Tag Archives: fat loss

Building Muscle & Losing Fat (Myths of Fitness)

Myths of Fitness might not be the greatest name for this series but it’s all we have for now. The whole reason that I made up such a boring and vague name comes from my immediate desire to spread this information. Now, I am sure that we have said this before, but it IS possible to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. Here I will explain it shortly without getting into detail about the scientific and specific aspects that are better explained through some links below. This is a better explanation for people who want to know the truth and those links provide the better explanations for those who want to know the reasons that make it true.

Hittin da gym in Iowa

Hittin da gym in Iowa

First and most importantly, you as an individual need to figure out what your goal is! The reason why I have a general problem with P90X, Insanity, Total Immersion Swimming, and other similar programs that are products you need to pay for is because they act like these programs are the solution to everyone’s needs. This obviously is not the case since all individuals interested in getting in better shape are different anatomically, physiologically, psychologically, etc. Basically, everyone is physically and mentally different from everyone else. So you need a program that caters specifically to your needs. While I have many problems with those products the one reason why I do like their popularity is that they are helping get people off of the couch. (Just be careful that once you get off the couch you don’t get hurt because it’s in the nature of some of those programs to accidentally let that happen.) But my rants about those products, triathlons, obstacle races, and Crossfit will come at another time. (It will be a “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”)

Going back to how I started the last paragraph… what is your goal? If you want to be massive then your goal is hypertrophy and mass gain. If you want to be super lean then you’re on the other side of the spectrum. If you want to maintain your appearance, it’s another different story. Professional bodybuilders, pro athletes, endurance athletes, martial artists, dancers, professional eaters, and everyone else on this planet should take different approaches to reaching their goals and this is where we come back to that myth of not being able to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.

photo 2 (17)

If you focus on one goal (I struggle with this) then it is typically easier to achieve. Or at least you can achieve it quicker. Bodybuilders go through a bulking cycle where they pack on extra mass and fat in order to help their muscles go through hypertrophy. Once they have achieved their desired size in terms of specific muscle groups, they continue to exercise rigorously while cutting. While they are in a cutting cycle, they will lower their body fat and mass significantly while maintaining a significant amount of their hypertrophic progress in their muscles. That is the end result of what you see when you watch the Olympia or the Arnold Classic. I won’t go into significant detail about their diet and supplementation other than the fact that they try to eat more calories while bulking and a caloric deficit while cutting. This is the optimal way to maximize gains in a mere aesthetic manner.

However, if you are more interested in building “functional” muscles (don’t take me using functional literally. Every workout leads to the growth of functional muscle. Some would argue that some forms are more “functional” or useful than others) then you should consider find what program suits you best. Everyone can be classified as a mesomorph, ectomorph, or endomorph. (See our old glossary of fitness terms for an explanation.) In order to find the perfect mix of macronutrients and exercise in order to build muscle and lose fat you need to go through something called… trial and error. I cannot be convinced that there is a single “adonis ratio” that calculates every person’s needs equally. We are all far too different. You can hire “coaches” to help you and guide you but be careful and make sure they have your best interests in mind. You might hear of a coach telling a client to eat under 20 grams of fat a day. Please do not listen to them. You need fat to control hormone production and for hundreds of other functions. But that is another post we’ll talk about at another time.

photo 1 (20)

Bottom Line: You can build more muscle if you are just trying to build muscle. You need the excess calories and other factors to help you gain mass. You can cut more fat is you are just trying to cut fat. You need the caloric deficit and other factors to help lose fat. However, if you are interested in doing both at the same time… you can. Obviously it isn’t possible to maintain a caloric surplus and deficit at the same time but for beginners, overweight individuals, and exceptional people it is more likely to be able to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. Also, depending on your macronutrients, you can “build muscle” (in various ways, not mass necessarily) while on a slight caloric deficit or a caloric balance. You won’t build quite as much muscle or lose quite as much fat, but you can still be efficient and help reach YOUR goals. Don’t listen to anyone else since you have YOUR goals and it is YOUR body. My goal right now… be happy in life. If I want ice cream then I’m having ice cream. And you should do the same because happiness is a key factor in staying hungry and fit.

