The Best Type of Exercise For Body Transformation

If you’re new to exercise, or you’re about to switch to a new exercise programme (with the goal to get fit, lose body fat & transform your body) you’re in for a treat!

Expect to see, and feel, noticeable changes, especially in the first few weeks. My body transformation clients are always excited to see their measurements shrinking, their clothes fitting better, feeling more energetic and confident, all within a relatively short time.

But what’s the best way to go about transforming your body?

What tried and tested methods should you use so that you don’t end up spinning your wheels?

The 3 Pillars of Body Transformation.

To lose fat, gain & retain muscle, there are 3 basic tenets.

I call them the 3 pillars of body transformation.

  1. Exercise
  2. Nutrition
  3. Sleep / Rest

These 3 pillars are all interdependent…

In other words, the most amazing exercise programme in the world will have little to no effect if your nutrition is not up to par. Likewise, even if you work out regularly and pay attention to your nutrition, if you’re staying up late every night and not getting enough sleep, your results are likely be less than optimal.

Related: How blue light is disrupting your sleep

In this article we’re going to focus on the first pillar; exercise. In other words, what are the most efficient methods of exercise to transform your body FAST?

1: Resistance Training

It probably won’t come as any surprise to learn that resistance training is the fastest way to shape and sculpt your body.

When we say resistance training we mean just that. Resistance training can refer to body weight exercises, the use of kettlebells, powerbags, bands and TRX. However, for the most part, the use of free weights – barbells, dumbbells, machines etc, is the best way to progressively challenge your body, and in doing so, to develop strong, sexy, toned muscles.

(Ladies, please don’t buy into the myth that lifting weights will “bulk you up.” That’s simply not true. Unfortunately fitness magazines featuring women who take exogenous hormones -ie: steroids – has perpetuated that myth. What lifting weights will do is help you to retain your precious muscle tissue and in doing so enable you to burn more fat and have a higher resting metabolic rate – ie: you’ll burn more calories even when you’re sitting on the couch…)

2: Cardio

Unfortunately a large number of people make the mistake of only doing cardio in the belief that this alone will result in fat loss. Sure, it’s important to have good cardiovascular health (which can also be achieved through resistance training) but many end up throwing in the towel when they realise the scales aren’t budging and their body is failing to take shape.

This is particularly true with what I call, ‘traditional go slow cardio.’ This is the type of cardio where you maintain a slow, even pace, for upwards of 30 minutes.

There are a number of physiological reasons why this is the case, and can be summarised as follows.

Traditional, long duration cardio;

1: Makes your body less efficient at burning calories -ie: Your body quickly adapts and in order to burn the same number of calories you need to do more and more cardio. (Ultimately this becomes physically and psychologically impractical.)

2: Results in the production of more cortisol – our fat storage hormone. (not good!)

This is not to say that all cardio is bad, because there is a time and a place. However, if you want to maximise your results, that is, to produce the desired hormonal response for fat loss, and to do so in much less time than traditional cardio, nothing comes close to interval training.

Typically interval training varies between 10 and 20 minutes, and basically involves short bursts or sprints, interspersed by periods of recovery.

Over the years I’ve used various forms of interval training with my clients, and I feature some of the most effective 20 minute interval workouts in my 8 Week Winter Weight Loss Challenge.

In the coming weeks we’ll learn more about how to use resistance and interval training, including practical workout examples, to take your body to a whole new level!

Watch this space!

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