This past week was the final workout for our 2017 Drop 2 Size participants. This was the first time real [FIT] life presented this 8 Week program and we had an amazing group of people participate.
Their results were equally amazing. I’ll be sharing some of their results in a future blog after we’ve had our final D2S Celebration this coming weekend.
As a coach, I LOVE to see our members get the results they want. Losing 2 sizes is no small task and the commitment and discipline required to achieve such a goal in only 8 weeks is commendable. Having a program that provides the plan and coaching is the special sauce that gets people to actually make it to the end and the Drop 2 Sizes Diet and Workouts have been specially created to ensure that if you follow the program, you WILL lose fat and Drop 2 Sizes!
Many of our D2S participants were new to exercise or were just getting back into it after a long reprieve. Pacing them from week to week was important. It helped to keep them from pushing too hard too soon, so they could keep up with four workouts a week. It helped them progress at a level that allowed them to first master the movements they were learning so they got better physical results and didn’t get injured. And even while focusing on all of these things, they still lost fat and inches.
Since we’re heading into the New Year and many of you reading this are looking to make some big changes for 2018, I’d like to take this opportunity to impart some really important lessons that are sure to make or break your resolve as you embark on a fitness journey this coming year.
At real [FIT] life we’ll be re launching the Drop 2 Sizes program in January, and I invite you to join us if you’re serious about your fat loss goals.
Either way, the tips I’m going to share here are important for everyone who pursues a fit life, no matter how long you’ve been working out.
Here are the top misconceptions I see perpetuated in the fitness industry.
These 6 Common Held Beliefs can hold you back, put you on the fast track to major burn out, and keep you from ever seeing your goals become a reality.
Check them out!
1. It’s not “working” if you’re not sore.
We all love that feeling of muscle soreness after a workout because, in our minds, it assures us that we actually did something. And it’s okay to feel sore sometimes. When starting a new training cycle, it’s inevitable that we will feel some soreness if we’ve worked at an appropriately challenging work level. But even then, we shouldn’t be sore to the point that we cannot walk down stairs or sit on a toilet.
Being too sore can prevent you from performing your best at your next workout. And being able to perform at your maximum best at every workout is what helps you to see actual physical results. Your body can’t get stronger and create muscle if you’re beat up all the time.
If you’re following a training program, and I hope that you are, your body should slightly adapt to the program you’re using so that your level of soreness minimizes or goes away almost entirely until you start a new training program in a new training cycle.
There is a difference between that feeling that you worked your muscles the day before and all out soreness. If you are sore after every workout, you are actually inhibiting optimal recovery and results.
Always walk away from a workout feeling like you could have done a little bit more if you absolutely had to.
2. More advanced exercise variations will give you faster results. (Even if you can’t do them properly)
If someone told you they’d never taken a driving lesson, and didn’t know how to drive, would you give them the keys to your car?
No? Why not? Perhaps because we all know it would be completely negligent to allow someone to operate a piece of heavy machinery with no prior experience in doing so? Because they might seriously hurt themselves, right?
Because driving is a skill that takes time to perfect. There’s all these things going on at once. We have to be able to coordinate the steering, speed control, signaling, the break and the gas, staying in our lane, being aware of all the other cars around us, and following the traffic signals. And we have to be able to do all of these things at the same time.
Well, learning to properly operate your body through different exercises is no different than learning to drive a car. They both require time to process, practice, levels of learning and skill.
That’s why there are all different levels of exercises. To help you master the basics of moving your body properly so that as you progress through the varying levels, you continue to see optimal results in performance and aesthetics. This also helps to avoid injury.
There are LOT’s of things going on in each exercise. Most people don’t realize this if they’ve never been thoroughly coached. Just replicating the exterior appearance of an exercise, or doing what you’ve seen other people do in the gym (often incorrectly) will never get you to higher levels of fitness.
Things like scapular stabilization, leg drive, keeping the ribs drawn in and down, keeping the back in alignment, and keeping the hips stabilized, all contribute to correct form and optimal performance in every movement. You should be able to maintain control of each movement and feel the muscles that are being targeted engage as you work them.
These are the areas that every individual struggles with as a beginner, and beyond, when progressing to new variations of exercises. If you cannot master these benchmarks of performance at an earlier level, you certainly should not be moving to something you perceive as “more advanced“.
And each time you progress to a new level these same challenges will reappear and once again need to be mastered. Just like learning to drive a car, these skills will take time to be able to accomplish simultaneously and consistently.
The only way to “get to the next level” is to master the one before. If you have a coach who respects this process, they’ll be the one to decide these things for you. If you’re training on your own, you need to be your own voice of reason and hold yourself accountable.
If you are truly working to perform an exercise correctly, and it’s the appropriate level for you, it SHOULD FEEL CHALLENGING. If it doesn’t, but you aren’t adhering to all the criteria for proper form, then you are going through the motions and not putting enough importance on the necessity of proper execution. In the end the only one who’s missing out is you.
3. More intense workouts are better for weight loss.
In Alwyn Cosgrove’s popular T-Nation article, The Hierarchy of Fat Loss, he goes through the factors that help us achieve fat loss, in order of importance.
