“If you want to be successful, you’ve got to take responsibility for where you are now, where you want to go, and do the work to grow yourself and your business to the next level.” – Sean Greely
Good morning fitness family!!! I know I’ve been gone for a while but I’m back. I was really down. This quote helped motivate me to start taking responsibility for where I am and where I want to go. I’m going to start working harder to reach my goals as a Certified Personal Trainer!!!
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Theodore Roosevelt
“What if we’re wrong? What if if we pick the wrong person to love, or the wrong job to devote ourselves to, or the wrong city to live in? We waffle and weave. Maybe we can put off the decision for a while. Maybe things will be clearer tomorrow.
Not making a decision is making a decision-and it may well be the worst decision we could make.” Linda Picone
I’ll do my research, talk to people I trust, and think hard. Then I’ll make a decision and move forward. If it turns out that I’ve taken the wrong path, I can always turn around and go the right way. If I don’t make a decision, I’ll never know the right way to go.
Good morning fitness family!!! This is the quote for today. So make it a great day day!!!
Weight loss can be achieved in many different ways as long as you consistently burn more calories than you consume. However, to achieve and sustain results, follow the example of successful losers who selected behaviors they could maintain for life.
Keep in mind that you can start by making small changes such as taking 10 minute walks, skipping your afternoon soda or increasing your daily steps. You may not drop the pounds as fast as you’d like, but when it comes to weight loss– it’s not how you start that counts, it’s how you finish. Do what works for you for the long haul and YOU will ultimately become a successful loser.
In a nutshell, people return to their original weight (and more) when they stop doing what made them successful in the first place. Participants of the NWCR who regained more than five pounds reported exercising less, eating more fatty foods and allowing themselves to overeat more frequently.
It makes perfect sense why the majority of those who go on “fad” diets and other programs lose weight quickly and eventually gain it back. They simply cannot maintain the drastic changes most fad diets require. It’s not that fad diets don’t work; the problem is they only work on a short term basis. Keeping the weight off is the real challenge.
To succeed you only have to pay attention to a number, but you need to know what that number is. You WON’T manage what you CAN’T see and you CAN’T manage what you DON’T know To successfully achieve your goal weight YOUR way, you need to know how many calories you use every day so you know how many you can eat to lose weight or not get fat. Now you have something to manage that’s controllable daily: simple numbers. And remember, numbers don’t lie.
Motivation will come from seeing body fat coming or going in real time at any time — hourly, daily, weekly, etc. When you can SEE your daily body fat gains and losses, it’s simple to manage them because it doesn’t take much effort to eat one less bite or take 10 extra steps to stay on track. The “icing on the cake” is that you will actually be motivated by having visibility into real time changes in your body fat.
You may surprised by the fact that losing weight is not the main challenge for most people. Keeping it off is much more of a struggle. In fact, only a small percentage of those who lose at least 10 percent of their initial body weight manage to sustain their results. The remaining majority regain all of the weight lost within three to five years.
This is likely due to the way many individuals go about losing weight – short-term, or fad diets. The issue with diets is that they tend to be a temporary fix and the eating rules are difficult to sustain. Although you lose weight initially, once you resume your old habits, the weight comes back and often more. It is simply unnatural to cut out whole food groups and drastically cut calories – our bodies will fight it.
For you to lose weight and keep it off for good, you’ll have to adjust your food choices and activity level permanently. That means the changes you make should be something you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life. And they don’t have to be earth shattering. Perhaps you switch regular soda for diet and save 200 calories a day. And maybe you add a 15 minute walk twice a day and burn 200 more calories, but the bottom line is they’re doable for life.
Remember, the only proven method to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in, and research shows that different eating patterns, whether high-carb, low-carb, low-fat or high-fat, can all yield results as long as you burn more than you take in. Only you can determine what works best for you.
Always make sure you start every at-home workout with a good warm-up session to avoid injury. There’s a lot to love about at-home workouts: They’re affordable, convenient and accessible to all fitness levels — beginners included. However, it can be a bit tougher to avoid distractions (phone, email, kids, pets) at home than at the gym. If this is you, there are steps you can take to make sure you stay on track.
