Why do you train? Sometimes that is a question we have to not only ask ourselves when we start a workout program, but we have to ask ourselves that over and over again on our journey. Why? Because we get off track. We often start with a clear and specific goal in mind. It’s normally very simple. We want to be better. We want to be a better version of our old self.
Then, as we pursue that goal, we tend to get off track. We begin to compare ourselves to others. We can easily begin to see what we are not, instead of what we’ve become. Sometimes this can make us push harder. For many, it can do the opposite. We can become discouraged or overwhelmed. Sometimes we can become obsessed.
I encourage you to step back. Look at why you started this. Look at how far you’ve come. Look at the big picture. You are not a better woman, mom, worker, friend, spouse or neighbor if you hold a trophy. No trophy, prize or title makes you better. Being better than someone else doesn’t make you better. Being better than the old you makes you better. That’s what makes you a success. Your greatest accomplishment is beating your own records and accomplishing new goals. THAT makes you a winner.
There is no greater reward than a healthier you. There is nothing better than feeling stronger than you did a few weeks ago, leaner than you’ve been in a long time, healthier than you ever thought possible.
YOU are your reward.
YOU are your prize.
If you are like me, you get tired of your same workouts and like to try new things, so occasionally I post my workouts for you guys to try out – or mix a new move in. Here was my quad & ab workout this week – as well as a workout by Steve that you can do at home!
Leg Workout: Do 3-4 sets of 18-20
Begin with a Warm Up
(I normally just do leg press with no weight)
- Heavy Leg Press
- Single Leg Leg Press (LOVE THESE!)
- Walking Lunges with 20lb dumbbells
- Leg Extensions (Toes pointed out)
- Leg Extensions (toes pointed in)
The thing I dislike just a little more than legs (which I reallllly don’t like) is abs. I seriously dread it – so much so, that I made “doing more abs” one of my New Year’s Resolutions. My workout wasn’t anything special or unique this particular day, but I got it done!
- Plate Crunch 3 sets of x 25 with 25lb Plate
- Ab Machine Crunch 3 sets of x 25
- Incline Sit Ups with Twist 3 sets of x 25
After my workout, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. YUMMY!
Butt, Leg & Abs Workout
Don’t have access to gym equipment? Try this workout at home!
- 15 Skaters
- 5 5-Second Crescent Pose/5-Second Warrior 3 Combo on one leg only
(Repeat above & do other leg)
- 15 Slam Ball (or Plyo Jump Squats)
- 15 Slam Twist Abs
- 15 Double High Knees
- 15 Stomps (one side)
(Repeat the above couplet and do the other side)
Repeat 3-5 times for a complete workout.
If SO many people want to get fit, why aren’t they all members of a gym? I believe there are 5 main things keeping people from the gym. Since some of these reasons could be a sensitive topic for some of you, I decided to mix in some fun cartoons to lift your spirits and help make receiving these tips a little more fun – because, in reality, we can ALL relate to at least one of these issues.
1. PRIDE: “I’m out of shape and embarrassed.”
If I had a quarter for everyone who has said “I just want to lose 10lbs before I join a gym”, I’d be RICH! I am not sure why people feel they need to get in shape BEFORE they join a gym, but that is such backward thinking. That’s like saying I’m going to try to get smart before I enroll in school. Really?
My grandmother once said, “a church is a school for sinners, not a place for saints”, and that concept also applies to the gym. The gym is not a place for the fit, it’s a place to GET fit – and STAY FIT. It’s the place you go to get fixed. Unfortunately, people’s perception of the gym is that it’s a place for bodybuilders and fit people. Do you think they were BORN fit? Of course not. They once started out just like you. If you think you are “too fat” to be seen in the gym, or too out of shape to take a class, that is EXACTLY where you need to be – and I promise you, they will welcome you with open arms!
2. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE: “I don’t know what to do.”
