Updated: Mar 25
During my daily hiking , I was approached by a middle-aged lady, who recognized me from the article I write in the local newspaper.
She said that she has seen how people who train with me have change drastically.
She did not waste any time in telling me her concern: “I have tried everything to lose weight and tone my body and I don’t get anywhere. I have exercised daily- running, Zumba, aerobics, biking and weight lifting.” I have lost 20 pounds on my own in 6 months, but even when I try harder, it seems that I can’t get lose any more weight. I have being trying for 4 months now.” “Are you eating healthy?” “Yes, I am.” “Why don’t you come to my studio and try a session with us. Maybe you will feel challenged by our exercise program.” “Okay, I won’t lose anything by trying something new.” This is how Beth and I agreed on her first training session. After the session she made some positive comments. “No wonder why I got stuck. Your sessions are completely different to what I am used to doing.”
If I continue doing this, will I get more results?” “Yes, however, there is more that you need to do other than just training. There are some requirements that you need to adhere to so you can lose weight and tone your body. By only doing the same exercise and same weight lifting you will eventually hit a plateau.”
“What do you mean?”
“You need to set goals. Just like most skills in life, you need to learn the basics and then build upon those skills.
Exercise is the same...
Here, I’m going to demonstrate how to set specific goals. 1) First, learn about all the muscle groups you need to exercise. To have a balanced and attractive body, you should work all these muscle groups, quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, gluts, core, chest, back, triceps, shoulders and biceps. 2) Find exercises that work those muscle groups. There are many and the variety will help with boredom and muscle confusion. 3) Design a periodization program with the right repetitions, sets and days a week. All this will depend on the program you choose. Most popular programs work. Nevertheless, you should stick to the program that you like the best.What I recommend is between 8 to 15 repetitions, from 3 to 5 sets, once gain depending on the program. Most programs will specify the sets and repetitions. Keep in mind that your body needs to be well trained in working the eccentric and concentric movement to avoid injury, especially when you are using lower repetitions, with heavy weights.
4) Learn all the exercise form before heavy lifting. Your form is important to avoid injury and work the right muscle groups. 5) Find your baseline, starting with light weights. All muscle groups are different sizes. Therefore, each muscle group will have different strength. An example, the weight the legs can lift is completely different from your chest or back. Some muscles have similar strength, for example, the triceps, biceps and shoulders. Also, the type of exercise requires different weight as well. Shoulder Lateral Raises lever and angle are different than the Military Press. Therefore, you are going to do less weight with the Shoulder Lateral Raises than you would the Military Press. 6) Once you find your baseline, this is one of the most important instructions: Stop thinking that you should lift the same weight all the time. If you could only run 10 minutes when you started running you will not stay at 10 minutes for your whole life. Your body adapts to it and will request more. The same thing happens with weight lifting.”
Beth protested saying, “But I don’t want to grow big muscles.”
“Don’t you worry about the myth of becoming big and muscular.” I answered, “That is not true. Don’t believe me - make your own research. Or simply try it yourself. If you never try, you will never find the real truth and you will always base your beliefs on other peoples' beliefs."
Now, if you follow your program you should commit to your periodization goals. If you started curling 5 pounds in each hand, by the end of the month or even before, you can do 8 pounds. If you squat only body weight, by the end of the month, you may squat at least 10 pounds. The faster your progress and the more weight you safely lift, the faster results you will get. Your body needs to adapt to the new resistance.” “I’ll forget what each muscle group can lift,” Beth confirmed.” “Write it down, all your goals and achievements should be on paper until you don’t longer need to write them down. When I started my exercise program, I was so excited about it that I had them on my mind all the time. I could not wait until I could lift heavier weights. However, as it became a routing, sometimes, I forgot my repetitions, sets and weight. The best thing I did was to write down everything as a reminder and continue progressing.” “That is all I need to do?” “Yes, concerning strength training. Remember that your eating habits and cardiovascular training play an important role in your goals.”
And one more thing, find out how long it will take you to get where you want to be, so you don’t get discouraged. You can do this by asking a capable professional or someone who had the same baseline and goals as you and has already done it.”
Beth, has learned and followed all my advice, lost 30 pounds, toned her body and continued her progressions.
Custom Body Fitness is located in Glenwood Springs CO and Carbondale CO