How to Do Beginner Workouts at Home
If you can, set up a small workout space that’s enjoyable to be in. “If you dread the space you’re working out in, you’re less likely to be consistent,” says Hannah Davis, CSCS, owner of Body By Hannah and creator of BBH.Fit online training studio. She suggests filling the area with fun decor, like signs featuring your favorite positive mantras, colors you like and a quirky exercise mat.
Also, if you plan on doing a lot of at-home workouts, consider investing in a few key pieces of equipment, such as a resistance bands, mini bands (resistance band loops) and two or three sets of dumbbells of varying weights.
Eliminate distractions as much as possible by activating your phone’s do not disturb feature, asking your family not to bother you and shutting the door to your workout space (if possible).
Finally, always go into your home workouts with the same amount of planning as if you were going to the gym. “Knowing what to do and in what order to do it is a must to make sure you get an effective workout in your own home,” says Amanda Dale, ACE-certified personal trainer and Precision Nutrition-certified nutrition coach.
A Few Safety Tips Before You Begin
Keep in mind that you’ll have to take special safety precautions if you’re working out at home — especially if no one else is around. First, make sure you have a safe, open space to work out in, and that any equipment you’re using (such as a chair or bench) is sturdy and can support your body weight, Dale says.
Also, be mindful of the surface you’re exercising on. “If you progress to any kind of plyometric movements [jumping exercises], I would not recommend doing those on concrete garage flooring,” Davis says. Wood or carpeted floors are kinder on your joints. On the other hand, some exercises (ex. jumping jacks, lateral hops) can sometimes be risky on carpet, so you might want to use a mat or other smooth surface.
Finally, pay attention to how you feel during exercise. “If something causes a sharp pain, your form may off,” says celebrity trainer Mike Donavanik, CSCS, creator of the Sweat Factor workout app. He recommends seeking professional help or watching videos to perfect proper form. And if you can, watch yourself perform the exercises in front of a mirror. “Your form will improve dramatically,” Donavanik says.
If you still feel pain when doing a particular exercise, you may have an underlying issue. Skip that move for the time being and get help from a doctor or physical therapist.
A Full-Body At-Home Circuit Workout
Ready to get started? A full-body workout is the perfect choice for beginners, as it gives you more time to focus on form without fatiguing any one muscle group too much. Try this one from personal trainer Amanda Dale.
Do: Two sets of the below moves for 30 seconds each, without rest.
Alternating front lunge
Move 1: Jumping Jack
Stand with your feet together and arms by your sides.
Jump in the air, bringing each foot about one to two feet out from the midline and arms up and overhead.
Jump your feet back to the start and lower your arms.
Move 2: Body-Weight Squat
Start with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.
Lower down into a squat with your thighs at or below parallel to the floor.
Press through your heels to return to standing.
Move 3: Push-Up
Start in a high plank with shoulders over wrists.
Keeping the elbows close to rib cage, lower your chest, body in straight line ,toward the floor.
Push through palms back to start.
Move 4: Alternating Front Lunge
Stand with your feet together. Step forward with your right foot and lower down into a lunge, keeping your torso upright. Both knees should be almost at a 90-degree angle.
Press through your right heel to return to start; repeat on the opposite side.
Do: 20 reps of each exercise. Then repeat the same circuit for 16 reps each, then 12, and finally eight reps for a total of four sets.
Alternating side lunge
Move 1: Triceps Dip
Sit on the edge of a bench with your heels on the floor. Place your hands behind you so that your fingers face forward.
Raise yourself up so that your arms are straight. This is the starting position.
Lower yourself until your arms are at a 90-degree angle.
Pause for two seconds, then press back up to start.
Move 2: Alternating Side Lunge
Stand with your feet together.
Take a big step out to the right. Lean to the right and straighten your left leg. Stick your butt back and put your weight onto the heel of your right foot.
Press through the right heel and step back to the center
Repeat on the opposite side, alternating with each rep.
Move 3: Knee-to-Elbow Plank
Start in a forearm plank, with shoulders over elbows and core engaged.
Bring your left knee to your left elbow.
Return to start and repeat on opposite side.
Move 4: Jump Squat
Start with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart.
Lower down into a squat with your thighs at or below parallel to the floor.
Quickly jump up, body as straight as a stick. Land in a squat and repeat.
Set a timer to go off every minute for six minutes.
