This middle-aged fit girl has a new FAV workout
Cheers to a stronger, sexier, sassy & sculpted me. Take that, you stalled metabolism!
Since losing weight and getting fit are the most common New Year’s resolutions…and because so many of us get off track over the holidays and restart January 1st…and because I just did my kick-ass workout and feel totally inspired…I want to share the secret of my AMAZING new favorite workout. And yes, I do it at home, in my kitchen/sunroom, with no equipment.
This (new-to-me) fitness routine has changed not only how and when I work out, but how I feel. It makes me feel stronger, sexier, and sassier. It has me excited to exercise. But most importantly, it has helped jumpstart a sluggish metabolism and get back on track with “burnin’ it.”
So, while I don’t endorse products or sell anything here, I want to share my story in case it’s a fit and works for you, too.
Stuck and stalled are not in my vocabulary!
This year I will celebrate five years of maintaining my -200 lbs weight loss, while feeling great inside and out and living from the center of my equation. (I am so excited about this May 2016 anniversary!)
But this past summer, I started to notice a sluggish metabolism. I could not get those last 8-10 lbs of stubborn fat to budge, and was beginning to feel a little sluggish. That was not okay with this beautiful, middle-aged, strong and fit girl. So I started to investigate.
I was implementing the same healthy lifestyle that has served me well in maintaining my weight and feeling good for nearly 5 years. I was eating clean and healthy 90-100% of the time, doing what I’ve always done nutritionally to stay on track. My exercise level was consistent and about the same. I was sleeping okay. I was even implementing a new mindfulness practice to manage my increased stress. So I felt I was doing everything right. It was frustrating that the methodology I had used to lose 200+ lbs and then adjusted to keep the weight off for five years, no longer seemed to be as effective. I know some of you reading this are there…or have been there!
I wondered if I was resigned to this weight and body shape because my metabolism was slowing given my age (early 50’s). Or, because I’d lived much of my life obese and perhaps my body was fighting me to just get back to what it believed was it’s natural state. All reasonable explanations.
Well, if you know me or have followed my In the Equation journey, you know I don’t really accept stuck or stalled! While I would be totally okay with a slightly higher weight as long as my clothes fit and I felt good, I also really enjoy a challenge and now make my health and well being goals my priority. So guess what happened next?! Yep, I took it on as one of my challenges of 2016.
This past Fall, a great blog came across my email from Metabolic Effect suggesting a metabolic quiz to learn your metabolic type and gain strategies for losing that last unwanted fat in the toughest areas. Here’s a link to the metabolic quiz. For me, the quiz made two suggestions: 1) Narrow my eating window to less than 12 hours. This would put my body into a “non-eating state” longer and suggested I would burn more stored fat instead of food (made sense); and 2) It lead me to the Metabolic Aftershock workout.
I implemented both changes immediately. I narrowed my eating window by a couple of hours, eating the same number of meals/snacks and the same type of food but in a narrower window. I still eat 4-5 high protein, healthy fat, low starchy carb meals every day and a few hours apart, but I now stop eating earlier in the evening and start later in the morning after my workout. I saw some immediate results. Cool!
Next, I purchased the Metabolic Aftershock workout for $37. It includes online videos with the guided workouts and a long PDF manual explaining what the program is, why and how it works. I started doing the new workout in September 2016. And I can tell you it has made a world of difference. I LOVE IT! Not only that, I’ve learned a great deal about my metabolic type and how the body and metabolism work in general. I love the Metabolic Effect blog and website for that reason alone.
(NOTE: I do NOT endorse or sell any products here! I simply share my story, inspiration and motivation. So when I get excited about something that works for me, I pass it on with the caveat that I do not believe one size fits all. I know this workout is NOT for everyone. I’m providing a resource that may help you as it did me. You decide. Also, please know that I am NOT a trained nutritionist or personal trainer. I rely on those experts to guide me. I am a “regular” person (like you) who has gone 100% all in, educated herself, and leaned on the experts when I need them. And I am rockin’ it with that approach!)
What is the Metabolic Aftershock Workout?
In a nutshell, the workout is a combination of high intensity cardio with resistance training exercises. It’s done in a unique way aimed at jumpstarting your metabolism and the program’s videos walk you through it. You do the 15 to 20 minute workouts, 3x per week, followed by a 10-minute walk or a cool down stretch. I still get cardio by walking on the “off” workout days and aim for 10,000 steps every day. In fact, the Metabolic Aftershock program encourages walking and keeping your normal lifestyle movement on the “off” workout days.
