Society has made us cultivate this idea that the harder we workout, the faster we will see results. In my opinion, that is completely wrong! I have personally been a victim of this “trend”.
There was a time when I was doing 3 hours of cardio every day and matching that with a binge eating marathon every 24hours.
That’s when my body decided to let go.
I had no idea what I was really doing to my body. The cycle of ” eat less and work out more” was stuck in my head and sure, it worked the first few weeks but then you hit a wall.
All I knew at that point was that to become “healthy” you either “eat less or you up your cardio” and the more I cut down, the more I was “improving”. No wonder my body gave up on me.
I was working out 7 days a week. I was doing my weight training and morning cardio on an empty stomach followed by a weight training session then going back to a spin class at night.
Binge, exercise, and repeat. A motto that I shared with many girls.
I knew better; I knew how badly I was treating my body but for whatever reason, it was stronger than me. I don’t know if it was society’s pressure for me to achieve that perfect body or my own expectations that weighed me down, but I broke.
Enough IS Enough!
This probably isn’t recommended but I quit cold turkey. I stopped
doing cardio and weight training, not because I lost motivation but because I physically couldn’t keep up with my routine.
My mental state instantly changed once I didn’t have the stress of my workouts affecting me. I moved instead to a more lenient 4x a week hot yoga class.
This was probably the scariest thing I did in my entire life. I was so scared of my weight ballooning! Remember, I couldn’t stay away from a binge for longer than 24hours…
Get Back On Track
The first week I gained 1-3 lbs… but I noticed how the binge sessions slowed down. I did my first 48hrs without them. You have no idea how excited I was. I trusted myself for the first time and I went for it… I didn’t lose weight for almost 2 years but my binging went from 24hrs to 48hrs, to a week, to twice a month to every few months until now where I only binge in extremely rare stressful situations (which I now know how to avoid.)
This is my story. My flawed and topsy-turvy journey, why did I just tell you all that? Because I want everyone to know that there isn’t a “perfect” method for everyone. We all are unique in our struggles.
Step 1: Be Raw with Yourself
I forget this about myself for so many years, I thought I was this sporty girl who could do anything, in reality, I have ZERO competitively, reflex or coordination. I simply HATE working out. I LOVE how it makes my body look but If I am being HONEST, I can’t even say it makes me feel good since I’m hyper flexible and most of my joints hurt if I do any kind of impact.
So, pick an exercise that fits you. If you love to dance, then dance! If you love to go hiking, go hike. If you love the thrill of the gym, then by all means, stick to that.
Just always be honest with yourself and listen to what your body needs.
Step 2: Reanalyze Cardio
Yes, yes, I know Cardio is great for your heart but you don’t have to suffer tedious gym equipment to get in shape.
If you are in the market for losing weight (who isn’t really?) then focus more on nutrition rather than how many miles you can rack up on the treadmill.
Cardio should NEVER be used as a weight loss tool.
Step 3: Weight Training
Weight training runs on the same lines and should be used to change your body type, give you curves, get you stronger, help osteoporosis and make you healthier in general but it’s not a weight loss solution either.
Compared to Cardio, weight training increases your muscle mass.
That alone increases the number of calories you burn in one day.
I recommend 70% of your workout to be weight training and 30% should be cardio. Weight training increases your muscle mass and changes your body type.
That isn’t all, it also burns calories even when you are in an “inactive” state. Meaning you technically are burning calories even when SLEEPING! Now that is #goals.
Increasing your muscle weight will also increase your metabolism and will allow you to eat more calories while maintaining your body weight.
Step 4: Workout Smarter, Not Harder
If you are trying to save time, my favorite type of workout is TABATA timer workouts. They allow you to do weight training exercises at the same time as working on your cardio!
I’m a gym rat. I love the ambiance, and love lifting heavy weights but whatever you do make sure you like it. There are so many options, gym, fitness class, DVD’s, YouTube, yoga, make sure you pick something that you love and makes you feel good.
How to Be Efficient
The most efficient way for me is the Tabata workout followed by supersets at the gym. Both allow you to work on your cardio while you are doing your weight training.
You need to look at your schedule and find what’s realistic for you. I like to go less often but for a longer timeframe.
Most people are the opposite of me though and have a hard time finding the time if you are one of them a quick 10 minutes 2x a day might be the solution for you.
The Success is Consistency
Moving as much as possible is better than not moving at all. Start with what’s realistic and work from there.
If you set a goal that’s too high, you will end up disappointed.
Working out only consists of 10-15% of your effort into losing weight. I tell my clients to make sure their nutrition is on track always and they allow themselves to relax and have some “me time” before stressing about the gym.
Working Out at Home?
I suggest finding a place where you don’t have any distractions. It’s easy to do everything in the house before you work out.
Commit 30 minutes and just do it.
Music is a must! Working out with music is always more motivating. I suggest having a yoga mat, a yoga ball, weights between 3 lbs and 20 lbs to create enough resistance.
Resistance bands are also a great investment. With these accessories, you will be able to create a nice setup.
DVD’s and YouTube can also be a good addition.
I gave you guys a workout to follow. All the pictures are included and you can follow a TABATA workout.
I get asked a lot if it’s better to workout at night or during the day. It’s better to workout when you CAN! There’s no magic time… it’s consistency. I like to do mine in the morning because I like to get it done and then move on with my day.
But there have been many mornings where the timing just doesn’t work out, I’ll do it later or skip it altogether. YES, THAT IS OKAY!
I follow the same philosophy with my diet, you won’t lose all your results if you skip a day here and there on a perfect meal plan but you will lose all motivation! So, eat that brownie for dessert.
This is something people often overlook. We are not created equal. What works for me doesn’t work for everyone.
Some people will never be able to lift heavy weights, some people gain muscle faster while some people are simply designed to run!
When you do an exercise, the importance is to maintain a perfect posture. Shoulders straight, abs tight with a slight bend in the knees.
Always try to push yourself and lift as heavy as possible while maintaining good breathing and posture, That’s it!
For me, I’m naturally muscular while also being hyper flexible. I need to listen to my body and focus on slower movements, while also giving attention to each individual muscle.
If you follow all these guidelines, you won’t just increase your performance in the gym but start seeing a lifestyle change for the better.
Remember, Train smarter, not harder!
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