Category Archives: Uncategorized

3 Reasons You’re Stuck

It happens to all of us at point or another. We think we are doing everything right.. exercising and eating as ‘clean’ as we possibly can. But then it happens.. you’re stuck and you can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out what you’re doing wrong.

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Here are the top 3 reason’s that can stop your progress, and tips on how you can move past them.

1. Not Sleeping Enough

Sleep deprivation can affect your concentration and impair your memory; can make you feel lazy and less motivated (the thought of working out will feel like a major hassle); and affect your performance levels.

Insufficient sleep can also cause you to gain weight over time, by decreasing your body’s levels of leptin- a hormone responsible for making you feel full-  and by increasing your levels of ghrelin, which increases your appetite and makes you want to eat more. (according an October 2010 article in the journal “Best Practice and Research: Clinical Endrocrinology and Metabolism.”)

Another downside of sleep deprivation is the affect on your body’s ability to release growth hormone. By not getting enough sleep you are limiting your body’s ability to recover and regenerate cell & muscle tissue.

The Fix:

  • ensure you are getting good quality sleep, about 7-9 hours will ensure your body will function at its best.
  • avoid high sugar, refined carbs before bed time as this can raise your blood sugar & stress the organs involved in hormone regulation. Have a high protein snack instead.
  • avoid screen time exposure 2-3 hours before bed as the blue light emitted from your devices can disrupt your circadian rhythm (if not, consider installing a blue light filter app)

2. Stress

If your brain detects the presence of a threat, whether it’s from a dangerous animal, work, or financial troubles, it will trigger the release of a cascade of chemicals, including adrenaline, CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone), and cortisol. Your brain and body are preparing to handle the perceived threat by making you feel alert, ready for action and able to withstand an injury (fight or flight).

The release of adrenaline decreases appetite as blood flows away from the internal organs and to larger muscles to prepare for “fight or flight.” But once the effects of adrenaline start to wear off, cortisol, (the “stress hormone”) remains and starts signaling the body to replenish your food supply. Today we use up a lot less energy dealing with our stress compared to our ancestors (they had to fight off large animals), yet we are stuck with a neuroendocrine system that didn’t get the memo, so our brain is still going to tell us to reach for that cookie.

Besides fighting off large animals, our ancestors had to worry about famine. Their bodies learned to adapt by storing fat supplies for the long haul. Because of this when we are chronically stressed by life and/or work demands, the excess cortisol in our bodies slows down our metabolism, increasing visceral fat (belly fat). This type of fat releases chemicals triggering inflammation, putting us at an elevated risk for developing heart disease or diabetes. As you can see, chronic stress in our lives takes a major toll on our bodies.

The Fix:

  • practice relaxation techniques
  • find a quiet space & focus on some deep breathing
  • learn how to say no. Distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts” and, when possible, say “no” to taking on too much.
  • exercising too much without proper recovery can also impact the body in a negative way. Ensure you allow your body sufficient time for recovery. (Read my post on rest and recovery here).

3. Input vs. Output

By now you should know that your goals (whether its gaining mass or losing body fat) is dependent on whether you are fueling your body appropriately.

If your goal is fat loss then your output (exercise) should be greater than input (food). If you are consuming more than you are burning off, or if the quality of food is poor then you will not lose fat. Be cautious, though, to not restrict your calories too much as this can actually hinder fat loss as well and wreak havoc on your body, especially in women. The safest way to fat loss is learning portion control, eating quality, unprocessed foods, and having a proper weight training program.

If on the other hand, your goal is to gain muscle, then your input (food) should be greater than output (exercise). If you are not eating enough and exercising too much then you will not gain muscle muscle mass.

The Fix:

  • for either goal, you should aim for nutritious, unprocessed foods. Include lean proteins, fruits & vegetables (especially greens), and healthy fats.
  • limit high sugar, processed foods.
  • have a proper weight training and HIIT  program to help build muscle.
  • be patient, it takes time. If you are gaining or losing too fast, then its likely not happening at a healthy level.. which is not sustainable in the long term.