The science behind it as described on the Metabolic Aftershock website: “Each 15-minute session combines high intensity cardio with resistance training exercises to break through your anaerobic threshold, which then drastically boosts your body’s production of metabolic molecules…”
Because each 45-second exercise is fast and intense, they’re aimed at helping you workout smarter instead of harder, and claim to provide greater results than traditional workouts — like being on the treadmill for an hour. I have found this to be totally true and I don’t find the workouts too challenging to stick with it — though the ramped-up phase three is a real challenge for me. That gave me a “run for my money,” and I’m still working on mastering it.
Another bonus of this workout is how it helps you lose fat and tone muscle up to 48 hours after you’ve stopped exercising. Meaning it jumpstarts your metabolism in a way that has you burning fat while you’re in a rested state. Which is another reason I love it!
On the website you will find a more descriptive list of benefits, including:
- Boosted metabolism, as well as testosterone and HGH production in your body
- Improved heart strength and VO2max
- Increased calories burned (e.g. energy production)
- Reduced belly fat and increases lean muscle mass
- Reduced signs of aging
- Lowered blood pressure and cholesterol
The 9-week workout program has three phases — each 3 weeks — and each gets increasingly more challenging as you move through the phases. They build on each other. I got through the entire 9 weeks once in 2016 and, while I personally found phases 1-2 totally doable and loved the workouts, phase 3 kicked my butt. I’m now restarting the 9 weeks and doing it again.
Why I love this workout & it works for me?
I was not sure what to expect when I started the first online workout video. But I’ve found the program totally doable, very educational and most of all — effective!
My early results: In the first round, in less than 9 weeks, I leaned out around the waist and mid section so much that my skirts were falling off and all of my clothes fit differently. On my last business trip, I had to buy new skirts and the clothes I was wearing in the summer of 2016 were too big. It turns out my body shape had changed much more than the number on the scale, though that went down as well. I felt totally awesome and had more energy and zip in my step. I had no back issues or challenges, like I did in 2015. And, I looked forward to the days I actually got to do the workout! Almost unheard of for me.
What happened next? Well, life. Stress. The holidays. And, well, lets just say that sneaking in some Christmas cookies and wine has me back up in my weight to where the skirts are tight. So like many of you, I’m in the restart in 2017 and I’m having fun. I have total confidence it will work again. Mostly, I feel great when doing it. So here we go 2017, bring it on!
My favorite things about this workout:
- It’s effective and totally worked for me! It was exactly the jumpstart I needed to get my metabolism stocked again.
- The workouts are challenging, but doable. I love that. Phases 1-2 were quite straightforward for me, but phase 3 kicked my butt hard. Because of many years of working with a personal trainer, I know my body and my issues (knees, back) well and am able to push myself at a high intensity, but modify exercises as needed to get the benefit without the worry of injury. (Thank you Sandra Swami.)
- In the videos, there is a beginner trainer who shows easy modifications if you have injuries or limitations, an intermediate trainer, and an advanced trainer — so it works for whatever your skill or fitness level.
- The workout is both effective and efficient. I was doing squats, lunges, push ups, and many of these basic exercises on my own, but not at the same intensity or in the same sequence — this workout took it from a basic level to a higher intensity and “smarter” way to get the max benefit.
- It doesn’t take a lot of time — I spend 20-25 minutes per day. And when I walk for a cool down after am done in 30 minutes. I find myself wanting to do it MORE than 3x per week.
- You can do it at home without equipment. I do it in my kitchen/sunroom with the Ipad and its awesome. Trust me the benefits are WAY better than being in the gym lifting for a long period of time.
- Every video is educational and provides information about your metabolism and what is happening in your body as a result of the workout. So I am constantly learning. I haven’t found another resource that is any better than this one on the metabolism.
Why haven’t I shared this before & why I’m not endorsing it…
I haven’t blogged about my new Metabolic Aftershock workout prior to this for several reasons.
1) I don’t endorse or sell any products or particular methodology here. My In the Equation blog is about my experiences, my journey and what works for me. My goal is to share my story in ways that help me and others by providing hope, inspiration, motivation, and tips or techniques. I view this as one of those tips and techniques — and hope you find it inspirational.
2) I have to PROVE it works for me before I get excited enough to tell others. So I needed three months with the workout to get through all of the phases and prove to myself it was working. Enough said.
