Sprinters Vs Joggers – Who is Leaner?

sprinters

So here’s a concept for you. I’m willing to bet that in your lifetime you’ve seen plenty of overweight joggers, and probably never an overweight sprinter (I’m talking sprinters who are actually half decent!). Ever wondered why this is? I’d bet it probably never crossed your mind but now you’re thinking about it you’re realising I’m right. So what am I getting at here, essentially what makes a sprinter so lean? They certainly don’t go and spend 2 hours on a treadmill counting the calories as they burn. So why do all the thousands (maybe millions) of overweight people around the world continue to steadily pound the Cross Trainer, Stairmaster, Exercise Bike or whatever your chosen method of cardio exercise is in an attempt to drop body fat and chase down that elusive slim line figure we all might aspire to? The answer quite simply is that people have been misinformed. For an awful long time personal trainers and the general public alike considered longer distance training (LISS training-Low Intensity Steady State) to be the primary weapon is dropping body fat, to a certain extent this is true, you are increasing the energy expenditure of the body and this in turn will eventually help to drop body fat. However the problems with this sort of training are numerous (who can afford two hour training sessions? Plus it’s boring as hell!). Thankfully however, there is a much more effective and quicker way to lose body fat, and it’s actually easier!

 

The contender? Well consider the sprinter, someone who is incredibly lean and who utilises a training programme consisting of short, maximal exercise bursts and numerous sessions spent lifting weights. How this translates to the general public is that fat loss requires weight sessions and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Effective fat loss programmes these days incorporates both of these elements. The reasons for their effectiveness are very simple.

 

Lifting Weights – Whilst you’re sat reading this your body will be burning calories, there are a whole host of things that will dictate how many calories you burn but one of the primary contributing factors is the amount of muscle tissue you have. The more muscle your body is carrying the higher your basal metabolic rate (amount of calories you burn when doing nothing!). Now I’m not talking bodybuilder levels of muscle, I’m saying that simply increasing your muscle mass a tiny amount can have a huge impact on your fat burning capabilities. Building muscle can only be done using resistance training, and running on a treadmill just won’t cut it. Don’t be put off by the idea of needing to lift heavy weights however; you can actually build muscle in the human body by just doing bodyweight exercises, so it’s certainly achievable for anyone! But essentially an increase in muscle means an increase in calories burnt each day. 

 

HIIT – The second component is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This type of training can come in many guises but essentially refers to a short period of almost maximal exertion followed by a short rest period, this is then repeated multiple times. This type of training only needs to last around 15-20 minutes to have a profound effect on fat loss. The reason behind this is that you burn calories whilst exercising, however the critical difference to the LISS training is that with HIIT you also continue to burn a huge number of calories over the next few hours (Reportedly up to even 24 hours) after the exercise has finished. Put simply this is due to the HIIT session having a profound effect on the physiological demands and consequent hormone balance within the body. This makes a 20 minute HIIT burn up to 4 or 5 times the amount of calories that an hour or two on the treadmill might burn, plus this sort of training is over in a fraction of the time and is far more interesting to undertake as you can mix and match a whole host of exercises within an HIIT circuit. It really is a win win type of session!

 

fat joggerThe real take home message here is that yes your long cardio sessions do have a time and a place and can form part of a fat loss plan. However the real fat loss gains exist in lifting weights and HIIT training, and the real beauty to this revelation is that there are a whole host of different exercise sessions out there to tick those HIIT and weight session boxes, so get out there, give it a bash, and really start reaping the rewards of your hard work!

 

As a side note HIIT and weight sessions (using bodyweight circuits and weight sessions) are elements that all my SwiftPT plans utilise to get very rapid weight loss results in a very short space of time where the sessions are personally tailored to achieve the best results for each client. So if you’re interested in trying HIIT sessions and in lifting weights for fat loss then you know where to look, I’m always happy to help!

How a ‘Diet’ Should Be…

All too often in modern day society people get hooked on a fad diet, being honest we’ve all been there at one point in time, eating barely anything trying to chase the body of our dreams only to find we lose a few pounds, get fed up with that way of living and yo-yo our weight back to where it came from! Pair that with certain diets (won’t name names) that categorise food groups as ‘sins’ and constant conflicting reports as to what’s SwiftPT exercise and Nutrition plans Vegetableshealthy and what isn’t in the news and it’s no wonder we struggle to achieve our body goals!

The solution to most of this is quite simply a change of mind set and it’s actually a very simple concept. The SwiftPT plans are based around fuelling your body correctly for its needs but doing it in a way that increases fat loss.

