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Good Fitness

When you want attainable fitness…. why consistency and quality is key

In our culture, we have a view of more is always better. But nope, that’s not always true in all things. When it comes to fitness, for example, more can likely lead to two ends of the fitness spectrum, doing nothing and doing too much. 

When quantity leads to nothing… 

60 minutes,One hour. That is the magical fitness number where we tell ourselves only results can be obtained. It’s the magical amount of time we tell ourselves that we must workout in order for the workout to be “worth it”. Any less will not be sufficient, will not be enough. And so if we are not able to meet that magical 60 minute mark, we do nothing. Instead of checking off completed workouts and making gains based on consistency, we continue this 60 minutes or nothing attitude until our fitness dwindles to a nonexistent status. This is when quantity hurts us. When the quantity of minutes results in us not working at all, and this becomes a daily habit. Setting fitness goals that are consistent and obtainable will always bring more results over doing nothing. So if you’re in the mindset of “60 or nothing”, it’s time to reset that mind and come up with something you CAN do daily. 

And not only do daily, but do it well, extremely well, on a daily basis. If we pack our workouts with quality exercises, with quality resistance, using quality form, we will get the results we are so desperately seeking over doing something once for 60 minutes. The amount of time we commit to fitness will mean nothing if the quality of exercises is lacking or nonexistent. Ten squats of good form, using proper resistance, being done on a daily basis are going to gain better results than 50 squats done poorly without proper resistance being done once a week. 

When quantity leads to doing too much…

I have talked about our go big or go home attitude in our culture and how it also permeates our thinking when it comes to our health and fitness in previous posts, and this is just as relevant when it comes to pushing our minds and bodies past the point of healthy to unhealthy practices and even to the point of injury. Especially when we do this just to satisfy that more is better, go big or go home mentality. When your working out to the point where your form quality becomes obsolete and your body has to overcompensate for poor form, which can lead to injury, the quantity of your workout makes no difference because you’re no longer able to keep up your fitness routine do to injury, If you find that the quantity of your workouts often leads you to be either too sore or even injured to consistently workout on a daily basis you will not be able to receive the benefits of what consistent fitness can give both your body and mind. 

Think about when you want to have a healthier diet. Maybe you want to eat more fruits and vegetables and eat less fast food. On a Sunday you decide you want a have a healthier diet, and come up with a plan to eat nothing but fruit and vegetables every day that week to be healthier.You do great all day Sunday, meeting your all or nothing goal, but on Monday, with work, and kids, and schedules, and to-dos, etc.or simply being unsatisfied with a limited array of food, you’re not able to keep that all veggie and fruit diet, and since you cannot commit to this all or nothing diet, you give up. Eating fast food for the rest of the week. Just like one healthy eating day a week will not give you the benefits of a consistent, daily healthy diet, one 60 minute a week workout will not give you the benefits of consistent, daily workouts.

Attainable workouts that we can accomplish everyday are going to enable us to reach our goals and create a sustainable fitness lifestyle for the rest of our lives.

Good Fitness

My Top 3 Equipment for Your 10-minute Strength Training Workout

These are by far my very favorite pieces of equipment for a 10-minute workout. Actually these are my favorite for ANY type of strength training workout. They are my top recommendations for when someone asks what equipment they should purchase. They are inexpensive, can be found anywhere from Target to Amazon, and take up very little space when not being used.

1.) Bands 

This is my #1, go to equipment. Less than $10 and takes up a minuscule amount of room to store. Not only are these bands excellent for adding resistance on their own, but they also can be used in tandem with weights for added resistance and taking your exercise up a level. For example, if you’re completing 1 minute of alternating lunges with an overhead press. You will have weights in your hands for the overheard press that also provides extra weight for the legs, but if you place a resistance band over your legs as well as you are doing the lunges, it creates an even greater strength training to the exercise. One pack comes with 5 different strength levels, and you can layer them if you outgrow the hardest resistance band, making them hard to outgrow completely. You can purchase a set by clicking on the picture below.

2.) 2-3 sets of hand weights 

Think about picking weights as a place to start and a place to go, and you’ll also be using them for different muscle groups that have different strengthening needs, so you’ll need several sets. My favorites to start with are either a 3lb, 5lb, 8lb set or a 5lb, 8lb, 10lb set for women or 10lb, 12lb, 15lb or 12lb, 15lb, 18lb set for men. When your completing one of your 1-minute exercises, the weight your choose should make it difficult for you to finish the minute, but not so difficult that you cannot complete the minute or you have to compromise your form to finish. Click on the pictures below for a couple of options on different sets.

3.) A thick yoga mat

As I’ve gotten older I appreciate more and more things that make my body more comfortable and protect my joints. Hence, the thick yoga mat. If we’re going to be doing things that challenge us like push-ups (especially on our knees, but also thinking of your wrists), or planks on our elbows, or kickbacks and leg lifts on our hands and knees, then why don’t we do them on a nice, cushy service. While we are burning and pushing our muscles, we don’t need the added joint pain of doing these exercises on hard, unyielding floors with a thin, unsupportive mat. When it comes to mats…go thick! Click on the picture below for a mat that is a great choice and less then $20!

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The 3-Steps to Fitness Consistency

If consistency is the key to fitness success, then we need an actionable plan to be consistent. This is where most people get stuck.

Where do I start? What do I need to do? How should I implement? These are all questions that tend to create obstacles instead of drive us forward.

No worries, I have got you covered. I took the concepts that made my client so successful in being consistent in her fitness and turned them into 3 steps. Follow the steps below, and you’ll have that elusive, actionable plan to being consistent!

