What makes a good workout
The biggest problem I see is that you think to hit your goals your workout has to look a certain way. Your workout has to be a certain duration, you must not be able to wash your hair the next day or get out of your seat without a little help.
And I get it. Everywhere you look, you see these fitness influencers filming their “killer” works in their crop tops telling you that if you do 1000 crunches a day you will be rocking the 6 pack abs in less than 30 days. If it’s not crunches it’s a 30 day squat challenge to help you build a bigger booty!
But let me ask you. Does everyone who spends hours at the gym, doing exhausting workouts do they get the body that they want’ Okay maybe they do but do they keep it’ Are they exhausted trying to sustain it’
So what makes a good workout’ In this blog post I will share with you what makes a good workout and some of the myths that we continually fall for.
Let’s start with the myths that we’ve fallen for (including myself)
No rest days, you’ll sleep when you are dead! I fell for this one hook line and sinker. You think that in order to hit your goals faster you can’t stop. If you take one rest day OMG your results will go down the drain. Or how about this, yoga or spin class is your rest day. 🙋🏽♀️
Let me ask you this: for all the years maybe decades you’ve not taken a rest day – have you seen any improvement in your physique’ By continuously working out doesn’t guarantee you success. Isn’t it more important to focus on how to get the most efficient effective workout instead of how many hours you’ve spent working out this week.
It’s so easy to fall into this trap, working out feels really good, you want to hit your goals and working out is one piece of the puzzle. Have you fully considered what happens when you don’t take rest days’ I get it; rest days can feel like a giant step back when you’re chasing after your fitness goals. Rest days are important pieces to the puzzle! Did you know that it’s actually during these “rest” days where your muscles will have time for repair and rebuild. If you don’t allow your body to catch up, then you might not progress as quickly – adding rest days into your training routine gives you enough downtime between hard workouts without compromising gains by doing too much.
How many rest days do you normally take’
How do you know what type of workout to do’
You think your workout needs to feel like a grind in order for you to get results. Let me ask you’ Aren’t you tired’ Do the physical demands on your body from your workout leave you feeling like you can’t recover or feel unmotivated to hit the gym’ .
Well, my mentor once told me that “You can go hard, you can go fast, but you can’t go hard and fast for long! ” When things get tough in life or at work you can take a rest without losing any of your “gains”. Seriously you can only push for so long before your body completely gives out!
You can do that by following this simple framework.
🛑 Red days (when followed closely) you should stop without guilt or shame.
Walking, mobility work and yin yoga are perfect on these kinds of days
🟡 Yellow days take it a little slower perfect day for shorter less intense workouts. If you want to lift these days are for light weights and few reps
🟢 Green days give it all you got. You’ll be lifting heavy, long hard workouts
For those of you scratching your head about this concept let me ask you for all the days you pushed yourself through on a workout, did you feel motivated’ Did you want to continue working out’ Who would you be if you cut yourself some grace and worked out based on how you felt’
If you did a workout today, let me know what kind of a day’
Time to check in, how is this landing with you’ Is this starting to make some sense’ Are you starting to take the pressure off of yourself and finally give yourself a big old break for not being the energizer bunny’
Still need a little more convincing’
Endocrinologist James Levine came up with the term Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. He was doing a study on obesity and realized that most American weren’t participating in exercise. He defines exercise as bodily exertion for the sake of developing and maintaining physical fitness, that is fancy talk for going to the gym, taking a group fitness class or anything that you do to get in shape. During his research he found that the average person burns about 330 calories/hundred pounds during a 60-minute exercise session.
He realized that not many Americans were actually participating in true exercise. As he was conducting his research he was trying to understand how else the average person burns calories. Levine determined that humans were designed to move and that we all could burn up to 2,000 more calories a day by just adding in more movement compared to what you burn during “active exercise”. Now you are beginning to think to yourself how can you add more NEAT into your day’
Let’s face it walking is one of the easiest ways to start being physically active. If you walk on a regular basis and practice good nutrition, it is possible to lose some weight. Whether you are into walking for weight loss or plan to make this activity your main fitness routine, it is important to add in more movement into your day.