Of course you don’t know what to do. Did you get a personal training certification? Did you study exercise science? I bet you have a different expertise – we all do. I tell you what, if you are in the auto repair business, I promise to come to you to get my car fixed, if you promise to come to me (or a fitness professional) to get your body fixed. Honestly, if you knew what to do in every specialty, you wouldn’t need your mechanic, accountant, doctor, lawyer, teacher, preacher, tailor, realtor, banker, builder, repair man…
The point is, it’s totally understandable that you may not know exactly what to do. That is what fitness professionals are for. The awesome part is, you won’t need them forever. A good trainer is like a good teacher – they’ll teach you everything you need to know to eventually “graduate”.
3. MONEY: “I can’t afford it.”
We all fuss when we have to spend money to have something fixed. Whether our body breaks down, or our car does, it’s no fun to spend money on maintenance. We sure like buying new things, but we hate fixing old stuff – including our old out of shape bodies. However, as valuable as your car is, don’t you think you are that much more valuable? Besides, leaving your body broken will actually cost more in the long run. The same way ignoring a simple issue, like a tire that’s out of balance, can cause a lot of big ticket damage (like uneven wear on your tires and damage to your suspension), ignoring your body now can cause a lot more damage down the road. If you really want to save money, you can’t afford NOT to invest in your body.
4. TIME: “I don’t have time to go to a gym.”
This is one of my favorite Randy Glasbergen cartoons of all time. We act like we actually have options when it comes to getting fit, but do we really? What are the alternatives? Poor health, feeling bad, muscle deterioration, weight gain, health issues, low energy, loss in strength and stamina, depression, and even death.
You will succeed when you esteem your body as high as your most prized posession. You make time to work so you can get paid. You make time for TV, or other simple pleasure, so you can relax. You make time to eat because you don’t like being hungry. So, you need to make time for fitness if you don’t like feeling unhealthy. It’s not about if you HAVE time, it’s about whether you decide to MAKE time. Your health should be a priority – because, without it you have nothing.
5. AVOIDANCE: “I prefer working out at home alone.”
First, I must say, there are some people who do very well working out alone. However, in my experience, most people do not. Even if someone genuinely prefers to workout alone, they may not be successful at doing so.
The real question is, why do you prefer working out alone? Many times it’s the result of one of the above excuses I’ve already addressed. Some people just like running, or an outdoor activity. Sometimes it’s purely out of convenience. Your fitness success isn’t just about you doing what you prefer, or what’s convenient, it’s about what you need to get results you want. This means what you WANT and what you NEED may be 2 different things. I like to lift weights, but my body needs cardio and stretching. If I only did what I wanted, I’d be fatter, bulkier, have poor stamina and have very tight muscles. Ha!
In addition, most people do better with a support system. Whether that support system is a gym, a workout buddy, a running group or a weight loss support group, most people need a certain level of accountability. If you are working out in private, there is a chance you are doing so because it’s a little easier to fail in private.
If you really want to get to the heart of this question, you have to honestly ask yourself more questions like, “Do I like working out alone because it’s less intimidating?” “Do I like working out at home because it’s more affordable?” “Do I prefer working out alone because no one will notice how out of shape I am?” “Am I avoiding the gym because I had a bad experience before?” The list of possible reasons is endless.
While having a home gym is great, and it can work for some people, there is a reason a gym setting is valuable. More equipment, more personal attention, more guidance, more options, more people to see you (for accountability), more support, more motivation, and fewer distractions (like the phone ringing, dryer going off, baby crying, etc). Again, this doesn’t mean working out at home alone is a bad thing, but it may not be right for you. To find out if it’s what you need, you have to be completely honest with yourself. Do you really think you’ll reach your goal at home alone? If you aren’t 100% sure, then you may need to get out of your comfort zone and do what you need to do to reach your goals this year.
When it comes to making our New Year’s Resolutions work, it’s all about sticking to your program. Many people START great, but something happens – or, should I say, nothing happens. We get out of our routine, we give up, we don’t try hard enough, we let things get in the way, we get sidetracked, we lose sight of our goals, or we don’t mean to quit. Many times, we procrastinate ourselves right to NEXT New Year! So how can we succeed this year?
You need to set some parameters. That’s right. You need rules! Adults HATE rules. We sure love to dish them out to kids, but we forget why rules are created – because we need boundaries. God recognized our need for rules from the very beginning. Remember the apple tree? How about the 10 commandments? Of course we could never keep them all, but they were created so that we would have standards to live by for the best life possible.
