When it comes to working out, it’s very important to get a healthy mix of both cardio and strength training. Unfortunately, many women out there believe lifting weights will make you “big”. False: Cupcakes will make you big! Because of this common misconception, many females become “cardio queens”. One the other side of the spectrum, many men believe that cardio will cause them to shrink down in size. Both can be true, but if done correctly, are total misconceptions. A combination of the two is a great solution.
Both actions have great outcomes everyone can benefit from. Cardio can help with weight maintenance, heart health, blood pressure, sleep, and mood. Strength training is very beneficial for things such as bone density, muscle tone and strength, basal metabolic rate, and energy levels. Hitting both results in you being the best you possible! Sounds like a win/win to me.
My trainer, Eric, makes sure I get a good mix of two, by following his orders, I have significantly lowered my body fat percentage and increasing my muscle mass simultaneously. My Mondays and Wednesdays are strictly reserved for strength training. Eric is great about mixing things up for me, utilizing both the rack and machines. I do everything from squats, deadlifts, and sled push to bench press, curls, pushups, and pullups. Sometimes he makes me use a bar, other times dumbbells. Other times it’s just good ol’ fashion body weight. Any way you look at it, it’s helping me build muscle and feels great. As the saying goes, “Sore Today, Strong Tomorrow!” Using Performance Inspired BCAA and ZMA is a great way to help rebuild muscles after good workout. Taking care of your muscles after your workout can be just as important as the workout itself.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are my cardio days. Again, Eric does a great job at creating a plan for me using a variety of equipment. I must admit that my favorite is stairs. I really feel the burn and get a good sweat going. To advance my workout, he made me carry a 10 lb. dumbbell in each hand during my last stair session. As clumsy as I am, I had to concentrate REALLY hard on my footing. It can be dangerous if done incorrectly, but done correctly, it’s one of the best cardio workouts I’ve ever endured. I also love a good run on the treadmill (3 or 4 miles usually hits the spot) or an incline walk on the treadmill. We’ll also throw in some bike on hill setting, elliptical, and rowing sprints.
After every session, strength training or cardio, comes core. My favorite! I love a good core challenge. I told Eric when I first started training that one of goals is to have a six-pack. I’ve always one! And who doesn’t look good with a nice oblique definition?!?! Woodchoppers in both direction on the cable machines is great. He also has me do things like planks (another of my favorites!), rowing crunches, penguins, ab rollouts using the stability ball, medicine ball slams, and my all-time favorite, “hard crunches” which entails sticking my feet in the bar of the cable machine and doing a full extension and crunch on a stability ball. Check out my Instagram page (onicasinclair615) or Facebook page for videos of me doing some of these moves.
You can’t get the maximum results from anything discussed above without the proper nourishment. Performance Inspired has provided me with the best products to get the most out of my workouts. Here’s how I use mine. As soon as I wake up, I take my Performance Diet and Energy supplement. This helps as a great energy booster and pre-work for me. If I take this, I won’t double dip and take the Explosive Pre-Workout, but that’s just me. When I get home from the gym, usually around 6:30 a.m., I mix up a Ripped Whey shake. This provides my body with a great immediate dose of protein which is key. I also make sure to get some BCAA in to help my muscles recovery and reduce soreness the next day. I take my PI Multivitamin with a solid breakfast. A workout like that builds an appetite! At least twice during my day, I try in a protein shake. I usually opt for the plant-based one during the day, usually around 10:30 a.m. and another around 3 p.m. At least 20 grams of protein for me every 4 hours helps my muscles and curbs my cravings for foods that aren’t healthy for my body like saturated fats or carbs that are too starchy. I take another dose of the Performance Diet and Energy supplement 30 minutes before my dinner. Dinner time at my house is usually around 6:30 p.m. and I try to take in something that is a good balance of healthy fat, carbs, and protein. Yes, I know, I like my protein, but I also find it very important to include carbs for energy and healthy fats. Avocado is my favorite kind of healthy fat!
With all this being said, one of the most important words I try to remember is BALANCE. A balance of cardio and strength training is important. A balance of carbs, protein, and fat is important. A balance of family, faith, and happiness is important. As a mom, wife, and teacher that also has 2 horses, 2 dogs, and a cat, my life can get busy, but I’ve learned that staying healthy helps me stay on track with all of this. In the words of author Jana Kingsford, “Balance is not something you find, it’s something YOU create.”