1) Consistancy With One Workout, One Diet at ONE time.
I cannot emphasize how important staying CONSISTANT is when it comes to reaching any goal-whether that be fat loss, weight loss or muscle gain. This goes for both diet and exercise alike. When I hear someone come to me, frustrated that they haven't been seeing results, yet they are eating 'healthy' and 'working out regularly' the first question I will ask is "what have you been doing for your workouts" More often than not, this individual has not taken the time to stick with one consistant program. They hop all around, which is actually a fabulous idea for many people just looking to maintain their current weight, stay healthy, strong and keep them from getting bored. However, if you have specific fat loss, weight loss or any other physique focused goal-you MUST give your body time to adjust to one specific workout program and diet regimen. Paleo one week, Atkins (really?) the next Zone the next. Seriously. Your body is confused and has no idea what the heck you are doing. Find what works for you and stay consistant with it for 4 weeks. After that time, you can assess your gains/losses, pros/cons and see if you want to change it up. Seriously though, just give your body time to adjust. It is no wonder you will not see results if you change things up faster than Kim Kardashians new 'man' in her life.
The same goes for a workout program. I cannot tell you how many blogs, articles, comments I read where I swear this individual was following Jamie Eason's "Livefit" trainer program and then the next week they have moved onto some workout they found on Muscle and Strength Magazine. Enough is enough if you truly want to see results. How the heck will you know if you are not allowing your body the time to adjust?
Some great programs to look into:
2) Take time to focus on DIET.
Many of you have heard the saying before "you cannot outtrain a bad diet" This is 100% true when it comes to your goals. You can exercise until you are blue in the face and carry consistant DOMS but if your diet is not in check, you will simply not see the results you want or are expecting. The most frustrating thing to hear is when I have a client who is KICKING butt and then they come to me with a few diet questions on how to 'clean it up' even though they are 'eating healthy' Yes, there is a difference between eating for fat loss and eating for weight loss. 100 calorie fiber thins are not the same as sweet potatoes. This is a perfect example between weight loss carbs and fat loss carbs. One will leave you craving more-filled with chemicals, the other is packed with lots of nutrients, vitamins and will support your goals.
Consistancy with listening to your body comes into play with diet as well. WHY people go on 'gluten free' diets if they have no idea if they actually are intolerant to gluten is beyond me. You could be doing way more harm to your body than good if you are not listening to internal and external cues. If a way or style of eating works for you and you are seeing results...why mess with a good thing just because you hear someone else is having successs with 'another way' of eating. There is no magic pill or secret when it comes to fat loss. It is about LISTENING to your body. It is the simplest thing to understand yet seems to be the hardest concept to grasp for some people. My one universal thing to say is that it is the best to focus on eating primarily whole, natural foods
And please don't complain that there are not enough 'good choices' out there. There are plenty. You just have to do your reserach and put some time into it!
3) Tell the World
When you have a goal at hand, tell family, friends and loved ones around you. Willpower has to be at an all time high when it comes to reaching a goal. My only advice would be to be selective about the people you tell . Some will be there 100% to help you stay on track, while others may display some negative traits. For instance, when I began training for my first competition, I cut out all alcohol, and obviously had a tightened up diet...some people in my life made me feel nothing but bad about myself for 'not being fun' anymore. The case was that these people/this person was insecure with themselves and watching how focused and determined I was made them feel even more so. There will ALWAYS be people to try and throw you off track, so tell those in your life who you know will be there for you. The more people you tell who will support you, the better chances you have to stay on track. You don't have to boast about the goal, call them up at 5am to let them know you are hitting the gym or even tell intricate details about what your journey entails, simply having them know that you are on this journey is enough.
4) Don't be SO Rigid.
Many times when you have a goal at hand, its hard NOT to go all-out and get super strict with everything that revolves around this one goal. Take a step back once in a while and keep in mind that there are others around you. Keep your goals near and dear to you, while also trying to find a healthy balance between still having a life. You do not have to boast "Oh I WISH I could have that sandwich but I can't because I'm on a strict diet" when you are out at a barbeque. Simply say "no thank you" and move on. You don't have to make a big deal of everything and certainly don't have to make others feel bad for you about the choices that you make. With that said, its okay to live a little and in fact whenever you are on any sort of strict dietary regimen it is SO important to 'cheat' 1-2x a week, choose a meal that you truly enjoy and truly are craving and EAT IT. This allows your body to stay on track and therefore will be less likely to binge or worse; give up all together. Cheat meals are crucial to bring back the glycogen levels and help to increase performance during your exercise sessions
5) Stay away from useless exercises.
I know, there is a time and place for ALL machines and exercises, however to ensure that you are reaching your goals, for the most part I would try to stray from useless exercises in the gym. These are some exercises/workouts that I just find to not be as effective, efficient or results bearing as others. A prime example would be the ab/adductor machines. Seriously, I still wonder why they are in gyms and what people do when they are on them. Most of the time, they are probably thinking about dinner that night, or a converstaion they had with a friend or what they are doing after the gym. They are certainly not thinking about engaging their glutes and certainly not working the core simultaneously.
What should you do?
- Lunges (Backwards, frontwards, static, walking, single leg ball wall lunges, lateral lunges)
- Squats (back squats, front squats, narrow, wide, sumo stance, ball wall, Bulgarian)
- Deadlifts (Romanian deadlift, single leg deadlift, stiff legged deadlift, sumo deadlift)
- Bridges (single leg, barbell, Band glute bridges, medicine ball)
- Other (wall sits, Plyometrics, leg press, step ups, pistol squats)
6) Stop Listening to What 'Everyone Else is Doing'
Listen to yourself, for once. Set a goal, do your research and seek out the necessary tools to help you get there. A diet/workout/style worked for your friend. Great! This does not mean that you will have the same results or evenmoreso, does not mean you will enjoy it! I have a friend who LOVES the Barre Method classes. She has seen stellar results and it keeps her motivated. She looks forward to each and every class and has found a great balance between her weekly Barre Classes, 1 strength training session a week and a weekly run. This WORKS for her. Are barre classes for me? Nope! Nothing against them, they are simply not my thing. You need to find something that YOU ENJOY and do it. Whatever that may be. If you are doing something and not having fun, you will fall off track; simple as that!
HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!