No, you aren’t seeing things. I’m actually posting for the first time in ages! Sorry for the hiatus, everyone. I’ve had so much going on (you’ll see here in a minute) that I have failed to update in a while. I have a lot to share, though. Where do I start….
Back at the beginning of January I started considering how to change up my workout routine to produce better results. Prior to that I was hacking away at the gym generally 3-4 days a week with cardio AND running 3-5 miles one day per week. Who sees the problem there? I didn’t. The most I did to strength train was a 1-hour cardio weight lifting class 2-3 times per week. Although it was great, that was not what my body needed to get where I want it to be. A friend of mine, who is a fitness guru in my opinion, and incredibly knowledgeable in the area, created a training plan for me based on my goals. She even went so far as to create a meal plan for me too. It all rocked. After week 1, I decided I needed some help learning my way around all these weight machines. And even more, to force me into the free weight section that I was so dearly afraid to venture into. You know, the area where all those sculpted beauties and meatheads are? (I say that with love, y’all. I do.) So, I decided to start working with a personal trainer. I’ve stuck to this workout plan for about 7 weeks now. Let me first of all tell you, strength training is ADDICTIVE. And secondly, it produces results. Want proof? Ok. But let’s start at the beginning. I’m going to give you some before and after photos. This is not an easy thing for me to share with so many people, but I know that the proof is there and many others like me need to see it and learn from it. So, here goes.
First, on the left is me pre-paleo back in October 2013. This is me after losing 40lbs over the previous couple of years. It in no way represents the beginning of my journey (I would have never taken progress photos of myself back then), but it’s a reference point for you. On the right is a photo of me in mid January, probably 2 weeks into my new training plan. Two things to consider here – change of diet for the first couple of months as well as the change in training plan for a couple of weeks.
Now let’s break it down. Next is a before and after to show the difference in the first two weeks of the training plan. On the left is me after the first week of the new training plan, and on the right is after the second week.
See the difference? That’s the difference of ONE week, y’all. Ok, one more thing I have to share, because I never thought this was something I’d be able to do or see on myself. I had no sculpting to my upper body at all really, before January. Check this out. The before photo on the top was taken some time in October 2013. It’s not the same angle or whatnot as the one on the right, but it is a clear representation of the change in muscle sculpting. Below that is me yesterday. I never thought I’d have muscles to show! I’m very proud of my shoulders, and that bit of bicep, too.
Ok, enough of the photos. You get the idea. So, what is my training plan? Well, I could lay it out for you, but what works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for all of you, or any of you. Basically, what I do is cycle different muscles each day of the week, doing legs two times per week, and allowing for rest days. Then I always do 20-30 minutes of cardio after strength training. This is important for fat burning! My personal schedule generally looks like this:
Sunday – Heavy leg lifting day, followed by 20 minutes of cardio (I generally like the Stairmaster or Precor machine, or a combo of both)
Monday – Back & Biceps, followed by 20-30 mins cardio
Tuesday – I initially was using this as a rest day, but have recently started adding a run or sprints here. Loving it! Active recovery.
Wednesday – Chest & Triceps, followed by 20-30 mins cardio
Thursday – Leg day #2. I do something different than I did on Sunday, and today I’m trying out some plyometrics here.
Friday – Shoulders, followed by 20-30 minutes of cardio
Saturday – Rest!
I also incorporate abs into here on various days. I’ve learned that abs are like any other muscle though, you dont’ want to train them every day. So, I try to do them 2-3 days per week.
If I could share one more thing with you about this experience thus far, it would be to tell you not to be afraid of lifting heavy. I don’t care if you’re a woman. There is absolutely no point in lifting 2lb dumbbells. Start with what you can do and increase as you get stronger. Don’t be afraid. There is power in lifting heavy, power and change. But don’t say I didn’t warn you about it being addictive.
Until next time! And I promise it won’t be so long until then!