“TO CHANGE ONE’S LIFE: START IMMEDIATELY,DO IT FLAMBOYANTLY; NO EXCEPTIONS.” WILLIAM JAMES
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Last weekend I realized I've been slacking on my workouts. And definitely my nutrition. I re-read Shawn Phillips "Absolution" book. He won't appeal to everyone but for those of us who love muscular men, this is Shawn. He's known for having some of the best abs in the business. He was 38 when these photos was taken. *sigh*
Anyway, as I was reading his book, I realized that I haven't been hitting my workouts nearly as hard as I should be. I've been at this pretty consistently since March 2009 and while I've definitely made program and feel better about myself, I also feel like I've been stagnating for some time and that's just not good. So I decided to change a few things.
Before I read the book, I had decided to change my workouts every 2 weeks instead of every 4 weeks. It'll keep my muscles off guard and I'll be able to hit it harder more quickly.
I can't stress how important it is to be continually challenging your body. Shake things up. The body adapts so quickly and is so smart. I forgot that. I was going through the motions. Sure, I was working out 6 days a week but I wasn't truly challenging myself. I got complacent. That's not acceptable.
Then I read the book. He talks about HIIT (high intensity interval training) for cardio work. It's brief - 10 to 20 minutes, 3 days a week - but REALLY effective. HIIT starts with 2 minutes at a moderate pace for a warmup, then you alternate 1 minute of full tilt whatever you're doing running, stairs, bike, followed by 30 seconds at a moderate rate to catch your breath. You alternate that for 10-20 minutes and end with a full minute of cooldown. It doesn't sound like much but I'll tell you, I've only gotten to 12 minutes. Barry's going to try it today. I'm asthmatic so it's probably a little more challenging for me than those who don't have breathing issues but it's awesome. I love it! You have to keep track of exactly what you're doing or you'll lose where you are.
It's a great alternative to a longer, lower intensity cardio workout. It's time efficient. It not only revvs up your metabolism while you're working out, it keeps it revved up for hours which is very important if you're trying to burn fat. It's also great it you're time crunched. Sometimes we get home a little later (after an errand or two usually) and by the time we get home, Barry gets settled, the cats fed, etc. it's often 8 pm before we eat and I go to bed at 10. Not good. And I only have about an hour in the mornings to do a cardio workout plus an ab workout so it's awesome for me. I had been doing a 20 minute interval training through Body for Life but HIIT ... much more intense, although I guess I could make the 20 minute training almost as intense if I wanted. I'll likely alternate every couple of weeks just to keep shaking things up.
As for nutrition ... my biggest problem area ... I finally got a good meal replacement shake to use in the mornings after my weight workout. I've been sorely lacking in protein lately and that's just not acceptable. I notice a huge difference between eating enough protein and not. It's so important when weight training because if you don't, your muscles can't grow. And ladies....please don't be scared by the prospect of "growing" your muscles. I don't mean bodybuilder muscles. You can't get them just working out. You don't have enough testoterone in your body. Some of us have a more muscular frame than others. Some of us get a little bulkier than others. I'm one of those lucky ones. And I love it. I'll never be tall, willowly model material. They'll never be fitness model material. They just don't have the body type. You gotta learn to work with what God gave ya. It's like the whole curly/straight hair, big/small chests; whatever. Women so ften seem to want the opposite of what they have.
So I encourage you to keep shaking things up, stay active, eat lots of fruits and veggies, plenty of lean protein (whether it's egg whites, chicken, fish, red meat, beans, legumes, protein powders, whatever), drink LOTS of water, keep your sugar and bad fat levels as low as you're able without totally depriving yourself of enjoying life, and visualize where you want to be. I have 2 pictures on a wall in our gym. One if of me at about 22 when I was in the best shape of my life and one is of one of the Body for Life competitors whose before picture looks a LOT like mine did when I started and her after picture is what I'd love to look like eventually. Strong, lean, muscular but still really feminine. Yes, there is a balance.