Weekly FitTip: How to Relax

This week, I’m going to start offering a weekly FitTip, something short and sweet to help you achieve your health and wellness goals. To start off, I want to focus on something that should come naturally but seldom does for busy people, relaxing.

If you’re like me, relaxing is SO hard. I try to meditate and all I can think about is what I have to do. I try to listen to a podcast and my mind wanders. I attempt to sit on the couch for a few minutes and I either get antsy about the things I should be doing or I just crash completely. I try to pray and suddenly I’m thinking about the most random thing in the world, and it’s not Jesus! Do any of these sound familiar?

If relaxing is hard for you, here’s a tip: start small. Do one thing for 15 minutes each day that relaxes you. Whether it be sitting in your car when you get to work or home from work and just being in the moment, or praying, or sitting on the couch watching your kids play, just try doing it for 15 minutes each day. After two weeks, increase it to 20 minutes. By the end of your first month, you should be able to relax for at least a half hour every single day.

What you pick as your relaxation activity is up to you. I’m challenging you to make the time to do it, incrementally. Baby steps. It’s a FitTip you can try starting today.

Should You Purchase a Workout Program Online?

There are a lot of social media influencers out there selling workout programs and packages online. It can be tempting to buy, especially if you can’t afford a personal trainer. But, are they legit? Actually, yes, they can be! Here are some tips on how to tell, if a program is worth the money.

1. Check the credentials of the trainer. If they are certified, then they probably know at least a thing or two about training. The best known certifications are NASM, ACE, and ISSA. So, if they have any of those, you’re good.

2. Review testimonials from their clients. This one is a bit controversial because you don’t really know if the testimonials are real but I’d like to think if they are a personal trainer, they’re not going to be unethical about this point! Seriously, though, if you can review them and then somehow find a few of those people on social media, you can DM them and ask questions. Or another way to find reviews is to do a Google search. If they are a well-known trainer, they may even have a Reddit focused entirely on them. Smaller trainers probably won’t but you can still usually find someone who has tried their programs.

3. Find a sample workout. Lots of times online trainers will give away free workouts or post them frequently on their social media. This gives you some insight into how they program. You want to see that they are including the whole body without too much volume, meaning you want three to five solid lifting days. If it’s more than that, unless you are a bodybuilder, stay away!

4. Follow them on social media. Pay attention to their posts for a few weeks or just review past ones, if you’re in a hurry to find a program. You can generally tell if they know what they’re talking about and sometimes they show client results, too.

5. BONUS TIP: If you can tell that they listen to the MindPump podcast? They’re super legit! Seriously, this is the top fitness-related podcast in the world and the hosts have so much experience. Any trainer who spends time learning from them is a great trainer.

Bottom line? Buying a workout program or trying one for free isn’t the worst thing you can do and it’s often the most affordable. But, a customized program is always going to be the best for anyone. All our bodies are different so our workouts need to be specifically programmed to fit our own bodies and goals.

I offer both personal training customized to the client, as well as programs you can buy on my website. I think both are important. Some people will never feel comfortable hiring a trainer and I understand that. My main goal is to help people. If they’ll buy a program over hiring me to train them online, then I aim to please! Happy training!

 

How to Fit Staying Fit into Your Busy Schedule

I often write about time management and how it’s possible for you to fit fitness and nutrition into your daily grind. It can’t be overstated enough. There are enough hours in the day and you don’t need hours to stay healthy. In fact,  just two to three days a week of resistance training is enough for the average person to stay lean, and planning your meals saves time in other areas of your schedule that you may not immediately think of. Here’s a formula to consider:

  1. Nutrition focus – each week before you grocery shop, plan out your dinners, being mindful of protein, fats, and carbs. Second, plan out your lunches for the week. I meal prep four lunches and the fifth day I either eat leftovers, make a traditional sandwich lunch, or eat a healthy lunch out. Third, plan your breakfasts. You can prep those, too! I spend about an hour to an hour and a half on Sunday prepping lunches and breakfasts but once it’s done I don’t have to do it during the week! And I know I’ll have healthy food. As for dinner, planning ahead ensures that you don’t end up with fast food! It also helps with budgeting.
    TOTAL WEEKLY TIME: 1 hour, 30 minutes (not counting grocery shopping time)
  2. Resistance training – two to three times a week for 30 minutes. Can you get up 30 minutes earlier? Grab 30 minutes at the end of the day? In the evening while the kids are otherwise occupied? If you’re taking your kid to practice, can you run to the gym? Can you take a walk? Do you have time to run home and do a home workout? Be creative. It’s only 30 minutes, three times a week. TOTAL WEEKLY TIME: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  3. Cardio/Movement – you really don’t need a lot to keep your heart healthy. Walk daily and aim for 7,000 steps. That equates to a couple miles a day or about a half hour total each day. If you walked for 10 minutes after each meal you’d be set. If you want to do more, include 20 minutes of cardio on the days you don’t do resistance training.
    TOTAL WEEKLY TIME: 4 to 5 hours

We have 168 hours in a week. My formula takes up to 8 hours a week. That’s about 5% of the entire time you have in a week. You can fit this in, I promise. Follow the formula in order. That means prioritize nutrition first, followed by resistance training, followed by cardio/movement. Add each thing a little a time; build those healthy habits that can last a lifetime. I have a ton of tips and tricks from years of figuring this out. These three are just the tip of the iceberg lettuce! (A little nutrition joke there!) For more, please reach out to me for nutrition coaching services. In just four weeks, you can set up a great path forward for yourself. Want to learn more? Contact me!

Why Getting Fit is a Long Game

We’re bombarded by marketing messages promising incredible weight loss in a matter of weeks. Whether it be a social media influencer’s latest challenge or a new app, we’re told we can lose weight fast. This may be true. If you severely restrict calories and do a ton of exercise, you probably can drop pounds but it’s not a sustainable solution to a fit lifestyle. Did you know that 90 percent of people who lose weight gain it back? A sobering statistic to be sure. But, it’s avoidable, if you consider losing weight and getting in shape a long game.

It takes at least a year to see change that will last. This is because it’s not about cutting calories and exercising more. It’s about developing sustainable healthy habits and that takes time. If you go into it knowing that, your mindset changes. It’s not about punishing yourself for a short time but more about taking care of yourself for a long time.

Take me for example. I’ve been exercising for years but consistently resistance training for the last five years. I’d say the first two years were more experimental with me figuring things out. Then I obtained my personal training and nutrition coaching certifications and really propelled my own training through that new knowledge. So, for more than three years I’ve been training myself building muscle on my thin frame. My goal is not to be “skinny fat” but to have muscle and curves so my clothes fit better, I feel better, and I avoid muscle loss that comes with age. As I approach 50 I’m more mindful than ever about mobility and making sure I can continue to move freely. I also pay close attention to my diet making little changes here and there to stay on the healthy side. If you look at my frame in 2011 versus today, you’ll see a huge difference. But it took five years to see that difference.

If you’re someone who needs to see quick wins to stay motivated, don’t worry. You still can. Set smaller achievable goals to keep you going. Those of us who have been lifting for a long time are jealous of “newbie gains” that people who are new to training experience. The muscle comes on fast and furious in the beginning but it does level off. And after you gain it, it’s SO easy to keep it. Much easier in fact.

As for your diet, in the beginning you may need to pay strict attention, tracking your food and maybe even weighing it, depending on your situation. But, over time you get used to knowing how much to eat and what foods are best for you. Tracking is not a forever thing. Building the habits is.

I’m rambling at this point but I write this post to provide perspective on obtaining the holy grail of fitness for life. You, too, can be fit by any age. Just give yourself time and take the steps required to make the journey. It’s never too late and there’s never a better time to start than right now. If you are ready and need some support, contact me! I would be honored to help.

How to Fit in Fitness

It’s super hard to find time to do anything for yourself, especially if you are employed, and are a parent or caregiver. There are only so many hours in a day, right? But, it is possible. I work more than full-time. I have a side hustle personal training and nutrition coaching business. I have a husband. I have three kids. I have pets. But, I have the time to workout and eat healthy. How? I find ways to squeeze it into my daily schedule.

Morning

I wake up anywhere from 5 to 6:30 a.m. on weekdays– earlier if I need to work out before work and later if it’s a rest day or I plan to exercise after work. If I’m exercising in the morning, I go right down to my home gym. I already have my routine written out so I know what I’m doing and don’t need to take the time to figure that out. I feed the dog and she waits for me to finish my routine before we go for a walk. On our walk, which is no more than 20 minutes, I listen to the Bible in a Year daily podcast on 1.8x speed. It’s one of the ways I fit spirituality in my life. If there’s time on the walk, I also listen to the Daily Rosary on the Hallow app, also at maximum speed. Speeding up audio helps me fit in more. You get used to listening at the faster pace! If I don’t walk the dog, I listen to these on my commute to work.

