Posted in Empowerment

Are you doing it right?

The other day, at the gym, a girl randomly started to cry. She was frustrated, as she had been going to the gym for close to a year and she felt like there was no progress in her physique. It was quite heartbreaking to see. A couple of days later, I was talking to another girl who happened to be feeling the same way. So, I decided to write this post to help those girls get the best out of their workout and to help keep the motivation going.

On speaking to the first girl, lets call her Sasha, I realised that although she exercised most days, my girl’s eating habits were terrible! This girl had a very unhealthy relationship with chocolate and everything else that isn’t so good for you. She wanted ‘fab abs’ and just could not see them coming any time soon. Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle. I understand that some people are naturally big and genes play a huge part sometimes. BUT, what you put in your body is just as important as what you do in the gym, especially when it comes to abs. I am almost certain that my girl has fab abs, it just happens to be hidden under the fat in her stomach. Sorry, doll! You cannot outrun a bad diet, especially when you start to reach a certain age. So, if you feel like you’re exercising constantly and you’re not seeing a huge difference, maybe check your diet. You don’t need to quit everything that you enjoy, but be moderate about it.

Sasha was trying to build her core, but her workout routine consisted of cardiovascular activities. This, yet again was hindering those abs. Cardio is good, but you’re going to need more than cardio to build a strong core. To build a strong core, you need a balance of both cardio and specific exercises to target those core muscles. If you have a target area, make sure that you are doing the correct exercises for that area. I would suggest researching and talking to staff at the gym about what exercises are best for your target area. You do not want to spend long days in the gym, only to find you’re not making that much progress.

The other girl, Tanya? Lets call her Tanya. Like Sasha, she’s a regular at the gym. Tanya’s goal is to lose weight in general. She felt like she wasn’t seeing any progress. So, I suggested she take progress photos. Progress photos helps you notice changes in your physique, that you might not otherwise. You are generally the last person to see the changes in your body. Scales might be good as well, but I generally don’t use them. This is because, when you train with weights, you build muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. I’m much leaner than I was before I started weight training, but yet I weigh more than I used to. So, try taking pictures of yourself every couple of weeks and compare your before and after pictures to see the differences in your body.

While talking to Tanya, she stated that her routine in the gym was getting much easier, but she kept doing them anyway. I don’t have a specific routine. I basically do what I am in the mood for. I do have days for different parts of the body i.e Lower body, upper body, core e.t.c. However, when I start to find something too easy, I try to make it a little harder. So, if you normally lift 10kg, and you’re starting to find a little too easy, push yourself to do a little more, try 15kg. Go the extra mile. Either increase the weight or increase the reps you do. Our bodies are amazing and the more you train, the stronger you get. It becomes accustomed to what it is used to. So, change it up. Push yourself in order to get the best out of your work out.

Enjoy the process. Make some friends at the gym, get to know people. Have a laugh with them, maybe not too much laughing. I almost got thrown out of a class because I was laughing too much and distracting the rest of the class. Join some classes, fun classes. There are different ways to get your cardio in. Not everyday, treadmill. I generally do not take part in classes, simply because I am very happy to work out on my own. I also find that it can sometimes disturb my routine. However, I tend to go on days when I’m feeling lazy and need motivation. I see it as a little competition between myself and the other girls. It just gives me the extra push I need on that day and keeps me motivated. It also reminds me that I’m not on my own.

Finally, Be proud of yourself! Be your own cheerleader. Applaud yourself for every little achievement. AND remember that Rome was not built in a day. Cheesy, I know! 🙂

I hope this helps.

Till next time

-A

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