Why Am I NOT Seeing Results? Probably the MOST Important Reason Yet

Welcome back to the blog!

Hopefully, the first in this series served you well. IF you haven’t seen it, you can check it out HERE.

Now, another reason you may not be seeing results lies in who you surround yourself with, especially when working out. Read on to see what I mean…

Strong Camp 50 Photo by Paul Buceta

Every day when I’m at the gym I have a hard time tuning out everybody around me. It’s just a part of who I am. I’m not nosy, but I do like to be aware of my surroundings (safety and a bi-product of my ministry job). So, I notice things. One thing I have noticed lately is an overwhelming amount of people getting help….from completely under-qualified people. I see the slightly pudgy guy following the slightly (only slightly) more muscular guy around the weight. I see gaggles of girlfriends teaming up on each machine. I see ladies blindly following the advice of husbands or boyfriends. You know what I don’t see? Any change since August…..

Am I saying that it’s bad to workout with your BFF or love of you life? Of course not. Many people enjoy the company and some can use the spotter (correct spotting technique is a whole other blog post though….). A workout BUDDY can provide motivation and that last push through a hard set. They can also take photos at just the right time (which is why I have locker room ninja selfies….#lonerforlife), but they should not always dictate your workout. So, let’s read what to look out for and how you can get educated and get he help you need on the cheap.

Strong Camp 21 Photo by Paul Buceta

Her are a few people to be warned about:

  • The meat head boyfriend who like watching you do squats while he slings weights around for 50 sets of biceps. This guy is usually big on muscle and testosterone but knows NOTHING of training the female body OR fat loss….I mean, most of the time you can tell he doesn’t believe in fat loss and that bulking is a 24/7 job.
  • The BFF who gets ALL of his/her info from magazines. Don’t get me wrong, I love fitness mags. They can be super inspiring; however, they shouldn’t be considered the Bible of fitness and not everybody really needs the latest celebrity workout.
  • The Know It All. These men/women are usually in slightly better shape than their friends (BTW, they like it that way) and maybe they even studied to be a trainer, worked as one through college, or maybe even competed. They think they know more than you about everything gym and nutrition related, but they really don’t have the education to back it up. That doesn’t matter because to your naked eye their physique means they know more. FALSE.

Now that you have spotted the trouble makers in your life, how do you make sure they have YOUR best interest when they offer to “train” you? Simple steps:

  1. If your friend puts you on a piece of equipment (they love to use equipment man) ASK them exactly what this is to be used for. In other words, “Why am I doing this?” should be a common question. To grow muscle or tone up is not an answer. The equipment in the gym has a purpose and YOU need to know what it is. Are you widening or thickening the muscle? Is this working on pure mass or power too? Knowing the WHY of each exercise helps you retain the exercise better, recruit the correct muscles, see results and maybe even help somebody else one day.
  2. If your friend is doing the lifting for you, call them out. I saw this the other day with a group of ladies. The “leader” put one lady on a lat pull down weight she could NOT pull down….so, the leader pushed it to her chest and “helped”. This helps no one people, but it does make your friend feel better about their own abilities. Always lift with weight that is challenging, but that you can maintain good form.
  3. Ask if you can have some input in the next workout. Does your buddy ALWAYS have you on chest and arms? Dude, you don’t want chicken legs! If they don’t let you have some input, drop that time with them. You would be better off on your own.

What if you just realized you are getting the short end? Have no fear! There are plenty of ways to get the help you really need without spending all of your hard-earned cash (cause you’ll need that for clothes, shoes and that spray tan).

Strong Camp 48 Photo by Paul Buceta

Check out online resources. Bodybuilding.com is a GREAT website for all the FREE info you can handle. There are even free trainers and printable workouts. You can pick something for your goal and your current fitness level. Check out my page HERE to follow my workouts and see which trainers I have enjoyed in my years as a member there.

Also, there are plenty of trainer (myself included) who offer training plans online that are tailored to your goals. And guess what? They’re pretty cheap! For about the cost of that gym membership you can get 3 workouts a week.