Just like you I was a skeptic about walking. A few years ago, it was the ONLY thing I could do after a surgery and if I wanted exercise walking was my new BFF. Once I got started, I fell in love with walking. It’s my “me” time. I’d pop in my headphones and go for a walk while listening to one of my favorite true crime podcasts or just get lost in my thoughts.
Now I use both formal exercise and NEAT to help me to burn more calories, balance my hormones and help me to better manage my stress.
What’s the most efficient way to workout’
Using exercise as a means to control weight is like putting water into a bucket with a hole in it. You aren’t alone. You see it everywhere you want to lose weight, you need to be exercising more and eating less.
Look, it works well for a while until it doesn’t and then you are left with only one option to push harder on the exercise. How does that workout for you’ Do you feel hungrier’ Do your cravings go through the roof’
You are pushing hard on your metabolism asking it for more energy the only thing it knows how to do is ask for more fuel. If you are asking for it to do more then you need to add more fuel to light the fire.
I know that you think that cardio and workout that leave you feeling like a wet noodle are the best ways to hit your goals. I felt the same way. If I wasn’t sore after every workout, was it even a workout.
Do you feel the same way’ Well let me ask you this, because it’s the same question I had to ask myself. Were my soul crushing workouts changing my body and could I keep them up forever’
When I was doing fitness competitions I would do 2 hour hard ass workouts, if I couldn’t workout for 2 hours I was pissed! It wasn’t worth my time if I couldn’t get in a “full” workout. How about you’ If you can’t workout a certain way do you feel like it’s a waste of time so why bother’ Or maybe you have so many workout programs that you just don’t know what end is up’
Does everyone who goes to the gym 7 days a week for 2 hours have their dream body’ How about you’ You’ve been hustling for so long you’re not even sure how to make it happen anymore.
If you’ve been holding on to the more is better belief may I ask you how long do you think you can keep it up’
I would do those 2 hour workouts to get ready for my show and then when the show was over I’d have to take at least 1-2 weeks off because I was so burnt out. This went on for 9 years, I had plenty of stops and starts and eventually I could no longer do those 2 hour workouts, I couldn’t get motivated to go and when I did go I had to drive.
I was lost…
I needed a spark. A kick in the rump to get going again.
I started doing some research. According to the ACSM, to remain healthy aim for at least 150 minutes/week and at least 2 of those days should include strength training.
The most efficient way for your body to change is to make sure your strength training workouts. Strength training is critical for metabolic and mental health so it crucial that you find a workout that you love and maximizes calorie burn during and post exercise and is sustainable for the long term.
That is where I discovered Metabolic Conditioning. It was a way for me to get in a workout while doing cardio. I could no longer put in those 2 hour workouts, the very thought drained the life out of me. You are lifting weights in a fast-paced manner only, resting when your form falls apart or you are exhausted. I hear so clearly one of my mentors saying push when you can and rest when you can’t.
So let me ask you. Do you really want to continue spinning your wheels doing 2x a day workouts, spending hours on your Peloton doing #hardcore on the floor, and doing exercises that you hate all chasing those last 5-10 pounds’
How do you do this while still losing the weight’
You’ve probably heard the term Metabolic Conditioning. It was popularized by CrossFit. It’s a way of combining both strength training and cardio. You can burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, which also helps you to torch body-fat fast! This type of training is also the best way for people who want an efficient workout without spending too much time working out.
Now for those of you who are used to this 90 minute body part split type workouts, let me ask you, has your physque changed’ Do you always hit all your workouts in any given week’ Or do they fall by the wayside when you get busy’ Then the guilt and the shame thoughts start to creep in.
What if there was a way for you to get in all your weekly workouts AND change your physique, would you want to learn more about it’
You may be thinking about HITT, I heard that it was good for losing weight, especially over 40.
First, let’s understand that HITT is not Metabolic Conditioning.
