Quality vs. Quantity

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How many of you feel like if you aren’t spending hours in the gym, you aren’t going to get a “good” workout or you won’t be able to reach your fitness goals? I used to feel the same way. I would spend hours exercising and I would never feel like I was getting anywhere! The problem is, I wasn’t maximizing my time with a variety of exercises and I was doing the SAME workouts over and over again. You don’t need hours of exercise a day if you’re doing quality workouts. Unless you are a professional athlete, 30 minutes will suffice!

Most of us are very busy and have a hard enough time working out for 30 minutes, so feeling more pressure by expecting yourself to work out for over an hour, is a recipe for failure. You just have to change your mindset and realize that if you are doing quality workouts, you will get more done in a shorter period of time. I used to be afraid to lift weights, but it is so important to do resistance and weight training (one of the many reasons is that it aids in bone health). I didn’t want to get “bulky” and that is such a silly thought, because weight lifting leans you out and tones your muscles, not bulks you up. I pictured myself getting bulky in the sense that I would look big and bloated! Now I have the knowledge to know it does the opposite, but I still hear that as a concern from women. Cardio was all I wanted to do! Jane Fonda and Kathy Smith aerobics were my go-to workouts (I am aging myself now!), which are great, as long as you pair them with strength training.

We all get into ruts and become comfortable with the workouts we do, but you have to change things up! Our bodies are always striving for homeostasis or balance. When you exercise, it puts stress on your body and it has to work very hard to reach that balance again. When you do the same workouts for years, your body reaches that balance or homeostasis it’s looking for, so it no longer has to work because it is used to the exercise you are doing and it has gained muscle memory. You will inevitably stop getting results and plateau. This is why you have to trick your body and change things up so you are always challenging it to work harder and find that balance once again.

So quality over quantity. What does that mean? It means doing functional fitness or incorporating multiple muscle groups in one exercise. It means cardio and strength in one workout. It means making the most of your workouts in a short amount of time. This is why I love HIIT (high intensity interval training) and circuit workouts. These types of workouts allow you to get strength and cardio in one fell swoop. When you do exercises that incorporate more than one muscle group, you are keeping the body guessing and getting more work done in one exercise, as well as burning more fat. These types of workouts are great for busy people who don’t have time to spend exercising for hours. If you still can’t seem to fit in even 30 minutes, break it up! Do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch, and 10 minutes in the afternoon. You can get the job done in a short amount of time if you create a “quality” workout. Here is an example of functional fitness, HIIT: Do each exercise for 30, 45, or 60 seconds and repeat the circuit 1‒3 times.

*Forward lunge/row

*High knees

*Plie squat/overhead triceps extension

*Jumping jacks

*Reverse lunge/upright row

*Speed Skaters

*Side lunge/hammer curl

*Pop squats

If you would like a video showing you how to do these exercises, email me and I will be happy to send you one.  Now what sounds better, working out for hours and never getting anywhere or working out for a shorter amount of time and getting results you thought you would never achieve? Yep, it’s a no-brainer!

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