Posts Tagged ‘sexy powerful women’
When I was a kid, mid-life meant something awful to all the adults around me. Boomers looked at it as a time of crisis- a time in review of what was left undone in one’s life. At that point (age 40), they were freaking out because they thought that this was the downhill slope of life. They seemed to assume the state of mind that whatever they had not built was going to be what they screamed in terror over while being shoved down that inevitable slope into the fast approaching end of life.
I feel like the people around me even looked really old when they were in the midlife stage. There were more smokers in my life at that time (as opposed to nowadays, I don’t really have too many people in my daily life that smoke), and they all had yellow fingernails and yellow teeth (only rich people had cosmetically whitened teeth back then, from what I recall). My grandpa and uncle both had yellow skin from daily alcohol intake which had caused jaundice. It was really a lifestyle, and it was normal, to smoke, drink, and just let life and age happen. In the previous generation, no one really questioned it, and they screamed and went through crisis as they “let it go” and watched time, youth, strength and beauty degenerate rapidly. Not Generation X. We are the generation that examines, questions, argues and strives to prove more.
Nowadays, even the smokers are hitting the gym. The drinkers get their weekend warrior workouts on before hitting the bars on Friday night, and a Saturday morning at the gym usually kicks off at about 11am, when all the hangover victims have rolled out of bed, only to “make up” for the previous night’s drinking rampage by lifting some weights or walking a few miles on the treadmill or stairmaster. People in Generation X seem to be trying to thwart the pains of bloat and fatigue that accompany the pleasures they gain in smoking and drinking. We have patches, pills, hypnosis, and electronic cigarettes that have helped millions to quit a now loathed habit. There are new modifications to alcohol that insights lower-fat, i.e., more fit and sexy images for drinkers who want to watch the pounds.
What does it mean for us when we observe the recent decade’s increase in stop-smoking alternatives along with light beers and “skinny” drink mixes? Do you think that smoking is something we don’t want to glamorize anymore? Does everyone want to slow down or cut back on drinking? Not so much. It simply seems to mean that these days, no one wants to just “let it go”. Gen X-er’s are getting more into juicing, wheatgrass, working out, and doing whatever it takes to fight age. At the same time, plastic surgeries are plentiful. The accessibility of many cosmetic procedures now accommodates any income level. All of this is due to our yearning for longevity and beauty, the ultimate showing of glamour.
We are fighting age, and in spite of our own devices, we are striving to undo the bad in our physical state that our old habits have resulted in. It has to do with lifestyle change. We are now seeing a paradigm shift. The shift is that we realize that what will truly give us what we want, glamour and power, can be accessed by anyone, anytime, through more tools than ever. People are not interested so much in giving up their bad habits as they are interested in being glamourous, and we now do that through fitness lifestyle habits (i.e., going to the gym, hiking, drinking or eating lighter, taking supplements, and so on). The X Generation believes in longevity, and in that we believe in long, powerful years of glamour and beauty, which is expressed, through fitness, while glamour itself exploits fitness.
Who cares about the cycle though? The fact is that we are now living more fit than ever! Thanks to Generation X’s dedication to discover of information through the age of technology, daytime talk shows about anti-aging techniques, and even baby-boomer-birthed fast-food corporations being diverted into a Gen X inspired competition for informative healthy approaches to consumers, the Fit-Life, is here to stay!
We see that Big Business is boasting of profits from this cycle of vanity through fitness. If Big Business sees profits from it, you can guarantee they will continue to market and push it like a corner crack dealer pushes the latest fix. Not to mention that what we do with our lifestyle breeds to the benefit of our children and grandchildren, as they are being raised with fitness as their habit, rather than obligation. So it shall be their lifestyle choice by default and Big Business will continue to profit from it, and will thus, continue to amplify it’s benefits, while they push for more profitability to come from that direction. In that, I thank Big Business for pushing something that I love and live by, and something that I can rest assured will be gauranteed to my children and grandchildren through the engineering of their lifestyle through, both my influence, and Big Business marketing.
On that note, as I am turning 40 myself on May 30th, I want to say thank you to my fellow constituents of Generation X. You have made an extreme change in the face of mankind’s mindset when it comes to age 40. My Mid-Life is a Fit-Life, and therefore, even as a divorced mother of two teens and a tween, I feel younger, more beautiful and more powerful than ever. This is all due to having lived fit since the age of 23, when I started this track into the Fit-Life. Generation X, you are raising children with an awareness of self-empowerment vs. power over others, and regardless of which choice our children try to access, they will be trying to access it through the fitness lifestyle. All I can say to that is, Amen.
Remember to Be Well, Be You and BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
Many people are aware that squats can give you great glutes, wonderful toned legs, and an overall more beautiful physique. What most people don’t know is that squatting with inappropriate form can compromise your knees and back, making you prone to injuries. In my famous “Hundreds Workout,” squats are one of the main components. However, I would also like to share with people that they are not only important, but that it’s important to use proper form and technique. In addition, did you know that proper form can also help you get more toned abs? Read on…
There are five rules for the movement before, during and in completion of a proper squat.
- The proper squat is done while pressing through the heels (“toes up” is a good rule of thumb for beginners to associate the feeling of pressing all their weight through the heels).
- “Core Tight” before you start, after you start, all through the movement, and when you complete the set movement and are replacing the weight on the bar. Tightening the core is the foundation for this movement’s safety, because it reinforces all the mechanics in the body, as the core itself is the foundation (or it should be, anyhow, but most people don’t use their core, which is why they have back problems).
- “Chest up/Shoulders back” as you move! The proper squat starts with the core tight, torso tall, chest up, and shoulders back for proper form PRIOR TO BEGINNING THE MOVEMENT, and continuously through the movement.
- Make sure that your knees are not bent and leaned forward so much that your knees are NOT extended beyond parallel to your toes. A 90-degree angle, a right angle in other words, should be your target for your leg movement, dropping your butt back as you drop into the squat, with a goal of keeping your chest as high as possible.
- Inhale through your nose as you drop down into the squat and exhale through your mouth as you “explode up” out of the lowest point (the seated position) of the squat, returning to the standing up tall position.
The best way to begin learning proper form on most standing leg exercises is on the smith machine, which is a weight training machine that imitates a squat rack and a barbell, with the support that is needed to keep us from falling or putting undue stress on the joints. Remember to keep the core tight, chest up, shoulders back, as this combination supports the back. The smith machine is a very effective way to learn proper form of squats for beginners. Once you have learned the proper squat technique, it’s best to start off with very light weight (or even no weight at all), as you move forward by performing your own proper squat on the squat bar, free-weight style. It’s always great to have an experienced trainer or workout partner with you when you perform these exercises, so that they can be available to check your form, and support through spotting if necessary.
I have always struggled with keeping my legs and glutes firm, so I hope this article will help anyone out there with the same issues. Great tips are also available at siouxcountry.com for these and other great exercises. Be on the lookout- Workout videos will be returning to nitasworld.com! Meantime, you will see that I’ve linked this article to two other sites that share exercise videos for men & women. Be aware that there is always support available through chat threads online. You are never alone on the journey of fitness.
Be well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
A lot of people have asked me over the years how to get “legs of steel.” The fact is NOTHING will shred your legs up like doing these three things:
- eating lean (85% of the results you get in the gym come from your food intake- i.e., “diet”)
- combined with weight training for maximum output (going to failure, whether its with a moderate weight- not super light, or a heavy weight for sets of even 8, as long as you are going until you cannot do even one more full rep)
- sprinting (HIIT-high intensity interval training- see my other blog for detailed explanations of HIIT by clicking here)
First, you can learn more about lean eating, sprinting and weight training by researching on the internet, or checking out the dieting tips category in the nitasworld.com blog (click here). Of course, we talk a lot about clean eating and sprinting both in my book FIT FOR COMBAT with Nita Marquez, so ordering a copy for yourself to have on hand is not a bad idea for reference’s sake. It may be helpful for those of you who like hardcopy materials to scribble notes onto.
For the purposes of this article, we are talking about the hundreds workout, as I vowed to share my secret to keeping conditioned legs and glutes via spelling out the hundreds workout. My famous Hundreds workout is what works best for me in maximizing the effects of my leg workouts during all my year-round weight training regimens. It’s called the Hundreds Workout (you’ll understand why shortly- read on) and I do it once every week, in addition to my regular leg weight workouts. So, that amounts to two workouts for my legs alone on weights each week. If you’re a beginner, perhaps you should do the Hundreds Workout every other week, in addition to your regular weight training routine for legs. *Remember, the Hundreds Workout is a CONDITIONING WORKOUT- It is not intended to grow, develop, or reduce leg size. It is meant to condition the detail, for a more sculpted look of your legs that you can’t get through cardio or basic weight training for maximum output.
*Nita Marquez Hundreds Workout:
25 Leg Extensions x 4
25 Leg Curls x 4
25 Hip Abductors x 4
25 Hip Adductors x 4
25 Squats x 4
25 Calf Raises x 4
Do a moderate weight that you don’t have to reduce throughout the workout, so that you can complete the whole set without a “drop-set” style of training. Yet you want it to be heavy enough so that you can still feel it burning excessively by the 15th rep, making it difficult to finish the last ten reps of each set.
That’s it. By the time you’re done with my Hundreds Workout, you should feel exhausted, and ready to hit the jacuzzi, which won’t be a bad idea. The hot water and jets can be helpful to loosen up the muscles after this massive thrashing & conditioning workout you’ve just done. Always remember to have a fast-assimilating protein after your workout! If you’re unsure of what to buy, check out the store here to see some protein shakes I recommend. Of course you can always research online, too, checking out blogs & threads at siouxcountry.com.
Best of luck leaning out those legs, friends & fit moms! Be Well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
There are a lot of fitness recipes available online, but the problem I have with most of them is that they take too long! Fit Moms don’t have the time to spend an hour in the kitchen preparing meals. I certainly have never been one who could cook, who enjoyed cooking, much less was I someone who could make the time to prepare anything extravagant or luxurious in the kitchen. I personally have always been the type of mom who, fit mom or not, I have been on the go! Like a lot of fit moms, I get out of bed super early every morning because that’s my only real personal time, when I can read, eat alone, work out, or just meditate.
EVEN IF YOU’VE BEEN UP SINCE 4a.m., WHEN THE KIDS GO TO SCHOOL, YOU ARE JUST BEGINNING!
A lot of fit moms do this, and it’s been proven time and again for every mom, these quiet peaceful mornings give us a chance to rev up the engine for the day’s events. Once any mom finishes the morning mommie routine though, it’s on! The children get up and start getting ready for school, Fit Mom makes breakfast, packs lunches, preps for the work day, and takes the children to school! After the kids get to school, people think a mom may be able to rest. Nope. Every mother knows that when mom time goes down, work time goes up. It’s all about packing in as much work and daily tasks and responsibilities as possible in the 6-8 hours that the kids are gone. That means, work, mail, filling out papers and making appointments for family affairs (medical, dental, school, recreational activities, etc), attending appointments, working at the office, keeping meetings, work events, and then being done with everything in time to go pick up the children from school.
After school, there’s homework time, dinner time, chores, (and often times, arguing with the children to get them to do chores), more responsibilities & organization, and then bedtime for the little ones. Then you get started on prepping for the next day. It doesn’t end here either. A lot of times there are things we’ve forgone to do other things throughout the day, so when the kids are in bed, all moms know that it’s time to finish up daily tasks that didn’t get done, fill out the next day’s check list, and then finally, we can go to bed!
AFTER SCHOOL, THE DAY IS STILL IN HIGH GEAR! YOU CAN’T REST. A MOTHER’S WORK IS NEVER DONE. SO HOW DO YOU FIT COOKING IN?
It can be tempting to get fast food with this type of schedule. For even the fit mom is exhausted and doesn’t want to cook. So what can you do? In this busy life we lead these days, Fit Moms are not the only ones on the go. Everyone is looking for fast meal solutions that are also healthy.
There are answers to our wishes for convenient, fast and healthy eating! If you like lean fish, you’ll love these recipes. Two out of my three children love fish. My third usually just eats chicken off of the foreman grill when we have fish for dinner. I started doing these 3-minute or less prep time recipes to ensure that everyone in my home is satisfied and healthy. And since I don’t like cooking, and like a lot of parents, I don’t have the time, I have a motto for this: ”If it takes me more than 3 minutes to prepare it, I won’t make it.”
Here are the recipes via my youtube channel. I’ve done them in video format because, well, typing isn’t fun, and videos are easier to follow. So here ya go! Enjoy!
Pan Fried Tilapia (breaded but lean!)
All of these can be made with veggies or yams and taste delightful without adding junk into the mix… Enjoy & Empower all you Phenomenal Fit Moms!
And of course, always remind yourself to BE PHENOMENAL! You are Worth the Work!
I just don’t have the will power is a commonly heard phrase in fitness. Whether it’s a client, a fitness newbie, or someone who just explains why they refuse to even try getting fit.
Long ago, when we finished writing our book, FIT FOR COMBAT, my fitness co-author JD and I started cataloging what makes fitness, figure and bodybuilding competitors different from everyone else. Will power was at the top of the list. Will Power leads to self-discipline. When you want something badly enough, you will for it. In fitness, it’s no different. When you have the will for something, you CREATE the discipline to get what you want. If you want to be leaner, if you want to get into better shape, if you want to compete, or if you just want to be more active and feel more fit, will power is the doorway that leads you into manifestation of that goal.
It makes sense that self-discipline and will power would play a role in being able to stick to the diet and training program required to get into competition shape. We initially thought it would be the real difference between those who succeed in mastering their bodies and everyone else. As we studied what self-discipline really is, we realized that we had fallen into a common trap that social scientists call fundamental attribution error.
Every person has a reservoir of will power to draw on, like a will power battery, but the amount in that reservoir is not fixed at a set level. Research, by Professor Roy Baumeister at Florida State University, shows that our will power battery can be depleted by repeated acts of self control and decision making. Newer research by professors at the University of Chicago shows that our reservoir of will power is affected by whether we think there is a set amount of it or that it is unlimited.
The classic experiment by Baumeister, which has been replicated in hundreds of variations, asked student test subjects to eat radishes while being tempted with a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Baumeister then asked the students to solve an impossible puzzle. The students did not know the puzzle was impossible to solve.
The real purpose of the experiment was to see how long the students who had to overcome the temptation of the cookies would work at solving the puzzle when compared to students who sat down, ate some cookies and then worked on the puzzle and a control group who just worked on the puzzle with no cookies or radishes involved. The results show that the students who had to overcome the cookie temptation gave up on the puzzle quickly. Their battery of will power and resolve was depleted by fighting the temptation to eat the cookies. The students who had to overcome the cookie temptation, used up their reservoir of will power, their reservoir of resolve, and gave up on the puzzle in less than half the time of the other two groups and made far fewer attempts to solve the puzzle. Baumister calls this effect ego depletion. The experiment shows that when we use will power for one thing, overcoming the temptation of a cookie, it drains a little of that energy from the battery making it harder to exercise the will in totally unrelated things like trying to solve a puzzle.
Baumeister showed the energy depletion of decision making in an experiment where students, prior to working on the impossible puzzle, were either forced to make a decision about a task or were assigned a task. The students who had to make the decision gave up on the puzzle faster and made fewer attempts to solve than the students who just carried out an assignment.
So, in fitness, we note that a general 9-5 lifestyle tends to lead to the attitude that “I just don’t have time” or “By the time I get home at night, I don’t want to eat a chicken breast and salad. I just want a quick snack, a TV and a bed.”
In our fitness data research, JD and I found that most people have a lot of power. However, most people’s will power is just all used up with the demands of their jobs, running a household and raising two young girls. Every act of will power, every decision, drains the battery a little bit more, but the battery is not fixed, it is rechargeable and we can have more will power if we want it, just by thinking we have it.
The point being that, Yes, You Do have the Will Power! You are just in need of a budget of your will power! It’s about management of your energy resources, and not about your lack of energy. For fitness, you do have the energy, yet, you have been lacking knowledge. Gaining more fitness knowledge, working out to gain awareness of your body, and learning to listen to your body’s language in terms of what to feed it to stimulate energy is the only real way to go. You can stop blaming your will power for your fitness disasters or your state of health and wellness. The key I have found as a mother, is that fit moms have just learned how to start managing the will power better.
When JD and I first thought will power was the difference between the physique competitors and everyone else, we were making a fundamental attribution error, an error that is endemic among humans. Fundamental attribution error is when we use a psychological or personality based explanation for a behavior instead of the situational explanation. We were too focused on the personality trait of will power and thought that the competitors must have larger reservoirs of mental energy—a bigger battery. When we went back and studied Baumeister in depth, we found a better, situational, explanation for the seemingly large reservoirs of will power of the competitors.
Fitness, figure and bodybuilding competitors are cooler toters, especially when preparing for a contest. Their meals are planned and timed and they carry them around with them. They know what they are going to eat and when they are going to eat it. It is all scheduled and becomes a routine. When something becomes a routine it no longer involves a decision. When it is no longer a decision, it does not require any mental energy.
The physique competitors did not have a larger battery of will power than everyone else, they just used less will power by making many decisions about eating a routine. It was easier for them to stick to the diet because the decisions that take mental energy were removed. The situation, the eating plan to get into contest shape, makes them just appear to have more will power.
When we started looking at the lives of successful physique competitors they nearly all had a structured daily or weekly routine. The diet and training demands precision, the only way to be that precise is with a pre-determined structure. Once the structure and routine is set, there were fewer decisions to be made leaving more in battery to handle temptations as the cropped up.
Most fit moms have figured out the secret. Women tend to be better planners, but that’s not limited to women only, just happens to be a general statistic. What I see in fitness and in the general population of fitness enthusiasts is that fitness minded individuals plan what they’ll eat and make it a routine. With those decisions removed, people are then expending less will power and found that they had more energy. Most of these fitness people and fit moms have ready-made forms of protein around their house, in their car and at their office. JD and I found that common possessions among the successful fitness enthusiasts included powdered whey protein, shaker bottles, water gallons, tuna packs, and pre-cooked skinless/boneless chicken, among the most common possessions. Even if routine is disrupted, there is always an automatic back-up that did not require a decision, like an apple and a can of tuna or a ready to drink protein shake. And of course, every one of them owns some kind of fat-loss grill for their chicken and fish
Removing will-power draining decisions is one way women figure competitors maintain their diet, another is the actual nutritional content of the diet.
A lot of people never even try to get into their best shape because they think they don’t have the will power to do it. They make the fundamental attribution error and think the competitors have more will power than they do. As the research shows, if you don’t think you have very much will power, then you will not have much will power.
The only true act of will power was taking the time up front to set the schedule and routine. After repeating the routine it becomes automatic. Women figure competitors don’t have a larger reservoir of will power than everyone else, they just expend less of it by having a structured routine and fuel their brain with ketones from fat.
Hollywood’s Anti-Aging Secret: The Natural Way to Fat Loss, Youth, and Fitness Longevity for Everyone
Two years ago Dr. Patricia Wexler let one of Hollywood’s fat loss and anti-aging secrets out of the bag–Growth Hormone. “Actresses use it to slim abdominal fat and increase muscle tone and libido,” Wexler said.
Actresses with insider connections to discreet doctors may inject their way to a youthful, fit and sexy body, but you can boost your own growth hormone naturally without any side effects by exercising smarter, Fit Moms and friends!
Human Growth Hormone is naturally secreted by the pituitary gland to regenerate cells, strengthen bones and make the immune system stronger. Its biggest effect, the ones the movie stars are after, is fat burning, which leads to a lean, fit, sculpted and beautiful physique, of course. Growth Hormone turns your body into a fat burning machine. Most women produce less than 10 nano grams of GH per milliliter of blood. A nano gram is one-billionth of gram, which means a little GH goes a long way.
The natural way for all you Fit Moms and Friends to boost your natural GH levels, and get the same effects as the starlets, is to ditch the pink dumbells and treadmill for sprints and real weights. Yes, weight training can lead to fat loss, Fit Moms, without leading you to a “bulky” physique (which is a common misconception that Fit Moms and most of our female friends have yodeled for years!). Weight training is the key to fat loss, anti-aging, and even well-maintained weight loss! Fit Moms and Friends, read more to learn the key to unlocking that potential in your body through weight training and sprints!
The results of an experiment on the effects of sprinting on women published in Oxford University’s journal Acta Physiologica found “Women elicited a greater response of serum GH to sprint exercise” than men. They always say men are the stronger gender physically, but it seems that in this trend, nature is possibly trying to bring ladies into a balance in this sense. Even the body’s nature is to bring balance between the sexes! The swedish scientists who conducted the experiment concluded, “this may contribute to explaining the earlier observed muscle hypertrophy in women in response to sprint training.” If you want toned, shapely legs, Fit Moms and Friends, well, even the doctors and scientists are suggesting that you run sprints. If you don’t run, then look at our other fat burning articles on interval training, which will yield similar results.
Yes, this is Empowerment for Everyone- Mother nature has in some ways leveled the playing field. We Fit Moms can get stronger with this work as we continue to do it, without gaining the muscle that a man will. Women cannot get big, bulky muscles from natural GH, but they get larger percentage increase from GH boosting exercises than men and a few extra nanograms will deliver a flat stomache and tight butt fast.
