So… you are ready to make a change. You are ready to commit to a healthy lifestyle and have the fit body that comes with it. GREAT! The problem is that effort has to come first and the results a little later. Delayed gratification is not something that many people are good at anymore. If you can make the commitment for 90 days, we can change your life.
The outlined here can be done by yourself, but most people are not self-motivated to keep to the plan on their own. Classes are really good for accountability and ensuring you do the correct exercises safely in your workouts. Personal training is the absolute best way to make it happen but can be cost prohibitive. When the going gets tough, your trainer or classes can make the difference between shopping for fun new clothes or telling people that you tried it once but didn’t finish. Don’t make things harder than they have to be… find classes or get a trainer.
You are going to be exercising for roughly 60 minutes a day, 2-3 days a week for the first four weeks. No excuses! For many people twice a week is good for the first couple weeks. Put it on your calendar and make it happen somewhere in your day. These workouts are not just running a 12-minute mile on the treadmill. These workouts need to be 50% cardio and 50% strength. Workouts are changed up every time! Different order, different exercises different pace and with different intervals. This is where a personal trainer or good classes are extremely helpful.
Begin cutting back on the junk food. Sodas, snacks, desserts, eating out, bread and alcohol are the big ones. Start out by cutting however much you would normally eat by half. You can stop cold turkey but you may end up VERY grumpy. You are already going to be sore for exercising, so you might want to have something to even out your mood. Each week cut your consumption of these foods by half until they become a special treat for you instead of something that you eat each day or without thinking. These extra calories can sabotage the best exercise plans.
Rest is just as important as your exercise. The increase in activity will require additional rest as well. Rest means sleep. 7-8 hours each day is ideally where you want to be. Too little rest can lead to injuries, time off from your workout plans and possibly disruption of your day to day life. This can be difficult, but good planning can give you more time than you thought possible. The first month will be the hardest on your body; this is why you exercise only two times a week initially, your body will need the rest time. Remember that most of the healing from your workouts is done while you are sleeping. The more sleep you get, the more throw your recovery will be each day.
Start eating the foods that help your body. We suggest that you find 4-5 recipes that are healthy and make that your starting point. You can expand your range of meals from this point. Make your lunches (and more if possible) for the upcoming week over the weekend while you have discretionary time. Place them in the refrigerator where you can just grab one and go or warm it up. This convenience will pay off BIG! Because of the increase in activity, you are going to need good fuel for your body; otherwise, you will be VERY tired.
Month number two is the time to increase the training workload. Up the intensity in your exercises, stay for 60 minutes but do exercises with a purpose. This is why we like to exercise for a time period; increasing the intensity is very simple without overdoing it. You should be exercising 3-5 days a week, adjust your workout schedule with your soreness and fatigue. Remember to keep changing things up every time.
The junk food should be at a minimum by now. Your appetite should be large also; eat good healthy snacks during the day. Not just celery sticks. Fruits, mixed nuts, a protein bar, dried fruit are all good. Do a google search and start picking out things your enjoy. Keep in mind that this is a snack, not a meal.
Month number three is where things can actually happen! Start looking an activity you didn’t think you were capable of doing or might never do. Doing these things with a friend adds to the enjoyment and helps with getting out of your comfort zone. This is in addition to your normal workout schedule. You don’t have to be first or kill yourself with this, one activity per week will be fine. Sprint triathlons, bike rides, hiking, 5K runs or longer, sporting activities like kickball, basketball, Spartan races, swimming etc. You don’t have to make these things a permanent fixture of your life but try them out, if you don’t like the activity look for something else. One activity may lead you to something you really enjoy. Remember… you are making a 90-day commitment.
You can begin to change the makeup of your workouts in month three. If you enjoy the cardio part more, do 70% cardio and 30% strength. Change is good as long as it isn’t radical, don’t move to a 90% and 10% ratio. You can begin to make changes that maximize your enjoyment of the workouts.
Just because you go to the gym doesn’t mean that you will achieve the figure you want to attain. Exercise isn’t rocket science, but there is science behind doing it for maximum benefits. Yes, increasing your activity will cause weight loss. Yes, lifting weights will cause muscle development.
However… it doesn’t mean that you get your desired figure.
Cardio over-kill is a problem for a lot of women. They go from spin class to the treadmill to step class and so on. The benefits are that it burns calories, which helps to create a calorie deficit, this eliminates the conversion of calories into body fat. The downside is that cardio can not build muscle. You see, cardio training is known as “neurogenic” training, meaning it does not promote muscular density. This type of constant training can be particularly negative for women who have lost a lot of weight as it can leave them looking “skinny fat”. This is because they have lost weight, but their skin and muscle tone looks deflated.
