Being a personal trainer in West Los Angeles, people want to reach their goals yesterday. Goal setting is a big foundation for my client’s training regimen. Without goals, there is no real motivation to get in the gym, push hard, and eat right. Sure you could use the argument that you are paying someone and that should be motivation enough, but unless there is an intrinsic motivation you’re pretty much screwed when it comes to getting results. When making goals, we use the SMART principle:
There also has to be specific actions to match those goals. For Myra, her goal was to lose 3 pounds in the month. Now, I’m not big on using weight as an indicator for body composition changes, but some people have tougher skin than others which makes body fat testing impossible with skin calipers. So, weight it was! We looked at Myra’s current training, nutrition, and lifestyle to find which variables we needed to manipulate to achieve the goals she wanted. We realized Myra only got two hours of physical activity a week and was in need of changing up her macronutrient (protein, fat, carbs) partitioning.
Sticking to my method of changing one variable at a time, our action for Myra was to train with me 1 more hour each week and 1 on her own, as well as using carbohydrate timing to take care of her insulin resistance (yes this is two variables but in 2 separate categories; nutrition and exercise). ***Carbohydrate timing is basically enhancing insulin sensitivity via resistance training to ensure the body is storing the carbohydrates as energy instead of fat.
At the end of the month, I got a text from Myra that she had lost 3.8 lbs- almost 1 more lbs than our goal! I believe both variables we changed factored into the equation, but increasing her frequency was the biggest game changer. Which brings me to my next question, how many times should we train per week?
I believe the magic number is 6 hours of physical activity a week for any type of results. Yes, you can’t out-train a poor nutrition protocol, and yes you’ll probably get injured if you balls out for each 6 days, so what type of physical activity you do in these 6 hours will influence the degree of results you get. I consider anything from walking to crossfitting until you puke as physical activity.
Even the government, which is extremely conservative in their exercise prescriptions, advises 5 hours per week for any type of body composition change. I’m going to one up them here and say 6 🙂
What does my 6 hours a week look like?
30 minutes – Walking to and from work
2 hours – 4 (30) minute hypertrophy weight training sessions
1 hour – warm up and corrective exercise prior to weight training
30 Minutes – High intensity intervals or circuit training
1 hour – Moderate intensity cardio
40-55 hours – Training my clients (I once put a pedometer on and saw I walk 3 miles a day)
Tips for your 6 hours of physical activity:
- Make time for physical activity types you really enjoy
- Vary intensities
- Take a full day off
- Eat accordingly
A big shout out to Myra on being client of the month! She will be getting these Lululemon crop bottoms as a BIG THANK YOU for all her hard work.