Seeing results is HUGE when it comes to being motivated in the gym or to saying no to a bite of cheese cake. There’s nothing more discouraging than putting a lot of effort into something and not having anything to show for it. It can really make or break your success so it’s important that you are seeing tangible results to fuel your desire to live life fit. It took me years and many failed attempts to find what works for me. It wasn’t just one thing but a combination of the following that put my body into fat-burning and muscle-building overdrive:
Healthy Diet: Eat, eat, eat!! I eat every 2.5-3 hrs with meals consisting of a good source of protein, carbs, fats and I eat lots of veggies and some fruits (I’ll throw in a sensible treat meal once or twice a week to help satisfy my sweet tooth!). It’s also important to note that it is OK if you do go off your meal plan. Don’t feel guilty. We all do it. One meal out of say 40 meals a week is NOT going to undo all of your hard work. I believe stressing about it is far worse than the cheat itself. I just dust myself off, act like it never happened and get right back on it.
Water: I aim to drink a gallon of H2O every day. Water will help you get the most out of your workouts. The more you work out the more water your body will need to function at its best. I think water should be labeled as a weight-loss drink because it helps aid your metabolism and keeps you feeling full.
Weight Training: The majority of the time you will find me lifting heavy, in the 6-8 rep range, 5 days a week. Yes, initially, I was afraid that I would get huge like The ROCK, but that’s definitely NOT the case, AT ALL! In fact, I have a hard time gaining muscle even in the 6-8 rep range.
Cardio: Too much cardio can actually hinder your results and burn hard-earned muscle. Scaling back on time spent on the StepMill and focusing more on weights did wonders for me!
Supplementation: This is very important also. I currently take daily; a multi-vitamin, BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids), L-glutamine, L-arginine and L-ornithine.
Switching Things Up: Every 4 weeks I do a complete overhaul on my workouts to keep my body guessing. Even within those 4 weeks, I try not to do a workout the exact same way twice. Whether I add a set, change the position of my grip, add weight or up my reps, I continually think of different ways to challenge my body. This way it doesn’t have time to adapt and I continue to see results.
And finally, Consistency! Consistency! Consistency!
Photo: Mike Byerly courtesy of Jen Johnstone