I’m sure that many of you will have heard people in the fitness industry say that to achieve a beach body you should follow a plan of 70% nutrition and 30% training. This is complete rubbish. It doesn’t matter if your aim is to achieve a beach body or to win the London marathon. There are four components to achieving your goals and they are all equal value. These are your training plan, nutrition plan, rest plan and your sleep plan.
Training: There is no way around this, if you want to achieve your goals you need to train for them. If you want to win the London marathon you need to train for long distance running. If you want a beach body you need to combine weight training with some form of cardio training. A balanced nutrition plan will help you reduce your bodyfat levels, but for the muscles to show their shape they need to be strengthened through weight training.
Nutrition: Arnold Schwarzenegger said it best, you can’t flex flab. A balanced nutrition plan that provides you with all the nutrients you need to achieve your goals in a healthy way, combined with a well-structured exercise program will help you achieve your goals a lot faster.
Rest: Are you getting enough rest in-between workouts? When Arnold Schwarzenegger was dominating the bodybuilding scene in the 1970’s he would train twice a day, six days a week. Depending on the stage of the season his workouts would last between two and two and a half hours. That would mean he would train for between four and five hours a day and each muscle group would be trained three times a week. In the 1990’s when Dorian Yates was dominating the bodybuilding scene he would train four days a week. Each muscle group would be trained once a week and his workouts would last forty minutes. If you asked him Dorian Yates would say that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s training philosophy was classic over-training. Whatever your goals are if you are tired you will not be able to exercise with enough intensity to achieve them.
Sleep: Yes sleep. This is probably the most overlooked factor however it is just as important as training, nutrition and rest. Conventional wisdom suggests that people sleep for eight hours a day. I have seen interviews with Arnold Schwarzenegger where he said he sleeps for six hours. His response to people saying they need eight was to sleep faster. When you sleep your body repairs itself and relaxes your body from the stresses of the day. How many hours sleep you require each night will depend on your lifestyle and body clock, just make sure you get what you require.