I love muscles. I think they’re magical. Muscles are the key to feeling more comfortable in our skin; more in control of how our body looks; and less stressed about what we put in our mouths.
Allow me to explain!
As a personal trainer and coach, I’ve had hundreds of conversations with women about exercise and nutrition.
Across the board, women are frustrated by their lack of results. They feel as though they’re doing everything “right,” and yet they still feel stuck.
They can’t figure out why they keep losing and gaining the same 5-, 10-, 15lbs, despite how frequently they exercise and how healthy they eat.
And I can truly relate to their struggles because I’ve been there. I spent years going up and down in weight. I had multiple sizes of clothes hanging in my closet, and even clothes with the tags still on that I couldn’t fit “yet,” but one day I would.
I was equally frustrated because I was exercising ALL THE TIME and eating what I thought was a healthy diet, and yet I had nothing to show for it.
What the former me and many of these women have in common is this: ignorance of the power of muscle!
I wanna be “tight & toned;” or I want to “lose belly fat” really means “I want more muscle.” —Tweet that
The more muscle tissue we have, the more active our metabolism; the more effectively our bodies will burn fat; and the more control we have over how our bodies look.
Strength training is the vehicle to achieve the goal of adding more muscle, and it’s the best way I know of to 1) achieve the body that you want, and 2) have the best chances of maintaining that body over the long term.
Want to know the worst way to go about achieving the body you want? Over-exercising!
Despite popular belief, the key to a leaner, healthier body isn’t eating less & exercising more. That’s temporary, not sustainable.
Sure, to a certain extent, it’s a calories in-calories out game. If you eat less food and burn more than you consume, you’ll lose weight. But you’ll also lose muscle tissue which is the primary control valve for our metabolism: the less we have, the slower our metabolism.
The body cannot tell the difference between a diet and starvation. If we’re in a calorie deficit for too long, the body does what it knows how to do: it slows everything down to preserve energy.
It holds onto fat to protect the vital organs.
It increases the production of hunger hormones because from an evolutionary standpoint, hunger is a motivator: if our ancestors weren’t driven by extreme hunger and the threat of extinction, they wouldn’t have survived by developing the means to hunt and kill.
Our bodies don’t know we’re not in sub-Saharan Africa somewhere, unsure of where our next meal is coming from. As far as it’s concerned weeks without adequate calories and too much exercise are the equivalent.
In a nutshell, we do ourselves more damage than good by over-exercising & sacrificing the 1 thing that’ll have the biggest impact: MUSCLE!
So if your goal is to look leaner and more toned, you’ll get the most bang for your buck by prioritizing strength training (2-4 sessions per week); eating enough (but not too much!) to support your muscles’ growth and your performance; and keeping cardio to a minimum.
And if you’re not a fan of traditional cardio, no worries. If you never set foot on a treadmill or elliptical again, I wouldn’t blame you!
However, cardio does have many benefits, doesn’t it? Increased endurance, improved heart health, to name a couple.
Luckily for us cardio-phobes, there are ways to blend the benefits of cardio in with our strength training to get the best results in the least amount of time: we call this cardio strength training, and it’s a game-changer!
Check out this cardio strength training workout that you can do from the comfort of your own home–or living-dining-kitchen, in my case! This workout will help you burn fat and build lean muscle simultaneously, while building strength, explosive power, and cardio endurance, all at the same time:
If you like the idea of building lean muscle and burning fat at the same time, and you’re on #TeamMuscle like I am, I have a super-awesome offer for you!
I am currently beta-testing my new 14-week exercise program, #DefinedbyDesign, and would love for you to join me! The workouts in the program emphasize building more muscle by using techniques borrowed from traditional bodybuilding (like body part splits and slow eccentric tempo work) and combining them with high-intensity interval training finishers to increase the after burn effect of the workouts.
So, it’s strength training with a cardio twist for maximum benefit and BURN!
The waitlisters get a workout from the program emailed to them every Friday, as well as early and discounted access to the final product!
You don’t wanna miss out!