Strong Is The New Skinny

“Strong is the new skinny”- strong is attainable to anyone out there, no matter what your capabilities strength training is what you make out of it based on your goals. I came across this statement in a recent issue of Oxygen Magazine (for those of you who interested in fitness and strength training, I strongly recommend it as a must-read).   It was one of those “ah-ha” moments for me. Since starting my training with Heather Robertson this past June “strong is the new skinny” sums up everything that I’ve worked towards thus far.

Photo courtesy of Cumi&Ciki

The more and more I put my mind towards the concept, the more I began to realize that the results I’ve experienced have a lot to do with weight lifting. I’m seeing increased muscle mass resulting in tighter legs, thighs, arms and core. Recently I stumbled across a truly inspiring blog spot called: Strong is the new Skinny written by a woman named Marsha. What I love the most about her thoughts in relation to weight training is that they are REAL. Some days her writing is super positive while on others she’ll come right out and admit to negativity; I love that.

Marsha and I have one thing in common — we are both living proof that lifting weights will not make you huge or “butch” as most women like to think. I’d always had this fear prior to actually taking on a proper fitness program.   Sure, if you start lifting low-rep heavy weights right off the bat, do little to no cardio and maintain an unhealthy diet don’t expect miracles. It doesn’t take an expert to see that, right? The funny thing is that so many women write off weight lifting for the simple fact that they are scared to bulk up. If you are real with yourself (by this I mean, stop lying and get down to business) then based on my experience, there is no way that you will ever bulk up. Here are some examples to demonstrate what I mean when I say “be real with yourself”:

Photo courtesy of cumi&ciki

Scenario 1:   Your goal is to shed weight — so you do 20 minutes low-intensity on the elliptical machine every day. 3 of the 5 days you reward yourself with treats; you worked super hard at the gym — you deserve it.

Scenario 2: Your goal is to shed weight — so you do 20 minutes of cardio every day. The same cardio routine always applies; you’ve been doing this for over 6 months now.

Scenario 3: You workout like a mad woman 4 days out of the week (yay working out!) and your diet consists of anything you can get your hands on. Portion sizes and clean eating are out the window.

Scenario 4:   You have a written workout plan that you follow consistently. Every day is different. On some days, you incorporate 30 minutes of medium intensity heart pumping cardio and 15 minutes of weight lifting (plyometrics bring it on). Other days are high intensity cardio only or weights only. Your diet is clean (whole, nutritious foods) and includes recommended daily percentage intake of carbs/protein and healthy fats (nuts, avocado, oils).

Photo courtesy of cumi&ciki

Which one of these scenarios do you think your metabolism (hello toned body) is thriving in? If you said Scenario 4 — you’re bang on.   The other scenarios are the reason why you keep saying “I’m not seeing results, this diet sucks, I’ll always be out of shape or working out is not for me.” Just be real about it. Nothing comes for free. And seriously “strong is the new skinny”. It’s a lifestyle and a way of living long-term. It’s not a fad diet.

While walking my dog this morning, and perusing content on my Blackberry, I was reading my Facebook feed and came across a quote that completely refreshed my outlook on the day:

So many times, we are afraid to set a goal or start working towards tough goals because we fear the amount of time it will take to accomplish it. The fact is...the time will pass regardless. You can either use that passing time to work towards something better or look back in the same state you were in at time wasted. You choose.” ~Marsha ( http://strongisnewskinny.blogspot.com/)

Wow. That’s it, that’s the secret: consistency in your workouts, goals, proper balanced nutrition and always pushing yourself to do better. If you’ve been doing 15 tricep dips for the past couple weeks, start pushing yourself to do 25 and then 40….if you’ve only been doing cardio, why not incorporate a written weight program (written is best — this way, you have a plan to stick to and you’re not only lifting in your comfort zone).

If you’re interested in weight training, Oxygen Magazine is a great starting point full of great routines and proper lifting techniques. Also, be sure to check out Marsha’s blog at the link mentioned above and of course…don’t be afraid to start lifting!

Jenn