HAPPY Wednesday :D
I hope you're having a productive week so far!! Have you been exercising?! What about eating well?! This week has been crazy on my end but I'm happy to be sitting down for a few minutes and typing on Bring Fit On! WOOO WHOOO!!
Today I'm posting information on FIRMING UP!
Have you dropped pounds?! AWESOME!! The following will help you shape your body and keep the pounds off for good :)
Weight loss boils down this: Expend more calories then you take in. With that, eating well and doing cardio is your fast track to success. But when it comes to shaping your body, there's a totally different way to get results: STRENGTH TRAINING. "The number on the scale is where you want it but maybe your butt is still saggy or your tummy isn't tight enough. Less cardio and more lifting fixes that," says Holly Perkins, a strength and conditioning specialist.
So why do less cardio? Cardio is catabolic; too much of it increases production of the stress hormone cortisol, which, over time, slows your metabolism and throws off how your body manages carbs (by shuttling them to be stored as fat). Also, cardio doesn't have much effect on muscles. When you run you engage your butt and legs, sure, but it's not enough to break down the tissue prompting the muscle to rebuild stronger and firmer like weighted squats can.
Don't be afraid of muscle. Repeat: I will not bulk up. "It's hormonally impossible," says Perkins. Simply put, women don't have as much muscle-building testosterone as men do. As a general rule, Perkins recommends you lift weights heavy enough so you can do 12 to 15 perfect reps of any move, but no more. The weights you'll be capable of lifting won't trigger big muscle growth. What it will do is make your muscles more metabolically active (which helps you burn more calories). "This training also causes muscle fibers to swell, so they look toned," says Perkins. Dense muscle is tighter then fat, which is why your weight should stay the same even though you may drop a full size.
Efficiency is key. There's 2 ways to sculpt. You can do simple, isolated moves that target 1 muscle or muscle group at a time (like a biceps curl or leg extension), or you can do bigger, compound movements that work multiple muscle groups at once (like a lunge with a biceps curl or deadlift). "The long-term goal is to focus on the latter because they get you results faster," says Perkins.
During the first 2-4 months, aim for 3 35-minute total body strength training sessions on alternate days each week. During 2 of those workouts, focus on simple, isolated exercises. During the third session, try with more compound movements, like squat to shoulder press, deadlift to high pull, and push-up into side plank.
As for cardio, add up the amount you've been doing in minutes per week. Then cut that number in half. Aim to do that much cardio per week in addition to your strength training. Ideally, do it on non-strength training days or AFTER your weight session.
If you don't belong to a gym, no worries! You can purchase equipment that will allow you to workout at home! If you want suggestions on equipment OR have any questions, I'd love to hear from you :D
Have a fabulous FIT day!
See you on Friday!!
Pamela Stewart, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist