Holistic Body Transformation for Women
Like many men, I’ve spent a lot of time admiring and loving women’s bodies. But unlike a lot of men, I’ve also had to study and train women’s bodies and help them lose fat, often when they themselves hold negative beliefs about their bodies and selves in general and therefore fear or even expect failure. And if women’s husbands and partners instinctively dread that famous question: “Does my bum look big in this?”, then please spare a thought for those of us who try and help women get the body they want.
The important thing for women to remember is that they have 20 percent more fat than males and their testosterone is lower. Therefore gaining strength and muscle can be difficult for women but it is nonetheless absolutely essential to gain muscle mass in order to replace fat mass. Since the female physique, nervous system and hormonal system are very sensitive, then when it comes to exercise women need to think outside the box.
Unfortunately the modern media preaches the idea that all women needs to do to keep in shape is a yoga class or a bit of running but I have found this to be completely untrue. When you run a marathon or even a shorter 10k run, you convert your body into a calorific
burner, not a fat burner. And if you look closely at the average marathon runner you will notice that they are fatter than either a sprinter, weightlifter or cross-fit exerciser. I’ve seen women cross-fit training with explosive lifts and strength conditioning to get optimum and awesome results. But the drawback with cross-fit training is that women can damage their hormonal system and muscle-skeletal system quite easily because, as I have said, their bodies and systems are much more sensitive than men’s bodies, which have higher testosterone and growth hormone levels and a greater proportion of muscle mass.
If we go back 10,000 years to hunter gatherer societies, we find that men were the hunters and women were the gatherers. It is important to understand that we cannot simply override thousands of years of evolution. And yet here in the modern age we see many women gravitating towards yoga. But unfortunately the women that enjoy yoga tend to be the ones who are hyper-mobile and 98 percent will have lower back pain. So if you are really looking for a holistic approach and you really want to get your body in shape and keep it in shape as you age, here are my suggestions.
Firstly, consult a professional to find out what your metabolic type is, or perhaps try out the Atkins diet. If eating too much protein gives you a headache and makes you feel crap, and you gain more body fat, then you are a carbohydrate type: so you need to eat more carbohydrates. But if you try the metabolic typing diet and you eat like a protein type, which is more meat than carbs on the plate, then your body changes. Or if you do the Atkins diet and your body changes dramatically and your energy levels increase, and you are broad in the
shoulders with a skinny waist, then these are the tell- tale signs of a protein type.
Many women exercise extremely hard in the gym but do not get the result they are looking for because they have not addressed their diet. If the human body is more complex than a car engine, then why would you not bother to have a proper exercise program? Unfortunately such questions don’t always go down too well and lead to complaints to the management. So really, if you are a cardio junky and want to keep your cardio going but are worrying from the previous paragraph that you will gain fat mass, then this is what you should do: one minute on, one minute off. That is, train hard for one minute and lightly for the second minute, so that you give your body time to recover. You only need 15 to 20 minutes of this to get optimum results.
Scientific research has found that during hit trainingthe body only needs to train hard for 10 or 15 minutes to get optimum results. This should mean that I become unemployed very quickly. But no, because we still all need to stretch and mobilise, and we all need to go through certain conditioning to keep our body injury free (see section on Corrective Exercise).
So if you truly want a specific body shape, and to lose fat and gain muscle mass, you must remember that no woman, I repeat, no woman, can gain huge amounts of muscle mass like a female body builder does – unless of course they use synthetic drugs. No woman can gain huge muscle amounts of mass without taking testosterone supplements or other synthetic drugs. I’ve heard this so many times that it makes me upset to hear women say: “I don’t want to get all big and muscly on your programme.” So I have to gently point out that they’ve
been reading the wrong magazines and have not educated themselves properly. They may find this a bit insulting but I’m just being truthful.
When it comes to getting back your holistic body, yes, I recommend yoga: as long as you’re not hyper mobile or in pain. But yoga is not the only answer: you need to do specific weight training to burn calories, break down muscle mass, or break down muscle and rebuild it slowly over time. If you look at superstars like Madonna, J-Lo, and some of the big athletes, you will notice that as they age they retain their body mass, which keeps them looking young. There’s an article about Madonna on my website where you can read how she combined yoga, running, weight lifting and dancing to keep her body in shape. She has truly done that: she is 60 and still looks amazing.
The other thing that women have to take into account is that as you age your oestrogen level will drop but your testosterone will increase, which is why a lot of women when they reach 50 have to shave because of these higher levels of testosterone. But if you train regularly, then that testosterone can be converted into muscle and strength, and you can have a wonderful body in your 50s, 60s and even in your 70s – Madonna is proving this.
So here are my four top tips:
One, women must weight train to maintain muscle mass and bone mass. Women often gravitate towards alcoholic drinks with coco cola, lemonade or other fizzy drinks, which affect PH levels and take calcium out of the bones, which can cause arthritis as you age. So weight training
to keep muscle mass and keep lean is a must for any women.
Two, get your hormones checked. Find out if your hormones are at the level they should be or if you have any problems that may be preventing you from gaining muscle and strength.
Three: never miss a meal. Every time a woman misses a meal her body fat will increase because we are designed to be able to survive famines. Every time you miss a meal your body will multiply its fat cells and you will get bigger rather than leaner. So eating regularly and according to your metabolic type is essential for any female.
Four: make sure you get plenty of rest. Older ladies may suffer from night sweats, insomnia, and may therefore find excuses for missing sessions with their trainer. So it’s important to get adequate sleep, which is usually 6 to 8 hours, in order to feel fully recovered from exercise. The hormone check will find out if your adrenal glands are functioning properly so that when you are lifting weights and doing your cardiovascular interval training you will be able to gain lean muscle over all of the body.
I find it is adequate for women to train regularly four times a week to enhance their bodies to the degree they desire: twice yoga, twice weights, or once yoga, three times weights. The old fallacy was that we need to combine cardiovascular training with weight training, but the latest scientific
findings show that while weight training we will tone up the cardiovascular system, strength and hormones all at the same time. So if you don’t have time for cardio exercise you should do strength and conditioning in the gym to get that great looking body and to look and feel youthful.
I am a great believer in fish oils and supplements to keep brain chemistry balanced. A good multivitamin will help you feel good. And never miss meals. But if you are someone who wants to lose vast amounts of body fat very quickly, then I highly recommend fasting: I’ve been using this method on myself and my clients for years now and find it to be absolutely essential for getting the body back in shape, balancing hormones, or attacking the onset of diabetes or obesity. So if you are obese and want to get back into shape, or you have diabetes, breathing problems, or hormonal imbalances, you will find that fasting will allow you to balance everything. But fasting can be very hard to do, so perhaps you may need a coach to show you what to do and take you through the different stages of fasting.
So ladies, I hope you have enjoyed this section of the book.