I lay out my clothes the night before so getting ready is easy. I have long hair and don’t wash it every day, which saves time most days, too. As for breakfast I seldom eat at home, preferring to bring it with me instead. I always have a protein shake after I workout, though, which gets me going. Then, I eat overnight oats I prepared the night before, or grab yogurt and granola for the road. Once a week I allow myself to stop for breakfast as a treat.

Afternoon

Lunch is usually leftovers from dinner the night before. This ensures I’m eating healthy and it’s super easy to have on hand. I typically bring a few snacks, too, so I’m not tempted to hit the vending machine mid-morning or mid-afternoon. I also try very hard to drink water throughout the day although I admit that’s a weak link for me! If I have time, I take a 10 minute walk after lunch. On my commute home from work I listen to a podcast, usually MindPump!

Evening

It’s tough in the evening especially when there are activities to get the kids to and all that. I use my crock pot to help get dinner on the table. Or my husband will cook or start dinner for me to help out. I plan out our dinners for the week when I shop for groceries so everything is laid out and we just do it. That helps a ton. It also ensures we are eating healthy. We hardly ever go out to dinner. To save time, I prep some of it the night before. So, for example, if something is cooking in the Instant Pot for 12 minutes, I can chop up vegetables for the next night or make lunches for the kids (if school is in session).

If I didn’t workout in the morning I either do it before dinner or after, depending on our schedule. Summer is easier for sure. Often during the school year, working out in the evening is not an option for me so I have to make sure I get up in the morning! But, remember you don’t need to workout every day… two to three days is plenty for a well programmed full body workout.

I have my vitamins all portioned out for the week in a special container so I can easily take those. I also lay out my clothes for the next day. Evening is a time to relax but I try to keep the laundry going and sometimes will clean something just to stay on top of things. My husband is a huge help in this regard, too. After everything is done, I relax on the couch with my cross stitching which calms my anxiety! I typically go upstairs around 9:30 and read until I go to sleep somewhere between 10 and 10:30 p.m.

Why You Can’t Lose Weight

Are you stuck in a cycle of trying to diet but not seeing lasting results? Maybe you’ve plateaued and can’t seem to shed the remaining pounds? The phrase “eat less, move more” is often used to describe the weight loss journey. If only it were that simple. It’s more complicated than that because our bodies are smart machines! Here are the top reasons you might be having trouble losing weight.

  1. You eat too much. If you are tracking your calories and have a daily calorie goal, it’s important to adhere to that goal every single day. If your goal is 2,000 calories and 4 out of 7 days you actually eat 2,100, 2,050, 2,200, and 2,800, you actually are eating 1,150 calories over what you were supposed to for the week. That’s roughly a half a pound of extra calories! This also happens if you dial it in all week and then lose it on the weekend. Going out to eat, drinking, eating that extra slice of pizza. It can easily kill all your progress from the weekdays. Stay consistent. Aim to be within 50 to 100 calories of your goal plus or minus and you’ll see much better progress. Now, it could be that your goal needs to be adjusted, as well. But, the only way to tell is to keep as close to your targets as you can.
  2. You don’t eat enough. If you aren’t losing weight and your answer is to just keep cutting calories you could be causing your metabolism to slow too much. We all have a certain amount of calories we need to consume each day just to simply exist. If we only eat at that level or even less, we stress our bodies into thinking they need to hold on to whatever they can to survive. Fat is more useful than muscle when it comes to survival so our bodies will retain fat and shed muscle, the exact opposite of what you want! This is why someone can be significantly overweight, despite eating hardly anything at all. Our metabolisms are complex! Try to make sure you are at least eating at your maintenance plus a little more to account for your activity level.
  3. You need to change your workout. Resistance training is the best way to build muscle and speed your metabolism. You want more muscle than fat on your body to look and feel your best. But, you can’t just rely on the same old workout routine day in and day out. You need to phase it. The best exercises are the ones you never do. The best routines are the types you never try. Find a quality personal trainer to help you with your programming or seek out talented online influencers and coaches and purchase their programs. They are designed for long term success.
  4. You need a break. If you are working out too hard or have been in a calorie deficit for too long, try taking a break. It just might be what your body needs to reset. Do a deload week, or rest and just walk or do mobility work for a week. Eat more for a week and let your body refuel. You might be doing too much with your workouts, too. If you work out more than five days at a pretty good intensity, try dropping back to three full body days instead or lower the cardio. You’d be surprised at how positively your body will respond!
  5. You’re not healthy. If you aren’t sleeping enough or you have digestive or hormonal issues, you will have a hard time losing weight. You need to make sure you’re getting rest and addressing any health issues. You can be eating all the right foods but if your gut isn’t healthy the nutrients might not be adequately absorbed. And if you don’t get at least 7 to 9 hours of good sleep, your body can’t recover and will be in a constant state of stress, which results in holding onto fat and shedding that good muscle. Sleep is so important!
  6. You do too much cardio. Cardio does burn calories but there comes a point when your body starts to shed muscle to make it easier to do the cardio activity. We adapt. This is not good. You need more muscle than fat on your body to keep you metabolism running smoothly. The more muscle you have, the more you can eat, too. And, who doesn’t want to be able to eat more! I eat 2,200 calories a day and I weigh only 95 pounds! I struggle to put on weight! That’s how much lean mass I have and how fast my metabolism has gotten. To preserve and build muscle, you need to do resistance training. Cardio is important, too, but in moderation to ensure your body doesn’t go into stress mode.

