3 Tips to Finding Your Workout Mojo

My January  Plan

My January Plan

I Lost My Workout Mojo!

Near the end of 2014 I found that I had lost my workout mojo. I was still suiting up, getting in the workout room, pushing play and exercising so I still consider that a win. However, I wasn’t pushing myself anymore. I was phoning it in. I wasn’t going to become the person I want to be with what I was doing. One day a couple weeks ago I listened to a podcast episode on the Chalene Show. She was interviewing Tony Horton and he had some great tips that helped to inspire me and fire me up to do more and be more. I will paraphrase them here. These tips can work with any goal you have – even if they are not workout related.

Plan

Plan what you’re going to do, when you’re going to do it and WRITE IT DOWN. Get out the calendar and write it down. When you complete your workout for the day, cross it off with a big, red X. That way when you look at the calendar you have a visual representation of the work you’ve put in.  At the end of the month when you have more days crossed off than missed, you will know you are on track to meeting your goal. A photo of what my calendar looks like is above. I’ve scheduled workouts for all 7 days of the week knowing that I may miss one here and there. I scheduled it to allow the different muscle groups to rest and recover. I also put some flexibility days in there so I can work on stretching and balance and healing.

Purpose

Your purpose, or your WHY needs to be above and beyond the aesthetic. When we say we want to work out or lose weight so that we can be thin or to be more attractive, we are feeding our ego but only  scratching the surface of all that we can be. Yes, I’d love to be thinner and I’d love to have a better body for my husband. But I’d also like to have increased energy and improve the quality of my day. I’d like to have the confidence that comes with being fit and knowing that I’ve pushed myself and disciplined myself. I’d love to live a more adventurous life and that doesn’t come by wimping out in the workout room and stuffing myself with Cheetos on the couch.

Look Around

Look at the 5 people you hang around with the most. Are they active, adventurous and taking care of themselves? Or are they couch potatoes? I’m not suggesting you ditch your friends. But what I am suggesting is that you start to build some relationships with folks that have similar goals as you. Maybe even people that surpass what you think you can do. You can do this in “real life” or in online groups, but start associating with people who will nudge you to be more. You won’t regret the adventure!

 

Eccentric Exercise – More Benefits, Less Time

eccentric exercise, eccentric trainingDoing eccentric exercise can help you build more muscle, lose fat and takes less time. Eccentric training is defined as the active contraction of the muscle along with lengthening of the muscle. For example when you are doing a bicep curl, the eccentric part of the exercise is the lowering motion that occurs after you lift the dumbbell. The movement is done slowly to keep the muscle in a state of contraction for longer. Sometimes this type of training is known as “negative training” because it is the negative part of the movement. There are ways to do this at home and there are ways to do this at the gym. I will post some videos below from YouTube that will demonstrate some of the concepts of eccentric exercise.

Eccentric exercise trades quantity for quality. The goal is to put more of your muscle fibers to work. This means that you can get a better workout in, with better results in less time. This is not to imply, however, that it is easy. In fact, if you do this correctly it will be very tough and you will have some significant muscle soreness.

Examples of eccentric exercise

Push ups – doing an eccentric push up should be called a ‘lower down’ instead. You can do them from your toes, from your knees or against a wall. You start in push up postilion and then you lower yourself down VERY slowly to a count of 10. If your arms are too fatigued from the lowering you don’t have to do the upward motion of the push up. Just get back into position and do it again. Try to do it for a total of 6 lower downs. If you have enough strength left at the lowest part of the movement on the last one you can hold the lowest position for 10 seconds for some extra muscle contraction. Give it a try during your next workout!

This first video is the author of the book The Calorie Myth demonstrating how to do squats with eccentric exercise.

This next video is great for doing eccentric exercise with pull ups. I’m not strong enough (yet) to do pull ups the right way so this is how I strengthen the muscles involved in doing pull ups. I do have a pull up bar but I have also been known to do this on the trapeze bar on my kids’ swingset or on some playground equipment.

This next video shows how you can do a shoulder press, chest press, row and squats using eccentric training.

I’d love for you to try some of these exercises and post in the comments how you did. If you do these right you may find that you experience some significant muscle soreness the next day. Rest and let your muscles build and repair.

 

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Join me for 30 days to focus on your nutrition and fitness to master the skills needed to:

  • improve your health
  • lose weight
  • and get fit

My next 3o day challenge starts July 1, 2014 but we will start with some preparation the week before so you can be successful. We will focus on exercise – you pick your own workout program or routine. If you don’t currently have a workout program I can help you select one. We will also focus on nutrition. Not a specific diet but concentrating on clean, healthy foods and weeding out the things that don’t serve us well.