The quickest way to boost GH is to run sprints (as I stated earlier, check the fat burning category of articles at http://nitasworld.com/blogs for further articles on interval training, which will deliver similar results). The research shows that they key to effective sprints are the intensity, the speed you run, not how many you do or how far you sprint. When I use the word “effective” I am relating the “effective” results of sprinting or interval training to how well this exercise style will burn fat, helping the body look and feel sculpted and lean and beautiful, which is what every woman is striving for when we do any workout. Am I right, Fit Moms? I mean, seriously, which one of us wouldn’t kill (or sprint) to have Selma Hayek’s killer calves, and that Fit Mama’s fit and sexy thighs?
Do you think that it’s inconvenient to do sprints? Well, it takes less time than cardio to burn the calories you can burn in just a few minutes of sprinting, so time is not an issue, Fit Moms. And all you skeptic friends and fit moms are sure to realize that location is easier with sprints than going to the corner store. You already take your kids to half the places you can sprint, fit moms, and all the pet owners take their “kids” (pets) to the other places. None of this is rocket science. Not one of these places is an inconvenience Fit Moms and Friends, because you already go there!
Fat burning Sprints can be done anywhere: An empty parking lot, a low-traffic residential street, the play ground on the weekends at our kid’s school, the park while the kids play, or the sports field or running track at your teenager’s high school at night or on weekends. If you haven’t sprinted recently, don’t jump in head first running as hard as you can the first day, start by doing strides at a pace faster than a jog for four repetitions of 50 to 100 yards. Gradually increase the speed you sprint until you can do four of them all at all out racing speed. When you can do four at full speed, add an extra sprint every week. To make sure your intensity stays high, use a stop watch to time your sprint workout and push yourself to get them done in less time.
By running sprints three times a week and adding some negatives to your weight training, you can boost your natural Growth Hormone levels, burn more body-fat than you do with cardio, and save more time while you preserve your joints and bones, since sprinting is better for your bones and joints than jogging.
Here is a clip of my business partner and co-author JD Johannes running sprints:
As good as sprints are, the scientific research shows the super GH booster is lifting heavy weights.
An experiment conducted at the University of Virginia found, “For each incremental increase in exercise intensity, the fractional stimulation of GH secretion is greater in women than in men.”
That means the heavier weights you lift, the more GH your body produces. The biggest boost in natural GH came when women used weights that were heavier than they could actually lift. When you use a weight that is heavier than you can lift up with good form, but that you can control on the way down, your GH levels skyrocket. These types of lifts are called negatives and
an experiement published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that heavy negatives boost natural GH more than anything else. Pull ups, curls, squats, lunges and other types of weight training are really effective for this type of effect, and all these exercises will help you get a sculpted, toned, beautiful physique.
And Dr. Patricia Wexler does not approve:
“Human Growth Hormone is unsafe. I know dermatologists and actresses who use it to slim abdominal fat and increase muscle tone and libido. But it can accelerate also a hidden cancer to grow. It can cause funny bone spurs to grow and enlargement of the heart … just to name a few of the many reasons why I consider it unsafe.”
Women get more out of sprints than men. More GH, etc. “Women elicited a greater response of serum GH and insulin to sprint exercise. This may contribute to explaining the earlier observed muscle hypertrophy in women in response to sprint training.”
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
“The findings suggest that the acute metabolic and GH responses in the 90/70% condition were more favourable compared with the 70/70% condition, and a significant correlation between the optimal ECC load and 1RM per BM-ratio was observed.”
Heavy eccentric load produces best hormonal response…heavy negatives
University of Virginia, Journal of Applied Physiology
“For each incremental increase in exercise intensity, the fractional stimulation of GH secretion is greater in women than in men.”
There is a species of gym-goer that must be addressed, and this article is meant for exactly that person. Is that person you? Are you a mom who has tried to be fit mom, a man who has tried the fitness workout of the week in your muscle mag, or that chick that diets and cardios herself like crazy to be the ultimate fit chick?
For years and years you have been told by many fitness articles, hot fit workout pictures, instructional workout videos, and so on, not to be that gal/guy who will work out hard, but not smart. You are taught to grind out workouts, but never really made to understand a pragmatic approach to your personal fitness to make any progress. The saving grace of that gal/guy is that she/he does workout hard and keeps at it. Being that gal prevents people from ballooning up to a bloated version of no energy, saving us from our own DNA, yet, it does not teach us how to be optimal with even less work than the “that gal/guy approach.”
The gyms of the world are not only filled with that gal/guy, the gyms of our world, especially in American fitness culture, they are filled with the blood and money-sucking fitness vampires whose biggest concern is customer retention rather than your best and most practical approach to fitness. Their advice is more of a strategy most often delivered with the intention of giving you the most impractical approach to fitness advancement, so that you will be chasing your tail and ever-spending as you chase your quest for the better physique. On top of it, society is telling us women, “Hey, if you’re too muscular, you’re too manly.” Hence, “that gal” syndrome ensues.
That girl says “I don’t want to get too muscular.” The key word being “too.”
What that girl (which describes 90% of the women who own gym memberships) doesn’t realize is that muscle burns fat, and you won’t gain it doing 2 hours of cardio every day. I’ll return to this point and complete it shortly, but keep it in mind and read on.
