So last night when I was talking about workouts with a friend I realized how deeply it is ingrained in us that not only are certain exercises the key to weight loss success but so is a certain duration of activity.
She assumed I ran a lot and worked out for long periods of time because I’m “thin” and “in shape.”
Most women assume the same thing. They believe that running and long workouts are the key to weight loss success.
But they are wrong.
For one, I rarely ever run and when I do it usually is sprints or really light jogging if I’m going any distance over a mile.
And two, I don’t think any of my workouts have been anywhere near an hour for months now. Shoot, at least a few times a week my workouts aren’t even longer than 15 minutes!
Running and cardio in general is a key piece of the weight loss puzzle, but it isn’t the only piece. Strength training, and diet, are also very important.
If you don’t do strength training, you won’t add muscle.
Why do you want to add muscle when your goal is weight loss?
Because by adding muscle you burn more fat. When you have more muscle, you burn more calories allowing you to lose weight more easily and keep the weight off!
If you only do chronic cardio, when you take time off and eat normally, you will find the weight goes right back on. Also, you will find that your body will get used to the chronic cardio that you are doing and that you will constantly need to be upping the amount of time you spend running to get the same calorie burn!
BUT if you’ve added muscle, you will find that you won’t gain the weight back near as easily because you’ve raised your metabolic rate by adding muscle which needs more calories to be maintained!
Also, strength training will help prevent injuries that may develop from repetitive motions, such as running, that would hinder your progress or keep you from working out!
So while cardio is important, STRENGTH TRAINING, is actually more key to maintaining a healthy “in shape” weight!
Now to workout length….
Workout intensity is what really matters when you are trying to figure out how long your workout should be.
When I go for a hike or a walk, my workout will be longer. BUT if I workout super intensely, there is no need for my workout to pretty much ever go over 45 minutes.
So it isn’t that long workouts can’t be good, but if you are working out super intensely for an hour, you are probably going to either burn out or start feeling the effects of overtraining, which will actually hinder your progress toward your goal (be your goal weight loss or added strength or merely feeling fitter!).
So I guess to sum up what I’m saying is there is no one form of exercise or a certain length of time you have to spend working out to reach your fitness goals!
Variety is key!
(HMMMMM….Variety is key….That sounds familiar….I was going to link to another post here but there are too many preaching this on this site to pick just one! :-))
I have never seen so many people so unhappy about having a renovated club with all brand-spanking new equipment!
They are just so set in their routines that they don’t like having to adjust to the new versions of machines or find the new placement of equipment. They don’t like change!
It actually made me sad that people were so unwilling to try something new. It’s like they haven’t varied up their routine in the six bazillion years they’ve been members here!
You should vary up your routine like every 4-6 weeks. Not every 4-6 decades!!!!
Variety is key! If you aren’t varying up your routine, you probably aren’t getting the results you want…Did you just have an AH HA! moment?
Did you just realize why you’ve probably been stuck on the same plateau for the last 5 months?
AH! Come on people! Spice it up! Add some variety!
Ok that is my rant for today. But seriously, if you need help adding some variety to your program, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I mean…do you really like being stuck on that plateau?
So yesterday I set out to find some fitness blogs by, for and about women. What I found was not what I expected when I typed in “top fitness blogs for women.”
While I did find a few blogs I liked, I found a lot of blogs that really had nothing to do with what I consider “fitness.” There were posts about loving your body; posts about eating well for healthy hair; post about body dysmorphia (which was actually one of my favorites!). BUT there weren’t really any posts about women lifting and working out to develop beautiful lean, toned muscle. There weren’t very many posts about what women did to workout and improve their health.
I found a website called the 100 Must Read Blogs…By Women! and found that of the fitness blogs with descriptions only one had anything about resistance training in the blurb about it (and that blog was almost specifically for athletes). That is sort of sad don’t you think?
What do women have against resistance training? I mean I’ve heard the “I don’t want to get bulky excuse”, which is total BS. I’ve also heard women complain that they feel uncomfortable when they are in the weight room because all of the men are looking at them and judging them. This is BS too. I’ve stood and watched people in the weight room. The people who get looked at are the ones either doing something that looks absolutely silly OR people who lift an incredible amount of weight (which means…MOST OF THE TIME MEN ARE ONLY WATCHING OTHER MEN LIFT!).
Most female trainers who blog should know that women won’t get big from lifting weights. Most female trainers also know correct form so they shouldn’t be intimidated or worried about lifting in front of men or encouraging their clients to do so. So why are so few writing about weight training!?! I mean you female trainers who don’t promote weight training are part of the problem. I mean we can recommend that women experiment with their diet to find out what works for them, but no one seems to recommend that women experiment with all forms of exercise!
We want women to love their bodies and not be discouraged by the women in the magazines. I whole-heartedly believe that if we can get women to see weight training as something beneficial and not something that will make them manly that we will start to chip away at women’s body dysmorphia!So here is me recommending that women experiment with exercise. Try a resistance personal training session or class. Try a spin class. Try Zumba. Try the weight machines. TRY ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING! Just stop climbing on the stupid cardio machines for hours on end with no variety to your workout program. PLEASE!!!