improvebodyandsoul asked: Hi :) I'm a 17 (in less than a month) year old girl, i usually weigh around 125, my weight is always up and down and its frustrating. I have always loved lifting weight and i just recently made a commitment to myself that I wouldn't give up anymore, I got a membership to a gym 4 days ago and have been going twice a day... but i have very little patience. My body type is pudgy around the middle, not very bad but i want a six pack so bad, i've been working my ass off but I'm used to diets that are fast (not very healthy) but fast. I just need to hear that it will take time because right now I am really discouraged...
Hi Lisa! Glad you started taking control of your fitness & going to the gym! One of the reasons so many people covet a 6-pack is that it is relatively hard to get. Despite what most people think, the key is not doing crunches or sit-ups. The key is reducing your body fat low enough so there isn’t a layer of fat covering your abs. There is a saying that abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym - meaning that your diet is more important than your workouts. You can do sit-ups & crunches ‘til you’re blue in the face but your abs won’t show if they’re buried underneath a layer of fat. This, my dear, takes time, hard work & persistence. It starts w/ going on a fat-reducing diet - one that gives your body enough of the fuel it needs to function but less than the energy you expend through daily activity & exercise. This way, you will burn more calories each day than you take in & over time, this will lead to fat loss, allowing your abs to show. Avoid bread, sugar, pasta, rice & alcohol - these all get converted to fat very easily. Eat more veggies & lean protein like chicken, tuna, turkey & lean cuts of beef - these take your body longer to break down & are less likely to be converted to fat. Next, do a combination of both cardio & weight training, preferably workouts that engage both your upper & lower body. Unfortunately, you can’t target fat loss to just one area. You’ll need to lose the overall fat around your body. Doing cardio will help burn calories at that moment, while building muscle through weight training will help burn calories throughout the day. Give it time. Take your ‘Before’ pictures now and then again every 30-days so you can compare visually. Ignore the scale bc that’s irrelevant. Go more by how differently your clothes feel over time. Relish in the idea that your clothes will get looser over time & you may need to start buying clothes that are a size or two smaller than what you wear now. It’s not going to happen over night. Anyone who tells you that is lying and probably trying to sell you something. If you lose too much weight too quickly (by starving yourself, for example) there’s a much higher chance of that weight coming back and you ending up worse than where you started. Don’t be discouraged. If it were easy, everyone would be walking around with a ripped 6-pack. But it is totally possible. Keep at it and it will come! Hope this helps!
You may want to skip your workout today. You may want to quit. But there will be others who push forward. And you will be another day behind.
Hills are tough but the satisfaction of getting to the top are worth it.
Misty Copeland, New York Magazine
ocean-and-pacific asked: Hey I'm currently running about 40 miles per week and I was wondering whether doing lower body lifts such as dead-lifts and squats would have an averse affect on my running?
Hi Exiled! You’ve got a very cool blog. If you’re logging 40-miles/week that means you’re a seasoned runner & you probably have very well developed slow-twitch muscle fibers in your legs. Slow-twitch muscle fibers don’t produce that much force but can go on and on for long periods of time. When you dead-lift or squat, you engage your fast-twitch muscle fibers - the ones that can produce a lot of force but fatigue very quickly. Adding dead-lifts and squats will most likely help your running because whenever you improve your weaker areas, it allows your stronger areas to further improve as well. By strengthening the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your legs, you’ll be improving their overall strength, which will in turn make running easier. The most important things about dead-lifts and squats is using proper form & isolating the appropriate muscles. Using bad form or too much weight too soon can very easily lead to injury of the back, knees or hips & that could set you back for a very long time. You could also do weighted lunges (w/ a dumbbell in each hand), leg presses or squats on the Smith machine. Hope this helps!
thebeautyofsports: Morgane Gay of the University of Virginia (769) paces the pack during the 2010 Division I Women’s Cross Country Championship held at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, IN. (via NCAA)
Lead the pack. Make them all chase and struggle to catch up to you.
Kathleen Tesori rockin’ the kettlebell.
The epitome of perseverance and determination.
Speed up your metabolism by adding muscle.