Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Focus on Performance not Fat Loss: An Interview with Nia Shanks


I had the chance to listen to a live call with Kyra, The Get in Shape Girl,and Nia Shanks this week. Nia talked about her new workout ebook and answered some great fitness and training questions from Kyra's clients.

What is the most important thing to do lose body fat?
1. Dirch the scale-Dp not rely on scale for progress.
2. Focus on performance with workouts
3. Nutrition- don't go on a strict diet, stick to simple guidelines,eat plenty of protein, and do not deprive yourself

What is the most difficult problem with trying to gain muscle?
1. Not eating enough- the body needs nutrients of  1 gram of protein per pound of body weight consistently.
2. Not training enough or having enough variety of training methods. Nia recommended focusing on doing big compound movements (squats, deadlifts, chin ups)then add in isolating movements like bicep curls and tricep extensions.

How do I know its necessary to increase my weight with training?
1. Use a challening weight for desired rep range; if you can rep more than the max amount of reps you need to bump weight.

How much cardio do you recommend in a week? 
1. Cardio depends on goals. She discussed doing a mixture of super slow and long duration cardio (walking) and high Intensity training (hill sprints once to twice a week; especially for fat loss)

What is #1 tip to build muscle and burn fat?

Focus on improving performance i.e. get stronger, add reps, lift more weight. This will keep you motivated to train and the body will change with increased strength.If you are having fun you will stay motivated

The last question really struck a cord with me. I train to stay fit and healthy. Sometimes I loathe don't  enjoy  it. I would rather lounge in my sweats and read a book. I actually have never thought about focusing on my performance over fat loss or body change. There have been times while training I will think to myself "Gee I just did a full set of 1 legged push ups; go me!" I am motivated to have more of those moments. I will be going into my training for 2013 with a goal of improving my performance. I have for a while wanted to be able to do 12 unassisted pull ups. I got up to 6-8 while I was on my 12 week Bikkini Plan by The Get in Shape Girl. I need to start adding pull ups into my training schedule again.

I also am really scared to try crossfit or some extreme like boot camp. I am absolutely terrified. BUT I want to do it. I was afraid to try spin. By my second spin class I was in love and did spin for a whole year straight every week until I got burned out. I haven't been back to a spin class in 6 months. I find with my training I get hooked on something and very passionate and then I get bored or stop seeing results and jump to something new.

Until next time.
Stay strong and carry on,



  1. Thanks for sharing those tips. I find myself in similar modes of passionately doing a certain type of workout for a period of time, until I get bored. Then, it's on to the next thing. That's a great idea to challenge myself to improve performance! I'll join you in that goal for 2013!!