Step 1: Create a 10-minute total body strength training workout

-Search pinterest, youtube and online fitness magazines (Shape, Strong and Oxygen all have websites) for different types of strength training exercises. Key words like “squats”, “lunges”, “pushups”, “total body” are good for searches, along with specific muscle groups like arms and glutes, etc 

-Look for exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time, such as a reverse lunge with a bicep curl, etc

-Make a list of all the different exercises you find, adding descriptions when needed or create a board on pinterest

-Every exercise equals 1 minute, if you need to do the exercise twice to get both your left and right side, you do each side for 30 seconds or do a minute per side.

-Everyday choose 10 total exercises from your list; remember to count the exercises that require both left and right sides twice if you don’t do 30 seconds each side. This will give you your 10-minute strength training routine.

-Plan ahead: at the beginning of your week, plan your exercises for each day. Either picking 10 to do every day that week or mixing up on different days.

Step 2 – Schedule Workout 3x daily

-Schedule your workout for the day, BUT find three different times during your day.

-The goal is to complete ONE of your schedules times.

-For instance, you’ve scheduled your workouts for the day at 6am, 1pm and 7pm…6am hits and your 1-year-old is already up and in no shape to “play nicely by themselves”, and you realize you forgot to make lunches the night before for your school kids, so there is no way your 6am workout is going to happen. Fast forward to 1pm, big kids are in school, 1 year old is napping, and while you have a million things to do, you’ve got 10 minutes to get your workout in before you tackle those million things, so you put in your earbuds and get your 10-minute strength training in for the day. And your done. Your goal is met.

-Giving yourself more chances to be successful will make you more successful. It’s simply the law of averages!

Step 3 – Find Success in the 10 minutes

-Change your mind, change everything. Simply speaking, we need to rewire our brain to understand what success is when it comes to our health and fitness. When we complete our 10-minute workout on a daily basis, and see consistency happening, we need to count that as a W-I-N. Consistency=Success.

-10 minutes is THE GOAL AND ONLY GOAL.

-Think of everything beyond the 10-minutes as a bonus. Say you got your 10 minutes in, but you have some extra time, and decide to do a round 2 of your 10 minute workout, or you were able to go on a bike ride with your family or try a new class at the gym or you were able to workout for 10 minutes at all 3 of your scheduled times…that is all bonus. They do not meet your goal, they exceed it. Success will be found in reaching your goal…your 10-minute workout is your goal, period.

Good Fitness

Attainable fitness: how to find it…how to get it

Several months ago I received a message from my friend, Erin. She wanted to hire me so that I could create a 10-minutes a day strength training workout that she could do 6 days a week using the equipment that she already owned. She described the areas that she wanted to focus on and sent a picture of the equipment that I could use to create her workout program. This was a very unusual request. I had never had this type of request…ever. Never ever. I had choreographed barre routines to requested songs for clients and had developed and created workout routines for clients that were based on the typical 45min to an hour workout, and my clients bought specific equipment needed for the workout or they joined a gym to do so.  Never had a client given me such specific and limited guidelines to work with when creating a program. But instead of feeling stifled by her request, I felt intrigued and challenged.

Here was someone who sat down and sincerely thought about what she was lacking, what she needed, and what she could be consistent at when it came to developing her fitness. In her thought process, she discovered that moving and stretching were consistent, between taking walks or bike riding with her family she felt good with her cardio, and she always stretched after, but what she was lacking in was muscle strength and endurance, and the knowledge to develop either. So instead of just contacting me to create a standard routine, she thought about the implementations and requested a routine that would give her maximum consistency. Her thoughtfulness inspired me, so I agreed to create a workout that she could do 10 minutes a day 6 days a week and got to work.

Within the next few days I had her fill out a questionnaire and then I put together a list of exercises that I thought would give her maximum bang for buck. If 10 minutes was the goal, every minute was going to count. We met for an hour, going over the exercises and choosing weights and bands from her equipment for each exercise, and then I went home and put together her 10-minute 6 day workout program as requested. A week later I delivered it to her, and within the next month I realized that there was something to what Erin had inspired in me to create.

You see Erin was SUCCESSFUL at her workouts. Week after week she was completing each day of her program. She was achieving consistency, something that had eluded her, and frankly most people, from implementing a regular fitness program. After six weeks her labs were better, her weight and BMI were down and she had increased muscle strength and development. She had less pain, less inflammation and was handling stress better. She added to her routine on days when time allowed, which also increased her results, but if she couldn’t do more then her 10-minute program, she knew she was fine because she would still get results.

So what made Erin’s successful? Consistency and quality.

We have a very all or nothing attitude when it comes to fitness. If we cannot fit it within a certain criteria…at least 60 min, using certain equipment, taking a particular class, only working out at a gym…than it’s not worth doing. But Erin’s success proves this attitude wrong. Instead of “go big or go home” in fitness, we should be reaching for “go sustainable to be attainable”. Because making our fitness consistent and of good quality will give us the results we are so desperately trying to achieve.

Erin realize this when she thought about what was sustainable for her, during this season of her life. She was not in a season where she could take an hour 6 days a week to work on her strength training, she was not at a place where she could go to the gym 6 days a week and she was not at a place where she could buy specialized fitness equipment. Instead, she figured out what would work for her so that she could be consistent in developing her strength training, and that was 10 minutes a day –  6 days a week, and then hired a professional to give her 10 minutes maximum quality. And it worked! Months down the line, we have met again and she is still checking off her workouts.

So now I challenge you! How can you “go sustainable to be attainable” in your fitness routine? What can you implement today that you will be able to sustain for the year to come? 

You don’t need an hour a day, you don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership or to see a personal trainer every week. You just need to be consistent and make that time count!

Go forth and attain!!