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Post 20: 12 Ways To Get In Shape For 2012

Here is to a new year. Every year there are thousands of people that have a New Years resolution to drop fat, tone up and get in the best shape of their life. I wish them the best. In fact, I am going to giving you a list from a personal trainer’s perspective on how to do this. Follow this and you will reach your goals. The more points you ignore, the greater your change of failure. It is the new year and I have things to do, so this list will be short and to the point, as should your workouts.  Please email me with any questions.

  1. Workout 6 days a week. 5 at the absolute minimum.
  2. Never take more than one day off in a row. The more time you take off, the harder it is to get back in the groove.
  3. Whatever your goal is, include weightlifting. This can be body weight exercises, dumbbells or machines. Preferably as little machine work as possible. Concentrate on free weights and bodyweight.  The are more effective and they work on the critically important stabilizer muscles.
  4. Write down what you are going to eat for the day. This will help with discipline.
  5. Write down what you actually eat. This is the most important nutrition tip you will ever get.
  6. If you haven’t worked out, take it easy for the first 2 weeks. This will ease you into a routine, prevent injuries and help strengthen the tendons and ligaments.
  7. Start increasing the intensity after two weeks. I don’t want you to be sore everyday but I need you to feel like you worked out. This is a good indicator of your effort.
  8. Cut the carbs. People are fat because they eat too many carbs. Eat one serving of protein and one carb every meal. Don’t worry about calories.
  9. Eat Breakfast. Always.
  10. Take your day off when you need it. That is when you are wiped out and your body is telling you to take a day off.
  11. You never need to work out for more than 1 hour at a time. if you can’t get it in in 60 minutes, you are not working fast enough.
  12. Always stretch for 5-10 minutes everyday especially after the workout. You will avoid many aches and pains by doing this. Don’t walk like Frankenstein the next day. Keep your muscles and joints loose.

Bonus tip: Serious training leads to serious results. This is work. Your efforts will pay off if you train consistently and follow the above. As a personal trainer in Colorado, my clients who see the most success follow these steps. It doesn’t whether you are a man or woman. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter what diet you want to follow. Follow these steps and you have your guideline to stay in shape the rest of your life.

 I want to thank everyone for reading these blogs. I wish you the best,
 Michael

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. |

How Much should you pay for a personal trainer?

Good Enough

“How much should you pay for a personal trainer?”

This is an update on a post I did a couple of years ago. My thought is you need to consider 2 other questions.

“Do I need Personal Training?”

“Can I afford a personal trainer?”

So if you let me, I will address all 3 of these questions.

Cost

I live outside of Denver, so I will talk about Denver. These numbers should be good for most of the country save for New York City and maybe Los Angeles. But you guys have more money anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

In a perfect world, personal training rates center around 2 things, experience and certifications. The more you have the more you can charge. If you are good. Certifications don’t have to translate to better training but it never seems to hurt. It shows that you have a commitment to the art of training and you are keeping up on the latest findings.

Experience is a biggie. 95% or so of all small businesses fail within the first three years. That also applies to trainers. Even the best trainer stinks when he/she first start. It is the nature of training someone else other than yourself. We stink. But if we keep trying and studying things will turn around. The best trainers work for themselves because they can. They work out their training style at a commercial gym where they make next to nothing. Trainers work at 24 hour or Bally’s because they have to. Plain and simple.

So look for a personal trainer that has been in business for themselves over three years. I don’t trust before and after pictures but I do trust reviews and video testimonials.

The hourly rate should be between $45 and $70 an hour. Please don’t bother with 1/2 hour sessions. If you want to reach your goals, no matter what they are, an hour is the way to go. I do in home training, so factor in the time and money you save commuting to a gym or studio. You should always meet with the prospective trainer before you commit to anything. Make sure you have a personality match. This is a must. oh, and don’t get locked into contracts.

There are more and more  sites that advertise as personal trainers but aren’t. They are marketers collecting leads to sell to trainers. You have sites like Yelp, which is a great company, that will have up to 5 trainers send you quotes. Not a bad thing.

Or you have sites where you talk to a salesman, sign up and get a random trainer assigned to you. Not good. If the idea of having 5 trainers bombard you with emails isn’t appealing, do the following.

The Best Way to Pick a Trainer

1. Go to Google, Yahoo or Bing. Your choice.

2. Seach for “Personal Trainer in Your city”

3. Look at the websites. Is the website about what they can do for you or is it all about them? read between the lines in the reviews. Do they all sound the same? Do they have video reviews?

4. Pick 1 or 2 and give them a call.

What about trainers that charge $30/hour?

I liken it to playing the penny stock market. Can you hit a winner? Yes but the odds are you are getting someone who can’t charge more. Either they can’t keep their clients or they are brand new. Does this mean they stink? No but it is a gamble. I remember when I started out, I would travel anywhere. I took all  the clients I could and traveled all across the city. I needed clients to practice on. I needed to learn my craft. I guess it is kind of like Barber school. Pay a reduced price and take your chances.

Do you need a personal trainer?