The human body requires food to survive and undergo its everyday activities, too often people believe that starvation (missing a meal here and there) will help to drop body weight and the fact of the matter is that this simply isn’t true. Missing meals and entering periods of starvation actually puts the human body into a sort of storage mode meaning you simply won’t achieve your weight loss goals, it may well work for a couple of days here and there but it is not sustainable and the body will soon catch on with what you’re doing and try to keep hold of its body fat, and what’s more when you do then eat the body holds onto it even more tightly, making the problem even worse.

SwiftPT exercise and nutrition plans meal idea 2Similar to this we need fuel in our body to build muscle, the more muscle we have the greater the number of calories we burn in a day (even when we’re just sat around doing nothing!) and when I say build muscle I don’t mean looking like a bodybuilder, I mean simply having a bit more tone and definition all over your body. Therefore we need to eat properly to build muscle and accelerate fat loss!

For these reasons (and many others) the solution to lose body fat is to fuel the body properly with the right combination of fats, protein and carbohydrates. All too often the media will slate carbohydrates or fats, telling you that they alone are the cause of the nation’s fat gain. This simply isn’t true, no food group will ‘make you fat’ when eaten in the right proportions, the problem we have as a species is an incorrect relationship with food where we don’t actually know how much we need and what it should comprise of! The SwiftPT plans address this on an individual level, pinpointing how much food you really need, pairing it with effective training methods and shedding body fat whilst allowing the client to eat properly.

The result of all this is a plan that provides people with a ‘diet’ that is not a diet in the conventional sense, I encourage you to eat more food (in the form of 3 meals a day and snacks) but in the right amounts and at the right times to compliment your training whilst fitting seamlessly into your day to day life. The result of this is an education and most importantly a plan that is sustainable for the rest of your life, essentially a fat loss plan that allows you to happily and comfortably get to your goal weight and stay there!

The results? Great looking and delicious meals that actually results in brilliant fat loss results! A lot of these meals actually have accompanying recipe videos that can be found on the SwiftPT social media platforms. If you’re interested then see the links for Instagram/Facebook/Twitter below!

 

Meals and progress

Eating ‘Clean’

Eating ‘clean’ is a phrase banded about a lot in modern day society and there are a lot of benefits to it. The concept is SwiftPT exercise and Nutrition plans Vegetablesbasically that you take the raw ingredients and create your meals rather than use the processed ‘ready meals’ that so commonly make up our meal times. The simple benefits are that we avoid a lot of nasty additives, sugars and chemicals that hinder our ability to lose fat whilst also being able to accurately measure what we actually put into our body.

Admittedly it’s a lot easier said than done, to all intents and purposes eating ‘clean’ would mean making things like pasta from scratch which in everyday life we just don’t have time for. Therefore we need to understand which food types are acceptable to take as they are and which we should avoid.  The general rule as I see it is to use things like breads, rice and pasta as they are and everything else can be made very easily and much more healthily from scratch. With regards to the breads, rice and pasta I would advise wholemeal versions of all three as they have a much kinder effect on the body. The exception to this rule would be protein shakes if and when you ever use them, whilst they are not strictly eating ‘clean’ they do sometimes have their uses. Ultimately the concept of eating ‘cleaner’ is a better and more sustainable outlook than just trying to eat ‘completely clean’!

When it comes to making meals I tend to decide what to eat depending on what training has been done that day. If I take a day off I would try and limit the amount of carbohydrates I eat during the day as a whole and especially towards the end of the day. Whilst on a training day I would advise meals rich in carbohydrates all through the day. The reasoning here is that after exercise carbohydrate stores need replenishing, whilst on an off day they don’t need ‘topping up’ as much! Having said this there is absolutely nothing wrong with having carbohydrate rich meals every day of the week as you can still lose body fat whilst eating carbohydrates. The key to fat loss is in the amount of calories (and how many of these calories are made from carbohydrates) we eat in a day which is described fully in the full SwiftPT Guides.

SwiftPT exercise and Nutrition plans MeatClean eating is well worth paying attention to and learning about, there are many excuses for not seeing it through, ranging from cost to available time, however I don’t feel you can put a cost on your health and fat loss goals, and I’m hopefully able to prove to you that clean food is just as quick and easy as those fast food alternatives! I never used to enjoy cooking and always took the easy routes, however a better understanding of my food and body functions has led me to thoroughly enjoy cooking ‘cleaner’, and I genuinely feel an awful lot better for it! I hope you enjoy my meal ideas shared through social media (Follow the links at the top of the page) and reap the benefits for yourselves too!

