People often ask me about what type of workout they should be doing to get X result (X could be losing weight, getting toned, having a flat stomach, etc., etc., etc.). No matter what result they’re looking for, I want to respond: ALL OF THE WORKOUTS!
Let me explain: I’m not a crazy person who thinks you need to workout 24/7.
BUT I do believe that you need to incorporate VARIETY into your workouts in order to see good, SUSTAINABLE results.
I used to be someone who just ran all the time for exercise. When I was running regularly, I could do a good 5 miles without getting too exhausted. I had pretty good cardiovascular fitness, but not much else.
I didn’t have great muscle strength, and sometimes my knees or ankles would feel funky after a long run. I wasn’t mixing it up at all, and I wasn’t seeing any change in my strength or my appearance. To be honest, I was afraid of lifting weights because I thought it would make me bulky. I wasn’t willing to break out of my running routine.
Fast forward a few years later, after I discovered Beachbody and their wide variety of programs. These are my results from 90 days of lifting with Body Beast:
Ladies, I am here to dispel the weightlifting myth once and for all: You. Will. Not. Get. Bulky.
Men bulk up when they lift because of their higher levels of testosterone. Most women will not see extreme muscle gains. My husband and I did the Body Beast program together. His arm circumference blew up! Mine increased *slightly* but what I noticed more than anything was how lean I looked after that 90 days.
So, now that I’ve had a great experience with weightlifting, you would think I’m good, right? I’ll do my cardio, lift my weights, and chill out.
I’d still be missing a major component: FLEXIBILITY.
I’m always amazed by how many people skip the warm-up and cool-down stretches in their workouts. They are so important! If you pull or tear a muscle, you won’t be able to do ANY exercise.
Our bodies move and bend in all kinds of ways in our daily lives. Being flexible insulates you against injury, whether you’re working out or just moving through your life. I still struggle with tightness in my hamstrings and hips. When I was running all the time, I was only INCREASING that tightness (those muscles have to work hard to stabilize you when you run!). I would stretch for a few minutes afterward, but I wasn’t making flexibility a priority.
Now, I do at least one yoga class on a weekly basis. It helps me take care of my hardworking muscles after a bunch of challenging workouts.
So, now you see what I mean when I say do ALL OF THE WORKOUTS! Incorporating cardio, weightlifting, and flexibility-based exercise will create great results AND prevent boredom and injury!