When it comes to health/fitness and changing of a lifestyle, being resilient and having the ability to alter your mind set is vital to be successful.
The majority of people wanting to change the way they feel about themselves internally and externally expect to notice results instantaneously. This is unrealistic for their approach and therefore this can actually create negative results.
A lifestyle change cannot happen immediately otherwise it will not be a long term change. Initial expectations should not be too high as the disappointment can almost be a de-motivator and prevent you from moving forward with your new way of living.
Gradual progress is to be expected with little visual changes within several weeks. You should start to notice the way you feel and perform before any external progress and
change takes place.
1. Weak point training
Biologically we are all the same but genetically we are all different. Throughout our journey to better our physiques we often find some body parts are easier and some are harder to improve. I often get questions about how I tackle this problem; what techniques I would use in order to work on my weak points:
Regardless of what body part it may be, I tend to prioritise this area during training sessions. I believe, in order to target your weak points you need to train it more frequently and pay it more attention, i.e. two to three times a week instead of once a week. This will allow change to take place in this particular area at a quicker rate than the other parts being trained,
Training wise, I use compound movements where I use a rep range of 6-8 with heavier weights on one of those training days, alternatively I perform isolating movements with higher reps of 15-20 on the other days. Depending on body type, some people get better results doing more compound movements while others may benefit more from isolating exercises. For me I have found I need to do both. A combination of compound and isolated movements in conjunction with a direct focus and frequency of training when working on my weak point has proved to help me overcome this.
2. Importance of goal setting and the right mind-set
I had my goals set a year ago for what I needed to work on for my first show of 2014 season.
Breaking your goals down is one of the most important things for ‘getting it done.’ In order to achieve the long term goals, you need to set short term goals i.e. 12 months ago I aimed to work on my back and gain the necessary width for my physique. Upon obtaining the width, I then focused on the density. Although I needed to consider my back muscles collectively; it was effective for me to work on them individually to help achieve my desired look.
In order to be successful with goal reaching, I have experienced that one has to be more mentally strong than physically. Controlling your mind is what drives your body forward.
‘What your mind conceives; Your body can achieve.’
Without the mind your body will be lost therefore, visualisation of the end result is what builds the belief in your ability to do so. As a result of mental persistence the success in achieving your goal is more easily obtained and importantly more enjoyable.
In short – you are an artist. You are creating the image in your head. You watch your body change in a gradual and way.
My Example of how I approached my weak point:
- Back Workout
- 3 times a week
4x 6-8 reps (Compound)
Weighted chin ups
Wide grip lateral pull downs
Wide grip seated rows
4x 15-20 reps (Isolated)
Close grip pull ups
Reverse grip pull downs
Single arm seated rows
Reverse dumbbell flyes
Repeat either day #1 or day #2
For more information on workouts and eating habits follow me on my Facebook page: FawadAhadi – IFBB Pro.
“A goal without a plan is just a dream”
Whether it is your fitness goal or any other goal in life, it is important to have a plan and a realistic time frame to achieve it. I find it is easy to stay motivated if I have a deadline, occasion or an event to work towards.
I am often approached by individuals who want advice on how to get fit and lean for various reasons. The more interesting one recently is how to get fit and toned for their engagement or wedding days. It is clear that now a day it is not only the bridesmaid and bride that want to look and feel good in their wedding clothes but guys are also starting to care, after all it is one of the most important days of their lifes.
While it is good to have a reason to get fit, I find it a problem as majority of people wanting to do so for an occasion set themselves unrealistic goals. Often they do not allow enough time for steady results. This is usually a result of bad planning. We cannot crash diet our way into a great healthy physique. It is best to start early and allow yourself the time necessary. As the wedding season will be fast approaching, I want to take this opportunity and reach out to those who are in need.
This program is designed to broaden your shoulders and melt your middle so that you will not only look great walking down the aisle but also feel good. I will discuss the key factors that will help you in achieving your goals.
In order to lose body fat and increase muscle mass I believe it is important to keep your metabolism in high gears and to feed your muscles throughout the day. You ought to eat six small meals throughout the day rather than three big meals. One other good reason to have smaller meals throughout the day is it can reduce the chances of you gorging yourself on a huge chicken and pasta at dinner simply because you have not eaten since lunch.
Protein and branched chain amino acids are your number one muscle builders. You will need to eat plenty of protein as well as good portions of carbs to fuel your workouts. The goal is to tailor your daily meal plan to your daily activity level so that you consume more protein and carbs on days that you strength train and lesser carbs on days that you cardio or perform light exercise.
Fat loss and muscle growth is not just about caloric intake, it is about the quality of the food you eat as well. As a general rule, you should try to avoid foods that are overly processed. I strongly believe in sticking to a meal plan where you cook your own whole foods. Eating out of a packet or a can all day is not the healthiest way to live in the long term.
Choose your food sources carefully:
- Proteins: Chicken, White Fish, Salmon, lean ground Beef, Eggs and whey protein powders are all great sources of protein.
- Carbohydrates: Oats, Kumara, Rice are good sources of carbohydrates.
- Fats: Fish oils, coconut oils, Avocado & nuts are just a few to mention.
Whether you have six, eight or ten weeks to go before your occasion, you can make good changes to your physique. The change you achieve is very dependent on how much time you have for training. You do not need to spend hours at the gym at a time. I always recommend quality over quantity. A 45 minute intense workout is always better than a two hour slow workout. Below is a program I stick to when I have to get myself in shape.
