6 mistakes women make when trying to change their body shape
Written by Mark Coles - Follow on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter
When it comes to female fat loss, our main goal is to help women achieve the body that they've never been able to achieve on their own. Whether they are just starting out and have a lot of weight to lose, or they’re more experienced and in pretty good shape - we have experience in helping women from all walks of life, reach their health and fitness goals.
The women that choose to work with us, know they have to surround themselves in an environment that’s going to be conducive to achieving the results that they want.
We watch the traits that some of our best female transformation clients have displayed over the years, and then we coach these across to our female clients who are aiming for similar results.
So what are some of the most common mistakes we see when it comes to females who are looking to get in the best shape of their life?
1. You simply don’t train hard enough
I made a comment recently on facebook about “fluffy” training. What I mean by this is, is that there's really nothing to most workouts I see, they’re all at the same pace and they lack any real passion or enthusiasm. I’m sorry to upset all the group class junkies out there, but very rarely do you see women achieving fantastic transformations from attending group classes alone. This article is aimed at women who really want to lose body fat and develop a new shape to their physique, not women who want to lose weight alone from attending 6 cardio/group sessions a week.
When I work with a female client, one of the most important things I teach is how to really put aggression into their workouts. I see too many women working out and talking at the same time. These are the same women who never up their weights, or never really push themselves beyond what they feel is comfortable. Unfortunately, these are the same women who complain tirelessly that they’re not getting results.
When you lift weights you must have the intension to shift the weight as hard as you can, it's such a huge variable in training and it’s responsible for so much of the muscle fibre recruitment required to change and really see body composition results.
When women hire a very skilled personal trainer or strength coach, you’re not just taken through workouts, you're taught how to really execute each lift and how to put maximum effort into a full workout. This is a very good reason for everyone starting out in training, to hire a personal trainer/strength coach.
So the next time you go to the gym, switch off from everyone around you for the whole session (this is one of the reasons why I’m such a huge fan of people listening to music when they train, you can keep yourself to yourself and focus). I want you to put maximum effort into every exercise you do, try and get a couple more reps from each set or move up your weights. If you’re having a bad day and want to vent some aggression, don’t see sweating on the cardio machines as your stress buster, get under some decent weight and push like your life depended on it. Give that a go for a week and tell me much more you enjoy training an dhow much tighter your body feels!
2. You don’t allow any where near enough time to get in shape
You want results over night, you stress out if you’re not in shape after week two. I’m sure this sounds just like you!! So tell me this, why is it that most contest preparation phases leading up to a physique competition last 12 – 14 weeks, if not more. These are women who could be sitting at around 18% body fat when they start, and they’re working to bring them selves down to any where between 8% to 11 % body fat. When it comes to a lot of day to day women, the average body fat I normally see at the start of a programme is any where between 20% and 25%. So compare the girls who compete, they do everything by the book for 12 – 14 weeks to get to their goal, and most average women wobble after being on a strict eating plan after week 4 or 6 at a push.
Consistency is the name of the game here ladies, you have to come into a programme fully committed. You also have to expect to be working for a minimum of 3 – 6 months towards your goal. You’ve got to ask yourself, when was the last time you really stuck to a programme and gave it 110%. I can safely say that the women who are featured on our body transformation page, stuck to our programme guidelines like clockwork and they have the pictures to prove it. If we allowed them an off day, that’s when they took it, if we didn’t allow them an off day for 4 weeks, they didn’t take it. I’m just trying to highlight the lengths women do actually go to, when they really want to change.
3. You follow the lead from your friends when it comes to training
You decide you want to get in shape, so you head to the gym with your friend. It’s the same friend who’s spent the last year either on a X trainer or attending every class going. The first thing you need to ask yourself is, has she really changed that much in the whole time she’s been going, and does she look anything like you really want to look? Plus, does the instructor teaching you look anything like you want to look? The answer in many cases is going to be no. So you have to ask yourself, where do most of the girls in the best shape train? Well it’s certainly not going to be in the many classes you see going on! And it’s certainly not on one of the vast amounts of cardio pieces you see throughout most gym.
The place you’ll actually see the best female physiques is in the weights area, but this is an area you’re unfamiliar with right? So just like most women, you take the comfortable route and plonk yourself on the bike or X trainer every time you come in. That or you spend half an hour trying to work out how to do abs on the swiss ball! You must take my advice here, you will halve the time it takes you to get in shape, if you spend the first month of your journey learning how to train with weights. If that means leaving all your friends while they head off to the classes, then so be it. I’m not sharing my advice with you because weight training doesn’t work, you’ve only got to see the design of the M10 gyms to notice that we don’t do group classes and we certainly don’t spend hours doing cardio with our clients. Find a certified personal trainer or strength coach, once again choose someone who gets results similar to what you’re looking for. Hire them for a month or even more, to really learn how to push your self through strength training. Trust me, your friends will be asking to join you in no time, once they see your body fat dropping and your new shape coming through.
4. You surround yourself with people who aren’t in the shape you want to be
Surrounding yourself with people who aren’t in shape, allows you to sit back into a comfort zone. Unfortunately, they’re also the people who are very quick to try and sabotage your hard efforts. People are always threatened by others who are trying to be successful, and this distraction can de rail you from you making progress.
In life you will always succeed way more, if you spend most of your time living out of your comfort zone. Not only will you learn a lot more, but successful people around you have a very positive influence, and this alone will speed up your results. This is why I encourage my female clients to train with people who are in better shape than they are, and those who train way harder. I try and get them to interact with the girls who train hard in their gym and I try to get them to train with them when they can.
I’m not saying that you need to ditch your life long friends, but you have to acknowledge that your lifestyle plays a huge part in the reason why you’re out of shape. I always remind people of this, to change one thing you must change many things. To change your body, may mean analysing your friendships and seeing if they actually complement what you’re trying to achieve, or if they complicate them.
5. You try and fit in your gym time / food preparation around everything else
This is very common and an area that I spend so much time on when I work with female clients. Getting yourself in shape, has to become a priority, if you’re not prepared to do that, it’s really not on the top of your list. If it’s lower down your list, you’ll not only get very slow results, but you’ll always place everything else ahead of it.
So how do you deal with this, well you firstly have to get in the habit of preparing your food either weekly or daily. You’re going to have to prioritise a time or day where you get it all done. If you’re someone who grabs your food as you go along, I guarantee you’ll miss meals, you’ll miss certain food groups out and you’ll always not have enough food in the house. I always tell people, if you really see something as a priority, it goes straight to the top of the list. Excuses such as, I just forgot or I didn’t have anything in, just tell me that you’re not committed.
It’s the same thing when it comes to training. You have to set a time every day when you train. If it’s when your husband comes back from work and you get him to put the kids to bed, then that’s when it is and you all get into that routine. If it’s when the kids go to nursery or school every morning, then that’s when it gets done. If you don’t have responsibilities like children, you could be someone who just waits for the right time of the day to train. This doesn’t work because you usually leave it right to the end of the day, when you’re tired and at your most unproductive.
You need to also acknowledge to your self, is this really a priority in your life right now? If it isn’t, then don’t’ stress yourself trying to make it one. Maybe this isn’t the right time for you to be thinking about getting in great shape.
6. You’re so confused about nutrition, you listen to all your friends first
This almost goes back to my point above about listening to your friends when it comes to training. Nutrition is a very confusing subject, and sadly the media does a fantastic job of sending out so many mixed messages. Let me put this to you, do you really think athletes of any high level, would follow a slim fast diet or weight watchers plan? Do you really think that their coaches would let them follow these low calorie meal plans with the volume of training they do?
So why when you’re about to commit to 5 x 1 hour training sessions per week do you follow your friends guidance of a low calorie meal plan? You’re actually going from eating more, with less exercise, to a lot less food and 5 hrs of training per week. This will not only force your body to lose a lot of lean muscle tissue (essential for developing a great body), but it’ll also slow down your metabolism (which needs to be higher for fat loss). I’m not going to spend the rest of this article telling you the right foods to eat, (there’s plenty of articles on this website), but just remember this very important point. If the person/article giving you guidance on nutrition for fat loss hasn’t got a list of impressive results/testimonials from the system they use, don’t take it. One of the most important parts of any consultation I have with a female client, is when I show them a list of our cases studies and our own body transformations.
If you want to be average, then keep doing what you’ve always done. If you’re someone who wants to really step up your training and achieve a real result, they you have to take my comments on board and redirect your focus to getting in shape and make it a priority in your life.
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