFACTORY body fat range for men to be between 10%-22%, and for women to be between 20%-32%. So, these are the normal ranges we want to hit and stay in.
Now if you aren’t in this healthy range how are we gonna get you there? Exercise selection (gotcha covered), Nutrition (gotcha covered), Cardio/High Intensity Training (ya know I gotcha covered).
Note: Today I’ll focus on workouts and exercise selection. Then in part 2 of this post I will go over nutrition and cardio selection.
What should our workout and exercises look like?
The workouts I have my clients on, that are reducing fat, are centered on full body, high intensity exercises. These are the main exercises, movements that pin point large muscle groups and are multi-joint.
So, don’t hop on a machine here let’s do some squats, deadlifts, pushups, bent over rows. If you are unsure what exercises you should choose here is a small playlist for the exercises that match what is in your workout download.
And I tend to do these exercises in these small 3-5 exercise circuits (Don’t worry I will have an example workout for you to download).
Then I sprinkle in, one or two, high intensity rounds in order to ramp up heart rate, I tend to do this in the middle of the workout when we are nice and warmed up, but not so tired you can’t do a burpee.
Exercises for High Intensity Rounds:
Burpees, Jumping Jacks, or Mountain Climbers
These are exercises where we are not just isolating single muscle groups, we are trying to recruit as many muscles as possible (with safe and proper form…), in order to do as much work as possible.
Alright you have your exercises, you know what body fat percent you should be shooting for now here is your workout for today:
Now, go find out what your body fat is at, choose a goal range to hit, and do your workout see how you feel and meet me back here in a few days. I will talk nutrition, cardio and high intensity interval training on the next post.
And if you want to get right to work go check out my e-book by subscribing to my email list below. I cover this entire material plus much more, including nutrition guidance and complete workout list.
Good luck and talk soon,