3) I do NOT believe this workout is suited for everyone. It’s important to know your goals, your skill level, and then determine what you need. In my view, whether this workout is a good fit for you or not depends on a host of things: Your age, your metabolism functioning currently, your current exercise or fitness level, your unique challenges or issues, where you are in your journey, and most importantly your overall goals. I simple don’t believe in one size fits all solutions. NOr do I believe in “magic” solutions. And, I’m not a certified personal trainer, nutritionsist or a doctor, so I am only offering this blog as my personal experience and what works for me.
The best way to see if this workout might help you is to get educated — so check out the blog, take the quiz, read about the program, go online and check the reviews (I did), and make sure it fits with your personal goals. For many of you this may be an awesome solution. Let me know.
A great way to start the new year — find something you enjoy to do and do it!
I don’t write that often about exercise or fitness, but when I do I’m happy to share what works for me in hopes that it helps others who may not love to exercise or know where to start. When I started my transformation journey in Nov. 2010, I absolutely hated to exercise. I spent most of my time in an office chair and when I did join a gym or hire a trainer, I had every excuse in the book for not going.
So when I began this journey in earnest and went 100% all in, I knew that following a regular exercise routine and making it part of my life was going to be a big challenge. That’s why I started with an awesome personal trainer. Someone who not only could provide expertise and accountability, but who ultimately got to know me and my personal challenges and goals. Thank you Sandra Swami.
As my trainer, Sandra was able to meet me where I was but also understand where I wanted/needed to be and guide me there. She pushed me when needed and taught me to consider learning and understanding my body and my limitations. She taught me good form, and with practice, I got better and stronger and learned to like it much more. I found what worked for me and what I enjoyed most, which makes it much easier to integrate into my lifestyle.
So my In the Equation Exercise Principles flow from my early training experience. Those principles and tips are are:
- Get clear about your overall goals and do exercise consistently that aligns with those goals. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym like they do on the Biggest Loser to lose weight. I did NOT! Ever spend hours in the gym. I had help from my coach and personal trainer to find what worked for me, given where I was in the process and what my overall goals were. This made all the difference.
- Start where you are, build from there. Know your body, your limitations and your skill level. For so many, it’s important to just get moving. That’s totally okay and a GREAT place to start. Learn to become mindful of the mind-body connection to prevent injury, quitting, and to best support you in achieving your goals.
- Both cardio and strength training are important. Strength and resistance training matter a lot when it comes to leaning and fat loss, actually even when it comes to just living your life life and doing the things you want to do. So many people make the mistake of thinking that an hour of cardio on the treadmill is the ideal exercise for fat loss. Or, that you have to run to lose weight. NOT! I have learned to exercise more effectively and efficiently and for me that has made the biggest difference in how I look and feel, and in whether or not I stick with it!
- Schedule and track your exercise to create a healthy habit. When embarking on an exercise routine, make sure you schedule enough time for the proper warm up and cool down, getting to and from the gym, etc. Not enough time or “I got too busy to work out,” is one of the most frequent excuse for not exercising.
- Embrace the mental and physical benefits of exercise. Note how you and your body respond to exercise — physically, emotionally and spiritually. I am guessing when you start and stick with it consistently you will notice you’re less stressed, more present and engages, you have more energy and sleep better.
- Don’t ignore/forget about nutrition. Yep, truth is, nutrition makes the biggest difference! You cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet. So many people think they can work off the calories they eat, I don’t subscribe to that theory.
Good luck with your 2017 goals. And cheers to a happy, healthy and In-the-Equation you!
Read more of my blogs on exercise and what has helped me stick with it. (This from the girl who said, “I hate to exercise” for much of her adult life. Until now!)
- Winter workout: Baby it’s cold outside! (Dec. 2016)
- Dancing in the kitchen. My favorite indoor workout — Feb. 2016
- Ever use the excuses: “I hate to exercise,” “I can’t do it, or “I can’t afford it”? — Feb. 2015
- What is this gym going to teach me today? – Jan. 2015
- Do one good thing that feels good…every day – Jan. 2015
- Climbing mountains…getting strong – Dec. 2014
- Hormones and weight loss. A formula for success — Sept. 2014
- Should you exercise when you’re sick — March 2014
- Throwing punches…getting fit — August 2013
- Strong vs. skinny. Fit girls unite – May 2013
- Exercise: Making it fun for life – Oct. 2012
- From fat girl in an office chair to fit girl knocking out a half marathon – Aug. 2012
- Fit girls push harder — Feb. 2012
- I hate to exercise. Really! – Dec. 2011