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Post 56: Are You Achieving Your Weight Loss Goal?

What I wanted to talk about today is the fact that most people never get to their weight loss goals. Even worse, those that get there have trouble staying there. The important concept I want you to take away from this discussion is that there is a vast difference between the outcome and the process.

What do I mean by that?Take the most generic goal I hear.

1. “I want to lose fat.” – sounds like a good goal but it really isn’t. How much do you want to lose?  How are you going to measure it? What kind of time frame?

More importantly, what kind of behavior goals are you going to set for yourself to achieve this?

  • How many times per week are you going to workout? It better be a total of 5-7 sworkouts per week if you really want results.
  • What type of exercise? It should include some variation of weightlifting, whether it is bodyweight training, core conditioning, circuit training, bodybuilding or a mixture of each. It also needs to include a cardio element. You can certainly get that through the weightlifting if you look at programs such as Cross Fit, Bootcamps and circuit training but most people are ready for high intensity exercise like that. 
  • What are you going to eat? How are you going to get a plan that fits your needs and one that you can stick with? 
  • Are you going to write down everything you eat? If not, you might as well give up now. If you have the discipline to control what goes in your mouth, you have the discipline to write it down. Better yet, write it down before you eat it. If you don’t write it down, you are really stacking the odds against you.
  • How much are you willing to sacrifice? Every pound will cost you pain and sweat. If you aren’t willing to pay that price don’t expect to succeed. I am not talking about being perfect, I am talking about commitment. Working through adversity and keeping the end goal in mind at all times.
  • Last one. is this a one time goal or a lifestyle commitment? Why would anyone want to go through the process of getting in shape only to blow it? 

What I am getting at here is that that people who get in shape and stay in shape learn that this is a process not a destination. Clients will ask me why I am always listening to fitness podcasts, reading books, getting advanced certifications etc…Simply put, I don’t see myself as a personal trainer. I see myself as a coach and fitness enthusiast who wants to know more about fitness and nutrition.

Visit me at http://www.mfactorfitness.com Michael Medvig is a personal trainer and owner of M Factor Fitness Inc., an in home personal training company in Parker Colorado. This blog represents opinions on fitness. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions. All information and materials on this site are provided as is and without warranty of any kind. These materials (including all text, images, logos, compilation, and design, unless otherwise noted) are copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright 2001-2010 M Factor Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. |

High Intensity Exercise for Fast Results

Is High Intensity Training for Everybody?

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High intensity training has been a common buzzword around the fitness world.

What the heck is it?

Do you need to do it?

How do you do it?

High Intensity training is like killing 2 birds with one stone. (Do people still use that phrase? Seems kind of cruel but as long as you know what I mean, let’s go with it.)
Get your strength training and cardio done at the same time. Actually in less time than it might take to do a traditional workout. Not bad.
So less can be more when it comes to exercising and getting the results you want.  Of course the less involves cranking up the intensity which most people are simply not used to. Or don’t want to. So let me put this into perspective for you. Some of my clients are in their late 60’s and they haven’t had any problems doing high intensity circuits. The key is not to overdue it.

So what is high intensity training?

 If you want to increase your intensity, then we need to figure out what “intensity” is.
Look at it this way.
  • You can increase intensity by doing more work in the same time.

  • You can increase your intensity by doing the same work in less time.

  • You can really increase your intensity levels by doing more work in less time. That is the holy grail of training.

 

Circuits and Intervals explained.

The best way to explain this is to look at a basic workout.

Basic Workout

You can do this workout 3 basic ways.

Straight Sets

This is the way most people workout. Do a set, take a break. Do a set take a break….. This works extremely well for strength building but you miss the cardio aspect. If you are trying to get back in shape you need both. So take a look at circuits and intervals.

Circuits

A circuit is a series of exercises you do right after each other with a minimal break. Later in this article I am going to show you how to use an interval timer to regulate this.
 As an example, you could set your interval timer to give you 45 seconds of work time and 15 seconds of rest time. Hit the timer and do as many reps as you can in the ball squat for 45 seconds. Take your 15 second break then do as many bridges as you can in 45 seconds. 15 second break, then as many reps with the leg curl as you can.
Get the idea? No breaks until you finish your tricep kickbacks. Take your break and do this 2 more times.

Intervals

Intervals are harder and use the same hiit timer as you would for circuits. The difference is that you stay with 1 exercise for the prescribed number of sets.
Using the above example, you would start the timer and do as many reps as you can for 45 seconds of Ball Squats. rest 15 seconds, the do a second set of Ball Squats. rest 15 seconds and do a last set.

 High Intensity Training Timers

A HIIT or High Intensity Interval Timer is a must. The great thing is you can download one for free on your smartphone or tablet.

Here is video where to download one and how to set it up.

