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The ultimate guide to getting fit

how to get fit

You know how when people talk about their success with getting fit they rarely talk about the strategy they use?

Like, they might say “I started exercising and eating healthy and I lost 15 lbs!”…but rarely do they dive in and explain HOW they actually got rid of the weight?

What I mean is…

How did they train?

What did they do exactly?

What are they eating?

And most importantly, did they make any lifestyle changes…or they just went on “a diet”?

These are the things I think to myself when I hear someone sharing a “hot new strategy”.

I mean, think about it…

If you want to get fit and look better you’re likely going to wonder how people are getting the results they’re getting, right?

So instead of me using the next few hundred words to tell you how “easy” it is to get an impactful aesthetic physique and look absolutely great even if you are busy I will share my strategy, for staying fit year round without putting my social life on hold.

How to train only a couple of times a week, eat out all the time and still look and feel great?

I thought I would break down the precise strategy I use to get the results I’m after.

How I’m designing a plan that works.

Now I obviously haven’t gone through every single workout/diet plan out there to be able to give an expert opinion on all of them, but I’ve been through my fair share over the past 7 years and this is how I typically see it going down.

  • A new trendy diet/workout plan SHINES.
  • People jump on the bandwagon for the period that is noted in the plan (whether it’s 14 days or 8 weeks).
  • They get some results.
  • Their enthusiasm slowly fades out and they QUIT for good.

That’s it.

And if you’re thinking “sounds like a solid strategy to me”, then I am SO happy you’re here on this page with me right now.

Why?

Because there are so many lost souls that fall for the approach I’ve outlined above.

As a matter of fact 99% of the people who try to get fit, fail miserably. But that’s a whole different topic. Let’s focus on how not to fail.

 

Getting fit, huh?

Simply put, you have to have a plan before you start.

And I’m not talking about this New year resolution plans where you turn your life 180 degrees and finally get fit, rich and live happily for the rest of your life but a realistic plan of action that is tailored to you and your schedule.

The schedule called real life.

Yes, it would’ve been great to workout 5-6 times a week and eat 3-4 times a day, healthy balanced meals and sleep 8-9 hours a night but let’s be honest here.

How long can you keep up with a routine like that if you live fast paced life?

A month or two?

Probably, less.

What you need is a plan that accounts your current lifestyle and schedule.

You have to really sit down and map this out on your own by answering these questions:

  1. How much time can I devote to myself and my body?
  2. Can I cook or I’m eating out all the time?
  3. Can I quit drinking right off the bat?
  4. Do I travel a lot?
  5. What type of activities do I enjoy the most?                                                                                                

Note: I’m talking about sports activities, and yes if you hate them all you would have to suck it up and choose the one that sounds the least painful.

      6. Have I done something like this before or I’m throwing myself in the deep end?

These are all questions that you should find answers to and put them down on a piece of paper.

I can’t help you with you the answers, your best friend with whom you started this “new training plan” can’t help you, not even the best personal trainer in the world can help you with it.

It’s all on you.

Now let me explain why this is essential.

Because it really is. This is where 99% of the people fail right out of the gate.

I was one of them actually.

Back when I was just starting out I would simply follow the workout/nutrition plan of someone who looked like I wanted and tried to replicate his success by executing on the plan religiously.

Why I’ve only tried but didn’t succeed at it you would ask?

The answer was obvious!

Because the plan wasn’t designed to fit my needs.

It didn’t account for any of the factors that affected my lifestyle at that time.

I was going to school/working.

I constantly had to eat out and I wasn’t sleeping for more than 6 hours a night.

I had to sacrifice a lot of things in order to stick to the plan.

My social life became non-existent because I had to devote time for food preparation, I had to go to the gym every day and I had to quit going to social gatherings and parties where I would be tempted to eat unhealthy food or drink.

“Not a big deal” – I was thinking back then. So I started really eager.

Really excited.

Really motivated.

I was all in.

I’d follow the protocol by the books for 2 weeks straight but then some event will catch me off guard and I would miss a couple of workouts and not eat like I’ve planned.

At first, I thought this is a failure of character.

I thought I’m a failure, good for nothing, not even for keeping up with a plan that I have laid out in front of me.

Well, that was not the case but I didn’t know any better back then.

Actually, now that I’m looking back I realize that this is probably the spot many of you are stuck at right now.

You start following a plan, it goes really well for a couple of weeks but then all of a sudden something unexpected happens and you have to stop for a day or two which turns into a week then two and you go back to level 0.

That’s in our nature.

We quickly get discouraged when we are unable to do the things as expected. We want to excel at everything, so we stick to doing the things we are naturally good at.

And when we face a challenge which makes us struggle even a little bit.

