Here we are in the third week of January 2015.
I hope you’re ready for our third installment of “How Do Fitness Professionals Approach the New Year?”
Our first post was all about mindset, our second about nutrition and now it is time to #GET REAL when it comes to training and exercise.
Hint, hint. The order in which we chose to discuss these topics was not random. We went in order of importance when it comes to successfully making fitness a lifestyle!
As Amanda stated in Part 1 “One of the keys to being successful in anything is surrounding yourself with supportive and motivating people.” Amanda, Keri and I all run our own businesses. Instead of allowing ourselves to be swallowed in the business bubble, we meet periodically to help each other with ideas, training, accountability and everything in between. I’m telling you that these women make me better, make me think, love me and genuinely want to see me succeed and THEY WANT TO DO THE SAME FOR YOU! These are the type of women you want to be listening to when it comes to mindset, nutrition and exercise.
First Amanda is here to talk about the Power of Habit
I’m Amanda Perry and I am a mom, wife, personal trainer and blogger. I am about halfway through my second pregnancy so it’s been funny hearing all the buzz about the gyms everyone is joining, what new workouts are hot and which diets are going to get people to lose holiday weight the fastest.
Obviously this isn’t my time to set out to lose weight and it’s not possible or smart to go for any crazy PR’s in my training. My goals are a bit different this year than they have been other years. My goal is to stay as strong as possible as long as possible to prepare for labor, delivery and recovery! I’m also taking this time to educate myself more on prenatal training as it will benefit me right now and many of my clients in the future.
I have always been an exercise addict. I was a very active kid. I played soccer in middle school and for the first two years of high school, but I quit after my second knee surgery (major reconstructive surgery). Since being active had become such a huge part of my life, I knew I had to do something to keep moving so I started running and going to the gym in town a lot. The running trend continued through college and into my early twenties. Even though my nutrition habits and weight went wildly up and down during these years, the one thing that I kept consistent with was exercise. I rarely missed a day!
If you’re thinking I have some type of crazy willpower or a weird gene that makes me love exercise more than you, that’s definitely not the case. There’s no way I was relying on willpower when I was hungover in bed every weekend. Believe me, it would have run out really fast. Nope…I got up and ran because it was a habit. Simply put, it’s what I did without thinking too much about it. Just like you (hopefully) brush your teeth or take a shower, I ran.
Here’s the thing to remember here. Willpower generally gets things started, but habits keep things going.
Eventually I found, and fell in love with, strength training. This was life-changing because all of a sudden I was doing something that helped me feel strong and empowered. I was no longer exercising out of fear that I would gain weight if I missed a day of “yogging”…which by the way wasn’t working very well. 🙂
Between the fact that training is a habit in my life and the fact that I’ve finally found a type of training that makes me feel happy, confident and strong, it’s been a heck of a lot easier to train through life’s busy and challenging times, like during pregnancy. The question isn’t whether I’ll train, it’s when I’ll train.Even during the crazy exhaustion of my first trimester, it felt too strange to just give up. Breaking a habit, good or bad, is hard. Fortunately for me in this case it worked out well and kept me moving.
My workouts are more fun now that I’m in my second trimester and feeling way better. I’m looking forward to hopefully training through the entire second half of this pregnancy. I’ll focus on listening to my body and doing what feels best each session. Sometimes that means deadlifts and other days that means a nice walk.
After this baby is born and I’m fully recovered, I’ll set some realistic goals for myself. I can’t/won’t set those now because I have no idea what the second half of this pregnancy will be like and no idea how quickly I will recover after I have a baby. One thing I know is that I’ll get back into this habit ASAP!
Learn more about Amanda here:
Next, Keri is going to talk about how much her perspective on exercise has changed throughout the past 15 years.
In undergrad, I was an Ex.Phys. major and my last semester of college I interned at Boston University’s Strength and Conditioning facility. This was the first time I really did any sort of structured strength training on my own. For the next 4 years or so, I was in the Strength and Conditioning world. During that time my training was very similar to how we trained our athletes and I had a fairly good relationship with food and my body.
A few years later, I started training for my first fitness competition, and although my training didn’t really change all that much, this was when my mindset and thoughts about my body started to get the better of me. I started exercising way too much. I would lift and do intervals, then do cardio on top of that, THEN teach group ex classes on top of that. Most of the time I was training twice a day. That, in combination with a pretty strict diet was no good for my body, or my mind.
I used to use exercise as a punishment for going over a certain amount of calories (not shocking that I was always starving since all I did was exercise). I used to think that if I didn’t exercise every single day for at least 45 minutes I would gain weight. I would sign up for another fitness competition or for athletic events, such as sprint triathlons and road races (which I didn’t even really enjoy training for), thinking that if I just “trained” for something, I would get leaner or smaller and that would also give me an excuse for why I exercised so much. I was in “training”.