First off, when you go to a gym, the sales people are not trainers, and the trainers are salespeople. Remember that. Most especially in corporate fitness facilities, you will see this business model because it is the foundation and driving force of fitness industry revenues in a gym. Gyms are businesses, and the people who run them have to do good business to keep up with the competition.
Now I’m not saying you should view corporate gyms with a paranoid perspective of conspiracy, but what I am saying is that it is important to learn to think for yourself when it comes to advancement of your own personal fitness. It is important as fitness consumers to stay informed on not only the latest or oldest tried and true technologies, but it is just as important to improve with what TRULY works for each of us individually. Everyone is different, but yes, there are some rules of thumb for everyone in fitness that are universal. As well, you will notice that those universal fitness truths are contrary to a lot of the workouts that we are instructed to do in the “business” of fitness.
Again, fitness industry business moguls are not the enemy. They are what they are. We need to be responsible fitness consumers and practitioners and actually learn what works for us and work smarter to get there. For instance, men, there is more to life than that pompous trainer who insults you during workouts happens to state. Ladies, no, there is no such thing as a woman being “gross” or “masculine” because she has muscle.
In fact, when women see me in a fitted dress, they all compliment the way I look. No woman likes having cellulite or flabby arms. Women love backless clothes and pretty dresses, but we loathe back rolls and bra roll fat hanging over.
We want to be fit moms, fit chicks, fit hotties. We all want something like this. It’s inviting, energizing and we live a fuller, more expressed life in a fit state. We have the energy to.
When you have a leaner physique (yes, with muscle) you do not struggle with these things. Muscle on women is good, “too much” muscle is unattractive, but yes, again I’ll say it, muscle on women is good.
There is a great response to that girl. “If you ever get leaner than you want, or more muscular than you want, that is an easy problem to solve. Eat more fat and carbs, cut back on the training a bit.”
The “I don’t want to get too muscular” line is a psychological defense mechanism to justify training and dieting half-assed. It is a method of self sabotage- an excuse to fail and a reason to do it the way that the magazines and fitness DVD’s instruct us to. For whatever reason, we are afraid of thinking for ourselves and taking the alternative routes to test what is best for us.
That girl likes working out. She enjoys going to the gym. She would like to look like a fitness model or just a lot better than she appears now, but she is not sure how to do it or even if she can do it. So, she constructs an internal monologue, “I want to be in-shape, in better shape than most women, but I don’t want to get too muscular.”
The fear is not in becoming too muscular, the fear is aimed from and at a disappointment in herself. But, if she makes it okay to fail, if she makes okay to not achieve her goals, then she will not be disappointed in herself. Sound twisted? It is, and it’s confusing. It’s so bamboozling that we just give up altogether whereupon we can escape back to our so, so health with the reasoning that justifies it. On top of that, we can feel better doing it like our co-workers who bring bagels to work and drink beer after work. We can get “comfortable” again, sitting in the bowels of mediocrity and non-compelling drive that requires us to think more. After it is said and heard enough times, it becomes true.
To overcome the psychological self sabotage, you must be honest. I looked at pictures of the top fitness models when I was a chubby girl, and I had to be honest with myself at some point. I was capable of being that fit, but I was just not willing to do what it took to achieve it. That admission of my fitness mindset freed me to achieve a lesser goal, and I then could realize, “Ok, I am being mediocre about my health. I feel like crap, and I am actually willing to half-ass it here, not think for myself, and just sit with my own lame energy.”
Once I admitted it, my journey began. I was actually thinking for myself right then, rather than being a rat following the scent of cheese only to find out it was a foam object set in a trap. Our lack of thought allows us to live in illusions and maintain a level of complacency that will never allow us to be progressive in our health and fitness. We continue relying on the masses (which are driven by philosophies that will have us chasing our tail), and we do the 2 hours of cardio a day and a bunch of aerobics classes, and then we are dumbfounded at our lack of progress, so we eat more, and eventually, we work out less, and ultimately we get worse.
The root of this psychological defense mechanism is the fear of failure. Because we are often afraid to fail, we set an incredibly high standard, determine it cannot be reached, come up with excuses it cannot be reached and don’t even try. The only way to change this is to think for ourselves. Try learning to adapt to your own individual fitness needs by measuring your body’s response to certain workouts. If you want to get more fit, live longer and play with your grandkids in the park without breaking a hip, the key to your best fitness is in thinking for yourself. Study, Do, Observe your body’s response, and Progress accordingly.
Be well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL.
-Nita Lee Marquez
Fitness Empowerment Author
Miss National Fitness
IFBB Pro Fitness Athlete
Proud Mother of Three
After the birth of my daughter, with the proper nutrition and a consistent weight training/cardio routine, I sucessfully lost 75 pounds (40 from pregnancy, plus an additional 35 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight) and 20% body fat. I am not only a fit mom, but I am also aspiring to become a licensed nutritionist, and I’m even helping transform my family’s fitness habits. We are a fit family!
I am in the best shape of my life at 37 years old. I’ve proven to myself that it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have had children, or if you don’t have model perfect genes. With hard work and clean eating you can absolutely attain the physique you have always dreamed of and bring your health and quality of life to a whole new level!
This journey hasn’t been easy for me with a baby and husband to take care of, a household to keep in order, and running my own skin care business. It has been difficult at times to keep a consistent workout schedule, as well as spending countless hours in the kitchen, planning and cooking meals for my family.
