Merry Fitmas! Happy 1st day of the challenge. Today, I thought I would share 3 tips I have to get the most out of a challenge or plan. They’re not your typical “set your clothing out the night before” tips. Love those but you know I go deeper than that lol.
Also, I just want to say thank you for being here. I realize this is literally the busiest time of the year for most of us. I think it’s amazing that you’re making yourself and your health a priority right now anddd I truly feel honored that you let me into your fitness journey.
I am always telling people: “I cannot believe these ladies willingly sign up to let me kick their butts” lol but I hope you know I cherish each one of you and I couldn’t be more excited to
1. FIND A TIME TO WORKOUT & STICK TO IT
I firmly believe there is no “best time” to workout. I know in the past I would see articles like “Morning Workouts Proven to Burn More Fat” or things like “Lift Later in the Day for Best Results.” You know I’m all about sifting through what is real and what is just click bait.
I’ve worked with tens of thousands of women and what I’ve noticed through them and through my own experience is that whenever time you can get to the gym becomes the best time for you personally. For example, some of us are morning people – I have a ton of energy in the AM and that’s when I carve out time to get to the gym. My husband really doesn’t like morning or even day workouts. He goes after dinner.
My point is that you’ve got to know your personality, your schedule and what works best for you. Whatever time you can get to the gym and whenever you can give the most energy and intensity is a good time for you.
THIS IS KEY… once you find that time, try to stick to it. I used to schedule my workouts in at varying times each week (and sometimes I have to do that in order to fit it in) but if you can go to the gym at the same time almost every day, you will find that it becomes habitual and you’ll start to thrive off that consistency.
2. EMBRACE MUSCLE + LIFT HEAVY
If you’ve done my challenges and plans in the past, you know they’re centered on weight training. If you’re new here, welcome to the world of weights. Success during this challenge will come from you embracing weight training, pushing yourself with lifting heavier and the muscle you will build.
DISCLAIMER: you will NOT get bulky (here is an entire post on why)
You hear a lot of “lift heavy” suggestions but it’s not just about lifting heavy weight… it’s about progressively increasing the weight to create a challenge during each workout. For example, if you’re back squatting 30 lbs and have for as long as you can remember, increase the weight by a few pounds. A
Now why do we lift heavy? This (along with other approaches) is what will help us break down our muscle cells. This is a good thing! We workout to break down muscle fibers which we rebuild bigger and stronger during the recovery phase that occurs in the days after a workout. So, lifting heavy will help build muscle and that fit appearance is what a lot of us are after.
Butttt, my favorite part of muscle (the hidden benefit!) is that muscle increases our basal metabolic rate. The amount of calories we burn at rest can increase as our muscle mass increases. Amazing right?!
If you didn’t read the full article I linked above just know one thing – muscle is more dense than fat so it literally takes up less space on your body aka you can increase your muscle mass but lose size. Have I convinced you to embrace muscle and lifting heavy?! hehe
3. MEAL PLANNING (NOT PREPPING)
I wish I could tell you to follow the challenge workouts and you’ll be set, but the truth is that what you eat during this challenge is just as important if not even more important than fitness!
I know meal prepping is the popular thing. I used to do it and from time to time, I still will but I’ve switched my approach to what I call meal planning combined with a protein prep. I’ll talk about meal planning here and for the full outline on how I do a protein prep, read this post of mine.
What I do 2x per week is meal plan. I simply plan out the meals I will be eating.
MEAL PLANNING STEPS
1. I take out my Eat Your Way Lean Cookbooks to use for meal-inspo
2. I select 5-6 recipes (usually a breakfast, 3 entrees and a side or two)
^this is a great time to use the weekly meal menus I send out to meal plan members during a challenge
3. I create a grocery shopping list based on the items I need
4. Normally, you’d do your full meal prep here but instead I just create a meal plan in the notes section of my phone. Even if I don’t get to preparing the meals ahead of time, I know exactly what I can eat at M3 for example. I have everything on hand that I need to construct my meal.
EXAMPLE MEAL PLAN:
- M1 = Protein Smoothie
- M2 = Cold Cut + Veggie Hummus Wrap
- M3 = Hard Boiled Eggs + Apple w/ PB
- M4 = Spicy & Cheesy Stuffed Peppers
- M5 = Egg Scramble
5. If I’m really on my game, I’ll do a protein prep now to make the above step come together more quickly.
There you have it… those are my top 3 tips for getting the most out of this Fitmas Challenge. Basically, it’s all about finding a time to get to the gym for your workout of the day, pushing yourself with weights when you’re there and eating nutritiously during your time spent outside of the gym!
This is going to be a fun challenge. You’re going to accomplish things you never thought you could. Anddd, you’re going to enjoy the process.