Tag Archive | weighttraining

Is your genetics to blame?



Last week my friend sent me a video of herself doing  presss up! Yes! the same friend who sent me a picture of her Back complaining about the non-existent or rather normal and healthy fat we all carry there.

My friend has been trying to eat better, and train smarter, so I have been obliging her with advice here and there. The first time she sent me a video of herself doing press ups she asked me to inspect  her form and advise accordingly.

I’ve inserted a poor picture of my friend in press up mode below


A week after I gave her some pointers about her form, she sends me another video, this time her form was much better! But I couldn’t help but notice her amazing shape! Amazing for a mum of 3 who doesn’t lift weights! The definition she had was similar to someone who lifted weights consistently! Her waist was so tight and her bum looked like she squatted for days. I know for a fact that she doesn’t lift weights, but she runs on occasions and does the elliptical machine. And these are the least efficient or effective way to build muscles.  I knew those two machines do not explain that body definition. And you know what? neither does her diet! I’ve known her a while, we spent too many times eating pizza express before I found healthy eating. She doesn’t eat much, but she doesn’t necessarily eat clean; biscuits and snacks her also her Achilles heel.

What explains her definition is genetics. Whether we want to hear it or not genetics plays an important role, not just in our shapes, (e.g whether we are pear or apple shape), but also in the ease with which we can develop muscle mass. I’ve been weight training for 5 years now, and my results are comparable to hers in some areas. Life is a bitch like that!!

A study that appeared in the International Journal of Obesity found that while you need physical activity in order to build muscle, people who have “muscular” genes require far less exercise than others to look fit. My friend has clearly won the genetics lottery, just like some win the lottery in height or even beauty. I have always known that if I wanted some ‘tone’ or muscle mass I’d have to work really hard, because even though I have always been slim, I’ve always been very soft, and after children I got softer. And research suggest that that softness gets worse after menopause, so that means training into my 50’s!!

So yes, genetics plays a role, but that’s not the be all and end all. Studies also suggest that while your genes may determine up to 80 percent of your weight and body shape, environment and personal choice still play a significant role. I haven’t got my friend’s genes, it simply means  unlike her, I  will have to pick up some weights! And I may just need to work harder on my lifts, and harder on the diets that will get me where I want .

The truth is at the end of the day, you’re in the driver’s seat of your own life. No matter what your genes or your environment might be, you can’t gain weight unless you’re taking in more calories than you’re expending (unless there is a medical condition, which is rare). You may not be able to change being apple-shaped, or get my friend’s natural muscle tone, but it’s certainly well within your power to be the healthiest, fittest ‘apple’ shaped  possible and to develop some muscle with resistance training.


Why you just can’t lose tummy fat


Last week a dear friend of mine sent me two pictures of her back, followed by a message which read “Morning, I have mentioned that I don’t really want to lose weight. I do however have fatty areas that get on my nerves and simply don’t seem to want to go away. I’ll send you pics. Any advice will be greatly appreciated”. Less than a minute later she sends the pictures below.




I was a bit distracted so I responded with “you said these are fatty deposits? But you don’t want to lose fat? I’ll call you later” She sent another response saying “I don’t want them to sag over my bra lol. Can’t you see how disgusting it looks. So flaming jelly like! It needs to firm up. Sure, we’ll speak after work”. This message upset me because firstly this looks normal to me, and  I don’t like when anyone uses disgusting to describe any part of their body even in jest – please say ” I don’t like X Or Y” if you must, but disgusting? No. Not even to a friend.

Now we are all human beings and designed to carry fat for survival, we all carry excess fat in different places, mine is tummy and bum and thighs too!. Some carry more fat in their arms, some their thighs. Where we carry more fat is purely down to our genetics, when we put on weight, it is likely to show in those areas first. And sadly, when we lose weight those areas are the last to go! I know  it’s frustrating!! Also  as we get older – past 35 ladies, you will notice your muscle density changes and yes fat deposits in certain areas more, its  inevitable unless you get on top of your eating and change your training style.

