Throughout my fitness career, I’ve been lured into many attractive money making opportunities. Most of these companies sell products and the people selling the products are often referred to as “coaches”. The coaches often make money as they sell more products and recruit more people onto their fitness team. You probably already know some of the companies to which I am referring: Herbalife, Beachbody, Isagenix, etc. I’m not here to knock these companies (too much), as the products and coaches do seem to help people get into shape and give them the support that they need during their weight loss journey. Read more…
A few years back, I wrote a blog about insomnia and how I “cured” it through the use of supplementation that supposedly corrected any imbalances that I had in my body which were keeping me awake at night. Years later, I realize that this wasn’t true, rather it was my belief that the supplements were working that healed me. How do I know this? I experienced another round of chronic insomnia after my mother passed, and through that experience, I learned a great deal about this awful affliction and what truly causes it.
When it comes to women, most of them have similar goals in regards to their lower half. A tighter butt and firmer legs! Nothing new here. We all gain muscle a little differently, and I do agree that some women put on muscle a bit more easily than others, thus they should avoid super heavy weight to create even more muscle that they may not desire. Pilates or group exercise classes might be a better choice for some women who fall into this category, but I still believe that all women should do some heavier weight training to achieve the lower half of their dreams. Why? Because I still think it’s huge, silly myth that women feel they are bulking up when they train with even slightly heavy weights. It probably has do to do more with what they are eating rather than what they are doing in the gym that is creating this effect. Remember that even an extra 300 calories per day can cause a weight gain of 1 lb per week, and truthfully, it is VERY easy to eat an extra 300 calories per day!
As we get older, gravity starts having an effect on our bodies. The only way I’ve been able to combat cellulite and falling muscles is through the classic exercises that I still strongly advocate for those who are able to do them (and obviously exercise changes as we age and as our joints age as well): squats, deadlifts, and lunges! These are my very favorite exercises and I do them as heavy (and safely) as I can. If you want to try them, work with a good trainer for a few sessions so you learn excellent form first. I do have some minor knee/joint issues now that I am closer to 40 than 30, so I am very careful with form and the amount of weight I do. I don’t mess around with my joints anymore. I am not an fan of hard core workouts like CrossFit or anything of that sort. In my 20’s, yes, but back then I thought I was invincible and that I would never have joint issues. Please feel free to go ahead and do these workouts, but I am not a supporter and rather have joint integrity in 10 years! However, I do feel that exercises that use body weight (unless you’re a beginner), won’t create much of a difference when it comes to shaping a stubborn, large muscle like the glute or quadricep. Maybe on some women it will, but I have found that for myself, doing exercises like leg lifts and ballet plies won’t change a thing.
Change up your workouts. Don’t be afraid to do something different on a daily basis. Do your group exercise classes, do Pilates, yoga, and the like. But don’t shy away from running/walking stairs, hitting the weights once in awhile, or doing multiple exercises for a muscle group. Understand the difference between a lactic acid burn and real fatigue created by the break down of muscle fibers, which in turn causes the muscle to grow and change (and no, you won’t look like a body builder!). It’s important to understand the difference. I’ve trained women who attended group exercises where they were doing 100 reps of the same exercise, which again, may be okay for some, but I am not a fan of this type of exercise. Target the muscles you want to change, hit them hard with quality exercises and sets, lower reps, good form, and watch your lower body change before your eyes.
Again, this is strictly my opinion that I’ve gathered other the years from training countless women. Not one workout is beneficial for all women, so experiment and find out what works best for you. Never be afraid to change it up and use some weights once in awhile.
Much love to you! Feel free to share your favorite lower body workouts or exercises that work for you.
