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

What’s Sabotaging Your Weightloss?

Weight loss is getting a bad rep as being a tricky thing. Between hormones, over-training myths and dieting dilemmas, we are quite confused about weight loss all together.

So, let’s break down what could be the very reason YOU aren’t seeing results.

1. You wear spandex or some form of stretchy clothing ALL THE TIME….

spandex

I can be VERY Guilty of this one, I admit. Spandex has give and can give the illusion we may be smaller or not gaining any weight. If our spandex does start to tighten up, we claim it’s muscle (stay tuned for that one). People who spend their hours on workout clothing run a serious risk of regular clothing not fitting when you need….like on the weekends :)

Pro Tip: Wear your jeans 3 days per week while running errands or working around the house.

2. We think it’s muscle….

fat vs muscle

While muscle gain may show on the scale, it’s not really showing in your clothing. The average female is LUCKY to gain 3-5 pounds of muscle in a year. If your jeans fit yesterday, but they’re tight today, it’s probably water retention.

Pro Tip: First, make sure you have a variety of styles (especially in jeans) and be honest about what it takes to gain muscle.

3. We are fudging on our foods.

food log

Whether we aren’t keeping an accurate record OR we aren’t weighing and measuring, most humans can underestimate the amount of foods they consume by 20%. That’s a large margin for error….

Pro Tip: Plan meals ahead of time and LOG IT ALL, even what you cook with

4. We binge eat and drink….we just call it a “cheat’, “treat” or “reefed”.

fatman-eating

You can tie any kind of ribbon around it that you want, but weight loss requires a sacrifice. While treats aren’t off the menu completely, many people will indulge in a treat once per day OR over indulge in a treat meal (that often extends into the day or weekend) and that will all add up to stored fat. Then, you’re back at it on Monday.

Pro Tip: Limit treats to 1 meal, once a week MAX in the beginning. If you’re weight isn’t dropping, try once every 2 weeks. If you’re struggling with weight fluctuations AND indulging in drinks….skip the alcohol altogether for 6 weeks and see what happens.

5. We translate a hard workout into calories burned.

p90x

On average, we overestimate the amount of calories we burn by about 30%. If we perceive a workout to be tough, we will consume extra calories to “make up for it”, but the body will only store those calories.

Pro Tip: Don’t think in terms of calories. Know how many macronutrients you need (a good macro calculator is at bodybuilding.com) and stay in that framework NO matter the workout.

6. We blame somebody else.

cookie monster

I get this time and time again and I cannot stress this enough: weight loss depends solely on the one carrying the weight. A trainer and/or nutritionist can give you a guideline to help speed things up and help you over the bumps in the road, but the changes necessary for weight loss to occur are yours to make. You spend every waking minute with yourself….nobody can change you but you.

Pro Tip: Suck it up. Check your foods, portions and workout effort to increase your own results.

 

Till next time,

Michelle

Ever wanted to be a Supermom? Check out the SuperMom Summit!

Supermom Summit 2

 

Hey Wonder Women (and men)!

 

I am really excited and I have to share this with you.

 

I was recently interviewed for the SuperMom Summit where parent experts share their wisdom for losing weight, keeping your whole family healthy and feeling confident again.

 

As a parent myself, I know that it takes Superhero Skills to get through the day.  Between back to school shopping, classes, soccer practice, homework, cooking, laundry and you name it what else, you need superhero skills and a magic wand to do it.

 

Click Here to Learn Superhero Skills

Supermom Summit 3

I really liked that Vera, who is the host of the summit, interviewed real parent experts so I know they have all walked a mile in our shoes. Vera also has an amazing transformation story for losing 70 pounds after her first pregnancy and has kept it off for 2 years even after baby #2! She could easily relate to the struggles of a busy mom who is always on the go but needs to make time for herself.

 

I get it. Sometimes you are so focused on caring for others, you stop taking time to care for yourself. You put everyone’s needs in the household before yours and one day it hits you that  you might have let yourself go. It doesn’t have to be this way. You can have your rocking body again, you can feel confident and your family deserves you feeling your best. That is exactly what the summit is about, being a great parent and feeling great about yourself.

 

Join me during the Supermom Summit

Supermom Summit 4

Vera and I are not talking about weight loss for event next week. We are talking about achieving lasting results and creating a foundation for confident you and a healthy family.

BONUS!!!!! One lucky winner will receive a FREE Skype consult with me valued at $135! So jump on this RIGHT NOW!

 

Supermom summit will help you learn:

 

How to lose weight

How to gain confidence

Hot to find the balance between being a woman and a mother

How to create a healthy environment for your family

How to eat healthier without spending hours in the kitchen

How to connect with your identity

How to empower yourself

How to say no to sugar

And much much more!

 

Best part about being a part of Supermom Summit? It’s free because every mother deserves to feel healthy, happy and confident.

See you there!

Michelle

Supermom Summit 1

Work It Wednesday! CORE with Debbie :)

This was a few years ago :) but still relevant today!

