I often get asked “What’s the best workout to lose 10lbs, tone up or ________ (fill in the blank with your fitness goal here)”. Everyone is looking for that one secret trick, workout or quick fix that will solve their issues. And we’ve all seen fitness trends come and go… Jazzercise, Step Aerobics, Kickboxing, P90X, Bodypump, Norditrack, Stairmaster, Barre class. I could go on and on – each had their peak and still exist today but are no longer touted as “The Answer”.
When I get asked that question I always answer with my own question. “What have you tried in the past that you have liked?” It’s pretty simple – if you like doing something you are more likely to do it and stick with it. I could tell you to spin 4 times a week but if you just hate biking, find the seat uncomfortable and the music too loud – you may give it a solid effort for a few weeks. The first time a work meeting goes late and you get to miss – you will. And pretty soon there will be other excuses. It’s just human nature. So I ask you “What do you like?” There are so many different ways to workout – there is something for everyone. But that’s only part of the answer!
Here is the Top Secret Answer to what the BEST WORKOUT EVER is revealed…a combination of Cardio to raise your heart rate and Strength to tone and build muscles that you actually like. There are three parts to this top secret answer that are key:
1. Cardio– this will build a strong heart, burn calories and raise your metabolism. Have you seen folks who lift weights all the time but still have some weight to lose or a belly? Chances are they are not doing any cardio.
2. Strength Training– this will build muscle, build strength, improve range of motion and over time as you build muscles you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. Have you seen folks who bike or run all the time but still don’t have toned abs or have spindly arms? That’s lack of strength and toning.
3. Liking– this will keep you coming back for more! Do you know folks who go all in on a workout program only to fizzle out after a short period of time? Chances are they don’t like what they are doing and will take the first excuse that comes along to back out.
So I can hear some of you now “Well Lucie said I should like doing this and I don’t like _______ (fill in the blank with the portion of your workout that challenges you – ie. push ups)” You are not going to love every moment of working out – you wouldn’t see results if you didn’t challenge yourself.
Let me give you an example. For me Pilates and Running fit the bill for my strength and cardio combo that I like doing.
I enjoy running but not necessarily running up hills. I live in Nashville so flat is really not an option for me! But the good thing is I enjoy running enough that a few uphills here and there don’t take away from my overall enjoyment. I feel good knowing I pushed through and climb the hills. There’s my challenge. I also love Pilates but there are some moves I’d rather avoid…and that’s usually because I’m not as good at them. They are the exercises I actually need to work on more and I do. Not every time but I make sure to hit those moves regularly. It’s only a few minutes of my total workout. I feel better conquering this challenge and over time these moves don’t intimidate me so much! So when I say ‘Find something you like’ please realize you may not love every single minute of it… but should like the majority.
So ok- the title of this blog may have been a bit misleading- there is not one specific answer that works for everyone. If you can remember the three keys:
1. Cardio 2. Strength 3. Liking
You can find your best workout. And if you still aren’t sure- ask me – I’m happy to help you!