I have received some requests for workout tips | weight loss information | & health inspiration.
I want to disclaimer this post by saying I am NOT a personal trainer, nor am I an expert in any fitness realm. Yet I am a real woman- Who has had real struggles with my overall health at times. One of my goals in life is to constantly live in a state of balance & dedication to health as well as help others find what their BEST self… Spirit | Soul | & Body looks like.
Something that is obvious, but not easy to comprehend when trying to get fit– Is that every person is unique & special. I have found in my body & lifestyle of health that I respond to certain exercises & foods differently than others. It is important to practice & learn what works for you, but there are a few key/ foundational truths that will help anyone in their journey to a healthy lifestyle.
Just to give you some background information- I have been working out for basically as long as I can remember. I grew up in a family where my parents taught us to be healthy & everyone in my family worked out together multiple times a week, so I was fortunate enough to have an atmosphere where I was taught to value my health- body | mind | & spirit.
I recently have realized that my life will be a constant work-in-progress- No matter how hard I work in a moment… theres always more! There is one thing that will never change about me & that is- I want to be my best | do my best | & give more of the BEST of who I am constantly so that others can benefit- & so that God gets glory in ALL areas of my life (health included).
◊ I cannot tell you how many times I have personally heard these statements ◊
Lifting heavy weights makes women bulky, lifting weights can be harmful/dangerous, lifting is bad for your joints, & once you have all that muscle- You won’t be able to stop lifting or it will all turn to fat, you will look like a blob- Lifting doesn’t burn fat & it will make you shaped like a jock.
I love boxing | yoga | cardio (treadmill/ rowing machine/ stair stepper/ etc.) but it really has been lifting weights recently that has changed the game for me. I used to do cardio for 30 mins to 1 hour every workout & if I had time or wanted to- I would work in weights after… Today my workouts look completely different & I am seeing the results.
I find that women often feel intimidated by the thought of lifting weights. I am not saying that cardio isn’t a useful & even a dynamic part of an exercise, but cardio on its own is not going to build that nice toned body that most women want (me included)… 🙂
Amanda Kuklo- A leader in the fitness industry (who has over 25 1st place finishes in fitness & bikini competitions around the country, she is a 10-time IFBB Pro Bikini Champion & over a 10-time International fitness cover model featured on the covers of magazines worldwide) & my favorite fitness inspirations says:
I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IN HEAVY WEIGHTS | EATING CLEAN | & MINIMAL CARDIO. I BELIEVE IN CONSTANTLY SWITCHING THINGS UP TO KEEP YOUR BODY GUESSING.
From talking to Amanda- Added to my own research & experience… Here are a few reasons lifting is & should be essential to your workout:
1. INCREASED FAT LOSS
There are many people who consider weightlifting only as a way to add size, yet when added to a healthy diet & a lifestyle that adds in cardiovascular exercise at times- Weight training actually helps your body to burn calories like nothing else can & when you lift, your body gains the capacity to burn fat during & even after your exercise. This is because when you lift- You continue to consume additional oxygen in the hours & even days that follow. According to a new study published about Obesity, strength training is better at helping people lose belly fat compared to cardio. While aerobic exercise burns both fat & muscle, weight lifting burns almost exclusively fat.
2. MORE MUSCLE = MORE CALORIES
As you increase strength & lean muscle mass, your body is able to use calories/food more effectively. Weight training actually boosts your metabolic rate throughout the day, which makes you better at burning body-fat when you’re not even exercising. The basic principle is that- Since lean mass (muscle & bone) requires more energy to maintain than fat, a persons resting energy/calorie usage is going to be greater when you have more muscle than fat. A study at Tufts University found that men & women who participated in a resistance-training gained lean mass & burned more calories at rest, regardless of how many calories they had burned during exercise.
