Newbie’s Issue & One more myth, BUSTED!

Posted on February 25, 2013 by


The month is dedicated to GT Newbies and keeping it real with our mythbusters…

Myth:  Daily High Intensity workouts will result in a fit and defined body FAST.  Rest days only hold me back.

Busted:  Many people will overtrain their bodies for quick and short-lived WEIGHT loss, not fat loss. These people are burning ALL tissues (including muscle).  They are not maintaining or building muscle but forcing the body to use and get rid of it. Leaving them with skin, fat and bones – no definition.  Yes, they will lose “weight “ by burning off muscle for energy, but the last thing their body will look is fit or defined.  The domino effect is a lowered metabolism, lowered metabolic rate and higher body fat composition!

In today’s society our bodies are under so much stress from work, family, financial needs and responsibilities, by adding MORE daily stress we’ll trip up progress.  Often we hear “go work out if you’re stressed, that will help.”  If that means a walk in the park, this is very good advice.  If that means consecutive days of intense strength training and high amounts of cardio – you might want to ask yourself how that has worked for you?  If your body hasn’t changed much with this philosophy or if you have experienced numerous colds, flu, inconsistent heart rates or injury…you may want to rethink your training style.

High intensity exercise causes stress to the body, it’s a necessary stress to begin the process of muscle-building, however; our body does not differentiate “good stress” or “bad stress”.  Stress hormones are present regardless of the source.  Consistently raised cortisol levels will message the body to get rid of muscle while storing carbohydrates in fat cells.   Rest days can calm stress hormones and REPAIR and BUILD those muscles; which increases our metabolism, increases our metabolic rate and decreases our body fat composition.  A combination of resistance training, rest and clean fuel will fast track you to fat loss and muscle definition.

A note from a professional newbie:

Although I have maintained countless gym memberships since the age of 14, my fitness routines were anything but routine over the past 20+ years.   If I heard of a new type of exercise, I had to try it!  Especially if my weight was not ideal, it was like a message sent to me from God 🙂 This was going to be it – I could finally change my body.  I would purchase a membership, buy the t-shirt, buy into their supplements and talk about it to all of my fitness friends.  I would love it for a short time, not see desired results and look for something new rather than get to the root of the problem.

I had a diet head mentality coupled with overtraining routines which left me with a flat lined metabolism.   Thankfully I was able to turn all of that around by increasing my health with GT and shifting my approach towards exercise.

I always had one of two thoughts when starting something new:

1)      Fear – What will people think of me?  What will I do there? Am I in good enough shape to be here? What if I mess up?  Truth is – Everyone is so involved with themselves at the gym, they probably will never notice what you are doing.  If they do, most likely they will lend a helping hand.  People want to be experts at the gym, there is a lot of advice out there, some beneficial and some…not so much.

2)      Fast and Furious, I think my name is Billy Bada$$ – this method is exactly what the Mythbusters explains.  Intense back to back cardio classes, heavy weight lifting without rest, cross-fit or two-a-days.  This attitude always came after “taking a break” due to workout injuries or colds. (hmmm, both symptoms of overtraining)

Anytime we begin something new it’s fantastic to have a determined mind and enthusiastic approach.  We must remember we are BEGINNING.  It doesn’t matter that we were all-stars 20 years ago.  We need to start at whatever level we are TODAY.  Our bodies get into a comfort zone and run quite efficiently in “the zone”.   To change, all we have to do is disturb that efficiency.  That’s it.  As long as we CONTINUE to disturb the efficiency, our bodies continue to WORK.  Work produces results.

We do not expect to go from a 5 pound bicep curl to a 50 pounds bicep curl overnight so why would it work to go from a couch potato to a cross-fitter?  Work into it.

If you are new to strength training or starting back after several years, I recommend hiring a personal trainer to teach you proper form and to help you navigate your way around the gym.

Every GT coach is a certified personal trainer, if you live in the same area as your coach, either start training with them or ask them to recommend a trainer at your gym.   The one proven method I have kept going back to with results over the past several years is using my trainer, Edgar.  By finally learning the key to health and fitness from my coach, Sheri; I have been able to achieve the body I have been after for years.  My trick – utilizing clean foods and water, resistance training, meditation, prescribed cardio and rest.  Nothing new or fad about it.

Beginners not ready to hit the gym, you can catch a workout at your home with just a band and your body weight.  See below for a few ideas on upper and lower body exercises to wake your muscles while in fueling!

Newbie Full Body Workout:  Body weight 2-3 sets of 15-20 Reps.  Don’t overdo it when you’re just starting, if 6 reps is all you can physically handle, stay there until that is your new comfort, then up the reps.

Check out last months blog for core exercises. Pick one or two to add in with the workout below.

Chair or Bench Squat – Very important, knees stay over your ankles and never pull inward, keep knees aligned over heels as you squat down, keep your core engaged. Spine is neutral, shoulders back and tucked down into your back pockets, chin is back, head is not looking up or down.  Inhale down and exhale up.  Keep all four corners of your feet on the floor.  Barefoot training is best.

Wall Sit (if you do not have high blood pressure) – hold for 30-60 seconds. Increase to 60-90 seconds over time.  Legs are 90 degree angle.  Knees over heels.

Full body bridge:  This is great for core and your entire backside from shoulders to calves.  Be sure to really engage your core, squeeze the glutes and open your chest at the top.  Inhale down, exhale up.

Modified push-ups: Keep hands directly under shoulders, core engaged, keeping your body and spine in complete alignment.  If your core starts to sag or your butt starts to lift in the air, stop.  Do more over time.  If this is too difficult, simply hold the plank with knees touching the floor – keep your spine aligned from crown of your head to your tailbone.

Tricep Dips: Dips use a chair or stairway. Hand under shoulders

Bent over Row with Band– Stand on band, keep spine straight, core is ENGAGED. Elbow stays close to your body.


Rock On Fitness Friends,

Katie Surjan