 

There are other variables that come in to play, but I believe these are the top ones. Ultimately it comes down to listening to your body. Our bodies will always tell us if something is not working.. you just have to learn to listen.

 

Happy Training! 😊

 

 

 

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Rest & Recovery: Why You Need It

Rest and recovery; the R & R’s of the fitness world. Most may think they are the same thing- and while they are both critical elements of any successful training program- they are also the least utilized.

The Difference?

First, a little math

  • The average person may train about 4- 8 hrs/ week
  • This leaves you with 152-156 of non-training hours/ week to rest & recover

You would think that’s more than enough time to recharge and be ready to hulk-smash that next workout, yet there are some that will be walking into the gym and dragging through their workout.

Rest: according to Merriam- Webster

1repose, sleep; specifically:  a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities 

2a:  freedom from activity or labor

  b:  a state of motionlessness or inactivity

  c:  the repose of death

3a place for resting or lodging

4: peace of mind or spirit

Most of these (except for 2c) are a combination of time that is spent sleeping and not training. It is also the easiest to understand and implement.

Recovery: encompasses many aspects and refers to techniques and actions that are taken to maximize the body’s repair. Recovery involves different systems in our body that require time to repair, these include muscle repair, chemical and hormonal balance, nervous system repair, and mental & spiritual.

For most, the goal should be to have a a good balance between exercise, nutrition, and rest & recovery. Make heath and fitness a priority without personal sacrifice. Don’t be afraid to enjoy a night out with friends, or a piece of your own birthday cake. Unless you are a professional athlete, don’t overwhelm yourself with perfection.

The Approach

  1. Get enough sleep. Although different for everyone, the recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours. Sufficient sleep helps to with mental health, hormonal balance, and muscular recovery.

      2. Keep Hydrated. Water is critical to our bodily functions. It aids in nutrient uptake, helps regulate body temperature, protects and moisturizes the joints, and aids in riding the body of toxins. Drinking adequate amounts of water is critical to health, energy, recovery, and performance. The easiest way to check for dehydration is in the color of your urine. If it is a dark yellow, then you definitely need to increase your intake.

    3. Nutrition. Everything you eat has the ability to help heal your body, or to hurt it. Eating clean and balanced meals in moderation, and reducing the amount of processed foods is proven to be effective to remain healthy and increase performance. Pay attention to how your body reacts to the types of foods you consume. I believe that unless you have a reaction to it or an underlying issue, there’s no need to cut out specific food groups. Including variety in your food choices will make it easier to eat healthy.

4. Stretching. You should be able to move your joints through their full range and be pain free. If you can’t then that means that your flexibility is being compromised. Having a desk job can contribute to tight hip flexors and bad posture, so be sure to include dynamic stretching in your warm-ups and save the static stretching for after your workouts. Yoga is a great way to improve your flexibility.

 

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5. Self-Myofascial Release. This works by finding tight muscle areas, applying pressure to those trigger points to release the tightness, and then ahhhh!! This can be done with a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or your hands. (Just an fyi if you’re new to it: self-myofascial release is painful at first, but so, sooo good afterwards)

6. TLC For Those Injuries. It goes without saying that if you have an injury, your rest and recovery will be longer. Remember to use the typical heat, ice, compression, elevation for any injury you may have. The more tlc you show it, the faster your recovery.

 

And that’s it. Ensure that your body gets the care it needs. The fact that you are already exercising is great, and with enough time to recuperate, your hard work in the gym will surely show!

Happy Training 🙂

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

-Buddha

Why You Can’t Just “Wing It” If You Want Results

“What should I do today?”

“Legs.. I’ll do deadlifts. No, wait..maybe some squats..when was the last time I did squats?”

If you’re deciding what your workout will be as you’re walking into the gym.. then I’m sorry to say.. but

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In order to see any results you need to have a structured program. Walking into the gym, let alone trying to reach any goals without a fitness plan, is like trying to drive in a foreign country without a map; you will eventually get somewhere, but where you end up may or may not have anything to do with where you actually wanted to be. Without a proper fitness plan you have no way of tracking your progress, and no way of knowing if you will reach your goals.