We quit.

Guess what?

Failing to follow a protocol for couple of days is the perfect occasion to throw in the towel and say something like this:

“This plan is really good, but it didn’t work for me… You know…. I’ve tried. I did what the plan prescribed for two weeks but I couldn’t keep up with it. It’s just not for me.”

I hear this every day.

I’ve also said it myself. Heck, you probably used it as an excuse too.

But what should we do instead?

How can we break past that stepping stone that doesn’t allow us to get fit and sustain that look…. Forever…. or at least for a good portion of our lives.

It’s really simple.

When designing a plan for yourself or if you have somebody else do it for you, you need to have the answers to the questions I’ve listed above.

And here’s how this plays out for me:

1.I can devote 3 hours (4 hours tops on a good week) for training.

2.I’m eating out all the time. I might have a meal or two a week in the house but most of the time I’m on the go. I also rarely have a breakfast.

3.I’m drinking every now and then but probably I can limit myself to a glass or two of wine a week. And having a “real drinking night” once every two-three weeks.

4.I don’t travel that often but it happens a few times a year. I should account for a month of traveling a year.

5.I enjoy going to the gym as it allows me to clear my mind, I also enjoy hiking but I rarely have time to do it (once or twice a month). I also like to walk a lot so this should be a good thing, right?

6.I’ve tried getting fit before, and I’ve actually seen some results but it was unsustainable as I quite wasn’t able to follow the protocol year round. It was too demanding.

So what would I do now that I have the answers to all these questions?

Simple.

I’d create a plan of action taking into account all of them.

And the plan will cover:

 

  1. Nutrition

  2. Training

 

Now, if you’re having a “What? I thought this post was about “Getting fit”, don’t sweat.

You see, creating a plan of action is a must and it determines whether you’ll succeed at getting fit or you will just “try”.

In fact, most of the people fail this part because It takes time upfront. It takes effort on your side and we rarely want to have anything to do with “effort”.

But this is the beginning step and I’m in the process of warming you up for the next step.

What is it?

It’s the fun part where the magic happens and we finally start to see results.

Nutrition

We have to figure out how to optimize our nutrition habits.

Note, how I’m not saying “go on a diet” but “optimizing“ what we currently do. That’s because dieting rarely works as a long-term strategy.

And we are in this thing for the long-run right?

We want to get fit body but not for a week or two.

We want to stay fit for good.

That’s why my approach would be a little different from the mainstream media dieting approach.

I’m not going to do anything too restrictive that would eventually lead to failure.

I will try to be smart about my plan and make it as easy to be executed as possible.

You see losing body fat is simple. It requires being in a calorie deficit.

I don’t care what style of eating you like…

The easiest way to lose body fat is to eat in a way that you find enjoyable, while still being able to maintain a calorie deficit.

There are all sorts of official diets people go crazy over:

  •    Paleo
  •    Intermittent Fasting
  •    Low Fat Diet
  •    Atkins Diet
  •    Raw Food Diet
  •    Zone Diet
  •    etc.

Once a diet gets a name, I begin to worry.

Typically after a diet is named, a cult begins to form.

I’ve witnessed thousands of good people get sucked into these diet cults…some never to return again.

What I personally use is a mix of all these “trendy diets” to create the ultimate nutrition plan that makes it easy for me to hit a calorie deficit.

Now, how do I know that I’m in a calorie deficit?

I will have to do calculations to figure out what is my starting point.

 

I will save you tons of time browsing the web because I’ve put together a FREE guide that you can download here:

  •     It explains in details how to calculate how many calories you are burning daily taking into account your body needs.
  •     And how to split these calories, setting macronutrient targets.

If you don’t know what macronutrients are it is all explained in there.

Just take the calories you are burning daily for now.

Don’t do any other calculations.

I’ve found out that I’m burning 2800 calories daily, that is my BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate or to simplify it, the daily amount of calories my body uses to keep me functioning.

Now that I know how much I need to maintain my weight (2800 calories) – I also know that I should be eating less than that in order to drop body fat.

I’d simply cut 400-500 calories daily and aim at eating 2300-2400 calories and if you want to put on weight simply aim at eating 3200-3300.

Now let’s go back to the answers I have written down that will be affecting my nutrition plan.

“I’m eating out all the time. I might have a meal or two a week in the house but most of the time I’m on the go. I also rarely have a breakfast.”

Okay. I pretty much eat out twice a day and sometimes I might have a breakfast, but most often I’d skip it.

Will I try to change these habits of mine at all costs?

Hell, NO. I’d just split my daily calories in-between the two daily meals I’m currently eating, aiming to hit these 2400 calories and on the rare occasions I’m having breakfast I will split these calories between three meals.

