Do you want to change your body shape? Maybe you want to lose weight or develop more muscle mass? Maybe you’d like both. Whatever your goal, all bodybuilding or weight loss programs are going to take time, so a great way to start is by drawing up a fitness plan.
1. Set a healthy and achievable target weight with a shape up routine that can be easily maintained.
Don’t aim for an unrealistic or unhealthy body shape. Severely underweight people are certainly not healthy. At the other end of the scale, even the most shredded muscular physique cannot be maintained indefinitely.
2. Use body fat calipers to work out your fat and lean body mass ratio or perhaps ask your gym to measure you.
A great way to get your exercise program off on the right foot is to get a set of body fat calipers. This instrument measures your body fat and lean muscle mass ratio. It is important to have an accurate measurement of your fat / lean muscle ratio from the very beginning of your program, rather than relying on the bathroom scales.
Scales are inaccurate because they do not let you know if you have replaced body fat with lean muscle. They give you the same reading regardless of dramatic changes in your body. You may have reduced body fat but replaced that weight with lean muscle. Unfortunately, your bathroom scales are unable to detect that difference. If you attend a gym you could ask them to do this measurement for you, as they will have the correct instruments. When you are training you need motivators to keep you on course. body fat calipers allow you to see any results immediately helping you stay on track.
Check your progress on a monthly basis. This will allow you to see any changes and plot progress. Don’t check yourself any more than this as there are natural changes in the body throughout a period of a month, depending on whether you are retaining water, perhaps from food you have eaten. It is best for females to check themselves after their period has finished due to water retention. Try to stick to the same part of the month when you record your fat/lean muscle mass ratio.
3. Measure four folds of skin with your body fat calipers and work out your body fat/lean muscle percentage by using the table provided with them.
Body fat calipers measure the thickness of a fold of skin. There are 4 places on the body where a measurement should be taken, because of where these places are someone else can help you do this. They are,
· Centre of the back of arm (the triceps)
· Centre of the front of arm (the bicep)
· The back, just below the shoulder blade at a 45% angle.
· The waistline between the hipbone and the naval horizontally.
By recording your fat/lean muscle ratio regularly you can see positive changes in your body that you wouldn’t normally be seen with a set of weighing scales. 4. Work out a diet plan. Remember, you don’t have to starve, just eat the right foods.
5. Work out an exercise routine incorporating stretches, a cardiovascular routine and weight training for all the muscles.
6. Check your improvements on a monthly basis, no more than this. It will encourage you on when you start to lose heart or waver.
7. Stick to it, even if you have a bad few days just start again and you’ll soon be looking and feeling fantastic.