The one thing I hear a lot from women when I am hired to be their trainer, is “I don’t want to get huge.” I can tease about this because many years ago I was one of those women. When it comes to bulking up the hormone testosterone is responsible for the large increases in muscle mass when combined with weight lifting.
The truth is a normal testosterone level for a man is around 200-1200 ng/dl while for women a normal level is around 15-70 ng/dl. You see how there is no possible way you can get the same amount of muscle as a man.
Now it is time to debunk some of the crazy myths out there so you can start seeing some serious results with your training.
First, men and women do NOT need to train differently. If you are a woman and want to gain lean body mass (which is what you want to do) and improve your physique than you are going to have to lift HEAVY weights. The amount you lift needs to be challenging to you. Do not be one of those women who stick with the 5-10 lb weights, this isn’t going to get you where you want to be- TRUST ME ON THIS ONE!!!
Secondly, men and women do NOT need to eat differently. Men and women’s metabolism are very similar although the calorie range will differ greatly. Men carry more lean body mass so they get to consume more calories which means more carbs, protein and fats but the actual food is the same as a women’s needs. Women burn a greater ratio of fat to carbs than men which is one of the main reasons we do better on a lower carb diet. Women are known for their crazy diets of bananas for breakfast and a small salad for lunch. This is not an diet that is going to get you anywhere towards your goals.
In order to build lean muscle you need to eat adequate protein and include good healthy fats in your diet. Please don’t listen to all the misinformation out in the media about this.
Thirdly, you CANNOT spot reduce.. I don’t care what the magazines or infomercials tell you. It cannot be done. Your body will lose the weight it’s own way. You can build a certain area with weight training but you cannot lose weight from your hips alone. There is no way to specify where the weight loss will come from.
Here are the Facts.
Calories- Your total calories will determine if you lose or gain weight. By eating too many calories you will gain weight but if you don’t eat enough you will not gain lean body mass. It is also not as simply as calories in and calories out. The quality of the calories counts too, more on that in a second.
Balance- While your total caloric intake is a very important factor so is the ratio of protein, carbs, and fats in your diet. If you eat 80% carbs and 20% protein than your physique will look much different than someone who is consuming a diet of 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% healthy fats. Wouldn’t you agree?
Water- I know many of you will skip right over this one because you just don’t like the taste of boring water. Well Get over it folks!!! It’s time to act like a grown up and do the things you need to do in order to be healthy. How can we expect our bodies to perform the daily demands we put on it if we continue to deprive it of the very thing it is made up of. Crazy, I know… The benefits are numerous, by simply being hydrated your body will perform better, skin and hair will look better, you will have more energy, lose more weight, etc. Aim for at least 64 oz of water a day (8 – 8oz glasses) add a glass for every hour you workout in addition to the 64 oz.
Protein- This is a big one… I usually see a lot of skimping in this area. Protein is the building block of muscle you need to eat enough to maintain the muscle you have.
Quality of the Foods you Eat- Get out of the era of easy and convenient packaged foods (after all those Twinkie days are long gone). I know your busy, so I am- but it doesn’t mean our health has to suffer. My favorite quote is, “If you don’t make time for health you will have to make time for disease”. Something like that- but it is true. Just because you are escaped high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes so far doesn’t mean you want to keep playing Russian Roulette with your health. Eat wholesome foods, as God provided. The foods that grow from the ground, from a tree, have feet or swim. Packaged foods are nonsense junk that shouldn’t even be in the same classification as food. They are to there to make the food manufacturers rich and you sick. We are NOT too lazy or busy to prepare our own foods. You just have to prepare a little ahead of time to make it just as convenient.
Healthy Fats- Now I know I scare some of you with this topic. Fats are not bad, it depends on which ones you are consuming. Healthy fats like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, fish, raw nuts, avocado, etc are excellent for our health and are much needed in our daily diets. Get off the spray canned stuff and use a little coconut oil when cooking your food. It is true that healthy fats contain more calories (around 9 calories per gram as a matter of fact) this is why you need to measure your fats. You can’t just open the jar and go crazy. Hint: Do you think when you go to that restaurant they are measuring the cheap oil that they are cooking your food in? Nope, that’s one MAJOR hidden fat trap… A tablespoon of oil, a ¼ of an avocado, a handful of raw nuts a Tablespoon of nut butter is all you need to keep your calories under control.
