Benefits of Proper Training: Knowing HOW TO Reach Your Goals

“Why do you train?”

It’s a common, yet confusing question. Each of us have slightly different goals when it comes to training. This is why we must approach training (and choosing a trainer) with a glass slipper approach: one size most definitely does NOT fit all….

COMMON TRAINING QUESTIONS:

What’s more important, cardio or weights? Honestly, there is a scientific theory based on how the body works and then there is one’s own knowledge of how their own body works. The muscles of the body are particularly designed to move the skeleton of the body. If the muscles atrophy and are no longer used, we can no longer move, period. While some of us may think the muscles are designed to help us look good in bikinis or fill out our jeans….they actually serve a more functional purpose. In order to gain strength (I’m not talking size at this point) we must place a certain amount of pressure upon the muscles in order to force them to adapt. The absolute GREATEST thing about being human is that we have been created to adapt. In order to create the needed pressure for the aforementioned adaptation we need some resistance training. Here is where it can go haywire for some: resistance training and body building are NOT the same thing. Training for muscle growth is vastly different (in both training and nutrition) from training for fitness, overall health and better strength. What would I consider resistance training for our purposes?

  • Weight training (obviously)
  • Resistance Bands
  • Exercise ball
  • Body weight exercise
  • TRX/suspension training
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Barre
  • Dance
  • Kickboxing
  • Boxing
  • Martial Arts

Honestly, I’m sure there is more but these examples will suffice for our purposes. These activities all help to build lean muscle and therefore allow the body to burn at a more efficient rate, meaning you’ll have a higher metabolism. Various workouts, such as kickboxing, dancing, body weight, etc. can actually help with cardiovascular health as well as maintaining and building lean muscle and are favored among those strapped for time and seeking more efficient workouts. So, where does all the confusion come in? In my opinion, it’s due to far too many opinions being thrown out there…..

One thing that is always remarked upon is weight training and women. I hope at some point we will get over this, but alas, we have not. Weight training will not make you BULKY. Women lack the needed testosterone to get super big. As a matter of fact, the women who compete in body building (the huge muscles) have to work far harder at gaining and maintaining muscle growth of that capacity. Nutrition and supplementation have to be spot on 24/7 and these athletes devote their lives to growth. Which is why people like me tend to lean towards bikini comps :) Case in point:

flat abs before                      weight training abs

So, the pic on top was taken at the tail end of a cardio rush, where I was simply doing cardio (running, kbox, etc) with no weights. The pics on bottom were 4 weeks later(2 weeks and 2 more weeks) after I picked up heavy weights again. See the point? Now, here’s the rub: weight work brilliant FOR ME. They happen to be my go-to and when I’m prepping for pictures, a show or even just the water park, I stick to weights and have minimal cardio. This is my gig nad by challenging and listening to my body I have found what truly works. It’s backed by the exercise science and my routines are pretty old school. I don’t throw in all this super crazy stuff….I lift things up and put them down LOL!

THE WEIGHT LOSS FIX:

What I always try to remind my clients is that our goals are not the same. My goal at times is to put on muscle and drastically cut fat. Theirs can be that the doctor told them they have to lose 50 pounds stat! These are 2 very different goals and should be approached differently. When you are just beginning a weight loss journey consider this: just move it. I really don’t care the type of cardio weight loss clients choose, it just has to be done consistently. I know Fitness Magazine had an article about how HIIT training can cut body fat faster, but I also know from experience that jumping repeatedly with over 200 pounds on your frame is not an activity you will keep up with! So, when you’re at the very beginning, JUST MOVE! Now, once you start to get your footing and you’re very focused on nutrition (water and greens will get you anywhere you want to go), start adding resistance training in order to bump up the metabolism and keep the skin tight.

MOTIVATION:

Here’s the deal with the M word…it is short-lived, but necessary. Where do I find motivation? EVERYWHERE! I can find it in past pictures (I mean, if my body did it once it can do it again!), old pics (AH!, I don’t want to go back THERE!), YouTube videos, magazine articles, movies, etc. I also keep plenty of fit friends in my circle and all up on my social media. When I decided competing would be in my future, I started gaining friends who were already doing what I wanted to do. That’s a key component to constant motivation right there. So think of your life a little different. I may not get paid big bucks to keep my booty in shape for a movie, BUT I train like I do…..so I’m ready when the call comes ;) Change your perception and make good choices on who you surround yourself with on a daily basis.