I wrote another blog on this, “Why Personal Training Doesn’t Work“. The point of the post was to bring up the question, “Do you need a trainer or a coach?”

I always think of a trainer as someone who shows you how to use equipment. An athletic trainer tapes up ankles but doesn’t fix the ankle injury. You have access to millions of workout and nutrition programs. You have videos on how to do exercises. I have them on my site.

A trainer only takes you so far. A coach can take you to the next level. I won’t speak for anyone else but my clients can call, text or email me with questions 24 hours a day. My success is depends upon their success. I look at sleep patterns, eating habits and come up with customized plans that you can fit into your life. Good coaches measure success by how much change they create.

5 Questions to ask yourself.

  1. Do I want to make a change but just lack motivation?
  2. Do I join gyms with the best of intentions but never go?
  3. Do I try to get in shape but always end up injuring myself?
  4. Do I feel like a hamster on a wheel?
  5. Do I know what to do, I just don’t do it?

These are good reasons to hire a fitness professional.

Ways to save on personal training

Personal training isn’t cheap but it can also fit into any budget. From here on out I am only going to talk about what I do. I don’t want to speak for anyone else.

Idea 1: Train in a small group.

group2Small group training is a somewhat new idea in the fitness industry. People like bootcamps because they are affordable and sociable. Some people like to be around other people when they train.

The downside to the bootcamp :

1. The high injury rate. To keep them affordable, a smart bootcamp trainer will cram as many people in the class as possible. If they are in the front leading the class, they can’t check form and make corrections on the fly.

2. You can’t get a customized routine. You do what the instructor tells you to do.

3. Lack of Equipment. |Due to the nature of training a lot of people at once, bootcamps will focus on more body weight exercises. Great if you are fit and terrible if you are not.

My small group training takes a few people (2-6), who split the group rate. Currently that is $70 an hour. The more people, the more affordable it is.

Other benefits:

You can also get customized workouts based on what you want to do.

Access to dumbbells, kettle bells, TRX, Balls and bands.

The group is small enough I can walk around and check form.

We can change the workout on the fly.

I can add corrective exercises to fix joint issues. Click here to find out more about small group training.

Idea 2: Combining Personal training with online training

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 1.06.30 PMMy VIP online training is on the idea of accountability. There are 168 hours in the week. If I only see you 2-3 hours, that gives you a lot of time to find other things to do. Having workouts planned on your phone or tablet helps keep you on track. Click here to go to the online training page.

So the idea is to combine out in home training sessions with online training. If you are a client you get a pretty heft discount on the online training.

  • The online training will build on what we are working on.
  • The workouts use the equipment you have access to.
  • Great to have for vacations or business trips.

How to integrate this.

If you are on a budget, a successful model involves more training sessions at the start. Then as you learn correct form and “get in the groove”, we can start meeting  less often. This great thing about this system is that we can change it each month and I am always there for you. Again, check out the VIP Online Training Here.

So my friend, good luck. in finding a good fit. As in most things in life, you pay for what you get.

Post 14: Are You Going to Make a New Year’s Resolution to be Fit? Part 1

 Is this the year you are going to turn your life around and finally get in shape? Very cool. I have been training a number of people for a long time so I thought I would give you a couple of tips to get you started. You can disagree with me if you want but since I am right about this, why waste your time. I am assuming you are a beginner, age range 30-50.

1. Get a check-up- Yeah yeah yeah, you are thinking I have to say this to cover my butt. Listen, I have seen people really jack themselves up by jumping into exercise programs they have no business being in. Sorry Cross Fit,  Boot Camp and P90X people. All I am saying is make sure nothing is wrong and you have clearance from the Doctor to exercise. This brings me to point #2.

2. Take it easy at first. I don’t care what you hear or say on television, Cross Fit, P 90X and most boot camps are excellent programs for those that are in shape and want to get in better shape. If you aren’t in shape, they can destroy you. Your knees and back aren’t conditioned to take the pounding. That is unless you take it easy and ease into this. It took a while to get out of shape, it will take a while to get in shape. Period. Shameless Plug: This is where a quality personal trainer can be invaluable. I can design an exercise program for you that is based on your age and experience level. As you progress, you will be exposed to higher intensity levels but in a safe manner.

3. Most people will fail. Yep, most people never get in the shape they want and I see it time and time again. Not because they can’t but because they view this as a short term goal. “I want to lose 10 pounds.” ” I want to fit into a size four dress again.” You exercise, you probably get close then you stop doing the things that made you successful. What happens?  You end up back at square one and that sucks. What you need to do is figure out a way to make fitness part of your life. Do you ever say ” I brushed my teeth today. Now I don’t have to anymore?”

 4. Be your own experiment. Don’t listen to fitness experts. Let me rephrase that. Get information, try and evaluate. If it doesn’t make sense or doesn’t work, throw it away. This is especially true with diet programs. Some just work better for some people than others. They all work but depending on the person, you will get better results with different styles. Just like anything else in life… the harder you work at it the better the results should be. If they aren’t, then you need to change something.