The Right Way

Write down your goals. This is the first step to create a fitness plan. Do you want to reach a certain PR in your deadlifts? Do you want to chisel your back? Maybe you just want to feel comfortable on the beach. Whatever your reason is to workout you need a structured fitness plan to get you there. Once you’ve established what you want to accomplish, you need to create a ‘map’ to get you there, these are your short-term goals. Short-term goals are mileposts on the way toward your long-term goal.

Example:

  • Long term goal: doing 12 unassisted chin-ups
  • Short term goals:
    • wk 1-4: build muscle strength by doing band assisted chin-ups
    • wk 5-8: work on holding your weight- negative chin-ups 
    • wk 9-12: 3 unassisted chin-ups x 2 sets, 1.5min rest between sets (add 1 set per week)
    • wk 13-16: 4 unassisted chin-ups x 3 sets, 1.5 min rest between sets
    • wk 17+ : gradually increase reps per set, until 12 straight reps achieved

 Establishing a fitness plan eliminates the guess work and tracks your progress. Having a schedule to follow helps eliminate the “I’ll do it tomorrow” thought pattern and holds you accountable. Once you get into the habit of following a plan, you’ll see how easier it is to get through your workouts which in turn helps motivate you to succeed. Also by having a visual record of your progress means you can actually see how far along you’ve come, which is always motivating.

Keep It Simple

It doesn’t need to be fancy (unless that’s your style). Simply having a small journal with your workouts written in them and space to write in reps, sets, weight, is enough. The main point is to make it a habit.

And that goes for any goals in general. The only way to ensure you reach them is by writing them doing, creating a ‘map’ & then following it. It eliminates any guess work, helps you be prepared for any obstacles you may encounter, and serves as a visual record of how far you’ve come and how much closer you are to your end point.

 

And that’s that.

 

Happy Training 🙂

  

Metabolic Workout: Kettlebell Complex

Before I get into what kettlebell complexes are and what purpose they serve I will quickly give some background info on metabolic conditioning for those that are new to the game. Metabolic conditioning workouts are structured patterns of work vs rest periods designed to elicit a specific response from the body. This response is usually maximizing the efficiency of a particular energy system. The body has several different ways in which it gets its energy. Different ratios of work to rest periods will utilize different energy systems and as a result cause specific adaptations in the body.These adaptations should be specific to the trainees desired outcomes and fitness level. For example, a sprinter would have a different work:rest ratio compared to someone who wants to get lean or put on muscle. Simply pairing difficult exercises together and going through a circuit without taking into account timing will not reap the same results.

 

What Are Kettlebell Complexes?

Kettlebell complexes are compound exercises performed successively and with no rest in between. (If you are unfamiliar with what compound exercises are: compound exercises require coordinated movements that recruit multiple muscle groups to move multiple joints through a range of motion simultaneously.)

Complexes can be performed with dumbbells, barbells or kettlebells. All are efficient training tools, however the kettlebell, because of its compact nature and offset center of gravity adds a unique twist complex training.

 

What You’ll Need: a kettlebell, skipping rope, timer, and willpower!

My Workout:

Warm-up: 5min

  • Kettlebell Complex 1min:
    •   5x kettlebell swing
    • 5x goblet squat
    • 2x single arm swing (R)
    • 1x clean & press (R)
    • 2x single arm swing (R)
    • 1x kettlebell snatch (R)
    • 2x single arm swing (L)
    • 1x clean & press (L)
    • 2x single arm swing (L)
    • 1x kettlebell snatch (L)
    • 3x kettlebell swing
    • 3x goblet squat
  • Skipping 30sec

Rest: 30sec

Repeat: for 8 rounds

Cooldown: 5-7min stretching

Total time: Under 40min

Here’s what it looked like

 

Happy Training 🙂

Tips For Getting Your ‘Summer Body’ Ready

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In Canada the winter months may seem ENDLESS, the layers of clothes are many and most people tend to go into some type of ‘hibernation mode’ (too much food, too little exercise). More often than not you might have experienced some weight gain. Or you could be in a building phase, which is typical during the winter months, and your intake has purposely been higher & workouts scaled back to allow for some gains/ growth. In either case you will have found yourself to be carrying a bit more cushion than you might like.

