fitness

Prenatal Pilates Guidelines

Many of my friends are getting pregnant this year and I think Pilates is a great form of exercise to stay strong during pregnancy. Not only am I a Pilates instructor with advanced training in prenatal exercise, but I have also done pilates through my pregnancy! Here are my guidelines for doing Prenatal Pilates and what modifications you should make if you are pregnant.
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The first recommendation I would make is to talk to your doctor and ask him/her what you can and cannot do. Different doctors have different recommendations. your doctor will also know your specific situation and whether or not there are any contraindications you should be aware of.
The second thing I would do would be to read through the ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) guidelines here: http://www.acog.org/-/media/For-Patients/faq119.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20141230T1538388118
This is pretty much the gold standard, which most doctors follow. The general guidelines are as follows:“The changes in your body can make certain positions and activities risky for you and your baby. While exercising, try to avoid activities that call for jumping, jarring motions, or quick changes in direction that may strain your joints and cause injury.

There are some risks from becoming overheated during pregnancy. This may cause loss of fluids and lead to dehydration and problems during pregnancy.

When you exercise, follow these general guidelines for a safe and healthy exercise program:

  • After the first trimester of pregnancy, avoid doing any exercises on your back.
  • If it has been some time since you have exercised, start slowly. Begin with as little as 5 minutes of exercise a day and add 5 minutes each week until you can stay active for 30 minutes a day.
  • Avoid brisk exercise in hot, humid weather or when you have a fever.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that will help you to remain cool.
  • Wear a bra that fits well and gives lots of support to help protect your breasts.
  • Drink plenty of water to help keep you from overheating and dehydrating.
  • Make sure you consume the daily extra calories you need during pregnancy.”
Finally, in my personal experience, for back lying exercises after the 2nd trimester use towels or pillows to prop you up. This is to avoid having your uterus compress the vena cava, which provides blood to your baby. You can also buy a support pillow  like this one to help prop you up comfortably. Lying on yours stomach will also be uncomfortable, so you can kneel angling your chest down toward the floor instead.
For any ab work you will want to make sure you are pulling your abs in, you should not see a ridge on your belly. If you are not engaging your core properly, this can result in a separation of the ab muscles called rectus diastasis. A good resource to avoid this is the Lose Your Mummy Tummy book by Julie Tupler, creator of the Tupler Technique. This is also how you should be using your core in pilates. Check out my post on The Tupler Technique here. You may want to stop doing crunches or other exercises that work your rectus abdominus to help prevent this.
Aditionally, during pregnancy your body releases a hormone called “relaxin” which softens your connective tissue creating more flexibility and less stability in your joints. This means during classes, you will want to focus on controlling your movement and moving more slowly to stabilize and avoid injury.
Lastly, I think it is important to mention that pregnancy is an especially important time to listen to your body: Take it easier when you feel like you need to, change the position or ask for a modification if something feels uncomfortable.
Good Luck and CONGRATULATIONS!!
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Top 8 Exercises for Building a Booty

For bikini competitors, having a butt is a requirement. If you weren’t genetically blessed with a booty at birth, these are the best exercises I have found to help bolster your backside. Click on the name of the exercise for instructions.

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1. Squats – Squats are the classic but builder. If you have been intimidated by the squat rack, its time to get over it and go squat!

2. Stiff Leg Deadlifts – Deadlifts Help strengthen hamstrings and the stiff leg version is particularly effective at hitting that spot where the glutes and hamstrings meet.

3. Hip Thrusts – Admittedly this exercise can feel silly, but trust me this is an awesome workout for your glutes.

4. Lunges – One bikini judge told me the best way to build a great butt is to do lunges, loading up the bar as heavy as you can and stepping out as far as you can. What can I say, he was right!

5. Single Leg Hack Squats – I found this exercise quite by accident but it is very effective. I always feel it the next day, and sometimes a few days after.

6. Kick Backs – This is a great exercise for really targeting glut muscles and lifting your back side.

7. Glute Bridge – Glute bridges are a great way to work the glutes in hip extension. Even using just body weight, single leg glute bridges are a killer.

8. Hip Abduction– This helps strengthen the outer thigh and glute area which helps create the desired roundness to glutes.

What are your favorite glute exercises?

Give Gratitude for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is this week.

It is a time for joining family and friends for a feast, but it is also a time for giving thanks.

