My Top Fitness Tips.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

Have you ever noticed someone who is doing a very intense workout routine, yet they seem to make it look effortless?For example Yoga Poses, Jumping Rope, Squats, etc. This is because they have good form (along with a few other concepts they have mastered, like practice, clealry they are in shape, and have adapted muscle memory) but really it comes down to Form.

To give yourself the best workout, you will want to pay attention to Quality rather than Quantity. This means you’ve got to have proper form, which I talk about all the time! How well you lift is way more important than how much you lift.   If you have in-proper form, not only are you lessening your workout’s effectiveness but you could potentially be causing your body harm.  This is another reason why my Training is so beneficial and safe.

Do not hold on to the past if you have been doing your workouts in-properly. Starting anything at first will not be perfect, it takes time to master. What counts is fixing it now. So what is your checklist? Precision, Concentration, Control, Consistency, Consideration, and Breathing.

  • Precision. When you are first starting out, lighter weights are best and while going through the motions slowly. Once you understand how the exercise is performed and create muscle memory, then you can increase the weight.
  • Concentration. To achieve maximum results, you must focus on the specific muscles you are training, really feel the work you are doing, and make every rep count.
  • Control. From the beginning of the exercise to the end, you must perform the movements in a controlled and steady manner. I want you to be in control of the movement, not the movement being in control of you.
  • Consistency. To see results from exercise, consistency is also key. It is important to look at the big picture with exercise and not over due it. This can set you up for failure and your and aim is to be consistent over the long-term. Change takes time- especially physical changes- so be persistent with your efforts and when you least expect it, you will notice some great changes!
  • Consideration. Consistency is great, but you also need to respect your body and its’ limits. If you are sore and tired, give your body rest. Do not push through an injury or a nagging pain that you think might turn into an injury. A few days off exercise is much better than 2 months off exercise.
  • Breathing. It’s very important to breathe properly during each repetition that you complete. NEVER HOLD YOUR BREATHE, this can be dangerous and led to an EIH (Exercise Induced Headache.)

“THOUGH NO ONE CAN GO BACK AND MAKE A BRAND NEW START, ANYONE CAN START FROM NOW AND MAKE A BRAND NEW ENDING.”

 

WHAT IS “TONING?”: I am Confused!?

All of us want to “tone” our muscles to achieve a cut, fit look.  But what exactly is “toning”? Let’s get started.  The word “toning” has nothing to do with the size of a particular muscle; it refers rather to making a muscle lean by burning intramuscular fat, and conditioning the muscle for better performance.  You can’t actually build muscle mass unless you’re eating more calories than you’re burning, but you can tone a muscle to make it leaner.  To tone your muscles, you should weight-train with intensity, give your muscles a 2-day rest period (at least), stay active, and eat a clean, well-balanced diet.

Will I “BULK-UP”?

Women always tell me that they feel hesitant about weight exercises that require heavy weights because they’re afraid of building bulky muscles. I understand, it is confusing at first, just make sure you understand this: It’s extremely difficult for women to gain muscle mass simply by doing toning exercises — we don’t have the testosterone that guys do that lets them build mass. Also, last time I checked, most women are not consuming massive amounts of food to bulk up, usually it is the opposite!

Using weights to tone your muscles will make you look trim and terrific, not big and bulky. Take it from me…if women bulked up like men doing the same workouts, I would look more like Monica “The Terminator” not Monica “The Trainer!”

“KEEP YOU MEALS CLEAN AND YOU WORKOUTS DIRTY!  IF YOU EAT HEALTHY AND SWEAT HARD, THE POUNDS WILL COME OFF.”