WORK IT WEDNESDAY: FREE Total Body Circuit

Grab some weights (8-15 pounds should do) and a little space for total body toners :)

#WORKIT Wednesday! Free Workout for you: Tank Top Arms

Arm B&W

Ah, the arms…..the most naked part of the human body. Our arms carry groceries, babies, bags and purses. They push strollers, shopping carts and even buttons.

Arms are involved in just about every aspect of life, yet most women leave them untrained and complain about things such as Bat Wings, Chicken Wings (which are tiny BTW) and flappy things.

Have no fear! I have an arm toning workout that can be done in MINUTES and have you ripping the sleeves off your shirt in no time….OK, maybe not THAT, but you get the point.

What do you need?

Dumbbells that CHALLENGE you. That means your last rep better be a struggle. I usually use 15-25 pound DB’s, but I’ve been working on these things for a few years now.

A padded surface (you know what that means right?).

Some really great music. Never underestimate the power of the playlist.

A great attitude…..that WILL determine your results.

Got it? Let’s get it then!

TANK TOP ARMS:

This workout will be done in a circuit fashion, using a timer (I use a tabata timer on my phone, you feel free to use any timer. A lot of tabata timers are FREE online).

You will be WORKING for 40 seconds, then RESTING for 10 seconds. You will repeat the exercises 3x through (more if you have time to kill or just really don’t want to move tomorrow).

  1. THE PUSHUP! Oh yeah baby, get down and get dirty with them. Range of motion is critical, so if you can’t come all the way down (or 90 degrees at the elbows) drop to your knees and modify as you build strength.
  2. Alternating Biceps Curl. Weights will be in each hand and you will perform slow and controlled bicep curls, one arm, then the other.
  3. Alternating Shoulder Press. Weights up, elbows alongside the shoulders, press one DB to the ceiling, return to start and press the other….remember, slow and steady, no momentum.
  4. Long Arm Plank. Get in a pushup position, but resist the urge to do a pushup. HOLD IT! Contract the core, thighs and shoulders.
  5. Triceps Dip. You can use ANY surface really. Hands face forward, drop your butt directly down (not away, as that is shoulders) then squeeze your arms in and press up. Keep your neck neutral and perform as many as you can before you feel like you might drop yourself, then rest and do some more until your time is up. These can be tough, so aim to do more each time.

These 5 BASIC moves will start to make a BIG difference in your upper body physique. Aim to complete this workout 3 times per week, never on consecutive days. Next week, come back for a body weight leg workout that will have you strutting in shorty shorts (keep it appropriate people!) in no time!

Peace, Love and Lunges (and pushups)

Michelle

date night

 

NOW it’s YOUR turn!

Got a workout you want to see featured in #WORKIT Wednesdays?

Respond BELOW or shout it out on Twitter.

 

New Feature: WORKOUT OF THE MONTH

A lot of visits here are for workout reviews. Why? Cause we want an honest opinion of what works!

In light of that fact, I am launching a brand new feature called WORKOUT OF THE MONTH.

This will feature a new workout each month, most home-based, that you can try out REAP the benefits and rewards.

So, for August (we’re close enough), HERE is my top pick:

PiYo DEFINE YOURSELF

With PiYo, you can carve an intensely defined physique without jumps, weights, or straining

your joints. Chalene Johnson’s innovative program is sure to bring you some exciting business

opportunities, so here are some key points to remember.

What is PiYo?

PiYo is a low-impact, high-intensity body-transformation program that uses the most

effective Pilates- and yoga-inspired moves to sculpt long, lean muscles and burn fat.

Trainer Chalene Johnson uses fluid movements, keeping you in constant motion to give

you a dynamic cardio workout that typical Pilates or yoga workouts lack.

It’s low-impact so you won’t have to jump around or strain your joints.

It’s high-intensity so you get the fat-burning results of a more extreme program.

It’s designed to help you get an intensely defined, long and lean physique.

Who is it designed for?

Women and men who:

Want to lose weight and burn fat without the high-impact jumps or complex

choreography found in some cardio programs.

Want to build lean muscle but don’t want to lift heavy weights or bulk up.

Want to get the results of an extreme program without straining their joints.

Like the benefits of Pilates and yoga, but also want the calorie burn of a cardio workout.

Don’t have time to go from class to class to do separate cardio, strength, and

flexibility workouts.

Want a workout that doesn’t require a lot of equipment.

Want to give their body a break from extreme programs but keep getting results and

improve their performance in other sports by restoring their flexibility and core strength.

What’s included?

8 workouts on 3 DVDs (25–45 minutes each)

1 bonus workout (25 minutes)

Quick Start Guide to help you start seeing results fast

Get Lean Eating Plan to make clean eating fit into your lifestyle

60-Day Workout Calendar shows you what workouts to do when

Tape measure to help track your progress

Exclusive! You will get a FREE bonus workout—Hardcore on the Floor (a

$19.95 USD value)—when they order through you

Why should you get Piyo?

To burn calories and fat and lose weight without high-impact cardio or complicated

choreography.

