fitness journey
Health & Fitness

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUILD YOUR DREAM BODY

Writing this guide has allowed me to learn so much and I hope that you also leave with as much knowledge as I have gained from researching to bring you this amazing guide. This guide brings all the information you need to kickstart your fitness journey in one place.

The reason I started this journey was due to insecurity about a lot of things, my body was at the top of the list. I wasn’t sure how I could change that cause it wasn’t in my genetic build to be curvy, those genes skipped me. 

Anyway, my friend showed me a video by Jenna de Leon, Finding Myself Through Fitness. It got me started on this journey and I decided to encourage someone to join me by writing this.

Have you ever looked at someone and thought “How can I get my body to look like that”

The body that you want is a skeleton of bones and muscles with a bit of fat here and there. Knowing that muscles can hypertrophy under stress, this allows us to build the body we want.

However, it isn’t as straight forward as going to the gym and lifting weights till daybreak. Like everything, it is multifactorial.

Before I go further, all of this can be made easier by paying for a personal trainer. So. if you don’t want to go through the trouble of doing this by yourself as it would include tries and fails. 

I got you covered, here are a few personal Coaches that I found suited for persons interested in getting Curved. 

Bella Rahbek, https://bellarahbek.com/

She offers 3 programs;

  • Glorious Glutes 2.0 videos
  • Cut & Curved Full Body Program 
  • Female Fatloss Secrets.

I could only find one but I’ll update this when I find more.

However keep reading, if you can’t really afford a personal trainer and you’re okay with trying to achieve this on your own. The main reason for this guide is to narrow down the work you have to do in research. I’ve done most of the research and compiled it into this Guide.

This guide isn’t personalized but can be streamlined and adjusted to work for you by going through the details and figuring out what needs to be adjusted for you.

There are a few Q&As included in between the lines based on what I think you might ask. However, feel free to comment below with your comments and I’ll make sure to answer them, and if I can’t I’d link you to the best answer possible.

First step,

I want you to imagine the body that you want, in detail. Because you need to have a goal, a drive to keep you disciplined even when you don’t want to get out of bed.

Is it toned abs, bulkier arms, wider hips, bigger booty, everything? Spare no details!

Then, take pictures. Looking at your body every day, you can’t and won’t be able to tell the difference. This might make you discouraged. So I employ to take a full-body picture, side, back, half side, bent over, everything. Repeat this after a month or two. As hard as it might be, don’t start looking for a difference after day 2 or comparing pictures after every workout. you’d just overwhelm yourself.

Also, if you have anyone you think might be interested. Share this post with them and link up together. It’s easier to get motivated when your doing this along with someone. You can motivate each other.

Now, here’s a sneak peek at the journey of others

View this post on Instagram

‼️ PLEASE READ ‼️ I’m not going to pretend my journey didn’t start with just wanting to look better because it did. I was very self conscious and didn’t like my reflection in the mirror. But over time I grew to understand that it was more than just the way I looked that made me feel good. Training had a massive impact on all aspects of my life – my relationships, my career and my mental wellbeing. The new me believed in myself more and I’ll tell you what… THAT has been the biggest life changing event for me. . I’m not here to show you that anyone of these pictures is better than the other, they are all me and they are all stages of MY journey. From start to a never ending finish. Through bulking and cutting processes. This is just the beginning. To me fitness is more than just exercise, it’s a way of living. Pic 1️⃣ – July 2016 Pic 2️⃣ – December 2018 Pic 3️⃣ – Today, March 2020

A post shared by K I M F R E N C H 🇬🇧 Workouts (@kimfrench87) on

View this post on Instagram

2016➡️2018➡️2020 – Picture Number 1️⃣Freshman Year of college second semester. At this point, I had gained almost 22 pounds. I sat at my heaviest weight around 148-150. I was drinking ALOT, overeating shit food and was playing soccer, so constant cardio with little to no weights. – Picture Number 2️⃣Junior Year of College. I restricted myself constantly and turned down so many fun opportunities because I was afraid I’d be put in situations to eat or drink things I didn’t want to. I was still playing soccer and lifting probably 5 times a week on top of working a serving job. I was exhausting my body physically and emotionally. My weight sat around 126-128. – Picture Number3️⃣10 months post Undergrad. Now sitting around 136-139 and SO proud. I’m learning everyday to listen to my body, fuel my body properly and treat myself whenever I feel like it because life’s too short. I no longer punish myself for choosing the spontaneous moments that might not fit into my “meal plan” or “daily routine”. And guess what? I’m stronger than I’ve ever been and feel the best I’ve ever felt physically and emotionally. – I hope this acts as some inspiration for you today 💕Fitness is such an important part of my life, but it doesn’t mean it was always good for me. Now, I am fit AND I am healthy. Working everyday to be better ❤️ – – #fitness #fitnessmotivation #fitnessjourney #fitnesstransformation #gymtransformaton #healthymind #covid_19 #quarantine

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Let’s get started, I’d break down into Diet and Exercise.

DIET

healthy diet

Diet cannot be overemphasized, it is very important. However, it’s not something worth killing yourself over. You have to create a balance between dieting and overindulging to form a lifestyle.

I’m going to break down in as much detail as I can what I’ve learned and also include links if you’d like to read more on the source.

First, there are two things you need to know based on what you want to achieve. Which the extremes could be Fat loss or muscle gain and in between, weight maintenance.

For fat loss, you want to be in a caloric deficit. Now, what do I mean by that? It means that the number of calories you take in should be less than the number of calories used by the body for daily function (Total daily energy expenditure) as compared to, Muscle gain.

In muscle gain, you want to be in a caloric surplus which means that the number of calories you take in should be more than the number of calories used by the body for daily function. 

Please do understand that by muscle gain. I’m not implying that it necessarily means you want to buff up. It includes growing booty, thighs, arms, etc as these are muscles too. 

Myfitnesspal provided a simple way to calculate TDEE

-For Men to calculate BMR = 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)

Then, for Women to calculate BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

For your weight, 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds. For your height, 1 inch = 2.54 cm

Once you know your BMR (basal metabolic rate) then use your daily activity factor to get your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE):

-Sedentary…………….BMR x 1.2 (little exercise)

-Lightly active………..BMR x 1.375 (light exercise)

-Moderately active…..BMR x 1.55 (moderate exercise)

-Very active………….BMR x 1.725 (hard exercise)

-Extremely active……BMR x 1.9 (hard exercise daily)

Using myself for instance,

BMR = 655 + (9.6 x 57) + (1.8 x 169) – (4.7 x 19) = 1417.1 (based on age, sex , height and gender)

I’m moderately active, so 1417.1 x 1.55 = 2,196.5. This means on average, I use up to 2196.5 calories daily.

Before you continue, I suggest you calculate yours.

It’s important to set a balance and find what works for you to avoid triggering an eating disorder. I recommend a balanced and adequate diet – carbohydrates, proteins, fat. That’s called Macronutrients, tracking macronutrients can help you reach your health and fitness goals faster than focusing on calories alone. 

How many calories does each macronutrient have? Each macronutrient corresponds to a specific calorie amount per gram: 

  • Carbohydrates have four calories per gram
  • Proteins have four calories per gram
  • Fats have nine calories per gram

There is a suggested macro-nutrient ratio by the federal dietary recommendation. However, since in most cases, we have a goal of fat loss or muscle gain. These macros can be adjusted using this Online Macro calculator. It makes it easier to calculate the percentage of macros to eat to achieve your goal. This will be needed when we get to using Myfitnesspal to track calories. Go ahead, calculate your macros, and note them down. I’ll be waiting.

Good. you’re back!

You might want to skip this step and think that you can just eyeball through it but it’s imperative that you don’t.

It’s very important to count your calories at least for the first few weeks. You aren’t going to do this forever, just until you can guess the number of calories off the top of your head.

The most recommended app for this is Myfitnesspal 

You don’t want to guess it when you’re starting out because you won’t be sure that you’re hitting the calories required to reach your goal. Tracking calories are rough estimates, and can be adjusted. If you are currently on 2000 calories and it’s not working or you aren’t seeing results, you can adjust it.

Q/A How long should you wait to note for results? I’d say a month but its up to you. You know your body more than I do.

Healthy Eating Hacks

To boost metabolism, take smaller meals throughout the day. instead of 3 meals, your meals can be broken down into 4-5 smaller meals that still meet up to the calories.

Common Weight gain mistakes to avoid if you’re trying to grow muscle, 

  • Do not start eating everything in sight because I mentioned a caloric surplus. The macro and micronutrient breakdown of the meal you take in is important and most junk foods don’t have a proper breakdown. Your macros should contain complex and healthy carbs, lean meats, and healthy fats. I included a list of Healthy Carb, Protein, and Fat Rich Foods that fall under these categories cause I thought you might ask.
  • To boost weight gain, you can try protein shakes or weight gainers. it can either be homemade or store-bought. A very popular protein shake is Oats + banana + peanut butter + whole milk but there are more options in case you have an allergy or lactose intolerant, here’s 15 Homemade Protein shakes recipe. If you prefer an already made protein powder, I recommend you try Blessed Protein (it is plant-based)

P.S What works for your favorite Instagram influencer may not work for you. It’s important to find out what works for you.

It’s not going to be an overnight success, you also can’t expect to see instant results. It will take discipline, dedication, and determination like everything great in life.

This Journey helps you to become confident in your skin. As Priyanka said “You need to feel comfortable. when you’re comfortable, you feel confident and when you’re confident, the world is your oyster”.

I hope I haven’t discouraged you already but I just want you to let you know what the decision you’re making entails.

