You don’t need to kill yourself with cardio to lose fat and weight.
That’s the biggest message Lass, my trainer at Gold’s Gym, has taught me. I am lifting more weight today than I ever though I would. I’m amazed at each work out how much I can do. If you would have told me I’d be lifting heavy weights, flipping 100+ pound tractor tires and doing treadmill pushes (where I make the treadmill belt move vs. me programming it to move) I would have said your crazy!
With Lass, every workout involves strength and conditioning (Lass’ word for cardio). I leave the gym drenched in sweat and hardly able to walk due to muscle fatigue. And I love it! I went from all cardio—thinking I was really pushing myself—to really realizing what it meant to push myself and be pushed by using weights!
I’ve seen huge changes in my body (thanks to the workouts and a proper diet). There’s no way I’m going back to my all-cardio-all-the-time ways now!
Are you hesitant to try strength training? Post a comment and tell me why!
After the school bus picked up the kids at 6:30 a.m., Peter and I headed to the gym for a 7 a.m. Spin class. If you’ve never experience Spinning, or indoor cycling, here are a few basics from the session we attended:
- There are about two dozen spin cycles in a small room with many fans.
- While the music plays, the instructor talks you through an imaginary trip up and down a mountain. He tells you when to increase resistance, when to stand up out of the saddle, and when to decrease resistance.
- Each song corresponds with a “set” or series of movements and resistance-levels designed to achieve a goal, such as climbing a hill.
Peter and I were sweating before the warm-up was over, so we knew it would be a challenging workout.
With my first glance around the room, I saw some things which were expected. Gym rats, all of whom were size 5 or smaller, took the seats at the front of the class. Women outnumbered men, 3:1. Everyone else in the room was going faster than we were.
But halfway through the class, I realized we were all getting a workout. Spin may be done as a group activity, but it is really about achieving your individual best. The instructor may tell you to dial up the resistance ¾ of a notch, but if you can only handle ½ notch, do ½ a notch. Doing as much as you can do, is all that matters.
We finished our class, and we were both proud of simply cycling to the end.
And then, an amazing thing happened. The other members of the class came over to us and offered encouragement. One of the other men in the class told Peter to make sure he came back, because they need more guys in the session. Others warned us not to be discouraged if we felt like we could not move in the morning. “That’s normal,” they said. The instructor, Erik, checked in with us and told us to come back soon.
Peter’s response was, ”Maybe, Sunday.” Or was it really, “some day”?
Have you ever taken a Spin class before? What did you think of it? Post a comment and let me know.
Peggy and Tiffany have been sharing their progress as they work out at their new gyms. But even if you don’t belong to a health club or can’t afford a trainer, there’s no reason you can’t get fit on your own, in the comfort of your living room.
Check out our slideshow, “Get Fit on a Budget: Easy At-Home Exercises.” Developed by fitness expert Gregory Florez, the routine only requires three inexpensive pieces of equipment. And best of all, you’ll lose weight and gain strength in four to six weeks if you do the moves three days a week.
What are your favorite at-home exercises? Tell me in the comments below.
By Jason Dobson, certified personal and group trainer
You’ve got a lot of people competing for your attention: your family, your co-workers, your friends. It’s easy to let time at the gym fall by the wayside, but you’ve got to commit to being fit. Here are some ways to stay on track:
Strategy #1: Choose a Convenient Time to Work Out
Don’t drag yourself to the gym in the evening if you’re exhausted after a long day at the office. If you enjoy going to the gym at night, by all means, go for it. But if you have dinner to prepare and housework to do, find another time of the day to schedule your workout. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Try exercising in the morning, early afternoon lunch break, or evening. Just to see when you feel the strongest.
Strategy #2: Exercise with Your Family
I often find that when one person starts a fitness program, others in the family will follow suit. And that’s great motivation for everyone: Just knowing that you have a loved one who is inspired by you can encourage the entire family to have a healthier lifestyle. So have fun—and don’t be afraid to start some friendly competitions between each other either!
Strategy #3: Consult with a Personal Trainer
I know what you’re thinking: I’m giving you this advice because I am a personal trainer. But the truth is, you will have a better experience in the gym if someone knowledgeable helps you get started. And it never hurts to have someone around to support you—either with helpful tips or encouraging words.
Want to start getting in shape this summer? Feel free to email me at Jdondada2@yahoo.com or just stop into any of the four Island Gym locations in New Jersey. It doesn’t take much to get started—and the end results are well worth it!
Jason Dobson is a certified personal and group trainer. He is also the fitness director of Island Gym, in New Jersey. He worked with the Avagliano family during the first two months of our challenge.
Today Tiffany told us how getting a new pair of sneakers inspired her to start jogging again. If you’ve been walking regularly for several weeks, you might be itching to step up the pace, as well. Learn how to turn your walk into a run following our simple training plan.
How did you make the transition from walking to running? Share your experience in the comments below.