Gettin' some Frisbee Golf on

Gettin’ some Frisbee Golf on

Here are two great links to two great individuals that I look up to in the scientific side of the fitness industry. Jim Stoppani provides individuals with hundreds of phenomenal workout programs… many for free. Congratulations to Dr. Layne Norton in the birth of his son. Best of luck to your family.

http://www.cutandjacked.com/CutAndJacked-Ask-Dr-Layne-Norton

http://www.jimstoppani.com/home/questions/187

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How to Do Clean-Eating Right

As I continue to prep for my contest, I am doing 99% clean clean eating. Since doing my protein shake hell beforehand, this seems like heaven. I’m sure if I went straight from eating normal to this, it would be a little miserable. However, it looks like my hell week paid off in multiple ways. I’m doing clean-eating not the way a yogi would, but how a bodybuilder would. This turns a lot of people off who don’t understand that word—as if I’m food-loading like a steroid-using pumped out scary woman. I’m not, I promise! Read on to learn how to eat cleanly and enjoy it. I’m seeing differences in my health, body, and strength already after almost 2 weeks.

Working hard during a Spartacus circuit

Working hard during a Spartacus circuit

I can’t claim to be a know-all, be-all about this subject. Sure, I know how to live a healthy life, but this specific diet is more so Chris’ arena, since he’s done much more research into bodybuilding, contests, and the sort. So he set this up for me. Depending on the week (this is a 6-week contest), I’m either eating between 1300-1400 calories or 1400-1600 calories (like this week! Good thing too as we were in Iowa for family reunion…), keeping my protein and fiber count high, my fat, sugar, and carb count medium-low, and exercising away 800-1000 calories a day. Yes, I’m working really hard, lots of workouts. The eating part hasn’t really been hard for me yet, because like I said earlier, I came to this after just consuming protein shakes.

Now you know my “macros” (macronutrients). Everyone will have different macros depending on their goal and body composition. Comment below with questions and we can help you out. It’s not too hard to do this:

  1. Eat lean protein. I’m a strange “vegetarian,” but I’ll eat any meat or fish that’s wild-caught or hunted. Lucky me, I can eat canned tunafish! For you meat-eaters, this part and protein-macro-intake would be a lot easier. I rely on my tuna, usually mixing with a complex carb and lots of hot sauce (mmm!). Other lean proteins include other types of wild-caught fish, egg whites, tofu, and black beans. These don’t contain too many calories or fat, but are high on the healthy protein scale so they’re perfect. Another huge one is protein powder where you can get a lot of protein without too much carbs, fats, or calories. photo 1 (7)
  2. Stick to complex carbohydrates. What would I eat with my canned tunafish? A slice of whole-wheat bread (we usually stick to Rudi’s organic) or brown rice. My carb intake usually doesn’t stray too far from that—yes, of course I get carbohydrates from other things like fruits and vegetables, but I’m talking about the certain “category.” And don’t forget my main carbohydrate for breakfast—oatmeal. No, not the instant crap, the “quick oats” or steel-cut. Another great carbohydrate that actually isn’t too high in carbs is sweet potato and boy is it delicious! photo 1 (6)
  3. Fruits are not a free-for-all. We’re watching our sugars and carbs, remember? Usually, fruit is a free-for-all for me, and that’s when I see my sugar count skyrocket. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather you grab a handful of grapes than skittles. But for this contest, we don’t want grapes for fruit. The fruit you want to go for: bananas, apples, pineapple, blueberries and grapefruit. They have awesome benefits and don’t take you too far on the sugar or calorie scale. photo (15)
  4. Eat your vegetables! Again, you don’t want every single kind, some are more vitamin-intensive and calorically-dense than others. I will usually have some kind of vegetable with every meal, combining it with my brown rice and fish, or with my open-face tunafish sandwich. Stick to these veggies: spinach, asparagus, broccoli, and carrots. Go for dark greens and use sweet potatoes as carb substitute. photo 3
  5. Stay away from dressings, heavy oils, and the like. This is why bodybuilder’s meals seem so bland and boring. Most of them stray away from any seasoning whatsoever. However, that’s not necessary—as long as you do the right seasoning. With breakfast, I pour cinnamon on my oatmeal. Hot sauce? Try every meal. Run free with garlic. Be smart, you know what’s right and wrong. Don’t drench your salad with ranch, go for straight-up balsamic vinegar. This doesn’t have to be bland, use your seasoning (hot sauce is my absolute go-to).  
  6. Know your fibers: soluble fiber versus insoluble fibers. Right now, we definitely want fiber in our diet. And we want both kinds, depending on the situation. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel, making us have that full feeling and slows our digestion. Soluble fibers include oatmeal, beans, nuts, and oranges. Insoluble fibers are good for our gut too because they improve our digestion and have a laxative-like effect. These don’t dissolve in water so they pass through quickly and speed up the process of food and waste.  Insoluble fibers include whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, and root vegetable skinsphoto 3 (4)

