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Exercise

How to maintain a lean physique

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One thing is to lose weight, another is to keep that weight off and maintain a lean physique.

If you´re trying to lose weight or you´ve been trying for several times let me ask you something, what´s your real goal? Just to lose weight and not care about what happens next? Or do you want to lose weight, keep it off, maintain your results and maintain a lean physique? You´ve probably want the last one so that you can stop worrying about your weight, your health and you can enjoy life.

If you follow the right weight loss program you don´t need to worry about losing weight, plateauing or keeping the weight off, even when the beginning is hard because of the changes you need to make once you get comfortable with is you´ll see that it´s really simple and easy to lose weight and keep it off and you also have the freedom to enjoy life as you´ve never done before.

The reason why most programs don´t work and you don´t get the results or is impossible to keep those results if because they focus on the most common advice “eat less – move more”, they want to give you results as fast as possible without considering your health just so that you keep buying the products, memberships, etc. When a program focuses on calories they´re neglecting the most important factor related to weight gain or weight loss, hormones and metabolism. The reason why you gain weight, you´re obese or overweight is because your hormones and metabolism are not working efficiently and this is the reason why you find it really hard to lose weight and keep it off. Most weight loss programs make more harm and damage to your hormones and metabolism which cause plateaus (you stop losing weight), you regain all the weight and leads to yo-yo dieting and eating disorders.

To lose weight, keep it off and maintain a lean physique you need to focus on improving hormones and metabolism, if they are working properly it will be easier for you to lose weight, to keep it off and to maintain a lean physique unfortunately most programs ignore this. To improve your hormones and metabolism you need to focus on your diet, exercise is important and you do need to increase physical activity throughout the day and do resistance exercise but alone won´t improve hormones and metabolism as diet does.

For your diet you need to consider what you eat and when you eat, this two play an important role, if you eat 5 or 6 times a day, if you have 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and you have snacks in between because you feel you need them to give you the energy you need to keep going, or you feel dizzy, tired, low mood, etc; then it´s clear that your hormones and metabolism are not working properly. First you need to write down everything you eat, I know this is tedious and boring and sometimes hard to do but set it as a challenge, take one week, and write everything you eat, include all your meals and snacks, everything you drink even coffee and water, write that snickers bar or apple, that coke, everything. The next week try to be aware of why you´re eating, especially the snacks, every time you catch yourself eating that snickers bar or that can of coke, or a donut or any other snack ask yourself why you´re doing, are you really hunger? Is it because you´re anxious or stressed? Is it because you´re bored? Or just because of habit?

Then you´ll start swapping unhealthy options for healthy ones, you can start with breakfast, if for breakfast you have a bowl of cereal with milk, orange juice, coffee, or you have some bagels with jam or a sandwich swap it for some scramble or fried eggs with one or 2 slices of bacon. During this first weeks you don´t need to schedule any time to exercise, just focus on improving your diet and take short walks when you can especially right after big meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

How to start exercising

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A lot of people who get into the fitness industry want to lose weight, some of them want to build the best physique possible, others just want to lose a lot of weight and get in decent shape.

There are different reasons why girls and guys start their fitness journey, the most common are health issues or insecurities. For some, health is the major reason. Whether they got diagnosed with a disease or their doctor told them they needed to lose weight to prevent certain diseases, others are really skinny and want to gain some muscle to attract boys or girls, others are overweight or obese they don´t like the way they feel and look and want to make a change by improving their body physically. It doesn´t matter what´s your reason probably you may be living a very sedentary lifestyle for years so you need to take small steps.

If you´re sedentary chances are you don´t feel your best to start exercising, your body hurts and you feel tired, when you´re starting improving your diet is a crucial part you can even start your weight loss journey by improving your diet first, take 3 to 4 weeks to work on your diet, this will help you feel better, increase your energy and probably decrease pain in your body which will make it easier for you to start exercising. After those 3 or 4 weeks you can start your physical activity, the best option here will be to walk, go for a 15 minute walk after each meal breakfast, lunch and dinner, walking has so many benefits for overall health and if you do it right after a meal it will help with insulin. If you do these 3 short walks and continue your diet which needs to be low in calories you´ll start losing weight. Follow this for 2 or 3 weeks.

