The biggest lesson I've learned on my exercise journey.
I'm going to give away the big secret in the first few lines of this blog. The biggest lesson I have learned on my exercise journey is to do what you love and get better at that.
Let me explain. When I started to get into working out I would look at different influencers and copy what they did. One did CrossFit style and she looked awesome. okay let me try CrossFit style lifts. Then there was my running phase and I did that for a long time. Then I had my yoga phase. I remember seeing this girl who did yoga and figured if she looked like that, so could I if I did some yoga.
The one thing I was missing was actually loving those things I was committing too. I had to reason behind my choices. Was this what I wanted to get better at? I also never stayed consistent in anything for YEARS. Because I was trying to be like everybody else. How exhausting.
What I really want to dive into today is what workouts you should be doing for your goals. How do you know if you're doing the right exercises?
I want to follow up with a question of what do you love or enjoy? Then I would ask what you can stay consistent in?
Now this doesn't mean you can't ever change what you're doing or style of exercise. Your interests may change several times. But what I'm referring to too is every couple of weeks switching to something different.
There may be seasons when you're trying to get better at a sport so you switch up some of your workouts.
For example. A few weeks ago i was playing frisbee on the beach. now this was after i had been on a hiking trip and hiked over 35 miles but it still caused me to notice. I was playing frisbee and i noticed that my stamina was not as good as previous years when i Have played. I noticed the pain in my chest and all throughout my body. 😅 Because i hardly ever challenge that in my workouts. This past year i have stopped teaching group classes completely. (which i used to do almost full time.) Now I do my 4 strength training workouts a week and go on walks. So my cardiovascular hasn't been trained as much. I love to play and be able to keep up with the boys. So i have now switched up some of my workouts to incorporate higher intensity and some cardio. BECAUSE that serves my life better and what my goals are. I will still focus on strength training but i also want to see progress in my frisbee games. 😆
All of that to say make sure your workouts are enhancing your everyday life. Not taking away from them.
Now for further explanation of what workouts should look like with specific goals.
Let's start with losing weight/fat. The most important thing you should be focusing on is your nutrition. You can do all the workouts in the world but if you're not eating the right amounts of food it does not matter. Beyond that you always want to make sure you are strength training. Losing weight without maintaining or building your muscle will leave you with saggy skin or without a figure. So strength training to some extent can do wonders for you. That can be group ex classes, orange theory, workouts in the gym or CrossFit style. But you want to be challenging those muscles and incorporating that.
It is also important with any goal to be challenging the different levels of fitness for overall health. With variety (learn from my mistake). So whether that is biking or hiking or running paired with strength training or yoga. Challenge those different areas. unless you are competing where you need to be doing things very strategically. Do what you enjoy and have some variety.
Another thing to pay attention to is the weights you are using. If you're trying to build muscle or lose fat you should be increasing weights or changing your reps. Do not do the same workouts and weights for years. You will not make progress.
Those are some key things to keep in the back of your mind when creating or following a workout plan.
I am in the process of getting pre and post natal exercise certified and it has workouts for pre and post natal. It is amazing all the movements they recommend that get you in the motion of carrying a baby or car seat. Because you want your workouts to enhance your everyday life.
Now for building muscle or putting on weight. Again you need to be eating enough and enough of the right things. It is so important to be fueling yourself well and for your goals. So if you want to build muscle you need to be eating more.
Now for the workouts. These should be a little bit more strategic. If you want to build muscle you need to make sure you're hitting all the muscle groups. You want to be pushing those muscles. Now if your goal is to build muscle you may have to do less cardio. This is a good idea if it leads to enhancing your everyday life.
I am looking to build muscle but also to improve my health in a cardiovascular way. SO it will be a little harder to build muscle but not impossible. So I am going for it.
Something that can make both of these goals easier is following a program. Have a conversation with a coach who can give you some guidance on what is best for you. But ultimately do what you can maintain and be consistent. AND what enhanced your life. Don't look at other people and their goals or their body. Consider you and your future. What do you want your life to look like and how can your workouts enhance that?