 

This is why In Home Personal Training, Boot camps and Cross Fit training are so effective. The advantage I have in working with clients on a one on one basis is that I have time to look at your form and monitor your exertion level. This is critical to prevent injuries and keep from doing too much.
How is this different from CrossFit?
It is very similar but there are some crucial differences.
  • You want to go fast on circuits and intervals. Whereas Crossfit will have you doing complex movements for high reps, I keep my movements simple.
And this is for good reason. As you get tired, your form is going to break down. The more complex the exercise, the greater risk of injury.
  • I am always watching your form. When your form breaks down, I stop the clock. There is a difference between training and competing. People in Crossfit, Orange Theory and classes like that, sometimes lose sight of this. They think they are competing everyday. You can’t compete everyday. The body won’t take it. You train to compete.

Pushing yourself to the point of getting injured during training is just stupid.

So if you keep that in mind, you should be ready to try a little high intensity training.

 

My Online Training

Now you know the secrets to converting your ordinary workout into a high intensity one, you may have an interest in my online training program. More than a collection of exercises, it is a community where you can follow programs designed by me.

 

Here is the link to find out more.

Take two-seconds and join my other sites so you don’t want to miss a thing:

Facebook: http://facebook.com/mfactorfitness



Twitter: http://twitter.com/mfactormike

Youtube: http://youtube.com/mfactorfitness

Interested in training with me? Questions?

Well, here is the form to fill out!

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Katherine Switzer

Women’s Workout Myths

I am going to focus on women and why your workout isn’t working for you.

Please don’t get offended by anything I say or get your feelings hurt. We are just going to chat about workout myths.

I am just going to give you an honest opinion on how you can change your workout to lose fat and tone up.

Man, I hate that phrase. Let’s call it what it is. I am going to show you how to build muscle because really that is what you are after.

Not big bulky muscles but toned, strong muscles that make you look like you are in shape…because you are in shape.

The idea is to get more out of your workout or in some cases, start getting something out of your workouts.

workout myths bustedIf I can brag a little.

Probably 70% of my clients are women and of those, everyone is 45-70. Some of them come from the old school of Jazzercise, Step,Pilates and some have never lifted at all.

The vast majority of women who have trained with me for more than a few weeks have dropped dress sizes. That is awesome. But he most common comment I get is that they love how strong they are getting without looking strong. You know what I mean?

  • They can do regular stuff like carry groceries without their arms and back hurting.
  • They can pick up their kids and grand-kids without any problem.
  • They can get down on the floor and back up without their knees hurting.

That is fitness to me.

To get there, you may have to unlearn some potent workout myths about women and exercise.

So let’s get started with the list. If you don’t want to believe me, look at my testimonials. If you don’t believe that, I will get you some phone numbers.

In many cases, the women I train are now stronger than their husbands. Ha! I love that!

Keep in mind, these workout myths are all cultural myths. Not all cultures have the same ideas about fitness as they do in America. A workout myth then is really just something that was taken to be true a long time ago and never challenged…until now.

These workout myths are outdated ideas that damage you.

If you were brought up with the idea that it was inappropriate for women to sweat and get dirty, then that is going to be a basis for how you look at exercise.

If you grew up with the idea of starving yourself to fit into a dress, that may end up being your concept of nutrition.

If you grew up thinking women are the weaker of the sexes and it is “not proper” to lift heavy weights, that will be your view on strength training.

 

Workout Myth 1: Men and Women should exercise differently.

Fact: There is no such thing as a workout program for men and a separate workout program for women.

workout myths bustedThis is such an outdated argument, I can’t believe it is still around. If I were a woman, I would find this to be insulting.

Men should lift heavy weights because…well they are men. That is what they do.

Women should dance around for an hour because…well women like to dance.

And if you want to lift weights, pick up the lightest, most colorful dumbbells possible. That is just demeaning.

Muscle is muscle. No doubt we have different chemistry and hormonal levels but in the end, there is only one way to stimulate a muscle to grow no matter what sex you are.

You have to overload the muscle with enough stress to break it down, then give it time to heal and repair and it will stronger and be able to contract more efficiently.

Thank goodness for Crossfit. I may have some issues with the way Crossfit works but the one major contribution they have made to society is that they have both sexes doing the same workout. About time!

 

Workout Myth 2: There are “Lady” exercises

Fact: Huh?

Katherine Switzer

Katherine Switzer trying to run the first Boston marathon in 1966 while course officials try to yank her off the course because women shouldn’t run marathons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This workout myth is brought to you by the same morons who thought it was unhealthy for women to run marathons. This is almost as bad as the scientists who thought your heart would explode if you ran a sub 4 minute mile.

There are no “men” exercises just as there are no “Women” exercises. An exercise is either going to be effective at tearing down muscle tissue and making stronger or it isn’t. Marketers are the ones that have created this divide to sell you your gender appropriate workout.

