Two weeks ago a new member at Hustle Fitness came to me asking several questions about our training programs and what she needed to do to get results. I love when members ask me these types of questions. They are a chance not only to educate and but also to help people become more committed to their program. After talking with this member it became clear she had a lack of understanding regarding training and nutrition. It was also clear that she had been given some misinformation in the past. And this isn’t her fault! It reminded me of how much oversaturation of information (and misinformation) there is in fitness. Therefore, I’d like to use this as an opportunity to educate by referencing an article by Alwyn Cosgrove (a mentor of mine.) Thirteen years ago he wrote an article called “The Hierarchy of Fat Loss” - which I think is still relevant. Below, I break down his five-leveled hierarchy, with the most important at #1 and the least important at #5.
- Correct Nutrition: You can’t out train a bad nutrition. (see below)
- Correct Nutrition (Yes, it’s that important and its easier than you think)
- Activities that promote muscle tone, elevate metabolism, and burn calories. (Think strength activities, circuits, supersets, density sets, drop sets, descending sets, ect.)
- Activities that elevate metabolism and burn calories. (Think interval training, sprinting, battle rope training, etc.)
- Activities that burn calories. (Including both high and low intensity. Think running or walking, traditional ‘cardio’, everyday activities like biking to work or doing laundry.)
I want to expand on some of these principles and also elaborate on other important aspects of the journey: I believe these are keys to success for seeing any kind of fitness results.
- Nutrition: Many people become nervous or embarrassed when I mention nutrition. Just keep in mind we’re not pushing for a large radical change of everything at once! Think of nutrition rather as the building of habits, of becoming better and smarter about what you consume that gives you energy. I believe in working with people where they are. If you eat McDonalds every day I’m not going to detail why you should eat grassfed beef and organic broccoli. Rather than making a severe change or a starting a diet, it’s easier and more beneficial to add healthy options on top of preexisting habits. Then we can build from there over time!
- Movement: You can do all the right exercises and follow the right program but if you don’t move or use your body well your results will be greatly limited - or worse you will get injured! Focusing on the quality of movement when doing any exercise is the absolute most important. It’s completely acceptable - and preferable - to slow down or reset and exercise if you feel you’re moving incorrectly. This is even more important if you have a job that limits your movement. Focusing on improving the quality of movement can help empower you on a daily basis even when you aren’t working out. We approach this the same way as above, we’ll work with you where you’re at and improve one step at a time!
- Strength: When people first come to us oftentimes they mention that they desire to become stronger but don’t really understand what that means. On one hand getting stronger will give you better results in the gym, but more importantly it can help prevent injuries and give you functional strength to improve your daily activities. You may not care how many pushups you can do but it is a great empirical way to measure if you are actually getting stronger and if your program is working. If increasing your leg strength helps you with everyday activities or helps you complete your first 5k that’s a win! Once again, we’ll meet you where you’re at and begin to improve the strength on step at a time and improve the areas that need improving!