HITT is done at greater than 80% of your maximum heart rate, followed by a short period of recovery. When done right, HITT sessions last only about 10 minutes; if done longer it’s not HITT, it’s just a brutal workout.
Metabolic Conditioning lasts about 20 minutes and the goal is to use both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.
During a Metabolic Conditioning session you are looking for bio feedback cues to let you know that you are “doing it right”.
First at some point in the workout you should feel breathless. If I’m able to hold a conversation during a workout I’m not hitting that breathless zone. Think about sprinting, when you sprint hard you can barely catch your breath let alone catch up on the latest on Netflix.
Interval training is much more than steady state cardio. Intervals put a greater demand on your body and helps you to effectively increase your post-exercise calorie burn.
I can read your mind, you are saying to yourself that you can get breathless on your spin bike or on the treadmill why do I have to do anything else’
In a recent study it was shown that 75% of people doing only cardio 45 minutes 5 days/week so no weight loss at all. 25% actually got fatter because their hunger and cravings increased.
Then you should feel some form of burning. Burning tells us that HGH is being released into the bloodstream. You want HGH around because it HGH helps to increase fat use, suppress muscle breakdown and aid with collagen repair all while working together for testosterone building lean muscle.
Now you move into the heavy. My battle cry to you and all women is to lift heavy shit! If you want to truly change your body, give up on the notion of “tone” and go for strong! To get strong you need to get testosterone to come and play. To do that requires you to find your “strength sweet spot”. I see this regularly: women will pick up a weight that they can lift a million times with ease. To get strong you need to find a weight that you can lift for 8-12 reps. That means you can’t get in that 13th rep, if you could you need to add more weight.
Not sure who needs to hear this but you can’t look like a dude by lifting heavy. As part of the aging process you will lose about 3-5% of your muscle mass every decade. I don’t know about you but my goal is to be able to easily lift a gallon of water and easily get off the toilet.
Finally you need to feel a little warm. Now this isn’t me saying that in order for a workout to be “good” you need to be a sweaty mess. When you start to sweat it is a sign that you have activated your adrenaline.
A good workout takes into account all four of these phase
You may be asking what about feeling sore’
You can still have an effective workout without being sore. Sure soreness feels like a reward for a good workout. What you actually are feeling are micro tears in your muscles. If you don’t feel sore it doesn’t mean it’s not working. You will mostly feel sore after you are working on new exercises that your body is not used to or doing heavy eccentric movements.
Instead shift your focus to the quality of the movement. Are you able to lift heavier with good form’ Do you feel good in your body after a lift’
Okay Kim, I’m starting to pick up on your putting down. So how do I make the shift’
A good workout includes…..pull, a push, a hinge, squat and a core element. Now I understand there has been much to do about variety in your workouts, muscle confusion.🙄 But let’s face it, all it does is lead to overwhelm.
The basics work!
Now we’ll take the basics and create a Metabolic Conditioning style workout.
Set a timer for 20 minutes
You’ll choose 4 full body exercises to be done in a circuit style
Choose a weight that you can do 8-12 reps of the exercise
Keeping moving through all 4 exercises as fast as possible until the timer goes off
Here is a sample workout. You can use a dumbbell or a kettlebell.
Alt lunge with bicep curl
This same workout can be done 3-4 times/week for at least 8-12 weeks. Yup 8-12 weeks it may seem boring a fuck! But every time you do it can you add more rounds’ Can you add more weight’ Does squat form get stronger’ Do you get more mobility in your pullover’ Do you feel breathless less quickly’
And this is how you get an effective workout that you can do for the rest of your life. Right now you have a choice. You can continue working hard with nothing to show but your cravings and no change in your body composition. Actually that is what most people do. Or you can be the type of person who focuses on getting the most efficient, effective, body changing workout you can possibly get. If that if you, hop on the waitlist for the 7 Day Metabolic Recharge. It’s finally, an approach to healing your metabolism that doesn’t involve hours of grueling exercise or starving yourself.