Last week Dan and I talked about getting started with a workout plan. The importance of getting started and tips on how to do that, if you missed it catch up here.
Well, this week we decided that while that’s all great, how can you get started with a workout program if you’re not sure how to workout to get results?
What are you suppose to do? How are you suppose to exercise? What’s the best program for you?
Anyone can “workout” but very few women actually workout…
–> And in a way that makes each session fun, motivating and exciting.
Because a good workout plan should encompass all the above!
Well, that’s what we’re tackling in this week’s What The Fitness.
The 8 Steps For Creating A Fit, Fun & Fab
Fitness Plan From Scratch
There is a science behind it, a method to the maddness. There are good workouts, great workouts, bad workouts and workouts that just aren’t worth anyone’s time.
I prefer having a great workout, and I am sure you can agree. More bang for you buck which translates into what you’re after… RESULTS.
Following these tips will help you to avoid the bad and the worsts so that you’re on the fast track to Results Ave.
1 – Forget Diet, Just Focus On Exercise
You’ve made the decision to get moving in an effort to get in shape, drop some pounds and feel better. Let’s face it, doing all of that can be intimidating. What should you eat? What should you not eat? How should you exercise?
For now, don’t focus on the diet part.
Just focus on getting in a solid workout program. Dan and I are huge believers that small changes yield big results, and this is no different.
Adding a new workout program into your life is likely to create new changes, naturally. More specifically, new nutritional habits. As you continue to workout, you will feel better, carry yourself with more confidence, have more energy and you’ll want to give your body better foods.
Suddenly, the bagels aren’t looking so appetizing and you’re amazing that you wake up craving a nutrient packed smoothie or bowl of oatmeal.
Exercise is what we call a keystone habit… one habit that creates a ripple effect to create other healthy habits: better eating, sleeping, productivity, etc.
Not enough time?
It’s the #1 excuse in the exercise world… “I would exercise, but I don’t have enough time in the day.”
That’s BS and I can prove it (so can this mom).
According to the Bureau of Labor:
The average person spends 7.7 hours sleeping; 8.8 hours working, 1.1 hours eating, 1 hour working on the house (chores), 1.2 hours caring for others (kids, spouse, parents, etc).
Calculate it up and that leaves 4.2 hours UNACCOUNTED FOR. Many of which are spent in front of the television.
But there is good news… for a good workout, all you need is 1.5 – 2 hours per WEEK max! Not per day, per week to get a workout in that can burn fat, tone muscles, increase metabolism and have you proud of results.
No more excuses… Schedule it out, when do you want to workout? Then treat it like a doctors appointment or workout meeting… nothing keeps you from it.
2 – Start With Body Weight Workouts
It can be really tempting to grab a set of dumbbells to get a workout off the ground, but don’t. I am thrilled that strength training has gained popularity and that most women now realize how important it is. What I am not thrilled about is the emphasis on weights like dumbbells and barbells to make it happen, especially for newbies.
If you’re new to the workout world, do not touch a weight. Instead look at the best piece of equipment that you have available… yourself.
Not sure if bodyweight can really work? Try this workout!
Your body is XXX pounds of resistance and can help not only build strength but learn proper form to help progression.
One of the #1 reasons for injury during workout is improper form. Start off with moves like squats, push-ups, even pull-ups before every thinking of weights. These will help to ensure you’ll safely make the transition and continue to see results instead of being sidelined by injury.
A few other benefits of body weight moves:
- You can do them ANY WHERE, ANY TIME.
- You can speed workouts up to create a more intense heart thumbing program since you won’t have to run from equipment to equipment prepping.
- Variety is the spice of life, and body weight exercises allow for so many fun ways to do exercises. I mean, there are over 30 was to do a push-ups after all.
3 – Add Flexibility With Yoga Or Personal Stretching
Did you know that stretching after a workout helps to reduce muscle soreness and speeds up recovery? Stretching opens up vessels to increase blood flow which delivers nutrients and oxygen to muscles.
But it’s more than that… remember that the average adult works for 8.8 hours per day? For most of us, that’s done sitting down. Sitting down causes tight hip flexors and weak glutes (tush) which affects not only form but risk of injury.