EXERCISE

woman exercising with sit-ups

Plan your workout times. The best resource I’ve seen that clearly explains How To Build Your Own Workout Routine: Plans, Schedules, and Exercises

I’d like you to really read through this very well in order to efficiently Plan out your workout routine. I have also created a planner from it.

I wish I could write all the exercises here but I can’t because it’s up to you and what goal you are working towards.

For me, my goal is to build my glutes alongside toning my legs. So based on my research using Youtube and IG accounts, I planned out these exercises. Using my planner, Here’s what mine looks like

To get a free copy of yours, Enter the information below and I’ll send it to your email.

I don’t do everything on the list, I usually pick five out of each box. I end my workout with Yoga because it’s really important for me that while I’m gaining strength, I’d like to also gain flexibility.

It’s being 2 years since I started Yoga and I have noticed a huge difference in my flexibility which for me is a dream come true. I created an Instagram Page dedicated to this journey towards flexibility if you’d like to join me. If you’re also interested in becoming flexible through Yoga, I have a post on how to get started and you can also follow me on Instagram.

Back to exercises, a very common mistake is having the wrong form when working out. You might ask if it matters, after all, I’m doing the exercise isn’t that what counts. 

Yes, it does. Being in the wrong form means that the muscles that should be activated aren’t and so there won’t be any growth. It can also lead to up backaches or worse that ends up setting you back.

Here’s what I mean

the correct form for planks
Correct form for deadlifts

If you’ve ever done planks before and after several minutes you didn’t feel anything or maybe you felt this really bad pain in your lower back instead? That means that your form was most likely incorrect. Yoga teaches me a lot about being in the correct form to maximize the effectiveness of an exercise.

The importance of breathing too especially for abs exercises. With each exhale, you should squeeze your core hard. Breathing during exertion is important in preventing internal injuries such as hernia, blood vessel strain, and high blood pressure.

To recap,

As you pick out the exercises and the Reps/sets, also research the correct form. You don’t want to build muscle memory doing it the wrong way.

Now, where do I got to get the exercises I need to get started? If that’s what you’re asking? Ask no more.

I wrote out a list of Amazing Youtube Channels and Instagram Accounts I’ve discovered during this journey. I personally recommend Chloe Ting, if you haven’t already heard of her. Her workouts work and they are FREE!

The names on the right are the guys.

Despite all that is said, love your body throughout all the stages of your fitness journey. With a healthy mindset and diet plus improvements here and there, you will look and feel better. Say to yourself “I accept where I am and how I look and will love myself either way and treat my body as a temple”.

Terminologies and Abbreviations

I added this because I noticed that there’s a whole new vocabulary when it comes to fitness. You’d hear new words like circuit training, isolated exercises, etc. For any terms that might be a bit tricky, here is a Complete A-Z of Gym and Fitness Terms.

MYTHS

Now, that we are done with that I’d like to debunk some myths that might be hindering you from starting out.

Before writing this post, I was a strong believer in half of these myths which is why I thought it important to add. I believe that it was one of the major reasons I was skeptical about working out or getting deep into fitness. 

Myth #1: Weight Training will make me look manly and muscular.

It’s hard for women to look manly due to estrogen. For a woman to look muscular, it would take a lot of effort to achieve i.e it’s their goal or is on steroids. Simply lifting weights won’t make you muscular but can help you grow the curves to look even more feminine.

Myth #2 You need to gain weight first before you weight train. No, you want to do this together. Eat-in a surplus and weight train so you will gain weight in the form of muscle rather than Fat. If add gain weight but not weight train, it will be in the form of fat. and you’d have to come back and lose all the fat.

Myth #3 Working out will make you skinnier. Not true, it depends on your goals i.e weight gain, muscle building, fat loss. Your workout needs to be goal-focused.

Have you heard something about fitness and unsure whether its true or not? Leave a comment.

I’ve said a lot of stuff today and for that reason, I have created a Checklist to keep you on track and so you don’t miss out anything.

On a final note, remember you can’t achieve the body and walk away. That’s why most times a 30-day workout won’t work. Even if you get the banging body, the abs, then at the end of 30 days you stop and overtime all that works reverts. Its muscles we are talking about. after a long time of inactivity, they’ll atrophy. So, when I say it’s a lifestyle. It means there’s no end game, it’s a constant work in progress.

Also, don’t get too hung up on your weight. I understand that you want to lose weight so bad and you’re working out 2-3x a week, eating right yet that scale isn’t moving. One of the reasons that might happen is that you’re gaining muscle whilst losing fat and this may it look like there’s nothing changing.

If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. Don’t be pressured to have it all figured out. 

If nothing else, what I’ve come to conclude from my research is that Fitness is a life changer. And once you truly get the hang of it, there’s no turning back.

Did you find this post helpful, inspiring? Save THIS PIN to your Fitness Board on Pinterest and share on Facebook 🙂

Love from BelusoJI

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