The problem is that most people take the former to the extreme and forget the latter; cramming congealed canned cranberries and stuffing themselves with heavy butter laden stuffing and forgetting to be thankful.

I see gyms open on Thanksgiving morning so people can purge the overload of calories they have yet to eat.

Then comes the post-Thanksgiving regret. The next day you can’t fit into your pants, the next week you step on the scale and see the pounds creeping up—and they don’t stop packing on until maybe you make that New Years Resolution to lose weight. You manage to peel off a few pounds before you lose your resolution to stick to your Resolution and return to your old habits.

But I’ve been thinking, what if we took a different approach, what if we cooked or encouraged our family to cook healthy alternatives to favorite dishes, what if we savored a few bites of our favorite dishes and stopped eating when we were full?

I want people to lose the idea that they are “being bad” by enjoying Thanksgiving and instead wake up to the true meaning of gratitude. Be grateful for your life (in spite of your problems), be grateful for your body (even if it is not the perfect shape), be grateful for all the luxuries you have just being able to sit (or stand or lie down) and consume this post.

Treat your body with gratitude and respect and feed it with things that will nourish it. Do things that will benefit it, be active, be healthy and be grateful for the ability to act in such a way. Don’t look at healthy behaviors and foods as a punishment for “being bad,” learn to enjoy them and approach them with a sense of gratitude.

By all means, enjoy your Thanksgiving but remember the true essence of this day is to celebrate gratitude. Find peace if you over indulge, forgive yourself if you eat more than you intended and truly enjoy the spirit of giving thanks and the ability to give yourself a new start with each day.

And by the way, did you know that gratitude is good for your health?

Scientists have found that people who regularly practice giving thanks, have better kidney function, lower blood-pressure and stress-hormone levels, and a stronger heart.

I feel like Thanksgiving has become more about gluttony and regret than gratitude and I believe that it we focus on the true meaning of  Thanksgiving we will have a healthier and happier holiday. Cheers!

Source: Louisa Kamps. 6 Surprising Reasons Why Gratitude is Great for Your Health. http://www.realsimple.com/health/mind-mood/why-gratitude-is-great-for-your-health

Staying Creative in Your Workouts

I like to think of myself as a creative person. Back before I had my son I loved drawing and painting. Now, however, since there is little time for my creative juices to flow in traditional ways I have to find other outlets. My fitness classes and programs have become that outlet.

Even if you don’t consider yourself creative there is value in being creative with your workout. For one thing, there is evidence that your body will “learn” how to use as little energy as possible when doing a familiar routine. Thus, for maximal calorie burn and to force your body to further adapt and change you need to change what you are doing. In addition, I really believe that a well rounded exercise program is the best way to have life-long health and well being. For example, if you only lift weights in a certain way, some smaller muscle groups may be neglected causing you to be weaker in some areas, which may lead to injury. You will also sacrifice flexibility and cardio health. In my opinion the optimal fitness program is one that changes with your body and incorporates strength, flexibility and cardiovascular training.

In this way I sort of look at my workouts and the classes I teach as a puzzle. Each experience is new and exciting to me with something else to be learned or gained.

So how can you incorporate creativity into your workouts? Here are my top 5 tips:

1. Take other people’s fitness classes- Even if it is not your thing you may learn something new. It’s especially good to take classes focused on something you don’t usually do. If you usually lift weights try a zumba or a spinning class. If you are all about cardio, try body pump or yoga. I have learned a lot over the years from working with different instructors. Sometimes just hearing cues in a different way can be really enlightening.

2. Go Beyond the Movement- In pilates we have 6 main principles: centering, concentration, coordination, breathing, precision and smooth and flowing movement. Sometimes, without even changing the exercises in a class I can create an entirely different experience just by focusing on different principles. You can do the same thing in whatever type of exercise you do or teach. Think of a goal or a purpose for your workout and try to achieve it.

3. Listen to Your Body- Some of the best workouts I have had are when I am listening to my body and just doing the things that feel right. For example, if it’s not a leg day and I feel like doing squats, I will throw some in. If I have a lot of energy one day I might do plyometrics between sets, if I feel like I need to take it back a notch, I might lift lighter weights really focusing on form.

4. Imagery- Did you know that the most effective cues are external. For example in squatting “drive your heels through the floor” is more effective than “flex your thighs.” I believe that this is imagery at work. By using imagery you can get clients (and yourself) to engage more muscle groups with fewer words. You can also create a new experience in the exercise by focusing on different images, thereby challenging your body in a new way. Imagery forces your mind to be engaged in the movement, which also helps you recruit more neuro-muscular connections.

5. Be a Life-long Learner- You tube makes this super easy! If you are curious about something all you have to do is plug it into youtube and BAM you have hundreds of video explanations at your finger tips. That said, don’t believe everything you see on the internet. Journal articles, books and workshops with experts are great too. One of my favorite fitness podcasts that discusses research articles  can be found here. The point is to make sure that you are constantly learning and not stagnating. Push yourself out of your comfort zone occasionally.

Do you consider yourself to be creative? What are some ways you bring your creativity into your workouts?

Tips to Resist Halloween Candy

You know the scariest thing about Halloween? The average trick-or-treater consumes 3 cups of sugar and up to 7000 calories on Halloween night! It’s hard, as adults waiting around with big bowls of candy, to resist nibbling on a Reese’s cup here and a KitKat there. And, even worse, if you don’t get many trick-or-treaters you may fall victim to the left over candy for weeks to come. Now that’s spooky!

But, don’t fear because I have a few tricks up my sleeve for helping you resist the candy temptation and keep your health and fitness goals on track.

1. Buy candy you don’t like- Don’t want to be tempted? Don’t buy candy you like. If you are a sucker for chocolate but hate hard candy,  buy jolly ranchers. Hard candy also tends to have fewer calories and takes a longer to consume– which leads to less consumption over all. If you can’t stand chocolate, load up on Hershey’s bars. That way it won’t be hard to resist your treats.

2. Discard or Donate candy after the last trick-or-treater: I know, I know “you don’t want to waste the candy” but seriously, all those calories will be wasted in your body anyway. If you really can’t bring yourself to throw it away and/or if you are feeling philanthropic donate your candy to troops over seas. If you have kids of trick or treating age you can have them donate their candy as well.

3. Make a deal with yourself- I’m all about moderation and sometimes allowing yourself to have just one or two pieces of candy can help you resist mindlessly eating the left overs. After all, one fun size candy bar is not going to derail your goals and the fact that you are not completely denying yourself may make it easier for you to stay on track. However, limit yourself to one or two small pieces of your FAVORITE candy and then keep your hand out of the candy bowl for the rest of the night. If you know one candy is likely to lead to a binge of more, it may be better to skip this tip

4. Get some exercise in- Whether you go to the gym or spend time running or walking around your neighborhood, burning a few extra calories will help you set the tone of your day as a healthy one. Not to mention that vigorous exercise has been shown to suppress appetite.

5. Chew gum- Chewing gum is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth with few calories. Also chances are, if you have gum in your mouth you will be less likely to cram other Halloween goodies in it!

Hope you like these tips have a safe, happy and healthy Halloween!

Fit Bit: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

A line of new activity trackers have popped up– these trackers will tell you, how many miles and steps you walked, how many calories you burned, how many times you passed the “active” threshold and even how well you slept. Fit bit, Jawbone, and Body Media are a few brands that offer these devices.

I recently purchased the fit bit for myself. Since I am in off season, I am trying to bulk and I thought the fit bit would be a good way to track approximately how many calories I was burning so I could eat at a small surplus.

I had purchased a body media a few years before but it died after a few months and so did the replacement so I decided to try something new this time.

I was super excited to get my fit bit in the mail I even posted to my instagram @valeriewiest

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The first couple of days were really neat– there was a big difference in the number of steps I walked and calories burned on days when I taught classes vs. just working at the office or staying at home. It was great for setting a baseline to see how many calories I burned each day. I also found out that I burn lots more calories when I am on vacation even when I am not intentionally working out. In the past I have always felt that I have to cut way back on my eating when I am not officially “working out” so it was nice to realize that I could relax a little about that aspect. The sleep tracking feature is also really cool, you have to make sure you set it to sleep mode when you are going to bed, but it lets you know how many total hours you slept as well as how many minutes your were restless or awake. My favorite feature of all  is the silent alarm, which buzzes on your wrist waking you up gently each morning or discretely reminding you of tasks throughout the day.

