Why did you start exercising?
Why did you join a gym?
Many people who join gyms and want to improve their body composition and physical appearance automatically start training for fat loss. This may mean that they do a lot of cardio or circuit training and the focus is solely on fat loss and nothing else.
This is especially the case with women. Most women believe that if the scale doesn’t move then the program isn’t working.
In my experience these women would be much better off if they focused on improving their performance and building muscle.
Women's fitness has progressed in my eyes. I believe that women are out of the lifting weights will make me big and bulky phenomenon. If you still believe that then let me be the first to tell you, it is absolutely not true. Building a few pounds of muscle will:
1. Increase your metabolism.
2. Allow you to burn more fat. and
3. Give you the desired lean, athletic, “toned” look.
I have trained so many women who even gain a few pounds of muscle without realizing it. The result will be that the scale weight may stay the same or even be a little higher. All they knew is that they looked and felt better.
If more women would just focus on improving their performance in the gym instead of always focusing on losing fat and weight, they would get far better results.
So what can you do differently?
When you workout be intentional about doing better than you did the previous time you exercised. Don’t get caught up in the trap of doing the same weights with the same reps all the time. For example, increase the weight you use for each exercise, or perform more repetitions with the same weight. Don’t worry about how many calories you’re burning or working out so hard that you have to get on all fours and crawl out of the gym in a pool of sweat, blood and tears. That is unnecessary and a lot of times can be counterproductive.
Increasing your performance can be fun, challenging and very rewarding.
To prove my point, take this into consideration. My best friend Rachel was 160 pounds when she decided to start weight training. She battled with her weight her entire life. Rachel has two young boys at home, Brantley and Carter, who are very active with school activities and sports. Her husband Bryan is one of my best friends too and loves to travel and scuba dive. If she was going to keep up with her busy family she needed to be strong, and have great muscular endurance. I told her that we would have to build from the ground up. She was all for it and said that she understood why we needed to be intentional about improving her performance.
Her body fat percentage was around 36-38% and she ate around 1100 calories. She really never had any formal instruction on lifting weights and she didn't know how to eat for performance. Her first month we did nothing but body weight exercises and her workouts typically didn’t last longer than 30 minutes. I would have her video some of her exercises and I would send back pointers so the next time she would perform the exercises with better execution. After a few months we progressed to lifting weights. She wasn't extremely strong and didn't know her way around a weight room so we kept things simple. Our goal was to increase the amount of reps over time with the same type of movement. She nailed it. Rachel has been extremely consistent in the weight room for almost a year now. She lifts upper body twice a week and lower body twice a week and does very minimal cardio. Every week we attempt to improve on what she did the week prior in some form or fashion. Rachel now eats around 1800 calories, lifts weights 4-5 times per week, has a body fat percentage 26-27%, and weighs 137-139.
So if you want to lose weight and change your body, then stop training for weight loss and focus on improving your performance. You’ll get better results and actually have fun doing it.