So what is the answer to her question – can she lose those ” bits” without losing overall body fat? The answer is no, she says she wants to firm up not lose weight though? – well the thing is you can’t firm up fat. What you can try and do with commitment and discipline  is change your body composition by  changing your diet and building muscle and dropping body fat, she may need to just tweak  her diet and start strength training to build lean muscles – as you can see she is already slim!

But oh! No one wants muscles! People just wanna “tone” right. Well there is no such thing as “tone” no such thing as ” firm” what you mean to say  is build lean muscle.  To do that you need to eat better and deliberately change your body composition through diet and style of exercise. Hang up your running shoes and pick up some weights, even your own body weight will do,  Any type of resistance training

3 Tips to lose fat all over 

  • Sugar. Dump sugar. When I say sugar people usually think table sugar, pastries, cakes, etc. Yes but you also have to understand that all carbs, white or brown converts eventually to sugar, so portion control all carbs too. That means rice, potatoes, yams, including the brown varieties. Please don’t eliminate carbs but control the portion  and understand that all carbs convert or breakdown to sugar. If you are over 35 you need to pay more attention to simple sugar, it sticks like glue to the midsection.  Also, most people tend to think that added sugar is mainly found in desserts like cookies and cakes, but it’s also found in many savory foods, like bread and pasta sauce – I honestly will never use Dolmio tomatoes sauce fir anything because if the sugar content. And some foods promoted as “natural” or “healthy” are laden with added sugar compounding the confusion, most yogurts come to mind here! Fat free but maddened with sugar!!! manufacturers add sugar to 74% of packaged foods sold in supermarkets. That’s a fact and not cool. Moral of the story don’t buy packaged food.
  1. Sugar. Avoid Sugar. I know again right. Yes. This time I want to address sugar in fruits and fruit juices. I know you don’t drink fizzy drinks ! . Some of you juice up to 4 fruits in one sitting! Good grieve!!!!! This is just sugar with sprinklings of nutrients. Please juice vegetables e.g Spinach, Kale, Mint and one Apple! Stick with one piece of fruit in your juice! Sugar is sugar is sugar. Yes it has nutrients, but it’s still sugar so don’t consume it like it’s going out of fashion.
  • More about fruits; Let me tell you something, you see the pink lady apple, it is 12% sugar. They have been engineered on sweetness, shapes, colors and resistance to disease. But mostly sugar, sugar, sugar. Of course you can eat fruits as part of a healthy and balanced diet, but if you juice 3 or 4, then have oats with honey, washed down with orange juice, hey it’s all healthy stuff, but its still all sugar! And no your midsection wouldn’t change, because all it recognizes is the sugar! If you want tasty and lower sugar fruits – try all the berries!
  1. Final tip! Avoid hidden Sugar! I know! But sugar is a demon. Let me address this thing with honey! Honey is sugar. Let me say it again honey is sugar. Full stop.

Where  is sugar hidden

  1. Leading brand of yogurts some  contain 7 teaspoons (29 grams) of sugar per serving!!! My favourite yogurt is Fage, Total! The one without honey!
  2. A breakfast bar made with “real fruit” and “whole grains” lists at least 15 grams of sugar.
  3. A cranberry/pomegranate juice product, also advertising “no high-fructose corn syrup” and “100% Vitamin C,” contains 30 grams of added sugar per 8 oz. serving. Some of the sugar is naturally occurring, but some of it has been added.

We know so much about diet and exercise now,  it’s time to convert that knowledge to personal power and stop letting people lie to you or sell you false quick fixes. Be empowered. Whatever you want to achieve.

p.s – The picture of me above shows what is possible after two children with diet and excercise at this present time I do not look this lean. This was for a bikini competition  and for three months I ate really well and strictly, I ate more food that I ever want to eat again!! to build muscles you have to eat loads! I STILL EAT LOADS! and I trained for 6 days a week.