So what IS the elusive secret weapon to a “killer body”? According to Tracy Anderson (personal trainer to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars) the secret is that there is NO SECRET. “They just work really hard. It’s as simple as that - and as difficult as that,” she says.
But is it possible for the rest of us mere mortals to get Gwyneth Paltrow legs, Madonna’s amazing body or whip back into pre-baby shape in no time like Kim Kardashian? Probably not – and for two very good reasons....a/ these women work much harder at maintaining their body because their career depends on it (they workout for 1.5 – 2 hours a day, 5-6 days a week); and b/ most of the photo’s that we see in magazines are airbrushed to within an inch of their life, “and trust me, that’s coming from someone who sees these people every day” Anderson says.
The consolation is that the rest of us “mere mortals” CAN get our best body by applying the 5 golden rules to a better body!
1. INCREASE YOUR WORKOUT SESSIONS
Doing a couple of sessions a week might make you feel good, but it’s NOT going to transform your body! It takes more than that to get a Bikini Body – an hour a day, four to five times a week minimum. The good news is that you’ll never have to worry about going on diets, but of course you have to keep it up to maintain it. You get out what you put in!
2. SHAKE THINGS UP REGULARLY
It’s a great feeling when you finally nail a particular type of exercise or dance style but the down side is that the better you become at something, the less effective it is for your body. It becomes too accustomed to the repetitive movements and goes into Auto-Pilot. This is why it is so important to shake up your workouts on a regular basis to keep your muscles on their toes, alert and engaged. You don’t have to completely change what you’re doing – let’s face it, you need to enjoy it or you won’t stick at it, BUT you should change some of the movements around regularly or better still, add an additional style/genre of workout to your weekly schedule.
3. STOP SLOGGING OUT 1000’S OF SIT UPS
Doing 1000’s of crunches and push ups alone is NOT going to get you the Six Pack Abs you desire. Sure they should still form part of your workout but focusing solely on your “problem area” will only encourage your body to bulk up by charging up the large muscle groups. A Total Body workout will require your brain to stay connected to your whole body and engage more of the smaller muscles which in turn will see you getting results faster!
4. CHECK YOUR DIET
Fitness is not “one size fits all” – and neither is diet! Working out alone is completely useless if you don’t take notice of what you put into your body as well. You need to be honest with yourself about your diet and eating habits. Take the time to audit your panty and fridge, and really think about whether you’re overeating or under eating – and whether the food you eat is fuelling it up or just filling it up (there is a difference). Think about what changes you could make and consider if there are any foods that you’re sensitive to as these can have an internal reaction that prevent you from reaching your physical goals.
5. FUEL UP BEFORE YOU EXERCISE
Most of us take care with what we eat AFTER a workout session (we don’t want to undo all that hard work), but what you eat BEFORE a workout is just as important! Exercising on a empty stomach is far less effective as you are denying your body the fuel it needs to go the distance – you’re running on an almost empty tank and hope you have enough to get to the nearest re-fuelling station! Instead, you should eat something light (avoid carb loaded foods like bread and pasta) – have a banana or a protein shake and see how much further and harder you can actually go in your workout.
AND... DON'T FORGET THE STRESS FACTOR
When you’re stressed it clouds your mind and you become far less productive, so it makes sense to reduce the daily stresses as much as you can. Stress can also reek havoc with your hormones which in turn can reduce your chances to achieve your fitness or weight loss goals. A good mindset will make you happier, more energetic and more productive.
HERE’S ONE FOR THE MUMS
When you’re expecting a new baby, we all dream of squeezing back into those Skinny Jeans ASAP! Unfortunately this rarely happens, BUT if you start getting back into some exercise as soon as the doctor gives you the all clear you will be well on the road to rocking out those jeans sooner! There’s a hormone called Relaxin that your body produces during pregnancy and this hangs around for around six months after giving birth. This hormone gives you the perfect opportunity to manipulate it the way you want – but act quickly ‘coz once it’s gone the workouts only get tougher.