3. CREATE & MAINTAIN CURVES
Strength training can help create & sustain your curves… Most girls think that the best way to shape their body & achieve a more toned look is by spending hours doing cardio. The reality is that the best way to “bring out your curves” is to build strength & muscle through weight lifting mixed with cardio. If what you focus on doing in a workout is long sessions of low/moderate intensity cardio… All you are achieving is a lower metabolic rate- While possibly losing muscle mass in the process. In the end- If this is your only method of working out… You will achieve a lowered bodyweight but possible increased body-fat percentage (you will look “skinny-fat”). The more LIFTING you add into your workout- The more shapely your body will be. I love to engage multiple areas of my body at once- I even do so at work. I have a medicine ball chair, which helps me to be active even when I have to sit at a desk. This could be an amazing idea for you as it engages your core & can even help with posture!
This is the one that I have- (Stylish & Functional)
4. GAIN STRENGTH- NOT BULK
Research has found that unlike men- Women typically don’t gain size from strength training, because compared to men- Women have 10 to 30 times less the amount of hormones that cause extreme muscle growth. You will however, develop muscle tone & definition when you lift. Weight training WILL NOT make a woman bulky; but it can actually benefit you in all aspects of your life- You will feel stronger | healthier | & more confident! While we all have different genetics & some of us are prone to having more muscle than others- As a general rule (to be bulky, one must train | eat | & supplement to achieve & maintain bulk.)
DO NOT FEAR WEIGHTS!
& Forget about the scale.
While you might think you want to lose “weight,” what you really want to lose is fat. Many times the scale is not the best indicator of fat loss if you are also working out & building muscle. The goal should be overall health! Don’t let weight discourage you from sticking with a LIFESTYLE of fitness.
You do not have to look like the girls/guys on Pinterest or Instagram to be/look your personal best!
To be healthy- Is a constant life journey.
I love watching people that inspire me & learning from what they do, like Amanda Kuklo. I think many times in life we want to have | be | or end up somewhere- But we aren’t learning from others ahead of us. Find some one you can learn from, even if its from afar… Maybe you need to get a workout buddy or an accountability partner in your eating. One of the greatest joys for me is working out with friends…
Whatever it is that you need to do to be your BEST– Don’t go one more day not living the life & being the person you want to & can be.
I think a key to seeing results in the gym is to actually WORK while you work out!
Many people go through the motions- While getting to the gym & going inside may make you feel better mentally, it won’t help you lose weight or gain muscle like you want to if you take no real action. I think working out is just as much mental as it is physical.
People (in the past– me included) get so frustrated because they go to the gym & see little to no results… I think this isn’t really as much about what you did in the gym- But what you didn’t do. Also “getting fit” doesn’t stop at the gym… Eating | Sleeping | Stress | Water intake can change everything for better or worse!
My dad has always taught me- To not just have balance in life, but to have a RHYTHM in life. When you do this- No matter what season or circumstances you may face… You can always flow in your rhythm no matter what. In the balance mindset– You are taking what is thrown at you in life & utilizing it for the best… Yet with a rhythm mindset– You have a flow & plan within whatever comes your way because your rhythm is your rhythm no matter what gets thrown at you.
One last thing- I promised my dad I would never show anyone this picture of me… But as I was writing this post- It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t share it all.
This was April 2015-April 2016. I had been sick for 5 years & could not get control of my weight. Today I am NOT sick- I have lost 30 pounds & life is better than ever. There are A lot of things that went into accomplishing this… & I am in no way near done or where I ultimately want to be.
All of us have a journey- Each person has a story & a unique path to what their BEST looks like. Don’t believe the lie that it is impossible for you to get healthy or lose weight.
For me it started with my mind. I got my mind right between me & God. I let go of any excuse I had of why I couldn’t get healthy or lose weight. & I told God… I am going to give it my all- So you have to help me & do your part.
I can say with confidence that if God can heal me of multiple sicknesses & help my body respond- He can help you too! But my answer was in my ACTION– Not in my ASKING…
SO GET UP (physically & mentally)- Get rid of any excuses & start living the life you have always dreamed.
& YOU SHOULD LIFT!