Demand & Supply
People exercise for a number of reasons, but more often than not it’s because they want to change their body composition and by this I mean burn body fat, increase lean muscle mass, shape and tone their body, and to be honest, it really is very simple to achieve.
In fact, I could give you every single tool you need to get into the best shape of your life, for life in just 8 weeks, I could map everything out for you step by step and if you did exactly what I told you, you would transform both your body and lifestyle; however, that doesn’t make it easy, otherwise everyone would be walking around looking like Greek Gods & Goddesses or Spartan Warriors, chanting “Aruuu Aruuu Aruuu”. It takes persistence, turning up every day and putting the work in, determination to want to change and willpower to implement and see a structured programme through to the end, but more importantly, it takes willpower to want to learn and understand how and why the body changes as it does.
Three essential components that will significantly affect your health and fitness:
#3 Rest & Recovery
The fact is, all three of the above compliment each other and if you can fuel your performance and recovery with quality nutrition and optimal rest, your results will speak for themselves. As the saying goes, “you can’t out-train a bad diet” and equally, you won’t grow, repair and recover, ready for your next workout if you don’t give your body an optimal amount of rest.
I often refer to this concept as the “demand and supply” theory; it’s based on creating a demand on the body from adequate external stimulus to create a reason to change and then supplying that demand with the right nutrition and rest to promote actual change. The word “change” here is in reference to a positive health-related outcome whether that be fat loss, lean muscle growth or improved performance; any of which will certainly influence your body composition and if well balanced will promote a shaped, toned and lean body.
When the body is exerted to adequate external stimulus from high-intensity exercise, the body will naturally aim to develop in order to deal better with this stimulus next time round. With reference to weights/resistance training and providing you fuel your workouts and recovery with the right amount of quality nutrition and rest, your body will often increase lean muscle mass to combat additional stress.
However, that does not mean any lean muscle you gain is there for life, the fact is, you have to “use it or lose it” and at least hit your maintenance calories each day to maintain your weight or you could be subject to catabolism where your muscle is broken down as an energy source. Now if your anything like me, you’re all about that “HULK” life, gaining and maintaining lean muscle mass, whilst reducing body fat and minus the green skin and bad temper, unless of-course someone steals my food.
So, how can we maximise the “demand” we put on our body and ensure we are getting the right amount of quality nutrition and rest to “supply” our body with everything it needs to change (without the use of gamma radiation).
Well, it is actually quite simple, pick up heavy objects, put them back down in a controlled manner and repeat. Weights and resistance training is, in my opinion, the best way to promote physical change, we have to add enough external stimulus to the body to cause micro tears within the muscle fibres to force them to repair, grow and develop bigger and stronger fibres to better deal with that stimulus next time round. The key is to control each and every rep and force the targeted muscle to undergo optimal tension for full ROM (range of motion) through both the concentric (shortening of the muscle) and eccentric (lengthening of the muscle) phase.
Ok so we now know how to create a “demand”, but how do we now “supply” that demand?
Let’s start with rest, ideally, we want to aim for 7-9 hours of “deep” sleep each night; during deep sleep natural human growth hormone levels peak, this increase in secreted HGH will aid lean muscle growth repair and recovery. Rest is vital to ensure we can perform equally as good and if not better than our last performance to ensure we always create a “demand” to change.
Three key factors to consider:
Now this isn’t rocket science but I’m going to keep this as simple as possible, firstly, a calorie is a unit of energy and we gain this energy from consuming food; remember, food is fuel/energy. When it comes to calories it is as simple as calories in vs calories out.