Overall I think that most of the information you need to know can be gained from wearing the fit bit a week or two and noticing patterns in your activity level. Then using this information to adjust your eating and exercise habits to meet your goals. For example, since I am trying to build muscle, I need to eat at a surplus so it is important for me to know that on the days I teach classes I need to eat a little more because I am burning more calories. But once I know this, tracking everything daily didn’t matter that much since my schedule is pretty regular so I could expect the same patterns in activity to repeat.

After a few weeks with the fit bit, though, I was singing its praises. It has lasted longer that my body media, even though there are a few things I liked about my Body Media better (please leave a comment if you would like a comparison of the two devices). I felt like it was exactly what most people need to find out how many calories they are burning and avoid eating too much or too little. I think it also helps encourage people to be more active– take the stairs, walk vs. drive etc.

That is, until I started talking with one of my clients who is a therapist. She told me that a lot of people become addicted to the device in a bad way. They obsess over the numbers the fit bit displays and it can actually make them feel bad about themselves. Users may try to increase their steps or their calories burned each day forcing themselves to set higher and higher limits. Others, who can’t or won’t change their lifestyle start to feel bad about the numbers and feel that they are not good enough.

Once she said this I immediately realized how using a fit bit this way could be a problem for some. I wanted to throw it out there in case any of you have started noticing this with the use of this type of device. If you do, the therapist recommends leaving the device with a friend who you can trust for a week and seeing how it makes you feel.

What are your thoughts? Have you tried one of these devices? Did you like it?

Finiding Inspiration (For Fitness Instructors)

Hey guys! Hope you have been having a great week! I just got back from vacation (re-cap posts to follow). I wanted to write a little about finding inspiration and staying motivated.

As a group fitness instructor I am constantly looking for inspiration to keep my classes fresh and interesting. Same goes for my regular workouts. I am the type of person who easily falls into patterns so if I don’t consciously try to switch things up I get stuck doing the same routine over and over again.

Finding what inspires you is a process and what inspires one person may not necessarily inspire another person. Additionally, just finding the inspiration is not enough! It takes thought and effort to convert the inspiration into tangible action.

Here are some ways I find inspiration and how I put it into action:

1. Vacation- For some reason, taking a vacation always gets my creative juices flowing. Whether I am working out on different equipment or taking a class I wouldn’t normally take, I always come back from vacation refreshed and ready to share new ideas. This past vacation I took classes from a yoga instructor who was really into cuing breath. I can’t wait to focus on breathing this week with my clients!

2. Continuing Education- Never stop learning. I am always inspired by the knowledge and ideas I receive from passionate teachers. Anytime I feel like I am falling into a rut, I take a continuing education class. Even if the subject is (and sometimes especially because it is) completely unrelated to Pilates, I always find ways to relate what I learned back to my classes and even find ways to use the information to mix up my own workouts.

3. Go Back to Basics- During my training for my personal training certification I learned that there are three main ways to change an exercise- weight, tempo and range of motion. Whenever I feel like I am stuck in a rut I go back to the basics to find ways to change up my routine. Even something as simple as counting in a different way can make a huge difference.

4. Motivational/Informational articles, podcasts and videos- The internet provides a wealth of free information. Instead of browsing pictures of cats, check out some videos or podcasts with a positive message. You can also search for videos or articles on a particular subject that you are interested in. Some of my favorites are: Everyday is Saturday, Muscle Science and Application, Jillian Michaels’s Podcast

5. Taking Fitness Classes from Others- You can learn new things from every instructor, even the bad ones. Taking lots of classes and finding what you like or don’t like. Finding new exercises, new ways of doing an exercise or new ways of explaining and cuing exercises can be a great way to refresh and find inspiration. Feel free to “steal” other instructors information and make it your own!

6. Themes- No, I’m not talking Disco, Disney or Halloween, The themes I am talking about are more fitness related. I have done themes like focusing on flow, breathing or unilateral movement. For me, identifying a theme, gives my creativity a structure in which to flow. It helps me think of the exercises in a new way and helps me structure a  well designed plan.

As you can see from my examples, I get a lot of inspiration from gaining knowledge. For me expanding my mind helps me feel more inspired and creative. This may or may not work for you but feel free to explore these ideas as you try to find your own inspiration.

Although many of these Ideas are targeted to other fitness instructors you can apply them to other areas where you may need inspiration as well.

What inspires you?

XOXOX

FitVal

 

Is the Fitness Industry Broken?

Hi Guys!