It seems that everyone is onto this detoxing trend nowadays, either doing a cleanse, fast, flush, colonic, enema, juicing, saunas, and taking in large amounts of supplements. This is all done for one purpose: getting chemicals out of the body in order to feel better and be healthier. But what stumps me is that most of these very same people have put on their blinders for the sake of beauty. What I mean by this is that these people continue to use products laced with nasty and dangerous chemicals, inject stuff into their faces, dye their hair with ammonia and peroxide, and continue to do things for their “exterior” beauty without even batting an eye at how these very chemicals could be harming their health in the long term. I’m writing about “these” people because at one time, I was one of them. I lived in Los Angeles for 11 years, and it’s certainly a city that glorifies beauty to no end, there’s no denying that! I was eating very clean, spending a lot of money of organic foods, but I still wasn’t cleaning up my skin/body care because I was in a bit of denial about it all. I didn’t want to become overly “obsessed” with the holistic lifestyle. What a load of crap. I was so obsessed with the way I looked that I knowingly put on my own blinders to the disgusting chemicals I was putting on my skin every day in hopes of erasing the signs of aging. Meanwhile, I was spending tons of money on expensive food and clean water. What a contradiction!
I know there are many scientists who will say that our skin doesn’t quite absorb what we put onto it in the way we think, but I guess I don’t want to chance it anymore. Plus, I want to really practice what I preach! I love living a holistic lifestyle and I am proud of it.
Thanks for reading…
I’ve abandoned by blog yet once again, but this time, for good reason. I’ve had an extremely difficult year, full of many ups and downs and some health issues. I left Los Angeles, and started a new life in a more quiet mid-west town. People thought that I was crazy for leaving Southern California for the cold and snow, but to be honest, I knew if I hadn’t left the busy and often chaotic environment of L.A., at least for awhile, my health would continue to decline. I’ll post more on that journey later.
What I’ve come to realize is that as fitness professionals, we must remain humble. When I first started my career, I thought I had all the answers. It’s very apparent to me when I look back at my blog posts from seven or even just a few years ago that I was just a silly kid trying to figure out the answers. The older I get the more I realize that I need to be more humble when it comes to my career. I don’t know all the answers and I certainly never will. I get weary of hearing fitness professionals and health coaches claim that their way is “the way” to good health and wellness. You’ve probably heard of all the different ways to eat to lose weight and live a long, long life: paleo, vegan, vegetarianism, low-fat, Atkins, caveman, fruitarian, flexitarian, the list goes on and on. Trainers and fitness professionals can be so adamant that their way is the way to good health, when in reality, we really have no clue. What I do know is that we are all so different genetically, and that there is no “one way” for all.
Of course I eat as clean as possible. Organic and non-processed have been part of my life for many years now. I spend more money on food than I do anything else because I do believe what we put into our bodies plays a dramatic role in how we look, how we feel, and how we will age. But that’s just my opinion, and I do not know whether or not this lifestyle will lead to a long and healthy life (although I strongly believe it will!). There are many people who live long lives abusing their bodies throughout. They are most likely the minority, but they are out there. I eat this way because I love it and it makes me feel great. It’s my belief that we should eat closer to Mother Nature, have respect for animals and our land, and that we shouldn’t shove chemicals and processed foods into our bodies. But I’m also realistic; I don’t expect every client of mine to adhere to my belief system. My hope is that trainers and health coaches will recognize this and be a bit more flexible in their recommendations to clients. After all, they are trusting us with their health, and we do have the potential to either help it or harm it long-term. Quite a huge responsibility.
Anyway, I guess the whole point of this post is to recognize that I am constantly learning and changing what I feel will help me and my clients feel their best. It’s constant work but it’s worth it. I love what I do, and I can’t imagine doing anything else; however, I no longer want to shove my philosophy down anyone’s throat anymore. Give advice, teach, research, and educate, but always remain modest.
Until next time,
I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the multiple weight loss products/programs/diets on the market today. HCG diet, The Zone, Coffee Bean pills, The Plan, The Cookie Diet, low carb, low fat, shakes, detox diets, the Master Cleanse, fasting diets—you name it, it’s out there! And we wonder why we’re so confused about what to eat and how to lose weight.