I’ll be honest, before I knew better, I thought that if I wanted to lose weight, I had to spend hours on the treadmill and elliptical and kill myself with cardio. While traditional cardio has its place and is very important, it is not my go to for my clients for weight loss. Weight training for weight loss, is my go to and until I figure out something better, that’s what it will be.
But more on that in a minute.
For a long time – I’m talking years – I was very cardio focused. In college I would go to our campus gym which was super nice for a campus gym, but that’s beside the point & I would live on the elliptical, do sprints, and do the leg press.
That is pretty much the extent of my workouts in college. But hey! At the time, I felt that it worked for me and while I was thin, I really wasn’t in shape.
Go with me here.
Being thin doesn’t equal being healthy and in shape. I wanted to be tone, but I was terrified to use weights because all I had heard about weights was that they made girls bulky.
Which is a giant load of horse dookey.
The only time that weights will make you bulky is if you purposefully are going for a bulk look. You have to be training for bulk and weight gain.
Again, in college, I was thin, but I wasn’t tone.
Fast forward in time to after having a baby and needing to lose a significant amount of weight.
My initial reaction was to go back to old habits and stick with cardio.. Because cardio makes you lose weight right? Well, technically yes and technically no.
Let’s dive in.
After I had my baby boy and was in desperate need of gaining my health back from the medically dangerous pregnancy I had, was when I really decided to study fitness and gain some certifications. I knew that there was a better way to being healthy and fit than living and dying by the cardio machines.
Not only that, I knew there was a better way to lose weight than cutting out great food and eating grilled chicken and kale every meal. There had to be.
My reasoning was fairly simple
For thousands of years it was rare for someone to be overweight. Why? Because they ate real food and they moved and they worked. Now a days when we think of going to work, we think of going and sitting behind a desk. Which a lot of times is very true.
But, that really didn’t start happening until the 20th century. People had to go out and work and move heavy things, and plow fields, and WORK. Their workouts were their daily life! They were fit, they moved, they lifted heavy things, and they ate real food.
This included the women!
Fast forward to how that applies today…
At the beginning of my weight loss journey which lasted about 15 months (I am now in maintenance phase) I went back to my old habits of cardio and running.
While that did give me some results, and I did lose weight, it wasn’t giving me fast results; plus, I was eating very restrictively.
When I started studying for my certifications and incorporating weight training in with my cardio and I relaxed on what I was eating, that was when big results happened.
Small choices, everyday.
About eight months into my weight loss journey I completely changed my approach. I stopped being so restrictive on my eating, I added weight training into my routine and the results were absolutely crazy.
In the picture, you will see what just cardio and super restrictive eating looks like. I feel that it is also necessary to add that I was breast feeding, which burns crazy amounts of calories. Even with all of that, I still wasn’t tone.
On the right, you will see what a mix of weight training, cardio, and ‘flexible dieting’ looks like.
It’s crazy right? There’s definition in my legs, my arms, and my abs and I feel stronger than I ever have before.
So why were my results vastly different when I changed my approach?
Let’s start with food
In the first 8 months I kept my diet super restrictive. I was breast feeding, & I stuck to my ‘recommended calories’ like my life depended on it. I lived in fear of what would happen if I didn’t stick to that plan.
When I finally decided I wasn’t going to live like that anymore and to relax my restrictions and to quit counting calories and simply eat when I was hungry, don’t eat when I wasn’t; coupled with the weight training; that was when I really started to see results.
Did I start to eat garbage all the time? Of course not.
I ate real food and I didn’t deny myself a small treat a few times a week. My food was not measured. Because, let’s be honest, I had a baby, nobody had time to measure food.
I’m willing to bet that with your job and your crazy busy life, you don’t have time to measure your food either.
There is a book that I recommend often about this very topic of eating to lose weight. It’s called Mini Habits for Weight Loss. The book is about how to make small changes, every single day, that lead up to big results.
Let’s move onto workouts
Like I said before, the initial 8 months of this journey I ate a very restrictive diet and I ran. That’s all I did. There was no weight training or anything of that sort, just traditional cardio.
When I started working weights into my weekly routine, my mind was completely blown. I’m not talking about 2-5 pound weights. I’m talking weights of substance.
I did not just throw around weights willy nilly with no plan, and you shouldn’t either. I had a plan and I worked that plan. Was it a free plan I found online somewhere? No. I used my education and and put together my plan and worked it.
Weight training is something that I put into my girl’s plans that work through custom plans and my instant download plans.
Here’s why weight training works.
The force of the weight being pushed against your body and you being forced to move it sculpts your body into the shape you’re looking for. That is the really simple explanation of it.
Now, you can’t just pick up some weights and expect something to happen. You need a plan, and guess what? Plans don’t have to be expensive. I have plans for the gym in my training store which you can check out here.
This information might be something that you are unsure about
Honestly, it might be a little bit scary to you because it is so different than what we have been told.
How about a couple of stories to make you feel better?
- There’s a client that I work with that had a lot of weight she wanted to lose. Her name is Darra and she never went on a crazy diet and we incorporated weights into her training right away.Her results were pretty much immediate. She started losing weight quickly and she immediately saw a difference in her body as well as her energy and how her clothing fit. In 9 months, she’s been able to lose 30 pounds, 9 inches, and went from a size xxl shirt to a size medium, and gained confidence she never knew she had.
- Vicki, who has been using my Gym Instant Downloads has been working the plan for just over a month and has lost 3 pounds and lost over three inches in her legs, over three inches in her waist, and over an inch in her arms!
Why am I telling you this? Because weight training works and with the proper plan you will get results.
Now, remember, I’m not saying to give up cardio.
But there is more to cardio than death by treadmill or elliptical. Mix it up! Do circuits with weights and work on your problem areas with weights. You can do it!
If you need a plan, grab one of my instantly downloadable plans or send me a message here about a custom plan! They’re very affordable and they’re 30 days worth of gym workouts that will get you rolling in the direction towards your goals.
These plans, incorporated with eating real food and balanced meals will get you over your plateau and expedite your process.
When it comes to sculpting your body and meeting your goals, you have to think outside the box and utilize programs that will work and help you meet your goals.
You can do this. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Embrace the new, sister and trust the process.