Is It Time To Step It Up?

“To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.”

-Craig Ballantyne

 I often hear people say things like, “I just can’t lose weight! “I’ve tried everything.”  “I watch what I eat, but I’m  just not getting results!”

Usually upon closer inspection, I find that most people have only done the things that they WANT to do to lose weight. When I take a look at what they’re eating, it’s not that great, even though they would say they “eat good”(whatever that means). I often find that they haven’t been doing enough of the right things, or that they haven’t been consistent. Or sometimes it’s just that they have always given up too soon to ever see results.

If you’ve been struggling to lose weight or body fat for years, then it may just be time for you to step it up. Doing Weight Watchers, counting calories, walking a few times a week, and lifting light weights at the gym may have worked in the beginning….but it’s probably NOT going to take you to that next level.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein

So in this new year, I challenge you to STEP. IT. UP. If what you have been doing is no longer working, then it’s time to take it to the next level.

If you’ve been going to the gym 2 or 3 days a week, then it’s time to step it up and add in another day or two. I mean, you don’t even need another day in the gym-you could just add in a bodyweight workout at home once or twice a week.  Just MOVE MORE.

If you are a cardio junkie and haven’t been lifting weights, then it’s time to step it up and start lifting! Heavy.

If you’ve been doing the same routine for months and months now, then it’s time to step it up and switch up your routine. Lift a little heavier, try some new exercises. Up the intensity by adding in some interval training or metabolic finishers at the end of your weight training workouts, instead of your traditional  boring cardio.

If you’ve never gotten your nutrition under control, then it’s time to step it up and start tracking what you eat and taking a good close look at what needs to be changed. Just counting calories may have worked in the beginning, but now it’s time to start focusing on the quality  and macronutrient makeup of your food.

Need to cut back on the sugar, the carbs, the processed foods? It’s time to step it up and make that change. More protein, more vegetables, more healthy fat-less sugar and processed carbs.

You don’t have to try to do it all at once, but you do have to choose SOMETHING.

How are you going to STEP IT UP this year?

5 Tips For Sticking With Your Fitness Routine  

It’s that time of the year again when many people decide to start going to the gym to get in better shape. That’s a great thing, but sadly, however, the majority of people don’t last to the end of January.

Over time, the motivation fades, life gets in the way…and what was a daily thing becomes something that gets pushed to the back burner, or something you do if you can “find” time…which usually ends up being never.

Here are a few simple tips that I hope will help you stick with your fitness routine!

-Start slowly 
If you haven’t been working out consistently, don’t try to go to the gym every single day right off the bat. Commit to twice a week for 30 minutes- that is all you need! Then you can eventually try to add in a day or two more if your schedule allows, or just go to the gym 2-3 days a week and walk outside at home 2-3 days a week. Even though your motivation may be super high right now, trying to do too much too soon will mostly likely burn you out at some point.

-Don’t try to “kill”  yourself
People mistakenly think that if they aren’t crawling out of the gym dripping in sweat, then they must not have done enough, and that is simply not true. Yes, you should work hard and push yourself to lift challenging weights, but you absolutely do not have to workout to complete exhaustion every single time! Sometimes less is more.

-Have a plan
Wandering from machine to machine without a plan is a sure way NOT to get results. Find a basic strength training plan to take with you to the gym and track your weights, sets, and reps from week to week. Not only will it help you to remember what weights you used so that you can try to improve over time, but it will also allow you to see how you’ve progressed and gotten stronger, which is always fun to see!

-Hire a trainer
A good trainer can teach you how to perform the basic exercises and how to set up a workout routine. The focus should be on compound movements first, hitting all the major muscle groups of the body. An exercise for chest, back, shoulders, legs, and core should be sufficient to start. An example beginner workout could be something as basic as this:

Pushups: 2-3×6-10
Cable row: 2-3×8-12
Dumbbell box squat: 2-3×8-12
Overhead dumbbell press: 2-3 x8-10
Plank hold: 3 x 20 seconds

-Set goals
Physical appearance and weight loss goals are great to have, but performance goals are the key to not burning out or getting discouraged when the physical results aren’t coming as quickly as you’d hoped. It’s an amazing feeling to reach goals that you’ve set and surprising yourself by what you can do! It will only make you want to keep working harder and continue to set new goals. Try it!