Does it have to be equally split between the meals?

No. I might have a 1500 calories lunch and then eat less at dinner or vice versa. It really doesn’t matter.

And the beauty of this approach is that I will be able to enjoy restaurant meals daily. Luckily enough almost every restaurant these days has a calorie breakdown of their menu so I can easily track or “guesstimate” how much I’m eating each meal.

Also, this approach will allow me to enjoy bigger portions and fit not so healthy foods I really enjoy while still achieving the results I want.

By the way, this is the very reason you have friends who get away with eating “unhealthy” foods and still look good. It’s the fact that they split their calories between fewer meals.

You’d ask here, but Simeon isn’t this bad for your metabolism? Eating only twice a day? Shouldn’t you eat every couple of hours?

You see from an evolutionary standpoint this is unacceptable. Due to the availability of the food nowadays media leads us to believe it is essential to eat every couple of hours to “speed up our metabolism”.

But there is NO STUDY proving that eating more often actually speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn fat faster.

But here comes another concern. You can’t simply eat fewer calories.

Why?

Because 1000 calories from sweets are not equal to 1000 calories from meats, veggies, fruits, etc.

That’s why we will have to be smart about how we utilize our calories.

Protein and fats will be our primary concern.

We will try to keep the protein moderate to high, meaning we will try to consume our body weight in grams of protein (If you are 180lbs – 180 grams of protein is a good number to aim at).

If you have no clue which is a protein food, I go over 50 different foods with rich protein content in this article.

And for the fats we will use the opposite approach, we will aim at low to moderate fat consumption because the fats are calorie dense and quickly lead to packing on calories and exceeding our daily targets.

As for carbohydrates, we will use them to fill up the rest of the daily calories we have.

Now on to addressing the next point on the list.

I’m drinking every now and then but probably I can limit myself to a glass or two of wine a week. And having a “real drinking night” once every two weeks.

Drinking and getting fit is a “no-no” in the books of many fitness experts but we are breaking the status quo here.

We have a different approach.

An approach that would work for you even if you are not dedicating your life solely to fitness.

Alcohol gets an undeserved bad reputation when it comes to gaining fat.

Drinking is often the first to be pointed as a reason for weight gain while the unlimited amounts of cafeteria food are conveniently forgotten about. In theory, alcohol does suppress lipolysis, the process in which your body breaks down its stored body fat and utilizes it as fuel. However, in practical terms, this may not always be the case.

Personally, alcohol by itself has never, ever, prevented me from losing fat in the long run, even when drinking multiple times a week.

Note: I’m not stating that alcohol is good or that there are no other health implications coming along with its consumption.

When drinking I would simply stay away from sweetened drinks and cocktails.

I’d go for hard liquor drinks or red/white wine as the calorie content of these beverages is negligible compared to the drink mixes.

Hope you have a better idea of how to plan your nutrition now and most importantly how to be flexible with it.

Eating out?

Not a problem.

Drinking?

Why not, with moderation of course.

Having sweets here and there?

Totally doable.

I know I’ve skimmed over a bunch of topics here.

And over time, I will dig deeper into a lot of these topics…with studies, more examples, etc.

I also know there are a lot more variables coming into play when designing a nutrition plan and that you probably still have some questions.

But I cover the topic of nutrition extensively in my premium programs targeted at busy men and women who are after the fit impactful look…

I definitely plan on discussing high-level nutrition strategies in future blog posts to make sure you will be amongst the 1%-ers who get fit and simplify the process as much as I can for you.

Now on to the fun part – TRAINING.

Is training essential if you want to lose body fat? No.

No.

But it definitely speeds up the process.

In order to decide for yourself whether training is a worthwhile activity for you, I will list some of the benefits you can expect if you start training on a regular basis.

What exercising can help you with?

–   Increasing muscle size in underdeveloped muscle groups.

–   Lowering body fat to reveal muscle definition and density.

–   Gaining functional strength without size in well-developed muscle groups.

–   Boosting your energy levels

–   Increasing your resting metabolic rate (burning more calories daily)

–   Making you look hella sexy

These are the benefits you could expect.

Will this justify the needed effort on your side to exercise in return of achieving one or more of the things listed above?

I think so.  I mean, who doesn’t want to be sexy right?

Now that I hopefully got you on board with training I want to share something with you that I’ve been preaching for close to seven years now.

When you begin to exercise, don’t just start doing “whatever”, if you are after an impressive fit physique.

Don’t follow protocols that make the mistake of focusing on total muscle mass.

Why?

Because we are all different. And we have to account for that when designing a training plan for ourselves.

