We would recommend at least 2 of these days are for rest. Just let your muscles recover from the dumbbell workouts.
The other day could also be used to rest, or involve some cardio exercise, such as running, cycling, rowing, or walking. On rest days, we would tend to include plenty of gentle stretching to help avoid muscle soreness and stiffness. You can also space out the workouts to suit your weekly schedule.
A final thing to note is that factors like sleep and diet are also going to impact the results you get from this workout plan. Try and consume healthy lean protein, as well as cutting back on unhealthy foods, and get enough sleep each night. Similarly, you may want to do some light repetitions before your first set for each exercise to prepare your body. This workout is focused on body part splits, so that you can focus on specific parts of your body on certain days and give these muscle groups enough time to rest and recover before you train them again.
This means you can really leverage proven methodology such as progressive overload to build muscle and get more from each day of training. This workout plan includes exercises and programming that helps not only build strength and muscle, but also muscular endurance and overall body conditioning, meaning it provides so many benefits for all sorts of fitness goals. The weight of the dumbbells is going to be the defining factor in how challenging each exercise is. If you are a beginner, we would recommend simply going through the motions without any weight so that your body gets used to each movement.
Once you are comfortable, you can include very light dumbbells and slowly increase the weight. Similarly, you could get yourself a rack of dumbbells of varying weights. If you only have access to light dumbbells, focus on eccentric training slowly lowering the dumbbells.
This will increase the difficulty as your muscles are under tension for longer. Try to keep in the recommended range of repetitions. For example, in the workout plan, if it says do between repetitions, this should help guide you on what weight dumbbells to use.
In contrast, if you can do 15 repetitions with ease, the dumbbells are probably too light. The best approach to fitness is to follow a long-term plan, but a 12 week workout plan can help to kick start your fitness regime and help you regain that fitness you might have lost. Yes, you can absolutely build muscles using dumbbells only. Dumbbells will create resistance during movements which will activate your muscles and help them develop and grow.
Dumbbell variations of many popular exercises will also offer additional benefits around balance and stability because you have to lift each dumbbell up separately.
This also helps avoid one side of your body overcompensating for the other. This ensures that you can activate all the major muscle groups and create a more well-round physique and muscular development. After you complete this 12 week dumbbell workout plan you may simply want to do it again and continue to opt for heavier weights or more repetitions during each workout. Or similarly, you may decide to take a few weeks or months off from this style of training and opt to include some barbell work or something completely different like bodyweight or calisthenic workouts our guide on the best calisthenic chest workout is worth looking at.
A simple science-based workout plan that is proven to help build muscle, burn calories and lose weight. To break it down further, we have two types of essential fatty acids; omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids. Neither one is worse or better than the other, but we need to understand that a balanced ratio is key for optimal health and performance.
Monounsaturated fats are another type of fat that, although not classified as essential, have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, improve blood lipid profile, and protect against cardiovascular disease The remaining fat intake should be split evenly between saturated and polyunsaturated fats Trans fats are unsaturated fats which have been chemically modified.
They are primarily found in deep fried and processed foods. There is no healthy or safe level of trans fats and their intake should be limited as much as possible. As you can see, we are exposed to huge amounts of inflammatory load not only due to our lifestyle but from our food choices, too. Inflammation is one of the four major disruptors to our body and overall health, along with things like circadian rhythm sleep routine , stress management, and blood sugar management.
It is essential to reduce as much of the inflammatory load as possible and regulate our fat intake by making educated choices which will support such imbalances. Some Things to consider for fats in your diet: Start adding more omega 3 fatty acids into your diet. Things such as seafood should be go-to food choices.
Fat sources high in monounsaturated fats have anti-inflammatory properties such as avocado, olive oil etc. These have a positive impact on body composition results and overall health. Add fats into your evening meal to slow down the digestion of carbs and help regulate blood sugar, Adding fats like organic grass fed butter and ghee help with motility in the gut and can support issues like constipation etc.
Fiber is the indigestible part of carbohydrates. It is made up of two main types. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is transformed into a gel like substance which is digested by the good bacteria in the large intestine.
