Okay, so I know I talk a bunch about living life to the fullest and being an adventurer and living your dream life. But I haven't quite figured out how to make that a full-time gig (I'm workin' on it. If you figure it out, holler at your girl).
So in real life, everyday? I:
1) Sit at a desk and make sure people are properly caffeinated
2) Workout in a schmancy gym
Now, maybe I'm not the authority on all things fitness, but I've run 4 marathons, lost about 6 pounds of fat and gained 5 pounds of muscle, and regularly get told that I have a really nice bum (by my roommate. But still.) So here's how to stop wasting away on the recumbent bike, and start actually fitting into your skinny jeans.
1. Intensity. Not minutes. So, you know how you see those people that have been on the treadmill for like twelve hours (I admit, I used to be one of them)? Yea, well, I'm glad they have a lot of time to run their brains out, but the rest of us have worlds to dominate and minds to blow.
If you normally spend sixty minutes on the 'mill, walking and flipping through Vogue, leave the mag in your bag and try 30 minutes alternating: 1 minute run, 2 minutes walk. You should spend the 1 minute breathing so hard you don't have time to flip a page and the other 2 minutes trying to breathe into every cell in your body to get ready for that next REALLY hard minute. Also, maybe thirty seconds complaining in your head how you don't want to do ANOTHER FREAKING HARD MINUTE.
2. Showing up is good. But trying hard is even better.
I have an intense session with a trainer tomorrow morning, so I decided to keep tonight's workout a little light on the power cleans.
*ENTER CARDIO KICKBOXING*
I'm not much of a fan of cardio classes, but this one promised that there would be "energizing music" (hopefully in the form of Pat Benetar and/or Wham!).
And who did I stand behind? A girl who came in wearing a sparkly tank top, chatted it up with the instructor and then stood around after she had done, like, six roundhouse kicks. Chick wasn't even breaking a sweat.
To which I say: Lady? I'm glad you made it on time, but if you regularly show up to this class to the point where you are on a first-name basis with the instructor, Imma need you to put some power behind your uppercut. Cuz spending 45 minutes INSIDE the workout room does not a workout make.
Don't pat yourself on the back for just showing up. At least break a sweat. And if you've gotta take a break from the action, try not to do it with your arms crossed while you're making sure your bangs are swooped perfectly over your right eye.
3. Lay off the elliptical. Along the lines of #1 above, the elliptical should really be reserved for
a) warming up
b) those who are injured and can't do a more vigorous style of workout
c) my grandma.
If you are a healthy male or female that spends a good amount of time at the gym and are using exclusively the elliptical machine to burn your calories and tone your tum-tum, I hope you eat solely spinach and water. Exercise should be forty-five minutes of hard-ass work, not something you can do while talking on your cell phone.
I know some of you out there may not like this, but have you ever watched the Biggest Loser? These are people who are MORBIDLY OBESE and who are running, lifting weights and doing plyometrics (jumping and hopping and stuff). They don't chat to their friends about Gossip Girl during their workout because.......they want to lose weight. Same principles apply to you, girl who is staring horrified at me while slamming closed your flip phone.
4. Working out isn't an excuse to gorge on Snickers. Oh, how I wish it was though.
There are months when I'll work out six days a week. There are months when I work out zero days a week (aka winter). If I'm eating right during those months (veggies and protein and LIMITED non-vegetable carbs), the increase in my weight or waistline is very minimal. However, there was a point where I was training for a marathon and actually gained weight. Why? Because I thought 6 miles = 600 calories burned = two slices of pizza and a beer.
I was wrong, and I have a larger size of running pants to prove it.
Bottom line: diet is 80%. In my case, it's 90%. Pretend like it's 99% and hitting the gym is a good excuse to stare at cute personal trainers and take a really, really hot shower.
These two exercises (along with the lunge, the jumping jack, the pullup, and a handful of other simple-to-do exercises) were man's answer to the gym before gym's existed.
So no matter how nicely I've printed out my Women's Health workout before I get onto the gym floor, sometimes the gym rat in the free-weight area is scary and I can't get up the guts to rotate in on his equipment. Instead of wasting my workout, I head to the mat area and just. Start. Squatting. I'll squat quickly, with weights, slowly, with a medicine ball. I'll alternate with pushups, lunges, and do some jumping for good measure. As long as I do that for 45 minutes, even though I don't know how many reps or sets or whatever it is that people measure these days, I have faith in my twitching muscles that I've done a decent workout for the day.
So that's how I get it done and manage not to get to the size of a house. Cuz I gots me some Italian genes, and the guys in the Sopranos? That's me and mi famiglia. Another reason to pass on the cannolis, amiright?
Also, for the record, I've never done a power clean. That shiz looks frightening, yo'!
What are some workout tips that you guys have for me? Any workouts that you particularly love that I should try?