At the first sign of spring, the gyms seem to come alive with those looking to perfect their ‘summer  body’. The average person will spend hours on end on their cardio machine of choice in hopes of shedding unwanted weight gain and/or reduce their food intake way too much. This will only work against your body by killing your metabolism resulting in little to no change at all.

Here are some tips to help rev up your metabolism so that you can shed those last stubborn pounds and reveal your summer physique.

Better Food Quality. Your meals should consist of nutrient dense, whole foods. Cut out sugar & high processed foods as these do nothing to promote optimal body composition and only put you at risk for metabolic diseases. Be sure to consume a lot of dark leafy vegetables (aim for 1-2 cups per meal), anti-oxidant rich  fruits and beneficial fats.

Protein With Every Meal. High-quality, high-protein intake keep you feeling full longer. It also sustains lean mass which in turn increases your metabolic rate (more muscle mass= more calories burned at rest). This is very important if you are trying to lose body fat. Also, don’t make the mistake of cutting calories without increasing protein as this will cause you to lose muscle mass along with fat mass, lowering your metabolism. Include lean red meat, fish, eggs in your meals. A clean, low-carb protein powder can help supplement your diet.

Include 4-5 Days of Weight Training. In order to look lean & tight you need to increase your muscle mass and reduce body fat. To do this you need to make sure you are really stressing out your muscles. Repeated tension or load on the muscles will cause the muscle to adapt and grow over time. Most people don’t lift heavy enough, or they continuously lift for the same amount of high reps and only 3 sets per exercise. Proper stress will only occur if you vary your training; ex: High-volume training (high reps, mod weight), high-load training (4+ sets, 4-6 reps, 85-90% of 1RM), varied tempo. Also be sure to include big compound movements (squats, deadlifts, pulls, presses, chin-ups) as these are multi-joint exercises and recruit major muscles.

Sprints vs. Steady State Cardio. While distance running (steady state cardio) has its benefits (heart friendly), if you are looking to seriously burn off body fat, incorporate sprint training into your workout regime. The high intensity of sprint training causes the same metabolic stress on the body as weight training. Just take a look at a sprinter’s body vs a marathoner. Have you ever seen a sprinter who carries extra cushion on them? Nope, neither have I.

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Reduce Stress. High levels of stress from work/ every day life will result in high levels of cortisol being released into the body. This will actually lead to an increase in fat mass especially around your mid-section. Take time to unwind & reduce your stress levels. Meditation,  breathing exercises, yoga are just a few ways you can reduce stress levels.

Recovery. Give your body rest. All the hard work you put in the gym, although beneficial, is still a stress placed on your body. Too much of a good thing can ultimately lead to overuse injuries, fatigue and even weaken your immune system. Allow your body time to repair & rebuild, and always listen to your body.

Happy Training 🙂

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What’s Your ‘Why’?

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     “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
                     -Aristotle

What’s your why?.. Your reason for doing this?
Why do you want to commit to a totally different lifestyle when you’re pretty damn comfortable with the one you currently have?
Why would you put yourself through the soreness.. the frustrations.. the discipline this new way of life will require?

These are questions you need to ask yourself before starting on a new fitness program. Whether you are doing it on your own, and especially if you will be paying for a coach to guide you through it, you need to have a strong reason for doing it. Because if you don’t then most likely you will find yourself in the same place you started.

You need to realize that sacrifices will need to be made, and this is where most people will get turned off. They don’t want to give up their sleep/down-time/family time, ‘give up their social life’, or the multiple- times-a-week restaurant outings, or their favourite {insert junk food here}. Because they need to have a life right?