Our health is very important to me and, above all, I want to set a good example for my daughter. My fitness transformation has been a wonderful experience even with all the challenges, and I offer many thanks to the support from my husband for that. My husband is also an amazing father! He has always been there when mommy needed to squeeze in a workout, or stay late for clients at work. On top of all of this, he has gotten into the fitness lifestyle with me. He himself has also benefited from a cleaned up diet full of veggies, lean protein and complex carbs, losing 25 pounds in 5 months!
My incredible fitness trainer, Jamo Nezzar of Jamcore Training, has been the core of my fit physique success. He is a constant source of workout inspiration, exercise and nutrition guidance, fitness knowledge and overall fitness motivation. He has helped me in so many ways to become more powerful, not just in fitness, but also in other areas of my life. Through getting more fit, I gained more power in my life in all aspects. I have discovered a strength in myself that I never knew existed, and I attribute that to the habits and determination that I retained throughout my fitness journey. Because of the advancement I found in my fitness lifestyle, I feel strong and confident, and I look forward to each and every workout with my trainer as well as my solo workouts.
I want to continue the fitness lifestyle forever! Thank you Jamo, for changing my life in such a positive way. You are more than a fitness coach. I am thankful for your impact on my lifestyle choices for being more fit, setting goals, and learning to develop the habits and determination to reach them.
On December 3, 2011, I reached my ultimate fitness goal, competing in my first NPC Bikini competition! It was an unbelievable experience, sharing the stage with some incredibly fit women.
My goals for 2012 are to continue to condition my physique and possible do another show in May. I would also love to earn a degree in nutrition and to help others change their body and their health through better food choices. Cooking and collecting recipes has become a hobby of mine! I love transforming unhealthy, fat-laden recipes into clean, delicious meals that fuel your energy and keep your metabolism running at it’s peak. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring and tasteless! Here I will share quick & easy recipes to support a fit lifestyle, as well as training (based on my own experience) and motivational tips. Thanks
Please join me and Nita Marquez in the Fitness Empowerment Movement on the following links on Facebook:
Bodybuilders don’t run, and nor do obese people. But I’m not a bodybuilder, or an obese person. I’m a fitness chick, a fit mom, and a fitness personality. My goals are obviously different from a bodybuilder’s goals, and definitely, I have a different lifestyle choice than a person whose main goals involve constant fulfillment of my taste-bud compulsions.
At this stage in my life, my goal is always to become truly fit and achieve prime longevity. As one point in my career as a fitness competitor, I was running a lot and lifting weights with an extremely high carb, high protein diet, and only then I was starting to resemble a bodybuilder. People who didn’t know better thought I was one.
But you know what kind of fit physique athletes have a lot of muscle, and are really lean, with Olympic level stamina and power? Women’s Fitness competitors.
They run. They run a lot. They do weekly sprints, middle-distance, plyometrics anything that will get their heart to the bursting point.
And if these women can carry body-toned muscle around, while running and with the power and stamina to do our fitness routines—well they are worth at least probing into the minds of. Where I learned about my own fitness interval training from was from my ex-husband, who was basically my trainer before I met my trainer of 13 years, Tim Sparkes, at Die Hard Gym in Arizona. My ex-husband was a former track and football star in high school and college.
What I learned from my ex-husband is that I was doing my running all wrong. First of all, I jogged, and I did so very lazily. I loathed the cardio work, so I dragged myself through it. It didn’t matter that I was a fit mom, a fit chick, or a fitness athlete in training. I was thinking about my cardio conditioning the wrong way, as most of us do for the first few years of our fitness quests.
Just about every fitness center has some serious runners as members. These “fitness” people log 20 to 40 miles a week and are in great cardio vascular condition—but most of them look remarkably average. They do not have much muscle and many of them are skinny fat. Sure they have strong hearts, but some of them store more body fat and subcutaneous water than the person who is walking into a gym for the first time. These runners are not in poor health, but their shape is generally not of the optimal fitness aesthetic grade considering the fitness workload they are undergoing. I believe in running, I do. I also like working out smarter, and distance running for fitness is definitely the harder path, if you’re trying to look better and even feel better.
The best explanation for this phenomena may be controversial, but the facts are right in front of us. Cardiovascular exercise DOES NOT WORK to lose body fat long term, period!!
Why is this? Let’s take a hypothetical individual: Female, 30 years old, 145 pounds, sedentary. She decides she wants to be fit and “get toned” (keep in mind, everyone has a different idea of this word, so it’s subjective). So she takes up running on the treadmill for an hour a day 5 days/week. Nothing else in her life changes, her diet and lifestyle remain the same. In the first week she loses 5 pounds. If she maintained her consistency 5 days a week, would she lose 250 pounds this year? Of course not, and why is this?
Firstly cardiovascular activity is very efficient at chewing up muscle tissue, the steps are as follows:
1. Conversion from fast twitch muscle fiber to slow twitch muscle fiber, by
acquiring mitochondria and relinquishing contractile protein. Smaller fiber, less
2. Excessive Cortisol released in response to the damage to the fiber as a result of the exercise. Cortisol acts as a natural analgesic, but severely hampers protein synthesis and muscle repair. It also damages the immune system, and ultimately will contribute to all of our deaths – so I’m not sure why anyone would do anything that would accelerate this process.
3. It has been shown that high volume cardiovascular exercise can completely deplete satellite cells in muscle fiber, which means no new fiber can grow or existing fiber be repaired, and as we age, we have a natural propensity to lose muscle as well as bone density. Muscle helps our metabolism and enhances bone density.
