Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Workouts Not Working - Learn What You May Be Doing Wrong!


Hi Darlings!

I am so excited to share with you that I will be having a guest blogger every other Wednesday sharing her tips on fitness. Cynthia is an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Reebok Spin, Zumba, R.I.P.P.E.D (One Stop Body Shock) and Scuba Diver – PADI Certified. 

She has been teaching for 15 years. "My passion is anything fitness and physical: boxing, bootcamp, sandbag training, TRX training, weights, spinning, heavy rope training, kettlebells, step, circuit training etc.  I love conventional workouts but mostly I love unconventional workouts as they challenge you in ways that you would not imagine.  I love the music and high energy" 

I hope you guys enjoy the knowledge and expertise she will be bringing to "Work It Wednesday" and please make sure to leave any comments of questions you may have for her in the comments section below.  Now, please enjoy Cynthia's first post on Mimi G Style!


My Workouts Are Not Working - What Am I Doing Wrong?

If you are working out, congrats because you are doing something RIGHT!  We all reach a point where we are doing what we do and we see no results. This is not the time to say “I give up” or “forget it” or “My destiny is to be …..”  Now is the time to stay focused and stay the course.  Staying healthy as we age is truly “the fight of our lives.”

Our “fitness regime”, I use this term to include both nutrition and exercise, is unique to each of us.  Sort of like our DNA or more simply put like “a recipe”.  You know how you get a recipe and you don’t use it exactly as it is, you change it up, add spices you like or you change the type of protein or veggies, you add nuts or take them out but basically the principle is to make it unique or to make it “your” recipe.

Well, we have to do the same with our fitness regime.  We have to tweak it to make it work for us.  And I have to add, the older we get the MORE tweaking we have to do.  No frowns here because the good news is that once you have found the formula you will continue to use it until you have to tweak again.

Some quick and immediate tweaking that you can do with the following:

  1. Nutrition – remember the old formula “calories in has to be LESS than calories out”.  Yep, that still holds true.  Now don’t run off and reduce your calories to 2 pieces of lettuce per day, this is not what I am saying.  I am saying you have to look at your diet and be honest, really honest about
    1. Portions sizes (how much are you eating)
    2. Nutritional value of the foods that you do eat – do you eat/drink low nutritional value foods (junk, soda) or do you eat/drink more high nutritional value foods (veggies, whole grains, lean protein, milk)
    3. Water intake – for most of us eight 8 oz glasses of water is good enough. The human body is 60% water and the body uses water for many important functions. For me 12 – 16 glasses feels right. For certain if you are not drinking the 8 cups per day  – try to get the eight in.
Your nutrition profile will cover all the major food groups but in the portions necessary for you based on your needs. If you don’t know where to begin, enlist the services of a registered nutritionist.  The registered nutritionist can put together a “roadmap” which will be nutritionally balanced based on what you like to eat (sans the junk food).  Once you understand your nutritional profile then you can begin to use other resources for information and tweak your own “roadmap” .  The United States Department of Agriculture website  http://www.choosemyplate.gov  is a great place to get additional information.

2.  F.I.T.T or Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type
a.    Frequency – how often are you working out. Seriously if you are looking to reduce your body fat (notice here I did not say lose weight a topic for a later discussion),  5 – 6 times per week and 1 – 2 non consecutive days of rest is necessary.  This will include a combination of cardio and resistance training.  Cardio is done 5 times per week and resistance training is done 3 times per week. I have added 2 sessions of yoga or Pilates for myself each week as well to increase my flexibility.

b.    Intensity – how hard you are working during the workout period.  Cardio Intensity can be measured by a 1) heart rate monitor  or 2) RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion . A heart rate monitor is a device you wear and it monitors your heart rate. Great investment, but costly, and I admit I rarely put mine on now. RPE,  yep a mouthful but basically on a scale of 1 to 10 you rate how hard you perceive you are working - with 1 being “I can do this I feel good and am breathing normal” and 10 being “I am exhausted and my muscles are going to be able to do this for 10 or 20 seconds.” RPE is a common measurement in the fitness industry. Resistance training intensity can be measured by how much weight you lift, how many sets and repetitions of that exercise you do and/or how many resistance exercises you do in the total workout.  When I teach classes, most of the students do not have a heart rate monitor so I use the RPE method.

c.     Time – how long you spend doing that workout.  Intense cardio can be sustained for about 30 minutes.  However we should get about 60 minutes of cardio per day. I break my cardio into 2 sessions because I like the fact that on some days I can do 2 intense 30 minute sessions instead of one 60 minutes slow steady session. If you have the time to do 60 minutes in one session then by all means do it. Resistance training should be done 45 minutes to an hour.  I hear ya – who has the time to do all that???…….easier than it sounds and we will talk about that as another blog topic.

d.    Type -  exactly………. what you are doing.  Cardio is any activity that gets and keeps your heartrate elevated for 20 minutes or more – running, walking, biking (indoor and outdoor), dancing, swimming, sports etc. Resistance training is any activity that applies a force or resistance against the muscle i.e. resistance bands, dumbbells, machines, bodyweight, kettlebells, medicine ball, sandbags etc.

  1. Sleep/Rest – this varies for each of us – however the thought is if you needed an alarm clock to wake you up, you did not get enough sleep.  This is the period of time when your muscles repair themselves and they grow.  Without the appropriate rest we run the risk of overtraining our muscles. Over trained muscles cannot work as hard, so our workouts become less intense and it becomes a vicious cycle.  Bottom line is your body needs rest to repair and prepare you for the next workout.
One last piece of information – don’t try to tweak everything at one time. If you are working on intensity, stay with that tweak for 4 – 6 weeks to see if that is working before you change something else.  Also document, document, document because after you have changed multiple things you may not know which one, two or four were the right combination. I keep a workout notebook which includes my daily workout and any other “tweaks” I am working on.  Those “tweaks” are my SMART goals for the week/month.

