The 5 Most Common Body Transformation Mistakes

When it comes to transforming your body, there’s the easy way, and there’s the hard way.

If by chance you’ve chosen the ‘hard’ way, I can almost guarantee it’s because you’ve bought into some very common myths. (No, it’s not your fault) Myths that have been around for 20 years or more, and that unfortunately are perpetuated by some fitness gurus, and even well intentioned personal trainers.

No wonder so many people are confused, disillusioned and end up quitting in frustration!

That’s why I’ve spent the last 21 years finding out which exercise & nutrition methods really work, are backed by science and lead to dramatic changes in body transformation.

So here they are, the 5 most common body transformation mistakes;

1) Eating a low fat diet.

The theory was, fat is high in calories, and therefore must lead to an increase in body fat. And while it is true that a gram of fat is higher in calories (than a gram of protein or carbohydrate) eating the right kinds of fat can actually lead to weight loss due to the way fat is metabolised in the body. Go on a low fat diet & expect to have hormonal problems. For example, men & women will experience a decrease in testosterone which can lead to decreased muscle mass, increased body fat, decreased libido and a tendency toward depression.

Side note: The right fats are crucial. We’re talking avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, and make sure to eat the skin & fat on your meat! The wrong fats are the so called ‘healthy’ vegetable oils, canola oil & trans fats which cause inflammation and negatively impact your cholesterol profile.

2) Too much cardio (& the wrong kind of cardio)

When you want to lose weight & transform your body, often the tendency is to hit the roads (or the treadmill) to sweat and burn off those calories. And while cardio has it’s place, if you do too much of it, here’s what happens…

a) Your body starts to economise. Essentially that means that with every cardio workout your body becomes more efficient and you end up burning less and less calories. This means that in order to burn more calories you would need to continually increase the amount of cardio you do. Not only is this very impractical from a time perspective, it’s also causes a lot of wear and tear on the body & can contribute to premature aging.

b) A cardio only approach can make you “skinny fat.” Cardio is notorious for accelerating muscle wasting, and yet the preservation of muscle is crucial for a healthy metabolism & body transformation. Compare the body of a sprinter versus a marathon runner. The sprinter displays very low levels of body fat and has plenty of muscle tissue, whereas the marathon runner typically has higher levels of body fat and much less muscle tissue. It all has to do with the way they exercise…

c) There’s no doubt that steady state cardio can make your body more adept at running, cycling or swimming long distances. These people tend to be aerobically fit but lack anaerobic fitness. Anaerobic fitness (such as interval training) leads to significant increases in heart and lung capacity. Your body is smart, and when you ask your heart and lungs to perform in an unnatural, repetitive manner, such as endless aerobic sessions, your body accommodates these demands by rebuilding our heart, lungs, blood vessels and muscles as small as possible. Not good!
Many people are often perplexed as to why they hear of extreme endurance athletes, supposedly some of the ‘fittest’ people on the planet, dropping dead from heart attacks. Moral of the story. If you’re a fan of long distance, steady state cardio, please do so in moderation. (Read more here)

3) Working out for more than 4 hours per week

Exercise is like a prescription and for body transformation it’s best taken in small doses. Many people think that if they just add a few more minutes here, or a few more sets there, they’ll get better results. Not so. In fact it’s in your best interests to keep your workouts as short as possible as it all has to do with the hormones your body creates when exercising. Long workouts tend to be catabolic, that is, they result in muscle loss, negatively affect your nervous system and eat into your recovery time. Whereas short workouts are anabolic in nature and are more conducive to fat loss, muscle preservation and muscle gain.

For example, the total weekly workout duration of the Biggest Loser 12 Week Challenge is 4 hours, for the Body Blueprint 12 Week Challenge it’s 3 hours, and for the Muscle Morph 12 Week Challenge it’s only 2 hours per week.

4) Using the WRONG exercises

If you want to get the most bang for your buck it’s essential that the majority of strength training exercises you choose are the ones that actually work! Isolation exercises such as bicep curls, tricep pushdowns, crunches & calf raises are best used sparingly. The exercises you need to be doing are the ones that incorporate the most amount of muscle, produce the best hormonal response, and have practical carry over to every day life.

5) Having ZERO accountability

If you’re wanting to achieve the best body transformation possible, it’s crucial to have some form of accountability. A coach or personal trainer that you report to regularly can be the difference between an average transformation or an AMAZING transformation. And don’t forget to tell your friends and family so that they can support you through the 12 week programme, and beyond. If you have a partner, express how important it is for you to achieve your health & fitness goals. Better yet, get them on board with your newfound workout, nutrition & lifestyle habits.

If YOU would like to transform your body just 12 short weeks from now, check out my 12 week challenges starting NEXT WEEK.  

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