Hindsight is a beautiful thing. It’s easy to look back and think “Oh man, I wish I had have known that then”.

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1. SPOT REDUCTION IS A MYTH

We’ve all seen infomercials selling abdominal or thigh blasters / masters that claim to “effortlessly spot reduce fat from all your most hated areas”, when in actual fact their tag line should be “Want to banish that belly fat? This ab blaster won’t ever help and spot reduction isn’t actually a thing”. Don’t worry, we’ve all been suckered in by them. Why wouldn’t you be? A personal trainer has been brought on board to endorse the product, so little naive us are left to believe what they do is the truth. I still remember my best friend from high school bought an “Ab King Pro” circa 2007. I lived with her at the time and we were both so excited to open it and to use it. She used it once, I think I looked at it once and now it is 2014.

Sure exercises such as sit-ups will strengthen your abdominal muscles, but sit-ups alone will not get rid of the layer of fat that is covering the muscles. Fat can’t be targeted for reduction from a specific area of the body, it just doesn’t work that way. Ever. A muscle does not own the fat that surrounds it. It is a common misconception that everyone needs to realise is a myth. So how do you loose fat from those areas? It’s pretty simple – you need to a) reduce the amount of calories you’re eating per day, b) burn calories by following an exercise routine of cardio and weight training. In doing so you will decrease fat stored throughout your entire body, including the problem areas you wanted to get rid of initially.

Fat can’t be targeted for reduction from a specific area of the body, it just doesn’t work that way. Ever. A muscle does not own the fat that surrounds it.

2. I WON’T GET TOO BULKY

Within minutes of each other I was asked “what exercises can I do to not get bulky” and “I’m worried I’ll get too bulky if I work out using weights”. I remember when I thought running on a treadmill would make my thighs “bulky”. I asked one of my girlfriends at the time (she worked out quite a bit) if this was the case, she assured me it wouldn’t but I was still convinced I would get bulky leg muscles the fitter and stronger my legs got. The same happened last year when I started lifting weights, I thought I would end up looking like a female body builder the more weight I lifted. Jonathan helped me realise that the female body builders I was worried about looking like eat, train, and take supplements specifically so they can look like that! The true culprit that gives a woman a bulky appearance when working out is excess body fat – this brings be to point 3.

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The true culprit that gives a woman a bulky appearance when working out is excess body fat

3. ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN – BUT NOT TOTALLY

Getting abs is all about eating a caloric deficit diet full of healthy food while also training. They go hand in hand, which a lot of people don’t realise (self inclusive at one stage). If you are working out your muscles they will get stronger and become denser, thus you will burn the fat on top of your muscle, and you will get that toned look that you have been aiming for. So remember to watch what you eat, cut out empty calories/ bad snacking habits and stick to a healthy diet. In the coming weeks I will run through meal planning and other helpful eating tips.

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4. CRUNCHES AREN’T CRUCIAL FOR STRONG ABS

Crunches are not the best exercise choice if you are trying to train your abs because they strengthen only a few of the muscles in your core. I’ve only taken my health and fitness seriously in the past year since moving back to New South Wales, so all of my workout knowledge has come from asking Jonathan questions (all the time). From his experience he used to do multiple sets of crunches and get little result, so when we started training together last year he started out with doing moves that work the entire core area. Such as planks, ab wheels, side planks and more.

Crunches are not the best exercise choice if you are trying to train your abs because they strengthen only a few of the muscles in your core.

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5. YOU DON’T NEED A LOT OF EQUIPMENT

Our home gym consists of the following

  1. A Bench
  2. Free Weights: All up about 120KGs
  3. 2 Yoga Mats
  4. Resistance bands
  5. Ab Wheel
  6. Skipping Rope

Until last year I had only ran a few times a fortnight as my exercise. Actually, I rarely did that. When we moved and decided we would work out from home instead of signing up for an expensive gym membership (we’d probably never use) I thought we were going to have to spend a lot of money to be able to get a strong, lean, and healthy body. I could not have been more wrong! Lucky for me because that meant I could buy more shoes!

No matter how much equipment you have, be it less than us or a fully equipped gym; if you do the right exercises, eat right and train regularly you will be able to achieve your dream body.

ALSO

If you liked this post and found it helped you out – be sure to “like” it so I can tell if you’d like me to post more of this kind of thing.

WHAT I AM WEARING

Lorna Jane Sportsbra, New Balance Sneakers, Cotton On Body Shorts

Plus drinking: Ccoconut Water – YUM!

PHOTOGRAPHY

Jonathan Hayward

Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

7 thoughts on “5 Thing I Wish I Knew When I Started Working Out”

  1. This is so helpful and motivating! Keep ’em fit posts coming. I love getting insights of other people’s meal plans and work out routines. Thanks for the tips! XX

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