Kowalski: “Getting To The Next Level Of Lean”

November 30, 2014

[Written by personal trainer and health coach Tania Kowalski]

When you are already fairly lean, you have to really want to lose that last 5lbs! We all see the images of those people with the coveted 6-pack and what look to be shrink wrapped muscles, so how can we achieve that look?

First off, remember that what you see in pictures are what people want you to see and those images can easily be enhanced or Photoshopped [like Kim K’s rear]. The folks that do get super lean may do it for a competition but other than a month or so around that competition they typically are not that lean. Getting chiseled not only takes some serious commitment but it also isn’t healthy for the long term. In order to get cut you make some serious sacrifices.

Tania Kowalski bermuda

Your social life will definitely suffer, you may be tired and not a lot of fun to be around, your libido drops, and you can send your hormones out of whack. In order for female hormones to be balanced and to have a healthy menstrual cycle we women do need some body fat like it or not. The level of body fat needed to keep your body happy is specific to you.

Heeding this warning, if you do want to push yourself without going overboard, here are my get lean tips:

  • 1] Dial in your nutrition plan. Have a nutrition coach that you know and trust help put together a plan for you. Generally speaking you want multiple small meals [5-6] consisting of lean protein, non starchy veggies and healthy fat [the portion sizes depend on the person]. Keep the starchy carbs primarily around your workout [pre & post] and preferably in the morning. You want to be taking in veggies that are high in C and B vitamins as well as iron to help with energy, recovery and immunity.
  • 2] Add HIIT [high intensity intervals] into your training. High intensity intervals can actually increase the size of the mitochondria in your cells. Those little furnaces increase fat metabolism. How to add HIIT? Here are some ideas; do a 20 minute interval cardio session [30 seconds all out with 30-60 seconds of recovery], or increase your intensity a level each minute for 5mins and repeat the sequence 4-6 times. Add 30-60 seconds of jump squats, mountain climbers, kettlebell swings, skipping or another high intensity activity in between your sets in the gym. With HIIT, if you can go longer than 20-30 mins then you aren’t working hard enough as you should be busted. You should try to incorporate HIIT about 3x a week.
  • 3] Be even more disciplined. That little glass of wine, square of chocolate, your kids toast crusts [whatever it is for you] must go. Getting to that next level of lean takes serious discipline on the nutrition front.
  • 4] Push yourself in the gym! Have a training program to follow where you are weight training 4-5 days a week. The last few reps of every set should take some serious mental fortitude to get through. It shouldn’t be easy.
  • 5] Get enough rest. When you are working hard and calories limited your body needs rest to recover even more than normal. If you are well rested you are less likely to stray from your nutrition plan. You should aim to get 8 or more hours of rest per night. Have a sleep routine….turn off electronics early, darken your room, sip chamomile tea, wind down with some quiet reading, meditate [acknowledge your thoughts and let them drift away] before you doze off to dreamland. Still having problems? Try supplementing with melatonin.
  • 6] Supplement. Use correct doses of a good quality brand of vitamins C, D, E, zinc, and B vitamins to recover. CLA [conjugated linoleic acid] has been touted to help with fat metabolism. I like maca root, chia, and bee pollen for helping increase immunity, recovery, reduce inflammation and maca helps with hormone health as well.

There are my get lean tips! If you’re up to the challenge, please take photos and send along your before & afters for me to share.

Tania Kowalski is an ACE certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach and is Precision Nutrition Certified. Tania advocates that the right training and nutrition can transform your life and her passion is helping others to change theirs. You can follow Tania’s tips, workouts and recipes on Facebook [Health Fanatic] or on her website.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Double 7 Single Niner says:

    Heller!! Yum!!

  2. Double M Quad Deuces says:

    Hello! Almost motivates me to ask JB to lower my ski into the water so I can offer to go feed the fish! Laden with a case of Amsterdam Lager I can enjoy a day out on my ski with fellow yachtsman Saintsy. Then arrive back on the slip and get JB to winch my ski out while I nap on his porch!