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Personal trainer reveals the EXACT workouts and diet for every type of fitness goal- from resistance training for fat loss to HIIT for toning

MSN 2019-08-19 01:45:00

Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle tone or increased cardio performance, your workout and diet should be different according to your desired result.

And now, personal trainer Rachael Attard, has revealed exactly how you should eat and exercise for your goals.

Speaking to FEMAIL, the Sydney-based expert outlined what you should do if your goal is weight loss, tone, muscle building, better cardio and increased flexibility.

So what should you be doing?

Weight loss is a popular goal for many around the planet. 

But still, so many of us get it wrong when it comes to the right workout to lose weight.

'For people who want to lose weight, a mix of cardio and resistance training is best,' Rachael told FEMAIL.

'Cardio will see you burning hundreds of calories and lose weight, while resistance training will help you to build muscle, which will also help with fat loss.'

The personal trainer said you might think that exercises such as running, cycling, walking and swimming are the best for your body, but in fact it's lifting weights and doing body weight training that will have you 'burning calories throughout the day, and even when you're sleeping'. 

'If you can do resistance training that gets your heart rate up (such as high intensity interval training), you can burn the most calories during and post workout,' she said.

You are what you eat. And this has never been more true than it is if your goal is weight loss.

'Weight loss is 70 to 80 per cent diet and 20 to 30 per cent exercise,' Rachael said.

As the place where so many people go wrong with their goal, the PT said in fact you should be eating in a calorie deficit to lose weight.  

'This means you must eat fewer calories than you burn,' she said.

To work out your ideal calorie deficit, the expert recommends you log in to an app such as MyFitnessPal, then enter your height, weight, age and exercise.

This will give you a rough idea of your ideal daily calorie intake. 

Should more tone be your goal, Rachael said the best thing to do is incorporate resistance training into your weekly routine.

'You won't tone up with cardio, but body weight workouts, weight lifting or HIIT will all help,' she said.

With regards to which one of these you should do, the PT said HIIT workouts will give the quickest tone, weight lifting will give 'significant muscle' and body weight workouts are the one to choose if you want tone without bulking up.

'You can add some cardio if you want to lean out and improve your general cardio fitness, but if your goal is just to tone up, then cardio really isn't necessary,' Rachael said.

Regarding diet for a toned physique, Rachael said eating at a slight calorie deficit is useful - while a balance of carbs, protein and fat will help.

'To get the best results, eat carbs and protein pre and post workout,' she said.

Cutting out unhealthy foods like sugar, alcohol and processed foods will work wonder on your tone, while knowing your body type will also help with knowing what you should and shouldn't be eating. 

'If you want to build serious muscle, then you have to lift weights,' Rachael said.

And while she said you can do this at home, she added that you'll get better results if you're at the gym with access to heavier equipment.

'Focus on compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, pull ups, seated row and overhead presses,' Rachael said.

Then, keep cardio to a minimum so you're not sabotaging your own goals.

Building muscle requires plenty of calories, and if you want to get more bulky, Rachael said you have to eat at a calorie surplus - or more calories than your body is burning each day.

'Eat a high protein and high carb diet,' she said.

'It's also important to eat before and immediately after a workout.'

Healthy eating is still important, but just make sure you're eating enough.

Boosting cardiovascular fitness is a common goal for many competitive runners and swimmers.

But you shouldn't think you have to go crazy with the high intensity stuff, as walking can be just as good too.

'I always advise clients to walk - it's amazing for slimming your legs, you still burn calories and it has loads of health benefits,' Rachael said.

If you want to get your heart rate up a little more, the PT said something you enjoy will always yield the best results - whether that's running, swimming or cycling.

'High intensity cardio is hard work,' she said.

'I used to hate running, but the more you do it, the more you enjoy it, and the better you get.'


Good cardio performance requires a certain amount of calories, but Rachael said fasted cardio will always help you to get results quicker.

'This is because you have less stored muscle glycogen when you are fasted,' Rachael said. 

If you find full-on running fasted too hard, then start with walking and build up from there. 

'Be sure to eat a healthy meal high in carbs and protein after your cardio to replenish your body and help your muscles to recover,' she said.

Increased flexibility might sound like an un-achievable goal, but in fact it's easily done, simply by stretching after each and every workout.

'I know it's tempting to go home as soon as your workout is finished, but try to allow just 10 minutes after one to stretch, focusing on the muscle at a time,' Rachael said.

If you've just finished a run, she said you shouldn't waste much time stretching your upper body.

'Instead, you should focus on glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves and finally the lower back.'

Yoga will also help with your flexibility.

Finally, if you want to eat for better flexibility, it's just a healthy diet that will help. 

'Focus on plenty of fruit, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats,' Rachael said. 

You can also better look after your body by making sure you get eight hours of sleep every night, drink plenty of water and incorporate stress-reducing techniques.