Okay I so I have a really great post for you today but before I get there I just had to share what I saw this morning on the way out of my driveway.
Things that make you go “hmm”
Just out of curiosity, does this mean my neighbor decided to celebrate Christmas in June (and if so where does one find a Christmas tree during the summer), or have they had a Christmas tree in their house since December? Oh man.
To each his own, I suppose.
Chapter 1: The Evolution Of My Fitness Philosophy
I was recently asked this question… if I was to write a fitness book, what would my first chapter be about?
After a few minutes of glazing up at the ceiling fan (which seems to make me think better) I decided you can’t write about fitness without writing what you think about fitness. Right?
And I also realized that I’ve never actually shared my fitness philosophy with you, my most important friends and readers! It’s crazy, and that needs to happen. Right now. At this moment.
I have to say that over the years of being a trainer, my thoughts on fitness have changed. And that’s 100% normal, we change as individuals, new research comes out, our goals change and passions change.
The Original Fitness Philosophy: All About Looks
When I first became a personal trainer, I had just competed in a figure competition and I had goals of becoming all about weight training and going deeper into the competition circuit. I read big names like Alwyn Cosgrove, Vince Delmonte, and Alicia Marie.
I love the candidness of this picture! Just excuse the stripper look I appear to be going for.
My motives for working out were based on looks: how to have a balance tone, the best definition, etc. This is something that has COMPLETELY changed as you’ll see momentarily!
In terms of workouts, I would argue till I was blue in the face that heavy weight training was key (which it is awesome) and that running was the devil (don’t worry, keep reading).
I’ll apologize now for the poor quality of the following picture.
Back then it was the basic body building diet- high in protein, low in carbs was the diet for me! After all it was what all fitness pros were doing and that’s what the research showed was best for the stage.
Then something changed.
The Metamorphosis of Fitness Training: Functional Training
I learned that trying to have a competitor’s body, sucks.
Its zaps all the fun out of life and made me feel guilty if I wanted a glass of wine. Not to mention, it made it easy to become obsessed with food and I found it simple to get a bit carried away with counting grams of carbs and protein. It was almost like I was going back to my old, very bad habits.
This caused my thoughts on training and my passion for my career started to morph.
Instead I started to love fitness for what it is to 90% of women: a part a healthy lifestyle that ALL WOMEN can appreciate and learn about… not just pro fitness junkies and athletes.
I decided that I could be a better role model for women by not aiming to be on the cover of Oxygen Magazine but by showing how to make fitness fun, and not “type-casting” myself. Plus my workouts now are much more functional based than appearance based.
I want to be stronger, faster and more agile to help me feel better day to day. Isn’t that what is should be about? Of course working out is and will always be about figure control as well though! That’s just a side perk.
With that being said, I no longer look to just one form of exercise. I believe in a fitness program that continuously challenges your body in new, fun ways. My workouts are ever changing! As are my clients and they love it.
One key element that has always stayed the same is that I believe in full body workouts. By working out your larger muscles groups you’re setting yourself up to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. The bigger the muscles, the more calories they burn which is why I never spend an hour working just my biceps and triceps… waste of time for what we all want to accomplish.
One workout you might see me deadlifting more than my own body weight, and then the next I might be outside at the park running sprints and doing body weight moves.
By combining all elements of fitness, you are ensured to get the benefits needed to live healthier, leaner and more confident.
What exactly does all that mean?
Well, here are a few different forms of exercise Dan and I routinely do in our lives, and workouts I create for my clients (on and off line).
- Weight Training with dumbbells and barbells
- Sprint intervals (HIIT training)
- Boot camp style workouts (intense, body weight circuits)
- Long runs (for my sanity)
- Balance training workouts
- Rollerblading (yes, it’s still cool)
Things you won’t ever see me do
I don’t believe in classifying anyone. If you ask any athlete they will tell you the importance of cross training (not limiting them to just their sport). Runners should do more than run, lifters should do more than lift. I’m not a runner, I’m not a lifter, I’m a mix of everything.
Nothing says “Total Fitness Package” like the Marine Corp Mud Run!
By cross training in different modes of fitness, you set yourself up for a balanced body and balanced health.
Case and point:
- Strength training is proven to increase bone density and increase metabolism
- Running is proven to decrease depression and help with relaxation
- Interval workouts can burn 5 times the amount of calories and fat than steady state workouts
See? There is no one workout that is best. All forms come together to deliver their own dose of “fitness goodness”.
Another thing you won’t see me doing are machines. All those things that line the floor of the gym. They are there to take up space. They run on their own track so you’re not having to use stabilizer muscles and they isolate muscles, so to get a really good workout you would have to spend a lot of time going from machine to machine. No thanks.
And last but not least… my number 1 rule of fitness
Make it fun. If you’re miserable then you’re not going to stick with it. What’s going to motivate you to pull and wiggle into a sports bra if you hate the workout you’re doing? Find what you like to do, that gives you a challenge, and keep doing it.
Take it from my crazy boot campers:
I keep myself focused because I dabble in a bit of everything and I always do a workout that is challenging.
Easy sucks, if it’s easy you’re doing the wrong thing.
So there’s chapter 1 in a nutshell! A work in progress.
- What is your favorite thing about exercise?
- Your favorite form of fitness?