Embracing Resistance

This post is part of the GenFit program, an online fitness course designed to help you meet your health and fitness goals. After reading this, if you are inspired to take charge of your life, to become fitter, leaner, and stronger, send me a message and I’ll tell you more about the program. GenFit is a place where I share even more ideas to help you achieve your health and fitness goals; and comes with a small community of people to help encourage and support you on your journey. Are you ready to be the best version of yourself? 

Hopefully by now, ladies aren’t still afraid of weight lifting. All of the Instagram models and fitness YouTubers will tell you the value of lifting weight. For so long women left the lifting to the men while focusing on crude. I’m not going to downplay cardio the way some fit girls will since I’m running a half marathon soon. But I will tell you, pretty much everything is improved by adding some resistance training to your routine.

Resistance training can come in a lot of forms. The one I recommend starting with is bodyweight exercises. I think they’re good because,

  1. they can be done at home: Sometimes going to the gym when you’re new to fitness can be super intimidating. That’s why I recommend doing things at home first, you’ll get used to being in your own body and making it move certain ways.
  2. they can be done anytime: If you’re working out at the gym only, you amy be super busy and have to skip a day or two. This can totally throw off your schedule. Once you’ve messed up, it’s often hard to get back on track. But if all you’re doing is bodyweight exercises you can do them on commercial breaks or while you’re waiting for water to boil.
  3. they allow you to focus on form: Bad form can lead to serious injury. A lot of people are tempted to lift heavy even when it’s too much. This causes compromised form and injuries. for those who dial it back a little, can focus on having correct form and firing the correct muscles. Form is one of the most important things in your training.
  4. they’re cheap: Lifting your body is significantly cheaper than a gym membership and it’s cheaper than buying weights at the sporting goods store. I was tempted to say you’re cheap, but I thought that might offend some people.
  5. they tighten you up: I remember the first day I stepped out of the shower and saw cellulite on my thighs. I was horrified! I’m in my mid twenties and childless, why did I have cellulite? It isn’t just fat, it’s the hard to reach fat hanging out below your skin; it’s much harder to just burn off with some running. It requires a toning and expansion of the muscles below. Doing bodyweight exercises creates lean muscle which helps move that ugly cellulite out of your beautiful body.

Since we’re on the topic of tightening up I also want to mention that muscle mass burns more calories than fat. Here’s the deal, more resistance training = more muscle; more muscle = more calorie burn (even at rest); more more calorie burn = more calorie consumption. The reason gym rats are always eating is partially because they are in the gym six hours a day, but also because all that muscle is burning fuel faster. So if you’re like me, and want to eat, embrace the resistance.

I wrote a lot in this post about bodyweight training because i think it’s the best place to start. But resistance training can also include a lot of toys:

That last one is a little funning but it goes to the final point I want to make. Fitness happens everywhere, not just the gym, not just the kitchen. Do a couple overhead presses before you load the washing machine. Do a few squats before you open a case of water. Do some curls before putting your almond milk back in the fridge. Resistance training can happen everywhere.

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Thank you, have a sparkly day!

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Look How Far You’ve Come

This post is part of the GenFit program, an online fitness course designed to help you meet your health and fitness goals. After reading this, if you are inspired to take charge of your life, to become fitter, leaner, and stronger, send me a message and I’ll tell you more about the program. GenFit is a place where I share even more ideas to help you achieve your health and fitness goals; and comes with a small community of people to help encourage and support you on your journey. Are you ready to be the best version of yourself? 

I think progress tracking is a non-negotiable. If you have specific fitness goals like losing 10 pounds, reducing your body fat by 5%, or running a half marathon, you need to track your progress. The thing about goals is that they only matter if they’re measurable. How are you supposed to know if you’ve achieved your goal if you haven’t tracked from the beginning? The greatest thing about it, is when you get to reflect on what you’ve done. People with transformations, big and small, don’t see it in the day to day, only when they’ve taken some time to reflect. So what do you track?

  1. Pictures: A picture is worth a thousand words, and since muscle weighs more than fat, pictures can be a better indicator of progress.
  2. Weight: This is the standard thing to track. I think it is most important if you are over or underweight. You want to make sure you get yourself to, and maintain a, health weight.
  3. Body fat: Obesity is more about one’s body fat percentage than it is about weight. The major healthy risks associated with obesity are more about body fat percentage than about weight. This number is more important to keep tack of because you want to keep it relatively low even if your weight is high. Rememberer, muscle weighs more than fat. I also want to point out  quickly, women require more body fat than men.
  4. Measurements: I like to measure my calves, thighs, hips, waist, chest, and arms. If you are overweight, you may consider measuring your neck as well.
  5. Fitness test: Do as many push ups as you can for one minute. Then do the same thing for sit ups and squats. Now, run a mile as fast as you can. Record all those numbers. They can help show your strength and endurance.

Now that we’ve recorded all the preliminary data, the question becomes how often do we measure. The answer is that it is up to you. I have a history of anorexia so I measure once per month. That helps me to see my progress but not obsess. A lot of people like to weigh in once per week, which is also fine. I would discourage you from weighing in everyday because your weight will fluctuate. There is so much involved in it. Have you eaten today, are you dehydrated, where are you in your monthly cycle, was yesterday Thanksgiving? There are so many factors, and everyone’s weight fluctuates day to day, even within the same day. I think taking a step back and having a bigger picture of your whole month or whole week can provide a more accurate representation of your body composition.

Using a fitness binder can really allow you to see your progress and be encouraged by all of your accomplishments. That is the best motivation you have to continue on your health and fitness journey.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider commenting, subscribing, sharing on social media, and making a contribution to my Patreon.

Thank you, have a sparkly day!

