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FITNESS: Avoid the Wrong Track to Nowhere

People are constantly asking me what weight routine to do. They ask me to critique their routine, as if changing a couple of exercises is going to change everything. Honestly, most people are spending too much time on stuff that really doesn’t matter and not enough time on the stuff that matters most.

Listen, I’d guess that 80% of the population wants to lose weight and tone up – not sculpt their rear deltoids and show more muscle separation in their quads. Just because some girl in the gym (who looks very hot by the way) does a certain workout, doesn’t mean that workout is for you (YET). Plus, I guarantee she is doing a lot more than lifting dumbbells.

Before you waste a lot of time and energy copying programs, trying new weight exercises and analyzing every exercise you see in the gym – ask yourself a few questions.

Fitness Checklist for Success:

1. Are you doing enough cardio? Listen, you can sculpt your muscle all day but if you aren’t actively and purposely removing fat, you’ll never see all your hard work.

2. Do you know how many calories you are eating every day? When people ask me for diet advice, 90% of them have NO clue how much they are eating. They can list off all these healthy foods to me, but that means nothing. That’s like me telling my husband that I bought 5 shirts and 2 pair of jeans. What the heck can he do with that? He sure can’t balance the checkbook with that. I can even tell him I bought them from TJMaxx, and that STILL won’t give him a clue how much to deduct from the checking account. 

3. Do you know how many calories you are burning. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor – get one. Many, MANY, MAANYYYY people totally think they are burning WAY more calories working out than they think. This is a great accountability tool for your cardio – and it changes how you will look at a calorie when eating. If you worked your BUTT off burning 500 calories, you will TOTally think twice eating a 500 calorie coffee treat.

4. Are you eating less than you burn? Use the formula on this page to determine the approximate calories you burn a day. Most brand name diets suggest eating 1200-1500 calories for women and 1500-1800 for men. However, if you find you burn 2,500 calories a day, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should eat more – it just means you should get faster results if you stick to a low-cal diet.

5. Are you eating often enough? Eating 5-6 times a day is key to stabilizing your blood sugar and metabolism. Since your metabolism follows your blood sugar, the more often you eat, the more energy you will have and the more calories you will burn. If you eat only 2-3 times a day, your metabolism will slow.

6. Are you getting enough protein? Even if you are losing weight, you could be losing muscle if you aren’t getting the protein you need. Active women (depending on their training) can get .5-1gms of their IDEAL body weight in grams of protein. Another words, if I weigh 150lbs, 75gms would be my lowest and 150gms would be my highest. Lean muscle has a HUGE affect on metabolism, so if you lose muscle, you will decrease overall calories burned at rest.

7. Are you consistent? I can’t TELL you how many people are rock stars during the week, only to party like a rock star on the weekend – and then they don’t understand why they aren’t getting results. Listen, all the above stuff only works if you are doing it 7 days a week. Wipe your eyes, there is good news. Once you reach your goal weight, you can afford more calories and you can live a little more loosely on the weekends.

8. Are you target training? If you are, stop it. Honestly, too many people are spending WAY to much time doing the inner-outer thigh machine and not enough time on the elliptical. Target training is NOT the answer. I’m not saying to ignore your abs, but I am saying don’t think a million crunches will help you get rid of belly fat.

9. Are you doing what you NEED or doing what you want? So many people spend the majority of their time doing what they like and not what they need. Make cardio and conditioning your focus if you are trying to lean out – and treat weights as your body sculpting side kick. If you want to do both, then do more functional training (conditioning) where you are getting your heart rate up and doing weights at the same time (BCx Boot Camp & CrossFit type stuff). Most of the time, we avoid what we need the most. I can’t TELL you how many times someone comes to the gym asking about yoga when they clearly need to lose 50lbs. Helloooooo! You need boot camp! You may not want to hear it, but I speak the truth! Don’t avoid what you know you need – no matter how much you hate it or are scared of it.

10. Do you have your priorities in order? Are you one of those people who are trying to squeeze in yoga, spinning, weight training, zumba and running with your friends? Listen, variety is AWESOME, but don’t just do stuff because your friends are doing it – or even because you like it. I like shopping everyday, but I don’t have the time or the money for it. It’s time you prioritize. Think of what your number one focus is and put that first. If it’s to lose body fat, then your focus should be FIRST on diet, SECOND on purposeful intense cardio (not a dancing class people) and LAST on sculpting, stretching, balance and fun stuff. Once you reach your goal you can add more fun and do less intense stuff.

So, I just addressed many people’s questions and I didn’t give you a 20-part workout – that’s because that’s like giving tips on how to do a tune up to someone who needs a new engine. :) It’s time to rethink your workouts, refocus and get results!!

Follow me, like me, stalk me – I don’t care, but definitely subscribe to my blog to get more fitness tips!

BOOT CAMP: If you need to completely revamp your program or you need a more intense program to help you shed some pounds, join our online BCx Boot Camp at FitStudio. It’s a calorie scorcher and you can do it at home or the gym. Or join one of our live BCx Boot Camps at Max Fitness in Vero Beach, Nature’s Way or Ultima Fitness. (and more locations coming!)

11 comments

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  2. Pat Thomas

    Calorie counting is way important! Fortunately there are a lot of healthier recipes out there. Search the internet or get a low-cal recipe book. You don’t have to sacrifice great taste when you eat better!

    1. Bonnie Pfiester

      You got that right!! Good info!

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  5. NJGodmother

    Most informative, direct, no nonsense article written.

  6. ziz1

    Yowser…..you delivered a strong plea to us all! Very well said – great tips as usual.

  7. Carolyn

    Once again, a wonderful post. Always great, REAL advice. It makes sense doesn’t it…thank you for always providing advice that is truthful and non gimmicky!!!

  8. Kristin

    Loved this post! This is just what I needed to hear today as the resolve from starting of the year right is wearing off! I have loved reading your blog posts as you give real, sound healthy advice! Thanks so much!

  9. Stan Black

    This is the best, most sensible, and understandable article I have read on the “right” way to go about weight loss. I have people ask me all the time how did you lose weight. I keep telling them “I eat less (keep track) and move more over a long period of time.” Everybody wants something fast and easy.Chaning you lifestyle takes work!

  10. Caitlin C.

    Great post with sensible advice! I def know lots of people overestimate how many cals they burn in a workout. I don’t have a HR monitor but I often make very conservative estimates on cals burned and overestimate cals eaten to be on a “safe” side. If the way my clothes fit changes then I know I’m not calculating something correctly.

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