There is nothing worse than when it is weeks to swimsuit season, or a vacation and you freak out because you aren’t “swimsuit ready”. For all of us that means something different. But, I think being comfortable in your skin, and feeling good in a swimsuit is important. Getting where you want to be also doesn’t happen overnight. I think that is one of the worst myths in the fitness world. It takes time, dedication and consistency to achieve goals.
I often hear of women crash dieting or going on crazy workout binges before a vacation, which is one of the worst things you can do to your body. Working out like a crazy woman + not eating anything = a dangerous combo. You will wear yourself out, and chances are you will end up gaining everything back that you lost on that crash diet.
When you workout hard and especially if you are doing a lot of cardio your body needs fuel! Many women think that if you do more cardio you will be more fit. Actually, performing too much cardio will put your body in a catabolic state and burn hard-earned muscle. The loss of muscle will not only reduce strength, but it will also slow down your metabolism. If your metabolism slows down too much, you’ll have a tough time burning fat.
Based on my own experience over the past 3 years at Health House, the key to toning up and to lose body fat is to do 75 minutes a week of intense cardio a week mixed with muscle specific/isolation strength training. Use heavier weights than you would normally pick for yourself. You will be surprised at what your body can sustain; especially when doing leg exercises. At Health House I try to use 12.5-15 pounds when doing legs. And 10-12.5 pounds for arm exercises. I have mentioned this before, but I have noticed the biggest change in my body since I have added heavier weights to my workout.
I don’t workout 7 days a week, and my diet is far from perfect. But, I have found the secret to feeling good and keeping my body in tact is just to be consistent. For me that is eating clean 5 days a week, and not drinking alcohol Sunday-Thursday. I get in 3-4 days a week at Health House, which has been just enough for me! It’s such a hard and efficient workout that I feel like I need a break every few days. It’s important to let your body rest a little bit, and to give those muscles a break.
I have said it once and I will say it again. It’s not what is on the scale that is important, it is how you feel on the inside. Finding a way to stay fit with an activity you love is the key to success and happiness!