challenges

How to determine what workout will WORK for you…

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This is probably one of my all time favorite topics.  I love trying to help people determine what will help them get into the BEST shape of their life.  Whether you have no weight to lose and want to tone up, or lose 100lbs, you should follow a few basics in order to determine what works best for you.  Bottom line is this…if you have been doing the same program for a while now with the same results, you may need a change.

#1.  Do you put muscle on easily?  I do NOT fit into the “puts muscle on easy” club.  I have always been one of those people that even when I lift, I still look a little “softer.”  This is good and bad.  It’s good because I really didn’t “bulk up” in college when I was lifting my heaviest.  It’s bad because I have to work harder to gain muscle when I want it.  If you fall into either category you may need to alter the amount of weight you are lifting to get the results that you want.

#2.  What look am I going for? I am not in competition.  I don’t want to look like a body builder.  But, I do want to look lean and toned.  I want to look feminine, but strong.  A nice balance would be ideal.  If you know what your goals are then you will have a better idea to what you need to do to get there.  If I decided in question #1 that I put muscle on easier and I want to bulk up then lifting heavy is what I need to do.  Or if I want the more feminine and “cut” muscles then I need to lift lighter weights for higher repetition.  Now, what’s funny about that is that I am not a muscle girl.  So I can lift heavier in order to get the right amount of toned.

#3.  Cardio vs. Resistance Training?  If you have been following this blog for a while you know my stance on this.  Though I love to go out for a nice run every now and then, running, or plain cardio is NOT the best route if you are trying to cut fat and tone  your body.  It just isn’t.  Your body needs muscle to burn fat.  That is just the science of it.  Any way you slice it, to get the best out of your workouts to burn fat you MUST put on muscle.  If it weren’t the case every episode of Biggest Loser would look the same.  They would diet and get on the elliptical machine and treadmill.  You see them on the ground, moving their bodies around, and lifting things the majority of the time am I right?? Cardio isn’t the key.  Get out of your comfort zone and try something with resistance training or weights.

Let me show you a few pictures that really caught people’s eye recently.  On the left I was only running. I ran like 4 times a week for about 30 to 40 minutes.  On the right is my “after” picture where I have done mostly resistance training.  Weight lifting, yoga, and circuits have gotten me to the body on the right.  I really only do “cardio” one day a week.

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#4.  It HAS to be fun.  You don’t always have to be miserable during your workouts.  One of the biggest misconception about working out is that it’s torture.  You are in control over what workouts you do.  I get a lot of clients that tell me how much they love Zumba.  That is a great and fun workout!!!  I’ve tested out Zumba classes, however for me it just wasn’t enough.  I struggled with some of the moves and it was hard for me to get my heart rate up.  Luckily, there are other options out there if “dance” is your thing.

***The best way to cut fat is always to improve your diet, but when you are done dieting you want their to be something fabulous for everyone to see.  And that is NOT the look of loose skin.  Putting muscle on as you diet is the absolute key.

Now, here are a few programs that I recommend.  These are workouts  I have PERSONALLY tested out and loved.  These are great workouts for STRENGTH and TONING!!!!!  They will help you cut the fat!

Les Mills PUMP

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***This is basically an at-home version of “Body Pump” barbell class that is common at the gym.  If you’ve never tried a body pump class you need to get to a gym and try this out immediately.  You will be hooked.  It is an amazing way to SCULPT your body and feel strong again.  I really love that you can determine how much weight to use too.  This makes it a workout for anyone.  If you are in either group, the one that puts muscle on easy or the one that struggles, you can alter your workout accordingly.  Those muscle builders can put a light amount of weight on the bar.  Those that need to go heavier can do that too.  The main attraction to Les Mills PUMP is the “rep effect.”  You get a ton of reps in during the workout.  This is the workout that has changed my body.

Chalean Extreme

chalean-banner***I like this workout as a start up to those new to lifting weights.  The way that Chalene Johnson breaks it down into three phases is amazing.   Burn, Push & Lean are the three phases that help you get the sculpted look you are after.

 Turbofire

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***If dancing is your thing this workout combines Dance moves with kickboxing in an intense, but forget that you are working out type of atmosphere.  Another Chalene Johnson program and one of my all time favorites.

Jackie Warner DVDs

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***Two of my favorite workouts.  They are quick and effective.  The downside is that it’s not a “program” so  you are doing the same thing OVER and OVER again.  But, still a great piece to put into your collection.

If you ever have questions about what workouts will work the best for your body type just ask.  Not everyone is the same.  Not everyone LIKES the same things.  Do your research and see what is available.  Know your goals and you will be more successful!

 

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Holiday Hangover

Do you have a “holiday hangover” like us?  It is the BEST and WORST type of hangover.  It is the feeling of enjoying the holidays a little too much.  I’m not sad about it.  I was probably better than 90% of the average population.  But, it is now time to get back at it in the fitness world.  Here is a quick recap as to what the FourFitSisters have been up to!

