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

AVOID HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN (2010)

Over the holiday season, millions of Americans gain anywhere from 2 to 7 lbs. In fact, the one or two pounds people gain during the holidays tends to stay with them for life. So, how do you avoid holiday weight gain? Lean muscle is the secret to keeping your metabolism firing to burn fat all day long. People who are active are more likely to maintain their weight during the holidays.

Here are some tips for keeping weight off during the holidays:

  • Physical activity. It’s a fact, people who are more active are more likely to maintain their weight during the holidays. This year, park farther away from the entrance to the mall and get a nice walk in and take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator. This year, instead of being the wallflower at all those holiday parties, get on the dance floor and dance your a$$ off! Dancing burns off those extra calories you’re consuming. Just 30 minutes of dancing burns about 150 calories. So crank up the tunes and get your body moving!
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol can be a major source of hidden calories. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, almost as much as fat (9 calories per gram) and nearly twice as many calories as a gram of carbohydrate or protein (4 calories per gram). Just one apple martini has 235 calories and almost 12 grams of sugar! Stick to a flavored vodka & soda or a light beer. Drink plenty of water! In fact, for every drink you have, drink at least 1 extra glass of water. Water will help your body metabolize the alcohol and may counteract some of the dehydrating effects of alcohol on the body such as that almost inevitable next-day hangover. No matter what, ALWAYS have a designated driver!
  • Limit soda and other sweetened beverages. These drinks add extra calories, too. Simply put, they are drinks high in fat and/or sugar. A can of soda, for example, has 150 calories and 42 grams of sugar! An 8 oz. glass of egg nog has about 220 calories! It would take about an hour of ice-skating to burn off that nog (220 calories burned per hour). Personally, I love light egg nog but have made the switch to Rice-Nog, it’s delicious and only 80 calories per serving. However, H2O is always the best choice!
  • Schedule holiday celebrations at normal meal times. Celebrations outside of normal meal times encourage people to pile on snacks which always mean extra calories. This one isn’t always easy to follow with all the events and holiday parties, it’s the holiday season and we’ll all splurge on tasty treats. Try to use good judgement, do your best, and don’t stress over it.
  • Choose foods with fewer calories. Foods with fewer calories for their size make you feel fuller sooner. Reach for those celery sticks and stick to lean protein snacks like shrimp or turkey slices. I absolutely love traditional stuffing unfortunately, just ½ cup of this delectable treat requires half an hour of shoveling snow (195 calories burned per 30 minutes). Since I live at the beach I’d have to shovel sand and I don’t know about you, but that just doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. Now, I opt for brown rice stuffing which saves 100 calories per serving. Just a little discipline goes a long way.
  • Use smaller plates. The bigger your plate, the more food you can pile on it, which means you’ll be more likely to overeat. Using smaller dishes may actually help you eat less. Using a smaller plate “tricks” your mind to think that you are eating the same amount of food as you normally do when you will probably be eating less than you normally do. Try using a salad plate for your entrée. Eating less at each meal can save hundreds of calories saved each week. Remember, it’s the little changes that make the biggest differences!
  • Eat a healthy snack beforehand. You’ll be less likely to eat a lot of fattening food at parties. Try an apple with almond butter or a protein shake with a small piece of fruit like a pear or an apple. One medium-sized apple contains 5 grams of fiber and only 80 calories, they’re great to stave off that sweet tooth. Or, grab my new favorite protein treat the PowerCrunch Bar, a healthy snack that tastes like dessert! My picks for protein powders are ProtoWhey, MyoFusion, and Elite XT.
  • Weigh yourself weekly. Weekly NOT daily! It’s the holidays and we’ll all splurge on tasty treats just don’t stress over it. Just try not to overdo it and if you do, get right back on the track the next day. If you notice the needle on the scale creeping up a bit, create a plan of how you’ll get back on track when the holidays are over.
  • Get plenty of REST! Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, stress, moodiness, and the inability to be your best. With all the holiday parties and late nights it’s easy to skimp on sleep but give yourself the gift of sleep this holiday season. It’s the best gift you can give yourself and you deserve it!
Don’t be a statistic! Get FIT, boost your energy, and shed pounds this holiday season by participating in a fitness class (i.e. yoga, SPX Pilates, TRX, Kickboxing), go to the gym, or just head out for a walk in the crisp winter air! NOW is the perfect time to get a jump on that New Year’s Resolution.

Written by Jennifer Billings, BS, CPT
www.dolphitness.com
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Testimonial for TRX Training

I take pride in working with my clients, developing a personal relationship, and helping them achieve their goals. Read what one of my satisfied clients has said about my TRX classes!

