Usually around this time in the year I get questions about transforming a physique in time for summer. In fact, I've already received requests about this from men and women of all ages. One constant I always teach about making physical changes is that is that we always get out what we put in.
It's a brand new year. Usually around this time in the year I get questions about transforming a physique in time for summer. In fact, I've already received requests about this from men and women of all ages. One constant I always teach about making physical changes is that is that we always get out what we put in.
My client Ryan Brinker, who's in the attached photo with this article, is a prime example. In Ryan's case, he wanted to transform his body to enter a physique competition. He was dedicated to making his vision a reality. So we started from the beginning, reviewed his meals and made changes to them, set him up on a structured workout regimen, and made changes to all supplements he was taking, from multi-vitamins to protein.
His workouts generally consisted of resistance training isolated muscle groups, cardio (usually running on a treadmill, running outdoors, or biking), and some total body conditioning. Now developing the body takes time, but if you're consistent with your training, the body will respond. Training your body the same way, doing the same exercises, will be counter-productive after a few weeks because the gains you initially receive will stop happening. So it's important to change up your workouts and continually challenge your body. If you're unsure of how to effectively do this, you should seek out a personal trainer, preferably one with experience in getting results in the goals that you have.
Along with his workouts, Ryan's eating habits also changed. He ate regular meals throughout the day, instead of just a couple meals a day. I prepared his meal plans with a varying ratio of proteins, fats, and carbs. Proper nutrition is essential in any body transformation or health program. Several things come into play here as well, including body types, genetics, hormones, caloric intake, any allergies, etc. So, it's important to have some guidance in this area. If you're seeking out a personal trainer, you can also look into his or her experience in assisting with nutrition as well. If you find a personal trainer that you like who is unexperienced in this area, you can also seek some guidance from a nutritionist.
Taking regular supplements, including multi-vitamins, are also important to the body. They help the body receive things that it's lacking or not producing enough of, so it can function at an optimum level. In Ryan's case, his supplements mostly consisted of things like multi-vitamins, amino acids like L-glutamine, L-carnitine, and L-arginine, and fish oil. The kinds of goals you have, be it weight loss, bodybuilding, body sculpting, or endurance all play a factor. You can receive guidance in supplements as well.
My point in all of this is to show you that nothing beats a true plan of attack when it comes to changing our bodies. So many people want to see changes in themselves. As we get older our bodies change and losing weight and getting in shape become more difficult, so the way we approach changing our bodies has to make sense. Nothing will keep you more motivated than seeing your body change in stages. In the same vein, nothing will become more disheartening than working towards something and seeing no change. Most people give up on their goals for this reason. This is why having a true plan is important.
Change has been a running theme in my column for years now, because it is important. There's a great quote that says, "I wanted to change the world, but I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself." But if we seek changing ourselves, we shouldn't approach it like someone fumbling in the dark with a candle. We should approach it with the lights completely on, well aware of what we want and exactly how we're going to accomplish it.
Michael Shaw is a certified fitness trainer, sports performance nutrition specialist, owner of Shaw Fitness, a member of the Maryland Advisory Council on Physical Fitness, and a fitness/fashion model manager. He can be reached at www.michaelroyshaw.com.