Pretty easy rules to follow and understand. Let me give you an example of some meals that I cycle frequently:

  • For breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal, 3 hard-boiled egg whites with Frank’s hot sauce 
  • photo 4 (5)For snack: 10 almonds OR banana OR apple OR grapefruit

grapefruit

  • For lunch: 1 can tuna, peas, beans and Tapatillo hot sauce 

photo 1 (11)

  • For snack: avocado, pepper, bean, and onion salad 
  • photo 3 (9)For dinner: pan-grilled cod, sweet potato, and salad 

photo 2 (8)

  • For snack: protein shake OR carrots and hummus OR cabbage tuna wraps with 1 cup almond milk

photo 5 (4)

That’s one day. You can add or take from the above, with the knowledge you now have. Here are some other meals that are smart for macros:

Salad

Salad

Raw veggies

Raw veggies

Alright, that’s enough picture overload. I was just saying to Chris, I may be on a strict macro diet, but eating all of this food is enjoyable. I get fish and “chips,” I get tons of yummy vegetables, I get tons of hot sauce. It really isn’t that hard. You can do it too and your body will thank you. You feel so good, light, and healthy. You aren’t starving yourself, you’re giving your body what it needs. And hey, if it fits the macros, go ahead and have an ice cream like I did during my family reunion. Clean eating is one of the best ways to stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Sajah hot in the apartment

Sajah hot in the apartment

My Hell Week is Over

Disclaimer: I would never suggest this “diet” to anyone else. For me, it was just a willpower test I’ve wanted to try. I am highly against crash or fad diets.

Second Disclaimer: This is kind of a long post, but only because it means a lot to me.

I did it. I did it! I did it! If you’re wondering why I’m seemingly raving mad right now, direct yourself to this postIf you don’t feel like reading the whole thing (even though it’s short), I’ll give you a little summary. I did a crazy thing of subjecting myself to 7 days of 560 caloric hell. The actors from Spartacus did this to get lean and in slave-gladiator-like shape for their show. It was a prescribed four water protein shakes a day. That’s it. For an entire week. And that was while they were at “Gladiator Camp” doing 4 hours of combat work each day. I unfortunately had no such camp to attend, so every other day I completed the hellish Spartacus Circuit (3 times over). And on the other days, I did other cardio and strength exercises.

Working hard during a Spartacus circuit

Working hard during a Spartacus circuit

So last Wednesday I forwent food, subsisting on only 4-5 protein shakes a day (water mixed with protein powder). If any of you know me, I am hungry most of the time. Why do you think we named this blog Hungry and Fit? I didn’t choose to do this to lose weight or lose inches (even though I am doing this contest), I did it for the sole sake of testing my willpower. And I did it. I didn’t touch any food for that entire week though I drooled and craved it constantly. I’m waiting for someone to send me my “Willpower Extraordinaire” plaque, but I guess it takes time to mail.

My only sustenance

I am very proud of myself and happy I pushed through. Water, gum, and ice are the three material things that really helped me get through it. Oh, and video games. Thanks, nerdy side of myself, for helping me get lost in that while I wasn’t working out or working. More than those, Chris and friends really supported me. Chris was there for me every step of the way and my friends would text me each morning say, “Alana, still staying strong?!” I appreciated it more than they know. Because I was definitely an infinitely more grumpy person during that week. You can especially ask Chris, but also my workmates like Daisy or Kim too.

How I felt

How I felt

Again, I would not suggest this to anyone. After only consuming 560 calories a day, working out every day, and continuing an active-paced job, I lost ten pounds (I know my mum is yelling at me right now back home). Ten pounds in a week is NOT GOOD. Listen to me, I’m a trainer. That’s what you call a bad crash diet. Again, I want to reiterate, I did it for the willpower test, because for me, I think at the end of the day, if you don’t have your willpower, you don’t have anything. It was extremely rough the first few days–who am I kidding, it was rough for the entirety, but I started getting used to not consuming food. However, by the end, my body was pretty mad at me, making me a little sick and weak. Again–DON’T do this. I’m just sharing my achievement. It ended up de-motivating me for my contest because I was so miserable without food and feeling weak.

"Before"

“Before”

"After"

“After”

I’m showing you pictures of how my body slightly transformed, not as motivation, but to document how this affected me.

You can imagine how blissfully amazing this day of rebirth into food has been (if you think I’m being dramatic, blame my dad, he’s an actor). I had my meals planned days in advance (because what do you do when you can’t eat? You think about food!). I was in such a better mood than I had been all week and I was just happy because I did it. I accomplished something I had wanted to for a long time now. I’m all for celebration, but I’m still on track for this contest. And although today is a “cheat” day (you’ll get descriptions and pictures after this of my meals today), I’m going right back to strict eating of lean proteins, veggies, fruits, and complex carbohydrates to get to my “extremely fit” goal with Chris at my back as a coach.

This wasn’t even close to my cheat day before the Spartacus Hell Week (in terms of bad food), but it was cheat enough for me because it was real, beautiful FOOD. Let’s look at the menu.

For Breakfast: Dot’s Diner

Small House Breakfast...that's fake meat

Small House Breakfast…that’s fake meat

photo (28)

I really tried slowly eating, but you can’t understand my excitement and happiness. I ate most of it, but not the whole biscuit. Stomach felt funky for a few hours, but it just needs to get used to solids again.

For Lunch: Snarf’s 

Tuna sandwich...mmmm

Tuna sandwich…mmmm

Face of bliss

Face of bliss

The mouth-watering in this situation happened to be ridiculous. Again, tried to take my time. 

For Dinner: Korea House

Korea House in its amazingness...we would eat here every night if we could afford it

Korea House in its amazingness…we would eat here every night if we could afford it

Happy last meal

Happy last meal

I wasn’t going to (or supposed to) have any thick dairy like milk or ice cream, but we were served it by our favorite Korean chef and we always put respect, honor, and morals before anything else.

All in all, I’m glad I did it. I’m proud of myself. But I will never do it again.  I only wish to inspire people to try to reach higher and higher, because you never know what you’re capable of. Wish me luck on the rest of my 5 weeks til the end of the contest! Going to be on an eating plan of tuna, beans, rice, vegetables, grapefruit, banana, fish and oatmeal! Use your willpower to stay hungry and fit!

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The Best Way to Cut Calories: Swimming

This post was inspired by an old swimming friend that has more recently gotten involved in lifting weights and trying to transform his body. He is an extremely experienced and skilled swimmer so he has a lot of tools at his disposal. He does not enjoy running or biking as a means to burn calories but he is interested in cutting for the summer.

Cutting is a term used in the fitness industry, primarily among physique based competitions, that refers to a stage after bulking where you lower your caloric intake and increase your caloric deficits in order to lose fat. Through this process of lowering body fat percentage, the muscles that a person developed and strengthened during their bulking phase will be more defined, visible and prominent. It has a certain aesthetic effect.

Not exactly your typical lap swimmer (it's Alana)

Not exactly your typical lap swimmer (it’s Alana)

Mr. M (we will keep his identity a mystery) asked me if swimming was a suitable substitute for cutting and the answer is yes. Anything that helps you achieve your caloric deficit amongst a cutting phase, with proper diet and rest, is a proper form or substitute for the classic “cardio machines.” Most professionals have ellipticals, treadmills, steppers or even bikes in their home gyms. There are a few reasons why swimming does not receive attention on the same level. Those reasons are primarily seen as a disadvantage and therefore complicate the process. However, there are certain advantages as well if you are cutting for your own reasons and not trying to be like everyone else. Here are the reasons why people do not use swimming to lose fat:

1. Most people do not know how to swim. That’s true, believe it or not. Beyond that, many people that do know how to swim don’t know how to swim properly. The number of people that can swim the four competitive strokes and various other safety strokes properly is extremely small. Many bodybuilders are among this population and are not interested in learning how to swim. However, for Mr. M, this is not a concern and with strokes such as backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and butterfly it is very easy to burn more calories than on a machine that plugs into the wall.

2. It is much harder to calculate burned calories while swimming. Machines that plug into walls have abilities to calculate these numbers, therefore making it extremely convenient for someone tracking these figures so strictly to hit their marks properly. This is not the case while swimming, as every stroke will burn a different amount of calories. Pacing yourself will also affect this greatly. Swimming a 100-yard freestyle on 55 seconds and following with a second 100 yard freestyle on 1 minutes and 15 seconds will result in different calculations that need to be made. If you are not extremely strict on your figures, then this is not an issue as you can estimate. You can also buy some new devices in the market that are waterproof and track your calories that are burned. Fit will be doing a post soon about these devices so keep an eye out for that.

3. It is generally more difficult to find a body of water, especially year round, that is safe. You can run and bike on land. You can run indoors in the winter no matter where you live. Finding a safe swimming spot is harder as it is a much more dangerous activity due to the medium of the water. In developing countries swimming is a luxury and something that the majority of the population does not know how to do. Overall, it is simply not as safe.

Despite these factors, I highly recommended Mr. M to swim in order to cut to achieve his goals. The best way is to use all the strokes that you know and incorporate them into a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. Switch up your strokes and change your pace consistently to challenge your body to work harder and burn more calories. Swimming for an hour at the same pace does not do much unless you somehow can maintain your full speed, or something close, for that whole time. I love to do 100 and 200 IMs (individual medley- butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle) with the 100s being all out and the 200s being at a steady pace. I will do 5-10 of each depending on how I feel with minimal rest in between. It makes me feel good, keep my skills fresh and avoids putting extra impact on my heavy flat feet.

If you are interested in specific questions related to swimming or cutting calories please leave a comment below. And look forward to more entries in the Best Way to Cut Calories series. Use this to stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Meow

Meow

The Best Test of Willpower

If you read my post yesterday, you’ll know that I’m doing a contest to transform myself (from fit to extremely fit) and see how strong and lean I can make my body. I started off with a 10-day cleanse, a cheat day, and now Hell Week begins. Again, here is my bodyspace. This is when I need the most support. When the days look bleak and I’m not looking forward to much at all. When my stomach begins eating itself.

I’m not a fan of fad diets. And this isn’t a fad diet, it’s getting my body to a certain point where I can then maintain it for the next 5 weeks or so with lean proteins, veggies, and complex carbohydrates. But even before I knew about this contest, I wanted to do this challenge. I wanted it primarily for the ultimate willpower test. Now you’re probably screaming, “What ‘diet’ are you talking about!” Check this video out, don’t worry, it’s only 2-3 minutes long and it’s a lot of fun.

My “diet” is based on the actors who trained for Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the Starz series, the original series with the late Andy Whitfield. 4 water-protein shakes a day. That’s it. And that was all the while doing 4 hours of “Gladiator Camp”–which I would love to do, but it’s damn tough. To get lean and mean. I got my protein powder from tigerfitness.com (Machine Whey Powder) which Chris recommended as one of the best protein powders, especially for this task (and similar to what they used).  So this is what I’m doing: four or five (alternating each day) protein shakes, which is just protein powder and water. That’s it. For seven days. 

The protein I'm using

The protein I’m using

I just completed Day 1 and it feels like a century. 4 water protein shakes spaced roughly four hours apart. The first five hours and last five hours were the toughest. However, I was able to complete a 1.64 mile trail run with a dog and a 1.5 hour arms workout. Not bad, but again, it was rough and miserable. Any food sounds good. I use water and gum to curb my constant hunger. This is a willpower test and I can do it. I know I can. I want to see how far I can push myself. Like I said, I wanted to do this before I even knew about the contest just to test my willpower. 

Trail run

Trail run

So here I go, eating like Spartacus and also training somewhat like him (doing Spartacus workouts). I’m looking at 4-5 water protein shakes a day for the next 6 days. Every smell and glance of food will tempt me, but I will stay strong. This will keep me hungry and fit! 

My only sustenance

My only sustenance

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Circuit Training and Why You Should Try It

Ever feel like your workout is stale? Don’t look forward to it because you’ve done it numerous times before? You might’ve even reached a plateau and haven’t been able to achieve new progress lately. Don’t sweat it (lol, get it), it happens to all of us if we don’t change our workouts up. For example, we always switch up the muscle groups and add new exercises. But say you just do total-body workouts, which a lot of people do, and you’re just getting bored and losing interest. I have a solution! 

It’s called circuit training. No, you don’t need to be an athlete, a fitness extraordinaire  or even in shape! This will be the pathway to getting there and having some fun while doing so. Circuit training involves numerous stations with little rest time in between. This especially great for people who want to lose or maintain weight because you’re constantly keeping your heart rate up and your body moving. You give yourself a certain amount of time or reps at each station and then move to the next without resting. There are various ways to do this, and you can even do it at home. 

Let me give you an example. 8 Stations:

  1. Push ups 
  2. Supermans 
  3. Dumbbell swings 
  4. Mountain climbers 
  5. Plank 
  6. Curl, shoulder press, triceps extension (one sequenced movement) 
  7. High knees (in place) 
  8. Squat jumps 

You would go through say, 45 seconds of each station and move to the next. It depends on your fitness level. With some of my more beginner clients, I will give them 15 seconds rest between every two stations rather than until the end. I will give you variations at the end. Want to workout at home and don’t have any equipment? No problem.

