Getting Fit Lewes: Realistic Expectations

We’re always being told everything is available right here, right now and we can get results straight away. But with fitness this is rarely realistic. Here at Body Happy we want to help you set realistic goals and have realistic expectations for getting fit in Lewes.

Getting fit Lewes: muscle gain

Let’s start with gaining muscle. We often see adverts for fitness programs where a client has put on X amount of muscle in X amount of weeks. But is this really realistic?

Research has shown that as we get more experienced in the gym, we are likely to put less muscle mass on. Realistically, we can expect to put on between 1-2 lbs of muscle per month. In fact your muscle gain depends on whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced:

Beginner = 1-1.5% of body weight per month

Intermediate = 0.5-1% body weight per month

Advanced = 0.25%-0.5% body weight per month

*To work out as a percentage 1.5% = 0.015  1% = x 0.10     0.5% = 0.005   0.25% = 0.0025

Muscle gain for beginners

For example. If you’re a beginner and you weigh 80 kg

Top End: 80 x 0.015% = 1.2kg of muscle per month (2.65 lbs of muscle)

Bottom End:  80 x 0.01% = 0.8kg of muscle in on month (1.8 lbs of muscle)

So now you know that when you see an advert that claims:

 ‘take this supplement to gain ‘X’ amount of muscle in a month’ – it is false.

Getting fit Lewes: weight loss

Let’s move on to weight loss. All diets look at calorie restriction to help us lose weight – some are drastic and others less so. Drastic weight loss diets can be great for short term gains – or losses – like fitting in to an outfit for a holiday or party. But they are not good for long term weight maintenance. But some diets miss out whole nutrient groups.

Getting fit Lewes - a table on the reality of dieting


Getting fit Lewes: healthy eating

Diets, and especially drastic weight loss diets, are not good for us in the long term. Research shows those who diet tend to put more weight back on than they lost. Instead of ‘dieting’, healthy eating should be the way forward. Studies have shown that a realistic goal is to lose between 1-2lbs per week. For you to lose 1lb a week you will need to lose 3,500 calories a week from your diet – roughly 500 calories each day. This should be through a combination of physical activity and food. With drastic dieting, the weight loss could actually be through water retention or muscle mass, not fat loss.

Supplements, the down-low

Supplements. With the market awash with supplements, which ones can you realistically expect to work? The answer is not many!
Here’s an extensive list of those that do.

Omega 3 and 6: Omega 3 is a polyunsaturated fat which our body cannot make, making it an essential fat as we are unable to make in the body. Omega 3 is important as it has many health benefits; improves heart health, helps reduce weight, decreasing liver fat, promotes bone health and preventing dementia.

Omega 6 is also an essential polyunsaturated fat. You use Omega 6 as energy. In our diet we are looking for a ration of 4 : 1 (Omega 6 to Omega 3)

Creatine: Not many of you will need this as, sorry to say, you don’t train hard or frequently enough. Your body naturally uses creatine. In the body creatine combines with phosphorous creating phosphocreatine (PC). Your muscles use PC in high-intensity activities. If you are training daily or intensely on consecutive days in may be worth taking. *A side effect can be weight gain as the muscle holds onto more water.

Protein: I had to add this one here as a side note. These days, we see protein added to everything …it has even been added to Mars bars! If you are looking at increasing your protein intake you can’t go wrong with a pint of milk. A pint of semi-skimmed milk contains 3.1g or protein per 100ml, which is 15g for half a pint and costs about 60p. Compare this to a Mars Bar with protein, which costs £2.40 and is 22g of protein – with a lot of other stuff too. If you were to have half a pint of milk and one boiled egg you have the same amount of protein, with a lot more nutrients.  

Protein intake guide

Depending on your goals, the recommended intake of protein is:

Sedentary or Low Intensity Activity = 0.75g per kg of bodyweight

Endurance Training (moderate/heavy training) = 1.2-1.4g per kg of bodyweight

Strength and Power Training = 1.4-1.8g per kg of bodyweight

Exercise on a fat loss program = 1.6-2.0g per kg of bodyweight

Exercise on a muscle gain program = 1.8-2.0g per kg of bodyweight

No pain no gains

Gains in your fitness will depend on your starting point. The more unfit you are the more quickly you are likely to see results and for a longer time. The fitter you are the harder it will be. The ‘plateau effect’ that we saw earlier in muscle gains is the same for cardiovascular fitness: you can expect bigger improvements as a beginner compared to when you are an advanced trainer.

No matter what your goals are, prepare for a long journey.

Advertising in the fitness industry will have you believe that improvements are quick and easy. But this is simply not the case – it takes time. You will see changes in the short term, so set yourself short-term goals to keep yourself on track, but always remember the bigger picture and overall goal.

Consistent hard work and effort are the key to long term success.

If you have questions about any of this, or are interested in getting fit in Lewes, please get in touch with us – we’re very happy to help.



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