Physical Training Nov 2001

The Fit Kick

By Bill Whedon

Sharing Common Concerns

I'd like to share a quick note sent to me recently, and my response to the person who sent it.  I know that a lot of you feel like this individual, and would like some answers.  Well, here are some.  Your results may vary, of course, but mostly dependent on how completely you take the advice offered.

Remember this:
There are a lot of very expensive lies and half-truths out there.  A fit and trim body is not something you're going to get very quickly unless you're already almost there, no matter how pretty the infomercial or how famous the "world-famous Personal Trainer (insert name)" flogging the goods.  Be careful.  Mostly, they want your money, and their truths are often concealed in the 2-second "fine-print" flashes of "The results shown are not typical" or something similar.

Please read on...

A correspondent wrote:
I would like to work on reducing my thighs & gluts without "bulking up"  I prefer to stay out of the weight room. Suggestions please? 
Well, as every trainer worthy of the title will tell you, it is impossible, without liposuction (yuck!) to "spot-reduce".   Losing fat is a "LIFO" (Last In, First Out") situation for the most part.  Generally speaking, wherever you first stored the fat, will be the last place it leaves from.

Now, you know, if you've read my articles, that I'm a big believer in weights used in addition to aerobic exercise.  And I can also tell you that "bulking up" is something most people simply need not be concerned about.  Most women don't have the genetics for it (it requires considerable testosterone, or anabolic steroids), and most men who pursue a Real Life (as something other than a "gym rat"), don't have the time to spend in the weight room to actually get "bulked up" -- it takes a _lot_ of work to do that!

On to your situation -- You state that you don't like the weight room, but you don't have to spend much time there to build enough muscle to assist in fat loss.  About 20 minutes, twice a week, should suffice.  And you can always buy a pair of IntelBel or "Block" dumbbells, and use them at home.  They're a bit pricey, but they don't take up nearly the space that conventional dumbbells

You'll need a fitness assessment by a local Certified Personal Trainer, and if you like the sort of advice I give, be sure to let him/her know that you're interested in getting a "beginning HIT" (High-Intensity Training) program going.  That is, in my opinion, the quickest way to build up some lean body mass, and start whittling down the fat.

You will also need a program of aerobic exercise.  Make it something you enjoy, and do it at least 3, preferably 4, times per week, getting yourself breathing hard for about 30 to 40 minutes straight.  That's breathing hard, but still able to carry on a conversation -- not so hard you have to gasp for each word, nor so easy that you can sing!

Eating is another place we can improve our lives.  Instead of eating 3 meals a day, do what all the other hominids on the planet do, and eat pretty much continuously, light snacks, throughout the entire day -- translates for most of us to five or six small meals.  You're never hungry, your blood glucose never drops off, and you're not going to eat as much that way.  Forget diets. Eat what you like, but pay attention to how much you eat at one time.  The small meals will help prevent bingeing, but you will also have to exercise a bit of self-control.

Don't diet -- in fact, no "Diet" - ANYTHING!  Stay away from aspartame and other artificial sweeteners.  Stay away from sweets which guarantee "LOW FAT!" -- they're usually full of "LOTS OF CALORIES!".  Stay away from Olestra and Olean, unless you have stock in the company which makes "Depends".  Eat normal, whole foods, in quantities sufficient to make you feel full, but not stuffed, and you'll be right on track.

Forget Total Bodyfat!  Forget the scales!  Get into some Spandex, and have a trusted friend or spouse take a series of photos of you, unadorned, against a plain background.  Front, side, and rear views.  Then put them away, and don't look at them.  Six to eight weeks later, have another set of photos done, and then take out the first set and compare.  If you've been following your exercise program, you should prepare to be pleasantly amazed!

Bill Whedon is the owner of World Fitness. He has been a Certified Personal Trainer since 1994. He presently teaches aerobics at several sites, trains individuals who have a need but little money, and programs computers for a living. Bill lives in Lawson, MO.

This article was previously published at the World Fitness Organization website:
Free fitness information and counselling. Fitness Trainer certification programs

Physical Training Nov 2001