Personal training isn’t as expensive as you might think, especially if you get some buddies to split the cost. I have small groups that pay $20 a session for face to face time with me in my private gym (no looky-lous here). This also comes with nutritional guidance for most cause I’m cool like that :) Gyms like Lifetime Fitness have trainers who specialize in groups as well. Don’t think you can’t afford a great trainer based on gym trainer prices.

Hopefully, these tips will help you see results a bit faster. Remember, YOUR goals matter, so go get ‘em!

Michelle

P.S. If your BFF is a GREAT trainer, hold on tight to them and value their input :) They are a rare breed.

Transformation Tuesday: Bikini Comp Cardio

As previously pointed out, the features on the blog work whether you’re planning to strut your stuff on stage or at the beach. You can be close to your goal, exceeding it, to just starting and these tips and tricks will help you to see results faster without the detrimental inflammation….so, let’s get on with it shall we?

CARDIO

First off, cardio does serve a purpose (I am a self-professed iron addict) in that it helps to strengthen the most important muscle you own: your heart. I’m talking about your actual beating heart here, not the one that goes aflutter at the site of your special somebody. Your heart is a necessity to your very life and should be cared for accordingly. Cardio can also help strengthen the lungs (also pretty important if you enjoy living and breathing on a daily basis) and increase blood and oxygen flow to the skin, therefore increasing your rosy glow. For all of its benefits, cardio can also be quite misunderstood…

Cardio does not help you shed massive amounts of weight, nor does it help keep your skin tight during all the weight loss. It won’t keep you burning ample amounts of calories and does not burn fat for fuel, unless you are running a marathon…once a week. So, in the pursuit of tight glutes, perky pecs and awesome arms, where does cardio fit in, if at all?

When you’re looking to change the SHAPE of your body, you need to pick up some weight in order to drop weight. Lowering all over body fat and building up lean muscle can create a more aesthetically pleasing (and far higher functioning) physique. You do need cardio though (for the whole heart and lungs issue), so how do you go about cardio without tearing up what you have taken weeks to build? It’s not in the length, but rather the style.

If you’re seeking to round out shoulders and glutes whilst simultaneously shrinking your waist (more power to you!), then your cardio need to be a bit different from a simple run on the treadmill. Cardio programs consisting of 30-45 minutes of intense work targeted to your goals can help you reach them faster. Plyometrics are a great way to burn extra fat and sculpt muscle at the same time. If you have knee or back injuries, forgo until your doc has given you the all clear. sprint intervals on the treadmill (some people just refuse to get off of that thing) work great for lifting and toning and ample rear view. For those of us slightly less fortunate, GET OFF THE TREADMILL! And step on to your new best friend: THE STEP MILL. KNowing your body proportions will enable you to prepare a cardio workout that will kick your butt AND leave it looking better at the end of the day.

Treadmill and elipticals should be used in interval fashion for best results. Warm up for 3-5 minutes then follow the simple 1:2 ratio for beginners, 1:1 ratio for intermediate, and 2:1 ratio for those who seek death :)

  • 1:2 Run as fast as you can for 1 minute, rcover at a light jog or walk for 2 minutes and repeat for 20 minutes.
  • 1:1 Run as fast as you can for 1 minute, recover for 1 minute and repeat for 20 minutes.
  • 2:1 Run as fast as you can for 2 minutes, recover for 1 minute and repeat for 20 minutes.

If you’re not up to a minute, translate 30 seconds into thte equation (your mom told you that you would use math one day). Work your way up to longer intervals and longer times if you like. Remember that your effort in the gym will be reflected in how you look and feel everyday.

Step one today if to figure out what you have to work with: are you looking to lean out a little or a lot? What needs to lift up and what needs to tighten up?/ Cardio should challenge your endurance every time you step up to it, so make it something that you know will change you in some way, then attack it!

Here’s to your good health!

 

Michelle

 

Rockstar Training