Last week we spoke about common mistakes women tend to make when trying to lose fat. Now it’s time for the guys to understand what to avoid in their personal training programs.
Again, these are generalisations based on our experience. Don’t get angry with us on social media.
Obsessing About The Small Stuff
There’s a weird correlation between guys who obsess over every new supplement or diet protocol and guys who never seem to be able to get in shape.
The very best supplement in the world – creatine for example, which actually does work – still only gives you a marginal gain compared to lifting weights properly and eating lots of protein and veg.
Guys love to say they’re ‘doing paleo’ or intermittent fasting. It sounds a lot less sexy and complicated to say you’re eating less calories than you burn in order to lose fat. But that’s what you need to do to support all personal training programs.
Stop chasing the ultimate supplement or trendiest diet plan and get the basics right. Lift weights four days a week, eat two grams of protein per kilo of lean mass and for god’s sake GET INTO A (small) DAILY CALORIE DEFICIT.
Goal-Hopping Around Personal Training Programs
This is the most typically male of all the mistakes we see, and it’s partly because, unlike women, men are pulled in two different directions. Women just want to be slim. Guys want to be lean but also have muscle.
These are, to an extent, competing goals. One requires a calorie deficit, the other requires a steady supply of the right kinds of foods to build new muscle tissue.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this. The wrong way, which most guys do, is decide to get lean, then after about a week freak out that they look ‘small’ and go back on a ‘bulking phase’ which in reality means bench pressing a lot and eating anything that’s not nailed down.
The right way? Pick one of the following…
Lose fat while maintaining muscle mass,
Build muscle while accepting a small amount of fat gain.
Those are your options, buddy. Make a decision and stop messing around.
If you chase two rabbits instead of one, you end up eating leaves for dinner.
Delusions of Ripped-ness
There’s actual science behind this. Men tend to overrate their performance and abilities while women tend to underrate theirs.
So whilst it’s not uncommon to see a skinny woman worrying about non-existent fat on her stomach, the male version of this is the guy who gets “pub big”. A pub big guy is impressive in a t-shirt, or under the exact right gym lighting whilst flexing and holding his breath, but he’s just kidding himself.
Put simply, you’re not as lean as you think you are. So if your goal is to have a six pack, it’s going to take longer than you expect.
Putting Training Over Diet
Training is the easy part. Many guys actually find the whole grunting and lifting and pressing thing fun. You get to play Rocky and flex in the changing room mirror.
The hard part is eating right, consistently, for long enough to see a change. Sadly, that’s waaaay more important.
The old maxim that ‘you can’t out train a bad diet’ is as true as ever. In fact, if you ditched one gym session a week and did meal-prep for the week instead, you’d be far better off in the long run. Whatever strategy you use, don’t kid yourself that you can ignore your diet and just sweat the fat off.
Yes, women do it too. But guys really do it. You do it. You know you shouldn’t (if your goal is fat loss, anyway), but you still do it.
Either cut it out and to stick to water or build the calories into your plan, but don’t think skulling 20 pints a week is going to get you lean. It ain’t.
We can make all of this a lot simpler by taking the planning and motivation part off your hands. To learn about our personal training programs and see how we can help you achieve your goals, check out Personal Training London