Feel bored, uninspired and a little unmotivated when it comes to exercise? Slogging it out at the gym and not seeing the results you want?
First and foremost, Luke Zocchi, fitness expert on Centr.com (and trainer to Chris Hemsworth) believes that one of the main reasons you feel all your hard work isn’t paying off comes down to nutrition.
“People don’t reach their goals because they’re not following up their training with the right nutrition,” says Luke. “Diet is 70% and training is 30%. You can lose weight just by eating less and not training. The same goes for building muscle – you can train your bum off, but if you don’t eat enough of the right foods, you won’t put on any muscle.”
Secondly, you’re not doing the right workouts for what you’re trying to achieve.
“Another reason you can go off track is not being consistent across the board (training, nutrition and rest). These three elements all need to work together for you to get results.”
Here, Luke shares with us some of the best workouts and training styles he recommends for achieving some of the most common fitness goals (and how to do them properly so that you’re not wasting your time).
If your goal is…
Luke says: “The best workouts are circuit-style workouts, so a mixture of weights and cardio like my new coached HIIT/HIRT/Strength workouts on Centr.”
“By minimizing the rest periods and sticking to full body movements, you’re getting your heart rate up by recruiting more muscle. If you push yourself in these sessions, 20-40 minutes is all you need to get great results.”
Luke also explains that just like cardio, weight lifting is also great for burning calories. “When you start doing compound movements like squats and deadlifts, that’s going to burn a tonne of calories – which is exactly what you want when it comes to losing weight.
Luke says: “Take the same workout approach as weight loss, but would add in more core work. You should also isolate and work on body parts that you are really trying to tone up.”
Luke says: “Building strength on your compound lifts – i.e. squats, deadlifts, press and pull-ups – is the place to start. Mastering these lifts is key to building muscle over your whole body. Take a quick rest between sets of no more than 15 seconds but give yourself a 30 second break between rounds (4-5 minute Tabata).
Tip: If you’re just starting out, stay in the range of 8-12 reps and lift 3-4 times a week, with at least 3 days of rest a week to let your body repair and grow. Two lower body sessions a week plus two upper-body sessions is a good formula to create maximum muscle growth. If weights seem a bit intimidating, Centr’s bodybuilding expert Torre Washington will get you started.”
Luke says: “My rule is to mix it up as much possible. You see, the human body is smart and becomes more efficient if you do continue to do the same style of training. If you’re doing regular HIIT training, change it up with a more traditional steady-state cardio session that goes for a longer like period of time. You could alternate a day of HIIT with a day of steady-state and train up to six days a week.”
How long should HIIT sessions be? “You could start at 10 minutes and progressively build up to 25 – but cap it there. Start your steady-state cardio workouts at 30 minutes and go up to 1.5 hours. But make sure you’re balancing longer sessions with low-impact sessions, to prevent stress injuries.”
Luke says: “The best way to get your body mobile and moving is with regular stretching and doing yoga or Pilates on a weekly basis. You can also focus on mobility work with functional training – my Centr buddy Da Rulk is a master at these bodyweight exercises and will give you a real challenge. If you give functional training a try, aim for two to three sessions a week.”
Centr offers a balance of training, meal plans and mindfulness to help you reach your goals. Visit centr.com for more.