I feel like the words ‘meal prep’ are often associated with an image of bland af chicken breast, broccoli and sweet potato. No wonder people are turned off ‘healthy eating’ and meal prepping. Today I want to cover my tips for fast, delicious and easy meal prep - one of the hardest parts about staying on track is being in an environment that doesn’t promote our goals (think a pantry full of chocolate, work kitchens with donuts and fast food options for take out). If we’re surrounded by this, it makes achieving our goals so much harder, so meal prepping is one of the BEST ways to progress to your goal.Read More
As some of you may be unaware, I’m currently 2 weeks deep into a mini cut (short period aggressive fat loss phase) to shed some fat gained from my rebound post competition (WBFF Bikini Competition October 2018). In the spirit of sharing every step of the way as I promised to you all over on my Instagram I want to share with you how I optimise my fat loss results through my training systems.
Last week on my YouTube I covered how to calculate your BMR, TDEE & PAL (a bunch of fancy abbreviations for figuring out your baseline calories to ensure you’re eating in a caloric deficit). This week, let’s get our heads around training for fat loss (head to my YT if you’d rather listen to me talk about it than read it here). The goal of training for fat loss is to drive up the mobilisation of fatty acids out of where it’s stored in our body through cortisol and adrenaline which increases our calorie expenditure creating an optimal environment for fat loss.
There are different strength qualities that are used when programming for clients depending on their goals. A strength program will look different to a fat loss program which will look different to a program with the goal being hypertrophy. These strength qualities are:
Relative strength 1-5 reps
Functional Hypertrophy 4-8 reps
Hypertrophy 8-20 reps
Strength Endurance (fat loss) 10-20+ reps
Don’t get too stuck with the strength qualities, I’ve lost fat eating in a calorie deficit whilst working in the relative strength - functional hypertrophy strength qualities. Something I’ve recently learned is that you CAN still get strong if you’re working in higher rep ranges (strength endurance). There are a lot of studies out there that prove a certain rep range, rest period and time under tension will achieve certain adaptations in the body. To avoid confusion we’re going to focus on hypertrophy and strength endurance strength qualities. When it comes to fat loss, it’s not just about how many reps you’re doing, the factors I consider are:
Number and type of sets (superset, tri-set, giant set)
Number of exercises
Time under tension (TUT) through tempo, reps + sets
* For fat loss, I like to program anywhere from 20-40 sets total
* 6-8 exercises
* Around 1-3 seconds per rep with a moderate speed (tempo)
* 6-30 reps
* Insufficient rest periods to fatigue muscle fibres, preventing full recovery to create more metabolic damage (10-180 seconds)
* Ensuring you’re increasing your weights on at least the A series each week for hypertrophy adaptations (increasing the size of the muscle), as the more muscle mass we have the more optimal our bodies are for fat loss according to studies.
I like to program more exercises as a full body workout for my fat loss clients, as this is an incredibly effective way to mobilise our fat from its storage with a better chance to oxidise (use fat as fuel).
In terms of exercise selection, using bigger compound movements such as squats (all variations), deadlifts, leg press etc.. will allow us to move more weight, recruit more muscle fibres + energy, so I like to start with these for the A and B series, and then finish with more metabolic work/ isolated movements to jack up the heart rate!
Hopefully this has give you a deeper understanding to how/ what and why we should be programming for fat loss. Personally when I understand the science behind why I’m doing something, it pushes me harder and forces me to use my time more effectively.
These are some of the guidelines I use for my programs (see below), along with cardio and step periodisation. Don’t forget, the biggest key to any fat loss goal, is ensuring you'r nutrition is on point and that you’re eating in a caloric deficit! Nutrition programs available too ;)
Thanks for reading, now go get yo sweat on! X
I’ve been chatting a bit about doing a ‘Reset Diet’ over on my Instagram (@sophactivelife) so I’ve put together the diet I’ll be following to reset my body post Christmas + New Year and I want YOU to follow along with me. But first, I want to talk a little bit about nutrition and explain my reasons for Resetting.
