I hope you had a great weekend and are ready for a productive week ahead. I like Mondays because they are the start of a fresh week, a chance for a new beginning!
Today, I want to answer your questions about my workout. Right now, I work out 5 times a week (lifting weights and adding 20-30 minutes of cardio at the end). I love how lifting weights sculpts and shapes the body. I like a more muscular and lean look on my frame, but am not concerned about getting "too big" because I don't think that's possible with my workouts and the way I eat. Also, I don't take any kind of body building steroid.
I'm lucky that my gym has a daycare where my son loves to play, so we can go as a family. I keep my headphones on the whole time and don't chat.
I am currently doing Jamie Eason's Live Fit 12-Week Trainer. I came across it one night when looking for new workout routines and found it on Bodybuilding.com. The program is free, you just have to register. (I'm not a spokesperson or affiliate for the program).
If you are just starting a workout routine or have never worked out, I recommend you try it. The program does require a gym, but gives you lots of information regarding food and specific workouts for each week, with links to a video on how to perform the exercises. I think it's so helpful if you aren't familiar with the names of the exercises or how to perform them. I still have to check sometimes too!
The program is broken into 3 Phases (12 Weeks). I'll give you an overview of the program and an introduction into Phase 1 so you can see if it's something you might be interested in. Later this week, I'll introduce Phases 2 and 3.
I just started Phase 2 and can already tell a big difference in the shape of my body. I'm following the workouts exactly, and the food probably 80%. My arms are getting leaner, which is something I could never quite achieve in the past. Also, that unwanted post-pregnancy belly fat that I figured was just here to stay is actually diminishing! I'll keep you posted with my progress as I continue. I still have 8 weeks to go! (The photo above will be my "BEFORE" and I'll post an "AFTER" in two months, when I finish the program).
In Phase 1, you spend the first two weeks focusing on muscle endurance. The goal is to prepare your muscles for a strength-training program that will also promote muscle growth. Not bodybuilder-quantity muscle, but leaned, toned muscle that'll give your body the "lines" you've always wanted.
You also begin eating small, nutrition-packed meals every 2-3 hours. Jamie says that, "Eating this way will supply your body with a steady flow of nutrients, boosting your metabolism too. Your body will begin to release its stored body fat as fuel. The net result will be sustainable weight loss!"
There is a list of recommended foods on the website, too many to list here, but a sample day is included below:
Additional directives include:
*Eat your first meal within one hour of waking.
*Plan a food preparation day in advance.
*Measure and weigh food when possible.
*Eat every 3 hours (5-6 times a day, depending on when you wake up/go to bed).
*Drink lots of water.
Jamie recommends taking a daily multivitamin, and possibly an additional calcium supplement when weight lifting. She also suggests one tablespoon of Flaxseed or Fish Oil daily (which aid in weight loss and encourages healthy bowel movements).
The first two weeks, you lift weights 4 days a week (with specific exercises for each day). You do 3 sets of 12 repetitions (3 X 12) per exercise, resting 60 seconds (give or take) in between each set.
You should be lifting a weight that, on the last repetition, is heavy enough to be challenging, but not so difficult that you can't complete the set. She says to lift at about 60% of your maximum ability in the first two weeks. You don't want to get hurt, be TOO sore, or overtrain.
You don't do any cardio for the first month.
Here is an example workout for the 1st day (Chest & Triceps). It also comes with a printable (see below for a portion of it), that I take to the gym with me so I don't have to memorize the workout. When you're in the program on the Bodybuilding.com website, you can click on the name of the exercise to see a video of how it's supposed to be performed. I watch them because I'm not familiar with all of the exercises or I might just need a refresher regarding proper form.
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Week 3 starts the muscle building phase, which lasts 6 weeks. The schedule looks like below and continues with 3 sets of 10 repetitions (3 X 10) per exercise, resting 60 seconds (give or take) in between each set.
You'll be lifting a weight that's about 80% of your maximum ability now, also accounting for the fact that you might be stronger, able to lift a little heavier now. Still, you should be lifting a weight that, on the last repetition, is heavy enough to be challenging, but not so difficult that you can't complete the set.
Assuming you followed the food schedule and did the workouts for 4 weeks, your body should already be showing some results! That's awesome! In just 4 weeks, you will be on your way to transforming your body!
This is a lot of information to take in, but you can do it. Once you get into the routine of it, it's not so overwhelming. You just have to start.
Any of you familiar with the program? What do you think?
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