1. Diligently working on your exercise and nutrition program
2. Doing a few things to lose weight or reduce body fat but not in it to win it
3. Waiting until that last week to go on an all-out blitzkrieg diet/workout
The funny thing is, I see a lot of people stuck in the second example. They truly want to look better in their swimwear and be healthier overall but they aren’t quite ready to give up those things (sugar, fried foods, sleeping in vs. working out, alcohol, etc.) that will allow them to hit their goals. And you know what? That’s okay.
I realized the other day that I have been a professional coach and personal trainer for 20 years and in that time frame I have come up with several mantras that are the 100% truth and remain timeless.
Are you ready? Here they go:
1. A little bit of something is always better than a whole lot of nothing
2. You cannot out train poor nutrition
3. In order to get to the next level you have to be willing to give up something else
Often times I see disappointment in the eyes of a client because they aren’t further along than where they think they should be. As if one should be able to snap their fingers and make 15 years of body fat, poor nutrition choices, babies, stress, lack of sleep and other lifestyle instances disappear because they worked out for a few weeks and ate some healthier meals and snacks. I wish it worked that way….but it doesn’t.
The truth is body fat is exceptionally good at clinging to your frame and after it has been part of you for a while, we have to trick into shrinking away. Frustratingly for some, it may take more effort than it does others and that is where the next phase of this blog is heading…what are you willing to do?
Right now, IWC Coach Annie Morozko is prepping for another figure competition in June. If you would ask her what it is like to prepare for a competition where you will be in the teeniest tiniest bikini possible in front of a crowd of onlookers she would tell you quite simply “it sucks.” Eating clean for 12+ weeks and exercising so you have next to no body fat on the day of the show is an incredibly arduous
process and not something one can do unless they are 100% committed.
Unfortunately, magazine covers and television shows feed us false narratives and impressions about what lean and sexy should look like and quite frankly, a figure competition figure isn’t realistic by any means (did you know they look like that for one day only?).
So what should a 35-55 year old mother of two look like in a swimming suit (guys we can toss you in there as well but since you didn’t go through the pregnancy process you can just follow along; we’ll do a dad bod post for you in the near future)? That is a great question. One to which I do not have the answer but I do understand the process and what you will need to do to feel better poolside this summer.
First let’s discuss your goal. Is it to put on that coveted two piece without wrapping a towel around you the entire day? If so, we can get you started on a program that will allow this to happen and can get you in the best possible shape at the same time. What we need from you is an accurate assessment of your level of commitment in two capacities:
A) Exercise frequency and duration
B) Nutrition and what you are willing to do to improve it
For example, if you want to lower body fat 8%, tone your muscles and lean out but are only commit to exercising three days per week for 30 minutes per session you will not be able to achieve your objective. You will improve muscle tone, overall health , may lose some weight/body fat and will boost self-esteem but you will most likely not have the exercise volume to meet the aforementioned goal.
Often times when we show a person what it will take to obtain the bikini body, they quickly determine looking like a cover model might not be realistic….which is 100% okay. We also need to factor in nutrition. If you follow the 85% rule (eat clean 85% of the time) you can
expect a B+ in your health and how you will look in a mirror/fit in your clothes. If you practice the 90% rule you can anticipate an A- body.
Problem is, most people are following the 70% rule (or less) which is a C- body. To be honest, eating clean is not hard. Saying no to cupcakes at the office, bud light at the neighborhood bonfire and making the time to meal prep/pack snacks is the hard part.
Here’s another tweak in this concept; you can go either direction you want.
So long as you are doing something you can always boost your efforts prior to an event (wedding, beach vacation, pool party). Just give yourself ample time for your body to change (note: 7 days prior to the event is not long enough).
You can also dial it back. One of the things we see many clients do is abandon their efforts altogether because work, kids, life, etc. have prevented them from doing their entire routine. So they quit. Quit instead of simply dialing it back and doing something.
Remember, a something is always better than nothing. If you can’t meal prep, make sure you have healthy, portable snacks (fruit, nuts, protein bars) and a water bottle. If your five day a week exercise program is stressing you out more than it is helping reduce the number of days to three and/or cut back on the overall volume of exercise.
Just understand that what you want may or may not be realistic depending on what you are willing to do and trade out in the process.
In the end, following the 85% rule and exercising three days each week doing activities that you enjoy is the best formula out there regardless of what you look like in a swimming suit. If we can assist, the team at IWC is ready to help you!
Is your workout/nutrition program in line with your goals?
Comment below and let us know what you are doing to match the program to the objectives!