You’re probably already exercising and watching what you eat but perhaps results are slow. You want less wobbly bits and you want to see a little more definition.
Sometimes it’s just the smallest tweak you make to the way you train, your nutrition and/or recovery that helps change the game.
Using Exercise to Tone Up
Hours upon hours of cardio will lead you to skinny fat. You will “look” skinny but with lots of loose wobbly bits. Working with weights on the other hand will help you tone up but I’m not just talking about picking up a set of dumbbells and moving them about, hopping from one machine to the next or doing bootcamp or body pump. Your best results come from a program that has been designed specifically for your body. Your program needs to address your tightnesses and weaknesses, your joints, what you do for a job, your past injuries and limitations, your stress load and health markers.
Once you’ve been consistently following a program that adheres to all of this, you’ll need your program updated to allow your body to continue adapting. Loading the body with enough stimulus and then changing the load, movement, time under tension and rest breaks are just some of the things we look at when creating new programs. So how do you know you are getting this out of your program? Here are some things to look for:
- Were you structurally assessed by the trainer who wrote your program prior to being given your program?
- Is your program personalised to your body and goals? Or are you getting the same old layout with different exercises?
- Is your program regularly updated (4-6 weeks max)?
- Does your program challenge you or is it a walk in the park?
- Are you doing the right type of exercise to compliment not just your body and goals but your lifestyle and your health too? You will know you are if your posture is improving, you have less aches and pains and your immune system is functioning well.
A trainer who knows how to assess you properly will analyse your movement patterns to identify your tightnesses and weaknesses to ensure the program they give you keeps you safe and helps you see faster results. They will explain your tightnesses and help you work on your weaknesses, not load you up to ridiculous loads to help you boost your ego or theirs, before your body is ready to safely move the load. We hear and see the horror stories but many people unknowingly put their trust in trainers who do not take simple things like this into consideration.
Using Nutrition to Tone Up
Eating foods you think are healthy is very different to eating foods that actually are healthy for you. When you’re training, you need to make sure you fuel your body for performance. Some people do better eating more carbs, while others need less initially. Some people need those carbs before training while others utilise them better after training or in the last meal of the day. I’m not going to go into what’s best for you in this article because the truth is it depends. It depends on the way your body utilises fats and sugars. It depends on what your starting point is. It depends on your health. It depends on how much and the type of training you’re doing. Until you’re ready to reach out for personalised guidance with your nutrition, here are some things to help direct you:
- Are you keeping a food diary to log the foods you eat on a daily basis?
- Are you eating more natural (unprocessed) foods than packaged (processed) foods?
- Are you consuming foods that are causing inflammation in your digestive system?
- Are you consuming enough protein and plant foods?
- Are you restricting calorie intake more than your body needs to function optimally and still see progress?
The amount of food you’re eating, or not eating, along with the foods you eat on a daily basis play a big role in why you currently look the way you do. Cleaning up your eating habits will help you see fastest results when matched with a personalised training program. To clean up your eating habits, gain a better understanding on what nutrients you are consuming through your foods and track your food and beverage intake to get an honest perspective of your choices and habits. If you need help creating healthier habits, ask us about our online coaching workshops Habit Overhaul and Food Freedom! At Assist PT, we use Applied Muscle Testing to get a read on your body to see what foods you best respond to so that you can reduce inflammation and eat to reach your goals. Our bodies are incredibly intelligent, we just need to understand how to read it, listen to it and give it what it needs to function optimally. If you’re consuming inflammatory foods, your body is not interested in fat burning and performance, its priority is survival, fighting the damage caused by inflammation.
Using Recovery Methods to Tone Up
For some, lack of results comes down to not putting enough adequate stress on the body, while for others it’s about handling that stress better. Not properly dealing with stress can slow down progress so the biggest areas to address when it comes to recovery is stress management and sleep along with using nutrition to support the recovery process. Here are some areas worthy of consideration when it comes to your recovery:
- Have you worked how many hours sleep your body actually needs each night? This is a simple technique I can share with you now. Some of us need 6 hours sleep, others 8 hours, so to say you need to get 8 hours sleep each night could be like telling you you should just be eating a low carb diet when in fact you may get leaner by consuming more higher energy carbs. Testing and measuring is the best way to find out what’s best for you. With foods, we use AMT to work that out so there’s no time wasted testing and measuring methods that aren’t the best for your body. We can use the same method to work out how much sleep you need too but to do this on your own, you will need to go to bed the same time each night and allow yourself to wake up without the need for an alarm to track how many hours your body needs before it naturally wakes up. Record this information down for 7 days then take an average to calculate how much sleep your body needs each night.
- Are you sleeping in a completely darkened room? Can you do something to reduce light getting in or turn off appliances that may have a standby light on?
- Have you tried a daily meditation practice with attention on your breathing to help increase oxygen in and around your system?
- If your sleep is poor, have you looked into the benefits of float tanks or cryo therapy? Tried reducing screen time before bed? Turning off all overhead lights?
- Are you getting enough nutrients out of your foods or supplementing with what your diet can not provide your body enough of? The body has a natural detoxification process but can only work with what you give it. You may also like to look into infrared sauna to help your body with detoxification and improving delivery of nutrients through blood flow too. Also, don’t forget the most important thing you can give your body – water!
- Massage is also important to help release tight muscles that may be holding back your training progress.
Of course, as always the best approach to your health and fitness goals is to seek out personalised help for a tailored solution. Be careful you aren’t getting “personalised” help in the form of a one size fits all solution. You’ll be amazed at what “personalised” means from trainer to trainer and facility to facility! If you’re willing to put in the effort and work with a trainer who keeps data on your training, nutrition and body composition you will see great results! If you need help, reach out! Our discovery session is our first point of contact with you to get all the information we can about where you’re at and what you’ve been doing. The next session begins if you choose to join us for training, starting with your structural analysis session to get all the information we can out of your body and movement patterns so we can get you started on a personalised program tailored exactly to your needs, then we test your body to see what foods will help you see faster results and if needed, tweak meal timing and macros to help you further.