Little did I know that the reason why I wasn’t reaching my goals (which were to look leaner) was BECAUSE I was doing all of that training! My cortisol levels were through the roof and I wasn’t fueling my body, or resting my body, properly at all. My hormones were all out of whack, which messed everything up, my skin, my cycle, and my weight. Thankfully an appointment with a Naturopathic Doctor set me straight. She made me realize that this was not a good path to be on…especially since I wanted to start a family (something that became very difficult with NO cycle at all).
For me, everything changed during my twin pregnancy. I started to walk more, take more days off and just listen to my body. I absolutely LOVED being pregnant (probably because it took so damn long to get pregnant) and shockingly embraced how my body changed.
Jade Teta of Metabolic Effect says, “More is not better, better is better”, and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve learned (the hard way) that spending more time exercising does not equate to better results. In fact, for me, I’ve found the complete opposite to be the case. Since the boys were about 5 months old, I’ve worked out primarily at home with a few sets of db’s and kb’s. I strength train 2-4 days per weeks and my workouts last the length of a Nick Jr. show (25 minutes). I walk a ton and get in 1 interval training workout a week if I’m lucky.
I’m exercising in a way that will not only help me to reach my goals, but will also keep my hormones happy (strength, interval training and walking). I no longer dread my workouts because I know how efficient and effective they are, and the best part? I’m getting far better results than I ever have before. Do the things you love and do them consistently 🙂
Learn more about Keri here:
Just as Keri and Amanda are a product of their experiences, so too am I. As a result my personal and professional approach to exercise has also evolved over time. When I was younger I used to run in order to avoid family issues at home. Running was a “healthy” distraction for me; I would go to the track and run for hours in order to get out of my head. I was told at the age of 18 that I was well on my way to a double knee replacement.
Fast forward through physical therapy, tons of books on anatomy +biomechanics, acquiring a ton of body awareness through smart strength training + a restorative yoga practice…BOOM here I am 🙂
I can still remember my first yoga class quite vividly. I felt as though I was breathing for the first time, this focus allowed my body to relax, shedding layers of mental and physical tension. The combination of movement and breath left tears streaming down my face as I lie in savasana. I knew in that moment that “yoga” was going to be an integral part of my fitness whether I liked it or not. Yoga in combination with some foam rolling, glute activation and actually strength training my lower body, (instead of just running) made my knees feel AMAZING! Getting stronger not only changed my attitude for the better, it changed my body for the better, giving me curves I never thought possible!
Through trial and error I too have discovered that LESS IS MORE for myself when it comes to intense strength training. I have found my body’s happy place to be 3 total body strength days per week. I make sure to balance this out with 1-2 yoga sessions focusing on my shoulders and hips. In addition to strength training and yoga I walk/hike/ play outside with my dog any chance I can get! Being outside in nature with a dog can fix just about anything 😉 I am not lying when I say that the exercise portion of the fitness lifestyle can really be THAT SIMPLE.
As a result of my experiences I have developed a saying “Everything you do you must undo.” The body needs balance in order to thrive, so restoration is a critical part of my fitness routine. I believe that fitness should be sustainable. I intend to be active for the rest of my life and thus my fitness routine reflects this goal. Exercise can and should be FUN + enjoyable. If it’s not—you need to change something.
It has been almost 10 years since I started training with kettlebells and they will forever be my first love. I have decided to shift gears and this year one of my big fitness goals is to learn the Olympic Lifts! I am ready and eager to put the time in and be a beginner all over again. I strongly believe that learning new skills builds character, patience and discipline and I am more than excited for the challenge!
Despite our difference in lifestyles and goals for 2015 there are a few simple things that Amanda, Keri and I all reiterated:
-You have to actually enjoy the exercise in order for it to become a priority in your life.
-Getting STRONG is pretty awesome for your confidence, your body and your life!
-Walking/ active recovery/ yoga are all amazing, learn to appreciate these little things because they could be the keys to your success!
Remember: If you are in a happy place with your mindset, nutrition and fitness THIS IS AN AMAZING PLACE TO BE 🙂 Be happy and proud of all the work you did to get here. Don’t feel pressured to jump right to the next fitness goal. Enjoy your comfort zone. Work on maintaining your hard earned results. Fitness is a lifestyle 🙂
We want to hear from YOU!!!
What are some of your training goals for 2015?
Please feel free to comment below and let us know if you have any questions!
And don’t forget to hashtag #getreal15 on Instagram and Twitter!