“So there I was, at the WRONG end of my closet…not good. I’m turning 40 this year and am actually excited about it.  But, it was time to admit that I can’t fight Father Time forever. It was time to stop spending six months getting in shape and then letting it all go until those pants no longer fit, only to start all over again. I needed direction but couldn’t afford a personal trainer. Does that sound like an excuse? Not good enough? Well, I have two little kids and erratic work hours, making it really difficult to attend evening classes. That’s 0 for 2 so far. Did I mention I’m a night owl and HATE getting up in the morning to go to the gym? Three strikes. So that was it, right? Not so fast; all these excuses didn’t change the fact that I had three pair of pants (including the “mom” jeans) that fit me. Then, there were those two little kids at home who needed a good role model, not someone who would just keep buying new pants while ending up sick and frail before her time. Speaking of time…JUST IN TIME, Clarita found Jennifer Billings and TRX! No one and nothing else in this world could get me to the gym at 6:00 a.m.; but, just three classes a week for two months have me back at the right end of my closet! YAY!! I’m also stronger than I’ve been since my 20’s. The best part is that TRX is included in my Personal Best monthly dues! Am I using too many exclamation points? I can’t help it. Personal Best is the only gym in the South Bay that doesn’t charge extra for TRX. Since there are only 5 students per class, it’s really like having a personal trainer. Besides the fact that Jennifer is totally fun (EVEN at 6:00 a.m.!!), the small classes allow her to tailor the workout for those “extra special” areas. So, what are you waiting for?” 

Kara C.

If you are interested in getting in shape, working with the TRX, or just getting some information, send me an e-mail at jenniferb@dolphitness.com. If you would like to purchase your own TRX, click here or on the banner below:

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TRX® Suspension Training® What is TRX? TRX stands for Total Resistance EXercise. TRX Suspension Training helps you build total body strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability for people of all ages and fitness levels.

TRX Booty Camp Tuesdays and Thursdays (8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.) Sculpt your legs and tighten your tush with this fun and challenging workout. TRX Booty camp will help you tone your abs and strengthen your upper body. Alternate between functional exercises using your own body weight and gravity for resistance and cardio blasts to burn tons of calories and get you in the best shape ever!

TRX Goddess Abs Tuesdays and Thursdays (12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.) If you’ve ever seen a statue of a powerful Greek or Roman Goddess, you’ve probably noticed their finely chiseled abs. This workout focuses specifically on those abdominal and oblique muscles to give your core that extra challenge. No more muffin tops here! With this class you’ll soon have those Goddesses envious of you!

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For Additional Information, Contact: jenniferb@dolphitness.com

Welcome to Fit Chica

My name is Jennifer Billings. I am the daughter of parents who emigrated from Mendoza, Argentina to Los Angeles, CA in 1960. I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles called Glendale. When I was 13 years old, the Jane Fonda workout hit video stores across America and I, like millions of Americans, was hooked! Leg warmers and all, I would workout religiously to her video in front of the TV in our very small apartment in our even smaller living room. It was right about this time that a gym opened up down the street from our house and I begged my mom for the money to join. I took aerobics classes regularly but didn’t really lift weights because I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t want to look foolish. Two years later `The Terminator’ hit movie theaters and as I watched the scenes of Linda Hamilton with those kick-ass arms, I knew I wanted arms like that.

It took a little while but I ended up working out at a now defunct gym called 20 Minute Workout and I managed to get the courage to hit the weights. Oh how I remember the spandex and butt floss leotards that were all the rage back then. There was a little women’s area so I went ahead and jumped on all the machines and used the free weights. I just copied what I saw other people doing and voila! I felt like a pro 😉

I’m 40 years old now and have never lost my love of fitness. Over the last few years, I’ve added yoga, pilates, and TRX® Suspension Training to my repertoire. After being laid off in November ’08, I decided to focus my energies into figuring out what it is that I enjoy and what I really want to be when I grow up. After thinking it over I realized that what I really love to do is workout and what I really wanted to do is help people achieve their fitness goals. For years  friends have asked if they could workout with me and even a few strangers who would see me at the gym regularly asked if they could workout with me. So, after training people for free for years, I decided to get paid for it 🙂

I am now a certified personal trainer. Along with my personal training certification, I am certified to train others on the TRX®.

I like to incorporates traditional weight lifting with BOSU® balance training and TRX® Suspension training. I believe that a workout today will make you a better person than you were yesterday. That staying fit is the key to a long and healthy life.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts. I look forward to hearing from you.

In Good Health,
Jennifer aka Fit Chica