Ok- so I have had a lot of people reach out to me recently about getting toned, and how I manage my physique along with work and all the other “stressers” that come with day to day life.
Here is my answer.
#1. I ALWAYS meal prep + Cut out Sugar and Booze.
Meal prepping is like the key to survival for me. If I didn’t meal prep on Sundays I wound never have the time to make, eat or go get healthy lunches during the week.
I make sure to prep all my lunches and have a quick breakfast to go in the mornings before work. A usual day for me is an “on-the-go” healthy breakfast, then I will have my two lunches consisting of lean protein and veggies (amounts of which I measure to fit my goals) and then a snack, then I whip up a quick dinner after the gym. I also cut out alcohol. I of course have nights out for special occasions but I don’t drink daily or weekly or regularly. If you want results, regular amounts of booze are the first thing to go. If you can’t cut them out from a weekly or daily routine, then don’t complain about not reaching your goals.
Same goes for added sugar, if you are prepping your meals you shouldn’t have too much of a problem with this, but check labels and anything with added sugar you should almost immediately cut out. That along with excessive dairy or super sugary fruits. I love fruit but opt for berries and avocados.
It is essential that you find out how much fat you want to lose and how much muscle you want to gain, remember it’s about fat loss, not necessarily weight loss, unless you are looking to get lean for a specific reason or have a good amount of unhealthy weight you need to shave off.
I like to follow the 80/20 rule. Eat 100% healthy, 80% of the time. Brunch on Sundays is always good and you will always want a snack here or there.
#2. Find the right supplements FOR YOU
Supplements are essential to taking your fitness to the next level. Of course you can get by without them or do things in a more “natural” sense, but for me, I find they are extremely helpful.
I always take a pre workout, usually take this one. Nitraflex is amazing, it helps me focus in and waste less time as well as aids in being a precursor to building lean and toned muscle!
I love taking something intra-workout supplements as it keeps your muscles from getting too gassed. Without getting too much into the science of it, taking amino acids or creatine while working out fuels and helps aid in creating pre-cursors to proteins which you need to build muscle. This Creatine is one of my favorites if you are in the market, GAT Jet Mass was shown to me by a body building coach I went to (Pat is amazing and I owe him every day for setting me on the right track to discovering that I have the power to change my body!!! Check out OverKil Nutrition if you are looking to get into body building or for some serious supplement help).
Post workout is essential. Protein is the building block to muscle growth and recovery. ALWAYS take it, especially within 15-25 minutes of your workout during your anabolic window (when your body need’s to refuel the most).
There are tons of proteins out there, but essentially you need to choose one that will, again, help you with your goals. In general- lean mass gainers, lean whey or just whey proteins are the way to go. I never use plant based or soy proteins because I find that Whey gets me the best results. Casein protein is great if you are trying to build a lot of muscle or lift heavier weight, especially in a healthy shake before bed or in the morning.
#3. Maximize your time at the gym
This is tricky because just like your macro’s, it is very specific to your goals. Personally, my workouts are a mix of Crossfit, isometric lifting, HITT workouts, cardio and Olympic Lifting.
I think all forms of exercise are great, and being a Rugby player I need to be in top shape in order to perform, strength and endurance wise. I think working towards performance goals is much more rewarding and often bears better results in the end.
Begin to think of working out as a competition with yourself. How much faster can you run, how much better is your endurance, how much better is your form- can you increase weight? Can you complete the WOD or HIIT circuit without taking a break? All of these things are great to keep in mind because they will force you to push yourself which will ultimately help you towards your goals.
HIIT and Crossfit are great because they build muscle and include muscle confusion, which makes you use different muscles every time. It helps you build and forces your body to work.
Isometric lifting (or just good ole lifting weights) I try to do an hour of weights and end with 30-40 mins of cardio to maximize fat burning potential in my lift. These days I do low impact cardio (like stair master) where as when I do HIIT or Crossfit I will run sprints or do a quick 1-2 mile jog as a warmup.
Again- with Rugby, it is important for me to switch it up so I am maximizing the use of my whole body as a unit as well as building cardiovascular endurance and strength.
So- this is my 2 cents- please! I hope this helps you toward your goals!
If you would like more personalized workouts or help with nutrition, even just someone to chat with for guidance on what you are currently doing, shoot me an email and we can figure it out. And follow my blog for continued health, travel, and gym advice! 🙂