Rising Wolf Fitness
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Workouts for Strength or Endurance?
Why not both? I like choices, but I like to be able to change my mind at times as well. With a little deal known as periodization, you can get the benefits of any type of workout you want.
Now first let me start off by saying I am a big advocate of building a strong foundation to set your house on. I believe in using basic compound movements (similar to those used for strength training), but in a higher rep range and short of failure (failure is when you cannot perform another rep if you tried, stop a couple reps short of this point) to start out so your muscles adapt to lifting and you don’t overdo it.
I like to start people out on a 4-6 week cycle, as stated earlier, to get the muscles back in the swing of things from a long period of disuse. I think people need to walk before they run, however, some trainers will try to push from the beginning (I guess to project a sense of showing you, they know what they’re doing?!). I believe in making it more enjoyable. It has been shown that people who are sore and fatigued from the start can develop negative feelings toward exercise and give up completely. To me, this seems very counterproductive; if you enjoy it you will continue to do it.
Periodization means you will use a different type of workout (i.e. strength, endurance, hypertrophy, etc.) in cycles, or phases. These cycles will last for a predetermined amount of time. Sometimes cycles will last 4-6 weeks, for people more advanced they may alternate week by week or even day to day.
After you have built a strong foundation you can alternate training routines (varying exercises, rep ranges, number of sets, and amount of rest between sets) to develop certain aspects of fitness. Doing this, in my opinion, also makes your workouts more exciting and keeps you from getting stale with the same old routine day after day. I’ve been known to change my routine and never do the same exercise more than once for months at a time.
Remember, whatever routine you decide to utilize, just enjoy it and think of how much better off you are doing something as opposed to doing nothing. This will make you healthier in mind, spirit, and body.
I started my own fitness trainer business here in Portland TN around Christmas and started to push it hard around New Years. I figured the timing would be optimal as New Years is when people start to make resolutions to get into shape. I was told, by the local gym owner here, that “people just don’t appear to be that into fitness in this area”. When the gym here first opened up they had approximately five trainers, or so I’ve been told. They also tried to do a lot of free activities to get people into fitness, those attempts, I was told were unsuccessful.
To my knowledge, I am the only trainer in this area now (and in Franklin KY area as well). I have been told the other trainers moved to larger areas with more interest in health and fitness. I thought to myself “maybe the other trainers just didn’t have the training and certification needed to succeed!” or “things may have changed, that was five years or so ago!” Well, here it is April and I’ve only had 3 calls total! I’ve done one consultation (which is FREE, by the way)! I tried to give training away to a friend of my daughters that claimed to really want training! If I can’t get people interested enough to call for a “FREE” consultation or free training, how can I begin to let them know how I can benefit their lives? I refuse to throw my hands in the air and give up! I am determined to help others accomplish the same feats that I myself have also accomplished! The people here may have given up on themselves, but I haven’t yet! I am determined to motivate this town! The most difficult part is working a full time day job and balancing a family while trying to reach out to these people (which in itself, seems to be a full time job). I already know that the first year is difficult and slow going, but five months without a single client?
Part of the problem I have had, is that the few people I’ve talked to seem to be wanting results yesterday and seem frustrated when I try to set their goals on a more realistic path. This is the real world and not a “REALITY?” TV show. You cannot lose 60 pounds in 30 days without putting your health at risk! I don’t really get the whole “I’m in a hurry to lose all this weight right now!” attitude, anyways. I would imagine it took you several years to put on the excess weight and you have probably carried that weight around just as long or longer. Do you really expect to lose it in a month or two? How long have you been trying to lose the weight already? I am certified through one of the best courses in the fitness industry, but I cannot work miracles. If you don’t set realistic goals, you will ultimately be discouraged and fail. If you will not ask for help you will never receive any.
We live in a world where we just don’t have time to worry about our health. If we don’t take the time to start worrying about our health, how will we have time for anything? Research shows that obesity is much more prevalent in men, women, and children living in rural areas than in urban and/ or metropolitan areas. This is even more the issue in southeastern states (around 30% obesity rate in Tennessee). My challenge to the city of Portland TN, don’t be a statistic, improve you quality of life, do it today, and get active. Find something you enjoy and it will make it easy for you to stick with it!
Little Changes in Diet = Big Changes in the Body
I have learned through my own personal experience that you do not have to make drastic changes in your diet to equal drastic changes in your body composition. As a matter of fact, I recommend that my clients spend the first month or so just making smarter choices about what they put into their bodies. I mean, everybody knows cake and ice cream are not healthy snack choices, and they absolutely don’t make a meal. This doesn’t mean you can’t indulge on occasion. However, I don’t recommend cheating within the first month or two, as you need to learn what to eat. Chances are you don’t need to learn how to have a cheat day, you probably already have that down pat or you wouldn’t be reading this. You may want to keep your calories in the back of your mind somewhat because if you go too low with your calories, your metabolism will slow and try to hang on to body fat. If you eat vegetables and foods high in fiber, it will help fill you up so you don’t eat too many calories. I actually find it difficult to eat too many calories while eating healthy foods.
Let’s talk about some foods to avoid and we will talk about the healthy alternatives in just a bit. Bread used to be my kryptonite. I would sometimes eat almost a dozen, huge, homemade biscuits with gravy for breakfast. White flour made bread is full of starchy carbohydrates.White potatoes are also a starch, as well as white rice. Anything that says white, or even corn, in the name should be avoided. This also includes pizza crust, breading on fried foods, etc. Another problematic carb source is candy, cake, soft drinks, etc. These foods are made with simple sugars. The problem with simple carbs is the insulin spikes that they create. They are fast digesting and drop as quickly as they spike, leaving you hungry again shortly after you have eaten them.
I know you are waiting to talk about fats. However, I don’t want to focus as much on fats, because most of you probably focus too much on eating low fat and where has it gotten you. Some of you may actually be robbing yourselves of much needed essential fats. Your problem is more apt to be your carbs because fats get a bad reputation and everybody cuts back on their fats while they continue to eat the wrong (and too many) carbs.
“What CAN I eat?” you ask. Well, let’s talk about all the delicious things you get to enjoy. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great tasting, low calorie, way to fill your belly. Vegetables that are high in fiber fill you up and keep you from consuming more carbohydrates than your body can use. If you find fruits and vegetables low on the glycemic index, it will help maintain a moderate steady insulin level and help you with hunger as well. Try also to eat multi- grain and whole grain breads and cereals. Keep red meat to a minimum (once a week or less). Avoid processed meats, such as deli meats. Eat baked chicken or fish. Fish contains some of those essential fats I spoke about earlier. Extra virgin olive oil, nuts, and natural nut butters also contain healthy fats, as do avocados.
When in doubt, if you stay to the outer perimeter of the grocery story you will find most of what you need to eat healthier. Granted you will have to “fly into the danger zone” on occasion, but get in and get out as quickly as possible so you don’t get side tracked by the tempting, bright packages of the “bad stuff”. Keep this rule of thumb in mind at the grocery store, get foods you like, and it should be a smoother ride than you could have ever imagined. This little bit of change should make it an easy transition into a better lifestyle, which is what you want. After you make your lifestyle change, you may still need to diet later on, to optimize fat loss/ lean muscle gains, but if you don’t change your lifestyle you will fall back into being the person you are trying to break free of.