Countless times I have listened to women tell me they don’t want to do push ups because are scared of getting big manly shoulders. This is one of the biggest myths in the fitness world. Ladies you need to work those muscles.
More weight and more reps are not the answer. What this means is moving a weight from point A to point B is not necessarily going to equate to muscle tone and development. Creating the shape that you want requires more insight. Often a certain amount of momentum can move a weight, along using your own body weight. The trick is to focus on the muscle you are using to move that weight and squeezing it throughout the movement, holding the tension at the contraction point, and then releasing again under control.
No Big Muscles
Testosterone, in particular, plays a key role in regulating muscle mass and the body's response to exercise. Women’s testosterone levels are about 20% lower than men. Women don’t have enough testosterone to get big muscles like men (without supplements) and will not increase muscle size and strength like men. The result is strong, solid and tone muscles with a feminine look.
Kinds of Strength Training
Knowing what kind, how often and what to expect from a strength training program is the science in exercise. Too often the wrong exercise is applied and the results are not achieved.
Compound movements: big, heavy power movements like squats, deadlifts and clean and press. These sorts of big movements stimulate testosterone production due to the sheer volume of muscles involved in the movement. This helps to build stronger, harder muscles. But don’t worry women; it’s still a tiny amount of naturally produced testosterone.
Isolation movements: This allows you to focus specifically on certain muscles, groups of muscles or one area of a muscle. You can isolate an area using weights and/or body weight exercises. It’s very important to keep mixing up workout routines to ensure you hit a muscle area on its full circumference, this avoids over development and flat areas.
Negative Movements: Negative rep training focuses on the negative, or eccentric, part of an exercise. It's the phase of the move where you are lowering the weight, not pressing it. An example is the stage of a squat when you're bending your knees and coming down to the bottom of the move. This phase of the exercise should be slower and more controlled as you should being supporting and resisting the weight and not pushing it.
Fire Eye Fitness instructors combine all exercise forms and types during workouts. This helps to ensure a well-rounded workout so a flattering figure is the result of all your hard work. Brides routinely have their dresses taken in because they lose so much weight, but keep a flattering backside. Instructors implement compound, isolation and complete muscle squeeze for these superior results. Workouts are constantly changing to prevent clients from hitting the plateau and, more importantly, getting bored.
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I often get asked, “What is the best thing I can do to lose weight?”. The best thing I can tell anyone is “don’t quit”. Perseverance is the best thing you can have when it comes to health and fitness. Of course, this isn’t really the answer that people want to hear… I will give you three things that will get you well on the way to the physique, fitness level and health benefits most people are looking for.
1.) Exercises Buddy
Exercising with a friend or family member can really make the difference in your workouts. Doing activities with someone will be more enjoyable. You don’t have to be exercising next to one another or doing the same workouts. Just having someone there to talk to occasionally can be enough. If you can share the same workout routine, weight, machines or run with even better. Interaction with others will help to keep you engaged and enjoy the time rather that just having another item to check off on your daily “to do” list.
It is important that your workout isn’t contingent on your workout buddy. If one of you has to cancel the other STILL goes ahead and does the workout. (Reschedule is okay if it doesn’t get pushed more than a day or two) It is important to be flexible when exercising with someone, schedules don’t always align. Be sure to text, email or something with your buddy about the workout if they aren’t able to go with you. It will add incentive for them be right there with you next time. Lastly, you may need more than one workout buddy or you may have to find a new one. Don’t let their poor decision to quit or scheduling conflicts to stop you from attaining your goals.
Being consistent doesn’t have to mean exercising on the same day and/or time or routine every week. What it does mean is that you are getting a workout or exercise on a regular basis. One day a week is not what I’m talking about.
Schedule your workouts just like you schedule a doctor's appointment, meeting friends for dinner or going for a mani-pedi. It’s best to schedule your times to workout at the beginning of the week. Most of us have a good idea of what must be done in our week. Put your workout times on your schedule just like everything else. Of course, you can make adjustments but keep it in your week.
3.) Patience & Flexibility
The fast-paced world we live in can cause us to have unreal expectations. When it comes to fitness, you work hard this month to see the results next month. Many people find this to be the hardest part when it comes to exercise. Phones are lighting fast, many times meals are eaten on a time frame but heath and fitness still operate on their own time frame. Keep in mind that fast normally results are usually temporary results. You can do several types of exercise. This really helps to keep you from getting bored with your workouts. Kickboxing on a day and Boot Camp class the other, yoga on the weekends or go for a run on a beautiful day. Change up your exercises, exercise schedule and type of exercise occasionally. Variety is a good thing.Variety will also keep you from hitting a plateau in your progress.
There are so many things that can make the difference in health and fitness. These are among the most helpful. Keep in mind that a good exercise class will have all three of these things in it.
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