During each odd-numbered minute (1, 3, 5), try to complete 30 crunches.
During each even-numbered minute (2, 4, 6), aim to hold a plank until the timer goes off.
Move 1: Crunches
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the mat and hands behind your head.
Angle your chin slightly toward your chest and curl your torso up toward your knees, while your feet, tailbone and lower back stay flat on the mat.
Once you’ve at the top of your range of motion, lower torso back to the mat.
Move 2: Plank
Start at the top of the push-up position.
Engage your core, make sure your shoulders are over your wrists and there’s a straight line from your shoulders to heels.
So keep those workouts going at home until the gyms reopen. I also program workouts and I do supplement support. If you need help in that area, contact me. Make it a great day!!!
“Food first” is a mantra most dietitians preach: Do your best to get your nutrients from the actual foods you’re eating and if you’re coming up short, thenturn to supplements.
When it comes to getting our omega-3s, however, we could all use a little help in practicing what experts advise since fish oil is the most commonly used supplement, according to a 2015 National Health Statistics Report. A tastier and more effective approach (that doesn’t involve burping up a fishy pill) is to go straight to the source — salmon.
Salmon is often touted as one of the richest sources of omega-3 fats, but the fish is also an excellent source of protein and other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you still need more convincing on adding salmon to your weekly meal plan, consider all of these benefits.
1. It Packs Higher Quality Protein Than Red Meat
The protein in fish trumps other sources of protein such as red meat. Unlike red meat, salmon is low in saturated fats (which can raise your cholesterol levels and contribute to heart disease) and high in omega-3 fatty acids (which can protect against heart disease), according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
And even though it’s considered a fatty fish, salmon can help support your weight-loss goals. A 3-ounce piece of cooked salmon has 21 grams of protein — and getting enough of this macronutrient is important if you’re trying to lose weight, according to an April 2015 paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
For starters, protein is the most satiating macronutrient (compared to the other two, carbs and fats), which means it can help you feel fuller longer. It also helps to build and maintain muscle mass, which is important when you are losing overall body mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so you’ll want to hold onto as much muscle as possible.
2. Salmon’s Fatty Acids Might Help Fight Depression
Mental health is a growing concern — diagnosis of depression amongst adults has risen by 33 percent on average since 2013, according to a May 2018 report by Blue Cross Blue Shield. But that rate is growing faster amongst millennials; in fact, it’s up 47 percent.
The good news is daily habits, like your diet, can be part of the treatment and prevention. One nutrient that has garnered much attention is omega-3s. In September 2019, the International Society of Nutritional Psychiatry Research released updated guidelines in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics recommending including omega-3s as part of the treatment plan for depression.
Salmon is one of the richest food sources, providing 54 percent of your daily value of two types of brain-boosting omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA, per a cooked 3-ounce serving, according to the USDA.
3. It’s Linked to Better Skin
If your skin could have a best-food-friend, salmon would make the cut. There are a number of nutrients found in the fish that help keep your skin healthy.
First, there are the omega-3s, which can help fight inflammation, according to an October 2017 study in Biochemical Society Transactions. Inflammation is enemy number one for your skin because it can lead to acne and signs of aging, as explained in an August 2017 article published in Nutrients. Omega-3s also help your skin hold onto moisture by supporting the lipid barrier.
The antioxidant astaxanthin also comes into play when it comes to your skin and anti-aging. Two clinical trials found that the antioxidant (when ingested and applied topically) may help reduce wrinkles, age spots and improve skin texture, according to a March 2012 paper in Biochimica Polonica.
4. Salmon Shows Your Heart Some Love
Thanks in part to its nourishing fatty acids, salmon is considered a heart-healthy food. The omega-3s help to lower triglycerides and blood pressure (slightly) as well as reduce your overall risk of stroke and heart failure, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Another nutrient found in salmon may also contribute to its heart-health benefits. Salmon is unique from most other fish because of its red-pink color, which comes from the algae they eat as part of their diet. Just as how anthocyanins give berries their deep red, blue and purple gues, the antioxidant astaxanthin gives salmon their pink color.
Preliminary research shows this antioxidant may lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase beneficial HDL cholesterol levels, although more research is needed to solidify these benefits, per a February 2016 article published in Marine Drugs.