A good rule of thumb for women is not to go lower than 1,200 calories; men should not go below 1,500. If you are below these thresholds, you need to adjust to get to a healthier place. It’s possible! Having a good trainer and nutrition coach can help you speed up a slow metabolism and get you on your way to a healthy weight.

Beyond the Macros – What About Micros?

Most people are aware of the macronutrients – proteins, fats, and carbohydrates – and they are the building blocks of a balanced diet. But, in our quest to ensure we are “meeting our macros” we often overlook the micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals that are essential for a healthy diet. In my nutrition coaching, I start with the basics, focusing first on total daily caloric intake and macronutrient breakdown. But in the next phase of coaching, I work with clients to review their micros. Often when something isn’t quite right with our bodies, it’s not due to the macros, but the micros. If you haven’t paid attention to micros here is a roadmap to help you dial them in.

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. Some are essential, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, iodine, iron, folate, and zinc. I also focus on B-complex vitamins, sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. It sounds like a lot but these nutrients are found in many foods. Typically, people tend to be deficient in Vitamin D, magnesium, and potassium, but sometimes I find they are not getting enough sodium. This happens most often when they eat a healthy diet consisting of whole foods. Processed foods and take-out are most sodium rich. Contrary to popular belief, sodium is not bad. You need it for your body to run optimally and if you don’t get enough, you run the risk of dehydration.

Magnesium is another micronutrient that tends to be low in most people. Not getting enough can impact your sleep and make you feel tired all the time. If you live in a mostly cloudy climate, make sure you have a physician check your Vitamin D levels. Especially if you are feeling down or get sick often. Lack of Vitamin D has been linked to depression and can suppress your immune system. Plus you need adequate levels of Vitamin D for optimum calcium absorption, another micronutrient that we all need to prioritize, especially women!

How do you know how much of each micronutrient you need? Which foods contain these micronutrients?

Below is a handy reference listing micronutrients, the recommended daily allowance, and some select foods to eat for each (Source: CDC.gov).

Calcium (1,000mg) – milk, yogurt, cheese, canned sardines, salmon, kale, broccoli, Chinese cabbage (bok choi)

Folate (400mcg) – asparagus, brussels sprouts, and dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and mustard greens), fruits and fruit juices (especially oranges and orange juice), nuts, beans, peas, peanuts, black-eyed peas, kidney beans

Iodine (150mcg) – fish (such as cod and tuna), seaweed, shrimp, and other seafood, milk, yogurt, cheese, iodized salt

Iron (men: 8mg; women: 18mg) – lean meat, seafood, and poultry, iron-fortified breakfast cereals and breads, white beans, lentils, spinach, kidney beans, peas, nuts, dried fruits, such as raisins

Magnesium (men: 400mg; women: 310mg) – legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, spinach, fortified breakfast cereals, milk, yogurt

Potassium (men: 3,400mg; women: 2,600mg) – dried apricots, lentils, acorn squash, dried prunes, raisins, potato, kidney beans, orange juice, soybeans, bananaSodium (2,300mg max)

Vitamin A (men: 900mg; women: 700mg) – herring, salmon, organ meats, green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and winter squash, cantaloupe, mangos, apricots, milk, cheese, fortified breakfast cereals, eggs

Vitamin D (15mcg) – milk (including almond, soy, etc.), fortified breakfast cereal and orange juice, fatty fish (like trout, salmon, tuna, and mackerel)

Zinc (men: 11mcg; women: 8mcg) – oysters, red meat, poultry, seafood (such as crab and lobsters), fortified breakfast cereals, beans, nuts, whole grains

How do you know if you are getting enough micronutrients?