Cardio Queens- NO MORE LADIES!!! Yes, we need cardio to supplement that fat burning process, to strengthen our heart and lungs but we need to balance the scale here. Weight training burns a ton of calories too when you lift HEAVY enough to challenge the muscles. Challenging the muscles uses energy and calories are the unit of energy. Are you starting to see the picture here. Provide your body with 3-4 days a week of resistance training and 2-3 days of cardio training.
Cardio Training- If you resistance train 3 days a week than I recommend cardio at least 3 days a week. 2 of high intensity intervals and 1 of more of a steady state. If your fat loss is stubborn than you can add a cardio session to your weight training days but at different times. What I mean is say you do 20-30 minutes of cardio in the morning, than do your weight training later in the day.
Supplements- they are important but cannot make up for a sorry diet. You must eat a balanced diet but I believe even then your body needs a little extra help. I’m not going to get into this here, this is something you need to talk to your doctor about but I personally take a Vitamin C, Vitamin B Complex, Fish Oil, Flaxseeds, Digestive Enzymes, Multi Vitamin, Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) and Vitamin D on a regular basis and I eat a very well balanced diet.
Rest- How many of you brag about how little sleep you get? This is not good at all… Your body needs 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night in order to lose weight, perform optimally, be mentally alert, and productive throughout your day. We can all fit in the extra hours we need but simply turning off the television and getting to sleep. When you are lacking in the sleep department your body senses stress and produces more of the hormone, cortisol. This is your #1 enemy as it is a fat storing hormone. Here is Wikipedia’s definition of cortisol- Its primary functions are to increase blood sugar through gluconeogenesis; suppress the immune system; and aid in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It also decreases bone formation. Something that will give you the opposite of a healthy looking body.
There you have it the nuts and bolts of optimal health and body transformation. A good rule to follow is if the food didn’t grow from the ground or can walk, swim, or fly- don’t eat it….
Are you managing your weight? Are you taking care of your health? Are you making yourself a priority every single day OR Are you putting every little thing above your own needs? Even the litter box? Come on now? Are you telling me the laundry and changing the litter box are MORE important than YOU??
I am SO Sick of watching people take their health for granted. Especially you ladies out there, MOMS I am talking to you too. Your children are going to do exactly what they watch you do. If that is smoking a cigarette, drinking sodas, eating at fast food joints, sitting instead of exercising. They will be a product of your current physical state.. Is this what you want for them?
Let’s face it- were busy people. All of us can fill our time with a lot of different things, some important and some not some much!! I guess it comes down to what you consider important!! Be honest with yourself here, is that television show more important than your longevity? I hope I am hitting on a nerve here, because that is my intent. I want to fire you up, piss you off a little if that is what it takes to get you to save your life!!
I want you to change your current state of health TODAY! Right now, not tomorrow, but right this second. Stop procrastinating and make a change today that will bring you another tomorrow. Cuz in reality if you keep going on doing nothing, then frankly your days can be numbered. Your health is the single most important asset you have. Don’t believe me, then ask someone hooked up to a dialysis machine, someone who suffers from chronic back pain, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes.. They will tell you the truth..
Now for the good news… By just making a commitment to yourself, you can reduce the odds of getting one of the many diseases I just mentioned. By just deciding to make yourself as important as you do changing the litter box or watching that favorite television show- you can live a much better tomorrow and ensure your children will too. Make that promise to yourself. There are no excuses in this day and age. We have trainers at the gym, exercise videos, boot camps on every corner, trainers that come to your house, online training, etc –pick your favorite and let’s do this.
If you’re interested in my online training, I have a great deal going on right now. 4 months of online workouts for only $120.00 (that’s 4 months for the price of 3). I will keep you consistent, accountable, and I will educate you on how to transform your body the right way; the way that will last a lifetime. What are you waiting for? The time is NOW, don’t wait until this or that— do something for yourself right now. We are talking about the price of one fast food meal a week to give you back your life…
Don’t you think your worth that??