INSHAPE NEWS Q ‘N’ A
Reader Karen Brown asks:
“What is body sculpting and does it help me to get that killer figure I am seeking?”
Gabrielle Maston – Clinical and Sports Dietitian, Nutritionist and Exercise Physiologist
Body sculpting is a sport that involves gaining muscle over a length of time through strength training. At certain times of the year, usually before competitions or summer, athletes restrict their eating to reduce body fat stores so that muscles appear more defined or “ripped”.
Body sculpting is a highly competitive sport and very physically and emotionally demanding. One competition may take a years worth of training and a 12-week dieting cycle to get to a figure ready for the stage. Therefore, a body sculptor does not stay “ripped” throughout the entire year. Only during competition times and for photo shoots do they drop four to five kilograms in weight to look that way.
To get the body you desire you don’t necessarily need to be that extreme. In fact, a simple one hour training regime of a combination of weights
and moderate to high intensity cardio combined with a healthy portion controlled diet could give you the same result. Keeping your diet and training regime consistent will give you the figure a body sculptor has for most of the year, outside of competition times.
Gabrielle Maston is a qualified clinical and sports dietitian, nutritionist, exercise physiologist and personal trainer with 10-years experience in the fitness industry. Her goal is to inspire men and women towards good health and self-belief though tasty nutrition and exciting movement.
Gabrielle provides virtual and face-to-face nutrition consultations via her website www.changingshape.net.au.
Nick Jack – CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach and Personal Trainer
Body sculpting is in essence body building, but it is targeted towards females as it sounds better than body building — often when you say body building the first thing you think of is an image of Arnie.Basically, body sculpting involves following a strict diet along with a well structured resistance training program.
A body sculpting diet aims to trim fat and enhance lean muscle mass. A lower body fat percentage makes your muscles appear more defined and your body look lean and toned. The exercise programs often include barbells, dumbbells, kettle bells, chin ups, push ups and many other “core” type exercises. There are still many machine type programs available that will also get the same results. However, I believe there is more emphasis on free weight conditioning these days, especially with the evolution of TRX training and Kettle bell classes becoming more of a norm.
This type of training will absolutely give you the killer type of figure you are seeking. The question you must ask though is, “Is this sustainable long-term and will this become an obsession as opposed to something I do to stay in shape?”
Overtime, many people who take up body sculpting become obsessed and take the training to an unhealthy state. Plus, the extremes of diet and exercise are both unhealthy. However, in saying this, the person who does nothing but sit on the couch and eat KFC is equally as bad as say a person who works out twice a day for two hours, weighs all their food, has no time to see their friends and allows their whole life to revolve around exercise. Both these people are unhealthy for different reasons.
Most people who get into body sculpting and body building probably never started out with the intention of taking it to such an extreme, they probably just wanted to tone-up and look and feel great.
So while I agree 100% that you will get your killer figure, I do not feel that this is the most healthy way for you to do it. There is a big difference between being healthy and pushing your body to the extreme.
A well structured nutrition and exercise program from a good personal trainer or CHEK Practitioner will keep your whole body in balance. This is the key to having a sustainable long term healthy body.
Exercise should be just a part of your life, not the only thing in life. Food should be respected and also enjoyed, whereas many of the body sculpting programs take a hardline approach to this. Food is not your enemy.
Therefore, I would not advise getting started with a body sculpting program. Instead, find a good qualified trainer who looks at your whole life and gets a good plan. Then, in no time at all you will have that killer figure that you seek.
Nick Jack is a qualified CHEK Exercise Coach, Level II Holistic Lifestyle Coach and personal trainer. He runs a personal training business called NO Regrets Personal Training.
Nick likes to lift weights, cycle, run and triathlon. He has played almost every sport at one time in his life. Now, he enjoys spending time walking his dog and relaxing with his wife and friends.
Melissa Murdolo – Personal Trainer and Body Sculpting Competitor
Body sculpting is best explained as an extreme version of strength training, where muscle definition is the main game.
It will take you on a rewarding journey and you will definitely be in the best shape of your life, but it’s not for the faint-hearted. It is a self-sacrificing sport that will push you to your limits, not just physically, but mentally.
If you’re interested in taking it up a level and competing, you’ll need to be focussed, self -disciplined and committed in order to make it on stage and under those spotlights. However, the feeling of being so in control and proud of your body is the ultimate reward and sure outweighs the tough training involved. Expect to be the leanest you’ve ever been and to see the silhouette of every muscle your body has to offer.
While intense weight training is a huge part of body sculpting, achieving stage-quality results is just as much about following a lean diet – so be ready to push any tempting, sweet treats to the back of the pantry for a while.
Melissa Murdolo is a qualified personal trainer in Melbourne and former body sculpting competitor. Her passion for body sculpting has seen her compete on a national stage four times over the past three years, and internationally, placing 4th in the ‘Miss Figure’ category at the ‘FAME World Tour’ in Las Vegas. She currently runs her own mobile personal training business, ‘Discover Personal Training’, specialising in body sculpting, weight loss, strength training and boxing.
Ashley McLachlan – Athlete and Personal Trainer for Celebrities, Leading US Sports School Iona College and the Cronulla Sharks
I have many clients who are very fit and eat well, but they want to take their bodies to the next level. They want to look good in there bikinis or sculpt their body for a wedding, an upcoming photo shoot, a model job or a roll in a movie or TV show. They often tell me these goals first, then they say that they only have four weeks. However, there is no better feeling than to transform someone’s life.
To achieve a sculpted look, you would need to combine cardio work with light weight and high repetition resistance training. All you need is dumbbells, a medicine ball, a balance ball and body weight exercises.
If you are sculpting the body you also have to minimise calorie intake and increase fat and calorie burning. Good nutritional habits include not drinking alcohol or eating starchy carbohydrates, having extra sweets, bread, dairy products, fruit, and most fats. I know that this is a hard task, but over time it does work. Instead, you should be having two protein shakes a day, a very wholesome meal and three snacks a day.
I provide a food box for my clients, which means that if the food is not in the box, then they cannot put it in their mouth. This is one of my rules if they want to continue training with me. I know I’m sounding a little like a drill sergeant, but it works to create the body that they desire.
Your body sculpt workout should go for an hour and a half a day with a cardio sculpting routine four days a week for four weeks. Keep a food diary and make sure you get at least seven hours sleep a night. Vitamins C and E, B12 and calcium are very good antioxidants, and are what the body will need over the next four weeks of training to support energy levels.
Here is an example of the type of menu you should be having in a day:
Meals should every three hours.
Breakfast: Whey Protein shake.
Mid-morning: Scrambled egg whites and mushrooms and bacon.
Lunch: Tuna salad.
Afternoon: Vegetable soup.
Evening: Protein shake or Grilled chicken or fish with broccoli.
Ashley McLachlan is the personal trainer for several Sydney based celebrities, such as Annalise Braakensiek, and other professional athletes. Ashley heads Flite Fitness, Sydney’s premier personal training and conditioning business. He has over a decade’s experience as an athlete and personal trainer for individual clients, leading US sports school Iona College and the Cronulla Sharks. He has been passionate about fitness since he started playing rugby league at the age of five. He went on to play for junior clubs and conducted coaching clinics for the Australian Rugby League. As a personal trainer, Ashley’s proudest moments have been when I have helped clients reach goals. From losing fat to more dramatic results such as avoiding heart surgery, he feels exuberant about making an impact on people’s health and well-being.