YOU CAN HAVE A GREAT BODY, AND IT TAKES LESS TIME THAN YOU THINK.
That depends on what you think of course! But armed with the right information, I think that most people would be pleasantly surprised just how little time they need in they gym to get a great looking toned physique.
Once you accept that fat loss is about food and resistance training, life gets simpler.
No longer do you need to waste hours pounding the treadmill or the spin bike in an ill-fated attempt to ‘burn calories’.
To get the body you want, you need to do two things:
1) Eat right (sorry)
2) Strength train to preserve lean mass (or build muscle depending on how you want to change your body).
Anything else you do, is optional.
So, by wasting less effort doing the things you don’t need to do, you should find that there’s not that much you need to do to get a better looking body.
It still takes a lot of effort, of course. But it’s not that time consuming.
If you’re working on building high levels of athleticism or huge amounts of muscle mass, that’s different. But if you want to strip fat and tone up, time isn’t your issue. Consistency, intensity and proper food intake is where your focus needs to be.
So when you don’t waste time with blunt methods, you can build a great looking body, in less time than you think.
FATIGUE IS NOT THE GOAL
Results are the goal.
Fatigue is a side-effect. Sometimes necessary. Sometimes not.
All our classes, even the HiiT classes, are designed to train you; not drain you.
Most classes and gyms pander to people’s misconception and desire to burn calories, blast themselves, and 'work off' their excess body fat.
It’s wrong, it’s a poor mindset and it’s not good longterm thinking.
Rise above it.
You’re better than that, smarter than that.
If jumping on a treadmill for a few intervals and then hopping off and panting your way through some resistance exercises was the best way to train, athletes would train like that, bodybuilders would train like that, physique athletes would train like that.
Train your body. Don’t drain it.
FAT LOSS IS ABOUT FOOD AND RESISTANCE TRAINING; NOT CARDIO; NOT BURNING CALORIES.
Controlling what you eat is by far the most powerful tool when striving to lose fat.
Study after study has shown this.
We don’t want an ounce of mis-placed effort.
If you’re a busy London professional, you’ll most likely do better if you approach body-shaping from an efficiency standpoint.
If you want a better looking body, take our classes and follow our programmes to stimulate or build lean mass, then tone up by eating better.
You’ll develop a leaner, stronger, More-Athletic physique faster and with less actual gym time.
CARDIO IS ABOUT FITNESS AND HEALTH. NOT FAT LOSS.
If you do a decent bout of cardio with the sole intention of burning calories, you may not get the effect you want.
Your body, may well react by trying to conserve energy over the next few hours, so the net effect is actually very slim.
So if you busy your backside to burn 200 extra calories on a treadmill, your body might do everything it can to conserve that energy over the next few hours.
If you just did the cardio to slim up, what was the point in that then?
Sadly, cardio is a fairly weak tool when it comes to fighting for fat loss in the face of a modern western lifestyle:
too many unknowns, too much time, too much effort.
If you need fitness, that’s different. If you enjoy it, that’s different.
But if you want visual results, eat for fat loss and practice resistance training.
You’ll do a lot better and probably enjoy it more.
ALWAYS TRAIN WITH 'THE GYMNASTICS MINDSET'.
In gymnastics, it’s not just about how much work you did. It’s about how well you did it.
In the gym, not all reps are equal. Although numbers are important, the how well often goes out the window.
But, in any one person, any two sets of ten push-ups could produce vastly different results.
One set could be beautifully performed, with the chest, shoulders and arms taking all the load, the shoulders kept in a good position, the core gently braced, controlling the spine throughout and the muscles under a consistent controlled stimulus.
The next could be an ugly affair, with shoulders rounded forward aggravating the joint capsule and the rotator cuff muscles, the low back sagging with lumbar vertebrae rubbing together, and each rep looking different while providing no consistent training stimulus. A set like this leaves us with more chance of injury, inconsistent training stimulus, and doesn't even work the target areas very much at all.
In our classes, everything we do (not just in the many gymnastics moves we use), we employ what I call the gymnastics mindset.
Everything we do is about how well you can do it, the quality of your positions, the voluntary strength of your muscle contractions, the work being in the right place, your body being under control…Yoga-like attention to detail as I like to say.
We don’t just do it to be fancy, we do it because you’ll get a better body, you’ll work the right areas and you’ll reduce the chances of injury.
Using the gymnastics mindset, you’ll train with more focus, more purpose and you’ll get better results.
DON'T TRAIN FOR LOSS
Be about more than that, train for something positive.
Yes I know, you want fat loss.
But you see, that’s not something you can achieve in the gym. That’s something you achieve by eating right.
People who’s primary motivation for training is fat loss, train with a negative mindset and are far less likely to stick with it.
When you are in the gym, or practicing at home, you are building your body. Getting fitter, getting stronger, mastering new skills.
If you train with that mindset, it’s more enjoyable, healthier and more likely to stick.
GET MORE-ATHLETIC TO LOOK BETTER!
As a general principle, if you train to become More-Athletic, you will look better.
