Gym Chat: Safety Tips to get the MOST from Your Membership

So, you’ve laid out the cash for a gym membership right? Did you know that statistically over 70% of people with gym memberships do NOT visit the gym regularly?!?!?!? That’s wasted cash people!

I think the main reason people become disenchanted with the gym itself has more to do with our lack of self-confidence within the environment and less to do with the environment itself. So, I’ve developed a blog series to help YOU get the most from your gym membership :)

Read on for the first installment so you can boost your self-confidence and results. Not to mention, you won’t be spending $10-$60/month on this…..

treadmill Don’t be that person….

OK, so gym safety starts and ends with you. Let’s cover the bases on how you can provide a safe environment for yourself to reach goals.

  1. KNOW THYSELF. Do NOT (I repeat, NOT) simply follow somebody else’s gym routine or attempt to lift what they lift right out of the gate. All too often I witness people hopping from one machine to another simply mimicking what they saw somebody else do earlier. This can lead to injury AND your goals may not be the same as theirs.
  2. Check your weight. Ok, not “your” weight, but the weight that is either racked on the bar or already on the machine. I saw a guy nearly crushed by the bench press last weekend because he simply sauntered up and decided to press what was already on it. NOBODY at that gym is comparing weights with you….at least nobody that matters. Err on the side of caution. Many times I start light and will simply add some weight if I feel the need. Form and safety are always first. The only person keeping track of the weight is YOU.
  3. Have a plan. If you want the most out of your membership, walk in with a plan. Don’t walk in for social hour, unless that’s the purpose to your monthly dues….in which case, sad :( . I see many people wandering the gym floor waiting for inspiration to strike. This can end up hurting you as 9 out of 10 times you’ll end up back at #1.
  4. If you’re planning to lift SUPER heavy (challenging lifts for you) either have a spotter who will accompany you and work out with you OR go when you know there are a few more bodies in the gym to help. Example: the young man on the bench press mentioned in #2: M-Th at 5 a.m. the gym is packed with available spotters (guys and gals that KNOW what they are doing and can dig you out of a jam then give you a high five for effort) and even a couple of trainers. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are notorious dead days. When this poor guy got stuck there were only 3 other people on the floor and no floor staff. Lifting heavy is cool, but make sure you have somebody to watch your back.
  5. Don’t let your friend run your workout. Having a workout buddy ROCKS…when your at the same level and have similar goals. My favorite workout buddy has a BIG goal of booty building, as do I :) So, I always loved putting together challenging butt-building workouts and KILLING the gym floor. That reminds me, I should schedule another…Anyways, if your gym buddy has NO need/desire to lose weight and that’s ALL you got your membership for, don’t let them run your workout. You can still meet up for accountability, but make sure you are working towards your personal goals. TIP: peruse the blog for tips on goal setting :)

Now that your safer and feeling a little more confident, let’s REALLY kick it up a notch!

Are you just not sure what to do when you set foot on the gym floor? Let me help walk you through this:

  1. If you’re like me and you bring a bag, lock it up….oh, make sure you have what you need first. Don’t be like me and have to unlock your locker 5 times.
  2. Know your plan OR carry it with you in a workout journal (I use one from bodybuilding.com)
  3. WARM UP! Here’s where people get fuzzy. A warm-up is not 30 minutes on the treadmill to hit the weights for 20 minutes…..that confuses me, but we’ll get to it later. If you’re working total body (which you should if your overall goal is weight loss), then a cardio machine for 5-10 minutes will do. If you’re having an upper body day, you can warm up with some dynamic movements to get blood flow to the joints FIRST, then perform 1-3 warm-up sets of a compound movement at about 20-30% of your working weight.
  4. Stay focused and avoid the super-long-check-in-on-Facebook-between-sets-rests. Seriously, stop that.
  5. Try to stretch when you’re done, but if you don’t have time simply make sure you stretch and foam roll THAT DAY.
  6. On your way out, sip on your post-workout shake so that recovery can start right away.

Final thoughts. Let’s talk about why you may not be seeing the results you want.

  1. You gym routine is on point, your diet is all over the place. A solid nutrition plan makes ALL the difference. There is NO way around it. Unclear what you should be eating? I can help with that. Shoot me an email HERE: michelle@michellecfitness.com  and I can have you a plan for weight loss, muscle building, and even general health and disease prevention.
  2. You work out SO hard you need 3-4 days to recover. Really? Consistency is key and getting to the gym CONSISTENTLY will pay off far more than killing yourself inconsistently.
  3. Your cardio is longer than your weight workouts. Stop that. Shorten cardio time to 20-30 minutes a day (especially if you want some muscle), 3-5 times per week. Focus your strength on building the body you want, not tearing it down.
  4. Pre and post workout nutrition is all over the place. Again, I can help with that :)
  5. You don’t really have a plan. Magazines make working out look so cool, but if you are hopping from one big thing to the next all consistency is lost. If you cannot figure out what works best for you, consider hiring a coach to help you get started. The beauty of the internet is that your coach is just a click away.

