I figured it was time for a post like this. I thought perhaps some people with resolutions to work out or lose weight this year might be losing steam in their motivation. As January stretches into February I start to see the gyms thinning out and I know that many people have already given up on their goals. I wanted to share some knowledge from another blogger who is worth following on Twitter for good fitness tips!
1. How many days a week do you lift weights and how long is each session?
I usually lift four days a week. Each session lasts an hour or a little more. If I do cardio it happens after weights.
2. What’s a typical day of eating look like for you?
For breakfast and lunch I eat the same basic foods with small variations. I find that this allows me to control my diet and weight better and prevents digestive upset from eating foods that are outside my clean eating lifestyle. Even for dinner, we rotate among a set of recipes. If a new one is added it has to be low fat, low salt, and delicious of course. I always have a big breakfast with Greek yogurt and blueberries and walnuts and supplement that with toast or cereal. Lunch is usually a chicken and avocado sandwich, turkey meatballs, a tuna sandwich, or salad. Having snacks between meals helps keep me fueled (I always combine a protein with a carb). One of my favorite snacks is red grapes and roasted, unsalted almonds.
3. What is the most common mistake newbies at the gym make? What can they do to fix it?
I see a lot of women lifting very light weights. This is frustrating because while they may experience positive changes in the very beginning, they will soon plateau (and maybe quit). After you’ve learned proper form and can lift a weight for much more than 12 reps, don’t be afraid of going heavier. The basic principle behind strength training is progression – continuing to push your body after it has adapted. You’ll need to continually increase the weights to get stronger. Don’t worry about getting bulky – I lift heavy and am still a very petite person!
4. Why do you think many Resolutioners quit on their goals? What advice would you give to them to keep going?
Giving up too soon is a mistake people make all year round. It may be due to frustration with not seeing results, feeling intimidated, or simply boredom. Whatever the reason, if you can make yourself stick with it consistently for at least three or four weeks, you’ll start to see differences in the way you look and feel. Keep pushing and force yourself to lift until it becomes a habit. Do whatever you need to do to overcome barriers. You won’t regret it.
Suzanne Digre is a fitness writer and owner of Workout Nirvana Fitness LLC, which provides online and in-studio personal training. Suzanne writes about clean eating and weightlifting in her blog, Workout Nirvana. Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/
I really admire her dedication to fitness and her clean eating diet. What I love most about Suzanne is that she LOVES lifting weights. She found an activity that she enjoyed and made it a big part of her life. I think that is the key to making any exercise program stick. For me it was swimming. I eventually grew to love other things and a running injury lead me to lifting weights a few years ago.
While I didn’t like weight lifting at first, it grew on me. I was seeing results and my body was reshaping itself with my hard work. The trick is to stick with it. The results won’t be immediate and it does require consistency to keep it. When summers roll around I spend less time in the gym and more time outside (as it should be) so weight lifting takes a back seat and sadly, sometimes I don’t even do it. I’m trying to be better about that so that each Fall I’m not starting over from scratch.
If you’re starting to feel discouraged or less enthusiastic about your own exercise routine, take some time to check out Suzanne’s blog for some inspiration. Maybe you need to re-evaluate what activities you are doing. If you aren’t feeling the FIRE or excitement anymore, try a different workout! And definitely give strength training a try. The effects are amazing!
Finally, check out a previous guest post written by Suzanne: Reshaping Your Body with Weight Lifting. It will give you a good starter workout.
QUESTION: Do you lift weights? Why or why not?