Workout Myth 3: High reps for lean muscle

Fact: No, low reps for lean muscle.

What in the heck is lean muscle anyway? Ever wonder about that?

Ever hear the term fat muscle?

I wonder what marketing wiz came up with that one. Muscle is muscle. It is never lean or fat. However, it can be in a state of hypertrophy (growing) or atrophy (shrinking).

It has to be one or the other.

The point of exercising with resistance is to break muscle fiber down and then let it rebuild in a stronger state.

When you lift light weights for high reps, you never break down the muscle fiber. The pain you feel is lactic acid and other waste products building up in the cell.

Look at it this way, if light repetitive movements built muscle, then manual laborers would all be built like Arnold.

Doesn’t happen does it?

Workout Myth 4: Heavy weights lead to big, bulky muscles

M Factor FitnessFact: Hormone levels determine muscle size.

Take a man and a woman and lets work them out for a while. Say they want to “Get in Shape” meaning lose some fat and build some muscle. Divide them into 2 test groups.

Test 1: High rep, low intensity workouts.

At the end of 12 weeks they both should have lost some weight. Depending on how out of shape they were, they could have gained a little muscle and appear to be slightly more tone. Their cardio will be better but most likely their metabolism will be about the same, meaning they burn as many calories at rest as they did before they started. As long as they do the high rep stuff, they can lose weight, which will be a mixture of fat and muscle being burned. But the moment they stop exercising, they will start putting weight back on. Kinda sucks, doesn’t it?

Really, they have lost some weight and become a smaller version of themselves.

 Test 2: Lower reps (8-12) with heavier weights.

After 12 weeks they both will have gained muscle and lost fat. The man will have more visible muscles while the women will appear more tone. Their shape will change and their metabolism has been increased.

This is due to the difference in hormonal makeup. This will be a greatly simplified explanation.

The man has more testosterone. Testosterone builds muscle and strength. And men have a much higher ration of testosterone to estrogen.

Women have more estrogen. Estrogen helps to retain fat and give you the soft rounded look. It is terrible for building muscles but great for reproduction.

So if you have a high estrogen to testosterone ratio, it will be harder to build muscle and even harder, if not impossible, to build big muscles.

But there are 2 real takeaways here.

As a women, you have changed your metabolism. You will now burn more calories at rest that you had before.

You have changed your shape. Muscle takes up less room than fat. You have lowered your body fat but you are also in command of how your body looks.

What about female bodybuilders?

Ever notice they look kinda manly? Take steroids and you will rocket your testosterone. As a female, this will allow you to build muscle faster and will also give you some other manly characteristics such as facial hair, a lower voice and thickened bones.

All I am saying here is don’t be afraid to lift heavy. You won’t get big muscles but you will get the results you want.

I have been training women this way for well over a decade and the only thing that happens is they drop dress sizes and gain confidence with the newfound strength.

Workout Myth 5: Lifting heavy weights make you bulky.

Fact: A bad diet makes you bulky.

Muscle is muscle. You can’t change the shape of it. All you can do is train it to make it tone. This is where sound nutrition comes in.

Eat too much and you put a nice slab of fat over your muscle. That is when you look and feel bulky. Bulk is nothing more than that.

Usually the culprit is too many carbs. Working out and exercising hard can make you ravenous. Eating protein will never make you gain fat but eating too many carbs will.

Why?

Technically the body can convert protein, carbs and fat to fat if it has to. Protein gets broken down into amino acids and absorbed into the body for muscle repair, immune system functions etc…

Carbs are sugars and are easy to break down. Once you have enough glycogen stored in the liver and bloodstream, the body will  convert excess carbs into fat for storage.

So…if you are exercising and see yourself starting to bulk up, don’t starve yourself, just cut back a little on the carbs or add a little more cardio to the workouts.

Which brings us to the last myth.

Workout Myth 6: Eat salads to lose weight

Fact: Eat salads to gain weight. Eat protein to lose fat.

If you don’t eat enough, the muscles will never have the building blocks to grow and get stronger. This is not a workout myth but a nutrition one. Does eating clean mean eating like a bunny? It may be feminine to order a salad and eat half of it…I guess. I would prefer my wife orders a nice chunk of protein with a couple vegetables. That way you get protein, fats, fiber and vitamins.

The bottom line

There are three major things you can do today to improve your health and your workouts. Seeing these workout myths for what they are is the first step. remember, the idea of the athletic women is a relatively new concept. This is happening in our lifetime!

  1. Workout with weights and lift heavier.
  2. Get enough sleep.
  3. Eat protein and vegetables. You don’t have to go crazy with it, just eat more.

If you need additional help with any of this, I have an awesome online training program you can get for only $10/month. Click here for details.