Everyone wants to stay in shape, but often it can be difficult to know exactly how to achieve your goals, especially if you’re new to the fitness scene. The Back2Fitness team aims to do this just this, to educate and improve people’s lives through fitness and nutrition. We asked them for five top tips to get you started on your own fitness journey…
Former Leicester Tigers legend and England 2003 World Cup winner Neil Back MBE is among the many success stories of Back2Fitness. After retiring from professional rugby, it quickly became apparent that Neil’s busy day-to-day life and devoting more time to his family, prevented him from training, with lean mass quickly being replaced with body fat.
Neil teamed up with Strength and Conditioning coach, Sam Yassin, to tackle his own fitness and to help other men discover the fitness of their youth by creating a simple and realistic 12-week fitness and exercise plan. Neil began to see positive results just a fortnight in, and after completing the programme his body fat percentage dropped from 11.9% to 8.2%.
As a dad himself, Neil understands the difficulties of trying to balance work, family and keeping fit, which is why his fitness suffered after retiring from the pitch. Now, the Back2Fitness team want to pass on their ultimate tips to help you get into shape:
1. Do cardio AND weight training
If you’ve been keeping track of what’s going on in the fitness world, you’ll know just how popular HIIT (high-intensity interval training) has become. That’s because HIIT is extremely effective in terms of time and burning fat. Most people now choose this form of cardio as you can mix it up with so many different exercises – it’s almost impossible to get bored when you’re always doing something different. Variations of squats, burpees and lunges are among a few of our favourite exercises to incorporate in a HIIT session.
We always use a HIIT session at the end of a strenuous weight-lifting session to really maximise our energy expenditure. Some people think that lifting weights isn’t essential for calorie burning but we can assure you, it definitely is. We would advise training muscle groups or lower body and upper body on set days so that muscles have enough time to recover in between workouts.
2. Be consistent
Habitual behaviour is crucial to getting the most from exercise and you shouldn’t expect to see results overnight. Sticking to a routine on a weekly basis will help you to focus on the task at hand, which is especially important for busy dads. It’s easier to properly plan workouts around work lives and the kids if you know exactly when to workout. And before you know it, you’ll start to see positive results which will give you the motivation to carry on.
3. Don’t use the scales to track progress
Don’t become too obsessive when it comes to checking weight either, monitoring yourself every day is an absolute no-no. You’ll quickly be able to tell if your body composition has changed through your use of sight and feel, as we believe that tracking progress should be done through looking at old pictures and use of clothes. Scales tend to give you an inaccurate measure, particularly if you’re gaining muscle – we all know that muscle weighs more than fat!
4. Drink water and eat broccoli – lots of it!
This is probably the most important tip of them all. You might be doing all of the above but fail to see any kind of improvements and that will be a result of not re-fuelling properly. Protein, fats, carbs and greens are all you need to have a really great physique. Not only that, but good nutrition and staying hydrated will work absolute wonders for your energy levels, too.
5. Get into the right mindset
It’s important to remember how far you’ve come. If you’ve had a bad day, either eaten more than you wanted or not made it to the gym, just think about your progress. It’s always worth reminding yourself of how far you’ve come.
Keeping a positive frame of mind throughout will ensure you continue to maintain your progress. And if you’re not happy, take a little break, enjoy yourself and then get back to work. You CAN do it!
To find out more about Back2Fitness, visit back2fitness.co