Have you ever tried to do a squat and felt yourself rise up on your toes? Or perhaps you aren’t able to get your thighs parallel to the ground…
It’s due to poor flexibility. Check out this past post that Dan wrote helping to ensure proper squat form.
Whether it is with a program like yoga or just stretching on your own each day for 5-10 minutes, do it. I want to stress that while yoga is fabulous (we LOVE yoga), it’s not a workout program in and of itself but a piece of the program. Much like running and strength training.
You need all the pieces to create the perfect package.
Nervous to try a yoga class but want to follow along with a pro? Rodney Yee is Dan’s favorite yoga master. His home DVDs are great (and short).
4 – Get Motivated!
How are you going to keep going with something if you’re not excited about it? You won’t. No matter how much you want to lose weight, if you’re not motivated then you won’t last.
It’s the hard truth. I’ve seen it happen far too many times.
So how can you stay motivated? Everyone finds motivation in different places, but here are a few ways:
- Create “Fitspiration” boards. Check out pintrest for some great ones, or create your own by finding motivating images and adding powerful quotes to them. If you don’t already follow me on Pinterest, why not? I’ve got some good ones! Print them out and post a few up where you can see them each day. When you want to skip out on your workout date, just look at your Fitspiration board!
- Read motivating books. We talk about reading positive books a lot, but that’s because it’s so powerful. One that rocks is Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals by Heidi Grant Halvorson, PHD.
- Join a group or recruit a workout partner. Check out local workout groups or join an online group like Fit Womens Weekly. Something where you’re around others with similar goals and that can help keep you accountable. If you want an actual workout partner, post it up on facebook. I know many amazing workout partners that have met online. Heck, I met this lady on Twitter and we’ve been together ever since…
- Acknowledge it’s importance. Don’t shrug off needing motivating! When you realize how important it is you’ll suddenly be filled with it.
- Do an assessment workout and track your workouts. Dan and I are huge advocates for tracking progress… not with a scale but with a workout. Do a workout, write down how you did (reps, the amount of time it took, etc) and then repeat it in 4 weeks. Seeing how far you’ve come and how much stronger/faster you are will help fuel that spirit to keep going.
5 – Do You Really Really Want It?
This is some tough love… Last week we talked about getting started right now. Don’t put it off. But here’s the thing, sometimes it’s best to put things off to ensure that you don’t disappoint yourself.
You say you want to drop 10 pounds, but do you really? Does your schedule allow for you to make the commitment right now?
Look at your current schedule and decide if you can really make the workouts a regular occurrence. If, realistically, you know you can’t then that’s okay. It’s better to put it off for a week or so until you can. Otherwise, you’ll end up disappointed with yourself and feeling like a failure.
No one’s got time for that.
6 – Track Your Workouts
I won’t go too much into this one, as I covered it above. But do it! Print off your workouts and track them. If it’s a timed workout circuit, then write down how many reps of each exercise you completed per round. Or perhaps it’s a workout that has X-reps/exercise… in that case, set a timer and see how fast you can complete it.
Each time you do the workout, work to do better! Use your smart phone, use a pad of paper or if you’re a FWW member, print off the sheet I’ve created for each workout to help tracking happen.
Don’t skip this step.
7 – Talk to Family & Friends
If you have a husband that complains each time you get ready for a workout, of course that can be difficult. Guilt, pressure, and animosity can lead to failure.
Starting a fitness plan requires getting the family on board. Sit down with them and explain why you’re committing yourself, and then tell them what it’s going to entail. Ask for their support and guidance.
Doing this also helps to create accountability because you’re sharing your goals. You don’t want to let yourself down or those closest to you. Once your goals are out of the bag, then you’re dedicated!
Even better, get the family involved!
8 – CELEBRATE!
This is one of the most ignored rules and it should be the most fun and motivating of all. Celebrate your successes! Each one.
Did you make every workout this week? Give yourself a pat on the back or get a pedicure! Did you slide into your “skinny” jeans and could still breath comfortably? That deserves a big celebration, play your favorite song out loud and have a dance party in your home… wearing those jeans!
Celebrating doesn’t mean spending money, it’s simply to acknowledge how far you’ve come… even in just a week.
How do you celebrate your successes?
After the race this weekend, I had Dan pop some champagne! It was perfect!