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Today I am writing this column in angst because I feel that there is a common misconception amongst many that a 12 week “transformation programme”, a 30 day abs challenge, 8 week bootcamp or 2 month “insanity” programme will take you from the average body to bikini body ready or “shredded”.   I can say for sure and from experience that this is not true. A normal size 12/14 that holds a 25-35% body fat range will NOT achieve that look in this short period of time, trust me. My job is based on people who want to shed fat or get fit in order to assist in a feeling of confidence and feeling good about themselves. They are aware that having a healthy body weight and being fit correlates to good health and a longer life. However, we are now exposed to millions of “Fitspo” images on facebook and instagram, promoting female physiques that display ripped abs, defined quads & big booties. Furthermore, a lot believe that this can be achieved in a short period of time. So let me give you an insight into the reality of owning a body like this and what it takes to achieve it.

Emily Skye and Michelle Lewin are popular fitness models that have followers in their millions. They post amazing shots in gorgeous bikinis & fitness wear making most ordinary women feel like beached whales, fuelling poor body image and low self esteem. Don’t get me wrong, when I look at them I feel nothing but admiration and respect because I know what kind of life they have to lead in order to live in that body.

It is extremely important to differentiate between the mindset of a professional fitness athlete over the average female. These facebook and Instagram sensations earn a living from their appearance and thus are continually motivated never mind paid to eat, sleep and train all year round. Every calorie is counted, every macronutrient (proteins, carbs and fats) are measured for every meal every day, week and month of the year. You can be damn sure they don’t rip it up every weekend boozing and certainly don’t binge drink and have a late night chippys on the way home!! Every vitamin supplement is timed around their training and their meals; sleep is usually 7-9 hours every night. On the other hand someone managing a typical 9-5 and a few kids is faced with a number of physical and mental barriers before they even set foot in a gym. Achieving an ultra low body fat level takes time, planning and good advice. A few weeks ago I was chatting to one of the world’s top physique coaches , Phil Graham and I asked him what it takes to achieve this appearance, he confirmed that “having trained some of the top female fitness professional across the world I have to say their level of dedication and attention to detail is remarkable, these physiques are not achieved over night!”

So there you go, Generic time scales on fat loss – 6 weeks, 12 weeks etc.. is a means to an end. In summary, If you want to look anything like a professional fitness model ask yourself are you doing what it takes (on average) to get where you want to be. I asked Phil to create a simple checklist for the readers:

  • Completing your training sessions instead of skipping them
  • Monitoring your calorie intake instead of winging it (or grazing), if you aren’t assessing you are guessing
  • Making smart food choices in line with your calorie goals
  • Getting 7-9 hours sleep a night
  • Monitoring your progress with a good coach
  • Avoid stress
  • Having a set schedule – setting your gym times and sticking to them
  • Educating yourself on various aspects of nutrition/training
  • learning to back off training when you’re tired instead of pushing through with it (for the sake of it and ending up burnout/injured

If you want to get the most out of your physique, try and consider each of these factors on daily basis.

I f you need any assistance in your fat loss or fitness goals please contact me on 07725050858 or info@taragrimesfitness.com