The 6 Steps to Fat Loss Success for Beginners
By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
For beginners, getting into fitness can be intimidating and confusing. But it
doesnít have to be that way. In fact, getting fit is one of the most
straightforward tasks youíll attempt in the New Year. Fortunately, reaching your
fitness goals requires only two things; discipline (thatís up to you) and a set
of simple guidelines (which Iím happy to provide).
First, you should arrange for a full physical examination from your physician.
This is mandatory for people that have high cholesterol, high blood pressure,
diabetes, or are obese. Once you have your doctorís approval to begin a fitness
program, you should schedule a fitness assessment with a health professional at
While both of these are incredibly annoying, they are essential to your success
and well-being. The benefits of a doctorís visit are obvious, particularly if
you have one or more of the previously mentioned conditions but it also allows
you and your doctor to discuss your lifestyle. Preventative medicine is far
better than reactive medicine. Make your doctor part of your fat loss and
health-building team along with the health professionals at your gym.
The real benefits of the fitness assessment arenít finding out how much body fat
you have or how many minutes you can last on the treadmill, but rather getting a
better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. If you want to avoid
injury and actually achieve your goals this year, get to know your strengths and
The next secret is to walk, donít run, to fitness success. If you want to pick
up your University running workouts where you left them 10 years ago, thatís
fine. But I guarantee you wonít last 10 days. And then itíll be a dreary 355
days until youíre ready to try exercise again.
The hidden benefit of a good fitness assessment is that it will actually serve
as a nice introductory workout to your return to fitness. It will buffer your
delusions of fitness grandeur from the reality of what your body actually can
do. After the fitness assessment teaches your body a lesson and awakens your
muscles from their winter slumber, only then will you realize your limits that
you must respect in subsequent workouts.
Goal-setting is the fourth secret to success (and not just in fitness, but in
any area of life). It is much more effective to commit to a set of specific
short-term and long-term goals than it is to routinely hope for weight loss each
Set realistic goals and remember to train within your limits. If you are
currently sedentary and havenít exercised in months (or years), donít begin an
advanced training program. Start with a conservative beginner program. Your
belly wasnít built in a day, and neither will be lost overnight.
Limit your initial workouts to 1 set per muscle group. In week 2, you should be
ready to add another set. And if you want to build up to 3 sets, then do so in
week 3. Slowly increase the weight and stay within your desired repetition
range. At no time should you be too sore to function. And runners should also
heed this advice. Too much running will guarantee shin splints in the early
going. Avoid running on back to back days for the first two weeks and keep the
distance short. Sore muscles are guaranteed when you lift. So keep the volume
And now for 2 super secrets that will help keep you committed and consistent
with your workouts and will finally help you lose fat for good.
First, build your social support team. Social support is the #1 factor for
success for women in fitness programs, and is important for men as well. Support
can come from your spouse, brother or sister, child, mom or dad, friend,
neighbor, co-worker, personal trainer, or lifestyle coach. Donít try to go it
alone. People respond better when they report to a person instead of a machine.
You also need to know that nutrition is the second most important factor for
success in fat loss programs. Thatís why you donít need to train like a
world-class athlete when you are starting to lose fat. Most of the fat youíll
lose in the early going is because you have chosen to make better nutritional
choices. And if you donít make better nutritional choices, even the best
exercise program in the world isnít going to help you achieve your fat loss
Nutrition is a lot simpler than you think. Don't over think things. See a
nutritionist or listen to what your mother told you as a kid. Food choices
should contain a large nutrient-to-calorie ratio. Dr. Phil (yes that Dr. Phil)
calls this ďHigh-Response Cost, High-Yield NutritionĒ. And follow this rule:
Don't eat foods with added sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, but make sure to
log your nutritional intake. This is a free website that allows you to track
your calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
The consistent use of these 6 secrets will help you achieve your fat loss goals
this year. Make this yearís fitness plan a strategic investment in your future
health. The most efficient and effective way to lose fat in 2005 is with my
Turbulence Training workouts - the choice of fitness professionals.
About the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes
for Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen
magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been
featured multiple times in Menís Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines and all
over the Internet, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world
lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per
week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help
you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit