*Fitness 101*

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you can put that “beach body” mentality on the shelf. Fitness doesn’t mean skinny or “hott” or sexy. It means being healthy and keeping your body in the best shape you can. I am going to share with you some of my tips and tricks on how to keep that “beach body” all year round!

Before I get into the actual workouts, I want to mention how important it is to warm up beforehand. That means about 5 minutes of stretching and getting your muscles warmed up. This is going to increase muscle tone and make you workout much more successful.

Tone:

For most of you, this is your goal. You may not want to lose weight or bulk up, but you want to tone what you have, which is what I do. The key to staying toned is REPS!!! This means less focus on the weight you are lifting and more focus on the number of repetitions you do. Start out with a higher weight meaning a weight that is very difficult. but not impossible. Do 10 of whatever at that weight i.e bench presses, bicep curls, lats, etc. After you have completed the first 10, break for 30 seconds and begin again. The second time, take 5 pounds off and add ten reps. That means if you started with 20 pounds, decrease that to 15 pounds, but do 15 reps. Again, wait 30 seconds afterwards and then decrease weight by 5 pounds and add 5 more reps. Repeat this pattern for every gym machine or muscle you work out.

Shed pounds:

For some, this may be your goal. If losing weight is your ultimate goal, then your best friend is going to be CARDIO! I would recommend running, cycling, etc. Your main goal is to get your heart rate control. You are going to want to get your heart rate up, stabilize, come back down, and then repeat. For example, if you spin (cycle), get your heart rate up to a max (around 160-175) then come back down to a stable rate (around 100) and repeat several times.

I would do cardio every day and inbetween, you can mix in weights and abs as you see fit, depending on your specific goal 🙂

Bulk up:

For some, you might actually want to build upon your muscle mass. This is more common for men, but there is nothing wrong with having a rock solid body. In order to build muscle, WEIGHT is the key. Contrary to what I said before about toning, you are going to want to do less reps and more weight. For example, start out with a lighter weight (weight that is comfortable, but not too comfortable) and work up from there. Do about 15-20 reps the first couple of times and add weight as you progress. By the last rep, you should be at your max lifting weight and it should be extremely difficult. You should keep the number of reps the same every time; however, you may need to decrease a little by the last rep at your max weight.

I am not a health expert, nor am I a personal trainer, but these are the tips I use and my husband has taught me.

It doesn’t come easy. Nothing good ever does.

Here is my workout routine so you can get a better idea of what a typical workout looks like:

  1. Stretch: All parts of your body from your legs to your arms to your back and even your stomach. You don’t want to pull anything and you also want to maximize your workout while minimizing harm to your body.
  2. Cardio: Run 1-1.5 miles on the treadmill or around a track (depending on your gym)
  3. Abs:3 sets of abs, each time focusing on a different part.
    • Upper abs: 2 sets of 20 crunches
    • Lower abs: 2 sets of bicycles
  4. Shoulders: Bar bell lifts, hands over bar, pulling upwards from stomach to chest. I do 3 sets of 30 pounds starting at 20 reps the first time and decrease by 5 each time. (weight stays the same)
  5. Triceps: Skull crushers: using the same bar bell, hold it above your head, hands under bar, and lift upwards so your elbows act like a hinge and should remain at a 90 degree angle. I do 3 sets of 25 pounds starting at 20 reps the first time and decrease by 5 each time. (weight stays the same)
  6. Back: Lay on a weight bench, stomach up. I take dumb bells at 15 pounds each and press them up and back down. I do 3 sets at 20 reps the first time and decrease by 5 each time. (weight stays the same)
  7. Lats: This is the “love handle”/side of stomach section of your body. The machine I use for this has a wide bar above my head and I pull the bar down towards my chest. I start with 30-40 pounds and I do 10 reps the first time. For the next 2 sets, I decrease the weight by 5 each time and add 5 reps each time.

I do this workout 3 times a week, with more cardio inbetween those days (I run my dog). This is my workout routine and in no way am I telling you what to do or how to do it. Like I said before, I am not a fitness expert and I would always speak with your doctor or personal trainer first before doing any of these exercizes. Everyone is different and it’s all about doing what is best for you and your body.

*Diet: Just a quick note, if your goal is to lose weight, diet is key. I look at it as your workout is about 30% of the work you put in and what you eat is the other 70%. Diet doesn’t mean pills or liquids or vegetarian or vegan. This means maintaining a healthy, well-rounded diet that is best for your body. For me, I eat really well during the week with lots of vegetables and meat (chicken, red meat) and every once in a while, I like to have ice cream. There is nothing wrong with that. Depending on your goals, you should decide what is best for you and always consult someone who is an expert so you aren’t wasting your time and you are actually working towards your goal.

I hope this was helpful and let me know if you have any fitness suggestions 🙂

XO Alexa

 

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