Lastly, this is all for you readers, so if you have topics or questions regarding fitness/health or just want to say hi, leave a comment below. Remember consistency is key – life if going to happen., Live it, love it, embrace it, and make a daily workout part of your plan.

Until we meet again.. yours in fitness

Cynthia



28 comments:

  1. Hi Cynthia, your advice has been very helpful to me. I have been hitting the same wall since December, tweaking and re-tweaking only to have it work for a week or two. Water intake is not a problem for me, I recently joined a gym and I really like it, trying to do something different and build up these muscles, lol. Sleep has been an issue, also. Thank you so much, I have enough information to fix these issue. Be blessed Cynthia and Mimi <3

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    1. Hi Carolyn joining a gym may help - try to stick with a tweak for 6 weeks or more giving your body time to deal with the changes - check in and let us know how you are doing

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  2. I so agree with your comments about workouts and aging. Now to try and follow them. Thanks for the good advice.

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  3. Thanks for the great advice.

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  4. It seems like no matter what i do, i still seem to gain weight. It's a fairly high intensity workout ie kickbox aerobics and such, 3 times/week and watching my diet. every week i'm 3 pounds heavier. it's not muscle because i don't feel my body changing and my clothes don't fit any better. Do you have any suggestions on what to do? Supplements to take? i'm completely confused. It would seem like exercise would make you loose weight, but it's not working for me.

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  5. What do you do with the monthly cravings? I love to eat all the bad sweets.. Being spanish also don't help because all my family wants is brown rice. Been working out for awhile only to maintain my weight. Would love to loose at least 20 lbs. I was going to start to go to a place similar to curves, wat do u think?? How about insanity or T25??

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    1. Hi Angela thanks for all the questions - space is limited so I will address the monthly cravings - I keep no junk in the house period so our sweets are limited to fruit, smoothies , yogurt or fruit/veggie juicing which the kids love.After either I have a glass of water and I am good. Keep reminding yourself of your goal and you will make healthier choices. Email me if you want info on Insanity and T25 and curve type workouts

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    2. Hi Angela, I covered those programs in the posts below after doing them all I did a short review.
      http://www.mimigstyle.com/2013/05/how-i-stay-fit-workout-eat-and-cheat.html#.U2ubnV4dsds
      I finished T25 a few months ago and really liked it for cardio, it was hard on my knees and I found myself having to recover longer but I did see a change after the first 4 weeks. xoxoxo

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  6. Thanks Cynthia! I have a question about water intake... I feel its hard to get 8 glasses of water in because I take a water pill (50 mg) a day for HBP so I'm constantly going to the bathroom. Any suggestions?

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    1. Zina - check with your doctor for the most effective and safe way to increase your water. Good luck and check back with us soon.

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  7. Thank you for the great advice!

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    1. T- thanks for checking out Workout Wednesdays on Mimi's blog

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  8. Thank you Cynthia for this advice. I have a nutritionist but it is hard to stick with what she has put together because when I get home it is almost 6pm and then having to cook that late is hard. What is the latest to eat dinner?

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    1. Ummm that is interesting as the nutritionist should help you with making your nutrition plan work into your iifestyle -since you are paying for services go back and explain the difficulty of the program that they put togrther for you. Your cutoff time for eating should 2 to 3 hours prior to bedtime but there are days I eat late -days I teach fitness - I eat at 9pm but it is lite boiled egg whites and a small bowl of salad with no dressing my heavier eating on these days is done during the day

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  9. thanks Cynthia. I try to work out on a regular basis but it's hard because I work 10 and 12 hour days. I'm on my feet the entire time (most times without a break) so when I come home I'm beat. Any and all suggestions would help me to find some time of routine.

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    1. Dorothy - I do understand the 10 - 12 hours days and on your feet all day to boot. Key for you is to find 15 - 30 minutes on the front end or back end of your day to do something that you like to do. How about stationary biking or rowing for cardio as that will take you off your feet. For resistance training there are many quick and easy 25 minute plans where you can use your bodyweight, bands and/or 5 - 10 lb dumbbells. Let me know if you need something more specific. Thanks

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  10. Great post! I love your idea of a "recipe" for every individual - it makes so much sense.

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  11. Let's face the truth. A person CAN be eating right, CAN be exercising right, CAN be eating the correct portions, and still be considered obese simply because the weight society and medical authorities want that person to weigh are just not possible in that body. Some people will always be slender, no matter how much or little they eat. Others will be fat or obese no matter what they do to reduce their weight. Why not aim for being healthy and ignore society's impossible standards?

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  12. Loved reading all the questions and replies. It was all so helpful. Work it Wednesday are the best!! Love you mom, I look forward to reading all of your posts.. It's always the highlight of my day.

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  13. Hello~ Mother's Day is come closer, maybe you interested in joining this giveaway. Thank you so much and have a nice day ^^

    http://annyeongrella.blogspot.com/2014/05/mothers-day-giveaway-sponsored-by.html

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  14. Hey Cynthia,

    Awesome post! Question, is it bad for the 2 days of rest to be consecutive? For example, working out Mon-Fri for an hour each time, but resting on Sat/Sun. Or should i break my rest days up?

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  15. Hi I wanted to ask what is the best work out post 10mths total hysterectomy because im bottom half heavy and need to lose my stomach

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Thank you for taking time to comment ;-)

xoxo
mimi g.