Jumping into the fitness lifestyle can be intimidating and may leave you feeling a little lost at first with questions like, “How should I start lifting? What exercises should I be doing? What things should I eat? What things should I not be eating?”
Begin With the End In Mind
In order to answer the first two questions, you must ask yourself what it is that you want. Do you want to loose weight? Or are you trying to build a more shapely, “toned” body? There’s a reason the saying “begin with the end in mind” is well, a saying- it’s true.
For example, if you have a goal to develop a firmer, rounder bum, yet only go to the gym to run on the treadmill or do the elliptical or stair master, then you aren’t doing yourself any favor.
You aren’t going to develop the muscle that you need to tighten and round that glute muscle by only doing cardio when you go to the gym. Glutes, like any muscle, grow under two different ways- contraction and weight. Both of these lead to the tearing of the muscle, which your body repairs, and (over time) results in a bigger, tighter muscle.
Here is a good, effective, beginner glute workout, brought to you by your’s truly. 🙂
Side note- It’s important to get the correct form down of an exercise before piling on a bunch of weight and using bad form. This is especially common with deadlifts. Many newcomers try to be macho and stack on a bunch of weight and lift it with a horrible arch in their back- which is not only ineffective of the movement, but also really unsafe. Practice safe form.
“Okay, that’s one workout, now what?” If you are new to the gym scene with the desire to sculpt your legs and grow your bum, and are looking for a real, result driven, no B.S. fitness/workout plan- then I highly recommend this 6-Week Bootybuilding 101 Plan.
As for cardio- cardio is great when trying to loose weight- especially high intensity cardio. However, if you’re trying to loose weight and aren’t keeping track and adjusting your macronutrients, don’t expect to see any changes on that scale. To loose weight your body needs to be in a deficit; where you are burning more than storing.
Cut the Crap
Starbucks Frappachinos, Nutella, Margaritas, fried chicken, sweet tea, Mexican food, Tropical Smoothie… (pretty much anything your typical Southern basic white girl would eat- cut it!)
If you are a frequent consumer of one or more of the above listed items, I’m sorry to tell you that these things will hold you back from your goals to loose weight if you have them often. I can personally attest to it from past experience. Unless you are consciously keeping track of your macros (like through MyFitnessPal) and are able to fit it in, these items will hold you back.
What you eat throughout the day should consist primarily of whole foods– foods that are as close to the original source as possible; with little to no procession, refinery, additives, artificial ingredients, etc. So we’re talking fresh veggies, fruits, protein (eggs, poultry, meat, etc.). While these items are typically more expensive (unfortunately), it’s worth it to fill your body up with good, fresh produce. Your body will thank you down the road.
Companies are great at making you think something is healthy when it’s actually not. Take smoothies for example.
We think because it’s made out of fruit it’s automatically healthy, but some smoothies, like the Jetty Punch at Tropical Smoothie, has almost as much sugar and calories as a 20 0z bottle of Mountain Dew!
So much sugar is added to their smoothies to make them taste good. Next time you’re craving a nice cool smoothie on these hot summer days, ask for no added sugar, or make a smoothie yourself.
Don’t accept everything at face value. Just because something appears or proclaims to be “healthy” or “natural,” doesn’t mean it is. Do your research. Play the detective; be the judge if something is truly healthy or not. The more aware you are about your nutrition and fitness, the more you are likely to succeed in them.
Ladies, if you have any questions or want any advice, feel free to tweet, email, DM, whatever. I’m here to help. 🙂
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