Is it just me, or has the weather changed this week to be a bit more ass numbingly chilly? I don’t mind so much as long as the wind stays down and we still get some sunshine!
Onwards with this weeks three things.
3 ways to calculate your calorie needs and deficit for fat loss
This was prompted by a question on IG about the best way to calculate calorie needs and how to find your deficit for fat loss, if you don’t want to count calories. So I gave my answer which is below, along with 2 other options you could use. For the purpose of the blog, I decided to start with the most accurate and work down from there.
To get a really good idea of your calorie needs, and therefore your deficit, you need to track for 2-3 weeks. Making sure you are consistent, accurate and honest about everything you put in your face. Assuming that there is no significant weight change over that time, then the daily average will be your maintenance calorie intake.
From there it’s simply a decision of where to start your calorie deficit. I’d recommend 20%. Be consistent with that for a couple of weeks and adjust up or down based on the changes you see. Note the I said a couple of weeks, not a couple of days…It takes time for your body to adjust and respond to a deficit, so be patient and be consistent, then adjust if you need to.
If you want to get straight into it, then a simple calculation is all you need to give you starting point. Take your weight in pounds (kgs x 2.2) and multiply by either 10 or 12. 10x gives you a more aggressive cut, 12x is more moderate. Choose which would be best for you.
You could also do a calorie cycling style approach with both numbers in play.
For example 75kg = 165lbs
10x 165 = 1650
12x 165 = 1980
So on training days you could go with 1980kcals, and on off days you could go with 1650. Both are in your deficit range but you get more calories to use during training. You could also switch the higher days to the weekend if you know you’re more likely to eat more then.
Again, be consistent and accurate for a couple of weeks and adjust as needed.
Use a portion control method such as PNs hand size portions or take photos of your meals to get an idea of your current serving sizes, then simply reduce the portions of carbs and fats by around a quarter, keeping, or increasing your protein and veggie servings sizes.
This is a less accurate method but it does work well if you are willing to put a little effort into it.
I’ve had success with clients on all three approaches, and if you would like some help with getting started, just send me a message and I’ll be happy to help.
Doing cardio the right way
Cardio is a boring but essential part of training. Done badly, it can just leave you feeling broken and struggling to recover, but done well it can boost your fitness, improve your recovery and provide a whole host of other benefits.
When cardio is done badly it’s because no thought has gone into your effort levels and the outcomes you want. Most people go too hard for it to be any use aerobically, and not hard enough for it to be anaerobic. They’re stuck in a dead zone and make no progress. So here are 2 options for you to try and implement to boost your cardiovascular fitness and your results.
- Low and slow. 20-45 minutes at a heart rate of between 110 and 135. If your HR goes above 135 then you have to ease up and get it back down. Ideally, you will do the whole session breathing just through your nose to force yourself to slow up, since you can’t suck in massive amounts of air through your nostrils. This will benefit your aerobic system.
- Short and intense. Like an espresso. All these classes that promise 45 minutes of high intensity workouts clearly don’t understand that if the session is high intensity, it’s not going to last 45 minutes, and if it lasts 45 minutes, it cant be high intensity. It might be hard, but that’s different. So we’re looking at probably 4-8 minutes of intervals at >90% of your max effort. For example 15 seconds of work with a 45s recovery. I tend to prefer machine based stuff for this, for example, a rower or bike, but swings work well if you have good, consistent technique.
Your short, but effective warmup
You don’t want to be spending a load of time on your warmup, particularly if your gym, like mine, has a limit on the time you can spend training. You want to get in, get going, and get gone. And if you are working out at home, you still need some kind of warm up to make sure you are in a good position to get some work done without an injury risk.
So give this a try:
Bear crawl x 5 steps out and back. If you limited for space, 1 step forward, 1 back x 5. Or switch to a static bear crawl.
The best stretch in the world x 5/ side
Side plank with a hip lift x 8/s. You can regress this to a standard side plank, a short side plank from your knees or a reverse side plank depending on your ability/ injury issues.
Sl RDL x8 per side
Bodyweight squat x10-15
You hit a lot of movement qualities including upper back extension and rotation, hip mobility and stability, core strength, and a bunch more.
Give it a try a give your training a boost.
Have an awesome day,