PLEASE NOTE: We are undergoing a name change. Unleashed Training is now Sprint Ninja. We still offer high quality strength and conditioning along with personal training, with our specialty being sprint training.

Sprint Coaching and Strength & Conditioning
Face to face Coaching & Online Programs

Sprint Ninja Coaching Services - Click Here

Claim Your FREE Session

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.


Body Composition

Body composition is as simple as it sounds, it is the composition of your body in terms of a percentage weight or mass. So a body fat percentage of 10 would mean that 10 percent of total bodyweight is made up of fat. By determining body fat percentage you can also determine fat-free mass, which is the amount of bodyweight made up of tissues other than fat.

Body composition is a broad topic and can be trained in many ways. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the best methods for losing fat and gaining muscle. Quite often the focus is on overall weight with no regard for body composition.

It has been stated and standardised through mainstream fitness ideals that the best and even only way to lose fat is to perform endurance or continuous cardiovascular exercise. It’s understandable where this came from. Performing such training does indeed result in greater losses of total bodyweight. However this is not necessarily a good thing because some of the weight lost is almost guaranteed to be muscle mass or other fat free mass.

The following outlines our basic protocol for fat loss and muscle gain.

Fat Loss

Fat loss can be achieved in various ways, which is why it is often confusing. Any amount of training will result in a loss of fat to some degree, provided the nutritional intake supports an energy deficit. Just because any sort of physical activity can result in fat loss, it does not mean that any sort of training will suffice when fat loss is the primary goal.

During aerobic (continuous cardio) training the body accesses fat as its primary fuel source. This has led to the belief that it is the best way to reduce fat overall. It is true, however it’s not the whole story. Aerobic exercise burns less overall energy than harder and faster modalities, plus it has a significantly lower sustained caloric use after the exercise session ceases.

Anaerobic exercise is different in nature. Anaerobic is any exercise that cannot be sustained for any longer than a few minutes at the same level of output. That’s the most basic way of putting it. During an anaerobic session the body is required to call on reserves a lot faster because it goes into oxygen and fuel debt. This results in energy being taken from wherever it is most accessible. This results in the burning of excess carbohydrates first, then dipping into fat stores afterwards.

The benefit of this is that the recovery process is much longer and the body tries to repay the fuel and oxygen debt for up to 24 hours after the session. This results in a sustained higher metabolic rate.

Although it is argued on both sides, I promote both modes as effective in fat loss efforts. Quite often people go all or nothing and either do heaps of aerobic work or they do none and only do high intensity intervals. Whatever the primary focus of the individual happens to be is what will be our primary focus, however we do not neglect other aspects. Someone who likes sprinting and high intensity intervals or even a strength and power athlete will obviously need to have a primary training measure in place, otherwise results are generic and not fully developed. This results quite often in weak links and struggled training sessions.

The Unleashed Training recommendation is to take a broad approach if there are no specific performance goals. This means engaging in both modalities for fat loss. We recommend doing a predominance of high intensity, short training sessions as well as throwing in some endurance training in the form of density training. For those with specific performance goals it is recommended that you most often use the modality that is most applicable to you and your sport, which will result in fat loss when combined with a diet that promotes such.

Muscle Gain

Muscle gain is one of those topics that is debated among the ignorant. Bodybuilders regularly contribute to articles in magazines that promote all kinds of strange methods. This is taken as truth because after-all, they are bigger than everyone else in terms of muscle mass. What is not considered are a couple of things; the first is that ALL elite, professional bodybuilders are on steroids and other drugs to increase muscle mass. This is because such use is not regulated. Secondly, bodybuilders are purely aesthetic in nature, there is absolutely no functional development going on. The majority of bodybuilders have large muscles that are completely out of context with everything except posing.

As you probably know by now, Unleashed Training does not promote muscle gain for the sake of it. There are no physique transformations, bodybuilders, models etc. Well there are but the looks they achieve are a result of the development of real fitness, not simply the outside appearance of such.

Taking the above paragraph into account, it should be noted and emphasised that muscle gain in the way we refer to it is exclusively functional and contextual. This means that muscle only needs to be gained if it serves a functional purpose. In addition to that, the muscle gained needs to be gained in a functional/contextual manner, not just willy-nilly and generic. That is why we use only functional, athletic type movements.

The protocol for muscle gain we use is simply progressively increasing the load lifted on certain compound lifts over a given time. We also promote a particular repetition range of between 8-12 simply because anything less will not provide adequate muscular stimulation to promote growth and anything more will activate non-specific enzymes and hormones. Having said that, these other repetition ranges have a place in different contexts.

The movements primarily used by us to stimulate muscle growth are the major compound lifts, not including fast-moving, highly dynamic lifts. So this includes squats, deadlifts, bench-press, pull-ups, push-ups, bent-over row, overhead press etc. It excludes Olympic lifts, dynamic kettlebell movements, plyometrics etc. That’s not to say we don’t incorporate these other movements in different contexts.

Body Composition as a Fitness Component

Body composition does not fit into the normal fitness component category. The balance of your body’s tissues contributes to performance as well as health, but it does so indirectly. The percentage of body fat you possess will determine what you are capable of in given circumstances. A rock climber would be adversely effected by higher body fat levels, whereas a heavyweight weight-lifter would benefit due to the extra energy the body is able to call on for recovery purposes.

In terms of health it is obvious how body composition is important. So we won’t even get into a rant about it here.

Contact Us

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

Please enter the word that you see below.


Return to our home page from body composition.