5. It’s Linked to Building Strong Bones
When we think of building strong bones, a tall glass of milk often comes to mind. But eating salmon can help, too.
Salmon is surprisingly high in vitamin D, a bone-strengthening mineral. A 3-ounce piece of cooked salmon provides more than 70 percent of your daily needs. It’s hard to meet your vitamin D through diet alone: Between 50 and 90 percent of our vitamin D needs are provided by the sun, according to a January 2010 study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences. So adding salmon to your weekly eating plan will help to ensure you’re getting enough.
6. Salmon Is Tied to Keeping Your Brain Sharp
Did you know our brains are about 60 percent fat? So it makes sense that eating high-quality fats, like omega-3s, can help support your overall brain health.
In fact, the MIND Diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), was developed to help prevent neurological decline. The diet provides weekly recommendations around specific foods like how many cups of berries to eat and how many servings of beans.
One of their recommendations is to eat at least one serving of seafood a week, with a focus on fatty fish like salmon, as outlined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
So How Much Salmon Should You Eat?
The AHA recommends eating at least two 3.5-ounce servings of fish per week. While eating a variety of fish is healthy, salmon is especially great because of its omega-3 content.
Another consideration when shopping is farmed-raised versus wild-caught salmon. There are pros and cons to both, but wild salmon wins when it comes to your health, per the Cleveland Clinic. If you’re concerned about the environment, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch offers recommendations for choosing the most environmentally-friendly type.
I’m not a big fish person but I’m definitely going to add salmon to my meal planning. How about y’all? Contact me if you want to crush your health and fitness goals. Make it a great day!!!
Great glutes aren’t born great, they grow great. And if you’re training with a well-rounded glute routine, this musing probably rings true. But if you’re rushing your reps or neglecting your hip thrusts, you may not be growing the great glutes you’d like.
Before your next glute day, read about the five most common booty-building mistakes you’ll want to avoid at all costs!
1. You’re Doing Only One Glute Workout a Week
Training frequency and consistency play a huge role in muscle growth, says K. Aleisha Fetters, CSCS. If you’re only giving your glutes one day of training each week, you’re depriving them of the attention they need.
For optimal glute growth, incorporate glute-dominant exercises in your workout routine between three to five days each week, Fetters says. Instead of completely burning out your glutes on one day of training, spread your exercises across three to five.
Also, don’t forget to vary your exercises, reps, sets and tempo each day. This will help you target all the different parts of the muscle. Just make sure you’re performing the same exercises week to week, Fetters says. That way you can more easily track your progress.
2. You Rush Your Reps
Muscle burn isn’t comfortable but you don’t want to rush through your reps, Fetters says. Consider slowing down the eccentric part of an exercise (when your muscle elongates). This increases your glutes’ time under tension, which boosts glute activation and growth.
Generally, the eccentric portion of most leg exercises is where you lower the weight toward the ground. For example, in a squat, you’d lower down for a count of three, hold for one, then raise back up in one count. This helps you eliminate momentum to encourage more muscle growth.
This is also where your mind muscle-muscle connection is key, Fetters says. As you slow down your exercises, “make sure you’re actually feeling it in your glutes. If not, take the time to fiddle with your set-up and technique so that you feel maximal tension in your glutes.”
3. You’re Avoiding Glute Isolation Exercises
Given their application to everyday life and movement, it’s no shock functional exercises have become the forefront of strength training. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon isolation exercises completely.
Adding some isolation glute exercises to your leg or glute days will help you zero in on those muscles, Fetters says. Donkey kicks and fire hydrants are two moves that deserve a space in your regular glute routine.
Start on all fours (optional: loop a resistance band around your thighs above your knees).
Keeping your knees bent and hips squared to the floor, lift one leg straight out behind you, your foot flexed like you were stamping your footprint on the ceiling.
Lower back down to the start.
Start on all fours (optional: loop a resistance band around your thighs above your knees).
Keeping your knees bent and hips squared to the floor, lift one knee out to the side like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant.
Lower back down to the start.
For these exercises, you’ll want to use less resistance but perform more reps, like 12 to 15 reps per set. This makes them the perfect complement to the heavier compound movement exercises (squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts) you’re usually doing.
