Who’s ready to get Buffed, Beautiful and Bitchin’?!!
Well duh??!! YOU, of course!! It's time to shed those baggy winter workout clothes and trade ‘em in for some oh-so-sexy spandex! How do you pull that off [and pull the spandex on?] Tightening up your wobbly bits (gals - the inner thigh jiggle’s got to go; and guys, the jelly belly and love handles are overrated) will do the trick. Whether your goal is to gain muscle or lose (probably both, right?) You need to get moving in the right direction! Put down the nachos (my weakness) and let's chat about the 3 basic phases (each phase should last 6-8 weeks) of workouts to build muscle and burn body fat, so you can achieve the bitchin’ body you crave!
Phase 1: Buffed
I call this the, “I wanna look good nekkid” phase! WHY? Well just cuz you’re skinny doesn't mean you look good nekkid! Nope, it likely means you’re skinny and most likely very jiggly, especially if you don't work out - “Skinny Fat” by my terms. So being skinny isn't your problem you say? Pashaw! It doesn't matter, you still need the same thing! PLUS lifting weight burns a ton of calories. Sometimes a lot more than the cardio you’re doing, and it gives you better shape to your body to boot (we’ll get to the booty later). Adding weights 3 times a week (upper focus, lower focus and total body) and sweating through your cardio 3-5 days a week on alternating days helps you to shape up, not ship out. Everyone has their own style but there are definately some basic exercises I've found this to be very effective for my clients - and myself - for building muscle. These Basic moves are essential for building muscle and making sure you are thoroughly hitting and fatiguing each muscle group. There are oh so many variations but these are my basics: chest presses, shoulder presses and lateral raises, pullovers, lat pulldowns, pull ups and some kind of mid row. Bicep curls and lying tricep extensions (aka skull crushers), squats, lunges, and deadlifts are also fab faves of mine.
This phase is necessary! You have to build a strong muscle base and create a strong core, it’s your foundation to progress from. Think about your body as a building. The foundation has to be strong to support all the fun stuff you want to do like run, swim, bike, jump, play sports or shake your groove thang. Don’t neglect what you’re noshing on, either. Nutrition is a huge contributor to your success. [I would have to write a whole new column on just that! Nosh every 2 to 3 hours no matter what.] Eating 5 to 7 small, well-balanced meals containing a complete protein helps with satiation [aka, the protein keeps you full]! For more tips on nutrition/workouts and recipes check out my website at www.rachelatkcfitmag.com! :) Yeah, that was a gluttonous plug! Why not?
Beautiful - GURL you already are! You heard me! Sorry fellas, betta focus up! Ok.....we have big hairy muscles [What the pluck? No not literally, lifting will not give you a ‘stache] after phase one but they’re hiding out. So now it’s time to shed the fat that's been covering those bad boys up. Work this phase into your heavy lifting days, and add-in total body resistance exercises. Think pushups, planks, tricep dips, leaping lunges, step-ups and jump squats. You can add intervals of those into your lifting days and your workout day will be stylin’. When doing weights with these exercises, choose a medium weight and increase repetitions anywhere from 20 to 40 as you progress. Try some shorter bouts of cardio, but amp up the intensity! My recommendation: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Interval training alternates low & high intensity activities.
Hard-core examples include bike, elliptical, track, treadmill, pool, stairs (my fave – bwahahahaha) ugh!! Start with a 5 min warm up followed by 20 min of 30/30. 30 seconds of high intensity cardio (or sprints) followed by 30 sec of recovery with a 5 min cool down. PUSH yourself with the intervals. They’re meant to be hard! Stop whining! You'll be happy you did it, especially when you’re prancing around the pool jiggle-free!
BITCHIN!! No, not about how thick you are in the middle or the mind – how kickass you are! You are bitchin’ and you know it, now get ready to show it (that sounds like a perky cheer, eh dear?)! After completing phases 1 and 2 in approximately 12 to 14 weeks, start rotating your workouts. Add in some new exercises, switch your reps, increase your weight, double your cardio intervals to a minute with 1-2 minutes of rest. Mix it up and confuse those muscles! Keep a positive attitude about your lifestlyle change. Embrace it! Everyone will be asking, “Whatcha been doing? You look hawt!” Throw out (okay, donate) your old attitude and baggy workout clothes and purchase something flattering that you will look and feel great in! Know these changes don't and won't happen overnight! Everyday at the gym will not be an exciting one. My best day or yours will probably never occur while working out! (Thank God)! Some days that cardio is gonna be boring or that workout is gonna be a lot harder to get through than it usually is. But wouldn't you rather get through your workout and be able to zip up your pants the next day? Hell yes! Don't ever settle for less than your best! Why would you?!! You’re buffed, you’re bea-u-ti-ful (inside and out my friend).......and Bitchin beyond belief!!