Hope you are having a great week! I know I have! I went to New York this past weekend to visit a friends and take some fitness classes. They have some really kick @$$ fitness classes in New York. Anyway, I came back feeling refreshed rejuvenated and re-motivated.

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The thing is, when you start to get into the competition scene you see a lot of the broken aspects of the fitness industry. It can be very depressing and disheartening.

First of all, you realize that the skinny fit girls that inspire you (ahem Oxygen models) are not all that healthy. Many of them are on starvation diets doing hours of cardio a day, taking banned substances, and wearing waist binders and/or getting plastic surgery. Not that I think that there is anything wrong with any of those things, however I think that it can be really misleading to present these images to people implying that diet and exercise did it all.

Secondly, I have been re-evaluating my goal to “get sponsored.” While it would be great to get some extra money to help with competitions, I see a lot of competitors promoting products they don’t even use or care about. Additionally, the relationships between competitor, coach, sponsor and judges who also can coach and work with sponsors make me wonder what is genuine and what is not.

Finally I have been very disgusted by the attitudes and egos I have seen. Shouldn’t we be trying to help others on their journey to getting fit? The selfish egomaniacal personalities I have seen out there are simply not what the fitness industry should be about. Let’s help each other get fit and look great rather than being jealous and holding secrets.

Like any industry, there will be people doing good and people doing bad. Let’s make the good overshadow the bad. Let’s make this industry about caring about others and helping them get healthy and reach their goals.

Just my two cents.

What do you think?

XOXO

Fitval

Coming Clean: How I overcame Anorexia

Hey guys!

Hope you are having a good week. I wanted to come clean about something. I have struggled with anorexia. Not so much recently, but about 7 years ago (Eeek I can’t believe its already been that long) I was hospitalized for my disorder. I was afraid to say something about my eating disorder on this blog because I don’t want it to taint my image and set myself up for criticism. I don’t want to have people make assumptions about my choices and judge me unfairly. I know that fitness competitions can be a slippery slope into eating disorders but I am confident I will not let that happen. I actually think my history makes me more resilient in that respect. The reason I decided to come clean now is because I want to be honest with you. I want you to know where I am coming from as a competitor and as a person. I also want to be able to help anyone who is currently struggling with an eating disorder. I want to show you that there is hope after anorexia.

How did it happen? I could literally write a book on this topic. I don’t think there is any one thing I could point to and say “you see, that is the cause of my anorexia.” What I do know is that I started by slimming down for prom and then continued to avoid the freshman fifteen and then I got completed sucked down the rabbit hole and became obsessed with losing weight.

By the time I was hospitalized I was completely miserable: I could barely walk up stairs, I was cold all the time, My hunger pangs kept me awake at night and I was on death’s doorstep, literally. I had to be admitted immediately due to my low weight. I was in the process of seeking help for anorexia but I was not prepared to drop everything and spend a month inpatient at a “mental institute.” Although I was devastated at first, I was also ready to get better. I had reached a point where living the way I was living was scarier to me than gaining weight. People call this hitting rock bottom and I am not sure that my recovery would have been successful had I not hit it.

 

Although hitting rock bottom was the first step, recovery was and continues to be a journey. I think there were 4 important landmarks on my road to recovery and I will share them with you:

1. “Why are you afraid to be fat?” That’s what one of the nurses at the hospital asked me the day that I was admitted. It was before I got to the eating disorder unit so I think this was just a regular nurse trying to understand why someone would take a diet to these kind of extremes when most people have trouble sticking to theirs. This question haunted me throughout my stay at the hospital because I could never really come up with a good answer to it and the more I searched for an answer the more I realized that anorexia did not make sense.

2. Changing my mindset – In the hospital I told myself to imagine that I was gaining weight for a movie role. Actresses earn Oscars for their dedication to changing dress sizes, I figured that if I look at gaining weight in a positive light it would make things easier. It did.

3. Strength Training – I am not saying that this works for everyone because maybe some people used strength training as part of their disorder but for me, getting stronger and gaining muscle was another goal that allowed me to see the benefits of fueling my body with healthy food and gaining weight.

4. Being a mom – Something about taking care of a little person that I created forced me to put my needs second. Suddenly my body was not my top priority, my son was. Taking care of my baby made me realize that I was capable of putting things before my diet and exercise regimen and helped bring balance to my life.

