The Fear of Bulking

I spend most of my day in the gym working and working out. It’s my job, and I love it! To gain perspective, I always pay attention to members’ routines. I’ve noticed an intriguing pattern… from watching the ladies in my gym who lift, most of them are only training legs! I asked some of my friends and coworkers if they picked up on this parallel, and they laughed and said “when’s the last time you saw a girl train upper body?” If you could only see the steam coming from my head. My investigation didn’t cease there. I was just getting started πŸ™‚ I bugged my girlfriends too. A few of them were up for the challenge of an upper body workout, but others didn’t want their arms to get bulky (more steam from my head). Ladies, if you relate to this fear, I am here to put those fears to rest! You will not get bulky from lifting weights if you follow the right set/rep scheme. It takes a lot more than you think for those GI Jane arms. Your diet plays a large role as well. As long as you aren’t overeating, you will not “get huge”.
Most of us aren’t striving for Arnold’s guns, so there’s no need to lift like him either. To tone instead of bulk, simply drop the weight until you can do 12-20 reps. However, make sure that last rep is close to failure. If you can breeze through 20, then bump it up. Don’t be afraid to burn.

Another way to tone is by reducing the amount of rest between sets. Your heart rate will stay up and so will your caloric expenditure. Try to keep it under a minute.

One of my favorite ways to build lean muscle is through supersetting. This means working two different muscles back to back. You can do upper/lower or anterior/posterior combinations.

To sum it all up, don’t be afraid to lift weights and work your upper body! Tone arms are beautiful. It’s healthy to workout your entire body, so give your legs a break and do a few curls.

Good Luck!

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Count Your Macros

Happy Friday everyone!

I want to start the weekend off right, putting a common diet myth to rest. With the holidays around the corner, I hear more and more about cleansing and low calorie diets. But this time of year is no different than the rest of the year. Moderation is always the key to a healthy LIFESTYLE. Not a healthy week or month πŸ™‚ As true as this is, many people still try to take short cuts to reach their weight goals. One of the popular ways to lose weight is by restricting calories, cutting carbs or cutting fats. Restricting your calories too low or cutting out a macronutrient entirely is a big mistake! Yes you will lose weight, but that weight will come from muscle mass. Your body needs a certain amount of calories and carbs in order to function, and it needs fats to insulate your body and protect your vital organs. Why starve yourself of things you need? Excluding one of these important nutrients for too long will wreck your metabolism. When you decide to eat carbs or fats again, your body will not respond the same. Unfortunately, you will likely gain the weight back. If you want to cut something out of your diet, eliminate processed foods, sugars, alcohol, fast food, trans fats, limit sodium intake… there are so many other things to cleanse yourself of than the things that keep your body running.

Save yourself the stress of a binge diet and balance your macronutrients. Don’t focus on how many calories you are eating, but rather where those calories are coming from. If you are eating enough of what your body needs, you will see results that will last AND you will feel great because you are not depriving your hard working body of fuel. Take advantage of this macronutrient calculator to figure out what your body requires. If you are wondering how low is too low for calories click here to find out. Always remember my golden rule: Balance is the key to a healthy lifestyle.

Check out these websites for more info πŸ™‚

http://vitals.lifehacker.com/count-macronutrients-instead-of-calories-for-better-die-1706873465

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24606899