After reading a post from Thomas Plummer regarding this topic slightly, I was inspired to write a similar post as him, with my own experiences added in….
Right now there are tons of women having a conversation with and promising themselves that “2017 will be my year.” The year that her fitness goals are met. The year she finally gets the body she deserves. But here’s what you need to know about fitness, especially if you’re a woman.
Strong is the new beautiful. I can promise you after 5+ years of training experience and working with hundreds of clients that climbing onto the same piece of cardio equipment for hours on end, day after day is NOT the answer. You may lose a few pounds, but they will come back…like they always do. Do not become a slave to the cardio machines. The women you admire on social media and TV commercials have adequate muscle mass, which is why they look “toned and fit”.
You have the ability to control your body and physical appearance in the future by working with an experienced coach and educating yourself about your body. Guess what? Everyone is different! Especially when it comes to training and nutrition. There is no one size fits all approach to it like you see advertised on TV. Or, like you are told by a front desk gym employee when they tell you about all of the “awesome and unique classes” they offer. (Yes, Zumba is only cardio…sorry for those who are fans of it. No muscle is being built in a Zumba class).
One of the most common things I see with clients is everyone expects to be able to achieve a version of their former selves. We all remember our physical primes and believe if we work hard enough we can get back to that point. Sorry to burst that bubble but it’ll never happen. Can you regain strength? Yes. Can you improve your balance and flexibility? Sure can. Can you lose weight and get back to a healthy body fat and weight? Absolutely! Being realistic about what to expect from yourself is one of the biggest hurdles mentally for people. Make the focus on being just 1% better than you were yesterday, not on trying to get back to an old version of yourself.
There is an old myth surrounding fitness especially regarding women, and if you believe this myth you will hurt yourself continuously by not allowing your body to maintain its full potential…and that myth is if you lift weights you will get large and bulky and muscular looking…”I don’t want to look like a man”. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard this from a female client. That is literally the same thing as saying “if you ride a bike everyday you’ll look like Lance Armstrong”. It is an absurd thought process, but one that is flowing through the minds of countless women.
Lifting weights and doing strength training with an experienced coach or trainer that can adapt a program towards your lifestyle and goals is prudent in delaying many age related diseases. Even if its only once a week, find a professional to develop a program for you and add some years to the end of your life. Don’t wait until the daily pains turn into surgeries and joint replaces, or until that fall happens and you can’t even pick yourself back up off the ground. Or, until you throw your back out simply by bending over to pick up some clothes off of the floor; all of these things are preventable(for the most part).
Each workout you do will impact the quality of life you have later on in the future. Don’t wait until it’s too late…become the best version of yourself now. Find yourself a good coach or trainer with experience and start on the path to a better you.