Category Archives: Fitness

Common Fitness Myths Explained!

If you’re new to fitness or even if you’ve been doing it for a long time you may be confused by all the info that’s out there.  Let’s look at some common fitness myths and learn the truth so you’re not wasting any time doing the wrong things!

Fitness Myths

  1. You can eat anything you want as long as you workout.

Unfortunately, this is not true.  You can easily out eat even the best training program.  Your body needs proper amounts of whole natural foods in order to reap the benefits of your training program.  Don’t undo all that hard work by eating junk.

  1. You can spot train problem areas.

Spot reduction is not possible unless you get liposuction.  When you workout, your body will burn fat from different areas of your body at different rates.  The rate has to do with your genetic make-up.  With proper training and diet you’ll reduce fat all over your body, but unfortunately you can’t force your body to burn fat from any one specific area.

  1. You need to stretch before your workout.

You do need to warm up before a workout but you don’t need to stretch.  In fact, some studies suggest that stretching before a workout destabilizes the muscle which could lead to injury.  Do a good 5-10 minute warm-up before your workout concentrating on moving the muscles you’re going to work and then do your stretch at the end of your workout after your cool down.

  1. Women should lift lighter weights and do more reps than men.

Many women avoid heavy weights because they’re afraid of looking bulky.  Women simply don’t have enough testosterone to build huge muscles.  If a woman notices that she’s looking bulky from lifting weights it’s most likely due to a diet that’s supporting fat gain.  If a woman’s diet is healthy and supports fat loss, lifting heavy will not make her look bulky or masculine.  Both women and men should be lifting heavy enough weights to fatigue them within about 6-8 reps.  If you’re using a weight where you can easily do 20 reps, the weight is not heavy enough to cause changes in the muscle.  Lift heavy, eat right and get ready to look and feel amazing!

  1. Workout more to get results.

I’ve fallen for this one.  It’s tempting to think that if a bit of working out is good way more should be way better!  This is not true.  Your body needs to recover if you want it to get stronger.  Your workouts should be efficient and you need to schedule in at least one rest day.  Aim to workout for 30-45 minutes per session and workout at an intensity that’s challenging.

Hope That Clears Things Up A Bit!

People workout because they want to improve their health and fitness.  Don’t waste your time doing stuff that won’t work!  If you’re confused about something talk to an experienced trainer.  Enjoy your workouts and don’t get caught up in the confusion.  Got questions?  I’m here to help!

Wholey Fit Daily HIIT! Work It!!

Work It!!
Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.
 
1 min High Knees
 
5 MIN EMOM (every minute on the minute)
5 Jumping Jacks
6 Push Ups
7 Froggy Jumps
 
Tabata
Low Push Up Hold VS V-Sit
 
5 MIN EMOM
20 Bicycle Crunches (1-2)
20 Mountain Climbers (1-2)
 
1 min High Knees
 
10 to 1 Ladder
Prisoner Squats
Oblique Crunches (Left then Right)
Curtsey Lunges Lunges (Left the Right)
Dips
 
1 min High Knees

Do Fat Burners Actually Work?

Most people have heard of fat burners and many people have tried them.  Unfortunately, a lot of people who have tried them were hoping that they were a miracle pill that would magically melt fat.  If this is what you’re hoping for you’ll be disappointed.  So, do fat burners actually work?  They do!  But there’s a slight catch.

Do Fat Burners Actually Work?

Yes they do!  That’s the good news!  Here’s the (maybe) not so good news.  They do not work on their own.  Fat burners are meant to supplement an already healthy and active lifestyle to help you lean out.  In other words you can’t just pop a fat burner and then sit on your ass eating crap and expect to lose fat.  You need to be active and eating properly in order to get the benefits from fat burners.

How Do Fat Burners Actually Work?

Fat burners contain ingredients that cause the release of certain hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine.  These hormones signal the mobilization of fat from fat stores to be released into the blood stream to be used as fuel.

The key thing to take away from this is that the fat is made available to be USED.  In other words, if you’re not working out and creating a need for that fuel the fat just gets stored again.

Fat burners also contain ingredients that help suppress appetite and increase thermogenesis.  Both of these factors will help create a calorie deficit which technically translates into weight loss.  Again though, to get the best results you need to be eating healthy and exercising regularly.

Are Fat Burners Safe?

They are as long as you use them correctly and you don’t have any conditions where stimulants could put you at risk for a heart attack.  As with anything read the label and use them correctly.  Don’t double up on the dose because you want faster results – it does NOT work that way.  Taking too many stimulants can be dangerous for even the healthiest of people.  Fat burners contain caffeine so keep that in mind if you already consume products with caffeine in them.  You should keep your daily caffeine consumption below 400mg.

Should You Try Fat Burners?

Fat burners can be a very effective tool to help you get lean if you use them correctly.  Make sure you eat healthy and exercise regularly if you decide to start using them.  As always, if unsure talk to your doctor first and only use them as directed.

Free Weights Versus Machines

Over my many years of training people I’ve been asked many times which is better, free weights or machines.  Both have their pros and cons so let’s take a closer look at free weights versus machines.

Free Weights Versus Machines

Free Weights

Pros:
  • Variation in exercises with minimal equipment.

Free weights offer and almost endless variety of exercises.

  • You can train anywhere.

Anyone can buy a few sets of free weights and use them anywhere – no need to join a gym if you don’t want to.

  • Mimics real life movements.

With free weights, you’re free to move however you need which allows you to move the way you would in real life.

  • Forces you to use your smaller stabilizing muscles.

When you use free weights you have to depend on your own body to stabilize you.  This means that you’re getting even more bang for your buck during your workout

Cons:
  • Takes skill.

