Special Guest Columnist- Melanie Berry
𝘛𝘰𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘐’𝘮 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘨𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘥, 𝘔𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘦 𝘉𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘺, 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘧𝘪𝘵𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴. 𝘐’𝘷𝘦 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘔𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 35 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴. 𝘈 𝘧𝘦𝘸 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘴 𝘢𝘨𝘰, 𝘐 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘢 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘩𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘔𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘦’𝘴 𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘕𝘗𝘊 𝘔𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘊𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 (𝘉𝘪𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘪 𝘋𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯), 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 2𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘖𝘷𝘦𝘳 50 𝘊𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘊 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘱.
𝘈𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘩𝘰𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘸, 𝘔𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘱𝘶𝘵 𝘢 𝘵𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘧𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘯𝘶𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘹𝘦𝘳𝘤𝘪𝘴𝘦.
𝘐 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘧 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘯 𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘲𝘶𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘢𝘨𝘦.
𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘦’𝘴 𝘔𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘦’𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺-
𝗕𝘆 𝗠𝗲𝗹𝗮𝗻𝗶𝗲 𝗕𝗲𝗿𝗿𝘆~
What’s happening here? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says nearly 72% of Americans are either overweight or obese. Well, I’m sure we could spend some time on food chain conspiracy theories, but for now, let’s talk about working out.
I’ve always been pretty active, but it’s true you will not make any gains if you always do the same workout. Which I did for years!
Are you a big lover of cardio? Lots of women are, I think because it comes easier for us. The old saying if you do something for two weeks straight it becomes a habit is certainly true. And Nike had something when they said, “Just do it.”
One of the things I like about my trainer is the speed. We do a 30 minute session, supersets, where we move quickly through back-to-back sets. No sitting on the bench for five minutes in between.
The goal is to work out all the body parts each week. Since I compete, my focus is on glutes, hamstrings & shoulders. I would do more, but your body does need rest & recovery. That, and older body parts need time off (yep, knees aren’t quite what they used to be).
𝗧𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀 𝗢𝗻 𝗚𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗙𝗶𝘁-
⁃ Have fun!
Think of this as YOUR play time. Sure, it might help your physical health, but bringing an attitude of fun will help you immensely. Going to our gym is fun. People are friendly, will talk to you, and don’t tend to get in the middle of your workout with lots of (well intentioned) advice unless asked.
⁃ Prepare yourself!
Prepare to sweat. It will happen. Prepare to be uncomfortable as you work your muscles. Prepare to both push yourself as hard as you can, and listen to your body best as you can.
⁃ Have a goal, big or small
Find a goal that you can hold yourself accountable to. It does not have to be big, but give it careful thought and make it right.
My initial goal was to tone up. Like so many woman nearing (or at) middle age, things seemed to be bigger and saggier than I was comfortable with. After a few sessions, my trainer suggested a transformation challenge. I halfheartedly agreed. After a few more sessions, she suggested a body building competition. Nothing could be more horrifying than getting on stage in an extremely tiny bikini & judged on your fitness. Now THAT’S a challenge. Nowhere to hide, you will be accountable to meet your goal. Done.
Hire the RIGHT trainer. This is an investment, but worth it. They can provide workouts to address your goals, teach you proper form and technique, and push you to meet or exceed your goals.
⁃ Invest carefully in your physical health.
You deserve an attentive trainer, one you feel confident is there to both push you, and protect you. Look carefully at their certifications, customer referrals, customer success stories, new and old.
The thing about my trainer that amazes us is that she is all in. She is engaged in the entire workout, and yes, she might just be counting out your 10 reps, but she’s on it to watch your form, face, and your grunts to make sure you’re feeling the exercise correctly. Ok, she does suck at counting because it always seems to be much, much lower than your number, but everyone has a thing.
As a seasoned competitive bodybuilder, she has helped immensely in preparing for competitions. Not everyone needs this type of trainer, but look for certifications and demonstrated results with their customers.
⁃ Don’t forget your doctor
Find the right doctor and get a full checkup and blood panel. It makes perfect sense to make sure you are aware of any underlying issues to address before you workout, communicate to your trainer, and plan how you will account for it in your new regimen.
I’m now the old person taking a heap load of supplements. At least I can point to a report that shows the science of why.
⁃ Diet is key!
Prepare to be educated about food, and be open to changing your entire diet. Ask your trainer what they can offer in terms of a meal plan. Look for examples of other customers who have made substantial losses (or gains!) aided by a specific meal plan.
I am incredibly thankful for discovering a “clean” diet. After years of countless diagnoses, and remedies that made no difference, following a complete meal plan changed everything.
⁃BE REALISTIC about the speed of change
Challenge yourself, but also give yourself a break. Dramatic weight loss is not healthy or sustainable. Do it the right way for you. Lifting heavy weight is a good goal, but must be steadily attained to avoid injury. Body transformation will take time, but you need to honor your genetics. Not everyone has the genetic makeup to achieve certain results, and that’s ok. Social media and the speed of communication today makes it very difficult to be patient. Appreciate your own accomplishments, not an unattainable ideal. Be excited for the short term AND long term goals you have yet to achieve!
Go to your trainer & follow what they say. That’s what you pay them for. Found a boatload of real interesting stuff on the internet? Great, engage your trainer in conversation about it.
Want to take every class offered? They sure can be fun. Ask your trainer if the class will have any value for you – will it further your goal(s)?
I enjoy a variety of classes, but have come to learn that I’ll need extra attention with form, and can be slow to figure out new things. Not a big deal, but be wary if you need help in a big class that may or may not have a teacher who can actually provide guidance- you could end up hurt.
If you haven’t yet started work on your fitness goals, might as well start now. Who knows what you can do?
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