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Saturday, 9 May 2009

The boredom of fat loss

Is anyone else bored of ‘build muscle, burn fat’ training?

Having spent the week training on the beaches of Thailand whilst on a fitness masterminding event, it struck me once again that the ‘build muscle, burn fat’ training programs which have infected the internet are well off-track.

I don’t want to mention specific programs but if you’ve done any searching for fat loss programs on the internet you’ll know what I mean!

The thing is there is nothing wrong with wanting to build muscle and burn fat but as far as I’m concerned it’s a very negative way to approach fitness.

Essentially all you’re doing is making good all the cock-ups you’ve made over the last few years! Good on you for taking the steps to do it, but there’s more to life than just repairing weaknesses.

Many athletes and coaches will tell you that you’re only as good as your weakest link. This may be true in some cases but if you only ever work on repairing weaknesses you’re never going to actually improve your physical abilities or become better able to take on new challenges.

Imagine yourself in 30 years telling your grandchildren all your life stories. Would you rather tell them about the time you were fat and lost 10lbs in 4 weeks or the times you climbed mountains, took on multi-terrain challenges, completed Marine style assault courses, trained in the forest with logs and trees and bears….

Okay maybe not bears.

If you’re carrying more flab than a polar bear than yes, you need to solve that problem but the key to real, long-term, mind-blowing results is to NOT focus on fat loss.

I heard of a guy who lost an astounding amount of body fat by doing just that. I think he lost about 10 stone by believing he was an athlete and living like an athlete. He got up at 5am to train before work, as an athlete might. He also trained after work. He ate like an athlete.

The guy lifted heavy weights like an athlete and performed intense intervals like an athlete.

He did NOT weigh himself everyday.

He then decided he would give Muay Thai a go once he got to a weight that would allow him to take the punishing training.

He did NOT weigh himself everyday or train for fat loss.

He trained to be a Muay Thai fighter and soon looked AND PERFORMED like one.

The key difference in finding something that you actually enjoy enough to continue indefinitely is between training that motivates you and training that inspires you.

The first is what you get with a 6 week fat loss program.

Motivation soon dwindles because fat loss in itself is not a rewarding enough goal for all but a very small minority who are obsesses with their bodies. Even then you have to question how fulfilling their life is.

You then search for other fat loss products for some reason even though the last lot bored you! This is why most people have every famous fat loss e-book on their hard drive but they’re still fat.

To find training that inspires you indefinitely, you need to find challenges with real meaning and excitement!

You may have heard of pleasure versus pain.

When you buy a fat loss product, the clever marketer has preyed on your pain and told you how crap life is because you’re fat. This motivates you.

6 weeks later you either haven’t lost weight and get demoralised, or you reach a point when you don’t need to lose fat and you lose interest in training.

Then you get fat again and the cycle continues.

For permanent results and creation of a body that looks AND performs like an athlete you need to train as if you truly believe you are an athlete, a competitor in a sports event, or even a soldier whose life could depend on their fitness.

Move yourself towards the pleasure end of the spectrum by training for experiences that will make awesome stories when you’re older!

There are infinite possibilities out there you just need to stop being blinkered by the meaningless fat loss bullshit that I really believe is ruining what the fitness industry should be about.

That’s my rant over, now I want to hear your side of the argument!

This may all seem kind of weird coming from the creator of the Fat Loss Action Blueprint but this needs to be said.

I’ll be honest with you.

The FLAB works damn well and gets great fat loss results but the only reason I wrote it in the first place was because I felt some need to jump on the internet fat loss bandwagon.

Hey, we all make misinformed choices - some are just more willing to admit them than others and do something about it!

My attitude has now completely changed with regard to fat loss and I hope this get you thinking!

Let me know your thoughts….

How has fat loss training worked for you in the long and short terms?

Have you found other ways to inspire you which have helped you maintain a long-term focus and inspired you to achieve more with your life than losing a few pounds?

Please leave your comments below!

Jon Le Tocq


Anonymous said...

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ksmall1998 said...

sounds like a lot of what Matt Furey talks about

Sharon said...

I'm inspired to do an olympic length triathlon in August. I jumped on the bandwagon thinking fat loss/muscle building would make me a better triathlete. Maybe I should take a different approach. Thanks for the post.

Debra said...

Main problem with all the "build muscle and lose fat" lines is that to lose fat you have to eat less than you burn. To build muscle, you have eat more than you burn.

You cannot do both at once.

I've used my getting stronger to inspire me to do more. I did Bay to Breakers one year and I hope soon to hike the Grand Canyon.

Jon Le Tocq, Storm Force Fitness said...

ksmall1998 - Not checked out Furey's stuff but he's obviously on the right lines!

Sharon - that's a great goal. What stage are you at now?

Debra - It is actually possible to do both! One of my friends has a great program he's developed which does just that. Just requires careful organisation of training with high and low calorie days. Interesting stuff!


Joanne Butler said...

You certainly can do both. But like Jon says, concentrate on improving your performance and if you train with enough intensity, the muscle and fat loss will come.