It helps stabilize blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps prevent constipation and diverticular disease. Both types of fiber increase satiety and help lower the risk of many diseases including: obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and others Most high fiber foods contain a combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
The recommended daily allowance RDA for fiber is 25g per day for females and 38g per day for males. So, why are micronutrients important and what are they for?
Simply put, micronutrients are fundamental building blocks to all processes in the body which are required only in very small quantities. For example, Vitamin A is essential for our Red blood cells and melatonin production helping support our immune system and sleep hormones, which is essential for recovery, health and results. To optimize micronutrient density in our nutritional programming, we want diversity.
If we limit ourselves to a small range of foods, then we are limited to the variety of micronutrients we are consuming and, over time, this will impede on our overall health. So, ensuring we are continually rotating our protein sources, carbs sources and fruit and vegetable sources will ensure we give our body everything it needs to stay healthy, but will also optimize results long term. Choose the right goal for you. Is your focus to build lean body mass or do you want to prioritize fat loss?
This is the starting point to decide whether we are going to drive a deficit or surplus with our nutritional programming. The first step is choosing the right goal for you. BMR: Basal Metabolic rate The amount of calories your body requires to function at complete rest; it is the energy required essential processes such as breathing, brain function, heart beat etc. Use the tdeecalculator to calculate your total daily TDEE and use the body fat guide below to assess roughly where your body fat percentage is to provide the right amount of calories in accordance with your actual body weight.
Remember, this is a rough guide, the aim is to establish nutrition goals which are as accurate as possible and, overtime as you assess progress you can make adjustments. This book will provide guidance around daily weigh ins, weight averages and how to adjust calorie and macro goals accordingly. This would require roughly a calorie deficit per day as our starting point, which equates to cals per week.
The leaner you are the less aggressive you should be with your deficit as you are at greater risk of lean muscle loss On the other hand, the more body fat you carry, the more aggressive you can be with your deficit as body fat has a muscle sparing effect So, adjusting calorie intake to suit your body composition is completely fine and encouraged.
Figure 2. Leaner individuals lose more fat free mass during underfeeding. The opposite is also true in that they gain more fat free mass relative to fat mass during overfeeding. Figure adapted from Hall Wanting to lose 0. Our suggestion is to start at baseline which is your calculated TDEE and only increase from there once you have hit a plateau. If strength is going up in the gym, it is safe to say you are growing, so maximize your growth on those calories before increasing.
The main consideration when bulking is to focus on gaining quality lean body mass but keeping body fat at a respectable level. This will ensure body composition is always optimized and you are always in a prime state for growth, not gaining excessive body fat and negatively influencing the LBM to fat mass ratio.
This mainly comes down to your preference but, again there are some guidelines to follow to make things more effective. Option 1 Protein: Fats: Carbs: 2 - 2. We can then adjust calories accordingly and keep things the same each phase, whether it be for fat loss or lean body mass gain. When it comes to making adjustments, we only need to change our calorie and macro split when results have stalled and we have hit a plateau. We hit plateaus when we have incurred adaptations from dieting.
We must remember our metabolism will adapt downwards from dieting and upwards from being in a surplus, so, over time the same stimulus will no longer elicit the same results. If we want to change our body, we must be ready to make changes to both training and nutrition according to our changes in body weight as well as biofeedback markers. So, how to we make adjustments? This process can be repeated several times but we do not recommend staying in a deficit for more than 12 weeks at a time before coming out of the deficit for a couple of weeks to reset.
If, after several weeks in a deficit, you plateau but your biofeedback markers indicate that the onset of metabolic adaptations is too severe, then you can consider doing a refeed or diet break. Typically if you have only been in a deficit for a couple of weeks we recommend a day refeed.
If you respond favorably to the refeed you can plan a day refeed every days based on your biofeedback markers. If you have been in a deficit for longer than 4 weeks and you are crashing then consider doing a 1 week diet break instead.
