In January 2013, I came across Get Glutes, a strength and conditioning weight lifting program designed for women by world renowned strength coach Bret Contreras and his protege Kellie Davis. I had been lifting weights for years, but this was a total game changer for me. I learned so many valuable things from these coaches, not only proper lifting technique, but also that I didn’t have to slave away in the gym for hours on end to get the body I wanted. In Habit Shift: Conquering Exercise & Healthy Eating, we’ll discuss small, approachable steps to in order for you to succeed at creating these new habits.
I’ve been doing the Get Glutes program for about 4 years now and I briefly worked for Bret and Kellie in 2015 as a moderator on their website to help the new girls in the program be successful, and so I’m going to share some of the strategies I’ve learned that keeps me on track during illness, vacations, lack of motivation, or anything that might pop up.
Making exercise a habit is all about balance…
We all know change is hard and will power is finite, right?
But I’m here to tell you that working out and eating healthy isn’t all or nothing.
It’s about balance and finding what’s right for you at this moment in time.
It’s about realizing that goals will change throughout the year(s) and that’s okay, too.
It’s about making this a lifestyle that’s easy to maintain.
Losing weight is the easy part. Maintaining that weight loss is the hard part and no one ever tells you that.
How To Stay On Track And Succeed To Make Exercise & Eating Healthy Become A Habit…
Today I’m going to talk about exercise and in the next segment I will discuss nutrition. One of the most important things I learned at the beginning of my Get Glutes journey was that you don’t have to change everything at once. For some reason, we all think we need to change our diet and start a new exercise program at the same time.
But guess what?
Too many changes at once usually leads to failure. You need to ease into these things so that you don’t get overwhelmed with being sore and hungry at the same time.
You don’t want to resent the process that’s going to make you a happier and healthier individual. Take your time and ease into it. Remember, we’re working on making a habit that will last.
Habit Shift: Making Exercise a Habit
What should you do then?
1. Find an exercise program that’s right for you and do it for three weeks before changing anything in your diet.
Get into a good groove with working out and then you can slowly make changes in the eating department. Rome wasn’t built in a day after all.
Finding an activity that you enjoy will make it easier to keep up with.
2. Involve the whole family.
Kids spend too much time sitting at school followed by playing video games at home. Movement will be good for them even if they protest–which they will!
3. Pack your gym bag the night before so you’ll have it ready to go in the morning.
If you workout after dropping the kids off at school, then put on your workout clothes first thing in the morning. You’re already one step closer to getting to the gym.
4. Make a deal with yourself that you will go for at least 15 minutes and stick with it.
Once I’m there I’m usually good for an entire workout no matter how much I didn’t want to go in the first place.
5. Workout 3 to 4 days each week if you are lifting weights.
That’s enough to get you into great shape. If you miss a day then you have other free days in the week to make it up. If you know you are going to have a busy week, then plan ahead so you can get your workouts in. You may need to work out Monday, Thursday, Friday instead of your normal Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
6. Work out smarter and not harder.
Check out programs like Kellie Davis’ Get Glutes and Fit Thrive, Bret Contreras’ new program which will be released any day now Strong By Bret, and Molly Galbraith’s Girl’s Gone Strong.
These workouts are metabolically efficient, meaning you will get more bang for your buck. You will burn more calories over the long run from the post workout after burn with lifting weights than you will by doing cardio.
I never do cardio and I’ve had great success on this program. And you’ll be spending less time and days in the gym while getting better results. Some people think you need to work out 6-7 days a week in order to get fit but that’s not the case. Trust the process.
These coaches know what they’re doing. I call these programs “50% Off Workouts”. I found I was spending half the time as before in the gym, but was getting in the best shape of my life, hence the name “50% Off”.
7. Take walks instead of doing cardio.
Sounds bizarre, right? Trust me it works. When I wanted to lose a little weight, Bret had me change from doing cardio to walking 3-4 days a week. Cardio had made me insanely hungry which of course derailed my diet. Walking was easy on the joints, didn’t increase my appetite, didn’t affect my strength gains in the gym, and the body fat melted away. Don’t underestimate this!
8. Set measurable goals for your workouts each week.
“I will add 5 pound to my squat and 10 pounds to my hip thrust.” “I will keep the same weight on my squat, but I will perform it with better range of motion by going deeper.” If running is your thing, then try running a little farther before you need to take a break to walk. Or try running the same distance at a little faster pace.
9. Take before pictures, measure, and weigh.
You need to use all three of these to gauge your progress. Remember that this is your starting point not your finishing point and also remember that the scale may not move while your measurements are decreasing and that’s why it is so important to use all three methods to gauge progress.
A pound of fat is the same as a pound of muscle when it comes to weighing on the scale; however, muscle takes up about 20% less room than fat.
You can simultaneously gain muscle while losing fat without the scale ever moving; however, you should see a decrease in your measurements during this time. Don’t fall for “the scale is going up so I must be gaining muscle”. More likely you’re diet is off. Sorry. I know no one wants to hear that, but it’s generally the truth.
10. Make sure you get enough rest.
Yes, your heard me right. Make sure you get enough rest. Try sleeping 8 hours each night. I know most adults no longer get that amount of sleep but it should be a goal and a priority just like eating healthy, taking 10,000 steps a day, and lifting weights. While we sleep our bodies are recovering from the exercise and weight lifting we did during the day, new muscle is being generated, and it gives us the energy to go back and do it all over again the following day.
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