For years I told myself, if a workout was less than 2 hours was it worth working out. As they say hindsight is 20/20 can I look back and say those workouts were effective. Not really. This has been a conversation I have been having with many of you lately. So, I wanted to chat a bit about what I have learned over the years. I know for me, when it comes to working out, we have this philosophy of “go big or go home”! I was a card-carrying member of the go big or go home club!
My 2-hour workout session had to look like this, I had to work on the back, chest and abs, legs, shoulders, and CARDIO! And if I DIDN’T get it all done, I would go back after work to finish!
I kept up with this pace for 10 freaking years ladies. I was always exhausted. I was anxious wondering if I did enough to keep my gains. I was so outside of my body I never heard SCREAM it as I beat it into submission. I never gave my body anything in return. Rest days were for the weak and faint of heart. By this point, I was at my wit’s end and didn’t realize that there was a different way to fitness. The fitness industry never really presents the “OTHER” way.
But one day…. I was handed a book and asked to try a new program for a class at the gym. Now I wasn’t about to teach this class without really trying it. I NEEDED to experience it myself so I could actually talk about it and tell people if it’s worth their time doing! It was all about working in an efficient, effective way to get a quick workout! I just thought it can’t possibly work if it is something easy. Because I am not killing myself in the process.
So.. what I had to do was, instead of thinking that every workout had to be about my PR and lifting a Buick, I had to approach a workout with could I do this for the rest of my life? Working out did NOT have to always feel like a chore! Reading this book helped me to make the tweaks in my workouts so they were effective AND ENJOYABLE again!
Does this sound like you?
Are you ready to boost the effectiveness of your training sessions so you don’t feel so beat up?? I think it’s about time ladies!
First things first. STICK WITH THE BASICS! Whether you believe it or not, the basics ACTUALLY work! One of the biggest misconceptions is you think you have to do all these fancy new workouts! There is nothing more effective than the basics.
The basics are compound exercises, done with heavy weights consistently over time. That is where you are going to get your biggest bang for your buck!
You can get a FULL body workout without killing yourself! This new workout I was doing was focusing on full body exercises that I could do 3-5 days a week. So, what does a good workout include? Well, a good workout includes 5 basic movements!
1. Pulling exercise
2. Pushing exercise
3. A hinge type exercise
4. A squat exercise
5. And some type of core element
Linear Periodization is what we want to look into next! This means that there is a beginning and end of a workout. This will usually last around 12-15 weeks. This may mean there is a period of time I am lifting heavier weights with less reps and sets. Or it is a period of time I am lifting lighter weights with MORE reps and MORE sets. This is how we continuously challenge our muscles! Endurance work and strength work equals a powerful workout. And in our programs, we are doing heavy weeks, light weeks and deload weeks. Which means we have the intensity very low because we are about to go up into a heavy period of work!
But get this… you DON’T need to go heavy all the time! It is okay to take breaks! And this brings us into our next topic. Intensity.
Look to train at the right intensity. Yes, heavy weights are critical. But the most critical factor in us getting the results we want; we have to choose our weight properly. Most people think about time VS the intensity. When you go to the gym, what is the intensity that you bring? It is not how long you are going to the gym for, it is you actually lifting heavy weights while you are there?
I like to call this Dead Plus 3 when it comes to lifting weights. Try to lift 10 reps. When we get to 7, those last 3 reps should feel challenging but doable with GOOD FORM!
If you get to 7 and they don’t feel challenging, you need to go pick up a heavier weight.
If you get to 7 and it’s supersonic heavy, then drop your weight. If you are whipping through your workout and your weights don’t feel challenging, you are going to challenge yourself to change your body.
What does intensity look like? 4 things to take into account to figure out if we are working out at the right intensity for our individual self.
1. At some point do I feel breathless? Would feel like I’m doing a full out sprint. That can happen lifting weights if I have chosen a heavy set of weights.
