Our Fitness Blog
It Does Not Look Like You Workout That Much
A while back, I was at a conference giving a nutrition and fitness presentation. After my presentation, a woman came up to me and wanted to talk about her current workout routine. She was very energetic and enthusiastic about her workouts and it was obvious that she really enjoyed working out. Going to the gym every day was not a struggle; it was just a part of her lifestyle.
She went through her weekly workout schedule with me and it included weightlifting, swimming, cycling, running and boot camp classes. She estimated her total weekly workout time to be 12-15 hours per week. Her workout intensity was very high during virtually every workout. Her mindset was that more/harder workouts are better. She also mentioned that she regularly participates in 5K & 10k running races, obstacle course races and triathlons.
She then expressed her frustration. She was 5 feet tall, 170 pounds and she said that despite her high volume of weekly workouts, she still remained overweight and obese. She mentioned that when she would talk with friends and coworkers about how much she works out, often times, their response and reaction would be, "it does not look like you work out that much?" And she completely agreed with them, as this was part of her frustration. She said that one of her main goals was to "look the part" of an individual that works out this much. She has goals of being much leaner and lighter and she mentioned that she wants to have a very nice, athletic looking figure, that reflects all of the time, effort, energy and hard work she's putting into her workouts.
We then started to discuss her nutrition. She mentioned that Monday through Thursday she "eats perfectly." But then she said, Friday Saturday Sunday, not so much. She was very open and honest when describing her nutrition. She mentioned that she is very social and enjoys going out on the weekends and eating "bar food" and consuming a good amount of beer and wine. She said it was not uncommon at all to knock back a couple (or even a few) bottles of wine every weekend as well as a few beers.
Her question was then, "what do I need to do to lose 70 pounds of body fat and achieve the physique I desire and have the athletic looking body that reflects my high volume of workouts?"
The goal here is pretty simple, this individual, like so many others, wants to get a bigger and better return on their investment of workout time. Let's put this into a work/business example. What this woman is experiencing in terms of her workouts and the resulting body composition is no different than an individual putting in twice as many hours in their work and/or business and then earning half as much. My guess is that we would not have any takers for this one; I just don't think that anyone voluntarily wants to work twice as much and earn half as much. So, what are some steps this individual can take in order to get a bigger and better return on her investment of workout time?
This is really a "choose your own adventure"; there's no right or wrong way, rather, it all comes down to choices and consequences. We first have to understand that we cannot outwork improper nutrition. There's no better example of this than the example above. This individual’s inability to achieve her body composition goals is not due to a lack of workout time, not even close. Therefore, before we talk about the X's & O's in terms of changes that can be made, we first have to reassess our goals and our commitment level.
My first suggestion was that this individual has to be sure that her goals and commitment level are aligned because right now, they are not. Her goal of wanting to be a lean 100 pounds (remember, she is 5 feet tall) is a very big and great goal. But the commitment level is not matching because of her desire to overeat and over drink Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week. Therefore, she has to ask herself what is more important. In this case, either the commitment level has to increase or the goal has to decrease in order for the goal versus commitment level to be properly aligned.
Next, this individual's volume of working out is just fine. It's not too much (that is of course as long as the body is being properly fueled for the volume of working out). But, the super-high intensity at every workout is an area that needs to be addressed. Working out more/harder is not the key to success, rather, working out smarter is the key to success and this is where heart rate training becomes a critical piece to the puzzle.
And, this is where your 9Round workout becomes that much more valuable. During your 9Round workout, the key is to stay in the green and yellow heart rate zones; this way, you will get the maximum out of your workout, you will teach your body to become more efficient, you will teach your body to spare glycogen and facilitate fat as its primary fuel source.
Another critical piece to the puzzle is sleep quality and quantity. If an individual desires improved performance, recovery and body composition, getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night is a must-have.
Lastly, nutrition-nutrition-nutrition; this is where every ounce of focus needs to go for this individual. I think her focus on her workouts is fantastic. I commend her for her awesome workout frequency and her love and enjoyment for the workouts that she is doing. But, if she truly wants to get the results that she desires, eating right (not eating healthy) has to be first and foremost.
Whether an individual is looking to lose 100+ pounds of body fat, improve their performance as an elite/professional athlete or anywhere in between, proper nutrition and eating right must be top priority. And this is where 9Round Nutrition helps take the thinking out of this process for you. When an individual follows 9Round Nutrition, spot-on, their eating frequency, nutrient timing and balance of carbohydrate-protein-fat, at every meal and snack, will be right on the money.
In summary, if you find yourself in a very similar position to this individual, no worries; we just have to start making a few adjustments in order to set the body up for success. But, keep in mind, before we start to make the necessary adjustments, we first have to have that knee-to-knee, eye-to-eye with ourselves. Pull up a chair, set it in front of a mirror take a seat and have a heart-to-heart talk with that individual staring back at you. What are your goals? What is your commitment level? Are these aligned? If they are, fantastic, get out there and get after it. If not, continue the conversation until they become aligned and at that point, you will have taken a big first step in setting yourself up for great success.
WORKOUT SMART, EAT RIGHT, GET RESULTS™!
Dr. Rick Kattouf II
2x Best-Selling Author
9Round Nutrition Coach
Named One of America’s PremierExperts® in Nutrition & Fitness
Named One Of The World Fitness Elite® Trainers Of The Year