Should you get stronger or lose fat first? The biggest problems many overweight and obese individuals face is that they are unable to get strong enough to even follow the most basic fitness plan.
Most fitness plans are built of people who have at least some level of strength and mobility. But what do you do if you’re not even able to do a basic pushup? Follow this 5-point plan:
#1 – Meditation
Yup, before we even try to get ourselves physically strong, we must get ourselves mentally strong. Why? Because any sort of physical change is tough, and you must learn how to fight your internal negativity to help you stay on track.
Here’s how to meditate:
- Step one: Learn to sit quietly. That’s it. In this first stage you do not need to practice any technique. Simply practice your breathing. Adopt a steady rhythm of just breathing and focus on that pace.
- Step two: Watch your thoughts. What I like to do is pretend there’s a camera in my head. As a thought comes up, I just take a picture of it. When I exhale, I imagine throwing that photograph away.
- Step three: Get to the peace zone. After step two, you’ll find yourself just “there.” You’ll be able to get to your “peace zone” rather quickly. This part is actually kind of scary,cuz you feel like you’re in this deserted area, like a forest or something.
- Everything around you is pitch dark. Everything is silent. You see no people, hear no people, and think no people. This is the state of true inner peace, and it’s friggin scary.
- The first time I achieved this zone, I literally opened up my eyes and looked around to see where I was.
- Step four: Listen to your voice. If you can make it past step three, then you’re doing amazing. At this point, there’s no one else around you but yourself. You’re not going to hear any voices – not your parents, your friends, that random guy who cursed at you on the street – no one. So it’s just you talking to yourself. So listen to it.
- Step five – Understand your voice. Once you learn to listen to yourself, you realize what’s really deep inside of you. What’s really bothering you. What’s really hurting you in your subconscious mind.
- Step Six – Step five and six go hand in hand. Now that you understand what’s really bothering you all you need to do now is take out a pen and paper, right down some actions you can take to solve those problems, and go do them.
#2 – Stepping up and Stepping Down
One task we perform on a daily basis is stepping up and stepping down. This could consist of going up or down a flight of stairs, simply walking forwards (perhaps a slight hill), or even stepping in and out of our cars.
If such tasks prove to be very difficult for you, then it’s time to perform the step up exercise:
- Stand in front of a bench or chair. Place one foot on top of the platform. Pressing off from that foot, bring the other foot up to the platform.
- Return to starting position and repeat with the other leg.
Some other ideas:
- Time how long it takes you to climb up a flight of stairs. Rest 2-3 minutes, then try to climb up the stairs faster. Perform this workout 2-3 times per week.
- Perform prisoner squats – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your hands clasped behind your head as if you were a prisoner. From this position, keep your abs tight and back straight. Perform a squat.
- Hold a pair of dumbbells out by your sides when performing the step up exercise.
#3 – Use Dumbbells
You may be able to find dumbbells and other fitness equipment at garage sales. You can also search through Craigslist listings for cheaper free weights.
Dumbbells are a great way to strengthen your muscles and joints. They will also help you build lean muscle mass which in turn aid you in your quest to burn fat.
Lets choose one movement for each basic movement plane:
- Dumbbell Floor Press
- Dumbbell Bent Over Row
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Dumbbell Deadlift
- Dumbbell Squat
These 5 basic movement will take you far. The next step is figuring out how many sets and reps you wish to perform.
When it comes to creating basic workouts, I really like Craig Ballantyne’s approach. Craig Ballantyne is the author of one of the best selling home fitness programs on the Internet –Turbulence Training.
His approach is very simple: perform 2 movements back to back with little to no rest in between each set. Perform 8-12 repetitions for each exercise. Perform 3 total sets. This is a great starting point. Click here for a sample Turbulence Training Muscle Building Workout.
#4 – Isometrics
Isometrics is when you apply pressure to a stationary object. The tension from the contraction is what strengthens the muscle.
There are many ways one can use isometric exercises in the comfort of their own homes.
Your Bed: Yep. You can get a great workout in bed, and is not what you are thinking. A little known fact for those that may be reading this, bed was where Bruce Lee began his workouts. It’s true. Lying in bed Bruce lee went through a series of isometric stretches and holds to get the blood flowing to his muscles and energise and focus him for the day ahead. Take a tip from a legend, start your day the right way. Workout out the minute you wake.
Your Couch: I know, it’s amazing. You can watch TV; listen to the radio, chat with friends and workout. Simple movements like pulling your legs in against the chair strengthens your hamstrings. Pulling in your arms while holding the armrest strengthens your back and lats. A minute of this and gets the muscles awake, strong and invigorate the body with little effort.
Your Door: Next time you leave a room or get up to answer the door get in some strength training. Try pushing against the door with your arms to strengthen and tone your chest and triceps. Push up on the top of the door frame to work your shoulders.
#5 – Eat more Protein
Protein helps rebuild worn out muscles and make them stronger. Dieting is certainly tough, but you can begin by increasing your level of protein. Eating more protein will also help you feel fuller, longer.
Here are some great tips for choosing and maximizing lean protein consumption for fat loss –
Start with a lean choice:
*The leanest beef cuts include round steaks and roasts (round eye, top round, bottom round, round tip), top loin, top sirloin, and chuck shoulder and arm roasts.
*The leanest pork choices include pork loin, tenderloin, center loin, and ham.
*Choose extra lean ground beef. The label should say at least “90% lean”. You may be able to find ground beef that is 93% or 95% lean.
*Buy skinless chicken parts, or take off the skin before cooking.
*Boneless skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are the leanest poultry choices.
*Choose lean turkey, roast beef, ham, or low-fat luncheon meats for sandwiches instead of luncheon meats with more fat, such as regular bologna or salami.
Keep it lean:
*Trim away all of the visible fat from meats and poultry before cooking.
*Broil, grill, roast, poach, or boil meat, poultry, or fish instead of frying.
*Drain off any fat that appears during cooking.
*Skip or limit the breading on meat, poultry, or fish. Breading adds fat and calories. It will also cause the food to soak up more fat during frying.
*Prepare dry beans and peas without added fats.
*Choose and prepare foods without high fat sauces or gravies.
Follow this 5 point plan to get stronger and healthier…
Do not simple exist, conquer!