During this 30 day challenge we will shift the focus away from the scale and onto daily accomplishments, daily wins. And as you build on your wins you will start to establish good habits and get better at doing what’s right for your body. I will add you to a private Facebook group the week before the challenge starts so we can get to know each other and prepare for a great July. Summer time brings it’s own challenges to trying to stay healthy. I do this in a Facebook group because of the power of group accountability. Studies show that people are more successful in achieving their goals when they are accountable to others. As a group we share tips, recipes, ideas and encouragement. I will post daily encouragement & tips and each day there will be an accountability post where you will share how you’re doing.

Join me in this 30 day challenge to improve your  nutrition, get more fit and lose weight. Quiet all the excuses in your head and fill out the form below or comment below  “I’m in” to join.

Date: July 1, 2014—July 30, 2014
Time:
Event: 30 Day Challenge: Improve Your Fitness and Nutrition
Topic: Fitness And Nutrition
Public: Public

What is a Challenge Pack?

Challenge PackA Beachbody challenge pack is a great way to save money while kick-starting your fitness program.  Challenge packs include a complete workout program and your first 30-days of Shakeology plus a 30-day trial membership to Team Beachbody Club.  Purchasing a challenge pack saves you up to $80 over buying each item individually depending on which program you choose.  Most of the workout programs come with a meal plan to get you started off on the right foot. The Club membership also gives you an online meal planning tool to make things simple.

Check out this video to learn more about the Les Mills Combat challenge pack on sale in March.

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Kick-Start Your Home Workout Program

Now where is that home workout program  I bought?

Have you ever bought a home workhome workoutout program and then left it sitting on a shelf or in a drawer to gather dust.? If so, then this challenge is for you!  I’m putting together a 30 day challenge to help you start a fitness habit that can make a difference in your health and wellness.  This group with capitalize on the fact that there is power in community and in accountability to others.  We will challenge and inspire you on a daily basis.  Studies show that this type of accountability increases the chances of success.

How does it work?  If you decide to take on this challenge message me or leave a comment and you will be invited to a private Facebook group.  Groups will be limited to a maximum of 5 participants.  This allows everyone to get to know each other and build a community of support.  Let me know what home workout program you will be using.  You can use ANY program, not just Beachbody programs.  If you don’t own a program I can make some suggestions for you based on your current fitness level.  I will post daily motivation and you will post your progress daily.  This will help you to develop a habit of fitness.  There will be mini challenges that you can choose to participate in as each week to help skyrocket your progress.

When does it start?  If you already own a program we will start as soon as we have several members to participate.  For those that do not own a program already, we will start on March 1 to give you time to receive your order.

Are You A Frustrated Perfectionist?

Perfectionist

All my ducks are not in a row

I was called a frustrated perfectionist once.  My response to them was WHAT?!?  I feel like I am the opposite of a perfectionist.  My natural tendencies lean towards lazy and sloppy.  My husband can attest to the fact that I love to start things and not finish them.  I have piles of paperwork around the house that “I’ll get to later.”  I have books and magazines I plan to read, projects I intend to finish, and ideas of things I’d like to do.  I am always attempting to organize the flow of paperwork in my office and time and time again it gets away from me.

The person had to explain what they meant by “frustrated perfectionist.”  He described me as someone who tends to see things as too big to tackle so I just don’t tackle them at all.  If it can’t be perfect then I might as well just let it sit there.  My intentions are good…I’m going to organize my stuff, I’m going to finish that quilt (by hand, mind you), I’m going to make nice little chore charts for my kids like I see on Pinterest and teach them all about how to handle their money. Meanwhile, it all seems so daunting so I plant my crops on Farmville and check Facebook statuses just one more time.

You may have things in your life that seem so daunting that you just never start.  Exercise may be one of those things for you.  I know it used to be for me.  You’ve read the guidelines – at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, five times per week.  There are some variations of the guidelines depending on who you’re listening to, but the bottom line is we should be moving more.  Our modern conveniences have allowed us to become a very sedentary society.  The scientific evidence is there.  Most of us do believe that exercise is good for us.  It improves our mind, our emotions, our bodies, even our libido.  So, why wouldn’t we want those benefits?  The truth is, we do want them – if those benefits came in a little yellow pill we would all run down to the drugstore and buy it.  For some of us, it is one of those frustrated perfectionist moments.  You may have friends that actually enjoy running and you think that is never going to happen for you.  You may get winded just walking to the mailbox or doing chores in the yard.  You can’t imagine doing strenuous exercise for 30 minutes almost every day.  So you choose to do other things.  You put it off another day.  You read another article or join another Facebook group to motivate you.

Maybe the trick is to just take it a chunk at a time.  Take the daunting task apart into bite size pieces.  Start with 10 minutes.  You have 10 minutes you can spare, right?  Commit today to walking for 10 minutes.  Or doing some bodyweight exercises for 10 minutes.  Right in your own home – no gym membership necessary.  Play a game of basketball with your kids.  Anything – just move for 10 minutes.  Then commit to doing that again tomorrow.  You may not be training for a marathon, but you are starting a healthy habit that can change your life.  Comment below and let me know what you are going to do with your 10 minutes today.