The Secret to a Healthy Weight: There is No Secret

*This is an article I posted a few years ago on another blog, but, looking back, feel it is still just as relevant so I’m re-posting it here. Enjoy!*

When people ask, “What’s the secret to losing (or gaining or maintaining) weight?” I say:

There is no secret, just 3 simple steps.

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Get leaner, faster, and stronger by lifting heavy

I’ve heard countless excuses for why people don’t want to lift heavy (or heavier). Women often times don’t want to get “bulky.” Bodybuilders don’t want to lose mass. Cross-fitters and endurance athletes don’t want to compromise performance or stamina. The list goes on. But the bottom line is that heavy lifting (1-6 reps max.) has just as many benefits as other exercise styles and will not compromise your size or stamina. So here are my top reasons for lifting heavy and how I incorporate it into my workout regimen.

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Research update: Link between exercise, vitamin D, and lower risk of heart attack and stroke

We’ve known for a while now that exercise and adequate vitamin D individually can reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. A new study by researchers from Johns Hopkins now suggests that the combined effects of exercise and adequate vitamin D are even greater than either working alone. Even better, they found that exercise and vitamin D levels are positively and directly related meaning more exercise = more vitamin D.

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Put it all together

Results happen because of two factors. 1) Consistency, and 2) Progressive overload, which includes not just increasing weight or reps, but also varying your routine to keep your muscles on their toes. In this article, I’m going to show you a few different ways to combine programs on this site so that you can continue to be consistent in your workouts while adding in some variation.

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Muscle Growth 5-Day Split, 6-Week Program

This program is for advanced and higher-level intermediate fitness levels. It is designed to promote muscle growth and strength, but not major hypertrophy. Do not attempt this program if you have not been strength training regularly and consistently for at least 8-12 months. The program consists of 6 days of exercise, 5 of which include strength training.

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Intermediate 3-Day Split, 4-6 Weeks

This program is for intermediate+ fitness levels. It is recommended that you complete the Back to the Basics 12-Week program before beginning this one. The program consists of 6 days of exercise, 3 of which include strength training.

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Benefits of Exercise

What are your reasons for exercising?? So many people exercise to “lose weight” or “get ripped.” But exercise has SO MANY other benefits that are far more important than the number on the scale!

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Your first workout program – 10 weeks

Probably the hardest part of working out is getting started. When you’re used to a mostly sedentary lifestyle or only sporadic workouts, gathering the energy to get off the couch  on a regular basis can be a daunting task, especially if you have a busy schedule. But getting started is also one of the BEST decisions you can make for yourself. If you can push yourself to do it, eventually it will just become habit and you’ll wonder how you ever got by without regular exercise! Just the fact that you’re reading this post says a lot!

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Back to the Basics 12-Week Program

Weight lifting is for people of all fitness levels! You do not have to do crazy advanced exercises or kill yourself overtraining in the gym to get results. As long as you are working and challenging yourself, you will get there. We all have to start somewhere, and basic exercises that allow you to master your form and create a strong mind-muscle connection are truly the best place.

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Lean + Strong 4-6 Week Program

I just finished this sweat-worthy Lean + Strong program, which I created towards the beginning of January to promote fat burn and build strength at the same time, and let me just say, it’s harder than it looks! It’s one that I will definitely be coming back to though  because it really was a fun program! And one of the most important things to successfully reaching your fitness goals is to have fun with it. If we’re not having fun, we put in less effort, burn out quickly, and often just give up completely.

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