If you have been in a deficit longer than 6 weeks in a deficit a 2 week diet break would be better, and if you have been in a deficit for up to 12 weeks then, ideally you should come out of the diet for at least weeks. Basically, the longer you have been in a deficit the longer you should come out before going back on your diet. The benefit of doing this, versus continually dieting until you hit your goal weight, is that it allows you to maintain a greater amount of muscle mass and preserve your metabolism, making it less likely that you will regain lost fat.
Contrary to belief, we do need stress at times and producing stress hormones is essential if we want to improve body composition.
Our stress hormones, cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline mobilize stored energy in the form of amino acids, glucose and fatty acids. We need to use this stored energy when we are training for both hypertrophy and fat loss results. Our stress hormones also help regulate our blood sugar at night and between meals. Regulating our blood sugar is imperative for our health and daily function because it helps manage our hunger and energy levels throughout the day. This provides us with the requirements we need to mobilize our stored energy and primes our body to fight off or avoid a threat.
Though this is essential for training, we only want to be in this state for a short period of time as producing these hormones, or being in this state consistently will negatively impact our overall health. This is why, when we are in a stressed state, we can experience issues with our digestion and, for females, the regulation of their menstrual cycle.
Stress management promotes adequate recovery and relaxation, allowing our body to regenerate and function optimally.
It is crucial for quality of sleep, digestion and overall results long-term. Sleep and sleep-management are crucial and have a drastic impact on our results. Adequate sleep is key for our overall health but also our body composition as it is during sleep when we repair, recover and go through many processes of regeneration essential for managing either fat loss or muscle gain. Being deficient in sleep may reduce our immune response, down regulate a number of hormones in the body and impede on other bodily systems such as clearance of toxins to help regulate other compounds in our body for optimal function 20, This guide provides ways to improve the management of our stress and sleep.
Breathing - deep breathing and regulating our breathing helps us calm down and relax. Walking outside - fresh air and sunshine is a great way to destress from daily stressors.
Eat your food outside or away from your workstation - this helps improve digestion. Community - connecting with people is a great way to destress - build strong, meaningful relationships which offer support. Go for a min walk after dinner to destress and promote a parasympathetic state.
Take bedtime supplements with passionflower tea 30min before bed. Make sure your room is cool and completely dark when sleeping. Bedtime Supplements Magnesium Taurate: magnesium is a down regulator which means it helps calm our body down and taurine is a precursor to the production of gaba, the calming neurotransmitter in the brain.
This is ideal for those who have trouble getting to sleep. Melatonin: this helps with our sleep-wake cycles and is ideal for those who have trouble staying asleep. Passion Flower Tea: this helps extend the half life of gaba, so keeps our brain activity more regulated and calm for a longer period of time. An ever-increasing body of research has shown various health benefits associated with meditation.
These include: reduced stress, reduced blood pressure and heart rate, reduced anxiety and depression, reduced physical and psychological pain, and improved memory, breathing pattern, oxygen utilization, skin resistance, and blood flow to the brain Additionally, research has shown that meditation positively impacts gene expression and DNA telomere length, leading to increased lifespan and reduced national health care costs While there are many forms of meditation and covering each one in depth is beyond the scope of this guide, the most important thing is that you get into the habit of doing it regularly.
We recommend at least 20 minutes per day, ideally first thing in the morning or before bed. But irrespective of the time and the type of meditation that you choose to do, the most important thing is to just do it. The fat loss training system is designed to increase muscular strength endurance, improve cardiovascular conditioning, and maximize fat loss through increased training density in each phase. Density simply means more work done in the same amount of time, which is a key component to fat loss.
In each session you will train the full body using superset, tri-sets, and giant sets to drive up energy expenditure. Supersets refers to when we perform two exercises in a row with minimum rest in between. Trisets is when we perform three exercises in a row with minimum rest, and giant sets is when we perform four or more exercises in a row with minimum rest in between.
The hypertrophy system focuses on increasing local metabolic stress and time under tension using specific shock methods to overload the muscle groups we are trying to work.
This will drive more specific adaptations which promote muscle growth by exhausting all the motor units within each muscle group. Here you will train on a body part split, focusing more on creating local muscle fatigue. Each program has its own specific glute and core finishers for females or arm and core finishers for males. These are optional and can be used if you want to give a little extra attention to those areas.
