How to actually get lean

“I want to lose fat on my tummy, can we do some exercises to target that?”

It’s unfortunate that as a trainer, we don’t get paid every time a client asks a question similar to this. We all want to improve certain parts/aspects of our physique due to feeling that they aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as the rest of our body.

For example, I know that as the captain of team fat leg, I most definitely would love for my legs to be leaner and more sliced.

But unfortunately it isn’t quite as easy as throwing a few different exercises in to your sessions, targeting your glutes/arms/torso more specifically and getting lean double time.


So each time this question gets asked, there are two routes to which I will take in regards to a response:

  1. “Yes, absolutely” and continue on with their pre-designed programme, as this was probably an initial goal from training anyway. Or;
  2. Come out and flatly say “No”.

In either case, I then go on to explain why……..


We as humans are a sucker to our genetics. For instance, if you were to get two individuals who had the same body shape, put them on the same training programme, at the same intensity and encouraged them to eat the exact same foods, there is a 99.9% chance that their results are going to be completely different.

You could get them on a 10 000 crunches a week programme (not in any way advised – search #AbAttackMonday on Instagram for more mentally stimulating core training ideas) and they will come out with completely different results in how their abs look.

This is why within training there is most definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ approach.


Your own body and your own genetics will be the determining factor in to where and in which quantity your body fat disappears. So this is where preparation, planning, consistency, patience and commitment become a big part of your training journey.


I must state at this point though that by targeting one specific area in your body and overloading that area within your training, you can dramatically change the way the muscle group both looks and performs. But the key word there was MUSCLE. 

Take your abdominals for instance; everyone wants a great set of washboard abs. You can train them consistently, growing the muscle fibres thicker and stronger, but only once your body fat is low enough will they begin to show themselves. Again, this is where you will have to be patient and persistent in your training journey!



“Just get on with how I get ripped to shreds!!!!” 

Alrightee then…… now there are various ways to achieve this, in fact far too many for me to include within one article, but a common school of thought to which you will see slapped around social media is the old adage of: IT’S 80% DIET, 20% TRAINING.

Personally I think that is absolute tosh. As with anything challenging in life it requires 100% effort. Often I hear the same excuse of being too busy! Again this is rubbish, you just don’t want it enough. The average person thinks they want it, but in reality, when it comes down to it they don’t desperately WANT IT! If you truly want it, then excuses become an afterthought and you just get on with what is required! There’s a reason why a tiny percentage of males walk round in the 7-12% and females 12-18% body fat range….. Because it ISN’T EASY!!!!


A statement I personally buy into is; ‘nothing worth having comes easy’. So before you decide to set your goal to become mega lean, timescale it (Goal Setting and Expectations)! It may not happen in 1 month, or 2, or maybe even 3, so this is where knowledge, patience and persistence play a HUGE factor! If you don’t have the knowledge, then invest in someone who does! The other two have got to come from your burning desire, your WANT to succeed!


Nutrition is obviously a HUGE part of any type of body transformation whether it be to lose fat or gain muscle and because of this, there are a wide variety of nutritional programmes (diets) that are designed to promote fat loss and weight loss.

Now you are probably aware by now that I hate the term weight loss and you will find that a lot of ‘diets’ that promote weight loss are based around starving yourself. Now on these diets, you will definitely begin to feel cranky, underfed, tired, ill, lethargic, hungry and agitated, but hey you’re losing weight…. life’s all good right (insert judgemental eyes emoji)….. BS!!! You feel horrible, the people around you feel like they’re treading on egg shells and the likelihood is you’re going to pile the pounds back on and then some once you begin to eat proper meals again!


Your body is a machine and as such should be treated like one! Fill it with the right fuel, in the right amounts and that machine WILL perform!

As touched upon in the previous article to this (Macros), it’s all about a balance of calories- calorie input vs calorie output. How much food you consume of the right macro nutrients vs how hard you train/exercise. So if a nutrition plan is telling you something that seems ridiculous and appears to border on starvation, the chances are that is not going to be beneficial in your pursuit of fat loss and in your LIFE.


Should you need advice or tips on fat loss nutrition or training to accelerate fat loss, never hesitate to ask! It’s always better to hire a professional, as getting results in a safe and enjoyable way through varied training and eating wholesome nutritious food whilst never feeling hungry; is surely far greater than walking around with everyone thinking you’re an a***h*** due to your crappy mood, that comes about from starving yourself in a scrambled attempt to look good in one holiday photo! (insert bored looking face with gun to head emoji).



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Yours in health.


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