Does Your Workout Work For You?

When you get ready to head out to the gym do you know what you’re going to do when you get there? Do you have a plan or do you just get there, hop on a piece of cardio equipment and go through the same routine you’ve been doing for years? I can tell you that I have seen the same people year after year at the gym that look exactly the same as when they first joined and here’s why…

1. You do the same routine or go to the same class every day.

You need to add variety to get results. The body will adapt quickly to the same 30 minutes on the StairMaster every day. Do a combination of strength training and cardio, check out a different class, or get on a different piece of cardio equipment. I personally love kickboxing, there’s nothing like punching and kicking a heavy bag to release stress! If you really want to torch some calories I suggest adding in a kickboxing class.

2. You have no idea what you’re doing or how to use the equipment at they gym so you only go to the machines you know how to use.

My suggestion is to find a trainer that can help you learn how to use the equipment and create a plan for you to meet your fitness/weight loss goals. When working with a trainer start from day one writing down your workouts so you can use them on the days you are not with your trainer. For most people having a trainer is not a luxury, it’s a NECESSITY! Having a standing appointment with a trainer will help keep you motivated, safe, and most importantly ACCOUNTABLE.

3. You multi-task while working out. What I like to call “Cell phone cardio”.

I cannot begin to tell you the number of times each day I see women sitting on a recumbent bike, walking the treadmill, or some other piece of cardio equipment while texting away on their cell phones. If you can text while you’re working out, you’re not working out hard enough. I put one of my clients on an elliptical machine and she flipped out because her heart rate went up to 12o BPM’s she told me that “someone” told her that for her age/size she shouldn’t go above 120 BPM’s. I gently explained that you need to go by how you feel, NOT the number on the screen. Can you carry on a conversation? If the answer is yes, you are not working hard enough.

4. You find a routine in your favorite fitness magazine or one that a “celebrity” is doing and expect it to work the same for you.

I applaud you for making the effort to pull out the routine and try it. Unfortunately, more often than not, you’re not putting in the same kind of effort/intensity required. The model or celeb in the photos is working with a trainer and nutritionist on a regular basis. Not to mention, they airbrush these people to make them appear perfect. Find something you like to do, put the effort in, and stick to it!

5. You tell yourself that since you went to the gym today you should reward yourself with a bag of cookies or chips. WRONG ANSWER!

You can spend hours at the gym working out but if you fill your body up with processed junk food, you are wasting your time. You need to feed your body with healthy nutritious food not empty calories. Every Saturday I go to the grocery store and stock up on what I will need for the upcoming week. Fuji apples, spinach, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, chicken, turkey, oatmeal, egg whites (in the carton), almond milk, protein powder, etc. On Sunday, I grill/cook all my chicken and veggies so that it’s all ready to eat. Every night I put together my cooler and fill it with my breakfast and lunch for the following day. I also include a shaker for protein shakes, small Tupperware containers with 1 serving of protein powder, and apples for snacks. A little preparation goes a long way!

These are just some of the mistakes I see at the gym on a regular basis. If you are committed to making a change in your life through exercise and nutrition then find the help you need to get you where you want to be. Go to the front desk at your gym, look around at the people at your gym find the most fit person and ask them what they do. Go online and order books on fitness & nutrition. The book I’m currently reading and one I’d highly recommend is IMPACT by Todd Durkin it’s filled with great information, motivation, and inspiration.

Most of all just get up and MOVE!!!

xoxo Fit Chica

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Inner Thigh Exercises

Someone sent me an e-mail after coming across my website, they wanted to know what exercises they could do to tone their inner thighs. With Summer just around the corner I thought it might be nice to share this with all of you. 
 
Inner thighs are always difficult to target by themselves. It is important to do other leg exercises which target the surrounding muscles i.e. quads, hamstrings, glutes. Lunges, squats, 1 legged squats, leg press, leg extensions, hamstring curls, etc.  are great for creating lean and sculpted legs. If you are at a gym, using the seated abduction/adduction machine is always a nice addition as well.
 
Inner thigh pull: Attach an ankle cuff to the low pulley on a Freemotion or other machine which allows this. While standing, put the cuff on the ankle closest to the machine, set the weight to the lowest level to start then move your leg in front of and across your body do 10-15 reps, 3-4 sets on each leg. This is a slow and controlled movement. Make sure you hold on to the machine firmly as you do this exercise. Play with the position of your feet throughout maybe flex your toes for one set and point them for another. As you get more advanced, you can add weight but always ensure that your form or posture does not suffer. This is a small and controlled movement so heavy weight is not necessary.
 
Inner thigh presses: Grab a stability ball and lie on the floor, put the ball between your knees keep your hips on the floor and squeeze the ball repeatedly (little presses/pulses) keeping tension on the ball, repeat 20-30 times, 3-4 sets.
 
Inner thigh leg lifts: Grab a pair of 2 to 5 lb. ankle weights, lying on your left side ensuring that your head, shoulders and hips are aligned. Use your hand to prop your head up, cross the right leg over your left and place your right foot on the floor. Now lift and lower the left leg (this is a small movement) 20-30 times then, without stopping, keep the left leg lifted and make small circles 10-20 times forward then 10-20 times backward. Repeat on the right side. Click here for a video of this exercise.
 
Stair crosses: If you have stairs nearby, stand sideways at the bottom of the stairs holding on to the railing for balance. Put your right foot on the first stair and cross your left leg over the right to get to the next stair. Continue till you reach the end of the stairs. For added resistance, you can add 2 to 5 lb. ankle weights.
 
Plie squat: Stand so that your feet are shoulder width apart with your toes turned out like a ballerina. Now, come down into a squat keeping your chest and shoulders lifted throughout the exercise, do 10-15 reps, 3-4 sets. As you get more advanced, grab a 10-30 lb. dumbbell and hold it lengthwise as you squat. You can also use a barbell, I just prefer a dumbbell.
 
There are several other exercises that target not only the inner thighs but the legs and glutes as well. These are just a few. Repeat these exercises a few times a week and watch those inner thighs get stronger and more toned.
xoxo-Fit Chica