I used to workout like a champion and be in the gym 6-7 days per week. Not only was I making face in the gym regularly, but when I was there, I would invest 45-90 minutes of my personal time, kicking my own ass. I would run on the treadmill, lift weights until there wasn’t another rep left in me, and then hit the Stairmaster before I stepped into the shower. It was nuts. The irony of it all: Even though I thought I was getting in the best physical shape of my life, I was actually putting weight on and not seeing any results when I stood in front of the mirror. I was baffled, and I needed to get down to the bottom of it – I am supposed to be a fitness coach, and giving people something to model after!
After reading, researching, learning, and incorporating the things I thought that made sense for my new fitness lifestyle, I was enlightened to discover that I was working out TOO MUCH for many years. Wow – who knew!? So many magazines, advertisements, personal trainers, gym ambassadors, and fitness minded people believe that you need to workout harder, longer, and stronger to continue seeing changes in your body . I was a victim of this mindset too, and after spending countless hours running like a hamster on the treadmill, I have finally discovered the truth: You need to workout smarter, let your body recover, and spend the extra time you now have preparing healthy meals and simply enjoying your life!
Here are my tips to workout success and a healthy fitness lifestyle:
- Workout hard, but only do it 3-4 times per week. These workouts should be intense and only last 20-60 minutes of your time. Know that anything longer means you’re not working hard enough. Make your workouts about muscle building, so you can increase your lean muscle mass and metabolism, burn lots of calories, and build a strong body to support your joints and bones. Trust me, if you’re working hard enough, your cardio will be taken care of during this workout.
- Stop running and doing so much cardio! Hey, I used to be a runner so I understand the feeling of euphoria after a good run, but trust me, all running does is burn your muscle away, decrease your metabolism, and increase your chances of injury. Not to mention the sore joints and insatiable hunger you’re left with. If you want to be lean, save yourself from sore joints, prevent injury, and enjoy the control of making wise food choices….stop running.
- Invest the time in writing food journals and planning your healthy meals and snacks. Now that you’re saving time, controlling your appetite, and feeling energized, why not invest the time in really watching what you’re putting in your body?! Write a food journal for yourself, look over it, see what works for you, and plan your meals accordingly. Ensuring that you’re eating healthy of course! These couple of hours you save during the week now from not working out too much, can be spent on making that healthy dinner you’ve wanted to try for ages, or getting out for a drink with your best friend. Happiness is healthy and nutritious too!
When we workout too much, we increase our cortisol hormone, which in turn increases the fat around our belly, and the inability to lose weight. This is the same effect that too much cardio has on your body, and is why you see so many runners with weight around their belly (sprinters are exempt from this theory). Therefore, if you’re noticing you’re working your ass off, eating really healthy, but still not seeing results – you’re likely exercising too much and increasing this evil hormone called cortisol, making it nearly impossible for you to see results. Beyond the inability to see positive changes in your body, here are some other things that indicate you may be working out too much:
- You’re not sleeping well, and possibly experiencing insomnia
- Constant achiness and joint soreness
- You’re tired all the time
- There’s a decrease in your performance
- You’re more prone to colds, sore throats, flu’s and overall immune system weakness
Listen to your body – it talks to you! I was tired, gaining weight, and getting bored of my workouts. Now, I am in the best shape of my life, and I don’t run or spend hours in the gym. When I do workout though, I hit it hard with 20-60 minute workouts, 3-4 times per week. If I am itching for some more exercise, instead, I enjoy nice long walks to explore the outside. This was hard for me to learn and to escape my previous school of thought of working out hard hard hard….but it works. Just trust me, and you’ll be Royally Fit in no time.
Showing you the difference between liking and loving your body,
ashley dale roy