Hey Meals and Moves fans! My name is Susan, I blog over at a little place called The Great Balancing Act. Over there I talk about balancing out healthy eating and active living with a busy life! Today though, I’m going to talk about mostly “moves” with a few “meals” thrown in at the end for good measure ;)
One thing I love about Janetha is that she’s a girl who loves to lift, and loves to lift heavy. When I first got off my lazy butt and into the gym, I had no clue what to do with the dumbbells and barbells in the weight room. So, I’d do my cardio thang, put in some moderate effort on the machines and call it a day.
While I was losing weight this way, I noticed my body wasn’t really changing. It looked the same, just smaller. Enter weight lifting, or more precisely, this book.
The New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler. I picked up this book on a recommendation. At first it was really intimidating. Just the thought of trying to adjust the squat rack, let alone do a weighted squat, scared me! I thought for sure the hockey players who occupied the weight room would make fun of me, and that I’d leave with a few bruised toes (and ego).
Regardless, I embarked on the six month weight lifting program detailed inside. It started off light, with only three, 30 minute full-body workouts a week. Each “stage” ran approximately 4-6 weeks, with a week of rest in between. It focused on compound, full-body workouts. Taking full advantage of moves like the squat, lunge, press, row and push up. The intensity level increased with every stage, and to my amazement, so did my strength.
In fact, my strength grew by leaps and bounds. I started the program with no muscle base, squatting with a 15 lb body bar. By the end, I was doing 80 lbs.
My body shape changed too. My shoulders became sculpted, arms firm, legs strong and powerful, and even a couple abs peeked out!
The book isn’t all “moves” though. There are some “meals” as well. The authors clearly state that it’s hard to put on muscle when you’re eating in a calorie deficit. It makes sense, technically its muscle “gain.” There are so many benefits to that gain though. Besides making you stronger and firmer, muscle burns more calories at rest. The more muscle you have, the more you’ll burn in your daily activities. There’s also the “after burn,” when you body keeps working even after you put down the weights.
But to see all this glorious muscle you’re gaining, you’ve got to get rid of some of the squishy fat that surrounds it. That’s where diet comes in. Personally, I think this is all very subjective. Different diets work for different people. Most experts say that diets high in protein and low in simple carbohydrates stimulate fat loss. Personally, a diet made up of 50% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 25% fat is what worked best for me. I know a 40-40-20 ratio is what works for Janetha, and that’s great too!
The authors also advocate protein drinks immediately after lifting to help along recovery and muscle growth. Personally, this has worked for me. I just feel better with a thick and balanced protein shake after an intense lifting session.
So here’s where the pics and recipes come in! (as if I’d leave you without any ;) ) Here are some of my favourite protein shakes :)
Chocolate Banana Almond
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 scoop chocolate whey powder
- Half a banana
- 2 spoonfuls plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 6 ice cubes
Vanilla Berry Blast
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 scoop vanilla whey powder
- Half a banana
- Several handfuls frozen berry mix
Tropical Green Smoothie
- 1 box natural coconut water (1.5 cups)
- 2 scoops Vega Smoothie Infusion*
- 1 cup frozen papaya chunks
- * I can’t do raw green smoothies for digestive reasons, but this would be great with spinach and vanilla protein powder!
- Now what are you still doing here? Get into that weight room and under the squat rack woman!! Happy lifting!!