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It's time to get back to Check Your Form Friday videos. One of the biggest questions I get is how to perform an exercise correctly and how you perform an exercise will determine your results. If you perform an exercise incorrectly, you risk injury and you just won't see the results you are looking for. This week I break down the basic reverse lunge for you. Check it out. Let me know if you have any questions below. If you have an exercise you struggle with and would like me to break it down, let me know and I will put it on the list.
Have you ever picked up a copy of a magazine that promised a flat stomach, tight butt or toned legs?Then you flip through the pages to find the miracle workout, pick up whatever piece of exercise equipment you need, then go to do the workout and feel really awkward with almost every move? Doesn't do much for motivation does it? Well, it doesn't do much to get you any of the promises above either.
I am not sure when it happened, but, we as a population started thinking that killing ourselves with complex moves is the answer to finally get into incredible shape. It could be somewhat thanks to Biggest Loser, or any one of the "insane" systems you can buy from an infommercial. Whatever it is, I want to help you make your workouts much more effective.
The fact is, at the point that someone is picking up a magazine to try a workout, the majority of the time, they aren't ready for the complex moves. Do yourself a very big favor and master basic moves first and then you can progress your workouts as you get better. You will see results faster and reduce the risk of injury.
So, welcome to the first episode of Check Your Form Friday. This week I break down the basic full plank. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Looking back on this past year it seems like five years, but, it also seems like it went by in the blink of an eye. That doesn't make sense, but, just humor me.
I started out 2012 with high hopes of what rachelfit.com was going to be able to bring to you. It was, afterall, the third year in a row, I had expected a major launch of a site like nothing else out there. It's laughable how many "official" launch dates I announced. The past launch in September almost caused me to throw in the towel completely, but, it is one of the biggest lessons I have learned in 2012. Heck, it was probably one of the biggest lessons of my life.
Most of you know that I launched the online version of the Fall into Fitness program back in October. What you don't know is that my "brand new" website was broken. I had women who invested in themselves to change their lives and I was going to let them down. The website was broken and the web guy was clearly not going to help to get this program off the ground. I will save you the details of the nightmare, but, I want to share with you how that changed me and made me unstoppable because it may help you become unstoppable in your health and fitness quest.
I had allowed the web guy to keep me in a place where I never had to play big. If the site never worked or launched properly, I didn't have to get outside of my comfort zone and really put myself out there. Helping one million people change their bodies and their lives was a goal that I set a long time ago and it truly is my passion and my dream, so clearly, putting myself out there is necessary. I allowed my website guy's incompetence to be the excuse for not being able to put myself out there. For over two year's people asked me "Why don't you fire him?" I had a lot of time and money invested and it would cost a lot more time and money to start over and I let that be my excuse to not fire the guy who was giving me the excuse to play small. Don't think I was aware of this though. Like so many people, I was busy with what I thought was going to move me forward. I was working my butt off. Busy isn't the same thing as purposeful action though.
That part was all about me and my own insecurities. Then when I realized the Fall into FItness program was not going to work and I was going to have to let the women down who were counting on me. They wanted and needed what I had to offer and then it became about the women. They were ready now. I went into "beast mode". That was it for me. That is my moment of truth. It was like someone was saying "Hey! You. Are you going to do this or what? It's now or never!". I made the decision that I am going to do this no matter what. Nothing is going to stop me. Not people. Not money. Not my own insecurities. Nothing. What will be your defining moment in reaching your fitness dreams? When will enough be enough?
Beast mode for me was all about action, as it is for any goal. Plan and research all you want. The magic happens when you take purposeful action immediately after you make a decision. This goes for your fitness goals too. I immediately hired a new website guy. He continued to patch and put out fires and started building a new website at the same time. I had to focus and do whatever I could to deliver what I had promised. There were obstacles like you wouldn't believe. I had to really allow myself to look outside the box to make things work. I'm not kidding when I say I had thoughts of throwing in the towel completely. I had someone ask me, "Are you really cut out to do this online thing?". I had someone else attempt to sabotage a clinic I did for charity. People mostly mean well and they don't want to see you suffer. Of course, some want nothing more than to see you shrink back to playing it small. You may encounter this in your quest for total fitness. I had to put blinders on and re-decide every morning when I woke up what it was I wanted to do. Sometimes I didn't wake up happy and I had to ask myself what I would feel like if I threw in the towel and never reached my dream of helping 1 million people. Sometimes I had to dream a little and allow myself to feel what it would be like to be effortlessly reaching thousands of people weekly and actually hearing about their results and how I had something to do with a positive change in thier lives.
