The scale. Friend of few, the enemy of many.
The scale tells us one thing. Our current pull on gravity at the present moment – aka our weight. It tells us nothing else about ourselves. Not how fit we are, how nice we are, how bad we are…it only tells our weight.
The debate rages on about how to use the scale, or if to use the scale at all.
Like anything else in the fitness and diet world, it depends on the individual and their mindset.
If someone has had issues with the scale in the past, first I will look at what they were, how they handled them, and if it was a serious enough problem to avoid the scale – or if we just need to shift their mindset.
Do you know what the WORST part about being a dietitian and trainer is? Telling complete strangers what you do at social events.
“So what do you do?” – “I’m a registered dietitian and trainer”
- “Oh, so you are totally judging my plate right now…”
- “What do you think about _____ diet?”
- “I used to work out all the time.”
- “So do you sell supplements and stuff?”
- “I can’t believe you’re eating that”
- “You drink alcohol?”
The list goes on and on.
I am only half kidding about that being the worst part because it usually gives me an opportunity to make a sale, and hopefully show someone that a better way is out there.
But what most people think exercise and diet have to be to see results is completely wrong.
Exercise and dieting do not have to involve pain. Unless making healthier choices for your future is physically painful to you. But really, physical pain with exercise is not a good thing. It is definitely NOT a sign of a good workout. Yes, you may be a little sore the day after or two, but in the muscles, and you feel like you worked out.
Sometimes it’s okay to never be sore! That sounds great, doesn’t it?
Soreness is most common when you push yourself too hard, your form gets crappy, or you add a new exercise to the mix.
All three of those things are not necessary or not recommended either! Training is a skill that must be honed in. You cannot improve a skill if you overdo it, do it sloppily, or try adding a new skill every week.
Stop going to workouts that leave you crippled, puking or passing out. And if you are a trainer who brags about these things – shame on you.
“I ate a carrot and an egg for lunch today, and I am soooo hungry” 🙂
There are no magic foods that burn fat, and there are no must eat foods for optimal results. However, if there was a must-have food group or category of foods, it would be:
Protein – one of the three main macronutrients that I always seem to be talking about.
9/10 times when I first meet with a female client or go over the food journal of a client online, the first thing I notice is not enough protein.
Runners love to run. This is obvious. Running can also be a double-edged sword.
Some swear it is the best form of exercise, and others swear off it for life because of bad experiences.
Running can be one of the best forms of exercise and competition, and at the same time can be one of the most stressful and injurious forms of exercise.
Now that I have your attention, I want to make one thing perfectly clear. I think everyone needs to have a nice, strong, butt. Not just because it looks good, but because it can solve so many problems (beyond just being able to fill out your jeans). All immature inappropriate comments aside, having strong glutes can be a huge benefit for many reasons.
I know this firsthand. At the end of my freshman year in college I had a cyst removed from my tailbone area, via cutting through my lower back muscles and then stitching me up with about 50 external and internal stitches. I spent the first month of that summer not being able to even sit on my butt, I had to lay sideways to prevent the stitches from ripping out.
Because of this surgery, I couldn’t do any exercises that involved hinging at the hips for about 1.5 months. After 1.5 bro-tastic upper body only months of lifting, I finally got back to being able to to do lower body. I literally had to start with 135 on the deadlift all over again because of how weak my lower back was.
Thankfully, I had a strong tush from before the surgery (from football and track), and quickly got my lifts back up. I firmly believe that having a strong posterior prior to my surgery really made my life easier afterwards, as I have heard of people taking much longer to get back to lifting pain free from similar surgeries.
The following are 5 of the best reasons to train your glutes, and train them seriously:
1) Already eluted to this – prevent injury.
Weak glutes can lead to muscular imbalances and thus leading to knee, ankle, hip and lower back pain. An imbalance in the hip can lead to excessive medial rotation of the femur – leading to knee issues. Also, when the glutes are weak, the lower back tends to take on some of the work and can become tight and/or injured. Lastly, weak glutes can lead to over active hamstrings which can cause more risk for hamstring cramps.
2) Better Athletic Performance
Have you ever seen an elite athlete with no butt? Strong glutes are essential in almost every sport. They are responsible for accelerating, decelerating, changing directions and creating explosive power in jumps. “Sprinting is one of the most effective exercises for simulating the glutes and activates 234 percent more of the gluteus maximus muscle than a vertical jump, says the glute guy, Bret Contreras, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Athletes with strong glutes will be faster, more efficient and explosive in their movements than athletes with weaker glutes.
3) Better Exercise Performance in The Gym
Having strong glutes will help stabilize your body in any standing exercise. The gluteus medius especially helps with stability and can create a stronger base of support to push, pull or throw from. Also, having strong glutes will help your other lower body lifts increase if your goal is to get stronger.
4) Increased Calorie Burn
Glutes are a huge muscle in everyone, no matter what your curves look like. Every time we train them heavy and seriously, we are getting a huge muscle activation along with some great post-exercise calorie burn. Want to get the most out of your weight workouts? Skip the skimpy light weight isolation exercises and focus on hitting the big muscle groups – the glutes being one of the most important.
5) Your butt will look better (in complete seriousness here)
Have you ever heard anyone say, “I want a flatter butt!”. I didn’t think so. It is okay to train for aesthetic goals. There is nothing shallow about it. Look better, feel better or feel more confident. Physical attraction can be a huge motivator, so why not try to look a little better? The bigger reason for wanting to look better is your “Why“. Why do you want to look better? That will pull out some deeper and more motivational reasoning.
So how do you get a better booty?
Here is a short, but not complete list of exercises that I recommend incorporating into your workouts at least 3 days per week.
- Deadlifts (any variation, focus on glute squeeze at the top)
- Glute/Hip bridges (add weight to hips when form is perfected)
- Lunges/Split Squats
- Banded Walks
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiD4eOaivqY (old school Bret Contreras video alert!)
- Squats (back, front, goblet)
Start with 2 sets of 8-12 reps of each of these with challenging weights, meaning when you get to your final rep, you should feel fatigued.
Give these a try, and you may need to buy some more curvy jeans 🙂
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Stay healthy my friends,