5 Tips for getting fit

So January has passed and with it went your New Year’s resolution. It happens. But fitness is always something to strive for. I talked to Kate Anderson who has recently been certified as a personal trainer. She gave me some great advice that made me actually excited go to the gym. Kate recommended the OPT model to increase metabolism, decreases body fat, and increases muscle. Plus you get stronger, more flexible, faster, and more agile. This model requires long-term dedication, but overtime going to the gym becomes less of a chore. It’s not about quick fixes; it’s about creating a healthy lifestyle.

This model is a three-step process: stability, strength, and power. Like a pyramid the steps build on each other. It isn’t safe to start power lifting on day one-- you have to develop the skills gradually to have productive and healthy workouts.

Stability works to “improve muscular endurance, enhance joint stability, increase flexibility, enhance control of posture, and improve neuromuscular efficiency (balance, stabilization, muscular coordination).” For this part of the process Dedman Rec. classes are great. Look for classes like Sculpt and Burn that use lighter weights but incorporate several repetitions. It’s also important to learn how to properly do squats and dead lifts before wandering into the weight section and hoping for the best.

Strength training is broken into sub categories: endurance training, hypertrophy training, and maximum strength training. For endurance training you use moderate weight and repetitions along with a superset  (a superset is one strength and one stability exercise for each body part). Hypertrophy training is focused on gaining muscle with “high volume, moderate to high loads, and moderate or low reps (6-12).” Maximum strength training is the bridge between strength and power training. For this you focus on heavier weights and lower reps. The best part? Longer rest periods.

Power training is the final level. For this you work on supersets and performing power exercises at a high, but controlled, pace.

How to structure your workout: Start with a warmup. Try jogging, jumping jacks, or anything that gets your heart rate going. Next focus on core work and balance excercises. Then you have the option to focus on speed and agility. Weight training reps are next. Finish with a cool-down. Its easy to want to skip because you’re tired, but don’t! Cool downs are the key to finishing a workout in the healthiest way.

Your specific weight/rep capacity is highly individualized. Talk to one of the Dedman employees about finding the healthiest and most appropriate weight combination for your size and skill set. They’ll help set you up for success.

As for nutrition, we have an awesome on camups dietitian to help out. But here are some general tips:

  • Write down what you eat and drink for two weeks. This gives you an idea of how many calories you’re consuming on average. Apps like MyFitnessPal work really well because it gives breakdowns of where your calories are coming from (ie. Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins).  
  • You need both micro- and macronutients. Macronutrients include fats, carbohydrates, and protein. Micronutirents are found in vitamins and minerals.
  • Binge drinking can lead to weight gain. Alcohol has 7 kcals per gram… so not the best diet option.
  • Water! Drink it. It's good for you.

What I’ve learned:

1. Time and dedication are the foundations for building a fit and strong body.

2. Weight training has benefits for everyone.

3. Cool downs are necessary.

4. Showing up at the gym at all counts for something.

5. Alcohol isn't healthy.

Feature image courtesy of SMU