Well, if you haven’t set any fitness rules, then you are doing yourself a disservice. Because of our rebellious lazy nature, we must have rules in place to keep us in check and to give us something to reach for. Living life without rules is a recipe for disaster – and the same goes with fitness.
Here are some rules to get you started. Fill in the blank, add to the list, or make your own set of rules to fit your needs. Whatever you do, today is your day to play by the rules so you can be the winner you know you want to be.
5 Simple Rules to help you Stick with it!
It’s one thing to miss a couple of workouts, but it’s another thing to miss a couple of weeks. Make a pact that you will never miss more than a set number of days between workouts. For me, that number is 3. I will never miss more than 3 days in a row without exercise. During the week, I will only allow myself to skip 1 day. But, in the event I go out of town over a long weekend (3 days), that is the only chunk of time I will allow myself to take off so that I never get used to being lazy.
Rule #2: I will workout a minimum of ______ days a week.
If you don’t have a weekly goal, how do expect to stick with it? You have to have something to shoot for. My goal is to workout 5 days a week. However, I may workout more – or less. So, I have rules. I will never workout fewer than 3 days a week. This keeps me from ever getting out of a routine.
Rule #3: I will never miss a __(day of the week) .
One of my rules is to never miss a Monday. Mondays are the best day for most people to start fresh. By committing to hitting it hard every Monday, you increase your chances of sticking with it during the week too. If nothing else, you will begin to develop some consistency. 4 workouts a month is much better than none. And, if you follow the first 3 rules alone, you are working out 3 times a week Monday – Thursday, and that’s not too shabby!
Rule #4: I will do (the workout you need the most, and I like least) first.
We love to put off the the stuff we hate the most. That’s why I do my least favorite body parts first. For me, that’s legs. Since I am committed to going to the gym every Monday, I know I will be hitting the body part that needs the most work, and getting it out of the way. With the worst out of the way, I then look forward to the rest of my workouts and am less likely to want to skip. However, if I put off the worst for last, I will be much more tempted to skip it.
As soon as you say “if”, you are setting yourself up to quit. Just like my mom said when I was a kid, no “ifs, ands, or buts”! Quitting simply can’t be an option. I am always better off doing something than doing nothing. That means, even a 15 minute lame workout is better than skipping your workout altogether. That means working out only 2 days a week is better than nothing at all. Sticking to ANY routine is teaching yourself to stick to A routine. Then, the longer you stick with it, the easier it is to build on that routine and develop even a better one. No matter how bad you think you are doing, just remember, quitting is worse.
I put my top 4 rules in this this mantra for you guys today to post as your reminder
Ok, so I’m actually giving you 31 Days of Motivation! Consider this a bonus day! I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s theme of daily motivational mantras and encouragement. Yesterday, in “Fat Will Surrender“, I talked about why we struggle with weight loss at the beginning of a fitness program. We talked about fat vs muscle, and I explain how there’s a lot going on inside the body that the scale will not report initially.
Today, I will talk more about muscle. I’ll talk about what the mysterious muscle weight gain is all about, and give you some red flags to look for as well. Hopefully, by the time you are done reading, you are fired back up to hit it even harder in the gym, and tackle February with the same fever as you had in January. Now, let’s get to it!
Muscle Gain vs. Bulking Up
The balancing act I talked about yesterday, between fat and muscle, typically only happens in the beginning of a program. Another words, you won’t continue to keep gaining 4lbs of muscle every few weeks. It is not that easy to gain actual muscle (without the help of serious supplements – and drugs). Also, don’t think of this weight gain as truly muscle – like a bodybuilder tries to “bulk up”. This weight gain is from loose, flat, out-of-shape muscle (picture a deflated balloon) filling back up and coming back to life (picture a fully-inflated balloon).
You see, the increased muscle weight comes from storing more glycogen and water in the muscle cells from the increased activity. It’s basically an initial gain of increased water weight – but the good kind. We want our muscles full because that’s what makes our muscles firm and shapely. That weight will level out and, then eventually as you lose weight, you should start to see your weight drop on the scale as your fat loss outweighs your muscle gain. If you don’t (red flag), then somethings wrong.