Now we’re moving forward, but I warn you not to get distracted and lose momentum! Think like a freight train, not a kitty cat….

Much fit love,

Michelle

Fit for a King

Good morning!

I hope you find yourself at the tail end of a Happy Easter. Mine was spent with family and my church friends. I found some refreshment amidst a busy week, which is always nice.

As I scrolled through my Facebook feed last week, I came upon a quote from one of my favorite pages, Pray Fit. It simply stated:

Let’s strive to be so healthy spiritually that we’re ready for the mission field. And so healthy physically that we’d want to run there.” – Jimmy Peña

As we strive for our health and fitness goals, we can sometimes be misunderstood as “vain”, “conceited”, or just plain “self obsessed”. I have come up against some of these accusations in the world, but mostly they exist in the plane of my mind. The voices that whisper in my ear and hold me back tend to catch me at just the right time. The encouraging thing is that I serve a King who is always faithful to keep me on my path.

I find it quite odd, and a bit sad, that within the fitness world I have been blessed to meet some people who are beyond bold in their faith and love for Jesus. These are striking athletes who compete in sport, fitness, figure and bikini competitions. They do not credit themselves for their confidence, but they point to a God who has redeemed them and made them whole. Many competitors write blogs giving God the glory not only for their physiques, but for the freedom to do what they do. I have known football players who give back freely (with both time and money) because they believe it is of God, not themselves, that they are able to do what they do. What about this makes me sad? I have met more bold, Christ proclaimers in the fitness competition world than I see in our churches today….

My pastors often encourage us to take off our church masks. In other words, our lives should look no different on Sunday than they do Monday through Saturday. I have struggled with this for years. I kept my “church life” and my “fitness life” as separate as I could…and I was miserable. Leading 2 lives takes a lot of energy! I was willing to give God bits and pieces of my life, but struggled with giving it all up. My fitness, my ability to work out, my understanding of nutrition….this is all a gift from a loving King. It is my profound pleasure to return these gifts to His glory.

You see, a large weight is lifted when we stop worrying about the decision itself (should I compete, should I not compete? Should I go on a mission trip or not? Should I take on clients? Should I become a coach?) and think more about the heart behind the decision. IN the grand scheme of things, it isn’t the choice itself…it’s rather the choice we make. My time in the gym is not spent in a vanity session. My time in the gym is normally a time to come face to face with my creator. It is a time to see my problems for what they really are: a big pile of my own sweat. Most of my issues are self-made. I invite drama into my life when I shut my King out of certain parts of my life and do not make Him a part of my decisions. My physical practice of working out allows me to listen more fully to the voice that I should hear all the time.

So what happens once you give it all up? What happens once you realize that even the body you inhabit is to be used for His glory? Well, I would hope we all start taking better care of our temples. We have reached a point where our resolve for human comfort and our repulsive lack of embracing discomfort has impacted our health by leaps and bounds. We now house diseases that were unheard of a decade ago, and yet we keep plugging away at what tastes good. By the way, gluttony is a sin and cannot be spun to be good in any way. We must realize that our physical bodies are the house for the Holy Spirit. If we are unable to GO when called….we are sinning against our Saviour. NOT doing what we are called to do is the same as doing that which we have been told not to do. In other words: allowing my body to be physically wrecked to the point of being made useless makes me no better than a murderer. Sin is sin. Period.

Heavy words, I know. And please understand that I am not just speaking of carrying a few extra pounds or needing to lose 100 pounds. I am speaking to us ALL! Those who devote too much time to the gym are no better than those who devote too much time to the couch. They are both idols. I encourage you to break the bonds today! Start by simply making a commitment to ready yourself. Whether we want to believe it or not, a war we cannot see with human eyes is waging. We are called to be ready. We are called to run the race. We are called to be MORE in HIM. Allow this to dig deep into your spirit and guide your steps today.

Ready yourself for your calling….if not you, than who?

Live Louder!

Michelle

Take the first step HERE

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