Looking back to when I first stepped into the gym, I had been told so many myths about fitness. “You can’t train more than 3 times a week,” “you have to leave 48 hours between workouts,” “if you lift then you’ll look manly” were the most common. The truth is, everyone is different. Some people may need 48 hours between workouts to recover, for others, 8 hours sleep is more than enough. Some people build muscle mass faster than others. Some people may train 3 times a week, others may train 6. We all react differently to exercise and there is not a “one size fits all” guide to fitness. You’d be surprised how many things you pick up along the way, and how many myths that you realize are utter rubbish. These are my top 5 things that I have learnt so far.
You Can’t Spot Reduce
Super annoying I know, but the truth is, you can’t pick and choose where you lose weight from. Doing 1000 crunches a day will NOT give you supermodel abs. Everyone has different areas that hold more fat, and for a woman, the stomach and hips are the biggest culprits. You need to do full body workouts to alter these 2 areas. A mix of cardio and lifting will definitely help to cut down the fat in these areas, as well as eating the rights foods because it all starts in the kitchen!
If your goal is to lose weight, and you are, just embrace it. Don’t be downhearted if it’s falling off the ‘wrong’ places. Keep working and you will get the results you want.
Lifting Does NOT Make You Look Manly
Women are built differently to men – obviously. We have a hell of a lot less Testosterone, and it is therefore impossible to build as much muscle mass as men (unless you take steroids, which is bad, so don’t do it.) I absolutely LOVE lifting. Lifting weights burns more calories than you may think, while building your muscle mass at the same time. Win win right?! But lifting has to be done properly. It’s take practice to get it right, and you must not force yourself to lift heavier than is physically possible for you, otherwise an injury is going to happen. Start light, and work up. When it comes to fitness, you need to be patient and persevere with it. It is always worth it.
Listen To Your Body
If you’ve worked out hard, it’s highly likely that you will be sore the next day. This is a good sign, in that it means you’ve done the work and hit the right muscles. But it’s so important to recognize when you need a rest day, or 2. Overdoing it is just as bad as, well, not doing it. The last thing you want in an injury. You will learn what your limits are, how long you can go for before you need a rest and what your lifting capacity is in terms of how heavy you can manage. Your body will have its own ways of telling you that it’s had enough and needs a break. Don’t ignore it.
Patience Is A Virtue
You will not see results overnight. You will not see results in a week, or even a month (unless you are being so strict on yourself that fitness consumes your life.) Gaining weight doesn’t happen overnight, therefore you can’t expect to lose it overnight. It takes time. It takes perseverance. It takes patience. When your progress slows down or seems to have stopped, that is when you push harder. It is happening, just below the surface. One day you will wake up and really notice how much change you have made.
Seeing change is so rewarding. It makes you realize that all your hard work is worth it. I have a long way to go, but I am so happy with what I have achieved so far, all because I have persevered and not given up.
Workouts Are Better With New Gym Wear
I am obsessed with buying new gym wear. I spend hours online looking at new outfits I can buy, from Nike, to USAPRO, to Adidas. I love bright colors, bold patterns and clashing prints, but I do have a few black numbers to mix in for good measure too. I think I spend more time looking for gym wear than I do normal clothes now! I love it. I get so excited about wearing my new outfits for the first time. Probably a little sad I know, but I don’t care. It makes a difference to me!
What are the top 5 things you’ve learnt on your journey?