You will have to do that at somepoint too. Conditions are never going to be perfect to reach whatever goals you are dreaming of. Don't wait for them to be perfect. Put blinders on. Immerse yourself. Remind yourself about how bad it feels not having the what you want and how discomfort now is a lot less than the endless bad feeling you get because you never really give it a "beast mode" shot. Allow yourself to dream about what it feels like deep down in your bones to have what you want. You have to believe you can have it or you will never get it. The more you can feel it the more you will move towards it.
So, to summarize, I could be angry about the last three years and the experience I had with the web guy, but, I'm not. I learned some great lessons that have made me a better coach and an all around better person. It's the same for all experieces, I believe. If you have made efforts in the past to get the body and life you want and it didn't work out, ask yourself what can you learn from it? Don't let it be your "web guy". Don't let it shrink you. Let it teach you and make you unstoppable.
2013 is going to be an amazing year. I am reaching out in ways that I never have before. I am starting this year out with a different feeling than any other year. I want to help you do the same. I really want to know what I can do to help you reach your total fitness goals. Please, reply to this email and ask me anything. Share your story with me. Anything. I really do want to hear from you.
If we believe TV and movies, the holidays are nothing but a time of good cheer. But, for many of us, the holidays are a big source of stress. I have a few tips for getting through this holiday feeling fit and peaceful.
1. Set your day up. Your day is likely going to be filled with inflammatory foods that make you feel sluggish and cause you to crave more after the fact. Start your day out with a glass of water and a nutritonally powerful breakfast and the rest of the day will go better because you feel good. I like to have a green smoothie to start a holiday. It gives me energy and I don't feel overly full, but, I am getting everything I need.
2. Do not skip your workout if you are already someone who works out. If you aren't currently on a workout program, do something active. Take a walk, do some self myofascial release with a foam roll or a short core workout so that you get your feel good hormones flowing.
3. Let go of expectatiions. Allow the day to unfold and experience it as it does. Let go of the negative and look for the positive.
4. Remember who you are now. Being with family can cause you to revert to your old habits and lifestyle. Remember who you are today and who you want to be tomorrow. Staying present will allow you to do this, but, you will also enjoy your time with your family much more.
I am going to be cliche' for a sec and quote Franklin D Roosevelt "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."
It's true. Think about the last time you spent a great deal of time worrying or fearing something. Even if the thing that you feared came true, wasn't the worry and stress of anticipating it and creating scenarios in your head worse than the issue itself?
Fear does many things. It is a form of stress and we all know that stress wreaks havoc on our bodies. And since this is a fitness blog, I am going to remind you that stress increases levels of cortisol and increased levels of cortisol will keep you from having the body and health that you want.
The reason I want to talk about becoming fearless today is to break down some walls you may have created for yourself when it comes to getting the body you want. Fear only holds us back. Yes, it is wise to fear a bear in the woods, but, I am not talking about that kind of fear.
I want to put five of the most common fears people have around changing their bodies to rest. So often, we aren't even aware of the fears that we have. Knowing that we have them is half the battle. I hope this helps you recognize and break free of some of your fears today.
- Fear of effort without reward. I often get new clients who feel that they have tried everything to get to the place they want to be and they have had results, but, not what they feel matches the amount of effort they have put in. Sometimes people really have put the effort in and sometimes they haven't. Fact is, put zero effort in, get zero results. It's a no brainer. If you fear and contemplate a program, that's no fun right? You are spending valuable energy on fear, when you could just be taking steps.
- Fear of fully committing. This one kind of goes along with number one. It boils down to trusting a program or process. If you are skeptical about a program before you start it, ask yourself why. If it isn't making promises that are too good to be true or asking you to eat in a crazy way or workout "insanely" (sorry, I had to) then you should give it 100%. Taking action will calm your fears. Results will make them a distant memory.
- Fear of being unique. Most every woman I have worked with has the "unique" syndrome when they start. Things haven't worked for them in the past, so they wonder if there is some flaw with their metabolism or are they are some sort of freak that doesn't reap the same benefits that other women do. Don't shoot me for saying that we aren't all unique. In fact, I believe that each and every one of us is. Which is exactly why this shouldn't be a fear. Every single woman starting a program is unique. Their bodies will all respond differently. If you are following a program that is not some fad junk and is created by a highly qualified fitness expert, you will see results. End of story. The more you sit in fear of whether or not something will work for your uniqueness, the longer you remain the same.
- Fear of change. Oftentimes, we don't know how we could live without some of the habits we hold onto that are keeping us from having the body we want. I have countless stories of women who meet with me the first time and "Want to get something straight with me." Things like, "I will not stop eating potato chips.", "I will not stop eating my bowl of cereal at night after the kids go to bed.", "I will not completely change my schedule to get more workouts in.", "I am not about to give up my cocktail hour." These are just a few of the things I have heard over the years. All of those things are fears. Not to get too deep, but, they generally have nothing to do with the actual habit at all. For instance, someone who eats a bowl of cereal at night after their kids go to bed is probably just needing peace and quiet. Maybe they never get to have a meal without a kid picking off their plate. It could be a number of things, but, it's rarely just because they really are attached to the cereal. The fear of never changing or not wanting to let go of some habits is going to cause more stress and discomfort than taking some action steps and ripping off that band aid. It's only scary at first. With every step it gets easier and you should rest easy in knowing that you just need to become aware of why you do things and make it a conscious decision. This in itself will naturally create changes in you.