4. You’re Only Moving in One Direction
The exercises you’re probably doing most, like lunges, are in the same forward-and-back plane of motion. But if you want to develop all of your glute muscle fibers, especially in the glute medius and minimus, you need a larger range of movement.
Adding more lateral (side to side) and rotational movements will do the trick, Fetters says. Try lateral band walks or lateral lunges to your repertoire of glute exercises. These will be challenging because they’re not how you usually move, but you’ll see the results!
Lateral Band Walk
Begin with a resistance band around your legs, placing it just above your knees.
Start with your feet separated in order to keep tension on the band and maintain a long, tall spine by bracing your abs.
Bend your knees in a quarter squat and keep your feet parallel to each other.
Leading with your left heel, step to the side, stretching the band. Be sure to step with your whole leg without extending your lower leg below the knee.
Remain in a partial squat as you step, then follow with your right foot, returning to the start position while keeping tension on the band.
Stand tall with both feet together.
Step out to the left side a few feet and bend your left knee. Sit your butt back and don’t let your knee go past your toes.
Press through your foot to return to standing.
Do all reps on one leg before doing the same on the right side.
5. You’re Not Doing Hip Thrusts
There’s a reason the hip thrust gets unparalleled praise where glute growth is concerned. In comparison to the standard back squat, hip thrusts have been shown to promote more glute activation, according to a December 2015 study published in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics.
“Your glutes are the most powerful muscle group in your body,” Fetters says. “If you want to spur change, you need to give them a challenge.” Add a few sets of heavy hip thrusts to one of your glute days and you’ll see (and feel) the results.
Try these exercises to help aid you in your goals to get that perfect sexy butt. Contact me for help. Make it a great day!!!
The focus of weight loss typically is to eat less, but what if you focused on eating more?
A major concern with the way we eat today is that we’re filling up on a lot of foods that don’t serve us well (i.e. fast-food, ultra-processed foods, foods high in sugar and saturated fats), and are falling short on the foods that not only provide us with the nutrition we need (fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.) but that can actually help with weight loss, too.
If you’re trying to lose weight (or just follow a more nutritious diet), here are three foods you should focus on getting in healthy amounts.
1. Whole Foods
Eating has become overly complicated. Take one look at the vast amount of food products on supermarket shelves and you’ll get a sense of why. The number of packaged goods — often overly processed and covered in marketing and nutritional claims: sugar-free, fat-free, gluten-free, keto-approved, and the list goes on — inundate us.
About 70 percent of our food and beverage supply is now considered ultra-processed, according to a July 2019 study published in Nutrients. This is concerning because research to date shows that consistently eating these types of foods is doing a number on our waistlines.
Observational studies (which show an association, not cause and effect) have found a connection between the increasing popularity of ultra-processed foods and the obesity epidemic. Researchers of a review paper published in December 2019 in Current Treatment Options in Gastroenterology looked at the research and concluded that these foods are contributing to weight gain and decreased satiety (feelings of fullness).
A small clinical study (which shows cause and effect) published May 2019 in Cell Metabolism had similar findings. The researchers in this study broke subjects into two groups: an unprocessed-foods group and an ultra-processed-foods group. They found that despite subjects being allowed to eat as much or as little as they wanted, and meals being matched for calories and macros, the people in the unprocessed-food group naturally ate about 500 calories less each day.
So how do we eat more whole foods? Well, most foods, even some of the healthiest, are processed in some way — yogurt, oatmeal, chia seeds and so on. The issue here is ultra-processed foods — those that are high in sodium and saturated fat, have a lot of added sugars and/or have artificial additives like sweeteners and coloring.
Here are some tips on how to swap whole foods for ultra-processed foods:
Choose plain, unsweetened or lightly sweetened yogurt (with less than 7 grams of added sugar) instead of yogurt with artificial sweeteners, coloring or higher amounts of added sugars.
Aim to add whole fruits and/or vegetables to each meal. This will leave less room for more heavily processed foods.
Swap unsweetened iced tea or water with lemon for sugar-sweetened beverages like soda or other sweetened drinks.
Make your own salad dressing at home combining oil, balsamic vinegar, spices and dried herbs versus shelf-stable store-bought dressings, which typically have a laundry list of ingredients.
Batch cook old-fashioned oatmeal at the beginning of the week instead of relying on single-serve packets that might have added sugars and flavoring.