Understanding Periodization Periodization is the systematic design from one program to the next, ensuring each program is progressive over time. Just following a workout does not cut it! If we want to maximize our results, we need to ensure the program is designed in accordance with continual progress. Phase Fat Loss is a reverse linear periodization model where, in each phase, you will increase the volume and density by increasing the sets and repetitions, while reducing the rest periods, forcing you to do more work in the same amount of time.
You will progress from supesets to tri-sets and finally to giant sets from one phase to the next. This will ensure that as your muscular and cardiovascular conditioning improves, you continue challenging your body throughout the program. The reason this is important is because as your conditioning improves, you will actually burn less energy doing the same thing. Therefore, you need to force your body to do more work in some shape or form to continue driving energy expenditure.
Phase Hypertrophy we are also using a reverse linear periodization model by increasing the volume and density each phase. The difference here is, instead of training the full body in each session and pairing up upper and lower body exercises to drive up energy expenditure, we are pairing up exercises for the same body part to maximize muscle fatigue.
Here we will start with straight sets then progress to supersets and finally to trisets from one phase to the next. It could be a single exercise or a pairing of multiple exercises such as a superset or triset. For example, here is how a series in a workout would be presented. It would simply be A or B ï¿½ just the letter by itself with no number. Sets A set is a group of consecutive repetitions of an exercise before resting.
For example, 5 x reps, would mean that you will do reps of a particular exercise 5 times in total. Reps A rep is one complete cycle of an exercise involving a concentric lifting and an eccentric lowering phase.
For example, if the program states 5 x reps, that would mean you perform the movement for reps for 5 sets. Tempo Tempo refers to the speed or velocity at which each repetition is executed. It is broken up into a 4-digit number to denote each phase of the repetition cycle. For example, a tempo of would be broken down as per below: 4 - The first number always refers to the eccentric lowering component of the movement.
So, you would take 4 seconds to lower the weight for each repetition. A 0 would mean that there is no pause or hold at the bottom of the exercise. This would be on your way up from the bottom of the movement. This would be when you are standing in a dead stop position. So, there are a few things we can focus on to ensure that we are still thoroughly stimulating our muscles at each workout: Hit the upper end of the rep range for each set of a given exercise before increasing the load.
For example, for an rep set, if you can do 10 reps with perfect form for all the sets, then increase weight at the next workout. Ensuring technique and tempo are both on point is crucial to ensure we are activating the right muscle group but also working that particular muscle group over a longer period of time, which will mean we are doing more overall work.
So, focus on executing optimal technique with the designated tempo and we will drive results to the greatest potential. Adding band resistance or manual resistance to an exercise allows you to increase tension on the muscles without having to increase the load.
Cardio Training At Home Cardio is not only great for general health and de-stressing but can also accelerate our fat loss results, if necessary. In order of hierarchy, our focus should be on resistance training first for lean muscle retention , then hitting a designated daily steps target, and lastly adding in cardiovascular training to hit our step target if needed.
If we are making progress from the resistance training and steps alone, then additional cardio does not need to be prioritized to drive results. The key focus is to only play our cards when needed. Another way to track cardio is to track the amount of calories you burn each week to drive up expenditure. For most people 50caloire increases each phase is enough but if you feel like you want to increase your output further then jumping up by calories would be the higher end of the recommendation.
This is everything from our intermittent daily movements, blinking, talking etc. The longer and more aggressive the deficit when dieting, the more our body tries to preserve our energy expenditure.
This is why some people, even though they drop their calories further, do not yield the same results. Their body simply adapts and moves less due to adaptation, thus mitigating the effects of the lower caloric intake. So, over the course of our program we want to attack all variables to ensure we are still making progress. Though we can not directly impact NEAT, we can track and dictate movement output through our daily steps. Our goal will be to hit a minimum target of 10, per day as this is beneficial to keep your general cardiovascular and health markers at optimal levels.
After your workouts, choose a number of finishers you like, to target those areas further. Rotate these daily and weekly to ensure you are using plenty of variety in your training. Food quality is poor, the soil and environment in which our food is grown is not as it once was, and there are many external factors that are leading to greater nutrient deficiencies.
