Nick Mitchell, founder of acclaimed personal training gym Ultimate Performance, reckons you might be unintentionally making huge mistakes that set you back in your odyssey toward a better body. The former no. 2 overall bestselling author on Amazon UK often advises clients striving for a better body to heed these potent tips.
1. Men should train more like women and women should train more like men
Men tend to work out on their ego too much. They often lift weights that are too heavy. Conversely, women are frightened to lift heavy weights because of the false notion that they will gain huge muscles if they do — so they lift very light. I sometimes see women lifting weights lighter than their shopping bags.
2. If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you
I wish I could ban recumbent bicycles. The same goes for treadmills and stationary bikes. You burn more calories walking than some people do at their relaxed paces on these machines. If 85-year-olds can easily manage them, that means your body will easily adapt and not burn you many calories.
3. Force your body to adapt positively, instead of letting it adapt into a comfortable routine
Our bodies are very adaptive and quickly find ways to burn less fat and grow less muscle if we repeat the same exercises. By and large, eight to 12 repetitions per set are generally good numbers, but you can actually vary your reps from as few as two to as many as 20 — this helps to shock your muscles into continual positive adaptation. Switching up weight, tempo, angle, rest intervals and frequency also prevents your body from getting comfy.
4. Allot time to prepare meals beforehand
One of the biggest mistakes my clients make is not controlling themselves when they get hungry. The best way to prevent binge eating is by preparing healthy meals that are ready to eat or easily cooked. Treat your diet as part of your lifestyle and don't fall for fad diets, because two weeks of healthy eating won't turn you into Brad Pitt. People who fail in this aspect either lack the patience or expertise.
5. Rely on desire instead of self-discipline
I don't believe in self-discipline. We make excuses like "I don't have the self-discipline to get in shape", but it is actually desire that makes us want a doughnut, for example, more than a healthy body or a six-pack.
6. Junk food is not harmful in moderation
Learn more about food — a calorie of protein is not the same as a calorie of carbohydrates or a calorie of fat. However, junk food is only harmful if you have an illness. The more sick you are, the cleaner you need to eat. Try to eat food that is produced from the land, like fish, vegetables and meat. Junk food only severely impacts individuals with conditions like inflammation and insulin resistance, which are silent killers that many people have without realising.
7. Make yourself uncomfortable
Concentrate on a specific goal, then force yourself out of your comfort zone. Organise a photo shoot. If being seen in swimwear terrifies you, then book a beach holiday for yourself. Fear is very powerful when you harness it properly.
About Nick Mitchell
Nick Mitchell's books '12 Week Body Plan' and 'Your Ultimate Body Transformation Plan' are available on Amazon.com. Ultimate Performance is located on the 21st floor of The Octagon, 105 Cecil Street.