Weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
HAPPY New Year folks. It’s a bit different this year isn’t it? Let’s talk a little about two of the major New Year goals people tend to have and how not being able to go to the gym is not a reason to give up on them…
Fat loss goals
A gym is not essential for fat loss. A calorie deficit is the only thing that is essential for fat loss. Less calories being consumed than are being used. A gym can make using up more calories a bit easier but it’s mostly about food. So if you’re motivated to try to lose some body fat this New Year here are a few ideas to consider.
Counting calories is something I think everyone should do for a little while at some stage. I would recommend using an app like MyFitnessPal but definitely ignore the number of calories the app itself recommends you should consume, it’s always way too low and most people won’t be able to stick to it. If you want help figuring out a rough starting point for you, message me @AdamWrightPT on Instagram or Facebook.
Up your protein intake
“Fat loss” instead of “weight loss” implies maintaining muscle mass. Maintaining muscle requires adequate protein intake. Protein comes primarily from meat, fish, eggs, dairy and legumes. It can also be gotten from protein supplements but these are not essential (they can be very useful though). A good place to start for most people would be making sure you’re consuming at least 100g of protein per day, once you’re doing that you get more detailed about tailored targets specific to you. Remember protein contains calories (4 calories per gram of protein) and these calories must be part of your daily calorie intake, not “as well as”.
Eat more vegetables
If you increase your protein intake then you will probably need to reduce your calorie intake elsewhere. This might mean less pasta at dinner or bread at lunch time. Vegetables will usually have less calories than many other foods, so if you find you have to cut down on bread, rice, potatoes or pasta it doesn’t necessarily mean your meals have to be physically smaller if you increase your veggie intake.
A gym is not essential for getting fit. Challenging your current fitness levels in as many ways as you can/ want to is what’s essential. A gym makes this easier, I’ll absolutely agree with you on that, but it isn’t essential. So if you’d love to be working on getting fitter but feel like you can’t because gyms are closed, here are a few ideas to consider.
Fitness has many components
The health related components of fitness are listed as cardiovascular endurance, body composition, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility. You might not be able to work on the exact one you want while the gyms are closed but they’re all connected (like heavy strength work) but you can work on others and be fitter in other ways when you do get back into the gym.
Bodyweight exercises are a valid option
When it comes to maintaining muscle mass (during a lockdown or while cutting body fat) bodyweight exercises are a valid option. High rep walking lunges, push ups, all manner of core work and even inverted rows or pull ups with a little ingenuity will be enough to help general fitness enthusiasts to maintain muscle mass. And even if you consider yourself more specialised something is better than nothing. Doing nothing because you can’t do exactly your thing is only going to result in you losing even more progress.
A weight is a weight
A kilogram is a kilogram. Don’t be too proud to make use of household items for home workouts. Bottles of water, bags of books, piles of sand… heck, even digging a big hole can be a workout. There’s nothing magic about a 20kg barbell over any other thing that weighs 20kg when it comes to fitness. It’s not the exact equipment you use that changes you, it’s the effort you put in as you use it.