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Christmas card shenanigans.  Don’t worry…our Christmas cards didn’t come in time.  So I guess we really were taking “New Year’s” photos here.  My hubby came home with these outfits for us.  At first I was not sure…but after seeing them on I was pretty pleased.  He is totally a Vineyard Vines kind of guy.  I am way more of a Nike kind of gal.  Getting dressed up is not always my thing.  But, these worked out well.

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It was MY turn to host Christmas.  To say I was excited was a total understatement.  As the only sister not in STL we are usually the ones traveling the most to see family.  And it was so nice to be able to stay home and host this year!  We had the house all decorated.  Which usually always come close to ending in divorce.  It actually went pretty smooth this year.

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“Christmas” morning looked like this…

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The kiddos couldn’t wait to dig into their presents.  They had them nicely set in piles before breakfast had even been served!!!!!

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A little cousin love on the stairs.

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And some happy gluten free pancake muffin eaters.  I just bought gluten free pancake mix, and mixed according to the directions.  Instead of sitting in front of the stove all morning I made them the day before.  They cooked in mini muffin tins for 20 minutes.  The next morning we just popped them in the microwave.  They were great for dipping.  I even tossed in some chocolate chips for the kiddos.  The adults enjoyed some breakfast casserole. YUM

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Even the elves got in on all the fun.  They aren’t normally all in the same house together.  They were having a blast in their snowball fight.  I think Clyde lost.

After hosting “early Christmas” at our house we all headed our directions for the Holidays.  We enjoyed torturing our son on Christmas morning.  That face could NOT be faked…he was just as annoyed as Ralphy when asked to try on his pink bunny suit.

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We got a good laugh…and even had our matching pajamas.  Yep, we were that family this year.

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Of course…my main request for gifts were fitness related.  I got a new piece of fitness equipment from Marta, and some new tennies from the hubby.  If you remember these from our favorite things post.  These are the shoes that I put on that list.  He was a good husband and must have read the blog that day.

 

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Things have been crazy over at Four Fit Sisters.  All of the sisters are getting ready to start up their first challenge of the new year.  I hope that you got in.  Also, Maggie is doing an amazing giveaway.  She is giving away a $120 month supply of Shakeology.  Enter as many times as you want.  The details can be found on her facebook page here.

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Good Luck.  Can’t wait to get back into the swing of blogging and back into our normal routine.  We have missed you.

 

 

New Year: New You – FourFitSisters Offer Support

It is about three weeks away from New Years Eve – can you believe that?!  Hard to believe that Christmas is rapidly approaching, and we get to celebrate an amazing time with family: celebrating the season, counting blessings, carol singing, ripping into presents, binging on delicious treats, and embracing new family memories one day at a time; wonderful traditions and festivities that only come around once each year.

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I am always amazed at the lowering of inhibitions during the holidays.  Spending more money than I should, indulging in more than I should, especially when it comes to foods.  You can find me hovered over the egg nog, punch glass in hand…lathering my ice cream with soupy egg nog lard.  Mmmmmmm.  I know, for a fact, any other time of the year, I would be cringing at the thought.  But, the great thing is that I lead a healthy and fit life 99% of the time, which means I get to splurge and enjoy the holidays and all the treats that come with it.  Not to mention I will be crushing a workout that morning to give me the bonus of not feeling guilty when I do splurge.   This will be our first gluten-free Christmas, so I am anxious to see what goodies will still be an option for us this year.

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Once the holiday festivities are over, we always get to see an overwhelming amount of people that decide they are ready to make some changes to their lifestyle in the form of New Year’s Resolutions.  For some, the desired changes are monumental movements, and some people just need a little tweaking.   I am stealing Haley’s resolution from last year: being better about going to church regularly.  If you have a health or fitness related goal in mind for 2014, we would love to support you through it.  The sisters are offering a number of accountability challenge settings throughout the month of January.  Whether you need to drink more water, eat healthier, heal your gut, have a weightloss goal, or just feel like you want to be stronger and healthier overall, we would love to offer support to get you through it.

PINTEREST NEW YEARS

Here are some of the exciting offers we have for the month of January.  Each sister will be offering at least one challenge during the month of January.  Please act quickly, as our groups fill up fast.  We try to take the first 5-10 that commit.  If you are interested in the challenge, please contact one of the coaches that has a date that works for you. 

{Heal Your Gut 14 Day Challenge}  January 6 – January 19 …with Maggie

{New Year: New You 30 Day Challenge}  January 6 – February 4 …with Adie 

{New Year: New You 30 Day Challenge}  January 6 – February 4 …with Marta

{New Year: New You 30 Day Challenge}  January 15 – February 13 …with Haley

For more information about the challenge settings, please email one of the sisters.  2014 has great things in store for you.  We would love to help you meet your goals.  Wishing a wonderful next few weeks.

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