Friday, June 1, 2012

Success Along the Weigh Q & A

Hey, 3 more people asked some questions so I'm baaaack!  There are some good ones so let's get to it!

What type of strength training do you do?  Do you target one area at a time, or is it more of an overall situation? 

We do all kinds of strength training.  I don't really train specific body parts.  I know some people divide it and do chest and arms one night then shoulders and back another then legs and glutes another.  We have free weights ranging from 5-35 lbs (5, 8, 10, 15, 20, 25, 35) and sometimes we'll do a freestyle deal especially if we're doing at home circuit or the Total Trainer (similar to Total Gym) is freestyle but we have a specific routine we usually do.  My setting is 5 or 50% of my body weight.  The Mr uses 6 or 7.  Show off.  But for the most part we like to be told what to do so we'll either do ChaLEAN Extreme circuits with free weights, Turbo Fire's Sculpt or Tone 30 minute workouts after a cardio session, Atletica or some from the Supreme 90 Day program.  If you want to see the workouts I referred to, click the My Favorites tab at the top of the blog.  Strength training is very important and it baffles me when people neglect it.  Lean muscle allows you to burn more fat when at rest and who wouldn't want that!?  It also helps fill in some of those deflating places.  Weights will NOT bulk you up if you're a chick and it helps build bone mass which protects us from osteoporosis so there is no good reason, barring injury or doctors orders, to not integrate strength training of some kind.  (Check with your doctor first!)

Did you change only one thing at a time until it became a habit or did you just jump in both feet and change everything at once?

We started out with just chewing each bite 10-15x per bite (you wouldn't BELIEVE how much that helps), we stopped when we were full and we only ate things that were truly inspiring to us.  If it didn't make us sink back in the chair, it got tossed.  We lost our first 30 lbs (I think) doing nothing but focusing on the eating.  Then we added exercise and worked up to 30 minutes per day, 4x week.  That is how our first 100 lbs came off.  It wasn't some insane schedule or anything.  I focus on keeping water up, sodium in check and fiber up.  I think those are all good places to start.  I think the more you try to change in the beginning, the more likely you are to get overwhelmed and eventually quit.  Master one aspect and then add another component until you've eventually overhauled your life!  :-)

I would like to know how you determine the amount of calories that you burn during workouts. You seem to be able to burn so much!

I use a heart rate monitor.  (affiliate link)  When you enter your height and weight into a website and it gives you a roundabout number on how much someone your size *should've* burned, it's often times not accurate.  You're not always working out at the same intensity every workout.  So what you burned doing Zumba one night might when you were there with your best friend showing off your moves will likely not be the same when you had a crappy day at work and are having a hard time getting your mojo.  I like the idea of being able to look down and see that my heart rate isn't where I'd like and know I have to kick it up.  I require myself to burn 840 per workout or whatever averages out to 4200 calories burned per week minimum.  So I know that I really need to push myself to get there and my intensity had better be there regardless of whether or not I'm 'feelin' it.'  Sometimes if I know I'm in a crappy mood, I will play a game with myself and tell myself that I'm in the workout video I'm doing.  I force myself to smile as if I was beside the instructor on stage, give it my best effort and focus on form.  I have burned an extra 300 calories above my average on certain workouts just by doing that!

I hope you liked this installment of SATW Q&A!  If you want future editions, you can leave questions in the comments or contact me at mrs {at} successalongtheweigh {dot} com.

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  1. This came at a really good time! I'm in the process of revisiting the place where I was when I started 3 years ago and your second question was extremely useful to me in trying to remember what worked in those early days.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. #3 explains why I see you smiling sometimes during a workout ;-)

    It is great advice to slowly overhaul your life rather than try to change it all up at once and I think that is what made us so successful especially for that first 100 lbs. And once we realized that it was time to step up the intensity those heart rate monitors really did the trick.

  3. Great questions and great advice!

    Enjoy your weekend. :)

  4. I really need to look into an HRM. I've been thinking I should for a while now, but been lazy, I guess. Good answers to some good questions!

  5. That smiling thing works. I read a study about it and thought "ya right, just because I'm smiling I will still be cussing Tony Horton in my mind, a fake smile won't do a thing." Well guess what? It really does work. When I force myself to smile it does help me to change my attitude and I do a better job working out. It has something to do with tricking your brain because feeling your facial muscles smile tells your brain you are happy.

  6. I was going to ask you about what strength training you do! Because I can figure out cardio, but the strength stuff is really hard for me. And I need to do the strength training because my arms are NOT a pretty sight. I've been doing push-ups, but evidently that's not enough!

  7. Thanks for these answers! Its helpful to know how you got started. There are so many things its so easy to get overwhelmed. Focusing on my food this week...making some yummy and low cal soup for lunches. Planning helps a lot too!

  8. What a great blog! Showing how you can start with baby steps like chewing your food thoroughly and make so much progress when that's ALL you can do, to how to motivate yourself when you're not in the mood for intensity. Outstanding!


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