But see this is where most people are wrong. You don’t have to give up your social life/ family time.. but you do need to make sacrifices. You need to decide whether your health is more important than all the excuses you make. If you’re not feeding your body right and exercising then you’re not taking care of yourself. And it will catch up to you at some point because it always does (just look at how many people you know that suffer from type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems, high blood pressure, etc that live an unhealthy lifestlye). If you’re not healthy how can you take care of your family? Enjoy time with friends & family?
Yes it’s going to be hard in the beginning and you’re going to need a hell of alot of will power as your body ‘detoxes’ itself.. but once you get over that initial mountain and you fall into a routine.. and start to see the first changes in your body, then you will realize it’s all worth it.

Quick fact: According to this study it does not take 21 days to form  habit , rather it’s  dependant on the individual, environmental factors, the habit being formed, etc.

So find that Why and let it be your driving force. Don’t do it for anyone other than yourself. Don’t let any excuse be bigger than your Why. There will always be obstacles but it’s up to you to overcome them.

Ladies, It’s Time To Step Up To The Plates (Pun Intended!)

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If you walk into a gym on any given day, make your way to the free weight section. I bet that you can count on one hand the women that you see in that area.

Why?

Because women still believe that working out with anything heaver than 10 pounds will make them ‘manly’. Because society has led women to believe this.
Just watch a fitness DVD, open up a woman’s fitness magazine,
or look at your gym’s ads. You will most likely see thin women on a treadmill or elliptical, or doing boot camp style classes. And if there are any pictures of a more defined female physique that happens to be holding any weights, it’s almost always 5 or 10 pound dumbbells.
Or how about those silly instagram accounts of women claiming to have built their booty with squatting day in and day out?

Quick Fact:
The normal range of testosterone levels in healthy adult males is between 280 to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL), Testosterone levels in women vary, but normal measurements range from 15 to 70 ng/dL. 
Because of these differences in testosterone, it is physiologically impossible for a woman to ‘bulk up’ without the use of  anabolic aids.

Ladies.. we are capable of so much more than this. Why should women train any differently than men? Why should women limit themselves when both men & women have the same skeletal foundation.  Both genders push & pull, squat & lunge, and hinge.

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Stripped down to our skeletons.. men & women are the same

Benefits Of Weight Training

• increases metabolism
• helps reduce risk of coronary heart disease
• strengthens bones/ joints
• decreases risk of arthritis
• decreases risk of osteoporosis (women are at higher risk)
• decreases risk of diabetes
• improves mental wellbeing (due to feel-good hormone serotonin)
• more muscle = more calories burned at rest
• improves posture
• improves balance &  coordination
• strengthens core musculature

The health benefits are many, but aside from that, the physical strength gained in the gym will impact other areas of your life: there’s the major confidence boost you will get when pushing yourself to beyond what you thought yourself capable of, the greater sense of self (and self-love), the strengthing of character and mind, the respect and awareness of our bodies.

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From cardio to weights

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What weight training can do

Where Should You Start?

If you are serious about changing your body then you need to start haulin’ iron. There’s no other way around it. And I mean getting down and dirty the old school way. Deadlifts, squats, pull-ups, bench presses..and variations on these exercises are the best way to start as they are compound movements. Compound exercises recruit major muscle fibres and tend to require significant stabilization of the entire body by involving numerous muscles that otherwise might not be stimulated with isolation exercises.
Make sure you follow a proper training program that will gradually progress you as this is the most effective way to see results (coupled with good nutrition of course!).
So unleash that brute strength that lies within and you will discover the extraordinary feats your body is capable of. Be the architect of your body and build and sculpt a lean and feminine physique. And with that you will find an unbreakable mental perseverance that will reflect on other areas of your life 🙂

Why You Blame Your Trainer

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There are 24 hours in a day.
The average person is awake for 17 hours.
The average time spent with a trainer is 2-3 hours per week.
That leaves 116-117 hours per week that a trainer has no control over what their client eats or workouts that are not completed.

The reality is that alot of times a trainer is hired based on unrealistic expectations.  The client expects to lose weight just because they have hired a trainer. They believe that the trainer is the answer to their problems.. an instant, guaranteed solution.

But this is far from the truth.