 

EXERCISE: Great for your BODY, MIND, and SPIRIT

We have all had one of those days where there is just no motivation for a workout.  Yes, even myself. But I remember to remind myself how fantastic I will feel when I am done.  Within the first 5 minutes, I always feel better and I usually end up having an even a stronger workout.  Regular exercise leads to better health, more energy, a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, and a longer life. But it isn’t just the physical benefits of exercise that push me — it’s what it does for my mental health.  The mental-health benefits start right after you exercise.  Ever heard of a “runner’s high?” Exercise floods the brain with endorphins, which help to relieve pain, enhance your mood, and relieve stress.  As you start working out and getting stronger, your sense of strength in other aspects of your life will naturally start to bloom as well. Give yourself some credit and think about how hard you have been working and commiting to your lifestlye change.  Plus, if you train with me, you can do just about anything!

Not convinced? I see it every day with my own clients and even with myself.  The “before” and “after” of a work out makes a huge difference in regards to attitude and mood changes.  A growing body of research suggests that exercise can relieve symptoms of depression, including sadness, irritability, stress, fatigue, anger, self-doubt, and hopelessness.  Plus, exercise can significantly improve your body image.  So you know what to do the next time you need a free, natural pick me…get moving!

“SUCCESS IS NOTHING MORE THAN A FEW SIMPLE DISCIPLINES, PRACTICED EVERDAY.” ~ Jim Rohn

 

 

PACE YOURSELF: Watch out for Overtraining

There is such thing as overtraining and many people unfortunately find themselves with the “all or nothing” attitude towards exercise (and diet for that matter).  Believe it or not, your muscles do not get stronger during your workout; it’s after the workout that they grow and develop.  Intense strength training places huge demands on your muscles.  To adapt to those demands, your muscles need adequate recovery time to rebuild and get stronger.  As important as it is to create a realistic workout routine and not be a lazy bum, it’s just as important to know when to give yourself a break so you don’t burn out.  After all, your body (and mind) deserves a chance to process all of the hard work you’re doing.

When you work a muscle, the muscle fibers tear.  Given the proper rest and discovery, your muscle fibers will repair themselves and grow leaner and stronger (this is “toning”).  But if you train the muscle too soon and interfere with its recovery, you can damage the muscle and break it down.  Additionally, if you overdue it with exercise, it is only a matter of time before “overuse injuries” can occur and stress on your bones and joints. On top of that will most likely mentally shut down and no longer look forward to a great workout that once made you feel so good.  Try to think of it this as a lifestyle change.   It won’t happen all at once, but if you stick to your healthy lifestyle, the results will happen and stay permanentantly.  It is a marathon to the finish line, not a sprint!

“PERSEVERANCE IS NOT A LONG RACE; IT IS MANY SHORT RACES ONE AFTER ANOTHER.” ~ Walter Elliott

 

 CARDIO: TRY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)

Are you sick of the same old cardiovascular routine?  Do you usually set the elliptical on the same level of intensity that is just right to not interfere with your gossip magazine reading?  Or maybe you do the exact same run outside or exact same workout classes.  Have you hit a plateau?  Well, it is time to switch things up! I do at least 2 HIIT cardio style workouts a week.  For one, they work and secondly, they are time efficient.   Seriously, who has all day to work out?  Just like High-Intensity Strength Training… Quality over Quantity and you will see and feel the results.
What it HIIT?:  It is exercise that involves intense bursts of exercise (e.g., sprinting) followed by moderate intensity exercise (e.g., jogging) repeated in an interval format. Simple enough, right?
Potential Benefits of HIIT:

  • A great way to maximize a workout that is limited on time!
  • Increase Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) for the following 24 hours post-exercise.
  • Might improve VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption) more effectively as compared to traditional long aerobic workouts. For example, 20 minutes of interval training (alternating near-maximum exertion with low-intensity recovery periods) is just as effective at strengthening your heart as an hour of moderate exercise!
  • Doing these “sprints,” is what makes your heart pump faster and harder, strengthening your arteries.

