Attention to my ladies! If you are kicking your a$$ in the gym and feel like your nutrition is on point but you aren’t seeing any results.. this post is for you.
As a Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach who specializes in women’s fitness & nutrition, I’ve helped countless ladies (and some guys too;)) achieve the body of their dreams. Many times, clients come to me thinking they are doing the “right” thing, but in reality they are making some big mistakes that are not helping them in their road to success!
Hopefully this post saves you from making some mistakes and gets you on the right track to achieving your dream bod!
Mistake #1: You’re Under eating
It truly makes me sad when I hear about women eating 1200 calories a day or less to reach their physique goals. Not only will you likely feel tired and lethargic on super low calories, but you are wreaking havoc on your metabolism. Super low calorie, extreme diets almost always backfire. The less food you eat, the more your body becomes accustomed to that amount. Once you reach maintenance on this low of calories, you have likely slowed your metabolism down to a point that will make it very hard to increase your calories to a maintenance level without weight gain. Also, without proper nutrition, your body is not as efficient at repairing and restoring your cells.
Please ladies, don’t be afraid to eat to fuel your workouts.. I suggest keeping your calories as high as you can while still being able to lose fat. Use a reliable online calorie calculator tool to figure out your needs.
Mistake #2: You still believe that resistance training will make you bulky
I can’t wait for the day that this myth truly dies for good! But, believe it or not I still hear about women who refuse to pick up a 10lb dumbbell because they fear they will look “manly”. Ladies, do yourself a favor and get in the weight room! Even if you were making a conscious effort to truly gain muscle mass (i.e. eating a TON, lifting super heavy with a low rep range, taking supplements etc), it would still be VERY hard for you to look “manly”. By incorporating a smart strength training plan into your routine, you will not only build some sexy lean muscle mass (i.e. get tighter and leaner), but you will also speed up your metabolism by doing so! #winwin
Mistake #3: You listen to your husband/boyfriend/guy friends too much.
Let me clear myself up here, I will say that there are lots of men out there who are incredibly knowledgeable about female training. But many times I see women taking *too much* of their male counterpart’s advice and they are frustrated because they don’t see any progress.
Of course, I am a BIG advocate of women incorporating resistance training, and I’m not saying that the style of training between men and women is completely different. BUT I am saying that if you are trying to shed fat and you are taking your husband’s advice of lifting SUPER heavy weight with a really low rep range, drinking a bunch of creatine and not seeing a change… you need to rethink your strategy.
Mistake #4: You think that there is only “one way” to achieve your goal.
Ok I can’t even lie because this is something that I have been guilty of in the past. Look, there is no “one way” to get to where you want to be. If you get stuck in the mentality that you should ONLY be running or ONLY be weight training. You close yourself off to other modalities that could be incredibly beneficial to you. If you love resistance training, keep an open mind about incorporating HIIT. (Hint: there are sooo many benefits of High Intensity Interval Training). If you love to run, start incorporating resistance training in your routine to add some sexy curves to your bod.
Bottom line: Keep an open mind and be open to other exercise modalities that will enhance your body (or take it to the next level!).
Mistake: #5 You only use the scale to track your progress.
The scale is a tool. Period. Know when to use it, know when you don’t need it. If you are trying to cut fat the scale is a helpful tool that will give you ONE I repeat… ONE… data point. Other data points you NEED to be tracking include: progress pictures, body measurements, how you *feel* and how your clothes are fitting you.
I can’t even tell you how many times I see women get caught up with the number on the scale, and little do they know if they just cut through the emotion behind that (stupid) number, they would REALLY see their body transform. One of my clients was hesitant to take progress pictures before she began my program.. I told her she had to. At the end of the program, she was INCREDIBLY thankful because while the scale didn’t move a whole bunch (she didn’t have much fat to lose), her body COMPLETELY transformed (5% body fat GONE!). Please ladies, do yourself a favor and try to get out of the emotion behind that number!
What you can do:
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In order to get yourself on track, you will want to take a good hard look at your fitness and nutrition plan. Be honest with yourself! Are you under eating? Scared to lift more than 3 lb? Obsessed with the scale? Look, there’s a lot of information out there about what to eat, how to train etc… if you find yourself lost, start by checking out some good online resources (like right here on Fitness & Power). Or you may consider working with a personal trainer & nutrition coach to get you on track!