- Fear of failing. Who is not afraid to fail at some point? The fact here is what's worse? Not getting what you want and continuously feeling that disappointment or giving it a shot and maybe being uncomfortable at first? “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
The fact is, we all have fear. When we become aware of our fears we can argue with them. Years ago I was sitting in a college counselors office going over a plan to get the education I wanted. I said to her "But I will be over 30 years old when I graduate!" And she said "You will be over 30 years old with or without a degree." Hmmmm... It really is that simple. Talk to your fears and you just could have the body, job, partner, or life that you want. October 1 I am relaunching my Fall into Fitness 12 Week Body and Life Transformation program. I'd love to help you answer your fears and get the body you want. Check it out here.
Christine's Corner - Meet Christine Featured
Hello everyone! My name is Christine. To those of you that have not met me yet, I am Rachel’s assistant. I have been working with her to build content for the website and help with the business end of things. Before working with Rachel, I went to school for and graduated with a degree in Architecture. Prior to this I worked in the restaurant business and even spent several years working in the kitchen.
I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but, whenenver I am at a gathering of family or friends, I get introduced as the "trainer". Once people know I am the "trainer" I feel like I turn into a priest taking confessions. I can't seem to go to any gathering involving food without someone commenting on how they shouldn't eat this while they go ahead and eat it anyhow. What they shouldn't eat is usually followed by a confession of how they don't exercise like they should. This is often followed up with some comment about how much easier it is for "you naturally fit people". I have some news folks, the only difference between the fit and the unfit is that the fit decide they want it and create the habits and mindset to get it and the unfit don't. The fit work to be fit. Here's a list I threw together of some of the habits and mindset to become one of those "naturally fit people":
- They believe they can reach their goals.
- They eat for nourishment the majority of the time.
- They indulge intelligently.
- They plan and schedule their meals.
- They plan and schedule their workouts.
- Workouts come first on their calendar and they don't allow wiggle room.
- They realize they can be a better parent, spouse, employee, friend, etc. by putting their health first and they don't feel guilty for doing so.
- They drink water. Lots of water.
- They eat lots of greens.
- They don't eat lots of grains.
- They find ways to stay motivated. They don't just feel motivated all the time.
- Sometimes they do things that they don't want to.
- They surround themselves with like-minded, positive people.
- They get eight hours of sleep.
- They don't watch a lot of TV.
- They don't just workout to look good. They workout to feel good.
- They are early risers.
- They are not afraid to invest in proper shoes and equipment.
- They know it takes work and do not look for quick fixes.
- They can cook and they do most of the time.
- They know how to order in a restaurant.
- They skip the bread basket.
- They don't over-indulge in alcohol every weekend.
- They shop at the farmer's market.
- They eat FAT! Even saturated!
- They keep a log or a journal.
- They are in tune with their body.
- They eat when they are hungry and quit when they are 85% full.
- They have triggers just like everyone else, but, they are aware of them.
- They sometimes have thoughts that can sabotage their efforts, but, they are aware of them and know what to do with them.
- They are aware of people in their lives that may sabotage and they maintain healthy boundaries.
- They brown bag it to work.
- They don't eat late at night.
- Even when they could, they don't make excuses.
- Sweat is their friend.
- Weather doesn't stop their workout plans.
- They have dogs. (Okay, not all of them have dogs. Dogs are a great source of motivation. Dogs make you happy.)
- They have workout or accountability partners (in my case...the dog).
- They hire a trainer when they need to.
- They take vitamins and supplements.
- They are familiar with alternative methods of health care.
- They have an icepack in their freezer.
- They move first thing in the morning.
- They are not on a special diet. They eat real, whole, clean organic foods.
- They don't count calories, carbs, points or obsess over numbers.
- They weigh themselves to keep it in check, but, they don't obsess over the number on the scale.
- They know their weakness.
- They know their stressors.
- They know how to reduce their stress level.
- They tune out the rest of the world and their issues while working out.
- They demonstrate good form and enlist help if they aren't sure.
- They are consistent.
- They don't skip workouts. They might modify, but, they don't skip.
- They follow a program and progress appropriately.
- They are persistent.
- They have an idea of what exercises work what muscles.
- If they don't know number 56, they invest in a trainer.
- They aren't afraid to try new recipes.
- They honor how they feel. When their body needs more rest, they rest.
- They view working out as something that they "get" to do, not something that they have to do.