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Fat loss pitfalls – how to avoid them part 1

Fat loss seems to be a very misunderstood subject. Some people insist that it simply all about expending more calories than we consume, ‘calories in verses calories out’ while others realise that the type of food we eat and its effect on our hormones may be the key to fat loss or indeed fat gain.

Here is a list of  ‘fat loss fails’ to be aware of and how to avoid them. In no specific order but all worthy of note I reckon.

1. Not lifting fairly heavy weights. Weight training has been proven time and time again to be extremely effective at increasing metabolic rate, increasing lean muscle and stripping fat. Pink dumbbells do not count as ‘fairly heavy’!

2. Doing slow steady state ‘cardio’ type training as your only form of training. Although some ‘low intensity high repetition’ training may be useful, if it is the only style of training that you do, the initial fat loss will ultimately stall. Mix things up and supplement the ‘cardio’ with heavy weight training.

3. Only doing classes as your sole fat loss plan. As a general rule classes are usually ‘low intensity and high repetition’ (see above) therefore can be considered to be ‘cardio’. Substitute a class or 2 for heavy resistance training.

4. To much rest when training. To strip fat try to keep the rest between sets / groups of exercises  minimal. If you are able to string a sentence together between lifts then perhaps your work output is not sufficient to illicit effective fat loss. Be under no illusion that efficient fat loss is painful and to be honest the more painful the more effective!

5. Doing the same program for too long. We adapt to a physical stimulus fairly quickly and once we have adapted then our efforts become ‘old hat’ to the body and it stops changing. Switch things up regularly and change the program to avoid this stagnation.

6. Failing to train for fat loss. Be specific with what you want to achieve. If fat loss is the goal then focus the effort on fat loss! This may sound obvious but certain types of training are less effective than others for getting lean. Example: power lifting is not as effective as super setting, long runs are not as good as interval sprints, biceps curls are not as good as dead lifts, zumba is not as good as circuit training and so on.

7. Not being consistent. No matter how good your training program may be if you are not consistent then you are likely to fail. Get into the habit of training as part of your life style. Decide on how much time you want to invest in your health / body composition and be consistant and relentless. Try and train specifically for your fat loss goal at least 4 x per week.

8. Failing to realise that fat loss takes time and is not a linear endeavour. If the plan is good then  you should begin to lose fat almost immediately. However be patient and realise that there will always be plateaus when despite your very best efforts fat loss temporarily stalls. This is the time to dig in and be patient, the plateau will not last and often after a period of frustration you will continue to lose fat dramatically again…however only if the plan is good!

In part 2 of this fat loss series I will discuss nutritional / lifestyle fat loss pitfalls. In truth it is what we eat and how we lead our lives that determine our body composition. Meanwhile here is a simple fat loss circuit style workout:

A1. Dead lifts / Good mornings 10-12reps

A2. Dips / Press ups (weighted if required) 10-12 reps

A3. Walking Lunges 20-24 reps

A4. Chins 10-12 reps

Rest 120-180secs and repeat

Rest 30-45 seconds between exercises.
Do 4-10 circuit depending on work capacity.
Lower the weight slowly (3-4 secs) and lift it faster on the way up (1-2 secs).

Use a weight that would normally allow you to do 3-5 extra reps. For example if you can lift 100kg for 16 reps on Dead lift this would be a good weight to remain on for the circuit of 10-12reps.

If you get the weight correct this is disgusting and very far from fun, but very effective! I would also say that if you do enjoy it then you are a bit weird and should join 🙂

Fat loss pit falls part 2