Thursday, April 20, 2017

Fitness Part 1: What's good to know before you start

Not two bodies are exactly identical, and not everyone has similar fitness goals in mind. I wouldn't call it body goal, it relates to body shaming? This is just for people who really wants to make a change, start doing something and be determined towards it. 

Even though I did start off with randomly following Youtube videos and just having the mind set that eat less or eat clean equals slim lean body, that is not always the case.

I realised there are 2 main things to determine before you start in order for it to be effective.

1. Body Types

It is important to know your body type before you set your workout goals and diet type. Some people call this genetics. I was born Ectomorph, having difficulty gaining weight. I always look skinny even though having high body fat %. This is very unhealthy. If you think you are thin/slim and will have no health issues, do find out about "skinny fat". So some of you might be having body issues, and it might not be your fault. Blame genetics? Never feel bad if you have the same amount of food as your friends but you hardly gained or gained too much. Thus it is always important to know where you are, so you wouldn't be following similar diet and workout routines with other body types because they might give very different results.

So the 3 body types are: Ectomorph, Mesomorph and Endomorph

Nope, most of us are not that defined 😂

How to know your body type?
Click on this link to know your body time

Honestly I really hate doing cardio. There are people who chase marathon medals, but I have never ran in any. And I am lucky this hate-cardio thing suits my body type.

2. Diet/Calories counting

How many of you have heard about dieting? Dieting has always been a misunderstood term. Diet does not mean that you starve yourself. I have heard it way too many time from people who are trying to loose weight. Diet can be eating more than your usual because you are underweight, your daily routines take lots of energy or you are on a recovery. Diet doesn't always mean eating less.

Based on your body types above and based on your goal, there are again 3 common types of diet or calories counting.

Deficit - you eat less than you burn (lost weight)
Maintenance - you eat as much as you burn (maintain weight)
Surplus - you eat more than you burn (gain weight)

If you choose to eat a cleaner diet, it would be a wiser choice to count your macro/nutrients instead of just calories (since calories can be fulfilled even with junks).

Macro consists of 3 main nutrient group which is Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat. These 3 groups should make up a 100% and the percentage can be adjusted based on your own goals. Since I would like to build muscles, I am going for a 45c/35p/20f (despite always exceeding my fat, I am thankful for my Ectomorph body). A common one would be 50c/30p/20f.

One popular and free calculator is the If-it-fits-your-macro IIFYM website:

Else you could also use the Total-daily-energy-expenditure TDEE:
The TDEE calculator is more beneficial more those who wants to loose weight/fat as it includes all the activities in your day like eating and sleeping.
Subtract or add 15-20% of your TDEE calories based on your goal.

If you would like to use an app to track, there are all kinds of mobile apps. I am using the "myfitnesspal". However I am not an avid user. I hate tracking my food to the very last grams. And since I usually eat out it is not easy. I just make sure I know which food are high carb, which are high protein or which are high fat. Then I will just estimate. You can always try, maybe it will be a habit that you will enjoy.

After determining the above two, determine:
Where are you now? Overweight? Underweight? 
And what is your goal? Do you want to lose or gain weight?
Just want to be healthy? What to be stronger?
 Do you want a lean, curvy or muscular body?

I will cover the workout types for different body goals in my next post.
- which should you be doing: cardio? weights? targeted workouts?
-supercompensation theory: importance of recovery

Will explain this chart in my next post

p/s: I managed 3 unassisted pull ups!
It's really an achievement because I couldn't even play the monkey bar before this

I have also tested the saying of "abs are made in the kitchen" and "you can't out exercise a bad diet". While these aren't all true, yes you can achieve low fat percentage but your workout routine could be quite torturous. I would prefer to do both in moderation instead of neglecting your food and workout like a mad man. Usually such doing is not practical in long term (remember that new year resolution which lasted for a month? or just a week?) and you will soon lost you motivation to workout. Do it both in moderation and it will be a more consistent sustainable journey.

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