Have you seen some really great weight loss transformations but have noticed some big differences between people in the before and after? For example, many that have lost weight but don’t look too muscular while others have much more muscle. When both types lift weights (and genetics only plays a small role) what makes some build really great muscle while others seem like they don’t? Harder workouts? More protein? And another key factor to consider in all of this is the relationship between your OVERALL GOALS and the IMMEDIATE NEEDS of your body.
I’ve been a trainer for over 20 years, and as an Elite Master Trainer for 15 of those years I’ve taught and certified other trainers. Every trainer should be asking about your overall goals but it’s your immediate needs of your body that must first be addressed before your overall goals can be realized. Taking care of first things first will prepare your body most effectively in achieving those overall goals. There are progressive steps in both exercise and nutrition that produce specific physiological changes leading to desirable adaptive responses. Think of your body as having a blueprint for being in optimal shape (how you’d like it to be). Your body was designed to be able to achieve that. But through the process of how your body got to where it may be today the original blueprint got damaged and your body’s processes are no longer all working as they should be. The harmony between each of your physiological systems became disrupted. When the body goes through any period or any form of neglect it evolves, doing everything it can to adapt to its environment in order to reach a new state of homeostasis or balance. But in doing so in an effort to survive, the outcome is not a healthy one.
Now restoring balance and harmony takes patience and a progressive approach that works with what state the body is in at any given time so that it may adapt to a higher level of functioning. And then as it adapts, the approach being followed must also reflect the body’s changing needs. This is why it’s so very important to a) appreciate how there is an inherent wisdom (beyond our understanding) at work within the miracle of the human body, and b) respect the body’s natural processes and have faith in the progressive approach behind your transformation. For example, when carrying excess body fat the state of insulin sensitivity, digestive hormones, fat-storing hormones vs fat-burning hormones and muscle-building hormones are not the most conducive for building and revealing muscle in an optimal manner until body fat percentage drops to lower levels. Your body needs to become more “fat-adapted” which means it becomes more efficient at burning fat as fuel. This is not to say that you cannot build muscle while decreasing your body fat, but that the body needs to decrease its body fat to a greater degree before it can experience a significant shift in its ability to build muscle, and for the muscle you already have (and continue to build) becomes more readily visible.
In my “Before” I did not know what I didn’t know about trying to achieve a transformation through just exercise and healthy eating. I did not fully understand the finer details about nutrition related to proper nutrient timing, protein intake, or the importance of smart supplementation. Without changing a single thing about how I exercised, in 18 weeks I lost 20lbs of fat while gaining 18lbs of muscle.
Lastly, to address the point about the differences you see in muscularity between people, it’s due to a combination of factors. Diet, supplementation and exercise must ALL be in place and followed with great consistency so they are all synergistically working together. For example, I used to struggle myself with gaining and losing the same 10lbs of muscle no matter what I did. Then I took a much closer look at my diet. I started to record everything I ate daily for 18 weeks and introduced some essential supplementation. Instead of thinking I was drinking enough water, or eating enough protein, or not going too long without eating, I kept a simple food record to take out the guesswork and ensure I was doing EVERYTHING I was supposed to be doing EVERY SINGLE DAY. While doing this I NEVER changed anything with how I was exercising. In 18 weeks I gained 18lbs of muscle and lost 20lbs of body fat (as shown here in my “before” and “after” pics)…because I was not only 100% COMMITTED to doing EVERYTHING with GREAT CONSISTENCY, but I was also TRACKING EVERYTHING so I knew with 100% CERTAINTY that NOTHING was being left out. There were no “cracks” through which results could escape me! My first breakthrough was about bringing together ALL the pieces of the puzzle simultaneously and committing to them with greater consistency while also discovering a few missing links in my nutrition. When given time to restore a higher level of balance within the body so it begins to function like the miracle it is you’ll be amazed at what’s possible!
There is one key consideration here that must also be mentioned…Although experiencing a true breakthrough and achieving your best results requires 100% commitment and consistency, if (for whatever reason) you find yourself falling short, still continue doing the best you can at any given moment regardless of what else is going on in your life. You always want to strive towards giving it your “ALL“, but avoid being “all-or-nothing“…continue to do what you can, and when you are not 100% the worst thing you can do is to get discouraged and give up. Still doing anything is always better than doing nothing.