Occasionally, you’ll want to trim and tone an area slightly more and not develop it athletically. But most of the time, the More-Athletic you are, the better you will look (up to a certain point where personal preferences take over of course).
But if we concentrate on the non-elite, I think the principle holds, and it is useful for making training decisions:
The guy who can do 15 pull-ups is likely to have a better looking upper body than the guy who can do just 5.
The girl who can perform six perfect pistol squats will likely have better looking bum and thighs than the girl who can’t do any.
Rather than isolate muscles or try to tone a certain bit, place your effort on getting More-Athletic as a whole, and lowering your body fat percentage.
Do that and the physical results will take care of themselves. You will look waaay better.
If you want to stay slim, simply train for strength and health (and fun), and let your diet take care of lowering your body fat percentage…the slim toned look will be yours in no time.
That bit you want to tone, will tone as soon as your total body fat percentage is reduced enough.
It’s only in the rare cases where you have too much muscle, that you need to change the plan. It happens, but not very often. Usually, fat loss and better performance is all that is required to look better, to look slimmer and to get toned.
WE ARE NOT ALL THE SAME
Having said all we’ve said so far, it’s important to realise that different folks react differently to exercise stimulus.
That’s why we lay out our main philosophy, our main training template, but we adapt it to you.
That’s why, we have some people taking a single class at a time, and others who prefer to take two back-to-back. That's why som people can do great training just twice per week, but others need higher frequency.
STRIVE TO BE A CONSISTENT MINIMALIST. TRAIN MORE OFTEN. NOT FOR LONGER.
Once you accept that fatigue is not the goal, and that fat loss is about food and resistance training, it becomes much easier to be more consistent.
In my opinion, 30-minutes training three times per week is more useful than 60-minutes once or twice per week.
If you have the time, requirement (for performance) and desire to train more often, for longer, then great.
But if you don’t, don’t get tricked into thinking you need to. Frequency, quality, intensity, consistency…that’s your first priority.
TRANING IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST LOOKS
Exercise boots brain power — if you’re not working out in some capacity, as smart as you are, you’re leaving money on the table. Get some exercise and your brain will work better. It’s natural.
You must maintain your body, otherwise it will get all stiff and weak. If you don’t use it, it simply won't be as healthy and will start to waste away. You don't want that.
Performance matters — for sport and for life. Plus the more you have something else to train for besides looks, more likely, the better you’ll end up looking. Take pride in your performance.
DO TRY TO ENJOY IT, WON'T YOU?
This training stuff, you should try to enjoy it. If you have to will yourself into doing something, it’s harder to make it stick. Exercise shouldn’t be a fling -- a six-week sort of thing, surely you want to be in shape all the time?
So the best way, do what needs to be done to get the body you want, but come with mindset that you’re here to enjoy yourself. If you don’t, you’re fighting an uphill battle. If you’re in the gym, you’re already doing better than most, we suggest you enjoy yourself and take pride in improving your body.
SEE TRAINING AS A PRACTISE
Not a slog.
Try not to set your training up as a big time and energy draining slog, but a short, finite practise that you have to try and get as much out of as possible.
Show up, whether you want to or not, and do your best.
Strive to get better. Day in, day out. Month in, month out. Year in, year out.
With this mindset, imagine what you’ll be able to do in 5 years time.
This is why we see our training as a cross between yoga, gymnastics and athletics.
If you want to look better, applying this mindset, with some serious effort on every chin-up, butt blast, or bicep curl is the best way to go about it.
Who tends to have the best bodies? Those who force themselves to train, to work off their latest holiday. Or those who love it, who make it a hobby, who strive to master an event?
DON'T DO THINGS FOR THE WRONG REASONS
In fitness, most people do the wrong things, incorrectly, and for the wrong reasons.
We strive to have strong reasons behind everything we do in the gym. It has to be practical, in-line with what science says and actually something people can do.
The concept itself though is very simple: most people simply don’t have the body they want. They struggle to consistently train and eat as they would like.
It’s hard enough to stay in great shape if you just do the right stuff. Why on earth would you waste an ounce of sweat, willpower, or stress on your body for reasons that don’t align with reality.
Do exercise you enjoy, or do stuff that aligns with science (or preferably, both). Do whatever you can to avoid doing things for the wrong reasons.
WE USE MOSTLY BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES
For two main reasons:
It's Practical – it’s easier for our regulars to practice and follow our programmes between sessions if we don’t use much kit. You can practice most of our stuff at home or in any gym.
It's Fun – the more you show people harder and harder moves, in my experience, the more fun they have trying to master them. Working on callisthenic moves and gymnastic progressions is often a lot more fun than just lifting a heavier weight. Plus it generally takes more skill, more muscles and more control of the body. All good things.
WE RUN A CONSISTENT, BUT FLEXIBLE PROGRAMME
As I'm sure I've pointed out many times already, The Strength Sessions runs a consistent four month porogramme.
But don’t worry, I know you’re special, and the more I get to know you, the more I can adapt it to suit you. It’s nice to be doing the same programme as everyone else, but it’s nice to know your individual quirks and needs can be catered for. With us, they can.