5 Signs You Need a Shakeup to Your Shapeup

SONY DSCWhen it comes to exercise, it’s always good to mix it up a bit, but there are also times when your exercise routine may be ready for a more major overhaul. Because exercise is a personal thing, and your workout results (and problems) can only be recognized by you, here are a few things to be on the lookout for to determine if you need a shakeup in your shapeup. No matter if you’re a novice to physical fitness or an expert, here are 5 signs that you need to switch up your exercise regime ASAP! –

  1.  If you’re working out and eating properly, you should be seeing results. If you aren’t seeing anything noticeable in the mirror, or if your clothing sizes haven’t changed (or gotten tighter), it’s likely that you need a new exercise routine. With the right routine, you should be able to watch your body transform, even if it is only a little bit. Inches should be coming off and you should start to see more tone to your body.
  2. If in the beginning you wanted to lose weight and improve your endurance, so you did a lot of cardio exercises, such as running on the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, etc. However, now that you’ve lost weight and built-up your endurance, you want to focus more on gaining muscle, which requires lifting weights. When your fitness goals change, your workout routine should change with them.
  3. Exercising releases hormones within the brain that are supposed to induce a happier mood. If you’re unhappy with your exercise routine, you rush through your exercises, you cannot wait to get out of the gym, or you find yourself losing focus when you work out, you may be bored. A boring workout is never a good one, and it only makes sense to change it. Being unhappy with your workouts means that you aren’t doing exercises that make you feel good. You should be enthused (okay if ‘enthused’ doesn’t quite describe you, let’s just say you shouldn’t dread your workout), and by the end of it all you should be happy with the physical activity that you do.
  4. You could do your workout routine with your eyes closed. You don’t sweat nearly as much as you used to. You don’t have to put forth a lot of effort to complete your workout. When your workout becomes a walk in the park instead of a challenge, it’s definitely time to change things around. You want your workouts to challenge you and to cause you to push yourself to the limit. If you are going to take the time to exercise, you might as well make it count.
  5. Since the day you’ve started working out until now, you’re been doing the same exact exercise. Even though you’re comfortable with this routine, it’s always helpful to switch up your routine at least every couple of weeks. Doing the same workout for months at a time could not only lead to boredom, but your body get used to the workout and you may find that your exercises are now completely and ineffective.

WHERE THE FIT GIRLS ARE…

In my gym, as in most gyms, there are three main areas; the cardio room, the machine (nautilus type equipment) area, and the free weight section. There are women in all three areas but in drastically unbalanced proportions. The most noticeable thing is that the women in each area are distinctly different.

First there is the high-energy, exciting “cardio room”. This area has by far, more women in it than the other two parts of the gym combined. Also, this room always seems to have the fattest women. Women usually flock to the cardio room, because that is where they are going to do the aerobic exercises to help them burn fat, right? Why then, are the women in the cardio room always the fattest? Shouldn’t they be the thinnest, with all that “cardio” they do?

Next is the “machine area.” This is the place where you find those nautilus machines, such as the leg press, leg extension, chest press, arm curl, etc. There are usually slightly less women in this area than in the cardio room, and the women tend to be in slightly better shape. These women usually aren’t overweight, but they also don’t seem to be living up to their full fitness potential. These are the women who want to “tone.” They hop on a machine, put the pin in the 15 pound slot, and do 25 leg extensions…to “tone” their muscles. However, much like the women who are doing cardio to burn fat and are still fat…most of these women never really seem to be toned.

So, by now you are probably asking, where are all the fit girls?? They are in the third section of the gym, the “free weight section.” This area of the gym has the bench presses, squat racks, dumbbells, and barbells. Oh yeah, and the sweaty, grunting guys.

This area of the gym also has the LEAST number of women out of the three areas, maybe 3 or 4 only. Yet, these are the truly fit women. The ones who are not fat, and look toned. They have round, hard butts, defined shoulders, slender waists, and tight, toned legs. These are the women most others want to look like, right? So, if these are the women you want to look like, then why are you not over in the free weight area as well!

These are the reasons I hear from women as to why they won’t venture into the free weight zone:

1. Free weights will make me bulky, machines are for toning. No NO NO NO NO – Never! I have been lifting weights seriously for over 12 years, and I am not bulky AT ALL. I am slim, trim, toned and FIT! The only way women look bulky is by having too much fat.

2. The sweaty men will be mad that I am in their way. Not true. I spend most of my gym time in the free weight area, and the men actually go around me. No man has ever given me so much as a dirty look for being there. In fact, the only time the guys talk to me, is usually to tell me they are impressed with how much I lift “for a girl.”

3. Those exercises look hard. Well, yes! That is why they work. Nobody ever got better at anything by taking the easy way out. You can do it!

4. I don’t know how to use them. The one valid excuse. You do not want to jump into free weights if you don’t know what you are doing. Ask a trainer to get you acquainted, or go online. There are experts out there that can give you detailed exercise descriptions. Just make sure it is someone who actually has a certification. Or email me. I can give you info on any type of free weight exercise.

The point I am trying to make here is that the “fit girls,” or the “toned girls,” or even the “hot girls” are in the free weight area of the gym for a reason. In order to get toned, you HAVE to put on muscle, and lots of it. Free weights, if handled correctly, are the most effective for adding muscle. Working out with free weights can also be very empowering. You will be amazed at how strong you really are!

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Myspace button Linkedin button Webonews button Delicious button Digg button Flickr button Stumbleupon button Newsvine button Youtube button