You Have to Consider, You Might Be Wrong
People LOVE to find a reason for why they are where they are. They want solution without making changes or working any harder. As a result, many people that read this will hear what they want to hear, and all they hear is “muscle weighs more than fat“. They lock onto that truth, and use it every time the scale doesn’t budge. Before you know it, they’ve used “i’m probably just gaining muscle and losing fat” as their ongoing excuse all year long – but this isn’t an ongoing process. Yes, it happens, but it won’t continue to happen all year long, so don’t use that as an excuse to convince yourself you are doing good, when you know good and well you need to crack down a little more. If your scale has been stuck for over 30 days, you are likely doing something wrong.
Unfortunately, people also LOVE to use that phrase to encourage people when the scale doesn’t move. Many times they are just wishing the person would shut up and quit their complaining, but telling someone what they want to hear isn’t helpful. That only enables them to continue doing what they are doing, and feel better about it. If you truly want them to quit complaining, tell them to do whatever it takes to figure out what they can improve on. While this weight plateau can definitely happen during a course of the first 3-4 weeks of a program – if the scale is sticking after that, it’s time to do some major troubleshooting. They may not want to accept they are doing something wrong, especially when they are doing so much right, but they will thank you later.
What to Expect
To give you an idea of what to expect, for an average person taking one of our 6-week boot camp programs, we often have people gain 4-6lbs of muscle and lose anywhere from 6-15lbs of fat (depending on how much they have to lose). Since we do a midterm analysis, we can see that the majority of the muscle gain is already happened in the first half of boot camp. So, by the midterm weigh-in, they normally have lost 5-6lbs of fat and gained 3-6lbs of muscle – but the scale might only show a small drop in weight – or none at all. However, after they see what’s REALLY going on inside, they get encouraged to push through to the end for the next step, which, normally, is primarily all fat loss. If they continue through boot camp at the same rate, they might end boot camp with another 3-6lbs of fat lost, but their muscle weight will be the same – resulting in 10-12lbs of fat lost overall.
What You Need to Know
1.) If you have ALREADY been training hard, you may not experience this muscle increase because your muscles are already full and tone. So, you should experience fat loss (and weight loss) pretty soon in the program compared to someone who might just be starting out.
2.) If you have a LOT to lose, you should experience fat loss pretty quickly in the program. If you aren’t, then you are likely replacing the calories burned with eating more. Since exercise does boost your metabolism, it’s easy to also boost eating without even realizing it. That’s why I preach counting calories. The fact of the matter is, if you have a lot to lose, you will lose a lot more than someone who has a little to lose – so expect bigger numbers.
3.) If you are NOT consistent with your exercise, your muscle weight can go up and down as you muscles fill back up when you exercise, and then “deflate” when you aren’t working out. If you want consistent results, you need to stay consistent in your routine, or the scale will be all over the place and drive you crazy!
The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn through out the day and the more energetic you’ll feel to go out there and burn even more calories. So, embrace that muscle - and know it will only help you to seriously kick fat’s butt!
When you can’t catch your breath, when your muscles are on fire, when your alarm goes off before your early am workout, when you’re hungry, when you’re tired, when the scale won’t budge, when you’re feeling sorry for yourself for how hard you are working to lose weight and get fit this year…Just know this; “Fat WILL Surrender”.
If you are doing everything right, counting calories, and working out regularly, fat WILL eventually surrender and give up the fight. Sometimes it takes a while to break a plateau. Sometimes it takes a while to see the results you want. But, IF you are doing everything right, fat will have to eventually raise the white flag.
Fat and Muscle, What Happens Behind the Scenes
Just because your scale hasn’t budged YET, doesn’t mean you aren’t wearing fat down. You could literally be losing fat and gaining muscle – and your weight could be the same (while you are losing fat). Of course, over time, your weight will eventually drop, but it is common for the scale to remain the same in the beginning of a fitness program because of these changes going on inside.
Our muscle gets fuller from the new activity, causing them to weigh more. That’s why our muscles feel firm and “pumped up”. While our muscles fill out, we are also simultaneously losing body fat, but our weight appears to balance out on the scale (or worse, it actually goes UP!). Have no fear. Just because you don’t see the changes on the scale doesn’t mean you have SERIOUS changes going on inside.
