Fitness journeys are a funny thing. No matter where you start, eventually your mind and body adapt, leaving you needing and wanting more. It’s a natural progression–you start somewhere and no matter where that is, you learn, you grow, you understand more of what you need and you make adjustments. Having been in the fitness industry for over 10 years as a national level figure competitor, CISSN certified nutritionist, personal trainer and CSCS, I’ve certainly continued to challenge myself in my own fitness journey.
If you started your healthy lifestyle working out at home or outdoors, making healthier food choices and have seen results, way to go! It’s the best feeling to know your 100% commitment to exercise and nutrition yields some pretty great results in your health and body composition.
I hear from so many people who have been on a fitness journey for some time, many of whom have achieved a “goal weight” or clothes size, and some who are still adjusting their goals and making new ones, that they are tired of focusing on the scale and are ready to move beyond trying to achieve a certain aesthetic look.
Even my 6 Week Fit Body Challengers have been telling me that they are ready for more! This program has helped over 200,000 people with different fitness levels–anywhere from “off the couch” to already fit and just wanting to change up their training. I created 8 custom meal plans and 36 at-home workouts to help people get in the best shape of their lives. Some of the challengers have taken the challenge several times, and say that it’s just as effective the last time as it was the first. But some of them want to take it to a whole new level.
They want to step up their game, but not everyone knows how. Here are 6 problems that often arise with my challengers and those I help to set and achieve fitness goals, and a solution to those problems that will help you take the next big steps in your fit journey.
1. You’ve Moved Past Dieting and Exercising for Weight Loss
Maybe you’ve reached a “goal weight” and have been hanging out around there for some time and you’re not sure what’s next. When we reach goals, it’s natural to get bit by the “goal bug” and immediately begin to feel motivated to work toward something new.
Specifically with hitting a weight loss goal, you know you want to keep the weight off, but then maybe you’d like to increase muscle tone, or get stronger in your workouts, or increase your metabolism up from eating in a deficit.
It’s not always easy to know the exact right path to follow when you have goals like that. They’re a little more complex than eating in a caloric deficit, exercising more and losing weight. You might wonder how your workouts should be set so you really can get stronger; or exactly how much food you should eat to sculpt your body and/or build your metabolism. It definitely can be more tricky to maneuver on your own.
2. You Need to be Pushed
You got your feet wet with at-home workouts, you know how you should exercise, and you’ve seen changes from it. Isn’t that so motivating?
Confidence comes when we practice and master something. Once we have, it’s natural to want to progress and push ourselves in something else. Maybe the thought of working out in a gym has previously intimidated you, but now it’s kind of an exciting and empowering idea.
This motivation and empowerment in your fitness journey can help you push yourself beyond what you’ve ever been able to do outside the gym.
3. Your Home Workouts Just Aren’t Cutting it Anymore
Maybe you started getting fit at home with a couple sets of dumbbells and a stability ball. You are amazing because you learned the basics of what it takes for a good workout to change your body–all with minimal resources.
There’s something to be said for maximizing your resources and being able to get in a great back workout with little to no equipment. However, when you reach a certain fitness level, there may not be much more you can do for your physique without a great gym workout. When you have more equipment with more variety, you can take those basics to a whole new level…and even better results.
4. You’re Done with the Scale
The scale is how most of us start out trying to get fit. We eat right, we work out, we weigh ourselves and that number falls, right? It can get pretty exciting to watch the scale, especially when we’re dieting and it’s doing what we want it to do.
But the scale can be finicky. It doesn’t tell the whole story. It doesn’t tell us that we’re retaining water that day, or that our muscle mass has increased, thus increasing our weight (while our body fat has come down). So it starts playing tricks on our minds makes us question our results.
After some time, though, we get smart. We can see that our fitness is more than just a number on the scale and that we can accomplish some pretty great things regardless of the number on the scale.
Following a program that focuses less on weight and more on shaping your muscles and changing your body composition can be even more rewarding than when you first lost that initial weight!
5. Working Out Alone Can be Lonely
Everyone is motivated differently by how and with whom they want to work out. Alone, with a workout partner, alone but with others around in a gym setting, you have to decide what works for you.
There are definite advantages to working out by yourself/at home–you don’t have to travel anywhere, you can focus on just getting your workout done, you don’t get distracted with conversation.
But getting into the gym to work out comes with its own benefits that you just don’t get with home workouts. The energy that is in the gym can’t be matched. Even if you prefer to work out on your own, being surrounded by others with similar goals as you can be so motivating!
I personally love the inspiration I get in the gym. I see people all around me pushing themselves day in and day out and I get some of my favorite exercise ideas from others I see working out. And, even if you’re used to working out by yourself, you may meet someone you click with and decide would make a great partner to help push and support you. Last but not least, most gyms have some great group fitness classes that can be really fun to add to your mix.
6. You’re Tired of Eating in a Calorie Deficit
Even when your “diet” meal plan includes delicious food and a decent variety (which, if you know how, can be done), there is still only so much you can do with limited calories. When you reach weight loss goals as a result of proper nutrition and exercise, you can (and should!) begin to slowly add more calories to your diet. This will help build your metabolism, fuel strong workouts while you lift some heavy weight, making you an overall fat-burning lean machine.
When you have some extra calories to work with, you can get pretty creative with your food. And it can be so satisfying that you don’t even feel the itch to get off track. Think nachos, pizza, cheesy hamburger casserole, sweet ‘n sour chicken, mug cakes, cookie bowls and so much more!
Yes, there is a way to make those kinds of foods macro-friendly and not even a bit like you’re eating some watered-down diet version of “the real thing.” With mindful proportions and some healthy food substitutions, it’s amazing the creations you can come up with.
With a great gym workout plan and nutrition that is on-point, you can keep your fitness goals progressing. You can:
- Move beyond dieting and exercising for weight loss, and focusing on shaping your physique.
- Feel empowered to physically accomplish more than you already have in your previous programs.
- Work out with new equipment in a gym setting where you have far more variety to sculpt your physique.
- Get rid of the scale as the most important metric of achieving your goals.
- Be in a whole new environment of fellow gym-goers to motivate, inspire, and push you to be your best.
- Eat to fuel your gym workouts and sculpt some beautiful muscles, instead of just to lose weight (which, by the way, may very well happen too–metabolism is a beautiful thing!).
To fuel my body pre- and post-workout, as well as on-the-go (AND when I need a sweet treat, of course ;), IdealLean Protein powder (20g protein, low carbs and fat) and our NEW IdealLean Protein Bar are my go-to’s! I love having options depending on my macronutrient needs.
If you’re ready to kick your fitness up a notch and get into the gym with some intense workouts, fueled by some amazing nutrition, sign up for the 6 Week Fit Body Sculpt Program now!
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