You see, one of my lagging body parts is the legs, so I’d actually benefit from working out my legs more often. But you, on the other hand, might have well-developed legs and wouldn’t like to have them grow bigger.

Would it be appropriate if we both follow the same protocol?

Heck, NO.

But that’s exactly what I see happening. Both men and women follow the plan designed for somebody else and get horrified when they develop disproportionate physique.

So, please, take this into account when designing your plan.

Work more on the body parts that you would like to develop and less on the body parts that are already overly-developed.

Now on to designing the ideal plan.

As I’ve already stated above I can only workout 3 times a week and I enjoy fitness, hiking and walking.

So I will stick to doing the things I like.

I have lagging legs, shoulders and arms and I also want to lean down a little bit. My chest and back are well developed (at least I’m happy with how they are looking right now).

So my training plan would look like something like this.

I will go to the gym 3 times a week for no more than an hour per session.

Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday

Tuesday I will start with a leg workout focusing on building/maintaining the size of my legs.

I will then finish off the workout with 10 to 15 minutes of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout which will allow me to tap into the fat deposits of my body and burn the fat quicker.

Thursday I will do shoulder and arms workout, again focusing on building size in these areas and I will finish the session with 10-15 minutes of direct abs work.

Nothing too crazy just a circuit of 3-4 exercises for 3 sets with no rest in between. (Just like with the HIIT session my goal here is to burn as many calories while still strengthen my core and build my abdominal muscles).

Sunday I will have more time at my expense as I’m not working so I can exercise a little bit longer. 1 hour and 15 minutes sound about right.

I will work on my chest and back, doing one exercise for the chest followed by one exercise for the back for a total of 3 exercises per muscle group and 4 sets per exercise. 12 total sets per muscle groups. That would last about 45 minutes. I’d then do 15 minutes of HIIT cardio followed by 15 minutes of direct ab work.

Sounds simple so far, right?

I also know that cardio is important but I don’t have any extra time to spend.

What can I do instead?

I will just try to walk more.

For my lunch break instead of going to the closest place to grab a bite I’d go for a 30-minute walk. Stairs over elevators, 15 minute walks after work. These things add up and allow you to burn a lot of calories without you even realizing it.

Hiking once a month also sounds like something I will be able to do.

Do you have to go to the gym to get fit?

No.

You can do the activities you enjoy but make sure you have a plan of action like the one I’ve just shared with you.

Anyway, this post is getting long and really is just an introduction to the topics I will cover in much more detail in future posts. Here’s the most important point when it comes to working out.

There needs to be a balance between these 3 variables: Volume, Frequency, and Intensity.

What I mean by that…is that if you increase one of these variables, you need to reduce the other two.

A few examples:

  •   If your workouts are long with a lot of sets (high volume)…then you need time for the muscles to recuperate (less frequency) and you should train with less intensity.
  •   If you train each muscle group a few times each week (high frequency)…the volume per workout needs to be low. The intensity needs to be low as well to avoid too much damage to the muscle.
  •   If you push each set hard to failure (high intensity), the volume should be low…and you will have to wait until that muscle group is recovered before training again (low frequency).

So that sums it up.

That’s how I would approach getting fit.

Simple but not easy.

That’s the very reason why 99% of the people fail at getting fit.

I will end the article by giving you a step by step process on how you can replicate my plan and succeed on your own:

  1. Sit down and write the answers to these 6 questions I’ve listed above.
  2. Calculate how much calories your body burns daily. (cut or add calories, depends on your goal)
  3. Split these calories between your daily meals (It doesn’t matter whether it’s 2-3 or 5 meals a day.)
  4. Keep track only of your protein intake as it is an essential macronutrient and be careful with the fats. Don’t go over the calorie target you’ve set for yourself.
  5. Choose an activity that you enjoy and lay out a realistic plan of how many times a week you can exercise.
  6. Get the sexy impactful look you are after and rock it year round.

 

After creating and reviewing this article I came to a conclusion…

There’s no doubt many readers are going to want more details and information about what I have just shared.

I felt in my gut this idea of getting fit by doing so little might come across overwhelming or intimidating to some.

And I don’t want you or anyone else to walk away feeling that way. Because nailing exercising and looking absolutely amazing is just too critical.

Like I said, it’s truly at the root of your success at getting fit. So, I’ve decided to go the distance for you. I’ve decided to create series of emails that will better teach you how we operate and why we do things differently.

Just enter your Name and Email address in the box down below and you will be added to an email newsletter list where you will receive my best content directly in your inbox.

Simeon Krastev About Simeon Krastev

Simeon is a fitness coach with a unique perspective on training and nutrition. For the past six years, he’s been helping busy people achieve an impactful fit look without putting their life on hold. Stay in touch by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

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