The importance of nutrition
Eating a balanced diet is essential to achieve good results, both in form and appearance. Although it’s difficult for me as a personal trainer to admit it, in most cases 70 % of our physical appearance is a result of our diet and “only” 30 % is due to training. In short, if you just train hard, but don’t eat healthily, you won’t achieve good results. You need to choose a diet according to your personal situation, rhythm of life and goals. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, I recommend that you consult a nutritionist to find the method that best suits your situation. The most important thing is that you don’t opt for a so called crash diet in which you consume very few calories. This type of diet will make you lose weight at the expense of decreased muscle mass and will also cause imbalances in metabolism, which means you’ll put on all those kilos again (the dreaded yo-yo effect!). So choose consciously what you eat.
Targeted strength training will help a lot to improve both your physical shape and your physical appearance. I typically recommend that men try to do 8-10 repetitions per set and ladies 10-12 repetitions. The best results are achieved with 3-5 sets of each exercise per training. Exercises should be varied to ensure all muscle groups are targeted and should alternate correctly between workouts to give each muscle group enough recovery time. You should also keep in mind that it’s much more important to do all the exercises correctly than the amount of weight you use for your training.
Cardio workouts were once very popular in gyms. However, this trend has changed in recent years as it has been proven that after the first few sessions, the body gets used to the rhythm and the physical condition does not improve as much. In addition, spending a lot of time on cardio equipment consumes a large amount of energy that we could use more efficiently in strength training instead, as it helps us to achieve better results. For this reason I always recommend doing cardiovascular training AFTER strength training.
I want to dedicate a specific section to abdominal muscle exercises because there’s still the big myth that doing a lot of abdominal exercises results in a firm stomach. As long as the fat layer remains on our stomach, we’ll never manage to change our physical appearance with targeted abs exercises. Therefore, my advice is that you first make sure you stick to a healthy diet and that you do strength and cardio exercises that allow you to consume the accumulated fat and build muscle mass.
This blog is written by one of our Personal Trainers, Joyce Mohringer.