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How to make progress

By now, most people definitely know they should be active but it's easy to get caught up wondering what we should be doing, what's most effective. Strength training proponents swear by weight lifting, aerobics instructors and runners swear by cardio, and nutritionists say just eat clean. ๐Ÿ˜‚ The truth, as with most things in fitness and in life, lies somewhere in the middle of all of that.


Most people, regardless of their goal, will be best served by some combination of the above, and the specific goal will determine how much of each of those three things are needed. "Clean" eating is an often-used phrase but I prefer to talk about foods having a lot or only a little nutrient density; how nutritious is this food for the amount of calories I'm getting, and is it conducive to my current goals? Do I currently need a lot of calories or fewer? How much activity am I doing each week, and how are my sleep and energy levels?


We can think of the amounts of strength training and cardio we need as inversely proportional depending on whether we are trying to gain or lose weight, and the number of calories our body needs each day goes down, stays the same, or goes up based on if we are trying to lose, maintain, or gain weight, respectively.


Sometimes, we do need to move more and eat less. The vast majority of Americans are in this boat; we eat too many calories devoid of any real nutrition and sit for way too many hours every day. But sometimes, for our specific goal, we need to move more and eat more. And even occasionally, eat less and move less, but that's pretty rare, and usually applies to needing less cardio and more strength training, on the few occasions that it does apply. Most of what we eat should be highly nutritious relative to the calories it contains, but depending on whether we are trying to lose, maintain, or gain weight and what we currently weight determine how much we should eat.


No matter who you are, at least a small amount of some type of strength training is absolutely critical. If your goal is simply to be healthy, and to look and feel pretty good, you really only need a modest amount. If you enjoy it, by all means do more of it! But if you don't, a couple times per week will suffice. If you want to put on an appreciable amount of muscle, you have to do way more!


At least a small amount of cardio is critical to our overall health and well being. Weight maintenance is also a bit easier when we include a bit of cardio, but that doesn't mean you have to go hop on a machine or become an avid runner. There are myriad ways to get your heart rate up, preferably in a way that you enjoy. If you are trying to gain weight or put on muscle, keep cardio minimal but don't neglect it entirely for the sake of your heart and lungs.


If you need help figuring out where you should be based on your specific goals, that's why we're here! Please don't hesitate to check out our online programs, visit our in-studio and online classes, or to reach out directly. ๐Ÿ™‚

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