  1. Squat jumps
  2. Push ups
  3. Reverse crunches 
  4. Russian twists 
  5. Jumping jacks
  6. Lunges
  7. Calf raises 
  8. Jog on the spot 

Don’t need any equipment for that one. And you can design the circuit training to fit your needs. Looking for only cardio? Swap the strength exercises (like push ups) for things like jumping jacks, jump rope, high knees, mountain climbers, jog in place, and so forth. Want to focus more on strength? Take out the cardio and add more strength in. Either way, you’re getting your cardio up by going from station to station without rest. Personally, I would suggest keeping both in the routine. Strength and cardio training is important for everyone, I don’t care who you are.

List of more exercises you can do (with and without equipment):

  • Crunches
  • Dips
  • Squat press
  • Plie squats
  • Wall sits
  • Triangle push ups
  • Step ups
  • Shadow boxing
  • Medicine ball throw
  • Chest press
  • Pec flies
  • Skull crushers
  • Jump lunges
  • Hip bridges
  • Burpees
  • Curls

And so on and so forth. There are tons of exercises you can do. You can make your own routine. Pull some of your favorite exercises from the list and go for it. Try to hit all parts of your body.

Beginner: 8 stations, 45 seconds at each station, 15 seconds of rest after each two stations, two minutes rest at the end, complete three circuits.

Intermediate10 stations, 1 minute at each station, 15 seconds of rest after 5 stations, two minute rest at the end, complete three circuits.

Advanced: 12 stations, 2 minutes at each station, no rest in between, two minute rest at the end, complete three to five circuits.

Please, try circuit training. At your gym, at your home, outside, wherever! Some advantages of circuit training? I already covered some but I’ll recap: saves on time, encourages fat loss, keeps your heart rate up, effective use of time and exercise, works on all muscles of your body, improves your cardio, and improves strength. Those are just a few. You choose the number of stations, length of time at each station, and how many circuits you have time to do. Challenge yourself every time.

Let me know what circuit you did and how it went! And if you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

Give Your Body [SPECIFIC] Love

Weird title, right? For me, love has a lot to do with health, especially when it comes to one’s body. And it’s very important to love your body. And a way I do that is giving it great workouts. Why do I say specific love? Let me tell you.

A lot of people who aren’t really into fitness or go to the gym as a chore, typically do total-body workouts. Meaning that they will try to work each part of their body (from back to chest to legs, etc.) in one workout. And if you do that workout properly and hard enough, each and every muscle group will be sore.

So I have a question. What are you going to workout the next day if all body parts are sore?

Which is why I say SPECIFIC! You don’t have to be a meat head, a fitness buff, or even in shape to split workouts up properly. You’ll be amazed at how much more effective each workout will be. Usually spend 45 minutes on a total body? Imagine 45 minutes spent just on your legs. Now there’s some defined calves.

And specific doesn’t necessarily mean one muscle group each workout, it could mean two or even more. Usually, we split our workouts into two muscle groups each. For example, yesterday we did back and biceps. Another day we would do chest and triceps. Another day? Shoulders and forearms. Legs we usually keep by itself because there are several large muscles to work (calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, etc.) And so on and so forth. I think you’re getting it. If you want, you can even split it into upper body and lower body workout days. But that will only work if you’re only working out 3 or so days of the week.

By the next day, you’re going to be sore in whatever you worked out. And by the second day after, you should be even more sore. But soreness to me equals happiness, because I know that muscle group is getting stronger. I’ll keep using us as an example. So we worked our back and biceps last night (great workout by the way), which are going to be sore today and tomorrow. Thus, tonight we will most likely work out chest and triceps, core, or something else.

There are so many pros to this way of working out and a very slim amount of cons. The specific muscle groups will get stronger by isolating them, they will develop more quickly, gain endurance, and toning. You will not have all body parts feeling sore and tired thus preventing a good workout.

You have the ability to isolate your workouts. Do it! I hope you can now understand how much better it is. AND it also makes it easier to plan out your workouts, thus making it easier for you to actually workout. I find it’s always easier to follow a workout plan (even if I’m feeling meh that day), because it’s written down what I’m going to do. Trust me, just try it.

Tell us which muscle group is your favorite to workout!