Deb Bailey AFPA, MAT, CanFitPro, YMCA

Are you frustrated because you're not seeing the results you want from your workouts? It may be because your program hasn't changed in a while. While our minds love the status quo, our bodies need to have challenges! In an eight week program, it's important to increase the weights up one level every couple of weeks. Otherwise, the body knows it doesn't have to work as hard as it did in the beginning to do the exercises. So you don't get the positive changes you're looking for - you've gotten stagnant.

Also, at the end of eight weeks, you need to get a new program. Build on the skills of the first program, but make things more challenging. If you were doing squats with biceps curls, try doing the squats on a BOSU, and do a different upper body exercise. That increases the challenge to your muscles, balance and core. 

As you go through each program, the weight should go up and the reps should go down, so you cycle through the endurance fibres into the strength fibres in your muscles. That way, you'll have a well-rounded program that challenges you constantly - and gets the results you want.


Don't forget the most important meal of your day! No, I don't mean breakfast, although that's very important too.
I'm talking about the small meal or snack you need to eat after your workout, preferably within a half-hour. This food should include 10-15 grams of protein, animal or plant-based, and 20-30 grams of good-quality carbohydrates, with little or no fat.

Some of you may balk at eating after a workout, because you feel you'd be undoing the calorie burn you just got. But you have to take in enough carbs to prompt a release of insulin, which sends the carbs and amino acids into your recovering muscles. This help repair the muscle tissue damaged through exercise.
Right after your workout, your muscles are at their peak ability to take in nutrients. So chow down on that recovery meal!

Then  I suggest making this very simple change to your cardio routine. Incline training is the way to go. If you are using a treadmill, change your incline gradually so you can get used to the different challenge. Your goal is to get to the higher incline ranges on your machine.

If you are a runner or walker, choose different terrains for your cardio. Ditch the smooth community path and head for the hills!

Incline training burns a ton of calories, trains your legs harder and allows you to move more slowly while still ramping up your fitness level and dropping weight. Moving more slowly also is much easier on the joints.

Someone weighing about 160 lbs, walking at an energetic 5.6 kph (3.5 mph) on a flat treadmill or terrain would burn approximately 314 calories per hour. However, if the same person added a fair amount of incline, s/he would burn about 657 calories. (

 So aim higher in your cardio training!

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