These can be just a few things that are stopping progress. Check in on them and get the help you need to see the results you want.

Keep living fit!

Michelle

Happy Thanksgiving! Your Total Body Slimming Circuit is HERE!

Your Turkey Day Total Trimming Circuit

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Turkey Day workout will torch major calories before the bird. We’ll be igniting the large, fat burning muscles in the body PLUS utilizing peripheral heart action, a method of training which helps raise the metabolic rate and promote greater EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption). All this means greater calorie burn for you before, during, and after your celebration. Stay tuned down below for some simple Turkey Tummy Tamers!

Burn the Bird Circuit 1:

50 Jumping Jacks

10 Push Ups

50 Alternating Forward Lunges

10 Burpees

Burn the Bird Circuit 2:

20 Triceps Dips (from chair or counter)

50 Plie’ Squats

10 Inverted (Down Dog) Push Ups

50 High Knees (high knee run for count of 50)

Burn the Bird Circuit 3:

10 Jump Squats

High Plank Hold for Count of 30

20 Alternating Plank Knee to Triceps (from high plank pull knee in to same arm)

50 Bicycle Crunches

50 Bridge Hip Lifts

Complete each circuit with little to no rest to increase caloric expenditure. Always remember to warm up and cool down, plus get plenty of fluids. We all have different schedules, so commit to all 3 circuits at least 1 time through. If you have time this morning you can do the whole workout up to 4 xs for maximum calorie torching. If you’re pressed for time, consider doing a couple more rounds this evening. Remember to go at a pace that challenges you the WHOLE time. Your rate of perceived exertion should hang around a 7-8 on a scale of 1-10 (1 being couch potato and 10, nearly needing an ambulance!). Hit it hard and the results will come! Post in the comments below when you’re done!

 

 

BONUS! Turkey Tummy Tamers

We have ALL been there! You did your workout, had your meals, set your goals and vowed NOT to overdo at Thanksgiving dinner…only to overdo anyways and be left feeling bloated and overdone yourself. No worries! I’ve got some of my own tips that really help me on those not-so-stellar eating days :)

  1. Shake it off. What’s done is done and there is no amount of regret, guilt or fat burners that will erase it. You enjoyed your time, so let it go.
  2. Do the math. For you to REALLY gain just 1 pound of fat, you would have to physically ingest 3500 calories MORE than what you use to live. That’s 3500 more than your basal metabolic rate and 3500 more than that awesome workout you accomplished this morning. My guess if for a 140 pound woman, you would have to have taken in 8000+ to gain 1 pound…..I know the pies were good, but really? Chances are that bloated feeling is from water retention. You can breathe now…..and get off the scale for a few days!
  3. Peppermint tea helps with digestion. The human body can only fully digest about 400-700 calories at a time. This is due to the amount of macronutrients the body can physically break down and send where it needs them. On Turkey day we can overdo. After the bustle, fix yourself a cup of peppermint tea to stimulate the digestive system and ease some of the puffy feeling.
  4. Drink water like you’re being paid to do it! Over the next 3 days you’re #1 Goal is to down a gallon (yes, GALLON) of water per day. Flush the system and get the processed goodies (candied yams, green bean casserole, buttery mashed potatoes, canned cranberry sauce, pies, cakes, cookies anyone?) out ASAP.
  5. Yoga is now your friend. Yoga utilizes twisting to relieve tension in the spine, but twisting can also relieve the bloat in the belly as well as that heavy feeling in the legs. Most yoga studios offer a FREE YOGA CLASS the day after Thanksgiving. Grab a buddy and spend an hour finding your ahhhhhh.
  6. Get back on track. Make sure you are ready tomorrow to jump back on clean eating. If you went to family, forgo the to-go bags. If you host, give the food away! If your family doesn’t want it, check the local shelter. Many shelters will take leftovers to feed those less fortunate. Call ahead to make sure. Also, think about making plates for those who are working during the Holiday, or those you see on the street day by day. Part of this season is a spirit of giving. You don’t need the food, so let it go!
  7. Get moving. Don’t sit on the couch moaning about a protruding belly, get up and move. A brief walk can stimulate the digestive system and help ease the achiness of too much indulging.

 

There you have it! Tried, true, and super easy ways to get you back on track to reaching your goals. Come back for some Fun Friday tomorrow and hear answers to your weight loss specific questions.

 

 

Have a Healthy Turkey Day!

Michelle

5K a day in May

Here’s your challenge for the month of May (yeah, it has to be since it’s the only month that rhymes!).

In the spirit of getting extra steps in, I am issuing a challenge for everybody to get a 5K in every day. Now you can walk, run, skip, jump, or dance your way through your 5K! The goal is just to do it and get those extra steps in. This simple, no equipment needed, challenge will increase your heart health and can help shed excess body fat. So what are you waiting for? Map your course and get moving!

Tough LOVE Tuesday

Time for some tough love! The reason I know those excuses most people depend on is because I lived with those excuses weighing me down and keeping me from my goals. I don’t want you to have to do that! Take a deep breath and plunge in; the water feels great over here :)