When to change things up

Today I wanted to discuss when to change up your fitness and nutrition routine because it's something I'm currently playing around with. I have been adding in some cross fit workouts to my routine lately and am really enjoying them! It's a whole different focus than I've tried before: heavy weights, very few reps. I'm doing this to build some larger muscles and to see how my body responds to some more weight on my frame. I love the new challenge and really love continuing the study of 1: that is, the study of how MY body responds and reacts to fitness and nutritional changes. 

Let's talk about two extremes it comes to changing things up:

1. Those who want to do what they've always done because it's comfortable and it has gotten them results at some point.

2. Those who change things up every week because it's "not working." 

Let's start by talking about type 1. Once you've found something that has gotten you RESULTS, helped you make a transformation, increased your confidence, and has you feeling really good, it can be SUPER hard to leave that strategy or workout behind. I understand this. I found Body Pump (a barbell workout) about 4 years ago and was convinced that it is what changed my body. When I needed to take a break from it over the winter, I was terrified I would lose my muscle. But I didn't because I was doing other things to keep me on track. Upon closer analysis of my transformation 4 years ago, I didn't just add Body Pump to my life. I changed EVERYTHING at once: my nutrition, my workouts, the frequency of my workouts, my water intake, my vitamin intake, etc. So while my brain wants to link Body Pump to my transformation, it was likely just one component of my transformation.

As you build your fitness, your body will be able to respond faster and more effectively to new workouts. So don't be afraid of changing what you're doing because "it won't work the same." Honestly guys, it's so important to change up your workout routine every 6 months or so because your body will stop responding at the rate it did when you FIRST began and first started seeing change. One thing you can do if you really love swimming, for example, is to add weight training in. It doesn't mean you have to stop swimming, but just consider changing the frequency of swimming for training and adding in some additional work. 

I also like to teach my clients to change their nutrition strategies occasionally too. For those who complete my Carb Cycling 101, I like to advise trying the carb cycling for 3-4 weeks on, taking a break for a week or so (note: I do not advise them to eat whatever they want on their "off" week, just to mix carbs and fats) and then starting back up again. Anything you do for an extended period of time will cause you to plateau, so keep your body guessing!

Now let's address the 2nd type of person: the person who changes things every week or two. I also understand this point of view because I am a pretty impatient girl! But when we are trying a new approach, we should really get rid of that 4-week mentality. 2-4 months is a better range to aim for to really see results and to let your body work through changes. My Carb Cycling 101 program is 3 weeks so that I can keep my clients accountable (much longer than that and they start to drop off). But we talk a lot about how 3 weeks is just the start and that once the program is over, they need to make some decisions about what parts of the program they want to continue and which parts they need to adjust. It is always based on the study of one (how each individual's body responds to different changes). So if you're trying something new, give it a good collage try for a few months before you abandon it completely and change directions.

Let's always strive for being open to change when we need it, and also being patient enough to let change happen :) 

Body Beast may sound scary, but it's not!


Week 2 of Body Beast just ended and I am feeling so many things, so it’s time to get my thoughts on paper (or, on the computer screen ;) ).

First, finishing two weeks of home workouts is sort of a big deal for me, which may seem silly since I represent a company that creates and sells home fitness programs. I am a lover of group fitness, and am also a group fitness instructor, so I’ve previously done the majority of my workouts live. I’ve done plenty of workouts from home, but only to fill in the gaps of my group fitness schedule. I’ve never completed an entire program at home from start to finish.

I decided that it wasn’t really fair or reasonable for me to expect my clients to do home fitness programs if I wasn’t doing the same thing! Also, I want to be able to truly understand what it feels like to be committed to a program from beginning to end. I’ve had my eyes on Body Beast for a while, and since I love weight lifting, this was a good place to start.

It’s been a little more than two weeks now, and my husband and I haven’t missed a workout!! This is a really big deal for us! On teaching days, I don’t skip my Beast workout. Instead, I teach and then get my workout in at another time. So that might mean that my “rest day” from Beast ends up being a teaching day. But I have made it work by lowering my weights a bit in my teaching classes, or switching around where my rest days fall so that I truly get a rest day, or don’t work shoulders twice in one day, for example. I used to think my body wouldn’t be able to handle double workouts, but that was so silly. It totally can. It’s our minds that tell us we can’t, not our bodies.

I don’t think I can adequately express how proud I am of my husband! He has been 100% in the game since we started, and his commitment to this program is helping me stay focused! He is feeling stronger and more energetic, and even mentioned that his golf swing is much improved since starting! As for me, I also have more energy and am starting to see some payoffs in the mirror, too! I can’t wait to take some pics in another few weeks to compare!

The thing that I’ve enjoyed more than the physical benefits, and even more than the added energy, is the mental “I can do this” that comes from achieving a goal. It’s certainly not done yet, but I have come further with it already than I ever thought I could do. I used to loathe the basement, especially for workouts. There are no windows, it’s smelly and messy, and it just isn’t a motivating space for me to workout. But you know what? While I would still prefer a gym floor and fewer toys, I really don’t dread staying home to get the workout in anymore. It’s just part of it. Plus, I’m really enjoying this time with my husband.

I really like the versatility of the program, too; you can follow the DVDs and do the workouts at home, print the workouts and take them to the gym to complete, or use BB On Demand to watch the workouts from any location with internet! These options help keep it interesting for me. Plus, I like to vary what time I workout so it’s not always the same. Some days I get it done in the morning, some days I do it with Chris in the evenings, and some days I do it during the day while the kids are playing.

Two things I should mention if you are thinking of starting Body Beast:

  1. You will gain weight. Ugh, I know! It’s hard to watch the scale go up, but it’s a fact when you are adding muscle. This muscle will allow your body to burn more calories while resting and will contribute to that lean but super toned look for which you are going. In the third phase of the program, you cut your calories slightly and that will drop your weight down a bit. But just remember that pictures tell the story and not the scale, so do what we did and just put it away!
  2. You will be hungry!! You will need to increase your calories to properly feed your muscles and fuel your body. If not, your body won’t allow the muscles to develop. There is a formula for determining your caloric range in the Beast guidebook, along with a very comprehensive eating plan.

I want to invite you to try this program with me. I will be your guide and we can do it together! I’d like to start a Body Beast group in mid-October. Please message me if you are interested in trying it! That gives you plenty of time to make some serious gains before the holidays!!