Fitness Fridays! Week 3

Happy Friday! Friday is basically party time in my head over here at Kitchenspired because of Fitness Fridays! Wahoo!

Also, we are in the wonderful month of September. September is a great month– it means that fall is coming. And fall is the best at everything. It just wins. Everything.

So I decided to dub this month #StrongSeptember. This month we are getting stronger mentally, emotionally, and of course, physically! Who’s with me??

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Well my #StrongSeptember is off to a great start! I decided to go back to the bod pod testing place since it’s been about 5 weeks since my last visit. These were my stats when I first went about a month ago:

July 30, 2015:
Weight: 119.3 lbs
Body Fat %- 29.9%
Fat lbs- 35.7 lbs
Lean lbs- 83.6 lbs

This past month, I decided to finally listen to all the advice to lift heavier & eat more. I’m not going to lie, it was scary to me. As a woman who has always been pretty body-conscious (hey, we all are at some point, I’ll own up to it!), I was nervous to eat more and lift. I didn’t want to “bulk” and look like a man. I didn’t want to gain weight because I’ve been told all my life to eat less in order to lose weight. But…what did I have to lose? I’ve tried most things and still was at 30% body fat, just on the edge of too much.

So, after only one month of lifting heavy 5-6 days a week, reducing the amount of my cardio exercise, and eating a lot more, these were my results this week:

September 2, 2015:
Weight: 122.4 lbs
Body Fat %- 27.4 %
Fat lbs- 33.4 lbs
Lean lbs- 89 lbs

Here are the results in a nutshell:

  • I gained 3.1 lbs in total bodyweight (gasp!)
  • My body fat percentage, however, decreased by 2.5%!
  • I lost 2.3 lbs of fat.
  • I gained 5.4 lbs of muscle.
  • My clothes fit better, I feel much leaner, and I feel a lot curvier/more feminine than ever!!

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Now… that’s awesome!!!! Who doesn’t want results like that!!!  I would say I highly recommend incorporating consistent strength training in your workout plan, especially if you workout a lot but have hit a rut in your fitness. I know strength training can be scary, but with a few tips, I think you, too, can start to incorporate more strength training and see yourself get strong for #strongSeptember!!

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Do I look like a bulky man to you? 🙂 (you can be honest with me)

My 6 top tips for starting a strength training program (for beginners!):

  1. Get a buddy involved. I know having someone else with you to learn the ropes makes something new less intimidating. It gives you someone you can laugh with when you inevitably make mistakes. They keep you accountable, encouraged, and motivated! I can’t emphasis the buddy system enough. It is a game-changer!{Shout out to my amazing husband for being my lifting buddy!)
  2. Find or make a simple plan. The plan doesn’t have to be complicated in order to build muscle. It’s simple– 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions of the move. Pick 5 or 6 moves that target the muscle group you want to work. That’s it! You can also find simple workout plans & resources on sites like bodybuilding.com
  3. Research the moves before your workout. Youtube the moves in your plan and watch them over and over again! Mimic them at home with some water bottles before heading to the gym. Know which muscles the moves work, and where those muscles are. You want to make sure you know the form like the back of your hand, for my next tip…
  4. Start with low weights and focus on form more than anything! If you start with heavy weights but can’t do the move correctly, you are not going to work or build the muscle, plus you put yourself in danger for injury! So be safe and start low, then take the time to properly build from there. Patience, young grasshopper.
  5. Focus on which muscles the exercises are working. If you are doing an exercise that is working the triceps, and you are feeling it in your shoulders and biceps, then you are probably not doing the move correctly. Develop some self-awareness when you workout and don’t just go through the motions to get the workout done and over with. What muscles are you supposed to be working? Where should you be feeling it? Make sure you can feel the work in those specific muscles (yes, other secondary muscles may feel it, too, but make sure you are feeling the burn in the main muscle group you are working!)
  6. Rock those weights and don’t compare yourself! The gym is known as being a breeding ground for comparison & insecurity– It’s the reason why most people just choose to stay away. But it really doesn’t have to be that way! The truth is- everyone is too focused on themselves to focus on you, so focus on yourself and not let gymtimidation keep you from your goals! Be humble and ask for help when you need. If you keep with the first 5 tips, you will be fine. You can do it!

A good place to help you get started is the Best Beginner Weight-Training Guide by bodybuilding.com!

20150904-094946.jpgBe inspired (and strong),

Alexa

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