5. How much can you lose? The fitness industry pretty much agrees that 2 pounds of fat each week is about the most you can lose safely. Now this also depends on how much fat you have to lose. If you weigh 500 pounds, you can drop a lot more fat than a 130 pound person. But for the sake of argument, use 2 pounds as a good number. For most people it won’t be a steady loss but it should even out during the course of a week or in some cases a month.

6. If you are working out with weights ( as you should be ) you will also gain muscle weight. This isn’t new muscle, it is the existing muscle becoming tone again. Men can gain 6-12 pounds in the first few weeks and women average about 6 pounds. If you are wondering how I came up with these numbers, I do body fat testing on all my clients. if I know how much you weigh and your body fat percentage, then I can monitor how much fat and muscle you have on your body. Pretty cool huh?

I need to take a break here. Digest these first 6 points, please download my free reports and I will give you part 2 very soon.

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. |

Post 12: M Factor Fitness- what is it all about

Here is a question I get all the time. ” What exactly is M Factor Fitness and do you train people better than you write?” The answer is yes. I am a much better trainer than writer and thank you for asking.

If I had to define it, I would say that M Factor Fitness is my extended family. My average client stays with me well over two years and in this business that says something. I really like the fact that I have the opportunity to work with clients and make a difference in their lives. My job is not to hope that 1 out of 10 clients make progress. 

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. |

The 7 Worst Ways to Find A Personal Trainer

The 7 Worst Ways To Find A Personal Trainer

 

So you have finally decided to take the plunge and look for a personal trainer.

These can be murky waters, my friend.

Being a personal trainer, I thought it might be a good idea to give you my two cents.

Instead of what to do, I am going to give you advice on what not to do.

This is important since personal training is not cheap and nobody wants to waste money and time and not get results.

1. Find the Personal Trainer with the cheapest rates.

Yikes! If you wanted plastic surgery would you look for the cheapest surgeon? Not to compare myself with a doctor but with any service there ought to be a correlation between experience and cost. The average cost per hour should be $45 to $65 per hour session. I tend to be in the middle only because I give a discount for buying 12 sessions at a time.

Anything lower than that is usually someone just starting out or someone who is desperate to get a client. This brings me to my next point.

2. Don’t ask about certifications.

Yikes part two. The only people that say certifications don’t matter are A) trainers who don’t have any certifications and B) Trainers who attend a cheesy weekend certification class.

The sad thing in Colorado is that you don’t have to be certified to be a trainer. This means anyone can do this. If you don’t see certifications, look out. There are number of associations that offer certifications that one actually has to study for. For my Master Trainer certification through the NFPT, ( National Federation of Professional Trainers)  I had hours of proctored exams.

Does having an armload of certifications mean you are a better trainer? No but it does mean that I am serious about my profession and that I commit time and money every year to learn.

3. Don’t ask about liability insurance.

If you are talking to a trainer and they don’t carry professional liability insurance, run away. End of topic.

4. Age doesn’t matter.

As a rule, most personal training horror stories start ” So this young kid comes out and the next thing you know I am….”
The rule of thumb here is get a trainer close to your age. Remember how indestructible you felt in your teens and twenties? Well the problem is that you probably are past that stage and if your trainer isn’t, you may find yourself pushing cars out in the parking lot. One story I heard involved a young trainer making a 70 year old grandmother doing sprints her first session.
Let’s face it, people at a similar age have more in common and a better feel for what is appropriate. But have it your way. Look at it this way, you may have a horrific experience but you will have great stories to tell.

5. Don’t meet your trainer before you start.

Quality trainers will sit down with you to discuss your goals and they should not charge for it. Period. I offer a free 30 minute consultation to answer 2 questions.

  • Am I a good fit for this potential client?
  • Is this potential client a good fit for me?

Good trainers will walk out of situations where there is a mismatch. Hungry ones won’t.

6. Don’t worry if your trainer is more out of shape than you.

Not a big deal. They must know what to do even if they don’t practice themselves. Yikes #3!

7. Find the biggest, strongest trainer possible.

They must know what they are doing if they got that big!

Well, if you want to be a bodybuilder, by all means find a big bodybuilder to train you. If you want to learn how to run a marathon, find a trainer who runs. Trainers are all different in what kind of style they practice and how they train clients. My style is based on the fact that I train clients in their homes. In home training lends itself more towards core training and bodyweight exercises. This is not ideal for bodybuilding but it is the best for overall fitness and fat loss.

Hopefully this helps. Best of luck to you.

Questions, Thoughts Concerns? I will be happy to get back to You.

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Additional Personal Trainer Resources

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Episode 96: Fake Personal Trainers…Am I Being Too Harsh Here?

Episode 93: A Peek Behind the Curtain of Personal Training

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Post 10: Value of B Vitamins in Cutting Heart Disease Risk Challenged

Here is the link, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63M4UR20100423.

In my humble opinion, the leading predictor of heart disease is genetics. Anything else may have a slight effect but as the article points out it is very hard to isolate any causes. There are too many variables.
Exercise is the most important factor in surviving heart disease although it may not prevent it. If anything, eating a diet rich in B vitamins will help you with your energy levels and keeping body fat levels lower, so I still recommend it.
 

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. |

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.