To build long, lean, intensely defined muscles without lifting heavy weights that can

cause added bulk.

To give joints a break from extreme programs but still maintain results.

• To improve core strength and flexibility and improve athletic performance.

To get the benefits of Pilates and yoga without the stillness of yoga and repetitive

nature of Pilates.

To get the benefits of a strength, cardio, and flexibility program all in each workout,

without having to find the time to go to different classes.

To enjoy a new program from their favorite trainer Chalene Johnson.

How does PiYo work?

PiYo isn’t like standard Pilates and yoga classes that make you hold long, intense poses, or

lead you through dozens of repetitive, microscopic core movements. PiYo speeds everything

up—including your results—by introducing you to dynamic, flowing Pilates- and yoga-inspired

sequences that can burn serious calories at the same time as they lengthen and tone your

muscles and increase your flexibility. As you progress from one fluid movement to the next

without rest, you’ll maintain an optimal heart rate to incinerate calories throughout the whole

workout!

With every action-packed PiYo session, you’ll burn excess fat and sculpt and define your whole

body, as you minimize the aches and pains that can come along with high-impact workouts.

The result? You get a low-impact, high-intensity, total-body workout, giving you a physique that’s

long, lean, and powerfully defined.

My results have been phenomenal! I feel stronger and it is making all of my other workouts more effective. I’ve also lessened injuries and have begun to heal from old ones. The workouts are short enough for busy schedules OR for weirdos like me that like to work out like all day :)

Grab your PiYo HERE today!

Define yourself,

Michelle

FREE Workout Wednesday!

BOOM! A freebie exercise ball workout for you today :)

Grab a ball (steal only if necessary) and get busy!

Throwback Thursday! Let me tell you how I really feel……

I have a strong opinion about some things :) Especially the crossfit craziness…..

National Nutrition Month Close: How to Get from A to Z

Hello Lovelies!

As we end the month of March (yes, END!) I wanted to share a few key point that will help in your journey.

Let’s recap just a little though…

THIS was me on January 13th of 2014.

Januray 13 2014

It’s not the worst shape those abs have ever been in, but I wasn’t doing too well internally and my nutrition focus had become quite distorted. Even the most learned of nutrition professionals can resort to lifelong habits…

So, here was my plan:

  1. I entered a contest online (hey, everybody’s watching then)
  2. I set upon research about tried and true nutrition…not diets
  3. I started logging foods like a mad fool….but always making sure I logged the time of day, how I felt before and after
  4. I changed my workouts several times to find what suited my body
  5. I focused on NUTRITION, not food

March 20 2014

This pic was taken February 13,2014

This was upon the implementation of HIIT training.

Now, HIIT seems to be confusing most people, so let’s get to it:

H- High

I- Intensity

I- Interval

T-training

Some people will try to sell you a magic HIIT formula, but that’s bogus. HIIT is a style of training. Here is what mine looks like (I use a Tabata timer, and I will save that for another post): I pick 5-10 exercises, depending on if I am focusing on certain body parts OR total body. I set my timer and hit it HARD from start to finish. HIIT in truly about intensity. That means I can cut my workout time down to 20-40 minutes and still see results.

Come March…I was losing my butt (everything I have back there is built, not blessed!). So…my eating style changed to accommodate some internal digestive issues (don’t judge, we all get them!) AND I switched my training up a bit…

rockin abs

This pic was taken March 23, 2014 I was pretty pleased with my abs since genetics will dictate those puppies don’t pop. When I tell you I work HARD for that, I’m not lying.

So what changed?

I gave Intermittent Fasting (the LIFESTYLE, not the diet…) a try. I’ll be going over this style just a bit in the Nutrition Boot Camp and will blog about in a couple of months.

I kept the HIIT workouts on 2-3 days per week, but added HEAVY, slow lifting  3-4 days per week (note: I usually workout 5-6 days per week).

Do I sweat as much lifting heavy weights only 4-6 times? Maybe not right off the bat, but THIS style has been proven to rebuild the metabolism by changing the hormones. Does it work? For me, it does :)

So, what do I suggest to YOU?

  1. Get to know YOUR body. Strop following what other people are doing…cause you totally know you just wrote down what I did. Stop that! Can you pick something to try? Yeah, give it a few weeks and see how you respond.
  2. Track your macronutrients. This is the pivotal point that will change EVERYTHING. How? I cover that…in the Nutrition Boot Camp!
  3. Be a little flexible. Be willing to make changes as needed.
  4. Get help. Whether it be nutrition or training, seek out a little extra help to get you there.
  5. Set your goals and be CLEAR. What do I mean? Well, I had to ask myself this question: “Do I want to be super lean OR really strong?” Is it impossible to be both? Not really, but you can’t train for both at the same exact time. Right now, I would like more muscle to my frame and I want to challenge my strength. Therefore, my eating and training will suit those demands.

Follow these guidelines to push you towards your goal and you’ll see results…maybe in just a couple of months :)

Michelle