My first recommendation is to track your micronutrients using an app, such as MyFitnessPal or Cronometer. If it appears that you are significantly low, try to add the appropriate foods to your diet. I also recommend that everyone obtain a full bloodwork panel once a year. Vitamin D and iron deficiencies will definitely show up in the results. If you try to adjust your diet and still come up short in some areas, taking vitamins is just fine! In fact, I recommend a multivitamin and fish oil supplement for everyone. You also may have specific micronutrient needs based on your lifestyle/diet, health status, or age. As a nutrition coach, I can help you dial in on the right micronutrient profile for you. Contact me to learn more!

How to Set up a Home Gym

At the end of this post you will see a short tour of my home gym. If you recall, I established this back in summer of 2020 shortly after we moved into our new home. It was mostly due to the pandemic. Gyms were closed and I needed a place to continue my resistance training. Now that everything is reopened, I still remain a home workout girl. I’ve added quite a few pieces of equipment over these two years, too.

Before I share the inventory of my home gym, I want to point out that this is extreme. I am a personal trainer and workout nearly every day. I love to try new things and as I progress in my weight training I need new ways to impact muscle growth. So you will see a lot in my gym but by no means is this a requirement for anyone looking to workout at home or who is just starting out.

The Basic Home Gym

All you need is a pair of dumbbells to get started. Resistance bands come in handy, as well. That’s it! Super easy. Not expensive. As you progress you will want a barbell with weights. You may want a pull-up bar, too. You can do nearly everything with these pieces. And remember, body weight works, too! My beginner workout uses dumbbells and I have body weight options, as well.

My Home Gym Inventory

Below is a list of what you will see in the video that follows:

Bench
Hip thruster
Barbell pad
Barbell
Bumper plates – 45s, 35s, 25s (2), 10s (2), 5s and 2.5s (2)
Bumper plate rack
EZ bar
1” plates – 5s (2) and 10s (3)
T bell
Trap bar
Adjustable Dumbbells
Adjustable Kettlebell
10, 8, 5, 3 and 2 lb dumbbells (plus a single 1 lb)
10 and 8 lb kettlebells
Ankle weights (medium and light)
Bosu
Stability ball
TRX suspension system
Resistance bands
Booty bands/resistance loops
Resistance bands with handles (makeshift cable system)
Ankle cuffs (two sets)
Steps
Liebert row
Mobility stick
Pull-up bar
Jump rope
Ab roller
Push up handles/bars
Landmine
Monkey feet (for hamstring curls, leg extensions, and donkey kickbacks)
Nordic curl pad
Slam ball (8 lbs)
Yoga mats
Yoga mat sling (can be used for stretching)
Yoga block
Pilates balls
Foam roller
Peloton
Wall mirrors
Freestanding mirror
Clock

There are many benefits to my home gym; here are a few:

  1. Long-term cost savings – It costs a lot to get started but I have added little by little over two years so it was a bit more manageable. Once you have all the equipment, though, you can save nearly $500 a year on a gym membership. This allows you to spend that money on more equipment or even personal training.
  2. You can workout when you want – You don’t have to take the time to drive to the gym or worry if it’s open. Just head to your space and get started!
  3. You can wear what you want – I often wear only a sport bra now and never have to worry!
  4. You can keep the temperature the way you need it – Often gyms are too hot or too cold. At home, you control the climate.
  5. You can fart in peace – protein farts are a thing, let’s face it. In a home gym, you don’t have to worry (provided you’re working out alone). Plus, if you need to pee you can do it more easily than if you were in a gym.

I never considered a home gym prior to a few years ago. I loved going to the gym and seeing the same faces and being in the environment. But, after establishing my own space and routine, I can’t imagine ever going back. I may some day but for now with my busy lifestyle this is perfect. If you want any more details on where I got any of my equipment, shoot me a message. I’m happy to help you set up your own home gym haven.

How to Start Resistance Training

If you’ve been following my recent posts you know that cardio alone is not the answer to sustained weight loss. It is great for keeping your heart muscle healthy but when it comes to longevity resistance training is king. Personally, I think it’s easier for people to walk, run, or bike than it is to start a resistance training program. For one thing, you don’t have to learn how to do anything; we all know how to walk, run, or ride a bike (well, most of us). And it can be intimidating to think about lifting weights. I mean, that’s only for fitness fanatics and bodybuilders, right?

