Ever wonder why some people in the gym work so hard and never really
change their physiques? It could be due to many reasons – not being consistent, not having a solid program to follow, not lifting heavy enough or….not eating enough.
Yep, us females are still in a calorie counting culture: just look at the rise of food apps and watch the number of people plugging their next bite into their phones to see if it’s a pass or a fail. Do you really want to live that way?
Sooooo many of my clients want to know this at the get-go, like we are just a mathematical formula that we can plug into for the perfect results! This is the hardest thing for new clients to get around…making that shift out of the calorie counting culture.
Remember ladies, you have to EAT to build…if you restrict calories too much, you will halt your progress. You simply cannot build in a deficit. Park the cardio and lift. And eat, for heaven’s sake!
But if you want to stay naturally lean all year, say, 18-20% bodyfat (what, you don’t know your bodyfat? That’s way more important than body weight, because as you lose weight, you can lose precious muscle (all that work!) and water, and that’s what carb restricted plans are all about), then you’re going to have to choose – do you want to change your physique with weight training, or do you want to stay lean all year?
This is particularly important for us older women – 40+ – who just restrict and cardio away to stay lean (and many thin women enter shows because they are naturally lean, but they don’t often progress beyond, because their body doesn’t have the nutrients to grow year after year. In time, everything drops away, including muscle, because that’s what Father Time does. Oh my!
Now some women can stay lean and build well at the same time but it’s rare, and it’s what every new competitor thinks will happen when she starts on the body-shaping journey, but it’s (usually) not so. That’s one reason why your IFBB Pro’s like Nicole Wilkins, Erin Stern, Ava Cowan (right), are, well, pro’s. They only add 5-8 pounds off season, and they can still grown gorgeous muscle. Lucky gals! (And they’ve been in fitness their whole life too – Ava and Nicole are gymnasts, and Erin is an Olympic level track star!).
So when we read that so-and-so eat such-and-such and take in this many calories, we think we can do the same. But it just ain’t so for the majority of us. These women are genetically gifted. That’s why they are pro’s. (And have you ever seen a pro train? My gosh, it is INTENSE!)
That’s the beauty of the human body. It is our canvas, our work of art. We can alter it, add to it or subtract from it. And your relationship with food and your body is the most intimate of all relationships, and it takes time to learn and grow these factors together.