4. Growth Hormone levels decline with high volume cardiovascular exercise, which also hampers the repair process. Low growth hormone also accelerates aging.
5. To sum it up, you can’t train all day, and you can’t stop eating, but you can always build a bit more muscle, so quit the cardio and concentrate on the weight lifting.
Secondly, after all these details about how cardio fitness training eats up muscle, you must know that the first week of ANY fitness program, and likely the first month even, you will lose weight with rapid results. That’s water weight dropping off because you are actually getting off of your butt. That’s not the “weight” you are losing, it’s the water. You are not really getting more fit, but your body is filtering out a bit so that it can set a better foundation for you to start getting fit.
Your weight-loss will look more like 8-12 pounds monthly if you’re doing it right and if you expect it to stay off. If you’re an athlete or you’re training for an athletic event, your body requires more training than average, and more extreme dieting than average, but that’s not average for a person who is just trying to lose weight and just starting to get fit.
That was a very strong argument for not doing cardio. But I need to be able to keep up with kids, work, training clients, caring for my household, and still having stamina in the gym. Cardio conditioning is a must for me. Plus, I need strength and power.
The solution was to train like a professional female fitness athlete—specifically, one that always wins the fitness routine portion of the contest. And what does the fitness athlete woman do? Sprints.
For women who run, but they want a great physique:
With high-intensity interval training you “sprint” on any cardio exercise for short bursts that go for less than two minutes, and then you slow to moderate, and sometimes even low-intensity pace for a short burst. You want to go high intensity to kick your heart rate way up, and then you drop the intensity to less your body rest, while not giving your heart rate enough time to drop out beneath a fat-burning zone. If you do this for short bursts of time, you don’t give your heart rate a chance to drop severely, and therein, you are able to keep your body burning fat, burning calories, and staying hard at work, even though you won’t feel like you’re working hard while your body recovers during your lower-paced durations.
Like cardio, this too can strengthen your heart, and keep you from feeling sluggish. On the other hand, in comparison to cardio, interval training burns fat for longer periods of time. You will burn fat for up to 13 hours post-workout with intervals, whereas with cardio at a constant moderate rate will only burn fat efficiently for up to 2 hours post workout. So, why would you spend more time and burn less fat, much less want to gamble the possibility of kicking out cortisol? This is why many fitness professionals who know what they are doing will not recommend long dull high, low or medium-intensity periods of cardio.
The best way to gain cardio conditioning and maintain muscle is to do what all fat-burning physique athletes does—sprints.
As sprinting becomes the core of your cardio conditioning program and distance running becomes the ‘functional’ training, so you do it for form, awareness, and monitoring. It’s a means for measurement when needed, but it’s not necessary for the actual progress.
When I started doing sprints in the morning for my cardio, my strength gains in the gym accelerated a little bit and I started to get leaner without really trying, and my husband noticed an extreme difference in how my body was responsive to my diet and weight training. My lines and cuts in my muscles showed up and they never had before I started sprinting. My workouts were more exhilarating and I could produce more within them because my fitness level and stamina was increased through sprinting.
Now I was able to get more in my fitness routines, I could run with my daughter in her stroller for better bursts so I wasn’t gasping for air. I was stronger than I would ever need to be on the fitness stage or in the gym. I had burst speed and explosiveness and I had the stamina and endurance to keep up with any of the guys at the gym.
So, I am not advising the novice to average fitness person to sprint, but I am encouraging those of you who run– just try this for 6 weeks and see how rapidly and extremely your fitness levels, your energy, your stamina, and your physique changes. See how lean you get and watch a sculpted physique appear that you never knew you had.
As for the fitness enthusiast who is new to the world of fitness and fit physique training, try intervals, we have more blogs on the Fat Burning Workouts categories to your left here in the blog at nitasworld.com. Check it out. Be well, Be You, BE PHENOMENAL! You are worth the work!
-Nita Lee Marquez
America’s Hottest Fit Mom ™
Fitness Empowerment Author
Miss National Fitness
Proud Mother of Three
More Fitness Empowerment. More Recipes. More tips for Family-First Fitness. More Reality.
Look, I know that there are women (and men) out there raising their kids who are so busy they cannot seem to muster up the time to devote to their fitness goals. The reality is, it’s not as hard as it seems. There are so many ways for fit moms to innovate and infuse their lives with fitness, not just for ourselves, but also for our children.
We can improve our fitness lifestyles in so many valuable ways, there are actually an unlimited amount of realistic options available to us for empowering our lives through fitness. Recipes, Ideas for time management, different workouts for many different women’s lifestyles, and all such tried and true options can be made available to us through our greatest resource for this information: EACH OTHER!
Joining the Group America’s Hottest Fit Moms on Facebook will help us to help each other, as well as ourselves. Hey, I’m only one person, but I would love to see how many great ideas you all have to contribute to this great movement for Fitness Empowerment for Everyone. America’s Hottest Fit Mom isn’t just a title, it’s a Brand, and it represents all the things that lead to Fitness Empowerment for Everyone, but like all things, it starts with a mom
Join the Group Now and let us celebrate your fitness successes while we learn to build momentum with our own fitness goals and fitness lifestyles! Thanks for stopping by to visit, and we’ll see ya in the Group and hopefully get to learn more from you!
Be well, Be You,BE PHENOMENAL!!