2. Fiber-Rich Foods
When we think of fiber, and eating more fiber, we typically think of how this nutrient helps keep us regular. But the truth is, the benefits of fiber go way beyond just digestion — aiding in weight loss is another boon.
Fiber is on the list of foods to eat to lose weight because fiber-filled foods are typically lower in calories and are nutrient-dense, like fruits and vegetables, making them weight-friendly. And when you’re eating more fibrous foods, you have less room for nutrient-poor foods that might be working against your weight-loss goals. Because fiber slows digestion and swells in your stomach (specifically soluble fiber), you feel fuller longer.
Adding more fiber to your diet is one of the easiest things you can do when trying to lose weight — but the key is to try to get your fiber from whole plant-based foods first, versus more processed foods with added fiber — although these will ultimately help with boosting your fiber intake too.
And this is something most of us can benefit from. About 95 percent of Americans fail to get enough fiber on a daily basis, according to a January 2017 report from the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. A September 2014 USDA report reveals that, on average, we’re eating 16 grams of fiber per day. The recommended intake is 25 grams per day for women and 38 for men. As the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans outline, this shortfall is largely due to our lack of fruit, vegetable and whole-grain consumption.
So how do you get more fiber in your diet? Eat more weight-loss friendly foods: whole grains (like brown rice, oatmeal and whole-wheat bread and pasta), fruit and especially vegetables like asparagus, turnips, broccoli, artichokes, green peas and Brussels sprouts.
3. Lean Protein
Getting adequate amounts of protein is crucial when trying to lose weight and for myriad reasons, as outlined in a June 2015 paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. First, protein is the most satiating nutrient (compared to carbohydrates and fat), and has been shown to help decrease overall calorie intake throughout the day.
Dietary protein is also a good food to eat to lose weight because it requires more energy to digest — 20 to 30 percent of its usable energy is used for metabolism and storage — compared to 5 to 10 percent for carbs and zero to 3 percent for fat. Getting adequate amounts of protein also helps your body hold onto lean muscle tissue, which is more metabolically active, keeping your metabolism up (and your body burning calories).
How much protein do you need? A December 2019 review paper published in Advances in Nutrition found that for most of us, the Recommended Daily Allowance of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day is sufficient. But if you’re trying to lose weight or build muscle, you want to increase your intake to 1.3 grams per kilogram per day (keeping in mind that a kilogram equals 2.2 pounds). This shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for most of us; we’re currently eating 1.1 grams per kilogram, the study notes.
To put that into perspective: A 180-pound person who’s trying to lose weight should get about 106 grams of protein a day.
If you’re looking to up your protein intake, here are some of the best sources: eggs, salmon, white fish, chicken breast, tofu, farro, tempeh and beans.
Here are some more tips on losing weight. If you need help in your weight loss goals contact me. Make it a great day!!!
Your time is valuable — especially at the gym. So if your goal is to burn body fat, you’ll need to be strategic about the kinds of workouts you do. The goods news, though, is that you don’t need a ton of time for these workouts. Even 30 minutes will boost your fat-loss efforts.
But keep in mind that when it comes to losing body fat, you diet matters just as much (if not more) than your workouts. That likely means reducing the number of calories you’re currently eating, so that you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming.
While maintaining a proper diet can help you shave off excess calories, your body composition (ratio of fat to muscle) will change faster with the right fat-burning exercises for women. Hit the gym several times a week with a fitness regimen that combines cardio and strength training.
Start your workouts with strength training and finish with cardio or HIIT. Another option is to lift weights at least three times per week and do cardio or full-body circuits on separate days.
1. Cardio Machines
One of the best ways to blast away calories is through cardiovascular exercise. Cardio causes your heart rate to increase, which gets your heart pumping harder, your body sweating and calories burning. In fact, depending on your weight, workout intensity and the machine you choose, you can expect to burn between 250 and 750 calories in 30 minutes.
The treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bike and stair stepper are among the best cardio machines at the gym. They allow you to alter the speed, as well as the resistance, during your workout, keeping your body challenged. Perform cardio exercise three to four times a week for 30 to 45 minutes to burn calories and shed excess body fat.
