We’ve learnt some bodyweight exercise, we’ve learnt to lift weights, we’ve learnt to train our core. What’s next?
We should learn to keep going!
But first, we’ll summarise what we’ve done already
Whenever you train, follow this template:
- Warm-up for 10 mins: stretch your calves, quads, adductors, then do 10 reps of the exercises in the main programme but with just the bar
Do this on a daily basis: pushups, hollows and bodyweight squats. Go for overhead squats as these are even better to help improve core strength and upper body mobility.
Do this on a weekly basis: if you had a good couple of lifting sessions, add 2.5kg to 5kg onto the bar for the next session. Always aim to progress, whether that’s in added weight, added volume (more reps and sets) or the same work performed quicker than before. At some point progress will stall and you’ll need advanced programming, however, if you’re new to lifting weights, this is typically several months, even a couple years away 🙂
Nutrition! You can’t outtrain a bad diet and we all know life is for living and food is for eating. Does this mean it’s fine to eat anything your eye finds attractive and your mind labels as “this will make me happy now” ? Depends on what you want. You can gain weight eating “good” foods and lose weight on “bad”. Weight is about balancing energy coming in with energy spent on daily tasks. Yes, “eat cake whole day as long as I train enough to burn it off” does sort of work but it the long run all you are getting is a non-stop need of more cake and, of course, more exercise than you have time to fit in, plus diabetes and bad teeth in the long run 🙂 My prefer to enjoy food, feel satisfied and healthy after meals, rather than guilty, splitting or craving more. This does include self-control and better awareness of your own body but I feel better for it. And yes, I can teach you 🙂
Now to the main purpose of week 6:
Motivation – or how to learn to love exercising and stop thinking short-term! I see this all the time when I train clients – once the initial thrill of weight loss, or “toning”, or building muscle, wears off, I can sense a bit of “is this it?” in their behaviour. And that’s okay! We all feel it. My job is to motivate you into getting over this stage and help you learn how to love exercise for the sake of just… exercising!
We’ve all been through yo-yo dieting and yo-yo exercising, this is why so many people dislike the word “fitness”- it associates with last-minute panics before going to a wedding or on holiday.
The key to health and fitness is consistency, and the best motivation is enjoying the process of exercising! Enjoy how you feel when you’re lifting weights. That buzz when you defy gravity and pull a heavy deadlift off the floor. Feel your butt get harder when you’re squatting and that lovely, taut feeling in your legs. Enjoy getting out of breath when running or swinging kettlebells or grapevining 🙂 Enjoy your sweat, enjoy how your body is moving the way it was designed to move, note and enjoy your effort and your progress . Lift fast, lift heavy, run fast, run slow. Appreciate everything your body can do, when you train it right, it will do whatever you ask of it and you’ll feel more in tune with yourself than ever.
When you start thinking about exercise as part of your life, something you do daily, a daily improvement for your body and mind, then the thoughts and stresses about bikini bodies, thigh gaps, all that sort of nonsense just vanish. You appreciate your body for what it is and what it can do, rather than what society pressures us to think it should be.
And really, this is the most important lesson I can share with you – learn to enjoy exercise, allow yourself to be active and able and strong, and see yourself bloom!