Body composition is a way to define what the body is made of: including water; proteins; minerals; and fat. It provides a more accurate depiction of one’s health and a more accurate description of weight than the more commonly used method ‘BMI’.
According to the ‘Four Components Model’, a person’s body can be broken down into water, protein, minerals and fat. The amount of water in the human body ranges from 50-65%, but most commonly averages around 57-60%. The water in the human body is either found freely within the body, or is contained within fat tissue, muscles and the blood (along with other bodily fluids). Protein, in this sense literally means the amount of protein stored within the body in the form of muscle tissues, other body cells, organs and even bones. In addition, the body contains minerals which are primarily contained in two places: in the blood stream and inside the bones. Finally, the last major part of one’s body composition is fat. Fat is stored so that body has access to a long-term energy source and insulation from the elements – fat can either be categorized as fat mass and fat free mass.
Nobody can have 0% body fat. Maintaining too low or too high body fat percentage is regarded as inadvisable for long term health. For mean having a body fat percentage less than 3-5% is fatal and for women a body fat percentage lower than 8-12% is considering to be fatal. On average male athletes have a body percentage between 6-13%, while female athletes have a body fat percentage between 14%-20%.
If you begin exercising, within the first month you won’t be losing weight, you will gain weight – but don’t let this discourage you. That weight you just gained is lean muscle. Simultaneously, you will lose body fat, but that will be overshadowed by the lean muscle gained. So, despite gaining weight, you have become healthier. This sounds counter-intuitive at first – but body composition is far more important than simply losing weight. As your ‘fat-free mass’ increases your ‘fat mass’ decreases – this is apparent on the weight scales. However, this behind the scenes action is what is keeping you healthy.
Exercise. Physical exercise is the best way to improve your body composition. Physical exercise increase calorie consumption, which ultimately decreases one’s ‘fat mass’ as calorie is the muscles primary fuel source. As one exercises their muscles increase in size and require more fuel and this then results in more calorie consumption. This process decreases one’s ‘fat mass’ and increases their ‘fat-free mass’.
In order to optimize this process, it is important to pick the exercises that complement this process to do this one has to challenge their muscles and the most common method used to do this is weight training.
To dramatically improve body composition, the best thing to deal with is your fat as this will help to reduce your fat mass. Reducing fat mass is brilliant for many reasons as it helps you get smaller, places less strain on your body and build up muscles. Weight training is one of the most effective ways to reduce fat mass. The purpose of it is to build and shape the muscles. You will notice the real and obvious changes once you begin to lift weight.
A lot of people worry about not having some special equipment or the need to spend a lot of money to join a gym. In fact, you can just do a simple weight training exercise at home to strengthen your arms, legs and abs by using dumbbells, resistance bands or filled water bottle. Remember this, if you are a beginner, it is more important to focus on good form than it is to lift heavy weights.
Sample Weight Circuit Training (No equipment)
Cardio, which some people call aerobic exercise, is a type of exercise that gets your heart pumping. You will breathe heavier and begin to sweat. Doing cardio is one of the best ways to burn fat. As you burn fat and slim down, you are replacing the fat with tight and lean muscles that give your body a healthier and stronger appearance. It doesn’t matter what form of cardio you use, pick something that gets your heart moving, be it running, swimming, cycling, jumping rope etc.
The first thing you will notice about this cardio plan is that it starts slow. You have to remember that that is okay. This is because all these exercises are designed to get you into your ideal physique over the weeks. You have to be patient, trust the plan and stick to it. If you persist, the end results of your conditioning might shock you.
During the first weeks of cardio session, take at least one day of rest between cardio workouts. After week 6, it is recommended that you perform cardio using a 2 days workout, 1 to 2 days off pattern. As your fitness level improves, you could try doing harder workout. High intensity workouts will burn more calories but a smaller ratio of fat. In order to maximize fat loss to improve body composition, it is suggested that you try combining high intensity, moderate intensity and low intensity workout into a complete fitness plan.
Sample Cardio Circuit Workout (No Equipment)
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