Category Archives: blog

Metabolism or Mentality?

It’s been said to death, “you have to workout in the morning, it kick starts your metabolism”. This is true. Being active early in the morning does get your body working and burning calories right away. However, does this mean that it’s a waste of time to exercise in the evening? Absolutely not! A few years ago had the pleasure of working with a number of people in a group setting with the goal of weight loss. In a particular scenario, they were all given a very similar nutrition plan to follow. As a rule, the clients who attended the morning classes saw better “results” than the clients who worked out in the evening, (ie weight loss, see my blog “when will I see results” for more on this topic). I have seen the disappointment in the eyes of clients who are unable to workout in the morning when they hear this. I would like to offer another reason for the success of the morning trainers that can be employed by evening exercisers to aid in their success.

Perhaps rather than focusing on the boost to the metabolism that morning exercisers see, the focus should lie with the mentality that they leave the gym with. If you drag yourself out of bed at 5 am to make it for a 5:30 am workout, you are more inclined to first, eat breakfast because you start off your day with a workout and will probably be hungry. You will also most likely not want to waste your hard work from that morning so your choice at lunch will be better. Once dinner time rolls around, again you will make better decisions because you have spent the whole day with health and fitness on your mind. Now if you put yourself into the mentality of a person who gets up at “normal” time, 6-8 am, goes to work all day, comes home and changes, maybe eats and then goes to the gym or fitness class, it is much easier to have self talk that sounds like, “I’m going to workout tonight, I can eat this”, “I’ll just have to work extra hard tonight to make up for this”. If fat loss is your goal, nutrition is 80% of the battle. I’ll say that again, if your goal is fat loss, nutrition is 80% of the battle. If you are not training in the morning it is much easier to skip breakfast, strike one. If you are not starting your day off with health and fitness being a focus, your choices at lunch or throughout are more likely going to be poor, strike two. And if you are planning on working out in the evening, this makes dinner choices more difficult and may lead you to making the “easy” choice, which is not always the best choice, strike three. There you go, three strikes before you even step in to the gym and your first bead of sweat hits the floor.

The ability to reach your goals lies in small choice over the course of the day, day in day out. There is not one secret trick that will make you lose the weight you want to loss or the changes in your body composition come any faster or easier. It’s about what you are doing right now and what you will do in the next hour or two that make the difference, not what you did yesterday or what you are going to do tomorrow, it about right now. Stay in the moment of the journey of your reaching your goals. Ask yourself, “is what I’m doing right now going to help me or hurt me in achieving what I want?” I truly believe that as long as your goal is realistic you can do it. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE TOO. Exercise or be active whenever you are able, eat breakfast, and keep your goals in front of you, not in the back of your mind. I BELIEVE IN YOU.

Thanks for reading

Matt Kingstone

King Cobra Fit

My guide to Weight Loss (It’s Nothing Crazy)

I take my clients goals very seriously. I try to give them all of the tools that they need to make the choices necessary to reach those goals. Hearing any of my clients say that they aren’t seeing the results that they were hoping for, is by far the most stressful situation that I have experienced so far as a trainer. I pride myself on providing challenging, functional, fun and educational fitness classes and sessions that lead to results. This is what my philosophy revolves around, and if it doesn’t work then my philosophy is flawed. That is what stresses me out. Like butterflies in my stomach and keeps me up at night kind of stress. Fat loss is by far the most common goal of any of my clients. This is the hardest one for me to ensure happens. Getting a client stronger, faster, moving better or performing better in an event, is easy compared to guiding a client through a weight loss journey. There is so much information out there regarding fat loss, some of it good, most of it bad and confusing; I take for granted that my clients are doing everything right when we are not together. One of the hardest parts with this is that many of them are legitimately trying. Following programs that they have found on line or that are provided by an App on their phones or sticking to what they remember working in the past. The problem with this is many of the programs on the internet or found on apps are not nearly personalized enough to provide the weight loss that they are looking for. I encourage you to read my blog “When am I going to see results”, I talk about the need to focus on more than just weight loss as a “result” of healthy lifestyle choices. However, I realize that weight loss is a very important goal for some people, and it can have medical implications for some. So with this in mind, I wanted to provide a guide to weight loss (should be called fat loss). Here are six basic general rules to follow that, if you follow them at least 80% of the time day in day out you will see the results you are looking for. No gimmicks, no fads just truths.

Strength train.

The best calorie burner your body has is muscle. The best way to build muscle is to strength train, period. The idea here is that the more lean muscle mass you have on your body, the more calories your body will need use to just sustain life. Now don’t for a minute think that because you have the goal of adding muscle mass that you will get “bulky”, this will not happen, especially if you are a female. Getting “bulky” isn’t so easy that you can do it unintentionally. But you have to lift heavy to cause your body to feel the need to add muscle mass, so don’t be afraid to use more weight than you’re used to, but can lift with correct form. I generally build in at least one “strength” day a week into my programming for my clients.

Sweat every day

If your goal is weight loss, working out 2-3 days per week is not enough.  If your goal is weight loss, working out 2-3 days per week is not enough. Just like you need to make smart food choices day in, day out, you need to make physical activity a daily priority as well. Sweat every day for at least 30 minutes. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy; go for a hike, play with the kids, ice skate, power walk, play squash or racquet ball, anything. The key is, use your body. You spend 2-3 hours a week with your trainer building strength, mobility and endurance, what good is it if you don’t put it use. Enjoy what you can do today that you couldn’t do yesterday!

Eat 

This is the hardest concept for most people to comprehend. If your goal is weight loss, and you are being physically active, a huge reduction in daily calorie intake won’t work. If you are not fueling your body to recover from your workouts then you are doing yourself a great disservice. There are many different philosophies out there when it comes to eating. The best one that I have found, that works for almost everyone, is also the most difficult. It’s not difficult because you have to eat gross tasteless foods, or do some crazy juice fast to start it off or even go for long periods feeling hungry. It’s difficult because you have to eat; you have to eat more food than you think. “Grazing” is a concept of eating every 3-4 hours starting with breakfast no more than an hour after getting up. Three main meals a day; Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with small snacks between at least breakfast and lunch as well as lunch and dinner. Eating breakfast is very important. It triggers your metabolism and tells your body that food is abundant and that it can use its own fat stores for additional energy without concern of a famine. Continuing to eat throughout the day reinforces this concept and will help your body to be comfortable with letting go of stored body fat. This is where I have an issue with “Apps” that tell you how many calories you have to eat in a day. Does that app take into account what physical activity you did or are going to do that day, or what you did the day before?  If you are serious about losing fat and changing your body composition for the rest of your life, then the changes you make have to be sustainable and realistic and work for you. Put down the app and make an appointment with a nutritionist or dietician who you can speak to face to face and work out a meal plan that works for your lifestyle, your likes and dislikes and your longevity. They are worth the investment if you are serious about making a change. Food is by far the most important step in any health, weight loss, vitality goal, don’t half ass it, take your needs to a subject matter expert, you’ll be shocked with the difference that it will make.

Drink

Water is the nectar of life. It will make or break any healthy living strategy including weight loss. Drink plenty of water. I really don’t think I have to say much more about this one. 2 or more litres per day is a good start.

 Sleep

The time that you spend in the gym is the time you spend doing “damage” to your body. You are forcing it to do things that it is not used to doing. You are causing it to say “holy crap! What just happened? I’d better add some muscle so that isn’t as hard next time”.  It is while you are resting, relaxing and most importantly, sleeping that your body does this. Aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep every night is tough. Believe me, I know. I get up at or before 5 am 5 days a week. As a 30 something male, it’s hard for me to force myself to go to bed before 9 pm most nights. But let me tell you, if I’m up past 11 pm more than a couple days in a row I’m useless. Sleep and recover, allow yourself time to recharge. You will see the changes in your body composition, energy levels and mood.

Own your choice

If you truly want to see results, I mean really want it, you have to prove it. Not to me, or to your kids or the friend that is helping keep you accountable. You have to prove it to yourself. If you make a decision to change, do all the way. Own the choice to make the change. Losing 20 – 50 lbs of body fat won’t happen on its own or overnight. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to take work. You’ll have ups and downs, hold on to your successes and let go of your failures. Dwell on your victories not your defeats. Part of owning your choice is giving it enough time to show you results, if the result isn’t what you were hoping for  after a few weeks or a month, make one small change and keep going, giving up because what you are doing isn’t ”working” is not owning anything. You spend 2-3 hour a week with your trainer, you spend 24 hours a day with yourself, following all the rules is up to you. Make the choice. Trust the process. Do it. Live it. See it. Own it!

Putting it all together

Ok so here it is. If you add muscle to your body, causing your body to need to use more calories in a day to just survive; If you are active every single day for at least 30 minutes, using your new strong body, enjoying life and burning calories without even thinking about it; If you get guidance from a nutritional expert and feed yourself enough healthy, nutrient rich food so that your body can recover from your workout as well as be convinced that there isn’t a famine and that it can sacrifice stored body fat; And if you can do it all with conviction, passion and trust, I can guarantee that you will see all the results that you have ever hoped for. If one of these is missing  or lacking, you will not see the results that you want. Make your focus the journey not the destination and you will be there before you know it.

Thanks for reading

Matt Kingstone

King Cobra Fit Personal Training