Now you can add resistance exercises, you might know by now that resistance exercises are key to help you lose weight and improve your health so now you need to keep with the 3 short walks per day, your healthy diet and schedule 30 minutes for resistance workouts, for most exercises you´ll be using your own body weight but you can also use light weights like dumbbells or resistance bands. You´ll be doing 10 squats, 10 push ups and 10 crunches. If you can´t do the normal version of it don´t worry, you can sit on chair and stand up 10 times for the squats, you can do push ups on a wall instead of on the floor, for all exercises there are simple versions you can do. You can add some bicep curls, triceps extensions, flies all of them can be done with resistance bands.

Every time you´re exercising make sure you´re focusing on your form, it might not be 100% right just make sure you do each exercise as best as possible and that you don´t get injured. As you keep exercising and losing weight you´ll see that it´s easier to perform the exercises and that your form improves.

Now, there´s something I want to make clear, exercising is hard, it´s supposed to be challenging, you need to feel tired, you´ll feel your heart rate increasing and you´ll feel your muscles working, but there´s good pain and bad pain. It´s really important that you talk with your doctor or health care practitioner before starting and that you´re aware of your body, do not try to go harder than what you can manage, but you do need to challenge yourself. There´s a difference between good pain and bad pain and when you´re starting it is hard to identify and know the difference this is why starting with bodyweight exercises, resistance bands or light weight dumbbells and walking is the best way to start, the chances of getting injured are less than working with heavy dumbbells, barbells or other exercises and equipment.

Since we´ve been living sedentary lifestyles and an unhealthy diet you need to start small, this is why going for short walks and improving your diet is the best option. A healthy diet will help you feel better, lower your cravings which makes it easier to stay on track and you´ll feel more energy and motivation to start exercising. These short walks will help you start adding some physical activity to your day, and both will improve your sleep, all this starts your journey and from there you just keep the momentum going.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Benefits of compound exercises

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Every time I pass through a gym I see people doing so many different exercises for each muscle group which for me only makes the workouts more complicated, if you are one of those guys or girls who do a bunch of exercises for each muscle group but, you´re doing them for a reason, and you understand why then that´s great but, many people don´t understand why they´re doing certain things a certain way, they just follow some workout they found on the internet or the one that some  friend recommended them.

In the last posts we talked about bodyweight exercises now let’s talk about compound movements which along with bodyweight exercises are really helpful to get an amazing physique and improve overall fitness and strength.

Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work several muscles at the same time which gives us the opportunity to lift more weight. The more weight we can lift, the stronger we get, and we gain more muscle (considering that our food program is right). This type of exercises have a lot of benefits including lowering the risk of injuries (considering that we don´t let our ego get in the way), we can do more in less time but it doesn´t mean that it´s going to be easy and we keep things simple.

Performing compound movements with free weights (barbells or dumbbells) is the best option even when we can´t lift the same amount of weight compared to gym machines or other equipment.

My approach to training is old school, sticking with a few basic exercises with high weight and low reps and adjusting some variables according to the goal you´re working on. Since compound exercises are multi-joint movements, you can lift more weight, so they are the perfect option to lift more weight in a low rep range.

Compound movements also require balance and coordination so as you keep increasing the weight your performance will improve too.

When you are using compound movements it is simple and effective but it doesn´t mean it´s easy. And since you´re working with low reps and high weight things get harder meaning maximum muscle recruitment and high nervous-system activation this is the right stimuli for muscle growth and strength. Here you need to consider recovery, which is as important as your workouts, the central nervous system needs more time to recover so you can´t train the same muscle group 2 days continuously.

If your goal is fat loss, you can stay with bodyweight and compound exercises and focus on low rep ranges around 8 to 10 and make sure that you maintain strength so that you maintain muscle mass.

You don´t need to do a lot of different exercises for each muscle group, keep what works and eliminate what doesn´t work. If you focus on key movements, you can build a great physique that is useful, there´s no reason to look great if you can´t perform great. Your goal is to improve body composition and build a physique you are proud of and that is useful for daily activities at your home or your job.

If you´re starting your weight loss journey and you have a lot of weight to lose you can start with bodyweight exercises only as I mentioned on the last post (click here to read that post), once you´ve lost some weight and you feel comfortable you can buy some dumbbells and a bench to start with compound exercises if you still don´t feel comfortable going to a gym. Exercises like squats, bench press and dumbbell or barbell rows are great options. Focus on maintaining good posture and avoid injuries. We´ll talk about all this on future posts so make sure you don´t lose any post.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam