We all have seen those ads with “30 days transformation” promising amazing results, all sorts of innovative machines that work your body parts while you are watching TV or even magic pills that burn off your fat while sitting on your couch and playing video games.
Maybe you have tried these methods and you did not have the expected results. Trust me, it’s not your fault! If you’ve been eating bad your entire your life you really can’t expect to take a pill or put some equipment on your abs and instantly become an Instagram model.
The people promoting these body transformation instruments have many many years of hard work with proper diet and training, specific for their needs and they have been paid to do such adds that are misleading and are setting very high expectations based on nothing.
The sad truth is that none of these methods will ever work on a long-term period and moreover some of them can be very harmful to your health.
Everything related to body transformation must be very closely linked with your eating habit. First thing you want to do when you want to improve your lifestyle is to start eating healthy.
When we talk about physique changes we talk about two different stages: lose fat and muscle growth.
These two stages cannot happen at the same time because it requires different approaches when it comes to calories intake (eating) unless you are in the situations mentioned below (the so-called “body recomposition”):
In the first year of lifting you will be able to burn fat while building muscle and that is why starting with the right workout program and diet is very important. After the first year the body’s capabilities to build new muscle will start to decrease.
2. Returning to weight lifting
If you have notable lifting experience and you stopped working out for a significant amount of time, when you return to the gym you will be able to lose the excessive fat while you start building muscle. The muscle memory comes into play but this period of losing fat and building muscle is much shorter than beginner’s.
Unfortunately, it is the most effective way to do a body recomposition and it can be done at any stage of your lifting experience. It can be very dangerous if you don’t know how to use them properly. WE DO NOT ADVICE YOU TO USE THEM.
The body recomposition can be properly done only if you truly commit to proper weight lifting AND nutrition protocols.
The rate of muscle gain will diminish as you progress into your fitness journey.
In the first year of training you will be able to build most amount of muscle mass, then the amount of muscle mass that you can build per year will decrease significantly.
Keep in mind that if you want to build muscle mass you must be in a constant caloric surplus (eat more calories than your body consumes) and because of this it is impossible to avoid also gaining some fat (gaining fat can be limited if you have a low caloric surplus, 300-500 cals).
|Years of lifting||Muscle gain (men)||Muscle gain (women)|
|1||20-25 lbs. (9-11 kg)||10-12 lbs. (4-6 kg)|
|2||10-12 lbs. (4.5-5.5 kg)||5-6 lbs. (2-3 kg)|
|3||5-6 lbs. (2-3 kg)||2-3 lbs. (1-2 kg)|
|4+||2-3 lbs. (1-2 kg)||1-2 lbs. (0.5-1 kg)|
Because every human body is different, these are just indicative numbers to set up some realistic expectations.
At the end of the day it comes down to your genetic and your work ethic. For the best results you must be consistent with your workouts and nutrition.
As far as fat loss, this is very close related to your nutrition. The ratio calories in/calories out is very important to avoid excessive muscles loss and shutting down your metabolic rate.
Most studies recommend the safest rate of fat loss of 0.5 lbs. to 1 lbs (200 g-500 g) per week.
Obese persons can have the fat loss rate up to 2 lbs (1 kg) per week.
If you find yourself losing more than the above numbers per week you should be considering eating more calories.
You must be able to look at the long term goal through which you must be able to lose weight in a healthy way and avoid gaining it back after you finish your fat loss period.
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An important note is that it takes double the time to build muscle than to lose fat. So be careful when you want to lose fat, choosing a big caloric deficit will also burn your muscles.
Whether your goal is to lose fat or build muscle, you must stick to it and be consistent with your nutrition and workouts.
Patience is a key element, it takes at least 1-2 months to see any result, depending on your experience, so give it some time and do not give up!
Now that you know how to set your realistic expectations, set a goal and get to work!