Our food is primarily made up of macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) which I talk about a lot, and the importance of knowing how much of each you’re getting in your daily diet. Our food is also comprised of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) which play a huge role in our body when it comes to our health! Without the micronutrients, our bodies cannot convert the macro’s consumed into energy - ever heard of the saying ‘you are what you eat’?… try ‘you are what you digest, absorb and assimilate’. For this reason, it’s vital to be choosing foods that are abundant in micronutrients that make you feel good! Remember, someone may feel fantastic eating broccoli, another person may have an intolerance. Broccoli is considered a ‘healthy’ food with plenty of micronutrients, however if it makes you feel crap, then avoid it and choose something else!
What you want to be including in your diet as per the Reset Diet I’ve provided are a lot of vegetables, meat, fresh fruit, herbs, spices and whole grains (which sadly didn’t get a gig this time around as we’re also focussing on reducing inflammation and water retention).
On that note, this Reset isn’t about losing heaps of fat, shredding, starving yourself or ‘detoxing’, it’s about making healthy choices that make us FEEL energised. Starting our day on the right foot, getting enough sleep and recovery, fuelling our body with whole foods so we can crush our day and most importantly getting off on the right foot to smash 2019 after what might have been an over-indulgent Christmas and New Year period. Reducing carb intake will help with any inflammation and water retention that can occur from eating processed foods, alcohol and poor sleep. Sufficient protein will help us feel full and increase satiety levels and getting enough good fats in will help with keeping our hormones happy.
Other than the health benefits, there are also mental benefits that come from Resetting. I find when I don’t have short term goals, I don’t feel like I’m working towards anything and lose track. This is my first challenge of the year, and once I get into the routine of eating whole foods again I get the ball rolling and continuing on becomes much easier. People love a New Year resolution, because it’s a fresh start! Same goes for your nutrition. We get a fresh start, we feel good, we’re more likely to stick to it, start seeing results (whether that’s fat loss, improved energy, better sleep, better workouts, bigger muscles - you name it). Consider yourself RESET!
Sounds pretty good right? Are you ready to Reset? Let’s do dis!
The Reset Diet will give you an insight into how I like to program nutrition for my clients. Check out my Training and Nutrition Bundles below for gym OR home trainers and join my squad today! More products available here.
Love Soph xx
As an Instagram fitness influencer kinda person (idk what you call it), I get asked a lot of questions on the reg, and one of the most commonly asked questions is, 'how do I stay on track'. I used to think there was a secret no one was letting me in on with this, how were this fit people always hitting the gym, making healthy food choices and continuously seeing results?! Why wouldn't they share with me HOW?Read More
A few weeks ago I was advised by my (old) coach to go on a Keto diet for 4-6 weeks with fat loss being the main goal. It's been a goal of mine for a while to get below 20% body fat, and then start building muscle by cycling up the carbs + increasing the weights I lift. There are many ways to do this, but I liked the sound of keto for a few reasons:Read More
You guys know I love to work the booty and build them glutes 🍑! What I love about booty days, is you can actually work the booty quite a lot, so I do 3 booty workouts a week! Here is another killer glute workout combined with some upper body. Enjoy!Read More
Eat in a calorie deficit (less calories than you're burning in a day) and you'll lose fat forever right? Not always the case! If you've been eating in a calorie deficit with your goal being fat loss for a while (anywhere from a few months onwards) then there's every chance your metabolism has adapted so well, to the point in which you're no longer able to lose fat. Sure you may have successfully lost a lot or a little fat, but your body cannot sustain this for too long.Read More
Hello my friends! Thank you for hitting up my page for another read, I had heaps of fun writing this! There's nothing more exciting than making the decision to incorporate exercise into your life, so I really hope learning about what I do, and reading my suggestions for how to start helps to kick your butt into gear!Read More
I remember being so confused when I first starting counting macros, I wish I had a super basic guide telling me what to do, how to set up apps to use it (I'm going to use MyFitnessPal here because that's what I use), how to measure food and the basic maths behind it all. Hopefully this blog is super useful for you to get started on your macro journey!Read More
You're eating well and training hard but you don't feel like your clothes are getting any looser, or that number on the scale just won't move, sound familiar? I've totally been there. It was one of the most frustrating places I sat - I was training 3 times a week with a personal trainer absolutely smashing my training consistently and eating so clean, but for some reason I wasn't seeing any changes in my body.Read More