1. Gain Muscle or Lose Fat? The Choice that Stumps Us All…
I think this is a hard one for women. We seem to validate our weight loss by the scale. When you are weight training, your body will tend to stay the same weight or barely drop any weight for a good amount of time. Muscle has greater density than fat .Your body will look different and clothes will fit better but the scale might remain the same or even go up.
This is one of the top reasons women aren’t getting the results they want in the gym. For years we have been taught that the less we eat the better, but it’s actually the opposite. The MORE we eat the better. The more we eat, the better our metabolism functions, the quicker our body recovers, and muscles can then grow sooner. When beginning a new diet, always try to eat the same amount, if not slightly more, but choose healthier foods and control your portions!
3. Not Tracking Progress
When it comes to weight loss and body goals, remember “All progress is progress.” There are many ways to track your progress:
- Food journals
- Training journals that record pounds used and reps/sets
- Progress pictures (one of my faves)
4. Constantly Changing Your Program
If something isn’t working for you, by all means change it. However, try to give your program time to set it in before changing everything entirely. If you feel you aren’t getting results from a particular exercise, try reducing the weight and focus on the tension only in that move. The better you get in the performance of the moves, the better results you will get.
5. Too Much Cardio
Cardio definitely serves a purpose. However, if your goal is to build muscle, it can be counterproductive if you’re doing large amounts. I know a lot of women who always ask me how to change their glutes and build muscle there. The first thing I tell them is to reduce their long-duration cardio. Changing your body has a lot do with intensity. In long-duration cardio the intensity becomes irrelevant because the goal is time. Start replacing a few of your cardio sessions with 20 mins of HIIT (High Intensity Interval training) instead. My preferred HIIT method is hill sprints. It delivers great intensity for the glutes.
I like to save the best for last. This is the #1 mistake that can keep people from their fitness goals. Aimlessly going toward your goals isn’t going to get you to your destination. Take the time to map out a plan and follow it. Then re-assess later if needed.
“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”