It takes some planning to achieve a goal and this also applies to our fitness, diet and lifestyle. Here’s how you can match your workout to your fitness goals to increase your chances of achieving them.
Being healthy involves a good diet and regular exercise but how do we know whether we’re doing the best we can to achieve our specific fitness goals? Whether it’s losing, maintaining or putting on weight, planning your diet and workout will definitely help you reach or even surpass your goals.
True Fitness Personal Trainer, Muhamad Asri Bin Mat Daud shares his expertise on matching your workout and diet to your fitness goals.
Urban Health: What are good fitness goals that people usually aren’t aware of?
Muhamad Asri Bin Mat Daud: It is good to have specific goals such as how much muscle you want to gain and how much fat you wish to lose. People also overlook sculpting the body based on body type. Sometimes, it’s not the weight but it’s the proportion — such as waist to hip and waist to shoulder — ratio that should be looked into. By sculpting with resistance training, we can create a better look without resigning ourselves to just lose weight which sometimes isn’t even necessary. Strengthening your core or abdominal area, is another good fitness goal to have. We use our core in most situations such as sitting, standing, walking or running. Running has gained popularity in recent years and for those participating in runs, improving the leg and core strength with resistance training, is critical.
UH: Why is it important to have a fitness goal?
Muhamad: It helps you stay focused so you won’t give up within six months. By having a clear picture of your goal, you’ll stay motivated and keep moving. Having specific goals and a training regime will ensure that you have a more structured training program that can lead to reaching your fitness goals.
UH: What’s the first step to achieving your fitness goal?
Muhamad: The first step is to understand your body and what you want. If you’re unsure of where to start, look for a fitness professional who will be able to help and give advice on the matter.
UH: Is exercise the only thing that needs to be taken into account when trying to reach your fitness goals?
Muhamad: Other than exercise, food is a big component which can help you reach your goal. Understanding your goal and matching it with the appropriate activities also means adjusting your diet and food intake.
UH: What kind of workouts should we do, to lose more body fat percentage?
Muhamad: I would suggest a high intensity total body workout that consists of compound exercises that involves multiple joints with free weights and regular cardiovascular exercises. For diet, obtain your carbohydrates and fats from a lean source such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
UH: What about maintaining body weight?
Muhamad: Medium intensity resistance training and moderate cardio will do. Ensure that the calories you consume corresponds to the amount of exercise you do.
UH: What is your advice for bulking up?
Muhamad: Those who want to bulk up and add more muscle to their body will need to do strength training and a hypertrophy training program. Hypertrophy training is a kind of strength training that induces the fastest muscle growth. However, it is important to have proper set up in order to avoid injuries. A high calorie diet is needed with a good ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Protein intake, measured in grams, should be two times the bodyweight of the individual. For example, for a 60 kg person, they’ll need 120 grams of protein in their diet.
UH: What should someone training for a marathon do to prepare?
Muhamad: Marathon training requires adequate training of the lower body and core in order to improve performance. Additionally, cardio capacity can be increased with proper cardiovascular training program such as interval training and long slow distance which is a form of aerobic endurance training for running and cycling.
UH: What is your advice for people who are practicing targeted training for a specific set of muscles in the body?
Muhamad: It’s not wrong but the better approach will be hitting all the muscles because they’re all connected to each other in the musculoskeletal system.
UH: What are the important points to remember when it comes to fitness?
Muhamad: There are five components to fitness that one must hit in order to maximise results and reach optimal health. Fitness should consist of:
- Muscular strength via resistance training
- Muscular endurance iva resistance training or Bodypump, which is a weight based group fitness program
- Cardiovascular strength that can be achieved via swimming or running
- Flexibility via yoga
UH: What is your advice to people trying to reach their fitness goals?
Muhamad: Please do see a fitness professional or personal trainer for advice. This is in order for you to achieve your goals safely and effectively. I’d like to also cheer you on and say, ‘Don’t give up!’, Rome wasn’t built in a day so don’t be too discouraged if you feel like your progress isn’t as quick as you like.