We can all appreciate small victories. Here's one — I stepped on the scale a few days ago and was about a half a pound lighter than any other weigh-in (I weigh every morning) since I started trying to lose body fat on May 1st. Big tickle, you say. True, it really was very small and insignificant, but yet it was a big deal at the moment. Afterall, it was a new low on the scale and it was an indication that I was still on track and not losing ground. I felt a little studlier as I trudged down the hallway to get coffee.
Sometimes we make training and our whole health and fitness journey too complex. Yes, it can be complex — you can study the human body for a lifetime and never scratch the surface — but you don't have to be a health expert to experience the wonderful benefits of a healthy lifestyle! Insisting on, or concerning yourself with every detail of eating and training may give you paralysis of the brain, causing you to take NO action.
You asked, we answered! Thanks for your July/August suggestions and questions!
What is it that determines success or failure in a workout program? Why does one person succeed and another fail? How is it that two non-exercising individuals who begin training at the same time have such different outcomes? The first person, though he began with eager enthusiasm, has thrown in the towel inside a month's time, while the other person is still going strong ten years later...
As I observed an elderly man shuffling across a room and struggling just to successfully sit down, I contemplated the idea of "hope. It made me think of the widower who struggles each day with the loss of his wife; I pondered the amazing blessing of living in America and our right to pursue happiness — giving us hope for prosperity; I thought about hope within Christianity and how we are at peace with the certain hope of eternal life; I reflected back on how just two short years ago I found that my health had collapsed and my hope was dwindling; and as I look around Redding I see so many men and women who have lost hope and succumbed to the unfortunate downward spiral of drugs, alcohol, and violence. Hope is a huge part of the human experience and having it or losing it can change everything.
Your questions and suggestions answered!
One of my fitness goals this year is to get my ab fold down to 10 millimeters. I have some strength goals, an endurance goal, and this is my body composition goal. You all know how gnarly it is to get lean once you're up in years and I set a goal that even a 20 year-old would be proud to achieve! Well, it's one thing to set it, another to make it reality. April was fast disappearing and I knew that I hadn't even budged my body fat, despite headway on some of my other goals.
One of the keys to fitness success is to have a plan. What movements or muscles are you going to train today? What is the objective of today's training session? What will the length of the workout be? How intense will you train today? How does today's workout fit into this month's goals?
One of the common themes in exercise science research has been "intensity." In a New York Times article, Gretchen Reynolds detailed the career and physiology of a French centenarian who took up competitive cycling as a retiree and began setting age-group records. But after a physiologist revamped the Frenchman's training adding some strenuous pedaling, he bettered his own records, and at the age of 103, set a new world mark for the most miles pedaled in an hour by a centenarian. Wow!
In a Mayo Clinic study, Reynolds reports that scientists compared differences in gene expression inside muscle cells after younger and older people had completed various types of workouts. The greatest differences were seen in the operations of the genes after people had done high-intensity interval training for 12 weeks. In young people 275 genes were firing differently after 12 weeks of intense training, while in people older than 64, more than 400 genes were working differently — many of those were genes known to be related to the health and aging of cells!
Fitness programming such as our Team Training classes provide the high intensity needed to trigger these awesome physiological changes! Of course intensity is relative, and we're each at our own fitness level but the key is to progressively increase intensity so that your body has an opportunity to adapt gradually. Our Team Training classes (Fit-Lite, Basic Training, Body Blast, and Beast) adapt to 4 different levels of intensity so that you can choose a class that fits your needs and then work your way to Beast if you so choose!
Is Team Training the Fountain of Youth? It certainly appears to play an important role in staying young!
In upcoming blogs I'll share more of your suggestions from the suggestion box, as well as my experience with a nutrition plan I never thought I'd try!
Check out part 1 of this month’s suggestions, comments, and Joe’s responses.
We all love to be inspired and motivated by a movie, a trainer, an awesome speaker, an amazing book, or a song so powerful that it moves our soul. Our emotions are a large part of our being — sometimes we need to be stirred. To this day, I'm energized and motivated to train hard when I hear one of the Rocky movie songs playing! But as one of my recent Precision Nutrition lessons pointed out, inspiration and motivation are a lot like cats: when you need them they're nowhere to be found.
Suggestion: Stay open until 8:00 PM on Fridays and until 3 or 4 PM on Saturdays.
Saturday hours seem to come up a couple times each year. We were open til 4 PM on Saturdays for quite a while but we found that we were only getting 2–4 people in the gym between 1 PM and 4 PM, and sometimes we'd go a couple hours without seeing a single member. The physical size of the gym and small membership base work against us in this case because of the cost of lighting, cooling, and staffing. We will continue to monitor need. We would like to grow our membership by 20% this year in which case expanding hours could become more feasible!
Comparison is the thief of joy. Do you ever catch yourself comparing yourself to others? Of course you do, we all do it. You may be particularly inclined to make comparisons when it comes to your fitness and your body. Each of us needs to understand that when it comes to fitness and the body, we are only in competition with ourselves. We are each in a different stage of our fitness journey, a journey which should bring joy, fun, satisfaction, and happiness to our hearts.
Suggestion: Could we have Saturday Pilates? More Pilates in evening, more yoga in evening or early morning? I LOVE ADAMSON'S! Thanks for the love!! Our next step is to test the waters with a 2nd evening yoga class. I've wanted to have a 2nd yoga or Pilates in the evening for some time but timing didn't seem to be right. We have a test class scheduled for Wednesday the 21st of February.
When it comes to making change, there are useful opposing strategies regarding how to do it. One strategy is to slowly modify your behavior taking small incremental steps until you've reached the behavior destination you desire. This can work well. The other strategy is to just "rip off the band-aid" and get it over with! Both strategies can work — sometimes it may depend on how bad you want it.
I'm currently on my 3rd 1-year journey through the Precision Nutrition Coaching Program. One of the valuable exercises that PN had me do the first week was to write my Destination Postcard. What is it that I want to accomplish as a result of doing this program? If we know what we want, it gives us a better blueprint for taking action!
I believe that strength training should be the foundation of every woman's training regimen. Here are five solid reasons why:
- It will make you strong. Every woman needs strength to function well. Strength helps in sports, it helps in recreational activities such as skiing and hiking, it helps in lifting kids and grandkids in and out of car seats, and even in just getting up off the floor. Don't think that because you're young, you're strong, or because you're older you can't get strong — neither are the case. If you're not strength training, you're not strong.
One of my Precision Nutrition lessons this week brought out the important difference between being focused on behaviors versus outcomes. I can't control how many reps that I'll be able to complete with 185 lbs on the bench press this week (outcome); but I can control what time that I go to bed each night (behavior), what I eat each day leading up to my training (behavior), and whether I include upper body pressing movements in my week's training (behavior). Additionally, I know that if I maintain the proper behaviors week after week, I'm much more likely to have a favorable bench press outcome, than if I don't!
That's right, go ahead and quit...later. One of my recent Precision Nutrition lessons related the story of a former Special Operations Forces soldier. The training he was going through was so brutal both mentally and physically that is was nearly unbearable —most would drop out.
Suggestion: Label the weight on the end of each aerobic bar. That's a great idea! We'll see what we can come up with.
Comment: Just wanted to give a positive 'shout out' to Amber. She is terrific! I mentioned I'd like a box of maple protein bars and that you were out. She ordered them and remembered to put a box away for me. She is a real gem and I appreciate her. I totally agree. She's doing an amazing job as our front office manager!