A trainer will provide you with the necessary guidance and tools to help you change your lifestyle to that of a more healthier and active one. These changes will only help in reaching fat-loss goals IF you are willing to follow your trainer’s instructions. But more than half the time these instructions/guidance fall on deaf ears.
And what happens when you realize months have passed and you haven’t reached your goal?
You blame your trainer.
It’s your trainer’s fault that you miss your workouts, or that you have a cookie here.. a slice of pizza there. It’s your trainer’s fault that come the weekends your ‘healthy’ eating goes out the window.. because it’s so much easier to blame your trainer than to own up and blame yourself.

If your doctor were to tell you that you had a life threatening illness and unless you made drastic changes to your lifestyle, you would not survive.. would you think  twice about it?
You probably wouldn’t even argue.
So why is it that most people are unwilling to make the necessary changes to their lifestyle in order to lose weight?

Quick Fact:
The average person will start to gain 1pd of fat per year after the age of 25 and lose 1/2pd of lean muscle after 25 years old.
What does this mean? By the time you have reached 55 years you will have gained anywhere between 25-30 pds of fat mass & lost about 10-12 pds of lean muscle tissue. (Lean muscle utilizes calories to work, repair, and refuel itself. Fat requires very few calories—it just kind of sits there)

You may not feel the effects of being overweight and inactive now.. but you most definitely will see how your lifestyle takes a toll on your body as early as your 40 ‘s. From coronary heart disease,  to diabetes, to cancers.. these diseases can all be prevented with proper lifestyle changes. Why wait till then, when it’s too late? If you start the process early on, it will only be that much easier.
(See the effects of obesity here.)

So before you commit to hiring a trainer ask yourself these questions:
• Am I ready to give up certain foods/ habits?
• Am I willing to make time to exercise on a weekly basis?
• Am I willing to avoid situations that can throw me off-plan?
• Am I willing to put my health first and not ‘cheat’ myself for a moment of satisfaction?

If you can answer yes to all these then you are willing to commit to a new & healthier lifestyle. This is when a trainer can be your best investment. Because you will be focused on your goals, you will take accountability for your actions, you will be able to follow your trainer’s program and trust that the process will work.

And then the magic will happen!

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Getting ‘Waisted’

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There has recently been an obsession with waist trainers. Celebrities the likes of Kim Kardashian,  Jessica Alba, and Beyoncé.. just to name a few.. have been praising their waist trainers for giving them the much coveted and sought after ‘hourglass’ shape.  Social media has also been a big part in giving praise to these updated medieval corsets. And now they have made their way into the fitness industry.

This angers me.

If you follow any fitness account on instagram,  you are likely to have come across some ‘fitness pro trainer’ endorsing waist trainers or cinchers. They will take selfies in gym attire with a waist trainer on and credit that for their flat stomach,  defined abs and hourglass figure.

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THIS IS NOT TRUE!

I won’t even get into the fact that most of these so called ‘master’ or ‘pro’ trainers are a walking advertisement for plastic surgery, but the fact that there are thousands of women, alot of them young impressionable women.. even teenage girls, who will believe that an ever-constricting cincher will give them their dream body.

Anyone who has knowledge of the body will know that you cannot spot reduce, meaning that you can not target one specific body part/ area (ex: stomach, thighs) and lose fat only there. Fat loss is universal.  When it occurs you will lose fat overall, some areas may go faster depending on your fat distribution.

What is waist training? 

This new fad promises to melt belly fat, shrink your waist and give you an hourglass shape. You’re supposed to wear this compressive latex undergarment similar to a girdle (think: spanx on steroids) about 8-10 hours per day.. even while working out. As time passes by and ‘inches’ are lost you cinch your waist trainer more..and then *POOF* you end up with the much coveted mid-section.

Companies selling fitness waist cinchers claim that they compress your core, ramp up perspiration, release toxins, and metabolize fat. The tight fit also restricts your abdomen, reducing your food intake during the day. Advocates proclaim that these garments will help you lose fat and inches from your waist.

Waist Training Myths

1. It slims down your waist.
As stated before, you cannot spot reduce fat. The inches that you end up losing are a result of water weight from the excess perspiration (sweat) your body releases while wearing your waist trainer. Because it is water weight you will gain it back once your body is hydrated again.