Day # 1 Upper body power/strength
Day # 2 Lower body power/strength
Day # 3 HIIT / Abs
Day # 4 Upper body high intensity
Day # 5 Lower body high intensity
Day #1 Upper body power/strength
The goal is to train heavy during your working sets and sticking to lower rep range.
Warm up: Chin ups / push ups
Flat bench press 5 x 8 - 10
Barbell rows 5 x 8 - 10
Barbell Shoulder press 5 x 8 - 10
Day #2 Lower body power/strength
Heavy weights / Basic multi joint exercises
Warm up: 10minutes stationary bike / body weight squats
Seated leg press 5 x 10 – 12
Barbell squats 5 x 10 – 12
Deadlifts 5 x 10 – 12
Day #3 Cardio / Abs
I personally prefer to avoid cardio machines if I can. Instead I like to do more functional movements or some light lifting (supersets). The exercises you choose, while important, are not the main factor in determining the cardiovascular training effect. The key is how you perform them. Minimum rest between sets to keep your heart rate up is the most important factor. So if you don’t like cardio machines why not jump rope two times a week instead. You can superset jump ropes with different abdomen exercises. For example, if one turn of the rope is equal to one repetition, do 100 repetitions forward followed by 30 crunches. Repeat that for as many sets you can while switching from crunches to other exercises. At first you may need to rest between sets but try to complete the workout in less time each session.
Day #4 Upper body high intensity
High reps / reduced rest periods between sets / lighter weights
Warm up: chin ups/push ups
Flat bench press 4 x 12 - 15
Dumbell Flyes 4 x 12 - 15
Seated rows 4 x 12 - 15
Lateral pulldowns 4 x 12 - 15
Barbell shoulder press 4 x 12 - 15
Lateral dumbbell side raises 4 x 12 - 15
Day #5 Lower body high intensity
High reps / reduced rest periods between sets / lighter weights
Warm up: stationary bike / body weight squats
Seated leg extensions 4 x 15 - 20
Lying leg curls 4 x 15 – 20
Leg press 4 x 15 – 20
Walking lunges 4 x 20
Box squat jumps 4 x 20
Fawad Ahadi IFBB Pro
Groom should not buy his tuxedo before doing this program. We expect the body to change so it is best to try your tuxedo close to the wedding day!
For more information on workouts and eating habits follow me on my Facebook page: Fawad Ahadi – IFBB Pro.
Nothing looks more impressive than a well built physique, with a six pack of well-defined Abs. However, let’s get one thing very clear before we even discuss what may be a good routine for your Abs. If you are looking to show off your Abs, regardless of what you may have heard, Abs are “made in the kitchen” and not just in the gym. You need to follow a clean diet that is not excessive in calories, as no amount of specific abdominal exercises can spot reduce the belly fat that covers up your muscles!
Previously, I have discussed how you can adjust your eating in order to reveal your abdomen. Here I want to focus on some of my favourite exercises that target the overall abdomen and helps me build a strong core. I often see people training their core by doing thousands of crunches. Crunches are great, however, they mainly work the Upper Abs. In order to have a good functioning abdomen, you need to build the Abs properly and work on all parts of your core.
Here is one of my routines to follow, which targets all areas of your Abs:
My routine is composed of five exercises carefully chosen to target all the different parts of my Abs i.e Upper Abs, Lower Abs and external Obliques.
First I start with:
Crunches (Upper Abs)
- Lie flat on your back and have your feet elevated on a bench.
- You can place your hands on your chest or behind your neck.
- Flexing your abdomen, raise your shoulders and torso as far as possible from the ground in a curling movement.
- Retaining tension on the Abs, lower your shoulders to the beginning position and avoid temptation to rock back and forth and instead have a controlled movement.
Knee-ins (Lower Abs)
- Sit on the edge of a bench with your legs extended in front of you and your hands holding on to the sides for support.
- Keeping your knees together, pull your knees in towards your chest until you can go no further.
- Keeping the tension on your lower ab muscles, return to the start position and repeat the movement until you have completed your set.
Side crunches (Obliques)
- Lie on your side and support your body between your forearms and knees to your feet.
- Lower your waist and then lift up tensing your Obliques and holding the tension at the top for two to three seconds.
- Repeat both sides for the recommended number of reps.
Jackknife sit-ups (Upper/Lower/Obliques)
- Lie flat on the floor on your back with your arms extended straight back behind your head and your legs extended also.
- As you exhale, bend at the waist while simultaneously raising your legs and arms to meet in a jackknife position.
- While inhaling, lower your arms and legs back to the starting position and repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
- Get into a prone position on the floor, supporting your weight on your toes and your forearms.
- Your arms are bent and directly below the shoulders.
- Keep your body straight at all times and hold this position for as long as possible.
- Suck your lower Abs in, while pushing your knees into each other to increase difficulty.
There can be many ways to perform this routine, and personally I like to do them all in a circuit, then repeat four to five sets. The number of reps depends on one’s ability to perform them properly with good form. I will start with 20 reps each and work my way up to 50 reps per exercise, per set. As I get stronger, I reduce the rest time in between sets and this again depends on your level of fitness, so start slow and make gradual changes.
Raising the intensity and consistency of each exercise is the key to building a strong core, just like any other body part.