In Part 2 of “Things I wish I knew when I started,” we’re starting with this:
Progress Starts and Stops
I figured (initially), when I began getting serious about working out (about 1.5 years ago) that I’d hit all my goals in pretty quick succession.
I hit goals.
Then I’d flatline.
Then I saw more progress.
Then I gained a few pounds.
Then I saw some muscle definition.
Then I gained some more pounds.
Then I lost. And lost.
Up and down. Sideways.
Progress isn’t linear.
Progress comes in many different ways. Not just the scale. For a long time, I was all worked up about how many calories I burned during a lifting session. I’ve learned now to let that go. It doesn’t matter.
What does matter is how consistent you are.
Do you push yourself regularly at the gym?
Are you consistent with your diet?
I’m not saying perfect. No one is.
But if you can be consistent 80-90% of the time, you’re doing great.
You’re doing great at fitness.
You’re doing great at life.
Cut yourself some slack.
(And don’t forget about taking those pesky progress pictures.)
The last thing I wish I knew when I started my fitness journey?
You CAN Lift More
For some reason, I was nervous about bulking up too much. Heavy weights scared me.
My inner voice was saying:
Yep. This is comfortable. Feelin’ good. I got this!
Comfortable won’t help you get muscle gains.
I’ve got two words for you:
Pick up that heavier weight. If you have 10 reps of a certain exercise, and you can do 10 easy reps… go get a heavier weight!
Someone wise once told me: “Death plus three.”
If by rep 7 you’re dying, and don’t think you can do more… THAT is the weight for you.
Now do three more reps.
That philosophy has served me well.
When deciding the “right weight,” think about ‘death plus three.”Fitness Junkee – HEATHER
Also, track your lifting. I used to use a Google Doc on my phone. Many apps will also track what you last lifted (as long as you enter the data). Try a heavier weight next time! I can’t tell you how many times I decided to just try the heavier weight… and I did it!
Look at lifting as a game.
Every week, I try to get a new Personal Record (PR) in something.
Maybe it’s a heavier weight.
Maybe it’s another rep or two (on an exercise that is supposed to go until failure, like squats).
Remember your WHY. Why did you want to make changes?
To be healthier?
To change your body?
To be able to chase your kids with ease?
To feel better in your skin?
If you remember your WHY, everything can be much easier.
… (and easier to say no to that extra cookie).
Oh –- and remember those progress pictures.
Check out my Instagram @teacher.fitness.lookbook and DM me with any questions you have.