How to Do HIIT:

  • This is a shorter workout for a reason! If done correctly, you should not be able to do this for a long time. A HIIT session consists of a warm up period of exercise, followed by six to ten repetitions of high intensity exercise, separated by medium intensity exercise, and ending with a period of cool down exercise. The high intensity exercise should be done at near maximum intensity. The medium exercise should be about 50% intensity. The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the exercise. The goal is to do at least six cycles and go for about 15-25 minutes. Sounds like fun, right!
  • To start out, take it easy. Alternate the speed and intensity of any activity you’re doing. For instance, if you’re walking, do a few minutes at a moderate pace, then speed-walk or jog for a few minutes; repeat. If you’re running, go for a few minutes, and then sprint for a minute and repeat. Do the same with cycling, inline skating, swimming or any activity of your choice and remember to include a warm-up and a cool-down. Soon you will see and feel a change. You will be so much happier with more time in your day and to break out of a plateau.

“THERE ARE 1,440 MINUTES IN THE DAY.  SCHEDULE 30  MINUTES (2%) FOR EXERCISE, NO EXCUSES!”

 

WHEN YOU ARE UNDER THE WEATHER AND NOT AT YOUR 100% 

First of all, if you are under the weather you have got to be honest with yourself and “check-in” with how you are truly feeling.  If you are feeling horrible, then I definitely recommend always skipping that day and giving your body its much needed rest.  Relax! It is just one to two days.  However, there are a few exceptions if you feel well enough to get moving.

  • Think “above-or-below the neck” rule. If your symptoms appear “above your neck” (runny nose, sneezing, sore throat), you can keep working out if you take your intensity down a few notches.   I recommend a light walk or bike ride, but not high-intensity workouts.
  • If your symptoms appear “below the neck” (a deep chest cough, body aches, fatigue, vomiting, diarrhea), or if you have a fever, YOU NEED TO REST so you do not get sicker.
  • More great news is that you may have fewer sick days the more you workout. The more physically active you are, the better your body will be at getting over an illness. Why? You can improve your body’s ability to respond to more severe stress like a cold or the flu through exercise. The all-natural flu fighter, EXERCISE.

Most importantly, this journey is all about getting healthier and taking care of the one body we get. Sometimes life will throw you a curveball, and you’ve just got to do your best, take care of yourself, and just pick up where you left off.

“LIFE’S PROBLEMS WOULDN’T BE CALLED “HURDLES” IF THERE WASN”T A WAY TO GET OVER THEM.”

 

 HOW MUCH AND HOW FAST SHOULD I LOSE WEIGHT?

To lose a pound, you must burn 3,500 calories. Mathematics might be your best friend right about now.  You can only do so much resistance training without damaging your muscles and impeding your results.  Additionally, you can’t starve the weight off: If you eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day, you will sabotage your optimal results.  Therefore, cardio is weight loss extra credit.  It allows you to burn additional calories without overtraining.  But also knowing how many calories YOUR body needs and follwed by what it burns will allow you to eat the right amount of calories and burn the right of calories on your workouts.  I suggest a heart rate monitor (to navigate  how much calories you burn on your workouts) and it is important to know your BMR, (basal metabolic rate.)  

What is a BMR?  It is the number of calories your body burns in a day when operating at absolute minimum capacity. For example, doing nothing. How many calories does your body need in order do nothing? Ever sat on the couch all day (you should hopefully have a hard time answering when the last time you did that was!)  Basically your BMR is the number of calories your body burns just to maintain your heartbeat, digestion, respiration, tissue repair and other organ functions. Here is the formula we all use as experts to find your number:

MALE: 66 + (6.3 × body weight in pounds) + (12.9 × height in inches) ? (6.8 × age in years)

FEMALE: 655 + (4.3 × weight in pounds) + (4.7 × height in inches) ? (4.7 × age in years)

Too much Math? Need your answer now, ok I have you covered.  (This is not as accuarate but still reliable.) You can use this quick equation.  Just take body weight in pounds and multiply it by 12 calories to get your daily caloric intake.  (For example, take your weight, say it is 125; 125 x 12 = 1,500 calories a day.)  Time to get ahead and get moving. 

“DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.  INSTEAD, FOCUS ON WHERE YOU’VE BEEN VERSUS WHERE YOU ARE NOW VERSUS WHERE YOU WANT TO BE.”

FitFluential Is Fitness Found