You need to learn proper technique in order to use free weights effectively.  This means hiring a trainer or at very least reading up about proper form from proper resources.  You can’t necessarily mimic what you see others doing in the gym or on YouTube, you actually need to learn proper lifting skills.

  • Higher risk of injury.

If someone doesn’t know proper technique they can end up really injuring themselves.

  • You need a spotter if you want to train really heavy.

If you’re training heavy with free weights you need a spotter to keep you safe for exercises such as squats, bench press or shoulder press. 

Machines

Pros:
  • Easy to learn.

Because there is a fixed range of motion for each machine you don’t really need anyone to show you how to use them.  Most machines have a picture with instructions on how to use them.  This is not to say that it’s impossible to misuse equipment but if you’re sensible you won’t have a problem using it properly.

  • No spotter required.

If you want to lift heavy but don’t have a spotter a machine will allow you to do this with a much lower chance of injury than if you were to train heavy with free weights.  You still need to be careful and make sure you really have your technique down before you start loading on the weight though.

  • Allows you to isolate muscle groups better.

The machine keeps you stable when you’re performing the exercise so all you have to focus on is the primary muscle group that you’re working.

  • Great option for anyone who’s doing rehab and/or is quite unfit.

If you’re recovering from an injury machines will allow you to work specific muscle groups without aggravating a healing injury.  For those who have very little experience with fitness, machines will teach you how it should feel to work specific muscle groups.  By isolating muscle groups you can build up strength quickly and then be able to progress onto free weights.

Cons
  • Stabilizing muscles get neglected.

There are some benefits to isolating muscle groups but if you continue to ignore your stabilizing muscles you run the risk of joint injury.  When you strengthen your larger muscles without strengthening your stabilizers you can end up creating weakness around the joint.

  • Movement is non-functional for the most part.

Using machines will help make you stronger but the movement pattern doesn’t mimic real life range of motion.  This means that you’ll be stronger but not as functional for your sport or everyday activities.

  • False sense of security can lead to injury.

Because the machine assists you to some extent some people make the mistake of thinking they can pile on way too much weight.  You can still easily injure yourself on a machine if you push too hard too soon.

  • Sometimes inconvenient.

If you rely on machines for your workout you may find yourself doing more waiting than working out during peak times at the gym.  Buying your own machines for a home gym is not an option for many people due to cost and the amount of space they take up.

Machines Or Free Weights?

Both have their pros and cons.  Personally I use both and find that by doing this I help create a good balance of strength in my body and I don’t get bored.  If you’re brand new to fitness and don’t want to hire a trainer start with machines and then work up to using free weights.  If you’ve been going to the gym for years mix it up for variety which is good for both your body and your mind.  Train hard, train smart 😉

How To Get Back To Your Routine

September is here which means a lot of people are trying to re-establish their routines.  This isn’t always easy and can sometimes cause a bit of anxiety.  If you’re feeling a bit anxious you may need a bit of help to get back to your routine.

Tips On How To Get Back To Your Routine

  1. Schedule it!

When you need to get something done add it to your calendar.  When you have a specific date and time for something you’re more likely to actually do it.  If it’s something you think you might forget to do, tie it to another behavior.  For instance, if you want to start going to the gym every morning, pack up your gym gear so that you can hit the gym right after you drop the kids off at school.

  1. Don’t be an all or nothing type of person.

Face it – sometimes life gets in the way of even the best intentions.  If your day gets away from you and you can’t make it to the gym that doesn’t mean you have to completely skip out on your workout.  Instead work in some physical activity.  Do some squats while you’re preparing dinner.  If you’re watching TV make commercial time plank time.  You can even include your kids and see who can hold their plank for the most commercials.  If you’re at work and you know you won’t make it to the gym after work go for a quick walk during your lunch break.  Even just 10 minutes of physical activity will benefit you physically and mentally.

  1. Make a commitment to someone other than yourself.

If your goal is to get back to your workouts tell someone who you don’t want to disappoint.  Tell them that you’re planning on working out 5 days per week and have them hold you accountable.  If you don’t have anyone close to you to tell, join a Facebook group that will keep you accountable.  Humans hate to disappoint so by telling someone about your intentions you’re setting yourself up for better success.

  1. Get comfortable with being realistic.

There are times where situations will not be optimal for your goals.  For instance, if you’re thinking about following a ketogenic diet, don’t decide not to, just because you have plans every Friday to meet your friends for appetizers and drinks.  Following your ketogenic diet 5-6 days per week is still going to be beneficial.  If you want to stick to a plan long term you need to figure out what fits into your life.  You can challenge yourself but you need to be realistic about what you need in your life.

  1. Make sure the changes you’re wanting to make are actually important to you.

Making changes is tough so make sure the changes you want to make are important to you.  When you start a new routine motivation is high because it’s a new challenge and you’re excited.  But, if what you’re working towards isn’t that important to you, when the motivation starts to fade you’ll quit.  Motivation is a funny thing.  It will be there for you one day and then gone the next.  If what you’re working towards is important enough it will reignite your motivation when things get tough.

All Set!

So, there you go!  Five things to help you get back on track!  I know it’s tough but just remember how great you feel when you’re back on track with your goals and remember how awesome the pay-off is going to be.  Post your goal below to get the ball rolling!

Wholey Fit Daily Sweat! Mixed Bag!

Mixed Bag!

Warm-up for 5-10 minutes before you start and cool down and stretch for 5-10 minutes when you’re done.

AMRAP 8 MIN

5 Frog Jumps

10 Push Ups

5 Squat Jumps

10 Thrusters

EMOM 8 MIN

2 Reverse Lunges 1-2

10 Burpees

30 Seconds Each 4 Rounds

Deadbug

Mountain Climbers

Bicycles

Spiderman Planks