Look at this photo of me holding a replica of 5lbs of fat (left) and 5lbs of muscle (right). See how much smaller 5lbs of muscle is compared to 5lbs of fat? This is why we can appear smaller, but our weight can be the same. That’s also why you can swear you are losing weight, then get on the scale, only to be discouraged that the scale is not agreeing with your belt. Your belt says you’ve lost in your waist, but the scale acts like no changes have been made. If you are feeling thinner, you are right. You are getting thinner – and eventually, the scale will agree.
If Only We Had X Ray Fitness Vision
Without doing a fancy body composition analysis (like the one we have, called the InBody), it’s hard to believe what is really going on. Yet, if you could see that you’ve lost 4lbs of fat and gained 4lbs of muscle, you could celebrate – and let that information motivate you to press on. Unforunately, it’s around this time that people give up. They let the scale sabotage their progress. They’ve worked harder than they ever have before, yet they aren’t getting the reward they want on the scale, so they quit – and they quit RIGHT before the scale would have started to show major progress.
Tomorrow, I will go deeper into fat vs. muscle – and I will address some of the exceptions to the rule, as well as some warnings. I will also give you some ideas of what to expect while you are working toward your goal. If you don’t subscribe, be sure to subscribe today so you don’t miss it!
Remember, the key to any fitness program is remembering you are a science project – and science projects have many variables. You have to understand that weight loss may take some trial and error ..and a lot of patience. Just promise me this: Keep Showing Up and Never Give Up! If you do that, Fat WILL Surrender To You!
Learn more about healthy weight loss:
Get weight loss tips and find helpful BMI and calorie counter tools at Reader’s Digest Health section
Since I have many new followers, I wanted to pull out one of my favorite workouts to share with you. Many people tell me they either workout at home, or they travel a lot and have to workout on the road. Well, if you thought not being a member to a gym was a good excuse, it’s not! Although a gym can definitely boost results and give you more tools to help you reach your goal, you most definitely can do some serious damage at home – just with your body weight. Here is a workout that demonstrates how 4 simple exercises can kick your butt. Enjoy!!
Click on the workout below to view the matching video with Steve.
Get more of these workouts at http://www.DoBCx.com. View this workout at http://goo.gl/j26k8.
It’s easy to walk into a gym like ours and completely be overwhelmed with equipment. To be honest, it would even intimidate me if I was seeing it for the first time. As a result, many members don’t venture out much. They just use what they know – no matter how little that is. So, it’s time to start working out with more purpose, so you can get the best results possible.
In Tuesday’s blog, “How to Set an Effective Workout Schedule” I talk about varies ways to break up body parts so you can design a workout based on your schedule. Well, as promised, today I will be giving you a hit list of exercises you can use in your routine.
First, in this list, I categorize exercises by body part, with the largest muscle groups first. When you are lifting weights, you don’t want to work your small muscle groups before you work your large muscle groups – because your small muscles will be too tired to lift the heavier weight required to work the larger ones. Large muscle groups include chest, back and legs. Small muscle groups typically refer to all your arm muscles.
Next, you’ll notice that in each group, I first list one exercise that doesn’t require equipment (if possible). I also list alternative machines or tools to help you find what works with what you have access to. Now realize, there are SOOOO many more, but these 50+ exercises are the most common – and good for starting a beginner to even advanced routine.
If you are doing a full-body workout, you may only choose 2-3 exercises per body part, and only do 2-3 sets of each (depending on your time). If you are working out several times a week, and breaking up body parts more, you may do all the exercises in each specific body group for that day for 3-5 sets to add intensity, and extend the length of your workout.
Lastly, rest time is super important. You can take a very basic workout and majorly boost intensity if you reduce your rest time. We use the GymBoss Interval Timers (set at 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off) at our club so our members are being pushed to work hard and rest little.
So that brings me to reps. You can do 12-15 reps for upper body and 15-20 reps for lower body OR you can use the interval timer to go as hard and fast as possible and not even worry about counting. Just remember, if you could do a few more reps, you likely need to up your weight.
