muscle

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!

 

Haley Signature

 

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.

happy holidays

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.

Signature Adie

 

Pregnancy Circuit

If you are here to sign up for the Black Friday giveaway click HERE

Today I wanted to share a pregnancy circuit that you can try…even if you’re not pregnant you can do this and add more weight or make it higher impact.

These 11 different exercises can get your heart rate up while working muscles to help maintain strength.  Notice I say maintain…you lose muscle like crazy while pregnant and certainly won’t be building muscle considering most of your protein is going into building tissue for your baby, and that’s okay!  Just make sure you add some resistance to keep those muscles toned as much as possible.

Use a timer app on your phone, like “Circuit Trainer”  that will alert you when to switch exercises.  You can input the times for 45 seconds on with a 15 second rest in between each exercise…making it 1 minute.  One time through will be 11 minutes, 2 times through will be 22 minutes, and 3 will of course be 33!  You choose how long you want to go.  Don’t forget that you also choose the intensity.  Listen to your pregnant bodies and keep it low impact.

(Sorry if the pics are blurry.  I took them from a video of me actually doing the exercises.)

Here it is:

High Knees (slow and steady)

High Knees (slow and steady)

Bird Dog.  Hold for 2 counts and switch sides.

Bird Dog. Hold for 2 counts and switch sides.

Lunges. Weights optional.

Lunges. Weights optional.

Fall squats.  Jump feet together lightly and reach high.

Fall squats. Jump feet together lightly and reach high.

Bucks. *ONLY IF YOU CAN STILL LAY ON YOUR BACK. Raise hips to the ceiling and squeeze butt and hamstrings.

Bucks. *ONLY IF YOU CAN STILL LAY ON YOUR BACK. Raise hips to the ceiling and squeeze butt and hamstrings.

Kettle bell swings. Use a jug of water if you don't have a weight :)

Kettle bell swings. Use a jug of water if you don’t have a weight :)

Push ups.  At the level you choose.

Push ups. At the level you choose.

Mountain climbers.  Go at a steady pace.  Your shoulders will be BURNING!

Mountain climbers. Go at a steady pace. Your shoulders will be BURNING!

Squats.  Weight optional.

Squats. Weight optional.

Plank ups.  Move from push up position to plank position and back again.  Make sure you switch the arm you lead with.

Plank ups. Move from push up position to plank position and back again. Make sure you switch the arm you lead with.

Side lunge.  Switch sides at the 20 second mark or stay on the same leg for the whole time and switch legs the next round.  Weight optional.

Side lunge. Switch sides at the 20 second mark or stay on the same leg for the whole time and switch legs the next round. Weight optional.

I hope you try this (whether you are pregnant or not) and let me know what you think!  It’s a great way to mix up your workouts!  And it makes the time go by so quickly!

Happy Circuit Training!

Signature Maggie