In fact, a recent review of the four most popular diets showed that they all failed to meet the RDA for at least half of the 27 essential micronutrients Remember, essential nutrients are those that can only be obtained from our diet.
It may shock you to find out that the number was between 18, and 37, calories per day! Yes, you read that correctly. That means it does not matter how good your diet is, it is simply impossible to meet all your micronutrient requirements with the food quality we have today.
Caloric intake for four popular diets required to meet the RDA for all 27 micronutrients was shown to be far in excess of what can be consumed in a day. Figure adapted from Calton Making progress every week tends to be the marker individuals use to ensure they are getting closer to their big goal and final result, but unfortunately this is not always the case.
We will have some weeks where we consistently drop weight and build lean muscle mass but all great results are not necessarily linear. So, what do you need to know about tracking to ensure you are on track? This will ensure we can compare markers to see what areas we need to prioritize more specifically with our nutrition and training. Regular Daily Weigh In This will tell us whether your goal is weight loss or weight gain if your nutrition and training prescriptions are right.
If your weight progress does not drop then we need to adjust calories lower. If you are building and your weight does not go up accordingly, maybe your calories are too low. Either way, we want to ensure we have the data to make educated decisions. However, we do not want to make adjustments in accordance with a daily weigh in.
Our weight fluctuates daily from things as simple as hydration and meal timing, to digestion and hormone regulation, fluid retention, and even sleep can affect daily weight. It is important to take your weight consistently; every day, preferably as soon as you wake up, without clothes on and after going to the bathroom so things are as accurate as possible.
At the end of each week you will calculate your weekly average and assess what changes, if any, are occurring. If fat loss is your goal and your average weight is frequently dropping then you know you are on the right path and vice versa for lean mass gain. The rate at which we lose or gain weight is dictated by how aggressive of a deficit or surplus we are in. This can lead to either positive or negative results. If we lose weight too fast or gain weight too quickly, we can assume that we are gaining substantially more body fat than we should be in a building phase or losing more lean body mass muscle and less fat then we want in a cut.
When trying to assess weight as a metric for progress the key focus is to retain or gain our muscle mass and focus on maintaining or losing body fat. This is dependent on the outcome we are trying to achieve through our programming. If we are in a fat loss phase, it is safe to say that if your weights are going up in your workouts, and your strength is increasing over time, then at the very least you are retaining lean muscle mass.
So, if we want to optimize fat loss without losing muscle mass, pushing hard and ensuring progression in the gym is key. Girth Measurements When taking girth measurements, we want to ensure this is as accurate as possible. Ideally, measurements should be taken first thing in the morning, along with your body weight. These measurements can be weekly or fortnightly and do not need to be on a daily basis as changes will be more steady than changes in body weight.
We use these markers to assess if any adaptation is occuring, whether it be negative or positive. We need feedback on both so we can appropriately make adjustments when necessary. Numbers are great, but often the numbers do not reflect the progress we are making, which is why we want to use different methods and correlate the data to ensure clarity in our assessment. Photos are a great way to see the changes in fat loss, lean body mass and even the change in body shape and posture.
When taking photos, make sure you have good lighting a nice bright room is best. During the day, when the natural light is high, is the optimal time to take your photos. Try and have a neutral or blank background or use the same place in every photo for consistency. Ensure the camera is set up or the photo is taken from the same place each time. You will need to take a front, side and back photo like the images below.
Ideally, you should take photos in a relaxed state and in a tensed state to see differences in shape in both states. When it comes to tracking, remember the more data you have the better; but try not to become fixated on the numbers. If the scale does not move but your clothes are fitting better and you are feeling better, then you are on the right track.
Give your body time to make adjustments and understand that it is a journey and a process, if you stay consistent then you will get to where you need to be. At the Clean Health Fitness Institute, for over a decade we have always set forth in providing industry-leading education and information to help consumers of our content reach their goals using the latest, science-backed approaches to health and wellness.
Our comprehensive learning journey which fully qualifies you to be a personal trainer from the comfort of your home.
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