While cardio exercise torches more calories during the workout than lifting weights does, building lean muscle mass helps you burn more calories in the long run. Lean muscle requires more energy (read: calories) to maintain, even when you’re not working out.
Plus, you’ll experience what’s called “the after-burn effect” (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, EPOC). High-intensity strength training increases resting energy expenditure for up to 24 hours after exercise, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Human Sport and Exercise.
Lift weights at least three times a week using a combination of upper- and lower-body exercises to build lean muscle. In general, most women tend to store fat on their arms, legs and backside, so focus on these areas.
To work on your arms, perform exercises like the shoulder press, push-ups and triceps extension.
Move 1: Shoulder Press
Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, palms facing out.
Press the weights straight overhead without raising your shoulders or locking out your elbows.
Lower back down to your shoulders.
Move 2: Push-Ups
Start on all fours, hands under shoulders. Straighten your legs straight out behind you so that you’re in a high plank — your body forming a diagonal line from feet to head.
Bend your elbows out at a 45-degree angle to your body and lower your chest to the ground (or as far as your strength and mobility allow).
Press back up to the start.
Move 3: Triceps Extension
Hold either a dumbbell in each hand or one large dumbbell with both hands above your head.
Lower the weights slowly behind your head.
Press back up to the start without shrugging your shoulders or locking out your elbows.
When it comes to toning your lower body, look no further than the sumo squat, walking lunge and Bulgarian split squat.
Move 1: Sumo Squat
Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, feet pointed out slightly.
Bend your knees and hinge your hips to lower your butt toward the ground, keeping your back straight and your knees tracking over your toes.
Lower down as far as your strength and mobility will allow.
Press back up to standing.
Move 2: Walking Lunge
Stand tall, then take a step a few feet forward, bending both knees to 90 degrees.
Press off your back foot and bring it to meet your front foot as you return to standing.
Step forward again, but this time with the opposite leg.
Move 3: Bulgarian Split Squat
Start in a split stance with one foot in front of the other. Place your back foot up on a weight bench or chair.
Bend both knees to lower straight down. Your front knee should be bent to 90 degrees and your knee in line with your ankle.
Drive through your feet to return to standing.
Thus, a fat-burning strength training workout for women might look like this:
Warm up for 3 to 5 minutes with light cardio and dynamic stretches. Then do:
20 sumo squats
20 Bulgarian split squats (10 each leg)
10 shoulder presses
Repeat for 4 rounds.
Finish with 10 minutes on the step mill.
Cool down with 3 to 5 minutes of static stretching.
3. HIIT Workouts
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, involves short but intense bursts of activity followed by less-intense active recovery or rest. This type of workout helps promote weight loss and reduce belly fat in a shorter amount of time than steady-state cardio, according to a 2017 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
HIIT comes in many forms, but it’s easy to get started on cardio machines, such as the treadmill. For example, try this HIIT treadmill workout:
Warm up for 3 to 5 minutes at an easy pace.
Run at a challenging pace for one minute.
Jog or walk for two minutes.
Repeat this 3-minute block five times for a total of 15 minutes.
Cool down for 3 to 5 minutes at an easy pace.
HIIT workouts are supposed to be intense, so it’s best to work your way up with the number of intervals you are doing. Start with five, and as your fitness improves, increase workout duration and intensity.
4. Circuit Training
Circuit training is a combination of strength-training and cardio exercise, offering the best of both worlds. This makes it one of the best fat-burning workouts for women. According to a 2017 research paper featured in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, high-intensity circuit training improves body composition aka muscle-to-fat ratio while increasing overall strength.
A typical training session involves different strength-training exercises for each muscle group; you move quickly from one exercise to another, which keeps your heart rate elevated and the calories burning.
Instead of resting after a strength-training circuit, you can also perform cardio exercises in between, such as jumping jacks and jump rope to ramp up your overall calorie burn.
Fat-Loss Workout Gym Plan
Now that you have the workouts that will help you burn fat at the gym, remember that consistency is the key. Create a workout plan, clean up your diet and set clear goals. Exercise three to five times per week to fully reap the benefits.
Beware that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for weight loss. Experiment with different fat-burning exercises for women and keep your workouts diverse. Track your results and adjust your gym plan accordingly. For example, if you’re having trouble losing those last few pounds, add HIIT to the mix.
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