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How to build an athletic body | 3 essential steps to getting shredded

Are you thinking about getting shredded? Here is a complete guide to getting in shape for beginners that explains the top 3 things you need to do to get fitter

Seema Eshwar
February 11, 2021

There’s a pretty good chance that all of us dream of having a pro athlete body, but the question is how much are we determined to achieve the desired results. Well, let’s spare 10 minutes in understanding what it takes us to achieve it.

If you ask me how much time it takes to acquire the desired results I intend not to mislead you with false recommendations, you may wonder why? Yes, you read it right; it is a journey with collective efforts to be put in, only once you understand the body type.

While the celebs of the world get plenty of attention for being inspirational, on face value, building strength, explosiveness, and conditioning, high protein diets, pills together are simple: Lift something heavy, do something explosive, and run a little with supplement drinks. Boom! You're an athlete. Unfortunately, it's not that easy in practice.

Losing weight or reducing your body isn’t that easy nor that tough. You need to have a plan, and that plan starts with your determination. Like I said it’s not a short span task, it is a Journey!

Well let’s pen down our plans step by step:

1. Understand your body type: 

Hmmm! you must be thinking - "Either I am lean or fat, now what is more to understand here". Yeah you need to know more if that is what your thoughts are revolving around.

Most people are unique combinations of the three body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph

Ectomorph: Ectomorphs are long and lean, with little body fat, and little muscle. They have a hard time gaining weight. 

Endomorph: Endomorphs have lots of body fat, lots of muscle, and gain weight easily.

Mesomorphs are athletic, solid, and strong. "They're not overweight and not underweight. They can eat what they want without worrying too much about it. They both gain and lose weight without too much effort.

I am pretty sure right now you wish if you already possessed a mesomorphic body type. Well, I too wish for the same. So understanding the body type will save us a lot of time in achieving the results.

2. Start moving

Oh yes, how can we not focus on exercise when targeting an athletic body type. I’m not gonna miss that, Not at all! Hence a proper exercise regimen will be supported to maintain the same metabolism throughout the journey.

When we imagine these athletes training, we don't imagine them spending an hour camped out running on the ground or walking over a treadmill to sweat out. We should imagine performing dynamic and explosive movements under the supervision of a trainer. After all, if you want an athletic physique, the saying goes, you need to train like an athlete. Maintaining the frequency without giving excuses keeps us on track.

3. Take care of nutritional requirements

Everybody knows that diet plays a major role i.e.80 % of the results are better yielded with the right diet. 

You should be aware of what you eat or drink each day. Maintaining a diet diary keeps you alert if any deviation and also builds a healthy eating habit.

Most of the time while we talk about diet it focuses on low carb, low fat, cut down trans-fats, and eliminates junk foods, etc. And a maximum effort goes into binging on proteins. But it’s beyond that, it involves a weekly diet transition to maintain spontaneity in results. We should alter the portion size, increase fiber intake; meet your daily micronutrient requirement, meal timing with hydration, and right food combinations.

So how do you work on Nutrition requirements?

CarbohydratesFuel For Your Muscles

Complex carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your muscles. Only with a sufficient carbohydrate intake can you maintain permanent progression (consistent weight increase).

  • Recommended: 3-4 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight daily.
  • Primarily whole grain products, potatoes, brown rice, and oatmeal should be included in your nutrition plan for muscle building.
  • Short-chain carbohydrate compounds such as glucose should be avoided, as these raise blood sugar levels very quickly.

Protein: Essential Muscle Building Component

When building muscle mass, a high-protein diet is needed to support the body after exercise and during regeneration.

  • Proteins basically consist of various essential and semi-essential amino acids like leucine, valine and isoleucine.
  • Recommended: 2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight daily.
  • I recommend a combination of animal and plant sources. Suitable natural foods include lean meats and fish, low-fat dairy products, eggs, legumes and soy.

Fats: Quality Not Quantity

In addition to carbohydrates and proteins, a good supply of healthy fats plays an important role in a muscle-building diet.

  • Certain body functions like the release of testosterone and hormone production require valuable fatty acids.
  • Recommended: 1 g fat per kilogram of body weight daily.
  • Unsaturated fatty acids from plant oils (flax oil, organic coconut oil), fish (cod, salmon), avocado and walnuts are ideal.

VitaminMetabolic Reactions

Making sure you take a high-potency multivitamin/multi-mineral formula may help ensure the presence of those essential nutrients necessary for thousands of metabolic reactions.

Here is a sample diet plan:

Early Morning: On Waking Up: Warm water 500 ml

Pre Workout: Banana + 5–8 almonds

Post Workout: Protein shake / Greek yogurt – 1 no with full fist nuts (can be a smoothie too)

Breakfast : Oatmeal 1 bowl (oats + nuts + full fat milk) + 3 eggs (boiled) +apple

Mid Morning: Green tea + boiled gram – 1 small cup ( Add raw veggies)

Lunch: Roti or phulkas 4-5 no+ 100 to 150 gm dal or chicken or paneer curry + 1 bowl curd + Veg salad 1 bowl

Early Evening: Tender coconut water 250 ml

Late Evening: Protein bar/ homemade granola bar

Dinner: Methi Parantha 3 no+ 100 to 150 gm dal or chicken or paneer curry + buttermilk 150 ml +Cucumber grated 1 small cup

Late Night Snack: Cold badam milk 250 ml

Other considerations like sleep, a minimum of 8 hours rest is needed, well hydration (there is always a different hydration strategy for an athlete or who does a heavy workout), stress, and pain management.

Well before I end, I would like to share an experience with you today, I have a young client who is about 28 years old who had come to me for weight loss, as we started the weighing scale needle pointed towards 90 kgs 7 months back, and he is at 77 kg with an athletic physique today, though he was prone to a lot of deviations (weekend indulgences with personal habits). A great job isn’t it. Well, this is called 'A journey'. In the process of achieving the desired results, we focused on exercise, diet, sleep, stress, and hydration.

So what I would like to say is, it was a holistic approach and the entire journey needed detailed attention and consistency. When it's all said and done this hard work that will leave you stronger, faster, and looking more athletic. However, don't try randomly as the workload and intensities will not match up well with a calorie deficit. Who said only a sports person can possess an athletic body type. We all can do it.

About the author
Seema Eshwar

Seema Eshwar, Senior Dietitian at NutriPal. She has over 4 years of experience & has coached over 2500+ clients having lifestyle disorders like obesity, diabetes, hypertension & multiple medical conditions like parkinson’s, autism & epilepsy.

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