2. Gives you an hourglass shape.
Ok.. let me provide some visuals:
>Full tube of toothpaste , cap on. Take your fingers, squeeze it in the middle.  What happens?  Still a full tube, BUT the toothpaste that was in the middle is now pushed to the top or the bottom..
>Hold a water balloon.  Squeeze the middle of it.  What happens?  The center of the balloon is now thinner due to you squeezing it.  When you remove your fingers, the balloon goes back to being a regular ol’ balloon.
What has happened in both scenarios is a REDISTRIBUTION of mass from one point to another, making it APPEAR thinner.  You have not in any way actually REDUCED it.

3. Improves posture & strengthens the core.
Ummm.. NO not really. The only reason it may seem to improve your posture is because it forces you to sit up or stand up straight because of the stiff material. When you don’t have it on chances are your poor posture will return. Also.. by wearing something that tight you are not allowing your body’s natural core musculature to develop.

4. Reduces food intake.
Since this undergarment is essentially compressing your midsection (which houses many organs..including the stomach) it will give you a false feeling of being full. Does this sound healthy to you at all?

Now let me tell you what can and does happen:

1. Constricting the abdomen and torso could impair lung function by restricting the amount of space available for the lungs to expand into the abdomen and fill with air. When the lungs don’t expand…they don’t exchange oxygen or expel carbon dioxide, and the person is short of breath. While exercising your rate of breathing and demand for oxygen is higher, so if you’re wearing your waist trainer during  exercise then you will feel the effects on your breathing even more. Reduced oxygenation can also affect your metabolism by slowing it down, which in turn can affect your weight

2. Can  restrict your bowels.
This can lead to constipation

3. Causes bruised skin.
Can also bruise ribs if it’s tight enough.

4. Genetics  play a big role.
If you genetically don’t have an hourglass shape, no amount of waist training will do that for you.

5. Compresses & shifts organs.

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I will stop there.. though there are many other dangers to this new fad. The truth is that now a days people are looking for a quick fix. It takes time and dedication to food & exercise to achieve a flat and toned mid-section.

Abs are made in the kitchen and chiseled in the gym. Don’t fall prey to these fads.. because it’s just a TEMPORARY solution.

So it’s been awhile… 7 months to be exact 😕

Last time I wrote on here I was just starting to feel better. I was getting over my nausea and extreme fatigue; was starting to eat & was feeling great exercising.
Boy oh boy was that short lived… A few weeks after that I started experiencing a nasty little twinge in my pelvis. I would feel it at first when I did any lower body exercise, especially with any lunge variation. Then it got worse, and along with other pregnancy issues, I had to stop my weight training 😞

Turned out to be Symphysis Pubis Disfunction. What is this fancy condition?!
First, a bit if anatomy: the symphysis pubis is a stiff joint that connects the two halves of your pelvis. This joint is strengthened by a dense network of tough, flexible tissues (ligaments).

During pregnancy your body produces a hormone called relaxin, softens your ligaments in order to help your baby pass through your pelvis.
Your pelvic joints move more during and just after pregnancy. This can cause inflammation and pain, and may lead to the condition symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD).

What this meant for me: any time I so much as did ANY movement that required moving one leg apart from the other ( lunges, step ups, getting out of bed.. You get the point) I felt a nasty grinding sensation in my pelvis 😫

Then I started to get really bad carpel tunnel ,to the point where I had numbing/ tingling all the way up to my elbows. This really affected my grip and I could not put any weight on my hands 😞

That was the end of my workouts. My focus turned to prenatal yoga & hypnobirthing meditation. Little bean came barreling into this world one day late. Despite having back to back contractions I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in less than 3 hours and drug free!!

Now at 10 weeks postpartum and after having been cleared by my midwife, I started to workout again at home. My workouts started off with mainly body weight exercises and a lot of stretching.

My next posts will feature some info on diastasis recti (also known as abdominal separation) and pelvic floor prolapse, and of course easing into workouts

Till next time 😊

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