I have been in recovery now for 7 years and cannot say that I have had a relapse ever. The prospect of ending up where I was before I entered the hospital is far too terrifying. I have too much to live for now. My mindset has changed and I feel I have become a more balanced healthy person. I now know that I could never have the body I want or be the person I want to be by starving myself. The one thing I wish I could shake is this shame I feel for my journey. I hate sharing that I had anorexia because I don’t want eyes on me at every meal or when I am trying to exercise. I want to live without that kind of judgement. But if I can help one person with my story, it is worth it to me to come clean.

Do you have any secrets that you are afraid to come out about? Have you struggled with an eating disorder?

 

My Philosophy on how to get the body you want

After watching my clients repeatedly use the 1lb weights for resistance instead of choosing 2, 3, 5 or even 8lbs I had to write a post on this. I was one of those girls at the gym doing hours of cardio and doing the same strength training routine with the same relatively light weights every single time. My body wasn’t exactly where I wanted it to be, but it was good enough and my routine felt comfortable so I didn’t change anything.

After I had Cyrus, my body changed and in an effort to take my body back, I decided to change things up. That’s when I started learning about the body and how to train to sculpt the body. That’s also when I hired my coach, who really opened my eyes to the fact that what I had been doing was not going to lead me to my ideal body.

These are the principles that I wish everyone knew (especially women) about changing your body shape and getting in the shape you would like to be in.

1.Building muscle and toning are the same thing- How many times have you heard or said “I don’t want to get bulky I just want to tone up.” Guess what, building muscle and toning up are the same thing. Building muscle, increases your metabolic rate (so you are burning more calories throughout the day), it also gives your body shape. Building muscle is a good thing and will give you the “toned” definition you are looking for. Additionally, for most of the female population it is difficult to build enough muscle to look bulky or manly. What is probably making you look bulky is fat.

2. You need to lift heavy to build muscle-Now that we have established that building muscle is a good thing, how do you do it? Your purse weighs more than 1lb, so what makes you think doing exercises with 1lb. weights will be effective? Research shows that the best way to build muscle (hypertrophy) is to lift at a weight where the 10th-12th rep is difficult to finish. Be honest with yourself, if you have to do 20 reps before you feel anything, increase the amount of weight or resistence.

3. Cardio will not change the shape of your body other than making it a smaller version of the shape you are in now- Not only will cardio not change your shape, but as you burn fat you lose muscle so definition that you have will disappear (I’m looking at you glutes). This also slows your metabolism because the less muscle you have, the less calories you burn. I’m not saying that cardio doesn’t have a place in your routine, I am just saying that it shouldn’t be your only focus, especially if you are trying to “tone up.”

4. You can not spot reduce but you can spot build- Many of my clients request ab work, because they think it will help them get a six pack, but the reality is you can’t choose where your body burns fat. Some people burn fat evenly all over, some people tend to hold on to fat in a particular area due to genetics, hormones and/or other factors. You can, however, choose where you build muscle by focusing your training on those areas. Want a smaller waist? Work to build up your glutes and shoulders to create the illusion of a smaller waist and lose body fat by watching your diet.

5. Nutrition is 80% of the battle- If you put 100% into training but your diet is off, you will not see results. A well planned nutrition program (which includes keeping track of calories, macronutrients and micronutrients) is absolutely essential to changing your body shape. If you want to lose weight, make sure you are in a caloric deficit, if you would like to gain weight, you need to be at a surplus. And for goodness sakes, make sure that you are meeting your macro and micronutrient needs to keep your body healthy and working properly. Think about it this way, one hour of weight training burns about 300 calories. 2 glasses of wine is approximately 300 calories. Don’t undo your hard work by slipping up with your diet. Conversely, I’ve seen people get over zealous with their diets and end up going far too low in calories. This is counterproductive even if you are trying to lose weight. I would never recommend taking calories below 1200 and for an active person I would recommend at least 1600 calories a day. If you are clueless about where to start find a registered dietitian. Nutrient timing can also play a key role in how your body responds to your workouts.

So that pretty much sums up my basics for changing your body shape. While I feel like most people know these things, I still see people (especially women) falling into the same trap of cardio only and light weights. While my knowledge and ideas about fitness are continuing to evolve, these ideas have been solidly planted in my head for a while and I have read a lot of research backing them up.

So my question to you is, what is your philosophy on getting in shape? Do you agree with mine?