During my 20's I spent most of my time doing long and strenuous cardio. Like a lot of people, I was under the impression that if I wanted to be the leanest and strongest then I had to be handcuffed to a treadmill, have the highest heart rate possible, be the sweatiest and most miserable of all. That was the formula that would give me the physique I dreamed of, boy was I wrong!!
Back then I hadn't yet learned about what cardio fitness was or how it worked. All I really knew was I was feeling exhausted, worn out and I just didn't want to do it anymore. To top things off I always felt like I was failing and getting no where.
After almost a decade of cardio, I then decided to give free weights a try. If you’ve ever felt hesitant about lifting weights at the gym, you are not alone – I remember how that feels! But when I finally added resistance training to my workouts I noticed my body making really noticeable changes and that's when I began feeling more positive about my journey.
Today, I get a lot of questions about resistance training. For example, what it is, different ways it can be done, and how it will make you look (and feel). So let me begin with explaining what resistance training is. Resistance (or strength) training is any exercise that uses some kind of resistance to strengthen and build muscle. You can train with hand-held weights (free weights,) weight machines, resistance bands or cables, medicine balls, or even your own body weight.
Resistance training workouts can be done anywhere not just at the gym. The versatility goes from the gym to the comfort of your very own home, and either way, I’ve got you covered. I can help create a plan designed for you to use at your local gym or one at your own home with little to no equipment.
Resistance training doesn't just make you stronger, decrease body fat, increase lean muscle, speed your metabolism, but it can also help you feel more confident. You’ll sleep better, and may experience lower anxiety, improved cognition, and reduced depression. Also, a regular strength training routine is one of the best ways to define your body.
Something you might not know is that a pound of fat and a pound of muscle weigh exactly the same thing, BUT they take up very different amounts of space in your body. You have to understand that muscle takes up 4 times less volume than fat, so you will look and feel thinner but the scale might not change much or at all. I can't tell you how many times I let that scale make me feel like a failure not realizing that I was actually making a lot of progress. Never forget that YOU – and your awesome beauty can’t be reduced to a single number.
My advice is to get off the scale, if you really want to see your progress, you need to be taking progress pictures at regular intervals or using how your clothes fit as a way to keep track of your changes.
By the way, this volume difference between fat and muscle is exactly why you don’t need to worry about “bulking up.” That’s a myth because as we just learned, muscle makes us lean, not bulky. See the reference pictures below of what resistance training has done for me. In both pictures, my weight is exactly the same.
About how resistance training speeds up your metabolism and a little math. Every pound of muscle you build, you will burn an additional 35-50 calories a day, even at a resting rate. That means if you gain 4.5 lbs of muscle, that’s an extra 150 calories burned each day. That's 4,500 extra calories burned each month. That adds up to losing about 15 lbs a year.
There are so many awesome things that Resistance Training does. Personally, I prefer blending resistance training with HIIT workouts during my training. It gives me both the strong body and toned, sleek physique I want.
Lastly, I wanted to share what a typical resistance training day looks for me. Remember this is what I like to do, the program I design for you will be tailored to what you like, your need and goals. In this example, I focus on lower body.
-15-20 minute stretching along with HIIT.
4x 25 Barbell Squats
20 Walking Lunges
30-45 sec squat jumps
4x 15 Barbell Front Squat
10 Pistol Squats
30-45 sec Plyo Lunges
4x 25 Leg Extensions
15 Single Leg, Leg Extensions
30-45 sec. Burpees
Right now I'm doing The Shift Shop from Beachbody On Demand.