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Get a Date

This post is part of the GenFit program, an online program designed to help you meet your health and fitness goals. If you feel inspired after reading this to take charge of your life, to become fitter, leaner, and stronger, send me a message and I’ll get you the information. GenFit is a place where I share even more ideas to help you achieve your health and fitness goals and comes with a small community of people to help encourage and support you on your journey. Are you ready to be the best version of yourself? 

Why do you want to get fit? Why do you want to workout and eat healthy? What is your why?

You will only achieve that, if you make yourself a priority. So many of us put our family, our friends, our careers before ourselves. All those things are important, but are they more important than your why? If you’re like me, your why may be for your friends, family, or career. Finding balance in life is one of the hardest things we have to do; but it is pivotal to our journey to make our fitness a priority.

For me, the best way to do that is by making a date with yourself. Whenever my friends want to go out for brunch, or my family wants to catch a movie, I put it in my phone so Remember. I set an alert for the day before and an hour before. My schedule is blocked off for that time I want to spend with them. During that time they have almost my full attention, I’m not worried about work or the gym or church. I am present to the people I’m with.

This is how you have to be with yourself, you have to be intentional about the time you spend with yourself. When you’re working out, you’re working out. Focus on doing every exercise to the best of your ability. Make a date wit yourself. Put “Gym Time” on your calendar and set alerts. When something comes up, you know you are already booked, because you are getting your fit on.

The hard truth is that if you don’t make yourself a priority, no one else will either. Your health is yours and you have to do what needs to be done. So schedule your date with yourself. Pick out your cutest workout gear and check Pinterest for the best hairstyles for the gym. Make yourself feel special and get excited about taking care of your own wellness. Of course, you could also just lace up and go, whatever works for you!

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Thank you, have a sparkly day!

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From Beast to Boss

#NewYearNewMe, right? If you have seen my 2018 goals or January bullet journal, then you may see a consistency. I want to be a #FitGirl and a #LadyBoss in 2018. Okay, now that I have made myself nauseous with my trending hashtags, let’s be realistic. Here are my top ten tips for working your workout:

1. Get Your Butt Up

Have you ever heard, early to bed, early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy, and wise. It’s one of my favorite phrases, and I believe it whole heartedly. The first thing we gotta do is get vertical, which is so difficult during this time of year. Embrace self mastery!

Cortisol levels are elevated in the morning, making it a great time to workout.

2. Gym First

I’m one of those really self centered gym people that hates going to the gym when other people around. I go in, do what I gotta do, and get out; I’m not there to socialize, and I hate going to the gym when those lacking self discipline are around. I know, I’m mean, but they take up valuable treadmill space. So how does one avoid this? Get to the gym first thing in the morning, while the weak are still in bed.

3. Grab and Go

I was told by a trainer I need to eat before workouts. This can be difficult since I gotta get to the gym first thing in the morning. Therefore, embrace quick snacks. Some of my favorites are breakfast toast, oatmeal bars, and mixed nuts with dried fruit. These are super fast to eat in the car or as I’m walking into the gym. This helps to fuel workouts and hold you over until breakfast.

Hitting the gym before work can boost performance, time management, and mental sharpness.

4. Pre-pack

Going to work directly after the gym is best for me. If I go home in sweaty clothes and take a shower, my bed is my next step. But if I shower and change into normal human clothes at the gym, I’m more likely to get work done, rather than take a nap. In your workout bag have the typical shower and beauty essentials, but don’t forget appropriate work wear and shoes. I always forget the shoes. “When picking what to wear to work after a workout, choose things that won’t need to be ironed after being folded in your gym bag, and breathable fabrics like cotton.

From Beast to Boss5. Get Your Blood Pumping Early

Since I do cardio and weight training, I like to do cardio first. This helps me get my blood pumping to my brain early. Having brain flow helps to wake you up, burn calories throughout the day, and focus at work later. Plus, when I do cardio, I sweat more than when I’m lifting. So as I lift, my body temperature begins to reduce even before my workout is over.

6. Stay Hydrated

Hopefully this goes without saying, water is a need. You sweat, you lose body liquids that need be replenished. Water is necessary for your body to function at optimal level. Dehydration will throw a wrench into your workout and your workday. It causes headaches, stomachaches, lack of focus, and fatigue. FitGirl LadyBosses don’t have time for that crap.

7. Don’t Forget to Cool Down

Not gonna lie, this has been a struggle for me in the past. Nothing good comes from skipping your cool down. It’s better to go to work without hair and makeup than it is to skip cool down. You have to get your body temperature down after a workout, especially during this time of year. Your body doesn’t need the shock of stepping out into -7 degree weather. Plus, it helps with muscle recovery and flexibility so you can get up and workout again tomorrow.

Competitiveness in exercise can increase workout time and intensity.

8. Get a Friend

I have a friend, who I hate, he holds me accountable to my workouts. He’s one of those crazy people that runs for fun. Whenever I see him at work, he asks me how my running is going. Accountability partners suck, but it’s because they can be really helpful when it comes to getting you off your bum and to the gym.

9. Have a Backup Plan

I keep my gym bag in my car. So when my friend from work lights a fire under my toosh, I don’t have to stop at home. Like I said earlier, if I get home, I’m not leaving the house. Keeping a gym bag in the car makes you always ready to get fit. #NoExcuses

10. No Heels After Leg Day

Just trust me.

BONUS

While doing cardio or between sets, delete unnecessary emails. It makes things easier when you get to work.

I’m a big believer in all around health and wellness. To have a workout plan is great, but it has to fit into your lifestyle and schedule. Strive to find a balance between being a FitGirl and a LadyBoss. What are some of your tips for transitioning from the barbells to the boardroom? If you enjoyed this post, please consider commenting, subscribing, sharing on social media, and making a contribution to my Patreon.

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