Archives For fun

This One’s For the Ladies

September 21, 2012 — 12 Comments

The other day I had a conversation with a girl that I know. We exchanged tales of all the lovely things going on in our lives from work to school, to past-time activities. You know, all of the great small talk stuff. She had told me how she had recently become addicted to working out at her gym, to which I was quite impressed (we should all be impressed). Good for her. What wasn’t good, though, were the foul plague-like words that came from her mouth next.

“I don’t want to lift heavier weights because I’m afraid I’ll get too bulky.”

Let’s end the story there so that I can elaborate on this mentality that women have when it comes to weight training. It irks me. Maybe I can even debunk a couple myths associated with the stigma.

First things first…

Ladies, you do not have to be afraid of lifting heavy weights.

You will not get bulky. You will not turn green and rampage the streets of Toronto.

It actually amazes me how many women I know that refuse to lift a significant weight because they are afraid they will get massive arms, or a massive chest and back. It is possible, but not without severe training and diet plans, or possibly a little testosterone boost. If you’re a casual exerciser (3 or less times per week) then you have nothing to worry about.

In fact, if your goal is to lose weight and get “toned,” I would actually recommend that you definitely lift some heavier weights. Like, right now. It has been proven several times that weight training is one of the most efficient ways to lose fat.

Here’s some basic knowledge for you. When you go to the gym and hop on a treadmill to burn 300 calories (which is far from accurate just FYI) and you leave, you’ve accomplished just that. You burned X amount of calories while being at the gym.

When you go to the gym and crank out some circuit training (consecutive exercises with little rest) with decent weight, you’re getting resistance training plus a cardiovascular workout. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Pretty cool, huh?

The coolest part is that the resistance training can actually increase your metabolism for up to 48 hours after you workout. And guess what…

An increase in metabolism = an increase in calorie burn.

So you’re really getting a lot more bang for your buck. And it’s actually quite fun. Each time you do it you aim for performing one more rep, increasing the weight a little bit, or even doing it in a quicker time. That way you know you’re making progress. Get it?

I haven’t really explained why yet, so you’re probably looking at this with a big “so what.” The fact is simple.

You won’t become the next Incredible Hulk because you lack the testosterone to do so.

Testosterone is the main muscle building hormone in the body, and because women produce significantly less levels of it, they cannot put on muscle mass as easily as men.

Also, to become the bulky beast you fear, you would have to purposefully consume a lot more calories than you need to. I’m not talking over-indulge a little here, and there. Like legit, stuff your face full of protein whenever you can, workout every day, and you maybe even need the addition of supplements. Getting “jacked” isn’t easy stuff. Even for men.

I’m not trying to persuade you into lifting heavy weights. I believe strongly in doing what makes you happy. If you thoroughly enjoy the cardio blast you get from a treadmill, elliptical, and stair master, then please continue to work hard on them.

I’m merely trying to state that women don’t need to be afraid of lifting heavy. If you try it, and end up enjoying it, that once long road to a flat belly and voluptuous tush might be just around the corner. Just saying.

Advertisements

The Secret to Weight Loss

September 5, 2012 — 10 Comments

Today might just be the day that you learn the secret to weight loss.

Losing weight is one of those thoughts that everyone has pondered from time to time. If you haven’t yet then don’t worry. I promise you it will come. Amazingly, with so many people wanting the same thing it really makes you wonder why it’s so difficult to do, and why so many people truly struggle with the concept.

The answer is actually quite easy. You’re doing it wrong.

If you ask anyone who has been successful with healthy weight loss (pronounced: slow and steady) they will most likely agree with me when I say that most people struggle with weight loss because they don’t enjoy it!

It’s really not your fault though. I mean, you discover that you want to lose weight so what do you do? You seek advice and bam – suddenly you’re being forced to give up carbohydrates, fats, or even worse, protein. These are macronutrients that your body needs to perform its daily functions.

If you’re on a low fat diet and you start acting like my terribly disobedient German short-haired pointer (dog) when you see a bag of Ruffles (no offense to Ruffles), that’s your body telling you that it needs fat. I’m not saying that you should go feast on a king-size bag of potato chips to conquer the craving, but simply try to incorporate more healthy, mono- and polyunsaturated fats into your diet.

The problem with most fad diets is that they tell you to give up certain things, which sets you up for failure on a nutritional level, but also psychologically. Now, I’m no psychiatrist but as soon as you tell me I can’t have something – that’s when I really want it. Like, so bad. Like, now. There has to be some sort of magical psycho- neurological business going on at that time.

If you’re struggling both nutritionally and psychologically with your weight loss effort then how are you ever going to slim down to fit into those old favourite jeans? You must change your approach.

I don’t like fad diets. I never have and never will. I can admit that I’ve tried them, but after years of thinking that it was my fault I finally realized that it wasn’t. I was doing exactly what I was told and for some reason it just wasn’t working. So instead of blaming myself I took the egotistical approach of “It’s not me, it’s you,” and screwed the diets (figuratively, of course).

That was the best weight loss decision I ever made.

That decision led me to the discovery of the secret to weight loss: enjoyment. I had to enjoy the workouts I was doing at the gym. That is why I circuit train for a cardiovascular workout because I would honestly never go to the gym if I had to run on the treadmill for 30 minutes straight.

I had to enjoy the way I ate less. Instead of starving myself like most people try; I ate less but more often. If I continued to starve myself then I would feast hard come the end of the day because that is where starving had got me all along.

Tailor your plan to what works for you.

My tricks may not work for everyone. Everyone is different. When it comes to the concept of weight loss, though, it is quite black and white. You will lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume. It is as simple as that. However, most people cannot commit to this idea because they lack a sense of consistency which sprouts from the very enjoyment of the process. The more you enjoy something, the longer you will do it.

Enjoy!

P.S. Seriously, no offense to Ruffles.

P.P.S. Please comment and let me know what you think!