For the first time in my adult life, I have consistently worked out at least 3-4 times a week. I even worked out while traveling. I barely even recognize myself! I have officially become addicted to exercise and it has brought so many benefits to my life. I have lost 10 pounds this year (and most certainly turned a lot of my weight into muscle). I’m sleeping better. I have greater control over my anxiety & depression. For years, exercising to me was doing a bit of yoga and running on the treadmill once a week. Nowadays, I have officially made intense exercise an ingrained habit and necessity for my body.
Subscribing to youtube channels: I take epsolm salt baths to relax during the week and I will watch youtube while doing so. Videos consistently keep fresh ideas going so you don’t get bored with your workout. Also, seeing other girls’ glute gains keeps you inspired and motivated.
Focusing on strength & not a number on the scale: Sure, I obviously wanted to lose weight since I had come back from Chile a good 15 pounds heavier (thanks to manjar). BUT, this was not my main focus. My main focus was to grow my glutes and become stronger. Instead of focusing on a number on the scale which fluctuates so much that it just ends up discouraging you and making you want to quit, I focused on the perkiness of my butt, the inches on my stomach, and the increase of weight I could manage. The more reps you can do and the more weight you can push, the more you are reinforcing that accomplishment feeling every time you work out and thus creating a habit that gives you a “reward” more often than fat loss on a scale.
Meal Prep: Meal prepping on Sunday not only helped me with my fitness goals but also helped with my anxiety. I didn’t have to spend time every day thinking of what to make for dinner or spending 30min-1hr every day making meals. I make most of my meals for 1-2hrs on Sunday and I free up that time during the week for something else. It also keeps me from snacking on other things or ordering delivery and thus, I feel motivated to workout and not heavy or disappointed from not eating correctly.
Keeping A Calendar: I keep a paper calendar for everything because I’m super Type A. I mark on my calendar every time I workout. I can look back on this calendar and feel a sense of accomplishment and it motivates me to keep myself accountable.
Cardio Trick: I HATE CARDIO, which is really why I never stuck to exercise all those years until I fell in love with pushing weights. The trick that has helped me incorporate some cardio in as we are nearing summer is to do a 30 second walk-30 second run method. As you improve, you can do 1 minute run-30 second walk. That’s what has worked for me at least!
The Best Exercises For Glutes:
Weighted Hip Thrust
Single Leg Hip Thrust
Cable Pull Throughs
I follow Bret Contreras (the glute guide) for his information on maximum glute engagement and these were the ones at the top of the list and have worked for me. These are my main exercises that I try to rotate every week and then add on other moves such as cable kickbacks, squats, etc.
A superset is basically when you combine two movements without stopping. For example, going from a curtsy lunge immediately into a side lunge is a good super set. I basically pick 8 exercises, combine them into pairs (supersets), and do them for 3 sets of 15 reps. By combining these exercises, you are maximizing your potential for muscle growth.
For most people, you have to increase your weight or you just won’t grow. You’ll maintain but you wont grow. So try to up your weight a little each week or every 2 weeks.
Adding strength bands forces you to target your glutes more accurately. I use them when doing sumo deadlifts, squats, side walks, and glute bridges.
Glute Activation Before Your Workout
When I first started, I kept getting injured and I also felt the exercises more in my thighs than glutes. Once I started doing 5 minutes of glute activation before my workouts, I stopped injuring myself and started to feel the exercises in my glutes a lot more. The band is great for this. I just put on my band and do 3 sets of squats, glute bridges, single leg bridges, and side kick on all fours before working out.
Drink Protein After Every Workout
If you are not drinking protein after every workout, you are not maximizing the potential of your workout and some of your workout will go to waste! Muscles need protein after a workout. I use a grass-fed whey protein called ProMix.
Wear Converse During Leg Day
The converse shoe is thin but grasps the floor well. That’s why you’ll see a lot of fitness buffs wear converse on their leg days. I find that when I wear converse, I have greater control of the movements and greater activation in my glutes.
That’s what I’ve learned this past year and what has worked for me! I have a long way to go in my fitness journey but am proud of what I have accomplished this year. If you liked this post, please leave a comment! I am super passionate about this topic so I would love to start posting workouts either here or in my instagram to help other people stay motivated.
I am approaching my 1 year fitness anniversary! After 2 chronic illness diagnoses and a…18 April, 2017