What’s #1 on that list? DIET
This means that before any other factor is implemented, the most important factor that determines your success for fat loss is your caloric intake, whether you are eating at a deficit (for fat loss), and the balance of macro-nutrients that make up that calorie total, divided by protein, carbs, and essential fats.
So what this means, just to be clear, is that no matter how much you work out, or how hard, if you are consuming too many calories, you will not lose any weight. So stop tracking how many calories you burn in a workout, (those numbers are never accurate anyway), and start paying attention to your diet. If you’re going to track anything, track your food intake and how many calories you’re consuming on a daily basis, as well as the total macro nutrient breakdown.
#2 on Alwyn’s list IS Metabolic Resistance training. This includes “activities that burn calories, promote muscle mass, and elevate metabolism”.
In my video series, 7 Tips for Successful Weight Loss, I tell my own personal story and explain how resistance training helped me build a body that burned more calories at rest, because I took the time to build a body that had more muscle. I did that by adding consistent resistance training into my workout plan. Something I had not been doing prior to that time. And the final results were even surprising to me! You can watch my video and hear my story here.
So, yes, #2 on our list of things that help us achieve fat loss is Metabolic Resistance Training. And Alwyn explains that it must be done “with an intensity that creates a massive metabolic disturbance that leaves the metabolism elevated for several hours post-workout”.
The thing you have to be careful of is making sure you are selecting exercise variations that can push you to that level while still doing them properly. Start with simpler variations that you can properly load without worrying about complete breakdown of form.
As your fitness levels increase you can push harder and select further variations.
Just don’t forget, your DIET is the #1 thing that’s going to give you your fat loss results. So don’t be impatient and push yourself further than you’re ready to go in your resistance training. Attention to detail, and embracing the current level you’re at in the beginning will give much greater reward long term.
4. You need to work out every day to see results.
One of the greatest (and most freeing) lessons I learned when I started resistance training was the fact that you don’t get stronger when you train. You get stronger when you recover. IF you recover. Recovery is a necessary component of a well created fat loss and fitness plan. Total body workouts are the most effective for fat loss. If you are working your entire body to it’s max potential in your workout, your body then needs recovery to repair, rest, and to be ready to come back just as strong (or even stronger) for your next workout.
If you track every workout and follow a specific program, you should be able to up the ante just a little more at every workout. That may mean more weight, more overall volume, or shorter rests between sets.
If you don’t have a specific program that you follow for 4, 6, or 8 weeks, how do you know if you’re doing these things? How do you measure?
When you walk into the gym with specific goals that you want to tackle and conquer each time, you need to be fully recovered and ready to go! Maybe you’re trying to add another 5 pounds to your squat that day. Maybe last time you could only bench your final set for 5 of 8 reps and today you are determined to get all 8. These types of goals show that you’re getting stronger when you accomplish them. However, if you’re just shooting from the hip and doing whatever 7 days a week, with no plan, the likelihood you’ll see your numbers and performance go backwards is high.
You’re only as strong as your recovery. 4 Days of Training and 3 solid days of recovery is more than enough time to give you solid results, if you utilize a well designed program and these principles of progressive overload. On your recovery days, you can go for a walk, enjoy other things you like to do, get lot’s of adequate sleep and eat a well balanced diet that supports your current goals.
And again, if you think that going to the gym more often is giving you better results for fat loss, go back and look at your DIET!
5. The more you sweat, the harder you’re working.
No, no, no, just no. Everyone sweats different amounts. Maybe the room temperature is higher today. Who cares. How much you sweat has nothing to do with whether you are building a stronger body that is reaching greater fitness levels. Not a single thing. Just stop it. And go back and look at your DIET.
6. Workouts that burn more calories are better than workouts that burn less calories.
For this one I would refer you back up to #3 and of course, tell you to look at your diet. Shocker, right?
Your fitness program and every workout it is comprised of is akin to putting money in the bank to save and accrue interest. Each training session will give you some immediate boosts like elevation in mood, increased levels of confidence and that fuzzy proud feeling that you just did something really good for yourself.
But every workout you do, that is well planned, well executed, and that builds upon your current skill set, gets you one workout closer to a body that is stronger, more agile, that moves better, feels better, and that makes you feel like a bad ass force to be reckoned with.
My point here is, stop focusing on the white herring and getting distracted by something that doesn’t serve you.
Training is an investment.
The amount of calories you burn is minimal in importance compared to the long term foundation you should be focused on creating. A strong body that performs at a high functioning level and is a fat burning machine. That doesn’t happen overnight.
If you’re worried about calories, GO LOOK AT YOUR DIET.
Founder, real [FIT] life
“Helping people live happier, healthier, longer, stronger lives,
one lift at a time.”
real [FIT] life is launching 2 Amazing 8 Week Programs in January!
Do you want to learn how to Dominate the Gym? Learn how to make your workouts work for you once and for all. Never walk into a gym and “feel like you don’t know what to do ever again! Go here for details.
Do you want to Drop 2 Sizes in 8 Weeks? Our first D2S program was such as success that we’re launching it again for 2018!
If you are looking to make a change and you live in the Albany area, let me help you achieve you goals. This program is suitable for all fitness levels. Go HERE for details.
Registration deadline is Friday, December 29th.
We are so positive you’re going to see results; we’re offering a FULL Money Back Guarantee.