Advice for beginners

There are two components that you are mainly interested in on your body - body fat and muscle.

There are three main nutrients that you are also interested in - carbs, fats and protein.

The body for energy uses Carbs and fats and if you eat more energy (in carbs and fats) than your body needs your body will convert this unused energy into body fat for future use.

If you do some form of resistance training (lifting weights) your body will use protein to firm that muscle, or if you train like a bodybuilder it will use protein to make those muscles bigger and stronger.

A general fitness routine for either men or women, whereby a person wishes to firm up their muscles and to reduce body fat levels it is best to perform some Resistance Training (weight training known as Anaerobic exercise) and also some Cardio Vascular exercise (CV or cardio known as aerobic exercise).

Ideal types of aerobic exercise can be from fast pace walking, treadmill, cross trainer, stepper to swimming. If performing both weights and cardio in one workout always do your weight training session first and Cardio exercise after you have completed your weight training routine. A good cardio session should be between 20-40 minutes in duration.

The reasons behind this are as follows

Aerobic exercise is proven top burn body fat for fuel especially if you are eating less calories than your body needs so this is your best way of losing body fat. If you live a busy lifestyle and can’t get to the gym as often as you would like to, on non gym days just go fast/brisk pace walking for 30 minutes, this is a non skill exercise (anyone can do this). Some people make the mistake of starting to jog but they end up with shin splints and bad joints and can only run for maybe 5 or 10 minutes where anybody can walk for 30 minutes burning more calories. Anaerobic exercise will firm those muscles up.

How many people have you seen that lose weight but look the same only smaller, that’s because they do not do any resistance training.

Example resistance-training regime

Monday - chest, shoulders and triceps
Bench Press machine 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Pec dec 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Shoulder press machine 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Side dumbbell raises 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Tricep extensions or pushdowns 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Wednesday - legs
Leg extensions 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Leg Press 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Leg Abductors 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Leg curl machine 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Lunges with dumbbells 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Standing calf machine 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Before your leg workout do 10 minutes on a stationary bike to fully warm up your legs
Friday - back, biceps and abs
Lat pulldowns 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Dumbbell rows 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Hyper extensions 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Ab crunches 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Hanging leg raises 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Bicep curls 3 sets of 10-15 reps
If you feel you still have some energy left after resistance training do some aerobics. Arrange exercises, sets, reps and weights to suit you.

Your body's ability to burn body fat is governed by your metabolism.

Resistance training and aerobics will not only burn body fat but also move the goal posts favourable making your metabolism faster. Metabolisms are not how many calories you can use (metabolise) per day they are how many calories you can metabolise per meal.

Some people make the mistake of not eating all day and when they finally sit down to eat, they over eat, have just one meal, with too many calories and your body ends up storing half of that meal as body fat.If you eat small and often you can metabolise all the nutrients giving you more protein (to firm your muscles) and carbs and fats (healthy -EFA's) to fuel your metabolism. Remember, the best way to lose weight is to eat small and often.