In January, fuelled by New Year's resolutions, everyone wants to know how to accelerate their weight loss, muscle gain, and their overall fitness.
Four Goodlife Health Club trainers weigh in on three of the most-asked health questions.
What's the fastest way to (safely and sustainably) lose weight?
Michael Marlow: Develop a plan to have a routine. Create accountability within your structure. Address your major issues: Eating, drinking water, sleeping, stress relief, and moving habits. These are the keys to your weight loss success and should you follow this map, you will achieve safe and sustainable weight loss.
Ben Zurvas: In my opinion the fastest way to lose weight is a combination of two main areas. The first area would be to consume less food or overall calories (energy) than you expend per day or over a week time period. This can be done by looking for foods that make you the fullest for the longest. Second is prioritising your recovery principles, like sleeping hours per day, and daily activity to increase the calorie deficit and you will see results, fast.
Lianna Linton: Track your progress and have someone keeping you accountable. Know what you’re eating and how much, and track this every day so you can understand where you are now. Then you can make adjustments based on your weekly results. If you haven’t lost even 400g, maybe look at dropping your intake slightly. Knowledge is what will give you fast and consistent weight loss above any fad diet.
Tahnee Donkin: Have you ever heard the saying "abs are made in the kitchen"? They really are.
The fastest and most sustainable way to lose weight is to make simple changes to your eating habits. Forget the word "diet", and start filling your plate with nourishing, nutrient-dense foods with loads of variety. Try sticking to foods that were grown (such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains and lean meats) rather than foods that were manufactured (often anything with a label). Don’t forget to apply the same principles to your fluid intake by swapping manufactured drinks with water.
Once you’ve started nourishing your body, it’s time to start moving more. Forget all the things people tell you that you "should" be doing and get back to doing the things that bring you joy and energy! Perhaps you love the beach, walking the dog, hiking up mountains, swimming, yoga, surfing or playing sport. It’s all about finding something that you enjoy that gets you moving. If it’s fun, it won’t feel like exercise.
What's the fastest way to get fit?
Michael Marlow: Listen to your body, fuel your body, and use your body.
What do I mean? If you are experiencing pain or fatigue, is it a pain that needs to be addressed or normal muscle soreness? Knowing the difference can be hard but it is important to know that you must work to achieve results.
Fueling your body is simple: Put in foods and and liquids that you know will give you energy that can sustain your lifestyle! Use your body…. move! If you are not moving, how can you expect to get anywhere fast or slow? You require moving around as much as possible if you want to get "fitter fast".
Ben Zurvas: The faster way to get fitter is to sleep more and minimise your overall stress load from a holistic perspective. By doing these things your resting heart rate will drop, your blood pressure will optimise, and your recovery will improve, therefore making you fitter the fastest. Pair this with some form of daily aerobic work.
Lianna Linton: Find whatever you enjoy doing and do it often. If you enjoy it you will push yourself faster and harder then ever before because you like it. Always pushing yourself just out of your comfort zone will get you there faster. Plus eventually your comfort zone will be so big, nothing will feel scary in the gym again — just something new and exciting to try!
Tahnee Donkin: Before we look at the fastest way to get fit, you need to define what fitness means to you. Is it being able to run 5km? Is it being lean and toned? Is it being able to walk up the stairs without puffing? Set yourself a goal and a timeframe for when you want to achieve it by, and then set yourself small, achievable goals along the way.
Try to do something every day that gets your heart and lungs pumping where you work up a sweat, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. Consistency is key, and if you find something you enjoy you are more likely to stick to it.
What's the fastest way to build muscle and strength?
Michael Marlow: You want to get big and strong? Act like it. Establish a routine and develops cycles that you are exercising through by experiencing different phases of lifting, lots of repetitions and low repetitions. Don't be afraid to lift heavy and don't be afraid to fail. You don't know you can lift something until you've lifted it. That is how personal records are established!
Ben Zurvas: Consume more food (energy) than expended paired with eight hours of sleep per night. The training routines should include both low reps and maximal load and also a higher amount of volume each week — progressively overloading.
You would also require to hit a baseline level of protein each day and nap where possible. Digestion and assimilation will have a massive part of how strong or how much size you can put on also, so including foods like green vegetables and fruit daily is recommended.
Lianna Linton: Weights. In my opinion, there isn’t anything better. Start with the basics, get great and those movements, and then progress to harder exercises. I believe in tracking how much you're lifting if you struggle to remember what you did last week. If you did a 6kg shoulder press last week, try 7kg this week or try more reps. Progressive overload is what causes stimulus and makes muscles grow! Time, consistency and patience will give you muscle growth and strength.
Tahnee Donkin: The fastest way to build muscle and get stronger is to hit the gym. You need to challenge your muscles on a regular basis so they adapt and become bigger and stronger. To achieve strength and hypertrophy, I like to range from 3-5 sets of 5-12 reps with 1-3 minute rest periods.
Try to improve with each workout by changing the weight, sets, reps or rest period. I recommend seeing a fitness professional to assist with programming to ensure you get the very best results.