2. Do I feel any burning? Feel my muscles burning at any point?
3. Does the weight feel heavy? Dead plus 3.
4. Do I feel heat? Am I sweating!? Sweat is not the ultimate to decide if a workout is something, because you can sweat in spin, hot yoga, etc. because it gives you that endorphin push for a sweaty mess. But instead, DO I feel heat in my body? Including sweat.
If I am feeling those 4 things, I HAVE DONE MY JOB!!! CHECK THE BOX! If we want that nice hard body, and we bring that intensity to the game we are going to get it in less time. Remember that!
REST MORE! I get it.. this one was a hard thing for me! What most people forget, is training and intensity is demanding AND strenuous for your nervous system. Which means we have to rest! We have to shift our mantra to “Push when I can, rest when I can.” If I do get to that 7th REP and have nothing left in the tank, take a rest, catch a breath and come back in! Rest while we are actually doing the workout. That is alright to do!
Rest days.. I said it was for weak people.. I DON’T NEED a rest day! I AM FINE! But what really struck me was being busy vs productive. Are your workouts keeping you busy or are they actually producing results? Have I seen any results in the last 6 months or year doing what I am doing? This can be a hard question, but you have to stop and evaluate yourself.
You have got to get clear about what it is you are trying to achieve, and do you have the courage to say dang, what I am doing is not working!? Are you willing to do something different to get different results? Rest days help you to become more effective and your workouts more effective.
Depending on the training volume, your muscles need more of 48-96 hours of rest. Think about your cell phone. You don’t think of going a whole day without plugging in your phone, right? Our bodies do that too, but many of us push that out and say shut up you don’t know! Ego tells our body to shut up. So, we have to tell our ego to go to hell!! LOL! So how many rest days should you have? If you are coming in off a long layoff, I challenge you to do 3-4 days to recover so you are working out 2-3 days and not feeling sore and defeated.
Regardless of what you are doing, I am ALWAYS going to encourage you to have 1 FULL day off if you work with me! I get asked a lot, but there’s a difference between active recovery and FULL rest days. Pure rest days are when I’m not doing anything. I’m just doing things in my life. Playing with kids, dogs, sitting in nature, reading. Etc. That is a full rest day. An Active Recovery Day is that maybe I purposely go for a walk, but it’s not a power walk. I’m not trying to break a sweat. I’m not strapping weights to my ankles or my arms. I’m just going out in nature, maybe I’m doing acts of daily living, and maybe I like to garden. Could even include gentle yoga, foam rolling, mobility work, things like that!
You want these rest days to make your workouts effective. Your body REPAIRS during this rest and recovery.
I want you ladies to always remember, if this style of workout doesn’t work for you don’t give up! This is about an experiment to see how it works. And don’t forget that experiments have beginnings AND endings. And you have to be clear about your objective and what are you trying to achieve and be patient to see this through to the end!
If you want to dive deeper, I have written a whole blog post all about this linked right below in all of my links if you want to check it out!
ANDDDD I will be holding a 7-day challenge that will be kicking off very soon. In my 7 Days To Recharge Challenge, we are going to take a deep dive into how this type of workout is more efficient and effective for you so that you can get all of your stuff done in less time. SO, hop on the waitlist and start to work with me to go through this different style of learning how I can get a great workout in 10-30 minutes, feel good and go on with my day!
7 Day To Recharge Your Metabolism 7 Days To Recharge Your Metabolism is for women over 40 who want to find a way to workout that helps them to become more consistent with their workouts. It’s perfect for the woman who is looking for permission to get off the go big or go home train, who wants to learn efficient and effective ways to workout and finally break free from being a desperate dieter to a woman that finally finds freedom in her body. https://kimbarnesjefferson.lpages.co/7-days-recharge
Natalie Newhart Podcast: https://chtbl.com/track/479199/traffic.libsyn.com/secure/fitgirlmagic/NatalieWhart.mp3