Top 50 Exercises:
OK, so here you go! Here are 50 different exercises mentioned below with some tips to help you design your workout schedule. (PS: It’s actually more than 50 exercises, but TOP 50 sounded better than Top 51. Ha!)
Squats (Air Squat or Barbell Squat, hits all muscles)
Leg Press Machine (hits all muscles)
Walking Lunges (dumbbells, quads and glutes)
Leg Extension Machine (hits quads)
Leg Curl Machine (prone/lying, seated and/or standing, hamstrings)
Straight Leg Deadlifts (Dumbbells or Barbells, for hamstrings)
Weighted Calf Raises (or Calf Raise Machine)
Do at least 1 exercise per body part (quads, hams, glutes)
Handstand Push Up or Pike Press
Military Press with Barbell or Shoulder Press Machine
Arnold Presses or Shoulder press with dumbbells
Rear Delt Raise (or Reverse Fly or Reverse Pec Dec Machine)
Do at least 1 press, 1 raise (front or lateral) and the rear raise.
Remember to read: “How to Set an Effective Workout Schedule” for help on scheduling your workout schedule for the week.
Have fun, train with confidence & #getafterit!
One common excuse for not working out is “I’m too tired” or “I just don’t have enough energy”. Well, I have news for you, you will always be tired, and have no energy, unless you start working out. You reap what you sow.
Have you heard it takes money to make money? This same principle applies to fitness too. Well it takes energy to make more energy. And, also like money, if you do a whole lot of nothing, you get a whole lot of nothing (no energy).
People who workout often times find that they are busier, and do even more than they did when they didn’t workout. Why? Because they now have the energy to do more. They have the energy to be more productive and they have the energy to go to the gym after a long hard day at work. BUT, they had to start somewhere – and I’m sure, before they got all that energy, they too were tired and unmotivated.
If you want an active life, you need to get more active! #getafterit
As one of our members came in to the club today, I asked her “what are you training today?” She said she didn’t know yet. Although this member knew what she was doing and could easily come up with a good workout, it made me think of all the people who drive all the way from work to the gym without even the slightest consideration of what they are going to do once they get there.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.“
How can you succeed without a plan? How motivated could you possibly be to go to the gym if you have no idea what you are going to do when you get there? You need a plan!
The problem is, many people don’t know HOW to plan an effective workout program. They don’t know what muscles to work, and how often to train. So, I decided to post a few examples to beginners with scheduling an effective workout routine. But before I share those, here are a few tips! NOTE: There are a ton of great variations, but the following workout schedules are just a few ideas to help give you some ideas.
5 Weight Training Tips
TIP #2: You need at least one day of rest before working the same body part.
TIP #3: You can do abs everyday, but weighted abs will require a day of rest, just like other weight training.
TIP #4: Try to workout every body part twice a week.
TIP #5: Just because you are sore, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t workout. If you are still sore from an earlier workout, the best thing to do is stay active. Either do a light workout, or do some cardio – and drink lots of water to help flush out the toxins. Whatever you do, don’t stay still. It will only make it worse.
Sample Workout Schedules:
3 Days a Week Beginner Workout
If you only have 3 days a week, then make the best of it with this simple full-body workout.
Do a full-body workout three days a week, like Monday, Wednesday, Friday. For example, a body toning class is a great choice for a beginner because you’ll learn a ton of moves in class from a pro. Local Vero Beach peeps, try Paula‘s FIRM body toning classes or MaxFit classes at Max Fitness. Even Shannon‘s Power yoga class is a great one to strengthen your body and tone up.
4 Days a Week Option 2 Advanced
Monday: Chest, Triceps
Tuesday: Back and Biceps
Wednesday: Legs and Shoulders
Thursday: Abs and Cardio
5 Days a Week
Monday: Chest & Abs
5 Days a Week
Monday: Chest & Back
Friday: Light Full Body Functional Workout (Multi-joint movement like squat press, overhead walking lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, etc. Be sure to subscribe to get more on this topic!
Tomorrow I will give you a list of the most common and reliable exercises to include in your routine. We’ll keep it simple, but I promise, it will be effective!
NOTE: Max Members have access to over 100 different workout routines. Just ask our staff to help you choose a workout to follow!