It’s true that it takes a little bit more of a learning curve and patience to learn resistance training but it’s so worth it. Consider these five facts:

  1. Resistance training builds bone mass. The older we get, the more our bone density declines and this is a big deal. Our bones are the structure for our bodies. When they get brittle, they break more easily. Our movement depends on our bones, muscles, and nervous system all working optimally. Resistance training contributes to strengthening all of it.
  2. More muscle equals a faster metabolism. The more muscle our body has, the more we are able to burn calories while at rest. This is why people with lower body fat can eat so much!
  3. Less fat means a more toned look. Muscle takes up less space than fat does so you will look tighter. If you decrease your body fat percentage over time, you will also notice more muscles, especially in your abs!
  4. Exercise increases energy levels. When you work out, you feel more energetic. Those endorphins are real!
  5. Adding curves helps your clothes fit better. Enough said.

Cardio only goes so far. You may lose weight initially but to keep it off, you have to do more. If you skip a week of cardio, you feel it the next time you run. If you skip a week of resistance training, you can pretty much pick up where you left off. In fact, once you consistently lift weights, even just a few days a week, building that muscle over time, you can pause for a while and still find that you will easily build it back up in a shorter amount of time. It’s called muscle memory and it’s a thing!

If you’ve followed me for a while you know I post videos of my workouts and many people have shared that I inspire them. But inspiration isn’t a plan. I decided to create a beginner program for those of you who have wanted to start resistance training and just didn’t know how. You only need two days a week, approximately 45 minutes. Plus, I’ve added in two days of cardio for just 20 minutes each time. That’s all you need! If you find that you love resistance training and want to advance, message me. Or, if you have trained in the past and want to get back into it, I can create a custom program for you. Let’s start a new healthy habit to help you look and feel better!

Beginner Program

Notes:
Each exercise should be done in two sets of 8 to 12 reps unless otherwise specified
Strive for 7,000 steps each day
I have built in three days of rest but you don’t need to do nothing on those days. Feel free to stretch, do yoga, walk, or hike.
If you don’t have weights, alternate exercises are provided. If you aren’t sure how to do an exercise, message me at kerri@fitprmomlife.com and I’ll send you a video and walk you through it! 

Day 1

Warm-up: Wall slide (5), Pigeon stretch (:30 per side), Arm circles (5 in each direction)

Goblet squat (alternate: step-up)
Dumbbell chest press (alternate: push-up)
Dumbbell Romanian deadlift (alternate: bodyweight single leg Romanian deadlift)
Dumbbell single arm row (alternate: plank with alternating single arm row)
Calf raise
Dumbbell hammer curl  (alternate: use soup cans)
Tricep kickback (alternate: close push-up)
Plank Hold – :30

Day 2

20 minute cardio 

Day 3

REST

Day 4

Warm-up: Wall slide (5), Pigeon stretch (:30 per side), Arm circles (5 in each direction)

Glute bridge (alternate: donkey kickback)
Dumbbell fly (alternate: push-up)
Dumbbell reverse lunge (alternate: step-up)
Dumbbell bent row (alternate: dumbbell rear delt raise)
Booty band side walks – :45 (alternate: fire hydrants 8 to 12 reps per side)
Dumbbell shoulder press (alternate: pike push-up)
Dumbbell lateral raise (alternate: hold arms outstretched for as long as possible)
Russian twist

Day 5

20 minute cardio

Day 6 and 7

REST 

 

Why Soreness Doesn’t Equal Gains

Unpopular truth: sore muscles are NOT an indication of muscle building. In fact, being sore all the time actually slows muscle growth.

When you first start lifting weights, it is likely to make you sore simply because your body is not used to the effort. Your muscles need to adapt to the new stimulus you are giving them. But, over time, as you continue resistance training, soreness is not ideal. When your muscles are sore, it means you’ve overtrained and they need time to repair themselves. If you do this time and time again, you actually inhibit growth by stressing the muscles too much.

The best resistance training programs distribute exercises throughout the week in a way that enables you to train each muscle group but not overdo it. Studies show you only need to hit each muscle about three times a week to see growth. And each time is not the same intensity. Varying the amount of sets, reps, and weight you use helps to develop the muscles in a balanced way.

You may still get sore from time to time, especially if you introduce a new exercise or start a new routine. But, if you find yourself sore after every workout, stop and pay attention to what your body is telling you. The volume is likely too much for you and you should adjust down accordingly.

Are you looking for a custom workout program designed specifically for your lifestyle, body and goals? Contact me today and get started on the path to health and fitness.