“Fitness Secrets Reveled” part 4- tools for success and workout program part 1
I am finally getting around to posting part 4 of my “Fitness Secrets Revealed.” It has been a very jam packed schedule around here as of late, and I am doing my best to get everything completed (like finishing up dresses! They are very time consuming because of the elastic and rushing.) Without further ado, here are the tools I use for success in my fitness program, followed by part 1 of the workout.
Tools of the trade
If you want to be a success with this fitness program, there are a few items you are going to want to add to your “fitness arsenal”. I couldn’t imagine a day without these gadgets in my life. They make it so easy to track macros, and keep focused on my goals.
My Fitness Pal
If you don’t know about the My Fitness Pal app, you must be living under a rock. This app is the most popular, not to mention easy to use macro/calorie tracker out there! It is also free. You can pay for the upgraded version if you would like (for more detailed tracking) but I have not done this yet. I have had success using the free version thank you very much. If you have not downloaded this app yet, I suggest you do so now. You will need this to keep track of your macros (remember the calculator in the last post? You use this app to make sure you are hitting your macros given to you in my calculator.) There are a ton of different tutorials online that show you how to use this app. You can set up your account on your desktop computer when you get to the portion that says “ Your suggested Fitness and Nutrition Goals” You will IGNORE THIS. The numbers they give you are not correct for someone training in the way you will be. Here is an easy tutorial that shows how to “zero out” your goals on My Fitness Pal…
Once you have your account set up, and your app downloaded to your phone, you are ready to track your specific macros. (See Pat 3-Nutrition of this series for the macro calculator)
Digital food scale
An absolute MUST in the kitchen!! If you want to keep your macros on point, you will need a digital food scale. This makes it so easy to make sure you are getting the proper serving size, and not over eating. You want to measure everything in grams, ounces, or milliliters. If you pay attention to food labels, then you will see exactly what a serving is of the specific food you are about to consume. 28 grams is usually a complex carb serving size for example. Take a visit into your pantry to see what the food labels actually reveal. You will be surprised at to what an actual serving is once you measure it out! Sometime for certain foods it will give you a specific number of say, chips for example. It will say that 9 chips are a serving size, or 28 grams. If you measure it out on your scale, you will often find that 28 grams exceeds 9 chips (and that is a good thing! LOL) Do you see how actually measuring your food is important? You will more often than not get to enjoy more of your favorite foods. You also won’t over eat them.
Digital body weight scale
Yes, you are going to need to use a body weight scale. I know a lot of people out there cringe when they think about stepping on one, but you really do need one so that you can LEARN about how your body NATURALLY FLUCTUATES! Yes…you are never the same weight all the time. Your diet, hormones, and muscle gains/fat loss will influence the number you see on the scale. I weigh myself every single morning, upon waking after going to the bathroom. I am also nude while doing so to keep it accurate. After a week I take the seven days worth of recordings, add them up, and take that total and divide it by seven. This gives my the weeks average weight. This makes it very easy to see your progress while on a cut. You can do this while in a surplus as well (a bulk). It is very interesting to see how at certain times of the month, or after a treat meal, how your weight fluctuates. You will also learn from tracking your weight, and your macros, which foods might give your troubles or bloating. I have learned that I can’t eat pasta very often, and that larger amounts of non fermented dairy products cause me tummy discomfort and some nasty water weight gain. I know now to limit, or omit these foods.
At the beginning of each part, or phase of this workout program, you need to take progress photos, your measurements and weight. You will keep these to track your progress. Because you look at yourself daily in the mirror, you often will not see all the changes you are making. People are often too critical of themselves, so too see actual hard proof in photos, and measurements makes all the difference.
Measuring tape and body fat calipers…
In my last post I explained these two tools. You can read all about them HERE. The measurements you want to track are in the following locations:
You want to include your body fat measurement taken with your caliper in these measurements, as well as your current weight, at the start of each 8 week phase of your program.
Magic Bullet/Nutrition Ninja/Vitamix
It is pretty obvious why you will need one of these handy kitchen gadgets in your life. You will find smoothies, shakes, and protein ice cream very handy and convenient while cutting or bulking. If you don’t have one of these, you can still just mix a protein shake in a shaker bottle, but you might get pretty bored of this after a while.