Sydney Sprint Coach Blog
The Sydney Sprint Coach blog will keep you up to date with all changes made to subscribe now to keep yourself updated.
Sydney Personal Training
Sydney personal training with Unleashed Training: Unleashed Training offers Sydney personal training services in the Merrylands, Granville, Parramatta and Guildford area.
About Sprint Ninja
Sprint Ninja is a fitness and physical performance business utilising an effective set of systems and training principles, specialising in sprinting performance...
About Chris Lyons
Chris Lyons is an experienced strength and conditioning coach, having trained athletes of all ages and levels since 2002. Chris specialises in coaching athletes for....
Evolve Training System
The EVOLVE training system is a complete system of sprint training in all its forms....
Sprint Workouts - Sprinting WOD
The sprint workouts section is designed not as a complete training program in itself, but as a section providing sprint workouts...
Sprint Training
Sprint training is a form of training applicable across a large range of domains for both the individual and the athlete....
Super Human Strength
Super human strength is something all athletes and most of the general population would love to achieve. ...
Power Training
Power training is often a very confused and confusing component of training, for both the general public and among coaches/trainers. ..
Psychology of Speed
The psychology of speed, an often underestimated aspect of the development of sprinting speed...
Ideal Fitness Program
The ideal fitness program is something people have been searching for ever since we discovered that regular and planned training can change the....
Training Principles
Training principles are the universally applicable guidelines that should be met in order to achieve a given training objective...
Training Objectives
This is a comprehensive set of guidelines, training objectives and an overall plan to be applied to all training programs...
Ten Components of Fitness
The ten components of fitness are the aspects of physical development that UNLEASHED Training aims to facilitate. Most programmes focus on only one or a small number of these fitness components...
Definition of Fitness
The definition of fitness is so difficult to pin down. I have searched for a definition for years, ever since I first started my studies in fitness, strength and conditioning. I have witnessed...
Unleashed Challenges - Official Unleashed Training Fitness testing and ranking.
Welcome to the UNLEASHED Challenges section. Here you will find benchmark challenges and fitness tests based on the UNLEASHED Training methods....
Body Weight Exercises
The following is a list of body weight exercises used by Unleashed Training as part of the Evolve fitness program. This page includes just simple text descriptions of each exercise...
Body Weight Workouts
Welcome to the UNLEASHED body weight workouts. Here you will find workouts of all kinds in a mostly randomised manner....
Ideal Strength Training Program
The ideal strength training program is difficult to find. It is difficult because, in terms of any kind of physical conditioning...
Minimalist Fitness Programs
Minimalist fitness programs are simplified fitness programs that can be used for total development of one or more components of fitness. ..
Art of Movement
The art of movement is something you will see discussed in many texts, in one way or another. This is a concept that was visited, studied and developed hundreds and even thousands of years ago...
Strength Articles
Welcome to the strength articles section. Here you will find articles relating to strength training in all its forms....
Sport and Athletic Conditioning Articles
Welcome to the sport and athletic conditioning articles section. Here you will find articles pertaining to specific sports and athletic events....
Weight Loss Articles
Welcome to the weight loss articles section. Here you will find articles and information specifically targeted at weight loss/fat loss....
Military Fitness Articles
Welcome to the military fitness articles section. Here you will find articles and information that applies to military fitness....
General Fitness Articles
Welcome to the general fitness articles section. Here you will find articles and information that applies to fitness as a whole but does not fall into other categories....
Sport and Exercise Science Articles
Welcome to the sport and exercise science articles section. Here you will find articles and information that explains the science behind fitness and performance training, how the body works....
Nutritional Guidelines - The Unleashed Training nutritional prescription
The following are the basic nutritional guidelines and recommendations for Unleashed Training. It is written in plain language and is easy for you to understand.....
Paleo Diet
The paleo diet is a recently popular way of eating. It is gaining traction in the health and fitness world and is especially popular with fitness movements such as CrossFit.
Boosting Testosterone
Boosting testosterone and other hormonal functions is a somewhat obscure topic to all but the hardcore bodybuilder or strength athlete. Everyone likes to focus on training hard....
Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a nutritional habit that involves periods of time throughout a 24 hour period where no food is consumed. To clarify, a period of fasting involves...
Strength Training for Kids
Strength training for kids is a controversial topic of conversation. Old wisdom suggests that strength training is dangerous for children and will lead to failure to grow...
Strength training for children
Strength training for children has been a debated topic for many years now...
Exercise For Children
Exercise for children is one of those new-age topics of conversation and a major money spinner for corporations trying to cash in on “what’s hot”...
Early childhood physical development
Early childhood physical development is just as important as childhood mental and psychological development...

Recent Articles

  1. About Sprint Ninja

    Aug 31, 15 12:20 AM

    Sprint Ninja is a fitness and physical performance business utilising an effective set of systems and training principles, specialising in sprinting performance...

    Read More

  2. Sport and Athletic Conditioning Articles

    Aug 30, 15 06:29 AM

    Welcome to the sport and athletic conditioning articles section. Here you will find articles pertaining to specific sports and athletic events....

    Read More

  3. Being Competitive

    Aug 30, 15 06:24 AM

    Being competitive is often seen as a negative thing. No doubt you have heard that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, just do it for yourself....

    Read More

YOUR COACH – Chris Lyons

Chris Lyons is an experienced strength and conditioning coach, having trained athletes of all ages and levels since 2002. Chris specialises in coaching athletes for speed and power specific to fast-moving sports such as rugby league, rugby union, soccer, Aussie rules football etc. Since 2002 Chris has conducted close to 15,000 hours of training and coaching directly with athletes and members of the general population. From this experience comes Sprint Ninja, based on tried and tested training methods combined with up to date research. Chris continues to challenge himself not only as a coach, but also as an athlete, competing in sprinting events, strongman and Olympic-style weightlifting.

View Chris Lyons's profile on LinkedIn