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Example Meal Idea

Carbohydrates and Fat Loss – Debunking the Myths

 Carbohydrates have a very mixed reputation in the health and fitness swiftpt personal training plans blog carbohydrates and fat loss pastaindustry and are usually the bugbear of many a person trying to lose weight, whilst the truth is that the term ‘carbohydrates’ is a very broad label that can’t just be banded about as loosely as it is.

Starting very simply carbohydrates provide our body with its primary source of fuel (which is especially important when we exercise regularly), without them our simple bodily functions will suffer, with too many of them we gain weight, so where’s the middle ground? And why do so many people support ‘zero carb diets’?

In my experience a lot of the ‘fad diets’ and plans that utilise very minimal carbohydrate intakes just do not work, mainly because they are unsustainable. The main premise is that by starving the body of carbohydrates we switch to utilising energy from stored fat, and whilst this does in fact work it usually does so with severe drops in energy levels, intestinal discomfort and a general struggle to stick to the ‘plan’ and that final point is key, being able to stick to a plan that works is critical in chasing your goals! I am a strong believer in lowering carbohydrate intake to a point, but am much more interested in eating smarter, therefore I advise staying away from zero carb diets and make your goals a lot more achievable. SwiftPT fat loss and toning programmes utilise this and explain in more depth how to exactly portion out your carbohydrate intake. However the main take home message here is that I would stay away from the zero or very low carbohydrate diets that tend to do the rounds!

Understanding what exactly carbohydrates do is also critical, they provide energy as already stated but when ingested they trigger an insulin spike, this insulin acts to store the carbohydrates, any carbohydrates that aren’t currently required by the body are typically stored, as fat. Controlling this insulin spike is critical, carbohydrates can be classed as high glycaemic or low glycaemic, this refers to how much of an insulin spike you trigger when you consume them. Sugary foods such as sweets, white pasta, white bread are considered high glycaemic, therefore promoting a greater insulin spike and consequently resulting in greater storage of carbohydrates, great for athlete recovery or those gaining weight, not so great for those chasing fat loss! So we want to aim for low glycaemic foods ideally, lowering the insulin response and reducing fat gain. A few examples of low glycaemic foods are below:

  • Brown Breadswiftpt personal training plans blog carbohydrates and fat loss bread (1)
  • Brown Pasta
  • Brown Rice
  • Starchy vegetables

It is also worth noting at this point that the insulin effects of many foods can be lowered even further by having an intake of protein or fat alongside the carbohydrates by slowing down the processing and absorption of the carbohydrate. Hence fully rounded meals with a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates are recommended. 

So the outcome of this is by making a few simple changes to the type of carbohydrate you eat and what you eat them with, can have massive effects on how your body operates, simultaneously allowing you to use carbohydrates in a fat loss plan and finding that plan a lot more attainable as a lifestyle, the key here is to utilise the correct carbohydrates in the correct portion sizes to achieve your goals, details of which are mapped out in the full SwiftPT plans!

SwiftPT – A New Dawn

Swiftpt Personal Training and Nutrition programmes - David SwiftFirstly welcome to my SwiftPT website, I hope you’re well! I decided to launch this business venture in August 2014, the aim, to help and inspire people to achieve their health and fitness goals, by providing nutrition and exercise plans that work!

 

Post London 2012 the motto within the UK has been to inspire a generation and this very much continues to this day, I was unlucky in my pursuit of an Olympic spot at the consequent Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics however I am now in the midst of pushing on to representation at 2018 instead. Critical to this next 4 years is this concept of inspiring a generation, as an athlete representing our country UK Sport and the National Lottery are keen for me to continue this attitude by attending schools, educating people and giving back to the communities that have in many cases given an awful lot in getting me to where I am today. I hope also to go one better, to inspire and help lead people in their health, exercise and fitness goals.

 

The path that has led me to where I am today has given me great insight and fantastic learning opportunities within multiple health and fitness settings and I am looking to pass this on in my exercise, lifestyle and nutrition guides to all of you! Achieving your goals is never down to chasing a fad, there is never any silver bullet for success. What does work is sticking to a tried, tested and proven method over a decent stretch of time. My programmes are 12 weeks in length as this is more than adequate in achieving fantastic results, in fact in many cases people notice real differences after only a couple of weeks. Whatever your situation SwiftPT can help you and I would love to welcome you to being part of the team, so take a look around and make that first conscious decision to start chasing down that goal!

 

This is just the beginning of many great things ahead…

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