In truth, I don’t use many supplements. I prefer to get all of my nutrients through actual food, however, The supplements that I absolutely could not imagine life without are BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids) and protein powder. You need to BCAA’s for recovery (believe me! They do help with this!) they really help me to not feel sore the next day. The protein powder is obvious…to increase your protein intake! Protein helps us to feel sated. This is important when you are on a cut. We also need more protein because we are constantly breaking down muscle tissue when we workout, so in order to rebuild it bigger and stronger, you need to feed your muscles. On occasion (but only when needed) I will use a pre-workout formula. I usually avoid these because of the heavy caffeine content, but sometimes I just need it to power through a hard workout. We all have our off days, and pre-workout can help you when you are dragging ass! LOL! Be careful with pre-workout though. Ask your local supplement shop if they have samples to try, and then only start with half a serving to test your tolerance. Some pre-workouts will definitely make you feel like you need to run sprints or bounce off the walls! Yikes!!
Proper training shoes
I mentioned in a previous blog post that I wear Converse to train in. I love these shoes for lifting weights! Ever since I have started wearing them, I don’t have the knee pain I once did, and I have noticed more glute recruitment when performing certain lifts. I also just go barefoot sometimes (but I mostly train in my home gym!). I wouldn’t recommend barefoot training in a commercial gym though (SO GROSS!) so that is why I recommend converse. They aren’t that pricey, and they work to keep your foot nice and stable! Running shoes put way too much pressure on your knees.
DoTerra Deep Blue and Lemongrass
I use DoTerra deep blue rub (a nickel to quarter size in palm of hand) with two drops of DoTerra Lemongrass essential oil, rubbed into my knees or any other joint where I feel stiffness. I rub this amazing concoction on before I workout on leg day. Since I began doing this, and I changed my shoes, I have zero knee pain. There was a point in my life where I couldn’t squat at all because my knees were in agony. Now I lift heavy weight, with no pain. Deep blue/Lemongrass combo+Converse=AWESOME!!
This concludes my favorite fitness tools that have helped me to reach my goals. I highly recommend you give them a try!
Exercise bands and glute activation exercises
I always have exercise bands on hand to really fire-up up my glutes before a booty workout. By warming up properly and then performing these glute resistance exercises, it really helps to engage your gluteal muscles. Here are some good exercises to try after you warm up a bit with some cardio. Perform a set of 20 reps for each exercise. I usually just do the squat walks, and kickbacks, but feel free to try them all…
The Workout and Cardio
Here is part 1 of the training program I used to reach my goals. I would love to know who is actually going to give this program a try? If you give my program a whirl, and you are closing in on week 6, and are ready for Part 2, please comment below, and I will post part 2 for you.
This is a 5 day a week training split. I workout Monday through Friday, but you can pick what ever 5 days you wish to train. Just make sure you take two days off in a row from lifting to let your body heal and grow. Rest is critical to keep you from injury.
You need to add cardio into your training program as well to keep your heart and circulatory system in top form. It also helps to burn more fat while you are in a cut. You need to add a form of cardio into your training plan at least 3 days a week. I recommend a combination of HIIT and Steady State cardio. HIIT is a wonderful thing for those out there who are pressed for time. It allows you to get a great fat shredding workout done in half the time of a regular one. Check out this website for an awesome array of HIIT work.
For this workout your need to know your one rep max. Please read this article on how to find your proper weight for lifting in this program. click HERE.
In the following printable chart provided, you will see that certain exercises require warm up sets. For these exercises you will perform 4 sets of warm up. In your first warm up set you will do 12 reps at 50% of your heavy weight (your 1 rep max) then you will rest for 1 minute. For the second warm up you use the same weight at 10 reps. Again rest for 1 minute. For the third warm up set you will use 70% of your heavy weight (1 rep max) for 4 reps, then rest for 1 minute. For your last warm up set you will do 1 rep at 90% of your 1 Rep Max. After your warm up sets are completed, move into your working sets. These are in the 8 to 10 rep range at 70% of your 1 rep max. Rest 2 to 3 minutes between your working sets. (believe me, you will need this time to recover!)
For the abs circuits, please choose 3 exercises and do them back to back with no rest, starting with a weighted abs exercise. I like to pick three that include an upper, and lower, and side abs focus. Rest 2 to 3 minutes between circuits. Do as many as you can for each set in your circuit.
In the printable workout chart, you will see boxes with an X in the middle. This is where you fill in your weight and reps for your working sets.
This means you did 20 pounds for your weight and performed 10 reps. Make sure to keep track of all your workouts, so that you can properly progress with your weight. Just click on the link below to get your printable workout part 1.
If you have any further questions please leave a comment below, I would be happy to help.
Until next time, have a great workout!